Friday, July 30, 2010

my brief thoughts on.... 'Tidal Wave'

disaster movies are hit and miss..... if you have the disaster too soon, it ruins the possability of a build up.... if you wait too long, you lose the audience.... but if you build it up to where you care about the characters and place the disaster at just the right place and have follow up in the aftermath, they can work.... 'Tidal Wave' was the later kind of movie.... granted, it wasn't Shakespeare.... but it set it to do something and it accomplished it.... i found myself caring about the abundance of chracters that were introduced throughout the movie.... and there were a lot of them to give back story on and the director was able to make each ones story interesting and not overwhelming.... it was an movie with a lot going on and at a mere two hours it accomplished a lot....

not to get too deep into the story as it's extremely complex with all of the people involved.... it deals with a scientist who is trying to prevent what he calls a 'Mega Tsunami' from destroying Korea.... after the wake of a major one in 2004, that's been his lifes work ever since.... however, most people won't listen and just take him as being a bit over the top and over cautious.... meanwhile, everyone elses lives are intersecting and setting the stage for what happens in the last 45 minutes of the movie.... which is pretty intense....i felt this deserved 4 out of 5 stars.... i was a little suprised at the ending being a bit too 'neat'.... but i wasn't expecting the perfect movie.... but they did an amazing job with the special effects during the Tsunami.... and everyone was so well cast in their roles that i really got involved in the story.... i found myself on the edge of my seat during the entire 3rd act.... if you enjoy a good disaster movie.... and don't mind subtitles.... this Korean movie is one that might have slipped under your radar and you should consider blocking out some time to enjoy a summer blockbuster that isn't from Hollywood.... yes, i thought it was that good.

if you like foreign films like this or movies with lots of stuff blowing up, consider: 'The Host', 'Cloverfield' and 'The Day After Tomorrow'

my brief thoughts on.... 'Bones'

okay.... so who's great idea was it to cast Snoop Dogg as a horror villian....? and who's even better idea was it to set up this movie for a sequel....???? as you can already tell, i wasn't a big fan of this movie.... it's low budget.... they used the same blood George A. Romero used in 'Dawn of the Dead' (1978).... Snoop Dogg is not a great bad guy.... the special effects are piss poor.... and it was nothing special at all.... i did, however, watch the whole film from beginning to end and felt dumber for doing it.... i mean you can't go wrong with dogs vomiting maggots, right....?

the story goes like this.... Jimmy Bones is a pimp-ish guy from the 70's who is loved by his neighborhood, but isn't the cleanest guy on the block.... meaning he's in to drugs and illicit things.... kind of like a nicer mobster.... he soon finds himself at the hands of some guys who don't like him and they kill him and bury him in the basement of his home.... fast forward to the present.... the home is now haunted by the afformentioned vomiting dog and the ghost of Bones.... and anyone who sets foot inside is killed.... some young people buy the house to start a dance club with, you guessed it, horrible results.... lots and lots of maggots.... and death.... the witch doctor lady down the street gets involved, there's a fight and things happen that no one really cares about....
2 out of 5 stars.... almost 1.... i don't know what the boost in my rating is from.... there's not much good about this movie.... i think the only reason i kept watching was because i thought it might get better.... it didn't.... stay away from this one.... it's not worth your time.

if you watch this: it's your own damn fault.

my brief thoughts on.... 'The Heartbreak Kid' (2007)

it's no secret, for those of you who know me, that i really enjoy Ben Stillers work.... ever since 'The Ben Stiller Show' was on the air, i've been a fan.... i don't know what it is about him, but i like him.... and 'Permanent Midnight' made me a true believer.... this is more his speed though.... directed by the Farrelly brothers.... the masters of the gross out comedy.... this is a fun film with no apologies.... it's got a great cast, including Stillers own father Jerry Stiller.... the comedy is strong, the romance is sweet (somewhat) and the actors are in top form.... i don't know what took me so long to see this.... but it did and i'm glad i finally sat down and put in the time to enjoy it....

the story involves a man in his 40's with no real prospects or plans of getting married.... but he meets, what seems like, the girl of his dreams and takes the plunge rather quickly.... he soon realizes that maybe this wasn't the smartest move.... and while on his honeymoon he meets another woman whom he soon falls in love with.... and thus creates the tragic comedy that is this movie....
i'm a die hard romantic comedy lover.... and if they're done right they can take you from laughing your ass off to being almost in tears in the matter of a heartbeat.... and i have to say this one worked on all levels.... granted it's not going to win any awards and it's not for everyone's taste.... but i really enjoyed it and i feel no shame in that.... i gave it 3 out of 5 stars for being what it set out to be.... it's exactly what i expected and with that being the case, how can you be disappointed....?

if you dig this flick, check out: 'There's Something About Mary', 'Shallow Hal' and 'Kingpin'

my brief thoughts on.... 'Stripped'

a documentary about the life of being a stripper.... basically.... it's all done on a low-fi budget.... and is fairly interesting.... you get a better sense about those women in the business and who they made their decision to get involved.... not too mention how it's affected them and their daily lives.... it's a sad little slice of a subculture of life that not many of us will ever be involved in.... unless you've been to a strip club or been a stripper.... it's got a short running time and keeps you fairly interested in the women it focuses on.... not too mention that the filmaker herself gets into the business and it follows her journey on both sides of the lens.... i gave it 3 out of 5 stars.... mainly for effort.... i can't say it's going to win any awards or anything.... it's just on that great of a movie.... but she presented a subject matter that is usually left in the dark.... and is deemed to be rather seedy.... but what you actually find beneath the surface is sometimes a bit of a suprise.... i would only recommend this for people interested in the subject matter....

if you like this: go to your local strip club

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my thoughts on.... 'Film Geek'

it's been a slow month of reviews for me.... and sadly, i have a backlog of films to review.... so i may just have to review them in short to catch up.... however, this film caught me off guard and kind of pumped me up to write something.... so here i am.... this is one of those little diamonds in the rough.... something i stumbled across on Netflix OnDemand and decided to delve into.... and i was not sorry i did.... this is a gem of a movie.... one that is near and dear to my heart.... i mean, i used to work at a video store and at a record store and i have always considered myself a bit of a media geek.... all things entertainment.... and especially film.... so to see it represented in a film like this is refreshing and fun.... and i had no idea how they would carry an entire film around this character and his love of movies, but it's so well done that it kind of created a 'DUH' moment at the end.... it made me wonder why i second guessed it in the first place..... think of the first time you saw 'Clerks' and you'll get the idea.... this is kind of along those same lines.... but in color....

the story centers around a video store clerk who runs his own website and who knows all there is to know about film.... to the point of being annoying about it.... pushing too much of it onto the customers, the employees and anyone else who's in range.... and at first you feel that same sense of annoyance that they do, but gradually you come around to love him in a weird sort of way.... and you take up his plight of being a film geek in a world of merely movie watchers.... he soon meets up with a fellow film lover, who starts to broaden his horizons a bit and Scotty begins to grow a little.... granted, he never leaves his geekdom far behind.... i don't want to give away the whole plot as part of the joy is taking the journey with him.... but let's just say it's worth the price of admission....i gave this 4 out of 5 stars for being a great film for those whole love the medium and for those who just want to be entertained.... i can't say enough good things about this film and i highly recommend it to anyone with an hour and ten minutes on their hands.... it's worth it.... i don't know how easy it is to track down on DVD, but i'll be looking.... so stop reading and go watch.... NOW....!

if you enjoy this, check out: 'Clerks', 'High Fidelity' and my own life story

Saturday, July 24, 2010

my thoughts on.... 'The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made'

being a lover of all movies and films.... i'll watch just about anything once and i love bad movie.... the ones that are so bad they're good are even better.... anyway, i thought this documentary might prove as a fun little watch, as well as a possible resource for some new flicks to see.... granted, this movie is by no means comprehensive.... there are some glaring omissions.... (where's 'Troll 2' for the love of pete....?!?!)

it's kind of a silly little movie.... the way it's put together.... and at a running time of only 60 minutes, there just isn't enough time to enjoy the little gems they introduce you too.... i could have stood for this to be a full hour and a half or more.... just to get a little more in depth.... but it's a good list.... even though i've seen a good portion of the movies.... there were still some located in there that i haven't seen before.... and believe it or not, most of them are available to rent on Netflix....! 3 out of 5 stars.... something for the bad movie lovers in all of us to enjoy.... and if you don't enjoy them already, you're missing out.... and if you've ever been curious.... this may be a good place to start.... long live terrible movies....!

if you like this, check out: well, there aren't any other docs like this out there.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

my thoughts on.... 'The Tournament'

i've said this before, but it's always a pleasure when you find a gem of a movie in the wasteland of straight to DVD junk.... and when this recommendation came along from a friend of mine, i decided to check it out.... i was not disappointed.... as a matter of fact, i watched it twice before i returned it.... that's saying something.... yes, i thought it was that good.... in my opinion, it had really high production values.... almost on par with your theatrical releases.... the action was kick ass.... the story was original.... the acting was fun.... overall a good way to spend an hour and a half....

the storyline goes that every 7 years there's a competition held to find out who's the best hired killer in the world.... they pit 30 hitmen against each other and rich onlookers bet on who they think will win.... sounds pretty simple....? everything is going to plan, when a priest accidentally becomes involved and everyone thinks he's one of the killers too.... it just gets bloody and action packed from there.... actually the whole movie is action packed and the blood is over the top.... lots of blood splatter and explosions, including people.... the whole movie oozes excess.
well, it's pretty obvious that i enjoyed this flick.... i'd love to add it to the DVD collection, as i'd like to watch it again.... Ving Rhames is at his bad ass best.... Kelly Hu (a very underrated action star) is in top form.... and Robert Carlysle plays the drunken priest to the hilt.... the rest of the cast is fairly unknown, but everyone works really well in their roles....

4 out of 5 stars.... well worth the rental from Netflix.... or wherever you can get it from.... i'm sure at some point it'll be OnDemand, but for now.... go and rent it....! if you like bloody over the top action films, this one is for you.... i wish that there were more movies out like this.... a great stress relief and good to the last drop. (of blood).

if you like this, check out: 'Starship Troopers', 'Hard Boiled' and 'Rambo' (2008)

my thoughts on.... 'The Last Winter'

Ron Perlman and Kevin Corrigan.... how can you go wrong....? well, they did. this movie had me bored for the first 45 mins, intrigued for the next 15 mins and then feeling extremely let down and sad for the last 41 mins or so.... this movie is a waste of time and energy....

some oil drillers and some eco-activists are in Alaska's untapped wilderness possibly about to start drilling.... some weird stuff happens and some people die.... then some bad special effects occur and a big confusing ending.... sounds good, right....?
1 out of 5 stars.... a complete waste of my time.... and don't let it be a waste of yours.... please, listen to Uncle Joel.

if you submit yourself to this.... perhaps you should try: well, anything else.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

my thoughts on.... 'The Crazies' (2010)

in George A. Romero's original film version of 'The Crazies' from 1973, he used the military as opposed to the actual "Crazies" to show how crazy the military actually is.... not nearly as much as the "Crazies" themselves.... in this 2010 update.... i don't think the producer, writer and director didn't seem to get that.... granted, i think that everyone wanted more of the actual "Crazies" in the original.... and me, personally, was kind of let down in the way it was handled by Mr. Romero.... i actually reviewed this movie already on this blog and let's just say that i didn't care too much for it.... and i'm a fan of his.... so when the trailers and previews for this movie seemed to indicate that they were making it more focused on the "Crazies" themselves, i was happy.... it looked more like a zombie movie or a plague movie.... like '28 Days Later'.... what we got instead was a watered down mixture of the military version from Romero's vision and the zombie-like victims of this version.... and the mixture didn't work.... it ended up just being kind of a big mess of a movie....

the story behind the infection and containment revolve around a plane crashing into the main water supply of a small town.... the plane contained a bio-chemical weapon that was headed to another location for destruction, but crashed instead.... and what happens next is the slow downfall of a community under the grasp of a horrific virus and the tight fisted grip of the military.... it's a total breakdown of society itself.... and as the military takes over the town to try and stop the spread of the virus, things get out of control.... and our heros must fight against all odds to save themselves and whatever they can of the town...

this isn't a terrible movie.... but it's also not great either.... even the lovely Radha Mitchell can only do so much to save this movie.... it's just a big mess.... i don't think it really knew what it wanted to be exactly.... and that shone through the entire movie.... granted there were some pretty darn creepy moments.... and some very tense ones.... and that made the movie worthwhile to watch.... but there just weren't enough of them to save the movie overall.... the scene in the schoolhouse with the man with the pitchfork is especially effective.... and probably one of the most powerful scenes.... and i've heard some complaints about the ending.... i think it was the best way to end it.... and without giving anything away, i think it made sense and gave a solid finish to the movie....

i give it 3 out of 5 stars.... which might be a bit generous.... but i felt that the good vs. the bad balanced themselves out pretty well.... would i own it....? maybe if it was a few bucks to help complete my Radha Mitchell collection.... but i don't know that i would make a strong effort to watch it over and over.... i just don't think it has that kind of staying power.... i would ask that you give it a chance.... you might dig it.... it's an improvement over the original, which is considered a classic.... i just expeceted more.

if you like this, check out: '28 Days Later', 'Quarantine' and 'Day of the Dead' (1985)