Archive for December, 2006

Conveniently forgetting The Hollywood’s faults

December 19, 2006

Is it just me, or has fall been kind of spectacular in the movie department? The Departed. Borat. Casino Royale. Both Children of Men and Pan’s Labyrinth look grand, especially if you, like me, are a slut for Clive Owen, grotesquerie, and apocalyptic fairy tales.

The glut of goodness is particularly noticeable because the movie summer of 2005 was wretched. Sure, it came on the heels of 2006’s wham-bam-AWESOME, ma’am of Batman Begins and…um…so I can’t remember a single other movie that came out during the summer of 2005, but it seemed awesomer than 2006, cinematically speaking, which I now realize is probably because I was living in The Hollywood, and everything in The Hollywood just seems awesomer, and it is not until your plane is sailing high above Burbank that you realize the entire city is made up of cardboard castles on Botoxed clouds, and, despite this, you love it anyway.

I digress. I *do* remember seeing very bad movies this past summer, which is arguably worse than not remembering if I saw any movies at all. Superman Returns, for one, is a bad movie. It is, fanboys; I’m sorry. It just is. Pirates of the Caribbean? Slightly better, in that I recall being entertained (though not commensurate with the cost of my ticket), but the fact that it’s not a bad movie does not make it a good one. Cars was pretty but grossly unexceptional. Daily, I suppress the knowledge that, had I not spent actual money to see these three movies, that adorable pair of open-toed shoes crying piteously for me in Marshall’s may have been orphaned no longer.

But then The Hollywood spits out The Departed, and it’s wicked frickin’ good. And Borat, which, to be fair, surprised The Hollywood, though how anyone ever thought a movie with that much hairy male nudity was an unsafe bet is beyond me. And Casino Royale kicked ass. Like, really kicked ass–it lined the ass up, did a few practice kicks, took a moment for personal reflection, and punted the ass so far beyond the field goal it’s like the ass never existed.

Is this a harbinger of things to come? Will 2007 be another 1999 (a.k.a. the greatest year ever for movies, according to an old Entertainment Weekly that I remember totally agreeing with back in 1999)?

Don’t tease me, Mr. The Hollywood. A girl could get used to this.

HA! I remember another movie that came out during the summer of 2005: Star Wars! I legitimately forget the sub-title right now (Sith Happens, something like that?), but I think the almost-total lapse in memory from a kid who slept with a stuffed Ewok for the whole of 1984 is a fitting tribute to the final stages of Mr. Lucas’s revisionist career.

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So this is Christmas, etc.

December 19, 2006

And what have I done with this blog? Statistically, very little: I’m running a rate of one point six repeating posts per month, a skewed statistic that’s even more pathetic when you consider that the majority of posts occurred in the first month or two of blogging. To those who read my blog faithfully, poked me gently with a sharpened stick when I first began to slack, threw your hands in the air when it became apparent that this sucker was DoA, and then unceremoniously dumped me from your daily time-wasting itinerary: I have…something I want to say.

I want to be better, baby. You know, when we first met, everything was exciting and new…I had just turned 26, the world of investment marketing was my oyster, and I had big hopes. I know you did, too, but sometimes, life has these other plans for us, baby–big, shiny, other plans. I didn’t want us to be distant, to be cold, and I know there was that week, or that month, when I was more focused on catching up on Battlestar Galactica than I was on you, but seriously, if you cared about me at all, you’d realize that sexy android-led genocide with a side of Olmos can make people…change. I guess that what I’m trying to say is that I’m sorry, baby, that I dallied with that other hussy, but I can’t give it up. Not yet. There’s something so magical about each of you–you’re both so special, so unique, that I was over my head, overthinking everything, when I should have been trusting my heart every single day. Instead I fell under the merciless wheels of anxiety that said I ought to post nothing but shining, pithy rubies that glittered in the inky black firmament that is the interweb. I’m over that now. I’m gonna post about random crap all the time–random crap from my heart.

Come back to Ike, baby. It’s gonna be different this time.

Phenomenononon

December 6, 2006

OMG you guys, seriously: this movie is the cinematic equivalent of taking so much LSD you technically die and come back before your corpse has a chance to cool.

Phenomena
Directed by Dario Argento
Starring Jennifer Connelly and Donald Pleasance
The pitch: A young insect-whisperer employs her crawly minions to solve a series of grisly girl-murders at a Swiss boarding school.

The dish: I’ve heard a lot about Dario Argento: father of Ahhhsia, definitive maestro of Italian psycho-sexual horror (i.e., lots of latent anxiety about pubescent girls in groups, lady parts, and sticky fluids), inspirado to everyone from Wes Craven to Kevin Williamson (and yes, I am aware that’s actually a rather narrow field). His Suspiria is supposed to be one of the trippiest pieces of horror head-trip ever. Color me interested, and by ‘interested,’ I mean: color me apprehensive but desperately intrigued, so I decide to check out a ‘lesser Argento,’ you know, just to get my feet wet.

Getting your feet wet in an Argento means falling into a cesspit of rotting human bodies. With your mouth open. Also, there’s a deformed child trying to kill you. But wait: you’re going to be saved by a horde of winged insects you control with your mysterious feminine wiles! And a chimpanzee!

You’ll like Phenomena if you’ve ever wanted to see Jennifer Connelly stare dead-eyed at a camera for interminable periods of time while Donald Pleasance waxes poetic about how she “excites” his bugs. I won’t lie: I cheered out loud several times during this movie, so apparently I’m a sicker bastard than previously assumed. (When the chimp shows up? He has a straight razor and it’s AMAZING.) There’s an irrepressible gonzo sensibility to the whole mess, but it is a mess–a hot, sticky mess of bugs and viscous substances.

But Jennifer’s hair is the prettiest hair I’ve ever seen in my entire life. No wonder the bugs are excited.

Fun fact! This film may or may not be tangentially responsible for one of the crackassier nightmares I’ve ever had: a trailer for a horror film about Jennifer Connelly infiltrating a coven of dark witches, where people are eaten by beige wall-to-wall carpet, titled Lancet Eyes. Feel free to be less disturbed by the concept of ‘lancet eyes’ than by the fact that I dream in trailers.