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