Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) - Zero Stars

Director: Tom Six
Writers: Tom Six
Stars: Laurence R. Harvey

Say what you will about the first film, at least it was original and had a degree of suspense and horror in it. The Human Centipede 2 is essentially a more hardcore, stupid and unoriginal version of the first. There was no entertainment value in this. None at all (which I suspected before I watched it).

The villain is Martin, a man that was abused by his mother and many others as a child, leaving him mentally disturbed and lonely. He works at an underground parking complex as a security guard. Martin is obsessed with the human centipede and centipedes in general, fetishizing the disgusting surgical procedure that the villain in the first film had performed on his three subjects, which was to connect their gastrointestinal system by sewing their mouths to anus'. This inspires Martin to sew twelve victims together in the same way, with disgusting and ridiculous consequences.

The whole film is in black and white, furthering the creepy vibe that the film already has. Many of the scenes were trying to display Marting as a freak, and that it should be funny when he is abused by his mother, a priest and a roughneck neighbor. It wasn't funny at all for me. The reason he is this sadistic is because of the abuse, so why should people be expected to think he deserves this treatment? I felt sorry for him for the first part of the film, until he started killing and torturing people.

Most of the time I found the kidnapping, surgical and murder scenes silly. They just didn't come across as horrifying to me, because they're so farfetched and terribly acted. There is constant reference to the fact that The Human Centipede is "Just a movie," which really did nothing for the film except reinforce in the back of my mind that this is just a movie too, and that it shouldn't be taken seriously.

Whatever this film aimed to achieve, it didn't achieve anything with me. It was stupid, it had no originality, and the fact that I sat through all of it shocks me more than the movie did. You'd think that the mouth to anus surgical procedure would be horrifyingly disgusting with twelve people, but it wasn't. Combined with all the bad elements in the movie, I guess I was desensitized to the whole concept, with nothing new to find redeeming about this film. Zero stars.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Cabaret (1972) - ★★★★★

Director: Bob Fosse
Writer: Joe Masteroff (Book), John Van Druten (Play), Jay Presson Allen (Screenplay)
Stars: Liza Minelli, Joel Grey, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Fritz Wepper, Marisa Berenson

How unlucky it is that Cabaret just happened to be released the same year as The Godfather, for both are legendary films and both were worthy of Best Picture, but it was Francis Ford Coppola's epic that earned the Oscar. However, it was director of Cabaret, Bob Fosse, that nabbed the Oscar for direction. Cabaret is one of the most engrossing, entertaining films I have ever seen and has swept me into regarding it as one of the greatest musicals of all time.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Taxi Driver (1976) - ★★★★

It's great, but is it a masterpiece? That is what I asked myself. After pondering this question, I decided that it didn't live up to its hype. This is because at times I was bored, and to be perfectly honest, I found it forgettable. Martin Scorsese is a brilliant director, and this is a fine film, but I wouldn't call it one of his best. I expected to be wowed, but alas that didn't happen.

Robert DeNiro was brilliant as always as Travis Bickle, a man on the edge of insanity as a result of his sleeping disorder and the scum that surrounds him. The scum is prostitutes, pimps, gays, murderers etc. He takes a job as a taxi driver so he has something to do while he's awake. He regularly visits X-Rated theater's to pass the time. I will say this, he is one of the most interesting characters in film history. Hearing his thoughts is quite disturbing because he is unstable and unpredictable, capable of anything. There is so much discontent with the world from him, so much contempt for the scum that walks the street. He feels purposeless. When a child prostitute named Iris (Jodie Foster) happens to jump into his cab to escape her pimp, he is given purpose. To save that girl from the scum surrounding her. The film ends with a big climax and an unexpected ending, but it wasn't enough to save this film from being dull.

I liked the themes that Scorsese explored and the raw way he presented the city. I loved the way he presented this mad man and made his insanity look just. I loved the "You talkin to me?" scene, which is one of the most recognizable in movie history. I loved the ending. That's why it pains me to say this. It was boring. I watch movies to be entertained. I compare it to eating a sandwich with all the toppings to make it one of the best sandwiches in the world. Sure it has all the ingredients, but it tastes bad. That's what this film did for me. A good film that wasn't entertaining.