Posts filed under ‘The Lovely Venus Infers’

Fargo (guest)

MOVIE:  Fargo

GUEST:  The Lovely Venus Infers

NUTSHELL:  Joel and Ethan Coen’s magnum opus about a loser car salesman (or am I being redundant?) who hires two even bigger losers to kidnap his wife so her father will pony up the dough for the ransom, the lion’s share of which Loser # 1 plans to keep WITHOUT his father-in-law OR the two thugs knowing! Needless to say, things go bad, bad wrong and people start dying at an alarming rate. Savvy/chirpy/pregnant police chief takes on the case, has drinks with an old high school chum and eats half of Minnesota and North Dakota.

GOOD THINGS:  Carter Burwell’s haunting soundtrack, Mr. Mohra!, quite possibly the funniest hookers in the country, Norm Gunderson the duck painter, best use of “Do You Know The Way To San Jose?” ever, Mike Yanagita!, such inspired acting and directing that you discern things about characters who don’t even appear in the movie (Watch how Jean Lundegaard handles her father at the dinner table and you immediately understand her mother.), the best kid actor ever (Tony Denman as Scotty Lundegaard), The “Accordian” King poster!

BAD THINGS:  It sure looks COLD.

FEATURES:  Frances McDormand, my favorite actress in the world, William H. Macy, Harve Presnell, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Kristin Rudrud, cameo appearance by Bruce Campbell (hint: watch the TV in the cabin), John Carroll Lynch, Steve Park, Jose Feliciano, miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles, and it’s not even Texas!

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS:  Okay, I felt a little weird laughing at Mike Yanagita’s North Dakota accent, because I KNOW there have to be SOME Japanese Americans in North Dakota, and they must talk like everybody else, right? But the cognitive dissonance makes me laugh, and I’m sure

NOTABLE:  Shep Proudfoot beating the crap out of an entire apartment block of people, pancakes house, Steve Buscemi’s Carl Showalter who likes the woman astride position a LOT, Mr. Mohra!, poor Lou – the dumbest cop in cinematic history, nightcrawlers in a sack!, a

BEST PART:  I know this will sound demented, but Marge waking Norm up just to tell him she’s turning in absolutely slays me every time I see it.

BEST LINE:  “Hon? Prowler needs a jump!” –   “Oh, for Pete’s sake, he’s fleein’ the interview! He’s fleein’ the interview!”   – “You see anything down there, Margie?” “Nooo, I just think I’m gonna barf.”  – “So! You were havin’ sex with the little guy!”  – “Well, Ecklund and Swedlin’s, that’s closer to Moose Lake, so I just made that assumption.”  – “Aw, Norm, ya got Arby’s all over me!

CROWNS:  5 out of 5 and a big helping of lefse!

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May 11, 2011 at 10:58 am Leave a comment

Waiting for Guffman (guest)

MOVIE: Waiting for Guffman

GUEST: The Lovely Venus Infers

NUTSHELL: Fictional (I hope) town of Blaine, Missouri (The Stool Capital of the World) mounts a City Council-sponsored musical tribute to the sesquicentennial (“That’s 150 years”) of its founding by geographically challenged explorer Blain Fabin and its pre-Roswell alien visitation.

GOOD THINGS: Christopher Guest’s hairpiece, Catherine O’Hara’s mall bangs-as-emotional barometer, Eugene Levy’s lazy eye, “Midnight at the Oasis” as an audition piece (I can never hear this song often enough and neither can you), Bob Balaban’s exquisitely Napoleonesque slow burn, “Dances With Stumpy”

BAD THINGS: None.

FEATURES: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, Parker Posey, Bob Balaban, Paul Benedict, the late Lewis Arquette (father of Rosanna, Patricia, David, Richmond and that drag queen), Larry Miller, Paul Dooley, a bare-bones script and masses of inspired improvised dialogue

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: Blue eyeshadow and Dairy Queen job notwithstanding, you don’t REALLY want to see Parker Posey as Libby Mae Brown grilling a forlorn chicken wing in a trailer park, fanning the flames with a paper plate as she smokes a cigarette and discusses her bleak future if the show does not go on. Or maybe you do. And if you don’t experience a few moments of genuine grief when the cast discovers who’s really been sitting in the reserved front-row seat, you’re just mean.

NOTABLE: Corky’s mysterious wife Bonnie, Ron and Sheila’s thrillingly Bergmanesque marriage, Mrs. Allan Pearl, Corky’s ineffably bad choreography, Lloyd’s heartbreakingly decent musical overture and conducting, the orchestra whose members double and triple on various instruments, Corky’s choice of music to bathe by

BEST PART: This movie is nothing BUT best parts.

BEST LINE: “Then I just hate you, and I hate your ASS FACE!” “I know how the Kennedys must feel.” “Our budget for the entire year is $15,000, and that includes swimming!” “It vas the smell of salt wah-teh!”

CROWNS: 5 out of 5 DQ Brown Derbies (Wow! – Ed.)

January 10, 2010 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment


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