Saturday, March 31, 2012

Repost: Paris Is Burning

Last night I watched a documentary called Paris Is Burning. I originally saw this in the theatre in 1990. I think it was part of the Vancouver International Film Festival. At that point, I’d only been in Vancouver a year. I’d seen my first full-flight drag queen. I was totally in love with the West End but it would be another two years before I moved down there.

The movie is about drag queens and transsexuals in New York. It’s a very depressing film, even more depressing when you do some research and find out that most of the people in the film are dead. Mostly AIDS related deaths.

One of the people in the film died before the filming was complete. There is very little comment in the film about it. She was my favourite of all the people in the film and she was strangled to death in a sleazy motel (where no one noticed her dead body for four days.

Venus Xtravaganza

I want to believe that we have come a long way since this movie was made. I want to believe that the world is all cool and groovy about the alternative sexualities. After all, Eddie Izzard is a multimillionaire. Ellen has her own talk show. Gay characters appear on prime time telly with regularity. I want to believe that gay or transgendered people do not have to feel marginalized any more. Then I read comments on the message board for Alexis Arquette where people are arguing about which pronoun she’s entitled to use.

Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Repost: Over The Hedge

Last night's video was Over The Hedge. What a cute movie! I have not laughed like that for a while. I had no idea that it was based on a comic strip. I think I'll have to add it to my list of funnies to read regularly.

By now, you have probably figured out that I love animation. I would never have the patience to do animation work but I love to watch the results. OTH took 3 years to complete. There’s a little bit of trivia on the IMDb listing that says that some of the animators got kicked out of Safeway because they’d spent too much time there sketching chip bags. You mean to tell me that a warehouse full of animation geeks did not have enough personal experience with junk food to render it properly?

If you rent the DVD, be sure to watch all the extras that take you though the animation process. During the demonstration of how to draw Hammy, I was very tempted to get out my sketchpad a draw along. Even if animation is not your thing there other interesting things to watch in the extras. At the very least, you should watch “Hammy’s Boomerang Adventure.”

With some animated films, the animations might be fine but the voices are wrong. OTH does not have that problem. The voice casting was inspired. William Shatner as a melodramatic, Shakespeare loving possum who likes to die? Brilliant! Even casting Avril Lavigne as his mortified teenaged daughter worked well. Steve Carrell’s voice was unrecognizable as my favourite character Hammy (above).

What does it say about me that my favourite characters are always the wackadoodles?


I even liked the music in this movie. The lyrics are funny and the music is bouncy. So bouncy that I found myself doing the “Neutron Dance” during one song. For those of you who were not around when Beverly Hills Cop came out I give to you the video:

Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Repost: The Aristocrats

Eddie Izzard in The Aristocrats

Last night I watched The Aristocrats. The only reason I was interested in watching it was because I’d heard that Eddie Izzard was in it. Which was true. He was in it for less than a minute. A bunch of other comedians, including Robin Williams and George Carlin were also in it. I’d known about this movie since well before it came out two years ago. I put off seeing it because I knew it was not going to be my cup of tea.

“The Aristocrats” is a joke that comedians tell each other. It is never performed in public. The joke isn’t funny. The idea is to put as many shocking/disgusting things in the telling of the joke as possible. So you get incest, bestiality, scatology and vomit. Among other things. The idea of the film is that every comedian puts their own spin on the joke and that’s what makes it funny.

I’m not sure I agree. Each comedian makes the joke different. I’m not sure it makes it funny. I did laugh out loud a couple of times. In a 90 minute film that’s not enough. George Carlin’s version actually hit my gag reflex and I had to work at not tossing my cookies. I adore Eddie for not actually telling the joke (which is why he’s in the film for less than a minute) I was amused by his rambling confusion. And I bet it’s the first time the Pope was brought into the story. I don’t think Billy Connolly actual told the joke either but I love his accent so…

What amused me most was the comedians breaking up on film. For some strange reason I really find comedians laughing to be amusing. Robin Williams has a loony laugh. The funniest thing I ever heard was Robin and Eric Idle cracking each other up for an hour or so at the Aspen Comedy Festival. I bought it on when Robin Williams was doing a series there. For some strange reason I only have the second part otherwise I’d post it. If I ever find the first part, I’ll post it for all to hear. It’s glorious.

Anyway. I won’t recommend The Aristocrats but if you’re curious you might want to rent it on two for Tuesdays or something. You can also find some clips at YouTube.

Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Repost: Madison & Moneypenny @ the Movies

Brad and Angelina

While Miss Moneypenny’s been recovering from her surgery we’ve been watching a lot of DVDs. Okay, I’ve been watching and she’s been sleeping on the couch. I thought that since I’ve got a couple of hours to kill I’d give a rundown on what I’ve seen :

Crash: Brutal but good. I’m not usually one for multiple storylines but I think Paul Haggis pulled it all off. It’s sad to think that such a large portion of our society has some kind of racism in them. I didn’t even recognize Marina Sirtis. Does this mean I have to hand in my Star Trek Geek card?

Ice Age: An okay movie. Not as funny as I expected it to be. For some strange reason this movie came with rating of PG. I don’t think younger kids would be at all interested. I think the themes were a bit mature if not dark for kids.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (the first season): I’ll say straight out that I’m in love with Det. Robert Goren. I think he’s fascinating. I had no idea the show’s producers wanted Goren to be like Shirlock Holmes but I can see it. I started watching the show during the third season so it’s really nice to see how these characters began. There’s one scene where Eames says something like, “promise me you’ll buy me a margarita” to Bobby and he looks up from the papers he’s reading and smiles shyly. A smile like that can melt my cold, cold heart. ::sigh::

Mr. & Mrs. Smith: For what it was it wasn’t bad. Brad Pitt has never done it for me. Not even when he was hunk of the week in Thelma & Louise. Good thing Angelina does do it for me. :-P There were a couple of points where I laughed out loud. Though it could be argued that those scenes weren’t meant to be funny. The last shoot out scene is pure ballet, very nicely shot.

One Hour Photo: In a word: smarmy. I had avoided seeing this movie for a long time because I didn’t think I was ready to see Robin Williams in a really creepy role. I just wanted to take a bath after this one was over. The movie isn’t scary it just has a very high “ick” factor. The extras are very informative.

Robots: A sweet little movie that the critics hated. I thought the movie was fun. The crosstown express is the coolest thing ever. Ewan McGregor was earnest, Robin Williams was wacky. What else could a cartoon need?

The Ladykillers: A heist movie with a difference. Tom Hanks is wonderful as an eccentric thief who puts together and elite team of crooks for a casino job all under the roof of a little old lady. It was a bit weird and a bit slow but still kinda cool.

The Ruttles 2: Can’t Buy Me Lunch: I never saw the first movie but since I’ve read that this one is just a rehash I guess I didn’t miss anything. Watch the bloopers. David Bowie laughing is so cute. Tom Hanks cracking up after pretending to cry is hilarious.

We Know Where You Live: I was totally disappointed in this. Even Eddie Izzard and U2 couldn’t make me feel better. I don’t know but I really didn’t think a lot of the stuff was very funny. Phil Jupitus’ impression of Eddie was bang on though.

On deck for this weekend are Pillow TalkMarch of the Penguins and Monster House.

Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Repost: Van Helsing

Hugh Jackman as Van Helsing

Due to the unreliability of Canada Post I’m stuck with no DVDs to watch this weekend. Not much good having a Zip account if the mail doesn’t arrive. So I’m stuck watching movies from my personal, and vary sparse collection. Last night I choose Van Helsing. I’ve now seen the film three times. I can honestly say that it doesn’t get any better with repeated viewing.

I saw Van Helsing in the theatres because it starred Hugh Jackman as the main character. I thought that while the film looked good it didn’t have much of a plot. The CGI annoyed me. That’s no big deal. CGI always annoys me. If I notice it, it’s annoying.

Other things that bugged me:

Richard Roxburgh’s accent. Of course no one knows what kind of accent Dracula had. None of the movies has ever gotten it right (Bela Lugosi was Hungarian) but for some strange reason I found this accent really annoying.

Kate Beckinsale’s lack of an accent (most of the time). At least she didn’t try to sound as overblown as Roxburgh. Wavering in and out is worse than no accent at all. Barely.

Beckinsale’s costume She spent the whole movie in a corset. She looked close to suffocating when she was horizontal. What 13-year-old male decided that all four of the main women in this film had to have their breasts front and center?

I’m not even going to go into the religious aspects of the film (Van Helsing is the Left Hand of God and can sense evil.) If you ignore the religion there isn’t much left of the plot.

If you liked Underworld and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen you might like this film.

I think those two films were better than Van Helsing Oh well, at least Hunkaroo Hugh looked great. I enjoyed the blooper reel. I still can’t decide if Hugh is really a klutz or if he was just fooling around. 

Reposts are posts written for previous journals or other places online that no longer exist.