Posts Tagged ‘revenge’

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Randy Quaid Is The Most Insane Man On Earth

HERE

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Bad cop becomes ex-cop becomes criminal becomes corpse…

 

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  • [Jennifer Epps, who usually gets to the movies a lot quicker than me, also has a review.]

The East has come out on DVD this past week, and home is likely to be the place most people will see it.  The film is a mixed bag, some interesting ideas about corporate power and abuse, but ultimately it suffers from a plodding pace and predictability.

Brit Marling’s previous film, The Sound of My Voice, also rambled along at a snail’s pace, and it begs the question if she and her partners in crime are not putting enough plot in to fill up a full-length feature film.  It seems The East was better thought out than Voice, but I still felt constrained by budget and limited locations for the middle section of the movie.  They linger far too long at an abandoned, ruined house, and it tries your patience.

What’s more, and probably the true deal breaker, The East group never really sold me that it was genuine.  This anarchist cult seemed more like Hollywood’s version of a rebel movement, and a lot of obligatory moments and forced on the nose dialogue kept me at arm’s length.  Wearing your movement on your sleeve is a sign of bad writing, lacking subtext, and the film seemed to veer this way and that, but kept taking me out of the story with forced bits of dialogue.

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The major “jam,” targeting one of the member’s fathers, also felt so contrived and given short shrift that it sunk the film at the moment things should have escalated to the next level up.  That sequence failed, and it felt like not enough thought had been put into the entire film.  As Kirsten said, “It fizzled at the end.”

Not sure the end is where it fizzled, but yes there is an anti-climactic wrap-up that should have been staged better.  The larger ideas clicked at the ending, but the execution not so much.

The East could have been a much grittier, more raw tour de force, and it probably should have been.  Instead there is a cleanliness, a neat pat style that works against the film.  It far too easily mingles at luxury parties and corporate headquarters.  That was one of the film’s points, but it tainted the rest of the movie, which lacked realism and authenticity.  I never bought, for a second, that I was watching anything other than actors reading lines.

Take from that what you will.  The East, a victim of its own slick production and budget, perhaps amounting to anarcho-exploitation rather than any meaningful examination of corporate crimes against humanity.

THE LONE RANGER

I was suckered into sitting through this thing at the $2 theater.  We had to waste some time and sober up for a while.

Everything you’ve heard about it is true.  Abysmally bad, an insult to humanity, really.  It tasted like a soup with ice cream and marmalade and pork and garlic, hot sauce, chocolate syrup, chipotle, beer, ginger, confectioners sugar – blended all up while John Phillip Sousa music blares at 11.  In other words, something like this:

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I felt like a giant Mickey Rat tortured me for six hours.  In other words a fun time for all, and some others in the theater called it a “great movie,” to their impressionable children no less.

In the words of the prophet, Bill Hicks, “Boy, is my thumb not on the pulse of America.”

They appeared to try.  So it was difficult to figure why it is so unwatchable.  It doesn’t know if it’s a slapstick comedy or a chilling drama about genocide, and the corporate scum at the top of the chain don’t really give a fuck.  Perhaps it was re-imagined by a computer program and directed by some experimental DARPA funded director-bot.  At least if it was a robot in beta testing we could cut the guy some slack, but I have a feeling this hack is still consuming our precious oxygen.

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Like, holy wow.

This ain’t a movie, yet.

More

Last Wednesday and Thursday “Diana” boarded a public bus and shot the driver in the head with a pistol and walked away. A witness claims she told the second victim, “You guys think you’re real bad, don’t you?” before shooting him.

She then sent e-mails to Mexican media outlets with the handle “Diana, the hunter of bus drivers.”

“I myself and other women have suffered in silence but we can’t stay quiet anymore. We were victims of sexual violence by the drivers on the night shift on the routes to the maquilas [assembly plants in the city]. I am the instrument of vengeance for several women.”

 

You just fucked with the wrong Chica.

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This brilliantly deceptive crime thriller puts the unreliable in unreliable narrators.  Trance is a Danny Boyle project, and so I was going to see it no matter what.  The cinematography is trippy and full of interesting angles.  I only wish they hadn’t blown out the highlights so hideously on a number of shots.  I see a variety of cameras were used, apparently some not quite holding up to the high-contrast noir lighting.

But the intensity rises at the end with a crucial period where we don’t know what the hell is going on.  This confusion makes everyone suspect, and the tenuous alliances can rattle one’s sense of trust.  I’m not sure if the intent was to put the viewers into a trance, as in Enter the Void.

I certainly wasn’t sure of anything, right up to the final scene.  It’s a mind tease with sex and violence, and so pretty interesting stuff.  Hopefully none of the previous counts as a spoiler.

 

 

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And There’s More

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(more…)

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“To make Kirk relevant again Abrams has reinvented him as what he wishes Obama could be. Kirk is an Obama trying to lead a recovery from a time of darkness and defeats.”

Abrams’ New “Star Trek” Loaded with Political Parallels: Kirk as Obama

There’s not a lot to go on, I suppose, until Friday.

I will say I’ve been seriously dreading this new “edgier” and “darker” turn in Star Trek, just like every other “franchise” out there making big money.  The old complexities and sci-fi concepts that made the original Star Trek interesting have been replaced by white male revenge fantasies.  It seems the only ideas Hollywood has left to offer the world are how to kill bad guys in new and more explosive ways.  I don’t expect much from studio projects, but I was hoping that Star Trek wouldn’t devolve into the same jingoistic imperial propaganda, masquerading as space opera.  Friday, the verdict will be in.

Of course Hollywood loves the Obama image without even understanding real geopolitics on the ground, at all.  H’weird is a land of great ignorance, like the rest of America, and it reinforces this ignorance with simplistic good v. evil formulas.  Hollywood is a symptom of a sick culture as much as it is an illness driving the race over the cliff.  A people so ignorant, so nationalistic, and so one-sided, who trade rights for false promises of “security” and trade their own morality for empty vengeance — in real life* — can’t remain a functioning democratic republic for long.  That is the natural result of the accumulation of illegitimate power and unaccountable militarism.

America had it all.  And lost it all.  In the end perhaps Americans were too fat, lazy, selfish and stupid to even keep up with the state of the world.  They shirked their responsibility to keep their own government in check and they succumbed to mass brainwashing.  They weren’t the first, and they were warned.

 


* “More to the point, two-thirds of those in the current poll still believed the war was justified even if we didn’t find weapons of mass destruction.” -Boston Globe, June 26, 2003

 

Revised: 9.8.14

Few movies make such an impact and burrow into your brain so deeply as Christopher Nolan’s first real movie with a budget, Memento.  This tale of amnesia introduced Guy Pearce to America, and he is phenomenal as a brain damaged guy who can’t form new memories, but who must find and kill his wife’s killer in the name of vengeance.

This movie made me a Nolan fan.  His next project ripped off a very good Norwegian film that already worked perfectly fine without American studio exploitation.  I took a step back and started questioning Nolan right then and there.

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But Memento stands apart as an original twisted cinematic ride that is visceral and probably Nolan’s best film, although The Prestige may be up there in the running.

 

But back to Memento which brings Joe Pantoliano back to the screen, whom I hadn’t seen much of since Guido the Killer Pimp.  Come to think of it, he’s also in The Matrix.  These two, Pantoliano and Pearce, try and piece together how the hell Pearce has gotten here and why.  But Pearce has covered himself with tattoos to establish the facts of his existence. When he thinks certain of something he draws it into his skin, so that when he inevitably forgets everything he can quickly return to his quest.

Nolan’s got something, and it really operates on a different level than most people.

The style is much like a noir, a flashbacked mind bent noir with big questions at the heart of the quest.  It is, after all, about a blinding drive for vengeance.  The act of vengeance is brought to life in a way that nobody had ever seen before.

Memento is cited by many as a film to put on a list of mind bending titles (my own list). I hope you youngsters are keeping track of these gems … oh wait, Transformers 12 is coming!

 

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This is pretty good after the initial cacophony of soundtracks in the first couple minutes.  Article.

This is jaw dropping, and yet should probably be expected — even normalized by now…

lNow there’s a face: Craig Brittain – the owner/operator of isanybodydown

“Revenge porn” scammer boasts no-one will sue him

“CBS has a story on “revenge porn” sleaze Craig Brittain, whose website solicits private photos, then funnels the victims’ takedown requests to a non-existent “lawyer” who advertises outrageous fees.”

But it gets better!  The Legal Satyricon sez:

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Such sweet boys.  Want to get to know them better?

Or go deeper down the rabbit hole with Adam Steinbaugh

“If you’re not yet familiar with IsAnybodyDown.com (NSFW), here’s a synopsis of the controversy surrounding it:

Involuntary porn: IsAnybodyDown.com is an “involuntary porn” or “revenge porn” site, posting nude photos, names, phone numbers, hometowns, and Facebook profiles of over 700 people. The photos are posted without consent and are purportedly submitted by jealous ex-lovers, but may be culled by the site from deceived Craigslist users. The site, hosted in Romania, claims immunity from U.S. copyright law and posted emails mocking those asking to have photos removed. Its owners view the site as a “weapon.”…”

PS

Did I mention my Italian heritage?

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UPDATE

Interview with “involuntary porn” webmaster

And a newer photo of the little darling:

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Apparently the monied lifestyle hasn’t been too kind.

At the Good Company Bar and Restaurant in Briargate, where we’ve met for afternoon drinks, the bartender calls him “Craiggers.” Good Company is close to home, and Brittain often drops in for late-night karaoke, singing “Folsom Prison Blues” or “Bohemian Rhapsody.”