Hey. Guess what. You dunno? Well lean in. Closer. Clooooooser. C'mon, I just brushed my teeth and I'm pretty sure I'm not contagious anymore, so just get right up in here until your eyelashes brush against your screen. Are you there? Are they brushing? Can you smell my minty breath? Ok...
TUESDAY IS MY HUNDREDTH POST HOLY SWEET GHOST OF SAINT ANTHONY (THE PATRON SAINT OF BASKET-WEAVERS AND GRAVEDIGGERS. I KNOW, WEIRD, RIGHT? OH I'M STILL YELLING. OK I'LL STOP NOW)
Woo and such! Such things I have planned, so such things they will be (bwahaha and whatnot). So since one of those revered and mystical things I have planned is a Sean Connery film, instead of reviewing one tonight, you get to learn about the big ball of crazy I just watched: Velvet Goldmine.
So, if there's two things David Bowie taught us, it's that 1. Crazed, glittery, alien alter-ego glam rock works. and 2. Do not fuck with the spiders from Mars. Just don't. Velvet Goldmine takes number one and runs with it until it is sweaty, out of breath and crapping glitter. Originally, in the late nineties, Todd Haynes decided he wanted to make a glam-rock tribute movie mostly based on the life and times of David Bowie. The Bowie looked at the script, which was heavily influenced by unauthorized memoirs about his stardom and rumored sexcapades with Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, and said "Hell no. And don't use any of my songs or I will gut you with my pimp stick." What happened next, I imagine was sort of like this:
Director: Shit! Shit! Shit! David Bowie is not cool with the movie. We need to change some stuff around.
Writer: But dude, how? The name of the movie is one of his songs, for God's sake!
Director: Ok, ok let's think. Our glam-rock hero, Brian Slade, let's make his mullet-wig thing blue instead of red! And also his alien alter-ego will be Maxwell Demon, which is totally different from Ziggy Stardust!
Director: Also let's toss in some random bits and pieces from Oscar Wilde, so we can be all aesthetic and pretentious!
Director: And we'll imply that Wilde is an alien baby with a magical brooch of glam rock that will get passed from rocker to rocker during the film!
Writer: Bri-...wait, what?
Director: Also, let's make multiple references to Citizen Kane!
Writer: And you've lost me.
The movie literally opens with a fucking flying saucer dropping off little Oscar at the Wilde house in 1854 with his magical fucking brooch, which is referenced like eight million times, but never actually given any meaning. The story follows Christian Bale's character journalist Arthur Stuart, attempting to track down Brian Slade on the ten year anniversary of a not very well thought-out publicity stunt where he faked his own assassination onstage. The movie is framed in disjointed flashback as recalled by Brian's ex-manager, ex-wife, ex-lover and Bale's recollections of being a sexually confused glam rock fan as a "teen" (hey movie, making his cheeks red do not magically make him eight years younger).
Why, who's that homely young British girl-Oh my God it's Christian Bale! Now every time I watch Batman I'm gonna think of this!
Anyway, Arthur hits the road hunting down info on Brian Slade as we watch the rise and fall of a legend. And honestly, for all the praise this gets as an arty and awesome indie film, I found pretentious, boring, at time really stupid and...and...
Ok yeah, Ewan and Jonathan are mad sexy and they do the make-outs. But that doesn't excuse this overtly ridiculous pile of eye-makeup and glitter! The biggest problem I have with the movie, even bigger than the Oscar Wilde alien bull or the "no no Maxwell Demon is totally not like Ziggy Stardust or anything" the ending is a massive cock-tease. Arthur thinks he's getting to the bottom of the Brian Slade mystery, making the sudden mental leap that Brian has reinvented himself as the mainstream music darling Tommy Stone. The issue? This is Jonathan "sexypants" Rhys Meyers:
and this is the guy who played Tommy Stone:
Yeah, I call bullshit on this one. Ok, so maybe he could have had some intensive-ass plastic surgery. But does the movie try to explain this? No. Does it give us any sort of logic as to how Brian Slade magically morphed into Craggy McNotBrianSlade? Of course not. Instead we get Ewan McGregor passing the magical brooch on to Christian Bale and the end credits.
(I am making this face right now, but the Nostalgia Critic makes this face so much better than I do)
Also Eddie Izzard does nothing at all in this movie. Zilch. All you get is the irony that the only real transvestite in the movie wears a suit the whole time. Also Ewan McGregor shows you his lightsaber if you catch my drift. Just saying. Two catapults for vague and pretentious rock star BS and an extra half a catapult for a really kick-ass soundtrack which is actually definitely worth checking out.
That's it for tonight, I'll see you tomorrow with whatever I can find to fill the gap before 100! This Sugary Cynic saying, "these two things are nothing at all alike"
Eddie Izzard: "That man sitting over there in the white suit... is the biggest thing to come out of this country since sliced Beatles."