Sorry To Bother You


The movie strikes one of my favorite balances: it’s weird and stylish without being avant-garde or impenetrable. It’s obviously a movie telling a story, there’s no question of “wait, did that happen ,” or “did I misunderstand the purpose of that scene,” there are little splashes of excitement and whimsy that separate it from a movie made by anyone other than Boots Riley. Scott Pilgrim and Dazed and Confused fill that same role for me, and they’re some of my all-time faves. A movie can score so many extra points from me just for trying. It can be a “bad movie” and still wedge itself into my heart (I’m lookin’ at you, Smokin’ Aces).

It draws a lot from Idiocracy, which is a hard comparison to avoid given Terry Crews’s similarly small role in both and the popularity of self-abuse game shows (though the timbre of this flick’s 150-million-viewer strong I Got The Shit Kicked Out of Me is a measure darker). I felt StBY was less cynical, though. Even with the folks happy to be slaves under Silicon-Valley endgame company Worryfree, Idiocracy opens with humanity already totally done for. And I always appreciate cynicism in the service of utopia rather than a bitter stew.

The bloody head-wound worsening until his third act redemption was on-the-nose, but Lakeith’s stagger throughout made him look weighed down. The world is always crushing him. And now I’m embarrassed that I didn’t register whether or not it persisted after that same redemption moment.

Armie Hammer did a pitch-perfect sneering Winklevii, so it stands to reason that he’d be the best fit for the sort of dictator tech-bro we see ascending to power around us every day. He’s won me over, big time, and I love comparing his maxed-out persona here with the snuggly big-brother-lover he played in Call Me By Your Name.

So simple that maybe you missed it but the popular soft drink is named Soda Cola. Made better for not rubbing it in the audience’s face (though it certainly rubs Cassius’s face). And along those lines, I am so embarrassed that it took me until the actual last reading of his name that “Cassius Green” = “Cash Is Green,” but there’s no WAY anyone else missed that.

And there was even more! Loved the costuming; psychedelic suits, bold ties, one-of-a-kind earrings. Extra flair like Mr. ____’s eyepatch seems a little try-hard when you focus on it, but who gives a shit? David Cross and Patton Oswalt were truly the best selections for white voice; I’ll follow Lily James into the dark after Baby Driver. So cool to see fellow NYU-er and inspired comedienne Kate Berlant show up (… Though now that I think about it, she vanishes halfway through, hm), along with cameos by Bay Area comics Kamau W. Bell and Nato Green. The Coup and tUnE-yArDs synthesize their boisterous joy for a soundtrack that had me swaying and tapping my toes every time a beat dropped. I’m going to be listening to “Level It Up” and “Hey Saturday Night” for the rest of the month, guaranteed. And let’s not forget, Patton starred in The Coup’s video for “The Magic Clap” back in 2012, which was, of course, from an album titled Sorry To Bother You.

Finally: I’ve spent some time lingering in Layover, the Oakland bar hosting several scenes. Just need to cap this on my cool, y’know?



“I love the sense that the object is in the frame with the actors, I think that gives you a level of interaction and connection that you don’t get when you do work against green screen.” – Joe Cornish

Most excellent film.

We watched this, “Attack the Block” together.

It’s his birthday today and I hope he doesn’t invite me over.

I’m not antisocial, I just don’t like homosapiens.

Holy shit I had no idea physical actors played the aliens, I assumed it was all CGI. One of my favorite cult films gets a little more favorite-er.

Edge of Tomorrow trailer

Welp, given that I’m seeing scenes set in locations far-flung from the first & final battlefield, it feels like they ripped the spine out of the screenplay (All You Need Is Kill, as I’ve mentioned in the distant past). The story may feel more traditional, but I really wanted to feel that repetition along with the characters.





Is it though? Cause I think instead of “Marvelous,” you meant to type “Marvel-ous,” as in it’s made by Marvel and is immune to criticism. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed amateur critics and commercial film students have in common, it’s a willingness to defend these films as “escapism” because they’ve been roped in as much as the rest of us but don’t want to suggest it’s a “good” movie.

I assumed people knew the “foundation” films for the Avengers would be so so. I mean Thor and Captain America look semi goofy. But we accept because the stories feed into the next “Avengers”. Like 40% of the Avengers came from the stupid box shit from Captain America, but you wouldn’t know unless you seen it. You wouldn’t know about Loki unless you saw Thor. You wouldn’t know about Iron Man…RDJ is beloved by many so I’m guessing many people saw Iron Man 1 or 2.

You and I are on the same page here with expectations, and I can enjoy the act of watching a movie that I think will be goofy and then fails me critically (not out of schadenfreude, but an attempt to learn from every piece of art). I’m talking about after the screening, when critique from fans is often reduced to “wow.” I find it frustratingly disingenuous when movie buffs take a critical eye to work positioned as deserving of a critical eye (art films, Oscar buzz, etc) but refuse to do the same for blockbusters. (Please note that this isn’t the entire movie-going public. I’m talking about people who would attest to enjoying Thor as much as The Artist, or even Gravity.)

And that’s totally on me! Like, I’m only frustrated because I’m not able to have the discussions I want to have. I still wanted to theorize on why that gap in critical discourse exists, and I think it’s because people who’ve vaulted their expectations and grew up dreaming of an Avengers film can’t talk shit about the Avengers because it feels like they’re talking shit about themselves.

And if you wanna really get bizarre, I bet studios realize this. There’s suspicion that this recent glut of hero movies is a reaction to post-9/11 fear. I’d say it once was, but studios lucked into a situation where they have a captive audience afraid of reviewing the product they’re buying, and now they’ll milk it as long as they can. Since I’m in the business of original stories, I would much rather people stop fellating Marvel and start paying for the writers and creators making the effort. (An unquantifiable amount of effort, but I guarantee it is harder to write an original screenplay than whatever the Marvel team of script-jockeys deals with.)

Fuck it, that’s my thesis of today: nostalgia is a tool wielded against us by movie studios because they know it, counter-intuitively, tamps down critical thought.



Is it though? Cause I think instead of “Marvelous,” you meant to type “Marvel-ous,” as in it’s made by Marvel and is immune to criticism. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed amateur critics and commercial film students have in common, it’s a willingness to defend these films as “escapism” because they’ve been roped in as much as the rest of us but don’t want to suggest it’s a “good” movie.

Let me be clear: I’m not bothered if someone walks out of Thor and is like “killer explosions, I love Tom Hiddleston, I totally forgot about my work week for about two hours.”  But I don’t want to talk to you if I ask “how was Thor” and sweatstains spread over your pits before you hum “marrrrvelous.” Stand up for what you respect and like about art, and do not be afraid to admit that there are shitty aspects to this fandom that you’ve adhered your life to. Contrary to how some may feel, you’re actually more of a Thor fan if you admit that it isn’t perfect: at least you have a vested interest in the success of your adopted series.

If you’ve ever wanted me to take a hard line stance on something, here it is: if you buy tickets to movies like this, you cannot complain about the state of the movie industry. Because if we all woke up and held superhero movies (or even just superhero movie sequels!) to the same standard we hold for every other type of film, the movie business would collapse and maybe we’d get some new story concepts. The Dark Knight proves that it can be done right, but the audiences have to demand it, and theaters will blame faltering sales on piracy until it can’t be denied anymore. Don’t pay for shitty movies if you like movies. If you still want to see the movie, don’t lie to yourself and don’t lie to other people with sweeping statements of quality.

PS I’m only so upset because this time it’s coming from a tumblr I respect, popculturebrain, which sets a lofty goalpost for itself by name alone. If you like pop culture and namely the way it functions in the absence of money, then it’s hard for me to believe that you can watch a movie like this and be like “ahhh another sterling addition to the canon.” I’m not gonna bite your head off if you invite me to see Avengers VII: The Whedonscape. Be warned that afterwards I am gonna bite the movie’s head off, and I may even suck out the innards. And I will never write a one word review of it on tumblr.


IMAX Poster: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘ | Badass Digest

Finally, a ‘Catching Fire’ one sheet that doesn’t put me to sleep.

Holy shit this is far and away the most interesting piece of art to come out of The Hunger Games trilogy. The books and movies are interesting because teens killing each other is a brutal concept populated by irrational minds, but we know it isn’t new. This hits me like art scraped into the dried veneer, and that’s why marketing is insane— they’re targeting lost audience members like me (I was at the midnight showing for the first; I really doubt I’ll see Catching Fire in theaters.)

Pixar’s “Inside Out” takes you to a place that everyone knows, but no one has ever seen: the world inside the human mind. Riley, an 11-year-old girl who recently moved with her family to San Francisco, is not the main character but the setting for the film. Moviegoers will go inside her mind to explore how memories are formed and how a mixture of five emotions—Joy, Disgust, Anger, Fear and Sadness—defines life experiences. In theaters June 19, 2015.

According to Reddit, Lewis Black voices Anger, Mindy Kaling as Disgust, Bill Hader as Fear, Amy Poehler as Joy, and Phyllis Smith as Sadness.

Being Johnna Malkovich Jr.


Trailer: ‘Her‘ – Nov 20

Written and directed by Spike Jonze, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Chris Pratt.

‘Siri the Movie’ looks pretty good.

I wish I liked this movie because of Spike Jonze’s insistence on directing some of my all-time favorite visuals or Joaquin Phoenix’s acting talent (I maintain that he was robbed last year for The Master) or some other appreciation of the art of movie-making. But then came “Skeletons” by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and I’m already writing the pledge to share extra love with the people around me that, in a couple of months, watching Her will inspire.