it’s how you write your name

Yep, it’s been quiet around here. We’ve been going through sick spells and haven’t even been watching much for movies, but a while back, we did watch one of my old standbys. After finally getting something more watchable than the VHS copy I’ve had for the last 18 years, it was time to have my hundredth or so (probably more) take of one of the best music documentaries out there, Decline of Western Civilization: The Metal Years. I know, yes, it is all about the Sunset Strip Glam Scene of the late 80’s which, well, sucks by any standard, now or then. But the interviews are great and that is where it really gets fun!

 

The Metal Years

 

 

The Metal Years

what the? dude…

There are plenty of live “performances” of the sunset strip bands and interviews with the band members and with rather lame “metalheads” and scenesters, but Spheeris mixes in some great interview scenes with “metal” musicians who actually had some success. The contrast between the “once young and arrogant, now old and wise” and the “still young and arrogant” is a lot of fun. These young bands (especially the terrifying London, Odin and Lizzie Borden) are so lame that it’s almost unbelievable (well, Faster Pussycat are fine, if you are into that GnR thing and, back in the day, I actually ended up buying an album by the lamely named Seduce, based on the song they play here, “Crash Landing”), the endless interviews of these guys saying “oh, I’m going to be rich and famous, there’s no question” are quite entertaining (and some time in the last few years, I did see one of these guys on TV… dressed in a towel… on Cops). The best bits are with Ozzy, Lemmy, Joe Perry and (especially) Chris Holmes, they are standout’s and Ozzy and Holmes are, really, unforgettable… All their tales of ups and downs and debauchery are a kick. If you can stand the terrible fashions and hair-don’ts of this late 80’s scene (and most of the music is pretty weak), it’s a lot of fun.

 

The Metal Years

an early Osborne’s preview

 

The Metal Years

ok, so there are some real metal fans here…

 

The Metal Years

man. “drink like a beast” is more like it…

Then when the movie is winding down… Megadeth appear and play “In my Darkest Hour”, and it’s not really fair. After watching these guys dressed like tacky valley girls strut around for an hour bragging about how great they are, Megadeth suddenly seem like the best band in the world. They have attitudes and music that just plain blow away everything you’ve just sat through.

On a much different note, thanks to F-dog and family, we actually got to head out on our own, with no little Elinor in tow. We opted to go to a movie theater and watch a movie, since it had been a long time since we’d be able to do something like that. Of course, that led to the standard, difference of opinion as to what to go to, but I agreed to go to Atonement, which I wasn’t looking forward to. What I was looking forward to was trying out the St Johns Theater. I am very glad that you can go to a nice, old movie theater and see current movies, it is so much better than going to those gosh-awful multiplex/chain nightmares. Anyway, so it was nice to go there (even if we did show up for the showing before they serve beer), but what was also quite nice was the movie. I must say that I really liked Atonement. A great and touching story, beautifully shot, epic in scene and scope, well-acted and a very, very nicely made production. Atonement is the story of a little lie told by a little girl and the effects it has on the lives around her as the years progress, and how the effects come back home to haunt her. It has rich people, poor people, war, prison, death and all that good stuff, all very well done… It is sad and tragic and just great. I thought that the scenes around the evacuation at Dunkirk were really top-notch.



what the hell ‘they expect for their 35 cents?

As I keep reminding myself, the 70’s was the best era of American films, and it was ripe with good police dramas. I watched another of these great classics, again one that I probably hadn’t seen since watching it on TV as a kid, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. It’s got a lot going for it: Robert Shaw, Walter Matthau, a great title, and a theme song during the opening credits that is a superb dramatic little number!

 

Taking of Pelham One Two Three

 

Like a lot of these movies, Pelham is more drama than action, but such good drama. On a busy day in Manhattan, a group of machine gun wielding men hijack a 6 train between 28th and 23rd and hold the passengers hostage. They seem to be a generally ruthless bunch of fellows, with the always impeccable Robert Shaw as Mister Blue, the leader, and Hector Elizondo as the tempestuous mafia dropout, Mister Gray, who is looking for any excuse to let loose. The drama (mainly taking place in the train car and the Transit Authority office), gets high as deadlines loom, people lose their patience and some of the police are of the “shoot first” mentality. Shaw never once loses his cool as he bargains with Walter “I’m trying to keep people safe” Matthau as he tries to keep his cool against the pressure applied by Dick “I’m just trying to run a train” O’Neill at the next desk who wants nothing but to get his trains running again.

 

Taking of Pelham One Two Three

 

It’s just a great 70’s drama, Shaw and Matthau, while they seem an odd pairing as opponents are both very good and the clash in their acting styles works pretty well to show a sharp difference in the minds of the characters, the “real life” 1970’s production values really make this movie work and, again, bring it a feeling of genuineness that is lacking in today’s Hollywood fare and, of course, it has more of that great macho dialog! Great fun.

The wife is reading through the Modern Library’s 100 Best novels, and so to follow-up her reading of The Postman Always Rings Twice, we watched the movie. 1946’s The Postman Always Rings Twice is another timeless American story… One thing that never changes is that you know that if you mix a 20-something hottie and her “putzy and well-meaning” 50-something husband in with a 30-something tough guy wanderer… Well there is going to be some trouble! And in The Postman Always Rings Twice, oh, there is trouble a plenty! A classic film noir with plotting, lying, theft, murder, lust, betrayals and back-stabbings, everyone is out for themselves and it doesn’t turn out well for any of them! When John Garfield wanders up to the roadside cafe that Lana Turner has with her husband, passions and greed quickly warp the surface of their reality. It’s great watching them do everything that they shouldn’t and keep getting themselves back in trouble, right when it seems that they’ve maybe pulled clear. Everybody pays in this one.



i dont talk to dead men

What do you get if you sick an overly large clan of vampires against a defenseless town with no hope of assistance or escape? Well, if it takes place in the cold, in a town that is dark for a month straight, you get 30 Days of Night. Though the way the movie flows it seems more like three days of night, which is probably all that our heroes would be able to survive in a situation like this anyway.

 

30 Days of Night

 

So maybe it’s a little light on the likeliness, but I thought that 30 Days of Night had a fun looking preview so I’d tried once before, but it just seemed too bad to get more than 10 minutes into. Last night though, wanting something brainless and filled with bloody action, I finally made it through. The story of Barrow, Alaska during the month that the sun spends below the horizon. This year, strange things start happening after the people that can’t take it leave and the few remaining folks prepare for a cold dark month. Dogs being killed, vandalism, and then when a creepy drifter with strange yellow teeth, a rather forward bad manner and a hillbilly drawl shows up and gets arrested… You have to start wondering, especially when all the power goes off and he gives them the old “here they are, you’re all dead” speech.

The young sheriff and his ex-girlfriend decide to protect a ragtag band of townspeople, hiding out while the rest of the town is slaughtered, hoping to avoid the baddies for a month(?!). This is their tale of attempted survival. It’s pretty standard fare for modern horror movies. A hackneyed script, nice environment (that is, if you like horror movies in the dark and frozen) and, in fact, in one scene the overhead shots of the town bear a striking resemblance to the original Postal video game… Hmm… Postal?

 

30 Days of Night

postalize me

 

Their chances seem unlikely as they are up against a philosophy spouting Bolshevik-era vampire leading a group of goths with all the great vampire powers of leaping tall buildings, gross yellow teeth, viciousness to people’s necks and a great resistance to gunfire. Lord knows where these people have come from, but they aren’t planning on leaving anything behind here. There are some good bits: I like the baddies alright (and while their lines are as hokey as the townsfolk, at least they’re a bit philosophical), there are also heads blowing up, death by heavy machinery, bear traps, folks being cut in two, folks being driven over, and lots of gross and bloody fanged maws. So while it wasn’t particularly good (and wasn’t scary at all) it was certainly watchable, and fun to watch… The baddies are nearly indestructible but then an odd twist occurs and we come to the last couple of scenes. The sudden switch from “everyone is doomed” to a highly unlikley “feel good” ending, leaves a lame taste in my mouth.

 

30 Days of Night

 

We also watched Muriel’s Wedding. A charming and quirky little story of a girl realizing that something (everything) is missing from her life so she steals some money and runs off to the big city to find her future. She is obsessed with getting married (not even finding the right person, just getting married) and all of her missteps are very charming. If you like this sort of thing, it’s a fun little movie.



the south is going to rise again

No, I’m not going to start reviewing Hank Williams, Jr albums… Instead, I watched another Herschell Gordon Lewis film, 2000 Maniacs! It’s another fun classic, intended in a more humorous vein then the previous years Blood Feast, but still a clever film and a truly classic and American take on Brigadoon! I admit that I don’t know where they came up with 2,000 of them, but this classic Friedman/Lewis feature does have enough good old boy fun for for a whole town!

 

2000 Maniacs

 

Due to some road-sign shenanigans, two cars of Yankees get sidetracked into the southern town of Pleasant Valley, and lucky for them! Good things are brewing in Pleasant Valley, see they are having a Centennial and they need some guests of honor to make it right, Yankee guests of honor, for their celebration and bbq…

 

2000 Maniacs

 

They do receive a grand welcome, complete with friendly southerners, a welcoming mayor, badly stereotyped hicks, an awesome and terribly catchy theme song by “Chuck Scott and the Pleasant Valley Boys” and lots and lots of flag waving (Confederate flag waving, that is), but there is more in store for these strangers. What these Yankees guests don’t realize is that this isn’t the centennial of the towns founding… something terrible happened here a hundred years back, in April 1865.

 

2000 Maniacs

 

Once the guests get settled in, they begin to lose each other amidst the festivities, and who can blame them, with all the new ladies and gents to meet, a rock drop contest, a barrel roll (like no other!) and a big BBQ, who could resist taking advantage of this good old time southern hospitality. Of course, in this case, it’s about the last hospitality that these poor fool Yankees will know, because a hundred years back, Pleasant Valley was destroyed by Union soldiers! And, in a fury of good-natured yet foul-deeded vengeance, some terrible and fun tricks are in store for these poor Yankees! But all may not be lost, for William Kerwin (from Blood Feast) has luckily hitched a ride to help them out! This fun little film has some great and crazy gore scenes, more great dialogue and all sorts of fun characters!

 

The BridgeAnd then, what do you get if you spend a year with cameras trained on the Golden Gate bridge? Seemingly you get unpleasant footage of two dozen people jumping to their deaths. You also get, The Bridge. An un-narrated documentary filled with nothing but film of the bridge, of people on the bridge and film of people jumping off the bridge! There are also interviews with their loved ones and an interview with one of those, oh so rare survivors (something like 2% survive the jump). Watching people wander around on the bridge and then jump is, to say the least, a bit unnerving, or disturbing, and while I didn’t find the film to be as controversial or disgusting or whatever critics say, I felt like it certainly did inspire some internal feelings around the subject of watching people die, intentionally die. Even though these people selected a very public location for this final event of theirs, I couldn’t help but feel intrusive, as if it is something that shouldn’t be witnessed. I also could have done without witnessing the “they’re in a better place” stuff. I know that people tell themselves that to feel better, but to me it really weakens the seriousness of what is going on here. But the movie is quite interesting to watch, if you are up for it… And there are some really nice shots of the bridge and its locale.



no really… not again

American Psycho 2Since we were on the subject, we tried to watch American Psycho 2. Man… It certainly takes some notions from American Psycho: references to Pat Bateman, narration, premeditated killings… But it loses everything there. The terrible screenplay is dull and boring from beginning to end, one of those that is so predictable that you don’t even need to predict it, it’s just blatantly set up right off the bat like “these people are going to be killed by this person”. Sadly, the person in question is no Christian bale, instead it is the actress who plays the lame girl on “That 70’s show”, who really isn’t too convincing here, playing a college behavioral sciences student who is killing all the other “top” students in her class to ensure that she gets to be the teachers assistant next semester. Why is she so intent, so um, ruthless? Because when she was a pre-teen, she went to Pat Bateman’s apartment with her babysitter where Pat tied them up and killed her babysitter, luckily, the girl got lose and killed Pat. Yes, you heard me, the American Psycho gets offed by a 12 year old! Once it gets past that silly beginning, it lacks all of the “possible social message” of American Psycho, it lacks all of the mystery as to what is really happening, and the narration in this comes across more just like boring narration, rather than the involving internal dialogue of the first movie. It’s also possibly the first movie about a serial killer that has absolutely zero gore scenes.

Basically American Psycho 2 is just a lame after-school special about a serial killer that invoked the AP name to attempt to get some cred which, as I like to point out, causes its “credibility of mediocrity” to sink even lower then it normally would be. It has a twist at the end (yeah..) that would seem a little more twisty if it wasn’t so blatently set-up. This movie has absolutely nothing to recommended it. It’s dull, uninteresting, not violent, meaningless and not even shot in an enticing fashion. It would have the one saving grace of casting Bill Shatner as the Professor, but he is totally wasted in this lame film.



not if you want to keep your spleen

I read the novel last week for my book group and so tonight some of us got together and sat down for the film, American Psycho. I know, didn’t we just watch it? Well, that was two years back and having read the book now, I have some different notions. The first time through I remember getting the idea that the story was a blend of reality and ol’ Pat Bateman’s sick and twisted fantasies. I kept this recollection when reading the book, which made it seem all the more obvious. With this re-watching, I’m not so sure why I originally came away with that idea. Regardless, that is neither here nor there. As a book-to-movie transition I did notice some other things. While the first time through, the movie seemed fairly explicit (with violence and sexuality), after reading the book it seemed positively mild. Maybe I watched an edited version of the film this time?

It is hard to talk about the movie without talking about how it differs from the book and, while those differences do make it lesser (in so many ways) then the novel, it actually does stand on its own as a movie. After reading the book, the relentless barrage and repetition of detail is hard to do without, and I almost sort of missed the guy and his mental processes, but they throw in enough to give you the idea. American Psycho is the story of Pat Bateman, a wall-streeter who is up to watching a lot of porno and killing people when he’s not busy cataloging what people are wearing in his many daily restaurant visits, all while losing his mind in a very misanthropic fashion. He and his “friends” are a shallow and irritating bunch of young rich slicks in Manhattan during the late 1980’s. They spend their time doing coke and gossiping and bragging and through it all there’s Pat! Pat Bateman keeps trying to tell people what he is up to, because he can’t resist hookers and killing them, and killing bums and killing whoever he feels the inclination to kill. It is sort of a harsh and remorseless movie (though, again, no where near as, oh, obscene as the book) which I think is a critique of modern culture, but whatever.

 

American Psycho

mirror for me

 

American Psycho

chainsaw for you

 

Christian Bale does an excellent job as Bateman, and it is an entertaining movie. No matter how terrible and unlikable Pat is, watching him go about his business is fun, it’s just got a lot (and I mean a lot) less bloodshed and insane meanderings, but they stick to the story pretty well. They did a good job with the 1980’s styles and the weaselly personalities… Bateman’s smarmy attitude is sickly sweet, and it’s not like you care about any of the characters that pop up anyway.

And something else I am surprised about. As a Mac user, I remember the days when lazy webber’s would lock out Mac users from their websites. A habit that I found annoying since only rarely is there some reason a Mac wouldn’t be able to use a website (something ActiveX, maybe), I think people wanted to limit what they had to support (though when was the last time a website gave you browser support, anyway?) or else because Microsoft paid them to (something that they’ve certainly done in the past). Just knowing that the platform distinction was usually meaningless always irked me when people would intentionally lock mac users out. I seem to remember some Disney (or something) site some years back that would lock Mac users out for no reason, and I’ve seen some banks that try it. Of course, there are always ways around it and like to go in anyway, just to prove a point. But at this point, I had thought that people didn’t do that anymore, I guess they do! Today I came across a site that pulled that dirty trick again! “Unsupported Operating System, my toches!”. I spoofed through anyway, just to remind myself how annoying those pointless biases are. But I just had to complain, as it seems like a lazy tactic and I do find it irritating.



ugh and gross…

I have a big backlog of movies, but I’m home sick (well, the whole family is home sick) and I feel like crud so I don’t have much in me. What, you ask, is there? Last night we watched a funny little film, an Australian one that seemed low-budget, like a documentary, but seemingly wasn’t one. It was a charming film called The Castle about a family who is being removed from their house due to an airport expansion. The film is the story of the fathers fight to keep their house and it is a fairly typical “David vs Goliath” thing. But I liked it! The characters are all charming and sweet (though they certainly curse a lot), and it’s filled scenes of people out of their element and all sorts of talk about peoples rights and all of that.

I tried to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it wasn’t the time and we were so bored and sick that we went looking for TV to watch. I’m a firm believer in the theory that the only good TV dramas of the last twenty (or is it thirty?) years are the X-Files, Twin Peaks, Northern Exposure, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and Big Love. The X-Files gets extra kudos for being the first drama since the 70’s that I could respect, and also for being on regular television. But those shows are so good, with such great writing and characters and casts, that they are really incomparable. After watching them, these others (like the CSI series and all those hospital shows) I just can’t do… They have so little plot continuity from show to show, it just gets boring watching them do the same predicable stories over and over.

We looked around at what was out there… Oz (once we tried to watch one episode, but its “performance art behind bars” shtick was too much), The Wire (everyone says it’s great but you have to get a few episodes in. We couldn’t make it through the first one, so will we ever know?) and somehow, we ended up with Rome. I had no interest in this, but we watched it and it actually seemed like it might have some good dramatic potential so we ended up watching 3 episodes. It’s certainly not as great as those listed above, but it will easily do for something to watch on days like this. Of course, all of this was needed because the 2 disc’s of Lost season 3 that Caitlin has coming didn’t show up in the mail until the afternoon.

Before the great health decline, I did watch Infernal Affairs, which I been planning on doing since seeing The Departed. As I had heard, it was pretty much the some story as The Departed, but even taking that into account, I think that they stand on their own as movies. It was nice looking, with great action, nice cinematography and a well-paced story. I also appreciate the fact that the American remake wasn’t terrible as American remakes generally are. I like the confusing nature of the plot (not quite as confusing as the first time around in The Departed, but still) and there is some great bloodshed!

Infernal Affairs stars the “always great” Tony Leung and Andy Lau (who I’m not particularly familiar with), it also starred Anthony Wong (from favorites Hard Boiled and Full-Time Killers) as the police boss, S.P. Wong, who was my favorite character, but sadly, for those of us who’ve seen The Departed… Well, we know what’s in store…



you shave with toast

After much anticipation, we watched The Science of Sleep. I’m not totally decided about it. It is pretty clever and fun, but it is another one of those where the lead character is a rather unlikable and unsympathetic loser. Beginning in the studio of Stephane TV, we meet Stephane. Stephane is an artist and after being absent for many years he arrives at his mothers in Paris after the death of his father because his mother has told him of a job at a calendar publisher. He thinks that this might be is big chance to get his calendar published. He has put together calendar of cartoonish disasters that is a hokey yet terrible yet fun collection of silly drawings called “Intestino Grues”.

 

Science of Sleep

 

He gets there to find that the job was a put on. It is a job, but it is actually typesetting the calendars, not “creative” work. He also finds a girl living in the apartment right next to his who he, of course, falls for and who shares his obsession with making little things and fantasy. The boy/girl things starts of quite hesitantly, with Stephane living it in is dreamworld and Stephanie being sort of uninterested. The job doesn’t start of hesitantly, he is thrown right into the midst of a bunch of nuts who waste no time having fun with him by suggesting he show his calendar idea to the boss. But they become his friends of sorts, especially Guy who he becomes very close with and who tries (in his own inappropriate fashion) to get Stephane to get his act together, especially in regards to mater of the heart. From here, the story progresses, but half of it takes place in his dreamworld (which frequently crosses over into his waking world) like at his studio for Stephane tv. The movie can go back and forth quite abruptly from real life to not real, sometimes quiet clearly, sometimes there is little sign at all. The dream sequences themselves are quite good, all props and stop motion and overflowing with activity and certainly the manifestations of all of his childlike fears and desires for revenge The movie is quite cute, with fun and clever set design and great props (lots of fabric creatures milling about) , but I found that Stephane’s continual dreamworlds, made him seem a bit pathetic, though there are some nice scenes with him and Stephanie. In addition to the great visuals, there are some good supporting characters, especially Guy, who I found to be one of the highs point of the film.

We watched Straw Dogs tonight, a film that I’ve been reading about a lot these days, and one of Peckinpah’s classics. Well it was quite fine. Dustin Hoffman is an American who has married a English woman and moved into the British countryside (to a town where she used to spend lots of time) to, once again, write a book. The locals don’t seem too friendly and a number of them seem to have pre-existing attractions for his wife. I couldn’t help get over my general dislike for Dustin Hoffman’s character. He treats his wife badly and, as the locals seem a bit cool towards him, he doesn’t do anything to warm them up. The movie starts out fairly slowly and we just get used to Dustin being kind of uptight. He is basically a jerky fish out of water and, when things start going on, he gets paranoid but not paranoid enough, as he is also a coward who finally gets his bravery up at the wrong time and for the wrong reason. I suppose that’s the point to the movie: a “meek” city fellow who tries to avoid any conflict he can, but then breaks. I had felt from what I had read that it was a slow breakdown, but in actuality he seemed equally lame until he finds his cause, then the movie gets quite fun. There are some good local characters and it also features, yet again, David Warner, who always makes me want to watch Time Bandits again.

And to complete an old thought. As I stated a few months ago, in Collecting Online Collections, I felt that there was an online space missing for cataloging albums that included the kind of LP’s that I tend to have. Well, yesterday I stumbled on a great one (which strangely enough, is local,) called discogs.com. It seems to be a great place to catalog your music (including LP’s which is what I am most interested in doing), and to buy and sell things. So I’ve spent a lot of the last day putting LP’s up there, something that gets a bit tricky due to a couple of things: 1) I only have about 25% of my LP’s with me and 2) of the LP’s that I tried to add to my collection, fully a third of the ones I’ve looked up aren’t listed. That is fine, as I can certainly submit them, but it does make the process take quite a bit longer.



you, them and the soup

So we watched another great documentary, it is called I Like Killing Flies and it is about this fellow Kenny Shopsin and his restaurant in the village, Shopsins’. The restaurant is one of those places that is just an extension of the man who has run it and cooked the food for 32 years. And what a fellow! A great example of what is best about New Yorkers… Honest, straightforward, confident, with no BS and no capacity to put up with BS. He turned his teeny little storefront into what looks like a wondrous restaurant with, literally, hundreds of menu items (including some of the most exciting pancakes I’ve seen since the Globe in Seattle) and an incredibly loyal clientèle of regulars. Sadly, this movie was made at a point where it had become obvious that the restaurant had to move to a new spot so this film is kind of a homage to Kenny and his restaurant and it’s trusty and homey old space.

 

Kenny Shopsin

 

Kenny is a lot of fun and full of opinions and the wisdom of common sense, his family also all work in the restaurant and appear in the film, along with interviews of many of the regulars, all of which adds a good deal to the subject. Though at the end of the movie, they moved to a much different much larger space… The next time that I am in the City, it will be my number one place to go. As an added surprise, an old friends of Cait’s who used to work at Shopsin’s (but now has his own restaurant in Brooklyn) has a brief appearance.

This week we took a little break and we went off to the beach for a few days. It was a nice spot, somewhere I’d never been before… Pacific City, with a side trip up to Cape Mears. Of course, I took some pictures (mainly of the baby) that are up at my Flickr page, but more to the point, we watched three movies while we were down there!

First off, we watched Funny Farm. It wasn’t particularly funny, but it was alright and pretty much typical Chevy Chase fare. So I do find that to be fairly entertaining and charming, at least. We primarily watched it because it took place in Vermont. The story of a couple from the city who buy a house in Vermont to get back to nature, write and raise a family. Of course, everything goes wrong. Wrong in a totally overboard Chevy Chase fashion! He gets into conflict with his publisher, his wife, the locals, makes multitudes of dumb mistakes, and just wreaks general havoc.

We also watched one of my old favorites, True Romance. I do forgive the fact that it is one of Tarantino’s early writing credits because it’s soo damned good and because his writing was still entertaining when it was just writing and not a boring “Tarantino-thing” like they have now. It’s a tale of a true love, in a crazy love fashion. When Clarence meets a cutie at a Sonny Chiba triple-feature, they decide to flee from her “business associate” (Gary Oldman) and run off with some of his drugs. Of course, they are chased cross country by James Gandolfini (who is working for Christopher Walken!), and they cross paths with Brad Pitt (in his best role), Dennis Hopper, and more (including Val Kilmer as the Elvis of the mind)… It has a great cast and the movie is non-stop action: guns, fights, drugs, the mafia, the police, pimps, drug dealers… It just goes on and on as the movie gets more overboard and more violent. Strongly recommended for anyone who wants a great fun action movie with fun dialogue and fun characters.

We also watched Dreamcatcher. Easily one of the best Stephen King films I’ve seen yet. Admittedly, it is probably also the most commercial and Hollywood one too, but I’ve never really appreciated the cheapness of most of his movies, so it was nice to see one that was done up big. It is a fun and interesting alien invasion story, the aliens are cool and different from what we’re used to, with some rather unusual alien tricks and great special effects. The movie is filled with the standard interesting and fun Stephen King characters, but better played than normally. The story of 4 friends who long ago each got a “special power” from Dudditz (a surprising appearance of Donnie Walburg), a strange boy they met and came to the rescue of when they were kids. Now, 20 years later and at their hunting lodge, they fall into the line of a violent alien invasion and the violent military reprisal. Trying to avoid the aliens, escape and also save the world, becomes a big task. Are our heroes up for it?



you could at least come back for the milking

What do you get if you let a girl out into the big world, she gets attacked and killed and then her killers unknowingly seek refuge at her parents house? Yes, you do get Last House on the Left, but in this case Ingmar Bergman brings it back 700 years and you get the story of Virgin Spring!

Max von Sydow is awesome as Töre, a pious Scandinavian farmer who sends his virginal daughter to the village to bring candles to the church. Of course, this trip is presaged with much direness from her mother who tries to dissuade Pa from sending off their only remaining child. But off she goes, with the local fallen woman as a companion.

 

Virgin Spring

 

Virgin Spring is a beautiful film, the crisp black and white rural footage brings to mind a peaceful fairy tale, but, as with most fairy tales, this one ends up quite unpeacefully. The fallen women is such due to being attacked and though she also has great bitterness to Karin, the blessed daughter, she also is quite free with many warnings of how Karin should watch her behavior and be wary of men. But Karin is a proud maiden, good natured, trusting and more then a bit naive. On the journey, they meet a number of fellows, but nothing to worry the brave Karin on her godly mission.

 

Virgin Spring

 

The other soon overwhelms herself with her warnings and she bows out of the journey, fearing for what might lay ahead and leaving Karin to trot off on her own. Of course, she is set upon by three scoundrels who she offers to share her lunch with, but they have other activities in mind.

 

Virgin Spring

 

At times, it seems a morality tale on the sins of pride, but one could also view it as a case of “god drops lots of misery on people who don’t deserve it”. And there is some good god-stuff in it. The crucifix in the house is totally horrifying and rad, the bad girl speaks continually of Odin (an old fashioned kind of girl) and the ending is one of those great and crazy “humility before god” scenes.

But on a more human note, it is filled with pride, guilt, remorse and sadness, and it is actually a sad and touching movie. But it’s also got the goods as Töre unleashes his hard-earned parental revenge prerogative. It is also quite entertaining, there are great characters, some great lines (“live out your wretched little life , the way god allows all of us to live” and “then give me a thrashing and nothing to eat” stand out) and it’s just great to look at.

 

Virgin Spring

 



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You scored as: atheism
You are... an atheist, though you probably already knew this. Also, you probably have several people praying daily for your soul.
Instead of simply being "nonreligious," atheists strongly believe in the lack of existence of a higher being, or God.
Vitruvian Man

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