That Old Man Who Diddles His Doodle in "Black Swan" Deserves an Oscar Nomination--and Other Movie News

Since my last movie report, wherein I revealed that James Franco does not masturbate for 127 hours (I'm a crackerjack journalist!) , I've seen another fistful of films. And what did I think? Well, I'm glad you asked....

After emerging from Black Swan, I posted on my Twitter page that I felt like I had been trapped "in someone else's lesbian nightmare for two hours." After some deep contemplation over the nature of Natalie Portman rubbing her hoo-hah like a DJ scratching a record in a hip-hop club, I realized that my initial assessment was wrong. I had actually been trapped in Darren Aronofsky's wet dream for two hours.

While the movie is a well-crafted ballet thriller (have those words ever been in the same sentence in the history of language?), I can't say I really "enjoyed" it. Why sit there and watch Natalie Portman go crazy when I can get the same effect just by staring in the mirror for an extended period of time? And, finally, as a side note, that old dude who touches his privates inappropriately on the subway train deserves to be nominated for an Academy Award. I mean, not since Requiem for a Dream's "ass-to-ass" battle cry have I been so disturbed by a dirty old man. (Speaking of being dirty—goddamn!, have you seen pictures of Natalie Portman's dancer-fiancĂ©, Benjamin Millepied?! He's so hot I want to punch myself in the stomach:)

Blue Valentine: This "straight-people-and-their-problems" movie isn't nearly as annoying as Revolutionary Road because it's often sharp and the acting is stellar. But I have the same issue with it that I always have with these types of films.... The wife can't stand being with the husband any more even though, in this case, the husband is the super hot, super charming, super funny, super loving Ryan Gosling. She wants a divorce! She can't take it anymore! It's not working! But I ask you, what the hell is his crime?! NOTHING! I mean, to sum up: Hot! Charming! Funny! Loving! A great father! An affectionate mate! He's so hot I want to punch myself in the stomach.

Burlesque: It is what it is. Not quite complex enough to be superb, not quite campy enough to be fun, but reasonably entertaining nonetheless. But maybe it's because I've always been a Cher fan. (I know, I know, so gay, so predictable.) During the showing I went to, an elderly wheelchair-bound woman with borderline dementia moaned repeatedly throughout the movie, "I am in pain! I am in so much pain!" (You can decide the implications of that.) I felt compelled to shove her, but Cam Gigandet is the film's boy toy and I was sufficiently distracted because he's so hot I want to punch myself in the stomach.

The Fighter: I love fight films (yes, I loved Never Back Down with Sean Faris and Fighting with Channing Tatum), so it was only natural that I would enjoy watching Marky Mark box while Christian Bale smoked crack. (No, seriously, have you seen Sean Faris and, yup, Cam Gigandet beat each other up in Never Back Down? So hot I want to punch myself in the stomach.)

Gulliver's Travels: While I appreciate being invited to the premiere of this (thanks, Christopher M.!), I don't think this is what Jonathan Swift had in mind. If he were alive today and saw this, he would probably want to punch himself in the stomach.

The King's Speech: A surprisingly fun and entertaining historical drama about a politician with a stutter (Colin Firth, Oscar-baiting) and the weird guy who saves him (Geoffrey Rush, Oscar-bating). It's a movie in love with language, even swear words. (This film would've dodged an "R" rating and been family friendly save one foul-mouthed but necessary scene chock full of cussing.) This is one of those can't-complain awards pictures in which I can't complain and have no desire to punch myself in the stomach.

True Grit: I can't understand half of what Jeff Bridges is saying and it isn't nearly as action-packed as those awesome Johnny-Cash/one-of-these-days-god-is-gonna-cut-you-down trailers make it out to be, but the culminative effect of the movie and its unexpectedly and inexplicably moving climax and dĂ©nouement allowed me to walk away satisfied and, once again, in no need of punching anybody—least of all myself—in the stomach.

(No, seriously, Never Back Down. Hot:)

To sum up:

Highly recommended: The King's Speech

Recommended: The Fighter

Recommended with reservations: Black Swan, True Grit

Recommended if you know what you're getting yourself into: Burlesque

Aw hell no: Gulliver's Travels
Borderline softcore porn: Never Back Down


  1. Prince: Re: Black Swan: You weren't nearly as freaked out as I was about the fingernail ripping, skin picking, pulling, toe-nail bleeding scenes as I was. I seriously needed a handful of pharmaceuticals tossed into my popcorn for this one.

  2. Hi Prince: Just one correction about "The King's Speech". He was not a politician with a stutter. As the title suggests, he was George VI, King of the United Kingdom and Emperor of India. He reigned but, just as his daughter Elizabeth II, he did not rule. The royal family is really not allowed to express public politial opinions.

  3. I thought True Grit was good, not amazing. Worthy of a nomination for best picture maybe, but not good enough to win. Jeff Bridges was excellent of course.

    Very much looking forward to seeing The King's Speech, especially b/c I'm a speech therapist. Can't believe I've waited this long. A little scared of Black Swan but planning on seeing it.

  4. Louise, hey, that's all in a day's work!

    Joe, you know, I actually hesitated before typing "politician," but I ultimately went ahead because it seemed far simpler than "member of the royal family who eventually ascended the throne." I should've known you would bust me.

    WJackalope, "The King's Speech" is required viewing for you!

  5. Black Swan seemed like an absurd comedic mind fuck more than anything else. It was pretty, but I, like you, can go crazy perfectly well on my own.

  6. Great bunch of reviews. Prince, I'm with you on True Grit. Louise, I'm with you on the fingernail stuff! It embodied the self-destructive side of perfectionism perfectly...and still gives me the willies when I think about it three weeks later.

  7. I'm glad you're all still hanging out on this blog, by the way.

  8. Just saw Blue Valentine and loved it. I also couldn't figure out why anyone would want to leave Ryan Gosling, sure he drinks a bit too much in the mornings, but really?! Then I read Roger Ebert's review and he provides a semi reasonable explanation:

    "Dean thinks marriage is the station. Cindy thought it was the train."

    Basically, she thought they'd grow and change together, and he wanted things exactly as they were. Knowing there aren't going to be any surprises or major changes in your spouse for the rest of your life could seem like a prison sentence.

    This reminds me of another platitude:
    "Women marry men hoping that they'll change; men marry women hoping that they'll stay the same."