Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) 4/5


Morals are a choice, and he'll decide his own when he's good and bloody well ready. 

I'm not really sure why it took me so long to see this one, but I sure I am glad I finally did. The guy from Memento and Agent Smith from "The Matrix" are drag queens who recruit Senator Valorum from "The Phantom Menace" (who just happens to be a transvestite) to travel across Australia in a giant RV nicknamed "Priscilla". If that sentence doesn't get you fired up, then I don't know what will (or maybe you're just not me...). What was absolutely beautiful about this film is that it doesn't play the "drag" for jokes like "To Wong Foo" or "Some Like it Hot". Don't get me wrong, the movie is quite hilarious, but not at the expense of its subjects. It humanizes the three men in a way that wouldn't be possible without transporting the viewer on the trip every step of the way; good times and bad, emotional times and scary.

 In a time where 1.3 million people can cast a vote condemning a group of people based upon their sexual preference, it's pretty cool to check out an 18-year-old film from the other side of the world that is, sadly, still quite a bit ahead of its time here in our home state.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Shame (2011) 3/5


We're not bad people. We just come from a bad place.

 Human sexuality is extremely fragile. So much so that it is rare to find adults (especially in the United States) that don't have some form of sexual hangup. This could be due to bad experiences in the past, unhealthy relationships, or just plain old ignorance. This film deals with the shame that coincides with sexual addiction (which, when it comes down to it, just about every male, and many females, have experienced on some level). Michael Fassbender was absolutely amazing as the movie's tortured subject, and the prodding direction provides a haunting and personal connection as he falls deeper into his pit of despair.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

3 (2011) 4/5


Farewell to a deterministic understanding of biology.

A simple boy meets girl, girl meets different boy, boy meets same different boy story directed by the absolutely masterful Tom Tykwer. Just in case you didn't follow that synopsis, this is about a loving couple who both begin affairs with the same man unbeknownst to everyone involved. It is a love story that challenges your views about what healthy relationships, sexuality, and love. The film is in German (as are Tykwer's other masterpieces "Run Lola Run" and "The Princess and the Warrior"), but this is what is great about foreign film (and why you shouldn't limit them from your movie choices). A movie like this could NEVER get greenlit by an American production company. A word of warning though, just as the movie is very free with its definitions of human biological relationships, it is also free with its depictions of such. You should probably be pretty open minded before trying this one out.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Young Adult (2011) 3/5


Guys like me are born loving women like you. 

Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air. I guess it was a little too much to expect that streak to continue. All of the same ingredients were there for a solid Jason Reitman movie, even a Diablo Cody screenplay (writer of Juno), except for one - a likable protagonist. It is nearly impossible to conjure up much sympathy for Charlize Theron's prom queen-turned-depressive divorcee writer. Patton Oswalt nearly pulls off this feat with his down-on-his-luck geek who befriends the young lady, but even his outstanding performance left at best a character who could blame her horrible actions on mental illness.