Archives for posts with tag: nihilist

White Girl

Just when you thought the movie industry had hit rock bottom, along lumbers White Girl with its Jewish jackhammer to get at the rock beneath the rock. Following on the heels of American Honey (2016), White Girl exemplifies a long tradition of cinema that seeks to shock the sensibilities with its exposure of the wild rites of the rising generation – a genre that stretches from the earliest juvenile delinquent pictures up through the likes of Over the Edge (1979), River’s Edge (1986), Kids (1995), Bully (2001), Spring Breakers (2012), and Heaven Knows What (2014).

White Girl is yet another foray into the demimonde of ugly people in ugly clothes engaging in ugly, loveless dances and lewd acts to ugly, afro-degenerated soundtracks – with the difference that this entry makes its anti-white agenda totally explicit. Purporting to tell the true-life experiences of some lowlife named Elizabeth Wood, the story follows an Oklahoma City slut (Morgan Saylor) after she moves to New York – ostensibly in order to “study” – but instead uses her parents’ money to buy drugs and get into trouble.

Gazing longingly out the window of her apartment at a group of loitering mongrels, White Girl announces, “I’m gonna go get some” and so sets out on an odyssey of debauchery that will occupy the next eighty minutes or so. White Girl falls hard for hat-backwards barrio banger Blue (Brian Marc), who tenderly screws her against a wall. After Blue gets arrested, he trusts her to get his supply of dope back into the hands of his ruthless supplier; but, being the stupid White Girl that she is, she instead hopes to raise money for his legal defense by trying to move the powdered product herself – with inevitably catastrophic results.

Not worth watching more than once, White Girl is a nihilistic film that thrives on shocks and not much else.

3.5 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that writer-director Elizabeth Wood should be institutionalized for her own protection and that White Girl is:

3. Media-skeptical. At the very least, White Girl presents a sobering picture of the species of undesirables who seek employment in the media. The idiot protagonist, the sort of lout produced by a lifetime’s ingestion of mainstream media poison, has gone off to New York to study writing and the “liberal arts”. White Girl’s sleazy magazine editor boss (Jewish actor Justin Bartha, playing a character with the distinctly goyische moniker Kelly), meanwhile, hopes to inflate the value of some worthless artwork he bought by spotlighting the artist (“Rambo”) with a special profile.

2. Pro-drug. The script halfheartedly makes a distinction between marijuana and harder drugs – “We just smoke weed every day, all day,” explains one of the mutts – but all drugs are inextricably linked with sex in the film. The title character falls in love at first sight with a street pusher, and plying women with cocaine or alcohol comes across as an expeditious means to satisfaction. Kelly gains instant access to White Girl’s orifices when he lays out some lines of cocaine and essentially rapes her with little resistance and no consequences. The movie appears to want to dissimulate about its intentions and provides a couple of scenes of morning-after horror and vomit for plausible deniability; but the association of sex with drugs is undeniable in the face of such moments as a young woman snorting a line of cocaine from a man’s penis.

1. Anti-white. Whatever claim White Girl might have to being a cautionary tale is forfeited by the flippant choice of celebratory ape music about pimping white flesh to play during the closing credits. A Jewish triumphalist proclamation of victory in the face of ubiquitous European degeneracy, White Girl is nothing if not an expression of ethnosadism. Zio-prostitute Chris Noth of Sex and the City infamy puts a gentile face on the sleazy lawyer archetype in his role of George, the unscrupulous attorney White Girl hires to represent Blue. In one telling moment, a drop of wine trickles like blood from the corner of George’s mouth – a projection to the effect that whites, not Jews, are the vampires that prey on America. “It’s a really fucked up system,” this character explains. “You could have a white kid stab someone to death and he’ll get less time than a black kid caught with a miniscule amount of drugs. This is the way it is.” One of the movie’s objectives is to get across the propaganda meme of “white privilege”, with White Girl seen to escape unharmed, suffering no repercussions after precipitating what is likely the end of Blue’s career. He goes to prison while she, unperturbed, is accepted back into the fold of the “college” life. White Girl, unsurprisingly, was produced by a rats’ nest of ethnics including Ariel Schulman, Orlee-Rose Strauss, and Gabriel Nussbaum – all of whom, one can only imagine, are deeply concerned about the plight of white girls worldwide. Another producer, Christine Vachon, made The New York Observer’s list of “The New Power Gays” – homosexuals being Jews in spirit and politics.

Vachon

Kosher Lunch

Chris Noth

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Rainer Chlodwig von K.

John Wick

Keanu Reeves is John Wick, a retired assassin and man of “sheer will” who must dust off the tools of his trade when his car is stolen and – worse still! – his dog is butchered by Russian rowdies. Reeves gets to do the sorts of things one expects – strolling in slow motion through a dance club while casually dispensing violent punishments, and so forth – and, in a scene that alludes pointlessly to his climactic confrontation with Agent Smith in The Matrix Revolutions, even has a dramatic hand-to-hand showdown during a downpour with low-interest villain Michael Nyqvist. John Wick packs a handful of quality action moments, but not enough to stuff the soulless void at the heart of this nihilistic exercise in death for death’s sake. The gravitas of supporting players Willem Defoe and Ian McShane is wasted in such a film.

3 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that John Wick is:

4. Pro-torture. Hitwoman Miss Perkins (Adrianne Palicki) is visually aroused at the sight of a knife being driven into a bound man’s leg.

3. Pro-drug. Wick, despite his abdomen having been cut open, is able to launch back into action with the aid of a glass of bourbon and dose of some sort of pills.

2. Anti-Christian. A Russian church serves as a gangster front. Consequently, Wick has no qualms about shooting a priest in the leg.

1. Neoconservative. Those darn puppy-murdering Russian bad guys are at it again! John Wick came recommended as a good “guy movie” from a social justice warrior coworker – such people apparently considering themselves qualified to judge typical “guy” tastes. That social justice warriors are now endorsing rotgut neocon propaganda should come as no surprise, however, considering that this is 2016, a year that will see American liberals throwing the heft of their silly support behind an Israel-firster warmonger like Hillary Schlongedham Clinton. Wick, true to his name, is a Shabbos goy – a subservient gentile who lights a candle for superstitious Jews forbidden by their “religion” to perform any labor on the Sabbath – and serves his Hebraic Hollywood masters by demonstrating for all of the gullible goyim how cool and exciting it is to shoot perfect strangers. The name also suggests the character’s wickedness, an apt association in this context.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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Wild poster

A career highlight showcase for star Reese Witherspoon, this freewheeling emotional odyssey into triumphant you-go-girlism concerns real-life tramp Cheryl Strayed, whose epic hike along the Pacific Crest Trail takes her from “piece of shit” and “hobo” to liberated and self-actualized piece of shit with an Oprah’s Book Club pick. As with all wilderness pictures, from Jeremiah Johnson to Rescue Dawn, there is an innate fascination to the scenes of Strayed’s one-woman struggle with the elements. The interspersed flashbacks to the unpleasant experiences that drive her to make her quest, however, are hit-and-miss, diminishing any sympathy this reviewer is able to muster for her. Laura Dern appears as Strayed’s long-suffering, cancer-ridden mother.

4 out of 5 possible stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Wild is:

6. Drug-ambivalent. Wild sends mixed messages about Cheryl’s life as a heroin addict. Marijuana, however, seems to be a laid-back thing to do. Alcohol appears as a no-no, though, with Cheryl vomiting after some hard stuff. (see also no. 1)

5. Anti-Christian. Foulmouthed Cheryl utters multiple blasphemies.

4. Anti-redneck. The rural white male is a constant menace hovering in the gloaming of Cheryl’s consciousness, leering at her and making unsavory advances.

3. Pro-choice. Cheryl has an abortion.

2. New age, peddling mass market paperback mysticism that might have been cribbed from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The film ends with Witherspoon reciting some philosophical gobbledygook about how nobody knows what leads to what – the scientific method, contrary to this reviewer’s mistaken impression all his life, turning out never to have been invented after all – life being one big mysterious journey, each seeming adversity or disastrous decision constituting a necessary step toward destiny’s fulfillment. People – and, by extension, societies – might as well experiment to their hearts’ content on this starry trek of objectively valueless existence.

1. Feminist. Wild celebrates the junkie-adulteress-intellectual as heroine. One of its many nuggets of womany wisdom is that divorces, unlike marriages, tend to be lasting. Regarding her serial back-alley extramarital humps and heroin habit, Cheryl apologizes to her nice-guy husband (Thomas Sadoski) but later confesses that she harbors no regrets about anything. Adrienne Rich’s poem “Power”, a favorite of the protagonist, furnishes Wild with its theme. Marie Curie’s “wounds”, Rich explains, “came from the same source as her power”. Witherspoon’s body, accordingly, appears with unsightly contusions and cuts throughout the movie, these presumably being the feminist stigmata symbolizing the suffering through which she has attained her “power”. In a parallel characterization, Cheryl’s mother is an abused wife who abandons her alcoholic husband and goes back to school for her education because, she says, she never felt like she was in the driver’s seat of her own life.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

Oprah’s Bucks Club

Machete Kills poster

Rodriguez’s most recent contribution to the Mexploitation subgenre, Machete Kills is exactly the movie one would expect it to be: a shallow, self-congratulatorily hip, and hyperviolent celebration of Mexican ethnic pride and muscle-flexing Reconquista. Danny Trejo reprises the role of the righteous butcher who in this sequel accepts a presidential offer of American citizenship in exchange for stopping a cataclysmic missile strike on Washington. Machete Kills is sufficiently fast-paced to ward off snores, but the cartoonish tone and the flippant approach to the violence keep it from generating any emotional interest or genuine suspense. One hopes for the sake of the future of film that this big-budget B-movie brand of Tarantinoid, winking, self-aware exploitation fetishism has almost run its course.

3 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Machete Kills is:

13. State-skeptical. “Justice and law aren’t always the same thing.”

12. Anti-military. Corrupt soldiers sell government-issue arms to a drug cartel.

11. Anti-family. A whore recounts how her father raped her. (see also no. 2)

10. Drug-ambivalent. Machete “don’t smoke”, but lights a bazooka like a bong. The drug cartels are his enemies.

9. Pro-miscegenation. Can anyone blame Miss San Antonio (Amber Heard) for being unable to resist Machete’s haggard, wrinkly, and humorless Aztec charms?

8. Anti-gun. Machete prefers blades. A campaign commercial associates Second Amendment advocacy with pork spending on military hardware. The principal villain, Voz (Mel Gibson), is a firearms manufacturer.

7. Globalist and war-ambivalent. “This isn’t about Mexico no more. It’s about the world.” Voz reveals he has installed puppet troublemakers in North Korea and Russia so as to pump government interest in his military wares. While there is truth in the notion that international bogeys are frequently manufactured as pretexts for war, Machete Kills endorses the neocon worldview to the extent that it accepts that Russia and North Korea are legitimately threatening to American national security. “Fuck world peace,” says Miss San Antonio.

6. Feminist. “Don’t call me sweetheart,” bristles Sartana (Jessica Alba) before gunning down a male chauvinist pig. Machete Kills milks the tired non-novelty of women acting tough and shooting their mouths and machine-guns, which here include weapons mounted on the bosom and crotch. Interestingly, the long tradition of sexual violence directed exclusively at the male genitalia finally seems to be coming home to haunt the feminists in the form of the sickening “pussy punch”. Only girls are allowed to play this dirty hand, however. (see also no. 2)

5. Anti-Christian. Voz looks forward to a day when “kingdom comes”. White supremacist Sheriff Doakes uses expressions like “Amen” and “Hallelujah”. Assassin the Chameleon (a shapeshifter portrayed at different points in the film by Walter Goggins, Cuba Gooding, Lady Gaga, and Antonio Banderas) drives a truck called the “Holy Roller”, with kitschy religious knickknacks on the dashboard. “Preach it, Sister,” says villainess Miss San Antonio.

4. Anti-white. Whites – surprise, surprise! – are the bad guys. Those who, like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, concern themselves with America’s sovereignty and security, are represented in Machete Kills by the likes of the dopey Minutemen-like “Freedom Force” and Sheriff Doakes (William Sadler), who calls Mexicans things like “taco” and “beaner”. Voz plans to abscond into outer space with a load of Mexicans to serve him as slave labor. Blonde beauty and secret agent Miss San Antonio lives up to her hair color and turns out to be a traitoress. The decision to cast Mel Gibson, with his off-screen baggage of accusations of anti-Semitism and bigotry, as supervillain Voz reinforces the anti-white/anti-racist theme.

3. Pro-amnesty. Machete is Mexico, observes President Rathcock (Charlie Sheen), who by offering citizenship to Machete is in effect endorsing the wholesale naturalization of everybody south of the border. “Even Jesus couldn’t get through that damn wall.” Sadly, many of the ignorant dupes who see this movie will probably be led to believe that there actually is a wall protecting the U.S. from turd world invasion.

2. Anti-human. The title says it all, with enough red splattering to paint a barn. In addition, Miss San Antonio in her pageant speech endorses “a woman’s right to choose.”

1. Razist. “You fucked with the wrong Mexican.”

Zombies vs. Strippers

The Tough Titty, a strip club in a seedy Los Angeles slum, finds itself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse in this silly Full Moon outing. Spider (Circus-Szalewski), the proprietor, along with his bevy of shapely and jiggly employees, must cope with swelling numbers of undead perverts who congregate around the building while everyone also tries to come to terms with how they will spend what may be their last night on Earth. A pair of lewd customers wants nasty thrills; DJ Bernie (Tanner Horn) just wants to get high; while Spider and the strippers increasingly find that staying alive is more important than making money they might not be able to spend.

Slightly better than the tacky and unimaginative title might suggest, Zombies vs. Strippers is still an unremarkable pile of trash and risks overstaying its smelly welcome even at a meager seventy-four minutes padded with lengthy opening credits. There are, of course, curves galore, and a few witty one-liners; but the zombies, after a nice gradual tease during the exposition, offer only a modicum of suspense and pay diminishing returns as more and more of the snarlers appear onscreen. Good enough for a slow night, but hardly the movie this viewer would want at the top of his queue at the end of the world.

3 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Zombies vs. Strippers is:

13. Diversity-skeptical. Black stripper Vanilla (Brittany Gael Vaughn) dismisses “crazy fuckin’ white boys”.

12. Pro-gun. Guns are used defensively against the corpses.

11. Anti-slut. Fornicators are punished, with the zombie plague being compared to venereal disease.

10. Anti-X.  Like Creep Van, Zombies vs. Strippers holds Generation X/Y in low regard, particularly in terms of their value to employers.  DJ Bernie is a pothead, and the strippers can be foulmouthed and sassy. “I’m a professional. That used to mean something,” bouncer Marvin (J. Scott) reflects disapprovingly on the slacker mentality. “The American Dream is stuck in the mud,” children’s host Hambo the Ranch Hand (Chance A. Rearden) says before advocating the extermination of the rising generation.

9. Anti-TV.  Paralleling the zombie plague is the zombie-like vapidity and desensitization of the characters in the film from what seems to have been a lifelong diet of dumb television. “What would Hambo do?” Spider asks, the pig-nosed TV personality having apparently taken the place of Jesus in his life. Characters are more than once unable to distinguish between entertainment and imminent threat.

8. Anti-police. The LAPD, whether from cowardice or indifference, never enters the neighborhood of the Tough Titty. Bikers laugh at the threat of a call to the police.

7. Pro-choice/euthanasist. The infected must be put out of their misery for the good of humanity. Hambo, holding up two eggs, calls for the “eggstermination” of the young.

6. Anti-drug. Spider insults a zombie, calling it “crackhead”, and tells Bernie that weed will lower his sperm count. Later, offering a reefer to a zombie, Bernie is bitten.  When Bernie the zombie is killed by Vanilla, she cries, “This is your brain on drugs, motherfucker!” and pierces his head with her high-heel shoe. Drinking impairs the judgment of more than one character. One man is killed just as he is about to light a cigarette.

5. Capital-ambivalent. Zombies vs. Strippers presents a warts-and-all but basically sympathetic portrait of the American small businessman in Spider, who despite his efforts has failed to make the Tough Titty profitable.  Spider is not above trying to cheat a customer out of his money, but his chosen victim, musician Spike (Adam Brooks), is dishonest and an admitted thief. Adding to Spider’s woes are disrespectful and lazy employees like Bernie, whose poor turntable efforts prompt Spider to threaten to replace him with an mp3 player.

4. Anti-Christian. Christians are represented by biker Red Wings (Brad Potts), who spouts biblical claptrap but makes little secret of his nasty-mindedness. Spike gets tired of listening to his “religious crap”. One of the strippers irreverently dons a nun costume.

3. Pro-miscegenation. Black stripper Vanilla, announced as two scoops of chocolate ice cream that will make a man’s banana split, is desired by the white men around her and engages in flirtation with Red Wings.

2. Feminist.  The name of the strip club, the Tough Titty, says it all. Strong women stand the best chance of surviving. The representative male chauvinist pig (Patrick Lazzara) who uses abusive language against the strippers is certain to meet with an unpleasant end.

1. Relativist/nihilist.  “We’re all a bunch of criminals. A whole world of ‘em.”

 

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Lone_Survivor_poster

Zio-harpy Debbie Schlussel, who has charged that Hollywood Jews are moldering in a “pan-Islamic slumber“, and badgered Jason Alexander about what she alleged were his Islamo-Nazi terrorist connections, was understandably irate with director Peter Berg when he made The Kingdom (2007), a film which, while reinforcing aspects of the War on Terror, made an effort to humanize the typical Saudi citizen.

Half-Jewish Berg, perhaps stung by this questioning of his Zionist bona fides, went on to direct Battleship (2012), an unabashed advertisement for American military recruitment on behalf of the Jew World Order. So as to be absolutely clear as to where he stands geopolitically, Berg even gave an interview to an Israeli journalist to promote Battleship, during which he referred to the possibility of an Iran with nuclear weapons as the most pressing crisis presently facing the planet and called his interviewer a draft dodger for not joining the IDF.

Berg’s most recent contribution to post-9/11 cinema is Lone Survivor, an Afghanistan war horror hailed by Fox News as “a great service to this nation” in its celebration of the goy cannon fodder who put their lives on the line to, as Berg words it, “protect you, to protect me” against “legitimate evil”. The “evil” in the film is jihadist Ahmad Shah (Yousuf Azami), whom Lone Survivor explicitly dubs the “bad guy” for the benefit of the cognitively impaired in the audience. Operation Red Wings deploys Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) and his crack team of hardcore Navy SEALs to assassinate Shah, coddle the still-toddling Afghan “democracy”, and so secure the CIA’s investment in Afghanistan’s booming opium crop – though Lone Survivor, naturally, neglects to mention this last point.

Horribly boring exposition introduces viewers to a group of indistinguishable, unshaven, and dull-eyed muscleheads who lounge around and act like boastful frat boys between forays behind enemy lines. Israel’s errand boys, unfortunately, get into a kosher pickle when sent to execute Operation Red Wings. Shah’s Taliban army learns of the SEALs’ location, and when their Raytheon-enriching communications equipment goes on the blink, Marcus and crew are outnumbered and stranded, pinned to a hellish position on the side of a goat-infested mountain.

From this point on, Lone Survivor is almost entirely action, most of it unimaginatively realized, with shaky cam, speed-up/slow-down gimmickry, and first-person shooter POV shots with zombie-like Muslims in the cross-hairs. The characters are unlikable, their “fuck”-sprinkled dialogue doing little to humanize them, and their mission is frankly an unsupportable tyranny, so that one almost longs for the Taliban to win and kill off the American invaders. The film becomes more engrossing once Luttrell is left the last man of his team to continue to make his way to safety, as at this point Lone Survivor shifts from being a war adventure to a more archetypal struggle of one man to survive against hostile odds.

3 out of 5 possible stars. ICA’s advice: watch Rescue Dawn (2006) instead.

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Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Lone Survivor is:

8. Pseudo-Christian. Navy SEAL Mike (Battleship‘s Taylor Kitsch) wears a cross tattoo on one of the arms he uses to kill on command.

7. Pro-miscegenation. End credits feature footage of a white soldier kissing his Asian bride.

6. Cronyist, putting in a good word for more military-industrial pork. “Limited resources, chief. There ain’t enough Apaches.”

5. Pro-drug. Several beers are mentioned as code names for nodes in Operation Red Wings. See, too, remark on opium above. Keep those cattle sappy and happy.

4. Anti-Muslim. Decapitation-happy “Tally” and mascara-wearing “bad guy” Ahmad Shah represents the Muslim menace ably.

3. Pro-military. An opening credits montage of Navy SEALs being trained, which is to say, tortured, to become thoughtless murder machines, essentially serves as a J.W.O. mercenary recruitment commercial. As with Berg’s toy-to-movie adaptation Battleship, the writer-director delights in the idea of plastic American soldiers for Jews to hold under their magnifying lens, watching them melt under foreign suns. A wimpy cover of David Bowie’s song “Heroes” stinks up the end credits photo montage of the men portrayed in the film.

2. Imperialist. The Taliban is a threat to world security, Lone Survivor would have viewers believe, because it promotes fundamentalist Islam, chops off a few heads, and forces its women not to dress like whores. The truth, however, is that many of these are just men trying to keep their country from going the way of the Jewnited States of Slum-merica, with whiny minorities running the show, social engineers and feminist riffraff ripping families apart, and Marxists undermining the cultural pillars supporting traditional ways of life. The neoconservative program, however, calls for Afghanistan to embrace diversity, drugs, pornography, sex reassignment surgery, Sarah Silverman, managerial government, and the drone-patrolled surveillance state – in short, Jewish World Imperium.

1. Zionist/anti-human. Disturbingly, Berg acknowledges that the strength of the book on which Lone Survivor is based is its divorcing of the Afghanistan war from politics, and its celebration of the alleged heroism of the band-of-brothers mentality that sustains its combatants. Lone Survivor, in other words, promotes the utmost nihilism, proposing that viewers should not concern themselves so much with why Taliban fighters must be killed, or why Afghanistan continues to be occupied, but rather with the relentless, Israel-licking devotion with which goy cattle “heroes” commit the mass murder. “You are never out of the fight,” Luttrell says at the end of the film, instilling in the audience the suggestion that America’s crusade against the evildoers, wherever they may dwell, will continue indefinitely.

 

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Spring_Breakers_poster

Writer-director Harmony Korine’s dope-drenched epic of college-age pagan debauchery suffers from the same fatal ailment as most other movies that insist on taking as their subjects the absolute dregs of society – namely a lack of characters worthy of the least bit of audience sympathy. The introduction of the principal quartet of spoiled and mostly indistinguishable bimbos is so icily off-putting and nonchalantly bile-provoking that it could almost be a set-up for some exercise in torture porn. College students in name only, these are pretty, pot-addled apes who, during a lecture on the civil rights movement, amuse themselves by scrawling lewd notes or drawing a picture of a penis. Where the Boys Are this is not.

Tired of what they feel to be their intolerably mundane lives, four girls determine to travel to Florida to “find” themselves on spring break. Short of funds, three of them successfully rob a restaurant, and off they and naive Christian friend Faith (Selena Gomez) head for the sun and sand, where their participation in grotesque bacchanalia rightly lands the disgusting group in jail. Coming to their aid as if by providence, revolting rapper and drug dealer Alien (James Franco, in a truly transformational character creation) bails them out and takes the girls under his demonic wing, introducing them to his gangsta friends. Faith, though stupid, retains some vague wisp of the notion of decency and so decides to go home at this point; but her three friends remain and go with Alien, who, like a thuggish Charles Manson, will usher them through an initiation into nihilistic evil.

More shocking and memorable than actually good, Spring Breakers does contain some visual coups that viewers will never forget: a man performing fellatio on two guns; three girls in pink ski masks dancing, guns in hand, in the attitude of the three Graces; and, of course, sand strewn with cheap, jiggling flesh. With the anesthetized and dreamlike shoot-out of the climax, the director walks a particularly dangerous line. Are the events at the end of the film intended to inspire audience approval or did Korine even stop to consider how these moments would be received? Is Spring Breakers really the serious social commentary it seems to pretend to be or just a tacky exploiter that points and laughs at societal disease? Is Korine documenting or actually celebrating the decline of western civilization? Either way, this vile opus has much to say about American life, and much of it is true.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Spring Breakers is:

9. State-skeptical/anti-business. “Everyone can use a little bailin’ out once in a while,” Alien says in a line that hints at a broader significance. With his neck tattoo of a dollar sign, Alien symbolizes misguided rapacity and mirrors the criminal world of big business.

8. Pro-gay. Girls frequently engage in teasing kisses, grinding, and so forth, none of it particularly sexy. The sum effect, however, is normalization. Alien clearly enjoys sucking the guns and tells the girls afterward that he loves them.

7. Media-critical. “Just fuckin’ pretend like it’s a video game. Act like you’re in a movie or somethin’,” one of the girls advises the others before they commit a robbery. “I got Scarface on repeat. Constant, y’all,” Alien boasts, contributing to the sense that these young people’s poor behavior has been programmed by their entertainment (cf. The Bling Ring).

6. Anti-American. Alien describes his materialistic gangsta lifestyle as “the American Dream” (cf. Pain and Gain). “Seeing all this money makes my pussy wet,” one of the girls says.

5. Anti-Christian. Juxtaposed scenes equate Christianity and substance abuse as means of escape from reality. Two dumb Christian friends of Faith advise her (with good reason, as it turns out) to “pray super hardcore” for her well-being in Florida. (Ironically, her religious scruples do preserve her from the danger experienced by the other girls.)

4. Diversity-skeptical and anti-wigger. “I don’t like it here,” Faith says, finding herself in the midst of a bunch of scuzzy blacks and wiggers and feeling intensely uncomfortable. This moment counterbalances the casual flashes of suggested black-white miscegenation in the film. A theme of Spring Breakers is self-destruction, and one moment in which a girl drinks from a black water pistol, a rapper’s smug face on a poster behind her, indicates the self-loathing and suicidal nature of wiggerism.

3. Culturally and morally ambivalent. From drugs to guns and gangsterism to flippant fornication, Korine keeps such a cold, ambiguous distance that his attitude from one scene to the next is occasionally difficult to fathom. The copious casual sex and drug abuse carry surprisingly few consequences, with only a shot of a vomiter passed out by a toilet (and party-crashing by police) disrupting the flow of fun. There is nothing at all admirable in Alien or his groupie disciples, and yet the amount of time devoted to his misbehavior, his air of a tragic artist of wasted potential, and the martyrish pose pretentiously granted him at his demise would appear to give him a neon sheen of antiheroic myth. The ravages of gunplay, likewise, are mitigated by the fetishistic fascination and sexuality accorded to firepower. One of the girls determines that “being a good person” is the “secret to life”, but fails to act according to this piece of wisdom.

2. Relativistic and nurturist (i.e., anti-science). Spring Breakers points to environment as the key determiner of individual development, discrediting the role that genetics and race play in shaping human intelligence and character. “I was the only white boy in my whole neighborhood,” the worthless Alien recounts. Consequently, he grows up to be indistinguishable from the criminal blacks among whom he moves. “We met people who are just like us. Just the same as us,” one of the girls reflects in voice-over. Only the social context of their spoiled upbringing, sheltered by white privilege, has presumably prevented the girls from sinking into savagery before now. Heritability would appear to play no role in shaping these people, so that Spring Breakers works like a stock anthropology lecture to the effect that those spear-brandishing jungle natives in the National Geographic are no less civilized than the European gentleman reading poetry in his smart smoking jacket, their mating and war-making rituals being identical at bottom. The culture war does, however, appear to hold importance for Korine, even if it is not always clear on which side of the battle line he stands.

1. Anti-human. No likable characters = no reason to care.

Eli Roth, in his influential 2005 horror downer Hostel, made what appears to have been a bid for consideration as a serious artist by inserting one or two references to Franz Kafka.  Twenty-five references to Kafka would not, however, have changed the fact that Hostel was simply torture porn – a film trading not in suspense but rather in fetishistic sadism and fascination with the meat potential of human bodies.  Now comes first-time director Taylor Sheridan’s Vile, 897th bastard son of Hostel, which, like its pappy, has a pun for a title and, again like its pappy, makes reference to a serious thinker by featuring a Gandhi quotation as an epigraph: “The root of violence is science without humanity.”  A better motto for Vile would be, “The root of tedium is filmmaking without humanity”, as that, ultimately, is why Vile is so irritating and so disposable.

After a group of dirty, unsavory twenty-or-thirtysomethings is fumigated and kidnapped by an Avon lady in a gas mask, they awaken to find themselves sealed into a house with strangers.  An ugly woman on a monitor (who identifies the house as hers) informs them that they will be unable to leave until the tubes connected to their brains have been filled with chemicals that can be made into drugs.  These chemicals, unfortunately, are produced only under extreme duress.  “Pain will be your only way out of this house,” she says.  It is then up to the group to decide how they will go about dividing the torture amongst themselves before their time has run out.  What follows is more than an hour of people arguing, moaning, screaming, beating, and mutilating each other as shaky cameras record it all in gruesome and uninteresting detail.  Dimly lit and painted with a sickly, bilious palette, Vile is a difficult film to watch and an impossible one to enjoy for anyone not a certifiable sadist.

1.5 of 5 possible stars.

[WARNING: SPOILERS]

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Vile is:

10. Anti-redneck.  From the moment the group stops at a rural gas station with an out-of-order pump and country music playing, the viewer is aware that the protagonists  have left the comforts of civilization behind and have taken the Highway to the Danger Zone.  A banjo is heard later in the film, having apparently been deemed the appropriate musical accompaniment to the subject matter.

9. Feminist/anti-family.  The setting is an apparently ordinary house, with the appurtenances of conventional domesticity – an iron, a fork, a grater, and a pot of boiling water – becoming in this context the instruments of torture.

8. Egalitarian.  Suffering is to be shared equally.  The man who says, “I am not splitting shit with any of you” is the first to die.

7. Anti-business/anti-capitalist.  Vile‘s representative entrepreneurs are drug dealers willing to maim and murder to manufacture their product.  Promotion of products  with free samples, as of perfume, is a ruse to lure people to certain doom.

6. Un-p.c./diversity-skeptical.  The group seems eager to attack the black guy before anyone else.  Asian bitch Kelly (Stefanie Barboza) is dubbed “Pineapple”.  “Shouldn’t you men take a little extra responsibility?” one woman asks.  The black guy, Greg (Rob Kirkland) objects to such “feminist crap.”  Salt conspicuously labeled “kosher” is rubbed into an open wound during the opening credits.

5. Pro-slut/pro-miscegenation.  Vile opens with a group of tattooed, sloppy, probably Obama-backing Occupy-type wastrels filthily lounging in grass like a pack of smelly dogs.  Pregnant bimbo Tayler (April Matson) says, “I’m gonna get tatted up all over.  It’s gonna be sexy.”

4. Multiculturalist.  Tayler wants a tattoo of Japanese waves.  Sam (Greg Cipes) has a tattoo in Hindi.

3. Anti-democratic.  The democratic process takes the form of incessant arguing with accompanying emergence of interest groups.  The character who suggests that the group’s strategy should be determined by equal votes is, as it turns out, a psychopath and in league with the drug farmers.

2. Anti-drug.  Users and dealers in drugs (and other products, presumably) are often unaware of the human suffering resulting from the satisfaction of their demand.  “People will pay anything.  They don’t care where it comes from.”  “I just sold the stuff,” says Greg, who claims not to have known how the drugs were made.  Whites thus turn blacks into criminals and unwitting murderers through the drug trade.  Greg also takes painkillers after his torture, indicating that blacks turn to narcotics only to relieve the distress and abuse they receive at the hands of oppressive whites.  Pills, however, only lengthen the ordeal of one of the victims in the film.

1. Nihilist/anti-human.  Sadism = survival.

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.

KILLING-THEM-SOFTLY-poster

A strong exercise in Scorsese imitation, writer-director Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly may well be the most depressing experience to which multiplex moviegoers are treated in 2012.  Set in a bleak expanse of rust belt squalor during the meltdown of 2008, the gangland story begins when small-time gangster and dry cleaner the Squirrel (Vincent Curatola) recruits two crooks, naive Frankie (Scoot McNairy) and ne’er-do-well Russell (Ben Mendelsohn), to pull a masked hold-up of the gambling establishment run by Markie Trattman (GoodFellas alumnus Ray Liotta), who is to be framed for staging a robbery of his own game and customers.  Markie, true to his name, is the perfect mark for the crime because he previously staged just such an inside job and admitted to it and so will be the obvious prime suspect if the same thing happens again.  Into this situation enters the mysterious enforcer Jackie (Brad Pitt), assigned the tasks of investigating what actually happened and meting out the appropriate sanctions.  Flying in to assist him is button man Mickey (James Gandolfini), previously a class act but now a sloppy, erratic drunk going through a divorce.  The upshot is that, however it all ends up going down, none of this business is going to be pretty.

On one level, Killing Them Softly is a tough, unsentimental crime film and a set of character studies.  At the same time, however, it operates as an unsubtle and tactless allegory about the decline of American prosperity and the bankruptcy of the ideals traditionally associated with it, with samples of speeches by Bush and Obama running parallel to the action.  The words of the title appear onscreen in succession as part of a fractured, abrasive montage of optimistic Obamaspeak coupled with grating noise and shots of trash blown in the wind that sweeps a desolate lot walked by doomed Frankie on his way to meet the Squirrel – a representative entrepreneur and criminal mediocrity, there being no distinction between the two things as depicted in this story.  Killing Them Softly posits the existence of two types of players in this world: statists and businessmen.  All are gangsters who run their rackets through subterfuge and coercion.  In one of the film’s cheapest and least imaginative moments, Jackie sits in a bar and mocks the Obama speech playing on television and goes on to smugly thumb his nose at the American experiment itself, denouncing Thomas Jefferson for getting drunk, screwing his slaves, and keeping his children in bondage.  This country is a business, Jackie asserts, and every man looks out for himself like a beast in the jungle.  Or, as Mickey succinctly puts it and sums up the story, “It’s all bullshit.”

More than simply a downbeat, despairing sociopolitical tirade or declaration of nihilism, however, Killing Them Softly offers more than enough to make it recommendable.  Multiple character creations compel viewer interest, with Gandolfini and McNairy in particular making the most of their scenes.  Gandolfini immediately establishes sympathy and scorn with his characterization of a tough but dissipated and finally pathetically apathetic thug going through a divorce and wasting his life on liquor and prostitutes, which allows the actor the opportunity to deliver some 200-proof obscenity (causing an elderly woman at the screening I attended to become audibly agitated, surely the mark of fine movie profanity) in high gangster style.  Liotta, though he has only a few brief scenes, also appears to solid effect.  Less reliable than the impeccable acting is the selection of pop songs, which, in faithful Scorsese tradition, are rather overutilized.  “The Man Comes Around”, for instance, is the perfect song to establish Jackie’s seriousness and formidability as an enforcer, while “It’s Only a Paper Moon” assists the screenplay thematically and casts an amusing irony over events; but is it really necessary that the Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” accompanies the scene in which Russell shoots up heroin?  On the whole, however, Killing Them Softly is an admirably adult and serious film, heavier on the dialogue than on the flash and action, and will test the patience of those expecting a typical shoot-em-up.  4 of 5 possible stars.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Killing Them Softly is:

9. Diversity-skeptical. Jackie isn’t buying it.

8. Sexist/anti-slut.  Women are whores and trash.  Mickey’s wife has been unfaithful.  Russell recounts for Frankie a sickening episode of random sex with an insane nymphomaniac, imitating the ludicrous sounds she made, and telling how she afterward threatened to commit suicide, to which Frankie casually replies that they all behave that way.

7. Anti-torture.  Markie, under interrogation, receives a beating so unpleasantly savage and bloody that no viewer should be left with the idea that violence is glamorous and fun.

6. Antiwar.  During the credits, “Money (That’s What I Want)” fades into a lugubrious sound collage that includes helicopter noise and what sounds like echoing urination.

5. Anti-drug/drug-ambivalent.  Russell, through heroin, becomes an even more disgusting mess than he is at the beginning.  Cigarettes, however, retain a certain grimy chic, though one corporate type gangster is more than once offended by the odor.

4. Pro-miscegenation.  Mickey enjoys himself with a black hooker (who, however, frustrates him by treating her anus “like a national treasure”) and recommends Jewesses to Jackie.

3. Anti-business.  Criminals are businessmen and vice versa.  The “corporate mentality” has left even organized crime unmanned and degraded.

2. Anti-state.  Bush and Obama are phonies.  Jefferson was a drunkard who owned and abused slaves, thus discrediting all subsequent U.S. history and achievement.  The ridiculousness of gun and drug control is illustrated by the fact that, though no government agency interferes with the mob murders in the film, hitman Mickey was once arrested for gun possession while on a bird hunting trip, while Russell is eventually nabbed by the authorities not for armed robbery, but for mutually voluntary and perfectly ethical drug trafficking.

1. Nihilist/anti-human.  The sky is always dark.  “It’s all bullshit.”  The human condition is vile, obscene, and absurd.

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