Author Topic: Corndog's Mind is Blowing Up!  (Read 9185 times)

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17258
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: Corndog's Mind is Blowing Up!
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2009, 07:52:09 PM »
Great reviews.  Anyone who says that Barton Fink is "straight forward" in any way certainly has a mind worthy of admiration!  You have treaded boldly, and I'm happy to hear that your mind only hurts a little. 

Of course, you should have seen the long list!

I think, after all this discussion I'm almost ready to see Mulholland Dr. again.  Almost.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Corndog

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 15525
  • Oo-da-lolly, Oo-da-lolly, golly what a day!
    • Corndog Chats
Re: Corndog's Mind is Blowing Up!
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2009, 07:56:04 PM »
Great reviews.  Anyone who says that Barton Fink is "straight forward" in any way certainly has a mind worthy of admiration!  You have treaded boldly, and I'm happy to hear that your mind only hurts a little. 

Of course, you should have seen the long list!

I think, after all this discussion I'm almost ready to see Mulholland Dr. again.  Almost.

did I say that? well it's certainlt the "most normal" of the ones I have seen so far, though that's not to say it is normal
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

Corndog

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 15525
  • Oo-da-lolly, Oo-da-lolly, golly what a day!
    • Corndog Chats
Re: Corndog's Mind is Blowing Up!
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2009, 11:18:53 PM »
#5
Jacob's Ladder (1990)
Written by Bruce Joel Rubin; Directed by Adrian Lyne

Will Most Likely Contain Spoiler!!!
This is what this marathons is all about. The film is so mind-bending, though provoking, use every muscle in you brain, nah, your body to figure out what is going on in the story. Oh, and it's a good film too! We open on a group of soldiers in Vietnam, they become engulfed in a conflict and we are quickly yanked away to the future where one of the soldiers is in a conflict of his own. That soldier, Jake Singer (Tim Robbins), is now a postal worker facing demons. The story is so demented, so confusing, but so beautiful really. The picture that is painted is great. I give all the credit in the world to Mr. Lyne for being able to visually represent this story the way he has. He uses fleeting images, strange images, quick editing, great lighting and everything in between to create a mood that is so representative of the type of hell that Jake is experiencing in his mind. The acting here is superb too really. Robbins, Pena especially, and Danny Aiello as Jake's chiropractor. In terms of a technical achievement, it soars.

There is clear reference to the Bible here. The title is a famous part of Genesis, and it certainly plays into the story as well. There are also Biblical names: Jacob, Jezebel, Gabriel. The themes is deals with are angels and demons, heaven and hell. The more and more I think about it, the more and more I am impressed by the screenplay by Rubin. He brings everything together in a scattered way that kind of makes sense to me. Throughout the film, Jake has flashbacks to Vietnam where he was stabbed and then treated. The audience is made to think these are the flashbacks of a troubled veteran of the war, but what is revealed throughout the story suggests otherwise. I mean he sees things that are clearly not there, demons and monsters. He gets locked in a train station and almost gets hit by a train. One of his sons, Gabe, has died at an early age. Two of his friends die in mysterious car explosions, he contracts some type of virus that almost kills him if it wasn't for an ice bath quickly brought about by Jez and his neighbors. His fellow soldier friends are experiencing the same demons. They go to a lawyer to bring a case against the army. But the lawyer says he wasn't even in Vietnam. When he goes to see his therapist, Dr. Carlson, he finds out that his name in not on file, and Dr. Carlson is not a doctor there. When he has his palm read by a casual friend at a party, she says that his life line has stopped and he should be dead, but they just laugh it off. He is also told he is dead after he falls out of a car and is taken to the hospital and subsequently a psychiatric ward. The places the film goes, needless to say are quite bizarre.

I'm rambling now, but all these things happened and there is not a best way to describe what exactly was going on. But because all of these things were going on, the pacing of the film was spectacular. It kept you on your feet paying attention and trying to figure it out. A major character in all of this is Jake's chiropractor, Louis. In his first visit, Jake makes the comment that he looks like an angel the way he is looking up at him with the light, and with how he works wonders on his back. And later, when Louis is fixing his back from the fall out of the car, which by the way Louis saved him from the hospital where he was taken to the psychiatric ward and told he was dead, hmmm, Louis tells Jake a story about how demons are really angels trying to free people's souls by making them let go of their lives. In Jake's case he needs to let go of his son, who died in a car accident of all things while he was still in Vietnam. Oh, and by the way, his son is played by Macaulay Culkin. Louis really comes off as a guiding angel here. Much like Louis, there is another angel in Jake's life. His name in Michael Newman, though we don't know that. He appears when the car in the alleyway is chasing down Jake and again when his friend's car explodes. He is there as a guardian, to help Jake survive and live on. And you know what, it's the same man who created the drug that set all of this into motion. Fitting that it is he who is there to help Jake let go, as I'm sure Michael also needs to let go of what he created, the evil he brought about on the whole battalion in Vietnam.

Let me talk about the ending first before I go into my exact thoughts on the films, it will be easier that way. The ending comes and we find out that Jake has died in Vietnam. This obviously means that everything in the "present" then has been a hallucination of some kind. We also learn that the attack in the beginning in Vietnam was the battalion attacking themselves because of a drug that was developed to improve soldiers drive during battle aptly called the "Ladder". I didn't really like this explanation, but the very end redeemed it for me because it was so beautiful and perfect. Jake sees his son Gabe at the bottom of the stair (and the lighting of this whole scene is just great). He approaches him and they ascend the stairs together, presumably to heaven because Jake has let go of his life, allowing the angels to free his soul. It is quite poetic.

Clearly this film was thought provoking, look at the frickin' length of this freakin' write-up! How is it this long!? Well I had a great experience watching this film. It is definitely what is meant by this marathon and we are closer to my mind actually blowing up. But at the same time I loved the film. Because it was so thought provoking and interesting to keep up with. Highly recommended to any who think they can manage their mind to finish it and still be able to talk afterward. Wow...and I even know I missed some things.

Rating: ***1/2

Mind Status: Um, well this was the most mind-bending of the marathon so far I think. Edges out Mulholland Dr. and as such my head is spinning, swirling if you will. Thoughts run across my brain, leaving tiny footprints as they pass.
EDIT: Preliminary indications are that I went too easy on this part of the write-up. My mind might be f--ed up right now. Hopefully seeing you tomorrow...
« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 11:27:51 PM by Corndog »
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17258
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: Corndog's Mind is Blowing Up!
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2009, 11:30:08 PM »
Yeah, Jacob's Ladder is definitely mind-bending.  I saw it originally in the theatre and rewatched it last year.  It lost a bit on the second viewing because I knew the end, but it was still riveting and the images are still provocative.  Perhaps I would have appreciated it more if someone other than Tim Robbins starred-- I like him, but I don't find him the most sympathetic character.   

If anyone out there hasn't seen this film, I highly recommend it.  Great for Halloween.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Corndog

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 15525
  • Oo-da-lolly, Oo-da-lolly, golly what a day!
    • Corndog Chats
Re: Corndog's Mind is Blowing Up!
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2009, 08:56:32 PM »
#6
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Written by Darren Aronofsky & Hubert Selby Jr.; Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Will Most Likely Contain Spoilers
Which brings me to my next point: Don't do drugs. This is basically a story of four drug addicts: Harry, his buddy Ty, his girlfriend Marion, and his mother Sarah. I don't really care for the story a whole lot, drugs have never been my thing, I get it, don't do it. The way it is done here though, is quite good. Aronofsky creates a style that reflects the states of mind of the characters so well really. His camera work and lighting and editing and even the score do a great job of setting a mood that reflects the story very well. I didn't like the use of the split screen so much though, could have done without that. As for the acting, I thought the actors all did very very good. Exceptions would be Jared Leto as Harry, who I thought was passable and Ellen Burstyn as Sarah, who I thought was amazing! She made this film for me with her over-the-top performance. It was wonderful.

There were obviously dream, or tripping, sequences involved in a film like this. Because they were tripping scenes, it didn't take me out of the story or confuse me that much when it came to the plot. Things like Harry stealing the cops gun, or Mary stabbing the guy in the hand with the fork, or Sarah being on TV were all decent interjections to the film, but really nothing overly impressive. These are people that are so dependent, so addicted to their fixes that they do some crazy stuff just to get their fix. Ty and Harry drive all the way to Florida, Mary ends us selling her body to get her fix and Sarah takes her lonely life and turns it upside down with diet pills, and when she needs more, she just takes more. It's a dangerous and disturbing game that these people play with their bodies and their lives. Not something I want to ever experience.

As I said, I didn't really care for the subject matter or the story, but because of the style and execution by Aronofsky, I feel justified rating this a 3 star film. I guess this just goes to show how far my critical eye has come that I am able to push my personal feelings aside a bit and judge the film based on it being a film and how it tells it's story. I guess I really didn't have a whole lot to say about this one other than good achievement, medium interest from me.

Rating: ***

Mind Status: I'm beginning to think that my mind is pretty strong. So far there really hasn't been anything to affect me that much, maybe Jacob's Ladder. I either have a high tolerance for crazy, a thick skull, am a crazy person, or am just able to shrug off films like this. But there are still 2 to go...
"Time is the speed at which the past decays."

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17258
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: Corndog's Mind is Blowing Up!
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2009, 09:07:17 PM »
Don't be too sure of yourself, m'boy.  There's still plenty of freakiness to come.  And one of these films I have yet to recover from...
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

ferris

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 10787
  • "Bravo Vincent....Bravo!"
Re: Corndog's Mind is Blowing Up!
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2009, 08:58:44 PM »

Mind Status: I'm beginning to think that my mind is pretty strong. So far there really hasn't been anything to affect me that much, maybe Jacob's Ladder. I either have a high tolerance for crazy, a thick skull, am a crazy person, or am just able to shrug off films like this. But there are still 2 to go...


Good man Corn - I thought you might hang in there through this!  Enjoying the reviews.   I'm REALLY interested in Jacob's Ladder now.  I'm just now realizing that most of my picks for your marathon didn't make your list - probably cuz you'd already seen most of those
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 12:45:38 PM by ferris »
"And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs" - Exodus 8:2 KJV
(switchboard)

Junior

  • Bert Macklin, FBI
  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 27204
  • What's the rumpus?
    • Benefits of a Classical Education
Re: Corndog's Mind is Blowing Up!
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2009, 01:32:17 AM »
Like half of this was supposed to get you super depressed, too, right? I think Req does that part particularly well. The only mind-bending part is the mother's hallucinations.
Check out my blog of many topics

Im not a quitter, Kimmy! I watched Interstellar all the way to the end!

oldkid

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 17258
  • Hi there! Feed me worlds!
Re: Corndog's Mind is Blowing Up!
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2009, 02:30:47 AM »
The main purpose was to explode the mind with such varying and inexplicable things that would be overwhelming.   Depressing just slows the brain down some away from the frenzied activity of atomic particles.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

pixote

  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 31730
  • Up with generosity!
    • yet more inanities!
Re: Corndog's Mind is Blowing Up!
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2009, 04:58:42 AM »
I'd like to do a You Cry, You Lose marathon.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

 

love