Catfish: Big Fat LIES.

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That's not your real mouse clicker hovering over this picture Einstein.

 

“Don’t let anyone tell you what it is.”  So sayeth the tagline to Catfish a Docu/Mockumentary starring Yaniv Schulman (or Nev.)  I’m here today to tell you what it is.  One big fat filmmaking fail.

The story revolves around Yaniv Schulman, a 24 year old hipster, complete with nerd glasses, cutoff jorts (jean shorts) and a tramp stamp above his ass.

 

Nev's tramp stamp is very similar to this. Once again I am NOT kidding although Nev prefers red tighty-whities to the much less teste constricting boxers.

 

He is a photographer and when one of his photos makes it into a magazine, an 8 year old girl paints it and starts a facebook friendship with him.  He has regular conversations with the girls mom Angela, and 19 y/o daughter Megan.  The relationship blossoms and he falls for Megan.

SPOILER.  Turns out Megan, Angela and everyone else supporting the story is all the creation of the creepy mom Angela who paints the pictures herself and pretends to be a smoking hot 19 year old.  Ahh the wonders of Facebook!

Yaniv and his filmmaking brother decide to get to the bottom of the story and travel to Michigan to uncover the truth when holes start to pop up in the family’s story.

 

The first of the holes in Angela's story! It's a big un'!!!

 

PROBLEMS.  According to IMDB the filmmakers claim this is a real story.  FALSE.  It is staged and a big ole fat hoax.  If you go to IMDB here you can even see that the film is classified as a “thriller” instead of a documentary.

I’ve been disappointed a few times this year but wowsers this one really pissed me off.  If the story were true I would say the film was “mildly interesting.”  Now knowing that it’s staged I feel the film is “anger inducing ca-ca.”  The only thing that kept me from completely flying off the handle was the fact that Angela had to take care of her husbands two mentally handicapped step children.  That tugs at my heart strings but still makes me Hulkishly angry knowing that the filmmakers took advantage of this to humanize Angela.

 

I Can Has Toof Brush?

 

I would urge NOBODY to see this movie.  I gave it a 1 in my 2010 film rankings bringing it neck and neck with M. Night’s Ultra turd The Last Airbender.

 

THIS is a catfish.

 

 

THIS is a catfish (or part of one...or probably several heavily processed bits of hundreds of catfish.)

 

 

THIS is a catfish. This is also a man with 1/2 a brain but yes, still a catfish.

 

 

THIS is NOT a catfish. This is 3 New York Hipsters out to steal the money in your wallet in exchange for watching them Hip around for 105 minutes.

 

I’ll leave you with a few thoughts.

1.  45 minutes into the movie I looked at my watch.  I thought I’d been there for over an hour.  I knew then that something was amiss…

2.  When the movie got over a middle aged man and his wife got up the INSTANT the credits started rolling.  He tartly told his wife, “LET’S GO.”  Outside the theater I heard him say “It shouldn’t have been called Catfish, it should have been called Suckfish.  It sucked.”  She gently tried to stand up for the movie she’d very obviously dragged her unwilling husband to.  He only replied:  “It sucked.”

3.  These filmmakers have cast their lines, fishing for an audience for a falsely advertised and poorly concepted movie.  A word of caution.  DON’T BITE.

The Social Network: Making it Better

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Myspace needs to...FACE the facts...it's over.

The title to this post is ironic.  When I think about it, I can’t even really remember the first incarnation of Facebook.  Since it’s founding it has continually fine-tuned and sometimes reinvented its look and use to suit it’s users wants, needs and whims.  All I know is that since it’s inception I’ve been a HUGE proponent.

Well,  for the uninitiated there appears to be a darker side to, what I affectionately like to call “The Book.”

Directed by David Fincher with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin and based on a book by Ben Mezrich titled The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal, the movie The Social Network stands out to me as one of the years best films.  With great performances by Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg, Justin Timberlake as Napster co-founder Sean Parker and Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin I highly expect to see this movie on the list of Oscar nominies come next award season.

Could it be better?  Yes.  This is Eisenberg’s breakout role.  This will be a role he’ll be compared to for the rest of his life.  I guess my question is how accurate is his portrayal?  Eisenberg plays Zuckerberg as a driven genius who at the same time appears socially aloof or inept.  Real world Zuckerberg doesn’t appear quite so naive as the Eisenberg version.  Real life Zuckerberg seems so much more charismatic.  I feel like he’s lost a little of the mystique of who he is with the release of this film while gaining status as an icon.  Mark Zuckerberg is Facebook.

These are their http://www.hotornot.com pictures. Who would YOU vote for?

With regards to the movie the pacing is great and while it takes a little while for the drama to build the story is just so damn riveting.

When I say EVERYONE is on Facebook. I mean it.

Overall this movie might be my favorite of the year.  My other two favorites, Inception and Toy Story 3 are hard to compare as they’re in such different genres but as for drama this takes the cake.

Well I've always said "Facebook is pretty sweet." :)

I don’t want to spoil too much of it but it’s excellent (which I predicted HERE on August 8th, 2010 by the way with my Psychic Movie Critic powers.)

The Social Network comes out October 1st in theaters everywhere.

Chick Flicks: This Guy’s Picks

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In between manis and pedis at the local spa (kidding) I was thinking about movies that really made me “feel” and while I’m emotionally rocked by Rudy and The Shawshank Redemption I pondered “what are some chick flicks that I actually enjoyed?”  Maybe there is a heart in this big ole cavity I call a chest!  Check it.

The Notebook (2004) – I just wanted to go ahead and get this one out of the way first and foremost.  It’s super girlie but you know what?  I DON”T CARE.  This movie makes me believe in a thing called love and warms my heart and soul.  Backstory:  I’d never seen it but heard it was good.  I saw this in the $5 used bin at Blockbuster back in 2005 and discreetly made my purchase with a shamed face.  I went home and watched it by myself…Want in on a little secret???  I literally cried during this movie.  As a man I’m man enough to admit, I love The Notebook.

Noah turned his head in shame. Allie had smelt it and knew he'd dealt it. "Well," he thought "The damage is done. She can't very well ditch the date in the middle of the lake." He pondered his next move briefly. He turned back to Allie and smiled guiltily as he relaxed his clenched buttcheeks and released another stink bomb on his trapped captive.

Pretty Woman (1990) – Is it just me or does Julia Roberts still pretty much look the same 20 years later?  Ahhhh the miracles of plastic surgery and nerve killing Botox.  While a great film with a great soundtrack I still find it kind of weird that a movie about a prostitute and a millionaire was this successful.  Oh well, I guess everyone deserves a second chance!

"Hope you like mouth herpes," Vivian whispered seductively. "What!?!?" asked Edward "Oh nothing. Now can I have some money for clothes and jewels, and champagne and strawberries, and dope and crack and fresh needles?" Vivian inquired.

Mean Girls (2004) – Pre-coke/alcohol monitoring bracelet/DUI/general problems Lindsay Lohan stars in the Tiny Fey written tale of high school bitchdom.  Hilarity ensues.  Great supporting actress in Rachel McAdams and whoever played Gretchen Wieners.  Lindsay can you forgo Inferno and work with Fey on a Mean Girls followup?  Pleeeeeeaaaassssseeee!?!?

Drunk?!?! No way! Lindsay's just sleepy from reading the pile of movie offers she's got sitting on her desk...

Buh...Buh...Buh...But there's no Twitter in jail!!!

Sleepless in Seattle (1993) – Only mildly creepy and a testament to the “Love know’s no boundaries” mantra.  As always Tom Hanks delivers and Meg Ryan  really digs her feet in as the character she’ll be playing in every single other movie of her entire career.  Ever wonder what happened to the kid’s acting career?  Ross Malinger (Jonah Baldwin) was in an episode of Without a Trace in 2006.  Not sure where he’s been since then.

Tom: "Hey Meg, want to get together and make the exact same movie in five years when the internet catches on?" Meg: "Sounds good Tom, in the meantime I'll be in touch via electronic mail over our blazing fast 14.4K modem connections!"

Shakespeare in Love (1998) – Oscar winner for Best Picture that year Shakespeare in Love proves a story of life, love and loss.  In case you missed it, it’s on tv all the time now so make sure you catch it for nice good cry.

1591: The birth of the "Emo" movement, Sir William Shakespeare experiments with a dangerous combination of poetry and eyeliner.

Never Been Kissed (1999) – This movie has a bunch of positives and one big negative.  Positives:  The word “Rufus” came out of this movie.  David Arquette is enjoyable in this movie.  Hot young Jessica Alba is in this movie.  And, I may be mistaken but I remember a choreographed dance at the prom (I could be wrong.)  Anyway the negative?  Drew Barrymore.  Yuck!

Guy is TOTALLY crunching on you? Do I want to be crunched? By Guy? Ohhhhhhhh yeaaaaaaaaa...

At this age she was already drinking and smoking. I'm not kidding.

She’s All That (1999) – Laney Boggs IS all that.  Not sure why but my sister has also had a perpetual crush on Freddie Prinze Jr. since before I can remember.  I’m pretty sure that this movie definitely has a choreographed Prom dance but even better…Freddie Prinze Jr. defends Laney’s younger brother by making the school bully eat his own pubes off a pizza slice with a declaration of…HOOVER IT!  P.s.  Anyone remember Freddie’s CLASSIC Hack….E…..Sack…. interpretive poetry in motion performance piece?

Yes, even in foreign languages she is STILL all that.

The Princess Bride (1987) – The definition of a great chick flick.  I’ve seen this movie probably about 15-20 times and it never gets old.  I mean, c’mon it’s a chick flick and it’s got Andre the Giant in it!  What more could you ask for?  Well how about a young Fred Savage kickin’ ass and takin names as “The Grandson” who loves Nintendo and doesn’t want good ole grandpa to read the kissy parts.  If you’ve ever accused a  6 fingered person of killing Inigo Montoya’s father as a joke and they took it personally you’d understand. The Princess Bride ain’t just meant for the ladies fellas!

Ya'll ready for some MAWWIAGE? How about some WUV? Anyone? TWUE WUV?

When people tell me they've never seen The Princess Bride this is what I think.

Rob:  Please Subscribe to the Blog on the right side of the page.

Reader:  Asssssssssssssss Youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu Wishhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Top 5 Comedy Movies of the 2000’s

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So I was thinking back on the last decade and some of the movies that really made me smile.  Well, not just smile but rather laugh my ass off.  In no particular order is my list of Top Five Films of the 2000’s:  Napoleon Dynamite, Anchorman, Super Troopers, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall.  Great, great flicks.

Napoleon Dynamite (2004) – Jared Hess’s feature-length directorial debut will stand out for me as an absolute CLASSIC of comedy.  It’s different it’s quirky and should stand out to EVERY aspiring filmmaker as a beacon of hope proving that you don’t need a massive budget to achieve cinema excellence.  FACT:  This movie is one of the most profitable movies of ALL TIME.  Cost/Gross ratio.

If ya liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it... Now I know where Beyonce got her moves!

Glamour shots, by Deb Tip #42: To achieve a look of quiet contemplation suggest to the subject that they're swimming in a sea of tiiiiiiiny sea horses...wait for it...annnnnd...click. The PERFECT photo.

Last but not least made sure to stock up on boondoggle keychains, they're a must have for THIS season's fashion.

Anchorman (2004) – THE top dog of the Will Ferrell comedy reign.  It doesn’t get ANY better than this and I mean that 100%.  This is one of the most quotable movies I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  If you need a quick refresher here’s a few gems.

Suits so fine, they make Sinatra look like a hobo.

Click the picture to actual buy this. Yes ladies and gentlemen this REALLY exists.

Super Troopers (2001) – Unfortunately Broken Lizard (the comedy team behind ST) hasn’t topped this film since.  Fortunately they are making a sequel.  Will it be as good at the original?  No.  But it will damn sure still beat Club Dread.  This movie is a classic for the most recent generation as Airplane or Animal House is to those decades.  I’ll still enjoy this movie in 20 years and am guessing you will too.

I'm naming my next car this. It will be epic especially when I swing through the drive-through and order a liter of cola and a large Farva.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) – For some strange reason I have an aversion to movies that have titles that are verbs.  I.e.  Waiting for Guffman, Chasing Amy, Raising Arizona, Pushing Tin, etc.  I believe the grammatical term for this is a gerund.  Anywho, I HATE them with this film being one of the few exceptions.  I feel like it really launched the career of Jason Segal as well as Russell Brand and even made for a spin off based on his Aldous Snow character with 2010’s Get Him to the Greek.  Great flick with a steady replay value.

"You said you wanted the naked tenders!?!? What was I supposed to think?!?!"

Yep. He must use Herbal Essences.

Superbad (2007) – Super good.  The big film breakthrough for not one, not two, but THREE of todays biggest comedy stars.  Michael Cera, Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse have good ole Judd Apatow to thank for their bags of money.  This movie makes the high school experience feel real in a way that a movie like Can’t Hardly Wait (while also a fav because of Jennifer Love-Hewitt) fails.  It’s real language and real situations.  Parents, you better believe your kids are acting EXACTLY like this today.

Kinda looks like they all have to poop a little. Like, Chris looks like it's immediately imminent. Jonah looks like he's displeased that it's happened upon him during a photo shoot but he plans to take care of it, and Michael looks like he's shocked like it snuck up on him.

If you don't like this list you're a...

SUBSCRIBE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE PAGE!!!

Box Office Game #2: Machete – Multiple Prizes

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So with all the fun I had with Box Office Game #1 I’ve decided to do another contest.  This time with some tweaks to make Game #2 bigger and better than the first one.

One week from tomorrow Machete starring Danny Trejo, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert DeNiro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal and Don Johnson opens everywhere.

When I compile my list of this year's top 10 films I'm pretty sure this movie will...make the cut.

The rules for this contest are very simple and participation is free.

1.  Subscribe to the blog via email and confirm your email address when WordPress sends you the confirmation email.

2.  Email fixingfilms@gmail.com your guess for how much money Machete will make in it’s opening weekend domestically. 10 Million?  15 Million?  2 Million?  (Guesses stop at 12 midnight on Thursday September 2nd.)

3.  The closest guess wins.

Now you may be asking: “What do I win Rob?  I LOOOOOOVEEE prizes!”

Answer:  TONS OF COOL PRIZES. (3 actually)

1.  $25 Gift Card to store of your choice.  (If I can purchase the gift card online you can have it.)

Your pick, any card, anywhere, to use on ANYTHING.

2.  HARDWARE.  This is the prize I’m most excited about.  Probably because as a kid I enjoyed winning trophies so much.  You will receive a Fixing Films Box Office Champ #1 trophy for first place.

Yes, mullets really do rock.

This is a trophy my friend Jae and I made for a Wrestling video game competition. Yes that's tin foil, colored tape and a wash cloth for a cape. He even has a champion's belt. P.S the trophy's hair is REAL cat hair from Jae's couch!!!

Note:  Your trophy will be real, NOT homemade.

3.  Certificate of Awesomeness.  Nothing says, I’m better than you than a certified certificate from movie blog website.  Proudly display this in your living room, dining room, bedroom or cubicle.  Your friends and co-workers will be so jealous when they see their inadequacy painted out for them in plain English.  Makes a great talking piece and is a great resume builder!

Are you awesome enough to be certified?

Any questions?  Email fixingfilms@gmail.com for answers.  Current subscribers just send an email with your guess.  So, what are you waiting for…SUBSCRIBE!!!

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Making it Better

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So my friend saw this movie 7 months ago and told me it was spectacular.  Another friend saw it 3 weeks ago and said it was good.  As some of you know, (and some don’t) Scott Pilgrim was a big fat box office FAIL this past weekend.  Made for $60 million and with an opening weekend of $10.6 million you don’t really need a calculator to see that the numbers just don’t add up.  But how could it have been better?

C'mon Scott, you've never going to get the girl playing a BASS guitar. Chicks dig AXE Men. This applies to both the body spray and the choice of string instrument!

Making it better:

1.  Too repetitive.  By about the 3rd evil ex I’m pretty tired of the whole rinse and repeat cycle.  Granted the video game stylization is awesome but is it awesome enough to keep everyone entertained for it’s 112 minutes?  I was, others weren’t.

2.  Ramona Flowers.  I think the simple fact is that she’s not that likable.  When does the audience really get to see her softer side or sympathize with why Scott’s so in love with her.  Answer:  They don’t.  Scott’s other girlfriend, Knives Chau, at least has a youthful naiveté that stirs empathy in the viewer.  Ramona maybe should have considered another movie…

After I photoshopped this I realized it should say...Ramona and...Ramona... Whoops.

3.  A little too ‘hip.’  I felt like other Micheal Cera vehicles struck a good balance of hip and cool.  Superbad, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Juno.  This movie however had parts that were so stylized and dialogue that whizzed by so fast I wasn’t quite sure what was going on.  Am I stupid?  Maybe.  But my 135 on a completely unscientific online IQ test would lead me to believe otherwise.

Yes, this is the new definition of cool and personally I'm 100% fine with that. P.s. Is that shirt made from early 90's wallpaper?

4.  Marketing.  I think that someone on the marketing team at XYZ Marketing Company really needs quick slap.  Why not play up the video game aspect of the movie more???  You probably could have stolen at least a few Mill off the gamers that shelled out cash for The Expendables.  Maybe they could have even combined the two movies…

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The Expendables: This time "The Blowout" is more than just a haircut!

Despite what I just said I really did enjoy the movie and would recommend seeing it in the theaters.  It’s fun and I haven’t really seen anything quite like it.  It unfortunate that films are always hailed or panned by how they perform their opening weekend.  Hopefully Scott Pilgrim can take a lesson from it’s Sly Stallone competition, not give up and come out swinging in the second round.

Michael Cera gives the lead singer a little head between songs.

We didn't start the fire...Scott Pilgrim did.

So, now you tell me.  What would you have done differently to make this movie better than it already was?

Awesome Movies You Probably Missed

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I like to imagine that for every person out there, there exists a catalog or library of films that really speak to someone.  Films that you watch and say “Oh my god, I can’t believe I’ve never seen this and now I have to watch it again.”

For me it took till I was in college to finally see The Godfather.  I waited over a year until I watched Slumdog Millionaire.  I’ve still been putting off seeing The Sound of Music, Casablanca and Gone With the Wind.

These movies don’t always have to be film classics and I’m writing today about movies you may have missed and need to rent immediately.

1.  Army of Darkness (1993) – The third installment of The Evil Dead series, Bruce Campbell is at his finest in this masterpiece of horror/comedy.  Much more comedy than horror I have literally seen this movie dozens of times and still continue to laugh.  It tells the story of Ash a department store clerk or accidentally summons the dead and gets transported back to medieval times.  He now much retrieve the Book of the Dead to send himself back to the future and defeat the evil Deadite army.  Don’t worry if you haven’t seen the first two, there is a quick montage in the beginning which fills you in on the previous happenings and puts you right where you need to be to start the film.  Before there was Spiderman there was Army of Darkness.  Thank you Sam Raimi!

If this isn't the most badass photo ever taken I don't know what is.

2.  Requiem For a Dream (2000) –  Called the #2 best film of the decade by film critic James Berardinelli this is THE must see anti-drug movie.  It follows four people and their paths through addiction from weed, to heroin, cocaine and speed.  It not only should be required viewing for every DARE program across the U.S. but also screened for misbehaved juveniles who need a reminder that if you don’t want to end up dead, in jail or in a mental institution to JUST SAY NO.  Note:  You must be in a certain mood to enjoy this movie.  It is a DOWNER.  You will however continue to think about this movie long after you see it and be happy you experienced it.

Everyone in this movie gives a great performance. Yes even Marlon "Scary Movie 2" Wayans. Burstyn even got an Oscar nomination for this.

3.  City of Ember (2008) – Mediocre execution but great concept and great visuals.  While more geared towards kids this films tells the story of what life is like for a group of people who have been raised underground when life on the surface of Earth became impossible.  They’ve forgotten their exit plan and now are faced with the technological collapse of their infrastructure.  Global Warming Avocates take note.  This could be us in a few years!

After the Shawshank county police sniffed out his trail Andy Dufrene was forced to hide out underground in the City of Ember!

4.  The Last King of Scotland (2006) – The movie that won Forest Whitaker an Oscar and based on a true story The Last King of Scotland is the kind of movie that makes you happy you were born into something better.  It’s brutal, honest and shot beautifully.  Forrest Whitaker and James McAvoy both deserve kudos for this film as the acting is superb and really draws you into these characters.

Forest really puts the Dick in Dictator in his portrayal of former Ugandan ruler Idi Amin.

5.  Donnie Darko (2001) – Occasionally you come across someone who hasn’t seen this film that brought Jack (and Maggie) Gyllenhaal to the the limelight.  It tells the story of a mentally disturbed high school teen who starts having visions and is counting down the days to the end of the world.  Set in the 1980’s with and amazing soundtrack and a cameo-esq role by Patrick Swayze if you haven’t seen this movie do it right now.  20 years from now this will be a Sci-fi classic.  Note:  Director Richard Kelly also recently directed The Box starring Cameron Diaz.  DO NOT judge Kelly’s work by The Box as this and that movie are not even in the same league.

I'm just wondering which one's going to pull the yawn move first.

6.  Memento (2000) – Some people love it and some people hate it.  I love it and hope you do it.  Directed by the guy that brought you The Dark Knight and the more recent Inception, Christopher Nolan first cut his teeth with this film.  It follows, Leonard, a man who was shot in the head while protecting his wife and can no longer build memories.  He is limited to remembering the previous 3-5 minutes of his life.  We watch as Leonard hunts for his wife’s killer except the story is told in reverse.  We see where Leonard has ended up and the flashback upon flashback builds to an exciting conclusion.

You mean Trinity from Matrix was in another movie?!?! Woah! I never knew that...

7.  The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) – Wes Anderson fans might argue that The Royal Tenenbaums is his quintessential work but I disagree.  With surreal visuals Anderson takes us on an undersea journey with Steve Zissou as he hunts for an elusive creature, reconnects with his lost son and battles his arch-rival (Jeff Goldblum.)  It’s funny, it’s mentally and visually stimulating and Bill Murray is perfect in the role as Zissou.

I wish real submarines had giant windows and were piloted by wise-cracking ghostbusters. Uggg, reality.

8.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – Mind messing movies seems to be a trend of the past decade and this is one of the better ones.  When Joel and Clementine fall out of love she goes to a doctor who selectively deletes all memories of their relationship.  In his despair he reluctantly does the same.  The movie follows Joel as his memories are slowly killed and he realizes the consequences of what he’s chosen to do.  Dramatic, somewhat funny with a touch of romance this is a great movie.

Kate Winslet set the trend for Scott Pilgrim's Ramona Flowers 6 years ago. You copycat!

9.  Festen (The Celebration)  (1998) – I usually can’t see past the subtitles on foreign films but if they are especially good I do.  This film starts at the 60th birthday celebration of a large family’s father.  The eldest son gets up to give his speech and gives his father two choices of speech, the green envelope or the red envelope.  His decision makes for a disturbing and dramatic film.

The stress of another year really takes it's toll on old man Jacobs. "Too Much Birthday!" he thinks to himself between mean old man frowns.

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