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New Trope Lexicon:
Apocalypse Mom Syndrome: When a female character decides that a world invaded by aliens, decimated by a plague, or overrun by flesh-eating cannibals is a great time to get pregnant.
Monogamy Syndrome: When the idea of polygamy triggers a possessive character to behave irrationally, often derailing the plot.
Overnight Romance: When characters spend less time developing a romantic relationship in-universe than the actual runtime of the movie.
Sad Chekov: When Chekhov's Gun is implied, but neglected.
Schindler's Twist: When a Bad Guy performs a plot-critical Heel-Face Turn without any warning or apparent provocation.
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Movie Reviews | Anime Reviews
Top 100 Action Movie Countdown (2015): List | Thread
"Well, at least your intentions behind the UTTERLY DEVASTATING FAULTS IN YOUR LOGIC are good." - Captain Steel

Sci-Fi Drama / German / 1927

For the Sci-Fi Movie Countdown.

In the spirit of total transparency
, I don't watch many black and white movies. In fact, the number of black and white movies I've seen can probably be counted on one hand.

Even less so for silent films. In fact, I've never seen one.

"The mediator between the head and hands must be the heart!"

I've long since been turned off by movies that lack recorded dialog because they're fundamentally less engaging if I'm distracted by the fact that black cards with text need to be put up after long periods of mute talking between characters. That and a complete lack of color only really serve to remind me that I'm watching a movie and reminding me that I'm watching a movie during anything other than an attempt to lampshade the fourth wall only serves to break my immersion.

Suffice it to say, I don't hold very high expectations for old movies, and it's not like Metropolis would convince me it isn't stuck in the past if it were in sound and color either.

Metropolis has a number of qualities indicative of very old movies such as the unrealistic speed the movie plays at, the erratic overacting to compensate for lack of being able to hear the urgency in their voices, and the eye makeup which I'm pretty sure exists only to emphasize facial expressions in the face of extreme contrast.

I don't think I was ever totally immersed in Metropolis,
but to honest, I was totally engrossed.

German Expressionism is a term I hear thrown around a lot and it's always been a sort of vague term used to refer to a sort of exaggerated presentation where reality is abstracted to appear surreal. If I was asked prior to watching Metropolis what German Expressionism looks like, I think I'd have trouble describing it, but now having seen it, I feel comfortable now simply pointing at the opening shot of the movie.

We're offered brief glimpses of whirring machinery and a ticking clock prior to a title card that informs us that it's "Shift Change" and we're presented with the image of rows of men, all in black, all downcast, all marching in uniform beat into one set of gates, while another row of men, leave them a second set of gates identical in every way save the fact that their march is just slow enough to be noticeable.

Instantly, I have a strong impression of what this world is like: the working lower class has been beaten into submission and obedience, there's no joy in what they do, and however gloomy they may be going to work, they're even worse coming out. These people are clearly oppressed and I haven't even seen the oppressors yet.

THIS is the style of film-making I appreciate most. It's artificiality is just barely realistic, but it telegraphs so much to me in it's focused approach that I can't not understand exactly what the movie wants me to think and feel about what's going on.

This style persists throughout much of the movie as we learn that these men are workers who live in "The Depths", a city beneath "Metropolis", where they work on the "Heart Machine", which powers the city and enables the wealthy upperclass like the so-called master of Metropolis, Joh Fredersen and his son, Freder (amusingly named Freder Fredersen). Even the names for things beyond the characters are pleasingly generic. We needn't have to open up a Tolkien Dictionary to understand that Metropolis is the city, The Depths are it's underground, and the Heart Machine runs it all, they're named to be convenient and straightforward.

Not that it would be even remotely difficult to understand anything if they were given actual unique names other than descriptors, but generic names like these serve not only to identify, but to specify: Virtually nothing is told to us about what the Heart Machine is or what it does, but it's purpose is easily inferred.

Sure enough, we're given insight into the luxury of Freder and his life under the thumb of the hard-edged businessman Joh and we get a distinct impression of the classist inequalities in the system he manages through his demeanor and interactions with people.

A big thing I appreciate about the dialog cards is that they're ignored entirely during conversations where body language sufficiently portrays the characters' reactions and relationships with each other. There's no need to hear what's being said in most cases throughout the movie because only key lines of dialog are necessary to drive the plot or make sense of the action on screen. Honestly, I sort of wish the dialog cards were phased out further as the movie went on, but they're sparse as it is, so that's really only a nitpick.

Less of a nitpick is the overacting. As the movie goes on we learn that the workers are attending gatherings where they meet Maria, a woman who tells them a variation on the story of the Tower of Babel. She informs the masses that "the mediator between the head and hands must be the heart" which is a somewhat unsubtle metaphor about the morality that is necessary for a top-down government to work, which is made explicitly clear by the end of the film.

The overacting comes in where one of these gatherings is observed by Joh and his mad scientist buddy/rival/person, the unfortunately named Rotwang, and they conceive to sow discord in the underclass by replacing Maria with a robot body double.

When Rotwang pursues Maria with no clear intentions beyond shining a flashlight on her, we're witness to some of the most hilariously bad overracting I've seen. Maria goes mad with fear and the sped up footage only makes the chase look silly.

I'd be inclined to say this makes for the weakest performance in the movie, but the actor playing Maria goes on to steal the show when she also portrays the disturbingly lusty "Man-Machine" body double.

Frankly, the overacting is only really distracting insofar as you can suspend your disbelief that the Man Machine has an unrealistic ability for persuasion, which is honestly easier to accept when you can't hear what she's actually saying most of the time.

She inexplicably manages to both rile a mob and incite nearly all of the upperclass men to lust after her in blind infatuation. In this regard she must easily be one of the most destructive femme fatales ever put to film.

Whatever you think happens next is probably what happens, Metropolis isn't a terribly surprising movie, but what it manages to do with a predictable plot is tell a largely compelling, important, and coherent story about classism where the low rise up and the high fall down.

"Coherent" is perhaps the most arguable point there given Metropolis's tendency to venture directly into hallucinatory symbolism with little real regard as to why. Near the beginning of the movie, Freder witnesses an explosion in The Depths and the intriguingly designed machine that the workers are running becomes that of a giant gaping devil's maw which workers are being thrown into.

The symbolism is pretty obvious here, but similar incidents later on are just confusing and just raise the question of whether or not Freder is even mentally sound.

The Man Machine's dance sequence appears to come out of nowhere and lasts much longer than it really has any need to be, which is something I would say about much of the first two-thirds of the movie as well.

Many scenes are drawn out longer than necessary to get the given point across and it only hammers home the fact that Metropolis runs for a wicked 2 hours even in it's incomplete form.

I felt like the halfway point in this movie should have been about the time it was wrapping up, but even so the 2 hour runtime managed to also holster my previous assumptions about the movie due to it's age and limitations.

I've been watching the critically lauded Kara no Kyoukai series and despite full voice acting, sound effects, color, exceptional animation, and even a run time averaging half the length of Metropolis, they bored me to tears.

I was never bored with Metropolis, and to think I didn't even see the whole movie since many scenes were missing in the version I watched. The whole movie runs approximately 30 minutes longer and I can't really say I wasn't missing them.

It's a shame that Fritz Lang would go on to say he was disgusted with the movie, I'll admit it was perhaps overly simplistic in it's message, but it's still an important message, if not the best movie I've seen to tackle the topic. Supposedly the Nazis were a big fan of Metropolis and I can see why given their stylistic preferences, but hopefully that's the real reason Fritz disparaged it as much as he did, no one wants to admit they like the same thing as a Nazi.

It's kinda funny when you say it out loud though.

All told, I really liked Metropolis, and based on my impressions of the unfinished version, I'm certain I'll like the Restored Version when I see it.

I'm looking forward to it.

Heron, Peacocks, Kissing.

I've now seen an improved version of Metropolis with a couple different scenes restored. It helpfully bridges the gap between events and elaborates on all but one of the biggest scenes I missed before (I still haven't seen the fight between Joh and Rotwang).

A couple flaws have caught my attention this time around including a couple continuity errors. The message for Assistant Guy and Worker Guy is practically identical and contains only a glimpses' necessity of information, but it's shown repeatedly on screen to little benefit.

The relationship between Hel and Rotwang's robot is also tenuous at best given it's never explained. Was the Man-Machine inspired by her? Is that the implication? They put a fair amount of narrative weight on this point given this among other things including the cause for Rotwang's estranged relationship with Joh is unknown to us.

Perhaps most egregious is just how heavyhanded it winds up feeling when it contrives to have every worker in Metropolis forget about their children. Didn't they know that destroying the Heart Machine would drown the city? Wasn't abandoning the city part of the plan? You're gonna abandon it without your children? Fricken' morons.

I really can't overlook this point since I really can't adequately explain it away.

Besides that though, I still enjoyed the movie. Even longer this time, it still managed to keep my interest, but I'm still reluctant to sign off on it without having seen other Fritz Lang/German Expressionist movies like M or The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

We'll have to see.

Final Verdict:
[Pretty Good]

Welcome to the human race...
Not a bad review, but this does not look like a movie that "takes itself too seriously".
I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.
Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0

Not a bad review, but this does not look like a movie that "takes itself too seriously".
Oh, but it does. It gets melodramatic as hell. It sells itself on the action, but about a third of the movie are shots of the characters staring longingly out into space and monologuing about their childhoods when they were totally different child actors in equally awkward scenes.

Welcome to the human race...
Obviously, I can't comment too extensively on a movie I haven't seen, but just because an action movie is willing to get melodramatic doesn't automatically mean that it's taking itself too seriously. Films like Kung Fu Hustle and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World are like live-action cartoons but they still manage to interject some serious dramatic moments into their action-based stories. Maybe in the case of Dragon Tiger Gate they weren't effective, but again, I can't comment. Will have to see this for myself to really provide a specific opinion.

Obviously, I can't comment too extensively on a movie I haven't seen, but just because an action movie is willing to get melodramatic doesn't automatically mean that it's taking itself too seriously. Films like Kung Fu Hustle and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World are like live-action cartoons but they still manage to interject some serious dramatic moments into their action-based stories. Maybe in the case of Dragon Tiger Gate they weren't effective, but again, I can't comment. Will have to see this for myself to really provide a specific opinion.
Haven't seen Kung Fu Hustle, but Dragon Tiger Gate's not a comedy at all. It has a couple intentionally humorous moments mostly at the expense of a joke character and with henchmen reaction shots, but it feels a lot more Terminator 2 in it's attempts at emotional drama.

In one scene where a character gets killed with a flurry slash attacks they cut to the guy's daughter who witnesses it. We're obviously supposed to care about him since he gets all this set up so the music is all sorrowful and she's crying and she runs up to each guy who fought him and weakly flails at them in a similar manner. It's just unintentionally funny since I can totally imagine stock slashing sound effects while she does it.

I read your review of Metropolis and it's interesting to see the remarks of a silent-virgin. I have an off-again-on-again fascination with silents. You have to just completely suspend your disbelief for a couple hours but once you have done that, some of then are really pretty good. They were made by film makers who were as talented as anybody around today and who were still inventing a medium that drew on the traditions of staged melodrama. I love Metropolis, see hints of if in many subsequent sci-fi films and real world architecture as well as the perverted modernism of the Nazis. As an amateur/semi-pro photographer, I look at Metropolis and am amazed at the quality of composition and image in almost every frame. It's about as good as black and white will ever be. You have to live with the mime-like acting. That and the eye makeup were the main ways those actors expressed emotion. It's why few silent actors made the transition to sound...the could not under-act, especially relative to early talkies, which, with their primitive recording apparatus, required actors to stand still within a few feet of the one and only microphone.

I believe that there are several "completed" versions of the movie. It's out of copyright so many people have tried to piece it together with bits and pieces of surviving film. It was nearly lost for decades.

If you ever get the chance to see this, there are several musical groups that perform live music with silents. I have seen Nosferatu and Phantom of the Opera with live music and it really brings them to life. One group even had a colorized version of Phantom, which was produced like the original which had manually tinted color, done frame by frame with little tiny paintbrushes. The contemporary version was done digitally (also frame by frame), but elite copies of the movie were presented with the hand tinting back in the day.

As an amateur/semi-pro photographer, I look at Metropolis and am amazed at the quality of composition and image in almost every frame. It's about as good as black and white will ever be.
I've seen bits and pieces of a few different versions of Metropolis by now and I was also surprised to see that some of them are very high quality. I'm still not sure if they were touched up after the fact or what.

Originally Posted by skizzerflake
You have to live with the mime-like acting. That and the eye makeup were the main ways those actors expressed emotion.
I kinda dug the eye makeup actually, it's just the general misunderstanding of subtle acting that seems to evade most of the cast. Joh Fredersen is probably the most unemotional character in the movie and it's still pretty easy to read him.

Originally Posted by skizzerflake
It's why few silent actors made the transition to sound...the could not under-act, especially relative to early talkies, which, with their primitive recording apparatus, required actors to stand still within a few feet of the one and only microphone.
"Why do we have to do this crap? This'll never catch on!"

Originally Posted by skizzerflake
If you ever get the chance to see this, there are several musical groups that perform live music with silents. I have seen Nosferatu and Phantom of the Opera with live music and it really brings them to life.
Well, I didn't mention it but Metropolis had music. Since it was the butchered version though I'm pretty sure some of the tracks aren't properly synced to the action.

Originally Posted by skizzerflake
One group even had a colorized version of Phantom, which was produced like the original which had manually tinted color, done frame by frame with little tiny paintbrushes. The contemporary version was done digitally (also frame by frame), but elite copies of the movie were presented with the hand tinting back in the day.
That's interesting. I found this image of a colorized shot of Metropolis:

Unfortunately, I feel that in this case, where the environments are intended to be fantastical it is perhaps sometimes best to leave them up to our imaginations, especially when Metropolis is mainly set in industrial locations which would likely be grey to begin with.

This shot appears a lot brighter and more cheerful than the scene really calls for, probably because it wasn't being shot in color.

Care for some gopher?
But not a silent movie, if you should expect that, Omnizoa.
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room."

Dragon Tiger Gate
Martial Arts / Chinese / 2006

When I hear people talk about B-Movies, they too often drift into "so bad it's good" territory which is just not a territory I'm familiar with or interested in. I get why you'd laugh at something really bad, but that's not enough to convince me your movie is worth my [reassessment] time.

No, when I think of B-Movies, I think of Dragon Tiger Gate, a movie that tries SO HARD to be cooler than it is that it ALMOST gets there.

Take the following screenshot for example:

Pictured Above: A totally awesome fight scene interrupted by poorly timed slow-mo shot.

That's not just a random screencap, that's a pose that the movie slows down and zooms in to capture.

Dragon Tiger Gate is a Hong Kong action movie through and through and it's only unique claim to fame, beyond featuring a record-breaking-sized punching bag, is an approach to action that's so extreme it starts to become a cartoon.

We're talkin' anime physics here, as in guys are going to be punched CLEAN across the room and thrown through CONCRETE, and still get up.

If you're not sold yet, let me tell you about the story:

Two brothers named Tiger and Dragon (yes those are their real names) grow up apart from one another after attending the Dragon Tiger Gate dojo.

Tiger's a good guy and all about the kicks.
Dragon's a bad guy and all about the punches.
There's also a guy named Turbo. He nunchucks.

Tiger gets wrapped up in Dragon's business and a deal involving Dragon's gang (because it's a Hong Kong action movie, of course there are gangs) goes bad and the gang leader who he's grown attached becomes threatened. The two encounter Turbo who begins attending Dragon Tiger Gate.

Faceless evil bad guy, Shibumi, who was on the other end of the deal decides to destroy Dragon's gang and Dragon Tiger Gate which opposes him so it's up to Dragon, Tiger, and... Turbo to save the day.

Simple enough story and there are even moments of genuine human interaction, but the melodrama kicks it into high gear at about the halfway point and the movie just tries WAY TOO HARD to take itself seriously.

There's even this one point near the end where it gets all existential and philosophical on us just before the characters literally gain anime super powers named things like "Electric Dragon Drill". It's fricken' ridiculous.

Honestly, other than the names, the movie's just goofy to look at. All three of the main characters fight in flowing open jackets and not a one of them can be blamed for cutting more than half their bangs off.

Combat looks and sounds appropriately violent and it just gets fricken' ridiculous with characters being thrown through tables, through walls, overhead, into each other, with weapons spanning swords, sai, poles, halberds, nunchucks, THREE-PART-STAVES, and even a billboard.

Cinematography is fantastic all throughout save the occasionally awkward momentary pause and the music is REALLY good! I'm serious, this stuff gets you pumped and one of the tunes has been an earworm to me for YEARS.

Honestly, it'd be hard not to call this an objectively fantastic movie if not for how HILARIOUSLY bad it can be.

One scene has a lady in Dragon's gang approach him all come-hither in a swimming pool and asks him for a tattoo. He draws his lightning bolt insignia on her back and it's all set to this soft piano melody as she tells him that she was meant to kill him and that Shibumi's gang has gone to kill the gang leader. Suddenly BOOM, we smash cut to her SLAMMING into the water and we cut to a prolonged dramatic slow-mo closeup of him having punched her. WOW.

Originally Posted by Dragon
What's wrong with you? I'm sorry, but I'm not into heartfelt reunions. I'm not. So go.
Originally Posted by Tiger
You could come back to the Gate if you want. Just don't work for a bad guy.
Originally Posted by Dragon
So... you're a good guy and I'm a bad guy? Well GO AND PLAY YOUR GOOD GUY GAMES!
It could be just the slightly-off-enough-to-be-noticable English dub, but they lay on the cheese SO THICK in this movie you're bound to get a cheese-related analogy.

It's just too awesome not to recommend though even with the occasionally obvious and terrible wire-fu stunts.

If you haven't already I highly suggest you watch Dragon Tiger Gate, preferably with a room full of action junkies ready to make fun of it.

Final Verdict:
[Friggen' Awesome]

I got a hold of a "special edition" copy of the movie with a special feature bonus disc, but unfortunately this version only features English subs. I decided to rewatch it in the Chinese dub and make an actual effort to focus on the story this time around.

My takeaway? Still great. Best comic book movie ever. The wonky English dub is just the cherry on top, like a Jackie Chan movie where he speaks in perfect English.

Jackie Chan is still my favorite movie martial artist, but this still my favorite martial arts movie. It's just realistic enough to make the henchmen being punted through walls, tables, and across ballparks to look sick as ****.

Interestingly, the action choreography here was done by Donnie Yen himself, which I never even knew. He did a fantastic job, and I still think it needs to be emphasized that the camerawork was also pretty stellar. They fit some pretty creative shots all throughout the movie and they clearly modified their sets with the intention of getting those shots.

ANYWAY about the story: It's pretty bog-standard. Tiger and Dragon grew up as brothers(?) at the Dragon Tiger Gate dojo, which is never shown onscreen in flashbacks. Dragon's mom(?) dies in a house fire and he's sincerely adopted by local crimelord, Kun, who he then feels he owes his life to, and consequently breaks his childhood promise with Tiger to "always be a good guy".

Kun is nearing retirement, he's sympathetic towards Dragon, Dragon is torn between returning to Dragon Tiger Gate with Tiger, who he's been forced to fight on a couple occasions already, and eventually he cuts the cord agrees to come back. Happy ending all around!

WELP, this just so happens that some skeevy mini-boss named Scaly decides to backstab Kun and in revenge Dragon wipes out his entire mini-boss gang.

Shibumi, the random kung fu master of the Laoushu Gang (I keep seeing different spellings) which Kun traffics with seeks "a worthy opponent" kills the dojo master of Dragon Tiger Gate.

Supposedly much of this is also predicated on a "Laoushu Plaque" mcguffin which is treated as though it represents a gang's right to some cut of some deals?? I have no idea. There's even a point where Kun advises to give the plaque to Laoushu and this enrages Shibumi for some reason and then it's never spoken of again.

Maybe Shibumi was reacting to Kun losing it in the first place and it's supposed to seem tragic because he was on his way to hand it over anyway? I don't know, either way it's very poorly communicated.

Clearly the particulars of the gang dynamic are much less important to this movie that the relationships of it's characters, which as I've mentioned, is extremely melodramatic. The fight scenes are flying at a million miles per hour, but then the childhood flashback drama feels like such a tonal whiplash. It doesn't help that the child actors aren't great either.

There's also the subplot of Turbo, who's trying to join Dragon Tiger Gate. He's just kinda there to be humiliated and do nunchuck stuff.

However you slice it though, this movie's still rock sold. Great overpowered fight scenes, multiple memorable backing tracks, SUPER cheese throughout... some random super obvious wire-fu, which I normally hate, comes off as charmingly ridiculous considering the absurd scale and quality of the most of the fight scenes.

It's not actor-moving-their-legs-in-a-running-motion-as-a-crane-lifts-them-parallel-to-a-wall for the entire fight like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon does.

The melodrama is slow and boring, but it's not a terrible story unlike many other martial arts movies, and even action movies in general. It could also be that those scenes just feel disproportionately lethargic compared to the constant batshit intensity of the fights...

Either way, big thumbs up from me, still highly recommend, and still one of the best impulse purchases I've ever made.

Final Verdict:
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American Psycho
Psychological Thriller / English / 2000

You could say I've had my eye on it for a while, but the bizarre existence of two people named Cole with American Psycho avatars and American Psycho listed as their favorite movie ever and my personal fascination with drop-dead insane characters push me over the edge to watch it.

"This MOVIE meant nothing!"

The rating's tough for me since with a couple small tweaks to this movie, I think I probably would have been able to say I enjoyed it.

My main issue is that the movie takes way too much time away from dropping hints as to realism of what we're seeing (which is the crux of the movie). If more scenes included degrees of questionability then I would have been able to appreciate it for more than what they were. And mostly what they were was a lot of scenes where Bale babbles inanely about music which just bores me, or he's chatting with his friends which just reminds me I don't like any of the characters, or a neapolitan mix of sex and violence.

Hehe, get it? Cause it's a fancy word, but I'm actually talking about something horrible?

It's weird to me that people call this a "satire" of the upper-class since it's not really funny or even a parody if it's true. And enough Donald Trump hate nowadays certainly reinforces that.

I did get one big laugh out of the movie though, what scene was it...?

You think I'm dumb don't you? You think I'm dumb, you think all models are dumb.
No! I really don't.
That's okay, I don't mind. There's something sweet about you.
I also got a huge kick out of Paul's death scene. Bale was just a nut.

Lost points for stupid fake blood effects though. I don't care what part of the body you take an axe to, you're not gonna get supersoaked in the face with blood.

Take it from me. I know.

I did like some parts of the movie, particularly when Bale's talkin' to people and just goes, "I like to dissect girls, did you know I'm utterly insane?" and people just laugh him off, but I feel like there was too much filler and stalling between plot relevant scenes that most of the movie just comes across as an odd not-entirely-comedic attempt at dipping into that scary wish-fulfillment side of slasher movies.

I think if I read the book, I'd like the overall story a lot better, but it would be a shame to miss out on Bale's performance, he looks like he had a lot of fun.


Final Verdict:
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The Secretary
Erotic Romance / English / 2002

After seeing Patrick Bateman almost murder his secretary it reminded me, "Hey! The Secretary! I was meaning to watch that!" Mainly because I've heard it suggested over 50 Shades of Grey and hey, it'd be interesting if an SM-centric relationship drama managed to sell me, huh?

I really liked the first hour of this movie. It set up an interesting relationship between our main girl and Mr. lawyer dude. I was pleased to see that he wasn't going to be a total dick, but instead seemed legitimately concerned about her well-being, especially with regards to her cutting and family problems.

That was until the movie stepped out onto the railroad tracks and got hit by the stupid train.

The spanking scene comes on way too suddenly, and out of friggen' nowhere we're right where the beginning of the movie flash-forwarded to. They're just suddenly in an SM relationship now. Okay.

I would have preferred to have them more gradually slide into it with Mr. lawyer guy's punishments snowballing into the SM stuff rather that just *SPANK* "OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU NOW."

The rest of the movie gets really awkward, especially when Mr. lawyer guy pulls the, "I MADE A MISTAKE, YOU'RE FIRED" card which is always a rational and well-intentioned end to a workplace relationship, right?

All of it results a scene where our main girl runs away from her wedding and agrees to a test of her obedience by starving herself in his office chair where she pisses herself.

-1 point for the wedding. I hate weddings.

x2 MULTIPLIER! for bailing on a wedding when you had already agreed to it. Dick move.

x4 MULTIPLIER!! for urinating on camera. I didn't want to see that.

x8 MULTIPLIER!!! for urinating on an innocent woman's wedding dress. What'd she do to you?

x16 MULTIPLIER!!!! for another wedding.

Blegh. I've seen better endings to pornos.

By the way, I know the main lead's name is "Edward Grey", but we learn virtually nothing about him while we learn a lot about "main girl". And her name doesn't stick, so why should his?

Final Verdict:
[Just... Bad]

Being John Malkovich
Fantasy Comedy / English / 1999

Saw it in Miss Vicky's favorites and that reminded me that I'd been meaning to watch it since I like surrealism and surrealism seems to be the name of the game here.


Jackson Pollock comes to mind. And Family Guy. And South Park.

Basically this movie feels to me like a mess of ideas all written onto the sides of bananas and then thrown at a dartboard that's attached to a beluga whale skating on rollerblades down the New Jersey Turnpike.

Everyone wants to have sex with everyone.

There's a monkey.

And John Malkovich stars in The Truman Show on pay-per-view.

So many disparate elements fail to coalesce into any single coherent vision, purpose, or point that I'm so lost as to the meaning of anything that I feel like the whole movie just wasted my time.

Okay, I take that back, American Psycho wasted my time, it even admitted it. But at least American Psycho was genuinely enjoyable at times, Being John Malkovich was just... vaguely amusing.

I was hoping for the more-that-slightly-off elements like the 7 1/2 floor, the speech impediment, and the roundabout conversations to amount to something. But no. I think they really just dragged a poor monkey into this movie so we could rationalize making one character act implausibly hysterical and have a monkey cage on hand to lock his girlfriend in.

I don't evudeuidnueihdsnteumidmuriimduiqvimduimdvmm

Watch Coraline instead.

Final Verdict:
[Just... Bad]

Wanna Date? Got Any Money?
Don't get all sensitive about this Omni, this isn't me picking a fight, just me trying to shed a little more light on an awesome film

American Psycho starts dropping hints about Patrick's twisted reality before the five minute mark, when he's at the bar speaking to the waitress, and she informs him his drink tickets are no longer good and it'll be $25. And when she turns around to get his drink he very audibly says " You're a ******* ugly bitch and I wanna stab you to death and play around with your blood" Now I don't know clubs very well, but that music wasn't very loud and for how loud he said it, she would have heard it. There is also potential evidence around 15 minutes when he goes to the dry cleaner and the Asian lady is freaking out on him and he gets right in her face and says "Lady if you don't shut your ******* mouth, I am going to kill you" Now I don't believe she understands English, because until the point he says this she doesn't understand a thing he's saying so I don't think that she'd understand that statement explicitly and become shocked by it in reality, her reacting was part of the delusion. Then the film appears to cut to them back in their original positions both still screaming at proverbial walls. I firmly believe any instance in the film where Patrick says something horrible and people laugh him off is pure delusion though, he just imagines himself saying this and gives us a glimpse of his reality, which was a little more difficult in film than in print.

And you can kind of gather from his vanity during the shower scene and how ridiculously meticulous he is about his grooming, and from his peak physical fitness that he is a total narcissist, which usually goes hand in hand with being delusional. Also making note that every video he seems to watch is hardcore porn or horror, which also kind of point in the direction of "nope". This point is again illustrated when he is having sex with the prostitutes, his need to tape the proceedings and how he barely pays attention to the girls, but watches himself in the mirror. Even when the scene with the exchange of the business cards is happening you can see he is clearly mortified that he doesn't have in his opinion the classiest card. "eggshell with romalian type, what do you think?" Patrick can barely even reply to him, his anxiety soars at this point.

When he meets Paul Allen and he mistakes Patrick for Marcus Halberstram, you can tell somewhat by the restaurant Patrick takes him too that his intentions are sinister, as there is barely any one there, so no one to really place them there. And after Patrick kills Paul Allen and drags the bag with the body, leaving a trail of blood through his lobby, right past a concierge before loading it into the trunk of the cab, meanwhile Luis Caruthers and his girlfriend are coming down the street and see Patrick, then Luis goes over to look at the bag before mentioning how he likes it and asks who makes it. Also after the scene you mentioned with the "stupid model" the next day Patrick sits at his desk playing with a lock of her hair... Nope.

Also it's not so much a satire of Upper Class life as a whole as it is a satire of a particular people and place, which is the players of 80's wall street and their yuppie attitude. And the film really does a good job of satirizing the need to be cool as it equates being able to get dinner reservations at Dorsia to essential godliness. Or who listens to most popular and hip music (The reason for Patricks love of music isn't emotional but purely superficial, as all that matters is whats new and hot, whatever suits his image. Also comparisons of who has the nicest valentino suit or who's got the best gadgets(Patrick's Walkman and headphones were at the time top shelf). Or who can spend more on a haircut which looks exactly the same. It pokes fun at the consumerism the narcissism and the rat race that these people lived and dealt with daily.

Also if you didn't know Omni, there is actually a book that the film was based on. I would recommend the book, it's much better, and it's partly the reason why I see the movie the way I do, the book is more informative and kind of lets you see stuff in the film you didn't catch before. And aside from the fact that I've seen this movie probably 20 times. And I do agree with the arterial spray though, it wouldn't soak him the way it does. I understand where you're coming from I speak from experience as well.
Buy a bag, go home in a box.