Saturday, October 17, 2009

We are the Sprocket Holes vol. 114

tiny movie reviews;

COFFIN JOE: HALLUCINATIONS IN A DERANGED MIND: 8/10 - The most "meta" of the Coffin Joe films. Completely submerged in its own dementia, the film is a fever dream factory of heavenly devilish bodies, twisted violence, and macabre visuals that come off the screen. perfect late night viewing.

HAZE: Shinya / Tsukamoto - A claustrophobic quickie from the only man i would ever feel comfortable referring to as "my lord and savior". posses the sort of atmosphere the SAW films could only have a wet dream about possessing.

ORGAN: 8.5/10 - The first film from TETSUO leading lady Kei Fujiwara. Not quite the mind-bender that was ID, but hints of that film's bizarreness are revealed in kernels amidst the cat-and-mouse thriller archetypes that ORGAN employs. Very moody and bold.

HAUSU: 2/10 - here;

there... you just watched the best part of the movie. i just saved you 86 minutes. kiss me.

MEAT GRINDER: 10/10 - Perfect. Should make everyone top ten list for the year. Well acted, bloody as hell, a more surreal, somber take on THE UNTOLD STORY.

: 8/10 - ignore the lazy comparisons to Saw and Hostel. this is essentially the greatest Guinea Pig film never made. takes what was laid out by Flowers of Flesh and Blood years ago and expands on the story, making both the victims and the killer more intriguing. It's a lean plot, but there is a plot... and the set pieces are brutal. as for the "controversy", my opinions on the matter were indulged at length here, so i won't bother rehashing. All the SAW twerps who derided GROTESQUE for "not having a plot" can fuck right off. Saying that you watch SAW movies for the plot is like saying you watch Sasha Grey movies for the production values. You don't care about story, you wanna see people getting killed... but i already went into that as previously stated. let's move on, eh?

EBOLA SYNDROME: 9.5/10 - the appetizer to UNTOLD STORY. Dark comedy with an emphasis on the Dark... a deep deep emphasis on the dark. total mad classic.

A CHINESE TORTURE CHAMBER STORY :8.5/10 - A bug fucked hyper-sexual comedic revenge fable that can coexist with the bedside dementia of SWEET MOVIE. see it with someone you wanna fuck. this will be the deal breaker.

DOOMSDAY : pretty goddamn / fucking dumb - i sort of dug Neil Marshall's previous film THE DESCENT. it wasn't the masturbatory terror that genre-dorks made it out to be, but it was a decent sunday afternoon monster movie. This though... holy fucking shitfuckdumb. after about 20 minutes i was exhausted just from screaming the names of all the movies this thing was ripping off. There some fun kills i guess, but they have no impact cause the characters only exist to get arrowed or set on fire or whatever. the villains were fucking weak as hell. ooooo mohicans, bondage pants, and new wave music are coming to steal civilization! I sort of dig Predator Lady (pictured above) setting that dude on fire while "Spellbound" by Siouxie and the Banshees blared on the soundtrack, but then before the one interesting character can be developed further, she gets her head chopped off and spends the rest of the film as a corpse. I totally checked out when the people on horses showed up, but i'm pretty sure everyone involved in the production checked out at that point, so no harm no foul. nuh-exxxt...

CHILDREN OF THE CORN(2009 Sci-fi Channel version) - 7.5 / 10: I never read the short story before, but apparently this version is way closer to that than the original film. regardless, this was actually really surprising, both because it's a remake of movie that was dopey as hell to begin with, and because it's a Sci-Fi "Original Movie". but it was bloody, bleak, hateful, fairly well acted (the kid who played Issac was pretty uneven, but he isn't in the movie as much). It was Children of the Corn without the bullshit. "He who Walks Behind the Rows" is more open to interpretation. No one gets "possessed" by him, and the scene where the Corn springs to life is suggested as being part of the Adult Male's hallucination rather than some spooky shit actually happening. quite a few kids get murdered right in front of our eyes, there's even a scene in a church where younger children watch 2 older children fuck. All in all it focuses more on the religious fanatic aspect of the children rather than pagan spirits. the couple's bickering gets to be a bit much at times, especially from the woman, and the male's Nam backstory seem a bit generic, but they sort of wind up tying into his breakdown at the film's end... which was really well done. and whomever told the lead actress to wear nothing but that yellow sundress.... you're my hero.

CONTROL: 4/10 - Biography on Joy Divison's Ian Curtis. Joy Division is one of my absolute favorite groups. They were as pure and deep a band as you'll ever hear, and much of their appeal lays on the slumping shoulders of their enigmatic frontman, who committed suicide at the age of 23. The suicide only increased the already dense aura of dread and despair their music articulated, and they went on to inspire everyone from the Cure to Swans to Thoughts of Ionesco.

The movie is well acted, and shot in achingly beautiful black and white, but ultimately the film feels empty and directionless. we learn nothing of the band's creative process, nor do we understand Curtis beyond some fights with his estranged wife and some bedroom ceiling stare downs. In a way that's good... cause Joy Division's music comes out of the film with its mystique still in tact... so i guess i should be grateful for that.

so yeah.. just stick with the music.

So this is permanence, loves shattered pride.
What once was innocence, turned on its side.
A cloud hangs over me, marks every move,
Deep in the memory, of what once was love.

Oh how I realized how I wanted time,
Put into perspective, tried so hard to find,
Just for one moment, thought Id found my way.
Destiny unfolded, I watched it slip away.

Excessive flash points, beyond all reach,
Solitary demands for all Id like to keep.
Lets take a ride out, see what we can find,
A valueless collection of hopes and past desires.

I never realized the lengths Id have to go,
All the darkest corners of a sense I didn't know.
Just for one moment, I heard somebody call,
Looked beyond the day in hand, there's nothing there at all.

Now that Ive realized how its all gone wrong,
Gotta find some therapy, this treatment takes too long.
Deep in the heart of where sympathy held sway,
Gotta find my destiny, before it gets too late.

SYNECDOCHE NEW YORK: 5/10 - A Film by Charlie Kaufman about a Film by Charlie Kaufman featuring a Film by Charlie Kaufman making a Film by Charlie Kaufman during a Film by Charlie Kaufman while living through a Film by Charlie Kaufman only it's not a Film by Charlie Kaufman it's actually just a Film by Charlie Kaufman about a Film by Charlie Kaufman made into a Film by Charlie Kaufman.

Alright in all seriousness, i think Kaufman is a brilliant mind. Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are crucial films that perfectly capture the tumult and absurdity of heartbreak. this one though was just too much. it wasn't nearly as "quirky and eccentric" as i thought it would be... just oppressively hopeless and monstrously self-absorbed. I liked the overall idea and the actors and the writing and everything, but this reeeeeeally needed a director with some visual sense. i'm not saying it needed to be more lively, cause that would be a betrayal to the theme of the film, but at least something a bit more compelling. the whole thing just felt like it was clubbing me over the head with its own dourness.

there are moments of great beauty, like when Phillip Seymour Hoffman visits his daughter at the hospital, and a real rose petal falls from the flower tattoo on her arm, but the rest of the film is essentially the cinematic equivalent of a cloudy day. dreary, reflective, but ultimately unrevealing, unmoving, and unrewarding. i guess it was trying to be more staged than cinematic because the character was a playwright. i think it was successful at what it was trying to do, but it just didn't grab me.

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