Gun play!

In all likelihood, this weekend’s likely #1 film, “The Expendables,” is not really a movie you need to see before you die. But if you are going to take that long, “Wild Bunch” style, walk  to the multiplex, this totally entertaining 15 minute mash-up of numerous gratuitously violent, gun crazy, flicks from Steven Santos, Aaron Aradillas, and good ol’ Matt Zoeller Seitz, sponsored by The House Next Door, is just the thing to get you in the correct spirit.

Lock & Load from Steven Santos on Vimeo.

Pretty magnificent. Also, Nice to Luke Wilson from “Bottle Rocket” in there. Fun coincidence considering the post below this one.

I guess it’s partly because of production code censorship, but it’s interesting that, while guns and movies have always gone hand-in-gunslinging-hand, the extreme fetishizing of the things seems to have begun about the time the production code truly died, paving the way for arguably the first truly ultraviolent big studio film, 1969’s “The Wild Bunch.” It also happens to be, I’m pretty sure, the second oldest film featured here (after ’66’s “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”) with one obvious exception from the birth of the movies right at the end.  Or maybe I’m wrong. If anyone can think of a movie before 1966-69 in which guns were portrayed in the kind of tender loving detail we’re now used to, let me know.

Finally, get even more in the spirit of, er, gun fun, with this piece from the Bullz-Eye blog celebrating various multi-star manly action fests.

  

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A roundtable chat with Luke Wilson of “Middle Men”

MM-07766

It’s been nearly 15 years since producer James L. Brooks bankrolled a feature version of a short film made by some Texas youngsters, and that movie (“Bottle Rocket”) introduced the movie world to director Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson, and his brother, Luke. Since then, Dallas-born Luke Wilson’s movie-star handsome likeness has become a highly familiar to filmgoers, playing both leading men and supporting roles mostly in comedies like “Legally Blonde,” “Old School,” and Mike Judge’s criminally maltreated “Idiocracy,” as well as “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” and a classic cameo in “Anchorman.” (He was the anchor who — spoiler alert — got his arm was sliced off with a sword by Tim Robbins.)

To this day, Wilson has a habit of turning up in odd and interesting places, like a series of well-known commercials for AT&T or in the uneven but entertaining “Middle Men,” in which Wilson very credibly stars as a Texas businessman who gets much more than he expected at the intersection of e-commerce and adult entertainment. He is also preparing to play the part of Laura Dern’s flaky ex-husband on “Enlightened,” a new TV series from cult writer-producer Mike White (“Chuck and Buck,” “School of Rock“) with episodes directed by Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme.

At the risk of creating an embarrassing but perhaps partially correct impression of a man-crush, in person Luke Wilson is a highly charismatic guy. Behind his highly colloquial speech — I’ve left out a lot of “likes” — is an intelligence that, without giving away much of anything, dispenses with a lot of the usual show business interview platitudes. Now in his late 30s, he also appeared thinner than his slightly chunky appearance on “Middle Man” or his recent AT&T commercials. That was because Wilson had deliberately gone over his normal weight by about 25 pounds for the role of a hard-driving businessman and family guy.

What was that like?

Read the rest of this entry »

  

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