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audreyv [2018] FILM

 

Cecil B. Demented [2000] * * * *

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This past year I have had the pleasure of embarking on a journey through the films of John Waters, an artist who had somehow escaped my attention until that fateful Labor Day in Tahoe during which I put on "Polyester" and found my life forever changed. I still have one more feature of his to see, which at this point I'm basically stashing away like a treat for desperate times. "Cecil B. Demented" was the third film of Waters' I saw, and I am frankly shocked at how unfavorably it is regarded! The humor is SPOT ON and I personally find it so hilarious myself because Waters is poking fun at people like ME-- those who constantly talk trash about mainstream Hollywood productions and exalt the virtues of independent cinema. Like... the guy with the Almodovar tattoo? Frighteningly relatable. Waters absolutely skewers my demographic, but he isn't cruel about it! It's all in good fun. He's obviously one of the few people who could ever pull something like this off, since he knows the history and has so much respect for cult cinema (and is a huge part of it himself!)

Melanie Griffith! She's wonderful! Her getting nominated for a Razzie just goes to show the Razzies are even more of a joke than the Oscars, and coming from me that means a VERY big joke. I love John Waters movies for always having such energetic lead performances, obviously quite a few from Divine but let's not forget Kathleen Turner in "Serial Mom". I never will.

As for Patty Hearst... I can understand Waters' fascination with her. He's always had a thing for true crime which honestly is a topic that makes me very uncomfortable but I am resigned to the fact that it's all part of the John Waters package. This movie is certainly a creative way of using the Patty Hearst story in an entirely new context... of course it only works when you are able to distance yourself from the seriousness of the crimes she was involved in, but if you can then it is absolutely hilarious.

Waters is someone who makes me so proud of the history of gay art and culture and my greatest wish is that he will return to filmmaking sometime soon!!


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Biscoito18 [2018] FILM

 

At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul [1963] * * * *

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The first Brazilian horror film and a horror icon born from the power of disbelief.

José Mojica Marins is a Brazilian filmmaker, creator and actor who plays the character "Zé do Caixão" or Coffin Joe as he is known worldwide. He's the greatest icon of the Brazilian horror and his horror franchise is the longest of all time, having made its debut in this feature film "At Midnight I'll take your soul" in 1963.

Mojica faced the repression of the dictatorship period in the '60s and survived in the porn theater ghettos in downtown São Paulo until he became known to the general public in the '90s by presenting trash horror films on TV to a young audience (just like Cassandra Peterson with her legendary Elvira) and, from there, gained a cult icon status.

Like Bela Lugosi, character and actor get mixed up in Mojica's life. And it was always very common for people to refer to him by the name of the character, just as it was always common to see Mojica wearing a long black cape, top hat and long nails in his daily life.

He also reminds me of the Italian godfather of gore, Lucio Fulci, both in appearance and in the fact that both are independent horror filmmakers with passion for explicit violence and who love to approach metalanguage in their films, including interpreting themselves in some of them.

"I'm free. Therefore, I'm stronger."

Zé do Caixão, underneath all the black clothes, huge nails and top hat, is, in fact, a dream of freedom and power. Freedom from religion, customs and social obligations. Power over other inferior human beings through his own conviction, which is, for him, sufficient proof of his superiority and, at the same time, his inexhaustible source of strength.

A classic and elegant but also dirty character who demonstrates his strength by his astounding speeches with carefully chosen words about death, blood and misfortunes in general, always uttered with a cavernous voice and a strong conviction.

He doesn't care about other people's feelings and his idea of fun is to cause trouble with as many people as possible in the bar.

When playing poker, he draws four Aces!

But his greatest characteristic is the extreme blasphemy and debauchery, both in relation to God and to the Devil.

Totally self-assured, for whom the world is nothing more than a feast for his delight. The villain and protagonist of an actor, director and author to whom the idea of the character came in his nightmares, which I suspect for him have been more like forbidden dreams.

"Yes, I'm a rebel... against fools like you, who fear what you don't see, and become slaves of what actually exists: life! Because it's life that makes your flesh throb. Life feeds your feelings, and if you aren't strong... you'll be dominated and will suffer." - Coffin Joe

About the movie itself:

Joe dominates all scenes, whether with his striking speeches or his increasingly daring actions. It's hilarious to follow him as he passes as a steamroller over everything and everyone.

The only character who can rival Joe is a psychic witch with whom Joe has several fun encounters during the film. Also owner of her own diabolical laughter and speeches that sound more like macabre poems uttered with all the pomp that they're entitled, she's the opposite of him because her strength comes from her strong supernatural beliefs, which she defends with the same passion with which Joe mocks them.

An arm wrestling between the power of belief and the power of disbelief.

Skulls, coffins, spider webs, the spider itself (huge, alive and used in a really creepy scene), cemeteries, an eternal cacophony of screams and moans, and, at the center of it all, passion for the art of horror that doesn't conform to the rules and creates its own style, its own brand. "At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul" is a proudly trash classic.


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Isaak von Seggern [2018] FILM

 

Reversal of Fortune [1990] * *

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Good God who even gives a shit.

When I was in Highschool, my History teacher made us watch that Tom Hanks movie where he gets fired for having AIDS, and it's like I enjoy a solid bout of terminal AIDS just as much as the next good-natured American citizen, but it was so fucking boring.

And so is this, but Tom Hanks doesn't even get AIDS and die (spoilers) in this one, so doubly so.

Someone just ate everything in a Rite Aid and died, so good ol' Barbet was like "haha YES" and got discount Gene Wilder to jort it up as Jeremy Irons' lawyer, and gave Jeremy Irons a "just fuck my shit up" haircut, and boda bing boda bang boda boom, Academy Award nominations/wins up the ass.

Jeremy Irons seems to have cornered the niche market of miserable rich people in toxic relationships, so I guess kudos to him on that, but I just can't be bothered in all honesty.


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Curtis Loves Movies [2018] FILM

 

Breaking In [2018] * * *

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Fun to see a mom kick ass. Yay for moms!

Who knew her cheerleading days would have prepared her so well to fight home invaders.

You know, if in the course of beating down some bad guy, Gabrielle Union had said, "Bring it on, bitch!" -- automatic 5 stars.


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Isaak von Seggern [2018] FILM

 

Prospect [2018] * *

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Ah yes, a film about mining juicy space testicles, just what the sci-fi genre has been sorely lacking ever since Stanley Kubrick's seminal 2013 sci-fi classic "Star Trek: Into the Darkness" broke the box office record for most onscreen space testicle ejaculations in one feature film.

Today I saw that record broken, and gee willikers let me tell you it was sure a not-ok experience.

Our two main characters are the certified greatest space testicle ejaculators in the whole galaxy. After crash-landing on the distant planet of Washington state, they must make a whole new life for themselves ejaculating as much of the local testicle populace... to survive?

huh

Or at least I think that was what the movie was about. Who would have thought your movie would be hard to follow when the main characters are wearing helmets for the entirety of the runtime and every.single.line of dialogue comes incoherently through a staticky radio system, all in the name of "authenticity".

Authenticity?!

AUTHENTICITY???!!!

Ha more like: authentically... dumb.

Thanks folks I'll be here after the review if you want to take pictures with the mostest savage man alive.

Honestly, I was getting "Dunkirk" flashbacks to Tom Hardy in his lil British-man airplane mumbling about bogeys, and what he was going to do Harry Styles nubile, teen body after he landed.

Obviously, I didn't really follow what was happening in that movie either.

I suppose a better example would really be if every character in your movie was Tom Hardy as Bane in "The Dark Knight Again", 2012, Dir. Stanley Kubrick, you know with the voice and the whole "the fire rises" sort of deal.

It also doesn't help when everyone in your movie talks using pre-civil war jargon. I don't think anyone has said "prospect" in the way this movie uses it, since before the South seceded. I get the whole western sci-fi vibe they got going on with the laser muskets and whatnot, but it dragged down what could have been a fun sci-fi story.

In conclusion, I would say that "Prospect" is the greatest YouTube Star Wars fan-film available on the market, but that would be a disservice to some YouTube Star Wars fan-films.

(Did you ever see the one where Darth Maul fights Shaak Ti? I didn't either but I'm sure it was better than this.)

Anyway, bummer that I would have to dunk on the biggest sci-fi movie coming out this month, but I hate independent filmmaking. Shame that true cinema like "Solo" will have to open up against this, there is no way a Star Wars film will make any money while this is in theaters.

Oh well, sucks to suck space testicles, ALDEN.


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Curtis Loves Movies [2018] FILM

 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan [1982] * * * * *

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This movie really is dumb as rocks but I love it anyway. I saw it in the theaters back in 1982, and it fascinated me that a movie could be about big ideas in addition to big explosions. Apparently, if an action movie has real stakes and characters I care about, I can forgive a lot of dumb shit.

Even today, seeing all of its flaws (Khan thinks in two dimensions, so they hide below him only to rise back up level with him instead of just shooting him from below -- how f'n stupid is that?), I'm still struck by the big ideas, only now they resonate much deeper. Shatner was 50 during filming (Kirk is 49 in the script), and I'm 46. I'm very much aware that my choices in life from this point will either keep me feeling young or feeling old.

Another thing that I always forget between watches is that Kirk and Khan never appear together in the same location. All of their conversations are over space-Skype. Yet they are as tense and dramatically satisfying as can be. If they remade the movie today, the climax would most certainly have to involve the hero punching Khan in the nose. Oh wait, they did, and that's exactly what happened.


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jmunky [2018] FILM

 

Lady Bird [2017] * *

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This was ok, and probably more deserved of a 3-star rating than a 2-star rating, but I kept comparing it to that other coming-of-age film, Goodfellas, and Goodfellas is just so much better, in every way. Would I watch Goodfellas again, for the 1000th time? Yes. Would I watch Lady Bird again, for the second time? No.


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