Sunday, December 27, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

good dramatic adaptation of a classic kids book

where the wild things are is a reimagining of the classic maurice sendak kids book. the film is almost nothing like the book, other than the monsters look amazingly similar. max is a rambunctious kid who is having a rough time growing up. he is kinda a loner with few friends, and he feels like he's being ignored by his mom and sister. one night he goes 'wild' and runs away... he sails to a new land where the wild things are. he meets carol, douglas, kw, ira, the bull, and others. they eventually make him their king and all is great, until max starts playing favorites and doesn't rule properly (he is a kid after all). he finds out that carol (voiced by james gandolfini) is in love with kw, but wants everything to be a certain way. he eventually finds out that max isn't a real king, and flips out, forcing max to hide. he realizes that life isn't all fun and games, and that he misses his mom. the dramatic elements are amazing in this film. i teared up watching carol the monster express his feelings. it's quite impressive. it may not be how the book goes, but this version of the classic childrens book is a very good artistic achievement.

I Heart Huckabees

existential comedy that isn't funny

i heart huckabees is a film about some existential philosophical stuff... 'is everything connected', 'is nothing connected', etc. bottom line, it's not funny. i love jason schwartzman, and that's my main reason for seeing this... but this film sucks. jason is a guy who's trying to make sense of some coincedences in his life, so he seeks help from an existential detective duo, dustin hoffman and lily tomlin. they basically lead him on a journey to discovering the truths about his existence, meh. all the characters are annoying and unrelatable, and like i said, it's not funny.

The Road

heartbreaking, well acted, but not perfect

obviously no movie is perfect, but the road has a lot going for it. it's nearly flawless in my opinion. the biggest problems are the ending, and the kid that gets more annoying as the film goes on. viggo mortensen stars as the man, along with his son they are navigating their way through post-apocalyptic america in search of heat, shelter, and warmth. the world they live in is always cold with very little light and almost nothing is alive. we don't know what happened to the world, but almost everything is now dead. the man was married to a woman (charlize theron) who couldn't handle the hopelessness that this new world brought, and eventually ended her life. now the man and his son are on the journey to survive. they encounter gangs of cannibals who are searching for any food available. the film is very dark, and plays out kinda like a thriller. the kid gets very annoying as the film goes on... he says 'papa!' in almost every scene, and it gets very cliche. overall a good movie, but the ending also isn't that satisfying.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

flawed, cliche, but not too bad

precious is a fat black teenage girl who's pregnant with her second child. she's illiterate, and her babies' daddy is her father. her mom is abusive, and she discovers she has HIV. talk about overkill! precious isn't even that much of a likeable character, despite all her problems. it's a sad movie, and one genuinely tearjerking moment... overall the film has lots of cliches, such as the overly sympathetic teacher who thinks education is the most important thing. the movie is sad, but also kinda funny in parts. the 'daydream' scenes are kinda weird, they break the story so much and interrupt the flow. i think it's a good story that should be told, but the problems facing precious are too immense, and makes everything unbelievable. gabby sidibe, the woman who plays precious, does a great job, and so does mo'nique as her mother. mariah carey however is horrid. she can't act. removing your makeup doesn't make you believeable, it just makes her annoying and pretentious. she shouldn't make a career out of this.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Messenger

amazing military drama

will montgomery (ben foster) is an iraq war veteran who was injured in action. his newest assignment is to inform the next of kin when their child/spouse is killed in action. his partner for this assignment is tony stone (woody harrelson). as the film plays out we learn more about the characters and why they are the way they are, and lots of insignt into war in general. the actors are amazing, and this is the best 'war' film since the hurt locker in my opinion. the acting is superb, by everyone involved. will gets too involved with one widow played by samantha morton. their relationship is realistic and intense... she misses her husband, and what he was like years ago, and will is looking for someone to love. the film isn't much more than seeing the two go from house to house on missions, and seeing them chat about life and stuff at the bar... but it's really emotional stuff. well made overall.

A Film with Me in It

british black comedy...

'a film with me in it' is a black comedy that is quite similar to 'very bad things', but not quite as funny. the premise is funny, mark is an out of work actor who lives with his girlfriend and paralyzed brother in a shitty apartment with tons of problems. one day everything falls apart for mark... his girlfriend leaves him, the chandelier falls on his brother and kills him, the landlord whom he owes plenty of money to gets killed trying to fix a light, and so on. the apartment amasses many dead bodies, all by accident! mark's friend pierce, who also claims to be a film writer and director, comes over and the 2 try to come up with a plan. the idea is funny, and the story plays out like a thriller more than horror, but the payoff just isn't that great. mark isn't exactly a likeable guy, while the guy who plays pierce (dylan moran) is funny and entertaining.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox

wes anderson's fantastic mr. fox

i've loved wes anderson's films since seeing rushmore in theaters years ago. i couldn't quite explain why i loved them back then... and i still can't quite tell you now. my favorite is probably the life aquatic. the feel of his films, the characters, dialogue, and just overall style are so great. the films have a pleasing quality to them. fantastic mr. fox is certainly one of those films... even if it is a stop motion animated film based on the book by roald dahl. i remember reading the book as a kid, but the story was really just a blur to me now. this film is fun, funny, and even poignant at times. overall a highly enjoyable movie for kids as well as adults. unlike 'up', this film has jokes that adults can enjoy, and lots of fun for kids too. the voice acting is pretty good too... george clooney is mr. fox, meryl streep is his wife, jason schwartzman plays the son ash (my favorite personally), and bill murray, willem defoe, and others join in as smaller roles. i just really enjoyed this film, and i'm glad wes anderson is sticking to making his style movies.


fuck norman rockwell...

up is just like a fucking norman rockwell painting... utter bullshit. the story is about an old man whose wife of 50+ years has died, now he wants to go on an adventure he wanted to pursue with his beloved... i can't stand pixar films anymore... they're all the same. so much syruppy bullshit about friendship and what's really important and shit. fuck disney for making their films so manipulative. the film accomplishes what it sets out to... make us care about the characters. that's what they specialize in... they made us care about toys, fish, and cars for fucks sakes... why not an old man who never realized his dreams? i don't care how preposterous the plot is... i can get over that stuff, like the audience is supposed to... but the way they present life, it's so fucking phony. it's either a kids movie, or an adult movie... don't try to be both pixar!

another thing i hate about pixar... the shitty sense of humor. they're kid jokes, but they want adults to laugh at them. wtf? the funny stuff involves dug, the talking dog... but the jokes get old fast. this film is so similar to wall-e, finding nemo, monsters inc., etc. for some reason i keep seeing them too... just like the rest of the world. that's what i hate too! they have so much power over us! lol. the animation is amazing as usual, but i am just sick of their bullshit overall.


boring and meh

so i finally saw stargate, and i was disappointed. i didn't know what i was expecting, but i was hoping for something better than this... i mean this spawned some tv shows and stuff, right? plot: james spader is great with heiroglyphics and shit, so the government hires him to decipher this ancient circle thing from egypt. turns out to be a stargate that teleports you to another planet on the other side of the galaxy or some shit. he breaks the code and goes with hard boiled army guy kurt russell to see if it's safe on teh other side. they go through and can't make it back.... meet some natives, and fucked up shit ensues. the story is predictable, and the acting is good, but the behavior of the characters makes no sense whatsoever. the effects are cool, and the egyptians from the other planet have awesome pharoah masks and shit that are cool. i like spader and russell, so i can't hate it too bad, plus it's 15 years old.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Astro Boy

low expectations, wasn't too disappointed.

i've been a fan of astro boy for years now, and when this movie came out i was kinda excited to see the characters come to life. the reviews were poor, and i figured my beloved memories wouldn't be realized in this modern 3d film. i was pretty much right, but it was still enjoyable nonetheless. nicolas cage sucks in general, but he's even worse as a voice over actor. he's HORRIBLE as astro's scientist father. freddie highmore is great as astro however. the plot is fairly predictable, and they use so many cliches from kids movies of old... evil politicians, environmental problems that must be addressed, and friendship... there are many similarities to the film artificial intelligence... so it's obvious that we're not getting originality here. but the action is fun, and astro boy is just awesome in my opinion anyways.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Funny People

good and bad

judd apatow has good stories to tell in his films. like the 40 year old virgin and knocked up before it, funny people has a good premise, and i'm sure it's at least somewhat close to his heart because that's how the other films he directed were. adam sandler stars as george simmons, a comedian not that much unlike himself in real life. he's a comedian with tons of money. george however doesn't have a family or many friends, and he recently found out he's dying of a rare form of leukemia. he decides to get back into stand up comedy and befriends seth rogan's character, ira, a struggling stand up comic who has to work at a deli just to pay the bills. the 2 form a unique friendship... meanwhile george is still in love with his ex (leslie mann, apatow's real wife) who's now married to eric bana and they have 2 kids (apatow's real kids). well, guess what... george gets better, and his ex wants to get back together with him, but ira knows it'll fuck up a family... this film is more drama than funny, and extremely long. it's almost 2 and a half hours. the funny parts are funny, especially the scenes with seth rogan and his roommates jonah hill, and jason schwartzman. the important parts of the film are rushed through, while the funny but less important parts are dragged out quite a bit. the acting is good, premise is good, but it's execution is meh.

Irreversible (Irréversible)

disturbing. dark. harrowing.

gasper noe's film irreversible is a roller coaster ride through one fucked up night in france. the film is shown in reverse chronological order, like memento, and it works extremely well for this story. the film starts with a dead body and leads us through the actions that led up to a murder... 2 friends, marcus and pierre, are searching for a pimp who raped and beat their girlfriend/friend alex. they search a gay club where tons of sex acts are being performed, and i imagine the director has some unique thoughts on sex and homosexuality... anyways, one of the most fucked up/disturbing scenes in all of movie history is a 5 minute long anal rape scene involving said girlfriend, alex (played by the gorgeous monica bellucci). the scene (and overall film) was easy to watch for me, but i'd be curious to see others' reactions though. i've seen my fair share of fucked up shit on the internets by now. the rape scene however was more disturbing because it was almost like a love making scene... the man was making love in a way, while alex was in agony and pain the whole time. i imagine this is what real rape is like. anyways, the film is well acted and has some good long scenes that must have been difficult to film. the ending (or beginning of the story) is up for interpretation, but i didn't think it was as good as a story like this deserved.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


epic anime style action movie, but...

casshern is a beautiful movie, and it's obvious that it was made by a music video director. the action is intense, and pure style over substance, like an mtv music video... but there is a lot of good in casshern. the story takes place in the dystopian future, where mankind is at war and a scientist, dr. azuma, is working on 'neo-cells' that will revive any human body parts and heal people. his son tetsuya goes and dies in the war. dr. azuma's liquid works and he accidentally creates a new breed of neo-sapiens who vow to destroy mankind, and tetsuya is revived as casshern, an incredible warrior who must take down the neo-sapiens and end the war once and for all. the film is epic, and for the most part it's awesome... but i think they tried to cram too much into this film. there is drama, romance, war, action, sci-fi, animation, etc. all in one film, and i think they shoulda focused more on the action personally. casshern is a badass, and the scenes with him are awesome, but some of the drama is so over the top, soap opera-ish that it takes away from the cool stuff. like i said, the film is style over substance, and that's fine if they stick with it. when they try to half ass the substance, it shows.

Cannibal Holocaust

other than some poor acting, this is a great film

cannibal holocaust is a very disturbing horror-drama film. there are scenes of extreme violence against humans (fake) and animals (REAL!). the story is really, really original. there is a documentary filmmaking crew that goes to south america in search of uncivilized man, but they go missing, so an anthropologist goes in search of them. what he discovers is that they were killed and eaten. he finds their film cans and takes them back to the states and he discovers the true horrors. honestly, if this wasn't a grindhouse horror movie, it'd be a masterpiece. the acting is often crappy, but not bad enough to ruin the great story. the animal killing doesn't bother me as much though. i mean, those animals were killed and the images live on forever... when we kill animals for food, it lives on for a few meals. the turtle death scene was crazy, and the true horrors of the film that i mentioned are shocking and gives the story such an amazing twist that is much better than the shit we make today. this film definitely isn't for the squeemish, or animal lovers. truly terrifying shit lies within.

Whispering Corridors (Yeogo goedam)

stale korean horror film

after seeing lots of good asian horror films, one like this just doesn't compare. a high school is being terrorized by the ghost of a former student who commited suicide. her former friend, and new teacher at the school is investigating what happened, and meanwhile 2 girls are trying to contact spirits... a few people end up dead, and overall it's kinda confusing. i just didn't like it as much as other more recent asian horror films involving ghosts. this is somewhat of a classic now, and has inspired some sequels.

High Tension (Haute tension)

holy shit it's suspenseful!

marie and alexia are 2 college friends who go on a trip to alexia's parent's farm to get some school work done. in the middle of the night a psychotic killer comes and kills her whole family and takes alexia away in his van, while marie hides and attempts to free her. the title is perfect, there is so much tension in the film, and the way the filmmakers did it is amazing. there IS a twist in this film, and some people think it's horrible, but i love it! this is a great horror film in my opinion!

Hard Boiled (Lat sau san taam)

john woo and chow yun fat do it again

chow yun fat stars in this cop action extravaganza directed by john woo. it's not as good as 'the killer', but it still has plenty of good action and explosions. tequila is a hard boiled cop who's after gun smugglers after his partner got murdered by mobsters. the main showdown takes place at a hospital with a high body count, and tons of explosions. kinda ludicrous, but overall a good action flick.