Friday, January 03, 2014

Hello, I Must be Going...

This blog is officially dead!!

If you have come here looking for the writings and platitudes of one Mr. Kevyn Knox, Blogger, Film Historian + Critic, Comicbook nerd from waaay back, lapsed cartoonist, wouldbe Novelist, and the Writer of All Things Kevyn, then you need to go to his new blog, All Things Kevyn.  That is now the hub for the All Things Kevyn Entertainment Network.

See ya 'round the web.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I am a Media Whore !!!

Being the Media Whore that I am (and I even capitalized it) and that my wife says I am (and I agree), I am once again quoted in the Harrisburg Patriot-News. This is the second article this Summer that I have quotes in - and who says I'm not famous !!? The first article can be read HERE.

It's a short quote, but here is the article anyway. It's about reaction to the new World Trade Center film opening to-morrow. My review of said film can be read HERE. So read on, I am about two thirds of the way down the article (and it's highlighted in bleu). The article is by fellow critics, Li Wang and Mary Klaus.

For 9/11 rescuers, 'World Trade Center' proves 'EMOTIONAL'

Is it too soon for a 9/11 film set in New York? And who is going to go see it?

Those are questions surrounding Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center," opening today. Unlike "United 93," the first major studio movie about Sept. 11, 2001, Stone's film, starring Nicolas Cage, focuses on two Port Authority police officers who were among the first responders to the scene.

Three members of Pennsylvania Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, dispatched to New York City hours after the terrorist attacks, said it's not too soon for the film.

Harrisburg Bureau of Fire Lt. Donald Chesbro, Capt. Jeff Snyder and firefighter Nelson Powden II spent a week searching for survivors at the World Trade Center. They found only bodies.

Chesbro has seen the movie and called it "fairly realistic."

"It brought back a lot of memories," Chesbro said. "Ground zero looked like a war zone with a haze of thick dust, vehicles overturned, car alarms going off in crushed cars and steelworkers using torches to cut steel beams."

"The movie isn't as gory as people might expect," he said. "Some of it is very subtle. You hear people jumping out of the towers, but if you don't know what the noise is, you won't pick up on it."

Chesbro criticized the movie for "making it look like the Port Authority Police handled the whole thing. It doesn't show much of the firefighters." He said a part about a former Connecticut Marine donning his uniform, showing up at the World Trade Center and finding one of the trapped police officers seemed "far-fetched."

But he praised its depiction of the "human side" of the rescue attempts and the depiction of the families of the trapped police officers.

"For someone involved in the rescue, it's emotional," Chesbro said. "I think it will be a movie like 'Ladder 49,' something the general public may not latch onto, but firefighters and emergency workers will. I recommend it."

Snyder and Powden said they plan to see it. "I'd like to see how true they portrayed the event," Snyder said. "But I have a problem with any movie that makes a profit off of someone's loss."

Powden wants to see the movie "when I'm by myself. I think it will dredge up a lot of painful memories. I heard it's pretty true to life. I don't have nightmares, but it's very vivid, like it happened just yesterday."

"It's hard to believe that it's been five years," Snyder said.

Much is at stake for Viacom Inc.-owned Paramount with "World Trade Center," which cost $63 million to make. To break even, the studio needs the film to reach a broader audience than did Universal Pictures' lower-budget "United 93," which grossed $31.5 million at the box office.

An unconventional marketing effort has been launched to sell the film, such as multiple pre-release screenings, including five in the midstate. Local law enforcement, fire fighters and EMS teams were the primary invitees.

Local film critic Kevyn Knox of saw the film two weeks ago with his wife, Amy. The usually hard-to-please Knox was impressed. "I was surprised at how much restraint was used," he said.

Regular filmgoer Nathan DeMuro of Harrisburg said he was planning to stay away from "World Trade Center."

"I feel that we're in the midst of a war that was started by the events of that day and that there's so much turmoil in the world right now, the last thing we need to do is beat a dead horse," he said. "I know the movie is about the courage of the day, but I still think it's a little too early."

One of the film's producers, Michael Shamberg, said Paramount is targeting teens, an unusual tactic with a historical film, because many who are in their teens were children on 9/11. Teens also happen to have a heavy influence on box-office figures.

Efforts to connect with youths include TV ads with "Fix You" by the rock band Coldplay playing. A voiceover proclaims, "Every generation has a defining moment." The screen goes black and three words appear: "This was ours." The movie is also Stone's first PG-13 rated film.

The marketing efforts also emphasize the uplifting, emotional and inspirational aspects of the story. A film poster reads, "A True Story of Courage and Survival."

So far, the pre-release screenings have made a favorable impression with conservative groups, a sector that is usually at odds with the conspiratorial tone that has marked Stone's previous work, such as "JFK" and "Nixon." The conservative media watchdog group Media Research Center called the movie "a masterpiece."

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Blog blog blog and blog back...

Just today, I was browsing through our local paper's daily entertainment website and came across a blog on there. It had an article (so to speak) about Daniel "Harry Potter" Radcliffe and his new role in Equus (where he does indeed go bareback for one scene). This seemed to have disturbed their regular blogmeister. This is what she had to say:

Naked Harry Potter?
Is anyone else disturbed by this: Naked Role for Harry Potter

I'm sorry but that's the last thing I want to see. It totally destroys the conception that I have of that kid. I don't know if I will be able to watch the 'Harry Potter' flicks again.

This particular role is pretty controversial; the play's name is '
Equus'. I won't get into the nitty gritty, but it involves horses, sex and violence...the play is essentially a fairly disturbing commentary on what is 'normal' in society.

There's a certain innocence that is annihilated with this news. I know the actor has a career to think about and he's showing some depth, but, man, wait until they kick you off of the films to do that artsy crap.

My response was this:

Just the fact that you used the term "artsy crap" tells me something about your obvious commoner mindset, so it comes as no surprise to find that someone exploring a deeper acting challange than waving a wand about in some overwrought kiddie flick would offend your blantantly pedestrian tatses.

Sorry to inform you, but he is NOT Harry Potter, he is an actor who will take on many roles in his lifetime (some in "artsy crap" and some in Hollywoody Plebian pieces for you sheep that cannot think past prime time reality TV drudge) whether you want him to or not.

Her response was then this:

My main point would be that the machinery fueling Daniel Radcliffe's career is Harry Potter. He would not have the huge amount of opportunities to do the work he is doing now, if not for the 'Harry Potter' series.

A lot of money went into his career, therefore, like many child actors (often tragically) - until he comes out with something as successful as 'Harry Potter' (or more respectable for that matter) - iconically, he is Harry Potter.

Sorry, but I am going to give credit to the Hollywood pack of sheep that created him and perpetuated his career. I have no shame admitting that I did enjoy the films along with the masses and that I will continue to go see the subsequent films. They're pretty solid pieces in my opinion; the fact that they have a good plot and characterization is enough to suit me considering the choices we've had at the box office lately.

I agree that the lack of substantial films is frustrating and it's great that he's expanding his repertoire, but you pay your dues and attribute your successes (at least that's my motto).

And I do like 'artsy' films, but I find 'Equus' disturbing. While I can appreciate its honesty and message, I wouldn't want to see it. I would prefer to spend my time with other indy pieces.

Then me again:

You are right about "the machinery fueling" Mr. Radcliffe's career and I can see the idea of that said machinery taking a dislike to this particular role.

To cite a somewhat off-the-mark point, hafter Leo DiCaprio did Romeo + Juliet, the film that turned him into a teen upstart, and then Titanic, the film that drove him from teen upstart to true blue super mega star, a film he had done a few years before was (for the first time) put onto dvd. It was the film, Total Eclipse, wherein he plays the tortured gay poet Rimbaud. There were several scenes in the film that would have greatly distressed his legion of adoring teenage girl fans (mainly brutally sexual scenes of sodomy) but for the most part, the people that would see Titanic and love it were not the same fans that would see a small independant half-Brit hybrid film such as Total Eclipse.

This is of course not the same scenario, and the only reason - due mainly to the rather disturbing imagery of Equus (and yes it IS disturbing) - the paths of Potter fans and those who will see Equus would cross would be the media-hyped connection of Radcliffe.

This probably won't effect the Potter franchise as much as we might think, and anyway, starting with the next film (and I suppose a little with this last one) things at Hogwarts will be getting a lot darker.

As for "the sheep" that I spoke of, I do tend to get rather high-handed at times and probably should be knocked down every once and a while (although I'm sure I'll just climb right on back up again). I did "enjoy" the films for the most part. For children's films they really weren't all the poorly done, but my tastes usually go toward the Tarkovsky, Bresson, Bergman side of things and tend to be a little on the dark, moody side in general.

As for you thanking me for being polite, I reread what I had written and I must say I didn't come off very polite at all (all that high-handed pretention I harbour), but thank you for thinking so - and I truly meant NO HARM in what I did say.

Thanx for listening,
Kevyn Knox

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Lady in the Water ???????????

I finally put away my lollygagging ways and went to see M. Night Shambalamba's Lady in the Water last night. I haven't posted my review yet (although it should be up on my site by Monday sometime) but here is an e-mail I had sent out just after seeing the film. I believe it gathers my albeit raw thoughts pretty clearly.

I have heard nothing but bad press about Lady in the Water - even M. Night Shambalamba is having second thoughts - and I knew as soon as I receiv'd my friend's e-mail I had to go see for myself dammit (fist hitting desktop in dramatic flair) - so mere seconds after I read his "Hey man, I just saw Lady in the Water and I just want you to know it sucked balls. You may know this already but just in sucked balls." comment on the e-mail I got up, found my hat and made the movie in seconds flat.

My opinion on seeing it? He (so eloquently) said it "sucked balls" and I am going to have to disagree with that assertation and say this about it: "It sucked big fat donkey balls god damn it!!!".

Jesus Christ I cannot believe how insanely ridiculous this film is. It fucking flabbergasts me. One expects certain films to be bad (slasher films, straight-to-video thingees, teen sex romps, Wayans Bros. movies, B-Grade horror et cetera) but one could never be ready for the stupidity of a filmmaker that should know better.

I have never been a Shamalamadingdong fan - I have never liked one of his films, but I have never disliked any either (until tonight of course). Full of some of the most ridiculous dialogue this side of a carnival sideshow fortune teller act and some of the most ham-handed acting this side of an Ed Wood film. Jesus Christ this was bad.

I'm not even sure how to review a film this shockingly stupid. How do I do it god dammit!? (like this I suppose). Of course some critics (and you know who you are) seemed to have like the film, so I am even doubly bumfuzzled now...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Top 5 Project is Baaaaaack!!!!!!

Hello there true believers (a little Stan Lee moment for ya). After a long time away from Blogsville, it apperas as if I am back. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, The Top 5 Project - that little parlor game that took the Summer of '05 by veritable storm - is also back, with all new topics such as Top 5 First Films and last week's Top 5 Road Movies.

Many noted film critics and scholars have been participating and you can too be going over to The Cinematheque and naming your Top 5 Films set in New York (the current week's topic).

What the Top 5 Project essentially is, is a way to see what others are thinking about cinema - at least from a purely list-making perspective (although there is some commentary to go with). What I am proposing over here in Blogsville is more of a dialogue on the subjects being breached over at The Top 5 Project. A place for cinephiles and the like to exchange ideas, views, theories and perhaps even smack talk about the various Top 5 topics.

In starting us off, since this last week was The Top 5 Road Movies, let us look at a recent comment I recieved via e-mail about the final results (of which you can see here). So it goes.

Comments on the previous list - top 5 road movies: The nominees/results don't have well-defined boundaries. "Road movies" was mixed with "allegory movies". Examples of the latter: "Men With Guns", "The Searchers", "Apocalypse Now", "Lost Highway" (cat.: acid-trip/mind-f^%k/neo noir), "Grapes of Wrath" (this prompted me to write these comments).

Perhaps a "road movie" could be defined as a film that contains at least 50% running time depicting or implying movement towards an unintended physical location.

The previous comments were from Khoo Guan Soon, an Adjunct Faculty Member in Communications at Susquehanna University in PA, and a semi-regular contributor to The Top 5 Project (as well as a participant in the somewhat related Top 10 Project - check that out too).

So there you go, the possible beginnings of a cinematically-obsessed dialogue here in Blogsville. Send in your own thoughts and comments - either in the comments section of the blog or via e-mail at

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The AFI is Mocked Again (good!!)

To go along with my recent rants (and subsequent quotiness in the newspaper) against the AFI and their annual inspid list-mongering, here is a little someting from ReverseBlog, the Reverse Shot Blog.

In other news, I'll be heading to New York on Thursday and I'll bring back reviews on Lower City from Brasilia and The Forsaken Land from Sri Lanka - as well as maybe some random thoughts on Austrian-born avant-gardist Peter Kubelka (all six of his films will play at Anthology Archives on Thursday).

Friday, June 16, 2006

I was quoted in the newspaper...that proves I'm important dammitt!!

A few posts back, I put up my response to a question of what I thought of the AFI, and their annual lists. The entire diatribe can be read HERE. The results of that e-mail can be seen in several quotes in a recent article published in our local rag, The Harrisburg Patriot-News. There are also quotes from Caleb Smith and Todd Shill, both local Film Experts (and friends). Here is the whole article, written by Colin McEvoy.

AFI: 'Most inspiring films' list inspires some local dissent

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

by Colin McEvoy of The Patriot-News

Whether through an underdog boxer from the streets of Philadelphia, a man on a bench with a box of chocolates, or Julia Roberts fighting the powers-that-be in a push-up bra, we've all been inspired by the movies at one point or another.

In its ninth annual series celebrating the first century of cinema, the American Film Institute will honor the films that have emboldened and invigorated with "100 Years...100 Cheers," a list of what it calls the 100 most inspiring movies of the last century.

"'100 Years ... 100 Cheers' will celebrate the films that inspire us, encourage us to make a difference and send us from the theatre with a greater sense of possibility and hope for the future," said Jean Picker Firstenberg, AFI director, who will be retiring next year.

The list, to be televised at 8 tonight on CBS, will feature such film figures as Steven Spielberg, Jane Fonda, Sally Field and Sidney Poitier presenting, in ascending chronological order, the movies selected by a jury of 1,500 film artists, critics and historians.

While local film experts are mixed in their response to the AFI and its latest list, all agree with the motion picture's capacity to inspire.

"Films that inspire me are those that take the audience to places where people act differently, think differently, and have a different perspective on world events," said Todd Shill, founder of Harrisburg's Midtown Cinema. "Those films remind you that our corner of the world is very small and that there is always a different point of view."

And while some films -- "The Wizard of Oz," "Schindler's List," "Rocky," "It's a Wonderful Life" -- are all but guaranteed a spot in the top 10, some fans of cinema are hoping at least a few more contemporary films make the bill.

"There are many newer films and filmmakers who are going beyond the filmmaking boundaries in both image and storytelling," said Caleb Smith, program director of local arts organization Moviate, citing such movies as "Magnolia" and "The Royal Tannenbaums".

"[These] are two examples of modern inspiration, people dealing with inner turmoil and public issues, and then learning from their experience and overcoming problems."

But these films, as well as others Smith mentioned including "Lost in Translation" and "Broken Flowers," were not among the 300 films nominated for the list.

Kevyn Knox, a local film critic and operator of, said this is typical of the AFI.

Knox said the main purpose of the list programs are to sell DVDs and that the Institute ignores independent and lesser-known but worthy films in favor of Hollywood products.

"The AFI gives no regard for many of the obscure great films and filmmakers of American cinematic history," Knox said.

"Everyone knows of 'Star Wars', why do we need to hear about it again? But not many have seen 'Greed,' so why not let them in on that little secret bit of cinema?"

AFI officials defended the list series, saying that the AFI itself does not choose the movies, but that they are selected from a jury of more than a thousand "leaders from the creative community," who may also register write-in votes for films not among the 300 nominees.

The Wednesday program will be the ninth in the AFI's "100 Years..." series.

Previous lists included "100 Years of Film Scores," "100 Movie Quotes," "100 Heroes & Villains," "100 Passions," "100 Thrills," "100 Laughs" and "100 Stars" and "100 Movies."

Something to chew on !!?

A few weeks back - actually over a month ago - I saw and then reviewed the film Silent Hill. At several points in the review I made mention of how I perceive those "gamers" that the film was styled toward. It wasn't exactly a glowing perception, in fact what I said was:

Silent Hill is just about everything one might expect from a movie based upon a video game - a style over substance exuberance fit perfectly for the rather philistine mindset of those who typically play video games - and I am sure the genre itself would not allow anything else. Silent Hill also fits in perfectly typical Christophe Gans style - as in his previous film, Le Pacte des loups (Brotherhood of the Wolf) - all guts and no glory - a visually stylized slap in the face with no real meaning or essentiality behind said slap.

I also said, in closing:

Never understanding people's fascination with video games - I realize I don't enjoy mindless entertainment, but I can never fathom why others do - I suppose I'll never truly be enthralled by things such as Silent Hill, and that is just alright with me.

I never said I wasn't a pompous ass.

Anyway, I had gotten a short e-mail response to said review, which I will reveal here (name of author removed to protect the innocent (or guilty)):

I'm not exactly sure what type of interaction you have with individuals that identify themselves as "gamers" but being a person who regularly plays video games and regularly talks with other "gamers" I find that most are not typically smug or ignorant, at least no more than those who watch film. Despite that small gripe with your Silent Hill review I enjoyed reading it along with your other reviews. I'm also interested in seeing what films you select for your greatest films section. Hopefully it doesn't disappoint. ;)

Anway, I have no particular reason for showing this - I have no beef with the remark - I just thought it should be chronicled for any possible future archivist to easily unearth and put into The Collected Works of Kevyn Knox, Volume 3: Critiques of the Critiques.

I told you I was a pompous ass.