Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Enter The Void (*)
as is also often the case with Catherine Breillat, the underlying disingenuousness and lack of real-life transgressive experience (beyond that of a febrile romantic imagination) is the imperative for masking Enter The Void with such excess: every aspect is exaggerated as a form of compensation for an underlying real-world naïveté (just as in Irreversible); and yet while people are creaming themselves over opening title sequences like classic rock fans to a Clapton guitar solo, or else bedazzled by psychedelic graphics condemned to age faster than a Windows 98 screensaver, or even worse, the interminable overhead 'ghost' shots of the streets of Tokyo, what really bothered me is that all this wankfoolery is a set-up for one of the most cringeworthily moralistic final acts I've endured in years

Jackass 3-D (***)
3D and the irrepressible Johnny Knoxville and comrades is a match made in heaven - this valedictory compilation of their latest stunts and pranks, while certainly patchy and played-out at times, does include some classic vignettes that Buster Keaton himself would have been proud of

Easy A (*)
what is it about Hollywood having to cast actresses in their mid-twenties as high school teenagers? I hate that, and I hate this incredibly dishonest film that makes issues out of teenage sexuality that surely do not exist

Our Guys: Outrage In Glen Ridge (*****)
featuring the inestimable Heather Matarazzo, Our Guys is a superb compelling TV movie dramatisation of real life events in which a mentally handicapped girl was raped with a broomstick and a bat, by members of the local high school football team

Farmhouse (**)
you know when horror films start out so promisingly only to fall apart halfway through? usually involving some incredibly silly chase scene - Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Shining come to mind; well, Farmhouse trumps even that infamy with the most spectacularly gratuitous dissembling of an initially great narrative ever witnessed, it will blow your mind

Get Him To The Greek (*)
what starts out promisingly with a mildly subversive take on the mainstream music industry ends up as a dreary unsatisfying formulaic popcorn comedy

Machete (**)
the pro-Mexican immigrant message of the film, however laudable it may be, gets in the way of what should be basic popcorn retro mexploitation entertainment; also, there's nowhere near enough of a sex and sleaze component; and finally, the veteran Danny Trejo might look the part in stills but simply doesn't have enough on-screen charisma or acting skills to carry off the lead role, whilst the reinvigorated Don Johnson and Steven Seagal, in their respective baddie roles, manage to steal the show



Simon said...

Well said on Enter The Void - I resent the time wasted watching it.

hOU said...

I do relish yr review Mr. Bennett, but yr scoring is spurious to the hilt.

_Black_Acrylic said...

Maybe I was just in the right mood for it, but I enjoyed Enter the Void and I admire Gaspar Noé for even attempting a mad religious epic like this. Did any of you haters see it at the cinema? It would lose a lot on a smaller screen.

Kai said...

Re: Enter The Void, sometimes your one-star reviews make me want to check out the respective movie a lot more than a four-star review would. Don't know why. ;-)

CernunnosTrismegistus said...

Noe has said that he doesn't have any religious beliefs and sees Enter the Void as being about about a guy who is tripping as he's dying, not actually being reborn. Aside from that, I'm not sure what was moralistic about the ending. For sure, it's an exercise in style over substance, but I found it exhilarating and fun to watch, but then again, I'm a sucker for films with delirious urban night cinematography, which is probably the main reason I like Irreversible too. Both films would be pretty pointless it it weren't for the incredible cinematography.

William Bennett said...

lol, I know that feeling, the attraction of the polarity response

ETV is pure religion, admittedly half-baked, so I don't buy GN's avowed disclaimer one little bit - to me, the real moral is that the only drugs films worth watching are ones about Colombian narcotraficantes

Horsedick said...

I agree with you on Easy A, it was really silly and i didn't enjoy it at all.
I enjoyed Enter the Void though, to me it was more like the plot was a vehicle for the visuals. The innocence and brilliance of youthful perception. A love letter to our world and what is in it.

CernunnosTrismegistus said...


Indeed, that's exactly how I took it. I await the day that Noe collaborates with a gifted scriptwriter. I think he has an excellent eye for arresting visuals and seems to always have a good body of collaborators on the art direction and cinematography end. His scripts, however, are almost all rather insipid and would fall flat on their faces without the breathtaking production aspects that, for me, augment the more powerful aspects of them. That's why I find it more helpful to look at his films not from the standards of normal narrative film, but as delirious city symphonies whose plots serve more as an emotional backbone to the images rather than the other way around. Perhaps I'm grasping at straws and Noe truly is a hack, but I've still enjoyed every one of his feature lengths I've seen, and always more for the form rather than the substance.