Monday, January 30, 2006

Melt Your Heart

"Ms. Lewis, who is Jewish by birth ("although everyone assumes I'm a little shiksa," she says) and currently lives alone in Los Angeles, said the religious inquiries on Rabbit Fur Coat partly reflect her own spiritual musings. "God ... he's a funny guy," she said. "I'm not a religious person by any means. But I'm curious. And most of the time I feel really left out in the religious-slash-political climate of the country these days. Like, am I really missing out here? Everyone seems so completely faithful, and so happy about it."

The above comes from Will Hermes' piece in Sunday's New York Times. As based on my current, singing to myself in the car/shower/apartment/cubicle obsession with Jenny's new jawn and my once upon a time obsession with The Wizard (three times in the theater and too many times on VHS), I have to say that knowing what I know now, Jenny would take over the top spot on my recent list of hot (enough to make you shvitz) Jewesses. So, there. A little blog house cleaning and lovelorn nerdery. That's that. Happy almost Tuesday.

Friday, January 27, 2006

J.R., you're no Duncan Kane.

Ron Artest was finally, mercifully traded this week, to Sacramento, after he first blocked the deal, wanting to still stay unhappily married to the Pacers, as opposed to try something new with the Maloofs. Step 1: Fully clothed spooning. Artest's behavior (the infamous brawl in Detroit, asking for time off to record a hip hop album, demanding trades and then, with dewy, puppy dog eyes, claiming he'll miss Indiana, etc.) may remind you of Isaiah "J.R." Rider and if it doesn't, it will now, because, y'know, I just said it. If you've forgotten:
Rider racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and suspensions in his NBA career, which ended in 2001. His offenses ranged from being tardy to practice to spitting at fans and airport personnel to crimes of assault and marijuana possession.

He spent two days in jail for failing to perform court-ordered community service that resulted from a 1994 assault charge for kicking a woman in the back after a disagreement at an autograph signing.

In May 1997 he was convicted of marijuana possession and later pleaded no contest to possessing unregistered cellular phones.

Rider was the fifth overall pick by Minnesota in the 1993 NBA draft and spent three seasons with the Timberwolves, winning the slam dunk championship his rookie season.

He was then traded to Portland in 1996 and spent three seasons with the Trail Blazers. He was suspended for a total of 12 games during his time in Portland, including three by the NBA in 1997 for spitting at a fan in Detroit.

After getting traded to Atlanta for Steve Smith on Aug. 2, 1999, Rider was late to his first day of camp, and never could get along with coach Lenny Wilkens. He was released in March 2000 after refusing to accept a three-game suspension for being late to a game.

He spent the 2000-01 season with the Los Angeles Lakers and was suspended five games that season for violating the league's anti-drug program.

He joined Denver the next season and was waived in November 2001 after playing just 10 games with the Nuggets. Rider never played again in the NBA.
And Rider's at it again, this time, charged with kidnapping and assault, and held on $2 million bail in Marin County, CA. Sigh. The dude should employ Veronica Mars, Vinnie Van Lowe, and Astrid and kidnap in style. Worked for Duncan and the Manning baby. I like to think that's how Harold "Baby Jordan" Miner would do it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Know Your Role

5 in a row. Not losses, not terrible free agent signings, but wins. Wins! 5 victories in a row for my beloved Knicks, improving their record to a sizzling 12-21. After blowing an 18-point lead, which I heard them build on my ride home from work (thank you, Sirius), veteran Antonio Davis led them to victory in overtime:
"I think they understand how much I care about this team and how badly I want to win. I don't want to open the papers and see the position that we're in, and a lot of times you have to know your role. You have to know what you can do and what you can't do. And what I can do is I can defend a guy and I can rebound. When they see me running after a rebound, or something like that, they really understand what this game is all about.
This quote might just make Antonio Davis my new favorite player. Also best, Larry brown wore a Mark Messier jersey during his pre and postgame press conferences.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

These Make My Tits Pop

Celebrating Showgirls Day in style:

  • Ben: And just as the actors and their roles blur, I think that we, the audience (or at least the appreciative, receptive audience), blur with the Goddess audience. As much as you try to fight it, that tawdry, shitty, profoundly vulgar spectacle sucks you in through sheer will and makes you like it. Yup, that neon is garish and David Stewart's synth-score is all bombast and Cristal emerging from that papier-mâché volcano is silly, but goddam is it effective; Verhoeven and Ezterhas have got their hands all up in your id and they're not letting go.

  • Girish: Has the transactional basis of our market-driven society (and more specifically, the entertainment biz) been translated to personal terms as bluntly and tersely as this? "You are a whore, darlin'". "No, I'm not." "We all are. We take the cash, we cash the check, we show them what they want to see." And then, in the same companion key, this lucid piece of anti-hypocrisy: "I'm not a whore." "No you're not. You're going to be a big star."

  • Josh: Nomi Malone is not a human. Neither our writer, our director nor Elizabeth Berkeley herself bring a single drop of humanity to this role. Nomi Malone is an animal, caged and furious. No, even that's not quite right. She's an elemental spirit, fire leaping from her eyes as she flings a plate of french fries with all the fury of Medea slaying her children.

  • Flickhead: A case of the dragon consuming itself by the tail, Showgirls transcends the limitations normally set by genre and dramatic convention — and comes to embody every foul, odious thing it professes to abhor.

  • Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    The Boris Lermontov of Vegas

    "Dancing ain't fucking."

    This undeniable truth comes from aspiring choreographer James Smith, as played by Glenn Plummer, in Showgirls. Plummer may be best remembered as "Maurice," the character whose Jaguar is commandeered by a determined Keanu Reeves in Speed or as slain rapper "Jeriko One" in Kathryn Bigelow's millenial actioner, Strange Days. But if you consider yourself a cineaste and you have the slightest bit of taste, you know him best from one film and one film only. He's worked plenty, but the role of his career came in Showgirls. Everything else is window dressing.

    Whilst on his quest for a muse (Victoria Page to his Boris Lermontov), Smith cleverly deploys his credo. Dancing isn't fucking, but fucking and dancing need not be mutually exclusive. And if dancing ain't fucking (and, I assure you, Smith is right) then fucking ain't dancing. Upon first introduction to the routine he "wrote for her," Nomi picks up the moves like a natural, even if James goes a little too fast at first. They click. The start of a beautiful friendship, blah blah blah. But when dancing turns to fucking, it all falls apart. Nomi's on her period and she's not down with James' offer of towels. Dancing ain't fucking but James needs fucking with his dancing. Enter Penny (Rena Riffel) who's half the dancer Nomi is, but a much more willing lover. But James knows dancing ain't fucking, so even if he is fucking Penny, he'd rather be dancing with Nomi. The catch 22 that James knows is sure to bite him. It does. And James, of course, loses his one true chance at greatness, never able to lock creatively with his one true muse. Everything is fleeting. It's Vegas. One minute you're a star, the next you brake your ankle on strategically placed beads and your days as top bitch at the Stardust are over.

    James Smith is trapped. He's pulled back the curtain and seen the Wizard and all the rest seems pointless now. Nomi is his last hope. She "burns when she dances," and in that burning, he sees a phoenix of hope, in a city drowning in flash, and lacking in substance. He knows dancing ain't fucking and fucking ain't dancing and Penny ain't Nomi and Nomi ain't Penny. He knows he's going nowhere, but he has nowhere else to go. He's figured it all out. He's at the end. But he has a tape and a routine and if he can just find someone who can dance and is willing to fucking him, James Smith will own Vegas. I smell sequel.

    (As part of The Showgirls Blog Orgy.)

    So happy together.

    The following comes from David Thomson's recent piece on Munich:
    In 1982, E.T. was an enchanting fable for shy creatures of all ages and alien backgrounds, as well as a warm tribute to American domestic life. In the same year, Poltergeist (which Spielberg produced, and the director of which he "helped") cast a baleful eye on nearly all the same things. Then in 1993, the double-act was Jurassic Park (a monument to species recreation) and Schindler's List (ditto on extermination). And now, in 2005, Spielberg has delivered a version of War of the Worlds that is a very exciting story of an ordeal where mankind strikes back at alien invasion, and Munich, his Christmas offering and a film that reckons to upset just about every section of the audience. At the very least, this record reveals an intensely complicated man - one far more intriguing than his great contemporary, George Lucas, and more steadily dedicated to new work than, say, Francis Coppola.
    Thomson omits another pair of Spielberg films that came out in the same year: Minority Report and Catch Me If You Can. John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is accused of a murder he hasn't yet committed, as Spielberg tweaks the notion of presumed guilt implied by multiple tactics now condoned by the Patriot Act (with a nifty Philip K. Dick template). This "serious" entry from Spielberg is the lesser of the two films in my opinion (not because of its seriousness but because the toughness required to make the conceit work isn't there in the end, with its neat and tidy climax, which I think is the same problem that befalls War of the Worlds). Catch Me If You Can also revolves around an accused man on the run, but works more as a shaken martini bit of mythmaking, getting us off on the thrill of the chase and the cons, as opposed to frightening us with them, scaring us with the presentation of a world where our lives and our deeds can be manipulated at our peril. Catch Me If You Can gets off on getting away with it. It's an exhilarating piece of pop entertainment. It isn't weighed down with weighty notions it can't successfully grapple with. It tosses them off with elan.

    Minority Report ends up working better conceptually, its ideas rolling around in your head, sparking conversation, but failing dramatically, cheating, cutting corners, wrapping everything up with structural bows that are never believable. Catch Me If You Can (until Munich, the best film Spielberg has made in the last ten years) is compelling not because it has intriguing notions, but because it has intriguing characters, it involves us emotionally, while Minority Report never quites grasps those involved. Of the two journeys on the run, the emotional one packs a wallop, while the intellectual one leaves you feeling cheated, with an argument that never climaxes, but simply withers, hiding from its potentially unpleasant possibilities. (This post comes courtesy of a challenge issued by Ben.)

    Top 5 Discoveries of the Year

    My Own Private Idaho (1991) - The other Van Sant film that stunned me this year. An exhilarating blend of styles and genres, darkly funny and emotionally resonant. Phoenix's performance ranks among the very best in cinema history.

    The Conformist (1970) - Not just one of my favorite discoveries of the year. One of the best films I've ever seen.

    Black Christmas (1974) - Top shelf shlock (viewed as part of the New Beverly's holiday themed Grindhouse double feature, along with Silent Night, Deadly Night), aided in no small part by: alcohol consumption, imagining everyone (including inanimate objects) responding to Keir Dullea like HAL, and Margot Kidder as a sex obsessed lush.

    Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) - Fassbinder's homage to Sirk (and a major influence on Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven). The sequence that remains with me the most takes place at an outdoor cafe. Emmi (an older German woman) and Ali (a young, Moroccan guest worker) sit together (they are, at this point, already a couple). No one else is there. They're surrounded by yellow table after yellow table (and the yellow pops like candy coated Technicolor). Meanwhile, the staff of the cafe stands and watches them from afar, looks of dismay on their faces.

    The Fallen Idol (1948) - Directed by Carol Reed and written by Graham Greene (from his story, "The Basement Room") with additional dialogue by Lesley Storm and William Templeton. The dirty entanglements of adulthood as seen through the eyes of a child. (Saw it on a rainy night, which seems the perfect weather for a viewing, which may be more of a comment on it being set in England than the film itself.)

    Monday, January 09, 2006

    Quote of the Day

    "The most rackety fun I had all year came in the first twenty minutes of 'Wedding Crashers,' which demonstrated that Vince Vaughn is either a genius or an escaped lunatic who should not be approached without a stun gun, yet even that farce declined into soulful whimsy, as did 'Hitch.' I did laugh at the end of 'The Revenge of the Sith,' but that was from pure relief, much as the people of Stalingrad gave a bitter, mirthless grin when the siege was finally lifted." - Anthony Lane

    End of an Era: A Top 5

    Saturday marked the end of an era. I bought a new car, which means my 1996 Saturn will soon be no more, likely to be chopped up for its few remaining working parts. So, without further ado, the top five Saturn related memories:
  • High school make out sessions with my high school girlfriend who will remain nameless. When you date the daughter of a fairly stern school teacher and a Civil War revisionist not entirely thrilled by their only daughter dating a sarcastic, liberal Jew, your car becomes a safe haven, whether parked in said parents own driveway or some further distance. Without the Saturn, high school would have been a lot less fun.

  • My cross country trek to Los Angeles, with a stop for the grand Canyon. Too much Sonic. One too many Sooner shakes. And Dr. Laura ranting about how the Taliban hates us because of Eminem. Best.

  • The mishaps. Driving to dollar bowling night and plunging into a rain water filled ditch and having to push it towards the parking lot (with Beeks and Loo). The belt snapping/battery dying/renting more Aveos than anyone should period known as last year. The latest over $1,000 problems that led me to buy my new Hyundai Accent. If you have good credit, it's disturbingly easy to buy a new car. (Also, when you're selling me a car and you see that I work for the District Attorney's Office, I don't recommend telling me about that time you evaded a police officer and ultimately got arrested, eventually serving 45 hours of community service.)

  • Driving Geri Halliwell around for a day. Things to remember: Ginger Spice is not impressed by 4-door Saturns. She digs yoga. And she will not, under any circumstances eat an apple in the middle of the afternoon (if presented with one as a snack, she will throw it at the person who handed it to her). You've been warned.

  • No car is truly cool until Fagistan's iron fisted dictator has puked in your backseat. There's just no debating the issue.
  • So long...

    Saturday, January 07, 2006

    2005 Top Ten

    If Living is Without You

    10. Walk The Line (James Mangold) - Transcends its "...and then what happened Johnny" plotting with exuberant, foot stomping musical sequences and two of the best performances of the year. As long as Joaquin and Reese are onscreen, it all works out.

    9. Eros ("The Hand") (Wong Kar Wai) - The first of two from Wong Kar Wai on the list. I know this may be considered cheating, as it's a short (and part of a trio of shorts presented together) but I don't care. The design, the impeccable craft, the elegant movement of the camera, the entanglement of his ever evocative music choices with his trademark desperate's all there. I was transfixed.

    The Searchers

    7. The New World (Terrence Malick) and 8. Breakfast on Pluto (Neil Jordan) - Patrick "Kitten" Braden and Pocahontas. Their connection is bigger than Kitten playing squaw to Billy Hatchet onstage (although, one can only imagine the Jamestown's colony's reaction to Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey"). The urge to define them, dress them up in a peep show or for the royal court, falls flat. They're more than the fantasy, even if both filmmakers seek to make symbols of them. I can't help but connect the two, the fluidity of style in both, as Jordan and Malick stick us inside of the heads of the characters, allowing the outcast, the colonized to tell their stories. We're engaged by people, by shared emotional experience, and as critical as the historical context is in both films, I never felt (as I did, say, with George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck.) like I was being lectured or given a refresher course in Social Studies. To me, both feel like diaries, of people telling their stories in a world that won't stop spinning, certainly not for them, and that they, in their own ways, continue to try to live in, to define for themselves. It's a recurring theme this year. The importance of finding a home to call your own. These two films explore that idea brilliantly.

    Unknown Quantities

    5. Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen) and 6. Look At Me (Agnes Jaoui) - In one, a daughter fights against her father's indifference. She finds beauty in opera, if she can't find any in life, her conversations persistently interrupted by disinterest or a ringing cell phone. Her struggle is everyone's struggle in the film, of people desperate to be recognized as more than the role they've been assigned. And if ever there was a misunderstood and misrepresented American city, it's the place I call home: Los Angeles. Thom Andersen presents, analyzes and deconstructs Hollywood's presentation of the city and its citizens own attitudes about it. I find myself cringing any time I hear myself call it L.A. Both films are very smart and uncompromising. Brain food. Good for the soul.

    Back to the Future

    4. Serenity (Joss Whedon) - Without question, the zingiest, smartest, most exhilarating piece of pop entertainment of the year, spawned from the failed television series, and born of fervent fandom. Joss Whedon continuously plays with genre, blending the western with sci-fi and, most of all, tackling the various twists and turns of a makeshift family's dynamic. The best time I had at the movies this year.

    3. 2046 (Wong Kar Wai) - Tony Leung's charmer is on a series of conquests, none of which work out (and even if they could, he won't let them), because the woman he wants is nothing more than a memory, an unattainable dream. Wong Kar Wai envelopes us, his elliptical style playing with time and memory, giving us both imagined and real scenarios that are, of course, entangled in all the same sadness and yearning. It's beautiful and lovelorn, like the saddest pop song you've ever heard.

    Dealing in Death

    2. Last Days (Gus Van Sant) - There's a sequence towards the end of the film, where Blake (Michael Pitt) is alone in the shed behind his decaying mansion. His hangers-on are leaving the mansion and one (Lukas Haas) spots him inside the shed, from a distance. Blake is now out of focus, seemingly dressed in all red. It's obvious that Haas knows he should go over there, check in on his friend, see what's what. But, at the same time, he's afraid to or apathetic about it all, considering the inability to communicate with Blake these last few days, with him becoming little more than a mumbling, listless mess. And he goes off, never having checked in.

    This sequence brings it all together for me. Watching from afar, it's all fuzzy and a little bit scary and we only know so much about what really is going on in there, in the head of the man inside that room. We may think we know more, but we only know so much. It's at once dreamy, gazing at this mythic figure (fame in conjuction with importance to the individual) and wondering what he's doing in there, wishing to know or be a part of it, his life. But, at the same time, being so frightened by this image, thoughts of pain and death and madness making the warmth of the car, and the comfort of driving away from this scene, all the more enticing. One image can mean everything and, here, it brings everything together, all the pieces that Van Sant is putting together: the corruption of the free, natural world that Blake wishes to run to (he sings "Home on the Range" with aching desperation) with his heroin buried in the earth and the trains/airplanes disturbing his Jeremiah Johnson-like sojourn through the woods, the search for something, anything, to connect with, aside from the solitary, emotional purge afforded by his music (there are two really incredible musical moments in the film), Kim Gordon's recitation of her "rock n roll cliche" speech that she seems to have given a hundred times and that Blake gets but can't seem to do much of anything about, the desperation to connect/inability to connect arc, by way of Boyz II Men, Mormon missionaries, visits from confused salesmen asking him how his "business" is going and how many "customers" he's added in the last year, phone calls from managers and bandmates and his wife, and the Velvet Underground, which are at once disaparate but all interconnected. It all makes for one of the best films of the year and the best of Van Sant's career. (As originally posted on 7/24/05.)

    1. Munich (Steven Spielberg) - It could be didactic or, worse, bland. It could be every argument ever made on either side of the Middle East debate, made by old men on cable news, uttering the same tired platitudes which they've said over and over again. But what now? I say it again and again, be it with either extreme end, be it ultra-Zionists or suicide bombers. What now? The soul darkens from such conflict, from perpetual war, from endless tit for tat. You may, as Avner (Eric Bana) does, end up hiding in the closet, gun in hand, eyes wide open, unable to sleep, always on alert, always afraid of what then. What is so stunning here is that at once the film is a crackerjack thriller, tension at every turn, classic moments built one after the other (the blood stain turning to clouds, the conversation between Avner and Ali in the stairwell, saying the same things but not realizing it, Avner hearing his daughter over the phone, the near death of the Palestinian girl on the phone, etc.), sequences that could exist in many other thrillers of shady spy types skulking about Europe but it goes beyond this and becomes a true analysis of morality, of history and of where we are as a people. It's tough and smart and exciting in so many ways. it engages you and engrosses you and forces you to think, to talk, to wonder where we're headed. It's over thirty years now and things seem so similar. Can we remain this way? Can we find a new path? Can we solve problems that always seem to end the same way, with the same arguments. What now?

    The Good: Millions, Sin City, Mysterious Skin, Layer Cake, Kings and Queen, Batman Begins, Rize, Me and You and Everyone We Know, The Beat That My Heart Skipped, The Island, The Aristocrats, Junebug, Proof, Thumbsucker, The Squid and the Whale, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, 3-Iron, Oldboy, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Broken Flowers, Brokeback Mountain, The Family Stone, Jesus is Magic, Fantastic Four

    Whatevs (denoting either mixed feelings or apathy): Grizzly Man (Treadwell's footage is, at times, incredible. But I chafe against the scenes and moments that are so clearly staged by Herzog, i.e. Treadwell's theatrical ex-girlfriend receiving Treadwell's watch from the equally theatrical coroner. And I'll admit to a childish complaint. Herzog's Udo Kier-like narration, with its morose platitudes, drove me insane.), War of the Worlds (First hour vs. second hour.), The 40 Year Old Virgin (Apathy.), The Constant Gardener (Apathy.), Capote (It's all very beige.), King Kong (New York vs. Skull Island.)

    The Bad: Melinda and Melinda (Phrase to be forever banned when discussing the work of Woody Allen: "return to form."), Mr. and Mrs. Smith, A History of Violence, Syriana, Good Night and Good Luck, Elektra, Constantine, The Jacket, The Producers (Matthew Broderick's performance is beyond terrible, uneven, and so lacking in charm that it makes Nathan Lane's bellowing to the balconies seem subtle and well crafted.), Eros ("Equilibrium"), The Interpreter, Kingdom of Heaven, A tout de suite, Stolen, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Red Eye, Flightplan, Elizabethtown, Jarhead, RENT, Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Except for Tilda.), Match Point (I'm willing to accept that somehow, this urbane piece of pulp can be found as entertaining. But it has zero depth and lacks any kind of interesting perspective on the material. Just imagine if Woody respected or had interest in the film's women. Now, once you've jumped off that bridge, imagine if Scarlett, instead of skipping towards the gallows, decided to confront Emily Mortimer outside of The Woman in White (symbolism abounds). And if you proceed in that direction, imagine then that all Myers does is kill the neighbor. That or some derivation of that idea would have intrigued me, instead of a note for note retread of the Martin Landau half of Crimes and Misdemeanors. If people want me to stop looking backwards, it might help if Woody would follow the same advice.)

    The Ugly

    5. Eros ("Il filo pericoloso delle cose") - No film with this much nudity should be this unwatchable. That's the most serious thing I can say (because boobs are serious business). Other than that, Antonioni needs to stop. Now.

    4. A Sound of Thunder - I have to admit that when compared to other films on this list of shame, this inept piece of garbage is a welcome respite from the grating agendas and rampant nihilism of this year's truly awful fare. At first, the Z-grade effects, lugubrious performances and sub-Mansquito, Sunday afternoon on Sci-Fi feel work together to make for the kind of so good its bad train wreck that almost makes you wonder if something magically shlocky has come together amidst production breakdowns and the rampant burning of money. Alas, the feeling fades. Quickly.

    3. Lord of War - Okay, so I'm confused. You combine endless, shabbily written narration, wooden performances and only halfway impressive visuals (which would clearly be done better by other filmmakers to whom the style is owed), and not one, but two vile jokes about AIDS in Africa, and, to top it off, muddled politics...and a good movie isn't inevitably going to spring forth? Hmmm. Weird.

    2. Crash - Sooner or later, there comes that day in junior high when fresh scrubbed, over eager high schoolers show up to perform a skit at a school wide assembly. They're accompanied by an adult (who for the purposes of this breif aside, we'll call Chad) and these kids belong to some kind of troupe. This troupe inevitably has a cheery, but willfully vague name so as to make you think they just might be there to get you into theater arts. But, alas, they're not visiting out of the goodness of their hearts. The skits they perform are meant to make you feel guilty. Each and every pimply faced kid in that audience, picking at the bits of lunch left in their braces is, among other things: a drunk driver, a terrorist, a drug addict, a racist, a homophobe, a sexist, and a ridiculous stereotype masquerading as an evocation of an actual human being with issues, related to their race, religion or sexual orientaion or any number of other things that may impact their choices in life, which, in relation to the importance of skin color (and I mean skin color in that after school special for more on the topic of race visit your library and read the following kind of way) barely register.

    Now, that last part really has nothing to do with the "Fun Time Players," but it does have a lot to do with Paul Haggis. This motherfucker is probably going to win an Oscar for this bullshit. And, yeah, I laughed when Tony Danza showed up and when Sandra Bullock got all angry, turned into the Geico lizard and chewed out Brendan Fraser (before falling down the stairs and learning to love the Mexican help) and, sure, I thought it was hilarious when within ten seconds of a luke warm dispute, the pawn shop owner referred to an Iranian guy as "Osama" and made references to "mud huts," but, see, I'm not supposed to laugh at any of this. Because it's supposed to be serious. It exposes how racist we all are. Well, y'know what, this might have been done with a shred of intelligence or nuance or humanity and I might have been engaged. Instead, I'm left watching this piece of trash. I didn't miss the point. I got it, loud and clear. Now, sure, that supposed point is delivered in the broadest, most dumbed down way humanly possible and maybe the angelic glow behind Don Cheadle's holy body distracted me (when I'm not counting how many racist jokes and/or references can be thrown out in the name of showing us just how bad they all are and how single minded everyone on Earth or Los Angeles is...since we are all trapped behind glass and defined by cliches intoned with so much bogus relevance that even Morgan Freeman whilst narrating about penguins or jail breaks or God knows what else might even stand up and object), but I still get it. Paul Haggis is a bad writer. He's also a bad filmmaker. And people really dig that about him. Got it. Thanks.

    1. Domino - In each lighter fluid soaked frame of filth, hate, stupidity, banality, and sadism, this film sinks beneath what can be dismissed simply as "bad" or "vile" or "fascist." Beyond the technique which veers from grating to mind numbing, beyond inept storytelling and almost laughably bad acting, there lies its core, its utter hatred of humanity, its dismissal of anything but the virtue of its own supposed intelligence. Beneath the smirk and the eye roll lies little more than petty fascism masquerading as progressive satire. It's one service is paradoxical. It's a shame that money, time and effort were wasted on it, but without that futile toil, we might not know exactly what the void looks like. The screen's big. You can't miss it. Put your money down and see what's underneath the barrel. And if you get confused, there are titles frequently scrolling across the screen, just in case you like a little condescension with your bullshit. This is the end.