November 2011

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: Guy wakes up in Vegas married to Camera Diaz. That would be a pretty happy ending right there, but then he blows it by winning $3M on a slot machine. Good luck getting that marriage annulled NOW!

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Drunken legal contracts are unenforceable, except when a woman wants your money. OH!

PEOPLE: Ashton Kutcher & Cameron Diaz. Rob Corddry (Harold & Kumar 2, Blades Of Glory, Old School), Lake Bell, Jason Sudeikis (The Cleveland Show).
Smaller roles by Zach Galifianakis, who finds himself in a marriage-related Vegas haze just like in The Hangover .  Also: Queen Latifah.

QUIRKS: Las Vegas, intoxication, legal battles, awkwardness, purposeful annoyance, seeing who can piss off the other the most.

VISUALS: Cameron Diaz ;)

MORALS: Maybe it shouldn’t be legal to marry people when you’re drunk?

BAD STUFF: There was a moment where Cameron Diaz’s lip quivered a bit as she saw Ashton Kutcher deal with children for the first time. “This is the exact frame where the comedy stops!”, declared Carolyn. She later said she was impressed that it didn’t completely stop at that point. However, there definitely was a point where the comedy stopped, and the romance angle took over. This is pretty inevitable in formulaic romantic comedies.

CONCLUSION: Another formulaic romantic comedy about sham marriages, and thus similar to The Proposal. Not quite as funny, but it has more fun moments. Las Vegas. Trying to annoy each other. And a “closing credits reveal” that shows what was missed. The Hangover was a straight-comedy, this is, in a sense, the romantic-comedy version of the Hangover.

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (3.3/5 stars for people who rate like me), IMDB: 5.9/10. Rated 1.0/10 less than The Proposal, which we watched immediately before this.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like romantic comedies, this one is a bit edgier than most, and isn’t as sweet as some. The Vegas angle is nice, since we honeymooned there and thus have an affinity towards Vegas.

SIMILAR MOVIES: The Proposal, of course. (See coincidences, below.)


1) Tipper: If I could kill someone with my mind right now, it would be you.

2) Hater: I can have a vial of crabs here in 30 minutes.

COINCIDENCES: (The Proposal, What Happens In Vegas) 2 movies in the same night had sham marriages that the authorities were investigating, as well as a scene with people listening to headphones while taking a bath/shower, and not being able to hear what is going on.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Benj liked it.

Rebekah hated it. (She sure hates a lot of movies. I don’t understand how people manage to repeatedly watch movies they hate. If they suck so bad, why keep watching them? I don’t understand how people can’t predict what they will like with some amount of accuracy, to the extent of watching something they find zero redeeming value in. I’ve probably only watched a 1/5 star movie about 3 times out of the last 800 or so movies I’ve watched. It’s not that they aren’t out there. They are. I just know what to avoid.)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: Baby dies, mommy cries. And then everything gets much, much, much, much, much, much, much worse.

Fuck. Holy shit. Oh my god.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Wife’s nymphomania is too distracting for husband to notice she is a child-abusing, murderous, crazy bitch. Genital mutilation ensues.

PEOPLE: Directed by Lars von Trier. Remind me never to watch anything by him again.

Starring Willem Dafoe (Green Goblin in Spider-Man, The Aviator, Shadow Of The Vampire, American Psycho, The Boondock Saints, eXistenZ, Wild At Heart, Platoon) and Charlotte Gainsbourg with her weird mouth (21 Grams). And that’s it. It’s just the 2 of them for the entire movie.

QUIRKS: A drama that becomes a psychological thriller. Some say it edges on supernatural thriller while being ambivalent if that is the case — which is a bit how The Number 23 felt.

I never will think of acorns in the same way. Now they are like miscarriages, and will make me think of the Pixies song “Dead” every time they hit my roof. “Uriah hit the crapper… The crapper…”

VISUALS: This is a cerebral movie, not a visual movie. However, they used some interesting “lens effects” that made the woods quite trippy. It almost felt like analog lens distortion, but I heard this was shot on an HD digital camera. Either way, I might be wrong about the technical facts, and they don’t really matter. The effect was neat, and helped add some insanity-related tension to the movie.

MORALS: I’m not sure what moral can be taken out of this movie. The strongest moral might be “don’t watch this movie if you don’t want to squirm”. I think that’s a pretty important lesson that might be more important than any lesson the film has to offer. Seriously: This film will hurt you. This film will make watching the last season of Six Feet Under feel like watching Barney.

POLITICS: There are definitely a lot of gender politics in this movie, causing some to call it misogynistic. However, one must remember that DEPICTING something is not the same as CONDONING it. A Slayer song about a serial killer (Seasons In The Abyss) is not Slayer condemning serial killing. It is Slayer DEPICTING serial killing. In a similar method, the director is not necessarily condoning the violence towards women [AND men] depicted in this movie. So quit your whining, feminazis. This movie isn’t exactly pleasant for guys to watch. In fact, it’s about the least pleasant movie ever.

BAD STUFF: Horror. Sorry. Anguish. Emotional pain. Depression. Crying over a baby. And then there’s the REAL HORRORS that I don’t want to talk about, because I don’t want to spoil the movie. Amazingly, there were people who laughed through this movie. Wow. We actually aborted this the first time we watched it, because we realized it was far too heavy for our mood that night. This movie caused me to have to take some major deep breaths. Carolyn couldn’t even look at the screen for some of it. Some of the most painful, horrible, disturbing images ever.

But not a lot of them. This is no Saw or Hostel. The TRULY TRAUMATIZING, horrible moments maybe only add up to 1-2 minutes of on-screen violence. Most of the rest of the movie is an exercise in exploring sorrow and heartache.

The movie is definitely quite pretentious and “artsy”. That is the source for some people’s laughter. Apparently, a lot of people laughed at the whole “Chaos Reigns” thing. They thought it was so pretentious and hackneyed that they “burst into laughter for 15 minutes”. I knew this was a heavy “art film” going in, and did indeed feel the air of pretension permeating the whole movie. Especially the epilogue — which apparently was not the original ending to the movie. I found the epilogue to actually make the film worse.

Symbolism can only take you so far. When you obfuscate the true meaning of a film in the name of artsy symbolism, you actually obfuscate the meaning of your work and make it harder for people to understand. The contest of rising up to the challenge of understanding obfuscated symbolism is mostly a pissing contest among academics who want to flaunt their superior analytical skills, and doesn’t really have much to do with the enjoyment of a film. Unless you’re David Lynch, an overuse of symbolism can actually harm your work for a lot of observers. I think some of that happened with Antichrist. The talking fox? The epilogue? I think this might have been a more powerful film for most WITHOUT those parts.

And yes, I get that there are deeper meanings. But they have to be interesting and germane to the plot for most people to care. Seeing the variety of speculation in the IMDB forum helps prove the point that the director’s point wasn’t proven.

CONCLUSION: This is one of the most painful things I’ve ever watched in my life. As horrible as the experience was, this movie gets bonus points for invoking intense emotion — even if it’s unpleasant emotion. And this movie has about a minute of some of the most horrible things I’ve seen. Ever. In my life. I get adrenaline rushes and slight terror attacks just thinking about some of the events that transpired in this movie. As horribly painful of an experience as it was, I would recommend it to any serious movie watcher. TEST YOUR VIEWING MIGHT.

Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.

But if one were to rate the *intensity* of this film, it would be 5/5 stars, 9/10. The worst moments are some of the most intense things I have seen ever, period.

The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.6/5 stars (3.1/5 stars for people who rate like me), IMDB: 6.9/10.

RECOMMENDATION: It’s definitely worth a trip to the IMDB forums after seeing this, if not to glimpse the myriad of reactions that people had to this film.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Hopefully, none ever. But why the FUCK are they making a video game based on this? WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK??????????? “According to the Danish newspaper Politiken, a video game called “Eden,” which is based on the film, is in the works. It will start where the film ends. “It will be a self-therapeutic journey into your own darkest fears, and will break the boundaries of what you can and can’t do in video games,” says video game director Morten Iversen.””

MOVIE QUOTE: She: A crying woman is a scheming woman.

COINCIDENCES: (South Park S3E08, Antichrist) In the same night, aborted 2 videos that both had the son walking in on his parents having sex right at the beginning. I don’t remember why we aborted South Park. I think we’d seen it already.

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: Ian didn’t like it. Glen hated it.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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