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Showing posts from 2006

The Velvet Goldmine

Velvet Goldmine: Okay, so this one is tough to give a straight out review, so I'll just lay out a few points for you.

A. I don't mind the non-linear storyline, or the sometimes bizarre ways of telling the tale, but seriously, the scene done with Ken dolls was just a little more than I could take.

B. The way the stories were told and interwoven with the story of the journalist who's listening to them was great.

C. I thought most of the acting was quite impressive, but was disappointed by the performance of Jonathon Rhys-Myers as Brian Slade--I thought he was rather flat and emotionless, and that bothered me until I realized that maybe that's the POINT...Brian Slade was never real. He was just sort of this reflection of those around him, and they all projected what they were looking for onto him. So maybe JR-M is in fact a BRILLIANT actor instead of--as I originally thought--amazingly awful.

D. Ewan McGregor was awe-inspiring. The man is never hesitant to drop trou and show …

The Warriors

The Warriors: For a cult film from 1979, this didn't feel nearly as dated as it should have. I'm guessing that could be because it's almost more of a fantasy than it is a "realistic" film. Part of that comes from the intro likening the story to a Greek epic, and also the use of what look like rotoscoped "comic" panels to transition between scenes. Basically, it's about this gang in New York called the Warriors who go to this big gang meeting way down in the Bronx, and after something unexpected happens, have to make their way all the way back to their home turf of Coney Island, dodging and fighting both other gangs and the cops. Each of the gangs in the movie have these wild costumes and identities, the most interesting being the Baseball Furies (whom I assume come from the part of the Bronx that's home to the baseball field.) They're these guys wearing baseball uniforms with this crazy sort of Kiss-type make-up who fight with baseball bats …

Gosford Park

Gosford Park: Yes, I know I just watched this one last weekend, but the DVD arrived and I just had to watch it again with subtitles so I could figure out what was going on. Amazing what you miss when the sound is dying! It's actually kind of better the second time, because once you know what's going on, you notice a lot of little clues earlier on in the movie. It's well-plotted, well-acted, and apparently accurate as far as the household running goes. They had a making-of on the DVD and explained that they brought in three people who'd actually worked in service during the 30s and 40s, and had them check things for accuracy. It was kind of cute how much the 80yr olds were digging working with the actors. But yeah, the movie is still entertaining and interesting and I enjoyed it immensely. This is recommeded for anyone who enjoys British period movies (Minnesota Mama and Shalom Go Bragh, I am looking at you here) or murder mysteries.

Featuring Keanu Reeves, bloodied schoolgirls, and zombies!

So this weekend I watched three movies (and a bunch of random chunks of other things and the new Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares and the new episode of Psych and some other stuff).

1. River's Edge: This was made in the eighties, back when Keanu Reeves was still rocking that totally sexy Ted hair. Basically, this high school guy kills his girlfriend, and his friends are all pretty apathetic except for Crispin Glover who thinks it's kind of a rad adventure and Keanu, who seems a bit uncomforable with it. It's not really a very good movie, since most of the characters are two dimensional at best, and John's reasons for strangling Jamie are never fully explained. Dennis Hopper plays a mentally unstable recluse pretty well (not much of a stretch, since I feel as though Dennis Hopper may in fact be a mentally unstable recluse.) I suppose it's some sort message about the state of youth in America, but I really wasn't at all impressed.................well, except with K…

The Caustic Critic's Movie Explo!

I have been watching a lot of movies lately. I have discovered a nifty feature of the cable which allows me to scroll through just the movie listings, choosing the movies I want to DVR with ease.
Not great for my social life, but excellent for my movie watching.

1. Two Mules for Sister Sara - A great 1970 western featuring a typically feisty Shirley MacLaine, Clint Eastwood during that 15 seconds he was attractive, some rad explosions, and an unexpected twist at the end. Highly recommended.

2. The Jubilee Trail -- I must admit that I'm partial to this one not because it's particularly good, but because I own the book it's based on and love it. It does have some nice strong female characters--rarities in 1950s westerns. The book (of the same title, written by Gwen Bristow) is much better though, and includes a lot more of the history of California's entry to the USA. A little predictable but not unpleasant.

3. The Guns of Fort Petticoat -- Another 50s western (I have to adm…

A Letter to CBS

Dear CBS,
Please stop putting your characters into comas. On three of my favorite shows on your network, three characters were all in comas this week. CSI, in fact, has two of their three homicide detectives (Brass of Vegas and Flack [the HOTTEST of the CSI crews] of NYC) are currently in potentially lethal comas. Also Gibbs of NCIS was in a coma, though he came out of it only to retire. Did you suddenly decide these actors were too expensive? Did they all suddenly decide they wanted to quit and have movie careers (frankly, only one of the three has a possibility there, and previously his only real film role was as the goalie in 'Miracle')? What is the DEAL? Look, finale season is stressful enough, what with all the VERY TENSE DRAMATIC DRAMA and the knowing that I have to wait until fall (FALL!) for the resumption of good television. The least you could do is stop fucking killing people left and right. Thank you.
P.S. I am VERY displeased with the results of Survivor…

"Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them!" - Thoughts on Tarantino

"I don't care how crazy they are--psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them." - Seth Gecko
You know, I've tried really hard to like Quentin Tarantino movies, but I just can't do it. They're all full of maddening pop culture references and blood geysers and self-referential crap. So far I've seen 'Pulp Fiction,' 'True Romance,' 'Kill Bill (1 & 2),' and 'From Dusk Til Dawn.' People keep telling me I have to see the other one--'Reservoir Dogs'?--but I'm thinking I'll pass.
The only one I like is 'True Romance,' and I think I like that one because Tarantino neither directed nor acted in it.
It's sort of the way I feel about Kevin Costner. I didn't mind him so much when he was just an actor. I mean, 'Dances With Wolves' was okay. It's when he started being actor/director/producer/dancing girl Costner that it became a problem.
Or maybe the reason I don't like Tarantino's fi…

The House on Haunted Hill (re-make)

Yesterday I watched another re-make (a much more satisfying one, I must say.) I ordered the 1999 re-make of The House on Haunted Hill from Amazon, and sat down to watch it when I got home from work. Now, I must admit that I have never seen the original, so I had no real basis of comparison. However, I will say that the movie pretty much scared the shit out of me, and that's a good thing. I'd probably rank it right alongside Thirteen Ghosts (the remake with Tony Shaloub) and The Frighteners as far as scary movies go. I think to appreciate movies like this, you have to be able to set aside the thinking adult part of your brain and watch with your kid brain--the part of your brain that doesn't consider things like "How are they affording this?" or "Are they REALLY that stupid?" The movie was set in a 1930s era abandoned insane asylum, so right off you've got the super-creepy going on, and the building they used was fantastic. The lead characters were p…

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I've also seen some movies lately, which I have been meaning to talk about. The Boyfriend and I finally got arond to watching the re-make of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and as much as I wish I could say I liked it...I can't. It's not that it was necessarily bad, or that I think there was anything special wrong with it. I simply think the original film was so unique that a re-make can't begin to hold a candle to it. The Boyfriend found it particularly upsetting because he is a big fan of the original. He spent the whole movie comparing this version to the original and pointing out the differences. I personally try not to that when watching re-makes--I like to try and keep in mind that this is a new movie, with a new director, new cast, and new direction. Unfortunately, I wasn't especially thrilled with the new direction. There were parts that I enjoyed. While I wasn't entirely enamored with Johnny Depp's portrayal of Wonka, he had his totally hilarious…

To Brokeback or Not to Brokeback...

So I'm still debating about whether I'm going to go see 'Brokeback Mountain' or not.
On the one hand, I want to be supportive of innovative, original, genre-twisting, stupid-Christian-fundie-riling cinema.
On the other hand, I hate going to see movies that have had too much hype. I just end up feeling like a lemming.
On one hand, I don't want to see it because I KNOW it ends badly (there's no other possible way for it to end, really) and it's going to make me all teary and weepy and pathetic.
On the other hand, the near irresistable and drool-inducing siren song of most probably naked Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, who are probably worth a few tears and feeling a bit like a lemming.
Decisions, decisions.