Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 Dead Flowers

Steve Jobs – An Apple a day doesn’t keep the Dr. away.

Elizabeth Taylor – In 1953 Richard Burton had said, “Her breasts were apocalyptic. They would topple empires before they withered.” Sadly, they’ve sagged quite a bit since her heyday but her eyes always remained indelible.

Ryan DunnJackass.

John Barry – Only Diamonds are Forever.

Pete PostlethwaiteIn the Name of the Father and Mr. Kobayashi.

Maria Schneider – Butter Butt.

Farley GrangerStranger on a Train handy with a Rope.

Sidney Lumet – “Attica, Attica!”

Delores Fuller – Almost a Bride of a Monster and the file clerk.

Bert Schneider – From The Monkees to Easy Rider, The Last Picture Show, The King of Marvin Gardens, Five Easy Pieces, and Days of Heaven.

Jane Russell – Calamity Jane, Bob’s only Hope.

Peter Falk – Serpentine! “My hat’s off to the man with the shiv in his back. Except for the fact that he’s dead, he was no dope.”

Osama Bin Laden – Buried at sea?

Jackie Cooper – Skippy to Our Gang to Editor of the Daily Planet.

Karl Slover – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road….

Happy New Year 2012!

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A Boy and His Dog

I thought Spielberg fulfilled his inner child when he made Hook and those dino movies – or with definite all time low on his last outing, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, a movie that not only appealed to kids but to retards. I know Lucas is partially to blame but that’s a whole other saga. So after a 3 year directing hiatus, Spielberg leaps into the 3D animation world just in time to cash in on the holidays, reviving the beloved comic series, The Adventures of Tintin.

Like most animated features marketed to kids the first 45 minutes are dazzling, fun, and clever with the second half dragging on way too long with a series of never ending frenetic chases that always end predictably happy – leaving the door open for inevitable sequels to come. Even with the collaboration of ultimate nerd Peter Jackson, I have no interest in seeing this planned franchised trilogy especially since animation nowadays is trying to use CGI as a substitute for real life, thereby defeating it’s purpose, lacking poetry and soul. This style really only works for video games and the couch potatoes socially more awkward than me – vicariously living through their RPGs.

Writer, Edgar Wright retains his wit capturing Herge’s humor not just with the casting of his butt buddies, Simon Peg and Nick Frost, but by portraying Captain Haddock as the drunk that he really is, and not a watered down Disney version, and with Snowy the dog, who seems to generate the most laughs. But then again, I REALLY want a dog.


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The Girl with No IKEA Furniture

A little known fact, like the Coen Bros’ Fargo not being based on a true story as stated in the opening credits, David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is based on the bestselling international novel published posthumously by Steig Larsson, of which a Swedish movie version was already made in 2009. To draw comparisons to both would likely cause the reader to become confused and futile. So I’ll just stick with this movie at hand and review it on it’s own fucking terms! I mean nobody gives a hoot about how the numerous movie versions bastardized the novels like Great Expectations, The Great Gatsby, or A Christmas Carol and yet I feel that this movie is being scrutinized with higher standards – the ironic thing being that the novel with that ugly neon yellow cover really does suck to start. Keeping all that in mind I came out placing it in this year’s number two spot.

And it’s Fincher’s shooting and editing style that raises this silly sordid plot that is mired in well worn cliches and twists but still maintains a panache for the mystery thriller genre. Plus the fact that Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara make a very riveting dynamic duo investigating the disappearance of a girl 36 years ago from a secluded island of a dysfunctional Nazi sympathizing family filled with dark secrets. But what is not a secret is that Rooney Mara really did get her nipples pierced for the role because at every press junket some dimwitted so called “journalist” first question is about this. Sorta like how they all ask Tom Cruise if he does his own stunts.

From the opening James Bond credits through the grotesque rape scenes that seem to have all the critics in a tizzy, I was completely mesmerized in the Blow Up photo mystery, drawing me deeper into an obsidian oblivion only to later discover that Swedes just have a fondness for incest molestation and extreme abuse I guess. Maybe if they had Blu Ray on their island they could just watch Fincher movies instead of having to get off themselves. But as much as I enjoyed the movie I just don’t think I could stomach a sequel, let alone a trilogy, even if David is in the directors chair again because personally I found the dragon tattoo gal a bit too implausible to sustain my interest and as disposable as H&M’s cheap ass clothes.


December 25, 2011 · 8:17 pm

Cobbler Cooties

I’ve been racking my brain trying to see if there is a correlation between Roman Polanski’s current legal troubles to the possible motives of making a film adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s hit Broadway play, Carnage. Unfortunately the only thing I could come up with is, maybe Roman was under house arrest and couldn’t venture far and was limited to a one room set?

Within the confines of this set – an upscale Brooklyn apartment with light and views, are two married couples that discuss an altercation between their 11 year old boys that occurred in the local playground resulting in a boy losing two teeth from a wielding stick with the hopeful outcome in some kind of reconciliation and apology. It’s a relief to see John C. Reilly return to his theater roots instead of being reduced to a goofy Will Farrell side kick, and Jodie Foster, an unstable mess when compared to her typical butch lezbo roles. Christoph Waltz coming off a remarkable run of movies still can’t shake off that accent trapped within the body of a busy NYC attorney with his wife, Kate Winslet, who upstages everybody by upchucking cold cobbler.

So if you’re in mood for watching a bunch of hypocritical artsy liberals and professional corporate assholes getting drunk one afternoon, only to expose an adult version of Lord of the Flies and the less nuance of Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? then Carnage might just an ideal alternative to those action packed Batman movies.

“Too many people going underground, too many reaching for a piece of cake!” – Paul McCartney

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December 24, 2011 · 9:42 pm

Daydream Believer

“Well I did not think the girl could be so cruel and I’m never going back to my old school” -Steely Dan

It’s a rare occasion when a movie comes along that cuts so close to the bone and the wounds that are inflicted from High School never seem to go away. The last time I identified so with a character was Neo in The Matrix. But that movie was just an escape from my doldrum life whereas in Young Adult the character of Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) made me reflective and question the choices and decisions “In My Life.” But unlike that song I certainly didn’t “love them all,” in fact, I couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of that one horse town and move to the big city!! Very much like Mavis. Kudos to Diablo Cody who finally penned a real dysfunctional character unlike her past over the top hip, trip talking Juno and that Skank Vampire Megan Fox, or one of the many obnoxious multiple personalities of Tara – This time successfully fusing together a bittersweet comedy filled with pathos and introspective disdain that some would consider cynical. But then again, if you’ve ever sat through an episode of MTV’s Teen Mom than you’d know what the fuck I’m talking about.

Charlize’s character may still be as shallow as ever but at least she recognizes that there’s more to life than Walmarts and Ken-Taco Huts. Though in a delusional alcoholic fog she regresses to ignorant puppy love in hopes to rekindle a romance with her High School sweetheart regardless if he’s married with children. The only thing that didn’t ring true for me is her age of 37, when most of my High School colleagues are already getting hitched or divorced and popping out babies and they haven’t even turned 25 yet! At 37 I’d expect them to be Grandmas.

But what will always remain true is the nerdy kid who is ostracized and sits at home with his hobbies and fantasizes about girls like Charlize, and in this case that has never been portrayed better than by Patton Oswalt. Who not only shifts the whole tone of the movie’s perspective but gives the audience an empathetic character and makes for a unique duo paired with Mavis.

It pains me to think that this movie was so profoundly moving to me because it was directed by Jason Reitman (who is not only handed the best scripts in town but was also handed a whole directing career due to his Ghostbusters‘ Dad, Ivan) AND because I have a life. Even though I might envy that small town mentality of raising a family in the very same backwoods I grew up in when compared to the compartmentalization of the cosmopolitan mine is now, it still just sounds so fucking boring to me – I’d rather be lost in space than grounded in the sticks. So cheer up, sleepy Charlize….


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Double O Oldham

Why is it that American movies have yet to create a espionage thriller comparable to them Brits? (Don’t even get me started on rock & roll!) Everything from The Third Man, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold to James Bond. As for our homegrown we just have Jason Bourne, The Good Shepherd, and Tom Clancy. If only Norman Mailer finished writing the conclusion to Harlot’s Ghost….

I guess the fact is cloak and dagger tactics don’t bode well in cow towns like Boise, Idaho or Shaftsbury, Vermont, whereas any village in Europe is a ripe setting for assassination plots and double dealings. Besides, I can’t imagine a spy with a hillbilly accent. But at least we have a lock on the detective genre. I mean just look what them fucking ‘tards are doing with Sherlock Holmes! And so the latest import by Swedish director Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, breathes new air into the genre even though it is mainly shot in a claustrophobic soundproof think tank called “The Circus” with a bunch of suits huddled around a table smoking fags giving each other the stink eye.

In the eye of this quiet storm is recently dismissed into retirement British Intelligence Officer, George Smiley (Gary Oldman) who looks around this poker table trying to figure out who the KGB mole is or in other words, bluffing. But as the the old poker saying goes, “if you can’t spot the sucker around the table then you are the sucker.” Much of course is owed to John le Carre seminal novel though the adaptation seems a bit muddled probably due to compression and trying to weed thru the subterfuge and decipher all that spy stuff, code names, and operations – one can easily become disorientated with what the fuck is going on.

(Benedict Cumberbatch – the real Sherlock Holmes)

But if you are familiar with the Cold War climate during the late 50’s and 60’s and the infamous Cambridge Five which are somewhat loosely represented in this film by a very motley looking crew comprised of Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Truman Capote, and Ciaran Hinds then you will go with the flow of things and begin to admire the amazing cinematography, direction, and set design. I never thought it possible that seeing a room full of file cabinets, desks, reading lamps could look so beautiful. Not to say Gary Oldman’s performance wasn’t admirable but he was definitely the antithesis to his cop persona in The Professional. He didn’t even utter a fucking word until about 20 minutes into the movie! I mean I thought I was in the wrong theater and mistakenly turned homo and sat in on The Artist. All kidding aside, Gary’s character was methodically subdued and like a Bobby Fischer assigning the pieces on this chessboard only to find that his opponent was not them Ruskies but his whore of a wife.


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