Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Friday, April 30, 2010

Exit Through the Gift Shop - 2010 - Dir. Banksy

I didn't know a ton about this doc beforehand. I think to some degree I had lost interest in Banksy after his big show in LA. I dunno, I got the point, if you get me. He's still neat. And the movie certainly spurred a bit of interest back into him and street art in general. There's a whole fuss about whether or not this is a hoax and the various levels of hoax-ery involved in the film. I'm gonna be upfront and just say I don't I don't give a damn. The documentary is interesting enough and suggests enough neat things about the nature of art and business that I could care less about what aspects are just pranks and which aren't, I suppose this is because in a sense, not matter what, Mr. Brainwash is a prank of a kind. The man and his exhibition, is street art and pop culture vomit. It's a product of our world. But I won't rant about that. I COULD. But the doc is interesting enough. Every so often, as I found my attention lagging, it pulled me back in. So it's a bit of a roller coaster. It manages to talk about street art without sitting us down and telling us about it. It tells us through the story of Thierry, who is charming and amusing enough to watch for the hour and a half. He also has a really neat arc which also reflects the arc of street art in general in a lot of ways. Whether or not he is a real person, and to be honest, I enjoyed going into the movie thinking he was, he is a fine guide into this world.
So there's Banksy... turns out he's the Grim Reaper!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Horatio's Drive - 2003 - Dir. Burns

I like the idea of roadtrips. I'm a big fan of 'em. I suppose that was kind of the driving force of any interest I had in the film. Cause, I dunno, I'm not a huge fan of Burns. I like his National Parks business, but I think... I dunno, the man can be awfully dull, especially if you don't have much interest in the subject matter. So I figured the first transcontinental road trip, would be something that I would get behind. But I dunno... It was still pretty dull. I wanted it to be more exciting. There were charming parts and interesting ideas. It's wasn't terrible. It was just slow. I had to watch it in two parts. It makes some really neat comparisons to the development of America and the American psyche and Jackson's trip. Oh man! There are two grand-daughters of his and they are just... not fun to watch at all. I liked the idea of there being two other cars making a trip, but that doesn't really pan out to be much more exciting. It's something that kind of peters out around the beginning of the third act. I mean, there's something really exciting about the premise and I suppose Burns makes it as exciting as possible while still being pretty fairly historically accurate. It's okay, I guess. It hasn't really changed my mind about Burns, but hey, I'm glad I learned something about history I guess. FEH!!
The 1903 Honda Civic

Monday, April 26, 2010

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence - 1993 - Dir. Lustig

I have kind of a funny theory. The less Bruce Campbell is in the Maniac Cop trilogy. The better the film will be. NOW, I suppose that depends on your opinion of 2 and 3. But I feel like it would be tough to find someone who likes the first one more than the other two. First of all, Jackie Earle Haley is in Badge of Silence. He sorta a big deal nowdays, right? I don't know. It's a goofy movie, but it's entertaining as hell. It's got the perfect mix of fun and... I don't know... campiness. It's not like it's a real movie. But it's never so boring that you wish it would just end... It's just the perfect length. I mean, it's just a well-crafted B-movie. That's sort of the thing about Larry Cohen though. He's great at making these movies. I think he's a great writer. He can find the balance of the perfect tone. I dunno how much of Lustig's voice really fit into the picture. I haven't seen anything that hasn't been written bu Cohen. But it feels a lot like a top notch Cohen flick. Which is probably a compliment to Lustig, knowing the strengths of the script and the weaknesses. I mean, of course, things don't exactly make tons of sense. Like... SHIT IS RETARDED. But I had a great time watching the movie, I mocked it. But I feel like if you can't have a sense of humor about what's going on. You probably aren't the right audience.
I'm Ted Raimi, Reporting for the News.

Warm Water Under Red Bridge - 2001 - Dir. Imamura

I like Koji Yakusho... A LOT. I also like Shohei Imamura... A LOT. So you know, this is a real good movie. At least, I like it... A LOT. I'd actually seen this movie before but couldn't really remember anything too specific about it. I confused it a lot with The Eel because... well, it's basically the same group of people and it's made around the same time. Despite the fact that this film had spontaneous female ejaculation. I don't know how I forgot that. And this is done by Imamura, a respected 83 year old director, so we're talking about CLASSY female ejaculation. With thematic overtones and tender approach. OH SO TENDER. Well, maybe goofy more than tender... but he's not trying to shock as much as the idea might initially sound. Well, enough about fluids- WAIT! This movie is ALL about fluids. Imamura handles the motif of water so well in this, I was jealous. It made me wanna write about movie with tons of ONE thing in it. I know that's a funny thing to say, but water is EVERYWHERE in this movie. And it doesn't feel over the top by any means, he just sneaks it into clever places a lot of time. OH, and Shimizu is PERFECT in it. She's has the right amount of charm, depth, and light-heartness to help pull us through the movie.
The Koji Yakusho has latched on!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Flight of the Phoenix - 1965 - Dir. Aldrich

You know, I don't know if this is a common occurrence, but Jimmy Stewart plays a total douche in this movie. I mean, he didn't make a habit out of playing douches, right? He's such a jerk! I mean, he's still very Jimmy Stewart-ish but he's also kind of a stubborn dick. It's neat. He's good at it. There's sort of neat aspects about the movie though. It's got a cool cast and the opening credits kind of sets it up in a real neat way. It actually might be one of my more favorite opening sequences. I think the movie has a lot of slow bits, though. It really didn't hold my attention for very long until they started to build the other plane... then I was grabbed a bit more. It was sort of hit and miss with my attention span throughout, which is kinda BAU with a lot of blockbusters around this time. Richard Attenborough is pretty fucking awesome in it. The scene where he has a mental breakdown is great! And that German fella was a blast to watch. The rest of the cast seems somewhat underused. George Kennedy has barely any lines! I feel like its a little less of an Aldrich type movie than I used to. It's kind of like an Aldrich-type blockbuster, I suppose.
Ernest Borgnine is having a great time! Or he's dead!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dune - 1984 - Dir. Lynch

All right, so I sat and read Dune before watching it. Turns out that was a good idea, because this movie would have been FUCKING RETARDED without any kind of knowledge as to what was going on (see below). Instead, with an idea of all the subtleties and nuances of the Dune universe, the movie was just friggin' ridiculous (see below). It's one of those movies that shouldn't have followed the source material nearly as close. I personally think that Herbert's novel has a lot of problems (despite being a work of staggering science-fiction genius etc, etc) and Lynch's film just inherits a lot of these problems. A lot of it dealing with pacing of the story telling. It kind of reminded me that Lynch isn't much for telling stories. It's like he realized that the film would work as a framework for some CRAZY visuals and was only interested in that, the thing is, I feel like the novel is SO much of a story, it kind of needs an adept storyteller. In fact, there are some pretty impressive sights in the film, some corny special effects of course. But there's some real memorable images (see below). The cast is pretty 'yuge and I feel like because of that, no one really gets to shine. Naturally, I would love more Brad Dourif, but no dice. More Sting would have been great, too (see below). For the most part though, everyone seems pretty capable of acting within the Dune universe. I wasn't often caught feeling like someone was just sticking out... but maybe that's just because the film doesn't exactly get that engrossing. I suppose, you know, the movie can be kind of neat to watch, and there's some neat things in it. But I can't say it's very good. Oh, and I love Jack Nance.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tyson - 2009 - Dir. Toback

You know, I kinda think boxing is pretty neat. And Mike Tyson is certainly an interesting enough figure. And this was on Watch Instantly. So those three facts combined resulted in my watching of Tyson. It's okay. It's basically Mike Tyson talking with clips and pitchas and whatnot. It sheds some light and gives us some details. I don't know if it's really enlightening. It's neat to listen to Tyson talk about things. He seems genuine enough. I don't think it really caught me by surprise, although, I think if you see him as just a violent brute, it might catch you off guard. I think anyone who assumed he was a person with feelings would probably just be interested enough to watch Tyson talk about those feelings, but I don't think he does too much mind blowing. The most interesting parts when he's talking about his manager and his approach to boxing. It's definitely cool to watch his fights. It's an engaging enough 90 minutes. It has some somewhat obnoxious editing at the beginning of the film, but there's less and less of it as the movie goes on. In fact, the movie makes a really dumb first impression considering the editing and some goofy shots of Tyson standing on a beach. You can tell he has feelings, because he's standing on a beach.
Come to my party!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? - 2009 - Dir. Herzog

I'm basically at the point where I realize that Werner Herzog might be one of my more favorite directors. He's capable of being simultaneously shocking and provocative without sacrificing any emotional impact and maintaining a sense of humor about the whole thing. I feel like My Son, My Son is a pretty good introduction to Herzog. At least, I dunno, the more modern Herzog. Additionally, Grace Zabriskie is a cold stone freak. In the best possible way. I mean, you can tell from her roles in Big Love and Twin Peaks, that she plays a sweet kooky momma. The real star of the film is Michael Shannon, a fella who I suppose is just starting to get some sweet roles. The man glares like NO OTHER. I feel like this role could have been easily over-the-top but he toes the line between uncomfortable, funny, and just downright scary. I could have also used some more of Brad Dourif as Uncle Ted, but I'm a little biased because I could always use more of Brad Dourif. To get right down to it, there are just so many awesome moments in this film. I barely feel like I could list them all. There are certainly some slower or some sequences that don't work as well as others. But when they work? MAN OH MAN!!!
AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Grace Zabriskie, get away!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Double Agent 73 - 1974 - Dir. Wishman

Man... I don't watch anymore Doris Wishman movies anymore. She just... I don't think I need her movies in my life. I'm not sure I think they're goofy. Well, they're goofy... but man... THEY ARE BORING. And Cheap. I mean, I suppose I'm just used to Russ Meyer with his, you know, FRAMING and awesome Editing. I mean, I realize it's sexploitation so the bar is pretty low, but this isn't even erotic. Sometimes, it seems like Wishman just picked the worse angles on purpose. I guess part of my disappointment stems from the fact that the plot sounds AWWWEEESOOMMMEEE. I mean, a spy gets a camera implanted in her gigantic boobs but also a bomb wired to go off after 36 hours in case she gets captured. That sentence is the best part of the movie. I was sort of prepared for Chesty Morgan's... "acting," but she hasn't learned anything from her last foray... including how to speak English since EVERYTHING IS STILL DUBBED. I dunno, I wanted the movie to be silly. Or... anything. And I'm not convinced that it's being bad ironically... I think its just ineptness. It just looks like some kids made it in their house. It was clearly filmed in SOMEONE'S house. Although, I have to admit, there's a ridiculous shot of someone hanging out in bushes. I liked that.
She's "acting" tied up.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Zombieland - 2009 - Dir. Fleischer

You know, I have to admit liking the movie more than I would have expected. I was somewhat biased against it but it was somewhat highly recommended. I have to admit though it's pretty damn entertaining. I think sometimes I was bugged by a bit of an uneven tone and a somewhat shifting reality. It's like the movie couldn't decided on its level of irony or camp. Like the Bill Murray sequence is fun and it is really an awesome cameo, but I felt sort of thrown off by it. And I don't really feel like the movie ever recovered from that for me. I feel similarly to the whole Playland sequence where the movie is clearly just setting up action set pieces. Especially the girls who basically pick out the free fall ride to escape, you know, that thing that basically traps you in the air? I dunno, you can make the argument that the movie is being silly but, I dunno, so much of it is spent explaining these rules. I guess, it felt less like the movie was being clever and more lazy and disrespectful. I can't deny the entertainment value of the movie though. They wanna make a sequel, I'll watch the sequel. It's a fun enough movie, sure, I got some nitpicky things, but I really don't believe the movie is meant to be taken as seriously as I am treating it. I feel like it could've been. I imagine everyone was capable enough to pull off a Shaun of the Dead type thing. The cast is dandy, also. That should be mentioned.
Watch out! Someone split milk!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Masculine Feminin - 1966 - Dir. Godard

Here's a thing. I'd seen this movie already and not remembered it. I always feel like that 1) It's to be expected with Godard's films and 2) it also speaks of how poorly those damn movies stand out. I mean, I get a kick out of them, but damn it, it's easy to forget those movies. Perhaps, I saw them all when I was too young. I mean, I really liked it this time around. The movie is actually a lot of fun. Obviously, he has the awesome credits and titles in between some scenes. The movie is too early to have all the polemic that Godard's later ones do. I mean, there's plenty of political rants and whatnot, but the film also focuses on culture a lot. There's a particularly long shot of Leaud's face which is pretty crazy. And Godard always casts a ton of cute little French girls from this time. The film's fun. Godard's being playful... not terribly surreal but playful and mostly just making clever little comments on sexual differences and the "follies of youth." The most notable bit about the Coca-Cola generation and Marxism, it makes a lot of sense in the context. Oh man! There's also these really neat interspersed or sudden bits of French pop music, usually having something to do with the scenes, but this movie is another one that just makes me want to give Godard a high five. Or at least shake my head at him in a friendly way.
I can't help but feel like he is being incredible French right now.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? - 1966 - Dir. Nichols

I have to admit, this isn't my favorite Albee play. Although, that's like saying this isn't my favorite delicious hamburger. In the end, I'm lucky to have it. I actually think that perhaps I like the film more. WAIT. I never saw this staged. But I enjoyed seeing it. I think Taylor and Burton are incredible. It's basically a film with just incredible acting. Everyone is ABSOLUTELY mesmerizing. I feel like any of the performances on their own would have made a movie, but all of them together. It's awesome. Nichols makes a choice of making them leave the house for a little bit which is interesting. I don't mind it so much. I suppose it breaks it up a little bit. It's kind of a funny thing, because I feel like the play is Albee running on medium. He's not busting out the stuff he's REALLY good at. He's just making an almost normal play. It really is the acting that picks it up. It's neat because for a while I feel like we're all about Richard Burton, who really does seem to get the most attention, but then all of a sudden, Elizabeth Taylor comes out of nowhere with some really incredible moments that change the perspective completely. I also have to say, the scene by the tree with George Segal and Burton is AWESOME. Segal is NUTS AWESOME in that scene.
No one has a bad time when George Segal is around!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Billy Jack - 1971 - Dir. Frank

I admit it. I was disappointed by Billy Jack. I wanted... I dunno. I wanted an action movie most of all. But it is not an action movie. It has some action sequences. But no. Not enough. There's also a lot of improv sequences. But that doesn't make the movie improvised. All right... bad example. But let me point out... there are A LOT of improv scenes. The movie gets a bad rap for being hypocritical what with all the violence and all, but I disagree. It spends more time with those damned hippies than with Mr. Jack, who is a tempermental jerk. Well, he CAN be cool, but I think it IS kind of neat that the movie actually seems to believe to the message it's sending. Rather than just making a shallow action flick with a peaceful message. The thing is... I would almost rather have the shallow movie. Hell, call me shallow. But the hippie business is boring and dated. And also not nearly presented as well as the films singular kung fu sequence, which actually sets the bar unfairly high for the rest of the movies... which I'll point out again, will not have anymore kung fu sequences. I realize that to some degree the movie has entered our lexicon, it deserves to. Maybe the movie is just incredibly dated... I wanted to like the movie. Maybe that was the problem all along, I wanted something I wasn't going to get. :(

If Leland Orser and Christian Bale had a kid, I'm pretty sure it would look like this.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Box - 2009 - Dir. Kelly

Well, it's not as bad as Southland Tales. That's a thing. I dunno, though. I feel like Kelly has a taste for the overly complex. I feel like there's a whole act in the film that doesn't need to be. I suppose, it's the explanation. Which is funny. You would think the explanation would be an important part of the movie. It just ends up feeling kind of inconsequential considering how it ends. It ends with the two of them. Making life and death decisions. Sure, they kind of traveled a way to get there, but it seems fairly pointless. There doesn't really feel like anything in the explanation leads up to their final decision. It held my attention the whole way, even at times, if it felt a little silly. Cameron Diaz actually is actually pretty good as the movie goes on. She's pretty wonky at the beginning but as the movie gets worse, she gets better. Mardsen doesn't really do anything different from what he normally does. You know, he's Cyclops. James Rebhorn is in it. And you know, James Rebhorn is awesome. He's that white guy. Balding. Grey hair. Tall. THAT GUY. And if you google his name for long enough, eventually you just see a bunch of tits. Sigh... movies with twists...
Ehhh... I don't know what's in the box, honey. Ehhhhhh...