Entertainment

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Three stars

Morose man mutters “daughter” into dry desert air.  Remember, Neil Cassidy abandons Kerouac in Mexico.  There’s prisoners & airplane carapaces & botched men’s room pick-ups.  Poolside of frat bro’s, the nothingness sets in.  This is it.  The Neil Hamburger movie.

D, W & E by: Rick Alverson, More W: Gregg Turkington & Tim Heidecker, P by: Lorenzo Hagerman, More E: Michael Taylor, M by: Robert Donne w/Gregg Turkington, Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, David Yow, Amy Seimetz, Tim Heidecker, Dean Stockwell, etc…, 103 min, USA, 2015

Idiocracy

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Two stars

Take this map to the city of Costco but hang onto your nards!  This is that picaresque, dick-and-balls, sci-fi, warning-cry, Eugenics cult classic comedy from 2006 that Terry Crews mines for web content every few years.  I liked the army officer very humbly attracted to the pimp lifestyle.  I liked the restaurant called Butt-fuckers. 

D & W by: Mike Judge, More W: Etan Cohen P by: Tim Suhrstedt, M by: Theodore Shapiro, E by: David Rennie, A by: Corissa Smith, Rob Perkins, Scott Macgruder, etc… w/Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph, Dax Shepard, Justin Long, Terry Crews, Mike McCafferty, Thomas Haden Church, Scarface, etc…84 min, USA, 2006

Brother Bear

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Two stars

Moose!  Mammoths!  Matricide!  Floppy-lipped dog-bears crooning Phil Collins.  A brash-headed, prehistoric eskimo learns to respect the interconnectedness of all things.  This is lesser Disney but still the backgrounds are sumptuous.  I watched it by lamp light in the den with my father.  We snacked on caramel corn, pulled faces, wiggled eyebrows.  Inside of us were tornados unmatched by the small screen’s efforts.

D by: Aaron Blaise & Robert Walker, W by: Tab Murphy, Lorne Cameron, David Hoselton, Steve Bencich & Ron J. Friedman, A by: David J. Zywicki, John Webber, Yer ‘Za ‘Vue, JC Tran-Quang-Thieu, Kim Torpy, Rusty Stoll, Heidi Shellhorn, etc… E by: Tim Merten, M by: Phil Collins & Mark Mancina w/Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Michael Clarke Duncan, Greg Proops, Estelle Harris, Jason Raize, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, etc…, 85 min, USA, 2003

Crash

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Four stars

I remember reading this thing once where J.G. Ballard said he didn’t get any boners when writing Crash. Like somebody was accusing him of writing a smut book and he was like, “Hey, I did not pop a single bone on it, ok?” Seems like a weird thing to remember, like maybe I made it up in order to feel bad about my own carnal reactions to creative endeavors. Aroused by baking cheesecake, by writing copy.  James Spader dry humps wrecked motorists in dwindling twilight on the turnpike’s on-ramp.  Everybody hot for James Dean.

D & W by: David Cronenberg, More W: J.D. Ballard, P by: Peter Suschitzky, E by: Ronald Sanders, M by: Howard Shore, w/James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger, Rosanna Arqutte, Peter MacNeil, Yolande Julian, Cheryl Swarts, etc..100 min, Canada, 1996

Parallels

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Three stars

God-the-father, a top floor junkie in a derelict building downtown.  He awaits true love’s kiss.  In his beard are spiders and pizza bits.  Every 36 hours the building hops to an alternate dimension. 

In one of the dimensions they dropped the bomb.  God’s children stowaway and hop with him.  They’re incestuous cage fighters who just wanna get home. 

In one of the dimensions technology is really really advanced.  God’s friends stowaway and hop with him.  They’re tommy-gun toting baddies who look like Woody Harrelson.

In one of the dimensions everything’s underwater.  Nobody can find God even though he’s just above them.  The stairwell is sealed and the elevator busted. 

Did you think, like me, that the Zero Day Fox logo was a parallel universe joke?  A russian nesting doll?  The movie-in-itself hailing from an alternate reality, one where 20th Century Fox doesn’t exist but is Zero Day Fox instead?  Yeah, turns out it’s just a subsidiary.

D & W by: Cristopher Leone, More W: Laura Harkcom, P by: Bryce Fortner, E by: Ian Duncan & Thomas Verrette, M by: Corey Allen Jackson, w/Mark Hapka, Constance Wu, Jessica Rothe, Eric Jungmann, Davi Jay, Ian Casselberry, Yorgo Constantine, Michael Monks, etc…, 83 min, USA, 2015

Instructions Not Included

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Two stars

I’m interested in mainstream foreign cinema.  What translates?  What reveals?  Here’s a transformative-power-of-Fatherhood flick.  It’s kinda Big Daddy-esque.  Acapulco playboy stuffed with sun.  Baby on the stoop.  He jumps from cliffs, he sneaks into the states.  He has a custody battle, he’s haunted by wolves.  There’s a Johnny Depp impersonator & some weirdly timed poop jokes.  The colors are candy bright.  The twist has some chutzpah but ultimately contributes to an overarching feeling of artifice that left me feeling deadened & (I think) the wrong kind of sad when I should have been moved.  But y’know, my favorite movie’s The Holy Mountain so my opinions are likely very different from yours.

D, W, & E by: Eugenio Derbez, More W: Guillermo Ríos & Leticia López Margalli, More E: Santiago Pérez & Rocha León, P by: Martín Boege & Andrés León Becker, M by: Carlo Siliotto w/Eugenio Derbez, Loreto Peralta, Daniel Raymont, Jessica Lindsey, Alessandra Rosaldo, Danny Lopez, Jesús Ochoa, Sammy Pérez, Ángela Moreno etc…, 122 min, Mexico, 2013

I Am Curious (Yellow)

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Two stars

Yellow saunters around Stockholm conducting man-on-the-street interviews about social issues.  Occasionally has sex.  Her director is in love with her, so he puts that into the movie too.  The cameraman practices yoga with the sound mixer.  A Russian poet shows up.  MLK, Jr. shows up.  This movie was infamous in the 60’s because it has dicks in it.

D & W by: Vilgot Sjöman, P by: Peter Wester, E by: Wic Kjellin, M by: Bengt Ernryd, w/Lena Nyman; Börje Ahlstedt; Peter Lindgren; Marie Göranzon; Vilgot Sjöman; Olof Palme; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Yevgeny Yevtushenko; etc…122 min, Sweden, 1967

The Interview

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One star

This is the movie North Korea didn’t want you to see.  Eminem plays himself.  There’s some gore humor.  I feel like Trump supporters might really like it.  It’s mean, dumb, disparaging, racist, and nationalistic.  I felt bad for the tiger fictionally killed to service the Seth Rogen-sticks-a-thing-up-his-ass gag.  I still have a soft spot for James Franco though.

D & W by: Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen, More W: Dan Sterling, P by: Brandon Trost, M by: Henry Jackman, E by: Zene Baker & Evan Henke, w/James Franco, Randall Park, Seth Rogen, Diana Bang, Lizzy Caplan, James Yi, Marshall Mathers, Bill Maher, 112 min, USA, 2014

The Care Bears Movie

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Two stars

Christian orphans ask Mickey Rooney for a bedtime commercial.  Outer space angels of the Ursidae family keep tabs on sad earth kids.  A magician is named after pasta.  Eventually the bears face off against a dark carnival run by murderous toddler sociopaths.  Some of the bears are bears and some of the bears are penguins, lions, raccoons, monkeys and pigs.

D by: Arna Selznick, W by: Pater Sauder, A by: Anne Marie Bardwell, Charlie Bonifacio, David Brewster, John Collins, etc… E by: Stephen Mitchell, Jim Erickson, Shelia Murray, Gordon Kidd, etc…, w/ Mickey Rooney, Jayne Eastwood, Cree Summer, Sunny Besen Thrasher, Bobby Dermer, Brian George, Janet-Laine Green etc…, 77 min, Canada, 1985

Panther

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Three stars

On July 13th, 2013 George Zimmerman was acquitted of the heinous slaughter of innocent Trayvon Martin and with the verdict a bit of my own naiveté died.  The justice system seemed broken and I awoke to the privilege I’d been dealt all along by the dumb luck of my skin’s low melanin count.  Just last week the police acted out of fear and prejudice and shot Philando Castille & Alton Sterling on camera in MN and LA respectively.  It’s past time to join peaceful protestors.  To recognize that all lives can’t matter until black lives do.  To open my heart and soul to blackness.  To practice the humanity I preach.  Watching movies is not enough, but here’s a black one.  Huey Newton & Bobby Seale’s lives are dramatized.  A black child dies because a stoplight isn’t installed in the ghetto. 

D by: Mario Van Peebles, W by: Melvin Van Peebles, P by: Edward J. Pei, E by: Earl Watson & Kevin Lindstrom, w/Kadeem Hardison, Marcus Chong, Bokem Woodbine, Courtney B. Vance, Angela Bassett, Joe Don Baker, Nefertiti, Chris Rock, etc…124 min, USA, 1995