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

Monday, April 25, 2011


Salt (2010)

Writer: Kurt Wimmer
Director: Phillip Noyce
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber

a CIA agent lady spy chick is accused of being a russian spy so she does things spy-like to get her out of the situation, and then things crash and explode and twists.

The Woman
this was your pretty standard jolie action spy movie. it wasn't appallingly bad to me. maybe i'm just in a good mood today or something because i didn't hate it. i can see the bad and stupid things i just looked past them. it's just a stupid hollywood big budget movie, and today, i'm ok with that. it did have liev schreiber in it, and i like to watch me some of him. he has the best nose ever. so...yup. check that one off the list.

Easy A

Easy A (2010)

Writer: Bert V. Royal
Director: Will Gluck
Starring: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes

a highschool chick lies and tells her friend she lost her virginity because she didn't want to hang out with her over a weekend. it's overheard by the school's jesus freak and soon the whole school thinks she's a whore. so she goes with it.

The Woman
despite it's lack of credibility and the complete predictability, i liked this movie. i thought the humor was witty and fresh. this is just the sort of chick teen movie that i used to love to go see. ahhh the age of the teen comedy movies. this fits perfectly into that notch. it's not too different from any of those except it's sense of humor. that's pretty much all i have to say about this one.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Flag of Iron

The Flag of Iron (1980)
Written by Cheh Chang, Kuang Ni
Directed by Cheh Chang
Produced by The Shaw Brothers
Starring Philip Kwok, Tien Hsiang Lung, Feng Lu, Sheng Chiang, Li Wang, Tai-Ping Yu

After a fight in which their chief is literally stabbed in the back, the Iron Flag Clan elects a new chief.  Because of that fight, one of the senior members must go on the lam.  During his time in exile, he learns that things were not what they seemed when he left.  He returns to do some more fighting.

This was considerably more entertaining than the last Shaw Brothers picture I watched.  It also makes me that much more annoyed by Tony Jaa.

The acting was generally not bad and the direction was about even for the era.  The story was reasonably decent; and I didn't think I had figured out the whole thing until about the 60-minute mark... but even then there were some little twists up to the finish line.  I could also see some things here which directly influenced Kill Bill and that's cool because it allows me to feel good about my fandom for Tarantino: His is the far superior story.

But the various styles of kung fu on display were definitely a cut above the 80s-era martial arts fare which has been exhibited on our television recently (maybe even going back to 37 Chambers....)  There were some really cool weapons and techniques; and the fights themselves--both choreography and execution--were a lot of fun.  There's far less repetition in the style and movement than some of the other Shaw movies.  Also, either the Shaw Brothers have the greatest film vault in the world or this movie underwent a SERIOUS restoration effort.

So, a better-than-average Shaw kung fu movie.  Do with that what you will.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hard Gun

Hard Gun (1996)
Written by Nueng Nuengnued
Directed by Prapon Petchinn, Panna Rittikrai
Starring Jai Janmulltree, Panna Rittikrai and Thunyaluk Rarchatha

Cop kills a bad guy whose friends seek revenge against cop's family.  Apparently something similar happened to cop's cop father with a hostage situation where cop's mother (cop's cop father's wife) was the hostage.  I should get a gold star for figuring that much out.

This was just bad.  The story was actually cohesive, but it was convoluted for the sake of adding runtime. It's almost like they decided to make a mid-level martial arts film but not even the executive producers knew how much money that would take so they tacked on a bunch of go-nowhere subplots which ALSO SHOULD HAVE HAD FIGHT SCENES.

I don't know if it was supposed to be an exhibition for the Mui Thai (or whatever); or if it was supposed to be a humorous take on the genre.  One scene in particular has to be just too far over anybody's top to not come with a box of salt.  They re-dubbed the dialog for some reason, and it might have been to put wackier voices on people; because they dubbed Thai over Thai.  And they did it poorly enough that I could tell.  They also issued this on Blu-Ray when VHS-C in EP mode would have sufficed.

Good job, Netflix, for getting the runtime wrong.  it wasn't 92 minutes; it was 82 minutes.  I watched all 82 for about 12 minutes of martial arts.  I watched about 12 minutes of martial arts for about 30 seconds of interesting martial arts.  I've seen some excellent Thai movies, but more people are likely to consume dreck like this than interesting material.  This doesn't cast Asian actors in a bad light. It casts Asian filmmakers in a bad light.  It's almost like the people who made The Slanted Screen did so with these people in mind. 


Marwencol (2010)
Directed by Jeff Malmberg
Starring Mark Hogancamp

a guy who was severely beaten and left brain damaged creates his own town full of action figures and barbies to therapeutically work his way through his trauma. he has created this alternate world with a long ongoing story which he documents in photographs. most of the people in his town (marwencol) are based on real people in his life, but the story is mostly fictional. this is a horrible synopsis of this fantastic documentary.

This is yet another documentary which has it all.  Completely different yet equally as good as Exit Through The Gift Shop, this film gives us a great presentation of extremely interesting subject matter.  It has a satisfying conclusion; and I wouldn't mind a follow-up.

The biggest achievement of this documentary as a film is its pacing and planning.  Information is doled out in such a way as to not overload the viewer; and that's no mean feat given that the reason for this whole thing is an extremely brutal assault.  At the end of the 82 minute span we (are led to believe we) understand each facet of the story, from before the beating until slightly after a show at a gallery in New York.

Using a combination of simple shots of Hogancamp's photos and some outside views of the setups, Malmberg brings us into the 1/6th scale world as well as the thought process.  He does a fantastic job of making Hogancamp the star of the movie.  There's no question that this is his art and even though we're looking through a lens we know that Mark is the one who's telling us about it.  Interviews with his various subjects give us a great second-person view into him as a person.

This wouldn't be complete without a discussion of the art itself, which is truly stunning.  I don't want to sit here and recap the movie--that would be a disservice to all involved but mostly to you, our intrepid dozen readers--but the fact that the work was made on such a small amount of money and in such a small amount of space is phenomenal.  The fact that it didn't come from a perspective of making Art but a therapeutic need to rebuild imagination is critical to its success.  We looked at each other around the hour mark and said practically simultaneously that what's so awesome about the art is that it's genuine.  There is no pretense, no tongues in any cheeks, no irony.  And I want to see more of it.

This gets the third unironic five-star rating since the blog began.  Unequivocally.

The Woman
absolutely fantastic! i love a story about art that is true and genuine, and made not for the sake of art, but just happens to cross paths with the terrible monster of the art world. it's really a terrible thing that this man, mark hogencamp, was beaten so severely, but there are some really positive things that have come with it.  i know that's a horrible thing to say because he is still struggling mentally and physically, but what he has created is so fantastic! the level of detail he takes, walking his model jeep to town and back everyday so the tires look worn, the guns, the items in every characters possession, the buildings. i'm a detail oriented person so i find this stuff amazing. and the beautiful photographs that come out of this...they look like photojournalism at it's best. the fact that he gets a static action figure with the same plastic face to emote....crazy good.

the documentary itself is mostly just mark hogencamp narrating the story of marwencol interspersed with the facts of his attack, what his day to day life is, and how he was "discovered". there are also interviews with some of the real people who have characters based on them in marwencol, their take on what he's doing, and their character's story. this is a wonderful documentary. i would recommend this to anyone. it doesn't make you mad, or drive you crazy, or enlighten you to gross and terrible facts about industries. it's just a story of a man's story and it gives you a wonderful glimpse into marwencol and mark hogencamp.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mystery Team

Mystery Team (2009)
Written by Donald Glover, Who, The Fuck, Will Remember, These People, Anyway
Directed by Will Remember
Starring Donald Glover, Who, The Fuck

These three super-dorky high school kids go from harassing the same lunch-money-stealing bully to (spoiler alert) solving a murder.  There are jinks.

The Woman
mildly funny in an incredibly stupid way. moster snorted and giggled more than once. that should tell you something. however, let me just stress just how incredibly stupid this was. the humor was really juvenile and the plot was really uninventive. a horse with a carrot dangled in front of his face, if you will. this is not a must see by any means, but we've watched it so it's checked off of our queue.

Maybe my shit at the top isn't quite fair, but that's OK.  I chose this movie over another (similar, by its cover) comedy on the instant queue because I thought it would be funnier than that other title.  I said, "If nothing else it'll be worth an hour and a half to watch Donald Glover do slapstick." Unfortunately there's little slapstick in his performance and I'm quite disappointed to say that all of the mugging he does on Community is identical to the mugging he performs in this movie.  However, on Community he displays a much wider range of acting.  This only proves that, yes, writers and directors are important to a production.

Writing. Yes. The synopsis is short because if you can't figure out the outline from that sentence you can't figure out what the fuck a sentence is.  There is comedy. Some of that comedy is of the short-form variety; and some of that comedy actually takes a while to pay off after it's set up.  One particular running gag had a lot of potential, but its execution tapped that potential on the range of 5% to 45%.  I chuckled occasionally.  I don't remember it getting any more enthusiastic than that.

But, you could do worse.  This could be that fucking Rainn Wilson movie about the naked drummer, or that knockoff of a halfway-decent Mel Brooks TV show, or any number of other things which I've lost interest in looking up.

Never mind; the shit at the top is fair.  You will not gain anything by watching this movie.

Sex and the City 2

Sex and the City 2 (2010)

Writer: Michael Patrick King
Director: Michael Patrick King
Starring: you know

those zany new york city women are back for another installment of how can we fuck up what was a good show

The Woman
i don't get it. i knew this was going to be bad. i had been forewarned. i just don't get how a show that was good could go so sour on a movie budget. it was a half hour show. why feel the need to have not only one movie, but two movies that are 2 1/2 hours long! the short format worked much better prooved by the first trainwreck of a movie, but then, because it made more than $1.50 at the box office we have to drag those characters back out and run them over with a train that's exploding one more time. i hope there's not another one in the works. i hope the ladies egos are too great and their feuds are to deep for them to get together yet again.

the shows end was good. it should have been left right where it is. once you have a happy ending where all the characters are happy and life is good you can't comeback for a mind blowing story. there's no drama. their stories are done. their troubles and strife of being single in the city are over. let the dead lay. jeebus. this was like some one had a bunch of money and just blew their wad all over pointless, meaningless scenes (i.e. the "gay wedding" w/ liza minelli) i think the outrageous excess of abu dhabi is in direct correlation of the movie. excess for the sake of excess.

this movie should have been four 1/2 hour vignettes by four different writers and directors. then maybe the triteness wouldn't have come off so trite because there would be competition between creativity.

p.s. the strife of the stay at home mother subplot when said stay at home mothers have full time nannies.....FUCK YOU! i watched this pile of garbage with my 2 year old at my side because the hour i get to myself had been interrupted when he fell out of bed after only a 1/2 hour and with all the interruptions of a 2 year old having to tinkle, and needing some stories, and stealing my lunch after i fed him his, and reading to him for an hour to try to get him back to sleep, and yelling at him for harassing the dog, and yelling at him for punching me, and him yelling at me because he wants to go out and play in the rain, and took me 4 hours to complete this movie. thanks to michael patrick king for making it soooo worthwhile. i did finish it though and that is entirely my fault.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Young Adam

Young Adam (2003)

Written by Alexander Troochi (book), David Mackenzie
Directed by David Mackenzie
Music by David Byrne
Starring Ewan McGregor, Penis McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan, Emily Mortimer

this scottish guy working on a barge on a scotland, sleeps his way back to slightly ok when his pregnant girlfriend drowns after an argument. that sentence kind of makes him seem like someone a viewer could have sympathy for, but he is not. he's actually pretty detestable.

This movie was put together well, and it ran well.  Great casting and acting provided a solid foundation for a story which kept me guessing until the end, even if the significance of those guesses degraded over time.  Ewan McGregor (A Hot Piece of Man) provides the film with a slippery center, and while Swinton and Mullan do the best at hanging on to that center as it spins along a wobbly axle that best isn't good enough even if it does put the tertiary characters in a different light.

Beginning with the discovery of a corpse, the film does a good job of keeping the tension and suspense ripe right until the end.  Revelations beget questions beget revelations beget questions beget answers that are simultaneously intellectually satisfying and emotionally unsatisfying.  This is a very dialog-heavy movie and setting much of that dialog in cramped quarters helps maintain the tension.

The story itself was quite interesting, and actually slightly unique.  This dude fucks his way through upper-low class Scotland with quite a lot of skill and he really doesn't care about what he leaves behind him.  It's not active apathy so much as simple passivity; and I don't think that the couple of potentially-redeeming acts are intended to align the viewer with the character as much as they are to ally the character with himself.

This is a solid 3.  I don't know if it's worth going out of your way to see, but you could do a lot worse than stopping on it if you come across it in the guide.

There are some spoilers above and below, but I don't control my woman the way Ewan did his.

The Woman
this is the kind of movie that you can see is good, but you don't really like it anyway. there was extreme intention in the story, direction, and music (by david byrne). very cerebral. a good college film class kind of a movie where you have to write a two page paper on the depth and flaw of the characters. i haven't read the book, but i can say, with pretty good certainty, that this movie did the book justice.

all those good and positive things said, the main character was not a good person. i suppose they don't have to be, but he was pretty despicable in a douchey way. he treats women horribly and men too, for that matter, and despite the fact that his last relationship was pretty significant he treated her like shit too. i didn't feel sorry for him with his dilemma of whether or not to clear the guy pinned for the death of his lady. i don't know if you're supposed to. i can never really get down with movies or books like that. i feel even if the protagonist is a douche i should be able to feel something positive about his/her personality. maybe not even positive. just something. as moster pointed out he was so complacent about everything he just seemed to go along with whatever came down the road. he was wishy washy so i was wishy washy.

as i'm writing the synopsis for this thing the light came on! he saves the kid on the barge from being hit by a boat and drowning even though he hates that kid, but he wouldn't do that for his pregnant ex. he could have jumped in after her, he's clearly a good enough swimmer, but he just stood there looking at the water. there's the crux of the movie. bingo! good job me.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Peril or The Cursed, depending on who you ask (2000 or 2001, depending on who you ask)
Written by Hasso Wuerslin
Directed by David Giancola

Starring John James, Michael Pare, Morgan Fairchild (?!), Eustice

About three years ago, during a big Dynasty-watching kick, I went on a somewhat-typical trip to the IMDB and looked through the filmographies of some of our favorite actors to add some of their works to THE QUEUE.

About two weeks ago, this gem arrived in our house.  In it, a man escapes from a low-security psychological ward and goes on a murderous rampage.  That rampage intersects with the family of an electrician whose leg will expire in six months.

The Woman
the first 20 minutes of this movie are horrifically terrible/awesome. so bad and yet so right. the rest of the movie is not really worth watching. this was put on the queue because of the co-star of jeff colby from "dynasty" and let me just tell you he acted the shit out of this movie. morgan fairchild deserves a shout out too for her spectacular rendition of matriarch. unfortunately, it gets old real quick. every choice made in this plot didn't make any logical sense. moster kept yelling at the screen "why doesn't she just___!!!" i got so annoyed at the frequency of his outbursts that he promised to stop. at least three different times. it's true. she had several chances to escape her abductor, stab her abductor, drive away from her abductor. and jeff colby who was stuck in a drainage pipe with his bad knees couldn't stand up, which also apparently means sit up, but by the time of his release (approximately 3 hours after his fall) despite the lack of cartilage in his knee joints was not only able to stand, but run. we also decided the part he fell into must have been 6' 2" because he's 6' 1", hence his inability to escape.

lastly, this movie was filmed in or around the year of 2000, but had the production quality and look of a movie from 1983. i kept having to remind myself of this. lastly, lastly the thought crossed my mind that perhaps this was made for lifetime, but being a semi-professional in this field, i realized that this was too poor to be a lifetime movie, and that's saying something.

Whoo.  This movie alternated between being entertainingly terrible and head-smackingly frustrating.  During its 90-minute runtime I must have made ten promises to stop yelling at the screen.

Starting with the opening scenes in what we first thought to be an exceedingly poorly-staffed medical hospital (which was revealed to be an even more-poorly-staffed mental hospital) this thing was ridiculous.  This dude on crutches is terrorizing the three staff in the place; and then Unnamed Doctor #1 gets the drop on him, hits him with a crutch once, and runs away.  This allows the patient to escape...and no longer need the crutches.  Throughout the film, Dr. Cooze Man (the man "in charge of" the hospital) character makes it clear that the words "psychological" and "consultant" never coalesced anywhere within a hundred miles of the producers.

The other plot is similarly stupid.  This couple have fallen on hard times.  The husband, an electrician who can't learn to do anything else, because "I'm an electrician, damnit!" has damaged his leg in such a way that he lost his job and all medical benefits.  This leg is usable when required to move the plot.  But that isn't too often because he's at the bottom of a well for the majority of the movie.  And this is an excellent choice, because it allows him to use his frog-face to emote--which is John James's specialty--when the editor remembers to cut back to him, which decreases in frequency as the movie continues.

"How does a gimpy electrician get to the bottom of a well?" I hear you ask.  Well, you see, "Uncle Tom" stole a bunch of money and was so wracked with guilt that he killed himself.  Of course, he left a map to the money which their daughter, Eustice, thought he didn't steal.  Since the electrician can't work and his wife's only function is to place mugs with pictures of huskies on alternating sides of the sink they can afford neither mortgage nor leg surgery.  So the husband and wife follow this extremely convoluted map to the only culvert within 20 miles, and the leg re-gimps itself at exactly the wrong time and he falls down the hole.

(Oh, yeah.  In a news telecast which doesn't mention the new murderer at all we learn that the town is about to open a dam which will raise the river by forty-six feet.  So they have two hours to get the money).

When the wife goes to get help, she discovers that the keys are locked in the car; and the first driver to offer assistance on the side of the road is the serial killer.  You can figure out most of the remaining minutes, and what you can't would only frustrate you.  To the point of fucking suicide.

Shitty script.  Dumb, poorly-acted characters.  Fat-fingered direction.  Production value that makes a 2001 movie look like a 1985 movie.  Potentially good times.

Just be drunk or high when you watch this and you'll be fine.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


this show is so ridiculously bad i have to write down thoughts and quotes as i watch it. i started watching it with the boy to mix things up a bit. we tend to view this when he's waking up from his nap and needs a buffer before he goes full conscious for the afternoon. i apologize for missing the first 6 episodes, but i had the he-man movie/ she-ra spin off origin movie in college. so i knew how bad, i mean awesome, the first 5 episodes were. yep 5. the 6th episode was where my journey into Etheria and stupidity really began, and i had no idea what i was getting myself into. the sarcasm nodule in my brain almost made my head explode. i had to follow through. the following is my stream of consciousness/summary written down while viewing the filmation gem "SHE-RA: Princess of POOOOOOWER"

Episode 7: The Red Knight

everything in this show should just be named sparkle rainbow fluffy soft sparkles glitter shiny pink purple or some mixture thereof. like bow, his horse is a pussy. it threw him when a frog jumped into a pond in the dark and spooky light blue and navy blue sparkle glitter forest. bow and glitter puss pink hair immediatly get captured and stunned. adora evades laser beam stun laser by sommersaulting on the ground a couple times, but scorpia comes up behind her and oh no!instead of poisoning her with her scorpion tail, just restrains her with it. they get saved by the red knight! rejoice. things happen. angella is intrigued by this mystery man. so is bow.... blatantly hitting on him with some remark about how he won't let this guy leave. they invite him to the rebel fair, held each year to celebrate the creation of the rebels....kay. oh no! a run away cart! "this looks like a job for she-ra!" because a run away cart is a very dangerous thing. the horse is running straight off into that abandoned field. "i'll be a twigless twiggle" bow says....indeed sir. by the way. ginger errol flynn staches are not cool or debonair. race begins. the famous rebel fair race that bow wins every year. it's witty quip after witty quip after witty quip. the red knight wins! bow's a total bitch and goes to pout in the forest and leave the rebel force forever. he lost the race to a guy who brought the ever helpful all-in one, race winning lance that helped him pole vault over a wall, and gondola himself across the river, and use as a balance pole while crossing the plank of wood over that ravine. frankly, i'm a little surprised that was allowed, rebels. it's kind of cheating. and cheating is not a good and virtuous thing to do. the horde cheats and that's looked down upon in the rebel army. hypocrites! terrorists! anyway. koala rainbow thing tells adora the bow is leaving forever and packed up his bitch stuff and left and her response is.....wait for it....."this looks like a job for she-ra" she can't even handle looking in the woods for her tantrum throwing friend. can we say crutch adora? maybe she gets a rush of dopamine every time she transforms and those sparkles swirling around her are what she sees when she's high and she's really just an addict. conveniently, hordak, who apparently knows all about this rebel festival, decides to go capture angella with his menacing bubble gun. why not a wet noodle gun? why not just throw glitter at them and hypnotize them with it's sparkle glitter? she-ra saves the day. bubble gun has been turned on hordak and he bounces out of the castle in his bubble. the rebels laugh at hordak. the mysterious red knight says he won't reveal his identity until the horde is wiped out from etheria and they all pump their fists in the air, giving a rebel yell.

the stupid guy that hides and sums up the the message of the show in case you missed it was hiding in a bracnh in front of the castle. i think he was hiding in a branch in front of a different structure in the last episode. stay tuned to see of this trend continues.

Friday, April 15, 2011

8: The Mormon Proposition

8: The Mormon Proposition (2010)

Director: Reed Cowan, Stephen Greenstreet

a documentary about proposition 8 and the powers in charge in the mormon church manipulating the law and it's followers.

The Woman
i had a real hard time not yelling at the tv with this one. i usually tend to skip the political documentaries because i get so mad and frustrated and disgusted. i watch these things at nap time and so in order to get as much down time from my 2 year old it is in my best interest to keep my mouth shut. it's outrageous to me (i don't know why because it's not wholly uncommon) that the church totally manipulated and lied to their followers. i don't understand how a religious group persecuted for their beliefs on marriage can turn around and do the same thing to another group of people. i don't really want to get into this here, because there's no way i can express it all in type. i know this documentary could be perceived as a little slanted on the other side. i took some of the information with a grain of salt, but i think it was a good choice to have it told through two mormon gay men. i think it was good that there was a lot of time spent on how this has affected a lot of mormons negatively. i don't understand the thought of believing in god and love and spreading such filth and hate. i also think if you break the rules of  the separation of church and state you should be punished. i think the mormon church should be taxed appropriately for involving themselves politically. oh, and i also think the GLBT community should have the same rights as every other us citizen and that includes marriage. any argument contrary to that is completely ridiculous.

The Other Guys

The Other Guys (2010)

Writer: Adam McKay, Chris Henchy
Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, Marky Mark sans funky bunch, and a bunch of other guys like steve coogan and michael keaton
two dysfunctional NYPD try and solve a money scam. ..look it's not really important

The Woman
this was pretty funny. like stated above the plot is purely superfluous. i'm surprised there are writers in this because it felt like pretty typical will ferrel improv to me. just when i thought i was sick of his thing he busts out with this one. i thought this was going to be a stupid comedy and it took me about a minute in to figure out it was totally ripping on buddy cop movies which i can totally be down with.

since that cinematic gem "the happening" i had made my mind up that mr. wahlberg was possibly the worst actor ever. there are those occasional exceptions like his role in "the departed" in which he was phenomenal. MOster insists on his dirk diggler performance as special too, but i think it's pretty easy for him to play dumb. just listen to his voice. it's dumb. i will have to admit he was funny in this. maybe waay over the top isn't that difficult either. it's got to be a challenge acting opposite of will ferrell though. i have a feeling you have to be on your game all the time. i certainly wouldn't be able to play ridiculously angry all the time with him busting out such gems as the lion vs. tuna speech.

this movie is chock full of repeatable quotes. i guess that means you should watch it. i think i might force my husband to sit on the couch through it. it turned out to be a surprising laugh out loud movie much like "stepbrothers" but really different.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beneath the Dark

Beneath the Dark (2010)

Writer: Chad Feehan
Director: Chad Feehan
Starring: Josh Stewart, Meadow Soprano

couple messing around in a traveling car decide they need to pull over at the motel because she is horny and he is tired. strange things begin to happen!

The Woman
predictable "horror" movie. blah. i like how rape was just as bad as murder suicide. i mean, i know rape is bad mmkay, but compared to killing someone physically instead of emotionally i think may be a little worse. i don't know, i kind of got some weird religious undertones from this pile of junk too. also the plot when thinking back on this huge bombshell reveal of yeah-i-guessed-that-10-minutes-in, the things that happen in the plot to make it a movie don't really make a whole lot of sense. yet again, my advice is to skip this one.

The Informers

The Informers (2008)

Written by Bret Easton Ellis, Nicholas Jarecki
Director: Gregor Jordan
Starring Amber Heard, a veritable shitload of current B-list 20-year-olds, Billy Bong, Kim Bassinger, Mickey Rourke (aka a smaller number of B-list 50-year-olds)

a bunch of people in los angeles in the early 80's are horrible jerks who have a lot of sex with each other.

There are spoilers in this one, because if you're going to watch it you're going to watch it for the T&A, and not the plot.

The first hour (which felt like a fucking year) of this movie was little more than a series of vaguely-connected stories about rich, white partiers.  During this hour I began to think that maybe Ellis is something of a one hit wonder.  I've seen and/or read a few other of his works and they focus on the same basic, bullshit theme.

The last half-hour changed my mood from passive boredom to active annoyance. The kidnapping was retarded, and the whole, political (?) thing would have been more powerful (i.e. 3 out of 10 rather than 1) if it hadn't been telegraphed six ways from Sunday.

Yeah, I don't want to talk about this one anymore.

The Woman
 terrible. the fact that the whore of the group spread HIV around to everyone isn't enough to glue all the characters in this movie together. yes, bret easten ellis, i get it. the 80's were an extremely indulgent time. let's move on shall we. i'm just sad i didn't get to see all these shallow assholes all die horribly of the disease they all apparently had. don't watch this. turn on "american psycho" and enjoy good actors acting a good script based on a book by bret easton ellis. the fact that he had so much to do with this movie makes me question him. was "american psycho" a fluke? because the other book i read by him... i can't think of the name...could be interchanged with this plot. selfish young rich guy in the 80's screws a lot of people and does a lot of drugs. the end.

Valentino: The Last Emperor

Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008)
Directed by Matt Tyrnauer
Starring Valentino (Garavani), Giancarlo Giammetti, Nati Abascal

A documentary about the (approximately) year leading up to a huge 45th anniversary celebration of Valentino and the party itself.  Epilogue text is included.

The Woman
this was ok. it was actually kind of boring. the dresses were beautiful (of course) but the rest was pretty shme. i kind of felt the same way about the documentary on....i'm totally blanking....jeeebus.....i'll comeback to this. it was fun to see valentino and his long, long time partner in life and business, giancarlo, bicker. LAGERFELD! jeezy chrizzy! yes lagerfeld, it reminded me of the lagerfeld documentary. i thought i would be really into it, but it came off kind of boring. "the september issue" was interesting to me, as was "unzipped". i guess because those were more about the creative process and less about the designer's or editor's personal life?

it was sad to see his empire sort of get taken over by corporations. when will the money makers understand people love things like that for a long time because of the artistic vision behind them and the care taken to ensure the quality of the product. when it becomes about the bottom line things become cheap and uninteresting. i'm such a control freak i couldn't stand my name being being the name of a company that was throwing my life's work in  the toilet.

This is an interesting experience to me as a reviewer.  The subject matter was quite interesting and the items which were photographed were beautiful.  But the intellectual presentation of the information was lacking.  For the first hour it was little more than a pretty pretty puff piece; and then we started to get more into the financial issues in the company which led to a large private equity firm purchasing the vast majority of the company.  I would have liked things to be more even from the perspectives of both point-of-view (even during the last 25 minutes or so) and distribution of tone.

In spite of all that, the experience was enjoyable until it became a little heart-wrenching.  While the experience was worth my while it could have been much more than it was.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Catch-22 (1970)

Writer: Joseph Heller (novel) Buck Henry (screenplay)
Director: Mike Nichols
Starring: Alan Arkin, Arthur Garfunkel, Jon Voight, Martin Sheen, Anthony Perkins, Bob Balaban, Orson Welles, and some other people like bob newhart

a WWII pilot is trying to get out of the insanity by means of a diagnoses of insanity when his colonel keeps upping the amount of missions the company must complete [before discharge(?)]

This movie was full of awesomeness:  Great performances, great scenes, great production.  But Leila's right.  They had over two hours to get their point across and I don't think they did a particularly good job.  This is totally different from The Mysteries of Pittsburgh in its complexity but the book was great at continually conveying the frustration and sadness of the characters where the movie--necessarily or not--couldn't always scratch past the surface.

All those great elements did not gel around a sufficient through-line, and as such this movie works much better as a series of shorts than a feature film.

The Woman
this whole movie consisted of discussions as seen on abbott and costello's "who's on first?". it began to get tiring by the hour mark. i felt i was only desperately grasping at what was going on in the plot. this was so crazy that when it was over i was relieved. those fairly negative things said this was a good movie. it was nice to see good direction, acting, and story all come together in one movie for once. this was a glittering diamond in the manure we've been watching.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Kalamity (2010)

Writer: James M. Hausler
Director: James M. Hausler 
Starring: Jonathan Jackson aka lucky spencer from general hospital, Nick Stahl

a guy comes home after breaking up with his girlfriend of five years to find his best friend acting extremely erratic, angry, and violent.

The Woman
this was pretty forgettable. it was directed well, but the story was shme. i didn't really care what was going on. i could see unfortunate things happening, but couldn't connect to give a damn. there were all these things going on under the surface with themes about moving forward in your life, but the story was so average that it got in the way. i sort of just brushed this one off. seeing nick stahl in stuff is like salt in the wound that is carnival. so upsetting to me, the fate of that show. and now the snake lady, adrienne barbeau, is on general hospital like our young co-star mr. jackson.....interesting. anyway. like i said in the first sentence, forgettable.

The Joneses

The Joneses (2009)

Writer: Derrick Borte,
Director: Derrick Borte
Starring: David Duchovny, Demi Moore

some secret corporation creates fake perfect families and puts them in gated communities to be envied because of a ll the cool shit they have. neighbors go out and buy cool shit. corporation makes money for it's client companies and therefore makes money for itself. MESSAGE!

The Woman
this wasn't as bad as the movies we've been watching lately, but it certainly wasn't good. it became a little too preachy. it was also supposed to be a romantic comedy i believe, which is hard to pull off when your trying to get your powerful message of materialism across. nobody has to watch this movie. just turn on bravo! to be disgusted with our materialistic culture. in fact, there was even the blonde atlantic housewife of bravo's the real housewives of atlanta, which confused me even more. that woman lives the life the movie was both making fun of and vilifying at the same time. i guess it just proves she is really dumb after all.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (2008)

Written by Rawson Marshall Thurber, Michael Chabon (better book)
Directed (proudly) by Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring John Foster, Peter Saarsgard, Sienna Miller, Nick Nolte, Mena Suvari

The postgraduate summer in the life of the son of a successful mobster, set in Pittsburgh before he goes off to work for his uncle ('s legitimate business).

The Woman
LAME. everyone in this movie was an unendearing assface. this kid who liked these people and was attracted to these people was an idiot. there was nothing remotely attractive about their personalities or the way they lived life. therefore i don't understand this movie. nor do i care to, in fact. moster says it's not a good adaptation of the book, but i can't even see, even if it's dramatically different, how this would be a book i would want to read. the core of the characters are dumb. their drive is dumb. what makes them, them, is dumb. their existence is dumb. there was a similarity in the rhythm of their conversations that was reminiscent of "wonder boys" and by conclusion chabon, but, jeebus. "wonder boys" was so awesome and this was sooooo bad. i also just had to ask moster, rather passionately, why thie hell was this even titled the mysteries of pittsburgh!? i thought they were in baltimore. apparently, they were in pittsburgh.

It's extremely difficult to adapt first-person narrative written fiction to film; too much information exists only within the narrator's mind.  While I would probably be equally annoyed if it had succeeded through voiceover, there is at least one way to show the narrator's impressions in some depth.

This notion is called, "characterization."  Slumming it in a tuxedo, Nick Nolte occupies the only character.  The leads--and these aren't future Oscar-winners--do about as well as can be expected with what they're given.  They can't magically pull off the page what the writer couldn't even intimate, and this is compounded a thousandfold by the fact that HE'S ALSO THE DIRECTOR.

It's extremely difficult to adapt first-person narrative written fiction to film, and this movie failed.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Splice (2009)

Writer: Vincenzo Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant, Doug Taylor
Director: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac

two scientists researching the benefits of created proteins in a spliced creature go behind their corporate sponsors backs and add human bits of DNA to create a HUMAN SPLICE! what have they done!?

MOster's (Better) Synopsis (he left the house to run errands about 15 minutes in)
A husband and wife team of bioscientiests are the hottest pair of bioscientists on the planet, but their employers don't want them to screw around with human DNA.  Good thing they don't care, and in a single montage they manage to merge human DNA (from an "anonymous donor") into some chain of many other animals' DNA.  This happens in one marathon session, and the resulting fetus develops too quickly for them to terminate it.  Of course, it's a perfectly viable organism.


Everything that I thought would have happened happened, except that the new creature swaps gender halfway through so it gets to have semi-consensual sex with Adrian Brody before it rapes Sarah Polley.

The Woman
this reeked of "species". i know "species" is about alien nonsense and not human plant lizard rodent nonsense, but there were still lots of similarities. it was also pretty predictable. despite that, i was mildly entertained. rainy day naptime, on the couch vegging is the perfect venue for this.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Duplicity (2009)

Writer: Tony Gilroy
Director: Tony Gilroy
Starring: Julia Roberts, Clive Warren-Owen

two spies become corporate spies and they are tricksy and false, but to whom are they being tricksy and false? each other? the corporations? this is all over skin cream.

The script for Duplicity contains enough ideas to drive three movies, of which one or two might be good.  This jumble was not.  This movie was not worth its budget.  With the exception of condescending subtitles, the production was very nice and modern and fancy, and I don't care.

I'm not entirely sure what goes into developing chemistry between actors.  Part of it must be actual chemicals, and part is certainly writing; but how much of what's left is direction?  That discussion is purely academic, though, since I can think of no scale on which the interaction between the leads even registers.  Far too many scenes in this film are between Roberts and Warren-Owen and in far too few of those scenes (read: zero) does the viewer get the feeling that the person speaking is acting opposite a human rather than running lines in the car on the way to Liquor Depot.

I happened upon Ocean's Eleven the other day, and beheld a scene in which Julia Roberts shows a real connection with EACH of Andy Garcia and George Clooney, and just now I saw an episode of Family Ties which showcased two actors who actually appeared to be in tune with each other.  Does this mean that Mr. Warren-Owen is to blame?  Maybe a little bit, but there's more than enough of this shit to spread onto everyone in charge of this movie.  The relationship between these characters is the least-feasible of the three movie ideas contained herein.

If the chemistry were the only problem, this movie might still be entertaining, but the central issue is the double-whammy of that lack of chemistry and its practical ubiquity as a backdrop for scenes.  This movie is supposed to be about how these two people don't trust each other as they (at least ostensibly) work together as double- and triple-agents to steal something which will make them rich.  But the film doesn't spend enough time showing us how this will all go about.  We don't come to care about any of the people on their various spy teams and there's no sense of shared achievement or snickering schadenfreude as they accomplish their goals.  I understand that some things need to be withheld until the a-ha moment, but the extent of that practice here makes it impossible to follow the movie.  A windy mountain pass must have some "sharp curve ahead" signs.  A better, Sneakers-esque study of the methods of the spying is the second-best of the three movie ideas.

The final failure of this move is how badly it squanders a fantastic supporting cast.  Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson play rival heads of pharmaceutical companies.  They obviously hate each other and they obviously want to make each other fail in spectacular ways.  But we have zero investment in this, even though it's supposedly the reason why all the spying which the leads are working to manipulate exists.  Leila says that this industry is boring, but it doesn't have to be.  A better movie would have brought us into the minds of the characters to enough of an extent where we were invested in them regardless of backdrop.  Fucking Extract did a better job of this.  This part could have been a pretty good movie.

In closing, I did not like this movie.

The Woman
first of all this was advertised as a spy movie. that is entirely misleading. somehow, it loses something when it's about lotion and not top secret government stuff. i don't really care who ends up with the lotion or cream formula. nobody is in mortal danger here. if this was not supposed to be the focus and the relationship, whatever it was, between clive and julia was what you were supposed to care about then FAIL too. moster pointed out their terrible chemistry and i have to agree. if this was supposed to be about the twists and turns of the plot, once again FAIL. with the bad chemistry and lack of intrigue the way in which the plot was presented it just came off as confusing. you, as the viewer, really kind of have to pay attention with the editing and flashbacks and out of sequence scenes. did i point out this is about cream!? who cares! dumb.