23 March 2011

Fat Head

Great information about how saturated fats are good for you and how carbohydrates work in your body. Otherwise, it's exactly the documentary you'd expect from a computer programmer trying to tackle one aspect of Super-Size Me that he didn't like.

Go into this one knowing the author had blinders on about the food industry and obviously doesn't do much research except for the one thing that bothered him.

Freakanomics

The book was better. But if you don't like to read, just watch the part about crime.

The Men Who State at Goats

Unwatchable.

Play Dirty

Michael Caine in a World War II film about British commandos in North Africa.

Good film, with a great ending.

Although, it has many distasteful elements. Most of which are part of the 1960s anti-war stance, I'm sure.

catching up on old films

In no particular order, I watched the following films recently. None of them really need their own review, but for sake of full disclosure they are.

The Rookie (Clint Eastwood and Charlie Sheen)
Uncommon Valor (the movie that started the all of POW film franchises of the 80s)
K-9 (Jim Belushi and his dog partner fight crime)
Silverado (Lawrence Kasdan tries to prove he's a movie director in this neo-classic western that draws on 2+ hours of movie cliches)
The Chase (another Sheen film with cars, or A car)

Stranded

Vincent Gallo does for Stranded, what Sam Rockwell did for Moon.

Except this movie has five actors in it. Well. Four actors and some whiny douche whose character can't die fast enough in my opinion.

The ending isn't exactly ground-breaking, but I do love a low-budget science fiction film that doesn't LOOK low-budget.

Moon

I remember seeing Sam Rockwell in Galaxy Quest and thinking, this guy is going places.

And I was right.

This is one of the smartest science fiction films you will see.

Nothing more to say. Kevin Spacey plays the voice of the A.I.

There. I found something else to say.

XXX

Good action movies will stand the test of time. Smart dialog and well-written characters become icons. Who cares about bad the explosion of the Nakatomi building is, with Willis spewing dialog and wit at every turn? What does it matter that Mel Gibson is a crazy SOB when Detective Riggs is such a huge part of the action film cultural landscape? Even though he hasn't made a good movie in two decades, no one will ever forget the impact of seeing replicant Han Solo killing Nazis for the C.I.A.?

XXX is not one of those movies.

At all.

If you remember the action being smart or fun, you are misinformed.

8MM

Andrew Kevin Walker is the writer of both Se7en and 8mm (among others). Had a more skillful director taken on 8mm, his career would have skyrocketed as a writer. Instead, Cage and Keener try to breath life into characters that Walker purposes makes sublime animals sleepwalking through life.

At least, that's always been my take on it.

8mm, instead, was directed by Joel Schumacher who has been stinking up films for a long time. Even with Tigerland and Phone Booth (considerably his best movies), the films are both saved by a young Colin Farrel and two outstanding scripts.

So.

How does he continue to get work.

In researching this review, I found out Schumacher directed Veronica Guerin... a film with one of my favorite actresses of all time, that I couldn't drag myself to go watch. And now I know why.

You can blame him for Batman 3 and 4 all you want. For my money, there's nothing worse than watching him butcher films like Flawless and Number 23... movies with subtle scripts and dark material that probably needed a gifted hand to guide them, instead of someone who directs with a hammer and machete.

Christ. Even Tarantino would have done something interesting with 8mm. It wouldn't have been watchable. But it would have been interesting.

Please Give

There's no question that director Nicole Holofcener likes working with Catherine Keener. She's cast her in all three of her girl-centric full feature films. And Keener is one of those actresses that is hit and miss for me. Granted she always plays the ball-busting, narcissistic, monotone "bitch" that I think everyone casts her for. The question is, why do people pay to see that?

On some level, movies are supposed to entertain. Even the artistic ones.

Why would anyone ever pay money to see someone tell them to fold their socks? Because that's what 90-minutes with Keener in this movie is like.

The script is smart. The direction solid. The acting is good too. But Keener pushes the envelope of annoying with this one. All the hidden meanings, symbolism, and metaphor can't really compete when your main character is in a bad mood for the entire movie.

Sad is an emotion. Angry is an emotion. One can even feel dejected or betrayed. But a bad mood is not an emotion.

And therefore it's not something to empathize with. It's just something that makes you eventually ask, "Can someone get this woman a midol? Please?"