Nine and a half years ago I flipped for Karyn Kusama‘s Girlfight, one of the most street-authentic and emotionally believable female empowerment sports sagas ever. (I tried finding my Reel.com Sundance review, but it’s hiding.) Last week I saw Kusama’s latest film, Jennifer’s Body, and I was aghast.
Never in my life have I noticed such a massive disparity in the tone, spirit and content of two films by the same director. A talented young woman with guts and heart directed Girlfight. A woman who has sold her soul to Satan directed Jennifer’s Body. I have a screening about to start so I’ll add to this later, but Jennifer’s Body is empty repellent extremist crap. And Megan Fox really and truly has no soul. She has all the natural soul-charisma of a porn star.
“While not exactly lifeless, Jennifer’s Body sure could be fresher,” writes Variety‘s Justin Chang. “Even with Megan Fox ideally cast as a sharp-fanged succubus with a lusty appetite for young male (and sometimes female) flesh, this high school horror romp tackles its bad-girl-gone-really-bad premise with eye-rolling obviousness and, fatally, a near-total absence of real scares.
“Fox Atomic item will stir interest as a post-Juno outing for scribe Diablo Cody, whose whippersnapper sensibility can be heard in the occasional snatches of self-consciously clever dialogue. But even auds primed to see guts and other exposed body parts will be disappointed by a Body less bawdy than advertised.”
I don’t know it it’s legit or not, but a “Private Dinner for Five with Sarah Palin” is up for bidding on EBay. I’m thinking it could be legit since it says that “this listing is restricted to pre-approved buyers only — email the seller to be placed on that pre-approved list.” And because it says that 100% of proceeds will benefit Ride 2 Recovery. 16 bids have come in so far and it’s up to $38,166,600.
“I cannot dismiss Antichrist,” Roger Ebert has written. “It is a real film. It will remain in my mind. Von Trier has reached me and shaken me. It is up to me to decide what that means.
“I think the film has something to do with religious feeling. It is obvious to anyone who saw Breaking the Waves that von Trier’s sense of spirituality is intense, and that he can envision the supernatural as literally present in the world. His reference is Catholicism. Raised by a communist mother and a socialist father in a restrictive environment, he was told as an adult that his father was not his natural parent, and renounced that man’s Judaism to convert, at the age of 30, to the Catholic church. It was at about the same age that von Trier founded the Dogma movement, with its monkish asceticism.
“If you have to ask what a film symbolizes, it doesn’t. With this one, I didn’t have to ask. It told me. I believe Antichrist may be an exercise in alternative theology: von Trier’s version of those passages in Genesis where Man is cast from Eden and Satan assumes a role in the world.”
The aggressive marketing of the Beatles catelogue remasterings (including those dozens of favorable reviews that have been appearing for the last week or so). The sound is unmistakably improved over the 1987 CDs, like everyone’s been saying. To my ears the bass and drums are the most enhanced. Plus you can hear dozens of little other little grace notes and consonants and tonal effects much more clearly.
The sum effect isn’t stunningly different — you’re not going to be staggering out into the street going “what happened? I just listened to the remastered Revolver and I lost all sense of tiem and space!” — but the CDs (individually or in a package) are surely worth the purchase. And I’ve been telling myself for the last two or three years I’ll never buy another CD again. Never say never.
I’ve seen Jennifer’s Body and wouldn’t submit again with a knife at my back. I’ve seen Antichrist, of course, but I’m thinking I might watch it again in deference to that basically-bullshit, contrarian-for-its-own-sake Larry Gross argument (i.e., the Cannes critics over-reacted). I saw Pedro Almodovar‘s Broken Embraces in Cannes and loved it 90% (“I didn’t want it to end…it just won’t stop caressing and knocking you out.”) so I may duck into this if the second Antichrist viewing is too much to take.
The three biggies today are (a) the 2:30 pm showing of Jon Amiel‘s Creation, which is the festival’s opening night film-with-an-afterparty (which no one of any taste or consequence ever attends); (b) the 5 pm showing of Grant Heslov‘s The Men Who Stare at Goats (which received a dicey Hollywood Reporter review out of Venice, thus compromising the effect of the ecstatic rave by Variety‘s Derek Elley); and (c) George Hickenlooper‘s Casino Jack, which I erroneously thought was going to show last night.
No need to interpret the expression on Rep. Joe Wilson (Republican, South Carolina) as he shouted “you lie!” during President Obama ‘s health care speech last night. But look at those two reptilian guys sitting next to him. Talk about an utter absence of God’s light. Why don’t Hollywood casting agents ever find guys with faces like this?
I didn’t even watch Obama’s health care speech last night, but I watched most of it this morning on YouTube. 65% sermon, 35% political boxing. Precise, frank, blunt-spoken. An excellent finale: “That is our character.” And the Edward M. Kennedy quote. But he threw the public option under the bus by not declaring it to be a win-or-die proposition, and that doesn’t sit well with me.