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.