Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Illusionist (2006)

A drama by Neil Burger, starring Edward Norton and Jessica Biel.
A boy meets a magician on a road who shows him a few magic tricks and disappears. The boy becomes enchanted with magic tricks and learns them. A girl finds him performing and goes to his house with him. Her parents find her there and forbid her to see him again. They continue their friendship and are found out. The boy leaves soon after to travel the world and comes back home as a skilled illusionist. The first "audience volunteer" at his show is his childhood friend.
I'm tired of 2000s films like this. It's just over-produced trash. The plots and characters are supposed to seem interesting, but are completely empty. The style is supposed to look amazing and perfect, but that's just the way that it was over-produced. This was mildly entertaining at best. I'm rating it poor.

Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (2001)

A comedy horror by Lee Demarbre.
When vampires are using lesbian skin transplants to walk in the daylight, a pair of priests call upon Jesus' help. Jesus fights the vampires with the aid of kung-fu, a woman named Mary Magnum and a Mexican Luchador wrestler called El Santo.
The production value was some of the worst I've ever seen. I would assume it was a TROMA film, but it's from a Canadian company called Odessa Filmworks. The plot and characters were definitely interesting and I got most of the humor involved. There were a few scenes of a scraggly man who seemed to be preaching that really made it weird. I'm rating it o.k.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The King and the Clown (2005)

A drama by Lee Jun-ik.
Among a traveling group of performers, the man who dresses in drag is whored out every night so the lead actor runs away with him to a new town. They encounter a local group there and perform together, making lots of money. When the local actors ask our hero for advice, he decides to mock the king. They do so the next day and make more money. The king's officials hear about this and arrest all of the actors. While they are being tortured to death, they ask with an audience with the king to show him their act. They decide that if the king laughs, they are innocent, but if he doesn't they will all be put to death. The actors perform for the king and he laughs, saving their lives. The king invites them to stay at his palace, against the will of his officials. The man in drag is invited alone to the king's chamber and entertains him with puppet shows while the king falls in love with him.
Obviously, the plot is rather complex. The characters are also good and the production value was great. The style was typical of far-eastern films, with lots of color and high contrast, creating a rich visual experience. I rate this awesome.

Ken Park (2002)

A drama by Larry Clark.
A young man kills himself and his friends go about their messed up lives, not knowing what happened until one of them mentions him while playing a game.
There were some crazy scenes in this film! From the father smashing the son's skateboard to the menage a trois near the end, it was all too revealing. Speaking of too revealing, this film contains the most phalluses I've seen in a non-porn flick. The plot and characters were very believable and the style was good. I'm rating it adequate. It would have gotten a better rating if they cut down on the penis shots.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jason and the Argonauts (2000)

A fantasy directed by Nick Willing, starring Dennis Hopper.
A palace is raided by an invading army and the prince is smuggled away by a soldier. He grows up to find out about his homeland and returns there to find his mother. An evil king has taken over and sends him on a quest to find the golden fleece. The prince recruits an unlikely group of adventurers to help him on his quest.
This is one of the last good TV movies. The style is good and there are not so many special effects that they cease to be special. The plot is as old as time and the modern actors play their characters' roles well. I'm rating it good.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Irreversible (2002)

An art film by Gaspar Noe.
Men try to avenge a raped girlfriend (according to Wikipedia). I saw NO plot.
I watched the first half hour and when I heard annoying sounds, but no audible dialogue and saw the tiny subtitles in the middle of the screen and wildly orbiting camera-work, I turned it off. Where I come from, we call this shit.

Iris (2001)

A biography by Richard Eyre, starring Kate Winslet.
A famous Author marries a dorky guy, gets old and goes crazy.
Whoop-de-fucking-do. I thought it was boring. It wasn't bad, just boring. The plot was non-linear, but that didn't liven up the story. There were great boob-shots, but that didn't make it any more interesting. Even the main character going insane didn't perk it up! I'm rating it poor. Boring.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Incident at Loch Ness (2004)

A mockumentary by Zak Penn, starring Werner Herzog.
Werner Herzog goes out to make a documentary disproving the existence of the loch ness monster, but tragedy strikes his expedition.
I thought the style and production value were convincing and the plot and characters played right into the scheme of things. There were fictional disagreements that made it seem real. I'm rating this adequate because it as alright, but I wouldn't watch it again.

Immortal (2004)

A science fiction fantasy directed by Enki Bilal.
As an Egyptian pyramid hovers over New York City, Horus is let out for 7 days and makes a deal with/possesses an escaped political criminal. Meanwhile, an alien woman with white skin and blue hair is captured by the government, but turned over to a medical researcher. It only gets weirder from there.
Strange but very cool. Throughout the film there is a mixture of live action and CG animation. Some people and places are actors on sets and some is just computer generated. Sometimes the line between production methods blurs and the viewer is left to ponder if what they're looking at is real or CG. The plot and characters were good and reminded me a little of The Fifth Element. I liked the style and, as I have stated, the production. I'm rating this good.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With (2006)

A drama by Jeff Garlin.
A fat actor who lives with his mother has a short relationship with a woman.
Why? What was the point? I think this dude was on an ego-trip. He made a stupid and pointless movie that was clearly about himself. Well, fuck him. I'm rating it bad.

Igby Goes Down (2002)

A drama by Burr Steers, starring Jeff Goldblum, Claire Danes and Kieran Culkin.
A young man in New York City tries to escape from his rich family.
The main character looked familiar to me. It turns out He's Macaulay's brother. The plot was unremarkable and the style was engineered to blend in with all of the other over-produced films of the early 2000s. I'm rating it o.k. so it can blend in better.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Inland Empire (2006)

A film by David Lynch.
The plot... Ummm... Plot... Huh... Beats me.
There were characters. None of them very clear. The style and production value were amazing though! I would compare this to a man on many different and strong drugs trying to explain a political decision. It makes sense to him, but not to you. It also has the tendency to be very entertaining. There were some very high quality breasts shown at one point in the film. For being well made, but incoherent, I rate this o.k.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I Heart Huckabees (2004)

A drama by David O Russell, starring Jason Schwartzman.
A young man is working for an activist group and goes to some holistic detectives about a coincidence in his life. He meets a man through them who is having similar problems and together they try to figure out what's going on. Meanwhile, his business enemy is in the same program.
I thought that the style and plot were very unique. They mirrored the uncertain nature of the characters' questions about reality. The production value was good and I liked the characters. In simple fact, reality is not the 5 sense world that we think it is. Our minds just present it to us in that fashion. It's actually a vibrational system with many things vibrating at the same or different frequencies. Most of an atom (what everything is made of) is small particles vibrating with large spaces between them. Hence, us being made of atoms makes us mostly empty space. It only seems solid because our 5 senses interperate it that way. Aside from the facts of life, I rate this good because of the entertainment value.

The Collector (1965)

A horror directed by William Wyler.
A man abducts a woman and imprisons her in his large house in the country. His purpose is to develop a relationship with her, but he is too busy playing prison warden to do so.
The production value was TERRIBLE! Fortunately, that was the only bad thing. The small number of characters worked to the film's advantage and the plot kept me interested. The style was a little standard, but not bad. The part that made this stand out from normal '60s films was the ending. It was a little dark for that time period. I'm rating this adequate.

Hercules in New York (1969)

An action comedy directed by Arthur Allen Seidelman, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Hercules disobeys his father, Zeus and goes to Earth on a "vacation". Zeus commands some lesser gods to lead him to Pluto's kingdom, but there is foul play and Hades gets involved.
This was Arnold Schwarzenegger's first film. Amazingly, his English was pretty good. Everything about it was cheap and cheesy, as expected. This added to the entertainment value. I'm rating it o.k.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Storm Warning (2007)

A horror by Jamie Blanks.
A couple go out on a boat and get lost near an island. They break into a seemingly deserted house and then the crazy rednecks come home and get angry.
I have to spoil the plot here because it's such a monumental break from the norm. Our heroes escape with only one broken leg and all of the rednecks dead. It's a Hollywood impossibility! The characters and plot are decent (except for a few stupid moves that could have been solved with a hammer). The style and production value are about what I'd expect as well. There's a scene that reminded me of a Cannibal Corpse song called "Hammer Smashed Face". Despite not having obvious flaws, this film did not satisfy some undefined criteria: let's call it "movie magic". I'm rating it adequate.

Eden Lake (2008)

A horror by James Watkins.
A soon to be married couple go camping at a lake where a housing tract is about to be built. While they are there, a group of teenage ruffians show up and generally annoy them. When the teens steal their truck, the situation begins to escalate and doesn't stop.
The female lead was GREAT! A very dynamic character. I didn't like the plot when it began, but I soon changed my mind for the better. The style and production value were good as well. I don't want to give away the plot and ruin it for anyone, so I'm just giving this one of those good, solid green ratings. Watch it!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yellowbeard (1983)

A comedy adventure directed by Mel Damski, starring Cheech and Chong.
An infamous pirate escapes from jail to regain his buried treasure. He enlists his son and some of his son's friends to help him.
The humor was very dry and British. I didn't get it. The plot and characters were murky and the style and production value were less than acceptable. I'm rating this poor because it's not all that great.

The Saint (1997)

A thriller directed by Phillip Noyce, starring Val Kilmer.
A man who wears many disguises steals a microchip from some Russians. They then ask him to steal a scientific secret for them and follow him, trying to kill him. He falls in love with the scientist and together they try to evade the Russians.
I had to turn it off. It was just too over-produced and lacked any real substance. Also, the characters lacked depth. There was too much fast camera-work and the style was too "new movie". Since I turned it off, I'm rating it shit.

The Villain (1979)

A comedy western directed by Hal Needham, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kirk Douglas.
A beautiful woman arrives in a town to pick up her father's money and is escorted home by her father's friend. An outlaw tries to stop them and take the money.
I understood the Looney Tunes style of humor, but didn't think that much of it was all that funny. The plot and characters were very good and I even appreciated the style. Ann Margret was a very good choice for the female lead and I liked her costumes for obvious reasons. The production value didn't really win me over because the sound was slightly on the terrible side. Overall, I like it and rate it good.

The Girl Next Door (2007)

A horror directed by Gregory Wilson.
A girl who is staying with her aunt is abused and tortured upon the premise of her being a slut because she painted a picture for a boy.
This reminds me of An American Crime. The plot is almost exactly the same. Being nearly a carbon copy of the other film, I can't rate this fairly. I'm defaulting to o.k. because it wasn't bad.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Duellists (1977)

A drama directed by Ridley Scott, starring Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine.
In the early 1800s, 2 french soldiers begin a duel. Every time they fight, one of them gets injured and the duel is postponed.
Most of this film was what I would call "extra stuff". The men spend most of their time living their lives and not fighting eachother. That being said, the plot was murky and there were far too many characters. The style and production value were great; so good that it looked at least '80s or '90s. I'm rating this adequate.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

A thriller by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber, starring Ashton Kutcher.
A young man has had memory problems his whole life and finds that by reading his old journals, he can re-visit and change events.
The premise is really cool and the style and production value are flawless. There are multiple endings to this film and they are very different. I haven't seen them all, but have seen 2. It would be nice if there was a prompt at the end at which an ending could be selected so that all of them could be seen. I'm rating this o.k.

The Host (2006)

A science fiction by Bong Joon-Ho.
After a doctor dumps a lot of formaldehyde down a drain and into a river, a mutant monster appears and attacks the busy waterfront. The youngest girl of a family that owns a nearby grocery store is seemingly killed, but is then spat out in the monster's lair. She contacts her mentally disabled father via cell phone and all of the family members try to find her.
The CG monster was great and got lots of screen time. There was also an awesome fight between the family and the monster at the end. Otherwise, the plot was simple and the characters shallow. If you want to watch it for the monster, that's all it's good for anyway. I'm rating it o.k.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Starship Troopers (1997)

A science fiction directed by Paul Verhoeven.
In an Orwellian future, the human race is at war with a race of alien insects. A young group of recruits battles the alien threat alongside their army buddies.
This was cool and unique. The portrayal of the futuristic society was too accurate to laugh at, but I still found it funny. The television scenes were absolute gut-busters! The combat scenes were action-packed and the large numbers of grotesque CG insects on-screen was amazing. There was a love-triangle sub-plot, but it didn't get in the way of humor and absurd action. I'm rating this awesome. Don't watch the sequels, though. They're a big load of horse crap.

Murder By Decree (1979)

A mystery by Bob Clark.
Sherlock Holmes and his friend, Watson are after the serial killer, Jack The Ripper.
The plot was good until the end, when it went murky as shit. The characters were decent. I noticed that Sherlock Holmes played with pipes through the whole film, but only ended up getting one lit at 57 minutes in. However, the pipe collection that he had was astronomical. They were hanging on the walls of his abode in scores. The style was fitting to the film and the production value wasn't bad. I'm rating this o.k.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Shock Corridor (1963)

A mystery by Samuel Fuller.
A newspaper reporter wants to solve a murder case that occurred in a mental hospital. He pretends to be crazy and gets his stripper girlfriend to back up his story, pretending to be his sister. He is admitted to the mental hospital and as he tries to discover the murderer, he slowly loses his sanity.
The premise was really good and it seemed like a cool idea, but the production value was so low that it didn't end up working. The plot and characters are good and there are some good scenes, but with old film making techniques, these things are difficult to appreciate. I'm rating it o.k.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Stand (1994)

An adventure directed by Mick Garris, written by Stephen King, starring Molly Ringwald and Rob Lowe.
A military designed super-flu kills most people in America. The few survivors who are immune have dreams about an old black woman and a dark man. Each of these characters draws survivors to them. Seriously, it's just to complex to sum up in a paragraph.
I had just finished reading the book when I watched the film. Obviously, the book is better and the film had some serious changes. I was going to catalog these differences, but that would not be practical. Some of the changes were small and didn't really matter all that much. Some of the changes were huge (like missing characters or whole scenes) and did matter. No book has ever been translated perfectly onto film and I didn't expect this one to be. They got it relatively close and at just over 6 hours, I think they did the best they could. I'm rating it adequate.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Amadeus (1984)

A music biography directed by Milos Forman.
Antonio Salieri recounts the life and career of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a priest who comes to visit him in a mental home.
This film is very long, almost 3 hours. The music/soundtrack is obviously good. The plot is a little murky and wandering, but generally stays on course. The characters are pretty good, but very few main characters develop. Breasts, breasts, breasts... The period dresses accentuate them so nicely. The low cut and the solid support do wonders. Anyway, I'm rating this good.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Martyrs (2008)

A horror by Pascal Laugier.
A girl escapes from a place where she was physically abused. 15 years later, she goes to the home of the people who abused her and kills them and their children with a shotgun. Her friend is summoned via telephone and they begin to clean up the bodies. The abused girl then commits suicide and the friend finds another abuse victim in the basement. A team of thugs shows up and the new abused girl is shot and the friend takes her place.
I know, complex plot, but well worth it. This film is very bloody and abrasive. The style conveys this very well. I watched an English dubbed version and the voice acting was terrible, but I could see through that to the unique film underneath. My only unanswered question is what were they feeding the imprisoned girls? It looks like mustard, but they obviously made it in a blender. It obviously tastes bad as well, like mustard would. If I was looking for girls to be martyrs, I would use more drugs and less physical abuse. Hence, why I suspect that there was some type of mind altering chemical in the mustard gruel. Mustard gruel aside, I really liked this and it's going into my collection. I have to rate it best.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Inside (2007)

A horror by Alexandre Bustillo.
A pregnant woman is home alone on Christmas eve. A mysterious woman knocks on her door to use the phone, but is not let in. The woman goes to the back door and cracks the glass. The police are called, but they do nothing. The woman then returns and gains entry to the house while the pregnant woman is sleeping. Violence ensues.
It was a BLOODBATH! People show up, only to get killed. The 2 women fight their way through the house, spilling eachother's blood everywhere. It was great. The house and pregnant woman go from neat and clean to just RED. I'm rating this awesome and wishing that I had chosen red to go with that rating.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Feed (2005)

A thriller directed by Brett Leonard.
An Australian cop goes to America in search of a man who is running a web site based on overweight women. He finds that the man is fattening the women for the web site, then the women disappear.
The style was unique, the production value good and I think this film was very well made in general. Aside from that, it was almost as disgusting as Nekromantik. I didn't like the characters and found the plot offensive. I'm here to weigh films, not to give just my own personal opinion. I think that for how well made this film was, the subject matter doesn't have to be to my liking. It actually made the film what it is to be that gross. I'm rating this good.

How the Lack of Love Affects Two Men (2006)

A comedy directed by Kim Seong-Hoon.
A father and son compete for the love of a new woman who moves into their apartment building.
The style was a little unique, but the rest of the film was played out and stale. Men competing for a woman is a story older than time and it's been done too many times. I'm rating this o.k.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Gravedancers (2005)

A horror directed by Mike Mendez.
After a funeral, 3 friends get drunk and return to the graveyard. They find a note on the grave about dancing and follow it's advice, dancing on some graves. When they return home, they find that they are being haunted. A paranormal researcher and his assistant try to help them.
The production value and special effects were top quality. Everything else about the film reminded me of cheesy '80s horror flicks. The "ghost masks" were so fake it was funny, but the computerized effects were great in that 2000s overdone manner that happens so often these days. I'm rating this adequate.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Salton Sea (2002)

A crime drama directed by D.J. Caruso, starring Val Kilmer and Peter Sarsgaard.
A man and his wife are caught in a shootout when thieves storm a meth lab where they were asking for directions. The wife dies and the man becomes a snitch for the DEA in order to avenge his lost love.
Good plot, characters, style and pacing. It's basically a good movie with nothing inferior in it. For the time that it was made, this is a megalithic achievement. I'm rating it one of those good solid green ratings that I like so much.

Going by the Book (2007)

A crime film directed by Ra Hee-Chan.
A criminal investigator has been demoted to a traffic cop and bank robberies are plaguing a city. The police set up an exercise involving a fake bank robbery and the traffic cop plays the robber.
This film has a unique plot and very good style. The main character does a better job of robbing the bank than any criminal could despite the protests of his hostages. It has to be seen to be understood. I'm rating it best.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Happening (2008)

A science fiction thriller by M Night Shyamalan, starring Mark Wahlberg and John Leguizamo.
A mysterious disease strikes large populations of humans and moves on to smaller populations. The people infected by this kill themselves.
This was over-produced and stupid actions were taken by the characters. Typical for 2000+ cinema. I didn't like the main character and thought that the plot was dumb. There was little entertainment value to be had, as I kept commenting to myself "SO STUPID!". I have to rate this bad.

The Great Silence (1968)

A western by Sergio Corbucci.
A band of outlaws takes a sheriff's horse. He is later picked up wandering in the snow by a stagecoach carrying a mute assassin and a bounty killer. They all arrive in the same town and conflict ensues.
Westerns with snow just don't do it for me. Westerns are supposed to happen in the desert where it's hot, hence why they're not called "northerns". The plot was sufficiently complex and the characters identifiable. There was some good spaghetti western music, but for some reason I wasn't entertained. Oh well. I'm rating it o.k.

Sling Blade (1996)

A crime drama by Billy Bob Thornton.
A man who had killed his mother and the man who was raping her gets out of a mental institution. He makes friends with a boy and his mother after getting a job at a lawnmower repair shop. The boy's mother has an abusive boyfriend.
The plot and characters were great. The style and production value really fit the film well. I was also surprised to discover that it was all Billy Bob Thornton. The main character's speech was a large part of the film "I reckon I'd like some of them french fried taters, mmhmm.". It's a great movie and should definitely be watched if you haven't seen it. I rate it awesome.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Scum (1979)

A crime drama directed by Alan Clarke.
A young man arrives in a prison and rises through the ranks of the inmates. Meanwhile, all of the usual corrupt prison goings on are happening.
The plot was a little murky, but the characters were good. I liked the style and the production value was pretty decent. To be completely honest, I like British accents quite a bit as well. I'm rating this good.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

An art film by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Young prisoners are tortured and a woman relates stories of a perverse sexual nature.
I don't know whether to be confused by this or disgusted. It would seem that there is no real plot to this film and the characters don't make a big difference. The height of my disgust was reached at a scene in which a girl is forced to eat poop. Everyone eating poop in the next scene paled in light of the initial shock. The production value was superb, considering the date. I have to rate this poor because I don't think it's worth watching.

Dog Soldiers (2002)

A horror directed by Neil Marshall.
A group of soldiers are participating in a military exercise in a mountainous, forested area. They are attacked by werewolves.
This included everything that I hate about new movies. It was way overproduced, the characters were dumber than a bag of rocks (besides their witty one-liners during combat) and the plot was stale. The werewolves looked like they were stolen from an '80s Howling film only worse. Any redeeming qualities? No. I rate it bad.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Revenge of the Drunken Master (1984)

A kung fu directed by Godfrey Ho.
A young fighter who practices drunken boxing and acupuncture is chased by other fighters who want to defeat him.
Uncharacteristically for "drunken" named kung fu, there was some actual drunken boxing in this film. The style and production value were horrible and the plot and characters murky at best. I'm rating it poor, which is better than I rate most similar kung fu films.