Isn’t It Romantic (2019) – Heartwarming or Heartburn?

Released: 28th February
Seen: 5th March

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This review was going to start with a paragraph that would try to discuss the concept of postmodernism, originally I would go through the concept and throw out a few assorted examples like Duchamp’s “Fountain” or the movie Scream and then create this elaborate explanation about how it’s self-critical and how no one understands it. This is how a lot of my reviews begin, a tangential observation about the general concept of the film that is meant to provide context and to have something that appears before the “Read More” text on the main page. This allows me a chance to not only give a point of reference early but to make use of a stupidly expensive degree that I will probably never get to use in any other context… and that, my dear reader, is a postmodern version of the opening paragraph to a movie that clearly is trying to be a postmodern critique of romantic comedies.

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Paddleton (2019) – Sweet Enough

Released: 22th February
Seen: 23rd February

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Originally, I was planning to see a movie called Lords of Chaos, a thriller about a Norwegian Black Metal band. I didn’t know much about it, other than it was inspired by an actual band and involved suicide, murder, arson and other shocking concepts. I was going to go see that but since I don’t make money from this and don’t get critic screenings a cost factor kicked in and I decided it wasn’t worth it so instead I ended up watching a movie about a man slowly dying of cancer… which, shockingly, was way more enjoyable sounding than the movie about the Norwegian Black Metal band.

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Polar (2019) – Sub-Zero-Par

Released: 25th January
Seen: 22nd February

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On the 1st of February in 1982, the television sketch comedy series Not the Nine O’clock News aired an episode that contained a song called “Nice Video, Shame about the Song”. The song was a satire of the recently created MTV and in particular the music videos that had begun littering it with insanely strange yet interesting imagery that accompanied substandard songs. This was the era when all you needed to make it in the music industry was a confusing “artistic” music video that ran through every new tool that was made available at the time. The Not the Nine O’clock News team satirized this by making the most garishly elaborate video they possibly could, complete with images of comical satanic rituals and Elizabethan dress-up, all set to a song that was intentionally designed to be confusingly bad. It’s one of the most gloriously pointed critiques of the music video genre and the phrase “Nice video, shame about the song” became a bit of a personal shorthand for films that worry so much about looking cool that they don’t bother thinking about things like plot, character or dialogue. Films like Avatar or Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets are films that I would put into this category… and now, we can throw Polar into that very specific group of films

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Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) – Did Somebody Mention Art?

Released: 1st February
Seen: 1st February

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According to Urban Dictionary, the term “Velvet Buzzsaw” is a term with two possible meanings. The first one is a slang term for vagina (Which the dictionary itself uses in the sentence “As the conversation became sexually charged, she could feel her Velvet Buzzsaw begin to hum”). The second being an extreme oral sex technique where the male essentially motorboats the aforementioned vagina, meaning it’s theoretically possible to Velvet Chainsaw a Velvet Chainsaw. Interestingly, both these meanings of the term predate the conception of this movie by decades and neither one really has anything to do with the actual content of the film. It’s a vulgar title that elicits an image that the film itself chooses not to use; it merely refers to it when one female character explains that she used to take that on as a name in a moment that implies it reflects on her past. It’s a nickname that links her to female art groups like Pussy Riot, an artist group that intentionally chose a name that suggests sexuality in order to gain attention so that their message can be heard.  Now, I bring all this up to show you the disconnect between this film and the very idea it’s trying to explore… that art critique done for the purposes of profit is a crime worthy of the death of the critic and all those who might profit from their work. This idea makes this a fun film to try and talk about, but let’s see what happens.

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IO (2019) – Zzz

Released: 18th January
Seen: 22nd January

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There is nothing on this earth that is quite as boring as spending time watching paint dry. The very concept is used as a mocking description of boredom, an understandable comparison since the idea of enduring the sight of a wall covered in a beige coloured liquid comprised of pigment, binder and solvent until that liquid becomes a solid is an interminably long one as paint can take a very large amount of time to lose its liquid quality. This concept is a cousin to a similar explanation of boredom that we call “Watching Grass Grow”, both ideas suggesting just staring at something that does something so slowly that it’s almost impossible for the naked eye to witness it happening. I would like to also include the phrase “Watching the movie IO” as a new descriptive term for boredom.

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Fyre (2019) – I’ll Take You To Burn

Released: 18th January
Seen: 21st January

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In April of 2017, the music festival to end all music festivals was scheduled to happen in the Bahamas. Organised by rapper Ja Rule and “Entrepreneur” Billy McFarland. The festival was a social media phenomenon from the second it was announced. Instagram Influencers and models were promoting it, tickets sold from anywhere between $500 to $12000, it was meant to have huge names like Blink 182 and Little Yachty and go for several days. It was meant to be the greatest music event that has ever been put together… and then the event happened and the only thing great about it was that it was such a great failure that it will go down in history as one of the worst events to ever be put together. It would end with thousands of people not getting money that was owed to them, personal property damage caused by the weather and one of the organisers going to prison for 6 years. Naturally, this was the kind of story that was going to be turned into a documentary, or two. I sadly can only talk about the Netflix one because Hulu doesn’t offer their product to Australians so I can’t compare these two documentaries, although if I’m ever able to do that I will do it later on. For now, let’s talk about the Netflix Documentary.

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