Intensity.

No more tears. Let’s have some shouting!

I think if you’ve read this site before, then you’ve probably guessed that we’re fans of the Jack character on Lost. I mean, I hope you’ve gotten that impression at least.

In a nutshell, even if the show didn’t have an Island, didn’t have love triangles and quadrangles, didn’t have a giant motherfucking four toed statue or a smoke monster or flashbacks, flashforwards, or even flashsideways for fucks’ sake, you’d still have a pretty spectacular show about a man just falling apart…

And falling apart pretty spectacularly.

And it’s not just a man crying. Anybody can cry. Man, woman, children, perhaps dogs and fish too, I don’t know. Hell, you can probably program a robot to let go of a salty discharge every now and then. But, no, what’s wrong with Jack is something serious and tragic and beautiful. And it’s not just about crying. It’s not just this:

And a lot of that has to do with Matthew Fox’s portrayal of the character, something that I’ve posited before has probably been heavily influential with the direction the writers have pushed the character into, probably without a map too.

Maybe he can push the character into the lap of a stripper… Oh!

Sidenote: Is it me or, mustache aside, if and more accurately when they do the eventual remake of Magnum, P.I., how great would Matthew Fox be in the Tom Selleck role? I’m just talking out loud here, people.

Now, I’m not really trying to fully analyze the character here or crack Jack open. What would spill out of that nutshell would be far too much. But what he means to me is probably not a whole lot different from what he means to you. It’s about frailty. It’s about failure. It’s about not being what people expect you to be or cracking under the pressure. It’s about giving people a lot of really crazy, intense looks, getting up in their face a lot, and sometimes firing a gun, killing people in, like, easily the double digits. Seriously, Jack is insane, right?

But, as the ending of Lost looms on the horizon, I start to think more about the resolutions I want to see, the questions I want answers to. It’s not just about what the Island is, what the numbers are, or questions about the smoke monster or alternate realities, it’s about the characters effected by all of this too. Jack is a tightly wound ball of frustration and daddy issues and addiction and questions about masculinity and need and issues with women and leadership. He may not be the lead of this show anymore, but he’s the leader of some of these characters. He’s the spinal surgeon who became the spine of an entire show.

Here’s hoping the character gets the happy ending he deserves. But without losing any of the intensity.

“Yo, Johnny! I’ll see you in the next life!”

Yesssssssss. Oh yes.

The above picture posted here originally.

Let’s not front here folks: Point Break is fucking awesome. Sometimes a thing is a cult classic because it’s shit, and sometimes because it’s got that special something. Point Break has that special something. Instantly quotable and painfully fun to watch and re-watch over again.

Just don’t watch it’s shitty remake, The Fast And The Furious, though Paul Walker is easily the Keanu of the next generation, whether that be a good thing or bad.

Oh, and again: RIP, Swayze.

And let’s not forget that Point Break that was directed by the always amazing Kathryn Bigelow, who will hopefully be picking up an Oscar soon…

Defense mechanisms of the criminally insane.

I want to muse a bit about Shutter Island here.

Bear with me though. Let’s break it down to… oh, shall we say, “No Spoilers” and “Spoilers,” something like that?

No Spoilers.

The movie starts like Hamlet’s father’s ghost, wandering out of the fog and into our lives. Or, rather, it starts with a boat, coming towards us out of the fog, and heading towards the island of the movie’s title. On that boat is Dicaprio, hunched over, vomiting his brains out.

The plot is simple: It’s 1954, and Dicaprio is a US Marshal, working for the first time with a new partner, played by Mark Ruffalo. They’re on their way to Shutter Island, home of a hospital for the nation’s most criminally insane. One of the inmate/prisoners has escaped, seemingly vanished into thin air (no, not vanished, more like “evaporated,” just like water would), and the marshals are there to find her. And, of course things are not what they seem…

The first scene there on the boat, as Dicaprio walks onto the deck and meets his new partner tells us so much about the movie we’re about to get. It literally plunges us into the motifs we’ll see over and over again and informs us that we’re in the playground of both paranoid noir and the best kind of playing homage, the one that sparks originality.

Dicaprio is a man haunted by a past that we see in flashbacks, both to his life with his wife, played simply and straightforwardly by Michelle Williams, and before that, to his time in World War II, and his part in liberating Dachau and witnessing both man’s cruelty to man after the fact and during the cold, violent act itself.

That opening scene, which I need to return to again for just one more paragraph, still amazes me. It’s so simplistic, feeling at first almost like an SNL quality of production for a Casablanca scene, or something in which somebody like Humphrey Bogart could actually appear in. Everything, this scene tells us, is going to be about water, something you can drown or be drowned in, immersed in, or it’s going to be about fire, ash, the dark nuclear future on the horizon, and the smoke which, like the fog, is going to surround you, and you’re not only going to get lost in, you’re going to lose yourself.

That’s heavy, I know.

The downside of this movie is that it’s way too long. The way a nightmare feels too long, but the pacing is expert. And it’s simple, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Scorsese is trying new things, the paranoid thriller, working effectively in a field where, like we’ve said, someone like Polanski really excels in. And Scorsese, ever the master, ever the craftsman and lover of film, knows what he’s doing. You’re going to sit there and you’re going to be drugged and unnerved because that’s what he wants from you.

But with the mechanics of your typical hysterical thriller hokum, the creepy staircases, the rain and lightning, the darkened hallways, Scorsese takes you places. He takes you to the Holocaust, gliding effortlessly into memories that intersect with the present, and into the place where your memories walk away like nightmares and lie to you. Somewhat like the “twists” and “turns” of the movie, which at times come out of nowhere,  and other times lead you down phony paths that may actually be the real one.

Unshockingly, when Dicaprio’s character gets to the island and gets the lay of the land in the first ten to fifteen minutes, and then gets a headache, one that requires the head doctor, played both creepily and both perfect genuine smarm by Ben Kingsley, to give him an asprin, you automatically assume that Dicaprio’s character is being drugged. Your cinephile instincts just tell you that immediately…

And they’re right, but not totally in the way you’re assuming. From that moment on, the movie is a drug.

You’re absolutely living in the character’s frustrations and fears and paranoia.

To me, The Others was a perfect creepy movie for a crowd. I first watched it with a group of people, none of us having ever seen it before and we were freaked out, but we were enthralled. That same sense of rapture is present here, but this is not a crowd movie, not to me. You need to see it in the theater because there it’s big and loud and gorgeous, but it feels so solitary. Once this film starts and that boat punches through the white vaporous fog, you’re alone. And even if you weren’t, you can’t be sure that person sitting next to you is real anyway.

And the acting is serviceable throughout. Sadly, more than what the actors give in performance, they give in appearance. The period-ness of this picture is perfect through and through. Dicaprio, whom my fingers keep wanting to mistype as “Dicrapio” gives everything he has: the angry guy, the tough guy, the sad, hurt child. Nothing with charisma or nuance, though. In the beginning of this movie, he almost feels like he’s regressed (ha ha, spoilers) back to where he was in the beginning of Revolutionary Road, still feeling like, as Natasha Vargas-Cooper put it so brilliantly: it feels like you’re watching “a high school actor, a very fine one, play Hamlet.”

I’m still curious what Scorsese gets out of their partnership, but somewhat akin to The Departed, the thing that Dicaprio best conveys to this story: The need, the crazy reaches for survival. In his hands, you think you’re wanting to grab yourself some understanding, seeking out truth and trying to get to the bottom of a mystery, but really, you’re just trying to survive to the conclusion.

SPOILERS.

Seriously, if you didn’t see that “twist” coming in some form or another, then… well, I don’t want to be mean here, but I’m assuming you were born yesterday and this was the first film you’ve ever seen, right?

I mean, of course Dicaprio was going to be an inmate himself and the film was going to be his emotional quest to discover something for himself, an emotional plateau and on it, possibly a chance at redemption or acceptance?

And Mark Ruffalo, doesn’t he always play not just a cop, but kind of a son of a bitch? I was talking to someone about that after the movie and she was confused. “Does he always play a cop?” she asked. I just smiled and said, “You should go watch In The Cut. Really. You should.” But in all seriousness, a minor note I’d make about Ruffalo’s performance: Something about his facial expressions throughout the first half… They just felt so perfect with the period to me.

Will the lighthouse become that new piece of terrifying imagery?

I’m curious what people will think of this movie after the fog of it’s release settles. This isn’t necessarily an award winning movie, but it’s solid, completely. It’s made by a master and the cast is more than capable and game.

And the ending? It’s sinister. It’s devastating. It takes a moment to realize what’s going on there, and it’s dark and it’s human and it’s all Dicaprio. It’s a man making a decision, whether to live a certain way or die another way, and I think it’s a division that resonates when you walk out of the theater. Some people will hate this movie and I want to say something about them not being lovers of American cinema, or just the art of making movies at all, and some people will walk out of this film, still thinking about it, carrying a bit of it with them for a while, jumping at and questioning the shadows that appear as you just try to grab hold of something real out there in the fog.

“You’ve got what it takes.” Lost 6×05: The Lighthouse

I think Season 6 is shaping up to be the resurgence of Jack. While bros like Desmond, Sayid and Richard Alpert might be cooler, I’ve always empathized with Jack’s story the most, warts and all. Funny, considering that he was originally going to be a throwaway character played by Michael Keaton who died in the Pilot.

Needless to say, I loved tonight’s episode. Loved the Island stuff, where we see Jack through Hurley’s eyes. From Hugo’s POV, Jack is both his leader and also kind of a scary nutcase. How does Jacob, through Hurley, get Jack to do what he wants? By playing mind games about Jack’s daddy issues, of course. Jack is nothing if not consistent. It was very understated, but sweet to see how much Hurley does look up to Jack. Jack may be a total mess, but he’s their leader.

And off the Island, Jack has a son (!) from a marriage that didn’t work out here either. But maybe, after the death of Christian, this Jack is beginning to pull it together. It’s interesting to see Jack puzzling at his appendix scar, not totally sure where it came from. As with our other flash-sideways characters, it’s like  our heroes are unconsciously learning from the failures of their alternate selves. “Through a Looking Glass” was all about showing us how everything went terrible wrong. The sideways-scenes this season might be about how there’s also hope that things can go right too.

Meanwhile, Claire is rocking the Rousseau gear, and, just as Dogen promised, she’s been infected with the darkness. You kinda knew she was going to kill that poor Other. But interesting to learn that they captured and tested her too, as they did Sayid. I suppose this means that Claire didn’t time jump like the other Lostaways?

I wonder if Jin really did see Aaron at the temple, or if he was just talking some bullshit to win Claire over until he could get the fuck away from her. Does Claire see the dark man as Locke, or Christian? Or someone else?

But what I really want to know is: who’s #108? Please let it be Desmond!

Search Party!

Just a few of the things that people have searched for and then found ye old Counterforce thru:

from here.

Good fuck!”

Galactic collision pictures.”

Harry Knowles.” Yuck. Plus a lot of people seeking out pictures of his wife for some reason. Why, people, why?!

Both “Tina Fey Hot” and “Tiny Fey Butt.”

Both “Kim Kardashian Sex” and “Kim Kardashian Fucking.”

And “Kim Kardashian ASS.” Oh, for the love of Ray J, people!

Le sigh. Some of the things people find us via really makes me feel terrible about myself. Like a new, even lower kind of terrible than what I’m normally used to.

Woody Harrelson” and “The end of the world.” The two go hand in hand, I guess. Much like Woody and Owen up above.

“Don Betty Rome.”

Billy Dee Williams” and “Colt 45.”

“Classic Beatles songs sung by talented children.” I have no idea where that came from.

Queen Mab and Merlin.”

“Max” and “Wild Things.” Speaking of which…

Trashy shit.” This tends to be how we roll more often than not (or than I’d like).

Gail Simmons.”

“Robert Downey senior.”

Both “Tess Lynch” and “Tyler Coates.” Both fine searchs, but you should probably look for Tess here and here, and also here, and Tyler, the man about the internet, can be found here.

Oak Island.”

Jackface” and “Lost.” And “It only ends once.”

And, ha ha, also “Donface.” Nice.

Alexis Dziena.”

Sally Sparrow.” Carey Mulligan, I think you’re a fine actor and potentially a brilliant one, but Shia LeBeowulf? I don’t love that.

Lara Flynn Boyle.” (Also, there’s this one.)

Ursula Andress.” (I’m pretty sure that’s what they meant, though they did search for “Ursula Address,” so who knows, perhaps they just wanted Ursula’s address?)

And…

Sarah Silverman.”

Agent Scully mating.” Ick.

Sybian sex.” Also searched with the sybian was “How it works.” The simple answer? Magic.

And “cunnilingus.”

“Robots and Cthulhu.” Nice.

“Our bodies touch and the angels cry.”

Batman alley death.”

And last, but not least, for now: “Fashion of the great depression.”

Glad we could be of service!

Nothing Compares 2 U.

So, Kevin Smith has been in the news quite a bit lately, and right before another one of his shitty looking movies is coming out. Marco Sparks and I were talking about Smith yesterday, and Marco was telling me his story about meeting him outside of a Starbucks a few years ago. Anyway, today at work I got bored and started looking up Kevin Smith interviews and miscellany, since I knew he had put out those Q&A DVDs a while back. And then I discovered his story about meeting and working on a documentary for Prince

Continue on to parts two and three and four of the fascinating tale. And here is Smith relating the Purple One‘s reaction to the story.

The Artist, as rendered by Brian Bolland.

But here is a few tidbits from the tale: Prince hates a potty mouth. And he’s tiny and his people sometimes buy him normal person clothes from Nordstrom. Every room in Paisley Park/Prince World is “wired for sound” so that he can record wherever he wants whenever he wants, which is also convenient for listening in on everyone. And when he dies, there’s going to be a tidal wave of things that will explode out of his vaults.