Category Archives: Film

Archangel’s Movie Car Collection

When I have more money than I know what to do with, I’ve decided that instead of burning it for warmth, I’ll buy a stable of famous movie cars. I don’t need them to be the ones that were actually filmed (although that would rock), just be the same model. Therefore, every car in my list was once a production model. No Batmobiles or Death-mobiles, unless someone decides to mass produce them, and I doubt we’ll ever get a street legal Death-mobile. Besides the Pinto and Corvair.
     While I’m waiting to win the lottery or invent some perfect stock scam, I’ll be writing a series of articles to commemorate them and educate you on why I’m so damn cool. In researching these cars and movies, I found a few cool sites:

The Internet Movie Car Database. Thorough for some films, completely lacking for others.

Hemmings Motor News
These guys have an excellent classifieds section, both for cars and parts. The parts listing in particular is very extensive. They also sponsor(ed?) the TV show My Classic Car with Dennis Gage, which apparently is only on Speed now.

British database of cars. They also have auction listings and past results.

Collector Car Trader Online
Part of the “Trader Online” sites.

duPont Registry
You won’t find any candidates for restoration here, they deal exclusively with cars you can’t afford. All classics are restored, at least as far as I’ve seen. It’s also the standard for selling your used Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Rolls, etc.

Upcoming cars:
Animal House: 1961 Corvette
Better Off Dead: 1967 Camaro
Cruel Intentions: 1956 Jaguar XK-140
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: 1962 Ford Anglia
and more!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Spoiler-free Review

Granted, there’s not a huge reason to review this film. It’s the fourth in a fantastic series; if you’re reading this, there’s little chance you’re going to miss it. Because that would be stupid. So I’ll just provide some supplemental material to make you a more informed viewer.

First, Alfonso Cuaron gets the gas face. This bastard (who directed Prisoner of Azkaban) convinced Goblet of Fire director Mike Newell to NOT do a Kill Bill and create two movies from the book, released a few months apart. That was the original, glorious plan. While the movie is great as is, it does a major hatchet job on the plot in the book. As a result, many subplots and nuances are removed; the Dursleys and Molly and Percy Weasley don’t even show up. This is a sad way to treat a great book. To those who were planning on watching the movie and skipping the book to get onto the others, that’s no longer an option. You would be doing yourself a huge disservice, not to mention making books 5 and 6 a bit harder to understand.

And as Agent Assassin asked, didn’t the producers want to make twice as much money? You’d think with an extra $300M+ at stake, they could have paid off Cuaron to convince Newell to do the extra movie. Or just paid Newell extra to do it (he only got $1M, vs. $10M + percentage of gross for Sorcerer’s Stone director Chris Columbus).

Speaking of Cuaron, he declined directing Goblet of Fire because he said he’d still be working on Prisoner of Azkaban. This answers the question of how they’re getting them out so quickly (one every 1.5 years) – overlapping production. Must be quite the marathon for the actors.

Speaking of actors, Emma Watson is definitely coming of age. As Ms. Watson is (ahem) a few years my junior, I thought my mind should perhaps not be wandering in that direction. Then I found out every other guy thinks she’s hot, so it’s ok. Heck, Ebert called it when she was 12, in his Chamber of Secrets review. There are, in fact, two “countdown to 18” clocks for Emma, even though the age of consent in England is 16: (love the anime drawing)

Of course, for those worried about not looking as good as the actors in the film, another bit of trivia from the IMDB said they used computers to digitally remove any skin outbreaks, as makeup wasn’t cutting it in in the closeups. Amusingly they said they used the same process as Desperate Housewives, confirming that it doesn’t get any better with age.

I was asked to comment on watchability for kids, since this is the first Harry Potter film to get the PG-13 rating. While there is some scary/creepy imagery, it’s not very gory. Some dead bodies, sure. However, I definitely think it’s tamer than Star Wars III. If your kid’s 13, go for it. Especially if you can see it at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, that would be an experience they’d long remember. Heck, it almost makes me wish I had kids to share it with. Almost. Please don’t send me your kids.


I saw Closer tonight, which I thought was extremely well written. It’s one of those films I could tell was adapted from a play, which made it better. Of course, I love dialogue films, so I’m biased (but that’s why you’re reading this). I think I was most surprised at how often I laughed, considering the dour themes and crumbling love lives, deceit and verbal evisceration. However… However. Rumors of a topless Natalie Portman have been greatly exaggerated. If I missed them (and believe me, I was looking for them, desperately) I’ll watch it again. Don’t get me wrong, you see quite a bit of her, and she is just so desirable it’ll confirm your faith in God and screenwriters.
     On a related note, I can also see why there’s a ground swell of support for Clive Owen as the new James Bond. While a tremendously different genre, he came across as powerful, sharp, dark. Jude Law has reportedly stated he’s not interested in the role, and just as well. I do like his work, and I think he’d do a fine job, but Clive would do better.

Team America: Puppet Police

The genre where Roger Ebert and I have our rare disagreements is what I call “pure comedy”. These are movies designed to make you laugh the whole way through, plot and character development be damned. I love a well crafted film as much as the next guy, but if I’m laughing hysterically throughout the whole film, that’s good enough. For him, not so much.
     Team America falls into that category. It’s being billed as an equal opportunity offender, and that’s about right. It attacks the whiney liberal actors and the at-all-costs right wingers with equal aplomb. As well as formula action movies. It’s pretty hilarious throughout.
     The whole thing is done with puppets, inspired by the series The Thunderbirds, and some of the humor is from puppets trying to show drama (or walking, or having sex). They thought it would be a great way to make fun of formula action flicks, especially 80’s Bruckheimer films. Actually, their original plan was to do an all-puppet version of The Day After Tomorrow, which they thought was already very funny. Without the “benefit” of having seen that film, I think this was probably the right way to go.

Directing 101

I was just watching the “making of” featurette of The Girl Next Door. The producer (I think) said “the studio” thought Elisha Cuthbert was good enough to play a girl next door, but might not be sexy enough to be portray a porn star.


You get a girl as hot as Elisha, and make her convince you she can play sexy. This was a great bargaining tactic, as she said on the commentary she didn’t want to do full-nude like “the studio” wanted. So they tell her, “actually, we’re not even sure you’re sexy enough the play the part.”


So still no full-nude, but way closer, and a fantastic performance that made me think, “Wow, it looks like she’s actually had sex before.” For those never blessed by her visage, I got some great wallpaper here. Ah, what the heck, this blog could use some eye candy…

Clerks II: Electric Boogaloo

Kevin Smith has decided to make a sequel to Clerks. I seem to recall him saying that this would never happen, so why now? It’s a confidence builder, both for him and Miramax. After the relatively poor performance of Jersey Girl ($10M loss before video), he wants to do something low cost ($5M) and high profit. In other words, a great investment/gift for Miramax.
     If this sounds familiar, it should. It’s exactly what he did after Mallrats tanked ($2M gross, $6M budget): make Chasing Amy for $250K, which grossed over $12M.

This might sound harsh, and if you don’t like it, you can read E!’s more subtlely biased version. Smith’s “cranking out” a screenplay? Somehow I doubt that, a-hole.

Welcome To The Garden State

I saw Garden State tonight. It was definitely good, but I got myself psyched up for brilliance, or at least something that spoke to me on a very personal level. There it fell short. Oh, as a hopeful screenwriter, it spoke to me, mainly as a guy who would love to write a screenplay that attracted Natalie Portman, then cast myself as the guy who gets to kiss her. That connection was made, wide and deep.
     But as a guy who spent his formative years in Jersey (2/3 of my life, really), I felt there was very little to connect to. We are taught in screenwriting to come up with a great title, something that tells you what the film is about. When you’re stuck, or feel off course, you can go back to it like a compass. Garden State, however, is about its main character, Andrew Largeman. (Perhaps Largeman didn’t test as well.) Even though we both left Jersey for SoCal about 9 years ago, I didn’t feel we shared the same background. I felt Clerks “got” Jersey far better. This could’ve been set in many other states.
     It’s a charming movie, though, and a great freshman effort. While the writing could have been tightened, the directing was solid. He had some strong, memorable visuals, and a soundtrack so good I was pissed I couldn’t buy it immediately. The performances were great, albeit from a fantastic cast. I’m not sure why I like Peter Sarsgaard so much, maybe it’s the credibility he lends to scenes. He’s also exudes a certain intensity.

My favorite line from Ebert’s review:

She is Sam (Natalie Portman), a local girl who is one of those creatures you sometimes find in the movies, a girl who is completely available, absolutely desirable and really likes you.