Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Man's Man and Marie Antionette

Have you ever bought an album after hearing two songs from it, and you loved those two songs, so you thought for sure the whole album would be good? Then when you finally buy it, you play the album and only the two songs were good and everything else was crap?

Well, I read the first two chapters of this book and thought I just had to buy it. It was funny, and took some nice shots at some of those who like to feminize men.

The rest of the book dragged on and frankly, well, it sucked big time. This book was completely written for a city man. It tells you how to buy wine, what kind of music you need to listen to, what kind of movies you need to watch, how to dress, how to comb your hair, and a lot more rubbish along those lines. It even wastes two chapters on smoking cigars.

For music, the author's stuck in the past. He only has two active bands listed - U2 and Aerosmith. Let's get real, U2 hasn't put out a great album since Achtung Baby which was back in '91, and Aerosmith's last real good effort was Permanent Vacation, which was what? In 1990? Get with the times, chump.

All the advice he gives requires spending tons of money. Hey, not everyone makes a million dollars a year. From experience, I know some boys who could get a lot more babes than this guy who make a tenth of what he does. His way of impressing the ladies is with his pocketbook, which are exactly the type of women I wouldn't want to impress anyways.

Not only that, he keeps mentioning how manly manicures are. Whatever.

Vincent has several celebrity interviews and mentions constantly what celebrities he knows. I was reading that and just thinking "who cares?"

Real manly men will survive the upcoming zombie plague. This guy won't. Two dead zombies out of ten, for the two good intro chapters.

As you know, I'm a big time movie geek. I just got done doing the old Film Noir thing and now I'm doing a series of Women Directors. The director I'm watching now is Sofia Coppola.

Sofia Coppola at one time was the most hated person in Hollywood. She was the scapegoat for The Godfather III, which wasn't as bad as critics said it was. It just had big expectations to live up, which it failed to do.

Coppola did a wonderful job with Lost in Translation, for which if I'm not mistaken she was nominated for an Academy Award. Marie Antionette is her new one.

For those with ADD, forget it. It has slow pacing and takes awhile to get going. But once it does, it's a watchable movie.

As you may know, Marie Antionette was that French Queen who supposedly said "let them eat cake" when the peasants complained they had no bread to eat. In reality, she never said that. She was however too young and inexperienced to be Queen. Coppola did a good job at showing this, how she went from being a shallow, rich, spoiled teenager to having to steer a nation in heavy debt, of which she contributed to.

The movie starts with Marie Antionette getting stripped naked because she had to get rid of all her Austrian possessions, including her beloved Austrian puppy. It's French custom. Then she got to meet her future father-in-law and future husband (arranged marriage).

The what were supposed to be sex scenes were classic. Marie Antionette spent a year or so trying to get the King to be interested in her, for she was supposed to produce an heir to the King of France or else her marriage might get annulled. Instead of being seduced, the King often fell asleep or talked endlessly about locks.

Coppola was fair. She showed her faults. She showed how lost she was at first, and how even when things started to go bad, she had no idea how to correct it. She had no experience in political matters, and when the nation's debt kept rising, she kept partying. I'm thankful though to Louis XVI and Marie Antionette, for they were the ones who funded the American Revolution, something Coppola did remind us of.

Visually, the producers spent a fortune. This had to be one of the best visual films I've ever seen, and that's really saying something. The costumes were magnificent, and they even filmed the movie in the real Versailles.

The cast was well casted. Kirsten Dunst played her part as the lost and ineffective Queen perfectly. Asia Argento played Louis XV's mistress. Marianne Faithful played Marie Antionette's Austrian mother. And Jason Schwartzman played the young King, who seemed to be more interested in hunting and locks (like locks and keys) than running his nation.

I've heard a lot of other reviewers complain about the 80s post-punk soundtrack, but the soundtrack worked. The pacing however was slow. Coppola spent too much time on their excesses and not enough time on what was going on in France. Some scenes outside of Versailles would have made the movie a lot more enjoyable to those who didn't know the historical background of the movie.

Still, a very watchable movie, and visually pretty. Seven dead zombies.


Blogger lime said...

ok, lemme say this about look at that guy on the cover of the book with his gigantic cigar and i already knwo he is seriously compensating. that and his breath STINKS. also the hair tells me he spends a LOT more time looking in the mirror than ido and given i don't wear makeup and spend about 30 seconds doing my hair i don;t spend a lot of time gazing at myself (contact lenses and brushing/flossing my less than 5 minutes...)so that's another strike against him. a man's man does not need to compensate and sure as hell attends to hygeine but never preens. a man's man has hands that have some callouses from old fashioned work but washes up when he's done and knows how to use those hands gently when need be. that guy ain't no man's man.

no comment onmarie antoinette since i haven't seen it but it does sound interesting. thanks for the tip.

2/18/2007 7:52 PM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Can Vincent fix a toilet or change a diaper? I doubt it, that would ruin his manicure. I don't have time for superficial men!

IMO, Marie Antoinette is one of the most tragic characters in history, second only to Nicholas and Alexandra of Russia. The poor kid was raised to be a brood mare to royalty. She had no clue how to deal with the real world.

2/19/2007 1:54 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

I have Marie Antoinette here at teh house and haven't had a chance to watch it yet...


2/19/2007 2:02 PM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Have you seen Sofia's movie the Virgin Suicides, also starring Kirsten Dunst?
I liked it. I haven't seen Marie Antionette but I wan tto. Thanks for the review.

2/19/2007 3:59 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Lime - a man's man does not need to compensate and sure as hell attends to hygeine but never preens. a man's man has hands that have some callouses from old fashioned work but washes up when he's done and knows how to use those hands gently when need be. that guy ain't no man's man.

Well said. A man's man he is not.

Tshsmom - Probably not, especially fixing a toilet.

I'd love to see a good movie done on Nicholas and Alexandra.

Steve - Definitely do. It's worth a watch.

Sadie - No, only seen Marie Antionette and Lost in Translation. Liked them both.

2/19/2007 5:12 PM  
Blogger S.M. Elliott said...

I utterly agree with lime: A guy who devotes two chapters to cigars and probably gets manicures is not all that manly. A real man does whatever the hell he wants and doesn't publish a book to justify any of it.

I liked Marie Antoinette too. I've been reading up on the Revolution since I saw the movie. I read Antonia Fraser's bio on which the film was based, and it was just so-so. I think Sofia should get a lot of credit for doing so much with it. (and I didn't think Godfather III was all that bad, either)

2/19/2007 7:09 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

SME - A real man does whatever the hell he wants and doesn't publish a book to justify any of it.


I like Sofia Coppola, and also think she's quite attractive, although I have a soft spot for artistic women. The movie itself should get nominated for best costumes and best set design. They did a wonderful job with all that Baroque architecture/artwork.

Now I have to go back and watch Virgin Suicides.

2/19/2007 7:58 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I wouldn't have read that book except by gunpoint anyway. Coppola did a wonderful job with Lost in Translation. I loved that movie. I also like Kirsten Dunst. Based on all that, and this smoking review, it's going straight to my Netflix queue. I didn't know that they financed the revolution. Funny how I never knew that. Was I ever told in class?

2/20/2007 7:39 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Scott - No, you were never told that in class. I have a degree in History and I was never told that. I was told that the French financed it because they hated the English, but they just said the French, not who.

I really liked Lost in Translation. I got Virgin Suicides in my queue now.

2/20/2007 8:55 AM  
Blogger S.M. Elliott said...

In my review of Marie Antoinette I said that if it doesn't take the Oscar for best costume design, we are certainly in the end times. And I usually don't pay attention to costumes.

2/20/2007 4:21 PM  

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