5 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
The American (2010)
"Boobs" Is Not a Good Enough Reason to Produce a Feature-Length Film About Nothing
15 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Do you really need to know anything else about this movie? Because that's actually the only thing of any consequence that happens in it: boobs. AND I'm gay and therefore don't care about boobs, at least in my walking-around, plain old daily life when I'm not thinking about how important they are for nourishing babies or whatever. Which happens, tops - TOPS - maybe three times a week, maybe more if I happen to be at a carnival. Anyway, that should tell you something about how hard-pressed I am to come up with a raison d'etre for this movie.

Really, though, "The American" is a two-hour snoozefest about George Clooney alternately exercising, performing cunnilingus, looking wary, and occasionally (though not NEARLY often enough to generate anything approaching excitement) getting shot at. In Italy, for no discernible reason except that, perhaps, the director (Anton Corbijn, which looks like "Anton Corbin" with a sneeze in it) had some Italian friends to whom he owed favors. Except that half of them (there are about four people in this movie) play Swedes. I dunno; YOU try to understand it. All I know is that I left the theater not understanding anything more (of any consequence, anyway) about GC's character, including little things like, you know, WHO HE WAS OR WHAT HE WAS DOING OR (hahaha) WHY.

Well, we do find out at one point that he makes guns. Because that's what he spends most of the movie doing. Like, a lot. For interminable amounts of time, to the point where I began to get the feeling that Cor-sneeze-bin has a Tom Clancyesque fetish for the minutiae of mechanical processes, esp. regarding weapons. So when he's not feeling up/falling in love with the local strumpet, doing pull-ups in his tiny little villa/hotel-room, or meaninglessly chatting up a local priest who looks like Jabba the Hutt only with less defined facial features, he's making a gun. For someone else. Who

(spoiler) (as if you care)

never even gets to use it. In fact, that's what this whole movie feels like: never-gets-to- use-it.

So George, please, the next time you read a script that says "mercilessly bangs hot Italian chick in delicious red bordello-lighting", please keep it in your pants for long enough to realize that THE ENTIRE FILM IS A BAG OF CRAP.

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The Last AirSUCK
2 July 2010
OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH blurggggggh FFFFFffffffftttbbbpppppppnnnnnnnnnnnnn EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE *beats self about face and neck*

That was my review of "The Last Airbender".

My brain hurts.

I've never been psychically raped before.

I squirmed. A LOT. And twitched. A lot. And wanted it to be over. A lot.

My couch could write better dialogue. My couch has more interesting thoughts.





But seriously.

The acting was about as believable as my thumb. And had about as much connection to reality as that last sentence. And had as much emotive power as, roughly, a napkin. Dipped in stupid.

And the pacing. Oh my gawd, the pacing. Is it too much to ask that events in what is, ostensibly, a plot-driven movie, seem *related*, rather than like big chunks of asinine that fall from the sky and thud to earth, deathly-still, opaque, concerned neither for the ground on which they've landed nor for each other, to say nothing of FORWARD MOTION??

There is so much wrong with this movie that I don't even know where to begin, even though I've clearly begun. More accurately, perhaps I just don't know how to continue. Because my thoughts, right now, are a swirling, chaotic mass, much like the movie was, except that "chaos" somehow implies "excitement", and this movie was about as exciting and edgy as a teabag suspended from a chair in a church attic. It's "Lord of the Rings" meets "I don't really give a s**t about my life, where's the gin?" It went beyond "so bad it's good" to "please give me a fork so that I can engage in the more pleasurable activity of scraping off my cornea".

Moviegoers, beware: the next time you're egregiously late to the movie you'd intended to see (such as, oh, I dunno..."Toy Story 3", to pick a completely random example out of thin air, unrelated to anything, hahahaha), be EXCEEDINGLY CAREFUL of the one you choose to see instead. You might discover that you'd have been happier if you'd spent your time shoving nickels up your nose while dry-humping the back of a fan and listening to children scream into your ear as they run their fingernails across three hundred blackboards, with a tuba playing in the background, and a friend holds a hairdryer up to your face while telling you that your house just burned down and you're being audited by the IRS. And your balls hurt. And it's unrelated to the fan.

(P.S. I gave it two stars instead of one because the music was decent.)
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Silent Hill (2006)
"The Ring" meets "Hellraiser"
27 April 2006
There will be no plot-rehashing here; if you want that, go read someone else's comments (besides, I believe my summary says all that needs to be said, anyway, plot-wise). Here, just, are some thoughts:

What's with the evil little girls in horror-movies these days? And do they all have to have long, dark hair?

And please, please, please...proofread your dialogue, writers! There is no excuse for dialogue like that...It's so bad at times that my brain is incapable of remembering even any of it, which is especially amazing considering I just got back from the theater about an hour ago. Really. "You have despoiled an Innocent!" Or something like that. Bleeeargh! I could write better dialogue than that with an axe in my face. And I'm not saying that out of spite; I'm genuinely concerned that such dialogue didn't ring false to anyone involved in the making of the film. Moreover, there's only so much actors can do to rise above such abysmal lines, so too often, unfortunately, actors get blamed for what is more directly the fault of the writer (as witnessed by the small-scale argument I had with my friend in the car on the way home).

OK, enough of that. Still and all, the ideas were imaginative (I know nothing of the game on which it is purportedly based, so I speak with no special knowledge or preconceived notions about it from that point of view); the sets were believable and appropriately decrepit; and the general visuals did what they were supposed to do, I suppose. Plus, Alice Krige plays a great crazy person, in her quietly intense way. Her eyes say more than the dialogue dares utter. But I don't want to get started on that again...

All this is to say, if you like metaphysical horror which includes demons and weird religious cults – and possess a tin ear – you'll probably not mind this movie so much, unless you actually start thinking about the plot for more than two minutes.

(Seriously, the husband? Totally pointless. It does, indeed, seem as if they simply added his character just for the sake of adding a male character, which I read somewhere here on the IMDb. The one I wanted to know more about - and the only character who came even close to being iconic in any way - was the demon with the really big knife, who didn't even really need it, anyway, since apparently he could just rip your whole skin right off with his bare hands. He made me think of a really cranky Pterodactyl.)

These film-makers have definitely seen/read a lot of Clive Barker, and he should be half-peeved. End of rant. And if a cop ever tries to come between you and your daughter just because she (the cop) spent some time trapped in a mineshaft, slap the crap out of her and tell her to get some therapy.
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Albert Brooks is a kind of genius...
9 February 2006
There's just something about him, about his entire sensibility, that "gets" me in every one of his movies, no less so in "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World"; even if not everything "works" comedically or whatever, I always find myself with a large, dippy smile on my face – and a slightly larger heart – afterward. It's his whole artistic "thing", his entire package, the style, the tone, the observations, everything in its interaction with everything else – even if, as I said, not every little thing works in and of itself – that coaxes me into this exotic Albert Brooks land, where everyone looks at everyone else just that extra little bit too long and you can't not laugh. I could just sit and watch his facial-expressions and laugh. His hair makes me laugh. Admittedly, he isn't for all tastes, but I just gel instinctively with what he always seems to be trying to get at: communication, understanding, breaking down barriers, going beyond fear, and in a funny, wry, self-deprecating way. "That Darn Jew", indeed! He's a genius, of a quiet, harmonious, and connective kind, and one of the few celebrity-types whom I'd really like to meet and actually have a conversation with and not just meet to say I've met. You go, Albert!
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Chocolat (2000)
Wonderful film, even if the plot is a bit contrived.
23 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was made by secular humanists for secular humanists. The central conflict: Chocolate or God? The heathen drifter who opens up a Chocolaterie in a trussed-up town or the town's control-freak mayor/count? You decide. It's obvious where the movie-makers' sympathies lie: chocolate, for sure. Of course, in real life, the matter is much more complicated than "Lent" or "eat", but until Hollywood begins exploring actual esoteric spiritual practices (and the individuals who commit to them) rather than continuously trotting out the convenient exoteric "straw man" of mere believers' religiosity (which tends to either severely control and limit or entirely forbid "pleasures of the flesh" because all that's truly looked forward to is the world thereafter), there won't be a really interesting film made about the apparent dichotomy between bodily life and religion.

That said, the film itself was well-done; acting superb, music beautiful and just right for the style, locations perfect. Judi Dench is a goddess. I was actually hoping the little girl would turn out to have a kangaroo, unexplained, but alas, that would have been too interesting. So the figurative kangaroo hops away at the end, leaving the girl free to grow roots into the town which has come to accept and enjoy the novelty proffered by her mother and her mother's new helpers.

All in all, I enjoyed it, got the occasional warm fuzzy, and just felt generally good all over like I do whenever I see anyone (in life or on film) push (or get shown) beyond whatever current limitations bind them. These townspeople were brought from strictness, pseudo-"tranquilite", reluctance to embrace anything beyond what they'd been brought up to embrace, and fear of the consequences of that, and into acceptance and embrace of new and unknown things.

But who (and how?) will push them beyond chocolate? Probably not Hollywood; not anytime soon, anyway, judging by this.
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