Worst-writer can remember his first confrontation with a movie sequel. It was Superman. Then came Star Wars. If you don’t know, dear worst-reader, I’m worst-writing here from the POV of movies from the 1970s. Soon after that, the 1980s, the movie sequel would become the norm. But then, probably around the turn of the century, something changed even with sequels. It is worst-writer’s worst-opinion, dear worst-reader, that change was, of course, only for the worst. And so (1). What happened to the movie sequel? Well, the easy answer is: money. The difficult answer is: creativity is dead. And so (2). The movie sequel was replaced with the movie franchise. Indeed. Which begs another worst-question: are you splitting hairs, worst-writer, or do you actually think there’s a difference between sequel and franchise?
I’ve always judged movies, first and foremost, on whether or not they are based on impulsive creativity or compulsive creativity. Most modern movies that are based on a screenplay alone suck–in my worst-book. Unless, of course, those movies are comedies or horror or whatever genre. Most genre movies suck anyway. But before I get too far off subject, let me abruptly close this worst-thought with this idear: The movie franchise, or the new never-ending sequel, sucks just as much. Reason? Again. Creativity, like god, is dead. So take that Robert Downey Jr. And. By-the-buy. Even though the first Iron Man was great. The Marvel universe sucks batballs. But at least Downey made a lot of money, eh?
Which brings me to James Bond and the article linked below. In worst-writer’s opinion, all James Bond movies sucked after they ran out of source material–which I think ended around Moonraker. With that in mind, 2006’s Casino Royal saved the franchise for worst-moi. Reason? I’ve read the book. The 2006 movie, Daniel Craig’s premiere, was a great version of the book. Of course, every subsequent Bond/Craig movie kinda sucked but I watched them all, on account, well, as far as big screen action movies goes, I’d prefer a weak written Bond movie to all other action movies. So take that praise with a grain of worst-salt. Which begs the question…
Am I interested in what a screenwriter says about the business transaction that is the purchase of MGM? Fcuk-no! I mean, Amazon hasn’t created a thing (except maybe one-click purchasing) since its inception. Can the same be said of the business that is MGM? On the other hand, has Amazon sold more books–created by others–than MGM has made original, non-compulsive (written) movies? Indeed (1). Creating anything was never the idear behind Amazon. And since movie sequels have given way to movie franchises…? Indeed (2). Everything and everyone is about making money and that’s it. Blessed be the greedy heart, eh, #Americant? With that in worst-mind, fcuk Bezos, Bond and all the rest where money murders creativity.
Alternate worst-title: Back in the day you could play musical cars (as in: musical chairs) at a great drive-in movie.
Disclaimer: this worst-post contains spoiler alerts for an old movie and may (or may not) be NSFW.
Back in the day, dear worst-reader, when I was still tuned in to TV, as in, you know, when I actually watched network or cable TV or even went to the cinema, I remember watching, for the third or fourth time Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Not the original, don’t you know. I’ve always preferred the 1978 version–the best version. One of the things I remember about that particular viewing–other than I had to watch it in German–was that I had also re-seen a bunch of other–let’s call them–70s dystopian thrillers around the same time. I don’t know what the issue was that caused me to watch so many old movies that may or may not be about American dystopia but let’s rack it up to Germany finding ways to allocate nighttime TV programming to the masses and/or bodies not finding better ways to sleep through the night.
The thing is. I had just moved to Germany and, even though I didn’t have a TV in my little flat, having often hooked up–you know, in that forever search for –what do girls call it?–love–everyone I met did have a TV. So. Between flirting, conjugating, waking up in the middle of the night to piss and/or continue with her, I watched whatever late night movie (on her cheap couch) that was available and when things were really good I even got some really great head until we both fell asleep, she in a warm cum soaked lap, and me with my head blown out the rear.
It took till my expatriation in Germania that I finally started to grasp the meaning of #Americant dystopian thrillers like Soylent Green, Logan’s Run, Planet of the Apes, Mickey Mouse Takes Paris, etc. No. Seriously. I saw these films while in a drunken stupor, high on fresh-flesh and within my first year of living in consume-to-survive #Eurowasteland. Of course, the one film that stood out, because I had already seen it a number of times, was Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Yeah. During my youth and college days Invasion of the Body Snatchers was shown on some channel late at night or at some cheap cinema here or there. And why not? What a great movie, eh, dear worst-reader! And as far as my experience with the movie goes, there is something aphrodisiac about sci-fi dystopian horror thrillers–and chicks on the run or, at the least, Looking for Mr. Goodbar. But on that note, I probably should (but won’t) die-gress.
Flash to now. That’s right. I re-watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers the other night for the first time in about thirty years. Keep in mind, even though I have a fairly large ripped movie library–which I try to populate with old movies when I come across second-hand DVDs–I do not have Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And so. While arguing with my little family about what movie to watch on Easter Sunday evening, I managed to win the fight. And get this. Just like so many times before, I was enamoured with this movie–as though I had seen it for the first time. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. When everybody had to get up and take a pee or fill their wine glass–it is a two hour film–I remained silent and in awe, transfixed on the paused screen image of Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, the cinematography, Spock! I can’t say enough good things about this movie, dear worst-reader. I mean. Is it me or should this movie be up there with Citizen Kane, The Third Man, Casablanca, Austin Powers? Okay. Ok. Forget that with Austin Powers. Just kidding.
What is it about these old movies that makes them so good? Is it the lack of CGI? Is it the mix of brilliant acting, direction and editing? Or is it the times? You know. As in. Man-o-man am I sick of high budget comic book movies that I’ve had to watch over the past twenty or so years. Or. Didn’t all that bull$hit about conspiracy theory really get its mojo on during the 1970s and no one can deal with it today–in movies? Hence, all the comic book movies with über-huge budgets that don’t really have much to say. Am I wrong.
For those worst-reading this but also born on or around the millennium, the 1970s were the f’n bomb in #Americant when it comes to two things. First. Oil. Yeah. Oil was scarce–or at least they (THEY!) made it out to be scarce. And second. Movies–on the whole–kinda sucked. But let me not get too much on about sucky movies from the 1970s. Smokey and the Bandit anyone? On the other hand, one of the reasons some older movies are so much better than newer ones is because, well, the newer ones have nothing new to say. Again. Am I wrong.
While I’m on the subject…
Everything that is $hitty today, as in, Republicans, greed-mongering old people, über-stupid graduating from college and fail-upwards-ness being the new career mantra, that whole mess started in the 1970s. Seriously. It did. For. Don’t you know, dear worst-reader, the high and the party and the fun-fun of post WW2 was over by the 1970s. Indeed. The 1970s was about no-fun, the re-establishment of patriarchy (as men began their fight in earnest against feminism) and, of course, making $$$$ at any cost. It’s no coincidence that the 1970s lead to the election of a two-bit actor who’s best role was hiding all his personal hate and greed and racism and white supremacy, which he learned by-the-buy from his adopted state of California and the career that did not choose him: acting. Again. For those not in the know. If the 1970s weren’t as fcuked up as they were, there might not have been a Ronald dip$hit Reagan. But on that note I must die-gress.
Which brings me back to the topic at hand. I re-watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers the other night and was just as tickled as the first time I saw it. Well, almost just as tickled. Reason? Boy does this movie bring back memories. And I mean worst-writer memories, baby. Are you ready?
I was in my late teens when I first saw Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which was right around when it was released. And, although I was afeared more of suspense than of horror, this movie subverted all that on account, as I was to be told, it was more of a… And this was the first time I had ever heard such nomenclature before. This movie was not a horror movie. It was not a sci-fi invasion movie either. It was a… dystopian thriller.
Seventeen year old worst-moi said at the time:
Two things happened that coincided with the first time I saw Invasion of the Body Snatchers. First. It didn’t scare me. But it did thrill me. Second. I think this movie was a wake-up call. Indeed. It was my wake up call to digging the idear of the dystopia I was living in. At least that’s what she called it. It was also a movie that could be viewed in various states of mind without which you don’t have to shut off your brain. Get my drift, dear worst-reader? No? Wait. Cancel that. Let me move on.
Everyone called her Beka. That was short for Rebeka Tabatha Short. Beka was my first older woman. Although years later I kinda knew she was lying about her age, at the time she told me she was thirty four. (She was at least thirty-nine, eh.) Of course, I didn’t care how old she was. Reason? She could suck a golf ball through ten feet of garden hose–and she could do it ten times a day, no matter when, no matter where.
Beka was the assistant manager of a fitness club I worked at and she was also a licensed masseuse. For those not in the worst-know, I worked two jobs to save up money for college back then. The first was tending bar in Washington, DC. That was my night job. My second job was at a kinda uppity fitness club just south of the city where a lot of really, really, really expensive upper middle class women were trying to keep their product in order. But that’s not the reason I worked there. I worked there because it paid well above minimum wage–and all I had to do for that was dance around a room providing MILFs aerobic excercise. Anywho.
Becka lived in DC only a few blocks from the restaurant where I tended bar at night. Because I was all into saving money at the time, I would drive to the fitness club, park my car, work my shift, and if our schedules worked out, Becka would take me to my night time job saving me the gas money. When I finished there she allowed me to stay on her couch till the morning when she would drive me back to the fitness club. This relationship went on for about six months. Of course, only after a short initial period, I no longer stayed on her couch. Unless a late night movie caught us.
We watched a lot of late night movies. The movies we watched were the really old ones, too. Most were also black & white movies. You know, Frankenstein, Dracula, Creature From The Black Lagoon, etc. But then, one day, after a Sunday shift we worked together but I wasn’t scheduled to work that night at the bar, she asked if I’d like to join her and some friends and go to a drive-in. She even added that it was her treat. I agreed but made it clear that she would still need to bring me back to my car in the morning. She smiled and winked. I then joined her and a few other people/couples in various cars and we went to a drive-in cinema to watch the recently released Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
That evening I learned three things. Beka was a divorcee and her former husband was a great guy and he loved movies and he was there with a new date. The second thing I learned was that I could come four times in two hours at the behest of three different women, who went from car to car, and all I had to do was stay in the back seat of one car. The third thing I learned is that after a movie, when smart people think about it, they can come up with some pretty interesting words to label it. As in. Everyone from the group that I was with that night agreed that Invasion of the Body Snatchers is not a horror movie, nor is it a sci-fi movie, but it is a criticism of where America is going: it is a movie about (our) dystopia.
But enough about worst-writer’s history of cheap love affairs and/or (intellectual) seeds that would lead to the tree of my expatriation. Or. Am I wrong.
Since, dear worst-reader, you’re obviously here for whatever else I learned from my various viewings of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, here are a few issues that stand out for me, even after this most recent viewing:
How can anyone sympathise with Americans being turned by alien gel-icky into automatons when a city bureaucrat opens the movie (Matthew Bennell/Donald Sutherland) with a nasty control/authoritarian schtick saying it’s not a caper it’s a rat turd and thereby terrorising a San Francisco French restaurant?
How is it that Elizabeth Driscoll/Brooke Adams is able to bring home an alien flower that ONLY infects her fiancé when they both sleep at the same time, in the same bed?
Why is it that the only malfunction of the pods came when the so-called hero of the movie kicked the pod that was next to the homeless guy who played the banjo and had a nice boxer (dog) as a pet, i.e. the dog with the human face?
Was it really necessary to have Robert Duvall play a Catholic priest on a swing at a playground full of kids? Oh wait. It was the 70s. They could get away with it back then!
At the end of the movie, the moment where Donald Sutherland is shown to be one of them, is it possible that he isn’t but is acting like one in order to save his own skin?
Leonard Nimoy is a great actor.
Finally. Did Donald Sutherland wear the same sweater in two movies? I mean, he did film Animal House around the same time. (See pics above.)
Actually. The (other) truth is. And I don’t mean this to toot my own horn any louder than I already do in this worst-blog, but on the/my first viewing of this movie I ended up that night with my first older girlfriend coming a fourth time after her former husband dropped us off at her place. That’s also when I first learned the word insatiable, swinging and there’s no such thing as jealously if there need not be. Oh. And if you’re ever at a drive-in and you see girls moving from one car to the other, you now know why.
Worst-title #2: Thoughts stirred by Werk Ohne Autor
Worst-title #3: Stop old money making all the films so that someone else can have a shot at it.
“My salad days, when I was green in judgement…” -Cleopatra, Shakespeare
Disclaimer: spoiler alert.
This worst-post, like so many other worst-posts, contains spoilers. Not a lot of spoilers, mind you. But a few. These spoilers, by-the-buy, are from the film Werk ohne Autor (Never Look Away), which premiered in 2018 (or so) and I just happened to finally watch the other night on German compulsive-tax-paid TV received through my cord-cut digital world (which means I streamed it). With that in mind, as you like, this is a worst-post with a bit of NSFW worstness that may or may not include incredibly beautiful tits and ass galore wrapped in the historically confused megalomania of… What the hell do we do with them frickin Germans now that they’ve gone and lost two frickin world wars and pacified the Wirtschaftswunder like never before? Or something like that.
FYI, watching this movie the other night was something akin to “Date Night”. And even though we only do this a couple times a year–on account she always falls asleep during movies but not necessarily date night–I have to put this (worst-thought) out there: we didn’t just watch any film on post Xmas/New Years date night, don’t you know. No. We watched a frickin three hour long film that went right through the heart of who/what we are not unlike a love-hate dagger lost and found in a sock-pile from the Middle Ages. I mean, come on. Did you get that, dear worst-reader (above and beyond the sock pile)? This film is three hours long. I mean. Again. Come on! I get it when Hollywood makes three hour long comic book movies that fascinate child-minds with everything except tits–that I have to watch with my millennial son. But when a German dude that’s, like, eight frickin feet tall… and he makes a movie that is as long as he is tall… What the hell could go wrong on a date night where the chances of wifey falling asleep and thereby occupying the couch as though it were the Germans invading Sudentland…?
Let me try to put the beginning of this worst-post another worst-way. I finally broke down and watched Werk ohne Autor the other night on account I’ve been meaning to watch it ever since I found out it was made by the same dude that made Das Leben Der Anderen. Of course, I failed to find out how long this movie actually is. Still. Also. I failed to do any preliminary study about the film which could have warned me how stunningly beautiful tits and ass on digital celluloid can be. In fact. Praise be to the #Eurowasteland lore of artsy-fartsy films and their ease of showing skin. Lots and lots of beautiful, gorgeous, luscious, juicy, scrumptious, appetite wetting… skin.
But all worst-gesture aside.
As we traverse this $hithole of life together, dear worst-reader, let us give thanks to the privileged few that can entertain (and enlighten) us because, well, they’re rich enough to be able to finance the development and creation of… artsy-fartsy stuff. As opposed, of course, to comic book films that not only bore the $hit out of wanton minds but also prohibit the necessary jerk-off content that so many young males require in order to not turn into fascist rapists. But. Again. I die-gress. But. Again-again. Wait. Before I die-gress. Let me say this. The movie Werk ohne Autor really fcuked with my head. Hence, I should worst-write something about it before things explode into the nothingness that is my mind.
By-the-buy, before I worst-continue, if you want a film review that includes a half-decent summary or explanation of this movie, use the google-machine and then trust in the capacity of the Interwebnets. At the least there’s enough promotion material and various interviews with the makers and players of this movie to hold ones attention for hours. If, on the other hand, you want to know how this film fcuked with worst-writer’s mind, and you’re also open to a bunch of anger, bitterness, spite and a worst-post that will include the least amount of worst-writing about my beloved & missed united mistakes of #Americant that is reaching the crescent moon nadir of its demise, stick around. Otherwise. Again. This movie has me in the mood of: Fcuk off baby because there is some serious gorgeous naked skin that I haven’t seen since Eva Green in The Dreamers. And so…
Dresden with a bunch of Nazi $hitbags.
As with all German stories that need be told before and/or after The Brother’s Grimm and/or Napoleon, this story starts with the Austrian Adolf Dipshit Hitler and the spiteful bombing–and good use of surplus bombs–of Dresden in 1945 after Hitler failed just a tick worse than Donald Dip$hit #Trump failed (since 2016) as president Stupid. Oh wait. Hold a sec. I said I wasn’t gonna get-on about my beloved & missed #Americant. So let’s take a breather. Ok. Gulp. There. Gulp.
Werk ohne Autor starts a bit before the fire bombing of Dresden which was/is covered in-full by Vonnegut’s Slaughter House 5 so I certainly won’t get into that here. Which means, the creator(s) of Werk ohne Autor need to prep the audience with some form of conduit to make this fcuk-over cinematic art $hitshow with hapless yet fantastical acting palpable on account… Who the fcuk doesn’t know everything there need be known about the fire-bombing of Dresden? And so. Let’s f’n move on.
Enter… Wait for it. Here comes the name of the director…
Hold a sec. Werk ohne Autor is written and directed and produced and and and by… Here it comes… What’s in a name, eh.
Florian Henkle von Donnersmarck.
And what a name it is, huh? Is it worst-moi or do you also get this strange anti-aristocratic, monarch-hating, loathing of all-things hereditary chill through your whole body when you hear/read a name like that? (Or is it just worst-moi?) And did I mention that the director with the douchebag name is like… thirty-five feet tall? I mean, dear worst-reader, you have to search the Interwebnets a bit to see how frickin tall this guy is. I mean. Again. A German, his name, a dude standing something like seven feet tall… what else do you want in a artsy-fartsy film maker that’s making film about…? Or?
But. Again. I die-gress.
The first too-many minutes of this movie is about Dresden and some gorgeous aunt and her nephew viewing art that is declared Entartete Kunst or: degenerate art. For, don’t you know, dear worst-reader, back in the day art is called degenerate by Nazi douchebags that claim it doesn’t represent national socialist virtues. And who better to bring this up in a film than a guy who totally does not look like some seven foot tall family connected goober that reminds worst-writer of what Butthead (yes, of Beavis and Butthead fame) would look like if he were real–and seven feet tall. Oh. Wait. Did I mention Florian Henkle von Donnersmarck’s hair style might be as weird as he is tall? Again. But I die-gress.
The aunt and her nephew are this hot little couple that get royally screwed by the Nazis, don’t you know. In fact, they are so screwed that the aunt gets gassed because, well, she’s suddenly schizophrenic after handing The Führer (that’s #Trump English for dear-leader, aka Adolf Hitler, don’t you know) a bouquet of flowers during a small town drive-by visit. Immediately after handing Hitler the flowers–and being taught/shown/told that any form of “art” that is NOT national-socialist is degenerate–hot Aunt goes nutso and is then turned over to the Nazis by her family. The Nazis proceed to sterilise her and, as previously mentioned, kill her in a gas chamber made to look like group showers for half-chromosome deprived girl-scouts. Did you get all that, dear worst-reader? No. Well it’s a complicated if not intricate artsy-fartsy movie, don’t you know.
This/the long winded initiation into this movie culminates in the nephew learning that in order to see the truth he can/should Never Look Away, hence the English title of the film*. Never looking away is also, somehow, the subtext of this film. The problem with never looking away, though, is that it’s no different than putting a cookie jar in front of a child and telling him no touchy-touchy. The cookie jar, btw, is filled with the actresses Paula Beer and Saskia Rosendahl. They are both so stunningly beautiful that without them I would not have gotten past the Dresden bombing–or the first hour of this movie. And since I’m on the subject of hot actresses, my better half also helped me get over the trauma of watching yet another film that gives just a tick too much humanism to Nazis. And so… it’s hard to never-look-away when so much beauty may or may not be distorted by the ugliness of trying to tell Nazi stories.￼ But. Again…
Now we move on to Dresden after the most devastating bombing in all of human history–even when compared to Hiroshima. The film goes to post Nazi waw-waw gibberish in the dreamland of Marx & Co., aka DDR subpar pseudo-bourgeois nobody get rich eastern Germany. That’s right. Our nephew is now a young man after the war and he’s learning NOT to use the word I (Ich) as he embarks on a life of artistry–by drawing pictures of pre-#Trump #Americants with sickle and hammers in one hand and Vladimir Putin as saviour in the other hand–or was it Marx, Lenin and Trotsky and the New York stock exchange? #Nomatter.
Our nephew has to draw pictures of/for DDR Germany which, in a way, is kinda exactly like how one might draw #Trump and my beloved & missed united mistakes of #Americant today as it too delves into the Mein Kampf confusion of political circumstance dictated by greed, greed and more greed albeit in a nation of mindless nationalism run amok. And… Ok. Wait. Stop the worst presses. I know I get-on a bit too much here and there with #Trump & Co and #Americant. So forgive me. Let me take a swig of post Xmas drink and I’ll try to move on.
While dabbling in DDR waw-waw, studying, smoking, drinking communist beer, our cold-war artist/Nephew falls for a chick (Paula Beer) that looks perfectly NOT unlike his gassed aunt (Saski Rosendahl). This young couple now get it on in wondrous ways that the porn industry probably doesn’t want anybody to see–on account these actors loved each other on screen so well that it even gave me hope that love is real. Their post-nazi love, of course, leads to a pregnancy which in turn leads to the girls father–who I have purposefully left out up to now even though he plays a major role from the beginning to end of this film. I have left him out of this worst-post because I think he’s stupid. That’s right. I said it: stupid. In fact, I think the character of the Nazi/doctor/father is so stupid that this will be my last mention of him.￼ If you want/need to know more about him, watch the movie. Otherwise, fcuk you and all ￼Nazi/doctor/fathers.
Now. Before I continue worst-summarising. This is a movie where the director (remember his name?) seems to think he can somehow work through Germany’s past in about three hours. And while working through that past, he thinks/assumes all will be well. Or? For it is a dilemma, don’t you know, dear worst-reader, that Germans and oh-so many German speaking old white men of #Eurowasteland have to rehash their Nazi past even more than their money has paid for WW2 reparations. That’s kind of the essence in this movie. I think. Either that or rehashing the past is a new past-time for Germans born of Wirtschaftswunder parents. But don’t worry. If you’re unattainably confused about what worst-writer is trying (and failing) to say about this movie… Get this. It’s creator/director has a really really really (sarcasm on) important name and the artistry of his movie is naked… I mean stunning… I mean the actresses in this movie are gorgeous and… that… Well. Hint. I’m not sure anymore about what I’m trying to say. So maybe I should just move on–and at the same time try and stop summarising this movie. Indeed.
Our beloved nephew and his luscious wife end up leaving DDR waw-waw-land and make it to The West. Once in The West our nephew pursues his art career along side a bunch of other post WW2 guys who somehow find a way through life via art school at the behest of the infamous Joseph Beuys–in the town of Düsseldorf–which is also worst-writer’s golden cage… Blah. Blah. Blah. Stop. Pause.
This is where I should definitely break from my attempt at worst-writing about this film and get into a long-winded rant about the artist Joseph Beuys who died a few years prior to worst-writer arriving in D’dorf which also turned out to be the beginning of my expatration. But I won’t do that. Instead. Allow me this.
Once I got over the waw-waw of Florian Henkle von Donnersmarck’s (what a name, eh) attempt at rehashing Germany’s recent past with lots of Nazi drama which, for him, seems to have begun in Dresden and then ended in my beloved D’dorf, I realised: Hey! This film ain’t so bad after all. I mean. Beyond the spectacular cinematography of actresses, actresses and more naked actresses, there’s actually a highly confused story that reminds me of an ugly but extremely useful quilt. But. And here’s a big but. If it weren’t for the post WW2 art school in D’dorf and the love story of a couple who deserve love, I might not have made it to the end of this film. That’s not to say that it’s bad. But it is to say that it’s long. Way too long. It’s also a rehashing of the past that I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to get a grip on–as though it were my calling on account of my mother and her war-torn Prussian father who was born in 1918 and died in 2001. With that in mind, I think it’s time to get on about Joseph Beuys.
The thing is this, dear worst-reader. This film could be condensed to an hour and a half and all the Dresden stuff could still be included as flashbacks (except the naked scenes, of course; they need to be seen in full) and then the movie could focus on what kept me watching it: namely a movie about Joseph Beuys. For here’s the kicker, dear worst-reader. In 1992 I spent three days in Kassel, Germany, at Documenta 9 staring at various Beuys’ exhibits that did nothing less than blow my weak #Americant pseudo-intellectual mind. I was so enamoured with Beuys that for a few years after that I never passed up a chance to visit a museum just to see his work.
So let me be as clear as only worst-writer can about this movie. It’s an ok movie. It’s a artsy-fartsy film. It has some good cinematography and some of the dialogue is really good–except for the scene where Ben Becker, as a DDR sign-maker foreman, spouts Shakespearean, if not Goethe-like text that was/is completely misplaced telling the protagonist (nephew) that he’s not making art but instead making posters that promote communism. And so… The only problem I have with this film is that it is miraculously indulgent. It is a film about exuberant film making–and those who can afford to make it. It is long winded and at times a bit boring. But it’s also a film that a lot of people should see. They should see it even if it’s not as good as Florian, Count Henckel von Donnersmarck’s (can you believe I’ve forgotten to include the “count” this whole time?) previous artsy-fartsy film Das Leben Der Anderen. This movie should be seen because it has something in it about the 20th century’s greatest artist, if not best German rehasher of Nazis: Joseph Beuys.
Which brings me to one last worst-thought about Werk ohne Autor. This should have been a movie about how one makes art, which may or may not include a love story. From the beginning to end, a movie about wielding a paint brush, as the nephew of this film does, or wielding the idear of art as life, as Joseph Beuys did, would have made this film a bit less banal, a bit less mediocre, a bit less mendacious. For those who have said wondrous things about this movie. That’s cool. I too recommend it. But for those who say something critical about it–take heed. In the end there’s three hours of quilt parts in this film to have fun with or without the directors stupid name.
Fcuk aristocracy, old money, the past in all its forms–even film making. It’s time to change your name, dude–because, in case you don’t know, names like yours are what gave the world (Germans) Nazis in the first place–and obviously set the example of how fascism wins wars even when Nazis lose. Instead make a film about Joseph Beuys. Stop revealing how painters paint–on account you take the fun out of it. Or go the way of worst-writer’s salad days, where/when worst-writer’s cock could cum ten times a day on Cleopatra’s face because she smiled the only way a scorned woman can–and that’s hotter than hot. And that’s what happiness is to those of us who can’t make it as an artist because, well, I guess, some of us just don’t have the right name–or all the old (name) money.
Or something like that.
*The translation of the German title is just as fun, dear worst-reader. It goes something like this: work without (an) author or an author without work or, maybe, art without an artist or or or, etc. WTF.
Pros: this is a somewhat informative–if you’re uninformed–documentary with a well branded name connected to it.
Cons: #OKBoomer white men1 who are so bored with life that they somehow find a way to make half-decent documentary movies but what they really need to do is step aside and help young people (make those movies) instead.
I’ve never seen Roger & Me in its entirety. I’ve seen a few of Michael Moore’s other films, though. Roger & Me came out the year I was expatriating–you know, running away from the greed $hitshow of my beloved & missed #Americant. The thing about Moore and his movies is that he has most certainly raised the bar when it comes to 1) explaining or 2) complaining. And trust me, dear worst-reader, I know a lot about complaining (ranting).
Here’s the problem with Moore’s movies (complaining)–and probably the thing #Americants will never be able to comprehend after watching them. In all of the troubles of the world–especially the #Americant world–there is nothing, not one single thing, that binds, that ties, that unites the whole shitshow, except, of course, complaining, which is all #Americants know. Well, that and money (of course). But. Hold a sec. Let me worst-elaborate.
Whether Moore is ranting & raving about corporation A or B (Roger & Me), guns here or there (Bowling For Columbine) or the ills of for-profit health care (Sicko), like so many other so-called rational thinking peoples, he ALWAYS fails to mention what makes the entire $hitshow possible. And get this, dear worst-reader. If pressed to provide a worst-example of a peoples (a country) that can actually collectively do something about the ills of the world (or at least the ills of a country), then you’ll have to use a language other than #Americant accented English.
Par-lay vu Fran-say, motherfcuker.
The details are vague in my worst-memory, dear worst-reader. But I remember hearing lots of protesting voices as the 1980s came to an end. Sure. The Berlin Wall was falling. The Soviet Union was dying. And there was a lot going on with all that. But you know what impressed me the most? French farmers dumping whatever they farmed en masse in the middle of Paris. I think, at the time, apple farmers were dumping apples all over the Arch de Triomph. And they were doing so in protest. I had taken my second or third train ride to Paris that year–just for shits & giggles, don’t you know–on account it was so close via a quick train ride from Köln–and once I got a taste of Paris there was no tasting anything else. How fun is that, eh, for a redneck tobacco chewer walking and dreaming on cobblestone streets? #Nomatter.
The thing I quickly realised back then was how the French, if they wanted to, could actually have a voice and thereby use that voice for political and social gain (or demise). And when I say peoples and voice, I mean regular people with big stick voices. Indeed. Real people. Saying real things. It was all quite the opposite of what would eventually lead to the #MAGA hat wearing morons of my beloved & missed united mistakes of #Americant? Or the singularity and repetitiveness of Michael Moore movies–and whatever it is #Americants call the political left. And get this, dear worst-reader. The voices and the peoples outside the world of documentary movie making, outside #Americant, had some (not all) real political power. Now that’s truly different than what I grew up with. You know, money or no-money. Eat or starve. Indeed. Submit yourself to the God of money, minion. And then self-medicate, bitches.
It was an astonishing thing to witness back then, dear worst-reader. #Eurowasteland, especially France and Germany, but sometimes Spain and Italy, were awash in protests. Even though the protestors didn’t get their way in exactly the way they wanted, they most certainly made inroads toward that way. That is, politics listened. Also. They literally chipped away at capitalist greed, the cult of old-money, that hoped it could rule–like its cousins in #Americant and Britain were ruling–and are still ruling. But let me not get on about the ills & uglies of the Anglo-driven (mindset) world compared to that of other worlds.
The thing to keep in mind, dear worst-reader, when it comes to protests, (protest) voices, fighting the good-fight, is that there are peoples out there (in the world) that refuse to have their voices dumbed-down. And so. Unlike #Americants, there are voices in the world that aren’t guided by money alone. Hence, Michael Moore’s movies complain in a big way about the ills of #Americant but nothing in any of his movies will make #Americant apple farmers dump all their apples on the steps of the US Capital. #Americants will never protest how government bails out banks and hedge funds and old-money corporations that should have died ages ago. Could #Americants don yellow-vests in earnest? What happened to the occupy movement? Indeed. #Americant perverted John Wayne individualism will always #Trump (yes, pun intended) #Americant collectivism. Hence #Americant can have no voice, no say, no-nothing in the fight between right and wrong, between greed and starvation, between moneyed-fairness and judicial greed-mongering. Thanks a lot Michael Moore.
Michael Moore is the executive producer of The Planet Of The Humans, which you can watch for free via the ultimate dumb-down device, the #interwebnets. It’s a pretty hardcore movie, dear worst-reader. The end of the movie is especially hardcore because it shows the brutal demise of an Orangutan after its forrest is burnt down–as though animal cruelty is any different than human abuse–which is nothing more than humans not only doing what they are told (compulsion) but also doing it all without question (behaviourism). Either that or it’s as brutal as a video showing white policemen gunning down African Americans day-in, day-out. The thing about this movie, though, is that it’s voice is a bit different compared to other Moore documentaries, and perhaps that’s due to Moore ONLY being its executive producer. And so. The Planet Of The Humans complains about the complainers. It literally tries to bore advocates of the Green New Deal a new arsehole by complaining about how solar panels are made or how alternatives to fossil fuel require too much fossil fuel. And so.
Has you been woken you up yet, dear worst-reader?
Unlike Roger & Me, I watched this movie to the end. Reason? It’s free. Does that mean I won’t buy another Michael Moore movie? Probably. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Heck, I’m even listening to Moore’s podcast here and there. And I’ll always love him for those words spoken at his Oscar win–oh so long ago! But his movie making… This movie…? The Michael Moore voice would be better served if spewed from the mouth or movie making prowess of something more youthful. Indeed. Enough #OKBoomer complaining already.
Good luck suckers.
The scariest part of this movie is the obvious and perhaps subconscious reveal that privileged white men, #nomatter their class, are still stuck on/in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Malthusian doctrine and/or social darwinism less the mass grave killing via Black Sabbath’s War Pigs. Or something like that. ↩︎
Note: To skip all the/my worst-writing, the actual pseudo-review of this book is just a scroll or two or thrice downwards.
Not sure if this makes since, dear worst-reader. So I appreciate you indulging me. Here’s a worst-writer fact for ya: I was never, ever afraid of horror movies as a kid. In fact, although the movie rating-system in my beloved & missed united mistakes of #Americant was not so heavily enforced at the time, I pretty much watched/saw any and every film I ever wanted to see–even before I was a teen. But my youthful rowdy behaviour is neither here nor there. For I am born and reared: #Americant, baby.
Horror films were everywhere by the late 1970s. In fact, in the whole Hollywood horror genre of my beloved & missed #Americant youth, there was nothing on the big screen–at least in the shape of monsters, goblins or ghosts, etc.–that scared me. I attribute this super-power to having faced the worst kind of childhood: loneliness and fatherlessness. Oh wait. Before I get-off on making this worst-post about my #Americant bastardisation…
By the time I could go to movies on my own, during my mid to late teens, albeit being dropped off by a parent here or there, I used to have a ball in the cinema teasing who ever I was with–especially a sister, a neighbour friend, or Chad–that older false cousin who even got me a fake ID that turned my fifteen years into eighteen. Anywho. The fun of horror movies was observing others either tremble or try not to tremble while watching The Omen, Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, etc. Of course. Later. Things got really fun for me when I started going to the movies on “dates”–as opposed to going with friendly neighbours. Scaring the “date” with a poke here or a poke there during whatever gore scene was a blast as she screamed and yelped and whined. Eventually, though. All that fun had to succumbed to cop a feel where, if timed correctly, lead to some serious second-base action–no matter what was on the big screen. But. Again. Nuff about me.
A girl went to a horror flick with me once and stayed the whole time on her knees in the row directly between my knees, mostly because she was terrified by whatever gore-fest I took her to watch. Did I trick her by saying I didn’t know it was a horror movie and thereby just happened to get the best BJ of my youthful life? Who knows. My worst-point is this: I never fell for the illusion-of-truth (verisimilitude) that was supposed to be “horror” in the realm of celluloid story telling, which wasn’t the case with other movie genres. And here’s the reason why.
I was never afeared of horror movies because fear of another kind beat it to the punch. Indeed. Blood and guts meant nothing compared to a good ol’fashion suspense-thriller. Hold a sec. Let me worst-splain. By my late teens I was an experienced hunter and fisherman. I also killed bats while cleaning tobacco barns. If you’ve never done such a thing, dear worst-reader, trust me when I say that not only killing bats is gross but hanging around where they hang around–and shit–is worst. I even put down old horses with a ten gauge shotgun once and then chainsawed off their legs in order to fit them in the back of a pick-up truck that would hall them off for glue production. With that in worst-mind, horror movies were just silly to me. Suspense movies, on the other hand, scared the living bee-gee-zees out of me. In fact, they scared me so much my mind would be boggled for days after watching one. They gave me nightmares, too. I experienced excessive sleep loss. I had #Americant anti-disney PTSD, don’t you know. And all that long before PTSD was a thing. Oh wait. Scratch that. I came of age during the end of Vietnam war. PTSD was alive and well then. It just had a different brand(ing), don’t you know. Anywho.
Fear of suspense movies, by-the-buy, made horror flicks a fun-fest for me. But put me in a huge claustrophobic movie house with a thriller with shit that could actually be real–as in real-life… Holy krapp, dear worst-reader. Yeah, I almost wet myself when a chick tricked me into going to a dollar showing of Rear Window. And so. Hence. Ever since I became a young intellectual, a pseudo-know-it-all, a wannabe well-read anti-automaton, I’ve always claimed to hate Alfred Hitchcock–even though the opposite is true. Seriously. Rear Window and Vertigo usually sent me to that place between my dates knees, low in the row of her cinema seat–to her satisfaction, of course, don’t you know.
By-the-buy. The movie that scared me the most and set the stage for preferring the horror-genre was The Poseidon Adventure. I saw it when I was, like, nine. Here a bit more on that. Indeed. To this day. I can’t help but think of (fat but luscious) Shelly Winters whenever I go swimming. I also will never board a cruise ship. In short, I’m a real chicken-$hit when it comes to suspense.
But here’s the thing, dear worst-reader. For most of my adult life, I kinda dug the movies. I mean. I preferred live theatre when available—especially since moving to #Eurowasteland. But a good movie here or there? That’s the ticket. Yet. Things changed in the last ten to fifteen years. I’ve kinda quit going to the movies. I’ve even already sickened of streaming services. Reason? Movie making has gone to $hit. I just can’t find a connection to any of it. It’s as though Hollywood, over the years, has over done it. Actually, that’s kind of a nice way to put it. What I really mean to say about Hollywood is this. As I’ve gotten older, seen too many movies, I think they’ve simply run out of creativity.
Still. Some stuff intrigued me. Like the whole horror sub-genre known as Zombies. WTF is up with Zombies? I mean. Come on. Even though I’ve long since grown out of my horror movie fascination, and certainly don’t need to cop-a-feel anymore, I can’t help but be curious. Thank goodness for the various clips and shorts available by the Interwebnets, eh. So I couldn’t help but notice, over the years, how people are eating up the Zombie genre. I mean. There are Zombie movies, Zombie comedies, Zombie walks (yes, as in, go for a walk dressed as a Zombie), and various Zombie TV shows.
Thanks for asking, dear worst-reader. Here’s worst-writer’s theory about the Zombie craze.
First. The zombie genre is the first purely American aka Hollywood horror creation. I mean. Get this. Ghost stories, the undead, monsters, etc., have a long history in the mind-catacombs of #Eurowasteland and corresponding literature. But until the Zombie thing came along, America had nothing. Luckily the Zombie thing fits a particular mentality, which means Hollywood has probably found the money-recipe that appeals to so many and they’ve been running (away) with it ever since. Good for them, eh.
Second(1). How has the horror genre lasted so long? Horror movies of my youth were an answer to the suspense movies that would eventually scare the bee-gee-zees out of me. Yet. For the last fifty or so years, it doesn’t feel like suspense movies have, for lack of better cinematic vocabulary, moved on (like the diversification of the horror genre). I suppose I could say the same thing about other genres, aka Dramas, Sci-fi, Comic (movies based on comics–aghast!) But horror? These things have gone full evolution (or is it devolution?) I mean. The first horror movie to ever tickle my bee-gee-zees button (as in scare me) was Saw. Of course, the blood and guts didn’t scare me from that film. For, don’t you know, dear worst-reader, no horror movie director has ever had to rid a local barn of bats. And so. Suspense scared me. Under other economic and social circumstances, a movie like Saw might have even driven me mad. Btw. I should also note that I tried to watch other Saw movies. Since they are all just redundant, pseudo-repeats of the first, those initial bee-gee-zee scares were quickly wiped away. Again. IMHO Hollywood has a serious creativity problem. Oh. Wait.
But I’m off worst-subject again. Stop the presses. Rewind. Start again.
Second(2). To worst-writer, the success of the Zombie genre over the years is what I like to call a two way mirror. A two way mirror is where/when people look at the mirror, they know it’s a mirror, they know that someone on the other side is looking back at them, but they don’t care because, well, it’s still just a mirror image and we all know that a mirror image isn’t necessarily real. And so. The Zombie genre seems to be an ever flowing revenue stream for Hollywood because it doesn’t really need much creativity to keep turning out more and more product–it just needs to point that mirror. It needs to make sure that the zombies never really, actually, literally, show #Americants the other side of their two-way.
But I die-gress.
The first zombie movie I saw was 1978’s Dawn of the Dead. It has remained in my mind as the quintessential #Americant horror movie. Reason? It was set in a shopping mall. It is about shoppers in that shopping mall–all of whom are afraid for their lives. What better imagery is there than to show reality in a mirror, fill it with gore, add a bunch of weaponry and racism, and don’t forget sexual tension but no nudity, and there you have it. George Romero is a fcuking genius. Of course. Dawn of the Dead was Romero’s second Zombie movie. The first having been shot ten years prior to Dawn. I think it took me twenty years before seeing his first one–but it wasn’t as good as Dawn. Anywho.
To worst-writer, the Zombie genre is perfect for current #Americant misconstrued political and social ideals, especially for those who cling to such ideals. The essence of the #Americant fail-upward-ness that is the greed $hitshow cannot function unless misconstrued individualism reeks of spite, bigotry, hate–and the desire/need to see the death of what is in the mirror. It is a very binary thing, don’t you know. Not unlike the so-called bipartisan pseudo-governance, aka politics, that is red and blue states. It’s also the perfect mismatch for #Americant never facing its demons, especially the demon of slavery, rich v. poor, winner-take-all and all the losers left behind, or who and whatever else is in that mirror. And so. To bring things back around… The Zombie genre is perfect for audiences to avoid the mirror that is #Americant life–i.e. avoid reality. Hence, consumerism does have a price when mixed with too much Mikey Mouse. Eh?
Which brings me to the only Zombie movie that ever, kinda, moved me–above and beyond the thrills of horror. It happened on a flight across the Atlantic to visit Mom a few years back. Although I had planned to read and do some worst-writing on the flight, I scanned through the movie offering and there was Brad Pitt’s Zombie film. Sure, I thought. I can kill two hours out of the eight to watch this film. Besides. I had heard about the film. I had read about its production problems. There was also something out there in the ether about the book it was based on. And so. A few years later. Last week to be exact. I caught World War Z on Amazon Prime–again. I thought: yeah, I should re-watch this on account I missed a few things here and there while watching it on a plane with that horrific little backseat screen and awful audio. Also. I’ve since heard a few more things about the book–on account of all this/that about viruses. So I watched the movie again. I let it percolate through my mind that night. The next morning, last Thursday, I discovered that Amazon was offering the e-book of World War Z by Max Brooks for something like three fcuking Euros. I finished the book Easter Sunday morning, 2020.
Pseudo-review of World War Z by Max Brooks.
Let me begin with the negative.
It makes no sense to me why such a great writer/thinker would subject himself to writing this book. Did Max Brooks get up one day and think to himself: how the heck can I sell my compulsion? Oh. Hey. I’ll write about Americans–as Zombies. I’ll show them the mirror they refuse to look at–but instead dance around with guns and violence and war and false-happy. But then some publishing big shot called him up–surely a friend or foe of his father (the grand Mel Brooks) and said: just do it, dude. Just write about the brainlessness of Americans and… with that name of yours… we’ll sell it.
Let me end with the positive.
Max Brooks nails it. This has to be one of the best reinterpretations (or is it regurgitation) of #Americant story telling–ever. Wait. Is this a first? Not sure. From the get-go, the first third of the book kept me very interested. The second third of the book trailed along the first. The last third of the book is a bit winded (i.e. weak) but I was so glad that the whole thing didn’t degrade into anything like the Hollywood mess that was the movie, I was happy to read every word to the end. And on that note… The thing from the mediocre Brad Pitt movie that interested me was how the fight against Zombies was not unlike the fight against an enemy within. It was, eventually, my hope that the book would double down on the enemy-within–and it did–whereas the movie screwed the pooch. But let’s move on.
A chronicle of a world war against Zombies based on interviews with participants? Again. Brilliant. And how Brooks holds it all together with some seriously good writing. He even threads here or there a few snipes of social and political reality, i.e. addressing man’s non-sensical, if not whimsical, allowance/enabling of so much gluttonous behaviour–that can only result in Zombies. I mean. What a silly genre, really, for so much social commentary–hidden or not (in the back of that two-way mirror). Zombies. Yet the author maintains a level of literary bent that can even interest the best of the best of us pseudo-intellectual wannabes, making the undead not only entertaining but important. Good for you, Max! Us failed/worst writers salute you.
Superfluous post indeed, dear worst-reader. Begs only the question: what to do, what to do, what to do… in this consume-to-survive world of nothingness galore? Then again, at least I can still read. You know, read, as in, read something to expand the/my mind. It is, must be, a requirement in these days of Marvel movie trauma, don’t you know–although I do dig that scene in Avengers Endgame where Captain Marvel finally appears and has a quick pow-wow with Peter Parker as an apocalypse rages around them.
Scene: Captain Marvel destroys huge alien ship that is reeking ballistic havoc on the Endgame battle field. As the ship crashes to the ground Captain Marvel lands with a thud in front of a distraught Peter Parker as he’s struggling to protect the infinity stones. Captain Marvel is standing above Parker, who is in a ditch cradling the infinity stone glove like a baby.
Captain Marvel: (Cute grin on her face as she sports a new hair style contrasting previous appearances.) Hey. Peter Parker. You got something for me?
The cadence and tone of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) is mesmerising–to me. At that moment in the film I wish Captain Marvel was two scoops of gelato, chocolate and pistachio, atop a butter crusted cone. But enough about worst-moi.
You know the thing that really gets me about my October reading list to help me get over Brie Larson? Check out the cover of Snowden’s book. What the heck is going on with his glasses? Who the hell wears glasses with a nose pad missing on one side of the bridge? What? Can’t see it? Well, I see it. And it’s driving me crazy.
Never understood Peter Fonda, dear worst-reader. Although I liked a few of his films, there was always something about him that bugged me. Maybe it was his odd, non-leading man looks–yet he got leading roles. Perhaps it was the hair line that he managed to cover up most of his life, replacing it with a huge forehead. Heck, he had a huge head. And then there’s that baby-smile. You know, the type of smile that some men have that shows teeth, skull, the innards of a face-soul begging for parental love and affection, and it all never quite making it to full blossomed adulthood. Then again, he’s quite the opposite of his sister, don’t you know. Especially in the looks department. Jane Fonda was one heck of an actress–in her day. Or did you not dig Barbarella, dear worst-reader? And what about that cunnilingus scene in Coming Home? How the heck did John Voight come up from down there without a smear or blemish on his Vietnam protesting beard? Oh my. So much for brother Peter becoming a kind of flaccid action hero in the 1970s while dear sister, Hanoi Jane, nails it–both in Hollywood and post McCarthyism.
Of course, there’s no talk of Peter, or his sister Jane, without first talking about Henry, the patriarch. My guess is, Henry Fonda was a huge a$$hole. If there was ever an iconic yet misconstrued patriarch of Hollywood, it had to have been Henry Fonda. I mean, another fcuked-up Hollywood a$$hole was Charlton Heston. In fact, most of these so-called leading men of the gilded age of Hollywood had to have all been a$$holes. Or? I mean, that’s what their generation was all about, right? And then they past that on to the next generation–the consequences we’re all living with now, don’t you know. Then again, as fcuked-up as kids of patriarchs can be, Peter and Jane kinda turned out ok. Or?
Personally, I thought Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry was one of Peter’s best films. The thing about 70’s movies was that they couldn’t help but portray the lingering reality that was becoming the future of my beloved & missed #Americant. That is, they portrayed the true face of things to come. You know, fascism, white supremacy, greed-galore–and the lust for physical objects. For it probably was 1970’s America that paved the way for what the world is now. Indeed. And so. In the back seat of a Dodge Charger the grand SHE lay waiting with legs wide open, dear worst-reader. Unknowing but filled with desire, Peter Fonda enters HER and all hell breaks loose as he fills it up with regret and she giggles and wiggles and shiggles–as HER and the #Americant meaning of life become manifest… In the back seat of a huge, two-door super car sedan named Charger.
I particularly liked the sudden crash ending of not just Dirty Mary but also Easy Rider, two similarities the films share. In Dirty Mary, as the characters smile and laugh thinking they’ve outsmarted and out-run the police, including a helicopter, in a car chase that couldn’t have been more banal, the film is randomly and violently ended as our anti-heroes crash into a moving freight train. The beautiful Dodge Charger lights up in flames and the soundtrack of the movie seems to try and hide the screams of the conceiving female in the back seat that is now dying, burning away, becoming ash. I remember the credits of the film rolling as the car continued to burn. What a unique way to roll credits, I thought to my young self, thereby also noticing the flaws of the car that indicated the cut scene, the use of a dummy car, and the oddly undamaged, unblemished freight train passing and passing and passing by.
But enough here and there about b-movie making galore. With his recent passing, I can’t help but recall the issues I’ve had over the years with Peter Fonda’s most iconic role. Easy Rider, to me, was never the counterculture film that it’s been labeled. The main reason for that is my cynicism regarding the so-called hippie generation, or the counterculture stemming from the 1950s to the 70s, which is somehow supposed to be part of Easy Rider. The reason for my cynicism is simple and perhaps better addressed in the confusion that is this worst-blog. So I’ll not linger on all that here. Instead. To worst-moi. Peter Fonda ain’t no hippie and he certainly can’t play one.
Easy Rider is a reflection. It is also a question without answer. Hence, it ain’t so much a film about, well, hanging out and partying it up on two wheels when your parents want you to become a doctor or a lawyer but instead a portrayal of what goes on in the world when no one looks in the mirror. People just go about life and their circumstance as though there is no cause and effect. In other worst-words, there is no backstory to the film. There is no character development either–except, maybe, Jack Nicholson’s character. And when all is said and done, when all the substances are ingested and the mind’s eye swirls just enough, the only thing that remains is how two lucked-out drug dealers get blown away by redneck hillbillies because, well, they were too stupid to know that freedom in #Americant is only free as long as someone or something enables it for you. Yeah, what a waste, eh? Still, a kind of entertaining movie–if you’re into that sort of thing. There’s a reason Easy Rider and what it is probably won’t transcend generations. But I don’t want to get too critical here.
Instead here a few minor criticisms.
One of the first things I noticed about the fakery of what Fonda was portraying in Easy Rider was the moment after their big drug sell-off at the beginning of the movie. Suddenly the scene cuts to them packing away their cash and then to chopped motorcycles and perfectly tailored hippie outfits. There was a word that came about in the 1980s that better fit this scene than the word hippie, don’t you know. (I first saw the movie in the early 1980s, btw.) That word is yuppie. Or did you not get a load of what Wyatt was wearing before transforming into a biker from la-la-land? Seriously. If anyone fit the bill of an up-n-coming yuppie, it was Wyatt. Buy-the-by, the only difference between a hippie and a yuppie is the environment in which their greed operates. Wouldn’t it have been more fitting, if this were some kind of ode to drug smuggling, that these two men weren’t so clean cut? Also, Wyatt’s cool-headed, contemplative nature didn’t fit well to the adventure he was on. Or did it? What do I know. Fonda could’ve been my dad. But I digress.
So what about the iconic nature of the movie, dear worst-writer? Sorry. If you think about it, there’s not much iconography here. In fact, the only thing iconic in the movie are the props, including the motorcycles. But even that’s weak. On the other hand, the motorcycles1 ultimately have nothing to do with the myth that the movie might be trying to perpetuate. In fact, considering what Harley Davidson has become, you’d think there were a few wise former hippies out there that would boycott such a greed-mongering product. Harley Davidson is a company shrouded in the ills of #Americant business malpractice. Whether it’s the lie of being American made or the manifestation of a kind of freedom dictated by your wallet, the company is nothing more than a scam, especially considering they couldn’t make a modern motorcycle, including their Porsche Harley, even if they wanted to.
The other props worth mention in the movie are the drugs. What’s important to remember about them, though, is this. The drug used to afford Wyatt and Billy the trip is cocaine. Cocaine is the drug of choice for yuppies, especially those who think they’re free as they earn so much via the skyscrapers in and around Wall Street which then allows them to go out on weekends with their über-expensive HOGs thinking/hoping, like so many others, they’re Easy Riders. What banality, eh. And we all know what happened with cocaine by the time the 1980’s and Reaganomics greed-mongering rolled around. The other thing to keep in mind about cocaine is that it is not a drug that changes one’s mindset. That is, it’s not an hallucinogenic. It is, in fact, a drug that keeps people stuck in a mindset. At the least, cocaine is not like the acid they have a bad trip on while in New Orleans. How/why that was even in the movie, I have no idear. But enough about what should be commonplace in a world where illicit drugs are about avoidance, eh.
What about freedom, dear worst-writer? Yes. What about it, dear worst-reader? As you may or may not know, Wyatt kinda has seen the light by the end of this movie. Although Billy thinks that they DID IT, Wyatt thinks they screwed the pooch. Combine that with the crisp, creaseless leather jacket, and that immaculate American flag sewn on his back as their trip begins, and things start to unravel in the/a world of iconography. Also. So much for Hollywood and its rig(ging) of counterculture, eh, dear worst-reader? I mean, you can only take iconography so far before it all starts to unravel. Disney anyone? But hey, who am I to poop on your iconic movie parade? You want a cheap, thrown together motorcycle named Captain America as an icon? Go for it. Or how ’bout a half-written road movie that was really about all the internal conflicts between creators and financiers? What the heck, eh. On the other hand, I’d prefer Wyatt’s gold watch, which he throws away because it stopped at the beginning of their trip—NOT because he didn’t want to tell time anymore. And then there’s riding cross country next to a doofus. Seriously. Billy is a Tonto-like sidekick, who, to this day, I have no fcuking idear why he’s even in the movie. At least Dennis Hopper, as a director, was pretty good. Yeah, direction that pushed a few buttons before buttons became obsolete.
Don’t get me wrong, dear worst-reader. I love Easy Rider. But I also hate it–because I know what the generation that made it turned out to be. I think I’ve got two copies of it somewhere in a box of DVDs in my cellar. Heck, it’s not even ripped to my home server where I could view it anytime, anywhere. No. I’ve seen it twice, I think. One more time than I needed to see it. At least it was fun the first time and some of the memories that go with that first viewing are pretty cool, too. I think her name was cutie-pie and she could suck a golf-ball through ten feet of garden hose. Miss you cutie!
RIP Peter Fonda.
Choppers were a dime a dozen when I was a kid in the 70s. Maybe they weren’t as shinny and spanking new, but choppers were everywhere. In fact, “chopping” old motorcycles–or cars–was no different in some places than whittling a stick. Most working poor males of suburban hell couldn’t get their rocks off otherwise and it was a great way to avoid nagging wives, I’m sure. Go out to the shed or garage and find some fcuking peace! Also. To me, Peter Fonda riding around on that bike should have ruined Harley Davidson. Ironically HD was on the verge of bankruptcy in the 70s. So what I guess is really iconic is the fact that HD found a way to capitalise on chopping motorcycles themselves, over-pricing them, and then getting a bunch of schmuck yuppies to buy them who believed, with their soul and not their politics, they could somehow become… Easy Rider. Go figure. ↩︎
Not since The Shape Of Water have I been motivated to put up my ray-of-light sensors for more and better movies made for adults, intellects, those who prefer to think rather than have their wits dimmed and numbed by krappy, brain-dead comics come to digital albeit boring life. Yeah, I’m sick of blockbuster movies. Thank goodness my son is old enough that I can tell him I don’t want to go to the movies with him anymore. And allow me to qualify that a bit.
I actually re-watched Captain America a few weeks back. Reason? Well, I have to admit that the first Iron Man movie caused me to give all my cynicism (about comic book films) a break after all the failures I’d watched so far. The Hulk movies, the darkness of the Dark Knight series of Batman movies, the reinvention of Superman, etc. They all sucked bat balls big-time. But I got off my high horse for my son and went to the cinema to watch the first Iron Man movie. Guess what? It blew me away. It was really well done. Of course, that also meant I had to watch the subsequent Iron Man 2 and 3, which were/are mediocre at best and the left me disappointed once again. All the other comic-book blockbusters in turn also sucked. But then came Captain America. Captain America was one of the comics I read as a kid. Of all the digital comic book films made in the past fifteen to twenty years, including the surprise of Iron Man (1), the first Captain America really blew me away. For me it is the best of them all. That worst-written, obviously Hollywood has no interest in boring the krapp out of this ageing former comic book reader.
Yet, my sensors are still spread out far and wide for a great flick to watch on account Hollywood should be able to make one or two great ones a year–among the hundreds of krapp films they make. Yeah, baby. Great movies are few and far between. Or? And even though I don’t have much respect for The Oscars, I do utilise that freak-show as a kind of guide. It’s how I came to The Shape Of Water–a film I adore. It’s also how I recently came to BlacKkKlansman. Speaking of which. I rented it the other night, too, you know, thinking it was part of this years Oscars? The problem is, I couldn’t get past the first thirty minutes of BlacKkKlansman. Indeed. But who knows, maybe some day I’ll rent again and give it another try. At the least BlacKkKlansman has to go on my Oscar shit list. But. As usual. I’m off subject.
Enter First Reformed with Ethan Hawke. Wow! I watched it last night as an iTunes .99c rental. The first thing that hit me–or I should say threw me for a loop–is that it’s shot in 4:3 format. During the first few minutes of the movie I kept thinking that Apple/iTunes was sending me a funny copy of it on account I’m still playing movies using an AppleTV3. But then I realised that there was something different about what I was watching. The old TV box format was working just fine. After the movie was over and I researched it (using DuckDuckGo, of course), the odd and antiquated format was actually chosen by the director because he thought it the better format to show bodies–as opposed to landscapes–or something like that. And good for him for doing so.
As soon as First Reformed was over I stood up from my chair and started clapping. I then looked to the Hollywood heavens and praised the cinema lord. Thank goodness that these kinds of movies can still be made. That is, I’m putting it in the same movie, story-telling greatness as The Shape Of Water. Add to that the crushing if not devastating social commentary about the religious nutbaggery that is my beloved & missed #Americant that is threaded through the whole film is almost mesmerising–if it weren’t for the realities that are actually being portrayed. Whether it’s the fcuk up right-wing politics or how all of the fcuk up is intertwined with religion, Ethan Hawke manages to tell a story of woe without all or any movie kitsch.
Disclaimer: This is not a pseudo-review of the movie The Butler and there is only one slight spoiler.
My son asked me the other week if I had seen the movie The Butler. I told him I had not. When I asked if he’d seen it, to my surprise he said he had and then proceeded to tell me that maybe I should see it. The reason I was surprised was because he’s been on a comic and action movie kick for a while now. I then recalled when it was released and how it made my list of… movies I probably won’t see. Reason? That same year 12 Years A Slave was also released. These two movies, although significant in their productions, just didn’t interest me. As a half-white, born & raised in suburban HELL #Americant who managed to jump ship in the nick-of-time, I’ve been worried ever since the election of Barry-O, how the greed $hitshow is gonna deal with the next historical wave of racism run amok that built the greatest land of free to be stupid the universe has ever seen. Wait. Maybe that’s too harsh. Let me try again.
My biggest concern after Barry-O won the Democratic primary, edging out Hillary in 2008, was that my beloved & missed #Americant wasn’t ready for this. Oh how right I was! In fact, it still isn’t ready for Barry-O. Or have you missed what he left behind? And although I love the guy, he has been a huuuuuuge disappointment when it comes to tackling the single issue that determines all the hate that is #Americant: the greed $hitshow. I mean, let’s face it. The reason for slavery, racism and all-things-greedy–and of course the advent of #Trump–ain’t just animosity and skin colour and $hitty piss-hair. I mean, come on. How much have things really changed since #Americant must, for every single step forward, take five or so steps backward? With that in worst-mind, movies dealing with race and slavery and and and and… don’t interest me if they don’t also deal with the greed $hitshow.
Am I glad I finally got around to watching The Butler? Sure, why not. Great acting mixed with mediocre directing and loose-with-truth writing can be fun (see link below for more about the fiction of this movie). I have to admit though that from the beginning to the end the film shocked me and I had to stand up to watch most of it with both hands either covering my shameful face or holding my jaw shut. But the scene that really got me was the one where Cecil Gains is confronting Nixon for the first time and Nixon uses the word entrepreneur in the context of what he should do (politically) about the black problem. Whaaaaaa?
Entrepreneur is one of those pop-words that I associate with having been stolen from original pseudo-French so that #Americants in the 1990s can find consolation with their compulsive behaviourism, i.e. nobody works anymore they only behave. So it was kind of a shock that writers of The Butler thought they could link a cultural byproduct of the fail-upward 1990s with Nixon’s $hitbag 1960s. But that’s all neither here nor there–as I still and will forever hate the word Entrepreneur.
Oh well. Here’s to pop culture continuing the ruin of everything so that nothing need be faced. Ever. Ever. Ever.
As stated here and here, dear worst-reader, I really dig the epic poem Beowulf. Reason? It’s a very telling story–and not just about times long past, don’t you know. Although difficult to read, especially the latter parts, it is truly a work of art that, once conquered, gives the feeling that one can somehow relate to what is depicted–in a literary sense, of course. But I suppose that’s what the written word does. Or?
Considering the popularity in recent years of various screen oriented story-telling that is not far flung from Beowulf, I’m wondering what writers of these pay-per-view TV shows are really thinking when they manufacture this stuff. For it is manufactured, isn’t it dear worst-reader? I’m referring, of course, to TV shows like Game of Thrones and Vikings. By-the-buy, I actually got through four seasons of GoT, don’t you know. Of course, after about three seasons I was already tired of watching it. I was tired, indeed, of the repetitiveness and stretchy-ness of every mis-continued episode. But since I had purchased the DVDs (second hand, of course) and ripped them to my home server, I thought: what the heck. And so. I have not seen, nor will I put any effort into watching any other season of GoT. Do you know why? That’s right, dear worst-reader. Once you’ve seen one episode you’ve practically seen them all. But let’s give credit where it’s due. Four seasons of GoT, baby. I did it.
After putting it off for sometime, I recently dabbled in the TV show Vikings. Reason? I had read a few things here or there or heard someone in a podcast talk about it. It is supposed to be a great show and everyone should watch it. The drama and story and the settings and the characters… bling bling. Even though the show is currently in it’s eighth season, I thought I’d give it a go from the beginning. And get this: Would you believe I got through eight and a half episodes of the first season within, like, three days? Well, it’s true. Eight and a half–ain’t that something akin to a Vikings’ lucky number? Oh wait. Dumba$$ Vikings didn’t even have numbers. Nomatter.
First, let me just put this out there: who watches this $hit?
Don’t get me wrong. As far as production value is concerned, Vikings (in the eight and a half episodes I could stomach) is much better than GoT. Also, Vikings (in eight and a half episodes) didn’t immediately turn me off because of the excess fantasy genre-krapp that, IMHO, is the ruin of GoT. But this post ain’t a comparison post. This is a rant. A rant, indeed, about what the fcuk do people think they are watching when they scatter their brains with this krapp? Oh wait. We’re living in porn-times, eh. Yeah, we are. Everything is “porn” now. There are shows and podcasts and video clips of people freaking out over cars, jet planes, cooking, sewing, fat asses with dollars stuck in fat cracks, and bling bling. The only difference to this krapp and real porn is that, heck, back in the day of real porn–let’s say 1980s porn–it was actually better than all this genre manufactured TV $hit.
Alone the shear glorification of violence is ludicrous. But how do the manufactures of this krapp compete with all the bling bling? That’s right. You turn it into porn. Seriously! After seven or eights episodes of Vikings–and also knowing a little bit about Norse Mythology–I decided to fast forward to the cumshots. So I resorted to YouTube to do some research. You know, on account the cumshots of 1980s porn was the best part. Alone the reaction of a woman receiving a man’s sword gluttony all over her face and, where applicable, she is enjoying it, on account she knows she ain’t gonna get knocked-up, is just downright cool. But on that note, I digress.
Now where was I?
The glorification of violence in the TV show Vikings is downright ludicrous. So I did a little search for “Viking TV show and death…” and behold, toot-sweet baby, I got a whole lot of hits of various slaughterings galore. It’s unbelievable not only how much but how death is portrayed in this TV show. But I guess it’s the same everywhere on TV. Or? I mean, all the killing on GoT was just as stupid. Like that idiotic fight between The Hound and that… yeah, Viking blond chick! Whaaaaaa! And what about all the super hero movies–most of which I can’t stand to watch anymore on account of stupid super hero capes and silly super hero pseudo-violence. You know–gotta appeal/sell it to the kids, right? No wonder the world is so fcuked up these days and a guy like $hitbag #Trump can become President Stupid of land of free to be stupid. But before I get too far off subject.
It’s not only the glorification of violence these shows hang out there. The show Vikings is a perversion of Norse Mythology dressed in a stupid-cloak. Indeed. We live in stupid times. For example. (Spoiler alert!) That “Blood Eagle” torture-death of whatever dip$hit English King in season… whatever. I mean, come on. Is there really verisimilitude in this depiction? I know. I know. You know it’s all just fiction. But do you really know that? Do you know that people watching this stuff, people that are glued to it, really know the difference between fiction and Norse Mythology? And if you do know it’s all fiction, is it possible that through so much bling bling, people will never put any effort into trying to get informed about how incestuous tribes of Northern Europe did what they had to do in order to survive–which had nothing to do with slaughtering defenceless priests with hi-larry-us hair-dos but instead they had to move south. In fact, that’s why/how the blonde hair, blue eyes got to Europe in the first place. It’s because all those inbred cocksuckers from the north could no longer survive when sisters and brothers kept bearing grapefruits as children. With that in mind, the first thing to know about Norse Mythology is that it is all about exaggeration. Indeed, dear worst-reader. Exaggeration galore–and a few glorious cumshots.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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”.
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.
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?
Chigurh: I said you don’t know what you’re talking about. What time do you go to bed?
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.
Chigurh: What’s the most you’ve ever lost on a coin toss?
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?
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?
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.
Owner: Look… I got to know what I stand to win.
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.
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.
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.
Beckett 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:
Why hadn’t I seen it before?
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.
You are not a victim of Bertolucci’s film making. Or are you? Wait! Let me put that another way: When will the left learn? When will liberal thinking people grasp reality? The pathway to right above wrong is not traversed through political-correctness but through those who don’t give a fcuk. But there is a way to get to the ice-cream truck where butter flavoured joy awaits us all and the one who will serve you should be Marlon Brando.
Warning: minor spoiler alerts to a film I highly recommend even though it’s not Bertolucci’s best.
Bernardo Bertolluci is a brilliant film maker. Even though it’s not one of my favourite films, Last Tango In Paris is a really cool movie. In fact, I used to own the novel version of it. That little paperback has since become one of those rare books I lent to someone and never got back. Gee, I wonder why. Could it be because I highlighted the butter scene in it? No. That can’t be why Giuseppe never gave it back to me. Remember when they wrote novel versions of movies, dear worst-reader? Oh, they only do that these days with Star Wars because there really is no place for a butter scene in such a story. Or?
The thing about Last Tango In Paris is that I always compared it to Hitchcock’s Psycho. I saw both movies in the early 80s. Hitchcock desperately needed one thing in all his movies: sex; more scary sex. Bertolucci needed one thing in his movies: less scary, a lot less scary. And so, we have one of the scariest characters ever filmed and guess who gets to play him? Mr. Scary himself, hence take note of the letter on his shirt in the pic above. No. Wait. What should the world do with bored, confused, middle-aged white men who get a kick out of objectifying objects and who are scary, really scary? Indeed. Make movies about them. But I digress.
The moment in Last Tango In Paris where Paul’s wife is revealed in a state of decomposition really through me for a loop. Like I said, having seen Psycho only a few weeks prior, the imagery was uncanny. Nothing else in the film really got to me. The sex was kinda titallating and the actress was hot, even if she did have a jungle-forest “down there”. And the moment with the butter? My first thought was: is butter the best choice for what’s about to happen? But all kidding aside. Let’s quote Marlon:
It’s just a movie.
And you know who else pulled off scenes that were just as fcuking great! For all you believers in purple unicorns and tasty rainbows–for all you who can’t face reality and hide behind your false sense of righteousness and shiny über-glorified pussies (i.e. grabbed vaginas)–just check out the brilliant sex in The Dreamers or Stealing Beauty. For those of you don’t know, Bertolucci is obsessed with sex in his movies. It is inevitable that such an obsession deal with rape as much as deflowering. Indeed. A rape scene in a work of fiction, as traumatic as it was for the actress to portray, means that it’s now time to ridicule the story teller? Or will Maria Schneider finally press charges? Cause I’m about fed-up with all this talk without the walk. Anywho.
Now that the world must face the consequence(s) of political correctness in the form of sexually degenerate American presidents and a renewal of anti-feminism, what’s left? Are we gonna now dismantle one of the greatest film makers of all time? Bertolucci’s depiction of sex, especially in Tango, is innocent by today’s Internet standards. Not to mention the fact that we now live in a world where one president makes blow-jobs with White House interns dinner table fanfare and another president makes… Well, you get the grabbing picture.
A rape scene in a piece of fiction from forty years ago is NOT the same as the abuse you experienced while living among the broken-ness of #americant or getting caught up in a no-means-yes frat-party or worrying about your pussy being grabbed–by your fcuking presidential imagination.
Oh well. The good thing is, at least all this uproar will mean that a few politically-correct-obsessed young people might see a great movie that they otherwise wouldn’t have seen. Either that or Bertolucci needs some money from DVD or iTunes sales of Last Tango. Go get’em politically correct nut-bags. Go grab something.
This is a really cool little documentary. If you can call it a documentary. If you don’t call it a documentary then what do you call it? A movie? A film? A TV show? A theatrical trailer for a film that is actually a warning to future generations about the pitfalls of…
Not being able to chose your parents
It’s not worth it anymore to actually work for a living (and for that you can thank your parents).
But I digress. And here comes the spoiler. Would you believe that some schmuck from a rich family who had everything paid for him from birth to his education and then even provided him a van to live in while he sought the meaning of life struggling to work for the only industry left in #americant–the financial sector–and then, out of life-frustration bagged it all so he could sail around the world in a f’n boat? That’s right, dear worst-reader. The star of this film is a kid who was born with PTSD or became so confused with his rearing that in order to cope with the pitfalls of having to work among other greed-mongers and automatons he lost his sh*t and decided to prove to the ocean that things float. When he finally realised that all his floating was done, guess what happens? He docks his boat and continues his travels on land and finds the trash-heap of the earth, India. While in India he catches typhoid fever and f’n dies.
Let me repeat that because Stupid needs to be repeated about as much as Stupid needs to have documentary films made.
This kid takes something like a three year journey around the world on a (relatively) cheap, used sailboat, partying the whole time with his friends, alluding to the trauma of his family, and when he’s done he realises that all he’s achieved is the humdrum of his birth. And because that’s not enough he continues his pseudo-thrill-seeker bullsh*t life and goes off to India without getting any immunisations–because he so smart from the first world!–and catches typhoid fever and dies.
Now let’s make a documentary film TV movie about this kid.
Oh. And here’s another spoiler . I guess you could also call it the catcher of this film. Right at the end the film maker(s) throw in the thought that maybe this whacked-out rich kid ain’t dead after all. Really? How original. I mean (sarcasm on)… the world really is gonna miss this kid (sarcasm off).
Still. Since I love sailing, it is a movie worth seeing. Hence my worstwriter recommendation. And so. May stupid white people that have created this f-upped world find their cheap thrills and then catch some fever and go, finally, away.
Prosit stupid people and be careful when you drink India’s grey water.
The only thing I could think about during recent FRA > BLR flight was my little dog in his crate attached to a palette. I could see him from the lounge where I tried to drink my sorrows away with free bier, wine and nuts. Just before we boarded I could also see the ground crew shoving my dear little friend into the rear fuselage of our B747-8. Pronounced: seven four seven dash eight. The tears started brewing that moment while walking down the gangway into the opposite end of the fuselage. I tried to gather my thoughts while boarding, refocus on what’s at hand. Not even the cute, slit-skirt stewardess could take my thoughts away. I walked down the aisle looking for 11D. What a fancy plane, I thought. I then adjusted my stuff, putting carry-on in the upper bin, loosening my belt for the long haul, catching my breath. But the angst for my dog started to set in even deeper than before. Luckily take-off was a blast. I think the pilot was in a hurry because we were at cruising altitude in no-time. Did my dog feel the powerful ascension? All the emotion made my already hyper bladder want to do some business. Or was it because I had too many drinks in the lounge and had to get to the loo to wipe my eyes which were soaked during taxi and take-off–and missing my little friend. Besides, I didn’t want anyone seeing me balling my eyes out because I was worried sick about my dog–who had never been stuffed into a fuselage before. Thank goodness for all the room in business-class where I could hide my tears. Or? In fact, since we were at the end of the business-class section, there was this huge space between the back of our comfortable seats and the bulkhead that separated us from coach. Actually, let me put that another way since LH has changed seating configurations in coach over the years in the name of profits, profits and more profits, I guess. Directly behind the bulkhead was LH’s new premium economy class. It’s the class I’ll probably be flying from here on out. The only time I get business-class is when I fly officially with better-half and her company pays for it or I upgrade using her miles. I think LH premium economy is only a few hundred bucks more than regular economy and the seats look as big as upright business-class seats. The difference is that you can’t recline as far back and all the other amenities aren’t available. After flying business class a few times the past few years, I would gladly give up on “amenities” for roomier, more comfortable seating. As I was saying. Behind our business-class seats was a space big enough to accommodate my best friend in the world. Although our crate wouldn’t fit there, he certainly would have. On the other hand, even though it rips me apart thinking about him stuffed in the fuselage, I know LH took care of him and that if we were safe, he was safe. Besides, I’m sure once the hectic of take-off and ascension was over, he would just buckle down in his blanket in the crate, drink from the supplied water as he needed, and sleep till landing woke him–in eight hours. And that’s pretty much how it worked out. Except for my weeping like bitch worried sick about him. And speaking of bitches. To help cope with worrying tears, which also meant I was too preoccupied to read anything, I decided to watch a movie. Of the numerous films to choose from, I picked Black Mass. Upfront? I thought it was a pretty good movie. It was so good I don’t understand why it wasn’t up for Oscars. Or maybe it wasn’t that good. Hold a sec. (Pause.) §I love it when Johnny Depp acts and doesn’t entertain. You know, he’s done some serious big screen thuds recently. I guess that’s the byproduct of being so successful (financially) with those pirate movies. Just afford to make another movie–even if it sucks. I guess he can make any movie he wants after that. I’m always interested when I hear he’s doing a real film–as opposed to some big screen, kill two hours entertainment orgy. But don’t get wrong. I enjoyed the pirate movies Depp made. They are perfect for getting rid of two hours. Black Mass, on the other hand, is a serious film and a pretty serious story. I entered adulthood in the 1980s and I vividly remember hearing the name Whitey Bulger in the news. I especially remember, by the late 80s, when I was clearly on my way to becoming an expat, hearing about the (love) triangle Bulger had between his brother and his former boyhood friend turned FBI agent. Even then I thought the whole thing to be an unbelievable #americant entertainment story. I’m amazed that it’s not being written about more–especially the part about Bulger’s state senator brother. Does that mean worst-writer should have a go at such a story? Nomatter. §Black Mass is worth seeing and I’m planning on seeing it again on account I think I missed a few things. With that in mind, it’s no grand film-making effort and I don’t quite know why I’m thinking that way about it. As a film, it simply gets the job done. Although it won’t go down as one of my fav Depp (acting) movies, after watching it I’ve concluded it probably doesn’t deserve the accolades that my initial instincts conjured. Or? I was seriously hoping, when I saw the initial trailers for it, that this would be Depp’s time. But allow me digress on that note. Writing my thoughts about Depp only serves as filler at this point. Moving on. §Like I worst-said, I was hoping that the/a movie would take my mind off my dog being stuffed into a cargo hole–but it didn’t. Both during Black Mass and after I was still thinking about my dog. Maybe that’s why Black Mass came across as mediocre or why I found it to be unfocused. Yeah. Unfocused. That’s the ticket. Was Black Mass about Depp/Bulger or one of the other two in the (love) triangle? I hope a second viewing will change how I feel about this movie–because I’m rooting for Depp. I’m certainly not rooting for Leo who just won the friggin’ Oscar. I want Depp to win an Oscar. Why isn’t Depp winning Oscars? Oh, yeah. The movies he makes. Anywho. §After Black Mass I was still needing to get my mind off things so I scanned through other movies on the LH inflight entertainment system. Could I get through another movie–at my age? Boy, does LH have a lot of movies to choose from. And some pretty new ones, too. I considered watching a few of the ’15 Oscar nominated films but quickly gave up–nothing interesting there. Luckily, getting toward the end of the movie list, Spectre popped up. So let’s bring that one behind us, shall we? I still had six hours of flight time. §My mind was occupied with tears and thoughts of cute little dogs that grow on ya and a bit here and there about moving to India for up to three years while my wife tries to expand her career in an ever-shrinking globalised world. With that in mind, why not hit the play button. §There were two interesting things about this new Bond film. One: Monica Bellucci. She didn’t get enough screen time. Two: the regurgitation of Blofeld and how he got that scare is a grand idear. And that’s it. That’s the whole movie. I don’t know if it’s because Craig is struggling with his characterisation of the great killer-spy or if the producers are running out of writers. Heck, all the desert scenes looked like they were shot at the same time as Quantum of Solace. The explosion of Blofeld’s facility looked cheap and underfunded. And the big goon that almost kills Craig on the train? I found myself rooting for him for a sec or three. But let me leave my worst-criticisms at that. I’m just not a big fan of Craig’s blue-eyed, tough guy 007. I prefer elegance, grace, wit and hidden manliness. That the producers are able to get all these actors to play him differently is worth praise, but at some time, I think, these nuanced differences get old fast. Yeah, bring back the British navy commander who doesn’t act like he’s feeding a pack of millennial spoiled rotten babies. But then again, even if a Bond movie is bad (Brosnan), they’re still good (Dalton). §Bye-the-by, after a second film on the flight, I still had four and half hours to go. I de
cided to give in to some tears and went to the loo to have them. Rant on. -tommi
The task of American TV binge-watching is not a small one, especially when competing with one’s better-half who is usually at least two shows ahead of me. The reality is, I’m losing the challenge of who can get through the shows the quickest. Lost big-time, in fact, with recent binge-watching of The King of Queens. It took my better-half less than a month to get through all nine seasons of that show. Lots of free time during Eurowasteland’s xmas vacation helped a bit, too. I know, I know. I know what you’re saying dear worst-reader. “Don’t you guys have anything better to do than watch mindless American TV?” Well, to be honest, as the minions and automatons of Germania and the western-world remain preoccupied with consuming-to-survive and/or procreating and/or subjecting themselves to hapless subjugation, my better-half and I live a life of semi forced and unforced early retirement. Put another way: once we’ve gotten through most of the daylight hours, completed most of our chores, popped open a bottle Tuscany joy after tee-time–where we plan our next vacation–there really isn’t much left to do. Ok. We could sex things up a bit more but to be honest, at my age, it’s a good thing that the storm & drang of gettin’ my nuts off is waning. But I’m off subject again. §I was trying to explain the pseudo-detriment of binge-watching American TV. Which brings me to the show Alpha House. I finished the second season last night–again losing to my better half who finished watching three nights before. And it is a pretty good show. I guess. But one thing stuck out after only watching the first few episodes. Are you ready for this? Alpha House is the best show yet where #americant conservatives and republicans might finally get the last laugh. Wait. What? Ok. Get this. Ever noticed how on #americant TV, of all the shows that make you laugh about politics and society, almost all the jokes are made at the cost of conservatives. Conservatives themselves, of course, are not funny. But making fun of them is hi-larry-us! Hence, #americant has shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, etc. Pretty funny shows–if you like that sort of thing. My problem with those shows is that once you’ve seen one of them you’ve seen them all. That’s the price of comedy that ONLY makes fun of someone. Since Jon Stewart and Colbert have quit–because I’m sure they were madly bored of making fun of stupid people–it’s time to rethink political comedy. But what’s still funny? What is there left to make fun of? Liberals have been laughing there asses off because conservatives make the better joke. Yet isn’t it time for conservatives to start making fun of liberals? Enter Alpha House. This has got to be the funniest conservative take on liberals–ever! Seriously. As I watched the show I couldn’t help but feel that conservatives wrote it, produced it, and even starred in it. The fact that Bezos owns it, and he also owns the Washington Post, well, I guess that can’t have anything to do with anything. Or? Then again, Alpha House might just be the first TV series with a particular political party being a native ad. But I digress. §Another subject itching me since I’m dealing with “streaming”. Would you believe that I’ve been an Amazon prime user for years but only recently started using it for movies and TV streaming? And now that I’ve (finally) discovered it, I’m kicking myself in the ass having used iTunes for all our digital media all this time? I can’t tell you how much iTunes sucks. In fact, the whole Apple echo system is starting to suck. And to think I wasted all those hours curating my iTunes library only to realise that it sucks! Ripping CDs or DVDs here and there, then buying superfluous software to expedite getting it all into iTunes… And for what? I bought a Raspberry Pi last fall in order to finally rip and watch Blurays. Plex media server along with Rasplex on the Raspberry Pi opened my eyes to a whole new world. No more meta-data-BS or mp4 codec krapp so that something would play in iTunes or on my friggin’ iPad. Heck, even my limited bandwidth at home works great with Prime. But get this. I gave up on German streaming years ago. Germans (distributors) are assholes about dubbing all their movies–unlike the Dutch or Scandinavians who all offer movies in OV (original version). But when you dub a film and then use that as a profit centre when selling movies on DVD or Bluray… that’s when you can kiss my ass. For you see, dear worst-reader, I have learned that not every DVD or Bluray is worth the money you pay for it. Indeed. And so. Before purchasing a disc that I will rip for my home media library, I always check the back of it for specs. Does the disc contain all applicable audio tracks? Does it have the worthwhile audio encoding, aka DTS, HD Audio, etc.? Some do, some don’t. This is where German distributors get in the way of progress. They will actually remove language and audio tracks from DVDs in order to save costs on dubbing and audio codec rights. A good source of DVD movies for the past year as been the German mega retailer Aldi. They sell DVDs of varying movies for around 8€–which is usally always a few buck cheaper than an iTunes download. But you have to look on the back of the DVD covers to make sure the OV is available. Can you believe that these jerk-offs will sell a US movie without the English version included. They’ll also sell one with the English version but they will not include high-end audio with it. Of course, Blurays are even worse because they are capable of having even more audio capability. I don’t know about you, but audio is really the only turn-on for me when it comes to home movies–as I have the audio equipment to play it. Aldi just started selling Bluray discs for about 10€. And, true to movie distributor greed-form, if you read the back of the disc covers, you’ll notice that only the German track includes the best audio codec. Which means, I won’t be buying Blurays from Aldi unless the proper codec is offered. Oh well. No fear. Back to buying my digital media from used sources or trading with friends. Because digital distributors are assholes. And they wonder why file sharing is so popular! §Btw, for those interested in whether or not I infringe on copyrights, I have a documented list of where all my digital media comes from. I also have the original physical discs stored away that I have ripped. §Ok. Wait. What was I worst-writing about? Oh yeah. Alpha House. Alpha House is an Amazon exclusive comedy but it is also much more. It is a propaganda show about #americant conservatism. Yeah, right. Rant on. -Tommi
Disclaimer: some small spoilers but no big spoilers. And so it is done. And now that it’s done, I’ve been thinking about how to worst-write about it. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
It was good but…
Liked it except for…
Getting too old, seen too many movies, been there done that (in 70s!)…
Guess it was good–I guess…, etc., etc.
Yeah, worst-reader. I saw Star Wars last night and I’m still not sure about my expectations. Obviously my expectations were high–or were they? Or maybe my expectations are a bit out of the norm. Nomatter. Forget expectations. What is clear is that I feel comfortable saying this: If Hollywood wants to save itself, it better start hiring some writers. The most shocking thing about the new Star Wars reboot was the writing. It sucked. Having said that, two things saved the movie. The cinematography and the acting. With that in mind, allow me to worst-say this: bad writing can, in very rare instances, be saved by actors. There were moments, especially with Carrie Fisher, where I thought: Oh boy, this is embarrassing. But, in Carrie’s defense, she did the best she could with what she had–and I’ll always just dig her! As far as the cinematography goes, the movie felt just like the original movie from the 70s with the added bonus that the CGI finally worked. The daylight dogfight scenes are stunning. The big lightsaber fight in the forest, though, wasn’t as good. On the other hand, the crashed Star Fighter did look a bit out of place compared to the real sand that actor was walking on. Ok. I’m nitpicking. At least the forest lightsaber fight was über-cool because a new badass Jedi is born. But that’s not much of a surprise, or? New characters become old heros. Old (original) heros fade in front of you like a sunset–until they start speaking poorly written lines. Yet something holds this film together. I think that something is due to the Star Wars myth, the legacy, the history. With that in mind, JJ Abram’s (work) doesn’t stand out. I expected the director to give us something like what he gave us with his Star Trek reboot–where I found myself on the verge of tears because of the beautiful relationship between new-Spock and new-Kirk. But there is no new-Luke or new-Leia. Which is probably ok–depending on your expectations. So what does this film and its hot director deliver? Ok. I’ll just say it. This is the dullest multibillion dollar movie everyone on the planet should see–and not because of who directed it or wrote it. People should see this movie because of one thing and one thing only: George Lucas.
Just diggin’ the episode names of tv series. Especially like “.asf”. Reminds me of the Win95 world that so many are still stuck in. Been hearing lots about this show on the various podcast that I subscribe to. Curiosity wins, I guess. Usually I just buy discs and rip them to my library. Saved a pretty penny or three doing it that way. But then again, if anything defeats the purpose of digital content it’s the pricing of digital content. I can’t believe what’s being charged for some of this stuff. I mean, how many people own analog content and if they want the same content in digital form they have to pay full price again? Come on. Of all the examples of how/why things are so screwed up, digital content has to be in the top five. But. Again. I’m off subject. Rant on. -tommi
Kept putting it off. Didn’t want to go there. Must adhere to minimalist principles. It’s the only way to live. Or? Yeah. Oh what the heck! Life’s too short. I broke down and ordered my first blu-ray drive Thursday. It arrived Friday. No player for me, though. It’s an internal LG unit that fits perfectly in the second optical drive bay of my mid-2010 MacPro. Was a little nervous about getting this device because there is no official Mac support from LG for it. So I went ahead and trusted some of the reviews I read. It’s supposed to work out-of-the-box with MacOS, requiring no extra drivers or software. Once I got it installed I fired up the Mac and BOOM! Second optical drive recognised immediately. New icon at top of menu bar provides open/close function for both drives. New keyboard command using “alt” key and disc eject open new drive, as well. Although the drive did crash once where I couldn’t eject disc, subsequent system restart seems to have cleared that up; haven’t had a crash since. But here’s the real kicker.
I’ve been itching to get my hands on Celebration Day, the 2007 benefit concert where Led Zeppelin reunited in London. And I didn’t want the old DVD version this time. I already have Led Zeppelin DVD and The Song Remains the Same. But I’ve put off consuming blu-ray technology because of the massive data storage requirements. DVD, depending on encoding, average around five to seven gigabytes. Blu-rays, on the other hand, average three-times that amount. I’ve also noticed that it’s getting harder and harder to find DVD with DTS. Oh. And remember. Storing data is one thing–backing it up is another. Nuff said there.
Over the years I have accumulated quite a substantial media library. As an Apple household, though, I’m frustrated with Apple’s media products, especially iTunes. Did you know that because of Apple’s bullshit and greed, I am unable to stream movies or music from my MacPro’s iTunes library to my iPad or iPhone? According to some forums and support groups, Apple has programmed a caching glitch in iOS’s video and music app that prevent it from being able to access large iTunes libraries. Can you believe that krapp! And that’s not all. Again. Because of Apple’s greed, the company doesn’t pay licensing fees thereby preventing it from enabling DTS audio on AppleTVs. Can you believe that krapp! Needless to say I’ve been searching for an alternative for sometime.
Enter the Raspberry Pi 2. Bought one a few months back. Ran Raspbian on it for a few days. To my surprise, not only is this little credit card sized device an alternative to the Intel/Microsoft monopoly-cabal but it’s a totally functioning PC. You can browse the web, write a novel on it, or install RasPlex, together with Plex on my Mac, connect it to your flatscreen or AVR and… Get me some iTunes salvation. Not only does the little Pi device deliver incredible high-end audio but the video quality is outstanding, as well. The only problem it has is that it can’t stream the high quality using wifi. Ethernet’s good enough for me.
As far as my first blu-ray experience? You can see the strings of Jimmy Page’s guitars vibrating. You can almost read the writing on Jason Bonham’s drum sticks. Robert Plant has split ends (that’s right, his hair). John Paul Jones wears a pair of boots that look like they might cost ten grand. Oh. And then there’s that sound. The beautiful, luscious sound of every instrument. DTS HD shouting out brilliantly through six speakers, aka 5.1. The .1 is a 700w yamaha subwoofer (behind flatscreen in pic above). Front left and right are B&W DM305’s (yes, the low ends). Rear or surround left and right are Yamaha NS-G25’s. Centre speaker is a Yamaha NS-GC27. All are connected using banana plugs and Oehlbach 2×1.50mm copper to a Denon AVR 3808. Did I mention that you can even ear Jimmy Page’s pick rubbing the coils of his strings?
You know, I’ve even been contemplating getting out of the surround sound bullshit. As you can see from the pic above, I don’t believe in putting the speakers in their 5.1 positions. Reason? Well, I guess, because I haven’t had this level of audio quality yet. Indeed, dear worst-reader. It’s nice discovering alternatives that work and that also make ageing equipment work even better. And one more thing on the Celebration Day blu-ray. I found myself getting a bit emotional watching Jason Bohnam fill his dad’s shoes in such a glorious way. Way to go Jason!