Idiot Savant Online

John Lichman's third attempt at a personal blog and online savanting idiotic.

Archive for October 2010


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dir. Robert Schwentke


The best thing that ever happened to children of the 1980s action genre is that their heroes grew old. It’s a nod that gets so overused in The Expendables that it threatens to grow thick and veiny until it bursts–but I think most genre folk would be OK with the DTV fare pumped out by Segale and Lundgren.

RED gives us another notch in the “our heroes are aging” that Bruce Willis has sauntered quite gracefully through Lucky Number Slevin and Die Hard With A Vengeance. Willis is Bruce Willis the retired CIA bad-ass and Mary-Louise Parker is Mary-Louise Parker the Pension Office Worker who is adorable and together they go on a wild ride to meet up with the support cast (John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and Brian Cox) who all proceed to steal the movie and chew scenery and discuss how their grandkids are doing–except for Morgan, who’d rather talk about the universe.

The most frightening thing about RED is how easy it is to be sucked into the source material from Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer–it’s also fairly different from the original, but as Ellis himself has stated that it was a three issue miniseries being stretched into a 70+ minute film. (And yes, I could easily Google it, but mixing drinks and playing this on repeat are counter-productive.)

But the film’s already a bonafide hit and for good reason: it’s Bruce Willis taking on his role as the Aged Asskicker, which is bound for TV Tropes. Special bonus points to the Karl Urban/Bruce Willis brawl that will become insanely popular on YouTube once the DVD hits and Rebecca Pidgeon as prickly CIA higher-up! It’s like a massive, gigantic cinematic win for everyone involved–until Drive Angry In 3D comes out. Then Summit loses.

Post Script: further discussion of the “Aged Asskicker” is rather wonderfully discussed by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky using Jean-Claude Van Damme on MUBI.


Written by john lichman

October 23, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Jackass 3D

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dir. Jeff Tremaine
Theatrical, Real 3D.

Yes, Jackass 3D made a metric fuckton of money on its opening weekend. And yes, it is actually painfully funny complete with two stunts that could make you vomit. But it’s neigh-impossible to put into simple text description why Jackass functions so incredibly well.  I think these select images explain why.

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Written by john lichman

October 20, 2010 at 11:30 pm


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The true cast of MONSTER

dir. Gareth Edwards
via iTunes rental
The modern monster hasn’t transitioned well into our Post-Godzilla world. Lumbering beasts are relegated to SyFy Saturday nights and tongue-in-cheek nostalgia nods like Death Kappa. Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield brought back the modern giant monster when it came to kill all yuppies (i.e. Nathan Lee’s incredible “screw you yuppies” review for the Voice.)

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Written by john lichman

October 20, 2010 at 10:40 am

The Town

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The Town

Dir. Ben Affleck

If Gone Baby Gone was an exercise in gumshoes and noir, The Town is a heist film that owes deeply to John Frankenheimer and the concept of Michael Mann. Affleck directs and mumbles around as the stereotypical thief (Doug MacCray) looking for a last score and Jeremy Renner is his crackpot foil (Jim “Gem”) ready to snap at a moment’s notice–it’s a weird parallel, actually, to the Stallone/Lundgren relationship from The Expendables earlier in the summer. These two are lifelong friends who barely stay together because of duty and work (literally with the loose implication that Doug is the father of Jim’s sister’s child.) The depiction of Charlestown in Boston as some 1930s crime mecca has been called out already by the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr, but it’s a silly caricature  from the setting that Affleck demands you accept complete with opening credits quotations about how dastardly and vicious his Charlestown has to be.

To be quite frank though, Affleck the director is a necessary force and we should do whatever possible to keep him behind the camera.

Written by john lichman

October 11, 2010 at 2:46 am

It Came From My Archives…The Saddest Paragraph We’ve Read Today: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

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I’ve recently decided to get all my old clips together as I suffered the loss of all my old posts on the original Spout Blog. These are reposts of the original posts on my personal blog so there’ll be a properly formatted version.

The saddest paragraph we’ve read comes from MTV Movies Blog today about the sequel to Alvin and the Chimpmunks. Take it away, MTVMB!

Ever since we broke the news (1) that the sequel to the smash flick “Alvin and the Chipmunks” would be introducing the Chipettes, we’ve been working to uncover (2) the top-secret identities of the girlfriend trio that will make sweet music alongside Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Recently, Justin Long revealed (3) to us that two of the gals will be voiced by Anna Faris and Christina Applegate. Now, we finally know the identity of that mysterious third Chipette.

Why is the above so sad? Let us break it down for you.

  1. MTV considers a casting notice news.
  2. That someone was paid to be handed a PR notice at a red carpet event.
  3. Apparently, the difficulty of finding Justin Long to help you out with something is akin to flipping a light switch.

Even worse, not even Jason Lee is coming back for the Squeakquel. He had the grace to run away as fast as he could and rest comfortably in his My Name Is Earl DVD royalties. Still, we bet the horrible offense to our eyes that is this film won’t indulge us in a creepy anthropomorphic snake/chipmunk pedophilia like the original did.

But who is the brand new third female CGI chimpmunk? Who cares.

Written by john lichman

October 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Sony To Sweep Netflix’s Leg

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The Obvious Analogy is Obvious

Sony is going to join the Universal/WB experiment in 28-day delays on new releases being avaliable for Netflix. As TheWrap mentions, honoring this brief wait to get The Karate Kid in the mail allows access to other Sony titles via Netflix Streaming.

Not like that was the entire point behind Sony’ s Crackle anyway.

Thankfully, Netflix will still crane kick the shit out of Sony when it comes to streaming models like the upcoming AppleTV/GoogleTV/Roku/Everyotheronlinestreamingdevicetobereleasedbetweennowand2011.


Written by john lichman

October 7, 2010 at 2:00 am

Posted in Noose Media

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