K-Fried-C: Killer Joe’s Reflection of Human Interaction in the Age of Social Media

K-Fried-C: Killer Joe’s Reflection of Human Interaction in the Age of Social Media

Killer Joe
Written by Tracy Letts
Directed by William Friedkin

Killer Joe

Social media has literally changed the entire world. From creating uncountable communities great and small, to expanding our reach and allowing connections the world over, to creating billions of collars of customer data, social media is an ever-evolving juggernaut that reworks the fabric of society in a heartbeat.

As social media changes how we interact with each other online, the effects spread to our offline interactions. Character dynamics in stories reflect society, and as culture curves towards more online activity and more online influence, it is reflected in print and film. The expansion and fragmentation of social media is reflected in the Smith family in Killer Joe, as the genie is unleashed and cannot be contained, forever changing their lives in unexpected and tragic ways.

The Smith family relationships are already fractured as the film begins. Ansel is on his second wife, Sharla, and their favorite hobby is being disgusted at each other. Chris begins the film being thrown out of his mother’s place, having committed violence against his mother after she stole his drugs, causing him to owe far too much money to a local gangster. And Dottie is always in her own little world, rapidly switching from childlike innocence to implausible omnipresent knowledge at the drop of a hat.

Instead of “likes” and “retweets”, the Smith family deals in “anger” and “screaming” They are the living embodiment of getting into a political argument on Facebook, where suddenly your relatives that you’ve loved forever start spouting abhorrent viewpoints that make you question their humanity. The Smiths scream and some openly hate each other. Chris and Sharla do nothing but scream insults at one another, barely containing their contempt to just throttle the other. As internet discourse takes over, the veil that polite society limits such squabbles to sniping and occasional remarks is long abandoned. In order to get any point across, the easiest way is to yell and scream the loudest. As the family’s arguments increase in volume, the screaming gets louder and more violent. Like online, no one filters what they think, everyone just ramps things up.
Killer Joe
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The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

Screenplay by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
Story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer
Directed by Christopher Nolan

Halle Berry slashed my tires last night!

Our The Dark Knight Rises review will be in a slightly different format, list form! And not the “Top 6 Bane Pick up Lines that Will Explode and Blow Your Mind” type of lists, just a list of thoughts in semi-sequential format as we go through the film. Thus, SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS below the fold!

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor the Dark Knight…
  • Arriving early to get an aisle seat.
  • This theater has Oogieloves posters all over it!
  • I will be upset if there isn’t a bare minimum of 5 rises in TDKR!
  • Why are two very fat guys in nerd shirts complaining about the nerds in the theater? And now I am complaining about them on the internet!
Too cool for earmuffs
  • The new Superman trailer documents his time on Deadliest Catch (and how much better Joe Manganiello would have been in the role!)
  • I also drank less tea before the film so I wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom that much (Did I succeed? See below!)
  • And now the opening sequence that was released on the internet months ago!
  • Remember: Spoilers below the fold!
The Last Days of the XFL…

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Dirty Girl (Review)

Dirty Girl

Written and Directed by Abe Sylvia

“No one likes a dirty girl” is a refrain heard periodically through the film, but I confess that I like Dirty Girl.

Dirty Girl is a road movie. And like most road movies, the journey is just as important as the destination. Dirty Girl’s nostalgia is present, but isn’t so over-encompassing it becomes the plot itself. The main point of Dirty Girl could have easily taken place last week or 100 years ago. Some of the societal differences would cause different wacky adventures along the way, but the same basic story would ring true.

Dirty Girl is about growing up, and about the joys and heartbreak associated with growing up. How life doesn’t always work out the way you want, but that doesn’t mean life is terrible.

The writing is great, Abe Sylvia put a lot of himself and his life in the film. The characters have believable motivations, many are probably amalgamations of people he knew growing up. As someone who grew up in the Midwest myself, I know people like a lot of the characters.

Before I continue, I must confess that TarsTarkas.NET has sold out once again as this is another free showing. The free showing was in the famed Castro theater, which is one of the best theaters in the country. In fact, of all the free showings I’ve been to so far (please see the tag Tars sells out! for more free showings), I liked Dirty Girl the best. So take that, Warrior!

But let’s get started

Danielle (Juno Temple) – Danielle is our titular dirty girl, the bad girl gone bad who causes trouble for everyone, especially herself. Her care-free life of doing what she wants with no consequences has come to an end both at school and at home. Her journey to find her father is the main plot quest of the picture. Juno Temple is British, so after hearing her the whole film with an Oklahoma accent, her suddenly speaking with a British accent in the Q&A was crazy.
Clarke (Jeremy Dozier) – Clarke is by far the best character in the film, the one you want to root for, to be happy. To be free. Unlike Danielle, he’s never had the chance to be who he is, and is fighting for the chance to have a chance. This is Jeremy Dozier’s first big role, and he’s awesome.
Sue-Ann (Milla Jovovich) – Danielle’s mother and a former bad girl herself, before she realized that the path she was heading down wasn’t going to end in happiness, and she grabbed onto one of the few men left in the area that wasn’t majorly defective. And it’s nice to have a reminder that Milla Jovovich can act beyond smashing zombies in the face.
Ray (William H. Macy) – He’s a single father with kids who intends to marry Sue-Ann. Ray has words with Danielle, who rejects his religious lifestyle and his family values. Ray isn’t Ned Flanders, but he’s a character who has experienced loss in his own way and is worried more about having it happen again than about the relationship itself.
Joseph (Dwight Yoakam) – The homophobic father of Clarke who spends most of the film trying to “fix” his son, and then chasing after and beating his son. What a nice guy!
Joan (herself) – Sack of flour assigned to Danielle and Clarke to be their baby. The expression on the sack of flour changes throughout the film in response to events, and is one of the best things about Dirty Girl.

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