4 posts categorized "Exploitation"

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.

ColeSmithey.com

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."

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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?

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"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

March 08, 2014

NYMPH()MANIAC: VOLUME I

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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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ColeSmithey.com Just as with Harvey Weinstein’s famous mistake of splitting Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” into two parts, the producers of Lars von Trier’s 240 minute film have seen fit to split it in two, rather than deliver the movie as the filmmaker intended. Big mistake.

The result is exactly what you would expect, that of watching half of a movie. It is not a fair way for an audience to screen the film, much less an acceptable format for a critic to judge and contextualize it by. To make matters worse, there will also be a 5.5 hour director’s cut that will demand interested viewers cover old ground if they are invested enough to want to see von Trier’s entire film. Meh. Pshaw. 

ColeSmithey.com

Volume I establishes the character of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a self-hating nymphomaniac rescued from the cold ground of a brick-wall-surrounded courtyard by Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), a thematically-charged character whose sole purpose — in Volume I at least — is as a human sounding-board and harmonizing influence for Joe's litany of sexual transgressions.

ColeSmithey.com

Seligman is a lonely guy, a bit too pleased to have in his company a piece of female damaged-goods who wants nothing more than to spill the beans about her life of wild and naughty sexual diversions — indeed her sexual experiences are many and varied. Joe is one carnally voracious girl. The titillation dial is stuck on ten.

ColeSmithey.com

The film opens on a black screen. Water tinkles. The viewer is left to imagine its source. Is someone taking a leak? No. Snow is falling, and melted ice drips down a tin drain.

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A passed-out Joe lies bloodied on the pavement of a well-concealed courtyard outside of Seligman's apartment. Seligman awakens her. He offers to call an ambulance or the police. Joe threatens to run off if he does. It’s tea that she wants. He invites her inside his sparsely appointed place and puts her in bed. The defenseless Joe begins to recount her sexually adventurous life that led up to her present wounded condition — possibly from some act of revenge or semi-public bit of BDSM.

ColeSmithey.com

Seligman not only isn’t judgmental about Joe's checkered past, he finds all sorts of reference points from his own life — related to things such as fly-fishing. He sees similes in her troubled tale of bedding as many as ten men per day. Seligman is a dilettante counselor who is patient, and effete enough to listen to Joe’s outrageously erotic stories without becoming visually aroused or making a pass that would surely be easily received.

ColeSmithey.com

Not all of Joe’s flashbacks are sexual. She fondly remembers walking though a winter forest with her doting father (Christian Slater). Joe’s erotic journey is broken into chapters — four for each film. “The Compleat Angler” is the first section. Joe recounts playing a sexual conquest game with her best friend, in which the two teenage girls would compete for a bag of candies by seeing how many men they could seduce during a train ride. Joe gets extra points if she can extract a load from a married man on his way to impregnate his ovulating wife. His cock does indeed find its way into Joe’s hungry mouth. No surprise how that scene ends.

ColeSmithey.com

Joe’s flashback description of losing her virginity — at her own request — to Jerôme (Shia LaBeouf), a local London boy with a moped, brings up the fact that he "humped her three times in the front, and five times in the back." Seligman identifies Joe’s “most humiliating numbers” as following a Fibonacci series. Von Trier steals a page from Peter Greenaway when he superimposes graphic onscreen sub-titles and diagrams of the way Fibonacci numbers are used. Referenced is the way they approximate the natural order of a seashell. The numbers themselves flash on the screen as Jerôme pumps away at a younger version of Joe (played by a fearless Stacy Martin).

ColeSmithey.com

As Joe’s personal tales of knee-jerk seductions go on, the sex scenes become gradually more graphic, and the sideline humor more sly. During the film’s third chapter “Mrs. H,” Uma Thurman plays the vengeful and curious wife of the man who has left her in order to be with Joe. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. H has any idea that they are interrupting a busy evening of carefully timed assignations that Joe has planned with various men.

ColeSmithey.com

Nymph()maniac is a sly piece of anti-slut-shaming cinema aimed at demystifying female carnal desire. It is a character-study of an ostensibly rare type of sexually ravenous woman. Von Trier creates a new breed of social satire that is equally daring and tame. While the film is fiercely pornographic, it does not represent pornography per se.

ColeSmithey.com

“Love is the secret ingredient” that Joe denies and yet secretly seeks. Her loss of the ability to orgasm coincides with her father’s imminent death. Volume II promises to follow Joe’s experimentation into fetishized BDSM. 

To be continued...

Not Rated. 117 mins.

4 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

October 14, 2013

12 YEARS A SLAVE

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.

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

 

 

Slave Porn
Steve McQueen Gives Himself a Bad Name — Again

ColeSmithey.comSteve McQueen is not that Steve McQueen. Also, he's not a storyteller. McQueen Deux is an exploitation filmmaker who dabbles in outré subject matter in order to pass his phony self off as an artiste.

Here is a cinematic quack who has somehow managed to fool a large part of the critical community into believing that his films contain more meaning than their half-assed executions indicate — much less represent.

ColeSmithey.com

The three feature films credited to the director, who shamelessly shares the same name as one of America’s most iconic actors, prove my point. “Hunger” (2008) is a one-note filmic screech about IRA icon Bobby Sands’s famous hunger strike. The focus of the film involves Sands (played by McQueen regular Michael Fassbender) smearing his cell walls with feces.

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It reminds me of the Joe Jackson song “I’m The Man,” wherein Jackson’s invented huckster character taunts his fad-following audience about a “giant rubber shark” he uses to get through to them via their kids. “Didja looka looka lookit alla blood?” Insert “bodily waste” in place of “blood” and you get the idea: nothing wrong with gross, lots wrong with pointless.

McQueen’s second movie “Shame” (2011) is a rough outline of a story about an oh-so-wealthy sex addict. The film culminates with a montage of pornographic still images which serve only to emphasize how unclear McQueen is on the concepts of sex addiction and pornographic stimulation. It's like watching half a normal film’s worth of narrative content stretched out by way of its ostensibly titillating subject matter. Borrrrrring.

ColeSmithey.com

Which brings us to “12 Years a Slave.” More slave porn than the thematically layered work it pretends to be, "12 Years" is a marvel in how it manages to omit the narrative’s most important parts. Here is a negative-relief of a movie in which the story’s most obviously significant aspects are left blank in favor of such tripe as gruesome back-whipping scenes, analogous to those in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”

ColeSmithey.com

This is a movie for Confederate-flag wavers to get their jollies. Nothing more. It's 1841. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup, an African-American “free man” who lives in New York. He is possessed of a superior intellect and a musical gift for the violin. There’s just one department where Solomon Northup comes up short — in the area of common sense. While walking in a public park dressed in fine clothes, two men approach Solomon with a proposal to take him on the road as part of a travelling circus, where Solomon’s violin-playing will be prominently featured — much to his financial benefit. Cue the sad trombone. These are clearly con-men. As is McQueen. After the buildup, it’s demeaning to the film that the weeks during which Solomon allegedly performs music to the delight of paying audience members is not included.

ColeSmithey.com

Rather than develop the subplot upon which the story is based, the film jumps to a scene in which Solomon is drugged and kidnapped in Washington D.C. Cut to the suddenly demoted black citizen being whipped for several minutes by his callous captors. Oh the brutality. “Didja looka looka lookit alla blood?”

Once enslaved on a plantation, Solomon betrays his slave brethren by turning into a human template for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s character Uncle Tom. Solomon falls over himself putting his engineering knowledge to use for his plantation owner William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch). Eventually, Solomon learns to play dumb — once again displaying the demeanor Tea Party members will appreciate as they fiddle with the safeties on the sweat-covered pistols they’ve smuggled into Southern cinemas.

ColeSmithey.com

Based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 autobiography “Twelve Years a Slave,” Steve McQueen’s film is at best the work of an untrained filmmaker ill-prepared to elevate the efforts of an equally imprecise screenwriter [John Ridley – “Red Tails”]. If Steve McQueen would fully embrace his calling as an exploitation director, he might eventually achieve his desired effects.

ColeSmithey.com

Quentin Tarantino’s slavery masterpiece “Django Unchained” facilitates a catharsis that “12 Years a Slave” never even glimpses. Better to watch, or re-watch, “Django” than squander your time with this latest atrocity from Steve McQueen — no, not that Steve McQueen.

Rated R. 133 mins.

Zero StarsZERO STARS

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

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