The Master Cleanse (2016)

The Master Cleanse
Director: Bobby Miller
Writer: Bobby Miller
Cast: Johnny Galecki, Anna Friel, Anjelica Huston, Oliver Platt, Kyle Gallner, Kevin J. O’Connor, Diana Bang, Loretta Walsh
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Paul (Johnny Galecki) was just dumped by his fiancée and is looking for a new direction in life. That’s when he sees the ad for a new retreat and on a whim, he decides to go, to purge the last traces of the break-up and start a new chapter in his life. With him on the retreat is Maggie (Anna Friel) among others. The retreat is run by Lily (Anjelica Huston) and it starts normal enough with a juice cleanse. But the effects of that juice is very different from what is usually done at retreats like this.

The Master Cleanse was funny, if way too predictable. It doesn’t exactly cut deep, but it’s an enteraining film.  Continue reading

50/50 (2011)

Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Will Reiser
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Matt Frewer, Philip Baker Hall, Anjelica Huston

Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is only 27 when he is diagnosed with cancer. Completely shocked, he tries to re-arrange his life to accomodate that fact and to beat the disease, as do his friends and family. But everybody is completely overwhelmed by the situation from his best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen) to his girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard), his mother (Anjelica Huston). Even his young and inexperienced therapist Katherine (Anna Kendrick) isn’t much help.

I’m wary when it comes to movies with Seth Rogen/menchildren/stoner humor – they are not my thing. And this movie had the potential to end up just there. But fortunately, it didn’t. Instead it was a wonderful, touching and even funny film that I enjoyed very much.

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When in Rome (2010)

When in Rome is the newest movie by Mark Steven Johnson. [I guess after Daredevil and Ghost Rider, it was the only logical choice.] It stars Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Danny DeVito, Will Arnett, Anjelica Huston and Lee Pace.

Beth (Kristen Bell) is successful, an up-and-coming curator at the Guggenheim Museum (an awesome job, btw). Of course that also means that she’s an emotional idiot, unable to have a relationship or even appreciate love. You know how it goes. Anyway, she flies to Rome to her sister’s wedding, where she meets the totally cute best man Nick (Josh Duhamel). But then Nick gets kissed by a mysterious plot device lady in red, Beth gets drunk and next thing you know, she’s in a fountain, stealing coins and enslaving men with their love to him (which she gets from the coins, OF COURSE).

When in Rome is actually pretty bad. But Kristen Bell is charming and it managed to wrangle some laughs from me so I guess that’s a yeah? Well, it might would have been if the genius responsible for the casting decided that out of Josh Duhamel and Lee Pace, Josh Duhamel would get the lead.

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Choke – Chuck Palahniuk

Choke is Chuck Palahniuk‘s fourth (great!!!) novel. It tells the story of Victor Mancini, who is a more or less recovering sex addict. His mother is dying, because she forgot how to swallow or to eat in general. To pay her hospital bills, Victor pretends to be choking in restaurants, so that his saviours will feel responsible for him.

The whole thing is told in episodes, alternating between current events and Victor’s memories of his childhood, which he spent mostly with foster parents as his mum was found unfit to raise a child (and most definitely rightly so).

Not the actual cover of the book I own, which takes home the prize of the worst application of neon colours.

There’s a lot that can be discussed about Choke. I think it would be a perfect book for a really cool book club. Palahniuk includes many symbolical levels to describe the major themes – Victor’s relationship with his mother, and the in Palahniuk novels ever present struggle for meaning through rebellion.

Victor’s mum keeps trying to hammer one message home to him:

I don’t want you to just accept the world as it’s given,” she said.
She said, “I want you to invent it. I want you to have that skill. To create your own reality. Your own set of laws. I want to try and teach you that.”

Ultimately, I’m pretty sure she succeeds for a while. But only for a while.

Palahniuk’s writing is impeccable, as usual. And although the theme’s grave, he never loses his sense of humour. Really, the book’s funny.

Again, I’m reduced to a blubbering fan girl. Here have another quote to see the awesomeness yourself.

More and more, for the stupid little kid, that was the idea…
That if enough people looked at you, you’d never need anybody’s attention ever again.
That if someday you were caught, exposed, and revealed enough, then you’d never be able to hide again. There’d be no difference between your public and your private lives.
That if you coul acquire enough, accomplish enough, you’d never want to own or do another thing.
That if you could eat or sleep enough, you’d never need more.
That if enough people loved you, you’d stop needing love.
That you could ever be smart enough.
That you could someday get enough sex.

The movie version, which just came out or will come out shortly (depending on where you live) stars Anjelica Huston and Sam Rockwell.