Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: Kaboom

Dir. Gregg Araki
Year: 2011
Aus Rating: MA15+
Running Time: 86mins

If one had to put Gregg Araki’s latest film into a finite box then it would be fair to call it a queer apocalyptic stoner religious cult horror comedy. Not content to just make a movie about the end of the world, or the bisexual frolics of American collegegoers, or masked cult devotees murdering students on campus, Araki has gone and merged them all together in the form of Kaboom. Whether the title is a direct reference to the sound the world would make if it was suddenly blown apart or if it’s the metaphoric noise a young person makes upon entering the sexually confusing world of post-high school education, either way Araki has crafted an entertaining, violently funny movie that’s amongst his best work yet.

Read the rest at Trespass Magazine

Did you hear today that Kaboom star Juno Temple - she of the film's best performance, I might add - has been cast in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises?

Wait - why am I asking that? Of course you've read it since it has been pasted on every single "entertainment" website known to mankind. Never mind that it hasn't been announced exactly who she's been cast as. Nothing more than "street smart Gotham Girl" according to websites like Cinema Blend, which for all we know could be little more than a walk on role with one or two moderately sassy lines about how "the streets work" or some such. I'd recommend seeing Kaboom before Nolan remembers he can't write or direct women very well at all and sticks this formidable rising talent into a do-nothing role. Oh sure, Marion Cotillard was quite good in Inception, but the character was problematic. The less said about Ellen Page, Katie Holmes, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hilary Swank the better.

Perhaps, in fact, the mere casting of Juno Temple is a sign that things are changing in the brain of Nolan.

I can actually see her fitting in amongst the Joker's menagerie of minions. Or, actually, wouldn't she have made a far more interesting choice for Selina Kyle than Anne Hathaway? Far less obvious and she looks like she could do brittle quite well.

Anyway, amongst all the "Juno Temple Officially in Dark Knight Rises" links that filled up my Twitter feed this morning, I was also bombarded with every website this side of Bea Arthur Mountains Pizza Blog telling me about the latest casting rumour of Superman: Man of Steel. Yesterday is was Carlos Ramirez, today it's Michael Shannon. And what's the bet that a new name pops up within a day or two? It's all such lazy film writing, don't you think? One website posts a rumour from an anonymous source and everyone else just copies it (with or without citation) and tada an easy thousand (or tens of thousands? I can't begin to imagine how many hits those sites - you know the ones - get) blog hits! It's truly depressing.

1. Write article about project being announced before anybody has been attached.
2. Write article about specific actors being considered for various roles of various sizes in project that still may or may not exist.
3. Write article about the perceived “frontrunner”.
4. Write article about a rumour that an actor has been hired, but not confirmed.
5. Write another article as we wait to find out if the rumour was true. Come up with magical reasons for and against chosen actor’s non-selection.
6. Write article about movie studio announcing they haven’t made an announcement. Copy press release verbatim.
7. Write article about how a different actor altogether has been cast, negating everything that was written earlier, and yet conveniently not wiping away your website’s unique hits and advertising dollar!
8.-10. Write several articles about the life and career of the chosen actor, judging them before a single frame has been filmed.
11.-4379. Write articles about every single minute detail including what the extras had catered for them to how many takes it took a notoriously fussy director to film one scene as if it’s news. Announce an entry on Twitter “WOW! NEW PHOTOS FROM SET OF [insert movie]” that are of someone having a cigarette away from the set. Somehow turn paparazzi pictures of a cast night out into a story about a “troubled set. Have site “reporter” visit the set and report about how harmonous and perfectly run the set is as if they completely unaware of the impending visit. Announce everything as “EXCLUSIVE!” or “FIRST LOOK!” even if all you mean is “first look on my own website, but you’ve probably seen it elsewhere already.”
4380.-4412. Report on the test screenings from people who saw the movie without completed visual effects, music, editing and detail how the screenings were “disastrous”. Include spoilers, just ‘cause.
4413. Report on studio “tinkering” with the film, even if said “tinkering” included, ya know, finishing it like they had planned.
4414. Write review.
4415. Write article about box office takings despite having no real knowledge of how box office/budgets/money even works.
4416. Promptly forget the film ever existed because ew, gross, it’s old. Unless it’s good, in which case
a) Start new website feature named “Under-Appreciated Movie of the Week” discussing the film, even though it made over $300 million at the box office,
b) Write article asking “Will Oscar Embrace [movie in genre they rarely ever embrace]?”
c) Write article about how the Oscars “snubbed” said movie and how the Oscar’s “don’t mean anything but omg we’re gonna keep talking about them anyway!”
4417. Repeat for next movie.
It's depressing.

All the more reason to go see a movie like Kaboom I suppose. Those of us here in Melbourne are lucky to have a place like Cinema Nova who are exclusively screening it as well as several other amazing titles like I Love You Phillip Morris. I believe it's getting a similar Brisbane release at the Tribal Cinema, but that's second hand Twitter knowledge so don't take my word for it. It's in Sydney too, but I don't know where. Movies like Kaboom don't come along too often - of, if they do, it's not on a cinema screen - so please see it.

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