'You must be talkin' to me'

Director Jody Hill is up to more than meets the eye with Observe and Report. In it Seth Rogen plays a delusional mall cop who's goal is to be a police officer- when that dream gets crushed, he tries to save the people around him by attempting to stop a male streaker at his mall and chase the girl of his dreams. It's more disturbing than you think and what Hill does is create a world very much in the same vain as what Scorsese did with Taxi Driver. In both films the male character is in his own world trying to be a heroic figure by doing unlawful things. Either you go to Observe and Report and come out with a light comedic feeling or you -like myself- come out feeling disturbed by a male hero that gets away shooting a bystander, date raping a girl and sniffing coke.

In Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle was very delusional and believed everything he was doing was for the common good. Rogen's character Donnie is in the same dream world as Bickle and -like Bickle-actually takes medication for his Bi Polar disorder, both stop the medication in their respective films and start getting more and more delusional. They are both anti heros. Hill's film pushes the envelope a bit too much at times and the film doesn't have a real flow to it but it is a disturbing document of isolation, it is riskier than any comedy out there at the moment and it is far better than that other mall cop movie that came out a few months ago. If anything, it's an out of the ordinary hollywood experience.

'The End Of Civilization'

Connecting to server...
You're now chatting with a random stranger.
Say hi!
Stranger: hi
You: hey
Stranger: you know jpn?
Stranger: im from jpn
Stranger: you?
You: yes, i have heard of the place
You: i'm from canada
Stranger: god
Stranger: good
Stranger: fuck you sir
End of conversation...

Chat with total strangers around the world and have some of the weirdest conversations you've ever had. Sounds creepy ? it is. The above web site is getting more and more popular worldwide and is only enhancing the latest trend of online communication. I'll stick to my cell phone and Internet message boards, thank you very much. Sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter have completely redefined the way people can communicate and react to one another. Talking is no longer a tool for communication but has instead turned into an online game. 'Oh yea for sure ! just send me a message on facebook'. For fuck's sake, what happened to 'here's my number, call me'.

'Show me how you suck a guy's cock'

Most possibly the most eccentric and -just overall- halucinary movie trailer you will likely see this year. A remake of that great 1992 cult film by Abel Ferrera starring Harvey Keitel as the masturbatory and -overall- reckless bad cop. It's gonna be tough to match that film's overall style intensity and mood- but again, this sure looks 'out there' and it's directed by -drum roll please- none other than Werner Herzog. I really don't know what to make of this- A release date has yet to be scheduled but this will surely be one of the most talked about films of 2009.

Image Of The Day 5/25/09

Mike Tyson refelcts upon his life in James Toback's brilliant and reflective documentary Tyson. I never thought I'd actually feel bad for the guy but watching this touching and incendiary documentary, I did. It's still in theatres, catch it if you can.

Two Lovers

I guess I'm kind of late chiming in on James Gray's new film and -supposedly- Joaquin Phoenix's final film role but I couldn't help but comment at how touched and mesmerized I was by Two Lovers. First things first, I have yet to see a better performance this year than Phoenix's. He's hypnotic to look at as Leonard and makes you wonder if this role could have any connection to the insanely irrational behaviour he's been commiting of late. He pours his heart and soul to the film. If this is in fact his last movie role- he ends his acting career with a bang and quite possibly the best performance of his short career but I sadly think he might be remembered more for his off screen shenanigans than this incredible role he's giving us here.

Vinessa Shaw and Gwyneth Paltrow also offer solid portrayals as the women in Leonard's life. Shaw plays the perfect Jewish girlfriend whereas Paltrow plays the girl he can't get and a self described fuck up. They're both very sexual and free with their roles and that ultimately plays to the film's advantage, both gorgeous actresses and both unafraid to take risks. In one scene Paltrow stares at Leonard through her window across the street and flashes him her breast- it's a scene that describes the fury burning inside both of these characters and is -with good reason- visually interesting. And what can I say about Gray, if his past films were dragged down by a sense of 'deja vu', this one soars and gives you an idea of how talented the man really is. I was struck by how the film portrays the confusion of relationships. Love is messy, frustrating and -yes- ultimately obsessive. The message I got is very real and almost unflinching- true love is practically at an impossiblity and very far from our reaches.

Tarantino, The 'Basterds' and Cannes

Premiering his new film -Inglourious Basterds- at this year's Cannes film fest, Quentin Tarantino comes back to the fest that made him once cinema's bad boy- with his Palme D'Or Winning Pulp Fiction. What's happened since ? well for one, he followed up that crime classic 3 years later, with the very good -but not great- Jackie Brown. He then vanished. Not coming back till 2003 and 2004 will the Kill Bill films- two amazingly filmed tributes to the dying grindhouse genre he once loved in the 70's. Uma Thurman became a fashion icon with her yellow jumpsuit and Tarantino was back at the driver's seat of cinema's heaven's. He followed that film off with another grindhouse tribute Death Proof- I was underwhelmed but nevertheless entertained by that film, especially it's final 'car chase' sequence.

His new film called Inglourious Basterds stars Brad Pitt as he leads his dozen jews during ww2 to kill as many Nazi's as possible. Pitt's colonel wants every jew to bring him back 'a dozen nazi heads'. This sure looks like Tarantino territory but the reviews have been mixed- the film comes out august 21st and will likely made tons of money but where's the Tarantino we once knew ? He's never repeated the classic dialogue and classic energy that he onced infused in Pulp Fiction, but I do believe that is the whole point. He doesn't want to reproduce another Pulp Fiction, instead he keeps challenging himself with new and different challenges, some work and some don't. I personally cannot wait to watch Basterds, it looks like something different and -as far as Im concerned- Tarantino has never given us a boring film.

'I wanted to see you, to see if I'd want to see you'

Nearing it's 50th birthday, Jean Luc Godard's Breathless has had such an enormous impact on cinema as a whole. Shot on hand held camera for a partly $50,000, the story might be simple but it has singlehandedly changed the way we look at movies today. The film is -pure and simply- all style. It's use of jump cuts is so revolutionary that it is still being used heavily to this day in almost every film and music video around. It's not just the 'jump cuts', Breathless crushed the idea of what a movie chould be like in the very same way Tarantino re-energized movies in 1994 with his influential Pulp Fiction. No offence to all purists but many movies before Breathless were stale and -at times- very stiff with almost no auteuristic style. It helps the beautiful Jean Seberg helps ignite this film with sexual eroticism and the amazing Jean Paul Belmondo completely crushes french stereotypes and brings rebellious force to his character- their relationship is what makes the story work while Godard's direction and style is what gives it its beating heart.

It's been called many names including 'meaningless' and 'aimless' but it's detractors forget about how influential and -yes- meaningful it's impact has with every single director today. Forget about history for a second and you'll see just how entertaining this movie truly is. That final scene is crushing to watch, it's the ultimate betrayal of a relationship. There's no better scene to describe the power and force of this film than that one. Patricia sits and ponders what she has done as her boyfriend Michel gets arrested and awaits what will likely be the end of his life as a free man. Did I mention how in love I am with Jean Seberg ? A life that went by too soon and a beautiful actress that was never been better than in this movie.

Von Trier's 'Antichrist'- what's all the fuss ?

Director Lars Von Trier is a talented man- 'Breaking The Waves' is just incredible stuff with a sacrificial performance by Emily Watson, Dancer In The Dark' -featuring an astonishing performance by Bjork -is out of this world and 'Dogville' with Nicole Kidman is as original as any movie she's ever done. But boy is the man weird, Bjork vowed to never act again after having to endure his intense direction and he's pissed off practically the entire film community with his eccentric antics- not to mention that he repeatedly proclaims himself 'The best film director in the world'. Now here comes his new film, playing in competition at Cannes, and it might just be his most controversial and gruesome film yet. Audiences booed loudly and audiences tried to overcheer the boos at its press screening just a few days ago. the question that's on everyone's mind is simple; what the hell are people fussing about ? New York Magazine has a sneak peek and I kind of understand what all the fuss is about now. Beware there are spoilers below :

So far, no review has gone into gruesome details, though, from what we gather, here’s how it goes down, more or less: After knocking him unconscious, Gainsbourg bores a hole in Dafoe’s leg with a hand drill and bolts him to a grindstone to keep him from escaping. Then, she smashes his scrotum with some sort of blunt object (the moment of impact happens slightly below the frame). We don’t actually see his testicles become disengaged from this body, though it’s apparently implied. Next, she brings him to a climax with her hands and he ejaculates blood (yes, it’s shown). But that’s not all! Later, in an extreme closeup — lensed by Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle! — Gainsbourg cuts off her own clitoris with a pair of scissors.

umm ok, I don't know what to say. I guess many people can interpret this any way they want to interpret it and I won't give my opinion on this matter till I actually see the full movie but this is disturbing stuff and something that -even for a man like Von Trier- is hard to digest.

'I'm the Berlin wall. Come and tear me down'

Today's Image comes from John Cameron Mitchell's tremendous Hedwig And The Angry Inch- about a transexual overcoming all obstacles after a botched sex change operation which left him/her with an angry inch of flesh. It's a musical.

Capturing The Friedmans

Documentaries have taken a boost this decade, especially cause of Michael Moore and his two raging bulls - Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, Luc Jacquet's March Of The Penguins and Morgan Spurlock's popular Super Size Me. Now forget about those and think about the most hell blazing and incendiary piece of non fiction released this decade- you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Andrew Jarecki's Capturing The Friedman's is as good as 90% of the shit hollywood spews on us every year- it's hypnotic, haunting and edge of your seat stuff. Released 6 years ago, it recounts the horrific tale of one family and their ordeal with pedophilia and child pornography charges. Upper Middle Class and award winning professor Arnold Friedman is charged with carrying child pornography magazines, it gets worse, Police further their investigation and start to suspect he and his son Jesse might have teamed up to molest young students from Arnold's computer class. Is it all true ? or are the police as corrupt as they claim Arnold to be.

Oscar Wilde has said that 'The truth is rarely pure and never simple'- That can easily be implied for what this film tries to accomplish with its twists and puzzling structure. We-as the viewer-try to guess who is lying and who is telling the truth but it's far more complicated than that. There are hidden secrets that will likely never come to fruition and never see light of day. Jarecki plays with the meaning of 'truth' and never takes any sides- Something documentary filmmakers have forgotten to do this decade. He leaves it up to the viewer to come up with their own conclusions, he gives us the facts and some of the most astounding -and haunting- family home video I have ever seen- take that Bob Saget ! There isn't an inch of flaw in this baby. Jarecki -a former movie phone employee- crafts something meaningful and unforgettable with a thin string budget. I cannot believe how many people do not know this documentary- it's compulsively watchable- and is the ultimate portrait of family dysfunction. Forget about Michael Moore. Best documentary this decade ? Do I really need to answer that.

'Ne le dis à personne'

It's too risky to reveal Tell No One's delicious surprises. French Director Guillaume Canet has delivered a mysterious thriller that follows the Hitchcockian tradition, no wonder an American remake is set for 2011. Rent the film and do not let anyone reveal the plot to you- you'll thank me for it afterwards. It's one of last year's most undervalued pictures and has a great performance from french actor Francois Cluzet.

On a side note: I cannot tell you how happy I am to see Marie Joze Croze naked again on screen- she hasn't been this sexy since Denis Villeneuve's Maelstrom 9 years ago.

'He is a head taller than me. That may change.'

From director Werner Herzog on Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1971) DVD

'Actor Klaus Kinski lost his temper when a hut full or extras was getting loud with card games and drinking--thereby disturbing his sleep. Kinski responded by firing into the extras hut three times with a Winchester rifle. By amazing luck or divine intervention, the only injury consisted of someone getting their finger blown off. Herzog confiscated the rifle and stil possesses it to this day.'

Never was a big fan of this film but all the back stories behind it are fascinating.

Image Of The Day 5/14/09

Dennis Hopper in David Lynch's twisted, surreal Blue Velvet. A film filled with terror and nightmarish visions of Suburbia America.

'2009 Blues'

Here we are, close to the half way mark of this new year and nothing. nada. zip. No mainstream movie has come out and ran out the rest of the competition. I hear James Toback's Tyson is incredibly fascinating and Maurizio Braucci's Gomorrah is as good as any mob movie this decade but one's a documentary and the other's an Italian film originally intended for release last year. So, Where's the comptetition ? It's nowhere to be found. Hollywood has yet again given us a lame ass spring and a not so promising summer to come

There's one exception. Pete Docter and Bob Peterson's Up promises to be a prime movie event- there's a catch, it's an animated film from pixar. who cares. Pixar has given us some of the most breathtaking movies of the past decade- think The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Cars, Ratatouille and last year's incredible Wall-E- If it's not the best time to be a movie fan, it truly is the best era for animation. Animators have created visual miracles this decade and -judging by early word of mouth- Up could be the crowning achievement.

'Fashion saves a lot more lives than doctors'

Is there a movie this summer that looks more promising than Bruno ? First off the movie gets slapped with an NC-17 rating and then you find out that the original title was supposed to be

Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt

I couldn't be happier that people like Sacha Baron Cohen are doing comedies and reinventing the genre. Borat proved there is much -albeit hidden- bigotry in our society and Bruno will likely have the same message. Were a long way from the kind of laughs Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon inflicted on us as drag queens in 1959- welcome to the next generation of smart, shocking mainstream comedies.

Image Of The Day 6/9/09

Chan Woo Pak's Old Boy- featuring one of the best twist endings I have ever seen in a movie.

Last House On The Left

Shocking and -yes- very stupid. Take a pass at The Last house On the Left. A dull, uninspired mess of a movie trying to pass on as social commentary. It's a remake of the 1972 Wes Craven film & features -amongst other things- rape, torture and graphic murder, all for the sake of shock value. No wonder this muddled mess has passed on to box office infamy. Only good thing ? Monica Potter, playing a milf out for revenge.

Star Trek and 'Trekkies'

I'm indifferent to the fact that a new Star Trek movie is coming out- even though early reviews are glowing. I've never understood all the hype surrounding the 'Trek' phenomenon. So my review of the film will likely come out once all the lineups have gone down the drain and all the hype has been diminished.

For my money, no recent Star Trek movie has come close to the fun I had watching Roger Nygard's documentary Trekkies. A hilarious account of its obsessed fans and their even wackier obsessions. There's something very perverse about laughing at others- but the film is sweet natured and oddly neutral in its depiction of these super fans. It represents the end of civilization through the eyes of dozens upon dozens of Trekkies.

'How do you think the hike's going so far?'

What is Gerry about ? Even viewers that have seen it still ask themselves that same question. The plot is simple- two guys, both named Gerry- are lost in the desert. Nothing else happens. The entire running time they try to find their way back home, which in the process leads to tragic circumstances. This is infuriating and strange stuff- even to the most patient of viewers- and I cannot imagine any filmmaker attempting to do something like this again. Gus Van Sant and his actors -Matt Damon and Casey Affleck- take risks but is the risk enough to sustain our attention ? The answer -for me at least- is a curious yes. The dessert setting is hypnotic to look at and the direction by Van Sant is incredible- not to mention Harry Savides' colourful cinematography. Gerry is a very hard film to find but it's worth the search.

Image Of The Day 5/4/09

Check out that Tag Line (See it with someone you ****). Porn Star Sasha Grey starring in Steven Sodebergh's new movie. Poster just got released and what a poster it is ! She plays a prostitute trying out the dating scene- sounds autobiographical and sounds very promising.

"All dressed up and ready to fall in love"

'One of the most vile, stupid and repulsive movies ever made'

The above quote is stamped on the dvd cover of John Water's Pink Flamingos. The first time I saw it, I was stoned out of my bloody mind. I guess that might be the only way someone could actually get -and enjoy- what John Waters was trying to say with this movie. It IS vile and -yes- it IS repulsive but it's also fucking hilarious. I cringed many times and I was disgusted plenty but there's something amusing in a film that takes pride in its main character eating shit and having random - and rather- strange orgasms. It's all real. John Waters shot this for a measly $ 10,000 and it shows.

Pink Flamingos never got a wide release -for good reason- gaining its notoriety year by year, baby step by baby step. It was only shown at midnight screenings and was called all the names in the book- described as pornorgraphy, The film was banned in Australia, some provinces in Canada and Norway. In some fashion many people- myself included- are as fascinated by the back story than the actual film itself. It's not exactly a work of art nor is it a recomended movie- in fact I'd rather not watch it ever again. But for the Jackass crowd this is somewhat of a tempting film to absorb- literally- and its a true milestone in midnight cinema.