Pseudo-Review: The Film Collossal Or That Thing In My Substance Abuse That Is Serious Childhood Drama

Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 10.02.58

Warning: spoiler alert! This movie is totally worst-explained.

Things I wish I could have written? Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. Thornton Wilder’s The Ides of March. The movie Collossal. Etc., etc. And by-the-buy, I watched Colossal last night via some stupid streaming service and I was pleasantly surprised. On that note, streaming itself isn’t stupid but the greedy nature of how all these streaming services work is stupid. Indeed. Consume to survive: everything is stupid. But I digress.

Although Collossal has a somewhat slow and peculiar start, the first thing I said after the opening scene of a young Korean girl initialising the audience to the Collossal monster, is this: this is movie about woman scorned! Oh how wrong/right I would eventually be. Once the odd, platonic relationship of the two main characters gets going, I even briskly forgot about all my worst-predictions. In fact, this movie is as pleasantly different as The Shape of Water. And to think both these great movies are made by Spaniards. Cool.

The movie:

In short, Gloria is a young drunk down on her luck living in NYC. After her boyfriend throws her out, she decides to return to her childhood home where she immediately encounters Oscar, supposedly a childhood friend. One of the best parts of writing in this movie is how these two characters are in a relationship but that relationship has nothing to do with romance. What a relief that is, I thought to myself. A film about a man and a woman and it has nothing to do with how/if/when they get it on. Fresh worthwhile movie story telling trick, indeed.

Enter the monster(s) as a literal blast from the past starts to wake up these two from a serious drunken stupor. The whole story evolves around a flashback of what these two people were caught up in as school children. Although Gloria seems to have overcome the majority of that trauma, once she re-enters that old life as a drunk, the past appears out of thin air in the form of Collossal, a Godzilla-like monster. Why the fcuk this monster is destroying a city half a world away as these two #Americant dyfunctionals can’t get their $hit together, is the brief and tantalising mystery the story rides on. It eventually becomes obvious that the monster is some kind a manifestation of Gloria. And just when you figure that out–or are actually shown that she is the monster–it turns out Oscar has one, too. And that’s the gist of what’s really going on between these two. Oscar simply can’t stand being one-upped by Gloria.

The revealing flashback of the movie comes fairly late. Unlike a lot of flashbacks, though, this one doesn’t just reveal the twist of the movie. While walking home from elementary school Gloria and Oscar are carrying school projects. They had to build a model of a city they would like to visit in life. Gloria picked the city of Seoul, South Korea. I didn’t pick up on the city Oscar built–but it’s probably the hometown he’s still stuck in. During their walk home it’s obvious that Gloria won the contest from her class of best built model. When a storm suddenly emerges a gust of win whips Gloria’s Seoul away (pun intended). Oscar jumps a fence to fetch it for her. Thinking that she doesn’t see what’s he doing, Gloria watches Oscar destroy her prized model Seoul replication (more pun?) by stomping on it–like a monster. But then something really weird happens. This is where the twist takes another twist. They are struck by lightening in the storm. Through out the movie Gloria is constantly itching a part of the top of her head where she was struck.

Although it’s not very clear in the writing, worst-writer’s guess is the lightening strike probably ingrained this event into their psyche. Because of it, Oscar grew up hating himself (which she actually claims of him when they have a final confrontation) for the cruelty that has been part of him since that stormy day. Gloria is just a hurt child drowning her sorrows in drink. Gloria then realises to end their conflict all she has to do is continue going forward in life–like she did by leaving this small town and going to NYC. She also realises that she has to stop being a drunk–which brought her back to this mess in the first place. Oh. And to finally deal with Oscar, she also has to get rid of his monster. In order to do that, she comes-of-age, stops drinking and gets on a plane and travels to Seoul. Although Oscar has threatened her that this time she won’t leave him and his cruelty, when she does leave he continues to ravage (her) Seoul. In the actual city of Seoul, South Korea, Gloria finally confront Oscar by proving that at least she can leave that krappy town, stop drinking, move on. She one-ups Oscar one last time. End.

All in all, a great film. It’s a smart film, too. What a relief a movie like this is in these days of blockbuster boredom and moronic comic book characters galore. Although at times it has some odd, indecisive scenes, especially in the beginning and while the relationships are being developed among Oscars friends in her hometown, Hathaway and her character are brilliant. There is a bit of heavy-handed misogyny in the form of serious boy on girl ass-whipping during the last fight scene between the two, but it fit their relationship and it didn’t go over-board–which I’m sure would have been the case if Harvey Weinstein had produced this film. On the other hand, I’m not sure this movie could be part of the #metoo movement. Ok. Maybe that’s not applicable at all. Nomatter. In the end this is a movie about a woman, the consequence of her actions and the sometimes brutal nature of human behaviour–especially male behaviour. The way she deals with it all sometimes took my breath away. At the least I’m not a Hathaway skeptic like I used to be. She can act her way around my screen any day–as long as she does a smart movie like this. Well done!

Rant on.

-T

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

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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