The Machinist (2004)

I’m impressed with Christian Bale’s dedication to getting into the right body form for the role, but I’m still not impressed with his typically wooden acting.

Pretty creepy movie, in theme and established tone.

But that’s it…it’s like a bad ‘Twilight Zone’ episode: no hook.

Not one that makes it worth watching at least.

Try ‘Memento’ instead. Similar and superior.

And no Christian Bale.

Grade: D+

Film Imitates Hagakure – Part Two

“…In China there was once a man who liked pictures of dragons, and his clothing and furnishings were all designed accordingly. His deep affection for dragons was brought to the attention of the dragon god, and one day a real dragon appeared before his window. It is said that he died of fright. He was probably a man who always spoke big words but acted differently when facing the real thing…”

FAIR USE: CRITICISM – One of the highlights of the movie and a great example of the above. Also, if you try to get this removed allow me to criticize you: you’re an a$$hole.

Hurricane Of Wills – Unfinished

“Courtesy…”

“Courtesy is not for inferiors.”

“Courtesy is for everyone…”

“Nobody speaks to me that way.”

“That’s another one of your problems!
Nobody’s told you that you’re an uncivilized savage,
a vicious child in a woman’s body,
an arrogant monster…”

*slap*

“That’s no way to treat someone
who’s telling you the truth.”

11/3/16: Edited for form and punctuation and very minorly for content – no change to overriding theme. That’s right, FORM, CONTENT, INTERRELATIONSHIPS…

Film Imitates Hagakure – Part One

“…Victory and defeat are matters of the temporary force of circumstances…”

FAIR USE: CRITICISM – Harrison Ford demonstrates why sometimes improvisation is better than the original script. Also, it’s a great example of the above and – IMPO – chaos theory.

ABCs Of Death 2 (2014)

The intro combines a lot of Terry Gilliam’s precise animated Python slices with a bit of Peckinpah’s ‘Salad Days’.

And it’s NOT trying to be funny…I don’t think.

The mini-movies after are useless dumb sh1t, with the following exceptions:

C: I don’t like it that much, but at least it has a message.

K: Creepy and surreal. Not bad.

Q: Not too bad…ironic.

R: Nice twist.

U: See C, only better.

A few of the rest are just dull or bad, but some are absolutely WRETCHED…my favorite worst is “Y”, which actually made me laugh: Yet another brilliant installment of first-class Asian Horror.

And like the first movie, sh1tloads of credits.

Actual length: Around 1:50.

Grade: D-

Deep Puppy Thoughts (Part 84)

My desire would be for almost all (perfection would be boring) movies/songs I watch/listen to to have the following effects, as voiced by a cheezy pop song and a brief Sam Malone moment of serious clarity:

“…take my breath away…”

“…Wow.”

Black Mirror – Episode 7 (White Christmas)

At Christmas time, two relative strangers (chatty-guy and quiet-guy) sit down in a deserted cabin and share stories. It flashes back regularly to these two as the stories go on, as they explain the backstory of each story and interact a little.

Story One:

Dating coach of the future (chatty-guy) can help in real-time…making dating apparently far more successful and far less real – but the thought-provocation THERE is: if it WORKS, and it gets two people together who REALLY DO CLICK beyond just sex…is it worse to be fake to get something real, or be real to stay alone?

Said question is made slightly more complicated by the twist.

A good one, which slowly morphs into…

Story Two/Story Three:

Brief tale of a woman trapped as a “cookie” version of herself and subject to the whims of chatty-guy. This goes nowhere fast and stays there for a boring while, until a transition to…

Quiet-guy as he used to be: apparently happy and MUCH different, with a woman he seems to love.

The happy relationship turns very much for the worse when the woman discovers she’s pregnant, and after a big argument she “blocks” him from her life (a real-life adaptation of the FB thing).

After a while there’s the twist, and then the focus goes squarely back to the two men.

Decent twists to end it all.

Overall: The setup through story one are first-rate, just a notch below episode two. The rest is second-rate, somewhat interesting but still at the bottom of the barrel for these.

Please, let it be re-inspired, or let it end.

Black Mirror – Episode 6 (The Waldo Moment)

Seemed mediocre, stupid in parts, even quasi-copied from episode 2 (the speech: badly) at first.

But then it got somewhat interesting. Hang in there, you just might like it, even though the buildup is a lot of tedium.

I like the brief moment of humanity displayed near the end.

I also appreciate the way the show avoids slipping into maudlin sentimentality, instead displaying its statement stubbornly as-is: a “reality” established in the plot outside the realm of right and wrong, what should or should not be.

Black Mirror – Episode 5 (White Bear)

Your initial guesses, whatever they may be, are probably wrong.

Following the plot I made my own guesses, including one as to the nature of the message. These were challenged by the plot twist, although there remains a certain connection between what I guessed (and what most people will guess) and what actually is happening.

The problem, to me, is that neither during part one (“The Episode”) nor during part two (“The Twist”) was I particularly impressed with the quality of the writing. To say nothing of part three, which is “The Epilogue” but to me could just as easily be labeled “The TV Time Filler”.

This isn’t BAD…don’t get me wrong. But it’s uninspired, at least as compared to the rest.

It is adequately executed competence, nothing more; ‘Black Mirror’s Contractual Obligation Episode’, at least to me.

Black Mirror – Episode 4 (Be Right Back)

In the not-too-distant future…

Another small-scale tale attempting to send a large-scale message.

But this one resonates much more than the last because the relationship, even though only briefly established, is completely believable.

And because it raises some really difficult questions – what constitutes reality, and to what extent should we allow ourselves to escape into things other than pure reality, no matter how pleasing or comforting it might be to do so? Especially when such escape sacrifices “real” life.

When does indulgent fantasy become a perversion of real moments…moments that are best remembered as the brief but pure things of beauty that they were, and will in memory always remain?

Better than episode 3, but episode 2 looks more and more like this show’s pinnacle.

Black Mirror – Episode 3 (The Entire History Of You)

In the future, people have immediate access to every memory they’ve ever had. So if the mind is indeed one snapshot after another, everyone now gets to see each and every one – none lost in the shuffle, for better or worse.

Choosing NOT to have such a total recall is considered odd (and rare).

Much more small-scale than the previous two. Also pretty predictable (if well done), which is a huge disappointment after episode 2.

But hey, at least it makes you think…a little.

Black Mirror – Episode 2 (Fifteen Million Merits)

THIS is ‘Twilight Zone’-ish, an episode with a twist.

Interesting futuristic (but not TOO far in the future) sci-fi setting/set-up.

Pokes fun at pop culture, mass marketing and zombie-like mass acceptance as opposed to diversity, creativity, and individuality.

Much better than the first, and gets better as it goes along. Great performance by the lead.

Beyond “interesting”…compelling.

Well done.

Inspirational Quote: “I’m an entertainer.”

Pontypool (2008)

A “zombie” population becomes infected by sound.

It’s done fairly well but is mostly voiceovers and action on one set.

In the end it’s a lot of buildup with no legitimate payoff; an interesting idea that is not realized and a movie without characters to really care about.

Grade: D

eXistenZ (1999)

Very, very weird.

It’s about a game within a game within…

Quite complicated. I don’t think it’s nearly as gripping as it is impressive/interesting; it does not envelop and engross as much as such a movie should.

However if you’re a fan of virtual reality, odd sci-fi, and/or cerebral sci-fi it’s something you need to see for yourself to decide.

Inspirational Quote: “Death to the Demon…”

Grade: C