R.I.P. Dennis Hopper

Following quickly on the heels of Gary Coleman’s passing yesterday, it has been reported that Dennis Hopper passed away this morning at age 74. According to Reuters, Hopper died from complications with his battle against prostate cancer. Dennis Hopper is most famous for Writing, Directing, and Acting in the 1969 classic, Easy Rider.

You can skim over Hopper’s 200 and some-odd acting credits over his illustrious career and many classics will pop out. He can be seen in Rebel Without A Cause, Cool Hand Luke, Hang ‘Em High, True Grit,  Apocalypse Now, Hoosiers, True Romance, Waterworld, and many others. He also has two upcoming movies, The Last Film Festival & Alpha and Omega. Over the years, Hopper became known as a “Hollywood Hellraiser” marrying 5 times and getting involved in numerous legal suits. Most of our generation probably knows Hopper from the Ameriprise Financial retirement commercials.

In order to properly remember Dennis Hopper, head out to Vulcan Video, Blockbuster, any video store of choice, or log on to Netflix and pick up any one of the movies listed above. It surely wont disappoint, and when you’re done, come back here and let us know what you think of his work.


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Movie Reviews: Boogie Nights

Rating: A

“I was given one special gift. I’m a star, a big bright star.”

It’s always a treat when you can see one of your favorite movies in theater’s years after it’s original release, and we were lucky enough to catch Boogie Nights last night at the Cinemark Tinstletown. We wan’t to strongly encourage any of you to take advantage of these opportunities. Cinemark is having a cult classic film series every Friday night this summer, Alamo Drafthouse is always doing fun film classics, and Paramount shows the classics in their summer series. All of these showings are cheap cheap cheap, we only paid $5 for Boogie Nights, so there’s not any reason to take advantage. There’s something about seeing these movies in the theater that you don’t get watching them at home.

Anyways, off the soap box. Boogie Nights is the sophomore feature from Paul Thomas Anderson, who would later bring us Punch-Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood. The cast includes Marky Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, William H. Macy, and many more. The movie follows the rise of Dirk Diggler and his “gift” from the kitchen of a California night club into the fame and fortune of the porn industry of the late 1970’s. Soon, the money and drugs go to his head and things begin to fall apart.

For Mark Wahlberg, this movie was his break out role. As the hard working and eager to please Diggler with all the goods, he puts on a career performance. The rest of the cast puts on great performances as the wacky pieces in a 70’s time piece. The plot is fun but when things fall apart the audience is connected and really feels the heart wrenching pain at the proverbial rock bottom. This movie isn’t just easy on the eyes (no pun intended) the soundtrack is filled with catchy 70’s funk and rock, masterfully mixed.

If this hasn’t convinced you yet, the movie was nominated for 3 Oscar’s and amassed 19 other wins throughout the award season. Not only do the people love this classic, but so do the critics, which is a rare combination.

Take some time this weekend, rent this movie. Prefferably, find an empty movie theater or a giant wall with a projector and put on Boogie Nights. You won’t be disappointed.

R.I.P. Gary Coleman

The famed child star died today of intracranial hemorrhaging. He was 42 years old. Coleman was famous for his role as Arnold Jackson on “Growing Pains” and his catch phrase “Whatchu talkin’ bout Willis?”.

Our generation probably knows Coleman more from his stint as a gubernatorial candidate for California, his appearance on “Divorce Court”, getting charged with assault as a security guard, and any number of the other troubles he has gotten into since his fame and fortune. Unfortunately, later in life rather than delivering the punch line, he was the punch line.

If you want to read more about him follow this link.

Lost Art of the Music Video

by Trevor

Gone are the salad days of the music video. The days where Steve Perry and the rest of Journey are singing on a pier have been replaced with Lil Wayne and the rest of Young Money singing to a house full of scantily clad women. The music industry hasn’t only been hurt by the illegal downloading and streaming of music, they have also been burned by the hand that gave a thumbs-up to the plan to make multi-million dollar shoots that, for some reason, involve a camel.

Who is to blame for the lack of creativity in today’s music videos? The consumers have to take at least partial credit. Lionel Richie wasn’t out to sell Jheri Curl formula and Steven Tyler wasn’t out to sell lip gloss the way that Jay-Z is out to sell RocaWear clothing and All Time Low is out to sell Glamour Kills shoes. Musicians used to make their money on music. Nowadays, musicians have their hands in several different pots trying ever valiantly to get that house in the Hamptons they have had their eye on.

Certainly the rise and fall of MTV has something to do with the downturn of music videos as well. Bands in the late 80’s/ early 90’s would work their asses off to get the exposure that a Yo! MTV Raps! or a HeadBangers Ball would provide whereas today all it takes is a HandyCam and an internet connection to surpass a million hits. There is no benchmark for “making it” anymore the way that hearing your song on the radio or seeing your video on television used to be. The only thing that can come close to that in the industry today is to reach a million plays on MySpace.

Another unfortunate victim of the death of the video is the live shows. Acts like Alice Cooper and Meatloaf used to make a production out of a set. There would be pyrotechnics, lightshows, and three act plays to accompany the music that put the people in the seats. Now, there are backup dancers grinding to a singer who half-heartedly lip syncs their way through another song created in a studio somewhere.

Luckily for us, bands like OK Go have ditched the practices sent forth by their contemporaries and created videos that can be enjoyed even with the sound off. They recognize the power of the viral video and embrace the new technology. The music video for their song “Here It Goes Again” was the driving force behind the song breaking many a top 20 countdown and propelling the band to international stardom.

Why Karate Kid?

by Ryan

If you followed us on Fresh Bananas then you know how much I hate this movie. Earlier today the folks behind the film released a clip with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan practicing kung fu. The more I see, the more I hate it for many reasons.The first and foremost being that this has NOTHING to do with the original Karate Kid, at all. Second, Will Smith’s kid cannot act and before anyone brings up Pursuit of Hapiness think about this: Will Smith’s son was playing Will Smith’s son. Did anyone see The Day Earth Stood Still? Should I really bring up Jackie Chan taking over for Mr. Miagi? Chan hasn’t done anything worth anything since the original Rush Hour. Finally, there’s no replacing, reimagining, re-inventing, or re-vamping the classic Karate Kid. You don’t mess with a good thing. They way it seems, when you take a closer look, is that the producer (Will Smith) is using the Karate Kid name to get people to the theaters. Its a shame, follow this link for the clip:

http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1810127520/video/19991055

Am I wrong? Who is looking forward to this?

Hollywood: An Obituary

by Trevor Carter

Here lies the movie industry. It’s once glorious run cut down in its prime by cable television. The movie industry is survived by Jujubes, overly buttered popcorn, and whatever other overpriced treat no self respecting individual would eat outside of a theatre. Cable television, sensing an opening, struck early and often to bring down the mighty behemoth and claim the spot as the Entertainment Mecca to which millions of bored Americans flock to.

Let me begin doling out the blame/praise by first commending television on doing their part in stepping up the stakes. Cable shows like AMC’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad paired along with network broadcasts such as NBC’s Community and 30 Rock have become appointment viewing. For the price of two tickets to see whatever Kate Hudson’s flop du jour may be, the American public can see four hours each of what Don Draper and Liz Lemon are up to in their vaguely accurate worlds. Television producers and networks know that they have to put the best product out there so that they can live to see a second season, or else they will be packing their offices and trying to move to another network they can attempt to sink. They are aware of the hundreds of other options that consumers have in front of them and are desperately fighting for the ever-valuable Nielsen Rating.

Hollywood can’t say their own blood isn’t on their hands. Movies which in an earlier era could be characterized as “B Movies” are complete with $50 million budgets and A-List actors. They don’t care about critical acclaim, they are only after the dollar sign. They know that they can create one good movie and be set for life. Nic Cage is still riding the wave of Leaving Las Vegas even after the flops that were Bangkok Dangerous and Knowing. Directors are also given the same leeway. Personal hero and indie Filmmaker Kevin Smith gets to create Jersey Girl and the aptly titled Cop Out all because he made the cult classic Clerks.

And so, it is with that we bid you adieu Hollywood, you will be missed.

Movie Review: MacGruber

by Ryan & Mathias

Rating:  A-

He has 16 purple hearts, 3 congressional medals, and an 80’s mullet to feast on for centuries. No im not talking about Rambo…..

Im talkin bout MAC-GRU-BER!!!!!

They made a fuckin movie MAC-GRU-BER!!!!!

MacGruber is one of the funniest movies to come out in while, however, before you go see this film or read this entry, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. MacGruber isn’t a smart comedy, it doesn’t even pretend to be. It is filled with potty humor and stupid jokes, but thats what makes it awesome. The movie doesn’t try and hide this, it uses this to its advantage.

Ex-military operative, and weapons-built-from-home-items extraordinare, MacGruber is summoned out of retirement to take down his arch nemises, Dieter Von Cunth. MacGruber must stop Cunth before all of Washington D.C. is destroyed in a massive nuclear explosion.

Classic MacGruber!

First time director Jorma Taccone directed a gem of a cast, including Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillipe, and Val Kilmer. Each character was played well and they meshed into a great story. What was special about Taccone’s direction is that he was not afraid to push the envelope of stupidity, in a good way.

There were a few jokes and cliche’s that were over used. As a viewer, you don’t want to see the same reoccurring jokes used over and over. One can only take so much stupid humor, let alone recycled stupid humor.

I initially had my doubt about this film because it is based off a 30 second skit from SNL. As well, as of late, the SNL movie franchise has seen better days. I’m sure many of you hold the same reservations. Rest assured, these are unfounded worries. Go see this film, now!