Monday, June 8, 2009

RIP--David Carradine 1936–2009

Last Thursday, David Carradine--best known for his starring role in the cult 70s TV series Kung Fu and as the eponymous Bill in the every-kind-of-awesome-known-to-man-and-several-known-only-to-the-Martians Quentin Tarantino-directed Kill Bill (although he was most prominent in Part 2, only doing glorious voicework in Part 1)--was found dead in his hotel room on the set of a new movie called Stretch. After failing to show up for a cast dinner, someone went up to check on the 72-year-old veteran actor\martial artist and found him hanging from his neck, with his hands tied behind his back (along with *ahem* other things). Whether it was suicide or accidental (a botched attempt at autoerotic asphyxiation (forgive my spelling, I can't even pronounce this word correctly)) remains unknown. Bangkok (where he was at) police tell the BBC that it was a hanging, while Carradine's publicist tells American reporters that he died of natural causes (

His lawyer, meanwhile, stated on Larry King that he was killed by a band of 'secret sect of kung fu ninjas'. Yes, you read that right. No, I am not joking.

Here's what Wikipedia has to report on this certain matter:

On Friday 5 June, the Carradine family lawyer Mark Geragos spoke on Larry King Live and dismissed claims of suicide, stating instead that David Carradine could have been murdered by a "secret sect of kung fu assassins", after it was revealed that Carradine had been attempting to uncover groups working in the martial-arts underworld.

He was not kidding.

So either this is a very bad lawyer, or David Carradine was a lot more awesome than we once thought.

My one regret? That one of his last roles was as a coma patient on that crappy House knock-off.


Here are some more brief reviews of movies I have just seen.

The Brothers Bloom--The sophomore effort from Rian Johnson, the director of Brick, which starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who cameos as a man in the bar the Brothers go to celebrate a successful con--the camera closes in on his face for a minute. Another girl from Brick who's name I forget has a minor role as a groupie). Starring Adrien Bordy, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, and Rinko Kikuchi. About 2 con men brothers, the scheming Stephen (Ruffalo), who plans the cons and fancies himself a character in a novel, and the younger romantic Bloom (Brody (he's never named)), who is tired of living only as the characters his brother writes for him. After a few months estrangment, Stephen convinces Bloom to pull of 'one last con' (God, I know. How many times have you heard that one?), with the help of their accomplice, silent explosives-expert Bang Bang (Kikuchi), who is said to only know 3 words in English. The target: wealthy but lonely eccentric Penelope (Weisz), who collects hobbies and enjoys making pinhole cameras out of watermelons (My God, the quirks!). In an increasingly complicated plot that deserts the original plan entirely, Bloom finds himself in love with Penelope (of course).

I liked this movie. Rachel Weisz deserves at least a Golden Globe, she's just so goddamn funny in this. Adrien Brody (or rather, Adrien Brody's sad-eyes) wet-blankets his (their) way through relatively unscathed (I kid. He was actually very good). Mark Ruffulo seems slightly out of his element as the conniving, light-hearted Stephen. Rinko Kikuchi has literally three lines in the entire movie, but her expressions are just fucking hilarious. Slows down in the third half to focus on the actual con, and the ending in bittersweet (no spoilers, I'm afraid), but all in all, an indie in love with it's own quirks and proud of it, that's funny, smart, and blah, you know the whole fucking thing, my hands are hurting. Maximilian Schell as the sleazy former mentor Diamond Dog, Robbie Coltrane as the brothers' rival\accomplice The Curator, Ricky Jay as the narrator (who only appears in the beginning, even though you think it's going to be a recurring thing--he sounds like he knows something you don't, it's weird). Rating: 9

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