Tag Archive | "The Kid in the Helmet"

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The Kid in the Helmet Gets Old With Jay and Silent Bob

Posted on 17 February 2012 by Reel Rhino

I promise you…I’ve not gotten lazy, just busy.  I must turn to THE KID IN THE HELMET, my trusted compatriot to pick up some slack for me.  I have seen Safe House (4 of 5 Horns) and I felt compelled to go and see the 3-D Phantom Men-ASS…yes, you can infer from that terrible joke, that I find the Episode I calamity, my least favorite of the George Lucas’s saga…


I leave you in the safe capable hands of The Kid in the Helmet…take it away, Kid:


Hello Reel Rhino reader, The Kid in the Helmet here once again.

So, a couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a Fathom event at AMC Barrywoods. For those who don’t know, Fathom puts live events on the big screen around the country. This was something I never thought I would do as the only Fathom events I have ever seen advertised prior were for the ballet, the opera, and some sort of Glenn Beck thing. Nothing I would spend money on. But for those of you who have read my contributions to Rhino’s blog before you know I am a big Kevin Smith fan. So when I heard he would be doing a Fathom event featuring a live recording of one of his many podcasts, “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old,” (http://smodcast.com/channels/jay-silent-bob-get-old/), it was like they had decided to do this show for me alone, and I felt like a very special boy, indeed.

(Reel Rhino note…I added that last line.  The Kid is by far in the top 7 to 12 Kevin Smith fans…in the world.)

My dad (Papa Schmer) tagged along with me and we arrived an hour early to ensure a good seat. This turned out to not be necessary as there were only about 10-15 people in the theater…but when it’s streamed all across the country, the crowd adds up, I suppose. Things started off a little rough with some technical difficulties…they were late getting the show running by about 5-10 minutes and then there was another 5-10 minutes of sound but no picture. But it eventually got squared away, and for a 20 minute run of technical issues, AMC was kind enough to give us a pass for a free movie, so all’s well that ends well.

Jay and Silent Bob Get Old was as funny as always. It began with a conversation around Kevin’s dog Skully who was slowly passing away…doesn’t sound like a funny topic I know, so I guess I’ll just say you’d have to hear it to realize that much like Kevin can do with even the most morose of topics, he spins it just right.  Check it out if so inclined. The rest of the show mostly revolved around Kevin telling a story about trying to keep his large pet tortoise from…how shall I put this…making unwanted coitus with his smaller pet tortoise. Funny stuff, so give it a listen.

After the podcast Kevin and Jay came back out and did a Q&A taking questions from the audience in the theater as well as the audience all over the country via Twitter. The big news from the Q&A was that Jay and Silent Bob will be returning to the big screen.

(Reel Rhino note….WHA, WHA, WHA….WHAT! ~ nice!)

Recently Jay came to Kevin and told him he was bored and looking from something to work on. Kevin tossed him a script he had written for an animated Jay and Silent Bob movie. Jay went off on his own and got it financed and produced. It is called “Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie.” It will premier this year at the Toronto International Film Festival and then Kevin will take it on the road similar to last year’s Red State road show. While it is mostly animated it will also feature a live action portion for which Kevin any Jay will don the costumes once again. For more details on this and many other Smith related things check out this exclusive interview with the man himself:


Overall I would rate the Fathom event experience 4.5 out of 5 Helmets. It loses a half a helmet due to the technical difficulties. Kevin will be doing another one of these soon with another podcast, Hollywood Babble-On, his weekly Hollywood Poop  Chute with Ralph Garmin, made famous for his Silent Bob-esque role as the speechless Caleb in Smith’s Red State.  No, actually, he is quite a well renowned voice actor and notable DJ on KROQ in Los Angeles.   He is funny and great with impersonations….only the penitent man will pass…penitent man, penitent man….(Harrison Ford).  So look for that soon and check it out.

The cost was only $15 bucks…pretty cheap for a fun and different movie going experience.  Hell, I heard the Reel Rhino once paid $17 to see The Jonas Brothers 72 minute concert movie….sucker.  I got a 3 hour show…now that’s buying power!

Thanks Kid! You are always a welcome addition to the site…also good at picking up my slack!  I promise to return soon with some reviews, pithy comments on life, and all around goodness.

Take care…

Reel Rhino

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50/50, Tucker and Dale, Dream House; The Kid Reviews Drive and Moneyball

Posted on 03 October 2011 by Reel Rhino

My writings have been light as of late…when I sit in my chair at night, I can barely keep my eyes open.  I am a tired, tired man…

But life is for living, so tired I shall be, but I am having loads of fun along the way.  Within that loads of fun is one of my favorite pastimes, catching flicks.

I will say it has been harder lately to walk into the theater, leaving temperate 70 degree, sunny days outside and to head for the climate control, darkened theaters.  But my love of cinema often outweighs my desire to enjoy a nice day.  Movies are my therapy.  They keep me well adjusted.  They let me laugh, wince, and sometimes cry or even sob at the exploits of larger than life characters.

My most recent flick was just such a day at the theater…

50/50 – 4.5/5 Horns
This has been billed as a cancer comedy, but it is anything but that.  Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of laugh out loud moments, but this is a great drama through and through.  Seth Rogen is funny and just hearing him spout everyday dialogue brings a smile to my face, but what he gets right are depictions of the relationships that exist between longtime friends.  Friends in their 20’s who make jokes with each other above shaving balls and getting laid…you are right, I am not going to crack jokes with a co-worker about blow-jobs or getting pissy drunk, but if you rally the three amigos, the gloves come off.

Seth Rogen gets this right.

And in this film, the story of Will (Joseph Gordon Levitt), Rogen’s real-life friend who (spoiler alert)….survives cancer.  This film depicts the many stages of enduring such a life trauma and as a useful plot device, even gives us a therapist to spell out the different stages that we are seeing on screen.  The therapist scenes may have played out as too didactic if not for adding the presence of the magical Anna Kendrick, a young star that is rivaled by few.

Throw in a sprig of Bryce Dallas Howard, a dash of Angelica Houston, and an Alzheimer’s subplot; when mixed appropriately with Rogen, you get the best of both worlds:  The laughs that come with a realistic depiction of friendship and facing challenges with those friends but also the retching pain that comes with that same realistic depiction, but in dealing with the deepest of cuts.  Treading water while headed for the falls, this film makes you smile in one moment and tears your heart out the next.

This movie worked for me, but it may not for you…mixing cancer and laughs, regardless of my opinion, is frowned upon by quite a few people.  My theater had some walk outs, but in the moments of catharsis in this film, there were shared moments of both heartbreak and joy.

If you think you might like this movie, give it a try.  It is the kind of flick I don’t know that I will ever want to see again, but I am better for having seen it once.

Will Reiser was urged by Rogen to pen this flick, after surviving the dreaded.  I think for Rogen’s unique blend of pot humor, sex jokes, and interesting sounding voice (and laugh), the entertainment industry is a much better place with him around.

Oh Canada….

Dream House 1/5 Horns
A movie directed by Jim Sheridan, starring Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Naomi Watts, has a great sounding line-up, but absolutely fails in its mechanics and delivery.  This movie failed on every level for me and it really got me thinking about the nature of films in general.  I see a Shutter Island like premise on the face of this, and while the combo is way short of Marty and Leo, I am sure that Dream House started with fairly lofty aspirations.  I wonder when along the road to release, if ever, that the filmmaker, the studio, or anyone involved with the film, realized it was a stinker.  Do they still believe in the film, the same way they did in pre-production, when they had a clear vision of what the movie would be?  The moniker of Alan Smithee is always available for those directors who wish to disassociate themselves with the end product.  But few directors would ever do such a thing.  I mean it must be better to be working and making garbage than to be jobless and looking too needy, right?

I guess if I mean anything from this rambling, it is this.  I can forgive most films, if only those involved with making it can admit what they have done.  Make a movie that fails to reach an audience….any audience.  Own it.  Own the bombs in the Hollywood system…own them and get behind them.  When a movie drops and drops hard, make week three a live-cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000, or something.  Have a showing synced nationwide where everyone live-tweets a roast of the flick.

If the film industry would become self-aware, the world would be a better place.

Self aware?  Kind of like…

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil 4/5 Horns
I love movies like this….this is the anti-hollywood movie.  This film is self-aware…A flick made for just under $3 million by a first time filmmaker (Eli Craig) with a couple of culti-fanboy fav-leads (Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine).  If you don’t listen to the Slashfilm Cast, you should, but definitely catch the after-dark with Eli Craig (Slashfilm).

Tucker and Dale is pure genre fun.  A horror comedy in the vein of Evil Dead 2, with high production values on a budget, drawing the most possible from the building materials provided.

Tucker and Dale are “hillbillies” and in this story, its the same old story, the hillbilly clan versus the city folks, except it is nothing you expect and everything you will love, I promise.

So this is part review, part rant, but for all I do, its all I have for now…Check out Tucker and Dale in most forms of Video On Demand, or beginning this past weekend, it became available in 30 markets nationwide and may be expanding soon.  According to the director, after a few weeks in the theater, Tucker and Dale will be making their way to Netflix Watch Instantly…keep an eye out!

He is back!!  And he is bringing some much needed journalistic integrity to this post.  Kid, it’s always a pleasure to have you!

Hello Reel Rhino readers. Part time correspondent The Kid in the Helmet here, checking in with a couple quick reviews…

I have been looking forward to this one for quite some time as I am a huge baseball fan. And living in Kansas City and being a die-hard Royals fan I can sympathize with the predicament the book/movie presents: How can small market teams like The Oakland A’s succeed in a baseball culture that pits the rich against the poor. Currently sitting at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes it is summarized as follows, “Based on a true story, Moneyball is a movie for anybody who has ever dreamed of taking on the system. Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s and the guy who assembles the team, who has an epiphany: all of baseball’s conventional wisdom is wrong. Forced to reinvent his team on a tight budget, Beane will have to outsmart the richer clubs. The onetime jock teams with Ivy League grad Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) in an unlikely partnership, recruiting bargain players that the scouts call flawed, but all of whom have an ability to get on base, score runs, and win games. It’s more than baseball, it’s a revolution – one that challenges old school traditions and puts Beane in the crosshairs of those who say he’s tearing out the heart and soul of the game.”

For me this movie is as close to perfect as movies get. As Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane says, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?” And while I would agree I will say that I would qualify that by saying, “How can you not be romantic about baseball…if you are already in love with baseball?” Those who are not hard core fans of America’s Pastime may find the movie a bit slow. But for baseball geeks like me it ranks in the top tier of baseball movies along with Field of Dreams, Bull Durham , The Sandlot, and Major League.

While perhaps not as dynamic or over the top as his characters in Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, or Inglorios Basterds; Pitt’s performance as Beane is one of his best. You truly believe he is a, “baseball guy,” who, “hates losing more than he wants to win, and they are two different things.”

Jonah Hill is a delight as always. It was really neat to see a versatile side of him. He tackles the dramatic moments with ease and excellence while still maintaining the sense of humor we have come to know and love from his many comedies. I look forward to more dramatic roles from him in the future, which are most certainly on the way after this performance.

This is a different type of baseball movie than we are used to seeing. It is far more about what goes on behind the scene of a Major League Baseball team than it is showing dramatic on the field sports moments. In that way it is kind of the Jerry Maguire of Baseball Movies. That said, Royals fans will be excited to see their Boys in Blue featured in the one scene with the most on field action. I found myself cheering for the fictional on screen version of the 2002 Royals. Yes, something is seriously wrong with me.

So while big time baseball fans will probably take more away from Moneyball, there is still a lot to enjoy for the casual fan. The summer blitz of blockbusters is over and right now Moneyball is one of your best bets for your entertainment dollar. I give it 5 out of 5 KC Royals batting helmets.

Last week I had the chance to see “Drive.” Currently sitting at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes it is summarized as such, “Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can’t help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac). After a heist intended to pay off Standard’s protection money spins unpredictably out of control, Driver finds himself driving defense for the girl he loves, tailgated by a syndicate of deadly serious criminals. But when he realizes that the gangsters are after more than the bag of cash in his trunk-that they’re coming straight for Irene and her son-Driver is forced to shift gears and go on offense.”

This is definitely an interesting flick and one that will keep you thinking for a few days after you see it. Taken strictly as a performance piece it is spectacular. Ryan Gosling delivers a quiet, understated performance as the sad yet confident Driver. Fans of AMC’s Breaking Bad and Mad Men will recognize the familiar faces of Bryan Cranston and Christina Hendricks, respectively. Cranston plays a two bit criminal who gives Driver a job at his body shop and assists him with his “extra-curricular activities” by providing souped-up get away vehicles. Sadly, Hendricks is given far less to do in this one as she takes part in the botched robbery and then falls victim to what happens to those who are involved in botched robberies. It’s a shame because most audiences know what she is capable of and would have liked to see her in a more substantial role. Personally I would have preferred her over Carey Mulligan as the female lead. Her performance is more than admirable, but she’s no Christina Hendricks. Albert Brooks also delivers a masterfully performance as the Jewish Mafia Boss. Usually cast as a funny man it was interesting to see Brooks branch out and he is truly terrifying.

What struck me most about this movie is the fact that it’s a modern day western and yet has a feel and a soul that is very 80’s. Take the basic story line: Our hero has no name (Gosling is billed simply as, “Driver”). He is the, “strong silent type.” He appears to be a bad guy, but there is more too him than a typical criminal and there is good in him. He works with criminals but he is not the same. He is morally ambiguous. He falls in love with a girl and in order to help her and her son he agrees to do a job for the, “real bad guys.” Things go horribly wrong and much violence ensues. Remove the fast cars and replace them with fast horses and you have a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. Even the ending is (somewhat) ripped right from the 1953 classic western Shane.

Overall the title of this movie is misleading. There is not a whole lot of driving in the flick. The opening five minutes contains the most driving and is by far the best part of the film. Here is a quick tease of the first couple minutes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE1tqMUd4R8. The word Drive applies more to the ambition of Driver to do whatever it takes to help the woman he loves. There is some good action and violence but this is more of an Art House picture than an action popcorn flick. So if you are going in expecting to see The Transporter Part 37, you will be disappointed. It does drag in parts and is fairly depressing. But if you like watching actors act and want to see a movie that has a true vision, give it a shot. 3.5 out of 5 Driving Helmets for me.

Thanks Kid!  Until next time, this is Reel Rhino, saying so long…

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