Thursday, July 31, 2008

28 Up

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's actually a little hard to talk about these separately, when their magic really comes from the cumulative effect. Taken individually, each one maybe just really good, but taken together, it achieves a kind of greatness.

This is making it a little hard to rate on Netflix, although each one, in it's own way, is better than the last just by virtue of the fact that you see the subjects even further along in life. So that makes 28 Up my favorite so far, and for the first time, I was genuinely moved during the movie. One of the subjects in particular has had some unexpected developments in his life, and it got me thinking a lot about how tenuous or fragile our lives can be. Maybe it's just the fact that in this one, the subjects are now older than me, but it got me thinking about the future.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Duck Soup

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Probably the best of the Marx Brothers movies that I've watched. A weird, exuberant joy, and I think better directed than the others. The director was Leo McCarey, who also made the really funny The Awful Truth with Cary Crant, so I'm thinking maybe I should seek out more of his movies. Both that I've seen a superior examples of comedy from an era that doesn't usually yield movies that make me laugh. That's got to count for something.

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Part 3 in the series isn't the non-stop cavalcade of badass style like part 2 was, but it's good, and I liked it about as much as the original. Unlike the other 2, it's much more of a slow burn, only gradually building up to some violence near the end. It has almost a Leone-ish vibe to it at times, the way it builds, the way it delays the action as along as possible.

The real shame is that this DVD, unlike the others I got from Netflix, was dubbed instead of subtitled. Which really sucked because this one was more dialogue and character driven, and dubbing almost always seems to add a level of unintended comedy. Still, I actually thought the new found drama worked, which I wouldn't have guessed from the first two. I know I gave the main character some shit in my last post because he doesn't have much personality, but I'm starting to grow more fond of his (and, really, his son's) deadpan style. It makes you wonder more about what's going on in his head, since he'll never say, and they also use it to comic effect a few times.

First Blood

Monday, July 28, 2008

Shenan bought all the Rambo movies on a whim, which is weird because she hadn't even seen 1-3 and doesn't normally like action movies. So now we've instituted "Rambo Mondays" for the next several weeks, to go through this uniquely convolutedly-titled series.

I hadn't seen First Blood since I was a little tyke, and it wasn't exactly what I remembered. I saw the new Rambo back when it came out in theaters, and really loved the action but was iffy on the plot and dialogue, which was occasionally awesome but also kind of bordered on corny or just plain bad at times. I prefer good story and character work in an action movie, but I don't require it, so I still liked it. But my memory of First Blood, of the first Rambo movie, was of a serious, well-made drama with some good action scenes. Worlds apart from the sequels. And if I'm not mistaken, it has a critical reputation that the others don't.

So my point is I was surprised when First Blood turned out to be a lot like Rambo: it's a very well-made action movie with inconsistent writing, and some occasional corniness. (And when I say Rambo, I mean the new Rambo, not Rambo: First Blood Part 2, although if I recall it correctly the same descriptions might fit). Stallone and Brian Dennehy both give strong performances, but Richard Crenna really hams it up as Troutman (his dialogue doesn't help), and a number of supporting characters are given some kinda bad dialogue too. Both movies have a certain pretense of drama and importance about them, although First Blood is a lot more successful since it's message doesn't contradict itself like Rambo's does.

Any ways, I'm gonna try to rank these Rambo movies as we go along, so I guess by default right now this one is the best.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Meet the Spartans

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Let me try a more positive approach here. Meet the Spartans was, without a doubt, the best of the 3 Seltzer/Friedberg. Sometime in the, I don't know, week or two of downtime between Epic Movie and this, they must have actually watched a real comedy or something, instead of just their trailers. Not that Meet the Spartans is funny. Not at all. It's just as devoid of laughs as their other two films. But this time, through some miracle, the film actually contains moments that are recognizable as jokes.

Not funny jokes, mind you. Still though, there are a handful of moments that aren't just awkward, forced references and actually seem to have some sort of comic premise to them. As if they realized that copying a scene from another movie and then adding a reference to another movie isn't automatically a joke. Okay, well, actually, 90% of the movie is still like that, but the other 10% is honest to goodness actual jokes that just so happen to not be funny at all.

Selzter and Friedberg hew very, very closely to the story and structure of 300, which is a wise move. This time, they actually make use of 300 as a target, specifically all the explicit macho bullshit and the implicit homo-eroticism. I can't stress enough that this movie wasn't funny at all, but at least these guys recognized something spoof-worthy in a movie and actually tried to spoof it. Again, they've improved on a technical level, this one looks even better than the last two and feels even more like a legitimate movie made by professionals. So kudos to them. It's a terrible movie, but a less terrible movie than the other two, and they are showing some sort of improvement each time out. So maybe Disaster Movie will be even slightly less terrible. And maybe if they make about 10 more movies, they'll eventually make one that's just mediocre.

Much like Alyson Hannigan in Date Movie, they've roped in a lead actor who comes off as funnier and all around better than the material. I remember Sean Maguire from Off Centre, a terrible early 00's sitcom that also happened to feature a disproportionally funny cast. On two or three occasions here he almost made my thoughtful but stern critical-analysis-frown go away. So that's something. Although I was kinda drunk at that point.

So there you have it. I can now officially call Date Movie, Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans three of the worst comedies of our era, instead of just unofficially calling them that. And the sad thing is, I know my pathological movie-addicted madness all too well, and eventually I'll feel compelled to see every other shitty movie these guys put out. So I can probably kiss off another 6 to 10 hours of my future life where I could have done something productive. Disaster Movie, here I come.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Epic Movie

Saturday, July 26, 2008

To be honest, in a lot of ways, Epic Movie is an improvement over Date Movie. It's just as misguided and barren of laughs as Date Movie, but it's more competently made on a technical level, more colorful, maybe slightly more affable. There are fewer abrupt, awkward endings to scenes, the cinematography looks okay, people seem to understand that they are delivering punchlines. I think Seltzer and Friedberg, with some help from a larger budget, at least this time succeeded in making a movie that looks more like a real movie and less like a random assortment of scenes.

But Epic Movie is worse in one crucial area, and I didn't even think this was possible, but they actually seem to have even less of an idea here of what a spoof is. This time, they make a pop culture reference, but then they intermingle it with a Chronicles of Narnia reference, and then maybe someone gets hit with something. That's what passes for jokes and spoofs.

Take for example, early in the movie the characters end up in Gnarnia (ha ha!), and the movie's version of Mr. Tumnus takes them on a tour of his house. Suddenly it turns into an episode of Cribs. But it's inside of a tree. Crazy, I know. Then, he opens his fridge and it's full of Cristal! Which actually isn't even some sort of Narnian twist. But then P-Diddy shows up... only he's a faun! What?! That's crazy. And for some reason, Tumnus throws a bottle at him and hits him! Hilarity!

Honestly, sometimes this movie feels like a YouTube video made by 13 year olds, except with a multimillion dollar budget.

The worst part, however, is almost unbelievable. I mean that literally: for a few moments, I thought perhaps I misunderstood what was going on. And when I say the worst part, I don't just mean the worst part of Epic Movie. I mean the worst part of all 3 movies we watched. You see, at one point they come to a little village or some shit in Gnarnia. And (I guess this is what the joke is supposed to be) amongst the magical creatures are pop culture figures. Like James Bond is just standing there. So, already I'm confused, and then suddenly Borat shows up. (or, you know, some dude doing a barely passably Borat impression). And he kisses a woman and says to the camera, "She's my sister. She is number 4 faun-prostitute in all of Gnarnia."


That's right.

He just says a joke from Borat. And adds the words "faun" and "Gnarnia." I was speechless. That's not a joke. That's not even really an idea. I don't know what that even is. It even fails to be an accurate reference.

And it's not like Narnia or The Da Vinci Code or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory aren't easy targets to a certain degree. They are all ripe for satire. And of course Epic Movie more or less avoids commenting on those movies in any way. It just emulates scenes from them, and then shoehorns in some sort of pop culture reference.

I gave Alyson Hannigan some credit for coming out of Date Movie without looking too bad. I thought that might happen here too with Kal Penn, who has shown acting talent and a gift for comedy in the Harold and Kumar movies, and on House. But that's not the case. I hope he feels embarrassed about this shit. Not because I wish him ill, but because that would be way better than if he thinks this is an acceptable movie. His performance is a complete failure. There are probably two ways to go when you're the lead character in a spoof movie: you can be like Anna Faris in Scary Movie and go completely goofy. Or, even better, you can pull a Leslie Nielsen and try to play the role with some dignity, and let the material undermine your seriousness. Penn opts to play the role like he's a supporting character in a bad romantic comedy. Semi-natural, but one-dimensional and lacking in personality.

Well, at least, unlike the other two movies, the "Unrated DVD" gimmick pays off. The others feel like PG-13 movies with presumably an extra scene added somewhere, but this one actually has fucks and full frontal female nudity.

Date Movie

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Okay, seeing this on my blog is blowing your mind. You probably feel embarrassed for me. Hear me out, though. A few weeks ago, I saw the trailer for Disaster Movie. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor. I don't know if 2 more inexplicable minutes of film have ever been put together. At this point, it's pretty cliche to even bother pointing out the flaws in these Jason Friedberg/Aaron Seltzer _____ Movies, but I'll go ahead and do it any way. Their movies are ostensibly spoofs or parodies, but they don't actually spoof anything, they simply reference recent movies or pop cultural figures, and then have them get hit in the nuts instead of coming up with a joke. The Disaster Movie trailer distills this idea to it's purest essence... it doesn't appear to contain any real jokes, except a weird Don't Mess With the Zohan moment that I think counts more as a stolen joke than as a reference.

Well, once I got past the shock of it, I went into smug bastard mode. I scoffed so hard that both my monocle fell out and my beret slipped off my head. I figured I'd go home and write a 50,000 word dissertation on why Disaster Movie represented the end of comedy as we know it and post it on the IMDB message boards or something. Then it dawned on me: as much shit as I've probably talked about these movies, and as positive as I was that they sucked donkey dick, I had never actually seen one.

Well, guys, I'm all about giving movies a fair chance. And I'm also equally all about self-improvement. (I guess I have two "alls"? I dunno). And sometimes, to understand more about how film works, it's important to analyze films that don't work. So somehow that lead my brother and me to the idea of watching Date Movie, Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans in a row. The 2008 Spoof Off? The Hilar-a-thon?

Date Movie I think pretty much met my pre-conceived notions. It was a sloppy, awkward film filled with references to other films but few actual, original jokes. Like when the main character is getting a makeover, but they do it Pimp My Ride style, and suddenly she turns into Darth Vader, I guess as a reference to Revenge of the Sith, and then her sidekick suddenly looks like Yoda for a second. Ugh. But what's even worse is when they will pretty much just steal a joke from another movie, like when the main character re-enacts Kevin James' goofy dance from Hitch. Or sometimes they will steal a joke but try to kick it up one notch, like when they re-enact that basketball scene from Along Came Polly when Ben Stiller's rubs against that sweaty, hairy guy's body. Only this time when it happens, the guy gets some of his hair in his mouth. See, that's not spoofing the scene. It's just taking a joke from another movie and very slightly tweaking it.

I don't even understand this idea of parodying comedy. I mean, it would be one thing if this movie tried to undermine the cliched structure of your typical romantic comedy. Like say, have jokes about how lovers in romantic comedies fall in love waaaaay to fast. Or maybe spoof those scenes where the hero makes a big, embarrassing public announcement to win back the affections of the heroine, which always struck me as more likely to alienate the girl than win her back. But no. Date Movie, when it's not just randomly referencing a bunch of movies that aren't date movies (like Kill Bill, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and so on), will just copy a famous scene or joke from a recent movie, and slightly change that. I mean, what the fuck is that? Ostensibly, these scenes they are rehashing are already supposed to be funny. How do you make fun of that? It's already a joke. Repeating someone else's joke in a louder voice isn't somehow spoofing their joke. It's just re-telling it in a less funny manner.

And worse, instead of doing anything to mock the structure of a romantic comedy, Date Movie actually just has one of those terrible plots. It doesn't take the plot seriously, but it doesn't derive any humor from it either. It's like a typical date movie, only lazier.

The movie reaches the apex of awfulness/amazingness at the very end, when the plot wraps itself up, the boy and girl get married, and it should be over, when suddenly they take a trip to "Kong Isalnd" just to work in a worthless King Kong reference. Where the fuck did that even come from? What does that have to do with date movies? It's so fucking bad that it's actually kind of funny that it even happens, like maybe the movie is spoofing itself.

The lead actress is Alyson Hannigan, who brings a likability and enthusiasm that the movie doesn't deserve. Otherwise, everyone else looks like a deer in headlights. They don't even look like they are having fun, more like they are cashing a paycheck.

Now, I'm probably sounding like I'm being pretty hard on this movie. And, well, I guess I am. It's terrible. But it's not as bad as I was thinking. It is entirely unfunny and completely lacking in even a basic understanding of humor, but it's just so bland and inoffensive and maybe vaguely affable that it doesn't really stir up any hatred in you. It's brainless and soulless, but it's not an asshole.

Next, we moved on to Epic Movie.

Step Brothers

Saturday, July 28, 2008

Count this one as another success for the Ferrell/McKay team. It's probably not as good as either Anchorman or Talledega Nights, mostly I think because the characters aren't quite as distinct or memorable, but it still made me laugh pretty hard.

I'm a little disappointed that they didn't make this the next entry in the hypothetical R.B. Trilogy (Ron Burgundy, Ricky Bobby, and presumably a new egomaniac with the inititals R.B.), and with them now planning Anchorman 2, it seems even less likely. Oh well. I'm still holding out for a John C. Reilly As Cal Naughton, Jr. in a Haunted Mansion movie.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Friday, July 25, 2008

This was an agreeably oddball European horror movie, darkly funny at the start, creepier as it goes a long, and maybe with a smack of artsiness to it. It's got a pretty bizarre twist at the end that I don't even really understand, but it adds a weird manic-ness to the finale that I enjoyed. Not bad.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The 39 Steps

Thurday, July 24, 2008

Okay, I've seen this one before, but not in a few years, so I'm counting it for my K2K. It brings me back to a point I made before... this movie is not a comedy, per se, yet the humor in it amuses me way more than many actual comedies of the era. Was Hitchcock ahead of his time? His style and humor didn't seem to change too drastically over his career, the humor in his later pictures isn't much different, and it tends to hold up. What was it about his movies that tickles my funny bone more than actual comedies of the time?

Sudden Impact

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sudden Impact was a step down from parts 2 and 3 of the Dirty Harry series, but still enjoyable. This was the only movie in the series directed by Clint Eastwood's own mother fucking self, and that's a good thing, because it is shot really well. The problem is really more with the screenplay, which just feels lazy at times. Not only does Harry randomly stumble onto 2 or 3 crimes in the movie that have nothing to do with the rest of the plot, but there are 2 subplots about criminals trying to murder Harry for revenge. Then, both subplots are abandoned maybe half way through the movie. It's like they realized that the main plot wasn't enough to carry a feature film, so they just added a lot of extra action that had nothing to do with anything else. Now, don't get me wrong, it's good action, but a little more care could have been put into working the action into a coherent story.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

21 Up

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Continuing the Up Series here. My feelings are the same as before, that this is a great idea for a documentary series and is a pretty fascinating watch. And it's growing more fascinating the older these folks get.

Technically, I think this was is a little better made than the first two. There's a little more juxtaposition of words and images rather than just holding long shots on the subjects' faces. And they are improving at comparing/contrasting the different subjects, even going so far as to ask individuals what they think of the other subjects of the series. Even better, they let the interviewees complain about the earlier films in the series and how they were portrayed in them.

On the downside, I think perhaps the director asks a few too many leading questions, as if he's trying to impose a narrative onto the subjects' lives, rather than just watch them unfold. This leads to a lot of scenes where the interviewees balk at his questions and reject their premise... I think perhaps he's making too many assumptions about their lives.

That's more a minor quibble than anything, and I'm still extremely enthusiastic about watching the rest of the series as it stands so far. The plan is to do this every Wednesday, so let's see if I can keep it up.

Dragon Wars: D-War

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I should probably lose a few points on my K2K for this, but I can't help myself. I was too intrigued by the awfulness of the trailer to resist. This one looked like it was venturing into Uwe Boll territory.

Sadly, it's not nearly as funny as House of the Dead (although maybe more watchable than Alone in the Dark), which is still the gold standard for modern, so-bad-it's-hilarious movies. But it does have its moments, especially some really poorly conceived, awkwardly executed special effects that can't really be described. Although actually, the FX, while never really good or convincing looking, were for the most part enthusiastically and competently done.

The biggest problem is that the most glaring flaws aren't ones that make you laugh out loud. It's more like weird structural things. In the beginning of the movie, a character has an extended flashback to a time when someone else told him a story, and that story turns into an extended flashback of something that happened 500 years ago, and then within that story/flashback there is a brief flashback. That's more funny in retrospect than it is watching the movie. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Night of the Creeps

Monday, July 21, 2008

This is a little minor classic 80's horror comedy that I've seen once or twice over the years. I think it's mostly been forgotten (we watched it on FearNet On Demand, but I don't even think it's on DVD), at least compared to Evil Dead 2 or Re-Animator. This isn't as good as those, or as good as Fright Night or a few other memorable ones from that era, but it's a really good one, if you like this kind of shit, that deserves recognition in the subgenre. Hell, it's a lot better than Vamp or some shit like that.

My Night at Maud's

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I think I did a good job on my K2K this weekend, but even though I enjoyed all the klassiks I watched, this was the only one I loved. This is the first Eric Rohmer movie I've ever seen, and it's the 3rd in his "Six Moral tales" series, but they aren't like sequels or anything so it wasn't like I didn't know what was going on.

If I had to guess, I'd bet that Richard Linklater is a big Rohmer fan. There are times when this feels like a proto-Dazed and Confused or Waking Life or something. A lot of the movie involves people sitting around, shooting the shit about philosophy and their lives. On the surface, there isn't a lot of plot, but there's a lot boiling under the surface. It's understated, but effective. And what's really amazing is that most of the movie is really a set up for the final scene, which takes place years after the rest of the film. The main character has a little epiphany, and does just one small good deed for his wife that has enormous implications. Rarely have I seen a payoff this great in a moment this small.

Walk Hard

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Shenan and I checked out the extended version of Walk Hard, which, unlike a lot of the so called unrated and extended editions of a lot of other comedies these days, this one is significantly expanded (by nearly a half hour) and changed. And I'm glad to say, the added material is an improvement. It's still no klassik (in no small part because Dewey Cox, as great as John C. Reilly is, just isn't a distinct enough comic character, and because Judd Apatow and Jake Kasdan don't quite have the knack for the laff-a-minute style), but it stills bumps the movie up a bit in my book.

I was really pleased to see that the expanded segments didn't deal with the Walk the Line and Ray parody scenes (which are the low point of the movie for me... they hew too closely to the source) and instead involve the more wide ranging parodies (protest music, disco music, self indulgent drug music) and original sequences that aren't really specifically targeting anything and are more doing their own thing (an extended sequence of Dewey confronting his issues by talking to his reflection in the mirror, and his dead brother, and his dead father, and his inner child, and his dead mother, and his feminine side all at once is pretty amazing). That for me is when the movie really comes alive, when it's doing it's own thing rather than getting all Epic Movie and parroting scenes from other movies.

The Gold Rush

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Okay, I had neglected to mention that I enjoy Charlie Chaplin when I was bitching about how older movies don't make me laugh. I'm not madly in love with Chaplin like a lot of film buffs seem to be, but I have greatly enjoyed everything I've seen by him. And this is no exception.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lawrence of Arabia

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I think this is officially the longest movie I've ever seen. Except, do you count the extended overture, intermission and ending where the score plays over a blank screen? Because in that case, Once Upon a Time in America might win. Except I think it had longer credits. Maybe? I dunno. And I don't care enough to research the matter further.

For me, this was a movie that was consistently good, but didn't really amount to anything great. It's more effectively epic than a lot of the supposed epics we get these days (I'm looking at you, Troy) and has a lot of good moments, but it didn't do much for me on any level beyond "this is pretty entertaining." And it wasn't greatly entertaining either, just pretty entertaining.

I don't know, I liked it, but I think it's sorta like how I feel about There Will Be Blood: just because a movie is well made and aspires to greatness, doesn't make it a great movie.

Zombie Holocaust

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Another one of those awful Italian horror movies where it seems like they didn't decide whether or not it was a zombie flick or a cannibal flick until they were halfway done shooting it. Actually, this one is like a 3-way collision between a bad zombie flick, a bad cannibal flick, and a bad mad scientist flick.

But you know, it's corny and it's Italian and it has tits and gore, so I can't resist. Sadly, this one is pretty much completely unmemorable... for all it's problems, Hell of the Living Dead at least provided some classic bad movie moments. This one has a few chuckles, but not much else.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Andy impresses me again by having this movie in his collection. By far, my favorite movie that Alexander Payne has done... one of the funniest and best high school movies ever, even though it isn't a teen movie. I think I've mentioned this before, but I want this Reese Witherspoon back. No offense to romantic comedy Reese or Oscar-grab Rendition Reese, but the quirky, offbeat Reese of this movie and Freeway would be one of my favorite actresses if she worked more, god damn it.

Floating Weeds

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I feel like I need to start making a new catagory for Japanese films, I've been watching so damn many of them for my K2K. This was my second shot at an Ozu film, after the wonderful Tokyo Story. Much like that film, the story is deceptively simple, yet you get pretty wrapped up and involved in it. This film was visually exciting (especially the colors) in a way that Tokyo Story was not, but I must say that I ultimately wasn't as moved by this one. Tokyo Story made me tear up like a bitch, Floating Weeds engaged me but maybe didn't move me enough. So I guess it was a little disappointing, although I'm still looking forward to checking out more of his films.

This came with A Story of Floating Weeds, a silent version of the same story Ozu had filmed 25 years earlier. I didn't get a chance to take a peak at it before I returned it to the video store, which would have been interesting, although Ozu's movies seem so dependant on dialogue that I have trouble imagining how they would work silent.

Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Since this was feature length, I'm counting it. I'd count a direct-to-video horror movie, so why not this? Actually, the low expectations that DTV brings really help this one out. It's funny, but doesn't always feel like a real movie. Since you're watching it on DVD, you don't really mind, whereas The Simpsons movie, while probably equally as funny, maybe felt a little lacking.

The magic of lowered expectations.

The Dark Knight

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I don't really have much to add to the plethora of rave reviews of this one that are currently overstuffing the internet. This is a vast improvement over the original, and definitely one of the best films of the summer. Two things I would like to say:

First, kudos to Christopher Nolan for making the darkest, least pleasant mainstream/blockbuster movie I've seen in a long time. Probably since Aliens. It takes a lot of balls (I would say 30 to 40 balls) to make a $180 million movie this grim and unpleasant.

Second, although I don't think the action is much improved in this one (like the first one, the only real action scene worth it's salt is the chase scene), it doesn't matter because they cleverly wrote it to not contain a lot of action. Instead of brawls and shoot-em-ups, Nolan opts for more set-pieces, like the opening bank heist, or the Hong Kong raid sequence, etc etc. I thought it really smartly played to his stengths as a director.

The Skeleton Key

Friday, July 18, 2008

Remember back when Almost Famous came out and Kate Hudson seemed like a really talented actress with a bright future ahead of her, and since then she's proceeded to pretty much only do shitty movies? It's kind of a shame that The Skeleton Key, which is at best a somewhat above average mainstream PG-13 horror film, is possibly the best post-Almost Famous work she's done.

This isn't a great movie, but it's kinda fun to re-watch because you know the twist ending and can more clearly see all the hints and foreshadowing peppered throughout the movie. It's not really a great script, but I'll give it credit for attention to these kinds of details, what with a lot of dialogue having double-meanings and all that. It's lightweight but respectable fun, and it benefits from having a cast that's probably a little better than it deserves. Also, I'm not sure if you ever realized this, but Kate Hudson is pretty easy on the eyes.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Batman Begins

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Obviously this was watched in preparation for The Dark Knight this weekend. I don't think I'd seen Batman Begins since it was out in theaters, so it was good to have a refresher.

I feel the same about it now as I did then. It's a pretty damn good superhero movie, but with numerous flaws that keep it from being the end-all be-all that some seem to feel it is. Most notably: the action isn't all that great, which in a superhero movie is kind of a big deal. But also, I think there are some script problems, like the overuse of repeating dialogue for dramatic or comedic effect ("It's not who you are on the inside, but what you do that defines you" "You must not have got the memo" "You still haven't given up on me, Alfred" "Nevuh!" and so on). And also, the movie is so good at being a dark, serious movie that it feels awkward every time they try to cram in some obvious "summer entertainment" moments... like random people on the street making quips about the batmobile and shit (there's even that one black stereotype who's all like "damn bling bling this shit is fly.")

The script stuff I'm confident will be fixed in the sequel, but I'm still worried about the action.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

I came home from work sick on Thursday, and when I wasn't sleeping, I watched this. I have been meaning to see more of Takeshi Kitano's films for a while... I had seen Dolls and Zatoichi, but those apparently aren't his typical kinds of films. Sonatine is; it's a strange, slow paced crime film punctuated by unexpected bursts of violence.

Well, this was a lot stranger than I expected. I'm not opposed to seeing more of his movies, because this was definitely an interesting and unique film, but it's not exactly a film you enjoy much either. It alternates between slow passages, sudden violence, dead seriousness and oddball, inexplicable humor. A lot of individual scenes work, but do they add up to a cohesive whole? I'm not sure. But it's definitely a movie that sticks with you.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I have been meaning to rewatch this for what might be a few years now. Overall, this is probably Miike's best film... it best encapsulates all the stuff he's good at: creating atmosphere, weird humor, audacious/disturbing/hilarious sex and violence, homosexual undertones, dream logic. And the finale has to be one of the most bizarre, incredible endings in film history... a woman giving birth to a full grown man. This is great, crazy shit.

I can't figure out what was up, but when I put it on our TV in the living room, it was fullscreen. Was it a fullscreen movie, and I just forgot? Well, when I put it on in the bedroom, it was widescreen. How in the hell?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Burning

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm a sucker for a good old fashioned 80s slasher movie. And I was pretty excited for this one, as it was the Weinstein Bros' first movie, contains early appearances from Jason Alexander and Holly Hunter (and Fisher Stevens, but who gives a fuck), and apparently has a reputation for being particularly mean spirited. At first I thought I was in for a treat, as it seemed competently made and whatnot. But then it pretty much meandered through its first hour, and didn't have enough payoff to make up for it. We get the requisite gore and nudity, but the violence isn't really frequent or creative enough to save this one.

7 Plus Seven

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Already, the payoff of this series is pretty awesome. The subjects are now 14, and it's weird to see both how much some of them have changed, but also how much some of them have stayed the same. And not only is it mind blowing to see what they are like as teenagers, but you get really excited wondering what's going to happen to them next. And that's, I suppose, the benefit of watching this now instead of being someone who watched it from the beginning... right away, I can find out what happened to them, all the way through 49 Up. I suppose once I've seen all they've done so far, I'll be pretty eager for 56 Up, though.

This is a pretty awesome use of the medium. It goes beyond the normal attractions of the style, and creates a whole new fascination... and really, presumably, it can make a powerful statement on the passage of time, in a manner no fictional film could ever do.

Seven Up

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Okay, we've known for a while that documentaries have been sorely lacking from my K2K. So it was about time I got around to watching the Up Series, which has to have about the best premise I've ever heard fir a documentary series. Back in the 60's, they interviewed a group of 7-year-olds. And every 7 years, they round those folks up again and find out how their lives are turning out. You literally get to watch them grow up.

We watched the first 2 films in the series on Wednesday night, because they were short, and I figure we'll try to watch one a week until we've seen all of them so far.

Now, Seven Up is pretty entertaining, though perhaps little more than a retro "Kids Say the Darndest Thing" type of deal. But that's fine, because the point is that this should pay off more with each installment. We entered 7 Plus Seven with serious excitement.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Waking Life

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I don't think I'd seen this since mid-college. It's one of my favorite movies by possibly my favorite director.

It has a special place in my heart, I think because I saw it at the perfect time in my life. It came out my senior year of high school, when I was feeling a lot of anxiety and depression about the future, and something about Waking Life really cheered me up, and made me feel more excited about my future, and made me want to blather on with my friends about philosophy and that crap. (And to think, I had never even smoked pot when I first saw this). If I saw it today for the first time, I bet I'd still dig it a lot, because I like trippy animation and pretentious philosophizing, but I'm not sure it would become an all-time favorite. I'm much less prone to this kind of "let's talk about the meaning of it all" chatter, I'd like to think I'm a little less self-serious, and more defined in my tastes and secure in my personality. But this was a perfect movie for a confused teenager.

Kind Hearts and Coronets

Sunday, July 13, 2008

We're back to the same old conundrum here... I'm trying to broaden my horizons, I decide to check out another beloved klassik komedy, and although I recognize the humor and craft of the film, it just doesn't make me laugh. I know it's not an absolute with old films... the Marx Brothers make me laugh, Buster Keaton makes me laugh... hell, some of Alfred Hitchcock movies are hilarious, even though they aren't primarily comedies. For the most part, though, I just don't share the sense of humor film goers had back in the day.

The one great thing about this movie is Alec Guinness, who plays something like 8 different characters in the movie. It's like he beat Eddie Murphy to his shtick by like 50 years.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

I love action movies, but I thought the trailers made this one look pretty retarded. I'm all for crazy over-the-topness, but it's a fine line good crazy and bad crazy. My opinion is: a ridiculous action movie usually fares better when it's just trying to be silly and funny (say, Shoot 'Em Up), and when it tries to be cool or stylish it just ends up looking stupid (like Ecks vs. Sever, or Charlie's Angels). Well, I was kinda stunned to see this one get some pretty good reviews, so I figured I'd check it out.

It's a somewhat fun combination of intentionally funny and unintentionally retarded that almost kinda worked for me, but I think ultimately I have to give it the thumbs down because of its awful, awful screenplay. It has this scattered voice-over narration that really desperately wants to be all witty and sardonic like the Fight Club narration, but lacks wit or insight and ends up coming off as whiny and obnoxious. It's pretty insufferable, and it doesn't help that James McAvoy, using a fake American accent, tries to make the character sound as bitchy and twerpy as possible.

Still, I don't think I could completely hate a movie where a man shoots a hole through another man's face, then sticks his gun through the hole to shoot people on the other side, while using the corpse as a shield. I didn't ultimately care for Wanted, but at least I didn't feel like I had wasted my time.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Fall

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's a pretty good weekend when you go to the movies and see two of the most visually stunning films you've seen all year. First there was Hellboy 2, and then there was The Fall, and this is going to lead me to another criticism of Pan's Labyrinth. It all keeps coming back to Pan's Labyrinth.

The Fall covers a lot of the same ground as PL, and while it's hard to really say which one is more visually amazing (they are both pretty spectacular), I think The Fall is a way more effective, complex and satisfying emotional experience. Much like Del Toro's film, it contrasts the fantasy life of an imaginative girl with the harsh reality that surrounds her. What The Fall really succeeds at, and what I think PL kinda fucks up, is that it establishes a solid basis in reality, and hinges the movie on a relationship between two characters that we become emotionally invested in. Both films draw parallels between the real world and the fantasy world, but The Fall really sells how the personalities of the characters shape the story the girl imagines in her head. Both films are a bit melodramatic, but there is a nuance and depth to the characters in The Fall that I think PL lacks; instead it settles for caricatures.

I don't know, I'm sure some folks feel different, but when the girl died at the end of Pan's Labyrinth, I didn't have much of an emotional response outside of "Wow, that's pretty fucked up." The stakes aren't that great that the end of The Fall, but I felt myself give more of a shit. Probably because the girl feels more like a real girl living a real life.

It's a shame, though, because I think The Fall comes really close to being a great movie, but loses it's way at the end. I was pretty swept up in the movie, and was finding myself increasingly touched by what was going on, and right when the movie should have made it's deathblow and really given me goosebumps or made the old tear ducts overflow.... it kinda meanders too long and doesn't find the right emotional climax. On the one hand, I'm glad they didn't go overboard with the melodrama, but on the other hand they really blow it by making the payoff too casual. Especially a shame since it's got the audience right in the palm of its hand at that point.

Raising Arizona

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I never thought Raising Arizona was entirely successful, but it's got this weird, wacky energy to it that's unlike any other comedy I've seen, including the Coen Bros' others. It's pretty funny, but maybe not as funny as it could be. It's voice is so strange and unique, though, that you gotta love it.

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot

Saturday, July 12, 2008

You know I couldn't resist a buddy crime comedy starring Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges... that just sounds like gold. And maybe the result is more silver than gold, but that's still pretty good. This is a funny, amiably laid back 70's crime picture, and just has a really great vibe to it. What's surprising is that it was the first film by Michael Cimino, who's better known for doing The Deer Hunter. That's a movie that screams ART and IMPORTANT in uppercase letters, but Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is about as fun and unpretentious as movies get.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Even though I only kinda liked the first Hellboy, I was retardedly excited for this one. Part one I thought had likable characters and some cool effects, but suffered from a lackluster story, maybe some pacing issues, and (except for that windup clockwork Nazi guy) uninteresting villains. This new one looked like an improvement, judging from the trailer. In fact, it looked like a great mix of Del Toro's strengths... like the good parts of Hellboy meets Pan's Labyrynth meets Blade II.

And it turns out I was dead-on. Especially on the Blade II thing. It has the same actor playing the villain, with somewhat similar makeup, and in both cases they are evil, magical princes who kill their father/king and have some sort of conflict with their sister/princess. But then both turn out to have somewhat complicated/sympathetic motives, and even though they are in the wrong, there is some grey area. Both movies are also sequels that change the vibe of the first movie by taking place more in an underground fantasy world than they do in the real world. And (spoilers) both movies have a scene at the end where the princess dies in the arms of the hero, accompanied by a surprisingly beautiful special effect. In Blade II, she turns to ash and blows away, and here she turns to stone.

I think now this may be Del Toro's best film, or at least it ties with Blade II. In the past year or two or whatever since Pan's Labyrinth came out, people always look at me funny if I mention that Blade II is a better movie. Like I must have horrible taste if I pick an action movie over a (presumably) more mature work of art. And I really hate that attitude, that somehow a movie like Pan's Labyrinth (which, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed quite a bit) is somehow higher art because it's more serious and isn't a genre picture. Both movies display a grand visual imagination, only I happen to think Blade II is more entertaining, and contains better, more exciting filmmaking/storytelling. And now Hellboy 2 is on that same page... yes it's less serious (or really, just more fun), and it's more of a mainstream entertainment, but I still think a much better, more imaginative film (probably in no small part due to the budget.)

I just don't get why Pan is so beloved, and the others are kind of brushed off as lightweight. Just because it presumes to be more serious? I'll be honest here, I thought PL (I'm getting sick of typing these titles) was a visually wonderful film, but it didn't do much for me on an emotional level. Yeah, I know a little girl dies and all, which means it's a "serious" movie, but I didn't care much for the drama. The story was too simple, and the bad guy was too ridiculously evil and over the top for me to take it seriously. I know the movie wants to work as a fable on some level, but it seems to me that if part of the movie is contrasting a fantasy world with the harsh realities of life, then the real life parts of the movie should feel more real. Instead, it all feels equally heightened and unreal, and way more black and white than real life.

Ironically, B2 and HB2 are more mainstream films, and yet are far more complex, and more interested in an moral grey area. In both of those films, the bad guys may be fantastical, monstrous villains, but they also have complex motives. And it's not always clear that the good guys are fighting for the right side, or allied with the right people. It's not exactly a happy ending when they slay their foes. I mean, for big budget action pictures, they contain some admirably non-simplified ideas of right and wrong. And beyond that, I got to say that the characters in Hellboy seem more nuanced and interesting than the PL characters, and I found myself caring a lot more about them. And to top it all off, it's got a lot of great action. No mean feat.

I think HB2 is going to give me better ammo next time I argue that PL isn't del Toro's best flick. Because it has many similarities to that film, just as much crazy/brilliant imagination, but I think a lot of improvements and a deepening of the themes. And it's more entertaining. I'm tired of this idea that a fun movie can't be great art. In their own way, for what they are, Blade II and Hellboy 2 are great art, or at least a great use of the medium. Hellboy 2 contains some of the most grand, fantastic images I've seen in a film in many years, and that should be celebrated. A lot of the reviews, even though they are positive, treat this movie like it's a step down. So apparently fantastical monsters + a dead girl = masterpiece, but fantastical monsters + action movie = featherweight summer entertainment. Fuck that.

Sorry to shit on you so much, Pan's Labyrinth. I still dig you. Although I'm gonna have to shit on you just a little more when I write up The Fall...

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Well, I don't think I've ever seen this many penises get cut off in a single movie. This is a great idea for a horror/comedy (girl has teeth in her vagina), but the execution is mixed. Overall it works, I think mainly because of the pitch perfect performance of the lead actress. If she wasn't so cute and likable, I think there would be too many gaps between the laughs and the big, penis-severing payoffs, but her charm gets you through some of the filler. Worth a look.

Eating Raoul

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Good call, Shenan. This was far from a perfect movie, but really had a strange and different vibe to it. It's a dark comedy, but a goofy one, really over the top, yet with a certain detached attitude to it. The story is lunacy, but the lead characters under react to everything. The execution is hit and miss, but it's got a lot of great ideas, and I loved the tone and attitude of the movie more than anything else.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Ghost Ship

Tueday, July 9, 2008

Another of the old RKO/Val Lewton horror movies. Not my favorite, but still worth my time. Gotta say that I've been impressed with all of these... you tend to think of old, low budget horror films in bad, laughable Ed Wood kinda terms. I mean, even these days low budgets sink a lot of horror movies because they try to tell a story too big or too special effects-filled for the amount of money they have. And add that to the 40's non-graphically-violent horror aesthetic, and it smells like a recipe for disaster. Yet these were all well made, thoughtfully designed movies that were smartly written not to need a larger budget.

A lot of the titles of these movies are misleading. Curse of the Cat People didn't have cat people (wasn't even a horror movie, actually), The Leopard Man has a leopard and a man but no leopard-man, and The Ghost Ship has no ghosts, no supernatural elements at all, and not even a literal, non-supernatural ghost ship. It does have a ship, though.

La Cravate

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I don't think this has come up before, but I was a little iffy as to whether or not I should count short films. I mean, this one was only 20 minutes. That's shorter than a TV show.

Yet here we are. I bought that Jodorowsky set way back last year, and for some reason never got around to watching this one, even though everything else in the set was great. I guess maybe it's because this is a silent film, and I subconsciously (and ignorantly, I can't always help it) thought it would be boring. Of course, it rocked. The thing I forgot about Jodorwsky is that, no matter how bizarre or seemingly inaccessible his movies are at times, his work also contains a lot of charm and humor. Always a pleasure, never a chore.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

There Will Be Blood

Monday, July 7, 2008

Last time, on There Will Be Blood:

Dan was having trouble determining how he felt about the film. On the one hand, he appreciated the artistry of the film, and thought it built to a very effective and memorable conclusion. On the other hand, he felt somewhat disengaged from large chunks of the story, and wasn't sure he agreed with the consensus on the film's greatness. He determined that he should take some time, and see the movie again down the line in order to better suss out his feelings.

Well, I finally watched it again, and I can say that my appreciation for the film went up in many regards, but that I still can't call it a great movie, consensus be damned. I know my buddy Patrick has really tried to convince me of it's greatness, but for me I don't think it goes beyond the realm of "really good." (Sorry buddy).

It's pretty wonderful on a technical level, and I'm also convinced that it's a lot funnier than people give it credit for, but there's too many ideas and themes that don't quite gel for me, and motivations and characters that I still don't quite understand. I definitely caught a lot more texture the second time through, but there were also things I better understood that, frankly, I think I should have understood the first time through, but didn't through faults in the storytelling. I didn't take notes, so I'm not going to laundry list them, but the most glaring is the confusion over Paul and Eli Sunday. They are twins, but Anderson never puts them in the same scene, and I know I'm not the only person who suspected that they were actually the same person pretending to be twins. It casts a weird shadow of ambiguity over a large part of the movie, adding a lot of unnecessary confusion to the first viewing. It's something that should have been more clearly addressed in the film. I suppose Anderson might have done this on purpose (Plainview's reaction to meeting Eli for the first time suggests this) but I cannot figure out what this would add to the film.

My hesitance comes down to something a little more abstract, though. Roger Ebert once said, when asked about the difference between a 3 1/2 and a 4 star movie, said "3½ is a very good rating, meaning all a movie lacked was an ineffable tingle at the base of my spine." And that's how I feel here. I enjoy, respect and even admire a lot of this movie, but it's just not giving me that charge I feel when I'm watching a movie I love.


Monday, July 7, 2008

I need to see some more Warren Oates movies. Am I wrong when I say that this guy is awesome? No, no I am not wrong. Warren Oates rules.

This is another movie by Monte Hellman, who did Two Lane Blacktop, and it's got a similar sorta laid back, ramblin' feel to it, but I liked this one even more. Oates is front and center here, and even though he takes a vow of silence for most of the movie, he still somehow dominates the film with his charm and presence.

The cockfights in this are apparently unsimulated, so I'm guessing that a lot of people would not be cool with this movie. It didn't bother me, but I guess it does raise some interesting moral questions about movies. Namely, is it okay to kill an animal for a movie? And I'm not exactly sure what I believe. I am definitely no animal lover, and stuff like this or, say, the squid eating scene in Oldboy seem perfectly acceptable to me. But then I've seen some of those Italian cannibal movies, where they show animals being mutilated and killed for real, and I do take issue with that. What I'm not sure is... is it a matter of cruelty towards the animals that bothers me, or am I simply more accepting of it in a better film. Is it a matter of the act of violence towards the animal itself, or is it how that act relates to the work of art as a whole? Hard to say.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hancock got some pretty bad reviews, but I just couldn't resist this premise with this cast. Unfortunately, it turns out that conventional wisdom was right, and Hancock was a pretty mediocre movie. There's a couple of memorable moments, but mostly it feels like a wasted opportunity.

I hear that there may have been some severe tampering with this one after poor test screenings, and that it was edited down to get a PG-13 rating, so I'd be curious to see a director's cut if they release one on DVD. We'll see.

Sweet House of Horrors

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Well, we did a lot of celebrating this weekend, what with finishing moving in, and the Fourth of July, and Shenan's graduation party, so it seemed appropriate that we throw some bad horror movies in there somewhere. What can I say, we love that shit.

We actually also put on a giallo called Seven Blood Stained Orchids (great title!), but it seemed pretty boring and we all pretty much stopped paying attention within the first half hour. So I'm not counting it.

Some time in the early 80's, Lucio Fulci stopped making cheap, kinda awful horror movies that never-the-less had some sort of effective, unique vision to them, and just started making cheap, completely awful horror movies that are borderline unwatchable. Sweet House of Horrors sucks every bit as much as Demonia, Aenigma and Voices From the Beyond, which luckily also means that it's good for a few laughs. I especially liked the part when the bad guy (the same actor who played Ripper in Demons) screams "I have to murder you! I have to murder you both!" while killing some people. Thanks for announcing that, dude.

What's weird here is that the movie starts off with a really violent scene, but then slowly becomes less violent as it goes along, eventually becoming more like some stupid kids movie than a horror film. I have no idea what the hell Fulci was going for.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

I didn't plan it this way, but I've given the cinema of Japan some special attention during my K2K. I've really tapped into a reservoir of film that I had no idea I'd enjoy so much. Even a movie like Ugetsu, which is probably too melodramatic for my tastes, actually, um, wasn't too melodramatic for my tastes. It worked for me. I suppose I didn't have as strong of an emotional reaction as this was aiming for, but I had to admire the beauty of its images.

Enter the Dragon

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Here's another one I'm embarrassed for never having seen. In fact, I guess I'll just go ahead and admit that I had never seen a Bruce Lee movie before. I was excited to watch this one, because it's more of a fun, martial arts movie, but still legitimately beloved enough to count for my K2K.

I finally see the appeal of Bruce Lee. The motherfucker's got presence. Enter the Dragon doesn't have the intricate, dance-like choreography of a Jackie Chan movie, but it's got a lot of style and badass-ness. He knows how to fuck people up, and he knows how to look cool while doing it. If Lee's other movies are like this, then I'm going to have to say that I prefer Chan's style, but this is still a worthwhile venture. This is a perfect combination of a brilliantly silly plot, stylish 70's music and camera work, and a handful of badass fights, with some memorably cool characters. It even has John Saxon, the patron saint of b-movie actors. What's not to like?

They Came Back

Friday, July 4, 2008

Waste of an intriguing premise. People start rising from the grave and try to return to society, but instead of treating the material as horror, it's treated as drama, with some sociological elements thrown in. Like from an almost realistic perspective. That could make for a strange, unique movie, but instead it made a slow, uninvolving and unconvincing one. Disappointment.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Margot at the Wedding

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Moving into a new apartment this week, not taking time off of work, and I still found time to watch a movie. How does he do it?

Well, this is another standard issue indie quirkfest, I liked it more than The Savages (which this is similar to), but I'm still gonna give it a thumbs down. I thought maybe I'd dig it, because I kinda liked The Squid and the Whale, but this just felt like more of the same, only not as good. Baumbach continues to be a less funny Wes Anderson minus the charm and likable characters. It's just too bitter to enjoy. After the first 15 minutes or so, you're tired of being around these people.

To continue with the indie quirkfest comparisons, the movie this most reminded me of was Winter Passing, a middling, typically downer indie comedy/drama with a strong, dramatic cast that is, somehow, completely stolen by Will Ferrell in a funny but realtively subdued and serious role. You're not expecting Will Ferrell to out-drama Ed Harris and Zooey Deschanel. And the same thing happens with Jack Black in Margot at the Wedding. The headliners are Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Lee, and yet somehow his character seems more interesting, more fleshed out. I'm a big Jack Black fan, but it's nice to see him not doing his normal shtick, and actually succeeding in a somewhat dramatic role.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Man Escaped

Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm glad to have watched this, as my K2K had really been lacking in any artier choices lately. This was the first time I've watched a Bresson film, and I enjoyed it. It's a pretty straightforward story of a Frenchman trying to escape a Nazi prison. Not really any flash, just a simple tale of his plan to get out. If I had to compare it to anything (and this isn't a great comparison), it reminded me a little of Bicycle Thief, where the style and story is deceptively simple, and there are perhaps some understated themes running deeper under the surface. Like maybe his escape from prison is really his search for redemption. Or something. Anyway, it was a good one.

Eastern Promises

Sunday, June 29, 2008

This holds up pretty well on a second viewing, but left me asking the same question: why is Naomi Watts in this movie? She starts off as the main character, only to be overtaken by Viggo Mortensen in the 2nd half, and more or less completely forgotten. She feels like a remnant from an earlier draft of the script. Watts, in addition to being ridiculously hot, is a pretty good actress, so it's a shame that they put her to waste.

Aside from that, you know what movie this one reminds me of? Brokeback Mountain. Sound kinda crazy? Well, when you look back on it, both movies are about men who, because of the society they are in, spend their lives pretending to be something they're not, and as a result end up miserable and without love. Think about that shit for a while.

The Mist

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Finally got to check out the black and white version of The Mist, which I had thought was a cool idea. It's not a major revelation or anything, but I think it adds a little extra atmosphere here and there, and makes one of my favorite horror flicks of '07 just a little cooler. Any downside? It may make the violence a little less graphic/visceral, but I wouldn't be sure until I did a more direct comparison.

I'm not exactly a big proponent of b&w, but it seems a shame to me that it's not used more often. People just won't accept the style these days, which sucks. Lighting/shadows are so awesome in black and white that it's a perfect fit for horror and crime movies. Hell, so many movies these days have the color desaturated so much they might as well be in black and white. Instead, whenever someone does a major movie this way, it just comes off as a gimmick. Like, "Hey check it out, it's a black and white movie! They must be making some kind of statement." Instead of, you know, just using the medium for it's strengths.

Lethal Weapon

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's nice every now and again to watch a Mel Gibson movie and forget what an asshole/nutcase he must be in real life. I could understand if some folk refused to watch his movies ever again, but I feel like I can seperate the art from the individual, and I gotta admit that he was a pretty damn good actor in his heydey. This is one of the classic 80's action pictures.