Thoughts on Dog Soldiers

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 10:01 PM By Simon

(currently, my computer is being a little whore, and it won't let me attach any images, links, or whatnot. If you care for the poster, tough shit, because I can't even copy-and-paste the URL, because my mouse is partially broken. Holy shit, I hate my computer)

-Speaking of which (look at me, acknowledging the parenthesis! I'm such a rebel!), the DVD I got is a baffling, CG-rendered Beast-like things that in no way resemble the gloriously cheesy-yet-awesome costumed werewolves of the film. Not just that, but they have sniper lights fixed on them, even though nobody once uses a sniper rifle in the entire blasted movie. I'll take a picture for you dicks when my fucking computer stops being such a cheap slut.

-Anyway, the movie, about a platoon of British soldiers on what they think is a routine practice mission (or whatever) in the Highlands, when they get attacked by (real) werewolves. Holed up in a cabin that is supposedly four miles (or was it hours?) from the nearest town or house or something--look, I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much jack shit about Scotland, but I do know that nothing is four hours from anything (or was it hours?)--they try to fend of the Moonlighters (yay, stupid puns in relation to a long-cancelled vampire show on CBS featuring Blandly Pretty Guy and Shannyn Sossamon or Wristcutters and Rules of Attraction!).

-The dialogue is relatively funny at times--one guy is, like, obsessed with a game that's supposed to be on at the time, and later, the results of said game(England: 1, Germany: 5, sorry, Joe). Then, near the end, a guy does battle with the werewolves that involves him bitch-slapping the fucker so hard a tooth comes out and lodges itself into a doorpost. The very end is also, as best as I can describe it, very cheeky.

-I love how they cheesed-out on the effects instead of fucking it up with CGI. The blood, guts, and werewolves are handmade, the latter group are eight feet tall.

-In the beginning, when the guy said '30K (or was it 50?) to the [whatever]', did he mean 30 kilometers or 30 thousand? Thousand seems terribly unreasonable, also, it's only ever applied to money, but, fuck me, I hate goddamn metric systems.

-There's a chick, Megan or something, she kind of hangs around, giving information about the werewolves (lycanthropes? Lycanropes? What?) and stoicly taking pictures all up in the face of the werewolves to blind them, but then at the end, she takes a whole new step in badassery. Good for you, lady.

-Seriously, computer, go fuck yourself.

Thoughts on This Property is Condemned

Monday, June 28, 2010 9:30 PM By Simon

-Based off the play of the same name, the movie takes place as a frame story, from the unkempt squatter Willie (Mary Badham, Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird, except old and in a tattered dress) to a boy skipping school, on the train tracks that become a centerpiece for the story. This is about Willie's older sister, the flirt of their small Southern town, Alva, and her eventual affair with the stoic Owen (Robert Redford), who is in town to lay off several of the employees of the railroad (the main source of income for the town).

-Natalie Wood is very good here, I think. I mean, I hate Southern Belle-bored-with-life-and-fool-around thing on anyone but Faye Dunaway, but she did it rather well, at times both selfish and sweet, naive and weary, bitter and hopeful in the same scene. Alva is pretty, has the attention of all the boarders at her mother's place, and knows it, but she longs for excitement and change, to get out of the town and all her forceful admirers.

-Charles Bronson, meanwhile, is the mom's skeevy boyfriend who leaves no room for subtly in his pursuit of Alva. The mom, I can't remember the actress, she's rather uncaring, all but pimping her daughter out to attract attention to her boarding house, promising her to a lonely, rich man named Mr. Johnson.

-Willie is, in a stretch, an older, slightly girlier Scout, with a shittier life (we first and last see her walking along the abandoned town train tracks, in her sister's inherited garb, including the reoccurring dress and the jewelery, with her broken china doll, mentioning that she no longer goes to school, and squats in the abandoned boarding house, her mother running off with a man to Arkansas, she thinks. This might be the most understated, saddest thing in the whole movie).

-I find it interesting that, in the play, the frame story is the entire Alva and co. story told through narration, and you never actually meet her.

-Good night.

This is awesome

4:04 PM By Simon

The Men and Women of German Expressionism (Silent Film Era)

Sunday, June 27, 2010 4:41 PM By Simon

(because I'm watching Metropolis)

The German expressionist movement, centered in pre-WWI Berlin, can be loosely defined as 'related creative movements', which, y'know, doesn't really tell you jack shit. I mean, we could call MTV the same thing.

I'd call it, in my own narrow knowledge, as a surge in subject matter not immediately accessable, perhaps the first in film history (all three decades of it) to be more than action-adventures, slapstick comedies, and romances. Subjects such as insanity, betrayal, the like. Surrealism and carefully stylized use of mise-en-scene simply riddled the films with deeper meaning, dreary or dangerous undertones that gave the thing a certain mood.

Anyway. Another defining characteristic I've noticed about the three GE films I've seen--The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, and Metropolis--is that the main male characters are (ahem) girls.



"What the fuck, blank?" you surely must be asking yourselves, "The only thing you can think to talk about the most influential subgenre of cinema is the pussiness of the dudes?" Yes, you overbearing asshole of a reader, yes I am.

Here's the thing. Of the three movies I mentioned, they all feature leading men who fit into some/all or the criteria: young, hysteria-prone, effeminate, wealthy and/or spoiled, fueled by emotion and only emotion, overtly-curious, and, let's call it, fainters.

Could this be a further subversion of the cinema at the time (and, very well, now)? That these mascara-laden young lads are a tongue-in-cheek response to the masculine action heroes and lovers of Hollywood, the Wallace Reids and Douglas Fairbanks? Or was it an offset, reflection of the film themes, insanity and such. Or were they merely victims of plot?

Take Francis (Friedrich Feher) of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. A lovestruck young man whose best friend is murdered by the nefarious Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss) and his somnambulist accomplice Cesare (Conrad Veidt). He is a bit of a drama queen, to say the least.


He and his fiancee Jane (Lil Dagover) investigate the murder, only to have her kidnapped by Cesare, who has a (chaste) love for her.

This, in a quick abandonment of point, brings me to the ladies of GE. They, no matter how strong-willed, practical, or intelligent they are, they always end up in some state of kidnapped. This wasn't exactly uncommon at the time, for any country or genre. They, in juxtaposition with their American counterparts, don't faint nearly as much as their boyfriends, it could be noted.

For example, Maria (Brigitte Helm) of Metropolis. We first meet her as she leads acrowd of kids up into the Eternal Gardens, a lady-aplenty playground for all the sons of the upperclass surface dwellers. Her face is serene, pale, sensitive, an atypical 20s-movie star face. She tells the children that they are the brothers and sisters of the aristocracy now in their presence, fervently and such.

I have to say, Brigitte Helm is unintentionally hysterical, even by silent movie standards. To express fear, she basically feels herself up and shifts her eyes back and forth. To play her machine-man version, she does a lot of eyebrow twitching and arm stretching, squinting one eye like she has a bifocal. Sure, she gets points for having to wear the rather hazardous and uncomfortable-looking Machine-Man suit, but come on.

Anyway^2. She is first painted as a powerful figure, serenading the tired and anxious workers of the underground class, who kneel at her feet and worship her as a prophet for revolution, to keep going, to wait, uttering the film's most famous line, "There can be no understanding between the hand and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator."

Then, for the rest of the movie until the end, she girls out, gets kidnapped by POed, and wronged, and whatnot mad scientist Rotwang (be mature). Played by Rudolf Klein-Rogge...


Excellent.

Anyway, I forget what my point, which proves what a shit essayist I am. This is about as close to intellectualism as you'll get out of me.

Thoughts on My Neighbor Totoro

Saturday, June 26, 2010 8:49 PM By Simon


-That's an awesome poster. But why are the two girls now morphed into one (I think)?

-I kind of want the opening titles as my screensaver.

-Dubbing. Sucks.

-That said, Elle Fanning sounds kind of adorable.

-That also said, the two main girls, Satsuki and Mei, are kind of annoying, at least they sound annoying in over-the-top redubbed voices.

-I want a Totoro T-shirt or something. He is awesome.

-Lovely score.

-Overall, a cute, aimless practice in wholesome whimsy that I can actually get behind.

Need some rental ideas?

5:05 PM By Simon

Go to Kaiderman's The List, where he assembles movie bloggers from across the land to divulge movies to get if you pass by their covers at Blockbuster. This plug is not at all because I'm in the miz...ahem...

Thoughts on Micmacs

4:28 PM By Simon


-If there's one thing I love, it's a ragtag bunch of misfits.

-Bazil (Danny Boon), whose father died thirty years ago while trying to dismantle a landmine, sending his mother into insanity and him into a repressive Catholic school (horror! Also, he escapes). As an adult, he works in a video store until a shootout sends a stray bullet into his poor cranium (let the 'he was dead the whole time' theories commence)

-Now making a day-to-day living as a street performer, miming and such, knowing he could die at any moment (the bullet is still lodged in there, you see, a fact Jeunet never lets you forget, giving this otherwise whimsical film an air of muted melancholy).

-While slumming about in front of a cafe, he is picked up by Slammer (Jean-Pierre Marielle), an ingenious salvager and con artist, brings him to the tire-larigot, a trash heap he inhabits with (yay!) a ragtag bunch of tirelessly cheerful and resourceful misfits. Naturally, they're all adorable.

-A twist of fate lets Bazil find the two separate arms dealers who made the landmine that blew up his father and the bullet that is lodged in his head (respectively). What follows, lets just call a parody of a caper for revenge.

-The definition of 'style over substance', the characters are never really fleshed out, the tone too tongue-in-cheek to take itself seriously (in one instance, you see Bazil and Slammer riding a scooter down a highway, passing a billboard for the film itself, featuring the exact still of the two at that exact time), and yet, it gets by on its too-quirky-to-not-love sense of humor, never really making your guffaw, but sort of warms your heart.

-The villains, appropriately, never really seem like a threat. There's some borderline-uneasiness in some gunplay scenes, but there isn't any real tension.

-Parent, in one of their few moments of accidental cinematic critical genius, commented 'I would've liked that better if it was silent'. Indeed, the entire thing relies on physical comedy and rich, gorgeous visuals. There are some moments where the dialogue is the best part--the character of Remington (Omar Sy), a former ethnographer from the Congo (Republic of) speaks entirely in French proverbs, in what I guess might be an accent, but different language, I couldn't really tell.

-Calculette (Marie-Julie Baup) is adorable.

-Like, I seriously want to chill with these guys. They are that awesome.

-I am proud to announce that, without sibtitles (to which these had excellent ones), I might've understood 1/4 of this movie. No applause, please, I'm just a regular gal like you...

Wait a doggone second...

11:02 AM By Simon


Remember that time five minutes ago when I said I had never see a Miyazaki film before? Turns out, I had!

See, I'm watching the opening ad of My Neighbor Totoro, and there's an ad about Disney releasing all the Studio Ghibli films. I'm like, ho-hum, good for you. Then, I seethe title of Kiki's Delivery Service, and again, whatevs, I'm too cool to care. But then clips of said film start playing, and I realize, that is a movie from my fucking CHILDHOOD, yo! I had owned it when I was but a wee lass, back when I obsessively watched the Sailor Moon prequels on VHS. In fact, I had seen twice before the tape/DVD (can't remember) went and disappeared, either lost or sold or given away, never to be seen by me again. What a world! Oh, how I toiled away, trying to remember the name of that broom-riding young witch and her cat, whose name I still can't rember.

Carry on with your lives.

Movies I've got piling up in my room...

9:30 AM By Simon

And I can't decide what next to watch, dammit!

From library:

Tokyo Majin Vol 3 (I don't really remember why I got this, I think I thought it was something else)

Restored Metropolis

Dog Soldiers (Also don't remember why. Might've had something to do with Kevin McKid (whose name is hilariously mispelled on the cover), but I think I was searching for Citizen Dog at the time)

This Property Is Condemned (Natalie Wood and Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird!)

My Neighbor Totoro (my soon-to-be first encounter with Miyazaki)

From cheap buying, contest, etc...

Gore House Greats Collection (a collection of 60s-70s, crappy horror movies that I'll probably make a series of)

Once (again)

Masters of Mayhem (Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, and Vincent Price, yo. Like, who decided to only sell it for two bucks?)

Shaft (kindly awarded to me by El Gringo)

Following (ditto)

Lethal Weapon (ditto)

Layer Cake (God, I want to punch Sierra Miller in the face on that blasted cover...)

Strangers on a Train (From (or funded by) Castor after I kicked everyone's collective commenting asses)

Pi (ditto)

Jack Nicholson Cult Classics (Little Shop of Horrors! The Terror! Hell's Angels on Wheels! These are the things I get excited about these days!)

Day of the Dead (remake)

Bela Lugosi: King of the Undead (featuring White Zombie, The Corpse Vanishes, and One Body Too Many)

Election

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys

That's it, all. Have a nice day.

Thoughts on The Good, The Bad, The Weird

Friday, June 25, 2010 8:43 PM By Simon

-Let me just say, I am easily impressed. Generally, I can find some sort of enjoyment in some of the shittiest films. That being said, The Good, The Bad, The Weird is kind of amazing.

-From Wikipedia: "The background to the film is the desert wilderness of 1930s Manchuria. The Bad (a bandit and hitman) is hired to acquire a treasure map from a Japanese official traveling by train. Before he can get it, however, The Weird (a thief) steals the map, and is caught up in The Bad's derailment of the train (complete with slaughter of Japanese and Manchurian guards, and various civilians). The Good (an eagle-eyed bounty hunter) appears on the scene to claim the bounty on The Bad. Meanwhile The Weird escapes, eluding his Good and Bad pursuers (and a third force, a group of Manchurian bandits who also want the map) to the Ghost Market. Here he hopes to uncover the map's secrets and recover what he believes is gold and riches buried by the Qing Dynasty just before the collapse of their government. As the story continues, an escalating battle for the map occurs, with bounties placed on heads, and the Imperial Japanese Army racing to reclaim its map as it can apparently "save the Japanese Empire".

-I imagine Mike at You Talking To Me? would quite like this. The action sequences are beautifully shot and executed, with high-angle crane/tracking shots, steady cam (blessed is it) during faceoffs and gun battles, so you can see it all go down. What's more, the action somewhat reflects the characters, and who their opponent is. The Weird's sequences, for example, are kind of spontaneous, wild and flailing and comical. The Bad's are a bit sadistic and brutal, The Good's are short and expert. They all have their own way of cocking their guns, riding their horses (or motorcycles), interrogating, all that. The penultimate battle, a maybe-10 minute chase involving the Manchurian and Japanese armies, the bandits, and the eponymous three, is fucking epic.

-You know what I hate about these movies that have us belief these characters are of any semi-ancient time, filthy bandits and marauders who can't be bothered for a bath a year? The teeth is always a giveaway. Brushing one's teeth was barely heard of in metropolitan America, much less rural Russian-Chinese border countries, and yet our ya-rugged heroes have these blinding white teeth. Such a giveaway.

-And yet, this is maybe the best neo-western of our much-yearning era. Where everyone talks with their guns and the smoke of their cigarettes, where anyone can get shot, tension builds in the blinding sun, Mexican standoffs abound, and treasure maps motivate even the nobelist outlaws. So what if its in Korean (and Chinese. And Japanese...)?

-Reprieve: Dong-jin from Mr. Vengeance vs Storm Shadow from GI Joe! And, uh, Jeong-woo from Athena: Goddess of War...

-The Weird, I think, is code for Neutral. I mean, he has no qualms with killing men who get in his way, but is surprisingly noble when it comes to children, especially the latter half.

-Also, maybe a dirfect homage to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the end, and in the character of The Good (duh).

-Snappy suits and fedoras abound.

-Oh, Man-gil...

Want an awesome Shining mug?

7:11 PM By Simon

Go to Scare Sarah for the chance to get this fucking thing:


It makes a great gift for Father's Day!

Topics I Can't Even Believe Have Been Made Into Movies #1: Helvetica

12:49 PM By Simon

This will be a new thing on me site, y'see. Because I haven't watched any obviously cheap movies, or done anything atypically associated with 'bored', or considered any science-y stuff readily appliable to film (besides the questionably-scientific paradox), you all get a new one! Yay!

So, this is basically when I find out about and/or watch a movie with such a ridiculous topic, premise, or motivation, I had to lovingly ridicule it. So, gentle readers, I introduce to you:


This is a documentary about typography and graphic design. That is a fancy way of saying, it is about computer fonts. Specifically Helvetica, which is, depending on who you ask, is either among the most boring fonts, the most graceful and beautiful font, or is an old Victorian witch who was born on some impossible Russian peninsula and raised on boiling Liger blood.

Invented in 1957 by Swiss typeface designer (which was, evidentally, a job) Max Miedinger with Eduard Hoffmann. According to Wikipedia, "The film aims to show Helvetica's beauty and ubiquity, and illuminate the personalities that are behind typefaces. It also explores the rift between modernists and postmodernists, with the latter expressing and explaining their criticisms of the famous typeface." Because the font you use on your college resume is actually a deep, philisophical question.

(I'm not kidding, there was a guy at my school who was rejected from NYU for typing his resume in Courier)

The question of 'Which type is more obnoxious: Jokerman or Curlz MT?' is right up on my radar with 'Are we human or are we dancers?', you guys. I'll keep you posted.

IMDb link.

Good news!

Thursday, June 24, 2010 6:42 PM By Simon

How many Justin Biebers could you take in a fight?



Created by Oatmeal

Futurama's back tonight!

4:10 PM By Simon


I was going to review The Good, The Bad, The Weird, write the next great American novel, and perhaps send that cure for cancer I have to the White House, but this is much too important.

Thoughts on Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

5:27 AM By Simon


-So...you know how I was moaning on about my computer woes before? Do you also know that scene near the end of this where the parents watch the snuff films of their dead kids? Yes, I do not feel so bad anymore.

-Well, see, this movie is beautiful. Beautifully shot, certainly the most stylistic of at least Park's Vengeance Trilogy. And, depending on who you ask, it is either the best of worst of his films.

-I don't know, emotionally, it is tied with Mr. Vengeance as the most devastating--this trilogy is always involving dead children and/or vengeful parents, isn't it?--yet, it really nails it in, y'know? I mean, the previous two are similarly afflicted, but Lady Vengeance tops them on shear scale.

*spoilerish*

-I wonder, why did Jenny and her Australian parents come back to Seoul? Was Baek Geaum-ja's (I do hope I'm spelling that right) baby daddy or what? Was she lying when she said he was going to buy a yacht? Was allgrownupvision Won-Mo angry at her for the rather brutal punishment she and the families enacted on Baek, thereby traumatizing the families? Or did he think she, too, should've been on that chair (hence ball gag)? Was the kid--the one LV (I'm not spelling her name again) slept with--simply an audience surrogate? Why did Won-mo appear to Jenny? That quick scene, where she is young and putting on lipstick, a man comes in naked, what's with that? The smoke in her apartment near the end? I feel this would all make sense if I learned some goddamn Korean.

-Also, where can I get this fabled 'Fade to Black and White' version?

-Also a staple (I think) of Park's films: Really gross sex scenes.

-Nearly a word-for-word reprieve of the 'good kidnapping/bad kidnapping' speech of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. Just saying.

-Theory: Every single one of the Vengeance films are covert statements on the struggles between Christianity and Buddhism in South Korea--revenge vs. karma, if you will. I don't know much about South Korea's social situation--like, I just read that adultery is still illegal there, though people rarely ever go to jail--so never mind me.

Thoughts on The Dirty Dozen

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 7:05 PM By Simon


-Okay, so, can we all agree on the badassitude of Lee Marvin? Good. Out of the way, the issue is.

-These guys have been the second biggest inspiration of this type of rugged-ne'er-do-wells genre, aside from Seven Samurai. What is the big deal, you ask?

-These. Guys. Kick. Fucking. Ass.

-Oh, Donald Sutherland.

-I wish very much I could articulate some real thoughts, but I am having a minor tragedy is my young, priveleged life: See, I was forced by *ahem* circumstances to wipe my computer back to factory settings. Seeing as how the last time I backed it up was, like, three months ago, I lost pretty much everything. Today, I have swung between hysterical (in many senses) sobbing and furious destroying of pillows and root beer bottles. I am now to sooth my soul with some Park Chan-wook. Have a nice day.

Guess what?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 5:58 PM By Simon

How long could you survive on the surface of the sun?



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A Musical Interlude

Monday, June 21, 2010 3:36 PM By Simon



Have a nice day.

Happy Birthday, Judy

2:59 PM By Simon

Thoughts on A Woman Under the Influence

1:24 PM By Simon


-So, basically, we're documenting a housewife's spiral into increasingly erratic and insane behavior, right? I didn't get it. I just didn't understand. While the performances, Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk, were all incredible, the plot structure is just...the thing where you'd think it'd be a climax is followed by a part-humorous, part-really uncomfortable scene of father-and-children merriment, then six months later, a homecoming dinner that dissolves into crazy town, then...what? He doesn't love her anymore? I'm just stream-of-consciousing here, keep in mind.

-Peter Falk seemed more crazy than Gena Rowlands, if I must be honest. He spent half the movie screaming, pushing people around, and I get why and all, but comparatively, Rowlands' character wasn't doing anything nearly so batshit.

-Can someone explain?

-Oh, Mr. Cassavettes. I'm having my doubts.

Yo, contest!

Sunday, June 20, 2010 4:39 PM By Simon

No, not me, silly people. I have no funds!

No, tis a book contest, over at Sparrow Reviews. Go look, kay? Humor me.

Toy Story 3 is the best movie EVER!

12:20 PM By Simon


-Okay, so Woody and the gang start out the movie in dramatic reenactment of a train heist, involving alien orphans and death-by-monkey. It is epic.

-Then, shit gets real when, after a home-video montage, we are down to the core characters (Wheezy's gone! Bo Peep's gone! ETCH IS GONE!!!), banished to the toy box for years. In a sad attempt at reinvigorating playtime, they steal Andy's cell phone and call it, so he has to dig through the chest to find it. He callously tosses Rex aside to get the blasted thing. We are left to wonder who the real monster is.

-The army men, their mission complete, parachute out of Andy's window, because the green troops are always the first to get thrown out. This is seriously like Rambo, guys.

-Andy is leaving for college, and through a series of unfortunate misunderstandings, Woody and co. end up donated to Sunnyside Day Care, a totalitarian wasteland where all new toys are left in the Alligator Room, the three-and-under groups of kids who are so monsterous your faith in humanity will be shaked to its core.

-Okay, shit goes down, I won't spoil it for you darlings, but I must say, there is a really intense clown.

-Also, during the climax, we get a scene of such amazing animation, one that is really, truly, genuinely (ahem) scary, some kids in the theatre starting crying.

-Why is Tim Allen credited first on the poster?

-Wait...Buzz and Jessie are dating now? NO! NEVER! Jessie and Woody are the one true couple! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

-Go see this thing, you dicks.

-Such a perfect ending, it had, I think it'd be better if we left it alone, but of course, it's making a bajillion bucks, so it may never be, but I won't mind at all, people.

-Two more days of school, bitches!

-Well, fine, three, but the first two are finals, so its not like I'm going for the last day.

-Someone stopped following me.

-*sob*

The Cuter Side of Celluloid #1

Saturday, June 19, 2010 8:00 PM By Simon

BannerFans.com

(everyone stop laughing at my lame banner)

Yay! I'm actually doing this shit! I'm not a liar all the time!


Struggling actress Natalie Portman and young blind man Melchior Beslon in Paris, je t'aime.

So many cute couples in that (Rufus Sewell and Emily Mortimer, okay?), but these are the only ones that get a hyper-edited montage of a relationship summary.

Just look at them:


More Thoughts on A Serious Man

7:30 PM By Simon


-Which, of course, arises from Marshall kindly sending it to me, after my (inadvertently) winning a commenting contest. So...thank you, Marshall.

-Anyway, as some of ya'll may know, I've previously written two other things about A Serious Man, what I think is the most provocative (I'm so allowed to describe shit like that now) film of the Coen Brothers'. It is almost on Donnie Darko-levels of speculation for me, see.

-I had a nice theory worked out about this, so, uh, spoilers: Our dogged hero, Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlberg), is being punished, not for any active wrongdoings he's done, but for, as he repeats throughout in an hysterical defense of himself, "I haven't done anything!" Precisely, you poor fool! You--he--is a nice, likable dude, but at the end of the day, he's just not important. He hasn't published anything, made a spectacle of himself in the community, borne some rather unextraordinary kids. Therefore, his wife, a bit of bitch, if we must be honest, leaves him for the (ahem) ugly-as-shit, older, rather dull and pretentious Sy Abelman, precisely because he is more important, the eponymous 'serious man'. When he begins to take action against these perceived wrongdoings--as he advises his brother (Richard Kind), he helps himself--things start going well, better, in fact, than before. His wife comes back to him (after, of course, Sy dies in a car accident), he's probably up for tenure at his profess er job, his brother...well, I don't really know, he just kinda disappeared after the bar mitzvah of the similarly challenged life of son Danny (?) (though he is a bit more actively responsible for his own shit)...but, anyway, both he, Larry, and his son, their prospects look up. Danny gets his radio, previously confiscated from his Hebrew school teacher, returned by the sage-like rabbi who congratulates him, and therefore, the twenty bucks he owes his pot supplier.

But, see, they fuck it up, and things get worse. Rather than going back to passive existence, they go the opposite direction than before--Danny blatantly ignores the Rabbi's words ('Be a good boy', the answer, probably, to all of Larry's desperate existential questions, as he could not get in to see the Rabbi, not his recital of Jefferson Airplane lyrics), and puts his headphones back in. Larry, 'accepting the mystery' of accepting a bribe from a South Korean student of his, changing his grade to a passing C-. As both of them do so, their fates are pretty much sealed. Larry's doom-implied phone call from his doctor (in relation to an X-ray taken in the beginning). Danny leans in to pay his dealer, the tornado warning comes, and both are guarenteed an early demise.

Come to think of it, the whole movie can essentially be broken down to father and son. Larry's other daughter, a bespectled maybe-dropout (never really said) who spends all day washing her hair, stealing from his wallet, and saving for a nose job, his wife, above, all the economic problems he faces, criminal, personal, spiritual, they are all, as the young and short-sighted Junior Rabbi Larry first talks to (Simon Heldberg) says, they are all 'problems'. But Larry and Danny, they are the only ones these problems are projected at.

-Right. So. Now I don't know. I'm tired, I'm confused, I'm not in the mood for big-picture shit. I just wanna see Toy Story 3.

Pre-Thoughts on Toy Story 3: A Rant

10:38 AM By Simon

(yes, this film is so epic it requires mental preparation. Deal with it)

Story of yesterdays: I tell my Parent that I want to see Toy Story 3 this weekend. I mean it, too. I'm psyched-the-fuck-out about it. It's one of my most anticipated movies.

Parent, however, crinkles Their nose in that way Parents do. Parent says: "Aren't you too old for that?"

No, sir. I am not.

I am that movie's audience, okay? I was its original audience. I saw it in the theatre opening weekend, the very first one, when I was but a wee lass. I fucking loved it. Then the second one came out. I was having a minor mental breakdown from the awesome of the second one. My slightly-retarded ten-something-year-old-self almost couldn't handle it. How do you expect today's youngins' to?

Let me explain. Me and my generation of disaffected youths, we've earned our right to this third Toy Story. We waited eleven years. Longer than most of the brats it's considered proper to bring have been alive!

We can fully appreciate the characters, the animation, the brilliant score and animation. We know who Tom Hanks is, and if he ever screams "YOU ARE A TOYYYYYYYY-EEEEE!", we will get it and we will laugh louder and more enthusiastically than anyone else. We will cry inside when Bo-Peep and Wheezy are callously tossed aside for lack of voice. Our hearts will sing when Barbie falls in love, because she deserves happiness, damn you!

We all know and love Woody and Buzz and Jessie and Mr. Potato Head and the whole freaking gang, something your little five-year-olds don't even begin to understand. They will be content with Cars, for chrissakes! I'm not too old, sir. They are too young.

That is all.

Blogs you should read Part 1

9:35 AM By Simon

Now, see, I know I said I wouldn't be doin' nothing until Monday, but I am sick to death of studying for French/Film & Video finals (and by 'study', I mean watch Paris, je t'aime), and I now decide I am going to link up all of you lovely people. Yay! Free promotion! Your welcome.

Sugary Cynicism: My official/unofficial internet BFF, this chick is, like, smart funny. Why, just the other day, she talked about Dante's Inferno! That's smart stuff, right?

Pompous Film Snob: Frank, my stalker, who, yes, tends to get pissy because he can't find himself on my blogroll (he is THERE, alright!?!), but an astute Observer of Things, a rather well-versed film aficionado (that's a word), and I'm sure a lovely human being. Maybe.

Wild Celtic: An unwavering optimist, this one, who frequently shares her stories and whatnot (which are actually quite good). ALways makes me feel a little less shitty, if that says anything (it does).

Journalistic Skepticism: A guy who shares my love of all things Hepburn, and keeps his post short and sweet, which, y'know, is always good.

His Eyes Were Watching Movies: My second (un)official internet BFF, if only because he, too, loves the smooth stylin's of St. Vincent. An unapologetic Hayao Miyazaki obsessive, and a *shudder, hates this word* Gleek to boot.

Encore's World of Film & TV: This guy right here's what we call classy.

Marshall and the Movies: Sure, we had a tiny commenting war that one time, but who's counting (all the lost hours of obsessively refreshing the page ha ha...)? A connoisseur of Random Factoids, he be worth checking out. Yo.

A Life in Equinox: A Movie Lover's Journal: Univarn, who has maybe the best name ever, a funny dude who just got nominated for a Lammy for funniest writer, is what you must know, okay?

the m0vie blog: The spelling of that name makes me homicidal, but overall, a smart dude, tis. Every day, he shows up with an in-depth analysis of the current state of film, all that, that puts all of us mere mortals to shame.

Anomalous Material: Where all the cool movie bloggers loiter and try to out-comment each other. Recently, he's been hosting The Greatest Comedy of All Time Tournament, and shit's gettin' real over there, so go see.

Hyperbole and a Half: Not a movie blogger, okay, but this chick is goddamn funny.

The Writing Womb: Also not a movie blogger, but she, too, is awesome and funny, she who recounts tales of procrastination, Twilight hatred, and online letters to her dear friend Duane.

Scare Sarah: A horror blogger of semi-epic proportions, a funny British lass (that's a British term, right?) with an affinity for zombies (doesn't everyone?).

Chuck Norris Ate My Baby: Dude. Just look at that name.

My New Plaid Pants: In between ogling pretty people, he occasionaly reviews horror movies like *ahem* nobody's bidness.

He Shot Cyrus: Maybe the second-biggest (I haven't really researched) movie-blogger community-thing I can think of, and a gracious host, he is.

The List: He;s the Greatest Movie Blogger Ever. It's right there in his tagline.

Movie Mobsters: With an official-like layout and an affinity for (awesome) lists, the chick puts my pitiful place to shame.

M. Carter @ The Movies: Another smart-like analyist (analyzer?), etc.

Film Forager: With an affinity for Asian cinema (do we not all?), and reading her blog, I've discovered some pretty weird-ass movies.

The Movie Encyclopedia: If no one else will see it, he will. Duh.

Fandango Movie Groovers: Host of one of the most successful blogathons in recent history (aka this year), at least to my knowledge.

You Talking To Me?: An extra-smart (ahem) dude who hates shaky-cam and The A-Team (off the top of my head).

Sister: The coolest one you could imagine threatening your life.

Okay, I'm done. If I missed you, I'm terribly sorry, but my fingers fucking hurt. Perhaps next issue...

(I make no promises)

I miss my computer

Friday, June 18, 2010 5:36 PM By Simon

This one is slow and clunky and horrible. I have no medium to watch my movies. I have finals.

I'll catch up with ya'll's postings next week. If you find anything of yours so orgasmic you feel it's a matter of urgency, go advertise in the comments. I'm out.

I'm a Versatile Blogger, bitches

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 4:55 PM By Simon

Darren at the grammatical nightmare, the m0vie blog, has nominated I, humble I, your leader, for this nifty meme-related thingermajig:



Naturally, I'm honored and shit, but I am also supposedly obliged to nominate other people (boo!) and write seven facts about myself (hiss!). This is why I fucking hate memes.

1) I have a fear of crowded stairs.

2) I have more books than I can ever hope to read before college.

3) I watch TV, but I don't terribly care what the show is I'm watching unless it involves Joss Whedon.

4) I love St. Vincent.

5) I have yet to see an Ingmar Bergman film. I don't even know I'm spelling it right.

6) Finals are tomorrow, and I will fail each and every one of them, except maybe English, because I read all the books, and I always pass vocabulary, and I'm shit at Daily Grammar Practice, but that's only, like, 10% of the grade, so I'm good with that. I will especially fail French.

7) I really want to learn Russian, chess, kung-fu, robot-building, and invent the sure-to-be hit game 'Black Hole Chicken'.

Nominations!

Wild Celtic
His Eyes Were Watching Movies
Chuck Norris Ate My Baby
The Writing Womb
Sugary Cynicism

Um...I dunno, everyone else has gotten it by now.

I Spit On Your Grave remake trailer

4:42 PM By Simon



See...that's just no fun.

Why be the best film of all time when you could be the best remake of all time?

2:21 PM By Simon



Think about it.

Actors who're awesome despite being in, like, three movies

Monday, June 14, 2010 1:10 PM By Simon

Yes, more uncategroized lists. But I haven't watched any of my cheap movies yet, so fuck off.

(I'm in a mood)

Gabourey Sidibe


Why is she awesome, you ask? Well, aside from acting the shit out of Precious, she's adorable. We're talking she-smiles-the-world-smiles kind of bubbly. Not the obnoxious 15-year-old cheerleader cheer, nope. She's going to be in The C Word, which, yeah, is a TV show, but fuck you, I'm glad she won't fall into obscurity like so many young actresses before her. Plus, she hosted SNL on one of its better days.

Christoph Waltz


Okay, I should put a disclaimer here, I do not count movies unreleased in the US and/or on TV, because I'm close-minded like that, duh. So, despite having an illustrious history in German television, hardly any of which I can scrounge from the extremely unhelpful Youtube, before Inglorious Basterds, he was known to American audiences as a bit part in Ordinary Decent Criminal. Now, he's got a bunch of dreaded typecast-sounding villain roles in The Green Hornet and Water for Elephants (he was also going to be in 'The Talking Cure' (as Sigmund Freud)(by the way, that would make an awesome band name) as a reunion with fellow Basterd Michael Fassbender (The Fass), but was axed for Viggo Mortenson, and the project was given the sexier title 'A Dangerous Method', so shit happens, but fuck, how awesome would that've been!?!), he shall always be known to I, your narrator, as Col. Hans Landa, so enthusiastic was he to learn the phrase 'bingo'. Also, he has a bow tie. Your move, Brad Pitt. Try and beat that noise.

Sharlto Copley


He's South African, people. A new accent I can fawn over. Anyways, we first met him (feature-length, anyway) as Wikus, the dumbass-turned-spacebug-turned-badass protagonist of District 9. Now, he's getting around as Murdock, the scientifically-proven best member of the A-Team, in the movie adaption of the same name. And, I tell you, he is the very best part of it. He's batshit insane in ways you've yet to see in our humble cinemas, the kind where he (character) switches accents to make something funnier, and spins around Helicopter propellers singing hip-hop songs, and lights Bradley Cooper's arm on fire. And really, is that not the American dream?

Thoughts on The A-Team

Sunday, June 13, 2010 5:34 PM By Simon


-Is it so wrong that, for all its macho-cheesiness, I loved this? I mean, it was funny, and fun, and explody.

-Murdock is awesome. By association, Sharlto Copley is awesome. Also, go meta-South African accents!

(seriously, dude, pick an accent and commit)

-Liam Neeson rocks salt-n-peppa.

-Fuck you, Jessica Biel. Fucking buzzkill.

-Bradley Cooper looks like a date-rapist, okay? Someone's gotta say it. He's cool in this and all, but come on.

-Rampage Jackson was surprisingly decent.

-Bad CGI.

Thoughts on Basquiat

12:41 PM By Simon


-A biopic of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the Warhol-approved graffiti artist and painter, considered the first 'important black artist', who died at 27 (ahem). Starring Jeffrey Wright as the eponymous, Gary Oldman as Albert Milo, a thinly veiled Julian Schnabel, David Bowie as Andy Warhol, and Dannis Hopper as Bruno Bischofberger, with Parker Posey as Mary Boone, Courtney Love, Benicio del Toro, Michael Wincott, Claire Forlani, Tatum O'Neal, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Walken, and a bunch of other people.

-Okay, the thing is, this is a very visually appealing movie. But it's paper-thin. You never get under Basquat's skin. He's just there. Things just happen, with no apparent motivation. The film revels in its supporting cast, Gary Oldman as a maybe-gay, maybe-not artist friend of Basquat's, Dennis Hopper, David Bowie, it can't get over it. No, in fact, Julian Schnable, director, is enraptured with his own likeness, Gary Oldman, as Brooks Adams put it, "[it] should be more appropriately called My Basquiat". You'll find yourself caring about Jean-Michel by default, rather than any real characterization. Nothing is made clear about anyone, years pass without consequence. It took me an hour in to realize that the plot had actually started, that this wasn't still the setup.

-Nonetheless, the performances are appropriately top. David Bowie, for instance, gets Warhol down pat, the swagger and all that. Gary Oldman is entertaining, but hardly there. Jeffrey Wright, I should say, is amazing as the title character, charismatic and fascinating. He creates more tension and interest in his character than the screenplay did.

-Visuals, too, are lovely.

-The end was very abrupt, but I liked it.

-Nice Sunday.

Thoughts on Night on Earth

Saturday, June 12, 2010 9:41 AM By Simon


Because this is an anthology film, detailing moments between cabbies and passengers around the world, I'll talk about each one individually.

1: Los Angeles

-Easily my favorite of the five vigenettes. A tomboy cab driver, Corky (Winona Ryder), drives a high-strung casting agent, Victoria (Gena Rowlands), from the airport to her Beverly Hills home. During the drive, they kind of-connect over men, ideals, and Victoria's business dealings over her cell phone (this was 1991, keep in mind). In the end, Victoria realizes Corky would be perfect for a role she's casting, and offers it to her. Corky denies, saying she wants to be a mechanic.

-Okay, so I'm not familiar with all of Ryder and Rowland's work before this, but I get the feeling they are ripping on their onscreen personas a bit.

-Nonetheless, they have this weird, instant chemistry that makes it seem like they've known each other for years.

-I love the Corky character, okay?

-Cell phones were huge.

2) New York

-A mild-mannered former clown from East Germany (the one from Goodbye, Lenin!) named Helmut (Armin Mueller-Stahl), on his first day as a cab driver, picks up a brash young man named YoYo (Giancarlo Esposito), only to have him take over the wheel when it becomes plainly obvious that Helmut can't drive for shit. Their Odd Couple-bantering becomes a screaming match between YoYo and his sister-in-law Angela (Rosie Perez), who he finds stalking the streets.

-A love two things about this: The opening, where YoYo desperately tries to hail a cab, being ignored, etc. When one does pull up, it quickly speeds off when YoYo says Brooklyn. But then Helmut, with the car slowly jerking along, pulls up, and he politely asks him what he can do for him, something like that. Just like that, Yoyo goes from invisible to a gentleman, a 'sir'. The other is when Yoyo pulls the taxi over to get Angela, and they two are screaming at each other at the corner. Now keep in mind, this is Rosie Perez. She doesn't yell, or even scream, she shrieks. All this, combined with Helmut watching them with a grin on his face, just cracked me up.

-I felt bad for Helmut, though. He drops the two off, and Yoyo tries to tell him how to make it back to the city, but Helmut takes the wrong turn. He takes off the red nose he had put on to maybe amuse, maybe annoy YoYo, and reveals a look of anxiety and fear. Like, goddamn.

-This is such a love letter, this story, to New York from Jim Jarmusch.

3) Paris

-An Ivorian cab driver in Paris, played by Isaach De Bankolé (of Limits of Control), gets bullshit from two African passengers, who upon hearing his origin, giddily repeat the phrase "Y voit rien" (he sees nothing there), which I guess is a thing against people from the Ivory Coast, because he kicks them out and picks up a blind woman (Béatrice Dalle). The two butt heads, about sight, his shit driving, etc. Ironically, after dropping her off, he gazes at her, causing him to get into an accident where he is angrily accused of being blind.

-I swear, I thought Dalle was Fairuza Balk when she first showed up.

-That is all.

4) Rome

-Roberto Benigni is an eccentric cab driver who picks up an ailing priest (Paolo Bonacelli) and details of his past sexual transgressions, shocking the priest to death.

-I don't know whether to punch Benigni in the face or give him some medication.

5) Helsinki

-Mika (Matti Pellonpää) gets called down to pick up three drunken men, one of whom has been laid off, had his car destroyed, found out his 16-year-old daughter is pregnant, and chased out of his house by his wife. Mika tells the two friends of the passed-out unfortunate his own story, maybe the most depressing thing ever. The two lose sympathy for their friend, leaving him in the cab to pay the fair.

-As far as stories go, this is a good way to close, with the laid-off man, still drunk, sitting on the snowy curb as morning comes.

-This is, apparently, a production filled with Aki Kaurismäki's 'trusted' actors. So, yeah.

OVERALL:
It was funny and sad and weird, and I liked it. Good day.

Troubles

Friday, June 11, 2010 6:04 PM By Simon

In a tragic turn of fate surely brewed by the demons themselves, my computer spazzes out the day I get four excelletn DVDs from the library, two from the mail, and a report to type by Monday. And, my lovelies, I haven't backed the thing up since April, and I must restore it to get any semblance of use out of it again. So, I am feeling a touch suicidal right now, because I am physically incapable of watching movies anywhere but my computer.

No movies all weekend. Or next weekend, because I have finals. You may commence feeling sorry for me.

3 Actors Who Do Way Too Many Period Pieces

Thursday, June 10, 2010 2:49 PM By Simon

Now, I'm not saying that these guys do exclusively period pieces--they may have quite a few modern-day flicks on their resume--but we know them best as the men in tights, the women in corsets, the guys who have to wear the wool underwear. We appreciate the sacrifice, but...

(this, of course, does not count the countless older, Shakespearian actors, stage actors, or anyone else I can't immediately think of)

Keira Knightley

Oh, sure, she's got Bend It Like Beckham under her belt, but that was back in the day. The Hole, The Jacket--but who gives a shit? That's one of those movies you show up at the theatre to find, like, LOTR sold out, so you see that unstead. What we know her from, and what has been her chief type as of late, are the spunky women out of place in their stuffy British time period. Trying to repeat the success of Pride and Prejudice? Perhaps. But I'd put my money on a condition that would literally cause her legs to fall off if she ever wore pants.

Ben Whishaw


I'll say it: This guy is so pretty he might as well be a girl. And, it would appear, he digs the romanticism of late 1800s-early 1900s than our humble 21st century. While he was a semi-regular on the achingly modern Nathan Bartley, had the bittiest of bit parts, albeit very important, in Layer Cake, and starred in the crime drama miniseries Criminal Justice, he still remains best known as the obsessed title killer in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, from 18th century France (I have made this argument, and I will not do it again), as John Keats in Fanny Brawne-centric Bright Star, and as a bizarrely-ever-present Arthur Rimbaud in I'm Not There. He was also, apparently, in The International. So says Wikipedia, so it shall be.

Cate Blanchett



A staple in what you might call prestige pics--she surely has the Oscars to show for it--The Lady Blanchett sure does seem to love the air of royalty. While subverting the hoop-shirt dress code as Katharine Hepburn (*faints from awesome*) in The Aviator, she has followed through in both Elizabeth movies (the first period drama, I think, to get a sequel), as an elf or something in Lord of the Rings, an intense Soviet sarge in that movie we don't speak of, and a ballerine-through-the-ages in Benjamin Button. As I said, these are what she's most known for, not necassarily her primary.

And, while we're here, I'll just say my theory on why Americans don't get typecast nearly as much as the British do in this category: American history does not go back very long. Since the 1700s, and for two thousand years in between, we still had British accents. Therefore, unless you want to go the maybe-dreaded Marie Anoinette route, you, my fellow countrymen, will forever be marginalized to the frontlines of human history, sports biopics, Holocaust-soldier movies, and the occasional dead president flick. Enjoy.

This comic speaks to me

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 5:17 PM By Simon


(Cyanide & Happiness)

Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens

2:47 PM By Simon


He who died at 58, in 1870, and I do not feel like calculating his age now. He was probably the funniest writer on required reading lists. He had the Beard of Champions. He had a bowtie. He wrote my Designated Favorite Classic Book That's Not At Swim-Two Birds, David Copperfield. Let's all have a moment of silence, and just admire that scraggly heap of man-hair on his face.

Trailers

2:12 PM By Simon



Weirdness in Greek. I don't think I've ever even heard of another Greek film since...ever. Helps that this is a total mindfuck of a trailer.



A teaser for the Gore Verbinski/Johnny Depp movie, about the eponymous pet going on a journey of self-discovery, with the vocal aid of a billion different people. So...yeah. Fish.

Stuff You Do When You're Bored Issue #1

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 12:14 PM By Simon


Yes, dear. It's time for the very first of my sure-to-be-many regular posts on cheap movies, scientific factoids, and mind-numbing wastes of time.

ISSUE #1 (duh)
CONSTANTELY REFRESHING YOUR FACEBOOK/EMAIL/WHATEVER YOU CALL YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK

What better way to start shit off then when I find myself home from school, with nothing but my computer, the hundreds of books and movies I have, and a very American lack of initiative to keep me entertained.

Rather than catch up on homework, read, do something to, like, nourish my brain or whatever, I spent maybe half of my waking day refreshing my email. See, while I don't have a Facebook, Twitter, (ahem) Myspace, Youtube, Tumblr, Fanfiction, or friends, I do have an email. Several, in fact.

I had a pretty well-thought out rotation of email-hovering. From Hotmail, to AOL, to Gmail (I was that desperate) back to Hotmail, checking polls, hoping Cracked would've updated in the past five minutes.

So, no. This issue doesn't have any tips on how to properly spend your duller hours, because if I knew it, I would've done it. Maybe next time.

One more new banner

12:12 PM By Simon

(because I'm out today)

BannerFans.com

Have a nice day.

What does Marcellus Wallace look like?

10:58 AM By Simon

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New Semi-Regular Features (because you all demand so much of me)!

Monday, June 7, 2010 2:36 PM By Simon

Yes, my children, my darlings, my honey bunches of oats, your cries (some would call them complaints, others, whining...but not me!) have not gone unheard. You have called out my vulgarity (...), my lackluster blog design (I like it), my cluttered sidebar (who cares about archives? Not me), my lack of profile bio (to which I respond, trust me, chaps, I am very boring), my lack of linkable pictures (working on it), my constant use of first person (ahem), my implied immaturity (duh), my lack of header (too lazy, and I'm a very gray person. For instance, I've been wearing a gray shirt for two weeks now), and my overall lack creative atmosphere. But one call I shall not let go unheaded: regular posts and/or features. So, my loves, here it is. I'll leave yous guyses to figure out which one sucks the least:



In which I recount my exploits both at the local cheapie purchase, and actually watching the things.



Where I talk science bullshit, and connect it to scifi movies. Or something.



I bullshit about webcomics and Youtube, basically.

EDIT

Dear darling Danielle made me a new badge for another possible thing. Here it be:



Take it to the comments, kay.

Pitch the LAMB: BFFs

Sunday, June 6, 2010 4:02 PM By Simon

Title: The Pillbox

Starring: Robert Sheehan, Juno Temple, Ben Whishaw, Michael Caine, Helen Mirren, Ray Liotta, Mia Wasikowska

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Synopsis: Hugo (Sheehan) and Mimi (Temple) are neighbors in a desolate, unnamed English town. While Mimi lives with her distant grandparents (Mirren and Caine) and schizophrenic brother (Whishaw), Hugo lives with a scowling, violent American man (Liotta) he claims is his father. Until their graduating year, the two are content to small talk on the way to school. But on the first night of summer, Hugo comes pounding on Mimi's window, an eye gouged out, begging to be let in.

Despite her inquiries, he doesn't tell what had happened to his eye, and furthermore, who the American man is. The next morning, she finds Hugo raiding her house for valuables, mumbling about having to leave. Rather than call the cops, she, in an unwise bout of spontaneity, decides to go with him, emptying her bank account and pawning her jewelery so they can get plane tickets.

Forging papers from Mimi's friend Imogen (Wasikowska), they head to New York City to get jobs as janitors in Carnegie Hall. As Mimi tries fruitlessly to get answers out of the elusive Hugo, the two grow into a platonic, whimsical camaraderie while weaving through the fantastical vision of New York Jeunet creates in his hilarious, thrilling, touching, and heartbreaking English language debut.

(bare with me, people, I'm hopelessly bored on this lazy Sunday)

New poll, you'll notice, full question

12:53 PM By Simon

Your neighbor falls down. He can not get up. You direct the pilot for the next big lawyer drama. The sky is blue, and you are now homeless. A meteor will destroy the Earth, and ghosts will rape your dog. Mustaches are banned. Pick your poison.

Have a nice day.

Thoughts on Splice

Saturday, June 5, 2010 7:49 PM By Simon


(this be the pilot for my maybe-future of modestly-mouthed, non-centralized, fully-formed film thought. I know, a silly notion, but it's what the masses want, and I am nothing it not a people pleaser)

(to ease my way out of this steep transition: shit, fuck, dipshit, crap, ass, hole, asshole, masshole, cuntlicker, motherfucker, dicklicker)

As of late, both the sci-fi genre and the horror genre have been lacking. Even the late works of The King Dario Argento have been (to be kind) dire. We've had Pandorum to toy around with, Gamer was rather disastrous, and District 9 was great, it's not of the hardcore sci-fi genre, the science-gone-wrong school of horror that once ruled the nineties with an iron fist and a thirst for gray flesh.

Our years may be back, folks. As Splice, for all the hesitance, is a pretty great film. Directed by Vincenzo Natali, who also did the patently awesome Cube, knows what he's doing, obviously. A taut thriller, a terrifying scenerio, a drama, both relationship and moral, as our main characters, Elsa and Clive (Sarah Polley and Adrian Brody in top form, as much as I hate that phrase), struggle with the implications of what they've done. See, they're a pair of young hipster scientists, experts in gene splicing, the kind that make it onto magazine covers and and wear jeans in the lab and have Japanese comic blowups hanging on their wall. Upon finding out that, after years of work on creating a new species, two throbbing brown slug-like things called Fred and Ginger, their parent company, Newstead, insist they must now dedicate the lab to protein research to recoup, despite the possiblity of curing countless genetic diseases with their discovery. Taking no time to pout, the two rush over to their lab and, after many tests, manage to take the genes of a human and mix it with the components of Fred and Ginger. While telling themselves the creature won't be brought to term, it comes early and...you've seen the trailers. Meet Dren.

See, this movie is terrifying. As things get more and more out of control with Dren and her antics, as Elsa develops a motherly attachment to her, while Clive goes from disgust to animosity to something like paternalism to something very not, as they dodge discovery, as they wrangle Dren in what can be called 'raising' her, she grows more intelligent, more self-aware, becoming a full-fledged adult in a matter of weeks (now played strangely and wonderfully by model Delphine Chanéac), she develops a bipolar approach, alternating between tantrums and bouts of sweetness. And then shit gets real.

I mean, some of the stuff going on after the midway mark is just...I believe it was Travis that compared it to The Human Centipede in pure squick fuel. Like that, it goes from twisted nuclear-family drama, almost a scientific caper, to a horrifying cautionary tale of what happens when you mess with genetics. And it works. A thrilling score and amazing direction, no reliance on jump-cuts and fakeouts, with great performances around the board. Okay?

Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley make a great team, I think.

The. End. Is. Twisted.

(and great)

Foreboding too, you never know what exactly is going to happen, but you know if can't be good.

Worth the ticket price, says me.

Funny story in the theatre. Initially, it was me, Parent, two guys, and a woman. Then, maybe half an hour into the movie, a guy walks in. Just a middle-aged dude with a cap and jacket and whatnot. Maybe it was because I was, up until then, running on five cans of Pepsi and the samples at Costco, just retiring from horror movie marathon of quasi-epic proportions, maybe I've been spoiled by many films of the nature, but I was absolutely, 100% sure he was going to stand up at the end of the movie and shoot everyone in the theatre. I was so sure, in fact, I was already planning my exit strategy--usher Parent out as quick as possible, keeping both our heads low and walking fast, tipping the garbage can on our way out, running to the car and driving like fucking Gene Hackman. I was so antsy, I spent a good ten minutes staring at his head, distance between us. Turns out, though, he was just a theatre hopper.

Close call. Good night, all.

Thoughts on Deep Red

12:00 PM By Simon


-David Hemmings looks like the weird-ass love child of George Clooney and John Lithgow.

-Either the dubbing sucks horribly (which it does) or Dario Argento does not care one dipshit about dialogue (which I guess he doesn't).

-I like Suspiria better.

-Oh, sure, it's quite frightening, very moody, but it also relyed too much on color scheme (which isn't very bad) and a loud, screechy, bordering-on-funny Goblin score. I found myself only half-interested in the plot, you see, a rather well-thought-out mystery involving the sinister murder of pyschic Helga Ulmann (Macha Meril). As always with these things, our protagonist, British music teacher Marcus Daly's curiousity leads to even more deaths, a fake-out reveal, the real reveal, and so on. Fine, yes.

-Of note: Gianna Brezzi, the journalist, independent woman, the one who butts heads with Marcus's sexist views, who, thanks to the extremely Americanised, cut version, appears to show up out of nowhere, hangs about Marcus for no particular reason, and gets no fleshing out. Anyway, it should be noted, she was the partner of Dario Argento for some years, had his kid, known mixed-feelings-by-me recipient Asia Argento.

-Oh, Carlo.

-Calm down, Goblin. Jeez.

Fun with free shit!

11:20 AM By Simon

So, y'know, my lovelies, I comment a lot on other people's blogs. At first, this was a practice in subtle-ish self-promotion. Bu then it crossed over into me actually saying things. Which, you know, is awesome. Especially when you inadvertently enter a million commenting contests. For instance:





(pictures now linkable, yay!)

This, of course, says nothing towards your abilities as a commenter/writer/whatever. I'm just a winner.

Recently, though, I won an epic commenting war, my major competition being the above Marshall (ahem), at Anomalous Material. There, I won a free Blog Blustering (in which people come over and bitch about your blog)(...), where I learned that I am basically their God, but they don't think I'm colorful enough, or something. Also, I don't link pictures on the sidebar enough. And I don't have a very good banner.

Why can't you just let me be me, ya'll?

Anyway, I also won a 10 dollar giftcard for Amazon. This, naturally, brought back horroriblke flashbacks of my birthday, where I made an account, ordered a million books with my fifty dollar giftcard, then promptly forgot the email (I have many emails) and password used to make the account, and could never enter the accound, and all the things on hold there, again. You can imagine.

But I soldiered on. I bought me Strangers on a Train and Pi! I know! Excitin'!

(a hearty thank you, Castor, El Gringo, and darling Marshall)

And so, kids, I am exhausted with commenting and being awesome and all. I am also watching Deep Red. Peace out, home skillz.

(what was the point of this post? We'll never know)

Thoughts on Schindler's List Part Trois

Friday, June 4, 2010 12:52 PM By Simon


-Tis over, gentle folk. Tis over...

-Okay, as much as it was excruciatingly depressing--I had to retreat to my iPod when Lisiek got sniped--I will admit the brilliance of its direction. I've never been one for Steven Spielberg, because lately, he only churns out adventure blockbusters, but now, okay, I see the big deal.

-Conversion to Liam Neeson complete.

-Let's all just take one minute to actively despise Ralph Fiennes. By proxy.

-So, y'know the penultimate scene, where all the Schindler Jews are sleeping outside the factory, after the war is over and Schindler must flee (the scene of that, by the way, is some excellent shit), with only Stern awake. It starts with a dolly high angle of them all, and at first, you think it's of a deserted war camp, with bodies littering the ground, then you think, oh shit, that's the factory, someone killed em all! Then you see Stern, just sitting cross legged on the ground while everyone visibly sleeps. Anyway, a single Soviet soldier, one dude on a horse (I will forgive the possible language barrier that logically might've gone with this), rides up to the factory, the hoof beats combined with Stern's calls wakes everyone up. Stern stands up to greet the soldier, who announces, like a motherfucker, "You are all liberated!" At that moment, Ben Kingsley has the best look on his face, this "Oh, gee." deadpan thing. After warning them all to avoid the East, who really hate them, and the West, come to think of it, he points them North, to a nearby town where they might get food. Like, how helpful.

-Where was Danka Dresner in the very last scene? They including Little Boy With Huge Alien Head, who, yeah, was in the better part of the movie, and they had Girl Who Schindler Kissed On His Birthday, who had one scene, but where was Danka? Did I miss her?

-That last scene was kind of great. Also, fourth wall breaking. But great anyway. Seeing LBWHAH walking with his older counterpart was lovely, says me.

-Okay, I'm done. Off to crawl in a corner and wish Inglorious Basterds was real. For a number of reasons.

-Read this article for some triumphant Nazi killin'.

Thoughts on Schindler's List Part Deux

Thursday, June 3, 2010 7:39 PM By Simon


-You know what? I never wanted to see this. Until now, I had been going out of my way not to see it. The topic so grim, the reputation so mighty, despite the presence of Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley in actual form, I cannot bare Holocaust movies. I'm Jewish. I know how shit went down. I'm not going to start a genocide on myself. I do not see what's so necessary in shoving it down my throat.

-What's with the fascination with the Holocaust? Yes, it was recent, and it was horrible, and it left a big-ass pockmark on the face of mankind, but were there not other massive genocides before and after? Like, what do the Armenians have to say about this? Oh, that's right, nothing. Because they all got killed.

-Except the Kardashians for some reason.

-Dude.

-Of course, the production behind this movie is very interesting. I could go on, but I shan't, I tell you, go to the trivia section of the IMDb. One thing I find interesting is that Steven Spielberg actually toned down Goeth's asshole-craziness, because he didn't think American audiences would buy such needless sadism as fact. Yeah.

-It wouldn't be so bad if I got it all down in one sitting. But no. We watch maybe half an hour every day in History for the past week. Another day and a half before the goddamn thing is done. My soul shrivels with this movie, okay?

-*sob*