Friday, July 31, 2009


Since the g/f arrived last night, and I returned from Atlanta today, I requested that we watch Yasujiro Ozu's brilliant, warm & charming Good Morning. We did and she enjoyed it (which is really all that matters when it comes to watching films together). Besides this being such a wonderful film, I'm always happy when we can view movies together. srsly.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Last night in Atlanta

Last night here... okay closing party at Hard Rock. TV not giving me many options for film. ah well. nothing today.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ungolden Pond

In Atlanta wanted to watch a movie. The only thing on: Fool's Gold. Never expected to ever see this film but here it is. At least I'm a fan of Matthew McConaughey performing as Matthew McConaughey.

In the early hours I finally watched Three O'Clock High, which was recommended by @DannyTRS on a past podcast. Good watch.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Mile in my Shoes

this morning I capped Die Hard With a Vengeance, another flick I hadn't seen before and really never cared much to see. Grew tired of John McClane after Die Hard 2. Not a terrible flick but a little too long for an action/thriller.

Took the evening off to soak into The Green Mile. Another one of those "can't believe I waited this long to watch" films. The 3rd act is just awesomeness.

Finished the night watching Franka Potente fight off a subway freak in horror thriller Creep. Kinda really not so good and kinda really stupid and hardly believable.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Monster Film Fest @ Portage Theater

Tonight I went to the Monster Film Fest at the Portage Theater in Portage Park, Chicago. Was a fun evening and decent turnout to watch 3 old-school horror flicks on the big screen. First up was the comical The Deadly Mantis from 1957. Lots of chuckles during that one that was replete with old military footage and sped up footage of Inuit running and paddling in terror.

Second was a much more terrifying (and yet still humorous) Monster on the Campus (1958) that features a grisly dead woman hanging by her hair in a tree and an axe to the face. The final film of the night was Hammer Films 1961 The Curse of the Werewolf, a much more serious horror film. Love how Hammer horror films are so straight forward even when you expect a red herring.

Came home afterwards and threw in the silly 80's post-apocalyptic A L I E N rip-off Creepozoids. Just not very good except to see another early Linnea Quigley naked breast moment.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Nine Say Goodbye

After waking from crashing after the company Cubs outing I watched Altman's The Long Goodbye. Terrific Elliott Gould.

Picked up the remastered Criterion Edition of Sanjuro couple days ago so threw that in. Such a wonderful film. So hard deciding favorite Kurosawa film with entries such as this one.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not So Big

After spending the evening working on SOW docs, I dropped in Notorious, the 1946 Notorious w/Cary Grant & Ingrid Bergman (not the recent Biggie bio-pic). Don't think my opinion has changed much on this one; good but not great.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Not Enough Days in Summer

(500) Days of Summer is a pleasant, well-crafted rom-com angled at the modern generation that any generation can relate to. Resonates (sometimes painfully & uncomfortably) close to home. Unconventional yet thoughtful studio indie flick.

Having seen the original Sleuth so recently makes this remake pale in comparison. Still solid performances by Caine & Law but lacks the spark (and set pieces) that makes the original so great. The modern setting just didn't work for me.

Class of 1984 is a disturbing early 80s high school exploitation flick; violent and desperate. Interesting start to Michael J. Fox's career.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shoot for the Moon, Jackie

Thanks to a tip by @bobfreelander I DVR'd Have Rocket, Will Travel on TCM, which isn't available on DVD. TCM scheduled moon-related viewing around the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. Not a big Three Stooges fan but still an amusing old flick from 1959.

fessupfriday top-rated unseen crossed off the list: Jackie Brown. one to own. underrated. Robert Forrester deserves more work and better roles after this; why hasn't he gotten that?

Monday, July 20, 2009


Another one to remove from my wall of shame: Boogie Nights. Finally. was originally slated for friends favorites month but didn't get to it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

4 Films 4 Children

I shouldn't have any words for Sword of the Valiant - The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight featuring Sean Connery as the Green Knight, sporting a suit of armor and green codpiece that would make Gene Simmmons envious. Really. Have. No. Words.

Cross another Disney animated off the list: Tarzan.

Finally caught up with Stephen Chow's cute CJ7. Yes, it's a simple, linear story but still amusing. Liked it.

Another one I missed in the 80s was Short Circuit. I can now understand why people are fond of this one. Can't believe WALL-E was aped from Johnny 5.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Unplanned Movie Night

When I arrived at Ron's he & the family had just tucked into Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan. Kids first time watching. Been a while since I've viewed this classic. Fun to watch w/the family.

Followed that with the Spanish horror flick, [Rec], which Quarantine was a remake. well-made horror. Lots of great jump scares.

Watched Calvaire: The Ordeal, a French horror flick I hadn't seen but Ron had. It was up for rewatching. It's good. and freaky.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Losers and Winners

Endured Tom Cruise in Bryan Singer's Valkyrie. Half-way decent but that's about it. Enjoyed the supporting characters more.

Baby Mama rates as another solid comedy starring Tina Fey & Amy Poehler. Very watchable.

Totally dug into Sleuth featuring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. Plays like a stage romp and is deliciously fun. Surprisingly, no longer available on DVD. Needs a blu-ray/masters release. Was recently remade and I have that remake in possession. Would prefer to see a Hugh Jackman/Gene Hackman combo for a remake.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Half-Blood Prince Weak Reveal

Cinematography in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is indeed amazing, a visual treasure. Movie was good but not great just wish there was more plot development (if I hadn't read the book I'm not sure I would've really knew what was going on w/Draco). Also many of my favorite moments in the book were absent. And where was that big battle in Hogwarts at the end? Missed that. Still a solid watch.

another top-rated not-seen going down: 12 Monkeys. If I didn't already know, this has Terry Gilliam's hand all over it.

Capped the evening with the recent Billy Bob Thornton/Seann William Scott comedy Mr. Woodcock. Not a bad flick. Another ideal role for Billy Bob.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Rocked Another Birthday

Birthday today but filled most of the day with work. Not a bad thing. Watched The Rocker which I've been wanting to see for a while. Liked it a lot. Def my kind of silly comedy. And now I know where that Vesuvius Rock Band track originated.

Finished the evening with Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians. Fun little b&w flick.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Who's Shining Now?

Little Miss Sunshine was such a pleasant surprise. I had really no idea what to expect and really didn't have much interest in seeing this. But it's top-rated at so I had to watch. Glad I did; fantastic film, just a tremendous final arc.

Picked up Horton Hears a Who! since I haven't seen. It was okay. Surprised they could make such a film from that book but fine. Not terrible. Would've really enjoyed if I was a child.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cars, Kings & Meh

Cars was much better than anticipated. Still not as great as other Pixar classics but a rather solid watch. Love Paul Newman's VO.

Eagle Eye is the movie that could've been, should've been. Instead it's a tedious jaunt to reach its anticlimactic conclusion.

Another big Disney animation that escaped me: The Lion King (until now).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

That Bloody Bowie

Should I be surprised that The Man Who Fell to Earth has received Criterion Collection status? No, I think not. Love 70s cinema.

Hilarious mockumentary by Woody Allen: Zelig.

Rather uninspired and gimmicky My Bloody Valentine 3D. Original is better (and retains the scare quotient).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mel, McCormack & Magee

Is it wrong to lust after Joan Collins in Tales From the Crypt? And is there any film that an appearance by Patrick Magee doesn't make better?

Another embarrassing blindspot eliminated: Braveheart. Great flick and, again, my oversight for not watching this at least when I bought the DVD some 10 years ago. ack! Catherine McCormack is just smokin'.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Godzilla Hunting

Another blindspot knocked off the list: Good Will Hunting. Yes, stupid for not seeing this awesome flick sooner.

Found Godzilla Raids Again in the family section on the kids floor at the library. Odd place for it but one that was only recently re-released. Watched the original Japanese version from 1955. Should watch the American edit w/the George Takai dub.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Right Stuff to get Promoted

The Right Stuff is good stuff. Indeed.

Not sure if The Promotion ever got a theater release (cuz I didn't hear of it until I saw a trailer for it on another DVD) but it's a very underrated comedy set in Chicago. Nothing epic here but solid performances by John C. Reilly and Seann William Scott. I would watch this again.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hackman, Han Solo & Bond... James Bond

Outland is really a space western set in the future. Ain't no Star Wars but at least Connery is cool.

Hackman is sublime in The Conversation. Love Harrison Ford's bit part.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Enemies No More

Another film I wished I had seen 11 years ago: Enemy of the State. Includes an ensemble cast of before-they-were-famous A & B stars. Strangely enough, prominent actors featured in this flick (Jason Robards, Seth Green, Tom Sizemore... to name a few) aren't even credited. Don't understand that and will investigate why. Overall good flick until the end.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Bionic Blindspot & Bolt

Name a film that stars Tango, Lando, the Bionic Woman and Rutger Hauer? Try Nighthawks.

Another blindspot conquered: Apollo 13.

Also closed on Bolt, which is as excellent as the young film critics I follow have advertised. Really terrific animated flick.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Five for the Fifth

I'm sorry but Ghostbusters 2 is not a good film.

Twister is so utterly and pathetically predictable it's nearly a worthless watch. Really dislike flicks where the entire plot straight to the end is spelled out in the first 10 minutes.

Talk about a bitchin' monster flick, Alligator fits the bill. Was elated when Henry Silva shows up as the big game hunter. Of course he does. I know I haven't seen that one for at least 20 years (prolly more) yet it still holds up.

Squirm is an unpleasant reminder of how dangerous earthworms can be en masse.

Hatchet isn't a bad modern day horror flick but the intentional camp is bit tiresome. Camp is really best when it's not intended. But still an okay and sometimes humorous watch.