Friday, January 27, 2012

Personal Items

On my desk at work sits a a generic
metal can stating without flourish
its contents: BEEF WITH JUICES.
And on that can sits a G.I. Joe
who holds with a plastic left hand
inside a plastic glove a small cutout
of sexy Ryan Gosling from GQ.

Meanwhile, the right hand holds
a plastic gun that used to belong
to Cable, another stoic actioneer.
I have scrawled on my soldier’s shirt
words whined by Bill Paxton in Aliens:
Still, he seems plasticly hopeful.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The TXB Best/Worst Movie Lists With Commentary

Boehme’s Top Ten Worst Flicks of 2011

#10: Thor - This is basically the same kinda crap as the also very bad Immortals, but without the Freida Pinto nude scene! Hell, I would've accepted a Natalie Portman nude scene! Instead we get a huge chunk of the film devoted to Thor losing his powers for being an asshole, which means he's just a muscle-bound doofus with daddy issues who talks funny and smashes his cup to the ground after he'd done drinking ‘cause that's how they do it in Asgard. Lame.

#9: Cowboys and Aliens - It's like director Jon Favreau said to himself, "I've got a movie called Cowboys and Aliens starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig? This sucker's gonna direct itself!" And then he proceeded to find out if a movie literally could do that. It cannot. As is typical with the alien invasion flick, all the work on the aliens was devoted to how they looked (not memorable), and we get zero on them as actual characters.

#8: Road to Nowhere - A small time actress named Laurel Graham is hired to impersonate the daughter of a Cuban politician, Velma Duran, and fake her death. Then, when a film is made about Duran's death, the director hires--you guessed it--Laurel Graham to play Velma Duran. Ugh. I'm tired just recapping that much. Finish it off, Ebert: "I've rarely seen a narrative film that seemed so reluctant to flow. Nor perhaps one with a more accurate title."

#7: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - I'll admit that I might not have hated this one so much if I hadn't already seen the okay Swedish version. But director David Fincher knew going into this that many had read the books and seen the Swedish films, and he had an obligation to still find a way to make a compelling American film. Perhaps he hoped that Rooney Mara could carry the film with her decent portrayal or Lizbeth Salander. She didn't.

#6: The Artist - Two strong cups of coffee couldn't keep me fully awake during this absurdly overrated, mostly silent film. So this dude can't transition from being a silent film actor to a sound film actor and basically becomes a drunken jerkoff because of it for most of the film. Now, drunken jerkoffs occasionally say interesting things, but not if they're in a silent film. When the dude puts a gun in his mouth, you're just praying he'll pull the trigger.

#5: Green Lantern - Maybe I'm misremembering the Green Lantern comix I've read, but I thought Hal Jordan qualified to be GL only because he was fearless. But they have a whole thing in this movie about how he has to overcome his fear. Plus, there's no mention of how the GL ring doesn't work against the color yellow. Look, I know it's stupid, but it was a pretty central point to the comic book mythos. Ah, fuck it, this movie was too dull for me to say more.

#4: Unknown - The goal here, I'm sure, was to let Liam Neeson be the kind of workaday badass that he was in Taken. But where Taken gave us a protagonist with a clear motivation and a simple but compelling narrative, Unknown gives us a convoluted sprint to yet another Shyamalanian twist ending. Can't remember if I saw the twist coming or not, but I do recall not giving a shit by then.

#3: Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings – Disgusting fucking hillbillies kill and eat college kids. Look, we’ve all wanted to do that to college kids at some point, but it just ain’t right. Also, since this is a prequel, there goes the suspense/hope that any of these damn dirty hillbillies will get killed themselves. Only a pretty good (if far too brief) lesbian love scene kept this sucker from soaring to the top of the worst list.

#2: Sucker Punch - It's a rare thing indeed for a director to make a film about chicks in Catholic school girl outfits kicking ass and for me to go, "I don't get it." But that's what happened here. Curse you, Zack Snyder, for causing me to doubt the whole "hot chicks kicking" genre with your tired video game aesthetic (oh, wait, nevermind...McG already made me do that with Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle).

#1: Sanctum - I wish I had the the energy, motivation, and conviction to murder everyone associated with this film. That would include executive producer James Cameron, who apparently was tired of hearing his name associated just with good films. Sanctum answers that only recently asked question in the film world: what does shit look like in 3-D?

Boehme’s Top Ten Best Flicks of 2011

#10: Melancholia – This one made a lot of top ten lists and rightly so. I meant to see it again, but I never got around to it. It's certainly ambitious, profound, and compelling. And--SPOILER ALERT--you've gotta admire an end of the world flick where the world actually does end.

#9: Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil - I sorta wish I was drinking when I screened this film ‘cause A. it might have been even funnier (hard to imagine) and B. it would have given me an excuse in case a bunch of people see the flick and say, "What the fuck, Boehme?!" To fully appreciate the humor here, you may need to have watched a bunch of killer hillbilly horror films (I have).

#8: Everything Must Go – This is based on a short story by Raymond Carver called "Why Don't You Dance?" and it again illustrates my point that Will Ferrell could go the Tom Hanks route and become a Serious Actor if he did more films like this and less films like, oh, half the shit he does. Do we really want or need him to do that, though? Well, I do. Enough fuckin' around, funnyman ...let's make more bracing comments on the human condition!

#7: Midnight in Paris - When you've long concluded that Woody Allen will never hit the ball again, he jerks one out of the park. A certain cultural literacy is required to appreciate Owen Wilson's time travels to 1920's Paris and the conversations with famous artists which ensue. There are a couple of brief echoes of the Woody Allen nebbish in Wilson's performance, but mostly he portrays writer Gil Pender as the kind of novelist you'd actually want to read.

#6: Bridesmaids - I don't suppose much needs be said about a film that almost everyone saw. One odd thing is that apparently the critics dig it a bit more than the general audience. Whut up with that? It ain't like this was a highbrow intellectual's brand of funny. I dunno...maybe the audience was thinking of star Kristen Wiig, "Is that the woman who plays that stupid 'Gilly' character on SNL?"

#5: Contagion - I'm still pissed that director Steven Soderbergh made me watch Gwyneth Paltrow's head get cut open...and, like, the flap of skin at the top of her skull is folded onto her face. Gross! Oh well...let's just cross our fingers and hope that never happens to Gwyneth Paltrow in real life. Anyway, she, Matt Damon, and the rest of the impressive cast here have convinced me that we will survive the next global pandemic. Well, most of us.

#4: Drive - In the end, it may be just so much stylized trash with a good soundtrack, but if so it's my kinda trash. Tarantino probably saw it and said, "Godammit, I gonna make that film some day!" Ryan Gosling plays a borderline mime (without all the makeup and gesticulating) who drives really fast and falls in love with the kinda dame who will eventually inspire you to bash some scumbag's head in with a wrench. Life affirming!

#3: Martha Marcy May Marlene - What's worse, living with a cult or with rich people? Answer: the cult. Rich people might be uncommunicative and way too slow to call a therapist, but at least they give Martha a chance to become herself again (“Marcy May” and “Marlene” are a couple of identities she picks up in the cult). The movie poses the question of whether you can ever really get out once you've been subsumed into an insane collective. Hope so...but my cult leader watches me pretty closely.

#2: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - Clearly, Tom Cruise is willing to be maimed and/or killed in order to make a superior action film, and someone finally matched that dedication again by turning in a good script. Also, kooky old school director Brad Bird shoots action scenes so that you can actually tell who's hitting whom. He also hired a camera operator who doesn't have epilepsy (a rare thing in action films these days). Popcorn-crunchers really don't get any better than this.

#1: The Descendants - At age 50, George Clooney is a ladies’ man, a man's man, and a hermaphrodite's man. As Matt King, a real estate lawyer and beleaguered dad of two girls, Clooney convincingly plays that fabled rich dude who stays humble and actually eats a lot of shit when he really doesn't have to. This is one of those movies that has everything--pathos, humor, Robert Forster punching some douchebag in the's all here!

What I Learned From Comix (esp. "The Punisher")

Been hearing a lot on the STL newz about these punks who like to play "The Knockout Game," which apparently involves just running up to some poor schmuck and beating the shit out of him till he's unconscious.

Here's hoping those who play The Knockout Game run into someone who likes to play The Shootout Game.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Scotty's Top Ten Best Flicks of 2011

My top 10 movies of the year (in order of bestness)
Tree of Life
The Debt
Sucker Punch
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Ides of March
Dangerous Method

Scotty's Top Ten Worst Flicks of 2011

My worst 10 movies (worst to worst of the worst)
The Thing
No Strings Attached
X-men First Class
Transformers 3 Dark of the Moon
Paranormal Activity 3
Conan the Barbarian
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Hangover 2
Harry Potter Deathly Hollows 2

G-Money's Top Ten Best Flicks of 2011

10. Larry Crowne
9. The Change-Up
8. Company Men
7. The Lincoln Lawyer
6. Margin Call
5. Hall Pass
4. Bridesmaids
3. Immortals
2. Battle: Los Angeles
1. Source Code

G-Money's Top Ten Worst Flicks of 2011

10. The Adjustment Bureau
9. Unknown
8. Killer Elite
7. Arthur
6. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
5. The Dilemma
4. Green Hornet
3. Your Highness
2. Sucker Punch
1. Hobo With a Shotgun