Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Year of Definitely Not Watching Any DVDs: May, 2008 (Part 2)

Le Scaphandre et le papillon / Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
True story of guy (an Elle editor) who got paralyzed and wrote a book about it by blinking. I remember reading the book a decade or more ago and I guess I found it pretty moving. Now, though, the first thing that strikes me is how clumsy the communication system they work out is. The average modern text messaging interface is a thousand times smarter. The guy sure had bad timing. If it had happened today it would have been pretty easy to enhance his quality of life:

Since 2005 Eye tracking is used in Communication systems for disabled allowing the user to speak, mail, surf the web and so with only the eyes as tool.

Moral: Something about the undying human spirit but I just want to say that Technology rules.

Overnight Delivery (1998)
"Meet-cute" road trip with two annoying characters played by two sympathetic actors (Paul Rudd, who I've liked in Apatow's stuff) and Reese Witherspoon (who stars in one of my favorite B movies). Really contrived story, ghost-rewritten by Kevin Smith. Moral: True love doesn't wait. (Or, put another way: Only bitches withhold sex. Good girls put out.)

Fear, Anxiety and Depression (1989)
Woody Allenish Ira is a wild-haired, unsuccessful playwright persuing girl out of his league. Todd Solondz's debut feature. Some of the same themes as his later works, but a much lighter feel. Moral: Know your limitations.

Junebug (2005)
Amy Adams plays a pregnant country girl who would be really difficult to categorize in a game of FMK. Synchronicity: Adams' character's sister-in-law's character Embeth Davidtz was in Army of Darkness, which I reviewed last time. Moral: Country folk may have a harsh exterior, but on the inside they're better than us city folk. And they are.

The Hound of the Baskervilles (2002)
The latest of some 24 (!) film adaptations of the classic mystery. This one stars Richard Roxburgh as Holmes and Ian Hart as Watson. But I watched it because Richard E Grant is in it. Nastier ending than the book. Moral: Some dogs should be banned.

Tell Your Children / Reefer Madness (1936) (R)
"Classic" anti-marihuana movie, funded by a church group, but marketed as an exploitation film. Fairly dull. Moral: Duh.

Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005) (R)
TV version of the musical adaptation of the original RM. Frequently exhilarating. I love Jesus and everybody loves Kristen Bell. Moral: Question authority.

Network (1976)
Brilliant satire of American television and lots of other stuff as well. Amazingly, more relevant today than 30 years ago. Moral: Society is inhumane.

Juno (2007)
Teenage girl gets knocked up. Initially I found the dialogue to be a little too "clever" and therefore annoying but the sincerity of the characters eventually won me over and I had to admit that it's a very good movie. Synchronicity: Juno is called "Junebug" by her father. And Juno's guitar is named after FDR who was a character in the Reefer Madness musical. Moral: People who want kids should have kids.

Palindromes (2004)
Wow, third movie in a couple of days about young girls dealing with pregnancy. The main character is played, for no apparent reason, by eight different actors, mostly children, but also Jennifer Jason Leigh, and one very obese woman. Moral: Todd Solondz may be turning into a creepy apologist for child abuse.

The Kid (1921)
Silent Chaplin classic. I watched it at double speed to save time and money. Moral: Chaplin should get to keep his Kid.

Into the Wild (2007)
True story of guy who got back to nature, directed by Sean Penn. Moral: The core of man's spirit comes from new experiences. But happiness is only real when shared. Also, Know your plants.

Blue Velvet (1986) (R)
Lynchian goodness. Moral: Weird stuff happens under the surface.

American Gangster (2007)
Real-life crime drama in which Denzel proves that Black men can be just as criminal as white men. Good but not great, and way too long at 176 minutes (I accidentally watched the too-long version. The theatrical release was a bit shorter). Moral: Crime doesn't pay.

La dolce vita (1960)
This is the sixth movie by Federico "FEDS" Fellini I've seen by and I haven't liked any of them. I even read a book about the Maestro once, to better understand his work, and see what I apparently was missing. But now I think the time has come to admit to the world and myself that I'll never like him. Moral: Know when to admit defeat.

This may be going a little too far, though:

Made me want to kill my family
[...] I will buy a movie poster for Gigli and frame it on my wall before I ever watch this piece of trash again. I could write an intelligent review of why I dislike this film but it doesn't even deserve one. I hope that everyone involved in the production of this film experiences a tragic loss in their lifetime so that they can understand the amount of loss the viewer felt when they gave up three precious hours of their life to this flaming piece of garbage.

The Office: Season 4 (2007-2008, 14 episodes)
Still good, but is it finally starting to run out of steam? Moral: Work sucks.

Scrubs: Season 6 (2006-2007, 22 episodes)
Definitely showing its age. I mean, one episode is a clip show, for fuck's sake! And a very, very poorly constructed clip show at that. But okay, the musical episode was good. I can't help but think that the ambiguous ending of the season finale would have been a good place to end the show. Moral: Stuff should end before it gets bad.

Shallow Grave (1994) (R)
Moral: Pretty obvious. If you're going to bury dead bodies, make sure you dig deep enough. Also, Hide the money before they kill you.

Scrubs: Season 7 (2007-2008, 11 episodes)
Starts out with a giant step backwards in terms of character development, and several episodes feel increasingly inconsequential. It makes me sad. Moral: Stuff should end before it gets bad.

Seeing Other People (2004) (R)
Couple decides to sleep around before they get married. Moral: It's really hard to find a safe place in this world so if you find one, maybe you should stick with it.

To be continued...


spidercrazy said...

You watched three movies about pregnancy, and I watched Alien 3. Talk about synchronicity.

Koala Mentala said...

Yeah, that's way more than just synchronicity. That's definite proof that GOD EXISTS. Finally!