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Monday, May 31, 2010

Gina Gershon.... America's daikon

From Showgirls to Bound, Gina Gershon makes unwatchable films a little more watchable.

Gina Gershon Spencer
"Gina Gershon Spencer"

Gina Gershon Seneschal
"Gina Gershon Seneschal"

Gina Gershon Ireland
"Gina Gershon Ireland"

Gina Gershon, in a rare clothed role, looking worse than usual walking down the street with Hillary Swank who honestly looks a little better than usual all in the horrible titled film "P.S. I Love You" which is surely about vampire invasions or a plague or something.

Now this is the Gina Gershon we all now and love... cue the Maneater music.

Ah the 1980's when supermodels tilled the soil before those hard working Mexicans invaded our borders and stole their jobs forcing them to move to Vegas and star in badly disguised porn films.

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Jennifer Garner

Ah Jennifer Garner. The girl next door version of Jessica Alba. Or do I have that vice versa?

13 going on 30 a
"Some poor guy in the back trained years at Julliard only to end up dancing Thriller behind Jennifer Garner"

elektra a
"What exactly is the point of the armband... it is stylish and all I just don't get it"

Jennifer Garner Aleshenka
"Jennifer Garner Aleshenka"

13 going on 30 B
"Honestly if you saw those two at a regular bar you would think they were hookers."

elektra b
"Oh yeah she blends"

13 going on 30 c
"The real fantasy in these films are the all to perfect New York apartments... I mean who lives like that unless they are expecting company"

elektra c
"Jennifer Garner showing a unique fighting style (and combat uniform) in Elektra"

13 Going on 30 D
"It was clear the writers of 13 Going on 30 never read that book"

Jennifer Garner Districts
"Jennifer Garner Districts"

13 going on 30 e
"13 Going on 30 is the comedy for the kid in all of us because kids are gullible and fairly stupid."

13 Going on 30 F
"Dramatic ordering lunch off the placemat scene"

13 Going on 30 G
"Slumber Party musical numbers always end in either a serial killer or a touching lesbian sex scene."

Jennifer Garner Kobus
"Jennifer Garner Kobus"

Jennifer Garner Kuwait
"Jennifer Garner Kuwait"

Jennifer Garner Purnia
"Jennifer Garner Purnia"

Jennifer Garner Wiese
"Jennifer Garner Wiese Puzzle"

Jennifer Garner takes a shiower and engages in some rather banal discussions in Alias.

No this is more like it. AC/DC music, lingerie and a Garner pays a Peter Clemenza tribute on some poor unsuspecting Carlo Rizzi she lured to bed.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Guinea Pig Devil's Experiment... No! Not the Comfy Chair

Guinea Pig Devil's Experiment: 1/10: Hardcore porn films fall into two categories those with a semblance of plot (Gee that is one lucky pizza boy) and those without (Anal Amateurs 36). Devil's Experiment falls solidly into the latter category.

It is of course the horror version of hardcore porn. An almost completely plot less 43-minute wait for the money shot. Shot on video in 1985 it consists of three relatively non-descript Japanese boys torturing one fairly unattractive Japanese girl. The tortures range from the banal (slapping her 50 times, kicking her a hundred), the silly (tying her to an office chair and spinning her around), the fear factor (a bath of maggots and sheep guts) and finally the money shot. (A well executed eyeball piercing).

That's it, no plot, no motive, just Blair Witch tree shots and torture. The girl looks bored and with the exception of yelling, "no one expects the Spanish Inquisition" during the office chair scene I was bored silly. Staring dumbfounded at the screen, waiting for the money shot. Just like hardcore porn.

Some unrelated best of Google art for your pleasure

Guinea Pig Devil's Experiment Caerphilly
"Guinea Pig Devil's Experiment Caerphilly"

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Gross Pointe Blank... Nothing But Hits

Gross Pointe Blank: 8 out of 10: This movie is full of small miracles. For one thing, Dan Ackroyd is funny. Let that sink in a bit. When was the last time Dan Ackroyd made you laugh?

Now I confess I am the perfect target market for this movie. I am in the age range where I think the soundtrack is cool and the eighties were a pretty good time. Nowadays of course many people look back on the eighties with rose-colored glasses. Back when teens could be teens without ending up on MSNBC. Back before cell phones let parents track our movements and school security consisted of a bald vice principle with an attitude problem.

The movie is well cast with John Cusack as a professional hit man going to his 10 year high school reunion and Minnie Driver as the girl he left behind. A great supporting cast includes Alan Arkin as a therapist unhappy with a killer for a client (Years before The Sopranos or Analyze This) . The aforementioned Dan Aykroyd as a competing hit man and Joan Cusack as the secretary that both cares and is insane.

The story is very silly and over the top, yet Gross Pointe Blank somehow manages to keep the tone just right throughout the proceedings. Existential silliness adds to the fun rather than distracts. Moreover, did I mention a really good soundtrack.

Gross Pointe Blank

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Grace (2009)... Nothing saves this Grace

Grace: 4 out of 10: If you create a shark attack movie at some point, you will need a shark attack. You can throw in tons of satire about progressive attitudes, over-bearing mother in laws, and maternal instincts. However, when all is said and done the shark has to show up.

Grace is slow to start and never speeds up. The film ends a few scenes before it starts getting good. As a genre film, it is a sleepy disaster. As a political independent film it is simply okay.

Grace has good acting, the world’s cutest black cat, and some biting social commentary.

What it lacks is a killer baby.

Stick with It’s Alive, which does all of the above (sans the cute cat) and yet delivers the goods at the end.

Grace Jordan Ladd A
Gordan Ladd prepares a bottle for junior in Grace.

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Goodnight We Love You... Phyllis Diller Sex Tape

Goodnight, We Love You: 5 out of 10: This collection of Phyllis Diller sex tapes is somewhat disappointing. Often filmed in that awful night vision green, it is hard to make out the action. In addition, Miss Diller rarely takes on more than one man at a time (except for the Catalina Island orgy) and her only lesbian scene (with Elaine Boosler) is all to brief.

Phyllis of course was a famous sex kitten who had myriad affairs with such luminaries as Troy Donahue and Anwar Sadat. In fact, Sadat’s last words “Phyllis it was always you” is often misquoted... okay okay I kid I kid

Fans of Phyllis Diller will be pleased... Fans of elderly woman checking into moderate hotel suites will be in heaven. Goodnight, We Love you does beg a few questions. The primarily one is should you allow your stalker to film your biography. To describe director Gregg Barson as fawning is to completely underestimate his obsequious servitude towards Miss Diller. Honestly, it is more than a bit creepy.

Not that celebrities interviewed are any less ingratiating. Not one expresses surprise that Diller is still alive and the kind words flow as if they were giving an encomium rather than personal insights. I understand that is human nature to say something nice but after the twentieth or so collection of hosannas, Don Rickles’ sneering come across as a breath of fresh air rather than the senile rambling it actually is.

In fact, Rickles’ own recent documentary “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project” would make a nice companion piece for this film

Diller’s Guinness Book awarding rapid-fire delivery is well covered here and a reunion of her personal assistants is the highlight of the film. I wish there was more of the personal stories and less generic celebrity praising. There is also not enough actual stand-up in the film itself as a result the companion disk of her last live performance is a welcome addition.

A nice enough film for Diller fans but one should check their blood sugar levels before watching.

The Aristrocrats Bąk Phyllis Diller
"Phyllis Diller Nude"

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gonzo The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson...Buy the ticket, take the ride.

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: 6 out of 10: Is Hunter S Thompson any more relevant to modern journalism than Joe Namath is to modern football? After all, both were men of their times. In addition, both faded badly by the mid-seventies. Thompson's early work is excellent (a copy of "The Proud Highway" sits on my bookshelf) and reached its pinnacle with Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.

A mere three years later Rolling Stone publisher Jenn Warner had become so fed up with Thompson he basically tried to have him killed.

As puts it "Then, early one evening in March 1975, Hunter was watching a nightmarish film of the evacuation of Da Nang on the evening news. The phone rang, and Hunter picked it up. It was Wenner, saying, "How would you like to go to Vietnam?" Hunter could not resist. The collapse of the American empire was a happening tailor-made for his talents. Within days, he was heading out over the Pacific. He arrived in Saigon hours after Thieu's palace had been bombed and staffed by his own Air Force. For a man who lived with the conviction that the world was going to end next Monday, this was an especially ominous portent. Thompson had the sense of "walking into a death camp." This was it. He would never get out alive. As it turned out, the fate that was in store for him was even worse. Thompson discovered that, even as he was on his way to Vietnam, Wenner had taken him off retainer - in effect, fired him - and with the retainer went his staff benefits, including health and life insurance." Also leaving him no way out of Vietnam... a one-way ticket if you will.

Dude that is cold...

And that is the very nature of the problem with this documentary. Why is not this story mentioned? Who knows? It certainly was a turning point in Thompsons life (He apparently became more withdrawn and paranoid afterwards... understandably so)

Gonzo is a pollyanna look at Thompson. The abuse of his first marriage gets a glancing look and all the interviewees (Including Jimmy Carter, Pat Buchanan and Jenn Werner) seem hesitant to speak ill of the dead.

The fact that in a few short years Thompson turned from a well-respected writer into a Muppet and Doonesbury cartoon is not covered well. The fact is mentioned but the reasons are glossed over. It is as if the film is worried that by mentioning his failures it will reduce his significance.

Yet, I would argue that Thompson's effect on Journalism is larger than he gets credit for. Reporters nowadays often ignore facts, concentrating instead on how events make them feel. Anderson Cooper crying during the Hurricane Katrina coverage threatened to become a bigger story than the storm itself. (He was not helped when fellow Mensa candidate Wolf Blitzer said "You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals…many of these people, almost all of them that we see are so poor and they are so black")

The documentary never really focuses on this aspect either. Gonzo seems to fear pulling back any of the masks its subject wears presumably scared of what it might find. Gonzo would have been better served concentrating on one period of time and focusing its energies.

That said, for those unfamiliar with Hunter S Thompson outside of his Muppet form this is a good start. Moreover, if it gets people to read his early work so much the better.

Gonzo A
"Gonzo Journalism at its finest"

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Godzilla vs. Megaguirus: New and Improved Dimension Tide. The Power of a Black Hole for your Laundry

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus: (Gojira tai Megagirasu: Jî shômetsu sakusen ) 4 out of 10: I know it is a popular pastime to bash "the American Godzilla" but in its defense I would like to give you exhibit A: Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (easier to type than pronounce needless to say.) Where do I begin?

Well let's start with the latest scheme by the Japanese to rid them of Godzilla once and for all. Shoot him with a black hole from outer space. Yup that is practically mishap proof. Now I know that dumping Oxy-Clean into Tokyo harbor killed the first Godzilla, and since then some fairly dubious scientific methods have been used to battle our green friend, but a satellite that shoots black holes has to win some sort of award. I love the scene when the scientist asks the military man "after we destroy Godzilla we destroy the satellite right?" (You can practically see visions of Pearl Harbor 2 in the general's head).

To make matters even worse they already have a team battling Godzilla embarrassingly called G-Grasper (not to be confused with our satellite scheme "Project Dimension Tide" that sounds like a really bad futuristic laundry detergent.) The G-Graspers are lead by the all too cute Misato Tanaka who looks like Amelie joined the French Foreign Legion. G-Graspers fight Godzilla by shooting RPGs at his ankles while dressed as Fed-Ex deliverymen. Surprisingly this isn't effective.

Now I can take miscast actors and silly story lines in a Godzilla film, but at least the special effects are good right? Nope. Megaguirus is clearly on strings in one scene. The fights have groan inducing wrestling moves. Building destruction is surprisingly light. There is way too much bad CGI. In addition there a lot of underwater scenes, which let’s face it have never been a Godzilla strong suit.

This is not excusable for new millennium Godzilla. On the plus side nice there is some nice Mimic action with bugs killing young lovers. But when you start feeling like apologizing to Matthew Broderick it's a sign of a bad Godzilla movie.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus Adam Sahaba
The charming co-star of this wonderful flick.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus Cuba Emergency Response System
Check out the quality set in the background.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus Cyrtellia
Worst episode of Whale Wars ever.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus Gmina Mycielin
Even the Jet Plane model is cheesy.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus Narrowband modem
DVD Cover

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus Odcinki Dylewskie
Movie Poster

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