Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a pair of female views on this past weekend's BNAT! Up first we have Saffy, a devoted attendee of many years. The only thing I'd have to add is a note to Saffy about Paul Verhoeven... Check out his early work, pre-ROBOCOP. You might find that he's had a movie like BLACK BOOK in him from the beginning. Enjoy Saffy's rundown and I'll be back to introduce Meghan!
Things I learned a BNAT Episode 8-The Return of the Ball Stomp Whew! Sorry this review is so late. We came home to a broken pipe, a foot of water on our floor, and a broken keyboard. That said, I WILL NOT BE MOVED, so here I am to write a review of this most wondrous event! Oh chirpy...words cannot describe that magic of BNAT. I can tell you for hours about the movies, but the people make the festival special! But I will try like hell anyway. 1.) Black Snake Moan- Justin Timberlake does not Suck! The Blues, that most sacred music, is the theme of the new Craig Brewer movie. However, this film is so much more than its fabulous predecessor. In the tradition of the great Southern Gothic writers like Faulkner and Flannery OConnor, Brewer creates a perfect southern fairy tale. Brutally real this movie never once blinks from the truth of the characters pain. Yet, this film is not punishing, it is actually quite therapeutic. Jackson and Ricci share a scene where the hurt is purged by a song in a storm that is all at once literary and cinematic. We also see Brewer play with the Gender construct of the fairy tales in a powerful way. The Princess is not pure and innocent, and the Prince is not brave and strong. This movie is smart and heartfelt, and a must-see. 2.) Dreamgirls-GIVE EDDIE THE OSCAR! The magic of Bill Condon is that he makes musicals numbers so organic. Some non-musical fans complain that musical performances take them right out of the movie. That is not the case for me, as I see the Laundromat as a perfect place to have a Busby Berkley-esque tap number with sequins and glitter. However, this film manages to make every number feel like it belongs to the movie. Of COURSE these characters are going to break out into song. Jennifer Hudson is blessed. There is no other word I can find that describes the power of her voice and that thing behind the eyes. Beyonce, despite all the criticism, really disappears in her character. EDDIE MURPHY OWNS ALL. 3.) Once Upon a Girl- Winnie the Pooh is a dirty pervert. 4.) Inherit the Wind- Gene Kelly OWNS! We all know the story behind this film. Logic, reason, thought...all good things. Gene Kelly is a great thing. Sure, our memories of Gene include the most acrobatic and fantastic dance numbers. His acting in this move is a true revelation. Witty, dry, natural and handsome, handsome, handsome! I really enjoyed this film with a crowd that isnt afraid to react to a great scene, even in a courtroom drama. Great choice for vintage! 5.) Rocky Balboa- The man rules allow for crying during Rocky. Yes, yes I was the girl in the Philadelphia Eagles shirt who stood up and screamed at the announcement of this film. It will be a biased review. Just thought Id let you know. Where Rocky Balboa succeeds is that it recaptures that feeling of the East Coast working class experience. Rocky represents a whole group of men who go to work in the foundry all day and then come home and listen to opera and read philosophy books. Those men who take the punches life throws at them, but never lose their soul. OK, yeah they do boo Santa and throw batteries and ice balls...no ones perfect. However, seeing this movie with the BNAT crowd was a religious experience. The chanting, the man crying, running up and down the steps of the draft house, just perfect! THANK YOU HARRY! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Oh and you too Sly! 6.) Knocked Up- Paul Rudd is God. What more can I say about a Judd Apatow film? Funny, real, and charming I adore it! 7.) Black Book- Paul Verhoeven has been replaced by aliens who can make movies. This film is by no means perfect. However, the depth of emotion and the bravery of the story was very...um...different from Verehovens past works. I am sure I am going straight to hell for this, but man, the Nazi love of the main character was smoking hot. That being said, it was a very brave story showing the strange reality of war. War should be black and white, but war still includes people who are shades of grey. 8.) The Informer Foggy movies make people sleepy I had actually seen this movie a month prior to BNAT. On my quest to watch all Oscar winning films, this was on the list. If you really want to read about the experience of this film I suggest Frank OConnors The Guest of the Nation or James Joyces The Dubliners. This movie tries to recapture the feelings in those works, the main word there being tries. ***Note to film makers The Dubliners + Neil Jordan=BLISS** 9.) Raw Force- I drifted in and out during this movie. I think it made more sense that way. 10.) Smokin Aces LONG LIVE THE BATEMAN! Yes, I HAVE had a crush on Jason Bateman since middle school. A picture of him, cut out of BOP magazine, graced my trapper keeper. Besides that factoid this movie was deliriously fun. It shouldve been titled BODY COUNT THE MOVIE. It also had a coked out tranny Bateman...BONUS! The performances were great, the action was non-stop, and there were some eye-popping shootouts. Remember this name oh brothers and sisters of Geekdom- THE TREMOR BROTHERS. You shall be screaming this name from the mountains. 12.) 300 I AM NOT WORTHY! This movie, for my synesthetic brain is like nothing I have ever seen. Part hallucination, part sexual desire, total body experience. Zack Snyder has created a visual world that defines the word sensual. The metallic tones of the film give it a sense of antiquity. The bronzes, the silver, the gold, are breathtaking and convey varying heat sensations. You can almost taste the shimmer of the wheat fields, the iron of blood, the cold of the night. Ok I can actually taste it, but I have synaesthesia, you can read more about it on Wikipedia...but I wont get into all that as if you see the movie you will understand it perfectly. The fight scenes were majestic. It was like they crossed Circ Du Soleil with a nut-sack. I really, truly, loved this movie. I understand why Harry showed all of the boobs, because this movie was also chock full of amazing male bodies. HOLY MOTHER OF MERCY Gerard Butler. I would also like to thank the people of BNAT for making this so special. I am so sorry I had to miss Pans Labyrinth and Children of Men. However, a weekend of people who get it, guitar hero, and playing Whos Harvey Dent! rocks so hard. Harry, man, my heart is still full from these films and I thank you so much for giving me the ROCKY experience. Your fiancée is wonderful; you two will have such a great life! CHESS KING RULES!! Thank you again! You guys rock Saffy
Thanks, Saffy! Now on to Meghan's stuff! Enjoy!
I'm sitting here, finally off the plane and at home. If I concentrate I can still feel my hands just slightly tingling from massive amounts of clapping, as well as my stomach finally settling down and forgiving me for massive amounts of caffeine. Let me what I can remember (I took notes throughout, but my handwriting, never that stellar to begin with, deteriorated pretty fast.) This was my first BNAT... Prelude: Chirpy (John Goras, 2001) This was the appetizer and a litmus test all rolled into one. If you don't think a sweet little bird tripping on mushrooms can find love with a big black horse, than this wasn't the 24 movie event for you. But let me tell you, there is no better way to bond with the strangers sittng next to you than to share this particular experience with them. I got to see everyone's "Holy Shit" face before the festivities had even officially begun. First Movie: Black Snake Moan (Craig Brewster, 2007) Wow. This is just a gorgeous damn film, laced with what I'd have to called southern-gothic-magic-realism. The film builds slowly and surely, a rising crescendo with the perfect break in the thunder and lightening climax -- all set to Mr. Jackson himself performing the title song. The moral of this story? The blues can save your goddamn soul. Second Movie: Dreamgirls (Bill Condon, 2006) Jennifer Hudson performing, "And I Am Telling You, " and me with tears streaming down my face. Yeah, I'm a big damn softie. Third Movie: Once Upon a Girl (Don Jurwich, 1976) You know, I am totally in love with the idea of all these professional animators making a fairytale-themed porno cartoon on their off time. I truly, truly am. As delightfully cute as an X-rated cartoon can be. Fourth Movie: Inherit the Wind (Stanley Kramer, 1960) This is one of my favorite films that I didn't know was one of my favorites till now. It truly is perfect, and the price of my plane ticket to Austin was paid for being able to watch this particular movie with this particular audience. Sublime. Fifth Movie: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone, 2006) I kinda feel like a bastard for saying this was anything less than wonderful, if only because I could tell how personal a film this was for Stallone. The beginning half of the movie is rather slow and grim, and for me the parts of the movie dealing with Rocky and his son never really gel. But... being in a audience shouting "Rocky! Rocky!" at the top of their lungs, that was pure joy my friends. Clips from Fanboys (Kyle Newman, 2007) A nice long clip of Star Wars and Star Trek fans beating the shit out of each others -- oh why couldn't we see the whole movie? There is no better audience in the world for this film than the one assembled for this night. Sixth Movie: Knocked Up (Judd Apatow, 2007) Pretty fucking funny. I can't wait to see this again when I am in my right mind, and I hope I find it as enjoyable as I did that night. 'Cause it was great to be laughing that hard. Scary fake-out where we were shown a full five minutes of Teen Wolf before the film stock "melted". Apologies to Michael J. Fox, but I knew I was going to pass out right there and then if that film had continued on any longer. The crowned cheered and groaned and there was much rejoicing as we continued on to the real next film... Seventh Movie: Zwartboek (Black Book) (Paul Verhoeven, 2006) God, I'm just to have to see this film again, because at that point in the night, the combination of three or four Diet Cokes and an empty belly had turned my gut into a roiling pit of acid. I'm watching all this horrible and serious shit (literally, at one point in the film) befall this young Jewish woman during WWII, and all I can think about is the raw, red agony of my stomach. Eighth Movie: The Informer (John Ford, 1935) So, so sad. This is a major bummer of a movie -- the kind where right from the beginning you know it's going to end badly. Sweet but dumb guy turns in a childhood friend to afford a trip to America for a girl he likes, but then proceeds to drink away the money trying to forget the horrible thing he's done. Goddamn, it was so sad. Ninth Movie: Raw Force (Edward D. Murphy, 1982) I'm missing about 20 minutes of memory from that night, and I think most of that occurred during this film. Look, if you were a cannabilistic monk, who ate the flesh of young nubile girls to give you the power to raise kung-fu zombies, and you wanted to keep your island home a secret... would you produce and distribute a brochure for tourists, some of whom are guaranteed to be schooled in ancient fighting techniques? Just asking. Tenth Movie: Smokin' Aces (Joe Carnahan, 2007) I hate to say it, but I enjoyed the director's filmed introduction (which we actually ended up seeing at the end of the film, funnily enough), then the movie itself. This kind of reminded me of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but with alot more bloodshed. Eleventh Movie: 300 (Zack Snyder, 2007) I've never seen such gorgeous and choreographed violence, and I do mean that as a compliment. A true dance of death, with continually escalating set pieces of savage beauty. A perfect ending to a crazy night And just on a purely shallow note: I'd like to think that in some way, this one was for all us ladies. We had seen many a boob that night, and don't get me wrong, they were lovely boobs -- but a whole screen full of tanned and glistening men --- was a lovely sight indeed. Now back to sleep, before my eyes leak out of my skull. --Meghan email@example.com http://www.murphypop.com