Li’l Fatass’s Top 5 of 2011: Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre

#2: Do you believe in ghosts?

What is a ghost?

Is it a spirit? Is it a spirit that seems to be caught in bed sheet? And it hacks in the night and often is sort of hovering?

A ghost can be many things. For example when you have a mentally-unstable wife that you chain up in your attic. Chain her up non-sexually I mean. Chain her up so you can kind of go downstairs and forget about her. When you chain her up, chain her real good so she won’t get away and maybe set the house on fire. That is sort of like a ghost.

When you have someone you do not love. When you suspect there is someone who loves you and you think you should love them. But you are always thinking, “She has kind of a little rat face.” And so you do not love them or envision them sexually. Sometimes you imagine a rat face on Fergie’s body but that is more hilarious than anything. But there is a lot of pressure riding on your love. When there is so much pressure and your friends are often trying to get both of you to the same party but you keep saying you have the flu. That is sort of like a ghost.

When someone loves you. When they love you but they are blind so they cannot see your beautiful face. They are deprived of your beauty and so that love is so sad and dependent on smell. And they have a gangly beard or overgrown eyebrows because it is now too dangerous to shave with an actual sharp edge. That is sort of like a ghost.

When you are in love. When you love a man but they do not live in the same city. They live in a different city from where they write letters. They write letters saying they are setting aside money so as visit soon. So every night they just sprawl out in bed and imagine your body. They imagine they have not just one penis but five to match your equally-magical five vaginas. And when you have sex it is like a puzzle piece being penetrated on all sides – a perfect alignment. They are saving and soon they will be flying and checking into a nearby hotel room. But there are so many bills that get in their way. Like last month they were getting behind on paying the installments for their dog’s chemotherapy. But it is worth it. He is looking better all the time, old Rex, he is a fighter. But then another setback. Last week Rex escaped from the backyard and got raped. And now he is traumatized. Now there are psychotherapy bills to pay. But still, little by little, they are getting closer to the cost of the plane and the hotel suite. A suite! So do not betray their love! That is sort of like a ghost.

Cary Fukunaga believes in ghosts. Moira Buffini believes in ghosts. Mia Wasikowska believes in ghosts. Michael Fassbender believes in ghosts . . . $13

If you heart Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre:

Recommendations by Li’l Fatass
John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt
Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love
Pedro Almodovar’s Hable Con Ella

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X-Men: First Class


Thrilling.  Entertaining. Thoughtful.  Successful.

This prequel is probably the best I’ve ever seen in a movie series.  Especially, given the last two failures in the X-Men film franchise.  X-Men: First Class is set in the creative context of WWII and the Cold War.  There was a whole lot of set up dedicated to character development and establishing relationships.  Even though this time was taken from action sequences, I appreciated the care placed in the origin story of X-Men.

Even more, the development of the story including Magneto’s experience in the Holocaust and the USA/Soviet show down provided really interesting insight into the rift between Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender).  Moreover, Magneto’s story makes you empathize with his future evil self.  You feel moved by his pain and you understand his perspective.  This makes for an interesting villain, although, he’s not really the villain in this story.  But what a great dynamic duo of good and evil.  Magneto and Professor X, first friends, but then dear enemies as a matter of principle.  Even as enemies, they treat each other with mutual respect and civility – I love how complicated it is.

Then there’s the relationship between Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and Professor X – what a beautiful touch.  And oh – Hank McCoy – one of my favorite X-Men.  I was happy to see him materialized onto the screen.  Although Beast wasn’t nearly as handsome as I had hoped.  Sometimes action movie humor really grinds my gears, but these little jokes and cameos (Rebecca Romijn and Hugh Jackman) got me on my good side.

The action sequences are thrilling.  Director Matthew Vaughn had a great vision for the interpretation of the mutant powers – especially the Nazi villain – Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon).  We all love to hate the Nazis.  Shaw can suck in nuclear energy and spit it out like fireballs – sweeeet!  I was a little disappointed in Angel Salvadore, Azazel, and Riptide – I wish the villains were more bad ass – but you can’t get everything, right?  And now for some gratuitous eye candy…

X-Men: First Class continues the socially conscious message of the film series that mirrors the Civil Rights Movement, it fits the time period, too.  This prequel showcases the young, teen-like angst of the cause.  These earlier X-Men still struggle with their identity and rebellion, wrestling with the decision to “pass” as “normal” or be proud of who they are (even in blue form).  I like purpose in my action films… $7

If you heart X-Men: First Class:

Recommendations from Yolkie:

Valkyrie
X2: X-Men United
The Dark Knight

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