…and the quest to see everything

Posts tagged “drugs

Oh my God! Oh my God!

“Viagra is not a drug, it’s a revolution,” says Jake Gyllenhaal as Jamie Randall, besting Vincent Karthesier’s trademark shit-eating grin. Brad Brevet thought this movie was terrible, but I’m a sucker for Spin Doctors-esque music. And both Gyllenhaal and co-star/ love interest Anne Hathaway get naked in this movie. Love and Other Drugs came out yesterday. Enjoy! 3/5.

Thirteen Conversations About…

(not skinny enough to be a junkie. ph. SPC)

Why is everyone doing heroin on a Saturday night? Where is everyone’s parents?

“Thirteen Conversations About One Thing,” a movie with interwoven multiple story lines, went on after “Requiem for a Dream.” Both take place in New York, both have drugs.

But in “Thirteen Conversations,” the drugs are a minor note. A young guy in a secluded corner of the city shooting up. He’s the bane of his father Gene’s (Alan Arkin) existence, always asking him for parole money.

Minor characters like him are unchangeable. He’ll always be a delinquent like that Gene’s coworker Wade will always look on the bright side and like Bea’s (Clea Duvall) coworker Dorrie, who I swear to God looks like my coworker, will always be lazy and bitchy yet outgoing. In a way Gene’s always gonna be grumpy. Unfortunately enough we have to watch Gene and Alan Arkin be the weight in his workplace’s sinking ship.

However, the main characters like Bea and Troy (Matthew McConaughey) change because of an event that involves them. Troy’s a douchebag lawyer and Bea is spiritual and optimistic girl. That changes when Troy hits Bea with a car.

It was nice to finally see Matthew McConaughey do good work and play something close to a real character. Troy becomes noble yet masochistic after the accident, someone dedicated to justice that he couldn’t give to himself not to Bea. He still didn’t turn himself in and let Bea alone to die, and you can either forgive him for that or not. But there was a purity and innocence in his face that went well with the character’s redemption. He spends some of his time looking in the mirror, thinking about the consequence of his actions, or going back to the place of the accident. He could either have been a George Clooney or a Paul Newman or a Christian Bale, but he chose to become himself. It sucks watching movies and knowing the future.


Bea is in the choir and listen to the homilies, but she becomes a Debbie Downer so much that Dorrie stops taking her calls. Pardon the expression again, but it sucks having a taste of someone with rare genuine goodness only but the movie takes that away from us.

It’s an interesting film. I disagree with its worldview – that an event can turn a personality upside down. And Gene isn’t sympathetic enough as a foil against Troy and Bea. But I’m not bitchy enough to totally dismissive.

Requiem for a Dream

(ph. secret)

My first encounter with this movie was in my college years. I thought it unwatchable, seeing all those slouchy junkies dancing and reveling in intoxication, wanting neither pause nor redemption. It’s something, at that time, that touched a dark, personal part of me from which I wanted to distance myself, so I had to change the channel. But this is the kind of movie you get if you wanted realism, and there’s a demand for that.

The time that I finally saw this movie was a televised edited version, and no, I didn’t get to see more of Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) naked with his girlfriend. Nor did I see what Marion (Jennifer Connelly) did with that dildo, and though I have the full version with me I don’t plan on seeing that scene.

And that relentless soundtrack. I’m pretty sure there’s only one or two-minute intervals of dialogue or silence between pieces of powerful music. Ironically enough, I’m sure that a track called ‘Marion Barfs’ (under other names in the soundtrack) is now being used to promote televised sporting events.

I do find the rapid cuts and extreme close-ups and split screens gratuitous in other examples. It almost was here. The shots of eyeballs and syringes bored you until another season/act comes and we find the characters deeper into a more interesting section of the rabbit hole. Also, my pet peeve that there are windows with no views here too, noting that this is still cheaper, independent film making despite of its achievements in other areas. But the characters and tragedy, reaching their inevitable ends, are effective enough to overshadow the flaws.

I cheated on a Sidney Lumet double bill to watch this. Had I seen this in its entirety a few years ago, I would have dismissed it as a jewel of turn of the twenty-first century film making like “American History X.” And “Requiem” is still that – I never thought to call a movie made ten years ago would be slightly dated. Last Saturday I was ready, and in doing so I treat it neither with love nor hate but respect.


I’ve always seen movies where Jennifer Connelly was the damsel in quasi-distress (“Little Children,”). I know that there are movies where she plays the unconventional reincarnation of the femme fatale (“House of Sand and Fog”). In this movie she refreshingly plays both. There’s also Nick’s argument that Jennifer Connelly did subtler and thus better work than the Oscar nominated Ellen Burstyn, which I respect and kinda agree with. Nonetheless, Darren Aronofsky works his players like athletes.

This movie is the middle ground between Aronofsky’s grit and trashy (“The Wrestler”) and the fantasy (“The Fountain”). So far, it’s the movie that best embodies what the rest of his work is like, although his best is yet to come.

This movie can also arguably be the gateway to the boyish Kubrickian surrealism that embodies the movies of the past decade (Mexican New Wave etc.). But then “Memento” apparently came out three weeks before this movie. Apples and oranges. I haven’t seen “Memento” in so long so I can’t choose which one’s my favourite.

Lastly, cannot wait for Black Swan.