Monday, August 29, 2011

Subconscious Film - [Rec] (2007)

These essays are specifically for reading after ones personal viewing

        I loathe when people see a photograph, or some kind of art piece where objects have been shifted to fit a metaphor, and criticize it because they argue, they could've pieced it together or taken that photograph. That's not a criticism; it's a selfish examination on the artistic redundancy of pride. I'm not making an excuse for art pieces who are an example of pretentiousness without any thought to define emotion or societal opinion (obviously not the only two things); deflated-paper mache-basketball with spilt toothpaste on top. These are the same people who point their fingers at works of such kind, but widen their eyes for any painting simply because they cannot paint; "Well, this person just shoved a bunch of stuff on sand then took a photograph of it. I could've done that."

        I've heard the same about film. Some plots being easier to explain than others, gives people the idea that it's not hard to make a film, or because the plot is easy to explain, it hols no kind of artistic depth or integrity. A kind of snobbish hindsight. It's true that some of these people could carry the wit and intelligence to maybe think of a simple plot, but they don't carry the integrity to create. 

        [Rec] has a cleverly fantastic plot that pieces together perfectly into a well paced story. The pacing is due to the fact that people who cannot leave a controlled area are quickly becoming infected, which then incorporates it's tension that lingers throughout the duration of the film filled with yelling of bizarre-possessed animal noises...and people. 

        Swaying malnourishment with an antenna'd hammer to dine. The infection is its feast and we are left wavering, confused of the reason; the, why this is happening. Wanting to know; fixated on its past, pondering its future. Is this an ending that finishes directly with the credits and does not carry on it's story in our mind, like David Fincher's Fight Club adaptation? Closed eyes to the green of invisible light. Crawling towards the hope of life and we're left, not stopped, when the black takes hold. 

--- The Spandex Bandit

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

'Do you wanna see some blood?' Things Review

by Yojimbo

I’m going to begin this particular review by stating that very few of the following words will hardly be appropriate to articulate why director Andrew Jordan’s first film Things not only exists, but why it works.  Shot on the beautiful lo-fi super-8 (R.I.P.) in 1989 by possibly brilliant, perhaps deranged, absolutely under appreciated beer-swilling Canucks, this movie got buried and lost into obscurity until Intervision Picture Corp. and Mondo Video gave it a proper modern release on VHS!  

On any given day, 83 minutes is a pleasant, brisk span of time to power through a low budget Canadian horror film.  Not on the day you decide to feed this thing (ha!) into your VCR.  The most awe-inspiring aspect of Things is that, more than Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Star Wars or even Night of the Living Dead, this film absorbs you into its world.  This isn’t a voluntary assimilation, but a forceful, malignant and stupefying transportation into a completely alien version of the real world.  Think of the chalkboard explanation in Back to the Future II or the end of Evil Dead 2/ beginning of Army of Darkness.  You’re there, and you’re screwed.  Deal with it. 

There are few horror movies that nail tone so perfectly.  Some may dismiss Things’ poor (read: horrific) ADR and cheap, knockoff Suspiria lighting techniques and nearly plotless story and practically indecipherable dialogue and fuzzy, off-focus cinematography as poor filmmaking and/or budgetary constraints. Screw the naysayers says I!  There is absolutely no way that all of these things, that every aspect of the filmmaking process, was unintentionally skewed.  These were madmen seeking to slyly make others nutty via home video in a clamshell case.

But let’s pause, get grounded, and discuss the story.  I guess it’s about a woman who had some unseen malpractice that makes her give birth to giantspiderant creatures in some cabin for some reason, and a couple of guys drink beer, argue and try to deal with the situation... or something. 

None (not one) of the explicit horror tropes succeed.  The blood doesn’t even look like food-colored corn syrup or even ketchup, but more like watery Aunt Jemima.  The creatures are not bad looking; their appearance being somewhere between purposefully manufactured for the film and oddity toy store fare.  Obviously whatever budget existed was for beer and thing effects.  That being said, they hardly make one even bat an eye.  Oh, and of course there is full-frontal nudity from a woman wearing a plastic Satan mask, which is odd, but not a contributing factor to the subversive punch to the gut that this film delivers. 

This film really has to be seen to be believed. Scratch that.  You need to watch it, but you still won’t believe it. Pardon my French, but it's going to fuck you up. Bad.

Some may say that this film is not for everyone, or some may not enjoy it, or that it’s only for deranged, tasteless, obese cinephiles, but I say this flick is for the whole family.  Pain is gain.  Invite your girlfriend/boyfriend over, I guarantee your relationship will grow because of the experience, and what could be better than mutual bonding through the art of cinema?  Nothing, that’s what.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Subconscious Film - Criterion Collection - Videodrome (1983)

These essays are specifically for reading after ones personal viewing.


        I've seen Videodrome before, but watching it again, I feel like I haven't been giving myself enough reason to like it. Although I can extract the surface content and love the practical effects, I wasn't digging myself in it personally. I feel like I should be able to protect the things I like; I thought of that while watching for a second time.

        The climbing acceptance of immorality and desensitization of people based around a box of sadomasochism in a metaphor form of addiction; the surface theme. Not hard to see, nor feel with the lash of a whip. I knew it was saying it in a "cool" way, but didn't feel like that was enough for me to like it to the extent I did; or, enough reason to protect the aspect of me liking it against those who would appose it's greatness. I kept my eyes on the skin of change.

        Emotional connectivity is found through the acceptance of death, or the contemplation there of. There is a slight silence by those who could feel Max's confidence in his "belief." His faith in the "new flesh." I wanted this confidence, and most importantly, I liked it. Is the new flesh an evolution in the body, or is it the progression of abstract thought, leading to death? Are those the same thing? When does Max's body coincide with his mind, and which does this evolution take course through; mind or body? Is Nicki God, or just the projection of Max's subconscious; or, a projection of what Videodrome wants Max to view as his subconscious?

         What is justice, in this world Cronenberg has placed us in? Max's killing is justified because of the sympathy you feel towards his character, his charm (because of our suspension of disbelief and the little we know of his character background) supersedes morality. The world Max lives in, or more the atmosphere Cronenberg has created, represents confinement; much like Terry Gilliam's Brazil which were both made in the 80's, two years apart from one another. Even the outside shots make me feel enclosed in a space that stretches lips and hands into whispers of masochism. A television. I don't know if I can analyze this movie. Are five question marks in a review good for a critique? Six. Questions are necessary for progression, so do people like and understand the use of questions in a critical analyzation. I didn't question mark that. I think if we learned anything from Terrence Malick, they most certainly are. So when I ask these questions, do I and the people I'm writing to learn around me, or is this just subconscious scat?

        When I was constantly questioning myself during Videodrome and caught the, acceptance of death, I was excited; proud even. I found something I could attach myself to. I then realized the answer of my fondness towards the film; I was connecting myself without the conscious knowledge of why, which is the purpose. I had found purpose and could then transform my purpose to intellect; which I know, must transform even further, and find the deeper meanings that cannot be accepted nor understood by my current mind. Death to Videodrome. Long live the new flesh...


--- The Seafairy

Friday, August 19, 2011

Film Review - Battle: Los Angeles

Dr. Johnny Fever

Also, for those who prefer written reviews - 

Battle Los Angeles: That was just a bad movie...I did'n...Id'l..F-...I didn't

Now taking requests -

Film Review - Pan's Labyrinth

By Dr. Johnny Fever

Also, for those who prefer written reviews -

Pan's Labyrinth: I didn't understand one word those guys were sayin'...A+...

Now taking requests

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Subconscious Film - Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)

These essays are specifically for reading after ones personal viewing.

       Was not playing in 3D when I saw it.
        The camera dolphins through fields of unknown, and we sway through the waves; innovation through aviating esotericism, and we haven’t even seen the caves. The cave itself is an interesting source without the drawings; the daunting exterior bares a story unto its own. The interviews, shown in intervals create a personal sense of intimacy; feeding information while oddly adding an additional background for nonfictional character development (Herzog exceeds in this originality within documentaries). When the drawings are revealed, the earth is lost with arguments of evolution; depth and creativity within pre-primitive humanity. These are no mere stick figures; these drawings are carved within the curves of eroded rock to accentuate depth of field. Minds that could not bend metals, only, art into glittered stone. The length of the film bares no issue. It might drag on a bit with the repetitiveness of mammoth rhinoceros and elephants, but eyes are lost in the unbelief that surrounds 35,000 years. 
        The original score, by Ernst Reijseger, covers the cave with blankets of warm avant-garde stimulation. One of the best original scores I’ve heard since Jonny Greenwood’s, There Will Be Blood score. Though, they almost can’t be compared because of the lack of theme in Reijsegers’; so, maybe I should say, the most pleasing I’ve listened to, and will continue to listen to after I’ve bought it, and when I buy the documentary at its release (dragging on).
        The content created by albino crocodiles, forgoes any dreary eyed criticisms (which I personally was not apart of) that might’ve been yawned; serving as both the clinging climax, and ultimate fall of the film. The separation is so extreme, you find comfort and similarity within the cave, and, these forgotten creatures. The separation evolves into a warm attachment and is subconsciously helped through the progress of the story. You never feel uncomfortable with it's difference simply because there's not one.

        Herzog has directed, written and narrated another documentary, ending with the sagacious earnestness of opinion, and filling its story with such an artistic expression, that the film revolts back into itself. While controversy might rise from Herzog's fictional talent (another party I’m not attached to), there is no argument against the genius he protrudes within the nonfictional medium of film.


--- The Spandex Bandit

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Music Video Review: The Seven Fields of Aphelion - Michigan Icarus

~By Mr. Krinkle
Lights, trees and roads swirl seamlessly in front of me. Everything is moving. Everything is alive, coordinated with melancholy and emotion. The juxtaposition of power lines and nature sets the tone for The Seven Fields of Aphelion's music video "Michigan Icarus." Emotional, bittersweet piano melodies and surreal, atmospheric synthesizers create a soundtrack to a kaleidoscope of images that constantly dance in rhythm with the music. The sparseness of the song and of what is happening visually is really impactful and effective in creating such a rich ambiance. It's impressive how imaginative art can be when said art is presented in such a simple way. No amount of complexity can really account for the aesthetic of stepping outside and bearing witness to unfathomable landscape laid out before us like an oversized canvas we can step into and change. This video accompanied by such an emotionally captivating composition is a constant reminder that beauty does exist within nature and inside of the things that humans can create.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Lesser-Knowns: Overshadowed

By: Henry Melville

In the shadow of a lesser giant there skulks a creature. No longer a man, this specter roams the ethereal realms surrounded by transvestites, aliens, crippled doctors and Susan Sarandon’s underwear.

It was only one year earlier, this phantom took refuge in The Paradise, the embodiment of pop music. Hub of what was new, what was in. In droves the sheep entered The Paradise with the promise of a killer show. Only one man could provide the entertainment they slutted for: Swan. The face of Death Records. The man behind the man behind the man of the nostalgia revival. Birthing the doo-wop Juicy Fruits and beach-bash Beach Bums. But what creates nostalgia? Time, vague memories, a phantom of the reminiscence? Yes, a Phantom! One does not find this phantom on rainy nights. Not within the walls of mysterious castles with hunchback handymen. No, it is found within The Paradise. Haunting those who stole his face, his voice, his love, his music. Revenge driven by passion, passion driven by soul, soul sold to the devil himself.

Phantom - a person or thing of merely illusory power. This is the obfuscated life, death and rebirth of Winslow Leach. A person of legend, of myth. Why, then, have few heard of his tragedy? Because they are blinded by Brad and Janet! Deafened by Dr. Frank-N-Furter! The beauty. The irreverence. The horror. The comedy. Passed by, forgotten, a tape compiling dust in a pawn shop. Eclipsed by the shock value of a truly rocky, mildly horrific picture show.

Constantly settling for what is popular, such is the grave nature of man. The reason time has forgotten Phantom of the Paradise. A film as deserving a cult following as that other sci-fi-horror-rock-comedy-musical. “He sold his soul for rock n’ roll” and all you have to do is watch.

Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise was released in 1974. It was all but forgotten when The Rocky Horror Picture Show snowballed it’s way into midnight showings across the nation in 1975. Fox’s Glee aired it’s Rocky Horror Picture Show themed episode in 2010. As of now, Phantom of the Paradise is up for consideration to be included in the Criterion Collection.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Film Review - The Harry Potter Film Series

By Dr. Johnny Fever

Also, for those who prefer written reviews -

Harry Potter: They do witchcraft...they're goin to hell... D-

Now taking requests -

Monday, August 8, 2011

'Roll together, die together.' The FP review

by Yojimbo
The Trost Brothers made a movie you need to see. It will change you.

Now pay attention.

The badassery on display in the film constant, hilarious, straight-faced and, well, badass. Not the rough kind that we’d get from Dirty Harry or Snake Plissken, or the over-the-top kind like Macho Man Randy Savage, or even the honorable kind in the likes of Atticus Finch. No... think more like the story mentality of The Warriors with costumes and set design from The Return of the Living Dead speaking like they all came from some Mythical Ebonics Trash Talk 101 class. Let me (try to) explain:

The FP takes place in a futuristic(?) Fraizer Park, California. There are gangs that all want control of the mountain town, and will settle all disputes with a Beat-Beat Revelation showdown. So when main character JTro’s bro goes down, yo, and he leaves town for a year, The FP goes to hell under the domination of L Dubba E, a rival gang leader who looks like a cross between Mr. T and 2015 Marty McFly.

JTro gets commissioned by KCDC and old friend of hid older bro, BTro, to come back to the FP and Beat-Beat to victory. The story follows the common ‘prodigal returns, meets old flame, gets inspiration, does training montage, has final showdown...’ Despite all of the reused story lines, the movie is incredibly funny and smart (which honestly surprised me). The vernacular that the Trost Bros created is amazing. They seem to speak only in trash talk/wigger-speak. Where Malibu’s Most Wanted failed so very, very (very) miserably, The FP succeeds and then goes beyond conceivable possibility and, perhaps, decorum. (Ha.) It is never repetitive and had me falling out of my lawn chair gasping for breath.

That’s because my brother and I drove to The FP to see The FP as put on by the Cinefamily and The Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow. With filmmakers and stars in attendance and locals and non-locals alike yelling at the screen “You got this JTro!” and “You know you want that dick!” it was pretty fantastic. Also the parking attendant called my brother and me assholes, but that’s neither here nor there.

There is some really solid comedy work going on here that makes me excited to see the promised FP 2.  There's one scene in particular that practically killed me due to asphyxiation when the morning of the big Beat-Beat-off, (Ha.) JTro tries to save Stacy from her dad and L Dubba E... well the rest won't make sense and I couldn't possibly do it justice.

Basically, The FP is the kind of high-quality, thought-provoking cinema that you will be discussion for hours. The attention to detail and color is second to none and the dialogue will be dissected (a la A Clockwork Orange) for years to come. Seek it out, have your mind expanded, eat a Spaghetti-o and Waffle sandwich and roll together, die together. Hell yeah.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Film Review - Pulp Fiction

By Dr. Johnny Fever

Also, for those who prefer written reviews -

Pulp Fiction: Iss like Saturday Night Fever cause John Travolta dances in it... A+

Friday, August 5, 2011

Film Review - Inception

By Dr. Johnny Fever

Also, for those who prefer written reviews -

Inception: I don't get it... C+/B-

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Film Review - Tree of Life

By Dr. Johnny Fever

Also, for those who prefer written reviews -

Tree of Life: It's got dinosaurs stepp'n on each other's heads, so you should go see it... A+