Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Miranda July’s Pink Shoes in Me and You and Everyone We Know
July 23, 2010

I recognize that Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema isn’t the sort of fabulous we’re used to dealing with over at this particular corner of the internet, but Dictionary.com does define fabulous as “extremely pleasing or successful,” and the fact of the matter is that the moment when Miranda July (who also wrote and directed the remarkable and sublime Me and You and Everyone We Know) makes a video piece in which  her two pinks shoes eloquently pantomime the ways we try and connect with each other is indeed extremely pleasing (aesthetically) and successful (at making me want to give Miranda July a hug), so you know what?  Yes, this image is fabulous.

Oh, and do be sure to click to enlarge and appreciate the ))<>(( forever fabulousness of it all.

We’re Back! Now Here’s a Trailer for Trash Humpers!
September 14, 2009

Well, after a serious bout of the lazies (being witty can be so damn exhausting, y’all), it’s about time we got back to business discussing all of the most important things going on in the world.  Things like this trailer for the new Harmony Korine “movie,” Trash Humpers:  

Ermmm…I’ll admit that the extent of my knowledge of Harmony Korine’s film career is limited to that one time I organized the DVDs at my old summer job and I put Gummo under “G,” but I still feel as though a) this trailer doesn’t make a damn lick of sense, and b) it’s going to haunt my dreams for weeks and weeks to come.  My instinct tells me that Trash Humpers must be an indie/art-house  exercise in self-indulgent nightmare making, and this trailer is unquestionably all-caps ECCENTRIC, yet this somehow only manages to further intrigue me.  

I’ve a well documented adoration for movies that are batshit crazy, and I’m nothing if not a cinematic masochist, so the part of me that enjoys never sleeping again is really interested in seeing this movie.  On the other hand, though, there’s this image for the film from Harmony Korine’s website, which confirms my suspicions:

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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.

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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I Promise This Will Be the Last Powder Blue Post. For This Week.
April 16, 2009

Not by choice, mind you.  It’s just that after this one, there’ll be no more clips from the destined-to-be-a-masterpiece wunderfilm Powder Blue for me to post.  It’s seriously sad times, y’all!  I’m already feeling disoriented and confused about this bleak future where we are without indescribable pleasures of constant Powder Blue posts.  Expect the chills and nausea to set in soon because it’s a scientific fact that Powder Blue withdrawal is like heroin withdrawal.  But worse.  So much worse.  

So here it is, the last hit we’re gonna get for a few weeks.  May 8th is still several weeks away, so you’d better savor this deliciousness:

Oh man, this clip totally makes things all better.  You know what’s better than Lisa Kudrow’s secret to dieting?  Jessica Biel’s creeptastically crazy-ass secret about being visited by her father in her sleep when she’s been good.  And you know what’s better than that?  NOTHING.  Well, perhaps the fact that she’s sharing her uncomfortably insane secret with someone that she BARELY KNOWS and then invites him to visit her at work.  Which is a strip club.  Because that’s a safe thing to do with a stranger.  Other than that, though, NOTHING IS BETTER.  

Really, the more I think about it, I feel like my soul is at ease.  If this scene, with its stunningly awkward and failed attempts at sentimentality and emotionally-moving acting, doesn’t convince you that Powder Blue promises to be a magical experience in the art of pure camp, then I don’t know what to say to you at this point.  I guess everyone is entitled to their own tastes and opinions, even if they’re wrong.

Life is Good When You Can Post Twice in One Day About Powder Blue
April 13, 2009

Oh glory be!  Are you worried that you won’t be able to see the most eagerly anticipated film of the summer, Powder Blue, when it’s released May 8th in New York and Los Angeles?  Are you terrified that the inevitable months of waiting for a DVD release so you may whet your lips with its sweet nectar of camp will simply prove too much to handle?  Or are you simply in it for Jessica Biel’s boobies?  Well, whatever your motivation, fret not!  

According to DVDActive, Powder Blue will be released on June 9th.  That’s right, people.  Powder Blue is such a classy, respectable, and truly visionary cinematic experience (and definitely not a train wreck, natch) that the distributors refuse to keep it away from audiences any longer than the absolute minimum waiting time.  

This is NOT about exploiting the recent buzz surrounding Jessica Biel appearing in this movie as a stripper, and this is MOST CERTAINLY NOT about trying to sell as many copies of the-movie-where-Jessica-Biel-is-a-stripper to hormonal adolescent boys and twentysomething virgins living in their parents basements before the incredibly bad buzz renders this movie incapable of selling a single copy that’s not in a 99-cent bargain bin in your local Walmart (unless it’s at your neighborhood GLBT book and video store, which in that case Powder Blue‘s totally selling for full price).  Nope, this release date speaks to just how confident Image Entertainment is that Powder Blue the movie we all need in our lives sooner as opposed to later.  Seriously, just look at the box art ; it positively reeks of integrity and confidence:

pb-stripper

“Don’t worry, buyers,” this cover seems to say.  “This is a movie about finding hope in the darkest of places!  This is like Magnolia, but more serious!  And artistic!  Jessica Biel’s boobs are purely incidental to the sales of this uncompromising cinematic masterpiece (of Jessica Biels starring as a stripper)!  And, don’t worry, if you don’t like art because you think that just means that Powder Blue will be pretentious and boring, we’ve still got boobies to keep things interesting!”  

And if the box art doesn’t convince you enough, as I type this, you can pre-order Powder Blue on DVD from Amazon for a mere $12.99.  That’s 54% off the list price of $27.98!

So what’re you waiting for?  Pre-order your copy today!  All signs point to Powder Blue being THE piece of (unintentional camp) art for our generation!

(Thanks to Michael for the tip.)

Oh Noes! Lisa Kudrow’s Also Taking a Ride on the Powder Blue Train-Wreck Express
April 13, 2009

And her character is just filled with great ideas.  What do you give to the man who tried to unsuccessfully pay a transgendered prostitute to kill himself?  A piece of apple pie, obviously!

And, damn, her waitress looks good, y’all.  How does she do it?

Ohhhh, she has a secret to her success, and it apparently involves hanging her dress over the dining table  to help motivate her to forgo sharing a slice of apple pie.  I totally forgot how detrimental having a single bite of apple pie can be to one’s waste line.  Seriously, the second a bit of that flaky crust hits your lips, you just balloon up like the incredibly obese Hulk.  It’s true; I’ve been there.  The whole experience quite unpleasant, and the purple pants you inexplicably always find yourself in are just such an unflattering shade of mulberry.

Or perhaps it’s a slippery-slope-of-addiction sort of thing.  One minute she’s trying a bite of that freshly baked deliciousness, and then suddenly the morning shift at her diner is waking her up.  Pie pans and bits of crust are strewn across the floor, and her hands and face are covered in the syrupy fillings of a dozen unsuspecting left-over desserts that met their unpleasant fate in her orgiastic and untethered thirst for scrumptious fruit-filled pastries.

Admittedly, the acting in this scene is shockingly subdued in this scene.  Gone are the over-the-top camp theatrics in favor of people behaving more like awkward robots programmed to execut sighs, smirks that mask deep-seated pain, and unnecessary conversational pauses in order to make them appear more naturalistic and human and less completely dead behind the eyes.  

Added to that, the dialogue in this scene is profoundly worthless.  Lisa Kudrow wanting to be thin and observing that Forest Whitaker’s smile deceptively hide his sorrow are things that say nothing relevant about either character.  They’re ciphers of psuedo-illuminating dialogue meant to make you ask deep questions about human interrelations; however, “HUH???” is the only question that this scene really leaves you asking.  

Let’s be clear: everything in this scene is still completely terrible, but this is terrible in a new and different way.  This clip suggests that Powder Blue is like an onion of bad movies; each scene reveals unto us a whole new level of awful that this movie is capable of achieving.  If these clips are any indication for how tonally inconsistent yet consistently misguided Powder Blue will be, then congratulations are then in order for Timothy Linh Bui.  I won’t start the the one-man’s-slow-clap-that-gradually-grows-into-a-thunderous-applause-from-the-entire-crowd just yet, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to doing my wrist exercises in preparation.  After all, May 8th is just around the corner…

What Do You Get When You Cross Forest Whitaker and a Tranny Prostitute?
April 10, 2009

Pure comedy gold, that’s what.  Powder Blue is totally shaping up to be legendary, y’all.  Just check out all this ACTING and DRAMA:

Hot damn!  Forget the acting (which is totally ridiculous, to be sure; whenever that tranny throws up her hands, an angel gets its wings).  What in the world is going on with the directing in this movie?  Timothy Linh Bui is cramming so many unnecessary edits into this scene to show off the DRAMA and ARTISTIC INTEGRITY of his VISION; unfortunately, the sense of time is so disorienting that I feel like I’m on Lost island, complete with the nosebleeds!  Yikes!

I’m also at this point completely in love with the screenplay for Powder Blue, which in this scene alludes to a Candid Camera-esque TV show that apparently involves picking up tranny hookers and having their johns make bizarre requests.  It’s kinda like Punk’d, I suppose, but with less Ashton Kutcher and more transexual prostitution.  Yes, that definitely sounds like a show.  On TV.  In the real world.  

And let’s not forget the tranny’s words of wisdom: “Everyone’s got problems!  Deal with it!”  Oh, tranny, truer words never spoken.  I smell Oscars, y’all.  Oscars all around!

Like I said, people: Powder Blue shall be legendary (for how it’s divorced from any and all notions of reality and artistic competency).  Or, in other words: Powder Blue will be the best.

Give Jessica Biel All the Awards, People, Because She’s ACTING in Powder Blue
April 8, 2009

One time, in an independent cinema class I took in undergrad, we were watching Ulee’s Gold, which stars a quite excellent Peter Fonda and features a young Jessica Biel in a supporting role.  When her name appeared in the opening credits, I shrieked her name out loud in a mixture enthusiasm and surprise; this is apparently something most people don’t do, so I’ve had quite some trouble living that incident down amongst the friends of mine who’re in that class.  Whatever, I digress.

Point is, I really do love Jessica Biel, but before today I could never quite explain why.  Now I have an answer, though, and that answer is Powder Blue.  I mean, really, there are no words for this:

I’m sorry, but did we all just share that moment?  I hope so, because that moment was magical.  Jessica Biel even borrows from Elizabeth Berkley’s tricks and does a classic Nomi-shove!  YES!

I know that I like to throw around the Showgirls love a lot, but damn does this look like the heir to the thrown in terms of pure camp.  What is being played for maximum dramatic effect only manages to achieve maximum giggles.  Jessica Biel is HARDCORE because she SMOKES and CURSES AT DOCTORS, but she’s also DAMAGED and DESPERATE because she TRIES TO SEDUCE THE DOCTOR.  This is a SERIOUS MOVIE, and these are SERIOUS SITUATIONS, and this is SERIOUS ACTING.  If you couldn’t tell, Powder Blue is clearly shaping up to be the year’s subtlest drama.

What I love the most, though, is the seduction moment.  The second Jessica Biel puts on that sexy voice, you can literally see the trains crashing into each other in a firey blaze of LOLs.  I genuinely worry that, with such a high level of camp, I may explode if I watch this movie in a single sitting.  Trust me, though, that threat is not going to stop me.  Not by a long shot.

People, it’s official: Powder Blue has been upgraded from mere Bad Movie to Anticipated Camp Classic.  To hell with Netflix, I’m seeing this mess opening night.  The rightful heir to the Showgirls thrown drops May 8th, y’all.

Powder Blue Looks Like the Train-Wreckiest Train Wreck
April 3, 2009

Look out, Elizabeth Berkley!  If the trailer for Powder Blue is any indication whatsoever, it looks like Jessica Biel’s in the running for Worst Performance as a Stripper.  I’m usually capable of withstanding large amounts of awful for the sake of good camp, but even I don’t know if I can make it through this mess.  Seriously, y’all, this movie looks terrible, and not in the fun way:

Admittedly, this movie will inevitably find an audience regardless of whether or not it’s campalicious because it’s already getting major press as the movie where Jessica Biel strips.  Given that I could care less for boobs, though, all I’m gonna get is a whole lot of overwrought seriousness.  This movie looks like it wants to be sooooooo serious with all its fragile, damaged characters that are supposed to reflect the frustrations and isolations that come with living in this day and age.  

Jessica Biel is a disenchanted stripper with a sick son and a good heart.  Forest Whitaker is a suicidal ex-priest who wants a tranny prostitute to shoot him.  And then there’s odd the mortician who’s just lonely and awkward and totally not a serial killer.  And let’s not forget Patrick Swayze, who looks like a tranny prostitute but apparently isn’t.  The characters are SERIOUS, y’all.  It’s nothing but 😦 all around for these guys.

Oh, and how could I forget the completely dialogue dialogue imbued with the glimmer of hope all serious movies need as they dissect the human condition:

Sad-faced stripper: When tomorrow comes, everything’s going to be okay.

Not-a-serial-killer mortician: Everything’s going to be okay.

Somehow, I don’t think it will be.  Powder Blue will still be on your resume.

I shouldn’t get too mean, though.  I’m not saying that this movie looks good or even enjoyably bad, but that doesn’t mean it’s not being moved to the top of my Netflix queue as we speak.  I’m just saying.

I Just Don’t Know What to Make of Away We Go
March 18, 2009

While Kate Winslet was out and about winning every possible acting award known to man, poor Sam Mendes was not winning any; he was, however, apparently being quite the busy body.  His new movie, Away We Go, hits this theaters this summer.  If a trailer can give you a disease, though, this one’s giving me a serious case of the whatevers:

This movie really looks to be beyond vanilla in its blandness.  It’s like ice cream without sugar or any flavoring.   Just cold, whipped, skim milk.  I just cannot form an opinion on something with so little flavor or texture.

I mean, I love Allison Janney in everything (she really is the best), and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s hippie-mom line about her stance against strollers is pretty great.  Added to that, Chris Messina is in the movie.  He played Lauren Ambrose’s  dreamy boyfriend in Six Feet Under and Rebecca Hall’s dreamy fiancee in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.  In short, he’s kinda dreamy.  But, in spite of these factors, the best that strums up in me is shoulder-shrug and a mental note to add it to my Netflix queue when it comes out on dvd.  

I think my big hesitation is that, even from this trailer, you can tell that Sam Mendes’s style doesn’t seem to be gelling with the assault-by-quirk script by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida.  This just looks like Mendes is doing a Fox Searchlight movie, one of the unending stream of quasi-indie movies marketed as safe for mass consumption (Garden State, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, etc.).  

Added to that, I couldn’t be less of the target audience for this narrative journey if I tried.  I’m not of the age to where this movie would feel like my life right now, nor am I old enough to be able to view it as a sentimental piece of nostalgia through which I can remember what my life was like back then.  I prefer to let the anxieties of each stage in my life arrive on time; I don’t need a head-start on the worry race.

Plus, there are an alarming number of shots in that trailer involving people EUPHORICALLY EMBRACING LIFE (IN STROLLERS!  SINGING IN CARS!).  I don’t trust that.  Not at all.

So, yeah.  The trailer for Away We Go, y’all.  

Whatever.

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