Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Celluloid #52

In Home

the Believer (2001) Bean - Danny is a neo-Nazi, but secretly grew up Jewish. His background sets the film up for a severe conflict of beliefs and an incredible amount of self-hatred. Ryan Gosling is good, but so much of the movie is totally unbelievable, plus, I still can't stand slow motion effects. 3.25/5

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970) Meyer - Russ Meyer loves boobs! This film is notorious for being partially written by Roger Ebert. Three girls in a rock band from Texas drive out to L.A. There's plenty of money, drugs, betrayal, and murders going around...enough to keep things campy, but it wasn't as much fun as I would have liked and the voice over at the end made me want to tear my ears off. 3/5

the Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (1972) Fassbinder - This is a film comprised entirely of ladies. Petra is a recently divorced fashion designer who treats her assistant like shit and falls in love with her new model. The two become lovers for a while, but when Karin decides to return to her husband, Petra has a complete meltdown. 3/5

Mad Max (1979) Miller - Apocalyptic Australian film where gangs race around in souped up cars. Mel Gibson plays Max, a motorcycle cop, who manages to kill one gang's ringleader. For the rest of the film, the gang seeks revenge, specifically aimed at Max's wife and young son. Admittedly, this movie doesn't always make the most coherent sense, but for car racing, explosions, and clear-cut villains and heroes, it satiates. 3.5/5

Or: My Treasure (2005) Yedaya - An Israeli film about a sixteen year old who tries to take care of her mother, an aging prostitute. Or works so much that she barely has time to attend school, but her mother will not stop "working." Seeing that pursuing legit means of making money will not provide enough cash flow in the house, Or resorts to using her own body in order to make ends meet and to protect her mother. 3.5/5

Role Models (2008) Wain - So, I was definitely two Black Velvets deep while watching this movie, and therefore probably laughed a lot more than this movie deserved. Made by the same team responsible for Wet Hot American Summer, a cranky Paul Rudd and ever-doofy Seann William Scott are court-ordered to perform community service as participants in a Big Brother-type program...silliness ensues. 4/5

Videodrome (1983) Cronenberg - Sharing many themes as Cronenberg's later film Existenz, but without so many painful twists. In this film, a video induces hallucinations, turning people with "sick fascinations" into assassins or worse. Cronenberg is still messing with the perception of reality and hung up on technology as a means of destruction of the flesh. We also still get grotesque, fleshy effects, namely inserting VHS cassettes into a slot in one's stomach. Also, Debbie Harry makes her film debut (as a brunette). 3.5/5

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