Tag: Jackass

Indie awards, viscera in your lap, and the boredom of Alec

* If you’re looking for any clear Oscar indications from today’s indie awards news, you might want to look elsewhere. “Precious” and “The Last Station” — which I’ve been reading very mixed things about so far — were among the films to make a nominations splash with The Independent Spirit Awards.  Meanwhile, the Gotham Awards were held last night and “The Hurt Locker” “swept” things — well, it won two big awards including Best Picture. Close enough. (Kathryn Bigelow’s wartime thriller, a favorite of many, was not eligible for the Spirit Awards this year, but only got a pair of acting nominations last year.)

* There’s something in the air about gross-outs in 3-D today. First, comes news that sequels to both “Zombieland” and, lord help us all, “Jackass,” are planned in the suddenly semi-ubiquitous format because what the world needs now is projectile cow semen in three dimensions. That’s not all, a new remake of George Romero’s seminal “Night of the Living Dead” will be in 3-D digital animation, which actually renders things less gross and scary — to me, anyhow and that’s just fine for this disliker of gross-outs.

By the way, this is will be the third remake of the film and the second in 3-D, though the 2006 attempt seems a bit less classy. I actually like the idea of taking an epic tack with a variation of the original film, but I just hope Romero gets at least a small piece of the action. (In one of the strangest foul-ups in movie history, the original flesh-eating zombie flick fell into the public domain back in 1968. So, anyone who wants to may legally do their own rip-off.)

Meanwhile, jolly Carl DiOrio is here to tell us that the growth of 3-D films will be gradual and mostly limited to genre and concert films for the time being. Good to know.

* Domestic b.o. is up by 8%, and the really good news is that b.o. is short for “box office.”

* Paul Greengrass confirms his “Bourne 4” directorial exit as reported yesterday, but says the divorce is highly amicable, though the fate of the project seems in doubt and, yeah, I’m not sure we really need a fourth outing, either. On the other hand, Bourne fans can protect themselves against speedy video obsolescence on the three films already out early next year. Here come: “flipper discs.”

* Say it ain’t so, Alec Baldwin, say it ain’t so! You may be bored, but we are so not.

They’re “wild” alright, but are they “wonderful”?

Confession time: Being a bit sleep deprived and apparently under-caffeinated, I nodded off for probably 10-20 minutes of MTV/Dickhouse’s “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia.” Therefore, I have to be a bit careful about making any sweeping statements about this documentary from filmmaker Julien Nitzberg, a sort of follow-up to Jacob Young’s 1991 short, “The Dancing Outlaw,” which became a viral cult hit. It’s safe to say that judging from what I heard from the crowd — many of whom were fans of the earlier documentary and/or the “Jackass” TV series (which has some fans in the cinegeek world, though I’ve never been moved to watch it) — I might have been the only person in the theater who didn’t have a great time with the film.

The earlier film deal with Jesco White, a gas-huffing Elvis Presley fan whose brain-damaged schizoid psychology and criminal tendencies tend to overshadow his talent as a “mountain dancer,” a sort of bluegrass forerunner to tapdancing. Executive produced by Johnny Knoxville, “The Wild and Wonderful Whites” deals with the ongoing struggles of Jesco’s extended family, led by super-tough, extremely shrewd, ultra-raspy voiced occasional singer Mamie White and on into the more violent third generation members of the clan. There are some captivating moments, in particular Jesco dancing to music provided live by punk country’s own Hank Williams III and the sugary soda-fueled gyrations of one of the youngest Whites, who just might be a dancing chip off the old Jesco White block.

However, apparently somewhat like Slant’s Nick Shager, I was largely left cold by the portion of the film I managed to stay awake through. I’m not sure I’d be as critical of its moral stance, or lack thereof, on the Whites, but I found myself wondering just what the vignettes about the various family members — who are perhaps too numerous for clarity — and their purportedly fun-loving dysfunction add up to. I’m not sure how I feel about the way director Nitzberg flirts with celebrating a clan whose members abuse themselves and each other to this degree. It’s still possible I might find something more there in a less tired state and, if this sounds in any way interesting, you’d be well advised to check out the not so safe for work trailer.

I should also add that, in terms of a crowd vibe, the mood at the Los Angeles Film Festival screening could not have been a happier or more upbeat one. I spoke to some really nice people there who really seemed to enjoy it and “get” the film a lot more than I — and the post-screening dancing by Jesco White, backed up by a terrific bluegrass trio, was something else.

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