-A mousy librarian (Goldie Hawn) gets mixed up in a plot to kill the pope. Chevy Chase is a dashing detective.
-Remember when Hawn and Chase were, like, hot properties? Those were the days...
So, before I jest uselessly about Foul Play, Bunny Lake is Missing, and Being There (gathering my thoughts...), I need to solve this dilemma once and for all.
So, gentle readers, if you'd take the time to tell me how, exactly, I may improve that lengthy sidebar over there without actually changing the template (because that is too strenuous and the more time I may spend scrolling through my Dashboard, watching old SNL episodes on Netflix, and drinking Dr. Pepper, the better), I'd be most grateful, and, I don't know, review a movie you like especially.
So, uh...carry on.
12:47 PM By Simon
(Gone Baby Gone is on TV)
Danielle: I love Casey Affleck. He should've gotten an Oscar.
Me: He did. For Jesse James.
Danielle: No, he didn't.
Me: What? Who did?
Danielle: I don't know.
Me: We must find out who won, so we may address them with the proper scorn!
(to the internet, pause)
Me: Okay, fine.
Danielle: Who nominated Hal Ashby?
-A conman (Ryan O'Neal) ends up taking the recently orphaned daughter of an old flame (Tatum O'Neal) with him on the road, to transport to her aunt's house. Great Depression-era shenanagins ensue when she blueballs him into returning 200 dollars he acquired through her.
-Tatum O'Neal, as far as I can tell (I've seen no other Oscar films of that year) deserved the Oscar. Petulant and stubborn without being annoying or precocious, she scowls down all patronizing eyes while still managing to turn it into feigning little girl innocence.
-Ryan O'Neal's fine too, but let's face it, all he has to do is look oily and let Tatum to the work.
-Shot is lovely black-and-white by Peter Bogdanovich and cinematographer László Kovács. Pleasant, thirties hit-heavy soundtrack.
-For the most part, engaging, tight, adorable episodic movie about, I don't know, overarching goodness or something.
4:20 PM By Simon
-An Elvis-obsessed ex-convict (Nicholas Cage) and his sexpot girlfriend (Laura Dern) break his parole to drive to California. Meanwhile, her crazed Southern belle mother (Diane Ladd) sicks her two boyfriends, a professional private eye (Harry Dean Stanton) and a gangster (JE Freeman) on their tail. Batshit insanity ensues.
-I get the feeling David Lynch knows nothing of human interaction, or else, laughs in its face (I don't blame him, of course). Everything the characters say is spat out in melodramatic, post-soap opera declarations and lip quivering, a parody of both Southern dramas and Bonnie-and-Clyde road movies, with some truly perverse Willem Dafoe action.
-Diane Ladd is hilarious as the mom, the weirdest of them all (that isn't Grace Zabriskie). Nicholas Cage is tolerable for once. Laura Dern does her Lynch thing.
-Nightmarish and disturbing, with a happy ending that hates happy endings. John Lurie and Crispin Clover.
10:43 AM By Simon
-Bill Murray made melancholy by the likes of Sofia Coppola, Wes Anderson, and now Jim Jarmusch.
-Tilda Swinton, you do your damn thing.
-This Alex Whatserface, bitchy girlfriend from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, she specializes in overtly-peky sexuality, doesn't she?
-I love the voice/accent Hailee Steinfeld has on.
-She, this girl, still a child, still somewhat naive, but, at the very least, the best negotiater ever committed to screens.
-I hope she plays Katniss in the Hunger Games movie. There.
-Barry Pepper gets a pretty good supporting role as leader of the gang Josh Brolin's Tom Chaney is currently with, a vicious outlaw who is nonetheless quite noble.
-Jeff Bridges growls out his lines in the sauciest manner possible. Matt Damon is a half noble, half bitchy Texas Ranger. Josh Brolin puts on a stupid act, but when nobody's around, he's a nasty fuck.
-In a way, this might be the first movie where the Coens leave out all the quirks and spin a straight Western. Not as epic as the trailers would have you believe, and the last act felt anticlimatic, or incomplete.
-Fuck the Oscars, this is the best soundtrack of the year. That isn't all the other ones. Top 10, anyway.
-Terribly sorry that my content as of late has been kind of shitty. There's no more inspiration, man.
11:19 AM By Simon
-Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, and Betty Grable star as three women who split rent on a high-rise apartment in hopes of catching some rich men. It's in the title, people.
-I think this was the inception of Marilyn Monroe's ditsy blonde type. Except here, her gimmick is that she's basically blind, but refuses to put her glasses on in public, rationalized with a Dorothy Parker quote.
-Lauren Bacall is, as always, awesome.
-Betty Grable is somewhere between Monroe and Bacall.
-What's with old movies and 'How do you like that?'
-Pleasant, cute, entertaining old romantic comedy. You could do worse.
-A biopic of the Germs, specifically, their lead singer Darby Crash (played by Shane West). Also around is Ben from Reaper as Pat Smear, Bijou Phillips as Lorna Doom, Tina Majorino as Michelle Baer Ghaffari and a eczema-inflicted Ashton Holmes as Crash's boyfriend, Rob.
-If I had to describe this movie in three syllables, it would be: watered-down.
-I can't take Shane West seriously. He's always trying to put on his tough guy face, and I mean, dude. It's Shane West.
-Same with Ben...Rick Gonzalez. He's technically supposed to be the more laced-up of the band, but he, and Phillips, and everyone else for that matter, just look like a bunch of acting school graduates mugging like punk rockers.
-Direction is off. Uneven. It only really shines during the musical numbers.
-Eh. It was fine.
2:04 PM By Simon
-When some dude gets murdered and ends up on the dividing billboard between Quebec and Ontario, pussy-ass English-speaking detective Colm Feore must team up with rule-bending motherfucker French-speaking Patrick Huard.
-This shit is so Canadian. I mean, nobody says 'eh' or anything, but those guys, they're hardcore about hockey.
-Surely some French in-jokes, and probably even some English ones I fail to pick up on because I take them for granted or some shit. And a bunch of Hockey league parodies. And a Texan that is not greeted with open arms. In fact, I suspect this movie is not terribly fond of us at all.
-Oh, shit, do we have a hockey league?
-Huard and Feore have good chemistry, but not the kind where I keep expecting them to start making out. This is the best I can ask for in a buddy cop movie, especially one that, at times, takes itself very seriously.
-I now know all the French slang terms for 'fuck', 'shit', 'ass', and maybe 'cunt'. Good day.
1:57 PM By Simon
-Anime adaptation of the 40s manga by Osamu Tezuka, a boy accompanies his private investigator uncle from Japan to the future city of Metropolis, where robots are segregated and the de factor ruler is named Duke Red. Adventures in the Uncanny Valley ensue.
-I quite liked that Metropolis was not an all-encompassing world, but a relatively cut-off city that people from wherever can just visit now and then. And that people from Japan are marvelling at the robots.
One day, me and my sister (aforementioned Danielle) sat down to watch a movie by Banksy, who's graffiti printouts littered our walls. This is what followed.
Me: So, did you watch Exit Through the Gift Shop yet?
Me: What are your thoughts on it?
Danielle: Paramore is dead.
Me: What did you think of the message of the movie?
Danielle: My childhood hero is a bitch.
Danielle: She seemed so nice.
Me: I think Thierry was in on it.
Danielle: I want to die.
Me: My name is Khan and I am NOT a terrorist.
Danielle: Shoot me. In the face. Just do it.
Me: I think Spike Jonze directed it.
Danielle: wa-oh, I never meant to bra-a-g....
Me: I didn't know Space Invader was French.
Danielle: There is no God.
Because I don't feel like reviewing Exit Through the Gift Shop.
A Disney afternoon show (previously on, I dunno, ABC or something), about the goings-on during the recesses of one PS 113, aka Third Street School, specifically centering on six fourth graders making up a regular band o'misfits--TJ, the chubby little leader, Vince, the designated Black Guy who's also really good at sports, Gretchen, nerd with unbelievably big teeth, Spinelli, the badass tomboy chick of indeterminate ethnic makeup, Mikey, the large, pacifistic dude with a Robert Goulet's singing voice, and Gus, the new kid who's son of an army general and is also really, really boring. Trying to thwart their shenanagins is Principal Prickly, who is indeed quite prickly, but also very put upon, and with an admirable mustache, and Miss Finster, the BAMF playground moniter and, I don't know, fifth grade teacher or something.
The animation was terrible (something I didn't quite remember until I recently rewatched what used to be my default afternoon film, Recess: School's Out), the writing could be shit, the characters one-dimensional, and sometimes, quite annoying. But guys. At the time of my viewings--something like first and second grade--this shit was motherfucking accurate. It made schoolyard politics as dramatic and Serious as they felt. Tons of They Call Him Barkeep characters, various dramatic events like rainy days, where you're cooped up in the cafeteria with a bunch of hysterical banshees you didn't realize you had, at best, ambient feelings towards until right then, that one kid who always told on you. This shit? A less gonzo version of my pre-pre-adolescent life.
And let's face it. You love the Kindergartners.
-So, you know the story, right? Emotionally constipated woman--living at home with her overbearing mother, living every little girl's dream profession, ballerina--slowly goes mad as she prepares for the lead role in Swan Lake.
-Natalie Portman is the shit. I mean, she deserves all the praise she's getting. Spending the better part of the movie (which never leaves her, not for a minute) with a brow furrowed in worry, eyes wide and fragile and pathetic. But then, as she becomes the Black Swan, she becomes the Black Swan--aggressive and vicious and, let's face it, rather slutty. Nothing here is gratuitous, there for the sake of titillation. It's all to do with her unraveling. She peels back skin on her fingers, a rash forms on her shoulder blades, her feet, of, darling, her feet.
-Vincent Cassel is all molesty as her fervent director, criticizing her in the same breath her sticks his tongue down her throat. Mila Kunis stays to the side, watching and waiting, imitating Natalie Portman's moves (fine, Lily and Nina), but with a dash more playfulness, no worry or cares, mysterious. Barbara Hershey, with her Glasgow grin and her half-mad motherly gaze, vicariously living through her daughter in the most terrifying way, deserves an Oscar, I tell you.
-And Winona Ryder. Making the most of her 5 minutes, she, the fallen star, chews every line with enough bitter fury to crack the champagne glass she wields like a gun.
-And yet, there's a deliciously campy humor about it, best exemplified as Nina is haunted by the wizard dude--the swan, the black, feathery, tarred thing that chases her nightmares grotesquely--and on opening night, he breezes past her in the crowded backstage with a noncommittal 'Hey'.
-Darren Aronofsky is king of operatic deterioration.
-The camerawork is lovely. This frantic jumping about, always keeping Portman in focus, following her from back of the head or tightly closing in on her panicked face, is a sick combination of Gaspar Noe and David Lynch styles. The music, groaning strings that are lovely and despairing at the same time, is epic. I tip my fedora to Clint Mansell and Matthew Libatique.
-The last shot is haunting. The first shot is haunting. Every shot is haunting.
-Not to discredit the supporting-supporting players, other dancers at the company, who make remarks and feud and gossip and bicker and stare daggers at Nina, or dance with her, side with Cassel, everyone being such glorious bitches, but sympathetique bitches, but bitches, all of them, Benjamin Millepied and company.
-Portman and Kunis did most of their own dancing.
-This is a psychological horror, ignore the pretentious dicks who try to call it a thriller. This. Is. A. Horror. Movie.
-I wrote this awhile ago, about Black Swan, kind of.
-Remember when I said I didn't want to hear no damn reviews of Black Swan? I want to now. Lay 'em on me.
-As a child, Lucie (Mylène Jampanoï) escaped from a abattoir, where she was tortured for a lengthy period of time. Sent to an orphanage, she makes friends with Anna (Morjana Alaoui). 15 years later, Lucie discovers who may have kept her those years, and when she and Anna go to exact revenge, shit gets, like, real. And gruesome. And, uh, uncomfortable.
-Okay...let's start with happy thoughts. There's a teenaged boy near the beginning, who turns out to be a young Xavier Dolan, otherwise known as Canada's Boy Wonder behind J'ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother) and Les Amours Imaginaires (which roughly translates, says me, into 'The Imaginary Loves' or something, or is it 'The Creative Loves'? The latter sounds stupid, anyway. And the official English title is Heartbeats).
-I stall. This shit is brilliantly twisted, and twistedly brilliant, and beautifully executed, and marvelously acted, and simply put, one of the most horrifying horror movies I've ever seen. Not just the acts themselves, but the motives behind the acts. The way it just changes gears halfway through, turning from a suspense/supernatural thriller/horror into something much more sickening. By the end, the only mystery is one best left unsolved, as it makes the last shot almost comforting.
-But I digress. Everything before then is an endurance test, something you can either be proud or ashamed to say you passed.
-To nitpick, as I do (and this involves spoilers. Or subject of potential squeamishness for pussy-ass male figures. Warned.) Highlight any white spaces, beyond 'end' tag, for potentially spoilerific spoilers:
Women, as some may know, have body hair. This includes their pits and their legs. Why is it that movies such as these, where women have been kept in captivity, without even a proper toilet, their legs remain smooth? Their lips will chap, their hair will muss just so, faces bashed in with who-knows-what, chained to walls, tortured beyond hope of sanity, and yet, their legs refuse even stubble?
-As always, people should get Oscars for physical acting alone. Talking to you, Mystery-Double-Jointed-Torture-Victim-Ghost-Lady.
-Weird French accents. This is a Canadian production, I will assume until someone tells me the bidness.
-Jean-Paul Belmondo plays a Bogart-impersonating thief and, as the film opens, murderer, with Jean Seberg as his American wannabe-journalist girlfriend. Lengthy conversations about beauty and shit proceed.
-I shall maintain that none-Anna Karina Godard films are useless to me. Although it's always interesting to spot this fabled American accent in French.
3:50 PM By Simon
Oh, I know, I've been terrible about linkage lately, but fuck that noise, I got shit to do. Now, though, I've properly failed at least three tests, and I'm good to motherfucking go.
-Sugary tells all you old people what fer.
-Univarn on the art of background noise.
-The Film Doctor's shittiest films of 2010. But don't give up hope, guy. We still have a month of prestige left.
-Many moons ago (like, two weeks), DC Girl went off on the Sucker Punch trailer. While I can't say I disagree with any of her (hilarious) (ahem) points, ROBOT NINJAS!
-Sadako tells Sex and the City 2 as it was meant to be told.
-Rachel and Jess of Reel Insight discuss Ben Foster, presumably (I haven't listened yet, but I will, so shut up).
-Nicholas' (Nicholas's?) five favorite servers.
-There are many, many people who are able to see Black Swan. I am not one of them. I'd like to make a point of not linking any of you lucky, metropolitan dicks.
-FLETCH HAD A BABY!
-Dope outlines gifts to give people you don't hate enough to shit on their plastic Santa.
-Acidemic on the beards of The Road et Winter's Bone.
-Pussy Goes Grr on Eric Roehmer. Who I should probably be familiar with.
-As always, its not because I don't love you. I just love them more.
Pas particulièrement, en tout cas. Mais je dois les regarder pendant l'année scolaire. Pour la classe française, vous savez ? Il me met à un avantage.
Nous regardons la Chèvre en ce moment. Le film terrible, mais nous sommes sur l'unité 'd'animal', les connexions tièdes de côté. L'utilisation de cette logique, pourquoi pas le Corbeau, ou Panique au village?
Pourquoi l'école publique ne peut pas offrir au russe ou le Coréen, donc je pourrais me regarder un Andrei Tarkovsky ou le Park Chan-wook?
La déclamation extravagante de fin (dans le français!)
1:12 PM By Simon
-After the death of the mother, a wealthy, middle-aged man and his playboy son (John Standing and Matthew Delamere) take in a harem of women in the father's Geneven mansion, all of whom with a gimmick/archetype of a Fellini film: a nun, a businesswoman, a gambler, a whore, a maid, a mother, a kabuki performer, etc.), signing one-year contracts.
-Dry European humor, with the father and son exchanging intellectual conversations on film and love and death and sex and whatever (their idea did spring from a viewing of 8 1/2). Their debates are actually really funny, sarcastic and all that.
-Among the harem is Toni Collete as the nun and Amanda Plummer as a vaguely Eastern European women on the run from a Middle Eastern dude who she stole a horse from, and has an intimate relationship with a pig. So yeah.
-Many wide shots. The Wes Anderson setup kind, but more often.
-In the son's quest to comfort his father, they have offscreen, but implied, sex. This may be Netflix being pussies, but their are really no sex scenes at all, except for one that's kind of important.
-I don't care what Roger Ebert says, I like it. Gallows humor above all else.
-Some things that hurt my poor little brain: the beginning of an act is superimposed with a page of the script, implied father/son sex (mentioned), the fact that there's this big buildup to who the half woman is (barely shown in the beginning, never again until the end, subject of a lengthy conversations between some maids as they clean the pool), it turns out to be an amputee. How startlingly obvious. Or maybe there's some deeper meaning I have to go to film school to get.
-Which gets me thinking, have you ever gotten the feeling some movies were made solely to prompt people to go to film school? Not this one, necessarily, because it still has many aspects you don't need some further understanding to enjoy, at least on a surface level.
-But I should not be taken for authority, on either Greenaway or anything to do with film. In fact, I'm fairly sure I'm in the minority of liking this on a non-intellectual level, just simply enjoyed it.
-I like Vivian Wu. I watched Kinamand to go with this.
1:06 PM By Simon
-A ten-year-old with undiagnosed Tourettes (Elle Fanning) wins the part of Alice in her school's production of Alice in Wonderland, led by a new drama teacher (Patricia Clarkson). Felicity Huffman and Bill Pullman play her parents.
-Adorable, sometimes sad little movie that's better than Lifetime disease-of-the-week, anyway.
-Holy shit, those Fanning girls can scream.
-I smiled when Patricia Clarkson played out the beginning of the tea party, with all the auditioning kids not getting it and/or being little shits.
-A friend of Phoebe's, Name-Forgotten, who was the only one to understand the tea party bit, gets the part of the Red Queen, is rehearsing, and one little girl says 'Homo.' He says 'Homo got the part', and I fucking love that.
-A shocking crime succeeds a shocking crime, with underworld France inbetween.
-Uh...yes. So. Monica Belluci should get an Oscar for endurance.
-Frantic, spinning camera movement morphs into calm tracking, all edited to look like one continuous shot.
-Vengeance before cause.
Now, indeed I can't share images, because my computer is once again being a whore, but Art and Adventure is having a giveaway of Zita the Spacegirl. Yes, I have interest besides movies, no, you didn't particularly care to wonder if I did, yes, I'm procrastinating from the dreaded Homework.
All this Netflixing, I've completely neglected by ever-growing collection of unwatched DVDs. Les horreur!
Now, with the arrival of Inception (an unexpected early CCCCCCCCCCCCChanukah (basically hack out that first syllable) gift from my newly-appreciated mother), I find myself having to clear out this specific space where I keep all of them. And now, I leave it to YOU, gentle literate peoples, to decide what I watch next. This is important.
Of course, a poll will go up once I weed through the initially eliminated. Ahem.
Three Colors: Red
Capturing rhe Friedmans
Kiss Me, Stupid
4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
Alfred Hitchcock collection
Masters of Horror Collection
All About Eve
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
The Valley of the Dolls
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
Masters of Mayhem collection
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Jack Nicholsan: Cult Classics
Bela Lugosi: King of the Undead
Gorehouse Greats Collection
Then I wouldn't be here, now would I?
Of course you don't understand, ---! You've been gone so long...
Don't pull that shit on me, ---, you very well know I tried as hard as I could--
SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU FUCKING BASTARD!
I'LL KILL YOU, YOU CUNT!
The moral of the story? No Antichrist before bed.
Have a nice night.
6:41 PM By Simon
-An out of work college professer (Lee Sung-jae), annoyed by constantely barking dogs in his apartent building, begins abusing and kidnapping them. Meanwhile, a young woman working at the building (Bae Doona) begins investigating after several tenants give her notices.
-The directorial debut of Bong Joon-ho, a wry black comedy, a bit uneven, but rather delkightful.
-So, yeah. Wish I was more talkative on the matter.
6:29 PM By Simon
-A therapist, He (Willem Defoe), unwisely decides to take his wife, She's (Charlotte Gainsbourg), grief counseling into his own hands after the accidental death of their toddler son. Chaos reigns, genitals mutilate, et cetera, et cetera.
-I forget if this was Oscar eligable in 2009 or 2010, but holy shit, none of the other nominees deserved it as much as Gainsbourg. Shit.
-Borders on pretentious, but never quite crosses that line. A fascinating study on grief and mental illness, and to a lesser extent, misogny.
-The cinematography, by Anthony Dod Mantle, is beautiful. Especially in the opening and closing scenes. Damn.
-And it makes you think, guys.
-Not for the risible.
Or, about the making of movies, or the definition of movies, or the general being of movies. Et cetera.
1) Irma Vep
Maggie Cheung stars as the star of a malfunctioning remake of Les Vampyres, remunating of the state of French cinema, and American cinema, and cinema in general.
2) Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
Likewise, an adaption of Tristram Shandy with the egocentric Steve Coogan, wherein nobody can agree on which subplot to keep and which to toss, where they're going to get their damn funding, and what can be done to make Coogan look taller. Blurring the lines between non and fiction, and sharp comedy about the follies of filmmaking (duh).
Because he says it better, and I'm lazy, Mike Lippert of You Talking to Me? left a comment on my review of the film, which goes like this:
[...]the entire concept of the film (because a concept is what it rightfully is) is that it explores Bergman's effective relationship to film itself. It first begins with a montage which, in a way, works out Bergman's life through film: an image from his earlier film The Devil's Wanton, a beloved childhood cartoon, the tarantula (Bergman's image for God, his interpretation, not mine, and so on).
The film is bookended by a young Bergman in a bedroom with images of Liz and Alma projected on a screen. They are beuatiful women but they are not real, they are simply reflections of simulacrum (composite images without an original) because they are the faces of actresses playing characters and not in fact real women. It's only half ironic that both were, at one point, Bergman's lovers.
The film then deals with two opposing women: the caregiver: real and emotional and the actress, fake and emtionally indifferent. The actress has reverted inside herself because she doesn't exist as a human being outside of the stage. Both womens' reactions to the horrifying sex story that is told is wholly telling.
Then the film burns up and reconstructs itself after alma steps on a piece of glass, the first human sensation she has maybe ever felt and thus, we need a new film, in which we even get a glimpse of Bergman and his crew manipulting a shot. The roles have changed, the actress can feel, and so goes the film until the truth of the matter is revealed jarringly in the infamous fash mesh in which Bergman shows complete control over these women, who do not exist but instead are simply images that he can manipulate of his own free will. In that sense it's the most personally perverse shot Bergman ever devised.
And then the child again, touching the glass, reaching out to these women, trying to escape. He grabs for real beauty and yet all he gets is cold glass for these women are no more than projections on a screen: a chemical reaction of light hitting film and being projected on a cold surface. In this sense, Bergman reveals that film is both love and pain: encapsultaion and isolation: within film Bergman is his own master, ability to make his lovers into anything he wants and yet he still ends up cold and alone with no more than images projected behind a gladd barricade.
4) 8 1/2
Add your own? Tell me how positively half-assed I am? Good news: My comments don't have CAPTCHA!
6:33 PM By Simon
-A chemically-altered monster wreaks havoc at the Hun River, eating pedestrians all about. When he grabs a young girl and takes her down to his lair, her family--slow-witted father (Song Kang-ho), archer aunt (Ko Ah-seong), alcoholic former activist uncle (Park Hae-il), and snack-bar owner grandfather (Byeon Hee-bong)--reunite after some time to find her.
-While officially a monster horror movie, there are elements of drama and comedy (including the funniest funeral scene ever committed to celluloid).
-Aw shit, this is awesome. Acting, action sequences, Monster, plot, twists, backhand of typical monster movies, everything. Brilliant.
-And sad, at the end. Very sad.
-Bong Joon-ho, like Park Chan-wook, never makes a movie I don't like.
-One thing: this film does not have a high opinion of Americans. Or America, for that matter. The opening scene, where a US Army doctor orders his Korean assistant to dump a bunch of toxic chemicals down the drain because their bottles are dusty, to the modern-day one who interviews the dad (named Gang-du), even the young soldier during the initial attack who keeps yelling, loudly and obnoxious and persistantly "I gotta help!". It's political in the loosest definition of the term 'casually'.
6:08 PM By Simon
-In an Uncanny Valley future, two cops who track down renegade cyborgs come at odds when one of them (Yoo Ji-tae) falls in love with his 'doll' cyborg. With it/her about to expire, he searches through black market means a way to transfer her mind into a human body, finding an orphaned prostitute/fortune teller (Lee Jae-eun).
-Confusing and muddled and disorganized cyberpunk. Nothing is bothered to be explained, which can sometimes be good, but here it's just aggravating.
-Performances: action movie calibre.
-Fine cinematography, has too much of a nineties-feel.
-Bloody, violent cyborg-on-human fights (hardly fair).
5:44 PM By Simon
-Various sketches of couples talking (uh) after sex.
-Not terribly good. Not terribly terrible. Ranges from stupid rom-com material (complete with lame-ass, out-of-nowhere, cliched explanations of what love is), to after school special (on being in the closet), to relationship dramas, to old people of the free-years yonder.
-The only ones I really liked were: Mila Kunis and Zoe Saldana's lesbian-and-bicurious-roommate (other way around) get it on, then walk around their college campus negotiating the terms of their relationship, orientation, bitchiness, and the flavor of one's cunt. The other was Taryn Manning and Jose Pablo Cantillo as people just finished with a one night stand on a mattress in an alley, and who walk to his apartment. Both are the best acted of the bunch, funniest, the latter being the weirdest (which is why it's saved for the end).
-Dave Franco is in one, but he's so bad I'd rather not discuss it.
-And that lady from those annoying Kay Jeweler's commercials shows up.
-Surely another to tick under the good old 'meta-film-within-a-film/disastrous production' genre, eh?
-The intermingling of the production of an ambitious adaption of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (I may be getting that title wrong) with actual scenes of it, only half of which are actually filmed by the first half, and the rest just implied. If that makes sense. Which it doesn't.
-Tony Wilson interviews Steve Coogan (both playing themselves). Meet you in Manchester, bitches.
-I love Naomie Harris. I especially love her because of her passionate speeches on, among other films, Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. I haven't seen it, because I'm lame, but the fact that a movie has the common decency to make a real reference to him is beautiful.
-Other beautiful things: in a deleted scene, a 28 Days Later poster hangs about in a scene where Coogan and friends (unfortunately, Harris is not among them) read a review of Coffee and Cigarettes, where 'Alfred Molina gives an obnoxious Steve Coogan a taste of his own medicine' (I find this particularly funny because here, Coogan essentially plays the same version of himself as he did in that particular short, but with a baby and a girlfriend out of Kelly MacDonald who isn't Kelly MacDonald.
-Speaking of which, she and Shirley Henderson are always doing movies together, aren't they?
-I really should stop watching modern-set British movies. My inner monologue narrator is starting to give me lip.
4:04 PM By Simon
-Once upon a time, this was called Rogue's Gallery, and sounded awesome, and I wanted to see it. But, eventually, news slowed to a halt of production, and I forgot about it. Until Filmjunk announced the trailer of some DTD action-comedy starring Zach Galifinakis and Rob Corddry. I was like, wha?, but then I was like, oh..., and then I called bullshit.
-Joe Anderson--who's British, apparently, but here I was thinking he was American--is a new recruit of the sub-government team, the Factory, which is split into two opposing sides, Alpha and Omega, both equally crazy, there to make sure the other doesn't disrupt the balance of shit or whatever. Alpha team is each in their own special ways fucking psychotic, while Omega is Maggie Q and Ving Rhames and Rob Corddry and some guy named The Emperor. But Odette Yustman, so fuck that noise.
-Emilie de Ravin has the worst Southern accent in the history of the practice, and plays the atypical 'cute-as-a-button-crazy-as-your-mom-that's-who' type. Brandon T Jackson has a prosthetic noise which promptly gets torn apart by the business end of a paper shredder. Zach Galifinakis is the Hermit, who is on neither team, does not show up until near the end, goes batshit crazy (I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be amused, saddened, and freaked out). Rob Corddry's character is, for some reason, the most developed of anyone, a burnt-out former golden boy in the company.
-Here's the problem with the kind of twist this movie has: in order for it to be done a tiny bit, you need to keep the protaganist at arm's length, thinly drawn and whatnot. The paradox of this is that you can, consequently, see it coming a mile away.
-It's kind of a funny way to pass the time.
3:29 PM By Simon
Well, movie. All you gotta do is take the Movie Blogger Survey, head on over to PriceMinister, which is British, so you know it's classy.
Tip: If anyone thinks Takeshia Kitano is a sumo wrestler, leave and never come back.
So today I was browsing about the Interwebzzzz!!1 when I suddenly, and with gusto, remembered that I use to have a blog. Much like this one. Except stupider, with more stock book reviews and cultural 'commentary' and some fair bits of me being stupid. So I went back and found that damn thing, and look! I wrote something about my favorite book EVA!
Yes, the saga of young boy who thinks he's gay but it turns out he was just getting molested. Classy!
-Erik (Jonas Rimeika) returns to his small town after three years to investigate the disappearance of his little sister, Smala Sussie (Slim Susie) (Tuva Novotny). Both helping and hindering him is the odd array of residents, who tell him of all the ways his sister had changed since he left, and who all seem to be in on something.
-Characterization can be fuzzy at times, but this is a comedy, and something might've been lost in translation.
-Clockwork Orange reference WOO!
-I especially liked Tuva Novotny, who's somewhat tragic portrayal of the eponymous character in flashback is kind of heartbreaking.
-The guy from the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is in it, in some weird role that's half plot device, half awesome.
-But, really, the star is the soundtrack. God, Swedes are weird.
-Anna (Melonie Diaz), recently dumped lesbian who works at a plastic surgeon's office, by some turn of events, joins a group of radical feminists, and falls in love with their leader (Nicole Vicius). And they spraypaint stuff and shit.
-Okay, pros: Anna is out, and her family isn't all pissy about it, in fact, they're all very nonchalent, which is always refreshing. When they aren't arguing about their love lives, the group (calling themselves the C(I)A, Clits in Action) is pretty entertaining, while they figure out new ways to stick it up the Man's ass. Melonie Diaz doesn't get nearly enough credit, always a secondary character or love interest, so it's nice to see her get a starring role. There's some funny lines. Enjoyable. Excellent soundtrack.
-Cons: When Anna starts going off on her new-found feminist rants, it's all so painfully obvious. There's nothing new, nothing daring, all radical feminist cliches with nothing to back it up. The group has no specific goal but to put up paper-mache Angela Davis statues, spray paint plastic surgeon's offices, deface advertisements, and rally against marriage (at a gay marriage rally, which was never going to go well). It's weak and the romantic plots are fucking boring, because honestly, the person everyone's falling around over is pretty bland. The C(I)A's version of satire is lame. Juvenile humor, which I guess is fine, since it's mostly aimed at teenaged girls.
-Camera work is nice. I haven't seen any of the other movies from Jamie Babbit (But I'm a Cheerleader has been on my list forever), so I can't speak on improvement either way, but much of the fault can go towards the screenplay.
-Also, lot of lesbians making-out, if you're into that.
2:40 PM By Simon
Ah, yes. If ever there was a time I'd end up with spammers/trolls, it'd be now.
1) Because everytime one of them starts singing some watered-down radio song under contrived circumstances and smugly feel-good smirks on their faces, I feel the compulsion to tape my middle finger to the TV screen until the end of the next week's promo.
2) Since I'm too late for the Modern Family bandwagon (I don't start shows in the middle. What am I, a barbarian?), this is the only non-reality show on Tuesdays.
3) The characters are poorly-written Anvil vehicles. The black, sassy fat girl who's super-sassy and has a big voice and a gay best friend and is sassy and has to learn to love and accept her self while sassy. The guy who (as of late) has rejected any negative/humanizing qualities to become the Magical Homosexual who's bullied a lot by a closeted football player (how original). Bitchy cheerleaders who never take off their damn uniforms. Brittney, who's admittedly awesome.
4) Bad covers of songs I like.
5) Bad covers of songs I hate.
6) Bad covers of songs I'm amiable towards, but done in contrived situations to somehow further the plot.
7) This Will Shuester dude is a flaming douchebag.
8) Drops voiceover whenever it damn well pleases.
9) You call it homage, I call it shot-for-shot remake of the entire fucking video.
10) It's fucking addicting, that shit. Shut up.
2:15 PM By Simon
-Cocky middle-aged businessman Leopold (Bernard Giraudeau) seduces carrot-topped 19-year-old Franz (Malik Zidi) into leaving his fiancee and living with him in 70s Germany (though everybody speaks French).
-Based off the play by (who else?) Rainer Werner Fassbinder, seperated into 4 acts. Now, they seperately could be categorized as different genres: the first, a prolonged seduction/romance, the second, a tense relationship drama, the third, still a RD, but quieter, sadder, a bit stupider, and the fourth, a thoroughly bizarre sex comedy that morphs into a tragedy, all within the confines of Leopold's apartment. The first three end with scenes that echo each other, a fantasy that began with Franz and rounded out to his fiancee (who costars in the third act, but was such a poorly-drawn character. Played by Ludivine Sagnier), that I expected it to round out the movie as well, but no, it was instead a rather tortured shot of a character who I consider vaguely spoilerish to talk about, but played by Anne Levine.
-So well shot as a seventies film, I was surprised to see it was made only in 2000.
-Weird, darkly funny, not for those easily offended by masochistic relationships.
1:30 PM By Simon
That is, which ones are both self-sufficient and closed-off enough that they could shut down any travel and bunker down?
This, of course, excludes Samuel L. Jackson. And pygmies. They are, respectively, badass, and badass motherfuckers. Seriously. Zombies are probably allergic to them. If one came waddling over, either/or would rip them apart, burp "What up, n00b?" and carry on their business. Or whatever.
11:00 AM By Simon
-Derrick Comedy group--Community's Donald Glover, DC Pierson, and Dominic Dierkes star (and write/produce/score with Dan Eckman and Meggie McFadden) as the Mystery Team, a suburban detective agency that must've been cute when they were seven, but now, eighteen and graduating from high school, is naive and creepy. When a little girl approaches them about solving her parents' recent murder, they decide to take it, to prove themselves as legitimate detectives.
-Funniest movie of 2009, probably. Fuck The Hangover (which is 2009, right?). While the last two acts, plot-heavy, can't possibly touch the first act in general awesomeness, it helps that the GIC care for the characters as more than jokes, and take great care in keeping with the mystery genre, both murders and the Enyclopedia Brown genre.
-Seriously, why didn't this get more attention?
10:47 AM By Simon
-A man (Karra Elejalde) sees a woman lifting her shirt in the woods from his lawn, and, going to investigate, finds himself amid a time-travel loop which leads to a causeless crime.
-This. Movie. Is. The. Shit.
-It's so fucking cool. Best time travel movie ever (better than Donnie Darko, better than 'Looper' probably will be, better than all of them).
-Touches on paradoxes (several, in fact, though only one is addressed), the event of a crime without a cause, government conspiracies, all from one man's point of view (that he only cares to go home to his wife)...fascinating stuff.
-The protaganist is the stupidest dick on the face of the planet, though. To really highlight his idiocracy, I'd have to spoil the movie, which I feel is a terrible, terrible thing to do, but if you found his raging assholery so offensive you have to scream about it, the comments are always open.
10:24 AM By Simon
-With prom around the corner, a teenager struggles to find a date, doing everything to avoid going with his best friend (Alia Shawkat), on top of dealing with his parents' respective love lives (Cheryl Hines and William H. Macy's pubic-hair wig). Making his increasingly desperate measures more painful is the knowledge that the biggest nerd/loser/asshole/whatever in school, Bart, uh, got a room. Nothing is better than William H. Macy's horrified look upon discovering this.
-A low-key mix of Napolean Dynamite, various teenage coming-of-age movies, and that thing with that guy.
-When did it suddenly become okay to refer to Chistina Aguilera as 'Xtina'? Are we on a first name basis now?
-At least the marketers know to list Cher first. She's awesome in this. Aguilera is fine. Not terrible. Mediocre. Utterly. Everyone else suffices.
-This isn't the next Showgirls. It doesn't take itself seriously. It knows it's guilty pleasure fodder, with groan-inducing lines, caricatures, the whole bit. It wallows in its corniness, basically.
-The reveal was off.
-Not enough Alan Cumming, not enough Stanley Tucci (basically being his characters in The Devil Wears Prada), not enough Kirsten Bell. Guys. Pull your shit together.
-Three renowned Asian directors--South Korea's Park Chan-wook, Hong Kong's Fruit Chan, and Japan's Takashi Miike--direct three seperate segments of this international anthology. Warning: fucking gruesome.
-Fruit Chan directs 'Dumplings', about the disturbing secret to eternal youth. Park Chan-wook directs 'Cut', about a successful director and his wife kidnapped by an obsessive extra. Takashi Miike directs 'Box', about a young woman with diturbing dreams of being buried alive that may blend with reality.
-'Box' is confusing, scary, but makes no goddamn sense in any way that's not metaphorical. 'Cut' is darkly humorous, graphically violent (duh), and so like Park. 'Dumplings' is perhaps the most famous of three, later expanded into a 90 minute feature with the same cast (among others, Bai Ling), is about an aging actress who goes to desperate measures to regain her husband's attentions.
-Some freaky-ass shit.
10:11 PM By Simon
-Louise Brooks gets all iconic as Lulu, an uninhibited, seductive young woman who's thoughtless nature ruin herself and those around her.
-A surprisingly subtle silent performance from Brooks, all cheeky grins and mischevious glances. Also pretty frank about sexuality, considering the day (especially of lesbianism).
-Still, you can't help but see this movie as condemning the things it so blatantly shows, preaching that sexually forward women are doomed to destroy themselves.
-And...yeah. That's about it.
10:11 PM By Simon
-In an unspecified apocalyptic future, people have turned to cannibalism to eat, and grain for currency. A circus performer (Dominique Pinon) rents a room from a sinister butcher/landlord (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), amid a variety of quirky tenants (what else?), and develops a friendship with his daughter (Marie-Laure Dougnac).
-Surprisingly light for such dark material.
-This is the kickass trailer:
So, uh, do you, with your absolute disinterest in this abode long-lasting, recall a post I did a few days ago? In which I kinda-lamented the doom of today's youth? That one?
I also talked of iCarly, an immensely popular Nickelodean sitcom that should totally get a gritty reboot wherein the title character goes crazy? My sister rolled with it:
And she used the proper 'they're'! I'm so proud of her.
8:34 PM By Simon
-Park Chan-wook. If you are a movie lover worth your shit, you need no more reason.
-Fine. A priest (Song Kang-ho, who was the dad in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, if you care, which of course you do), grieved by the tragedies of the world, volunteers himself for a potential vaccine of a deadly, mysterious disease (where he goes is French speaking, possibly African, as they make a point of noting that only Caucasians and Asians are being affected by the disease, but as always/probably, I could be wrong). He contracts it, and gets a blood transfusion that, yeah, makes him all vampire-y (as in, all the cool traits of vampires, but none of that glittery shit). Upon returning, he falls in love with the wife (Kim Ok-bin) of a childhood friend (Shin Ha-kyun, or, uh, Ryu, as anyone listening to the beginning of the paragraph will know). And then some nasty shit happens, obviously.
-There are some great scenes in this. Like, how when the priest demonstrates to the wife (I'll name them eventually) how he can jump across rooftops, the camera focuses on her giddy face rather than the actually jumping. And how (SPOILERS) at the very end (SPOILERS) the priest and the wife are silently wrestling (LAST FUCKING CHANCE) for the car keys, then the car trunk, then the car itself, as sunrise comes soon and, while the priest, tired of the dark road he's taken, and the monster he's created, wants them both to die, and she, uh, doesn't.
-And then there's the screeching violins.
8:24 PM By Simon
-Laura Dern is gloriously confused. Justin Theroux is saucy. Rabbit heads about. William H. Macy for five seconds. Jeremy Irons. Other things, I'm sure.
-So...if Mullholland Drive was on stronger medication? Blonde actresses and turning points from the sensical to the decidedly non? Brutal fucking murder?
-Funny and terrifying. Batshit insane. Don't try to figure out how scenes play together, settle for figuring out what is going on in the scenes themselves (a much more reasonable goal...each one has a story that you can fill in yourself).
-The moral of the story: don't go through any strange doors.
5:05 PM By Simon
3:40 PM By Simon
-Jan Jung-hwa directs Shin Ha-kyun (Ryu!) as Byeong-gu, a mentally ill young serial killer who regularly kidnaps people who he suspects are aliens trying to destroy the planet, with the help of his childlike circus performer girlfriend Su-ni (Hwang Jeong-min). They next kidnap a factory executive (Baek Yoon-sik), and as police rush to find him, revelations of Byeong-gu's true intentions are revealed.
-Hazzah for weirdass Korean movies! HAZZAH, I SAYS!
-A dark comedy/thriller/horror/sci-fi/romance, beautifully done, acted fantastically (especially an insane Shin), anywhere from sweet to disturbing to heartbreaking, all done with an enthusiastic zeal.
-My only complaint would be the third act, which veers off into such off territory from the tone the first two established.
-La Strada reference!
-If you know someone who doesn't cry during the end credits (I trust you, guy, don't worry), lock up your children and load your canons, because robots have gone AI and they know you're onto them.
Because I care deeply about all my audience (that's right, all twenty of you), I feel it's time I start sharing some sure-to-be-invaluable insights into the tween stars of today.
-Taylor Momsen and Miley Cyrus are two seperate spectrums of what happens when you let teenagers go through phases in public.
Momsen, that chick from Gossip Girl with the black lipstick and whatnot, is in that holy-shit-I'm-so-hardcore-and-badass-because-look-I-have-fishnets, who actually makes videos that look like this:
I mean, for fuck's sake. I've seen MySpace pages with less corsets.
Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus is the type that thinks she's sexy because she now has boobs, so she walks around in as little clothing as possible, mugging for cameras with bunny ears and mouth perennially agape (what up, TWO vocab words), the kind that'll pierce something, go to a downtown bar, talk about how 'frigging hawt' they look, and then go home to watch, I don't know, Grey's Anatomy (I still hold out faith that my generation isn't so as-a-whole stupid that their default programming is The Jersey Shore). So, y'see, neither should criticize the other, because in a few years, at least one of them will be really embarassed.
-iCarly should get an epic/gritty revamp called I, Carly
A young web celebrity is haunted by her audience, who she thinks have followed her home and who's laughter only she can hear, as she decends into madness (aided by her negligent guardian, abusive friend, and obsessive neighbor).
-We get it. Disney sucks. Please find something more original to whine about.
1:58 PM By Simon
-Are they Nazi zombies? Zombie Nazis? Nazis who happen to be zombies? Zombies that happen to be Nazis? These are the questions that haunt me.
-Brilliant horror comedy, occasionally missing notes, but redeemed by clever dialogue, if the characters are anywhere from flat to annoying to asshole(ing?).
-If you're going to ripoff The Evil Dead scenes, don't reference it extensively, thereby drawing everyone's attention to it. Guys. You should know this.
-I don't know if you know this about me, gentle readers, but I am not averse to the temptations of free swag. Is it because I'm cheap? Yes. Is it because I'm one of those borderline-hoarders? No (it's the cause, not the symptom, kay?). But it's also because in freebies you sometimes find something, like, half-valuable. Like crappy off-brand hard candy can be worth 5000 bucks in twenty years.
-So, this is how I happened upon this. The LAMB has a press release for any takers on aforementioned swag (ahem, review copy). Again, I indiscriminately put in for anything of the like (it doesn't help that my book-reviewing sister gets free books in the mail, like, all the time, and it's pissing me off)...so, yeah. Anyway.
-Jeff and Scott Bushaw (brothers, as luck would have it) do every viable thing in creating this movie (I'm not listing every single one, but it's the whole 'writing, directing, etc' thing), and star as two brothers--one who's an idiot, the other an idiot to a different degree. While Scott, who's name is Skyler in this, but details, has turned to gay porn to make ends meet, Dempster, the other one, is an idiot. I can't say that enough. Biggest idiot ever committed to independent film making. I vouch for no Shia LaBiffle characters.
-So these hombres try to make it big in Hollywood, with middling success. And that is the plot. Of the movie.
-The acting is bad. Like, really bad. Anywhere from hammy to stiff to obnoxious. Dario Argento movies have better acting. I mean, there were times it plateaued into decent, but only when they weren't going for ridiculous gross-out/physical comedy. The verbal humor, it was okay. It survived.
-Silly montages to bad pop music. I won't speak of the cinematography, because I understand this was made for cheap, and not everything can be The Fall.
-It's dumb. It's a dumb comedy, sometimes is offensively so, sometimes not. There are moments it isn't, where it actual made me chuckle, here and there. Sometimes it was so-bad-it's-good territory. Sometimes it was just fine. Sometimes it bordered on witty.
-Okay. So I laughed at "Does he know he looks like this?"
-Can you buy STD pills at a pawn shop?
Rule 11: No Explosive Devices
We understand that you didn't like Bride Wars. We get it.
1:36 PM By Simon
-Recently orphaned Corinne Burns (Diane Lane), her sister (who's name, neither character nor actress, I can find the bloody name of), and her cousin Jessica (Laura Dern) start a punk band called (uh) The Stains, and after three rehearsels, start a tour with The Looters (half the band members of The Sex Pistols, one from The Clash), who's lead singer (Ray Winstone) gets all up in her business, and blah blah fucking blah, you know that shit.
-Rousing and funny and weird and brilliant as a rise-and-fall biopic without the biopic, probably my favorite Diane Lane performance (ahem), and some awesome music (yeah, okay, one really good song, called 'The Professionals', which I suggest you download somewhere), commenting on the hypnotically groupie effect bands with gimmicks have on the youngins (which I don't think is fair. I mean, I've had Lady Gaga nailed into my head for the past three years, don't see me wearing metal beards and meat dresses)...
-Christine Lahti does not look old enough to be anyone's mother here, okay?
1:30 PM By Simon
-The brilliant original, not the I-haven't-seen-it-but-it-probably-sucks-so-shut-up-let-me-live-my-life 2006 remake, which relied on a particular date (I remember because kids in my wee 4th-grade-or-so class were talking about how the school was going to burst into flames and we'd all die) to sell. Harumph.
-Anyways. Is it terribly wrong that I kept thinking at the movie, "Damn you, people, move aside and let Gregory Peck handle this!" I mean, sure, his character didn't do so hot either, but he's Atticus Finch. He's got this.
-What's up with that kid's voice? He sounded like someone was strangling him with his own undropped testicles. Did kids sound like that in the seventies?
7:46 AM By Simon
-WHen Henry Darger, a seemingly innocuous old shut-in, died in the 1970s, he left behind a colossal collection of autobiography, weather reports, and most notably, a 15000-something page epic entitled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. Now considered the leading example of an outsider artist, this documentary follows not the artist (as he wasn't even known as an artist), but the man (interviews of which consist of landlords acquaintances, as anyone who had ever managed to get closer to him has long since died or was unable to be tracked down), who hated talking to people, dug through old newspapers for pictures, and had only a vague knowledge of sex (the opposite or the act). Among other things.
-No talking heads, no investigations, for the most part, it is a man reading Darger's journals, a girl (Dakota Fanning, I think) giving a little background on both him and the book, occasional interviews with said acquaintances, all to fancifully-animated segments of the story.
-A fascinating, if not very in-depth (forgiveable, under the circumstances) biography, from his rather miserable childhood to his beginning of the novel in 1907, to his death.