Monday, August 31, 2009

Don't Magic With Me

I'm going to say it; I enjoyed You Don't Mess With the Zohan. There I said it. fine.

A scary flick from my childhood I reacquainted with was Magic. That was long before I was aware of the genius of Anthony Hopkins, who stars as the deranged ventriloquist, and Sir Richard Attenborough, who directed this wonderfully creepy film. Ann-Margret is as sexy as ever and Burgess Meredith is rather spry.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sundays Are Made For Shopping

Built a new TV Stand I picked up from IKEA today while watching EdTV. Harmless and occasionally humorous esp. if you're into reality tv. still man-crushing on Matthew McConaughey.

Finished up Happy-Go-Lucky after my shopping trip. Still undecided as to whether I like this film or not. Sometimes I clearly fall in to the "Poppy is annoying" camp but sometimes she's not. Definitely has its moments.

Another film I started last night but finished tonight was The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, that was on the Retroplex channel. Probably wouldn't have caught it if hadn't left the station running but I'm glad I did (and DVR'd to finish later). Helluva cast & entertaining to boot.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Killing on the Floating Island

watching the 1952 noir The Sniper which sadly isn't available on DVD. Such a dark film about a women hater w/psychopathic tendencies that snaps and begins killing the women that come into his life. Thanks again to TCM.

caught the 1967 Doctor Dolittle on Retroplex. One not seen since my childhood and one I've always enjoyed (big fan of the Dr. Dolittle books). this movie is so great and so comical. Also features Geoffery Holder which I never would've picked up on as a kid. After tweeting my viewing was recommended to check out Mark Harris' "Pictures at a Revolution?" [Goes into t/making of Dr. Doolittle (wasn't pretty).] As well as John Gregory Dunne's "The Studio" [also focuses on "Dr. Doolittle." Written as DD was in production.] thank Mel for those and I want to check those out.

Followed that with Who Can Kill a Child?, which couldn't be farther from the aforementioned film. Seriously fucked up and disturbing. Easy to see why it's one of Eli Roth's top horror flicks. Damn. But as I noted, I could and would kill the children given the circumstances. Fucking murdering hellions.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Neverending Story

If the book that The Da Vinci Code is based on if even half what the movie version is, I'll never read it. I remember when the book was all the rage; wasn't interested then and definitely not interested now. The thriller aspect I didn't mind but all the exposition towards the end is just painful.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shutter at the Thought

The Purple Rose of Cairo is a fun, little flick. Always enjoy films about films... or watching film. Warm and touching as well as funny.

Best thing about Shutter is that most of it was filmed on location in Japan (primarily Tokyo). Otherwise, this J-horror influenced remake of a Thai horror film (that's a new one) is a bore. Haven't seen the Thai film but heard it's decent. This one, however, is not; the payoff is unfulfilling after the build-up and Joshua Jackson's character doesn't fit the mold to live up to the resolution. OK, I've already spent more words than it's worth.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Spring Changing

1980's The Changeling with George C. Scott was certainly haunting. Creepy atmosphere holds up.

Finishing my venture back to 80s sleaze cinema I revisited Spring Break, also recently released on DVD. Despite the reviews I don't care for this one as much as Hardbodies. I remember seeing it a long time ago and feeling the same thing. Just average, IMO.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hell is for Children

Finished Parolini's 1969 Five for Hell tonight. Klaus Kinski is manic as ever. Love the elite 5. Makes me want Tarantino to re-image this one (and every similar war movie of its ilk).

Also capped Hardbodies 2 which is absolutely nothing like the first movie and so much more weird. As stupid as the first flick is I prefer over this "sequel".

Monday, August 24, 2009

No Hiding Hyde

Being in Orlando for the day/evening I was fortunate to catch the 1931 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde on TCM. I think I saw this as a child and it traumatized me. Still a classic.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Season of the Wolf

Never saw Halloween III - Season Of The Witch until now. Man, did I ever dig the hell out of this "non-Michael Myers" installment of the franchise. I always knew that was the criticism against it but doesn't make this one a bad film. It's effed up and creepy and a solid little horror flick that actually centers on Halloween as the focal point.

Wolfhound was a movie I sought after hearing Cargill a.k.a. Massawyrm talk so enthusiastically about it. And hot damn does it ever live up to his hype (and review on AICN). It's as if they made Conan the Barbarian today and in Russian. So ridiculous and yet so awesome. And the princess (Oksana Akinshina) is just gorgeous. Definitely for fans of fantasy with a side of cheese. Loved it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hard Body 80s Style

Went back in time to revisit some 80s sex comedies recently released on DVD. First up was Hardbodies. Obviously not classic cinema but good for what it is. And this flick features VIXEN pre-metal performing throughout the film! That makes it a worthy watch regardless.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Armed & Gettin' It

I'm still shocked there is a Criterion Collection Edition of Armageddon. Seriously. But whatevs. This is one I crossed off my list of shame but still enjoyed it for what it is and would love to see a HD version (really wished I just put aside my pettiness and went to the theater to see it when it was released). Ah well. Fun & silly times here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Book, A Ride, A Movie Too

Would you feel less of me if I told you that I had to watch Mr. Toad's Wild Ride to fully get it? Maybe I just wasn't paying attention the first time around (I clearly wasn't) but I forced another viewing for good measure. Fortunately it ain't all that bad. Great cast, okay musical numbers but based on the book The Wind in the Willows it's not quite as good. Still enjoyable.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to the Past

Back to the Future Part II was somehow wiped from my memory ('cept for a few bits) so now it's back in my mind.

Never saw Back to the Future Part III so now I have that one in my brain. I'm surprised w/the repetitive plot devices in both of these that they just didn't keep making more of these films and traverse to other historic periods or farther into the future. Wouldn't be surprised if this story gets revisited w/modern film technology at some point in our future. Then we can all go back to the future in our future. Yay!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Killed Two Pigs

How I let Porco Rosso allude me is really an oversight considered I've had the Miyazaki import box set since '99. Another wonderful Miyazaki film top to bottom.

My back to back pig viewing also included the 2006 remake of Charlotte's Web. Not nearly as magical as the animated film I saw as a child and hella more creepy. I think I would be frightened of this version if I were child. Charlotte is just plain scary!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Killed Two Chickens

Picked up a handful of kids flicks from the family section at the library (none of which I have seen before). First up tonight was Chicken Run which was okay. Great scene with the pie machine in the middle but otherwise just okay.

The other chicken I killed tonight was Chicken Little which was a lot more amusing. Still wasn't totally taken with it but entertaining nevertheless.

Also watched Karloff's not-so-good Italian horror flick Island Monster, which was dubbed making a bod film even worse. ~sigh.

From Beyond Space It Came

Taking time out to appreciate It! The Terror from Beyond Space in HD(?) on MGMHD. I (?) this HD but at least the quality is better than any DVD print I've seen.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Meh, Meh & Huh?!

Really expected better and wanted more with RiffTrax: House on Haunted Hill - from the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000!. Just really wasn't that funny. I get more amusement from just watching House on Haunted Hill by itself. Sorry, Rifftrax!

The Friday the 13th remake isn't a bad film but not much here to make it memorable as the original classics or even the cheesier chapters (Jason X anyone?). But okay watch.

Q - The Winged Serpent is just so frickin' bizarre I'm not sure how to describe. It's just a weird flying dragon over New York City crime thriller... huh?!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Terror In The Aisles 2

Today was a special day. The event: Terror in the Aisles 2. The place: Portage Theater Chicago. Three horror films, three special guests, ONE CHICAGO PREMIERE. Fucking Incredible Night. And one I've been dreaming about for 3 years.

First up was The Evil Dead. Special Guest Q&A after the film: Tom Sullivan, who did the special effects. Have never been too crazy about this flick and hadn't seen since college but a whole lotta fun w/this audience. Amusing to see Raimi's '73 Oldsmobile Delta 88 after having just seen it in Drag Me to Hell.

Next up was 1981's My Bloody Valentine. Special Guest: Director George Mihalka. Now this was even more fun w/a theater full of horror geeks. Q&A was excellent as well. Hadn't seen that one since High School!

Finally, the reason why we were there. The Chicago Premiere of the long awaited Trick 'r Treat. Special Guest: Director Michael Dougherty. Holy Shit. What can I say? My biggest fear was that this film wouldn't (couldn't possibly) live up the hype I've created in my own mind from first laying eyes on the trailer 3 years ago. How much did I want to see this? I seriously considered flying to Toronto to catch it at the After Dark Fest next week (before the Chicago screening was announced). Yeah, 3 years of waiting had really built this one up in my mind.

But HOT DAMN does this film deliver. And deliver in spades. It's that good. And yet bittersweet as this is a film that clearly deserves a theatrical release and shouldn't have taken this long to finally reach audiences across the globe (one special screening after the next) until the DVD/Blu arrives in October. The Q&A w/Mike afterwards was also wonderful. So damn happy to finally see this. Loved every second. If you don't dig this movie, you truly don't have a soul.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Prawn Rock

Another catch-up title today is Jack Black's School of Rock. Cute, charming, etc.

Met up w/Ron, Tonia & p@ to take in another viewing of DISTRICT 9 out in Warrenville. Long drive but hit Rock Bottom next to the theater before the show. Packed house on opening night (had to sit all the way in the 2nd to last row!). Great audience response. Rowdy people were quickly quieted by the intensity. Great to see. Still a few jackassess checking their phones. Just as great 2nd time around. Love this movie.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Warning: Catching Up

Erased Catch Me If You Can from my list of shame. Overall solid. still not a DiCaprio fan but I always enjoy Walken.

Without Warning (1980) is classic creepy alien invasion that still freaks me out. So glad I got this DVD at Comic-Con (hasn't been available as regular release on DVD). Stars Jack Palance, Martin Landau and a young David Caruso among others.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


A twitter thread about Charlie Chaplin prompted me to check out The Great Dictator. Definitely a great flick.

obtw, I'm way behind on posting from my week-long trip to Atlanta then my g/f visiting for 5 days but I will attempt to back-post so that all my movie viewing (what little there has been during that time) is recorded here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Indy Wannabe

ok, I never managed to watch Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold around the time of its release nor any time when it may have appeared on late night cable. But I can check it off the list now. Nice to see the early work of Sharon Stone. Not so nice to see Richard Chamberlain succumb to this. Always great to see Henry Silva, who apparently gave Will Ferrell inspiration.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tora! Tora! Tora!

Finally sat down with Tokyo! and relished every minute. Loved. This. Film. which is actually 3 short films shot in Tokyo by 3 acclaimed directors: Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, & Joon-ho Bong (in that order). Really, so much to love here by each director. Borderline horror/sci-fi but mostly fantasy. Hope to own the Blu-Ray someday so I can re-watch again and again.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Snakes Bite the Box Office

Day after Chicago Comic-Con I resigned to endure G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra expecting to sorta like it but going in w/low expectations for a truly good film. That said, I really enjoyed it. And apparently I'm not the only one since many of my favorite critics also dug it. Yes it's ridiculous and full of silliness and plot holes but aimed at 10 year old boys, it works. No, I'm not a 10 year old boy but I can recall what it might have felt like. And I usually dig these big-budget silly mishaps. Van Helsing anyone? And yes, I will see G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra again. Only wish Brendan Fraser was in this flick more and that Marlon Wayans wasn't in it at all.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Dearly Departed

The Loved One might be the most underrated film I've seen in a while. Damn. What a hoot. Dark yet deliciously funny. In the same vein as Sunset Blvd and pre-dates the weirdness of Twin Peaks and others of its ilk. Already look forward to the next viewing.

Rather than watching movies I opted for several episodes of the 60's Marvel Superheroes DVDs I picked up at Chicago Comic-Con. Just too damn funny to see these again.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Doesn't Frighten Me

The Frighteners was definitely Peter Jackson. Had I not known going in I would've picked him or Raimi. It's horror with the comedic elements thrown in but still horror. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Here it kinda works, mostly. Little did I know I'd meet Jake Busey the next day at Chicago Comic-Con. At least I had something to talk about. Jackson's cameo cracked me up.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Only TV (no movies)

After a nice visit w/the g/f and District 9 screening/long night last night, I'm catching up w/TV stuffs and breaking from film for the evening.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Alive in Jo-burg: The Extended Cut

Was incredibly lucky to win an advanced screening to see District 9 in Chicago (courtesy of Ain't It Cool News & Capone). My only wish was that more of my friends could've won tickets to this exclusive engagement as it was effing amazing all-around (minus the outrageous parking fee at River East). I could go on & on about this event from the atmosphere to the film to the Q&A after the viewing w/Neill Blomkamp, the director, and lead actor, Sharlto Copley. But I won't. Suffice it to say the entire deal was just excellent and incredible and I am very lucky (as is my friend Ron who rec'd the honor of my +1 ticket). Being a film I've anticipated ever since my first viewing of Alive in Joburg 3 years ago I couldn't ask for more. Really wish more of my friends could've experienced what we did. I will be going again for my 2nd viewing on opening weekend... the kind of film that lingers with you and makes you want to see it again.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

No Movies For You!

the g/f's last night here in Chicago so no flick watching tonight. was supposed to watch Finding Nemo last night but ended up having an all-night "discussion" so that was nixed. no worries. Nice having a break every now and then.

Monday, August 03, 2009

No Movie Today

Stayed up all night having a "discussion" w/the g/f so didn't get the movie we planned to watch (Finding Nemo) so nothing to report. Sorry.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Incredible, really.

The g/f actually suggested we watch The Incredibles because she hadn't seen it. Being one of my favorite movies (and all-time Pixar favorite) how could I refuse this opportunity? She enjoyed it. Another double win.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

I Dream of Genie

The g/f was agreeable to watching Aladdin with me. Figured as much as she's receptive to almost anything Disney... plus she knows all the tunes having worked at Disneyland Tokyo. So double win (and this is one Disney animated flick I actually really like).

July Movie Tally

OK, here's the round-up of films watched in July: 70 films total! Second highest month to date, even more impressive since I was out of town in Atlanta the final week of the month. Only a couple were re-watches.

List of films watched:
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
Corpse Bride (2005)
Rescue Dawn (2006)
The Mummy (1999)
Run Fatboy Run (2007)
The Mist (2007)
Chikyû Bôeigun (1957)
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
The Mechanic (1972)
Chinatown (1974)
Ghostbusters II (1989)
Twister (1996)
Alligator Seen before (1980)
Squirm (1976)
Hatchet (2006)
Nighthawks (1981)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Bolt (2008)
Enemy of the State (1998)
Outland (1981)
The Conversation (1974)
The Right Stuff (1983)
The Promotion (2008)
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Gojira no gyakushû (1955)
Tales from the Crypt (1972)
Braveheart (1995)
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
Zelig (1983)
My Bloody Valentine (2009)
Cars (2006)
Eagle Eye (2008)
The Lion King (1994)
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
The Rocker (2008)
Ten Little Indians (1965)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Mr. Woodcock (2007)
Valkyrie (2008)
Baby Mama (2008)
Sleuth (1972)
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan Seen before (1982)
[Rec] (2007)
Calvaire (2004)
Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1984)
Tarzan (1999)
Cheung Gong 7 hou (2008)
Short Circuit (1986)
Boogie Nights (1997)
Have Rocket -- Will Travel (1959)
Jackie Brown (1997)
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Sleuth (2007)
Class of 1984 (1982)
Notorious (1946)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Tsubaki Sanjûrô (1962)
The Deadly Mantis (1957)
Monster on the Campus (1958)
The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
Creepozoids (1987)
Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
The Green Mile (1999)
Creep (2004)
Three O'Clock High (1987)
Fool's Gold (2005)
Ohayô (1959)