(ca) wrote: Real Reality Programming A lot of the reviews for this say that you'll love it, but only if you're a Pixies fan. Thing is, though, I'm not a Pixies fan. I'm one of those people die-hard fans hate when it comes to a lot of bands. I know a couple of their songs, generally from a movie soundtrack or its being the only song they ever did which had heavy radio play, and I've never really sought out the rest of it. The only Pixies song I know I know is "Wave of Mutilation," which is from the [i]Pump Up the Volume[/i] soundtrack. It may be my favourite song on the soundtrack, but I've still never tracked down any more of their music. I don't know why, now I think about it. I have a friend who rants at how "Creep" is a lousy song and True Radiohead Fans all hate it, as does the band. I still like it, though, and if hating the song is what it takes, I don't [i]want[/i] to be a True Radiohead Fan. Maybe that's why I'm willing to just like the one song. Too much pressure. The movie opens with a quote from Kurt Cobain about how all he really wanted was to sound like The Pixies. Which, okay. However, the movie seems content to let us know that and not ever explain why. It tells us that they were together for a handful of years a long time ago, mostly stopped speaking, and have gotten back together because okay. This is essentially all the context provided. Mostly, this is a group of middle-aged people doing a concert tour with people they haven't seen in a long time. They have families now, and they're all doing things with their lives, but they've dropped all that for a tour because it was Reunion Tour Time for them. They must be a big deal; we are told that their concert dates all sold out in minutes, and some guy from [i]Rolling Stone[/i] comes to interview them on the night of their last show of the tour. However, the film doesn't really seem to care. It focuses more on the simple moments. And this is the thing which drew me in. Onstage, they are cheered on by hundreds of screaming fans. Maybe thousands, depending on the venue. However, offstage, they do perfectly mundane things. One member has been taking care of her mother and so brings her on the tour. Any rock tour you can take your mother on is going to be pretty tame, and at any rate, there is to be no alcohol backstage. Recovering alcoholic in the band, you see. We see one member at his wife's side during an ultrasound, proudly showing off to their daughter the picture of her sibling-to-be. Nobody's snorting coke off the body of a groupie. No, the one with the pregnant wife--I don't know these people's names--has a video conference with his daughter for her birthday. Yes, one of them is wearing leather pants in the last of the concert footage, but another appears to be wearing comfort-fit jeans. They've spent so long out of the public eye that they don't seem worried about image. Just being people. I can see why other people might like some context with their documentary, though. There is no voiceover, though there are a dozen or two title cards. There are no talking heads. There are no interviews with modern music celebrities talking about how important The Pixies were in their own musical formative years. Just the Kurt Cobain quote. And, yes, Kurt was dead more than ten years before the documentary was released. Ten years before the reunion tour. But there were other guys in Nirvana, and the film doesn't speak to any of them. One of the title cards say they were one of the most influential bands in the history of rock, but we're really taking the movie's word for it. For all the context we're really given, this could be a fictional band. (Not that you can't get real musicians to do a mockumentary.) One of the members went off and became a magician, supplementing his income with royalty checks. But Emo Philips still gets royalty checks for [i]UHF[/i]. There are still your basic human foibles very much on display, of course. One of the women, the recovering alcoholic, still drinks a lot of near-beer. Because it barely has any alcohol and doesn't count. There's a lot of smoking. If anyone cheats on a spouse, it doesn't make the film, but there's certainly frustration at the distance being on tour inflicts. One of the women complains that they're being asked the same questions over and over, and she still doesn't know the answers. (The answer to one, "Will you be making a new album of new songs?" is thus far no.) I think she's also the one who goes to where the audience is waiting in line to get into the show and asks them why the band broke up and why they've gotten back together. Each has a different idea. I think perhaps one of the reasons they broke up is that they were tired of living with who other people thought they were. However, the evidence suggests that the other people with those thoughts includes each other.
(jp) wrote: Quite a good time waster with a ton of visual panache, especially for 1995. Lord of Illusions features a great script that starts as a detective story but isn't afraid to step outside the confines of the classic plot progression. Bakula's detective is haunted, Famke Janssen's dame to kill for is surprisingly multifaceted and Kevin J. O'Connor's magician is even more haunted than the detective. But it's the villains that make it a Barker piece and the villains are fantastic, especially Daniel von Bargen as the satanic cult leader that is the ultimate antagonist. Also to note that like in many of Barker's movies there is a strong current of homoeroticism going through the entire movie, something dare i say it, refreshing in today's standard hero gets girl/ monsters and bewbs cinema climate.All in all, Lord of Illusions is a good, marginally scary but entertaining story with Barker's fingerprints all over. Worth a watch.
(mx) wrote: Funny, disturbing, and indeed wild at heart. One of Nic Cage's better movies as well as a little homage to the wizard of oz and Bonnie and Clyde. If you like true romance or natural born killers with some David lynch isms, worth a watch
(nl) wrote: Noel Coward's subversive (and persistent) dream longing for the halycon days of the court of Caligula's nightly entertainment is toned down slightly by writer Ben Hecht and impresario director Ernst Lubitsch into a coy consideration for the free love movement ... in 1933, no less. The principals are charming, all professing love for the Bohemian experience while desperately trying to leave it behind.