Monday, November 9, 2015

The spiritual meaning of the picture.

Jodorowsky's Dune - 3/5
I don't think it does as a good job of establishing context. Both the context of the things that had come before it and the things that were to follow it. While that may not have necessarily made it more interesting than the struggle of no-give-up-creative-man, I think it serves to validate his ambitions. As is, it's a movie for readers of movie blogs who already basically know the story. And then there's the other thing. And that other thing's hard to quantify because it's difficult to separate myself from it, but here goes: his no-compromise attitude is placed as aspirational and soul reaffirming but hey, maybe also it resulted in him not being able to make his dream? He's willing to find a common ground with Dali – because he respects him – and he's not willing to find a common ground with the bean counters – because who are they, they are not art, etc. He's a talent, no doubt, but what's the fucking use if you can't figure out how to conduit it? All those ideas, those big ideas, they're not even words on a page – they're just thoughts in your head. So the question, then: is a thought, distorted when it hits the surface, worse than no landfall at all?

Thursday, November 5, 2015


we'll go fart.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

It wasn't my idea.

Ant-Man - 2.5/5
Man, I wish Michael Peña was Ant-Man. You know, someone excited by the whole thing, who didn't see it as some burden, who wasn't some sad hidden genius schlub with unnecessarily incredible abs. He could've separated himself from the rest of the pack as the one guy who's totally out of his league but genuinely excited by the idea of being a superhero. There's a telling scene early on as Paul Rudd takes the costume out for his first test drive where he just runs around – a totally visual scene that would've worked wonders in Edgar Wright's hands, but it's almost entirely silent from Paul Rudd's perspective. He just kind of screams a little and staggers to his left or right. There are jokes, they come, but Paul Rudd does that Mr. Sincere shit he does in every one of his failed romantic comedies and it's such a put on that I half expect him to do a ridiculous face every time the camera stops rolling. He doesn't feel real. Michael Peña, though. That dude. Oh, and one of the slimiest evil dudes, one of the best Marvel villains in a league of not-very-good Marvel villains.

You're approachable.

Trainwreck - 2.5/5
There are three movies battling it out – character Amy Schumer as trainwreck modern female lover woman, real life Amy Schumer with trainwreck dad and sister problems, and Amy Schumer in a trainwreck Judd Apatow comedy. All potentially fine movies if given a time to focus on any, but as is it's a zigzag of tones – I like Amy Schumer's exaggerated self-ness, so to see her 'be real' is weird, and Judd Apatow's 'just say funny things' style of comedy (which I generally adore) doesn't mesh with her calculated character (and I say that affectionately), nor does his 'end the movie on a musical cue' fetish feel at all relevant here. There were funny parts but I walk away with more a sense of just how long the whole thing was. Oh, and shit does Tilda Swinton look amazing.

The bad things in life can be a gift.

The Gift - 2.5/5
A game of 'who's worse?' Tightly packaged but I feel like Rebecca Hall – whose character we'd spent the most time with – just becomes woman-in-the-background. She's a battleground with no real say in the war.

Squinky eye.

Popeye - 2/5
It's got a sweetness, and a visual design to die for, and a funky soundtrack, but Robert Altman has no cinematic language for visual comedy. Everything is twice as slow as it should be.

I was just cleaning it.

The Visit - 3.5/5
Hey, it's fun! The kids are a hellish version of precocious and found footage just doesn't feel necessary, but fuck it, it's all in service to a REALLY SOLID STORY! Yay! A natural fear of grandparents plus a deceptively simple twist makes it feel like a good mystery rather than a good horror movie – the answers are there from early on, we just didn't know to ask the right questions.

Pain is temporary, film is forever.

Three O'Clock High - 2.5/5
It makes me wonder why there aren't more high school movies based on old Westerns. It's an easy metaphor. Guys. Guys. It's fun and inconsequential. At times crudely directed and slapped together while occasionally – mistakenly? – managing a surprisingly well-done scene.

Science the shit out of this.

The Martian - 4.5/5
Entertaining as fuuuuuck. It's the end of the world but you don't have to be such a sad fucking sack about it. That's its trick. And what a beautiful, simple, infinitely reusable trick. Everybody else, get on board.

Fuck balls shit.

50 Shades of Grey - 0/5
This was shit from minute one.

You can't be happy all the time.

Escape From Tomorrow - 3/5
Surprisingly linear given the Oceans 11-level finagling that went into the making. Not quite the psychedelic freakout I thought it'd be – just a middle-aged man freaking out about middle-aged thoughts and feelings. Its theme is a good one (and a just-about-perfect one to be told while secretly filming at Disneyland): you can't be happy all the time. But I may have perhaps wanted that to be more directed towards the place than the people. I may have perhaps wanted this to be a more damning screed against Mouse-sized politics. It's not that, nearly at all, but it's still a wonder to watch.

Fuck as many different women as you can.

Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay – 2/5
Perhaps the best subject of a documentary is not a man whose entire career is based on his ability to keep secrets. He's created an aura about himself, like any good magician, and like any good magician, he never breaks the spell. The only bit of lifting up the veil is a last-minute reveal that he has a wife. Okay, thanks. It's best when they talk to the people wowed by him – or to him about the people he's wowed by. I can't describe exactly why other than to say there's an energy, a palpable afterimage left behind by people who've been magnetized. Dai Vernon, a mentor of Ricky's, is a better subject.

Just because it's a love story doesn't mean it can't have a decapitation or two.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare - 2.5/5
It's got ideas! Different ones! It makes the legend of Freddy bigger... and then does nothing new with that information. It gets small again. Manageable. Brought down to size. Maybe my love for 'Freddy's Revenge' is because there's a subtext to Freddy that rarely (in the three movies I've seen) gets pulled to the surface – that Freddy is scarier as a sexual predator than as a slasher. He hurts people in their heads. But there seems to be a reluctance to take him to that point – and for obvious reasons, sure. I'd rather dress up as iconic-dude-with-claw-hand than iconic-dude-who-touches-little-kids-with-it. There's a great pedophile movie to be made... and shit, it could've been made here. The 'love story between Nancy and Freddy' is a nice idea, except that Freddy spends most of his time on the son. And there could have been a clear implication that the love story was actually between Freddy and that little kid. And that's a creep factor that'd be nice to have. I mean, the purpose of these movies should be to give you bad dreams.

The name... is Dumass.

Duma - 2/5
I don't recall how this ended up on my Netflix DVD queue. My sister says she didn't do it. Anyway, I forced myself to watch it. Fun fact! The part of Duma was played by 6 different cheetahs! There's an entire other movie not shown of us staring at the mom's gradual deterioration as as she thinks her son is dead. No, mom, he's on an inspirational quest, lol.