Sunday, October 7, 2007

Review of "Two If By Sea" by Sider Billings

To those seeking to charter a chummy afternoon feature; be warned, Two If By Sea offers nothing more than a choppy ride over waters of shameful filmmaking and wave upon wave of senselessness. The film maroons its audience on a two-hour wasteland of a buddy-pic overgrown with middle school humor: leave the life preserver and opt for a morphine drip. I can’t say I’m surprised that director Evan Judson chose this project; with a script that reads like a will, a bloated studio budget, and a cast with the acting talent of a beach umbrella it makes a pronounced addition to his collection of squandered celluloid. Jesse Bradford should be remaindered back to the street corner where the casting agency found him several years ago selling pencils. He seems so shrewdly content onscreen, shouting catchphrases at himself and contorting his face in response, that I’m sure he’s been practicing in front of a mirror every morning since age twelve. Ultimately, Two If By Sea perpetuates the notion that Hollywood is more than willing to stock their films with lifeless characters and global ignorance and set sail for international waters. All ashore that’s going ashore. Ugh.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Two Better Than One? - Twinseltown

"Two Better Than One?"
By Sider Billings

Never has a work of art so shamelessly defied all notions of aesthetic form and, with sloppy arrogance, sought to engage an audience that it so consistently disrespects. That is of course, until Twinseltown oozed out of the bowels of Hollywood and into our theaters. I dare not try explain a plot that was obviously written and storyboarded on no more than one Mojito-stained cocktail napkin by a pen that was fast losing ink, but suffice it to say two dim-witted brothers, whose depiction makes Johnny Knoxville’s The Ringer look like Shakespeare in the park, bumble their way through a distressful series of poorly planned bathroom humor gags that would force even the most immature third grader to shudder and blush. I only hope Robin Williams was coerced into the role by no less than the kidnapping of his children, because one would think even the deepest pockets could not convince an actor to shred all ethical dignity and dive into such an offensive script.

But it's not all bad news. At least director Peter Berkman decided, between huffs from a bottle of rubbing alcohol, not to extend his screeching disaster of a film another harrowing 150 minutes. I use the term “film” loosely because all actions appear clouded in a brownish fog that makes me wonder if the entire movie is committed to and projected from cardboard instead of 35mm. On the whole, Twinseltown argues its moot and socially unacceptable messages with all the skill and elegance of an old pair of boots. I would rather have everyone I care about eat an entire anthill than subject them to this cultural waste product, but these days, who even has the time?

One Sided Figures - Parallelogram

"One Sided Figures"
by Sider Billings

Halfway through Parallelogram, it occurred to me that I could, in all probability, be watching a collection of unaired car commercials interweaved with highlights from "World’s Wildest Police Video’s". But unfortunately, I was still viewing a film that did more to estrange itself from any semblance of a narrative than thought artistically possible. The director’s colossal faux pas was evidently following a cinematic mantra that relied on violently confusing the audience and blinding them with a stream of unexplainable special effects. The experience of watching the movie is akin to being yelled at simultaneously by several dehydrated shopkeepers in a frenzied desert bazaar, hocking items you don’t understand.

And then there’s Mr. Buscemi, whose character comes across as a patchwork quilt of Jack Bauer and Spencer Tracy, which apparently spent a bit too much time in the washing machine. His acting lacks humanity and presence to the degree that makes me wonder if he even knew he was being filmed. As he carves a non-Euclidean path from one drawn out action sequence to the next the editing and dialogue teeter off the edge of cliché into pure ignorance. You may feel a slight headache after leaving the theater, but make no mistake; the movie packs all the punch of a losing scratch off lottery ticket. The tagline says it best: nothing, is what is seems is inside Parallelogram after all.