THE FRENCH THEY ARE A FUNNY RACE: Part Un, Movies at the Col-Coa Film Festival: Trapped, Not My Type and How I Came to Hate Math


trappedIn Trapped, the new minimalist thriller written by Vincent Crouzet, Jeremie Galan, Patrick Giminez, Yannick Saillet and directed by Saillet, a French patrol is ambushed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.   In the ensuing battle, all but two French soldiers are killed.
But upon investigating their ambushers, the two soldiers discover a truck piled high with blocks of heroin and a female hostage, a beautiful, blonde and blue eyed Aryan of course (as beautiful, blonde and blue eyed as Fay Wray in King Kong—well, I think she was blue eyed, I mean, King Kong was in B&W, so I guess, I can’t be sure…)
Anyway, one of the soldiers is killed, the other, our hapless hero Denis, steps on a land mine and can’t move or, well, boom goes the dynamite. Continue reading

BRAIN DEAD: Transcendence


Transcendence5-600x338Transcendence (or perhaps more aptly titled Trance-enduscence), the new sci-fi thriller written by Jack Paglen and directed by Wally Pfister (a first feature for both, though Pfister was the cinematographer on many Christopher Nolan films), is about a scientist, Will Caster, who tries to turn the world into a dystopian Eden when his brain is uploaded into a computer.
The basic structure is as familiar as any standard piece of Victorian literature, the period when Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein, a horror story about an egotistical scientist who tries to play God by creating a man out of a bunch of miscellaneous parts from dead bodies. Continue reading

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: Nymphomaniac: 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