Monday, January 30th, 2023
There’s a surprising amount of shitting, pissing, and puking in BABYLON, the bawdy fictionalized-early-Hollywood period comedy-drama from writer/director Damien Chazelle (writer of THE LAST EXORCISM PART II). It opens with hard-working studio assistant Manny Torres (Diego Calva, Narcos: Mexico) trying to impress his bosses by helping organize a crazy mansion party/orgy, and he has to figure out how the fuck to get a rented elephant up a hill. While pushing the way-too-small truck, the elephant gets spooked, and the wrangler (Jimmy Ortega, “Sicario #1,” SABOTAGE) is graphically showered with feces from above.
I appreciate that it’s a surprisingly JACKASS way to kick off a movie some had purported to be Oscar bait, but it’s narratively odd. It must be intended to establish the lowest-of-the-low start to Manny’s career in the movie industry, but he doesn’t seem to get any on him, so it kinda seems like stolen valor to me. Shouldn’t the wrangler be the one getting the meteoric rise? Oh well. Maybe that’s the sequel.
This party scene could be a short film unto itself, and it introduces each of the characters whose ups and downs we’ll be following throughout the movie, chief among them Nellie LaRoy (Margot Robbie, THE LEGEND OF TARZAN), an aspiring starlet from New Jersey who’s not on the guest list, but Manny takes pity on her and sneaks her in. She peer pressures him into doing a line with her and they have a vulnerable moment that will connect them for life, sharing their Hollywood aspirations. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Brad Pitt, Damien Chazelle, Diego Calva, Eric Roberts, Ethan Suplee, Flea, Jean Smart, Jimmy Ortega, Joe Dallesandro, Jovan Adepo, Justin Hurwitz, Lewis Tan, Li Jun Li, Lukas Haas, Margot Robbie, Olivia Hamilton, Olivie Wilde, Patrick Fugit, Rory Scovel, Spike Jonze, Tobey Maguire, Troy Metcalf, Vanessa Bednar
Posted in Reviews, Comedy/Laffs, Drama, Music | 13 Comments »
Monday, July 3rd, 2017
There’s this baby-faced young man who in fact goes by the handle of Baby (Ansel Elgort, who impressed me as Tommy Ross in the CARRIE remake) and he’s a whiz kid of a getaway driver for armed robberies. He loves listening to music, and uses his favorite songs to inspire and time his driving, which is spectacular. He can maneuver and slide and spin and he is living proof that not everybody followed the disclaimer at the end of TOKYO DRIFT.
(He would’ve been about twelve when it came out, and surely influenced by it during his driver’s exam.)
Some have described this is a musical, which makes some sense. At times it feels like a movie based on the current trailer fad of editing gunshots and other sound effects as percussion playing along with the music.
After they get away, when the gang meets up to split the money, they make Baby go buy the coffee. Here’s one thing they carefully edited out of the trailers: he’s a total dork. In the car, but also at home, or walking in public, he listens to his earbuds and sings along and does little dance moves and shit. The whole walk to and from the coffee shop he seems like he’s on the verge of busting into a full on SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN number. I wonder if they considered casting Moose from the STEP UP sequels in this. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Ansel Elgort, car chases, Edgar Wright, Flea, getaway driver, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Lily James
Posted in Action, Crime, Reviews | 42 Comments »