Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Guillermo del Toro's THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017)

Some movies are for looking at, and I'd
Say this is one, for ev'ry gorgeous frame
Would look great on my wall. All that aside, 
This fairy tale for grown-ups plays a game
Of fantasy-nostalgia that's both real --
All analog and black and white and chrome
(Or rather, green and red and, of course, teal) --
And un-, as ol' Abe Sapiens is alone
No longer. Richard and Octavia got
Plain robbed, though, at the Oscars, but for me
That proves they were the best, as much as not.
I do not know I'll ever want to see
This one again, though. There is nothing wrong
Here though: but Pan's and Devil's play my song.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Peter Bogdanovich's THE LAST PICTURE SHOW (1972)

Before those Friday Nights got any Lights, 
Ere ever Daz├ęd teens were too Confused, 
Jeff Bridges left poor Cybill hangin'. Nights
In black and white stretched long with naught to do
But get in sexy trouble, it would seem. 
It's hard to say which story breaks the heart
The most -- the ones depicted on the screen?
Or what occurred behind the cameras. Part
Of each perhaps. Meanwhile, each dewy face, 
And each hard-bitten, steals the viewer's breath.
There's something timeless, too, about that place, 
North Texas in the 50s, near its death,
And full of gossip, jealousy and pain
That feels just like my own town on the plain.


Bad parenting, ahoy! You didn't think
That only happens now, did you? A dad
Need not be violent, and needn't drink
To wreck a fam'ly's life. Then, too, a bad
Mom helps, especially when a big black goat,
With Chekov's giant horns, is also there. 
In truest ay-two-four style, you can vote:
Is this for "real" or did they all just share
Some ergot-madness? Too, it's well-conveyed
How ev'rything must stink, as well as why
(Yes, fetch the water downstream from the maid
Who's washing goat-shit from some clothes, oh aye!).
I'd like to see this done in black and white.
Such ambiguity might up the fright...

Friday, January 22, 2021

Tomas Gutierrez Alea's MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT (1968)

A Cuban Humbert Humbert's just the start, 
Our man there in Havana likes to peep
But not participate or help; his heart
Is less developed than his nation. Keep
Away from guys like this: though to the eyes
He's so appealing, privileged and cool,
He's odious. While all his fam'ly flies
Off to America lest Castro's rule
Come after them, he stays, but it's not brave. 
He's rid of all who might expect of him
An effort while he's this side of the grave. 
His frantic nation lets him stay that dim 
And keep his comforts even when, you bet
He goes and bothers quite the wrong nymphet.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

James Mangold's FORD V FERRARI (2019)

A car does not excite me; nor a race,
But competence is always fun to see
In action, as is friendship, and a base
Of function in a family. For me,
Though, who has really bad reactions to
Big crashes, unsafe driving (thanks a lot,
O PTSD), I stayed watching through
A lot of that because I really got
A kick from Christian Bale, a character,
And not a growl inside a suit, again!
There's the best fistfight that I've seen occur
In recent years, as well. There might have been
A bit too mighty sound for migraine types, 
But otherwise, it well deserves the hype. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

Harald Zwart's THE 12TH MAN (2017)


We've all been cold, but have we cut our toes
Right off our feet 'gainst gangrene, started when
They froze in winter seawater, then snows
That buried us for days? I haven't been
Quite there. Nor have I been a hero, passed
Around a nation like a living prize
That everyone's decided is their last
Best hope for freedom. Jesus, though, those eyes.
Throughout Jan Baalstrud's journey as portrayed
By Thomas Gullestad, now clear, now red
Like nothing should be red, from snow glare, stayed
With me for hours. There are sights to dread,
But also thrills to have, as when, at speed
A reindeer drags him racing in his need!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Josephine Decker's SHIRLEY (2020)

The great achievement of this dreary work
Is making of Ms. Moss's elfin face
A doppelganger for Ms. Jackson, smirk
And rank untidiness and all, but pace
The famous savages who wore her down.
Instead we get some newlyweds to share
Their home, two cute young things who quickly drown
In melodrama, but I couldn't care
About them and their sexy, sexy scenes. 
I'd rather a straight biopic, though, than this --
And Moss and Stuhlberg sure would be the means
To make this happen! But this here's a miss.
The look of things was right; I'll give it that. 
But otherwise? It's just not where it's at.

Guillermo del Toro's THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017)

Some movies are for looking at, and I'd Say this is one, for ev'ry gorgeous frame Would look great on my wall. All that ...