I haven't been posting anything on this blog here because I've been way to fucken lazy. I'm sorry to anyone that reads this blog, if ofcourse anyone does. Well for your entertainment I'll leave you with some quick write ups of the films I've watched. I won't be going into detail because I'm still in the lazy mode and i have some other writing to do. Well here they are.
Pedro Almodóvar gives us a chilling, comedic and all around amazing film. We get characters thrown into problematic events that where as in any other movie we would focus all our attention on. Yet with Almodóvar's eye for story telling we get something completely fresh. We get the realistic side, we don't get the hollywood film. Loved every second of it, amazing writing, great direction. Just loved this film.
The Number 23 (2007)
A film that i was looking forward to in its preproduction stage. Jim Carrey playing a guy who is insane in a horror/thriller film. This sounded amazing. Sadly, the film is pretty much just stupid. We get a great fun Jim Carrey that makes the film watchable but with its weak script it all falls apart. The thing that leaves me a bit confused is that the film itself seems to know how stupid it is.
(So many people trying to commit suicide by jumping off buildings and Oh that darn dog!)
Man...What the fuck? The story is cool, the acting is fine but the thing that i thought i wouldn't complain about is my biggest problem. The look of the film isn't bad, it's annoying. When i first saw the poster and the trailers it looked amazing. My problem is that you can't really set apart which character is who. Everyone looks the same, everything is way too dark or just too bright. It does take away from the film because it's trying to be stylish and give off a noir type of film but it just doesn't come across and you're just wanting to turn on a light bulb.
"It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black."-This is Spinal Tap
Monday, July 16, 2007
The Hellbenders (1967, Sergio Corbucci)
This isn't your normal Eastwood western, this is entirely something different. The director Sergio Corbucci was the man who brought "Django" to life. I haven't seen Django but after seeing this film I'm sure to watch it very soon. Don't go into this film thinking that your going to get a stylized beautiful film. This is as dirty as they come, which in a way gives it its own style.
We get a band of brothers out with their Father who massacre an army convoy to retrieve money so they can invade the north. Have you ever seen a cowboy film where they throw grenades at soldiers? Go get this film now! That is literally in the first 10 minutes of the film. An all out battle between 6 guys against a small army. The film has so many little cool twist and turns that fit just perfect. These guys think they got it made but the film itself is just trying to stop them. These guys are ruthless, they actually lie to people saying that their dead brother is in the casket. That's pretty fucked up if you ask me.
The film goes everywhere from there, we have a great shoot out between the brothers and the Mexican outlaws and also a face off between them and those gosh darn Indians. These shoot out scenes are filmed so simple with wide shots to let the viewer choose to pick out which fight he wants to see. The reason for this is because the star of the film isn't really revealed until the end. All these guys are bad guys and we are left with them. It's not like the Eastwood films where he's an Anti-hero. These guy's aren't Anti-hero's, just bad mother fuckers.
The Hellbenders does one thing that takes itself completely out of the western genre and actually out of any genre. The Mexican stand off is in nearly every western but we always see it play out the same way. He get them standing around each other, take a long pause and then shoot. This film basically says Fuck that and they shoot. This is a film that doesn't know it's a film. It's completely unaware of itself and that's the reason why i loved this film so much. It's amazing fun with great storytelling and the actors are great. Everything is perfect.
The Astronaut Farmer (Michael Polish,2006)
I've been waiting for this film for a while now. Billy Bob Thornton as a farmer that wants to go into space? I'm there. This film being made by The polish brothers who i haven't seen any of their work until this film left me a bit excited. I've heard some great stuff about these guys especially with their film "Twin Falls Idaho". So ofcourse, i was ready to be taken into their world of filmmaking.
Charles Farmer (Billy Bob Thornton) is your everyday type of guy, you know the ones that have spaceships in their barns. The film starts while the ship is near completion and Mr. Farmer already has a launch date. This didn't suit me so well, how the fuck did he get that huge rocket in his barn? But hey, thats not what this film is about. It's about following your dreams and this over the hill man's dream is to go into space. We never really get to know why Farmer wants to go to the great beyond so badly. We get a few hints of it every now and then but it never really unfolds.
Farmer also has a family, two girls that love the idea that their daddy wants to go to space and his wife who thinks he may be already there. We never really get to know the family either. The polish brothers give us this really cool sounding concept and throws the audience in the middle of it. I was digging it, i really was but the lack of character just brings the film back down to earth.
We do have some great scenes that makes you feel like this ridiculous film can actually exist but they come every once in a while. The pacing of the film is a bit way too fast, doesn't let the viewer get to know these people at all. Some people may be reminded of "Forest Gump" but this is its own little film. Remember The challenger? Yeah, the spaceship that exploded. Well this film is like that. It sucks that it exploded but it's interesting to look at. I mildly liked this film.
Able Edwards (Graham Robertson,2004)
Able Edwards is the first film to be shot entirely on green screen. It's in the Guinness books of records, the real deal. This film being executive produced by Mr. Soderbergh and directed by first time filmmaker Graham Robertson left me kind of interested. I'm always up for an interesting sounding film that is about to break ground in the cinema world so this one had my name all over it.
The plot is like Citizen Kane but instead of a newspaper mogul we get someone that is reminiscent of Walt Disney. Did i mention that it takes place in the future and they have to clone this guy? Yeah, this movie's plot is awesome. The biggest weakness is the execution of the film. The filmmakers seem to be more on the lets just make the first film entirely on green screen then making a decent film.
The character's never really get to take off except for Able but then again he is the main one to look at. Everyone else is simply telling his story just like in Citizen Kane. It's very interesting to watch Able because he's a nice guy but also an asshole at the same time. It's interesting but not rounded out.
The budget was i believe under one million dollars but i could be wrong. The look of the film is dated but a kind of cool dated unlike when you see some CGI from a long time ago. We know this film isn't going to be spectacular with the spaceships and they don't quite have that retro feel but yet it doesn't look retarded.
Able Edwards has such a great premise to it that you can't help but make up the film that you wish to see. The filmmakers just didn't know what they had going for them. They were to caught up in being the first green screen movie then actually trying to make a good film first.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow,1991)
I've seen this film many years ago and i decided to watch it again. I remembered key scenes but not the whole thing. I love this film, i can honestly say i can watch this film anytime of the day. This is the "go to" film, that film that you know is just so damn good that you can watch it when there's nothing to watch and not be disappointed.
I'm not going to go into detail about this film or even give it a grade. This film is way to amazing for a grade. Everything is just so great, the way the actors play off each other, the chase scene between the houses, the sky diving scenes, and the amazing finale.
The thing that i loved about this film so much is that it plays off as a buddy cop film but yet it's not. The actors play off each other so well it makes you feel like they are actually friends and not an F.B.I agent going undercover as a surfer to capture bank robbers that dress up as presidents. Yes, that's the plot.
One last thing, i just want to point this actor out. He is in my opinion one of the most under appreciated actors working today. Every scene he is in he absolutely steals and this goes for every film that I've seen him in. I really hope one day this man can land a lead role because he deserves it. This man is John C. McGinley.
This is a fan made trailer. The only reason why i put this one up is because the actual trailer to this film doesn't do it justice. Trust me, this one does.
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (Steven Shainberg, 2006)
I heard nothing but bad things from this film and i couldn't help but think, those people must be on drugs. How can a film with Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr can even be in the same sentence as "bad film". So i took my chances and decided to watch this film and all i can say is that they were absolutely right.
This is one of those films that people that don't really know anything about cinema but try to be all that tend to love. The cinematography is beautiful, the score is wonderful, the acting is top notch but yet everything that is suppose to compliment that isn't. The script is very weak and the characters aren't there. This is a biography of a photographer so it really shouldn't be so hard. The outline is out there for them but yet with this film they completely threw that out the window and decided to make a fantasy biopic. I hope this is the first and last of it's kind.
The main character Diane played by Kidman is a woman with very little responsibility and happens to be weird. That isn't character, that's just a skeleton of a character. We never really get to know why she's the way she is. Kidman does one hell of a job but yet even her acting abilities can't save this character. Sadly goes the same with Robert Downey Jr's character which is a take on the beast from "Beauty and the beast". That's also pretty much the film, "Beauty and the beast" as a biopic.
It's a beautiful film to look at thanks to Bill pope but the rest is empty. This film is equivalent to a beautiful girl at a bar. Gorgeous on the outside but dead on the inside but there are people that like that kind of thing. You know, the guys that don't really appreciate girls just like with the "film buffs" that don't really know true cinema.
Godzilla 2000 (Takao Okawara, 1999)
It's a Godzilla movie, you know your going to have fun. Godzilla 2000 starts off with our giant anti hero stomping vehicles and burning down buildings. We move onto a mysterious rock that is found by scientist deep underneath the ocean. After investigation the rock is then found to be an alien spacecraft that contains a type of monster that can absorb energy. Yes, the monster uses it's power against Godzilla and leaves us with a great climax.
I'm a huge fan of Godzilla like most people are. Everyone knows the name and that name always delivers. This film does just that. It starts off very dark with hardly little intro and all mayhem. This reminded me of the original 1954 Godzilla film which the darkest of the franchise. After we get a few good moments of dark kaiju terror we get the playful human characters that most of the Godzilla films have. The Godzilla franchise wasn't really suppose to end up the way it is now. Godzilla was a metaphor for what was going on in the world at that time but now he is a monster in pop culture. Doesn't bother me one bit, i just love watching this guy on film.
Godzilla 2000 doesn't really have much monster on monster action. It focuses on the city trying to get rid of Godzilla and not try to use him for help. When the alien arrives they still try to kill Godzilla. Really dark stuff going on here but as i said before the human characters tend take us away from that just to remind us that it's not that 1954 Godzilla anymore.
At the final scene of the film we are left with a great battle and also a little social commentary but it really doesn't get its full point across. We've heard it many times before in previous Godzilla films but yet it still works.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
El topo (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970)
El Topo and his son fall upon a village that has been torn apart by bandits. El topo rescues a woman who leads him to four gunmen that must be defeated. Trust me, that's just a piece of this film.
This film can not be debated. You either accept it or you don't. The reasons for liking or disliking the film can vary from a huge amount of reasons. You can find it beautiful, disturbing, offensive, symbolic but what you can not find in this film is a dull piece of cinema. This film left me in awe.
I was a bit confused with Jodorowsky's "The Holy Mountain". Not because of the symbolism but because of the amazing creativity that was brought into the film. Jodorowsky has some of the most beautiful disturbing images ever caught on film. After viewing this film i have gained much more respect for "The Holy Mountain" and i will defiantly raise the grade that i gave it before. The Holy Mountain isn't perfect though but El Topo is.
You can see these films as amazing pieces of cinema or just a man that is on LSD making a film. Either way you take it you can easily tell Jodorowsky loves cinema. He loves it to the point where he is trying to still change the world. I believe there is a quote by Goddard that goes something like "It's over. There was a time maybe when cinema could have improved society, but that time was missed". Goddard quickly became one of the people that left cinema while Jodorowsky still believes that Cinema can change the people. It's just beautiful to see something that i love so much be handled with such care and creativity.
Hot Rods to hell (John Brahm, 1967)
What can i say, a film with a title like this should deliver. It compiles the most beautiful words in the English dictionary to create this amazing title. With that just said, I'm going to say i was a bit disappointed. It's not horrible, it's a good film and I'll get into those reasons in a bit but i just got to say one thing. That title should belong to the hands of Roger Corman and not a 60's era "old man hates teenagers" type of flick.
In Hot Rods to Hell we get a very fun Dana Andrews playing the father who recently got into a car accident and becomes tormented by driving. Sounds great so far, his two kids and his wife all decide to move from their home to go live in a motel to start a new life. Alright cool, we are getting a sweet road rage movie. Hot Rods to Hell, still remember the title? The pacing is really good within the film but it feels like it should be filled with much more. When we should be getting an amazing car chase we get an older man complaining about his back and why he can't drive.
We do however get to see some great car stuff especially within the final minutes of the film. The car stunt is amazing especially since it was done in the 60's. It's very simple but how it is captured is just breathtaking. This film does have Great parts which makes you feel like the movie is amazing but towards the end of the film we are left with a bit of emptiness. The title just doesn't deliver.
With the bad things said about this film being empty there is one aspect of this film that everyone needs to take into notice. This film was made in the late 60's before films starting going over the edge and taking cinema to a different level. If you are a fan of grindhouse and 70's film making in general, you must see this film. This is a perfect example of a film that COULD be that film but yet since it was made a few years earlier it has its restrictions. You can see where this film could have went and I'm not saying that you are making a different film in your head as it plays along.
This is a perfect example of a film lost between two periods of cinema. The film goes into the grittiness of the 70's with its plot and directions but the characters seem to be grounded into the years prior. It's just amazing to see that. This film is literally on the edge of two separate times in cinema and it's just weird and interesting to see.