Posted by Charles Reece, August 2, 2008 09:05pm | Post a Comment
In W., the third in Oliver Stone's trilogy of "you're expecting a leftist nut, but really I'm just another bourgeois liberal" films (following Nixon and World Trade Center), our current President gets Stone's patented humane treatment:

The majority of Stone's post-JFK work points to something I didn't initially realize about that one truly great film of his, namely that its frenzied, foaming at the mouth and forgetting to breathe conspiratorial style came from a humanistic fear. Similar to those racialist conspiracies of Atlantis and other myths of ancient white civilizations that are grounded in the fear that non-whites might've advanced technology and world culture, Stone doesn't want to accept that another human being might be so foreign to his own humanistic beliefs as to behave in a manner that would call into question his own humanistic worldview.  Thus, he needed to fantasize about the machinations of a Big Other in order to fit the evil that a common man might do and has done into his provincial ontology. This approach de-humanizes evil by making it always one-step removed from its practitioners. As with white racists not having to worry about "savage" technology -- being explained away as the result of their own mythological Aryan ancestors -- humanism is inoculated from evil, since it's always something else causing it, never humanity itself. Instead of looking at how we might be just like them, Oswald, Nixon, Castro, etc. are made to be just like us. Little wonder why Natural Born Killers was so hellbent on blaming the media. A little bit of Saint Augustine's worrying about his dirty thoughts would be good for Stone.

Preferring the honesty of mindless violence, I give you another trailer for Punisher: War Zone (the red band version that premiered at San Diego's Comic Con). This one features some glimpses of Jig-Saw, the villain, and some good retinal molestation. I'm a big fan of the stake-to-the-eye motif, so I have high hopes for this superhero film:

The Dark Knight tries a little of that, but it is unfortunately PG-13.

I saw Takashi Miike's Westerner, Sukiyaki Western Django, on a gray market dvd, and found it pretty bad. He continues in the abstract mode (cf. the much better Big Bang Love or IZO), but the film never achieves more than a pastiche of clichés from the Spaghettis (albeit with Miike's own visual panache). If you thought Once Upon A Time In The West should be updated by having Tarantino fill in for Bronson, then this is the film for you:

Those frosted Hollywood rocker haircuts really twist my Underoos.

Some scenes with Samuel Jackson as the villainous Octopus are included in the new sexed up trailer for Frank Miller's The Spirit:

In the interest of political correctness, Miller removed the black sidekick, Ebony, from the movie. Now, the only significant black guy is a bad guy. Make of that what you will. At least Miller and Jackson decided to have the Octopus dress up as a Nazi.

There's a teaser trailer up for Terminator Salvation:

Can't say I give much of a shit about this series, but I thought I'd use the trailer as a preface for pointing out the most irritating filmmaker I've ever come across: it's director McG:

The only people who could find that discussion promising are the ones who get Peter David's work confused with literature.

Relevant Tags

Trailer Criticism (8), Terminator Salvation (2), Sukiyaki Western Django (1), The Spirit (1), W. (1), The Punisher: War Zone (2)