Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It was like he shouldn't have even bothered, he thought to himself

Like last December, my buddy was housesitting for someone else who had places to go for the holidays, and it was the same place, a nice place and because this guy has access to screeners, it was like, fuck yeah, let's watch some fucking screeners again. How can the same thing happen to the same guy twice?

It was only a one-night triple feature this time, so I had to tell Sofia Coppola, Julie Taymor and that dead dude who directed Casino Jack to go fuck themselves, but in actuality I was telling myself to go fuck myself because I'll probably end up seeing their films anyway, only I'd end up paying for the privilege.

First film was Black Swan, directed by that asshole who bangs Rachel Weisz, that's why he's an asshole. If you're banging a famous chick I want to bang, you're an asshole and that's why I like Ryan Reynolds again. But the guy who knocked up Natalie Portman? Fuck that guy. No, not you Natalie, you've done enough damage to yourself taking that advice.

Anyway, Black Swan is not about some racist asshole falling in love with some rich black chick, instead it's about this bundle of nerves who wants to be the best ballet dancer ever or something like that. She wants to be perfect, and if that means starving herself and vomiting up what little she eats, then so be it. Poor girl, there's a part where she's going to eat a grapefruit for breakfast and she's looking it over and doing the whole Happy Girl Yummy thing and I felt bad for the little swan. Her mother is played by Barbara Hershey who is now one of the most awesome people in the world because she signed my DVD of The Stunt Man at the New Beverly Cinema. Richard Rush and Steve Railsback signed that DVD too, but they aren't in Black Swan, Barbara Hershey is. It was strange trying to figure that character out, because on the one hand you think she's one of these stage mothers who force their kids to live out their own fantasies and maybe she is, but if that's the case, it's gotten to a point where she realizes she has created a Frankenstein. That's right, she's created a mad doctor intent on bringing the dead back to life.

Fuckin' Aronofsky would be my bro if he wasn't already betraying our brotherhood by turning Rachel Weisz into a baby machine. What I mean is that he casts some cute fuckin' ladies in this flick; Natalie Portman is super-skinny but she wears her bones well, making her and Angelina Jolie the only skeletons I find hot. Then you have Mila Kunis who not only looks like she enjoys the occasional cheeseburger but even eats one in the film; if you want to amuse yourself, go look up any YouTube video where they go behind-the-scenes of Family Guy and read the comments, because it's like every other comment is "OMIGOD MEG IS ACTUALLY HOT IN REAL LIFE" and then they skeet all over the keyboard and that's a bitch to clean up, even with a Q-tip. It's too bad those losers aren't badass sex machines like me. Excuse me while I take a break from writing so I can go have sex with a sexy girl. I'm so fuckin' awesome, I never call them back.

I think Mr. Requiem For A Wrestler's Fountain knew I'd be pissed at him and he tried to triple-combo his good graces into my heart by casting Winona Ryder as the 3rd part of the Why Aren't You Girls Making Love To Me Like Right Now trifecta. She's, like, 40 now but I'm not hating, she's still got it, plus 40 is the new 20. Didn't you know that? I know that because a 40-year-old told me. I Heart Winona and if I had the bank account, I'd open a chain of stores where she can shoplift to her pretty little heart's content. One of my cousins, on my dad's side, used to always say "Winona Ryder? I'd ride her" and that's just one of the two reasons I haven't spoken to him since 1998. The second reason is because he and most of my dad's side of the family are all cunts and I don't speak to any of them either. Thanksgiving is awesome now, thank you very much.

So Portman's got the lead role in Swan Lake and she's trying to be all perfect and shit and she's getting all fucked-up in the head over it. She's finding these weird bloody scratches on her back and since she wasn't having sex with me, she figures there's got to be another way she attained these minor scrapes. She's also got a bad case of They're All Coming To Get Me; seeing weird shit, having weird dreams, wondering if Mila Kunis' rival ballet-girl is out to help her or out to fuck her over. Meanwhile, Winona is all pissed about her upcoming retirement, because it's one of those retirements where the retiree is the last one to know. Then there's muthafuckin' Vincent Cassel, goddamn Mesrine himself showing up as the director of the ballet company and this guy, he's surprisingly not a Gay but then again, who knows? I mean, you figure this guy is trying to bang Portman and he's tired of banging Ryder but that shit's never confirmed, he puts the moves on a motherfucker but then it seems more like he's just doing some head-game shit to get the best out of his ballerinas. Ballerini?

I liked the movie, but like Aronofsky's wrestler movie (I think they could actually play very well together, they've got similarities, says I), I think the performance makes the film. Wait, that doesn't sound right -- the performance and the film go very well together. It's some perfect one-in-a-million kismet shit; if Natalie Portman didn't exist, they'd have to invent her for this movie, otherwise you could never make it. Mr. Weisz does a very good job making you feel almost as fucked up as Portman's character, putting you into her increasingly fragile mindset, but I was more impressed with Portman. I don't know who the fuck else is possibly up for an Oscar, but they better be fuckin' phenomenal because I think Natalie did a pretty good job throwing down the fuckin' gauntlet like a fuckin' boss. Mila Kunis is very good too, especially in one scene between her and Portman that has little to do with acting dialogue-wise, but a lot to do with, uh, physical acting. If that's a spoiler, then fucking Life is a goddamn spoiler and I'm getting fucking sick of it and want to punch every sensitive motherfucker in his mother's cunt. I'm being serious, people. Your Mother's Cunt. Pow.

Quentin Tarantino probably loves this flick because there are a lot of shots of feet in it, and since they're ballet dancers, their feet are pretty jacked, but anyone who's seen Kill Bill knows that QT doesn't discriminate. If you are in possession of a vagina and have feet, he'll probably be all over them. If I was a chick and I offered my bare feet for QT to do with whatever he pleases and he turned me down, I'd throw myself off of a tall building and with my luck end up splattering all over some passing automobile with a podiatrist inside.

My friend and I then ate shitty delivery pizza which I still gobbled up 4 slices of because I'm a smelly disgusting piece-of-shit with no self-respect, then we popped in True Grit, starring Jeff Bridges, or as we all like to refer to him as, the President of the United States in The Contender. Every dispensary I go to is always playing The Contender, either that or Pineapple Express. Bridges must get tired of people coming up to him all "President, yeeeeeeaaaahhh!".

So Bridges plays Rooster Cogburn, this badass U.S. Marshal who gets the job done, but he plays by his own rules, so I guess he's the original cliche. Only he's not some psycho Riggs or ornery Harry Callahan; when you give him shit about the people he's killed/wounded, he seems almost like a forgetful grandfather who didn't know his glasses were on his head the whole time, like Oh Yeah I Forgot About That. We all have grandfathers like that, I'm sure.

When I was 14, I thought chickens gargled in the morning based on a cartoon I saw, but the 14-year-old girl in this movie, she probably rips the heads of off chickens everyday to prepare that evening's supper. I guess hard times create hard people, and she's kind of a badass herself. After her father is killed, she goes to town and looks to get some justice against that bad Josh Brolin, and this chick is fuckin' haggling prices and not backing down like a goddamn angry pro. If this chick existed in the 21st century, she'd be giving seminars on not being a fuckin' pussy when it comes to dealing with asshole car salesman (redundancy). She talks to adults like she was older than any of them, and she has no problem sleeping in a room full of corpses, she can handle that shit. I wonder if she was always this way, or if the murder of her father (at the hands of the aforementioned Brolin) increased that shit. She mentions that her mother is pretty much inconsolable and her sister (or brother, I forgot) is too young, so whatever the case, it's safe to say it didn't take long for her to declare herself as the man of the house.

This 14-year-old, she gets Rooster to go on the hunt for this father-killing mofo and even though he doesn't want this girl to cramp his style, he lets that slide, he abides, just like The President in The Contender. They go from place to place, meet people, get in adventures, like Caine in The Man Who Would Be King. Joining them on their journey is my man, the fuckin' Bourne Identity himself, Matt Muthafuckin' Damon. Fuckin' A. I'd like to add that guy on my shortlist of people I'd like to play me in a movie, alongside the late great Brother Theodore and the drunk rich lady from Will & Grace. If I ever meet that guy, I'm gonna give him a high-five that he will not return, he's gonna leave me hanging but I'm gonna be OK with it because he's Matt Fuckin' Damon.

I don't like the taste of John Wayne's cock, and that's probably why I haven't seen as many of his movies as I guess I should, so I've never seen the original True Grit. But from my understanding, that version wasn't as faithful to the book as this version is. Talented assholes Joel and Ethan Coen helmed this shit, and they must be related to God because like Him, they like to put their creations through fucked-up shit and probably get off on it. Anyway, with the exception of some annoying guy who makes animal noises, it didn't feel that Coen-esque in terms of quirky shit, but it's definitely a Coen Brothers film in that it's Good Times.

These guys, I don't know how they do it, I think while everyone else is drinking Hater Juice or Haterade, these guys are drinking straight-up 100-proof Champion, because that's what they are. They did cut down on the consumption when they made Intolerable Cruelty, but they're probably mainlining that shit now. Is it a masterpiece or a reinvention of the Western or whatever else these jackass critics always say about these things? No, I don't think it is, it's just a damn solid 2 hours of entertainment. There's not that much action, but that's OK because the interactions between the characters was more than enough to keep me happy. 

Wait, I take it back a bit -- it is more of a Coen Brothers film than I thought. You see, these guys, they like being assholes and have to find a way to amuse themselves at our expense; the reason you and me haven't beat the shit out of them by now is because they make cool movies. Well, here I think they have their fun by having every character who isn't a 14-year-old girl speak like they have shit in their mouth. Bridges is so awesome an actor that he can make Cogburn's dialogue sing (sample dialogue: "Gwarhss woit popadonsh umfff batahgh dogsh rawrff") and then I bet my man Damon thought he dodged a bullet with that shit, but then the Coens probably did a rewrite and halfway through the movie he ends up biting his tongue and for a while starts cotton-balling his lines as well. Fuckin' Brolin? Same shit, only it sounds like he reached a compromise with the Coens by only doing it at 50% power and making up for his increased grasp of diction/enunciation by doing a Ted Levine impression.

The 3rd and final film of the day was The Fighter, starring the precious Amy Adams and two other guys. Now I thought the title of the film was referring to the Clooney-fighting/Tomlin-angering/Nolan headlocking director of the film, but it's not. The Adorable Amy Adams plays Charlene, a bartender in the city of Racism who probably drinks as much as she sells and one day Mark Wahlberg shows up, being all nice to her the way he was nice to Reese Witherspoon in Fear. During their chat, some douche shows up trying to be stupid with Wahlberg and smart with Adams, so Wahlberg grabs this punk and makes him feel the vibrations. Turns out this Wahlberg, he's this potentially awesome boxer who's being held down by his once-potentially-awesome older brother, played by a crackhead who looks like a balding Christian Bale.

In between these brief moments with The Adorable Amy Adams, we have these long periods focusing on Wahlberg and his brother who might as well be the white Flavor Flav. There's one scene where she and Wahlberg are about to do their impression of me on any given night by sleeping with each other. Ms. Adams is wearing only a bra and panties and she's crawling on the bed toward Wahlberg and just then, my friend is all like "I bet you like this, don't ya" and I actually had to put my foot down (I had it on the table) and tell him he was kinda wrong.

I mean, even with the harsh "real" setting and the real "harsh" unflattering cinematography, Ms. Adams looks nice and even though Mr. Huckabees told her not to get in shape for the role, she still looks like a real girl who I'd hit up and get turned down by. I told my friend that I don't really think of her in that way, it's more of a sharing-a-milkshake-with-2-straws kind of deal I have with her. I know I've said that before, but I'm pretty sure you guys never read the previous references anyway, so it's all new to you, right? I guess another way I can put it is that I'm gay for Amy Adams, even though I'm technically straight. I say "technically" because I'm really just a compliment away from going either way, know what I'm saying?

I've never had a fuck-up brother, probably because I am the fuck-up brother, but it didn't stop me from feeling about this movie the way I felt about it. There's a scene where Bale's character is being a fuck-up once again and his mom picks him up, and she's ready to go off on him and he manages to win her back over by singing to her. You get the sense that this is a song he's sung to her since he was a kid, and she probably loves it every time he does so. It's genuine, but at the same time, I bet you he knows that the song to him is like a smoke bomb is to Batman -- distracting shit that works every time.

It did get me thinking though, that as much of a fuck-up that I am, my parents are cursed with this unconditional love for their child. Most parents have this curse, I think. They can read the writing on the wall all they want, but they might as well be wearing Nostalgia Goggles when they look at you; because you're always their little boy or little girl, albeit one who needs money because he/she went into debt for the umpteenth time and/or need to be picked up from jail. Anyway, I think that's what's going on between the mom in this film and the balding crackhead who looks like Christian Bale.

It's that kind of love that is keeping Wahlberg's character true to his bro even though the motherfucker is keeping him from achieving something other than getting his ass kicked by a boxer he's 20 pounds too light to fight. The Adorable Amy Adams, she's trying to help him see the error of his brother-loving ways, but I also like that she's not perfect either, and that in some cases she can be as demanding and overpowering as his family. Still, though, it's Amy Adams and I don't know about you, but I'd do whatever she says. Leave my family? Bye family. Learn Mandarin Chinese? 当你的愿望。Put a gun into my mouth and pull the trigger? It'll certainly be the most adorable suicide ever.

It's a good movie with great performances, particularly from Adams and the crackhead, the latter is even more impressive when you watch his real-life counterpart show up during the end credits and realize that he got that motherfucker down cold. Wahlberg's pretty good too, I like sincere Wahlberg and prefer sincere Wahlberg to badass Wahlberg. I saw Melissa Leo's name in the credits, then forgot she was in the fuckin' thing until I saw her name again in the credits -- that's how good she was, I thought they got some Boston broad off the street for that part. For real, I'm not bullshitting or speaking in critic-speak. I think they did cast some real Bostonians in this, though, because those badly-bleached locks of hair, greasy faces and jelly rolls can't be created even with the best Hollywood has to offer. Also, one of Wahlberg's sisters is played by Conan O'Brien's sister; she's the one who looks like Conan O'Brien.

I like how all the screeners had opening disclaimers from studios that assume you're going to destroy the DVD's by a certain date. Would I? Maybe to upgrade to Blu-ray, and even then, I'd probably just give that shit to family members. That's probably how piracy keeps going, I don't know. The studios were pretty good about not interrupting the movie too much with the on-screen For Consideration/Don't Bootleg This Shit disclaimers; True Grit came up every 10 minutes at the bottom, wasn't too distracting. Black Swan only came up at the beginning. I don't even remember The Fighter having one.

Order of preference:

1) True Grit
2) Black Swan
3) The Fighter

That was that, the movies were watched and my friend had to take off to go see family -- it was Christmas Day. Me, I drove around for a bit and eventually went to a discount house, where I ended up seeing Skyline. I didn't want to see Skyline, but the other movies already started and I didn't want to wait 90 minutes for the next showing, so there I was, watching Skyline. It was decent, which I guess is to be expected when your expectations are below zero and you only paid $2 to see it. There was raza in the cast and not only did he represent, he was probably the best character in the fuckin' thing, so that was nice.

After, I drove over to the burg of Chino to look at the Christmas lights because that's what they do over there in Chino, overdo it with the Christmas spirit -- but I love Christmas, so overdo that shit all you want. Great displays, and even one house had a group of carolers in front. I got too close and one of them snatched me like a frog's tongue to a passing fly and he gave me a card from the Church of Latter Day Saints. My favorite display was the one done with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme, complete with Jack, Sally and a giant Oogie Boogie.

The last time I went to see the lights in Chino, was about 20 years ago. I went with my aunt and my cousins, right after catching a special Christmas show at a local college's planetarium. That was awesome and so were the lights. We then stopped at a neighborhood pizza joint and stuffed on pepperoni pie while watching a Beauty and the Beast rerun on the establishment's big-screen television; to think that there was once a television show starring Hellboy and Sarah Connor and not enough people watched it. Anyway, 20 years later I was feeling nostalgic and looked for the same pizza joint, and there it was, and sure enough, they were open. The only difference was that they replaced the old projection big-screen with a plasma HDTV. I ordered a pie and while waiting, I told the owner my story which I guess amused him. He said that the pizza is just as good as it was then and wished me a Merry Christmas. I returned the sentiment and then played Galaga. He was right, the pizza was just as good. Only the company was lacking, in that I was lacking it.

I'm pretty sure this is my last post of the year, so I'll just say Happy New Year and all that. 2008 was terrible, 2009 was horrible, but 2010 was interesting. I lost a close family member in her late 50's while watching another family member who will never enter the neighborhood of Close or Loving get closer to the age of 100. Even then, the year left me with a slight minute modicum of a tiny glimmer of hope. Better than the previous two years, that's for sure. Anyway, that's all for now. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and go fuck yourself. Say hello to Satan for me.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Something about being paved with good intentions

The Holocaust was not one of humanity's proudest moments, or it is, if you think we're only capable of committing evil shit to our fellow innocents. You read about some of the horrific shit these assholes did in service to that one-testicle-having cocksucking piece-of-shit vegetarian and you wouldn't believe any of it, if it wasn't for the fact that it really did happen (unless you're Mel Gibson's dad or someone like that, then no, you wouldn't believe it). But when it comes to the Toy Holocaust, though, you might as well call me Bobby Fischer because that shit? Never fucking happened.

I don't give a fuck what The Nutcracker in 3D aka We Fucked Up So Badly With This Movie That We Had To Hold It Back For A Year So We Could Convert It Into 3D And Change The Title So It Reflects That It Was Always Intended To Be In 3D is trying to tell you, that's part of the fuckin' Toy Conspiracy. They control everything, these Toys, they control the media with all the commercials and ads for Toys R Us, making people think that we need Toys for our kids. They make movies like Toy Story 3 that are outright fallacies created to make us feel sorry for them. The shopping malls used to be havens for bookstores like B. Dalton and Crown Books, it was their rightful place. Then the goddamn Toy stores came in and took it over, kicking them out or putting them out of business. Now the book stores are relegated to doing business outside of the malls; Barnes & Noble can only find a home in shitty shopping centers, sometimes having to coexist in a symbiotic state with Starbucks in order to get by.

According to this film of lies, some guy named The Rat King took over with his Nazi Rat stormtroopers and they rounded up all the toys and piled them up. Then they would pick up all the toys and dump them at the Smoke Factory, a crematorium where the toys are burned and giant plumes of smoke fill the sky (the Rat King loves smoke and hates toys -- it's a 2 Birds 1 Stone deal for him). I don't know who this Rat King was, but it's probably bullshit, because the only Rat King I know of was the dude from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and he wasn't so much evil as he was just a creepy motherfucker. The Rat King in this movie, on the other hand, is one of those evil & fey motherfuckers; he's played by Andy Warhol but they misspell his name in the credits as John Turturro, a fine actor who would never lower himself to acting in this garbage just to collect a paycheck, therefore sullying a spotless Curriculum Vitae that included such productions as You Don't Mess With The Zohan and the Transformers trilogy.

What a piece of shit this Rat King is! He's dressed like a Bond Villain and he even has a shark tank in his lair, which he then proceeds to electrocute for shits & giggles, dancing and singing about the "thousand-year" empire he has created, while poor Jaws is floating lifelessly in the water for everyone to see. The one cool thing about him is that he has a mural in his hallway that is made up of close-up pictures of crying children, that was pretty awesome. Whenever he has the opportunity, he will snap candids of sad kids on the street; they are to him, what I think sunsets are to me. In addition to his Nazi Rat stormtroopers, he has packs of robot Rat Dogs that sniff out Toys and Toy Sympathizers and dig holes where they need to be dug. Rat-Faced Nazi Warhol also has his 2 best minions flying around in winged jet-packs, looking like Michael Ironside's 2 minions from Highlander II: The Quickening. There's also the Rat Queen, some old hag who looks really disgusting and disturbing (like most of us will look when we get old) and that's before you realize she's wearing stripper boots and whore stockings.

The liberal Toy-run media try to soften the Lie Hammer by presenting this as some kind of dream world, and meanwhile, in the real world, we have Nathan Lane hamming it the fuck up as Albert Einstein. They never actually say it's Albert Einstein; his nephew calls him "Uncle Albert" but you know it's him. He's got the hair and he's also got the douchey habit of writing E=MC2 on his nephew's kids' blackboard, in case you (or they) weren't aware of who the fuck he was. And even then, he will insist on singing some bullshit song about how Everything is Relative. Oh yeah, there's singing; this is kind of a musical, as something called The Nutcracker would tend to be. To my knowledge, The Nutcracker is a magical ballet with beautiful music composed by Tchaikovsky but in this film version, those sneaky crafty Toy people decide to shit on it by including retard lyrics by Tim Rice, who must have written this shit following a stroke that rendered him incapable of having talent.

Oh, that lovable Uncle Albert, with his Fuck Realism accent and his occasional breaking of the fourth wall by addressing the audience! He comes over to his nephew's house (nephew played by Withnail, house played by a soundstage in Hungary) to watch over his nephew's kids and to give them Christmas gifts. The kids are a brother & sister duo; the sister is a nice girl played by Elle Fanning and the brother is a fucking asshole played by I Don't Know And I Don't Care. This fucking asshole kid brother likes to break and destroy shit; he takes the fairy from the beautiful Christmas tree that was just put up and tries to burn it at the fireplace, just because he felt the need to, I guess. Later, Uncle Albert gives Elle a Nutcracker doll as a gift and Fucking Asshole Kid Brother breaks the jaw off of it. Elle understandably freaks out, and Fucking Asshole Kid's response is "Just a stupid toy!" and I'm like "And you're just a stupid mistake who only exists because you have wire-hanger-dodging abilities".

The way the Nutcracker doll is introduced, you'd think you were watching a horror film. The fuckin' thing looks scary with its creepy demon soul-sucking eyeballs; you half-expect Uncle Albert to tell a tale about the killer Nutcracker who comes alive to slaughter bad little boys by living up to it's name, so be good for goodness sake! At the very least, it would look right at home in a circa 1970's Dario Argento joint. It eventually grows to human size and begins to talk (voice supplied by this chick who played Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies but much much more importantly, was in Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day) and takes Elle on a magical journey of amazement and wonderment and other shit like that.

Actually, it's kinda cool because somehow the Christmas tree in the house is now over 200 feet tall and it reaches towards the starry night sky and you can climb it to the very top. On the way up, NC (that's what the Nutcracker prefers to be called and it's also a way to make all this shit more Hip and Now to the young kids today -- yo yo yo, NC is in the hizzy!) and Elle Fanning run into some suicidal Russians who happily throw themselves off the tree. I think that kinda kills the tree-climbing mood for them, so NC & Elle decide to take a flying sleigh (or something) the rest of the way. At one point, NC turns to her and remarks "You're very pretty" and the way he says it and the way he's shot when he says it, led me to believe that in another five minutes he's going to be dragging the poor girl's mutilated remains in a bag, on the way to the fireplace to be disposed of. It would later be found out that the Nutcracker Killer was responsible for a rash of similarly gruesome murders of similarly Elle Fanning-esque victims who were all similarly dressed like 80's-era Madonna.

NC doesn't do that, though. Instead, he introduces her to the Sugar Plum Fairy and for a brief moment we hear that lovely Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy song and then suddenly here comes that fucking Shit Singing again. I want to hear this beautiful music, but the assholes on-screen insist on singing these fuckin' precious lyrics over it. Shut the fuck up! Nobody shuts the fuck up; if they're not singing bullshit, they're talking bullshit. NC invites Elle to the doll house where he resides and the tenants are making a goddamn racket; you have a monkey man named Gielgud (named after the actor who would turn this shit down if he was still alive to do so), a morbidly obese gay clown (singing Pagliacci, natch), and a Jamaican kid who apparently doesn't want to work because all he does is bang on his fuckin' drums all day (NC refers to Rasta Boy as being "the least reliable" which to me sounds like code for "Blacks Be Lazy" -- another tactic of the Toy Conspiracy is to create racial strife where none exists, the better to control us).

Eventually, Elle joins NC on a quest to fight back against the Rat King's reign of terror; the Asshole Kid Brother gets involved, toys are getting burned, some motherfucker's head gets torn off of his fucking body (it's a family film!), Gielgud hurts his balls and exclaims "Oh my bananas!" (because he's a monkey, you see), there are Prince of Darkness-style mirrors that lead to the other side, and the climax involves explosions and toppling buildings and fuckin' Rat-Faced Nazi Warhol flies a helicopter that I swear was inspired by Opa-Opa from the Fantasy Zone video game. In other words, it's EXACTLY like the ballet it was based on, they didn't try updating it or making it more exciting for the kids. Sigmund Freud is in there somewhere as well, just so Elle's mom could say something like "Maybe Freud was right about..." and Withnail cuts her off with something like "Shut the fuck up about Sigmund Freud, bitch! FUCK Sigmund Freud and FUCK his coked-up bullshit!". I'm paraphrasing.

Now that I've established that this movie is Toy Propaganda comprised of lies, I will discuss its quality. It's a weird movie, really fuckin' weird; I can't say it's bad, but it sure as fuck ain't anywhere near the vicinity of Good. I'm watching this and I'm numb to it all; I see the Christmas trees and lights and hear the music, and yet I feel no holiday spirit. The characters are making lots of noise and some of the proceedings have the appearance of humor without actually being funny. The music from the original ballet is great, while the singing is ugh. The movie works best when it's scaring the shit out of you with insane moments like when the Rat King is speeding down a sewer in his Ratcycle, firing twin Gatling guns at the good guys, while his Rat Mouth suddenly transforms into a horrific mutated monster version of Rat Fangs as he screams wildly. Goddamn, that would scare any kid, except for that kid with leukemia who sells pictures online of monsters he likes to draw, because he's not scared of monsters, he loves them -- except for the monsters currently living inside his body, eating him alive.

But was that the intent, to make a horror show disguised as a family film? I don't know. Part of me thinks the writer/director wanted to make an update of a holiday classic, he wanted to make it great, something the whole family would enjoy and perhaps watch every year. Instead, somewhere along the way, his admirable goal became a bad idea and this motherfucker kept zigging when he should've been zagging. Perhaps he lost his way, and the results are Massive Fail. If that's the case, I want to say to him "How could you do me like this, Andrei Konchalovsky? You directed Runaway Train. Muthafuckin' Runaway Train! That's one of my favorite movies of all time! Sure, you also made Tango & Cash and it's a shit movie but it's a fun shit movie and I gave you props for that, but since then I don't know what the fuck happened to you, bro. I feel like Samuel L. Jackson in Jackie Brown and you're Robert De Niro. What the fuck happened, man? Your ass used to be beautiful!"

And yet part of me thinks this was all intentional, and maybe Konchalovsky wanted to compete in the WTF division with the big boys. Maybe he got tired of making respectable awesome shit like Runaway Train and Maria's Lovers and Siberiade. He got a taste of the good stuff with Tango & Cash, but then he got fired from the picture, and he's been steaming ever since. He's like "I'll show you some fuckin' unintentional good times, I'll show you what I'm made of!" in a thick Russian accent. Motherfucker then took this classic tale of The Nutcracker, threw a live grenade down its pants, and shoved it down the stairs -- the results being muthafuckin' F.U.B.A.R., big time. If that's the case, then I want to shake the motherfucker's hand for doing it this way, for quite possibly being the maddest Russian genius who ever lived since muthafuckin' Rasputin.

I was all alone in the theater during this movie, which is awesome for me but not-awesome for the film's financiers. I try not to bother with the shitty upconversion 3D flicks; only animated films look best in that format. Live-action 3D only looks good when shot with 3D cameras, like Avatar and Resident Evil: Afterlife. But since I was so interested in seeing a new Andrei Konchalovsky film play on the big screen (he made Runaway Train, people!), and since they were only showing it in 3D, I gave it a shot.

Well, it looked just as shitty as the other upconverted flicks; the characters looked unnatural, they either looked like someone was standing directly behind them or their faces looked weird because their nose is like, right in front of you and their eyes are all the way back, giving the impression that a side profile would reveal the person to have an unnaturally horizontally-elongated head. After the movie ended, after sitting through the end credits -- the best part of the film, by the way, because it's the only time you can hear Tchaikovsky's music without someone singing over it -- I left the auditorium and dumped my RealD glasses inside the recycle bin they have in front (those things cost money, you know). Those glasses sounded so lonely when they landed at the very bottom of that very empty bin.

There's a scene near the end of this film, where Elle's character slides down a chute and lands in a pile of dolls and toys. She's in the belly of the beast, the Smoke Factory. Up ahead, she sees NC (who's unconscious or dead or something) on the conveyor belt that leads to the incinerator. I hadn't been this caught up in a cinematic predicament like this since watching Andrew McCarthy try to save Kim Cattrall from a similar fate in Mannequin. Anyway, she quietly sneaks toward the conveyor belt, so as not to alert the nearby guards. The shot that follows is from behind her, as she crawls on her hands and knees with her skirt hiked up -- we're basically looking at underage girl ass now -- while on the other side of the frame we see NC and a bunch of other toys headed for fiery death. That shot? That's the movie in a nutshell.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And if you complain once more, you'll meet an army of Milla

I've been to this particular discount theater before; I watched The Haunting of Molly Hartley and Changeling back-to-back and it only cost me like, two bucks. You have to buy your tickets at the concession stand, which means you get to stand behind the girl chatting away at the counter guy who's only listening to her bullshit in the off chance it'll increase his chance of finding out what it feels like to be inside her -- then eventually he'll notice you and charge you the $1 ticket fee + a $2 3D surcharge. What -- a 3D theatrical experience for three bucks?! Hot damn. Out-of-focus projections of scratchy film prints are the norm at these joints, but this place was showing Resident Evil: Afterlife in RealD 3D or whatever the fuck that shit's called. I'm assuming you've seen the previous 3 Resident Evil movies, as I have, so keep pace or don't. There be spoilers.

George A. Romero is right; when Zombie Armageddon arrives, it's gonna be us -- the people -- who are going to fuck it all up. But where he has it wrong is that it's not going to be because of class differences, or race differences, or the inability to forget that these monsters are no longer our friends & relatives and must be disposed with extreme prejudice. No, that's not what's going to lead to humanity's demise. You know what's gonna do it to us? No one's going to fucking agree on what to call them -- we're going to be too fucking busy having pissing matches over whether to call them zombies or infected or whatever the fuck you want to call them. While we fight over that, we're going to be too distracted to notice the army of Bad News slowly approaching us. Then it'll be too fuckin' late.

But it won't end there, because the zombies/infected/whatever are also going to be fighting amongst themselves on whether they should tear the living apart or eat them, and if they eat them, should they eat the flesh or the brains or both? And then some of the zombies/infected/whatever will be having arguments because one is shambling while the other is running and it's like Make Up Your Mind and What Kind Of Zombies Are We and I'm Not A Zombie, I'm Infected and The Fuck You Are, You're A Zombie and meanwhile you have the teleporting Fulci zombie laughing at all of them. 

So, the movie. The world's been taken over by whatever you want to call those creatures, and in the meantime, the underground headquarters for Umbrella Corporation in Japan is under attack by a group of Milla Jovovich clones. I'm looking at all of these Millas in their black skintight ass-kicking uniforms, shooting/stabbing/kicking the shit out of people, and I'm thinking to myself that while dying really sucks and I don't look forward to it (not anymore, at least), if I had to go -- well, being killed by a bunch of scowling Milla Jovoviches wouldn't be a bad way to go, especially in the Resident Evil universe, where you're very likely to get eaten alive by a pack of zombies/infected/whatever. I'd rather that the last thing I see before moving on to the next world (or eternal darkness, depending on your beliefs) be a lineup of hot angry Millas (Milli?) aiming their blazing MP9's at me, not a pack of asshole zombies.

These Millas, they were created at the end of the 3rd Resident Evil, and I don't know if they have souls and I don't care, but they sure as fuck are the same as the original Milla in every other respect, right down to the mannerisms and even the supposedly tough/funny one-liners. They're as human as human can get, minus the whole God Created Me deal (or not, depending on your beliefs). Being human beings, I'm sure they have needs, these Millas. And every available man in this post-apocalyptic world is either a zombie, a bad guy, a S.T.A.R.S. member about to valiantly sacrifice himself for the greater good, or Mike Epps. Pickings be slim. I guess what I'm trying to say here is, uh, I'm sure that in between sparring and shooting and training for future bad guy ass-kickings, they probably got to know each other very well. At least in my cut of the movie, they would. And shut the fuck up about me being lonely, I'm just saying. We should see that shit, it would be beautiful.

It doesn't happen, though. They all get blown up by some fuckin' Chad in sunglasses and long coat. Wesker's the name of this fuckin' asshole and he's probably a Gay, that's why he blew them up, because you don't blow up Milla Jovovich X 10, you just don't -- what you do is call up a couple of your bros, bring out the booze and crank up the Journey, 'cause it's Party Time. The only awesome thing Wesker does is shoot one of his own men in the head for committing the cardinal sin of questioning an order. I love when Big Bads kill their own men, it shows how evil they are.

It turns out that the real Milla, she's still alive and she almost takes the motherfucker out but she fucks up by trying to pull some "Any last words?" bullshit and you KNOW how that shit fuckin' works. There's a brief scuffle and it ends with Wesker the Chad injecting Milla with some kind of serum that neutralizes the T-Virus cells inside her, and whatever the fuck it is, it ends up sapping poor Milla of all her super-abilities and telekinetic powers. It allows Wesker to not have to worry about her fucking up his plans for World Domination, but more importantly, it allows writer/producer/director Paul W.S. Anderson to not have to worry about explaining why Milla's character doesn't just use her superpowers to get out of the many jams she's going to end up in for the next 90 minutes.

Paul W.S. Anderson is also married to Milla, and he even tried ruining her by impregnating her, but what I was left thinking about while watching all the Milla clones get shot, stabbed and blown up was if this was just an excuse to watch his wife die a bunch of times. I mean, even the happiest couples have their disagreements and maybe watching Milla #6 end up a twitching bloody mess on the floor brought a smile to his face as he remembered the time Real Milla didn't let him hang out with his mates (he's a Brit) because she's a wife and that's what wives and girlfriends do -- not let you hang out with the homies unless they're along for the ride. I'm not bitter, Stacy. I'm not. I'm sure he and fellow on-screen-wife-killing director Stuart Gordon would have quite the chat over a couple of pints (Paul's buying).

Anyway, Milla flies a Zero plane from Japan to Alaska, in search of the previous film's survivors (they left for a supposed refuge paradise called "Arcadia"), but upon landing, she finds nobody except for Ali Larter (also from the previous film). Larter can't remember shit because of some mechanical spider hooked up to her chest, and immediately begins fighting Milla, grabbing each other and rolling around on the ground, causing my special parts to feel funny. Because she's Ali Larter and not Muhammed Ali, Larter gets knocked the fuck out and Milla takes her along for a ride on her Zero. Usually when I see Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter flying, it's in my dreams and it's usually without the aid of an airplane and their destination is the city of Me. But in this case, they're flying to Los Angeles for whatever reason. They end up landing on top of a prison and hook up with the survivors inside, which comprise of an asshole movie producer, his bitch-boy intern, a Brit aspiring actress, the token Mexican Played By A Spaniard, some bald guy who I thought was the sports guy from Frasier but wasn't, and Wentworth Miller (whose full name is Wentworth Earl Miller III but was changed from his original birth name, Sir Fancy Britches Britchardson the IV).

The prison survivors are disappointed to find out that Milla and Ali are not there to rescue them, but are probably happy to see that the girl/boy ratio just rose up and gave the dudes better odds. Not only that, but what fuckin' odds! It's the end of the world and there's only 3 women with them, and they're all hot. Fuckin' A. You'd think these girls would stick together, forming some Girl Power shit, but it's all a front. When one of them ends up getting chowed down by the monsters, a minute later, one of the survivor girls is cracking wise again. It's like the poor girl never existed. Yet, when one of the guys is presumed dead, this same chick who was making her fucking stupid one-liners, she immediately gets borderline-weepy, proving once again the 2nd eternal truth that Women Secretly Hate Each Other. (For the record, the 1st eternal truth is I Don't Know Shit About Women.)

I forgot to mention another survivor; he's a basketball star and he's a likable dude for an athlete -- he's more Shaq than Kobe. He escorts Milla to the shower room and tells her that the prison has running water (even though it's cold) and I think this is probably his way of hinting to her that while she might look like Milla Jovovich, she currently smells like present-day Michael Jackson. I mean, she puts enough thought into her appearance to continue using make-up and get her hair done, but it looks like she only changes outfits between films. We're talking years here. That's something that I always think about when I watch these post-apocalyptic films, is how bad everyone must smell in these worlds. The survivors are not the lucky ones, if you ask me. 

Anyway, zombie/monster/Chad nastiness ensues, most of it in slow-motion and set to a driving tomandandy score. In addition to Wesker the Chad and the zombies, there's also these scary dudes with tentacle maws who like to burrow through walls and floor so they can get at you. If they don't get you, there's also a couple of those monster dogs that split open to reveal more teeth. Every monster in this movie has teeth to spare; there are jaws within their jaws. There's also this creepy giant dude with a makeshift axe/hammer deal; he's like 10 feet tall and doesn't talk and I don't even think you see his face in the entire movie. I wonder if Anderson forgot that he was making a Resident Evil movie and ended up dipping his toe into Silent Hill waters with that motherfucker, but it turns out that the creepy giant is an actual Resident Evil character. I don't know which game he was in, because I'm only familiar with the 1st one and part of the 2nd. What can I say, I was more into movies than video games at that point. I don't even know how true these movies are to the video games anymore, and I don't know if it even matters, because people are watching the shit out of them either way.

I remember looking up Army of Darkness in John Landis-lookalike Leonard Maltin's movie review guide; he complained that the movie became dull in between the set-pieces, which saddened me because it meant that Leonard Maltin was smoking crack. This is why when I met him in person at the American Cinematheque, I looked at him with pity as he happily held the door open for me as we made our way into a screening of Los Angeles Plays Itself. I regret not turning that screening into an intervention. Anyway, I bring up that review because I kinda feel the same way about the non-action stuff in this movie. If there were any fucks to give during the dialogue/character scenes, I couldn't find them. Thankfully, there's enough action to balance that shit out in the movie's favor.

This entry is a lot more Matrix-y than the previous films, with all the slow-mo and the 360-degree freeze-frame shit and some of the characters pulls some Agent Smith bullet-dodging shit. Now that I think about it, maybe the Resident Evil universe takes place in the Matrix. That would be a mind-blower. It amuses me to think that some 10-year-old kid (there was a little girl with her cholo father in the audience) is going to watch this movie, have his-or-her world rocked by it, and then years later he-or-she is gonna come across The Matrix (which he-or-she has never seen), pop it in, watch it, and then go "It was all right". What was Totally Fucking Awesome to you or me is going to be merely OK to him-or-her. I know this because it's happened to me with other classics I finally got around to, after having grown up watching the imitators and the inspired-bys.

Like the previous Resident Evils, all the going-ons are happened-befores -- we've seen some of these plot elements and scenarios in other movies of similar genre. Having said that, I had lots of fun with it. Sure, I've seen a hot chick in a leather outfit jump backwards out of a plate glass window and fall a great height while firing two automatic weapons before -- but this time it's two hot chicks, and they're both Milla Jovovich. The Resident Evil flicks were never the most original, or even the least original, but they're good fast times. Shit, the fuckin' games they're based on aren't exactly reinventions of the wheel, either.

Some of the action scenes feel like they were directed by Zack Snyder and The Wachowski Brother & Sister, and since I like those guys (and girl) and it's done well, I was cool with that. It's when someone tries aping a motherfucker's style and fails miserably at it that I have issues. P.W.S. Anderson's a ripoff artist, but he's a pretty good one. His movies have always been a decent night of entertainment for me, so I've no reason to hate on the guy -- except for Soldier, where Kurt Russell wins the EFC Award for Best Performance in a Piece-Of-Shit. I know it sounds weird to applaud a filmmaker for being adequate, but I feel a need to do so because this dude is straight-up HATED by so many. Don't know why, unless all the hate is for Soldier.

I'll go you one further -- I don't get the Uwe Boll hatred either. Yeah, I said that shit. I've seen, like, 3 of his movies before I learned my lesson, but while I didn't like them, I didn't think they were affronts to the artistry of cinema. Maybe it's because he made his Bad Filmmaker bones with video game movies, which are a risky endeavor unto themselves. If there's two things I've learned in this world, it's that you don't piss off a woman (sorry, Stacy) and you don't make a video game movie, because Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned or a geek disappointed. Maybe it's because his shit is so mediocre, maybe that's a bigger crime than outright incompetence; this would also explain why people happily worship Ed Wood and Tommy Wiseau, while wanting to disappear Boll and his whole family off the face of the Earth.

If people felt that way about me, I'd punish the world by making bad taste movies about fat girls and Auschwitz too; might as well play the Asshole card, which I suspect is Boll's game nowadays. This Kraut motherfucker is happily going to play the I'm A Shit Filmmaker Who Doesn't Give A Fuck part for as long as his name continues to be met with boos. And don't give me this shit about purposely making movies that suck because of some tax-shelter bullshit as being a reason to hate the guy. Unless you work for the German government or pay German taxes, you have no dog in that fight. Did you know Uwe Boll stole a fuckin' 35mm movie camera from a film school -- probably fucking over an eager film student in the process -- to make a movie? No? Well, that's because it wasn't Uwe Boll, it was Werner Herzog who did that shit. But I bet if you thought it was Boll, you were all like What A Fucking Asshole. There's a point in here somewhere, go look for it, I'm too lazy to make one.

In conclusion, I want to play video games and smoke pot with a bunch of Milla Jovovich clones.