Not a lot is going on this week with major Hollywood DVD releases, but at least what little there is includes The Master. There’s also the latest Twilight flick, but it doesn’t come out until Saturday, so come back in four days and see that I’m still not covering it. Not to worry, though; as always there’s enough obscure indie, low-budget and foreign fare to discuss. Besides The Master, we’ll cover flicks with Gerard Butler, Sharon Stone, and Christian Slater. We’ve got flicks about surfers and AIDS and elephants and zombies, and even another elephant. Trust me, this other one is luckier than the rest. There’s a company of heroes and some fast girls. We’ve even got a zombie massacre!
How To Survive A Plague
Company Of Heroes
The Loneliest Planet
Darnell Dawkins: Mouth Guitar Legend
The Eyes Of Thailand
500 MPH Storm
My Lucky Elephant
Zombie Massacre: Army Of The Dead
Streaming: Check out your choices here.
The description for one of these movies includes the phrase ‘Reptilian Sex God!‘ You’ll have to continue reading to find out which one it is. There’s also a movie with both Andy Dick and Crispin Glover. If you want to know which flick that is, you know what to do, continue reading. If you’ve already seen The Master and are pretty sure everything else is crap, feel free to click the link above and skip right to this week’s streaming suggestions. You’ll miss out on some graphic video of elephants having sex, but that’s your choice to make, I guess.
Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams all deliver Oscar-nominated performances in this flick from Paul Thomas Anderson. As you surely know by now, this film can be fairly polarizing. To quote Vince’s ‘A’ review:
It’s nothing so much as a meditative, rotating series of historical portraits – who are these people and what do they do? – mostly straightforward and matter of fact, without the fart-sniffing pop-psychology you get with most indie films.
In other words, the film doesn’t have an ‘A to B to C’ plot progression. The film is chronological, but one scene doesn’t necessarily flow into the next. There isn’t a storyline that one could recount beyond the rather simple ‘A really screwed-up WWII vet gets involved with a cult-leader and the two men fascinate each other’. If you find the two characters compelling, then the film is fascinating. Just so, if you find them boring, the film will be a long, tough watch. I enjoyed it, but probably not as much as Vince, who named The Master the 3rd best film of last year. Obviously, your mileage may vary. My wife wasn’t nearly as keen on the film as I was, and the theater packed with elderly people I saw it in was largely baffled when Phoenix’ character defiled the vagina of a woman made out of sand, and there were several walkouts when his character sat and quietly pictured everyone around him naked (you get to see the scene as he sees it). One confused octogenarian even muttered, “Christ Almighty, I thought this was supposed to be a decent picture…” as he shuffled past my seat on his way out the door. So if two-and-half hours of Joaquin Phoenix as a ‘gas-huffing pussy-lover’ (to borrow Vince’s description of the character) wandering around getting laid and farting in public sounds like your thing, check out this amazing film. If it doesn’t, perhaps I could entice you with a scene of Amy Adams jerking off Philip Seymour Hoffman? The point I’m trying to make is, that for an allegedly boring art-house movie, this sure has a lot of sex scenes and naked boobs, and who doesn’t want to see more of that?
Hey, who doesn’t enjoy a good, family-friendly, true-story, inspirational tale about surfers? God, that’s who. He almost took the lives of both this film’s director (Oscar-winner Curtis Hanson) and star (Oscar-watcher Gerard Butler) during this film’s production. The filmmakers didn’t heed His warning and finished the film anyway, and were punished by very poor critical reception and a box-office take that didn’t even cover a third of the production budget. The moral of the story: You know what, I don’t know. It’s an inspirational, family-friendly, sports film so I’m sure there is one, but I’m a good God-fearing man and therefore I won’t ever risk His righteous wrath by seeing this movie. For all I know when I pick up the DVD to put it in my player the edges will be razor-sharp and lop off all my fingers. Or worse, the movie would play just fine and I’d have to actually watch it.
Speaking of God’s righteous vengeance, this is that Oscar-nominated documentary about the AIDS epidemic and the activists who fought both the spread of the disease as well as the inaction of society, government, and the medical community in response to the epidemic. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that people who suffer from AIDS deserve their lot in life as a consequence of immoral living, I’m just saying that God thinks they deserve it, otherwise He would’ve blessed this film with an Oscar win and not just a nomination. It’s in the Bible.
Over the course of a single day, Monsieur Oscar travels by limousine around Paris to a series of nine appointments, transforming into new characters at each stop. He is a captain of industry, a gypsy beggar, a digitized ninja warrior (and reptilian sex god!), a gibberish-spewing troglodyte, the melancholy father of a teenage daughter, a shadowy assassin, a dying old man, and a thwarted lover reuniting with a past flame.
I’ve been interested in seeing this French film ever since Vince posted about it last October, and I’ve heard lots of good things about it, but I do have one question: Is the ‘digitzied ninja warrior’ also a reptilian sex god, or are they two separate identities of Monsieur Oscar? The parenthetical confuses me, and while I’m fine with them as separate concepts, I find the idea of a digitized ninja warrior reptilian sex god a little too much to bear. Probably because of that time I got raped at a Mortal Kombat costume party, but still.
Sharon Stone and Billy Zane star in this ‘true story’ about an American reporter searching for her missing brother in Mexico. In her search for him, she ends up getting entangled in the criminal world of smuggling drugs and people across the border. Watching the trailer, I kind of get the impression that while the film may ultimately take a nominally liberal stance on immigration issues, the actual representation of Mexicans is stereotypical and negative. It’s as if the film wants to wallow in the worst aspects of Mexican border culture, but then –I assume- absolve itself as having an ultimately uplifting message. Hopefully, though, that’s not the case; I’d like to think an actress still best known for flashing her vagina in a mainstream film over twenty years ago would be above such cheap exploitation tactics.
This one is a ‘true story’ straight-to-video adaptation of a video game. If this movie had a mouth I would stick my dick into it because that’s a holy trinity of next-level sucking right there.
And this week’s award for most bizarre cast/crew combination goes to Freaky Deaky, a film starring Christian Slater, Michael Jai White, Crispin Glover, and Andy Dick, based on an Elmore Leonard novel, and written/directed by Walter Matthau’s son.
Gael Garcia Bernal stars in this thriller about an engaged couple’s backpacking trip and how a single moment changes everything that they thought they knew about themselves. Every review I’ve seen of this movie (as well as the trailer) makes cryptic reference to this ‘moment’ that ‘changes everything’ they thought they knew about each other. Obviously, this ‘moment’ is the focal point of the film, and whether or not it is a full-on twist, it’s all anybody talks about (even if they don’t, you know, talk about it). So what is it? Do they find out that he’s actually a she and she’s a he, and they each were using fake names? I mean, if you’re engaged to somebody, you tend to know a lot about them, so I doubt this ‘moment’ changed everything. Like, she probably knows he’s –SPOILER ALERT– got a mole somewhere, or he knows that she’s left-handed. Let’s just be careful with our hyperbole, all right? Even if the moment were something like they get a gun pulled on them and he reflexively uses her as a human shield, they still have a ton of accurate intel about one another. Also, as a side note, it’s probably a bad idea to center your advertising around the surprise moment in your movie; you’re just begging for assh*les on the internet to give it away.
If you combine the mockumentary style of This Is Spinal Tap with the alternate-history/fake musician-mingles-with-real-legends approach of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, you get Darnell Dawkins: Mouth Guitar Legend. Oh wait, I forgot a couple steps: remove the decent jokes and quality acting and insert a stupid gimmick (mouth guitar) and also be sure to add an obnoxious fake voice for the lead character. So basically, combine those films and then make them terrible.
Ashley Judd narrates this documentary about elephants receiving prosthetic legs after they step on landmines. Apparently this is kind of a big deal in Thailand. They must protect and look out for the elephants! If not, what will the Western tourists ride on their jungle tours when they’ve finished f*cking the Thai ladyboys and child prostitutes?
The Asylum brings us this disaster flick starring Casper Van Dien. Fun fact: Casper Van Dien is the great-grandson of legendary actor Robert Mitchum. So, yeah, obviously talent’s not genetic. (But chiseled good looks and cleft chins sooooo are!)
Stand down: it’s about runners. Sorry for the false alarm.
The stumpy elephants in The Eyes Of Thailand can be depressing as hell, but luckily we have this gem to cheer us back up! I could summarize the plot, but why should I when the film has the Dove Seal of Approval and the always entertaining Dove Foundation does it for me? Giving the film 3 out of 5 Doves the Dove Worldview states:
The elephant is talented at using his trunk to paint and his paintings are very well done especially for…well, an elephant! The boy names the elephant Lucky and he and Lucky share several adventures. He and Lucky even do a dance together. When Lucky meets a female elephant it becomes clear that the boy might have to eventually set Lucky free.
…because Lucky’s horny and the female’s down to f*ck. I love how each sentence of that paragraph only barely relates to the one before it; it’s like a first grader’s writing homework. Each sentence needs a crude drawing to accompany it, and the last drawing must include an amazing elephant penis. On the other hand, with only three Doves, maybe this movie isn’t right for an innocent six or seven-year-old. Luckily, as always, Dove gives us the skinny on objectionable content: ‘LANGUAGE: Bloody H-1; G/OMG-3, VIOLENCE: Blood is seen on elephant’s foot after it runs over some police cycles and hurts foot; a boy is put in a cage and elephant is struck with a stick; elephant hits bad man with his trunk and crashes through a cage to free the boy. NUDITY: Cleavage in a few scenes; shirtless boy; a woman shows bare midriff which she wants elephant to paint. OTHER: Elephant knocks over paint bucket and bags; boy lies by saying his father is at lunch (his father is dead) and he obviously doesn’t want to get taken away; a businessman lies by calling police and saying an elephant is scaring his customers outside and that is not the case.‘ What the f*ck, an elephant knocking over a paint can is potentially objectionable content? How strict is this reviewer with his kids? Also, I gotta say, warning that a shirtless boy can be seen in this flick says way more about the reviewer than the movie. This guy clearly has some body shame issues, unlike the elephant in the clip I’ve included below the trailer. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say he sprays cum all over the place.
By my unofficial count, 11 foreign films are hitting DVD today. Why? Hell if I know. Most of them look pretty boring, and frankly aren’t worth sharing. Holy Motors was an exception; good or bad, at least it seems unique. This one gets a mention for a different reason entirely: the trailer looks like a parody of art-house foreign films. There’s a dead lady, two birds in a cage, lots of stone faced Russian people. Overcast skies. Some guy looking forlorn while a bonfire burns behind him. Watch the trailer and you’ll see what I mean. You’ll also see a dead chick’s naked tits while her husband and his friend prepare her body for cremation as well as a quick shot of what I can only assume is some sort of pubic decorating? I really have no idea what’s happening but it involves a lady’s crotch and it only seemed fair after the elephant video.
This film, originally called Earthkiller, has one of those trailers that just fascinates me with its lazy attempt to mask the low-quality of the film it is advertising. First off, they cut the trailer to exclude any dialogue. Nobody speaks a single line. Just so, they cut the trailer to avoid any action. I know from the official synopsis that this film is about humans fighting the ‘undead’ on a space station, but you get no hint of it from the trailer. Also, I had to dig up that very synopsis because the trailer doesn’t tell you anything about the plot. At all. All you get besides shots of people walking down spaceshippy hallways while carrying guns is a context-free shot of a CGI spaceship doing that ‘goatse’ thing, and really who likes to see gaping anuses –metallic or otherwise- without the proper context?
Here’s what’s sad: this low-budget zombie flick is actually trying to steal business (The Asylum style) from a better looking zombie flick called Zombie Massacre. That bigger, better Zombie Massacre is still so lame that it stars Uwe Boll as the President of the United States. That’s right, the Uwe Boll flick is the one that’s getting ripped off. That’s like a crackhead getting his dick sucked by someone even more desperate for drug money. Or not, I don’t know. All I do know is that this movie doesn’t have Uwe Boll in blackface playing Barack Obama, which is a shame, because that would probably be pretty watchable.
This week Netflix was gracious enough to include five of the new DVD releases via their streaming service: there’s the Oscar-nominated How To Survive A Plague, that film with a crucial moment, The Loneliest Planet, The misleading Fast Girls, the somber Silent Souls, and the low-budget Total Retribution, which actually had a $1.5 million dollar budget. So check those flicks out and if you’ve still got some time afterwards, check these out as well:
I’m Still Here
This is that documentary (pictured above) about The Master’s Joaquin Phoenix when he pretended to quit acting to become a rapper. I haven’t seen this yet, and I really haven’t heard a lot of great things (basically it’s a feature-length ‘theater majors gonna theater’ experience), but it seems tailor-made for casual Netflix watching and it’s directed by Casey Affleck. As the youngest of seven kids (with four older brothers) I guess I feel bad for the guy; he’s an Oscar-nominee and yet he’s still stuck in his brother’s shadow. I can just see the Affleck parents bragging about their kids, “Ben directed the Best Picture Oscar winner, and Casey’s a director, too. He made that film about his brother-in-law getting sh*t upon. He’s trying, God bless him, he’s trying.”
I’ve never heard of this anthology film from 2006, but it stars Chasing Mavericks’ Gerard Butler and Holy Motors’ Eva Mendes, so it’s officially recommended. To be honest, the 45 seconds worth of research I’ve done into this film doesn’t make it sound good, but it also stars Charlie Sheen as himself, so I’m gonna stop looking into it, as the more I do the worse it sounds. At any rate, each of the stories is about people struggling through romantic relationships, I guess. Jesus, this sounds grim. Also, it’s three hours long. You know what? F*ck it, I’m giving this spot to The Killer Inside Me, just because it stars Casey Affleck, and that guy needs a boost.
Border Run’s Sharon Stone became famous with her starring role in this erotic thriller. If –somehow- you didn’t know, this is the movie I alluded to earlier in which she flashes her lady bits. Nobody who started masturbating during the internet age can understand what a watershed moment this film was. For the first time maybe ever, there was an easily obtainable, generally accepted way to sneak a peek at a woman’s naked crotch. On tape! Rewindable, reviewable tape! Never mind that the beaver shot is brief and dark, or that by the time you got the tape from Blockbuster the tracking was shot during that scene, this was important. This was the moving image. Of a pussy. Amazing. And now it can be on your TV screen with the push of a button, and most kids don’t even care. Nowadays, adolescent boys won’t jerk off to anything less than inter-racial anal fisting. Why’s it always gotta be about race?
Johnny Depp stars in this pseudo-western that features Freaky Deaky’s Crispin Glover as well as Robert Mitchum, the great-grandfather of 500 MPH Storm’s Casper Van Dien. The movie’s kind of slow and arty, but I liked it. Also it’s from 18 years ago, so Depp’s accessorizing is kept to a minimum. He only wears a crushed hat, a fur coat, war paint, rings, necklaces, bracelets, and a pistol. Needless to say, he plays an accountant.