Fucky Film Review!

Archive for February, 2009

Riff-Raff

Posted by Web Manager on February 22, 2009

Ken Loach 1991

 

I needed subtitles. I wouldn’t have used them at first, because I usually get the hang of most Commonwealth accents as a film goes on, but here the sound was kind of shitty and the accents kind of strong and I couldn’t get with the program – I felt like my father as I had to keep rewinding to try to understand what they were saying. The funeral scene was funny while they struggled with the urn, but once the joke became that the ashes were getting on their clothes because of the wind I was kind of bored. To be fair, this film (and its ash gag) came out years before THE BIG LEBOWSKI.

Posted in 1990's, British Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

Close-Up

Posted by Web Manager on February 22, 2009

Abbas Korastami 1990

No that’s not Ahmadinejad.  It’s Hossein (Ali) Sabizan, a real person (not an actor) (but quite an actor) who impersonated the well known Iranian filmmaker Moshen Makhmalbaf and was put on trial for fraud. Korastami heard about the case, filmed the trial, and convinced all those involved to help him make a movie about Sabizan’s strange case. CLOSE-UP is widely regarded as a masterpiece, and for good reason. With playful flair, Korastami uses Sabizan’s story to get at the root of eternal questions about where life and art converge.

Posted in 1990's, Iranian Films, Movies | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Wrestler

Posted by Web Manager on February 21, 2009

Darren Arnofsky 2008

I think movie critics love this movie so much for a lot of the same reasons they loved SIDEWAYS. I liked it a lot myself, but as with SIDEWAYS, not quite as much as them. Rourke brought it. His body was like a location in and of itself. Speaking of locations, I loved the Elks lodges, strip clubs and supermarkets that made up this film’s landscape. The director showed a softer touch than in his previous movies, and I think it worked really well this way. (Ex. the over-aggressive sound design in REQUIEM FOR A DREAM made the characters less real for me, but the same kind of thing used more sparingly in the WRESTLER – the white noise whenever Rourke’s heart was in trouble – achieved its desired effect without taking me out of the picture).  The only thing I didn’t like was the story line about his daughter – it seemed a little hackneyed and undeveloped. I guess in the end, like with SIDEWAYS, I knew I was watching a very good movie, but it was too much on the intellectual level – I didn’t feel it the way you sometimes can when you see a great movie, or even a not so great movie. WRESTLER is a very good but not great movie that I liked a lot but didn’t love.

Posted in 2000's, American Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

*** Journalism I Read Pt II ***

Posted by Web Manager on February 15, 2009

15battier-600

Michael Lewis is on a roll, having written a book almost twenty years ago called LIAR’S POKER about greed and confusion on Wall Street. Now he is widely regarded as the best business journalist in America. I don’t know about any of that, but this article he wrote for the NYTIMES MAGAZINE about how statistics play a weird and often misguided role in professional basketball – and why Houston Rocket Shane Battier’s game perfectly demonstrates the new approach to statistics – is fantastic.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

You, the Living (Du Levande)

Posted by Web Manager on February 14, 2009

Roy Andersson 2007

To say that this alleged comedy, dressed exclusively in meticulously pallid grays and greens, was difficult to watch, is like saying a spiked fence is difficult to sit on. The humor (?) reminded me of the opening scenes in DIVINE  INTERVENTION, but used for social rather than political commentary: that many people who are miserable are miserable because they are selfish. Indeed, watching this was a mostly miserable experience; an act of selflessness to save you, dear readers, from the same.

Posted in 2000's, Movies, Swedish Films | Leave a Comment »

The Host

Posted by Web Manager on February 14, 2009

Joon-ho Bong 2006

 

My nephew, who is staying with me this weekend, picked this one out at the video store. I’d heard it was good, but not necessarily from a reputable source. I liked the family dynamic angle, which added some unexpected dramatic heft to a film about a giant sea monster that lives in the Han River and creates havoc with no apparent plan or purpose. I’m not a huge fan of these Korean CGI creatures – they look a little silly. But I like what they do around the creatures. They need some help with the monsters. Had this sea monster (river monster doesn’t sound as good), been an actor instead of a CGI creation, it would’ve been like, “yo, Joon-ho, what’s my motivation, dawg?” My nephew, incidentally, has a fever. I was supposed to work today, which I felt guilty about since he is only staying with me for one night. Now it turns out I don’t have to work, but he’s too sick to do anything anyhow. That’s some crazy ironic shit is what that is.

Posted in 2000's, Korean Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

Gomorra

Posted by Web Manager on February 12, 2009

Matteo Garrone 2008

Ultra-realistic crime drama following four somewhat connected stories in the outskirts of Napoli, where the mafia runs shit with ruthless efficiency. It’s GOODFELLAS meets CITY OF GOD meets ACCATTONE meets THE SOPRANOS meets TRAFFIC. I loved the whole story of the master haute couture knockoff tailor and the Chinese factory; also the kids driving the dump trucks; and the one-shot of the accountant leaving the bloodbath. The Italian they speak in the film sounds more like a bunch of drunken Hungarians speaking with their mouths full than it does like the Italian I learned in night school at the City College of San Francisco. Speaking of San Francisco, Wildbrew has left Fucky Headquarters and is presently en route over the vast oceans of time and space to Glen Park. We applaud him on his contributions to Fucky (however misguided they tend to be) and welcome him back any time.

Posted in 2000's, Italian Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

Tropic Thunder

Posted by Web Manager on February 5, 2009

Ben Stiller 2008

I rented THUNDER in an effort to better tailor my film selection to the tastes of my erstwhile houseguest, Arthur Wildbrew. Although Mr. Wildbrew chuckled audibly throughout the first half of the film, he was not willing to continue watching the film into the wee hours.  We agreed to pause for beauty sleep and reconvene the following evening to see how it would all come out. At some point during our seventeen hour intermission, Wildbrew predicted that the second half of the film would not live up to the first. Wildbrew is one fickle customer. But here (unlike with HAPPY-GO-LUCKY) I have to agree with him. The best part of the second half of THUNDER is the closing credit roll, over which a hairy bald Tom Cruise dances hip hop. When did closing credits become the shit?

Posted in 2000's, American Films, Movies | 2 Comments »

Happy-Go-Lucky

Posted by Web Manager on February 1, 2009

*** SPECIAL GUEST WRITER: ARTHUR WILDBREW ***

Mike Leigh 2008

 

At this very moment Kozak is watching the British made film “Happy-Go-Lucky,” about a cheerful British woman (called ‘Poppy’ (hahaha)) whose bicycle is stolen. Forced to take driving lessons from a surly s-o-b, she is confronted with people unlike herself. Seems plain enough. But what’s the plot? There is none. Kozak pretends to be enjoying it, occasionally laughing or mumbling to himself.

I got through ten minutes of this film before walking away (approximately five feet to the computer), wondering what gives Kozak the strength to make it through a film like this. The main character might be a lesbian, but it is far from certain at this point. When asked if she’s a lesbian, Kozak replies, “No she’s not…I don’t think so.” Wishy washy! So it’s not the lesbianism pulling him through. And it’s probably not the rhyming quips Poppy delivers to her driving teacher (Let’s go gigolo!), or the way she and her roommate/lover(?) repeat each other endlessly while sitting on one of their beds. (“Seriously?” “Seriously!…”)

At one and a quarter hours through the film, with thirty five minutes to go, he admits that he doesn’t think anything is going to happen. Yet he sits and watches, dedicated as he was when he plucked the dvd box off the shelf at the rental store. Is it just a way of killing time, nothing more than pre-dinner plans? Or is it all for you, faithful readers of his blog?

What drives Kozak through films like this, ladies and gentleman, is his dark and patient movie past. No matter how many snorts, laughing shrieks and eye rolls pour forth from the lead and supporting cast, Kozak has seen enough shit films that his tolerance is solid steel, like an amazonian rain king sipping generously from mossy waters, satisfying his thirst yet ready to warn you, (hopefully!) not to see this film for any reason.

Posted in 2000's, British Films, Movies | 4 Comments »

 
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