Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Crank (2006)

Crank was, is, and will continue to be a totally bizarre, retarded, and utter blast of a movie. I didn't see this movie in the theater because, well, Transporter & Transporter 2 sucked. I mean sucked something unholy. Worse than bad exploitation anime. Jason Statham rules and I'm a big fan and enjoy his mugging and at times pure mean amounts of violence but his movies suck.

I don't know why I rented Crank - it was just one of those movies that I put in my netflix queue and then one day it arrives and I go, "What the fuck? When did I decide to rent this? Was I drunk?" So Sunday - I didn't have anything to watch so I threw it in.

Crank kicked ass. Ridiculous? Yep. Violent? Hell yep. T&A? Check and check. Techno/punk/LA rap? Indeed. Crazy camera work/lunatic angles/hyper kinetic editing tricks? You betcha. Crank had everything except Lou Diamond Phillips - now that would've been off the chain. Dwight Yokam was in it and I'm a big fan of his acting career so that was double plus good.

This is the kind of movie that is so absurd and insane that you have to just jump into it and drill some holes in your head and give in. Actually Crank might make for an acceptable double feature with The Big Hit.

American Hardcore (2006) Dir. Paul Rachman

I owned this book immediately after it was published. I coveted the way it was put together, almost as an anthology of punk rock show fliers. Steven Blush (author) essentially published his entire collection of hardcore memorabilia including photos, album covers, zines, etc. I feel that it gives a wonderful illustration of both the politics of the time and the DIY mentality.

With such a love for the book, it is difficult to approach the film objectively. To me, the essence of the book is screaming, snarling, bleeding youth which the movie quickly dispenses with by interviewing aging scene contributors like Tony Cadena (Adolescents), Al Barile (SS Decontrol), and of course a greying Henry Rollins (Black Flag).

As an introduction to what was happening in punk rock during the early to mid-eighties, I think that the film will turn on alot of kids that think bands like My Chemical Romance are punk. To people who have had a couple of kids, watch sitcoms and have otherwise completely forgotten their roots, I think the film will be a fun walk down memory lane with alot of, "Oh my God, I had completely forgotten about those guys."

Obviously, the film cannot go near as in depth as the book and leaves out alot of very important factors that the book addresses (The Misfits, Dead Kennedys, Necros, Youth Brigade, etc.) Another obvious point is that much of the archival footage looks bad and sounds worse. I realized about a third of the way through the film that they had taken live footage and edited the studio album recordings over it. In my opinion, it would have been alot better to use many of the outstanding photos in the book to illustrate points in the evolution of hardcore and have them narrated by some interviews.

All in all, a watchable and entertaining film for anyone interested in hardcore period.

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IQ 32 (Midwest Fuck You)