Sunday, February 11, 2007

Muriel Awards: Best Screenplay

Frank Costello: Have a seat, Bill.
[Costigan sits down at Costello's dinner table]
Frank Costello: [while eating crab] Do you know John Lennon?
Billy Costigan: Yeah, sure, he was the president before Lincoln.
Frank Costello: Lennon said, "I'm an artist. You give me a fucking tuba, I'll get you something out of it."
Billy Costigan: [sarcastically] Well I tell you Mr. Costello, I'd like to squeeze some fucking money out of it.
Frank Costello: Smart mouth. Too bad. If you'll indulge me...
[sees Gwen leaving]
Frank Costello: Now what?
Gwen: Choir practice.
Frank Costello: [annoyed] Choir practice.
[Costello pulls out a severed human hand]
Frank Costello: The point I'm making with John Lennon is - a man could look at anything, and make something out of it. For instance, I look at you and I think "what could I use you for?"

"Of course it's sharp and compelling and formally impressive; what surprises is that this film, built around twin life-or-death situations and constructed from slickness and paranoia, is funny. Really funny. (Best exchange, bar none: "How's your mother?" "Good. Still tired from fucking my father.") The premise, imported from the HK action winner Infernal Affairs, turns out to be as close to unfuckupable as most people suspected, and all Monahan and Scorsese really had to do was give the plot wheels a little push and everything would have turned out fine. Instead of that just-add-water approach that would have enticed lesser filmmakers into creating a mere punch-press modest entertainment, they aim big. Infernal Affairs is infused with a marvelous sense of local Boston color and enough close character work to propel the average novel; these inclusions transform the film from a crackerjack thriller into something more satisfying -- a gusting tapestry of human nature under pressure, at turns hilarious and heart-stopping." ~ Steven Carlson

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12 comments:

Jenny Sekwa said...

Even though we don't have a category, I hereby vote Steve's "blurb" on The Departed, "BEST EFFIN MOVIE MINI-CRITIQUE OF 2006"

I bow to you, sir.

Paul C. said...

Having read them all, I'd hold out judgment until they've all been posted.

But what do I know? I'm just a bear! I suck the heads off of fish!

James said...

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, woefully underwatched.

I think one of the halmarks of the great director is the ability to take B grade material and make it sensational. Hitchcock made a career out of it, and Scorsese did a wonderful job with The Departed.

Steve said...

Thank you Ms. Sekwa, but I think the best thing about anything I've written on The Departed was when I quoted Andy Nowicki at length about the homosexual implications in the film.

And if we're nominating stuff, I hereby nominate that line from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang as Best Non Sequitor of the Decade.

Steve said...

In other news, The Onion AV Club Film Poll results are up. Paul and I scored two quotes, and brand-new papa Kza scored one. Huzzah!

Paul C. said...

Not only did we get quoted, but my top 3 picks ended up taking the top 3 spots in the poll (although not in the same order). So I'm pretty pumped about that.

And KISS KISS BANG BANG is full of great non sequiturs- the dude in the robot suit, the repartee between Mr. Frying Pan and Mr. Fire, and so forth. So trying to pick just one is futile, and sort of detracts from the rest of them.

Ain't It Cool News is so misguided most of the time, but they were dead-on when they proclaimed KKBB to have the potential to be this decade's THE BIG LEBOWSKI. I hope they were right that, 5 years from now, I'll walk into a video store somewhere and hear some random college-aged guy extolling the virtues of KISS KISS BANG BANG to his uninitiated friend. Then I'll think, "yeah... I was in on the ground floor, buddy."

James said...

I remember watching The Big Lebowski in 8th grade and LOVING it. Four years later, every other person in my high school claimed to be an expert.

I can't imagine Kiss Kiss Bang Bang reaching the cult-fame of TBL, though. It's a great movie, but nowhere near as funny as Lebowski, or even was watchably weird.

Kza said...

a) Technically, I'm not a new dad yet, but, hopefully, I will at 8:15pm PST.

b) Steve, thanks for posting the link to the Onion poll - I forgot about it.

c) Onion poll was a bitch this year for me -- last year, I gave great blurb (imo), but this year it was blood-from-stone time. Luckily, they printed the best one I had.

e) That really is an awesome Departed blurb, Steve

f) Dude, where's my baby?

Paul C. said...

Congrats, Kent. What's the status on the little one?

Steve- Tobias gave us both shout-outs in the talkback. Maybe I shouldn't be geeking out, but what the hell, it's my birthday. I'm just in a good mood all around.

Kza said...

Baby found: Laura Mae Beeson, 2/13/07, 12:58am, 6lbs 10oz, 19" long. My nose.

Steve said...

Steve- Tobias gave us both shout-outs in the talkback. Maybe I shouldn't be geeking out, but what the hell, it's my birthday. I'm just in a good mood all around.

I saw that! It took all I could do not to post something like "OMIGOD SCOTT TOBIAS TOLD ME GOOD JOB! OMIGOD!" Because that would just be bad form.

Paul C. said...

Welcome Laura Mae Beeson! Hey Kent, how long do you think before she'll be cinema-savvy enough to vote in the Muriels?