Archive for February, 2009

Say, “Over-pants hand job.”

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20, 2009 by ilostitatthemovies

Man, I’m already getting behind with this. Last Friday, the 13th, I went to see My Bloody Valentine 3D. I think all of us rationalised it like, “Who cares if it’s good or not – it’s in 3D!” I think this is a perfectly good reason to see a movie, I’ve been meaning to go see Bolt 3D, some shitty cartoon about a dog, on the same grounds. Anyway, this movie turned out to pretty much totally rule. In a way, it’s like the Platonic ideal of a movie called My Bloody Valentine 3D – you get absolutely everything you could want in a movie with that title, and nothing else.

One of my vices is reading movie reviews in the street press on the toilet at work, just for the hilarity of their inane opinions (my favourite example being the review of The Wrestler that said seeing this movie made him realise The Dark Knight wasn’t really the pinnacle of film art he’d first thought it was – can you even imagine letting that guy write movie reviews? I’m not even sure I’d let him watch movies.) Anyway, the review here – I imagine more or less the same review has appeared dozens if not hundreds of times by now – was that it was a fun, dumb movie but everything except the special effects (story, acting, etc.) don’t bear thinking about. I really disagree – while the story is dumb (and that’s just a generic convention, anyway), the structure is definitely smart and interesting. It knows how to play on your expectations – about things like pacing, story structure, and gore – in original and fun ways. I would say more about this, but I don’t want to spoil it for you – and believe me, there are strikingly few slasher films where I would be at all concerned about spoiling the story.

Nevetheless, the 3D gore is plainly the selling point, and the movie more than delivers. You will be amazed at the sheer number of angles at which its possible to drive a pick axe through someone’s head. Sharp objects will shoot out of the screen at your face, as will gobs of normally internal organs. Blood will drip on the heads of audience members in front of you. All this is hilarious to me – I think to most people, also scary to some people. I went with a friend who screamed more or less constantly, and I mean both the ‘screamed’ and the ‘more or less constantly’ – I mean, she wailed out loud during the previews for other scary movies. I ended up with bruises where she’d clutched my arms. This, of course, only made the movie funnier.

If anything deflated my enjoyment, it was the gratuitous nudity. Now, I don’t have a problem with gratuious nudity – again, it’s almost a generic convention – but the way it’s dealt with here bothered me both in its ironisation and for feministish reasons. Only one character gets undressed in the whole movie, and she spends literally her entire screen time completely naked. So it’s annoyingly ironic in a “yeah, we all know it’s dumb that she’s naked, so let’s just make it extra-dumb and we can all laugh about how smart we are” kind of way. (I worry this blog will end up being a series of complaints about unnecessary deployments of irony in contemporary film.) I guess the feministish complaint is pretty obvious. Just, kind of ick. I don’t know, maybe I’m just being ridiculous; “I want more than this from my sex objects.” Actually, this might lead in kind of nicely to writing up Chelsea Girls, which I watched over the last two weeks at the Cinematheque. But I might have to save that till I have time to write it up properly.

Kneel before Zod

Posted in Uncategorized on February 6, 2009 by ilostitatthemovies

I’ve had a cold, so I’ve been watching lots of videos. Here is the quick round-up…

Jackass 2. Easily one of the ten best sequels ever made, this movie is hilarious. I honestly think I’ve never laughed at any movie as much as this, except maybe the first part. Painful, gasping, can’t-breathe, tears-down-the-cheeks laughter. Also gloriously homoerotic.

Superman 2. Terence Stamp as Zod is such a great villain, like up there with the Wicked Witch of the West. Hey, is Wicked still playing in Melbourne? Maybe I should see it next week. The plot of this movie is beyond contrived but it’s still lots of fun.

Arsenic and Old Lace. This was my first Capra film, and def made me want to see his other stuff. It’s got the best Cary Grant performance I’ve seen, really great freaked-out straight man. Cary gets married, but on his wedding day discovers that his kindly old aunts have been poisoning a string of men and burying them in the cellar. Hilarity ensues.

You help me

Posted in Uncategorized on February 3, 2009 by ilostitatthemovies

The worst idea I had for this blog was to give each post a title from the movie. It turns out to be really hard to actually remember a line of dialogue properly, unless it’s obviously catchphrase-y. The Jammed was the first outright bad movie I saw this year, and man, I certainly don’t remember any cool examples of verbal repartee or screenwriterly panache. Not even IMDB can help me, with an unsurprisingly empty ‘memorable quotes’ section for this flick. I think the annoying mother probably says “You help me” at some point, it might even be her only line.

Anyway, this is a painfully serious Aussie drama about trafficking sex workers. My housemate rented it because she went to high school with the girl who plays the Russian one. Her accent is pretty hilarious. Actually, there’s plenty to laugh AT in this film, but not enough to overcome its painfully racist storyline – helpless, naive Chinese women and the courageous white woman who helps them – but don’t worry, all the Asian women will be gone by the end, dead or deported.

I don’t want to waste too much time writing about this one, but I feel I have to mention the incredibly ill-advised romantic subplot. When our protagonist first meets the evil gangster dude, he threatens to rape her if she doesn’t back off. She goes to hide at her ex’s house, and they sleep together. Dude! If your ex comes to stay at your house to avoid being raped, don’t fuck her! I could dig on this storyline if the point was that all anglo men are fucked, but I don’t think that’s the vibe they were going for. Avoid this movie at all costs. I mean, actually die before watching it. I don’t know, maybe it could be a good date film if you’re trying to get with a Sheila Jeffries student or something.

Civil rights or civil war

Posted in Uncategorized on February 2, 2009 by ilostitatthemovies

What is it with these cockteasing gay riot porn movies? It’s like Stonewall, which¬†you would think might theoretically be about the famous Stonewall RIOTS that launched the modern gay lib movement etc., but instead it’s just 90 minutes of love story leading up to when the riots happened. I can’t even remember if they had a riot scene in the movie, but it clearly should have been one massive 90 minute riot scene. It’s not like that shitty movie about the anti-WTO protests in Seattle spends 90 minutes on what the dudes were all doing just before the protest, instead you get solid gold comedy shit like Andre 3000 dressed as a turtle and Pacey from Dawson’s Creek speechifying for the black bloc and COP ANGST! With Milk you get your 90 minutes of serious political campaigning and I think no mention is even made of the White Night riots. I think Gus Van Sant is pretty anti-rioting. Sean Penn is constantly like “there’s going to be a riot unless I do something”. Fuck you, Gus Van Sant. Yeah, this is a pretty well made movie about how gay white men and their token woman friend saved America and its wheelchair-bound gay teens¬†from homophobia. If that’s your thing…