Wednesday, March 05, 2008

NOW PLAYING! MIKE GILBERT ON CINEMA


Okay, prepare for some cinema history Mike Gilbert style. Prepare to laugh. Prepare to fear for Mike being able to get enough oxygen to continue. Prepare to wonder why more bookish, esoteric film critics don't look at films the Mike Gilbert Way (and then muse about how many of them actually do!) Prepare to marvel at the end credit immediately following “Directed by Andrew Blackwood.” Did I say prepare to laugh? ‘Cause it’s funny. Here we go, the premiere of Andrew Blackwood’s (and Mike Gilbert’s) Mike Gilbert on Cinema.

I’ve already got my favorite quotes ready to go, but I won’t give anything away—Oh, all right, I can’t stand it. Here’s Mike, defiantly beginning the outline of his personal pantheon: “Yeah, I like Tom Cruise. Why wouldn’t I like Tom Cruise?”

Have fun!

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the most awesome thing I've ever seen ever.

Anonymous said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tucker said...

Mike Gilbert is an action movie. He is amazing. That's the most perfect speech of a "Mike Gilbert" perspective I've ever heard.

Needless to say, I don't hold to the "Mike Gilbert" perspective.

p.saga said...

Wow! I like a guy who knows what he likes, like Mike Gilbert does. (Like, you know?) Even if I don't share his taste in, um, greasy neon chicks and, uh, action. Mr. Gilbert's conviction--not to mention his improvisatorial prowess--is hot.

Even better I like a filmmaker who features his narrator walking around L.A. in between monologues, as if you might be able to hoof it between studios. Andrew, you are a comic genius and my hero. Well done!

MadderHatter said...

Mike Gilbert understands cinema in a way that few people who call themselves "cineastes" really do. Manly in his approach to film, Mike comes from a real place which emanates from his love of whiskey and his addiction to coeds in schoolgirl dresses and knee-high socks. And let's be frank, Mike would never be caught dead even using a word like "cineaste."

It shows in this piece.

During the early '90s, Mike and I spent a lot of time in the underground world of Thai "Bloodsport" fighting. "Gonzo" Gilbert, as we used to call him, could be a little out of control in the ring, but we all respected his love of hammer-locks and knee strikes. He applies that no-holds-barred style to this overview of American cinema as it should be.

It's about time someone said that we need more Tony Scott and Tom Cruise. It's about time that someone championed "greased-up" women in movies. And it's about time that someone called out Tim Burton on his Fall Out Boy fetish.

God bless you, Gonzo Mike. You're a proud American MAN.

Anonymous said...

It's good to know that crystal meth is making a big comeback. He said more in that 10 minutes than I've said all year.

Anonymous said...

Miami Vice isn't what I think movies should be like. Miami Vice is what I think LIFE should be like. Perfect

Dennis Cozzalio said...

At around a minute and a half into Mike Gilbert On Cinema comes this one:

"I like Indiana Jones—maybe a little brown for my taste. I prefer a blue sheen. He’s cool—he’s got a whip and everything, but it’d be a little more awesome if he was taking on Colombian drug dealers and shooting guns and racing a Ferrari with Crockett and Tubbs or something...”

From then on, I don't think I stopped laughing.

One of the things I love about the movie is that, even knowing MG, I’m not quite sure where to locate the line between put-on and real mania, or if the line even exists at all. Real or not, Blackwood fashions Gilbert’s breathless rants into a hilarious send-up of all-knowing, smart-ass, self-aware cinephiles for whom pre-1981 film barely exists, and all told from the belly of the beast. I think I know when Mike is kidding, but the hell of it is, he may not be! And if he is serious, then the rants become even funnier to me because of their sincerity. My own delighted reaction to his insane pitches indicates to me that it’s possible to appreciate Mike and this movie and still find the possibility that MGOC may be its star’s One from the Heart only slightly depressing. I finished up MGOC wanting more, which, from a filmmaker’s point of view, blue sheen or no, is a good thing.

Alex Jackson said...

Well, I thought it was rather overlong and the one-joke premise ran out of steam after a while.

It IS a funny joke though. Mike Gilbert strikes me specifically as a parody of the B-movie scholars populating Hollywood that sometimes show up on VCI's double feature DVDs. Like there were two or three scholars on the work of George Reeves who offer their expertise on the George Reeves "classics" Thunder in the Pines and Jungle Goddess.

I don't think Gilbert is a parody of people who refuse to see anything made before 1981, I think he's also a parody of people who refuse to see anything made AFTER 1981. He symbolizes a strain of cineastes blinded by arbitrary feelings of affection for one kind of film and unable to see the forest for the trees.

It's hardly the most awesome thing I've ever seen ever and it doesn't indicate to me one way or the other that Blackwood has promise as a filmmaker. I think it's more of a (admittedly clever and generally well-executed) goof than a coherent and thoughtful moral inquery. Certainly better than Slap though, that's for sure.

blaaagh said...

I like Mike Gilbert, though I've never met him and I disagree with everything he says. I also think Andrew Blackwood is a very promising filmmaker.

That was so much fun to watch--and yes, the way it's cut together, so that it looks like Mike is trudging on foot among all the studios, just tickles me to death, with his determined upright gait...I'm sure it would drive me crazy to spend a day with him, but I'm equally sure it would be a lot of fun.

GWB said...

Well, they were really nice shots of the film studios, but the guy in the blue shirt kept getting in the way. I couldn't make sense of what he was talking about, but I'm not an American and know nothing about baseball.

Larry Aydlette said...

I liked it. And he's right about Days of Thunder, by the way.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

"I'm sure it would drive me crazy to spend a day with him, but I'm equally sure it would be a lot of fun."

Blaaagh, I can attest to the likely accuracy of your statement here!

Alex: I agree that by the time we get to Universal Mike does double back on a few observations. But aside from those reservations, I felt the length was just about right. And I'd like to bravely stand up in defense of the clever and well-executed goof as well. While turning this movie over in my head last night, I started thinking of this movie as a sort of response to the documentary Cinemania from a few years ago which I suppose had elements of a moral inquiry about it. It followed these three very odd, kinda pathetic New Yorkers around as they live lives which turn out to be literally nothing but going to every goddamn movie they can see. It's a funny film, but the obsessiveness of the subjects becomes so smothering and sad that after a while the whole thing becomes somewhat depressing. Who knows-- Mike may have that side to him, and if Blackwood chose to emphasize that as a director MGOC might seem much different. But there's a spirit to both Mike's presence and Blackwood's touch as a director (exemplified by the use of Sousa) that prevents the scales from tipping too far in that direction, and that's okay with me. I'd rather get a buzz off of someone's cinephilia, whether I think his opinions are crazy or not, than come away shaking my head and being encouraged to think, "There, but for the grace of God..."

Larry: If you watch Seed of Chucky, I'll watch Days of Thunder. :) And I'm not trying to disparage Days of Thunder-- I've just never seen it, and I have heard very good things about it, especially Robert Duvall's performance.

Larry Aydlette said...

Well, I guess you won't be seeing Days Of Thunder anytime soon.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Oh, but I will! I just moved it to the top of my Netflix queue. (Not that you have to reciprocate or anything...)

Editor A said...

I remember being very excited to see Days of Thunder when it came out, but then being disappointed by the finished product. I was young and in that mode of going to the big summer movies that I later grew out of. I hardly think it would improve with age, but I'm slightly curious.

I think it should be seen on a double-feature with Jackie Chan's even more disappointing Thunderbolt.

-Editor A

Anonymous said...

Very entertaining! You know how Carpenter had his Russel? Well, Blackwood has his Gilbert! I see a long, fruitful director/actor association here.

--Dicey

Dan E. said...

That left me speechless for a good few moments. I was never quite sure whether or not Mike was serious (except the Paris Hilton thing ... whatever tickles your pickle, man), and that made things simultaneously frightening and hilarious. Even more frightening since I feel the same way about Miami Vice. Now that's the life. Driving cigarette boats to Cuba for a mojito. With Gong Li. If that isn't living out the American Dream, I don't know what is.

MadderHatter said...

I was remiss in noting Mr. Blackwood's stellar work in filming this oeuvre. Andrew certainly is coming along, but he must get past the sometimes tireless aping of Ron Howard's directorial technique. Grow past it, young Andrew. It's time for you to find your own voice.

As for you, Alex Jackson, a man who indulges in satanic cinema has no business discussing the validity of another director's moral inquiries.

bill said...

Okay, seriously, who is this Mike Gilbert person, and why does everyone know who he is except me?

PS - The movie was highly entertaining. The wife's out tonight, and I needed something fun to watch while I ate me up some dinner. This fit the bill nicely.

Anonymous said...

it's like watching TV. Mike and Andrew, you guys are pros

-Lady Dew Rocio

blaaagh said...

Thinking back on DAYS OF THUNDER, I remember giggling a lot at it, and not entirely derisively; as I remember, it's deliberately a bit offbeat even as it's over-the-top macho. I also remember thinking Duvall was terrific, as you mention, Dennis--and being mighty impressed by Nicole Kidman's performance and appeal. One other thing: in some shots Cruise allows himself (or someone allows him) to look really homely--I liked that about it, too. Anyway, I'll bet you'll enjoy it, Dennis.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bill - Mike Gilbert saved my life in 'Nam. I thought everybody knew him.

bill said...

Oh, THAT Mike Gilbert. Okay, now I'm with you.

Anonymous said...

Dave and I are proud of you, Andrew! That was awesome and hilarious!

(Andrew's my big brother, so I'm not biased or anything!)

Doug said...

Most enjoyable Mr. Betamax, it had me giggling throughout. I think that is the most I have ever heard MG speak.

Dennis: As for DoT, it should have been my perfect film seeing as I love NASCAR and all. But to tell you the truth I don't remember much of the film at all. Can't recall one scene.

I saw it opening night in Westwood and honestly, the only thing that I remember from the whole experience was running into a very chemically intoxicated Dustin Hoffman and thinking "man I cannot believe how short he is". That being said, I can't say too much for the movie. I can't wait to see your comments of the film.

DC