Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We are the Sprocket Holes vol. 80

tiny movie reviews;

TOMMY WISSEAU'S THE ROOM: ratings don't apply - not since TROLL 2 has a movie been quite so mindbogglingly ignorant of it's own crumminess as Tommy Wisseau's inept blend of Skinemax softie porn and melodramatic grotesquire. I reallt don't have the energy or interest to explain the chamber of Chernobyl that is the plot. Look to Google, as there are no doubt several million sites devoted to the subject. To sum it up; The whole thing is little more than a terminally affected piece of childishly vindictive "I'll show you!" idiocy, targeting whatever woman was smart enough to see Wisseau for the lizard skinned kettle head he truly is, getting the fuck out of there and leaving him to further purgate his myopic delusions of his own unflappable virtue. THE ROOM has become something of a midnight movie phenom in the last few years, due in no small part to its unintentional hilarity,which now Wisseau swears up and down is in fact there on purpose, which is more a testament to his pathetic neediness than his skills as an auteur/actor/writer... yeah he does it all. It pisses me off very much that this intellectual cripple is out there making movies and getting love ("ironic" or otherwise) while real visionaries are wandering in perpetual limbo, but i've given up trying to make sense of the American film viewer... even the indie minded ones. lets move on...

RUBIN AND ED: !!!!!!!!!!!!/NO FUCKING WAY - Crispin Glover ("Rubin") and Howard Hessman ("Ed") drive out to the desert to bury Rubin's frozen cat. along the way Rubin has hallucinations of beautiful women, Ed has anger management relapses, and your brain melts, leaks down your spine, coating the bones in mind jelly, and causes you to bang your own head against the wall while laughing maniacally.

S&MAN: 8/10 - very fun and interesting documentary/feature crossbreed. The filmmakers they focused on; Bill Zebub (Jesus Christ: Serial Rapist ) and Toetag Pictures (the August Underground films) are not particular favorites of mine. actually i think they are useless piss grenades. I think Bill Zebub is an unfunny scumbag who makes z-grade porn that i wouldn't jerk off too with Ann Coulter's dick, and the Toetag Film guys are a good FX house and nothing more. They come off as reserved and nice in S&Man, but in their films they are generally obnoxious. it completely ruins the intensity when you have a bunch of hoodie clad cunt blankets jumping up and down and speaking in exclamation points. These aren't filmmakers. They have nothing to say beyond "titty titty titty gore gore gore", not even powerful enough to consider it bordering on snuff. It's the kind of non-filmmaking that is killing underground cinema. None of Karim Hussain's films are available stateside, but you can buy Zebub's Frankenstein the Rapist at Utopia. but i digress.

the feature half of S&Man (pronounced "Sandman") deals with the titular films series within the film, which is a series of vignettes involving the director stalking women for a period of time, the climax of each episode being the woman's murder. It is of course implied that the director of these episodes is really killing the women, leading the documentarian to wonder if he is in fact in the presence of a genuine snuff filmmaker. The performances are believable, subtle, and genuinely unnerving.

all in all, a very interesting idea and a very watchable film.

VINYAN: 8/10 - a European couple search for their presumed dead son, leading them to the heart of a jungle hell. a bit of a slow burner, but the cinematography is gorgeous, the story is bleak, and the ending is satisfyingly heartbreaking. sort of reminiscent of Don't Look Now; a tense, depressing, creepy little horror tale about the futility of chasing ghosts.

MARTYRS: holy mother / of fuck - There are seemingly millions of horror films released ever year, all claiming to be the most shocking, the most violent, the most intense, the most twisted. well Pascal Laugier just made the genre film world his sniveling little bitch boy with MARTYRS. it's not the actual brutality that makes this film so powerful... it's the way the brutality is presented. not in a funhouse slumber party way, not in an exploitative way, but as they say in Videodrome; "It has a philosophy, and THAT'S what makes it dangerous". The films looks amazing, the performances are revelation, the whole thing doesn't just get under your skin; it peels it off slowly, milks the color from your eyes until it looks as if the beyond is staring right back into your pupils. i refuse to spoil anything about this film, but you will understand why Pascal Laugier was chosen to do the HELLRAISER remake. MARTYRS makes INSIDE look like HOTEL FOR DOGS.

IRREVERSIBLE: 9/10 - yeah i'm a little bit late to the party for this one. For all the talk of its extremity, there is little talk about what a great twist this film is on both the arthouse and the grindhouse. Its confrontational, unpleasant, experimental, but ultimately it rewards the viewer for enduring through the agony of the first half of the film, by showcasing a litany of heavenly bodies, most prominent of those angels being the mankind-enslaving beauty of Monica Belluci.

ANGST: 10/10 - an Intellectual Video Nasty if there ever was one. The previous two films mentioned in this post owe a great deal to this 1983 Austrian film by Gerald Kargl. told almost entirely in voice over narration from the perspective of a recently released ex-convict who murders a family. Ugly as hell and strangely funny. good soundtrack as well. you can see where Gasper Noe gets a lot of his camera tricks/fx from (he said this film was a big influence on Irreversible ), also some of the angles/gimmicks Arronofsky used on Requiem for a Dream are reminiscent of Angst.

I'M A CYBORG, BUT THAT'S OK: 8.5/10 - Park Chan Wook's charmingly hallucinatory romance about the patients of a mental insitution. Fans of the Revenge Trilogy might be turned off by this quirky little tale, but those of us out there who admire Wook's visual sense just as much as his sense for violence will no doubt appreciate this work.

BULLET BALLET: Shinya / Tsukamoto - 'the fuck do you think?

ID: 9/10 - Strange. Ugly. Absurd. Beautiful in all of it. Japan. from TETSUO: THE IRON MAN leading lady Kei Fujiwara.

LUNACY: 9/10 - Like an absinthe tasting bachelor party hosted by the Marquis De Sade. Wonderfully blasphemous and gooey with joyful dementia. Jan Svankmajer is lord.

G.I. JOE RESOLUTE: 8/10 - THIS is what the live-action film should be, but won't be. The G.I. JOE cartoon i've always wanted to see; which i guess is to say more like the Marvel Comics. the animation was sometimes a little too bright, and it did bascially feel more like a bunch of promo reels for a proposed relaunch than a full storyline, but it was fun, un-insulting, and really made the most of characters that can easily be written off as action figures with voices.

THE NEW YORK RIPPER: 7.5/10 - not one of the best Giallos you'll ever see, but it's got enough kill kill and sexy fun time to make for good viewing.

BAD DREAMS (aka NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET PART 3: PART 2): 7/10 - now here's something that maybe could use the remake treatment. There's some really cool ideas here, some of which are relevant today, and some memorable kill scenes and make-up FX that are very well executed. But there's a few problems; It falls apart in the third act, becoming a generic Hollywood thriller, and it was marketed to much towards the Freddy Krueger crowd, and is indeed derivative in some respects to those films (it even has the angry punk rock druggie chick from NOES 3 as the lead). but there is some really potential here, and with the right director/writer/actors something really awesome could come of it.

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE: raped childhood / godfuckingshitasshelldmanno - Spoilers ahoy, nerdlingers.

yes it was the screener that leaked earlier this month, so i won't critique the fx/action scenes cause it was clear those weren't finished. that aside; it has pretty much all the same problems that the third X-Men movie had. Rushed, jumpy underwritten holey script, and too many characters leading to sub-plots that feel tacked on and almost nonsensical. sure, maybe it was "unfinished".. had "missing scenes", but that could either just be wishful thinking on the part of some fanboys in denial, or complete bullshit from the studio. when word got out about Galactus being a bunch of purple tornadoes before the release of Fantastic Four 2, Fox Studios (same studio behind Wolverine ) said that it was based on "early unfinished footage", and that Galactus would be fully realized in the finished product. Well when the movie came out in theaters, Galactus was in fact just a bunch of CGI Clouds and Dust. point of the matter is this; the only way this could be good is if they burn all the film in the cameras, pissed on the ashes, diced up the pissy ashes into dust, and let the winds have their way with this atrocity, completely starting from scratch, with the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller "Wolverine vs. Japan" story arch as their one and only focus.

here come the spoilers;

so Emma Frost and Silver Fox are sisters (guess that explains why they gave Silver Fox Emma Frost's powers, and turned Emma Frost into Crystar with tits)? Logan/Jimmy/Wolverine and Sabretooth are brothers, and at the end of the movie they suddenly put their differences aside to fight Deadpool (the Merc with a Mou.... oh wait nevermind... that means they would've actually had to write a character), who later gets FUCKING DECAPITATED by Wolverine? Wolverine and Blob have a sparing match (complete with boxing gloves) while that jerk-off from the Black Eyed Peas spews marble-mouthed one-liners? Maverick dies in a helicopter fire? a young Scott Summers/Cyclops is abducted by Striker, placed on his Holocaust island, and Professor X shows up when the island burns, all smiles and ready to save the mutant children? Wolverine gets shot 3 times in the head with adamantium bullets, and THAT'S how his memory got wiped?

it was fucking weak. it reminds me of when the first movie came out, and all the octo-wussies were screaming "thisth isth'nt X-MEN!!!! where'sth Gambit and Deadpool and Mr. Sinister and the Marauders and the Brood and Arcade and Mojo and the Age of Apocalypse etc etc", just rattling off characters and stories that wouldn't have worked, or that each need their own movie to tell their story. well with this (and the third X-Men movie), they finally just made movies with nothing but random X-characters floating around, not even trying to tie them together or make them interesting, hoping that what the fans know of the characters from the books will be enough to sustain interest in the film version. it's the cinematic equivalent of 6 year olds dumping their big plastic bin of assorted action figures onto the floor, than just picking up arbitrary ones (a Ninja Turtle and a Robocop) and banging them into each other.

and Why does Deadpool have claws and laser eyes and NO MOUTH? i'll say it again; i absolutely HATE that Wolverine and Sabretooth are brothers. it's just fucking lazy writing. and then they actually fight alongside each other (for no real reason), and Wolverine says "Back to Back!" like he's Burt butthole-pussy Ward. the slapstick moments in the American Gothic farm couple's bathroom and the boxing match w/ Blob were like something out of a Chris Farley movie. Gambit was OK casting wise, but again it felt like he was there just to please fanboys who have been clamoring for the character to be in the movies since the first one.

also, I didn't mind Liev Schrieber too much as Sabretooth, but i think that they should've just got the guy from the first X-Men movie, or someone similar physically speaking, cause it's not like Schrieber's performance was so singular and groundbreaking that someone else couldn't have done it. Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool; i'm not a fan of Reynolds, but i can't imagine anyone else in the part. he got fucking robbed here. Don't even feel like bringing it up any further.

and... Emma Frost....

sigh. perhaps the biggest travesty of all. Instead of a mind bending seductive sex goddess clad in angelic white lingerie, face seemingly frozen in a sinister "i'm gonna brain-fuck the dogshit out of you" stare, we get this;

a merely decent looking teenager who can turn into white rock candy. yeah... that's way better than manipulative erotic vixen. Emma Frost needs to be at least as hot as Charlize Theron in Two Days in the Valley;

i'm totally gonna have to fire one out after i'm done writing here. but i digress;

it's like they just wedged semi-reasonable facsimile versions of random characters from the books in hopes that the plot would write itself (or that the fans would be too busy geeking out to notice there is no movie here) rather than trying to make a genuinely cool action/adventure movie. the Wolverine solo comics had so many cool story arches to pick from that would've made for a good movie, and they just made X-Men: the Beginning. this franchise is done.

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