The Cove

 Posted by at 3:36 am  3 Responses »
Jan 092011
 

Tl;dr – The Cove is “Bowling for Columbine” for dolphins.

Okay, here we go. Every couple of years, a documentary comes around that is touted as “important” – a word that in the film industry is code for “soul-crushing”. In 2009, that movie was The Cove. To no one’s surprise, it won the Oscar for Best Documentary and, like most “important” documentaries, large-toothed men in non-black suits and cowboy hats accused it of being fabricated propaganda. But all that is neither here nor there.

What is both here and there is that you should really probably watch this movie.

First, a little clarification: I wouldn’t call myself a “dolphin-lover”. I don’t own a sweet-ass dolphin necklace or a poster or a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper. I’ve never even been to Sea World. In fact, when I think about dolphins, the first thing that comes to mind is this bizarre half-formed memory of being sick and shitting my pants while watching Flipper when I was little (it was last week). This is not to say that I’m dolphin-ignorant. I’ve seen Planet Earth. I’m fully aware that dolphins are one set of thumbs away from sending us back to the fuckin’ trees. I guess I’d describe my emotional relationship to dolphins as one of cautious respect.

That being said, The Cove straight fucked me up. Plus, now I’m totally gay for dolphins.

Here’s the skinny: In the 1960s a dude named Ric O’Barry captured and trained the dolphins that played Flipper (ugh…there’s that feeling again…gross). Basically, Flipper did for dolphins what the Taco Bell dog did for chihuahuas – people went batshit. So insatiable was the public’s appetite for frolicking, subservient dolphins that the marine entertainment industry exploded overnight.

Fast forward a few years. After some incredibly uncool shit goes down (which I won’t spoil for you), Ric O’Barry comes to the realization that this multi-billion dollar industry that he had a hand in creating is completely fucked up on every level imaginable so he does what anyone would do – he becomes a crazy-ass activist.

Director Louie Psihoyos and a group of guerrilla filmmakers team up with O’Barry and head to Taiji, Japan – the hub of the dolphin industry where every September, during their migration, dolphins are herded into a “secret cove” and captured by local fishermen. Some are sold to trainers and parks and some are sold for food. And according to O’Barry, shit gets pretty fucked.

In a shocking twist, O’Barry is not an insane person. Everything he said is true. After infiltrating the cove under the cover of darkness and setting up hidden cameras, the filmmakers capture events so flat-out abhorrent, they must be seen to be believed.

Ultimately, my list of reasons you should watch The Cove reads a lot like a list of reasons not to. I’m not going to lie to you – it’s a huge fucking bummer. But it’s an important bummer. You should really watch it.

I give it 5 out of 5 perfect spirals from Dan Marino. (Get it? He played for the Miami Dolphins. I’m trying to butch up after this teary sniffle-fest.)

Teeth

 Posted by at 1:21 am  2 Responses »
Jun 282010
 

Looking at the movie poster for “Teeth” with its artful use of negative space and understated Sundance Special Jury Prize, you may get the impression that someone “finally got it right”. But don’t be fooled – “Teeth” is just another cookie-cutter, film-by-numbers, money-making juggernaut in the tired and worn “Girls With Teeth In Their Vaginas” genre that has dominated theaters for the last decade.

I get it. You have teeth in your vagina. Big fucking whoop. It’s been done to death. Next.

What blows my mind is that of the 237 some odd movies that make up this grossly over-saturated genre, none of them have the balls to venture off the beaten path for even a moment. There’s a million things that could be done outside of the standard “Girl has teeth in her vagina -> Girl bites a bunch of rapist’s dicks off -> We all learn a very important lesson about not raping girls because they might have teeth in their vagina that will bite your fucking rapist dick off” formula.

For instance, what if one of the vag-teeth got a cavity? You could have a really captivating sub-plot involving the HMO arguing that technically, it’s neither dental nor gynecological exclusively, so they deny the claim. These are the sorts of issues that affect those who suffer from Vagina Dentada on a daily basis. Perhaps instead of exploiting these poor girls, making them the punchline of every single joke on late night TV, we should turn an understanding eye to them and, oh I don’t know, maybe try to help them. I’m looking in your direction, Science. I know that a douche that also whitens isn’t impossible. So what’s the hold-up?

Alright, this is getting progressively less funny. Go watch Teeth. It’s fucking amazing.

Oh…and try singing “Vagina Dentada” to the tune of “Hakuna Matada”. It’ll be in your head all day. You’re welcome.

I give Teeth 9 out of 10 munched up dicks. OM NOM NOM.

Death Warrant

 Posted by at 3:19 am  2 Responses »
Apr 232010
 

There’s just no two ways about it – Death Warrant is fucking bizarre.

Here’s the deal – JCVD is a Canadian cop. He hunts down some crazy dude that I guess killed some people (it’s never really explained) nicknamed The Sandman (also never explained). JCVD shoots him a bunch of times in the chest but it doesn’t kill him for some reason and I guess he’s arrested (he looked pretty dead but he shows up later quite alive so whatever).

Okay, jump ahead an oddly specific 16 months. A bunch of inmates are turning up dead in prison, so the governor of California (I think?) decides to hire JCVD to go undercover as an inmate and get the scoop. Some stuck up lady is his liaison posing as his wife. Their shitty attitudes towards each other assure us that they will never bone, so later when they do bone, it’s a surprise.

So JCVD goes undercover to a prison where there are four guards, the cell doors never close, everyone has knives and guns, and the general atmosphere is pretty much that of the Mos Eisley Cantina.

So after doing karate to a lot of people and things, JCVD finds out who’s been killing inmates and why. Unfortunately, as soon as he does, The Sandman shows up and tells everyone he’s a cop so everyone tries to kill him and A LOT of karate happens. Then JCVD wins and escapes and does some big time make-outs with the girl he didn’t like.

The whole thing really plays out like a super fucked up kid making up a story. Shit just kind of happens and everything is inexplicably surreal. Considering the myriad of completely badass movies in the JCVD catalogue, there’s really no reason you need to watch this. Unless you’re going as a Bajoran for Halloween and you want to use utter confusion to help you practice wrinkling up your nose. (Star Wars and DS9 references in the same review? AND during JCVD week? That’s fucked up!)

I give Death Warrant 2 jugs of toilet wine out of a possible 10 jugs of toilet wine.

Antichrist

 Posted by at 6:08 pm  1 Response »
Mar 302010
 

What in the sweet fuck did I just watch?

My bewildered queasiness is somewhat my own fault. When this movie opened with a black and white slow motion scene of Willem DaFoe boning a chick that looks like Joseph Gordon-Levitt while a baby jumps out a window, I should have known right away that nothing good could come of this. Hell, I should have known the second I saw a black and white Willem DaFoe. Problem is – I’m a fucking idiot. So I just kept on munching my Family Time Gourmet Hot Cheese Popcorn™ all like “I wonder when the demons are gonna show up derpa derpa derp I like movies”.

After being lulled into a false sense of security by a confusing, dynamically odd, and downright boring first hour (in which there is a lot of crying and weird fucking and silence), I was ready for some action. “Bring it on!” I seemed to say with my cheesecorn filled fist. The film obliged by showing me a deer with a stillborn fawn hanging out of its vag, apropos of nothing. This came suddenly and gave me pause, but being the asshole I am, I laughed it off as a weak attempt at a metaphor-laden gross-out preluding awesome demonic gore.

“Ha!”, I sneered. “Is that all you got Lars Von Trier, critically acclaimed Danish director of such stunningly artful films as ‘Dogville’ and ‘Dancer in the Dark’?!”

I could almost hear Lars himself say “Alright, faggot. Buckle the fuck up.”

It was then that I stared in silence, mouth agape, as I was optically assaulted by two scenes that regrettably, I can never un-see.

Seeing as these scenes are the only interesting things that happen in the movie, they may be considered spoilers. Click here if you want to read them. ▼

It should be noted that neither of these scenes are merely suggested. There is no cut-away to a screaming face, leaving us to fill in what happened with our imaginations. Just a steady camera shot capturing the events. Absolutely fucking horrifying on a level so primal that my lizard brain wanted to barf.

And to what end did I sit through these jaw-droppingly abhorrent scenes? Other than showcasing the great advancements in labia prostheses, they essentially served no purpose. They were just horrible, fucked-up, vomit-inducing things that happened. Then, a little while later, the movie just sort of ends without explaining anything.

I’m sure some would argue that the myriad of bizarre happenings in this movie can be chalked up to symbolism, but you know what? Fuck that. I’m not that smart. That’s why I watch movies called “Antichrist”.

And in case you’re wondering, no – there are no demons or devil-babies or sacrifices or secret cults. There’s not even an appearance by the Antichrist himself, which may seem weird being that the movie is named after him, but is understandable considering he’s never even mentioned in passing. This movie should have been called “Dead Babies Make You Do The Darndest Things” or “Hey, Do You Never Want To Be Able To Get A Boner Ever Again? Watch This Movie”.

I give Antichrist 2 out of 5 buckets filled to the brim with vomit (the vomit symbolizes the fact that this movie made me vomit).

Deadgirl

 Posted by at 4:14 am  1 Response »
Feb 062010
 

I was having trouble sleeping last night, so I decided to browse through the ol’ Watch Instantly queue to find a movie that would facilitate my brain’s wind-down process – marginally entertaining but not at all thought-provoking – preferably with some goofy gore and bad acting. I came across a movie called “Deadgirl” with the following description:

After skipping school and breaking into the boiler room of a deserted mental hospital, buddies Rickie and JT make a shocking discovery: the plastic-covered naked body of a woman lying on a gurney.

Perfect. First of all, when your lead characters are named Rickie and JT, you can be pretty sure you got some zany misadventures coming your way. When those characters skip school to not only go to the “spooky deserted mental hospital” but break into its even spookier boiler room? Hijinks abound, friend! And what of this naked dead chick? Uh oh…I hope she’s not a zombie or a…*gulp*…g-g-g-ghost.

Assuming I was about to watch either a ripoff of Return of the Living Dead III or The Ring (depending on whether the girl was a zombie or a ghost respectively), I settled in, shut off my brain, and hit play.

Holy crap was I ever wrong.

At its core, this movie is about one thing and one thing only: deranged high school kids continually raping a restrained comatose girl in a basement.

That being said, let’s mince words a little.

In the beginning, Ricky and JT are pretty much what you expect – troubled teenagers from broken homes (homes that may or may not be located on the wrong side of the tracks). After causing some general ruckus in the abandoned mental hospital, they come upon the dead girl in the basement. (The Netflix synopsis is accurate so far.) After a lot of “holy shit, dude” and “what the fuck don’t touch her i’ll touch her no don’t oh my god”, the “dead” girl takes a gasp of air and the boys realize she’s actually “alive”. Upon this realization, the standard movie “bad boy” archetype flies out the window when JT decides the only logical thing to do in this situation is to have sex with her. Rickie makes a valid point to JT that perhaps it is fundamentally wrong to rape a semi-conscious naked girl you just found chained up in a basement. JT disagrees with this assertion and punches Rickie in the face. Rickie deals with this by going home and not calling the police.

Rickie spends the next hour of the movie sulking and meandering about town, mumbling trite unprovoked nihilistic quips to unhip adults and pining for a girl that doesn’t return his affection (most likely because he’s an insufferable mopey jerk-off). JT, on the other hand, recruits his Spicoli-esque yet equally depraved buddy Wheeler to spend the next hour of the movie fucking, punching, and shooting the restrained unkillable zombie girl.

Now we have to clear something up. Is “Deadgirl” a misogynistic exploitative piece of garbage glorifying bondage and rape? Absolutely not, but it is by no means tasteful.

PRO: Despite the fact that the entire movie revolves around this zombie girl unwillingly getting a train busted on her, there aren’t any graphic depictions of the act itself. (There is, however, a shot featuring a pretty out of control merkin.)

CON: We are reminded a few times by JT that “she isn’t really human”, but seeing as how her mannerisms are more akin to those of a doped-up mute college girl than those of your typical movie zombie (e.g. biting, growling, proclaiming a hunger for brains), you often find your self thinking “Why the fuck is any of this even happening right now and why am I watching it?”

I could go back and forth on this for hours but I guess what it all really boils down to is this: If you do not believe “artistic expression” justifies the depiction of deplorable acts, you should really just save your outrage and not watch this movie. You should also not watch this movie if you are my mother. (Seriously, Mom, I will never be able to look you in the eye again. I hear “Julie & Julia” is cute. Go watch that.)

However, if you feel that you can conscionably view flagrant atrocities by reminding yourself that in an “artistic sense”, they serve to explore the theme of man’s innate cruelty and barbarism when left unchecked, or more accurately, serve to explore the theme of self-discovery and empowerment by way of sadism, sexual dominance, and necrophilia, go ahead and give this one a go. But be prepared to have your sensibilities challenged. (Also be prepared for the urge to punch every single character in this movie in their stupid mouths. It’s a veritable 3 ring circus of douchebaggery.)

If you are a pretentious film student that only watches indie flicks, thinks everything should “push the envelope”, and enjoys aggrandizing mediocre films by comparing aspects to literature and mythos (e.g. “the dog in this film represents the Egyptian god of the underworld Anubis in that he stands guard over the room in which the dead girl resides), then guess what – you just got a new favorite movie.

You will also probably really like this movie if you’re a rapist.

I give this movie 10 out of 5 uncomfortable furrowed brows.