Film

REVIEW: Coraline (Dir. Henry Selick)

Posted on February 17, 2009 by

It was opening night of Coraline and I was at the 9:45 show. Aside from a set of young parents and their two young children sitting in front of me, the audience for a movie marketed to kids was uncharacteristically full of asshole teenage emo-jock hybrids sitting in a collective guy to girl ratio of 2:1.

While I sat and waited for the movie to start the guys puffed themselves up and let everyone in the theatre know how everything around them was somehow gay. It was obvious why — they had to show the girls that they were men; only half of them would be able to take a girl home and make her cry in a forceful attempt to see a boob. And in the morning the girl gets a Nightmare Before Christmas keychain for her trouble, then it’s off to hockey practice.

The lights dimmed, and the trailers began. Even though I had my suspicions, I wasn’t absolutely convinced that Zach Efron’s new movie, 17 Again, was gay. But then the kids reassured all of us that it was — so thanks guys. As the movie began, we were treated to a credit sequence in which a disturbing set of metal fingers ritualistically gutted and skinned a rag doll. While this was going on I wondered what kind of trouble I would get into if I bought one of those high-pressured rubber pellet guns and started shooting those kids. Nothing hard. Nothing too violent. Just like a little nudge of, “Hey, shut up. Or I’ll fuck you until you like it. Then who’s gay? Huh?” Probably me at that point. But still, lessons learned are hard taught.

And as all of this was running around in my head I realized that there was no more chest-beating coming from the audience. Everyone was quiet and watching the disturbing ballet of imagery on screen. It was at that point everyone realized this might not be as playful of a kids movie as they had thought. And that played out until the end credits rolled. It is, without a doubt, a kids movie; but it does dance the line of morbidity. I can’t think of many other movies geared toward kids where ghost children plead with the main character to, “find our eyes!” so they can go to heaven.

Coraline, directed by Henry Selick and based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book, is about a young girl who moves into the middle floor of an old house with her mother and father — two gardeners/authors who never have time to be parents. One night, after spending the day dealing with her eccentric top and bottom floor neighbours, she finds that a secret door in her living room leads to an alternate reality where her parents have buttons for eyes (referred to as the ‘Other Mother’ and ‘Other Father’) and smother her in love. Although she finds this a little unsettling at first, she does appreciate the attention. Everything seems to be going great for her until the Other Mother tells Coraline if she wants to stay in this alternate world she’ll have to sew buttons into her eyes. And everything gets crazier from there.

Technically, Coraline was the best stop-motion animated film I have ever seen. Maybe not the best stop-motion ever used in a film (Dragon Slayer is still top of the list), but as far as wall-to-wall animation goes, Coraline supersedes its predecessors (some of which Selick might also be paying tribute to in his depictions of Coraline’s old friends — who look like they’ve come straight from Will Vinton’s workshop). As far as animators go, Selick is more theatrical in his movements. Everyone exaggerates their actions and nobody is ever still (unlike animators such as Nick Park or Adam Elliot, who concentrate on the subtlety of facial features and nervous movements), but all of this works perfectly for Coraline. Maybe too perfect. In a world where CGI is looking more and more like traditional and stop-motion animation, I think the perfection of the movement in Coraline might have a lot of people not realizing they’re looking at tangible objects.

The voice talent (from Dakota Fanning, John Hodgman, and Teri Hatcher among others) is surprisingly good. Although a lot of people will tend to compare Coraline with Nightmare Before Christmas, it’s not. Not at all. Coraline doesn’t try to be cute. It doesn’t treat its material as fun. Selick’s characters don’t break out in song (aside from one by John Hodgman’s Other Father — but it’s written and sung by They Might Be Giants, so I’m not holding it against him); they don’t playfully relish the darkness like everyone in TNBC; and they don’t treat the uncanny around them as a cute departure from the everyday.

Near the middle of the movie, as things got darker, the two children in front of me were noticeably scared. They even started whimpering and crying a little. Maybe it was because their parents wouldn’t let them leave. But the kids stuck through it, and by the end they were all smiles. And I felt the same way — I wouldn’t necessarily think of Coraline as a kids movie, but it’s a journey that kids would appreciate more than the rest of us. The emo-jocks thought it was pretty gay.

Film, Hits & Misses, Old Stuff | | 33 Comments »

REVIEW: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Dir. David Fincher)

Posted on January 14, 2009 by

It’s been a tradition for the past few years to see a movie on Christmas day instead of spending time with my family.

A lot of people were at the theatre when I got there; A quick scan of the crowd told me most of these people were home for the holidays before returning to school.

The majority of them were boyfriends (who didn’t leave town) accompanied by their girlfriends (who were in their first year of post-secondary school) — it was written all over them. The same girls that were only months ago wearing stripped leggings under an oversized hoodie covered in crazy shit were now draped in pea-coats and scarves, while their trashbag boyfriends still wore their trucker hats (which are still cool in Sault Ste Marie where I live) and Fox Racing jackets. Both seemed clueless to the fact that this would probably be their last date together.

Even for Christmas day the theatre was fairly packed; and for a two-hour movie it was a rather breezy time. But that’s all David Fincher; the guy knows how to make a long movie seem at least half an hour shorter than its actual length: keep it moving and keep giving the audience new information (a tactic used in both Zodiac and Fight Club)

Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt do little with their roles, and fall back on composited CGI versions of themselves to do most of the acting, which is a shame and a waste. Pitt’s role as the title character is especially underrepresented — relying almost entirely on narration rather than interaction to emotionally engage the audience.

The script, by screenwriter Eric Roth, felt too much like his work on Forest Gump. It’s basically Forest Gump, if he was physically handicapped instead of mentally handicapped. And then instead of being physically handicapped, he was magically handicapped.

But the biggest downfall of the movie is the ending. As Benjamin grows younger, it gets to a point where they can’t keep using Brad Pitt CGI mutants, and have to use a younger actor. So, as soon as you see the teenage version of Benjamin, you’re pulled out of the movie. It’s no longer the same character. He doesn’t even really look like how you figure Brad Pitt would look as a teenager. At that point the audience doesn’t care. They’re no longer following the story of Benjamin Button – that was Brad Pitt’s story, not some teenagers.

As the credits rolled, we began walking out; passing the same young couples we came in with. The pea-coated girlfriends, who felt newly enlightened because they were in university, defended the movie to their trucker-cap boyfriends, who thought it was dumb and long. After a short back-and-forth, the girlfriends just stopped arguing. Their boyfriends weren’t going to get it. They’d never understand because they haven’t experienced life yet, not like they had anyway. And later on in the night the larger revelation would hit — not only did their boyfriends not ‘get’ the movie, but they didn’t get them anymore either. They would have to break up. She’s in university, she wants to travel, she wants to grow and live life and settle down when she’s ready. Her and her boyfriend were just different people. We all know those girls (btw those girls, fuck you. Die sad and alone — with guys still not ‘getting’ you.)

And then it hits that Benjamin Button is the perfect guy for these girls. While they’re young and stupid, he’s the older, mature, worldly man they feel they can learn from; And when they get old and their vaginas start to dry out (science), he’ll be the bucking young stud ready to fuck them until they orgasm all of the dead, unused eggs out of their wombs (also science).

That said, I still enjoyed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Although it’s not a movie that I would feel the need to see immediately again, it does have a fairy tale air that appeals to both adults and children. Not one of the best movies of the year, but still a great movie.

Film, Hits & Misses, Old Stuff | | 7 Comments »

REVIEW: Twilight (Dir. Catherine Hardwicke)

Posted on November 26, 2008 by

This past weekend I saw Twilight, a new teen romance movie where ‘has-trouble-fitting-in’ Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) falls in love with ‘107-years-old-but-somehow-still-angsty-vampire’ Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).

My official judgment on the film: It’s not awful.

The general expectation that I polled from my friends was that they expected this movie to be contrived and for little girls. They are correct on both accounts, but even still, it’s not awful.

[Ed.’s note: You must be 12 years (and under) and a girl to read the remainder of this review. Or be Alejandro Alcoba.] More… »

Film, Hits & Misses | | 51 Comments »

REVIEW: Toronto After Dark Film Festival

Posted on November 19, 2008 by

Toronto After Dark is pretty much the best damn way to spend a week in October. It’s a horror/action/sci-fi/cult film fest run out of the Bloor Cinema by this great dude named Adam Lopez who is truly passionate about the dissemination of blood and guts and gore.

We saw all these movies and you are jealous.

(reviews by Sam Sutherland + Ashley Carter)

Mutant Chronicles (Dir. Simon Hunter)
The first After Dark movie to feature Ron Perlman in a monk outfit, this movie is so insanely bad it’s great. Also, John Malkovich is in it, which is certainly puzzling. Basically, this machine under the earth starts turning people into mutants so Ron Perlman and the guy from The Mist team up with a rag-tag group of soldiers to destroy it. Along the way they say and do things that make absolutely no sense in front of really awful CGI and green screen. Seriously, I don’t think anyone involved in making this movie (save for Malkovich, who looks like a sad, beaten man) had any idea they were making the worst movie ever. Which is why it totally rules. Go see this with all your friends and I promise you it will be the best time ever. Seriously, go now. It’s awesomely terrible.

Tokyo Gore Police (Dir. Yoshihiro Nishimura)
If this doesn’t win an Oscar, that shit is rigged. Words were not made strong or awesome enough to express the utterly fantastic nature of this film. Mere mortals are not worthy of its treasures. There’s a plot somewhere in Tokyo Gore Police but it’s way too insane to try to explain. Basically all this crazy shit happens and your mind is blown. I don’t even know where to start, except to say that at one point, a guy who’s has had his legs cut off uses the blood pulsing from the wounds to elevate himself off the ground and fly around. If you like feeling insane you should see this movie. The name really says all you need to know. It’s bat shit insanity at its most bat shit insane. It’s so, so good I wish it was playing inside my glasses all the time so whenever I did anything boring I would be watching the best movie ever.

Who is KK Downey? (Dir. Darren Curtis, Pat Kiely)
Great! Look what I made at my real job!

4BIA (Dir. Youngyooth Thongkonthun, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Parkpoom Wongpoom & Paween Purikitpanya)
Four horror shorts from the Thai dudes that brought you Shutter and Alone, plus two others, also Thai dudes. The two other dudes’ entries aren’t so great, with Thongkonthun’s Happiness suffering from just being kind of boring and Purikitpanya’s being promising but kind of cheesy. Then the big guns (you know, the guys who made Shutter and Alone) come in and shit gets real. Pisanthanakun’s tale of a youthful camping trip gone wrong is like a self-referential Thai version of Scream, with lots of discussion of famous horror films (including the director’s own Shutter) alongside some scary ghost bullshit. It’s awesome. Wongpoon’s short is a mummified tribute to that really scary Twilight Zone with the gremlin on the plane, and it’s also great. Mostly just jump scares, but awesome, stylish jump scares. Overall, the good stuff outweighs the bad. Totally worth checking out.

I Sell the Dead (Dir. Glenn McQuaid)
The second After Dark movie to feature Ron Perlman in a monk outfit (seriously, it was weird), I Sell the Dead was a fine closer for the totally best year of After Dark ever. The movie has its flaws; the framing device, which involves a young graverobber detailing his sins to a monk (Perlman) is kind of cheesy and dangerously close to a dealbreaker, but the overall arc of the story is just so darn appealing we’re able to forgive the way in which it gets told. Dominic Monaghan (a hobbit) plays a twerp who steals from the dead alongside some super-funny dude named Larry Fessenden, and there’s aliens, vampires, and zombies. So basically the movie has to be at least okay, but it also has a really hot girl and the Tall Man from Phantasm, which rules, so it ends up being way better than okay. Good times if you like that hobbit kid, hot girls, or dead aliens.

Trailer Park of Terror (Dir. Steven Goldmann)
Based on the Imperium comic book series of the same name, this movie is about a bunch of ne’erdowell high school kids who end up on a character building retreat with their wiener pastor. Of course they crash their schoolbus during a thunderstorm and of course they find shelter for the night in a trailer park zombie village called Trucker’s Triangle. Then all kinds of evil wacky sexy shit happens. This movie has tons of weirdness like a cameo by country music dreamboat Trace Adkins as the man in black/devil (due to the director also somehow being a popular country music video director). Good production value, full of stereotypes, and great if you have ever wanted to see what a dude looks like being deep-fried alive.

Film, Hits & Misses | | 4 Comments »

REVIEW: Quantum of Solace (Dir. Marc Forster)

Posted on November 18, 2008 by

Bond came out this weekend. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s really your own fault.

Before I get into the review portion of the… review, I want to flip (this is new slang for give, forward or push in your direction) you some numbers. This is the 22nd Bond film, and the second starring Daniel Craig. This is the first Bond sequel (I think? Having trouble confirming this. Anyone?) and it takes place one hour after Casino Royale ends. The film is 106 minutes long, making it the shortest Bond film ever. The film cost $230 million to make. The film was released two weeks earlier in Europe and made a dump-truck of money. That, combined with the North American opening weekend gross of $70.4 million, puts the movie at $322 million worldwide. So far.

Now: Reviewtown.

Quantum of Solace was good. Not as good as Casino Royale, but definitely a fun time. The film is packed with action, and through its monkey-filled-barrel of mindless (yet totally awesome) ass-kickery, I fell in love. Of course, that’s not to say that this is the kind of love you’ll write home to tell your mom about, but love nonetheless.

However, one cannot avoid the fact that this movie wasn’t as good as its predecessor (mom? older sister? not sure where to take this metaphor…) and what Quantum lacked is easy to identify.

Plot.

Sure, there was a plot in there somewhere, but remember that really long string of scenes in the first movie where Bond is playing poker and pretty much ALL THE IMPORTANT STUFF THAT MATTERS unfolds? Obviously we couldn’t have another poker scene, but at least something to perform the same function (ie plot) would have been nice.

All in all, worth seeing if you like ass-kickery.

Film, Hits & Misses | | 9 Comments »

REVIEW: Synecdoche, NY (Dir. Charlie Kaufman)

Posted on November 17, 2008 by

The movie came to a close and I turn to my girlfriend. She turns to me and says, rather bluntly, “well, that was a disappointment” [Ed.’s note: HIGH FIVE, LAUREN].

Having heard in advance that Sam and Ashley did not like the film [Ed.’s note: but do very much like Charlie Kaufman], I’m momentarily stunned; ten-thousand thoughts per second all converge on one point: Holy shit; I might be the only person I know who is going to love this movie. I wait 15 minutes before telling her this.

Synecdoche, NY is, in my humble opinion [Ed.’s note: and Ebert’s], a masterpiece [Ed.’s note: but Alejandro really really loves Science of Sleep]. So three out of the four people mentioned so far in this review didn’t like it, but that doesn’t make it any less of a thorough, complex story that will leave you thinking… if you let it. Charlie Kaufman, the newspaper-salesman-turned-film-scribe behind all your favourite movies, including Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, makes his directorial debut [Ed.’s note: when he should have stuck to just writing them] with a film about trying to leave your mark on the world.

A theatre director (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) is afraid of death. In fact, he is so afraid of death that it affects every aspect of his life, most importantly it drives his fear of being forgotten. As the story progresses, he is given the opportunity to create something important, and as a result spends his life creating a living play. I’m re-reading that sentence now, and this description is both poor and largely inaccurate. But the truth is that you can’t really sum up this plot the old fashioned way. Rather, let’s think of this in terms of theme.

Kaufman explores themes that he has delved into through each of the films he has written. “Having a better life” begins to explain what he’s doing, but then you have to ask, “A better life than what? Than whom? For what purpose?” The idea of being so afraid to live your own life — because you might fuck it up, because someone might do it better, because you don’t know the path to the greatest happiness — is what motivates Hoffman’s character to create entire worlds.

What makes this film great is that unlike Kaufman’s other films [Ed.’s note: where outside directors can hone in his scope by cutting the fat], he doesn’t use any of the exits he creates for himself along the way [Ed.’s note: because now he can be overindulgent sans overlord]. Kaufman explores this theme through to the end [Ed.’s note: which makes it trip and draaaag]. There are several opportunities for Hoffman’s character to quit in his quest for his own magnum opus, but at the core we realize that he will never be truly satisfied [Ed.’s note: much like Charlie Kaufman, which is the real brilliance of this movie].

And there’s a moral in that.

In a cinematic landscape where most movies you hear about are about explosions and teenagers falling in love with vampires [Ed.’s note: Synecdoche, NY needed more explosions and teenagers falling in love with vampires], what other reason do you need to name a movie as worthwhile?

[Ed.’s note: this movie would have been great if someone else had directed it]

Film, Hits & Misses | | 18 Comments »

REVIEW: Pride and Glory

Posted on October 30, 2008 by

It sucks being a cop. That’s what my friend Brendan said to me as we walked out of Pride and Glory with the credits rolling behind us. If I take anything from Pride and Glory with me, that’s going to be it.

Co-written by Joe Carnahan (NARC, Smokin’ Aces), and directed by Gavin O’Connor (Tumbleweeds), Pride and Glory is an intense cop drama that clocks in at just under two and a half hours –- which I didn’t really notice. I’ve got a thing about cop movies. I watch every cop movie that comes out. Street Kings, Max Payne, Lakeview Terrace –- any movie about a cop I watch.

The movie follows a family of cops divided on both sides of a ring of corruption. Edward Norton and Noah Emmerich play sons of Jon Voight, and Colin Farrell plays the son/brother-in-law of the group. At one point in time they’ve all been cops. When a group of police officers and drug dealers are found killed in an cracked-out apartment house, Norton’s character returns from a long leave of absence from the force in order to help solve the murder of his former partner and friends. As he starts to uncover the circumstances surrounding their deaths, it becomes apparent his brothers are involved in the cover-up. Overall I liked Pride and Glory, but it wasn’t flawless.

Noah Emmerich (brother of New Line Cinema head, and producer of Pride and Glory, Toby Emmerich) never feels right in the role to me. I don’t think he’s a bad actor by any means (he’s great in Little Children, and for some reason his role in The Truman Show always sticks out for me), but I feel like his in this movie on his name more than his ability. Jon Voight is FANTASTIC as the drunken father. In fact, I think it’s the best portrayal of a drunk I’ve ever seen committed to film. Hands down. No Joke, he deserves at least an Oscar nomination for this role. HOWEVER, his recent acting history has been so sinister, I always think he’s setting someone up and he’s got the worst intentions in mind. He doesn’t; but I can’t shake the feeling that every time he finishes talking with Edward Norton he’s going to try to kill Tom Cruise.

Aside from that, the shaking hand-held camera got ridiculous at times. I feel like I could have been watching Quarantine or Cloverfield. Some of the most distracting hand-held work I’ve seen.

But Pride and Glory is an intense movie. At one point Norton is trying to get information from a drug dealer’s hysterical crack-mother girlfriend. After he calmly wins her trust and she confesses to him that her boyfriend has been getting information from a cop, he quietly whispers to her, “if you’re lying to me, I’ll take your fuckin’ kid away.” His lack of emotion did nothing but confirm to us all that, yes, he was going to take her fuckin’ kid away and he doesn’t give a shit if it fucking dies on her. Colin Farrell also has a tense moment. I don’t want to spoil it, but it involves a steaming iron, a drug dealer who refuses to talk, and a drug dealers baby.

Although I’m sure the intention was to make a movie about a family of cops, it has nothing to do with family. It’s about being a cop. It’s about temptation, and trying to be straight while getting nothing but disrespect as you risk your life for $60,000 a year in a fruitless pursuit of what’s right.

Brendan was right. It must suck to be a cop. Later that night I was watching Clockers on TV and that’s all I could think about. Their job fucking sucks. I never thought being a cop would be a fun job, but I always thought of being a cop as an honest job. And after watching Pride and Glory I realize one of the hardest parts of the job is keeping it that way.

I hate people who shit on cops. There’s nothing more ignorant to me than calling a cop a pig. If a cop is asking you questions, he’s just doing his job. If he’s being a dick, chances are you’re being a cunt. And those same cunts always hate cops until their house gets robbed; then it’s, “do whatever you need to do to get my stuff back.” I don’t care when I’m questioned by a cop. I know they’re just trying to get someone’s stuff back.

Cops have a shit job. They have to protect the people who hate them. And hundreds die every year doing it. Check out www.odmp.org.

Film, Hits & Misses | | 6 Comments »

REVIEW: the Colin Farrell sex tape

Posted on August 19, 2008 by

When Colin Farrell’s star began growing in Hollywood I didn’t care. Not even Hart’s War could make me care.

Then I read a story about “A Home at the End of the World,” from writer Michael Cunningham (Academy Award winner, The Hours) and director Michael Mayer (Kid’s Choice winner, Flicka). The story was about Colin’s cock. There was a scene cut from the original version of the film where Colin’s character is standing full-frontal for everyone to see. The reason it was cut? Women in the test audience were so distracted by his size that they couldn’t pay attention to the rest of the film.

Colin Farrell’s cock is so big it makes women stupid.

So, there was some reputation to live up to when I first saw his sex tape.

Colin’s sex tape was released during the golden age of sex tapes. When it was still scandalous; when stars actually tried to suppress them by any means possible. There were no “mysterious leaks” before the premiere of Star X’s big movie, or publicly announced distribution deals – these were embarrassing videos that could potentially ruin your career. Which is why I think Colin’s tape is so interesting; very little, if any, action was taken to stop it from being released.

It was like he didn’t care at all. You get the impression he heard a tape of him and Nicole Narain having sex was leaked on the internet and he laughed it off. Which, in the long run, worked. The average movie going public doesn’t even know he has a sex tape; and that’s a shame – because it could be the best sex tape ever made.

As far as sex tapes go (in terms of being used as masturbatory aides), the top of the pile has two clear winners: Pam and Tommy, and One Night in Paris. They transcend sex-tape territory and dive straight into pornography while answering, “I wonder what it would be like to fuck (blank).”

However, where Pam and Tommy stake their claim in a great one-off, Paris killed the magic with bad sequel followed by worse sequel. The first installment in the trilogy not only has great sex, it also makes Paris come off as a little shy and approachable; she goes from being a sex symbol to the girl next door with the weird nose. Although nowadays when it gets to the night vision section, it kind of feels like I’m watching one of those creatures from The Descent sucking off Rick Solomon.

Then, the second Paris tape came out. I don’t know, or care, who the guy is – all I know is, while watching a sex tape I expect more than a boob and a half.

As for Paris number three? It’s nothing. Paris has a bath, while the most pathetic man in the world holds a camera on her and for fifteen minutes we hear him beg her for sex. Really. Who is this guy? Have a little self-respect. It’s Paris Hilton – give her half a Smirnoff Ice and go to town.

So where does the Colin Farrell tape stand in all of this? As a stand-alone piece it could be the best celebrity sex tape ever leaked. The video is actually fun to watch. It evokes a sense of nostalgia for teenage sexual awakening. It could be the Stand By Me of sex tapes.

The key to the tape isn’t the sex itself, it’s Colin’s approach to it. He fills you with the wonder and excitement of a 13-year-old reading through his dad’s Penthouse Forum from March 1978. He loves having sex with Nicole and he tells her at every opportunity. Bottom line being – Colin is the star of the show. Not his dick. Not Nicole (who – although attractive – is somewhat underwhelming). The star is Colin and every word that comes out of his mouth. Maybe it’s his accent, but the crudeness of his words have are full of endearment, flattery and masculine playfulness. My favorites are:

“Fuck, you are the sexiest motherfucker I have ever met. Holy shit, I didn’t know they made bastards as sexy as you, man!”

“Whatever princess wants, princess fuckin’ gets – let me tell ya.”

(While Nicole goes down on him)
“It’s like you’re goin’ fishing for fuckin pubes man, you’re just catchin’ every fuckin’ pube I have. By the end of this morning we wont have to fuckin’ shave me.”

(As he goes down on Nicole)
“you know what this is? this is my breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Watching the video draws envy from both men and women. Women want to get fucked by Colin Farrell and men want to fuck like Colin Farrell. Because the Colin Farrell sex tape is the letter I would have written to Penthouse when I was 13. It’s how every teenage boy imagines losing his virginity. And that’s why it’s the Stand by Me of sex tapes: it’s a false nostalgia. He has sex like it’s the first time – but the way the first time is supposed to be, not the way it actually happens. There’s no striking out over and over again until, at 17 years old, one hot summer’s day your girlfriend randomly asks you if you want to do it. There’s no slow cautiousness because you have to be as quiet as possible in case your girlfriend’s dad comes in the house. There’s no girlfriend bursting out in tears five seconds before you come – not out of pain, but because, “something doesn’t feel right.” There’s no sitting in a sweaty lump in the corner of your girlfriend’s dark bedroom because she “just doesn’t want to be touched” while she finishes crying. There’s no throwing out your used condom in a public garbage can because you’re afraid her parents might find it otherwise. And most of all, there’s no guilt from thinking your first time having sex might actually be some kind of date rape.

Colin Farrell isn’t just having sex for Colin Farrell.

Film, Hits & Misses, Old Stuff | | 9 Comments »

REVIEW: The Dark Knight (Dir. Christopher Nolan)

Posted on July 18, 2008 by

Being the coolest fucking dude on the internet, I just got home from a midnight screening of the most nerd-boner-inducing movie of 2008, The Dark Knight. It’s now almost 4 a.m. and my house is about four or five degrees hotter than it is outside, which would make it about 35 degrees Celsius in my house. Man, fuck this place. I’m also listening to the new Off With Their Heads record, which I highly recommend, so not everything is bad here. It’s kind of like Hot Water Music, but more like the Ramones. Like the Ramones covering Hot Water Music, maybe? Sort of. Also, my computer crashed while I was gone, which is a bummer since it was exporting this week’s video for my day job. I’m hoping it can render in time, so I’m writing this on a really old laptop with a weak battery. Who knows if anyone will ever read this? Also, I’m pretty hungry, but there were some leftover chicken wings in my fridge. Oh, Dark Knight kicked ass. Here are some text messages I got about it.

FROM:
Deuce
416-xxx-xxxx
MESSAGE
the dark knight=shit sandwhich. up there with daredevil as one of the great comic book movies
RECEIVED ON
July 18, 08 2:44am

FROM:
Ashley
416-xxx-xxxx
MESSAGE
NICKY KATT.
RECEIVED ON
July 18, 08 2:46am

FROM:
Tristan
647-xxx-xxxx
MESSAGE
You either die a hero, or you live to see yourself watch Batman.
RECEIVED ON
July 18, 08 2:51am

FROM:
Liz Stannard
647-xxx-xxxx
MESSAGE
da na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na batman! rocks.
RECEIVED ON
July 18, 08 3:09am

Geeks.

Film, Hits & Misses, Old Stuff | | 56 Comments »

REVIEW: Sex and the City (Dir. Michael Patrick King)

Posted on June 3, 2008 by

sexinthecity.jpg

That’s it.

I think I’ll review all movies with poorly-constructed mosaics from now on. Plus give any person who can offer a reasonable explanation for each picture a five-dollar bill and a hearty pat on the back. Seriously. Hit me up.

Film, Hits & Misses | | 3 Comments »

REVIEW: Never Back Down (Dir. Jeff Wadlow)

Posted on May 10, 2008 by

neverbackdown.jpgDo you like The Karate Kid? Me too, kind of. See, I like the story but I hate good acting. That’s why I love Never Back Down. Ralph Macchio is like the coolest child actor ever, and that’s lame. Thankfully, the producers solved this problem in their retooling of this classic story by casting Kevin Williamson, Josh Shwartz, and David E. Kelly’s leftovers. Brilliant.

Another brilliant move was casting a katrillion extras that are about a hundred times sexier than the principle actors so you don’t even notice the shitty performances. But do the performances even matter in a movie like this? No. They don’t. What really matters is if it kicks ass or not. And it does. It kicks ass in a way that makes you feel like it’s the first day of summer and you just know that this is the year you are going to lose your virginity. This movie is seriously all the awesomeness (and all the plot points) of The Karate Kid with thousands of perfect tits in every shot. Come to think of it, this is probably the best movie ever made.

It also promotes a really irresponsible social message about solving all of your problems with violence, which I totally respect. I even hope to one day actually be in a fight. I think I would feel really good about myself afterwards. Never Back Down plays out my ultimate fantasy of being able to kick the shit out of some guy and be totally vindicated in doing so because he messed with my chick or talked shit about my dead father, both of which happen in this film. I think all pussies secretly have this fantasy.

In the case of Never Back Down the antagonist is the guy that killed Marrissa on the O.C. so you instantly hate him and it works great as a cross over for all those who want to see Volchok finally get his up and cummins. I know it sounds like I’m being sarcastic but I’m not. In the future, having seen this movie will be criteria for applying to vote, it’s that important. The future is going to be violent, and sexy, and we will worship mixed martial artists. (Summit Entertainment)

Film, Hits & Misses | | 8 Comments »

REVIEW: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Dir. Nicholas Stoller)

Posted on May 10, 2008 by

So, my brother Cole and I are on our way to see a midnight showing of Iron Man, we smoke a tiny bowl and head to our local theater to get tickets.

We had planned on getting our tix around 10-ish, then get some ice cream because its delicious. We enter the building to buy our tickets and to our dismay, no fucking midnight Iron Man.

So we skipped ice cream and went and watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Its pretty funny. Lots of dick shots in it which I bet my brother was totally into.

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REVIEW: Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival (MSN wrap-up)

Posted on May 5, 2008 by

1:19:22 AM sam?: review time.
1:21:52 AM sam?: my favourite thing we saw was Carts of Darkness. discuss.
1:24:18 AM ashley!: i can’t even remember the movies we saw, there were so many
1:24:44 AM sam?: well, that’s why i helpfully started us off by telling you my favourite.
1:26:19 AM ashley!: my favourite thing we saw was those cult-ish protesters taking over that one screening
1:27:44 AM sam?: the protested movie was called Beyond Our Ken. but my idea was the discussion of the Carts movie.
1:27:50 AM sam?: you also really liked Second Skin.
1:29:31 AM ashley!: was Second Skin the iranian transsexual movie?
1:29:45 AM sam?: no, that was Be Like Others.
1:30:00 AM sam?: Second Skin was about gamerz.
1:30:45 AM ashley!: oh right, yeah that was probably my fave
1:32:42 AM sam?: now tell me what you liked about Carts of Darkness.
1:33:56 AM ashley!: i liked when they raced on the carts. especially when the no-legs director guy did it.
1:34:09 AM ashley!: imagine if he hadn’t survived that? it would have been a whole different movie
1:34:12 AM ashley!: and boring q + a
1:36:42 AM sam?: first of all, he had legs. he was injured in a car crash, and before that, he was a ground-breaking snowboarding filmmaker. you had heard of him!
1:37:30 AM ashley!: i meant it METAPHORICALLY
1:37:38 AM ashley!: no, you’re right. that takes balls.
1:37:53 AM ashley!: his balls were okay, right? only his legs were damaged
1:38:17 AM sam?: we should have asked in the q + a.
1:39:05 AM sam?: maybe too personal. anyway, that dude was the man. his movie was amazing, and he managed to make a movie about homeless people without being heavy-handed or insanely depressing.
1:39:43 AM ashley!: i would put that quote on a movie box. what’s next?
1:40:52 AM sam?: let’s try to each come up with a totally quote-able quote for each movie. first one to get on a poster for a domestic release wins a bottle of 50 at the Lab from the loser.
1:41:54 AM ashley!: you already owe me a bottle of 50 then
1:46:52 AM sam?: first one from this batch.
1:46:55 AM sam?: not all batches.
1:47:26 AM ashley!: fine. keep leading the discussion then, blabbermouth
1:51:16 AM sam?: so, Second Skin.
1:51:18 AM sam?: talk to me.
1:56:16 AM ashley!: those guys like video games a lot. like a lot a lot. i like how they drink 2 litre bottles of coke not just to get caffeinated and stay awake till hour 16 but also so that they have something to piss in at hour 16 instead of leaving the game to go to the bathroom
1:56:20 AM ashley!: forward thinkers. i like that
1:58:22 AM sam?: one time when i worked at camp i drank FOUR 2 litre bottles of coke so that i would stay awake and have a great time.
1:58:40 AM sam?: i guess i love camp like those dudes love video games.
2:00:37 AM ashley!: i’m pretty sure people have died from drinking that many 2 litre bottles of cola before
2:02:34 AM sam?: that’s just how i roll.
2:03:47 AM sam?: back to Second Skin: as a non-gamer, it was awesome to realize how totally insane gamers really are. it was like an episode of Intervention, but with World of Warcraft instead of oxycontin.
2:04:19 AM ashley!: psh, there was already an episode of Intervention with a gamer
2:04:26 AM ashley!: the Second Skin directors are plagiarists
2:04:31 AM ashley!: put that on yer movie box!
2:10:25 AM sam?: my quote: “A balanced look at the oft-maligned world of gamers, Second Skin is equally disturbing and hilarious, offering sympathy for its subjects without fear of criticizing some of their more outlandish behavior.”
2:11:21 AM ashley!: okay, well the publicity people can choose which one they like better. it’s good to have options.
2:13:51 AM sam?: like pizza pops and pizza pockets!
2:18:15 AM sam?: Be Like Others. go.
2:18:58 AM ashley!: i feel like i was more into this movie than you were
2:20:27 AM sam?: did you fall asleep?
2:20:44 AM ashley!: no
2:20:51 AM sam?: then yes.
2:23:27 AM ashley!: what’s not to like about iranian transsexuals being forced to get sex changes?
2:23:47 AM ashley!: a bright family romp
2:27:31 AM sam?: print it.
2:27:50 AM sam?: i just thought the movie was poorly executed. but the story was so insanely compelling.
2:29:09 AM sam?: definitely the darkest thing we saw all week. nothing like an iranian homosexual who’s been forced to have a sex change in order to be able to have sex with the people they want to have sex with because being gay is illegal in iran breaking down and crying because they can’t believe what they’ve done to their body to totally not, not brighten your day.
2:30:08 AM ashley!: right, i was about to break it down for the kids at home but now you’ve spared me
2:31:27 AM ashley!: to further clarify – in iran, homosexuality is punishable by death but sex-change ops are legal and actually result in the switching of your gender on your birth certificate which – BAM – makes your gay-ity legal
2:32:38 AM sam?: good. my quote: “An astoundingly original and compelling story can be found amidst this somewhat muddled film.”
2:34:47 AM ashley!: well i already gave my quote, so
2:37:40 AM sam?: okay. now for the one that gave you massive boners: Beautiful Losers.
2:44:14 AM ashley!: oh shit, this one had harmony korine, mark gonzales, spike jonze, ed templeton, etcetcetc rabbling on about all kinds of good old-fashioned radness like skateboarding, graffiti, music and whatever weird artsy bullshit ties those all together. like the beats only not annoying.
2:44:22 AM ashley!: but just as self-aggrandizing, i guess.
2:45:02 AM ashley!: this movie basically tells you it’s cool and you believe it because you want to fit in
2:45:30 AM ashley!: that’s my quote
2:46:00 AM ashley!: and there was lots of DIY yammering so you obviously liked it
2:46:06 AM sam?: PUNX
2:46:11 AM sam?: that’s my quote.
2:46:15 AM ashley!: man, i had forgotten about that one. that was a good movie.
2:46:23 AM ashley!: there, now that’s my quote: “that was a good movie.”
2:46:44 AM ashley!: i bet that film gets distribution. none of the other ones will.
2:47:07 AM sam?: i think Carts of Darkness will, too.
2:47:43 AM ashley!: maybe. needs more snap pop though.
2:47:53 AM ashley!: that one goes out to aaron zorgel
2:47:53 AM sam?: but this was awesome. i like it when weird, cool people totally know how weird and cool they are and then just make a fuckton of money from being weirder and cooler than assholes like us who are way too boring to be as interesting as we think we are.
2:48:05 AM sam?: i hate aaron zorgel.
2:48:28 AM ashley!: wait, this whole site is predicated on the fact that we think we are cool
2:48:49 AM ashley!: i guess we’re not making a fuckton of money though
2:48:57 AM sam?: i know. but we’re not harmony korine-cool.
2:49:05 AM ashley!: i’m okay with that
2:49:10 AM sam?: if harmony had a webiste, it would be cooler than ours.
2:49:24 AM ashley!: harmony’s website is full of upsidedown crosses
2:49:32 AM sam?: sounds about right.
2:49:34 AM sam?: what about the rad jumping movie. or whatever that shit is called.
2:49:48 AM ashley!: i totally forget the name
2:49:55 AM ashley!: it was probably awe-inspiring
2:51:06 AM sam?: 20 Seconds of Joy.
2:53:44 AM ashley!: hahaha that sounds about right. like shotgunning a beer
2:56:01 AM sam?: except few people smashed into the sides of mountains shotgunning a beer.
2:56:09 AM sam?: fewer, anyway.
2:58:11 AM ashley!: yeah that movie was good because watching footage of anyone jumping off of a mountain is good.
2:59:48 AM sam?: but all the interviews had assholes for audio tracks. it was weird.
3:00:00 AM sam?: but worth it to watch dudes and ladies leap off of mountains in europe.
3:01:52 AM ashley!: and the filmmaker totally scored when the subject crash landed at the end there
3:05:01 AM sam?: way to give away the surprise ending.
3:05:06 AM sam?: she was also tyler durden.
3:05:16 AM sam?: and kaiser soze.
3:11:11 AM ashley!: and rosebud
3:12:43 AM sam?: “Breathtaking visuals guaranteed to strike fear and excitement in the heart of any viewer.”
3:13:21 AM ashley!: “she almost dies at the end”
3:21:05 AM sam?: was that all we saw?
3:28:50 AM ashley!: i think so…
3:29:17 AM sam?: Beyond Our Ken!
3:29:31 AM ashley!: oh right! we’ve come full circle
3:29:38 AM ashley!: that was good because i love cults.
3:30:52 AM sam?: basically, a movie about this fucking insane australian cult that seems innocuous enough but basically involves this dude raping children.
3:31:26 AM sam?: so he died, and then two people from the cult flew to canada to protest the movie and tell everyone what a great, non-child-rapist this child rapist was.
3:33:47 AM ashley!: the kenja people might come after you for that description
3:34:52 AM sam?: sorry: “This horrible film is a brutally inaccurate and unfair portrait of great Australian.”
3:35:00 AM ashley!: hahaha
3:35:30 AM sam?: i hope that ends up on a piece of propaganda in melbourne.
3:35:50 AM ashley!: and the filmmakers can use the opposite quote. the film is pretty mangled actually… but peeps should look up kenja for kicks
4:19:21 AM sam?: i think this process died. i need to do real work.
sam? changed status to Offline (4:19:22 AM)

Film, Hits & Misses, Old Stuff | | 5 Comments »