44 posts categorized "Satire"

March 10, 2024

THE HOLDOVERS

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ColeSmithey.com

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

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Thanks a lot acorns!

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ColeSmithey.comAlexander Payne sets up a '60s era social satire that tips its hat to "The Graduate" in style, and in tone.

That's a very good thing.

Social media groupthink and MeToo victim mentality get a proper roasting.

Paul Giamatti is never better than as Paul Hunham, a private school professor with more experiences than he can remember.

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Newcomer Dominic Sessa makes an auspicious debut as Angus Tully, the student burdened with being chaperoned by Professor Hunham during a long cold winter break on the school campus.

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"The Holdovers" should become a holiday movie classic for audiences to return to every Thanksgiving to keep some perspective on human nature, hypocrisy, and the importance of having a warm heart and a calm mind.

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Long live Paul Giamatti!

Rated R. 133 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

January 13, 2024

ASTEROID CITY

Welcome!

ColeSmithey.com

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

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

 

ColeSmithey.comHow far the mediocre have fallen.

Wes Anderson has become more of an art instillation filmmaker than a storyteller.

"Asteroid City" is a fine thing to project on the wall of your next cocktail dinner soiree, but it isn't much of a movie, or a play, or whatever the feck Wes Anderson thinks it is.

Here is a movie you'll feel better about walking out on before it begins, than you will wasting the fifteen minutes it takes you to realize what a disastrous piece of inert garbage it truly is.

Still, walk out you will.

ColeSmithey.com

Other than inspiring a few chuckles, "Asteroid City" doesn't deliver enough humor, meaningful satire, or narrative structure to be entertaining.

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If you like watching paint dry, then you should probably stick to watching paint dry.

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I suppose Anderson's name actors (of which there are too many) were happy enough with the two-hundred to five-hundred grand that each were ostensibly paid for their participation in this huge waste of their individual talents.

Childish is as childish does.

ColeSmithey.com

Scarlett Johansson's gratuitous (body-double) nude scene takes the cake for just how embarrassingly low Anderson is willing to sink.

Disgusting. 

Rated PG-13. 105 mins.

Zero StarsZERO STARS

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

April 23, 2022

ROSEMARY'S BABY — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

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

ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.com

ColeSmithey.comFrom Krzysztof Komeda’s perfectly haunting musical motif to its sublimely Gothic urban atmosphere, in and around Manhattan’s Central Park West neighborhood, “Rosemary’s Baby” is one of the most well-crafted and viscerally effective horror films ever created.

Based on Ira Levin’s novel, the paranoid narrative taps into primal fears regarding childbirth, rape, and cults, i.e. organized religion. Deceptively, the film’s most poignant theme is that of indoctrination through rape.

Screen Shot 2022-04-23 at 9.08.14 PM

Rosemary’s painful transformation is shocking. The film’s opening, just two months after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., spoke to America’s ongoing national sense of horror and outrage about the ongoing spate of political murders that included JFK, and his brother Bobby Kennedy.

Screen Shot 2022-04-23 at 9.07.29 PM

Roman Polanski’s precise compositions are enduring for their keen degree of detail. Intimate close-ups and liquid camera moves create a seamless filmic palate of Gothic fantasy. Contrast and context expand from such scenes as where the Satanists celebrate 1966 as “year-one.” Here is a dark capsule of all religious idolatry. Evil nuance and maternal suspense boil. Hitchcock’s visual influence shows up when Rosemary pours a milkshake of witch-juice down the kitchen drain. The plot unfolds like a great mystery novel. Rosemary solves an anagram from a book’s title, which provides a secret clue to her fraught predicament.

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Polanski makes expressive use of Manhattan’s famous gothic-styled Dakota apartment building at 72nd and Central Park West, where John Lennon would be shot down just over a decade later.   Screen Shot 2022-04-23 at 11.31.52 PM

From the film’s enigmatic aerial opening sequence (overlooking the Dakota) to cinematographer William Fraker’s brilliant work, “Rosemary’s Baby” is everything a horror film should be. Every frame communicates an undertow of creeping subtext about a Christ child for Satan born of human flesh.

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Mia Farrow is impeccably cast as Rosemary, a frail newlywed bride to Guy Woodhouse, an ambitious New York actor (gleefully played by John Cassavetes). The young couple moves into an apartment inside the Dakota where a group of witches and Satanists have set up shop.

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The walls are paper-thin. Before they can even unpack, Cassavetes’s wisecracking character takes the bait offered by Minnie and Roman Castevet, an elderly couple of next-door neighbors, to join their Satin-worshiping group behind Rosemary’s back. Ruth Gordon’s scene-stealing performance as Minnie is at once comical and foreboding. Guy’s acting opportunities open up almost immediately when he wins a role by default due to the sudden blindness of another actor. What makes it all worse is that Guy is a likable person. You can’t help but empathize with him. 

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Most inventive are the film’s surreal dream/nightmare sequences that terrify Rosemary. During one such sequence, the heavily drugged Rosemary realizes that the ritual rape she experiences before a group of nude Satanists is “not a dream.” Polanski goes so far as to show the demon beast as he lies on top of the vulnerable young woman. Before William Friedkin shocked ‘70s era audiences with “The Exorcist,” Polanski had set the table with “Rosemary’s Baby.”

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The palpable sense of dread, suspicion, and conspiracy that Roman Polanski creates puts a sour taste in the viewer's mouth that remains for days after seeing the film. The sense of grotesque suspense that Polanski generates is suffocating. As the second installment in Polanski's "trilogy of apartment films," ("Repulsion" was the first, “The Tenant” was the last.), "Rosemary's Baby" pulsates and seethes with the quaking fear of an unknown birth. If ever there was a pro-birth-control horror movie, this is it.

Not Rated. 137 mins.

5 Stars“ColeSmithey.com“ SHOCKTOBER! KITTIESCozy Cole

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