Monday, March 12, 2012

Miscellaneous Wins

1. The Boys From Brazil, 1976, by Ira Levin

Cloning Hitler makes for a wonderful story. My dad introduced me to the film when I was probably twelve; and while the novel does not include the segment of one of the clone boys messing around with a grotesque hand puppet while using a creepy falsetto to call his babysitter to the phone (NANCEEE!)
it's still a lot of fun.

"We were in a biblical frame of mind on the twenty-third of May 1943, at the Berghof. He had denied himself children because he knew that no son could flourish in the shadow of so godlike a father! But when he heard what was theoretically possible, that I could create one day not his son, not even a carbon-copy but another original, he was thrilled by the idea! The right Hitler for the right future! A Hitler tailor-made for the 1980s, 90s, 2000!" 

Bonus for the attack dobermans, right? ACTION! 

2. A Dangerous Method, 2011. Directed by David Cronenberg.
starring: Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightly, Viggo Mortensen.

Um, yeah. Not pleasant.
"A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis." (IMDB).

I think I went to this on a complete whim. Of course I was more than willing to catch my boy Viggo Mortensen in anything, really, but since it had been a few years since I'd seen anything of DC's I was a little nervous about both Keira Knightly (as an actress) and slimy, slippery things finding their way onto the screen as they seem to in so many of his other films. I needn't have worried, the only reference to anything disgusting was pretty minor (a slug, symbolizing a sexual organ, of course) but other than that, all good. I only bring this up because I still get squeamish thinking about The Fly, Videodrome, and Existenz. Yuck.

Of course there was the whole being-spanked-with-belt business and Sabina's (Knightly's) RIDICULOUS mouth actions and gesturing during her early scenes, and those things were a little unnerving, but it all was quite well done. Mortensen as Freud kind of bummed me out a little because Freud seemed like such a dick most of the time, and Vincent Cassel played a German creep named Otto this time (instead of playing a French creep as usual) but Michael Fassbender? How you doin'?

It was good, and interesting, but as the group of about 6 people who wouldn't shut up the entire time the row over from me might suggest, you really need to have an interest in psychoanalysis, Freud, or Jung (or a working knowledge of what these things are all about) in order to enjoy this.

3. John Carter, 2012. Directed by Andrew Stanton
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, and Willem DaFoe

"Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior." (IMDB).

This was fun, and worth every moment of eyestrain from the 3D glasses. It probably is deserving of its own, separate write-up, but time is money, this is it. Every scene is entertaining, all the effects are extremely well done, and the look and sound were always engaging (original music by LOST Alum, Michael Giacchino) but what sold me were the bookend scenes involving Edgar Rice Burroughs, writer of the story, as a character. Tricky, tricky. You should see this one in the theater for sure.


Justin Garrett Blum said...

What the heck is with Michael Fassbender? Why is he in every single movie that came out in the past year?

On a related note, I finally saw this movie Existenz a few weeks ago. I had kept hearing about how Inception was just an inferior rip-off of Existenz. I guess I could kind of see the similarities, but I wasn't really a fan of Existenz. Too weird for the sake of being weird.

I wish that John Carter movie had been better reviewed in general, since I loved reading the books about 15 years ago.

Donald said...

But you also didn't like Inception.

Donald said...

As for John Carter... love the books and think the movie looks neat. I have tomorrow off so I've been planning on seeing it then. Then again, I'm lazy as shit so who knows? I might just wait for Blu Ray.

But there has been so much negativity heaped on this movie (along with some very strange glee about how poorly it's doing), so I kind of want to give it my money just on principle. On Victoria Principle, that is. I'm gonna watch this movie while sittin' on her face.

Wow. That comment took a weird turn there at the end.

Anna said...

Wow, I guess. Victoria Principle as Pam Ewing was pretty unforgettable. As in tiny white dresses and gross, 80s breast implants, if you're into that sort of thing.

Existenz I think would have been better without all those gross, grimy . . . things they had to dig around in. Didn't they have to make a gun out of the still-carcassed bones of their dinner in one scene or something like that? Ugh.

I plan on reading John Carter for sure after seeing the film; is there really negativity going on about it? I don't know what anyone would criticize. The movie definitely is neat.

Anna said...

I mean, I really should have pinpointed a few more things about the film that were good, like the casting, it was really excellent. Does anyone watch Friday Night Lights? Who is this Taylor Kitsch? I hadn't seen him in anything else but he was cool. Kind of reminded me of a cross between Timothy Olyphant and a young Josh Brolin. Hot.