July 2021

Weirdos Heroes

The Triumvirate of Awesome is back with more movies! This time around it’s a mini-marathon born of boredom as the current lock-down in Vietnam continues for it’s third month.

Emmanuel was in process of re-watching the Marvel lines of movies, and that sparked the idea to keep on the theme of heroes, but without spoiling his own watch plans. Thus was born our “Weirdos Heroes” theme.

Poster showing overview of the 3 movies planned

Comprising three films (one per member of the triumvirate) you can look forward to three film reviews. One for Watchmen (2009), another for The Crow (1994), and one more for The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (2003).

If you decide to join us for any part of this (anti?)heroic journey, be sure to leave a comment below!

Weirdos Heroes Read More »


I found a new blog,

something I guess I’m interested in now

strangers shoving words onto a distant server

shouting into a trashcan


i’m a hipster

read: it’s better before people know about it anyway

bukowski bu-how-she’s doing?

my words on her page

flattery, but she didn’t swipe right

art school drop-up with a chip on her shoulder

i wanna eat it

savor the archetype of past art school girlfriends

all seeking for unique identity

in the same way.

but teasing aside

my inner romantic

considering a vast city of conformists

sits at the bottom of a trashcan

curious, listening

echoes Read More »

Endings: Blow Out (1981)

Nothing more American than a screaming blonde girl

I gained a minor obsession with DePalma after reading Shock Value. This quick read highlighted horror’s changes from the early days of film through the mid-90s. It focused largely on the great auteurs of the 60s-80s, and no list on horror auteurs is complete without mentioning Brian DePalma, window-voyeur extraordinaire.

Enter Blow Out, one of the early string of hits that propelled Brian into the limelight. Blow Out starts as a humble movie sound effects editor, Jack (John Travolta), stumbles across a terrible car accident while recording sounds for future FX work. Without hesitation he jumps into the icy water and rescues Sally (Nancy Allen). Cut to the hospital, and Jack wonders what has brought in scores of ravenous journalists. It turns out the other stiff in the car (already dead when Jack dove down) looked like a strong candidate for POTUS. Jack is sworn to secrecy (the usual lines about the corpse’s family suffering at the knowledge of his affair) and he leaves out the back with a dazed Sally in tow.

With an uneasiness sparked by the pleas for his secrecy Jack starts to notice other irregularities with the story. His tape recording from the eventful night clearly indicates a shot rang out prior to the titular blow out.

From here the relationship betwixt Jack and Sally develops, and DePalma fleshes out (pun intended) their motivations. Simultaneously we see hired gun Burke (John Lithgow) attempting to tie up loose ends…

Thrillers, in particular, call for tightly crafted endings. As writer and director, DePalma exercises maximum creative control over the production, and it shows. Tensions build steadily, plot lines converging towards a magnificent final scene. Specifically, Sally and Jack converge upon Burke (demonstrably a cruel, heartless killer by this point) in Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.

Our final moments come with literal fireworks, a giant flag, quality screams, and Jack’s slow motion dash to save Sally. It’s difficult to raise the ante, but Travolta’s facial expressions as he exacts revenge/justice upon Burke (with Burke’s own icepick) combine with flashing red and blue lights across Sally’s dead figure, and finally, fireworks in the background as he clutches her lifeless body to his. It might be a bit too strong, in fact, but I don’t mind a bit of cheese every now and then. In fact, I love it!

The epilogue brings a moment of black irony as we hear Sally’s very real scream dubbed into the very B-horror movie we opened with nearly two hours ago. A television news broadcast is conspicuously lacking talk of a the assassination conspiracy, and in the end, Jack is the final victim, alive, but carrying the weight of his knowledge alone; the movie scream guy haunted by the real thing.

Twists: 3 (pretty damn predictable, although Sally’s death was up for debate until the very end)
Execution: 9 (DePalma is a technical master)
Satisfaction: 6 (purposely leaves you a bit empty, good effect, but I’d have preferred a bit more justice)

Endings: Blow Out (1981) Read More »

Endings: Breathless (1983)

“God, you’re such a fuck-up” says a casual business associate. “Yeah, I know” Jesse (Richard Gere) responds.

Part crime story, part love story, Jesse’s rough ‘n tumble lifestyle was bound to lead to heartache. The trajectory is clear from the first minute of the story — Jessie’s manner tells you everything you need to know with the unfocused gaze, slick smile, and carefree posture.

A character who casually murders a cop then dances and prances alone in the shower an hour later clearly doesn’t consider consequences. Yet the consequences assault him at every turn. For someone who tries to live in the moment he wastes a lot of time correcting past actions.

A few highlights

  • the soundtrack (a diverse selection from Philip Glass to Sam Cooke to King Sunny Ade)
  • Jessie’s obsession, even allegiance, to the ideals embodied by the Silver Surfer, a comic he returns to frequently throughout the flick
  • Monica (Valérie Kaprisky), the French college student swept away by Jesse’s force majeure
  • A cacophony of classic cars

So how’s it all end? Seemingly inevitable tragedy? Redemption, clarity, forgiveness? Luck and a trip to Mexico with no hint of character growth?

How about betrayal? Monica calls the cops in a moment of despair…a glimmer of a chance for escape…but what does escape mean without his lover? Rather than run we’re left with Jesse reaching down for the gun between his feet, freeze frame as he straightens up and aims for the calvary, outgunned, but not outloved.

I love a movie that leaves the ending open to interpretation. Jesse mowed down, suicide by cop would have been sad. But cutting a few seconds short of that leaves you with a sense of love triumphing over all, before the blood washes all other feelings away.

Twists: 2
Execution: 9
Satisfaction: 8

Endings: Breathless (1983) Read More »

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