Archives for posts with tag: protest

rough night

Aspiring state senator Jess (Scarlett Johansson) agrees to join a handful of her old college friends for one last decadent blast in Miami before tying the knot. The challenge will be to get through the debauchery of the bachelorette blowout planned by old pal Alice (Jillian Bell) without tarnishing her public image in advance of the vote. Some tension between the chubby Alice and Jess’s new Australian buddy Pippa (Kate McKinnon) notwithstanding, the getaway seems to be going well enough until the accidental death of a stripper (Ryan Cooper), which has the women scrambling to dispose of the body before their lives – and, of course, Jess’s electoral prospects – are ruined forever. Rough Night is not exactly bad in the way that being bent over a toilet vomiting is bad, for example; but it is rather bad in the sense that the feeling of having squandered an evening is arguably worse.

[WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

3 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Rough Night is:

6. Green, with Al Gore receiving an endorsement.

5. Pro-gay, with Ilana Glazer appearing as token lesbian buddy Frankie. A black transvestite DJ also contributes to the movie’s festive atmosphere.

4. Activism-ambivalent. Frankie participates in a protest of government surveillance, but her idealism is characterized as, at best, a side-effect of the idleness of the unemployed. Hers is a loser’s pastime, a dismissive assessment reinforced when she later announces her resolution to take a “protest dump”.

3. Pro-miscegenation – and, honestly, it’s the rare Hollywood product these days that doesn’t fall into this category in one way or another. This time, it’s mystery meat lesbos.

2. Feminist/pro-slut, with Alice looking forward to “swimmin’ in dick”. Alice’s assortment of sex novelties – penis glasses and the like – is supposed to be funny, but the whole hedonistic ethos unintentionally bores and comes across as stale in this film, which surely represents peak slut and the high-water mark for blasé depravity in western civilization. Blair (Zoe Kravitz) experiences a revelatory orgasm when, as part of a plan to steal a surveillance video, she participates in a threesome with swinger Demi Moore and her husband. The consequences of promiscuity are, moreover, trivialized when one of Blair’s friends reassures her, “Whatever. We all have HPV.” Anyone, the screenplay suggests, who has had sex after 1991 has probably contracted HPV – so what’s the point of being careful, right? The stripper dies immediately after having called Jess a slut, the viewer having the impression that his death is a form of instant karma.

1.Pro-drug. In a flashback sequence to Jess’s college days, she wears a costume referencing marijuana culture. Frankie, complimented on her scent, replies that she has a pound of weed in her bra. Elsewhere, the movie promotes abuse of prescription drugs like the tranquilizer Xanax (“Oh, God, that was good”). Perhaps most disturbingly, Rough Night joins the ranks of Ted, Trainwreck, White Girl, and Office Christmas Party in rehabilitating recreational cocaine use. Coke, in Rough Night, facilitates the bonding of a girls’ night out: “It would mean so much to me if we could do a little bit of cocaine together,” Alice pleads. The filmmakers could point to the fact that Alice is under the influence of cocaine when she accidentally kills the stripper – but her sexual recklessness turns out to have been serendipitous when the stripper is revealed to have been a dangerous criminal.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

The Ideological Content Analysis 30 Days Putsch:

30 Reviews in 30 Days

DAY TWENTY-FOUR

Pussy Riot

Daryl Hannah ought to be tarred and feathered for agreeing to narrate this piece of shit, positively one of the worst, most hideously ugly and unappealing documentaries of the decade. Perhaps best viewed as an inadvertent comedy, complete with Jewish handwringing about corruption and the need to uphold the Russian constitution, its robust aroma is made the more pungent by slapdash subtitles, bad acting, and tiresome samples of Pussy Riot’s monotonous, wailing “music”. During the course of this particolored cavalcade of tedium, the saints of Pussy Riot are likened to Elvis Presley, Joan Baez, John Lennon, Joan of Arc, and even Michelangelo – and without the slightest indication of irony.

The “evil man” Putin, on the other hand, is compared to Joseph Stalin, Tsar Nicholas I, and Francisco Franco, and repeatedly depicted as a “fascist”. “This is a country where people die from dissent,” charges Masha Gessen. Performance artist Oleg Kulik has the most sidesplitting lines of this circus, funnier for being delivered with the utmost earnestness: “We are in the heart of a Satan and the heart is beating. Black blood is pumping like oil. The girls have poked the devil’s eye and the devil screamed ‘I am God!’ And the girls say, ‘No, you’re not God. You’re the devil,’ so it’s an argument between them. Is he a devil, or is he a God? It is an existential argument.”

Another chuckle comes from the sight of young women in rainbow-colored terrorist ski masks accompanied by the assertion that a rising generation of young Russians has a “desire to live in a normal country.” “Thank you, Madonna! Thank you, Red Hot Chili Peppers!” the girls exclaim for the solidarity shown them by the American entertainment establishment. The group needs all the help it can get when faced with a dictator like Comrade Putin. One of the silliest statements in the film is the weepy telling of how the members of Pussy Riot “were arrested in a dark street in Moscow.” Imagine the shame of the thing! Arresting these world-famous artistes in a street that was not even properly lighted!

Pussy Riot: The Movement earns a star and a half for its unintentional humor. Ideological Content Analysis, meanwhile, indicates that this pile of Jew dookie is:

4. Pro-AIDS. Jewish faggot Masha Gessen, who has admitted that her advocacy of “gay marriage” has the purpose of destroying the institution of matrimony, is one of the wholesome voices of anti-authoritarian courage featured in the documentary. The Pussy Riot girls are also shown cavorting and howling about homosexual “rights”.

3. Anti-Christian. “Sexism, persecution, and torture” follow from church involvement in state affairs. The Russian Orthodox hierarchy is portrayed as corrupt, oppressive, and avaricious. The entire film celebrates the Pussy Riot sluts for their desecration of Christ the Savior Cathedral, which, one of the interviewees suggests, may come to be known to history as Pussy Riot Cathedral. Francis Carr Begbie of The Occidental Observer adds:

Pussy Riot is also supported — in a circuitous route — by the Soros-funded National Endowment for Democracy. Could it also be that support of groups like Pussy Riot is part of a parallel Jewish strategy of debasement and corruption of Christian morality? As Professor Nathan Abrams wrote, the very prominent Jewish involvement in porn was a result of the “atavistic hatred of Christian authority” and a desire to “weaken the dominant Christian culture.”  Is it so much of a stretch to view Jewish support of these groups as part of the same agenda?

2. Feminist/pro-slut, with Russia depicted as some sort of hell hole of sharia-style patriarchal totalitarianism where women are obligated to cover their heads in shame. “It’s an act of love among dead nature to show that there is at least something living in this country,” Kulik says of a public orgy in which one of the Pussy Rioters participated.

1. Zionist, smearing Putin and Russia in accordance with neoconservative aims. Pro-Israel Jew Senator Benjamin Cardin is spotlighted for his work in raising awareness about the gentile evil being perpetrated in Russia. The narration even tosses in a jab at Iran for alleged corruption. Interviewees, in addition to the disease-exuding Gessen, include Pussy Riot’s Jewish lawyer, Mark Feygin, and gallery owner Marat Guelman, who whimpers piteously: “Because now what we have, Stalin come back.” There is, too, an echo of “Holocaust” propaganda in Pussy Riot: The Movement’s characterization of Russian prisons as concentration camps where women are (so the story goes) fed stale bread and rotten potatoes, made to stand naked outside in the cold, and prevented from using a toilet. Jewish billionaire oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky is presented as a rival of Putin – perhaps the only politician who could lead Russia to freedom! – but those susceptible to such rubbish are advised to read what Ronald L. Ray of American Free Press has written about this parasite:

It is Russia’s President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, a former communist, who stands in the breach, while bankers and internationalists promote the likes of Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky, a Russian Jewish oligarch with billions of dollars to use for the re-enslavement of the former Soviet Union. […]

Although convicted of tax evasion and moneylaundering—a conviction upheld by the European Court of Human Rights—Khodorkovsky has been portrayed by Western media and politicians as a “political prisoner” because he opposed Putin. He is the poster boy for the plutocratic fight against Russian nationalism and economic independence.

But according to a January 3 report in Germany’s National-Zeitung, even defenders of the 50-year-old multi-billionaire are forced to admit that his wealth is ill-gotten. In just 15 years, the young communist son of modest engineer parents amassed many billions of dollars under the aegis of former Russian President Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin. He was one of a handful of Jews who were given free rein by Yeltsin to enrich themselves by gaining control of much of Russia’s wealth and politics […]

As Yeltsin’s energy minister, Khodorkovsky used his now-bankrupt privately-owned Bank Menatep, for shady real estate dealings and to purchase a controlling interest in the defunct Yukos Oil Company at a fraction of its value. The Yukos production division in Russia sold the oil at minimal profit to the distribution division, located in a foreign tax haven, which then sold the oil to American and Jewish interests at market rates. Khodorkovsky and his partners profited immensely and paid little or no taxes. When a local Russian mayor spoke out about Yukos’s refusal to pay taxes, a Khodorkovsky partner was implicated in the contract murder of the official.

Khodorkovsky was accused of stealing 200 million metric tons of oil from Russia—half the Yukos production—via his business practices. Thus, it was natural that, under Putin’s efforts to break the international bankster grip on Russia and regain control of natural resources, Khodorkovsky would be investigated for selling those resources out of the country.

Not surprisingly, Pussy Riot: The Movement executive producer Marianna Yarovskaya – clearly a principled crusader for truth – is a former employee of Zio-globalist operations Greenpeace and Voice of America. She was also the head researcher for global warming scare film An Inconvenient Truth. Unsurprisingly, too, given the group’s Jewish and globalist NGO connections, Pussy Riot has most recently thrown the weight of its tawdry celebrity wholly behind the “refugee” invasion of Europe.

Rainer Chlodwig von Kook

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Human Highway

Human Highway (1982) ****

Co-scripted and directed by eccentric rocker Neil Young (using the pseudonym Bernard Shakey), Human Highway is the weirdo sort of movie destined from its inception to become an item of cult interest. Young stars as lamebrained mechanic Lionel, who dreams of rock stardom while making a mess of his duties at Dean Stockwell’s roadside gas station and diner, where coworkers include Sally Kirkland, Russ Tamblyn, and Dennis Hopper. The diner is situated near a nuclear power plant where the boys from Devo work and are exposed to so much radiation that they actually glow with red light. Stockwell, who has inherited the diner from his father and finds it in financial disarray, gets the idea to torch his unprofitable business and be rid of it; but will he be able to hatch his plot before toxic waste, radiation poisoning, or a full-blown nuclear holocaust throws a monkey wrench into his plans?

More of a gratuitously bizarre curiosity than a genuinely admirable film, Human Highway remains a valuable document of the prevailing new wave musical sensibility of the day as applied to cinema, and also conveys the anxieties of the eighties about the possibility of nuclear holocaust and the threat to man and the environment posed by toxic waste. This black comedy’s script, unfortunately, too often aims for the random and leaves most of the ideas and characters underdeveloped, while the production values are on the order of a typical episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse – which, depending upon the viewer’s individual taste, could be a blessing or a curse. The film really starts to fall apart from a narrative standpoint during the second half, with (for some reason) a montage of Native Americans dancing around a bonfire of wooden Indians and Lionel dreaming after being knocked unconscious of rock-and-roll stardom and excess, and letting a groupie suck milk off of him with a straw. The high point of Human Highway is an extended bout of down-and-dirty, feedback-fried riffing and jamming between Neil Young and Devo, with the team totally freaking out and looking like a bunch of psychos.

4 out of 5 glass parking lots.

Incident at Channel Q

Incident at Channel Q (1986) *****

Al Corley headlines this trash heap treasure as Rick Van Ryan, a smug, sarcastic, rebel-rousing VJ at regional television station Q 23. The teenagers love him, but stick-in-the-mud suburbanite parents and Christian conservatives are all in a tizzy and picketing Rick’s unwholesome influence, demanding that his program, Heavy Metal Heaven, be taken off the air in order to save young people’s souls. Corporate sponsors are getting nervous, the old guard at Q 23 hates his guts, and the Tipper Gore ticket is getting unruly, with two right-wing brutes ambushing Rick in an alley and beating him up, after which the young radical moves to bring the cultural crisis to a head, barricading himself inside the TV station and calling on his followers to lend him support. 

What passes for a story line in Incident at Channel Q is primarily a pretext for exhibiting a series of then-recent music videos in their entirety, these videos – ranging from Rush to Rainbow, KISS, Iron Maiden, and all points in between – taking up half or more of the movie and simulating the experience of watching 80 minutes or so of MTV on a typical day in the 1980s. The music, for the most part, is fantastic stuff for 80s rock buffs, with a trio of videos – Lita Ford’s “Gotta Let Go”, the Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, and Motley Crue’s vicious “Looks That Kill”  – constituting some of the greatest, most outlandishly photogenic material ever committed to film. Poofy hair, horror lighting, whore makeup, chintzy sets, studded leather wristbands, tight pants, and other depravity abound, with KISS’s “All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose” being another fun and action-packed video, while others – Rush’s “Body Electric” and Deep Purple’s “Knocking at Your Back Door” – showcase the post-apocalyptic imagery that was popular in those years.

5 pentagrams for the rock and the morally righteous camp value. VHS copies of Incident at Channel Q are inexpensive, so readers who see one languishing on a used bookstore shelf or in a moldy box in a basement are advised to redeem it or suffer the vengeful disfavor of Satan. 

 

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Street Music

Street Music (1981) ****1/2

A bittersweet variation on a staple 80s genre – the underdog story in which a motley assortment of misfits band together to save the [insert cause of choice: summer camp, dance club, etc.] – Street Music serves as the perfect vehicle for sprightly, diminutive cutie Elizabeth Guttman (alias Elizabeth Daily), whose exotic looks viewers may recognize from such classics of the decade as Valley Girl (1983) and Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985).

Guttman plays Sadie Delaware, a busker who makes her living giving spirited renditions of old-timey jazz songs. Yet to get her big break in show business, Sadie lives with her boyfriend Eddie (Larry Breeding) in the ramshackle Victory Hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, a colorful slum full of alcoholics, eccentric old codgers, and prostitutes. Unfortunately for the hotel’s residents, it is scheduled to be demolished, and all of its occupants are expected to vacate within a matter of days. Monroe (D’Alan Moss), a black Marxist who works at the Victory, hopes to mobilize the elderly tenants to picket and fight the eviction, but Sadie just wants to get out of the ghetto and make a better life for herself.

Street Music taps into common liberal fears of the 1980s: loss of individuality, ideals, and character; the sacrifice of the little guy on the altar of rising consolidation, commercialism, corporate power, and conformity. The tenants of the Victory – old Jews, blacks, Hispanics, crazies, food stamp recipients, and bohemian artists – represent the liberal dream of harmonious racial diversity in a setting of noble squalor and hearty communitarian grime. A modest movie about little heroisms, full of graffiti, garbage, and heart, Street Music will appeal to admirers of truly independent cinema. Sticklers for craft, however, are warned that, true to its subject matter, Street Music‘s boom operator seems to have been a drunkard, with the microphone dipping into view in more than one of the scenes.

4.5 out of 5 stars. Recommended.

Rooftops

Rooftops (1989) ***1/2

West Side Story director Robert Wise returns to the dance-oriented inner-city fantasy in Rooftops, the story of homeless heartthrob T (Jason Gedrick), who lives in a Lower East Side water tower “like a bat or a rat or something”. T falls for nappy-headed Puerto Rican treat Elana (Troy Beyer), unaware that she works for her cousin Lobo (Eddie Velez), the neighborhood crack cocaine kingpin. Lobo is making life difficult for everyone; and when one of his henchmen burns T out of his tower, Lobo’s days as the local thug-in-chief are numbered.

A prime document of the War on Drugs and its naive “Just Say No” ethos, Rooftops packs a vibrant blast of nostalgia for 80s freaks. Set in a fairy tale barrio where bright, resilient youths settle their differences with beat-driven martial dance showdowns, the movie is splashed with graffiti and peppered with quaint slum dialogue like “You dissin’ me, homeboy” and “don’t bust on my crib”.

Other sights and sounds of sentimental interest include the expected 80s fashions (Batman tank top, anyone?); funky music by the Eurythmics, Etta James, and others; and several shots of the World Trade Center looming large and doomed in the distance. Rooftops is elegantly photographed and entertainingly choreographed, but will be most likely to please admirers of period kitsch along the colorful lines of Body Rock (1984), Delivery Boys (1985), Band of the Hand (1986), and Lambada (1990). One only wishes Rooftops had more dancing and less sanctimonious anti-drug messaging.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Rooftops preview

Gloria poster

Full disclosure. Your humble reviewer, stopping on a whim at his neighborhood Redbox machine to see what was newly available, quickly picked Gloria for no other reason than the disclaimer that it contained graphic nudity. Not realizing that this would be a serious foreign film requiring him to read subtitles, he ate his movie vegetables, as it were, by accident.

Set in Santiago, Chile, Gloria is the story of a lonely divorcee (Paulina Garcia), a professional woman and recent grandmother, who finds herself torn between dignity and sexual fulfillment. Somewhat nerdy but still shapely and graceful in her maturity, Gloria thinks she may have met the answer to her quiet yearnings in paintball park proprietor Rodolfo (Sergio Hernandez), a man who gives increasing evidence of neurosis.

Gloria very much belongs to lead Paulina Garcia, a fascinating actress whose versatile face and nuanced expressions command the viewer’s undivided attention. Even had the script by director Sebastian Lelio and Gonzalo Maza not been so finely worked and surprising, the film would be worth seeing if only for the presence of Paulina Garcia. Eccentric, disturbing, and warmly human, Gloria gets this critic’s high recommendation.

5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Gloria is:

10. New Age. Gloria takes a yoga lesson.

9. Marginally pro-miscegenation. Gloria’s daughter Ana (Fabiola Zamora) is involved with a Swede (Eyal Meyer), which is arguably a mild instance of interracial relationship. However, Chileans, particularly those living in Santiago, are of predominantly European descent, and resemble Spaniards in their attractiveness.

8. Anti-Christian. Gloria tries to hide her condescension as her maid (Luz Jimenez) talks about the Genesis flood and tells a story about cats issuing from a lion.

7. Racist! Gloria and Rodolfo, practicing at a firing range, shoot at a target representing a “black figure”.

6. Drug-ambivalent. Marijuana plays a role in Gloria’s new assertiveness. Her tobacco habit takes on varying shades of character depending upon the emotional context – sultry and sophisticated smoking after sex, or an anxious person’s prop in her moments of doubt. One smoker is reminded not to light up in the presence of a pregnant woman. Humiliation, despair, and overindulgence in drink drive Gloria into the arms of a random slob for a degrading one-night stand.

5. Anti-marriage. The protagonist’s ex-husband (Alejandro Goic) is an undependable drunkard. Rodolfo, like Gloria, is relieved to “finally” be divorced. Ana, a happy tramp with a pierced nose, is unashamedly pregnant with her Swedish lover’s bastard.

4. Anti-family/antinatalist. “Don’t be born, man! Don’t be born!” despairs one of Gloria’s neighbors. Rodolfo’s wife and daughters are selfish, needy, ungrateful nuisances. Gloria’s family, too, is broken.

3. Misandrist. A vengeful Gloria appropriates her insensitive lover’s phallus by attacking him with one of his own paintball guns. The men in her life are all immature. “Grow a pair,” she tells Rodolfo.

2. Anti-capitalistic. Old Chilean radicals look to loud young rabble to effect progressive change. Gloria’s idea of excitement would be to skip work and travel to Cuba. The film also presents an unflattering portrait of an entrepreneur in Rodolfo. (see also no. 1).

1. Anti-Semitic! “What Chile used to be now seems like a ghost, as if that Chile were dead, and what was built afterwards is a kind of replica of something that’s being devised in some other part of the world, where the driving force is greed.” “There aren’t any leaders anymore [. . .] if it’s about politicians who are up there, and they’re the ones governing, the ones that were chosen.”

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