Monthly Archives: June 2012

Ancient Rome

Going to see To Rome with Love with the geriatric New York crowd is like going to an old age home where they laugh aloud at the corniest fucking two-bit Comedians who entertain their humdrum life. Sadly in this case the Comic in question is my dear Woody Allen (one of my personal heroes). Once long ago it was funny to watch the Woodman whine and complain, chalking it up to being just a neurotic New Yorker – where as now he just reminds me of my annoying Grandparents and every other condescending old fart who thinks by reading The Times and listening to NPR they are entitled some opinion on today’s modern society and pop culture trends. Combine those opiate of the masses with Woody’s latest inspiration, Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron, and waste the price of a ticket at the dumpiest theater in New York City, The Angelika. (But what do you expect when most old fogey’s pay for HD TVs and Cable when they haven’t even a clue what the fuck an HDMI cable is?) I of course have never read the 14th-century medieval allegory and admit – never heard of it. Maybe it’s because I’m too busy analyzing and deconstructing Fifty Shades of Grey for a course I’m teaching together with Marshall McLuhan at Columbia called TV Media, and Culture.

Anyway, as usual the star studded cast waived their A-list fee to have a chance to work with Woody. But unfortunately their only consolation is kicking it in Rome for a few weeks on the company’s dime because their performances left for posterity are too painful to credit or watch. Specially the doomed fatal love story between architect student Jesse Eisenberg and name dropping freeloader Juno – whom is cast as a beguiling and intriguing tortured artist when all she’s really playing is her usual know-it-all skank-ass self. Still the most unbearable bit is Roberto Benigni who is reduced to being a symbol and commentary for Woody’s notion of the fickleness and vacuous of modern tabloid celebritydom, which is far from irreverent and instead just plain retarded.

The other unfunny story line is Woody’s – who, as a retired music agent, discovers a Mortician’s hidden talent to sing pitch perfect Opera in a shower!! Now isn’t that just a hoot? Well it was to the old fossils sitting behind me who were still laughing as Fabio Armiliato was sudsing it up well into the third act.

There are other vignettes to top off this shit show but if I told you the premise you wouldn’t believe me…like that Woman who gets lost in Rome looking for a hair salon…nevermind. As Woody makes a pathetic attempt to bookend the movie with a narrating Traffic Cop I only found myself wishing he’d be run over by a fucking Vespa! I know I should respect my elders but when in Rome these Geezers belong in the Catacombs.

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Prometheus vs. Nostromo

Until a recent Google search of Greek Mythology I never knew that Aristophanes coined the phrase “pedagogic pederasty” or to use the parlance of our times, “doing it the Greek way.” I also discovered that “Prometheus” is a: “Titan, culture hero, and trickster figure who is credited with the creation of man from clay and the theft of fire for human use, an act that enabled progress and civilization. He is known for his intelligence, and as a champion of mankind.” Whereas the spaceship in Alien, Nostromo, means “shipmate” in Italian. Therein lies the idealogical difference between then and this new lofty prequel, Prometheus. Truck Drivers in space vs. Theologians in space, Horror vs. Sci-fi, or Sigourney vs. Noomi. And even though Prometheus should be compared on it’s own merits the similarities are so similar that it is seemingly obvious that it was by the same director, Ridley Scott. That said, I wish this movie was even longer than it’s 2 1/2 hour running time because I was totally into this flick and wanted to know more about these one dimensional characters in this H.R. Giger world.

Starting with Noomi Rapace, with her ripped abs and an unperturbed voice, who unlike all these other butch damsel heroes still retains her femininity. Sparking interest from Michael Fassbender, an Android as androgynous as David Bowie, but comes off more human and a lot like some people I know – backstabbing pompous know-it-alls.

Once again, my favorite Charlize Theron puts in another killer cold bitch performance to the point where one suspects she’s a fucking Android too. That is, until you find out she’s the Daughter of raisin faced Guy Pearce, who is wasted under prosthetics and make up. They should of just casted a real old man on his last legs, like Kirk Douglas or Fidel Castro. As for the rest of the crew – they were either Geologist, Biologist, Engineers, or just plain Alien bait.

But the real bait is how Ridley and the writers coax you into thinking that this quest for Man’s origin will be revelatory, stemming from and enticing you with identical patterns of planets imbedded in ancient cave paintings and scriptures. But the only revelation is a possibility of another sequel in which Lost writer, Damon Lindelof, will have to come up with an explanation more absurd then that stupid fucking show or Cowboys vs. Aliens. Unless of course they abstract out like 2001: A Space Odyssey. So if there is sequel trying to explain shit it might just completely negate the power of this film. Me, I’m sticking with Darwin in that we spawned from fucking monkeys.

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Snow Patrol

I don’t know exactly how many movies are based upon The Brother Grimms’ Fairy Tales first published in 1812, but it’s safe to say that billions of people over the years have enjoyed the many adaptations and incarnations…except maybe the most recent Mirror Mirror starring Julia Roberts and last year’s Red Riding Hood which currently holds an 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes! It’s ironic that both actress came to prominence playing street whores but at least Charlize’s was a serial killer on top of it and could fucking act! Speaking of acting, I know there is quite a debate amongst us Cinephiles on whether Kristen Stewart can act or let alone have any other facial expression besides this-
But to me poo face Kristen Stewart’s pulls off playing Snow White, english accent and all. Specially with her speech to rallying up the troops and CGI dwarfs to overthrow the Queen’s empire and to reclaim her childhood castle. I’m not saying it was on par with Brando’s speech as Mark Antony in Julius Caesar but it was convincing enough for this better than average fairy tale movie, Snow White and the Huntsman. As for the Huntsman, Chris Hemsworth, as usual he is beefy and goofy yet lovable and with a bad case of blue balls throughout the movie even though it had a happy ending.

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Bad Moon Rising

In the current pantheon of film directors, I used to think that there was no one as obnoxious and egotistical than Quentin Tarantino, but at least when he’s not spitting on the press he manages to still throw in a few surprises – whereas Wes Anderson has stagnated in the same pretentious white bread cornball storybook shit that he tries to pass off as whimsical and poetic (excluding Fantastic Mr. Fox-thanks to the pure imagination of Roald Dahl). So in his latest ever so precious artistic endeavor, Moonrise Kingdom, we are once again subjected to the same dysfunctional misunderstood lovestruck heartbroken characters that communicate with each other in soundbites bordering on autistic retardation.

The star studded cast comprised of Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, Frances McDormand, and of course Bill Murray are wasted and play second fiddle to the no name kids that populate the movie, sorta like Charles Schultz Peanuts. The difference here is that the Adults unfortunately reveal the rest of their bodies from the waist up and that Charlie Brown and Snoopy are lovable – unlike the young protagonist Sam the Orphan (Jared Gilman) and his bookwormy Girlfriend Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), the daughter of lawyers that live on the same remote island, who scheme to elope, and when discovered missing send the island into a tizzy.

As a search party commences, they are hellbent on following some ancient Indian beaver trail and stripping down to their knickers. Though it’s rated PG-13, I promise there is nothing steamy about this love affair – unless of course you think a girl totting around a pair of binoculars is sexy? In fact, the most vulgar atrocity is the murder of the Khaki Scout’s Puppy! Charlie Brown, a child of the Fifties, was an adorably sympathetic loser who loved his Dog whereas these Brats of the Sixties not only stab each other but killed a dog for no fucking apparent reason! Another pet peeve, Wes’s soundtrack. This time around instead of butchering The Kinks he replays Hank Williams tunes to underscore this flight of fancy. But instead of feeling nostalgic like in The Last Picture Show everything just comes off contrived and forced – from the dollhouse that Suzy lives in to the Khaki Scouts campsites, but nothing more so than the acting. And speaking of acting, besides the old fogey in the Dos Equis beer commercials, nobody tries to pose more like a Rhodes Scholar and Renaissance Man like James Franco who glowingly announces to his fellow Huff Po readers that Wes Anderson Rises. But I say, considering my previous review of MIB 3, you’re better off not wasting you’re time by watching this instead –

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