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ISSUE #109
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Features

ArrowPayback Time
If Republicans lose Congress, don't assume things will change
Matt Taibbi

ArrowAre You Radioactive Football?
Why “dirty bomb hoax” is redundant
Hank Williams Jr.

ArrowMurrah Redux
9/11 Truth is a bald regurgitation of a silly tale we heard ten years ago
Matt Taibbi

Local BEAST

ArrowTom & Sally Take a Trip
Foley Shmoley! Reynolds has scandal all his own.
Allan Uthman

ArrowRepresentative Royale!

ArrowBeast Calling
We call Eliot Spitzer's campaign to see just what "on the first day everything changes" means.

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Inoperable Sump Pump

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
The Prestige, The Departed, Employee of the Month, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Chuckleside, Konspiracy Kops, Happy Clam Sends Mindless Bias, Kid Power and more

Kino Korner

 


The Prestige | The Departed | Employee of the Month
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning


The Departed

The DepartedYou know how when you see a commercial for a movie the words edge of your seat thriller and landmark movie sometimes get thrown around liberally? These quotes are sometimes from such sources as The Wonkokoma Tribune, The Podunk Chronicle or some obscure website like skerkwhistle.com, but these words usually flash on the screen too quickly for you to notice. Even if the source of the quote is known for some validity, those few shreds are sure to be discredited once you see the movie they praise because White Chicks is not a “laugh out exercise in comic genius worthy of praise no matter who you are;” I don’t care what anybody says.

I learned a long time ago that there is not one person out there whose opinion of film matches with mine 100%. The person who I thought was my cinematic soulmate years ago recommended Tank Girl to me and I haven’t recovered since. Since that day I haven’t paid attention to a movie review. And regardless of how “really, really good” someone has found a movie to be and just felt the unrelenting urge to tell me about it, I haven’t listened.

If I was reading a film review where the critic said they don’t pay attention to movie reviews I have to admit that I’d be pretty confused. I’d have to wonder what pharmaceuticals they were on, where I could get some and why the hell would someone who doesn’t trust or pay attention to movie reviews write them?

The answer to that last part for me is The Departed.

Let’s say that every movie that comes out in a year is put all in one place. Inside a bag of microwave popcorn, for instance. And let’s say that every movie studio or Hollywood is a really crappy microwave oven. An oven that’s got some part of it not properly working so that heat distribution is uneven and some of those popcorn kernels are overcooked or not cooked at all. Some don’t turn out at all. They’re just slightly warmed, inconsumable, unenjoyable beebles at the bottom of the bag that just never popped and will get thrown away and forgotten about because you don’t want to waste the time, effort and energy to find out something you already know. Then we’ve got the kernels that are just overdone and burnt to shit. If the smell of these blackened cinders doesn’t make you gag the taste will. Someone in an office somewhere was overcome with smog poisoning a long time ago and has since been unable to determine how much of the shit they blow out of their ass on a daily basis is real and what they’re using to try and sell someone with the mindset of an 8 year-old on making a movie. So they just eat it all and believe that if they can market burnt popcorn well enough that everyone will eat it. And to the credit of these guys, they sometimes get a lot of people to go for burnt popcorn.

But given the microwave popcorn scenario and the law of averages, you’re bound to get that perfect piece of popcorn eventually. I call this piece The Departed. It’s fluffy and buttery enough to not give you heart congestion. It’s written so brilliantly that you have no clue in hell what’s going to happen even though you think you’ve got it all wrapped up in your head. Martin Scorsese directs this film so superbly as he blends his classic and newer styles together so flawlessly that I will personally start a nationwide riot in the streets and place if he doesn’t get Best Director for The Departed. I’ll place a bounty of my entire DVD collection on the head of whoever does win. And it doesn’t consist solely of the Lord of the Rings movies and an unopened copy of The Perfect Storm from five Christmases ago covered in dust on top of my DVD player, if that gives you any indication as to what I’m talking about here.

While calling the writing and direction of The Departed “extremely impressive” would be a gross understatement, the acting in itself is also Oscar-worthy. Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon as the rats in the opposing houses as the undercover cop and the mob rat on the inside had me believing that they could both have crap in their pants for most of the movie as simple plot twists slowly became knots. Mark Wahlberg also shows his chops in full-on prick mode. But if I got nothing else out of The Departed it was that Jack Nicholson can still act. He seems to have abandoned that club he founded with Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro where they no longer feel the need to act, but merely show up to the set of any given movie. The hat I don’t wear is off to you Mr. Nicholson, and I take back everything I wrote about you on the bathroom wall at NYU film school.

If nothing written in this review is convincing enough to force an outing to the local theater, that’s fine. But The Departed also forced me into one of my most-hated movie theater behaviors that only the few rare greats made me do. That’s right, The Departed made me yell constantly at the screen for the last seven minutes before the credits rolled. And this was a Friday afternoon in the suburbs. Imagine me later that night downtown. Forget about it…

 

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