Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Quote of the Day: Twin Peaks: The Return - David Lynch (2017)

"Now back to starting position."

I am surprised that an arm wrestling scene could be so intense.

"Twin Peaks: The Return" part 13. It's the show that just keeps giving.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

My "Split" Decision - M. Night Shyamalan (2017) I am of Two Minds About This

I find myself facing a dilemma.

Earlier this year, M. Night Shyamalan released his latest film, "Split," which was received with both commercial success and critical acclaim.

I refused to watch it because I'm tired of people being entertained by DID and mental health in general. I find it debasing.

Now that the film continues to receive such intense praise, I kind of want to see it.

So, do I stick by my convictions and continue refusing to watch "Split?" Or do I give in to temptation and watch an admittedly offensive film?

I'm sure you'll find out soon which side I'm leaning towards.

Quote of the Day: "The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert" - Stephan Elliot (1994)

"Just what this country needs.
A cock.
In a frock.
On a rock."

Why I am Happy With the Casting of "It" - Andrés Muschietti (2017) Spoiler: Bill Skarsgård is Pennywise

When I heard they were making a new film adaptation of Stephen King's "It," I thought a lot about who they would get to play the part of Pennywise the Clown. Could they find anyone who could be as truly terrifying as Pennywise?

Now, that is a tall order. We are talking about concentrated evil, and a master of nightmares like no other. I am not just harping on the fact that he is a popular culture icon. I am speaking about my own personal fright.

When I read this book, I was about the same age as the children are in the story. That forced me relate to the story and the terror exceptionally well. I have not read it since, but it traumatizes me to this day. Like I said, Pennywise is a master of nightmares. I can not think of a better way of stating it.

When one asks what is your biggest fear? I chuckle and say spiders, just to shake off the subject entirely, but it is not true. The truthful answer is Pennywise.

I do not covet the producers of their task of casting Pennywise. Of course the filmmakers could look to the long and tired list of past horror films for the sadistic clown. But my question is: "Who has scared me lately?"

Who could terrorize me as efficiently as this satanic clown who has tormented me my whole life?

I have watched the 2013 TV series "Hemlock Grove" many times over. And every time, Roman Godfrey frightens me more and more.

Played by Bill Skarsgård, Roman wraps all of the horrific events around him to his own desires without empathy for anyone he hurts.

As he slithers through the series, he convinces a lot of people that he is an empathetic and altruistic soul.

He is the ultimate psychopath. He is the perfect hedonist.

This is why he is the immaculate choice to play Pennywise. Both characters are defined by their seduction. This is their weapon, their superpower. Pennywise baits and bribes his victims, letting them get close enough for him to devour them without much fight. They both take their personas directly from Satan, who created the concept of seduce and torment.

I may be eating my own words once we all see "It," but I really believe Bill Skarsgård will effectively paralyze the children in the movie, as well as those of us in the audience.

Also, I have to admit that if I were a teenage girl, Skarsgård would totally be my celebrity crush.

Message From the King - Fabrice du Welz (2017) Hope You Liked "The Limey."

When I started Belgian director Fabrice du Welz' "Message From the King," I could not help from being reminded of Steven Soderbergh's 1999 masterpiece, "The Limey" starring Terence Stamp. "The Limey" is a sort of art-house "Death Wish." It is a vengeance story fueled mostly by Stamp's stoic performance.

Jacob King's (Chadwick Boseman) entrance into Los Angeles is crude and abrupt.

He has come because his sister, Bianca, had left an alarming phone message and he flew in from Cape Flats in South Africa to make sure she was happy and healthy.

After beating his way to the truth about what happened to his sister, he finally goes to the morgue and finds her. Not only was she dead but she had been brutally tortured first.

Jacob goes straight into Charles Bronson mode. His ruthless cruelty does not seem to have any limit. Like Stamp's performance in "Limey," Boseman keeps his stoicism despite his savagery.

About halfway through the film, I was half-convinced that "Message From the King" maybe was a remake of "The Limey."

Jacob goes after lead after lead, obtaining most of their information cruelly. He starts with Bianca's neighbors and her drug dealer, Frankie (Tom Felton.) He orders each of them to give him what little information they have. His constant question: who do you work for? After all, their boss knows the whole story behind how, when and why his sister died.

The search brings Jacob to a charming but suspicious dentist, Wentworth (Luke Evans) upon whom he focuses his investigation.

Wentworth leads Jacob to big-shot film producer, Mike, (Alfred Molina) an unwitting accomplice. Wentworth had Bianca's murder orchestrated. Mike had just told him to 'take care of'' Bianca. And boy, did they. Why, we still don't know.

Now, Wentworth has figured out that Jacob is a threat. He gets two cops and gives them fifty-grand apiece to pick Jacob up and kill him. Fortunately for Jacob, these cops are no smarter than the rest of their ilk. He gets away, which is good because you can not just end a movie at the one-hour mark.

Now, it is time for a trip to the hardware store. It's a cliche, but it's a fun one. Jacob goes back to his hotel and he builds a bomb.

As it turns out, everything, the dentist, the cops and other thugs Jacob runs across all connect with Mike and his predilection for creepy-as-hell sex.

Bianca had seen something she should not have seen and she had in her possession a video she should not have had of her, her friends and Mike playing out his deviant fantasies. She was murdered simply because she had leverage on Mike.

Jacob confronts Mike at his home. He quickly kills him. Then Wentworth shows up, just ahead of all the lower-level thugs. All the rotten eggs in one basket.

All the pieces tie themselves together nicely and all there is left is to do is wonder what Jacob is going to do with that bomb. Gonna be fun.

I kept wondering why so few vengeance films are better than the barrage of others that follow the same formula.

Part of its success is, of course, a matter of how good the screenplay and direction is. Some people are talented and some are not. So many of these films just use the pretense as a starting point for their simplistic blood and violence. That is why most of these vengeance movies suck.

The other ingredient in the good vengeance movie recipe is love. "The Limey" worked because Stamp's character, Wilson, is not a violent man by nature and is motivated by a desperate love rather than sadism. Jacob is exactly the same. He is grieved by Bianca's death to the point where he goes against his gentle nature and explodes into a flash-bang of brutality.

Like "The Limey" and "Death Wish," "Message From the King" rises above most of the cheap pictures in the vengeance sub-genre.

Another Reason to Love "True Romance's" Michael Rapaport

Love this. We could start a movement called 'white dudes get no pussy.'

I have always love Michael Rapaport ever since "True Romance."

Monday, August 14, 2017

Quote of the Day: "Muppets Take Manhattan" - Frank Oz (1984) I want this song at my funeral.

"You hear that New York? The frog is staying!"

Undeniably the greatest of the Muppets movies. As wonderful as it was when I was 10.

The sequence helps me scrape up the determination I need to get through life.