so sometimes i like to take a little feedback from my crazed public and use it to fuel one of these excellent updates, but unfortunately for me and my attempts to have topics, a lot of the feedback consists of remarks like “stop talking about rap music” and “wow, this Willow post is ridiculously long” and and “i really think you look like the Surfing With An Alien dude and not the Throwing Copper dude” (which, sadly, may turn into an update yet). all of this is nice, but, hey, it’s not a great topic. however, in the past i have talked about some sweet films and i’ve gotten some “did you see such-and-such a film” questions recently … so let’s do more of that. okay? okay.
SOME TALK ABOUT FILMS PROMPTED BY … UH … SOME TALK ABOUT FILMS
oh, also, there will be spoilers in this post. i’m just sayin’.
incidentally, Frank is the first thing i was reminded of when i started playing through Bioshock and all that Sander Cohen stuff popped up; regardless, this seems like a fun movie date
so, i’m pretty sure i DID make remarks about this film on the internet at some point for two reasons: a) it seems like i did (though i think it was on the old, pre-WordPress version of our house of hate, as a matter of fact) and b) everyone who uses the internet is required to post about Donnie Darko at least once. which is part of the trouble, because every film that gets so much internet attention goes through this roller coaster of getting some attention because of its merits, and then gets too much praise as the nerds go into a frenzy, and then gets a backlash because other nerds go into an opposition-themed frenzy of their own. and the latter two things are kind of sort of worthless, so let’s go back to the merit thing briefly.
now, there are some downsides to any film that involves time travel (time travel being necessarily ridiculous), but there are some solid reasons to support this film: a ridiculous guy in a rabbit suit that might be an angel (and who at least has a cool rabbit suit); Patrick Swayze as … well, anything, who cares, Patrick Swayze is awesome ALL THE TIME; an ending that’s like a reversed ending of It’s A Wonderful Life where the main character dying makes everything better (which i like much more than a version where living makes things work out); people loudly doubting other people’s commitments to Sparkle Motion. hey, i admit that even i doubt my commitment to Sparkle Motion sometimes. what man among us doesn’t?
however, it would be remiss of me to not make some negative remarks, and here’s the big one: don’t watch the director’s cut of this. it’s not necessary when you have an endearingly weird film that basically works (i mean, when time travel is involved, i think we can all overlook some things) to go back and hammer everything into our heads blatantly. i mean, don’t we WANT people to watch and re-watch a film to figure everything out and see how neatly it does or doesn’t fit together? exactly. and Richard Kelly, to be honest, i think the bad karma of this stupid director’s cut ruined your career. also, yeah, Noah Wyle and Drew Barrymore? i still don’t like you guys, even if you don’t suck here. at least Jake Gyllenhaal had the common sense to go star in Zodiac, which means i can never again hate him, no matter how many gay cowboy or Prince Of Persia movies he makes.
so, hey, go watch it. people on the internet love it and it’s got Patrick Swayze in it. there it is. which is more than i can say for…
okay, if i had been able to see this strawberry-heart bullshit on the DirecTV menu, i would have overcome the persuasions of alcohol and listening to B-class versions of “For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite” and just watched Road House again
Across The Universe
so this one time, i was asked if i had seen this film called “Across The Universe”, so i asked said person if that wasn’t that film starring Brendan Fraser where he adventures into the earth in three dimensions (which i had not seen). it turns out that THAT film is called “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” so then i asked if this was the film where the dudes take a little spaceship into another dude’s body, but it turns out that THAT film is called “Fantastic Voyage.” or, possibly, “Innerspace,” which i have seen, and which is a) not as good as Fantastic Voyage and b) certainly doesn’t feature Raquel Welch having an adventure in a catsuit. that movie should probably have been called “Fantastic Raquel Welch In A Catsuit And, Also, She Has A Voyage Of Some Sort.” oh, maybe make it a Mysterious Voyage. people like mystery.
ANYWAY, it turns out that this Across The Universe movie is some musical where some dudes paid the Beatles a lot of money (like $10 million) to make a movie where people are constantly bursting out into Beatles songs, or at least walking around while Jeff Beck plays instrumental versions of them in the background, and that i hadn’t seen it yet. now, this concept might seem like a good idea at first – bear with me on this reference i like to make, but this thesis reminds me of the one from Billy Elliot, where this kid just starts fucking dancing ALL THE TIME, and somehow, this works – but would it hold up in practice? luckily for me, this film happened to come onto the satellite while i was drinking and thus, the film adventure was born!
…and then it abruptly ended, because it turns out that this movie is not a very good movie. in fact, i would go so far as to say that i HATE this movie. however, in retrospect, i should have seen this coming (and would have, if i had known what the hell was up with this film), as Across The Universe contains three things i hate: romance (ick), nudity (double ick) and goddamn motherfucking Evan Rachel Wood. i mean, come on, she has a man’s name and combines looking like she’s 14 with having sex with Marilyn Manson. and the problem there isn’t some sass about crazy May-December relationships (as i sort of support that kind of thing), but rather, THAT is why she was paid too much money to appear in one of his videos, which is terribly mercenary because you SHOULD do something like that for free for the weird rock star you’re fucking. am i wrong here?
now, to be fair, this film appeared to have solid directing (this “Julie Taymor” broad is supposedly a real director) and the costumes and set designs were fairly inventive. on the other hand, Bono snuck into this film, and Bono officially sucks more than any other man to ever come from Ireland. this film did remind me, however, of two things i think are totally awesome: a random selection of Beatles songs (because it’s not like this film was set to an orderly progression through Sgt. Pepper’s or anything) and Vietnam. in fact, i think i’m going to dedicate my mid-life crisis to riding around in Pleiku on a moped listening to “I’m So Tired” (which happens to be the best Beatles song ever) as that’s where the sky scintillates with thousands of stars. well, maybe not, but only because i don’t want to be the kind of guy that rides a moped. i would totally go hang out in Vietnam without one.
and further… if i wanted to make a crazy film with depressing moments and commentary on Vietnam, then fuck it, i would just play the White Album over a muted version of Hearts & Minds. actually, i might actually do this, because once vocalized, it seems more awesome than i had anticipated. and i am GUARANTEED more napalm and “Rocky Raccoon” if i go this route. and we can sync everything up: a little “Helter Skelter” with some Rolling Thunder footage; a little “Revolution” with some riots in South Vietnam; a little “Glass Onion” with… well, okay, i have nothing for “Glass Onion.” i’m still not even sure what that song’s about.
but let’s be fair: maybe i just have beef with musicals? i don’t know why that could be… unless it’s because, as a child i was forced to watch repeated viewings of…
don’t be fooled by their aggressive posture: there’s no way this confrontation is going to end in anything other than song and dance; DISAPPOINTMENT REIGNS
Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
seriously. i will make a half-joke where i ask “do you KNOW how many times i have seen Seven Brides For Seven Brothers?” and then, before someone can say “TOO MANY TIMES HAHAHA,” i say “the answer is seven” with my sad little face. it’s not a joke; why have i seen this movie seven times? i blame my mother, because frankly, making your kid watch Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (which to be clear, is a 1954 Hollywood musical) should absolutely count as some form of child abuse.
but while we’re already here and we’re discussing it: does it bother anyone that this movie absolutely promotes the abduction of women? it absolutely does! the main character (Adam) recommends his six brothers (Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank, and Gideon) go and seize these six girls they like from town, based on the sound historical precedent of the rape of the Sabine women. yes, that’s right, a bunch of dudes with Biblical names are advised to make like the pagans and seize some women. granted, i know historians (uh… Livy?) claim the Romans themselves didn’t sexually assault these women… but come on. i watched Caligula, and if there’s one thing that documentary taught us, it’s that Romans will fuck ANYTHING THAT MOVES (sort of like Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet).
so, fine, they abduct these girls in a thoroughly wholesome manner (or at least as wholesome as bride kidnapping gets) and there are totally G-rated hijinx all winter long and then, when the townsfolk storm the brothers’ mountain home, it all works out in the end and everyone gets married. there are NO negative repercussions, other than the ladies’ six jilted town suitors (who also get beaten up in an improbable barn-raising sequence) being, well, jilted. frankly, if i’m the father of a buxom young girl and some rednecks from the hills abduct her, and i get my gun and go up into the mountains to rescue her … well, i don’t give a fuck about the LOVE, someone’s getting shot up in that bitch.
you know what? maybe i’m being too harsh on this film, because any movie that allows me to use the phrase “beaten up in an improbable barn-raising sequence” can’t be all bad. still, i am never, ever going to watch it again. once is enough, so seven times is way too much.
also, in related matters, it turns out that i make poor decisions about what to watch on the satellite when i have been drinking, which also explains why i keep watching RoboCop 2. no, wait, that’s because RoboCop 2 is awesome. oh, and also, apparently my mother hated me as a child? breakthrough!