GOOD HELP IS HARD TO FIND: Ilo Ilo, Joe and Only Lovers Left Alive


ilo-iloThe family of Jiale, a young boy growing up in Singapore in the 1990’s, is, shall we say, not having the best of times.
His mother Hwee Leng is, well, quite pregnant, to say the least, and works for a company where she types the dismissal notices for a mass layoff; her job seems secure, but no one else around her is so confident. The father, Teck, works as a salesman for a company that makes shoddy protective glass and he soon finds himself out of a job (though he doesn’t tell the family). And Jiale, well, Jiale is simply a terror, a combination of Damien Thorn and Rhoda Penmark. Continue reading

SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL: Nymphomanic: Vol. 1 and Under the Skin


Nymphomaniac-Vol-1I feel I should start this review with full disclosure. I do not like the movies of Lars von Trier, I do not like them, Sam I Am. I find them preposterous, ridiculous, over the top, impossible to connect with emotionally, and, most importantly, just plain boring the vast majority of the time.   I only keep seeing them because of the critical reception his movies receive and the reputation he has within the film community; so I realize that attention must be paid.
But I’m sorry, he just doesn’t work for me. Continue reading

H-2-D’OH: Noah


Russell Crowe as NoahThere is one profoundly profound bit of dialog in Noah, the new “Biblical” (I put that in quotes because, well, there have been some complaints about just how Biblical it really is, so, you know, don’t want to make the Big Guy upstairs angry cause, let’s face it, after seeing this movie, one thing is clear, when he gets mad, he gets pissed, know what I mean?…anyway), the new “Biblical” epic from writers Ari Handel and Darren Aronofsky, the latter of whom also directed.
At one point, Noah seems to really lose it and starts planning some rather terrifying and somewhat shocking actions that most people would suggest are not of the most Godly kind, to say the least. His middle son, Ham, states that he thought God chose Noah because Noah was good. Noah’s response is, no, God chose him because he could get the job done. Continue reading

THRILLS BOTH CHEAP AND EXPENSIVE: Cheap Thrills and Captain America: The Winter Soldier


Cheap_Thrills_39320In the 2012 drama, Compliance, Pat Healy played a sociopath pretending to be a police officer who manipulates the workers at a fast food restaurant into do some pretty disgusting things (and I don’t mean to the food, though from what I understand, fast food workers wouldn’t need much manipulation for that in the first place).
In his newest movie, Cheap Thrills, he’s on the opposite side of the fence, playing a poor schnook being manipulated into doing disgusting things by a pair of sociopaths. Continue reading

FIVE GREATEST MALE PERFORMANCES IN FILM (LEAD): Stella! Stella!


The next in my series of five greats, this time, the five greatest male performances in American and British films (lead):

 

PattonPistoolGeorge C. Scott, Patton

 

 

Continue reading

@#%!!&#: Bad Words and On My Way


BW1312.CR2It’s easy to see why Jason Bateman wanted to make Bad Words, the new Bad Santa clone written by new comer Andrew Dodge and directed by and starring Mssr. Bateman. It’s a solid vehicle to show off his middle brow, laid back talents and he certainly makes the most of it. He wears the role like a comfy old sweater owned since college that you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of, complete with impeccable comic timing.
It’s also a very entertaining movie. It’s witty and clever and never boring. It’s often a ton of fun. It’s very well crafted.
In fact, it’s so well made that it’s quite easy to overlook the fact that it’s really quite a terrible, terrible film. Continue reading