NetFlix Finds – Shame

Posted: June 7, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

As much good as Netflix pumps out into the world by being a cheap source of quality movies and TV, it is also the purveyor of just as much graveyard time-slot crap, at least here in Canada. Sometimes they just need to pad some numbers or someone offers them cheap rights to something in hopes it will gain cult status, maybe a movie looks good in a synopsis and the stink of its failure is hidden behind high expectations and bankable actors. Hell, it could all be down to individual taste, maybe someone on staff thought it was solid gold. Who knows how it all functions, I don’t work there. What I do know is every once in a while I run into something so bad, it needs to be mocked. Actually, it probably doesn’t NEED to be mocked but I miss our time together, gentle reader. We used to get out more, laugh at silly things and make dick jokes. Me in my boxers and you, faceless behind your wall of internet anonymity.

Anyway, back on point. I was looking for a movie tonight starring Michael Fassbender of young Magneto fame. It was a period piece about Roman soldiers that I had watched and enjoyed before. Sadly, Netflix Canada has stopped offering it for streaming but it did offer up various other titles he had starred in for my viewing pleasure. One called Shame caught my eye, the minimalist Netflix synopsis said it was about a guy with a sex addiction struggling to control himself after his sister moves back in with him. It wasn’t much to go on but I figured there was potential. Other than probably not being safe for work, what did that really tell me though? Would it have interesting things to say about porn and sex addiction? Did they mine the whole thing for cheap laughs before some emotional pay off in the third act?

Nope, not really either of those. At best I would describe it as an hour and a half of Fassbender’s character jerking off and/or having grunty sex with prostitutes strung together by fairly random scenes of him going about a mundane life and arguing with his sister. Obviously I don’t want to spoil this movie for you should you choose to watch it, I hope you enjoy Mr. Fassbender’s cock and unkempt thatch of pubes because I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for any other reason. In the first ten minutes I saw his dick twice and quite literally watched him take a piss. He has also hired a prostitute and then the next 5 minutes were of him staring at a pretty redhead on a subway while the soundtrack had gone off on a soaring symphonic tangent which seemed incongruous with him eye-banging her while she flirted back. She suddenly remembered she is wearing a wedding ring and decided to abandon the train in mid-flirt while Fassbender tries to chase her down in hopes he can introduce her to “Lil’ Mike”.

I want to talk about one of the fucking weirdest scenes in this movie though. Actually the first weird scene is watching Fassbender piss. Like, someone decided to pay him money to walk over to a toilet and take a whizz. It isn’t integral to the story, adds nothing of value to the scene it is in and yet they clearly put careful planning and effort into the scene in order to make it appear natural.

Some might argue that he never really pissed and it was just splashing noises in the bowl but if you watch the scene, despite the actor being turned around you can see the tip of his penis between his thighs and a stream is visible. Either they wasted a huge amount of money on CGI for this one pointless scene, worked really hard at strapping a tube to the guys dick so they could squirt apple juice at the right moment OR they just paid him to take a piss, which just seems easier and cheaper.

Some might argue that if his back is turned than maybe they got a body double for this integral piss scene. Maybe, but that seems even more pathetic. Fassbender had a scene 2 minutes earlier that was clearly him and clearly full frontal nudity. They are obviously paying him well for him to show off his dick and ass in the movie and even simulate sex on numerous occasions so then finding someone with the same build and paying them to strip nude and piss in the toilet seems…like pissing money down the toilet. Ba dum bum.

Now that we have overanalyzed that lets get to the other fucking weird one. The other scene is when he gets caught by his sister jerking off to a cam girl (if you don’t know what that is, don’t google it at work). He sits in his room staring off into space for a while and then decides to give up his porny ways. So he grabs a garbage bag and starts throwing all his porn in it. He grabs a stash from various closets, dressers, drawers. It is all very fast paced and deliberate. He has a very determined expression. Half way through he opens the fridge, pulls out some pasta and chucks it in as well before moving on. It literally looked like he got halfway through this life changing moment, remembered he had week old leftovers in the fridge and just decided to toss it on top.

That isn’t quite right either though. He has the same determined and deliberate look, his body language is still energized and frantic. He clearly blames this, I swear it looks like penne in a tomato sauce, for leading him down a path of perversion. I could even understand if it was some takeout food. Like “Damn your easy convenience for enabling me to spend more time online, jerking it to porn”. It wasn’t takeout though, it was clearly in a cooking pot. This penne had done nothing to this man but nourish him at some point and he threw it on top of his porn with hate in his heart. It wasn’t like he was trying to ruin the porn either, because he ends up with 4 bags of porn and only one gets the pasta on it.

Then for good measure he throws out HIS FUCKING LAPTOP. I mean, it was running Vista so I suppose that might have been part of the issue but it is like he is done with porn so he has NO OTHER USE FOR THIS COMPUTER. That would be like a food addict throwing out his pots and pans because clearly he will never need those again, they only cook bacon.

Actually, the whole cam girl thing makes no sense, but I promise this will be the last scene I will analyze to death. The entire scene starts off with the sister walking in on Fassbender’s character jerking off in the bathroom. He gets awkward and defensive while she mostly seems amused. They have an argument and then he goes to hide in the bathroom for a while. She grabs a beer from the fridge, meanders over to his laptop and taps on it to kill the screensaver. On it she finds said cam girl, sitting around waiting. Cam girl talks dirty for a bit, mistaking the sister for a girlfriend and wanting to keep her billable hours rolling. Fassbender comes into the room, slaps the laptop closed and disappears to his bedroom for a sulk before he does the spring porn cleaning I mentioned earlier.

So starting with the obvious question, Why in the hell is he paying this cam girl to wait around WHILE HE GOES TO THE BATHROOM TO BEAT OFF? That would be like going to a movie and spending half your night out by the concession stand so you can eat your popcorn…only more stupid somehow. The laptop IS A FUCKING LAPTOP! He could easily drag it to the bathroom with him, or the bedroom if that was a little too creepy. Hell, he could have choked the chicken at the kitchen table, what it lacked in privacy it would have made up for in A LIVE WOMAN ON HIS SCREEN TOUCHING HERSELF. You don’t read a porn magazine just so you can go to the next room and jerk off to your memories of it, no matter how much easier the clean up is in the new room.

The next question is WHY IS THE CAM GIRL STILL THERE? The guy leaves for so long that the screensaver comes on but she waited around to see if he wanted to have a nice post masturbation chat afterwards? Was she hoping he would answer the automated customer satisfaction survey if she stayed on the line? Did she just want to ask WHY THE FUCK he left the room to go masturbate too? Was it gnawing away at her mind as much as it did mine?

This probably seemed like a good movie when it was in a pitch meeting. It attracted a couple of pretty decent actors who were putting effort into their roles. It even paid them well enough that they both got naked for it. Which, pissing scene aside, was a pretty necessary part of a story about sex addiction. What it ended up as is an hour and a half of a porno with the soundtrack swapped with Lord of the Rings, which left 10 whole minutes for the emotional pay-off before tacking on an ambiguous ending and credits rolled. The whole thing was such a missed opportunity to be funny or clever or relatable or even just informative. Join me next time I waste a Saturday watching something awful from the terrifying depths of Netflix. Possibly something involving sharks and extreme weather but that isn’t even at the heady quality heights of Sharknado.

Rancid Monke

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