Films on the quick #2

by Ben

It’s not easy being me.

I’ll just leave it at that.


8. American Mary


To me, body modification is about as attractive as getting a metal stake through the nuts or being dragged behind a jet fighter as it pulls 15g before crashing into a telephone wire and exploding. I have no desire to modify myself in any way. My second year at university I was moments away from getting inked before I was castigated by a woman and shamed myself into relenting. Tattoos on some people look great and on others they look fantastic. On some women they give me an erection worthy of James Jeffray. But on me: no thanks. The only body modification I would get would be one of the following:

  • An extra arm, for…………stuff
  • An extra penis, for…………..stuff
  • A jet engine on my ass, for FUCKING FLYING
  • Better eyes, because these suck
  • An extra person grafted on my back who can play the banjo and rap

Anyway, American Mary is about body modification. I expected a gore-fest in the vein of Repo Men, but it’s really not all that graphic. There is one scene where a woman gets her nipples sawn off and her vagina sewn shut, but you don’t see the surgery and only get a brief glimpse later on. Actually, there isn’t much to see at all in terms of blood. It was a little disappointing, but I still applaud the Soska Sisters for restraint. This could have been a splashy, cheap attempt at narrative divergence and/or avoidance, but it’s not.

I disagree with the use of rape as a plot device, however. I can’t stand this trend. It’s supremely annoying. I mean, if writers can’t figure out another way to expose a tragic history of a character, they shouldn’t fucking be writers. Sure, it makes for a beautiful revenge story, but it’s so fucking inappropriate. I just finished reading Nylon Angel and the author uses rape there too. IDIOTS.

Conclusion: I won’t watch it again because the ending is lame, but it’s definitely worth your time. 4.0/5.0


9. Equilibrium


This is proper dystopia, not some young adult urban action adventure romance fantasy sci-fi epic with a strong female protagonist in her late teens who is a chosen one destined to overthrow “the system” and restore harmony to the remnants of humanity decades after a nuclear war. This is bleak, grim, hopeless, dark, and above all, it’s ominous. Oh and Sean Bean is in it…..for about ten minutes, before he dies. Nothing unexpected of course.

Equilibrium is a story told through lack of emotion, which, naturally, is powered by emotion. There’s some terrible, histrionic reasoning about destroying feelings because they cause war and discomfort, but that’s really a backdrop for Christian Bale to shit excellence all over the screen. His fall from a chief executioner to a man who feels is naturally melodramatic, but all of the narrative shortcomings are fucked away by Bale and his unmatched skill as a thespian. It’s really too bad this and Ultraviolet did so poorly at the box office, because Kurt Wimmer has skill when it comes to framing and blocking. The special effects are certainly weak, but that’s negligible because Wimmer positions scenes so flawlessly that these shortcomings are almost meaningless.

There’s a reason this one has a 7.6 on IMDb: it’s really fucking good. Anything with Christian Bale in it is going to be worth watching, but this is a Complete Package. Good story, good flow, great acting, and also a guy gets his face cut off. It’s not as pretty a slice as Underworld, but it’s good for a hearty laugh and a minute or so of gleeful giggling. I’ve seen Equilibrium three times in the past five or six years, and every time I still grin and cackle at that scene.

Conclusion: If you haven’t seen this, go fuck yourself. 5.0/5.0


10. Lone Survivor


[Insert tons of respect-filled prose about honor, courage, killing Muslims, blowing up civilian funerals, assassinating citizens, drone strikes, misdirected invasions, political scheming, saber-rattling, weapons ra………okay well whatever you get the point.]

All that’s great and all, but Lone Survivor is a piece of shit.

Honestly, this is a clichéd and formulaic two-hour bawwwwfest filled with lengthy bro-love shots and dramatic explosions of ketchup packages. It’s got everything from “let’s throw shit at the new guy and laugh BUT NOW WE’RE SUPR SURS CUT TO MONTAGE OF HELIIIIIIIIICUPTIRS” to the pre-credits roll of photos and names. Honestly, this movie is shit from start to finish. Peter Berg did a better job with Battleship (fuck you) than Lone Survivor. The only reason people liked it is due to the MURKAN PATRYASM EAGLEBUTTFUK FLAGSALOOTS. Seriously: this one made like $150 million USD, of which 125 was from Murka itself. Translation: NO ONE ELSE GIVES A FUCK.

I honestly didn’t have a good time, even though I love “action” films and anything with sustained gun fights. I watched about 45 minutes of it half-screen while I browsed the internet looking for something stimulating. That I landed on a King Zlatan fan site in Swedish, of which I only understood like 15% (mostly the bits involving “MESY @1 PLAYR IN WURLD” or “HURRRFFFFFLEDURFLE CRISTIANOOOOOOOOO”), is irrelevant. I could have been dual-screening bisexual interracial gangbangs where two guys were balls-deep in a Brazilian prostitute with massive fake tits that looked like googly eyes while two other dudes were pounding away at their assholes AND I STILL WOULD HAVE FOUND THAT MORE INTERESTING.

Lone Survivor is a cliché-filled sack of bullshit, wrapped up in American Patriotism Bullshit and fed to American Patriotism Bullshit-hungry American Patriotism-Bleeding Bullshit Eaters. I think Marky is a great screen persona, but here he has the conviction of a crusty cold sore on the tip of your dick. I honestly didn’t know a human being’s eyebrows could look angrier, but jesus fuck christ Marky sure showed me wrong here. I kind of think he injects a shitload of steroids into his eyebrows just so he can flex them more and look like the most pissed-off motherfucker in the world.

Conclusion: If you think this is a quality film, fucking kill yourself. 0.5/5.0


12. Ultraviolet


Honestly, it’s not very often that I am disgusted with humanity as a whole.


No that’s not true at all. I hate everybody, always, forever.

But rarely do I get emotional about something like this. Ultraviolet is like a fly lamp for assholes. It’s got a 4.4 rating on IMDb with the general consensus that it licks dick. Everybody loathes this one. There is contempt for Kurt Wimmer because of his apparent fall from social grace in producing this as a followup to Equilibrium. It’s terrible, the studio fucked it in the ass by chopping 30 minutes off, and it looks like shit. Oh and also the plot makes no sense and it’s boring and confusing. Thanks specifically to this debacle, Wimmer hasn’t landed another directing gig (though I attribute that to him looking like a flamboyant, flaming douchebag who received the Douchebag Catalog in the mail and ordered every single item).

All lies.

Ultraviolet is an AMAZING film. The visual style alone is breathtaking. I don’t know why the evil henchmen wear ceramic armor, but who gives a shit when it looks this gorgeous. The environment, the weapons, the colors, the small touches no one really notices; EVERYTHING IS STUNNING. So the plot is a wee bit nonsensical, but that doesn’t make the visual feast any less fantastic. Moreover, anyone who thought it was confusing is obviously an inbred fuckwit with less brains than a street condom. It’s entirely straightforward and simplistic. But that works well with the extraordinary action unfolding onscreen. Inception bungled this by being stupidly complex, while Ultraviolet‘s narrative floats just high enough for the entire experience to gel and amaze.

And plus Milla Jovovich is hot with purple (I mean VIOLET hfidoghiohgs) hair. And speaking of, while I mentioned it a bit ago, the colors in Ultraviolet are dazzling. Everything has a striking hue complemented by vivid imagination and superb artistic design. I only have two real complaints with this one: First, the music doesn’t fit with the action. It’s epic and orchestral where a thumping electronic beat would have meshed better. And second, someone in post went a little wild with the bloom and blur tools. At first I couldn’t really tell if it was simply my shitty monitor or the copy of the movie, but then it kept on happening with a second copy. My conclusion is that this is yet another fiddlefuck by the studio.

When studios mess with movies, the result never works. We all remember what happened with The Golden Compass, or Die Hard 4.0, or Fox’s absolute assreaming of Kingdom of Heaven. There’s a reason they’re studio executives with the creative savvy of a dead squirrel getting gnawed on by a starving Syrian kid with polio and the directors are the people they hired to actually CREATE THINGS. That would be like John Fox getting pissy, putting on the #18 jersey and playing grabass with Manny Ramirez while Richard Sherman jumps around like it’s Christmas morning in the ghetto and his one shiny new gift is actually his mom’s uncleansed vibrator but he’s okay with that because one time he stuck a K’Nex in his butt and it felt pretty good.

But even so, Ultraviolet is a triumph. All the reasons people (read: assholes) dislike this film are the reasons why it’s spectacular. I was never bored and oft-pleased in this non-stop adrenaline blast to the testicles.

Conclusion: Sheer brilliance. 5.0/5.0