The RZA‘s career in the movies reportedly started with a call from Harvey Weinstein. Here’s how he tells it, in an impersonation of the big man. The phone went, he picked it up, there was a raspy voice and it said:
Hey RZA, it’s Harvey. I want you to be in my movie. You got a new career now.
Such a smooth talker, the big man.
That movie was Derailed, Mikael Halfstrom’s thriller with Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen. Since then, a series of supporting roles and scoring gigs have seen RZA keep his side careers spinning nicely but all of his notable achievements were still on wax, courtesy of the music made through his membership of the Wu Tang Clan. However, that may be about to change with his next step up the cinematic ladder and the advent of his debut as a writer-director. Fingers crossed that The Man With the Iron Fist is a movie as good as his hip hop.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans The Tooth Fairy, that offer proof. Weekend Weirdness cocks its disoriented head to examine such flicks, whether it’s a new trailer for a provocative indie or an interview. In this installment: An exclusive trailer for TV Carnage‘s Let’s Work it Out and a chat with its ski-masked creator, Pinky; an equally cool chat about movies and Hollywood with The Arab Parrot, one of our favorite people and photographers out there capturing bleary eyed L.A. and N.Y.C. culture.
In college, it was unwritten law that a house party wasn’t worthy of House Party unless you woke up and stumbled past a TV turned upside down in a puddle of fluids as it resiliently played a TV Carnage DVD. Such DVDs were the new late night color test for stupid-smart wasteoids, an aughts cult sensation that arrived in the shape of legit packaging and artwork with names like Casual Fridays and A Sore For Sighted Eyes. All anyone knew, or cared to know, was that the DVDs were the obsessive, homemade works of a guy named Pinky; a person who didn’t seem to grasp “copyright” while composing and editing hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of bad TV/VHS into hilarious masterworks of sublimation.
As TV Carnage’s popularity grew, the signature ski mask of Pinky was lifted. An online search today will inform that Pinky is Derrick Beckles, the filmmaker and actor whom /Film readers might recognize from Truth Campaign commercials. One of the founders, alongside Gavin McInnes, of the irreverent Brooklyn site, Street Boners and TV Carnage, Beckles recently directed a music video for the song, “No You Don’t” by the band Islands. It just so happens to star TV Carnage mega-hearter Michael Cera. With his latest DVD, Let’s Work It Out, due mid-January, TV Carnage is going full-cardio. Imagine the neon sweat from ’80s work-out videos by celebs ranging from John Travolta to O.J. Murderer blasted into a hall of mirrors, sucked into a syringe, and then stabbed into your brain’s abdomen. Beckles chatted with /Film and exclusively gave us the first trailer. It’s all splattered below for your weekend enjoyment.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans New Moon, that offer proof. Weekend Weirdness cocks its disoriented, nappy head to examine such flicks, whether it’s a new trailer for a provocative indie, a review, or news of an excavated cult classic. The works discussed herein tend to make cinema a little more interesting, and in the best and worst cases do the same for life. In this installment: Final Flesh is a real life Videodrome with porn actors from the co-creator of Wonder Showzen; Dirty is the forthcoming, surprisingly solid doc on the late Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard; [adult swim]’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force plops out a spicy Meatwad of a Xmas album, and more, G. The “G” is courtesy Nic Cage’s bad lieutenant.
Nearly a decade after he worked as a writer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien, the career of Vernon Chatman continues its fascinating flush-parade down and around comedy’s perverse bowels. With a new film, Final Flesh, he subverts the acting prowess of real life porno D-listers to match the success of his respected twists on tween teevee (MTV’s Wonder Showzen) and low-rent, fantasy animation (Xavier: Renegade Angel). The irony is that even though the DVD for Final Flesh arrived at my door with a tie-in golden condom packet filled with antibacterial lotion, Chatman ostensibly kept his hands clean of the filth. Flesh is what resulted after he commissioned four online companies that produce adult movies from scripts submitted by paying customers. Instead of sending the companies various scenarios too obscene for Roller Girl, Chatman’s screenplays mostly ditch sex in favor of a murky end days subplot complete with an Atomic Bomb.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans New Moon, that offer proof. Weekend Weirdness cocks its disoriented, nappy head to examine such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a review, or news of an excavated cult classic. The works discussed herein tend to make cinema a little more interesting, and in the best and worst cases do the same for life. In this installment: a doc on Norwegian black metal; a doc on the first Asian member of the Black Panthers; a forgotten Dennis Hopper outlaw flick from Down Under; and a dumb-catchy rap song from the Sudan about movies, birds and popcorn.
With the possible exception of Forever21-styled country music a la Taylor Swift, no other music genre is as stigmatized and sensationalized by acts of church burning and murda as Norwegian black metal. The documentary, Until the Light Takes Us, is a dedicated and almost clinical look at how Norway’s black metal scene was permanently transformed—and magnified—in the early ’90s by what are now infamous acts of violence and rebellion.
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I’m not going to over-simplify and proclaim that making a good ninja movie is the easiest thing in the world. But I never would have guessed that doing so is as difficult as James McTeigue‘s Ninja Assassin makes it appear. This is a big-budget movie with a top-flight crew and a star blessed with undeniable magnetism, not to mention the R-rated freedom to provide the copious blood and gore that so many genre fans crave. Yet it plays no better than a cheap direct to DVD feature. Ninja Assassin is a forgettable throwaway, a waste of creative talent and the audience’s time. Read More »
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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released a trailer for the upcoming Jean-Claude Van Damme / Dolph Lundgren movie Universal Soldier: Regeneration.
With stolen top-secret technology, terrorists have created a next-generation Universal Soldier – an elite fighter genetically altered into a programmable killing machine. With this “UniSol” (Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski) leading the way, they seize the crippled Chernobyl nuclear reactor, threatening to unleash a lethal radioactive cloud. The only one who can stop them is Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), a UniSol who’s been decommissioned for years. Reactivated and retrained, Deveraux must make a full-out assault on the heavily armed fortress. But inside, he’ll discover not one but two of these virtually indestructible warriors. Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren), Deveraux’s vicious UniSol enemy from the original Universal Soldier, has been secretly reanimated and upgraded. Now, these elite fighters are locked, loaded and programmed to kill; and the fate of millions hinges on this high-action showdown.
Directed by John Hyams (NYPD Blue), filmed for $15 million and going direct-to-dvd. The movie premiered at Fantastic Fest 2009, and was met mostly with positive reviews from the genre crowd. Watch the trailer after the jump, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans New Moon, that offer proof. Weekend Weirdness takes a look at such films, whether it’s via a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini-review, or news of an excavated cult classic. The works discussed herein tend to make cinema a little more interesting, and in the best cases do the same for life or at least a blown weekend.
The year, 2009, delivered a number of knockout documentaries that were better made and more meditative than their premises let on. For over a year, The Rock-afire Explosion has popped-and-fizzled on my radar, until a screener finally arrived in the mail last week underneath a hate letter from my ex, Sallie Mae. Pop Candy’s Whitney Matheson—a cool guest on the /Filmcast—also received one, a screener that is, and she promptly called Rock-afire the best film of the year for a documentary or otherwise. I wouldn’t go that far, but Rock-afire Explosion makes for true-life entertainment every bit as tasty as a slice and a cold beer to a divorced, thankless, balding dad tolerating a Showbiz Pizza in the late ’80s. In other words, this isn’t some Chuck E. Cheese shit.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are all thankful for movies, new and old, that offer proof. After the jump, we’ll examine trailers stuffed with images and ideas so nuts they could make a turkey turn crimson. For example, one for the new independent film, Black Devil Doll, about a murderous black power enthusiast who is deep-fried in prison, only to return by way of Quija Board in the shape of an anthropomorphic, horny dummy. I’ve seen the film. It exists and belongs behind bars. Also discussed are Gone With the Pope (horribly awesome trailer of oh nine?), the new in-flight, creature feature Altitude, and Hausu, the wacky Japanese cat-horror classic being blessed by Janus Film/Criterion.
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Before Liz Lemon and Peggy Olson struggled with single life in the big city, two strong, unrelated, independent women named Wanda Wayne and Sheneneh Jenkins ruled the cable airwaves (and the crack game). And I’m not sure what zillionth worm hole Richard Kelly opened up last weekend with The Box, but apparently these characters are making a fast-tracked comeback, and in movie theaters nationwide no less.
In case you missed a recent BET Awards, Martin Lawrence and Jamie Foxx reprised Sheneneh and Wanda—’90s characters that originally appeared on Martin and In Living Color, respectively—to create a trailer for a mock action comedy called Skank Robbers. Response was so positive and loud that Screen Gems and the actors are now making it a reality. The title stays! “Oh no youuu dinnnnit!” The Tyler Perry-skewering trailer and clips and info await.
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