Monthly Archives: October 2012
Teeth ~ Okay, warnings up front. This movie, and this review, is not for the faint of heart, easily offended or shocked, or those with zero sense of humor. Teeth is a black horror comedy with strong sexual elements and horrific visuals. For many of you, there’s nothing to see here, move along, come back next time.
For everybody else, you’ve been warned.
Vagina dentata. For those of us high school Latin students, and maybe for some of the more learned out there, this is an impossible and very scary concept. Especially for the men. It literally means ‘vagina with teeth.’ I’m spelling it out, not to be gross, but because some folks might not get it. I know at least one dentist who didn’t and rented this movie only to be shocked out of her mind.
That’s what this black horror comedy is about. Vagina dentata, and a girl with the condition who grows up in the shadow of a nuclear reactor. Ironically she’s a believer in waiting until marriage, purity, and promise rings who is just starting to date. This is the subtle part, it gets graphic later.
Played by Jess Weixler, the acting goes between cardboard cut out and Emmy level. She’s excellent as a teenage girl but when she should be serious she looks like she’s about to giggle uncontrollably. John Hensley from “Nip/Tuck” is also in there as her creepy step brother, and as fans of that show know, creepy is what Hensley does best.
Teeth for the first forty-five minutes could be an after school special, but then the would-be boyfriend forces himself on her, and the hilarity and horror begins. And as I mentioned at the top of this review, it’s not for the faint of heart.
Now while just as ridiculous and graphic as One-Eyed Monster, another film in this vein (I am so so sorry), it never sinks to that level of silliness or crudity. Teeth, like most good horror movies, takes itself pretty seriously, despite the subject matter. Fun at some points, horrific at others, Teeth is definitely worth a look for distinguishing genre fans.
The Girl ~ Wow, what a piece of crap. That’s what I’m tempted to say about HBO’s pseudo Lifetime movie of the week about Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren, The Girl. The story is obviously one-sided, vengeful, and is about as fast and loose with facts as a Presidential candidate on the losing side of a national debate.
Here are the facts. Hitchcock was one creepy dude, and a control freak, but was a loyal husband and one of our greatest directors. He definitely had a thing for blondes. And he certainly treated Tippi Hedren like crap, both with scenes he made her shoot and not letting her out of her contract. He might have made advances on her as she alleges, or she simply may have just been difficult to work with and he wanted to hurt her career. There are cases for either option, but The Girl is simply Tippi’s revenge filled side.
All of that out of the way, Sienna Miller is an adequate Tippi Hedren, suitably mediocre for the real actress. Toby Jones, on the other hand, is absolutely stunning as Hitchcock. Much like his Truman Capote in Infamous, Jones’ Hitch is hypnotic. It’s also a fascinating look at how The Birds and Marnie as movies may have been made. Again, this is a matter of perspective, and who is telling the story. The nice thing about making a movie about events that happened fifty years ago is it’s not easy to find folks to disagree with what’s truth and what’s not.
The story of Marnie is used as a plot device in The Girl. I really wonder if screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes actually understood what Marnie was really about before she used it here as Hitch’s revenge on Hedren. It’s plausible but I think unlikely. The film’s last words, “Marnie is now hailed as Hitchcock’s final masterpiece.” Wow. Really? Again it’s a matter of history being written by the victors, I suppose, or those who live the longest.
The Girl is not for anyone with a good memory, a sense of history, or who is a Hitchcock fan. I am reminded of Oliver Stone’s JFK and Nixon where we have scenes where everyone involved is dead, so who knows really what happened in that situation. That said, like all HBO productions, it is top tier television, just in my opinion, short on facts.
The Girl is worth seeing for the great performances of the actors, nothing more. This is simply Tippi Hedren’s revenge on Hitchcock. I wonder what fellow blonde and Hitchcock actress Grace Kelly would have had to say about The Girl?
The third episode of “Arrow” begins with a bang, the bang of assassin Deadshot getting to one of Arrow’s targets before him. Deadshot is of course not in costume, except for his trademark eye scope. Instead he is given the rather creepy motif of tattooing his victims’ names into his body. Creepy. And limiting. Eventually you will run out of space, and places you can reach easily with a tattoo needle.
The geek in me loved the shoutouts to Corto Maltese, Markovia, and especially Big Belly Burger – nice, it’s like the little touches they used to have in the “Flash” TV series two decades ago. Speaking of interesting drop-ins, seeing Felicity Smoak from the old Firestorm comics was out of left field, but good to see her, and good to know the writers are geeks like us. I guess if we can’t have Oracle or Chloe, Felicity is an excellent sub.
An annoyance point – much like The Blur over in “Smallville,” what is this resistance to calling our protagonists by their correct names? It’s bad enough the show is called “Arrow” but now the police are calling him ‘The Hood.’ Is the jump really that hard to call the guy in green using green arrows… Green Arrow? The name has worked for over seventy-five years through several different incarnations.
Stephen Amell’s chest continues its starring role in the series, and I loved him climbing the building to find bullets. Also continuing are our subplots, some starting to get stale like Laurel’s wishy-washiness and Thea’s partying, some heating up like the island flashbacks and Diggle’s discovery of course. I have to wonder, could the island be the site of some sort of ‘most dangerous game’?
I don’t want a Commissioner Gordon dynamic, or cliche, but I love the begrudging trust Detective Lance is starting to have in Arrow. It was also cool to see Laurel show off some mad fighting skilz. If only we could get some small canary or bird reference… I am still digging Diggle but can’t seem to find any warmth for Moira or Walter, maybe because they don’t deserve any.
Something to think about for the hardcore geeks – could that Davis name on Arrow’s list be old Green Arrow foe Doctor Davis?
The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the South Jersey/Philadelphia area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.
Co-hosts Ed Evans, Allison Eckel, and Glenn Walker discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here!
Discussion featured in this week’s special garter belt episode includes: the Amethyst Showcase edition, Superman #13, Scott Snyder’s Talon #1, Firestorm #13, Batman The Dark Knight #13 (at least the first page), The Flash #13, All-Star Western #13, the secret phrase, Fables #122 and Bill Willingham, the return of a lost Avenger times two, AvsX babies, Gambit #4, final issues for Marvel, Hulk #15, Amazing Spider-Man #696, The Shadow #6 and Masks, KISS Meets the Phantom comics style, Zenescope comics of the week, Allison’s kids comics, The Walking Dead magazine, and Ed’s trades.
Be sure to check out the crazy new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, now featuring The Vidcast Drinking Game so you can play along at home, and ATF! on YouTube (don’t forget to subscribe to the channel while you’re there, and leave a comment or two on the Vidcast as well!).
And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!
Don’t forget to get your secret phrase in to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday!
And remember, Allison, it’s Race Bannon!
This is a one-reeler from 1941, adapting the classic Edgar Allan Poe tale, and starring Joseph Shildkraut and Roman Bohnen. Both performers are staggeringly brilliant in their roles as the narrator and the old man, especially Bohnen who particularly frightening.
Whereas the original story is a monologue of madness, this Doane Hoag screenplay is a slightly updated full drama with dialogue. This is a sad state of affairs as we can sympathize with our murderer, and his motivations, at first, something I think Poe never had in mind. It kinda really made me wonder what was in Hoag’s head.
The use of the verb ‘quit’ in the dialogue is unintentionally hilarious in light if its use in Brokeback Mountain. It’s very difficult to stay with this short film once that exchange is had. That said, and ignored, this is a brilliant twenty-odd minutes of atmospheric intensity.
The work as full drama over monologue transforms it incredibly into almost a completely different piece. Still the use of sound and imagery are phenomenal. Cudos to director Jules Dassin, who would go on to make The Canterville Ghost, Topkapi and Never on Sunday. Worth seeing if you get a chance. TCM has been showing it in between some features this month for Halloween.