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Today at Tor.com I talk about some awfulsome Christian horror movies.

Two things about this article:

1) I am not joking about The Prophecy. Simon is a wounded angel hiding in the abandoned wing of a school, and when he realizes Gabriel is coming for him, he coaxes little Mary close enough that he can spit the soul he's carrying into her body so Gabriel doesn't find it.

This is not weird in terms of heavenly amorality, ends justifying the means, etc. It's unsettling, but the whole idea is that the heavenly agenda can't be understood by mortal men, so that's all fine. But what this means in real life is that Eric Stoltz looked at the script and went, "Okay, I fight an angel, sure, I talk to the agnostic, okay, I make out with a twelve-year-old, sure, and then Gabriel kills me. I don't see any problems here! Sign me up!"

And seriously, Eric Stoltz is creepy enough without watching him French kiss a child, okay? You can't un-ring that bell.


2) I kid about Stigmata, but no joke, I think that movie is awesome, and here's why.



Lift a stone, and you will find me. )
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I know that non-Hollywood-mainstream actors always have a large and amazing CV chock-full of stuff I will never get to see. (See my icon, which is from Judas Kiss. Good luck getting hold of THAT movie!) Why I insist on falling in love with actors and obsessing over their unavailable work is totally beyond me. It's a lot of this:

2003: "Oh, Jodhi May was in The Other Boleyn Girl on the BBC? I'll check that out on DVD!"

[Five years of nothing.]

2008: *DVD drags itself into Amazon from offstage, wheezing heavily, and falls over dead just within sight of me*

Me: Oh, for fuck's sake.

[Aaaand, scene.]

What I think about when I should be sleeping! )
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This week's Questionable Taste Theatre is Impromptu, which was written as a biopic, framed like an Impressionist painting, and cast like a handicap game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Ye Olde Classe Picture


(Don't you forget about me…)

Nutshell: so, George Sand is awesome. Most of her friends are not. Emma Thompson is awesome. Most of her dresses are not. Everyone else tries to be awesome, with varying degrees of success.

Read more... )
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* credit to [livejournal.com profile] _stranger_here for this title, which cannot be beat.

I'm in Coilhouse magazine today, as some poor soul discovers Il Fantasma dell'Opera and goes on a desperate search for meaning. Sadly, they find only my video clips. I mean, it spares you the other 90 minutes of movie, I guess, but unless your idea of meaning is watching rat sex set to Donna Summer, you're out of luck.
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So I logged on to YouTube this morning to look for So You Think You Can Dance clips, and I suddenly noticed that part 2/3 of my Fantasma videos had 41,350 views.

FORTY-ONE THOUSAND.

Now, as much as I like to flatter myself, I'm not forty-one thousand viewers worth of funny, and since the vids on either side were rocking much lower numbers, I checked the stats.

Some hard-up dude on Nerve.com used my video as an example of one of the worst sex scenes in cinema.

...he's not wrong, but...wouldn't the ratsex be the worst sex scene in the movie, if we were picking and choosing?
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Sometimes you see a movie and think, "Oh, heavens most merciful and holy, bring me a sign that this is a joke."

Synopsis for "Heidi 4 Paws":

""Heidi 4 Paws" is a live-action re-telling of Johanna Spyri's 1880 children's classic, "HEIDI", but with fully mouth-articulated dogs in all of the roles. "Heidi 4 PAWS" tells the story of the young orphan (this time as seen through the eyes of a yellow lab puppy) who is sent to live with her reclusive Grandfather (in this case an old sheepdog). Just as Heidi adjusts to her new life in the mountains, she is taken away by her social worker (a scrappy beagle). Heidi finds herself living in the big city with Clara Sesehound (a cockapoo mix), who has been made an invalid after a debilitating illness. Although Heidi comes to love Clara, her quest to return to the mountains dominates her stay. In the end, she is able to reunite with her beloved Grandfather. When Clara later comes to visit, the final miracle of Heidi's story is revealed when Clara regains her ability to walk."

And then, in the cast list you see:

"Julian Sands ... Peter the Goatherder"

AND YOU KNOW IT IS ALL HORRIBLY TRUE.

Below, a production still from a movie that is, apparently, actually being made.





Julian Sands is out to get me, you guys. I don't know how this could be any clearer. I'll never give in, Julian, DO YOU HEAR ME?


ETA: I can't look at this picture without cringing and then laughing hysterically. THOSE POOR DOGS.
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I have a review column up at Fantasy magazine, tackling DARK KINGDOM, the Sci-Fi miniseries bastardization of the Volsunga Saga/Niebelungenlied. (They seriously take random elements from each one and smoosh them together like a peanut butter and anchovy sandwich. It's hilarious.)

You guys, it was terrible. It was SO terrible that Julian Sands was in it.

And you know what? If you, as a filmmaker, hire Julian Sands for something, you should just know now that I'm going to come after you.

Also, please everyone marvel at Tempest's coding, of which I dreamed for a brief moment and rejected as impossible before I submitted. I woke this morning to the realization that she was made of win and could pull my innermost hopes directly through my brain.
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Il Fantasma. Long and winding road blah blah blah blah blah this thing is nearly eight minutes long, and that's because of the editing I gave the ratsex. I'm not sorry.


Part One: here.

Part Two: here.

Part Three: here.

Really?

Mar. 24th, 2008 03:59 pm
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Is it frightening that I'm sad the recaps are all done? Part 3 goes up tomorrow, and then...nothing!

I'd like to think it's just reluctance to get back to the grindstone on the novel, but is part of it that Julian Sands, that little kitten-eater, has become a part of me?

I'll have to drown my sorrows with another Questionable Taste Theatre on Thursday, I guess, but it won't have Julian Sands in it! What will I do with myself when my bewigged tormentor is gone from my life? (Though he goes out like a drama queen - FABULOUSLY. You'll see it tomorrow.)
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That's right; while other people were holding vigil for religious things, I was worshipping at the altar of Cinema. And of Windows Movie Maker, which, let's face it, is only slightly more useful than a stick when it comes to editing.

By now, everyone knows about Il Fantasma.

Part One of the review is here.

Part Two? Right here.
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Okay.

Abridged Classics: Il Fantasma dell'opera. Part One.


Just remember, this hurts me a lot more than it hurts you. Until the rat sex. Then it probably hurts you more. (My soul is already dead, so it can't be hurt again.)

Ow.

Mar. 15th, 2008 04:37 pm
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Danced so much last night that I couldn't walk this morning, and my feet are still so sore that I can't wear shoes.

But man, that was good times.

Today, I am conquering this Fantasma video! And writing, but let's face it, it's gonna be the Fantasma video.
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Of the many horrible things one deals with while watching this movie, you'd think that a terrible script, lack of acting, and lack of general coherence are some of your biggest hurdles. Sadly, you would be wrong.

Asia Argento is a very special young lady (who, at 18, let her father cast her in a movie that required full nudity and included non-consensual sex, which, have some therapy, maybe!).

You know what else she is? The world's WORST LIP-SYNCHER.



The middle portion (she's in the blue suit) might be half-a-second lagged on my version, but I honestly don't remember, because the lip-synching is SO AWFUL that it's impossible to tell.

Maybe they spent all their money on that pipe organ and could only afford one take of all the singing stuff. I don't know. They clearly couldn't afford any video footage of people actually singing opera. Or singing, period.

DAMN YOU, prohibitively expensive underground pipe organ! DAMN YOU.
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So we know that the Fantasm de Nastypants is amazingly bad in terms of special effects, convincing screaming, and poolfights.

You know what else is awful about this movie?

The script.



These lines are not dubbed, so it's not even like they're lame because the dubbers had to match lip movements. They're lame because someone seriously wrote down "the river of time and space" and someone else approved it and then someone else SAID IT. ON PURPOSE.
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ETA: Jeez, this is like river of consciousness. I'm getting some coffee. I clearly need it.

**

So I'm taking a break from tango tonight, staying in and catching up on some writing/story-sending/trying to find my bed under my pile of laundry-ing. I'm beginning to think it's for the best - tango is seriously the perpetual 8th-grade dance, and if you're out for 8 nights in a row you get tunnel-vision.

Good news: I'm reaching the point in novel revisions where it's squishy plot goodness and worldbuilding, to the point where I have to remind myself to keep up the short story submissions and not just dig into the novel and never come out. Mmmmmplot.

Sadly, even though I tend to remember my place as being vaguely livable, I'm pretty sure I will come home and find that's not the case and end up shredding and folding and dusting for two hours.

...and then taking a nap.

...and then working on Il Fantasma, which is the Russian-nesting-dolls of awful. Every time I think I've hit all the awful, I let it play for a moment and realize there's awfulness I didn't even remember from the last time! I should just post the whole thing with commentary, because trying to organize the awful into topics makes it look like there was forethought involved in making the movie, which I can pretty well assure you is not the case.
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Today's Fantasmgasm is an example of how this movie fails, not just on a "decent storytelling" level, but on some deeper, more frightening "minimal coherence" level.

In yesterday's clip we saw a flaming rat trap filled with babies, and right aftwerwards, some Asia Argento action. It made no sense, sure, but at least we knew that the Phantom was having some visions, that he was thinking about some things that upset or motivated him, and that probably he was going to do something about those things. Maybe not good or even understandable things, but things. The scene was there for a reason.

This scene, which gets no such honors, takes place after Christine has given Raoul the brush-off so she can go make the two-backed beast with the Wigmeister, and his brother takes him someplace to cheer him up.




I would just like you to note that nothing in this scene has any bearing whatsoever on anything else that happens for the remaining 90 minutes of the movie. These poets had a waterfight for nothing, and now I know: this is what it feels like when doves cry.

PS. Check out the dubbing. The dubbing in this movie is AWFUL. And all the scenes with the Phantom are in English; they just shot everything else in Italian and dubbed it in later with the SAME FOUR PEOPLE. DAMN, do I love this movie.
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So I've been trying to impress upon everyone I know (and strangers on the subway) that Il Fantasma dell'opera is a crazy movie. As if the making out with rats hadn't convinced you.

While compiling the Review of Doom, I ran across this clip and realized, I don't have to try any more. This does all my work for me.

PS. THE WIG OH GOD THE WIG.

Man.

Mar. 11th, 2008 11:50 am
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Nothing says "I didn't sleep well" like flailing around Livejournal before noon.

But the sleep deprivation was for the sake of productivity: polishing two short stories*, nerves about dancing tonight, and working on my video proof that Julian Sands eats kittens.

It's beginning to look like a THIRTY-MINUTE REVIEW, which seems like more than this movie deserves, but I have a three-minute sequence just detailing this guy's obsession with whimpering women, and there's hours more where that came from. (Oh, just FYI, the uncut footage of whimpering, where I just slapped it all up to see how long it would be if I let it run? Over TEN MINUTES.)

Also, I vacillate wildly between thinking this movie is a huge failure as a horror/drama or a huge success as a camp comedy. Part of this is the music, which is so much better than this movie deserves that it's sort of painful. Dear Ennio Morricone, if you don't want me to be invested, cease being awesome!

See, just writing this entry I changed my mind from "Man, he has issues with women up the wazoo" to, "But it's SO HILARIOUS we can't possibly be meant to take it seriously," to, "I just DON'T KNOW."

I'm afraid he's totally serious. He seems like he's really into his "art", you know? One of his soundbites about this movie talked about how rats and insects really are telepathic. I'm just saying.


*And some word count on the novel, but man, that's not REMOTELY polished. That's shoving the plot-boulder forward by inches.
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Okay, first clip from "Fantasma" (ahahaha, just typing it is hilarious); possibly a standalone, possibly part of an epic 20-minute review vid, haven't decided what to do. I'll keep you posted.

But seriously, what the fuck is this.

Scene: Two people looking for treasure under the Opera House (or CARLSBAD CAVERNS, WTF) run into the Phantom. One of them is hurled into the air strongly enough to be impaled on a stalagmite/tite stagamite!, which is where his doomed girlfriend finds him.

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Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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