Monday, 24 May 2010

100 Movies I Watched

Good. I watched it in 3D. The 3D didn’t really add anything to it. I find Nightmare Before Christmas overrated (the songs especially) so this was a better fit for me. In related news: Tim Burton and I are fucking done professionally, until he makes another PROPER movie and not the SAME FUCKING MOVIE OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

It’s fairly well made, but not a lot of it has stuck in my mind. Hitler doesn’t die. Obviously. OMGspoilarz.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
David Fincher and Robert Zemeckis are two of my favourite directors, but Eric Roth’s screenplays bore the shit out of me. I didn’t hate it as much as Forrest Gump, but it syrup’d along, finished and I didn’t really have any feelings one way or the other. Just: bleh.

Quite good little low-budget time travel movie that never really reaches the heights of, say, Primer, but makes for an entertaining flick nonetheless.

S Darko
I just…yeah, bad. Bad. I’m sure you’re curious, but….don’t.

Drag Me To Hell
Everyone enjoyed Drag Me To Hell. That means it’s awesome. But I didn’t like it. I’d go as far as to say it pissed me off. I can’t really rant about it, because it doesn’t really matter in the big picture, but here‘s just a few things: Raimi’s always been a bit repetitive with his gross-outs, but how many forced facials and throat jobs did he need to show us before it got one-note? I was out at about 6 or 7. The “demon” effects were pretty piss poor, hence I was never really buying the severity of her ultimate fate, the twist of which was signposted so ham-fistedly I was actually shocked when it wasn’t second-guessed. The only thing I liked about it was Justin Long. I actually thought he was pretty good in it considering his role was a bit thankless. And just…everyone was like: “Raimi! He’s back to his best!” Felt like…well, back to his best? Doesn’t that mean just falling back on old ground? Going for the easy dollar? I’ve kind of grown up thinking that’s a bad thing. I got no problem with the dude making another horror/com, but at one point she was creeping around her house in the silence calling “hello?? Is anyone there??” before a loud music sting. Come on… I mean, if anything, this was nowhere near as well-presented as “his best.”

The Fall
It was great, but the last 20 minutes all I could think was: “Did they really kill that monkey? That monkey looks dead. I don’t think monkeys can play dead that well. That’s a dead monkey. That’s upsetting.” I am so retarded. It kind of ruined the whole denouement for me.

Eden Log
I can barely remember Eden Log. I had chronic morning sickness when I watched it. It had some good style, I remember that much. But plot-wise, I don’t think I was ever fully grasping what the fuck was going on.

Machine Girl
Watched on the same day as Eden Log. Just remember lots of crazy over-the-top gore.

Friday 13th (remake)
There’s nothing here, really. The original wasn’t that great. The remake isn’t any good either. Glossier, maybe. If that’s a compliment.

The Horsemen
I dunno how Jonas Akerlund came to direct this piece of shit. I dunno how Dennis Quaid got on the project. All I know is: I don’t ever want to watch another Dave Callaham-scripted movie, which means I’m not watching The Expendables I guess.

He’s Just Not That Into You
It’s not the worst of this shit I’ve seen, but it wasn’t good either.


Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince
I enjoyed it. It felt filler-y, but that didn’t bother me.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li
This is SO worth a watch for Chris Klein’s performance. It’s shocking.

The Haunting In Connecticut
I heard this was well shit, but I kind of liked it. I got a soft spot for Kyle Gallner. Can’t go wrong with a bit of Beaver, I always say.

I guess people wanted to see Clive Owen and Julia Roberts back together again on screen? It just went round and round in circles until it finished and I didn’t care about either of them by that time.

Crank 2
If you’re the person that Crank 2 was geared towards, I’m sure you loved it. I watched it with bemusement. It was too silly to generate any ire on my part.

Sunshine Cleaning
Decent enough, but didn’t leave a lasting impression.

Mysteries of Pittsburgh
Jon Foster is such a fucking charisma vacuum. I just want him to go away.

The Cell 2
Rubbish. I actually liked the first one. I don’t know why. Maybe it was Tarsem’s direction that interested me. The vision. This one actually has the nerve to start out with some of the footage from the original, before falling into its own straight-to-video shitness.

The problem with most of these prequels is the sense of the inevitable. The main character isn’t going to die. You’ve seen them alive 10 years later. There’s no peril. Bit boring to watch an action movie with no excitement in it, innit? Plus: CGI Patrick Stewart head floating there like a weird fleshy fried egg at the end frightened me.

The Substitute
Pretty decent Danish kids (?) film. Proper mental. The IMDB keywords are “Alien, Talking to Dead Mother” and “Punched In The Face.” If you didn’t just add it to your rental queue, we’re probably not *close* friends.

State of Play
Not really a patch on the series, which was ace. It’s not bad, it’s just a bit dull and fairly unmemorable.

District 9

17 Again
I didn’t think I would like it. It’s been done before like a million times. I grew up in the 80s, the zenith of crap teen body-swap comedies (‘Like Father, Like Son’ with Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron is a personal guilty pleasure) so I don’t think the genre has much to offer me, but this was actually quite entertaining. That had a lot to do with Thomas Lennon, I’m sure.

Trick ‘r Treat
Great little horror movie that got totally overlooked and went straight to video. Gory, fantastical and genuinely surprising.

A horror flick from the Dark Castle stable. They churn them out. Very silly.

G.I. Joe
It’s like live action Team America. I got some perverse enjoyment out of it. I’m a Stephen Sommers apologist.

Transformers 2
An endurance test of awfulness. I had to warm up and down to watch it.

I don’t know what I was expecting. Something…more, I think, than there was. Maybe I need to watch it again.

The Thaw
Rubbish environmental Cabin Fever-esque low budget horror with Val Kilmer slumming for a quick pay cheque. He barely makes a facial expression.

Terminator: Salvation
This movie makes no sense and is crap. I enjoyed it, however. Christian Bale should have spent less time worrying about the lighting though, and more time worrying about the fact that the star of the movie ended up being Sam Worthington who, despite being a bit of a crap actor, manages to make Bale’s silly performance look EVEN WORSE.

I Love You Beth Cooper
Shit. Piss off, Chris Columbus.

Year One
I’d heard so many bad reviews about Year One, I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would. Probably due to low expectations.

Taking of Pelham 123
I haven’t watched the original. I’ve heard it’s good. This isn’t. I like Tony Scott movies and I didn’t like this, so it must be REALLY bad. Cause that’s like saying “I enjoy eating shit, but this turd just isn’t making the grade.”

The Proposal

Race To Witch Mountain
I can’t really remember it.

Starts off quite good, slumps terribly, then picks up a bit toward the end. It’s just kind of a mash-up of other, better, movies.

Rubbish. I’ll probably end up watching it repeatedly on TV at 3 in the morning because there’s nothing else on. That’s what kind of movie it is.

The Box
I liked it a lot. I could have done without the CGI water imagery, frankly. I feel like we’ve seen that before from Kelly and he could have come up with something a little more interesting.

Final Destination 4
I love the Final Destination movies, but this just made me sad. I think the franchise may have run out of gas. I don’t think I can hear the “I think DEATH is FINISHING what it STARTED!” exposition speech again.

Jennifer’s Body
I enjoyed the shit out of it. Most people hated it, from what I can gather. Maybe it’s because lines like “You’re just jello. You're lime green jello and you can't even admit it to yourself.” actually made me laugh, whereas most people have a proper sense of humour and watch proper comedy like Curb Your Enthusiasm. I mean sure, everyone sounds like Diablo Cody, but that didn’t bother me as much in this as it did in Juno and United States of Tara. Also, Kyle Gallner is in it, and it’s now common knowledge that I can’t resist a bit of Beaver.

I mean, no one gets chased by frost or punches a wolf, but it’s still some fairly entertaining nonsense. It does, however, contain the worst last line in a movie ever. So is that a pro or con? Mmmm…falling on pro. Just for bizarreness.

The Hangover
I didn’t really laugh. It was quite well made, though. Kind of a strange one. It made shit-loads of money, so I guess I was trying to find something outstanding or some hilarious scene that pushed it into the stratosphere, but I couldn’t.

The Other Man
I just watched this for Laura Linney. It wouldn’t be out of place as an ITV drama.

Where The Wild Things Are
I get that this is some massive achievement (at least, that’s what the cool people tell me) and maybe kids are into it? I don’t know. Spike Jonze has, in the past, managed to avoid making his films look like indie music videos. This looks exactly like an indie music video and so the atmosphere, while well-established, tends to affect the tone of the piece. There’s often a sense of dread hanging over it. I wonder whether kids would pick up on that.

Loved it in the cinema. I watched it again recently at home in 2D and it wasn’t nearly as enjoyable.

Angels & Demons

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
So, so good.

Pretty decent, considering its small budget and tiny collection of characters. Almost the whole thing takes place in a few rooms, yet maintains your interest. The wheels come off a bit in the third act, as is usually the case with these things.

Shiteout. It’s really, really boring.

Gran Torino
Pretty good. Clint’s now made 2 movies I’ve liked. It feels nice to change my opinion. I’d like it to happen more often.

Sorority Row
I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I wasn’t like “WOW!” or anything, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it.

Monsters vs. Aliens
Dull and predictable.

Ok. An interesting experiment. It’s a bit all over the place, and deliberately so. Eva Green’s character is really fucking annoying in it.

Frozen River
Quite the depressing flick. It stuck with me, though, and Melissa Leo is really good in it. Looking forward to seeing what Courtney Hunt has for us next. It’s nice to see a lot of up-and-coming female directors doing good work. In fact, this reminded me a lot of Sarah Polley’s flick Away From Her. Probably just the winter-y atmosphere.

The Brothers Bloom
Neh. Rian Johnson has yet to prove himself as a decent film maker for me. I didn’t think Brick was more than the sum of its overly self-aware parts either. I think he might be a director that, in the future, people will diss, but right now they’re too blind to see what a pretender he is.

44 Inch Chest
Lot of swearing. This was more like a play, though I doubt it would have succeeded as one. Goes to show how much Jonathan Glazer had to do with the brilliance of Sexy Beast. He’s done nothing since Birth. That’s depressing. I want more Glazer movies in my life.

The Informers
Crap. Good soundtrack, though.

The Last House on The Left (remake)
I thought it was pretty good. I’ve not seen the original. It’s weird to see Tony Goldwyn as the good guy, heh.

Case 39
Shit. A few good visual effects though.

A Serious Man
I thought it was a serious return to form for the Coens, who haven’t done anything that’s impressed me since The Man Who Wasn’t There. I really enjoyed it.

Whip It
Alright. Fairly predictable. Can’t see it becoming the cult classic it clearly hopes it’s going to be.

It’s kind of a rip-off of a bunch of other movies, and where something like Sunshine never really manages to pull that off, Triangle does it really fucking well and ends up being kind of awesome.

Couples Retreat
How does a movie have so many funny people in it and not contain a single humorous moment? That’s quite the achievement, isn’t it?

Up In The Air
This had nothing new to offer. I’ve seen this all before and I didn’t even buy Clooney’s character arc. After all that time playing the same game, he wasn’t going to turn on a dime. Also, Clooney’s performance here was nowhere near as good as I’ve seen him before. If anything, it seemed phoned in. Jason Reitman is a hack and the award nods just make me groan.

Black Devil Doll
Well, there’s a black doll possessed by a serial killer fucking and killing “white bitches.” The first half an hour of that is funny, then it kind of runs out of good will and becomes a bit dull.

The Wrestler

Blubbed most of the way through. Another Pixar classic.

Blood Creek
Oh, Joel…

Yeah, I enjoyed it. The bits with Willem Dafoe kind of slowed it down a little, but other than that it was good. I get why people wouldn’t like it. I think I’m prone to enjoy most movies that have an ‘exploding head’ scene.

The Stepfather
Not seen the original, but I’ve got to imagine it’s better than this, which made Disturbia look really good in comparison. Terry O’Quinn can be properly scary too, which the guy from Nip/Tuck fails to achieve.

The Hurt Locker
Ok. Bit “meh” after watching a few really good Iraq projects like Generation Kill and Three Kings. Didn’t feel like it really achieved as much as those in terms of bringing something new to the war genre.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

All the best bits are in the trailer. It’s actually kind of a mess. I still find it baffling that Lucas Black keeps getting work.

Tell Tale
This is another Dave Callaham script and it’s Michael Cuesta of L.I.E/Dexter at the helm. I expect he tried his best to give it some oomph, but everything about it ends up falling flat.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
I was surprised. The reviews were awful, but I was actually pretty surprised by how entertaining I found it.

The House of The Devil
One of, if not *the*, best horror movie I’ve seen in years.


Funny People
It’s too long. I mean, it’s way too fucking long. But it’s not bad. It’s got some funny. And it’s nice to see Adam Sandler acting properly again.

Paul Dano is exactly the same in every movie. So is Zooey Deschanel. John Goodman is well good in this though, so worth a look for his turn.

The Visitor
Richard Jenkins rules in this nice little flick about an old white guy learning to play the bongos and getting a bit depressed about how deportation works. Yup, that’s it.

Ninja Assassin
There’s at least one ninja assassin in it. Bit boring then, considering.

The Fourth Kind
I was well scared by the floaty alien big mouth bits. I’m an idiot. This is proper rubbish. I’ve seen it like five times now. There’s something wrong with me.

Sherlock Holmes
SEXY HOLMES!!! YEAARHGHH!!!! HE BARE KNUCKLE BOXES AND THAT!!!! YEAHH???!!! The stuff in this movie that isn’t overly Ritchie-ised is entertaining enough. Mark Strong was good. Couldn’t understand a word Robert Downey Jr was saying, even after a second viewing.

There’s a lot of Don’t Look Now in this. I love Lars von Trier. I think the world of movies is lucky to have people like him kicking around. I’ve decided I never want to cut my clitoris off with a pair of scissors thanks to this movie. Wow, lucky I watched it before I got to that on my Things To Do list.

Revolutionary Road
Not read the book. I still find it hard to watch Leo play Man roles. He still looks about 12. I didn’t buy them as a couple at all.

Shutter Island
The music is insanely OTT. The music is so incredibly loud and pointlessly dramatic that it almost ruins a fresh Scorsese film, which we haven’t had for ages. It’s been all biopics and remakes and Gangs of New York (urk). I hope he makes more like this.

Did You Hear About The Morgans?

I haven’t seen the original, but it’s clear this didn’t need a remake, especially with the three actors chosen here, who suspended my disbelief not a jot.

An Education
An ok movie to watch on an afternoon, but it’s not going to change your life. Alfred Molina is good.

500 Days of Summer
Maybe if I was a lot younger I’d have liked this movie, but I’m old and found it all too…wanky. Plus, Christ, I am so sick of Zooey Deschanel and her blinky-blinky-eyed murmuring.

The Fantastic Mr Fox
Would you like some whimsy? Would you? Hm? WHIMSY? Here, have some fucking whimsy.

Paranormal Activity
I didn‘t find it scary at all, which one imagines is the aim of a scary movie. After seeing so much of this stuff, like The Blair Witch Project, The Last Broadcast and REC….I was kinda bored.

A Christmas Carol
This did not need to be animated, nor did we really need another Christmas Carol. There’s already about a million versions.

Perfect Getaway
Perfect Saturday evening trash. Olyphantastic.

Saw the twist coming from the beginning. Still managed to keep me fairly engaged. I like to see Bill Pullman at work.

The Lovely Bones
Not as bad as I thought it would be. I’ll never be a Peter Jackson fan, but at least he tries to change up his visual style from movie to movie. He’s not a hack.

Kick Ass
There’s something awesome about the fact that this is #100 on the list. It’s nothing more than the fact that the title of the movie is Kick Ass and I’m fucking relieved to have finished typing out this fucking cunting shitting pissing list. Oh, and the movie’s not half bad either.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Star Trek: Emotional Pedantry

What I Loved About It

It’s Just Fun

It is. It has the kind of balls-out sense of fun the Star Wars prequels were grimly lacking and, while it doesn’t have the overall cleanness of Galaxy Quest or Serenity, it’s certainly packing their moxie.


Everyone’s having a good time and putting in a fabulous ensemble performance. And while Yelchin has the least to work with (I’ve no doubt there’s a deleted scene explaining his baby genius back-story somewhere) and Bana is a very simple villain (he’s just a dude who’s gone a bit sideways after seeing his entire planet annihilated) there’s no one in particular standing out of place. Although at one point, Quinto does go Full Sylar. It’s less ‘Angry Tears Emotional Outburst’ and more ‘I’m Enjoying Hurting You.’ Reign it in, Zach. Also Simon Pegg’s accent, rather predictably, wildly vacillates.


The script does as best as it can while it shoehorns in “first meetings”. It has very funny moments, some great action and everything zips along at a cracking pace, never slowing down enough for you to revel in its flaws. They’ve also done a great job at wiping the slate clean with the “well, we’re in an alternate reality now, none of that other shit from the other movies/series’ is relevant to this or any future plot” storyline. That means there can be genuine peril; they can even kill Kirk off if the mood strikes. Vulcan is completely destroyed, FFS. That’s just a glimpse of how far they can fuck with us in the future.

What I Hated About It

Constant Lens Flare (a.k.a. J.J Abrams’ “Ow, My Retinas”)

Seriously, it’s insane. I read afterwards it was all done organically on set, a bunch of people shining flashlights into mirrors. In the words of Mr Christian Bale: “IT’S FUCKING DISTRACTING!” Also, I feel I may be semi-permanently blinded. Since, Abrams has admitted “I know there are certain shots where even I watch and think, ‘Oh, that's ridiculous. That was too many [lens flares].’” Put simply, it creates a glass wall between you and the film. Which I don’t think is a Good Thing.

Rambaldi’s Endgame

The ‘Red Matter’, which is a big red liquid ball, is a MacGuffin straight out of Abrams’ TV show Alias. I groaned when I saw it. There’s a knowing wink to ‘what has come before’ in a person’s career, and then there’s the Red Matter. We’ve seen Rachel Nichols in her underwear covered in green paint; do we really need Rambaldi’s Engame as well? No. Also, one drop of that shit destroyed a planet. You’re telling me 20 gallons of it wouldn’t probably swallow the entire universe?


I have to say, as a chick, this bothered me the most. What, you couldn’t create a strong, intelligent female character without her being the third point in a love triangle between Kirk and Spock? Give me a break. Why couldn’t Sulu be the love interest? Maybe Scotty is into Asians, I don’t know. Surprise me!

Battle Scenes

Because of the glinty-glinty lens flares, fast editing and generally cluttered CGI, it was pretty fucking hard to tell what was going on during the ship battles in space. Is the ship in the black hole? Is it? What just happened? No clue.

Intrusive Music

The score was a little intrusive, especially at the beginning.

It was a really good Movie, but a dodgy Film. It was good popcorn-y fun and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Hollywood's Unsung Heroes: Justin Theroux Edition

For Why?
On TV and in film, Justin's been busting his ass, only to be relied upon as the go-to bit-part guy. Also, despite being related to The Louis Theroux, he is completely unable to do an English or Irish accent. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, for example. What is that? It sounds like a leprechaun forced into blender with a morose seagull.
Prove It!
Justin knows he's never going to be the lead guy in anything worthwhile. He's not even that good an actor. So last year he moved sidewards and up by co-writing the screenplay for Tropic Thunder.
Hmm, Not Sold. I Can Look Out For Further Proof?
He's only gawn and written the screenplay for Iron Man 2 by gum! BEH-JAYZIS!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Hollywood's Unsung Heroes: Peter Deming Edition

For Why?
Since breaking out in the world of cinematography with Evil Dead II, this guy has worked his ass off to try and make any movie you shove at him look rich as hell.
Prove It!
From House Party to My Cousin Vinny to Mulholland Drive to Joe's fuckin Apartment. There is literally no project too weak-ass or awesome he won't beef up to MAXIMUM WIN POTENTIAL. If that shit flops don't blame this guy, he did all he could.
Hmm, Not Sold. I Can Look Out For Further Proof?
Yeah, there's a little movie called Drag Me To Hell once again reuniting Deming and Raimi that's probably going to blow your balls out through your ass. Maybe even enough to make us forget ALL THREE Spiderman movies. With any luck.

Hollywood's Unsung Heroes: Anton Yelchin Edition

For Why?
The poor bastard has already paid his dues, starring in great-but-cancelled TV show Huff as Hank Azaria's son, and virtually carrying Alpha Dog by himself. He's the next Leonardo DiCaprio. But, y'know, not crap.
Prove It!
Despite blowing his wad a bit on the tonal clusterfuck that was Charlie Bartlett, all he needs is the right break, right? His parents are the infamous russian figure skaters Viktor and Irina Yelchin, which means he is genetically built from the 'WORK NOW, GRUEL LATER' ethic. This kid is in it for the long haul.
Hmm, Not Sold. I Can Look Out For Further Proof?
You wait for one big break and then two come along at once. He's playing two key younger versions of classic movie characters this summer: Chekov in Star Trek and Kyle Reese in Terminator:Salvation. Holy SHIT dude.

Hollywood's Unsung Heroes: Tom Hollander Edition

For Why?
Looking like the bastard son of Tom Hulce and Timothy Hutton, Tom Hollander cuts an underwhelming 5’5 swathe through the Pirates of The Caribbean movies, playing “weasely British guy”...a role he must be somewhat used to. He also played “weasely guy” in lauded HBO mini-series 'John Adams' and Valkyrie. This will inevitably continue for some time, until he gets a lucky break in some Lottery-funded indie flick playing someone disabled, retarded or dying of a flesh-eating bug, which he will inevitably pick up a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for.
Prove It!
He’s actually a really good actor, having forged a decent career despite being earlier rejected from every drama school known to man. Plus, he said this:
"I have a theory that in the US if there's an arsehole in a film doing something stupid they say, 'Make them British, now it makes sense.' If they want a daft idiot nowadays, they just get a British actor in."
Hmm, Not Sold. I Can Look Out For Further Proof?
You can. In The Loop is already out, and The Soloist follows it. Will he be playing “weasely guy”? Probably.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Hollywood's Unsung Heroes: Alexandre Desplat Edition

For Why?
He's the guy responsible for making lame movies almost good by creating a great atmosphere. By 2020, he'll be up there with John Williams, Alan Silvestri, James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer and Ennio Morricone. As close as a Composer can get to a "household name."
Prove It!
Birth, Hostage, Lust Caution, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as well as a billion solid French movies like Nid de guepes (The Nest). They weren't great movies, were they? But there was maybe something about them that drew you in and kept you watching? Yeah, that's a good way to recognize a Desplat score.
Also, his name has the word "splat" in it. Thus, he is already in Epic Win territory by default.
Hmm, Not Sold. I Can Look Out For Further Proof?
You can. Wes Anderson's 'Fantastic Mr Fox' and 'Twilight: New Moon' are on the horizon.