No, Batman v. Superman Is Not “the Showgirls of Superhero Films”
March 29, 2016

batman v superman showgirls

The night before Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice came out, two of my friends tagged me in separate Facebook posts linking to a review from Ars Technica declaring BvS “the Showgirls of superhero films.” Knowing my friends know me so well is deeply touching, and since somebody mentioned Showgirls, I was undeniably intrigued despite my better judgment.

Sure, I had a feeling this review couldn’t be trusted, because it mentioned Sex in the City 2, not Sex and the City 2,  and that’s a straight man’s mistake when talking about a gay man’s sensibility. Still, I figured I had to approve or disprove the comparison to the Greatest Movie of All Time, so I saw it Saturday morning, and to quote Nomi Malone, “It’s a Versayce You don’t know sh*t!” Batman v. Superman: Definitely Not Showgirls is definitely not the Showgirls of superhero movies, or of that matter anything.

To explain:

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Toasters ‘N’ Moose’s “Taste the Biscuit”: The Ode to Biscuits That’s Been Missing From Our Lives
June 15, 2011

If you’re in a two-piece band called Toasters ‘N’ Moose, and your keyboardist is ofttimes mistaken for a homeless person while your vocalist reminds me of a less zaftig Paula Deen, and you’ve just scored the opportunity to play a place called Dante’s (or something) that looks sorta like the world’s saddest Salvation Army (is there any other kind?), but they’ve only allowed you to do one song, well, you’ve gotta make it a good one. So you’d better break out your big guns (nay, your biggest!), which obviously is a “song” called “Taste the Biscuit”:

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Today’s Fabulous Image(s) in Cinema: Julia Ormond in I Know Who Killed Me
July 27, 2010

I don’t know what persuaded Julia Ormond to get on board the Hot Mess Express and play Lindsay Lohan’s mother in the thriller/slasher/torture porn/masterpiece that is I Know Who Killed, but I do know I’m forever happy she did.  Without her commitment to the craft, the line “This is Mr. Jervis” would be a line about a teddy bear like any other; instead, Julia Ormond makes it one of the most dazzling, mind-bogglingly bizarre things I’ve ever seen committed to film.  I mean, what in the world is she doing with her voice?  And what’s going on with her face?  No, seriously:

Pure FACE poetry is what’s going on with her face, y’all.

Sure, it’s all too easy to take a line delivered to the girl you believe is your only daughter–the daughter who’s been abducted by a serial killer, lost portions of her arm and leg through a brutal amputation process that involves dry ice and blue glass surgical utensils (don’t ask), and somehow managed to escape–like a she’s just gone through a serious trauma (so, you know, like a normal person), but it takes a special caliber of actor to play that line like you’re in the midst of an exorcism, and that caliber is BRILLIANT.  Lindsay Lohan’s reaction shot pretty much sums it up:

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Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Fiona Shaw in The Black Dahlia
July 22, 2010

A few years back,I gushed to my mother about what a steal it was when I dropped $5 for a used copy of The Black Dahlia from a nearby Blockbuster.  I went on and on and on about how bad it was, and finally mother stopped me and asked, “Why would you even want to spend $5 dollars on it then?”  I guess that’s a reasonable question (for other people), so consider the above image of Fiona Shaw delivering a perfectly executed side-eye just before sipping her martini my argument for The Black Dahlia being five of my best-spent dollars.

Seriously, when it comes to performances, The Black Dahlia is by and large one of the most baffling experiences of all time.  Most everyone seems to be aiming for ’40s-film-noir only to achieve awkward-and-forced-like-bad-pulp-dialogue, Hilary Swank looks absolutely nothing like “that dead girl” despite Scarlett Johansson having a line of dialogue that explicitly insists otherwise, and then there’s Fiona Shaw.  She plays Hilary Swank’s wealthy boozehound of a mother, Ramona Linscott, and she’s incredible.  I’m not entirely certain what–if any–direction Brian DePalma gave her because her performance is from a completely different movie about a batshit crazy drunk who won’t take anybody’s sass.  She’s like Carla Gugino in Watchmen, lighting up the screen and warming the camp-adoring cockles of our hearts with each slurred word and wildly over-exaggerated gesticulation.  For example, a less inspired actress would probably sloppily eat the pot roast in this scene, but not Fiona Shaw:

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Forget 2012. Megafault Is THE Disaster Movie of 2009
November 4, 2009

Do you not know what Megafault is?  Don’t worry.  Until this morning, neither did I, but now I do, and it’s time to spread the gospel.  People, this is Megafault:

megafaultr1artworkpic

Without so much as a trailer, the first thing that occurred to me was that I really need to put Brittany Murphy on Google alert.  Between this and The Ramen Girl, I’m beginning to suspect that any movie starring Brittany Murphy is a film destined bad movie excellence. Coming from the producers that brought us Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and originally airing on SyFy are just shitshow icing on the train wreck cake.  Seriously, I need only this bargain bin DVD cover to know that this movie’s destined for greatness.

Of course, saying that would discount the Megafault trailer, which is a whole new realm of terrible I never actually believed attainable:

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You’re Tearing Me Apart, Copyright Laws!!!
August 10, 2009

It’s no lie that I tend to find the fickle nature of YouTube clips and their battles with copyright law to be terribly annoying.  I can’t stand that any music video that falls under ownership of the Universal Music Group cannot be embedded, and the same goes for the trailers and clips of anything owned by Disney.  This explains the disappearance of Shmathan’s favorite clip on parenticide, which was surreptitiously removed from YouTube on account of copyright infringement, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying.  Or confusing, for that matter.  I personally would rather not want to claim any credit for such an embarrassingly ridiculous clip, but that’s just me.

Anyways, it’s with a heavy heart that I must today announce that the Powder Blue clips have been taken down from YouTube.  Yes, the glistening gems that inspired much camp glee have been taken from us.  I’d like to think all my ridiculous ranting and raving in some way preserved some of the train-wreckery that graced this blog, but I can’t help but feel like there’s now a Powder-Blue-shaped hole in my heart.  Of course, these clips cannot compare to the glorious Godawfulness that is watching Powder Blue in its entirety, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to put my cranky pants on over this situation.  Sure, I cannot claim to understand the finer nuances of the legal matters behind this indecency, but I can Photoshop up some indignation with the best of them:

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There’s No Way I Won’t Be Seeing I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
August 5, 2009

Holiday!  Celebrate!!!  There’s a trailer for the film adaptation of the book adaptation of the blog by the one-man awful machine know as Tucker Max.  Indulge your curiosity in seeing just what depths of monstrousness humanity can dive to and watch this train wreck:

Sweet mercy does this movie looks like a bona fide UGHapalooza!  I’m not going to even bother explaining to you why I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell looks positively terrible; its terribleness is self-explanatory.  I know I’m the antithesis of its target audience, and I’m certain I will simply loathe it, but a movie this mind-blowingly egregious is the sort of rare spectacle that I must witness.  

For free, of course.

No no, I would sooner start training for Olympic muff diving than see my money go to Tucker Max.  He’s already built an empire on encouraging frat boys to be misogynistic assholes, so I won’t be financially encouraging his behavior.  Hell, I refuse to be bothered paying for a bootleg, that’s how neanderthallic this movie looks.  Instead, I’ll sneak into a theater to kill my last remaining shreds of faith in humanity.  It’s just my blog cross to bear, y’all.  Mine to bear, and yours to enjoy.

That said, I must admit that it’s rather disappointing that Richard Kelly is producing this movie.  I can only hope that he’s doing this ironically and that I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell is in fact a razor-edged satire against Tucker Max’s repugnant behavior.  Otherwise, this can only mean one thing:

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Lindsay Lohan (Allegedly) Makes Good Choices
July 9, 2009

Yesterday, a rather delectable piece of gossip hit the interwebs.  Celebitchy, which picked up the story via Page Six, reported that Lindsay Lohan refused the role of Jade, the stripper who marries Ed Helms, in The Hangover.  Yes, THE The Hangover, as in the smash summer comedy that invariably proves that nothing is cuter than babies sunglasses:

hangover baby in sunglasses

Fortunately, this summer, after many a delay, Ms. Lohan’ll be bringing us Labor Pains, her own log to contribute to the raging fire that is America’s baby craziness.  Sure, it’s not getting a theatrical release, or even a straight-to-video release (at least until later this fall), but it is getting an ABC Family world television premiere, and that HAS to be something:

Shut.  Your.  Face.  “I’m better when I’m pregnant” is an actual line in ANY movie EVER?  I will never forgive myself if I do not DVR this baby-bump-riddled train wreck because I absolutely have to see this, but I’m also quite certain that, should I watch more than five consecutive minutes at a time, my brain will be liquified by the bad idea waves irradiating out of this…this thing.

I get that they’re the station that finds drama in the possibility that any one of the perfectly timed thrusts in your incredible sex life could very well spell disaster for your parents, so I’d never actually accuse them of having things like taste or good decision making skills, but ABC Family proclaims this one of their “Original Movies” with some sort of sense of pride?  Isn’t that kinda like proudly keeping your back-alley abortion in a mason jar on your coffee table because you want it to be a conversation piece at all your cocktail parties?  This shit is bleak, and the full trailer is (impressively) even bleaker:

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Internet Spoilers: 1, Orphan Ad Campaign: A Bajillion
July 8, 2009

Well, if this internet commenter’s supposed spoiler is to be revealed, lil’ oprhan Esther’s secret is out of the bag, and it’s even more batshit insane than I could’ve ever anticipated.  I won’t explicitly discuss the details, but I’ll say this: It’s honestly such an impressively thought-out, completely out-of-nowhere sort of twist that I believe it.  And want to see this movie immediately so I can confirm its validity.  Not since the phrase “non-religious identical twin stigmata” has an ending scaled such heights of so-bad-it’s-brilliant absurdity.   Seriously, y’all, it’s so damn trashtastically awful that it’s pretty much seals the deal: Orphan is destined for of camp/cult/bad horror movie greatness.  

On one hand, if it’s true, I’ll be terribly disappointed to not have such a wonderfully gonzo revelation dropped in my lap in the final moments of the film.  But on the other hand:

orphan secret

No, poster, obviously the interwebs cannot keep a secret.  In the age of the internet, nobody can keep their trap shut to save their damn life, and it’s a rather brilliant move on the part of Orphan‘s marketing campaign to sell a film all around a climactic narrative reveal in a time where spoilers are all but anticipated.  When you think about it, it’s a clever spin on an old advertising tradition. (more…)

Why So Serious(ly Awful), S. Darko?
June 8, 2009

Back when I saw the trailer for S. Darko, I had high hopes that it was going to be a campalicious train wreck.  It seemed to have the pedigree, after all.  It’s a straight-to-DVD release, it has a truly bizarre cast (Elizabeth Berkley, Ed Westwick, and Daveigh Chase???), and it’s automatically one of the worst ideas ever.  Seriously, a sequel to the cult classic Donnie Darko is pretty much the one thing absolutely nobody asked for, but that’s never stopped Hollywood before, so all we can do is cross our fingers for a new camp classic as we watch the bad ideas pile-up like a multi-car highway accident.  At least it’s got Elizabeth Berkley as a Jesus freak, so that’s something, right?

s darko wrong

On one hand, I really shouldn’t be surprised by how bad S. Darko ended up being.  Everything that could have made it the great camp sensation is also a liability.  Straight-to-DVD is always a coin toss between fabulously bad and just plain bad, so I guess for every Powder Blue there must also be an S. Darko.  Still, it’s an impressive feat to witness just what a spectacular failure S. Darko actually is.  Not in a fun way, mind you, but in a whoabitch-is-this-movie-terrible sort of way.

The plot involves Samantha Darko (Daveigh Chase) heading out on a road trip with her rebellious friend (Briana Evigan) only to end up in a small town when their car breaks down.  There’s a crazy Christian cult in the town, disappearing children, and a crazed war veteran the town refers to Iraq Jack (James Lafferty).  Iraq Jack keeps seeing a Samantha ghost warn him of the impending end of the world, everybody in town loves Samantha because behaving like a melancholic zombie is the new sexy to Chuck Bass and the town nerd, and then a weird geometric shape travels through one of those space/time worms, bursts into flames above Earth, and becomes a meteor shower.  Meteors that give you nasty skin rashes and drive you violently insane.  Of course.  

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What’s Japanese for Train Wreck?
June 4, 2009

Yesterday, one of my co-workers sent me this e-mail:

e-mail

It should be noted that this is the co-worked who introduced us all to the dance magic that is Sara Carlson, so I immediately was optimistic.  Had he found Sara Carlson’s dance interpretation of the life of a Passion play?  Nope.  Even better.  It’s the straight-to-DVD revival of Brittany Murphy’s career.  The Ramen Girl, y’all:

Hot toddy!  Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to just title this Japanese Cultural Fetish: The Movie?  Or Lost in Translation 2: Miso Sad ‘n Hungry?  Whatever.  This is a movie about Brittany Murphy learning to make schadenfreude soup with her tears of sadness because it’s her destiny (huh?).  Or at least that’s what the cat statue tells her (what?).  Riiiight.  

Was Brittany Murphy’s character high on something in the soup (mushrooms?  crack noodles?) that caused her to trip balls and devote her life to being a soupmonger?  Was the screenwriter high on something when they thought this was a story that needed to be told?  I’m personally betting it was weed because a movie all about ramen noodles is totally something a stoner would write.  That, or a movie all about Pillsbury Toaster Strudels.  

Whatever, I shouldn’t throw stones of bitchery because we all know what’s going to happen.  I don’t know how she does it, but Brittany Murphy sings the most irresistible siren’s song that always brings me crashing onto the jagged rocks of her bad movies.  It’ll probably be terrible, and I’ll probably hate myself for watching it, but at least I can safely say it’s not going to be as bad as Little Black Book.  Or Uptown Girls.  Really, if I can make it through the following mess, I can make it through anything:

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Found: Mischa Barton’s Career. Still Missing: Her Appreciation of Solid Food
June 2, 2009

Judging by all available pictures, Mischa Barton is Hollywood’s hardest working actress.  Why?  Because she doesn’t even have time to eat:

mischa barton hungry

Even back in her glory days as both a cast member of The O.C. (best show EVAH!) and the spokesperson for Neutrogena, I always found myself inexplicably compelled to throw bagels at the television screen and screechily demand her to eat something.  But then she died on The O.C., and with the death of Marissa came the apparent death of Ms. Barton’s career.  WRONG!  Bitch is back this fall on the CW, and her new show is the trashtacular The Beautiful Life.  Just feast your eyes on this mess:

If nothing else, I will watch this show in its entire run just to learn Mischa Barton’s stomp walk and head swivels.  Seriously, when I deliver mail at work, I want to STOMP STOMP STOMP over to my coworkers’ desks, give a hungry-hungry-bitchface look as I toss their mail down, HEAD TURN, then STOMP STOMP STOMP away.  Fortunately, though, Mischa and The Beautiful Life aren’t just educational tools on how to be a fierce bitch.  No no, they’re also a lesson in crafting mind-bending drama:

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Gerard Butler Will Do Anything for a Klondike Bar
June 1, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I always think of the first phrase “hot piece” when Gerard Butler comes up.  Yes?

gerard_butler

I tend to prefer my men’s facial hair to be a little more trimmed, but I most certainly wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating crackers.  Something about him just screams “roguish devil,” and those eyes are simply incredible.  Anyways, because he’s payed his dues [aka, screaming all his lines in 300 (a terrible, terrible movie that I unfortunately saw) and posthumously sending Hilary Swank on a ridiculous scavenger hunt in P.S. I Love You (a terrible, terrible looking movie that I fortunately avoided like the plague)], 2009 is going to be his breakout year.  Why?  He’s the lead in not just one, but two movies!  He’s got The Ugly Truth, a rom-com designed to appeal to the ladies:

Yeesh.  Are Hollywood’s notion of ladies in actuality brain-dead, zombies with a penchant for masochism?  

I know that most people think of Katherine Heigl as that actress from Grey’s Anatomy who wears the same pair of bitch pants every day when she goes to work, but I really like her.  She was charming in Knocked Up, and she’s the best part about the second season of Grey’s Anatomy (other than Sandra Oh and Sandra Oh’s fabulous hair).  She even made me think about seeing 27 Dresses, so she obviously has a hold on me.  Still, this movie looks terrible!  And not in a fun way!  

Who thinks these bullshit gender wars movies are insightful entertainment?  I get it, Hollywood: women are all about communication and emotions, and men are all about boobies and sex.  Neat.  I could go on and on about how this movie isn’t worth seeing because it relies on lazy observations about the sexes for cheap laughs and how we already know that Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler will get together in the end.  Really, though, I think the trailer says all that for me, so let’s spare me the carpal tunnel and move right along.

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Werner Herzog’s Made His Showgirls
June 1, 2009

This is Werner Herzog:

herzog

(portrait © Robin Holland)

It’s rather safe to say that he’s one of cinema’s indisputable masters.  He’s made masterworks like Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarldo and Grizzly Man.  He’s also a man of his word.  In short, Werner Herzog’s on the short list of the Bestest, and he’s now made Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.  It’s about a cocaine-addicted police officer without any moral scruples and a major case of sailor’s mouth (ruh-roh!), and it stars Nicolas Cage (double, all-caps RUH-ROH!).  This is the trailer, which is not safe for work and will probably have my mother asking me why I get a thrill out of such garbage:

Crimminy crap, such garbage!  But hilarious garbage, to be sure!  There’s no point in even commenting on Nicolas Cage’s performance because we’ve all come to expect him to be consistently, categorically insane.  He has a lucky crack pipe, he hallucinates iguanas, and he fires off his gun so onlookers will leave him be while he has public sex with crack whores.  Nicolas Cage’s officially our generation’s John Wayne, the grand camp jester of histrionic masculinity; he’s brilliant.  I think what’s more important is the rest of this cast.  Serioulsly, y’all, it doesn’t make a damn lick of sense.

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Rejoice! Powder Blue is Out on DVD Today!
May 26, 2009

I woke up this morning with an extra spring in my step and a renewed sense of hope for the world.  It’s safe to say that we all know why:

powder-blue

YESSSSSS!!!  After what’s seemed like an eternity of waiting, Powder Blue has finally made it’s way to DVD!  

Today feels just like Christmas, which–seeing as Powder Blue is set on Christmas Eve–is totally fitting.  Only it’s much better than Christmas because we’re getting Forest Whitaker begging a tranny prostitute to kill him, Lisa Kudrow sharing her tips to a successful diet, and a whole bunch of Jessica Biel’s ACTING.  And her dirty pillows.  Mostly, though, we’re getting Jessica Biel’s ACTING, which apparently involves her being addicted to cocaine (naturally…because she’s a stripper) and pouring candle wax on her ta-tas (naturally…because she’s a stripper).  In other words, Powder Blue is the classiest, most seriously artistic endeavor cinema has ever seen.  EVER.  Thank you, Timothy Linh Bui.

Don’t even bother Netflixing this mess, y’all.  We may be in a recession so blah blah blah fiscal responsibility blah blah blah, but that doesn’t mean you can’t afford the small pittance it’ll cost on Amazon.  Seriously, $12.99 (plus shipping and handling, ‘cos I know you want this mess overnighted) is a bonafide bargain if it’s supporting the beginning of Jessica Biel’s inevitable career as a camp icon.  This is her Showgirls, y’all, and she’s Powder Blue‘s Elizabeth Berkley.  And don’t even bother feigning your best surprise face: I’ve already got my copy next to me.

So I hope you prepare yourself, people.  I’m about to bring the Powder Blue love out like it’s my blog job, and that’s a blog promise.  I hope you like batshit crazy, because that’s all I’ll be serving for quite a while.

And, lastly, if you came here looking for Jessica Biel’s boobs and are disappointed to instead find a distinct lack of said boobs, allow me to redirect you here.  There you go.  Biel boobs to warm your heart and nourish your inner aspect.  You’re welcome.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Confirms That 2009 Is the Year of the Bad Movie
May 20, 2009

I’m a firm believer in the thought that 2008 was an impressively strong year for movies.  In one year, we were treated to inspired films such as Milk, The Dark Knight, WALL·E, Love Songs, Vicky Cristina BarcelonaThe Last Mistress, and Zombie Strippers*.  While we’ve admittedly still got months to go and the inevitable Oscar season of nomination hopefuls, this year’s already seeming comparatively disappointing for actual good movies.  Bad movies, on the other hand, seem to be popping up like Kudzu in Georgia, so I’m obviously happier than a go-go dancer at a g-string sale.

Think about it: this is the year in which we’ve already been given Obsessed and we’re soon going to get Powder Blue.  There’s no way in hell that Inglourious Basterds is not going to be garbage-and-a-half (the prospect of witnessing Eli Roth’s acting is just bizarro icing on Quentin Tarantino’s insane-o cake), and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will be Baytastic (meaning fast, loud, and totally batshit crazy), so our summer’s clearly a hot mess, and this fall brings us a real winner:

beyond_a_reasonable_doubt

Beyond the fact that this poster is a pretty sub-standard Saul Brown rip-off, this is a movie with Jesse Metcalfe in TOP BILLING ABOVE MICHAEL DOUGLAS.  Amber Tamblyn’s at least actually been in movies (John Tucker Must Die isn’t a movie, just awful at 24-frames per second), and she gets second billing, but she still gets billing above Michael Douglas?  How did producers assemble this cast, and how in the hell is this movie not movie heading straight to DVD faster than a bullet train wreck?  Is Michael Douglas even actually in this movie?

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Nothing Can Save The Midnight Meat Train From Being an Unmitigated Disaster
May 19, 2009

If by “terrifying,” you mean “terrifyingly lame,” then absolutely, Midnight Meat Train movie poster:

midnight meat train wreck

It’s true that I’ve only myself to blame for sitting through this mess.  Shouldn’t I have known that, with a title like The Midnight Meat Train, it was going to be terrible?  Yes, I totally should’ve.  But, in my defense, there was quite a bit going for it.  For example, it’s based on a short story by Clive Barker, the man responsible for Hellraiser and Candyman, which are easily two of my favorite horror movies ever made.  Then there’s the trailer, and like all good trailers, it makes the movie look far better than it actually is:

This trailers says, “I’m stylishly directed, and although I’m just a trashy splatter flick, at least I’m trashing it up with style to spare.  Also, I’ve got Brooke Shields being a steel-faced bitch!”  While all of these things are essentially true, none of it adds up to being even remotely approaching good.  The performances range from whatever (Bradley Cooper’s obsessed photographed is a self-absorbed vegetarian douchebag that everybody inexplicably wants to help out despite his lack of any discernible talent; I guess these things happen when you’re really, really good looking) to failed camp (Brooke Shields tries to play vampy bitch and just comes off as awkward and stiff) to utterly abominable (Leslie Bibb, in the supportive girlfriend role, is egregiously annoying and a reminder as to why I’ll never bother to dabble in bisexuality).  Even Vinnie Jones, whose stern face and hulking size at least lend him some sort of presence, is left to do nothing but look threatening when he’s not killing people.  Then again, The Midnight Meat Train isn’t worried so much about characterization or performance as it is with staging the most over-the-top (and certainly inappropriate for the faint of heart and my mother) death scenes I’ve seen in some time:

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What Do We Learn From Watching Frontier(s)? Horror is Not a Strong Suit of Contemporary French Cinema
May 18, 2009

I’m not entirely certain who’s trying to make French horror the next big thing, but I really hope they get it out of there system, ‘cos they need to quit it like a bad habit.  Don’t get me wrong.  The French have got an incredible cuisine and a rich film history, so they’ve done everything right in my book.  Hell, they even gave us the wonderfully creepy and surreal Eyes Without a Face, so it’s not that the French are simply incapable of making any decent entries in the genre.  That doesn’t stop Frontier(s), though, from being a near disgrace to both its genre and nation.  It’s seriously, totally stupid.

frontiers dumb

It should, of course, be noted that Frontier(s) isn’t even the first misstep the French have recently taken in trying to develop their own take on the horror genre.  High Tension was stupid and had the most shenanigansiest (and misogynistic and homophobic) ending of all time, and Inside had a preposterously ridiculous final act and an entirely different (yet nevertheless problematic) set of gender politics.  Now, having seen Frontier(s), I feel relatively confident in concluding that one of contemporary French horror’s defining traits is an obligation to plummet into the depths of absurdity in their final act.  Fortunately (?) for Frontier(s), director Xavier Gens is clearly an aspiring auteur, so he logically ups the ante by starting at ridiculous and then descending into batshit insanity and ham-fisted “political” commentary.  Or, in the simply words of the interwebs: HORROR MOVIE FAIL, Monsieur Gens.

The plot in Frontier(s) involves four Middle Eastern French youths fleeing Paris with a bunch of money they stole during riots that occurred over the election of a conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy.  They’re Middle Eastern because that’s how this movie discusses racial issues in France, which is by not actually saying anything at all beyond “Mon dieu, France has racial tension!”  In a similarly subtle political analysis, the backwoods family our protagonists come across are Nazis, because the fascist genocide of the Nazi party is precisely the same as Sarkozy’s politics.  But beyond Frontier(s) being the sort of hyperbolic and reactionary allegory that seems clever and insightful (if you’re taking your daily dose of idiot pills), it’s also pretty inept on the most basic of levels.

 Any movie that lackadaisically plagiarizes  a bevy of recent horror films for its middle act [The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the remake!), The Descent, and Hostel] to mask its lack of originality pay homage to the genre is automatically setting itself up for failure, but you’ve never seen a movie so wildly derail itself until you’ve seen the ending of Frontier(s).   While most of the movie is your standard captured-by-sadistic-yokels-in-the-isolated-countryside, the ending is a karo-syrup-drenched action movie in which (among the insanities) one Nazi gets a table saw through the chest, and the  final girl conveys her “shock” by convulsing around like an epileptic crack-whore doing the shimmy shakes ‘cos she needs of a fix to convey her “shock.”  Seriously, if it wasn’t for the fact that so much lazy and laborious nothing came before it, I’d totally be behind the unhinged insanity of the finale, but it is, so I’m not.  

It also must be noted that this movie does contain cannibalistic cave children who’re the product of too much Nazi inbreeding.  And did I also mention that the final girl is in a blood-soaked wedding dress?  And that she BITES A CHUNK OUT OF NEO-NAZI’S NECK?  That’s not a spoiler, by the way, that’s just me saying that in the tradition of ridiculous endings that seems to define French horror, this is some truly epic bullshit.  It’s a finely aged Gruyère of totally trashy, over-the-top gore cinema.

It’s just a pity that the rest of the movie is so très horrible.

Let’s Build the Ultimate Netflix Queue of Insanity! I Need Netflix Suggestions, STAT!!!
April 30, 2009

netflix

A bit over a year ago I finally started making use of my Netflix account after I realized I had the same copy of In the Mood for Love for an embarrassingly long amount of time.  I sent it off, updated my account, and got to work on crafting a queue that’d constantly keep me excited about what was coming next in the mail.  No such freakin’ luck.

The first problem with Netflix, it should be noted, is that there’s just too much selection for a person like me.  I struggle making decisions at a Starbucks, let alone a Blockbuster, so Netflix is a bonafide nightmare.  My logical response?  Put everything in the queue.  

Movies I saw once at Virgin Megastore that piqued my interest for two seconds?  In the queue.  That one movie with that one actress from several years ago that got reasonably decent reviews?  In the queue.  Netflix’s suggestion on something I might like when I put another suggestion of theirs in my queue after I selected a movie with Julianne Moore?  You guessed it: in the queue.

Needless to say, I had a full queue–yes, 500 selections–within three days.  Because I’m ridiculous.  And, quite naturally, within a few months time I’d gone from voracious DVD consumption to my standard “Whoops, I still have that, don’t I?” mode.

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Damn You, Post Grad Trailer! Must You Exploit My Weaknesses So?
April 28, 2009

I fully recognize that, over the past few weeks, I’ve taken a rather aggressive dive into what some people may call “insanity,” but I prefer to call it “camp appreciation.”  Whatever.  The point being, while I may get rather excitable when talking about Obsessed and super duper excitable when even alluding to Powder Blue, I can still tell a bad movie when I see one.  Ladies and gents, Post Grad is one such movie:

It’s a Hollywood take the quarter-life crisis!  Lots of laughs (ruh-roh, you’ve been spotted making out by your whole family, and your little brother’s fascinated by the fact that you’ve got boobs; incest: it’s always a riot!), tons of drama (he’s moving to NYC for law school?  mais non!), and many an important life lesson (“What you do with your life is just one half of the equation.  More important is, who you’re with when you’re doing it.”  PROFOUND!) are all packed into Post Grad!  Yikes.

This movie frankly looks about as exciting as a stale rice cake and as original as a stack of photocopies printed on recycled paper; furthermore, it doesn’t help this movie’s cause that it’s staring Alexis Bledel, the actress who has done absolutely nothing for me ever since Gilmore Girls.  The plot looks predictable, and it’ll indubitably end up with Alexis Bledel finding a job in New York City and living with the rather dreamy boyfriend because that’s how living in New York City is.  All of us find jobs in a snap and have dreamy boyfriends.  There, I’ve saved you $12 dollars and made you enviable of the NYC lifestyle all at the same time.  You’re welcome.

All that being said, I still plan on seeing this movie.  Why?  It’s really quite simple:

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