12 posts categorized "Hollywood"

December 05, 2023

GASLIGHT — CLASSIC FILM PICK

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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.

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George Cukor's masterful adaptation of Patrick Hamilton's 1938 stage play is a cinematic feast of noir suspense. Gleefully dark, seamlessly directed, and packed with surprising plot twists, "Gaslight" is truly a masterpiece of Cinema.

Glory!

Ingrid Bergman won a much deserved Best Actress Oscar in 1944 for her nuanced portrayal of famed opera singer Paula Alquist.

Stunning!

ColeSmithey.com

Retired Paula returns to London (circa 1880) to live with her new husband Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer) in the house where her late aunt lived before she was murdered ten years earlier. 

Gregory is a skilled technician in the practice of gaslighting. Convincing Paula that she is losing control of her mental faculties is just a smokescreen to cover up Gregory's criminal activities. 

ColeSmithey.com

Joseph Cotton's Scotland Yard detective Brian Cameron becomes suspicious of Gregory, whose refusal to let his wife go out in public raises a red flag.

Ingrid Bergman's flawless performance is endlessly watchable.

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The late, great Angela Lansbury steals every scene she's in as Nancy, the flirtatious maid that Gregory hires to keep an eye on Paula while he's busy with his skullduggery.

This is much more than a solid period drama from one of Hollywood's most revered directors.

ColeSmithey.com

If you haven't yet seen "Gaslight," you are in for a rare treat. You'll certainly be keenly aware of other's attempts at leading you down a path of self-doubt after watching this amazing film.

Repeated viewings are in order.

ColeSmithey.com

If you discover that someone is attempting to gaslight you, you'll know what to do; exit the relationship on the spot.

ColeSmithey.com

"Gaslight" remains remarkably topical for its relevance in the modern world. This Cinema classic is essential viewing if only for its clear definition of the now-popular term.

Not Rated. 114 mins.

5 StarsCozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

November 25, 2023

BARBIE

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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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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.

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"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

July 25, 2018

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE — FALLOUT

   Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

Welcome!

ColeSmithey.comThis 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.comMI6 fulfills everything the Mission: Impossible franchise has to offer if not much more. Tom Cruise’s frequent directorial collaborator and “Fallout” co-screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (“Jack Reacher,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” and “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation”) orchestrates the film’s overblown action with meticulous attention to detail, perhaps a little too much.

The car chase sequences, while impressive, don’t come near the unpredictable nature of the one William Friedkin filmed for “To Live and Die in L.A.” Still, there is plenty of splashy gravity defying spectacle to wash over you as you watch a movie that was clearly made with an IMAX screen in mind. The stunts are gut wrenching, and the helicopter stunts are out of this world.

ColeSmithey.com

You need every inch of that 80’ by 100’ IMAX screen to experience what the filmmakers have in mind, which is to blow yours. Another trip through the editing process would have helped tighten the pace but no one is coming out of this film not feeling like they didn’t get their money’s worth.

ColeSmithey.com

The politics of the MacGuffin-laden plot are sufficiently bland so that no audience member feels left out or put upon regardless of their political leanings. Even anarchists should feel right at home with this film’s cartoonish narrative design since the villain here is a Ted Kaczynski knock off. Bad guy number one has a crew of “Apostles” helping him destroy world order. Don’t worry, there’s only one bloody scene in the whole movie, and the rest of the violence is strictly of the cartoon variety. Our height-challenged action man Ethan Hunt (Cruise) still receives his mission assignments in the same old-school method of a self-destructing reel-to-reel tape.

Considering the franchise landscape at hand, what surprises most are the casting choices that fail. Alec Baldwin’s IMF character Alan Hunley (Ethan’s boss) seems like he walked onto the wrong set on the day he needed to shoot the handful of scenes he’s in. However, Baldwin does deliver one primo piece of acting while performing one of dramaturgy’s most traditional tropes. No plot spoiler here; you’ll know it when you see it. Angela Bassett also falls flat, regardless of her ageless beauty, as CIA director Erica Sloan. Bassett’s tempo and tone don’t match with the movie as a whole.

ColeSmithey.com

What does work in the character department is the reliable chemistry between Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Tom Cruise. Here is an onscreen friendship that feels like an old pair of slip-on house shoes. Michelle Monaghan is as perfect as it gets for onscreen romance. No shortage of mask disguises provides a series of nods to the original “Mission: Impossible” television show, while providing the movie with some nifty plot twists that register with an added amount of humor. And yes the super-action men's room fistfight is a hoot.

ColeSmithey.com

“Mission: Impossible” is the closest thing Hollywood has going next to a James Bond franchise, and going it is. Tom Cruise will soon be too old to play the part of a stunt-happy super spy. Get it while you can on the biggest IMAX screen you can find. 

Not rated. 147 mins.

4 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

 

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