02 December 2010

Breakdown

The wife has never seen this classic suspense movie. So, of course I had to watch again, 15+ years since it's original release. Set in Arizona, a middle-aged yuppie couple are making their way from Massachusetts to San Diego, when their Jeep breaks down in the middle of no where. The wife gets into a passing truck while the driver waits for help. Everything goes wrong after that, when the husband can't find his wife.

Since it's a suspense story, I can't really tell you anything more. The movie is nerve-wracking and the lack of ubiquitous cellphones and technology make the thrills even more intense. It really is one of the movies where you don't know what's going to happen. The final five minutes don't measure up to the rest, but I blame that on a lot of things wrong with the 80s-90s view of movie tension.

30 November 2010

Arena

Because it's impossible to make non-cheesy science fiction, this b-movie tale would be so much better if half of the writing went away and someone put two more dollars into the set construction. It's not one of those "so bad, it's good" films, but it is one of those, "oh man, so close" films.

Chunhyang

An expertly crafter retelling of a classic Korean folktale. I was mesmerized. My wife knows the story, and said it's a great retelling, but that the sex scenes were unnecessary.

I probably agree. But wow. Just. Wow.

Eight Men Out

From Netflix
John Cusack and D.B. Sweeney star as disgruntled Chicago White Sox players who agree to lose the World Series for a big payoff in John Sayles's adaptation of Eliot Asinof's account of the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal. Owner Charles Comiskey underpays his players despite their talent, leaving the door open for gambling syndicate head Arnold Rothstein to swoop in. Some players have second thoughts, but it might not be enough to save their careers.
I finally got around to seeing this, some 15 years after it's release. Not sure what to say about it. It's good. Not great. I really didn't know who the players were, because baseball before Lou Gehrig is boring. As always, Sayles is a fantastic director.

Steel Dawn

I rewatched this classic, B-movie post-apocolyptic action film that has very little to do with the end of the world and very little fighting. But I still love it. I don't know what's wrong with me.

Bad acting, choreography, and dialog abound. Not to mention "what is this dog doing here?"

After Innocence

Another fantastic documentary. [I watched three today.] This one explores the world of people imprisoned unjustly and released into a world very different, sometimes decades later after being exonerated for their crimes, but without their records expunged.

Revealing, depressing, and aggravating. If injustice pisses you off, or you believe America is corrupt, do not watch this documentary. Or you will be up at 2am writing a review about it.

It will seriously challenge your belief in the death penalty.

Cocaine Cowboys

This eye-opening and shockingly unflinching documentary about the drug trade in Miami from 1979 to 1986 leaves you asking one question: Where did all that money go?