Today we have our second edition of Brian “Buzz” Juergens’ “Premature Burial“, which is a review for an upcoming film based on only the images provided on the web. His reviews are a comical look at the film based on what he thinks is going to happen. This weeks review is for Warner Bros.’ Constantine. Read on and check it. You can also read Buzz’s Premature Burial for ‘Boogeyman’ by clicking here.Constantine The Premature Burial: Horror Movies Don’t Stand a Chance
8 out of 10
By: Brian Juergens
Finally, a movie that combines all the things that I, as a twenty something guy livin’ in the Big City, find important: fast cars, herbal body treatments, and venereal disease. Though it might look at first glance to be some sort of supernatural thriller about demons, heaven and Rachel Weisz in a bathtub, Constantine is, in reality, a concise, funny, and heartbreakingly true film about the trials and tribulations of being a single guy in a sharp suit looking for happiness in the cultural wasteland we call Los Angeles. Man Show fans listen up – this is Guy Stuff!!
John Constantine (played with effervescent, wide-eyed glee by Keanu Reeves) is a down-on-his-luck, scruffy-dog type of guy who just wants to make it through the day without getting shot, slapped, or having anything spilled on his tailored suit. You know the type – he’s a guy’s guy, like your favorite uncle. His messed-up hair takes an hour to style, but it looks like he just rolled off of the futon. He lives in a water-stained efficiency apartment facing an elevated subway track, without heat or electricity. He drinks Scotch and sleeps with hookers.
So imagine John’s utter surprise when he receives a phone call from Whitford, the personal assistant to his great-great-great-uncle Montgomery Brewster. Whitford tells him some crazy news: apparently, John will inherit $300 from his uncle’s estate, but on one condition only – he must spend $30 dollars a day in order to claim the inheritance! If John spends even a penny less than $30 on even one day, he won’t see a dime of the fortune. John sets out to prove his family and friends wrong and finally see something through for once.
The first place John goes to squander his money is an L.A. car dealership. He goes straight to the crappy ones, thinking that he can for sure find a junker for thirty smackers, but is shocked to find that even the most pathetic heap, a 1978 AMC Concorde with no engine, will still run him $52,000. “Yo,” moans John to the salesman, played with characteristic oomph by Pruitt Taylor Vince (best known as the loony in “Identity”), “this is, like, really much money, yo.” Pruitt cackles and throws is hands in the air, unwilling to budge. Saddened, John moves on.
The next place John tries is an antique shop housed in an old Hollywood mansion. “This stuff looks old – I bet it’s cheap enough,” says John, who has apparently never seen Antiques Roadshow. He wanders the aisles, picking up old typewriters and moldy hats from the stacks of crap. He holds up a moth-eaten, urine-stained pair of undershorts from the Victorian era and shows them to the owner, a craggy old hag played with typical ethereal weirdness by Tilda Swinton (best known for her turns in “Orlando” and “The Deep End”). “How much for these boxer briefs?” The hag peers at him and replies, “Seventeen thousand dollars. And that’s only because they’re missing buttons.” I’ve been a huge fan of Tilda since she appeared in that Orbital video where the woman moves really slow, and this role is perfect for her because – well, she moves really, REALLY slow!!
John is at his wit’s end – he can’t seem to spend his $30, and the day is waning! He leaves the owner in a huff, unsure of where to turn next. On the way out the door, he spies something interesting: a large case of explosives sitting innocently under statues of Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy (who loved “Cocoon”? Me!). John peers over his shoulder and, certain that no one is around, tucks the enormous crate into his pants and scurries out. Now, ordinarily, I would stop and go, “whoa — nobody can stuff a whole crate of explosives down his pants and not even wrinkle them!” But you know what? This is Neo, people. He can do whatever the hell he wants.
Walking down a filthy street in downtown L.A. (they sure can make Canada look seedy, can’t they?), John decides that maybe he should think “outside the box” here: maybe it’s not an item he needs, but a service. He thinks of the hookers that he sleeps with, and realizes that he’d have to hire a half-dozen of them to add up to $30, and he’s just not up to it today. He looks up and sees a sign that reads: “Manicure/Pedicure: $30 Special!” Excited, John ducks into the shop.
In the salon’s front room, the owner, Midnight (played with Jazz-infused rat-a-tat by Djimon Hounsou) is chastising one of his employees, Chas (Shia Lebouf – and no, that’s not the older sister from The Cosby Show, like I was expecting from the credits). Apparently Chas, aspiring paparazzi, has been using the back area as a darkroom, where he then develops his celebrity photos. It seems Chas has replaced all the light bulbs with red, paper-safe bulbs, and can’t remember where he put the normal ones! I really liked this scene because I lose light bulbs all the time, and because I love it when small business owners are screwed over by stupid employees.
After finding a few bulbs, Midnight ushers John into a chair and orders him to take off his shoes. But when Midnight smells the stench from John’s crusty toes, he balks. Using a Swiffer with a light bulb attached to it to get a better look in the dim room, tells John that he’s going to have to sanitize his feet before he touches them, which will cost an extra $200. John refuses. Midnite offers to throw in a Mike’s Hard Lemonade, but John, disgusted, puts his shoes back on and takes off.
John’s beginning to lose patience, and is starting to think that the city is a stranger place than he once believed. Heck, he’s just a down-on-his-luck, irreverent supernatural detective trying to make ends meet by spending $30 in order to inherit his uncle Brewster’s fortune! John looks up and finds that he is outside L.A. hotspot Avalon, a nightclub where the hot young things and the tragic old things mix and mingle to the tune of a hefty cover. And what do you know; tonight’s entry fee is $30. “Yessssss!” hisses John, “and maybe I’ll be able to bag a starlet while I’m at it!” John forks over his $30 and enters the club, ready to party. I’m already stoked, because I just LOVE nightclub scenes in movies – they always really capture the feeling of being in a club. Or even better, a rave – movies like “Freddy vs. Jason” that have a rave scene are way cooler than other movies that just have people at rock shows or bowling – and you know why? Glowsticks.
There’s only one problem: John has just stepped through a metal detector carrying a huge crate of explosives in his pants. In a hilarious turn of events that I won’t ruin here, John tousles with bouncers, romances a beautiful young actress, steals cocaine from a group of socialites, and blows up the club in a slip-up of apocalyptic – and hilarious! – proportions. John ends the evening triumphant, holding the socialites’ coke stash above his head as scores of aspiring models grovel at his feet, the club a supernova of flames around him. Now THAT’s what I call a night on the town!
John goes home, tired but fulfilled. This is what it’s all about, really – Constantine manages to capture the thrill of being a young guy out on the town like no other film I’ve seen this week. Full of humor, breakneck thrills, surprises, hot skinny chicks, and men in suits, the film brings to life the L.A. underworld like no other. But wait – lest we think that this movie condones casual bathroom sex with models, drug-stealing, and foot odor, Constantine leaves us with a message.
John wakes up the next day, ready to spend another $30, and makes a horrible discovery: his crotch is smoking. Thanks to his unprotected, anonymous encounter with a young WB actress in the bathroom of the Avalon, John is now the unwitting host to a scorching case of herpes. Them’s the breaks, John! At least you got 300 bucks to look forward to – if you get moving, that is! In all, Constantine is a thrilling, hilarious romp that fans of “Entourage”, “Sex in the City”, and “Life with Jim” will love. Boasting a bunch of clever cameos (Bush’s Gavin Rossdale as Balthazar Getty is a particular treat – what an asshole!) and some amazing production design, Constantine is the most lavish film about twenty something angst starring a forty something actor I’ve ever seen. Gargoyles? Explosions? Peter Stormare? This is some pretty crazy stuff – and you’d be a total tard to miss it.
Click here for our Constantine gallery. Warner Bros. film his theaters February 15th.