Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rickey Presents: The Carnival of Cinema

Courtesy of Scott Nehring at Good News Film Reviews, Rickey has been selected to host an informal get together known as “The Carnival of Cinema.” We think you’ll find that this little symposium is like any other small town carnival: brimming with psychological disorders and by no means an ideal place to leave one’s children unattended. This is due to the fact that no other art form lends itself to disagreement like cinema, and no other medium fans the flames of this conflagatory disagreement quite like the internet. And because this perfect storm of jackassery has clearly manifested itself in this week’s carnival, we are obligated to inform you that any jests, jibes, and sneers that Rickey might cast in your general direction are all in good humor. Indeed, we kid because we love. (Except those of you we do not love—we hate you bastards). We think you'll find Rickey's commentary on these reviews a bit more enjoyable than the typical cut & paste format employed in most blog carnivals, so sit down, pour yourself a tall glass of sarsaparilla and enjoy the madness.

First up this week is Rickey’s Review of “The Dark Knight.” One of the bonuses of hosting this carnival is that Rickey gets to put his work front and center. As Mel Brooks said, it’s good to be the king. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Rickey dug the hell out of this movie, and thought it was an extremely compelling crime drama. This is an opinion which some of our more contrarian contributors to this week’s carnival thought it would be prudent to disagree with, but more on that later…

Thanks to Naomi Stevens of Diary From England, it is with great sadness and reluctance that we are now contractually required to discuss “MAMMA MIA!” As is made clear in her review of the film adaptation of the hit musical, Naomi enjoyed the movie immensely. (We’re guessing that Pierce Brosnan’s bare chest had a great deal to do with it). Sorry Noami, but if Rickey was going to see a movie that is gay-friendly, it was going to feature codpieces and a guy wearing makeup telling another guy “you complete me” (that would be TDK) and not a musical derived from the Swedish pop band ABBA.

Jeff, author of the film website The Daily Naked (thanks for setting off the NSFW klaxons in Rickey’s mind Jeff!) has managed to get his hands on a copy of Quentin Tarantino’s script for “Inglorious Bastards.” Read Jeff’s thoughts on the matter here. Rickey, for one, likes the idea of QT made spaghetti western style WWII flick and eagerly looks forward to listening to long diatribes about French food and Nazi foot massages in the upcoming movie.

Margaret, an unusually literate Wiccan who runs a website known as The Earthly Paradise takes a time out from doing her very best Ophelia impression to write in with a look at Fred Zinneman’s 1977 film “Julia,” starring Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave, a film which is relatively unknown today. Margaret then proceeds to examine the reasons why it took so long for a movie that was nominated for 11 Academy Awards to be released on DVD. Hey, better late than never right? To this very day, they still haven’t released Michael Mann’s masterpiece “The Keep” on DVD and it absolutely kills Rickey.

Missy of the website Observations From Missy's Window brings horrific news: MGM is remaking the 1983 movie "Valley Girl." Like, ohmigod, this is just so totally uncalled for. It's official people: now that Hollywood has learned how to auto-fellate itself, it will never leave the house again.

Sean Kelly, an apparent madman, decided that Brendan Frasier’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth” wasn’t getting enough press and decided to write a positive review about it. (On that note, buy Rickey a beer and he’ll explain to you why “Space Chimps” is actually a terrific and nuanced movie. No, seriously.) But hey, perhaps it’s worth seeing the film that the Bush Administration is using as a scientific justification to drill in ANWR.

And while we’re talking about our impending environmental doom, liberal scientist wonk Greg Laden (a breed of individual which there can never be enough of) writes in with a review of a movie you’ve probably never heard of: “Sizzle.” In his article, Sizzle: An Inconvenient Truth meets Get Shorty? Greg concludes that the movie unfortunately doesn’t succeed as a comedy or an informative documentary, but it can’t be any worse than that “Day After Tomorrow” movie, right? To this day, Rickey’s still not entirely sure how or why climate change causes wolves to get loose and kill people…

Rickey will be the first to admit how ridiculously easy it is to critique rather than actually create. And that’s why Kely McClung’s submission to this week’s carnival is one of Rickey’s favorites. In his blog, Kerberos, indie film director Kely McClung discusses a wide range of topics all pertaining to the art of film direction. Kely's directorial debut, "Blood Ties," won a whole bunch of awards at the International Film Festival, so it's probably safe to say that he's past the stage all indie filmmakers go through where they consider directing porn movies for Vivid Video to pay the bills. And while we are sad that Kely's masterpiece, "Pulp Friction," will never see the light of day, we nonetheless wish this talented young man the very best in his future endeavors.

We are pleased to report that this post hails from the Orient and comes courtesy of Linda, a South Korean blogger (we're assuming she's from the South one, because she would have been publicly beheaded for not blogging about Kim Jong-il had she lived in the North). From what we're able to piece together, Linda gives us a review of a movie called "Daisy" which is by the same director who made "Infernal Affairs." At least we think. Look, in all fairness, there's a lot of Korean lettering and Hello Kitty super happy fun time going on over at Linda's site, so we could easily be wrong. Regardless, uh, thanks a million for Jae Seo, Linda! That pitcher worked out just smashingly for the Mets!

Take note you screwballs, because Barbara Schreiber of The Britannica Blog is about to demonstrate how coherent film analysis should be done. First up is a retrospective on Merrian Cooper, the cinematic pioneer and creator of the original “King Kong” and next is an analysis of similarities between WALL-E and E.M. Forster’s short story, “The Machine Stops.” Both articles employ logic, reason, and an adherence to the basic principles laid forth in the MLA handbook and we applaud them for that.

And now, get ready to cast aside all levity as we proceed onward to the Batman reviews… Sweet fancy moses, this is where the crazies really came out to play. We’re talking grade-A fuckwits here, people. First up is George, author of the blog Bored? Just Think… who chimes in with his analysis of social themes in “The Dark Knight”. Quoth George:

“Squirrels in Russia, are always on the move. They live in, for example, a tree for a while, leave it, and move into another tree that was occupied by another pack, which moved into another tree, and so on. Each pack, collects food and leaves it in the tree for the next pack. When the new pack gets there, they eat it while they try to find where the food sources are. They collect more food, after they find where it’s located, fill up the tree and move out, leaving it for the next pack. Now whether or not this is true or not isn’t the question. But, it is certainly possible and there are many notable cases of animals acting selflessly. This is what our society needs to strive for. We need to act as a one large conglomerate unit rather than a countless number of little pieces working for their own share. The idea might seem Communistic, which it probably is, but I believe in it."

And we now believe in the necessity of anti-psychotic drugs. Now if you’re like Rickey, you’re probably wondering what in the hell all this has to do with a Batman movie. And as far as we can tell, very little, just a bit about the social dilemma Gotham City faces at the end of the film. But hey, that’s a heckuva senior thesis if you want to run with it George. Just be sure to dress up like Batman when you present it (otherwise your teachers won’t take you seriously).

Since being an unrepentant moron is not a crime, Alan of hdfest is perfectly free to write in to this week’s carnival with his review, The Dark Knight Rides Once More to Protect the Rich. And we are perfectly free to heap ridicule upon Alan as much to our general consternation, he pontificates that Batman/Bruce Wayne is a rich oppressor hell bent on keeping the downtrodden masses in their place. Er, pardon? And then Alan completely flips the batpod by attempting to shoehorn a parable about greed and nepotism in Hollywood into the review. Way to double down on your insanity quotient Alan! Jesus, who in the hell are you people? At least spell check your posts Alan, because being merely insane is cool, but being insane and sloppy is just inexcusable.

Dr. Rus Jeffrey over at Frame by Frame opts to get semantically cute and poses the question, Is the Dark Knight actually Dark? His protracted answer is ‘no’ but with all due respect to the good doctor, we’re thinking that any movie that features people with bombs sewn into their bodies, horrific disfiguration, psychotic acts of terrorism, and an unflinching look into the face of unrepentant madness does indeed qualify as “dark.” Thanks for playing along though Rus—we look forward to your follow up post: “Is The Incredible Hulk Really Incredible?” (this sounds even funnier if you say it in your very best gravelly Larry King voice) The Fantastic Four: are they really all that fantastic? Tune in to Larry King Live tonight!

Trench, creator of 7milesdown also took issue with The Dark Knight in his review, but for a rather unique reason: the lack of Katie Holmes. Right, because Katie Holmes crawling into Bruce Wayne’s bedroom through an open window “Dawson’s Creek” style would’ve vastly improved upon the movie. Ok, you people are officially bat-shit crazy. Does being constantly contrarian for it’s own sake ever become tiresome? Does anything make you lunatics happy? Puppies? Sunshine? Oxygen?

And then there’s this Dark Knight review from Sean, My Thoughts on the Dark Knight. It’s somewhat hard to evaluate a movie review that’s a mere four sentences long and is essentially a haiku, but suffice to say he enjoyed it, and thinks that you will too. Okey dokey then.

Finally, Martin of MCT Images writes in with a funny little spoof: The Ten Commandments of Movie Going. Amusing stuff Martin, and you’re right: if there truly are a set of rules that have been passed down from Mount Cineplex, one of them must surely be “Thou Shall Not Bring Children to a Movie Not Featuring Talking Animals or Hillary Duff.” Because there’s nothing quite like watching "The Pianist" and having the little boy in front of you remark two-thirds of the way into the movie, "Mommy, I don't understand why he's hiding."

Whew, and that just about wraps things up for this edition of The Carnival of Cinema. Thanks again to Scott for allowing Rickey to guest host (something tells us it’s the first and last time that it ever happens). Rickey’s apologies for the jibes, but let’s be completely honest: if the act of writing an online review praising “Journey to the Center of the Earth” doesn’t signify one’s willingness to subject themselves to the ridicule and scorn of anonymous online strangers, then we can no longer trust our understanding of the universe. Come back again soon folks, we’ll leave a light on and some ABBA playing for you. Now if you’ll excuse Rickey, he has visions of armies of bat winged jackasses coming to get him…

[posted at Humor Blogs]

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leigh said...

valley girl needs to be remade about as much as lenny kravitz needed to remake american woman.

Jeff said...

someone brought their two frightened children to see the dark knight, and they sat behind me shrieking every time the joker appeared. hadn't the parents heard that this was the darkest comic book movie of all time?

ps - thanks for introducing me to the word "klaxons"

Margaret said...

I really enjoyed this! It's the first time I've ever laughed out loud at a carnival post(funny, I didn't know I was a Wiccan!). Great work!

The Hypocritical One said...

Methinks I prefer Rickey's reviews the best.

And the movie was amazing.

Chris C said...

I don't know if I can take the news that Valley Girl is getting re-made and there might be a Top Gun 2.

Does this mean the 80's are back? I don't know if I can live through them twice in a lifetime.

Smitty said...

I can't tell you how many parents I see dragging their kids to horrifically-violent, deeply disturbing movies. How does that conversation go after the movie??

Mommie, why were all those people laying down after that man came in and started shooting with that gun?

Mommie, why are those 2 people wrestling under the sheets?

Mommie, why does that man keep punching that other man in the face? Isn't hitting bad?

Methinks the kids just sit in stunned silence while their parents drive cluelessly home.

Meg said...

I must be at the wrong site, cause I thought I was going to see some hot baseball players here.

Chat Blanc (aka Sandy) said...

Rickey out did himself with all the links and commentary--how did he do it?? Anyways, all I can contribute is--BAN movie musicals!! 'nough said.

Scott Nehring said...

Good job Rickey, Thanks for your hard work

Qelqoth said...

Mamma Mia needs to due horribly in a car crash. That's all I'm saying.

Qelqoth said...

Lol...Internets broked my spelling.

Sean Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

Needs more Katie Holmes? I've lived to read just about everything...

Mike said...

These three commandments are enough for me:

2. Thou shalt be reverent with silence when the lights goeth down.

3. Thou shall not speak to the screen, for I will not respond to you.

4. Thou shall leave thy offspring of less than 4 years at home, for they cannot sit still, and cry often.

If folks obeyed those 3, I might actually go to the theater more often than I do. Then again, disobedience of these three makes Netflix very happy.