Friday, February 3, 2012

Celluloid #141

In Theaters

Haywire (2011) Soderbergh - Steven Soderbergh was impressed watching a MMA match featuring former American Gladiator, Gina Carano, to the point that he decided to make a film around her. She plays Mallory, a government agent whose boss tries to kill her, so in return she tries to kill him and anyone who gets in her way. You watch this film to see her be a badass and to rough up a bunch of dudes. Those scenes are totally delightful. The acting may not always be the best, but who cares! (There are also plenty of feminist messages to take away if interested, but the film never shoves that in your face.) This and Warrior would be a quality MMA-centered double feature. 4/5

In Home

Bellflower (2011) Glodell - This may be the bro-iest film that I have ever watched. Two dudes build flame throwers, get drunk, get in fights, and hang out with blonde girls. Woodrow and Milly meet at a bar while participating in a Fear Factor type activity and the two hit it off. We see their blossoming romance and the eventual dissolution of their relationship, which then touches off an epic downward spiral for every character in the film. This film succeeds at representing an accurate depiction of a certain SoCal subculture of gearheads, however, I don't think it succeeds much as an actual film. It often feels like an amateurish student film, and I feel like so many critics are giving it a pass because the budget was extremely low and the cars and flamethrowers are pretty cool and took forever for the two main guys to build in real-life. The director seems like a sweet guy, but this film does present a pretty low opinion of ladies that is had to shake. No recommended double should probably just watch Mad Max instead, because that's the film these guys are obviously obsessed with. 2/5

Cold Fish (2010) Sono - The Japanese do not disappoint in bringing together ultraviolence and fetishistic sex as an antidote (or signifier) of repression. Humorously, the two main male characters (Mr. Murata and Syamoto) are both fish store owners. Mr. Murata's store is much fancier and has rarer fish, but we soon find out that his wealth does not originate with the fish, but rather with his yakuza-like lifestyle. He and his wife have made many people disappear and force the timid Syamoto to become an accomplice for fear of retaliation against his bratty teenage daughter or his slutty new young wife. Ironic double feature with Finding Nemo. 3.5/5

Possession (1981) Zulawski - Super crazy film that would have you believe that Anna is demon-possessed, but based on the actions of her husband Mark, you could also make a case for his possession. There's also a gross monster involved. The last third spirals out of control (which is amazing considering how little sanity there was to begin with) into almost sheer incomprehensibility. This totally belongs in the New Cult Canon and would pair nicely with Splice for a double feature. 4/5

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