Monday, April 27, 2009

Winding Down April

Casablanca (Two-Disc Special Edition)


Eyes Wide Shut (2-disc Special Edition)

Alphabet Over & Out

With A-Z completed I'm chilling the last 4 days of April and watching only a few flicks before I kick into the theme for May: Friends Favorites. I'll total up April on Friday after the month is closed. Curious if I beat March total. May will definitely not be at the same pace esp. with the length of several movies on the list. I'm actually looking forward to May with the awesome list of titles.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Y is for Young TIger

Y is for Young Tiger.

Young Tiger (a.k.a. Rumble in Hong Kong) from 1973 will be, to my best recollection, the first DVD I am giving away. Sold as a "Jackie Chan" vehicle it couldn't be farther from that unless Jackie wasn't actually in the flick. Sadly he is. In the role of "Gang Leader" (w/giant hairy mole on left cheek), Chan is only briefly featured in the few scenes when the lead Charlie Chin encounters and fights the gang. But this isn't bad because Chan is barely in it; it's bad because it's a poor print and dubbed; worse than Kung Fu Theater.

The Hurt Locker follows an EOD unit in Bagdad offering a different take on the war in Iraq. Not quite as great as the festival hype would lead you to believe, it's still a very good and fairly intense watch. Appearances by Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce and David Morse are terrific. Another decent turn by Kathryn Bigelow (of Point Break fame).

The second feature from mini-movie night at Ron's was Død snø, which I was more than happy to re-watch with company. Continues to hold up and remain excellent Nazi Zombie fun.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Noir Never Numbered

N is for New Love in Tokyo.

Ai no shinsekai (1994) is a fascinating depiction of prostitution in Japan that follows the lives of two call girls and how their lives intertwine between work and daily living. One is a dominatrix while the other is a traditional hooker for hire. The former is an aspiring theatre actress while the latter aspires to marry a good man. With plenty of graphic sex, this dramedy certainly isn't a family affair but a satisfactory watch for those curious.

Jules Dassin's 1948 New York City noir Naked City is truly wonderful to witness. Barry Fitzgerald is a treat as the seasoned Irish detective who brightens every scene with tenacity and charm. Lots of fun and visually stunning.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Man, Michael Moves

M is for Michael Clayton.

A not so recent Smodcast where Kevin Smith waxes poetic about Michael Clayton put this film back on my radar however it was Duncan Jones tweet the other day that reminded me of this necessary watch. So I savored the "M" day when I knew I would finally take in this excellent movie. Clooney, Wilkinson, Swinton all so good with a killer ending.

After enduring the feature adaptation of Miami Vice (Michael Mann's Unrated Director's Cut), I now know why it was so critically panned. This was lifeless and uninteresting from the word go. With nearly zero character development I didn't care about any of the characters or whether they lived or died. Therefore none of the would be suspense grabbed me making for a long, boring watch. Was expecting so much more from Mann. And as a huge fan of Gong Li, I really despised her character here. All around disappointing.