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.