2017/12/31

Abysmal: Perfect Sisters

Perfect Sisters (2014)
Directed by Stanley M. Brooks
Written by Fabrizio Filippo, Adam Till
Produced by Juliette Hagopian, Fritzi Horstman, Damian Ganczewski, Cathy Rollo, Nate Rollo, Tony Rollo, Michael Rotenberg
Starring Abigail Breslin, Georgie Henley, Mira Sorvino, Jeffrey Ballard, Zoë Belkin, Jonathan Malen, James Russo, Rusty Schwimmer, Stephan James, Zak Santiago, Caleb and Braden Pederson
Certain crimes obviously oughtn't be romanticized, but such impropriety didn't inhibit Brooks -- a seasoned producer of lurid pablum -- from distorting a notorious matricide committed in Mississauga by twain siblings (whose insensibility proved nearly as scandalous as the murder itself) as nauseatingly sympathetic schmaltz. One needn't view this drivel to score well in the following quiz; in fact, you're better served to eschew it under any circumstances.

Insular, inseparable, self-obsessed daughters (Breslin, Henley) of an unregenerate boozehound (a bleakly haggard Sorvino) intolerably blabber bullshit, banter and braggadocio in the obnoxious parlance and bearing of:

  1. Dim, catty gay men
  2. Changelings who actually say "cyberspace"
  3. Adolescent millennials
  4. All of the above

Sorvino's lush is less nurse than souse, and too plastered to attend:

  1. Her nightly shifts
  2. Parent-teacher conferences
  3. This movie's hilariously miniscule premiere at the Toronto Ritz-Carlton
  4. All of the above

Henley's equally eDgY, g0tHiK boyfriend (Ballard) resembles:

  1. The by-blow of Pete Burns, Nate Silver and Ellen Page
  2. A deficient lacking testosterone
  3. Both

Their wealthy, obese aunt (Schwimmer) is clearly:

  1. Indifferent to diseases symptomatic of gluttony
  2. Implausibly Jewish
  3. Fyvush Finkel in drag
  4. All of the above

An overfed sissy (Malen) who's assumed beta orbit about Breslin must be:

  1. A ginger
  2. Jonah Hill after devouring Max Perlich to gain his power
  3. A fat boy
  4. A lousy snitch!
  5. The possessor of mankind's worst profile
  6. People's Sexiest Man Alive!
  7. All of the above (except perhaps F)

The object (James) of Breslin's pongy libido is:

  1. Apish
  2. A vacuous jock
  3. Racially selected to maximize a clumsily propagandistic import
  4. Almost able to pronounce "ask"
  5. All of the above

The latest reprobate (Russo) in their mother's adverted string of abusive boyfriends is:

  1. A bizarre anachronism
  2. Also a sponge
  3. Essentially any pugnacious pissant from one of Spillane's novels
  4. In no way representative of any obverse in reality
  5. Icky
  6. All of the above

After one instance of sexual harassment and two of domestic abuse committed by Russo's miscreant, Henley's goffik edgelord phones a social worker to report his crimes, but can't be bothered to mention them when interrogated because:

  1. She's an inarticulate clod
  2. Filippo and Till didn't know how to concoct this entirely fictional call
  3. An intercession by social services would foreshorten this story
  4. All of the above

Their (untypically uncredited) father can't subvent them because he's:

  1. Gutless
  2. A ginger
  3. Balding rapidly
  4. Hopelessly ineffectual
  5. All of the above

Their little brother (the Pederson twins) is:

  1. A cipher
  2. Heinously neglected
  3. An occasional punching bag
  4. All of the above

Whenever the girls are visited by their freaky, maternal imago (again, Sorvino), she's always:

  1. Aglow
  2. High
  3. Probably incorporating the effects of hallucinogens
  4. All of the above

Weary of their mother's bibulous irresponsibility, resultant unemployment and sleazy swains, the sisters resolve to:

  1. Report her to social services so that she can be consigned to rehab while they reside pro tem with their rotund aunt
  2. Escape
  3. Drug and geld one of her boyfriends as an object lesson
  4. Garner employment in their apparently ample spare time so to afford their own residence
  5. Kill her without any especial consideration of repercussions
  6. E (see above)

Whilst plotting and performing their mother's murder, they:

  1. Cautiously keep to themselves
  2. Behave normally
  3. Publicize their crime in advance to everyone in their school so to thoroughly implicate themselves

Breslin's blue crinal extension is:

  1. Hysterical
  2. Idiotic
  3. Trashy
  4. Typical
  5. All of the above

Garbed with an eyepatch in ill-fitting suits, a detective (Santiago) investigating their mother's death is:

  1. A satisfactory substitute for Poirot, Malgret or Columbo
  2. Some oddball who's successfully impersonated a police lieutenant for years
  3. A character from a yakuza drama

Convicted as minors, both girls served:

  1. A life sentence
  2. Twenty years
  3. Ten years
  4. Five years
  5. Less than two years

Sloppily shot, mindlessly overacted and glaringly disingenuous, Brooks' mawkish misrepresentation of two famously callous murderers as piteously tortured and confounded victims is almost as outrageous as their early release, and less indicative of white trash than his own stereotype.
Instead, watch Affliction.

Scorecard
16You're the winner!
13-15Well done.
9-12Nice try. Obviously, you don't watch much dreck of this grade.
5-8You couldn't predict the conclusion of a romance novel.
1-4You're a failure (but at least you weren't involved in the production of this turkey)!!

(Answers: D, D, C, D, G, E, F, D, E, D, D, E and F, C, E, C, E)

2017/12/15

Satisfactory: Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet (1956)
Directed by Fred McLeod Wilcox
Written by Allen Adler, Irving Block, Cyril Hume
Produced by Nicholas Nayfack
Starring Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly, Robby the Robot, Richard Anderson, Earl Holliman, George Wallace
Absent this seminal space opera's influence, one can scarcely imagine subsequent Treks, Wars or Battlestars, much less exploits whilst Lost in Space, proximate to a Black Hole or during the 25th Century. Planetary colonization in the twenty-third century enjoys sporadic success; one such enterprise is investigated by the crew of a circinate military cruiser, who encounter on an otherwise desolate planet a haunted philologist (Pidgeon), his nubile, ingenuous daughter (Francis) and their compliant, multifunctional automaton (Robby), survivors of a scientific expedition unaccountably slain a score antecedent. A percontation pursued by the vessel's courageous captain (Nielsen) prompts Pidgeon's scientist to serve as a docent of monumental technology produced by an Atlantean species extinguished 2000 centuries prior, but can't explicate the unseen, butcherly force that massacred his colleagues when it reemerges. Visionary concepts amplify the ambit of The Tempest's themes and scenario as science fiction, while its adventuresome climate reflects an unmistakably American postwar optimism. Though definitely dated, the innovation invested in immersive production design by Arthur Lonergan, Cedric Gibbons, Mentor Huebner and co-author Irving Block, clever practical effects by Disney's Joshua Meador, et al., and Bob Trochim's animation image immensity sampled from a perished race's titanic technology and its horrifying reverberations, shot in sprawling CinemaScope. Less imperishable are the script's excess, expository dialogue, adolescent dalliances between Francis's ingenue and the officers she arouses, and comic relief from the crew's bibulous chef (Holliman), chintzy counterweights to its humane drama. Louis and Bebe Barron's shrieking, droning, whirring, whistling, warbling, blooping, bleeping, burbling "tonalities" constitute the first fully electronic soundtrack of a feature film, besides pioneering programmatic noise in lieu of music ambagious in application for ambience and sound effects. Kubrick's and Clarke's supreme achievement elevated the genre, but inspired few endeavors to effectuate such sublimity. By reworking Shakespeare's classic in vernacular as a medium of futurism, Wilcox, Adler, Block, Hume, Nayfack and their crew affected the imaginations of mundanes as middlebrow as the mountebanks (Roddenberry, Lucas, Nation, Larson, etc.) who succeeded them.
Recommended for a double feature paired with This Island Earth, The Black Hole or any tragic episode of Star Trek.