Bobcat’s movies are far from subtle, and the expository sermons here were fairly distracting in an otherwise well done film. I hope he can find a better voice in his future films because when he is preaching to the choir the sermons break his flow, and when he is not, the long winded diatribes will probably cause more walkouts than conversions. Overall, this was an interesting look at how Hit-girl and Big Daddy might have come to be in an alternate universe.

Much of The Tree of Life (2011) is like reading every Ray Bradbury story about being a kid, while listening to classical music. It begins by trying to show the entire library of existence, into which this one childhood story fits, and it closes with someone trying to get you to check out the Bible before your library card expires.

Much of The Tree of Life (2011) is like reading every Ray Bradbury story about being a kid, while listening to classical music. It begins by trying to show the entire library of existence, into which this one childhood story fits, and it closes with someone trying to get you to check out the Bible before your library card expires.

Phantasm has always been one of those horror films that is on every list and is supposed to be so good, but is in fact incredibly disappointing and ineffective as both a horror film and an adventure film for me. I decided to rewatch it and the entire series to see if I could find that element everyone else is getting but me.

I still find the first film to be an incredibly poor attempt at horror. I read into the same metaphor as I did initially: the child is discovering his sexuality and is conflicted because he feels that his self that he knows must die if he grows up and into his sexuality, featuring the tall man as the erection that keeps popping up, the destructive balls that drop and seek to bore through any and everything, seeking out flesh and splooging life juices out once the penetrate said flesh. In later films we learn that when peopel die they turn into shrunken, withered flesh creatures who are controlled by the tall man and have had their brains placed inside the balls. Having never seen the first film as a child, the sense of adventure is not as grand as it could have been for me.

The sequels, however, transform the series into a much more interesting adventure with a Tall Man mythos unfolding as you travel with the self appointed hunters and become part of their team, learning the ins and outs of the universe along with them. Though they are a bit campy in places, they are still very fun, and each sequel picks up where the last film left off making for a relatively seamless experience if you are marathoning them (some of the actors change, but it is hidden fairly well). The loss of innocence as related to the discovery of the tall man, the balls, and the shrunken flesh zombies seems to carry throughout the series. So if you are like me and found the first film lacking, you should try the rest of the next film to see if the tonal shift makes the series work for you.


"Will I ever laugh again?"
"Yes, when something’s really really funny."

And she does laugh in the next scene, at a fart joke— well technically a shart joke but still. Both Sex and the City films are about clinging to the past and being afraid of the new, but they do not cling to their own roots in the writing. They both feel like cookie cutter Adam Sandler movies, waiting for something wacky to happen and make the whole family feel good.
The TV series had some great writing going for it. There was an A story and a B story, and the B story served as a metaphor for whatever was happening in the A story often there was a C and D story as well to show how the metaphor could be applied to different personalities in the same situation, it was all forced into a package for public consumption via voice over which was ostensibly dictating an article for Carrie’s ongoing eponymous series in the New York Star and later in Vogue. The metaphors were often clever and subtly built throughout an episode to reveal themselves in the end. Sometimes the voice over beat you over the head with the metaphor, but usually the 3 or 4 stories were trading points to deconstruct the metaphor and reveal the lesson of the week. The material in the two films is not that interesting and does not have any creative metaphors supporting it. The films mostly exist just so you can hang out one last time with the characters you may have grown to identify with over the years as they complain about things changing while having changed themselves into lesser versions of their previous selves.

"Will I ever laugh again?"

"Yes, when something’s really really funny."

And she does laugh in the next scene, at a fart joke— well technically a shart joke but still. Both Sex and the City films are about clinging to the past and being afraid of the new, but they do not cling to their own roots in the writing. They both feel like cookie cutter Adam Sandler movies, waiting for something wacky to happen and make the whole family feel good.

The TV series had some great writing going for it. There was an A story and a B story, and the B story served as a metaphor for whatever was happening in the A story often there was a C and D story as well to show how the metaphor could be applied to different personalities in the same situation, it was all forced into a package for public consumption via voice over which was ostensibly dictating an article for Carrie’s ongoing eponymous series in the New York Star and later in Vogue. The metaphors were often clever and subtly built throughout an episode to reveal themselves in the end. Sometimes the voice over beat you over the head with the metaphor, but usually the 3 or 4 stories were trading points to deconstruct the metaphor and reveal the lesson of the week. The material in the two films is not that interesting and does not have any creative metaphors supporting it. The films mostly exist just so you can hang out one last time with the characters you may have grown to identify with over the years as they complain about things changing while having changed themselves into lesser versions of their previous selves.

The Green Hornet (2011) is a stoner buddy comedy with marijuana being replaced by an adrenaline rush of danger. The good-hearted slacker disappoints his father and will never make good until he grows up. He pursues his own path with his buddy who begins to share in his habit and they both begin to concot ideas for a super bong and a better high (I mean super car and more dangerous adventures). Later in the film, the main character is turned into a walking fart joke who spouts homosexual double entendres without batting an eye.
But what is Gondry saying about this structure? The so-called hero does more harm than good (destruction of police cars for no real reason and people are killed for wearing the color green —the color for his adventures/drug of choice), and the climax of the film has no moral consistency (no fatal violence, on second thought, kill ‘em all). All in all, the film is a mess, but there is a very good use of split screen, as most comic book and super hero movies have to simulate the paneled nature of their source material.

The Green Hornet (2011) is a stoner buddy comedy with marijuana being replaced by an adrenaline rush of danger. The good-hearted slacker disappoints his father and will never make good until he grows up. He pursues his own path with his buddy who begins to share in his habit and they both begin to concot ideas for a super bong and a better high (I mean super car and more dangerous adventures). Later in the film, the main character is turned into a walking fart joke who spouts homosexual double entendres without batting an eye.

But what is Gondry saying about this structure? The so-called hero does more harm than good (destruction of police cars for no real reason and people are killed for wearing the color green —the color for his adventures/drug of choice), and the climax of the film has no moral consistency (no fatal violence, on second thought, kill ‘em all). All in all, the film is a mess, but there is a very good use of split screen, as most comic book and super hero movies have to simulate the paneled nature of their source material.

How do you turn a 60 page story like Dolan’s Cadillac (2009) into an 80 minute movie, especially when about 35 of those pages are about a man digging a hole and then filling it in? The answer is by adding a lot of heavy-handed scenes, foreshadowing your ending and some repetitive scenes driving home how awful the bad guy is. Add to that a bad lead actor, and you have one of the worst Stephen King adaptations in a while. Christian Slater is pretty good, but most of his important scenes are played to a pile of dirt —though that is a good metaphor for the lead actor’s performance, here I mean it literally.

How do you turn a 60 page story like Dolan’s Cadillac (2009) into an 80 minute movie, especially when about 35 of those pages are about a man digging a hole and then filling it in? The answer is by adding a lot of heavy-handed scenes, foreshadowing your ending and some repetitive scenes driving home how awful the bad guy is. Add to that a bad lead actor, and you have one of the worst Stephen King adaptations in a while. Christian Slater is pretty good, but most of his important scenes are played to a pile of dirt —though that is a good metaphor for the lead actor’s performance, here I mean it literally.

Next (2007) is beautiful because Nicolas Cage plays a magician who can see 2 minutes into the future, and it created the my hair is a bird meme. It is also an important example of movies that do not understand that you should make up your rules in the beginning and adhere to them throughout, rather than complicating the rules as you go to suit the plot (see also: Deja Vu (2006) for more examples).

Next (2007) is beautiful because Nicolas Cage plays a magician who can see 2 minutes into the future, and it created the my hair is a bird meme. It is also an important example of movies that do not understand that you should make up your rules in the beginning and adhere to them throughout, rather than complicating the rules as you go to suit the plot (see also: Deja Vu (2006) for more examples).

Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) is interesting in that it allows Marilyn to play against her usual type. Marilyn plays a babysitter who has just started working in a fancy hotel. It is revealed that she has long been distraught over the death of her former lover, and she starts wearing her rich employer’s jewelry to cover the scars on her wrists. The typical babysitter attacked by a welcomed stranger dynamic is turned on its head when Marilyn begins to seat her delusions within the man she has invited into the hotel room. She sees the girl she is supposed to be caring for as an impediment to her happiness and forces the man to protect the girl from the babysitter.
The conclusion is about as satisfying as mental illness films can get in the ’50s, and the film has a lot of great bad dialogue in places (“You smell like one of them cooch dancers”). With several misfires, this film is placed in the second tier of Marilyn’s films, but the performance is refreshing. Many seem to think this performance is a revealing look at the actual, flawed Marilyn, but I would like to think she has more dimension than this.

Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) is interesting in that it allows Marilyn to play against her usual type. Marilyn plays a babysitter who has just started working in a fancy hotel. It is revealed that she has long been distraught over the death of her former lover, and she starts wearing her rich employer’s jewelry to cover the scars on her wrists. The typical babysitter attacked by a welcomed stranger dynamic is turned on its head when Marilyn begins to seat her delusions within the man she has invited into the hotel room. She sees the girl she is supposed to be caring for as an impediment to her happiness and forces the man to protect the girl from the babysitter.

The conclusion is about as satisfying as mental illness films can get in the ’50s, and the film has a lot of great bad dialogue in places (“You smell like one of them cooch dancers”). With several misfires, this film is placed in the second tier of Marilyn’s films, but the performance is refreshing. Many seem to think this performance is a revealing look at the actual, flawed Marilyn, but I would like to think she has more dimension than this.

In an interesting promotional move, Desi Arnaz sang the song “Forever Darling” on an episode of I Love Lucy to promote their new movie of the same title.
Forever, Darling (1956) is about a couple in their fifth year of marriage, hitting emotional malaise and diverging form one another. Lucy begins to have restrained sex fantasies about James Mason, who appears in the form of her guardian angel. After being the focus of fantasy for awhile, Mason begins to monologue about her marital problems, and the movie changes locations to act as a metaphoric exploration of the couple’s relationship. This look at the characters’ inner feelings through metaphors of  location and action is much like The Long, Long Trailer. The message here is a bit different than Trailer’s, and also a bit outdated. Rather than exploring the balance of sacrifice and compromise in a committed relationship, it seems to just talk about happy acceptance of subservience with all sacrifice and no compromise.

In an interesting promotional move, Desi Arnaz sang the song “Forever Darling” on an episode of I Love Lucy to promote their new movie of the same title.

Forever, Darling (1956) is about a couple in their fifth year of marriage, hitting emotional malaise and diverging form one another. Lucy begins to have restrained sex fantasies about James Mason, who appears in the form of her guardian angel. After being the focus of fantasy for awhile, Mason begins to monologue about her marital problems, and the movie changes locations to act as a metaphoric exploration of the couple’s relationship. This look at the characters’ inner feelings through metaphors of  location and action is much like The Long, Long Trailer. The message here is a bit different than Trailer’s, and also a bit outdated. Rather than exploring the balance of sacrifice and compromise in a committed relationship, it seems to just talk about happy acceptance of subservience with all sacrifice and no compromise.

Too Many Girls (1940) is not a very good film, but it is important for being the reason Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz met. There are no scenes of chemistry herein though, everything must have happened behind the scenes. The other interesting thing is how bad the editing is (or perhaps the direction since the director went on to become a producer instead). There are many out of place inserts and overly long takes on reactions. The musical pieces are filmed competently enough but nothing too interesting. The Long Long Trailer (1953) remains my favorite Lucy & Desi vehicle.

Too Many Girls (1940) is not a very good film, but it is important for being the reason Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz met. There are no scenes of chemistry herein though, everything must have happened behind the scenes. The other interesting thing is how bad the editing is (or perhaps the direction since the director went on to become a producer instead). There are many out of place inserts and overly long takes on reactions. The musical pieces are filmed competently enough but nothing too interesting. The Long Long Trailer (1953) remains my favorite Lucy & Desi vehicle.