Sunday, July 21, 2019

Us is the greatest movie of all time


Us. If you wanna get crazy, we can get crazy. Great use of "I Got 5 on It" which takes me and the characters back to the mid-90s. Really loved it. But it ain't no Get Out. Academy Award Nominee this will never be, even in this year of complete shit.  Feel like director Jordan Peele has the potential to be hated for the same reasons that M. Night Shyhamalan is hated. Mainly the twist stuff. That seems unlikely, at least IMO. Good sophomore movie though.

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: With Jordan Peele's second inventive, ambitious horror film, we have seen how to beat the sophomore jinx, and it is Us.

Gist of the movie is that Adelaide played by Lupita Nyong'o (she was female lead in Black Panther) runs into her doppelganger whilst vacationing at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk (the same one where they filmed The Lost Boys) right around the time of the Hands Across America event in 1986 where people all over America formed a human chain, holding hands from coast to coast (that didn't quite work but it was indeed a shit ton of people holding hands for something [to fight hunger and homelessness] that was soon forgotten). This, apparently, you know, fucks her up. Cut to 30 something years later and see she has married one Gabe Wilson played by Winston Duke and birthed two kids, Zora played by Shahadi Wright Joseph and Jason (Evan Alex). The group goes on vacation to their fly-ass home near the beach hanging out with a couple, played by Tim Heidecker from Tim and Eric Awesome Show and unfortunate Scientologist Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale fame, and their twin daughters. One evening they are visited by their clones--the clones are "tethered" in a way where their actions on the surface were mirrored by the doppelgangers underground--who we find want to coexist peacefully. JK. They want to murder them and then perform their own Hands Across America.

A lot of the clone stuff is unexplained which I liked. Don't like how they sustained themselves whilst down there. Slaughtering rabbits and what not. My clone wouldn't do that (another JK). They say they were cloned by the government or something but it isn't really the focus. Just that they are there, trying to take over. What their endgame is though is also sort of mystery. The Doppelganger Hands Across Clonemerica is a great first day, I guess, but what are you gonna do after that? Like a guy whose retirement plan is to sip margaritas on a beach somewhere, these guys need to start thinking long-term.

The movie is a pretty effective social commentary. On one hand, preaching to the choir. On the other, I think we need as much of this shit as possible during this Trump era of bullshit. Peele, for his part explained it thus to The A.V. Club :
"One of the central themes in Us is that we can do a good job collectively of ignoring the ramifications of privilege. I think it's the idea that what we feel like we deserve comes, you know, at the expense of someone else's freedom or joy. You know, the biggest disservice we can do as a faction with a collective privilege like the United States is to presume that we deserve it, and that it isn't luck that has us born where we're born. For us to have our privilege, someone suffers. That's where the Tethered connection, I think, resonates the most, is that those who suffer and those who prosper are two sides of the same coin. You can never forget that. We need to fight for the less fortunate."
Peele sees our pleasure as someone else's pain in a way that is hard to disagree with. Basically everything we buy comes at the cost of someone's suffering, which is fucked and at times debilitating, at least for me.

Anyway, the hands down MVP of the movie is Winston Duke whom you may remember from his part as M'Baku from Black Panther. I'd say the dude was meant to be an upper middle class guy throwing out dad jokes for 90 minutes, as he did in this movie, if he wasn't so great in BP. Also, have a soft spot for my vegetarian, former college football playing brethren. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Brightburn is the worst movie of all time



Brightburn. Take the world. What if Superman was evil? This movie asks that question. Lame. Fucking hated it. Like any child hitting puberty, this kid turns into a dick. What happens when a little shit discovers he has superpowers is he rages out and kills everyone with his godlike power. He does this because fuck it, that's why. 

Gist of this piece is this little kid discovers he has superpowers and decides to stop taking shit from adults, instead just straight up murdering them. Movie stars Elizabeth Banks who is lovely and wins the movie and David Denman who was Pam's first dude in The Office as the parents, Jackson A. Dunn who is the super kid, and Meredith Hagner and Matt Jones (Badger in Breaking Bad) who play his aunt and uncle. The Jones character's death is fucked as he jaw comes off in a real and sick way.

The movie is super uncomfortable. Not only is this kid killing the shit out people for slight perceived offenses, he is also becoming interested in girls. I was scared he was going to start raping little girls to death and such but they spare us this, thank fuck. But in the movie this would kind of make sense since when he breaks bad he gives no more shits.

Doesn't seem to be any way to take this kid down in this universe either. They have Cryptonite, or whatever, that Banks tries to kill him with. But no one is ever going to figure that shit out since it is hidden under the barn and what not. In the end we see him blowing up buildings and just being a super, flying dick. This begs the question, how long before we take something like this down with like a nuke or something. He isn't the only Justice League type hero out there fucking shit up either. We learn this in a nice little cameo tirade from the actor Michael Rooker who is some right-wing conspiracy TV guy like Alex Jones. This was about the only thing, besides Banks, I liked in the movie. In this scene we learn there is a "half-man/half-sea creature capsizing fishing vessels in the South China Sea" and "some kind of witch-woman who chokes people out with ropes." So basically Aquaman and Wonder Woman.

Anywho, we don't really see if the kid is the last of his kind like Superman but I would assume not. They make a big deal of him being like a parasitic wasp raised by bees in a hive that the wasp infiltrates and takes over. So, yeah, this kid's "parents" eventually, once they figure out they fucked up, both try to kill him, so like the wasp in this metaphor, he decimates those that raise him. You really feel for Banks as she is making a huge sacrifice in trying to kill this kid that she loved. This is why she wins the movie. Just like a real child though, he don't care, and takes her up to 30,000 feet and drops her. Bloop. He then immediately takes down a plane that is approaching, killing another couple hundred people. Lame and depressing, this ending. The news and shit picks this up and treats the kid as a victim which doesn't make any sense as the cops were there investigating him for murder and shit and called dispatch saying shit was going down after which they just disappear. Whatever.

Revenge is the greatest movie of all time


Revenge. Do you like rape revenge movies? Of course not. Usually too into the rape, if you know what I mean, or turn the victim into a psychopath. Examples of the former would be I Spit on Your Grave or Last House on the Left or Eye for an Eye, while examples of the latter would be Ms. 45 or Teeth. This movie, however, is one of those rare flicks that does it right, movies that are becoming more common as we become more woke to such things. Some examples of these movies would be American Mary and Bound to Vengeance. This one does it perfectly. We get enough of the shit to not only hate the rapist, but also get a glimpse at the dude's bros, the worst of whom isn't even the rapist, who enable rapists, the culture, and are violent against women. All that stuff goes down pretty quickly (the rape happens, it's terrible, it's effects are lasting but we don't have to sit there and watch it for half an hour) and we get right into her fighting for her survival in an extremely satisfying way in this gem of a revenge movie. Greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Revenge slices and dices genre tropes, working within an exploitation framework while adding a timely -- yet never less than viscerally thrilling -- feminist spin.

Pros: Sick cinematography. Great use of landscape and color. So. Much. Blood. Like an unreal amount.

Cons: While it's not Funny Games or anything, it still features a lot of uncomfortable violence against a woman.

Gist of the movie is trio of rich as fuck friends convene on a remote island somewhere for their annual hunting trip. One of them, Richard played by Kevin Janssens (good time to point out that all of these actors are pretty much unknowns), brings his young mistress along, one Jen played by Matilda Lutz (she was the lead in the film Rings which is still on my to watch list). They get along for a day, drinking, flirting, dancing, and doing drugs, but Richard's buddy Stan (Vincent Colombe) thinks that Jen was coming on to him and tries to have sex with her. When she refuses, he brutally rapes her. She cries for help within earshot of the third friend on the trip, Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchède), turns up the volume on the TV before going outside for a dip in the pool. When Richard comes back, Jen tells him. When he barely gives a shit, saying she wants to leave and what not, and that if she can't, she will tell his wife, he beats her. Next thing everyone knows, she is out the door, sprinting for her life. Once she gets to the edge of a cliff, they push her off. Through grit, she survives and the dudes set out to find her and finish the job, only Jen is tough as fuck and hell bent on getting her mother fucking revenge!

Hard to call a movie with a brutal rape and so much violence beautiful but this is. Vividly colorful, the movie is a feast of natural beauty. It is also a very satisfying movie as these three are some of the most easily hateable characters of all time. Spoiler, there are three kills total and all of them are fucking great. She gets hers.

This Kevin Janssens guy wins the movie. Dude was a pretty convincing psychopath. Sort of reminded me of Aaron Eckhart. Totally an alpha male type who treats everyone, including his mates, like complete shit. Spoiler, there is this super intense scene when they are back at the house and it is just him and Jen left alive at this point. He is naked running around the house hunting her like a mad man. Think American Psycho except more deranged. Making it even fucking crazier is when she shoots him and then she is hunting him. But he seran wraps his guts in and the two of them are chasing each other around in circles for a crazy long time, each with the intent of killing the other. When she slips and falls and he finally catches her and knocks her out. He begins to choke her out and you think she is done but reaches in through the plastic wrap and pulls some of his guts out at which point she shoots him point blank in the chest with a hunting shotgun. There is so much blood in this house it is fucking unbelievable. And so ends this amazingly beautiful rape/revenge fantasy (or whatever you want to call it).

The debut film of one Coralie Fargeat. This lady is going places. The movie is one of my favorite horror, since it's on Shudder I'mma call it that, movies of last year. Get a lot of use out of that subscription. That and Mandy were Shudder exclusives. Two great, trippy films. Shudder has so much good content. This was one of the best. Can't wait for Fargeat to make more flicks. Check this one out. Loved it.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Housebound is the greatest movie of all time


Housebound. New Zealand picture. Lots of crossover with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings actors. Horror then comedy (easily my favorite genre) that works on both levels. There aren't many movies more in my wheelhouse. Of course I love the shit out of this movie. Has a shockingly high RT Fresh score of 98% though it is so well done that I couldn't imagine it being a dud or anything. Also, I find the main character, Morgana O'Reilly as Kylie Bucknell, to be crazy attractive which is always a plus. She also wins the movie.

Rotten Tomatos Consensus: Alternately hilarious, gross, and simply diverting, Housebound is the rare horror-comedy that delivers on both fronts.

Part People Under the Stairs. Part Rear Window. Movie follows a woman sentenced to house arrest with her parents, whom she estranged, in what appears to be more and more like a legit haunted house. A lot of the fun comes from the mother and daughter being so estranged and her being forced back into her childhood home. Only actor I've ever seen is Rima Te Wiata, who plays the mom, Miriam Bucknell. She was in a Taika Waititi, the guy who did What We Do In The Shadows and Thor: Ragnarok, that guy is seriously great, called Hunt for the Wilderpeople that is a really sweet film. Other than that it is all that guys from LOTRs and Xena. Released at South by Southwest, directed by one Gerard Johnstone, this is his only film, still. That is a travesty. Get this guy money to make another movie for god's sake.

Anyway, There are like three times you think you know what is going on in this flick but everything completely turns, keeping you on your toes. At first everything seems supernatural as Kylie discovers that the house used to be a mental institution where a brutal murder took place just a few years before. Then it seems certain that a neighbor is responsible. Then about five other things go down where you don't know who is causing all the shit or what is about to happen.

There are a couple of terrifying scene in there. Like when Kylie comes face to face with what is going bump in the night for the first time, that shit is fucked up. There is also this scene where Kylie wakes up and this Teddy Ruxpin type thing with a voice box that you can record on which is malfunctioning, making it sound demonic, shows up suddenly one night, talk shit. Kylie is like, "what the fuck did you say to me?" Then the bear starts in with that slow, terrifying, mechanical voice and she punches it in the face, "stop tickling me," it says, as it goes into the fire. The next day, whilst taking a shower, the same bear, mostly burned and way more terrifying, suddenly shows up in the shower with her, speaking garbled nonsense. Totally a WTF moment. To make things worse, as a former addict, everyone thinks she is crazy. Not a good position to be in.

Great flick that has the viewer all over the place in a way that is totally realistic and makes sense in the movie. Not one of those twists for no reason movies. In this you just slowly get more info as time goes on, shedding more light on the last revelation. I love a movie that makes you ask a lot of question but all the shit gets answered and comes together in the end. This is one of those rare satisfying movies.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Greatest Years In Cinema Project: The Films


These are the movies I'm going to be watching for Hollywood's greatest years. Five years. Ten movies from each year. A few extras by request. Look forward to these in the coming months.

Some notes on the lists. I made sure to have the Academy Award Winner for Best Picture, a comedy, a horror movie, a kids(ish) movie, and a sports movie. If a big name director had a movie that year, I included it even if it wasn't a great flick (Bringing Out the Dead [Martin Scorsese] and Death Proof  [Quinton Tarantino] for example). There are several notable exceptions to this rule (Ghost Dog [Jim Jarmusch] and The Straight Story [David Lynch] in 1999). Otherwise, just picked better films from that year I want to watch and write about.

1939

Gone with the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Stagecoach, The Arsenal Stadium Mystery, The Cat and the Canary, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Roaring Twenties, The Wizard of Oz, and Young Mr. Lincoln 

Missing the cut: Dark Victory, Golden Boy, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Gunga Din, Of Mice and Men, Son of Frankenstein, The Women, and Wuthering Heights

1976

All the Presidents Men, Assault on Precinct 13, Carrie, Logan's Run, Marathon Man, Network, Rocky, Silver Streak, Taxi Driver, and The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

Missing the cut: Alice, Sweet Alice, Bad News Bears, Silent MovieThe Omen, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and The Tenant 

1994

Above the Rim, Cemetery Man, Forest Gump, In the Mouth of Madness, Interview with the Vampire, Leon: The Professional, Pulp Fiction, Reality Bites, Speed, and The Shawshank Redemption

Bonus by request: Beverly Hills Cop III and possibly The Santa Clause

Missing the cut: Blue Chips, Clerks, Ed Wood, Hoop Dreams, and True Lies

1999

American Beauty, Any Given Sunday, Bringing Out the Dead, Election, Fight Club, Go, Office Space, The Blair Witch Project, Three Kings, and Toy Story 2

Bonus by Request: Deep Blue Sea

Missing the cut: Being John MalkovichGalaxy QuestGhost Dog, Magnolia, Man on the MoonSleepy Hollow, The Green MileThe InsiderThe Iron GiantThe MatrixThe Sixth SenseThe Talented Mr. RipleyThe Thomas Crown AffairThe Virgin Suicides, and Varsity Blues

2007

Death Proof, Hot Fuzz, Juno, No Country For Old Men, Ratatouille, Superbad, Talladega Nights, The Assassination of Jesse James, There Will Be Blood, and Zodiac

Missing the cut: 3:10 to YumaAtonement, Distubia, Eastern Promises, Gone Baby GoneKnocked Up, I'm Not There, Into the WildMr. Brooks, and The Simpsons Movie

Also, may end up revisiting some of those flicks in years with a bunch of films that didn't quite make the cut. Just gonna focus on these for now though. But feel free to make suggestions. Thanks for everyone that suggested a film. 

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is the greatest movie of all time


What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. Insanity. Pair of crazy old biddies, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, who play sisters, going at each other. In the film and in real life. So much unhinged from Baby Jane and Mommy Dearest. Davis, as Baby Jane, is fucking terrifying and completely unhinged.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? combines powerhouse acting, rich atmosphere, and absorbing melodrama in service of a taut thriller with thought-provoking subtext.

Gist of the movie is a pair of sisters, Blanche and Jane Hudson, go back and forth relying on and resenting each other. At first Jane is a child star Vaudeville performer and treats Blanche like shit. Later, after film has caught on, Blanche is the star and Jane is the forgotten one. It was then that Blanche ended up paralyzed under mysterious circumstances with Jane in a drunken haze, unable to remember anything. Everyone assumes Jane ran her over with her car but Blanche eventual admits that she tried to run Jane over but instead wrecked her car and paralyzed herself in the process.

Jane's treatment of Blanche progresses from bird killing and cooking to starving/dehydrating and straight up murder. So basically from fucked to completely deranged. Directed by one Robert Aldrich who did Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte which was originally going to put Crawford and Davis back together but they couldn't be in the same room (more on that later), The Dirty Dozen (1967), and The Longest Yard (1974).

The film feels, in some ways, like the Samuel Beckett play Endgame where the crippled character Hamm asks his servant Clov why he doesn't leave for more or less the entire thing with interludes of trashcan parents popping up and dying, ending with Clov trying to leave but standing in the doorway, unable. Minus the absurdism, both these works of art feature characters that rely on a resentful servant in a home they are all more or less trapped in. At the end of WEHTBJ? we see Jane finally leave the home for good but she still, after everything, feels that she has to take Blanche with her.

Not the look of someone you want to fuck with...
Unless you are Joan Crawford
Davis definitely wins the movie but Crawford does a hell of a job as well. By most accounts, Davis was slightly less of bitch than Crawford in real life but both had their moments and daughters that wrote extremely fucked up tell-alls about their famous moms (Davis's is actually in the movie, she's the teenage girl that lives next door). However, both were pretty progressive for their day as life-long California democrats and have a sort of a status of gay icons. Crawford was especially surprisingly cool and had a very close bond with her silent film co-star from the 1920s, William Haines, whom the studio tried to romantically link her with to keep his sexual preference out of the spotlight. When that didn't work, Haines left acting and became an outrageously successful interior designer and antique dealer with life partner Jimmie Shields. When Haines died in 1973, Crawford unsuccessfully tried to keep Shields out of the throws of deep depression which led to his suicide. Afterward, of Haines, Crawford said, "He had never kept it a secret that he was homosexual. It was never anything that mattered to me, but most people in Hollywood didn’t like it. I can’t imagine why they thought it was any of their business. What mattered to me was that for a long time, he was my best friend." So, yeah, pretty cool there. You can read more about it at much ado about cinema in this excellent article.

One last thing, what wasn't cool though was how Crawford sabotaged Davis's chances at winning an Academy Award for the role of Jane. Not only did she call Oscar voters to talk shit, Crawford reached out to all the Best Actress nominees to see which among them would be unable to attend the ceremony, offering to accept the award on their behalves. Eventual winner, Anne Bancroft for her part in The Miracle Worker, agreed and on the night of the show, Crawford gleefully accepted. Davis's reaction was indignant astonishment. Books have been about this shit.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Prevenge is the greatest movie of all time


Prevenge. British. Pretty good for an independent movie with little budget. Is sort of marketed as a comedy horror. Would more call it a horror movie that has some dark comedy tossed in. It's pretty solid. Carried by the performance of Alice Lowe who is great in the film. She also directs. This is her first movie. She was really pregnant in the flick. Looks like a young Catherine O'Hara (the mom in Home Alone who is also in pretty much every Christopher Guest movie). Took me forever to realize where I knew her from. It was the British show I fucking loved called Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. She plays Madeleine Wool/Liz Asher. The female doctor who "went to Harvard College Yale, passed all her classes, and got an A." One of my favorite programs of all-time and what opened my eyes to British humor. Anyway, the movie is pretty good and very engaging. Mostly because of her. She wins the movie. Also, the (mostly) dickbags that she kills. They are good, too.

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: As ambitious as it is daringly transgressive, Prevenge should thrill fans of pitch-black horror-comedy -- and open untold opportunities for writer/director/star Alice Lowe.

Gist of the flick is that a recently widowed pregnant woman, Ruth (Lowe), is told to kill the people "responsible" for her baby daddy's death (we get bits and piece that show him on a climb and his line getting cut with him falling to his death in a situation where they had to sacrifice him in order for the rest of them to survive) by the unborn fetus growing inside her. The film is basically a slasher movie told from the perspective of the killer. It also stars Tom Davis, Kate Dickie who is in a bunch of stuff like Prometheus, Game of Thrones (she is Catelyn Stark's sister who breastfeeds her nearly grown son), and The Witch, Kayvan Novak who stars in the television version of What We Do in the Shadows and is also one of the terrorists in the mockumentary Four Lions, and Gemma Whelan who is also in Game of Thrones as Yara Greyjoy and one of the detectives from the show The End of the F***ing World (she also looks straight up like a former coworker of mine).

A bit on the costars. Also, spoilers. Never seen this Tom Davis chap before but he is memorably good and disgusting as fuck. At one point he pukes in his afro wig and then goes in for a kiss. He then tells her she looks like Elton John whilst trying to bone her. Killing this guy is easy because he is such a piece of shit. Ruth asks if anyone loves him and he tells her his mum. We then see his mother lives there with him and is seriously clouded mentally, coming out several times to do the laundry. He sort of berates her and then gets murdered by Ruth. The mom comes out during this and says something about that needing bleach, you see, Ruth cut his dick off and he is covered in blood. As Ruth puts her back to bed, the mom tells Ruth she is too good for her son. Yep, even the mom knows. This looked like a fun role and the actor does a good job yucking it up. Whelan is pretty funny, too. Ruth poses as someone going door-to-door for charity who attacks her. But she is proper fit, as the Brits say, and throws on boxing gloves to defend herself punching Ruth in the gut even though she is preggers. After Ruth finally kills her with the cops on in earshot, she has trouble opening the door and has to escape through the doggy exit, dragging her enormous belly along the bottom of it as she goes.

Not all of the people really seemed to deserve to die like the Davis character or a creepy pet store owner whom she kills first. Like the HR chick, Dickie, sort of sucks, I mean, I wouldn't hang out with her, but she isn't terrible. Like every HR person. But she gets got. Then the flatmates, at least the one we talk to, is lovely. Does kind of complain about the other one, the one that was part of the event or what have you, but goes out of his way to say what a good guy he is. They get it too and one of them wasn't even there at her husband's death. He was just a witness to her crime.

Eventually she has the baby (on Halloween whilst she is dressed like some sort of demon) and with the help of Kayvan Novak (who was the climb leader who cut the rope on her dude so the rest of them survive) realizes that it wasn't the baby making her kill, she was doing it for herself. We think she learns her lesson or whatever and then, in the final moments, she returns to the spot where her dude died and the Novak character is there. They sort of smile at each other and then Ruth screams in rage with Novak looking on in horror. Yeah, she gonna kill him anyway.

That last scene is pretty representative of the film's humor. Dark as shit. You aren't gonna LOL but you'll chuckle in a fucked up way. Pretty solid flick that you can find exclusively on Shudder. Check it out.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Midsommar is the great movie of all time


Midsommar. I loved this movie. Definitely my favorite of the year. Probably my favorite film for the last several years. Totally my type of flick; it is really a beautiful film. Like it way more than Ari Aster's previous film, which is more or beloved, Hereditary.  I wasn't that crazy about it. Saw Midsommar on psychedelics (which I knew factored in heavily going in). After the opening, almost left 15 minutes in, I thought this was a huge mistake, almost left 15 minutes in, but I was glad I took the plunge once they got to Sweden. All of that was visually beautiful. Plus it put me in the right mainframe to really get this movie, I think. Has gotten mixed reviews but if you go in with the right mindset, totally an experience.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Ambitious, impressively crafted, and above all unsettling, Midsommar further proves writer-director Ari Aster is a horror auteur to be reckoned with.

Gist of the film is that a group of grad students tag along with one of their classmates to the commune  (which ends up being run by a pagan cult) where he is from in Sweden for their annual Midsommar festival. Only this is a special one that only happens once every 90 years and involves ritual sacrifice. Has its roots in The Wickerman and Cannibal Holocaust. One of the students has a girl friend that he reluctantly invites after she suffers a horrific loss that most of the dudes, including her boyfriend, sees as a huge drag. The only one among them that isn't a complete piece of shit to her is the Swedish native, Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren). Beyond this setup, the couple, Christian (played by one Jack Reynor) and Dani (played by Florence Pugh who is really great and wins the movie), their relationship, it deteriorating. In this aspect, director Ari Aster, sites the Albert Brooks film Modern Romance, which I've never seen, about "a successful film editor with far too many issues that affects the relationship between him and his remarkably patient girlfriend" as a direct influence. Only actor I have ever seen before is William Jackson Harper, who is Chidi from The Good Place, who plays the most ambitious/driven of the grad students, Josh.

So lets just throw this out there. There is this suicide at the beginning where Dani's sister kills herself and murders her parents. She cryptically tells Dani in a text that she is going to do this. It's something like "I'm done. Mom and dad are coming, too. Goodbye." Her dick boyfriend tells her to stop giving in to her sister's attention seeking behavior. He then talks shit about her to his buddies, basically saying that he is finally going to break up with her. You know all you need to know about him at this point of the movie but he just keeps getting worse. Next thing you know she calls him just screaming. The sister indeed killed herself by taping a hose attached to the exhaust of a car to her mouth and murdered the parents by pumping the gas into their bedroom. We see the cops dealing with it, corpses and all. It is truly horrific. In my altered state, I almost had to leave. There is also, spoiler, a pair of suicides when they get to festival. All this is obviously the last thing you want to see when tripping but the characters, at that point, have several days of psychedelics in their systems.

Going to throw out a spoiler warning for the rest of this review. Ok. The movie scores high marks in the dipshit dudes ignoring huge red flags department. For these dudes, the movie is straight up horror. Don't feel so bad about them dying, honestly, though in my youth I could see myself as potentially among them although I was always a pretty good, respectful dude. But this sort of got me asking the unanswerable question of if they had followed the rules or whatever, would they still have died? They sacrifice non in all. Four new bloods. Four of their own. One to be chosen by the May Queen. All of the natives died voluntarily and it would appear, by breaking the established rules, so did the new bloods. It is unclear if they would have survived if they hadn't been dicks but I guess not. Would they have just chosen their own if that was the case? Another unanswerable is if they do this every year or this is part of that once every 90 years stuff the master of ceremonies was talking about. Seems like they would blow through their ranks pretty quickly if they are offing at least four of their own every single year or whatever.

Midsommar kinda of feels like it's maybe in the same universe as Cabin in the Woods. You've got Will Poulter, who plays Mark, as the fool who wears a jester hat in the burning at the end (he and all but three of them are dead by that point). The scholar in Chidi. You have sort of the harlot or whatever with the English chick who went on a date with Pelle's brother before meeting her fiancé, which might be a stretch. Sort of the alpha male Christian who is chosen by the May Queen, his girl friend Dani, to wear the bear carcass (he takes on the beast persona and he was just all virile and what not). Not exactly sure what the fuck the fiancé is other than an arrogant Westerner prick. I guess he was just extra. Oh, and they keep captive and kill a bear. Fuck that shit. For this I can't be a part of this community.

A bit on more on Christian. Dude fucking sucks. Not only is he the worst boyfriend of all-time, he is also a shitty friend. After the ritual suicide on the second day, Christian tells Josh that he is going to write his thesis on this place. Josh, Chidi, is like "fuck you, man, that is bullshit and lazy, you knew I was going to do this." But Christian feels no goddamn shame. Academic fraud, this piece of trash. After being just terrible through the whole movie, he ends up boning this young red-haired girl in this fucking insane ritual in what is likely the craziest movie sex of all time. It involves the dudes in the village sort of egging him on at the start of it and then like 10 or so older ladies standing around the chick trying to get pregnant whilst experiencing vicariously all of her pleasure and what not. Some of them even kind of join in with what I assume is her mom holding her hand and what not and some old lady pushing on his butt and shit. Dani looks through a key hole in the door and sees this going down. She freaks out, understandably, screaming and what not. The other girls that are following her around as the May Queen or whatever, which she won in a psychedelic fueled dance competition, scream with her in her pain, lightening her load. Empaths, all of them, in this commune. Anyway, after Christian cums, he immediately freaks out and runs the fuck out of there, naked, penis flopping, hiding in the chicken coupe with Simon who is technically alive, we see, as his lungs, which are out of his body like wings, hard to describe, filling up with air and shit. Finally figures it out, this fucking moron.

It is there that he is further drugged with some neurotoxin that won't allow him to move. This is where we learn that Dani, as the May Queen, must choose who is to be the ninth sacrifice: Christian or some dude chosen at random. She goes with Christian. She needed to choose him to let that shit go and move on with her life. Also, the choice symbolizes her leaving behind American society which has brought her nothing but pain and entry into the group, her new family. For her the movie is wish fulfillment. She has a family again and she has rid herself of her traumatic and relationship baggage. This is truely total transformative experience. How every psychedelic trip should be.

As you can see, a lot going on in this movie. Haven't even touched on the runes or the paintings and what not. Haven't thought about a film this much in a long time. Highly recommend. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sweet Lu

Lost our dog, Lucille Austero, today. She had a little heart attack and it took her. I tried CPR and took her to the emergency vet within a couple minutes but she was gone despite my best. She didn't seem to be in any pain, nor did she seem scared. She was the sweetest little dog who never hurt anybody. She had more personality than any dog I've ever met and showered me with millions of kisses. I'm glad you chose us, Lu. Thanks for letting us give you a good life. See you in dog heaven.







Saturday, July 13, 2019

Some Like It Hot is the greatest movie of all time


Some Like It Hot. Indeed. Another Billy Wilder movie. Sincerely great. Weird, though. First we have other worldly icon Marilyn Monroe jumping and running around and doing stuff. She is such an icon that my brain won't allow me to see her as like a real human who once lived. It's almost like Rosie the Riveter, Uncle Sam, or the Marlboro Man suddenly being a real person and doing movies. Kind of how it happened in real life, too, more on that later. But, yeah, she isn't ugly, that Marilyn. And she is awfully active in this movie.

Then there is the whole dudes in drag to escape the mafia to travel with an all-female band whilst still trying to score with ladies in said band. It continues to get weirder once they all get to the resort in Florida with Jack Lemmon's character going out with this rich guy and getting him off his massive boat so that Tony Curtis's character can hop on with Marilyn so that she thinks he is rich. Lemmon doesn't let the guy like make out with him or anything but he sort of gets into it in a total mid-century heterosexual way, which is insane, ultimately getting engaged to the guy. Finally, at the end, Lemmon comes clean, saying he's a dude and what not. "Nobody's perfect," the guy says. Meh. But, big but, I love the shit of the rest of this movie.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Some Like It Hot: A spry, quick-witted farce that never drags.

So, this is definitely my favorite Marilyn movie of the five I've seen (though I haven't seen The Asphalt Jungle yet which is near the top of my list to watch) and probably in my top 15 to 20. Marilyn is what she is, light and bubbly and super attractive. Plus you can pretty much see her nipples the entire movie.

A bit about the Tony Curtis character here. That guy's character, one Joe, is a fucking asshole. He uses info he acquires whilst posing as Josephine to try to score with Marilyn by pretending to be someone he is not. This is really fucked up and rapey. Not fucking cool man and possibly a sex crime. Also, the whole, you know, turning a movie about witnessing the most notorious mob hit of them all, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, into a comedy is a bold choice. Totally works though.

Yeah. Want to reiterate how much I loved this movie and what a true treasure Jack Lemmon was. In a  movie with Marilyn and TC, Lemmon wins the movie, easily. He fucking brings it and is hilarious. Wins it indeed.