Category Archives: film

Best Picture Nominees 2016

best picture nominees 2016

David Bowie is dead. This has nothing to do with the best picture nominees of 2016, but it needs to be said. I am having a difficult time coping with his death, so I thought I’d try and distract myself by writing about movies. So here is my take on the 2016 best picture nominees, as represented by GIFs of David Bowie.

 

Mad Max: Fury Road

David Bowie

Mad Max is a movie about the worst road trip ever. You’ve got Tom Hardy who is, yet again, wearing a stupid thing on his face. You’ve got a bunch of angry Australian people. You’ve got Charlize Theron being totally badass but only having 6 lines. The whole thing is like a ride at Universal Studios, but the kind of ride where you’re sitting in something and the screen is moving but you’re barely moving, and you’re trying to believe that you’re there, but if you just look behind you, you see an exit sign, but you’re not allowed to leave. And everyone else around you is like, “Holy shit, guys, we’re moving!” and you’re like, “No, we’re not, we’re not doing anything” and then you take some Ativan and suddenly the film is a lot more enjoyable.

 

The Revenant

David Bowie

The Revenant is a movie about the worst camping trip ever. Leonardo DiCaprio gets left behind in the snowy wilderness by Tom Hardy, who, instead of having a face contraption, has a stupid beard, so once again, you can’t tell it’s Tom Hardy. Fuck that guy. That guy needs to man up and show his fucking face. Anyway, Leonardo DiCaprio has to find food and shelter, and he soon realizes that sometimes, those are the same thing. And he’ll probably win an Oscar for this which will be awesome because then everyone can shut the fuck up about him not having an Oscar.

 

Room

David Bowie

Room is a movie about the worst landlord ever. Brie Larson plays a woman who is trapped in a room for 7 years with a kid. Jesus Christ. The kid is annoying. Then William H. Macy shows up, acts pissed off, and leaves the movie. Oh, and spoiler alert: it’s not even a room, it’s a shed. False advertising. It should be called Shed.

 

Spotlight

David Bowie

Spotlight is a movie about the worst episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit ever. A bunch of newspapers reporters are like, “Aw, jeez, priests are touching kids!” And Mark Ruffalo is like, “Someone’s gotta stop them, guys! They’re touching kids! We gotta stop ’em!” and slams a door. And everyone’s like, “Yeah.” And Stabler and Benson are nowhere to be found, so it’s basically the longest, most boring episode of SVU ever made.

 

Bridge of Spies

David Bowie

Bridge of Spies is a movie about the worst bridge ever. There are so many great bridges out there, like the Brooklyn Bridge, or the Golden Gate Bridge, or the Bridge on the River Kwai, or Jeff Bridges. And they choose to make a movie about a bridge of spies? That isn’t even structurally sound. Pass.

 

The Big Short

David Bowie

The Big Short is a movie about the worst episode of The Office ever. Steve Carrell is Michael Scott but without the endearing qualities of Michael Scott. Ryan Gosling is a jacked-up Jim. Brad Pitt is Stanley, because he doesn’t give a fuck. And Christian Bale is skinny Dwight. Everyone’s talking at you through the screen and commenting on what’s going on and you’re just like, what the fuck is going on, is this a movie? Or is this a YouTube video that got out of control? And where are the leading female characters? Did the 2008 housing crisis happen only to men?

 

The Martian

david bowie gif 1

The Martian is a movie about why we should never let Matt Damon go into space. How the fuck do you get typecast as the guy who gets stranded in space? We get it, you suck at space. Stop going there. Space is not for you. Jesus.

 

Brooklyn

David Bowie

Brooklyn is a movie about who the fuck cares, this looks boring as shit.

 

Goddamnit, I miss David Bowie.

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I Can’t Stand Meryl Streep

meryl streep

Meryl Streep may not be my favorite actress, but Streep from 1976-1979 is my fashion icon.

I can’t fucking stand Meryl Streep. There, I said it.

She always needs a prop: an accent, a cigarette, an eye roll — sometimes all three. I see her acting and I think, “Oh my god, you want another Oscar, we get it.” She’s just so precise that it’s like watching someone build something in a factory: you take a little of this, a little of that, you put it together, and you get a product, which in her case is, a “great” “performance”. Quotations marks are necessary here. Quotation marks are the soldiers that protect my opinion, and I need soldiers, because saying you dislike Meryl Streep is like saying, “I found a bag of cats by the highway and beat them until I saw red.”

Which sounds like a line from a Meryl Streep film. Something she’d say in a southern accent — oh but not just ANY southern accent — a southern accent that’s localized to one country at one point in time. Katharine Hepburn once voiced a similar opinion of Streep; that when she saw her acting, she thought, “click click click” implying that she saw the wheel’s turning in Streep’s head; that she saw Meryl act the acting, instead of just acting. I see it, too. A strategically placed pause. Click. An inflection that makes a regular line a funny line. Click. A look that makes people laugh or say “Ahhh” aloud. Click click click, Meryl.

My moment of “holy shit I can’t take this anymore” happened within the first 5 minutes of August: Osage County. I am so very glad Meryl Streep didn’t win the Oscar for Meryl Streep’s impression of Meryl Streep.

And god forbid me for being a woman critiquing another woman’s performance. I did that, once before, when I criticized Anne Hathaway for her Oscar acceptance speech (and I actually liked her Les Mis performance, her song was breathtaking). People jumped on me like I was a trampoline.

Here’s the thing: I totally get the idea of wanting to support your fellow female artist. It’s not that I want Streep or Hathaway to fail — I do not. I just can’t stand them anymore. And I hate the argument that because I’m a woman it’s somehow mandatory for me to like and support all other women and their endeavors. Why the hell do I have to enjoy everything a female artist does solely because I am also a female artist? Because I have a vagina and you have a vagina I should be your biggest fan? Hell no. It’s not that I don’t appreciate what Streep has done for women actors. And I think she’s a strong, beautiful woman. It’s just the

click

click

click

that drives me insane and away.

 

Photo: LIFE Google images

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Clooney and Deadwife.

Lately whenever I can’t sleep I turn on “Solaris” (the one starring George Clooney). What scares me the most about this film is that it was made in 2002, which makes me want to wring my hands and wonder what I’ve been doing with my life. The rest of this post is going to contain spoilers, and if you haven’t seen this movie that came out eight years ago that was based on a film that came out in the seventies then it’s really not my fault oh and PS in The People Vs. Larry Flynt, Larry Flynt won.

SOLARIS. George Clooney, for reasons I still don’t understand, is apparently the only guy in the world can go into space to save astronauts from themselves. Head astronaut dude says something like, “Something weird is happening and we’re fucked” and Clooney says, “Where are the security people?” and they said, “We sent them but they apparently never made it, no big deal” and Clooney says, “SIGN ME UP!” He doesn’t really ask for more details, which baffles me. It would take a lot more to get my ass into space.

Off Clooney goes into space. Once there, he walks around the ship in painful long shots and doesn’t float or anything. The who played Daniel Faraday, from Lost, is there, pretty  much playing Daniel Faraday. I like the guy but something about his acting always makes me think, “I bet this is how he did in the audition.” I’m not sure what that means…something about his gestures, the way he trails off and leaves his hand figuring something out in midair, it seems so done, it always says “audition room” to me. Anyway that dude is there being all weird and disconnected and bearded.

By the way I’m still not sure what Solaris is, is if it’s the name of the ship, the mission, or the weird purply thing that I thought was the sky around them. Oh but the important thing is that Clooney’s dead wife randomly shows up on the ship. He freaks out at first. It’s not like he brought her body and it got reanimated. It’s like her, but not her. I’m not sure if this thing that is her was ever alive. It’s solid and visible but beyond that who knows. There’s also a little child running around. I think Solaris is doing this. But I wouldn’t know because no one has the courtesy of shouting, “GODDAMN IT SOLARIS!” to let me know. But the head ship lady is all like, “This thing is not your wife” and Clooney gets sassy and is like, “YOU’RE not my wife” and she’s like “We’re not bringing it back” and he’s like, “SHE’S GOT NOWHERE ELSE TA GOOOOOOO” except that was Richard Gere from that movie I’ve never seen, I only know this because of VH1’s ‘I love the 80s’ part 600. Again, if someone around this point could just frustratedly shout, “ARGHH, SOLARIS!” that would have been really helpful.

This movie is not a comedy. But it’s funny. When Deadwife first shows up, Clooney leads her into this little getaway pod, and she’s all wondrous and happy climbing inside, and then her face falls as the pod pulls back into space and Clooney has this expression on like, “Ahhh Solaris what have you done to me” and “I wonder how long we’re shooting this fucking thing tonight” and it’s all very funny in a David Lynch does cowboys sort of way.

This movie is haunted and strange but it’s also muddled and boring which is maybe why I’ve never seen the end. I keep falling asleep and then I have to watch what I missed as I was falling asleep to try to ease the confusion of it all, but I still don’t know what’s happening.

Sometimes it’s clear, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it’s weird. But ultimately it’s probably not as bad as I think it is. And that’s when I realized that sometimes, life is kind of like a weird movie like Solaris. (Except with life the great thing is, if I don’t understand something, I can ask for clarification. I don’t have to just sit back and view and wonder how many David Lynch movies Steven Soderbergh saw before he thought, “Yes, this is the style I will dress my little movie in.”) As with life, stuff happens and you think, huh that’s weird. Maybe it’s not finding dead Daniel Faraday in an over-sized overhead compartment bin. Or maybe it is, I don’t know what you do in your free time. But things happen that we can’t explain and there is a certain orchestrated beauty in this. I am starting to find this beauty and I am starting to look for the good before I look for the bad. I have to put more good out there than bad if I want to get more good than bad in return. And with life, as with Solaris, I can take it in pieces and I don’t have to know how it’s going to end.

I don’t know if I even need to see the end of this film. It’s probably going to turn out that he was dead the whole time, or he never existed, or he dreamed the whole thing, or it cuts to the cast of ER back when they were in their choice time slot and thinking, “Fuck you, Clooney.” I don’t know. I love Twin Peaks with all my heart but honestly? I’ve never seen season two. I have it. But it’s unopened. Because if I watch it, then the whole thing is over, forever. I don’t want Twin Peaks to end. Perhaps though it’s finally time for me to grow up.

I’ll probably just read the wikipedia for “Solaris.”

update: The amazing Ginger tried to help everyone out and change the wiki, but alas, the changes did not hold. Many thanks for your inspiring efforts!!!

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Eternal Boredom of the Bored Boredom

I’m sick with a mysterious something so I’ve been spending my time watching Veronica Mars, True Blood, and Fringe. Summer is here but I don’t feel like dancing in the streets; if anything I feel like lying in bed and watching more television and movies. Thus I bring you: favorite summer themed movies. In no particular order.

The Seven Year Itch. This guy (Tom Ewell) lives in an apartment and Marilyn Monroe lives in the bottom apartment, or maybe it’s the top, I don’t know. It’s a hot summer and his wife and kid are in the Hamptons or Nantucket or something and he’s an ad man so he has to work. And he drinks a lot of drinks with Marilyn Monroe, like “big tall martinis” and champagne.
memorable quote: Tom MacKenzie: What blonde in the kitchen?
Richard Sherman: Wouldn’t you like to know! Maybe it’s Marilyn Monroe!

Beach Blanket Bingo. This is one of my favorite childhood films. You know the way most people revere “The Princess Bride”? That’s how I feel about this movie. This and “Bye Bye Birdie.” Basically the entire movie is about surfing, parties, and breaking into song on the beach. And my family knows Marta Kristen who played the mermaid. Oh yes, there’s a mermaid. Did I forget to mention the motorcycle gang? Yeah, there’s a motorcycle gang.
memorable quote: (from the song) “Beach blanket biiiiiiigno! Beach blanket biiiiiingo. Beach blanket biiiiiiingo! That’s the name of the game!”

Rear Window. Jimmy Stewart sees some shit and Grace Kelly has sex with him. Off screen. The sex is always implied. I think everyone knows what this film is about and if you haven’t then you’ve seen The Simpsons episode that nails it. “Grace, there’s a mysterious lookin’ kid starin’ at me!” It takes place in New York and even though the whole set is filmed in a soundstage (and looks it) the film still captures the essence of a sweltering NYC summer.
memorable quote: “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!” “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!” “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!” “Dental plan!” “Lisa needs braces!”

Vertigo. I’m not even sure if this movie takes place primarily during the summer (though I do remember that it spans quite a few months) but this is also a great Hitchcock/Stewart film and seeing as I just vacationed in San Francisco a few weeks ago it will be a summer movie to me.
awesome moment: Jimmy Stewart’s ahead-of-the-times psychedellic nightmare:

Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls: One of my favorite movies of all time. It follows the late 60s girl band, The Carrie Nations, as they grow corrupt in Los Angeles thanks to a character based on Phil Spector. I have the soundtrack on vinyl and every time I listen to it I’m transported back into a time and place that never really existed but should have. It’s just so weird and flat-out hilarious.
memorable quote: (there are SO many): “This is my happening and it freaks me out!”




Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
Everybody and their mother knows this film and if you don’t you should probably feel pretty bad. Nah, it’s OK. This is the film where Audrey Hepburn walks around in a black dress and everybody wants to be her. Even though she’s kind of a bitch. Yes, see the film in which Audrey Hepburn is bitchy! Although she might be bitchier in Two For The Road, another favorite of mine.
memorable quote: I’m Audrey Hepburn and I love going to Tiffany’s where I eat danishes and la la la la.

Play It Again, Sam. I think this takes place during the summer? Also set in San Francisco, Woody Allen tries to woo Diane Keaton, but it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds. This was one of his earlier films and he didn’t direct it so it’s got a very different feel. And his apartment in this film is AMAZING.
memorable quote: Allan: This is a beautiful beach house.
Linda: Thank you.
Allan: Yeah, let’s burn it down for the insurance money.

That’s what a got, with an honorable mention to Rosemary’s Baby. What are your favorite summer-themed films? Or films with a summer feel?

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