Isle of Dogs

April 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum
Directed by: Wes Anderson (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”)
Written by: Wes Anderson (“Moonrise Kingdom”)

Looking back at filmmaker Wes Anderson’s past projects, one could argue the writer/director hasn’t been kind to man’s best friend.

In 2001’s “The Royal Tenenbaums,” a wild-eyed Owen Wilson drives his Austin-Healey off the road and runs over the family’s beagle Buckley. Seemingly unaffected, the Tenenbaums replace the pet in a matter of minutes with a firefighter’s Dalmatian. In 2012’s “Moonrise Kingdom,” Anderson writes in a scene where the young protagonist’s fox terrier Snoopy gets shot in the neck with an arrow. (“Was he a good dog? Who’s to say?”)

With all the canine casualties, it’s no wonder The New Yorker wrote an article a few years ago asking, “Does Wes Anderson Hate Dogs?” Note 1: The death of these dogs has no bearing on the actual story. Both would still be great films if he had let the dogs live. Note 2: He lets Willem Dafoe kill a cat in “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” so go figure. It’s a question Anderson puts to rest with “Isle of Dogs,” the second stop-motion animated feature of his career, after 2009’s fanciful “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

Anderson undoubtedly matches his first outing in the genre with “Isle of Dogs,” a deadpan, dystopian adventure starring one of the most diverse cast of four-legged, animated characters since the Disney classic “Lady and the Tramp.” Its whimsical nature, of course, is unmistakably Anderson, so if he’s not your cup of Darjeeling tea, this won’t be either. However, fans of his idiosyncratic work will enjoy the wonderful world of wagging tails he has created with such exhaustive detail. It’s noteworthy, too, that “Isle of Dogs” is Anderson’s most politically-themed picture to date, although one could argue that classism and fascism are covered effectively in “Rushmore” and “Budapest.”

In “Isle of Dogs,” the dogs of Japan’s fictional Megasaki City are suffering from dog flu and thusly banished to an island covered in trash, so the disease won’t spread to their human masters. The first of dog exiled is Spots (Liev Schreiber), the official guard dog of the city’s sinister Mayor Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura) and pet to Kobayashi’s 12-year-old orphaned nephew Atari (Koyu Rankin). Committed to bringing Spots home, Atari hijacks a small plane and crash-lands it on Trash Island where he is rescued by a group of deported dogs who argue about whether they should help the boy find his pup.

For his pack of alpha-male mongrels, Anderson casts his usual, talented suspects — Edward Norton as Rex, Bob Balaban as King, Bill Murray as Boss, Jeff Goldblum as Duke, and newcomer to the Anderson roster, Bryan Cranston as Chief, a stray and de facto leader who reluctantly goes on the “Saving Private Ryan”-esque journey even though he knows it will probably mean their lives. On their way, they meet Nutmeg (Scarlett Johansson), a former show dog whose master Tracy Walker (Greta Gerwig) heads a group of young activists to fight against the “dog-hating thugs” spouting political propaganda and trying to conceal the creation of a cure for dog flu.

As in all of Anderson’s films, the soft-spoken and dryly sarcastic comedy is not really for moviegoers with a broad sense of humor or for the narrow base of Anderson naysayers who think his distinctive style only appeals to pretentious hipster doofuses. Anderson does what he does and does it incredibly well. Part of that, obviously, is the attention he pays to every single frame of his visual composition. Not only is the handmade artistry meticulous across the board, but Anderson’s eye for choreographed randomness is second to none. Even the animated fleas that scurry across a dog’s fur are impressive. Add another award-worthy score by Alexandre Desplat and some bold decisions by Anderson when it comes to translating the Japanese language throughout the film, and “Isle of Dogs” is something truly special.

While it has, for whatever reason, become sort of cool to jab Anderson for his eccentric directorial choices (there are plenty of parodies online that poke fun of him and his films), it’s not something admirers should worry about, especially since even cynics would say he’s at least consistent. If that’s something everyone can agree on, those on the right side of cinematic history should add “Isle of Dogs” to Anderson’s growing catalog of cleverness and quirk.

Lady Bird

November 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts
Directed by: Gerta Gerwig (debut)
Written by: Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha”)

It may not push past all the tropes of coming-of-age films that came before it, but “Lady Bird,” the directorial debut of indie-darling actress Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha”), is a wonderful testament on how not everything has to be exceptionally groundbreaking to be an intelligent and insightful contribution to a subgenre. With “Lady Bird,” Gerwig has created a tender, engaging and clever script that any first-time filmmaker would love to claim as his or her introduction to the cinematic world from behind the camera. Gerwig has a distinctive voice – although there are hints of directors like Noam Baumbach, Joe Swanberg and the Duplass Brothers sprinkled into it – that should be interesting to watch as she grows into her own.

In “Lady Bird,” two-time Academy Award nominated actress Saoirse Ronan stars as the title character, a teenager living unhappily in Sacramento with her sympathetic father (Tracy Letts) and overbearing mother (Laurie Metcalf) and attending a Catholic high school with her best friend Jules (Beanie Feldstein). As a somewhat autobiographical take on her own life, Gerwig maneuvers through the narrative with compassion and humor as Lady Bird plans her escape from her hometown and hopes to attend college in New York City, although her grades are mediocre and her family can only afford community college.

Lady Bird’s teenage angst takes over most of the picture, but Gerwig doesn’t allow her main character to ever become unlikeable. Sure, she’s a bit of a spoiled brat with her mom, but her overall personality makes up for it and audiences are able to root for her as she tries to “find herself” and find a way out. The film mostly hinges on the tempestuous relationship between Lady Bird and her mother. The multifaceted dynamic between the two is deep, and Ronan and Metcalf are sharp when they share the screen.

While the storytelling is fairly ordinary, there is life behind the universal themes Gerwig explores with her own sense of satisfaction, frustration and wide-eyed wonderment. This definitely feels like a “first film,” but not all first films feel this rich with potential.

Jackie

December 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig
Directed by: Pablo Larraín (“No”)
Written by: Noah Oppenheim (“The Maze Runner”)

Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) is going for gold again as she portrays First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Directed by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain, the drama is shot beautifully by cinematographer Stephanes Fontaine, and the haunting score by composer Mica Levi drives home the grief felt through the entire picture. The film, however, begins and ends with Portman’s powerful performance, as she masks her pain with poise and attempts to uphold the legacy of her husband even during the darkest of days.

Mistress America

August 28, 2015 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke, Seth Barrish
Directed by: Noah Baumbach (“The Squid and the Whale”)
Written by: Noah Baumbach (“The Squid and the Whale”) and Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha”)

Like a lot of dialogue-driven, indie hipster comedies these days, there isn’t much that separates a screenplay from being extremely witty and extremely annoying. Where the line is draw for most people, however, depends on how much of that clever banter one can handle before the script starts feeling like a choreographed conversation that is way too smart for its own good. No one works as hard to play both ends of the spectrum as Oscar-nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach. While films like “The Squid and the Whale” and “Frances Ha” have been funny, dark, charming, and sharply written, others like last year’s “While We’re Young” and his most recent “Mistress America” are a few notches too exaggerated. While we’re sure there are plenty of people out there as self-absorbed as actress Greta Gerwig’s Brooke, Baumbach doesn’t give audience reason to want to hang around with her for more than necessary. Baumach is better at writing profound characters than he at writing the peculiar ones. In the case of Brooke, she is the type of friend that is more manageable in small doses. Maybe that was the point, but Baumbach has written unlikeable characters before that go down a whole lot smoother.

Greta Gerwig – Frances Ha

May 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Interviews

Actress/screenwriter Greta Gerwig is ready to grow up. Not that she hasn’t had the time of her life playing Generation Y-inspired roles like the discontent title character in 2007’s mumblecore film “Hannah Takes the Stairs” or afflicted college clique leader Violet Wister in 2011’s “Damsels in Distress.” The reason is fairly simple: Unlike actor Michael Cera, she can’t stay 20-something forever.

“That would be my nightmare,” Gerwig, 29, told me during a phone interview last week when we mentioned the baby-faced Cera and his predilection for playing young characters.

In her new independent film “Frances Ha,” her second project with director Noah Baumbach (“Greenberg”), Gerwig stars as Frances, a 27-year-old New York City dance apprentice whose life starts getting more complicated when her best friend moves out of their apartment and her career hits the wall.

During our interview, Gerwig talked about the lack of opportunities in the film industry for actresses like her looking to play strong female characters and how specifically similar she is to the spunky oddball she portrays in “Frances Ha.”

With “Frances Ha” being the second film you’ve done with Noah, can we now consider you his source for artistic inspiration? Are you OK with the term muse?

Well, I’m OK with the term muse as long as you acknowledge the muse wrote the script, too. (Laughs) I’m totally fine with the term, but I also feel like I’m very much a co-creator. I feel like I’m the loudest muse that the world has ever seen.

How did the creative process work on this film for you and Noah?  Did it start with shaping who Frances was first and go from there?

We’re really similar as writers. We really find characters through writing scenes. I had all these ideas for moments and I thought some of them would work in a movie. We just started writing scenes and figured out who Frances was by what the scenes were telling us. Luckily, she was this great character. I almost feel like I can’t take credit for her because you don’t even know where the inspiration comes from when you are writing it. It’s almost like you’re just taking dictation. It took about a year to write the script. It was a long time. We spent a long time trying to make it as word-perfect as we could. It was definitely not improvised or by the seat of our pants.

Talk about writing Frances as a dancer. Had you studied dance prior to this?

Well, I had grown up dancing and I love dance.  I’ve never been a professional dancer, but I’ve danced my whole life. I’ve always wanted to make a movie about a dancer because they never get that big of a reward even if they are very successful. It’s not like being a sports star. It has the same demands on your body, but you don’t get a $20-million contract. I also thought it was a good metaphor for what the movie was about because a dancer’s career has an expiration date. If you haven’t made it by the time you’re 27, you’re probably not going to make it. It’s painful, but it’s very practical in that way. I worked with a company that we used in the movie. I took classes with them and I learned their choreography, but it wasn’t like a “Black Swan” situation. (Laughs)

Do you think the film and TV industry understands the challenges of your generation more with some of the work you are doing and the breakout of other projects like HBO’s “Girls” over the last few years?

I think we’re very lucky right now to have lots of examples of amazing women who are writing their own material. For me it’s incredibly inspirational and also makes me feel I have a community of people that push me. I love their work and I’m competitive.

Do you think you have to write your own material because that material for strong female characters just isn’t being created by anyone outside of the community you mentioned?

I don’t write so I can act. I write because I like to write. It’s only about providing myself with material. But I think we’re at a moment where women don’t have a lot of great parts, particularly in films. I think there’s a lot more interesting work for women on television right now between things like “Homeland” and “Nurse Jackie” and stuff like that. Women are really front and center and have complicated characters and aren’t just one note. But in film – I just read a study that came out last year – speaking parts for women are at an all-time low in the history of cinema. That’s incredibly depressing if you’re a female actress who wants to work in film, which I am. I love television and I watch it and I think it’s great, but, for me, my biggest love is movies and cinema. I feel women are terribly underrepresented in this media. It’s really a call to arms and not a sign I should give up.

Do you think acting has an expiration date like dance?

Well, there is an expiration date in acting to play the hot young girl, but there isn’t if you’re interested in exploring lots of different characters for your whole life. But the material isn’t always there. That’s what I want to do. I would like to write and create projects not just for myself, but for other women at other points in their life. I want to tell different kinds of stories. I don’t only want to see movies about people in their 20s.

Speaking of which, you’re going to be turning 30 this coming August. Since age has been an important part of some of your characters in your career, are you ready to embrace 30 or would you rather be a 20-something forever?

I would hate to be 20-something forever. I think for me what’s really nice about growing up is I don’t have to play those parts anymore. I loved playing them and it was so much fun and I’ve had a great run of it, but I’m really excited about doing things that aren’t strictly involved with being young.

I think you and Brit Marling (“Another Earth”) are doing some of the best work out there in the independent scene and we need you all to keep creating these stories no one else is. On that note, I have to ask: Are we ever going to lose you to the big Hollywood machine? I mean you’ve dabbled in it before with “Arthur” and “No Strings Attached,” but you’ve always come back.

No, I’ll never get lost there. I mean, I might do it occasionally. I think my home is in more of a collaborative atmosphere. But who knows. I would love to be able to make a huge movie that I work on as a writer and actor. It’s about balancing what comes my way. I try to judge every film on its merits and not on its budget size.

Rather than ask you how you and Frances are similar, I’m just going to rattle off a few things about Frances and you tell me if they pertain to your real life in any way.

OK.

Frances is allergic to cats.

No, I’m not.

Frances answers the phone, “Yo, girl, what up?”

(Laughs) Uh, no I don’t.

Frances likes animal movies, but only if the animals talk like in “Puss in Boots.”

I mean, yeah. I like animals that can talk. Sure.

Frances likes Chessmen cookies.

(Laughs) I love Chessmen cookies.

Frances is sort of worried about getting fat.

Uh, no, I’m not.

It takes Frances forever to leave places.

Uh, that was true of me about five years ago; less now.

Frances likes things that look like mistakes.

Yeah, I do.

Frances has a “weird man walk.”

No, I don’t! (Laughs) I have a totally normal walk!

That’s good. Still, you don’t strike me as the girly-girl type overall. What would you say is the most girly thing about you?

I love make up. I don’t wear it, but I buy it. Well, I try wearing it, but I’m not good at putting it on. I buy it and I play with it. I probably spend more money at Sephora than I should, but I just love products. I love the way they’re packaged. I wish I could really rock lipstick and crazy eyeliner every day. I buy it all the time, but I don’t do it.

Frances Ha

May 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Michael Esper
Directed by: Noah Baumbach (“The Squid and the Whale”)
Written by: Noah Baumbach (“The Squid and the Whale”) and Greta Gerwig (“Hannah Takes the Stairs”)

It might be your natural intuition to laugh a little at Frances (Greta Gerwig), the cute-as-a-button and generally goofy title character of filmmaker Noah Baumbach’s (“The Squid and the Whale”) black and white independent comedy “Frances Ha,” but you really should be laughing with her. At 27, she doesn’t have life figure out just yet, but she’s having fun fumbling it up.

And so goes Baumbach’s carefree character piece, which was co-written by his star and real-life significant other Gerwig. Without Gerwig, a bona fide indie darling who started her career with mumblecore films like “LOL” and “Hannah Takes the Stairs,” a character like Frances might be able to exist, but it definitely wouldn’t glisten as much as the naturalistic Gerwig does in the role. It would be like Natalie Portman trying too hard to be hip in “Garden State” – awkward enough but lacking any realism.

Instead, Gerwig drives “Frances Ha” into a place where very clever and high-spirited dialogue prevails. Say what you will about Baumbach (some detractors would call him a bit of a misanthrope in the way he writes characters), but Frances is a lot different than a neurotic Nicole Kidman in 2007’s “Margot at the Wedding” or an apathetic Ben Stiller in 2010’s “Greenberg.” Frances loves life. She just can’t get her footing. She’s miserable, but watching each misstep only makes you want to hug her and make everything better.

Some viewers will still mistake Baumbach and Gerwig’s well-written wit as pretentious prose, but there are a lot worse quirky indie wannabe attempts that have recently tried to do the same (“It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” “Restless,” “The Art of Getting By”). Directors/writers like Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze, and Jay and Mark Duplass do it well, and Baumbach should easily fit into that group of unique storytellers that usually get it right.

In “Frances,” you can see the affection Baumbach and Gerwig have for the character. She is a New York City dance apprentice who is thrown for a loop when her best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner) decides to move out of their apartment with little notice. To top it off, Frances’s career as a modern dancer isn’t working out as well as she would like.

Unlike many of those films where annoying hipsters are trying to find themselves through their art, Frances doesn’t need your pity. Actually, she is going to be just fine, which is why she’s so likeable. She doesn’t brood or feel sorry for herself much. She’s silly. Her friends say she’s “undateable,” which only makes her even more dateable. She’s a diamond in the rough. Well, maybe not a diamond, but a really shiny rock that stands out. In an industry that has forgotten how to write full-fledged female characters, that’s saying a lot.

Damsels in Distress

May 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Adma Brody, Analeigh Tipton
Directed by: Whit Stillman (“The Last Days of Disco”)
Written by: Whit Stillman (“The Last Days of Disco”)

“There’s no logic to the algebra of love,” says one of the female characters in “Damsels in Distress,” an extremely dry and self-aware indie romantic comedy by director/writer Whit Stillman (“The Last Days of Disco”). The line is an example of the satirical and nonsensical dialogue aimed at exploring the pretentious nature of the new generation of overly quirky college students. At times, Stillman’s smart-alecky script makes you almost believe that what the characters are saying in this odd film makes complete sense. Mostly, however, “Damsels in Distress,” like its cast of female talent, never realizes its full potential.

The film stars indie darling Greta Gerwig (“Hannah Takes the Stairs,” “Greenberg”) as Violet, the leader of a college clique of progressive young women who take it upon themselves to help fellow coeds realize they don’t know much about the opposite sex or life in general. Volunteers at the campus Suicide Prevention Center, Violet, along with her cohorts Heather (Carrie MacLemore), Rose (Megalyn Echikunwoke), and new recruit Lily (Analeigh Tipton), maneuver their way across the social landscape to demonstrate how much more intelligent they are in comparison to the sea of inferior (and stinky) men in their midst.

It’s hilarious to think these girls really are helping the world in their own peculiar way, which is why Stillman’s screenplay is the type of writing that is both unique and aggravating. These are the type of neurotic girls most neurotic boys would love to hang around. The problem is, none of them are based in anything that could be described as realism. They are cute, bourgey caricatures and nothing more. There is a false sense of depth to them that may only be transparent to those who do not fall for their girlish charms.

It’s unfortunate since Stillman, who returns to filmmaking after a more than a decade, has a very specific and uncommon voice in the industry. Most film directors simply don’t have the backbone to make these types of movies (someone like filmmaker Todd Solondz would be an exception).  Still, as happy-go-lucky as a story like this can be, it can also cross that fine line into annoyance. “Damsels in Distress” fits in well with Stillman’s other “comedies of mannerlessness” from the 90s (“Metropolitan,” “Barcelona,” and “Disco”), but unless you fully commit yourself to this small army of arrogant personalities, it won’t be much fun even as a curiosity piece.

Arthur

April 15, 2011 by  
Filed under CineStrays

Starring: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner
Directed by: Jason Winer (debut)
Written by: Peter Baynham (“Borat”)

Late comedian Dudley Moore should not be turning in his grave. Merely turning would not get him far enough away from the disastrous remake of his 1982 classic “Arthur,” a film British actor Russell Brand somehow botches up. “Arthur” follows a rich, alcoholic playboy who throws a tantrum when his mommy arranges his marriage. No, instead of just turning in said grave, Moore needs to actually dig another one inside the one he’s already in and crawl into that. In small doses (like Will Farrell), Brand, who has an uncanny resemblence with Skeletor if Skeletor had skin, can have some great moments (his Aldous Snow character in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Get Him to the Greek” is annoying and charming all at once). In those movies, however, he either had a supporting role or was leaning on someone as talented as Jonah Hill. In “Arthur,” Brand is bare-boned and all by himself, which doesn’t do him any favors. The man-child character has been done well plenty of times before, but in “Arthur” the classic story sadly takes a nosedive and becomes laughless.

No Strings Attached

January 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline
Directed by: Ivan Reitman (“My Super Ex Girlfriend”)
Written by: Elizabeth Meriwether (debut)

To the average moviegoer, terms like “romantic comedy” and the less chivalrous-sounding “chick flick” are probably synonyms. A few clever filmmakers have discovered ways to divert from the typical clichés and create those rare date movies men and women can sit through without wondering why the hell they’re on a date with someone who enjoys this crap. In the last five years: “Lars and the Real Girl,” “Ghost Town,” “(500) Days of Summer,” and almost everything directed by Judd Apatow have been noteworthy contributions to the generally watered-down genre.

Then there are movies like “No Strings Attached,” a rom-com so desperate to be the next “The 40 Year Old Virgin” or “Knocked Up” (and thus peeling away the “chick flick” label) it only manages sporadic moments of originality before reverting back into safety-first Kate Hudson-mode.

It’s unfortunate, since “Strings” is starred by Natalie Portman, who comes off the most impressive role of her career in “Black Swan.” She rarely flaunts her comedic chops, much less in a rom-com as easily accessible as this. Here, she plays Emma, a cynical medical student-in-residence who opts for a casual sex-only relationship with Adam (Kutcher), a soft-hearted TV production assistant she’s known since his horny teenage years. Of course, with copulation comes those icky things called feelings and before another box of Trojans opens, the sexcapades have turned into fully-clothed spooning sessions (a no-no in “friends with benefits” etiquette).

While Portman is still charming despite the lightweight and occasionally raunchy dialogue by first-time screenwriter Elizabeth Meriwether, the same can’t be said for Kutcher’s coyness. At least in a movie like “(500) Days of Summer,” actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt was believable as a genuinely nice guy who falls in love with an icy princess. Kutcher’s mushy façade, however, is pitiful. It’s hard to accept him as a hopeless romantic when he’s drunk-dialing girls and asking them if they know of a place where he can put his boner.

At times, director Ivan Reitman (“My Super Ex Girlfriend”) seems like he might cross the line and actually give these characters spines. But Reitman, who has never really gotten any dirtier than campers reading smut in “Meatballs,” is out of his element. Forcing the issue only makes matters worse, especially in a movie that mistakes a little fun between the sheets with edge.

Baghead

September 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

Starring: Ross Partridge, Steve Zissis, Greta Gerwig
Directed by: Mark and Jay Duplass (“The Puffy Chair”)
Written by: Mark and Jay Duplass (“The Puffy Chair”)

If you want to see a couple of independent filmmakers that are doing it right, look no further than New Orleans’ own Mark and Jay Duplass. Maybe they’re not as well known as other brotherly filmmaking tandems like the Coens, Farrellys or Wachowskies, but the Duplasses, with their new film “Baghead,” have wiggled their way in to play with the big boys and refuse to let something as trivial as a budget get in the way of creating interesting characters and impressive dialogue.

Label it “mumblecore” (term describing a low-budget film with an improvised script focusing on personal relationships and delivered by non-professional actors) if you want, “Baghead” is original and refreshingly geeky.

In “Baghead,” four actor friends, who can’t seem to get a break in the industry, decide the easiest way to star in a film is if they make it themselves. To focus on writing their screenplay, Matt (Ross Partridge), Chad (Steve Zissis), Michelle (Greta Gerwig), and Catherine (Elise Muller), set off to spend the weekend in a secluded cabin in the woods so they can concentrate on nothing but the script.

Although they start with bagfuls of determination, everyone – except Matt – sort of forgets the real reason they went to the cabin in the first place. No one really has any good ideas about what to write their movie about, and teddy bearish Chad is more interested in flirting with Michelle, who he knows is way out of his league.

The dormant writing process get a bit more exciting for the fearsome foursome when Michelle swears she sees someone lurking outside the cabin with a paper bag over his head. Apparently, safety isn’t nearly as important to Matt, who is easily inspired by what Michelle has supposedly seen and decides to write a horror movie based on her vision. It doesn’t take long before eerie things begin to happen around the camp as friendships are tested, relationships stay unresolved, and filmmaking failures slowly get the best of everyone.

Highlighting the pretentiousness of amateur filmmakers, “Baghead” is a parody like no other. The Brothers Duplass are never afraid to poke fun of themselves and, in my opinion, the entire independent filmmaking industry, which has definitely been begging for an affective shake up from a couple of ordinary guys with clever ideas, a handheld video camera, and nothing to lose.