Finally...

Friday, April 30, 2010 9:56 PM By Simon

Thoughts on Rosemary's Baby

9:12 PM By Simon


1) I'm going to say it: in his younger days, Roman Polanski looks like he should be name Rat Spicotti. Or Clamps.

2) This wasn't very scary. I mean, it was creepy and claustrophobic and foreboding and gloomy, and so very atmospheric, as many pre-80s horror films are (I'll probably write as much some other time). But, to me, it was also coated in black comedy. Let's take, for instance, the Big Reveal, the cilmax, when Rosemary discovers the secret door in her closet and, knife desperately clutched in her hand, goes through the hallway into the parlour, where the Satanist celebrate the birth of the Antichrist. They all eventually notice her standing there, and after some half-asses sttempts to convince her to go to bed, she runs to the black-blanketed crib.

Aside: there are very few people who get true horror to translate onto their face (acting wise, that is). Mia Farrow, I think, is one of those people.

She sees her baby for the first time (but we never do), and she screams, and her eyes widen and she is absolutely terrified. And yet, all tension is broken when one of the Satanists, well, I guess this should add to the underlying hopelessness and terror of the situation, but I found this very funny, she coos, "He has his father's eyes." We all know by now that the father is not Guy (John Cassavetes!).

It's just, the entire movie, I can imagine being very startled, but nothing outright scary happens until the very end, the last fifteen minutes, when she is surrounded by the cullen and goes into labor.

3) John Cassavetes is hereby nominated for Pussiest Husband Eva.

4) How awesome is Ruth Gordon? This character should've been annoying, but it wasn't, because she's Ruth Gordon and she rules everything.

5) During the Devil-rape scene, all I could think about was Nicholas Cage wearing a bear suit in The Wicker Man.

In Honor of Freddy

4:17 PM By Simon

Okay, so as we all know, I'm not well versed in Horror. But even I, who can not handle Pinocchio with the lights out, know who Freddy is. He is the child molester turned dream-skulking ne'er-do-well with a mommy complex. And, in honor of the latest bastardization, now A Nightmare on Elm Street, I share with you: an anecdote.

A few years ago, I was in a literacy class. In this class, we were tasked with writing horror stories. The one voted the best would be made into a movie by the class. I write a shitty story, turn it in but won't read it aloud, disqualifying myself. That's, in fact, what most people did. In fact, only a few of the most annoying girls elected to read their stories.

I read a bit, okay? I know what a good story is. And these were awful. Just awful. I will not repeat the exact words, mostly because I can't remember them, but they made my story look like fucking Thomas Pynchon.

People vote, and they vote for the last one read, an absurdly long and embarrassingly bad story by some blonde chick who's especially annoying. We have to make a movie of the thing.

I could tell you how bad the movie itself was, because it was. But I won't. That's not the point, okay? The point is, it involves some chicks watching, and thinking they're being haunted by, Freddy. Except, according to the script we were presented with, and the original story copy, Freddy starred in Friday the 13th, hacking through the highway with his infamous chainsaw and signature hockey mask.



Holy. Fuck.

That's three different movies, okay? That's Nightmare on Elm Street, that's Jason from Friday the 13th, and an orphan bit of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Also, Freddy was spelled 'Freddie'.

My god, my head nearly exploded with all the fail in that script. But, being the polite person I am, I walk over to Girl and, being as nice as I can under the circumstances, I point out to her all of her errors. I'm nice about it, okay? My voice is sweet as a motherfucker, I smile my dazzling smile, I even offer to Youtube a few clips so she may learn from her mistakes. And you know what she says thank you?

She says she doesn't want to change it.



I know. Bitch makes me go over the shittiest thing ever, and all the while, I must destroy the only good things to come out of the eighties. I stood there for a long time, dumbfounded, confused, flabbergasted. What does that mean? She knows there are heinous historical mistakes in her script and she elects not to change them? What should I do? What can I do?



I plotted my vengeance. I still do, as it would be. She's still in my school, somewhere. And when the opportunity arises, I shall destroy a precious piece of her childhood. When the time arrives, oh, it will arrive.



Have a nice Friday.

An Ode

3:29 PM By Simon

To misfits


And Misfits


To St. Vincent


To blogging


About movies


To Katharine Hepburn


To student films


To Rosencrantz


And (or) Guildenstern


To baby vision


To paradoxes


To meta-everything


To Rosemary's Baby


And Rosemary's baby


To The Brown Bunny


Nay, to all self-indulgent crap


To mindless vandalism


To mindful vandalism


To you


And, as always, to Teddy

I have a science test

Thursday, April 29, 2010 8:26 PM By Simon

Do wish me luck.

A Brief Book Aside: The Adrian Mole Diaries, 1 & 2

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 6:10 PM By Simon


The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ is an unabashed, pimples-and-all glimpse into the troubled life of an
adolescent. Writing candidly about
his parents’ marital troubles, the dog, his life as a tortured poet and ‘misunderstood intellectual’, teenager Adrian Mole’s painfully honest diary makes hilarious and compelling reading.


Really, reading Adrian Mole, he sounds like a prick. This is, obviously, on purpose. In his journal entries, he chronicles his daily life with increasing self-absorbtion and thick-headedness, naively writing up his desperate life without realizing just how dysfunctional it is becoming. His parents sporadically break and make up, lovechildren are fathered, affairs are had, families feud, and in the midst of it all, Adrian can only focus on his on-and-off onetruelove Pandora, one of those hyper-intellectual girls these sorts of books always have as a love interest.

Sue Townsend, in the grand (pre)tradition of Katherine Bigelow, seems to know men (and teenaged boys) better than men themselves. She writes his entries with a mix of pretentious musings, infuriating self-pity, and a sort of childlike indignation at all things 'morally corupt'. Often, once you get past the bewildering Britishness of it, the books are actually very funny, in a heartbreaking way. I mean, this kid is on welfare (or 'dole', I guess), his parents can't stay together for more than a month, border on neglectful, he is pretty much friendless, and yet he retains his delusions of grandeur, sharing his awful poetry and rejection letters from the BBC, and you can just see the shit-eating grin on his face as he writes.

This series begs to be a movie, but fortunately it doesn't look to be happening. Anyway, it's kind of hysterical, so go read it.

20WordFilmBlogathonGO!

2:39 PM By Simon


His Sire of Blankdome The Kid challenges us'd people to say why they love film in under 20 words. So:

I love film because it will be the first medium to go during the Dark Ages, and I'll enjoy it now.

Damn, that's 21. Oh well, please enjoy this awesome Death Note poster.

Iron Man and You

1:59 PM By Simon

I get why everyone digs this movie, okay? It's funny, yes, and has some of the better CGI, and lots of booms, and, above all, it has Robert Downey Jr.

That is, his character, Tony Stark. At last, the rich, womanizing jock has a superhero again.

I'm not disparaging the movie, because it really is a very good movie. But I was thinking about it, and you know how the above-mentioned assholes you knew in college always hung Scarface posters on their wall, a representation of their utter douchiness? Well, that's Iron Man. A glorified man of wealth, fame, adoration, smarts, wit, nothing can go wrong for him. He's quite literally the love child of the eighties and the super-secret journals of a high school quarterback. He goes to another country and kills a shitload of people, and he gets away with it. He has a procedure for when women stay the night. He builds himself a fucking heart out of scrap metal. He's also a casual dick, but that's easily overlooked by his charisma.

That is all.

Midnight Movies-a call to arms

1:11 PM By Simon


See, over at From Midnight With Love, (The) Mike has asked YOU, aka me, aka us, because what is humanity but a single enitity with a bad attitude? to answer this very meaningful question, kay?

You've been given the opportunity to host a midnight showing of any genre/cult film you want, and are sure to have a great crowd of like-minded fans who will join in. What's the one movie you're going to pick, and why?


The Room. Because, unlike Rocky Horror, Pink Flamingos and and any awesomely cheesy horror movie, this is absolutely horrible to watch alone. It is the ultimate midnight movie, as you must dress up, wear black wigs down to your ass, carry a handy arsenol of plastic forks, own a football, to get any semblance of joy out of this monstrosity.

Hope you've had a better day than I, gentle folk.

Challenge

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 4:21 PM By Simon

Name what this still is from. Bonus points for whoever can put a quote to it.

Quotes around my humble home

Monday, April 26, 2010 6:33 PM By Simon

(because today's a slow news day, okay?)

Sister: (after I've punched her in the arm very hard so that she was crying a little, it was funny) Chuck Norris knocks someone's teeth out just to crack his knuckles!
Yo: ...

Happy Monday, you kings of New England.

Roger Ebert has the transcript for...

2:57 PM By Simon

A Sex Pistols documentary/film screenplay called 'Who Killed Bambi?' Here.

Huge-Ass List Contributers

1:18 PM By Simon

Over at You Talking To Me?, Mike is doing a list of most epic proprotions. Therefore, he has rounded up the very best bloggers (ahem) to assist. Here is a (different) list of all those contributors:

Ricky @ Tartan Review


Sebastian @ Detailed Criticisms


Hal @ Forget the Popcorn


M. Carter @ M. Carter @ The Movies (http://mcarteratthemovies.wordpress.com/)


Simon @ Four of Them (Yo)


Olive @ Movie News First


Gringo @ He Shot Cryus


Marc @ Go See Talk


Wynter @ Cinema Scream


Travis @ The Movie Encyclopedia


Darren @ The MOvie Blog


Caroline @ Let's Go to the Movies


Chris @ Celluloid Moon


Andrew @ Andrew at the Cinema


Larry @ The Movie Snob


Aiden @ Cut the Crap Movie Reviews


Ditty @ Elizabethan Theatre


Andy @ Fandango Groovers


Ruth @ Flixchatter

I'm not very sure if I am to divulge the contents of said list (former), so you'll have to bide your time, lovely readers. Meanwhile, links are at his site.

Most Underrated Movies Part ??

Sunday, April 25, 2010 6:22 PM By Simon

(Because I can't keep track anymore)

Intermission
Okay. Colin Ferrall and Cillian Murphy and Shirley Henderson and Brenden Gleeson and they're all being very, very funny. And it's so fucking Irish.

"The Apocalypse Song"

6:21 PM By Simon


St. Vincent.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

3:17 PM By Simon

Synopsis: You all know, okay?
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Fairuza Balk, Michael Shannon, Brad Dourif, Jennifer Coolidge, Xzibit, Denzel Whitaker
Directed by Werner Herzog

Nicholas Cage, you cocktease.

Seriously, you dick, where do you get off, making shitty movies for years, then turning around and making this beauty? Then go right back to making shit? Fuck you, asshole.

I've seen the original (if you'd like to think of this as a sequel, which I don't, but I got to call it something) Bad Lieutenant. And Abel Ferrara need not worry of any remaking or ripping off. See, on the surface, this is a remake. Same title, same basic premise. But, no, you fucks, absolutely not. It is definitely not a remake.

First off, our bad lieutenant, unlike Harvey Keitel's, has a name. It's Terrence McDonagh. And, while he may not have been a saint, he at least has an excuse for at least a fraction of his transgressions. During Hurricane Katrina, he and his partner (Val Kilmer) go to the police station to empty out a locker, and find a prisoner has not been transferred with the rest. After teasing the guy, who now has flood water up to his neck, and his partner ready to leave him for the fire department to pick up, McDonagh finally dives in to get him. Fastforward six months, he has been promoted to lieutenant, and is addicted to, among other things, prescription drugs, heroin, coke, and gambling. From there, he gets himself into all kinds of shit, that does reflect the troubles of Ferrara's lieutenant. He blackmails women into sexual favors, harrasses various people for drugs, is in debt with bookie, gets in trouble with friends of a guy who beat up his hooker girlfriend Frankie (Eva Mendes). And, like Keitel, he comes across a case that changes the course of things. This is the murder of a family of illegal Senegal immigrants.

Right off, let me tell you: he does not give a shit about this family. It may seem like that, with him relentlessly tracking down the killer. No, he doesn't care. He's trying to prove something. Maybe that he's not completely useless, maybe for the glory and the money that comes with it, maybe something else. I can't confirm anything for you. No, it's more like a minor pain in Cage's ass that nonetheless serves as the backdrop for the story and it's final resolution, such a ridiculous happy ending you have to imagine Herzog pasted it on as a big "fuck you' to Hollywood movies of the sort.

In fact, that's the attitude throughout the movie. When Herzog isn't mocking police procedural, he's boredly disregarding it. What it lacks in the self-serious disintegration of Ferrara's, it more than makes up for in fucking around with such techniques as the Iguana Cam, letting Cage let off into such hamtastic theatrics, it's impossible to take any of his woes seriously, drugs and sex and corruption as far as the eye can see.

This might be the only movie where Eva Mendes doesn't completely annoy me. There was plenty of nice surprises in the cast, like Michael Shannon showing up as the guy Cage goes to for confiscated drugs at the station, and Jennifer Coolidge as his drunk stepmother ("But only on beer", she insists). Xzibit (I feel ridiculous typing that name, I hope you all know) is good as a dealer who Cage partners up with. Kilmer is mostly in the background (and, let me just say, he can no longer play Jim Morrison. Ever.), but when he does talk, it reveals corruption far greater than McDonagh (as I said, McDonagh is pretty corrupt, but he never actually kills anyone, or goes much farther than menacing old women and extorting sex).

The cinematography is gorgeous, of course. And there are nice, inconspicuous touches to go with the flamboyant misbehaviour. For instance, during maybe-notorious scene where Cage cuts off the oxygen of an old woman and puts a gun to her nurse's head, demanding information on an AWOL witness, he enters from behind the open door when they walk in. He's shaving with an electric razor, and it's both weirdly menacing and illustrates how little sleep he's on.

At this point, I'm rambling. To sum up, this movie cares very little for plot, but the writing is good (I forget the scriptwriters, but look them up), the performances are good. It's a good movie, okay. This all may either encourage or discourage you from seeing it, whatever.

Brief Thoughts on Lymelife

12:34 PM By Simon

During the outbreak of lyme disease in the late seventies, in Long Island, two families are effected. Bartletts, consisting of Brenda (Jill Hennessy), the mother who longs for their old life in Queens, Mickey (Alec Baldwin), is kind of a dick, who's always cheating on his wife and making no secret of it, et cetera, Jimmy (Kieran Culkin), the older son who's on leave from the Army, and Scott (Rory Culkin), the youngest and least fucked up of the family. On the other side is the Braggs, with Charlie (Timothy Hutton), the father, who got infected with the disease on a hunting trip with Mickey, and who now spends his time unable to work, drinking and skulking about the woods with a rifle, Melissa (Cynthia Nixon), the mother who now must make the money, and who's having an affair with Mickey, and daughter Adrianna (Emma Roberts), who Scott's been in love with his whole life.

What makes this any different from any other films in the subgenre of suburban-family-behind-closed-doors? Absolutely nothing.

That's not to say it was bad. It was pretty entertaining, all things considered. It just brought nothing new to the table. Extramarital affairs, strung-out wives, teenage crushdom leading up to awkward sex scenes, fights between parents, fights between siblings, fights between neighbors, fights between father and son, mother and son, fights, fights, lots of fights. Lots of drama. What looks like a happy ending always leads up to death, though I like how they went about it here. Nothing very special about the performances, Emma Roberts was okay, Hutton (who I just spent the whole time feelings bad for) and Nixon were fine, Baldwin was screamy and hammy and whatnot, Hennessey was good, the Culkins (none of them can seem to do a movie without another, has anyone else noticed that) were, I guess, very good. But, story-wise, execution wise, it was all very routine.

Thoughts on SNL last night

7:50 AM By Simon

Okay, SNL. I gave you another chance. I've been only half-watching for months now, before falling asleep after Weekend Update because I knew you'd suck balls anyway. But, now, I sat through until the very, very end, and you know why? Because Gabourey Sidibe is so fucking delightful I had no choice. I can't say I was pleased by the result, but I certainly did not become violently angry as I did during the Jennifer Lopez episode.

Let's take the Digital Short, for example. It was funny, weird, hypnotic, and kind of beautiful. I won't apoligise for that either. And I'm not ashamed to admit I choked up.


(by the way, enjoy Hulu now, because they start charging next month)

I must say, I was also impressed swith one of the opening sketches, a riff on the 'cranky old lady' gag.



And then, Weekend Update, which I always like, because Seth Meyers has a kind of Jon Stewart feel, and usually all the good one-liners are reserved for this, probably the most rewatchable of the show. They brought out one of their writers, comedian John Mulaney, who I kind of hope Tina Fey's that shit--as in, they actually start promoting their writers instead of pulling all these chicks from the underground of half-baked comedy troupes.



So, SNL. Betty White will be hosting soon. You're on the right track, but you have a long way to go. Get your shit together.

Poor, poor 3-month-old baby

Saturday, April 24, 2010 7:37 PM By Simon

Over at where Alana makes her business of tellin' like it be, she links us over to a site that tells you what any given picture would look like to a baby. So I ran this picture:

Awww...anyway, that's the hypothetical 3-month-old baby I'm filtering through. Here's how he would see if he looked in a mirror:

Jesus Christ! That looks like a fucking vampire demon from the ninth gate of hell, as pantomined by David Lynch.

Seriously, 3-month-old mothers, you think about this picture next time your kid throws a tantrum. He's not being a brat, he's scared out of his shit.

I have more movies I must watch

6:09 PM By Simon

Because I have been very behind, here are the movies in my pile:

Breakfast on Pluto
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Once
The Saddest Music in the World
Rosemary's Baby
There Will Be Blood
Cry-Baby
Koma

Which first, my lovely peeps?

Peacock

4:29 PM By Simon

"John Skillpa, a quiet bank clerk living in tiny Peacock, Nebraska, prefers to live an invisible life. This might have to do with John's secret: he has another personality no one knows about, a woman, named Emma,who each morning does his chores and cooks him breakfast before he starts his day. Then, in a moment, everything changes. A train caboose runs off its tracks and crashes into John's backyard and destroys more than the weathered planks of his wood fence. When neighbors descend on the scene, they discover Emma for the first time and mistakenly believe her to be John's wife. This launches John into the glare of the spotlight and eventually shatters the delicate balance of his sanity. He must then fool the town into believing him and his alter ego are man and wife. But a young struggling single mother, Maggie, knows John's secret and holds the key to his past and sparks a battle between the personalities."


Starring: Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman, Josh Lucas
Director: Michael Lander

The thing is, I've actually been waiting to see this movie for maybe two years. The cast, really, blew my mind. Cillian Murphy and Ellen Page teaming up for what was sure to be a precursor for the crazy-awesomeness of Inception. Susan Sarandon joining the party. An extremely Hitchcockian synopsis/trailer. The same composer as The Brother's Bloom, which, as we all know, had some bitchin' score. How could this not be the best thing ever?

And so then, a few weeks ago, I heard that this movie was going *DAHORROR!* Direct-to-DVD. But I was not deterred, nope, I soldiered through my initial wave of uneasiness, and awaited the day this sure-to-be forgotten beauty was popped into my computer for some fucking viewing.

Then, naturally, I forgot all about it until just today, when my Parental Unit and I went to the supermarket, because I have nothing else to do on a Saturday night, being a Mole-American and all. So, P.U. says "Hey! Let's go to the Redbox!", and suddenly wants to get Did You Hear About the Morgans?, and I'm all, sure, that's totally happening. And me and P.U., we're practically wrestling over the stupid thing, me desperately trying to press for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and An Education and The Haunted Airman (I liked the original, okay? Shut up) and The Lovely Bones and Defendor, losing my shit over the fact that they're just a fucking dollar!, and then I see it. Cillian Murphy's nervous, swollen eyes staring at me like Patrick, and I know, motherfuckers, that must be mine. So I let P.U. get my sister New Moon, because she wants to see it for some reason, I politely recommend Lymelife, which I've also wanted to see, but not as rabidly. And then, lads and lassies, I pounce.

So, here we are. Almost three paragraphs and I haven't reviewed a goddamn thing, except my sudden war flashbacks. So, does Peacock live up to my expectations?

Well...yes and no. Yes, because despite it's cursed DTD banner, it's actually a solid, maybe-edgy if such a thing exists thriller. But no, because it's also slightly ridiculous.

See, we have Murphy, doing what he does best, cross dressing (his best performance was in Breakfast on Pluto, and you all know it). He's fantastic, I think, maybe one of his best performances. As John Skillpa, he's hunched, twitchy, his jaw constantly clenched and his neck always craned in, a guy who desperately avoids conversation, and just wants to remain in his low-key life forever. Then, he goes over to Emma, and strangely, he (Murphy) looks more like himself as her. His eyes are straightforward (with brown contacts), with no bags, his face is relaxed, always kind of glowing, his shoulders not as hunched. He talks with a slightly higher voice, wears a wig and dress and makeup, the whole thing, yet does not desire to be a woman. He is not really a cross dresser, he's a split personality. Now, this is when it gets into unabashed Norman Bates-territory. His mother, it's heavily implied (voice overs in the beginning, Emma herself, the traumatized confession of Ellen Page's Maggie, but we'll get to that later), was a reclusive woman, as the whole family has been, and had pretty much tortured John his whole life (again, most of it's implied). Then, a year before the movie starts, she dies, and the trauma makes John develop Emma. Simple, yeah?

Here was my main issue with the movie. How did nobody even suspect the altar ego conclusion? I mean, I get that at first, when the train comes in, nobody gets a good look at Emma. And, okay, it's the fifties, such a concept is unbelievable. But they look the same. Seriously, no prosthetics or anything. They hold themselves differently, Emma has the makeup and the dresses and the wig, but seriously.

Okay. Ellen Page, I think, is also very good as the single mother Maggie, who knows at least part of John's secret (the mom part--spoiler if I elaborated, but dude is it disturbing. Even by movie-standard mommy-issues, this is pretty fucked up). She's also very Canadian, her accent and whatnot (no joke, she actually says aboot). Susan Sarandon is fine, nothing really to do, as the wife of the mayor of Peacock, and runner of the local women's shelter, who seems to always have an agenda, and who's all up in Emma's business.

The score does help along the admittedly slow pace, but it's just silly, y'know, watching John freaking out like a toddler when confronted about anything to do with his 'wife', the train, or anything out of his norm. You are, though, literally watching him lose what semblance of a mind he's got left, so he's excused. Yet, he's also running around to thrilling music, panicking and worrying over what Emma's gonna do when he goes to sleep, he can't stop, because he's all about routine. And shit like that.

I don't know whether to call this overtly-serious, too-twisted-for-it's-own-good, or a genius piecee of psycho-thriller, a new take on the 'they're the same person!' twist. There's a heartbreaking conclusion, where you're still working out in your head exactly what just happened, and then, this new thing, no dialogue, just actions that are so very confusing until you realize, oh, wait, I get it! And then, it gets sadder.

The tension builds mostly from the fear that the town will discover John's secret (the Emma one), as well as what will happen when one discovers what the other left behind, as that's how they communicate--they leave notes, and after the train accident, they go about talking to people the other has, with a genuine shock when they find what they've been saying. It's a bit fascinating.

So, fine, that was a confusing and nonsensical review. But this is what happens when you review something five minutes after watching it, okay? Go rent it, because it's kind of brilliant, if you ignore everything, and I don't know why it got dumped DTD.

Sonatine

12:59 PM By Simon

I haven't seen many Beat Takeshi (Kitano, but the nickname is so much cooler) films. Just this and 3/4 of Zatoichi. But here's what I can gather from what I have seen: perhaps, in a comment on Japanese society's reservedness, I guess, maybe, whenever somebody gets killed, everyone stares stoically, maybe a bit bored, but that's a stretch. When, in the middle of a Frisbee game, one of his men get shot in the head by a straw-hat donning assassin, the main character, crime boss Murakawa and his lady friend (who he passively saved from getting raped earlier) stare blankly at the body. Maybe this could be a comment on typical Hollywood fare, where in this situation, the man would jump up, grab the gun from his fallen underling's hand, which had been shown to be empty not seconds before, and shoot wildly at the hit man, while the girl screams uselessly. But, no. Even though it is shown throughout that Murakawa cares for his men, the look on his face says nothing more than "Oh, darn, who ruined my Frisbee party?"

Okay, enough of the vaguely-spoilerific preparation. This movie answers the age-old question, "What do gangsters do on their days off?" After being set up by his boss, having his headquarters bombed and being ambushed in a bar, Murakawa and his gang/clan/yakuzas/whatever find a remote beach house to wait for the shit to blow over. There, they juxtapose the opening act's brutal violence with childish games. Basically, they fuck around with some cardboard sumo wrestler, dig holes in the sand for eachother to fall into, shoot Frisbees in midair, shit like that. But there's a sinisterness underneath all that, pushed on by the mischievous, foreboding score, lots of bells and drums that give the whole thing a constant feeling that it's building up to something tragic. And then, of course, there's the scene that's famous to someone probably, the one where Murakawa and two henchmen play a game of Russian roulette, hesitant on the part of the two, but Murakawa has nothing but a huge, silly grin on his face as he rock-paper-scissors the outcome. When he loses, he brings the last chamber to his head, pulls the trigger, revealing the cartridge was empty. Later, he dreams that it wasn't empty, and the grin remains plastered to his face as blood drips/squirts out of his head. There are lots of scenes like this.

The version I watched had crappy subtitles, and I'll have to watch it again to get any good grasp on the performances. Overall, this is one weird-ass movie, okay? It's surreal and brutal and you don't know what is at face and what is supposed to be a metaphor. I get the feeling this will be prevailent in all Takeshi movies. Go see it, though, because it's also kind of great, in the subdued, nature-is-my-soundtrack way you'd normally find in European cinema. A gangster epic without any real characters, with odd and unexplained behaviour, constantely shrouded in mystery.

This isn't a review, though. If it were, I'd tell you the cast and the release and whatever. This is some glorified rambling on my ignorance of Japanese culture. Maybe. I dunno.

Thoughts on Across the Universe

Friday, April 23, 2010 8:57 PM By Simon


After the third viewing, the musical numbers are rather cheesy, Evan Rachel Wood is annoying, the editing is weird, Jim Sturgess' psuedo-coolness is now lame jabs at being mysterious. In short, this is not rewatchable. Go see Moulin Rouge, Director Julie Taymor, and see how this shit's done.

I'm a Winner!

8:47 PM By Simon

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. I continue my quest to bring the internet to it's knees, starting with my conquering of the site Cinema Obsessed, run by the lovely Angie and Chanty. I have won another of their contests, because I'm a winner. It was to guess who this tyke was:

It's Robert Downey Jr., bitches! And now, someone has to do something about Oldboy over there! Now everyone's a winner!

In conclusion, have a nice Friday (night).

What the fuck, Summer Glau?

8:29 PM By Simon

Summer, you have set a new standard in the TV-sci-fi chick. No longer have we/they been stuck in the corners of the action, watching with a looks of alternative horror and lust on their faces. No, right off from Firefly, you did your damndest at being wacked-out dangerous. Remember Firefly? Where you were so awesome?

Besides Firefly, you've become the stuff on nerd dreams in such cult TV shows cancelled before their time, as the Terminator Cameron in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and as one half of the cutest geek couple in television history on Dollhouse. You were on The 4400, some SciFi (oh, I'm sorry: SyFy) TV movie, biding your time until the next genre show came along, that you could kick the ass of. I get it, girl.

I just heard you're doing a new superhero pilot for NBC. Good, good. It's only a matter of time before you are once again at the forefront of Comic Con's heart.

So, tell me, what the fuck is this!?!



A Lifetime movie? A Lifetime movie!?! Goddamn it, Glau, I saw this while my mom was watching Project fucking Runway! I know, just a paycheck until another show recognizes your awesomeness, but a fucking Lifetime movie!?!

Redeem yourself, lady. You're testing my patience.

Leave My Precious Flower of a Sister Alone!

5:44 PM By Simon

My sister, the lovely Danielle was under the flaming flame of a flametastic anonymous commenter on her blog. Normally, I wouldn't give a rat's ass about such, but it was on a certain subject: Reefer Madness!

Not really, but wouldn't that be special?

It was, however, on the subject on marijuana. You see, for the joyous occasion of 4/20 (WOO!), Danielle posted a video blog (or a vlog, as the kids are calling it) about whatever, I forget. The point is, my sister is very (ahem) bubbly...some might call her drunkenly so. This is not the first time people have assumed she was under the influence of Le Reefer. Here's the original comment:

I'm surprised that you even comment on what your thankful for. You give bloggers a bad name. Most of us, saw your little show the other night on 4/20. Its quite disrespectful to make a vlog when your high as a kite!!!


First, Lady MacGruff the Crime Dog, nobody's going to see a book blogger on the street and turn the other direction because they don't want any trouble. Or any blogger for that matter, except maybe that crazy conservative former wrestler Cracked did an article about once.

Also, nobody saw it, because 'Youtube' deleted it maybe an hour after the fact (ahem). So I don't know what impressionable net surfers will be offended. Except you, you...ninny. Yeah, I'm going British on your ass!

And then, this Anonymous Ruffelhauser replied to a reply Noble Danielle posted. Here is that:

You really contradict yourself. One minute you say your not high than the next you say, even if I was. So I assume you were. And if that is your personality, you may need to invest in some new contacts because your eyes were as glazed as a box of donuts.

I am glad I am not in your high school class if you all go around high.

Another thing, all I'm saying is, a lot of people saw it and discussed it on twitter and once its out there, it is. To vlog like that is just disrespectful and thoughtfulness. It does give us bloggers who actually blog and are respectful to others, a bad name and all you have done is tarnish your reputation.

I'm surprised you can even read a book. I won't comment again, I'm just saying that please do not vlog HIGH! And don't lie and say you weren't. It was obvious to me. I work at the police station and see this everyday!!!


Okay. Stoners are more awesome than you'll ever be, Desk Clerk. Peace. Out.

*seriously, my sister is making me write this, okay?*

There's a lot of news today.

4:41 PM By Simon

Unfortunately, I am too tired today to track it all down for ya'll. Or to do anything, really. So, here's The Playlist.

Some highlights: More unproduced Stanley Kubrick scripts get picked up with 'Lunatic at Large', Woody Allen's new summer project gets a name, Kathryn Bigelow and Jessica Beal are doing a lipstick commercial or something, The Professionals TV series gets a reboot, Greta Gerwig! is joining the meh-looking Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher comedy 'Fuckbuddies' (not 'Friends With Benefits', okay?), pictures of Saoirse Ronan in 'Hanna', which Olivia Williams! is joining, that omnibus segment-comedy gets a few shorts details, Gary Oldman! is maybe on that Red Reding Hood/Amanda Seyfreid thing, Inception pictures and featurette, the nest Duplass Brothers comedy gets more cast, shitload of shit gets 3D treatment, to universal yawns, a very rumory rumor that Kristen Stewart might headline 'Wanted 2'.

Helen Mirren

4:38 PM By Simon

Is joininng the remake of Arthur, as the eponymous character's deadpan valet. Gender switching. Fine. Whatever.

Where you go, Lady Mirren, I will go. Normally. But, dude.

Phantasmagoria: The Visions Of Lewis Carroll Teaser

4:29 PM By Simon

That's right, folks. The pretty-much-abandoned Marilyn Manson vanity project, a twisted psuedo-adaption of Alice in Wonderland, except more like Lewis caroll dreaming of a girl named Alice (Lily Cole), who has a twin (Evan Rachel Wood), and Tilda Swinton is involved somehow, and god, I don't know, here's a trailer.

The One I Might Have Saved

3:51 PM By Simon

Arbogast on Film recently did this thing, where you pick a character from your favorite horror movie, a minor one that gets axed, and say why you'd save them. That thing stopped taking any, probably, but I'll do it anyway. In fact, I'll do five!

(note, if there are no pictures, I just couldn't find any)

1) Farmer's Son from the opening of Drag Me To Hell
We are first introduced to the Gypsy's Demon (that's what I call it, anyway) when a man and his wife come, carrying their young son in a blanket, who claims he's been seeing demons, to Shaun San Dena, psychic. In the next five minutes, the demon invisible-bitch-slaps all the adults, beats the kid until he falls over the top floor stairs onto the curiously bare floor below. Before Shaun or the parents can do anything, he is sucked into the floor by the demons of hell, and the last we see of him is his hand clawing at the air. Not only does this subvert the typical Children=Invincibility rule most movies retain, it's a precursor for things to come. And all the kid did was steal a necklace.

2) Asian dude from Carriers
You know, the guy who we see in one seen being gunned down by rednecks in the most souped-up truck I've ever seen. The next morning, you see him hung from a telephone pole, with a sign nailed to his chest that says (ahem): "The C_____ Brought It". You gotta feel bad for the guy. He manages to survive a pandemic apocalypse, and what does him in is a couple of hicks with a minor artillery.

3) Person on Recorder, Evil Dead

He sounded like a cool dude, okay?

4) Brad, Night of the Living Dead

"They're coming to get you, Brabra..." Congratulations, Brad. Not only are you the first official on-screen death-by-zombie, you are also the first douchebag older brother. You will be missed.

5) Private Mailer, 28 Days Later

We'll never know him, sure, but I, being a sympathizer for all kinda-living things, found him the least evaaal of all the military characters.

Happy Friday!

Quickie: Things You've Seen The Cast of Community In

3:42 PM By Simon

Joel McHale:
The Soup (woo!)

Donald Glover:
Mystery Team
Writing for 30 Rock

Alison Brie:
Mad Men (as the wife of an ad exec)

Yvette Nicole Brown:
Drake & Josh (as Helen)
Bit part in Repo Men

Gillian Jacobs:
Choke (she was Cherry Daquiri)
The Box (as the babysitter)
Gardens of the Night (okay, I've seen it)

Ken Jeong:
The Hangover

Chevy Chase:
If you don't know, go find out. I'm done with you.

And, Danny Pudi:
This commercial that didn't stop playing for months.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 6:39 PM By Simon

"I like you, Maude."
"I like you, Harold."
Have a nice Thursday.

The 2010 Lammys

6:28 PM By Simon


That's right, people. The annual 2010 Lammys, that rewards excellence in (ahem) blogging. Here be link! Go vote for your favorite movie blogs! Run! Scatter!

The Infinite Mind of A Serious Man

4:32 PM By Simon

I know, what your thinking, dudes, I'm in your mind, I get it. One, yes, the title of this post would make an excellent alterna-rock album name, perhaps accompanied by a picture of a rotten grapefruit or a naked child smiling ironically or something. Two, god, how many bloggers are bitching about what the fucking movie means? Also, I'm almost ninety percent sure I've written something like this a few months ago, if only I weren't too lazy to archive that shit. But, you know what? Half of you didn't know who I was a few months ago, so suck yourselfs up.

Some argue that we must, like Clive's dad says, 'accept the mystery'. And I do, Mr. Clive's dad. I do. I accept that I shall forever have my head up my ass to these matters, I know that I can hypothesize all I want, but even the Coens probably didn't know what the fuck was up with this one. It's the story of Job, it's Schrodie's Cat (I can't spell the full name, okay?), it's an infinite loop of misery and paradox, redemption wasted on the dogged and the unwilling, where goys (i.e. you schmucks) get Hebrew slogans engraved on the back of their teeth, where the world is not limited to recreational building parking lots, where images are not there to support math, but vice fucking versa.

Impassioned speech over, bitches.

Hollywood Ugly

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 7:40 PM By Simon

Hollywood ugly is when we're told one person is ugly because they have glasses and a ponytail, when they're played by a former model. Hollywood ugly is when they pretend they're purporting a positive message for us, The Children, on acceptance and beauty comes in all forms, etc, as long as that beauty is under 110lb, and is one salon visit away from being Angelina fucking Jolie.

Hollywood Ugly is when they put glasses, braces, and relatively cheap clothes on America Ferrara, but you take that shit away, and it's still America Ferrara. It's when Charlotte Gainsbourg is supposed to be the ugly wife to Naomi Watts' blonde mistress in 21 Grams. It's when Lili Taylor is supposed to be a hideous bet-date in Dogfight. It's when the entire cast of The House Bunny is only considered attractive after being fitted for more pink than a Massachusetts maternity ward. When Amanda Seyfreid is Plain Jane to Megan Fox's demon cheerleader, Leelee Sobieski in that Barrymore movie, Christina Ricci in Penelope.

It's to make studios feel good about themselves with their 'message', while avoiding casting a genuinely meh-looking person. It is fucking annoying.

In conclusion, there's the hilarious trailer for Easy A, starring Emma Stone and Amanda Bynes, both of whom I love. If Ari Gaynor shows up, I will lose my shit. Here.