Monday, February 15, 2016

Entourage the movie? almost a movie, I guess.

Glib Reviews of DVDs and Blu Rays

Entourage (the movie)
- Directed by Doug Ellin.

Wow, this is a show whose humour has not aged nearly as well as it’s cast might have in real life. I had no idea that this had been made, until it hit dvd, months ago. I have avoided it because the show itself had already run out of gas when it ended a few years ago. It ended right around the time I started transitioning from male to female. Why is this relevant? Well, simply as a parallel to the decline of my patience for sexist backslapping bro-humour mirroring a concept that hasn’t aged well in my eyes, nor I think in general, like me pretending to be male.  The coincidental timing really struck home as the movie started. 

I think back when the show first aired, I was still trying so hard to be a bro, zinging my bro-pals in those cliched sexist ways. it was fun, or seemed to be fun that I could be a part of. slagging your own masculinity, or that of others was such a huge part of humour among male friends, or at least every circle I have ever been a part of. an opportunity to zing someone, to poke through their masculinity were hunted for, and hopefully verbal sparring would occur. Ugggh. So glad that I participate in that crap as little as possible now. It's still an impulse sometimes though, I will admit. so ingrained into our brains.

A great part of the humour in Entourage has always come through bro-shaming, and yawn, the 90’s called and they think it’s tired to be calling folks pussies, or inferring that to be feminine is to be weak. Something that I think reinforces that the bros have overstayed their place in my heart, is that the only relatable characters in the film for me were Rhonda Rousey playing herself, and Sloane, Eric’s on again off again baby mama. Rousey was possibly the most human of all the characters we were given, maybe because she never seemed to be playing at anything. She was far more charming and interesting to me as an actress than as an ultimate fighter, or whatever they call that beating each other up for money now... as I loathe that crap.

The movie is a passable extra special long episode from the final season. Jeremy Piven, the politically incorrect black heart of the show seemed pained to be saying all these homophobic things again. His character, Ari, is trying to be better, and Piven seemed distracted and had none of the naughty appeal of 10 years ago Piven, none of the manic energy  was there, except in timed bursts. He seems to be saying horrible things to people, only because he is supposed to be ‘that guy’, not because of anything they said or did. Turtle, looking thin, still gets fat shamed, and skinny shamed, and gets the girl anyway. Same old same old.

Sigh. I for one and kind of glad that shame based humour isn’t funny to me anymore, except occasionally as a visceral reaction to discomfort. I thought I might have some nostalgia for these average actors who used to get these great scathing monologues demeaning each other, but um no. Not really. The best thing I can say about this movie is that if you still find the kind of bro-humour that tickled you 10-12 years ago funny, you might like this quite a bit, If not, as usual there are a few clever cameos at the very least, which I won’t spoil (much )for you. 

3.967 Andrew Dice Clay cameos where he’s the tolerant guy outta 10

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Two Movie Reviews from surprisingly good but icky movies

Glib Reviews Of Recent DVD Releases

Matinee Double Feature Edition, kind of.

I recently watched a couple of DVDs based on the recommendation of one of my former co-workers from my video store days, which ended in 2014, but seem like ages ago somehow. Both films were pretty disturbing, and despite the very big differences in style and sensibility, had the same kind of message, that ‘regular’ people do very bad things sometimes, and sometimes they pay a karmic price, but sometimes not at all.

Nasty Baby
- Directed by Sebastian Silva

An interesting double bill, which in my case means I watched one of these each over two afternoons. It’s been ages since I did an afternoon movie watch, let alone two days in a row.

Nasty Baby came first, directed and starring Sebastian Silva as a queer artist named Freddy living with his boyfriend Mo in what seems to be Brooklyn. He has some pretentious video art installation ideas using adult babies. All the characters are intriguing and odd, including Kristen Wiig’s ‘Polly, quirkier than usual even turn as the gal pal trying to have a baby for the gay couple. The film meanders as a typical mumblecore dramedy, using some low key hand held cinematography that is always framed to show the stresses these too old to be hipsters, hipsters are imposing on each other, while mostly having some very NYC interactions with the supporting players, especially a local ‘character’ named Bishop who helps folks park their cars whether they want to or not. 

Reg E. Cathey deftly treads the messed up elder street hustler - ‘The Bishop,’ with emotional issues with pathos and creepiness. Despite the importance of all the other relationships in the film, Freddy’s stress and anger over the Bishop’s 7am leaf blowing and guileless homophobia threatens to constantly boil over, not to spoil the picture though, other than to say things take a dark and fairly uncomfortable turn, and not the one I was expecting really, which makes me rate the film higher than I might have, just because I thought they were going one way, and they went the other, which was more uncomfortable as you watch the interesting end credits, after getting thunked with the ending.

The ending of the film makes you not want to ‘like it’ as much as you were, or maybe as little. It’s rare that I am as frustrated with the characters actions and karma as I was with this film. I felt bad because I wanted a more cliched ending, maybe. This was definitely the case again though with the much simpler but unflinching female revenger, ‘Knock Knock,’ which I watched the next day.

8.134 30-something gals riding foot powered scooters through Brooklyn late at night outta 10

Knock Knock
- Directed By Eli Roth

Knock Knock is a straight up revenge flick, home invasion flick, that is super well paced and has a tighter script than I would have imagined. It’s a Keanu, this movie, starring a shaggy haired Dad-Keanu, an architect who started out as a DJ lives in a wealthy neighbourhood of the kind where everyone who could hear you scream is conveniently at their lake houses or beach mansions. An improbable California rain storm delivers to short skirted twenty-ish looking soaking wet women to his late night 3D CAD work pot smoking, and KISS listening. Their phones are wet, not working, they had the wrong address.

The gals are more than friendly, and suggestive in ways that make Dad Keanu (Ethan) grimace and wince in Keanu like ways. The dialogue is pretty hokey throughout, and you now pretty quickly what is going to happen. The way it gets rolled out though is pretty fun, some supporting characters get some nice bits of things to do, but in the end the winners of the mind game more than anything else are the young girls, who pretend to be young enough to get Dad-Keanu in trouble, the dark side of that sexy girls seducing you, who are young enough to be your daughter fantasy. Keanu strives to be a good husband, and not give in to the sex, but well he’s just one Keanu.

One of the refreshing things about the film is how uncomfortable it makes us (well made me) to see these heteronormatively beautiful women being kind of evil, destroying Ethan’s life and possessions like a couple of loose sociopath ids with a chainsaw. Their reasoning and the ending are also discomforting, and then you feel weird because you don’t want them to completely get away with it all. Think of poor Dad-Keanu! Were they justified in their revenge, weren’t they. 

I think most folks will come down one way or the other, me I am just uncomfortable, but more upset at my own deep seeded stereotyping, and expectations being reflected back at me. Very effective, and not as violent as it might seem at first glance, this movie is very effective and far more entertaining in its emasculation of Every Dad, Keanu Reeves than most movies that do the same thing.

7.5 penises drawn on the family photos outta 10