Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Latest Features

Films I Neglected To Review: And You Thought Flying United Was Bad

Short Stuff: The 2017 Oscar-Nominated Documentary Shorts

Films I Neglected To Review: 'Another Head Hangs Lowly

Short Stuff: The 2017 Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Shorts

Short Stuff: The 2017 Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: THE OTHER SIDE OF PORCUPINE LAKE director Julian Papas

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: TRENCH 11 director Leo Scherman

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: Meet the team behind ORDINARY DAYS!

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: SANTA STOLE OUR DOG director Bryan Michael Stoller

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: HOLY ANGELS director Jay Cardinal Villeneuve

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: NEVER SAW IT COMING director Gail Harvey

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN director Jarod Moshe

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: JUGGERNAUT director Daniel Dimarco

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: BUDAPEST NOIR director Eva Gardos

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: SOMEONE ELSE'S WEDDING director Pat Kiely

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: VENUS director Eisha Marjara

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview - NEVER HERE director Camille Thoman

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: A SWINGERS WEEKEND director Jon E. Cohen

Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: THERE IS A HOUSE HERE director Alan Zweig

Whistler Film Festival: The Darkest Movie Moments on the Starriest Slopes

subscribe to this feed

Latest Reviews

Tehran Taboo by Rob Gonsalves

Final Portrait by Rob Gonsalves

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story by Jay Seaver

Before We Vanish by Jay Seaver

Dear Dictator by Peter Sobczynski

Tomb Raider (2018) by Peter Sobczynski

Darken by Jay Seaver

Early Man by Jay Seaver

Beyond Skyline by Jay Seaver

Agent Mr. Chan by Jay Seaver

Wrinkle in Time, A by Peter Sobczynski

Kill Order by Jay Seaver

Detective Chinatown 2 by Jay Seaver

Game Night by Jay Seaver

Operation Red Sea by Jay Seaver

Red Sparrow by Peter Sobczynski

Annihilation by Peter Sobczynski

They Remain by Rob Gonsalves

Roman J. Israel, Esq. by Rob Gonsalves

Monster Hunt 2 by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Films I Neglected to Review: Brimstone & Tassels
by Peter Sobczynski

Please enjoy short reviews of ''Brimstone'' and ''Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe.''

Although I have seen plenty of bleak, brutal and borderline sadistic westerns over the years--and even enjoyed a fair number of them to boot--I cannot immediately recall one bleaker, more brutal and further past that borderline than ''Brimstone,'' an epic-length study in misery that forces its heroine to endure such unimaginable miseries over the course of its 2 1/2 hour running time that even Lars von Trier himself might be taken aback. That unfortunate soul is Liz (Dakota Fanning), a mute woman who lives with her husband, his son and their daughter in a remote frontier town where she serves as the midwife. One day, while trying to help with a birth in the church following services, she is forced to choose between saving the life of the mother or the child and opts for the former. This does not set well with the town’s new preacher (Guy Pearce sporting a Dutch accent straight outta ''Goldmember'') and he stops by her home later on to wreak brutal vengeance that sends her and what remains of her family fleeing into the night. As it turns out, this is only the first section and that subsequent segments will be set earlier and earlier in the chronology and show that there is indeed a long, dark and twisted history between Liz and the preacher that has brought death and suffering to practically anyone unfortunate enough to stumble between them over the years.

If you are looking for a collection of bloody, on-screen atrocities, then ''Brimstone'' is definitely the film for you--Dutch-born writer-director Martin Koolhoven offers up the usual array of shootings, stabbings and burnings and then throws in several strangulations (including one utilizing the victim’s own intestines), whippings (including a young child at one point) and no fewer than two moments featuring a woman getting her tongue cut off (don't worry, the second one is self-inflicted) and that isn't even counting the perverse stuff that crops up once we learn the real relationship between the two main characters. If you are foolishly looking for something else besides the intolerable cruelties on display, you will be left wanting because other than the ''Betrayal''-like gimmick of telling the story backwards (aside from the final section that takes us back to the beginning, such as it is)--a narrative trick that is interesting at first but becomes fairly reductive once we figure out the relationships (a realization that will probably come to most viewers long before the film properly gives it up)--there is nothing much else to it other than the blood, the guts and the sight of good actors struggling to make something out of the increasingly grisly and increasingly pretentious goings-on of the screenplay. Astonishingly enough, Koolhaven even has the nerve, after making everyone on the screen and in the audience wallow in misery for so long, to tack on an epilogue that tries to end things on a slightly uplifting note that seems utterly divorced from the story preceding it, except that even to get to this requires yet another shot of misery and death. ''Brimstone'' has been made with no small amount of technical skill and style but the end result is so pointlessly sadistic in its violent content that only the most masochistic of viewers will actually make it to the bitter end and even they will doubtlessly realize that it wasn’t worth it at all.

Sadly not a sequel to the film featuring Christina Aguilera’s finest dramatic acting to date, ''Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe'' is yet another documentary that takes us on a tour of a particularly exploitable subculture, the contemporary burlesque industry in this particular case. Focussing on a Portland, Oregon-based burlesque troupe known as ''The Glitter Tribe,'' the film offers up plenty of footage of the performers doing their intricate dance routines (which are not, they continually stress, just stripping) interspersed with interviews with them as they talk about themselves, their craft and what it is about the art of burlesque that inspires then to put in the long hours devising and perfecting their routines despite knowing that the financial rewards will be minimal at best. For people who are curious about the world of modern burlesque but do not possess much working knowledge about it, the film will serve as a more than adequate introduction but others may find that, despite the potentially titillating subject manner, the film is so polite and well-mannered that it could pass for an extended version of a ''CBS Sunday Morning'' profile. The best scenes are the one involving the performer known as Babs Jamboree, who spends her days wielding a chainsaw in the trees as an arborist and her nights conceiving and executing routines that, due to her relative lack of certain physical attributes (her opinion, not mine), stress goofball humor over overt sexiness--at one point, we see her perform a dance as a stripping burrito that is somehow actually both funny and sexy. ''Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe'' is not a bad movie--at worst, it is just kind of forgettable--but if anyone decided to make a full documentary revolving around Babs Jamboree, I would line up for it in a heartbeat.

link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=4053
originally posted: 03/10/17 12:13:38
last updated: 03/10/17 12:16:56
[printer] printer-friendly format

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast