March 27, 2008

Movie Reviews: Shortbus (2006) & The Hottie & the Nottie (2008)

Well, ahem, as the new official's movie critic, I thought I should share some thoughts on cinema, & post some links. First, my review of Shortbus (2006) from Facebook's Flixster Feature:

Sadly, the next movie I tried to watch after Shortbus was Caligula (1979), which stars Malcolm MacDowell as the emperor, with Helen Mirren, Peter O'Toole, & John Gielgud, with a script by Gore Vidal. Weirdly, like Shortbus, this movie also contains tons of graphic sex, campy dialog, & no redeeming qualities.

I enjoyed Joe Queenan's review of the new Paris Hilton vehicle, The Hottie & the Nottie, which was mostly just an ode to the worst films of all time. ("The Hottie & the Nottie", he argues, shouldn't be compared to them.) He finally concludes:

All that said, none of these very, very, very bad movies automatically qualify as the worst film ever made. While it may disappoint those who welcome my occasionally unconventional opinions, I am firmly in the camp that believes that Heaven's Gate is the worst movie ever made. For my money, none of these other films can hold a candle to Michael Cimino's 1980 apocalyptic disaster. This is a movie that destroyed the director's career. This is a movie that lost so much money it literally drove a major American studio out of business. This is a movie about Harvard-educated gunslingers who face off against eastern European sodbusters in an epic struggle for the soul of America. This is a movie that stars Isabelle Huppert as a shotgun-toting cowgirl. This is a movie in which Jeff Bridges pukes while mounted on roller skates. This is a movie that has five minutes of uninterrupted fiddle-playing by a fiddler who is also mounted on roller skates. This is a movie that defies belief.

A friend of mine, now deceased, was working for the public relations company handling Heaven's Gate when it was released. He told me that when the 220-minute extravaganza debuted at the Toronto film festival, the reaction was so thermonuclear that the stars and the film-maker had to immediately be flown back to Hollywood, perhaps out of fear for their lives. No one at the studio wanted to go out and greet them upon their return; no one wanted to be seen in that particular hearse. My friend eventually agreed to man the limo that would meet the children of the damned on the airport tarmac and whisk them to safety, but only provided he was given free use of the vehicle for the next three days. After he dropped off the halt and the lame at suitable safe houses and hiding places, he went to Mexico for the weekend. Nothing like this ever happened when Showgirls or Gigli or Ishtar or Xanadu or Glitter or Cleopatra were released. Nothing like this happened when The Hottie and the Nottie dropped dead the day it was released. Heaven's Gate was so bad that people literally had to be bribed to go meet the survivors. Proving that, in living memory, giants of bad taste once ruled the earth. Giants. By comparison with the titans who brought you Heaven's Gate, Paris Hilton is a rank amateur.

Sounds spectacular! We must do an all-day marathon of Heaven's Gate, Ishtar, & Battlefield Earth. After turning off Elizabeth: The Golden Age after forty-five minutes (Who writes the scripts for these things!? To waste such talented actors & beautiful costumes on soap-opera dialog is sad. Plus, Miranda Richardson is the only Queen Elizabeth I in my heart), I seem to have lost my ability to finish movies without pacing around the room & turning them off. I've rearranged my queue to only send me Simpson's episodes. Oh, & I'm going to attempt to watch Oliver Stone's JFK & Nixon in preparation for his W. (2009), with Josh Brolin as W.


Quill said...

You mention Oliver Stone, but fail to mention his legitimate contender, Alexander. Or are you counting on W to outshine?

ß&dragon said...

Shudder... Alexander... shudder!
Sadly, it wasn't a career-killer, one of Queenan's qualifications, if he's still getting the likes of Ellen Burstyn to play Barbara Bush.

Sam said...

shortbus is a really good movie. you just don't know good movies when you see them ("lancelot du lac" being probably the most egregious example of an amazing movie that you don't like). i am biased though the director and executive producers of shortbus are all close friends of mine

ß&dragon said...

Shortbus! really? Well, we're allowed to disagree about movies.

I'm good friends with those Caligula guys, but I steel feel comfortable telling them it was crap.

grainne proinseas said...

I'm with Sam. Shortbus is awesome. and that one girl is so hot (you know the one I'm talking about). And the guy gives himself a blowjob. and that other chick smokes in a sensory deprivation chamber. In conclusion, James is a snob.