Friday, February 27, 2009


I have all these DVDs at my place from the communications project, so I decided to watch a few. This morning I popped in Sunshine because the bit I had watched for the project seemed interesting. Can I say this movie is amazing. hands down amazing. I am writing this blog as I am watching it and I cant even type cuz it is so intense.

Every aspect of this film is amazing, the editing the cinematography, the editing, the acting, the directing, the STORY!!!

If you enjoyed films like the Sphere and all other films, if you enjoy films period you have to see this film.

Simply Amazing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Inside Man

I wanted to like this one more than I did. I enjoyed the heist part of it all. There was a very clever twist at the end. I just didn't care for the dark secret thing. Since Jodie Foster's character eliminated the nuclear option.

Jodie Foster played this sort of a badass but she never DID anything to back up her braggadocio.

Clive Owen and Denzel Washington were both great. This was alright.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Well I had to rush out to see it since Sean Penn won the Oscar. I still say Micky Rourke got hosed.

Sean Penn did a very serviceable job doing an impression of Harvey Milk, but it was not the best performance of the year. People will be comparing other performances to Mickey Rourke's for a long time. Harvey Milk as a movie creation may be a nice touchstone as far as biopic performances.

All that aside it still was a good performance in a good movie. It was a bit square especially compared to 'Paranoid Park.' I think it was unabashedly a message movie, but it was told in a very sensitive way.

I think the most interesting thing about the movie is how "period" it looks with the dated clothing and music but the news reports of the anti gay argument hasn't changed.

Good flick.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday The 13th (2009)

Tonight I am an asshole.

More so than I usually am. Why? Because I saw the "Friday The 13th" remake (or reboot, an asshole cinematic term if there ever was one). I was excited because these movies were always events for me as a kid, at least starting with the third one. Jason in 3-D? Hell yeah! The final chapter? Oh, hell yeah! New beginning? Jason lives? New blood? Takes Manhattan? GOES TO HELL?!?! HELL FUCKING YEAH!!! The last two films in the series, "Jason X" and "Freddy Vs. Jason", were the most fun. Films that stretched the genre in, if not truly original ways, very imaginative ones. No high art needed. No high minded plot devices. Just some semi-sympathetic people doing very stupid things, getting killed by some mongoloid force of nature. Scary shit, indeed. I knew what I was getting into, I wanted to be entertained, and I got what I wanted.

Now? I'm just an asshole for having seen this latest Hollywood turd, an asshole for having taken John to go see it, an asshole for not walking out on it and an asshole for paying $12.50 in an attempt to satiate my low brow, slasher needs. I watched a film about a bunch of assholes, doing asshole things to each other and getting killed for it...

This film reminded me of Rob Zombie's "Halloween" reboot (ha, what an asshole!), only with less exposition and even more annoying flash cuts (I was half expecting Jason to do some kung fu moves on his victims, but no, the audience was spared that inanity). With the new "Friday The 13th", any kind of heartfelt explanation, no matter how awkward or ill advised, would have been appreciated.

Since this film was produced and directed by the same idiots who bank rolled and shit out "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" reboots (ha ha, God loves a ranting asshole!), it looks like those in terms of lighting and editing (nice to see that Daniel Pearl, the DP for the original "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", was doing similar duties on this one).

And to top off my night of unfulfilled and shredded desires, while driving John back to his bike, I saw a poster for the "Last House On The Left" reboot (ha ha ha, ha ha ha, HA HA HA!). If the 2009 version of "Friday The 13th" can make 42 million dollars in just one weekend (I think  I just felt Linda Cowgill stick a pin in her voodoo doll of me. She must be so proud...), then who knows? As PT Barnum said, there's one born every minute...

A disturbing trend I've noticed about these films (at least the ones made after 2000) is the prominence of surgically enhanced breasts in the more salacious scenes. Is that a new subtextual theme replacing the old "have sex, then die" modus operandi? Hmmm... 

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Best Years of Our Lives

This movie was on the Afi 100 list. It is strange because I've haven't heard much about this movie previously. Once I started researching it, I found that it was the second highest grossing movie behind 'Gone With the Wind.'

Nothing really stood out cinematically but it was a really touching movie. It's all about the troubles that three WWII veterans had to deal with when they came back from war.

It was a three hour movie, but it didn't feel long.

The actor with no hands was especially effecting.

It was shot by Greg Toland and there was two great shots. One was when Homer (the amputee) punched his hands through a window to scare some kids. The other one was the out of work airforce bomber who walked through a airplane scrapyard.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


This movie just barely missed.

I find W a fascinating character. It is this interest that makes this movie bland. I really wish there was a better explanation besides an oedipal complex to make Bush do the things he does.

I am interested in the types of personalities that become people like presidents. I just feel that this movie didn't make me believe that the W character could have done what he did.

I did like the main performance. Josh Brolin truly disapeared into that role. There were times, especially in press conference situations, where it could have been the president himself.

The best scene was the last one, where Brolin (verbatum) recites the strange answer when John Dickerson asked him if he made any mistakes in his term.

P.S. It was lame when they would throw in "Bushisms" into random parts of his life instead of when he said them in press conferences or in speeches.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blood Diner

While waiting for Champ to write about "Black Sheep" (I still can't tell if he liked it or not), I thought I'd revisit a film with similar intentions: Blood Diner.
Made in 1987, the film is about two brothers who try to revive the ancient Lumerian goddess Sheetar by building her a new body using parts from "immoral women". Uh...
Cheerful and bloody as hell, the film is a snap shot of L.A.'s low budget movie scene. Director Jackie Kong only directed four films, and this was her crowning achievement, as well as her swan song from the film industry. From the cheesy gore effects to the endearingly goofy humor (the scene where one of the brothers tries to run over a fat biker who refuses to die is hilarious), Blood Diner is uninhibited and totally shameless. And did I mention that the ending has Sheetar come to life with a large vagina dentata on her chest? She even bites someone's head off. I thought I should say something before anyone ran out to see it...
One sad note: after watching it tonight, I looked it up and learned that Rick Burks, one of the brothers in the film, passed away in 1989.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kung Fu Panda

I enjoyed it. It's short. It's fun. Dustin Hoffman and Jack Black were great. Ian McShane is tremendous, makes me want to watch Deadwood again.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Full Metal Jacket

One of the first Stanley Kubrick movies I saw when I was a kid and I decided to watch it again today. It is such a great film from start to finish. The first act is amazing and the second act is something totally different but driven by the events from the first. It was different to watch it based on the instruction we've learned in story. To be completely honest I don't think it follows anything Linda would have allowed as far as story which makes me enjoy it even more.

The movie was a monumental war film when it came out and I think it can be reapplied in the modern war in Iraq.

The Natural

Now I know everyone has seen this now... but i wanted to blog anyways.

It is a surprise I have not seen this already since I do enjoy sports movies and such. I thought the whole story was really good. The lighting was good I think the shot choices were better but anyway. Just a great feel good story that was a joy to watch.

Man On Wire

I watched this flick last night off of a whim, and to be honest it was pretty interesting. The story is about a tight rope walker who crosses the gap between the trade towers.

I thought it was done very well for a documentary. It had me on the edge of my seat for awhile and it was very interesting. I really recommend this movie to anyone who has not seen it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Bloody Valentine 3D

I got a real kick out of this.

The 3D effects made the experience really immersive. I was pleasantly surprised to find that instead of pop out effects most of the effects were there to make the space on the wall seem deep.

As far as the story there was an effective whodunit although the resolution to that was disapointing. The story lied to the audience and I didn't care for that.

did have me jumping. Really fun.


This movie was strange. It seems like everything about it was funny except for Will Farrel and John C. Reily.

The brother and the family cracked me up. The Sweet Child of Mine melody plus the fact that the guy was a Dane Cook fan. all too funny.

I just didn't give a shit about two dudes that did things for seemingly no reason.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

So not long ago, I picked up a copy of the book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, not knowing much besides I just wanted to see the movie because it looked good, and still not having seen it, I figured I would read the book first. After getting into the beginning of it, I started doing some research and came across the documentary, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, on Instant Play Netflix.

Now you see the runtime of two hours, which is one long documentary, and that may make you a little uneasy, but honestly, it held me in for every minute. It was so good on many different levels that I’ve been craving to watch it again, just because there was so much to see. Hunter S. Thompson was a very interesting person (it would probably be hard to try to make a boring documentary about him), and the people interviewed in the film appeared to me to be well thought out and smart choices. From Johnny Depp narrating the excerpts of his work, to hearing from the people Hunter actually followed around and wrote about, you can see the work put into the film was driven by passion to make the viewer love Hunter as much as the interviewees that knew him did.

Following the life of Hunter S. Thompson was no easy feat to document; he was such a huge persona that eventually he was a bigger story than the Gonzo journalism he invented and wrote. The mixture of unbelievable home videos of him is in itself just enough to watch the documentary, but the entertaining presentation of his whole entire life was what I found to be just good documentary filmmaking. Even going into the film not knowing much about him or his work, it walked me through it to not only care about him and appreciate who he was, but mind you, it had me crying by the end.

Double Indemnity

I'm narrowing down the AFI 100 list and this was on it. I think I'm really begining to like Billy Wilder as a director because I LOVE 'Sunset Blvd.' and 'Some Like it Hot' and I really like this.

I think this movie will be great to watch in a year or so.

I do like the Noir genre and according to the things I've heard, this is the film that codified what Noir is. It opened the door for Raymond Chandlar to get 'Maltese Falcon' on the screen.

The only thing holding this movie back from being really great today was that the plot and the tropes are so familiar. Like most Genre pieces the twists were predictable but satisfying.

I will say that Fred McMurray was really great in this.

series of short lists

films with best endings to the final frame
1. Cinema Paradiso
2. Storm

sexiest/fulfilling (not pertaining to story at all) kiss
1. Dance Party, USA
2. Spun

movie deaths i still can't accept
1. No One Knows
2. The Godfather Part II
3. The Host

best theater experience (not related to the movie)
1. Pirates of the Caribbean 2.... ticket, soda, popcorn, intermission, another ticket and a shirt FOR FREE!
2. Appoloosa... free premiere... met stars dressed like a transient

funniest coincidental movie block i rented once
1. The Invisibles, The Last Picture Show and Clerks (let you figure it out)
2. Go, Green, Groove (there's a second pattern too)

underrated actors
1. Jeff Bridges 
2. Jeremy Renner
*Casey Affleck got big

best backcover on dvd if you've never heard of them
1. The Night Porter
2. Koyaanisqatsi

funniest docs
1. Kurt and Courtney
2. Grizzly Man

fucked up docs
1. The Bridge
2. Zoo
3. Whole

most badass premises 
1. Perfume: the Story of a Murderer
2. Expiration Date

most style cues i fucking love
1. Baraka
2. Atonement

sexiest french actress
1. Vahina Giocante
2. Audrey Tautou

best title in relation to the story
1. Inside Man
2. Winter Light
3. Quantum of Soloce

greatest single shot
1. Alexander
2. The Thin Red Line

worst genocide movie
1. Ararat

best 9/11 movie
1. 25th Hour
2. United 93

best characters
1. Seven Samurai
2. Anaimalympics
3. I (heart) Huckabees

greatest acceptance to circumstance (related to the story)
1. Woman in the Dunes
2. The Crying Game

greatest symbolism beyond me
1. El Topo
2. Spirited Away

top movie genres not made
1. "Backpacking"
2. "NW Native"

greatest movies i think are okay
1. The Shawshank Redemption
2. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

i got bored..........................................THIS IS MY STAND!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

If No Else Is Going To...Slumdog Millionaire

So after all the hype around Slumdog Millionaire, I finally surrendered my $13 and went to the theater. I have to admit, it was mostly what I was expecting, a predictable satisfying ending, but much better than the trailer led to believe. I enjoyed the retrospective style of how the story was told. It was a simple and effective way to not only get through the story, but also reassure me that India is a place I don’t think I want to visit anytime too soon. Though I really admire Danny Boyle for going to the slums (of any place of any country) and running around with a camera and crew and getting the result he did.
To me, the biggest thing it had going for it was primarily the story, and given the current status of our country, it’s an uplifting story that people want to see, which is partly why I think it’s gotten so much praise. Of course, when I watch a movie I never go into “film student mode” and pick it apart (unless it really is horrifyingly awful). I watch for the story and if there are other exceptional elements (cinematography, editing, etc.), then I definitely take notice. With Slumdog, I didn’t really notice much else besides getting sucked into the story.
As for the Oscars, I’ll be surprised if the Academy chooses Slumdog over Benjamin Button, not because I like Button more or less, but because it doesn’t seem to me like the type of movie they would latch onto (maybe not sad enough? The Academy loves it when the major characters die, right?).
To sum it up, I liked it. Although it’s probably not a movie I would just go to see again for kicks and giggles, though it did leave a bit of an impact on me.


So this is my first break on this blog idea. I need to write about every movie. I need to remember that there is no pressure to make a great big blog. But I do need to reflect or the whole project is kaput. I watched this two days ago, and I need to catch up.

JJ Abrams is awesome. I like his sense of timing. He can create really tense scenes. he does a good job creating emotional stakes in his movies.

Tom Cruise really doesn't bother me. In fact I'd go so far as to say I'm a fan of his work. He just has an incredible amount of charisma. You just can't separate him from his characters.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman is out of control good in this movie. He is so rotten because he plays this role so flat. A lesser actor without the confidence could have played this like a bond villain, Hoffman plays it like he is selling insurance.

Plot was a little thin, but I had fun traveling to all the set pieces.