Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Movie Review? Or Excuse to Surf for Porn? You Decide.

Dario Argento

No, I don't. Not after this stupid movie ruined him for me. And now I don't like Dario Argento, either. Not that I ever did, exactly. I did, however, have an appreciation of his earlier work, which was essentially comprised of garbled, nonsensical scripts clothed in a an extravagant, baroque visual style, like dogs playing poker painted by Rubens. Argento has always been incoherent and childish, but at least he was pretty, like Tara Reid. Now, he's incoherent and childish, but ugly and grainy, filtered through shitty video, like Paris Hilton. This isn't a riff on Hitchcock; it's a bad pun.

Like Argento, she also clearly doesn't know what she's doing.

Do You Like Hitchcock? is a mix of Rear Window, Strangers On A Train, and a turd. The mighty have fallen, and they've landed in a septic tank. Argento is either not trying, dead and involved in some sort of Weekend At Bernie's-type scheme, or broke from his daughter Asia draining his bank account for cocaine and abortion money. This film is a mess, and is so devoid of Argento's trademark visual style it could just as easily be an ad for a used car dealership on a TV station in Pembroke, Ontario. A film student stumbles upon a murder, and takes it upon himself to solve it, with all the investigative skills of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. But here's the thing! No one will believe him! Not even his girlfriend! Not even the video store clerk who couldn't more clearly be a killer if he had chunks of 9-year old girl hanging from his teeth! He would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for that meddling kid!

Not only are the effects awful, they're not even present. This is an Italian horror film from an acknowledged master, and 2 people die in the whole fucking thing. Considering that much of the screen time is spent repeating actions endlessly to fill time, like falling off and then getting back on a bike during a thrilling moped/foot chase scene, one would think they'd have time to shoehorn in at least one more gory death. Instead, there's a lot of poorly dubbed dialogue, and acting that wouldn't impress a housewife hooked on General Hospital. This film represents the longest fall from grace since Gabrielle Carmouche fell from Cosby Show guest-stardom and landed on a black man's engorged penis. Except instead of Argento landing on a dick, he fell on a Hitchcock. And while you’re not laughing at that joke, just be thankful you’re also not watching this movie.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Here But For The Grace of God Go You

2006, USA
Kurt Wimmer

It's not everyday you run across something this dumb. Unless you work in an American Apparel store, in which case you deal with that every day. But this is a different kind of dumb. This is a colossal stupid, not just the kind of dumb that thinks paying an extra $10 for a shirt is worth it if it's made by sexually abused white Californians instead of physically abused yellow children. This is the kind of dumb that wears either a hockey helmet or a Looney Tunes sweatshirt to high school. This is the kind of dumb that Tivos episodes of VIP. This is the kind of dumb that argues the merits of Terminator sequels, and likes Aliens better than Alien. This is clinically retarded.

Undercover at a screening of Ghost Rider.

And yet, Ultraviolet is one of the most beautiful films you'll ever see. Art directed, costumed, and set-decorated nearly to death, it feels as if all the money was spent on the look of the film, with the script cobbled together from Choose Your Own Adventure books. In a future world where science is so advanced it appears to exist for no other purpose other than to look cool, a disease is ravaging the population. Dubbed hemophagia, the disease is blood-born, and transforms its victims into people who have exactly balanced the number of times they've seen Interview With The Vampire with screenings of Akira. Milla Jovovich is infected, and spends most of the movie fighting the health department, which is something I'm quite familiar with after trying to establish my provincial residency. However, Jovovich has a more direct way of going about it, rather than waiting on hold for 92 minutes. She uses swords, which makes about as much sense as churning your own butter in the future. Why are they fighting with medieval weapons and kung-fu? I know there's nothing brain damaged frat boys and Special Needs students on a field trip like to see more in a movie than a hot chick flipping around like Jet Li
with tits, but it's pretty hard to roundhouse kick a bullet, unless you're making a bad Chuck Norris joke. And when they do use guns, the bad guys in this movie don't really have an understanding of how they work. I'm no sniper, but I understand that in order to shoot someone, one does not need to have 20 men armed with handguns, standing 2 feet away from their target, arranged in a circle, essentially pointing the guns at each other. Also, their body armor is made of glass.

I'm actually getting upset writing about this movie. My IQ is dropping, and I hate myself a little bit for bothering to see it, let alone complain about it. It's weird that Ultraviolet would be triggering thoughts of suicide, more so than the poetry of Rimbaud and the music of Take That combined. I have no skill whatsoever with the opposite sex, no friends, and less money than most panhandlers, and yet the only thing that makes me want to die of a pill overdose while soaking in a bathtub and drinking my own blood from a glass half filled with red wine is this stupid piece of shit. It's a mystery that bears investigation, but I'll have to leave that to the detectives examining my suicide. And I hope that my death will serve as a warning to others, who think themselves strong enough to walk the path that the retarded tread, the one that leads from the Head shop, down by the bowling alley, and into a video store to rent Ultraviolet.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Please, Please, Please Don't Read This At Work. Or Anywhere The FBI Can See.

2006, Spain
Pedro Almodovar

There aren't a lot of sexual taboos left in the age of information. With the vast resources of the virtual world at our fingertips, we can explore every possible permutation of human sexuality, all without actually having to shit in someone's mouth or touch a black girl. So what's left for filmmakers like Almodovar, to whom sexuality forms such an important element of his work? When the most taboo elements he can come up with already have a half-dozen websites and are at least 4 volumes into the Evil Angel DVD series, it must be a bit difficult for sexual progressives to push the envelope. So, Almodovar adapts, and presents elements of deviant sexuality as the backdrop to stories concerning something else. In this case, incest, pedophilia, and adultery are merely backgound elements in a light-hearted story of family and forgiveness. And it seems a perfect fit, because as this website would suggest, there's nothing I find funnier than diddling a toddler in front of a camera.

Volver is a great example of how prejudices and intolerances can be changed. Taboos are shattered not by marches and bullhorns, slogans, and public demonstration, but rather by presenting what's considered unnatural as normal. The images, once shocking, become commonplace, and are accepted. And that's a noble and progressive goal, and it's one that Volver has convinced me that I should adopt as my own.

This is a woman covered in shit fucking. Normally, I would comment on that, but in my quest to make taboos accepted, instead I'll just pretend that that's okay, and write a personal ad instead.

Single White Female Seeking Single White Male For Long Walks On The Beach and Romantic Meals High In Fiber.

This is a woman getting tongued by a dog. Again, it's okay, it's normal, and you won't notice it.

Beautiful German Shepherd seeks a home. Cute, friendly, and hung like a Labrador. No fat chicks.

There. I feel progressive already. And I'm sure I'll feel even more so when I make a romantic comedy starring my neighbor's kid and a 12 inch plastic dick.

Underage? Read a PG-13 review at The Comic Book Bin. Then come over to my house and let me watch you touch yourself. Girls and effeminate boys only need apply.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Capitol of Sin

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fear of the Black.

2006, USA
Bill Condon

If there were enough sun to tan where I lived, I would be a redneck. As it stands, the frigid northern climes have left me more of an intolerant, bug-eyed cavefish. I've got the same amount of guns and prejudices as rednecks, but I just don't look the part. But despite the particular shade of white trash my skin happens to me, I still approached Dreamgirls, the story of the birth of the Supremes, sort of, with as much trepidation as a trucker at a 50 Cent show. Every other guy gets to complain that they don’t like musicals because they’re gay, so I’m going to bitch about Dreamgirls because it’s got black people in it. But it turns out, the fact that the film is comprised off an all-negro cast wasn't as off-putting as I'd imagined. Rather, what's distancing about the film is that they break out in song as abruptly and suddenly as a drunk girl throws up at a party.

My film school was a drive-in.

It's not that I'm inherently against musicals. Sure, they're gayer than lesions and swollen lymph nodes, but I'm tolerant enough for that. But there needs to be some sort of motivation to the musical numbers, other than an attempt to win a Golden Globe in a category that's easier to dominate than Best Drama. In a film like Chicago, all of the numbers were clearly established as fantasy sequences; in Rent, hallucinogenic reactions to anti-virals. However, in Dreamgirls, while many of the musical bits are diegetic, in that they take place within the context of the film, as performances or whatnot, there are about 3 or 4 scenes that are just characters bursting into song seemingly at random. As this occurs only a limited number of times, as opposed to consistently throughout the film, it always seems jarring, confusing, and uncalled for, like someone spitting in your face during sex after whispering sweet nothings in your ear.

So, Dreamgirls is weirdly incoherent and full of black people, so I probably should hate it. But I don't. Firstly, I'm not convinced that Beyonce is black. I think she's a Barbie-based robot covered in chocolate, the ultimate product for pre-teen girls and middle-aged men with early stage jungle fever. Plus, while the story is clichéd and as predictable as the last minute of a porn film, there are some great performances and some well-written roles. Every character is flawed, realistically, believably, and in some cases dramatically. Except, of course, for the chocolate robot, because the multi-national cybernetics conglomerate won't allow her to sully her image, and therefore impede Skynet's plan to become self-aware. Eddie Murphy's rising and falling soul singer is both well written and well played, and the numerous accolades Jennifer Hudson is receiving as the brassy, self-destructively arrogant yet supremely talented Effie are fully deserved. The music, if you're into that sort of that thing, is loud and ebullient, full of wildly ululating tones and jaws flapping like a marionette with a cut string. The costumes are glittery, the hair is big, and the set design and theatrical staging is enough to straighten even the limpest wrist in to a clapping position. Except for mine, because I'm busy grabbing my gun.

Underage? Read a PG-13 review at The Comic Book Bin. Then come over to my house and let me watch you touch yourself. Girls and effeminate boys only need apply.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Love In The Time Of Mental Retardation.

Punch Drunk Love
2002, USA
P.T. Anderson

I'm glad you don't like this movie. And you don't, because Adam Sandler doesn't make stupid voices, and so you don't get it. He does play a retarded man-child, to be sure, but that's likely because years of marijuana abuse and video game addiction have rendered him cretinous. It's been an interesting progression for Sandler, and by progress I mean stagnant decay, as his lack of growth and movement as an actor and a comedian has led to movies best described as bed sores. Let's chart it, shall we?

Saturday Night Live - Sandler alternates between Cajun Man, Opera Man, and Canteen Boy, skits featuring retarded men-children. All have funny voices. None contain jokes. Sometimes, they rhyme.

Billy Madison - A retarded man-child goes back to school to learn how to walk properly and chew his food without choking.

The Waterboy - A retarded man-child joins a football team, due to his prodigious strength. Somehow, this is meant to be funny, instead of horrifying viewers with the idea of a violent, superhuman Mongoloid.

Little Nicky - A retarded man-child with a stupid voice gets up to no good, because he happens to be the retarded man-child of Satan. A cameo by Ozzy Osborne, intended to be a brief humorous aside, is instead a chilling reminder that imbecility is devoured by the masses in a figurative rather than a literal sense. I'm not saying the retarded should be eaten, because they're probably contagious, but they certainly shouldn't be encouraged with their own reality TV show and massive pop-metal festival tour.

He freely admits to being the Antichrist. Why hasn't someone gone to Megiddo to pick up the daggers?

Alright, so that's less of a chart as it is a line of retards stacked like cordwood, or more specifically, cordwood that needs to be immediately sterilized and institutionalized. Which is why it doesn't surprise me that he was chosen for his role in Punch Drunk Love. Though the film is far more cerebral and artistic than Sandler's usual fare, it's still a romantic comedy about a retard, meaning he's about as comfortable in the role as he would be smearing himself with Jell-O Chocolate Pudding and clapping his hands like a seal.

And what a romantic comedy it is. Director P.T. Anderson mocks and ignores the conventions of the traditional romantic comedy, but keeps the warm, beating heart of the romance intact. Everything you'd expect in a Wedding Singer or When Harry Met Sally is inverted, corrupted, or ignored; quips replaced by awkward silences, quirks replaced by sociopathy. The lighting is deliberately poor, the timing is off, but the romance is still, improbably, there. The point of the film seems to be that love exists outside of the formula prescribed to it by filmic convention. And the point of casting Adam Sandler seems to be that love exists outside of the normal IQ range. Now that's romance.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Golden Statue, Golden Opportunity.

USA, 2005
Duncan Tucker

The transgendered community has long been mis-represented in film, despite the success of the long-running Chicks With Dicks series. Thankfully, writer-director Duncan Tucker and actress Felicity Huffman, join famous transsexuals Jamie Lee Curtis, Jessica Biel, and Orlando Bloom in the chorus of voices clamoring for mainstream acceptance. Unfortunately, all of these voices are a disconcerting mix of gruffness and a mellifluous lilt, like a brook babbling over a bone file, or a Cannibal Corpse love song. They make me uncomfortably erect, which incidentally seems to be the basic premise of this movie.

Transamerica stars Huffman as a pre-operative transsexual who discovers, the week before she/he's to make the transition from asexual freak to ugly, ugly woman, that she/he has a son. This son, played by Kevin Zegers, is a drug-addicted hustler looking to start a pornographic film career in Los Angeles, which, coincidentally, is exactly where Huffman needs to go for her operation. The road trip that follows is funny without being crass, realistic without being quirky, and gently arousing without being explicit, because you know the whole thing is leading up to Zegers trying to dick his own Mom-Dad.

And the Golden Shower goes to...

Huffman is great as the trannie, probably because she's spent most of her life being mistaken for one. Doesn't matter. I'd still fuck him/her, but only because she/he's probably so rich from Desperate Housewives that she/he would pay me off not to describe his/her genitals on Defamer. Essentially, Transamerica is a road movie, and the story does tend to wander, as do most road trips. But her Huffman’s performance is great, though the Oscar nomination she received doesn’t mean much. Often, Oscars are given out for actors being 'brave', which means playing either a fag or a retard. In my quest to get my own golden statuette, I'm writing and directing my own feature length film, a period piece about a gay retard trying to find love in, oh, let's say 15th century Spain. That should guarantee a couple of Costume Design Oscars as well as the inevitable Best Actor trophy. Also, the main character will retreat into some variety of bizarre fantasy land, where all the backgrounds are based on Hieronymus Bosch paintings or something, and his best friend is a CGI pixie, to get the special effects guys theirs, as well. Oh, and an older British actress will get like a 3 minute cameo as Queen Isabella, or the madam at a bordello, to get her a Supporting Actress nomination. As for me, I probably won't get an award myself, as the film won't be about the Holocaust, but I'll get the satisfaction of helping others, spreading the wealth, and further advancing the cause of gay retardation. I figure I should get Nobel Peace Prize out of that one.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Everything I Need To Know About Love, I Learned From A Prostitute's Intestines.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
1986, USA
John McNaughton

From a distance, Michael Rooker looks like Tom Hanks, though he sounds like Tom Waites with throat cancer. And Tracy Arnold looks like Meg Ryan, only slightly more swollen in the jowls. So, in essence, this movie is You've Got Mail with knives. And somehow, that makes it more romantic, like Bonnie and Clyde, or Badlands, except with more dead prostitutes filled with broken glass and stab wounds. And Rooker's cold, unfeeling performance as serial killer Henry Lee Lucas is so good, that coupled with John McNaughton's uncomplicated, flourishless direction and loosely structured script, Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer is what all romantic comedies should aspire to be: humorless, empty, and full of repressed rage and rape fantasies. Just like real romance. Case in point:

True love.

The Wedding Singer would have been much better had Drew Barrymore been a serial killer. Not her character, but Barrymore herself. And her victim profile should have been boorish, talentless frat boys whose sole marketable ability seems to be to make stupid voices.

The Holiday. The only part of Cameron Diaz I would pay to see is her insides. And Jude Law looks creepy enough to pull off a young Hannibal Lector. His smile doesn't reach his eyes, and all the British sound either like aristocratic serial killers or debaucherous poets, and Law doesn't seem like he can rhyme.

When Harry Met Sally, he didn't cut out her eyes and inseminate her brain. But he should have. Maybe then the orgasm would have been real.

As you can see, romance isn't dead. But it does keep killing, until the crawlspace gets full and it's time to dump some love into the river.