Monthly Archives: January 2012

“The Devil Inside” : Movie Review : Final Grade: C

#AtTheMoviesWBKC #TheDevilInside Or is it “The Devil Within”? Doesn’t matter. Not a great or even a decent movie. Probably not even good. But I’ll give it a Straight C because it entertained for 85 minutes or so, and my expectations were exactly zero. I didn’t expect to have a favourable reaction. Expectations Management is an important and useful skill in Bigboy Life. So, I can’t say it disappointed. It had its moments. I mean what do you expect. Exorcism Horror Movie. As A Baptised and Confirmed and Intelligent Roman Catholic, I have a certain special yen for Exorcisms, a Wheelhouse if you will. (I’d sworn that term became a bit of a local meme due to its characteristic and memorable usage by a friend of mine, and, oh maybe 3 to 6 months after the meme had established this local visibility, it seems to have caught on nationwide, well, insofar as it has made noticeable penetration on reddit, far beyond what I would expect out of my unassuming little corner of the Computer World.)

This aside of The Wheelhouse Meme is certainly more interesting And Compelling (one day I would like to flesh out the signifiers of The 2 X 2 Interesting X Compelling Matrix) than this movie, which, in relation to other recent Exorcism movies, I’d probably place below “The Last Exorcism”. (Paranormal Activity 3 had a Demonic Possession, but it, at least as far as I can remember, lacked any Religious Exorcism element. And I’m not sure the priest in “Last Exorcism” was a Catholic, but I’m also not 100% sure that Catholics have 100% Possession (hahahahaha) on Exorcisms.) Although it may have made some press maybe 10 years ago that the Church Founded By Christ (1 billion and growing; for the record I do officially like this “Catholics Come Home” marketing campaign you’ve seen in TV commercials; very classy; Church, if you’re listening, I could do d*mn good Bigboy Work (i.e., paid) on this. Although the Church is probably not responsible for making these ads, they certainly are paying for and approving them, so if you have some kind of Church Office, I’m Your Man, I’m baptized and confirmed, see above.)

But enough about me, this isn’t a BLOG, it’s a TweetLonger; although, this may become a pseudoblog as I might (or might not!) work my way back to Official Blogsmanship. And I would be p155ed if TwitLonger’s Servers delete this “post” after 10 years or whenever. Disk Space Is Cheap and Getting Cheaper, SON.

Pros of the movie: R Rating allows it to get bloody and supercreepypasta if needs be. There were some good contortions, some good blood, only insofar as “good” means “average” or “mediocre”, and thus, more-or-less ok. Decent exorcism/possession premise, the first half is pretty well-paced.

Then it jumps the shark but not until about 57% of the way through; again, expectations management. I expected more like 20% given so many terrible reviews when I clicked on the Moviefone link when searching showtimes just to get an estimate of how many bad reviews there were, and there were alot.

I’ve already written too much. Anyway I actually liked how the movie became about more than just the Possessed Woman….although the execution of this expanded scope was a bit choppy and hamhanded and poorly-paced and not credible and is very related to the shark-jumping. I’m not sure if I could call the filmmakers “overly ambitious” because they had to have known this was the type of movie that is going to be quickly forgotten (But the really pathetic part is, for every bigger budget exorcism movie that actually makes it to theatres, there are probably 9000 even worse straight-to-dvd ones.) (And this leads me to an important question which I will not attempt to answer here: to what degree can Money Buy Writing and Filmmaking Talent?)

Eventually I ended up liking the two priests more than the Ab0rti0ned-up Wh0r3. Unfortunately, the priests became caricatures after starting out pretty….well, if not caricatured, then definitely more likeable. But maybe this is a function of you just not knowing them enough, i.e., the talentless hacks hadn’t had enough time yet to ruin them.

But I don’t make movies for a living, to get to that point involves a lot of hard work which I’m just not willing to do, especially if the big payoff is, you get to be the guy who made “The Devil Inside.” However I’m sure he’s a very nice guy, and if he wants to give me a (Paid) (Bigboy) Job, I’d be the last to stop him.

Yes the ending was rushed.
Anyway, it seemed the film actually took place in Rome, or it least pretended to take place in Rome, so, props for that.

The Mockumentary, I argue, is STILL a GREAT vehicle for horror, and no matter how many will botch it, I am hopeful that, sooner or later, someone else will come along and do it right again. This one pretended to be a more “professionally-edited” mockumentary, with intercuts of Professors and Priests with captions declaring their fake names and credentials; as opposed to say, the Paranormal Activities, which suggested a minimum of postproduction on the fake film footage. No real point here, this film would have been just as Mediocre if it were more “underproduced.” Probably it was just a way for them to try and differentiate from the most recent Horror Mockumentary and say they weren’t Ripping It Off. Not that they were!

I wonder if it was a Hat Tip to “The Exorcist” when they have the possessed people call the priest “f*gg*ts” or have the demon refer to its possessed body as a “pig”, or maybe I’ve just seen “The Exorcist” 63,753 times, (….”and it keeps on getting funnier, every single time I see it!”) (Hahahaha that’s a Film Reference, it doesn’t get Funnier, it just gets more and more solidly immortalized in my Short List of Desert Island movies, though).

OK I gotta go write cover letters. Although I’m gonna really try not to. HAVE A NICE DAY! http://tl.gd/f7l52n ·

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“Whatever” by Michel Houellebecq

Just Finished Reading “Whatever” By Michel Houellebecq www.goodreads.com wanted to briefly comment on that, AND try out a new-to-me tweet lengthener (hehe) called twitplus.co.uk. @Twitlonger is OK, but I don’t like that you can’t go back and edit the text, although I’d be surprised if this one allows you to do that either.

Anyway this is the third Houellebecq I’ve read, after “The Elementary Particles” and “Platform.” Very short book, 140 pages, small pages, big print, more of a novella, no problems there, I generally like my novels short and sweet, since these years I’m prejudiced against novels anyway, in favour of Non-Fiction. I like to Learn Useful Skills and Information when I read.

So, I don’t always read Fiction Novels, but when I do, they’re usually thinly-veiled autobiographies of Broken Men. Houellebecq is a good transition (for me) from Bukowski. Imagine if Buk had not been beaten and rejected as much as a child, had not started drinking so soon, had completed a Science Degree instead of a English Associates, and had gotten a Secure Bigboy Boring Gov’t Bureaucrat Job several decades earlier, and only THEN became a bigtime drinker. Growing up in Modern France certainly individuates Houellebecq as well. Also he had more Mommy Issues, while Buk had Daddy Issues. Houelle’s protagonists, largely self-based, drink somewhat less than Bukowski/Chinaski. I think it’s actually Houellebecq himself where I’m getting this picture of him being a huge drinker, because in interviews he comes across as a gloomy, miserable, difficult, rude, confrontational drunk 4sshole. Needless to say, right in my wheelhouse.

Sorta wanted to record a few memorable passages from “Whatever” but I’m too lazy. GL Piggy has a blog post on the passage from this book on “The PAUPERIZATION” effected by the Sexual Free Market, a provocative passage indeed. But there’s a few others too:

After an intentionally excruciating and obnoxious reproduction of a florid short-story the narrator wrote as a youth (unreadably florid langauge), he discusses, for the first major time, about 60% through the novel no less, his bitterness regarding his most recent major lover, Veronique. It’s a nice non-PC description that would earn Houelle accusations of misogyny, as he is angry about the way things went down and he’s not afraid to say it. Of course I love anything Non-PC, especially the pseudo-misogyny of Male Anger. Because the Leftist PC Media likes to falsely portray Male Anger as Creepy and Misogynistic even when it’s perfectly justified, haha.

Anyway, The First-Person Narrator (I’m not sure he’s ever given a name!) talks about how Psychoanalysis DESTROYS people. How after his x-ladyfriend started seeing an Analyst (Freudian/Lacanian etc) she took a turn for the worst. He argues that Analysis causes people to Embrace and Celebrate the most Narcissisitic, Egotistical parts of themselves, turning them into soulless evil douchebags who alienate everyone who once cared about them.

I would have liked to see a whole book developed off this thesis, since despite some NonPCness of Freud, we must not forget that Lacanian Psychoanalytic figures largely into the production of Cultural Marxism in Western Universities, and probably dovetails nicely with The Celebration of Narcissistic, Amoral, Antimoral Feminism. I would have almost preferred to read a “prequel” to “Whatever” where Houelle shows Veronique’s changes in personality due to her analysis.

Moving on: another great passage: When speaking with a (non-Freudishian) psychiatrist or psychologist about 80% through, the Narr, in his typical way of speaking in the (still insightful and truthful!) Abstract to avoid confronting his own Personal Issues, speaks of how Bitterness is the defining characteristic of The World Today; then his shrink asks him when was the last time he had Sexual Relations, he says quite a while ago, she laughs and says “Well there’s your problem right there! Just go and get laid and all your problems will be solved!” He asks her if she will do him that service, she declines politely, and then switches him to another shrink.

Soon after he notices that most of the people in the (SPOILER!) psych ward with him are just like him: they’re not schizophrenic madmen, but rather otherwise normal adults driven to not-suitable-for-bigboy-work extremes of depression and anxiety because they don’t Get Enough Love. They’re not ranting about hearing voices, they’re just whacked out on sedatives 20 hours a day, catatonic.

This relates back to Narrator’s coworker, a 28-year-old virgin, who, despite his stalwart efforts – approaching women and making conversation regularly, going on “Under 25” Ski Retreats, going to the clubs, etc – cannot seal the deal simply because he hadn’t lost that last x pounds, and because he was born with a hideously ugly face, “like a buffalo toad”, hahaha.

Narrator cannot be bothered, he’s so far beyond that, of course, but as Narr reveals his bitterness over Veronique, we can see that Narr is more like coworker (Tisserand) than we first thought, he’s just more “detached” these days. But Narr brings Tisserand’s problem to its logical, violent – and possibly hilarious! – conclusion. The part where they are In The Club on Christmas Eve and Tisserand ogles the beautiful Young Girls is very effective. Of course the young girl is most attracted to The Exotic, Savage, Suave Half-Black Man because Houellebecq is A Horrible, Incorrigible Little Racist Rapist as well as a Misogynist.

A decent read, plus as a side character there’s an old Engineering Schoolmate of Narrator who became a Priest, and eventually slides into drunken Temptation and Loss Of Faith. Not bad.

Oh yeah. I really liked that the Narr worked for a Software Firm. Not sure what his actual job title was, systems engineer or software developer or something. He’s def less on the PeoplePerson side, more on the Technician side. There’s a few parts where he starts to expound on The Deeper Philosophy of Information Technology, then concludes that computers make him “want to puke” because in his career, he does nothing but produce ultimately useless extraneous information.

Not my favourite Houellebecq so far, but a short fast read and certainly not a bad place to start. For me it goes: Whatever < Elem. Particles < Platform. Houelle writes about the same stuff – alienation, decline of the west, capitalism, sex, women, multiculturalism, the meaning of life, – over and over again, but I think he gets progressively better at it as he keeps at it. I’ve tried to place Houellebecq on the how-much-does-he-love-capitalism scale, and it’s kinda complicated. On the surface it would seem he would LOVE it. But here in “Whatever” he states that it’s the most NATURAL form of economy for humans, but that it does not follow that it will naturally become the best for them. By drawing a comparison to the Sexual Marketplace, we can see that a Sexual Capitalist Free Market creates Vast inequalities, a cuttthroat, SuperDarwinian survival of the fittest where some men bang beautiful women as much as they want, and then you get Total Losers like the narrator and especially Tisserand. There are men who succeed both economically and sexually; there are those who fail at one but succeed at the other (these two main characters in this book); And, finally, those who fail at BOTH. Now THAT is a book I would like to see Houellebecq write some day, if I don’t.

I would not call Houellebecq an anticapitalist whatsoever, but I still wonder why he needs to describe its negative nuances so much. Perhaps because he so deeply believes that it’s vastly better than the alternative, however there are some pretty bad unintended consequences; however it’s his life’s mission to point out that Capitalism itself is Good, and to develop exactly HOW UNintended these consequences are?

I dunno. I like him because he’s not afraid to be a grumpy grouchy yet often hilarious critic of feminism and political correctness and the (post)modern west.

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