A great thing once said: "Mama knows, child." And this is true. Mama does know. And so do I.
For years, you've felt scourged. Cast out. Abandoned by your saviors before you were even born, left to cling to the past properties for which you once thrived. Star Wars fanfiction, deviantART sketches of Uhura and Scully doing The Biz. You've been lonely. You've been left dry.
Presenting: Sucker Punch.
Hot chicks who put fetchingly, one who could genuinely kick your ass, one who could maybe help, one with a bitchin' haircut (okay, the same one), one with a Lolita sense of attire, one with awkward crossover appeal, one who stands around and, I don't know, flies airplanes in giant Tamagatchis. Trench warfare, WWI, army jets vs. airplanes, ninjas, samurais, zombie Nazis, a train populated entirely by robot coppers, machine guns, brothels, sexay outfits, swords, vaguely Polish doctors/madams, wooden dialogue, big anime eyes.
I don't give you Sucker Punch. Your mamas don't give you Sucker Punch. Zack Snyder (or what's his name?) doesn't even give you Sucker Punch. No. The mechanic entrails of R2D2 gives you Sucker Punch. Batman's spare brass ball gives you Sucker Punch. The dearly departed ghost of Tura Satana, everything you've ever looked at and said 'cool' at, they have given you Sucker Punch.
Here, you are given a movie made by you, for you, disregarding all but you. This, in short, is for you. FOR YOU!
PS This is not to go unrewarded, boys. Gather some pretty blockheads and the tightest pants you can find. You've got a fangirl movie to shoot.
PSS A real review when I feel like it.
-What warped neo-punk chain-gang anime this has been. I tip my hat to you, all involved, for not making this suck as hard as it quite obviously should've.
-Seriously, this movie should not exist. It's too awesome.
-Tetsuo's girlfriend just can't seem to get a break, can she?
-I love the reaction shots, though. This one guy spends the entire first part of the movie (a part that's never really explained...) like:
11:29 PM By Simon
11:29 PM By Simon
-Michel Piccoli stars as a French novelist, hired by American film producer Jack Palance to revise the script for an adaption of the Odyssey, dissatisfied with Fritz Lang's approach (yes, really). The conflict between art and commercialism is mirrored by Piccoli's sudden estrangement from his wife Brigitte Bardot.
-Here's what I don't get. I don't care where you're from, how big of a dumbass you are, or how much unearned money you got. When Fritz Lang hands you a movie, you shut up and take the damn movie.
-And...it doesn't really feel like a Godard movie. Aside from some experimentation with film lenses, and the second act, which is a marital spat that roams through one apartment, it's mostly...I don't know. Maybe because it's his first studio film.
-I can't say that this is Bardot's best performance, because I haven't seen her other ones, but I can say it's very, very good. Both she and Godard seek to seperate her from blonde bombshell reputation, giving off the sense that she, as both a character and as an actress, is deeply resentful (of her husband, of the audience) for not taking her seriously as more than a pretty face. She spends a quarter of the film in a Karina wig, anyway.
-Uh...go consult this thing I wrote a couple weeks ago about the American producer's jackassery. If you want. I also talk about the characters a bit more, at least, with as much effort as I can ever be bothered to put into these things (as you may or may not know, I tend to write these things while watching TV, and this doesn't make for terribly deep dissertations).
-Oh, poor Giorgia Moll.
11:28 PM By Simon
-Fox and His Friends? More like Fassbinder and His Friends! BAZING!
-I'm done. I'll stop.
-Fassbinder directs and stars as a working class carnival worker. When his boyfriend, the guy who runs his show, gets arrested, he finds himself out of work and soon entangled in the persnickety world of the upper-class homosexual. You know what that means! Martinis and mustaches and squaredance-dating and thievery and heartbreak and misery and luxurious vacations and prostitutes played by Ali (fear has not yet eaten his soul, the dear) and betrayel and more misery and death and credits and DVD menu and special features and, ah...
-So, right, we're here now. The cast is almost entirely made up of Fassbinder's usual players (hence my god-awful punning above), that eclectic mix of friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, and acquantiances. This cast-with-your-cock approach adds even more realism to his already brutally honest, if not fantastically made, films.
-That's not fair, Fassbinder was kind of an amazing director. I just hate the look of them. They're ugly, but not on purpose, they look cheep. Cheap and grimy and pointing out the contours of a person's face in all the terrible ways one could, accompanied by often hideous characters (this, I'm sure, was on purpose) doing hideous things to one another. Somehow, they all redeem such bone-deep ugliness through ironic humor and the power of the Woobie. And a wardrobe of skinny jeans that rivals King Jareth's.
-Right. To point, this is, I believe, one of Fassy's (not to be confused with Michael Fassbender, who is also Fassy, but I'm tired of typing Fassbi/ender) better films. Another 'and then this terrible thing happened' narrative, not boasting the best of performances from any of it's actors, but surely, that's not the point.
-Willem Dafoe stars as, uh, Jesus, Martin Scorsese (damn you, last name! DAMN YOU!) directs, a telling/retelling of Jesus's life, death, and subsequent others.
-The thing is, this is probably one of M.S.'s most personal films. And it shows. There is not one reel that isn't so overwhelmingly naked, it makes you feel like you're intruding. Every shot has been composed to perfection, but for the sake of finally telling a story you've been waiting for your entire life. It's so flawlessly raw sometimes, yet elsewhere, deliriously satisfied with it's own existence. Or, that's not a good way of putting it. Because you'll never have a scene of someone hanging out, doing nothing. There'll be a subtext, or a conversation about religion, or at the very least a tortured voiceover by Dafoe. Here is a case for vanity projects everywhere. Here is a film that knows, loves, hates, ogles, and leans into its subjects with reverence and imagination and, after all is said and done, complete and total faith in it.
-The score is lovely. Very bizarre.
-And...okay, another thing. Rarely does M.S. (his name until I can spell it properly) inject comedy into the mix (intentionally, anyway), so serious is he about the whole deal. But then, he isn't afraid to show Jesus as a man. He gets scared, he gets angry, he gets happy, and a lot of the times, he just seems schizophrenic, going on about voices and the need to drown the pain out with self-punishment (hence the building of crosses used for crucifixtions, which I don't know if that's canon or not). And the Judas thing. I mean, it's pretty much entered common lexicon that Judas means douchenozzle who you shouldn't let watch your kids if you don't want them taken in for dealing or whatever, he's bad. But here, he's Jesus's most loyal deciple (played by a gingerfied Harvey Keitel, no less), and only rats him out under direct orders from the man himself, so that he may fulfill the prophecy (cause this is like Star Wars, right?), and near the end (amid the semi-infamous hallucination parts), he actually calls Jesus a traitor for not dying.
-Barbara Hershey plays Mary Magdeline, and one senses that M.S. is quite happy about this. Her introduction is both one of the intentional and unintentionally funny bits.
-John Lurie is some guy named Paul or whatever, a Saint, I think, and Harry Dean Stanton, who I thought was Dennis Hopper until the credits.
-DAVID BOWIE HOLY SHIT was the guy who sentenced Jesus to death and, curiously for an English-language period piece, is the only one with an English accent. Because it's his. Anyway, he played the guy as kind of sympathetic towards Jesus (besides the obvious 'King of the Jews' thing, and I'm still confused over this: how can we be blamed for Jesus's death? He was Jewish, too. I don't see how Jews could've prevented this shit either way. Better yet, why not blame the Romans, those pricks.), but very much into the status quo of things, but he's so pragmatic and reasonable-sounding, and you almost side with him. In fact, he's kind of cool, level-headed and such. And he's played by David Bowie. Of course I dig him.
-Willem Dafoe. Of course. He's playing Jesus. Hard to criticize. So I won't.
-Every time Jesus and Judas were onscreen together, I just wanted one of them, so straight-faced, to say 'bros before hoes'. Then fist bump. Or make out, the way they were going at each other.
12:12 PM By Simon
Castor, of Anomalous Material, has initiated, in the vein of Fandago Groover's Desert Island DVDs blogathon awhile back, one of his very own, this time with movie-related music. So we get a 12-track CD (let's pretend iPods don't exist, guys), and we gotta fill that shit up (although I'm not terribly sure when I'm supposed to post it, but I'm doing it now, because fuck it, I have homework). Now I'll know what to pack it I ever voyage down the fabled Wilde-Ocean, because you know how those Wildepirates can be.
Videos to be added when my stupid fucking computer stops being a stupid fucking fuck.
1) "Jezebel" by Anna Calvi
A brilliantly operatic and hypnotic enough to distract me from the roaming Wildepumas, this recording has not been in any movie I'm aware of. Except, it was originally an Edith Paif song, and that was a movie! Also, see, Calvi is hugely influenced by films, citing Gus Van Sant, Wong Kar-Wai and David Lynch, as well as Ennio Morriccone. And Bowie. Which brings us to...
2) "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" by David Bowie (from the Inglorious Basterds/Cat People soundtracks)
Again, the good side of the eighties with the epic power it now associates with Melanie Laurent's suit up. I shall need it during the final battle with the dastardly Wildepirates.
3) "I'll Make a Man Out of You" sung by Donny Osmond for Mulan
Oh, come on. The Wildezombies (too much?) need training, and this is the song to do it.
4) "Lust for Life" by Iggy Pop, on the Trainspotting soundtrack
Oh, come one now. Just because your on an island doesn't mean you can't have some drug-fueled petty thievery once in awhile.
5) "Five Years" by David Bowie, as used in What We Do Is Secret
Sure, I might've used The Germs' own "Lexicon Devil", but I liked the way this was used in the movie. The song is frequently referenced, in accordance with Darby Crash's 'Five Year Plan'. We never actually hear it until the penultimate scene, where Darby (played by Shane Black) ODs, where it plays in montage to former band members finding out about John Lennon's death (only a day separated their deaths). While the movie overall feels like a bunch of NYU graduates mugging in their rattiest jeans, this is one of the few scenes that feels...honest? Real? Something.
I will, of course, request the WZ clan play this on my death bed.
6) "Jennifer's Body" by Hole, as heard kind of in, uh, Jennifer's Body
I love how Courtney Love manages to scream while still singing, you know? Not just screeching into the microphone. My minions will need a good head-thrash-to-shuffling-coolly song after a day's work prepping the attack.
7) Urge Overkill's cover of Neil Diamond's pedo-tastic song, "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon", as heard in Pulp Fiction
Ah, yes. Such a deceitfully hip song until you listen to the lyrics. But it's just so good, dude. Just me, some coke, my tricked-out condo overlooking the battlefields, and this song, bro.
8) "Venus in Furs" by the Velvet Underground, in, among others, Last Days
Is it weird that I'm strongly prejudicial to songs I can either dance violently or sway indifferently to? Well, no. I don't want to isolate the WZ natives too much.
9) "Rabbia E Tarantella" by Ennio Morriccone, most recently used as the end credits to Inglorious Basterds
What can I say? Tarantino knows how to make a damn soundtrack.
10) The entire Suspiria score by Goblin
Guys. Come one, now. Just take a breath and calm down.
11) "Linda Linda" by the Blue Hearts, the main basis for the movie Linda Linda Linda
Not only did I just remind myself that I never wrote a review of this adorable Japanese movie (with Bae Doona! She's awesome, remember?), I also remembered the immense pain it brings me that I can't find one, not one download of this song. I can't find any CDs, not even a fucking vinyl. So one might say this particular entry is wish-fulfillment, but come on. The song is awesome, and I would show you, but please reference the disclaimer above.
12) "Ziggy Stardust" by David Bowie, as featured in many things, okay, shut up.
Let me make this very clear. If I did not have this song at ready disposal on this war-torn Wilde-Island, I would not make it. Oh, sure, I can't find any version of "Cruella De Vil" from 101 Dalmatians that isn't by Selena Gomez, and "Life on Mars" speaks to me in ways only teenaged girls half-raised by pop culture could understand, and the Teen Titans theme song by Puffy Ami Yumi is brilliantly poppy, and "Misery Business" by Paramour is my connection to modern music, bro, and "Get Happy" is just brilliant, but guys. I need my Ziggy.
-A pet with an identity crisis (Johnny Depp) gets lost in the desert, meeting up with a town desperate for (uh) a hero. And junk.
-First, let me tell of my experience seeing this business. It was, see, a Tuesday afternoon. It was awesome. The theatre was empty, and me and my sister motherfucking danced up the aisles, chatted with the imaginary projectionist (our theatre, like all the others, have switched to digital), hurled abuse at the too-easy trivia quizzes, provided running commentary for the trailers, but then, of course, some people showed up and we were stuck being normal patrons. My ass.
-On to the show. This was the weirdest kids' movie I've ever seen (in these watered-down days, anyway). Everything's covered in a coating of beautiful, beautiful grime, there's all sorts of exisential angst, people get killed and hardcore-threatened and there's some sirens following our Hero Rango.
-Speaking of, he's not terribly likable. A cowardly asshole at the worst of times, he, of course, redeems himself, but I kind of wanted to throttle the little shit. Depp switches from Kermit-voiced vaudville to mumbling wisecracks in some alright voice work. Isla Fisher is the love interest, a BAMF farmgirl, Ned Beatty is a slightly less molesty version of the John Huston character in Chinatown (complete with a water control plot), some other people are some other things.
-We're running out of water, bro. Shit.
-HOLY MOTHERFUCKER, know who shows up? Hunter S. Thompsan and Dr. Gonzo? Yeah. The Man With No Name? Fuck yeah. My life is complete.
But not now. Now, I've got homework. But enjoy the music that speaks to my soul as of now.
(by the way, who has read Rise of the Ogre? I must know)
Guys. Just shut up. Just shut up.
My ears tend to prick up in that way people's ears can totally go except when they can't which is always, when I hear of a foreign film that involves an American character. It's not only because I am nearly guaranteed at least bits of English, where I'll feel like, say, Russian speakers feel when watching any pre-21st century Hollywood action movie. That is to say, beaming at the in-jokes you totally get with your native language. The sudden adjustment you must make, having spent a good portion of the movie reading subtitles. Of course, I could easily get this same feeling from a British character, or an Australian character, or hell, even that brief dialogue between the Chinese lady and the French lead in La Moustache, but there's something about a familiar accent, an accent I'll hear all day (except for that one British substitute at school), but among a sea of French, Korean, German, Italian, whatever language, it's kind of a comfort. A relief, if you will.
Right. I'm done now. Except I'm not. I forgot.
WE ARE SUCH TOTAL DOUCHENOZZLES, YOU GUYS
Ah, yes. An international favorite. The boorish, greedy, stupid-ass American businessman or tourist who just won't stop harshing the lead's mellow. Bon Cop, Bad Cop had the Texan guy who wanted to buy a hockey team, then went off on some random tangent about steaks. Cause we're like that. Love us some meat.
Or in Contempt, where Palance is a blunt jerkoff of an American producer, scolding Fritz Lang (yeah, that one) for his artsy take on an adaption of the Odyssey that he commissioned him for, buying Michel Piccoli to rewrite the script, probably to include more boobs, meanwhile blatantly flirting with Piccoli's wife, Bridget Bardot. All of this flinged at his co-producer/interpreter, Giorgia Moll, an Italian who must additionally translate French into English, French into Italian, German into Italian, Italian into German, German into French, German into English, etc, etc, poor dear. One is left to assume Godard did all this to avoid studio dubbing.
Right. I was going somewhere with this. In Memories, segment 'Stink Bomb' (最臭兵器 Saishū-heiki), we get the US military involved in a case where a young lab technician gets infected with a stink bomb that kills everyone around him. Again, they are shown, through the US Secretary of Defense, as bullying, cocky assholes. Never mind that they very obviously just got a Japanese guy to read off English dialogue phonetically.
There's another Godard film, Breathless (duh), where Jean Seberg, an American in Paris, shacks up with a French outlaw. He, at one point, comments: "You Americans are dumb. You admire Lafayette and Maurice Chevalier. They're the dumbest of all Frenchmen."
Bong Joon-ho, who I like to think of as my Spiritual South Korean Bestie Until Park-Chan-wook Gets Off His Ass With This Whole iPhone-Movie Nonsense, certainly has no high opinion of American military. In The Host alone, we've got a sixties-era doctor who insists his Korean, despite his better judgement, pour all the toxic whatever down the drain because the glasses aren't properly washed, a modern-day soldier who runs around, screaming "I've gotta help! I've gotta help!", and another military higher-up who's quite proud of a certain cover-up he and the folks down in Washington got boiling, if only to be discovered by one characters inexplicable knowledge of at least a bit of English, but I'm rambling again, aren't I?, so sorry...
What is my point? I have no point. Sorry to have wasted your time with this huge anti-climax. Of course, if you want to name some of your favorite moments of foreign-film Americans, then go right ahead. I, after all, can't stop you. Except for my wizard powers. But I don't like to use them unless Tom Cruise is on screen. Carry on.
-Bowie. If they have a gun, for god's sake, give me a sign.
I'm on my way.
All terrible joking aside, Bowseph is certainly testing my undying worship, isn't he?
-Where to fucking start.
-Okay. Jennifer Connelly. I like her. She's a good actress with a not-terrible choice in movies, she's pretty in a non-generic way. As far as Jennifers go, you could do a lot worse. So why the fucking fuck do I hate her so here?
-Well, she's a petulant little pisser who goes off on her stepmother for daring make her babysit (when, might I add, she clearly has nothing better to do than reenact scenes from her favorite book with her damn dog), then throws a bitch fit when her Dad doesn't go knocking down her door, begging for forgiveness with a bloody knife in one hand, his severed tongue in the other. She yells at her baby stepbrother for crying (as babies are apt to do), and accidentally-on-purpose sics a herd of motherfucking goblins on the infant. This is not twenty minutes in. She proceeds through the next ninety-something as a slack-jawed idiot gaping at all the Muppets that dance around her in wisecracking glee.
-Oh, yeah. And when she refuses a crystal ball he offers her, Bowie throws a fucking snake at her face.
-Not twenty minutes in. I'm strongly considering turning this shit off and rewatching The Man Who Fell to Earth.
-Oh god, the fucking muppets...
-Such ridiculous director, such ridiculous effects, such ridiculous everything (except for the soundtrack, of course). Yet, oh well. Entertaining at will.
Disclaimer: This is the product of a tired young mind avoiding Da Homeworks, the ever-growing pit of nihilism in her gut, and rewatching Teen Titans Season 4. I am not responsible for the shitty shit shittiness of this thing, much like how I'm not responsible for the craptastical TT episode where Beast Boy goes off to work at some burger joint. For fuck's sake.
But really. This is quite terrible. I keep no characteristics of these guys. They're pawns in my crappy joke-telling. En-fucking-joy.
Robin: *shit* Boy Wonder speaking.
Batman: Trouble in Gotham. Get over here.
Robin: Is it the Joker again?
Robin: It's the fucking Joker again, isn't it?
Robin: I am so sick of that guy, Bruce.
Batman: Don't call me by my name!
Robin: We're not bugged. We're never bugged. When have we ever been bugged?
Batman: Probably in some back issue two people bought before they retracted them for an advertising error, I don't know.
Robin: You can handle the Joker yourself, Batty. I've got shit to do.
Robin: Besides, you've handled the Joker dozens of times without me.
Batman: He's got town hall rigged to enough explosives to take down a small country. I need backup.
Robin: Why don't you get Tim to help you then?
Batman: Not with this again.
Robin: You know what really bugs me, though. You couldn't even get him a new costume.
Batman: We've been over this, I don't have time to be designing new disguises--
Robin: The color, Bats. You couldn't just make it purple or something?
Batman: People are getting blown up.
Robin: Do you know how long it'll take to get from Jump City to Gotham?
Batman: Robin, get your fucking Batnipples over here this instant.
Robin: Another thing. I don't wear the Batnipples anymore.
Batman: And why the fuck not?
Is, of course, our Lord and Savior and Junk, but that is besides the point. I've been awful busy lately, what with the brief rise and fall of activity, that one might confuse with a social life (seriously, it was epic. Like Caligulia, but sexier). So I didn't even have time to watch the new episode of Young Justice, much less watch any movies. I have, however, had time to read Rise of the Ogre. So, enjoy this:
Holy panda fucker, do I want to see this movie. Attack the Block. Dude.