VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Filth (2013)

Claire: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8.6/10.
Native ratings: 3.1/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

Based on a book written by the same author as Trainspotting, “A bipolar, bigoted junkie cop manipulates and hallucinates his way through the festive season in a bid to secure promotion and win back his wife and daughter.”

Yes… That sounds awesome, but this movie is even better than it sounds.  So intense.

It was a psychological thriller of sorts, but with a heap of comedy thrown in (mostly in the first half). Almost the same type of mix as Fight Club.  This actually had multiple aspects of Fight Club (a lot) and of Dark Horse (a tiny bit; I’m only thinking of Dark Horse because I *just* watched it).

I have to say, the main character in this movie is one of the most conniving, machiavellian, and cunningly sociopathic characters that I’ve ever seen in any story anywhere.  The subtle ways he attacks his enemies (who are also often his friends) are the most subtle and effective form of passive-aggressiveness that I’ve ever seen. Psychological warfare so subtle that the person doesn’t even know it is happening to them. Ruining someone’s life just so they will have slightly less self confidence at work. So you get that promotion.

This guy is the most evil co-worker ever, without just being some generic mass murderer type. The hypocricy and two-facedness of this character is truly unparalleled. I had to stop watching movies for a few days. It was a combination of getting 5 reviews behind, and not wanting to watch another movie because I wanted more time to think about this one. It’s stuck with me for days. This guy is a tool, but an incredibly effective tool. His ruthlessness is actually something to be impressed with. His tactics should be considered. Life isn’t fair, and playing by the rules is for sheep.

This man, as evil and sociopathic as he may be — is actually a role model for anyone who has ever wanted crush their enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women. Just observing his behavior in this movie makes you realize that the scope of actions one can take in a situation is far larger than most realize. It’s almost inspiring and liberating to think that there are far more options out there than most of us would realize.

I don’t think I’d call him a role model, becuase he’s an evil fucking piece of shit… But if there were targets that actually *DESERVED* unfair treatment, his tactics would make him a role model.

This guy is no anti-hero, like, for example, Jason Statham in the Crank movies. He’s not doing wrong things for the right reason. He’s doing wrong things for the wrong reason. He’s a piece of shit, but the execution of his assholery is some of the most amazingly evil and cunning shit I’ve seen.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was an intense movie. The accents sometimes were confusing, and it was hard to keep track of what was happening, but then overall, it was an intense fucked up movie. Definitely shows a descent into madness.

Claire: More like a descent OUT of madness, actually. Like Fight Club in that sense.

By the way: 25 logos in the credits! I count this every movie, and this is one of the highest counts ever.

“We’re filth. We come from filth, we’re going to filth, we’re filth!” -The Tick:TAS

Some other discussion:

Me: I feel like I’m wearing out my welcome on hurling movie recommendations at you.. but…this was pretty entertaining.

Radha: Hated the book  :/

Me: Maybe the movie is more fun and doesn’t take as long so it has the benefits without the cost? But yea, if you hated the book…. probably no point in watching the movie. Did you read trainspotting too?

Radha: Yeah, I read Trainspotting too. I liked it more than Filth but less than the movie. I basically hate Irvine Welsh’s writing style because I hate gimmicky bullshit and I hate things written in dialect.

Me:  so, clockwork orange and watership down are out?
Y’know, i can’t speak for writing, but for movies, i love gimmicky shit.

Radha: I didn’t like the book of Clockwork Orange nearly as much as the movie, except for the violence. Which is really unusual for me because ordinarily I like books much better than movies. It’s the dialect that aggravates me. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Me: Ahahaha yes indeed. I don’t mind that so much, to me it makes it more interesting… Thus I loved having to constantly go in between the actual story and the map-preface or glossary-appendix of Lord Of The Rings when reading it…… but i can see how if that was not your thing it would be a total fucking dealbreaker. LIke, if a movie did that to me, i might be like “fuck you, movie”

Jsun: Hm. I own this book.

Me: It could also be the case that this movie is more enjoyable than the book in the same way Radha thought Trainspotting-movie was better than Trainspotting-book. I dunno.

Matt McK: i can’t recall the book too much, read it 15 years ago, but was the tapeworm in the movie much? it’s only lightly mentioned in reviews. that was the weirdest part of the book…

Tapeworm?????? In the movie Filth? Not at all that I know of?

JSun: They left out the tapeworm?!?

Radha: Half the book is written by the tapeworm growing inside the guy. How the fuck could they leave that out??

JSun: Yeah… Major plot point left out. I’m not sure about this.

Claire: That seems like it would make the movie a little more zany and less realistic, more like Naked Lunch than Fight Club?

But yea… Movies are not cookie-cutter copies of books, or else every movie based on a book would be 3-4 hrs long, like those movjes that ARE cookie-cutter copies (lord of the rings, i’m looking at you, though even they left out stuff like tom bombadil for ex)

Claire: was the tapeworm the cause of his psychosis, then? I figured it was cocaine psychosis

Radha: It’s true that movies can’t be everything books are, but this particular plot point is so major that it wouldn’t even be the same story without it.

Claire: I’m kinda fine with that?
I mean, the movie the Naked Lunch was more about the writing of the book than what was in the book (which I’m not sure could ever actually be a film). Didn’t bother me because it was still a good movie.
Now, if they released a 4-hour version that contained every plot, I’d definitely watch it!
So was the tapeworm the cause of psychosis?

Radha: i dont remember

Claire: They should add an audiocommentary track that is narrated by the tapeworm!

Written & directed by Jon S. Baird.
Based on a novel by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting novel).

Starring James McAvoy (Charles Xavier in X-Men: First ClassTrance, Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles Of NarniaThe Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, 1 ep of Band Of Brothers) as Bruce Robertson.
Imogen Poots (Fright Night, V For Vendetta28 Weeks Later) as Amanda Drummond.
Jamie Bell (Jumper) as Ray Lennox.
Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter movies, Bridget Jones’s Diary movies) as Bunty.
Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas, Harry Potter movies, InkheartHot FuzzBrazil, Time Bandits, The Lion,The Witch,And The Wardrobe, Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Crying Game, Superman 4) as Dr. Rossi.
Eddie Marsan (The World’s End, Jack The Giant SlayerSnow White And The HuntsmanHancockV For Vendetta, 21 Grams) as Bladesey.
Emun Elliott (Prometheus) as Peter Inglis.
Kate Dickie (Prometheus) as Chrissie.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1450321/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Red 2 (2013)

Claire: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Carolyn: 4/5 stars, 8/10.
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix, 6.7/10 IMDB.

Carolyn’s thoughts: This was on par with the first one.  Some action, some comedy, some government politics. Mary-Louise Parker‘s character grows and gains experience.

Claire’s thoughts: How do they keep making Helen Mirren look so good when she’s 68 fucking years old?  Yay Hollywood makeup artists? But anyway, I don’t remember the first movie that well. I mostly just remember how much I liked it. And I like this movie pretty much that same amount.  I think maybe this one didn’t feel as comic-book-y as the last one.  And yes, these kinds of movies are a bit formulaic.  But the fact that it stayed funny is kind of what Red movies are: Comedy-Action movies that are over-the-top and unrealistic.

Daniel Hagan’s adds: “Yeah, they’re empty calories – fun to watch but not particularly notable from a cinema viewpoint”

And since we can never get enough comedy at our house — and prefer comedy to action — it’s great to get both at once.

Plus the cast was great. Anthony Hopkins was particularly fun to watch.

Directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Tick live-action series).
Written by Jon Hoeber (Red 1) & Erich Hoeber (Red 1).

Starring some of the same people from the first movie:
Bruce Willis as Frank.
John Malkovich as Marvin.
Mary-Louise Parker (Nancy Botwin from Weeds, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Fried Green Tomatoes) as Sarah.
Helen Mirren (Deep Thought in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Georgina Spica in The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, National Treasure: Book Of Secrets, 1 ep of French & Saunders) as Victoria.
Brian Cox (Captain O’Hagan in Super Troopers, The Campaign, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, X-Men 2: X2, Adaptation, Fantastic Mr. Fox, narrator in The Color Of Magic, The Bourne Identity movies, Troy) as Ivan.

Plus some new people:

Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs, Odin in the Thor movies, Beowulf, Titus) as Bailey. A great performance.
Byung-hun Lee (G.I. Joe movies) as Han Cho Bai.
Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask Of Zorro, Ocean’s 11, Traffic, Rock Of Ages, Side Effects) as Katja.
Neal McDonough (Captain America: The First Avenger, Minority Report, 8 eps of Band Of Brothers) as Jack Horton.
David Thewlis (Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter movies, The Big Lebowski) as The Frog.
Wahab Sheikh (Trance) as Iranian Clerk.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1821694/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: The Big Hit (1998)

Claire: 4.2/5 stars, 8.1/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7.0/10.
Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars Netflix, 5.9/10 IMDB.

A comedy-crime-romance, with the comedy coming first. It was Carolyn’s first time seeing this movie, but Claire had already seen it in the theater in 1998 when it came out.

The chick they kidnap is China Chow. She is 3/4 Chinese, 1/4 German. Check out her IMDB pictures. Beautiful.

Carolyn says: “It was entertaining. I enjoyed it. The vomit scene was disgusting, but also pretty funny.”

Almost all movie covers and posters at the video rental store are from Troma Entertainment. And that says a bit about this movie’s penchant for the ridiculous. What other movie has ever employed a TraceBuster-Buster-Buster?!

You know what would make people not want to watch this movie? The fact that the screenplay was written by the same writer as the Dragonball:Evolution writer.

But you know why people SHOULD watch this movie? Because it’s ridiculous, funny, and unique. I’m glad I watched this a 2nd time, a treatment the majority of the movies I watch do not receive.

“Is this the movie with the disturbing chicken-feeling scene?” Yes, yes it is.

“Is this the movie with the car chasing the guy… In the middle of the woods?” Yes, yes it is.

People are trying to say this is in the same vein as In Bruges, The Transporter, True Romance, Shoot ‘Em Up, Grosse Point Blank, Demolition Man, Last Action Hero, Face Off, or the A-Team movie. THEY’RE WRONG. This movie is better than 80% of the ones I just listed. And funnier than 100%.

It’s cheesy as hell. It’s “bad” by many measures. But I REALLY REALLY LIKE this movie!

Directed by Kirk Wong (we haven’t seen his other movies, and he mostly does international stuff).
written by Ben Ramsey (Dragonball: Evolution).

Starring Mark Wahlberg (Ted, Date Night, The Happening, I Heart Huckabees, Planet Of The Apes) as Melvin Smiley.
Lou Diamond Phillips (Young Guns, 2 eps of 24, 1 ep of American Dad) as Cisco.
Christina Applegate (Kelly from Married With Children, Veronica in the Anchorman movies, Mars Attacks!, Jesse, Samantha Who?) as Pam Shulman.
Avery Brooks (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 1 ep of Gargoyles) as Paris.
Bokeem Woodbine (The Host, Black Dynamite, Total Recall remake) as Crunch.
Antonio Sabato Jr. (The Three Stooges, 260 eps of The Bold And The Beautiful) as Vince.
China Chow (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, 1 ep of That 70’s Show) as Keiko Nishi.
Lainie Kazan (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Harry & The Hendersons, Beaches, The Journey Of Natty Gann) as Jeanne Shulman, Pam’s mom.
Elliott Gould (Jack Geller in Friends, Ocean’s Eleven movies, Contagion, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Morton Shulman, Pam’s dad.
Sab Shimono (Uncle in Jackie Chan Adventures, Waterworld, The Shadow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, 6 eps of Avatar: The Last Airbender, 3 eps of Samurai Jack, 2 eps of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1 ep of The Boondocks, 1 ep of Max Headroom) as Jiro Nishi.
Lela Rochon (13 eps of The Wayans Bros.) as Chantel.
Danny Smith (Senior Trip, The Three Stooges, 3 eps of Detentionaire) as Video Store Kid.
Joshua Peace (Interrogation Surveillance Tech in Red) as Lance.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120609/combined