Sunday, December 27, 2009

Movies Will Rot Your Brain: Part III

Jimmy and Judy:
I actually had to look the film up on IMDB. I suppose that says something when a movie doesn’t stick in your head very long. Anyway, this one stars Edward Furlong (looking rather fat and old) and Rachael Bella (she of the fantastic tits). It is billed as a Natural Born Killers like movie but where some people say it actually surpasses NBK I say it never hits the mark. If I’m correct Furlong plays like a 20 year old Jimmy who is equal parts sociopath and Wes Bentley’s character Ricky from American Beauty. He is an outcast from high school who films everything…I mean everything…and usually only does things intended to illicit a reaction. Take, for example, a small clip of him fucking a black prostitute. During the act he says to her “You like that nigger?” and then asks her afterwards how she felt about him calling her a nigger during sex. He meets up with Bella’s Judy, a more awkward, shy teenage girl who is outside of the social clicks in school. In one scene, reminiscent of Lea Michele’s character Rachel Berry in “Glee,” a fellow student pours a drink on her head. They meet up, he breaks her out of her shell, they fall in love…people die, cops die…there is drug use, rape, and eventually duel suicide ala Thelma and Louise or The Devil’s Rejects. The film is shot using handheld cameras so it feels like a home movie the entire time, the entire time. Worth watching if you’re bored, otherwise don’t waste your time.

The precursor to Amelie by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Delicatessen is a very unusual film with a Sweeney Todd feel. Let me begin by saying that this film stars one of my favorite French actors Dominique Pinon (A Very Long Engagement, Amelie, Alien: Resurrection, The City of Lost Children), he was the ever funny clones in Lost Children and probably the best role in Resurrection I like him for his ability, and for his usual overwhelming humor. The only other actor in the film that I really recognized was Jean-Claude Dreyfus, also from Lost Children (in which he plays Marcello, the flea operator/trainer). How does it go? The premise said it is post-apocalyptic but I got the feeling that it took place after World War II. Anyway, a former performer is forced to seek other means of occupation. He takes a job working as a handyman for an apartment building but the residents hold a wonderful secret. He is not the first person to have the job, nor is he expected to be the last…see…the butcher who has a shop under the apartments kills the handymen and the apartment shares in the meat. It is a funny story and beautifully shot. However, if you don’t like the pacing of Jeunet’s films you’re likely to not like this one either.

Powder Blue:
Is an ensemble flick that pretty much fails. It features Jessica Biel, Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta, Lisa Kudrow, Patrick Swayze, and Kris Kristofferson. So think of it like a poor mans Crash. The premise? Biel is a stripper/single mother with a dying son who falls in love with Eddie Redmayne (named Qwerty Doolittle...yep) who is a shy loner that runs a funeral home (aka would never happen in a fucking million years). Forest Whitaker is a man who apparently killed his wife in a car wreck and is trying to get someone to kill him because he can’t commit suicide. Slap in Lisa Kudrow as a love interest to Whitaker and Alejandro Romero as the scene stealing and best part of the fucking movie transsexual prostitute Lexus (who is his guiding light). Ray Liotta as the father of Jessica Biel that she never knew because he was in prison his entire life (also dying). Patrick Swayze as the sleazy 80’s hair metal band reject that runs the strip club (a strip club mind you the likes of which I have never seen in my entire life and, Swayze, dying in real life). Kirstofferson just has a bit part as a liaison with Ray Liotta. How was it? I actually kind of liked it, but that might have been because not only does Biel get the naked time, but she also performs a strip tease while crying (yes…I’m demented). Of course I could say she is not as hot as the Natalie Portman stripper in Closer but I would be lying. Biel is without a doubt the hottest celebrity stripper I have ever seen.

The Edge of Love:
Why did I watch this? I know I wanted a love story (which I didn’t really get) and I wanted to look at hot women. Why did I watch this? The films stars Keira Knightly (a singer), Sienna Miller (a mother and…whore?), Cillian Murphy (a soldier who gets PTSD), and Matthew Rhys (as the poet Dylan Thomas). Set during World War II. Let me begin that saying Keira Knightly, who I originally thought was hot looks like a fucking skeleton, put her in a relationship with Cillian Murphy and they look like a concentration camp couple. The movie follows a weird love triangle between Rhys, his wife (Miller), and his best friend (Knightly). When Knightly realizes that she can never really be with Rhys she hooks up, marries, and gets pregnant by Murphy. However, while Murphy is off to war they move to the coast, Rhys/Miller in a house right next to Knightly/Murphy. It follows the friendship of the women, the weird friendship of Rhy and Knightly, the actual love that exists within Murphy and the fact that pretty much everyone cheats on everyone with the exception of the dedicated father/husband/soldier. It was crap…and I got tired of looking at skeletons. Rhys put in a really good performance, Murphy makes a fantastic drunk, and Miller is fucking hot. That’s pretty much it.

Lakeview Terrace:
Oddly, I really enjoyed this movie. It stars Samuel “The Motherfucking Man” L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson (Watchmen “Angels in America”) and Kerry Washington (Who it appears I should have seen in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four, Miracle at St. Anna and yet I can't recall her). Wilson and Washington play
Chris and Lisa, a fairly newlywed interracial couple who move into a nice neighborhood. They soon find themselves under the racist eye of Jackson, Abel Turner, a police officer with a habit for brutality and a “strong” moral upbringing…widowed with two children, who lives next door. The film follows the dynamic between the two and the ultimate negative climax. The actor was good enough, the look and feel of the film worked well with one another, and the story made sense (even though it is not original). I liked it, it was a good popcorn movie.

The Girl Next Door:
Holy fuck. So I’ve had two people tell me I need to see this film, both women (Jenn and ashes), and all I can say is you women are nuckingfutz. The film, based on the true story of Sylvia Likens, is pretty fucking demented. It is not outright gory, it is not even very visual, it is the dialogue and the knowledge of what is taking place that makes this movie so downright fucked up and disturbing. This isn’t your Elisha Cuthbert The Girl Next Door. Blythe Auffarth as Meg, Daniel Manche as David, and Blanche Baker as Ruth. Ok…here goes. The story is thus. Meg’s parents die in a car wreck and so her and her younger sister move in with a relative, Ruth, while living there she develops a friendship with David. Meg, 16, soon finds herself chained in a basement where she is beaten, tortured, mutilated, and raped by Ruth, her sons, and her sons friends (including two females). There is no real reason for this. There is none really given. Ruth (which, by the way Blanche Baker gives an amazing performance) is just mentally fucked up and she believes she is teaching the children what whores and vile creatures women really are that don’t grow up keeping their legs closed. Examples? I’m not giving you any. David tries to save her but can he or does he manage to in time?

The Vanguard:
Ray Bullock Jr. stars as Max in this post-apocalyptic zombie film that takes place in rural England. As far as zombie films and independent films go, it’s not too shabby. Max is alone out in the woods where he faces “Biosyns” (they’re fucking zombies), living alone we basically hear an internal monologue for a large portion of the film. Soon there is a military presence (in the forms of “Trackers”), I don’t really know why the come into play. Apparently the military (part of a corporation) is going to waste the whole area anyway and their job is to basically kill any survivors, so it doesn’t make sense why they just don’t waste the whole area to begin with. We meet up with some other survivors. We find out that Max is the cure to the disease (ala I Am Legend) with some really weird story. Bottom line, it’s a good zombie film done on a small budget. Watch it just to see Max go after some zombies duel wielding hatchets.

Written by Neil Gaiman and done by the BBC in 1996 “Neverwhere” (a six episode mini-series) is pretty much what you would expect. It is a fucked up story involving what seems like an underground magical like world that we don’t see but that exists around us. Well, not that we don’t see it, we just don’t pay attention to it. It stars a whole lot of people I don't know. Gary Bakewell (Richard Mayhew), Laura Fraser (Kate in A Knights Tale as Door), Hywel Bennett (Mr. Croup), Clive Russell (Mr. Vandemaar), Paterson Joseph (Marquis De Carabas) and Tanya Moodie (Hunter). It is a murder mystery involving Door. She is trying to find/avenge who killed her father, Mayhew is an “ordinary” guy that gets drawn into it, Croup and Vandemaar are apparently immortal bounty hunters, the Marquis is a guy who knows things, and Hunter becomes her bodyguard and is a woman that is considered the greatest warrior of them all. Considering its done by the BBC in 1996 you would think it sucks. However, just because it has its cheesy moments does not deter from the fact that the series is quite good.

Tooth and Nail:
It has Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones as post-apocalyptic cannibals. Do I really need to say anymore? Fine. A group of survivors are trying to survive (marvelous concept huh?) and are then pursued by cannibals. There are really only two sets. The streets and a hospital. The cast is a relative group of b-movie actors, for example, Rider Strong ("Boy Meets World," Cabin Fever, Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever). The story is stupid but fun. The gore is not that great and not that bad. It’s an interesting flick. Watch this one too if you get bored.

Starring James Marshall and Cuba Gooding Jr. Gladiator is the better version of Fighting and Lionheart. I thought the story was better, the acting was better, and the fights were well done. It kind of takes a page from Rocky even and mixes the elements of the story of Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby. A good film if you want to watch a movie about underground fighting from 1992. The premise? Marshall’s dad has a gambling problem, when he disappears and can’t pay an underground boxing promoter covers the debt in exchange for Marshall having to fight for him. Gooding plays a rival, but better, boxer who is not only already has a baby, but is intending for the underground boxing to help him get mainstream.

I honestly don’t think Dustin over there at Pajiba even watched the movie. So let me argue some of his points and then move on to what I thought. "it’s really just a film about the out-of-control hormonal insanity of teenage boys, and the lengths they might go to in order to fulfill their sexual appetites.” Ummmmm not so much. The film is, at its core, a love story and a coming of age tale. Bet you weren’t expecting that were you? "But honestly, all I saw was an excuse to chain up a naked woman and brutally rape and fuck her for 90 minutes." Where did that happen? I can’t count how many rapes scenes there were but I wouldn’t say more than 5? Even if there were you stopped paying attention to them, they kind of didn’t have any relevance after the first one but I will get back to it later. "While one of the high-school boys feels a little guilty about, you know, repeatedly defiling the undead woman, the other one thinks, “Hey! I can get my jollies off and I can charge admission so that others can use this motionless hole of pleasure!” Bingo: Sex slave! So, of course, a few of the school jocks are brought in for a rapin’ good time, too." Two

points here. One, when he says one of the boys feels guilty let me say that boy never rapes her, and he does feel guilty, its one of the core points of the movie. The jocks? Were not brought in for a raping good time. The jocks were brought in for revenge. Now…let me tell my version of a review. The main star of the film is Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) who reminds me of Joaquin Phoenix. Rickie and his best friend from childhood J.T. (Noah Segan-Brick, The Brothers Bloom) are loners, they skip school one day, go drinking, and shamble through an abandoned mental asylum. In the asylum they come across a woman chained to a table Rickie leaves, J.T. sticks around. J.T. figures out she can’t die when he rapes her and accidentally breaks her neck. He brings Rickie back to show him and wants him to join in using her as a sex slave, Rickie is against it. Wanting someone to think like he does J.T. invites Wheeler (Eric Podnar) into the mix. This is all subtext to a love story between Rickie and JoAnn (Candice Accola-"The Vampire Diaries"). They used to date when they were younger but JoAnn became popular (dating a jock) and while she moved on he continued to love her. When her boyfriend sees Rickie’s obsession he and his friend beat the shit out of Rickie and Wheeler. Wheeler, in self defense tells the boys about a “sex slave” he has. The jocks make them take them to her. While the boyfriend Johnny (Andrew DiPalma) is apprehensive his friend Dwyer (Nolan Gerard Funk) is not. What ensues is a lot of death. The ending felt a little out of place and the film just wasn’t that great. It was actually kind of boring. Plus, the love story took away from any film that was attempting to be horror. I don’t know what Dustin watched but it wasn’t what I watched. This film was just dull. It wasn’t that graphic (yes there was a lot of nudity however “brutal rape” was watching some high school kid hump a woman that just laid there), it wasn’t that violent (the most “violent” part came at the end, or when Johnny punched the zombie)…it was just a bad film. The best performance of the film comes in from Noah Segan…his transformation of J.T. was pretty disturbing

Bright Young Things:
Stars: Miles (Michael Sheen-Underworld), Nina (Emily Mortimer-Lars and the Real Girl), Simon (James McAvoy-Wanted, Atonement)and Adam (Stephen Moore). I don’t know if there was a single “bright” person in this entire fucking film. Boring is what it was. At least I thought it was boring. The film follows some rich fucks around and one guy who is a wannabe rich fuck (that would be Adam). It follows their lifestyles, their drug use, their culture. Adam is a writer who wants to make it big but usually just turns out being broke as fuck for the most part. He ends up selling his girlfriend (who he loses in a day to a rich guy) to pay his rent only to buy her back when he gets back from the war (from the money owed to him by a drunk general). He is the star of the film. The girlfriend would be Nina. Simon is a journalist who is basically a gossip columnist, when his job is up for grabs it goes to his friend, Adam, when Adam loses it it goes to another friend, Miles. Dull. The only bright side to this film is Michael Sheen, who plays a wonderful gay man and who truly shows any emotion in the movie. The rest of the cast plays out lifeless and without any acting credibility. Don’t watch this. Unless you want to see a gay Michael Sheen…which isn’t that bad.

Buddy Boy:
Is another weird fucking movie. It stars Aidan Gillen (Shaghai Knights, "Queer as Folk") as Francis and Emmanuelle Seigner (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Ninth Gate) as Gloria. Francis is a loner, has a job developing photos, and helps his alcoholic mother. Gloria lives across the street, has seizures, and is a vegetarian. She falls in love with him…he spies on her. While spying on her it appears he goes nuts. He sees her kill men and eat them. No…really. Twice that I saw (I came in around the middle of the movie) he storms into her house and rips her kitchen apart because he thinks he sees her cooking people. The first time is during a party and he wields a knife, the second time he comes in with a gun and yet both times she still calls him and confesses her love for him. It costars Mark Boone Junior ("Sons of Anarchy") as Vic and Susan Tyrell (Powder, Fat City) as Sal. Sal is…you’ll have to watch it for me to discuss that part. In fact, I can’t really tell you much more other than what I’ve already told you or it would totally ruin it for you. It is really slow…if you can get past that you’re in for an interesting mindfuck. The feel of it kind of reminded me of Bug with Ashley Judd only not as well done.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
I don’t really need to say much do I? Other then it appears I need to read the book again because to me this film didn’t seem anything like the book.

Sherlock Holmes:
I don’t think it is necessary for me to tell you the cast, or the story line because I am sure you already know. Being that it just came out you can find reviews for it anywhere, so just let me give you my opinion. BORING. I watched a Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes yesterday and I felt it had more life then this. Why? I can’t really tell you. Maybe because I found it rather predictable? The mystery was no real mystery to me. In fact, the only murder I couldn’t understand was the bathtub. Even when he explained that one I didn’t understand why that one had to be so “special.” I also liked the technique of Holmes thinking things through before he does them, like the boxing match. Ritchie uses this element twice in the beginning of the film and then abandons it. I couldn’t understand why you would do that. I also felt that RDJ’s performance was weak. I’m wondering if all the people liked the film because the “wanted” to like it or because they actually did. It wasn’t exciting, funny, serious, sad, happy…it wasn’t even a good detective movie or buddy cop performance. The villain was filled to the brim with clichés… I’m not going to continue unless it is to say that my favorite scene was with the explosions and them getting tossed around yet, shouldn’t they have died?

There are no words to express the film orgasm I had when I watched this movie. The story was typical and I can see the comparisons to Dances With Wolves but goddamn if I didn’t leave the theatre wanting to turn around and go see it again. I felt like a kid in a goddamn candy store. The way my imagination took off is something in itself. Not to mention that I fell in love with a cgi character, Neytiri. I would have her blue babies any day of the week.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant work, sir! Thanks for the insight on a few films I did not know about but will now add to the queue.
    Well done.