Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rubin and Ed

crispin glover + howard hesseman =

win. rubin and ed is such a strange buddy road comedy. crispin glover plays rubin farr, a 20 something loser who has no friends, life, ambitions, etc. all he wants to do is stay in his mom's home and listen to music all day. howard hesseman is ed, a loser salesman who is trying to work things out with his wife, and become successful at a network marketing scheme. he tries to get rubin to go to a seminar with him and rubin ends up ambushing his car to drive to the desert to bury his dead cat! this is all awesome. the 2 hate eachother, and over time come to understand the other. the movie is made by local utahn trent harris, and it's filmed in various areas in the state. it's quirky and fun with some good heart thrown in.


beautifully shot, but gets a bit bogged down at times

revanche is an austrian film about a man whose entire life changes in an instant. alex and his girlfriend tamara are trying to escape their debt and life. she works as a hooker in a brothel, while alex does odd jobs at the same place. he comes up with a plan to rob a small town bank with an unloaded gun. things go wrong (tamara ends up getting shot by a stray bullet and is just at the wrong place at the wrong time) and alex can't stop thinking about taking revenge on the one man who fucked everything up. the 2nd half of the film is quite tedious and seems to go on forever. alex moves in with his grandfather on his farm, and he takes care of things for him. he chops wood and tends the farm animals (some of the most tedious parts of the film). alex finds the cop who shot his girlfriend and doesn't realize how the death has affected him. the cop is taking it just as bad as alex is. the film is very well made, and the cinematography in particular is very well done. other than the few gripes this is a very good film about revenge and chance. who is to blame when things go wrong? that's kinda the theme here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Food, Inc.

very important documentary, even if it is a bit preachy

let me start by saying that much of the information in this documentary i already knew. i was a vegan/vegetarian for a good 5 years of my life, and seeing things like this make me wonder why i am no longer. food, inc. is a documentary on the modern food industry. it's more or less an expose that shows us plenty of shit that we simply don't know about the food we eat. even with some knowledge of this stuff, there was PLENTY to shock me in food, inc. almost all the food we eat comes from very few companies... but travels thousands of miles to get to us. the cheapest foods are the least healthy, even though they do the most harm to us, the environment, and use up plenty of resources. slaughter house workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in america, and companies purposely place them in poor areas of states and hire illegal immigrants so they won't complain. the food industry has us by the balls and they know it. your hamburger is made from cows from various parts of the world, they are grown too big and too fast so their bodies break down before they're killed. factory farming is the worst. raising cows and chickens for food, that's not a problem at all... but the way the factory farms do it with incredible efficiency and speed is insane. the hormones and drugs and unnatural foods they feed these animals is insane. the food companies control everything, and many of the appointed officials in the fda and usda have worked for these giant food companies. the film has so much information that i can't go into all the incredible details, but please see this fucking movie if you care at all about your health, the world's health, animals, the environment, etc. this isn't a michael moore 'gotcha' style documentary, it's based on facts, and the makers investigated thoroughly.

this movie won't change lives for the most part, but hopefully it will make people realize what's going on behind the scenes. the food industry is getting out of control, and change is necessary. buying organic, local, in season, etc. are all good ways to show the industry what we consumers want to have happen. this is kinda the message of the film, and i happen to agree. there's no need to go vegan/vegetarian in my opinion, but there are much better, healthier, environmentally sound options out there and it's worth looking into.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wristcutters: A Love Story

unique take on suicide and romance

zia (Patrick Fugit) and desiree (Leslie Bibb) break up... zia ends up killing himself and wakes up in some strange new world with other people who offed themselves. in this place no one can smile, and there are plenty of strange happenings at all times, including a black hole that is located within a car that eats anything that is dropped. zia finds out that desiree has also killed herself so he and his friend eugene (Shea Whigham) embark on a road trip to find her. on the way they meet mikal who believes she is there by mistake. the film is very enjoyable, and unique, but not annoyingly quirky. tom waits and will arnett show up in smaller roles, but it's always fun to see either of them. i was kinda hoping this film would be very dark and morbid/depressing, but it was actually fun and somewhat lighthearted. but it worked well.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Public Enemies

melodrama, romance, and 140 minutes. wtf, this is a gangster film??

public enemies is the latest michael mann gangster drama. this one is based on john dillinger (played by johnny depp) the depression era bank robber and his evasion of the fbi, led by melvin purvis (christian bale). the film is 140 minutes. that's way too long for how little actually happens in this film. there is plenty of manufactured drama and romance, which seems completely out of place in this movie. for some reason some deaths are worth long drawn out scenes that show the drama and angst in the person's eyes... while some get killed and we just move on. that's what i mean by manufactured. the filmmakers want us to care about some deaths, and not others, but it's seemingly for no reason. who cares... there is plenty of good shootout scenes, even if it's nothing we haven't seen before. this is quite similar to michael mann's heat that it's funny. heat is much better by the way. the scene that made me lol was when depp's girlfriend billie (marion cortillard) is being beaten by interrogators, until christian bale shows up to beat up her abuser and subsequently carry her to the ladies room. so fucking hollywood! god i laughed at the absurdity. not to mention the final sequence of the film, which i won't give away, but it is quite cliche. there are plenty of boring pointless moments in public enemies, and the only thing that is really worth a damn is the shootouts and bank heists. i feel like such a typical man for saying that, but this just isn't a good movie.
as with a lot of period movies made lately, public enemies shows almost no signs that it takes place in the past. the film techniques don't fit the date of the film, and other than the costumes and cars (which at all times appear to have just been washed) it just doesn't feel like the great depression era at all.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Hurt Locker

best war movie in years

the hurt locker is more of an action thriller than a war movie... but the film does say a lot about modern warfare, and war in general. the film feels very genuine, and i'm sure the filmmakers did a lot of research.
jeremy renner plays sgt. james, a bomb diffuser in the iraq war. he and his unit must disarm EOD's in the during warfare. a very fucking intense job! james is the best at it, and he gets a thrill out of his assignment. the other members of his unit become wary of his dangerous tactics. throughout the film james disarms bombs and helps to take out iraqi snipers like a true action hero, just not as glamorous. jeremy renner does a great job in this role. i'd only seen him in the film 'dahmer' and the shitty 'senior trip', so this is quite a leap for him. he does great as a leading actor in the hurt locker. the film made me realize just how intense and dangerous war is. i mean, i'm not an idiot who doesn't know war is hell... but man, this is shows just how brave, scared, and overall insane some of these guys are. i wouldn't describe this film as "anti-war", but it certainly shows enough fucked up shit that happens to make me think that life is too short to spend it killing eachother. these thoughts have been with me for years, but seeing a film like the hurt locker makes me realize this even more.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


sam rockwell is pure win

moon is an indie scifi drama starring sam rockwell. the film takes place on the moon where sam (sam rockwell) is manning a space station that harvests moon rocks for planet earth to use for energy. he's alone for 3 years and awaiting his return to his life on earth, when weird things start to happen. he gets in a crash in his 'rover' and wakes up in the infirmary not remembering much. he goes back to the crash site and discovers that he was never rescued. i don't want to give much away, because the way the film unfolds is quite impressive and very well done. there isn't a twist ending really, but there are plenty of twists and turns that thrill the senses.
sam rockwell is essentially the entire cast, as he plays 2 roles, and does excellent. he was already one of my favorite actors, but now he's right at the top. he's so fucking good in this. the film is just awesome. kevin spacey voices the robot GERTY, and is somewhat remininscent of HAL from 2001. i heard comparisons to a space odyssey, but i think they're on different wave lengths. moon is less about science fiction as it is just an interesting story that takes place in space. the film reminds me of the prestige (the christopher nolan film a few years back), and that's a good thing. best film i've seen in a long time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer Hours (L'heure d'été)

good premise, but horrible execution

this film was well made. the cinematography and acting are great. the story premise seems good, but this film is just a boring, annoying and pointless mess. there's a 75 year old french woman who leaves her estate (including some great artwork and whatnot) to her 3 kids when she dies. the kids (in their 30's and 40's) must decide what to do with everything. OMG, STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES! they decide to sell off the art and the house. there's plenty of drama because of the memories, and thinking about what we do with our possessions when we die, but this movie is lousy. the film focuses on so many unimportant scenes it's ridiculous. the first 1/4 of the film is at the woman's birthday party... then she dies off screen, then months later we meet the characters again. wtf?we learn waaay too much about these characters that we don't need to. the old woman was fucking her uncle, but that's not that important to the film. WTF? that's quite important, but it's hardly even mentioned. and the kids are all spoiled assholes who travel from continent to continent all the time. well educated, well cultured, pompous assholes that most people can't relate to whatsoever. the art in the house is supposedly amazing, and plenty of the characters delve into great detail about the works. why though? no fucking clue.
the film is well made as i said. there's a lot of really good long shots, good dramatic elements, good acting for the most part... but the story is horrible. i was hoping to see more attention to the whole 'possessions don't go with you when you die' elements, but no. also, the last 1/5th of the film focuses on the eldest son's daughter and ignores the main characters.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Whatever Works

woody returns to new york

first off, i'm a HUGE woody allen fan. even his worst film is generally better than an average one by anyone else. if you're not a fan, don't fucking bother seeing this. it's not for you, i'm almost certain. after his last few films based in europe, he returns to the state that he loves so much, and a story that is quite familiar for woody. in my opinion this is his best film since 'match point'.
larry david plays boris yellnikoff, the latest woody avatar, a "genius" who has no faith in humanity. he hates so many things (almost all of which i agree with by the way) including religion, racism, the nra, dumbing down of humanity, etc. boris basically spouts off a lot of woody's philosophical musings throughout the film, many of which i'm quite familiar with. overall he basically just says, "whatever works", find any love you can out of life and that's all we can hope for. larry is quite good, even if his range is incredibly limited.
boris meets melodie (even rachel wood), a very young 'simpleton' from the south who eventually absorbs his philosophy and they get married. there is a lot more to the story, including melodie's parents discovering their sexuality, melodie finding her true love who loves life the way she does, etc.
the film is slight in nature, but very enjoyable to me. my favorite parts are when boris looks at the camera and talks to us. he's the only character who can 'see the big picture'. it's fucking win.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Year One

how does a pile of shit like this get made?

going into year one, i had low expectations. i thought the trailers looked decent, but when the reviews came out i knew i wouldn't be getting grade 'a' comedy. even so, this is the worst film i've seen in years. harold ramis somehow forgot how to make a funny movie, let alone at all coherant. all the jokes are stale, and feel like rehashed life of brian/history of the world part 1 bits. the biblical setting is pointless, as most of the jokes and gags fall flat in any setting. i tried to laugh a few times, but this film isn't fucking funny! michael cera and jack black play their typical characters. david cross, oliver platt, paul rudd, harold ramis, and many other actors are wasted in this shit fest. the story is retarded, slight, unfunny, etc. i think the writers had a decent idea, early man who talk and act a lot like modern people and therefore can make fun of the past, but stretched into more than 10 minutes it gets old and dumb fast. god i hated this film. nothing redeeming about it at all. i can't believe judd apatow had anything to do with it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Away We Go

don't assume we give a shit

sam mendes and everyone else behind this film assume we like and care about these characters. i know i didn't. that's probably what made me dislike away we go. bert (john kransinski) and verona (maya rudolph) are a young couple who are about to have a baby... they end up searching for the perfect place to raise a family, and through a road trip around america (and montreal canada) they learn about themselves and parenting, etc.
this film, along with so many others these days, gives no real closure. at the end i mostly wondered why i was supposed to care about these people. now i don't have kids, nor do i anticipate having any for a loooong time... so maybe that woulda helped me enjoy their journey. they meet quirky people, most of which are terrible parents that they don't want to emulate. the best of which are maggie gyllenhaal and her husband. the most hippy people ever! i lolled at them quite a bit, so that was nice. otherwise there was a decent blend of comedy and drama. what does bert see in verona anyways? she's nothing special, and i never understood why they cared so much about eachother. sam mendes didn't do that great of job building their relationship in my opinion.
also, alot of the parental advice and conversations seem horribly written. no one talks the way most of the characters did... anyways, other than a few good performances, this is basically a waste.


quite fucking unique

schizopolis is one of steven soderbergh's earlier films, and certainly the most unique one i've ever seen. the film has no credits, often people speaking in different languages, actors playing the same character but in different roles (somehow), and plenty of other oddities. the humor and story is hit and miss in my opinion.
steven soderbergh plays the main character, who has to write a speech for a motivational speaker type guy, and is going insane from the task. the story is almost irrelivant though and most of the film seems to make little or no sense. it's more or less a take on modern business life... kinda like office space, but weirder. i liked it overall for the originality.