Month: July 2012

July 31, 2012

MONTH IN REVIEW

FAV of the month
The Dark Knight Rises
DJ’s Review / Matt’s Review / Justin’s Review

SoSo of the month
Something Wild
Review

HATE of the month
The Amazing Spider-Man
Review

TV SHOW of the month
Newsroom
Review

July 30, 2012

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane – Unbelievable
I have a love/hate relationship with Renny Harlin.  Sure he made “The Long Kiss Goodnight” “Nightmare on Elm Street 4” and “Cliffhanger” but he also made “Cutthroat Island” and “Deep Blue Sea,” so I wouldn’t call him the most reliable of directors, but if you give the guy the tools he can certainly succeed.  Case in point, “The Adventures of FordFairlane.”
It’s hard to believe, but Andrew Dice Clay, at one point, was the hottest comedian on Earth (and this isn’t an Earth 2 type of thing that DC pulls).  I mean the dude was selling out football stadiums, he could do no wrong, that is until he quit smoking and got fat
 
Anyway, Ford Fairlane, Mr. Rock n’ Roll Detective, is on the case of his career, but he hates Disco, especially Disco Express, I mean they blow dog, you know what I mean.  But don’t tell that to Lt. Amos (Ed O’Neill) because in a matter of seconds he’ll break out his old dance moves, and “Booty Time” will commence.
With a crap ton of cameos (Tone Loc, Morris Day, Shelia E) and Wayne Newton as the villain, I mean Mr. Vegas as the main villain of a movie, how could you not love this movie!  Ford Fairlane…..I fucked him, ohhhh!
Fun Fact:  No koalas were harmed in the making of this film.
July 29, 2012

Cloak & Dagger

Cloak & Dagger: Imaginary

Cloak & Dagger came out in 1984 (a fantastic time in movie and music history) and it holds up over all this time, even with the weak dated graphics. This is one of those films that you watch when you where younger and it sticks with you…Forever!

Why watch this film? Well…Do you like video games? Do you like 80’s films? Do you like good kickass films? This film is a good reason films are made. And today if you want to escape from the real life and sit down and enjoy a solid 101 minutes this film is for YOU!

It’s a fun kid’s film to watch. Yep thats right. It’s a family film even though people get shot and killed, especially from the 11 year old main character. When people say they don’t make them like they used too, here is a example. Could you imagine a kids film today with kids shooting spys? Yeah I too was totally born at the wrong time.

Without spoiling the story, it’s simply about a 11 year old kid named Davey (I know, such a dated name) who stumbles onto classified information hidden in a game cartage. And spys chase him down to retrieve the cartage.

This film also has one of the greatest scenes you will always remember. After seeing these two older people help this kid, that no one believes including his own father, your nightmares begin. I won’t even try to write it…
Watch this clip to see what I mean!

Trust me you will love watching this film!

July 28, 2012

Another Earth

ORIGINAL

This review will be shorter than some of my others.  Not because Another Earth is not a good film.  It and Inception are probably the two most ORIGINAL films I’ve seen in a decade.  Its because Another Earth is a film that is reliant on its reveals.  Where that can be bad in some instances, it is totally rewarding here.

All I’ll say about the plot of Another Earth is that it revolves around a post adolescent girl and a fateful night that changed her life and the life of everyone on the planet forever.  Well, two planets to be precise.  Cryptic enough?  Good.  Its worth the reveal.  Another Earth is a moral dilemma picture in the same vein as Doubt or Gone Baby Gone with a very interesting twist thrown in.

The casual and simplistic way first time director Mike Cahill shoots each scene adds to the film’s charm.  He gets a great performance from his cowriter and star Brit Marling and a stand out performance by William Mapother.  Does the last name Mapother sound familiar?  No?  It should, because its the real last name of William’s slightly more famous older cousin Tom Cruise.

Another Earth is certainly another film that’ll have you thinking and talking about it way after you’ve finished seeing it.  It deserves more awareness than it has gotten.  See it…be surprised that its one of “those” films…then be more surprised its actually more than that….then tell me I’m wrong.

July 28, 2012

The Fountain

AMBITIOUS

For as long as this film has existed, I’ve been led to believe it sucked.  Not just by friends or critics.  But by the behavior of people behind its creation.  The Fountain was a passion project by director Darren Aronofsky that was originally slated to come out after his masterpiece Requiem For Dream.  Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were to set star in it.  However, late in the game, Pitt and Aronofsky began having creative difference and Pitt walked out on the movie.  In the 11th hour, Warner Brother tried to get Russell Crowe to fill in but he declined.  Cate Blanchett left after it seemed the film would never get made.  The project was finally shelved.

Now that was enough for me to think this film was going to be horrible. Films Pitt seem to have creative differences on tend to end up sucking. See the horrid The Devil’s Own and State Of Play. Aronofsky eventually got to make the film after agreeing to a way less budget and recasting with Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. The result was a flop at the box office. It was booed at the Venice film festival and maligned by critics.

So, I rushed out right away to see it! No, I waited. Waited until this year to see it. With my expectations set to the proper low standard, I watched the film. As I began to watch it, I kept waiting for whatever it was people saw in it that was so terrible. Ten minutes passed. Then thirty. Then fifty. Then after two hours, the film was over. I sat there as the credits rolled and wondered to myself, “what was so horrible in that?” I didn’t have the desire to bang my head against a wall. Its a film that resonated in my mind days after I saw it (Unlike Some Films I’ve Seen Recently) and the things that resonated weren’t bad.

Don’t get me wrong. The Fountain is not an easy film to watch. Its the love story of two characters who may or may not be three sets of characters spanning three different time periods. (The Wachowskis will attempt a similar feat with Cloud Atlas) Its about the intangible ideas of life and death and ultimately acceptance without bridges or arrows pointing that out to the audience. Its subtext and analogies. So, I can understand why people may hate it.

There are things that can’t be denied about this film, plot structure be damned. Matthew LiBatique, Aronofsky’s long time cinematographer, is literally showing off in this film. The Fountain is a feast for your eyes. This is undoubtedly the BEST performance of Hugh Jackman’s career. He has to carry this film much like Hanks did in Cast Away. And the film will have you asking questions and debating the message it provides for years.

The Fountain is AMBITIOUS filmmaking around a time where most films cower behind the categories of safe and easily marketable. It may appear to be a sh*t sandwich on the surface with its production woes, critical reception and box office failure, but it would be a mistake to dismiss it completely. If you have the time and don’t mind giving your brain a bit of a work out, give it a watch. It isn’t an abomination. And after you watch…it’ll be hard to tell me I’m wrong.

July 27, 2012

Skin Deep

Skin Deep: Cockfighting

This film is simply about a womanizing writer with a drinking problem. His life is falling apart, he has writers block and is still in love with his ex-wife. He’s trying to fix his problems but keeps seeing woman who he must have.

Overall its a great film. Some very funny scenes including a very well known cockfighting scene.

John Ritter’s acting just steals every film he was in and this is one of them.

Watch this it’s Funny, it has John Ritter, it’s a underrated film and its a Blake Edwards film.




July 27, 2012

Spawn

Spawn: Shit

Well it’s about a mercenary who gets killed. He goes to Hell and is turned into a soldier for the Devil’s army.

Thats it…

The Story is fine, but its the late 90’s (1997). So sadly like most films from the 90’s unlike T-2 (1991), Jurassic Park (1993), who the Director worked on and somewhat ID4 (1996) the CGI sucks! Really any other film from the 90’s has such bad CGI. Somethings in this film look fine but the worst is Hell, especially the Devil, who you would think “should” look good. When the Devil talks his mouth stays open? He might be the worst thing you have ever seen. Seriously its that bad! You would think if they couldn’t get the Devil to work and look right, they just have him in the darkness somewhere where all you see is the Devil’s eyes. I mean, I even remember in ’97 when I saw this film on HBO the Devil still looked like shit. Such a easy fix, yet I guess they give up.

Lets be honest there are a few other big issues with this film but the worst that makes this film unwatchable was the Devil’s look.

By the way this film won a Best Special Effect award in 1997. Only award it won, yet I have no idea how…Oooo and ILM did the special effects, yep that Industrial Light and Magic. If you don’t know who that is google it.

Your world will be blown because you will see clearly they gave up on this film.

Now I gotta go delete my browser history since I googled this film…

July 27, 2012

Simplistic TV: Suits

UNDERVALUED

There hasn’t been a lot of great lawyer shows in a while.(I hear Damages is ok but I’m still in the process of watching it.) Probably not since David E. Kelly’s show Boston Legal. I don’t count any of the Law & Orders because they focus solely on the cases and let the personal lives of the characters fall by the wayside. Making it a show about law and not about lawyers. However, the USA show Suits is finally a return to the lawyer show. And not just a Boston Legal or an Alley McBeal type show. Suits harkens back to Steven Bochco’s 80s classic LA Law, while still having modern appeal and wit.

Created by Aaron Korsh and produced by Doug Liman, Suits in a nutshell is this. What if a higher functioning Rain Man joined a law firm headed by Tony Stark. An interesting concept to say the least. Most people dismiss USA Network shows as procedural fluff. And some of them are. However, Suits has fast become one of the network’s stand outs. I attribute it’s steady increase in quality to the fact they begun downplaying the Rain Man gimmick actor Patrick J. Adams portrays in Mike Ross. If you rely on a gimmick, viewers will begin figuring out your shows before they’re over. It’s the Batman utility belt method. No matter what jam Batman gets in, the viewer is just waiting to see what deus ex machina he’ll whip out to solve it. Suits recognized it wasn’t the premise that was the strength of the show, rather the relationships of the lawyers. That is where the show shines.

Harvey Specter, the Tony Stark-like hot shot lawyer, is played brilliantly by Gabriel Macht. An actor who you’ll probably only remember from this travesty. What Macht and Robert Downey Jr.(Yes, I’ve noticed how many times I mention him) do with both their characters is make them an *sshole but still an *sshole you can like and root for.

Suits walks that tight line of Boston Legal fun and The Practice seriousness.  And it walks it well.  Its a show that week in and week out presents UNDERVALUED performances by its cast and satisfying weekly stories that allow them to flourish.  You haven’t experienced real joy until you’ve seen a Harvey Specter ownage of Louis Litt.  Give the series a chance….the first episode especially…then tell me I’m wrong.

July 26, 2012

Simplistic TV: Sherlock

BRILLIANT

I am a big fan of Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes films.  That may be because I think RDJ is my favorite actor working today.  However, the best version of the famous detective is definitely the BBC series Sherlock.  It is possible to be a fan of both the way I am because they do possess significant differences.  And not the fact that the films are set during the 19th Century and tv show is set during modern day.

For example’s sake, here is Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock.  And here is Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock.  Robert Downey Jr. nails the manic and playfulness of Sherlock Holmes.  While Cumberbatch, an actor who will be a household name after next year’s Star Trek 12, nails Sherlock Holmes’s cold stoic BRILLIANCE.  Both work tremendously.  Downey Jr. gives Sherlock a bit of a giddiness at his own intellect when explaining clues.  Cumberbatch treats it more like an uncontrollable condition.  His delivery feeling similar to someone fed up answering a nagging five year old who constantly keeps asking “why?”.

Both Jude Law and Martin Freeman are equally great as Watson.  Law, mostly for theatrical sake, plays Watson a bit more over the top while Freeman keeps Watson’s frustrations with Sherlock more internal.  Though, we do see Freeman’s Watson at the beginning of his relationship with Sherlock while Law’s Watson is well used to him by now.

All that said, the most important thing in creating a great incarnation of Sherlock Holmes is getting the chemistry right.  And Sherlock does this as well if not better than the films.  While the films give you more style, the tv show gives you more substance.  Its mystery first and set pieces second.  Thats what puts this ahead.

The series does cheat its substantiveness a bit by having each season broken down into three 90 minute episodes.  They play like mini movies and are each enjoyably different while still connected through a ongoing plot thread.  Don’t be alarmed by the modern day setting either.  Sherlock fits into our world smoothly and creates interesting situations that 19th Century Sherlock couldn’t do.  Like interrupting a police press conference by texting all the reporters simultaneously the truth the police chief is leaving out.

That leads me to mention a storytelling device the editors use on the show.  To illustrate how Sherlock’s mind works, the show uses in scene captions to draw the audience to his conclusions instead of having him always explaining everything.  This is very well done, as apposed to how Tony Scott overuses it in some of his films…Domino comes to mind.

An American version of this modern day Sherlock Holmes is in the works now.  However, I am sure it won’t have the same quality acting, writing, directing, and teeth this show has.  You watch one episode and it’ll hook you.  Go ahead…watch one…I’ll wait…….still waiting……..see?  Tell me I’m wrong.

July 25, 2012

Marked for Death

Marked for Death: Seagal

It’s a Steven Seagal film, enough said…

Why watch it? Because Keith David is in it!

Tagline: He’s a good cop. In a bad mood.

Best Line: “You fuck with my family, you die.”


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