Pseudo-Review: The Shape Of Water Not Unlike My Desire Of The Her Of All Fish

shape of water

Returned from The Homeland last Monday. It was a horrible trip. It was horrible because, of the two weeks I was there, after doing some yard work for my Mom, I contracted a pretty bad skin ailment from poison ivy. In fact, as I worst-write this, two weeks after returning, I’m still itching. (But it is getting better.)

I arrived Sunday late afternoon in The Homeland (can you believe there is a govt. agency called that) and drove three hours south along the Atlantic coast till I reached my widowed mother. As usual she was glad to see me. As usual I was glad to see her. But more important I was glad to provide her with a bit of companionship. My mother is not only getting old but after the death of her husband a few years back, she’s now quite the lonely soul. After an evening’s nightcap and a few shared thoughts on our lives spanning an ocean, my first night of sleep in my mother’s house was preoccupied with a damn film I had seen on LH426 to PHL only few hours earlier.

Say what you will, dear worst-reader, about movies shown on the limited space of tiny flat screens on the back of airline seats. And, like audio and music, I’ve learned to cope with all things cheap when it comes to consuming media. Put another way, I don’t mind if I’m seeing or hearing a piece of art that was meant for the big screen on a krappy little screen, including krappy audio. I’ve learned up to this point in life that in the arts, especially the art of story telling, presentation can take a back seat–if and when it must. In this case, the film “The Shape of Water” got my full attention during the flight and thereafter–even while shown on a really krappy screen. In fact, I couldn’t help but preoccupy my mind with the movie while battling the discomforts afforded us all as we travel in/with an industry run by college grad automatons who obviously can’t manage their way out of wet paper bags–which is more proof why not only the airline industry but #Americant is in a perpetual state of bankruptcy. But then again, that’s why I almost never fly US carriers. Go figure.

That’s right, dear worst-reader. The airline industry… Or better put: the human cattle transport industry hasn’t changed in the quarter century I’ve been using it to cross the Atlantic while living as a miserable expat. So when a two hour film can captivate me and take my mind away from $hitty service, $hitty seats, rattling fuselages and stinking compatriots stuck in the same coach-class hell, I’m all for it. And that’s the ticket of these friendly skies, ain’t it?

The Shape of Water is the best film I’ve seen in years. It’s also the first film I’ve seen in years that I think deserves an Oscar–which it won a few days before my trip. In fact, like so many others and just like with so many things that were once about achievement in the arts, this was the first film in a while I thought even deserved to be up for any kind of formal recognition. That’s how bad movies have become in this age of breaking billion dollar box office records with perverted sci-fi and action genre krapp galore! And if I put some effort into it, the only winner of an Oscar that comes to my worst-mind in the last twenty years is Charlize Theron for the film Monster. Now. Monster, the movie, actually sucked. But Theron’s acting was f’n brilliant.

A little side pseudo-review. Although I focused my mind mostly on having seen The Shape of Water, I did skip through Charlize Theron’s Atomic Blonde while my flight was on final approach to PHL. What a $hitty, unoriginal, boring movie. No different than James Bond, Jason Bourne, Austin Powers, etc. OYG. Hollywood can’t get it’s mojo back even when regurgitating a film albeit with a hot blonde in the fighting lead. Oh well.

Back to one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

Considering what Hollywood has done to movies in my life time, I think that movie making needs to be (finally) turned back over to creative people again. That’s right, dear worst-reader. I am assuming that movie making once belonged to creative people. What has brought Hollywood to where it is today, I won’t attempt to worst-write about here. It’s just that, well, Guillermo del Toro has to be the most creative person in Hollywood in decades. Seriously. Did you see Pan’s Labyrinth? If not, see it now. Unless, of course, you’re anti-creativity and stuck on stupid comic book characters with capes and masks and platitudes. Anyhoo. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is piece of work that makes the likes of Spielberg, Cameroon, and whatever blockbuster action move director you can name, look like what they are: $hit! My hat is off and I bow deeply to creativity and Guillermo del Toro for this film.

That said, spoiler alert.

  1. The Shape of Water has its problems. The fish-man, for example. I dug out an old DVD of Hellboy the other night to compare fish-men. It is uncanny how the two fish-men are the same. Did Guillermo del Toro borrow the actor, the character, the costume? If so, does that detract from Guillermo del Toro’s story? Fcuk no.
  2. I knew at the beginning of The Shape of Water and the introduction of the female lead that those marks on her neck would end up being gills. To me that was the weakest part of the film and something I wish could have been expanded on. But forgivable.
  3. The moment where the archetypal #Americant conservative patriarch who is scared of his own shadow and is given sex by his submissive wife after she pulls her tit out as an offering when the kids finally go to school doesn’t work for me. It’s not how #Americant and its transaction-wives function in their relations. Trust me. I’m #Americant. I know what I’m talking about. Instead. I would have preferred Guillermo del Toro done the scene with the wife whipping out her Saturday night special but only after dipping it in her grab-them-by-the-pu$$y first and then teasing his lips and nose with it. For whatever reason, Guillermo del Toro decided to provide a more human and feminine form of what it is that makes the transaction of marriage sacred in a/the land of free-to-be-stupid. But then again, when it comes to marriage transactions, #eurowasteland ain’t no better. But I digress.

There are so many small issues I have with this film, I’ll not worst-write them all here. Reason? No need to. The movie is just good. Real good. And that’s all that matters. Instead, I’ll go back to my expat cubby-hole and continue the expat dream of living a life like any screwed-up archetypal patriarch should live. Alone and only available to fantasise about how things could be if only a God could be found in a swamp in South America that could/should save us all from ourselves.

Rant on.

-T

When All Else Fails Just Put Some Butter On It

the founder poster

Subtitle: Pseudo-Review Of .99€ Movie Rental The Founder

Almost didn’t make it, dear worst-reader. If it would have come to pass, this would have been the second movie I rented on iTunes but never watched. Luckily I had a few days left when I hit the play button last night. By-the-buy, iTunes (Germany) gives you around 30 days to watch a movie once you hit that rent-button. Once you hit the play-button, you have forty-eight hours to watch your movie. What the other movie was that I rented but didn’t watch I can’t remember. Apple got .99€ from me all the same. But that’s all butter under the bridge. And speaking of bridges…

How does a blah-blah movie about an a$$hole end up being a mediocre film about the invention of fast-food? Oh wait. This movie isn’t about fast-food. This movie is about a shinning star of #americant business acumen. Right? (Sarcasm off.) Well, the one thing to keep in mind about this Harvey Weinstein production is, like a severe burn on the inside of your fingers, all you gotta do to help things be less excruciating is to put some butter on it. Butter makes everything better. Except in the fast food industry on account butter is too expensive to work with–almost like real milk was too expensive for Milkshakes (for a while).

The Founder is the story of how Ray Kroc screwed two guys out of a really interesting idear about how to feed a hungry nation of automatons–most of whom are only interested in not having to cook a meal. Other than avoiding the reality of showing the world how much of an a$$hole Kroc was, this movie actually spends the first twenty minutes making one feel good about the invention of fast-food. Oh, and if you’re so inclined and only have a few months left in your MBA studies at the University of Cocksuckers, this is one great film to watch if you need a case study that is about nothingness.

Although there are moments of reality regarding the a$$holery of the pyramidal franchise business which Kroc sucked up to, this movie gets lost between showing the real founders of fast-food magic and the cut throat reality of making more than a buck on someone else’s dime. So I guess, in a righteous universe where wrongs are outed, this movie could be called Watch Out For A$$holes Because You’re Living In A World Of Them. And with that in mind, here is worst-writer’s take on this movie in-short: there is no redeeming value in either the movie or what Ray Kroc achieved in his life. And if you want to know how to make a buck off subject matter with no redeeming value, ask Harvey Weinstein.

Rant on.

-T

PS The performances of the actors in this movie is outstanding. The writing though sucks batballs and the only thing that could have saved it is if worst-writer had written it.

Things Are Moving Along Just Fine In The Land Of The Docile Free To Be Stupid

IMG_3622

Something to ease the minds of the dumb-downed as another useless evening presents itself in the wake of my beloved and missed #americant dealing with a grand new-fangled tax scam from president smart for the rich and stupid for the rest of you suckers. Also wondering who the college grads are that set up all this digital krapp that’s so blatantly in my way. (If I only knew my way.) And get this: You can actually buy a movie on #itunes for less than renting it. I’m worst-wondering how this relates to the day. Also wondering what did all those college grads actually learn in college that has gotten us here?

That’s right. They all majored in…

#edumacation, baby.

Rant on.

-T

You Been Putting Up Your Whole Life

Anton Chigurh - put up scene
The precious moment he says: “…just a coin. Which it is.”

From the movie No Country For Old Men. Well worth the effort to transcribe. Some of the best writing and acting I’ve ever seen that encapsulates the #americant nightmare that is Disney and/or sparkles blowing out of a unicorn’s a$$ or somewhere there’s a rational person trying to figure out how your country got so fcuked even before fascism started showing its greedy, mighty, blood soaked, shot in the neck, head. (Shot in the neck because I just had a flash thought of the movie Taxi Driver.) It’s all cause you been putting up your whole life, you just don’t know it. Yea, baby.

Btw, a kinda follow-up/continue post from this post is here.


Putting Up Or The Gas Station Scene from the movie “No Country For Old Men”.

Scene

Anton Chigurh has stopped at a dusty gas station in the late afternoon or early evening.

Chigurh is in the gas station.

Chigurh stands at the counter across from the Owner. He holds up a bag of nuts.

Chigurh: How much?
Owner: Sixty-nine cent.
Chigurh: This. And the gas.
Owner: Y’all getting any rain up your way?
Chigurh: What way would that be?
Owner: I seen you was from Dallas.

Opening a bag of nuts; Chigurh pours some into his hand.

Chigurh: What business is it of yours where I’m from, friendo?
Owner: I didn’t mean nothin by it.
Chigurh: Didn’t mean nothin.
Owner: I was just passin the time.
Chigurh: I guess that passes for manners in your cracker view of things.
Owner: Well sir I apologize. If you don’t wanna accept that I don’t know what else I can do for you.

The owner works the register and puts change on the counter.

Owner: Will there be somethin else?
Chigurh: I don’t know. Will there?
Owner: Is somethin wrong?
Chigurh: With what?
Owner: With anything?
Chigurh: Is that what you’re asking me? Is there something wrong with anything?

The old man is becoming more and more uncomfortable.

Owner: Will there be anything else?
Chigurh: You already asked me that.
Owner: Well… I need to see about closin.
Chigurh: See about closing.
Owner: Yessir.
Chigurh: What time do you close?
Owner: Now. We close now.
Chigurh: Now is not a time. What time do you close?
Owner: Generally around dark. At dark.
Chigurh: You don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?
Owner: Sir?
Chigurh: I said you don’t know what you’re talking about. What time do you go to bed?
Owner: Sir?
Chigurh: You’re a bit deaf, aren’t you? I said what time do you go to bed.
Owner: Well… I’d say around nine-thirty. Somewhere around nine-thirty.
Chigurh: I could come back then.
Owner: Why would you be comin back? We’ll be closed.
Chigurh: You said that.
Owner: Well… I need to close now.
Chigurh: You live in that house behind the store?
Owner: Yes I do.
Chigurh: You’ve lived here all your life?
Owner: This was my wife’s father’s place. Originally.
Chigurh: You married into it.
Owner: We lived in Temple Texas for many years. Raised a family there. In Temple. We come out here about four years ago.
Chigurh: You married into it.
Owner: If that’s the way you wanna put it.
Chigurh: I don’t have some way to put it. That’s the way it is.

Pause

Chigurh: What’s the most you’ve ever lost on a coin toss?
Owner: Sir?
Chigurh: The most. You ever lost. On a coin toss.
Owner: I don’t know. I couldn’t say.

Chigurh digs a quarter out of his pocket; he tosses it. He catches it and slaps the coin onto his forearm but keeps it covered.

Chigurh: Call it.
Owner: Call it?
Chigurh: Yes.
Owner: For what?
Chigurh: Just call it.
Owner: Well… we need to know what it is we’re callin for here.
Chigurh: You need to call it. I can’t call it for you. It wouldn’t be fair. It wouldn’t even be right.
Owner: I didn’t put nothin up.
Chigurh: Yes you did. You been putting it up your whole life. You just didn’t know it. You know what date is on this coin?
Owner: No.
Chigurh: Nineteen fifty-eight. It’s been traveling twenty-two years to get here. And now it’s here. And it’s either heads or tails, and you have to say. Call it.

Pause

Owner: Look… I got to know what I stand to win.
Chigurh: Everything.
Owner: How’s that?
Chigurh: You stand to win everything. Call it.
Owner: All right. Heads then.

Chigurh checks the coin.

Chigurh: Well done.

He pushes the coin across the counter.

Chigurh: Don’t put it in your pocket.
Owner: Sir?
Chigurh: Don’t put it in your pocket. It’s your lucky quarter.
Owner: Where you want me to put it?
Chigurh: Anywhere not in your pocket. Or it’ll get mixed in with the others and become just a coin. Which it is.

-end-

Rant on.

-T

How Terrible Cinema Can Save The World Or Maybe Not

snowden poster

Finally broke down, dear worst-reader. I splurged the 4,99-€ to rent Snowden last night. Do I regret it? In German the answer is: Jein. It’s a cross between ja (yes) and nein (no). I suppose the more significant question is: would I do it again–as in maybe even buy this movie so that I can play it when I want, how I want, if I want? F’n no! Luckily there’s not much to say about the movie other than… Well, it sucked. In that vein…

During the movie my better half was sick of me turning to her and sticking a finger down my throat. Barf! Especially the various lovey-dovey scenes between Snowden and his pole dancing girlfriend. My guess is Oliver Stone doesn’t really care at this point if his dialogue sucks. He obviously thinks there is a bigger story to be told. Yes, indeed, he thinks that.

I did perk up a few times, though. The scene where the NSA guy lies in front of Congress was pretty good. I even cracked a joke about how the NSA can lie to Congress and get away with it but when Clinton lied about a White House back room blowjob… Then there was the scene where Glenn Greenwald gets pissed at The Guardian and he threatens to go rogue. In fact, during this scene I paused the movie to explain to those watching what really happened–which is a mystery to me why Stone didn’t put this in the movie.

Glenn Greenwald did leave The Guardian and with the help of a mega-rich dotcom funder started the most expensive blog in history: The Intercept. As I’ve posted here, my biggest gripe with the whole Snowden ordeal is the fact that people like Greenwald, to this day, are sitting on all the data. It’s fine if Snowden thinks he was being strategic by giving his data to “responsible” journalists and that they should decide what/when to publish. I just disagree with having to leave it up to profiteering journalists to make that judgement. But I digress.

All in all, this film is horrible. The cinematography sucks. The editing sucks. The screenplay sucks. Etc., etc. Also. I learned nothing new about Snowden–which is the main reason I decided to watch it. Questions are still un-answered and/or un-addressed that I think are important and would have helped people better understand what is really going on with not only Edward Snowden but the entire US government apparatus that reared him. For example:

  • How did Snowden get on that flight to Moscow from Hong Kong? I mean, who let him on that flight? If THEY wouldn’t let him board a plane to South American, how was he able to get to Russia? If the people that were with him in Hong Kong arranged his flight, why wasn’t that in the film?
  • Why is it that The Guardian no longer publishes any of the material that it shared wth Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill?  Is The Intercept the sole publisher of the Snowden material now? Where is the rest of that material?
  • Where does Snowden come from? What are his beliefs? Considering the batshittery of #americant politics these days, I think it’s very important to know what these batshitters think, how they were raised, where they come from. For instance. Who is Edward Snowden’s father? I recall a few times in the news, early on, Snowden’s father was featured in reports with words like “libertarianism” and “freedom”. These words are thrown around like badmintion birdies at a drunk family picnic–especially when used by tea-party families. Again: Batshit radical right wing #americant is what got us into the mess we’re in. The scariest thing about Snowden is NOT is data-dump but how he thinks. The way he throws around the word Constitution, as though it’s a veil of sorts, is also a redflag. Indeed. The country is in quagmire of irrational exuberant misplaced patriotism, rightousness and all that jazz. A Mess. Mess. Mess.
  • The demonising of the CIA and the NSA, as Stone does it, is probably warranted but unnecessary for this story. I’m a big fan of Oliver Stone. I consider him a teacher. The way Stone portrays them here, though, is nothing more than opening a can of worms and then leaving the rest of us to sort it out. What a drag.

I could go on but I’ll leave it at that.

Good luck suckers.

Rant on.

-t

No Wag To Tail

no tail to wag.jpgBeckett the killer pug was taking me for a walk the other day while I listened to a podcast or three. After a few hours of peeing on trees and licking the dew from morning grass and counting the barges that traverse the Rhein, I decided enough was enough and told the old mutt to take me home. He did. He then fed me a late morning breakfast and proceeded to find a place on the couch to take a late morning nap. Motivated from a podcast and after consuming too much post nap coffee I decided to re-watch the movie Wag The Dog. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw it. But I’ve seen it at least once before going back to the early 2000s. I think I might have tried to watch it a second time after that but gave up on the film. I remember when the movie came out around 1997/8. It was somewhat of a hit within the stretched minds of German intellectuals–who always get a kick out of laughing at my beloved #americant. For the life of me, though, I couldn’t remember what the film was about. But I vividly remember that other 90s political film Primary Colors. Um.

Something obviously motivated me to re-watch Wag The Dog. Damn podcasts! So I purchased a rental verison of it via Apple’s krappy streaming system and by 5pm had consumed it. Then I realised something.

Say, this would be a good movie to watch with my über intellectual better-half.

I was sure she hadn’t seen it and since we’ve been going back and forth about Trump and #americant politics lately, this would be a good show starter for an evening of dilemma or love. Indeed. Since I was late at preparing dinner, I jumped to the task and whipped up something delicious (as usual). After feeding my better-half, I surprised her with…

Hey, baby. How ’bout a film?

Being the stoic German female she’s always been, I had to first inform her a bit about the movie, which I proceeded to do. Her skepticism aside, I poured her a glass of Spanish red wine, put the cheese and cracker plate on the table next to her couch and then hit the play button on the really, really stupid little aluminium Apple remote control device. Within the first twenty minutes she was bitten. By the time it was over she had loved both my cheese plate, the wine and was asking:

  1. Why hadn’t I seen it before?
  2. Why hadn’t I told her about it?

Short story long. It was a nice marital bonding evening. I guess. And so…

By the next morning the movie had triggered something in my mind. It took me back to the 90s when the world had learned the specificities of things like blowjobs and protein stains on blue dresses. In the film the president allegedly had an affaire with an underage girl. Technology in the form of network connected gadgets was gonna take us into the future. At the beginning of the movie there is a Palm Pilot device. And in order to be famous you should make a sextape with your gadgets that features blowjobs because in the future those sextapes, morally and ethically, will pale in comparison to what a broken society can be made to do after it’s been so thoroughly manipulated. Even though the sextapes have nothing to do with Wag The Dog, thinking of the 90s just brought that out of me. Indeed. While watching a film I was re-living a past worth forgetting and there were these titillating images of Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and a few stupid white people haunting humanity.

Why does the dog wag its tail?
Because a dog is smarter than its tail.
If the tail were smarter, it would wag the dog. (-BS from the beginning of the movie)

Back to the present.

How is it that a movie like Wag The Dog can be so misinterpreted so many years after its inception? Easy. It’s the same as with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Comedy is ok as long as it stays funny. Go beyond funny…. That show was about one thing and one thing only. Make fun of politics. I’m sure its audience thought it was funny, too. You know, people thought that the show was actually political–or about politics and those stupid white men who are in it. But consider this, dear worst-reader. Making fun of something is no different than dismissing it. Dismissing something also means that you run from it. The grave error of Wag The Dog–or the error of people putting such a film on any kind of pedestal–is that in the end all one does is avoid reality. Another by-product of reality avoidance, btw, is conspiracy theorising.

In the podcast that motivated me to re-watch Wag The Dog, the film is lauded as a work of genius that fortold the future about how the #americant public can be easily manipulated. This fortelling, of course, is embodied in Robert DeNiro’s character who plays a kind of political spin-doctor for the president but actually looks like a professor that lost tenor. The podcast also mentioned how DeNiro & Co, in order to manipulate further, come up with things like The B-3 Bomber and a military special unit called The 303. The podcast was comparing all the krapp from the movie with what Trump is doing and, of course, how conspiratorial it all is. Oh my. This use of the number three, btw, is supposed to have some kind of conspiracy theory significance about the fate of the world–and more importantly the fate of #americants that both can’t pay their mortgage because they can’t afford the rest of their gluttonous credit card consumption or their God fearing sex practices that linger in their minds while being sexually repressed to the hilt. Oh my.

But before I get too off subject. The movie Primary Colors left a bit more of an impression on me because it didn’t have to use so much innuendo and conspiracy theorising to tell its story. It was basically the same movie but it got a bit closer to the self inflicted misery of a greed society run amok and how that society elects its politicians. It’s also a bit clearer about how those politicians actually behave in a game facilitated by an inept and ignorant society. Indeed. John Travolta deserved more recognition as President than Dustin Hoffman got as Producer. But then again, what do I know about movies?

And here’s the catcher that worst-writer should have been worst-writing about the whole time in this post.

David Mamet was in a bit of a feud over who should get screen writing credits for Wag The Dog. That about says everything about this film. Well, that and the fact that Primary Colors was pretty much being made at the same time says something, too. Mamet is without a doubt a brilliant writer but he also a money grubbing shitbag that thinks just like a faux newz old white man that never really found a place to put his cock or his misery so he puts it on others in the name of some kind of political ideology that, according to California, treads on me. Or maybe not.

Nomatter. I think I’m gonna re-watch Primary Colors in the hope that it will purge the nonsense of Wag The Dog from my system.

Rant on.

-t