30 December 2007

Chicken Run

Nick Park at the top of his animation game. So much detail and scenery.

I feast for the eyes.

The writing is solid and smart, but not perfect.

But I think Wrong Trousers is his best work... so take that into account.

Solid solid solid A-minus work, nonetheless.

Mickey Blue Eyes

Hugh Grant and James Caan in completely underrated performances in an overlooked film.

Among the funniest comedies ever made.

And no poop jokes.

You have to appreciate good writing, otherwise this film is wasted on you.

First Blood

Oh yeah, baby.

The original Rambo, before Rambo movies got stupid.

Still a great film.

Les Diabolique

Another Henri-Georges Clouzot classic masterpiece of suspense, done in the Hitchcock style of double-double-double twists.

Reminds me of Dial M for Murder.

This movie would have been perfect, if Véra Clouzot (from Wages of Fear) hadn't been so stupid throughout the film.

I have a friend who can't watch a movie once a character does something stupid. He loses interest and stops caring about the character's fate.

I think Les Diabolique has about 20 minutes of that right in the middle, where you just want Véra Clouzot to get caught and be done with it. But then she visits the Morgue and the movie takes off.

My wife guessed the ending before I did. Which means she's getting smarter.

Which means she needs to be dealt with.

And soon...

Charlie Wilson's War

Start with a good book, turn it into a better script. Hire Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Tom Hanks. Make sure Julia Roberts speaks with an accent, so we can't tell how bad an actress she is.

And make sure a film about the death of millions of Afghans is never tense or sad, so you can end with lots of smiles.

Good film, but Aaron Sorkin wouldn't know how to write sad, if his hands melted off.

29 December 2007

Big Trouble in Little China

Just watched it again. Needed my dosage. I'm good for another few months, now.

28 December 2007

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

I love the Judd Apatow keeps putting out examples of why he's not funny.

The best part of this film is the music, something he was not in charge of.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Not funny.

And dumb.

21 December 2007

I Am Legend

End of the World.

Excellent production value.

Smart script.

Go see this movie.

19 December 2007

Dogville

Third viewing of one of the best movies ever made.

My highest recommendation.

How Nicole Kidman endured the filming of this movie is beyond me.

Wow. Just... wow.

Bender's Big Score

While I doubt that Fox will ever admit that it does NOT understand it's fan-base, Futurama is back in EPIC form with 1 of 4 new full-lengths stories, starting with Bender's Big Score.

And damn is this one good.

You can tell the writing team went all out on this one. There are so many in-jokes and references to previous episodes. If you're not a fan of the show, just sit back and laugh when everyone else is, because you will not get it until someone draws you a flow chart diagram.

The story also involves TONS of time-travel nonsense, probably mocking Star Trek.

16 December 2007

Yo-Yo Girl Cop

How the Japanese have gotten so bad at movie-making I will never know. Their exploitation films are boring, their over-the-top action films are stifled with bad scripts, and their dramas are long in the tooth. Only their horror movies are any good, but those seem to get remade in the states every other weekend.

The country that made Seven Samurai should probably be perfecting their craft, instead of reflecting the ridiculous nature of their culture on a giant magnifying mirror for the whole world to see. Only in Japan, would a mass-suicide movie even be feasible and only in Japan would people stand within 15 feet of someone with a bomb strapped to their chest.

Yo-Yo Girl could have been absolute fun, silly, schlock. Instead, it's masturbatory and epileptic. You can cut out 40% of this movie and just watch the main character kick ass and tell people to go to hell. But even with 40% cut out, you'd still have to hear page after page of exposition from the addled fingers of an amateur screen-writer.

And in typical low-budget style, the subtitles get worse and worse as the film goes on, until someone says, "Ow. You got me." when they probably meant to say, "My arm. You bit me."

When Yo-Yo Girl Cop (Saki) finally starts kicking ass, it's too late. I'm already looking for the next film in my queue. And I'm still confused why three different people think her name is interesting?!!?

If you liked Battle Royale or VS, you might like this. But it's no guarantee.

The costume change at T-minus 15 minutes is hilarious.

Astronaut Farmer

Good at times.

Never great.

Lots of awful dialog.

The Polish Brothers are much better filmmakers than this.

Lots of good performances, but not much else. Everyone feels restrained by the script except Thorton, Willis, and the two little girls.

Not masterful. At all.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

SOME SPOILERS

A lot of people are reviewing this movie and pointing at the dysfunction of the family, which I think is missing a lot of the value of this film.

First off, let me just say that the two words "little brother" in Scene 4 literally strip tension from the next 15 minutes of the movie.

Second, while the impact of family is obvious, there's very little "love" in an early scenes between the characters, so we are forced to rebuild the family structure through the backward storytelling of the film.

Third, Noir is Noir. And this film lacks the dark colors of noir, but maintains the fatalism of characters caught in their own vicious circles of immorality and recidivism.

Lastly, the family in this film is very quickly torn apart and two of the family members are not allowed to sew together their performances because the movie ends abruptly and awkwardly. It's almost as though, Marisa Tomei is some awkwardly placed silverware on a fine table. She's denied any chance to pull her entire performance together with one BIG clean jerk of the table cloth.

I was impressed with her luggage scene though. The claustrophobic nature of the apartment and the clumsy manner in which she exits is perfect for a guy like me. I love it when things aren't perfect.

And Ethan Hawke just runs off camera at the end (although, on some level that's appropriate) and he's one of the few characters we really love in the film. His performance is incredible, however. Extremely compelling and sympathetic.

Albert Finney is among my favorite actors in any movies (The Browning Version is particularly brilliant), but his age is catching up with him and he drags through the movie, much like Tomei, but this time unintentionally.

Lastly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman proves why he's one of the best actors in Hollywood. And sadly, this performance will probably go unnoticed.

There's a scene where he's in the car with Tomei and he begins to rant and cry so powerfully, I honestly believe that Tomei was NOT acting in her response to his performance.

It's that good.

Maybe one of the best single performances ever.

This movie deserves a lot of mention. It's good. Very good. But not perfect. And not Lumet's best work.

But it's artful and real and appropriate. It does not dangle useless carrots before the viewer and it never laughs at itself. But it is a little repetitive and the mother is just a side-note, rather than a real figure in this strikingly tense and operatic film about "family."

Juno

Really smart film. Lots of interesting and unexpected plot twists. Wonderfully directed and acted. Smart. Smart writing.

The Chinese girl standing by herself in front of the abortion clinic saying, "Your baby wants to be born," was particularly smart, without being preachy or awkward (unlike the incredible, but disturbed discussions in Palindromes).

Ellen Page (from Hard Candy) is the next great thing. She's fantastic. And Michael Cera (from Arrested Development and Bad Ass) plays wimpy without playing sissy. Very clever. He should fear typecasting soon, though.

I think every scene was exactly what it was supposed to be, but I could have used more scenes with Juno and her father. Speaking of...

J. K. Simmons proves he's among the best character actors around. I cannot get enough of him. Brilliant. You feel as though no one can write dialog for him; that he just needs to get it out.

ASIDE: Jason Bateman always entertains and Olivia Thirlby is going places.

09 December 2007

Golden Compass

Very good.

Not for children.

Certainly the best of the "Fantasy" films that have been released SINCE Fellowship, but not a grand slam.

This review says it all.

This review says too much.

The final fight is really bad and the dialog in the last 30 minutes hurts.

But before that happens, the movie is breath-taking.

Structure-wise, there are few surprises. Style-wise, it's a masterpiece.

ASIDE: The Polar Bear duel is chilling to behold. That is not a pun.

ASIDE: The anti-god themes are not prevalent in this film, especially given that we don't know WHO god is yet in the story (although we know what the church is). Once we do, we can get around fighting for individual thought and secular humanism.

04 December 2007

Joe vs. the Volcano

$6 at target.

A steal at three times the price.

One of the funniest, smartest movies ever made.

Totally underrated.

Wife had never even HEARD of this movie, let alone seen it.

Wow.

What a treat.

Requiem for a Dream

Re-re-watching one of the best movies ever made.

Fantastic.

Ellen Burstyn gives one of the greatest film performances ever.

"I'm gonna be on television."

And who knew the Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans could act?

Marlon Wayans!!!

'nuff said

02 December 2007

Lions for Lambs

...or Lambs for Lions or whatever this ESSAY is called, Redford has finally made a propaganda film as slanted as Fahrenheit 9/11. And how cleverly he tries to package it as three separate tirades against the war.

What an awful script too. The dialog is so bad in places, I thought the actors were children in big people clothes trying to put on a stage play... only without dirty words.

Oh. And look. The slack-mouthed college student is disillusioned and too smart for his own good. How idyllic. And pure. And not at all an attempt to look like you're reaching out to the myspace generation.

Yawn.

This movie is a 2 out of 10. Really. It starts out a LITTLE tantalizing and quickly becomes an essay against the War and the republicans.

How quaint.

Look, Mr. Redford. We already hate the Republicans. Your childish student film just makes you look pedantic and flaccid. We recommend you release that damn Jesse James movie.

And pronto.

Catch Me If You Can

Sissy boy Steven Speilberg finally makes a movie without a sappy or belabored ending.

Who knew?

Tom Hanks is fantastic in this movie and Leo is great as always. I am one of the few people how actually likes him in films, I think.

Christopher Walken is fantastic!!

01 December 2007

Fish Called Wanda

Rewatched the classic comedy with wife, who had never seen it.

My favorite part of the movie is still when Ken kills the dogs, one by one.

Damn.

Damn. Damn.

Funny stuff.

25 November 2007

No Country for Old Men

I do not think the word FLAWLESS is an over-exaggeration of this film's fealty.

There is no recidivism here. The cohen brothers do NOT copy themselves. This is almost a John Salles movie, with no awkward pauses. No pregnant moments waiting to blossum into something else.

It is an exploration into a dark place, devoid of pretention and fat with context and texture.

Reviewing the details would do this film a disservice.

No Country for Old Men... merely is.

And does not pretend to be something else.

If Unbreakable is one of the best MOVIES ever made. And Seven Samurai IS the best FILM ever made. No Country for Old Men creates ranks somewhere on both lists.

23 November 2007

Millions

Danny Boyle's foray into happy, family-safe material. This movie doesn't really say anything or mean anything, and when it does its a lot more heavy-handed than his important works.

Not bad, but not great.

The kid in the film is great, but he's going to be in The Water Horse, which looks like the worst movie ever. So, I won't bother learning his name, either.

22 November 2007

Hitman

Good. Not great. Some excellent key moments. Good in-jokes from the video game.

Tim Olyphant is great as Agent 47. But the loser that ruined MI-2, tries to ruin this as an Interpol cop with his atrocious acting. I didn't bother to learn his name.

The dialog is really bad at times and the love-interest-thing feels tacked on and punitive. Not that smart.

But the highs make up for the lows.

I was disappointed that all the fight scenes were over so quickly, it gave them movie a weird urgency, akin to the video game.

14 November 2007

The Bee Movie

Sometimes funny. Sometimes over-bearing. Chris Rock is fantastic. Jerry is pretty good. Renee is digestable. Patrick Warburton as Ken was priceless.

About 20 funny jokes in all. This movie is too much story and not enough humor.

But I'm glad it's not surfing penguins.

Gone, Baby Gone

Who knew that Ben Afleck could direct? Who knew Casey could act? Who knew Ed Harris could make your skin crawl and your face twitch at the same time (in a good way)? Who knew that Morgan Freeman would play the same character AGAIN, 66 movies in a row?

The first half of this film is everything I love to see in a movie.

The second half is clumsy and amateurish, filled with too much exposition and narrative.

It's tired. The final scene with Freeman and Afleck is just tiresome. It's like watching Will Smith in Hitch try to make sense to Eva Mendes... which should be easy considering neither one of them knows big words. But instead, it becomes a maze of illogic. Gone, Baby Gone's final dialog is just... so third graderish, I don't know what to say.

And of course the camera trucking across the screen in the final seconds of this movie is about as trite and tiresome as anything else you see the second half of this film.

11 November 2007

Fred Claus

I think you'd have to have a tumor in place of your brain to want to see a movie like this (on purpose), but in the end, it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

In fact, all of the previews in front of it were awful, indicating that this movie would be much worse than it actually was.

I have no idea what possessed the people involved to make it, but if they'd stripped out a lot of the cheese and hackneyed story elements, it could have been good.

Oh. And the green screen was awful. Ludacris looked like a wayan's brother.

06 November 2007

American Gangster

Wow. Disappointing to say the least. Clumsy. Inconsistent. Sometimes even stupid. None of the actors were really in the moment. The (metaphorically) threaded seams holding the film in place were obvious and annoying. And the woman they chose for the mother was a really poor choice, because she's so stereotypical in that role.

They really needed some new voices in the film, but instead had nothing but saccharine actors giving saccharine performances.

No awards for this film, I guarantee it.

Wait for video.

04 November 2007

Lars and the Real Girl

This review says it so well.

I thought this was such a funny, smart film. This and Dead Girl are in the TOP 10 for this year and certainly the best surprises in years.

Ryan Gosling is absolute spot on as a neurotic, shy, delusional mess of a guy. Seamless. There isn't a moment where I "see" him acting. He is — in fact — Lars, for two hours.

29 October 2007

Michael Clayton

Tony Gilroy is the author of all three Bourne movies (and a dozen others), and makes his debut as a movie director with Michael Clayton, one of the smartest movies in a long time.

Wow. This is what lawyer dramas should be.

Lots of chatter, but nice and quiet moments when there needs to be some. None of the dialog is over the viewer's head however, and at no point are we confused about what is going on. It's so fluid, you feel like your swimming inside a warm body water.

My only (minor) complaint is that the film gives us a glimpse of a few characters, but really gets into Michael Clayton (which is fine, the movie is named after him), but when you have all these stars in one movie together, you really want to examine everything.

And of course, I love ensemble movies.

So. There is that.

22 October 2007

The Island

In an attempt to watch as many dystopia-future movies as I can, I opened my research with a movie that was good for about 30 minutes, before turning into just another excuse for an action movie.

This film put me to sleep.

Michael Bay does not understand genre. He does not understand pacing. And he does not know how to film more than one type of car chase scene.

His films are sexy and sleek, but that's more the art director than the director.

The plot is ruined in no time and there's never a plot point 2 or a twist to this film.

Which is really sad to me.

30 Days of Night

Very good.

Well done.

Not a single "funny" moment. As a movie of this type should be.

Nothing is over explained (although there are two really bad lines in the movie), but otherwise this is a solid piece of work.

And I never could have written that ending.

Overall Theme: Blood

20 October 2007

The Searchers

In an attempt to watch as many classics as possible, I've added John Ford's "The Searchers" to my list.

Fast on the heels of watching the Shootist, I think this performance may be John Wayne's best.

Rather than review the film, I'm going to merely quote Wikipedia (twice).
Roger Ebert says in a somber analysis of this movie: "In The Searchers I think Ford was trying, imperfectly, even nervously, to depict racism that justified genocide."

It is instructive to note that Ford made an attempt in this movie to deal with subjects and themes which were quite controversial for that time in America. His own words express what he was attempting to do. In a 1964 interview with Cosmopolitan magazine he said:

“There’s some merit to the charge that the Indian hasn’t been portrayed accurately or fairly in the Western, but again, this charge has been a broad generalization and often unfair. The Indian didn’t welcome the white man... and he wasn’t diplomatic... If he has been treated unfairly by whites in films, that, unfortunately, was often the case in real life. There was much racial prejudice in the West."
Complex. Riveting (for most of it). And uniquely filmed for it's time.

I think this movie has earned a right to be in the top 100 of all time.

My major complaints are the poorly places jokes, the slap-sticky sidekicks, and the horrible, horrible music.

BONUS: Natalie Wood is hot.

Life is Worth Losing

Life is Worth Losing is George Carlin's stand-up and HBO special that is bleak, honest, and depressing.

It is perhaps his darkest work to date.

It's smart and brutal, but there's about 10 laughs in 90 minutes.

I love it, but it's not for everyone.

14 October 2007

Elizabeth: Golden Age

Ignoring all of the tempo issues, historic inaccuracy, and general "artfulness" of this film, it is no where near as good as the original.

Clive, Jeffrey, and Kate are all amazing in the film. But that doesn't match with the intentions of this very bad script.

Good. Not great. 6.5 or 7 out of 10.

Maybe.

11 October 2007

The Shootist

One of John Wayne's final movie roles and his last western.

Still a great film that holds up to the test of time.

Lots of original ideas, especially in an era of "safe" movie-making.

My favorite stuff is watching Ron Howard in a role that seems so stereotyped and isn't... and of course Lauren Bachal.

Damn. Even at 100, I would have made sweet love to that woman.

Yowza.

10 October 2007

The Proposition

A really great blog gone horribly wrong.

I skipped about 20 minutes of it and raced to the end.

Five minutes of John Hurt (as a very drunk and very eloquent bounty hunter) were the best moments of the film.

09 October 2007

Game 6

Not a masterpiece under any value system, this film is very interestingly performed and any movie done over the course of one day is sure to get my applause.

Roger Ebert even likes it.

There are plenty of critics who hate it and it doesn't seem to play well to those looking for a bigger meaner or giant hammered explanation of fate. Instead, it speaks to Red Sox fans and anyone else that understands how hard it is to watch something you love fall apart.

Again and again.

Despite it's problems (and criticisms), the film is rather good. Although the ending was clumsy.

08 October 2007

Network

So far ahead of its time.

So important.

Proof that movies and TVs never sway humanity for the better and that there are no new ideas.

We could turn to this movie for so much insight into the thinking of the 70s.

07 October 2007

Into the Wild

Based on the true book of the same name, Sean Penn directs what might be his most important film to date.

Drawing heavily from many of Danny Boyle's themes of isolation and excess (Penn's images of Los Angeles hauntingly mirror and exceed Boyle's rendition of South Pacific vacation spots in the Beach), the film shows us the path of simplification in a way that no other film has before.

Instead of preaching, the movie actually shows the benefits of a life unfettered by the wasteful needs of an accelerated "career-driven" 20th century (the film is set in 1990-1992).

Taking place in three separate time-lines, the film (unflinchingly) reveals a world of leathertramps, hippies, homeless, nudists, and naturalists. While also staying true to the book, the film focuses on the "art of independence" and does not judge the ill-prepared Christopher McCandless on his trek into the Alaskan wilderness.

A must, must, must see.

06 October 2007

We Are Marshall

McG has probably never made an important or serious movie in his life.

Certainly anyone who uses McG as his Directing name has issues.

However, this film is touching and powerful every second of the way. I am stunned at how -- while sappy and manipulative -- honest and respectful to the material, the movie seems.

I say seems, because I have not read the book and only a handful of notes I've found on the internet regarding the true events.

I am not denigrating anything, but I know how "based on a true story" events can be.

But, so far, the movie appears accurate. And I can certainly say it's honest at times.

05 October 2007

Wages of Fear (Le Salaire de la Peur) (1953)

Also known as Le Salaire de la Peur, Wages of Fear may be one of the best films ever made. I had seen the American version — the Sorcerer — when I was a teenager and so I never bothered to watch the original.

Man, am I an idiot.

Wow.

Just.

Wow.

This level of Macho can only be matched by a Peckinpah movie.

Gritty. Mean. Dark. Oppressive. And perhaps the most nail-biting film ever made. The audience never gets a break.

Put this at the top of your list.

28 Up

Another in the series. This one shows nearly every person married and with kids.

No matter what their attitude about children was at 14, they all had different views by the age of 28... as though biology were betraying them to do something, no matter how much they believed it wasn't important.

Two of the kids refused to be a part of this arch of the documentary.

Again, the documentary was boring at times and often the director does not know what to ask. All of the answers sound the same.

35 Up coming next.

04 October 2007

Eastern Promises

David Cronenberg does it again. While not as strong as History of Violence, this movie is almost subliminal.

No message. No desire to tell you how to think or feel. Cronenberg has directed a fantastic mob tale.

While some facets of the story are predictable -- and at times belabored -- the direction is fantastic. There's a fight scene that's riveting.

And ladies, you get to see Viggo's dingle... which I might add is a grower, not a shower.

Everyone is on top of their game in this movie. And this is a good epilogue to HoV.

A must see.

21 Up

Another in the 7up series.

Since this was made for British TV in the 70s, it is quite slow.

And repetitive.

Not as good as the previous ones.

It is interesting to see how the lives of some of the children had very predictable outcomes, but a few others did not.

The maker of the documentary is on the cutting edge of something great with this series, but his poor production, direction, and interviewing skills are apparent.

I would love to see what Errol Morris would have done with this documentary.

I am watching 28 Up at the moment and will post a report soon.

26 September 2007

7 Plus Seven

The sequel to the original 7 Up film, this one catching up with the children (all 14 of them) as they turn 14 years of age.

Such an amazing look into the sociology of people and how the develop.

The rich (English) kids have ideas at the age of 14 that some Americans never develop in their entire lives.

Fascinating.

Add it to your list.

25 September 2007

Maxed Out

Add this to the list of documentaries I just mentioned.

So important. Anyone with a brain, knows better. But as someone in debt myself, I can see how easily ANYONE can get into a bad situation.

NOTE: There are three suicides and a few other "mentions" of attempts because of credit card debt.

Wow.

Can you imagine?

24 September 2007

Starsky and Hutch

Bought the DVD. Laughed a lot. Ben Stiller is always funnier in character than he is when playing "himself."

Not enough fast driving, though. Makes me want to see the last half of the Dukes of Hazzard movie.

Our Brand is Crisis

Following members of a political consulting firm to Bolivia, where they've been hired to help controversial candidate Gonzalo "Goni" Sanchez de Lozada reclaim the presidency, filmmaker Rachel Boynton reveals the manipulation and orchestration involved in big-time political campaigning. With only a few weeks before the election, consultants Jeremy Rosner, Stan Greenberg and James Carville work their magic, shaping Goni into the ideal candidate.
How f***ers like Carville live with themselves is beyond me.

I highly recommend watching this documentary in combination with the Corporation and the Take.

Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?

An interesting, if one-sided documentary about what it takes to get elected in America, to even the smallest post.

Jeff Smith runs for office in Congress (House of Representatives) in Missouri's 3rd district after Gephardt announces his retirement in 2004.

Predictable and far from illuminating, the documentary is mostly self-serving and amateurish.

It does make Jeff look good and is a great piece to showcase his political skills, except for the moment when he cusses out his mom and/or dad on the phone the day before elections.

The Lady in the Water

This film was okay. Not as bad as the Village or Signs, but certainly not the best that Shymalan is capable of.

As a fairy tale, it's cute, but the film cheats a lot. And it wasn't surprising that he got all the "jobs" mixed up.

Good lighting and direction, as always. But, poor structure and story... once again.

Taladega Nights

Will Ferrel is always funnier in other people's movies, but in this case, he's certainly the funniest he's ever been in his own film.

I did not see Elf.

Nor will I.

And any film that makes fun of NASCAR is good by me.

Walker and Texas Ranger, however, steal this movie.

The smaller kid (Texas Ranger) is hilarious and the outtakes and extras are worth the price of admission.

Enjoy this little gem: "What are you looking at old man. I ain't a bottle of Jim Beam."

NOTE: I wrote this review before seeing Step Brothers.

21 September 2007

Halloween

Someone needs to stop Rob Zombie from making movies.

This film was sooooo boring. And soooo stupid.

I thought this was supposed to be a horror film, but instead its a sad drama for 45 minutes and then after that it finally pays tribute to a few Michael Myer tropes.

Not a single death scene is scary and not a single moment in the film is riveting.

And the kid playing the young Myers looks like a cross between an Osark baby, a down syndrome patient, and a six-fingered Mennonite.

It's really weird to look at him. And disturbing that he actually has a movie career spanning over ten films.

What a horrible film to follow up the Brave One with.

The Brave One

Fantastic. I don't know what the critics are bitching about.

This movie was awesome.

And I can't see anyone but Jodie Foster doing this movie.

Wow.

So good.

Excellent direction, too. After sneaking out of Dragon Wars, this was like falling into a pool of chocolate.

Dragon Wars

Aka D-Wars.

Aka one of the worst films I've even seen (but not the worst, because Vanilla Sky is).

We walked out after 20 minutes.

I think I need to make a list of really bad movies eventually.

School of Rock

Jack Black's best movie, unless you count High Fidelity as a Jack Black movie.

I don't like that the Bass Player doesn't get any screen time or a story of her own, but otherwise, this is a great comedy.

Linklater rocks as a director too.

Shoot 'Em Up

This movie was fantastic. The downtime was a little too slow for my taste, considering just how over the top ridiculous that fighting was, but Clive Owen rocks.

And this movie was everything I thought it would be.

Dial M for Murder (1965)

Grace Kelly is so hot.

Saw this in a pizza/beer theater as well.

Knocked Up

I hated 40-Year Old Virgin and I don't like Seth Rogan, but this movie was funnier than I thought it would be.

I still don't agree with the message, but there you go.

I saw this in a theater that serves pizza and beer, so that made everything better.

10 September 2007

A Soul Haunted by Painting

Another Gong Li film. Only this time, it was just unwatchable because the subtitles were so bad. Half of them had typos or were poorly translated.

Just awful.

I stopped 30 minutes in.

Zhou Yu's Train

Maybe it makes more sense in Chinese, but this film was bad. Even if the story wasn't clumsy and random, the editing and pacing was bad. Sometimes I wondered why the director was just pointing the camera at nothing.

This film had no right to be made.

08 September 2007

Balls of Fury

This film needed more banter. Too much dead time on the screen. Poor pacing and everything else.

The Reno 911 thing on works when you're doing "natural" shooting, not when you're trying to make a formula comedy. This film should have copied dodgeball and just be done with it.

That would have been easier.

3:10 to Yuma

It must be sad that American actors can no longer be cast in manly roles any longer.

I need to see this movie again, already.

That's how good it was.

Damn.

05 September 2007

Long Way Round

2 Men... 2 Bikes... 20000 Miles... Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman.

Seven 1-hour episodes.

Breathtaking.

I am speechless.

31 August 2007

Ju Dou

Part Wooden Man's Bride, part Bitter Moon, part Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker, part Raise the Red Lantern, and part Temptress Moon, this is an early Zhang Yimou film.

While good, the pacing is wobbly and the story meanders. The subtitles on my version are bad, as well. There are missing words, typos, and so on.

Gong Li is one of the prettiest women in the world and she proves why she's so good at what she does with the simplest of gestures and expressions.

Highly recommended film.

30 August 2007

Band of Brothers

Over the course of the week, I watched 9 of the 10 episodes and the documentary. Episode 6 is really boring... and even 10 isn't very good.

But this is the best mini-series ever made, in my opinion.

So important.

Shanghai Triad

My wife had never seen the movie before, so I put the DVD in and we watched my favorite movie.

The ending is intense.

27 August 2007

Zeitgeist, The Movie

Once again, someone has made a 9/11 conspiracy theory movie. This one is smarter than all the others, but it's still a BIG RED PILL to swallow...

or take in suppository form.

Part I is absolutely brilliant movie making.

Part II is chilling and hard to accept.

Part III is a combination of about four other documentaries that I've seen.

It's important stuff, no doubt. But it's yet another film that's going to fall short of it's potential, especially when the finale and the opening are so diametrically opposed in their research.

26 August 2007

Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Bay Theatre in Seal Beach played the original Han Solo Indiana Jones film tonight.

That is all.

25 August 2007

Shut Up and Sing

The Dixie Chicks documentary about their infamous statement:

"I'm embarrassed that the President of the United States comes from Texas."

A comment so treasonous, that this documentary is 1/2 about the statement and 1/2 about... well... I don't know what.

Their manager is rude and abrasive, though.

And their publicist thinks Americans are stupid.

If the documentary mentioned anything else, I missed it when I walked away from the screen to type this.

21 August 2007

The Last Legion

Clumsy.

Absolutely clumsy.

How you screw up a movie with this many good actors, with this title, about Uther Pendragon as a Caesar... well... it's a mystery.

But this is about as ass a production of any King Arthur related movie as anything the Lifetime channel would have produced.

Perhaps this should have been a Disney Sunday Night Movie.

Man. I just want to punch so many people in the head for ruining this movie.

SuperBad

Nice. Very nice.

Judd Apatow should just produce and not direct, because this one is better than his other two films.

Michael Cera is awesome, even though his humor is more subtle than the others. And Seth Rogan is obviously a better writer than actor.

Excellent movie.

Garage Days

Excellent production value and direction. It is not formulaic, nor is the pacing easy to watch. In fact, according to an IMDB reviewer…

Script-wise, this is a soggy mess. There are three people credited with the story, which makes sense as there are at least three movies stitched together. My guess is that Dave Warner wrote a comedy, Alex Proyas penned a tragedy, and Michael Udesky scribbled in a notebook while tripping on liquid acid. Then each of them tore out every fourth page of his script, threw the remaining pages up in the air, and stapled the resulting mess together.
And normally, I would agree, but somehow I liked this one. Don't ask me why.

Sadly, bad marketing ruined this movie's potential.

Completely, the movie is only about a 3 out of 5. But it's really well-made for such a low-budget film.

13 August 2007

7 Up

In 1964, Michael Apt interviewed 20 7-year old kids and made a documentary about them. Every 7 years after that, he made another documentary in the series.

I've always wanted to watch this series. Sadly, netflix does not have 14 Up, so I have wait and find a copy locally before watching the whole series.

So Goes the Nation

A very smart documentary maker has put together a film about the 2004 Presidential Election IN Ohio. Live. With interviews before and after, from both sides. He knew enough to be IN the state weeks/months before the election, because he knew the state would be pivotal.

He not only shows how the Republicans won (fairly), but how the Republicans always win when the game is on the line.

The smartest documentary in YEARS. And so even-handed, it might as well have been made by Martians with no vested interest in American government.

Fan-frickin-believable!

Stardust

If you love romantic fantasy (chock full of cheesy goodness)... and I know you do... this is the film for you.

Robert deNiro steals the scene. The sky pirates are off-course the best part of the film.

Some of the plot points are telegraphed.

But Claire Danes makes me feel happy.

10 August 2007

The Shooter

Mark Walberg plays an ex-Force Recon sniper in Antonie Fuqua's worst movie to date. That's right, it's worse than King Arthur.

I'm not sure if all Black directors have to eventually make ass movies after showing off the chops, but between Singleton (Boys in the Hood, Too Fast, Too Furious, Four Brothers) and Fuqua (Training Day), their peaks have long since passed. Cripes, they are one step away from "made for cable" and then after that there's only "Lifetime Exclusives" (shudder).

This movie is good for about 30 minutes and then turns into some of the dumbest crap I've ever seen. And I've seen Land of the Dead.

Awful.

The Departed

Certainly one of Scorsese's best. I love this film. A lot of people complained about the ending, but I thought that was one of it's strengths, in addition to the fantastic performances by Mark Walberg, Leonardo, and Matt Damon.

Damn good stuff.

09 August 2007

Hot Rod

A little clumsy at times and often drawing upon its inner Napolean Dynamite, this movie is better than a movie like this ought to be.

Damn.

08 August 2007

Bourne Ultimatum

Very very very nice. Bourne meets his match twice in this film, fighting guys from the SECOND GENERATION of killers.

Damn.

Good story. Tight direction (although the shakey cam gets OLD fast).

Morocco is the best of the four countries they visit.

David Strathem, Albert Finney, and Scott Glenn round out the cast of Evil White Men.

Enjoy.

05 August 2007

Friends With Money

Pretty good film. Accurate portrayal of couples, I thought. The ending is superb, especially if you're a nerdy male.

The women are complex, and most of the time, very wrong. Which is great, because the writer/director was a woman.

I HATED the one shot of them all looking in the mirror.

Unless that was a nod to all the previous HORRIBLE chick flicks (like Steel Magnolias and so on).

In which case, I approve.

04 August 2007

The Darwin Awards

Low budget. Bad story. Poor lighting. Cheap sets. A disjointed array of disparate stories and disinterested characters help to paint a story devoid of substance or charm.

Metallica makes an appearance (performing two songs). Judas Priest is on the soundtrack.

Lukas Haas appears in a film with Winona Rider again (although the two never appearance on thsescreen together). Josh Charles has a cameo.

2 out of 5 stars.

01 August 2007

Sunshine

I have seen all of Danny Boyle's movies.

And calling this his worst movie is like saying, this is the worst Filet Mignon I've ever had at Spago's.

But this movie is more science that art, something he's never tried before.

It's a combination of Solaris and 2001 (with one Aliens joke), with all the bad parts taken out.

The traditional themes of being lost in an impossible world are not there is this movie. Certainly the end of the world motif creeps up again, as always in Boyle's films. But this time, the conflict between man seems direct and without a big picture reflection (despite the big picture ideology of some of the cast).

It's so hard to convey because this film isn't "obvious" but there are homages and touches to the genre again and again. Boyle gets it. Even if the screenwriter is clumbsy at times.

Anyway.

Fantastic movie. Even if my review meanders.

Rescue Dawn

Believe it or not, this is my first Herzog movie.

I know.

I know.

Don't get me started.

Anyway.

Dieter Dengler (played by Christian Bale), is an American pilot shot down over Laos and captured.

I've tried writing more, but there would be too many spoilers.

I'm not sure if anyone else noticed this and if this is an important angle to the story (no review I've read so far has mentioned it)… BUT, there were more guards in the camp than prisoners. The conditions of the camp and dark-ages prisoner techniques suggests someone wanted to point out how backwards the Laotians were.

?

Herzog does not make a blockbuster here, so go in knowing the film is grainy; the mood is realistic and somber.

That is all.

Oh and people that bitch about the moving NOT being PC should be beaten with a Singapore cane.

31 July 2007

The Simpsons Movie

Wow.

Funnier than I would have expected. Annoying at times. But never boring.

The creators watched every bad TV cartoon to the big screen and said, "we don't want to make the same mistake."

No wonder it took 18 Years to make.

A lot of the modern humor of the Simpsons... showing the most inane version of Homer and the city of Springfield. But still, good.

29 July 2007

Crude Awakening

As is typical of any left-wing oriented documentary, the title is an unclever attempt at being clever. It often sounds sophmoric, like christian music lyrics. There's not a lot of competition to work in the save the world arm of documentary film marking, so the only people you get to work for you are those who think puns and purple prose are the same things creativity and imagination.

However, in this film, the content is extremely smart, even if the title isn't.

The film is obviously about the Peak Oil crisis facing the world in the next 20-50 years... no one really knows when the bubble will burst, but China and India will certainly factor into it.

The chapter breaks are intelligent. Those being interviewed are articulate. They talk about a complex idea with brevity, honesty, intelligence, and a modicum of wit. And they do not insult the viewer, by talking in grand themes, but instead delve into the reality that NONE of us, including them, are ready to make the changes to solve this problem.

We are too dependent on oil. All of our technological marvels are based on it. And all of these GREEN fixes that people propose do not take into account that the planet is well-past critical mass in terms of population. Two different scientists even said it, if we started working on Hydrogen power today, we're still 30-50 years from that being a solution. And we can't really work on anything to fix it, until the price of gas starts coming even remotely close to matching what we pay for a price of coffee ($50 a gallon) or a bottle of water.

Make sure to watch the Special Feature Extra about Petrostates.

27 July 2007

Forgiving Dr. Mengele

An Auschwitz survivor (twin sister) tells her story... and forgives Dr. Mengele.

Hard to watch. But the portions with Dr. Hans Munch are amazing. He's one of the only guys to get amnesty for his war crimes.

I won't tell you any more. If you're not interested in watching documentaries about the Nazis, skip this one.

26 July 2007

Shaun of the Dead

Noticed a few more things this time that I missed before.

It's amazing that this is a rookie director making this film. Because it's so tight and it is so self-referential.

So many little subtle jokes...

"Top Left. Reload. Oh. Nice one."

Damn.

When the brits aren't making bad sitcoms, they make some mean movies.

Galaxy Quest

I've seen this about 10 times now. I love it. Tim Allen is actually funny and the rest of the cast is perfect.

Just perfect.

Everyone does what they are supposed to. Everyone nails their characters.

Believe it or not, Alan Rickman is upstaged by everyone else in the film.

If you think Star Trek is silly, you'll love this film. If you like Star Trek and can laugh at yourself... you'll love this film. If you have a brain, you'll love this film.

25 July 2007

Ghostworld

This played in the background while I worked today. Loved the graphic novel and I love the movie.

Enid is so ugly as a character.

One failure of the story is that Seymour stays alone... everyone else in the movie moves forward, but he stands still.

Rent the DVD and watch a 6-minute musical scene from an Indian film called Gumnaam. Good stuff.

24 July 2007

Bourne Identity/Bourne Supremacy

Looking forward to the Bourne Conspiracy.

Matt Damon is not a wimp.

23 July 2007

Ultimate Avengers 2

The first cartoon in this series is really good. And this one picks up where the last left off.

However, there are some bumpy spots in the story. Certainly Henry Pym (Giant Man/Goliath/Ant Man... he goes by many names) has some great lines. He's hilarious.

However, some of the resolutions are utterly predictable and both halves of the villain forces are defeated pretty easily, given how TERRIFYING they appear for an hour of this movie.

I hate it when good guys win too easily.

It's boring.

Tony Stark is great once again and Banner is the best part of the movie, although the Hulk was underutlized... well... that's certainly putting it mildly. Unless there's a 3, there was no point in the Hulk even showing up.

The all the AFRICAN NATION stuff is... silly... but comic bookish.

But THOR... THOR was the worst part of the movie... Anyway. THOR teleports in the movie. He flies. And he throws runestones to consult the fates.

Three things he doesn't do in the comic.

Lame.

Oddly, they got a lot of things right... names... details about Iron Man's armor... places.. events... etc.

[Oh jeesh. The guns on War Machine were pathetic.]

Anyway. If you liked the first one, see this one. But don't start you Avengers Education with this film.

20 July 2007

About a Boy

Hugh Grant plays a man with no wife, kids, or prospects for anything... because he lives alone and he doesn't want anyone else in his life. It's not overly complex... and it's not really entirely very good.

But for some reason I like it.

And I think it's because of the honesty of the characters. How they all eventually have to say what is real.

Whether they like it or not.

In England of all places.

17 July 2007

Le Samouraï

Considered the godfather of the new wave of cinema, Melville creates a film here that shares little with the samurai culture, but that explodes with so much quiet story, you can see it's impact in cinema throughout the 70s.

French Connection comes to mind of course as the most popular film to be affected... nearly every aspect of the movie is impacted by Le Samouraï. While not a great film by modern standards, there are little details in this film that you have to look for in order to truly appreciate the director's vision and accomplishments. And of course a true connoisseur of films will appreciate how so many movies owe homage to Melville's work.

Quiet. Focused. Directed.

Not a word is spoken for the first 10 minutes of this film.

The movie has little to do with samurai, but the TONE owes much to the contemplative and solitary ronin who seeks bushido and meifumado.

[Hell yeah. Find another review of movies that mentions meifumado.]

Enjoy.

The Dead Girl

Dear merciful crap!!

What a fantastic movie.

Oh my god.

Told in FOUR PARTS from four different perspectives, the movie deals with the lives that are touched by the appearance of a dead girl in a field. All the performances are fantastic and real.... Some of the dialog is some of the best I've ever heard... just amazing.

Karen Moncrieff is absolutely fantastic. Her direction style is feminine without being annoying and EVERY character in the movie is amazingly deep.

I can't wait to see more from her.

Incredible lighting and color as well... if you're into that sort of thing.

11 July 2007

Fired!

Annabelle Gurwitch stars in this self-made documentary about being fired from a Woody Allen play. Through cathartic necessity, she interviews dozens of people in dozens of fields (mostly actors) about being fired and how much it sucks.

Okay.

Not great.

It doesn't really improve until she stops talking to actors.

Unbreakable

Made my wife watch one of the greatest movies ever made.

She'd never seen it... and she was blown away.

People that don't love this movie need to be examined for skull fractures.

09 July 2007

1408

What was marketed as a horror movie is more of a supernatural film about dealing with your past.

Not really scary, although it let's you think that's it's going to be scary MANY MANY times.

Better than I thought it was going to be, but still nothing groundbreaking.

Someone should have relegated this to the B-movie pile and let a more creative director have a hold of it.

Good. Not great.

06 July 2007

Vanishing Point

I hadn't seen this since I was a kid. And since I love any movie with fast cars, I had to watch this one again.

It was good, but not great. The whole trip through the desert was there to kill time. Nothing more.

It moves so fluidly until then.

And the ending is perplexing. They don't really explain WHY it ends that way. And there's not enough meat on the movie for you to formulate an explanation of your own, either.

Still a good ride.

04 July 2007

13th Warrior

My wife had never seen this movie before.

It's absolutely fantastic. One of my favorite movies.

Not a single sissy moment in the whole movie.

This movie's balls drag on the ground.

03 July 2007

Kung Fu Hustle

Put this on your top ten list of Kung Fu movies. Stephan Chow is a brilliant writer/director/producer.

Not a single unentertaining moment. Even the SAPPY stuff is good.

How does he do it?

Transformers

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

It's 1AM on Tuesday. The movie came out 2 days early. Not sure why.

Anyway. I got to see the 8 PM showing of the movie most kids waited 20 years for.

Let me start by saying I was a GI Joe fan as a kid and I had passing interaction with the Transformers craze. I know the characters and that's about it. But, I was really really really excited about this one.

Stupid me.

This film is so good and so bad at the same time... the effects are amazing and the movie goes by quickly. Sadly, you can see Speilberg's AND Michael Bay's stink links all over it... and all at the same time. The main actor (Shia LaBeouf) steals (and carries) all 2.5 hours of this film, even when Turturo and Voight are choking on the ass gas emanating from Bay's poor direction and inability to rewrite crappy dialog.

You know... considering Turturo's career is almost over as an actor, he should probably reconsider these sorts of poorly thought out and poorly executed characters.

Just a suggestion.

The number of Bay/Bruckheimer stereotypes going on inside the GOVERNMENT in this film made me think I was watching Enemy of the State (directed by Tony Scott, but certainly with a little Bruckheimer-Devil on his shoulder twisting Scott's vision, much the way he twisted Bay into a D-class director).

But I digress.

The film opens chaotically, but fairly. In no time, we are pushed from character to character, trying to make sense of the ADD-riddled non-sense that Bay calls a scene. He can neither point a camera, nor direct an actor. What exactly was his function on this film?

Soon enough, we learn that there are ROBOTS on the planet, but we don't know why yet.

Mystery is good. That's fine. Continue.

Sadly, the mystery is blown in a ubiquitous exposition scene and the rest of the film is just masturbation.

So. Without talking ad nauseum about the story, let's talk about the film's vapidness.

The Decepticons don't get any screen time except when it's time to fight and I have no idea who any of them are, indicating the production team's "inexperience" with special effects. And when the Autobots get screentime, they either can't talk (Bumblebee for instance), are ghetto (Jazz is black so all the negro children will buy his toy), or are bumbling idiots (everyone else but Optimus Prime). Making me think that perhaps no one that made this film was ever a child.

And apparently neither ILM or Speilberg has ever made a film with robots in them.

The Decepticons are nothing more than "bad guys" with no motivation, no dialog, and no names. A piece of information so evident that apparently at hour 1.9, someone in the editing room said... um... we should put their name on the screen as the Deux ex Machina rolls out for Act III.

Of course, there's plenty of sappiness in the film, too. The set-up for the finale is so obvious, I don't know what to say. If you don't see it coming, you need to return your brain for repair. And since no real emotion can emanate from the film, all you get are disingenuous feelings from everyone except Sam. So many human characters get shotgunned at the screen, so quickly, I don't recall a single name in the movie, BUT SAM... and you certainly don't care about anyone but Sam (not even his parents or his girl).

Having considerably grown up since working on HOLES -- when Prime and the rest of the "cast" introduce themselves to Sam, asking about magic glasses (god, I wish I were making that up), they all take on really insipid 10-year old marketing antics -- Shia must have felt right at home with the immature and insecure character "introduction" with annoying sickly and saccharine nicknames.

"I'm Jazz, because I like Jazz. I'm Tugboat, because my ass is fat. I'm X-Ray because I've got one eye. I'm stinky, because... I stink. I'm Michael Bay, because I'm a tool."

So many moments when you were supposed to be on your feet cheering, the film is merely "ho-hum." Bay misses every important emotional beat. Either because he can't focus what the movie is supposed to be about, because he can't choose what tone to give the film (it literally flips every 10 minues), or because the graphics and fight scenes are pretty much the same over and over... with no mounting tension. Every robot moves the same way and they all dodge bad guys the same way.

Does Bay know what a storyboard is?

Hell. Megatron is supposed to be the BAD GUY of the film and he gets ONE mention an hour into the movie by Optimus Prime and then we don't see him until hour TWO. At which point he utters five barely memorable lines and battles Optimus Prime in the same tired melee you've seen five previous times in the film between two other clumps of CGI.

Frankly, I'm confused as to why I said this film was good. It was enjoyable, but it barely qualifies as a movie. It has sounds and lights and noise that comes out of things that scream and bleed, but that's about it. There's no real cohesion and nothing resembling quality.

It's like a bag full of moist crap and everyone is marveling at the moisture.

The only true satisfaction I derived from this film came, when the first DECEPTICON (I think it was Soundwave or Buzzsaw or whoever the Helicopter is... yeah the movie was the inarticulate about it's content) came on the screen and transformed.

My wife grew up in South Korea and didn't come to the states until 1989, well-past the expiration on Transformer's fandom. So. She knew nothing of what was coming.

Nothing.

And her surprise and excitement was well-worth the price of admission.

So.

My advice to you.

Take a retard or caveman with you, so you can watch him enjoy the film.

02 July 2007

Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?

ANOTHER DOCUMENTARY

I'm on information overload.

Just over an hour. Well worth the time.

Highly enjoyable.

I'll be seeing Transformers in a few hours. So that'll settle this a bit.

McLibel

Another in a series of documentaries showing small people fighting against the greater power.

Fascinating.
Using carefully reenacted courtroom scenes, director Franny Armstrong brings the other trial of the century to life, chronicling the world-famous libel suit brought by fast-food franchise McDonald's against British activists Helen Steel and Dave Morris. Far from focusing on hamburgers and fries, this fascinating documentary tells the story of two ordinary folks who endure a Big Mac attack of epic proportions -- just for asking a simple question.
To read more, please see this site.

Goes well with Super-Size Me and Fast Food Nation.

01 July 2007

Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man

Part even-handed, part defense for Ralph Nader, this documentary reveals all of the important federal laws in the America that Nader initiated and helped pass in the U.S. up until 1978 and then proceeds to leap forward to 2000 where the film defends Nader's decision to run despite the damage it did to the democratic party and to the world at large by putting Bush in office.

Strong information. Important. But overly, lots of sour grapes on all sides.

3.5 out of 5.

Sicko

Michael Moore returns to "documentary" film making with this treatment on HMOs, a long-await conflagration of America's more corrupt industry. Moore visits FOUR other countries with UNIVERSAL Health Care and demonstrates just how bad America has it... including several "helpers" after 9/11 who have been refused healthcare despite their ailments.

Once again Moore makes himself look stupid, while still evoking sentiment and raising important questions. While not as misleading as his two previous endeavors, I doubt he will ever make a documentary as skillfully as THE BIG ONE ever again.

This is good. Notworthy. But not great.

The first 10 minutes are particularly poor. But the finish is amazing.

Love Actually

Viewing #10.

Just the most perfect romantic comedy ever.

Lots of actors. Some great cameos. Amazing stories and drama.

I'm not sure what else to say about... one of my favorite movie scenes of all-time is in the Wisconsin Bar with "Colin Frissell."

Hugh Grant has some great stuff as well.

Liam Neeson too.

And Laura Linney is a frickin' chameleon.

And the finale with Colin Firth in Marseilles. Perfect.

The writer/director knows people and he knows how to spin a story.

And of course... ensemble cast... of course I'd love it.

Ratatoiulle

Brad Bird can do no wrong. Another hit in my opinion. Iron Giant is still my favorite of his films, but that doesn't stop him from making great stuff.

There are moments in this film (that most people will miss I'm sure), where the Rat has more emotion in his face than any Shrek piece of crap.

And no big name voices.

No Tom Hanks level names anyway.

Pixar understands the value of a good screenplay and they understand how to pace an action sequence. They obviously could have made this movie simplier and easier (ala Cars), but they chose lush, textured story stuff... and there are some great surprises.

Excellent movie.

30 June 2007

Four Movies in One Day

You read that right.

Had the day off. Played too in the background while I worked on the computer.

Watched the other two late at night.

Replacements. I've seen this about 20 times. Funny football movie about replacement players. Typical sports team made of misfits. Not great. But funny mindless comedy. Gene Hackman, though. I mean, come on?

Mean Girls. Tina Fey's BRILLIANT screenplay about how women mistreat each other. Lohan's last movie before she became a handful. Comedy. Seen this about 10 times now.

Not Another Teen Movie. One of my favorite comedies ever. Brilliant. Perfect. Amazing. Perfect. Damn!

House of Sand and Fog. After all that mindless comedy, I needed something deep to watch. This is my second viewing of this dark and torturous story about doing right and wrong. Masterful. Although their's a pivotal action piece about 20 minutes from the end that should have been handled by a better director. This guy is all drama.

The U.S. vs. John Lennon

More a documentary about the movement than about Lennon, but certainly a 3 out of 5. Give it a view if you want to know more about the only true revolution in America during the 20th century.

27 June 2007

Live Free or Die Hard

Die Hard 4... another in a series of bad sequels this year.

Extremely disappointing.

Extremely over-priced (the budget must have been immense).

And extremely weak.

No one looked like he/she was enjoying themselves. No one apparently read the script.

Lots of GREAT little things.

Some of the shots are fantastic.

But the pacing is choppy and fuddled.

And some of the action sequences make no sense.

They (Hollywood) wonder if video piracy causes movie sales to slump.... but it's "tired old recycled nothing" like this that's not really aimed at engaging a new generation of movie watchers. Instead, it's just safe to spend 150 million dollars on a film that will gross 151 million.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Extended)

Last year for Easter, I watched all Three Movies in one sitting.

This past week, I watched the trilogy in piecemeal. I barely watched part II, but it was on in the background.

Now.

I’m the first guy to tell you that I hated the novels. Which is hilarious, because if you hear me TALK about the story, I get chills about certain things... like Boromir’s importance as the ONLY casualty and how he is the MOST human character in the story. The relevance of Eowyn and Faramir ALMOST dying. Samwise! The non-funny version of Gimli and so on.

But I hate how Tolkien wrote and I hate how NO ONE DIES. Nothing ever happens. Nothing of consequence.

If I had to make a list of who needed to die in this story and why, it would take a few hundred kilobytes to do it.

Yet, Tolkien doesn’t kill anyone.

And the movies are no better. And Jackson uses the same techniques over and over and over again to trick you into thinking that people DID die.

Aowyn, Merry, Frodo., Arwyn. All of them have “dramatic” what happened to them scenes.

Frodo more than anyone. AND HE’S THE ONE THAT NEEDS TO DIE MORE THAN ANYONE.

It’s puzzling.

Dispite all of this.

I love the series. I think II and III are fair and I is one of the best films ever made, but explaining that would take up the rest of the internet’s bandwidth, so I’ll keep it short.

Even the extended version of I is precise, intelligent and there’s no excessive use of lame dialog (god, Aragorn has the worst lines).

And while II and III are far inferior to I, the extended versions of II and III are exceptional... save for the 10 endings to part III and ALLLLLL of the bad speeches before the fights.

And I’m sorry. Jackson has one MACHO trick up his sleeve and that’s it. And he uses if over and over again.

Okay.

Enough complaining.

I still love the series. Even if it breaks my heart to do it.

25 June 2007

Fragments of Iraq

Another tired documentary that is more art and fluff than science and fact. What few moments of lucidity that permeate through the banal darkness of it's mindless storytelling are lost when the camera points to an 11-year old kid who waxes philosophical about what IRAQ was like BEFORE the americans came.

WTF?

There are a few frames of film that are really exceptional. But the swim is not worth it.

Find another documentary about a topic you know nothing about; as opposed to one about a society you KNOW is fragmented.

(Hmm. War torn Iraq? I wonder if everyone is getting along there? Honey. This documentary says no. Think we should rent it?)

24 June 2007

The Peter Jennings Collection

Taking SIX of Jenning's best reports, this 2 DVD collection details Agribusiness, the LAPD, Tobacco (boring), Data Collection (on everyone), Guantanamo (awesome), and the most complete documentary about Ecstacy I've ever watched.

The tobacco one was uninteresting to me, because I don't care if people die from smoking. And the Data Collection one (while thorough) was not surprising.

The rest are gold.

Git-mo was the most impressive of the six.

22 June 2007

American Blackout

An incredible documentary about how Blacks in America have always been and continue to be the most disenfranchised voters in America. There is a system in place in Red states to make sure that African Americans do NOT get a say in who they elect.

They even bring up information about the 2004 election in Ohio and how IT TOO might have been rigged.

Fascinating documentary.

Highly recommended.

21 June 2007

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

I got the impression that none of the writers, actors, directors, or filmmakers involved in this movie, ever read a comic, ever enjoyed a comic, or knew one single thing about comic books or the Fantastic Four.

I was bored.

Bored.

Bored.

Not as bad as Ocean's 13. But this was not what I was expecting from the previews I saw.

Sigh.

Jessica Alba was hot, though.

13 June 2007

Ocean's 13

I didn't think it was possible to make a movie worse than Ocean's 12.

I'd heard this one was "fun," but apparently no one wanted to be in this film.

And certainly no one wanted to write or direct it.

Pure ass.

Save your money and your time.

04 June 2007

Monday Night Wars

A documentary about the WCW and WWF (now WWE) ratings competition that transpirted during the 90s.

Now that the WWE owns the rights to both shows, they offer a slightly slanted approach to the documentary, but it does point out everything that WCW did right (and wrong) in their rise and fall.

I was a huge fan of the WCW at the time of the ratings war, so I saw a great deal of incredible wrestling then. And I recall everything that was going on.

Fair, but slightly slanted.

Not FOX News slanted. But slanted.

Anyway. If you're even remotely interestd, it's a good documentary.

*****

Sadly, guys like Kidman and Psychosis didn't get the air time in the documentary that they should have, but hey. That's small potatoes.

03 June 2007

Once Upon a Time in the West

Leone once again nails the tone and darkness of the west.

Wow. What a great film.

I can't believe how much money they must have spent on sets.

The "Whore" scene was a great deal awkward and I'm sure will stick with me for a while. But I think if a director can "get me" with something like that, he/she has done a great job.

31 May 2007

Driver

Ryan O'Neil in a classic car chase movie.

One of the best.

Still have never seen the full 2-hour version. If anyone knows where to find it, let me know.

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

29 May 2007

28 Weeks Later

Not nearly as strong as the original -- 28 Days Later -- but a fairly good movie. The ending was predictable, leaving room for a 28 Months or 28 Years Later.

But the movie did not violate anything established in the first film and some of the scenes were mind-boggling.

I could have done without the Shakey-CamTM.

25 May 2007

Pirates of the Caribean: At World's End

Saw the midnight showing of it.

No Spoilers. This movie is long. Complicated. And in a few places it misses some great opportunities. However, if you didn't like TWO, you may not like THREE. It has a lot of storylines going on and there's not as much action as you're expecting.

It is a great film, though... amazing. And I eagerly await a second viewing.

18 May 2007

Fast Food Nation

Bad marketing kept this movie from making it big. And the title is a little wrong, because the film is about MORE than just how we eat... but this is a MUST see.

Add it to the list.

It's almost a documentary.

16 May 2007

Liar Liar

Fletcher Reede is a particularly career-focused lawyer and divorced father. He has a habit of giving precedence to his job and breaking promises to be with his young son Max, and then lying to Max and his ex-wife Audrey about the real reason he missed the date. Fletcher lets Max down once too often, missing his birthday party, and has to deal with the consequences when Max makes a wish while blowing out the candles on the cake and it comes true. The wish is that Fletcher cannot tell a lie for 24 hours.Actually, an under-rated Jim Carrey film. Watching someone tell the truth for an hour is pretty damn funny.
Not really award winning material, but still great background noise.

13 May 2007

May 13, 2007

Deathrace 2000

Oh god. Oh god. Awful. Just awful.

I rented this, not knowing it was the same team that made Cannonball.

But. Oh god. Oh god.

So awful.

Five of the same actors. Its the same cheesy schtick where everything is filmed in Los Angeles to look like the entire U.S. The dialog is bad. The story is bad. Only two people in the movie can act (and one of them is Stallone).

Whoever the director/producer is (I don't care enough to find out), he needs help.

Serious help.

Issues.

For the record, I'm doing research on this genre of film, and I'd never seen these two before.

I had no idea how bad they were.

God Awful.

11 May 2007

May 11, 2007

Cannonball

I've seen Batman and Robin and Vanilla Sky, so I can't confirm that this is the worst movie ever made... but damn... it's close.

Copying Gumball Rally at every turn, this low-budget piece of crap is why people hate "driving movies." Cannonball finds a way to be even worse than Cannonball Run I and II.

I could talk for days about all the bad, but instead, let me point to two key things.

One. With exception of five minutes of roadtime in New York, this cross-country RACE is filmed ENTIRELY in California. At one point, the racers, just a few miles from the finish line in NYC, pull into a shopping mall in Solvang, California. Every freeway scene is either on the 210 or somewhere on the Pearbloosom Hwy (Rte 14/18).

Two. There is a 17 car pile up (I only know it's 17 because later they refer to the actual number) that makes Chips look like Nobel Prize material. It is among one of the worst things ever put to film.

And Tarantino chose to pay homage to this crap with Death Proof (even filming in the same hills and having Kurt Russel drive the same car as the villain in this).

God. What dreck.

Awful.

06 May 2007

May 6, 2007

Spiderman 3

Wow. Very nice. Not the best in the series, but very complex. Lots of stories going on at once.

'Nuf said.

05 May 2007

May 5, 2007

Next
Las Vegas showroom magician Cris Johnson has a secret which torments him: he can see a few minutes into the future. Sick of the examinations he underwent as a child and the interest of the government and medical establishment in his power, he lies low under an assumed name in Vegas, performing cheap tricks and living off small-time gambling "winnings." But when a terrorist group threatens to detonate a nuclear device in Los Angeles, government agent Callie Ferris must use all her wiles to capture Cris and convince him to help her stop the cataclysm.
Despite how stupid that last sentence sounds, this is a good movie.

Very nicely handled. It could have been much worse... Jason Stratham worse.

Nicholas Cage's real-life wife makes a cameo appearance in the film... and this is officially his 17th movie set in Vegas, I think.

03 May 2007

May 3, 2007

The Warriors

A classic. Nothing else to say. But man. Talking about a plot someone should redo... or I guess they could remake Frankenstein again.

30 April 2007

April 30, 2007

Inside Man
"Inside Man" is the story of a tough cop, Detective Frazier (Denzel Washington), who matches wits with a clever bank robber, Dalton (Clive Owen). As the dangerous cat-and-mouse game unfolds, a wild card emerges: Madaline (Jodie Foster), a power broker with a hidden agenda, who injects even more instability into an already volatile situation.
Third viewing. Despite the LONG ending, this movie is ever so good... ever sooooo good. I think the original screenplay ended at one point, and Spike Lee added some juice to the story... to help the boys in blue look better.

But this is solid storytelling.

29 April 2007

April 29, 2007

12 and Holding
When 12-year-old Rudy Carges (Conor Donovan) dies in a tree-house fire set by bullies, his death affects a circle of young lives. While Rudy's twin brother, Jacob (also played by Donovan), focuses his wrath on revenge, Malee (Zoe Weizenbaum) finds comfort in one of her psychotherapist mother's clients. Meanwhile, Leonard (Jesse Camacho), an overweight boy who escaped the blaze, begins a weight-loss regimen -- much to the dismay of his fat family.
I love all of the Todd Solondz movies and this one plays our as those he'd directed it... even though he didn't. Add this to your list of awkward coming of age films alongside Ghostworld, Happiness, Palindromes, and Welcome to the Dollhouse.

April 29, 2007

The Heart of the Game
Attending predominantly white Roosevelt High because her mother thinks she'll have better opportunities under the school's successful coach, gifted black hoopster Darnellia Russell puts herself -- and her coach -- through the wringer. Shot in a suburban Seattle high school over a seven-year period, director Ward Serrill's stirring documentary explores the complicated relationship between gender, race and organized sports.
That's probably the worst tag line one could write about this documentary, because it's about more than just a girl who stupidly gets knocked-up and screws up her life. This movie is really good, but I'm sure this description fails to "grab" anyone.

Sadly, it's a tad predictable.

April 29, 2007

Hot Fuzz
Nicholas Angel is the finest cop London has to offer, with an arrest record 400% higher than any other officer on the force. He's so good, he makes everyone else look bad. As a result, Angel's superiors send him to a place where his talents won't be quite so embarrassing - the sleepy and seemingly crime-free village of Sandford. Once there, he is partnered with the well-meaning but overeager police officer Danny Butterman. The son of amiable Police Chief Frank Butterman, Danny is a huge action movie fan and believes his new big-city partner might just be a real-life "bad boy," and his chance to experience the life of gunfights and car chases he so longs for. Angel is quick to dismiss this as childish fantasy and Danny's puppy-like enthusiasm only adds to Angel's growing frustration. However, as a series of grisly accidents rocks the village, Angel is convinced that Sandford is not what it seems and as the intrigue deepens, Danny's dreams of explosive, high-octane, car-chasing, gunfighting, all-out action seem more and more like a reality. It's time for these small-town cops to break out some big-city justice.
I loved Shaun of the Dead. Loved it. Loved it. This movie is the same team.

It's been called Agatha Christie meets Michael Bay (who the film openly mocks), and it's amazingly good. However... it's a slow opening and the director uses the same FLASH-BANG cut technique over and over and over again (maybe three times as much as he used in Shaun of the Dead, which it was much effectively used with).

Uber.

22 April 2007

April 22, 2007

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
A man is shot and quickly buried in the high desert of west Texas. The body is
found and reburied in Van Horn's town cemetery. Pete Perkins, a local ranch
foreman, kidnaps a Border Patrolman and forces him to disinter the body. With
his captive in tow and the body tied to a mule, Pete undertakes a dangerous and
quixotic journey into Mexico.
I love how this movie opens. The opening 30 minutes are great. And the more I think about it, I love the meandering ending... but the pacing after the half-way mark sucks.

It's nice to see Tommy Lee Jones play something other than a U.S. Marshall, but this film needed some heavy editing... and perhaps an assistant director to guide the neophyte Jones through this two-hour ordeal.

16 April 2007

April 15, 2007

Grindhouse
From cult movie directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez comes a unique film experience: a double-bill of thrillers that recall both filmmakers' favorite exploitation films. "Grindhouse" (a downtown movie theater in disrepair since its glory days as a movie palace known for "grinding out" non-stop double-bill programs of B-movies) is presented as one full-length feature comprised of two individual films helmed separately by each director. Tarantino's film, "Death Proof," is a rip-roaring slasher flick where the killer pursues his victims with a car rather than a knife, while Rodriguez's film explores an alien world eerily familiar to ours in "Planet Terror." The films are joined together by clever faux trailers that recall the '50s exploitation drive-in classics.
Quinten masturbates while Rodriquez makes an incredible movie and preview.

This may be Tarantino's worst movie ever.

They spent all that time making Kurt Russell look scary, psycho, and intimidating and in no time, he turned into a giant pussy.

And two groups of four women yapping for 30 minutes (each) about pseudo-male Tarantino B.S. is not a GRINDHOUSE-style film. It's lame.

What a bummer.

However, the movie is certainly worth watching right up until Tarrantino's film starts.

The fake previews and "COMING ATTRACTIONS" are brilliant.

10 April 2007

April 10, 2007

Idiocracy

I think it's amazing that people are finally saying this...
As the movie begins, vignettes and a voiceover illustrate that as unintelligent people enthusiastically outbreed intelligent people, future society will become inevitably and irreversibly dumber.
But this is not Mike Judge's best work.

This was very hard to watch.

Painful. And not smart. Just... smarmy.

Who thought making a movie like this would generate income? If it's going to be watched by INTELLIGENT people, the material needs to be smarter. If it's going to be watched by STUPID people, don't be surprised when BILLY BOB doesn't like laughing at himself.

Go figure.

Trivia: None of the shirts or pants in the future have buttons or zippers.

08 April 2007

April 8, 2007

BadDER Santa
Santa and his little helper are confidence men casing a mall all holiday season and robbing it blind Christmas Eve. The elf "shops" the stores while Santa cracks the safe. Following them through one last season of perverse holiday cheer you hear the 'f' word more frequently than in Scarface.
I love this movie. Billie Boy Thorton is priceless. And the kid who plays Therman Merman is as good as Jon Heder in Napoleon Dynamite.

I think this is my fifth viewing.

April 8, 2007

Spiderman 2

If you can believe it, Yun has never seen this film, so we rented it for her.

Damn. I forgot how good this series was.

Sam Raime rules the school.

April 8, 2007

The Lookout
An admired high school hockey player (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) with a bright future foolishly takes a drive in the night with his girl friend and two other friends with his headlights off with devastating results. The former athlete is left with a brain injury that prevents him from remembering many things for extended periods of time. To compensate, he keeps notes in a small notebook to aid him in remembering what he is to do. He also lives with a blind friend (Jeff Daniels) who aids him. Obviously, with the mental incapacitation, he is unable to have meaningful work. Thus he works as a night cleaning man in a bank. It is there he comes under the scrutiny of a gang planning to rob the bank. The leader (Matthew Goode) befriends him and gets him involved with a young woman (Isla Fisher) who further reels him in. After they get close and after reeling him in with his own failures, the bank plan unfolds. Confused but wanting to escape his current existence, he initially goes along with the scheme. After realizing he is being used, he attempts to stop the robbery, which of course immediately goes awry. Bruce McGill and Alberta Watson also co-star as the young man's parents, who still search for the person that was there before the tragic crash.
Fantastic character development. A perfect blend of quality production and Indie nuance.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt may be one of the best young actors out there. Totally underrated. So much range. So much presence.

Better than Brick.

07 April 2007

April 7, 2007

Dodgeball

I've now seen this movie over 20 times.

HIGH-larious.

My favorite part is Jason Bateman and Gary Cole as commentators.

Great stuff.

06 April 2007

April 6, 2007

Saw Bad Religion in concert down in Santa Monica.

Great show.

For charity.

Tiger Army is sissy.

03 April 2007

April 3, 2007

The Invincible Iron Man (Animated)
Billionaire inventor Tony Stark digs up more than he bargained for when he unwittingly unearths the Mandarin, an evil entity buried for centuries in an ancient Chinese ruin. To protect himself and save Earth's citizens from the Mandarin's destructive force, Tony invents a high-tech suit of armor. The character of Iron Man (also known as Iron Knight) was created for Marvel Comics by superhero legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
I always loved Iron Man as a superhero. Tony Stark was a lame character, but the suit was always so cool. It had room for all sorts of creative inventions and the visual design of the suit improved over the years. Ari Granov's newest version in the comic book series is amazing. Do a search for his name on the internet if you like.

Sadly, this movie was all over the place and couldn't hold my interest.

02 April 2007

April 2, 2007

Gilbert Gottfried: Dirty Jokes
Stand up comedy. Sort of. More like a series of jokes you already know, followed by a re-telling of the classic Aristocrats joke.
Funny. But not hilarious.

01 April 2007

April 1, 2007

Gumball Rally

Watched this again, too. Damn. I love movies with cars driving fast.

This is a million times better than that awful Cannonball Run crap.

31 March 2007

March 31, 2007

Casino Royale

I think this is the best Bond film. And I think Daniel Craig is balls-out good.

30 March 2007

March 30, 2007

Smokey and the Bandit

Watched it again.

Haha. Can't get enough.

March 30, 2007

Quick Change
When a man dressed as a clown enters a bank and trys to rob it, no one takes him seriously at start. But as this New Yorker pulls this daring robbery with the help of his friends, it looks like leaving the bank with all the stolen money is the easy part! All they have to do now is make it out of the city and to the airport. They have plenty of time, but its not that easy as they seem to get out of one problem only to fall into another. Will they make before the cops catch up with them?
My second favorite comedy. Absolutely the tits.

Got a copy for $10 at Fry's. Since it's long out of print, that's even cooler.

27 March 2007

March 27, 2007

Assault on Precinct 13
This taut action flick from writer-director John Carpenter pits an understaffed police station against a bloodthirsty gang's angry horde gathering outside the precinct's walls. Before Carpenter hit pay dirt with slasher and sci-fi fare (Halloween, Escape from New York), he directed several low-budget, suspenseful thrillers. Assault on Precinct 13, co-starring Austin Stoker and Darwin Joston, is among his best.
(1976). The original. Oh man. I can't believe how well-made this movie is considering the budget.

Amazing.

Little Kim Richards (from Disney movie fame) gets killed while buying an ice cream cone.

Damn.

March 27, 2007

Joe Rogan: Live
Regardless of Joe Rogan's success on television providing color commentary for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, hosting the reality show "Fear Factor" or co-starring in the hit comedy series "NewsRadio," his true love is stand-up comedy. Opinionated and challenging the status quo, all of the energy of a live Joe Rogan performance is captured here on film in a set that shows no mercy.
Holy crap. I had no idea Joe Rogan was this funny... or this smart.

Awesome.

25 March 2007

March 25, 2007

Smokey and the Bandit
Smokey and the Bandit is a 1977 movie starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Pat McCormick, Paul Williams, and Mike Henry. It inspired several other trucking films including two sequels, Smokey and the Bandit II (originally known as Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again in the U.K.), and Smokey and the Bandit Part 3. Also, a television movie was loosely based on the film called Bandit. The three movies introduced two generations of the Pontiac Trans Am (unlike the television movie version, in which the other Bandit drives the Dodge Stealth R/T Twin Turbo). The film was the second highest grossing film of 1977, beaten only by Star Wars.

The movie was filmed primarily in Georgia in the cities of McDonough, GA and Jonesboro, GA. The scenes in Texarkana were filmed in Jonesboro and the surrounding area, and many of the chase scenes were filmed in the surrounding areas and in McDonough, GA. The scene at the race track was filmed at the old Lakewood Speedway on the south side of Atlanta.

The film made use of five modified 1977 Pontiac Trans Ams that were each built according to the required stuntwork. All were damaged during the rigors of filming the stunts.
When I watch this movie, I'm seven years old again. And apparently up WAY passed by bedtime. I need to watch Hooper and the new Dukes of Hazzard movie to complete the trilogy of Redneck car-jumping films.

The Cannonball Run series sucks ass and gets no mention here, beyond the ass sucking.

19 March 2007

March 19, 2007

Super Size Me

Please tell me you've heard of this documentary?!?!

Watched it again. At home. A little sick. Watched three movies in one day. Wow. All of them on Netflix WATCH NOW program.

Sweet!

March 19, 2007

Rebel Without a Cause
Classic film.
Just doing research on the YOUTH GONE WILD genre.

March 19, 2007

Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter
The first testament says "an eye for an eye." - The second testament says "love thy neighbour." - The third testament ... Kicks Ass!!!
Oh yeah. It's as dumb as it sounds.

Take one-part goth kids, one-part Canadian humor, one-part SCA rejects, one-part Rocky Horror fans, one-part Ren Faire attendees, one-part Joss Whedon fans who didn't get the joke, and one-part drama school dropouts and you have... this mess.

I only watched 17 minutes, so... if it got better with age, I missed it.

18 March 2007

March 18, 2007

Gumball Rally
Disparate people with one thing in common: when they hear "gumball" whispered by one of the others, they know that it's time for the Gumball Rally: a no-holds barred, secret, winner-take-all rally across the USA.
Perhaps one of my favorite films of all-time. There are literally only two things in this film I would change. Otherwise, it is the pinnacle of 1970s car-chase/car-race/car-smash movies.

17 March 2007

March 17, 2007

16 Blocks

Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a burnt-out detective assigned the unenviable task of transporting a fast-talking convict (Mos Def) from jail to a courthouse 16 blocks away. However, along the way he learns that the man is supposed to testify against Mosley's colleagues, and the entire NYPD wants him dead. Mosley must choose between loyalty to his colleagues and protecting the witness, and never has such a short distance seemed so long...

Richard Donner is best known for the Lethal Weapon films (of which, only 1 and 2 are any good, and 2 is questionable), Assassins, Conspiracy Theory, Ladyhawke, Goonies, Scrooged, Superman II, and Maverick (the Mel Gibson one with the really bad ending). Intellectually, this is the best film he's ever made. But sadly, the low budget is obvious. You can tell they wanted to do more with it, but there just wasn't a budget for any more. Despite how great and tense this movie was, the film didn't even make back in the box office, what it cost to make it.

Nonetheless, I still think it's fantastic.

13 March 2007

March 13, 2007

Open Range
Boss Spearman, Charley Waite, Mose Harrison and Button freegraze their cattle across the vast prairies of the West, sharing a friendship forged by a steadfast code of honor and living a life unencumbered by civilization. When their wayward herd forces them near the small town of Harmonville, the cowboys encounter a corrupt sheriff and kingpin rancher who govern the territory through fear, tyranny and violence. Boss and Charley find themselves inextricably drawn towards an inevitable showdown, as they are forced to defend the freedom and values of a lifestyle that is all too quickly vanishing.
Most people hate this film, but I think it's awesome. The mere fact that not a single shot is fired for the first 90 minutes of the movie, makes the final show-down of gunfire that much more impressive.

Wow.

Who cares what else I have to say about this? Really.

12 March 2007

March 12, 2007

The Outlaw Josey Wales
Josey Wales makes his way west after the Civil War, determined to live a useful and helpful life. He joins up with a group of settlers who need the protection that a man as tough and experienced as he is can provide. Unfortunately, the past has a way of catching up with you, and Josey is a wanted man.
Perhaps on the best westerns of all time.
Right up there with Unforgiven, The Wild Bunch, Pale Rider, Open Range, and the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Grandma is great. The characters are fantastic.
So many quotable lines.
Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?
Not a hard man to track. Leaves dead men wherever he goes.
Dyin' ain't much of a livin', boy.

11 March 2007

March 11, 2007

Gwoemul (The Host)
An unidentified mutant suddenly appears from the depths of the Han River and spreads panic and death, and Gang-du's daughter Hyun-seo is carried off by the monster and disappears. All the family members are in a great agony as they have lost someone dearest to them and vow revenge.
The Koreans even do Godzilla better than the rest of the world.
Fantastic. Great surprises. Funny too.
Gwoemul in Korean means "Monster."
Kang-ho Song is awesome. You may remember him from Lady Vengeance, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Memories of a Murder, and JSA

10 March 2007

March 10, 2007

300
Based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, "300" concerns the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, where the King of Sparta led his army against the advancing Persians; the battle is said to have inspired all of Greece to band together against the Persians, and helped usher in the world's first democracy.
Oh yeah. It's that good.
Damn!
Damn! Damn!

01 March 2007

March 1, 2007

Renaissance
In 2054, Paris is a labyrinth where all movement is monitored and recorded. Cut off from the world for its own protection, the city has nonetheless continued to expand. Now, 21st century skyscrapers overlay centuries-old architectural masterpieces. And below street level, a sophisticated network of streamlined plazas push up against the city's ancient, deteriorating tunnel systems. Casting a shadow over everything is the city's largest company, Avalon, which insinuates itself into every aspect of contemporary life to sell its primary export--eternal youth and beauty. When 22-year-old Ilona (Romola Garai), one of Avalon's most promising scientists, is abruptly kidnapped, Avaloncalls on Barthélémy Karas, a Paris cop with a hard-fought reputation for finding anyone, no matterwhat sacrifices he has to make along the way. As the trail gets hot, Karas senses he's not the only one looking for thebeautiful enigma, and every witness he digs up seems to turn up dead. To find Ilona and unlock the secrets of her disappearance, Karas must plunge deep into the parallel worlds of corporate espionage, organized crime and genetic research where the truth imprisons whoever finds it first and miracles can either save the world, or end it.
Why It's Great
French animation
Excellent story
Cyberpunk done right
Daniel Craig

28 February 2007

February 28, 2007

Who Killed the Electric Car?
With gasoline prices approaching $4/gallon, fossil fuel shortages, unrest in oil producing regions around the globe and mainstream consumer adoption and adoption of the hybrid electric car (more than 140,000 Prius' sold this year), this story couldn't be more relevant or important. The foremost goal in making this movie is to educate and enlighten audiences with the story of this car, its place in history and in the larger story of our car culture and how it enables our continuing addiction to foreign oil. This is an important film with an important message that not only calls to task the officials who squelched the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate, but all of the other accomplices, government, the car companies, Big Oil, even Eco-darling Hydrogen as well as consumers, who turned their backs on the car and embrace embracing instead the SUV. Our documentary investigates the death and resurrection of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in our country's future; issues which affect everyone from progressive liberals to the neo-conservative right.
What to Watch For
More frustrating left-wing pablum
A sense of irony?
A sense of insence
Rage?
Deformity?

Why You Should Watch It and Yet, Why You Could Miss It
Guess what? Oil companies have you by the short hairs.
No really.
So does General Motors.
What are you going to do about it?
Nothing.

25 February 2007

February 25, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Three men seek a fortune in buried coins; the catch being that no single one of them knows the full location of the coins. At one stage of the film, one knows the name of the grave the coins are buried in; the other two know only the name of the graveyard. The film is set in 1862 New Mexico (USA) during the New Mexico campaign of General Henry Hopkins Sibley, an officer of the army of the Confederate States of America (CSA), in the American Civil War.
What to Watch For
Jesus. Do I need to explain this?

Why You Should Watch It
Tarantino wishes he was Leone.
Rodriguez might be.
Among the best westerns ever made.
Add Wild Bunch and Unforgiven to that list.

February 24, 2007

Reno 911!:Miami
A rag-tag team of Reno cops are called in to save the day after a terrorist attack disrupts a national police convention in Miami Beach during spring break. Based on the Comedy Central series.
What to Watch For
Lots of sex/gay jokes
One hellofa cameo
One big masturbation scene
Short shorts
Shug Night's (sp?) bday party

Why You Should Watch It
Funnier than it has a right to be
It's better than you'd thin
Everyone stays in character the entire time
There are lots of comedian friends helping with the improv
Danny Devito

22 February 2007

February 22, 2006

Mountain Patrol: Kekexili
Mountain Patrol: Kekexili is inspired by a people's remarkable mission surrounding the illegal Tibetan antelope poaching in the region of Kekexili, the largest animal reserve in China. The story is brought to the screen with great detail by director Lu Chuan. Set against the exquisite backdrop of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Chuan tells the tale of brave local Tibetans who face death and starvation to save the endangered antelope herds from a band of ruthless hunters.
What to Watch For
Gut-wrenching realism
National Geographic accuracy
Desperation
Brutality
Finality

Why You Should Watch It
It's important work
It's not Disney
You want to expand your mind
Tibet is being driven to extremes
China is getting involved?!?!