[REVIEW] Cosmopolis – Digested and Respected

And now a review of Cosmopolis because a status on my Facebook was not enough…

I have been watching a lot of movies lately thanks to my handy dandy UGC card. And afterwards I have been reviewing them very briefly on my facebook wall (I am lame). I tried that with David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis… but it was just too difficult. So much to say… It’s that kind of movie.

I honestly am not very well versed in David Cronenberg’s style/movies as I am pretty sure this is the first one I have seen. So this perhaps will be a useful to other Cronenberg philistines like me.

Enough of that… Quick! Plot Synopsis! Go!

Eric Parker (Robert Pattinson) is a young billionaire tech/financial/genius guy. It’s not a very good day for him as his life spirals out of control.

The movie is artfully and of course purposefully, based primarily in Parker’s limo.  He is among but withdrawn from the people, sealed off with cork so that he does not hear the outside world… much. Parker meets with the people in his life as he slowly is driven to go get a hair cut.

Also, it is a commentary on Capitalism.

Weird huh?  It is.

See it!  Or not…

Cosmopolis is a mind meld or a mind “f***” to be crude about it. As I am told it is typical Cronenberg style, as the king of venereal horror (fancy talk for body/mind horror).

Cosmopolis is not a normal “enjoyable” movie, though you may find it enjoyable.  The trailer will trick the masses into seeing it (as it makes it out to be some cool action/NINesque music video flick) but the masses will not enjoy it.

Even in France, a nation known for dry drawn out movies and polite patient audiences, there was a mass exodus in 15 minute intervals. At least 10% of the people left.

But even if you do not enjoy it… I argue you should respect it.  It is an exercise of the mind. Something not so enjoyable for those who went to the movies for escape (after all we have plays and books for thinking!)

In fact, it feels very much like an esoteric play, especially given the style of acting which is wooden like a poorly rehearsed play.  But I can only assume Cronenberg wanted this from his actors.

Very dry. Very disconnected. At first very alientating… but in the end perfect for the reality of the film.  Because that is what it is… disconnected “slice” (I cringe to say that cliché) of realities on either ends of the economic scale.

How to enjoy this film

You will hate this movie until you accept its weirdness.  Like the main character Parker, you must observe the passing world.

And afterwards you may find yourself needing to “digest” the film. Austin and I walked home instead of biked just so we could discuss it.

Digest it, think about it afterwards, bring a friend so you may discuss it later: but during it, just hang on to each word and observe.

The acting… did Pattinson sparkle?

Robert Pattinson… was really good in it, or maybe the “plasticness” of the acting style necessary for this movie fit his style of acting. Actually though it made me want to check out his following flicks.

I must say I found myself impressed with his bed eye acting style (well really… perhaps “romanced by it” is a better turn of phrase).  I understand why the girls swoon.  He has sexual magnetism even when getting an anal check up (pretty good scene actually!) or hugging a big burly black man.

On other actors not named Pattison

Some really grade A acting overall: intense and funny at parts.

You get to know the characters in passing… there is little to no explaination and you may fall behind if you do not pay attention to the nuances of each line… it really is a quite unforgiving film.

You may not even realize who the characters are until well after they are off screen.

But still the characters, each basically in their own strange vignette as they come into contact with the main character, are interesting and on the whole very well acted.

I especially enjoyed Paul Giamatti‘s (though usually he is not my style) and Samantha Morton‘s performances.

[ELITISM ALERT] And another thing…

After reading some reviews… this is going to sound really bad. But if you think this movie is poorly constructed, its probably because you didn’t understand it… And this probably threatened you.

You don’t have to love or even enjoy this movie but you should respect it.

So in the end?

I have convinced myself the more I think about it… I really enjoyed the mental exercise that is Cosmopolis.

I dare you to try it – S

Lost No More

So I started this post before Lost ended.  This is all I had… “Things I hate about Lost:”

I’ll try to put a more positive spin on this situation by introducing some short lists of likes, complaints and solutions…


  1. No complaints about the acting. Locke/M.I.B. played Terry O’Quinn especially shined in his contradictory but convincing roles. Michael Emerson (Ben) was also a favorite despite how they let his character peter out.
  2. Some real novel intriguing ideas, too bad it was piece-mealed together. It’s not enough for me that it was “art” or “unique” I need some resolution. They could have been more successful with sticking with oneish concept (time travel, human experimentation, salvation).
  3. Something to watch/bitch about.
  4. Some really good character origins. My favorite episode being Locke’s “Walk About” and Sawyer’s “Confidence Man”.

The characters/actors made Lost.


  1. Overdone suspense music even when revealing a twist for the third time… I don’t care if THIS character is learning it for the first time, we already know.
  2. Gimmicky twists as mentioned above. Especially when in regards to fate. Fate is interesting when its not written (such as coincidence in life), unfortunately there is yet the technology (or amount of intelligent chimps) to produce unwritten shows that aren’t reality shows. So lay off of relying on fate. Of course its all intermingled, you wrote it like that! Oh lord, Jacob touched him!
  3. No regard for my time by letting the ending be what it was.
  4. Character development became more mechanical towards the end as people were used as stereotypes of themselves to move what little plot there was. So Sun spent days seemingly sitting in one location (totally amnesiac of her daughter) until someone told her Jin was where they were going and she followed them.
  5. Time wasted on flash sideways when we had wrapping up to do!


Woke up confused.  Austin explained the end and I was even more confused and slightly agitated.

My suggestions go as follows…

  1. We know we can’t make the island purgatory because some asshole guessed that on a forum after Season 1.  And we DEFINITELY know we can’t make the flash sideways purgatory because that would mean a majority of season 6 was for naught.  We don’t want to waste people’s time… do we Lost?  So how about instead of purgatory we make the island REAL LIFE and life before the island hell?  And the flash sideways if they had gone to heaven and not hell and if they redeem themselves in real life (a.k.a. make nice on the island and don’t let the Devil in Black leave) they will attain heaven.Okay you know what? Scratch that the island should have been purgatory we all know that and that’s why some troll guessed it. I don’t care if they would have had gloating rights you should have stuck with it Lost.
  2. The gold shiny light? Pulp Fiction Glowing Suitcase Should have been time (or at least explained). This theory doesn’t really explain why time turns you into a black smoke monster but we as humans strive for more time (longer lives) so that makes the shinies worth it to fight over. It would explain the longevity of the protectors. Also, if one person released or stole it all it would end time as we know it for everyone else. Also, explains the magical time travel. The flash sideways could have been an alternative universe spawned by the explosion that must be united with the “actual” universe in order to stabilize time. The island could be basically the knot that holds together time (or the cork if you prefer) and Jacob and M.I.B. the humans deranged with power by living at the nexus.  You can also explain Jacob getting off the island as time travel can be perceived as space travel.
  3. How about jumping the shark and explain it away as… aliens. Jacob and the M.I.B. are aliens enacting their own “Crash of Titans”. In some sort of Truman Show biosphere they crashed our plane on to their “mechanical island space ship” and are testing our virtues. The flash sideways are another simulation that they are putting people through and by realizing this the humans end the aliens hold on them.

Pick one. Still better then, some hole light thingy that Jack magically could just plug back in and flash sideways being some sort of limbo where people magically have stupid sons.

Done – S

To be fair I was the one that watched it for 6 seasons… by the ending I just didn’t care.  Made me long for the days anticipating the ending of worthwhile series like Battlestar Galactica.  Even if their payoff wasn’t great either…

Doomsday Book – Book Review… OF DOOM

So in my many forays into “having too many hobbies” I have founded/maintained for the last two years a book club, Y.A.W.E.R.S. (YAY! Adults Who Enjoy Reading Still formally known as Young Adults Who Enjoy Reading Still).

Here’s my review of our May read…

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis


Dooms Day Book CoverIt is the not so exciting future (other then… you know time travel) where historians are the new Indiana Joneses, the bell crazed British are sending historians back to the past, by themselves, to chronicle history.  Shenanigans occur.  One part historical fiction, one part sci fi, another part medical drama.  A pretty surprising multifaceted book, that despite long sometimes frustrating inner monologues will keep you guessing (and you’ll find you were probably right) and interested until the end.


I liked this book.  It wasn’t what I expected (mostly because I’m bad at reading back covers/reviews).  It really has a little about everything and keeps you interested.  Connie Willis’ view of the future is not super exciting (then again it’s only 50 years from now) but the time travel aspect adds a twist.  She in my opinion cops out though with the book’s universe rule that you can’t travel back in time and effect the past because “the net” that takes you back won’t let you go if you can screw it up.  Really takes a lot of balls to trust in that one.

The characters aren’t SUPER endearing but they are likeable enough.  The parts in the past both anglicize the people of the time and forces the point that its not the fairy tale era that SCA members day dream about.  Apperantly she did her research though (didn’t travel back in time though… :/ Where’s the commitment?) as best as she could and its pretty accurate to the 1300s.

One sometimes frustrating and sometimes interesting aspect of the book was Connie Willis’ ability to really get in the head of the unreliable narrators.  Large stretches of the book are spent with the characters listing what they needed to do full of self doubt or full hardy promise.  Made me stress and urge them a long.  It wasn’t Grapes of Wrath in length of description though so it was barable. The way she stretches on inner monologues also is mirrored in her plot reveals.  Good twists but I guessed them 50-100 pages before as there is very obvious lead up.


3 out of 5 penguins for gumption!

Read On – S

Superior Donuts: It Ain't Horse Fat!

So tonight I went to Mad Cow Theatre‘s production of Superior Donuts., in its first ever debut on an nonbroadway stage. Mad Cow Theatre is a small theatre that makes awesome use of its space and whose season is varied, affordable and worth the subscription. Acting is not always up to par but valiant and ambitious in its scope.

Superior Donuts Cover

Superior Donuts is an endearing dramedy about an intellectual poor black kid who forces himself into the life of an embittered draft dodging donut maker son of a Polish immigrant, saving him (and himself in the process) from certain loneliness and failure.

Sounds a bit sappy, huh? I’ll spare the sugary donut metaphors.

But really the play is pretty interesting and has quite a bit of the depth. The play explores the dynamics of the American Dream and personal faults of a wide splash of ethnic backgrounds in a small Chicago burrough, from Croatian porn selling immigrants to star trekies. Good and attention keeping writing overall.

As for the production: The set was awesome (as per usual) but it didn’t make up for the lack luster main actor. I’ve seen him in other productions and he ALMOST fit but the wavering accent really kinda lost it for me. Franco, the young ragamuffin, was much better but still in the first serious scene wasn’t quite convincing. The secondary eccentric characters were much more awesome (and sinister) and hilarious. Overall the comedy could have been a little bit more discrete and fitting if the director toned down the acting. Still as the play hit its climax the acting hit its stride (accents or not) and the emotional payoff was good.

All in All: It was my second favorite play I’ve seen at Mad Cow (of 4 this season) and worth checking out.

I give it a three out of five penguins. – S

P.S. It also will most certainly get you hungry for donuts. I bet they did better in concession sales in this production than any other (except maybe Superior Concessions). So bring a few dollars and support local theatre.