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Home Phoned

Call it off

Call it off

I have been getting calls all day long. This is really frustrating because I have a job.  At first, I thought it was President Obama, but it wasn’t 3 a.m.  We have kind of a phone chain thing, just in case of emergency, or snow closings.  It starts with Tim Gunn, then he calls Anderson Cooper who calls the rest of CNN, Oprah and Kate from (J&K+8)-J.

It’s Oprah who calls Gayle King, Nate Berkus, and President Obama.  Yeah, that’s right, it was Oprah calling in all those scary campaign commercials.  They just got even more scary didn’t they?  Plus, she’s pissed because they didn’t give her Chicago the Olympics. Better pick up, or the next thing the studio audience finds under their seats is gonna be you! (in a million little pieces.)

Back to the phone chain, Oprah calls President Obama who calls me, the Speaker of the House, and that long-haired male model from TMZ.  But it wasn’t even 3 a.m. or 2:45 a.m. (What’s scarier than terrorism?  Terrorists who are always 15 minutes early.  YOU try fleeing in a bathrobe and no makeup.  The invitation said 8 p.m. for a reason.  I’m no Dolly Madison; you show up early to burn down my house and there’s not gonna be any dinner.)

So this time, it wasn’t the President calling about overly-punctual terrorists, or a two-hour delay.  My phone was ringing constantly and from a blocked number too, annoying.  I had a couple guesses: scorned lover? bill collector? scorned bill collector? All wrong.  And really, I should have known.

It turns out, it was history.

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Synecdoche, NY

Part of a larger piece, of steaming rotten garbage

Part of a larger piece, of steaming rotten garbage

This was the worst movie I’ve ever seen.  Awful sound, awful lighting, some of it looked like bad documentary footage.  Thanks for the soundtrack Jon Brion, did you bother changing the titles of any of the Huckabee tracks before you plunked them haphazardly into the film?

The plot was too vague to invest in, and that’s not because I didn’t “get” it.  It’s easy to see what the megalomaniac of a writer was trying to achieve, (though you have to cobble the story together for yourself with huge holes and no payoff):  look there’s a man and his art and relationships don’t work, and he’s sick, and there’s lots of sadness!  He tries to fix it with new art and new relationships but it doesn’t work because you, your art and your relationships can’t escape death!  Oh and he’s himself but also someone else is him, and also he’s all of us!

These stale, overused tropes¹ are groaning from exhaustion and laboring under the weight of their heavy-handed visual representations.  I’m not disgusted by the poop, I’m just bored by it.  Kaufman tries to hide his lame attempts at profundity by disjointing the narrative so much, maybe we’ll all just forget how apathetic we are towards his characters.²

It began tediously and promised answers that were never delivered.  That’s all right though, I stopped caring at the forty minute mark.  Too bad there was an hour and twenty minutes left.  I don’t mind not being entertained by a movie if it teaches me something or provokes me to think.  Any thoughts I began to have about this movie were interrupted, by this movie, with whatever ludicrous gross-out or pointless depression was next to half-explain itself and then disappear—leaving no clues behind.

I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry but three overarching themes fit as well into a film as three apologies into a sentence.  Have you ever seen a man with three-backbones? No? Maybe he was shot by a three-barrel gun.  As for the play-within a play-within a dream-within a movie of the second half: do you know what happens when you hold a mirror up to a mirror? Not art.  Deliberately excluding the audience from the movie with hulking, agitating, and extraneous interference does not make a good experimental film—unless the experimental objective is making a bad film. I’ve got you’re mis-en-scène right here.

Also, the jokes aren’t even funny. Never have I suspected a filmmaker’s sole motivation was to abuse the audience until now.  Whatever you do, do not let this review sway you into seeing this movie—even an excerpt—out of curiosity.  The only thing you can do for this movie is to pretend like it never existed.  Maybe if we’re lucky, the sequel will be Kaufman un-writing it.

1.) Do you think I haven’t see your other movies?

2.) PSH was wasted.