Jan 31, 2008
Jan 25, 2008
There Will Be Blood - FUCKING HELL! Words cannot express how amazing this movie is. Top to bottom, it blew me away. There are no flaws! I mean, maybe tiiiiny flaws, but all completely mitigated by their circumstance. I thought the kid wasn't a great actor until his big event, then it turns out he's amazing. I thought the music was a tiny bit hokey, but it fits in the style and I can't really critique it. Also, the moaning crescendo sound? Yeah, that's LOST's sound. Sorry if you had the idea first, but that's what it is, you can't have it. Besides that? PERFECT. All the performances are astounding. Daniel Day Lewis has an amazing evolution and is brilliant. The preacher is complex and incredible. The kid should not be that good. The brother was totally unexpected and marvelous. All these characters are different but tied in and just work so amazingly well. It has beautiful locations, beautifully shot, some symbolism that even I picked up. There is parallelism in the writing that knocked me out. And I only picked up like 3 or 4 instances, imagine how many there really were! Oh my god I have no idea how to choose between it and No Country For Old Men (which I am ashamed to realize I never talked about here when I saw it). They are both perfect amazing movies. I want to see this over and over, it was absolutely fantastic. Seriously, I think I'm gonna pee my pants.
Jan 21, 2008
And here goes another 80 million movies. I realize no one cares what I think, but I rather like writing it down for when I forget in, like, a week.
Cloverfield - so cool! Really, it did everything it wanted to do very well, and it was great. There's a few dumb things you have to forgive, some forced humor, some convenient plot, the whole artifice of the found tape bullcrap that doesn't really hold up. But it was actually very funny, pretty well acted, and super cool as far as revealing things as it went along. Totally lived up to what I hoped.
Juno - This is pretty much as good as everyone says. The first 20 minutes annoyed the crap out of me. I'm so sick of bullshit old people writing dialog for bullshit young characters. "Hey man! that's the widget! yeah, that outfit is totally juicebox!" See? I can do it too, pick random words as new adjectives or interjections and you are totally cool and young. ANYway, besides that bunch of crap, the movie is great. I didn't love the main girl till the end, because the first 1/2 is laden with all the aforementioned bullcrap. But in the end she is great. And the supporting cast is universally amazing. Michael Sera (playing the same character, again, unfortunately) still does great, the step-mom and dad are awesome. Jason Bateman and Jennifer Gardner are completely amazing. Especially the latter, who is nominally playing an extreme role, but does it with perfect balance and honesty. So anyway, it's a very good movie.
The Orphanage - Wow, very very good as well! I've seen three great movies in four days. This is totally what a scary movie should be, tense and atmospheric and not dumb. I guess the Japanese movies do this as well, but I liked this more than any of the Japanese horrors I've seen. There was a bit of mystery hunting in the last 30 minutes that sorta sucked, but the rest of the movie had me all the way through. Can't say the ending, of course, but I will say that it could have been super lame but wasn't. Maybe not everyone's style, but I was okay with it.
By the way, I saw the trailer for the american version of The Eye again after having seen the original. I think this will be the first time I've ever done it in that order. But anyway, from what I can tell, I saw excerpts from every single scene in the trailer, up to and including the ending! It looks like a very direct remake, which seems sort of lame, but it will be interesting to compare, I guess.
In The Name Of The King - Ok ok, before you say anything, I have never paid money for an Uwe Boll film (for the uninitiated, his entire career is making awful video game movies). But I have also never not paid for a Jason Statham movie (unless you count War, which I don't). So you see I really had no choice. In the end, it was pretty damn awful. The production values were surprisingly adequate. Sets looked good, costumes looked alright, weapons and armor of the heroes looked proper, though some minor characters were clearing armed in tin foil. Special effects, too, were actually quite good. A couple failings (in the woods, in the last sequence), but the teleport effect is actually the coolest I have ever seen. The acting, however, is horrible. And the writing is the most god awful, horrendous, mind-splititng, puke-inducing drek ever shat onto a page. Well, maybe not ever, but it is really bad. Just ever pathetic cliche, over worked joke, unnecessary explanation, etc. If you watch it on mute, the action is good enough. Just don't listen, your ears might bleed.
Hairspray - Well, this was fun I guess. I don't understand my relationship with musicals. Chicago is my favorite of all time, I looooove it, and it's pretty corny. Somehow that music, that time period, charms me. Across the Universe & Sweeny Todd recently made me happy. This seemed fun, but I didn't love any of the music, the characters were mostly annoying. I did like the group dance sequences though.
Rescue Dawn - This was pretty tense, pretty good! It's basically a vietnam POW camp story. It looks like an old vietnam movie, though it came out last year, which is really great. It sort of feels like not a lot happens, but that's the point I guess. Everyone does a pretty good job, including Steve Zahn, surprisingly. And Bale is, as he is continually proving, great. Dunno what else to say, I think it's great, you should see it.
Resident Evil: Exctinction - What? What did you expect? It's RE. Zombie attacks, you shoot it. Zombie dog attacks, you kick it. Zombie bird attacks, you light it on fire. Then do it some more. Then ogle Mila Jovavich a little. Then some more stabby stabby shooty shooty. Then you go home. This is how it goes. By the way, this movie makes me want a Walking Dead movie, or even better tv show, SO MUCH. Walking Dead is a comic, probably the best zombie story I've ever read/seen, it's really great.
Color of the Cross - So... this is basically black jesus. Made by a company called Black Christian Films, ha. An entirely normal jesus story, retold with a black guy playing jesus, and occasionally someone says "do you think they are persecuting him because he is black?" No seriously, they say that. I mean, it would have been a legitimate question, if the messiah shows up in double digits BC and he is a different race than most of the jews. But still, it seemed entirely unneccessary, the whole movie. I suppose it's no worse than whiter than snow jesus movies, but I don't really dig them either, so wadayawant?
Jan 14, 2008
Jan 10, 2008
Jeez, one measly writers' strike and I have no choice but to watch a kajillion movies:
Sweeney Todd - Pretty good! The movie part was great, the style was great (Burton Blue, naturally), the musical part was alright. Some songs were good, some not so much. The only overtly bad thing was the title sequence, which was awful. I know the blood was supposed to be stylistically reminiscent of the blood in the movie, but jeez was it bad looking.
The Golden Compass - Sigh. Why must you ruin great things, Hollywood Types?! I mean, it wasn't awful. CGI was mostly okay (besides the persistant problem that CGI stands out unrealistically). The fights were pretty cool, I guess. Nicole Kidman was nicely evil, Sam Eliot is a badass, Daniel Craig was unfortunately forgetable. There were lots of little things that worked, and lots of things that annoyed me. The whole movie felt like it was on fast forward. Maybe this was because I know the full plot, but if you didn't, you'd probably just feel confused. Also, I was so incredibly annoyed with Lyra and her "I do what I want!" attitude, which I don't remember feeling much of with the book. So, I don't know, it wasn't awful, just lots of flaws. Good enough, I hope, to make another one.
Across The Universe - Holy shit balls, this was great! Interesting to see a week after Sweeney Todd, cuz I think it blows it out of the water. There's nothing original about the story (apparently it's just a Hair rip-off anyway), and it was by no means perfect, but it is just handled in such a fantastic way, I loved it. The choreography (or whatever you'd call it) of the musical numbers is magical, the songs are great, the gospel version of Let It Be is fucking amazing. Eddie Izzard, I'm sad to say, was in the weakest part of the film (a super-surreal carnival-inspired but ultimately lackluster trip). Still, falling just short of Chicago, I think this is the second best musical I've ever seen.
Hair - Well, now I had to go see Hair just to compare to Across the Universe. I'm not sure it gets a fair shake from me, it's so old, and silly, and the songs are not my style, it couldn't help but fall short to the amazing AtU. The ending was pretty wow, and I'm sure it was great for it's time. But it's hard for it to appeal to me on first viewing in 2008.
The Kingdom - Well, despite being CSI: Riyadh for a while, this was actually quite good. I always feel unsure with these type things (and there are increasingly more these days) if they do the subject justice, it's hard to tackle and make entertaining, I imagine. Nonetheless, I thought they did both and I enjoyed it.
Shoot 'em Up - Hahahaha. This movie is 5 pounds of ridiculous in a 3 pound bag. It is also 4 pounds of awesome in a similarly sized, but different color, 3 pound bag. Which is to say, it is more ridiculous than awesome (though the ratio is more like 5 to 1), but there is awesomeness to be had, if you're into it.
Halloween, 2007 Edition - So, did we need this? Nah. Was it alright? Sure. Boobs, blood, slow lumbering guy who I discovered is much more threatening when in fast forward. What else did you want?
The Brave One - Everyone likes vigilante movies, right? This was a different take, I guess. It didn't totally catch me, to be honest. No real failing, I just wasn't taken in by it. Maybe in the wrong mood, maybe not for me, dunno.
Evan Almighty - Seems like it shoulda been funny. I guess I was playing a game at the same time. Some funny moments, but just seemed like an exaggeration of the first one that was funny, I think.
The Eye - So there's a remake of this coming, I figured I'd watch the original. It was pretty cool, not really a scary movie. Some tense moments which were good, but nothing like the ring or grudge. And in that sense I actually liked it more than those, neither ring nor grudge really scared me. So it was more of a thriller, rather american actually, were there's this ability, a mystery, a solution, etc. Nothing awesome, but worth seeing.
Step Up - Well, this was a dance movie, I was hoping to see lots of cool stuff. Frankly I saw way better on every single episode of So You Think You Can Dance. I was totally dissappointed.
Goya's Ghosts - Well, this was an interesting one. Period piece, around the time of the Inquistion & Napoleon. The first 20 or 30 minutes were fantastic, and the last 10 minutes were as well. The middle... seemed a little meandering to me. I mean, there's a pretty focused story, but somehow the middle felt loose. It felt like it went fast, but at the same time that not a lot was happening, sorta weird. The acting was respectible from the three main people. Javier Bardem (from No Country For Old Men) is pretty good, though nothing like NCFOM, Natalie Portman has a smallish crazy role that's fine. Over all, it's interesting, but something is wrong.
Elizabeth - I know I'm years behind on this one, but I wanted to watch the sequel, and I had never seen this one. No surprise, it was very good. A very nice historic drama, well acted and full of intrigue and all that. Quite good.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age - What the hell happened?! The hollywood'd up the first movie! It's all war and battles and STUPID soap opera romance bullcrap. I have no idea why anyone came back for this.
The Condemned - This movie is alright in a simple action way, but it sort of argues with itself and loses. The idea is 10 convicts fight to the death on some island for uber internet ratings/money. Of course there is talk about if this is right or not. So nominally, the movie is saying this is wrong, but they are making us a fake version of it anyway, because we all want to see people beat the shit out of each other. BUT, assuming you've made that seemingly hypocritical decision, the movie is monstrously tame. There is some implied brutality, but nothing really shown, barely any blood, certainly no gore. If you want to be disgusting, be disgusting! If you want to say such things are bad, don't do it. Pick one, I don't care, just make up your mind!
Inland Empire - Wtf? Ok, well this is one of those movies, either self-indulgent or genius depending on your point of view. It's David Lynch, I've never seen any of his movies, so I didn't know it'd be so effin' weird. It's all psychological and stuff, all filmed on what seems like handy cam way zoomed it so it seems nightmarish. There were a couple parts with really terrifying sounds too. In the end, this film is either beyond me or I don't care, I'm not sure which. I'm sure you could put a lot of effort into deciphering what was real and what wasn't, or if that's not even the point. It's 3 hours and I totally don't have the energy/capability to figure it out. But if you are into that sorta thing, you'll love it.