Films of the near(ish) future that may not be on your radar but should…
me and friends
robot_things
I’ve decided that once in a while I would let people in on some smaller films coming our way that you may not know about but that promise to be something special. Here are five such films that I’m dying to see:


The Cabin In The Wood, Drew Goddard
Screenwriter: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard
With: Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Brian White

Not a lot is known about The Cabin in the wood, other than it’s a take on the classic horror movie set up of kids going to a cabin in the wood and getting killed. Except it’s co-written by the guy who created Buffy and the dude who wrote Cloverfield. I’m in.


Knights of Badassdom, Joe Lynch
Screenwriter: Kevin Dreyfuss, Matt Wall
With Summer Glau, Steve Zahn,Ryan Kwanten and Peter Dinklage

Live-action role players conjure up a demon from hell by mistake and must deal with the consequences. It’s a cool set up and the title makes me giggle. Also it’s from the guy who did Wrong turn 2: Dead end, which for a sequel to a mostly shitty flick, with zero budget, less than average actors and a barely passable script, was a lot of fun.

Paul, Greg Mottola
Screenwriter: Nick Frost, Simon Pegg
With Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Jane Lynch, Sigourney Weaver, Joe Lo Truglio, David Koechner, Blythe Danner, John Carroll Lynch

While traveling to a comic book convention on the West Coast, two geeky British friends encounter an alien named Paul. Written and starring Frost and Pegg, who have proven their chemistry in two of the best British comedies of the last decade, plus it’s directed by the guy who did the wonderful Adventureland.

Super, James Gunn
Screenwriter: James Gunn
With Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon

The guy who did Slither is making a new flick, that in and of itself should be enough. It’s not? Okay, the guy who plays Dwight in The Office plays a delusional guy who dresses like a superhero and beats up people with a pipe wrench, followed by a side-kick played by Ellen Page. If you don’t want to see a movie about that I don’t need to know you anymore, go away.

Looper, Rian Johnson
Screenwriter: Rian Johnson
With Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis.

A assassin from the future goes back in time to kill his younger self (or, anyways, from what I’ve gathered that’s sort of what it’s about...) From the writer/director of the amazing movie Brick.

How I broke my toe, a true story
me and friends
robot_things
 How I broke my toe, a true story


It starts with a girl I fell in love with recently. It took less than a minute and I was in it. A girl with a beautiful name. She came to me and asked me a thing, the kind of thing you normally say “No” to (except, sometimes you get asked by that one girl, the impossible girl. Can’t say no to her. With that vice-like grip on you, that spell, the crazy insane love that is beyond control. When you love so fully it seeps through you, all around you, like you’re bleeding.) So I said Yes.
It seemed easy enough anyway. I had to come with her to a place in a neighbourhood I wasn’t too familiar with, talk to a guy, let him in on the fact there was no room in the girl’s life for him to be in it. Let him in on the fact that he was out. That that was it for him. Just get him to leave.
Looking in from the outside it seemed simple enough, of course now that I think back, it was written all over this that the end of the story would be full of words like “broken” and “alone” and “defeated”. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I was on my lunch break from work and this girl, this vision, comes up to me, me… that NEVER happens. I look good that day, have on nice cloth because of a family diner I have later on that evening, maybe that helps. She picks me out of the crowd and her eyes get to me, that gaze, long before she does, and they hold me there like a spell, like I can’t even move anymore, and she’s taking her time and walking up to me like life around her has stopped, and she gets to the front of me and her eyes speak. I don’t think here lips moved at all. Her eyes say, in the voice you’d imagine mermaids speak with, they say Help me. Like it’s not a question, like it’s just what I’m gonna do. She sings her song about the guy, the bad, mean guy, and her words barely register. I’m just focusing on not melting. Needless to say I never came back from my lunch break, work be damned.
We hailed a cab and sat on the back seat and when she put her hand on my knee, maybe to steady herself as she sat down, maybe because I sat too close and there was nowhere else for her to rest it, whatever the maybe, the world stopped. Or it continued without me. I saw her lips move, giving the driver directions to get to where we were going, but I heard nothing. It was sunny outside but I felt no heat, no air. My heart had stopped. My lungs were frozen. My body was nowhere. There was only this knee of mine, this hand of hers. And time, well, time just stared at me for a while I guess.
And then she woke me, released me, stole her hand from my knee. We were there.
A shitty fucking neighbourhood in the armpit of the city.
A building. A door. Just knock on it, get the asshole to leave. Get him to get it: he was done.
Here’s my cell number, call me when it’s done, I’ll be at the coffee place around the corner. I can’t be around when this happens. You understand.
I didn’t question any of it. I just wanted that hand on my knee again, my freezing cold, weak-ass knee, empty and fractured without her hand to hold it in place, to hold the entire world in place.
I waited until she was around the corner and put my fist on that door hard, three times. And I waited. Before long I heard footsteps and the footsteps got closer and then after some seconds the footsteps stopped and I knew there was only the door between me and that guy that had to leave. Just a shitty door in this shitty neighbourhood. This could be done within two minutes if I handled it right, let the guy know I wasn’t fucking around. Let him know this was it. It was over.
The door opened in front of me and this massive, gigantic asshole stood there. He stared at me with cold, fucked up eyes. The eyes of a man who clearly had no problem inflicting permanent damage onto you. I fucking hated him.
“Fuck you want?” he said.
I told him about the girl, said her beautiful name, asked if he knew her.
“What about her?” he said, smiling slightly, the asshole.
“So you know her” I said.
He didn’t say anything. Just stared at me. It worked. I had to keep my cool but I knew this guy could break me in pieces and eat me for lunch if he felt like it. So keeping my cool was hard.
“Well, you must know her, seeing as you’re in her apartment right now. And I’m sure you can see how that’s a problem for her, right?”
“And that’s where you come in, huh? Big white knight motherfucker gonna teach me a lesson in civility? Get me to move my ass out?”
He stared at me and I held his gaze even though it weighted a fucking ton.
“Well, it’s good I don’t have to explain it,” I said, “saves us some time. Now why don’t you just fuck off on out of here and we can call this a good story instead of something else.” And I held his fucking five ton gaze through all that.
He punched my stomach so hard I felt it through my back, like my spinal column shattered with the one blow. My feet left the ground and blood shot out of my mouth. I thought I was dead, honestly. Then I felt the ground beneath me move. I opened my eyes and looked up and realized the massive motherfucker was pulling me into the apartment by the legs. He dragged me to what looked like the living room, a sofa, a few ashtrays overflowing with cigarette buds, the TV on, 70s porn playing on it. Shitty carpet with too many stains all over.
He left me there to close the front door. I had seconds, if that, but it was my only open so I took it. Got up – that was harder than you’d imagine - and grabbed the meanest looking ashtrays of the bunch, and when that fucking gorilla walked back in the living room, I broke it in his face. I never hit a guy before. I’m not violent. I’m not that strong or quick, really, so I normally understand that if I get in a fight I will most likely get my ass handed to me in soup form, so no thanks.
Except today. Today I’m doing it for her. Today is different. It’s righteous today. I’m setting someone free. I’m a hero. Maybe when this is all done she will hold me…
I have broken bits of ashtray in my hand, some into my skin. His blood, too. Maybe it’s my blood. Maybe it was his blood, but I took it from him so now it’s mine. I should feel bad about this but I don’t. Fuck him. I look up at him just as he’s getting over the initial shock of having a massive piece of glass shattered on his face, and I know that I have only moments before he gets his hands on me, rips my head from my shoulders and head fucks my ass face first with my own. Again, no thanks.
I threw myself at him like a goddamn cheetah, surprised by my own speed, and threw my fists out and screamed like a deranged Viking and went for the fucking kill.
And the world went black. I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t scream. It took what seemed like a week before I realized he was holding my entire face in the palm of his gigantic fucking hand. His huge, dirty, sweaty, was-watching-porn-before-I-got-here, killer hand.
I had both my hands on his forearm, trying to pull his grip off of me. I scratched and clawed him, nothing worked. He had me. He was furious and he had me. He had my head in his hand and he was going to squeeze until I popped and I would never get her hand on my knee again. This was this. An end. A shitty, pointless end in the worst apartment in the world.
He lifted me until my feet weren’t touching the floor anymore, maybe to throw me, maybe to snap my neck, whatever the reason that was his mistake. He lifted me high and forgot my legs. I held onto his forearm and raised my legs and kicked that fucker’s face and neck so hard I felt his jaw unhinge and dig into his head. And then I kicked him again, and again. He was waving his arm around, his hand no longer on my face, but I wouldn’t let go. I just kept pounding his face, his red, wet, meaty, blood-covered face. It was easy. It was like jogging. He rammed me against walls, against furniture, but I wouldn’t let go. Then the world toppled over and all of a sudden this asshole was on his back and I was sitting on him and breathing hard, my feet both on his face, exhausted. I looked around the apartment, assessing the situation maybe, or just staring, catching my breath. I saw a framed picture on the wall, a small one, probably the only thing we hadn’t destroyed in the room. It looked like him but younger, like maybe eleven years old, standing with a big dumb grin on his face, next to some thin black dude with a red leather jacket. I stared more at it, let my eyes focus, and said Holy shit.
“Holy shit, is that Michael Jackson? On the wall? That’s you in the picture, right? standing with Michael fucking Jackson?”
I heard a faint, wet, “yeah” come from him. It was barely a word. It was a sound, more like.
“Well, huh shit…” I said, kind of impressed.
I realized I was still sitting on him so I got up, figured it was alright to let the man breath. The point wasn’t to kill him, after all.
I took my cell phone from my pocket to call the girl, tell her I did it. Tell her it was all gonna be okay. But my cell phone was completely fucked, a victim of the violence that this living room had seen in the past few minutes. So I searched the other guy, still lying on the floor, breathing slowly, and I found his phone. It was working fine, four bars of signal and everything.
I took out the piece of paper I had in my pocket with her number on it. Her. Has such a nice ring to it…
I dialled the number and not two rings in she picked up.
Her voice was thick like cigar smoke. It took it’s time, parading down my ear like a slow river, like a spell.
“Hi babe” she said, “my baby. My kingdom. How did it go, babe? Did you fuck him up? Did you fuck him up real bad for me like you do, like you know how to?”
“Yeah”, I said, feeling like a million dollar bill, “I did. It’s done.”
And then she didn’t speak. I wanted the voice back. I wanted the spell. But she said nothing, and it dawned upon me. What a fucking idiot I’d been. What a sap.
I’d called from his phone, she’d picked up thinking it was him, not me. She’d called hoping he’d fucked me up. I’m not a big guy, I’m not a fighter, I’m just a guy. A guy you normally wouldn’t spend two shakes of a second looking at on the street. But today I was well dressed. I looked like money. I looked like a guy easy to beat into a fucking bloody pulp, easy to threaten. Profitable. What a sap…
And now it was my voice on the phone. Not his. Not her baby, her kingdom…
“Did you know he met Michael Jackson one time?” I asked.
There was a moment, a long one, and she said “The picture’s on his wall. Of course I knew.”
“Oh. Yeah...” I said, “You’re a bitch. Get cancer.”
I hung up.
Got up.
Looked around.
Looked at what I’d done. I felt so alone. My heart was broken. No, defeated. My heart was defeated. I felt empty, there wasn’t a square inch of my body that didn’t hurt like hell.
I turned to look at the massive fuck lying on the floor and said to him that I was sorry about his face, that I owed him a beer, that his girlfriend was a cunt. I felt close to him for some reason. He was a poor sap too. I said bye. I even waved.
I took one last look at the Michael Jackson picture as I walked away and I rammed my foot in the frame of the front door. Real hard.
So I broke a toe.
So, yeah, that’s how that happened.

A blog about porn.
me and friends
robot_things
I miss having sex, I don’t pretend otherwise. If I had more balls I would approach many many girls and sometimes things would lead to things. If I had more money I would escort service the shit out of life, I have no ethical gripe about that. I would. If I had the money, which I don’t.
So I watch porn.
I did tonight and I felt like sharing something about porn.
You’ve watched porn. Come on, admit it. And, really, if you haven’t watched porn, if for real you really never have, then fuck off. Seriously, don’t read this blog. You’re just gearing up to judge me and feel better, cleaner than me, which you’re not.
Those of you who have watched porn, stick around.
Most of the times, I’ll watch porn, do what you do when you do, and then yeah there’s like this feeling of slight emptiness, this void, the subtle shame. This feeling that you made no difference in anybody’s life just now, not even your own. How the movie keeps playing and you’re done and you wish they were done too. But the people in those movies, dude, they ALWAYS last longer than you. So it’s weird. Most of the time.
But sometimes – like tonight for me – you get that one special porn where they fucking do EVERYTHING right, you know? All the little things you look for, even the ones you don’t know you’re looking for, it’s all there. It’s all paced like you want it to be, it’s shot by someone who’s not an asshole and won’t linger on the dude’s face for fucking minutes - actually that’s just me venting but seriously, if you’re into seeing the dude’s face once in a while that’s all good. It’s just not my thing.
It isn’t just about what they do either, it’s about the acting. People make fun of porn acting because the dialog scenes are pretty much always crap, but there’s fantastic acting in porn, fucking oscar worthy shit. Not all the time, mind you, but we’re talking about fantastic porn here. Even before the fucking starts. Some of those girls can play lust incredibly well, lust that would split a normal human being in half. Doesn’t matter the set-up, to me lust is essential. School or hospital or library or prison, domination or submission, glory holes, bang-bus type shit, whatever. If there isn’t lust, there isn’t much worth watching.
Then there’s the acting during the fucking. Because let’s not kid ourselves, most of it is acting – I have no problem with that. And sometimes you get a girl who knows exactly what she’s doing, what to get across. It’s all in the face as far as I’m concerned, so when you don’t see the girl’s face for too long in porn you kind of lose me. If I get the feeling she isn’t enjoying herself I’m gone. That’s why I have big problems with Asian porn. In a lot of those the girls just look like they’re in pain, which is either true or, just like in North American porn, they’re acting. Either way it isn’t for me. (I'm generalizing here, there's obviously some awesome Asian porn...)
It’s the same thing for the cum shot. That’s such a strange concept. I’m pretty sure it’s kind of new, too, like, I don’t remember cum shots in the porn mags I had as a kid. In concept it’s fucking ridiculous, but today? It’s pretty much the go-to ending of any porn scene. And just like the rest, if the girl in the scene can make me believe she’s into it, I’ll totally buy it and it’ll make for a great finish. In fact, reading back the paragraph, I didn’t mean to insult anyone by saying the cum shot is ridiculous. Sometimes when you’re having sex you get really into it and all inhibitions fall by the wayside and what would be so wrong about someone wanting to get cum all over them? Nothing. Sex is amazing because you can go there. You can be slapped, you can have someone pull your hair, you can ask for a lot of things that in any other scenarios would be completely unacceptable – that you yourself would never stand for. But during sex? Well it’s a different thing. It’s another world. I think that’s amazing.
So, tonight I watched some fucking amazing porn. Something that hit all the right notes for me, and once I was done I didn’t feel like an asshole, I was giddy. Out of breath. My heart was racing and I felt thankful.
That one’s going in the Best Porn folder.

I've turned this into the best Monday ever!
me and friends
robot_things
First, the thing in question (click for slightly bigger):



That is a poster from a genius guy named Martin Ansin. He is crazy talented.

I wrote him this:

Hi Martin!
My name is Simon, I'm from Montreal and recently had the chance to attend the Scott Pilgrim vs The World screening at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas.
I went into the Mondo Tees store where they had a bunch of Nega Scott Pilgrim vs The World posters laid out on a table. Obviously I fell in love immediately and bought one (now framed and safely hung on my wall).
I just wanted to personally impress upon you the degree of awe I feel towards this poster, which is Maximum Impossible Thunder Ninja Awe. The most awesome degree of awe there is.
I seriously truly admire your work and as a huge fan of both the brilliant comics the Scott Pilgrim movie is based on and of Edgar Wright's AMAZING film itself, I couldn't be happier with this companion artwork, whose quality is on par with both of those.
Now every time I walk into my room I take a moment to stare at your poster for a bit and every damn time I'm awesomed by it.

Thanks again,

Simon


(click for biggerness)

And he wrote me this:

Hey Simon!

Thanks for the message and the pic—I really appreciate you taking the time.
You've turned this into the best Monday ever!

Take care
Martin

And that made my day.
Have one too.
:)

The poor workmanship of movie necklaces...
me and friends
robot_things
You ever put on a necklace around your partner’s neck? You don’t need to be a surgeon to do it, clearly, but it’s also not easy. You have to pull the thingie open, which is kind of hard to do because it’s tiny, then hold it open and get the other thingie (even smaller) in the first thingie and then clap the first thingie shut and voilà! Your partner’s neck is more complete!
It’s safe to assume that getting that same necklace off of your partner’s neck is just as difficult, right?
Well not at the movies.
You want to take a necklace off a neck in cinema, all you have to do is pull. They all break free super easily. In one hundred years of cinema there has never been a good quality necklace put to film. They’re all shit. Even big medallions. Just pull on them and they’ll break. To me that’s necklace-editing, which is awesome. It’s a cut. It’s cutting the 5 minutes it would take to properly remove quality neckwear from someone’s neck. Because that’s actually not really something anyone needs to see in a movie. Cut it. Pull on the fucking thing (it’ll give, it’s a shit necklace anyways). Priceless piece of heirloom hanging from your dead lover’s neck? Pull it. Sorcerer’s medallion with magical powers and shit? Pull it. Vial with the antidote hanging on a chain just above the cleavage of the femme fatale? Kiss her. Then pull it.
The workmanship of necklace makers in film-land is quite poor, and I’m thankful for that, because I don’t need to see someone fidget behind someone else’s neck for five minutes trying to get the damn thing off properly.
However, just once, I would love for someone (in a movie, clearly) to pull on a necklace hanging from their dead lovers neck, like maybe the type that you can open and there’s a picture of the couple that he/she kept there as a keepsake, a reminder of their precious love, just to pull on it because that’s the one thing the hero will need to give him/her the strength he/she will need to survive what’s next or whatever, and when they pull, one hard tug on it, the necklace DOESN’T break, and they pull again, harder, and the fucker remains intact and they're just super creepily disturbing the body of their dead loved ones over and over until the thing finally breaks free. That would be fucking funny…

Scott Pilgrim vs The World, my little review
me and friends
robot_things
Well, we have it.
Our document.
Our footprint in the soil of movie-dom.
Our generation's proudly waving flag.
A bookmark of sorts, to make sure that 50 years from now something will have captured what it was like to be young, alive, in love, our hearts on fire and our youth seemingly unstoppable and unending, today.
This is 2010.
We have our movie. (It’s about damn time.)
Synopsis? Sure: Scott Pilgrim is a twenty something guy. He is in a band called The sex Bob-Ombs. He has a girlfriend named Knives Chau. He falls in love with another girl, this one named Ramona Flowers. He likes her a lot. He learns that he’ll need to defeat her seven evil exes in order to date her.
Aaaaaand stop.
I’m not saying another word. Everything in the above paragraph you learn in the first ten minutes of the movie so I think we’re good in terms of not spoiling anything.
But I still have to talk about the film, seeing as this is supposed to be a sort of review or whatever. So let’s talk about the people involved.
Director!
Edgar Wright, the man responsible for Spaced (British TV show that is a must watch for anyone who likes good stuff), Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, co-wrote (with Michael Bacall) and directed Scott Pilgrim vs The World. It isn’t news to people who know me that I have great admiration for this dude, but man did he bring up his game for this movie. He is now Edgar Wright 2.0, clearly the same directing style but fucking squared. Everything he ever hinted at in previous efforts, every tendency and every quirk, everything is now perfected and mastered. The fight scenes in this movie are some of the best I have ever scene, never once confusing, never overly done, no shaky cam and with minimum – but hugely effective – use of slow motion. They are vibrant and kinetic and always tell a story, never just relying on the fact that you’re watching a fight (a lot of directors seem to think that people punching each other is enough. It isn’t). These fights keep the plot moving along and issues are addressed before/during/after each fight, giving them a weight and significance that make them so much more enjoyable than fights have any right to be. But Mr. Wright doesn’t just get the fights right, he handles EVERYTHING right. Because – and this is important – Scott Pilgrim vs The World isn’t the best action movie in years. Or, well… it’s not only that. It’s really a comedy. A ROMANTIC comedy. No no no, come back. Keep reading. Please. Trust me.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in years. Not gross out funny, not vulgar funny, just well written clever-as-shit funny. The dialog in this movie is gold from top to bottom. Every character (and there are many) get great lines. Edgar Wright has always been generous with great lines, fans of his previous work can attest to that, but here it’s just ridiculous. Everyone’s given moments that would be the key quotable gag in any other movie. When I watched the flick at the Fantasia film festival, I swear I missed have the jokes because the audience (and me with them) kept laughing (and cheering and clapping and howling) over dialog because the jokes are so close together and so priceless it simply couldn’t be helped.
The players!!!!
Hiring actors who know what they’re doing is probably a good plan if you’re aiming for your movie being goddamn fantastic, and Edgar Wright clearly was, so he did. I won’t talk about everyone in the movie – even though there isn’t a weak link in the entire cast – because if I did I would finish this thing just in time for the DVD release, and I’m kind of aiming for this being out slightly before that. But I will talk about three main characters. And Wallace, because I need to talk about Wallace. Or, no just the three main characters, I have to leave some stuff for you to discover on your own, but just know that, well, you’ll love Wallace.
So, first: Michael Cera. I think it’s fair to say the entire movie rests on this guy’s shoulders. He plays the titular character and does so with sincerity and ease and a comic timing that should be admired and respected. Too often I read on the internet that people find he’s always playing the same character. I don’t think that’s true but I understand that there are similarities between some of the characters he’s played. He has a persona and it’s not uncommon that he works it into his acting. Is that wrong? Is it a bad thing? Let’s see, some people seem to think so, that it’s lazy or something. I guess those people don’t like Woody Allen, or Clint Eastwood, or Bill Murray or Humphrey Bogart or Steve McQueen, or many other fantastic actors who have played a variation on the same character for pretty much their entire career. Actually, all of this is beside the point, because Scott Pilgrim is quite a departure for Michael Cera. He’s almost playing Bugs Bunny, a fighting, running, rock and roll playing Warner Bros cartoon wooing hearts and kicking ass. It’s a great performance and it anchors the tone of the film completely. The thing is that, however crazy things get on the screen, you believe that what Scott Pilgrim is feeling is real, and this makes everything work. It made me care. Scott Pilgrim isn’t always a nice guy, he makes mistakes and he can even be a bit of a dick, but he can also be kind of great, and it’s a tough balance to achieve in a performance, and Cera strikes that balance perfectly. That said, my favorite performance in the film is Ellen Wong’s. This young actress (I’ve never seen her in anything before this) plays Knive Chau with devastating accuracy. Knives spends much of the movie trying to cope with a broken heart. It could get annoying or pathetic or boring, but it never does. The movies strongest emotional moments, the ones that rang truest for me, almost all belong to her. And she can be funny too, so… kinda perfect. She isn’t featured in the movie as much as it’s two leads (understandably so) but you will relish every moment she’s on screen. Here’s hoping this movie opens a few doors for her. Speaking of the two leads, let’s spend a few words on Mary Elizabeth Winstead, the lovely actress who plays Ramona Flowers, the object of Scott Pilgrim’s affection. Winstead has the most complex character in the movie, someone burdened with emotional baggage and a past that evidently is still very much a part of her (okay I just defined emotional baggage, I know. Leave me alone). It’s a tough role to play and again, like her two previously mentioned costars, she pulls it off with aplomb. It’s important to like Ramona even though she can appear distant. We need to understand and support the fact the Pilgrim is in awe of her, and we do. She’s kind of enthralling. She’s beautiful and haunting and you can tell she has a lot on her mind and Winstead gets us to understand this clearly through her haunting eyes. They tell you everything you need to know and ooze sincerity, sadness and hope. All this in a movie that is half video-game, spells out sound effects on the screen, and gives vegans super powers. Oh, ummm, spoiler alert, I guess.
We’re almost done but I need to talk about the editing in this movie. It is superb. Every five minutes there is an awesome transition, they do things here I’m not sure I’ve ever seen, obviously all in service or the story, never just for the sake of being flashy. I’ve rarely seen a movie pace through it’s story at such breakneck speed. The gags keep coming and the story moves along and there’s barely time to catch a breath.
And I love it.
I love it because, above everything else that I’ve mentioned in this review, this movie is talking to us. It’s about passion and music and videogames and above all it’s about the pains and joys of carrying a full heart in your chest. Whether or not this movie is a financial success is irrelevant, it will come to define us the same way The Graduate (speaking of amazing editing) defined a generation. Of course, it would be kind of cool if it was a financial success, so… you know: go see it.

Mandrill
me and friends
robot_things
I fell in love yesterday.
Let's blog about that.

The 2010 edition of the Fantasia film festival in Montreal took off yesterday and I saw two films that night: the very cool Ip Man 2, and the absolutely brilliant Mandrill.
I fell in love with Mandrill yesterday. If you wanted the blog about me falling in love with a girl then it's possible I've misled you a little. This is not that. This is the blog about cinema blowing me away.
I was bad-mouthing film critics the other day and my friend made me feel (rightly so) like a total dick for doing it. So today I'm gonna put my mouth where my fingers are and type this blog with my tongue.
Or, okay, no. But I'll write about a film. See how that goes.

I will give you a very brief synopsis of the film as a starting point. Mandrill is the name of the title character, who is an assassin out on a job to kill a one eyed man they call "Cyclops". He will meet a woman and things will get complicated.

That's our synopsis. I will reveal nothing more because there's nothing worse than a fucking film review that goes through the entire movie step by step. I won't do that to you. I'll sleep with your sister, but I won't ruin a super good film. Or sleep with your sister. Maybe her friend.

Mandrill reminds me of Shaun of the dead, a film I hold very dear. Both films are completely different but what SotD did perfectly for zombie movies, Mandrill does just as well for Mexican spy films of the 70s. Both movies are in love with the genre they're working in and leave cynicism at the door, they are not here to poke fun or to satire, like last year's great Black Dynamite, they just take place in the same universe as those other films they pay homage to. Both films are brilliantly scripted (though admittedly Madrill has a much simpler plot line than SotD). Both films are brilliantly directed and acted (using acting styles that work perfectly within the genres they're playing in) and both films cost next to nothing. Oh, and the use of music and the choices of musical cues in both films are genius.

Mandrill is Ernesto Díaz Espinoza's third film, his first that I've seen. He did Mirageman about two years ago but I was never able to find it, it's apparently very good though, and Kiltro in 2006 which I also haven't seen. Anyway, that he is this good at what he does is a little gift for us, for film lovers. He directs action (super awesome martial arts fights) quite aptly, and moves from funny scenes to dramatic scenes like a fucking ninja. There isn't a boring moment in Mandrill, briskly paced at a a slim 90 minutes running time.

Can't write about the flick without talking about Marko Zaror, the main actor, the man they call Mandrill. Marko Zaror has been working with Ernesto Díaz Espinoza since forever, starring in all his films. This alone should be reason enough to hunt every last one of these fuckers down and give them a go. This dude is a man god. He can fight, he can dance, he can make fun of himself, he can move you, he can say the absolute cheesiest shit and make you buy it ("It seems my luck has left the table, but love has just arrived". Seriously, wait for it, it works). He looks so fucking cool and in control, except when he shouldn't. When things don't go how he wants them to or he discovers something that changes everything. Seriously, he's good, and PERFECTLY cast in this movie.

Celine Reymond is also really great as the subject of Mandrill's affection. Strong, flirty, smart, emotional, calculating, she is a perfect leading lady. You can buy that she is the one who could affect Mandrill the way she does.

Now the super sad thing is that I'm not sure I should recommend this movie to you, because I'm not sure you'll like it. It's campy, and it's cheesy. It has the corniest dialog EVER, but to me it works. To me everything in this film works. But you need to want this. If you want something more grounded in today's cinema aesthetics then I'm pretty sure you won't buy a second of this. And that's okay, I guess. It's just too bad because you're missing out on a great experience.

I went through this entire blog about Mandrill and I didn't write a word about John Colt. That's my personal favor to you. See the movie. Discover John Colt.

Bye now.
Tags:

Summertime
me and friends
robot_things
You can say it: I have been a very naughty blogger. I know it’s true and so do you.
When was the last thing? March?
Seriously, bad me. Baaaad me.
I’m leaving soon for a bunch of days to go to my parent’s cottage with some pals, so there will be no entries then and I seriously owe it to, um, someone somewhere, I guess, to write something soon. Today seems like a good day for that. So, let’s do.
It’s summer now, the world glows a bit more and it’s glow lasts a bit longer into the night, and even when it’s the middle of the night you know the day is much closer to us than we think. Summer days are sneaky; they are only a step behind the night, ushering temptations and wants into all the cities even in the late hours, like an echo, like a good song, making going to bed something almost alien. In the winter going to bed is awesome, my apartment is cold and my bed is warm, the math is fairly easy. But summer nights? Forget it. I would forego sleep altogether if my body let me. And it tries, it really does. I’ve done jogging at 2AM, this is a thing that has actually happened. And midnight jogging? More so.
People want to live. I want to live. I don’t want to sleep.
Summer is a season for living. I’m writing here to people who know what a winter is, obviously. If you live in California and you’re reading this I’m not really talking to you right now, but hey, how’s your day?
All this to say I’m enjoying myself right now. I like the vibe during the summer. I sprained my knee a week ago, which sabotaged my attempt at regular jogging pretty spectacularly. I was depressed for a few days, but right now I’m good with it. There are good things, overwhelmingly good things that make it very silly to complain about anything. There is beautiful music being made, awesome films are being released, great comics are being written and the women are vibrant and glowing and inspire me to do great things. What’s a sprained knee? Pfffffff.
In fact, let’s all be amazing this summer. I propose it, right now. Amazingness from all of us. Let’s blow the roof off of the sky. Let’s astonish the summer, show it that we can fill this day that it’s dangling in front of us, that we can fucking fill it to the brim with something just shy of being magic. Our capacity is not so much with a limit. Do you feel it? Just outside my window there is a day going on and it’s daring me to obliterate the bar I set for myself every morning. I can hear my life going on and it has changed the record, it is singing a great new song about being awesome. I can feel my life happening, like an explosion, like the big bang, like an orgasm, my life taking up all this room and pushing at the edge of the universe, expend faster you fucker!
I was talking to my friend Nhan this weekend and we were arguing (friendly intelligent arguing, not the other kind) about whether life is long or short. I was saying it was long and she was leaning towards short. I guess the answer is somewhere in the middle. Life is right now, the rest is kinda pointless. This is why I’m urging you to be formidable. To be honest it’s pretty easy. Let’s example: I was jogging the other day (before my knee went fuckways) and I realized how easy it is to not give up. It was an epiphany. It is hard for me to jog, I was at a half hour with no break and wanted to reach 35 minutes, and I was contemplating giving up. To be honest, when I reach harder parts of my jogging sessions, when it’s been over 20 minutes, I always consider giving up. I know you’ll think I’m over simplifying when I say what I’m about to, but I honestly don’t think it’s any more complicated than this: if you don’t want to give up, don’t. It’s that easy. You continue. You persist. See it was easy for me to not give up on my jogging and to reach my 35 minute goal; all I had to do was not stop. Jogging is hard, but not stopping is quite easy.
This is what I’m suggesting you do with your life this summer.
Win it.
Your life is happening.
This summer? Dare it to catch up with you.

Things I like. A list.
me and friends
robot_things
Things I like. This is a list.

-Turning your pillow to get the cool side after your head’s been on the same side for too long.

-Mayonnaise. Yes, I will spread mayo on a slice of bread and eat that and love it.

-Listening to music I made. I know, if you walked into Bono’s home and found him listening to U2 super loud you’d think he’s a douch. Well I’m douchy that way because nobody enjoys the music I make more then me (because it’s a little lame).

-Keeping a bowl full of cereals in the freezer at all times, that way when I want cereals I can take that out and pour milk in it and the milk gets super cold and stays that way until the cereals are done and even then when I drink the milk it’s still deliciously icy.

-Teen movies, but good ones, not the super sappy ones. Except sometimes the super sappy ones too.

-Being pantless. I get home from work, if I’m not expecting anyone these fuckers are coming off immediately.

-Going number 2 and totally taking my time with it. Especially in the middle of the night. I get up, super tired, grab my iPod and go sit on the loo for a half hour and let the magic happen.

-Rihanna, which all my hipster friends find quite depressing… (I love my hipster friends btw, that wasn’t a slight)

-Keanu Reeves. Yup, I’m a fan. I think he’s a good actor, I’m not being ironic. I can’t hear you laughing at me so I don’t even care that you are. You’re ugly.

-Peanut butter and butter toasts. Put the butter first, wait for it to melt, add peanut butter, wait for it to melt. Eat. Heaven tastes like this.

-To walk around naked in my apartment. Pantless is lovely, but birthday suit is the best.

-People who have a sense of humour about themselves. I’m fine with laughing at myself and I like people who can do the same. I don’t like cruel people though, or bullies. Or mushrooms, they’re the grossest.

-Fake boobs. Not that I don’t like real boobs, I LOVE real boobs. However some people just outright dismiss fake boobs and I’m not there with them. A good boob job can be superrific. But I can admit that there is not much that is worse than a botched boob job… (okay, there is much worse than that) (Basically I'm saying I have no problem with people fixing stuff they're unhappy with on their body.) (I'm also saying I like boobs, in a not so roundabout way)

-Women who wear glasses. Look, glasses are hot. The librarian factor is not to be meddled with.

-Cappuccino frappe double chocolate. What, I need to explain this?

-Wearing a jetpack on my back and flying with it and using it to get girls to like me mostly but also on Mondays to be a superhero like Rocketeer but only on Mondays because being a superhero takes a lot out of you and I already don’t sleep very well so I’m not sure I’d be up to more superheroing although getting girls to like you also takes a lot of energy so maybe I’ll just keep the jetpack secret and not tell anyone and just go flying at night when no one is looking, like taking a midnight swim but in the sky.

There you go, that was a list. Not a complete list, of course, but certainly a start.

Take care,

Simon

I'm going to Casa Azul close to Bucerias Beach in Bucerias. Life agrees.
me and friends
robot_things
Hi!
I am leaving soon to go stand directly under the sun, as opposed to standing at an awkward angle of the sun where it barely reaches me, which is my current situation. I’m sure you agree that’s a situation that needed to be remedied and so I have. Well, temporarily, as you all know standing directly under the sun for too long can make your head look like the melty end of a candle, a bit like Sloth in The Goonies. We don’t want that. It’s therefore been decided that I would stand directly under the sun for roughly one week and then I’m coming back to my original spot at the awkward angle. This means radio silence for me between March 12th and March 20th.

I’ve decided to include some suggestions of things you might consider doing while I’m away, so that when I get back and have amazing vacation stories to tell, you have some cool stuff to talk about too and it’s not just me with the stories.

You ever see What's Up Tiger Lily? from Woody Allen? It’s a thing he did in 1966 where he took two Japanese spy flicks, International Secret Police: A Barrel of Gunpowder and International Secret Police: Key of Keys and completely overdubbed them with new voices from a script he wrote for this, making one awesomely funny spy flick. It’s genius. Anyway, I dare you to do the same thing with that 6 hours Jesus movie they played on TV every Easter when we were kids. You don’t HAVE to do it with that movie, but it would be pretty epic.

Use your blender creatively! Sometimes something that in theory should be gross ends up being super great and delish. It probably won’t be the case and you might very well end up with something that shouldn’t exist, but what if you’re that one out of a thousand case where you discover the pizza smoothy or something? Anyways, who doesn’t love using a blender? Admit it. It’s fun.

Create a Facebook account for your porn star alter ego and update your status like you were a porn star / adventurer, like Indiana Jones but switch archaeologist for porn star. It will be amazing and you can test how far into raunchy-land you can take it before Facebook bans the account. If you send me a friends request I will totally accept it. If you get creative with photoshop and past your face on some powerfully dirty stuff I will declare you maximum-awesome.

Say “hi” to your mother for me.

Go to a restaurant you’ve never been too (maybe spend a little more money than usual if you can afford it so you can go to a pretty good one) and after your meal demand to see the chef. When you see the chef (assuming this works, I’ve never tried it) complement him or her on the delicious meal. Just to see what happens. Maybe ask to shake their hand. It’ll be a good thing. People will be made happy.

Buy 7 things at the dollar store, preferably cool-ish things (i.e.: not 7 spoons or whatever), and mail them, once a day, to your roommate, with no return address. It’s funny also if you add auspicious notes with the little gifts, like “This belonged to Bartleby, my great great grandfather. Take care of it always. Signed: Z.” or “I was told you would know what this means. Signed: Z.” The signed Z bit makes me laugh. Document your roommate’s reaction upon reception of mysterious gifts. Share your findings with the world.

Anyways, these are just silly suggestions, of course. I'm gonna be having a good time and taking it real easy, so you should do the same. See a flick, treat a friend to a cheap restaurant just for fun, go out for a drink with your pals on Wednesday night, in honor of you don't care this week. Do a good thing for yourself.
Kill the stress.
Life is yours.

Later!

Simon

?

Log in