Archive for September, 2012

The Master (2012) – Paul Thomas Anderson (Dir.), Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams

I imagine this is how all things look with bifocals.

In honor of the unfortunately acronymed and not-at-all parent-association-related PTA’s return to film, I shall write this review in the tone of one of his movies:

Picture of something in nature that is beautiful and unknowable – a dusty plain, swirling water, Jackie O making out with a Sasquatch. You know, classy shit.

JOHNNY GREENWOOD SCOREEEEEEWWWWEEEEEeeeeeWWWEEEEWWEEEeeeeeEEEEEEE

Random. Scenes. Of. Stuff. Occurring. PORCUPINES. Bananas. But also, maybe, not a banana? Mark Wahlberg’s penis! Hmmm.

WWWAAAAaaaaaHHHHHHEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Three Hours later…

Long shot of someone doing something strange. Finally, as the screen is about to darken, the always-bloated face of Philip Seymour Buttz Hoffman looks into the camera and declares:

The Master suuuuuuucked.”

When Joaquin gives you this look, you know your panties gonna drop.

Alright, enough of that nonsense. Yes, to those of you that care, I’m sure you have gobbled review after review of praise, the cinematic literati bowing down for their tri-yearly Anderson-Humpings (TM) praying that perhaps this will be the feature that takes them closer to God, one metaphorical penile discharge at a time. Don’t get me wrong, I fucking love Paul Thomas Anderson films. That beautiful dirty bitch of a feature that was There Will Be Blood (Disclaimer: not much blood. But I suppose he never specified the quantity. It wasn’t quite the Veerhoven id-fest we’d all been hoping for. Misleading advertising, I feel). From the desolate plains, to Daniel Day-Lewis talking like if God and Ray Liotta had a baby that grew a baller-ass mustache, that movie was one whack-job moment after next. We have scenes of Paul Dano getting his shit slapped out, Paul Dano screaming evil spirits out of churches (they’re always in the place you look last) to Paul Dano getting his shit ferociously wrecked with a bowling pin. Oh yes. And mutherfucking milkshakes.

 

So, here we are, several years and Cohen Brothers movies later with The Master. Is it the harsh analytical and emotionally demanding look at Scientology we all hoped for? Is it a divine return to form and fury? Is it good?

No. Not really.

It’s difficult with movies such as these to quantify the word ‘good’. The acting is purely phenomenal all the way through. Even Laura “Please Only Wear Jean Shorts and Fight Dinosaurs” Dern delivers scenes worth mentioning. We have Philip Seymour “Say My Name Bitch” Hoffman obliterating every scene he’s in with such thespian genius that you cannot help but weep in his distinctly hoboish presence. Amy Adams gives a terrifying handjob. And Joaquin Phoenix is acting again! Think about it! That bizarre phase where he was rapping and slapping hookers and being the stingray to Casey Affleck’s Steve Irwin (too soon?) is over. We, once again, are blessed with the Phoenix who actually had a career beyond the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (too soon?). The man who gave us such cinematic creepiness as Emperor Commodus, who gave far too much credibility to M. Night Shyamalan’s career before The Last Airbender finally fucking murdered that hack (too soon? I’m going to hell). This was a movie shown in one of those fancy movie theaters with Metropolis Coffee (I got a shout out on twitter last time. Let’s see if lightning can strike twice! I’m also a whore, if you hadn’t noticed by now). It was a film garnered with poster-board blurbs by Manohla “Who The Fuck Calls Their Kid Manohla?” Dargis and a cavalcade of trailers so desperate to win Oscars that they come crawling on their hands and knees ready to suck any and all penises they have to, descending to a depth of academy degradation so deplorable that even Bill Murray is trying to act (shudder). As January marches closer and closer, the circle-jerk and/or group-clit-tickling increases its ferocity and we are pounded with movie after movie of weepy ladies yelling sad things at important men while the score picks up and Spielberg pees a little. With all that surrounding you, there is no way NOT to think ‘holy shit, this movie is the tits’. That is, until the end credits, you wander from the theater feeling hollow, as though you haven’t learned a single thing about the universe at large, that everything is as it was and you just wasted about 2.5 hours of your time watching terrible people do terrible things for terrible reasons.

It’s a fascinating conundrum. We are enjoy that wonderful word Schadenfreude when it comes to watching rich white people rip their lives apart over silly things like sex and boredom. But there is such a fine line. Yes, it is fun to see 1 percenters fuck their lives sideways. Yes, it is amusing to see a cult leader lose all grip on reality. The problem is we, as an audience, need that hook. We need the heart, the soul, the core that gets emotionally violated over and over again like a Turkey at Thanksgiving. The Master had, in simplest terms, no soul.

This is the cast after seeing the premiere. Awkward.

Alright, what is this movie about? Joaquin Phoenix is a pussy-connoseiur. He really, really, really likes sex, specifically with women, to the point that he rides the bone-town express with a sand-woman (yes, a woman made out of sand, not a Tusken Raider, you nerds. Only one of those things is gross.) He’s also the MacGyver of moonshine. Using the cunning and eminently tasty delicacies of paint thinner, bomb gasoline, lighter fluid and actual grain alcohol, he manages to buy his way onto The Master’s daughter’s wedding boat. Enter the Man of Hoff. The Master is the architect of ‘The Cause’, a thinly veiled version of Scientology that purports it can heal its follows by helping them go back into their past lives. He has detractors. Phoenix beats the shit out of them. Phoenix has issues. Like Michael Jackson’s dad issues (too soon? Fuck it. I don’t care anymore; I’m a husk of a man). Hoffman and his angry handjob wife try healing him with the brilliant use of ‘Is it a wall?’ and ‘Don’t blink’ and ‘Don’t look away’. So, basically, the practices are about as medically-based as every college acting class ever. Much like Scientology (OOOOH! THEATER-MAJOR BURN!) Well, they fail, he fucks off and then…I guess…they meet in England? The Master sings a song off key and…well, Joaquin fucks a British chick with big ole mammaries. (Disclaimer: SO MANY BOOBIES – that is a warning, not a commendation…I mentioned neither the age nor the sag factor of said chesticles).

Yup.

It’s hard to tell what went wrong exactly. So many of the scenes were beautifully acted, directed, shot, scored and all the rest. It was the simply threaded together as poorly as my first attempt at making a quilt (never buy from quiltsbyandrew.com. Lawsuit waiting to happen). The pieces are fascinating and intriguing…yet they never amount to more than a ‘huh…what time is it?’ Never once did I lose the thread in any of his earlier works. With this one, the first time check was after an hour. In PTA terms that’s like a quarter of a movie! We already know immediately that the thesis of ‘cults are bullshit’ is central to the film so, when you discover the cult to be bullshit there is no gasp of surprise from the audience; there is a minor yawn and another reach for Metropolis coffee (eh? eh? Retweet? C’mon!). It’s clear Anderson was attempting to draw lines between the helplessness and the lying nature of the alcoholic with a man addicted to his own self-importance. The only problem is…’Duh’. It’s like standing up in front of a room of aging Jews and declaring “The Nazis were evil!” and waiting to see them drop their latkas in horror. No latkas shall be dropped, Mr. Anderson.

This is existential crisis Joaquin went through after his order of “Bitch, get me a sandwich” took an awkward turn.

It seemed as though it was a film with conviction at its conception that, perhaps due to boredom or pressure from an ‘unknown organization’, lost its way like a two year old who really doesn’t want to nap. The more he kicks and screams, the more that mutherfucker is going to hit the hay. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If PTA had wished to douse Scientologists in snark, hate, skepticism or hurt, well…I guess, good job? And, to compound the issue, it seemed as though the man looked back over his celluloid after finishing and realized that ‘Oh fuck…this isn’t very good. Let’s insert weird shit!’ And so, like a toilet at a Phish concert, weird shit was inserted. Did it have to be 2.5 hours? Did it have to have so many saggy boobs? Was the statutory rape really necessary? Did it give this collection of disparate vignettes any deeper meaning?

Probably not. But then again, I’m an asshole with a computer and he has a fucking Oscar. Can’t compete with that.

Wait a second…Ben Affleck has an Oscar. And Cher…And Eminem…something isn’t right here…

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Well, now that my summer burst of movie love is over, we are able to descend into the dark and dingy septic tank that is the horror film genre. While kiddly-winks run rampant through the streets looking more idiotic than usual and hopped up on the most dangerous stimulant of all: sucrose, ss the girls get sluttier and the boys get toiletpaperier and everyone gets drunker, we discover that All Hallow’s Eve is upon us! Therefore, I am finally given full agency to put on my scuba gear and explore the Cameron-esque depths of the worst genre of film (other than Katherine Heigl movies. She’s the UTI of cinema) Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite movies of all time are horror. I fucking love horror movies. However, the horror lexicon plays host to some of the grandest, greatest, most putrid, nostril-burning, titty-twisting, pubic-hair-riddled turd monkeys to have ever graced the cinematic landscape. What is perhaps the most infuriating and wretched quality of these tales is the fact they tickle my tastebuds with teases of talent, glimpses of genius, flashes of fleeting flair, perhaps with fascinating creatures that pluck at the imagination or dark deeds committed by deranged people, and yet at every turn they deliver nothing but trite bullshit intended for the lowest common denominator. And I’m not sure if you’ve witnessed the mathematical ability of Americans, but it ain’t great. The lowest common denominator is so fucking low that mathematicians are still looking for it. For every The Ring, The Shining, The Thing and The Randomwordendingwith-ing we are given The Last Exorcism, Dominion: The Prequel to the Exorcist, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Exorcist II: Heretic, The Exorcist III, The Exorcist: The Beginning, Leprechaun In The Hood. All great movies on the surface, but when you lift the hook of the car, instead of seeing a purring engine beneath, it’s that shit monster from Dogma ready to cover you in feces but this time there is no stripper Salma Hayek to save you (that movie is confusing on every level when you’re not a giggling idiot of a teenage boy).

So, to honor the season, I have selected a series of films that I wish to review. There are 4 good weeks in October and so I shall do 4 good (um, probably not, let’s be real) horror movies. Here’s the thing, you get to decide which ones. The fourth has already been selected, that is immutable and secret. Below is a poll, a smattering, if you will (and I will) of horror/classics/jokes/requisites that I have never had the good fortune to witness. So, please, my readers, choose three films that you believe I should watch to diminish the gaps in my filmic knowledge. The top three, in order of popularity, will receive viewings and subsequent verbal brutalizations or cunnilingus fests (I got bored of all the penis imagery).

My fate, as they say, is in your hands. Do you have butterfingers? Vote! And we shall see…

The winds of a distant winter are rising. Cold fronts, like chilled custard, are gradually consuming the Midwest and with it Chicago. Those summer dresses that make ladies seem so dishonestly ephemeral are quickly disintegrating to the temporal safety of jeans and sweatpants. The summer is coming to a close and, as Ned Stark would say if he had an issue with premature ejaculations (referring specifically to the archaic definition pertaining to elocution), Fall Is Coming. Finally, I’m able to cast aside my vibrant colors in favor of dour earth tones. I no longer need to repel the incessant whines of “Andrew, you should try shorts, you’d look adorable” because it wouldn’t be adorable, it would be as horrifying as looking into the Ark of the Covenant, doesn’t anyone understand I AM EXTREMELY INSECURE ABOUT MY PASTY LEGS.

Well, for a Summer of Film, like any good night of sex, there is a shit load of build up and anticipation, a middling execution with some high points (and seriously low ones) and finally a required and sleepy denouement. This is that sleepiness. A decomposition, if you will, a digestion, that special walk that you take after Thanksgiving Dinner in the hope that burning about fifty calories will offset that Herculean gorge-fest that was that five course monstrosity. Perhaps these will take the form of awards and, if they do, they will be more important than the fucking Oscars (because, honestly, what isn’t?). Perhaps they will take the form of rants. Perhaps the form of an elaborate and labyrinthine puzzle, dragging you through the depths of your own psyche, revealing grotesque truths about the human condition before finally revealing what I actually thought about a shitty film franchise. Perhaps. I haven’t decided yet.

Oh Summer of 2012, what a beast you were. You had such dazzling highs and such confounding lows. You were filled with aimless, drunken wanderings through the streets of Chicago, ending with confused mornings waking up in puddles of Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwiches (true story). You were riddled with dates and drunken make-outs. Midnight showings and Bat-a-thons. You were epic and understated at once. Much like my fifth grade math teacher, I entered you a boy and a left you a man (not a true story). I have gained some loved ones, and lost some (you will be missed, Donnie. New York doesn’t deserve you). I went from living with four wonderful and crazed souls to living alone. And I saw both The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus. I will be forever changed. So, now that I’ve arbitrarily decided to structure this like a rewards show, lets get this thing on the road. Without further ado…here are…

ANDREW’S SUMMER MOVIE AWARDS 2012!

Welcome, welcome ladies and gents. It’s been a wacky and wild roller coaster this summer, hasn’t it, Jane?

(Insert painfully unwitty, overly-enthusiastic response from once-pretty co-host whose face looks like it’s had more nips and tucks than a fucking French pastry)

Hilarious, Jane. You’re so on point. Well, let’s get to it!

Most Mediocre Movie I’m Glad I Missed

Winner: The Amazing Spiderman; Runner Up: The Borne Legacy

OH NO! MECHA-GOJIRA! Nope…my mistake. It’s just boring.

So, I know these were both on my list of “Movies I Will See and Hate Myself“, but guess what, other than a few noted exceptions, this was not a summer of self-harm. I read reviews of Spiderman. My friend told me it was, and I quote, “Totally Fine.” You know what? Fuck totally fine. I don’t want totally fine. This is the summer. If I want ‘totally fine’, I’d be in January. This is the time for RPX/3D/IMAX/ VHS/ADHD/CPS/SIDS to melt your mutherfucking face off. If I’m not feeling some facial phase-changes, then it has no business being in the summer movie line-up. I like Andrew Garfield, but it was so infuriatingly clear in every ad, clip and interview he was trying to be a total badass. You know what? No matter how many times you shove a lightning bolt up a corpse’s ass, you don’t get reanimation, you just get the suffocating smell of cooked, rancid meat and charred hair. My Peter Parker will always be the animated one that awkwardly fought the Green Goblin on Saturday mornings…and then got all weird and sexy with Madame Web and…well…let’s not talk about that. Also, The Borne Legacy, I heard Jeremy Renner was wasted. For that, I say, you deserve a penis in the ear. That is the one place no one likes a penis. Well, I’m sure someone does. Anyway, it’s invasive and unpleasant. You’re welcome.

Most Pissed Off I Got That Nobody Would Drink a Fifth of Jack With Me and Watch

Winner: Battleship, Runner-up: Piranha 3DD

YOU GUYS, IT LOOKS SO GOOD! SERIOUSLY! YOU GUYS!

Seriously, like, seriously guys. Why would NOBODY watch Battleship with me? Of course it’s moronic. Of course it’s about as worthy of sense as Gary Busey on the third day of an acid binge. Of course Liam Neeson will cash a paycheck. But still…COME ON. I heard there was an old person montage! And Rihanna acting! And Tim Riggins on a Boat! (For the record, I do not know, nor do I care, who Tim Riggins is. He has a cool name. Discussion over). I tried, time and again, to Shanghai someone to sneak a bottle of bourbon into the movie theater with me and drink every time someone said the words “Ship”, “God” or “Hey, isn’t that the guy from True Blood?” This summer has been seriously lacking some Transformers, over-the-top, misogyny-riddled, nonsensical action and I need my shit-fix. Why did you all abandon me? WHY?

Piranha gets honorable mention because, honestly, it’s a Piranha movie and those cannot be missed. At the same time, I heard it sucked massive elephantitis-balls. Like, globe-sized, Jack-and-the-Beanstalk-style giant testicles. And not in the good way. More in the, “just got back from rowing the Atlantic ocean and am suffering from about 12 different fungal issues in the nether-regions…do you still want to do this?” way.

Most Forgettable Movie of the Summer

Winner: I can’t remember; Runners-Up: Men in Black III, Brave

It’s that one movie…with the thing…and that guy, from that other movie…

It’s only logical that the least memorable movie was one that literally forgot its existence. This has happened numerous times. Some of the more memorable least-memorable films would be…um…that one with the cops…a black one and a white one…maybe the one with a scary thing in the something or other…or when that one person was on trial for something and somebody was trying to do something with the…it was by John Grisham, I know that. So, here’s to you, the least memorable movie of the summer! I might have written an article about you. Maybe. Maybe I didn’t because you were so fucking forgettable that my brain forcefully rejected your existence the moment I left the theater/my living room. Not because you were bad. No, bad movies deserve remembrance. You have committed the worst crime of all existence: you have stolen time out of my life that, not only will never be returned, but I cannot recollect. You’re a black hole of blandness. A vortex of vapidity. A nebula of nebul-‘eh’. So, movie that was positively pointless, thank you.

The other two runner-ups are nearly as blameful. Men in Black III was fine, without a capital ‘f’ because it doesn’t deserve such frills. It was a movie constructed by the corporate machine, placed in the hands of jaded, half-spent celebrity and given nothing to do other than make a really amusing joke about Andy Warhol. Otherwise, the film was so inoffensive and uninteresting that I literally forgot I saw it until I looked back at my articles written for this summer. And, Brave, you just stick that fucking bear tail between your legs (do bears have tails? I can’t remember. NOT THE POINT). You’re a Pixar, not some poxy by-the-numbers bullshit excreted by Lionsgate. You have a legacy to uphold! Now, yes, I enjoyed the film just fine (there’s that word again! I know grammatically the sentence is incorrect, but the issue is the same. Oh US parlance.) Semantics aside, Brave attempted a few things and succeeded. The issue was one of scale. I return to the face-melting essential nature of summer film. Wall-E fucking sublimated my entire head. Up transformed me into a sobbing, weeping, sniveling husk of mush. Brave? Brave made me shrug my shoulders and go “It wasn’t terrible.” Fuck that noise. I expect more from you people. I expect my very dreams to be haunted with your cartoonish mugs. I expect my bowels to loosen during the opening credits. I expect…

Holy shit. I just remembered what the most forgettable movie was. It was…wait…gone again. Oh well.

Most Good Movie Until a Super-Zombie Showed Up

Winner: Prometheus; Runner-Up: Um…Prometheus?

This is much more accurate depiction of that movie: people doing things that bear no relation to other things

You know how it is in the morning. You wake up, make yourself a cup of coffee, discover an alien planet that probably instigated all of evolution on planet earth, take off your fucking helmet because you “think it’s oxygen” and everything is forgivable and fine until a fucking SUPER ZOMBIE jumps out of nowhere and wrecks every non-named character? Know what I’m sayin’? No? That’s never happened to you? Well, Prometheus, I would like to thank you for obliterating the last twinkle of hope I held for modern science fiction. Thank you for taking such a deliciously dense, fertile, deep and compelling premise and the injecting it with Michael Bay cinema-herpes-riddled spunk. Much like the chaos-black stuff that infected and fundamentally transformed your characters, so did this Bay-Semen attempt to latch its genetic material onto yours. And, in self-same fashion, instead of becoming stronger, better and more interesting, you just became a fucking super-zombie, roaring like an idiot, throwing people this way and that, and eventually being crushed under the wheel of good fanboy taste. Yes, Prometheus, you are a dumb asshole. Not only that, but you built my hopes, you promised so much! And yet, as I drew back the veil, ready to place a ring on that finger and pledge my love to you, I instead discover the whale-vaginal, made-up visage of Guy Pearce peering back, Charlize Theron forgetting that human beings are capable of lateral movement and a big white dude giving forced fellatio to a crustacean.

It breaks my heart. It really does. Well, Prometheus, I really want you to be happy. Just…not with me. Bu-bye now.

Most Batman

Winner: The Dark Knight Rises; Runner-up: Moonrise Kingdom

Surprisingly Batman

This was a difficult category to decide. The list of contenders was long and contentious. We were offered an entire platter of Bat-films. Who could forget when the Dark Knight helped that family in Dark Shadows beat the evil witch’s curse? And when Bruce Wayne traveled back in time to help the Union get the silverware past the vampire threat in Abraham Lincoln: I Still Can’t Believe They Made This Movie. And, in one of the more memorable moments of summer film, who would ever lose sight of the iconic scene where the caped crusader gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Judy Dench after a fatal Over-British-Dose in The Best Exotic Marigold HotelUndoubtedly, however, the award for Most Batman goes to The Dark Knight Rises, fearlessly having Batman in as many as six scenes! They did so well to make sure the cape and cowl had its due, featured in a whopping more than three action sequences! It takes a lot of strength, determination and creative prowess to offer so much screen time to an icon of the common imagination so immensely awesome that it naturally eclipses and obscures all sense of nuance and depth. But they did it.

Our runner up may seem like a surprise, especially with movies such as The Avengers which are simply blatant love notes to the amazingness that is Batman. I mean, they deliberately put all these mediocre characters together in an attempt to make some sort of kind-of-decent Comic-Book Voltron, composed entirely of Stan Lee’s penis inner neuroses. And they were completely and utterly successful in their attempts to show that the Dark Knight does indeed rise above the rest. However, Moonrise Kingdom takes the proverbial cake for second-place Most Batman. In fact, it’s one of my favorite origin stories of all time. X-Men: First Class was a campy/sexy mess; Batman Begins only scratched the surface; and Spiderman was about as subtle as a bottle rocket tied to my scrotum. Moonrise Kingdom charts the unlikely tale of a young Bruce Wayne, his family killed before the film even begins, falling for a young weirdo outsider whom we have to assume is Rachel Dawes (again played by Katie Holmes who really looks like she’s aged a lot since the end of TomKat) and running away from his captors (Ed Norton as a pre-police force Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Willis as Mr. Freeze before earning his PhD in ‘cold things’). I tell you, casting Bill Murray as Clayface was inspired and Frances McDormand as Harley Quinn was a stroke of genius. So, I thank you Wes Anderson, for filling in the missing pieces of Bruce’s journey. 

Least Batman

Winner: The AvengersRunners-up: The First Half of Dark Knight Rises, Magic Mike

This movie poster is still dumb.

Ok, I lied about The Avengers being a love note to The Dark Knight Rises. It was, instead, the Beethoven-esque, ovary-busting overture celebrating the eventual and glorious birth of one Mr. Joss “Fucking Finally” Whedon, a man that has been flirting with commercial greatness and total fangirl vomitoria for years. Throughout his career we have been fed tasty morsels of wonderment, from the episode Hush in Buffy season 4 to Serenity. We’ve also been plagued by Alien Resurrection and Joss Whedon fanboys (I’m not going to make any friends saying this, but if ANYONE begins singing Dr. Horrible around me, I will personally gag them and mail them to Nicaragua). The bald/ginger behemoth of pure nerdom has been gestating in a womb of ridiculous female caricatures and self-referential nonsense for years, only to bloom into a snarky, badass epic ball-buster that was The Avengers as well as the beautiful and hilarious send-up of horror films that was Cabin in the Woods. This was, in no uncertain terms, the summer of Whedon. I shall award him the honor of Least Batman because, contractually, the is no fucking way Batman can appear in the Marvel universe and, more importantly, the overall manic tone of The Avengers couldn’t haven’t been further from the Dark Knight’s noir necropolis. So, well done, Avengers. You did us proud.

The runners-up are slightly less Least Batman. First of all, the first half of The Dark Knight Rises does an incredibly admirable job of pretending to be about Batman and yet teasing us constantly with the fact that the caped crusader doesn’t show up for about THREE FUCKING HOURS. Yes, I understand pathos and that this is the first ever Batman movie that is actually about Batman. But c’mon! I want bat-antics (you know what they are because they’re labeled!)! I want gadgets! I want action scenes! I want to see Batman do something that makes my fanboy panties need a serious deep-clean on the ‘Teenage Boy Without a Girlfriend’ Cycle. The other runner-up, a film I did not see, seemed extremely not-Batman. Because, if the sixties taught us anything, there is nothing gay about Batman. Magic Mike looked super homo. Also, Matthew McConaughy is like anti-Batman. Not in that he’s something awesome like the Joker. No, he’s like buttered toast that falls on the ground butter-side down. He’s like getting a hang-nail while cutting lemons. He’s like Halle Berry’s Catwoman.

Very not-Batman indeed.

Best Movie of the Summer

Winner: Moonrise Kingdom; Runners-up: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises

So surprising. Yes, it was the best. Deal with it.

Commence ‘Serious Face’ (TM). Yes, my favorite movie of the summer was indeed Moonrise Kingdom. Honestly, that movie cut me deeper than anything I’ve seen in some time. Deliriously funny, oddly dark and so whimsical that my testicles almost bloomed into Mumford and Sons and played a pop-folk concept in the middle of nowhere. It is probably the most entertaining modern tale of what it’s like to be a child I’ve seen in years. It was truthfully the most affecting thing I’ve seen in a while, both due to its examination of the child’s experience and because it makes you REALLY uncomfortable about how close to naked the little girl gets. *AWKWARD* That aside, thank you, Mr. Anderson, for serving us the same dish every single time and that same dish is absolutely fucking delicious.

Honorable mentions go out to the already lauded and fellated  The Avengers and Dark Knight Rises. So, yes, congrats, good movies. You’ll probably be the best movies I’ll see for a while. Unless someone FINALLY watches Battleship with me.

Movie I Wish I Had Been Drunker For

Winner: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Runner-up: Men in Black III

This poster is the most disconcerting thing I have seen since…well, this movie.

Seriously. My head was already fucking spinning, like that silver-coated axe wielded by our less-than-fortunate-looking 16th President of ours. So many things branded into my memory would have been offered the forgiving haziness of Jack Daniel-instigated inebriation. Perhaps Dominic Cooper’s horrific accent wouldn’t have pained me so. Perhaps I would have chocked up the absurdity of certain scenes to my waning control over basic motor skills. Perhaps I might have excused the nonsensical nature of the, well, the everything. Maybe Temur Nab-I’m-Not-Going-to-Look-up-How-To-Spell-it-Cus-Fuck-That-Guy-bakov would have been praised in my review for creating Inception-like complexity within his work. Instead, I had to watch it with a shitty Starbucks Latte in one hand (sorry for the redundancy of ‘Shitty’ and ‘Starbucks’) and my crumbling self-worth in the other. At least I had candy, but that can only do so much.

The runner-up here was Men in Black III solely because, if I had created a drinking game where the only rule was ‘Drink every time Will Smith is purposefully non-threatening to white people’ I might have been so drunk by the final scene that I might have involuntarily slept through the utterly hackneyed, inorganic and confusingly weep-tastic conclusion. But, hindsight is 20/20.

Movie I’m Really Upset I Missed

Winner: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Runner-up: Battleship

Come back! I can see Battleship another weekend!

So, I heard Beasts of the Southern Wild was one of the coolest, prettiest, most exhilarating films of the year. Its trailer had me crumpling my blanket in shoving into my mouth in fear that I might swallow my tongue due to a sudden wave of Cute-Black-Child-itis. Of course, I can’t really write anything about it and I don’t have a good reason for why I didn’t see it. I suppose time simply slipped away from me. Hours flew by, days even, and soon the only screen in Chicago playing its beauty allowed it slip away, quietly into the cinematic aether. And here I am, complaining about pieces of shit portraying presidents as Sarah Michelle Gellar’s only claim to fame and missing movies starring Rihanna as, well, a human being. Here I am missing true art and complaining that everything is decomposing into a massive stew of imaginative fecal matter. Here I am. I wish I had seen it, experienced it, written about it. Perhaps I’d be a different person, instead of a bitter jerk fuming over Michael Bay’s legacy. Perhaps. Lessons for the future, I suppose. A cautionary tale how lamenting about the terrible clouds our understanding of the good. Aye me.

The runner-up is Battleship. All pathos aside I REALLY WANTED TO SEE BATTLESHIP.

Most Hilarious Response to One of My Reviews I Have Ever Received

Winner: Fahrenheit 451; Runner-up: Batman Returns

So, this is the Internet. Though it is filled with wonderful things such as my blog, the blog of Raving Mad Scientists (check those ladies out, they are awesome), Netflix and every porn site ever, it is also home to less savory things. Like Goatsie (google it) or /b/ or every porn site ever. In expanding my writing to the World Wild Web I have braced myself for accidentally tapping into the vein of anonymous hatred that sneaks surreptitiously between sites, and allowing a deluge of trolling and nastiness. Luckily, I have not actually experienced any of this…yet. I have had a couple of amusing moments. My favorite of which was in response to my severely uninformed (and openly so) analysis of Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451:

“Well….I guess you gave it a good college try. You missed it on some of the facts (Wikipedia isn’t the end all and be all of information). Actually, Truffaut had originally set Werner to play the role of the captain (eventually played by Cyril Cusack – father-in-law to Jeremy Irons). When Stamp bowed out, Werner did not want to take over the role of Montag — but Truffaut pleaded and cajoled (they had worked so well together in Jules and Jim). Werner (in real life) experienced Kristalnacht in Vienna and saw more than his share of book burning. He had a hard time with the way he felt Truffaut ‘triviliazed’ the book burning scenes. Half way through filming, the two would not even talk to each other and had to use go-betweens to get their messages across. Werner wanted to add more sympathy to the character of Montag than Truffaut did, etc. etc. I completely agree with you about how miscast Julie Christie was. Unfortunately, at that time, she was the biggest thing in box office and the film would not have been funded without her in it.” ~film fan

Thanks for the info, ‘film fan’! I do take your criticism about lack of research beyond Wikipedia and offer, in return, a gif!

And in not quite close second, after my Batman Returns piece:

“Burton himself has said that Catwoman wasn’t meant to be supernatural but ambiguous and have that whole 9 lives vibe and motif going on. When she is pushed out the window (a brilliant scene “actually, it’s a lot like that!”) she hits at least 2 awnings and falls into a mount of snow. And she only falls about 6 stories (Jackie Chan did a similar stunt for real in Project A). After this she has a pyschotic break and develops a new personality not bound by morals or society. A force of nature. The cats wander around her as they live in the alley and are suspicious and hungry. The backflipping and martial arts skilled are explained in an earlier draft when she tells Bruce about how she was a gymnastics champion as a kid and took many self defence classes but her teacher told her she wasn’t any good as her mind wasn’t clear. She replies that it’s clear now.

But a great review, I enjoyed the read.”

That was from the enigmatically monikered ‘G’. Thank you for the compliment, it will not be forgotten. But seriously, that is some serious Burton-Knowledge. All I can say is:

In all honesty, thank you for reading, all of you. I love comments. Of all kinds. I met my internet friends that way. And seriously, we all know these blogs are an attempt to find people throughout the universe that aren’t related to you who might like something you wrote. Fleeting passes of digital connection, helping us avoid feeling the crushing weight of loneliness if only for a moment.

Also, if you want to call me on my shit, bring it. I HAVE SO MANY GIFS TO WHIP OUT.

Well, now we must wait for the Oscars to collectively jerk off our tear ducts in an attempt for studios to garner those self-congratulatory golden dildos. Get ready for movies with Abraham Lincoln not fighting vampires. Movies that make you cry, though you keep telling yourself that you’re watching trite nonsense. Also, The mutherfucking Hobbit. I’m only entirely excited. And now…a contentious list of megachiroptean action movies from best to worst.

All Batman Movies Ranked from Best to Worst with Comparisons to Things that Get you Drunk

The Dark Knight – Like an aged Scotch, smokey, mysterious and surprising. With a dead guy in it.

The Dark Knight Rises – Hendricks Gin. Solid, delicious and makes a summer night worthy of enjoyment.

Batman Returns – Maker’s Mark. Makes you say hilarious things and surprisingly delicious. With hints of Walken.

Batman BeginsA wine. Not fine, but tasty and good with a helping of Neeson. You drink it before it’s done breathing. Like an idiot.

Batman: The Movie – Tequila. Gets you fucking drunk. And maybe a little homosexual.

BatmanAbsinthe (sans Wormwood). You think it’ll be more fun than it was and it tastes vaguely of something made in the mid-eighties but without the fun.

Batman ForeverAbsinthe (con Wormwood). Should be illegal in the States and makes you feel like you are tripping balls. Jim Carrey might appear wearing all green and torment your worst nightmares.

Batman and RobinHomeless Person’s Vomit. Self-explanatory. And it might give you a staph infection.