In defense of ‘Jennifer’s Body’

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I’m very confused by this weekend’s box office results. Diablo Cody, Oscar winning screenwriter, and Transformers’ star Megan Fox released a horror/comedy movie  and it only managed to take 5th place, taking in a little over $6 million in its opening weekend. What?!

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So why didn’t the movie perform to expectations? Megan Fox did a complete blitz marketing campaign, from a zillion magazine covers to starting feuds with Michael Bay and mental health. Dangerbowie.com saw a 200% increase in site views because of the last Megan Fox post. Even writer Diablo Cody was out there pimping it strong but to no avail. Perhaps the R-rating killed the chances of a large portion of it’s would be audience. There was also talks on the interweb about how the horror comedy genre just doesn’t play well to Americans. What “they” are saying  is that we (Americans) will watch giant robots come to life and breakdance, we can get into teen angst vampires, but the concept of Evil Dead or Gremlins just don’t do it for us commercially? Bollocks.

I firmly stand behind this project because it is so rare that you get a movie written, directed and starring women in non traditional roles.It’s always the same  romantic comedy that paints a one sided picture of the ditz/chubby/awkward/dumb girl who eventually gets the guy. They took Jennifer’s Body and spun in it in an entirely different direction and kudos to them. I hope that this softer opening weekend doesn’t prevent these ladies from continuing to make movies that feature women in different societal roles. Long live Diablo!

Happy Birthday Dave Chappelle!!

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36 years ago today a little tike was born that would later grow up to become one of the funniest comedians of my generation. His name was David Khari Webber Chappelle or Dave Chappelle to his adoring public. For over a decade Chappelle has warmed the hearts and shook the guts of the world with his ability to make people laugh by way of parody and observation.

Today, let us celebrate a comedian who’s groundbreaking cult classic “Chappelle’s Show”  gave insight into a culture that is often misunderstood and stereotyped to death. From the classic “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” to his turn as a serious actor in “Half Baked”, Chappelle never fails to entertain. While he has been in remission for a few years gaining back the peace of mind that instant fame can devoid you of, he has remained in the heart of all who adore him. Happy birthday Mr. Chappelle and we can’t wait for your inevitable comeback.

Shorts: Adventures of Wishing Rock

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I had the privilege of going to the premiere of “Shorts” last weekend in Hollywood. Besides a really adorable movie I also got to see the delightful looking Robert Rodriguez in all his glory. Score one for me.

I was shocked to find that the film translated to people over 13 years old. While I may have  rolled my eyes when my kiddie movie obsessed mother forced me to watch all the “Spy Kids” movies, I secretly enjoyed each one and I owe it all to director/writer/musician/super hottie Robert Rodriguez. Who would’ve thought that the man who blessed the world with El Mariachi, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and Desperado (to name a few) could piece together such entertaining family fare.

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The story of  ‘Shorts’ is a basic kid tale. 11 year old ‘Toe’ Thompson is the punching bag for the bullies in the suburban Black Falls community, where his and everyone else’s parents work for Black Box Industries. A company that manufactures a gadget that can do everything, it’s even better than an Iphone. A random storm hits the community and a mysterious Rainbow Rock is found that grants the beholder anything it wishes for.The rainbow rock finds it’s way around the city, jumping from the hands of kids to adults. The movie is a ‘magical adventure told through a series of shorts that bring to life the best and worst aspects of the Black Falls Community.’

The kid actors in this movie are fantastic and charming, making the ride that much smoother. Kat Dennings plays the part of the permanently annoyed older sister to perfection, William H. Macy is great as the kooky germaphobe scientist, and Leslie Mann and Jon Cryer make for the perfect neurotic technology obsessed parents. However, it’s James Spader as the rich villainous owner of Black Box Industries that I found the most amusing.  Only one problem, by the end of the movie I was really wanting my own rainbow wishing rock (what a dream it would be to become debt free).

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It seems like a  big coincidence  that Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino are releasing a movie on the same day. I mean, the movies are on complete opposite sides of the spectrum but it makes you wonder how divisive Hollywood can be sometimes. Here’s a solution for all you fully functioning adults with families: take the kids to see “Shorts” and get a sitter the next day so you can watch “Inglourious Basterds” that way 2 of the greatest directors of my generation will get their time to shine.

Inglourious Basterds For The Win!

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I had the pleasure of watching America’s number one movie “Inglourious Basterds” this morning and I was not disappointed. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, who borrowed the name and skeletal storyline from the 1981 army film starring Fred Williamson,’Inglourious..’ has just saved us from another less than stellar summer movie lineup.

The movie starts in the first year of the German occupation of France, Shosanna Dreyfus (a Jewish refugee played by Melanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema.

Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (played by a jestful and very Southern Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish American soldiers to hunt down kill and scalp Nazi soldiers. Later known to their enemy as “the basterds,” Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of the Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquis, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own

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I love Tarantino because it seems like he doesn’t give a crap about stomping all over society’s neat little ideas of the way things HAVE to be to make a movie his own way. I loved this movie and not because everybody else does but because of the questions it brings to the forefront.

I was confused and curious about the audience (and my own) reaction to this film. Albeit we are watching the enemy die, the way we’d whoop and cheer as these men (Hitler’s by products) are murdered in the most vicious of ways was questionable. It’s amazing how quickly we play judge and jury so that we can excuse ourselves of sympathy in the right situation.

For example: You may not believe in the death penalty but with if some maniac murders your loved one? In the case of this movie the ‘basterds’ are seeking revenge for their people who were brutally murdered by brutally murdering other people. Yet because of circumstance they get our moral seal of approval.

‘Basterds…’ is filled with  cinematic trickery, forcing you out of your neat little life and urging you to relieve yourself of human responsibility. Hitler was evil, there’s no denying that. I’ve seen pictures of those young German soldiers, some barely big enough to handle their guns. The ever present kill or be killed  factor that they  had to deal with would have forced even the best man  to do unthinkable acts. ‘Basterds..’ inadvertently asks you to celebrate the malicious torture deaths of these soldiers while internally excusing yourself of moral responsibility.  In the end, 100% of those guys were evil incarnate and they deserved it, right?  Tarantino has made a movie of transcendence and redemption, where the tables are turned and we become the audience that is willing to cheer for  a bloodbath, the more torturous the better.

It takes a unique filmmaker to take one of the most major events in history and turn it on its ass. Thanks Tarantino for continuously pushing the cinematic envelope.

James McAvoy and Seth Rogen in the same movie. My bizarre dreams are coming true.

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Sweet Jimmy Mac I knew you had it in you. Variety reported today that James McAvoy has signed on to star in comedic adaptation of the Will Reiser novel “I’m With Cancer.” Nicole Holofcener will direct, and the pic will co-star Seth Rogen, who is also producing.

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In the first major project McAvoy has agreed to star in since the Universal comicbook actioner “Wanted” and its upcoming sequel, he will play a 25-year-old who learns he has cancer and successfully battles the disease over several years.

After watching the BBC’s Shameless in which McAvoy costarred, I can honestly say that while he is a gorgeous stallion of a man with a 10,000 yard deathsex stare, he does have comedic chops. The pairing of these two shall be monumental and rank rather highly on the Danger Bowie spank it meter. Seth Rogen is unstoppable. I can’t wait to see who’ll he co star with next. Perhaps if the powers that be hear my eternal cries, we can expect Pineapple Express 2 with Brad Pitt joining the cast as Gary Cole’s long lost brother, who is fresh out of prison and wants to avenge his late brother death. Coming at you in 2013. One can always dream.

Greek is gonna get me through a summer of sub par programming

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This fine specimen with exquisite taste in fake facial hair is my summer heartthrob 2009, Mr. Scott Michael Foster from ABC Family channel’s “Greek”. Never in my life could I imagine that I’d be admitting to watching ABC Family but he before my 3 loyal readers I will say that ABC Family has produced a show that is entertaining, charming, and well scripted.

The only reason I even gave “Greek” a second of my time is because of the hilarious..the incomparable Clark Duke.

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After watching him and Michael Cera on the web series, “Clark and Michael“, I am willing to watch this guy do anything on the screen. I saw the first few commercials for “Greek” 2 years ago and it looked insanely cheesy and moral driven so I put my undying love for Clark Duke on hold.

In comes the summer of 2009, lo and behold, television is crap.  I turned to my ever loyal Hulu.com and decided I was finally going to give in and I was not disappointed. Greek is a dramedy following students at the fictional Cyprus Rhodes University that partake in the school’s fraternities and sororities. Though there are well over 10 regualr characters in the cast it’s the main character that seems the most familiar. Rusty Cartwright  is an anti social virgin math geek who is a mere freshman trying to get his footing in an uber social environment. After 4 minutes of the first episode it became scarily clear. This show is essentially Judd Apatow’s funny and  ill fated “Undeclared” if you dipped it in a light coating of sugar. I really miss Undeclared.

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Binge drinking, homosexuality, balancing relationships,  and growing up are just a few of the college riddled issues the good looking but accessible cast have to deal with in the first season. Major life issues arise and are conquered with charm and ease allowing a snarky desensitized viewer like myself to empathize for the misunderstood hot guy, pretty and vapid girl, the innocent geek, the preppy douche and the funny uber Christian prototype (played to perfection by Duke). While Greek won’t be changing my life or affecting my credit score, it is definitely entertaining to watch. Lead bad boy with a heart of gold Scott Michael Foster, from the short lived yet Danger Bowie approved series “Quarterlife” is quite the yummy devilish morsel. I salivate in darkness.

When you finish watching the latest skanky VH1 reality show, after the 45th repeat of CSI,  finish up your 91st season of the Bachelor, get  on line and catch up on a series with some promise. At the very least  keep one more scripted show on the air.  Thanks be to Greek for getting me through the dog days of 2009’s crap television.

The Rise of JGL

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A wave of shock poured over me when I hit the newsstand at work and saw my beloved JGL (or Joseph Gordon Levitt as you normal folk may know him) on the cover of Nylon Guys. I paid a few pence and was on my way home to enjoy the 3 page article that would surely give me a little insight on my favorite actor.

Now I’m no Sally Come Lately. I’ve been purchasing this man’s eclectic lineup of indie movie goodness since “Manic “in 2001. It saddens me that he is coming so dangerously close to breaking through commercially because I want to enjoy his awesomeness with only a select group of diehard JGL lovers.

While there is nothing more irritating and snarky than using the word sellout, using a phrase like “break through commercially”  is pretty much the same thing. As a fan of “Mysterious Skin”, Sweet Jane” and “Latter Days”, I feel almost like I possess one of the silver screen’s biggest most talented secrets.

Then the Summer of 2009 arrived…

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and a little movie named “500 Days of Summer” rocked the indie world and my precious secret was revealed. Hark my shattered heart, this commercial indie is being touted as one of the best  movies of the year, a must see original take on the old romantic comedy.I was there on opening night in a sold out theater wrought with self aimed disgust. It was only 2 years ago that I sat in a similar theater watching “The Lookout” (one of the best thrillers to come out of 2007) on opening Friday with only 4 other people in the audience.

The people that referred to Levitt as the “10 things I hate about you guy..not Heath..the other guy..” and ” oh you mean that kid from 3rd Rock?” knew his name and jumped all over it. My bandwagon is now over run with newcomers. Then to make matters worse, 2 weeks later he stars as the most charismatic bad guy in the August blockbuster “G.I. Joe”. Now I’m fighting little kids in Target to get my hands on a Cobra Commander action figure. My cuppeth runneth over.

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Finally I had my very own rude awakening. How dare I insist on keeping Levitt to myself! How dare I even mildly suggest that this talented actor is ready to sign up to become  Shia Labeouf’s long lost older brother in Transformers 3!  I hate exclamation marks, a thousand pardons. Joseph Gordon Levitt can and will make any movie he wants and I hope he continues to do so. I don’t care if he’s staring at a jar of grape jelly for 2 hours, I’d never get bored watching him do it. He is always the best part of any movie I’ve seen him in and if he has to make “G.I. Joe” to make some money so he can get paid scale for his next 20 super indies then who am I to question any of it?

I know who I am. A person that’s gonna stick my one of my favorite actors until he gives me a reason to walk. Most importantly, I am a person who will never use the word sell out because I’m a 26 year old struggling artist, not a snot nose 14 year old talking about the commercialization of punk music. JGL is the one of the best actors of my generation and I plan on enjoying every moment of his rise. Vive La Levitt.

Tarantino+Pitt= Awesome Friday

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Fuck Julie & Julia! Down with The Time Traveler and his wife! Tyler Durden is on the warpath for some na(t)zi scalps. I can’t wait to get to my local theater  on Friday afternoon to take in  Quentin Tarantino’s newest film, ” Inglourious Basterds”. I don’t care if the critics have it out for Tarantino or if you think Brad Pitt’s too pretty to summon up his inner sergeant  bad ass, if you agree with them then you my dear public can suck the big one. I hear the whispers, the dissenters.  They say Quentin Tarantino hasn’t been  good since “Pulp Fiction”  well  to hell with that, because I proudly call myself  a “Jackie Brown” kinda girl. Doom to you evil naysayers!! Quentin has returned!

Go see “Inglorious..” and be fully prepared for  fun, bloody, kickass  retribution.  Besides that,  you get voice over narration by none other than the incomparable Samuel L. Jackson, then there’s  Eli Roth , B.J. Novak  (hilarious) from the Office, and Samm Levine (quirksville) from Freaks and Geeks as Pitt’s loyal soldiers and Mike Myers as a general.  A fine recipe for kicking some na(t)zi ass.

God bless you Tarantino and I can’t wait til Friday.

Happy birthday to the best Robert on the silver screen.

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Nihilist. Debaucher. Sadist. Psycopant. Boxer. Grandpa.  My dearest Robert DeNiro has played a lot of it all. Today Dangerbowie.com celebrates De Niro’ s 66th birthday. After nearly 6 months spent taking a stroll down DeNiro’s filmography I am left furiously empassioned by his acting and total embodiment of character. No one plays a more charming sociopath. No one is a more believable gangster. It doesn’t hurt that from about 1970-1994, I would have probably sold my right leg for one night with Mean Streets’ Johnny boy.

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So three cheers to a man who alongside  the great Scorcese helped change the face of cinema. Watching Cape Fear for the first time at 12 years old ( a horribly inappropriate age to deal with such subject matter..tsk tsk Mom), a young Danger Bowie was properly introduced to DeNiro as a creep. Sitting in the theater at the $1.75 show and squirming a little as  Max Cady slipped a finger into the mouth of the pubescent Juliette Lewis , I can remember thinking this is the grossest yet most hypnotic and sexy thing I had ever seen. Then I wanted to see more.

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I was on the hunt for every De Niro movie or appearance mein greedy eyes could see.  Goodfellas, Heat, This Boy’s Life, Casino, The Fan, Sleepers, I couldn’t get enough. I wondered how immersed one person could become in constantly pretending so deeply to be someone else. Essentially De Niro gave me my first artistic existential thought. Thank you Robbie.

 Robert Mario De Niro Jr. has given the world countless hours of hardcore entertainment. His realistic portrayal of underdogs and his relentless passion to transcend his characters have made for amazing film spectacles. 

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When he’s not method acting, he stays busy with the  Tribeca Film Festival, his fancy eatery Nobu, and  the Greenwich Hotel. If I am a tenth as lucky as I think I am, perhaps I will one day be able to shake Robert De Niro’s hand, or say hello as he drives by. Any small amount of contact will do, I’m not that picky. Until then I have 3  more De Niro flicks on my coffee table, awaiting my eager viewership. Happy Birthday Bobby. I heart you.

 

 

Danny McBride is in Ireland, I send my love from afar.

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A few of my favorite actors of all time are all in Belfast right now doing principle production for the upcoming David Gordon Green helmed comedy, “Your Highness”.

Principal Photography on ‘Your Highness’, directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), is due to commence on Monday 20th July on location in Northern Ireland and the Paint Hall Belfast.

The fantasy film which is written by Danny McBride and Ben Best will be produced by Scott Stuber through his Universal-based company Stuber Productions. Mark Huffam from NI production company Generator Entertainment will executive produce with Stuber’s Jon Mone and Danny McBride.

The shoot will last for 3 months and Director of Photography Tim Orr (David Gordon Green’s go to lense man), Production Designer is Mark Tildsley (28 Days Later, The Constant Gardener).

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The film is about an arrogant, lazy prince (my dearest McBride) and his hero brother who must complete a quest in order to save their father’s kingdom. The cast features an award winning lineup including Natalie Portman (The Other Boleyn Girl, Star Wars), Zooey Deschanel (500 Days of Summer), Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, EastBound and Down) and James Franco (Spider Man 3, Pineapple Express).

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The film is expected to infuse as much as £10 million into the economy, employing hundreds of cast, crew and extras from Northern Ireland.

So not only is McBride curing the world with his glorious comedy, he is poised to save the Irish economy.Well him and a few others..but let’s not argue semantics. Either way with the late addition of the “quirky” Zooey Deschanel, I’m assured that “Your Highness” will be yet another top notch comedy featruing Mr. McBride and company. Now if I could only teleport to a certain shooting location in Ireland, I’d be a very happy Danger Bowie.