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Desc:Chris-Chan's older brother (no joke) reviews Guccione's opus.
Category:Classic Movies, Educational
Tags:caligula, gore vidal, Chris Chan, bob guccione, Cole Smithey
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Comment count is 11
EvilHomer - 2016-01-24
Cole makes a decent living off this, but God, he is terrible at it. He's one of those "Third Grade Book Report" critics; offers no insight, jut spoils the plot.

Still, I feel really bad for him, what with nearly being shot by Barb and the whole "Cole's Real Dad" Saga.
infinite zest - 2016-01-24
I don't really see giving away the ending of a period piece much of a spoiler; it's like giving away the ending to Romeo and Juliet. If you don't know then you were probably not paying attention in school.

infinite zest - 2016-01-24
Oh yeah Homie can you elaborate on the "almost being shot" part or is there a page I should check out for more information? That's messed up.

I'd agree that this isn't film criticism at its finest but neither is Gene Shalit nor were Siskel and Ebert's TV reviews. RLM can deconstruct a movie for an hour but in 2 minutes or so there's not much you can really do.

EvilHomer - 2016-01-24
I think (hope?) more people are familiar with Romeo & Juliet than they are with Calligula or Toy Story 3, but at any rate the main problem here is that critics shouldn't be spoiling plots, they should be offering meaningful insight into the film's narrative and cinematography, so that I, as a consumer, can make an informed decision as to whether to watch it. Some spoilers are fine of course, but not to the exclusion of actual insight.

That's one of the reasons why I like RLM; they take the time to actually explain WHY a given film is or is not crap, and generally limit spoilers to the later half of their analysis (which you could always watch after having seen the movie for yourself). Again, I'm not trying to hate on Cole - dude's turned out pretty OK given the circumstances- just pointing out that he's not very good at his job.

EvilHomer - 2016-01-24
Pertinent links:

http://www.sonichu.com/cwcki/Barbara_Chandler#Cole_and_his_var ious_fathers


infinite zest - 2016-01-24
Yeah I guess Caligula's not as well known as Julius Cesar or Romeo and Juliet; in middle school history class I think his story was limited to a paragraph or two so there is a difference, and other textbooks might have omitted him completely for all I know. But other famous critics do this too with historical pieces. Whether or not I knew the Army of 300 died in 300 or Jesus Christ dies at the end of Passion of the Christ wouldn't affect my wanting (or not wanting) to see the movie, even though 300's story was relatively untold and everybody knows what happened to Diamond J.

But if he spoils all his movies like this then that's not coolio!

Cena_mark - 2016-01-24
His mother was trying to protect him.

EvilHomer - 2016-01-24
I don't know, Cena. Eugenics is great and all, protect people from the pain of living poor/ black/ disabled etc, but don't you think Cole was a little too old to be aborted?

cognitivedissonance - 2016-01-24
The thing is, Cole is just as bad as Chris, only successful. Cole regularly hosts auctions on eBay for the prize of winning a night out at the movies with him. He is paid to review pop culture. He's made a living on sheer ego bragging alone. The issue is this: Chris sees Cole's relative success as proof positive that he, too, is capable of living off pretention, add to it Barb's inability to ever tell Chris that he's just not up to it, and you've got a guy who is so deeply deluded about his level of capability that you result in Chris-Chan. There's evidence that Chris idolizes Cole, although after Cole refused to participate in a Playstation contest on the behalf of Chris, Chris believes Cole is "possessed by the soul of Count Graduuon".

Cole is not the problem, but he's sort of what Chris fancies himself to be capable of. That Cole seems like a pretty big douchebag himself only adds to it, because Cole is probably the only person who could make a dent in a Chris' ego shielding.

EvilHomer - 2016-01-24
Yeah, I've long thought of Cole as being the high-functioning version of Chris. He's also a lot less lovable than Chris, so maybe it's in Chris' best interest to remain unsuccessful?

infinite zest - 2016-01-24
That's a really good review! I always thought Caligula deserved a second chance by critics who panned it, like Ebert, who changed his mind about Blue Velvet and changed his review from one to four stars. In both films' cases, critics like Ebert didn't see the forest from the trees (or in Caligula's case the bush).

Personally I liked Caligula a lot, and I've seen the sequels. It's not something I want to watch again but it's got an important role in cinematic history nonetheless and the acting and set designs (at least in Caligula 1) are top notch.
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