Zchill in his natural habitat; animation.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Second Impressions: Gattaca

So to get it out of the way, yes I'm talking about a movie that I've seen before. So that means I like it, right? Well, yes I bought it, so of course I like it. But that's not what this blog is all about. I don't do synopses that's not my style. I will provide you with a trailer since that seems doable.

The trailer and the narration make it seem a lot crappier than it is, but you get the drift. It's a futuristic sci-fi noir, which in some ways you would think wouldn't work, but the meshing of the past and future really make for good watching. I am a huge fan of the design choices in this movie-- not quite art deco (which I do enjoy quite a bit), but more of a 50s and 60s style which pervades every aspect of the world they live in. You have pompadoured men and classy ladies, (well, lady) in a movie that could take place in the fifties if it weren't for the whole genetic engineering aspect of the movie. This paragraph ends now!

What I liked: This is a movie tailor-made to my sensibilities. It features a ton of futuristic renewable energies (electric vehicles, parabolic mirrors which focus the sun, heat water, generate steam, push turbines, generate electricity. Science is fun!) and like I previously mentioned, it just looked nice, what with the design of the movie and all. What I initially liked about the movie was the question; "How can an imperfect man exist in a land of perfection?" It's something that really everyone can understand as we all have various genetic time bombs waiting to strike. The main character is trying to get by living with his imperfections in a world where if you haven't gotten genetic engineering you're lower class and out of luck. And like all sci-fi, it's an allegory about modern times: don't judge people on things they can't control, with the simpler and less sci-fi theme of determining your own destiny. Great stuff. Really.

What I didn't like: Uma Thurman is kind of hit or miss to me. She wasn't on her game and seems to be off her game anytime Tarantino isn't directing. She certainly makes for tasty eye candy in the movie and I guess that counts for something, but I just wasn't as sold on her performance as well as the other characters. That and she essentially plays "The Girl" which is to say she isn't really essential to the plot other than to have the main character fall in love with her. In fact, the future seems to be kind of a sausage fest, which I guess would make sense for how the world would be if we could choose anything about our children. Just ask China.

So to recap: I love a lot of this movie: design, the way they depict the future, the story, the themes, the music(I didn't mention it but I am now; it contributes nicely to the pathos), and most of the performances. I didn't really like Uma Thurman's performance or the lack of female roles in the movie. At least Ethan Hawke didn't meet his girlfriend in the kitchen.

I like this movie better than Dark City, with which it shares a common element of a noir-based future. I never liked Kiefer Sutherland's role in that movie though. He has a weird speech pattern that I wasn't too thrilled with. Uma Thurman's performance is much more watchable. But if you thought that Dark City was too out there for you and you want a more grounded movie, make sure to watch Gattaca.

If you don't like sci-fi or any of the performers in the movie, I say it's your loss. This really is fantastic and understated as a movie. I'm not even going to recommend a replacement movie for you. That's how I roll.

The performers:

Ethan Hawke: My sister loves the Before Sunrise and After Sunset movies. I haven't seen them. He was really good in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and Training Day.

Uma Thurman: Like I said, kind of hit or miss. Loved Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. Then again, she was Poison Ivy in the awful awful awful Batman and Robin. Oh, but her screen debut of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen was a really great original 80s fantasy by the great Terry Gilliam.

Alan Arkin: He won a much deserved Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine, and was also in the In-Laws (the original) and most recently he was in Get Smart.

Jude Law has been in a lot of movies. Really a lot. You shouldn't need help with this. He was in Sherlock Holmes recently. I should check that out.

Since I raved about Earnest Borgnine last blog, I feel like mentioning that he doesn't die in this movie.

Any suggestions? Let me know!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Classic Movies: Escape from New York

Welcome to a new post thing I'm trying out where I talk about the merits of a classic movie that I haven't seen before. Escape from New York is on display tonight, mainly because I just got it from Netflix. Well, only because I got it from Netflix.

First let's get something out of the way. In the opening few minutes, terrorists hijack Air Force One and ram it into the skyline of Manhattan. It was eerie and upsetting, but it was a prison island so no one really cared. Then to get to the island, Snake Plisskin (Kurt Russel) had to land his glider on the World Trade Center. It was a lot of weird coincidences that audiences of the time probably thought nothing of, but it makes the movie have a bit of a sinister edge today. Also the scene where Plisskin goes to see the wreckage of the plane was a bit preposterous, as there wouldn't be any wreckage left.

What ages the movie: Well, this movie was made in 1981, referenced a huge spike in crime in New York in 1988, and was set in 1997 (ironically the same year Air Force One came out). So yeah, everything in this futuristic movie was set in the past and I'd say that ages it a bit. It shares the same kind of soundtrack that has really done no favors to the 80s as a decade. Who thought heavy use of the synthesizer in a score was ever going to be a good idea? Decade without taste. No taste at all. Anyway...

What makes this movie a classic: It's pretty much a simple formula in a sci-fi concept. A man has to go and escort the MacGuffin to safety. A solid story with an interesting Robin Hood like lead, but with a cooler name: Snake Plisskin. That sounds pretty cool. Plus he has an eye patch. Which you would think would hinder him in the many battle sequences he's involved in, what with the lack of depth perception, but it doesn't. Okay so cool lead? Check. Interesting story? Check. Cool photography? Check. It's actually part of the movie I really admired. The movie was shot with very little light, making for a spooky ambiance.

What makes all movies classic for real though is people watching it then coming back for more. I enjoyed this movie quiet a bit(even though the pacing was a tiny bit slow for modern moviegoers tastes), but I don't think I'm going to watch it again and again.

Watch this if you liked The Warriors. It has a very similar dark Manhattan look to it, and was made around the same time period when I guess it looked like Manhattan was doomed to be a crime ridden island.

If you like your movies to be less dark, I suppose I can recommend Star Wars to you. It was made around the same time and for a good portion of the movie they need to rescue Princess Leia from The Death Star. It works!

Kurt Russell: He has been in a lot of movies; most recently he was in Grindhouse: Death Proof (I think I just mentioned that in my last blog), Stargate, Miracle, Tombstone, and The Thing.

Lee Van Cleef
: I only know him from For A Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Classic movies. He wore an earring in this movie which was a bit weird, but I guess that's the future for you.

Earnest Borgnine: He seems to die in a lot of his movies, which I guess is good as he is still ticking in real life. Oh yeah, *spoiler alert* before that sentence. Flight of the Phoenix (dead), The Posiedon Adventure (dead), and probably some more; he keeps making movies, and I can't keep up with him. I just know that I've seen him die a lot. Great actor though, I saw Marty when I was a teenager with low self-esteem and I loved it; he got a much deserved Oscar for that. Oh, he's also going to be in RED, which looks awesome. Check it out.

Harry Dean Stanton: A great character actor, he was in Alien. Go see that.

Donald Pleasance: Was in Halloween (the original, and a lot of the sequels), and The Great Escape.

That's it for now I suppose, I'll be back with another movie soon. It's kind of what I do.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Okay this is pretty simple. Have you ever played a video game in your life? Go see this movie! Simple, right? Well it might not be that simple; you may have to be slightly more cognizant of video games to understand a few of the jokes, but that's not completely necessary. It's pretty accessible. This movie clinches me seeing any Edgar Wright movie in theaters for a long time. He has a helluva track record when it comes to cult classics, and this is surely destined to follow the footsteps of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz as an instant cult classic.

What I liked: The 8-bit nostalgia was a blast. Universal's theme music and logo were redone in the style of an old arcade game, which set the tone appropriately for the movie. The story was taken from the comic, but I'm not sure how much of the video game/cartoon/anime aspects of the movie were adapted over. It worked really well and it all came together in a really, really, really nerdy package. That's probably why it hasn't really broken it really big in the box office-- it's a nerdy movie. The characters were great and the effects were very fun. The world of Scott Pilgrim is certainly inspired by arcade games, which makes for a special blend of irony as no video game adaptation has yet to be of any quality at all, and Scott Pilgrim was first a comic book.

What I didn't like: I don't like how much my abs hurt from laughing at the hilarious parts to this movie. Really, it was good. I think that some parts may have dragged, but it was forgivable. Oh, the whole not using his extra life right away was kind of insulting to the nerdy audience; we know that it's coming, just use the *&)*% thing! It could have been done better, but that's one of the few things I didn't like in a movie that was eye candy for nerds.

Watch this if you liked: There aren't a lot of movies (like none) that this compares to. So instead, watch this if you think that all video game adaptations are missing out on a lot of the fun that the games they are based on have. I keep mentioning games, but don't think this is like watching someone else playing a game. Nothing of the sort.

Don't watch this if you don't like video games or haven't played any or haven't been exposed to any. It won't really be all that fun for you if you're lacking the nerd cred to see this movie. As a comic book/casual gamer/movie nerd I qualify if that makes your decision any easier.


Michael Cera: An "Arrested Development" alum, he also stars in Juno, and Superbad. He plays awkward and he plays it well.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Live Free or Die Hard, Grindhouse: Death Proof, Bobby.

Kieran Culkin: Igby Goes Down, The Cider House Rules, The Mighty.

Anna Kendrick: She's In Twilgiht?!? Loses points there... Also, she's in Up in the Air.

The cast was pretty huge, relatively speaking, so I'll tell you why I liked them in nerdy ways. Sounds fun? Scott Pilgrim had to fight Captain America/The Human Torch(Chris Evans), Superman(Brandon Routh (Who got busted by the Punisher (Tom Jane), and one of the Romulans from Star Trek (Clifton Collins Jr.) for breaking the Vegan code)), Ann (Mae Whitman, who was Michael Cera's Ex-girlfriend from Arrested Development), and Jason Schwartzman, who, as a Wes Anderson and Rushmore fan, I enjoyed seeing playing Gideon.

Wow, lots of geeking out there. I think I'm going to review a classic action movie next. Which one? Come back to find out!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Losers

Do you remember The Losers? It was one of the three or four movies this year where there is a group of commandos who get framed and work to clear their name (The A Team, The Expendables). The problem with The Losers is that it's like rush hour traffic. Just when you feel like the story and characters are likable, the movie comes to a screeching halt. Kind of a shame too, the trailer made it seem better than it turned out to be.

What I liked: Now there is a good deal to like about the movie, Even though there was no flow. Chris Evans was easily the best actor out there with charm enough to spare, this makes me excited that he's Captain America. The off-beat dialogue worked pretty well for the most part. The main villain Max was especially villainous, killing or having anyone killed who was going to get in his way. The action scenes were pretty good. Really, there's nothing special here. The characters are pretty much the saving point of this movie. If anything makes it watchable, it's the characters--specifically Chris Evans.

What I didn't like: We've mentioned the flow now let me elaborate on it. Usually in a movie, there is a running thread that ties all the plot together, and in this movie that thread is hard to find. I think a bit of that has to do with it being based on comics, which are released as stories you read every month. You can't effectively build tension in the scenes where you constantly having to slow down to try to be faithful to the source material. It just makes for a choppy movie and for action that just seems pointless since it's not building to anything. It's like the movie is caught between exposition and action and the movie suffers because of it. Also, the reason behind the villain's villainy is never really explained, and that kind of bothered me. Oh and a final note, the movie set itself up for a sequel instead of wrapping up the story it tried to tell making the whole movie kind of pointless. I guess the title was referring to the paying public who saw this movie.

Damn, I didn't think I didn't like it that much, but there you go.

"Okay wiseguy what should I watch instead?"

Okay so we have a theme of wrongfully accused group of people trying to accomplish the same goals in a modern movie that doesn't suck? Come on guys you make this too easy. Inception, all the way. Who didn't see that coming? Anyone?

I can't think of a reason to recommend this movie other than if you're a Chris Evans fan/ curious what he can bring to the Captain America role. Or, you know, you want to see Zoe Saldana half-naked riding some guy.


Jeffrey Dean Morgan: He was the comedian in watchman and did a pretty good job at it. That's the only thing I've seen him in. He was also in Jonah Hex and Taking Woodstock.

Chris Evans: Fantastic Four and its sequel, Cellular, Scott Pilgrim vs the World (this weekend, I swear), and will be in The Avengers and Captain America: The First Avenger (lame lame lame title)

Zoe Saldana: Avatar and Star Trek, she's pretty much the next big thing.

Idris Elba: 28 Weeks Later, American Gangster, RocknRolla, and on the small screen as Charles Miner in "The Office."

That's it for now, but I figure I have one more post before I get to see Scott Pilgrim.

Friday, August 13, 2010


"Ugh, really Zchill? A blog about Milk?"

Yeah, it's hard to do a blog about a movie that's so steeped in political discussion without acknowledging it. At short, this movie is about the puritanical roots of America clashing with the "land of the free" Americans. *Spoiler alert* No one wins. I admire this movie for bringing to light a story that, up until this movie was released, I never really knew about.

Enough talk, let's finish this:

What I liked: You know, for how big of a loud-mouth Sean Penn is when he's not acting, he really is a chameleon when he is. He is good in a lot of the movies I've seen him in (Mystic River, Carlito's Way), and my brother really likes him in I Am Sam though I have never seen it. He really does lose himself in the role of the first openly gay publicly elected official, and I would say that he definitely deserved his second Oscar. The supporting cast was really well rounded, but we'll get to the who's who a bit later. If you don't like that tough, it's my blog. The scenery and the feel of the late 70s were really well crafted. And I know it's cliche, but the inter-cutting of authentic footage really made the film steeped in the time frame that it is set in.

What I didn't like: Two guys making out makes me uncomfortable. Yeah, I know I'm a horrible horrible person for getting grossed out at that. I wasn't emotionally invested in the cops' struggle against the homosexuals; I was along for the ride as they were the main protagonists, I just don't like to watch a couple of dudes making out. Don't judge me.

Watch this if you liked: Into the Wild, it has the same vibe, and features the same lead actors: Sean Penn (albeit as the director behind the camera), and Emile Hirsch.

Watch this instead: For my money, there is no nostalgic biopic better than David Fincher's Zodiac. He really captures the look and feel of the time frame without resorting to movie cliches to get his point across. Or maybe I'm just a Fincher fan more than I am a Gus Van Sant fan, who forever will be the guy who cast Vince Vaughn As Norman Bates in the Psycho remake. My blog runs on themes (deal with it), one of them being: you don't &*^% with Alfred Hitchcock. True story. Make no mistake though, Milk is a really well told story and deserves to be seen.

Sean Penn: Has been in the movies I mentioned above as well as the overly pretentious The Thin Red Line (Soldiers aren't poetic, way to fail Terrence Malick), The Game (Preposterous ending, if you defend it you're wrong), and a movie I just got finished watching, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, though he hardly deserves an Oscar for that.

James Franco: He's a great actor who was a scene stealer in Date Night, and was a surprisingly excellent pot dealer in Pineapple Express--a halfway decent movie. But he'll always be the perfect Harry Osborne in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 (the third one never happened).

James Brolin: Go see him in No Country for Old Men. He also played George W. Bush in the movie W. Most recently, he was the title role in Jonah Hex, but I heard that was pretty bad.

My pick for this weekend is Scott Pilgrim vs the World. I love Edgar Wright movies (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and I think the trend will continue. I'll probably see it tomorrow. I think that The Expendables is aptly named. Burn.

To be continued...

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Other Guys.

You know those movies where they show all the best parts of the movie in the trailer? Yeah, this is not that kind of a movie. Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Stepbrothers) team up again with Mark Wahlberg playing the character he plays best; confused and angry. What I like about the movie is that it's quotable, not like Monty Python and the Holy Grail quotable, but it's always fun if the movie follows you out of the theater. Since comedies can't really evoke a deep emotional response (besides laughter) the best way to achieve that is if it's quotable.

Right then, on to the features of this blog.

What I liked: Running gags, quotable, great supporting cast and the story that was both an comedy and an action buddy cop movie combined. Kind of like Hot Fuzz. Actually... It was a lot like Hot Fuzz. Well, the style of humor was different-- It was more stupid funny. It definitely got me to laugh at loud more than Hot Fuzz did.

What I didn't like: Hot Fuzz has been done! Be more original! Also the ending infographic didn't really seem necessary. It was kind of funny in a "we're all royally (*&(**& as a society" kind of way, but it made the whole plot kind of pointless. Yeah you saved the police pension, but you have burdened the American people because of that. Weird. It just seemed like it belonged more in Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story than a comedy. Comedies especially are supposed to be escapism so if you're going through tough times leave when the credits start rolling.

Watch this if you liked: Anchorman, Stepbrothers, Talledega Nights or Old School, or if you like seeing cameos by Major League pitchers who play for the Yankees.

If you didn't like those movies watch Hot Fuzz instead. Different style of humor altogether, but a similar enough premise. It's dry British humor as opposed to hilarious American shenanigans.

The only person in the cast worth singling out is Michael "Batman circa 1989" Keaton. He easily has some of the best lines and stole every scene he was in. He is having a helluva year what with this and Toy Story 3 (as Ken). He is really good in Jackie Brown, a Quentin Tarantino film, and is really fun to watch and should be in more movies.

The Snootie British guy was played by Steve Coogan who has been in Tropic Thunder, Hamlet 2, Hot Fuzz, and The Night at the Museum movies.

If you need help placing where you've seen Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell you must have been living under a rock.

Bonus story time! While falling asleep in class today, (I wanted to go home!) my teacher saved me from unconsciousness by saying it's like that one movie you know the one with John Cusack. I immediately perked up, ready to answer the challenge. She continued, "The one where he's in half of a floor." With that clue in place I immediately said Being John Malcovich. I got 2 extra points that I'm sure it were joke points, but I'm glad I could be of service.

It was a good day.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Editor's Pick: The Departed

After a string of "Please give me my Oscar now!" movies from Martin Scorsese (The Aviator, Gangs of New York), Martin Scorsese returns to his roots with The Departed. This seems like a no-brainer as most of his classics revolved around the mob; Goodfellas, Mean Streets, Casino and Taxi Driver to name a few. Now, this movie probably didn't deserve all the Oscars that it got, but the voters felt bad for not giving the Oscar to Scorsese for all the films he has directed that deserved to win, but didn't. I remember discovering how amazing his films were in high school when I watched Goodfellas, I continued to try to get my hands on whatever other movies he directed; Raging Bull and Taxi Driver soon followed. I don't like all of his movies, (especially his Oscar-bait movies The Aviator and Gangs of New York which were good, but not really comparable to his classics), but he has remained one of my all-time favorite directors.

Now on to this particular movie:

What I liked: Martin Scorsese started the whole "jukebox" soundtrack (using popular music on his mob movie debut Mean Streets). He continues what he started here to a really good effect, which is my roundabout way of saying I really liked the soundtrack. When you're someone like Martin Scorsese, you can afford all the good actors to come and play with you. Matt Damon plays against type really well here, and this is the movie that has clinched my being able to enjoy a Leonardo DiCaprio movie (Catch Me if You Can made inroads, but he was still the teen heartthrob from Titanic until this movie). Jack Nicholson plays, for all intents and purposes, the devil, and is really fun to watch. Mark Wahlberg, Vera Farmiga, and supporting roles by Alec Baldwin and Martin Sheen all round out the cast. I really could have gone on about the acting--it really was amazing. If you can handle the swearing, the script is top notch. I have a feeling that the only words that come out of Bostonians' mouths are profanities.

What I didn't like: There were some moments in the movie that I could tell were completely improvised. Normally I wouldn't mind it so much, but it was just a little bit random. And every once and awhile the language got to me, but at this point I'm pretty desensitized. I guess that's it; I really do like this movie.

If you liked this movie and are wondering what you can watch that is even better than this, try Taxi Driver or Goodfellas, and of course the best mob movie of all time, The Godfather. If mob movies aren't your thing, that's fine. I just don't have a comparable movie to recommend for you.

"A Good Cast is Worth Repeating"

Leonardo DiCaprio: If you haven't already, go see him in Inception. Catch Me if You Can was good too, but if you want some more Boston accented Leo see Shutter Island.

Matt Damon: The Bourne Trilogy, The Informant! If you liked him playing rugby, you're in luck! He stars as a rugby player in Invictus.

Vera Farmiga: I don't know if I can forgive her character in The Departed for what she did in Up in the Air. Watch this movie if you're confused by what I just said.

Jack Nicholson: Batman, Chinatown, and the shot in Omaha Nebraska film, About Schmidt.

Mark Wahlberg: He has been in some enjoyable movies, but this is the role of his life. Have fun with him in The Italian Job.

Remake alert!!!

Oh yeah, before I forget, this movie was based on the Hong Kong movie Infernal Affairs. Now while I'm not for every remake, this one worked very, very well. I guess if you get enough talented people behind a project, you can get away with a remake-- but don't push your luck (looking at you, Gus van Sant's Psycho). There weren't a lot of differences between the two apart from setting. The biggest difference is that they merged the female characters from the original into one character in the remake. It works out for a better story, trust me. Then there were the small differences in the ending that I can't get into without spoiling the entire thing. They really weren't too big though.

Next movie I will watch in theaters of my own free will: Scott Pilgrim vs The World.

Look for my signal...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I've watched enough History Channel in my day to debunk this entire movie, but I decided to give it a try anyway. Granted, it wasn't much of one since I knew that there wasn't a lot to this movie besides a special effects bonanza. Think back to the advertising: it was only last year, who starred in this movie? Not quite coming to you? Don't worry, while the actors in this hard B- movie (that's a minus not a typo) can act, they phone it in here. There is a lot of facepalming here when you see actors you recognize sell out. I'm pretty sure that the actors' eyes had to have the money signs removed from their irises in post production.

What I liked: The beginning shots were cool. Outer space looks pretty good in the intro-- no stars, which is how the astronauts describe space to look like, and the sunspots looked pretty cool too.

What I didn't like: EVERYTHING ELSE!

Don't get me wrong, if you just want to see the cartoony photo-unrealistic special effects, then by all means, go for it. If you don't care about how predictable the story is or about how you can see the painfully obvious plot setups from a mile away, then I can recommend this movie to you. Seriously, if you're going to make a bad movie, at least make it short. Its just 2 hours and 38 minutes of people being stupid. Here is an example of how stupid the writing is: Arnold Scwarzenegger will leave office in 2011, and will not be "The Govenator" during the events of this movie.

Okay, ranting paragraph aside, there is a lot that sucks with this movie. A lot. This is pretty much the Day After Tomorrow on stupid pills, which itself was Independence Day on stupid pills, which wasn't a very smart movie to begin with. What M. Night Shamaylan is to thrillers, Roland Emmerich is to the disaster movie.... which brings me to the point of this paragraph (gee, shouldn't that be at the top of the paragraph as a sort of topic sentence?): disaster movies as feel good movies suck. Man, a lot of bad things are happening. Aliens, global warming, Mayan calenders ending... how can we make people aware that they don't have a prayer unless they can infect alien computers with Mac viruses, outrun the cold (the &*^&* cold people! But at least it wasn't the wind...) or fly/drive through collapsing buildings while millions of people die around them? Yeah, the earth is all dead, but these one-dimensional characters survived. *phew* Disaster movies are pretty stupid. I vow not to watch them unless... well at this point, the only thing that will get me to see a disaster movie is if a filmmaker I respect makes it.

Not all disaster movies are bad-- just most of them. Let's see, what to watch instead... War of the Worlds wasn't bad, though the ending was kind of lame. At least it wasn't as stupid. The collapsing buildings reminded me of Cloverfield, which was more of a monster movie than a disaster movie. However, in general, monster movies work so much better than disaster movies, they don't have a feel-good happy ending frankenstiened on to the end of what would be a tragedy. How can you be entertained while watching the earth getting destroyed with billions of humans getting killed in the process? The brief scene in the supermarket reminded me of The Mist which was decent, but also had its problems. But the movie I truly recommend after seeing this catastrophe is Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Stanley Kubrick folks, the one and only. The entire concept of what to do when facing the apocalypse (in a comedy) while deciding the future of humanity in such a world comes from the last scene in the movie. A true classic that I can recommend to anyone who likes Peter Sellers, and can sit through a black and white movie. In fact if I can stream that I may watch that to rinse the taste of stale formulaic movie out of my eyes.

Proof that the actors can act:

John Cusak: High Fidelity, Being John Malcovich. I haven't seen a lot of his '80's stuff, but I hear that's good. (My girlfriend/editor recommends Say Anything.

Woody Harrelson: (Last year was his year I guess, but 2012 was by far the worst of the ones he starred in) Zombieland, The Messenger.

Amanda Peet: I don't buy her as a mom. Go see her in Saving Silverman, one of my all time guilty pleasures.

Chiwetel Ejiofor: Was in Serenity, Inside Man, and Children of Men. I think he hasn't achieved the fame he deserves due to his name.

Thandie Newton: Hilarious as Condaleeza Rice In W., great in RocknRolla, And had a nice supporting role in The Pursuit of Happyness

Oliver Platt and Danny Glover should have known better.

In other news Channing "worst actor currently gracing the multiplexes" Tatum will return in G.I. Joe 2: Why is This Being Made? Maybe if the world does end in 2012 (it won't), we won't ever have to see this movie.

That is it, I love the movies, I really do. But I hate it when the movies are impossible to like.

This blog will self destruct...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Second Impressions: Gone Baby Gone

Although I loved the movie, I had not seen Gone Baby Gone since I saw it in the one-screen theater at Osan Air Base. My reason for not watching it again is it's a really tough watch. I can't recommend it if movies are merely escapist fantasies, as this movie showcases some of the worst that humans are capable of. If you can get past the subject matter it really is a good movie. It makes you think. It raises questions that are hard to answer. This is not a disposable movie.

What I liked: Ben Affleck can direct! Appropriate since he has another Boston based movie on the horizon; The Town. I've been disappointed before when getting my hopes up so hopefully he won't have a sophomore slump. The music was appropriately somber and really helped drive the emotional arch of the story. The acting was top notch with everyone bringing their A-game to the table, especially Casey Affleck, and Amy Ryan. The thing that really grabbed me was the dialogue (oh yeah, profanities all over this movie). It could be just the way the book was written, but the screenplay did have Ben Affleck as an author (like Good Will Hunting). I may have to go and pick up the book.

What I didn't like: It's hard to nitpick when you really like a movie. I didn't like a lot of the content of the story -- I mean who likes to see kids being neglected? A lot of the choices the characters made bugged me; again, this is just nitpicking, as it fit the characters. This is a really solid movie.

See this if you skipped Mystic River just because it had Sean Penn in it (he is annoying as hell, but a great actor). They are both based on books by the same author and set in Boston so if you didn't want to sit through a Sean Penn movie, watch this instead. (I liked both of them). I need to review a bad movie some time to really show how this site is supposed to work...

"Haven't I seen this guy before?"

Casey Affleck: Ocean's 11-13, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Take a cue from the title, it's a looooong movie. Well photographed though)

Amy Ryan: Changeling(another hard to watch movie!), "The Office" Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.

Michelle Monaghan: In one of my favorites; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and in The Bourne Supremacy (I remember her pronouncing a word wrong so I guess she didn't get asked back for the sequel)

Ed Harris and Morgan Freeman: Make any movie they are in great (if it's good material, or watchable) my point is these are great actors.

Special shout out for Titus "The Man in Black" from Lost Welliver for sporting a wicked handlebar mustache, truly an inspiration to us all.

This movie blog was actually a request. I do take them, except from Greg, who is now banned from my site for his previous comment.