Sunday, August 14, 2016
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
At first glance everything about this film, and movement, is a nightmare. Literally. This movement relies heavily on daydream/nightmare sequences as an expository element for inner turmoil and repressed feelings. Many of the visual and thematic elements in the Panic Movement are very deeply rooted in religious iconography, but with perverse twists. I would describe this movement as a cynical view on the religious traditions of Catholicism and dark humor used as the means to translate this belief system to an audience. These men did shit piles of drugs and used an altered state of mind to explores a complex system of beliefs in an abstract way utilizing a neo-realistic means of storytelling. Did you catch all that? Am I rambling? Probably.
Viva la Muerte explores communism through a perverted sense of religion as seen through the eyes of a young boy. As it stands this film feels very pro-Communism anti-religion, while using religion as the vehicle for expressing Communist sympathies. I know it sounds hard to understand, and it is. The boy Fando has very intense, lustful fantasies involving his mother, strange men and women, using Catholic iconography to satisfy themselves. The dream/meta sequences are shot using vivid gels and high contrast footage. This adds to the intensity of these sequences.
Fando and his mother have an Oedipal relationship which mocks that of Jesus and his mother, the Virgin Mary. Fando's father in this is an apparition, who is more of a manifestation of heroism than a physical being. The boy becomes restless and changes due to the transformative qualities of the visions or dreams that he is having. His actions become those of a person being crushed under the weight of a dichotomous zealous puritanism and burgeoning hedonism. Those around him continue on their futile journey of religious fervor, mostly his mother, all while contrition and derision bubble to the surface. All because Communism was ultimately derailed by religious dedication. UGH.
Fernando Arrabal, the director, seems to be so enraptured with his own intelligence, he fails to see the importance of filmmaking as an art in his film. I get the sense that this film is the perfect example of someone filming their own mental masturbation, after having done countless drugs. He views religion, The Bible, these things of a sacred nature as one giant abstract orgy to which he wants to bring three sex buckets and a beach towel. The clear allegory, for me, is that much like religion, Communism can be perverted and misconstrued by the everyday people that it intends to help.
I prefer Jodo to Arrabal. Jodo has more fun than Arrabal, who uses his films as a means to prove his intelligence. This is one to watch as part of a Movie Club, where you can discuss with friends its many flaws and less than moderate amount of merits. Maybe that is the strength of this film, the ability to talk about it. Watch it, if you have people with whom you can discuss it.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
72.Coriolanus- Least favorite movie of the year. I didn't get it. Confusing, terrible Shakespeare adaptation. It reminded me a lot of Titus sans Hopkins
71.Haywire- Carino was not the problem with this movie, the movie was the problem with this movie. On paper a strong cast but this was deffo a Soderbergh experiment that should've stayed in the lab.
70.Innkeepers- This Tai West joint was one that I was anticipating for quite some time and it was truly a dog of a film. Slow moving and Kelly McGillis was as hot as the day Maverick rolled around with her. Two Words: Bull Dyke
69.Lockout- This movie SUCKED! Guy Pearce had some decent one-liners, but it was clearly modeled after an 80' action movie just without the endearing qualities of the muscley dick flicks of the past. Terrible movie. It's weird seeing Liam Neeson's daughter in Taken as an adult
68.Pitch Perfect- I just watched this movie and it was terrible. I feel like it is Bring It On Acapella. There were some funny moments, but I could have not given less of a shit. The dialogue was terrible and the fat friend was mildly funny. The love interest was ho hum, mostly hum. Do not care at all.
67.Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie- The premise looks funny on paper, but poorly executed and just a sloppy dog of a movie. They got their start on Adult Swim and I enjoyed their show, but in movie form it did not work
66.Rampart- Woody Harrelson plays a cop who has emotional issues and is mentally unstable. This movie is about his struggles as a dirt fiend, and coping with problems as they come. Never have I cared less about a character. The whole time I was wishing the character "to be dead 10 minutes ago."
65.Safe House- This movie had a lot of potential. Ryan Reynolds and Denzel? Loved the idea, until I watched the movie. Slow moving and terrible. It did not have the story line to move the way that it did and should have been straight up action. Total snooze fest
64.Project X- So this crude, terrible movie should have been left on the shelf. Or better stabbed with a coat hanger. The way they shot this film is very underground, very YouTube-esque, is pretty intriguing, but just an atrocious collaboration of hot garbage. Weirdly, based on a true story.
63.MIB 3- The only reason they made it, is because Brolin does a spot-on Tommy Lee Jones. They need to put this franchise to rest, bury it in a Saddam hiding hole and nuke the hell out of it.
62.John Carter- So before I say how long and terrible the story was and how much unnecessary filler they threw in this pile of trash, I need to say that it looked incredible, especially the flying ships. What a slow moving dog of a movie. Dead people move at a more rapid pace, and the story falls flat. Yawn.
61.The Campaign- I expected more from the two comedic leads. Zach and Will are generally pretty funny, even though Ferrell is in every comedy ever. The two standouts in this film were the Pugs and Dylan McDermott as the sleazy campaign manager. Everything else was Step Brothers, without the laughs.
60.The Expendables 2- So, granted the predecessor to this film was an action packed joy ride filled with TERRIBLE one liners and a hot pile of a story line; I wanted way more from the second installment which was filled with every action star ever. EVER. Except maybe Charles Bronson. It was barely watchable. Stallone's inability to write intelligent dialogue was on full display with each line getting more terrible than the previuos. I did not even have a good time watching it, which is why I watched it! The shit kept piling up, and there was no end in sight. One more time… Terrible! Just turrabuhl!
59.The Sessions- Have you ever wanted to see a quadripalegic get his sex on? If you answered yes, I hate you, but this is your movie. I had no idea what the hell I was getting in to when I saw this at Sundance. I really don't care about the sexual discoveries of a handicapped guy. That being said, John Hawkes was brilliant. He played a disabled man so well; I can't believe that he isn't paralyzed from the neck down. Helen Hunt showed her beav and everything and did a perfect job, with both the intimacy and the sensitivity that this difficult role required. This movie gives me an anti-boner for sure, but some of the best acting I saw all year.
58.Silent House- So the original is perfect. The American version is not. Lizzy Olsen was brilliant. There was no way that she wasn't trapped in this creepy house. Some of the cinematic elements are very well executed, but the Uruguayan version is totally masterful. This remake does not build the horror that the first did and the ending was dogshit.
57.Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance- Ghost Rider looked amazing. I actually liked this movie despite its glaring faults. Nick Cage is always terrible in the second act of his career, but I liked it. I mean this is what Marvel gets for selling the rights to Ghost Rider to a studio with no imagination for this character.
56.ParaNorman- This film looked incredible. I mean it looked amazing. The story was meh, I thought that Mintz-Plasse did a great job as the bully; I loved seeing him in a different role. The characters and the story did not strike a chord for me as they plodded their way through a pseudo mystery. If you are more into the visuals of a film see it, but if you care about anything else skip.
55.This Means War- This movie was terrible. It was terrible in a way that How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days was terrible. I’d say charmingly terrible? If that is a thing. I thought it was fun and Witherspoon is a tasty minx. Pine and Hardy played off one another very nicely, but I doubt that CIA agents use Company resources to fight for a girl. Ha boo. If they stayed in character as Kirk and Bane to win her affections it would have been more realistic and way more awesome. "Spock, you have permission to DIE!" "Captain's log Star Date: Batman, Bane, Christopher Nolan."
54.Bourne Legacy- Not enough wolf punching! How is this the second movie this year where a character punches attacking wolves?! Genius. And by genius I mean terrible. I almost put this as the worst movie of the year, because of the expectations that I had for it. If you are going to reboot a series as perfect as the Bourne Trilogy, you better come out swinging and never let up. It felt like a thrown together episode of House M.D. minus the sharp dialogue and good story line. This movie was long as shit and just as engaging.
53.V/H/S- This is an anthology of "scary" shorts. So much longer than it needed to be, it was an hour and 56 minutes. The last short was pretty fantastic, "10/31/98", and there were some intense moments throughout, but it was a jumbled mess of terrible. There was not a small amount of nudity, boobs and man butt.
52.Savages- Oliver Stone is dogshit. Does he even realize how terrible his movies are getting? I thought this movie was ok, and I enjoyed performances by Benicio, Salma and Aaron Johnson. But the story was confusing and inundated with fluff. Stone does lots of camera flares and weaves the path of the characters through a weak narrative as told by their "joint" girlfriend, no pun intended. To hell with it yes it was. Meh, we get it Stone you love drugs and tripping balls, make a movie like JFK to prove to us that you are still worth a shit.
51.Chernobyl Diaries- Brought to you by the douchenozzles that brought us Paranormal Activity. Thank you assholes for bringing us these cinematic treasures. This was not good. That being said I watched it while flying to Fiji and was entertained. Barely entertained. I love the thought of Chernobyl being overrun with cannibalistic freaks, but not like this. It felt like Hostel turning into the Texas Chainsaw meets Surf Nazi's with Cannibal Holocaust stirred around in it. Not good.
50.Five Year Engagement- Meh. This movie was meh. It was a more terrible version of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Some funny parts, but I will forget about it in three weeks.
49.Premium Rush- I would watch it again, but really it was a modern take on Quicksilver. JGL was decent and I loved Michael Shannon but that is where it stops. Too much garbage to really enjoy it.
48.Chronicle- I actually loved the concept of this movie, the gaining of powers, the home footage of friends developing these powers, and the power shift and personality change of those characters as their strength grows. Awesome. But the end sucked. So terrible. This had top 10 potential if the end was not just spraying chunks from how terrible it was. The home footage filming technique is not as original as it once was, and is on the brink of being stupid.
47.Get the Gringo- Mel Gibson remakes Payback, but it takes place in a Mexican prison. It was an offensive Saturday afternoon watch
46.Total Recall- This Len Wiseman film was pretty ok, but was also pretty dogshit. The best thing that he has ever done was wed Beckinsale. She is so frigging hot in this movie it pisses me off. That being said, she is a terrible actress, and did not have much to work with. It was action packed and a pretty fun time, but the women in it were pretty bad. Kate actually states, "I give good wife." Even in context this line is terrible and should never be stated. Ever. The Underworlds were all terrible.
45.Salvation Blvd.- This Pierce Brosnan joint made it's debut at Sundance. It explores the somewhat preachy side of christianity and what transpires when that self-righteous nature becomes tainted with sin and secrets. It was pretty good and the cast was a pretty engaging bunch
44.The Woman in Black- Harry Potter does a pretty good job leading the audience through this nerve racking, victorian horror movie. There were some pretty intense scenes and the film was very well shot. I believe this is a hammer production, and I am loving the rebirth of the Hammer brand
43.Act of Valor- This was intense movie that used live ammunition and real life Navy Seals! Are you shitting me?! I loved it. It was high paced and go-go-go. The acting was terrible, I mean just garbage, but you go into a film like this not for the chops but for the carnage and intensity. Total Dick Flick
42.The Secret World of Arrietty- Since marrying my sweet wife my love for Japanimation has grown significantly. This is a Miyazaki written film, directed by someone else, but clearly this is his styling. I loved it. An interesting subject that has a well voiced set of characters and the animation is pristine, as usual. Miyazaki is the animation guru, and anything he puts out my wife will watch and love, therefore I will watch and love.
41.Wanderlust- So this is a decent movie. It is up this high on my list because I think that the dialogue is super engaging and right up my alley. The story itself lacks, and is definitely absurd. Movies like this rely on a suspension of disbelief, which is not necessary, but for whatever reason is integral to the story. I love Paul Rudd and his ability to deliver comedy, but every other character, I could give a poop.
40.Comic Con Episode IV- This is a Spurlock Doc, that interviews and explores the people of Comic Con. It is pretty good and the people are entertaining as heck. The whole time I watched it I was pissed that these nerds somehow get tix and I can not. To hell with them.
39.Contraband- This is one of my guilty pleasure movies of 2012. It was not good, at all. But I love me some Marky Mark. I admittedly liked this way more than I should have.
38.Casa De Mi Padre- I didn't love this movie, but the more I think about it, the more brilliant it is. The fact that they perfectly parody Telenovelas (Mexican soap operas) is so impressive. The story is long and cumbersome like the novelas, but it is pretty funny. If you are not familiar with the Mexi-soaps, this is not your type of film. It was pretty good and it gets better with age.
37.21 Jump Street- Pretty funny movie. Go in with no expectation of reality. The best part of this film was the introduction into the cliques and the reversal of roles for Tatum and Hill. Ice Cube is great as the angry, black captain. Laugh out loud funny at times, but I did chuckle a lot.
36.Goon- Funny. Stiffler kills it in this hockey, punch 'em flick. Funnier than Slap Shot and the "goon" is way more lovable. Just the right amount of romance and manliness. Suprisingly touching but has moments of absurd offensiveness. Loved it.
35.Killer Joe- So while watching this movie I thought to myself, "This movie is pretty offensive." Sure enough it was rated NC-17. Good. Good. McCaughnhay, I butchered the spelling, was so damn good. The dude was ice cold. I thought he was gonna knife me in my open mouth. The story was pretty interesting, your standard white trash family gets in over their head with the wrong guy, a detective/hitman, and some of the twists and turns are super compelling. Very pleasantly surprised about the way that it unfolded. Don't watch unless you can stomach "certain elements" that give it the rating it has. Offensive.
34.Sleepwalk with Me- This was a really engaging film done by Mike Birbigs. I loved it. He is a struggling comic who is apart of a relationship of which he is not sure. He battles some sleep issues and it creates an interesting dynamic as he struggles to get gigs. Very engaging, interesting narrative.
33.Lawless- This would take my dishonorable mention for disappointing movie of the year. I wanted this movie to destroy butts and be an amazing prohibition westerny film. It had an All-star cast, minus Shia, and really should have delivered. I liked it but I left scratching my head wondering where they went wrong. I was frustrated. The story drug its feet and moved slowly. How the characters ended up where they did left me kind of bewildered due to a saturated plot, thick with emotion and feeling that felt forced.
32.Seven Psychopaths- It was kind of confusing. It didn't feel like it was about anything really. I did love the senseless meandering through out the film. Walken was great, Rockwell and Farrell both nailed it. Harrelson was great as the man obsessed with his Shitzu. Not the genius film like In Bruges, but an enjoyable ride.
31.Brave- The main girl's hair was so breathtaking it makes me sick. It is the only time ever I loved fire red hair. Ever. The story was weird and not as crisp as other pixar films, but I still enjoyed myself. It was one of those stories that really went a weird direction, and wasn't endearing enough for me to get onboard with. The heroine, Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald, was very lovable. I was compelled by her personal journey, but the surrounding story was kind of a mess. It was really good though. Oddly enough the best part of the whole thing were the special features on the making of Brave. Pretty great stuff
30.The Amazing Spiderman- So I really loved this movie, despite the fact that it is a recent reboot. Spiderman 3 was dog shit. I liked Garfield as Parker and Stone was just plain sexy as Gwen. Smoldering. This movie had actual web slinging and did not just rely on CGI, which gave it a weighty, realistic feel. The end was just a sack of cheese with the cranes, ha boo, completely anti-climactic. The Lizard was a maniacal villian played by wonderfully by Ifans. This movie was a great kick in the pants and a nice change from Raimi's cluttered, often messy garbage.
29.The Queen of Versailles- Talk about a wake up call. This doc about the lavish to "impoverished" lifestyle of the Westgate time-share mogul is eye opening. This couple lets us into their lives which at the beginning is absurdly flamboyant. When asked "why are you building a 90k square foot home that cost $100 million?" David Siegel states, "because I can." by the end he states that it is a "rags to riches" story that plays out in front of our eyes. It is a fascinating sociological study in the effects of losing wealth and power and the toll it takes on interpersonal, business and the relationships with one's self. It allows me to be a nosy person and look in on the lives of an interesting family. Obviously I judge them the whole time, but Mrs. Siegel is surprisingly honest and a damaged heroine that you can get behind
28.The Avengers- So disappointing. It made money hand over fist, which makes me not want to live on this planet anymore. I liked it ok, but what I hate about it is that it failed where the other Marvel films succeeded, except Iron Man Dos. Joss Whedon is not someone that I am particularly fond of and I think that he made this film too quippy. The story was rushed. Hold off until the 2nd Thor and explain how Loki made his deal with the devil and Thor bypassed the Rainbow Bridge, it should not have been brushed off so easily. The Avengers is something that needs set up. Hawkeye is thrown in without a backstory and the audience is expected to care about who he is. The Black Widow was terrible. As the other superhumans were using their powers she was shooting this alien race, who were disappointingly weak, with two 9mm's. TERRIBLE. Loki was a pussy and gave up like a baby when he thought he was beat. Loki should have been a tougher foe and not so easily decimated, especially what awaited him if he failed. I loved the Hulk, The Cap'n was great, Iron Man was pretty good, loved Thor. There were some good parts, but this could've been like The Dark Knight kind of epic.
27.9.79*- This number is representative of the time in which Ben Johnson ran the 100m in the Seoul Olympics. This time won him the gold, breaking his own world record, earning him millions in endorsements overnight and would lead to his tainted demise. This is a sad story about an athlete who cheated his way to the top in a sport filled with cheaters. It gives great interviews with those involved with the race itself, competitors, coaches and those that were involved in a different way, reporters, fans, family, presidents of drug testing. I came away from this feeling like he was made an example of and was strung up by his taint for an injustice that he committed when everyone that he was competing against was just as guilty, just not as fast. Carl Lewis is deffo the villian of the story, but Ben Johnson's own sad life plays the part of protagonist. If nothing else it was very well put together. It's 30 for 30.
26.b.Prometheus- Listen I friggin' love Alien. I love Aliens. Prometheus should have been a disconnected pre-quel. I wanted Ridley to make this film more of its own thing. What there wasn't enough of, was raining indoors. The cast did a great job acting and each member fit together nicely. The acting was the best part of this film. The deeper meaning of the story was also very insightful. The Creator vs. The Created, and the dichotemy of the relationship that they have with one another. It looked incredible, it is Ridley, but it lacked a sense of originality. I don't understand why it was tethered to the Alien story as much as it was. Rapace is sexy and nailed it, as did F Assbender. Probably one of the best looking films in years, but it is Ridley.
26.a.Dredd- I thought this was a great action flick. Urban destroyed it as Dredd. Jen said that she felt like we were watching the Raid, but with a scifi twist. Gory and bloody this film was a fun thrill ride through a huge apartment complex. It was surprisingly good, a nice action film with balls and fury.
25.FATHOM EVENT: The Birds- This movie is interesting but it is not particularly good. Tippi Hedren is of course marvelous in this film and I do enjoy me some Rod Taylor, but what made this so special, is seeing Hitchcock on the big screen. Fathom events is an initiative with movie theaters that brings events to them, whether it is concerts, plays, musicals or the screenings of old movies that have been restored. It looked and sounded fantastic restored. What a great experience, making an average film a spectacle to behold.
24.Frankenweenie- I thought that this was far and away the best animated film of 2012. It was incredibly interesting and beautifully made. Unlike Paranorman this film has heart and soul, being the 30 year old baby of Tim Burton. I hate/love animated films that get me misty eyed. The heart that this film has is absolutely incredible, very similar to that of Toy Story 3. A little boy and his beloved dog, and his dog dies, game over. Absolutely brilliant. My wife is a dog lover so this film gets her every time.
23. Headhunters- This Norwegian film was an intriguing mystery. It was a winding story that went one way then another, all the while keeping an even well paced path, leading to an interesting finale. I kept thinking of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, very similar look and feel. These Scandanavian films feel soulless and evil, but I still love them.
22.Jiro Dreams of Sushi- Jiro is the turtle from Kung Fu Panda. There is no way he isn’t. Jiro is a top flight sushi chef who has dedicated his life to the art of creating the perfect sushi through simplistic depth of flavor and style. This doc takes some cues from Jiro’s style and is an elegant portrait of a master. Loved it.
21.Beasts of the Southern Wild- Gosh, what do I say about this movie? Charming. Enjoyable. Intense. I really enjoyed myself watching the brilliant hush Puppy navigate her way through the treacherous but comfy Bathtub. The cast was flat out phenomenal. The story was captivating and the cinematography was breathtaking. Zeitlin really put together an opus in his feature length debut. Hush Puppy for Best Actress
20.Jeff Who Lives at Home- Mumblecore. The Duplass brothers give us a look into the life of a guy who doesn’t aspire to be too much other than a couch sitting douchard. It feels like this movie is telling the truth of the Gen Y group, many of whom are floaters and have a tough time aspiring to mediocrity, exemplified by older brother Ed Helms. The ending is rewarding and the story moves nicely towards it.
19.FATHOM EVENTS: Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein- So another “Event” made it into my top 25, sue me. These two films are absolutely beautiful on the big screen. Both of these are near and dear to my heart, due to my great love for the month of October and monster movies in general. I prefer Bride of Frankenstein because it is more tongue and cheek in the portrayal of the two monsters and their relationship to one another. The look and sound in theaters is stunning. Best double feature of the year
18.The American Scream- Yes another documentary. So this was made by the same director of The Best Worst Movie. This movie kicks ass. Again dealing with my favorite holiday. It chronicles three Connecticut families who are obsessed with Halloween décor and dressing up their homes for the much anticipated haunted homes they put on. It is brilliant. Stephenson weaves a wonderful story line that creates a touching tapestry that endears each character. When all is said and done you feel a sense of accomplishment as each family struggles to complete their spooked out manors. This one I will own, no doubt.
17.TED- Flash! Ahhhha! Seriously the Flash GordON references alone make this McFarland project worthy of a top spot. There is an amazing cameo by an amazing actor. This is a big budget Family Guy episode. If you love FG you will love this film. Wahlberg kills it as Peter. Kills it.
16.The Dark Knight Returns: Part 1- I love me some DC animated cartoons. Also it’s Batman. I loved this animated flick so much that I bought it on Blu-ray. This is based on the Frank Miller graphic with the same name, and it delivers. It’s a hard hitting, beautifully animated film that screams it’s way from start to finish. It’s right outside the Top 10 so there.
15.The Hobbit- So this is a big inclusion for me, due to the fact that I am not a fan of LOTR. This film looked incredible. Incredible. The hook for me was the fact that Jackson had been video blogging the making of The Hobbit, giving an in-depth look inside the process of making such an epic film. The meticulous attention to detail that he gives helped him to create a state of the art means of filming this popular story. The HFR (high frame rate) gave it the most intensely life like feel. Completely amazing cinematic event. You have to see it in IMAX 3D HFR, to immerse yourself in this breathtaking experience. Simply stunning. The story itself is actually pretty slow moving, but truth be told it did not feel like a three hour movie.
14.The Dark Knight Rises- The stunning finale to the greatest movie trilogy of my generation (30 year old generation). It of course looked and sounded amazing, but the end was such a frigging let down. The thing that I have loved about Nolan from day one was his auteur sensibility of making a movie his and his alone. The ending of this movie felt like a studio exec took over and demanded that it cater to the dumbest audience of all time. I loved the open ending of Inception and this could have had a similar conclusion. But instead, the ending went all dipshit and terrible. The story felt stretched and some characters were added in unnecessarily, adding to a cluttered story line. Nolan needed to trim the fat in this story and make it simple. Batman Begins was simple, that is what makes it great. K.I.S.S. This should have been the greatest movie this year, not an 8.75/10. It was cast ok, I would have preferred someone besides Hathaway as Catwoman, but less characters in general would have suited this film better.
13.Lincoln- I loved this movie. Slow paced? Check. Awesome and perfect? Check. Academy Awards for acting? Check. Daniel Day was obviously so perfect as Lincoln it made me wonder if he invented a time machine to take a peek at our famous dead prez. Here’s the crazy thing about this film, every actor could be considered for an award and no one would bat an eye. Even Tommy Lee Jones was great. He has been playing the same role since The Fugitive. Spader was my fave character as the sleazy votebagger. Everyone was brilliant and this Spielberg film has some serious technical weight. Everything worked together nicely to create a fascinating story for the perfect period piece. The way that Daniel Day told stories was my favorite piece of the film, I couldn’t get enough of his Lincolnians. Such a stupendous film, and movie makers take note, this is how it’s done.
12. Silver Linings Playbook- David O. does a great job with this film. Cooper and Lawrence bring it. I loved this film way more than I thought I would. The story was touching and the struggles of the characters were real, palpable. The ending was hugely rewarding and the build-up was brilliant. I was proud of Cooper showing off his chops. Lawrence is just gorgeous in this film. I love her and hope she keeps on with her perfection.
11.Looper- I love me some Rian Johnson. I am a huge fan of his film Brick, so my anticipation for this film was an untempered love fest. It was a fabulous film, but has its problems. Jeff Daniels kills it as the chief bad guy, and is one cold bastard. JGL is great, but why in the name of all that is holy was Paul Dano cast in this film? He is legitimately terrible, he probably has mental AIDS or something. The story is confusing as shit and you need to take an Adderol to focus on understanding how it unfolds. I made the mistake of seeing it as a midnight movie. What a terrible idea. The acting is pretty solid and I love the look and feel. I do love time travel, but it was not the best time travel movie of the year. SPOILER ALERT!
10. Searching for Sugar Man- So it cracked my top 10. Another documentary. I loved this film. The story arc was brilliant. It was a mystery unfolding before my eyes. Rodriguez is such an amazing character. His unheralded talent was shocking. In the mouths of South African's he was an important cog in the beginning of the battle against Apartheid. This one man was such an important figure in their recent heritage. This lone, vagrant man, almost drifter-like in his lifestyle.
9.Indie Game: The Movie- This doc follows three different game developers as they progress towards releasing their indie video games. It is such a well done piece, I felt just as stressed as the game makers themselves. Each one of them has neurotic tendencies that translates into a palpable extension of the film. I love docs like these that explore a them of which I am completely unaware. 2nd best doc of the year.
8.The Raid: Redemption- Do you want a fist to face, punch you in the junk martial arts flick? Look no further than this Indonesian flick. Gareth Evans literally beats up the audience with this action packed showcase of blunt force trauma. Unlike Ong Bak, which I cherish, there is a plausible and well written story line. The special forces unit that infiltrates this drug infested apartment complex is wonderfully captured; even during scenes of intense action the camera never loses sight of the main characters. There are so many “Ooh” “Aah” and “Oh Shit” moments I can’t even begin to list them. Frigging Genius.
7.Safety Not Guaranteed- Best time travel movie of the year. This is an engaging indie film and one of my favorite in recent years. I am already a huge Duplass fan, thanks to The League, and he absolutely destroys it as a pseudo-crazy, pseudo-lovable oafish genius. That may or may not be too many adjectives running together. The ending is so bloody satisfying. It was already super engaging but the ending was the sweet maraschino on top. Go out right now and just buy it, then you can enjoy it multiple times. The story and dialogue is well crafted and each character fits nicely together. Love it.
6.Moonrise Kingdom- Yes it’s a Wes Anderson film and Yes it’s brilliant. It has some of my favorite character exchanges. There is a part where a letter is read between two characters that is fabulous. I love Wes Anderson and the quirky ass films he puts out. My favorite part of this film is the cast and how they work and play off one another. Every person is essential in the story, and they nail it. I felt good when I watched this film, it left me feeling like I had watched something that I will keep forever and made me better, somehow. This story of self discovery and growth is reflected throughout not only the story but each and every character. Touching flick for which I am gay.
6.Argo- In retrospect I love this movie as things have been sinking in, not as much as I initially did. This taut thriller from Bennaffleck kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. I really appreciated what he did with the story, it being BASED on a true story, not being a true story. It was technically well constructed, with gorgeous cinematography and very nice editing. I liked the shots it took at Hollywood, conveying the fact that it is a town full of bullshit and fakes. I imagine that it did not get the credit it deserved due to the fact that there was an irreverant representation of the industry. He showed the world that he can direct a film outside of Southie in Boston. The ensemble was neurotic and paranoid, perfectly conveying the sense of tension that builds within the story, but ultimately is spoiled by a heavy handed celebration at the end.
5.You Don’t Know Bo- Who doesn’t love Bo Jackson? Heathens I suspect. Brian Bosworth, maybe. This profile of the greatest all-around athlete of all time was shocking and absolutely mouth dropping. The footage that they show is simply stunning. The things that this man could do in any sport were just mind blowing! He could jack a baseball 600 feet, jump a car, sprint a 10 second hundred and blaze his way to an Iron Bowl win as a frosh. “Are you kidding me?” was the phrase that I kept saying out loud. I love this doc because it simply paints the portrait of a man both inside and out, giving the viewer a detailed perspective on a freak of nature. He is a childhood idol of any kid growing up in the 80’s and I loved seeing the one sure thing in Tecmo Bowl come to life.
4.Skyfall- Craig. Daniel Craig. This dude is old as dirt and still is more physically fit than punks half his age. How perfect of a Bond is he? Pretty. That was an odd way to answer my own question. Sam Mendes answers ALL questions that skeptics had about the latest installment of this 50 year old movie series. This is one of the most beautiful Bonds. The cinematography looks like we are just watching a Mendes painting unfold before us. The cast is brilliant, with Bardem as the vicious and slightly homo-erotic villain. The scene between Craig and Bardem as Jaws Jr., is so wonderfully uncomfortable it made me writhe in my seat. This movie is filled with tension as it twists and turns towards a pretty great finale. Some characters are introduced which give me excitement going forward, and make me salivate for the next one. At a specific point it gets kind of Home Aloney, which is annoying as shit, despite that I love this taut spy thriller.
3.The Cabin in the Woods- This horror flick was the best Whedon joint of the year. By far. It had been shelved for three and made its debut this year. Good thing too, cause it is awesome as shit. The intracacies of this film are so unique, I had never seen anything like it, which is why it kicks so much ass. Not only does it have some great spooks, but the story is strong and hits hard. Why is it so genius? How did he shit the bed so bad with The Avengers? Everything about this film feeds my insatiable need for horror flicks. The thing that I love about this oddly brilliant film is that it never lets off the gas. If you are of the Whedon discipleship you will love the snappy dialogue and avant-garde story line. It’s frigging weird but brilliantly weird. Truly a horror masterpiece
2.The Hunger Games- Change of plans folks, Django beat out HG for my fave of the year. But, I frigging love this frigging film. If you would have told me that the knockoff of Battle Royale, the Japanese film from 2000, would be one of my faves of the year, I would have openly scoffed, mocked, maybe even jeered and possibly pantsed and dick punched you. But it is. I love everything about this movie, the cast, the story, the look, the feel, the intense action of pitting kids against one another in a fight to the death. The more I defend this masterpiece the more I love it. Lawrence is the perfect heroine. She is selfless and strong. She gives an All-Pro performance, conveying the emotional intensity it would take to be cast into the lion’s den the way these characters were. This movie is gorgeous and sexy and brilliant and I love it. There are some great actors doing some great things in this film, and this for me is a personal favorite that I will continue to watch and enjoy.
1.b.Zero Dark Thirty- Bigelow’s latest venture into the Middle East, she explores not only the American perspective of this harsh place but creates a thrilling, hyper-informational piece that captivates and inspires. My favorite part of this film was hands down Jason Clarke. He delivers as a ruthless CIA agent hell-bent on getting what he needs from his captives. Chastain gives a gut wrenching performance as the most dedicated human being to ever have walked the earth. Ever. She is utterly brilliant. Now this is the back story of how we discovered bin Laden, this is not a gun slinging Seal Team 6 biopic. Be prepared to get into the nitty gritty of Osama bin Hiding, I thought the pacing was great, but I am not sure how rewatchable this film is. I walked away with complete respect for how well researched and developed this film is, so all props to Bigelow and her partner Boal. This is the Hurt Locker with an elevated sense of realism and palpable triumph.
1.a.Django Unchained- This movie is my favorite of 2012. I frigging loved it which is why I kept it as TBD. Everyone was great. How is Waltz so bloody amazing. The way that he delivers each uniquely put together line had me completely intrigued. His ability to portray Quentin's Quirky characters makes him absolutely enthralling. A bounty hunter dentist?! WTF?! Leo was brilliant as the Candy-man, a blood-thirsty aristocrat who manages to maintain a level of southern charm while being a total dirt bag. Foxx as Django was perfect. He was out for justice, hard to kill and above the law. Oddly enough these are all names of Steven Seagal movies. No, he was phenomenal as the newly freed slave, who is out to avenge mistreatment and rescue his damsel. Tarantino knows and has studied the Western and Spaghetti Western genre, capturing minute details and grandiose themes. What I love about this film is its tongue and cheek homage to one of my favorite genres. There are some great comedic moments and some over the top ridiculous elements. With some of the exaggerated elements in the film, I feel like the grindhouse feel will always be a part of Tarantino's films. Those aspects of his films are one of the reasons I love them. The blood, the gore, the N word. I loved all of it. Spike Lee, you're terrible.
Friday, May 6, 2011
Thor has always been one of my favorite superheroes, and in reading Stan Lee's book, I learned that Thor is one of his favorites to write. This is such a unique story. The characters are derived from Nordic myth, as is the setting of their story. It is a unique thing to take something that has been around for thousands of years and transform it into a modern day story, blending it with the new age demi-gods that we have deemed as heroes. The acting in the film lent to the mythos from which these beings sprang. I was involved from the beginning and found myself caught up in the wonder that is Asgard. Anthony Hopkins as Odin worked so well, he has this very knightly air, due to the fact that he is very straight in his actions, but cross him and he can summon a beastly anger. He has the stately manner of a king and in another life would have been a fantastic Caesar.
Middleton as Loki was the perfect choice. He played the part of the mischevious weasel perfectly. I felt that this movie played off of the biblical story very subtlely. Loki was the younger brother who attempted to beguile his way into a position of power. The eldest brother was sent to earth to complete his pre-determined role, dying then receiving the mighty power of his Father and resurrecting. The culmination of the movie was in a final battle between brothers, an Asgardian Apocalypse if you will. Maybe it is a stretch. I think that the progression of the story was very fluid and each of the cast fit in very well with one another and the overall story. This movie is a testament to the thought that Marvel has put into the writing and creation of their comics into movie form. Oh and Stan Lee's cameo was amazing. Well played Generalissimo.
Go see this movie. The world that they created was so visually spectacular you can not help but immerse yourself into this unique character. I think we could all read more Thor, He is a fascinating character who is surrounded by a supporting cast of equally fascinating individuals. The best part is, this story's genesis stems from myths that are thousands of years old. How great of an adaptation is that? It's almost good as the re-telling of War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise... Sometimes I hate Hollywood and their terrible ways.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I see Thor on Thursday and I am looking so forward to it. The acting and directing are two areas that i am expecting to be strong. I need it to start off the Summer right, well Summer in movie seasons. Fast Five was obviously so terrible, I mean except for the Rock's ability to not be robotic. I love the Rock as much as the next wrestlingphile, but he was so bad in this movie it shocked me. I couldn't believe that he was allowed to do such a terrible job. If any of us go to work and do a terrible job, on purpose, we would get written up and maybe demoted. He keeps finding work, and this won't deter future employers, i.e. studios, from hiring him. It is a crazy world we live in when people who are completely incapable of doing their job make more than 65% of the people in Africa put together, except for the savannah tribesman. It is much more lucrative than you think, herding sheep and fighting leopards with spears and poverty. Point is Fast Five was not good, Paul Walker is a cheese dick and I was entertained the whole damn time. I was. Justin Lin, the director, filmed it well, the audio was superb and the acting was horrendous. Best part of the movie was the obvious fight between Vin Diesel and Mr. The Rock.
We have some big movies coming out in the Summer, finally I am sick of animated frogs and Brazilian birds. Who honestly gives an animated rat's ass about these filler movies. Pixar of course is amazing and anything that they do is not filler but blockbuster. Rio?! who cares? Not this guy, with the two thumbs. I have missed all of you, my beautiful followers and I am back!
Friday, September 3, 2010
The strength of the story is the complex weaving of character depth manifested through intensly quirky dialogue. The speak of the film is very off-putting at first, due to the common usage of slang and shortcuts. Once the film gets going and the story begins to develop, you really become drawn to the language of the story. Surprisingly enough the intensity of the film is helped along by the way that the characters of the movie relate to each other through their language.
Inception is a great example of the sleek sensibility of Joseph Gordon-Leavitt. In Brick it is evident that he is starting to develop his "cool" and hundred yard stare. He expresses so much anxiety, intensity and raw emotion in his eyes and jaw line. He is able to help not only the story to move along, but the co-stars with whom he stars are able to feed off of his uncanny acting abilites. He is able to build the story, through his unique screen presence. You are not sure if he cares or if there is a deeper sense of purpose to his character in relation to the story. He maintains a distanced, very calloused perspective on the characters as he pieces together the intricate story line. As unrelateable as he is to the everybody in the story, I really found myself bonding to his cynical perspective. Everyone has motivation and not all of it is for his benefit.
The story of this film is a predatory gyro. You are never sure who is the prey and who is on the prowl. The setting of the film is rather fascinating. A film noir in a high school? Very unique. It really adds to the complexity of the characters and the way that they navigate through the turmoil. I hope that my kids are not within fifty miles of any of the characters in this film. Frigging crazy! The whole time I watched this film, I had to keep thinking this is all from the perspective of adolescense and not that of veteran old-doggism. That is not even a word. Good. Good.
Go see this movie or borrow it from me, because it is fantastic. And IIIIII helped! But seriously this movie rocks. Great Indie flick.
The movie that I have chosen to analyze is Spies Like Us, one of the greatest 80’s comedies ever. If you haven’t seen it, rent it or buy it and watch it immediately. I would classify this film as a satirical comedy with lots of Chevy Chase slapstick. Much of the comic situation is narrative as Aykroyd and Chase build a relationship in which plays off the other. Remember when Chase was funny, well until Community; it seems like so long ago. Fortunately his talk show worked out….
This movie is great from top to bottom. Each character has some great lines and the supporting cast really puts in to words what the audience sees as we watch their interaction. Just after the testing center scene, which is filled with gag humor, the General comments that they are,” a couple of absolutely self-involved bullshit artists who got caught cheating on a departmental exam” this is a perfect summation of the prior scene, helping the audience to articulate what they had just seen.
It really is a great satirical comedy on the state of government espionage and deniability. You get a couple of douchers to play the fall guy for the government on a secret mission; all the while putting themselves in to harm’s way under the pretense they are serving their country. Despite all of the situations in which they find themselves, they somehow bumble their way through the mission successfully accomplishing the assignment. The physical humor is fantastic, during their training phase they are put through the rigors of threshold testing which creates some great gag humor, all of which is totally ridiculous and hilarious. The faces they make and the one-liners they spew have really made this a total classic, right up there with Three Amigos, What About Bob?, Caddyshack and Ghostbusters.
The best comedies are definitely the most well-rounded, that have nothing to do with Adam Sandler, which seamlessly involves all aspects of comedy. This movie has gag humor that plays off the observational set-up that was done between the two main characters and the secondary characters, all while poking fun at the issue of our Cold-War beast of a government.