8 posts categorized "Cult Film"

November 25, 2023

BARBIE

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A wrench and a cat walk into a bar.

Ouch!

ColeSmithey.comPreachy, insipid, wrongheaded, mean-spirited, and fossil fuel-driven, "Barbie" is by far the worst movie (or more accurately, commercial) I have ever witnessed.

"Barbie" is to feminism as a wrench is to a cat.

This plastic character has no charm, no grace, no sense of romance or inner beauty of mind.

To be clear, "Barbie" is not a movie; it is a rip off.

ColeSmithey.comEvidently, it would have taken John Waters or Trey Parker and Matt Stone to properly trash the capitalist monolith of Mattel with a transgressive movie based on a sex doll turned pop toy icon.

And yes, Mattel (the toy company) produced this overlong commercial.

Could anything be more obvious?

And, yes that's right, the creator of Barbie based this popular landfill ingredient on a sex doll.

They probably should have left the sex doll parts intact, at least then it could have been used for sex education.

Too late now.

ColeSmithey.com

Corporate cult pap. Unrelenting dystopia.

Vomiting all of the time.

You've heard of "cult of personality," well this is cult of image, used to dumb down society in the service of profit. Forget about life imitating art, here life follows toys.

Gross. Really, really gross, and sour.

Toxic.

ColeSmithey.com

"Brave New World" indeed.

Aldous Huxley was right all along.

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Here is narcissism, infinity squared.

ColeSmithey.com

Let's put it this way, "Barbie" is the exact opposite of "The Wizard of Oz" in every square centimeter of quality, metaphor, and nuance.

"Barbie Land" is a gated community inhabited by lesbian Barbies and gay Kens.

ColeSmithey.com

How do we know this?

When Ken asks Barbie if he can stay over one night for reasons he can't explain, Barbie says, "no."

Barbie is a Breadcrumber.

ColeSmithey.com

"Every night is girls' night" at the Barbie house of endless fun. This is not to say that sexytime doesn't happen between consenting plastic girl/women with no vajayjays. Feet are the operative sex organ here.

In response, Ken usurps that long revered animal of teenage girl fetish obsession, the horse, as his personal connection to all things manly.

Choke.

ColeSmithey.comBarbie's red or blue pill moment. She chooses the one she has to buy on Amazon.

Oh the ugliness of its sickly sweet set designs. This commercial looks like Mattel spent $1000 to make it. And yet, they still spent way too much.

At least Mattel got their money's worth out of their herd of actors. Here is a perfect example of why Alfred Hitchcock called actors, "cattle." Ryan Gosling, Margot Robbie, and the rest, are nothing more than mindless props.

ColeSmithey.com

Meanwhile, Barbie (Margot Robbie) has thoughts of...wait for it...death.

The death of capitalism, or the death of Mattel's profitable practice of polluting the globe with plastic?

Not so much.

ColeSmithey.com

No, we would have needed John Waters, or maybe even Todd Haynes, for such grounded satire.

ColeSmithey.com

Nevermind that David Lynch already gave us the movie that addresses female stardom lust, namely "Mulholland Drive."

ColeSmithey.com

This is more, battle-of-the-sexes Barbie. Equality, as a benchmark human value, is never mentioned. Take that, Simone de Beauvoir.

Valley Girl baby. Like, "literally."

"It's like barf me out. Gag me with a spoon," as Frank and Moon Zappa put it.

Anytime you hear someone utter the word "literally," I suggest you exit the room immediately.

ColeSmithey.com

"Barbie" is nothing more than a (nearly) two-hour commercial, designed to send hordes of potential customers to Amazon to purchase an endless array of plastic toys. And you thought only Marvel could play in that crap-infested sandbox.

Extermination of rational thought is this commercial's goal. For nearly two-hours, it achieves its mission.

Co-screenwriters Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig stumble over themselves with face-plants of dialogue and monologues that wallow in stupifaction.

ColeSmithey.com

"I'm just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us. And if all of that is also true for a doll just representing a woman, then I don't even know."

What is this "us" bullshit?

ColeSmithey.com

The crux of all nature's beauty springs from the female form. This commercial doesn't know what beauty — female or otherwise — looks or sounds like.

Immaturity and idiocy go hand in hand. In Barbie Land there is no such thing as individuality.

ColeSmithey.com

A trip to the OBGYN substitutes for a sexual encounter.

Where is John Waters when you need him?

ColeSmithey.com

"Barbie" is a chunky diarrhea stain on humanity.

ColeSmithey.com

Notice how you feel sick to your stomach just from looking at images from this worthless commercial.

ColeSmithey.com

Peter Bogdanovich was a skilled and informed master filmmaker and screenwriter. Check out "The Last Picture Show," and compare it to this filmic (sic) turd called "Barbie."

What a fecking embarrassment and insult "Barbie" is to society, and to Cinema.

Greta Gerwig is a hack screenwriter, and a remedial filmmaker at best.

ColeSmithey.com

You wanna see post-modern feminism in cinematic action, check out "I Am Curious, Yellow and Blue," and tell me how that beautiful piece of cinéma vérité art compares with Gerwig's commercial garbage.

I could go on but why should I. — Note the absence of a question mark.

ColeSmithey.com

I will say that anyone calling themself a "film critic" has no business giving "Barbie" a passing grade; if they do, they should turn in their credentials and quit because they haven't the first clue about Cinema, film, or movies — to pretend otherwise is just wrong.

Rated PG-13. 114 mins.

Zero StarsLESS THAN ZERO STARS

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

August 26, 2014

WETLANDS

Welcome!

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

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Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

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One-Woman Revolution
Charlotte Roche’s Novel Goes Big, and Nasty

ColeSmithey.comChallenging and provocative, co-writer/director David Wnendt’s nervy adaptation of Charlotte Roche’s long-presumed unfilmable popular novel breaks new cinematic ground.

Mapping out the terrain of cinema’s previously uncharted psychosexual possibilities, Wnendt opens up a wide range of Roche’s proto-feminist issues around Helen, an 18-year-old German girl with pressing bodily issues.

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Helen’s childhood of abuse by her now-divorced parents turns her into an autodidactic bisexual sexual adventurer obsessed with filthy toilets and other taboos, to provide her with sexual expression.

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Foreign pubic hairs found on never-cleaned public-restroom toilet seats turn Helen on — big time. An early scene allows the filmmaker to take the audience on a humorous microscopic tour of dentally enabled microbes lurking on the alien terrain of just such a hair. The visually exciting scene makes virtuosic use of its graphic potential.

Impromptu sexual assignations with boys, girls, men, and women — whether in public or private places — feed Helen’s voracious appetite for the bizarre. Helen likes to keep her unclean vagina in a constant state of smelly flux. Some guys appreciate the foul odor and taste of her “cottage cheese” discharge; Helen certainly does. She uses her vaginal juices as perfume.

ColeSmithey.com

Not a movie for the squeamish, “Wetlands” nonetheless functions exquisitely on the shoulders, breasts, and troubled anus of its anti-heroine protagonist — as confidently played by relative newcomer Carla Juri. Anti-heroines don’t come much more twisted than Helen. An early flashback reveals an incident in which Helen’s mother (Meret Becker) encourages her young daughter to jump from a high platform into her arms before letting Helen crash to the ground instead of catching her. Mommy wants to teach Helen a lesson — “never trust anyone, not even your own parents.” That mom is a stickler for good feminine hygiene, provides Helen with an ideal device for her rebellious instincts to expand. Trading used tampons with her also bisexual best friend Corinna (Marlen Kruse) is on the menu.

ColeSmithey.com

Traces of Danny Boyle’s “Trainspotting” pop up in the filmmaker’s dynamic approach to the outré subject matter. Wnendt uses evocative music and songs to comment on, and energize, the fast-edited action. Static and natural imagery provide breathing room to the frequently shocking narrative. Flashbacks, reveries, and forward-moving action collide in imaginatively stylized sequences that serve to put the audience in a disoriented state. You’re not always sure of what’s real or imagined. The movie takes no prisoners. You either give yourself over to it or shut down to survive. Helen prides herself on doing things rough. She skateboards barefoot in the street.

ColeSmithey.com
A sloppy self-shaving session at home cuts into one of Helen’s perpetual hemorrhoids, causing a generously bleeding anal fissure that sends her to the hospital for an emergency operation. Our atheist heroine seizes the painful event as a chance to reunite her wacked-out parents — mom is a serial religion-dilettante — if she can protract her hospital stay long enough to get them in the same room together. Helen’s deception relies on her not moving her bowels.

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Robin (Christoph Letkowski), an accommodating male nurse, falls under Helen’s charismatic spell thru her conversationally exclusive topic of sexually related stories and questions. It’s not an ethically responsible decision on Robin’s part, but there’s nothing morally reliable in Helen’s sleazy worldview. 

ColeSmithey.com

“Wetlands” is a palpable coming-of-age story that daringly embraces a thoroughly liberated (read individualistic) response to familial abuse. In so doing, the film creates, and acknowledges, a feminist position of untold potential that is equally constructive and destructive. Helen’s confrontational self-help program sprouts directly from her body and all of its dirty mysteries.

ColeSmithey.com

Here is a female force of nature that rejects religion and societally imposed rules of conduct, in favor of a DIY approach rooted in outrageous sexual behavior that weeds out 99% of the riff raff. Helen represents a different brand of one-percenter. The means and the end are evenly justified.

Not Rated. 109 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

May 21, 2012

MOONRISE KINGDOM

ColeSmithey.comWelcome!

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

 

Cannes Opener
Wes Anderson’s Divine Kingdom
By Cole Smithey

ColeSmithey.comWes Anderson has honed his formally composed vernacular of kitschy nostalgic magic realism cinema to a super fine point.

Making his debut animated film “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009) seems to have allowed the perpetually youthful filmmaker to correct for narrative missteps he was previously susceptible to in films such as “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (2004) and “The Darjeeling Limited” (2007). “Moonrise Kingdom” is a blissful celebration of pubescent romance that relishes every detail of cherry-picked cultural influences from its nearly idyllic 1965 setting.

ColeSmithey.com

An understated theme of ecological preservation runs through all of Anderson’s films, yet perhaps never more so than in “Moonrise Kingdom.” A lush complexity of starry-eyed circumstance and organic atmosphere come together on the fictional island of New Penzance — off the New England coast. A storm is due to hit the sparsely populated island in just a few days. An outcast 12-year-old orphan named Sam (wonderfully played by newcomer Jared Gilman) has run away from Camp Ivanhoe, the pitched site of his Khaki Scout troop, much to the dismay of the troop’s scrupulous leader Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton).

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Headstrong Suzy (Kara Hayward) is also 12. She lives in a plush red house on the island with her three younger brothers and irresponsible parents (played by Bill Murray and Frances McDormand). Secretly, Sam and Suzy have been writing letters for the past year, planning for a 10-day romantic adventure to be alone together on the “16-mile-long” island of “Chickchaw” territory. The sweet romanticism that passes between Sam and Suzy during their brief escape from the adult world presents an exquisite crucible of emotional and sensual awakening that carries the film’s distinctive tone. Kara Hayward (also a newcomer) has all the big-screen charm and natural poise of an instant movie star.

ColeSmithey.com

“Moonrise Kingdom” is a dynamic ensemble chamber piece of stylized comedy that exerts an adoring fascination with childhood perspective. Anderson gives generous credit to children’s capacity for maturity in the face of their own precious naiveté. His child characters possess an innate confidence of character. A captivating scene where the scantily clad Suzy and Sam dance on their private beach to the strains of Francoise Hardy singing “Le Temps de L’Amour” percolates with a heady blend of daring curiosity and avid sophistication.

ColeSmithey.com
Wes Anderson’s acute sense of humor is an acquired taste. His loving and meticulous attention to detail approaches an obsessive degree of precision. Visual and aural elements are presented in a simplified space to allow for maximum comic resonance. Comic background occurrences permeate the foreground action at hand.

ColeSmithey.com

There is no question that Wes Anderson is a force of nature, and an indisputable genius. And yet, Anderson is such a passionately individualist filmmaker that some audiences will remain indifferent to his films. His movies never subscribe to any Hollywood-approved template of what a film should contain or how it should proceed. Wes Anderson’s maturing process as a filmmaker is nonetheless of enormous interest to audiences who appreciate his definitively bold style of instinctual cinema. You can savor every frame.

Rated PG-13. 93 mins.

5 Stars ColeSmithey.com

ColeSmithey.com

Cole Smithey on Patreon

 

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