Monthly Archives: September 2014

Tusk

Okay, so remember last week or whenever I posted my podcast-ical fangasm about Tusk? Well, Crom was kind and this limitedly-released feature graced a small theater just a skip-hop-and-a-jump away from yours truly. It was my companion and I, and a handful of others – maybe at most ten patrons total on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Two people walked out during the third act. Clearly, this was not meant for them.

Me, on the other hand? Let’s just say I had a hell of a time.

Granted, my fandom of Smodcast and Kevin Smith films sent my little heart a-flutter, so am I biased? Absolutely. This doesn’t mean I still can’t remain totally objective about the thing.

Podcasting!

Podcasting!

Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) and Teddy Craft (Haley Joel Osment) are the obnoxious hosts of the infamous Not-See Party – a podcast in which Wallace travels and interviews strange folk and weirdos alike. Wallace’s latest expedition takes him to scenic Manitoba, but when his planned interview goes, well, awry, Wallace is desperate to make the most of his time.

He stumbles across an ad posted by the hermitic Howard Howe (Michael Parks), a retired adventurer looking for a lodger – a perfect interviewee for a podcast. However, Howe reveals a much more insidious plan. He ends up turning Wallace into a walrus. What, was that really a spoiler?

Fortunately for folks at home, the internet has been pretty hush-hush about slipping pictures of the monstrosity – that thing’s nightmare fuel, man.

So here's an adorable baby walrus in a tub instead. You're welcome.

So here’s an adorable baby walrus in a tub instead.
You’re welcome.

Browsing around, I’ve read some harsh remarks about the pointless, gratuitous nature of Tusk. Admittedly, the tone is kind of all over the place, and the ending is sad and empty, I don’t think that the film is necessarily unenjoyable. Again, I am a fan and knew what to expect: a satisfyingly effed-up adventure. Right, right gotta be objective  –

I need those schematics.

I need those schematics on my walls.

I did have a couple of gripes, after all, the devil’s in the details. Is it weird that I wanted to see more of the suit-making process? For instance, what was it filled with? How many other skins were needed (was that even the method)? How did he fabricate the flippers?Also some aging on the suit would have been glorious – maybe an infection here or there, maybe some signs of healing – something! It works for immediate shock value (I know I first cringed looking at it), but after a while the magic seemed to fade.

Justin Long was great. Despite the fact that his character was an annoying ass-hat, his tormented cries and pained post-walrus expressions were impressively disturbing, proving that no man deserved what this guy had just undergone.

Really, everyone gave an impressive performance (so glad to see crazy Michael Parks again). However, returning to the film’s tonal crisis, I feel as if our Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp) teetered a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when Depp hides in a character, but there were times when this character was uncomfortably cartoony, like a drunk Clouseau wannabe (maybe less bumbling). Though in retrospect, I think he grows on you. I mean, I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of this character in Yoga Hosers.

In short, Tusk is a strange tale made on a whim – a labor of love purely for the fans. The story may be paper-thin and there isn’t a “point” per se, but you know what? It’s an enjoyable, messed up little ride, and I want more. Come for the weirdness, stay for the performances. Personally, I cannot wait for the rest of Kevin Smith’s True North Trilogy.

Final Grade: B

Why I’m Stoked for ‘Tusk’ (and you should be too)!

Aw yeah

Aw yeah

Oh man, I haven’t been this geeked out over a movie since my prime fangirl days in 2007. Now why, of all the splendorous upcoming titles, am I so excited about Justin Long and his hideous mustache turning into a walrus? Well, I guess this starts to roughly a year ago, and my introduction to podcasts.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve known about podcasts and all of their RSS glory, but it wasn’t until I found myself in a boring office until I had the need to give them a try. Naturally, it did not take long for Kevin Smith and the barrage of SmodCo shows to hit my radar. And like that, it was love at first listen.

Oh the memories, from the first time I heard Smith’s bic lighter, to the last utterance of the phrase “tickle your ear pussy.” Together on SModcast, Smith and producer pal Scott Mosier regale listeners with tales of the past past, chat about weird news, or just shoot the shit through weed-tinted glasses. More recently, they’re all over weird Canadian news, but we’ll get back to that.

These guys.

These guys.

On June 25, 2013, SModcast’s world was rocked upon the discovery of one strange roommate request on Gumtree (aka Brit Craigslist). Together Smith and Mosier built a world around this story, and it is goddamn funny. No really, listen to it, please. Here’s the link, you have no excuse.

What’s so magical about this episode is you can hear those little cogs starting to turn in Smith’s head, and that passion is totally there – that twentysomething who was like “Yeah, I’m going to shoot a movie about my friends” – he’s still in there! The best part, he did it.

He actually did it.

Yes, I am pumped. Not only because I love freakin weird stuff, but I feel a sort of connection with this movie – I was there to witness its conception, so to speak, and now the baby is on its way. Given this newfound enthusiasm as well as love of Canada, two more projects are on the way, given us a weird Canada trilogy – Yoga Hosers and Moose Jaws.

Sure, many medias spout yarns about audience/consumer connectivity, but this is so damn palpable – this is what we need. Kevin Smith asked if we, his audience, wanted a walrus movie, and we responded. Granted, I heard this before I had the Twitter to vote #WalrusYes, but since then I have been active with the hashtags (admittedly a couple days late). Nevertheless I think this is a great way for immediate response in the film community. (Well if not any – gee, who knew Twitter could actually be used for connecting people!?)

Though it is fantastic that this kind of exchange can occur between artists and their audiences, I just wish this trend could be set forth with more kinds of media – and I’m not just talking about American Idol. Alas, until DC execs will accept input about grit versus realism, I will happily accept the way of the independents and bask in their strange splendor.

Clerks for the new generation.

Clerks for the new generation.

And speaking of strange, I just am loving all over the Tusk cast – have you seen the IMDB page? They got the Epic Meal Time guy in there! Awesome. And welcome back Haley Joel Osment! What is most charming about this cast is the addition of Harley Quinn Smith and her bff Lily-Rose Melody Depp – who originally were simply cast as cameos, but Kev Smith is planning on having them star in the second film in this Tales of Canada trilogy, Yoga Hosers – you guessed it, based on another episode of SModcast.

How sweet is that? A daddy-daughter project of weird Canadian delights! And yes, Johnny Depp is in on it too. Feel the love!

God I hope it’s good. My hopes are high, but yeh know, all things considered, I think I’ll be enjoying the ride. If this much passion and humor is going into this feature, I’m sure it’ll be a hell of a thing.

See it September 19th!