Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Internship

This priceless gem is about two old guys who teach some geeky YAs that the only way to be truly happy and find yourself is to have (at least) one wild night of sex, alcohol, and violence.

I'm interested in the parallel between the BBRCs and the drunk/vulnerable scene, but I'm not a fan of comedies generally. Don't ask me to gush, because you won't like the liquid I choose.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Monkeybone

This review is NOT approved for all audiences.
I'm not sure there's much to be said for a movie about a guy who animates his phallus. I'll keep it short.

Although the physical acting was solid, and Brendan Frasier and Bridget Fonda both offered entertaining performances (if somewhat unexciting), the images were too much Roger Rabbit and not enough Tim Burton, although the sets and effects were often full of potential. I mean it was necessarily juvenile, but that fact itself made the story unemotional. It became impossible to identify with the characters, which is a huge tragedy, because Bridget Fonda. She always oozes sympathy and wit, and in this role, though we clearly took her side, she merely filled a generic "girlfriend" slot.

Let's talk about the gender issues. Clearly, if you're going to turn your penis into a cheeky monkey (so many things wrong with that sentence), you have to be a guy, right? Because Freud was right: women don't have one.

Dude.

This becomes a problem when you are equating your external sex organs with your internal personality struggles. Basically, the movie is claiming that a man has two sides: his traumatized, loving, responsible side that wants to sleep and propose, and the evil, mischievous, fun side that just wants to squeeze or penetrate anything it's attracted to. The film also points out that women might be attracted to both sides of a man.

It doesn't, however, even begin to talk about the complexity of women until the concluding animations, when everybody is basically turned into an animated monkey. Despite the fact that it's not really complexity, it is pretty gender-neutral in those moments. But not until then. Until then, women are left as accessories to a man's internal struggle. They are the object of adoration, and the reason to repress the monkey, and educated spectators of the masculine internal struggle, but they don't have the same struggles themselves. None of the women show the least amount of depth or internality, and in the moment when Fonda does dream, she dreams of her wedding. With the man.

I'm sorry, but despite the imagination, this film gets pissed on by my feminist side.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Ladykillers

It's not quite a heist film. I mean, it very much is. I mean, sort of. There's certainly a heist, and some good planning, but I think the heist film genre requires the thieves to be the protagonists, which they are, I mean the good guys, which they're not. Sort of. I mean. . .

I don't think this film needs a review. It's a dark comedy classic. Sir Alec Guiness spends the entire film doing a brilliant Alastair Sim impression, and Peter Sellers does as little acting as possible, which still leaves him 100% chameleon, though not looking very comfortable as a flashy, gun-toting thug.

The place at which the character of Mrs. Wilberforce is possible fascinates me, though. The setting is contemporaneous with the film's production, so early fifties. The writer was American (Missouri, according to IMDB), though he lived in England to write his screenplays. His admiration of the Victorian woman is incomparable. Was he borrowing a stereotype, or did he personally like to jab affectionate teasing at the elderly women he possibly met? Katie Johnson plays a disturbing combination of unflappable, naive, and belligerent.

Anyway, not much more to say about this, except I suspect it was colorized.

Flypaper

I love heist movies. It's why I've seen Now You See Me at full price twice in the last month, despite my temporary lack of income.

Flypaper had a ridiculous premise, and turned out to be lots of fun, as films go, but there were too many swearwords. It's a stupid reason to dislike a film, and yet, the language was so strong it distracted me from the characters, and from the plot.

But it's realistic!

Yeah, and in real life, swearwords distract me from characters and plot, too. That's what they're for. It's all camouflage. Swearing, verbal obscenity, is designed to bury meaning in adamance. Dialogue, in film and literature, is always stylized. The "um"s are cut out, and so are most of the expletives, because when used too liberally they inhibit storytelling. They dilute the English language. Like that old 90's valley-girl stereotype, who can't finish a clause without adding a "like."

So, while the story was interesting and the movie was full of fun, energetic actors, there's no need to do your brain this kind of violence.