Monday, April 18, 2011

#43 The Thin Red Line : Rumble in the jungle

Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line, can not only brag with perhaps the greatest cast ever assembled, but can also claim to be the greatest war movie put down on celluloid (although it's running extremely close-by to classics such as Apocalypse Now and contemporary masterpiece Saving Private Ryan as well). Despite it's philosophical nature, The Thin Red Line, truly delivers when it comes to the action part of the show, flaunting some of the most intense and exhausting imagery to date, while Nick Nolte's equally intense officer Lt. Col. Gordon Tall are shouting commands into a telephone, louder and more scarily, than the massive bombings that are tearing the tiny island of Guadalcanal to smithereens.
The moment in particular offers up a combination of heartfelt emotions, beautiful cinematography, great acting and what must be considered as Hans Zimmer's (the composer equivalent of a car factory) greatest orchestral score so far, as the American soldiers charges a Japanese camp through mist and confusion. Astonishing as well as horrifying. True fucking art.

Friday, July 16, 2010

#43 Burn After Reading: Basement secret

Director: Ethan & Joel Coen
Genre: Comedy
Key Players: George Clooney, Frances McDormand

In the third collaboration between George Clooney and the Coen brothers, Clooney portrays womanizing schmuck Harry Pfarrer, a slight paranoid marshal working for the State Department. In a way to score with Frances McDormand's love craving Linda Litzke he presents his secret basement project: the dildo chair. A rocking chair fitted with a dildo to go up and down when you lean back. Her reaction? "That's fantastic!" Sure is.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

#42 Zombieland: Opening flair

Director: Ruben Fleischer
Genre: Zomcom
Key Players: Extras

First, this is no Shaun of the Dead. Far from it. But, it's quite funny at times and Bill Murray cameos as himself, quite brilliantly. Besides from that, nothing else in the movie tops the slow motion opening credits, where people are being attacked in all kinds of different situations. Stylish and also sets the tone for the picture. Let's take a look. (Click the image for a grander view)

#41 Forgetting Sarah Marshall - Schlong surprise

Director: Nicholas Stoller
Genre: Comedy
Key Players: Jason Segel

In my original draft, I had prepared this great essay-like diatribe, using some big and impressive words to describe the injustice and hypocrisy that is nudity on film. Unless you dig really deep and look at the very worst and the most tasteless films (and I will), not a single dick are to be found. There's no arguing that there is an unfavorable exposure towards the other sex. Don't get me wrong, I have no intention to ban or get all high up on my horse, condemning nudity and such. On the contrary. I want to see more dicks on film. If not for the purpose of equality, then perhaps for their comedic value (as we'll soon find out). End of rant. Let's begin.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is another watered down comedy of the Judd Apatow brand. The diet Coke version, if you will, when compared with the real thing. The usual players appear to some extent, the jokes tend to deal with sex and drinking and the whole thing is fronted by the goofy looking guy from the insufferable but somehow popular (it's a total mystery!) TV-show How I Met Your Mother's Vagina (I'm pretty certain that's the name), Jason Segel. How bad the show may be, and it is, I enjoyed Forgetting Sarah Marshall more than I ever could have imagined. Plus, and here comes the twist, Segel does what few men of any sort of importance have done before: full frontal nudity. In the very opening of the film, his longtime girlfriend comes over to dump his ass. So he's just there in a towel when she drops the bomb. And he drops the towel. The camera doesn't stay on him for long, but there's no confusion here, that's his dick you see. Several times. He moves around freely, sitting down, getting up. Excuse me for the poor choice of words, but really milking it. Because they know it's funny. Dicks are funny. Because no one expects them to just pop out like that. Oh, he does it one more time in the end as well.

PS. How I Met Your Mother's Vagina is really awful, and anyone claiming otherwise cannot possibly have seen it. It's atrocious.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

#40: Kingping: Bulljuice

Director: Bobby & Peter Farrelly
Genre: Comedy
Key Players: Woody Harrelson, a bull

Before the Farrelly brothers hit it really big with There's Something About Mary and joking about getting cum in your hair, they did jokes about cum in King Pin (in far bigger quantities as well), a hit-and-miss comedy about bowling with Bill Murray and Woody Harrelson. In an attempt to get Amish manboy and natural bowling sensation Ismahel to go with him and win a lot of cash, he first needs to infiltrate his community and get on their good side. So in the spirit of kindness, he decides to milk the cow. And as he is taking several big gulps from the freshly acquired milk (he's got a big bucket full of it), he is let known they have no cow. Only a bull. Cheap gag, but very Farrelly.

#39 The Royal Tenenbaums: Suicide shave

Director: Wes Anderson
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Key Players: Luke Wilson

Wes Anderson's quirky indie comedy about a dysfunctional family reunion of sorts, is cut out for cherry picking: funny dialogue mixed with a wonderful sense of visual panache, a great ensemble (Bill Murray, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Angelica Huston, Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller and many more...) and stylish music makes The Royal Tenenbaum's a bordering cult classic. At times heartwarming and funny, but also serious and emotional. Luke Wilson's fallen tennis pro Richie Tenenbaum goes to some dark places and decides at one point to kill himself. Almost in a symbolic type way, he shaves his mighty beard and slits his wrist with razor blades, all to the wonderful but melancholic Elliott Smith tune Needle In The Hay (somewhat fittingly, since Smith himself died in 2003 under suspicious circumstances). He survives, of course, and is later asked by his brother whether his suicide note were dark or not. Well, that's The Tenenbaum's. Where the light is shining even in the darkest of tunnels.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#38 Snakes On A Plane: Mouthful

Director: Do you really need to know?
Genre: Campy horror
Key Players: Who cares. They're naked and die. I'm sorry, but you're 15 minutes are up.

When lacking a proper script to base your film on, there are certain tricks filmmakers often employ. Cheap laughs, violence and gore, or perhaps the most common one, nudity. Snakes on a Plane is one of those movies. And perform poorly on all counts mentioned. For starters, a total give-away if you're watching a bad movie would be if the villain is interrupted while trying out some sweet ninja moves. (He is). And the evil mastermind plan he gives birth to? Smuggling a shitload of poisonousness snakes on board a big ass plane to off an important witness protected by bad ass Samuel L Jackson. Seems pretty uncertain in it's efficiency, but, this is the level we're at. And the scene in question is just another shallow attempt of spicing things up. Apparently, the exotic snakes were not enough to take hold of our attention.
A muscled-up surfer type guy and an airhead bimbo are getting it on in the bathroom when they're attacked by these evil snakes. He gets bitten in the throat. She in the breast. Now, if the snake had launched for her sssssssntach or taken a big bite of his, what I must assume, hard erect penis, then Snakes on a motherfucking Plane, would have brought something new, something unique, to the mix (there are too few dicks in the movies these days. Spread out the dicks). Sadly, this is the only thing I can recall from this sorry piece of film. The rest is a blur of bad CG snakes and poor acting. It's so bad, I bet Troma would not even dare to touch it with a ten foot pole. And they produce a lot of weird shit.