Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

I had wanted to see Human Centipede since I figured out the preview/trailer wasn’t a joke. Seriously, the drawing by the doctor as to what he’s trying to create is 1st-grade-art-class level stuff. Doctor sews three people together – there’s the plot. Alright, there’s a little more to it…

Two girls are touring Europe by themselves. They meet a bartender who has invited them to a party. The girls get lost on the way and end up at this crazy doctor’s house. The doctor drugs them and when they wake up, they’re restrained and about to be used in an experiment. See, the good doctor here is the world’s foremost expert in separating Siamese twins. Now that he’s retired, he wants to CREATE, rather than separate. He has already done one successful such experiment on his three pet rottweilers. Now, he wants to make a HUMAN centipede.

The doctor captures another tourist and through a series of events, which are explained in detail by the doctor in some sort of creepy medical lesson, the two girls and guy are surgically attached. When I say surgically attached, I mean lengthwise. Their intestinal track is now one long stitched-together tube. Here, I’ll be more clear: ass to mouth, then ass to mouth again.

Just let that sink in for a second.

Now let it sink in what happens after the front person eats a meal.

The final scene is something that sticks with you a bit. Nothing gruesome or horrific – just more empathetically saddening. You know what I’m talking about: like when your face is attached to some guy’s butt and the person behind you is stuck to your butt, and … wait… let’s hope that whole thing doesn’t happen. You’ll think (maybe out loud), “Wow. I hope that doesn’t happen to me.”

The movie is well-acted and well shot, especially the music, lighting, and filters used in the scenes. The doctor was casted PERFECTLY and his part is carried out flawlessly. The guy is amazing at this role. The movie does have some suspenseful parts where one of the girls briefly escapes and then again when the centipede disappears for a short while. But all in all, it really isn’t that “scary”. Yes, it is gross and very detailed about how the attachment is performed. But this film isn’t going to give you nightmares, it isn’t going to make you hear things around corners that aren’t there, and it isn’t going to make you have to turn on all the lights in your house. The gross factor is something you can get over pretty easily in the movie. Basically, it’s a horrific concept and my compliments go out to the person who thought of this movie. However, it didn’t engage me very well nor put the slightest bit of fear in my head. Bummer.

I’m unsure how they’re going to make a sequel to this one called The Human Centipede (Full Sequence), but word on the street is that it’s going to happen. With more people sewn together. Ass to mouth. And yes, I’ll probably see it.

Note: My nephew – in med school – says this concept is completely impossible. To which I argued the packaging of the DVD states “100% Medically Accurate!!!” Boxes don’t lie. My nephew just shook his head.

The Pope's Toilet

It is 1988, and there is small village in Uruguay that the Pope is coming to visit – a once in a lifetime event. The whole village is trying to figure out a way to capitalize on his visit – literally capitalize since they’re setting up food and craft booths to sell things to the tourists. One man figures with all the food being sold, clearly people will be in need of a toilet shortly after. Genius.

Beto is a smuggler of goods across the Brazil-Uruguay border. He rides a bike loaded with various food staples to supply to local merchants. It doesn’t pay all that well and periodically, the bike smugglers get shut down by the local customs guy or the military at the outpost at the border. Beto wants to get rich quick and this Papal visit is going to be huge for the area. People are expecting 40,000 to 200,000 visitors to hear the Pope’s speech and all of them will be buying things.

People mortgage their houses and get loans from the bank for investing in chorizo and everyone is trying to make it big on this momentous occasion. Beto gets some help from his friends to build the toilet on his property, and finagles some money out of his wife for the materials. The money was supposed to go their daughter for schooling, but Beto is sure he will make it all back and have plenty of money left over for tuition.

The film starts pretty slow, but once it gets rolling, you become endeared to Beto and his group of friends. You honestly hope he succeed with his plans, and you hope all his friends and neighbors also succeed when the Pope comes. The movie is well acted and at times is pretty funny. There are some tense scenes, but all in all, it’s an enjoyable movie. Slow and depressing, but still enjoyable.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Love and Other Drugs

I knew this movie was a depressing chick flick, but I was still game to see it. Here’s why – I’m a sucker for Jake Gyllenhaal (and his wack job sister Maggie), and my grandmother has Parkinson’s (which is what the movie is about). (Plus it was my lady’s birthday, so I does what I’m told…) It’s a decent film, with a pretty standard love story plot.

Jamie (Gyllenhaal) comes from a rich family, his little brother (who is a moron – a hilarious moron) sells a company he’s come up with, for a few million and is still incompetent and ends up living on his big brother’s floor. Jamie had dropped out of med school because he was bored. The guy sleeps with anything with a pulse and decides he can use this skill to sell pharmaceuticals. It’s a high paying job and his medical background serves him very well (as does laying pipe all around the Ohio River Valley).

He meets Maggie (played by Anne Hathaway) who has early onset Parkinson’s. Maggie is drowning her problems by sleeping with random guys and not actually being intimate with any of them (I hope to Balzak my grandmother hasn’t done this – I will now bleach my eyes…). They agree to sleep together and not get serious.

This works fine for about a week and then Jamie starts showing up and doing boyfriendy things. She fights it with all she’s got and eventually caves. They become exclusive RIGHT as Viagra is launched on the market and he’s got to sell it. He chooses Maggie over demonstrating first-hand the effects of Viagra. Jamie now gets to see Maggie at her worst, like when her drugs wear off and she’s a wreck.

Maggie goes to an Un-Conference for Parkinson’s and hears a bunch of (what I assume are) Parkinson’s patients cracking wise about their disease and how they keep on living no matter what. This opens Maggie’s eyes immediately after Jamie gets some grim advice from a spouse of a Parkinson’s patient. Jamie tries to fix the problem with Maggie, but Maggie just wants to live her life. They split up.

The movie isn’t uplifting at all, but it does have some funny moments. And for those of you who like to see Anne Hathaway nekid, you see it a LOT in this movie. A LOT. The acting is quite good and doesn’t get slap stick-y or ridiculous for the most part, though there are a couple of really bad “pretty woman”-type scenes. It’s pretty believable, but the scenes are a little disjunct. And just a bit dreary even though you always know what’s coming in this film. That being said, (promiscuous grandmothers aside) it’s a decent film. More for the ladies, but I’ve now got some awesome opening lines if my girlfriend decides to leave me after making comments about Maggie Gyllenhaal – thank you Jake. (Note, the previews don’t really tell what this movie is about. It is more seedy and dark than the happy-go-lucky feel the previews suggest.)