I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Bitch Session (Requiem For a Dream, Charlie’s Angels)

This week friends ol’ Vern has a few things he has to get off his chest. A little bitchin and moanin is what I gotta do. So let me run through a few of these points about how, you know, everything is all a bunch of horse shit, etc.

1. HALLOWEEN

First off, last Tuesday was Halloween. And I want to know why you motherfuckers decided it was cancelled. I’m driving along at 7:45 pm, it’s been dark for more than hour and I don’t see a jack o’lantern, I don’t see a trick or treater. I don’t even see those little fuckers smashing my pumpkins. All I see is churches and schools with signs that say “Harvest Festival. Games and Food. October 31st.”

Now look, I believe in the lord jesus christ as much as the next guy, but one thing is for fucking sure about jesus. He doesn’t go around promoting bullshit and shenanigans. And you wanna know why? Because the lord jesus christ is not a retard. And he doesn’t want his followers to be retards, or to be treated like retards. In my opinion. Now I don’t believe the word retard ever comes up in the Bible but then it was written in hebrew so who knows. I mean I didn’t translate it, I don’t know what it originally said. There was probaly something in there about it. If not, just take my word for it christians.

The idea behind this harvest festival sign is, we’re supposed to drive by around October 12th, October 18th, something like that, and we’re supposed to think, “Oh, great! Food and games! I’m there! Now let me see, did I have something else planned for the randomly selected day of OCTOBER 31ST? It seems like there was something… no, can’t think of what it would be. I’m sure it’s nothing. I’m going to the Harvest Festival!”

Now, I understand there are people out there who don’t like to be scared. They don’t like monsters and horror movies. They don’t like fun, children, love, the human soul, laughter, etc. That’s okay. YOu motherfuckers can go celebrate corn. I don’t give a fuck.

But DON’T STEAL HALLOWEEN FROM THE REST OF US. I have it on good authority from a 4 year old in a skeleton costume that there were two different houses ON HIS STREET ALONE where they answered the door BUT DIDN’T HAVE ANY FUCKING CANDY. In a middle class neighborhood with accessible grocery stores.

We all know that for years now people haven’t been going for tricks. Now, these fucks are trying to take away the treats. They think it is okay to just take a few elements out of Halloween. Oh, don’t worry, just the scary costumes, the traditional giving of the confections, the decorations, the American culture, the human spirit, etc.

Well guess what, I got news for your retards. You think halloween is a pagan holiday, so you’re going to replace it with your own? Well I don’t know much about pagans but I can’t imagine what could be more pagany than a god damn HARVEST FESTIVAL. Throw in some goat blood and you got yourself a ritual.

I mean jesus people, are you even serious? Let’s try this again.

Which is more pagan:

a) wearing a plastic mask to get candy and/or ward off evil

b) a ritual to promote the growth of crops

Nothing against crops and pagans but you jesusites need to get your fucking theology straight. If you sissies weren’t so god damned afraid of horror movies you would’ve seen The Wicker Man and you would’ve avoided this whole embarrassing situation.

I’ll see you next year and you better be wearing fucking horns if you know what’s good for you.

2. THE FUCKING POLITICS

I’m sure this one doesn’t need that much explanation. Sorry. But by the time you read this maybe we have a new president. And even if it’s the worst possible choice – i.e. a republican or democrat – you people are living in a better world. A world free of the fucking political ads.

Right now watching the news is liable to drive a man nuts. They got these newscasters talking about politicians, then they go to a commercial break and all they got is all the politicians talking about each other. And maybe one or two shots of George W. Bush in a school uncomfortably putting his arm around a little black girl. Then back to the news, where the newscasters talk about the politicians, and new trends in political advertising.

And you’re thinking jesus, show me ONE PERSON not wearing a fucking TIE! At this point you’d be thankful to see the pepsi girl. You’d be like, “FINALLY, a real human being!” I can relate to that speed freak weasel thing on the Honey Comb ads more than I can relate to these politicians. I want to hear what HE has to say about health care.

And what about these recorded phone calls? Today I got one from a recording of Tipper Gore. I hung up on the bitch. If a recording of Tipper Gore has something to play to me, she can at least play it to my face.

And I’m sick of all these fucking attitudes. I don’t know a single person who likes George Bush or Al Gore. I only know one or two people who actually agree with a republican or democrat platform, and to be honest these aren’t the ripest bananas on the tree if you know what I mean.

I do know people who agree with alot of what Nader has to say, but these people are saying don’t vote for Nader. A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush and a vote for Bush is the only thing worse than a vote for Gore because although Gore is really, really bad Bush is even worse in some ways p.s. abortion.

Now I know that I’ve been out of the picture for a while and come to think of it I’m not registered to vote and am I even allowed to? I’m not sure. But it seems to me that it’s time we admit we’re not living in a democracy if we’re telling each other NOT to vote for what we want because realistically, what we want will never, ever happen.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way and I know there are alot of people out there who are fed up and they feel like if they vote it is selling out and supporting something that goes against everything they believe in. It’s giving in to the strong arming by the corporate funded republican and democrat parties. It’s saying “Yes, I’m willing to settle for this.”

These people can’t feel good about themselves voting for these politicians. So they don’t vote. And then they watch tv and they see these assholes on tv complaining about them not voting, saying that they’re apathetic. There couldn’t possibly be a reason behind them not voting besides being lazy. “If they really want to make a difference, they should stand up and vote for one of the two choices we are offering them.”

Well up your ass with a shard of glass.

Requiem for a Dream3. Requiem For a Dream

Okay, this isn’t really a complaint. This was a good movie. All I’m saying is, this thing bummed me out.

I remember after Dancer in the Dark got over all I could say was, “Jesus.” This one was worse. At least Dancer had singing.

There is a really moving musical score on this movie, with all kinds of violins and what not. And early in the movie, while you’re still being introduced to the characters, the music starts getting you nervous. The music starts telling you, “These people are fucked.” And you’re thinking, “You’re kidding. Tell me you’re kidding, music. This is too early for them to be fucked. At least give them until the third act. We need hope.” But the music doesn’t lie. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.

I have talked to young cinemafiles from across the nation of america, and I have learned that there are many young men out there who get a hard on for this gal Jennifer Connelly. She was in the labyrinth movie with David Bowie and some puppets, apparently. Not sure what that whole fetish is about but then it is not my place to say. I am merely an observer in all this. And what I have observed, is something going up Jennifer Connelly’s ass in this movie. I won’t go into details but believe me people, this is not going to help you with your crush. This was a brave scene for her to do, a disturbing and humiliating one and I almost think the poor gal was being exploited because this is not something she can ever take back. I don’t care if it’s even a body double. If they ever make a Labyrinth 2, you’re going to keep remembering what happened to the poor girl in this movie. And you’re going to imagine you see a sadness in the puppet’s eyes. And you won’t be able to shake it.

They know. The puppets know.

I mean, this is a sad fucking movie. Many of you will probaly never masturbate again.

And even if you don’t give a rat’s nuts about Jennifer Connelly, there is plenty to trouble you. Nightmarish hallucinations. The surround sound is used so effectively that at one point I thought something was breaking through the left side of the Neptune theater here in Seattle Washington.

This movie has lonely, pathetic lives. Doomed relationships. Haunting memories. Horrible bodily infections. And even worse is what they do with Keith David. An individual like me, I happen to like Keith David. The man who wrestled Roddy Piper for what, half an hour, over not wanting to wear sunglasses in the classic political essay They Live. Well usually I don’t know that my man Keith is going to pop up in a small part in a movie like this one. And usually I’d be happy about it.

But not this time. Not this character. I mean jesus, Keith. They should’ve used CGI for this character. What actor wants to be remembered for THAT role?

I guess I should probaly mention the basics in case you don’t know. This is a movie about addiction, apparently based on a book by a dude named Hubert Selby Jr. Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly and Marlon Wayans are junkies. Ellen Burstyn (who has aged quite a bit since The Exorcist last month) is Jared’s mom. She’s addicted to TV. Which isn’t really as sad as how lonely she is. Then she thinks she’s going to go on a game show, and starts worrying about her weight, and starts using diet pills.

But this movie doesn’t give rewards for good intentions. She gets just as fucked as everyone else. Figuratively anyway.

I gotta admit this movie is a little overblown. It got the NC-17 so they released it unrated (serious Outlaw points for that one guys) but otherwise they’d be showing this to kids in school. “You wanna use the drugs kids? No problem. Here’s what happens!” In this movie, using drugs is like going to ‘Nam. And dieting is like facing the Evil Dead.

And like Evil Dead this is very much in the show off school of filmatism. This is a movie with many quick cuts and extreme closeups and text inserts and tricky sound effects and fancy uses of split screen.

But I like that. There are a lot of individuals out there who will fault a director for having style. Like Brian De Palma. What did that motherfucker ever do that was such a crime, besides being stylish?

Look buddy, I LIKE a good splitscreen. If you think being GOOD is pretentious, you need to get out of my face mister. “I don’t like how these young directors are always using all this cinematic language in captivating ways. What garbage!”

Now I know that this is also a double edged sword, and that a pen is mightier than a double edged sword or whatever. I forget exactly what the saying is but this is my point. A director like Darren Aranofsky here, he gets it from both angles. There are going to be the young guys declaring him a visionary, giving him too much credit. And the more they do that the more the older people and the bitterer younger people will be saying “the emperor has no clothes, all style and no substance, I haven’t watched MTV since they started playing blacks on there in the ’80s but I’m sure this is what it’s like now, all this style and what not.”

And they’re both kinda wrong. This isn’t the deepest movie on addiction, it doesn’t have the most solid characters. But it’s nice to look at and kicks you real hard in the balls so if you like that sort of thing, like I do, go for it gang.

Don’t blame me if you commit suicide afterwards though. It’s the movie’s fault not mine.

Charlie's AngelsSeriously, if you ARE feeling suicidal afterwards, I’m here for you bud. I’m here to talk. And I think I can help. You wanna be cheered up? You wanna get all this other bullshit off your mind? Have I got the prescription for you. A little picture I like to call C’s As. Short for Charlie’s Angels.

Now I know that certain individuals from the television medium, individuals like Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times and Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times classified ads section, have given this movie “negative” reviews. Claiming it’s “bad”. Claiming it’s the “worst” movie ever based on a tv show.

Gimme a fuckin break. (not a reference to the tv show Gimme a Break)

Richard Roeper said, “Is this a satire? Is it camp? Is it an action thriller? What is it?” Well obviously it’s camp you retard but who cares what it is. You’re over intellectualizing a movie about three hot chicks flying around kicking people. I’m pretty sure that either means you’re gay or you’re not gay. But either way you’re nuts.

Look, you don’t listen to an individual like Richard Roeper when it comes to movies and let me tell you why. On the show, he referred to this movie at least three times as an attempt at “a jiggle movie”. This is a man who honestly believes that there is a genre called “the jiggle movie.” And he talks about it with a frown on his face.

Is his column supposed to be funny, is it supposed to be serious, I don’t get it.

Let me put it this way. There is a scene in this movie where Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore (yes, the little girl from E.T.) and Lucy Liu (from Payback) are flying around in an alley doing kicks and weird karate waves and doing flips and climbing up fences and what not. Their opponent is Crispin Glover, the cult type actor who I’m pretty sure has not done a major mainstream movie since 1985’s Back to the Future, one of those cut rate ’80s american institutions that made more sense at the time like Romancing the Stone and Beverly Hills Cop. Here he has no lines, he’s playing a character called “Skinny Scary Man” and all he does is kung fu and hair fetishism. And whenever he comes on you hear that aggressive computery dance song that just keeps going “Change my pitch up, smack my bitch up. Change my pitch up, smack my bitch up. Change my pitch up, smack my bitch up.” The type of song that you can only imagine as a popular dance hit in some horrible dystopian future OR as the theme song for this character.

I’m not being sarcastic here people. I’m not being ironic NOR am I being post ironic. All I’m saying is that this is pure fucking Cinema, people. This is a movie that combines the beauty of Woman with the beauty of flying around kicking, forming a perfect symmetry powerful enough to knock any gay or straight man on his ass. At the same time it is a fun, silly action comedy for the ladies. These characters are kind of like Barbie, they are astronauts and super geniuses and karate experts without losing their femininity. When you do that with a male character like Derek Flint or James Bond, they call it “fun.” Do it with a woman and they say it’s feminism. Well whatever it is I’m all for it. Hell I’d wear a ribbon if there was one that meant C’s A’s. That’s how strongly I feel about the cause of C’s A’s.

This is not a perfect movie. The middle section is not as good as the front and back. There are jokes that don’t work. Bill Murray doesn’t get to do as much as he does in certain other pictures. It kind of reminds me of a better version of Mission:Impossible 2. Like that movie, it is at its worst when it tries to make sense and at its best when it abandons all logic and traditional cinematic purpose in favor of giddy ludicrousness.

Look, this picture is not for everyone. There are some people out there, I’m sure, who don’t like to see Cameron Diaz dancing around in spiderman underwear. The feminine form is an acquired taste, after all. Not everybody likes this type of picture. Not everybody likes to laugh and have a good time, for example.

But I loved C’s A’s. Hell I’m gonna say it, this movie is, erm, this movie is cute. Hahem. When I went into the can the feminist archetypes hollywood had to offer were all trying to copy men. I like the new kind of hollywood feminism. I like the idea that women can “smack their bitch up” and still have a nice smile. It’s cute the way these girls are so happy to say hi to their anonymous boss over the phone. Or the way they go undercover or drive a race car if they have to. Or dance around in their underwear.

Yes, there is alot of dancing in this picture, and that is why it is the perfect pick me up after Requiem For a Dream. Jennifer Connelly is not in this movie. There are no women violated in this movie. But there are several dance numbers. There is a disco number followed immediately by an underoo dance. Later there is a dance on Soul Train, and a short victory dance by Drew Barrymore. At the end they play instruments like it was Josey and the Pussycats. That’s the type of picture we’re talking about here boys.

Yes, I would officially like to endorse C’s A’s. If this is a new low in american culture then let’s start the decline people.

thanks,

Vern

P.S. anybody else uses “sorry Charlie” in a review or headline I’m gonna break their fuckin nose

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 30th, 2000 at 3:04 pm and is filed under Action, Comedy/Laffs, Drama, Reviews, Vern Tells It Like It Is. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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