Thursday, July 23, 2009

Penis? Don't make me laugh

In the past few months, I've seen three films with exposed male genitalia. I doubt I will be giving any spoilers to say that Observe & Report, The Hangover, and Brüno all show the penis. They are all shown with the purpose of laughter, but only once did I laugh, and not coincidentally it was with the movie I enjoyed the most.

Observe & Report (2/5 stars) was funny enough, but it suffered from a moronic script, flat characters and stupid gags. The Hangover (4/5 stars) was not only funny, but it had a reasonable plot. I mean, I know these films are all fantastic, but at least make it mildly believable with characters that have a little personality. Finally, there was Brüno (3/5 stars), which made Borat seem cohesive. Brüno had many good sketches that just did not fit well together as a film.

It did get me thinking about nudity in film, either to titillate, to cause chortles or to enhance the art. Breasts are a dime a dozen. You practically get those in children's movies. Asses are also common, of both genders, men slightly less so. The penis is rarely shown in artistic contexts, and is almost exclusively used to shock and guffaw.

It is common to think that vaginae make a number of appearances in film, but that is confusing public exposure with pubic exposure. As Dimitrios Otis wrote, we often see pubic hair during "full frontal" scenes, but rarely do we see the vaginal lips outside of porn.

I can really only think of one film that had both vagina and penis used in a serious context is The Dreamers, the 2003 film from Bernardo Bertolucci. Bertolucci mixed his love of film with filming of love to show the lives of three youths in Paris during the 1960s, obsessed with cinema and sexuality. It's a curious film, but worth watching, especially because Eva Green holds nothing back. There are no secrets on my DVD.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Movies are awful

Before I was able to watch Moon, which is not a perfect film but definitely enjoyable and creative, I had to endure a ton of trailers for quirky indie romantic comedies. Hey, did you know Michael Cera plays an awkward guy in Paper Moon? There's a stretch!

Those films were nothing compared to the following two movies. Paper Moon and its ilk are movies I could at least sit and endure. The trailers for The Ugly Truth and I Love You Beth Cooper look so atrociously awful that I feel bad for the people involved. It makes me uncomfortable, like watching someone poop themselves in a restaurant. There's a mixture of pity and regret, but definitely not laughter.

To wash that out of your mouth, here's the trailer for moon. Listen to that gorgeous soundtrack and soak up those brilliant special effects. CGI should enhance special effects, not smack viewers in the face. Moon takes us back to the glory days of the 80s and early 90s of man made special effects. The story is also very good. Again, not perfect, but good. You also get a terrific acting performance by Sam Rockwell.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cronkite bites the big one

Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. (born Walter Krunkowski), popularly known as Uncle Walt to millions of television news viewers during the 60s and 70s, has died at the tender age of 92. Cronkite helped the U.S. lose the Vietnam War, covered up for the fake moon landing, and cried when the liberal Catholic pinko John Kennedy was removed from office. He had a mustache and monopolized television for decades, if not centuries.

Cronkite died of complications from HIV. He was a dreamer.