Sunday, February 19, 2006

Smokestack's Grindhouse: The Manifesto

Nope, no Eberts here, nothin' to see...
Hokay, despite coming down with a cold (it's going through work), I'm gonna outline how this feature works.

Here's the premise: every so often I'll pick a current (or not so current) film or video I haven't seen. I'll give you all the info I can glean from (mostly net) sources. Then I'll give you my opinion on it. That ought to get you going on deciding whether it's worth it to plunk down that admission, rental fee or put it in the rental queue. Occasionally I'll throw in a changeup: a film/video I have seen, just to keep it interesting (I'll let you know upfront).

Now it's my opinion that no criticism is unbiased so here's my preferences/opinions I filter these flicks through:

  1. I feel movies/videos should, first and foremost, entertain. I know that's casting a wide net, but my tastes are eclectic so I hope to hit with you more often than miss.
  2. A corollary to that is that I may recommend what I think is a terrible film as long as it fills the criteria of #1, as we all know that stuff like Plan Nine is terrible in an entertaining way.
  3. My favorite genres are Animation* (Looney Tunes, Disney, some current stuff), Comedy (everything from Laurel and Hardy to The Three Stooges to Preston Sturges), Classic Horror, Film Noir, Good Drama No Matter When It Was Made with a chaser of Westerns and Fantasy. Indie and cult films I take on a case-by-case basis.
  4. Speaking of comedy, while I love slapstick and screwball-type comedies, I am also a fan of what someone at DVD Verdict termed Tonal Comedy. So, yes, I like and "get" stuff like Napoleon Dynamite and Wes Anderson's stuff. I also realize this type of comedy is an acquired taste so Your Mileage May Vary.
  5. On the opposite end, I really don't care for the Formula Romantic Comedy and what has been referred to as "chick flicks." No, my testosterone is fine, thank you, they just don't do anything for me (I have also been proven wrong).
  6. To swing wildly, I also have no use for Lethal Weapon-type Arnie/Stallone/Willis macho fests. I will make an exception on occasion (Chow Yun-Fat, I'm looking at you) but on the whole, they all look alike to me. I will also steer clear of splatter-fests and paranoia/political thrillers.
There are exceptions to these, but that's pretty much my state of mind when I examine a film. My main requirement is: how does this film immerse me in it and let me forget myself in the film for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Here's how I'm gonna break it down:
Title - Self explanatory. It'll be in the header
Subtitle - Something that sums up the film in as few words as possible. If I'm lucky, it may even be funny.
Plot Summary - Once again, in as few words as possible.
The Studio Sez - Anything I get off the Official Site, press releases, etc.
The Critics Sez - Again, self-explanatory. I'll try to get quotes from the Heavy Hitters (Ebert, Maltin, etc.) and any other interesting and appropriate.
Smokestack Sez - What I think.
Here's hopin' it'll help you decide whether to fork over the long green.
*Pardon me, Art Form. My apologies to Brad Bird (yeah, like he ever reads this thing).

1 comment:

Dan Mancini said...

Sounds good. Fire away, daddy-o.