The Dorm That Dripped Sarcasm
8.1.2002 by , every Thursday.
Can't get enought Ash? You should be reading Pulp!
Wow, only one week late this time. If I'm not careful, this might start a trend of perpetually punctuality, and I might not have to spend the first week of every month hiding in the bathroom until my landlord stops peeking in through the windows. But where would be the fun in that? If I didn't have that brief game of cat and mouse to brighten my days, I might have to resort to hunting Vietnam combat veterans for sport, only to be defeated by a mullet-headed, thickly-accented Jean Claude Van Damme, and quite frankly, I've been a little wary of the greasy little Belgian ever since Knock Off. Anyway, as per usual, here's all the crap I watched last week. Read it and save yourself the trip to the video store.
Sunday, July 14
Salo: 120 Days of Sodom
Well, that about does it. I didn't have a particularly high opinion of Italians to begin with, what with opera music and their over-reliance on tomato-based food stuffs, but Salo has clinched it. This is one of the pictures they studiously avoid while teaching about film movements in art class. The director of this movie, Pier Paolo Pasolini, is one of the most respected directors of the post-Neo-Realist phase in Italian cinema, but it turns out that his auteur status was gained in spite of the fact that he was a raging shit-freak. That's right, you heard me. This is two-hours of anal sex and copraphagia, and if that doesn't sound off-putting enough, it's subtitled, too. I'd like to say that this film is only a notch or two above Enema Fitness Clinic, but honestly, it looks like more money went into the clinic.
Monday, July 15
Early Hitchcock that stars the remarkably mannish Marlene Dietrich. For some bizarre, vaguely homoerotic reason, Dietrich was considered quite the sex symbol in the 30s and 40s, despite the fact that she somewhat resembles Hitler in drag, only with thicker features. Nevertheless, her films with Josef Sternberg rocketed her to stardom, so here she is, joining the ranks of Hitchcock femmes fatales, alongside the equally unpalatable Ingmar Bergman and the strangely butch Vera Miles.
Tuesday, July 16
Road To Perdition
Tom Hanks, eager to grab himself another Oscar, acts his wee little heart out in this Academy Award bid helmed by American Beauty's Sam Mendes. Hanks' attempt to play against type by acting the bad guy in this Prohibition-era gangster drama falls somewhat flat, however, as you still want to cuddle poor confused Forrest even after he Tommy guns half a football team's worth of people to death. I say 'you', of course, because all I ever wanted to do to Forrest Gump was sterilize him in an effort to stop him from reproducing into sequels, but that's just where you and I differ.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the film that brought pornography into the mainstream. Before, graphic sexuality was the domain of raincoat-clad pederasts masturbating in peep-show booths. Now, thanks to Linda Lovelace's performance in this film, porno has entered everyday life, for better or for worse. Finally, porno can be enjoyed by both pseudo-open minded female university students, who think going to a strip club once and watching an A&E documentary on Hugh Hefner makes them experts, and Paul Reubens alike. Thank God for freedom of expression.
Wednesday, July 17
Jack Nicholson is an old and tired man. Thankfully, he's chosen to age gracefully, with subdued, calm films such as this, as opposed to, say, Al Pacino, who has gone absolutely insane, shrieking drug-addled non-sequitors while on-set screenwriters struggle to patch his ravings together into a cohesive plot. Here, Nicholson plays a retiring cop on the trail of a serial killer he believes to be preying on young local girls. His only suspect is, of course, the local preacher, because as Marilyn Manson has taught us, the more Christian you are, the worse of a person you become. It also doesn't help that the preacher is Tom Noonan, the vicious, family slaughtering murderer from Manhunter. Seems they'll let just about anyone into the priesthood these days.
Thursday, July 18
Truly one of the most monumental wastes of time I've ever seen. For some reason, I had high expectations of this film, since it features a Drew Barrymore tit shot, but it still left me unimpressed. While I do admit that I still harbor a bit of a thing for Drew, ever since hard-core pornography got the better of me I've been less than impressed with simple celebrity teases. Call me a romantic, but I'm just not moved by a set of knockers unless they belong to Sylvia Saint and are accompanied by a load of Ron Jeremy's issue.
Friday, July 19
Reign of Fire
Amazingly enough, this movie is actually dumber than it seems. I'm willing to accept that dragons can take over the world, reducing civilization to Dark Age levels in a matter of years, reverting us to the feudal system and laying waste to all the great accomplishments in human society, but I'm just not buying Mathew McConaughey as a hero. I'm sorry, but first of all, he looks way too much like that poor retarded Woody from Cheers to have any sort of archetypal heroic quality, unless you find yourself impressed by the feats of daring-do performed by people like Gilbert Grape. Leaving the world in the hands of a dopey, perpetually stoned miscreant fills me with neither a sense of awe nor a sense of reassurance. Instead, I get vague nausea and a slight mental uneasiness, like I've eaten spoiled eggs. All this would have been incidental, however, had there actually been any dragons in this movie. Since it runs about 50 minutes long, a good half hour of that should have been occupied by dragons burning crap, but aside from a brief prologue and a few photos on Time magazine covers, all we really get to see is a bunch of bad computer graphics flying around in the far distance, kind of like the book-sleeve of a Pern novel. Quite frankly, I've seen better dragons on the covers of bad European metal albums, and I find Dimmu Borgir much more appealing than this.
So that's that, then. I'll try to be on time next week, but I promise nothing. There is TV to watch and X-Men to read, so all guarantees are null and void. And for those two of you anxious for the next PULP, it will be out in September, hopefully. Until next week, kiddies, this is Uncle Ash, signing off.