Friday, June 22, 2007

Beware The Summer Blockbuster! AKA Dartflix Edition #18

There are few things that I dread more than the coming of the summer blockbusters. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that without these huge event films that generate massive buzz and excitement that actually compel people to get off of their couches and put their asses in those seats there would be no film industry at all. I just wish that these same films were of a higher quality content wise as well as visually so they would have a better balance to their overall entertainment value.

I often get e-mails from readers wondering why I actually don’t write more about Hip Hop...well, the reason is because most of the blogs I read regularly usually talk about all of the indie/underground Hip Hop albums that I would be writing about. Why should I go on and on about Buff 1, Phat Kat, Black Milk, Evidence, Blue Scholars, J. Medeiros, Marco, Talib Kweli, Big City, Pharoah Monche, and Consequence when everyone already is? What can I say about the upcoming Kanye West and Common LP’s that everyone else already hasn’t? I’ve been on (it’s back!) and and seen what they all said....when the world zigs, I zag (this is also why I inherently dread movies that most people tend to gravitate to like mindless drones).

That being said, I just see this upcoming Transformers CGI/live action mashup as nothing more than Independence Day/Armageddon 2007...and we know how good those flicks were! I just see a bunch of CGI, explosions and stunts...and that’s it. I expect there to be zero depth, and so do the people going to the theater. That’s the reason they’re called “popcorn movies”, you remember thae action sequences and maybe one or two lines, but if you saw it again you’d catch a bunch of stuff you missed the first time because you were just along for the ride and not focusing on the film and hanging on every single line of dialogue. Just watch and forget it (well, most of it anyways) then when it comes out for rental , watch it again.

There will be several big films coming out (and currently playing) this summer, such as Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Transformers: The Movie, Live Free Or Die Hard, 1408, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, The Simpsons Movie, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Rush Hour 3. These are the movies that the studios have been waiting to release because these are their prestige pieces that will allow them to make the money necessary to stay afloat and in turn make more films of all kinds. This is why they’re necessary. I’m looking forward to the release of quite a few smaller films this Summer that I’ve been hearing about at all of the 2007 film festivals, moreso because shortly after their theater runs are over they’ll be available for rent or purchase (as will a lot of these studio films that are gonna catch a cinderblock).

I hope that the film industry has a great summer in 2007, I also hope that all of the indie films that are cutting edge and ground breaking get deals and distribution soon as well. Independent films are to the film industry are sort of like what independent Hip Hop is to the Rap industry...although, the percentage of good studio films versus good major label Rap albums is MUCH higher.

Quick note to the American distributors of Cory Yuen’s flick “D.O.A.: Dead Or Alive”, if the film is available for sale on DVD a full three weeks before it’s supposed to be released in theaters...chances are it’s gonna TANK at the box office. Big surprise...dickheads. Now onto the movie stuff!

Dart’s Top Ten Trailers Of The Rest Of June (6/16/07-6/30/07):

American Gangster

30 Days Of Night


You Kill Me


Protege (Moon to)

I Know Who Killed Me



Dynamite Warrior (Khon Fai Bin)

Dart’s Top Ten Late Film Trailers Of The Rest Of June (6/16/07-6/30/07):

No Country For Old Men (USA)

The City Of Violence (KOR)

Sukiyaki Western Django (JPN)

Exiled (HK)

Flash Point (HK)

The Humanist (KOR)

The Vanguard (UK)

Shutter (JPN)

Perth (Singapore)

Black Sheep (NZ)

Dart’s Director Spotlight recipient for June: Seung-wan Ryoo
Unfortunately, the director of spectacular films like The City Of Violence's movies aren’t yet available for rent in the US..Don’t wanna wait months for them to get an American distributor (like Dragon Dynasty)? They got ‘em for cheap:

Dart's June Independent Movie Of The Month:
Finishing The Game Directed by Justin Lin

This film from the director of Better Luck Tomorrow and The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift is a comedy examining how the studios went about looking for a replacement for Bruce Lee following his sudden death. Check out a clip below and watch for it coming to a theater near you soon.

Add this film’s myspace profile here:

Here are some of my rental recommendations (and early adds) from Netflix:
Home Of The Brave
Slow Burn
The Host
Reign Over Me
The Lookout
Factory Girl
The Last Sin Eater
Black Snake Moan
Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon
Reign Over Me
The Last Mimzy
The Reaping
The Hoax
Hot Fuzz
Heroes: Season 1 (series)
Phantom Of The Paradise (Brian DePalma classic!)
The Falcon & The Snowman (classic)
Easy Rider (classic)
Sword Of Doom
Twilight Samurai
Code 46
Dallas 362
Requiem For A Dream
The Believer
The United States Of Leland
Igby Goes Down
Morvern Callar
Ghost World
Melvin Goes To Dinner
Youth Of The Beast (Seijun Suzuki)
Action (Series)
Greg The Bunny (series)
Dinner For Five (series)
Tilt (series)
Captain Herlock (anime series)
Star Blazers (anime series)
Lost In La Mancha
The Cooler
Dirty Pretty Things
Phone Booth
The Thin Red Line
Brotherhood Of The Wolf
Enemy At The Gates
Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (series)
The US vs. John Lennon
Beowulf & Grendel
The Last Kiss
Raising Victor Vargas
Wassup Rockers

What the future holds for comic book/video game films:

30 Days Of Night

Luke Cage

The Incredible Hulk

Captain America

The Mighty Thor



Sin City 2

Justice League


Gears Of War

God Of War

Dart’s Picks:
Harsh Times-This movie was delayed due to the fact that the lead character (who isn’t a saint) applied for a job to the Department Of Homeland Security and got hired...Huh? This movie is a continuation of the world that writer Dayid Ayer created in Training Day (he also directs). This is a multi layered character study and the trailer misleads you into thinking it’s just “Training Day 1.5”...not even close. Peep it for yourself.

Alpha Dog-I slept on this flick for a minute..It had Justin Timberlake and Fernando Vargas in it for God's sake! But it was made by a good screenwriter and director (Nick Cassavetes) and had a bunch of other indie stars in it (Dominique Swain, Emile Hirsch, Shawn Hatosy & Ben Foster) and appearances from veteran actors Bruce Willis, Sharon Stone and Alex Kingston so I decided to give it a chance after all. This movie pretty much laid it out and explained why some of our rigid laws that have been created to punish offenders also end up getting some people killed in the process. We also need to begin paying close attention to our children...Damn.

10 Items Or Less- This small dialogue driven indie film features no explosions, no blood and no nudity and it was well under 90 minutes. Well written and well can’t go wrong with Morgan Freeman. This is the story of a famous actor who leaves the game alone for four years and is thinking about coming back to do an indie film. While researching for his role, he befriends a girl who works at a supermarket in the 10 Items Or Less line. Check it out.

Cocaine Cowboys-If you haven’t seen this stunning documentary about the Medellin drug cartel and the men that smuggled their product in yet then honestly I don’t know what to tell you. Rent it now.

Dead Man’s Shoes-This movie proved that you don’t have to have a big budget to convey despair and fear and have it come across to the viewer. Paddy Considine and his friends create a simple story of revenge with a twist that made me think about buying another bullshit camera and writing a script.

Pusher 3: I Am The Angel Of Death-T he final film of Nicholas Winding Refn's Pusher trilogy is quite a way to close the franchise out. Drug dealing is not the glitzy job it's usually portrayed as's largely a bunch of drama and deals gone wrong. The only character with a big part in all three films, Milos, is featured. It's the day of his daughter's 25th birthday party/graduation/engagement party as well of the day he receives a shipment of the wrong drugs from his supplier...he's in a time crunch. How can he deal with both business and family issues on the same stressful day? You'll see (See Pusher and Pusher 2 first, though.)

Dart’s WTF/Watch This Bullshit At Your Own Risk Award:
Transformers: The Movie- I have lower expectations for this film then an unconscious Verne Troyer. My 18 year old brother jokes it’s because Optimus Prime has a mouth, but the truth is that I have VERY LITTLE trust in Hollywood summer blockbusters (as you read about above).

The Good Shepherd- I want that 3 hours of my life back now...I’d rather just have read the script, thank you very much. This bored ME...that’s saying a lot (I watch Apocalypse Now Redux for FUN). It was like the Brown Bunny (original version) but without the blow job at the end. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ



kenn said...

Mr. Adams how can I get a hold of this. I want that just Blaze Track

kenn said...

You posted it on your site a long time ago

New York State Of Rhyme (A & R’d by Matt Fingaz/Guesswhyld Productions) (1998)

kenn said...