Archive for October, 2011

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo… and the awesome hoodie… and vintage skinny jeans… and matte black nail polish… and…

October 28, 2011
We’re so unique and original, the six of us…

See if you can follow me here:

In 2010 Sony announces they’re moving forward with an American remake of Swedish novel / film ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’…
 
BOO!
 
They sign David Fincher to direct it.
 
YAY!
 
In the search for an actress to play the role of tortured (both literally and figuratively) protagonist Lisbeth Salander, names tossed around include Ellen Page, Natalie Portman… and Scarlett Johansson?
 
BOO!
 
Eventually they settle on Rooney Mara, pair her up with Daniel Craig, and get to shooting.
 
A few months ago we get this kickass trailer:
 
 
YAY!
 
And a surprisingly bold and controversial one-sheet poster design…
 

Double yay!

And then, just as you were starting to think maybe this whole American remake idea might truly be in keeping with original intent and spirit of the book…

‘H&M to release official Girl With The Dragon Tattoo clothes’

That’s right… a clothing collection with “the dark urban feel that defines” Lisbeth Salander.

That DEFINES Lisbeth Salander.

The main character of a novel whose original title in Swedish roughly translates to ‘Men Who Hate Women’.

A character who we learn:

  • As a child watched her father beat her mother until she received permanent brain damage
  • Was beaten at school by other, larger children, mostly boys
  • Was sent to Psychiatric Hospital for most of her youth by a corrupt male Doctor
  • Was raped and sodomized by her legal guardian as a young woman, and
  • Was almost murdered by a male serial killer who is revealed to have killed countless woman over several decades

Bear in mind that this is all in ‘Dragon Tattoo’, book ONE in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy.

And as someone who’s read all three… things don’t get a hell of a lot easier for Salander thereafter.

You're wondering where you can buy a pair of those gloves RIGHT NOW, aren't you?

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and assume that I personally am not part of the target demographic for this particular clothing line. And I’ve been more than willing to concede on this blog several times in the past that the female mind remains now, as ever, impenetrable to me.

But am I really supposed to believe that there are women out there who are skimming through paragraph after paragraph in the Millennium trilogy murmuring “Sodomy… yadayada… secret police… dadada… Stockholm… blahblahblah… come on, when it’s going to say what she’s wearing?!?!?!

If that’s enough to send you shopping ladies, then you should head out to your local Blockbuster and rent a copy of ‘The Accused’ this weekend – because Jodie Foster’s vintage retro skirt in that scene would look sooooo awesome with the right singlet and pair of flats! Right!

Right?

BPM

Make sure you take the photo from my good side

October 24, 2011

It’s been fascinating to watch the fallout from legendary(ish) singer Meat Loaf’s ‘performance’ at the AFL grand final a few weeks ago.

After reportedly being paid upwards of $500,000 (a number Meat Loaf disputes), we, the people, were treated to a mini-concert so bad it made you more than a little nostalgic for Angry Anderson’s notorious ‘Bound for Glory’ / batmobile segment during the 1991 half-time entertainment.

For those who may have missed it, I’ll let you judge for yourself:

In the days and weeks that have followed, you couldn’t help but develop a morbid curiosity in the ensuing blame game. The AFL initially said not to blame Meat Loaf. Instead you should blame the weather. Some fans defended the singer, saying he might’ve just had a bad day, and that he has recently had more than a few health scares (he passed out on stage several times in the months leading up to his visit to Oz).

That was until reviews started pouring in from Meat Loaf’s Australian tour, where reviews consistently mentioned that he still put on a competent show, except the quality of his once mighty set of pipes was now the weakest part of it.

Meat Loaf has countered this week by saying that the AFL are a “bunch of jerks”. Which, in all honesty, is not something most ardent Aussie Rules fans will fight him on. His reasoning however lies in the fact that a) they wouldn’t let him do a decent sound check on stage, b) they wouldn’t let him have a live piano, and c) it was impossible to put on a good show in the area allocated to him anyway.

And that they’re all “butt smellers”.

Always refreshing to hear a 64-year-old man resort to the witty banter of a 9-year-old.

A fact not lost on the Australian media.

Because if there was any confusion…

As to how you were supposed to view Mr. Loaf these days…

Then hopefully by now…

That’s been put to bed…

Amazing how a few carefully chosen images can color your perception of a ‘news story’, huh?

For my part, I kinda feel a little sorry for Meat Loaf. Yeah, he was bad. But he’s an almost morbidly obese man in his mid-sixties. I wouldn’t expect Harrison Ford to be able to play Han Solo convincingly these days, I wouldn’t let Dennis Lillee open the bowling for Australia at this years Boxing Day cricket test match, and I wouldn’t expect Helen Mirren to be even hotter now than she was 40 years a…

Oh...

Um…

Well… 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

* shudder * That jokes so bad now I just feel dirty.

Fare thee well, Mr. Loaf. And thank you… if for nothing than else, than for affording us with a newfound respect for Lionel Ritchie.

BPM

Monkey Musings: ‘Red State’

October 19, 2011

I was lucky enough last week to catch a screening of Kevin Smith’s new film ‘Red State’ at The Astor here in Melbourne. For those of you who have never visited The Astor, I’d urge you to go. One of the last of the classic old theatre’s in Melbourne, it comes complete with booze, a swaggering herd of gen-u-wine cinephiles, and it’s own honest-to-God resident Astor cat (named Marzipan, apparently). Just the kind of traditional, cozy, comforting environment to see one of the weirdest, most discomforting films of 2011.

Now, first thing’s first, I’m a big Kevin Smith fan. Huge. Watching ‘Clerks’ for the first time was a formative experience in my life. I’ve seen all his flicks. I listen to his podcasts. I have a Silent Bob bobblehead in my home. I’m even one of the 9 people in Victoria who paid hard currency to see ‘Cop Out’ at the cinemas.

So with that in mind, yes, I’m probably inclined to be quite generous in my reviews of all things Smithian. You have been forewarned.

I’d heard a lot about ‘Red State’ prior to seeing the flick, about the making of, about Michael Parks’ incredible performance, about Smith’s decision at the Sundance Film Festival to self-distribute the movie, and about his many colourful run-in’s with the Phelps family, upon whom several characters in this film are based. And yes, I could quite easily have watched an illegal download of this film weeks ago. But something told me this was a flick that would play much better if experienced with an audience.

I’m glad I waited.

Michael Parks as Abin Cooper

Because ‘Red State’ offers what so few movies do these days – the chance to get lost in a film where you have little to no idea where the narrative might be going next. There’s definitely an ominous sense of foreboding, and in your heart of hearts you’ll know that this story cannot end well, but beyond that… ? It takes storytelling chances, never being afraid to make a reversal or even to kill off a character who only seconds before you were sure was finally going to be OK.

It’s brutal, without ever crossing the line into ‘Hostel’ styled gore-nography. It’s honest in its depiction of human nature. And it’s somehow horribly, horribly believable (thanks again, Westboro Baptist Church).

And best of all, it’s the kind of movie that’ll not only make you think, but will stick in your mind for days afterwards. This isn’t the movie-going experience that I believe Stephen King once described as a ‘popcorn fart’ – all noise and no smell. This is… well… lets just leave it at that before we devolve into a few hundred words on some other more suitable fart-related analogy, shall we?

I’m not going to say it’s the best Kevin Smith movie, or even my favourite. But it’s an impressive left-turn in the final stages of Smith’s filmmaking career, and is damn sure worth checking out.

Because in a world where we can now look forward to a ‘Transformers 4’ & ‘Transformers 5’ very soon, I’ll take all the weird, undefinable, genre-bending cinema I can get.

BPM

The Walken Dead

October 19, 2011

BPM

Ever have one of those days?

October 12, 2011

Because sometimes you just wish you could punch life right in the face.

Voila.

BPM

Monkey Musings: ‘A Time To Kill’

October 3, 2011

Caught most of the 1996 film adaptation of John Grisham’s ‘A Time To Kill’ last night, a movie I haven’t seen in at least 10 years.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a little older, a little wiser, or just flat out more cynical, but I had to stop the movie about two thirds of the way through.

A reminder for those whose memory was as foggy as mine – within the first 90 minutes of ‘A Time To Kill’, we see:

  • A 12 year old black girl raped by a pair of rednecks
  • Samuel L. Jackson shooting and killing both rednecks (with great vengeance and furrrrrrious anger, natch)
  • The Klu Klux Klan… ohhhh do we see the Ku Klux Klan
  • An elderly man pummeled by a pack of these bedsheet-wearing fruit loops
  • Multiple burning crosses
  • A street fight between the Klan and a crowd of black people
  • A KKK Grand Dragon burnt to death by a deliberately hurled molotov cocktail
  • Matthew McConaughey’s minor stab wound (NOTHING can hurt the McConaughey!)
  • Sandy Bullock being kidnapped by the KKK, tied to a pole, and being left for dead
  • Kiefer Sutherland trying to shoot the McConaughey, only to miss and hit a National Guardsman instead, paralyzing him for life
  • And McConaughey’s house being burnt to the ground

Whew…

But what made me switch off the TV was none of those things. As brutal as a lot of that sounds, Joel Schumacher’s direction is probably a lot more restrained than it could have been for what is basically a film that legitimizes vigilantism in the right circumstances.

No, what made me turn the TV off for the night was McConaughey being shown the morning after his house has been razed. He sits amongst the ashes, calling for his dog Max, the dog he knows was inside that house the previous morning. Oliver Platt tries to talk to him, to make him come to his senses, but McConaughey refuses to drop the case. He keeps calling for Max, Max, MAX! which makes Platt snap, and tell him that Max is dead, and the McConaughey will be too unless he lets this go.

Low and behold, seconds later we hear a bark… then another, a little closer… whereupon Max himself bursts forth from some scrub, and runs to McConaughey, who razzles the dog in what’s left of his yard. He ain’t letting go, son – their preparation for the trial must continue.

Pretty standard kinda scene, huh?

Until you step back half a step and realize that this is a movie that was prepared to show you child-rape, murder, kidnapping and violent racism… but not a dog dying.

Because Schumacher, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, and Warner Brothers KNOW that the audience will forgive them for alllllllll of the horrible shit they’ve seen thus far. But killing a dog?

THAT’S going too far.

And THAT folks, is what Hollywood thinks of YOU, the movie-going public, in a nutshell.

Ponder that.

BPM