Tag Archives: movies

I know kung-fu…

24 Oct

punch stuff until it blows upYou guys, here is how to make friends and it works at any age (even when your 29 and it’s freaking hard): speak unabashedly and enthusiastically about things that interest and excite you and create a safe place for people to do the same. And start doing it early in the conversation– like almost inappropriately early.

Who cares about where they work or what their name is.

Figure out what really excites them as quickly as possible and then proceed to enjoy your totally awesome conversation with your new best friend.

Make a connection!

You can figure out their name later.

That’s how I found MY new best friend (I think his name is Matt).

We bonded over kung-fu and punching (as long as it is for a righteous cause).

Later, he sent me THE BEST email in the history of life which began thusly:

“Heyo! Your set tonight was unreal, and you are the best person. Here are some movies in which people express their emotions via punching.”

BOOM! THIS IS HOW FRIENDSHIPS ARE FORGED, PEOPLE!

What followed was a list of movies introducing me to the wonderful world of “emotional punching”: Ong- Bak 1 &2ChocolateThe ProtectorShaolin Soccer

If you look at the movie summaries, they are all kind of similar. They all share many of the same key words and phrases: “dutiful son”, “betrayal”, “left for dead”, “corrupt official”, “crime syndicate”, and “to avenge his father’s death.”

I had a kung-fu marathon shortly after– and I quickly realized, kung-fu is freaking awesome.

So are muay thai and boxing.

You know what else is awesome?

Gingerly leaping from tree branch to tree branch in order to chase down (and eventually beat down) the crime lord who killed your parents.

And after a week of watching movies like Ong-Bak and Chocolate, I don’t know if I can go back to watching movies where a child DOESN’T fight (and kill) a crocodile in the first 10 minutes of the movie.

(NOTE: I should clarify: in real life, fighting does not interest me and guns terrify me. In movies, however, the hero needs to be punching people with his righteous fists and carrying the biggest gun possible. HE’S FIGHTING EVIL! It’s irresponsible for him to do anything less.)

After my marathon, I definitely learned some things:

  1. If you say, “I am a GOD” and you are not a god, you will definitely be killed. Probably by a God.
  2. Anyone who beats up on someone’s mom is going to die by the end of the film. Hard.
  3. Wire-work/CGI is for losers. Do backflips across a river of lava using your muscles and willpower– OR DON’T DO IT AT ALL!
  4. Do a bunch of parkour on a herd of stampeding elephants. Not only will those around you recognize your oneness with nature, you are now the elephant king!
  5. You are a fool if you think autism would prevent you from being a muay thai master. A FOOL!
  6. Children who kill crocodiles with their bare hands will grow up to break up slavery rings and fight corrupt kings.

So, yeah– I like kung-fu and Matt is my friend now.

And it all happened because I asked someone I just met, “What are your thoughts on violence?”

Everyone you love is dead or crazy, Homegirl!

15 May

I don’t know if the handful of people following this blog enjoy German silent films from the Weimar Era, but if you do– you’re in luck! This is a movie review of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari), a German expressionist film from the 20s. It’s a great movie. You should watch it (then come back here and talk about how crazy awesome it is). ENJOY!

cesarSilent films are crazy.

German films are crazy.

The fusion of the two together is almost too much.

Almost.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari) is actually pretty brilliant. Once you embrace the over-the-top and the awesomely dramatic– you realize it is a pretty amazing film.

It opens, ideally enough, with two men sitting on a park bench shooting the breeze about what else– ghosts. One man admits that “spirits surround us on every side… they have driven me from hearth and home, from wife and child!” Without missing a beat– his friend tells him, “That is NOTHING– listen to THIS!”

There is nothing worse than your friend constantly one-upping you… except maybe being haunted by ghosts.

The camera fades in on Narrator (Francis)’s hometown which is quaint and idyllic aaaaaand a terrifying post-impressionist painting. All the buildings and streets are uneven and geometrically unsettling and everyone is cranky because they are forced to sit in wildly uncomfortable post-impressionistic furniture.

Narrator (Francis) is actually pretty boring.

Look at how evil I am!

Look at how evil I am!

What is awesome is Dr. Caligari and how amazingly sinister he looks. Dr. Caligari rocks every “bad-guy” motif there is. He is like the Penguin, Ebenezer Scrooge, and Voldemort rolled into one. And just in case you weren’t quite catching on to how awesomely evil he is– every time he comes into frame, the creepy music from LOST starts playing.

Back to narrator (Francis) for a cheerful interlude before everything goes to hell.

Narrator (Francis) and his friend encounter Jane. It is awkward. Narrator (Francis) then cheerfully (and rather bluntly) announces “We both love her, but no matter how she chooses, let us remain friends.” Awww… “Bros before hos” is alive and well in Germany. You think to yourself for a moment that this could have been an adorable little german sitcom– a goofy Three’s A Company… except for the murder.

caligari post impressionist

My world is a geometric hellscape! Living in a post-impressionist painting blows : (

Some citizen is murdered in his little post-impressionist home with (and I quote) a “strange pointed object.”

Ummm… do Germans not know what knives are?

Back to the dastardly Dr. Calgari who now has an exhibit at the fair: “Cesare, the Somnambulist!” Apparently, Cesare has been sleeping for his entire life but whatevs ‘cos he can also tell the future!

As long as that future involves your death and Cesare murdering you.du musst caligari werden

(The fortunes are kind of fixed in that way.)

Cesare then tells Narrator (Francis)’s friend his fortune. Narrator friend dies and Narrator (Francis) undergoes a very intense german grief– throwing himself onto every piece of post-impressionist furniture he has.

In a seemingly irrelevant scene, Jane’s father is missing. Where does she look for clues? The fair! (of course). Who does she enlist to help her find them? The police? Narrator (Francis)? Nope. She goes straight to the fair and asks a carny. Naturally. (Homegirl is not too bright).

The carny is Dr. Caligari! (Homegirl is going to die)!

The next scene is Jane asleep in her post-impressionist bed and Cesare is coming to kill her with a strange pointed object (a knife). Overcome by her beauty and innocence– he is unable to kill her and kidnaps her instead. Cue chase scene over post impressionist roofs and through post impressionist fields (because EVERY German movie has a chase/ mob scene).

I kidnapped her... because of true love... and because I'm CRAAAAAA-ZAAAAY!

I kidnapped her… because of true love… and because I’m CRAAAAAA-ZAAAAY!

After a hearty chase, Cesare dies of a fall and Jane becomes irrelevant again.

Narrator (Francis) and his band of police men (who follow him for some reason) renew their determination to capture Caligari! (This is after they let Caligari escape… because they are busy looking at a mannequin… Caligari just walks away. Seriously). Narrator (Francis) chases the carny to the insane asylum.

It seems to be a dead end until they find Caligari’s black magic books describing in detail the possibility of binding a somnambulist to your will and getting him to do horrid deeds that he would not otherwise do.

They then read his diary, which begins sinisterly enough: “Dear Diary…” (It’s nice to see that Caligari introduces murder using the same gripping narrative teenage girls do.)

He ends up admitting that he has bound a somnambulist to his will and made him do horrid deeds that he would not otherwise do.

Enter Caligari.

Surrounded by his peers who now know about his horrid crimes– Caligari attempts to escape by choking everyone who stands in his way. Now– I know that he is crazy, but I’m just saying– if you want to escape from a room– individual stranglings are probably the worst way to go.

He is sent to a post-impressionist hospital room for the rest of his days.

So now we have learned– “Things not to do in an insane asylum: act insane.”

There is a twist at the end of the film that makes the story much more awesome. None of this M. Night Shyamalan nonsense– it is a genuine twist and you see why this movie is in the pantheon of classic horror movies. This movie is where Tim Burton, Alfred Hitchcock, and Romero got their inspiration.

The entire movie is here (sadly without the artistic title cards) but if you want a quick taste of the style the movie was shot in, Rob Zombie also did a music video that was completely inspired by “Dr. Caligari.”

SO, in summation, German silent film is crazy… crazy awesome.

The He-Man Reboot Is Going To Be Awful

4 Apr

In a continued effort to capitalize on treasured childhood memories, Hollywood is making a He-Man movie (currently titled Masters of the Universe). While the script hasn’t been finalized, director, John Chu, has explicitly stated that it won’t be “campy,” which is incredibly perplexing because everything about the Masters of the Universe realm is campy and over-the-top:

— He-Man has “fabulous secret powers” and dresses like an Aryan go-godancer. Even if you get rid of the page-boy haircut and update his outfit, his name is still He-Man.

heman-final-05

–Inevitably, at some point in the film, he is going to have to hold a giant sword and yell, “by the power of Grayskull.” Which isn’t dramatic or theatrical at all!

 HE RIDES A TIGER! heman-final-03

Never mind that the tiger is green, talks, and acquires crazy kabuki armor when it transforms into a battle-cat. The point is- you can’t dial this shit down!

Even the choice of John Chu as a director seems to imply that Masters of the Universe was intended to be a flashy campy masterpiece. Most of his credits are dance films. He was the one that brought us the magic that was Step-Up 2 and Step-Up 3D (all the Step-Up movies run together, but I’m pretty sure they all follow the same premise/storyline: A RICH GIRL LEARNS TO LOVE A POOR THROUGH THE POWER OF DANCE!).

Chu believes in two things: casting beautiful muscly men and epic dance numbers.

Play to your strengths, man!

heman-final-04

A “serious” take on He-Man and friends means the writers are currently going through the beloved franchise and throwing out “all the things that don’t work– which is most of it.

Ugh– what is the point of making a Masters of the Universe movie if people aren’t riding tigers and dramatically shouting things into the sky?!

Also, it probably means that most of the characters are probably going to be cut from the movie (I’m looking at you, Fisto).

heman-final-01

…and she BETTER be riding a winged unicorn!

If you strip He-Man of everything that is strange or over-the-top, all you have left is a super buff white guy with crazy cosmic powers and adorably outdated speech (who is probably NOT riding a tiger).

The thing about that is- that movie has already been made

heman-final-02

(‘Clash of the Titans’, ‘Immortals’, ‘Conan the Barbarian’, or ‘Prince of Persia’ could have also been used as examples.)

A Masters of the Universe reboot that isn’t campy is an opportunity missed. A serious interpretation of He-Man seems senseless when the franchise lends itself so perfectly to camp and flashy drama.

You might as well embrace the ridiculousness of it all.

heman-final-06

click on the picture to see He-Man jam out to 4 Non-Blonde’s magnum opus “What’s Up?” Do it!

Muppets + Tina Fey = YESSSSSSS!

20 Mar

Tina Fey in the MuppetsI love it when two things that I love collide.

Someone leaked this photo from the set of The Muppets… Again! which is coming out in 2014.

Fey plays Nadya, a Russian prison guard.

Cannot wait.

 

Photo of the Day 2.21.13

21 Feb

Magritte death star

 

Ceci n’est pas une lune.

[translation: This is not a moon.]

Star Wars meets Magritte in this parody of the surrealist artists’ “La Trahison des Images.”