|The dude in this spends more time sitting on his bed contemplating his next txt message than my cat. And yes, in case you're wondering, my cat really can send txt messages from my phone, albeit likely not understanding potential consequences. The last one Knuckles sent, to my wife, was along the lines of "my mistress is pregnant", which ended up causing all sorts of problems, but luckily resolved after I explained what had happened.|
|When the internet was still becoming popular around the world, director Kiyoshi Kurosawa was already horrifying the audience with the idea of a growing loneliness caused by social networking addiction.
"Pulse" (or "Kairo") isn't an easy film to follow, and one of the factors is that it's a product of its time despite the fact that its central dilemmas still remain current. The technology and knowledge of the public about computer science has advanced a lot since 2001 and with it some aspects of the film need some willingness from the audience to work.
What works perfectly is Kurosawa's ability to translate and convey loneliness into images. Even with an abundance of characters, it's as if everyone is lost in a thick fog. Close to each other, but unable to interact, to feel.
The ever-gray sky, the empty buildings, the constant hissing of dial-up internet, rusty industrial districts, an empty train arriving at its final stop, shapes that vanish on patches of the walls, and a chilling endless silence. It's a very specific and masterfully built atmosphere.
The film has some impressive sequences, in particular, the appearance of a ghost that moves in slow motion towards the camera, in a constant and robotic walk, as scary as mesmerizing.
In addition, an impressive death scene (which even now I don't know how it was made) done in only one shot.
But there is a scene that stands out to me as the most elegant in the way it builds terror within the viewer. It happens in the library where two boys talk, and one of them shows the other a human-shaped shadow that always appears between two book shelves in the distance. The boy then challenges the other to go there and try to catch that person, and warns that no one has ever been able to do this before, as it always disappears quickly. And so it happens. In a second, the "person" is there and when turning the shelf, the hallway is empty.
"Pulse" is a horror tale about the loneliness and indifference of social networking made before they even exist. In addition, it has a rich atmosphere of sensations created in detail by a master of horror.
|I'm going to voice a rather controversial opinion.
Scarlett Johansson is the most hottest human being on the planet... that is besides Udo, Michael Cera, Michael Cera's hallucinatory cactus drugs, Nicole Kidman as an alcoholic, Nicole Kidman in general, Tom Cruise specifically in his Scientology Robes after he has offered the latest child sacrifice to our Lord and Savior Xenu (May we praise his name and he freely drink the blood of homeless LA children forever) (Amen), and the cold, dead, rotting corpse of Christopher Lee.
Meaning she is exactly the eighth hottest person alive, I don't know why I overcomplicated that so much. Oh well.
Which about sums up my thoughts on this movie actually. "Oh well."
Oh Well Oh Well Oh Well
FOR TEN YEARS, Marvel has put millions of dollars into Robert Downey Jr.'s bra and yelled DANCE TONY DANCE!!! While firing a machine gun at his high heels, and it's paid off pretty damn well. With "Avengers: Infinity War", the climactic conclusion we have been edging towards for the past decade has finally been set in motion. And what is it?
It's......... It's watching Josh Brolin voice a juiced-up purple minion from "Despicable Me" try desperately to get enough fruity pebbles from specially trademarked "Fruity PEBBLES" cereal boxes to eradicate all of humanity.
Scarlett Johansson's hair is white (or really blonde? I'm sorry folks, my eyes just aren't what they used to be) so that's a cool thing to go pay money to see at the theater I suppose.
Shout-out to the little girl that couldn't have been more than 6 who sat next to me (assigned seating) and didn't make a single noise but sat still with her mom throughout a nearly three-hour movie and just watched. In an age where I can't go to a movie like this and not experience at least one "adult" squeal (not unlike the actual pigs that gave birth to them) when Captain America shows up and make a bunch of wild hand gestures so that everyone else in the theater knows that THEY know that THAT is Captain America and he is currently on screen, this little girl was the sole upholder of the goddamn American Constitution and AMC theater code of conduct in the face of a corrupt government and public conscience.
Freedom never dies in the face of adversity.
Not shout-out though to the teenager who sat next to me and ate shredded mozzarella cheese straight out of a plastic bag. If I wasn't lactose intolerant before I walked into that theater, then I certainly am now, so thanks for that.
|I love the editing in this movie. On the surface, "Graduation Day" is a B- or C-grade slasher, but the editing is so freakin' aggressive you can't take your eyes off the screen.
Love the opening credits sequence. That song is RIDICULOUS.
Saw this originally on like the CBS Late Show or something, way before cable. Revisiting it was a real treat.
|(Also distributed as "Olympic Nightmare". What a great title! What's this "Fatal Games" bullshit???)
It's no "Graduation Day", but this grade-D slasher is surprisingly watchable. Probably because of all the gratuitous nudity. Seriously. The third time clothed characters had a conversation in a shower room full of naked people, I knew I was in good hands.
The major fault is the complete lack of a story. You might think, "Hey, Curtis, isn't the story about some killer slashing athletes?" Um, nope, that doesn't qualify as a story. For most of the movie, none of the characters even know there's a killer about. Plus, there's no main character. And nobody has a character arc of any kind.
Yet, there's something charming about the '80s vibe. The score, the aforementioned nudity, the TV movie aesthetic.
Favorite kill aka Most Unrealistic & Contrived Kill: the underwater javelin stabbing. (The javelin effects work in general is pretty top notch.)
Fun fact: Linnea Quigley does some nude body double work in the massage scene.
|Recast the Xenomorph Queen from the end of "Aliens" (1986) with Charlize Theron, and you got "Tully", a full-on nightmare about parenting, specifically breastfeeding in the modern age.
I don't really know how breastfeeding works as I have actually never seen a girl with my own eyes, much less one of their (singular) boobs, but there is a part where Charlize drinks too much and then her boobs hurt so she has to squirt alcohol out of her nipples, and it looked very painful. Sometimes when I park my car facing up on a hill, the door closes on my leg when I am trying to get out and it hurts pretty bad. That's probably the most pain I am ever in, I don't know how that compares to childbirth or shooting alcohol out of your nips. All I know is that I wish Charlize Theron would milk me, or I could get milked by Charlize Theron, you know whichever is more convenient for her schedule. If I am being honest though I really just wish guys had their own boobs, so that I could just milk myself and not be so lonely anymore.
That would be nice.
I wish I could drink too much pomegranate/grape juice so that I could shoot it out of my nipples back into my own mouth again. Then I wouldn't be dropping my entire paycheck in the Safeway juice aisle. That would be all that I need.
There isn't much else to say about this movie, unfortunately. I don't feel like it explored anything other than the brutality of motherhood very well, and the comedy didn't always work for me. Charlize is very sarcastic in this movie, but not even 1/100 as sarcastic as Nicole Kidman is in "Margot at the Wedding" which is the gold standard for miserable parenting escapades in my book.
I heard someone say they didn't like the cover of "You Only Live Twice" which I couldn't disagree with more. I thought it was very pretty and fit this movie even better than it did the James Bond one. "Juno" (same director) had great music too. If you haven't ever listened to Kimya Dawson you are really missing out. "Hidden Vagenda" is probably the greatest name for anything ever.
Sorry, anyway I just like "Juno" a lot and "Up in the Air" as well because they are about people so far removed from my own existence. "Tully" is the same in that regard, but I don't think it really says much that hasn't been said before.
But what do I know? I think a lot of parents will connect with this movie. I really am not the target audience. Pretty much everyone in the theater besides myself was a middle-aged woman, and they played the trailer for "Book Club" (the movie about milfs who rediscover their vaginas after reading "50 Shades"), so I think I only have myself to blame.
Before I watched "Tully" I hated children, and now that "Tully" is over, I still hate children, and if I ever get the opportunity to drink rat poison and grow double-D tits and then squirt said rat poison into their diseased little mouths, then I will do it without a second thought.
I'm lactating just thinking about it.
|From the beginning, "A Quiet Place" establishes its world and its rules through images and actions rather than words. An artifice that requires discipline to be done correctly because the information needs to be clear and, at the same time, it can't be too obvious to the point of breaking the illusion.
The director and actor, John Krasinski (who is already preparing the sequel) is very clever to put, at the very beginning, one of the most shocking moments of the film. This helps greatly in shaping the atmosphere, especially in relation to the destructive power of the villains.
These creatures, simple as they are in design, cause fear simply because they deliver what they promise: they hunt violently and without rest. You can count on them to give their best at all times, whether the characters are ready or not.
Krasinski must be a video game player because his movie works like a typical survival horror game. Few resources, far more powerful enemies, use of stealth to escape, clear goals and challenges that increase the difficulty with time. The bucolic and familiar tone recalls the recent, yet classic, "The Last of Us". As well as the main characteristic of the creatures: the use of hearing to hunt. However, here the director knows that he needs to reduce the pretensions and the scale because he doesn't have eight hours or more of gameplay to develop the plot.
So what we have here is the absolute essential for the movie to work. Every scene teaches you something about that world. And the main focus is always on the fear generated by impotence before such superior enemies in ever worse situations.
The breathing breaks are brief and very welcome.
The ending and its solution is a little too safe and sound (no pun intended), but I was satisfied with a little crowd pleasing yet tense conclusion.
"A Quiet Place" is a monster movie made with intelligence, practicality, and without pretension. A lesson on how to tell your horror story with less words and more feelings.