Idiot Savant Online

John Lichman's third attempt at a personal blog and online savanting idiotic.

Archive for December 2011

An Idiot’s Best of 2011

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Boiling an entire year down into a numerical list is something akin to masturbation of the highest caliber. Think about it: hundreds of films released, and a majority of critics–depending on location–only consider those which played for a week in a dingy spot at the Laemmle 5 or Quad Cinema to be valid. Honorable Mentions:

Battle Royale

This 2000 adaptation of Koushun Takami’s novelistic ode to wrestling’s battles royal never saw a proper US release until this year at theCinefamily in Los Angeles. It’s amazing that a film with the cult status it has–inspiring two manga sequels, a (lacking) film follow-up, the entire plot of The Hunger Games–never got a seven-day run in New York, despite selling out at the New York Asian Film Festival when screened.

The Man From Nowhere

When we had Grady Hendrix come visit Grassroots Tavern, we asked him to describe the recent trend of Korean revenge films. His answer: “Karenge.” If that doesn’t sum up The Man from Nowhere, I’m not sure what else would. Though not nearly as dark as I Saw The Devil, from savage bon mots (“How many gold teeth do you have? I’m a pawn shop owner and I want to know which to rip from your mouth”) to bathroom knife fights and a bittersweet ending, this sums up exactly what the Karenge genre boils down to: you can take revenge and kill everyone, but ultimately it will kill you.

A Seperation

Not optional.

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The Rest Of The Best 2011

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Let’s make this  short and sweet. Consider this an Idiot’s version of the Skandies if the Skandies had a brow lower than the common denominator.

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You say Politico, I say Poly-tico…

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For folks who don’t know the difference between Beltway Politics and Inner/Outer Loops, it really is an easy mistake. Especially if you’re supposed to be covering entertainment news with a political tint for a major national magazine known for its political coverage.

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Waiting for the Dead of the World

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If nothing says “post-apocalypse” better than an undead monkey’s uncle, then dagnabbit there’s something there to this whole zombies metaphor. Especially when it comes to the explosion of the theme in gaming over the last decade, from the sandbox comic-horror of the Dead Rising franchise to the survival-horror that evolved into Bruckheimer-horror of Resident Evil.

And then came the teaser for Dead Island:

So, why is The Last of Us so gosh-darn different?
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Written by john lichman

December 17, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Outrage Squared

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Doing it wrong, Magnolia style!

It was bound to happen. Takeshi Kitano’s latest trip back to the world of shark skin suits, lobbed pinkies and embracing other men the only way Yakuza know how (hint: a shank) opened in New York and Los Angeles last Friday. Well, except it didn’t in New York if you checked Google.

In a twist of inappropriate fate, if you live in New York and search for for Outrage you find this fun, no-star review of Outrage, the 2009 documentary by Kirby Dick about closeted conservative politicians and media personalities playing. Click the trailer link and you’re brought to Kitano’s film about aging Yakuza dealing with the loss of the “ideal” Yakuza.

Check in LA?

Doin' it right, Magnolia style!

Doin' it right, Magnolia style!

Hoo ray! Don’t fret, even if you live in New York and assume you’re about to watch the doc, you can just rent/buy Outrage…er…no, the other Outrage…oh whatever. You can find them both as video-on-demand.

Written by john lichman

December 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm