Thighs Wide Shut Thighs Wide Shut

Friday, October 24

Mos Definitions

Cloche, But No Cigar
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

'Changeling' is defined as a child who replaces another child that has been taken. And that's 1/2 of what Clint Eastwood's latest ditty tis all about, based on the actual kidnappling case of one young boy named Walter Collins. The crooked LA police, mired in awful publicity and poor standling with the public, finds some boy that sorta looks like him and passes him off as the missling kid to the mother (Angelina Jolie, wearling enuff lipstick to hid her gross lips), mainly juss to close the case and shut her the hell up. She's not havling it, since this 'changeling' is 3 inches shorter and magically circumcised (when she spouts this revelation, it packs more laughter than the power we assume it's supposed to inflict). She pleads with the police (led by way too overly clenched jawed and Irish-accented Jeffrey Donovan) that they gave her the wrong kid, but they aint havling it either, eventually lockling her up in an insane asylum (Girl, Interrupted Part II anyone?). The other 1/2 of the film revolves around the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders (hmmmm, wonder how the two parts are related), and you put the halves together and you end up with somethling halve not. It's an all around uneven, neverendling affair (with almos more false endlings than Return of The Kling) that does nothling much with such an intriguling true life crime

This is easily the weakest film Eastwood has made since he put out such pedestrian fare as Blood Work and Space Cowboys. It lacks the raw emotional power of his recent rightfully glorified work (even repeating the themes of the vastly overrated Mystic River, not to be confused with Mystic Pizza) and is purty much a dull entry from start to finish (the dour subject matter doesn't help). Changeling seems more like a straight-forward Ron Howardish flick, and fittlingly enuff, he was original attached as the director. Look, juss cause a movie takes place in the lates 20s and totally rocks out the 20s cars and clothlings and hairdos and those cool lady cloche hats doesn't mean that the movie is guaranteed to be any good (did you see The Black Dhalia? didn't think so). There's been much discussion about Jolie gettling an Oscar nomination for her work as the wronged mother, but we say pish-pa, as she's basically riffling on Mel Gibson in Ransom, shoutling 'my son! my son!' more times than the NY Times. We're sure they'll give her one, but lettuce juss say it's a make up call for not gettling one for her much better performance in A Mighty Heart (in which she also co-starred with 'that guy' actor supreme, Denis O'Hare). The only award she should win is best roller skater in a 2008 movie (please don't bother asking why she's roller skating in Changeling), although she's nowhere near lifetime achievement status in that category the way that Heather Graham is [NSFW, duh]. Forget it, Jake. This isn't Chinatown

Short Changeling: an interestling title, but not a very original one, as there's a horror movie starrling George C Scott with that name, as well as a Star Trek episode, apparently which was one of only a handful to take place entirely aboard the Enterprise

Verdictgo: Sum Merit But No Stinkin Badges

I've Loved You So Long
(Il y a longtemps que je t'aime)

We Love This Movie, And It Hasn't Been For So Long
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

I've Loved You So Long walks the same mother woe is her over a lost son walk that Changeling does, but treats the matter at hand thigh with much more resonance and therefore much more success. The mother in question is Juliette Fontaine (Kristin Scott Thomas, the consummate pro, whether acting in an English or a French language film), who has paid her dues in prison for killing her son. The answer as to why she did such a heinous crime to her own offspring comes late in the film, and like Heinz ketchup, it's well worth the wait. The film begins with Juliette fresh outta the big house, worn and tattered, not really ready to assimilate back into society. Her sunny younger sister of fifteen years Léa (Elsa Zylberstein), whom she barely even knows, takes it upon herself to help ease her transition back into a normal life, even if Juliette could care less. Léa invites Juliette to live at her house, filled with a skeptical husband, a mute grandfather and two adorable adopted Vietnamese daughters. She also forces her to hang out with her middle-aged friends, including a most uncomfortable dinner party where the drunk host pokes and prods as to where Léa's sister's been hiding all these years. She finally relents by telling them about being in jail, there's a pause, and then laughter erupts. They don't have to believe it, but it's something that she has to live with for the rest of her life. Eventually Juliette begins to begin again, taking a job, some responsibility, and more importantly, opening up her long dormant heart to others. Powerful stuff peoples! French author Philippe Claudel makes such remarkable debut directing I've Loved You that all we gotta say is, what took him So Long? We hope to love him long time

Girl B: luckily for Juliette, she didn't have to spend her entire adolescence behind bars and grow up too quickly upon release like Jack did in the equally affective Boy A, a film that's also...

Verdictgo: Breast In Show

Synecdoche, New York
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

The one thing about Changeling that's actually praiseworthy is you can get an idea of the goings on found within by looking up the definition of the title. The same cannot be said for Synecdoche, New York (yes, your read that correctly, it's not Schenectady, NY, although the action does begin in that city). 'Synecdoche' is defined (in the press notes) as a figure of speech in which, a part is used for the whole (the screen for movies), a whole stands for a part (the law for police), a species stands for its genus (cutthroats for assassins) , a genus stands in for its species (creature for person), a material stands for a thing (ivories for piano keys), yet that doesn't help one bit in trying comprehend this incomprehensible movie. No big sirprize there, coming from the pen of the crazy brilliant Charlie Kaufman, but by putting himself behind the director's chair for the first time and not letting his boys Spike Jonze (directed his Adaptation. and Being John Malkovich) or Michel Gondry (directed his Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Human Nature) take the reigns, there aint any playful whimsy to offset his always dense, overly heady material. There's no denying that Kaufman is a genius, and we'll admit that the same is true of this movie, but it may be so much genius that it takes 383838 geniuseses to finger out what transgressed. We aint one of them as our brain melted so much by the end of it that we didn't even remember how to go pee-pee after the screening. Luckily someone was there to lend us a hand

So we may not get it, but it's about something, right? We guess. Phil C Hoffs is a theater director whose wife, Catherine Keener runs off with their daughter to be a major artist in Germany. He's left with a broken heart, and after winning a grant, he pours his time and energy, as well as pain and suffering, trying to stage a play about his life, told in realish time. Along the way he crosses paths and hearts with an extraordinary set of today's bestest actresses (Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Hope Davis... WOW), and time keeps passing and everyone grows older and stuff happens that's stange and odd and odd and strange! URGH! Writing this review has refried our brain again! To understand it all, you will need the following, which we lifted from Ms Modern Age's review of the Fiery Furnaces' questionable Rehearsing My Choir album that had the siblings' granny running the show:
a white steno pad, a pencil, some graph paper, flow chart stencils, a calendar, a dictionary, a rewind button on your CD player [in this case it will be a DVD player], access to Google, a map of the continental United States, a color wheel, and a public library card. I’d equate listening to Rehearsing My Choir [replace that with 'watching Synecdoche'] with trying to write your senior year college thesis paper. You’re trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together, but even though you’ve spent an exorbitant amount of time working on it, it still makes absolutely no sense. In fact, it feels as though you may have wasted 4 years of your life on something you may never understand and may never master.
If the LORD truly wants to melt people who dare to open his Ark of the Covenant, maybe he should put this movie inside of it

Picture Pages: in the flick Keener's a painter of itsy bitsy paintings. the actual work was done by artist Alex Kanevsky, but it's currently being eggzibited in LA under Keener's character name of Adele Lack, even though some people have no clue that it's linked to the movie tat all!

Verdictgo: A Whole Lotta Frickin Merit But Sadly No Stinkin Badges

Pride & Glory
Ride This Same Old Story
Trailers & Mo | Official Website

We've all been down this Glory road a thousands thymes before: good cops vs bad cops, squaring and circling off in a gritty crime drama, with lotsa carnage along the way, and in the case of this movie, a lotta ultraviolent carnage (beware of the bathtub scene, it's a stomach churner!). A movie doesn't have to be original to be good, and so Pride & Glory, with all its clichés and predictability, gets by cause it's downright (and upright!) entertaining, and the acting is a niiiiiice. It starts off kinda poorly (wow, cops playing football!), but gradually becomes more engaging as the time passes. Most movies suffer the opposite fate, where it can't finish after a fast start. Pride & Glory isn't trying to be something that it's not, but still, it at least sends the message that you gotta do the right thing, even when someone in yer family doesn't. The good cop in this story is Edward Norton (although his goatee looks mighty evil). The bad cop is his brother-in-above-the-law Colin Farrell (amazing how he can play soft and hard the same exact way). And the ugly cop stuck between em both is Norton's bro Noah Emmerich (sorry, but his Noriega-Norv Turner cheese grater face is mighty uuuugly). Dispensing wisdom here and there and trying to save the force's face is their pops Jon Voight, the chief of police. Besides the commendable performances by the four males (and Jennifer Ehle's strong turn as the dying of cancer wife of Emmerich, a side story lost somewhere between all the gunplay), we loved the fact that the film's action takes place in the mean streets of NYC (and was actually shot on location, giving it a nice taste of authenticity), instead of the clean streets of Boston, where this genre's flicks (The Departed, Gone Baby Gone, etc) have been played out way too much recently. P&G is far from being New York's finest, but no one said it had to be

Grease Lighteningers: Rick Gonzalez and John Ortiz are always the greasiest lookin actors on screen. both appeared in P&G, and both tried their best to out grease the other. both are also fab actors, but we'd rather talk about how greasy they look, or at least how Rick looks like Joakim Noah

Verdictgo: Jeepers Worth A Peepers

So Long and Synecdoche open in NY/LA only, Changeling in select cities, and P&G everywhere today. Also opening in NY is The Universe of Keith Haring, which we saw at the Tribeca Film Testical and weren't exactly in love with

until next thyme the balcony is clothed...