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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dec 10th 2009, Week relating to 12/1 – 12/7

Movies Seen: *First Time Viewed
Jackie Chan’s First Strike*
Jackie Brown*
When Harry Met Sally
Clash of the Titans*
Jesus Camp*

I swear I did not intend to see 2 movies with the word Jackie back to back on purpose. It just happened that way.

Jackie Chan’s First Strike:
I sat down on a lovely evening with Kempo and Aaron to watch a VHS copy of this movie. Have you heard of VHS? It’s on these tape things and it doesn’t have any menus and the picture quality is kind of crappy, but they work in a pinch. This movie had some really funny dubbing in it, which is just a standard for old Jackie Chan movies I suppose. The action was all over the place. I mean ALL OVER. From the snow, to the beach, to underwater, aye ya! I think the underwater fighting was probably my favorite part just because it was so out there. Although I don’t like sharks…. By the way, if you wanted to see Jackie Chan’s butt, this is the movie.

Jackie Brown:
After having watched this movie, I can see why some people like it least out of Tarantino’s films. It is almost completely different then his other movies. There is very little action, the dialogue is of a different sort than other Tarantino flicks, and it’s shot in sequence (that was a joke). I still liked this one a lot. It’s a really great story with lots of tension and great cinematography. It has some of the best acting I have seen in any Tarantino movie. The music is so GOOD. I need to buy this movie already. It wasn’t what I expected because from what I have seen of blaxploitation movies, I thought it would be something laughable the entire way through. I guess I need to go watch some more movies. What a shame for me.

When Harry Met Sally:
This is a movie Sarah loves that she introduced to me a few years ago, that I also love now. It’s what every romantic comedy probably strives to be. Smart, funny, relatable, and smart. Did I mention smart? Billy Crystal represents a REAL guy in this movie. We like sports (by “we” I mean a typical guy, the only sport I like is baseball), we have our guy friends we trust completely, and we can be just as emotional and broken as women are typically portrayed in romcoms. I love that Billy Crystal isn’t typically handsome because it makes the whole thing seem more real. Plus I think he’s a great actor. I cannot speak for how Meg Ryan represents the woman’s view point, but she is also great in the movie. It wouldn’t have been the same with a different actress (well, duh). I will say that she doesn’t represent a weak female POV in the movie. It’s a really good movie, you should watch it if you haven’t.

Clash of the Titans:
I have started listening to a new podcast called the Film Sack, in which every week they watch a movie that can be viewed streaming off of Netflix. Having never seen Clash of the Titans, I thought it couldn’t hurt to take a look. I am so glad I did because I honestly loved it. It isn’t like any movie I have really seen before, and I was really impressed with the acting and the stop animation within it. I thought I would hate it for sure. I really like how the Gods in the movie were a bunch of petty arsewipes and were always doing things behind each other’s backs. Clash has some very good action scenes, most famous is probably the Medusa fight, which actually had me laughing but I still thought it was pretty cool. Why does Perseus just kind of toss his shield away? He could have used it later! The creatures were all very cool looking, and I don’t just mean for their time. I think a lot of thought must have gone into the animation. I even liked the mechanical owl. I want to get this movie and watch it with my nephews and nieces so they can make fun of me for liking it. I don’t care if they do, because someday they’ll look back and say “Joel made us watch some weird movies.”

Jesus Camp:
I never want to watch this movie again. That sounds really harsh, but the whole time I sat through this movie in class, I was cringing and probably making little sounds of pain. Its not because it’s a bad movie, in no way would I say that. One sided sure, but what documentary isn’t. It’s because I wanted to reach into the film and shake those people. I wanted them to stop lying to their children and make them wake the hell up. They use scare tactics to make these children believe that they MUST be the only way, the truth. The movie is not a commentary on religion as a whole; they only focus on one branch of Christianity, one church group specifically. Even now, I don’t like to think about the movie. I don’t know if I can recommend it because it made me feel this way.

Now, one may be wondering why it took me so long to complete this week that I started so long ago. I figured out something key for myself in the future; I was stuck on writing up something about the movie Miss Congeniality and thought I was just having a sort of writer’s block. Several weeks later of typing a sentence and then quitting I finally figured out what I was doing wrong. I had not REALLY watched the movie. I simply had it on in the background while I did other things. So I didn’t have a clear picture in my head about what I wanted to say about the movie. So the lesson is that I should only write up something on movies that had my full attention. Or at least 75 percent of it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dec 7th 2009, Week Relating to 11/24 – 11/30

Movies Seen: *First Time Viewed
The Fantastic Mr. Fox*
Hot Fuzz

As you can see, I finally took somewhat of a break. It wasn’t really an active choice, Thanksgiving got in the way. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving (Thank you Sarah and family!) and I hope everyone else did too. Enough guff, gimme some movies.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox:
I appreciate the effort that is put into stop-animation. Years of tireless work for a couple hours of film, it’s pretty crazy when you think about it. But I suppose a lot of things in life are like that. The Fantastic Mr. Fox did not look good not me. The trailer made the dialog seem underwhelming, the movements seemed stilted, I expected garbage. I would have sworn up and down that Wes Anderson and animation of any sort just did not go together. I was wrong. Why am I wrong about these things so often? Maybe it just seems that way. The adaptation of the Fantastic Mr. Fox presented here is itself, fantastic. So many excellent sight gags. So many goofy moments and funny lines of dialog. This is a movie I want to show my kids some day. It was full of adventure and quite a few moments where you could actually relate with these anthropomorphic characters. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the animation, despite my worries. What I had taken for stilted action was one part in the movie that was stylized and ended up looking (being) really cool. I think by the end my face hurt from grinning so much. Even if you hate Wes Anderson movies (The Royal Tenenbaums, Bottle Rocket) you should treat yourself to this movie, because it was great.

Having just seen the sequel to this the previous week and having quite enjoyed New Moon, I decided I owed it to myself to see the first movie. Plus, Sarah dropped a lot of cash to get the DVD, as Black Friday had just come and gone and the cheaper versions of the movie were nowhere to be found. I didn’t like this one as much as the second. It really came off as a long car commercial. I don’t know if the rest of you noticed that, but they take as many opportunities as possible to pull that brand new car that Edward drives around in front the camera as possible. The movie also seemed slower paced to me, which I’m sure people can argue otherwise with. And despite being slower paced, it also feels now like it was over really fast. How does that work you ask? I don’t know. I’m insane. They had less of a budget then the new one, so they get away with the lack of special effects. The scene near the end where the bad vampire gets killed was really funny. Sorry, spoilers I guess. I still want to see the next movie. I’ll bet it’ll have even more action in it. OOOOOOOOO

She’s got a GREAT ASS! Favorite line, hands down. This movie has been hyped and hyped and hyped to me over the years. So many times someone has said my least favorite exclamation in reference to this movie (YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT????). So Sarah and me sat down one cold winter’s evening and popped this into the player. 3 hours of Michael Mann. 3 hours of Val Kilmer breathing through his mouth. 3 hours of Al Pacino exclaiming things. I am sorry, but the movie didn’t do it for me. The gun fight outside the bank did not do it for me. The conversation between Pacino and Deniro did not do it for me. I was sorely disappointed. So many people really loved this movie. I liked a lot of the acting, both Deniro and Pacino are great. I don’t like that Kilmer only had a few lines the entire movie. And why do people always have to kill Danny Trejo? What did he do to you? I don’t think his death toll is as bad as Sean Bean’s, but still. The whole shoot out after the bank seen just did not seem realistic to me. The LAPD just has automatic weapons that they fire into crowded roadways? I don’t know. I should watch it again, I feel bad for not liking it. Movie guilt, sheesh…

Hot Fuzz:
I did not realize that we were going to be watching this in my film class when I watched it the week before. It’s worth a double viewing anyways, it’s a great movie. Our teacher pointed out to us how it casually pokes fun at the homosexual relationship most action-buddy flicks contain within their main plot lines. I cannot believe I didn’t notice before (that is, did not notice it making fun of the other movies for doing this). I have never seen Point Break, but if the gun was to symbolize Keanu Reeves penis, and he fires it up in the air instead of at Patrick Swayze… well that’s just playing with himself isn’t it?

And that is that for me. I wish I had something wise to say. Hmmm, I want Inglorious Bastards on DVD for Christmas! Oh, that’s not wisdom. Peace out.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nov 24th 2008. Week Relating to 11/17 – 11/23

Movies Seen: *First Time Viewed
Hot Fuzz*
Annie Hall*
The Twilight Saga: New Moon*
This is Spinal Tap*

This was a week of movies I “had to see”. You know, the kind of films where people’s jaws drop as they exclaim “You haven’t seen ??? (insert movie here)”. With the exception of Twilight that is. That was my gentlemanly duty, escorting my girlfriend to her chick flick. I did some pushups before hand, I like to work out, I’m a real man. Then I watched some football. Yeah, that’s me all over. Just because I cried during some of the sensitive parts doesn’t make me less of a man. In fact, I’m pretty sure those were man tears. I think I heard them sexually harassing someone as they slid down my cheeks.

Hot Fuzz:
Bloody brilliant. I am a fan of Simon Pegg. I am a fan of Shaun of the Dead. But this movie, I just did not expect it to be so freaking GOOD! It was funny and fascinating. I can’t believe how many times I was laughing out loud while watching this. Damn you Aaron! Stop introducing me to such good stuff! Next thing you know I’ll be getting a Hellboy tattoo. Anyway, the movie. From the previews I thought this would be a lot of action in stupid ways straight off. But the movie starts by introducing you to the main character, and from there it starts a very steady progression of story. It is never boring, but quirky in a British humor kind of way. I just cannot say how much I enjoyed this film. It’s on par with my love for the movie Snatch, and if you know me, you know I love me that movie (you thought I was going to say something dirty didn’t you?).

Annie Hall:
I don’t know if you know this, but Woody Allen writes some funny stuff. And acts it out. And directs it. He’s good, I’ll leave it at that. I find myself at a blank when trying to describe this movie. I would hate to under represent it, because it means a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s referenced in a hundred other movies and countless other media forms. This is what I am going to say as my initial estimation (having only seen it the once): It was a very funny comedy. It has a lot of camera shots that, as far as I know, were unusual for a comedy. And that’s why I’m getting my blank, it’s not just a comedy. Annie Hall seems really important. I can see myself going back to it every few months to see those conventions again that I have and will see repeated in tons of other movies. Does that make any sense? Sorry if I’m being totally confusing.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon:
Let’s get this out of the way: I have not seen that first movie. Why would I want to watch a movie about sparkly emo vampires? I stand by that, as there was at least one extremely emo vampire in this movie. But God help me, I enjoyed New Moon. There were some boring parts, like when they show a progression of time by spinning around Bella sitting in a chair (frankly, I got a little ill), but I found it really interesting most of the time. I love stories (yes, in general). My favorite section of the movie, and the part that will get me to watch other movies in the series, are the last 30 minutes or so. They introduce a set of characters that I found fascinating right away. There is a lot of action in New Moon, and I liked the way the effects were done, although the slowing down-speeding up thing may have been overdone. There was really only one part that REALLY bugged me. I’m not going to spoil anything. These wolves are fighting, and they rush into the forest, and knock over the camera. What was the point of that? I can understand going for realism, especially when the wolves are nothing but CGI, but to knock over the camera was to take me out of the story world. To indicate that, yes, this is a movie and being filmed. If it had happened on set, that’s one thing, but like I said, these weren’t real creatures, so I doubt that. So what’s up with that? Bad move I say.

3rd time I have seen this movie. I am officially all about it. This time around I really paid attention to the sound. Each character in the movie has their own music. It is really fascinating to me how much thought went into this movie. I saw the correlation between the bright/faded real world and the neon/dark other world. I noticed the way that in the real world Coraline herself is the only one with any bright colors. I recognized how the sewing theme and the spider go together so naturally. I cannot believe I did not notice before! And finally the voice acting, which is done so well. I just looked it up on IMDB and I was pleased to note that both Keith David ( and Ian McShane ( do voices in the movie. I had NO idea it was them. Pleased as punch, that’s me. I have to say that the first time I watched Coraline I was not wowed at all. I don’t know what that says other then I am seeing that you can’t really start to “get” a movie until you have seen it a few times. Maybe I owe Buffalo ’66 another run through…

This is Spinal Tap:
Mockumentaries… Christopher Guess movies on a whole… not really my bag. They consist of extremely dry humor. The kind of stuff you barely have time to chuckle at before they throw more at you. I think I’m smart (I cannot suppress my ego enough to think otherwise), but I need more time to process stuff. MORE TIME! Even so, This is Spinal Tap was really funny. I was amazed to find I liked the music being played, and it was hilarious. Part of the reason it was so funny was that I thought it wouldn’t at all be farfetched if a rock band would write lyrics like they had in the movie. And it is really good music. Great guitars, great singing. For some reason I thought the movie would be more raunchy. Cucumbers in tin foil aside it didn’t really push that envelope. I advise anyone who likes Flight of the Conchords or the Office to watch this movie, because I think you will get a kick out of it. I wish I had more to say. Sigh.

I love movies. Keep them coming. I feel like I am starting to get a hold on the big picture, even if it’s only a few threads at a time. If you have any recommendations for me that I haven’t watched, please let me know. I started a Twitter account, but I have no idea how to use it, so bollocks to that. Cheerio and happy movie watching to all!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nov 17th 2009. Week relating to 11/10 – 11/16.

Movies Seen: *First Time Viewed
Way of the Gun*
Hunt for the Red October*
Interview with the Vampire
The Big Lebowski
Coco avant Chanel*
Il Postino*

Some kind of magical week took place, it is apparent to me upon reflection, in this, my boring unemployed life. I saw 1 new movie I will love from now on, 1 movie I have seen many times, but for the first time ON THE BIG SCREEEEEEEN(!) and one movie, that somehow unexplainably had me thinking about it days after seeing it, wondering WHY I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. To proceed is an estimation of my tiny brain’s thoughts on said movies, plus free peanuts! What’s that? Oh, I ate all the peanuts. Sucks to be you.

Way of the Gun:
This wicked vehicle of destruction. My brain was wrapped around this flick in a desperate attempt to find its flaws and see why they made me so sore. Translation: What a weird movie. I mean, it was trying really hard to be a cool gangster/confidence/dialogue heavy feature, where men are men, and the rich get what they deserve, or something like that. This movie merits at least one more watch through, so I can just… TEAR IT APART. My initial reaction was I did not like it, and I stand by this feeling. I don’t like that through the course of the movie we hardly got to know the characters at all. I don’t like how it tried to make all these despicable people interesting. There was nothing to invest in. EXCEPT: James Caan. This is the first flick I have seen where I was wowed by the man. He plays a smart and scary old school bag man. And not bag man hobo, bag man gangster. Way of the Gun (heh heh, I typed Gum instead of Gun) was a story about an EFFED up situation. The violence was shallow, the plot confusing, and the characters just under developed. I can’t recommend it, unless someone wants to sit down with me and explain it better then my pal Will did. No offense Will.

Hunt for the Red October:
After a few days consideration, I have decided I can’t give this movie a fair assessment. I was watching a TV version of the movie with commercial interruptions, and was on my phone most of the time. I like Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, and Sam Neill, so I’m pretty sure this movie deserves an actual close look.

Interview with the Vampire:
Another TV version of a movie, but one I have seen a few times before. I love Tom Cruise in this movie. I really think it’s like no other role I have ever seen him in. Compared to Tom, Brad Pitt was blah in this movie. I’ve read the book, and I really liked it, probably more than the movie. The flick has its charms though. Its shot really well, has good acting all around. I wish that they had continued to adapt the books this well, but as we all know, Queen of the Damned. I haven’t ever seen it myself and I don’t want to. Sarah one time gave me a hilarious description of the movie after I had just finished the book, and based on that it sounds like I would simultaneously be throwing up and laughing if I watched it. Kudos to anyone who stomached it, you are braver than I.

The Big Lebowski:
What can I possibly say about a movie so perfect? So finely crafted it brought tears to my eyes seeing it on the big screen? What an experience. This movie is amazing any time you watch it, but having seeing it in the theatre now I don’t want it any other way. Not to say I won’t watch it on tv again. I will sit there, enjoy every moment of it, but inside of me will be an almost silent voice saying over and over “Its not the same.” Let me see, if you haven’t seen the Big Lebowski, and you are friend of mine, strike one. We need to alleviate this ASAP. Call in sick to work, pull the fire alarm at school, shoot you children with the tranqs! Its time to take a break, whip up a couple white Russians, and lay down on your favorite rug. You know, the one that really ties the room together. Then we will talk.

Coco Avant Chanel:
Ah, le French. I like more and more French movies. I wonder what other countries I should be inspecting when it comes to film? I always hear German this and German that in film class. Somehow, I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. Anyway, Coco. This movie was ruined for me I think, because I had already seen the Lifetime version of Coco Chanel’s life story. I thought that the tv version wasn’t too bad, considering it was a Lifetime movie. I like Audrey Tatou, so I thought I would really like Coco Avant Chanel, but it didn’t work out. I think it was just too slow for my liking. It was 2 hours long, but it felt longer. The acting was superb though. And Coco Chanel had a pretty interesting life, making an interesting story to tell. I can understand why people are inspired by her. So, I just want to put this to rest by saying I liked the movie and am glad I saw it, but I don’t think I’d watch it again. Sarah is going to break up with me for that one. She loves Coco Chanel.
As a side note, I need to learn French. I am tired of subtitles.

Il Postino:
And I suppose I should learn Italian while I am at it. This movie, THIS MOVIE, is so freaking charming. Yeah, freaking and charming in the same sentence, get over it. Based on the movie poster alone, I thought this movie would be about some suave postal worker who seduces the pants off the ladies. Actually, it’s about a buffoon. A buffoon and a world famous poet. It’s a really lovely story and it is really well acted. I can understand why it got so many awards. I think if I had seen this dubbed, instead of with subtitles, I would have wanted to kill the main character because he is just really pathetic most of the time. But for some reason, in Italian, he becomes endearing. You cannot help but love him, and feel for him in his circumstance. He lives in this tiny village and if you don’t become a fisherman, there is really nothing else to do. Kind of like Fillmore… except no fishermen here. It was a really good movie, I recommend it highly. I want a copy of it so I can watch it again now!

Now that I am done with this, I demand a frosty chocolate milk shake. Or a nap. Or both.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nov 11th 2009. Week relating to 11/3 – 11/9.

Movies Seen: *First time viewing
Simply Irresistible
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day*
Sex and the City: The Movie
Prête-moi ta main*

My brain currently feels what I imagine a fried egg must feel like, and I cannot tell you why. Perhaps I need caffeine, but I’d rather not be jittery AND have a fried brain. I read somewhere that fatty foods make you dumber. In that case I should be a Neanderthal by next year! I want some damn vegatables…

Simply Irresistible:
Don’t give me that look. We all have our guilty pleasures, and this one happens to be MINE (Strokes his orange lantern ring sinisterly). Whenever I watch this movie, I am guaranteed to get that tingly feeling up my spine into the back of my neck, at least 3 times. I mean the good tingly. The kind you get when you are making out with someone you are passionate about. I don’t know why the movie does that to me. It’s a really bad movie. Lame plot, bad music, token black guy. And by token, I mean at one point in the movie the guy says, and I quote: “Somethin’ wiggies goin’ on.” A lot of misspells in that statement according to Word. I like this movie for no good reason except it gives me that feeling. And I’m secretly a romantic. Yeah… that’s it.

You haven’t seen Fargo? Are you tired of this statement and ready to punch the next person who says it right in the nipple? Then allow me to recommend that you stop procrastinating and just go rent the movie. It’s a little bit violent, but really funny. And beautiful. They did such a good job casting everyone who was in this. I really respect Frances McDormand’s work. Having seen Burn After Reading before this one, I didn’t think too much of her. But that whole movie had problems really. She plays someone so unlikeable In Burn, and in Fargo, you love her to pieces. It’s pretty amazing. I could go on about this movie, but something tells me you all know it right? I’m the one who has been in the dark till now. In the dark, counting my gold. GOOOOLLLLLDDDDD!

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day:
Let’s see… if I recall, I really enjoyed The Boondock Saints. Or was a raving like a lunatic about how good the first movie is? Yeah, that’s what it was. When I saw the first ad for this movie (a banner ad of all things), I immediately felt dread cloud my soul. Why would they make a sequel to a movie so perfect? We’re people screaming for more? I don’t blame them if they were, I just know that sequels have a habit of sullying the name of a good movie. I could not resist seeing this, despite my fears. The movie was done by the same writer and director. It has most of the same people in it. These two things seem crucial, CRUCIAL, in the making of a successful sequel. All and all, the movie was not that bad. I don’t feel like it was a true part 2, as so much more of a tribute to the first movie. It’s not as funny as I hoped it would be, and compared to the first movie, the action left me wanting. But really, they didn’t screw it up, and that’s about all I really hoped for. Julie Benz plays the FBI agent in this movie, and they try really hard to make her sexy. She just does not do it for me. This is no reflection on her acting, which was fine and dandy, but she isn’t a knockout like they tried to make her. I don’t want to tell you too much of what goes on. The boys get into some antics, the mobsters are running scared, the bartender curses because he has Tourette’s. Listen, if you liked the first movie, rent this one when it comes out. It deserves a fair chance.

As I type this, I am watching this movie for the second time. I have it paused, so I really am watching it, alright? Get off my back. I will give you the summary of this movie straight out. It’s a film noir detective story, but taking place at a high school/suburbia setting. The main character is played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, who does an amazing job of somehow combining nerd and hard as nails detective. I hate that every time I see that guy I think “Third Rock from the Sun”… He’s a really good actor. So Brick was quite a mind bender for me. They speak really fast, in a very stylized form. Perhaps if I was more familiar with older detective movie I would have understood more the first time around. I really like that stylized speaking though. It adds such a unique flavor to movies and books. The movie is sometimes hard to follow, but it is cinematically beautiful. I mean, really amazing. There is one scene I really love, where some dude attacks Levitt’s character with a knife, which then turns into a really strange and fascinating chase scene. The Foley artists earned their pay checks in that scene for sure. If you haven’t seen the movie, please rent it and tell me how I don’t know crap about movies if you are so motivated. I loved it. I want to say so much about this movie but I am having a really hard time. Words… not… work!

Sex and the City: The Movie:
Please get that theme song out of my head. That delightful piano jingle just does not suit me. So, you’ll notice I did not indicate that this was my first time watching this movie. I saw it in the theatre with Sarah. I was in a sea of women, one of the only guys. It was really strange, and given the motivation I could make it into an epic tale. That’s all I remember about that though. My therapist can tell you more. I like Sex and the City. I have watched the entire HBO series with Sarah, and it is usually very funny. All except the puns. Puns are the devil. Watching this movie was a way for me to unwind my head from all the heavier material I had been watching recently. It’s actually a good movie, if you like the show. It’s like a much longer episode. And it drags sometimes, sure, but what can you really expect I guess. For people making a movie to keep it entertaining the whole time? HA! By the way, if you are wondering, I am probably a Miranda.

Prête-moi ta main:
Translation of the title on the film: The Faux Wedding. The American title: How to Get Married and Stay Single. Let’s just stick with the French shall we? Sarah’s Netflix seems to be an endless source of wonder, and occasional crap (don’t get mad at me!). This was a really good romantic comedy. Or was it…??? See, my thinking is, that mayhap I would not have liked this as much if it had been an exact copy of said movie but done in English by Americans. Am I a snob? Well, yes, but I don’t think I’m a foreign film snob. Prête-moi ta main is about a 40 year old man who is nagged by his sisters and mother into finding a woman (or man) to finally settle down with. He meets some woman, some how, and together they try to pull a fast one. Simple right? It doesn’t pull any fancy tricks or twists and turns, you pretty much know where it’s going the whole time, but it’s still really good. Really funny. Mush funnier than a lot of the horse crap Hollywood puts out. You haven’t ever heard about it, I know, but I tell you, the movie is worth a try. Someone get me a God damn coffee please.

I feel like this entry leaves a lot wanting, and I apologize in advance if anyone agrees with me. I am feeling very burnt out, I may need to take it easy for a week. Next week’s entry, not that week.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nov 2nd 2009. Week relating to 10/27 – 11/2

Movies Seen: *First Time Viewing
The Brothers Bloom*
The Mexican
The Boondock Saints
Shadow of a Doubt*

What a week. Finished the play I was in. Both depressing and a relief. I really enjoy acting and working with others in the stage. Then when I tried to go to class to go see Memento the following Monday, I sort of lost my mind. I felt all this pressure suddenly build up about the things I want to be, what I want to do, everything that is expected of me. So, no class for me that day. No outside world if I could help it. Everything’s better now. I have realized that the world will not come crashing down if I don’t meet every goal I set for myself. Nice and easy, one step at a time. So what if I’m almost 30 and haven’t any children…. Oh God it’s coming back!

See where my priorities are?

The Brothers Bloom:
Wow. Wow wow wow. This movie was an awesome combination between a quirky Wes Anderson comedy and a Con movie (I like to call them confidence films.). It’s not Wes Anderson by the way, it’s Rian Johnson. The movie has a lot of things going on visually, stylistically visual, BLAH! I cannot describe what I mean. It looked great, there, I said it. It was FUNNY. Really funny. Had me laughing out loud and smiling wickedly and embarrassing Sarah in her own house, which admittedly is not that hard for me to do. Will Christmas, you and I love our Heist/Con/Confidence movies. You’ll love this one man, check it out. Or maybe you’ll hate it. Crap! Am I over selling this? It is a really good movie. It stars Mark Ruffalo and Adrian Brody and Rachel Weisz. If you like any of those actors you should see it. Fer reals.

So, now I finally know which Schwarzenegger movie people are quoting when they yell at me to “GET TO THE CHOPPA!” I simply assumed this came from all his movies. I’m joking, I’ve seen lots of Arnie’s movies. The man has quotable lines from everything. I’ll bet someone is quoting Jingle All the Way right now. Oh Sinbad, you rascal. Anyway. Predator. The movie seemed really, REALLY lame for the first half. I’m not a fan of armys of supreme bad asses going into a village to slaughter the natives, terrorists or what not. At least it had a lot of funny lines. He stabbed that guy to a box, and said “Stick around”! PRICELESS. And guess what, I ain’t got time to bleed either Jessie. No sir I don’t. Even if it does look like you have mumps the whole time. Off track, right. I think it finally started to get interesting when the predator alien actually got into the thick of things, taking them out one by one. Although that cheap shot at Mr. Ventura was pretty lame. I, too, would have unloaded several clips of ammo in the jungle in hope that I might hit something. Yeah, that’s the ticket. So the movie got really good when all the dead weight was gone, eg everyone but Arnie. Then he montages himself into SUPER badass mode (Over 9000!) and goes hunting. And gets his ass kicked, like he should. But then he wins, you know, because he is The Predaterminator… yeah, that’s it. And really, if I saw an alien with dreadlocks, I’d kick him in the nuts too. Tee hee, I made myself laugh. Sigh. I’m glad I watched Predator, a seminal film in every boy’s life. Too bad I waited till I was 28. Show it to your kids for a lark. They can hack it.

The Mexican:
The viewing of this movie was a little experiment I had wanted to try for a while. My taste in movies over the years has evolved, and I know there are things I used to like that I wouldn’t like now. I remembered really liking the Mexican, and I also remember people really hating it. It has a 56% on Rotten Tomatoes, ew, that does not bode well. By the way, I just looked up the definition of bode and now the word makes sense (off topic Joel, get back on track…). I thought that perhaps I would view this movie with a more critical eye this time around, seeing the flaws that every other critic already had. And the conclusion to this long winded tale? The movie may have been a bit too long winded. It is a dialog heavy movie. But I like that. I can understand why people would get bored though. Even so, I thought it was funny and really creative. With the twists and turns it was sort of a confidence flick. You don’t know what’s really going on until the end. Brad Pitt was good, Julia Roberts was good, James Gandolfini was AWESOME. So was J.K. Simmons, this may be the first movie I had seen him in, although I can’t say for sure. The Mexican was funny, violent, and visually pleasing (no, I am not describing myself). Perhaps you avoided this flick, knowing that the critics had suggested it better to receive an enema and then listen to Bach. I have one thing to say to you: The director for this is Gore Verbinski, the man who brought you Pirates of the Caribbean. Give it a try.

The Boondock Saints:
Listen here: If you like Tarintino movies (ie violence, snappy dialog, great music, awesomeness) then stop reading this and go rent this movie. I’ll wait……………. IT WAS GREAT RIGHT?! I KNOW!!!! I can’t remember the circumstances in which I was first coerced to watch this movie, but I can say it was before I was seeing it everywhere (I know, people always say that). I didn’t see it in the theatre, it must have been at good ol’ Shane’s house. And we (Shane, me, our assorted friends) have loved it ever since. It’s nice to see a little vigilante-ism every once in a while. Makes you feel like things aren’t so bad in the world. Or maybe it is bad, but you could do something about it with enough ammunition. Who played the fat Russian boss? He was great, hee hee. And I don’t know if you know this, but I love Sean Patrick Flannery as it is. So, yeah. I really don’t want to talk about this movie too much, because if you haven’t seen it like I told you too, you really should. It is so SO good. Wonder how the sequel is…

Ah, Halloween. The one night a year I let my hair down and do exactly what I do every day. Yes, I don’t really find Halloween to be a very enjoyable holiday, despite the access to delicious candy everywhere I go. I don’t like dressing up, I don’t like being startled, and I don’t like horror movies. I avoid them when I can for the most part. But seeing as it was the season for such things, I decided I could be convinced to watch this movie, Creepshow. Scripted by Stephen King, directed by George Romero, how bad could it be? Answer: So bad it’s hilarious. This movie had me laughing pretty damn hard. From watching Ed Harris dance around, to seeing Ted Danson buried up to his neck, this thing was a laugh a minute. And Stephen King is probably one of the funniest actors I have seen in a long while. Pure GOLD. Next time I declare I WANT MY CAKE…. You can thank Creepshow, and not my general obesity. Thanks to Kempo for forcing this flick on me!

Shadow of a Doubt:
Alfred Hitchcock. I think I can count the movies I have seen of his on one hand. I wish I had more in my queue, but I have a hard time watching black and whites. I’m a dumbass that way I guess. I rented this movie based on it being heavily used in the first chapter of my text book on film. Figured I couldn’t go wrong there. Unfortunately, while I did notice the camera angles used, and the menacing feeling given throughout, I really didn’t enjoy it. See, there are these two kids in the movie, that are supposed to be funny, and they are, sometimes. Most of the time though, I wanted to strangle them. They reminded me of the bad kids in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. SHUT UP CHILDREN! And the lead actress got on my nerves too. She just seemed to deliver all her lines very… I don’t know… like she was trying to do an Audrey Hepburn imitation. It didn’t work. The best part of the movie for me on the other hand, was the dad and the next door neighbor. They were constantly talking about ways to kill people, it was funny. Not that I think killing people is funny. The way it’s done in the film is supposed to be funny. Right? … Anyway, I can’t really recommend Shadow of a Doubt. I’m surprised that I read that a lot of people think this was Hitchcock’s best film. I’m worried about seeing the rest of them now.

Another week, another set of films. I love watching this many movies. And I love watching them socially better, because talking about the film is almost as good as watching them. If anyone wants to catch a flick, please hit me up. I’m up for most anything. Unless it starts with the words “Tyler Perry’s”.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Oct 28th 2009. Week relating to 10/20 – 10/26

Movies seen: *First time viewing
The Proposal
Hamlet 2*
Step Brothers* (For 40 minutes…)
Before Sunset*

I was at play practice 3 days out of this week, and then had actual shows the next 3. How did I get movies fit into that time? This is the advantage of being unemployed. One of the only advantages. God send me work!

The Proposal:
Saw this at the cheap theatre 3 weeks ago. Had I waited a little longer I could have just watched it on DVD. Wait, that sounds like I didn’t like it. I did. I like Ryan Reynolds a lot, he is a funny guy, good actor. Not too thrilled about a Deadpool movie, but whatever. As for Sandra Bullock, I think she is also a good actress, but I am getting tired of her transformation comedies. You know what I mean, Miss Congeniality, Two Weeks Notice, stuff like that. There’s a formula to romantic comedies, and she likes to stick to what she knows. And it works just fine, but I wouldn’t mind something different.

Hamlet 2:
I was excited to see this in the theatre. I like controversy. It can be really funny. I did not end up seeing it though, after I heard an unusual amount of sighs in relation to people who actually did see it. And having now watched it, I can understand. It was an odd bird. There was funny stuff in it, I guess. I don’t know, it just struck me as a weird mix of slapstick comedy and… you know, the other kind. Anyways, I can’t really recommend it. It’s one of those movies were I think the title doesn’t really tell you what it’s about. Of course, now that I think on it, how often does a title really sum up a movie? (The 40 Year Old Virgin) … Right. Bottom line, not as funny as I hoped.

Step Brothers (For about 40 minutes):
40 minutes. I tried watching this movie on the advice on the T, the Turpster, Mr. Mark Turpin. It’s not really important who I’m talking about, but if you are interested try or on iTunes the Movielicious. Turpster is really funny himself, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to watch a movie that I was already reluctant to see. I find Will Ferrell to be mostly not of my taste. I like it better when he’s low key. So anyway, I tried. I tried to watch this movie. I tried to laugh. I remember laughing once. It wasn’t at Will or John. Mary Steenburgen said something funny. She’s kind of hot, which is kind of disturbing since she’s old. I mean, much older then me. So, right, the movie. I just have a hard time laughing at adults acting like kids. I just cannot relate. Or perhaps I do relate and find it embarrassing. Either way I couldn’t stand watching it for much longer then I did. When they showed up at the job interviews wearing tuxes…. Yeah, I couldn’t take it anymore. Sorry guys.

Before Sunset:
Before Sunset is the sequel to a movie called Before Sunrise. There we go, those are apt titles. Both movies have situations that must take place during said time periods. Sorry, distracted. They are both dialog heavy romantic dramas. I really like movies with a lot of dialog, I think. As long as it’s smart. Both of these movies are super good. I liked the Before Sunrise better I think, it did some things I’m not used to in movies. It is all based around only two characters, the music all takes place in the movie world (Diegesis), and it’s a really simple plot. The dialog is what drove these movies. The first one takes place when the two people first meet. The second movie, Before Sunset, takes place seven years later. The adjustment of the characters relationships, the aspects of the actors real lives that were placed into the movie, the way everything is handled so real makes it amazing. The first film alone would have made a great one time cliff hanger sort of movie, but I’m glad they made a sequel. I really recommend both films.

And that covers the week. I know, it’s late, and I already have another week ready to write up. But I couldn’t just bypass this one and move on. I saw at least one good music, heh. Hope everyone else saw some good stuff.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oct 20th 2009. Week relating to 10/13 – 10/19

Movies Seen: *First Time Viewing
Toy Story
Toy Story 2
Barton Fink*
New York, I Love You*
Peter and the Wolf (Stop Animation)*
Man on Wire*
High Fidelity

Week my week I am a movie maniac. Who instilled this madness in me? Let’s see. My dad doesn’t like movies for the most part, although I know he has his favorites. My mom likes to watch movies. She probably watches just as many as I do. She doesn’t like the Sci-Fi though. Tsk tsk. Hard to believe I spawned from the same DNA. I guess some of it came from my siblings. Kim, Marta, Andy, even the great Robyn Chrisjon. But not every scrap of my love for the art can be traced in my family line. I’ll have to look deeper.

Let’s talk about the week shall we? It’s not in order. In fact, I’m not even sure if the last is complete. Too much free time on my hands, sigh.

Toy Story, Toy Story 2:
IN 3D!!!! My first 3D movie experience…. Not counting Captain EO (HEART!). And it was a doozy let me tell you. I sat in the theatre grinning like the idiot I am. Luckily I was among friends, thank you Aaron and Kempo. Its much easier watching movies... “For children”… With friends there to identify you to the local law enforcement as a good citizen. Hey, I’ll bet everyone has an ice cream truck. Mine just has spinning rims. Anyways, the movies. I’ve seen them so many times I can practically quote them line for line, but seeing them on the big screen again, IN 3D, was awesome. I want all my pixar films in 3D! Wall-E in 3D would have been sweeeeeeeeet.

Barton Fink:
Shall we talk about how I love the Coen bros.? I mean, who doesn’t? Who doesn’t that I know? Who doesn’t that I respect? NO ONE that’s who. Right, Barton Fink. I watched this under threat of duress from my love, otherwise known as Sarah Roberts. I don’t know why I have such a hard time listening to other people when they tell me I HAVE to watch something. Maybe because I find most of the time people don’t listen to me when I put forth the same advice (THREAT). But Sarah has yet to steer wrong (at least, not that I can remember…), so I should just do what she says. I am glad I was forced to watch this great film. I should have known it would have been great. Let me just say, John Goodman is a man that deserves more rolls. Scary rolls. Because that man had me worried for my life. Ok, not my life, but John Turturro’s. This movie was a scary fine wine. Or, I guess I should say a delicious soda, as wine always seems to taste how I imagine feet would.

New York, I Love You:
Wow is the first thing that comes to mind when I remember seeing this. Basically, this movie is part of a series of movies that take place in different cities (Paris, je t’aime and Tokyo!). The movies themselves are a series of short films. New York is either my favorite, or Paris still holds that spot, I haven’t decided yet. But New York’s stories were constantly tying together, and not in any confusing way. They way you watch it is that each story is separate. It’s got Chris Cooper and Robin Wright and Orlando Bloom and Natalie Portman and Ethan Hawke and James Caan and Andy Garcia! It was so good, I really recommend it if it’s playing nearby. And rent Paris, Je T’aime too. Both super really good. Tokyo I can go with out.

Peter and the Wolf (Stop Animation):
Once again, Sarah’s evil hand was in this. An attempt to get me interested in the soon to be out Fantastic Mr. Fox, Sarah rented a stop animation version of Peter and the Wolf from 2006. Just to let you know, it’s not the animation that is making me weary of the Fantastic Mr. Fox, it’s the voice acting in the preview I’ve seen several times. Those actors sound like someone shot their puppy right before recording the tracks. Anyways, this animation that was once again forced upon me was very good, albeit short. Of course, the story and music involved in peter and the wolf are not very long. I still marvel at the effort people have to put in to produce stop animation at all. I have watched making of documentaries about the Nightmare Before Christmas, and I would shoot myself if my job was to move the puppets bodies ever so slightly for the next shot. Bravo to those who have the patience.

Man on Wire:
Yesterday. What a terrible awful day. Knowing I had an exam to take in my one class this semester, I tried desperately to cram as many notes into my already full noggin as possible. I left my house feeling ill prepared for what was to come. And having now taken said exam, I can say that I feel my fears were right. I’ll know on Monday. Having a full 45 minutes before class began again, I went and bought myself a piece of “shame pizza”, the kind you get to make yourself feel better. I returned to the class, weary once more to what movie I would have to see. Last exam, we had to watch Swim Fan. ‘Nuff said. This time however, our teacher decide we need to see what we had been missing all our lives. Well, maybe I was the only one. Man on Wire is a documentary, which is a dirty word as far as I’m concerned. This documentary was not what you’d expect. The story filled me with tension, excitement, fright, and joy. I was on the edge of my seat wondering how, what, where and when. A note to those of you who are afraid of heights, you might want to sit this one out.

A nice little film. It’s about two literary experts going after a mysterious series of letters to find out the true history of a romantic poet… hello? Are you sleeping? Yeah, it was good. I like Jeremy Northam and Aaron Eckhart. And Gwyneth Paltrow is good too.

High Fidelity:
Ah John Cussack, can you do anything wrong? What’s that? Must Love Dogs you say? Blaspheme! If you haven’t ever seen High Fidelity, let me advise you to stop what you are doing and go rent it. It’s a funny, personable, touching movie. It speaks to the snob in all of us, whether you’re a movie snob (cough), music snob, or something else entirely. And it’s got Jack Black in it! You like Jack Black right? He is really quite toned down in this. It’ll be ok, I promise.

So, you may have noticed a bit of a format change since the last site update. I don’t know about those reviews… they are getting harder to do. SO I thought I’d just sum up my weeks viewings. This is really rough, but hey, it’s my first time. I will try to be more entertaining in the future I promise.

Also please respond to my posts, because I would love to get some conversations going.


Monday, September 7, 2009


Dear God it's been a long time since I posted. I have been attending my film class, really enjoying what I have been learning. I've seen a few movies since my last post, but not that many. Inglorious Bastards is the only thing I can remember, heh. It awesome, that probably goes without saying. I'm going to try to see a few movies and see how my newly enlighted brain takes stuff in. I hope to put up a new review soon. Thanks to anyone who reads this.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Review: G.I. JOE The Rise of Cobra

Synopsis: An arms maker turns evil and it is up to an elite group of soldiers to take them down. I am being nice.

Stars: Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid, Sienna Miller, Christopher Eccelston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (awesome name), Rachel Nichols, Ray Park (Dude, Darth Maul, Headless Horseman, Toad, fer rills), Byung-hun Lee, Saïd Taghmaoui, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Arnold Vosloo. That’s right, I am punishing all of you. And looking through the IMDB list of stars, I notice Brendan Frasier is not listed. YOU CAN’T HIDE FROM ME!!!

Dear GOD, that was the worst Stars Wars movie yet! That pod race was totally unbelievable. And the whole Death Star scene? Come on, just because it’s underwater doesn’t make it any cooler. Under water on Hoth. I mean, that light saber fight scene on Cloud City was cool, but that’s about it for the cool factor. And why did they make Lando gay? And why was C3PO a French guy? And… what’s that? No, I don’t have my movies mixed up. What are you talking about? GI JOE? That action figure thing with the “life like hair” and “kung-fu grip”? Get out of here. Darth Vader was in the damn movie! I mean, this time he was Leia’s brother, but still! … You gotta be BSing me.

Now that that parts over with, I can go on. GI JOE. I was never really a fan when I was a kid. I either just missed it, or my parents thought I went choke on the tiny toys. I had a bad habit of trying to eat things that were not food when I was a child. I finally stemmed it in college (Shane, shut your mouth). So, I must say that I have very little knowledge of the characters or any of their backgrounds. I am going over this purely as a wanna-be movie critic.

WHAT A PIECE OF $%&^!!!!!!

Things I Liked:
Ninja, ninja, RAP- Ninja fights are always cool. Martial arts are cool in general for that matter. So this part is pretty much a no-brainer. Now that I know it was Ray Park up there fighting, I think it was a lot cooler. I’m glad to see he’s still getting a chance to show off his moves.

That about covers that.

Things I Didn’t Like:
Failed twists, lame turns- When it came down to trying to make the story really engaging, the makers of the movie relied heavily on flashbacks and little pieces of story that were left hanging till the end. It didn’t work. We didn’t need that many flashbacks to explain the relationships between any of the characters. It didn’t need to be paced so you got a little at a time. I even got tired of watching (SPOILER) Kid Snake-Eyes and Kid Stormshadow punch each other silly. And who didn’t see the “twist” at the end? And who gave a flying EFF who Darth… er, I mean, the doctor really turned out to be. NO ONE. Well, I didn’t at least.

Things I Hated:
Welcome to the year 2000- I have to say, all those PlayStation One graphics they used really brought the whole movie together for me. Did you like it when plastic Scarlet did that awesome stunt with the motorcycle? Or that awesome secret desert base that appeared to ALSO be made out of some cheap polyurethane? HOW ABOUT THEM FLYING/SWIMMING SHIPS? It really adds realism when you briefly see the pilot of said ship as it passes by. And I thought that polar bear was gonna jump off the screen and grab me a freaking coke! I CANNOT BELIEVE that no one though, gee? Maybe we should polish some of this stuff up before we finish up production. Nah, the average movie goer isn’t going to notice that it all looks like Adobe Photoshop.

Ok, now that I have ranted about that, I just want to say that I know how hard it is to make things look real with computers, even with today’s technology. And I know that the movie is basically a Sci-Fi action films, emphasis on Fi. That being said, what they put out on that screen was pathetic. There is no excuse for SO MANY bad effects. If they couldn’t afford to make everything look as good as it could, they should have taken it down a few notches. They didn’t need all the tech crap they tried to put in to make a good movie. There is no excuse for such slop.

Advertisements- I don’t know about anyone else who saw the movie, but I want some Double Bubble. And I’m going to use Norton Anti-Virus, because you know, that’s what the big wigs use.

My head hurts. My head physically hurts from having gone and seen this movie. Since I liked some of the things I saw in this movie, I cannot give it a 1. I give it a reluctant 2. SEE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Curiosity is trying to kill you, and after this movie is done, you may want to do the job yourself. Maybe you are better off just going to You-Tube and looking up some martial arts tourneys.

By the way, Channing Tatum? Give Paul Walker his face and acting ability back.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Review: Funny People

Synopsis: A famous comedian/movie star learns that he is dying and figures out that his life is kind of crappy. A comedian trying to make it in the stand-up world gets sucked into the famous person’s life as the movie star’s assistant.

Stars: Uh, once again, there are a lot of famous people in the movie. A lot of cameos. I’ll just list the obvious. Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman

Let me just warn you straight up. If you are expecting to go see this and see the 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, you will be disappointed. This movie doesn’t go for the extremes like either of those movies, or any other Seth Rogen associated movie. That out of the way, damn what a good movie. The movies isn’t without its problems of course. For instance, I feel like it was two different movies. One I really liked, and one I eventually started getting tired of. The life of a stand-up comedian mixed in with the tale of a wasted life. It was a nice little package anyways.

Things I Liked:
Adam Sandler- I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I love it when Adam Sandler does (mostly) serious roles. I think he’s a very good actor. In fact, I really like a lot of comedians that do serious roles. Jim Carrey, Mike Myers (54 if you don’t remember), um… I’m sure there are others that I’m not thinking of.

You know what? Give it up for the whole cast- Everyone in this movie was really good. Eric Bana made me laugh quite a few times. Jason Schwartzman also was just as funny, and good in his role. I felt like the friendship between Rogen, Schwartzman, and Hill was easier to relate to then the other movies I have seen these guys in together (well, Rogen and Hill I guess). Then again, I’m not a stoner. Leslie Mann, she was SO good in this movie. She needs more roles. Give her more stuff Hollywood.

Things I Didn’t Like:
Pacing- Now, remember when I said that it was two movies, one I liked and one I was getting tired of? Now that I have had time to reflect on this, I think it all came down to pacing. There were tons of cameos throughout the movie, and the constant stand-up routine just got tired for me. And now that I think about it, the “lost love possibly regained” scenes were lagging too. The movie was long, almost 2 and a half hours worth, and I have to admit that at the time I didn’t notice this but I do have a habit of getting sucked into almost any movie. Now that I’m clear headed I can see that it really felt like a lot of scenes to make one story.

Too many cameos- There were some people that briefly appeared in the movie I could have done without. I love Dave Attell and Norm MacDonald, but they weren’t acting in the movie, and their brief appearance made me cringe.

Things I Hated:
Nah. Nothing here.

I’d say this flick a 4 out of 5, leaning toward 3. If you miss seeing it in the theater, I don’t think you are going to regret it. It would make a pretty good rental. I did really like it at the time of exiting the theater. Now that I’ve been able to sit back and pick at it, I can see that it still was very good, but not perfect in any stretch. Well, maybe Eric Bana was perfect. He was really funny.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Review: G-Force

Sorry this is so late. I hit a snag in my movie reviewing schedule. You know, the oversleeping snag. For a week.

Synopsis: A group of elite guinea pigs finds them selves cut off from their federal funding and forced to be on the run. Also there some take over/destroy the world plots going on.

Stars: Bill Nighy, Will Arnett, Zack Galifianakis, Kelli Garner, Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, John Favreau, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, Steve Bucemi

Let’s see, out of the movies that came out this week (The Ugly Truth, G-Force, Orphan) this was the only movie I thought I would get even the slightest kick out of. I was wrong, as I liked The Ugly Truth. I was not wrong about this film though. I got quite a few kicks out of it. It’s safe to say that if you have children and are going to take them to see this movie, then do not be afraid. I have a feeling you will also enjoy what is happening up on the big screen too.

Things I Liked:
Goofy, fun humor- I really doubt there will be too many things to go over a kid’s head in this movie. It had a good mixture of fun kid sight gags and dialog to make me smile almost the whole movie. They made a few references to other movies that actually made me laugh out loud. Kudos to the flick.

Soundtrack- Amazing. Not the music, it was good, not amazing. What is amazing is that they managed to make a “live” action Disney movie where I didn’t want to strangle whoever was in charge of the soundtrack. All the music was right in the right place. Nice work on that.

Things I Didn’t Like/Hated:
Not a thing really. If I were to be ultra-nitpicker, I guess I would say that the story wasn’t that cohesive. But you know what? It was a movie for kids.

I will give this movie 4 out of 5. It’s not something to be rushed out and seen by everyone or anything like that. It is pretty entertaining though. Take the kids and enjoy yourself. I mean, why not?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Review: The Ugly Truth

Synopsis: A woman who is in charge of a failing morning show is forced to work with a man she despises. You can pretty much guess what happens, it is after all, a romantic comedy.

Stars: Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Bree Turner (I kept trying to place this woman’s face the whole movie and couldn’t. I am sorry to say after some research, I discovered that I recognize her from Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo as the fish store attendant), Eric Winter, John Michael Higgins, Cheryl Hines, Nick Searcy

Romantic comedies. I cannot lie on this and tell you that I am above such entertainment. They are a guilty pleasure of mine, just like many other people. I go to them because they are laid back, usually easy to watch and follow, funny, and relatable. So sue me for seeming to have a sensitive side. My girlfriend would tell you that I am overly sensitive, which would in turn, make me cry. Salty sad tears of… sadness. Right.
I quite enjoyed this film. It was a nice relaxing comedy for me to just enjoy and not get too worried about. I knew it was either going to be really bad or just fine. Just fine it was.

What I Liked:
Katherine Heigl- I SO want to dislike this woman. In her personal life, which is no business of mine but I cannot help but be exposed to it due to the way this country handles it celebrities, she is an obnoxious bitch. She seems to be a fine actress though. I have found here very likable in both of the movies I have seen her in (the other of course being Knocked Up). How does she pull that off? She must go to hours of acting classes every day to see what it’s like to be a nice and/or smart person.

Gerard Butler- It’s not quite true that I liked him 100% of the time. I liked Gerard Butler most of the time. Whenever he wasn’t being the over the top chauvinistic pig I liked him. Whenever he had scenes with Katherine Heigl I liked. Of course, maybe that was the point. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to like him when he was over acting like that? Brilliant! Ok, brilliant is too much. I feel dumb now that I’ve thought that out.

What I Didn’t Like:
Generic predictable storyline- I can’t really fault the movie for this. I mean, it’s a romantic comedy! You get what you paid for. For me to find something completely original in any such movie would come as a total shock to me and I look forward to it happening someday. As of now, hasn’t happened. It didn’t take away from the movie for me to know how it would turn out. I’m just saying that it wasn’t anything new.

What I Hated:
Soundtrack- Once again, for a romantic comedy, this is practically a given. There was some really REALLY bad music. Of course. I hate that “Take me away” song they play on those damned commercials.

I explained to my pal Will how I rate the movies in my head, and I suppose it would be fair to tell anyone else who bothers to read this what I think when it comes down to the verdicts. It’s a number system, because numbers are easy. The number correlates to how I felt after seeing the movie.
5- Go see it in the theater. Pay any damn price!
4- See it in the theater at a matinee. This means that I liked the movie, but I don’t necessarily think it has to be seen on the big screen to appreciate it. It could be a rental and still enjoyed.
3- Rent it. Means I liked it, but not enough that I feel you should rush out to see it.
2- Rent at your own risk. This one can mean that I was sorry I saw it on the big screen but I think it should be watched for some amusing things about it, or because it has some good scenes. Or maybe because you are going to watch it anyways because you are sick in the head.
1- This means that the actual film on which the movie is printed should be taken out to the street and publicly burned. Possibly while dancing and asking the Gods for forgiveness.

Does that help anyone else? It helps me. This movie is a 4 in my opinion. I liked it. I would see it again if so prompted. But I’m a sucker for the romcoms, like I said.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Review: Terminator Salvation

Synopsis: A terminator movie that takes place during the actual machine war. The machines are taking large amounts of hostages, no one knows why. And some other stuff with a robot guy and a hit list with important people on it and a mute kid. Right, I don’t get it either.

Stars: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood (WTF? That sounds like the kind of name Todd McFarlane would come up with. I call BS), Helena Bonham Carter, Anton Yelchin (This kid also played Chekov in the new Star Trek) and of course, Common. Because you can’t make a good movie without Common.

The humans are dead! The humans are deeaaaad! Well, they should be. It seems like the robots have a pretty good hold on the planet. For instance, the few human that remain can blow something up and attract a few robots to the area in a matter of seconds. Except, you know, when they are shooting and blowing things up right next to their base of operations. Because the robots can’t find that, it’s too special. Yeah, that’s got to be it.
So I thought this movie was pretty goofy. It didn’t instill the fear I felt of being pursued by an unstoppable killing machine like the first 2 movies did. It seemed more like a generic action movie. Which is, in my opinion, sucksville. These were always action movies, sure, but they were also thrilling/horrifying suspense films. The new movie wasn’t all bad, just mostly I think.

Things I Liked:
Different Robots- There were some very cool looking robots of course. The T-600 looked like a more primitive T-800 (which it was). And some of the ships were very cool looking. On the other hand, fish robots? Or eel if you will. They could have made those water machines look like anything. Why did they take a page from the matrix and decide, yeah, that’s good enough? ‘Splain it to me Lucy.

The last 30 or so minutes- I don’t want to spoil this part too much, but there is a few awesome fight and flight scenes here that made me feel like I was watching a Terminator movie again. This was about the only time, besides a few scenes with Marcus (The main character, not John Conner) that had me really into it too.

Things I Didn’t Like:
Running in large groups- See, this was what I had problems with the most in the film. It’s just uninteresting to see the helpless people being chased and grabbed. Not slaughtered, but collected for some reason. Who knows? And who thought it was a good idea to introduce an old wise looking woman in the middle of the film for 1 minute and then do nothing with her after that. As soon as I saw her I was like “dear God, please don’t make her turn out to be some sort of stupid oracle.” But really, DO SOMETHING WITH HER!!!

The last 30 Minutes of the Movie- Wait, did I just say I liked this? Yeah, well, there was a huge problem with it too. SPOILER!!! So they go to the main machine city, and for some reason there are no robots. That’s it. That’s all I’m going to say. It just didn’t make any sense.

Things I Hated:
Kill them why don’t you?- See, they had this hit list with a couple of characters on it that people would recognize from previous films. And at some point, they even capture some of these people. They don’t kill them though. Oh no. They put them in cells, possible hoping they will expire of old age. THESE ARE THE DUMBEST MACHINES EVER!!

Mute Kid- What the hell?? Why was the kid mute?? Why did we need a somewhat adorable kid with an afro?? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE!!!!??? Fire the casting director.

Ok. It’s all out of my system now. So truth be told, I thought it was a fair flick to see on screen for the 3 dollars I spent at the cheap theater. For everyone else out there, I recommend renting it. If anything just for the last bit.

Oh yeah, I just remembered that I kept thinking they should have named this movie "Terminator Redemption". It would have made more sense to me.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mini-Review: Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Synopsis: Sid steals some eggs. Eggs hatch Dinos. Dinos come from crazy dino filled land found under the ice. AHHH OHHH EEEEEE! Oh yeah, and the female mammoth is pregnant.

Stars: Denis Leary, Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Simon Pegg

This is a mini review, so I won’t be going through my likes and dislikes. But why Joel? Didn’t you see this movie twice and therefore should be somewhat of an expert on the film? Well, kind of. I did see the movie two times, but not because I am a lover of all things Ice Age (Although I did like the first one). My brother and his horde of children came to visit our humble home here from Utah, and being the fun uncle, I had to entertain the kids somehow. So I took a few of them to see the new Ice Age, and then alter took a few more. Both times, I was not really watching the movie. The thing is with children at hand, I was not worried about what I was missing on screen, I was worried about what I might be missing in the seats. Gabriel having to go to the bathroom. Mia spilling the popcorn and Sam spilling the drink. Ethan devouring a hot dog in 3 seconds flat. I miss those kids a lot already and they haven’t even been out of my hair that long. But I see I got a request on behalf of my nephews that I review the movie, so in that respect, THIS ONE’S FOR THE CHILDREN.

I was disappointed by the movie. Not really, I didn’t have high expectations for it really. I don’t like Ray Romano, he is just not funny to me. I do like Denis Lear and John Leguizamo, but they really didn’t have anything to funny going on here minus a few scenes. As far as I’m concerned, Simon Pegg as Buck stile the show. His character was hilarious almost 100% of the time he was on screen. And a still love that squirrel thing Scrat even if everyone else is tired of him. He had quite a few funny scenes and that song where he dumps the acorn had me smiling both times I saw it.

Not a very good movie really. Kind of boring most of the time. I think the kids really liked it, but I could be wrong about that too. I should have asked them. It’s a rental movie at best.
Sam, Ethan, and Gabriel, remember the rule. No one can pick your seat but you… at the movie theater.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Synopsis: Harry and pals 6th year at Hogwarts. Wow, Microsoft Word capitalized Hogwarts for me.

Stars: I’m not going to list all the stars that have been in previous Potter movies. The only new actor of note is Jim Broadbent, who plays Professor Slughorn.

I have read all of the Harry Potter books. I have loved them all. They are such amazing pieces of literature that grew up as their first audience also grew. Not that I was in that group. I was in my 20’s when I started reading them. Still am, in my 20’s, cough cough. Having read the book that this movie represented, I find myself doing what everyone does, comparing it to it’s counterpart. And this movie as all the others, was found lacking. I really want to love these movies, but I always seem to walk away a little disappointed, feeling sorry for all the people who haven’t read the books. Oh those fools, they don’t know what they’re missing. They don’t know about Harry’s secret love affair with Neville Longbottom. Wait, never mind, that’s just my sick imagination. Or is it?

Things I liked:
I’m not going to put individual points of like here. It was the same director as the last movie, same actors. I like how dark it was, because the books did become progressively darker and more serious. And the actors always do great. I’m just being lazy around here I guess, heh.

Things I Didn’t:
See things I hated.

Things I Hated:
Once again, a lot was missing- I understand that this is a kids (or kid at heart) type movie with the intention of keeping the short attention spans us movie goers have for 2 and a half hours, but come on. Cut out the quiditch scene, put in some more Voldemort flashbacks. Cut out extra Deatheater stuff, there has to be more things, that are important, that happened in the book, that could have been put in! And why wasn’t Ralph Fines in the movie at all?? What the hell? Sigh.

In the beginning- Dumbledore is such a cock blocker. See the movie, you’ll know what I mean. What an asshole.

So. That was rather negative wasn’t it? I have been milling this movie over and over in my head. What I really wanted to get out of it was to be reminded of all the great things that happened in the book, the things that made it so hard to put it down at night. And it just did not come through for me. It seemed to hit most of the major plot points, and call it a day. Whatever, as a sort of OCD completetist about such things as stories, I had to see this movie in the theater. And everyone who has seen all the other films should go see it too, I’m not gonna tell you not too. But do yourself a favor, and see a matinee. I am going to go re read the books now. Maybe that’ll cheer me up.

Oh yeah, I just remembered. THEY BARELY EVEN MENTIONED WHY IT IS TITLED THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE! WTF!!! Ok, less caffeine.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Review: I Love You, Beth Cooper

Synopsis: The valedictorian of a graduating High school class decides to use his speech to admit his love to a girl who didn’t know he existed. From there the movie follows him and his friend (Who is not gay) through the rest of the crazy night.

Stars: Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Jack Carpenter, Alan Ruck (I totally recognized this guy, but could not place him for the life of me)

Dear God the main guy is ugly. Wow, sorry. That just came out. But look at his SCHNOZ! Someone has to do something about that. I mean, if he doesn’t get plastic surgery, then maybe one of the better special effects companies can just, you know, take it down a few notches. Thank God this movie wasn’t in 3D, I would have been ducking every time he was on screen.
Okay okay, enough about that. The director of this film was none other than Chris Columbus. He also directed a couple of Harry Potters, Adventures in Babysitting, Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire. Several classics that I hold dear to my heart and/or appendix. This movie was not up to that caliber unfortunately. That isn’t to say I didn’t like it. I went in expecting the typical teen movie and I got something better than that, so it scored a lot of brownie points right there. It was a funny movie and I hope others will go out and see it.

What I Liked:
Flashbacks- During the movie a character would mention some past event, or ask a question of someone which would cause them to reflect, and we would have a flashback scene. And every one of these scenes was really funny. It seem like the actors were all ready to make themselves look terrible and act terrible to get a chance to tickle our funny bones. Nice work on that.

Hayden Panettiere- She’s hot. Wait, sorry, that isn’t what I was going for here. She did well in her character. Playing the head cheerleader, shallow, but never stupid. I wonder if she will ever be cast as something else…

What I Didn’t Like:
The Main Character- Made me want to puke. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. Paul Rust just played a really, really annoying nerd. And yes, I know he was supposed to be uber geek. But he was pathetic on a level that I reminded me of someone I knew while working at a certain game store. AND I WANTED TO KILL THIS PERSON EVERY DAY. Well, kill is a heavy word. Maybe just maim. Did I mention his nose is GIGANTIC?

What I Hated:
Eh, I can’t really say I hated anything. Maybe I should go into these movies after I have stubbed my toe really bad. That’ll get me ready to be more critical!

This was a funny little flick. It made me laugh quite a few times, out loud I might say, and I would even go see it again. Especially since I missed the last 10 minutes of it because some asshat was texting on his sidekick in the front rows of the theater. Die you bastard. As a favor to us all. Anyway, it’s probably a rental for most of yous peoples. But it’s a good rental. You’ll like it.

And for those who care, you get to see the cheerleader’s side boob. Tee hee!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just a little news...

I signed up for to film classes at Moorpark college yesterday. I haven't been to school in quite a few years and I am nervous. I like review movies so much though, I thought I might want to learn more about film in general. Wish me luck people.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Review: Brüno

Synopsis: An Austrian fashion show host comes to the US in pursuit of stardom. Brüno Brüno Brüno Brüno Brüno Brüno, cough cough, sorry about that.

Stars: Sacha Baron Cohen, Gustaf Hammarsten, some other people blah blah blah

I never saw Borat. There, I said it. Go ahead and start judging me for my lack of movie watching experience. I choose not to see it. I don’t like movies where people are embarrassed on purpose. I don’t like any movie where I just feel bad for someone all the time. Not to say I thought that would happen. I was probably afraid I would see myself reflected in peoples bigotry against foreigners. As much as I am a true California (read San Franciscan I suppose) when it comes to open thinking and the acceptance of other beliefs and cultures, I tend to think of foreigners as backward. Big problem for me really, I want to be fair to everyone. When it comes to gay culture, I am not squeamish. Now, that doesn’t mean I want to hang out with any queens on St. Patrick’s day (is that ignorant? I was going for funny) but I respect people, no matter their sexuality. What all this is leading to, is that this movie didn’t shock me at all. NONE TO THE SHOCKING. My thought is that maybe it will be shocking to the general population, assuming they are all homophobes. Or maybe I’m not giving them enough credit. I don’t really know. Here is what I thought.

What I Liked:
A few gags that got my funny bone- This is pretty unfortunate. Most of the funny stuff was shown in the previews. The HUNDREDS of previews. My girlfriend thought this movie had already been out for a while, and I can understand the mistake. You have probably already seen most of this movie just by going to other movies early enough to catch the previews. Now, there were some things that they couldn’t show obviously. Nudity, cursing, such and such. I thought the funniest parts of Brüno were the parts that were fully scripted and completely fake. A few “love making” scenes, and I use that term loosely, were very funny. And there is one scene towards the end of the movie that I loved, but not necessarily because it was funny, but more because I like it when stupid people are the butt of the joke. In fact, the parts where stupid were interviewed had me laughing too. It’s just so crazy that there are people so, in my opinion, sick out there. That could be turned around against Sacha Baron Cohen of course, but we already knew he was sick. But not because he is ignorant. That’s a whole different kind of sick.

What I Didn’t Like:
No offense guys, but it was kind of boring- Well, I feel like saying it was boring is kind of harsh. I was enjoying it the whole time, so to speak, but I wasn’t laughing, or disgusted, or angry at much at all. Like I said, if you have seen all the previews, you have basically seen the movie. There is one part I had seen in the previews where Bruno is at a clothing store that was not in the movie at all. They should have put that in there, because the whole flick was less than an hour and a half long. There could have been more I feel. I don’t know why they chose to put in so little.

What I Hated:
Eh, nothing here to hate really.

It wasn’t a terrible movie, it just wasn’t anything special. I’d say it was like something some amateurs could put together on YouTube, assuming they could get access to some celebrities. Even a connoisseur of gay jokes like me didn’t find it all that funny. You won’t miss anything if you don’t see this in the theater. Rent it if you must, but like I said, you aren’t going to be missing out on much of anything at all.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Review: Away We Go

Synopsis: An early 30’s couple get pregnant and go across the country looking for family, a place to call home, and the true meaning of Christmas (ok, not really).

Stars: John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph, Catherine O’Hara, Jeff Daniels, Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, Maggie Gyllenhaal

I am biased. I was excited for this movie ever since I started hearing reviews for it. The people whose opinions I respect when it comes to reviewing films have been raving about this movie since the early previews. So, I apologize in advance for this. I agreed with all they said on almost all points. Someone said this was the Juno of 2009! I want to smack this person, as Juno has nothing to do with this movie, other then the female lead is pregnant. NOTHING YOU SICKO! This is not a teen movie disguised as an indie film. If anything, it was the Garden State of 2009. If that’s not your cup ‘o tea, go watch a movie starring John Cena. By the way, I also apologize to all you Juno fans out there. I saw it after all the hype and felt disappointed.

What I Liked:
Main Characters- Oh Burt and Verona. You two. YOU TWO. The relationship between the main couple was unrealistic in most senses. No one has a relationship that good. No one understands each other’s personality, quirks, mannerisms, hygiene (?) like that. But the way they acted together, the chemistry of the characters was intoxicating. Beautiful. This was a couple you could feel good for, sorry for, worry for, give a flying EFF about. And that is important because they are the glue to every whacky detail in the story. Their journey would not have been as meaningful if they had been the couple that fights all the time. This is leading to another Like point.

The Journey- So, spoilers? The main couple travel around the states, looking for a place they can settle and be near people that they can relate too. They meet up with couple after couple that are just not what they are or will ever be. We meet a couple of bad parents, funny stuff and also sad. Then we meet the EXTREME hippies that just throw out what the man has told them they have to do with children and make everything their own to an INSANE level. And rather than continue with the “everyone is crazy but us” theme, we meet a good family. And that makes it all the more tragic when you find out what their real deal is. The point is, when it comes to pacing, their travels around the country have no boring, uninteresting, or pointless parts. You are worried about Burt and Verona. You want everything to be ok. But sometimes you wonder how that can be in a world so crazy. That’s when it all comes to

The Ending- It was great the way it ended. That’s all I’m going to say.

Things I Didn’t Like and/or Hated:
I hate to disappoint the few people who read this, but I have no gripes this time.

Really? You need a verdict? I freaking loved this movie. I recommend it to everyone who likes movies like Garden State. It was amazing. I am going to go see it again. Later.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Review: Public Enemies

Synopsis: Public Enemies is an apt title as it features not only John Dillinger. but “Baby Face” Nelson and other assorted crooks and criminals. The movie follows Dillinger (Johnny Depp) as he is pursued by the FBI and specifically Agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) up until (SPOILER for some people I suppose) his famous demise.

Stars: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, David Wenham (Faramir!), Stephen Dorff, Giovanni Ribisi, Stephen Graham (Tommy from Snatch!), Lili Taylor, Leelee Sobieski. Honestly, there are so many faces in this movie I cannot even name them all.

I am not familiar with any movies preciously directed by Michael Mann. I did not see Heat, although I have heard many a great review of it. Never saw Ali, always enjoy Will Smith in serious roles though. And Miami Vice, ‘nuff said. I found Public Enemies to be particular arty, something I was not expecting going into it. That said, I can’t really say what I expected, but I was pleased with the end result.

What I Liked:
Characterizations- This was an amazing movie when it came to who was being portrayed. When I saw Billy Crudup as Edgar J Hoover, I felt an instant spout of joy in my SOUL. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but they even made his ears stick out for the role! And when he leans over to his assistant, and tells him that Agent Purvis “may call me J.” Awesome. Johnny Depp is always great, same with Christian Bale of course. Everyone in this movie seemed to be really pushing their acting chops. I found Marion Cotillard very endearing as Dillinger’s love interest. Stephen Graham as Baby Face Nelson? Genius, for reals.

Cinematography- This film was beautiful to look at. The scenery always fit the feeling of the scene it’s self. The violence had a poetic touch to it that I loved, finding it both horrific and fascinating. Holy crap! It must have been good because I just read that the movie was more than 2 hours long! I had no idea. I had my eyes glued to the screen the whole time. The cities, the forests, the restaurants, the race tracks. Everything had a classic look feel to it. Really beautiful.

What I Didn’t Like:
Something weird about the way people talk?- I have to say, the first 5 minutes of the movie? There were a lot of times I had no idea what anyone was saying. There was mumbling, and thick accents, and just some weird sound things going on. For instance, there is a part where Dillinger is talking to someone he is in a car with, and the camera is outside of the car. The sound is muffled, which makes sense I suppose, but for all purposes other than realism it was really unnecessary and frustrating. They should have made sure everything could be heard before the movie came to the theater. That all said, I really doubt I missed any important dialog because of the few audio problems.

What I Hated:
Listen HERE People-
This has nothing to with the film. But the last two times I went to the movies, people stood by the entrance, the alcove right before the seats, and talked. DURING THE MOVIE. What the hell? Do they think we can’t hear them? If you aren’t sure where to sit, just find an empty spot and sit, then change your seat after you get a sense of where you want to go. Whisper, WHISPER! I don’t care how loud the movie is, I CAN HEAR YOU DUMB ASS. So can everyone else. It’s just rude.

Verdict: This is not an action movie if you were wondering. It has a lot of shooting, but it lies between great dialog and wonderful scenery. When it comes to my ideas about the 30’s in this country this movie basically verifies everything I imagined (With the tommy guns and shoot outs and such). It was really cool, REALLY COOL. I highly recommend the movie to anyone who can stand a little violence and a little art. It was really very good.