Tag Archives: charles manson

Martha My Dear

Despite the Sundance hype I was a bit skeptical given Elizabeth Olsen’s pedigree but from the get-go of Martha Marcy May Marlene I was immediately convinced of her brainwashed banter and constant fear of this cult and it’s scrawny Manson like leader (John Hawkes) who’s spell she falls under especially after he dupes her into thinking he wrote a song  for her. The only way to explain Elizabeth Olsen’s creepy performance is she channeled her twin Sisters’ long struggle and desperation on finding their own identities after Full House.

But what I found even more disturbing and intriguing was that I was not alone in my sick obsession of cults (excluding Scientology and the Blue Oyster Cult). Not only have I made the pilgrimage of the ruins of Spahn Ranch but I also trekked Badlands to the actual house of Heaven’s Gate. Olsen’s impressive acting debut is a haunting convoluted portrayal of an innocence lost, a yearning for acceptance, a defiant need to escape, and a search for identity, hence the title of multiple names. Also impressive is the writing and directorial debut of Sean Durkin who adeptly paces the unfolding story of seduction and fear between the organic dilapidated Amish farm like commune and the lakeside modernity glass house of her Sister and Brother in-law.

But as engaging as Olsen was, her character’s world view was as disposable as the Real Housewives. I’m not one to drink the Kool Aid or occupy Wall Street, and communal living is for sheep, so maybe that’s why I identified with that uptight Brit (Hugh Dancy) more. Plus I wouldn’t call Olsen’s detox cleansing but just plain sodomy. Nevertheless, the movie did tap into my primal fears of being seduced by the Dark side of the Force and losing a grip on reality. But then again if I was given a sinister name like Sexy Sadie or Squeaky then who knows what I’d be capable of. I do hope Olsen is able to replace dopey Scarlett Johansson as the new busty blonde with some actual talent and hopefully won’t turn out like her Sisters and Cease to Exist.

These Girls have some major Daddy issues.

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the Baby Boomers

“Ramona come closer shut softly your watery eyes. The pangs of your sadness shall pass as your senses will rise. The flowers of the city though breathlike get deathlike at times. And there’s no use in tryin’ t’ deal with the dyin’ though I cannot explain that in lines.”-Bob Dylan

Mario, Donkey Kong, and just about every other video game has provided geeks the virtual dream of being “the Hero,” needing only their thumbs to Kick Ass and save the girl. Only in Scott Pilgrim the girl is not exactly a damsel in distress but a total skank. Set in bleak present day Toronto, a snow globe world (that even the late Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland would find dismal and mundane) of gently falling flakes and pop up captions against wood wall paneling, cheap carpets, futon beds, and Charlie Brown clothing, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), has left a carnage of seven deadly disgruntled and jealous ex-boyfriends against our posterboy hero, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera). Encouraged by his gay roommate, Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin), not only to find his own bed but also to save himself from being just another 22 year old slacker bassist in a Breakfast Club garage band, who still dates a high school girl, Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), and to instead suck it up and defeat in Mortal Combat the League of Evil Exes.

While Cera continues to portray his typecast to a T, with his band mates equally sharing the spotlight, and Jason Schwartzman continues to ham it up for his Hipster fans, it’s essentially due to modern day and ultimate spoof Director Edgar Wright and The Matrix cinematographer Bill Pope and their attention to detail of this mundacity with it’s Speed Racer like and elliptical cuts and it’s whimsical innocence of arrested development non-pot smoking cast of characters that lift it from it’s graphic comic book origins and video gaming to perhaps actually resonate to the 20 something generation.

But since the Baby Boomers left us with no values and out resourced our jobs who wouldn’t look to an alternative gaming life or start a Ponzi scheme. Instead we have turned pussy whipped into thinking that true love is a milestone to live and die for and in the in term are busy updating our facebook status and cyber-sexing. But then again Joesph Campbell nor Arnold van Gennep never played the bass let alone would ever be associated with a group called the Sex Bob-Omb. I only mention it “‘Cause sometimes there’s a man…I won’t say a hero, ’cause what’s a hero?…but sometimes there’s a man…”

“Life doesn’t imitate art, it imitates bad television.” -Woody Allen

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Inception Intervention

Well, I can’t tell lies, ’cause they’re listening to me. And when I fall asleep, bet they’re spying on me…” – Cheap Trick

After a slew of lame blockbusters since last summer’s Star Trek, Nolan revives a “new hope” among audiences that commercial entertainment can be fun again. Inception, proving to be a crowd pleaser for even those with a brain, starts as a complex plot of exposition and rules in a world addicted to shared dreaming and those in the business of dream thieving when Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a pro at exploring and extracting secrets through the subconscious, is hired by Saito (Ken Wantanabe) to infiltrate and sabotage his corporate rival Robert Fischer Jr’s (Cillian Murphy) mind though the theory of “Inception.” Cobb, should he be able to complete this convoluted dream mission, accepts when promised his freedom and to be reunited with his children – currently in his “Father’s” (Michael Caine) custody (who speaks British unlike anyone else in the fam). As this all star cast continues with accompanied dashing point man Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a charismatic forger Eames (Tom Hardy), and a prying, know-it-all, student architect Ariadne (Juno), this sci-fi turns full into the ultimate heist through a maze of multilevel dreams, and a series of kick queues. However problems soon erupt when Jr’s dream goes into autodefense mode and Leo washes up on Shutter Island again and is haunted by his over possessive, desperate, dead wife Mal (Marion Cotillard), who also makes a comeback as Edith Piaf.

Sound confusing? As Winston Churchill said in a 1939 radio broadcast, just a few weeks after England declared war against Germany, “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.” And one of the keys to this conundrum of a movie is the number 528. Kidding. I’d hate think that unlocking the code to this movie comes down to some quasi mathematical frequency or equation or even worse, numerology, (I mean try sitting through Jim Carrey’s The Number 23!). But if 528/Love is at the heart of the matter, then it’s just yet another similarity to The Matrix. I say, if both Neo and Cobb’s dilemma and motivation is sacrificial love then that’s just pathetic. Churchill was right, I say fuck Mother Russia and let the Cold War begin!

Like No Country for Old Men, a man would have to put his soul at hazard and like Sheriff Ed Tom Bell say, “O.K., I’ll be part of this world…” And in this world Nolan creates a notion that turns into a concept and then an idea that grows into a virus that is resilient and hard to eradicate. So maybe just take a leap of faith and go along for the ride.

“You’re waiting for a train to take you somewhere.

You hope you know where the train takes you,

But you aren’t sure if it will go there –

But it doesn’t matter because you are together.”

Either way in the end is the glass half full or half empty?

I say it’s half…

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Brave Little Toy Story 3

“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” – Corinthians 13:11

Except of course when it comes to Pixar movies, my Pez collection, and Toy Story 3! Finally after 11 years of contractual disagreements between Good vs. Evil, Pixar vs. Disney, Shiite’s vs. Jews and the unforgivable Cars, a resolution’s made as we rejoin now 17 year old Andy (after a gay overused camcorder montage replete of first steps, birthday candles, and “singing” Randy) where the premise is immediately presented as operation playtime backfires. Woody and the gang may have escaped the attic but instead are mistakenly donated to Sunnyside Daycare! Where they are joined with a colorful new cast of toys. However, thinking that they hit the jackpot, they soon realize they are in Dachau.

(Even Timothy Treadwell would find this bear scary with his Chill Wills charm and all.)

(Climb aboard the dream weaver train!)

Ok, maybe the Holocaust is a bit of a stretch but one thing that can’t be overlooked is Toy Story‘s likeness to The Brave Little Toaster: rejected toys seeking their master, confronted with newer, flashier replacements, and a garbage dump ruled by a menacing magnetic crane (The Claw!) and conveyor belt advancing them to their ultimate doom. Yet, while The Brave Little Toaster will always be recognized as a classic it fails in comparison because in what reality does a kid prefer a vacuum cleaner to a Space Ranger? I sure as fuck know that my brother wouldn’t – the recyclables, dishes and trash are currently piled to the ceiling waiting to be sorted.

But despite Pixar’s familiar plot and chase it turns out they aren’t completely dry as they replenish in producing another damn good original short, Day and Night (not to be confused with Tom Cruise’s Knight and Day).

In the end the feud of contractual obligations between Disney and Pixar actually fortiutously gave, (expecially to its first generation audience) thru natural course of time as we have grown up with Andy – thereby reversing the emphasis from the toys to him, and our own closure with childhood and to this trilogy…which almost left me in tears until that Bonnie girl shows up again! Yet the only suggestion of a sequel I fear is when Woody says , “Someday, if we’re lucky, Andy will have kids of his own and we will always be there for him.” Hopefully by then in the summer of 2020 this 3D fad will be over at least. But either way given the absence of any Fathers I’d be very surprised if that happens! I mean where the fuck is Andy’s Dad anyway? At least we know who Buzz’s is!

Happy Belated Father’s Day!

“Toys in the attic, I am crazy. Truly gone fishing. They must have taken my marbles away. Crazy. Toys in the attic, he’s crazy.” – Pink Floyd

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Inglouriuos Basterds Revolution #9

Inglourious Bastards Poster

in·glo·ri·ous – not glorious : lacking fame or honor

bas·tard – an offensive or disagreeable person

Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, Inglourious Basterds, makes the Sharon Tate murders look like a baby shower. At least Manson’s vision was more articulate and more inspired (The White Album), whereas Tarantino’s massacre is just a Leonesque like retribution that lacks catharsis with a lame rehashed soundtrack.

While Hebrew law in the Old Testament states, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” I’m pretty sure God didn’t have an overgrown self proclaimed provocateur and teenage movie geek in mind to show them the promise land while scalping Nazi’s. Given that Tarantino is part Cherokee I wonder if an Indian made a Western revisionist movie about some tribe assassinating Lincoln in a balcony box theater and burning down the White House (given the cruel treatment and injustice they suffered from all our robbing, raping, and pillaging) that it would be widely celebrated in Iraq and Afghanistan…and parts of Pakistan…basically the whole Muslim culture including Cat Stevens. Anyway, Americans have a word for that and that’s the discovery of the New World. Jews call it the Holocaust, Manson calls it Helter Skelter and Tarantino calls it Inglourious Basterds. Ghandi warns, “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”…something clearly Tarantino and cohorts do not adhere to. But neither did Charlie’s.

 

Though I must admit the most villainous character of the Nazis, The “Jew Hunter,” Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) was quite affective in making Major Strasser from Casablanca look as harmless as the Crocodile Hunter (maybe it’s all that milk). I also enjoyed Brad Pitt’s Lt. Aldo Raine’s Southern inflection of the way he pronounced “Nazi.” I wonder if Born again Christian Tex Watson had the same dialect when selling pigs wigs. The film debut of Melanie Laurent, who plays the sole surviving family member that fled from Col. Landa’s clutches, is subjected to the worst trivial getting dressed to kill montage accompanied with Bowie’s Cat People (Putting Out Fire) (whoa, irony!) but otherwise is very good as an Anne Frank type gone postal. While the rest of the Basterds rumor a threat with nicknames such as “Bear Jew” and “Little Man” none are as intimidating as the  posing sweet Sexy Sadie, Squeaky, Clem, LuLu, and JC.

Inglourious Bastards CastManson Family

I am curious to know what drugs Tarantino used vs. this hippie gang bang. With the script’s inconsistent intro flashbacks, repetitious dialogue and slow motion sequences adding minutes lasting hours I wonder if it was just an Adderall overdose.

Charles Manson

Now there’s a masterpiece.

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