Tag Archives: David Bowie’s Cock

The Prestige (2006)

The Prestige

Genre: Drama

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson

Synopsis: In Victorian England, two rival stage magicians compete to create the best illusion.

When I look at Christopher Nolan’s filmography, I am always surprised to find this film there. It’s not that I don’t know Christopher Nolan directed and wrote this movie, it’s that I always forget that he did those things. When I think of his films, humungous box office smashes such as the Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception come to mind. It’s never this film that I think about. Re-watching this movie, I kind of figured out why that was: it’s a lot less flashy than Nolan’s other work. I don’t mean that it’s less impressive in content. I mean that it’s got less of the stuff that audiences seem to like in his movies: fighting, explosions, and Joseph Gordon Levitt in a tailored suit…..drool. The Prestige is more of a stylish and moody analysis of revenge and rivalry. That may not sound overly exciting but this film as at its core something that wins audiences over: magic.

Everyone loves magic, I am sure of it. For me, I was always drawn to the magicians who understood that magic is as much about theatricality as it is about mystery and wowing audiences. Can you blame me for liking theatricality in my magic shows? I grew up watching this bad ass mo fo:

Masked MagicianLook at his harem of super fine b*tches!

The great thing about The Prestige is that Nolan understands that style plays an important role in magic shows and performance art in general. As a result, the production design is top notch. It kind of has a “masked magician meets upscale Victorian whore house” vibe. Basically, it’s how I want my future bedroom to look. The film also manages to catch the beauty of the American west and there are some stunning shots of (what I assume is) Colorado. The result is that you can’t stop looking at the screen. However, when the movie ends, you might want to hide your wallet or credit card to avoid an online spending spree that results in you buying useless shit like ornate bird cages and devices invented by Nikola Tesla.

On the down side, this is a film that requires a lot of attention from the audience, which can be hard to give if you’re stoned. The film’s opening sentence (“Are you watching closely?”) essentially acts an invitation for the audience to try and figure out the twist before the end. All the clues are given away during the course of the movie but they’re hard to pick up on. Only the diligent will figure it out. If you haven’t figured the twist out by the time the film comes to an end, you might feel a little bit cheated because it’s actually brilliantly simple and kind of obvious. Then again, maybe that’s what is so good about it because mixed in with all the Tesla magic is a very simple and effective illusion.

Another downside to this movie is that none of the actors can seem to nail a British accent…even Christian Bale, who is practically English. It was so bad, I even started to have doubts about the authenticity of Michael Caine’s accent. I don’t know why the accents were so bad in this movie. I’ve seen some of the actors pull of good British accents in other movies (for example, Johansson in Under the Skin), but here it felt like they were doing some kind of parody. I’m fine with the idea of a parody of British people but The Prestige could not have been a parody because it didn’t have the teeth thing down.

British smilesPictured: the brilliance of old Simpsons episodes

However, these criticisms don’t dull The Prestige’s positive aspects. At the end of the day, this is still a fun movie that keeps its audience on its toes thanks to a satisfying blend of style and mystery.

High-lights:

  • Very stylish.
  • Fascinating film for people who enjoy magic shows.
  • DAVID BOWIE!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH. And this time he’s not wearing his codpiece.
  • Eye candy for every kind of person.

Downers:

  • The accents! They burn my ears!!!!
  • A little too long and drawn out.
  • Ending can feel a little flat.

Summary:

This is the sort of film made for people who like stylish noodle scratchers. In that sense, it was a very good film to watch while stoned as it satisfied my cravings for visual beauty and challenging narratives. While I don’t believe that this is Nolan’s best film, I must admit that it is still a very fine film and one he should be proud of.

7.5/10

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Filed under Drama, Good

Labyrinth (1986)

Labyrinth

Genre: Action/Adventure, Musical

Cast: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly

Synopsis: After a mincing pervert kidnaps her baby brother, Jennifer Connelly must solve a complex labyrinth within 13 hours or face losing her brother forever and getting in trouble with her parents.

This is one of my mum’s favourite films. Growing up, I thought her love of the film stemmed from the fact it was an exciting movie with some loveable characters and awesome puppets. Having watched this film again I came upon the real reason: David Bowie’s cock in tights. My illusions have been shattered; my innocence lost. Despite this awful realisation, I still enjoyed Labyrinth for all the same reasons I enjoyed it as a kid and for a few more reasons too.

What carried over from my childhood? Well, for starters, this film has a puppet of a fox with an English accent riding about on a dog. What’s not to love about that? Secondly, I love mazes. They fascinate me and a film which features a giant maze and one hell of an awesome riddle is bound to keep my interest. Speaking of that riddle, I managed to figure it out while baked! Sure, I had to press pause and it took about ten minutes to figure it out but the point is that I got there in the end. Another thing I loved as a kid was the sheer inventiveness of the story and the setting. Each scene transports you to a surreal alternative universe where nothing is as it seems and where everything is unexpected.

What did I love about this film now that I am a twenty five year old stoner? Firstly, this film is fucking 80s. As mentioned in earlier posts, I am a product of the 80s. I therefore possess some of the sparkle-magic that came with the decade and naturally gravitate towards things with giant hair and shoulder pads. This movie satisfied my 80s fetish. Secondly, this movie is gayer than Christmas. So much about it is laughably camp: the music, the mincing, the tights, all of it. It’s easy to see why this film has become a cult classic and why cinemas like the Prince Charles Cinema in London have monthly events. I imagine they draw an awesome crowd so I will attend one soon.

Now I’m not saying this movie is perfect. The graphics are objectively terrible (although I think that adds to the fun a little bit) and Jennifer Connelly’s character is irritating and weird. What kind of 16 year old girl talks to herself in the park? One with schizophrenia probably but I don’t think this character is crazy so much as she is annoying and privileged. I found it difficult to warm up to her but I must admit by the end of the movie I did want to punch her less. Also, there is one really racist bit in the movie when a group of midgets are torturing a gentle beast called Ludo. The midgets are speaking broken Japanese. Is the film trying to make a political comment on Japan’s whaling practices? Lord knows but I thought it was hysterically inappropriate either way.

Despite its flaws, Labyrinth shines like the 80s gem that it is. It’s flashy, garish, oh so tacky but deliciously fun at the same time. I think the thing that makes this film so brilliant though is you can see how much love went into it. It wasn’t a lazy production in any sense. Everyone in front of the camera and behind it put their all into their work and it really shows. Making this movie must have been so much fun and when you see the effort that made it all happen it’s hard not to get caught up in the joy of it all. This film is a celebration of the weird and phantasmagorical and that’s why I love it.

High-lights:

  • It’s 80s night!!! GO WILD!!!!
  • COWER AT DAVID BOWIE’S PENIS!!!!
  • Mazes and riddles and all sorts of topsy turvy trippy shit.
  • Sir Didymus and Ambrosius are my heroes.

Downers:

  • Jennifer Connelly’s character is a spoilt bitch.
  • One incident of racism.
  • The swamp has dirty buttholes poking out the ground which is a bit extreme.

Summary:

I’m glad that my mother’s sick perversion led me to this film. The trippy visuals and the fantastic and engrossing story combine to make one hell of an enjoyable movie. Anybody who tells you that they do not like this film is a rotten filthy liar or simply hates fun. You should shun these people. I demand that you expunge them from your life immediately.

9.5/10

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Filed under Action/Adventure, Mind Blowingly Awesome