Why would anyone like Thor? Marvel super heroes are known for being more grounded than their DC counterparts; oftentimes they are people with tragic origins or who find their powers become more of a burden than a blessing. Spider-Man can’t balance crime fighting with his real life, Iron Man is a deeply flawed person under his armor, Bruce Banner has little control over the Hulk. But Thor (at least the contemporary incarnation of the character) is different. He is a supremely powerful, immortal, god(-like alien). Where do you go with that? What’s the appeal?
As we go about our modest lives, in this bizarre economy, just trying to get by, it’s easy to feel like the idea of “getting ahead” is unattainable. The fact that we bust our butts with multiple jobs, pay off every useless student loan, and still have just the bare minimum to get by, makes it feel like a comfortable sustainable lifestyle will never sustain itself. And in this uncertainty, it’s hard not to feel a mild, if nonetheless constant, amount of despair. Continue reading
I’ve already come to the conclusion that Masseduction, St. Vincent’s latest, is a very good album. But that kind of goes without saying, since St. Vincent at this point has entered the small pantheon of modern artists who can be depended on to do something interesting with each new album, but while also being undeniably themselves. But is this the best St. Vincent album yet? That I’m not sure of, though it’s probably the most accessible St. Vincent album yet. Which I’m not trying to use as a backhanded compliment, since it still manages to be accessible in surprising and unconventional ways. Continue reading
England, The Dark Ages. A massive Saxon horde lays siege upon a pitiful British army. Desperate knights plea to their king, a man named Arthur (Liam Garrigan, who also plays King Arthur on Once Upon a Time), but he insists they must hold the line and wait for help from their sorcerer. They are running out of time. Cut to: Merlin (Stanley Tucci, not reprising his role from Age of Extinction) a goofy charlatan giving a jokey speech into a massive mechanical structure. A transformer emerges, gives Merlin a staff, then turns into a dragon and murders the Saxons. We’re back.
So we’ve finally caught up with ourselves, not just with a film that came out this year (in the U.S.), but also one that was released by Criterion about a week ago. Personal Shopper was one of those Shocktober films that I wasn’t really expecting to be much of a horror movie, since it comes from a contemporary artsy French director, Olivier Assayas, who I’d heard of, but never knew to be much of a genre director. Surprisingly, Personal Shopper does have its share of thrills and shrills, but while also retaining the air of a contemplative character study. Continue reading
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a “Polish Horror Musical” turns out that’s a very accurate description. The Lure or “The Daughters of Dance Party” is the story of two mermaids who join a small-time electronic pop band only to find themselves disenchanted by the selfish desires of mankind. It also has rock and roll sing-a-longs and the devouring of human flesh. It’s a well-rounded film.
When I studied film in college there were certain films that would come up more than others. Memento and Inception, Fight Club (of course), and for whatever reason, Antichrist. Maybe it was only once or twice but you don’t forget an Antichrist conversation. On one hand, it’s a film lover’s wet dream with rich visuals, deep earthly colors and even deeper themes. On the other hand, its a nightmare porn film ravaged by sorrow and misery. Either way, it’s not a fun time, but is it a rewarding experience?