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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Why Must Shutter Island Continue to Look Amazing/Be Unreleased?
October 6, 2009

Hey, y’all.  You know what movie was supposed to come out this past weekend but didn’t come out this past weekend?  This one:

shutter island

UGH.  I was so excited about this movie coming out, but Paramount apparently hates us, so now we have to wait ’til February.  Boo.  And now there’s a new trailer for Shutter Island?  One perfectly constructed to again remind us how great this movie is going to be?  Oh, and also about how it’s still MONTHS AND MONTHS AWAY?  Double boo!

Oh well.  I guess if we’re going to have to now wait ’til February, we might as well enjoy this new trailer, so let’s make like a masochist and salt this wound: 

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Shutter Island is Already My New Favorite Movie
June 11, 2009

I didn’t wake up this morning expecting my brain to fall straight out of my asshole this morning, but it totally did.  Movie magic tends to move me in mysterious ways.  And, really, Shutter Island looks to be totally magical:

I’m sorry, but if I had my way, it’d be a federal crime to make a movie that looks this good.  Yes, Martin Scorsese’s one of American cinema’s all-time great directors, and the fact that he’s still making consistently good–if not flat out excellent–movies this late in his career is only further proof of his talent.  Added to that, the man loves himself some Powell and Pressburger, so it’s pretty much impossible to make a case against his greatness.  It also doesn’t hurt that he’s the world’s most adorable old man:

Martin Scorcese adorable

Don’t you wish they made Pocket Scorseses that you could take everywhere and would tell you all about the rich history of film?  I know I do.

ANYWAYS, in spite of Martin Scorsese’s all-around and totally indisputable greatness/cuteness, I’ve gotta say I hate him for making this movie because it’s not out yet.  Just look at the cast!  Leonardo Dicaprio and Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley and Michelle Williams and Max von Sydow and Patricia Clarkson and Jackie Earle Haley and Emily Mortimer and Elias Koteas?  All together in one gorgeous looking, gloriously pulpy detective movie/supernatural thriller that’s apparently littered with film references?  I caught references to The Red Shoes and Psycho just in the trailer, so I can only imagine what’s in the rest of the movie.  It’s like Christmas, but sooner.  And better.  And as a movie.

But October 2nd?  For real, Martin Scorsese?  Not fair.  I’ve spent far too many months anxiously anticipating total garbage like Obsessed and Powder Blue!  All my patience is spent as is!  The fact that Shutter Island looks like an actual good movie only makes things infinitely worse.  I love you, Mr. Scorsese, but that’s not going to stop me from cursing your name until this movie is out in theaters.

So, yeah, Shutter Island, y’all.  It’s the awesome-straw that broke my patience-camel back.

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