Friday, December 31, 2010

Mississippi Burning (1988)

A drama directed by Alan Parker, starring Gene Hackman.
Legal representatives from the north go to a southern town after civil rights workers are killed. They are there to track down the killers and have them prosecuted.
This film was just over 2 hours, but it felt like 3. Everything about it was dull and boring. There were a few violent scenes, but nothing to get excited over. There was also a church burning scene that would make Count Grishnackh proud. I'm rating it poor for not holding my interest.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

A comedy drama by John Hughes, starring Molly Ringwald and Emilio Estevez.
A group of 5 students spend a Saturday in school detention and get to know each other better than they would have otherwise.
The beginning of this film is funny and interesting. The characters are all stereotypically unique and everything seems to be coming together to make a great film. About half way through, the movie takes a dive into the crap zone and all of the characters become more similar. By the end, everyone is friends and they have all lost their defining characteristics. By the last scene where they walk out of the school, romantic relationships have mysteriously formed for all but one of the students and this ending makes me want to flush the film down the toilet. Yes, I can rate a film like this in the way I have. It's my fucking blog.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gothic (1986)

A horror directed by Ken Russell.
A group of friends get together in a mansion to drink laudanum and tell ghost stories. After a seance, they all experience their worst fears coming true.
You wouldn't be able to tell from watching the film, but this movie is supposed to be about Mary Shelly writing Frankenstein. It's mentioned for a split second at the end and is the focus of the wikipedia article. There were some strange weather incongruences that I noticed while watching. At the beginning, the characters are running through the rain to arrive in a house with sunlight streaming through the windows. When night falls, you can hear a storm, but the moonlight is far too bright for any clouds to be in the sky. Basically, the movie was shit besides some nudity, so that's what I'm rating it.

The Big Blue (1988)

A drama directed by Luc Besson.
2 free divers compete to see who can dive the deepest and longest. One of them gets an American girlfriend.
Despite my dull explanation of the plot, I really did like this. It was very long at 2 hours and 45 minutes, but well worth watching. The settings were very good and some of the shots were very beautiful with dolphins swimming underwater and rocky coastlines. The diver characters were good and the pace was right. I'm rating it good.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Young Guns (1988)

A western directed by Christopher Cain, starring Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen.
A group of rough young cowboys are deputized and take the law into their own hands.
The characters and plot were alright and I thought the peyote scene was interesting. It's not exactly a Sergio Leone spaghetti western though. I'm rating it o.k. because that's exactly what it deserves.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Fly (1986)

A science fiction directed by David Cronenberg, starring Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Quaife.
When a scientist tries to configure a teleportation device to move solid batter like people, the results are bad until he figures out to give the machine instructions about what to do with certain things. He tests the machine with a baboon and it works correctly. The scientist jumps in when a fly is buzzing around and goes through the machine to come out on the other side quickly changing into a fly.
The subject matter of this film and Jeff Goldblum come together to make it so cool. The changes that Jeff goes through are fascinating because the special effects were tasteful. They may have used some Hong Kong wire and the department of making gross shite. The plot was direct enough that it doesn't need any explaination. Geena Davis is attractive and just there for eye candy,

Cobra (1986)

An action film directed by George P. Cosmatos, starring Sylvester Stallone.
A specialist police worker fights a group of criminals and protects a woman that they want to kill.
Sylvester Stallone is cool and was especially cool in the 80s. The movie was a little run of the mill and average, so I'm rating it adequate.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Colors (1988)

A crime film directed by Dennis Hopper, starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall.
A young cop and an old cop patrol the streets of east LA and try to stop gangs.
This film is a different perspective from gang films that I've watched before. I was always seeing it from the gangsters' side, and not the cops'. The music was terrible as it consisted of drumming with slow raps. The characters developed, but the plot was uninteresting. The acting was absolutely horrible. I'm rating it bad because I didn't like it.

Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

A drama directed by Stephen Frears, starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Keanu Reeves and Uma Thurman.
Rich nobles have affairs with eachother.
I found this whole thing to be entirely too boring. I don't really care who's sleeping with who and who is angry about it. The whole nobility etiquette thing takes the emotion out of any film. There was some nudity and implied sex, but not enough to redeem this boring flick. I'm rating it bad.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wall Street (1987)

A drama directed by Oliver Stone, starring Charlie Sheen.
A young stock broker idolizes a richer man in his line of work. When he works for this man, he gets very rich, very fast. Eventually, the senior broker turns out to be corrupt and working with him turns out to be a bad idea.
As cool as Charlie Sheen may be and as good as this year was for making good films, this did not live up to it's potential. The plot and characters were stale and the setting is overused. I was constantly interrupted while watching this film, so that may have something to do with my rating. I'm rating it poor because it didn't seem good, but I couldn't give it my full attention.

Top Gun (1986)

A action film directed by Tony Scott, starring Tom Cruise.
An arrogant fighter pilot competes for top rank among his peers and has a relationship with one of the civilian experts that works at his base.
The plot was a little dull and the characters were stereotypical. During the action scenes, the camera-work was way overdone. I'm rating it bad.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Pick-up Artist (1987)

A romance by James Toback, starring Molly Ringwald and Robert Downey Jr.
A young man who tries to pick up every girl he sees meets a girl that he really likes, but her life is more of a mess than his.
This film reminds me of someone I know. Besides that, the characters and plot were stale and it just wasn't interesting. It may just be the subject matter, but I'm rating it poor.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

A comedy by John Hughes, starring Steve Martin and John Candy.
A man is trying to get a cab to the airport, when a stranger takes the cab before he can get in. They meet in the airport and are seated together on the plane. Due to weather, their destination has closed it's airport. This starts a domino effect of things going wrong.
An old friend of mine once told me that this was his favorite movie. I think the combination of Steve Martin and John Candy doing the "straight man, funny man" act is very effective. Combine this with a little bit of that 87 magic that I mentioned earlier and you've got a good movie.

Overboard (1987)

A romantic comedy directed by Garry Marshall, starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
A poor carpenter is hired by a rich woman who treats him badly. The rich woman falls off her boat and is picked up as an unidentified person. The carpenter then convinces her that she is his wife.
The focus here was on Goldie Hawn's acting. She plays 2 entirely different roles in this film. Plot, characters, blah blah blah... It would have just been o.k., but because of the leading lady's performance, it gets a good review.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

A comedy directed by John Hughes.
A high school boy pretends to be sick so he can skip school and retrieves 2 friends to spend the day with him. They spend the day avoiding authority figures and having fun.
This is a very popular film among people my age, let alone a popular film in general. The characters are the best part and the setting of the big city that they play in works well. I'm rating it adequate because it's a good film, but very mainstream and very popular.

No Way Out (1987)

A thriller directed by Roger Donaldson, starring Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman, based on the novel, The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing.
2 men who both work at the pentagon both have intimate relationships with the same woman. One of the men accidentally kills the woman and tries to frame the other man as a murderer.
The plot of this film was a little tense and kept me interested. The characters developed well, but the subject matter wasn't to my liking. I'm rating it adequate.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mannequin (1987)

A romantic comedy directed by Michael Gottlieb.
An artist who repeatedly gets fired from jobs moves from stock boy to window dresser when a mannequin that he made at a previous job comes to life.
This is some of the worst of the 80s. The plot is stupid and the characters are lame. It's only redeeming feature is the vintage BMX bikes and an oldschool flatland trick that is performed on one of them. I'm declaring shit. Yeah, I'm back to being a hard-ass about my reviews!

Less than Zero (1987)

A drama directed by Marek Kanievska.
When 3 friends graduate from high school, one of them moves away to college. When he comes back for Christmas, he finds that one of the other friends is addicted to drugs.
The characters, plot and setting were all super stale. I've seen this type of thing tons of times and I just don't like it. This film gets a bad rating.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

A stop motion animated adventure directed by Wes Anderson, starring George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Bill Murray.
An arrogant fox takes care of his family and friends while being the enemy of 3 farmers.
There are deep subconscious programming messages hidden in this film about the way that people are supposed to act. It would be called type casting or profiling if humans were the examples. I can't go into all of it here for lack of space and time, but there is a reason that all of the roles played remind us of roles played by humans in other films. The reason is that a shadowy elite want US to act like that. Anyway, I personally like stop motion animation and I think that this film was well animated. I'm rating it good because it looked cool.

Hamburger Hill (1987)

A war film directed by John Irvin.
A group of soldiers in Vietnam fight for control of a hill.
I'm realizing that the pace of the film is what I like about 1987. In that aspect, this film did well. The characters, setting and plot were extremely forgettable. The camera-work is another good aspect of that magic year. Not too much and not too little, just like the pace is just right. It turns out that the year was good for making good films, but bad films were also made. I'm rating this one poor for forgettability.

Fatal Attraction (1987)

A drama directed by Adrian Lyne.
A man has an affair while his wife is away and the woman gets too attached to him. When the wife comes back, the woman keeps calling and trying to talk to the man. He tells her to go away and she escalates the situation to dangerous levels.
This film looked very 87 and the setting and pacing of the film reflect that time period as well. The daughter looks like a boy and I didn't find the woman from the affair to be as attractive as the main character (age reasons). The 87-ness of the film was great, but the plot was not my cup of tea. I'm rating it o.k.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Fistful of Dynamite (1971)

A western directed by Sergio Leone, starring James Coburn.
A Scottish revolutionary goes to Mexico with lots of explosives. He tricks a Mexican highwayman into helping him with a Mexican revolution.
Sergio Leone can do no wrong. He's right up there with Ralph Bakshi and Akira Kurosawa and this film is a good example. It is awesome as it has good plot, characters, settings, soundtrack and action. The scene at the bridge is my favorite because the 2 men face off against an army. I'm going with an awesome rating here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Carnival of Souls (1962)

A horror directed by Herk Harvey.
A girl who is the only survivor of a car accident moves to a new town to take a job playing organ at the church. The girl is afraid of a man who is following her, but that no one else can see. When she is in a department store, something changes and it seems like she doesn't exist.
This film seems like an extra-long episode of The Twilight Zone. I guess it's just the horror style from that time period. It's too new to really be creepy, but too old to be funny. It's barely even interesting, so I'm rating it poor.

Rob Roy (1995)

A historical drama directed by Michael Caton-Jones, starring Liam Neeson.
A Scottish man has conflicts with the local nobles over honor.
This film is very long and not very interesting. Basically, people with accents have verbal and physical conflicts for just over 2 hours. One strange thing is the presence of the male lead from Four Rooms. I'm rating it poor because it failed to keep my attention.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Night Porter (1974)

A drama directed by Liliana Cavani.
A former German officer Tries to rekindle an abusive relationship that he had with one of the prisoners in the death camp that he was guarding.
This movie was long and boring with lots of classical music (nothing against classical though). The plot was convoluted and the order of events was not related well. This picture's scene and the music were the only good things. I'm rating it bad because it had such minimal positive qualities.

My Name is Nobody (1973)

A western directed by Tonino Valerii and Sergio Leone.
A young cowboy idolizes an older cowboy, regardless of skill level. They cause eachother to prove their worth.
This is one of my favorite westerns, as it shows bad ass cowboys being bad ass cowboys. "Nobody" is a cheerful and high-energy young guy with cowboy abilities to back up his demeanor and he idolizes an older, more complex gentleman named jack who can fire a gun faster than any other. There are a few cool scenes where Nobody embarrasses the other cowboys in drinking, shooting and other cowboy challenges. The whole film has such a style to it! I'm rating it awesome.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)

A romance by Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen.
A woman has trouble meeting men she likes, so she tries lesbianism and finds a woman she likes.
This film was a regular romance flick, but with girls. Imagine the most mundane, run of the mill straight romance film, but make it lesbian. That's what this was. I'm rating it poor for being unoriginal.

Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

A black comedy by Todd Solondz.
An unpopular girl has tough times at school and at home.
While I was watching this, I was wondering what the point was, but when it finished, I knew it was a good movie. After the bully picks on the girl and she finds out that her crush has a girlfriend, she becomes attracted to him. The girl also neglects to give an important note to her younger sister, which causes problems. The teen to teen abuse pictured was VERY accurate. I'm rating it good because it reminds me of being in school. I'm glad I don't have to go through that again.

rating system update

I realized that my rating system has changed since I last explained it. From good to bad, here's how I'm rating films:
Best: This is a keeper. These are great films that should be watched more than once. I think best says it all. Think Holy Mountain and The Princess Bride.
Awesome: Very cool. These films are unique, they have style and a flavor all their own. They have gone above and beyond just being good. This would be something like Ong Bak 3 or A Boy and His Dog.
Good: This is that solid, green rating that filmmakers are aiming for. I definitely liked a film if it gets this rating. Suckers is the example that comes to mind.
Adequate: These films are pretty good. They're not bad and there's nothing wrong. This is a perfectly fine rating for a film that is cool, but not a unique as others, or doesn't have the style I'm looking for. Examples include Willow or Braveheart.
O.K.: These are regular movies. Nothing special and they get cranked out by Hollywood in obscene amounts. No example necessary.
Poor: There was something wrong, but nothing drastic. The pace was wrong, the characters weren't quite right, or the style was bland. Possibly just a boring movie.
Bad: I found something offensive. There may be too many special effects, or too much camera-work (a common pitfall). The plot was bad or the style was annoying. Solomon Kane comes to mind.
Shit: These films are in the running for a contest known as "The Worst Film Ever". They are bad beyond just not being good. The lack of intelligence required to make something like this is astounding. An example is Metallica's Some Kind of Monster.

Holy Smoke (1999)

A drama directed by Jane Campion, starring Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel.
A girl takes a trip to India and has a spiritual experience that causes her to convert to Hinduism. Her family thinks that she has joined a cult and they call in an expert to deprogram her.
The plot and characters were good and I liked the psychological roleplay of the 2 main characters. The sparse use of special effects meets my approval as well. The closed minded family was a little humorous. I'm rating it adequate.

Everybody's Fine (2009)

A drama directed by Kirk Jones, starring Robert DeNiro and Drew Barrymore.
After a man's wife dies, his children all skip going to see him so he goes to see them. As he tries to visit each one, they all lie to him.
This was relatively short compared to some films I've watched recently. It wasn't very interesting though. The only thing that differentiates it from other movies is the "father's eyes" flashbacks. The man's children appear as children in their adult lives for a moment. I'm rating it poor because I didn't like it and it wasn't interesting.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Town (2010)

A crime film by Ben Affleck.
A group of guys rob a bank and one of them begins dating the bank manager. The guys continue to execute dangerous robberies.
The plot and characters were a little stale. It seemed like all the male actors were playing the same part. It was also over 2 hours long. I didn't expect much from Ben Affleck anyway. I'm rating it bad.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)

A crime drama by J Blakeson.
2 men kidnap a girl and force her father to give them money for her release. When one of them reveals his identity, things get complicated.
This movie is very good on first watch. The plot, setting and characters are up to par. The guys seem to be in league with eachother, but as the plot develops, it turns out that they are not. I'm rating it good, so watch it.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)

A science fiction directed by W. D. Richter, starring Peter Weller and Jeff Goldblum.
Buckarooo Banzai travels through a mountain with his rocket car, which opens a means for aliens to visit earth in an attempt to destroy the world. Banzai and his team must stop the aliens.
Buckaroo Banzai is super cool and ultra charismatic. He plays lead guitar in a fusion band and has a successful science career. Just think the ultimate modern superhero. The plot is very cheesy, but the characters are good. The special effects that were used look pretty good for 1984 as well. I'm rating it adequate and wishing I was Buckaroo.

Battle Royale (2000)

An adventure directed by Kinji Fukasaku.
Students are delivered to an island and told to kill eachother when they are given random weapons.
The plot was very good and the movie seemed older than it is. This effect seemed to be caused by a small budget for the film. There was a lot of classical music and a funny scene at the end involving the teacher. I'm rating it good because I really enjoyed watching it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dungeon Girl (2008)

A drama directed by Ulli Lommel.
A girl whose father commited suicide is abducted by a stranger who she lives with for years before escaping.
This is a slower film with a melancholy nature to it. There are quick flashes of implied sexual abuse and witches burning. Where I got it there were bad comments, but it wasn't bad at all. The strange man locks the girl in a closet and video tapes everything she does, but hardly touches her at all. There are also flashbacks of the girl's past in black and white, which I thought was a nice touch. I'm rating it adequate because it's a perfectly fine movie and I see nothing wrong.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

At Land (1944)

An art film by Maya Deren.
A woman washes up on a beach and passes through ordinary situations without logical transitions.
This was REALLY short. 15 minutes! There was no sound and the video was black and white. There isn't much here to rate, so I'm defaulting to o.k. on the basis that there was no film to rate. No soundtrack, no plot...I even watched it twice and was still wondering "where's the movie?".

Crimes of the Future (1970)

A science fiction by David Cronenberg.
A strange doctor is searching for his mentor after all of the sexually mature women in the world have been killed by cosmetics.
This film was short at just over an hour, and pretty strange. The only voice in the audio is that of the narrator. It seemed to be British dry humor on display, but turned out to be from Canada. There were some definite analog synthesizer sounds in the soundtrack (possibly the entire thing). As the movie is short and mysterious, so is my blog entry. I'm rating it good, but don't know why.

Black Moon (1975)

A fantasy directed by Louis Malle.
A girl escapes from a war in a small car and finds her way to a very strange country estate.
This movie is weird and cool. Half the characters don't talk, but plants and animals do talk. There is a crowd of naked children and they make their way through the estate, usually showing up unexpectedly. An elusive unicorn is chased and there is a crazy old woman with a ham radio in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Plot was not a very large part of this film. Things seem to happen for no reason and with no regard for time. I'm rating it adequate because it's just weird enough to be cool.

Angel's Egg (1985)

An anime directed by Mamoru Oshii.
A girl carrying and egg through a ruined city meets a man who follows her.
I had to turn this off at 38 minutes because there was a lot of dialogue but no subtitles. Not being an expert at Japanese, I couldn't understand what they were saying. What I saw was dark and pretty, but didn't have that early anime look like Fist of the North Star. After reading wikipedia, I found out that the plot is exactly as ambiguous as I thought. I'm rating it poor for being incoherent.

The Cremaster Cycle (1994 - 2002)

6 art films by Matthew Barney.
Each film is unique in it's strangeness, let alone each scene. There is always something crazy happening or the craziness is in the inaction.
These films take up lots of time. There are 6 of them at around an hour each. If you are not really into crazy cinema, stay away or you will be bored out of your mind. Everything happens very slowly. This isn't the Alejandro Jodorowsky type of "POW! it's crazy!", this is more restrained and organized. Some of the scenes are cool like the death metal song consisting of a drummer, vocalist and swarm of bees. There is also freemasonic symbolism that is overtly used. I am unsure of the meaning of this as to whether the filmmaker was mocking this or was a part of freemasonic rituals. Be aware that there is sex and nudity in the film. There is a car scene that is AWESOME! One car is destroyed by other cars and when they run out of destruction, they destroy eachother like a destruction derby. I hate cars, so this was my favorite scene. I'm rating it adequate because it's crazy, but I still haven't quite wrapped my head around it and may never do so.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Flowers in the Attic (1987)

A drama directed by Jeffrey Bloom.
When a father dies, his wife and children are forced to go live with the grandparents. The children's mother says they will get a large inheritance when the grandfather dies. The children are then locked in the attic and neglected.
By now you've seen the purple print and the year 1987. What could possibly have happened in that year to create such marvelous films?! The plot was like a King Diamond album and the characters were portrayed very well. I also liked the soundtrack with it's creepy classical music. This film couldn't help but be good, as it was made in the best year for movies. I'm rating it awesome.

Bedazzled (2000)

A comedy directed by Harold Ramis, starring Brendan Fraser.
A socially inept man makes a deal with the devil for 7 wishes. When he wishes for something It is magical at first, but the flaws of the situation overwhelm him.
This is a remake of the 1967 film, which is a retelling of the legend of Faust. I don't usually go for comedies (or remakes for that matter), but there were some funny parts. This was a very light film compared to things that get good ratings on my site. It doesn't "pull you in" or make you feel that you are "in the story". Also, Brendan Fraser was chosen for the role because he's a pretty boy, not because of his skill at acting. Some of the wish scenarios were entertaining, so it wasn't a total loss. I'm rating it o.k.

Angel Heart (1987)

A mystery film noir directed by Alan Parker, starring Mickey Rourke and Robert DeNiro.
A private detective is sent to find a certain man, but when blues musicians and voodoo practitioners get involved, things get complicated.
This film's plot was very good. I really liked how things developed and changed. The characters were o.k., but they didn't play as big a role in the film as the plot. There were some musical scenes like the boy tap-dancing and the water dripping and turning to blood during the sex scene that were really well done. This film confirms my wild assumptions about the golden age of modern cinema and the general good quality of movies from 1987. I'm going to have to rate it good, just because it was.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Showgirls (1995)

An action film directed by Paul Verhoeven.
A female hitch-hiker gets picked up and offered a job, so she leaves her suitcase in the driver's car. He goes to "get her the job" and when she looks for him, the car is gone. She beats on a nearby car and gets in a fight with a stranger who then saves her from being run over in the road. The stranger actually gets her a job as a stripper, which leads to a cutthroat career as a dancer.
Breasts! This movie is full of them! I'm emphasizing this because of how much screen time is devoted to showing them. Behind the boobs and glitzy costumes, the dancing girls have a bitch-being contest as they claw their way towards starring in a show. There is also a lot of abuse shown and implied in the plot. There are only 2 "good" people in this film. One of them is the stranger woman from the beginning who lands the main character a stripping job, and the other is the hired hand black guy who wants a relationship with the main character. Oddly enough, the only "good" characters are both black. The sound was pretty bad, but I'm rating this good anyway. No, it's not just the mammary glands that I like (not complaining about them either), I think the plot was done well and the main character was portrayed right.

Reefer Madness (1938)

A crime film directed by Louis Gasnier.
High school students are lured to a drug dealer's apartment and become involved in a series of murders.
When I think about this film, I always remember that Hemp for Victory came out in 1942. The same thing that is shown driving people crazy is what the army needs for clothing, sails, rope, etc... They had to dramatize this film in order to demonize cannabis. If they had shown what really happens when people are stoned, it would have been a very boring film consisting of smoking, eating and sleeping. Hippies passing out on couches doesn't demonize cannabis like the filmmakers wanted. I believe that I've found the origin of "Hollywood bullshit"! I'm rating it crap because it was boring and ridiculous.

Pink Flamingos (1972)

A comedy by John Waters.
An infamous drag queen is hiding out in a trailer with her mother, son and a "traveling companion". A deviant couple who do all sorts of nasty things want to steal "her" fame.
I've seen poorly made low budget films before, but this is beyond any of those. The sound is horrible and the whole thing looks like it was recorded on a home camcorder. There is some sexual content that the film describes as "filthy" and I think this is an accurate term. Sexual intersourse doesn't usually involve chickens and normal people don't put meat from a butcher shop between their legs in an attempt to attract a mate. I turned it off after 40 minutes because the acting was so bad and the general quality of the film was crap. I'm rating it bad for quality reasons.

Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)

A fantasy directed by Christophe Gans.
A beast is killing people in France and experts are brought in to hunt and kill it.
This film was very long at about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Of course, the main attraction is the monster. Halfway through, a fake beast is created that I think looks cooler than the "real" beast. There are many fight scenes and the plot is alright, but the characters were difficult to tell apart since they were all French nobles. The "Indian" really stood out and had a good part. I'm rating it adequate because I liked it much more the first time I saw it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mystery Train (1989)

A mystery by Jim Jarmusch, starring Steve Buscemi and Screamin' Jay Hawkins.
A Japanese couple arrive in Memphis to do some sight seeing and spend the night in a cheap hotel. In the morning they hear a gunshot. Meanwhile, a girl is getting kicked out of the hotel when a woman who missed her flight enters and they split a room. They too hear a gunshot in the morning. Meanwhile, a man is at a nearby bar causing problems and pulls out a gun. He is escorted out by friends and they shoot the clerk at a liquor store before going to the cheap hotel.
This is another example of some ideas that I've mentioned before. "Golden age of modern cinema" relating to movies from the late 80s and early 90s, and the idea of plot, setting and characters. There were no special effects and barely anything that could be called action, but this film still pulls it's weight. They took a simple idea like people hearing a sound and built a story to explain why those people were there and what made the noise. On top of that, the plot twists at the end and destroys any preconceived notion of what you thought was happening. I'm rating it good for being well made and creative.

Happiness (1998)

A black comedy directed by Todd Solondz.
A few groups of people are involved in strange situations.
The plot was a little jumbled and not very clear, but the characters were unique. Sex was the main theme that tied everything together. One man was a chronic masturbator, one was a pedophile and the pedophile's son was hell bent on ejaculating. It was a little confusing and boring, so I'm rating it poor.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mommie Dearest (1981)

A biography directed by Frank Perry, starring Faye Dunaway.
Joan Crawford adopts 2 children and abuses them throughout their lives as her acting career fails.
This is the film featuring the classic line about "wire hangers!" (pictured). The main character is a bitch and she turns the "daughter" into a money grubbing slut. That's pretty much all that happens. The characters were pretty good, but I think the plot was lacking a little bit. I'm rating it o.k. because it passed the time, but that's all it did.