TONGUES ON FILM – DECEMBER 2009
by Ross Sharp
Here’s just a few of the films I’ve seen recently …
“TERMINATOR SALVATION” (2009)
One of the dumbest bits of dialogue you will ever hear in your life is in this movie.
A Resistance fighter says something to the effect of “I want those pilots back on the line to me even if they’re dead!”
Jesus Christ on a cross.
Big, dumb, stupid popcorn movie that has so many inconsistencies of logic, listing them all would take a book.
Worth watching for Sam Worthington, who acquits himself nicely (accent slips on a few occasions), and effortlessly steals the show from Christian Bale whose whispery, raspy “tough guy” vocal affectations are really beginning to give me the shits something fierce.
Nobody talks like that.
Cut it out, Christian. It’s fucking crap.
“PRIME CUT” (1972)
Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, and Sissy Spacek in her debut screen appearance in this 70’s exploitation action flick from Michael Ritchie. It cost me 8 bucks from a department store and with a cast like that …
From the opening credits, the look of the film, the score by Lalo Schifrin, it’s apparent this hard little nut wants to belong to the same class, for example, as the original “Taking of Pelham 1-2-3”, Siegel’s “Dirty Harry” and “Charley Varrick”, “The Getaway”, “Bullitt”, “The Outfit” and others of that ilk from the same era.
It wants to. And fails.
Hackman plays a crooked meat-packing and slaughterhouse kingpin who’s decided to fuck over the mob in Chicago. Marvin plays the mob enforcer sent to sort him out. Spacek’s the eye candy.
There’s little in the way of suspense in this film, just a series of set-pieces that don’t add up to anything resembling a cohesive exercise in storytelling. And its casual and quite brutal attitude toward women, a misogyny regrettably typical of the time and the genre, makes for uncomfortable viewing at times.
So it’s up to the actors …
I could watch Gene Hackman in anything. Anything except this, perhaps.
Hackman’s one of those guys, you’d swear he must’ve popped out of his mother’s womb with a half-bald mop of curly hair and a moustache bawling about people picking their feet in Poughkeepsie. Hackman is (unofficially) retired. What a lazy sot.
Lee Marvin’s retired too.
Sissy Spacek was 23 years old when she did this, and she brings all the eager and nervous energy of the newcomer to what is a rather thankless role, and lights up the screen every scene she’s in in spite of the material. Gorgeous.
Spacek’s neither dead nor retired.
Not a lazy sot.
Garbage. Utter garbage. Repellent, repugnant, misogynistic trash featuring a bunch of characters you will not give a fuck about, and when it’s over, you want your 90 minutes and the rental fee back.
Rex Reed of The New York Observer said this …
“Written by a weirdo named Trent Haaga for no other purpose than to outrage, Deadgirl is part S&M porno, part supernatural chiller, and worthy only if you’re interested in how far movies can go before the police arrive. It is not recommended for anyone concerned about mental health, especially their own. The filmmakers are calling it “depraved, poignant and genre-busting,” but I suggest they look up the definition of “poignant” again and substitute “perverted.””
Andrew O’Hehir from Salon …
“I’m not going to use up valuable Internet bandwidth to defend the morality of a film that is so consciously calculated to shock the shockable. Sexual violence and sexual slavery are terrible crimes, and depicting them in a fictional context, no matter how fantastic or how surrounded by quotation marks, is always going to be problematic for many viewers. I doubt that many women (or many men) who have survived sexual assaults will be entertained or titillated by the spectacle of this film’s nameless zombie chick (the brave actress who took this wordless part is named Jenny Spain) being repeatedly raped, beaten, stabbed and shot.”
I was not shocked by this film. I’ve seen enough horror films in my life to know the difference between shock for the sake of shock and something with a point, a plot, a story. This film has none of those things, and that is why it sucks rhino dick and sucks it big time.
Try “Teeth” instead.
“HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE” (2009)
After receiving the script for this film (known as “Horsemen” in the U.S.), Dennis Quaid rang his agent …
“Sammy, it’s Dennis. Dennis Quaid.”
“Dennis! The fuck are you?”
“What’re you sending me shit like this, Sammy? Who do think I am, Nicolas Cage? Val fucking Kilmer? Why did you send me this?”
“Dennis, Dennis, listen … It’s money in the bank, alright? Michael Bay produces. Money in the bank, y’know?”
“But it’s fucking rubbish. It doesn’t make a lick of fucking sense, Sammy. The whole thing falls apart in the last third, there’s no resolution, there’s nothing there that ties into anything that went before, it’s like a loose stool in a fucking toilet bowl, it’s all over the pla-”
“It’s a trip to Canada Dennis, take the kids, play in the snow, eat salmon every night, fucking Canada Dennis, what’s not to like?”
“I’m expected to whore myself for a snowball fight and a plate of fucking salmon, Sammy?”
“It’s the movie business, Dennis. You’re no-one if you’re not a whore this business. Y’oughta be grateful you ain’t in the music business Dennis, those fuckers are fucking animals. You get a stash of money, Dennis, buy yourself a yacht, refit the kitchen, whatever, take a vacation somewhere exotic, okay? Listen, I can put a buncha riders in the contract … you can bring the wife up, the band, the family, a nice lodge with an open fire, personal assistants for everyone out the fucking ass … someone to iron your underwear, hold your dick when you pee, alright?”
“ … ”
“Dennis, Dennis, Dennis … Dennis … Den … Listen to me, D … listen to me … Do the movie, Dennis. You’ll be good in it. You’re always good. If the movie’s shit, you’ll be the only thing in it worth watching, I know that, you know that … Listen, fee up front, okay, the money up front, in full, whaddya say?”
“ … ”
“I’m making a movie about a bunch of fucking assholes who like hanging people off fucking hooks, for Christ’s sake … It’s not exactly “Far From Heaven”, is it? It’s not “Smart People” or “In Good Company”, I liked those, I was proud of my work in those. I was in “The Right Stuff”, remember that, Sammy?”
“That wasn’t me, Dennis, that was someone else … Listen, you do this, I got something lined up for you, it’s gonna be huge, trust me. Fucking huge.”
“What is it?”
“I can’t go into the detail right now, Dennis, it’s all very hush-hush, but I swear to you, I swear on my grandmother’s grave, you do this shit, I can get you this other thing.”
“Ah, FUCK!… Fuck. Fuck …Fuck … Fuck … Fu-”
“ … yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah … alright, fuck it, whatever … Sort the contract. Money up front and don’t forget those fucking riders, Sammy, I want ‘em all, alright?”
“You make me proud to be your agent, D. And this other thing …?”
“You wait, Dennis. It’s full-blown epic shit! … I promise. There’ll be Oscars this movie, believe it.”
“Well, it better be a GODDAMN sight better than this SHIT I’m about to do, Sammy, it damn well BETTER be, or I’m getting ANOTHER FUCKING AGENT, OKAY!!?”
“Trust me, Dennis. Trust me. It’ll tear box-office ass, this thing. You just wait and see.”