Higher! Higher!

Thursday, December 30, 2010 1:14 PM By Simon

Have a nice day.

Thoughts on Foul Play

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 5:43 PM By Simon


-A mousy librarian (Goldie Hawn) gets mixed up in a plot to kill the pope. Chevy Chase is a dashing detective.

-Remember when Hawn and Chase were, like, hot properties? Those were the days...

-Spooftastic.

My computer's a filthy little whore

4:29 PM By Simon

Please will it to die in a hole.

My sidebar sucks, and I know not what to do about it

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 8:25 PM By Simon

So, before I jest uselessly about Foul Play, Bunny Lake is Missing, and Being There (gathering my thoughts...), I need to solve this dilemma once and for all.

So, gentle readers, if you'd take the time to tell me how, exactly, I may improve that lengthy sidebar over there without actually changing the template (because that is too strenuous and the more time I may spend scrolling through my Dashboard, watching old SNL episodes on Netflix, and drinking Dr. Pepper, the better), I'd be most grateful, and, I don't know, review a movie you like especially.

So, uh...carry on.

A conversation (guest starring Danielle)

12:47 PM By Simon

(Gone Baby Gone is on TV)
Danielle: I love Casey Affleck. He should've gotten an Oscar.
Me: He did. For Jesse James.
Danielle: No, he didn't.
Me: What? Who did?
Danielle: I don't know.
Me: Outrage!
Danielle: Scoff!
Me: We must find out who won, so we may address them with the proper scorn!
(to the internet, pause)
Me: Okay, fine.
Danielle: Who nominated Hal Ashby?

Thoughts on Paper Moon

Monday, December 27, 2010 4:27 PM By Simon

-A conman (Ryan O'Neal) ends up taking the recently orphaned daughter of an old flame (Tatum O'Neal) with him on the road, to transport to her aunt's house. Great Depression-era shenanagins ensue when she blueballs him into returning 200 dollars he acquired through her.

-Tatum O'Neal, as far as I can tell (I've seen no other Oscar films of that year) deserved the Oscar. Petulant and stubborn without being annoying or precocious, she scowls down all patronizing eyes while still managing to turn it into feigning little girl innocence.

-Ryan O'Neal's fine too, but let's face it, all he has to do is look oily and let Tatum to the work.

-Shot is lovely black-and-white by Peter Bogdanovich and cinematographer László Kovács. Pleasant, thirties hit-heavy soundtrack.

-For the most part, engaging, tight, adorable episodic movie about, I don't know, overarching goodness or something.

Thoughts on Wild at Heart

4:20 PM By Simon

-An Elvis-obsessed ex-convict (Nicholas Cage) and his sexpot girlfriend (Laura Dern) break his parole to drive to California. Meanwhile, her crazed Southern belle mother (Diane Ladd) sicks her two boyfriends, a professional private eye (Harry Dean Stanton) and a gangster (JE Freeman) on their tail. Batshit insanity ensues.

-I get the feeling David Lynch knows nothing of human interaction, or else, laughs in its face (I don't blame him, of course). Everything the characters say is spat out in melodramatic, post-soap opera declarations and lip quivering, a parody of both Southern dramas and Bonnie-and-Clyde road movies, with some truly perverse Willem Dafoe action.

-Diane Ladd is hilarious as the mom, the weirdest of them all (that isn't Grace Zabriskie). Nicholas Cage is tolerable for once. Laura Dern does her Lynch thing.

-Nightmarish and disturbing, with a happy ending that hates happy endings. John Lurie and Crispin Clover.

Thoughts on Broken Flowers

10:43 AM By Simon

-Bill Murray made melancholy by the likes of Sofia Coppola, Wes Anderson, and now Jim Jarmusch.

-Tilda Swinton, you do your damn thing.

-This Alex Whatserface, bitchy girlfriend from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, she specializes in overtly-peky sexuality, doesn't she?

Thoughts on True Grit

Sunday, December 26, 2010 11:25 AM By Simon

-You know.

-I love the voice/accent Hailee Steinfeld has on.

-She, this girl, still a child, still somewhat naive, but, at the very least, the best negotiater ever committed to screens.

-I hope she plays Katniss in the Hunger Games movie. There.

-Barry Pepper gets a pretty good supporting role as leader of the gang Josh Brolin's Tom Chaney is currently with, a vicious outlaw who is nonetheless quite noble.

-Jeff Bridges growls out his lines in the sauciest manner possible. Matt Damon is a half noble, half bitchy Texas Ranger. Josh Brolin puts on a stupid act, but when nobody's around, he's a nasty fuck.

-In a way, this might be the first movie where the Coens leave out all the quirks and spin a straight Western. Not as epic as the trailers would have you believe, and the last act felt anticlimatic, or incomplete.

-Fuck the Oscars, this is the best soundtrack of the year. That isn't all the other ones. Top 10, anyway.

-Terribly sorry that my content as of late has been kind of shitty. There's no more inspiration, man.

Thoughts on How To Marry a Millionaire

11:19 AM By Simon

-Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, and Betty Grable star as three women who split rent on a high-rise apartment in hopes of catching some rich men. It's in the title, people.

-I think this was the inception of Marilyn Monroe's ditsy blonde type. Except here, her gimmick is that she's basically blind, but refuses to put her glasses on in public, rationalized with a Dorothy Parker quote.

-Lauren Bacall is, as always, awesome.

-Betty Grable is somewhere between Monroe and Bacall.

-What's with old movies and 'How do you like that?'

-Pleasant, cute, entertaining old romantic comedy. You could do worse.

-Yay, in-jokes-about-real-life-husbands!

Thoughts on What We Do Is Secret

Saturday, December 25, 2010 5:13 PM By Simon

-A biopic of the Germs, specifically, their lead singer Darby Crash (played by Shane West). Also around is Ben from Reaper as Pat Smear, Bijou Phillips as Lorna Doom, Tina Majorino as Michelle Baer Ghaffari and a eczema-inflicted Ashton Holmes as Crash's boyfriend, Rob.

-If I had to describe this movie in three syllables, it would be: watered-down.

-I can't take Shane West seriously. He's always trying to put on his tough guy face, and I mean, dude. It's Shane West.

-Same with Ben...Rick Gonzalez. He's technically supposed to be the more laced-up of the band, but he, and Phillips, and everyone else for that matter, just look like a bunch of acting school graduates mugging like punk rockers.

-Direction is off. Uneven. It only really shines during the musical numbers.

-Eh. It was fine.

Thoughts on Bon Cop, Bad Cop

2:04 PM By Simon

-When some dude gets murdered and ends up on the dividing billboard between Quebec and Ontario, pussy-ass English-speaking detective Colm Feore must team up with rule-bending motherfucker French-speaking Patrick Huard.

-This shit is so Canadian. I mean, nobody says 'eh' or anything, but those guys, they're hardcore about hockey.

-Surely some French in-jokes, and probably even some English ones I fail to pick up on because I take them for granted or some shit. And a bunch of Hockey league parodies. And a Texan that is not greeted with open arms. In fact, I suspect this movie is not terribly fond of us at all.

-Oh, shit, do we have a hockey league?

-Huard and Feore have good chemistry, but not the kind where I keep expecting them to start making out. This is the best I can ask for in a buddy cop movie, especially one that, at times, takes itself very seriously.

-I now know all the French slang terms for 'fuck', 'shit', 'ass', and maybe 'cunt'. Good day.

Thoughts on Metropolis

1:57 PM By Simon

-Anime adaptation of the 40s manga by Osamu Tezuka, a boy accompanies his private investigator uncle from Japan to the future city of Metropolis, where robots are segregated and the de factor ruler is named Duke Red. Adventures in the Uncanny Valley ensue.

-I quite liked that Metropolis was not an all-encompassing world, but a relatively cut-off city that people from wherever can just visit now and then. And that people from Japan are marvelling at the robots.

A Dialogue About Exit Through the Gift Shop (guest starring Danielle)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 8:07 PM By Simon

One day, me and my sister (aforementioned Danielle) sat down to watch a movie by Banksy, who's graffiti printouts littered our walls. This is what followed.

Me: So, did you watch Exit Through the Gift Shop yet?
Danielle: Yes.
Me: What are your thoughts on it?
Danielle: Paramore is dead.
Me: What did you think of the message of the movie?
Danielle: My childhood hero is a bitch.
Me: Banksy?
Danielle: She seemed so nice.
Me: I think Thierry was in on it.
Danielle: I want to die.
Me: My name is Khan and I am NOT a terrorist.
Danielle: Shoot me. In the face. Just do it.
Me: I think Spike Jonze directed it.
Danielle: wa-oh, I never meant to bra-a-g....
Me: I didn't know Space Invader was French.
Danielle: There is no God.

Cartoons that shaped my childhood: 1

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 5:04 PM By Simon , In


Because I don't feel like reviewing Exit Through the Gift Shop.

1) Recess
A Disney afternoon show (previously on, I dunno, ABC or something), about the goings-on during the recesses of one PS 113, aka Third Street School, specifically centering on six fourth graders making up a regular band o'misfits--TJ, the chubby little leader, Vince, the designated Black Guy who's also really good at sports, Gretchen, nerd with unbelievably big teeth, Spinelli, the badass tomboy chick of indeterminate ethnic makeup, Mikey, the large, pacifistic dude with a Robert Goulet's singing voice, and Gus, the new kid who's son of an army general and is also really, really boring. Trying to thwart their shenanagins is Principal Prickly, who is indeed quite prickly, but also very put upon, and with an admirable mustache, and Miss Finster, the BAMF playground moniter and, I don't know, fifth grade teacher or something.

The animation was terrible (something I didn't quite remember until I recently rewatched what used to be my default afternoon film, Recess: School's Out), the writing could be shit, the characters one-dimensional, and sometimes, quite annoying. But guys. At the time of my viewings--something like first and second grade--this shit was motherfucking accurate. It made schoolyard politics as dramatic and Serious as they felt. Tons of They Call Him Barkeep characters, various dramatic events like rainy days, where you're cooped up in the cafeteria with a bunch of hysterical banshees you didn't realize you had, at best, ambient feelings towards until right then, that one kid who always told on you. This shit? A less gonzo version of my pre-pre-adolescent life.

And let's face it. You love the Kindergartners.

IT'S HERE, YOU CANTANKEROUS BITCHES! (Thoughts on Black Swan)

Saturday, December 18, 2010 5:34 PM By Simon

-So, you know the story, right? Emotionally constipated woman--living at home with her overbearing mother, living every little girl's dream profession, ballerina--slowly goes mad as she prepares for the lead role in Swan Lake.

-Natalie Portman is the shit. I mean, she deserves all the praise she's getting. Spending the better part of the movie (which never leaves her, not for a minute) with a brow furrowed in worry, eyes wide and fragile and pathetic. But then, as she becomes the Black Swan, she becomes the Black Swan--aggressive and vicious and, let's face it, rather slutty. Nothing here is gratuitous, there for the sake of titillation. It's all to do with her unraveling. She peels back skin on her fingers, a rash forms on her shoulder blades, her feet, of, darling, her feet.

-Vincent Cassel is all molesty as her fervent director, criticizing her in the same breath her sticks his tongue down her throat. Mila Kunis stays to the side, watching and waiting, imitating Natalie Portman's moves (fine, Lily and Nina), but with a dash more playfulness, no worry or cares, mysterious. Barbara Hershey, with her Glasgow grin and her half-mad motherly gaze, vicariously living through her daughter in the most terrifying way, deserves an Oscar, I tell you.

-And Winona Ryder. Making the most of her 5 minutes, she, the fallen star, chews every line with enough bitter fury to crack the champagne glass she wields like a gun.

-And yet, there's a deliciously campy humor about it, best exemplified as Nina is haunted by the wizard dude--the swan, the black, feathery, tarred thing that chases her nightmares grotesquely--and on opening night, he breezes past her in the crowded backstage with a noncommittal 'Hey'.

-Darren Aronofsky is king of operatic deterioration.

-The camerawork is lovely. This frantic jumping about, always keeping Portman in focus, following her from back of the head or tightly closing in on her panicked face, is a sick combination of Gaspar Noe and David Lynch styles. The music, groaning strings that are lovely and despairing at the same time, is epic. I tip my fedora to Clint Mansell and Matthew Libatique.

-The last shot is haunting. The first shot is haunting. Every shot is haunting.

-Not to discredit the supporting-supporting players, other dancers at the company, who make remarks and feud and gossip and bicker and stare daggers at Nina, or dance with her, side with Cassel, everyone being such glorious bitches, but sympathetique bitches, but bitches, all of them, Benjamin Millepied and company.

-Portman and Kunis did most of their own dancing.

-This is a psychological horror, ignore the pretentious dicks who try to call it a thriller. This. Is. A. Horror. Movie.

-I wrote this awhile ago, about Black Swan, kind of.

-Remember when I said I didn't want to hear no damn reviews of Black Swan? I want to now. Lay 'em on me.

Thoughts on Martyrs

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 5:39 PM By Simon

-As a child, Lucie (Mylène Jampanoï) escaped from a abattoir, where she was tortured for a lengthy period of time. Sent to an orphanage, she makes friends with Anna (Morjana Alaoui). 15 years later, Lucie discovers who may have kept her those years, and when she and Anna go to exact revenge, shit gets, like, real. And gruesome. And, uh, uncomfortable.

-Okay...let's start with happy thoughts. There's a teenaged boy near the beginning, who turns out to be a young Xavier Dolan, otherwise known as Canada's Boy Wonder behind J'ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother) and Les Amours Imaginaires (which roughly translates, says me, into 'The Imaginary Loves' or something, or is it 'The Creative Loves'? The latter sounds stupid, anyway. And the official English title is Heartbeats).

-I stall. This shit is brilliantly twisted, and twistedly brilliant, and beautifully executed, and marvelously acted, and simply put, one of the most horrifying horror movies I've ever seen. Not just the acts themselves, but the motives behind the acts. The way it just changes gears halfway through, turning from a suspense/supernatural thriller/horror into something much more sickening. By the end, the only mystery is one best left unsolved, as it makes the last shot almost comforting.

-But I digress. Everything before then is an endurance test, something you can either be proud or ashamed to say you passed.

-To nitpick, as I do (and this involves spoilers. Or subject of potential squeamishness for pussy-ass male figures. Warned.) Highlight any white spaces, beyond 'end' tag, for potentially spoilerific spoilers:

Women, as some may know, have body hair. This includes their pits and their legs. Why is it that movies such as these, where women have been kept in captivity, without even a proper toilet, their legs remain smooth? Their lips will chap, their hair will muss just so, faces bashed in with who-knows-what, chained to walls, tortured beyond hope of sanity, and yet, their legs refuse even stubble?

(End Spoilers)

-As always, people should get Oscars for physical acting alone. Talking to you, Mystery-Double-Jointed-Torture-Victim-Ghost-Lady.

-Weird French accents. This is a Canadian production, I will assume until someone tells me the bidness.

Thoughts on Breathless

Monday, December 13, 2010 5:17 PM By Simon

-Jean-Paul Belmondo plays a Bogart-impersonating thief and, as the film opens, murderer, with Jean Seberg as his American wannabe-journalist girlfriend. Lengthy conversations about beauty and shit proceed.

-I shall maintain that none-Anna Karina Godard films are useless to me. Although it's always interesting to spot this fabled American accent in French.

Old videos games get existential scary (LINKS!)

3:50 PM By Simon

Oh, I know, I've been terrible about linkage lately, but fuck that noise, I got shit to do. Now, though, I've properly failed at least three tests, and I'm good to motherfucking go.

-Sugary tells all you old people what fer.

-Univarn on the art of background noise.

-The Film Doctor's shittiest films of 2010. But don't give up hope, guy. We still have a month of prestige left.

-Many moons ago (like, two weeks), DC Girl went off on the Sucker Punch trailer. While I can't say I disagree with any of her (hilarious) (ahem) points, ROBOT NINJAS!

-Sadako tells Sex and the City 2 as it was meant to be told.

-Rachel and Jess of Reel Insight discuss Ben Foster, presumably (I haven't listened yet, but I will, so shut up).

-Nicholas' (Nicholas's?) five favorite servers.

-There are many, many people who are able to see Black Swan. I am not one of them. I'd like to make a point of not linking any of you lucky, metropolitan dicks.

-FLETCH HAD A BABY!

-Dope outlines gifts to give people you don't hate enough to shit on their plastic Santa.

-Acidemic on the beards of The Road et Winter's Bone.

-Pussy Goes Grr on Eric Roehmer. Who I should probably be familiar with.

-As always, its not because I don't love you. I just love them more.

Je n'aime pas de films français...

Sunday, December 12, 2010 2:57 PM By Simon

Pas particulièrement, en tout cas. Mais je dois les regarder pendant l'année scolaire. Pour la classe française, vous savez ? Il me met à un avantage.

Nous regardons la Chèvre en ce moment. Le film terrible, mais nous sommes sur l'unité 'd'animal', les connexions tièdes de côté. L'utilisation de cette logique, pourquoi pas le Corbeau, ou Panique au village?

Pourquoi l'école publique ne peut pas offrir au russe ou le Coréen, donc je pourrais me regarder un Andrei Tarkovsky ou le Park Chan-wook?

La déclamation extravagante de fin (dans le français!)

Thoughts on Kinamand

1:52 PM By Simon

-Danish meets Chinese, yo. Vivian Wu and all that.

Thoughts on 8 1/2 Women

1:12 PM By Simon

-After the death of the mother, a wealthy, middle-aged man and his playboy son (John Standing and Matthew Delamere) take in a harem of women in the father's Geneven mansion, all of whom with a gimmick/archetype of a Fellini film: a nun, a businesswoman, a gambler, a whore, a maid, a mother, a kabuki performer, etc.), signing one-year contracts.

-Dry European humor, with the father and son exchanging intellectual conversations on film and love and death and sex and whatever (their idea did spring from a viewing of 8 1/2). Their debates are actually really funny, sarcastic and all that.

-Among the harem is Toni Collete as the nun and Amanda Plummer as a vaguely Eastern European women on the run from a Middle Eastern dude who she stole a horse from, and has an intimate relationship with a pig. So yeah.

-Many wide shots. The Wes Anderson setup kind, but more often.

-In the son's quest to comfort his father, they have offscreen, but implied, sex. This may be Netflix being pussies, but their are really no sex scenes at all, except for one that's kind of important.

-I don't care what Roger Ebert says, I like it. Gallows humor above all else.

-Some things that hurt my poor little brain: the beginning of an act is superimposed with a page of the script, implied father/son sex (mentioned), the fact that there's this big buildup to who the half woman is (barely shown in the beginning, never again until the end, subject of a lengthy conversations between some maids as they clean the pool), it turns out to be an amputee. How startlingly obvious. Or maybe there's some deeper meaning I have to go to film school to get.

-Which gets me thinking, have you ever gotten the feeling some movies were made solely to prompt people to go to film school? Not this one, necessarily, because it still has many aspects you don't need some further understanding to enjoy, at least on a surface level.

-But I should not be taken for authority, on either Greenaway or anything to do with film. In fact, I'm fairly sure I'm in the minority of liking this on a non-intellectual level, just simply enjoyed it.

-I like Vivian Wu. I watched Kinamand to go with this.

Thoughts on Phoebe in Wonderland

1:06 PM By Simon

-A ten-year-old with undiagnosed Tourettes (Elle Fanning) wins the part of Alice in her school's production of Alice in Wonderland, led by a new drama teacher (Patricia Clarkson). Felicity Huffman and Bill Pullman play her parents.

-Adorable, sometimes sad little movie that's better than Lifetime disease-of-the-week, anyway.

-Holy shit, those Fanning girls can scream.

-I smiled when Patricia Clarkson played out the beginning of the tea party, with all the auditioning kids not getting it and/or being little shits.

-A friend of Phoebe's, Name-Forgotten, who was the only one to understand the tea party bit, gets the part of the Red Queen, is rehearsing, and one little girl says 'Homo.' He says 'Homo got the part', and I fucking love that.

Thoughts on Irreversible

Friday, December 10, 2010 6:56 PM By Simon

-A shocking crime succeeds a shocking crime, with underworld France inbetween.

-Uh...yes. So. Monica Belluci should get an Oscar for endurance.

-Frantic, spinning camera movement morphs into calm tracking, all edited to look like one continuous shot.

-Vengeance before cause.

-Uh...discuss?

Win a goddamn book, yo!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 4:17 PM By Simon

Now, indeed I can't share images, because my computer is once again being a whore, but Art and Adventure is having a giveaway of Zita the Spacegirl. Yes, I have interest besides movies, no, you didn't particularly care to wonder if I did, yes, I'm procrastinating from the dreaded Homework.

I've been just terrible, darlings

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 5:40 PM By Simon

All this Netflixing, I've completely neglected by ever-growing collection of unwatched DVDs. Les horreur!

Now, with the arrival of Inception (an unexpected early CCCCCCCCCCCCChanukah (basically hack out that first syllable) gift from my newly-appreciated mother), I find myself having to clear out this specific space where I keep all of them. And now, I leave it to YOU, gentle literate peoples, to decide what I watch next. This is important.

Of course, a poll will go up once I weed through the initially eliminated. Ahem.

Three Colors: Red
Pistol Opera
Capturing rhe Friedmans
Breathless
Kiss Me, Stupid
Vera Drake
Karmic Mahjong
4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
Broken Flowers
Alfred Hitchcock collection
Masters of Horror Collection
Interview
All About Eve
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
The Valley of the Dolls
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
Interview
Lethal Weapon
Masters of Mayhem collection
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Jack Nicholsan: Cult Classics
Bela Lugosi: King of the Undead
Gorehouse Greats Collection

I'

5:39 PM By Simon

Monday, December 6, 2010 1:41 PM By Simon

The Phantom Of The Paradise
The Year Punk Broke

If I were away

Sunday, December 5, 2010 9:23 PM By Simon

Then I wouldn't be here, now would I?

Of course you don't understand, ---! You've been gone so long...

Don't pull that shit on me, ---, you very well know I tried as hard as I could--

SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU FUCKING BASTARD!

I'LL KILL YOU, YOU CUNT!

The moral of the story? No Antichrist before bed.

Have a nice night.

Thoughts on Barking Dogs Never Bite

6:41 PM By Simon

-An out of work college professer (Lee Sung-jae), annoyed by constantely barking dogs in his apartent building, begins abusing and kidnapping them. Meanwhile, a young woman working at the building (Bae Doona) begins investigating after several tenants give her notices.

-The directorial debut of Bong Joon-ho, a wry black comedy, a bit uneven, but rather delkightful.

-Lovely cinematography.

-So, yeah. Wish I was more talkative on the matter.

Thoughts on Antichrist

6:29 PM By Simon

-A therapist, He (Willem Defoe), unwisely decides to take his wife, She's (Charlotte Gainsbourg), grief counseling into his own hands after the accidental death of their toddler son. Chaos reigns, genitals mutilate, et cetera, et cetera.

-I forget if this was Oscar eligable in 2009 or 2010, but holy shit, none of the other nominees deserved it as much as Gainsbourg. Shit.

-Borders on pretentious, but never quite crosses that line. A fascinating study on grief and mental illness, and to a lesser extent, misogny.

-The cinematography, by Anthony Dod Mantle, is beautiful. Especially in the opening and closing scenes. Damn.

-And it makes you think, guys.

-Not for the risible.

4 Movies About Movies

Saturday, December 4, 2010 7:05 PM By Simon

Or, about the making of movies, or the definition of movies, or the general being of movies. Et cetera.

1) Irma Vep
Maggie Cheung stars as the star of a malfunctioning remake of Les Vampyres, remunating of the state of French cinema, and American cinema, and cinema in general.

2) Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
Likewise, an adaption of Tristram Shandy with the egocentric Steve Coogan, wherein nobody can agree on which subplot to keep and which to toss, where they're going to get their damn funding, and what can be done to make Coogan look taller. Blurring the lines between non and fiction, and sharp comedy about the follies of filmmaking (duh).

3) Persona
Because he says it better, and I'm lazy, Mike Lippert of You Talking to Me? left a comment on my review of the film, which goes like this:

[...]the entire concept of the film (because a concept is what it rightfully is) is that it explores Bergman's effective relationship to film itself. It first begins with a montage which, in a way, works out Bergman's life through film: an image from his earlier film The Devil's Wanton, a beloved childhood cartoon, the tarantula (Bergman's image for God, his interpretation, not mine, and so on).

The film is bookended by a young Bergman in a bedroom with images of Liz and Alma projected on a screen. They are beuatiful women but they are not real, they are simply reflections of simulacrum (composite images without an original) because they are the faces of actresses playing characters and not in fact real women. It's only half ironic that both were, at one point, Bergman's lovers.

The film then deals with two opposing women: the caregiver: real and emotional and the actress, fake and emtionally indifferent. The actress has reverted inside herself because she doesn't exist as a human being outside of the stage. Both womens' reactions to the horrifying sex story that is told is wholly telling.

Then the film burns up and reconstructs itself after alma steps on a piece of glass, the first human sensation she has maybe ever felt and thus, we need a new film, in which we even get a glimpse of Bergman and his crew manipulting a shot. The roles have changed, the actress can feel, and so goes the film until the truth of the matter is revealed jarringly in the infamous fash mesh in which Bergman shows complete control over these women, who do not exist but instead are simply images that he can manipulate of his own free will. In that sense it's the most personally perverse shot Bergman ever devised.

And then the child again, touching the glass, reaching out to these women, trying to escape. He grabs for real beauty and yet all he gets is cold glass for these women are no more than projections on a screen: a chemical reaction of light hitting film and being projected on a cold surface. In this sense, Bergman reveals that film is both love and pain: encapsultaion and isolation: within film Bergman is his own master, ability to make his lovers into anything he wants and yet he still ends up cold and alone with no more than images projected behind a gladd barricade.


4) 8 1/2
Just...duh.

Add your own? Tell me how positively half-assed I am? Good news: My comments don't have CAPTCHA!

Thoughts on The Host

6:33 PM By Simon

-A chemically-altered monster wreaks havoc at the Hun River, eating pedestrians all about. When he grabs a young girl and takes her down to his lair, her family--slow-witted father (Song Kang-ho), archer aunt (Ko Ah-seong), alcoholic former activist uncle (Park Hae-il), and snack-bar owner grandfather (Byeon Hee-bong)--reunite after some time to find her.

-While officially a monster horror movie, there are elements of drama and comedy (including the funniest funeral scene ever committed to celluloid).

-Aw shit, this is awesome. Acting, action sequences, Monster, plot, twists, backhand of typical monster movies, everything. Brilliant.

-And sad, at the end. Very sad.

-Bong Joon-ho, like Park Chan-wook, never makes a movie I don't like.

-One thing: this film does not have a high opinion of Americans. Or America, for that matter. The opening scene, where a US Army doctor orders his Korean assistant to dump a bunch of toxic chemicals down the drain because their bottles are dusty, to the modern-day one who interviews the dad (named Gang-du), even the young soldier during the initial attack who keeps yelling, loudly and obnoxious and persistantly "I gotta help!". It's political in the loosest definition of the term 'casually'.

-Oh, guys.

Thoughts on Natural City

6:08 PM By Simon

-In an Uncanny Valley future, two cops who track down renegade cyborgs come at odds when one of them (Yoo Ji-tae) falls in love with his 'doll' cyborg. With it/her about to expire, he searches through black market means a way to transfer her mind into a human body, finding an orphaned prostitute/fortune teller (Lee Jae-eun).

-Confusing and muddled and disorganized cyberpunk. Nothing is bothered to be explained, which can sometimes be good, but here it's just aggravating.

-Performances: action movie calibre.

-Fine cinematography, has too much of a nineties-feel.

-Bloody, violent cyborg-on-human fights (hardly fair).

Thoughts on After Sex

5:44 PM By Simon

-Various sketches of couples talking (uh) after sex.

-Not terribly good. Not terribly terrible. Ranges from stupid rom-com material (complete with lame-ass, out-of-nowhere, cliched explanations of what love is), to after school special (on being in the closet), to relationship dramas, to old people of the free-years yonder.

-The only ones I really liked were: Mila Kunis and Zoe Saldana's lesbian-and-bicurious-roommate (other way around) get it on, then walk around their college campus negotiating the terms of their relationship, orientation, bitchiness, and the flavor of one's cunt. The other was Taryn Manning and Jose Pablo Cantillo as people just finished with a one night stand on a mattress in an alley, and who walk to his apartment. Both are the best acted of the bunch, funniest, the latter being the weirdest (which is why it's saved for the end).

-Dave Franco is in one, but he's so bad I'd rather not discuss it.

-And that lady from those annoying Kay Jeweler's commercials shows up.

-Otherwise, meh.

Thoughts on Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story

Friday, December 3, 2010 8:24 PM By Simon

-Surely another to tick under the good old 'meta-film-within-a-film/disastrous production' genre, eh?

-The intermingling of the production of an ambitious adaption of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (I may be getting that title wrong) with actual scenes of it, only half of which are actually filmed by the first half, and the rest just implied. If that makes sense. Which it doesn't.

-Tony Wilson interviews Steve Coogan (both playing themselves). Meet you in Manchester, bitches.

-I love Naomie Harris. I especially love her because of her passionate speeches on, among other films, Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. I haven't seen it, because I'm lame, but the fact that a movie has the common decency to make a real reference to him is beautiful.

-Other beautiful things: in a deleted scene, a 28 Days Later poster hangs about in a scene where Coogan and friends (unfortunately, Harris is not among them) read a review of Coffee and Cigarettes, where 'Alfred Molina gives an obnoxious Steve Coogan a taste of his own medicine' (I find this particularly funny because here, Coogan essentially plays the same version of himself as he did in that particular short, but with a baby and a girlfriend out of Kelly MacDonald who isn't Kelly MacDonald.

-Speaking of which, she and Shirley Henderson are always doing movies together, aren't they?

-Stephen Fry!

-I really should stop watching modern-set British movies. My inner monologue narrator is starting to give me lip.

4:04 PM By Simon

http://artforum.com/inprint/id=26857

Thoughts on Operation: Endgame

Thursday, December 2, 2010 7:16 PM By Simon

-Once upon a time, this was called Rogue's Gallery, and sounded awesome, and I wanted to see it. But, eventually, news slowed to a halt of production, and I forgot about it. Until Filmjunk announced the trailer of some DTD action-comedy starring Zach Galifinakis and Rob Corddry. I was like, wha?, but then I was like, oh..., and then I called bullshit.

-Joe Anderson--who's British, apparently, but here I was thinking he was American--is a new recruit of the sub-government team, the Factory, which is split into two opposing sides, Alpha and Omega, both equally crazy, there to make sure the other doesn't disrupt the balance of shit or whatever. Alpha team is each in their own special ways fucking psychotic, while Omega is Maggie Q and Ving Rhames and Rob Corddry and some guy named The Emperor. But Odette Yustman, so fuck that noise.

-Emilie de Ravin has the worst Southern accent in the history of the practice, and plays the atypical 'cute-as-a-button-crazy-as-your-mom-that's-who' type. Brandon T Jackson has a prosthetic noise which promptly gets torn apart by the business end of a paper shredder. Zach Galifinakis is the Hermit, who is on neither team, does not show up until near the end, goes batshit crazy (I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be amused, saddened, and freaked out). Rob Corddry's character is, for some reason, the most developed of anyone, a burnt-out former golden boy in the company.

-Here's the problem with the kind of twist this movie has: in order for it to be done a tiny bit, you need to keep the protaganist at arm's length, thinly drawn and whatnot. The paradox of this is that you can, consequently, see it coming a mile away.

-It's kind of a funny way to pass the time.

Free Movies!

3:29 PM By Simon

Well, movie. All you gotta do is take the Movie Blogger Survey, head on over to PriceMinister, which is British, so you know it's classy.

Tip: If anyone thinks Takeshia Kitano is a sumo wrestler, leave and never come back.

Alfie's Home

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 3:34 PM By Simon

So today I was browsing about the Interwebzzzz!!1 when I suddenly, and with gusto, remembered that I use to have a blog. Much like this one. Except stupider, with more stock book reviews and cultural 'commentary' and some fair bits of me being stupid. So I went back and found that damn thing, and look! I wrote something about my favorite book EVA!

Alfie's Home!

Yes, the saga of young boy who thinks he's gay but it turns out he was just getting molested. Classy!