Saturday, August 21, 2010

Creepy Pedro Reviews "Infest Wisely"

The best science fiction films show us the world as it may someday be: the boinking of "A Clockwork Orange," the tasty vittles of the "Soylent Green," the drab and dusty coattails and derbies of "Michael Palin's Brazil."

This new film, "Infest Wisely," presents the most frightening future of all, where an influence has caused appalling actors mumble improvised lines in a world that not even the writer has explored. This future will be captured on film by a cameraperson who does not understand the verb "to film" and it will be edited with the only tool available in the future: The Lazybones Splicer with Snooze Attachment, 2050.

In the future, I imagine, this film will be shown to colonists on Jupiter when all the other films have been stolen by displaced Jovian natives, and the colonists will admit that even considering their immense hardships living inside titanium exoskeletons on a deadly gas planet they have yet to see something so awful as that. Perhaps, they hope, the next movie from Earth will star Terri Garr, and to forget their troubles they will write deceptively cheerful letters to their girlfriends in their private outerspace journals.

Creepy Pedro Reviews "Dillinger is Dead"

Italy is the strangest movie I have ever seen.

Creepy Pedro Reviews "Austin Powers"

The rumours are true: Mike Meyers can do no wrong!

This is not because he hasn't tried. Before he starts working on any movie he wonders "How can I make this go wrong?" and then he says "I know, I'll make these jokes not funny! My jokes will require too long to happen!" But somehow when the camera is on him we laugh at his cute ways, and when he is ad libbing the libs he ads are funny, and the movie is another big hit no matter what Mike Meyers intended to do. Ka-ching! He buys another expensive thing for his enjoyment!

Like Eddie Murphy, maybe he thinks that if he plays all the parts in the movie he will have a greater influence to mess it up. This would be a good plan, except that when he finds himself in his makeup chair he is suddenly a different person, a cute ad-libbing character who does not want to do wrong. And the audience agrees with this performance! We laugh! Unlike the way we respond to Eddie Murphy!

"Austin Powers" is a good example of a movie where several characters may or may not be Mike Meyers. If you are a film critic like me then you often wonder "Is this Mike Meyers on the screen, and is he doing anything wrong?" You ponder this for only five minutes before you are laughing uncontrollably, and you think to yourself "These are things about sex that I never knew!" and eventually, when the time comes to write your review, you can only say "Funny man!" You might also say "Excellent lighting and an obscure geopolitical subtext!" because you are a film critic after all.

I disparage the sexy females in the "Austin Powers" movies because they are not Mike Meyers, they are not as funny. Meyers has been called a "Woman's Writer" because he writes meaningful parts for women, and when he sees them with their breasts and hips he shouts "Oh, HORNY, baby!" And God help us, we laugh!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Scrutable Poetry Corner: "It Rolls On" by Morris Bishop

A poem for the uneasy modern, from the November 1, 1930 issue of The New Yorker.
This is the time of wonder, it is written;
Man has undone the ultimate mysteries.
(We turn from the Chrysler Tower to watch a kitten,
Turn to a dead fish from Isocrates;

Drinkers on five-day boats are gladly smitten
Unconscious on the subjugated seas;
Einstein is even more dull than Bulwer-Lytton;
You cannot smoke on the Los Angeles.)

Science no longer knows the verb-form "can't,"
Fresh meat will soon be shipped by radio;
Scholars are harnessing the urgent ant
And making monstrous bastard fruits to grow,
Building machines for things I do not want,
Discovering truths I do not care to know.
You can find out more about Morris Bishop and his elf-loathing here.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

How Long Can Marriage Last...In a Cocktail Setting?

I love the qualification in the Mark Hellinger endorsement: one of the best novels IN ITS CLASS. Just so we're not confusing it with Dostoyevsky or anything.

Monday, August 02, 2010

"Earth" Review, Plus Bonus John Candy

The New Yorker film reviewer of 1930 ("J.C.M."), after pooh-pooing the trend toward larger-format films (so-called "three-dimensional films" that "fill the whole proscenium"), provides a great review of a movie that has always confused me: "Earth" by Alexander Dovzhenko (translated in this case as "Soil").
To conclude my memoirs on a lofty and dignified note, I should mention "Soil," a new Russian film. The picture is concerned with the favorite dramatic theme of the Soviet artists: the introduction of new methods of farming to the local wheatlands. Of more interest to these unusual people than the awakening of pure love or the dawn of passion is the coming of the tractor. I must say, too, that there are more persons in this town absorbed in this subject than one might suspect. Down there at that little Eighth Street house, where the picture has been shown, the crowd gets very excited, and there is applause, and even now and then a hiss... In "Soil," a silent picture, a caption was thrown on the screen, a comment of the older peasant as the tractor comes over the hilltop. "There is no God," he says at the sight, and this statement was suddenly met with applause by some of the guests. You will be happy to learn that at once the faithful downed the applause with pious hisses. The whole moment was very intense, and it was a great relief to everyone when the picture passed on to some closeups of apples seen from various angles.
I can certainly understand and appreciate most propaganda, but "Earth" left me totally confused. I couldn't figure out if it was a love song to the soil, a warning to farmers, or an outright parody. Maybe it was all three?

You can hardly say the same about "Hey Giorgy!" This was one of several hilarious SCTV spoofs of Russian television.

Giorgy! If he's not helping somebody, he's helping somebody else! Featuring a bevy of Eastern European immigrants waving at John Candy somewhere in North York.