Uwe Boll’s Heart of America

By Adam Lippe

Here’s the idea behind “A Canadian, an American,  and an Elitist”: Rhett’s favorite movie is Meatballs 4,  Shawn has an unhealthy fixation on Resident Evil, and Adam is a prick who hates everything. We all watch far too many movies, and spend our time analyzing them. So we each watch the same movie, write our analysis of them, and then go to a chat room to discuss it, unaware of what the others have written. A warning: if you haven’t seen the film we are discussing, it may not be best to read this article, because it is spoiler heavy.

Please keep in mind that these reviews were written in the summer of 2005, with the chat taking place a few days later. This will explain why some of the “predictions” and cultural references may seem a bit dated. However, this will not inhibit your ability to enjoy the writing.

Analysis by a Canadian: Rhett Miller

The massacre at Columbine in 1999 sent the world into a state of shock.  The sixteen deaths opened more questions than their deaths did answers.  What has happened to our youth, and who has done this to them?  Was it video games, improper parenting, bullying, horror movies or the mere emptiness of our meaningless capitalist lives?  Everyone seemed to have a hypothesis, but nobody was ever able to follow through with it.  Gus Van Sant’s Elephant dodged around the facts in favor of meandering steadicam shots, refusing to let us into the minds of the characters.  Michael Moore’s Bowling For Columbine aimed to take the subject dead on, but after false facts and tired soap boxing, it became little more than a vanity piece for Moore’s girth-sized ego.  We tend to turn to fiction – to the movies – to help us cope with the traumas of life, and yet Americans had nothing to give them solace or understanding with what happened in Columbine and with what was continuing to happen all over the world.  Elephant and Bowling For Columbine may have tried, but neither got to the essence of the perils of youth.  It is not surprising then, that the only film to truly get to the heart of these teenagers is Uwe Boll’s provocative, unflinching and overpowering Heart of America.

Daniel (Kett Turton) is a lanky, quiet boy, whose long black hair covers up the sadness entrenched in his eyes.  He and Barry (Michael Belyea) have been bullied their entire twelve years of high school, and today is their last day.  It will be the last day of many other student’s lives, as the two plot a revenge scheme to payback all those who have done them wrong.  In reality they are a couple of wimps, but on the internet they find themselves empowered.  Uwe Boll, who also wrote the story, wagers an interesting observation, in suggesting that the internet is a tool in the recent outbreak of high school shootings.  Able to hide behind a screen and escape from your body, the internet allows us to unleash the impulses we have inside but are too timid or shy to truly express in the real world.  The internet allows us to become someone else, and in Heart of America, Daniel (or “Danielle” as his father uses to chastise him) becomes “HellRaizer6669”.  His name alone is cleverly evocative of a number of influences pegged to the motivations of Columbine.  “HellRazier” suggests the Clive Barker horror film of the same phonetics, where “666” suggests influences of the devil and satanic cults not far removed from Charles Manson, and the “69” suggests sexual angst and emotional neglect these outcasts have had to deal with.  A detail as small as a name, but yet Boll has the keen eye to imbue it with semiotics that suggest a world of influences and complexity.

As able as Boll is at the intricate details, he is also able to impress on a grand scale.  After the pre-credits sequence, we are treated to one of the most ambitious and virtuoso shots this side of Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil.  Through some of the finest steadicam movements ever captured on celluloid, Boll glides out of Daniel’s house and throughout his neighborhood, making stops inside the houses of the creative writing teacher, the principal and his virginal daughter, and the neglected druggy’s houses.  Boll uses the single, uninterrupted shot to suggest a connection between the people that make up the high school.  The teachers and students are the nervous system of the school, and as it turns out, the heart of America.  The steadicam flawlessly cranes and moves inside and outside houses and streets, and is a true masterpiece of timing and rehearsal.  Uwe Boll is no stranger to video games, having made a career lately of adapting video games with House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark, and he no doubt draws inspiration from the popular 16-bit game, “Paperboy” in orchestrating his virtuoso credit shot.  The paperboy and mailman serve as transitional devices between the houses, showing just how connected society is, and how video games are a part of life.  Considering the Matrix-inspired shots of one of the druggies shooting up, Boll even posits the conjecture that perhaps we are all just in one giant video game.  Consider Columbine the “Doom” equivalent.

Although Elephant already touched on the “Doom” reference, Boll’s connection is more elaborate.  Boll is also more elaborate in giving reasons and motivations to the shooting, skimping on no detail.  One of the largest, and most controversial, reasons Boll gives for the murder is the breakdown of our paternal structure.  In the amazing credit shot, there is a moment when a small child repeats ad nauseum the swear words uttered by his parents.  Although it is only a small child repeating harmless verbal cues, it is easy to extrapolate that teenagers who kill their peers are merely doing it because that is the same illusions of grandeur that have been forced upon them by America’s infatuation with war.  Every family seems to have a veteran as a relative, and indeed that is how Daniel gets his stock of guns.  Kids imitate those in authority, and in selling them guns, it is clear the parents don’t care.

What is even more intriguing is how Boll connects teenage drug habits with similar ones of their parents.  It has become the cliché to show kids getting high and using that as the explanation for their problems, but Boll suggests that parents are doing the same thing.  The creative writing teacher uses Xanax to sedate himself from reality to help him sleep, just like Barry’s mother is addicted to coffee to keep herself awake.  It is as if these harmless, over the counter drugs are helping parents deal with their own realities, while ironically closing themselves off from these realities as well.  They have no clue what their kids are dealing with, they merely glide through life in sedation.  Daniel’s dad, whose bullying of his son is yet another possibility for his outbreak, also bellies himself on a steady stream of alcohol.  In a sincere moment in the film, a teenager says to his friend “The apple doesn’t fall far, brother,” and he is right.  William Tell nearly killed his own children in his own selfish neglect to shoot an apple from their heads, and American parents are doing the same thing to their children.  Eventually, that arrow will miss the apple, and his someone right in the heart.  The heart of America.

Boll has to juggle a large cast of characters in trying to get to the essence of what happened at Columbine, and yet he still succeeds in weaving a deep and complex portrait of America.  We are shown depths to Daniel’s character, for instance, from his internet alias, and we know he is smart because he owns a Rubik’s cube.  Indeed, the Rubik’s cube may be an effective metaphor for teenage life, trying endlessly to sort through all the building blocks of life, never quite achieving a synchronicity of color.  Gus Van Sant held an uncomfortable distance from his characters in Elephant always shooting them from behind, never letting us inside.  Boll brings us into the heart, and you understand that high school is more than just a number of ciphers, but actual people with actual problems.

Ultimately, that character is what Boll succeeds best at.  His characters are never ciphers, they are people with real problems and ones readily identifiable to the audience.  Whether Boll is highlighting Christian Slater’s panache for premature ejaculation with the lyrics “six more seconds to go” during the sex scene in Alone in the Dark, or demonstrating that even masculine heroes can have sea sickness and vomit all over a woman’s breasts in House of the Dead,  Boll has his pulse on our cultural radar.  Altman has always been renowned as a director totally aware of character and able to make a cast of dozens seem more personal than even your parents.  But Robert Altman is eighty, and if he is listening now, I’ve got some bad news.  Uwe Boll is in town, and he is half his age.  Heart of America plays The Player and smashes M*A*S*H, it is the most virtuoso and impressive work by a new director since Altman burst on to the film scene some thirty years ago.  His Heart is on the pulse of America, and its beat may be to honest and overwhelming for most to handle.  Those who weather Boll’s complex depths will come out forever changed, forever enlightened.

Analysis by an American: Shawn McLoughlin

I, Shawn McLoughlin, graduated High School in May, 1999 – less than a month after the forever infamous Columbine attacks. At that time, as one would expect, it was talk of the town and certainly gone over in my valedictorian’s speech. From what I recall though, everything continued business as usual. A friend of mine got sent home for wearing a trench coat to school as a “political statement.” I believe his statement was that not all people who wear trench coats are mass-murdering psychopaths. Personally, I would have let him sweat his balls off for being stupid enough to wear a coat when it was 114 degrees out – but that’s just me. Regardless, it was such a significant event in my generation that it comes as no surprise that movies would be made on the subject with various degrees of seriousness taken for the subject. Films like Elephant and Zero Day may not be crowning achievements, but they all share one thing in common. They are not even in the same ballpark as Uwe Boll’s Heart of America.

Boll is smart enough to know that he can’t solely focus on the killers, or there would be no emotions for the characters. At the same point though, this is where Heart of America goes wrong. Not one of the characters is likeable and each is an extreme stereotype of the average student. Daniel and Barry are the two most tortured and picked on kids in any school ever. The lengths to which these kids go out of their way to be as humiliated as possible almost make them martyrs for some invisible cause. They take everything from the expected punch to the kidney to the Passolini/Salo-homage of shit eating and sexual humiliation with equal passivity. Gandhi would be proud, but I’m not. The shocking-twist of having a girl as a killer is probably the only interesting thing that Boll’s script does; or at least it would have been if it wasn’t alluded to early in the film. Even at that, her murders are even less random than Daniel’s. They are entirely based on a vendetta of her precious feelings being hurt. Poor Dara, she can’t write, fucks anyone who opens their car door and is stupid enough to snort rocks in the rain out of open tin-foil. One strategically placed raindrop is going to seriously ruin her day. Even the less homicidally inclined students, are well, caricatures of stereotypes. There is an unremorseful drug dealer, the jock who screws every girl in sight, including his virgin girlfriend’s best friend. Thrown in at random would be the completely unattractive couple who are going through teenage pregnancy drama. The most normal character would be Karen, the princess daughter of the school principal but even she is far too vapid to be real. All of these characters might as well be wearing targets on their backs, because they act like they are expecting to be shot, as opposed to expecting to graduate.

No one brings out stilted acting quite like Uwe Boll. This movie is no exception, and the script certainly doesn’t help. It’s as if deciding that a massacre wouldn’t be visually interesting, or moving, enough we have to be shown all sorts of other nasties to keep us interested. It is a cheat that no suicide is ever shown in the film, considering that Boll is willing to show us everything from implied forced masturbation to being shot in front of a urinal to a retarded girl being raped. But the biggest cheat is the ending. Barry walks heroically off campus having learned a moral lesson and expecting praise for not participating in a bloody massacre. Of course, he could have prevented it from happening altogether, but based on the laughs of the school bullies, he probably didn’t have the balls for that. He should have been shot too. After all, he did “punk out” on his friend. It’s amazing how everything happens to be connected; how the movie tries to blame everyone when really, one character could have stopped the whole thing from happening.

Boll’s over-the-top directing style is reflected here well; even if it is horribly inappropriate when placed with the subject matter. He uses a wonderful “We cahn’t ufford zee bullet time effekt in zis moovie, zo I need you to spin around in a zirkle as I do zee same around you” special effect technique at one point filming Dara on her “trip.” There are many shots that are intentionally grainy, gratuitous black and white flashbacks, and a blaring soundtrack that none of the students would actually listen to. All of this was done to paint a picture of tragedy and how public school is a near hellish experience. But in all actuality, it simply is unbelievable and offensive. It could possibly give foreigners and clueless Americans the wrong conception of American schools.

If ever a movie demanded a director’s commentary it’s Heart of America. It would be wonderful to hear Boll talk his way out of this one. Those who think that director Lars Von Trier has a perverse view of America, needs to be exposed to Boll’s perverse view of High School in America. The only thing this film has in common with Columbine is that it was a tragedy that either was ever conceived to begin with.

Analysis by an elitist: Adam Lippe

“Here’s the thing, I always try to, [if you] say it negative, I steal from other movies.” –Uwe Boll, discussing his filmmaking style.

Uwe Boll is a pioneer. There is no director working today who so liberally lifts from other filmmakers as he does, especially as he never worries about whether or not the stolen material is relevant. His specialty appears to be weaving in as much of contemporary popular culture and style as he can, throwing it into a blender, and splattering it all over the screen. Both House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark have mystifying allusions to The Matrix, enormous distractions that draw attention to their existence. It takes the viewer out of the film and makes them wonder why he made the choice at all, instead of appreciating the artistry at hand. Heart of America, which he made in 2001, theoretically beating Elephant and Zero Day to the punch on the subject of high school shootings by two years (though Boll’s film was not released until after those two), is a grab bag of film citations, pulling a monologue right out of Neil Labute’s Your Friends and Neighbors, as well as a scene out of Labute’s In the Company of Men (“Let’s see your balls”), taking drug addled perspective shots out of Requiem For A Dream, and a slew of other places.

That there is often no rhyme or reason for these scenes adds a layer of charm to them. Boll doesn’t have any idea what he’s doing. He’s totally inept, and all of his efforts fall flat. He’s like a blind bus driver in the woods; it’s inevitable that he will crash into trees, several times, but he’s going to pray that he can steer through it, not caring that he decapitated the passengers long ago.

In fact, in Heart of America, he’s trying to create a traffic jam, throwing multiple characters and dramas at each other in order to explain why two students went on a rampage. That everything feels quite random may be an accident, but it serves as an effective out for Boll. Sure, he tries to rationalize that these kids were beaten up every day by bullies at school and that’s why they feel the need to kill. But that means that the TV-movie-of-the-week level stories of the impatient and horny boyfriend, the Cro-Magnon man and his girlfriend looking to get an abortion (since they already look exactly like each other, one almost hopes they can have the child as it will resemble one of those sketches on Conan O’Brien where they fuse celebrities to see what would happen if they had kids), the 30 year old drug dealer’s scenes with the guidance counselor, the creative writing teacher’s struggle with his book and subsequent apology to his students, could quite accurately be accused of attempts at padding in order to justify the exploitation style violence. However, by shoveling them into the story, especially occurring within the 1 hour time frame the film takes places during, Boll throws in the suggestion that it is all a way to portray how the violence is totally random and any simplistic explanation is naïve, overlooking how unrelated lives are so easily ruined by murderous acts, especially in an uncaring country looking for someone to blame.

Of course, this is all pretentious and pompous rhetoric, excusing a clueless filmmaker, witlessly marching into a potentially controversial subject that he has no understanding of and no patience for. Heart of America very much resembles a child’s painting, haphazardly slapped together with no regard for meaning, structure, or coherence. Half the actors speak flatly, as if they were trying to memorize their lines out loud and didn’t know the camera was running (“It’s like telling a math teacher he can’t carry the 1,”), the other half scream them as if it would give the strange platitudes coming out of the mouths of supposedly ignorant teenagers, more meaning (“What kind of dad leaves when you’re still in short pants?”). Never mind the fact the blood is already dry on the shirt of the murdered boyfriend, and the portentous opening and [endless] closing crawls speak volumes.

The Chat

Shawn Welcum 2 people mus die – skool suqs
Rhett I feel fat. :’(
Adam You are.
Rhett Adam, I am keeping it.
Shawn U should take that out on someone smaller than u.
Adam And then I will be killed, with my blood dried on the shirt in which I was murdered 4 minutes ago.
Shawn Don’t punk out on me guys.
Adam I was thinking, we should talk, maybe.
Rhett In keeping with the spirit of the film… I want to use my proper alias, HellRaizer6669.
Rhett In case you were wondering about the 6669, it has nothing to do with the Kama sutra or Satan, just my birth date. 6/6/69.
Shawn Liar, you are older than that.
Adam Hey, 32 year old high school students are the norm, that drug dealer had nuthin’ on Dylan from 90210.
Rhett Adam has clearly seen Porky’s… So Heart of America was a film so complex I felt I had to devote an entire paragraph to deconstructing the name “HellRaizer6669.”
Adam Hopefully Maria Conchita Alonso wrote her scenes. Powerful they were.
Shawn Yeah, how she just let the drug dealer go. That was awesome of her.
Rhett And apparently she always locks her door. So are we to infer that she is a slut of some sort, or what? Since the sex-ed instructor certainly implied such.
Shawn I think she was trying to keep the sex-ed teacher out.
Rhett Good call. He looked totally out of place.
Shawn Since he hits on everything with two legs.
Adam The only thing I thought when I saw the sex-ed teacher was…   Muldoon!
Rhett Like he just walked onto the set that day and Boll realized he needed a bit more sexuality in the film and called him on.
Adam Man, that guy should be in everything, especially with that hair.
Shawn Or EVERY Boll movie.
Adam Since both Muldoon and Denise Richards were in Starship Troopers and her next movie was Wild Things which featured a sex-ed teacher, do you think it’s a coincidence that’s what Muldoon played in Heart of America?
Shawn Obviously Boll and Muldoon had an affair. Because he was in Blackwoods.
Adam And who was the lead in Uwe’s Sanctimony? Casper Van Dien. Both he and Muldoon did Denise in Starship Troopers.No coincidence. And both did Boll in his films.
Shawn I am happy that Muldoon wasn’t killed. There is nothing to gain in killing a sex-ed teacher. Although the penetration metaphor would be wonderful.
Rhett The blood splatter an allusion to menstruation.
Adam Yes, it was so odd that he was subtle with the other sections of violence
Rhett But such metaphors are small fish compared to the Orca that Boll has reeled in with Heart of America. Slow White.
Shawn Okay, in all honesty now… didn’t everyone deserve to die?
Rhett No, Karyn was hot and a virgin. Therefore she should have been the Final Girl.
Shawn Karyn was stupid.
Adam Slow White is right out of Your Friends and Neighbors, Rhett. That monologue has one or two changes from Jason Patric’s monologue. And then there’s the “Show me your balls” scene, which is obviously more Labute lifting.
Shawn That was hot.
Rhett Boll understands this, Adam, and weaves it into the referential tapestry of Heart of America in order to better illustrate high school shootings to contemporary audiences. The same way he utilizes allusions to the video game “Paperboy” in the opening steadicam shot.
Adam I thought that was Better off Dead?
Shawn I thought it was an homage to Passolini and sodomy.
Rhett Or Requiem for a Dream with the snorricam drug shots. But come on, let’s all deconstruct the amazing credits shot. Is it not better than Touch of Evil?
Adam Or The Player.
Rhett Boll descends a few floors, weaves in and out of houses and an entire neighborhood block with amazing ease. A beautiful, uninterrupted 7 minute shot… Can someone please time whether or not the closing text scrawl beat the opening of Alone in the Dark in terms of total read time?
Shawn It didn’t.
Rhett Well, it was damn close.
Adam Hey, that was important information.
Rhett Yes, all 40 cases. Just in case we missed the first 39.
Adam If we weren’t informed of each and every school shooting in the last 10 years, we never would have understood Boll’s point. Whatever his point was.
Rhett Boll shows again, his respect for today’s audiences. A true visionary.
Shawn Boll has a heart FOR America.
Adam What office should he run for under that slogan?
Shawn Director of the Interior.
Rhett Unemployment.
Shawn Governor of California.
Adam Often, it is foreign directors, like Wolfgang Petersen, who make the most patriotic and intricate of presidential thrillers. Does it take a foreign director to truly criticize America? Do we need someone from the outside to see our faults? Are we too “inside?”
Rhett I believe Uwe Boll was trying to use the Columbine massacre and all its media saturation to inform audiences that Creativity has died. We seem to only care about tabloids now, what are Brad and Angelina doing now?  How many died in that boat crash?  Etc.
Shawn Doesn’t he make that point with the rest of his movies, Rhett?
Rhett When the creative writing teacher gets shot, that is more of an indication than any that creativity is officially dead and also a way to get Boll off the hook for all his own liftings. Again, ingenious.
Shawn The Creative Writer getting shot is a Bollian attack against his critics. He believes his critics are “too hard” on him.
Rhett That is why we needed Linda Lovelace for president, Adam. She would have gone deep inside America’s problems.
Adam Of course, his critics didn’t realize his potential until years later since this was shot in 2001. It’s hard to believe that this was pre-Elephant.
Rhett Is that why he forces his two protagonists to get an erection, Shawn?  To prove how “hard” school life can be?
Shawn No, I think that was nothing more than a nod to Salo. Shit eating and sexual torture.
Rhett That is surprising that it is before Elephant.
Adam Or maybe Boll excusing himself that he’s not a show-er either.
Shawn Yeah, well, his films prove he is not a grow-er either.
Adam I’m surprised that with the strange line readings they didn’t pronounce it “shower.”
Rhett Yeah, he reached his peak here, at such a young age. He is today’s William Friedkin, unable to live up to the success of his youth.
Adam Heart of America = The Exorcist. German Fried Movie = Boys in the Band
Rhett The Exorcist was subtly referenced by the Robin mentioning she vomited before she came to school.
Shawn I think that it was awesome how he was able to not use bullet time, but still try.
Rhett Admit it, there should have been a Matrix suicide.
Shawn Yes, there should have – from multiple angles… Barry should have been killed. Because he punked out on his friend.
Adam Shawn, that’s because he developed dreams of grandeur. You should never do that.
Shawn They make him out to be a hero for not killing people, when he could have stopped the whole thing ahead of times.
Rhett Barry should have been killed for looking like Hanson. MMMBoll.
Shawn I think Dylan Klebold planned out their massacre better than Boll planned out his movie.
Rhett I have a legitimate question, has anyone actually ever played Mailbox Baseball?
Shawn I can’t say I have, Rhett.
Adam Me neither.
Rhett It seems like Boll just took it out of Stand By Me because he thought it seemed realistic enough. But I have never ever heard of anyone actually partaking in this. And both my parents grew up on farms where mailboxes were like that. And is it possible to bunt in this game?
Shawn We would TP houses.
Adam It was in Dazed and Confused as well. The reason no one would ever do it in a small suburb like that, they would get caught, especially in broad daylight. It’s actually a federal crime, and a dumb one.
Rhett Nobody would have seen them though; only the principal who was right beside them and everyone else going to work.
Adam And he only cares about harsh grades in creative writing class.
Shawn So was the school really a graduating class of 6 students plus the eighteen or so getting more sex than Karyn?
Rhett Again, the mailbox baseball was another allusion to “Paperboy.” I really hope Boll adapts that. And it rivals the William Katt horror movie.
Adam I’ve been waiting for Boll to tackle Pong as well. I can smell the nuances. Or, maybe, in a incredible cross promotion, he can adapt Tron. The video game, not the movie.
Shawn Tron the movie was an adaptation of the video game. Game came first.
Adam The thing with the lines?
Shawn First game to movie ever.
Adam “Although the film was an initial failure, the arcade videogame based on it proved to be a tremendous hit and actually out-grossed the film.”
Shawn Tron the game was released in 1981. The movie came out in 1982. http://www.csh.rit.edu/~jerry/arcade/tron/trons.jpg
Adam The movie was in development quite obviously for a while.
Shawn True, but it was planned to let the game out first.
Adam Yes, but you think they developed this game with lines and then said “let’s make a movie of that?” Especially as the game wasn’t released first. Why would Disney waste $20 million in 1980 on lines? They couldn’t bank on the success of the unreleased games.
Shawn I don’t know what you mean by “lines”
Adam There were several Tron games. One was like the lightcycle race where you were just a line and you had to escape the other lines and not run into them.
Rhett Isn’t that the only one?
Adam Wait, was there a more animated game as well?
Shawn No, the lightcycle race was only one level of the four level game.
Rhett So then, Uwe Boll could adapt the other three levels and make a tetralogy?
Adam Now that his secret is out, that he’s a horrible filmmaker who’s movies don’t make money, I don’t know if he could get away with it. The key with Bloodrayne and Alone in the Dark, the latter was already shooting and Bloodrayne was already deep into pre-production with a cast already hired before word got out.
Rhett What I am looking most forward to is Ben Kingsley going through the PR circuit for BloodRayne. Like what good could he possibly say? The whole thing would have to be a total embarrassing façade.
Shawn Bloodrayne will be the best film of 2006.
Rhett Not if it is anything like Alone in the Dark.
Shawn “It had lesbian scene,” Rhett. “Lokken is very hot and get nude multiple time.”
Rhett <—convinced.
Adam“Lokken is very hot when her dad leaves her in short pants”
Shawn I would just love for Bloodrayne to make money though. I wish Boll would do his thing forever.
Adam Are you sure? Because all of these muddled horror/action movies are not quite as funny and bizarre as Heart of America.
Shawn True, but I can always hope. And so can he.
Rhett Heart of America was by far my favorite Boll. On some inexplicable level it is a masterpiece of some sort.
Adam I don’t think he will continue in the vein of House of the Dead, more in that dull, depressingly low rent and cheap looking way that Alone on the Dark progresses. Kind of like a low rent Rutger Hauer thriller from the early 90′s, but without Hauer.
Rhett Or the early 90s.
Adam But retaining that unintelligible murkiness.
Shawn Someone should make Cherry 2000 into a video game – just for Boll and Me. Actually, scratch that. I don’t really want Boll anywhere near Cherry 2000.
Rhett What about Kansas City Bomber? Boll could do marvelous things with a mop.
Shawn That would be okay. As long as an old ass Raquel Welch comes back.
Adam Like the rap metal song in House of the Dead, he could repeat that last race scene in Bomber 7 times, instead of 3.
Rhett And add in a Matrix shot.
Shawn Dude, fuck your Matrix shot, what we got in HOA was better. Boll spinning the camera around while she spun around too… I think Uwe Boll just really likes slushies. Just what was that chick’s connection to the killer anyway? Were they just internet pen pals?
Adam In 2001, did people use antiquated MacIM like that?
Rhett I used ICQ.
Shawn I still used AIM in 2001.
Rhett DamNEdFromBirth54
Shawn prefect999
Rhett Was that Dara’s name? 999 would be perfect, as if to suggest her life has been turned upside down by this jock…666!!!… Everyone has a normal kid, me, I have the fucking dark lord.
Shawn Clint Howard inspires murder. Goddamn Ice Cream Man.
Adam I hope he was at least amusing himself. Or at least murmuring to himself.
Shawn Yeah, I usually like seeing Clint too, but he did nothing for me here.
Adam “No one shits on Daniel Lynn ever again!”
Rhett *Danielle…


Shawn I dunno, like I told Rhett, I graduated in 99 a month after Columbine. So that really was part of my HS experience. And my HS is NOT at all represented by Heart of America. To even a garish cartoonish degree. It’s less silly than just completely off target. Every character is a stereotype in the worst possible way, even Karyn the “pure” student is hopelessly naive. There is a lot of grey area that could have been represented that was not. So, when you watch a Uwe, you look for realism and for yourself and your niche to be properly represented. Let’s put it this way. I do when the director (Uwe or otherwise) is actually trying to make a statement. My niche was better represented in House of the Dead and more realistically portrayed. It is obvious that I was supposed to “feel” for all the characters and recognize all their weaknesses and how everyone is the problem. But I can’t, because none of the characters are even close to being real. And having them all tie together so closely is even more bizarre. Which is why I commented on how only 6-8 people were supposed to graduate.
Adam Well, for budgetary reasons, that’s how many graduates there were.
Shawn Which means Karen’s boyfriend must have been really busy with all the under-grads.

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Roadracers

By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]


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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.