TORO! :: bull by the horns

an online compendium of culture and commentary

Archive for February, 2008

poster art for the cult set

Posted by rollinsloane on 29 February 2008

sweet warriors movie poster by tyler stout

Courtesy of the fine folks over at /film:

Two words: Tyler Stout.  This man needs some cinephile lovin, so pucker up.  In an age of Photoshop and shamefully juvenille studio graphics, this dude has managed to triumph with good old pen-and-ink, winning over the likes of retro-master Quentin Tarantino thanks to an f-ing rad gift for uber-detail.  With posters for movies, concerts and film festivals under his belt (not to mention fabric — there are some sweet hoodies on the market, s’all I’m saying), Mr. Stout has an impressive resume already going; as soon as I get my blockbuster monster-movie epics in the works (any decade now…), I’ll be enlisting him for some iconic design.


sweet movie poster for big trouble in little china by tyler stout


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in bruges – close, but not quite

Posted by rollinsloane on 29 February 2008

I can pretty much tell whether or not I’m going to like a movie by what Roger Ebert says about it –a thumbs-up from that senile old windbag and I know I can save myself a trip to the Cineplex.  (This is the clinically insane reviewer who mistook Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe for “enchanting” instead of “atrocious,” after all). So when Ebert gifted In Bruges with a 4-star crown, my heart sank. I had so wanted to like this movie.

Scripted and helmed by acid-tongued playwright Martin McDonaugh (whose Broadway production of The Lieutenant of Inishmore oscillated spectacularly between hysterical and appallingly grisly), In Bruges sticks two Irish hitman into wee Belgium’s most picturesque city and waits for sparks to fly. The conceit is certainly there, and the cast is game. Colin Farrell steps up to the plate as a soft-hearted crime neophyte in way over his head, while Brendan Gleeson (gifted with one of those gloriously froggy faces forever doomed to character work or radio) plays pseudo-uncle as a gentlemanly seen-it-all pro.  Even Ralph Fiennes eschews his usual man-of-few-words gloom to exude some charisma as the duo’s feisty employer, an aggressive kingpin with a strict moral code.

The pieces are all there, but first-time director McDonaugh simply lacks the elusive cinematic glue that could let them gel into a greater whole.  The beats are off; the verbal rat-a-tat of his plays lags on screen, with the boys’ amiable, expletive banter either repeating endlessly or stalling short of relevance.  A few shots pop from the screen with visual wit, especially when a paunchy falling body explodes all over Bruges’s signature cobblestones, but the movie’s overall look is hum-drum and cable-ready.

The script also slings around some wordy, hateful barbs about race and obesity and dwarves that seem geared to antagonize rather than go in any prescribed direction.  Must midgets always be so harped upon?  The ending becomes a beautiful knot of narrative threads, but the dialogue that flavors the journey is either ponderous or left-field.  In Bruges could have used an editor with as hack a mentality as its bloated script.


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when I think ignoble deaths, I think ‘deep blue sea’

Posted by rollinsloane on 28 February 2008

New York Magazine‘s online Vulture squad — one hell of a pop culture crack-unit — is pretty much my Google Reader equivalent of the daily paper, and typically generates Top 10 lists to put the AV Club to shame.  They served it up right today with “Ten Beloved Characters, Ten Ignoble Deaths,” compiling a bunch of lame-death/cool-character combos to honor The Wire‘s latest undeserving victim.  Donny from The Big Lebowski was an obvious choice (not to mention prelude to filmdom’s most awesome eulogy ever), and list-topper Jesus (from The Passion) a total f-ing cop-out, but damn if #9 ain’t the saddest demise in shark-movie history.  When Deep Blue Sea‘s Samuel L. Jackson first got it from behind, it sent my teen heart leaping straight back at the screen.

 — Sloane

PS — The LA Times amused itself last week with an untimely but totally true career re-cap of the many hair stylings of y’all’s favorite Mr. Jackson.  Never would the NY Times print such offbeat non-news, and thus has the LA Times indefinitely proved to me its far superior worth.

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ahem…phallic, much?

Posted by rollinsloane on 28 February 2008

I don’t know how I missed this beaut the first time around, but jeez, have a gander at the poster art for Marky Mark’s recent starring role.

shooter movie poster

Shooter? For god’s sake, this thing looks like it came straight out of the San Fernando Valley. My good ol roommate Marcie brought the DVD home last night (straight out of the Blockbuster discount bin — yes, she still goes there) and I thought she’d suddenly developed a thing for soft-core.


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we heart

Posted by rollinsloane on 28 February 2008

TiVo’s great, but when’s the last time you watched it at work? Turn to during those midday doldrums for a quick TV infusion. And no, I’m not talking Office re-runs either. Check this: Way Back Wednesdays, NBC’s retro headquarters featuring the C-grade likes of A-Team, Battlestar Galatica (70s version!), The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Buck Rogers and, yes, Miami Vice. Full episodes, clips, interviews — the works, and all without a DVD player. Yeah, you love it. Why didn’t VH1 think of this?


Warning: there are internet commercials to deal with, but you have to look busy when the boss comes by anyway. Nothing in this life is free (except intern slave labor!).

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get out the andre — we’re back

Posted by rollinsloane on 28 February 2008

So we finally got ourselves some minimum-wage jobs and assumed that even slave-labor cog work in the bowels of a fashion magazine would be mildly entertaining, but here we are, crawling back five weeks later, bored to tears. Get ready for more pop culture lovin, coming at you the way god intended — unencumbered by the inferior grammatical stylings of some overbearing “managing” editor.

— Sloane, Rafe & Ollie

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