Queue Total

284 MOVIES (released titles only)

Note: Real spoilers are in black text on a black background. Highlight the black areas to read the spoilers.

Queue Numbers

#50- Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

#100- Black Swan

#200- Mysteries of Lisbon

Last- Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Amateur (1994)

Writer: Hal Hartley
Director: Hal Hartley
Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Martin Donovan, Elina Lowensohn

This ex-nun, while writing pornographic literature (poorly) meets a dude who had just fallen from a window.  The dude now has amnesia.  They intersect with a woman and another dude and it turns out that the first dude was a pimp/video pornographer for the second woman.  Of course, the French or Dutch mob is involved.  The four of them for a reason which I don't understand--which may be because I was nodding off, but I don't think so--all end up running together.  Then people die and other people are sad.

The Woman
i'm getting sick of bad movies. we seem to be in a terrible streak. this was trying really hard, too hard in fact, to be clever and philosophical. it just came off as bad. like bad performance art. the plot was uninteresting. the characters were uninteresting and unengaging. i'm glad it's over. it caused a domestic dispute in house too. moster fell asleep and when i called him out on it he got mad at me because he wouldn't admit it even though i was watching him roll his eyes and bob his head more than i was watching this crap movie.

the ending was a total cliche too.

This reeked of "student."  Acting was middling-to-fair; production was independent of any type of finance, which is not nearly as big a problem as the fact that it's independent of any creativity.  The writing wasn't even film school senior.  The direction was blah.

Also, my woman's synopsis of the argument is incorrect; but I will not have this argument again.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

From Paris with Love

From Paris with Love (2010)

Writer: Adi Hasak, Luc Besson
Director: Pierre Morel
Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, John Travolta,

a small time intelligence guy working in the us embassy as an assistant gets bumped up to working with the edgy, working on the fringe, super hardcore agent guy and becomes involved in stopping a middle eastern terrorist cell, some drug trafficking, and some car chases and some gun fights, and an assassination plot

The Woman
bad. just watch some buddy cop movies from the early nineties. they were way more successful at buddy cop movies and had more going on than this piece of crap. seriously, this was just lethal weapon in france with john travolta and less of a plot and more gun fights and rocket launchers. there was nothing associated with this movie that could be called original, or a unique perspective. maybe adi hasak was the name of the machine that luc besson created to poop out plot keywords and then they just added "the"s and "and"s to it.

p.s. jonathan rhys meyers had the worst american accent i've ever heard. he should never be cast as an american without endless hours of a coach. i was less distracted by the disappearing southern accent by bruce willis in armageddon.

don't watch this movie.

sometimes i wonder if tarantino is ashamed he brought the travolta back from the dead.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Love You, Man

I Love You, Man (2009)

Writer: John Hamburg, Larry Levin
Director: John Hamburg
Starring: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones

a recently engaged man realizes he has no male friends and goes on a quest for a best friend.

I expected an offended shmer and I got an innocuous shmeh.  That's about half a letter grade of improvement.  
The Woman
i thought this was mildly funny. i wasn't expecting a whole lot. it was a pretty straight forward paul rudd movie. i laughed more than once. i think this movie's topic is pretty true and common. good job everybody.

Mutant Chronicles

Mutant Chronicles (2008)

Writer: Philip Eisner
Director: Simon Hunter
Starring: the new version of christopher lambert, seriously, they look extremely similar. other people like the Ron Perlman and Devon Aoki

Ooh... I get to write the synopsis for this one?  Awesome. I am excited, not least because this movie did not engender in one the desire to pay detailed attention.  Consequently some of the below has been interpolated, possibly to the extent of fabrication.

So, grillions of years ago these aliens build a MACHINE out of wood (and maybe some metal) and they bury it under the middle of Europe or something.  I don't quite remember if it was pre-human or not but in a Fifth Element ripoff when people show up they build a cult around this thing.  The priests of this cult are recognized by the government.  In this universe "governments" are series of corporate syndicates, which are warring.  Also, apparently there's a mass exodus from Earth to Mars.

Anyway, during a battle between two syndicates--but not necessarily as a direct result of said battle--the MACHINE is unleashed and starts turning people into zombies with swordfish-nose arms.  There's some kind of a key which will stop the MACHINEfrom doing this before it gets too late, but nobody knows where the key is and in order to stick it in this elite team of bullshit artists must penetrate the depths of the MACHINE and deactivate the zombie creation.  The government/syndicate pays the team in tickets which are immediately distributed to their family members and therefore offer no incentive to actually complete the mission.

You get the picture.  Spoiler alert: They succeed, but many of them die.

The Woman
i keep thinking we've watched the worst movie we've seen in a very long time and it just keeps getting topped. i told moster we should turn this one off, but he cited the netflix rules of the house. if anyone knows me i'll watch pretty much everything and anything. i have only turned off one movie ever and that was in the early 90's. a little horrible movie called "matinee". this would have been number two. in fact, this movie was a number two. all people involved in the making of this movie  should be banned from ever attempting to make another movie. the editing was horrible. the story was uninteresting, and the directing i think was trying to be super edgy and cool, but it just came off hokey and bad. all the wrong things were put in the spotlight. 20 or more minutes were spent in the beginning describing this futuristic alterno- world and that was the last we heard about the way of life because the "mutants" destroyed any remnants of it in 5 minutes of slashing and killing. i could go on, but i feel it's pointless. don't watch this. this is going on my "worst movies" list

This movie wasn't so much poor as it was bad.  The CG was terrible.  The writing, brought to you buy the same jackass as the writer of fucking Event Horizon, was abysmally wretched.  (It's my opinion that the screenwriter is related to Michael Eisner, but I don't know that and I can't verify it.) The acting--including a performance which John Malkovich gave from a payphone in Abu Dabi--was garbage.  The production didn't have enough clicks.

Often I joke about being in the conference room at SyFy when they choose to air a movie.  This takes the cake.  I wish I was there when they passed on this movie.

Diary of A Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)

Writer: Jackie Filgo, Jeff Filgo, Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah (all screenplay), Jeff Kinney (book)
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Starring: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron

a young man begins his journey into middle school and puberty, striving to be popular in a sort of sociopathic way.

The Woman
this was mildly entertaining in a sort of predictable, i once was in middle school a waaaay long time ago way. i can see how this was popular amongst the young generation that is in middle school now. i wouldn't suggest anyone watch it, however, just because you have nothing else to do. unless you are indeed, like, eleven. i'm kind of wondering if middle school is still like that. if so things haven't really changed in the dghdgdjbgnvd years since i was in attendance. it really is a horrible stage in one's life. his best friend was totally awesome. the class weirdo was also way awesome. those are kids i would have liked to hang with...i guess that might show where my social standing was. errrrrrrrrrr.

as a side note i can tell it was a better book and the translation into movie was a little labored.

You watched this?!

Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love (2010)

Writer: Ryan Murphy and Jennifer Salt (screenplay), Elizabeth Gilbert (book)
Director: Ryan Murphy
Starring: Julia Roberts

after her divorce, a woman tries to find her joie de vivre again. she travels abroad for a year in hopes of finding herself all by herself.

The Woman
may jeebus help me, but i liked this movie. it was a nice stray from the usual derived plot path that chick flicks seem to follow. perhaps because it's a dramatization of a real journey? i didn't really appreciate the implication that julia roberts needed to shop for bigger pants because of all that invisible weight gained in italy. did she go from a size 2 to a size 4? there was no belly to be seen there. that was pretty much my only complaint.

i enjoyed the way the plot was divided up into three different sections as well. with only julia roberts as the constant character. the simplicity of the title and the focus of each destination was very clever. if your a chick and you're sentimental and on the third week of your cycle you might want to check this one out with a stereotypical pint of ice cream.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Nothing Like the Holidays

Nothing Like the Holidays (2008)

Writer: Alison Swan, Rick Najera
Director: Alfredo De Villa
Starring: Alfred Molina, the hot neighbor chick from "*batteries not included", John Leguizamo, Freddy Rodriguez, Vanessa Ferlito, and Debra Messing as the white chick wife

a puerto rican family living in chicago get together for the holidays. lots of drama.

The Woman
booooooooring. this was hailed as a comedy, but i saw no such thing. i don't even feel like writing about this one. just look around your table at family events. now picture everyone is puerto rican. there you go. consider this movie watched.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Henry Fool

Henry Fool (1997)

Writer: Hal Hartley
Director: Hal Hartley
Starring: James Urbaniak, Thomas Jay Ryan, Parker Posey

a quiet guy befriends an interesting character who gets him involved in writing poetry. poetry is a sensation in the underground. poet, quiet guy succeeds. interesting character becomes very common.

It's been another while since we saw this movie, and it's stayed with me perhaps a little more than I thought it would.  Plenty of things here are annoying and frustrating; but that might be because they're a little more true than is usual.  It doesn't hurt that everybody looks like someone more famous.  Henry appears to me to be a Baldwin, the brother appears to me to be kind of like Alan Tudyk, and Independent Movie Parker Posey looks like Blade 3 Parker Posey.

Anyway, I enjoyed this.  It was exactly in that spot of pre-CG late-90s independent movie budget and production, the story was complex but not confusing, and the acting was competent.

There's also apparently a sequel which I feel the need to watch.

The Woman
throughout this movie i kept having flashes that i had seen it before. sometime in college. that has become more interesting to me than the movie itself. it was long and slightly boring, but i think i liked it now that i have some distance from it. although i did completely forget i had seen it soooo that might not be saying much. the fact that there is a sequel is also more interesting to me. i'll totally watch that. i know i haven't seen that one before.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Grown Ups

Grown Ups (2010)

"Writer": Adam Sandler, Fred Wolf
Director:  Dennis Dugan
Starring: a bunch of hacks and steve buscemi as a walk-on, maintaining his friendship with sandler

a bunch of middle-aged guys get back together to reminisce about the championship basketball game they won in the beginning of time 6 thousand years ago. they bring their fat kids, their spoiled kids, their stereotypical wives, old wives, pregnant wives. they all have the time of their lives....except for that basketball championship previously mentioned.
The Woman
i can't tell you why i watched this. no, wait. the real story is that i can't tell you why i put this on the queue. i know why i watched it. i did this horrible thing to myself because it's the only movie left on the instant queue that moster doesn't even remotely "kind of want to see" and since i put it on the queue (for some unknown reason) it must be watched. there are rules here, people.

this was like watching an in joke between a bunch of guys you don't really know. the whole movie consisted of a sort of improv poking and joking at one another. did i mention this was done badly too? you would think that sandler and rock, and spade could come up with something remotely funny to say to one another. i'm leaving james and schneider out on purpose, if you're counting. it also followed very standard "full house" plot development. i guess all the energy put into this was the jokes. they were too great to leave any room to think about the plot. i did chuckle at the very end when chris rock and tim meadows were arguing about the encroachment of another black guy on their respective group of white people. that's it.

i liked this better when it was "the great outdoors".

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Get Him to the Greek

Get Him to the Greek (2010)
Written by Nicholas Stollar
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Starring Jonah Hill, Russel Brand, Elizabeth Moss, Sean "I should have been an actor rather than a rapper," Combs, Draco Malfoy

In order to save two careers, a young A&R executive must get a crazy rock star to a series of events.  Simultaneously, his live-together girlfriend's career is ready to explode in a separate geographical direction.

The Woman
i enjoyed this. i like russel brand. i mostly like jonah hill. i might change my feelings toward sean combs or whatever he prefers to be called at this precise minute. this was one of the funnier apatow franchise movies. the hamburgler joke was my favorite. it kept me laughing for most of the movie because the hamburgler is funny. i laughed outloud for the duration of this movie. yay!

this was way funnier than "the hangover" in my opinion. take that, china!

I'm sure Leila will disagree with much of what I have to say, but this one actually just squeaked past the 4 line for me.  Firstly, of course, large swaths of this movie were very funny.  It's an interesting authorial choice to take Jonah Hill and put him into the same universe as a different character, but the reason for that is clear: He and Brand have fantastic chemistry.  That chemistry would have turned a series of shit jokes into a 3, but here it turns a series of decent jokes into a 4. It's one of those times where it's OK that a horizontal vodka bottle sets up a major hotel room fire. Diddy also stood out as a genuinely funny character and actor.  (Is he becoming a comic foil character actor?  That would be OK with me.)

The thing is, when the jinks weren't hi, they were LOW.  There were some pretty draggy parts in this movie, and they didn't have to be.  There were some good ideas with the girlfriend plot--and I love me some Zoe Bartlett--but apart from a good kind of Gervais-cringy tension scene, those could have been written better. While they made for a decent counterpoint to some of the other shenanigans, one scene in particular (Maybe a threesome will save our relationship... No. Of course, learning that we don't need a threesome will save our relationship!)  had been done before. Kevin Smith did it almost 15 years ago.  (Fuck.. Has it really been that long since I was so glued to that movie that I couldn't get up to release two large movie theater sodas from my bladder?  This is a "Wow, I'm old," moment.)  Also, I felt that Brand's own journey into sobriety teetered onto the soapbox at times; and that gives me a little more trepidation about Arthur.

Anyway most of that above paragraph is MOster being MOster.  If you haven't already watched this movie you probably should.   It will make you laugh quite a bit.  And if you know anybody with a Jeffrey and a furry wall, please give that person my number.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Living Wake

The Living Wake (2007)

Writer: Peter Kline. Mike O' Connell
Director: Sol Tryon
Starring: Mike O' Connell, Jesse Eisenberg

K. Roth Binew finds himself diagnosed with a terminal illness that has yet to be named. The Living Wake is the last day of his life at the end of which he, indeed, throws himself a living wake.

The Woman
this was really bizarre. i mean REALLY, bizarre. i still don't know how i feel about it. it has made an impression, of that i can be sure. by the description it sounds like a drama, but it is not. it's a sort of dark comedy. everything is done so over the top it becomes ridiculous, and even death becomes a subject you can raise an eyebrow at. the characters of k. roth binew, and his biographer and rickshaw driver, Mills are waaay left of center. like the vision i have of becky and i if we remained standing at the corner of our block, dressed in the most ridiculous ensembles, posing at traffic as it went by....i can't even describe this movie. the plot made perfect sense, but i'm just at a loss for words. binew's personality was like a stereotyped used car salesman in his own commercial and it held throughout the movie in it's entirety. i think i liked it, but i can't be sure. there were songs (which were decidedly awesome) and choreographed numbers in the graveyard...details and statements were so random....

here is my favorite quote. you decide " Biographer! Kill yourself in childhood, the victim of a mining accident! At least until you apologize for that joke. When you do have yourself killed two years later by shot."

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Monsters (2010)

Writer: Gareth Edwards
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Scoot McNairy, Whitney Able

six years after a probe carrying alien life breaks up in the sky over mexico a photo journalist, documenting the area, suddenly finds himself in charge of getting his boss's daughter safely back to the US.

The Woman
i was highly skeptical about this movie, as i am about most movies we watch, but i was pleasantly surprised. i really enjoyed this and would definitely recommend watching it. i even gave it four stars on the netflix rating thing which is incredibly rare in this house. i thought it was going to be some "cloverfield" disaster thing, but it was more a character piece than a sci-fi thriller. it reminded me of "the host" in it's approach toward the alien theme. it was more about the two characters and their journey home. the aliens were mostly a backdrop. there existence was what kept you in suspense, but they were only actually seen a few times.

why do movies like this never get the credit they deserve? the description and the poster don't do it justice. there was definitely a lot of thought and intent that went into this, and that's what i think movies should have.


Chloe (2009)

Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson (screenplay), Anne Fontaine (the original movie "Nathalie")
Director: Atom Egoyan
Starring: Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson

a woman in her 40's (?) thinks her husband is having an affair. she hires an escort to approach him to see how he reacts.

The Woman
shme. i was unimpressed. i remember there being a lot of commotion when this came out, but i don't see why. this is pretty much the same concept as "fatal attraction".  change the man with a woman, and make her pay her stalker to sleep with her husband. am i giving away too much? i don't think so. it's pretty evident that there is an obsession the young escort holds about the red-headed gynecologist. "fatal attraction" had a better ending though. there was more conviction in it. i didn't get the actions of chloe at the end, i mean i guess she will be in julianne moore's head for the rest of time, hence the final shot, but there were other ways to get that same result. she just seemed so scheming and manipulative that the end doesn't make sense for her character.

julianne moore's character bothered me too. boo-hoo i'm middle aged and can't relate to anything in my rich ass life. i'm not young anymore. i don't feel hot even though i'm red headed and skinny and rich and still hot. boo-hoo. maybe your life is so messed up because you don't talk to anyone in your family dumb ass. i realize there would not be a movie if the people in said movie spoke to one another, but i can still be annoyed.

i spent most of the time trying to figure out what city thy were in. i still don't know. my theory is chicago, because it definitely wasn't new york, and it was cold so it wasn't west, and the only major city where it is cold and dreary was chicago. the rendezvous spot was the garden in "airborne" and that took place in cincinnati, but they could have been lying. maybe it was philidelphia? i don't know why i need this question answered. i'm looking it up. toronto? they were supposed to be canadian? canadian people aren't unhappy. they don't cheat on their spouses. do they even need gynecologists in canada?

The Karate (Kung Fu) Kid

The Karate Kid (2009)
Cribbed onto the page by Christopher Murphey, Robert Mark Kamen
Cribbed onto the screen by Harald Zwart
Starring Will Smith by Proxy, Jackie Chan ('s accountant), Taraj P. Henson

will smith and jada pinkett-smith feel the need to shove their kid in our faces.
I remarked to Leila when she suggested giving this movie a 1 that said rating would require her to produce an essay in the neighborhood of a thousand words.  I'm not going to do that because I really don't have that much passion for this.  However, it was excruciatingly long. 

To call such a production a "travesty" is to elevate the original film far above its station.  It's true that calling it "The Karate Kid" is disrespectful to southern Asians on the order of "Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these;" but to harp on that would be retarded.

My big problem with the movie is that it doesn't work as peopled by middle school students.  It's really sketchy to watch Jackie Chan beat up 12-year-old kids regardless of how many of them were beating up his friend, and it's at least equally sketchy that such young children are encouraged to perform such acts of violence on each other.  I simply cannot believe that this is the norm in China.

It's similarly sketchy to watch a courtship between two children of such age, even if it does bring the only moderately-interesting (read: hackery of something worth stealing) shot of the entire 140-minute endeavor.  And it doesn't help that the kid lives in China for most of a school year without picking up a lick of the language. In what mixed-race school in China would such academic performance be tolerated?  In the one about which I really don't care.

Excruciatingly long.

The Woman
horrible. after it was done i couldn't believe we sat through the whole thing. i don't even know where to start. i guess it's more disrespectful to make jackie chan play a japanese guy than to CHANGE THE FUCKING TITLE OF THE MOVIE!!!!!!! i might even go as far to say that i might have respected the movie more if they did. then it could be seen as an homage instead of whatever it was. the reason we watched this was kind of a morbid fascination. to see how they approached it. to see how badly it pissed on it's origin.

there were all sorts of inappropriateness because the shifted age of daniel-san, i mean, dre. granted our children nowadays have to deal with more adult things sooner, but falling in love at age 12? no. would you fight an entire dojo, i mean, kung fu school, over some stereotyped, violin playing, pressured to be perfect, chinese 12 year old you just met...when you were 12? no. would it be ok for jackie chan to beat up a bunch of 12 year old kids bullying the new black kid in town? not really.  it's uncomfortable and weird. is it more believable that a teenager would thwart his mother's attempts at protecting him from bullies than a 12 year old. yes. you can bet your ass if some kids were beating up my 12 year old i would get involved not only with the schools, but the authorities as well. it's obvious that the only reason it was set in china was because the only asian hollywood star with the draw power is chinese. how are they going to do the sequel? they're already in the foreign country. the culture shock has already happened. is jackie chan going to be the fish out of water? do we, as americans regard honor so highly that dre will have a fight to the death with some detroit gang banger? that's stereotypically uncomfortable as well. you know there is going to be a sequel. will smith loves his kid too much not to subject the world to another one of these.

a perfect example of disrespecting the original is the catching the fly with the chop sticks sequence. in the original it is an exorcise of meditation with a lesson to be learned daniel even asks miyagi "wouldn't a fly swatter be easier" the response is "man who catch fly with chopstick, can do anything" explaining the core of mr. miyagi's belief system. in this contemporary scene jackie chan pretends to be tracking a fly with his chopstick and then smashes it with a flyswatter. what's to be learned here? that it's all about money and remakes? i think this is a perfect metaphor of the reboot's take on the two movies actually, now that i see it in type. there's no thought behind anything in this movie. i'm not saying the original is some great masterpiece, and i have never read or seen the comic, but at least the 1984 version had something there. an introduction to a new way of thinking about things. two outcasts bonding, and becoming great friends. grrrr. stupid will smith. shame on you jerry weintraub, shame on you!

was that a long enough rant, my dear husband?

What Goes Up

What Goes Up 
Written by Jonathan Glatzer, Robert Lawson
Directed by Jonathan Glatzer
Starring Steve Coogan, Hillary Duff, Olivia Thirlby, Molly Shannon 

Reporter dude does a profile of a woman whose son committed suicide.  Then the woman commits suicide but the reporter, unbeknownst to his editor, keeps writing pieces about her because he was sleeping with her and he discovered her suicide.  In order to shake him up, the editor sends him to the town where Christie Macaulliffe works as a teacher.  (Oh, yeah. This is set right before the Challenger launch.  That's important.) To cover the school's reaction to her deal.  He has an estranged college chum who lives in the area; and upon arrival he learns that said chum killed himself.  This dude was some strange art teacher and the reporter ends up interacting with those students rather than covering the launch thingy.

The Woman
this was kind of weird. no doubt it was put on our queue due to steve coogan, but, man, i dislike hillary duff. i feel like i would have like this better in my angsty teen years. i could see it being a movie that the angry youth could gravitate towards. it had some elements that vaguely reminded me of "welcome to the dollhouse" but just done more poorly. ultimately, i think this was a movie with a lack of focus. there were so many different things going on with so many different genres and characters. there was the challenger launch, the girl in the wheelchair thing, there was coogan and duff, there was the two weird girls hijacking molly shannon's vision, there was the teacher that committed suicide, there was the kid obsessed with duff and masturbating to the principal's breastfeeding wife, there was the pregnant girl...the list goes on. and the only thing connecting them all was the fact they were in the homeroom of the guy that killed himself, or did he? and steve coogan knew him in college. this is all smashed into an hour and a half movie so there is no time to learn about and bond with all or any of these characters. i don't think i would recommend this unless you are a 15 or 16 year old outcast teen girl.

 I like Steve Coogan.  I love him as Alan Partridge and I have enjoyed his performances in many other works.  I also enjoyed him in this role, as a man who's continuing to learn about the boundaries between reporter and subject.  That's an odd entree into being the most stable main character in this truly bizarre undertaking, a movie filled with odd characterizations of oddball high school students and staff.  It takes "small town quaint" to a whole new place; and part of me would like to believe that places filled with all these different weirdos still (yes, even 25 whole years ago) exist somewhere in this country.

We sit in a deep ravine directly under a bridge of disbelief which is suspended by wires seemingly specified to the exact weight of the story with no tolerances whatsoever.  We hear the wires creak and we see them flex.  How does nobody know about the girlfriend's death?  How is it that this town is not just teeming with reporters?  Where the fuck are the parents of these kids?  Where the fuck, for that matter, are the other teachers?  It kind of makes sense why only a couple of the kids question his veracity, but not really.

The wires held this over my head because there's no real omniscient observer point of view in the film.  While there are a few scenes without Coogan, most of the outcomes of those scenes could have easily been relayed to him after the fact.  Cameras are generally close to the action and the production actually does a good job of capturing the atmosphere of such a town.

It seems to me that the best (read: easiest viewpoint from which it's plausible) way to look at the thing is as a kind of Thompson-esque first person journalistic narrative as written by Coogan's character after the fact.

Yeah, I like that.  We'll go with that.

Anything Goes

Anything Goes  (1956)
Written by  Guy Bolton, PG Wodehouse (Play), Cole Porter (music? & lyrics)
Directed by Robert Lewis
Starring Bing Crosby, Donald O'Connor, Zizi Jeanmaire, Mitzi Gaynor

a popular tv star teams up with a seasoned broadway star to put a production on. they both have big egos, but are super polite to one another which allows for the mistake of each of them signing a different leading lady. the plot unfolds on a boat bound for new york from paris. they end up falling for the chick the other one signed and a lot of singing and dancing happens to figure out some sort of resolution.

I don't know what I expected of this one.  I knew a bit about Porter and it was nice to see O'Connor and Crosby's familiar faces, even though I didn't find a lot of empathy for any of the principals and I found Jeanmarie to be not particularly attractive.  While the hook of the story was somewhat unique things played out in an unfortunately-typical (even for then) series of jinks which were more mid than hi.  And the last 20 minuts or so strained credulity pretty far.

But, it was still fun.  There were some great musical bits in both full length and snippet form.  And despite the lack of empathy the leads all carried themselves very well.  I don't know; I'm not finding a lot of passion about this one right now.  This could be due to the excessive lag between watching it and writing about it; but it could also be due to my general level of fatigue right now.  You could do worse.

The Woman
this was ok. it was a pretty typical old movie. all light and happy dancey musical. i don't really have anything bad to say about it. if you like musical comedies, dancing, or either bing crosby, or donald o'connor this may be worth while to you.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

Director: Banksy
This documentary employed footage taken by Theirry Guetta to show many of the more-known street artists of the current age, followed by other sources of Guetta's degradation of those artists.

The Woman
good. i think street art is an important art movement that people should know about. it's nice to watch a documentary that doesn't make me want to shun the "art world". this did make me angry, but the bile i usually feel in art documentaries wasn't there. i guess because mr. brainwash just totally manipulated the system and perhaps the art world is getting what they deserve. it just reinforced my belief that if you know how to talk the talk, create the hype, and know which strings to pull, your art could be total shit and they'll lick it up off the floor.

I've been thinking about this movie quite a bit over the past couple of days and in that time more of its genius has become apparent.  Drawing heavily from Theirry's footage as well as later interviews and more traditional sources of clips, the film pulls us in with a thrilling look at street artists.  We get to see a fair amount of what goes into making that art, including many of the more-audacious exhibits.  Immersed in this world, we see how people's art grew and how (for at least some of them) their esteem followed that path.

The technical part of this came off very well.  Theirry's footage of the process and results was exactly where it needed to be (and given the circumstances of the filming it was quite impressive), and everything else came together quite nicely. 

But that's not the point at all, because at about the 80% mark, the entire exercise turns on its ear.  Instead of talking about street art we're talking about Theirry's metamorphosis into Mister Brainwash and his explosion onto the the scene.  Not having read anything going in, I was not prepared for this.  While the true focus is mentioned early in the movie, its impact couldn't have been until that frame; and the approach worked perfectly.  In showing MBW's exploitation of everything--every technique, every relationship, every phone call--he had absorbed and his immediate and intentional selling out the movie conveys with few actual words the frustration which this wreaked on those artists who actually took the time to develop their craft.  Much like Thomas Kincade, MBW came out of the gate as a brand.  People in the movie call him retarded, but I don't think that's accurate.  He might have some form of autism, but he definitely knew what he was doing.  And he made a lot of money, so good for him I suppose.

Better for Banksy.  Enter through the museum.  Exit through the gift shop.