Tag Archives: ellen page

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized