Saturday, May 21, 2016

THE END OF THE TOUR(directed by James Ponsoldt) offers a glimpse into world of journalism, literary culture, and celebrity


This engaging film is built on contradictions. A 'serious' writer works for Rolling Stone magazine devoted to Pop Music. He is assigned to interview a 'reclusive' writer of a 1000 pg novel who has the physical presence of a hulk, the personality of a dork. David Foster Wallace is a one-man cat-and-mouse game. A passive-aggressive internal drama queen(beauty-in-the-beast) who seems to both seek out and run from celebrity. Too philosophical for the dominant pop sensibility, too juvenile to rise above hipsterism. Done without sentimentalism and sensationalism. It is also about clever Jew and messed-up Aryan and might make an interesting double-feature to A DANGEROUS METHOD. Solid film.

Rating: 3/5

KRAMPUS(directed by dorky Michael Dougherty) Mixes Horror with Holiday


Sort of imaginative in the way of Tim-Burton-Terry-Gilliam that I care for not. Mostly fast-forwarded through this lousy movie. Given the degeneration of Christmas into Black-Friday-Walmart-Riots, maybe Krampus the monster better represents the spirit of our age than Santy does. But what might have been a cute 20 minute short film slogs on for feature length, and there simply isn't enough material or talent to hold our interest.

Rating: 1/5.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

PRINCESS BRIDE(directed by Rob Reiner) Is Goofy Fun


This is reportedly Ted Cruz's favorite movie, of which he can quote every line. I can see why. If ever a movie was made for dufuses, this is it. But it is a very fun and entertaining movie for dufuses, and it has at least two or three very inspired scenes: The first duel, the battle of wits, and the rescue at the end when the romantic hero summons a weird combo of skill, strength, and wits amidst his semi-paralyzed state to overcome the evil prince's plot and save his damsel in distress. Not a pretty movie except for the romantic leads. One wonders which character Cruz identifies with most. The dashing hero? Or the cunning and conniving villains. Or one of many freaks? Probably all of them.

Rating: 3/5

BRIDGE OF SPIES(by Steven Spielberg) is combination of John Le Carre and Norman Rockwell


What is it about the Spielberg touch? Even when you know he's making schmaltz, it can be irresistible as it is here. This movie is a bridge between genre cliches and grim realities. It ventures just beyond the comfort zone to feel the freeze but steps back inside to avoid frostbite. It's that ingenious balance of warm glow and frigid winds that makes Spielberg's 'serious films' appealing to middlebrow sensibilities. There's something that passes for ambiguity, but it's ambiguity 101, an introductory course accessible to all willing to make a modicum of effort. At any rate, Spielberg's mastery is such that everything he does now looks effortless. You won't learn much about real history, but BRIDGE is still more intelligent than most movies out there. And certainly more entertaining.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, May 16, 2016

JURASSIC WORLD sucks like the new STAR WARS movie.


This movie sucks for the same reason the new STAR WARS movie does. The wonder is gone. Magic is just an afterthought. The first JURASSIC movie was full of surprises in vision and technology. Already, the second one had little more to add and soon turned into parody. Third one wasn't even directed by Spielberg. It was T-Rex on the loose once more to snatch up some more dough into its jaws.
So, what does the latest installment have to offer? Only more advanced computer graphics. So, we have tons of dinosaurs stampeding and flying all over the place. The whole thing looks like a video-game with characters who only register as pairs of legs. The tasteless 'Trevor Lynch' of Counter-Currents defends JURASSIC WORLD because it has lots of white heroes(while denouncing the new STAR WARS for diversity-mongering), but both movies are terrible to the bone as cynical exercises in purse-snatching.

Rating: 1/5

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A SPECIAL DAY(with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni) Is a Special Film. Directed by Ettore Scola.


The kind of intelligent humanist film we almost don't see anymore. Mastroinni plays a fruitkin leftist preparing to be exiled by Fascist authorities on the day Hitler arrives in Italy. The entire film takes place in a tenement complex and uses some of the devices made famous by Hitchcock in REAR WINDOW. It makes us think about history as heroic vision(as promulgated by propaganda and myth) and as private lives with weaknesses and vulnerabilities that makes people what they really are.

Rating: 4/5

MACBETH(with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard) is Muck-Death


This overblown movie cannot make up its mind. It tries to be art film, fashion statement, Hollywood spectacle, faithful adaptation, free-flowing visual feast, etc. It is at once too faithful and too licentious. The result is a confused mess. It has some impressive cinematography, but the images do not rise about chicness, prettiness, and obviousness.
The general rule for film-makers should be, If you don't have a clear idea(or ample talent), just stick to the spirit and substance of the material. Don't bet on lots of gratuitous style and razzle-dazzle making up for lack of focus and vision. A lot of talent went into this production, but it went to waste in the hands of a hack trying to be an auteur. Justin Kurzel is to art film what J.J. Abrams is to the blockbuster. Mere shadows of real talents.

Rating: 1/5

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS puts me to sleep


This is surely the worst STAR WARS movie, if indeed it could be included in the 'canon'. The sense of wonderment is gone. In what is now an all-too-familiar universe, there is nothing left but more chases and explosions. J.J. Abrams the director treats the material like bowling. Scene after scene, he sets up the pieces, rolls the ball, and watches things fall apart. He makes Michael Bay look like a genius.
The characters are so thin and the plot thinner that they make Lucas' treatment seem Shakespearean in comparison. The fact that so many critics and moviegoers fell for this junk(for reasons of PC or sheer stupidity) is proof that morons rule the world. Genuinely impressive sci-fi films like ENDER'S GAME and TOMORROWLAND failed at the box office. Hype trumps honest talent.

The only nice scene is when Han Solo and Chewy make their entrance. Like the saying goes, "In the land of the blind, one-eyed man is king." In a culture where everything is one-dimensional, two-dimensional heroes are next to godliness. There is more intelligence and intelligibility in Chewy's bawl than in all the jabbering among the insipid characters. Btw, why does Han Solo's kid look like a Jewish John Travolta?

I knew this would be bad, but I had no idea it would be this bad. It's up there with BATTLEFIELD EARTH.

Rating: 1/5

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spotlight(by Tom McCarthy) Is an Intelligently Dull Movie.


This wants to be regarded as an 'intelligent' movie, and I guess it is. It eschews sensationalism and feels at times more like a European film or a low-budget Cable TV movie centered on dialogue and characters than suspense, thrills, and fireworks. Okay, so this feels more 'intelligent' than most other movies. So, it didn't exploit the sensationalist elements of the subject matter. Still, what does this movie offer that couldn't have been conveyed in a magazine article?

ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, accurate or not, made the investigation feel engaging and alive. Here, we just see people doing their job in mundane manner. Maybe that is closer to the truth, but we sort of know that already, i.e. work is about daily routine and patience. If this movie wants to pat itself on the back for being honest about the nature of work --- that the truth slowly emerges in bits and pieces than as earthshaking revelation, and there is no Eureka moment --- , that's all fine and well. But it doesn't tell us anything we didn't know already.

By the way, why this focus on the Catholic Church? If Hollywood is really daring, how about blowing the whistle on all the crooked stuff done by Jews that have had a far worse impact on American Society? But oh, that would be 'antisemitic'.

Rating: 3/5

Sicario(by Denis Villeneuve) Is a Sick and Slick Exercise Combining Seriousness with Sensationalism


Villeneuve is a real pro, and his treatment of Sicario is a sleek streamlined piece of machinery. It is also soulless and predictable. Why did it need the Emily Blunt character who only stands around as an observer? The mystery man played by Del Toro has aura and presence but nothing of interest or depth. But of course, he is mysterious. If the point of the film is that the Drug War is a real mess characterized by lots of moral grey areas, I think we know that already. Better off reading an article than watching this movie.

Rating: 2/5

The Big Short(by Adam McKay) Is a Rigged Game that Blames Everyone but the Jew


The biggest Jew-Wash movie since SOCIAL NETWORK. Everyone heard something of the financial disaster of 2008. So, who were behind it? This movie pretends to name names and reveal who's who, but the overriding agenda is to hide the Jewish faces. The Jewish identity of those involved in the fraud are never mentioned, BUT we are explicitly made aware that one of the truth-hunters is JEWISH. You see, Jews have faces when they have conscience but are faceless when robbing the world blind. So, we see Mr. Jewish Conscience tackle with all these fraudsters. The face of Goldman Sachs is some Asian-Indian guy. Morgan Stanley is represented by a black woman. The face of CDO fraud is some grinning yellow guy. Meanwhile, we see the Mr. Jewish Conscience feel outraged by all the dirty tricks pulled by banks and investors. Of course, the only reason he's hunting for the 'truth' is he wants to cash in big by betting on the right horse. But you see, this Jewish guy is all about conscience, so at the very end, when he decides to cash in on his loot, we see him filled with so much angst and doubt. Oh boo hoo hoo, because Jews care oh so very much of course and don't want to profit off the misery of others.

And we get the usual tripe about how the nation blames 'poor people' and 'immigrants' when times go bad. Okay, how about instead of blaming the poor and the immigrant community, we blamed the urban liberal community made up largely of rich Jews? Let's attack the most powerful and most privileged people in America. Would that be better? But then, this is the very movie that obfuscated Jewish role in the financial disaster by using Asian-Indian, black woman, East Asian, and lower-end white peddlers of home loans for the disaster. Foul ugly movie. It should be called Big Snort. Cocaine for those who would be duped by Jews and their gentile cucks who worked on this trash. But it's fun to watch at least.

Rating: 2/5

Diary of a Teenage Girl(by Phoebe Gloeckner and Marielle Heller) Is Like Being Trapped in a Robert Crumb Comic Book. Ewwww.


A foul disgusting movie about some dumpling-faced girl who loves playing slut to her mother's boyfriend... or that's what I made of it while fast-forwarding through the ugly mess.  The girl looks like Paul Giametti with a wig, and I kept wondering... what do I care whom she screws? Set in 1976 around the Bay Area. They say California is a harbinger of trends in the rest of the country, and the sexually retarded behavior in this movie is now the national norm among millennials. Truly an Ugh kind of movie. Ugh.
Watch Ghost World instead. That one is a masterpiece.

Rating: 1/5

Hara-Kiri(Remake By Takashi Miike) Is Just Okay Enough to Spare Miike from Committing Seppuku Himself


Unnecessary but creditable remake of Masaki Kobayashi's masterpiece. Directed by Miike, most famous for mindless exercises in sleaze and sadism. The opening segment features an impressive balance of stylistics and somberness, the long middle section told in flashback is adequate but flat, and the finale is exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness. But given the terribleness of most remakes, this one deserves at least the recognition of 'interesting try'.

Rating: 3/5

Monday, March 21, 2016

SLOW WEST(by John Maclean) Is a Real Gem of a Western. It's like finding a diamond while unsuccessfully mining for gold.


You are on a personal journey in search of your true love. You have left your homeland, crossed an ocean, and trusted your life to a mysterious gunfighter who guides you across unknown territory. Everyone has his own sense of personal destiny. But what of cosmic destiny? What if your true love feels no true love for you? What if the stars really meant for you to serve as guide to your guide as the one destined to be her lover? Absurdly romantic.

Rating: 5/5.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

THE WORLD OF KANAKO(by Akio Fukamachi & Tetsuya Nakashima) Is a Sicko Movie with Something to Show If Not Say.


A rancid movie. Ugly and degenerate. A like-father-like-daughter tale of amorality, cruelty, and hypocrisy.
Innocent-looking cutie is rotten to the core. More fille-fatale than femme-fatale. Yet, the complete lack of soul is presented as a kind of purity. Zen of degeneracy. Reminds us of the amoral homo-samurai of GOHATTO by Nagisa Oshima. Amorality that never blinks first. Bubblegum Condom Zen. Portrait of a vapid and insipid society, it shows how the cult of beauty paradoxically turns into celebration of ugliness. If beauty is license to do anything, then it can do the ugliest things, and the world will be an ugly place. Often sickening to watch but striking as directorial effort, with some brilliant passages.

Rating: 3/5.

Friday, March 18, 2016

STEVE JOBS(by Aaron Sorkin & Danny Boyle) Is Compulsively Watchable but Most Likely Full of Baloney


Compulsively watchable. Sorkin is a first-rate hack. Boyle is a pro's pro. Instead of trying to tell the whole story, foolish and impossible in two hours, the movie focuses on a few key themes of Jobs' life and myth by highlighting the backstage shenanigans of Jobs' hype campaigns. Expertly done but no surprises. Intelligence and talent in the service of trite truisms about success in career and failure in life.

Rating: 3/5.