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Reviews, Filmpocalypse Begins, The Gift of Borrowed Time

“Shame” & “My Week With Marilyn” Reviews

My review of “Shame” is running on The Junior Varsity and Script Lab. Enjoy!

“The result of all this is the single greatest serial killer film of all time. No one dies, but much of the film is spent in tense anticipation that such an event could occur at any moment. Long takes and tight framing through psychotic arguments forces you to learn backwards in your chair, for fear that a jump-scare might sideswipe you. It would impossible for me not to draw parallels to American Psycho, which shares so much visually and thematically with Shame. But where Patrick Bateman was a dark void of cold nothingness hiding in plain sight as a yuppie, Brandon is a yuppie drowning in the overwhelming tides of his emotion. To Brandon and Patrick’s friends, and the rest of the world, their stoic natures and points of pride would seem interchangeable. But their internal struggles are polar opposites, even if they make for incredibly similar journeys. The final shot in Shame echoes the finally moments of Ellis’ book so perfectly; both are essentially signs reading “This Is Not An Exit.”

My review of “My Week With Marilyn” is running on The Junior Varsity and Script Lab, which bonus Jocelyn Kelvin review on JV. I am referred to as an “opinionated bastard”. Somewhat accurate?

“While Olivier balks at this, the portrayal of life-by-committee is perhaps the hidden thesis which delivers on a relevant purpose. Certainly, much of Monroe defines the proto-celebrity, and the central fight between her and Olivier is even called out as the fight between the old and the future. But it was Clark calling them a “team” that defined this as a moment that Hollywood, and our society as a whole, would never recover from. Teachers, gurus, guides, life-coaches, partners, lovers, friends, and fans: all elements of a machine designed to bleed you dry while making you feel empty without them. And Colin, whether he admits it or not, is just another cog. Watching this submission reconstructs the events in a global perspective, as if the dying star implosion of Monroe were the klaxon sounding for all western civilization: each tear not for herself, but for the world she would leave in her wake. As if somehow the fabric of time were pulled back just enough for Monroe to glimpse the future, and know that her existence would allow for the creation Kim Kardashian, Tila Tequila, and one million others who pined for a reality they could construct, but never fully embrace.” 

 

This was from a little while back, but enjoy our JV Thursday Throwdown on comics that need a movie. I went for my all-time love “Hench”, but Joe Filipas’ blew us all out of the water. And check out our creative sponsorship of Blue Kid, a new feature on the JV.

“Young Adult” Review

My review of “Young Adult” is up today on The Junior Varsity and The Script Lab. Give it a read.

“Maybe it’s something much simpler than visual choices or complexity. The film just lacks a question. Thank You attacks every ideology held by anyone; it literally plays devil’s advocate. Up In The Air is a new generation’s Fight Club, and even Juno approaches its subject matter with strong, diametrically opposed stances by choosing routes of greatest resistance. But what of Young Adult is supposed to challenge us? To hate/pity those who remained in your hometown? To hate/pity those who “escaped,” and think so highly of themselves for becoming high-functioning alcoholics with therapists and tiny dogs? To live in the past, or to cast it aside? To embrace adulthood, or celebrate Peter Panning?”

Super thank-you to everyone who came out at the end of last week for The SixtyNineties concert with Lost Moon Radio, and to those brave souls who joined The Independents Fundraiser at Meltdown Comics. Both nights were action-packed with incredible fans and I/we had a great time performing for you.

Richard Reece and Borrowed Time + Demetri Martin + JV 2011 Wrap Up

My holiday post “The Gift Of Borrowed Time” is running on The Junior Varsity. I sincerely hope you enjoy. (It has also been republished in my home town’s online paper, The Salina Post, and a few other places.)

Our “Best Fish Taco” comedy show went amazingly well last night. Including a surprise set from Demetri Martin, a personal favorite and an all around awesome guy. Catch his new tour which starts in February. If this material makes it, that show will be totally worth it. Thanks to everyone for coming out!

Finally, we’ve done our 8 Part Year End Wrap-Up MegaFeature over at The Junior Varsity. It’s the anti-review for the anti-year, and I’ve never been more proud of a group effort on the site. It was truly a pleasure to read what everyone brought to the table, so treat yourself. Or Treat Yo Self.

Let The Filmpocalypse Begin! + The Darkest Hour

Look upon my works, ye mighty ducks, and despair. Or don’t. I’m fine either way.

From now until the End of Time (or 2013), I’ll be writing FILMPOCALYPSE: weekly reviews/personal essays on apocalyptic cinema both new and old. Be sure to check every Wednesday for updates, either here, The Script Lab, or The Junior Varsity. There’s no way sitting through 52+ movies where the planet repeatedly loses will become depressing, right?

Week One is now live, so please give it at a read here, here, or here to find out just how fantastic The Darkest Hour can be when you’re drunk and alone on Christmas morning.

Favorite Quote:
“We should say good-bye now, because I didn’t get to say good-bye to Ben. So good-bye.”

Very grateful to both Michael Schilf and Derek Ruth at TSL for creating this opportunity for me, and to Michael Cavalier for guiding my material the way he always does. Special thanks to Joe Filipas of Sugo Media for my excellent Slim Pickens style logo.

Filmpocalypse #2: Punishment Park

“In glorious celebration of our inevitable demise, Brock reviews a different end-of-the-world film each Wednesday until 2013, or the Rapture, whichever comes first.”

Capture the Flag, Obama’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, and 70s microbudget filmmaking come together in Filmpocalypse #2, running today on The Junior Varsity and The Script Lab. “Enjoy” my review of Punishment Park.

As a person with Cartmanian views toward hippies, I went in expecting this film to be a dated laugh-riot. Watkins’ ability to brutally turn that around is nothing short of a triumph of cinema. He made me identify with the Yippie movement, and I may never forgive him for that.

Favorite Quote:
While demonstrating the “nonviolent” weapons to be used against the kids, the National Guard leader says, “This bullet could stop a charging rhinoceros. Now, I don’t expect to be seeing many rhinocerii in the park, but if we do, I’d like to know that I can stop it.

“Underworld: Awakening” Review

My review of Underworld: Awakening is running on The Junior Varsity and The Script Lab today. Please enjoy. Do yourself a favor and watch the trailer at the end. No one does teasers better than the Resident Evil series. No one.

Not a good film. Which is unfortunate, cause the 1st Act shows all kind of promise, and then collapses in on itself like a neutron star.

Major props for feminism, as I can’t recall the last time a blockbuster movie culminated in two female characters kicking ass in separate fights, with no male support. Charlie’s Angels perhaps? D.E.B.S.? Also, props for humanity, because according to this film we are WAY better at killing vampires and werewolves then they are at exterminating each other.

Huge missed opportunity: as the image above shows you, near the start of the film Kate Beckinsale falls out of a cryogenic chamber, and security forces move to apprehend her. For about thirty seconds I was convinced we were going to see a naked Kate Beckinsale fight sequence. I believed this was going to happen. In my heart. And it was in NO WAY (fine, 10%) about the sexuality of that. Rather, the excitement of seeing something daring and new. It even made sense for the character to prove, after a weapons filled opening sequence, that she was capable of lot of awesome murder without her infinite ammo cheat codes. Instead, the guards take an unreasonably long time to get there, and by then she’s already back in the leather. It sounds pervy to be upset about the lack of nudity, but c’mon filmmakers, the scene was yours for the taking. Don’t set us up to think you’ve re-invented the series as hardcore and unflinching, then fumble on the fifteenth page.

That image and discussion are in no way a transparent attempt to get “Kate Beckinsale nude” to replace the various Lisa Foiles *in states of undress* as the leading search term bringing people to BrockWilbur.com. Honestly, Lisa. What is that?