Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen [1926-2010]


Thanks for the laughs, Leslie

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Backup Plan [2010]



The thing about romantic comedies is that they are mindless fun – and I find it hard to come down hard on them and beat the shit out of them – like a film such as Get Him to the Greek. After all – they are not meant for me – they are meant to please girlfriends of people like me. So, even though I count them as a movie I watched – I zone out through most of them – and enjoy the company.

For those of you not familiar with the modern romantic comedy: The girl meets the guy – she dislikes him at first – he charms her - then they hook up – they fight – it looks as though they won’t get together even though they were “meant to be” – and at the end he comes running in and admits his mistakes and they embrace and happily ever after. Harmless fluff!

So, as I was polishing up my “review” yesterday of Get Him to the Greek – which I admit I had been sitting on for a while (I’m a lazy blogger) – I was considering calling it the worst film of the year. To cover my bases – I started looking at lists of films that came out over the course of 2010 – and that’s when I remembered – Get Him to the Greek was stupid and made me hurt – but J.Lo’s The Backup Plan was much much worse.

“Harmless fluff” you say! Well, yes – most of them are. Let me see if I can articulate what makes The Backup Plan different – and worthy or ridicule as opposed to my usual indifference.

J.Lo decides she wants a baby – she gets fertilized – then meets the “man of her dreams” – then passively aggressively throws it in his face and if he turns her away he’s a shallow prick instead of a man over-his-head who was looking to get to know this new girl instead of committing to her and a child for a lifetime. How this is romantic – I’m not sure. There’s no big flirt that goes on through the course of the film and makes you really think that this is going to be a story of two people who need to be together. It’s basically: “I’m having a sperm bank baby – you can be insensitive and leave me or you can be strong and stay!” – “Well, don’t think that I will be scared off by that! I’m not scared of babies!”

Yes, that’s dumb – but whatever – right? Yeah, I would’ve just let it go too – but later the big romantic comedy fight was about the fact that the guy told J.Lo that she’s not carrying his baby. This pissed her off and then they break-up. Could there have been a more artificial fight? The whole film is predicated on the fact that they are together despite her being pregnant with a sperm bank baby. Did J.Lo forget this?

They try to write it off as a hormonal thing – but that’s a slap in the face to female kind. How often do you see a female character make a poor decision based on so many different factors in films – and how often does it occur that the writers play the ‘dues ex machina’ card and call it female hormones? I could not think of a more chauvinistic piece of shit plot device. Plot twist – it was written by a woman - Kate Angelo! I’m personally hoping that she wrote the spec script – and the entire film got carried away into the wrong direction – just for her own well-being.

Now, I could leave it at that – because if it was only that bad – Get Him to the Greek had an equally stupid break-up scene – and an even dumber reuniting scene – but then it threw in childish insert stuff up your butt jokes. What could be worse than butt jokes? How about someone taking a big shit in a pool while giving birth and forcing the main characters to watch for no reason? How comedic! Yes! Poop jokes are worse than butt jokes in my book!

I’m reminded by my girlfriend that “shit happens” when giving birth – which is true – but to base a joke around it in a movie? To have people hold the main characters heads in a place so they have to watch the poop joke unfurl? Why? Is this movie a sweet romantic comedy or a gross out film?

Before I get it thrown into my face that rom-com’s are generally unrealistic and stupid – can you please take step back and consider basic reason – which is what’s missing in this film. Not asking for Hitchcock or Kurosawa – I’m looking for basic common sense.

You throw in the fact that my girlfriend despised the film too – said it “sucked” calling it “painful” & “terribly predictable and an unrealistic fairytale” – it failed at what its purpose was to be harmless fluff entertainment. Thus, I feel it is fair game – and I will place this at the very bottom of the list of films I’ve seen this year.


Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Get Him to the Greek [2010]



There’s little I can say about this film that hasn’t already been said. When the year of 2010 is remembered – it will be said that Get Him to the Greek was one of the movies released. It’s truly one of the films that starred and featured the comedic styling’s of Russell Brand and Jonah Hill. If you see any movie this year – this may have been it.

Jonah Hill plays a fat guy who has a girlfriend and a mission; To Get Him to the Greek. Russell Brand plays Him – who’s also apparently a rock star – he needs to get to the Greek.

I do not recall if there was a Greekish person in this film.

What this film does especially well is move. There’s lots of movement. All over the screen at times. Sometimes one character moves. Sometimes another character moves. Sometimes several characters move at the same time. I warn you that this film is a “talkie” – if you have not adapted to the fact that you can hear the people on the screen move and talk at the same time – I might recommend you put this on mute and pull up the sub-titles which is the only way to really simulate a non-talkie these days. If you are deaf – you are one step ahead of all of the rest of us.

The theme of the film is family – Him has a mother and a father – some kind of brother person and a bastard child. The fat guy also has a live in girlfriend and a boss – which is just like having a mother and father. His father is P. Diddly – which is an inspired choice for the role of the father – because he’s not an actor. Hill and Brand are interesting choices for the same reasons – as they are more concepts than people.

The other theme of this movie is that drugs are everywhere plentiful and should be done only good comes from using them. I’m not sure why over and over Hollywood shows us the folly of our ways in that drugs allow us to be famous, popular and successful – and drugs are still illegal. Both the fat character (whose name might be Fatty “Pork Chop” Blubberasserson) and Him ended up much better off than when they started – and they both took lots of drugs to get there. Films like Trainspotting, Half-Nelson, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Spun and Michael J. Fox’s Doc Hollywood all show us that drugs are good.

I don’t like things often – and it’s hard from me to break from tradition. So, I won’t.

The best thing I can say about this film is that I watched it. The worst thing I can say about it is that I watched it.

If you like moving things – screaming – lots of stuff up the butt – melons painted to look like tiddies flashed – repeated things that convince you by sheer repetition that they are funny - and other stuff – like finger paints and free donkey rides – this may be a film you’d want to check out. If not – then I would continue on with my life and be thankful for every breath – because it’s a precious gift.

The end.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Yep...


Bad news guys - I'm sick in bed all weekend...


Yeah, I think I'll spend most of the weekend in bed...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Disney

“You’ve just posted a whole mess of movie blog entries at the beginning of the year – then dropped the ball when something else caught your fancy – what are you going to do, cblaze?”

“I’m going to Disney World!!!”

It’s true – I’m off to Disney World in the following weeks – but you know what guys? I can’t say that I was ever a fan of Disney movies... It’s weird. I thought this would be an easy post – but when I started going through Disney films in my head I suddenly realized - I was never really a Disney fan as a kid. It’s not like I didn’t see a whole mess of them – as my siblings couldn’t get enough of them – we still have a huge VHS library. Even these days – the best Disney films are from the Pixar studio – which we all know has really has nothing to do with Disney.

I grew up a Jim Henson fan – his studio was bought by Disney and mishandled – sold – then repurchased. I liked Star Wars, Pee-Wee Herman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Three Stooges – but not Disney. I didn’t really care for the Looney Toons growing up, either now that I think about it – but watched it mostly because that’s what was on.


I didn’t cry when Bambi’s mom was shot. I didn’t feel a sudden happiness when Dumbo learned to fly and was loved by everyone. I wasn’t really fascinated by Alice’s trip through Wonderland. I wasn’t held breathless as the Prince fought the dragon to save Sleeping Beauty. I wasn’t clapping when Captain Hook was gotten by the ticking croc. Fantasia was an awesome sleep aid. I didn’t want to tap my foot along to Mary Poppins and her annoying fucking songs that got ingrained in my head...

Sure, I appreciated them for quality entertainment – nothing Disney put out seemed like pure shit – but could’ve been watching infomercials and been just as happy. I realize that Disney focused a lot of their stories around Princesses – and growing up a boy it was hard to identify with pretty pretty princesses finding true love... That is until the Little Mermaid came along at that interesting stage in my developmental years – and I watched strangely perplexed at her half-nakedness.


Did I grow up more cynical – not being a Disney kid? Why was I offered a job at Disney (that I ended up regretting turning down) – if I didn’t grow up a Disney kid? Was there something about me that is inherently Disney anyway? Is Disney ingrained in our culture to be everything that’s both right and wrong about it?


You know what cartoon movie I was held captivated by? The Secret of Nimh – I couldn’t understand that film – it disturbed me but intrigued me. It was an interesting complex story – that was presented to kids – but was obviously too complex for kids.



Oh – and the original Hobbit cartoon – I thought that was infinitely cool. That was by far my most favorite cartoon film growing up. I loved the art work of it all – and the folksy kind of feel to it. It offered real thrills and a darkness that I was drawn to.

Neither of these fit into the Disney feel of films – but it kind of goes to show that I wasn’t turned off by cartoon movies.

But as my trip approaches – and I think about the fun that will be had with my family and on the rides – I can’t help but wonder a bit...


Did I miss something not growing up a Disney kid?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chloe [2009]



Catherine Stewart (Julianne Moore) thinks her husband (Liam Neeson) is cheating on her – so she hires an escort (Amanda Seyfried) to flirt with him and see if he’d take the bait.

I’m not exactly sure what drew me to this movie – but I rented it and watched it – and it turned out to be pretty good. I like that it’s a simple concept – if I were to explain any more of the film in my description – it loses some of the simple logical twists (as well as probably the most illogical twist at the end). The story kept my attention as it unfolded quite nicely – instead of ramrodding you through each element. I thought the acting was quite well done – I think Julianne Moore showed a great amount of depth in her various stages of frustration in her relationship to the distant Liam Neeson. I thought Amanda Seyfried was good – but it’s a role that doesn’t require too much more than a good look and a willingness to be naked – and though it’s the title role – I didn’t feel like it was an amazing role – but that could easily be because Julianne Moore nailed her role so much better. The pacing and direction took a soft hand – and though I felt it could’ve been more of a seductive film – it worked.

I’m going to give Chloe a - 4 out of 5




Directed by Atom Egoyan

Friday, September 24, 2010

Harry Brown [2009]



My hopes from the short description and from the poster was this would be a bit of an over the top action film like Taken or a continuance of Caine’s best - Get Carter.

My fears were that this film was going to be an style over substance – Guy Ritchie type of film where Caine would be delivering lines that weren’t designed to be said – just written to be clever.

What I got was more of a heavy drama that felt like it should be a BBC produced mini-series – with just the right amount of hard violence and a very good story.

The story was a bit broken – and didn’t really feel to have been resolved fully – there was a bit more meat to the story to be explored. To be presented in a movie format rather than a BBC mini-series I felt like it needed a few random touches to complete it – which was kind of disappointing. There were a bit too many “happy” coincidences for my likes – considering the hard path it was going drama wise. I almost felt ripped off by the end of the film.

It was good – but the first time director Daniel Barber didn’t use a couple of well written scenes – that could’ve brought a lot of emotional tension to the story to the best of his ability. It’s also one of those movies where a good story, a few good ideas and a few interesting pieces happen to carry it through the weak parts of the film.

It was well acted – and though I wanted more from several aspects of the film – I’m still giving it a 4 out of 5.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sam Worthington needs your help? Why do you refuse his plea?


Sam Worthington is trying to tell us something – haven’t you noticed? It’s somewhat subtle – but it’s right there for everyone to see. He’s practically begging us to notice – almost pleading with us the movie going audience. He’s trying to say “hey, guys and girls, I don’t belong here – can someone get me back home?”

He’s a lost little lamb – trying to get his way back home. He’s putting on a tough front for all of us to see – but his heart isn’t into making movies – he’s really trying to get back to where he belongs.

Where is home for Sam Worthington? No, it’s not Australia – like people try to convince you. When will you stop being ignorant and stop believing every new actor is from the land down under. So, where is he from? I don’t know – but he’s not from here.

And when I say here – I mean Earth.

Yes, I’m saying it – Sam’s either a time traveler from a distant Earth – or he’s from an entirely different planet all together. I’m 100% confident in this – and if you think I’m joking – you certainly don’t know me very well... I never joke about Sam Worthington. Ever.

How am I sure of this? It’s all over his movies! Or have you not been paying attention to the projects he takes on? Oh, you have been too busy to notice, have you? Well, I have! I’m not sure why YOU wouldn’t. Maybe you’ve got a busy life of doing stuff - and don't have hours and hours to sit and think about these things carefully. I don't know! All I know is I know actors choose their parts very carefully...

Adam Sandler chooses movies so he can get attention because no one would notice him if he wasn’t screaming on a big movie screen. Angelina Jolie chooses her movies so that she can remind everyone how unlucky they are not to be Brad Pitt. Tom Cruise picks movie roles in order to demonstrate how not gay he can play on the big screen. George Clooney chooses his movie roles in order to put his eyebrows to work.

So, in the case of Sam Worthington – he’s making movies to get someone to notice him and realize he needs some help. Well, in case you haven’t noticed – let’s review...

Terminator: Salvation – he plays a convict sent into the future as a part Terminator part human to infiltrate and take down John Connor’s resistance force. He’s lost far away from his familiar home and ends up coming to peace with his new existence and making the best of it – and helps when he has every reason not to help.

Avatar – he plays a marine who is sent in place of his dead twin brother to a planet in order to infiltrate and take down the society of the giant blue people – but ends up finding home and love and makes the best of his new existence – and helps when he has every reason not to help.

Clash of the Titans – he plays a demagogue – part human part god – who is on Earth when he should be living on the top of Olympus with his daddy – but ends up finding home, family and love and makes the best of his new existence – and helps when he has every reason not to help.

Boom! Steak dinner!

He’s trapped here on Earth – please save Sam Worthington! It’s time to do your part in this quest to get Sam home...

Wait... You are asking yourself “why should I help?” – it’s because Sam has brought you BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ENTERTAINMENT!!!! BILLIONS! That’s far more than your Steve Zahn’s and Ellen Paige’s of the world. MOTHER FUCKING BILLIONS! You profited off his talents for long enough! Time that we help him get back home you greedy fucks!

I have contacted the scientists at the Fermilab and explained that they need to figure out a way to use their giant particle accelerator to crack the time/space plane and get Sam home. They said they will get right on realigning their own “giant project that could help bring answers as to how our universe has come into existence in order to bring some actor (with questionable skill) back home.”

I am thankful for Fermilab's help and hopeful that they will be able to do this quickly and bring Sam back home... Wait... What the fuck? Sam was also the name of the character on Quantum Leap! How could we be so blind? He needs to help us – so we can help him! Quick let him help you do stuff - you never know when his mission will be completed and he'll leap back home!

Here are the ratings for the movies in this entry – Terminator: Salvation (4/5) – Avatar (5/5) – Clash of the Titans (1/5)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World [2010]


I also finally got a chance to see Scott Pilgrim vs. the World this past weekend - and it kicked so much ass. The energy and entertainment value held on throughout and was by far my most favorite film of the summer. I laughed - out loud - throughout... This is a big deal to me because I take the success of a comedy on the basis if I smirk throughout - no... This one actually made me laugh. The direction by Edgar Wright - and the acting by every single member of the cast - and the soundtrack (which I tried to purchase immediately after leaving the theater - but failed) was pitch perfect! I have a hard time finding an issue with this one - and though I think Inception was an excellent film - Scott Pilgrim wins!

BEST MOVIE OF THE SUMMER!


...though I'm still kicking myself for not getting around to seeing Toy Story 3 - which is probably an awesome film.

P.S. I am down in Texas right now - scheduled this on Tuesday... Peace out ya'll!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Weekend Viewing - Aug 27-29



The Losers [2010]

Stupid movie... I mean stupid action movie... I can judge a film pretty easy once it gets to the climax where they save up the biggest action scenes - and I walk away to do laundry. This was a perfect example... Not one ounce of me cared or was gripped to the screen. Sure I saw that one dude get shot in both knees - him bitch about it for a couple scenes to drill in the fact that he can't stand or walk or anything - then the next night RUN... RUN... REPEAT... RUN... to see his wife giving birth... Stupid... Movie...

Repo Men [2010]

Nope... This one was dumb too... Not happy with my Netflix viewing this past weekend... Not at all. Thought it could be fun - and if it kept up the pace from the beginning of the film - it would've been - but they could not... Meandered off into Jude Law's love life - and how he felt all shitty about being a mean person... No suspense... Would've walked off - but I got all my laundry done while watching The Losers...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Devil [2010]

Can I please be the first to say it?

Not only is it a 90 minute movie about being trapped in an elevator... It made me feel like I was trapped in an elevator... For about 6 hours... (wish they would stop with the big advertising push - it's the same fucking clips of people looking worried in an elevator)


Devil comes out September 17th - please enjoy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

35 Rhums [2007]


Today was supposed to be the day earmarked for Inception – but you know how life goes – still haven’t seen it yet despite really wanting to... Instead I watched another fine film in the morning and felt that it deserved some love.

35 Rhums (or 35 Shots of Rum) is a beautiful slice of life kind of film – and it’s really hard to say what it’s exactly about – it’s just a fragment of the lives of a father and daughter. I guess you could say it’s about the father seeing his life through the eyes of a friend who’s retiring – and deciding it’s time to do a bit of living – and encourage his college age daughter to do the same.

It’s incredibly well acted and directed – though I felt as though it wandered a bit in the middle – and I was afraid that I was going to be on the verge of losing interest – but it held my attention. It’s a bittersweet kind of film – those kind of sensibilities are much appreciated by this movie watcher. Some of the best and most beautiful things in life come with a lot of sorrow – and in 35 Rhums – there’s the sorrow of the separating of the father and daughter – and in the characters around the two – but ultimately it ends up feeling right.

Giving this one a perfect score (5 out of 5) because it deserves it.

[directed by Claire Denis]

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Top 5 Worst Movie Roommates

Due to my recent move and the fact that getting a nice place isn't cheap - I considered having a roommate - but decided against it in the same breath. So, considering my reaction to just the thought - I figured I should decide my nightmare roommate from the movies... The obvious serial killers and demons left out - just because you would probably not even have much of a chance making it through the tour of the place before they hack you up. (As well as my nightmare of being trapped in a room with a moose - so moose is excluded...)

#5. Dignan (Bottle Rocket) - Mostly harmless - but the wild imagination of Dignan will probably get you in trouble with the law - plus he'll have your next 50-years planned out in advance for you - which can be a bit of a hassle.

#4. Bill and/or Ted (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure/Bogus Journey) – They’d probably insist on sharing a bedroom with you – which should be enough – but they are loud and messy and talk like imbeciles (probably because they are).

#3. Eli (Let the Right One In) – Sure she’s got plenty of money to cover rent – but you’ll have to kill people so she can eat – and if you refuse – she’ll guilt you into it.

#2. Gollum (Lord of the Rings) – He doesn’t like your friends coming around, he’ll will eat all your raw meat, he’d keep you up all night talking to himself and the guy is super paranoid – he’s constantly thinking you’ll take his stuff.

#1. Chewbacca (Star Wars) – Trust me, George Lucas has created enough characters that I wouldn’t want to spend 15 minutes with – but share a living space? Well, no one beats Chewbacca. He’ll shed all over everything, probably smells like a wet dog all the time, you can’t carry on any type of conversation with him without him growling (because that’s all he does), he’s got industrial strength space fleas that hide in that walking carpet – and if you ask him to clean up after himself or pay his half of the utilities - he might tear your arms out of their sockets. Though he might know how to fix the air conditioner...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sherlock Holmes [2009]


Something “magic” happens – and Holmes and Watson investigate.

I’m not sure what I was expecting – but I guess I’ve seen much worse films. I wouldn’t really say it was bad – just boring. Slow motion explosions and fist fights are fine if you are into that – but blah blah blah... Who cares?

The acting was fine – nothing to write home about. Robert Downey Jr. was good – so was Jude Law – and the guy who was the bad guy was good and that one vague chick was kind of stiff and boring – but whatever – didn’t feel the chemistry and didn’t care.

Why do we need to acknowledge the awkward homosexual relationships when you’ve got two guys working together in movies these days? Why? The reason why movies like Top Gun, Pointe Break and Tango & Cash are remembered for it is because it’s apparent but never acknowledged – these days it’s “funny” to make a self referential joke about it... Ha ha ha... Fuck you... It’s now a cliché – move on people.

Has any director ever fallen so hard as Guy Ritchie (I guess other than M. Night Shamylamydingdong)? He was considered a promising new director with Lock Stock and Snatch – but really hasn’t figured out how to stop being such a douche to direct something worthwhile or at least with the promise of his first two films (I’m on the fence with RocknRolla – think it’s kind of boring).

It’s not horrible – but it’s not good – it’s a fine way to kill time I guess – but you might as well watch infomercials or drink... Summer Shandy is out in the Midwest – you should check your liquor stores to see if they carry it – which they probably won’t but it’s fucking nice. Delicious. Refreshing.

Low end 3 out of 5 for this one.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pirate Radio [2009]




In the 1960’s the national British broadcasting did not feature more than an hour of rock/pop music – so to give into the thirst for them ships would broadcast from out in sea in order to give the people 24/7 rock ‘n’ roll!

I quite liked this film – but look at the synopsis that I chose to use... The film is only a little about this – it’s mostly about the unique DJ’s and a kid who was sent off to the boat by his mother – and it became about the kid getting laid. The DJ’s were all played by hilarious actors – and their antics were quite fun – but the film fails simply because the filmmakers decided that the antics were what was going to carry the film.

It’s a slapstick kind of comedy with broad humor – so it makes sense not for this film to be bogged down in the drama of the struggle to keep Pirate Radio alive. This leads to a lot of what felt like filler scenes – where things happened just for the characters have reason to do wacky shit. The film almost felt like a sketch show or a few episodes of a television show – linked together with music montages of people dancing around to The Kinks or The Rolling Stones or The Hollies.
There was some very disconnected scenes with Government officials trying to find ways to shut down the boats. I liked how they were disconnected scenes – kind of speaking to the fact that the government doesn’t know what it’s talking about – and how they are disconnected from what the people want – but since they were disconnected from the main characters – the scenes felt tacked on to the film.

Anyway – the music was great – there was the whole romanticized rock ‘n’ roll used to mean something and hold us close together as a people feeling (and in the end credits they flashed up album covers from later decades as to show that rock ‘n’ roll never died – we could debate the effectiveness of this notion for days).

Anyway – the actors Bill Nighy as the patriarch of the boat was spot on as he usually is these days – he’s been a revelation as an actor – where has he been? Nick Frost as Doctor Dave was in a way that I haven’t seen him before – which is refreshing – he could pull off smooth and funny as apposed to kind of oafish and funny. Chris O’Dowd was great as Simple Simon – you really wanted to pull for him. Rhys Darby could’ve been used a bit more – but I’m glad he got a solid role in this film. Rhys Ifans was good – but not in my mind the most interesting as the wild Gavin. Kenneth Branagh as spot on as the official in charge of shutting down the Pirate Radio stations – but his story was left a bit incomplete – you needed that one scene of him tapping his foot to make the story feel completed.

Which leaves Phillip Seymour Hoffman in a role that seems like the logical extension to his Lester Bangs role in Almost Famous – he can pull the rock ‘n’ roll nut off with such ease. He’s got a lot of depth as an actor and pulls from every which way I wonder if it’s his natural place in the world to be such a rock fan or if it’s just his acting ability that makes it so believable. No doubt in my mind if I want to make a movie about rock ‘n’ roll – I want to call Hoffman first.

Overall – I quite liked the film – though I felt it was thin on plot when it didn’t need to be. The antics were enough to keep me entertained in one viewing – not sure if they’d be enough for a second. The music was solid – though they could’ve pulled from the Nuggets archive for some under utilized rock ‘n’ roll than rolling out a couple of the standards. The montages became a bit much for me at times – but it was fun – and I’m giving Pirate Radio 4 out of 5.

[directed by Rob Curtis]

Thursday, July 15, 2010

When plans one through eight fail - there's always...


"This film we once saw was reviled for its flaws - but its flaws are what made us have fun"

lyrics from 'Singer/Songwriter' by Okkervil River

Monday, June 7, 2010

Keoma [1976]


I really like the direction of Keoma – not a traditional narrative – a lot of flashbacks and flash-forwards in the story keep it fresh. Interesting plot – not sure of Keoma’s motivations – but like it that way.

Dialogue's lacking a bit... Kind of a blunt force instrument in such an interesting plot - story... This could be a classic up there with the Leone/Eastwood films if there was a bit more strong silent moments.

Not sure if I buy Franco Nero as a half-breed anything – but maybe they just refer to him as that because he’s a half-brother to the 3 main villains... But I don’t think everyone would call him that.

Other than Morgan Freeman in my favorite film of all time – Unforgiven – is there another Western where a black character is such a strong figure with a pivotal role? Liked seeing that in Keoma.

Nero doesn’t have a Jesus complex or anything – being crucified to a wagon wheel is just a coincidence. Coming from the land of Billy Corgan – I kid of course – Nero is a badass not afraid to act and throw himself into a role. Modern Hollywood pansy action stars could learn a thing or two.

I really hate off key singing in the soundtrack that also doubles as a way for the director to be purposely vague – because the singer will sing part of the plot.

Me: “Who’s that character?”
Singer: “Father – that’s my father…” (not that much of an exaggeration)

Not sure if it’s the way Nero wears his hair up like that – but his head looks massive! He might just want to chomp his step-brothers in half!

Good action and stunts – good camera work – and build-ups in tension. Satisfying strange and wonderful climax... Not sure I expected that - cool.

I’ll wander off and give this a 4 out of 5 – something I’ll watch again – it’s a bit mystical and spiritual and out there for a western – but that’s good – not as good as Django or The Great Silence – but better than most.

[directed by Enzo G. Castellari]

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Léon [1994]


Leon (The Professional) – is one of those films that I’ve liked – but even though my policy is to own only the movies that I really like – I purchased the special edition. It was a bit overkill at the time – because when I watched it – I thought it was still just only good – and probably a renter – not a keeper.

I rewatched it yesterday – while I was in a really good mood – and began to notice things – and felt the tension of Mathilda standing at Leon’s doorway. I didn’t just see their relationship as disturbing – but as both a mock to the traditional action film – where an adult woman is basically a child needing the hero to save her – and mutually beneficial for the both of them to grow as characters (though I still squirmed a little).

I find Gary Oldman’s scene chewing – to always be a pleasure – so to rewatch Leon and see Oldman’s villain character in all his oddball glory was nice (still kind of wished I saw more of that character’s antics – but the movie isn’t called Leon for nothing). This was the extended edition – and I thought maybe the fact that I wasn’t impressed stemmed from the fact that there was too much in the film – but now see it as necessary and pertinent.

The direction was really nice – interesting framing – keeping you wanting to see around a corner, around a wall or over a hill to understand more about these unique characters. It’s direction that kind of helps you want to like the characters as opposed to just showing you them. The thugs were comically outdated of course – due to this being an early 90’s film – and half of the thugs looked like they belonged shooting at John McClane in Die Hard.

The acting by Jean Reno and Natalie Portman was excellent – Portman shows a lot of promise as an actress even at such a young age. The action was mixed in fairly well – though this film isn’t about action – I wanted more of Luc Besson’s typical over the top variety of excellent action.

Overall – I’m happy to say that this film has upgraded its rating to a solid 4 – and if I believed in such a thing there would be a half that followed it.

[directed by Luc Besson]

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day


As much as I love a good Monday rant - it's Memorial Day - and with friends and family who have served or are still serving - I'm thankful that this isn't a day that I'm visiting a grave site - but I will respectfully bow my Monday rant in respect for those who do.

I watched The Messenger (pictured above) on Friday - a film about two soldiers who's primary assignment is to notify the next of kin of their loved ones deaths. It's an interesting film - a bit sad - a bit revealing - a bit muddled - but good. Worth watching once - and a fitting film for today.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dennis Hopper [1936-2010]


Dennis Hopper has passed away of cancer. My folks once ate at the next table as him at a seafood restaurant in North Carolina - and though I didn't think he was a great actor - from what I was told he was very accommodating to the patrons - and despite the news reports of his crazy acts - sounded like a pretty decent guy.

Rest in Peace you crazy mother fucker!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Borrowed Time

Patron saint of my movie blog Saul - is mad that this post missed the 8AM deadline - but I'm not - which is going to make Saul even madder - and he's gonna punch somebody... Watch out guy to his right!

Strange I have such a violent patron saint...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Precious [2009]


Clarice Precious Jones is living one hell of a tough life.

Okay, I thought about how I wanted to phrase this – and I’m sorry for the puns – this is a heavy handed film with a lot of broad strokes – that even though it’s filled with a lot of fine performances – it’s just a bit too much for me to palate. The narrative was essentially – “look how much shit one person can take and still have a positive outlook – your life isn’t as bad – so get over yourself”. You know how people say Mel Gibson’s The Passion – is one giant snuff film – that’s what this film felt like to me.

I’m not ripping this film – I’m just putting those initial thoughts out there – because like I said – there were a lot of fine performances. I thought the direction was interesting – though I couldn’t understand the overuse of the little stutter zooms – which is good for showing a character having a “moment” – but I thought it was a bit more than I wanted – nothing wrong with just showing what’s happening and letting the camera pick it up – not needing to tell part of the story.

This filmed stirred up some disgusted emotions from me – from everything from rape and incest to child abuse – it was vile in it’s subject matter – I just wanted to shout “enough” – this poor girl. Story wise it was somewhat lacking – but fine performances on all sides carried the film – and though I’ve heard everything from it being uplifting to it being a tear-jerker – I found it to be good – but not great – 3 out of 5.

(First movie in a week)

[directed by Lee Daniels]

Thursday, May 27, 2010

High Snobbery! [pt 2]


I’m struggling to keep my movie blog up to date – which is usually written up on Sunday and scheduled for the entire week ahead of time – but also I haven’t watched a movie in a week now. This has become a record for me lately – and though I would be more than willing to share with you all the reasons why – if I knew you in person and we wanted to grab a beer or a cup of joe – those reasons are currently things I’m not movie blogging about.

Being movie mavens that we are – I wonder – excluding vacations and such – how long have you gone and not watched a movie (or DVD)? I know the both of you keep a movie log – we’re three oddballs of a kind when it comes to that – but a week for me is a long time.

I’ve been typing entries in the middle of the night – before they post - that explains the movie snob post – where I wanted the two of you to type up my blog for me essentially – and how when it was originally posted it contained a two part question that was the same in two parts.

The movie snob thing – yes I agree with the both of you – we have broad tastes – but we are hardly the kind of folk that would scoff at a good film no matter what genre (trash or mainstream) – if it rocks our socks – we’re willing to enjoy. I think we’ve got a healthy attitude toward film – and we really like what we really like – and there’s no snobbery in that.

I was recently given the title of “movie snob” when discussing the failings of IRON MAN 2 – but it was meant as a compliment – which I’m still wrapping my head around. The compliment part was something about having a critical mind that’s good at processing things – but followed with “if we ever watch a movie together you must shut up” – like I wouldn’t be able to control myself – not sure if that last part was meant as a joke.

I think enjoying a film – though you see flaws is normal – and I think certain people like to embrace what they love so tightly that they don’t see flaws... Ahem – me and DOOMSDAY. I think being self-aware of certain forgivable flaws in a film – allows me to enjoy it a bit more. Though when I’m asked about a movie – I tend to try and give my honest assessment – with a disclaimer of “oh you’d probably really like it” - if I think that it’s true – and I want you to ignore what may follow if it’s critical.

IRON MAN 2 is a flawed film – but I still gave it a 4 out of 5 – because it was fun – and action packed – and I enjoyed it – and 4 out of 5 is a pretty GOOD score. I just won’t be itching to pick up the DVD when it comes out because I’m not sure if I would start to focus more on those flaws and not enjoy it as much.

Well, this was just meant to be a short little blurb to A) alert you to my movie inactivity and B) address the movie snob post – but my tired fingers keep on pumping out my random thoughts. So, thanks for reading – I’ll talk to you guys later (hopefully)!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

LOST

I had a like – hate relationship with the television show Lost.

I thought it was interesting at times – and at other times it was so vague I barely called it a TV show and would better describe it as a weekly mind fuck. I understand that the show was layered to the point that if I was a casual viewer I’d find it frustrating – and that’s me.

Now, as the show ended this week – and honestly – it was one of the best endings I have seen on a television show. It answered all my thoughts and questions – and now remember back to the show with some kindness. So, today, I wanted to give some movie nods to five of my favorite actors from the show in roles in films I also enjoy.


Naveen Andrews [Planet Terror, 2007]


Emelie de Ravin [Brick, 2005]


Dominic Monaghan [Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, 2001]


Jeremy Davies [CQ, 2001]


Nestor Carbonell [The Dark Knight, 2008]

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

High Snobbery!


Would you describe yourself as a movie snob?

Would you describe me as a movie snob?

Do you take it as a compliment being considered a movie snob?

By rule can a movie snob like all sorts of films - everything from lowbrow to high art?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rant: IMDB


I fucking HATE the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).

I steer clear of the IMDB like it was that sloppy drunk friend who never ceases to embarrass you no matter where you are at – and how many drinks they’ve had. I still frequent the site for the basic information on a movie – because there’s no still no better place (to my knowledge).

The reviews are an embarrassment. If I ran the site – in order to post something you must have watched it – therefore there would be a quiz or something proving that you’ve watched it. Actually – I wouldn’t allow user reviews – there’s many sites that offer that – I would ONLY offer published critics reviews – and make them historical.

The comment/thread section is filled with ignorance and frustration. Reading some of the comments calling for death to people who like specific films – or having a profile that can be referenced and liking or disliking a certain film – immediately discredits people’s opinions. If I ran the site – that section would be gone – there’s never anything of any use ever in those sections.

It’s filled with pop-up ads. It disguises links to blogs as featured news articles. It panders to the big studios instead of bringing light to films of all kinds. It withholds information for a “subscription fee” – and just like internet porn that does the same – there’s other places in the entire inter-verse to get what you want – so why make people pay?

IMDB is a place that wants to be interactive – but shouldn’t.

IMDB should be an encyclopedia on film – but it isn’t.

IMDB is a pathetic and horrible place – and I encourage you to avoid it as well.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Great Silence [1968]

A continuation from yesterday's post - about my favorite westerns. I've still got a few westerns that I want to see (the most notable being Keoma & Death Rides a Horse) - but this is my other favorite western not starring Clint Eastwood.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Django [1966]

Playing the new Red Dead Redemption - has made me really want to come up with a list of my favorite Westerns to share with you. The problem soon becomes - I dig only a few westerns - and that's either because they are a anti-western or because they lack that certain machismo that turned me off the westerns growing up.

Was never a fan of John Wayne or John Ford - and I never saw the appeal of Kevin Costner - and if I keep going there won't be anything left to pick from for a list. My list would contain 3/5 Clint Eastwood to two parts films directed by Sergio Corbucci - and there's really no point in making and sharing a list like that. So, I'll share this instead...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Crazy Heart [2009]


The story of an old drunk country musician who’s slowly fading into obscurity and has pretty much given up on it all – is somewhat brought back to life when he meets a young reporter.

I quite liked this film – though it’s a film about musicians we’ve all seen before – but it’s still full of its own certain complexities that make Crazy Heart an interesting film. I quite liked the idea that even though Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) has been passed by his protégé – they’ve still got a pretty good relationship. This film could’ve easily failed if it wasn’t for the healthy respect shown by Colin Farrell’s Tommy Sweet character. I mean if Bad was a joke to everyone except his new muse – Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Jane character it’d be less believable that even if you know the man behind all of the drunkenness and crassness of Bad – is someone to root for.

The music was top notch – I dug Ryan Bingham’s cameo – the man who wrote the Academy Award winning song (he’s an excellent artist – can’t get enough of his latest album Roadhouse Sun – check it out).

Ultimately though – all you really need to know about the film is that Bad Blake is a drunk and has reasons to stop being a drunk – and you get the picture of the film – and pretty much it’s all a construct (though a very well made construct) for Jeff Bridges performance as Bad Blake. It’s enjoyable – it’s got humor – well paced and well acted – but wrought with Hollywood drama fodder that you’ve kind of got to be in the mood to be dragged through. I’m giving Crazy Heart a 4 out of 5 – because I was in the mood – I could see giving it less but not more.

[directed by Scott Cooper]

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Great Panda Movie Conspiracy


I believe there’s a conspiracy out there for every year to have a film that somehow involves Pandas.

A couple years ago there was Kung-Fu Panda – just last year there was Pandorum – which is almost spelled like “panda” - and what was the name of the planet in Avatar? Pandora? Lest we forget, in 1995 there was the The Amazing Panda Adventure – and though this conspiracy is being hidden from the likes of us from the IMDB - I’m confident I remember some kind of panda based films every year - big name ones too... Didn't Keanu Reeves star in one? Yeah, I'm sure he did!

Keep an eye out for more panda films coming out in 2010 - and I'll keep an eye on 2011.


We're watching you Dennis Quaid!!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Versus!

Dracula vs. Frankenstien
Godzilla vs. King Kong
Alien vs. Predator
Freddy vs. Jason
Monsters vs. Aliens

No doubt – if two things are popular Hollywood will take them and make them compete!

Once the President of Hollywood catches up with this new entry – they will most certainly crown me the King of Hollywood – and you will see my variation on the classic vs. theme films! Though I will probably take the versus films out of the hands of fictional monsters…

Yakuza vs. Warriors of the Apocalypse
The highly stylized well dressed Japanese mafia with their guns and occasional samurai weapons – take on the dirty punk rock warriors who use all sorts of found weaponry and rigged up cars. My conclusion would make the Yakuza stooping down to the Warriors level – after the Warriors dominating them for most of the film – ending in a near draw with heavy losses on both sides – with hopes of a sequel.


Go-Go Dancers vs. Robots
If we all know one thing – Robots hate go-go dancing – so why this film has not been made already – is unclear. Imagine a hip happening dance night club – girls on stage and in cages shaking it all over & everyone’s having a good time – then BOOM – robots invade disintegrating people with their laser beams! Of course the film has to end with the Go-Go Dancers finding the deranged figure behind the robots – and taking him down – and having a big go-go dancing party with the robots that were reprogrammed! Camp classic! (As well as getting the ball rolling on more go-go dancing films)


Biker Gangs vs. Cowboys
Imagine a line of hairy greased up Hell’s Angels swinging chains and aiming shotguns roaring their bikes toward a stampeding row of dusty cowboys yipping and brandishing six-shooters and rifles on charging horses! Epic masterpiece! I know – I’m a fucking genius – that’s why you read this blog! Not only does this film make sense visually – but also thematically as both groups are known for getting all liquored up and getting into barroom brawls.


Knights of the Roundtable vs. the Mad Scientist
A Mad Scientist accidently zaps himself into medieval times – he uses Merlin’s magic and natural curiosity to create an unstoppable shape-shifting blob monster. Merlin and the Knights of the Roundtable must act to stop the Scientist and the creature before the kingdom is in ruin. I see this one ending with a last second twist – that will alter history!


Pirates vs. the Psycho Killers
Unbeknownst to the Captain – they had buried their treasure on an island the Europeans were shipping their mental patients to – and when they return to reclaim their pirate booty – they are met by seemingly harmless – but actually quite deadly psychos! What’s nice about this one is that the mental patients will be able to blend in with the pirates a bit – and the pirates will have to come to grips with their villainy – as the lines blur between who’s who!

To tell you the truth – even though I came up with these off the top of my head – some of these sound like they could be pretty good. It actually scares me a little. I’m not saying these are original ideas – or whatever – but they have potential – and if you put some “creative” minds along with my insane one – you might get something amazing out of some of these.

Any of them you’d watch?