Tag Archives: leonardo dicaprio

F. The Great Gatsby

thegreatgatsby

“That is what you are. That’s what you all are…all of you young people who served in the war. You are a lost generation” – Gertrude Stein

I’ve seen nerds dressed up like Hobbits, Harry Potter and Star Wars characters, and of course those Rocky Horror’s – but never, to my surprise, have I come across flappers and tailcoats like I did at last night’s opening of The Great Gatsby. But here in New York City I guess it’s to be expected, because New Yorkers will use any ridiculous excuse to dress up like it’s homecoming spirit week; like SantaCon, No Pants Day, and that day once a year where people walk around with grease smudged on their fucking foreheads. Now there’s a lost generation.

Anyway, there are timeless novels and there are timeless movies. And then there are timeless novels rebooted into seemingly timely movies – and director Baz Luhrmann is just the name to pizazz us. Punching us with a 3D CGI presentation of that roaring 20’s bygone era with of all people, Jay-Z and a posse to hip hopify it – because my generation is so lame and unhip to Louis’ Potato Head Blues or Duke’s East St. Louis Toodle-O. Though I do get it with our modern excesses and appreciate Baz’s revisionist fairytale approach, he could at least tone it down a bit and not be so fucking splashy with colors and confetti and corny snow falling letters.

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Many consider the novel to be an example of some of the finest economy of words that are not only poetic and subtle, but are also steeped in metaphors and symbolism – one can only marvel on Fitz’s prescient notions at such a formidable age of 25 and his capturing of an entire era and the quintessential American dream. Whereas Aussie Baz has the protagonist Tobey Maguire (Nick Carraway) butchering F. Scott’s cadence with his narration, sounding like a fucking dimwit reading an eye chart.

the great gatsby

Other than the revisionist attempt, the real redemption of The Great Gatsby is the Great DiCaprio. I mean who else of this generation could play him? Maybe Ben Affleck, but then it would really be fucking retarded. Carey Mulligan seems to be desperately trying to make the Daisy Buchanan character deeper than she is, but that is hard to do when you look like this:

the great gatsby

The recently departed Ray Harryhausen basically said CGI is just another tool, and the audience doesn’t give a damn what technique is used. But I suspect he was talking about creatures and monsters, not Gatsby’s gold coast mansion. Also there’s Ebert. It finally hit me last night that he’s departed as well, because when doing these silly blogs I actually do read almost every review on Meta and Rotten – Roger’s always first. Even though he was a bit of a tool sometimes (he did give Avatar his highest rating of four stars) my go to guy now is Rex Reed, who’s got a tool stuck up his arse. Anyway, I suppose Baz is trying to make some kind of correlation of the 1920’s decadence to now – But I’m curious as to what Lena Dunham thinks of the movie, because besides the fact she couldn’t even finish reading the novel, she has been deemed the voice of this new lost generation living in New York City.

“What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.” – Ecclesiatesthe great gatsby

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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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Ridley’s Riddled Body of Lies

Body Of Lies, adapted by the same screenwriter as The Departed, William Monahan, proves to be just as far fetched and implausible, only without Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg farting out Shakespeare, resulting in a typical stylisitic rehashing of Syriana, the then current Middle East bomb infested terrorist action flick.

Amidst the war torn country of Jordan with all it’s civil unrest and harboring terrorist safe houses you can always count on some incognito American Counter Intelligence Operative, Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio), who manages to dodge bullets and missiles but is still unable to avoid getting bit by a dog – making time for your cliche romance with native nurse, Aisha (Golshifteh Farahani), who administers rabie shots to heal his wounds and then later of course, does double duty playing the damsel in distress.

(Poontang pie may taste as good as cherry but til Tastyvision who needs this mush?)

Meanwhile back in the good ole’ USA at CIA headquarters Ferris’ handler and superior, Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe) gaining 63lbs I guess to authenticate the gluttonous nature of American excess or simply the result and justification of him sitting on his fat ass while he monitors Ferris’ every bowel movement via the high tech unmanned aerial vehicle that is capable of zooming in on every fucking grain of sand in them desert regions yet is unfortunately unable to locate known terrorist leader, Al Saleem, whom recently masterminded bombings throughout Europe and whom both Ferris and Hoffman’s mission is to capture and kill.

Not only do they have this eye in the sky at their disposal to be in constant communique but also Ferris has uncanny cell reception in this barren wasteland when I can’t even get reception in my fucking house. At least this is more plausible then how Ferris is able to befriend the head of Jordanian Intelligence Dept., Hani Salaam (Mark Strong), to work in conjunction but then later without his authority set up a bogus terrorist cell and staging an attack on a US military base in Turkey using unclaimed bodies dressed as soldiers (hence the title) to deceive and lure Al Saleem into thinking maybe he’s not the baddest terrorist on the block anymore and to crawl out of his cave to be exposed to open fire. Not surprisingly this convoluted covert operation backfires resulting in Leo losing a couple of fingers and his patriotism. At least his and Crowe’s performance aren’t as annoying as Aisha healing Leo’s wounds.

(foolios)

 

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Dark Knight for Titanic.

 

“Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even if the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I tell the press that like a gang banger, will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all, part of the plan. But when I say that one, little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds! Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh and you know the thing about chaos, it’s fair.” – The Joker

 

After three weeks The Dark Knight continues to break box office revenues and is already posing a threat to the number one grossing movie of all time, Titanic. Worldwide Titanic‘s gross, beat out Lord of the Rings by over 700 million along with other notable franchises such as the Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter and Star Wars series. Curious thing about this hype is how Titanic attracted such high ticket attendance, for there should be no competition between this shipwreck and this joker – Titanic is simply a disaster waiting to happen.

 

Dark Knight won’t sink Titanic record.

 

1997 must have offered little in the realms of entertainment, even including the population growth since Star Wars, it is obvious viewers were still paying for multiple viewings. After following other top money busters of 1997 like Jurassic Park, Men in Black, Tomorrow Never Dies and The Fifth Element, it is clear that disaster and action are a sure thing to draw a crowd but what these opponents lack is Titanic‘s heartthrob, the Leo DiCaprio factor, and the classic Romeo and Juliet story making Titanic more than your typical date movie as we’re sure to see bodies afloat AND titty. But even with the Leo-mania and today’s A.D.D. youth Titanic still appeals to more than these other blockbusters…old farts! With a sure fire plot, seniors are sure to not get confused with the newest hollywood effects and action. 

 

Top Grossing Films of 1997.

Top Grossing Films of all Time.

 

But now for the iceberg. Though we are made to believe that Titanic is number one in box office history, the truth is, after ticket price inflation, it reigns only at number six on the list. However, no worries, for our box office formula still holds true as Gone with the Wind, has held its place at number one since 1939. With movies being one of the few forms of CHEAP entertainment during The Depression, Gone with the Wind as well provided something for everyone in the general audiences, including rednecks.

 

 

So what will it take to knock Gone with the Wind from number one? Where did Titanic go wrong? For since then movie screens and worldwide releases have only increased. Perhaps Celine Dion and My Heart Will Go On is to blame?

 

All Time Box Office Domestic Grosses (Adjusted for Ticket Price Inflation).

 

 

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