Jan 02 2011

Another Movie Post Pt 2

Published by at 10:45 pm under Entertainment

So you came back, huh? Sucker. This wraps up the large group of movies I started with the last post. I think I’ve learned my lesson and I’m gonna make an honest attempt at keeping up with these. No more compiling a list of 3 months worth. Gonna try and post it each week. See how many I can make it. What’s the over/under?

The Expendables

This is like one of those pieced together all star teams scrapped together with both aging HOF bound veterans and stars at the peak of their careers forced together for the sole purpose of winning the trophy. But for whatever reason, the intangible needed to finish off it’s purpose is lacking. I’m not sure if it’s missing chemistry, lack of fundamental direction or whatever also important ingredient that is missing from the recipe, this movie is not the title winning team. If you want to see a “shit gets blown up” type action film, this might fall more into your favor than it did mine. I just didn’t think there was a lot that kept this movie afloat. There were tons of predictable parts and cameos that seemed to be forced in just to give marque names some screen time. I wasn’t star struck into liking this movie at all.

2.0

Return to Oz

The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies of all time. There is just so much to like. It’s absolutely fabulously put together especially when you consider it’s over 70 years old. There wasn’t any way I could go without seeing the sequel. Even despite all the warning signs that it doesn’t live up to near the epic bar set by the original. Everyone was right. The story seems to be a lot darker back in Kansas and also in Oz. The characters seem a lot more forced instead of whimsical. There is so much that just misses with this story and the movie as a whole. I can only hope that rumored remake of the original doesn’t tarnish the original any more than this did.

2.5

Brewster’s Millions

Every so often I run across a movie that brings back memories of how I’ve enjoyed it when I was a kid so we pop it in hoping to bring my children the same feeling to them. I then I think, how the hell did I watch this when I was a kid? This one wasn’t as bad as some, but I really don’t recall the (albeit small amount) of swearing that was in this film. My kids did enjoy it even if it won’t become the cinematic icon that it did for me, but I still wonder if my concerns over the marginal content are deserved. After all, I didn’t even recall it after a couple of decades gone past. Why should I expect it to stick with them? I am in no way saying that kids should be allowed to watch slashers or Tarantino films or anything, but I wonder how much the effect is in small doses. Perhaps that’s just a slippery slope. Where was I going with this? Oh, the movie. A classic Richard Prior comedy. I don’t think there is anything more to say.

4.0

Book Of Eli

This is a post apocalyptic movie where Eli (the lead character) has been tasked with saving the last remaining Bible in the world and taking it to it’s safe haven. I had mixed feelings about the movie before hand since it has a definite religious theme to it. I tend to shy away from movies with religious messages even if the movie itself it’s necessarily about a religious subject (see The Chronicles of Narnia). Actually, I am more tolerant to that if it is a religious movie as the message seems more appropriate in those films. Despite it’s religious theme, it didn’t feel like it really forced a religious message. It was just telling the story. The story itself wasn’t that bad either. Combine with that the performance of the prototype actor for bad guys, Gary Oldman, and this shaped up to be a really decent movie.

3.5

Mary and Max

A few weeks ago, I came to realize the pure awesome that is Adam Elliot. He is a stop motion animator with a distinctive character and story telling style. Mary and Max was truly an entertaining and unique movie. In a time filled with movie remakes, retellings and generic characters, it really was refreshing to watch something that seemed such an original film in almost every aspect. The movie is about an 8 year old girl who battles loneliness by picking a random person in New York to begin a pen pal relationship with. Her random choice was a 44 year old, overweight New Yorker with asperger’s (which is the favorite syndrome to my 12 year old self). Together they help each other deal with their own trials of life through letters and gift of chocolate through the mail.

4.5

Harvie Krumpet

If you watch both Harvie Krumpet and Mary and Max, I recommend watching Harvie Krumpet first. I didn’t and, while I still enjoyed it, it took away from it a bit just seeing the polished, feature length movie first. There are so many similarities between Harvie and Max. Both suffer from mental illness (tourette’s and asperger’s). As you watch the film, it seems like Harvie Krumpet was more like a test run at Mary and Max than a tale all on it’s own. I’m not saying this is the case, but it’s difficult to ignore. You can watch Harvie Krumpet as well as the family series all on youtube (brother, uncle, and cousin).

3.5

Casablanca

Casablanca is the prototype for all the stereotypes of older movie characters. You have the deliberate, stoic male characters and all the women are your typical damsel in distress type. I had never had the opportunity to see this iconic film. Since it ranks #17 on the imdb all time list, it was something I was bound to get to. The story is good albeit predictable in almost every case, but I just can’t get past those jelly mold characters. It really seems that it’s presence on the imdb list certainly must be driven by nostalgia. I hope.

3.0

Shorts

Shorts tries to take a page from the Pulp Fiction recipe of success and segments the story into pieces that don’t occur chronologically. The only problem is, this is a kids show. Maybe that shouldn’t be your target with that type of movie. Then again, there are a lot of kids who have ADD tendencies. So what do I know. Maybe I’m wrong. This is your typical kid show though with a lot of adolescent jokes and little in the way of substance. I did think the girl (Helvetica Black) did a good job, though. She really reminded me a Christina Ricci on The Addams Family. Hopefully she will have the same success.

2.5

Rear Window

I haven’t seen a ton of Hitchcock movies, but he seems to have had a real penchant for creating interesting situations and characters. If you haven’t noticed, that’s what I like. #21 on my imdb list is the first movie with Jimmy Stewart that I wasn’t distracted by his distinct vocal style. Stewart plays a layed up photographer who passes time by voyeuristically flipping from window to window in his housing complex like people would flip the channels on their tv. He fabricates elaborate stories for them which eventually leads to his concocting a story of murder. He ends up wrapping up his physical therapist, girlfriend and even an old detective buddy of his into his imaginative world. Of the older movies I’ve watched (stuff that predates my being born), this has been one of the better ones. Close call between this and 12 Angry Men. Probably a slight nod going to that one just for the performances. This one gets the nod for story though.

4.0

Toy Story 3

I’ve heard a lot about how terrific this movie was. Hell, this summer it was ranking in the top 5 of the imdb list along with Inception. Both of those have since fallen on the list. This has fallen to #26. It should fall more. Don’t get me wrong, it was a decent movie. I didn’t see anything that made it any better than the other 2.

3.5

Yes, I thought How to Train Your Dragon was better.

Exit Through The Gift Shop

When I first read about this documentary, I thought it was about Bansky – not by Bansky. It covers a guy who has some obsession with video taping… well… everything. He starts following his street artist cousin and his friends all around the world as they propagate their art and message. The first part was this French fool following these people and capturing what they do with his lens. The last part is where it all goes horribly wrong and this guy who can’t just do 1 thing correctly, but has to do everything in mass, turns to the art he’s been documenting. For every bit that the real artists were interesting and real, this guy was like a bad copy and trying his hardest to get to the finish as fast as he can. There was no message. Just propaganda to sell his stuff. I thought it ruined what could have been a truly awesome documentary.

2.5

Popeye

“I aint a physakist but I know what matters” How can one refute literary gems like that? Popeye was another treasure from my childhood. I had forgotten just how cartoony they tried to make all the characters in this film. I think they were very successful at it too. It really felt like the cartoons could have been the real people. Especially at a time where it wasn’t full of computer animation. It took real creativity to construct a world that didn’t and couldn’t exist. I think Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl is quite possibly the greatest match for an actor (or actress) to a part in every aspect. Especially physically. Not that one should expect it from a cartoon turned live action feature film, but the story is the only part that really isn’t that strong. But for a fun movie to watch with the family, it doesn’t fall short.

3.5

Blood Into Wine

This is one that few have probably heard of. It’s a retrospective documentary on Tool/Perfect Circle/Puscifer lead singer, Maynard Keenan’s foray into the wine industry. I say retrospective since it covers all the work and effort he has gone through to the point of making the film, but was only filmed over what appeared to be 1 growing season. It had a bunch of unexpectedly humorous scenes that were staged, but none of the staged scenes take away from the movie. The movie really has an odd feel to it as it has a strange combination of people from the wine industry and from the very different rock world. These very different worlds don’t seem to mix well together giving it a very oil and water feel between those scenes. I was hoping this would be something that would make for good content from any viewer but I think it would more than likely be mostly enjoyed by the star struck rock fans. Overall, it mostly seemed like an infomercial for the wine directed towards fans. And while the funny parts help with that and make it watchable, I don’t think it’s enough to stand on it’s own.

2.5

Being one of the fans of Maynard, I did at least gain something from this film. I found a new favorite song that I’m sure will be drowning my ears for the next few months. That itself made the show worth the effort. Here is Keenan and Milla Jovovich performing “The Mission” as Puscifer:

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One response so far

One Response to “Another Movie Post Pt 2”

  1. sirfwalgmanon 04 Jan 2011 at 11:40 am

    I remember seeing Popeye in the movie theater when it first came out. :).

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