New Doc Ock Hits Spider-Man
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Marvel Hires New Publisher
Following such rumors, Marvel today announced that Bill Jemas has been replaced as Publisher. Now read who took his job.
CrossGen's Solus #7
CrossGen thinks you'll love George Pérez's new issue of Solus. And to prove it, here's a five-page preview.
Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunite for Marvel's Avengers as they search for She-Hulk.
Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
A comic about a cybernetic cowboy that hunts outlaws riding dinosaurs? Where do we sign up? Read on and find out.
Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
Marvel's New Mutants has a new artist onboard, and we've got a five-page preview. See if he's got the chops.
Image Rocks Out With Shangri-La
Are you ready to rock and roll? Image is, with their upcoming graphic novel Shangri-La. Read the details here.
Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk team up for charity in a special December one-shot. Read all about it.
Davis' Marquis Returns In December
Guy Davis' sin-slayer is back in The Marquis: Intermezzo, coming from Oni Press. Read all about it.
Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.

The Cinema Cynic:
Welcome To The Jungle
By John Hutchins


Slush is proud to welcome the latest addition to our columnist roster, John Hutchins. Perhaps partly due to an exposure to a radioactive goo, and partly from working in Hollywood, John has developed a keen and very sarcastic eye that he levies on his movie-making town. Thus, the perfect guy to write reviews. Even if you don't agree with him, he'll make you laugh. And a smile a day keeps the proletariate away. Or however that saying goes.

So, without further ado, on with the show. Marking his forray into Slushdom is a review of the new film Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and a harsh look at Anger Management, which recently hit store shelves.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

According to the story, Quentin Tarantino came up with the title while working with Robert Rodriquez on Desperado. He told Rodriquez that Desperado was his For a Few Dollars More, El Mariachi his Fistful of Dollars, thus a third had to be made and called Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Whereas the Sergio Leone comparison is a good one, I must take exception with the trilogy concept. Leone's third installment was The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly first of all; Once Upon a Time in the West, although arguably as good or better than the Dollars series (and featuring the typically nice Henry Fonda as an ultra-evil bad guy) was unrelated except by director. The Mariachi series on the other hand is essentially the same movie made three times in ascending quality. Certain characters are re-cast or slightly modified, others brought back to life and killed again; not to mention Mariachi losing his hand in the first film and growing it back for the second. Continuity flaws aside however, this was as expected a truly great film.

Porn is a good example of genre wherein a refrain or ritornelle when cycled correctly (in porn's case sexual intercourse) into a storyline, makes the plot secondary. Similarly, a common yet time honored theme such as 'revenge for my murdered wife' accentuated by exploding bloodbag sequences in 15 minute intervals can be just as gratifying; albeit in a different way. Exploitation films (of the 1970's Jack Hill variety especially) have always embraced this concept unapologetically and to see one with big budget Hollywood dollars behind it is not only refreshing, but in my opinion long overdue. Anyone who appreciated the Assault on Precinct 13 tee-shirt in From Dusk Til Dawn knows what I'm talking about. Appropriately Once Upon a Time begins with Johnny Depp delivering Cheech Marin a CIA payoff in a Clash of the Titans lunchbox; as if to say to his audience "You're in good hands". A patchwork of Peckinpah meets DePalma, where it borrows it gives credit. Where it's mundane, it makes up for in the following scene. The only real negative I found in it was a contrary to marketing lack of Selma Hayek; she's barely in the film and shows only brief titty above a pregnant stomach. Other than that, flawless.

In a perfect world there would be a movie like this once a month.

Grade: A

Article continued below advertisement

Anger Management

Sandler Nicholson "Anger Management" could just as easily have been Spade Pacino "Traffic School" or maybe Shore Busey "Highway Trash Pickup." A Happy Madison production, Sandler evidently wanted to distance himself from the Punch Drunk Love archetype of "quality in script and direction" and make his triumphant return to shitty movies. Jack Nicholson co-stars as Dr. Buddy Rydell, the learned mentor to Sandler who in the films first 10 minutes uses the words "dissemble" "piquant" and "effluvium" in sentences. I as consummate connoisseur of the english language made notes of these words which I will now use in a sentence: Anger Management is an effluvium of banality; a dissemblingly piquant farce leaving the viewer in need of something to watch.

The movie covers all the bases one would expect. There's cameos from Bobby Knight and John McEnroe, Nicholson using sport equipment to bash in a car windshield, the appropriate if not obligatory Sandler nods to flatulence and masturbation, and of course the trademark Adam Sandler singing; this time "I Feel Pretty" on the Brooklyn Bridge in the high-pitched retarded kid voice that was so funny 8 years ago. Along for the trainwreck are a hella old looking Marisa Tomei, and John Torturro who manages to produce the few funny moments the movie has; perhaps to make up for his part in Mr. Deeds, arguably one of the wettest farts in cinema history. The scenes with him in group therapy are maybe five funny minutes out of a hundred and five. The rest is insipid drivel concerning the Sandler character's inability to commit to the frumpy, baggy eyed Tomei. The films piece d'resistance however comes at the end: Even for a half-assed paycheck movie one of the lamest, most intelligence insulting endings I've ever witnessed in a film. Seriously it's bad. I doubt if people who saw it in theatres remember it.

Grade: F


E-Mail Author  |  Archive  |  Tell A Friend



Sword of Dracula
Slush launches our Halloween countdown with the first in a series of spooky reviews. First up? New series, Sword of Dracula.
John Byrne's IMO
This week John points out that fans cannot read the minds of creators, although you wouldn't know that by listening to some of them.
The Dead Zone
Flesh-eating zombies battle the last remaining police officer in Image's new series, The Walking Dead. We review the first issue.
Steve Niles Interview
Slush interviews Steve Niles, the acclaimed writer of 30 Days of Night, who tells us about the relaunch of Fused.
A Spidery Preview
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Kill Bill Review
Slush reviews the first installment of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu slasher masterpiece, Kill Bill.
Viper Interview
Slush takes a look at new publisher Viper Comics, and interviews the guys behind two of its hottest books.
Peanuts Collected
Cartoon fans rejoice. Fantagraphics is reprinting the entire collection of Charles Schulz' Peanuts. Read on for details.

CHANNELS:  Features | Columns | Reviews | News | Film & TV | Forums | Slushfactory.com

Copyright © 2003 Slush Factory Entertainment (E-mail)
All Rights Reserved : No portion of Slush may be reprinted in any form without prior consent