The first question I had right after the movie was over was “What the hell does Oculus mean?”, a question I didn’t get answered until 30 seconds ago when I looked up the definition on the internet. “A round or eyelike opening or design, in particular.” Hmmm, the haunted mirror portal in the movie seemed more like a rectangle to me… Maybe had two rounded edges. More like a cylinder than anything. Probably should have been called Slight Oculus. But I’m a kind of a stickler for horror movie geometry. [sips Merlot with pinky extended]
Not to take away from the film itself, but my favorite moment during my screening of Winter Soldier came from the audience. I actually went and saw this on Saturday night, which I rarely do. As anticipated, I had to sit next to a stranger, and not once, but *twice*, I had to smell someone else’s fart waft past my face. I’ll be going back to my 11 am screenings next time, when everyone sits 15 seats away from each other, thank you very much. Anyway, during the villain’s first real appearance, immediately after he blows up a car and the film goes dramatically silent for a few seconds; about three rows behind me a (possibly ponytailed, possibly unwashed) nerd said in a slightly above regular volume voice to (I assume) either his naive girlfriend or possibly disappointed mother with all the plugged-nose, smarmy gravitas you’d expect to hear at a Magic: The Gathering tournament… “THAT’S the Winter Soldieeeerrrrr.” I wanted to bottle that moment up and store it away until it ages to perfection, popping the cork in 2025 when Avengers 7: The Return of Bucky comes out so I can savor those saccharine, contemptuous flavors for just one more glorious day.
Premise: Jason Bateman plays out of character (the overworked white-collar dad-type) and goes with his more vulgar personality in his directorial debut about a 40-year-old man who uses a loophole to get his way into a national spelling bee championship for children. CAN YOU SPELL TRUOBALL?! Trubal? Tro-baale? I guess I can’t…
Premise: As Noah descends the mountain on a solid gold unicorn, trying to outrun a tidal wave with god’s face embedded in it, he pulls the reigns and abruptly turns towards the water right as god’s wave mouth is about to wrap around his body. Noah stabs upward with his glowing Methusela fire sword with an unfathomable amount of blind faith. At the foothill of the mountain, Hermione frees herself from the clutches of the three-headed minotaur, exhaustedly points her wand at the holy destruction and shouts “Glacius!” All of the sudden, the wave turns to ice, and its weight falls upon Noah’s sword, causing it to shatter into a trillion pieces, leaving Noah unharmed. The triumphant soundtrack blares as two of every animal parade out of the arc, each giving a subtle nod to Noah as they pass by; with a grizzly bear stopping for a moment to say in a comically deep Lousiana accent “Thank you fo stoppin that there flood, Noah! Naw you make sure ta visit mah creole ressaraunt in Nawlins, ya hear!” Noah gives but a brief smile, “Of course I will, Brother Delacroix.” ROLL CREDITS. I don’t think any of that actually happened in the movie, but, ya know… WHATEVER. I guess my screenplays aren’t good enough for Hollywood.
I finally got a chance to see Lars von Trier’s much talked about epic boning saga of a woman who is recounting her entire sexual life to a complete stranger who found her bruised up and unconscious on the street. In an effort to make myself seem less pervy, I didn’t watch the director’s cut, which apparently features real sex and visible dongs going in and out of some strange. But this version still had plenty of rubber dicks and boobies. BUT IT’S A REAL FILM! UMA THURMAN IS IN IT! DON’T JUDGE ME!
Premise: Told through an almost Inception-like layering of voice over narration, a teenage girl reads a book narrated by an older writer who recounts his younger self narrating a story that was originally narrated by an older version of a lobby boy who worked with a world-famous hotel concierge when he was younger. The actors involved in that sentence were Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham, and Ralph Fiennes; in that order. It’s also the newest Wes Anderson movie, so expect plenty of dry humor, center alignment, and consistent fonts. And as expected, people still write each other hand-written notes in playfully whimsical cursive lettering.
Premise: Aaron Paul stars as Chase Racerman (Ok, I forgot the character’s actual name), a mechanic who is also like the BEST driver EVER. He gets framed for manslaughter by Derek Evildriver (also forgot character name), and when he gets out of prison, he immediately hits the road to try to get to a race which is the most important race EVER, against Derek Evildriver, with the actual stakes of the race being something they either never mentioned or was said so quietly that I didn’t hear it. But he has to get from New York to California in 45 hours, so as the title proclaims, there is most certainly a *need* for *speed*. It’s a cross-country road trip movie where Chase Racerman is able to avoid getting arrested in every single state somehow, probably because he is like the BEST driver EVER. Sure, the movie has a bunch of flaws, but considering that it’s based off a game by Electronic Arts, that was to be expected (high fives a row of video game nerds).
I confess… I’m kind of obsessed with juggalo culture. Now, wait a second! I didn’t say I was a juggalo myself! I just will stop whatever I’m doing and watch anything remotely revealing about America’s favorite ninjas. If you are unfamiliar with the bunch, juggalos are fans of Insane Clown Posse, a clown-rap (?) group that is often richly soaked with family values and profanity laden death threats. Their followers, the juggalos (or if you’re a lady, juggalette), are a perfect mixture of naive logic, white trash sensibility, intense kinship, and remarkable consistency to make poor life choices. I enjoy observing juggalos almost as nature footage, because their basis of humanity is so starkly different from mine that they almost seem like a different species.
Premise: The prequel that no one really asked for, 300: Rise of an Empire is about the naval battles that preceded the events of the original film. It now focuses on a general of an Athenian army and his conflict with the Persian lady admiral who is Xerxes’ second-in-command. It has all the violence, boobs, and slow motion we remember from the first one.
Premise: Liam Neeson is an air marshal, and also an alcoholic, who has a daughter, and is tired of doing his job. All of this is revealed in the first 45 seconds of the movie; as he sits in his car, takes a swig of whiskey, touches a picture of his daughter, and acts morose about going into work. *That’s* how you character develop shit, son! Anyway, someone from aboard the international overnight flight accesses Neeson’s restricted cell phone line, and starts texting him threats that one person on the plane will die every twenty minutes until he delivers $150 million to a bank account. This is followed by NON-STOP UH-OHS.