I went to a party once, and there was a palm reader there and when she looked at my hand, she just froze. And I said to her “I know. My lifeline is broken. I know I won’t live past thirty.”
Runtime: 1 hour, 39 min
Genre: Biography, Drama
MPAA Rating: R
Starring: Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce, Hayden Christensen, Jimmy Fallon, Jack Huston, Armin Amiri, Tara Summers, Mena Suvari
Amazon Link: Factory Girl
SYNOPSIS: “Factory Girl” retells the meteoric rise and fall of the 1960′s “That Girl” Edie Sedgwick, a celebrity who came to define both the faux glamour and the tragedy of the chaotic, drug-addled 1960s. Initially on film, Sedgwick appears to be the stereotypical (read as vapid) American princess, but when she meets up with anti-hero Andy Warhol, everything changes. Suddenly, Edie find herself at the center of a vortex brimming with sex, illicit drugs, errant style and rock ‘n’ roll — and desperately groping for fame and fabulousness that was destined to end her life in ruin. The film records the Poor Little Rich Girl‘s downward spiral from Cambridge art student to Andy Warhol’s disposable model/actress/muse and finally to institutionalized drug addict.
Factory Girl has a number of problems. The script is incredibly weak. In fact, it’s so scattered and borderline incoherent that you’d think that Sedgwick herself, hopped up on crank, made it herself. The high points all get a moment in the limelight: child of mentally ill and abusive parents, involved with freaky artist types and hangers-on, attention and love-starved, high all the time and doomed to the inevitable downward spiral. You just never know exactly the who or why of what happened. The film heavy-handedly drives home its interpretation of Edie as the abused and abandoned target of a series of childish, manipulative men, with the ultimate blame saved for her family. But in fact, Edie was not a victim. She was already a wild child by the time she left for New York City. What made Edie Sedgwick so tragic is that she was the Poor Little Rich Girl by her own mistakes. She was terribly self-destructive and yet so beautiful and promising, and that creates the interest surrounding her life. Unfortunately the film never capitalizes on this dichotomy.
The acting is atrocious. Sienna Miller’s crying hardly seems real. Scrunching up your face does not make the audience think you’re crying. Hayden Christensen is absolutely ridiculous. He tries to channel Bob Dylan’s persona, called Quinn (after his musical tribute to Nicholas Ray’s The Savage Innocents) but inevitably just comes off as such a douchebag. Christensen even tries to imitate the same speech patterns and tone of voice as the famous singer, but ends up botching the character much like did Vader/Anakin in the Star Wars trilogy. Simply put, Hayden is painful to watch: And don’t even get me start on the uncomfortably awkward sex scene between Hayden and Sienna. Guy Pearce’s Andy Warhol, as idiot savant, is flawed from the moment he appears on screen. Pearce delves into Andy’s strangeness to postulate that Andy compensated for ugliness by leeching on to pretty people. That might well be valid, but neither the film nor Pearce fully explore the validity of such a premise.
The film depicts The Factory as high school with more flamboyant clothes and hair and stronger drugs. Petty jealousies and backbiting create a pernicious environment in which sycophants vie for Warhol’s attention and bask in his reflected ‘brilliance.’
Unfortunately, Factory Girl’s flaccid visuals do not make the movie worthwhile. What could have been a decadent experience in terms of the fashion, music and surroundings of 60′s counter culture turned out to be mundane, unfocused, and very contrived. Simply put: A complete and utter disappointment.
Goozlepipe Rating: Hated It
Popsci.com takes a look at a few of cinema’s most mind-boggling moments of scientific inaccuracy—plus a few rare films that manage to get things (mostly) right.
All ten examples are collected here for those who don’t want to flip through ten separate pages:
Mission Impossible II (2000):
In a critical scene in John Woo’s motorcycle-heavy second installment of the Mission Impossible series, Tom Cruise and evil Dougray Scott have a head-on showdown on their respective high-powered bikes, which ends in a midair collision after each is somehow able to leap off his bike. Neither seems particularly fazed, as the two continue to grapple apparently unhurt on the ground and for the rest of the movie.
Assuming speeds of 50 mph, a collision time of 0.015 second, and masses of 80 and 90 kilograms for Cruise and Scott, respectively, the force generated by the impact is an incredibly large 124,000 newtons, all exerted on the upper-right halves of the combatants bodies. Estimating the area of impact to be around .35 square-meters, we can solve for the amount of pressure exerted on their bodies at the point of impact: 350,000 N/m2. Putting these numbers in real-life terms (what, you don’t know what one newton of force feels like?): In car-crash studies, any pressure of that magnitude on the human body results in a 50-50 chance of surviving, with those who do survive coming away with massive internal trauma. Not only do Cruise and Scott survive the initial impact, they don’t appear to have even a broken bone between them, when in reality, Tom would need a whole lot of nontraditional healing to recover from this one.
“This one’s for connoisseurs of the ‘totally preposterous crap’ school of fantasy cinema. You know who you are: You have all the Warlock sequels on Laserdisc, the complete Leprechaun series on DVD, and go see Uwe Boll movies on opening weekend.” — Luke Y. Thompson of L.A. Weekly
Runtime: 1 hour, 30 min
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring: Jason Behr, Amanda Brooks, Robert Forster, Jack Craig Robinson, Aimee Garcia
Amazon Link: Dragon Wars
SYNOPSIS: A young woman possesses the reincarnated power to transform a legendary giant serpent into an omnipotent, celestial dragon with her ultimate sacrifice. But the forces of darkness are out to seize the young woman while her reincarnated lover and his aged mentor stand in their way.
When viewing Dragon Wars, it should be noted to leave your brain at the door. That way, when you start hearing things involving good and evil dragons, reincarnated warriors, and such, you’ll just smile and watch the eye candy. This film is geared toward the sensibilities of young kids. In other words, my six and eight year-olds loved it. The story, what little there is, isn’t of much concern here. For the most part, Dragon Wars is actually kind of enjoyable, in a really dumb, cheesy kind of way – think of a Sci-Fi Channel original movie. As a matter of fact, the only uniquely interesting thing about the movie is that it isn’t an American production, but an Asian one, specifically South Korea.
Supposedly based on an ancient Korean legend, a 200-meter-long evil serpent called Buraki is denied a chance at immortality when two young lovers, who are to perform the ceremony, run away and leap to their deaths in 1507 AD. 500 years later in Los Angeles, the man is reincarnated as American news reporter Ethan (Jason Behr), who as a child was given a powerful pendant by an elderly antiques dealer named Jack (Robert Forster) and now has to find the reincarnated woman, Sarah (Amanda Brooks), before her 20th birthday.
“D-War” is a film that looks and sounds amazing, in theory, but the execution is so poor that you’ll rightfully feel that you’ve been cheated by the time the credits roll. The film’s human players are paper-thin caricatures and deliver cheap, insipid dialogue in scenes that rarely connect. More importantly, when you pay to see a movie called Dragon Wars, you expect it to, at least, live up to its title. The biggest flaw of Hyung-rae Shim’s film is that it barely even does that, focusing most of its energy on a mumbo-jumbo plot about destiny: Dialogue about fate and destiny peppered with more weird names than you can shake a stick at takes up about half the running time, and it just plain confusing. On more than one occasion, a character asks another, “what are you talking about?” and you get the impression that no one really knows the answer.
But you don’t come to a movie called Dragon Wars for the story or the performances. You want to see some tail stomping and some flame throwing. And for a few minutes in the final reel, D-Wars delivers. There are two sequences – an attack on Los Angeles by the armies of evil and the final battle between the good and bad dragon – where D-War finally delivers. In fact, the attack sequence is clearly what the entire film was built around; an impressive battle between flying creatures and helicopters that almost feels like it was transported from a better movie.
“D-War” unfortunately comes off as cousin to the American adaptation of “Godzilla” (1998) than anything that is uniquely Korean. Also, the story seems to take itself a little too seriously, the acting and direction seem mediocre at best, and the execution is flawed; maybe the director was trying to do too much without really working out the material in greater detail first.
All in all, Dragon Wars is what it is, and if you’re interested in it for whatever reasons, then chances are that you know what you’re getting here: Another “B”-grade monster movie. With no blood or nudity, virtually no bad language, and monsters galore, Shim’s picture is suitable for youngsters and delivers enough goofy fun to keep adults from getting too restless. When asked why they liked the movie, my children replied, “because it has giant dragons,” and for kids that’s a perfectly fine rationale.
Goozlepipe Rating:Liked it