9:36 PM By Simon
If you've seen Insidious, you know exactly why I won't be sleeping tonight.
8:32 PM By Simon
-Ana Torent stars as a little girl living in rural, early-Generalissimo Spain, with her pathological liar sister and her parents, seperated in age by at least twenty years, the mother consumed in a long-distance affair, the father with his beekeeping. When a travelling cinema comes to town with Frankenstein, she begins to search for a monster of her own to befriend.
-This makes it seem much more plot-oriented than it is. Really, this is just a rough outline of a much looser narrative, oozing with metaphors and pretty, pretty pictures, painting the landscape yellow, a tale of a girl's isolation, a country's degradation, etc, etc.
-Torent is kind of amazing. She can't be more than ten here, but she manages to convey loneliness, innocence, maturity, all that shit, with her eyes.
-It's hard to explain in a few paragraphs. To theorize on what director Victor Erice meant--this was made at the tail end of Franco's reign, when the dictatorship had relaxed, but the censors were still alive and well--would require a greater knowledge of post-war Spain that I have. You could say that was the key to every other theory. Is this really so small a story as a little girl looking for Frankenstein, or is she just an avatar for the country itself? Should I be taking anything at face value? The late appearence of a Republican soldier, wounded and taking solace in a shack frequented by Torent in her search, says no, I shouldn't. But I will, because the literal story is as sad and sweet and beautiful as the metaphorical one.
-You've got to watch it to get what I mean, I tell you. Bro. Go. Now. I'll wait.
The comments section has temporarily been changed (because Blogger, once again, can't get its shit together)
5:55 PM By Simon
As you may or may not be aware, in-page comment boxes are being a new variety of asshole hereforeto unknown to thinking man.
Now you all get redirected to a page if you care to comment. No popups. Because I love you.
Aren't you happy?
-Ang Lee: doing it better since the dawn of cinema. Bitch.
-Wire-fu so gracefully done--choreography by Yuen Woo-ping (who's officially my new hero, and is perhaps the chief argument for why the Oscars should have a choreophraphy category)--I want to describe it as Edgar Wright did for Scott Pilgrim: a musical where, instead of song, people break out into fights. There's even a love song, between Zhang Ziyi (where did she go? She was kind of big for awhile after Memoirs of a Geisha, and then Hero, but then she stopped showing up or something) and Chang Chen, as a spoiled secret-warrior governor's daughter and a desert bandit, respectively.
-Michelle Yeoh is so badass, it's ridiculous. I mean, here I was, only thinking of her as the flower lady from Sunshine, and meanwhile, here she is. I've gotta look up more of her movies.
-I can't stop thinking of Chow Yun-fat in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, where his entire presence was so confusing I've grown a general weariness to any further appearences. Which is hardly fair, like, it's not his fault that movie sucked the air out of the room, and he's a good actor, and he's good in this, balancing the zen monk and the romantic hero thing perfectly, but it's like aversion therapy or something.
-Mandarin gives me a headache. I'm trying to learn it, but good zombie Xenu, this movie makes it sound terrifying. I could only keep track of the most basic and repeated patterns in dialogue, and that's not accounting for the actors' accents (Yun-fat, Yeoh, and I think Chen, none of them are native speakers), or any of the dated language, and shit, no wonder China's kicking out asses.
Your site won't let me comment. As you well know, I am an unrivaled genius in the field of witty blog comments. So I leave my latest masterwork here, in response to this new post in which you announce you're leaving me for fucking ever. And also blogging. But me first. I'm more important.
You're leaving me!? With THESE PEOPLE? Dear god, sir, have you no decency?
I trust that any new site of yours, I will be the first person contacted for amazeballs contributions. On account of how awesome I am. As you'll recall.
The adult world sounds mad depressing.
Because only such a severe case of assholery as mine would possibly think anyone gives two shits.
The picture above is a drawing she did for me after I beasted her quote contest, wherein Scott Pilgrim, Ziggy Stardust, and Conan O'Brian's Thor (Google it) do my math homework. I cherish it the way I reserve only for David Bowie memorabilia and cappuccinos.
When I watchedAt first I was all
And then I was all
But not before I was all
I mean, the writing was so
The acting was kind of
But the Japan tracking shots were
But holy shit, if you turned off your brain, it was
That means nothing. You just had to see it.
I've been thinking. Ever since I was bestowed this motherfucker:
I wondered, why, oh why, did you kind folks choose me to be your Goddess of New Humor, over, say, everyone else who is funnier than me? Why?
I couldn't figure it out. I was baffled. BAFFLED. I mean, ruling out my taletn for witticisms that rivals Sir Oscar Wilde himself, my scathing satire on today's culture diseases, and my astounding discipline when it comes to providing you folks amusing and quality content every single day, I've got nothing.
But that will change. I will earn your love. I will make you laugh.
I'll make you laugh so hard, you'll fucking die. You'll still be laughing all the way out, and won't even realize you're dead until you're in heaven, comparing notes with the hundreds of other new arrivals. You'll reach the conclusion in unison, your halos fitted in silence by the demons Satan loaned God in anticipation of the sudden influx. And you'll look to your compatriots in deaditude, and you will nod to each other. You'll contently enter the pearly white gates. You'll regret nothing.
Oh, yeah. We're in evangelical country now. Be-fucking-ware, my loves.
Says this thing right here. And an email I got just now. Since I haven't listened to the nomination podcast at the LAMB site, I was all:
*Google Images High Five*
1:44 PM By Simon
Oh shit. Oh shitsicle. Oh shitfucker.
I've gotten through The Spirit of the Beehive and Branded to Kill, but I've still got to watch Knife in the Water, Harlan County USA, Ballad of a Soldier, and probably a shitoad of others to watch by the 26th. IT NEVER ENDS.
Meanwhile, reviews of Bridesmaids and a plea in favor of David Bowie/Marlene Dietrich flop Just a Gigolo, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and, uh, other things.
And homework. But that's backseat.
Enough whining. Carry on with your day.
-A Japanese librarian in Bangkok (Asano Tadanobu) who constantly fantasizes about suicide and a Thai girl (Sinitta Boonyasak), very recently one sister down, retreat to her beachside bungalow for a couple days of moping before she leaves for Japan.
-Take the first half hour or so. This sequence of time-distorted misery in three acts, two parallel and one converging, jumping back and forth between Tadanobu's spiffy apartment/library, every book neatly stacked and labelled but for a collection of random volumes stacked under a noose in the hallway, the fridge only containing the six-packs his scummy yakuza brother offers while inviting himself for a couple months of hiding (he raped his boss's daughter, see), and Boonyasak's sister's place of employ, a bar where the girls wear schoolgirl uniforms, and Tadanobu's brother frequents. It's confusing and unnecessary, this device, as it never really shows any juxtaposing images of their lives or anything. Maybe a stylistic device, maybe to confuse, maybe to show their disconnected lives, maybe some bullshit like that, I don't know.
-It feels like it should be a spoiler, Tadanobu's (this isn't the character's name, I just don't feel like looking up the spelling) brother's assassination by his friend Taneka (or was it Tanada?), hired by wrong'd boss. I mean, it's the cause of the real plot, the kind of thing that would be taken care of in the first ten minutes of any other movie, but here it's at the tail-end of the forty minute opening, followed by Boonyasak's sister's death, then by title. And a scene of him cleaning up after killing the assassin (in self-defense more than revenge. He'll say later that he didn't particularly like his brother), wherein the camera molests a bloody knife, a bloody wall, some bloody books, lots of bloody things. It's all scenery, no talking.
-Right. I also liked how Pen-Ek Ratanaruang/editor/cinematographer/whoever was in charge of such things set it up to look like Boonyasak's sister was going to be the lead female. We first see her looking at a children's book, one shelf away from Tadanobu, who looks on from a gap. It's creepy without intention, the kind of meet-cute conventional movies would've run with.
-Sorry if this is terribly incoherent so far. But I'm a shit reviewer.
-This is a quiet movie. It's a chaste romance, between a two people who don't speak each others' language, but both speak English pretty well. The yakuza comes after them for different reasons, witness elimination and nasty-boyfriend-vengeance. It's lighthearted sometimes, like this scene where Boonyasak's house starts cleaning itself, encompassing the kind of trippiness this movie wants to exude.
-The actors are fine. Play their parts well. Nothing much to say about them. Poor dears.
-There's a thin line between what's real and what the characters are imagining. Hence: the end.
Michael York is an Englishmen travelling is Weismar republic-era Germany, teaching English to supplement his income. He meets MPDG-deconstructed Liza Minelli, a singer at the local Kit Kat Club. The two and friends navigate various romantic entanglements, half-oblivious to the rise of the Nazi party.
-For a musical, this was kind of terrifying. I mean, the last shot. Shit.
-Joel Gray amuses as the asexual, apolitical, 'Wilkommen [...]' Emcee. Liza Minelli flits around, as said, starting out as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl for the European Beginner, but slowly subverts all expectations as her actions actually have, like, consequences. Michael York is pretty and British.
-Is it weird that, until now, I've only known 'Mein Herr' as that song Amanda Palmer sings a fucking lot?
-Okay. If you're gonna put Loki in a movie, make him Loki-ish. For god's sake, the God of Mischief should get more face time than a couple silver tongue mentions and spoiler-ific bad-guy-ness. Damn.
-Not a bad movie. Chris Hemsworth fairs better as a leading man than so many others before him, and the script wisely plays up the more ridiculous aspects of the character. Kenneth Branagh, y'know.
-Natalie Portman has this nice moment where, as a script-described dedicated, stone-cold astrophysicist, she bursts into giggles at the attentions of Thor and his charm, and even her mentor and assistant, played by Stellan Skarsgaard and Kat Dennings, bow and curtsy under his gaze.
-Hawkeye gets some bit screentime (plus, I think, the post-credits scene, but I didn't stick around to find out), and Tony Stark is briefly mentioned, and probably Nick Fury. So it felt kind of prequel-y, you know, like everyone involved knows that this is just around to setup the much-ballyhooed Avengers movie.
-Still, even if I can't have my Sandman series Loki, Tim Hiddleston does some nice grounding in a character who the script can't decide is sympathetic or not. Anthony Hopkins is surprisingly subtle as Odin, wisely father of Thor and Loki, king of Asgard, what have you.
-Fuck Jaimie Alexander. I don't buy her as badass. I don't buy her as anything. Fuck her.
-Ray Stevenson, Joshua Dallas, and Tadanobu Asana (and her), are resident Mighty Warriors of Asgard and friends of Thor and Loki (then just Thor), who try to think of ways to save him from Earth and junk. They amuse me. More on them never, probably, as I'll forget, so leave me alone.
-Idris Elba. Fuck yeah.
-Overall, neither hero nor villain are completely sympathetic or completely terrible. Basically, it all comes down to their daddy issues, and how they dealt with them, and how they took his (Odin's) lessons. Loki, as shitty as he is sometimes, is never motivated by malice or greed, and you can't even say his actions are wrong. Thor, meanwhile, grows throughout the movie from a douchey, implusive idiot to, uh, Thor...
-I lost my train of thought.
1:42 PM By Simon
Not by me, of course. I have the initiative of a Martian (why haven't they started their own space program, huh? Lazy bastards), but Garbo Laughs has the initiative of...a thing that totally does things on its own, unlike the Xxx and company.
So go see Marlene's face up there? I don't know how to make pictures link, because that's devil magic, but the blog name links, so go and sign up and I'll leave you alone. Otherwise, dears, get out. Leave your things, just get out.
Is the greatest film of all time. If I ever write a college thesis, it will be on this movie. I will forever dedicate my life to spreading the good word of Takashi Miike's masterwork. Don't try and fucking stop me.