38 posts categorized "Podcast"

October 29, 2023

GHOST SHIP — SHOCKTOBER!

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ColeSmithey.comWhile Ghost Ship may not provide much more than a series of cursory scary moments over its 88-minute length, the movie's over-the-top opening sequence is worth the price of admission alone.

Bright pink lettering introduces the film as if it were a campy romantic comedy. Gentle lounge music plays from a '50s-style nightclub aboard a glamorous Italian ocean liner. Well-dressed travelers dance to the ship's band and elegant chanteuse, oblivious to the impending danger about to snap at their twitching bodies.

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The following moment of gruesome surprise is drawn out with such gleeful prolonging that the scene goes from shock to horror to comedy and back to shock and horror without missing a beat. Audiences wanting that old-fashioned "Boo!" surprise of a Halloween spook-house experience can get a few good thrills in the safety of a darkened movie house with Ghost Ship, at least in this opening scene.

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A tugboat salvage crew gets an unexpected opportunity when Jack Ferriman (Desmond Harrington of Boiler Room), a Canadian air force pilot, shows them black-and-white aerial photos of an abandoned ship floating off the coast of Alaska in the Bering Sea. Led by Captain Sean Murphy (well played by the ever reliable Gabriel Byrne), the crew of the Arctic Warrior tugboat agrees to allow the pilot to join them in their salvage effort to claim whatever riches the ship still holds and give the messenger a 10 percent finder's fee for his trouble.

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Once on board the giant floating rust-bucket cruise liner known as the Antonia Graza, the crew encounters a few ghosts, some truly scary food supplies, and a huge shipment of solid gold bars valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The crew team leader Maureen Epps (Julianna Margulies) communicates exclusively with the ghost of an attractive young girl named Katie (Emily Browning), who survived a little longer than the rest of unfortunate people on the dance floor when death paid a visit to the ship in 1962.

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Blood oozes from bullet holes inside the ship's old swimming pool as the crew struggle to repair a gaping hole in the ship's hull. But the cold claustrophobic fear that should creep off the screen like a dense San Francisco fog never catches on because director Steven Beck (Thirteen Ghosts) can't match the timbre of the movie to the tone of the ship's foreboding atmosphere. Beck never instills the proper mood of dislocation into his actors, nor does he use the camera as a conspirator in building the audience's sense of anxiety.

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Tugboat crew members meet with sudden deaths that occur off-screen half of the time, leaving the audience to wonder why we weren't included. The ship's ghosts turn out to be not as vengeful as your typical ghosts. Still, a  gruesome flesh-ripping sequence make sure that our attention is held while the true face of evil presents itself.

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Ghost Ship won't rock anyone's world, but it's still an improvement on another recent horror flick, The Ring, from which audiences walk out scratching their heads as to what they saw and why they spent their hard-earned money to see such a morass of cinematic boredom.

Rated R. 91 mins. 

3 Stars SF SHOCKTOBER!
This review was originally published in the Colorado Springs Independent in 2002.

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

 

October 28, 2023

FIGHT CLUB — SHOCKTOBER!

ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.comWelcome!

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

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ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.comLA GRANDE BOUFFE (THE BIG FEAST)Screen Shot 2023-06-26 at 2.46.36 PMFor episode #64 Cole pulled out the big guns with FLYING DOG BREWERY'S DOUBLE DOG IPA to go along with our discussion of David Fincher's mind-blowing adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's classic if prescient novel of post-modern satire. Pull a chair up to the banquet table and join us for one hell of a feast for one hell of a movie! 

Bon appétit Bouffers!ColeSmithey.com

Fincher Does Palahniuk
Blood, Sweat, and Emotional Bankruptcy Follow    
By Cole Smithey

Colesmithey.comMisogynist, anti-capitalist, and class-conscious, novelist Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club” takes a "Trainspotting" brand of glee in dismissing lifestyle mores and status quo materialist limitations of American social existence.

This black comedy plays like a boys-only video game where male audience members encouraged to kick over the machine that ate their quarters. For all of the controversy surrounding the movie for fear that young males will begin setting up fight clubs of their own all around the world, the theory is countered directly in the movie as Ed Norton’s nameless character comes to view his dimwitted, class-conscious Fight Club cohorts as complete morons. — These are people who, in Lou Reed's words, follow the first thing that comes along that allows them the right to be; you know it's called bad luck.

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Indeed the Fight Club cult that Norton sets up under the tutelage of his brutal disenfranchised alter ego/evil-twin, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), digresses into a flesh-chewing tombstone that gets dumped on the floor like so much bloody brain matter.

Fight Club' Review: Movie (1999) – The Hollywood Reporter

From David Fincher's hyper sci-fi juiced credit sequence — underscored by searing punk music — to its "Blade Runner"/"Mean Streets" ending, the visionary filmmaker pulls out every stop in his arsenal of cinematic tricks to deliver walloping visual blows. Fincher’s visual approach is aggressive, and packed to the surface with such a high sperm count that you can almost see the microscopic swimmers bursting to get free. There’s never a gesture, vocal quality, intention, or motivation from any character (with the exception of Meat Loaf's hormone challenged character Bob) that isn’t full-bore masculine.

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If that means that more than a few tons of fury are coming along for the ride, so be it.

In Palahniuk’s cold satire, if you’re a consumer then you’re a pussy. The post-modern author presses you to see through the culture of housewife-behavior where free time is spent imagining and buying things to complete your vacuous identity.

From the Vault: 'Fight Club'

A greater social repercussion from "Fight Club" would be a trend where American males ceased spending money and began hoarding every dime as if they were collecting names on a petition to embargo our snotty soul-crushing corporate run government.

Sleep Procrastination” Is Real, and You Probably Do It | Edward norton  fight club, Fight club, Edward norton

However heavily "Fight Club" relies on extraneous voice-over narration from Norton's unreliable character, the grist of the story lies in his need to follow something. Even as it becomes glaringly clear over the course of the movie that he's pulling his own strings, rather than acting on the suggestions of Pitt’s rock-star-perfect persona, it’s the human inclination to be lead that troubles us.

Fincher's FIGHT CLUB is a Punk Rock Hegel Dialectic – Father Son Holy Gore

Chuck Palahniuk seems to be saying that males have such a strong urge to follow another person’s lead that it’s only through pain that a man can fully realize his own responsibility to himself and to the world around him. It’s a coming-of-age stratagem that fits perfectly within Fincher’s previous films and taps into films like "Taxi Driver," "The Graduate," and "A Clockwork Orange."

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Like the insomniac Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver," Ed Norton gravitates to his true nature by exploring society in a heightened state of sleep-deprived accessibility. That Norton’s job as a car company recall analyst demands that he fly into different time zones in cities where he can buy all the same stuff, magnifies his disassociation to other people. Just when he’s finally is able to quell his insomnia by crying at support groups for people with terminal ailments, he becomes stalked by a woman named Marla (Bonham Carter). Marla shows up at every meeting he goes to, and her very presence mocks his ability to find refuge in fringe social enclaves. Jammed, embarrassed, and exasperated, Norton’s character makes a self-enabling breakthrough.

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By becoming free of all of his worldly possessions, and donning the badges of physical abuse, he attains a sainthood status that he can’t help but abuse by encouraging males around him to join his cult of social terrorists. The performances, direction, and themes are thickly woven in scratchy narrative wool, and David Fincher never lets you forget what the social loom looks like. "Fight Club" is Fincher's cinematic Hail-Mary pass that the audience desperately wants to catch.

Colesmithey.com

Rated R. 139 mins. 

5 Stars SF SHOCKTOBER!

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

October 24, 2023

BASKETCASE — SHOCKTOBER!

ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.comWelcome!

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

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LA GRANDE BOUFFE (THE BIG FEAST)ColeSmithey.comIn episode #25 Mike and I take an old school trip to bad old Manhattan of the '80s with BASKET CASE. We're drinking NO HERO from EVIL TWIN.

Bon appétit Bouffers!ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.com 5 Stars MR. CLEAN

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

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