Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Everything is Illuminated - 2005 - Dir. Schreiber

Having a strict "Don't pay any attention to my Heritage" policy, I didn't really think I would connect with Everything is Illuminated. And I didn't. But, hey, it was still a pretty good movie. It's a lot funnier than you would expect a Holocaust discovery movie to be. And yeah, I know it's been years since Roberto Beninieeni became a Concentration Camp Clown but I still think it's reasonable for a Holocaust movie to crack jokes. And not Mime jokes. John Holmes dick jokes. I'm just saying I appreciate the light-heartedness the movie kicks our way now and then. On the other hand, like I said, I wasn't really connecting terribly with anything going on drama wise. Schreiber who actually does a really great job for the most part, kind of dropped the ball for me as far as drama was concerned. He seemed a little too on the nose for me (but maybe I just have that issue with a lot of people). I'm not sure I ever felt very strongly about the Collecting and his own emotional stock in everything. I didn't know what to make of it and the movie acts confidently as if I should. I really liked Eugene Hutz in general in the film and I thought his own naivete was probably more interesting than a lot of the other business going on in the film.
I have to admit. It is WEIRD to see him without a moustache!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Extract - 2009 - Dir. Judge

I suppose Extract was what I expected. Maybe it was a little more grounded than I expected. Most of the real goofy hi-jinks come from Ben Affleck and anyone he brings into the movie. Affleck fits in with these movies like a glove though. In fact, I might go as far to say that the film is basically perfectly cast. No one is really stretching their acting chops, but everyone knows the part they have to play. Even David Koechner (a man who doesn't easily win me over) gave me some hearty laughs. I don't mind that the movie isn't exactly original. It's just nice to see a Mike Judge movie. He can make a damned charming movie. Additionally, I don't know why, but considering so much of the movie involves testicles, I expected the humor to be intensely low-brow. Most of the testicle humor ends up being people looking off thoughfully. In general, Judge is just damned good at little off-beat moments. If someone telling someone else to close the door makes me laugh, that's probably a good sign. I even like Judge's cameo as a Deus Ex Machina Union Organizer. It's a silly movie. Not outrageously funny, but entertaining in the Mike Judge fashion.
It's less amusing when you realize Simmons has jammed his fingers through Bateman's neck and up out of his skull.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Tenant - 1976 - Dir. Polansky

This is my first Roman Polansky film in a long while. I think I saw Rosemary's Baby before I should have and the generally over-hyped The Pianist. I suppose The Tenant has everything I would like to see in a movie like this, it's paranoid, strangely humorous, consistant dips into the surreal. It's natural the pacing is a bit slow. Polansky actually makes for a great protagonist. He's a little wormy, a little shy, a little creepy. He's pretty capable of guiding us through this man's degeneration. The film is pretty open-ended as to what has gone on. I assume that the character was nuts as all hell. There's some fairly Kobo Abe-esqe implications in the ending. I always have a soft spot for finding teeth in mysterious holes in the walls, as well. We have a solid enough sense of reality with his friends to make up for the truly weird and suspicious actions of his house mates. Even his eventual transformation into the previous occupant is done pretty slyly. It felt like a gripping enough thriller. It may have been a little disappointing if I was looking for some solid hardcore answers as to why what was going on, and there may have very well been some answers hidden throughout the film. They weren't terribly apparent in MY opinion though.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gosford Park - 2001 - Dir. Altman

I had heard a lot about Gosford Park before I saw it. Mostly, I was just informed of it being REALLY confusing. I have to see, even with all the warning: DAMN, this movie is confusing. I suppose it IS one of those films that is a little more interesting to read about than to really see. I read that the film is more about the surface impressions people make/leave rather than the complexities of their relationships. And that it was filmed with two cameras moving in opposite directions, so as too always capture a crowd and release a point of focus on the eyes. The idea of surface relationships make the film SEEM more interesting. It's not a bad movie, by any means, although, I'm not entirely sure that I will want to watch it again. The cast is perfectly decent. And the basic premise of the murder mystery is quite fun. In fact, I'm sure the film ended up being exactly the way Altman wanted it to be. I just don't know how much I really liked it. But damn it, I have to respect it. I HAVE TO!!!!
The Queen's Personal Royal Buttwaxers

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Inglourious Basterds - 2009 - Dir. Tarantino

I have sort of funny feelings about this movie. One the one hand, there are some pretty awesome parts and the whole idea is pretty clever. Who am I to not get behind a spaghetti western set in WWII? Additionally, Christoph Waltz and Melanie Laurent are absolutely incredible. Every scene Waltz is in is mesmerizing. And is easily a key part of my favorite moments. I feel like the weakest moments of the film are the scenes WITH the Basterds. Which I can't help but feel a little surprised by. There's an aimless, pointless feeling to what their doing and plotwise, that kind of becomes the case and their scenes drag a little because of it. While Tarantino is good at the individual scenes, the film doesn't feel like it congeals as well as it could. Especially as the plot picks up, the film becomes less interesting. Tarantino tries to spice it up now and then but often times it feels stilted. Tarantino's love the multiple storylines also seems to work against him. It becomes quickly muddled and I feel like some of the more clever bits became lost in the story telling. To some degree, I felt a little deflated by the time the movie reached the climax. Some fun moments and strong scenes, but in the end, a little disappointing.
Nazi's LOVE getting cards on their heads!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Maniac Cop 2 - 1990 - Dir. Lustig

Maniac Cop 2 is the Maniac Cop movie that Maniac Cop should have been. Yeah, I loved that sentence too. But truer words have not been spoken. I was shocked too. I knew my man BC was gonna get it in this one at the beginning (see below) but he has a WAY more spirited performance in his few scenes than the entire original. He has more that smarm we've come to expect from him. That's not to say the man's skillz are limited to Smarm, it's just you don't see smarm like that everyday. The film is definitely more interesting, even containing a scene where a woman hangs out of a car while hand cuffed to the steering wheel. It's an awesome/ridiculous sequence. There's no doubt the movie has more of a budget than before and the movie utilizes it fantastically. Most of it probably going to Danny Trejo to deliver his one line. Or Charles Napier's one scene. We're also treated to a Bearded Rapist subplot that, in my opinion, works terrifically and links together with the main storyline with DELIGHTFUL consequences! The movie moves swiftly, keeping a lovely brisk pace and ending under half an hour. The movie was just real good at hitting expectations. It doesn't exceed them by any means. But in this day and age, it's nice to see a simple Maniac Cop movie do what it's supposed to.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Secret Garden - 1993 - Dir. Holland

It's certainly a nice enough looking film, I'll give The Secret Garden that much. I don't mean to sound like the movie has nothing going for it. I can't help but have a little bit of issue with a movie that involves THIS much time spent with obnoxious children. It could be worse, though, we are lucky that the girl who plays Mary Lennox is capable. Perhaps it also has to do with the film lacking a bit of focus, or maybe my just basic disinterest of whether or not Colin Craven gets better. The more charming parts of the film are those characters who play supporting roles to our "main kids." Dickens, probably the most charming character, is a kind of strange second-banana, being that he doesn't outwardly complain about anything. I suppose there's a little something to be said for the message of "surrounding yourself with death and decay brings only that." I suppose just in general the execution feels a little mundane. I wanted to be taken away more than I was. We end up SEEING what happens, but I didn't feel like we were really exploring much. Just being swept to the next scene. I would have preferred a more visual movie than a narrative. But hey, it's a kids movie.,girl,movie,the,secret,garden-a8e108bd85f6a605bc267cbd7da1d6d5_m.jpg
Awww DAMN! When Mary Lennox got that face on: You KNOW we're in for OLD SCHOOL MISCHIEF!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Light - 1962 - Dir. Bergman

I suppose this might be the key film people are talking about when they reference Bergman being depressing because MAN, it is a dreary film. Kind of suffocatingly bleak. It manages to be such a way without becoming overwhelming, something that should be mentioned to the film's credit. It even ends with a glimmer of hope or meaning. Gunnar Bjornstrand who played the Father in Through a Glass Darkly, really does some incredible work, making us sympathize with his character is no easy feat. Constantly skirting a line between haggard and exhausted with his priestly responsibilities. The cinematography supports him fully, with a sparse but incredibly gritty and textured. There's not a lot of the beautiful shots that we see a lot with Bergman. Nothing in this feels clean or simple. It feels always incredibly rooted in our world. That being said, I'm terribly curious about Bergman's spider god. I realize that it is something that comes up every now and then. While perhaps not my favorite Bergman, it is certainly emotionally stirring and easily worth a second viewing.
Max Von Sydow is embarrassed that he farted...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Patriot Games - 1992 - Dir. Noyce

I like Patriot Games way more than Clear and Present Danger, well, I don't know about WAY more. But I think I found it way more riveting than the later film. Part of the excitement might be Ryan's vulnerability in this one. He does NOT want his family to get killed and Sean Bean is TOTALLY about that. So where the other features a kind of more distant threat involving Jack running off into the forest and is often obscure what with all the double crosses and computer hacking battles. It's much more clear in Patriot Games: "Sean Bean is bein' a dick. You gotta watch out for him." Obviously I believe I've made it pretty clear that Sean Bean in quite a presence. He's no 006, but he's a great villain. I did notice that Ford is a little more badass in this one than in Clear and Present Danger, where he seems to be a little more nerdy. I remember feeling how ultimately out matched he seemed. But Ford definitely holds his own against the ultra-violent IRA. I suppose because HE'S the one getting attacked, he sorta has to be able to kick ass a little bit more. There's still some slow chunks. In general, I found it way more watchable. And I definitely appreciate the two-hour running time. YOU HEAR THAT? 141 minute Long Clear and Present Danger!!
Man! Harrison Ford is so good at looking nervous and badass at the same time!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - 2008 - Dir. Spielberg

All right, so I think I take a pretty forgiving stance on Blockbusters. I give them a lot of leeway and whatnot. Or perhaps I'm just in the company of much more hostile opinions (INTERNET). And I suppose people my age were especially frustrated with the addition of The Crystal Skull into the series, you know, being that we f-ing grew up with the first few. If you can't tell from my tone, I'm cutting Crystal Skull some slack. First of all, I have a theory that people dislike Shia LeBeouf because he is basically a scrawny, dumb white person. I think he is a reflection of us and if there's anything we hate seeing in our Blockbusters. It's us. I think soon he'll get muscles and be handsome like Tom Cruise and then all will be well but until then, it'll be a rough ride. Can I also say, up until the Monkey part, I thought that action set piece was pretty cool. That one with the three cars. I thought maybe it could have been directed a little better and maybe I didn't need fencing. But it was a really neat series of situations with different characters and weapons morphing into one another. You know, I'm trying to figure out if the hostile opinions are backlash from Nostalgia. Were the previous movies as dumb as this? Is it a kind of generational thing where Stupidity manifests itself in different ways? Is it a kind of Stupidity Inflation where the acceptable level of stupidity in a Blockbuster increases as the years go on? Naturally, I was an Idiot Kid back when the movies came out so I can't say. Clearly the movie is silly and goofy, I can't tell how different it really is from the others though. So lemme think it through. There's not really any exciting trap filled cave to explore. I mean, they explore some stuff, but... it's not the same. They really are just exploring, there's no trap boulders. I think perhaps Indiana Jones has just been cannibalized. We've seen it all before. It can only be bigger and more ridiculous. The days of a simple time of puzzle solving is perhaps over, figuring out how to spell Jehova has lost its appeal because we've spelt it so many times before with doofs like Nic(k) Cage. Perhaps there's just an anger that we can't feel the way the originals made us feel when we were kids. Unlike Harrison Ford, we're just too damn old. We'll just have to deal with Shia's insults about our age and take comfort in the winks at the camera every now and then.
Shia's awed silence promptly followed by a NONONONONONONONONONONO!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bullitt - 1968 - Dir. Yates

Nothing really urged on my viewing of Bullitt apart from it being generally regarded as an action classic. It's an all right movie. Certainly has an exciting car chase through San Francisco. I can't deny THAT! Although, I did have a bit of trouble differentiating whose car was whose. I can't help but feel like that's a little nit-picky. I don't think I struggled THAT much. I'll admit that the movie can be a little slow and occasionally difficult to follow, I had to verify afterward that I had understood the plot correctly. It is a lot of fun as far as watching the plot unfold is concerned. It doesn't always go in the direction I was expecting and considering it's the blueprint for rebel cop characters, it isn't as stereotypical as those who would follow after it. Robert Vaughn plays a perfectly sleazy Senator while Jacquieline Bisset plays Bullitt's gf who has all those MORALS and whatnot. Although, I though Bisset brought a lot of nice dimension to the film and McQueen's generally unfazed character. I got a kick out of McQueen in The Getaway and was a little disappointed in him in this, assuming it to be him kicking more ass. I don't think he was bad by any means, in fact, he played Bullitt with a lot more respect than I expected. I guess, I just didn't get what I expected.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Room - 2003 - Dir. Wiseau

I heard a lot about The Room before I saw it. Which I believe is S.O.P. for a movie like this. I'm not sure anyone really SEEKS it out. I was intrigued by the idea that Wiseau claimed it's humor was intentional. Of course, sometimes I guess I can forget how full of shit people can be as long as they stubbornly insist on something which is clearly untrue. So Tommy Wiseau is probably not a very intelligent or clever, man. I believe it took me less than five minutes to realize this fact. Well, I take that back, he must be a little clever, since he's now made a living doing what people do naturally everyday: Fail. He wanted a melodrama and to showcase his acting. He cannot act, he cannot direct. He can barely form comprehensible sentences. The Room is basically an awful drama. There's not too much to add to it. I can't say I enjoyed myself. If you are curious, read the wikipedia for a list of why this film is ridiculous. Although, I would like to point out that they mention mention Wiseau's... creepy, creepy ass body. That's right. His ass body. The movie is stupid enough to warrant yelling at the screen. I'm not sure if it's stupid enough to warrant a second viewing. Well, a sober viewing. A sober viewing alone. SO, if I was intensely under the influence of something (ANYTHING!) and with a group of people who have also seen the movie, I would watch that again. However, the odds of being in a room of people who want to have a repeat viewing of The Room seem unlikely. Although, apparently in LA, that is the thing to do.
You know, I'm thankful that at least Tommy back there as sleeves on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Event Horizon - 1997 - Dir. Anderson

I'm in some sense tempted to call this a mature Paul W.S. Anderson film. I can't say if I really think this is true. He had just finished Mortal Kombat and apparently wanted very badly to make an R picture. I suppose that's mature in a way. A W.S. Anderson way. I must say, the premise is a pretty neat one. A space ship is in some sense of the word, stuck in hell, creating a haunted ghost space ship. If all this sounds goofy, yeah, it kinda is. But I don't know. I think it's a pretty neat idea. There's a real gothic, haunted house feeling to the ship. It's a neat looking movie for the most part. Flashy and neon-y with weird gothic elements at the same time. The film is fairly restrained when it comes to it's scenes of gore. By that, I mean, Anderson has a lot of self-control. It doesn't function where we are treated to a gory death every twenty minutes. He lets suspense build and let us try and figure out what the fuck is going on with the ship. There are actually TENSE scenes. But I have to admit, a slight disappointment in the ending. It ends up with the ever awesome Sam Neill running around killing people, a slight let down with the supernatural business that builds up earlier on. Apparently, there's about a half hour of footage cut from the film, apparently a lot of gore, which isn't surprising considering how tame the film feels sometimes. I wouldn't have minded a more visceral climax than what I got. Now, let me just come out and say, this isn't a SMART Anderson movie though. It's still got all the goofiness, inexplicable character development and traits, doofy dialogue that a movie like Resident Evil has, it's just a little more... well, mature.
You know how every spaceship needs a hall of rotating blades, right?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Blade Runner - 1982 - Dir. Scott

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mary Poppins - 1964 - Dir. Stevenson

As a big tough guy, I never bothered to watch Mary Poppins or if I had, it was as a kid and never seemed to bother to remember it. I have to admit, it's quite charming. I was originally won over by a remix made from sound clips from the movie and MAN, did I get a kick out of the dancing. And Dick Van Dyke's charming idiot smile. That's nothing to saw of Julie Andrews who is charming all in her own right. Of course, these things are known and have been known for years. I'm just getting on the train. It did not disappoint, dancing wise. Seeing Dyke semi-flail around balanced by Andrews unfaltering grace and coolness makes for a great chemistry. Which is important considering the film is pretty light story wise. Something that is actually pretty interesting to watch. It's a Disney before it became a well-oiled machine. It's a little more daring at times. What comes to mind is it's light-hearted treatment of the Banker's death. Not the most lovable of characters, but they do crack a joke on his expense and shrug off his death. It's actually kind of neat. It's a nice feeling movie, always a little playful. Perhaps not a masterfully told story like some of Disney's features, but a masterfully charming film.
Everyone is happy about what is above them except the little girl, who is all about something to the right of her.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Doom - 2005 - Dir. Bartkowiak

Movies like Doom are trying to get a little classy. I've been getting that feeling recently. Well, not classy, but clever. I honestly think Doom had eyes to be clever. I can appreciate their effort. But they do fall short. We have all of the proper Marine type characters, the movie tries to pull a fast one by having The Rock be the villain. This is a twist in the sense that we would not expect The Rock to be bad. Although this constitutes more of a "Casting against Type" thing, I suppose it's foresight is a bit clever. Although, it never really makes out The Rock as that great a guy so his eventual antagonizing is less than shocking. Karl Urban... a filthy man-actor, becomes the protagonist by default. The film doesn't really do much character building which aids in the failure of the twist and therefore also loses a great deal of interest because we were forced to watch bland people "surprise" us. The movie never feels very tense. Sticking to the RE type style of just having lots of slick, poorly lit sets and things jumping out. It sets up some interesting enough set pieces, but everything interesting ends up being underutilized. The story basically plods along, showing us stuff and then explaining what is it and why it matters to how things are going to play out. It overly complicates the story with a psuedo attempt to cash in on the ever popular zombies.
Hey guys! We're Team Doom! GOOO DOOOM!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Solaris - 2002 - Dir. Soderbergh

Okay, close your eyes... Now picture the original Solaris. Except now as an American production with a director respectful of the source material. Have it made in saaaay... 2002. What you are picturing is exactly what the movie is. You can now decide if you want to go see it. Naturally, it's shorter. Less atmospheric. On the other hand, it makes more of a point to persue the story of the original. I can't say the STORY was my favorite part of the original, but hey, I'm not gonna act like it isn't an interesting plot. Everyone fits their counterpart very well, never mimicking them by any means but it's generally a very modern interpretation. And of course, no one is really that old in the film. I mean, Jeremy Davies does his goofy eccentric scientist schtick, which I really will probably never get tired of, and it does work well on a spaceship of nutjobs. I can't say I was a BIGGER fan of the streamlined version. I think I preferred the original but there is something certainly to be said for Soderbergh's version and I wouldn't be surprised if many people preferred it over the original.
A rare moment of Jeremy Davies not acting with his arms.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Through a Glass Darkly - 1961 - Dir. Bergman

MAN! I am digging Bergman. I'm going to follow through in his "Faith Trilogy" which Glass Darkly is the beginning of. I had seen the climactic scene in a film class years ago and the idea of a Spider God has never left me. Although, I feel like a Spider God has appeared in a few other of his films, I can't recall which ones. The film has a beginning sequence of shots which are just BEAUTIFUL! The four people running out of the ocean is INCREDIBLE! I think, watching this film, I realized that I'm a HUGE fan of Bergman shooting in Black and White. His working with shades is just INCREDIBLE. Especially when Minus is running around in all black. It's AWESOME! And the shots of the ocean!? The film itself is a really terrific as a chamber film. Bergman talks about the characters of the film being like different instruments in a chamber piece of music and we get to know each of them. I think this works really well. I like having the minimal cast of characters. Really, just having four people to get to know. The entire cast is completely awesome. Everyone knows their voice. Everyone knows their influence in the film. Von Sydow looks classy as well with the glasses and the pipe.
No one is happy after witnessing the Spider God.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Onion Movie - 2008 - Dir. Kuntz/McGuire

Not exactly as funny as The Onion. But I suppose that's to be expected. It's not their format of choice. Rather than try and fit into the cinematic mold, they really just try and squeeze their newspaperness into the film. So what we end up getting is a lot of short sketches. Sort of filmed versions of Onion articles. In fact, that's almost exactly what we get. I can't say they're as humorous as the articles exactly. There's something fairly cheap about the whole movie. I dunno. It feels right that it was released to DVD. It's certainly doesn't feel like a real movie. I know that even the actual creators wanted to start from scratch. I believe it was even filmed many years before it was released and it certainly feels that way. I mean, cracking Britney Spears jokes in 2008 and not the ones about her having a mental breakdown. CLASSIC Spears jokes, I'm talking about. Clearly this was a movie that had some problems by the end. It attempts to have a thin through-line which mirrors Network in a sense. But there must be less than twenty minutes of this through line. So I suppose the movie is funnier than the others of its class. I never felt like groaning during the film, which I suppose is something. Although, things felt admittedly dated.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Few Good Men - 1992 - Dir. Reiner

If you have a basic idea as to what A Few Good Men is about and you've seen Blockbuster Courtroom Dramas before, you basically know what happens in this film. Sure, you'll miss Jack Nicholson's three scenes and Demi Moore being foxy but that's about it as far as things I haven't seen before. And I HAVE seen the Jack Nicholson scenes before. They're the ones he loves to do. Sure: "You can't handle the truth!" and all that, but I'm sure you can youtube that scene. I do always like to make note of the silly obscure 90's actors that pop up in these types of movies, but I think my entertainment was completely based around those actors. NOAH WYLE!?! GUY FROM TWIN PEAKS!?! KEIFER SUTHERLAND!?! CUBA GOODING JR!?! In a scene where he has to sit still no less (but you can totally tell he wants to run around). I do like Demi Moore in this, but I haven't really seen her in much. Tom Cruise does his Tom Cruise thing. Kevin Pollack even gets a hefty role. I do like a good Kevin Pollack. But in the end, there really isn't much about the movie that feels new or original. It still is satisfying as hell to see Nicholson blow his top though.
You can't handle the BROOF!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Moon - 2009 - Dir. Jones

I suppose Moon was talked up a lot upon release. It's release and initial buzz felt a bit like Sunshine in some sense, mostly heralding a type of intelligent/subtle/sparse sci-fi flick. Both films make good on that promise, although I feel like they are at heart a little over-hyped. It's been a while since I've seen Sunshine but I feel like Moon won me over a bit more. A simple premise of a lone astronaut in a space station on the Moon (Sam Rockwell) is about to finish up his three year contract begins to have some hallucinations OR ARE THEY!? The only company he has is Kevin Spacey, a robot, OR IS IT!? So yeah, the movie has a lot of that suspense stuff in it. I was actually afraid of it pulling a lot of hokey twists and whatnot but I'm actually pretty pleased with the way the story proceeds. Sam Rockwell carries the movie well. Obviously, the whole film is on his back so it's important that he not suck. He does a good job which in itself is a feat and a testament to his abilities. I'm not sure it was a great job, which I think might have separated this from being a really great film. Whatever might be the reason, I'm not sure we are really given enough exposure to him by the end of the film (this is a somewhat ironic statement, I realize). I felt like Jones was cutting around Rockwell a little bit. Denying him certain chances to really blow us away, or maybe Rockwell didn't live up to Jones expectations and he was covering his own butt. Either way, I would have liked to have seen more Sam.
Sam Rockwell on Lunar Space Station Seattle

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Ten - 2007 - Dir. Wain

David Wain is a goofy m-fer, laws yes.
That guy on the right is totally checking a dude out.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Beerfest - 2006 - Dir. Chandrasekhar

I think what I've learned from Beerfest is that I like Jay Chandrasekhar a whole lot. I suppose I think Broken Lizard generally speaking are pretty entertaining. I feel like a lot of jokes have a tendency to fall flat. Sometimes this seems to be on purpose, but I'm cautious about extending them too much credit. That being said, I rarely turn down an opportunity to actually see one of their movies. There is a real fun spirit that runs through their movies, it seems like they want to entertain themselves just as much as they want to entertain an audience and I actually don't mind that. I like seeing them mug for the camera. I think the reason I like Chandrasekhar so much is that more than any of them, he seems to have a real ironic detachment from the whole acting process. The rest of the guys look like they're actually trying to act, whereas Jay is just looking like a doof. I never made this realization until Beerfest because I feel like this had the least goofy set of characters, leaving the fellas to... I dunno, rely more on acting talent that I'm not sure they have. They're doofs. They're great doofs. But I don't think they played up that strength as much as they could I guess, I don't know. I didn't laugh as much as I wanted to. I will say Jurgen Proctnow's addition was incredible. I get a real kick out of their stupid ass references.
Man! Look at those guys doing their acting.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Late Autumn - 1960 - Dir. Ozu

I like Ozu. I'm not crazy about him by any means. But his films are just TERRIBLY satisfying for me to watch. And I really must admit that I get a real kick out of the way he films his movies. I like the amount of eye contact the characters make with the camera. I've decided to make an attempt to watch the shit out of his films. I have to admit that in a sense they do blend together a bit, so I often struggle to tell which is which. I can't really blame myself though. He shoots so similarly and uses the same actors and the same themes. But that also means, there's nothing MORE satisfying than an Ozu film when the mood is right. ANYWAY, Late Autumn is a terribly charming film. I mean, middle-aged Japanese people setting each other up. What's cuter than that? Setsuko Hara is at her usual best. She is so good at NOT conveying what she's feeling, which I feel goes such a long way in an Ozu film. You spend a lot of time trying to read her. Unlike the three Old Friends who we spend a lot of time who just are as gossipy as a knitting circle. Naturally, I feel with Ozu movies being the most JAPANESE of the auteurs, it can be a bit of a culture gap. But I assume businessmen don't spend their time setting people up. OH MAN! And The Best Friend who Hiccups. I got down with her like NOBODIES business. :)
This man is just the sweetest!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Solaris - 1972 - Dir. Tarkovsky

OHHHHHH MMMMAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!!!! I really liked this movie. I mean, I liked Stalker but I REALLY liked Solaris. It was a movie that just... at the end... I couldn't get over the ending! DAAAAHHHH!!! Tarkovsky loves water. He really does. Everything just felt so right in the picture. I realize you could suggest that I'm running on a high from a movie I just watched with a sweet ending but, there's so much to think about in this film. It's not as visually extravagant as Stalker, there's no rooms filled with sand or anything. But there's a real sparseness to it that's attractive. Interspersed are shots of the Solarian Ocean which is nicely psychedelic. Not 2001 or anything. But visually stimulated to contrast the space station's more drab settings. UGH! It has such a cool atmosphere. When we're first investigating the station, it's just set up so well. So eerily but never SPOOOOOOKY. I dunno, despite all that, it's just a movie that really presents an interesting set of issues. It never gets overly dramatic or waxes too much in philosophy. It certainly does come up now and then but it never feels forces or like Tarkovsky is saying "Now here this."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sex and Zen - 1991 - Dir. Mak

I've come to a point in my life where I rent softcore porn from Netflix without realizing it. I don't know how to feel about that exactly. But that being said, I really should have seen it coming with a title like Sex and Zen. I knew there was gonna be sex, but the amount of it and how graphic it was, well, that was a bit of a surprise. Despite all the sex, there was a great amount of comedy in it. In fact, it was WAAAY funnier than I expected. The movie is goofy, through and through. People having sex swinging on chains. Lesbian flute sex. Writing with genitals. I have to say, I wouldn't have expected a horse penis transplant scene to be so goofy. From its label as a "cautionary tale," I expected a deal of tragedy but the film manages to keep up a light-hearted tone, even when suicide becomes the order of the day. The film feels pretty well paced, it doesn't drag as much as a lot of these movies tend to.
Oh gross! She's growing hands out of her breasts!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Get Carter - 2000 - Dir. Kay

Hey, you know, I like John C. McGinley. It's obvious why in a movie like Get Carter though. You see, when John C. McGinley isn't trying, he sort of acts like white noise, creating a wash of the scene, where you can't notice anything apart from his skinny head and sassy remarks. So, when McGinley is in Get Carter, it's all right, because no one is capable of overtaking the man. I, however, get the distinct impression that Sly was trying in this one though. He seems to be doing a lot of emotional acting in this one. Which is kind of ironic considering that Caine was a stone cold badass in the first one. Sly is just a big, sad, angry guy. There is something about the way he travels through the movie though, lumbering around, getting a decent amount of his ass kicked. Actually, I'm just thinking of the final scene with Mickey Rourke. I'd get behind that. The movie has enough interesting actors in it to warrant glancing at the film every now and then. I definitely missed the humor of the original... which I think is kind of funny because I wasn't as much about it until seeing this one. Sort of like seeing what could have gone REALLY wrong. Caine's appearance is neat enough, especially how he's kind of tacked on as the bad guy. It's a generic revenge movie, some neat one liners, some all right action, but mostly uninteresting. Oh, and of course, everything works out great for Carter in this one and he's not nearly as much of a jerk/interesting, but that really shouldn't have been a surprise.
Sly Stone is: GET CARTER

Monday, January 4, 2010

Salvador - 1986 - Dir. Stone

I don't know why I keep coming back to Oliver Stone. I really don't. I suppose, I haven't HATED any of the movies of his I've seen. They're just... I don't know. They seem pretty mediocre for the most part. But he must be doing something right cause I keep coming back. Anyway, I probably enjoyed Salvador more than a lot of other Stone pictures but this is PURELY because of James Woods who seemed to be able to do whatever the fuck he wanted... I'm sure that's not the case but he's perfectly at home in the nutty gonzo Richard Boyle. In some sense, the film starts a lot like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and then very abruptly becomes about the Salvadorian Civil War. The film doesn't make much of an effort to inform the uninitiated. Stone seems a little more concerned with painting the characters, so it doesn't feel (and probably isn't) terribly historically accurate. But hey, I'm not complaining. He really does seem more interested in character, that's not to say Boyle isn't occasionally used as a funnel for Stone's opinions. But it feels like he doesn't get too uppity for the most part. It works well enough as I believe it was put as a film about two men trying to keep their head above water with an interesting backdrop but I can't say much else.
Oh man, James Belushi is getting a big wiff of James Woods

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Zombie Nightmare - 1986 - Dir. Bravman

I think I'm kind of a sucker for the 80's horror film aesthetic. So I think I got behind the very first scene in the film. A completely out of context zombie summoning. I think that's about as far as I got though. As soon as the shitty, opening scene began with the pseudo-60's/50's gangsters began, all hope was lost. Although, I was watching it on an episode of MST3K so I really don't know what I could have expected. Tia Carrere is one of the big survivors of the film. But I think the real MVP is Shawn Levy, who is now a somewhat well known director and Boss of a Good Friend, playing a really, really awful Canadian punk or whatever. He has lady hair though. REAL BIG LADY HAIR. There's a lot of 80's metal throughout the film. Most notably Motorhead, Ace of Spades playing through the credits. Oh yeah, and fucking Adam West appears halfway through the movie to be the Human Villain. BUT WAIT! That's a spoiler! OMG! West gives a real half-assed performance. I can't say there's anything terribly compelling or even intresting about the film, even in a campy sense. It takes forever to get started, has passionless deaths. Perhaps the best part is the ridiculousness of the baseball playing son who becomes a zombie. He has the MOST MUSCLES I've ever seen!
I'm Adam West and I have computer paper.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Avatar - 2009 - Dir. Cameron

You know, it's real easy to pick on James Cameron. Because he's really dumb. But hey, he must be doing something right. The man can now pull the US out of the financial crisis if he wanted to do. But clearly from Avatar, he does not want to. This is a rare movie that makes you really wanna stick it to the human race. Not because it offers strong arguments and stirs us emotionally, but because Giovanni Ribisi is our spokesperson. We really got the short end of the stick on that one. So, how does this overhyped blockbuster fare? Well, like any overhyped blockbuster, it ends up just being like a normal blockbuster, just flashy. And YES, it is flashy. It's not incredible. To me, it was a bit of an accomplishment that he was able to sell such bland and unimaginative design to me. It's not quality as far as creativity goes, but quantity as far as details go. The story... though. It's pretty simple (read: stupid), but I really don't hold that against it. It's Dances with Wolves, The New World, uh... those kinds of movies. Just it's out in theaters again. It's for the most amount of people as possible. And there's more children then anyone else and that's just something we have to accept. So, Unobtanium is... uh... that's a thing. A proper noun. You could call it. I was pretty shocked. I mean... Unobtanium... But no, no. I'll accept it. It sorta opened a floodgates for me, because I swore they kept using the term: Flux Flector. Hey, if he can make up one ridiculous word, my mind is just going to run with it. The movie isn't for me. I'll take my Impossibilitium jokes and go. In case you couldn't tell, the bar was pretty low for me. In fact, the bar was resting peacefully on the floor, at home, where I left it before leaving for the theater. I hold no nostalgia for James Cameron. He was making movies I was interested in for a minority of my life. Most of my life, he was just basking in Titanic. I'm not going to hold the man's ability to make a lot of money off a simple story against him. Hell, that's basically his job description. I like Stephen Lang, though.
James is showing What's His Face where the Special Effects will be. DDDUURRRR!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Foxy Brown - 1974 - Dir. Hill

Foxy Brown was supposed to be a sequel of sorts to Coffy. This is easy to see because it's basically the exact same plot. Just again. I'm not sure I really find that an issue. There's some minor differences of course. I think, perhaps, Coffy was a little more entertaining... but I really don't know why. Perhaps just because I saw it first. ALTHOUGH, Foxy Brown does star Katherine Loder, who is excellent as a female type villain. It also has a little bit more ridiculousness with the castration of the male villain. I think Coffy's superhero type leanings won me over a little more than Foxy Brown's more revenge type plot. Although her battle against her brother totally was more striking than the BS politician boyfriend. So maybe I didn't like one more than the other. Pam Grier is still totally foxy though. I'm not going to act like she isn't. Watch me not act like that. I still got a kick out of Sid Haig. Who really is quite ridiculous as a pimp in the third act. Loder is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the film, giving us a fairly crazed performance as someone who is clearly turned on with all the hatred and violence.
Oh no! Foxy Brown and Chick from Caged Heat are bothering Joe Biden!

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