Saturday, November 22, 2008

oh yea

i know i'm mad tardy on this one, but ALL criterion movies are 40% off on their website 'til this tuesday.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

where she stops, somebody knows

comedic improv takes on many forms. literally! improv forms provide structure to an art form that otherwise is as structureless as a swedish jellyfish.

say for instance you and i are doing a scene where you play a fireman and i'm your incompetent, easily-distracted boss. our scene finds us speeding down a city block to put out a fire, but i want to stop and get a free cone at ben & jerry's because i happened to have voted earlier that morning. in an act of blind loyalty, you join me in line.

this scene could go on forever, of course, but what should happen is that it gets "edited" and a completely new scene starts (maybe at a zoo). now, depending on what kind of form we agreed on beforehand, another member of our group could initiate a scene where we revisit our established hapless fireman and child-like boss characters. and our group would be on the same page because the form called for it. so there you go. improv exposed (wipes hands clean, takes sip from ssips box).

la ronde (french for, the round) is an improv form inspired by the max olphus film from 1950. the movie consists, essentially, of two-person scenes where the first character to enter is the first to leave and a new character is introduced in a new scene with the second character from the first scene. this goes on for 1.5 hours where ultimately, things come full circle. you can see how this can be used in improv.

the table-mannered dog in the picture above is the only character not a part of the 'la ronde', though his scene with the boozed up count is most enjoyable. as for the rest of the movie, people come and people go, some you are happy to see exit where others you wish could stick around a bit longer. one of these is simon simone's chambermaid. straight fire.

wish this movie was funnier. but i guess that's not fair to mr. olhpus who never asked to be the founder of a comedic improv form.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

america has finally listened.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

brizzness time

on some non-criterion criterion stuff, this months gq has a photo essay on the definitive women of film. mentioned honorably are criterion faves like jean luc-godard's one time wifey, anna karina, aka shorty from band of outsiders, that sexy ass bowler toting dimepiece from the barely bearable unbearable lightness of being, and the woman who i once bedded in my former life as a a whiskey swigging, drug abusing stagehand for the stones in swingin' 60's london- julie christie. it is well worth a looksie.

not to be overlooked, we here at the tcp have put together our own list of criterion hotties for your consideration in no particular order of smashability:

5. sissy spacek, 3 women

there's something sexy about scary women. not in the campy elvyra kind of way but in that penetrating sissy spacek gaze kind of way.

5a. sweetie

i'm a man who appreciates a nice porterhouse of a woman. i also find mental instability more than a little attractive. sweetie fulfills all these pre-reqs.

4. paola pitagora, fists in the pocket

she looks like barbara streisand, who i do not find attractive and sophia coppola who reminds me of a young barbara streisand. therefore, i now find barbara streisand attractive. this pic does little to illustrate my point but she's fly nonetheless.

3.aboriginal women, walkabout.

getting lost in the outback has never been sexier.

2. susan george, straw dogs (solving world peace in her head, up top)

sex crimes portrayed on film can be awkward. it's even more awkward when the girl in question is a susan george caliber dime brizzle. you have to remind yourself that at least you're not into anime porn- that would definitely be worse, right?

1. olivia d'abo, kicking & screaming

as a tike, formulating what would be a future of perceptions of what women should and shouldn't be, her character on the wonder years was the prototype. i hug-pounded my pre-pubescent self when she came on screen in kicking & screaming. he didn't know how to receive the hug pound and head-bunted me in the scrotes. the older me needed that.

so that's our list. let the debating begin or whatever.


we're all going to die. got it? if not, please go see synecdoche, new york and learn, slowly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

hole up

british director mike leigh has a new movie out called happy-go-lucky. its ads announce 'aw shucks' reviews like 'it will make you love life again', 'a reason to be on planet earth' and 'i finally called my daughter'. what the reviews don't say is that this whimsical, flighty flick is brained from the same man who brought naked into the world. this is like finding out that shel silverstein used to write books that were unforgettably effed up and demented.
thought y'all should know.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

keep it thoro

the 10th grade was a blur. most of my time was spent in the livingston mall world foot locker stock room, box cutter in hand, hot sam in my belly. it was within these mobb deep-blaring environs that i experienced my first legit black girl crush and heartbreak. her name intentionally escapes me, but her sauciness i will never forget. she had the elegant eyes of a disney princess and lips seductively penciled in a way i had not seen duplicated in the halls of my admittedly white high school. a true dime, indeed.

she, too beautiful for suburban retail, and myself becoming acquainted with phase IV of boyhood awkwardness, our frequent, brief exchanges had an air of the surreal. i'd be intently organizing the men's new balance running section (always a bitch) and i'd glance down the hall to find her sauntering over, eyes locked on mine. to whatever i said, she found to be the most interesting thing she'd heard form anyone ever. back then (and even now, kinda) that was all it took to have my heart. soon i had visions of my nubian foot locker fling and i stealing the show at the upcoming homecoming dance. i had fallen so hard that i was nearly willing to work an extra shift for free just so i could be around her. if i hadn't called my mom to ask her if i could work for free, i would have. completely serious.

it didn't take me long thereafter to realize that this was what my manager wanted all along. although never confirmed, i'm convinced my ebony goddess had, at my manager's behest, flirted with me and impressively feigned attraction to keep me a happy, devoted foot lockerer.
she was damn fine so i ain't mad at him.

i also vaguely remember reading shakespeare's macbeth in the 10th grade, which is the inspiration for akira kurosawa's throne of blood.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

veal scalp

the picture above is of a masterful lego re-creation of one of the more disturbing scenes from the honeymoon killers.

the construction worker on the left is actually an old lady (that's supposed to be the old maid hat that the poor woman actually wears to bed) who just realized that her 'husband' (dude chillin on the couch) is nowhere near the man she thought he was. in between the two is the sweetie-like character who is insane and madly in love with dude on couch. she has a freaking hammer in her hand and is about to problem solve.

this is not the most disturbing scene. this is also based on a true story. this has the grandma from 'everybody loves raymond' in it.

$1.85 was steep for a veal cutlet in 1970.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

when a woman's fed up

it's been a long time, we pretty much left you. but the TCP is here in august, at least for today, turning the clocks back to the year 1955 and switching our gps default location over to france with henri-georges clouzot's les diabolique (which is actually playing on IFC).

the netflix synopsis gives away the first hour of plot: a principal's wife and his mistress are best of buds, they also both hate the principal and murder him. i totally thought i was in the driver's seat. then along comes the last 20 minutes and i am left with my pants at my ankles, lips sputtering uncontrollably and with no one to hold. sh*t is so crazy that there's actually a disclaimer right before the credits urging you to not spoil the ending.

there's not much else to talk about here. i'm just looking to move on with my life, really.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

i'm only sleeping

"...we're never going to survive unless we get a little crazy."

you don't need me to tell you that america as a society is dissolving like black and white footage in the nine inch nails 'closer' video. and if you do, i'd just tell you to watch shock corridor. here the american dream meets the american holy sh*t my brain has turned into horseradish mashed potatoes.

back in the late 60's the pulitzer prize meant everything. it meant so much in fact, that a journalist willing to institutionalize himself in order to close the book on an unsolved murder and nab the pulitzer passed as a plausible idea for a movie.
of course nothing goes anywhere near ok for this guy, and in between lobotomies, we meet a hoard of nymphos looking to party, a tiny man written for comic relief ('i am impotent...and i love it!'), and a black guy-hating black guy (at first it's casually made known that he enjoys collecting pillow cases...then it all becomes clear).

what's stayed with me most is the knowledge-drop from the journalist's noticeably modern-looking-for-the-60s roommate: "when we're sleeping, no one can tell a sane man from an insane man'.

time for bed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


this had to come out sooner or later: i have never seen a fellini movie. so when picking which one to see first, i went with amarcord, simply because a soho vintage store is named after it. c'mon, it had to be cool, right?...RIGHT?

well, the trailer makes it clear that this is from the 'new fellini'. so right off the bat, i knew i had effed up. i was not going to get a lynch-influencing mindf*ck i'm pretty sure fellini is known for. but as that 90's VW golf ad exclaimed, 'in the game of life, there is no reset button'. and despite my muddled knowledge of italy's socialist past and cultural hallmarks, amarcord and i are friends in the end. you see, we share similar interests such as yelling at your family, blind accordion players, and the female behind.

new fellini can hang his hat on this one boys-being-boys montage in which at one point he combines rube goldberg with human urine and it is FUNNY. also, weaving in and out of the movie is the scariest hooker ever put on screen.

in the picture above, a boy is living out his fantasy of a sexual tryst with the local overweight tobacco lady. he's lifting her in the air and she is getting turned on.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

no country for young girls

four weeks ago, i popped in picnic at hanging rock and watched the 7-minute trailer. no longer able to put it off, i have finally dragged myself to watch the actual movie.

i have not seen little women, pride and prejudice or captain ron, so i'm at a loss for a proper reference point. however i sure as hell have seen the truman show, which shares directors with hanging rock (peter weir). i will never forget the moment right after truman musters through the 50th thunderstorm thrown at him by ed harris and the newfound silence is broken by his rickety boat slamming into the white wall at the end of the 'ocean'. 20 minutes after hanging rock, very little has stayed with me, except for maybe how good the truman show was.

that said, hanging rock's saucy factor is pleasantly generous (see above), though unfortunately offset by 1900s dialogue ("i expect you to be word perfect") and hairstyles (bun). also, this movie would serve as a highly effective ad for bottled water.

Friday, April 4, 2008

under the covers: #33

For the love of Pete, Inuits are cool. They spearfish, they have their own weird, esoteric version of the Olympics, and they dress like Andre 3000. And you have to respect the focus and concentration on this dude's face. But according to a recent US News & World report, Alaska's crime rate - violent crimes, in particular - is among the worst in the nation. While it might seem counterintuitive at first, it makes sense. I imagine the Inuit to be a territorial people and so pervasive is the hunting and tracking lifestyle that it is almost hardwired into their DNA. Which makes you wonder what this guy is really about to launch that spear at. It could be a fish. Or it could be the fuselage of a low-flying sea plane carrying life-saving rations for starving, at-risk Inuit families impoverished by deadly climate changes. Dude, what an a-hole.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Get Behind Me Satan

For Lucid Screening's '08 White Elephant Blog-a-thon, I tried to bless somebody with "Airborn" but was forced to go with "Only the Strong" when the DVD proved unavailable. Both titles bring a smile to my face. And I wanted to share that smile with somebody. What I got in return was Evilspeak.

In the hands of a different creative team, Evilspeak could have been "Carrie," "Porky's," and "The Next Karate Kid" all rolled into one. And for my money, that movie would be crap. But I'd probably be down to eat a bowl of Cheerios to it.

Instead, in the hands of Eric Weston and Joseph Garofalo (no relation to Janine), and the dude who created "Beastmaster," we get gratuitous (and at one point, full frontal male) nudity, Satan-based computer apps, and a young Clint Howard whose range as an actor can only be measured in degrees buttdussy (that's booty, di*k, and putty). But, despite looking like he just caught a wave of hot ass every time the story requires him to emote, the likeable Howard seems right at home in a movie that 17 year-olds in 1994 would probably love to watch blunted.

Howard (pictured above, 8 degrees buttdussy) plays Stanley Coopersmith, who finds himself on the wrong end of a lot of ass kickings and spontaneous games of monkey in the middle. But when he stumbles upon an 18th century Satanic place of worship built by Bull from "Night Court", he inputs some Satanic verses into his 1982 Tandy Computer and after completing a checklist that includes at least one ritualistic sacrifice, is able to conjure Bull's spirit. And with the remaining fifteen minutes of the movie, Bull channels himself into Stanley's body, and together, then they get buck. It's worth noting that the fusion of Clint Howard and dude from "Night Court" at one point yields a single terrifying frame of Will Ferrell.

Evilspeak also boasts a supporting cast that includes several veterans of the USA original series circuit, the HeyHEYhey guy from "What's Happening!," and the Jewfro'd neighbor from "That 70's Show" as Coopersmith's main antagonist.

I'm still not sure what this movie is trying to be, or maybe I'm so sure that it scares me. What also scares me is the somewhat randomly juxtaposed and therefore infinitely creepy 3 seconds of Super-8 footage involving a naked woman, a wild boar, and a bathtub full of blood and guts.

Thanks again, White Elephant.

it was a graveyard smash

(for the second running of the white elephant blog-a-thon over at lucid screening, i was initially assigned to watch howard the duck. netflix had other ideas.)

take two: orgy of the dead. things looked bleak right off the bat when i didn't recognize a single movie (the gore gore girls, etc.) in the 'enjoyed by members who enjoyed' section of netflix. i was starting to freak. i hate scary movies and the word 'dead' is in the title. you're probably saying to yourself, 'this man has never seen an ed wood flick before in his life'. you are goddamn right.

there is nothing scary about this movie. instead of focusing on the word 'dead', i should have been paying more attention to 'orgy'. if you like ta-ta's and thighs, dig in. but also if you like blatant inconsistencies and the denny's equivalent of dialogue - then please, sit.

80% of this movie takes place in what seems to be my best friend's backyard and roughly the same percentage involves topless white women shimmying to subtle variations of the hawaii five-o theme song. orgy of the dead teaches lifelong lessons like, 'a pussycat is meant to be whipped' and 'no one wants to see a man dance'. and it closes its eyes, reaches into the cliche grab bag, and pulls out the 'it was all a dream' ending b-sheit.

it's also worth noting that the trailer literally shows the entire movie and the dvd menu screen was seemingly created by an adult who has unashamedly mastered broderbund's kid pix design suite.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

ain't nuthin but a mistake

the TCP is back in black (...and white) with carol reed's the fallen idol. it's based on a graham greene short story, so it was safe to expect a story about foreigners in foreign countries and the promise of a murder. here we have the son of the french ambassador of england, phillippe (above, red-handed) who worships his globetrotting butler, mr. baines. i can confidently say that i have never encountered an on-screen character as annoying as this little child. an amazingly effective drinking game would just be to drink whenever phillipe says 'baines'. he literally says this in every scene.

since it was released in 1948, cops use the term 'blackies' and when found roaming the streets of london in his pajamas, phillipe is mockingly called nick carter. i wish i knew why.

Friday, March 21, 2008

red bo!

check it:
red bull's showing some criterion love, using a jimmy cliff diddy from the harder they come for their new flugtag tv spots.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Big Girls Need Love Too

Despite the fact that both delve into explicitly sexual thematic content, Catherine Breillat's "A ma Souer!" ("Fat Girl") has very little in common with "Fatty Girl," rapper Ludacris' 2001 paean to badonkadonks. While the latter is laden with overtly sexual chitter-chatter that would make for awkward car rides to Sunday mass with my parents when I was riding in the back seat and too far away from the radio to change the station, I could always bank on the fact that they at least wouldn't always be able to decipher Luda's many euphemisms for tush and bush. A ma Souer! leaves far less to the imagination.

This movie is basically about literally the worst m'er'effing family vacation in the history of western civilization. The main character is thirteen year old, Anais, who spends her vacation getting crapped on by the world and drowning her sorrows in man-sized servings of ice cream. She spends a large portion of the movie doggy paddling in a lonely swimming pool in a one-piece that's regrettably two sizes too small, and role playing make-out scenarios with the diving board. Her parents are distant, if well meaning, and her sister is a burgeoning ho-fo-sho. You breathe a sigh of relief for her towards the end of the movie when the family packs up the Volvo and heads home, but somehow things manage to get even worse from there.

If you're like me, you'll go into this movie thinking back fondly on your favorite donks and the electric energy and moral dubiousness of early Ludacris. But you'll leave with a tummy too full of raisinettes and a hollow feeling in your wiener. And isn't that really the mark of good filmmaking? In a word, no.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

everybody really dies

skateboarding, murder, subway restaurants. a dangerous combination, but gus van sant has carefully thrown them all together in his latest film, paranoid park.

van sant really gets busy on this one. the music would make you look cool if you played it at a party and the images are sam perkins smooth. it just has a really new vibe to it. watching this movie 15 years from now, you'll curl a little smile and say to yourself, 'wow this is so 2008', and then you'll clone yourself and make it wash your dishes.

as you probably know by now, the lead is a no-name actor (as is most of the cast, which was mostly picked off of myspacebook) gabe nevins. kinda fun fact: the 16 year old nevins never read the script and learned his lines on the spot. every now and then, nevins reminded me of the incessant nose scratcher in dazed and confused in the worst way possible.

last thing worth noting is that there's a shower scene that is so ill, i'm sure someone's going to put it up on youtube.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

and a happy new year

to celebrate mr. bardem's doubleyew last sunday, the TCP swivels its poorly-disciplined attention over to the land of spain with the spirit of the beehive. while the movie's title will make as little sense after watching it as it does right now, what you will take away is how incredibly naive you were as a kid.

following the precocious antics of ana (above, entranced) as she blindly tries to locate and hang out with frankenstein, beehive is not some kind of reverse sixth sense. there are moments in this movie that make you 'rewind that' like dennis quaid in the vantage point trailer. one wtf moment involves a prank that ana's twin sister, isabel, pulls that PLAYS YOU. another involves kids playing with a bonfire like it's the neighbor's sprinkler.

throughout the film, ana is almost run over by a train, nearly falls into a well, and is thisclose to being shot. it's also worth noting that beehive's use of frankenstein is one of the better movie-within-a-movie moments this side of home "filthy animal" alone.

oh and happy leap year day.

Friday, January 25, 2008

charlatan kane

in 2005, i went to a tribeca film festival screening of a doc about director and good friend of iron mike tyson, james toback. once the lights came back on, they did a little q&a with the director that no one really cared about, but then mr. toback came out, looking heavy and with a cane, to a thunderous applause. at one point someone asked him what his favorite movie is, to which he said without a blink, "f for fake".

it's impossible to prepare your brain for this movie. orson welles has made something here that ushered in mtv breakneck editing, wes anderson credits, and everything that guy ritchie has made. you will notice this.

the opening credits consists of shots of a long-legged woman in a thank-you-lord fitting dress walking through the streets of what looks like paris, interspliced with the have-mercy expressions of male bystanders. from there it goes in a completely different direction, but you don't mind.

there's also the most amazing awkward silence standoff between two people interviewed individually. and i'm pretty sure a monkey beats off on this guy's shoulder at one point. could just be me...