Archives for posts with tag: anti-vigilante

Drunk Parents

Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek, once they send their daughter (Michelle Veintimilla) off to college, struggle with making ends meet and hiding their poverty after being well-to-do and suddenly finding themselves in dire financial straits. Tasked with housesitting for out-of-the-country neighbor Nigel (Aasif Mandvi), the couple instead gets drunk and places a Craigslist ad to rent out the house, precipitating a wacky succession of misunderstandings and chaotic hijinks – all of it furnishing a serviceable showcase for the stars, with Baldwin doing his usual thing and Hayek totally over-the-top as she rants about hippies in a supermarket, spastically writhes as CGI spiders crawl over her face and body and bite her, and finds herself in various other zany situations. Colin Quinn and Will Ferrell, meanwhile, have amusing cameos as hobos.

3.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Drunk Parents is:

6. Anti-white. Baldwin and Hayek are the comedy’s obligatory positive depiction of an interracial couple. Like The Prodigy, Drunk Parents reflects Hollywood’s discomfort with politically rebellious young white men and includes two bratty kids, Trey (Jeremy Shinder) and Tristan (Eddie Schweighardt), who have hacked a neighbor’s baby monitor and are teaching the infant to say “the N word”. The name Tristan, which this character shares with a Wagnerian protagonist, may be indicative of the fear of rising identitarianism among intellectually inclined and irreverent white youth.

5. Pedo-sympathetic. New neighbor Carl (Jim Gaffigan), a convicted sex offender, is revealed to be a basically harmless eccentric whose attempt to save some children from a shark was misunderstood as predation. Reinforcing the theme of sympathy for accused sex predators, Baldwin and Hayek are abducted by vigilantes who have mistaken them for pedophiles. Again, as in The Prodigy, a racist white boy – in this case, Tristan – falsely accuses Baldwin and Hayek of sexual molestation. The industry would seem to be circling the wagons in response to growing public awareness and hostility toward Hollywood degeneracy.

4. Consumerism-critical. “Why did we get all this stuff?” Hayek frets after coming to ruin and finding herself in debt.

3. Media-monopolist. Alternative media – which is to say, the democratization of the means of disseminating information – makes the world of Drunk Parents a more dangerous place. This is demonstrated when the anti-pedo vigilantes upload a video of Baldwin and Hayek to the internet and turn them into a viral sensation.

2. Drug-ambivalent. Drunkenness makes Hayek accident-prone and gets her and Baldwin into some trouble, but the movie’s attitude toward alcohol is ultimately rather Taoist, with everything working out alright in the end. “A drunk man’s actions are a sober man’s thoughts,” narration explains. Trafficking drugs lands a trucker in prison, but the man is not depicted as fundamentally a bad person, and the fact that his daughter is left without a provider is intended to evoke sympathy and possibly militate against the regime of prohibition. Ferrell demonstrates that smoking is dangerous, however, when he sets himself ablaze while siphoning gas. Cocaine is also mentioned as a nutritional supplement utilized by ancient warriors.

1.Class-conscious. Ferrell’s character, a once-wealthy man reduced to homelessness, explains that the rich will “prey on you” – and the film’s representatives of “Wall Street” and “family money” are of course white men. Respectability or criminality, in the world of Drunk Parents, are situational products of environment and the vicissitudes of fortune. Rather like Trading Places, this is a story about a man discovering how his social inferiors live. Suddenly an entitled Baldwin finds himself thieving a bottle of pricy wine and only meeting with job offers he once would have considered undignified. One of Hayek’s gripes is that, “You have to be rich to be skinny. All the cheap foods are the ones that pork you up. The sugars, the carbs, the corn syrup.” Now that they are struggling, “people look away. They avert their eyes. Especially our friends.” They are ultimately happy to have lost the “stuck-up, useless friends” of their former social milieu.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Rainer is the author of the books Drugs, Jungles, and Jingoism and Protocols of the Elders of Zanuck: Psychological Warfare and Filth at the Movies.

The Ideological Content Analysis 30 Days Putsch:

30 Reviews in 30 Days

DAY FOUR

NonStop

Joel Silver, to his dying day, will never tire of trying to spook the goyim with terrorism. The immortal boogeyman of the twenty-first century rears its turbaned head again, only this time it is not the Muslims – or is it? – in Silver’s production Non-Stop, a decent vehicle for star Liam Neeson, who plays an air marshal aboard a transatlantic flight being threatened by an unusually inventive mystery terrorist. Until a turn for the stupid plunges it into irreparable turbulence, Non-Stop lives up to its title as a high-velocity thrill-flight, so that viewers are guaranteed at least a solid hour of Neesony excitement. Creepy Julianne Moore is also on board and somehow manages to get through the whole film without wrenching her face and sobbing.

[WARNING: SPOILERS]

4 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Non-Stop is:

9. Civic-minded, performing a public service by informing unsuspecting men that womyn can be triggered by being called “ma’am”.

8. Pro-gay, normalizing homosexual marriage. An Archie Bunkerish cop (Corey Stoll) is flying to London because, he says, “My fairy brother’s getting married to a guy with a British accent.”

7. Drug-ambivalent. Neeson is an alcoholic whose drinking, however, seems not to have impaired the performance of his duty. His smoking habit, furthermore, serendipitously leads him to the discovery an important clue.

6. State-skeptical. A federal agent (Anson Mount) takes advantage of his position to smuggle cocaine.

5. Media-critical and anti-vigilante. Talking head critics of security state spending come across as uninformed nuisances. Also problematic is the trend of democratized reportage and instantly uploaded videos of purported misconduct by the authorities. Out-of-context phone footage of Neeson manhandling a passenger contributes to a false news narrative according to which Neeson himself is the terrorist. Passengers seeing these reports are misled into revolting against his questioned authority. Neither mainstream nor alternative media are helpful. Best to let the feds conduct their searches of persons and phone records unimpeded by citizen scrutiny and interference. (cf. no. 1)

4. Anti-racist. Cast against audience expectations, the token Arab (Omar Metwally) turns out not to be a terrorist, but – surprise, surprise! – a mild-mannered molecular neuroscientist. Educated brother Nate Parker, meanwhile, knows how to program and hack cell phones.

3. Police-ambivalent. Corey Stoll plays a New York City cop who, while basically a decent sort, is a bit of a bigot. “You’re gonna let that guy in the cockpit?” he objects, seeing Metwally being ushered into the front of the plane to assist in a medical emergency. Later, after having his broken nose set by the Arab, Stoll seems to have been humbled and made to understand something about the brotherhood of man. Police, Non-Stop says, need not be abolished or cannibalized like pigs in a blanket; they only need to be made more sensitive. On the other side of the equation, a mouthy and uncooperative black man (Corey Hawkins) gets off to a bad start with air marshal Neeson, but eventually takes his side and helps him to retrieve his pistol in a difficult situation. Non-Stop invites badged authorities and non-whites to try to meet halfway and engage in mutual understanding.

2. Anti-war. Terrorists Scoot McNairy and Nate Parker are ex-military men who see their service in the War on Terror as pointless. Implausibly, they are most upset by what they perceive as the unsatisfactory state of airline security in the wake of 9/11. “Security is this country’s biggest lie,” they fret. Rather than simply going online and discovering that the event was perpetrated by Jews, however, the duo concocts an elaborate terror scenario designed to frame an air marshal for their own outlandish crime. One can only assume the pair sustained head injuries on the battlefield. Non-Stop’s anti-war bona fides are, however, disingenuous in light of the following consideration.

1. Zionist, perpetuating the 9/11 myth. The circumstance of a flight from New York to London conflates the ghosts of the 7/7 and 9/11 attacks, which hang over the film and reinforce the mythology of the linked destinies of the United States and Britain in fighting the enemies of the Jews.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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Mud_PosterArt

Wholly original while also echoing Stand by Me in its coming-of-age adventure and Sling Blade in its rural milieu, Mud is the story of fourteen-year-old Arkansas boy Ellis (Tye Sheridan), who, along with buddy Neckbone (Jacob Lofland), discovers the titular fugitive (Matthew McConaughey) hiding out on a little island not very far downriver from his family’s houseboat. Mud is on the run after murdering a man who threatened his girlfriend (Reese Witherspoon), and Ellis and Neckbone, who are understandably fascinated by this highly unusual character, strike a deal to help him out by bringing him food and supplies.

Mud, like Luke Glanton in The Place Beyond the Pines, is a semi-mythical, romantic, rough-hewn, damaged but untamed figure whose face and tattoos tell his story. He is something out of America’s past, a sort of boy who never grew up, and locates a parallel spirit in Ellis. Matthew McConaughey, so memorable in the previous year’s Killer Joe, is perfect in this polar opposite role as the friendly and formidable but tragically naive Mud, and Tye Sheridan, too, is believably earnest in his central role as companion Ellis. Other faces enhancing the cast are Sheriff Pusser himself, Joe Don Baker, Premium Rush‘s Michael Shannon, The Right Stuff‘s Sam Shepard, and newcomer Bonnie Sturdivant as sultry teenage hussy May Pearl, Ellis’s inamorata.

5 stars. Highest recommendation. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Mud is:

6. Anti-Christian. King (Joe Don Baker) represents Christians unflatteringly when he initiates a group prayer for Mud’s imminent demise. Mud makes at least one reference to God, but comes across as more of a pagan with his wild, natural ways.

5. Gun-ambivalent. Mud’s pistol gets him into trouble, but mentor and ex-Marine Tom (Sam Shepard) comes in handy in the end with his rifle and sniper skills.

4. Anti-slut. Mud’s love is wasted on floozy Juniper (Witherspoon).

3. Anti-marriage. Ellis’s parents are getting divorced. Women are undependable.

2. Anti-vigilante. Mud’s poorly considered vengeance has made him a hunted man. King, father of the abusive lowlife Mud murdered, arranges a posse to locate and liquidate the hero, but by doing so he only succeeds bringing more woe on himself.

1. Libertarian. The River Authority callously threatens to order the family out of their houseboat. Neckbone dismisses the legislation sanctioning such an action as “bullshit”. Ellis’s father (Ray McKinnon), meanwhile, voices strong propertarian views when his son is caught in a theft. The police are susceptible to corruption.

The horror genre took a big leap backward when computer-generated effects took over from prosthetics and animatronic monsters.  Werewolf: The Beast Among Us, a C-grade Universal Studios rehash, makes this abundantly clear with its baboon-like lycanthrope bounding through a central European forest and maiming villagers to less-than-thrilling cinematic effect.  Unoriginal and unlikely to do much for the theatrical fortunes of furry monsters, Werewolf is still far from being a total loss.

Though plainly rooted in Universal horror tradition, Werewolf also borrows from that other venerable genre of golden age Hollywood, the western, with the plot revolving around a bounty and Ed Quinn playing his beast hunter as a Wild West gunslinger.  Also part of the motley posse are tough broad Kazia (Ana Ularu), mannered annoyance Stefan (Adam Croasdell), and – though the group only accepts his assistance reluctantly – newsboy-capped whippersnapper and medical student Daniel (frequently shirtless Guy Wilson).  Party Machine‘s Nia Peeples, meanwhile, displays her cleavage capably as Daniel’s mother.

V for Vendetta‘s Stephen Rea brings a haggard air of a life lived painfully to his part as Doc, Daniel’s mentor and the man who must deal with the mounting heaps of corpses as the werewolf attacks increase.  Rea has the best and most interesting face and presence of any of the actors, and could have enhanced the film still further had his screen time been extended at the expense of the broader, less individual characterizations.

The action sequences are adequate, but marred by hyperkinetic camera work and such gimmicky moments as the hackneyed following of a bullet in close-up as it makes its way toward its target.  Because Hollywood has yet to produce a convincing and truly frightening creature via computer animation, periodic recourse is had to lurid shots of nicely realized gore and guts to keep the audience alert.  None of this would have been necessary, however, had the script amounted to something more than recycled ideas, and if director Louis Morneau had borne in mind the infallible Val Lewton formula for suspense, in which shadow and suggestion rather than show are of greatest importance.

2.5 of 5 possible stars.  ICA’s advice: watch I Was a Teenage Werewolf again instead.

[WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Werewolf: The Beast Among Us is:

6. Anti-racist (i.e., pro-yawn).  A village bigot suggests that, rather than going after the werewolf, the people ought to be hunting “stinking gypsies”.

5. Racist!  Notwithstanding the above, Werewolf perpetuates the positive gypsy stereotype of ancient, arcane wisdom.  Also, one character (a gypsy?) embodies the unwashed, dishonest archetype of the bandoliered Mexican bandit of yore.

4. Feminist.  More than one woman must violently assert her dignity when a man rudely puts his paw on her.

3. Anti-vigilante.  Thuggish villagers more than once shoot innocent people in error.

2. Class-conscious.  Daniel’s rich girlfriend’s father fires a warning shot to make clear the lad is unwelcome.  From the moment the cocky vampire Stefan calls Daniel “peasant boy”, his comeuppance is inevitable.

1. Secularist/anti-religion.  The spiritual paraphernalia of monster combat are absent, with lycanthropy characterized as a biological contagion rather than as a curse.  Daniel, in a moment of intense stress, picks up a book (probably the Bible) briefly but throws it to the floor in despair.  Christian symbolism is utilized, however, with a werewolf suspended from a tree in a sympathetic monster-as-martyr crucifixion pose.  (As in the classic I Was a Teenage Werewolf, a young man’s monstrous adolescent angst is exacerbated and manipulated with unwholesome ambition by an older, morally corrupt authority figure.)

A soullessly grotesque throwaway horror comedy directed by Troma alumnus Scott Mckinlay, Creep Van is the story of musclebound weenie and car washer Campbell (Brian Kolodziej), who, as a montage of his failures at previous jobs amply illustrates, is a young man of limited wits and prospects. His new boss, Mr. Kaufman (Gerald Emerick) – no doubt named after Troma President Lloyd, who appears briefly in Creep Van – sees something in him, however, and coworker Amy (Amy Wehrell) is also friendly as well as being likely girlfriend material. Unfortunately for Campbell, he has no car, and the man whose van he wants to buy is driving around Detroit committing a series of cartoonish murders. Will Campbell succeed in winning Amy? Can he protect her from the killer? Will Campbell ever buy a car, move out of his friend’s house, and get his own place? What price glory, Campbell?

Kolodziej, who could be a young Travolta minus the talent and sex appeal, is adequate in the lead, but receives precious little support from the story, script, and direction. The horror is so fake, the humor so flat and self-consciously winking, that no sense of reality or suspense is ever allowed to develop from the succession of vulgar, violent, and ultimately pointless scenes that constitute Creep Van. The revealing of the killer’s face, kept hidden until the end, is devoid of dramatic effect or meaning, and no explanation of motivations is ever offered. This is because Creep Van is a scarily inhuman, contemptuous film that concerns itself neither with good storytelling, good taste, engaging characters, nor perfectly reasonable audience expectations of resolution and emotional satisfaction. Tonally schizophrenic, the film veers from campy, gory whimsy into an incongruous ending so anaesthetically bleak and hostilely matter-of-fact that it can have been conceived with no intention other than simply to spite the audience. 2 out of 5 creepy stars for this junker.

[WARNING: SPOILERS]

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Creep Van is:

9. Diversity-skeptical. The fear is palpable as Campbell practically bows and scrapes after clumsily bumping into a black man in a restaurant. His loutish black coworker, meanwhile, calls him “stupid white boy” and “snowflake”.

8. Anti-vigilante. Campbell fails to save Amy from her captor and ends up in jail for his trouble.

7. State/regulation-skeptical. The seat belt and the airbag, two symbols of man’s vain quest to contain the fury and chaos of the universe, become instruments of death in the Creep Van, with the belt constricting like a boa and cutting into a woman’s flesh and the airbag thrusting a wreath of thorns into an unsuspecting driver’s face, martyring man with his own presumptuous, promethean safety precautions.

6. Business-sympathetic.  While not a capitalist film (see no. 1), Creep Van does present a pitying portrait of the American entrepreneur in the dweeby Mr. Kaufman, the car wash owner and one of the few likable characters in the film. Solicitous to a bizarre degree, Mr. Kaufman shows concern for Campbell’s happiness and even asks him in an avuncular way about his sex life.

5. Ironically (cf. no. 1) anti-religion, at least religion as practiced at present. Mr. Kaufman likes sex and tells Campbell, “It’s not a sin, not in these troubled times. The church has made great strides in this area.” The corruption of man’s expression of spirituality also emerges in the characterization of Swami Ted, whose ministrations appear to be little more than a mystical means of getting women to take off their tops.

4. Anti-drug. Users die painfully. Swami Ted, a “bud” aficionado, gets a radio antenna through the neck – perhaps a cruel visual metaphor to the effect that Ted has tuned in and dropped out?

3. Misogynist/anti-slut/anti-feminist. Campbell’s poor situation in life is partly the fault of a good-for-nothing porn actress ex-girlfriend who selfishly maxed out his credit cards and got him evicted from his apartment. Women are brutally punished and mutilated throughout the film, their only apparent crime in more than one instance being over-friendliness or the wearing of a tank top or other scanty garment. One representative feminist, a tough, disgustingly mannish thug with dreadlocks who beats up a redneck, is immediately afterward cut into gooily oozing halves when the Creep Van rams her against a wall.

One holds out a hope for Amy, a comparatively wholesome girl-next-door type who dresses conservatively, hesitates to give herself to Campbell immediately, and is turned off at the sight of his roommate’s scuzzy, cohabiting girlfriend. One might expect that Creep Van‘s overbearing superego could forgive her for accepting Campbell’s invitation to have a beer with him and later spend the night with him since he is, after all, our protagonist. Shockingly, however, even Amy apparently fails to live up to Creep Van‘s Inquisition-level requirements for female purity of body and mind and must also die – killed, most sadistically, when Campbell mistakes her for the villain and thrusts a tire iron down her throat.

2. Anti-X. Whether by design or not, Generation X emerges as the lazy, oversexed, inarticulate, foul-mouthed, druggy, and shameless scourge of the planet as depicted in Creep Van. As Mr. Kaufman says to Campbell, “You’re doing your work better than 82% of the people in here, but you and I both know that doesn’t mean much.” Kaufman further evinces poor confidence in America’s young workforce when he sends Amy out to get him a drink and admonishes her, “Make sure they don’t spit in the papaya juice.” Campbell almost seems to be beginning to develop a work ethic at some points, but also complains about the “rich assholes” whose cars he cleans.

The men of Generation X are mostly effeminized and at the mercy of the women in their lives. Campbell’s friend Bob is a masochist and Mexican wrestling fan who enjoys masked sex in a doghouse and being abused by his crude, tattooed, and perpetually topless girlfriend. “I’m your bitch,” he tells her during a montage that shows her slapping and punching him, digging her platform heel into his back, shooting a dart at a target covering his crotch, and nonchalantly ordering a pizza while he performs cunnilingus on her. Her demise, the viewer may rest assured, is going to be an atrocity.

1. Manichean. Scenes of thieves meeting unenviable ends might at first suggest a zeal for private property in Creep Van; this would be a misleading seeming, however, as what is fundamentally objectionable in the universe of this film is materialism. The material world, with no exceptions, is inherently evil and worthless. Those who live in it and value its pleasures are in error, so that their sinful flesh must be excoriated, their vile bodies ripped apart and splattered like watermelons. Thus, even nice Mr. Kaufman, the friendly capitalist, must die along with all of the horrible others.

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