Archive for the 'Movie Reviews' Category

I’ve Seen the Future, and It Was in 3-D

Josh and I were lucky enough to see the masterpiece film Piranha 3D the day it came out. The crowd at San Diego’s premier theater was rather small, but the movie was anything but.

I will sum up the 89 minute film for you in two pictures:

Girls! Girls! Girls!

Gore! Gore! Gore!

Really, what more could you want??

Basically, the “plot” reads as thus: right before college spring-breakers invade Lake Victoria, a sudden earthquake releases prehistoric piranhas into the water. The local town sheriff must save as many people as possible…including her children!

To say the movie was entertaining is an understatement. To say it’s in the vein of campy horror films is incorrect, because it is one. A delicious mix of Russ Meyer and Herschell Gordon Lewis, there’s enough nudity, gore, humor, cheesy dialogue and sheer ridiculous-ness to fill three movies. And it’s all in glorious 3D! In a scene like this, you get a contact high!

Piranha 3D‘s success stems from the fact that it know exactly what it is, and full on embraces it. Half way through the film there is an absolute massacre, with hungry, prehistoric piranhas killing hundreds of partying teenagers. A head is smashed, a body is completely sliced through, a girl’s face is ripped off after her hair becomes tangled in a boat motor, bodies fall apart, a piranha eats through someone’s stomach/esophagus and exits via their mouth…all in 3D! Still not convinced that Piranha 3D is the best movie of the summer/year? There’s a silly subplot about a Joe Francis-esque soft corn porn-maker, and we watch his two models (pictured above) cavort, naked, underwater, to classical music for solid minute.

So, friends and film-aficionados, I urge to see Piranha 3D as fast as you can. Run, don’t walk, etc., etc….you won’t be sorry.

(Oh, but don’t don’t bother staying after the credits. We I did in hopes for one last hit of camp, but it turns out, there wasn’t anything there.)

Summer Movies

Hi Bosh. So sorry for leaving you neglected for an entire month. I think that this is the longest time since your conception that you’ve been alone. I hope that you can get over this unfortunate incident, and won’t require any therapy in the future. Let’s look at the bright side, we’re all back together now, so there’s no need to fret!

As an apology gift, I made this for you:

I was going to make it our header, but I decided that it was too busy. I hope that you like it, and that it reminds you of some of the happy times we’ve shared.

But, moving on…

Let’s talk about something more exciting! Something like…summer movies!

You probably won’t be surprised at all to learn that the “summer movies” I’m talking about aren’t Eclipse, Prince of Persia, or Sex and the City 2…but that’s why you love me, right?

So, without further ado,

Elaine’s Most Anticipated 2010 Summer Movies:

1) The Human Centipede

I’ve been following THC hype for quite a few months now, and finally, this twisted little piece of filth is being toured around the country, to be pointed at and mocked, just like it deserves. What? You’ve not heard of The Human Centipede? Well, I think we all know by now that this is a family website, so I won’t go into the details here, but please, read up at the film’s website. Obviously, this is the type of movie that is not getting a wide release (not even a limited release!), so be sure to see it when it comes to your town!

2) Life During Wartime

Todd Solondz is exactly the kind of freak that I love. This is the mind that brought you Welcome to the Dollhouse, Palindromes, Storytelling, and the ultimate in darker-than-dark-comedy, Happiness. To that very film, he’s created a sequel, catching up with the three sisters and their fucked-up lives’. Starring Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) and Ally Sheedy, this is sure to be most horrific comedy of the summer! (Limited release starts July 23.)

3) Piranha 3D

IMDb gives the synopsis to this sure-to-be ground-breaking film, as:  “After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area’s new razor-toothed residents.” If that alone doesn’t get you excited, then you, dear reader, are dead inside. But truly, only once you watch the trailer will you understand the complete gore filled, camp-fest that Piranha is set up to be. Now: just imagine that in 3D. (Opens August 27.)

4) Love Ranch

I guess that this is a drama, starring Oscar winner Helen Mirren,  based on the real-life events surrounding the opening the first legal brother in Nevada. But all I see, is Gina Gershon in a bikini. (Opens June 30.)

5) Babies

What can I say? Babies are cute! But considering that the four leads can’t talk, I am a little worried the it’ll get boring…but  I always remember that John Waters once said that if a movie gets dull, you can just start to obsess over one detail, like the lamps, and then suddenly, it becomes a whole movie about lamps! This wasn’t a very positive comment on Babies... (Opened May 7.)

6) Trash Humpers

You may be familiar with some of Harmony Kornie’s other films, such as Kids or Gummo (or if you’re really an expert, his fantastically named and impossible to locate short, The Diary of Anne Frank, Part II), and this piece is another look at the most fucked up aspect of culture. It’s about some guys in old-man masks who, among humping trash, smash televisions and steal things. (Technically it’s not a summer 2010 movie since it was made last year, but he seems to be doing an awful lot of touring with it this summer, so I thought I’d include in.) FOR THE RECORD: I have zero interest in seeing this film. I’m just thankful that it exists. (Check the Trash Humpers website to see if the film and Harmony are coming to your city!)

7) Splice

IMdb synopsis: “Elsa and Clive, two young rebellious scientists, defy legal and ethical boundaries and forge ahead with a dangerous experiment: splicing together human and animal DNA to create a new organism. Named “Dren”, the creature rapidly develops from a deformed female infant into a beautiful but dangerous winged human-chimera, who forges a bond with both of her creators – only to have that bond turn deadly.” I’ll never not be excited about stupid movies like this. (Opens June 4.)

8 ) All About Evil

Peaches Christ is the drag queen alter ego of Joshua Granell, a San Francisco based filmmaker. This is his first feature-length film. Before making All About Evil, Joshua ran a summer series that became a staple of the San Francisco film scene called Midnight Mass, in which Peaches Christ would screen the best of cult cinema, featuring elaborate pre-shows and audience interaction. (I think you can see why he appeals to me…) This movie is a love letter to the cult movies that I, Joshua Granell and other freaks around the world adore, with a focus on horror. It stars Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Dekker, Cassandra Petersen (aka Elvira) and Mink Stole. And I have to say, it really touches my heart that here’s this guy, that grew up worshiping John Waters, and now he’s touring the country with Mink Stole, promoting his movie that she starred in! (All About Evil is touring around the country! It’ll be in San Diego on August 21. See if the movie is coming to your city!)

So, those are my summer movie suggestions. But go ahead. Just go see The Karate Kid remake. I won’t judge you for it. Too much.

Lots of love,

Elaine

Bad Movies, Good People

If I am anything, I am a loyal fan. When I find some actor/filmmaker/artist/personality that I really like, I will do pretty much anything for that person. And by that, I mean seeing all the bad movies they’ve been in. I was just thinking about all my famous “friends”, and the absolute shit that I’ve sat through to see them (be it for one brief moment in a Hollywood blockbuster, or a starring role in an independent flop) and I thought I’d share some of them with you.

  • Band of the Hand

I saw this lost gem for that little guy in the yellow shirt and dyed hair. That, my friends, is baby John Cameron Mitchell. The film itself if an 80’s movie about a group of five troublemakers, who get the choice of living in the jungle for a bit, or going to jail. They choose the jungle, and learn all about themselves and each other. The Breakfast Club in nature. It obviously sucks. But JCM is so damn cute with his orange hair and painted on tattoos. If we continue The Breakfast Club analogy, then he was the Ally Sheedy character. I will leave you with a quote from a review someone posted on Netflix about this movie that I really enjoyed, “The scenery and photography is artistic and beautiful but not so artistic that it would be considered artsy.” That, ladies and gentleman, is the greatest thing said about any movie, ever. Too bad it was wasted on this piece of shit that no one has ever seen. Except for John Cameron Mitchell, John Cameron Mitchell’s mom, and me.

  • All the Queen’s Men

I’ve seen the most bad movies for my fave British, transvestite, comedian/actor Eddie Izzard (no offense to all the other British, transvestite comedian/actors out there). In his quest for legitimate acting gigs, I think he just took any role that came his way. And no one, no matter how desperate they are, should EVER take a film role opposite Matt LeBlanc. I explored All the Queen’s Men in more detail in this post.

  • Pecker

The only John Waters movie I didn’t like. The only John Waters movie that is just straight up bad. (Note: we have to judge JWat’s films on a different kind of scale, since all his movies are technically, “bad”.) It’s fairly dull, and nothing too exciting happens. A lot of fans hate everything post Desperate Living…but, people, after he got that studio money and mainstream support from Hairspray, he just couldn’t make movies like Pink Flamingos anymore, let’s be real. But, I feel like he managed to work a sort of “filth-lite” charm into other films like Serial Mom or Cecil B. Demented…this one just didn’t work out. The fake trashiness was forced, so that it seemed like someone trying to recreate what they think a John Waters movie should be. Oh, well. They can’t all be winners. And there is a good moment where Christina Ricci screams, “I HATE MODERN ART.” That’s cute.

  • Gunslinger’s Revenge

One of the most laughably bad movies I’ve ever seen. It stars Harvey Keitel, and is an Italian spaghetti western. And also featurs David Bowie. I won’t bore you with the plot (mostly because I can’t remember it) BUT ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW is that David Bowie, who plays the bad guy, utters the following statement to a barmaid: “You’re a lucky woman. I ain’t gonna kill you. Today, I’m just gonna rape you.” BAD MOVIE BLISS.

  • Hudson Hawk

For dear Richard E. Grant, star of Withnail and I. Unfortunately, this big-budget, Bruce Willis-starring, action/”comedy” was no where near similar to the beautiful subtley and British wit of Withnail. The Showgirls of action movies. And not in a good way. REG was cute as the villain with Sandra Bernhard as his partner in crime, though.

  • Say Uncle

And enter the Queer as Folk obsession. Peter Paige, the flamboyant Emmet from QAF, attempted the tricky trio of writing/directing/starring in this “dark comedy”, about a gay man who tries to work as a babysitter in a suburban neighbor, which ends up distressing the residents. Oh, Peter. Stay in front of the camera, my friend. It takes some skill to make a funny movie about supposed child molestation…

  • Particles of Truth

Another attempt by the QAF gang, this time starring the beautiful Gale Harold. (Isn’t Gale a really nice name?) Anyways, this suffers from the same delusion of Say Uncle, with firsttimer Jennifer Elster writing/directing/starring in the film opposite Gale. All I can remember is artsy shots of him shaving (which would definitely be “so artistic that it would be considered artsy”, and not in a good way) and her entering some kind of club and getting mauled by German Shepards and then being raped. I think it was about finding yourself, or some shit like that.

  • Holding Trevor

This was really disappointing, because it took years (literally) to be released on DVD, and once it was, I couldn’t even get through it. Starring the cutest boy in the world, Jay Brannan, it was billed as some kind of gay coming-of-age in the big city kind of thing. Not the most unique story in the world, but anything for my little, shaved, singer/songwriter. Long story short, I hated all the characters and didn’t give a shit about their identity crises. Not even Jay was enough to finish the movie. Why does all gay, independent cinema suck so bad? (That’s another post all together!)

And that’s just a sampling of some of the sucky-ass movies I seen for the people I love. And we didn’t even talk about The L Word gang, or Elizabeth Berkley’s Lifetime movies! . Why do I torture myself like this? I wish I knew. I just love collecting these bad movies, I suppose. And seeing these people move through their careers really touches me. I mean, look at Eddie Izzard now! From Matt LeBlanc to Tom Cruise!

Anyways, I suppose that the moral of this post is that I lack appropriate judgment skills, and will blindly be led by obsessions with people who will never know I exist to consume all of their work. Is that normal?

Now I really want to re-watch Queer as Folk.

Love,

Elaine

Good Bad Movies and Bad Bad Movies

Last night a friend invited Josh and I to her house to watch a movie. Since we were nearby, we visted one of those magical Red Box things outside grocery stores where you can rent a DVD for one dolla. They had a really broad selection, everything from Milk to never-seen-the-light-of-day shitty horror movies.

We decided on a movie that displayed a picture of a nearly naked lady holding two guns. It was called Stiletto and the description used the word “sexy” twice. You can’t go wrong with that.

We knew that it would be bad. But I don’t have a problem with that. I love bad movies. Too much (remember the Showgirls party?). However, it became apparent around fifteen minutes into the movie that Stiletto was unfortunately not a good bad movie, but a bad bad movie.

And the difference you ask, between a good bad movie and a bad bad movie? Well, let me begin my thesis here:

First of all, let me say that budget has nothing to do with it. Stiletto was clearly made for under a million with a rented camera, and it sucked. Showgirls was made for $45,000,000 and is arguably the worst movie ever made. But it’s also one of the most entertaining, memorable and life-affirming films of the twentieth century.

A good bad movie must take itself completely seriously. It must not be in on the joke and must be made with Oscar-winning intentions. For instance, the film Powder about an albino teenager with mystical powers.Or Obsessed starring Beyoncé Knowles.

A bad bad movie understands its limitations. Like all of John Waters’ movies.

A good bad movie also must have an element of bizarre-ness that pushes it over-the-top. Like Mommie Dearest, or one of my personal favorites, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Because a movie like Stiletto, which tries to be very  realistic just comes across as boring when it doesn’t have the budget or the means to be done well. But when you have an insane transsexual murdering with a samurai sword, well,  that’s just so in another world that any ties to reality are unimportant.

In the end, there’s nothing better than a good bad movie. And the only thing that’s worse than a bad bad movie is a good good movie. Fucking Oscar winners. I would rather have a tattoo sanded off my arm with a belt sander than watch Titanic*. Even the best Oscar winner of all times, The Silence of the Lambs, has some elements of good bad movie-making in it.

So, sorry Stiletto. You are in the awkward place of sucking so bad that you’re neither entertaining nor slightly compelling. Your future lies at the bottom of the Cheap DVD bin at Wal-mart. Right next to Kill Cruise starring Elizabeth Hurley.

*I really would not. That is an exaggeration and a reference to the film Stiletto.

I think we’re Obsessed!

So after seeing The Circus starring Britney Spears, it’s hard to believe that there is any more reason to live.

Fortunately for us (and you), Beyoncé and Ali Larter have provided us with a much anticipated work of art: OBSESSED. (watch the trailer below)

Now, I personally love movies about erotomania, even though I’ve only seen one before. Called “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” it follows a crazed woman as she single-handedly destroys the life of a man she thinks is in love with her. This French film starring Audrey Tautou is quite the cult hit at Scripps Ranch High School:

(Sorry that trailer sucks balls– nothing ever translates well from French.)

Actually, come to think of it, these two movies are basically the same. But does “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” feature a catfight between Ms. B and Ali???

I THINK NOT!

And I hate to say it, but Audrey Tautou is hardly as sassy as Beyoncé or Ali Larter.

So be ready to be Obsessed!

Movie Review: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

I thought that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was long, cliche, pretentious, annoying, stupid, boring, as mainstream as possible, unnecessary, unoriginal, long, and just overall a piece of shit.

Where to begin?

I guess the first thing to say is that this movie has obviously been very well reviewed by critics and movie-goers alike. I guess it’s also fair to be said that have a fairly unique taste in movies and that my mind has been warped by John Waters, Todd Soldnz, David Lynch, etc. But still. I can usually understand why I movie that I personally don’t like is considered a masterpiece (see: Breakfast at Tiffany’s) but this movie was just utter garbage.

I’m sure everybody’s familiar with the story? Baby Brad Pitt is born and old man and then ages backwards.

SPOILERS AHEAD. Also this will probably make more sense if you’ve seen the movie.

First of all, there is no reason for a film to be two and a half hours. Ever. I will stand by this. Even my beloved Showgirls, which stands at two hours and eleven minutes, could have benefitted from some cutting.

Secondly, I hate, hate, hate movies that have the parallel plot thing where it cuts from one story to another story but they actually intersect. There are times when this is passable or in rare situations, necessary, but this was so heavy handed and so overworked and just plan retared that it made me angry. It goes from mom/daughter in a hospital room. (Momma’s dying. Shame.) And then cuts back and forth to Benjamin Button’s story, which was, of course, BEING READ OUT OF A FUCKING DIARY BY THE DAUGHER BECAUSE THE MOM WAS BENJAMIN BUTTON’S EX LOVER. I hate that shit! It’s not clever! It’s been done! You’re not being new, avant-garde or remotely interesting! Just tell the goddamn story! Jesus. Everytime it cut to the hospital room I just wanted to leave. Sure, it’s cute in a children’s movie like The Princess Bride when it’s just there to add a little humor, but this was just annoying as hell. An adult movie doesn’t need any stupid gimmicks like that.

Moving on.

Ever heard of the film Forrest Gump? The screenwriter, Eric Roth, wrote this, too. Sure, I had a love afair with Forrest Gump. When I was fourteen. When I realized how just plain bad it is I moved on. It’s a sweet little movie to watch now and again. But not deserving of any serious praise. Well, Eric Roth (probably in need of a pay check) was smart enough to rework his beloved script, repackage it and sell it again. There are so many similaries to Forrest that I won’t get into it. But if there was a drinking game where you had to take a shot after every situation, character, setting, or piece of dialogue that resemebled Forrest Gump, you would die in the theater.

I hate sentimental, morale filled movies. I keep reading, “It just really makes you think about things differently.” Umm…like what? Not to take anything for granted? To live life to the fullest? To try new things while you still can? To be yourself? THAT’S THE MORALE OF EVERY FUCKING MOVIE EVER MADE! That’s even the morale to Showgirls! And by the way, David Fincher, I don’t need a shitty narration at the end of the movie to tell me the morale. That was cute in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, but here it’s just embarrassing.

Now, there are some aspects that were good. Cate Blanchett. The makeup design. But I’ll stop there. Because all the parts that actually make up the movie (writing, directing…) were awful. And sorry,  Brad Pitt, you’re nice to look at but you don’t deserve a Best Actor nomination.

The fact that it got 13 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture?!) just blows my mind and makes me weep for the film industry.

Of course, they did let Crash win.

Love and peace,

Elaine

Movie Review: “I Know Who Killed Me”

Since we’re such big Showgirls fans, we decided to see IKWKM, the Lindsay Lohan movie that has broken Showgirls record as winning the most Razzies.

So the “plot” goes that Lindsay Lohan plays Aubrey, a college student with a normal life, normal boyfriend, normal parents, and a normal hairless cat. All of sudden, the suburban town if rocked when a local girl is murdered. Everyone is on an edge, and Aubrey is kidnapped next. She is tortured and then found in a ditch somewhere. When she regains consciousness, she tells everyone she is not Aubrey, and is instead Dakota: a homeless stripper raised by a recently dead crack-addict who just happens to be identical in every aspect to Aubrey. SPOILERS! So in the end it turns out that Dakota is Aubrey’s identical twin. Aubrey’s “mother” had her baby stillborn, and Aubrey’s “father”, not wanting to upset his wife, bought one of the twin girls that the crack-addict nearby had just birthed on the same day. This girl grew up to be Aubrey, and her tiwn became Dakota the stripper. When Aubrey was kidnapped, her twin Dakota mysteriously suffered the same wounds at the same time through something called “Stigmata” or some made-up shit like that. So anyways, Dakota is able to figure it our and she suddenly knows that the killer is Aubrey’s piano teacher and magically knows his address, and then repeatedly stabs him in the neck and rescuses Aubery, who has been buried alive.

So obviously, it was pretty bad.

Maybe it didn’t have to be so bad. But it was. Lindsay obviously knew how shitty the whole thing was, and didn’t really put all her effort into it. And then the director chose to really overlay the subtext of “red is evil, blue is good” and literally just bathed the whole Dakota scenes in red and Aubrey’s in blue. It was pretty stupid.

But I still really liked it!

It wasn’t as good as Showgirls, but it definetly was entertaining and provided us with good lines like, “People get cut. That’s life. Sometimes they get cut in half.”

And it was scary, too!!! The torture was just gross (try ice to burn off her hand, cutting off her fingers/foot with a jagged piece of broken glass) and I didn’t even see most of it because it was just too much (but then again, I am a big baby when it comes to things like that so maybe that’s just me).

So I would give it a 7 out of 10 and recommend it to everyone!!


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