Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Proposition (2005)

A western directed by John Hillcoat.
After murdering a family, 2 outlaws are promised that if they kill their brother, they can be absolved of their crime.
The style was great, but all of the male characters looked exactly the same and the plot was so murky it almost didn't exist. This leads to a boring film that looks pretty, but leaves the viewer with no idea of what's going on. I'm rating this poor.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Primeval (2007)

A horror directed by Michael Kalleman.
A giant crocodile is killing people in Africa and American news reporters recruit a crocodile expert to help them get their story and capture the animal.
This is the type of movie that leaves me without hope for the future. It was lame beyond lameness and stupid beyond stupidity. Any film element that I could discuss is null and void here. I have to rate it shit, as I do many other stupid flicks.

Premonition (2007)

A thriller drama directed by Mennan Yapo, starring Sandra Bullock.
A woman experiences a week out of order in which her husband dies and her daughter is badly cut by broken glass. She tries to change the outcome of events.
This was boring, stupid and pointless crap. The style was new movie too perfect and the characters were like cardboard cutouts: 2 dimensional. Don't watch this. I'm rating it shit.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Persepolis (2007)

A French animated drama by Marjane Satrapi.
A young woman from Iran tells the story of her growing up in various countries. A war is going on in Iran and she has to leave for school and then to escape the dictatorship. She is harassed by the military police and has roller-coaster relationships with young men.
I was told that the girl in the film buys an Iron Maiden tape and listens to it. She does buy a tape that is proclaimed to be Iron Maiden, but what comes out of it is not. BIG disappointment! Anyway, the animation was good and the story was interesting. I really liked the part when she was describing her ex-boyfriend in negative ways. I'm rating this good.

Who Can Kill a Child? (1976)

A Spanish horror directed by Narciso Ibanez Serrador.
A husband and wife go to Spain on a vacation. After they visit a busy city on the mainland, they go to a small island where there are no adults.
Think Children of the Corn. Only Spanish. I know I rated that film pink and spouted nonsense because nobody reads my effin' blog, but maybe someday someone will read it. The production value of this film was very low and the video was pretty grainy. This is to be expected from '70s films. I think it may have been more shocking when it was made. To my 2010s eyes, it seemed kind of bland. The ironic ending was the only part that prompted me to think. I'm rating this o.k.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1962)

A French fantasy thriller directed by Robert Enrico.
A man is being prepared to be hanged on a bridge, but the noose breaks and he gets away. After running through the woods, he arrives at home and sees his wife.
This was a short film, only about 20 minutes long and was used as an episode of The Twilight Zone. The plot and characters are minimal, but the effect is great. The film is in black and white and extremely lo-fi, but I think that makes it better. I'm rating this awesome.

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

An Argentinian adventure directed by Walter Salles.
A pair of friends leave their home town on a motorcycle to travel around South America.
This film is almost a prequel to the Che films, as it shows the man who would become Che when he is observing the people of South America and forming his ideas. The plot and characters were good. I always like films about a small group of people on a long journey. The style did not reflect the time period in which the film was made. It seemed more like a '90s film than 2000s. That was a good thing! I'm rating this good.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2004)

A science fiction comedy by Larry Blamire.
A scientist and his wife arrive in the same area where another scientist is looking for a living skeleton. An alien ship crash lands in this same area and all of them are looking for a meteorite that landed there at the same time.
This was terrible, but it was supposed to be: That's what's so funny. Repetition of vague lines was what I found funniest. Any film element that I normally review was horrible, but the humor was great. I'm rating this good.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)

A biography by Mary Harron.
The life and career of the model, Bettie Page is shown.
Like most films of this time period, this one was mediocre at best. There was some female nudity (and fake-Bettie's breasts were definitely acceptable), but overall, I was let down. It just wasn't interesting to me. I have to rate this poor for being boring.

Mean Creek (2004)

A crime drama by Jacob Aaron Estes, starring Rory Culkin.
A group of kids take the school bully on a boating trip with the intention of paying him back for his bullying.
Another of Macaulay's brothers is a child actor. What a surprise. Apparently, Macaulay Culkin had to teach Marilyn Manson how to smoke for his role in Party Monster. I have no doubts that the younger Culkin siblings are equally corrupt. The plot and characters were good, but not great. The style left a little to be desired as well. Overall, not too shabby. I'm rating it adequate.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

One Nite in Mongkok (2004)

A Chinese crime film by Derek Yee.
A prostitute and an assassin spend a night in the city, on the run from criminals and cops who all want them dead.
This was a pretty standard crime film. The only remarkable element was the death scenes. Eastern cultures usually tend to draw out death scenes in films longer than westerners would. Crime films aren't exactly my thing and this one was pretty much par for the course. I'm rating it o.k.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Dog Skip (2000)

A drama directed by Jay Russell, starring Kevin Bacon.
The story of a boy and his dog is told.
Designed to be a tearjerker, this film was full of mushy sentimentality. Set in the 1940s, it was also full of pro-war propaganda. The plot was good and it was very well made. I don't think it's necessary to post a long review about such a straightforward film. I'll just rate it good.

Night Skies (2007)

A science fiction horror directed by Roy Knyrim.
An RV full of people crashes into a truck in Arizona. While they are trying to fix their vehicles, the people are abducted by aliens.
What a terrible film! It was designed to be scary, with spooky lighting and sound effects, but it just comes off as lame. There was a weird little thing that happened: The guy who was supposed to be in Alcoholics anonymous was carrying a bottle of vodka in his truck. Does this seem weird to anyone else? The aliens were obviously supposed to be greys, but their behavior seemed reptilian to me. They were far too overtly abusive of the people. Anyway, this sucks. I'm rating it shit.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hallam Foe (2007)

A Scottish romance by David Mackenzie.
A young man whose step-mother murdered his real mother runs away from home and gets a job at a hotel. He spies on one of the women there who looks like his mother.
The plot was a little convoluted, but the characters were clear. The pacing was really choppy and inconsistent. The soundtrack was absolutely terrible, including what I assume to be the Scottish version of alternative rock. I'm rating this o.k. because I wasn't really impressed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Natural City (2003)

A South Korean science fiction by Min Byeong-cheon.
In a futuristic society, a man has fallen in love with his cyborg, but it only has a few days left to live.
The characters were unidentifiable and the plot was unnecessarily confusing. The production value was very low and there was no style to speak of. I had to turn this off half-way through. Hence, I rate it shit.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Clean, Shaven (1994)

An art film by Lodge Kerrigan.
A schizophrenic man tries to get his daughter back from her adoptive mother.
There wasn't much plot, but there were characters... The style was rough and dirty and the production value was low. I'm rating this bad because I don't see the point.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Red State (2011)

A horror by Kevin Smith, starring John Goodman.
A trio of High School boys set up a "date" with an older woman on Craigslist. When they get to her trailer, they are drugged. They wake up in a church where they are about to be killed. at the same time, the church-goers kill a local sheriff, prompting his supervisor to call for backup. The ATF is called and a mistake is made in the orders. The ATF men learn that they must kill everyone in the church.
Apparently the good guys don't always win anymore. The plot and characters (most of whom died) were good. The style and production value were "new movie perfect", but I can overlook that here. The surprise ending is what makes this worthwhile. I'm rating it good.

My Scary Girl (2006)

A South Korean crime romance directed by Son Jae-gon.
In introverted English teacher helps a moving man to deliver a refrigerator. While the moving man is in the bathroom, the young, female tenant chases the teacher out of her apartment. He sees her on other occasions until a friend yells out a request for a date and pushes him from a departing elevator. They have a few dates as the woman tries to cover up the fact that she has killed someone. Seeing suspicious behavior, the teacher hires an investigator to find out more.
If this was an American film, it would be filled to the brim with sex jokes and innuendo. But it's not. Koreans seem to have better taste than that. I liked the plot and characters, but it wasn't anything super-special. I'm rating it adequate.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Man Who Was Superman (2008)

A South Korean drama directed by Jeong Yoon-chul.
A news reporter covers the story of a man who thinks he is Superman. Just when she thinks that the news report is done, she learns more about the man.
The film started out as a comedy, but became more serious as it went on. The characters were really good and I liked the style. I even liked the mushy ending. This is one that you have to see to understand. I'm rating it awesome.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Libertine (2004)

A drama directed by Laurence Dunmore, starring Johnny Depp and John Malkovich.
A noble finds a crappy actress and teaches her to be good.
The whole thing was boring to me. All of the film elements that I discuss were mediocre. There was also that "new movie" deal of being "way too perfect". This can slide in among many other films as being o.k.

The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)

A mystery by Joel Coen, starring Billy Bob Thornton.
A barber gets caught in a complex legal case involving the death of his wife's boss and a man whom the barber had just made a business deal with.
The whole film was in black and white, which worked out alright. The plot was complex but the characters were extremely shallow. On an interesting side-note, Billy Bob Thornton plays a role opposite to his role in Bad Santa. In this film he doesn't drink and all of his problems are external and not his fault. I'm rating it adequate.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Maundy Thursday (2006)

A South Korean drama directed by Song Hae-seong.
A young woman who tries to commit suicide is ordered to visit a prisoner with a death sentence. At first, she is unwilling to go, but eventually, they develop a relationship.
The plot and characters were alright. The style and production value seemed to be trying to copy the "too perfect" look of American films of this time period. Overall, it was just very mediocre. I'm rating it o.k.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Snow Angels (2007)

A drama by David Gordon Green.
A boy has his first experiences with women and a struggling alcoholic tries to reunite with his family.
The plot is like this: Basically, nothing happens. The characters are cheesy and boring and the style leaves much to be desired. I think that the style desires a better plot and characters, to tell the truth. I'm rating this lame excuse for a movie shit, as it deserves.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Boss, My Hero (2001)

A south Korean comedy by Youn JK, starring Jung Joon-ho.
A mafia boss is discovered to be uneducated and is enrolled in High School. The school turns out to be run by a corrupt principal.
It felt like I was watching South Korean Seinfeld. There was sub-plot after sub-plot being added with no end in sight. I'm sure that something was lost or added in translation. Some of the humor was actually funny, like the teacher and mob dude watching the students' fight outside of school escalate to an over-done "action scene". Overall, I found it too jumbled. I'm rating it poor.

Mojave Phone Booth (2006)

A drama by John Putch.
Seemingly unrelated people go out to the middle of the desert to receive calls at a phone booth from a strange woman. As the film goes on, it turns out that their stories are connected.
The premise was really cool and based on a real phone booth. The plot and characters were a little too low-key and uneventful. I think this could have been really cool with a little more exciting plot. I'm rating it poor.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Miracle on 1st Street (2007)

A Korean comedy drama by Yoon Je-kyoon.
A real estate gangster is sent to a poor neighborhood to evict the tenants there. He meets an aspiring boxer with a dying father, 2 poor children with a dying grandfather and a boy who wants to fly. He makes friends with these people instead of evicting them and runs into trouble with the real estate gang because of this.
Now this is what I'm talking about! I like Korean films because the people in them have lives as fucked up as mine. The plot and characters were great and there was almost no happy ending. The style was typical of films like this. Hence, becoming a non-issue. My favorite characters were the poor children because they reminded me of my childhood. I didn't have to steal tomatoes, but they acted in a similar way. I'm rating this awesome because I like it.

Hunger (2008)

A drama by Steve McQueen.
Prisoners in an Irish prison hold protests and are treated severely.
This came highly recommended. I now know what to think of such recommendations. The party involved promised to put a flashlight down my throat in search of my soul if I was not moved by the film. I though the doo-doo on the walls was amusing, but I was not impressed by much else. The style was way strange and for that I give credit. I've seen prisoners abused before, so that's nothing new. Only one man was shown on hunger strike and that didn't even take up much screen-time. I'm not impressed. This gets an o.k.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mutant Aliens (2001)

An animated science fiction by Bill Plympton.
An astronaut loses all of his fuel after he launches into outer space. While he is there, he meets aliens who refuel his ship and he comes back to earth, bringing aliens with him.
This wasn't quite as weird as I Married a Strange Person, but it was still way out there. The style was great and I liked the plot and characters. This is one of those movies that you have to see to appreciate. I'm rating it best.

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

A drama directed by Rob Marshall, starring Zhang Ziyi.
A girl is taken away from her family and sister and forced into a foster home. She is meant to be a Geisha, but loses her rank in a prank pulled by other women in her home. After meeting a man by a river, her hope is renewed and she becomes a Geisha. She is lead by the woman that the butt of the joke and together they make her the most famous Geisha in the land.
This was a very pretty film. The style and camera-work reminded me of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The plot and characters, however, were very dull. As pretty as it was, I'm rating it o.k., Pretty mediocrity.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mirrormask (2005)

A fantasy by Dave McKean.
A young woman escapes from her carnival performer life in the form of a vivid dream/hallucination of a quest to find a mirrormask to save the white queen from the darkness.
There was too much CG. The style and production value were "new movie" perfect. It was not savable from there. The plot and characters would have worked, if not for the forces against them (CG and perfection). I wanted the movie to be good, but it wasn't. It was over-produced crap. Pan's Labyrinth got a good rating because the same aspects were used in a good way, but this film used them in a detrimental manner. I have to rate it bad out of moral principles. Yeah, I'm a total hard-ass on movies again.

Matchstick Men (2003)

A crime drama directed by Ridley Scott, starring Nicolas Cage.
A scam-man with mental issues contacts his estranged daughter while setting up a big business deal. The daughter barges into his house and insists on spending time with him.
I'm really holding back on the plot because I don't want to give away the ending. The plot and characters must be good for me to do this. I believe that Nicolas Cage is such a type-cast actor that he only does well playing mentally weak characters, so I liked him in this film. The style and production value were not so good, more of that "new movie" perfection. The soundtrack featured a few jazzy numbers that I liked. They were all very similar and could have been the same song, for all I know. I'm rating this adequate.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Masked and Anonymous (2003)

A musical directed by Larry Charles, starring John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, penelope Cruz, Val Kilmer, Mickey Rourke, Cheech Marin and Bob Dylan.
In an apocalyptic future, a country musician goes to play a benefit concert.
There was almost no plot worth mentioning and way too many characters. Wikipedia calls this a "star-heavy cast" and I agree. One of the few redeeming features was Mickey Rourke's speech at the end. I was reminded of a speech he gave on female anatomy in Spun. I'm rating this poor because it was a big hoopla over nothing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Maria Full of Grace (2004)

A Colombian crime drama directed by Joshua Marston.
A pregnant woman quits her job at a flower plantation and gets a job as a drug mule through a friend. She swallows pellets of drugs in Colombia and travels to New Jersey with 3 other women who are on the same job.
The plot and characters were alright. The style and production value were nothing remarkable. It was all around a mediocre film.I'm rating it o.k.

Margot at the Wedding (2007)

A drama by Noah Baumbach, starring Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black.
People get together in preparation for a wedding that doesn't happen.
This movie was almost pointless. There was very little plot and the characters sucked. However, Jack Black got beaten up. I was cheering for the attacker: "Hit him again! YEAH!". It wasn't as good as Jesus being flayed or Christopher Walken shooting himself, but still worth seeing. Otherwise, I didn't like the movie. I'm rating it bad.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Love, So Divine (2004)

A Korean romance by Heo In-moo.
A young man who is training to become a priest goes with his friend to a small town church. A young woman whose boyfriend dumped her is also at the church and they try to fall in love.
The plot and characters were mediocre at best, as was everything else about the film. This doesn't need a long review. I rate it o.k.

Little Otik (2000)

A Czech fantasy by Jan Svankmajer.
After finding that he and his wife are unable to have children, a man digs up a root that looks like a baby and gives it to his wife. The wife pretends to be pregnant and have a human baby, but she is caring for the root like a child and it comes to life. The root's appetite is endless and it eats everything it can find.
This was partially stop-motion animated to show the root living and eating. The style was great, but the production value was a little low. The plot was simple and the characters were good. I liked the interaction between the sex-starved old man and the young girl who wore short skirts. I'm rating this good.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Life as a House (2001)

A drama by Irwin Winkler, starring Kevin Kline.
A divorced man who is dying from cancer forces his rebellious son to live with him for the summer and build a house.
Awwwwwww, how touching! It was mushy bullshit through and through. That pretty much explains every aspect of the film. On a side note, the divorced wife wears a shirt with a symbol of Baphomet on it (pentagram point down in a circle of symbols) and the son wears a shirt with a freemasonic iron cross. Yes, even heartstring tuggers like this are full of satanic new world order symbolism. I'm rating it bad.

Let's Go to Prison (2006)

A comedy directed by Bob Odenkirk.
A young man has been sent to prison multiple times by the same judge. When he gets out of his third sentence, he plans revenge on the judge, only to learn that he is dead. The judge's son is alive and a high ranking political man. The ex-convict sabotages the son's car, causing the son to be sent to prison. The ex-convict then sells drugs to cops so that he can go to prison and torment the judge's son.
Comedy that I get! Holy shit! I thought the plot and characters were good (and funny) and the style was decent. The style started off REALLY good, but declined almost immediately to a mediocre level. Obviously, the production value was super-perfect to a flaw. I'm rating this awesome because I just liked it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lady in the Water (2006)

A fantasy by M. Night Shyamalan.
The dorky maintenance man at an apartment building finds a strange woman by the pool one night, who turns out to be a water nymph. When she goes outside so that the eagle can take her away, she is attacked by a wolf-like creature called a scrunt. The maintenance man has to figure out what to do from a bedtime story told by an old Chinese woman who doesn't speak English.
This is some of the 2000s crap that I like. The plot is way cheesy and the characters were stereotypes, but that was good. It was WAY over-produced and the style was typical of the time period, but that worked to it's advantage. I even liked the CG wolf thing. I'm rating this good because it's crap, but it's good crap.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Moustache (2005)

A French drama directed by Emmanuel Carrere.
A man shaves off his moustache and nobody remembers him having one in the first place.
The simple premise seemed like a cool idea, but the ensuing film did not live up to my hopes. Most of the plot was incoherent and unexplained. The main characters were few, but not very good. The style and production value were decent, but nearly irrelevant. I'm rating this poor because it's pointless.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Monster (2003)

A crime biography directed by Patty Jenkins, starring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci.
A homeless prostitute meets a new friend at a bar and they form a close relationship. The friend leaves her family for the prostitute and they try to live together in poverty. The call girl gives up whoring and decides to kill the men who pick her up instead.
This is a must see. The plot and characters are great. It's not nearly as over-produced as most 2000s films and the style was alright. Overall, I rate it good.