Saturday, February 28, 2009

Buttons, GeneCo & Blood

Really wanted to hit a theater this weekend and really wanted to see Coraline. Glad I did; the stopmo is amazing. I already knew I'd have to watch again because I was so distracted by the incredible stopmo work. Story is pretty good too... dark and totes Neil Gaiman.

Repo! The Genetic Opera is a frickin' riot. It reminded me of Dracula the Puppet Musical from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Wish I could have seen on the big screen but it only played 1 night in Chicago. hrmph. Paris looks like she gained a lot of weight for it.

Red Cliff is part 1 of John Woo's ambitious and bloody period piece of one of the greatest wars in Chinese history; the north's attempt at taking over the south. Part 1 came out in 2008 and leads up to right before the Han assault on Red Cliff. The half builds up the characters and it's in the second half of part 1 that things really get interesting and intense. It's a strange move for Woo but I always appreciate the subtlety of Tony Leung's performance. Great to see Vicki Zhao in a strong role. The Guqin (seven-stringed zither) scene alone is worth the watch.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Peter Lorre Brilliance

I surprised at the body count in Hitchcock's 1934 The Man Who Knew Too Much. Maybe the most the deaths I've seen in a Hitchcock film. Peter Lorre is just awesome.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sandler & (SNL) Co.

I not wonder how a flick like Little Nicky gets made but how it also rec'd a theatrical release. It's not terrible but it's really not very good considering the wealth of talent (mostly SNL alums) contained within.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Humlae the Hero Ruined

The Ruins: why do so many of these horror flicks start the same way? Post-teens hang out and go somewhere (vacation, road trip, vacant house, "ruins", etc) then the horror ensues. There must be a better way to spin this.

The Bodyguard: another Thai flick that supports my theory of the mandatory 2 or more wacky, offbeat characters in the story. Not worth the minute and half of Tony Jaa (w/Ong-bak inside joke). Petchtai Wongkamlao (Humlae from Ong-bak) wrote and directed this mess.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Owen, Coen & Miike

Just finished Derailed (wanting to get my Clive Owen mancrush on) and the first hour left me uninterested and only mildly interested in the Chicago setting (despite the errors). But the 2nd half picked up when the twists finally arrived. Not a bad flick to take in while doing a little work.

The Man Who Wasn't There: Aliens! Who knew?!

Riki Takeuchi is a gas to watch in Deadly Outlaw: Rekka, another of Takashi Miike's earlier yakuza flicks. The editing is nuts and the story gets nearly as crazy as DOA at the end but still an entertaining flick.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What Happened?

Balls of Fury was not at all what I expected but still a rather fun albeit silly ride. Patton Oswalt = best. Not a bad flick and I'm pretty sure I could watch anything with Maggie Q. Naked Weapon anyone?

The Happening just wasn't happening. I didn't hate it but my expectations were so low going in that I found it mildly okay. Goofy as all hell but whatever. It's a head-scratcher.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Post-Oscar Viewing: Snarky & Samurai

Yeah, I just watched Juno for the first time. It was cute but not all that. I got increasingly annoyed at overwhelming attempts to be clever sandwiched between the expected indie tunes. I liked it but wasn't overly impressed. Still a good flick.

The Sword of Doom is mighty intense chanbara (samurai cinema). Tatsuya Nakadai is wickedly marvelous as the merciless rogue samurai who's completely insane and hellbent on killing everyone.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Movie Night @Ron's: Gory Chocolate Vampires

So happy to have seen Chocolate so soon after being made aware of its awesomeness. A real winner and possibly a movie night HOF candidate. "Girl with Special Needs has Special Need to Kick Ass!" Love it. Prachya Pinkaew can keep bringing it.

Let The Right One In was another evening surprise (unaware that Ron was in possession of this dandy little Swedish vampire flick). All the accolades this one has rec'd are well deserved. It lives up to the hype and inclusion in almost every critic's top ten for 2008.

Tokyo Gore Police I saw last year at Facets and was mildly amused at the time. It's definitely much better in a movie night setting despite all of us dozing off at the end (long day and night!).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ghostly Wheelers

Yes, I'm as shocked as you that I haven't seen Beetlejuice in its entirety until now. It's a little dated but holds up.

I wanna know who decided that Return to Oz was a "family flick". What a bizarre, drug-induced trip this is. Still shaking my head over this one.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nana starring Mika Nakashima

I absolutely loved Nana. Based on the manga of the same name this is the type of flick that plays right into my wheelhouse. It's total shojo but it's done rather well. I dig the whole music scene vibe and the attached emotions.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Origin of the Witch

Eko Eko Azarak 2 - Birth of the Wizard, prequel to the original Eko Eko Azarak, isn't nearly as fun or interesting but an okay watch. Kimika Yoshino reprises her role pre-witch and at least you get a better idea of how she came to be. I think the extras on the disc were more enjoyable.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"It's time to leave the electronics store."

A year removed from its release Cloverfield is still quite fun but I don't agree with the need for an American Godzilla (per the creators). It seems the historical significance of Godzilla is lost on them. But the flick is cool for a variety of reasons.

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer rec'd a lot of underground, festival buzz and I can see why; the old school effects are done exceptionally well and the story isn't half bad. It wasn't great by any means but decent.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Strange & Sweet

I thoroughly loved the (Japanese) campiness of Kamikaze Girls. Both leads are cute and mesh well onscreen. Lots of strange characters abound and visuals are a treat.

Strangers with Candy was big disappointment. The TV show clearly doesn't translate to the full feature output. Even worse that Stephen Colbert wrote this underwhelming and strange flick. Even Philip Seymour Hoffman can't save this one.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mob, Parkour, Re-animated Fanboys

The Departed is one I've somehow managed to avoid far too long. As a substantial remake of Infernal Affairs, it stands on its own and had it not been a remake would be an instant classic.

I've owned District B13 for a while and was prompted recently that I oughta take it due to the parkour action sequences. Flawed but totally entertaining.

Re-Animator is flick I only barely remembered from back in the day. Not surprisingly it still holds up rather well but I could see a remake on the horizon.

Caught Fanboys on the big screen and fortunately in audience full of "fanboys" which made the viewing much better for a sub-par flick. It's worth the watch for any Star Wars fans but just don't expect much. Always great to see Seth Rogen and Danny McBride.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Luchadores & HK Crime

I dunno why Nacho Libre got such a bad rap upon its theater release because I LOL'd a lot. Maybe it's my fondness for Lucha libre and Jack Black. Whatever the reasons, this flick worked for me.

Infernal Affairs I just had to watch before taking in The Departed and it was damn good. Like really damn good. Tony Leung is cool in every way. Makes sense they made sequels to this.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dodging Bullets

Dodgeball - A True Underdog Story is reminder why I've become a bigger fan of Ben Stiller in recent years. He's only got a couple of notes he uses over and over but I dig him. Vince Vaughn and rest of the cast are serviceable.

Lupin the 3rd - Island of Assassins isn't your parents' Lupin! This 1997 edition is hella more violent and bloody than those 70s classics. And not nearly as interesting or good.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Zombie-hunting Elvis

Don't know why I hadn't seen Bubba Ho-Tep until now but I'm a little embarrassed to admit it. Bruce Campbell is stellar even as the flick gets a little wacky towards the end.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Going back to Cali, Cali, Cali

Leaving for SFO today so I'm not expecting to watch any flicks during my short trip. So I'm letting a few days go blank if that's the case. Will resume when I resume watching films again.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Another Kill Bill Precursor

Junko Miyazono reprises her role in Legends of the Poisonous Seductress #3: Okatsu the Fugitive, yet another tale about Okatsu, the revenge-filled, sword-wielding vixen who avenges her parents in this installment. Good watch and lots of fun.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Strange Bunch

Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch has all the hallmarks of a Peckinpah western yet in this one it's the last survivors of the old west colliding with the early 1900's. If you're a fan of Peckinpah or sprawling westerns loaded with violence then check this out (if you haven't already).

I considered buying the Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme DVD when it was on sale last year but it was out of stock. Now I'm glad I didn't. The animated modernized version of Stephen Strange leaves a lot to be desired. It's more like Tony Stark-cum-Batman Begins in drawing out his origin story with limp conclusion in defeating his greatest foe, Dormammu. The best thing about the disc is the featurette on the original Dr. Strange comic book. 'Course Stan Lee talks about how he came up with the idea but at least it (along w/lots of the artwork and original panels) is more interesting than the film. Now I'm wanting some of those original comics!

Monday, February 02, 2009

City of Goonies

I meant to see City of God years ago but it got buried away with many other notable movies. It is everything everyone has said about it and then some. Insanely good. See it if you haven't.

The Goonies is flick I will openly admit I've never seen beginning to end. I had only seen bits and pieces on TV and understood the premise and characters but never watched the complete film. I wasn't aware of the big names attached to this (Richard Donner, Steven Spielberg, & Chris Columbus). Since I have no nostalgic attachment this flick I can say that it's not very good (despite the involvement of those aforementioned names) but it's cute and I can see how it became so revered. It's ripe for a remake and introduction to a new generation. Great to see Josh Brolin as a kid.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Mystery Pet Oceans

Mystery Men is a guilty pleasure. Sorry! I don't think it's as bad as it's made out to be. Paul Reubens' Spleen character is the best. And I love Ben Stiller in this.

Ocean's Eleven has been on my list to see for years. And it's actually pretty good! Makes me wanna see O12 now.

Oh and I happened on Voodoo Dollz: Lust Potion #9 on HBO which was only mildly interesting because it features former a Pet of Month Charlie Laine in her most recent not completely pr0n film. Otherwise, it was quite silly.

movies watched year to date: 44 (not counting TV series)

January Movie Tally

The Tally Round-Up for January was 44 total films watched (3 re-watches).

The List:
2005 Academy Award Shorts 2005
21 (twenty one) 2008
40-Year-Old Virgin 2005
7 Grandmasters 1978
Amazing Screw-on Head 2006
Bank Job, The 2008
Battleground 1949
Black Book 2006
Black Sheep 2006
Bug 2006
Cemetery Man 1994
Chandni Chowk to China 2009
Crows Zero 2007
Dance of the Dead 2008
Duck, You Sucker 1971
Dynamite Warrior 2006
Equilibrium 2002
Fido 2006
Forgetting Sarah Marshall 2008
Gamera the Invincible 2006
Gamera vs. Monster X 1970
Inglorious Bastards 1978
Inkheart 2009
Invasion of Astro-Monster 1965
Living Daylights, The 1987
Malena 2000
Massacre Time 1966
Murder on the Orient Express 1974
Naruto the Movie 3 2006
Once 2006
Outlander 2009
Paprika 2006
Prizzi's Honor 1985
Ringu 2 1999
Strangers, The 2008
Superhero Movie 2008
Taste the Blood of Dracula 1970
Underworld 2003
Underworld Rise of the Lycans 2009
Walk Hard - The Dewey Cox Story 2007
Wedding Crashers 2005
Wizards 1977
Wrestler, The 2008
Wristcutters - A Love Story 2006