Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Killer (Dip huet seung hung)

the way action movies should be

the killer is one of john woo's best films. it's an action drama about a hitman with a heart. chow yun fat stars as ah jong, a long time contract killer who believes his victims are guilty of something so it is justified. he accidentally blinds a beautiful singer named jenny, whom he loves from afar. he cares about her so much and feels guilty, so he takes care of her and they fall in love. ah jong agrees to take one final contract so he can pay for jenny's cornea transplant surgery. this is where things go out of control! lots of gunfights, some explosions, blood and guts, and plenty of awesome. there are car chases involving the sergeant who is hot on the chase of ah jong. eventually the 2 become friends against a common enemy, new killers out to kill the titular character. ah jong learns that people all deserve to live, and what he's done is wrong. this doesn't stop him from killing a shit load of guys in the awesome final act though! this is my only complaint: the 2 main guys expressing their respect and friendship with eachother goes on too long... and the film in general is a little too long. it doesn't get boring at all however, which is great.
john woo sure can make a good action film, and the killer is a great example of this. even though it's 20 years old, it still kicks modern action movies asses.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Alice (Neco z Alenky)

jan svankmajer in wonderland

i have always enjoyed stop motion animation, especially when i was young. now i still like and appreciate it, but it isn't as magical and amazing as when i was a kid. alice is a live action/stop motion animation film by jan svankmajer. i'll admit that the only other films of his i've seen was little otik and faust. i've always heard how dark and disturbing his films were, but i didn't get that from them at all, and that disappointed me. alice isn't much different in my opinion. it's mostly just repetative stop motion action set in the small world of alice in wonderland. the film seems so small, like we're stuck in a little house with a few tiny rooms, and hardly anything happens. the film follows the basic story of alice in wonderland and through the looking glass (i believe), and offers little new to the many many versions out there. the stop motion animation is good as usual, but it's almost just a gimmick. like i said, there is a lot of repetition, and little adventure to be had.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cold Souls

paul giamatti continues to annoy me

cold souls is a quirky little film that is very similar to being john malkovic. paul giamatti plays himself, a "famous" actor who is having trouble seperating his acting from his real life. he discovers a new company that is able to store humans' souls for them. somehow he thinks this is the solution to his problems. he gets it removed and he feels empty, so he gets a soul transplant from some russian poet. eventually he wants his soul back, but the russian black market has stolen it and given it to some soap opera actress who thinks it's al pacino's soul. sounds quirky and funny, but it's mostly just boring and annoying. the MAIN thing that bugged me about this film... why the fuck would anyone want to remove their soul? temporarily or otherwise? this made no sense, and they didn't explain that part at all. sure it's an interesting concept, what if our soul was tangible and we could change them with eachother... but the filmmakers don't even know what a soul is, or what it means to have it removed or replaced, so it's a pointless exercise in bullshit. paul giamatti may be a good actor, but how can anyone take that creepy little fucker seriously? honestly? he looks like a goofy little bastard in everything he does.

OH, and what the fuck is up with emily watson's hair in this? she has man bangs or something. fucking atrocious looking.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

jews killin nazis

quentin tarantino's latest opus started off as a remake of the italian film 'inglorious bastards', but i guess he decided to make an entirely different world war II film of the same title. the film is kinda 2 stories in one. one involves the said 'basterds' who are american jews on a mission to kill as many nazis as possible, and the other story is about shoshanna dreyfus, a jewish woman who escapes certain death and is plotting to kill the german elite. see, she now owns a movie theater in france where hitler and his cronies are going to screen a new propaganda film and she has the idea to burn it down with everyone still in it. meanwhile the allied forces have a similar plan and get the basterds to pull off the ambush. it's a tarantino film, so there's tons of dialogue, lots of it seems to be for no reason, but he built suspense rather well in this one. there was plenty of gore and funny moments, but not real comedy. i loved this film throughout... even though it was long as fuck. some of the best parts were the gore effects, like when the "bear jew" kills a guy by bashing in his skull with a baseball bat. pure awesome, and i love seeing jews kill nazi fucks...like in 'defiance'. brad pitt and christoph waltz shine as the 2 main leads. i should also add that the style of the film is all over the place, and i like that. there is a good mix of english, german and french as well.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


good, not great

i like mike judge's movies... not so much the cartoons, but movies are good. extract isn't as funny as office space or idiocracy unfortunately, but it is enjoyable to be sure. jason bateman (who i really like for some reason) stars as joel, the really likeable owner of a flavor extracts business. the business produces, bottles, and distributes the stuff in one building that joel basically built himself. unfortunately he's in a now sexless marriage and his life is getting kinda shitty. he meets a flirty girl (mila kunis) who he wants to maybe get with, but to feel comfortable about it he tries to get his wife to cheat first. turns out mila is a conwoman who is causing all kinds of problems for joel and his company when one employee gets his balls shot off in a freak accident at the plant, and she convinces him to sue for millions. gene simmons has a role as the greedy accident lawyer, and david koechner plays the incredibly nosy/annoying neighbor (rather well btw). the movie is very likeable, somewhat predictable, and never really hilarious or groundbreaking.


it's francis ford coppola, what did you expect?

tetro is the latest film from hit and miss "legendary" director francis ford coppola. other than the godfather I and II, i think all his films have major flaws that detract from the overall work. tetro is no different. vincent gallo plays the titular character who has obvious family issues to deal with. he fled his family and home when he was young to buenes aires, now his younger brother benny (played by alden ehrenreich) has gone on a trip of sorts to find him and understand his family better. when the brothers meet, tetro wants nothing to do with benny, or his family, and it's a mystery as to why. benny discovers tetro's secret writings and begins to learn more about his father (a famous composer) and their uncle. sibling rivalry is a big part of this film, and just family dynamics in general. the plot is very good, but goes on too long. there are at least 3 scenes where benny tries to confront tetro and tetro throws a fit... we get it, he wants to be left alone!
there is a twist in this film, and it's very good... but towards the end of the film it all falls apart. alden overacts, the script becomes way too convoluted and pretentious, and it just kills the goodwill they built up during the entire film. the film is in black and white, with flashbacks/dream sequences in color. i thought the music was often too upbeat for such a serious movie, but not too big of deal. i saw this film mostly cause i LOVE vincent gallo. everything he is in is better because of him. he's seriously my favorite, and he is great in this as well... even when the script gives him some shitty lines here and there.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


the best mockumentary ever?

kenny is a mockumentary, but if you didn't know that going in, you may never know it. it's the story of kenny, an australian plumber who delivers, installs, and services porta-johns. he takes us on a journey through his world. from the small details of the toilet business to his real life problems with his ex-wife and having a not so respectable job. shane jacobson plays kenny, and fleshes him out brilliantly. the character is so real and fleshed out, it's amazing. there were plenty of times where i laughed, and at least one time where i almost cried. a big part of the film is paying respect to those who do the world's dirty jobs, and that they should be given their respect. i have had less than perfect jobs and assignments, and i completely sympathize with this character. great job all around.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Halloween II (2009)

crappy sequel

rob zombie isn't exactly a stellar director in my opinion. he does however make entertaining splatter films with lots of cameo appearances by old b-movie actors and somehow manages to flesh out characters rather well. halloween II is the sequel to the 2007 reboot of the michael myers saga which i rather enjoyed. this halloween gets a little more trippy with dream sequences, some bizarre white horse imagery and some random weirdness. michael is back (did anyone really believe he was dead?) and he's on a quest to find his kid sister, laurie, who "killed him" in the last movie. most of the kills are standard horror fare, and not really shocking by this point. the only original stuff involved the white horse and michael's dead mom and michael himself as a kid. they appear only in michael and laurie's heads.
malcolm mcdowell returns as dr. loomis who is now nothing more than a money grubbing asshole author looking to exploit the victims and entire michael myers story. he gets his in the end however. what sucked the most is that they featured young michael a lot in this film, but the original kid (the incredibly creepy Daeg Faerch, was replaced. apparantly it was because he got too old, but still, that killed the mood of the the scenes he was in. also there wasn't much of the classic halloween music in this one and that was a shame. overall a pretty poor sequel to a film that had potential to be better than the original.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


disjointed romantic comedy/drama

steve zahn stars as mike, a lonely motel manager in a small arizona town. he meets sue (jennifer aniston), and falls in love with her immediately. mike is socially awkward and tries way too hard, but somehow sue sees something in him and the 2 hookup. once she goes home mike follows (more like stalks) her for the next few months. the 2 have chemistry, but both need to change in order for the relationship to work. eventually sue ends up with her ex-boyfriend jango, an ex-punk played by woody harrelson who provides stability. anyways, the film has some hilarious moments, especially when zahn meets his new friend al, who is especially funny. the film has some decent drama, but a lot of the plot elements seem tacked on especially when steve zahn becomes a buddhist monk. it's a good idea, but seemed to be added at the last minute, because it was almost pointless to the plot. also the characters seem to not act the way people would in the same situations, and that was kinda annoying. overall i enjoyed this film despite the flaws.
also, management features one of the worst uses of product placement i've ever seen was when sue and mike hand out burger king coupons and powerade to the homeless. that's so dispicable. 'omg burger king is saving the homeless! and we get to advertise to the world in a really cute way!' that really pissed me off too.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Repo! The Genetic Opera

if not for the singing, i woulda loved it

repo! is a musical from Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich. it's obvious that they put lots of effort into the screenplay, songs, and music for this highly ambitious film. the story is great, visuals are stunning, and a lot of the music is good too. it's just too campy, in a rocky horror picture show way. this can be good, but with a plot as good as this i just don't think it works that well.
in the future people get organ transplants often, and one company supplies them: GeneCo. if people can't make payments on time for these organs, geneco sends in the repo men to remove them. rotti the geneco owner is dying and must leave his company to one of his 3 rotten children (one of which is paris hilton ffs), so he tries to find a new heir, shilo. she's the daughter of rotti's true love who died years ago. he was responsible for killing her but pinned it on her husband and shilo's father, nathan. nathan is forced to be a repo man which he keeps a secret from shilo. this all sounds complicated, but gets explained pretty well through comic book flashback sequences. i liked the whole idea of the repo men, all the other stuff doesn't do it for me, but i appreciate how ambitious the entire plot is. i mostly just don't like musicals all that much, and the singing in this gets rather annoying quickly. some dialogue is spoken, then sung and back again. i didn't like that whole aspect of the film, which is a huge important part.

In the Loop

very good political satire

in the loop is somewhat a behind the scenes expose of what happens in the modern political process, but it's a hilarious comedy! the leaders of the US and UK want to go to war in the middle east, and the only thing stopping them are facts. the film is very talky, and a lot of it is funny as hell. one british minister has an innocent remark about the possibility of war, and he gets thrust front and center in the debate. meanwhile he has seemingly miniscule problems with his few local constituents that may cost him his job. the film is very funny and well acted, other than james gandolfini who unconvincingly plays a peaceful general. it is easy to miss some dialogue because they all speak so fast, and there are plenty of british accents, but overall this film is great.

The Isle (Seom)

erotic, disturbing, and weird

the isle is a korean drama about a suicidal man trying to escape from his problems. he flees to a small vacation community of small floating houses, ran by a mute woman who may have mystical powers. the woman and man form a unique love/hate relationship, and develop deep feelings for eachother. well, as the story goes on at a slow pace, some people die, others attempt suicide, and lots of sex. there are some disturbing scenes involving fish hooks and rape, but you'll have to watch it to understand. the ambiguous ending is indeed weird, but that's what makes it good. the weirdness quality and good acting make this one worth seeing for sure.