A cultural and political experiment involving Wanker Offsetting. For everything in society that really pisses me off in the next year, I Tommy Lassoo, general waster and recovering lazy sod, will do something creative, inspirational and wonderful to counteract it. Scary doesn't even begin to describe this....
Friday, 24 June 2011
Movie review time....."I didn't get to the end, but I hope both characters die horribly"
I managed to distract myself at lunchtime by reading some of the movie reviews I've put on Lovefilm over the last year or so. I'm quite pleased with some of them..... Have a read if you dare xxx
First let me state that I love Allison Anders films. Gas Food Lodging
and Grace of My Heart are two of my favourite movies of all time.
Things Behind the Sun will never feature in that list, but it was brave
and compelling viewing. Stylistically the movie seems to owe more to
the more experimental end of American indie (the wonky shot set ups
and slightly wooden acting remind me of The Living End) than previous
and arguably slicker productions by Anders. The theme is one which
has been left relatively unexplored apart from in made for tv productions,
which is a travesty, because Things Behind The Sun approaches its
subject with a brutality and emotional honesty that left me shocked and
angry. The acting could have been better, the ending seemed a little
cobbled together but I fully recommend watching this film.
I'll confess now that I've never seen Ratcatcher - it's on my list but I
was at university embedded in a cheap bottle of something in that bit
of the nineties so managed to somehow miss the boat. As a result
I never realised how stylistically brave and interesting Lynne Ramsey's
films are. Morvern Callar mostly struck me for its use of sound montage,
frequently at odds with the visuals and representing the central
character's detached mental state.
Samantha Morton shines as ever as the title role, eternally broken,
longing, generous and needy. The rest of the cast are also very accomplished.
I seldom stop films half way through and vow not to get to the end and
believe me I've sat through some stinkers, but this movie left me leaping
towards the stop button in near record time. A class clown from the
Gus Van Sant school of - just follow the characters around slowly whilst
they mumble in the foreground school of film-making, but with none
of the shock, charm or meaning of such gems as Elephant or Last Days.
I only fathomed the plot of this movie by reading it on this website, long
turbulent sex scenes were reminiscent of the Catherine Bruilat / Bas Moir
/ all sex is rape movies that do for French cinema what Michael Winner
has done for British.
The scenery is very pretty.
Avoid unless you are an insominac in a turbulent relationship who likes
I fell in love with Amos Kollek after Queenie In Love, his films
remind me of what American Independent cinema was before it
descended into a genre consisting of romance films made by
mainstream studios about 'quirky' people. Crazy Streets, with its
offbeat characters, porno acting and bizarre narrative twists is a
welcome break from standard narrative films, the dry, strange
humour reminds me of Tom Robbins' novels or even the films
of Aki Kurismaki. The cool of sleazy 80's New York is a perfect
setting, Hanna Schygulla is magnificent and Debbie Harry doesn't
try to do too much but look cool. I say it's well worth the experience.
Technically this film sucked. Apart from a few extremely good
lines of dialogue I found the story shambolic and the characters a
little bit one dimensional. There were moments of wooden acting
that even Illeana Douglas - one of the greatest human beings ever
created, could not dig her way out of.
However, and this may be down to my menstrual cycle or a hidden
charm, I found the movie to be compulsive viewing. Maybe it's the
novelty of seeing a film about three women who did deviate slightly
from the desperate for male attention / cutesy / ditsy / clumsy / oooh
don't you just want to take her home and look after her / writers for
fluffy womens magazines that contemporary rom coms need to
convince us all we want to be / love. It also had Debbie Reynolds
and Richard Edson (admitedly the latter did very little apart from sit
there, but it's great to see him working) in it - which is a reason unto itself.
This is a beautiful movie, this is a glorious movie. This is a movie
about a woman who doesn't strip, shoot or pine for a husband
and I wish that there were more of them.
Like Old Joy, Reichard's second film concentrates on the subtleties
of character and the beauty of surroundings (Oregon shines as ever),
we see human kindness (embodied in the security guard) contrasted
with a petty mindedness (the store clerk) side by side and
seemingly un-judged by the film maker.
Most importantly we see Wendy - a character who is trying to make
her way quietly through the world, unknown even to the audience
who watch her.
Wendy and Lucy drifts along in a quiet, mellow haze telling a
rootless story and it's well
The fear is that Timecode will leave you riddled, as the
movie began (on a Wednesday evening as my eyelids gained
downward momentum) I feared that it may turn out to be
a cinematic brownie pack on tartrazine, with me as Brown
Owl. Thankfully this was not the case. Although demanding
on the eyes the story is somewhat unambitious and well
played out, leaving the technique to shine. Jeanne Tripplehorn
and Salma Hayek camp it up fabulously; Stellan Skaarskard
crumbles before our eyes and Holly Hunter / Stephen
Weber don't do nearly enough.
I loved the use of sound cues and music to drive the viewer
between shots and Mike Figgis' ability to mock himself for his
own pretentiousness via the character of the film-maker, who
drags her nu metal boyfriend along to pitch the concept for the film
to the audience.
If you can get through the first five minutes of feeling like a movie
producer in a room full
Please do yourselves a favour and don't bother with this piece
of crap movie. The writer watched Clerks and then took a giant turd
and thus this homophobic piece of crap was born. A must for
anyone who believes that making jokes about gays or people with
I watched The Family Stone for the second time yesterday.
There were three reasons for this, firstly, it was Christmas
and I've managed to lose my copies of it's a wonderful life /
Muppets Christmas Carol and One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing;
secondly - I have a girl crush on Rachel Macadam and thirdly -
I remembered it being bad but couldn't remember why. I now
The initial premise, as referred to in the trailer, is okay - typical
Hollywood fare: bloke brings uptight fiancee home for Christmas -
staging struggle between groovy right on family and slightly odd
woman. Family decide to hate woman on the advice of a slightly
smug sister because fiancee clears her throat a lot. Mother and
sister launch hate campaign against said fiancee. So this would
normally conclude with - family and woman clash with hilarious
consequences but are finally reunited when, I don't know - wise
and hilarious grandmother ends up in hospital and is rescued by
uptight fiancee - cue mulled wine and snow.
This doesn't happen in The Family Stone - instead the most
cobbled together story known to humanity ensues, which succeeds
in baffling and reeking horrific discomfort to the viewer in equal
measure. Read instead: family wage seemingly unprevoked hate
campaign against uptight woman while son does little to stop this.
Mother turns out to be dying - justifying hate campaign(?);
younger sister is only mean because she hasn't
been getting any; the coupling of the black guy and the deaf
brother teaches us that it's okay to be black, deaf and gay all in
one go (without having any other personality traits
whatsoever) and the pregnant sister accomplishes nothing apart
from confusing me about what she'd been in previously (Greys
Anatomy - duh!). Financee's sister turns up falls in love with her
sister's man - which is fine because she's hot and they shared a
whole scene together filled to the brim with dialogue about how
she travels - and he wants to; other brother (Luke Wilson playing
David Arquette) falls for fiancee because he finds her attractive
and apparently her personality changes completely when she's
drunk- which is okay because his brother is knocking off her sister
at the same time.
Mother dies - everyone else is fine. The end.
Now I'm not a stickler for technique in screenwriting, but surely a
rom-com; or a rom-dram or a dram-rom-com or whatever the f***
this film is supposed to be, shouldn't leave the audience feeling
like they've been groped by an ugly drunk man in a santa suit?
I fully recommend watching One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing though.
From the first few moments of this movie I feared that I was
being lead into one of the more generic of the post Tarantino
late 90's offerings, luckily this wasn't the case. I had
ordered the film because of Jennifer Tilly and Sandra Oh, both
extremely talented, versatile and charming actors, and was
Oh, Tilly and Daryl Hannah all give excellent performances,
with extra points for having created and researched the characters
themselves, in a film that shines some light on what is a pretty
heinous and exploitative industry.
I'm guessing that the movie didn't become a massive success
and was slated around these parts because, despite the actors
best efforts there is a discomfort between the dance sequences,
which I think are supposed to be sexy and the rest of the movie
which is a (gasp) film about women's relationships with other
women. If you're in it for a jostle I think it will leave you feeling
ripped off, then again, what do I know? loads of people are into
doe eyed exploited, broken people writhing about slowly, that's
why the pop industry exists.
Otherwise the only let down seems to be Sheila Kelley's brunette
bambi impression, coupled with the blank eyed-they won't notice
because it's art- performance of Elias Koteas (career highlight Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles the Movie) Suffice to say no shock was
registered a when Kelley's name appeared under the producers list.
I also recommend watching the documentary about the making
of, where Darryl Hannah shows you the real person who inspired