Neil Rosen's Severed Head
The movie roundup this week is in tribute to Neil Rosen, who still plies his trade on NY1, presumably in the same style with which he dashed out pieces for his high-school newsletter. This week, we decided to concentrate on two movies with no discernable plot, but visual thrills aplenty. And we didn't even get in to see Hero.
It would be highly amusing to compare our take with Mr. Rosen's, but Neil has decided to look at I Heart Huckabees this week. Huckabees has bought every single available banner on the Times, but we're still inclined to dismiss it out of hand as a whimsical mess that makes the Royal Tenenbaums look coherent and engrossing. And that's just after looking at the clips that adorn Neil's sidesplitting-yet-fair review. Actullly, we know we're going to get taken there by our too-beautiful-to-deny companion, but it's nice to fantasise.
So, Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow. Sky Captain had severely upset us by producing a stupid free flying game that took some time to download and then played like molasses. But the movie is utterly stunning. The actors have the strange luminescence of early black and white stars, while the machines and explosions are top-notch. The plot? Chasing after the villain's secret lair, via a succession of exotic locations. In this respect, the Bond/indiana Jones comparisons are quite fair. Ditto the Star Wars ones, although Sky Captain fetishises the Metropolis look far more thorougly. We're going to gratuitously add the lighting appears to be inspired by Guy Maddin's Cowards Bend The Knee, even though it's not true. Still, go and see it, since we haven't seen a movie this ambitiously silly since Dune, and we mean that as a very high complement.
The second was A Dirty Shame, the John Waters film that gained an NC-17 rating, while being surprisingly flesh-free. From what little we remember of previous Waters movies, this sort of high camp is fairly typical. So is the plot, which involves a gang of freaks gathering round a messianic freak figure before a final showdown with the uptight local citizenry. At least, we think that was the plot of Cry-Baby, but we weren't really concentrating. Anyway, if you put Patsy Cline on on Williamsburg jukeboxes or ironically like go-go dancing, you'll love this. Which is a pity, because Johnny Knoxville and Selma Blair were pretty good.