Monday, December 19, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
The problem with the popular “cult films” is that it doesn’t refer to every film that has a devoted following – why are the Star Wars films “cult films” and the Twilight films not? Star Wars has made more money than the Twilight franchise – and each has an equally obsessed fanbase. Why is Harry Potter NOT a cult film but the Lord of the Rings films considered a cult film – they both came out the same time – and both have huge followings – with one known for having fans dressing up as the characters to watch the films? Seems like Potter would be more the cult franchise with the dressing up – than Rings – but you saw that list – Rings! No Potter!
I’m wondering if the term needs to be updated in order for there to be clarity to the topic - here’s what I propose...
Cultural Film: These are the films have become ingrained into the culture of our lives. You can point to these films – and most anyone will know what you are speaking of. “We’re not in Kansas anymore” “Use the force” “My precious” – have all been used out of context enough that we know what people are speaking of when these lines are said. These films may have a larger impact on certain groups – who may follow the film more intensely than groups – but it’s safe to say the films are universally known.
These films could have started life as relatively unknown films – and been picked up on by the culture and later ingrained – or they could be blockbuster films. These films are generally regarded to as “classic” films.
Cult Film: Is a film that a much smaller group of people know of – and those who do know of the film follow it with great interest – with a cultish like following.
These films could have started life as flops and have gone mostly forgotten – or could have never been known to the majority of the mainstream film watchers – yet still hold a strong following with certain subcultures.
I know it’s not perfection as a definition as there might be a few holes – but it’s better to me than the amorphous blob that is the “cult film” definition that has been put out there. What do you think?
Monday, December 12, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
NPR just posted this list - now there are somethings I LOVE about this list - Fulci, Franco, Dargento, Jack Hill, Romero, Waters, Ed Wood Jr... Django... Daughters of Darkness... Mixed in with some real modern cult films like early Peter Jackson and Terry Gilliam... But then Wizard of Oz? Star Wars? Lord of the Rings? Cultish like following - certainly - but "cult films"? Huh? I guess I don't get what or why people lump VERY POPULAR movies in with "cult films".
It feels backwards in that aspect - but it's wonderful to see a "cult film" list that features some of my favorites. Might even inspire me to write something for this blog (been in a major funk - if you couldn't tell)Top 100 Cult Films
Source: "100 Cult Films" by Ernest Mathijs and Xavier Mendik
2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick, 1968
Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988
Angel of Vengeance, Abel Ferrara, 1981
Bad Taste, Peter Jackson, 1987
Baise-moi, Virginie Despentes, Coralie Trinh Thi, 2000
Begotten, E. Elias Merhige, 1991
Behind the Green Door, Artie Mitchell, Jim Mitchell, 1972
La belle et la bête, Jean Cocteau, 1946
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Russ Meyer, 1970
The Big Lebowski, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 1998
Blade Runner, Ridley Scott, 1982
Blue Sunshine, Jeff Lieberman, 1978
Brazil, Terry Gilliam, 1985
Bride of Frankenstein, James Whale, 1935
The Brood, David Cronenberg, 1979
Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene, 1920
Café Flesh, Stephen Sayadian, 1982
Cannibal Holocaust, Ruggero Deodato, 1979
Casablanca, Michael Curtiz, 1942
Un chien andalou, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí,1928
Coffy, Jack Hill, 1973
Daughters of Darkness, Harry Kümel, 1971
Dawn of the Dead, George A. Romero, 1978
Deadly Weapons, Doris Wishman, 1974
Debbie Does Dallas, Jim Clark, 1978
Deep Red, Dario Argento, 1975
Dirty Dancing, Emile Ardolino, 1987
Django, Sergio Corbucci, 1966
Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly, 2001
Don't Torture a Duckling, Lucio Fulci, 1972
Edward Scissorhands, Tim Burton, 1990
Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Aristide Massaccesi, 1977
Emmanuelle, Just Jaeckin, 1974
Enter the Dragon, Robert Clouse, 1973
Eraserhead, David Lynch, 1977
The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi, 1981
Fight Club, David Fincher, 1999
Flaming Creatures, Jack Smith, 1963
Freak Orlando, Ulrike Ottinger, 1981
Freaks, Tod Browning, 1932
Ginger Snaps, John Fawcett, 2000
The Gods Must Be Crazy, Jamie Uys, 1981
Godzilla, Ishirô Honda, 1954
The Harder They Come, Perry Henzell, 1972
Harold and Maude, Hal Ashby, 1971
Häxan, Benjamin Christensen, 1922
Hellraiser, Clive Barker, 1987
The Holy Mountain, Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973
The House with the Laughing Windows, Pupi Avati, 1976
I Walked with a Zombie, Jacques Tourneur, 1943
Ichi the Killer, Takashi Miike, 2001
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh, 2008
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Don Siegel, 1956
Invocation of My Demon Brother, Kenneth Anger, 1969
It's a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra, 1946
The Killer, John Woo, 1989
Lady Terminator, H. Tjut Djalil, 1988
The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson, 2001–3
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, George Miller, 1981
Man Bites Dog, Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde, 1992
Manos, the Hands of Fate, Harold P. Warren, 1966
The Masque of the Red Death, Roger Corman, 1964
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, 1975
Near Dark, Kathryn Bigelow, 1987
Nekromantik, Jörg Buttgereit, 1987
Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero, 1968
Pink Flamingos, John Waters, 1972
Piranha, Joe Dante, 1978
Plan 9 from Outer Space, Ed Wood, Jr, 1959
Re-Animator, Stuart Gordon, 1985
Reefer Madness, Louis Gasnier, 1936
Repo Man, Alex Cox, 1984
Ringu, Hideo Nakata, 1998
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Jim Sharman, 1975
Rome Armed to the Teeth, Umberto Lenzi, 1976
The Room, Tommy Wiseau, 2003
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1975
She Killed in Ecstasy, Jesús Franco, 1971
Showgirls, Paul Verhoeven, 1995
Soul Vengeance, Jamaa Fanaka, 1975
The Sound of Music, Robert Wise, 1965
Star Wars, George Lucas, 1977–2005
Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Todd Haynes, 1988
Suspiria, Dario Argento, 1977
Tank Girl, Rachel Talalay, 1995
Tetsuo, Shinya Tsukamoto, 1989
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper, 1974
This Is Spınal Tap, Rob Reiner, 1984
Thriller: A Cruel Picture, Bo Arne Vibenius, 1974
Thundercrack!, Curt McDowell, 1975
El Topo, Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970
The Toxic Avenger, Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman, 1984
Two-Lane Blacktop, Monte Hellman, 1971
Two Thousand Maniacs!, Herschell Gordon Lewis, 1964
The Vanishing, George Sluizer, 1988
Videodrome, David Cronenberg, 1983
The Warriors, Walter Hill, 1979
Witchfinder General, Michael Reeves, 1968
Withnail & I, Bruce Robinson, 1987
The Wizard of Oz, Victor Fleming, 1939
Monday, November 28, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I didn’t expect to like this one too much – but the 60’s short dresses – lingerie and plenty of attractive women showing their curves – sold me that this is the GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME!! There were some guys in it and they did stuff too – but did you see all the cleavage? Wow! Lots of hot leg action too! January Jones is already a porn name – but that’s her REAL name – she played the lady who dressed in shiny white leather – boobs! James Fassbender and Michael McAvoy are in this movie somewhere – and I’m sure they did a fine job doing the things they do – but Jennifer Lawrence as the blue naked chick – yes please! I watched it and thought maybe I should watch it again in slow-mo! There’s even some Nazi killing too – which is all fuck yeah – did you see the caboose on that chick! They should make movies with just chick being almost naked – or even a little naked – that would be awesome! I’m going to start a film studio that specializes in that!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Based on another true story of exorcism... Okay, really? I’m starting to believe that the Catholic Church is really in the movie business. I want to make a dark dark comedy where this is true – and they decide to keep doing this shit with all these fucking exorcism movies that come out “based on true stories”. I mean – I guess we can say “it’s true it’s based on a story” – because all these films are starting to feel like propaganda. I appreciate that the faith questioning priest was thinking mental disorders – but of course Hannibal Lector was there to help encourage him that it’s real. I’m not taking a piss on the religion of it all – just the movies – and since all these exorcisms are done in secret without records of it – there’s no way to officially debunk everything. The movie was okay – nothing great – just enough to make me not turn it off.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Neil Marshall’s play on the legend (mostly myth) of the Roman 9th legion in Britain – an unstoppable group who went “missing” while guarding their post. What I really liked about the movie is that you are given two sides – both give the viewer equal justification to root for. The Picts are defending their land against invaders – as well as Etain who has her own brutal reasons for wanting to hunt down the Roman scum. Then you have a somewhat likable group of Roman soldiers headed by Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender – who plays the title Centurion) – who you realize are pretty much left up to their own – with no cavalry coming to save them simply looking to get back home.
Marshall gives us his traditional theme of having strong women characters who don’t need men to save their asses – and they don’t need to show their asses. His films are violent and gory – and very masculine in that sense – but you throw in the strong female badasses in his films they are very feminist. That duality is one of my favorite things about Marshall’s films – the female characters don’t cower until they are “saved” – they stand up for themselves the entire time.
I think the cast did their part quite well - Fassbender brought a weight an sympathetic side to Quintus which worked very well and Olga Kurylenko was awesome as the silent assassin Etain. – and though the plot was thin – it was good enough for a fun survival-chase “genre” film. It’s a “you get what you pay for” Neil Marshall film – with plenty of gore and in camera effects – instead of the computer generated nonsense.
I wasn’t as enthusiastic about Marshall’s direction of Centurion as a whole – I felt he had a real energy and eye in his previous works – I’m not sure what really happened in this one. He still managed some beautiful shots – and some great compositions – but it felt a bit more vanilla.
Out of the 4 feature films Neil Marshall has done – it has no place to go but 4th on the list due to the strength of his previous work and obvious weaknesses in Centurion. Being a dork I just realized that this is his first film that didn’t start with D – The Descent, Doomsday & Dog Soldiers – and he was attached to Drive for a long while before Winding Refn took over the project (that would have made a VERY different film – but equally as awesome in a different way).
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I thought this movie was a lot of fun. Really I did. I kind of didn’t expect that – I figured it would be kind of a paint by numbers affair – but it was good. There was some good heart – some good action – Chris Evans worked well as Steve Rogers/Capt America. The majority of the film took place back in WWII – like 99.8% – I was somewhat worried about it becoming a time travel movie. The Red Skull effects were all right – nothing special – not like the skinny Chris Evans effects – those were top notch! I really liked Agent Carter – Hayley Atwell – she was a looker! I would’ve asked her to dance even though I am built like the skinny Chris Evans!
I didn’t like that there seemed to be way too many forced references to the other two franchises of Thor and Iron Man – I felt like this should have been Captain America’s story – we can leave the other characters out of it for a while. I actually thought the Thor shit was REALLY annoying – I didn’t get the reference – and I didn’t like the weight it carried – it became a case of you should have known“well of course if you do that – then this will happen” – which lead to a VERY ANTI-CLIMATIC ending. I guess I didn’t take enough notes when I was watching Thor and should’ve realized that I needed them to follow this movie.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
This was the last weekend for my video game challenge – and considering I did not play any video games this weekend – my mission will end incomplete.
Let’s recap – I set out to beat Fallout: New Vegas, Crysis 2 and The Saboteur – only 3 games. I beat Fallout: New Vegas (twice with the freeze glitch) – it was easily the longest of the 3 games. The Saboteur was left mostly untouched. I started on Crysis 2 and even at the easiest play settings – I really sucked at it – so I gave it up and replaced it with Batman Arkham Asylum and Mass Effect 2.
I beat Batman Arkham Asylum – which was a lot of fun – a lot of button mashing – but a lot of fun. I looked to dust off my Mass Effect 2 skills – but quickly got bored with the game once more – and didn’t play it again.
So, I beat 2 games – left 3 unbeaten – but was only looking to beat 4 in total. I can’t say that I’m sad though – 2 games is a lot better than I normally do in 2 months – dedicating only a few hours in the weekend mornings to games. In 2011 – I beat LA Noire, Bulletstorm, Fallout: New Vegas, Batman Arkham Asylum – as well as got 100% completion of Lego Star Wars 3 – I did good.
Instead of playing games this weekend I watched movies mostly – and used my Groupon to a local used book store on the out of print Criterion version of The Third Man as well as finally getting a copy of Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary. They also had a video game I would’ve normally purchased – but I put it back – because I know there are only a few days before all games are put aside and SKYRIM is all that’s in my XBOX.
Not enough SKYRIM talk for you? Well, come back on Friday – I’m taking the day off and plan on spending all day on Blogger updating the Friday entry with what I’m doing. I’m hoping it’s not just me sitting around blogging about how I’m waiting on UPS all day – taking a big chance on that. The thought has crossed my mind to run out and buy a copy then return the UPS copy the next day – but that seems extreme.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
I guess it had been long enough since I saw it that I didn’t remember the cheekiness of it all – the little commercials and how everyone was “perfect”. I think I honestly just remember it being a war, bug, boobie flick. Starship Troopers is a sci-fi war satire – it’s fun – but I’m not sure if it holds up enough for me.
I mean – how can you not be all over that chick, Dizzy (played by Dina Meyer), if she constantly fawns over you and Denise Richards (your "girlfriend") is constantly flirting with other guys? Is it the boobs? I guess he’s just out of high school or college – or whatever – and he hasn’t learned there’s more to life than great boobs... Aw... I think I just broke my own heart with that comment... With her dying breath – she thanked God that she was finally able to have sex with you for 20 minutes? I mean – c’mon!!!!! That out does boobs any day!
One thing I never ran into before was that my Blu-Ray player refused the disc – even though it looked perfect. It was an older release so I didn’t expect that I needed to update my firmware – as even with brand new releases I’ve never had to. So, I returned it to N’flix as defective and asked for a new one – and the new disc gave me the same grief.
A quickie Google search and I discovered that I needed to “add” more memory to my Blu-Ray player to get the disc to play! I’ve never heard of that!
I grabbed the podunk SD camera card that came with my camera (which I never unwrapped as I purchased a better card at the same time) – I slid that into my Blu-Ray player and the movie loaded up fine. That’s just weird to me.
The movie looked AMAZING! It’s a fantastic looking movie on Blu – if you love the movie – you will want to upgrade (or wait until the XXth anniversary release that is sure to come out). If you like the movie and want to watch it – rent it on Blu – it looks great.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I swear I watched a solid half hour of this film – then the fast forward button was used liberally. I counted those music queues and there were 3 within the first 17 minutes of the movie – this started to make me really angry – because I felt I was watching a series of crappy sad sack music videos.
OPEN YOUR POUTY ASS MOUTH AND TELL THE FUCKING POLICE WHAT THIS GUY WAS DOING AND FUCKING STOP STANDING AROUND LOOKING FUCKING SAD!!!
Sure, there were some nice visually nifty action sequences that I forwarded through – but it became an obvious style over substance issue for me. I’m glad I didn’t waste my time watching the full movie – because to get to THAT ending would have pissed me off.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I kind of wish there was more information floating around out there about the game. I’ve been curious as to the different “races” in the game. I will usually play a human character in whatever game I get a “race” choice – but I’m thinking wood elf sounds like the kind of character I want to play in SKYRIM – but I’m not sure – as there doesn’t appear to be THAT much info on the game out there right now.
People talk about Oblivion too much when in regards to SKYRIM – which makes me kick myself for not playing Oblivion first. I think the last sword and sorcery game that I played was Might & Magic: The Clouds of Xeen – I loved that game. You got a group of 5 characters – different classes and races – and you go adventuring. Then Might & Magic turned into a conquest strategy game – and I moved on with my game playing – playing mostly baseball games and Sims games – with casual Mario games mixed in.
That is until I watched my brother play Fallout 3 – then I decided I must own an XBOX 360 – and play THAT GAME!!! That story is amusing to me because when the Wii came out I told my brother I wanted to get an XBOX – and he was so into his Wii that he shot down that idea – brought up all these negative aspects of it (which I agreed with) – and took the wind out of my sails. I went to Australia on business – received a big payday out of all that travel time – and bought a Wii (based on my brother’s glowing reviews and the high fail rate on the XBOX). The Wii was fun – but when I told my brother about my purchase – he told me how much fun he was having with his XBOX – the system he kept convincing me NOT to get.
Well, my thumbs have still been sore due to all my button mashing games – and texting – so I think a weekend of no real gaming was important. Gotta recharge them thumbs. Of course this means in the 11 days that I’ve got left – I will probably fail my challenge – with only 2 games completed out of the 4.
The Saboteur came up a couple random places this weekend while I was goofing off on the intertubes – and my interest was elevated a bit into playing it again – but never got around to it.
Amazon and Target are having buy 2 get one free sales on really good selections of games – but I’ll hold strong in the belief that I will not get to enjoy them once SKYRIM comes out (plus as much as I want to spend it – I ain’t got the scratch). Still the temptation... The trials... 10 days!
Monday, October 31, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Remember when I said Franco likes to do medical oddity films? Well, I also should have mentioned that he likes to repeat the same themes – even plotlines of previous films. The Awful Dr. Orlof was remade by him as the film I reviewed for yesterday – Faceless. I wish I knew that before I went in – but I tend to hit the jackpot when I watch several Franco films in a row – they will end up being the exact same plots – Franco remaking Franco.
So, the Howard Vernon Dr. Orlof reference is no longer lost on me from Faceless.
The film was fairly fun – it had an old monster film feel to it – though I thought they spent too much time in the investigation than in the “horror” – so I was a little bored by the film. Morpho was a very disturbing monster – I quite liked the portrayal by Richardo Valle. The mask was a bit cheesy – but how he would walk, his posture and how he mouth words was actually fairly creepy.
Actually the entire cast was very good – though the roles were fairly standard. Vernon was a creepy Dr. Orlof – San Martin was a great straight up detective – Lorys was a steamy but sassy love interest with backbone.
I was a little taken aback when there were a few flashes of bare chests – I just wasn’t expecting that. It seemed as though this was a fairly mainstream horror film – like something along the lines of the Universal classics – so when Morpho grabs the girl and he rips her shirt off and we zoom in to see her boobs struggle – I was surprised. There wasn’t much of it – but maybe a full 15 seconds in the entire film – but like I said – I didn’t expect it.
I have a hard time with explaining this film – as it just felt like something was missing and I can’t really pinpoint it. Something with the story – it just felt stop & go with the plotlines – it just felt off. I kind of liked the movie – I kind of didn’t.
You can tell Franco was at the helm for the most part – but he was playing up as a sort of a classic monster movie director – so there wasn’t much exciting to talk about when it came to the style of direction.
The story was fairly coherent – though I would’ve liked more time with Orlof explaining his desire to reconstruct his daughter’s looks (and I’m not sure if I missed an explanation as to what happened to her). The direction was solid – the movie was kind of fun in that classic monster film sense – but was lacking – another take it or leave it Franco film for me.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
While having a night out on the town a disgruntled ex-patient confronts Dr. Flamand with a beaker of acid – missing him and dumping it on Flamand’s sister’s face. Flamand becomes dedicated to figuring out how to do a face transplant surgery in order to save his sister’s, Ingrid’s, beauty – by kidnapping and forcing donors.
There I go again with another long synopsis – sorry about that.
Everything was a bit too 80’s for my taste – especially since it’s a Jesus Franco film. It was apparent he’s got a budget – and a one really crappy 80’s synth pop song to play over and over. In a way it the 80’s is a great decade for Franco to do another medical oddity film – considering that seemed to one of his favorite genres – the 80’s you have the rise of excess and plastic surgery – it makes sense.
The problem with giving Franco a budget though is that some of his filmmaking charm gets lost – and with a budget also comes producers wanting to wrap things up before they go over budget – so not every little fun part Franco may have planned can be included.
The acting was fairly solid – I was pretty impressed and happy that everyone fit into place wonderfully. Helmut Berger was delightful and intense as Dr. Flamand – and his devious sexy assistant Natalie [played by Brigitte Lahaie] made for a great duo with solid on screen chemistry. Chris Mitchum was a slimy private eye – looking into one of the missing girls – not sure if the role really needed slime – but it worked.
There was a fun cameo – with Franco alums Howard Vernon as Dr. Orlof and Lina Romay as his wife. I’m thinking I might need to dig into my Orlof box-set that I picked up on the cheap – maybe this will be a Jess Franco Halloween? Who’s with me? Who knows what the hell I’m talking about? Yay!
The effects were pretty good – though it was obvious that Ingrid was tearing off latex from her face when the acid was thrown. The Nazi face transplant specialist tearing up the dummy head when the operation went bad was odd – and cheesy – but it was a solid effect. That’s one thing a budget will do for you – increase the realism/creepiness of the effects – which isn’t something that I’ve personally seen in a Franco medical oddity film.
The plotline was easy to follow – which was very nice. The pacing worked and the direction was solid. My only issue was that my copy just didn’t seem to work – every 20-minutes or so it would jump to the main menu – then I would have to fast forward through the chapter selection to get to where it left off and it would play fine for another 20-minutes.
It seemed like Franco wasn’t happy with the film – but said in the interview that with time he seemed to think “it’s not all bad” – and I’d agree. It’s all right – certainly watchable – not especially memorable.
This is my 400th published entry – thanks for reading & checking me out! I appreciate it!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
The middle part of the film was a bit of a mess – and I’m not really too sure what Caligostro was aiming at having the monster kidnap beautiful women. It sounded as though Caligostro wanted the women for himself as Melisa mentioned at one point – they were to be of such beauty and please him – but suddenly he was interested in creating his own woman monster to pair up with Frankenstein’s monster. The purpose was also very unclear – maybe he liked watching monster sex?
There was a VERY undeveloped sub-plot involving Lina Romay as Esmerelda – who heard evil voices – that mostly liked to repeat her name. She would ask some old lady what the voices were all about – but I’m not sure if this old woman knew she was in a movie – she looked very concerned that this young woman in thigh high boots and a frock kept putting her head in her lap.
It’s especially a muddled up mess when you are introduced to the zombies – which I thought were called Panthos. I later come to question if they were just zombies and Panthos was some kind of demon spirit they all worshiped. If Caligostro had an army of zombies – why did he need Dr. Frankenstein’s monster? They didn’t explain that. From what we saw of the zombies – it only looked like they were good at wandering through the woods with sheets wrapped around them – with their faces poking out - looking like ghosts that were afraid they would bump into stuff.
Melisa the bird vampire creature was kind of fun – but the tweeting sound effects she made when she stalked or feasted was (really) annoying. She was hot though! Vera Frankenstein was a misguided character – I thought she was all about bringing down Caligorstro – but she pretty much turned herself in – and submitted to his will. Caligostro himself was a master of having Melisa speak for him – even though he was not mute – but it gave him time to stare with his eyes very wide. The monster was actually pretty good – a big man covered in silver paint – there wasn’t much more needed.
Here’s the thing – if you go into a Jess Franco film thinking that you’ll understand everything that is happening right away – or be able to follow a simple plot line – you’re going to be disappointed. He seems to provide puzzle pieces at times – and expects you to take the leap with those pieces in order to complete his story. It’s not exactly a successful narrative style – but for people who enjoy his work – it’s fun.
The other thing fans of Franco’s work expect – is a bit (of a barrel full) of sleaze – and for some reason there were plenty of great opportunities for sleaze – but no sleaze! A woman is strapped down to a table – perfect opportunity for her to be buck naked. There was an artist model posing fully clothed – and it made me really wonder if a nude portrait would be more fun. There’s a woman who’s taking off her clothes – another fairly good opportunity for her to be shown in the buff – but she’s a modest undress-er on camera. It turns out that the Synapse release was some non-sleaze version – where all the sleaze was actually hiding in the ‘Alternate Footage’ section of the DVD – but it also shows all those scenes redone with nudity.
Overall – for a Franco film – it was more coherent than some and fairly fun. I wish my version had the sleaze in the film – which would have made it better. Also, if Lina Romay got a chance to do anything more than lay her head on an old woman’s lap and sit by a creek – it would’ve been even better. Yet, as it is – it’s okay – a take it or leave it Franco film.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The worst part of doing that was - as soon as I moved out over a decade ago my folks built a metal shelf in the middle of my closet – and blocked off all access to all my junk – so I’m going through stuff wondering where it all came from. There were plenty of great things in there that I could have passed down to my niece or my best-friend’s kids – that may go to Goodwill or Toys for Tots.
And the thousands of baseball cards... Some of which might actually be worth looking at – but most will probably end up in the recycle bin. I hope comic book shops buy comics in this area. All the adolescent song lyrics – so tragically bad!! My comic book novel I wrote and submitted to a publisher. I also found my anthology of comic strips that I drew – which I’m thinking of scanning – because they were actually quite silly.
~ Anyway – if you tuned in for the video game talk – here it is ~
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: Is fun yet frustrating – as most of the Lego games are. There are 6 characters – 5 of which are NPC (non-player characters) – and they are all trying to jump and land on a small platform at the same time – which knocks the player character off - which means you have to start from the previous platform – which means all the NPC characters jump back to the previous platform and knock the player character off... Or the NPC character will try to climb up the wrong side of a ladder – get stuck – and you have to restart the level because there’s no character reset feature – or you can’t get far enough away for the character to reset itself.
I didn’t play anything else – so I won’t talk anything else.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
A TV news anchor, Karen White, is investigating a series of gruesome murders – ends up so traumatized she is sent off to a relaxation camp – unfortunately for her – it’s not too relaxing.
The film really set a great atmosphere. Investigating a serial killer – the dark claustrophobic city – the way everyone was so intense about this crazed killer – the close-up shots. It was exciting.
Then we find ourselves whisked away to the “woods” or the “beach” or the “mountains” (I really could not tell) to a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest set of weirdos – and it became fairly comical. How anyone was expected to “relax” at that “resort” is beyond me. The psychiatrist’s relationship with Karen and the rest of her news team really confounded me – and it didn’t seem so weird in the beginning – but as the film went on and his relationship with his resort really made me question the legitimacy of his character within their world.
The film ended up boiling down to be an effect film (which were saved up for the end as they were either really cool or really cheesy) – but felt like kind of a horror comedy. When someone is turning into a werewolf in front of you – you don’t just hang out and watch – make your move and attack or run (wolfmen have nards remember). The bizarre nympho woman character was entertaining I guess. The most likable character was killed – which is always a bummer in a horror film.
So, I have a stack of 8 horror films waiting to be watched for the posts leading up to Halloween – some of the films I have seen previously but haven’t watched my copy of it – some of the films I bought blind. This was one of the movies I bought blind at the Goodwill – I figured that since it spawned a series sequels (some notoriously bad) – it might be worth a looksee. Unfortunately, it’s making me question watching these blind purchase horror films.
Friday, October 21, 2011
The acting was solid – the tired and lonely quality of the performance was not lost on me. Stephen Dorff was great – that was fairly surprising to me – not that I can recall something that he was in. The directing was a lot of just let the camera sit and let’s watch – so it felt very lazy – because not much happens – Sofia Coppola was smart to use that technique but considering not much happens – I wish one style would have changed – but that’s not what the movie was. The two scenes with the twin pole dancers were shot in an uncomfortable way. It felt like a letter from Sofia to her father or something along those lines about how she felt isolated as he was famous. Ultimately, I felt like this movie fell short of its potential and abandoned any narrative structure for a considerable more style over substance - and it was a frustrating film.
If you want to watch this movie and you are sensitive to SPOILERS – please look away.
By the end of the film – I was frustrated with it. They portray the main character as needing a direction – and when he gets his daughter for an extended period you start to think “this is that missing direction he needs” – but it’s not. He drops her off for camp – apologizes – and you expect that he’s going to correct his direction and make his life about his daughter. Yet, at the end of the movie he checks out of the hotel – abandons his car in the middle of the road out in the middle of nowhere and walks away – and gives a smirk to the camera. Thusly, abandoning his daughter at camp – and honestly – I don’t get it. The smirk is what gets me – I get the “fuck the world” kind of rebel attitude – but it just felt like it was misdirected and made an odd twist to what was expected.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
An accountant from Cleveland, Walter Blake, comes out west on promise of a job working for an eccentric tycoon – only to be turned away – and become an outlaw.
This was a great star studded dark comedy – which also made for a great western. Neil Young’s soundtrack was exceptional and made Blake’s journey more unnerving. Jim Jarmusch’s direction as interesting – he allowed for very static shots where nothing was happening while the distorted guitar would blare – and somehow it worked at being interesting as opposed to being annoying. Johnny Depp was off kilter as Blake – he had some great acting chops even back then - I wish he’d have gotten the credit and continued down that quirky road – instead of being Burton’s go-to puppet. I loved how this film could be left up to interpretation as to what was actually happening. I loved how it seemed like this film was kind of a commando production done in the back woods. It was most certainly dialogue driven in a better way than Tarantino’s films. I really loved the metaphysical change in Blake from an inept accountant to outlaw.
Overall – it was a great film – my presumption disparity may be off on this one – so the shock of being pleasantly surprised may tamper my long run view of the film – but I really liked it.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Shot after he lost his job on the Tonight Show through the planning of his tour and concluding before the beginning of his new show on TBS debuts.
Conan the human seemed unafraid of letting his feelings be known – and he was very bitter and angry at times. Even though he felt this way – he claimed he couldn’t stop himself from entertaining because he doesn’t know how – that entertaining was all he knew. For his emotional well-being it appeared taking a break would have been good for him though. His humor seemed more bitter and angry towards his wife, staff and friends. He claimed that it was all a part of who he was outside of the show – having a cutting sense of humor but ultimately being out of love – unfortunately that’s something we wouldn’t know.
Can’t Stop was an apt title – as throughout the documentary he didn’t have any downtime – but that was how he scheduled himself. He could have easily taken the summer off – and relaxed with his family – but instead he did 44 live shows – and personal appearances between at the Bonaroo music festival and at his 25th Harvard anniversary – not to take into account all the meet & greets he would do (insisting it would be impossible for you to request an autograph from him and not get it). You could look at it as an “I’m down but I’m not out” attitude – or a subconscious need for attention.
The documentary was mostly upbeat – it did a fair job of portraying Conan in the moments that he wasn’t on television in the light in which he was. I’m not sure if it attempted to go for an overall positive light – or if it seemed he was simply a more upbeat person – with times of sadness.
The story of what happened at NBC between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien is an interesting one. Fearful of losing both stars – NBC made some really poor decisions – and the only real loser in this situation was Conan. He paid his dues – put on his own silly and popular show in hopes of one day obtaining the coveted Tonight Show gig – unfortunately NBC didn’t take into account how his style of humor didn’t really fit the branding of the Tonight Show – thus probably shouldn’t have lead him on.
He’s become a kind of pop culture folk hero – an underdog.
I have watched Conan since he premiered – I wasn’t always a regular viewer – but ever since his new TBS show started I have been DVR’ing it and watching it the next day after work. Some of his humor is great and it helps cut my post-work funk – some of it is lame – but he’s got a good energy to him – and I appreciate the fact that he’s willing to point out if a bit went bad. I really liked seeing him in a different light in this documentary.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I’ll start off by saying – it’s really quite nice to have some sort of goal to reach toward in my recreational life. Having a movie watching goal isn’t as exciting as it’s more of a passive experience – so playing video games – though popularly called a “slacker activity” – makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something.
Batman Arkham Asylum: The game has been defeated! Hooray! The boss battles were a disappointment – but the gameplay was fun throughout. I followed along with an online guide – and times they were saying I was walking into a really tough part – I found those parts not so tough (easy setting might have had something to do with that). It was fun – worth the time invested.
With the sequel to this game coming out TODAY – I really really want to run out and buy it (for those interested there are many incentives to do so – Wal-Mart is giving away a copy of the first game with the purchase of the second – Kmart is giving out a $30 game credit if you sign up for their free reward program).
I know if I do purchase the sequel now – I won’t beat it and by the time SKYRIM comes out I will forget it. So, it will wait. It will wait until it drops down in price.
Mass Effect 2: Now, I remember the other reason why I did not complete this game. Once I was done playing Red Dead Redemption – I came back to ME2 looking to reconnect with the controls – unfortunately I was at a point where all the missions were completed.
So, I went from system to system looking for mini-missions – and couldn’t find any – and essentially became “space mining” the game - so I got bored and played something else. Same story on Sunday – I was starting to fall asleep playing the game. So, I really have no choice but to start the “suicide mission” and die a few times trying to get the hang of all the special powers and guns and such.
The Saboteur: Still sitting at 47% completion – ME2 should only take a short play session to beat (unless I can’t master the controls) – and I’ll get back to beating the snot out of Nazi’s again.
- - -
At this very moment – I am HALF done with my “challenge” with about 25 days left until SKYRIM – I’m betting this gets done easily. UNLESS, I somehow purchase another game... Like Lego Pirates of the Caribbean if it should happen to be $15 on Gamefly (used) this past weekend.
This was my compromise with myself – I kept obsessively thinking about getting the new Batman game and I saw this sale on Gamefly – and jumped (first time I’ve seen it for less than $20) – and now I keep telling myself I spent my video game money for the month (so I can’t buy Batman). It depends on when I get the game – whether I add it to the challenge – but this could be my no-brainer game that I resort to when I’m neck deep in SKYRIM.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
I always felt that if it was appropriate that Batman wear his underwear on the outside of this costume - the same should be done with a villain... Or villainess to be exact... (this game is fun - I'm actually heavily considering getting the sequel on Tuesday - even if I'm behind in game playing)
Friday, October 14, 2011
This is an actor’s piece – filled with lots of talking and facial expressions for all the wonderful actors to display how well they can flex. Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei, Paul Giamatti, Phillip Seymor Hoffman all jump in with George Clooney (who acts & directs) and make faces at each other and say stuff that makes you think they are saying important stuff – so you better pay attention.
I liked the movie – but you know when you want to see a movie – and you go to the theater and your phone told you the wrong time? So, you pick something else that you kind of want to see – when you have yourself hyped up for something else? Well, I went to see Moneyball and get lunch at the local brew & view – my phone said it started at 1PM – but it really started at 2PM – and I had already killed time waiting until 1PM – and I was really hungry for a burger and some waffle fries. So, I watched The Ides of March – and I could tell you everything you want to know about it – but I just can’t review it.
It’s about loyalty – and dirty politics – and how shitty life is. It’s good – really good – compelling – it felt like a 2 hour movie but it wasn’t – usually a mark that lots is happening and you are engrossed – and I was certainly grossed in. Great pacing. Good directing. Great performances. You should watch it if you like political thrillers and/or the actors involved.
It made me feel icky. It made me feel like I needed a shower. It did its job. Really good – seriously I’m not making fun of it – I’m just having a rough go of it lately – so let me have this one.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I had fond remembrances of this film – it’s good – not great – not sure how people could really say that it is better than SEVEN SAMURAI with a straight face. It’s a cute film – but it’s just too Hollywood’ed up. This viewing what I really took away from it was how great a performance Eli Wallach put into this film – how Robert Vaughn’s character is the most interesting and complex of the Seven – and how skivvy Steve McQueen’s character made me feel. I mean, did he really long for the simple life? Or did he just want to rape some women? I felt he was far too aggressive with the women and the town folk had every reason to hide them away. And I still want to samurai sword chop that “kid” and his romance story.
Anyway – this was a really great looking blu-ray conversion. Everything was crisp and clear and nice – up until there was a fade out scene – then things got really muddy. This being a Hollywood western – there were many fade-outs – but I wouldn’t know how you’d fix something like that. I saw only a few small scenes where the full picture wasn’t as crisp as you’d hope – but the blacks were black and not grainy. If I loved the film – I would get the blu-ray of it.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Honestly, this was a great movie. Much better than I had hoped - but my presumption disparity was geared toward expecting a lower brow stoner comedy – with “heart”. Mainly due to the fact that Seth Rogen was involved – I find him amusing at times – and much (much) less than amusing at other times.
Happily, the film remained in the correct tone throughout – it had its ups – it had its downs – and the performances remained strong. Not once did I feel like it betrayed the topic and tried to make it all a big laugh. The film generated laughs organically – from the story and from the characters – not from gags. The only thing crude and/or low-brow was some of the language – but who the fuck cares anymore?
The film kept up a good pace – allowing us to dwell in some of the down times for just long enough as to not be depressing – but to get a solid feelings across. I’ve seen a lot of great performances on the big screen this summer as I’ve been picky with what I’m paying to see these days – and Joseph Gordon-Levitt gave a powerhouse performance. That scene of sudden intense fear before surgery was subtle and beautiful – that scene will stick with me. I expect Levitt and Angelica Houston to both get a lot of much deserved Oscar buzz.
The film was written by Will Reiser based on his experience with having cancer – so the truths explored in the film were rooted in reality – and all that makes it all the more hopeful of a film. It’s a great screenplay – something I would like to read – time to do some research.
I don’t know if it’s too early for me to say this – as it’s still all too fresh – but it’s certainly the frontrunner for my movie of the year.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I don’t want to say that I’ve failed my video game challenge – maybe I just over estimated my skills as a gamer. Not to say I was thinking I was anything better than a novice but it turns out that Crysis 2 is beyond my skill level even at its lowest difficulty.
When I think about getting a first person shooter – I will look at gameplay videos before I take a dive into one. I find those really popular war games to be too detailed – meaning I can barely tell the difference between the enemy and the background – so I spend my time shooting at falling leaves while these crack shots are pounding me repeatedly. The first level – which is basically a tutorial – I died 10 times or something insane – against the easiest of foes.
So, unless I find an invincibility cheat – I won’t be able to beat this game by November 11th.
I’m going to have to adjust my challenge.
Fallout: New Vegas: Still beaten – but it is funny how there was a Bethesda sale over the weekend and I could have picked up two of the expansions for the price of one. I passed though.
Crysis 2: You win. I lose.
The Saboteur: Still sitting at 47% complete – I will get to you later.
Batman Arkham Asylum: I loaded up Batman again this weekend and saw that I was 19% of the way through – and said “bullshit” – started looking up info on the interweb – and I was 12 chapters into the 16 chapter game as one gamer put it. I guess the game is counting all the Riddler challenges and secret-secrets that I either couldn’t get to or didn’t go for.
After a few thumb injuring sessions this weekend – I’m hunting down the Poison Ivy with the antidote for the crazy juice the Joker gave her. Then from my understanding it’s on to beat up on the Joker.
Mass Effect 2: If it wasn’t for Red Dead Redemption – I would have beaten ME2 a while ago because I was almost done with it by the time RDR took over my XBOX. I have my crew’s loyalty – I’ve got my ship upgraded – the portal thingy is ready to go – and all I needed to do was to make the jump through the portal and I was on the very last level.
So, I’m adding 2 games to replace Crysis 2 – so the challenge has been upgraded to beating 4 games before SKYRIM comes out on November 11th (one month from this post). I’m fairly certain I will get 3 out of 4 of them done – and if I don’t get one done it will probably be The Saboteur.
As a side note – I played some Lego Star Wars III – and got that up to 100% completion – which I won’t count towards my challenge – but it is pretty neat.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
I’m sorry – I’m sick of this Journalism 101 painting the scene of whatever. Sick of hearing some bullshit that has nothing to do with what people are writing about – I don’t care about your physical experience with whatever happens before – tell me the actual experience of it all.
Upon meeting my hero for the first time – I cut my toe nails in the shape of his name – shave my forearms – ate a 12 lb turkey and basted my crotch with garlic sauce. My hero came striding confidently into the room while eating what appeared to be an elderly man’s shoe. He sat down and started complaining that the chair was not rust colored like he requested – and began to belch big gassy burps that had the faint smell of vanilla and elm trees all while he checked his belly button for lost Smarties Candies.
As much as I painted an interesting picture for you – you’ll never really know what the physical experience was actually – the reader is not there. I am guilty of it – I’m sure – but I try to steer away from it at a crutch.
I’m just raging on because I’m reading too much lately – I need to start watching more stuff – reading is stupid.