Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Signs of an alcoholic, as found in Lost Weekend
(Photos courtesy NYC.)

Rental Review: Lost Weekend

By Ryn Gargulinski
A man here is dying, literally, for a drink. One of the best addiction flicks around, it's on par with Requiem for a Dream, which actually made me leave the room for its creepiness.

This film is equally as horrific, although we don't get prostitution and an arm amputation. Rather, we see a poor sap in the throngs of his disease, which is not a pretty sight.

The film faithfully portrays all the alcoholic tendencies - the shakes, the enablers, the secrecy, the shame, the hospital wards, the insanity. The cravings, the rage, the drink that sings like a siren to the drinker, the desire to blow your brains out. DTs are even explored, in the form of a dive bombing bat and a sad, bleeding mouse.

Highlight: The dive bombing bat and the sad, bleeding mouse.
Lowlight: The woman who lets her alcoholic boyfriend sell her gorgeous leopard coat for a drink. This happens, of course, in the rain.
Rating (1-10): 99.42

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Random NYC folks...maybe you, not me, a few I know.

Rental Review: You, Me and Everyone We Know

By Ryn Gargulinski
With an intriguing title, quirky plotline and a bunch of awards from independent film fests boasted on its box, one would think this flick would be a heck of a lot of fun.

Think again.

Despite the promise of a handful of disjointed lives rising together, they all end up falling flat.

Each character has so much humorous potential – a flaky artist type stuck in a 1980s wardrobe, a single dad who lights his hand aflame for attention and a kid who collects blenders for her hope chest.

But they never really develop – or even say much – that make you laugh. Instead of funny, they all turn downright creepy.

More creepiness comes in the form of scatological fixations that seem like they could be put forth by a 6 year old. (Maybe because they are but forth by a 6 year old.)

Highlight: The burning hand scene.
Lowlight: The unanswered questions, like why did I rent this? Or where does the main character get all those horrific 1980s clothes?
Rating (1-10) -7

Love songs.

Rental Review: Rumor Has It

By Ryn Gargulinski
A parody of Pasadena mixed with a parody of love, this movie is amusing albeit superficial.

One also gets distracted, as I did, trying to figure out if Jennifer Aniston’s screenmate in this film is the Vince or Vance guy that she ran to after Brad and who ended up dumping her anyway.

Technically, one could read the box. But that would take all the fun out of the wondering that gets one through the silly parts of the flick, of which there are quite a few.

Highlight: The dumb blond undertones.
Lowlight: The spineless ending.
Rating (1-10): 4.57

Friday, January 26, 2007

Baby wipe.


he will not
greet me at the
door, my blasé dog, who
gets mad if I come home too
early, upset I’ve encroached on his
nap but – he lies in wait, in
ambush – when I step
from the shower with
water on my legs to lap
at the moisture and tickle
my knees I wonder if he’ll
sicken from the lotion – or
infect me with swipes of his tongue – but then
I recall some stuff I once read oh yes
sanitary dog tongues and their
spotless success while it’s
true they’re not great to wash the
dishes – they’ve been rated best to
primp a newborn babe.

-Ryn Gargulinski, Jan. 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007

Desert forecast: Snow in Tucson.

Yes, it snows in Tucson. Jan. 2007.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My cozy Tucson home.

My cozy Tucson home (and bathroom).

My cozy Tucson home.

Dead stuff in honor of Chainsaw Massacre.

Rental Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

By Ryn Gargulinski
Blood, guts, gore, disgusting scenes involving severed heads and ligaments, watching folks ripped in half by a chainsaw through a car seat….for a horror movie, what more do you need?

I loved it.

Unlike the tiresome Jason movies or the sequels to other of the genre that keep getting stupider and stupider, every sequel or pre-sequel to the massacre mess just gets gorier and gorier. The special effects have also much improved since the 1974 debut, making legs severed into stumps much more plausible.

Besides, the plotline is believable and our antagonist, inspired by the bloody crimes of Ed Gein, is somewhat likable.

I’m kidding.

Born and raised in a Texas slaughterhouse, our main character finally grabs a chainsaw and goes on his way. All questions are answered, like why the family turns to cannibalism, how he got the jazzy “leather” face (which is really human skin) and why they are the only folks left living in a remote Texas near-ghost town.

Highlight: The tea party scene where the fat lady works as an effective kitchen door barricade against the enemy.
Lowlight: Yes, at times it actually got TOO gross. I had to look away during a couple of scenes (it didn’t help I was eating mushy grits and peanut butter). But then again, for a horror flick, grossness is a highlight, no?
Rating (1-10): 13

Random photos of Tulum, Mexico, a testiment to why Frida loved her homeland.