Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Movie Review Round Up

This is all the movie reviews written as of 05/01/2008. I want to thank all the readers and the comments, both positive and negative. Seriously, thank you.

Woods, The - Review

The Woods

I pretty much rented this movie because Bruce Campbell is listed in the cast. The sad part is that he's only in it for a couple of minutes. Although he is once again great in the little part he is in and he really is the hero of the movie. So, Hollywood, to get me to see your movies I need more Bruce Campbell. I would even see Spider-Man 3 again if there were more scenes of him.

The film is set in New England in 1965. Heather Fasulo (Anges Bruckner) is being put into Falburn Academy, a boarding school, mainly by her oppressive mother. She is accepted into the academy by the headmaster, Ms. Traverse (Patricia Clarkson). However, something is not right about the school, or the woods surrounding it. It all comes to a head when Heather starts seeing visions and hearing voices and some of the girls start to disappear.

Ok, where to start with this review. First of all there are a lot of things wrong with this movie. The script is pretty poorly written and there's no real sense of direction for the movie to take. It almost seems like the film was just thrown together.

The movie also has a hard time revealing clues and conclusions to you. In the end, you find out some of the answers the movie sets up, but you don't get all of them. The following might be a big of a spoiler so be warned if you intend to watch this movie. One of the questions they don't really answer is why all three girls are needed. It seems like if the people are witches they could have done what they forced the girls to do.

There was also no real reason for the girls to drink the milk until the witches needed to do what needed to be done. Also, would the "wood spirits" or whatever have inhabited the girls' bodies? Another problem is that there was no real reason for the woods to take the girls and leave piles of leaves where their bodies were. Why didn't the witches just take the girls they needed and tell the other girls they were sent home? Also once they had all the people they need, why didn't they just do what needed to be done and it'd be over with it? Instead we are treated to many nights of Heather in bed, dreaming, waking up in a fright, and checking things out.

The film seems to have a bad bipolar disorder too. Through half the movie it's a bit eery but not much happens and then all of a sudden really weird stuff happens. A really good example of this is the bully (played by Kathleen Mackey). You have your typical repressed, Ms. Popular, bully in a reform school setting. She's a real you-know-what through half the movie and then all of a sudden she knows the truth and has to be silenced because of it. Also, Heather seems to go from Ms. Calm and Cool, bad arse chick to crazy without a build up of any kind. Also right in the middle of the movie you have a twist in story telling and it almost appears to be a twist for having a twist sake.

I also have to mention that there is a rip off scene from another witch movie "The Craft". The main character begins playing with her pencil on her desk and soon it is balancing on its own. The same scene basically happened in "The Craft" as well.

The best part of this movie are the teachers. The teachers are deliciously crazy. Some are calm at one point in time and then just freak out or they have a calm soothing voice as they are trying to get away with whatever their plan is. The best is the teacher with the horned rim glasses, Ms. Leland (Catherine Colvey).















She doesn't say anything throughout the entire movie but she doesn't have to. She says everything about herself with her facial features. She's one of those characters who is in control and knows it and knows what's going on.

To mention again, Bruce Campbell has little to do in the movie but is still the hero. He is the guy who saves the day really. If it wasn't for him, no one would have survived. I imagine Bruce Campbell as God's right hand man in the movie universe. No matter what, he is always the real savior behind anyone. He's the one that really save Lois Lane in "Superman", he's the one who really saved the world in "Armageddon", and he's the real person who pulled Jack under the water in "Titanic". If I ever become an independent nation, Bruce Campbell's face will be on my flag and I might even consider naming my country Chintopia!

Grade - D-

This movie is poorly written and poorly directed. The characters are uninteresting and having sporadic, random mood changes. The ending makes little sense and not everything is revealed or answered. The only saving graces of this movie are the wonderfully creepy teachers and Bruce Campbell coming to save the day. The bad guy's scheme is poorly carried out and I don't know why they had to wait so long to carry it out. Taking girls with living trees and leaving leaves in their place didn't accomplish anything that randomly kidnapping them would have accomplished. If you love movies that constantly show girls in mid-20th century sleeping attrire as well as the main character sleeping, dreaming, waking up in a fright, and going to explore only to reveal nothing for a majority of the movie you'll love. For the rest of you who like a coherent plot where you don't feel yourself cheated out of a story and an ending, stay away from this one. Go Bruce Campbell!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

True Romance - Review

True Romance

I'm a big fan of pretty much everything Quentin Tarantino does. I think his best works are those that he writes and directs himself. When this occurs you have some really great dialog and action in a movie. I love conversations about random but interesting things (like Royale with cheese in "Pulp Fiction" as one example). However, when Tarantino is just writing the script you still have a decent movie although I think you loose some of the vision of the script.

Through and through you have a star studded cast and crew. First of all the director is Tony Scott who has done some amazing work since 1993 (the year this movie was made) as well as after. Before this he directed such greats as "Top Gun", "Days Of Thunder", and "The Last Boy Scout". After this movie he took on some greats such as "Spy Game", "Man On Fire", and "Enemy Of The State". Scott is a master director with a craft for action mixed with drama and some thriller. I wouldn't consider this film to be in his top five, but with the script he has to work with, he does a great job of showing us a great, early Tarantino storyline.

If you like casts that just has a plethora of stars in it, this movie is for you. To name just a few you have Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette as the main characters; Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, and Samuel L. Jackson as barely there characters; Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman, Tom Sizemore, and James Gandolfini as some great supporting cast. With exception to the barely there characters, everyone in this movie is just over the top in their quality of acting.

You can clearly tell this is a Tarantino story when you hear the storyline. Clarence Worley (Slater) gets hooked up with a hooker named Alabama Whitman (Arquette) for his birthday. He has such a great time with her at the movies and talking to her, as well as the sex; that he marries her. In order to make sure, he has Alabama all to himself;Clarence, with the help of his guardian angel, Elvis (Kilmer), decide that he must kill her former pimp, Drexl Spivey (Oldman). Clarence kills the pimp and tries to take all Alabama's stuff with him but he grabs the wrong suitcase and later finds out that he's got half a million dollars in coke...and I'm not talking cola! With the help of his dad (Hopper), the two love birds head to Hollywood to offload the coke, make some quick cash, and go on their honeymoon. However, since Drexl was just a pimp and a pusher of sin, the devil doesn't let his merchandise go. Vincenzo Cocctti (Walken) is sent as the head of the clean up crew along with Virgil (Gandolfini) to get the coke back and make sure the Clarence and Alabama pay.

Grade - B+

Like the title says, this is really a romantic story. Slater and Arquette do a great job at showing the chemistry between their two characters. You feel a lot of love coming from them. Arquette, in my opinion, gets the most number of chances to shine. Her character is not one who is just reacting shyly to the new situation she's involved in, she's taking the bull by the horns and making the most out of the situation she's in. She also has a great fight scene with Gandolfini that blows my mind. In that scene, her acting was superb. That isn't the only great action scene, there's one towards the end that involves a drug deal, the mob, and the cops in one of the best shoot outs I've seen in the 90's action genre. Tarantino also has some great movie dialog in his movie and I just love seeing that as both a fan of movies and of Tarantino. From these lines you clearly see the love that Tarantino has for movies. Hopper and Walken have a great scene together and they both have those somewhat crazy roles the actors love to take. I really don't know why Brad Pitt or Val Kilmer are in this movie. Pitt plays a few scenes where he's just a stoner and Kilmer plays a few scenes where he's angel Elvis but you never really get to see him. I didn't really understand the Elvis connection and it was distracting from the rest of the story. I was worried about the ending but is done wonderfully and it's great to see a movie that was early in Tarantino's career.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Show Notes For 4/26/2008

Get show and blog updates if you use Twitter - https://twitter.com/filmgeeks

Download/listen to this week's show here - http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/14391

Also don't be afraid to rate us, subscribe to our show, and write a review about us. You can also email questions, show topics, movie suggestions, etc. at film.geeks@yahoo.com or leave a comment on the blog here. Tell friends and family to check us out and help support the show. If not, Briney will cry more than Commodus in "Gladiator".

Movie news:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080425/ap_en_mo/film_hobbit_del_toro - Del Toro to direct the Hobbits

http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony_pictures/quarantine/high.html - A new trend in movie making, the first person shaky cam?

Movie Lists:
* = ones we talked about

Good Animated
- A Bug's Life - A really funny movie about bugs
- Aladdin* - awesome animation and story and hilarious (my vote for hottest princess)
- Beauty And The Beast - some really catchy tunes, great animtion and the feather duster was hot at the end
- The Prince Of Egypt* - some of the best musicals and it was actually close to the real story
- The Lion King - awesome animation and story
- Robin Hood - hilarious woodland creatures
- The Emperor's New Groove* - funniest movie ever! (have to be in the right mood)
- Chicken Little - funny stuff
- Sword In The Stone
- Toy Story - that first real digitaly animated movie that took our breaths away and had a great story with a lot of hidden things.
- Shrek - great animation; first movie to pull off the appealing to adults and kids
- The Incredibles* - a comic book movie that made me feel like I was 8 again
- Nightmare Before Christmas* - some awesomely weird animation...before the goth following
- Monsters Inc - a cute movie
- Akira - the first anime anyone should see
- South Park - Bigger Longer And Uncut - hilarious
- Cars - a really great story with some good animation and a decent part done by Larry The Cable Guy (only once said Get R Done)
- Finding Nemo - how this was so entertaining is beyond me; I couldn't stop laughing though
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit* - great story line, first time animation and real mixed perfectly, and Jessica Rabbit
- A Scanner Darkly* - rotoscoping madness and a great storyline and great acting
- A Waking Life - a great pre-Matrix animated movie and it has Alex Jones in it!
- Open Season - a surprisingly funny movie for one that has Ashton Kutcher in it
- Madagascar* - a movie that didn't look entertaining but was surprisingly so
- The Brave Little Toaster* - an AWESOME movie! So much fun, drama, scary, funny!
- The Simpsons Movie - really funny and it's kinda a throw back to the better seasons
- The Incredible Mr. Limpet - another cartoon/real life mix which is surprisingly entertaining
- According to Briney every Hayao Miyazaki film ever made

Bad Animated
- Antz - the ending line is the only redeaming quality; other than that I don't understand how this is a kids movie
- Fantasia - boring movie, good animation
- Jungle Book - How many songs do we fricken need in a movie?
- Atlantis* - Too many bad guys and a typical ending
- Ratatouille* - horrible story
- Corpse Bride* - how is this different than Nightmare Before Christmas?
- All Dogs Go To Heaven - this is such a messed up and scary movie; it's a revenge tale
- Tarzan - not really a good story at all
- Space Jam - the only good thing about this movie other than our beloved Looney Tunes characters is that it makes fun of Michael Jordan
- Dumbo - great Disney ride, boring Disney movie
- James And The Giant Peach - didn't need to be completely animated just for animated sake
- Lilo & Stich - it's like watching a boring movie of The Sims game
- Pocahontas - 1 good song, some ok animation, pretty boring story
- Dinosaur* - for a movie about dinos this is a boring story that moves way too slow and has a typical story ending
- Ice Age* - I like a few of the hidden jokes and that squirle thing is hilarious but the overall story is a snorefest
- The Chipmunk Adventure - trys to make female chipmunks sexy and it's a battle of sexes for kids
- The Hunchback Of Notre Dame - no way Esmerelda would be that hot and would associate with Quasi Modo
- Happy Feet* - Propaganda through and through; horrible story and horrible animation
- Alice In Wonderland - Classic animation but a messed up story to do
- Treasure Planet*

Don't know which it is
- Ferngully - some good animation but the storyline is pretty boring
- Princess Monoke - great animation, storyline is slow
- Little Mermaid - great animation, ok story, how many songs do we really need?!
- Land Before Time - storyline full of drama, but story is a bit sloooow
- The Jetsons' Movie - good animation, story kinda boring
- Transformers - ok 80s animation, Optimus Prime dies!, story was a bit weird
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force - messed up like the show but it had some decent parts; esp. the beginning

Friday, April 25, 2008

Show Links

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/14391 - This, of course, is our show Film Geeks which air Sundays at 8 PM EST.

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http://agentx216.blogspot.com/ - Patrick's Blog

Get your updates on.

Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior - Review

Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior

Once every few years the kung fu movies (as I call them) come out with some surprising new actors/artists/people that just blow me away. The first time watching Bruce Lee for any kung fu fan is memorable and inspiring. Seeing Jackie Chan for the first time was a new spin on what we saw Lee do, a more fluid motion. Jet Li's fighting style was awe inspiring and the art he puts into his work is amazing. There have been others and I hope there will be others to come.

I have found another great kung fu star in this movie.

As you can tell from the subtitle, this is a film from the great country of Thailand. Because of this I do want to mention a couple of people in here and not just say that there is no one of fame. I don't think I would be a good person if I would do what many professional reviewers do today with foreign films that aren't considered popular or "artistic". The film was written and directed by Prachya Pinkaew. This was the first movie he made that crossed the pond to America. Overall, he did a really good job with just a few exceptions and I'll talk more about those in my critique section. However, for a Thai movie it's very professionally done. He does well at combing both action and comedy into his film. He also does well with incorporating the fighting into the storyline, a hard thing for American films to do. The comedy is a plus here as it's not the typical Japanese silly style we've come to expect from these kung fu/comedy combinations. I'm not saying this is a funny kung fu movie, but a kung fu movie that incorporates the appropriate amount of comedy.

Tony Jaa is the main character of this movie and let me tell you about him! If we don't see this young chap in more movies, Thailand has failed us as a species. This man's fighting style and moves are beautiful. He incorporates a lot of the power of Bruce Lee's fighting skill with a lot of the fluid movements of someone like Jackie Chan's. Another plus to this great fighter is that he uses no wires, no CGI, and he does all his own stunts. This film shows what I have mentioned above beautifully. I would almost wish he'd come over to America right now but he has said he wants to develop himself in Thailand first and then maybe go to the US. I greatly respect that, you don't see that much cultural respect anymore; it's like watching a great player like Barry Sanders stay with the crappy Detroit Lions because of pride and unity when he could have made the big bucks and possible championships. I really can't say enough about this young man's fighting ability. The stunts he does in this film are jaw dropping. He'll jump over a couple of cars like track hurdles, his feet are on fire (literally!) at one point and he's still fighting, he double knees a guy through a floor that was just pure awesomeness, and much, much more. To list all the cool stuff I saw in this movie would do a disservice to his skills so I suggest you watch it instead of reading my descriptions of it. It's almost sad to see that he hasn't been in a lot of films after this movie, although a sequel is in post-production right now for "Ong-Bak". I, for one, will be renting it just to see him.

The story is kind of a typical eastern movie story. However, it's not a bad story and I have to realize that this was made for more of an eastern audience. Still, this reminded me a bit of "Bulletproof Monk"'s storyline, although an annoying Shaunn William Scott isn't in this, thank goodness. So Ting (Tony Jaa) is just your simple country villager who just happens to be one of the best fighters trained by a wise monk. When the villagers deity's head from the statue is stolen by gangsters who are in the black market of ancient antiques, Ting is the village's best hope to recover the head before the special ceremony occurs. Ting meets up with a former villager who has left to join the big city life, Humlae (Petchtai Wongkamlao) or George as he's now calling himself. He has shed off all aspects of his old life and changed his family name; he has also mixed himself up with gambling on illegal fights. Humlae is selfish, is only looking out for himself and his grifting partner with a heart of gold, Muay Lek (Pamwaree Yodkamol). Ting must fight his way through the main boss' goons in order to recover the head of Ong-Bak and save his village. Hopefully he can also convince Humlae not to deny his heritage and his village.

Grade - A

This is a cornerstone film in the kung fu genre. Tony Jaa is a wonder to behold. Doing his own stunts with no wires or CGI is a treat in today's age of flying people for no reason. His stunts are jaw dropping and his fighting style is truly avant garde in this genre. He is a new Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan or Jet Li. I seriously hope he makes it big and makes a ton of more movies. I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes the kung fu genre or great action. There is really only one nit pick I have about this film and it was the reason I couldn't give this a full A+ grade, well other than the almost typical storyline. As I have said previously, there are some great action shots. However this director was so impressed with them that he shows us some of them two or three times. I understand the pride people have in their work but this is an amateur move. Yes, I might like to see these scenes in slow motion over again a few times, but putting them in the movie takes me right out of the action and the story. I also had a small problem with lighting in the cave fight and the American voices being dubbed were horrible, except for the funny referee. However, other than those two shortfalls, I highly recommend this movie to anyone. This also shows what great movies can come out of other parts of the world, other than Hollywood. Bravo Thailand...bravo.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Young Mr. Lincoln - Review

Young Mr. Lincoln

You can really tell the difference between today's fiction movies based on history and those of the ones during the days of golden cinema. Today, directors and writers are more concerned with retellings, shockers, and radical outlooks. Take for example the 2004 film, "King Arthur". This was a dramatic retelling of the classic tale of King Arthur. It has had a radical outlook on how it wanted to show Arthur in a historical standpoint. You could also point to the movie "Alexander" of a shocking historical fiction tale. These grandiose tales come from an age where people are looking for shock and "updates" to some of the classic moments of history. Contrast this with films of old and you see that the films were used to make characters based in history as human and real, but at the same time make them the "larger than life" characters they are seen as.

This movie, through and through, oozes with talent. First of all start with the superb and greatly talented director, John Ford. Has there been a movie his fingers didn't touch that wasn't pure gold? I mean, this is the same genius who filmed "How The West Was Won", "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", "The Searchers", "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon", "My Darling Clementine", "The Grapes Of Wrath", "Stagecoach", and on and on and on. Mr. Ford is my absolute favorite western director. The man can tell you a story without needing to use words. When he shows you a character in careful reflection, you know each word that's going through his mind. The way he uses angles and lighting to show you so many aspects of the film, whether it be drama, action, sadness, or pain, is top of the line film making. This is the man who took the old "cowboys and Indians" routine and gave it an artistic flare and a flare for the dramatic rather than just the action. In this movie, he doesn't let us down at all.

Henry Fonda plays Abraham Lincoln and a quarter of the way through the movie you stop seeing Henry Fonda playing Lincoln but you swear that you are watching a pre-President Lincoln. Fonda captures all the great aspects of Lincoln's character as well as some of his shortcomings and downfalls. It is a credit to Fonda's early days of his acting career and you see an early start to one of the best actors of all time. Fonda has been in other Ford movies and it's always great to see two iron giants doing what they do best on the same picture.

The story is an account of a fictionalized trial that a pre-political Abraham Lincoln is the defense attorney. A man is killed and two brothers are arrested and tried for his killing. Lincoln, of course, doesn't believe the boys did it. This is the central plot of the story but you get so many other storylines and none of them feel out of place or rushed or boring. Each shows an aspect of Lincoln's character and shows you how he became the man he would soon become. We get to see Lincoln's loss of his first love, Ann, when she dies. We see his introduction to his future wife Mary Todd. We also learn that he learned about the law from teaching himself from a book and he soon takes over his mentor's defense attorney business when his mentor dies. We are also treated to a stellar scene in which Lincoln singlehandedly talks down an angry mob wanting to lynch the two boys accused of murder.

Grade - A+

Even knowing this is a fictitious story of Lincoln, I couldn't help loving the man more. Ford and Fonda capture a man who seems almost out of place in history, a little bit slow for being someone who is so smart, and the early start of where Lincoln got his morals and drive and passions. Lincoln's character definitely has the famous wit history records of him. There are many times in the trial scenes where you are laughing just as hard as the other people in the court. The drama of the trial is excellent as well and we are treated to guessing how Lincoln is going to get the two accused off, if at all! You feel so much for the character that when he does something you'd be embarrassed if you did it, that you feel embarrassed for Lincoln. However, you don't see the embarrassment from Lincoln. He truly does seem like he's a bit slow with his picking his words and talking slowly, but you also realize that that is almost just a facade that Lincoln puts on to throw off his opponents. Fonda does a great job showing that "slowness" but at the same time that smart, sharp, quick wit and humor and intelligence. This movie is great every time I watch it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Show Notes Update

If you listened to the show this week, you heard us talking about Mr. Freeze from Batman & Robin and figuring out all the "ice" jokes he makes. I found the youtube video that has them strung together. This one doesn't have the puns in context so it's shorter than reported on the podcast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU7tzVu2h6k

Also there's a really funny video of the guy who played Biff doing some stand up comedy. This is his song about him playing Biff. Hilarious!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwY5o2fsG7Y

Zebrahead - Review

Zebrahead

I love interracial movies. Not only do they have oodles of drama, they are almost always entertaining to watch. Also, it's always nice to see a white guy get with a black chick instead of your typical black guy/white chick. I just hope more "sistas" give "whitey" a chance. Wow, that was as ghetto as I can get and I barely pulled it off.

I hate to say this, but the story is a modern day tale of Romeo and Juliet. Of course, R and J only had to kill themselves, they never had to live in Detroit like these characters did. Zack and Dee are best friends and they love each other like brothers. The one thing the outside world won't let them forget is that Zack is white and Dee is black. On top of that, Zack is always being accused of "acting black". To make matters worse, Zack starts dating Dee's cousin Nikki. His white friends think he's dating her because of the sexual stereotypes of black women and her black friends can't understand why she's dating him with all the white stereotypes there are. Zack is even accused of "experimenting" with black women by Nikki's mom.

So let me summarize, an interracial couple must over come their friends and families stereotypes, their own needs to fit in, and on top of all that...they live in the stink pile known as Detroit. Of course, this isn't the end of their troubles, oh no! A local gang-banger named Nut (ya really!) gets the hots for Nikki. Like the old song goes, "Clowns to the left of you, jokers to the right; stuck in the middle with you". The song rings true as racial tensions begin to boil, will our two love birds make it out alive?

The movie was written and directed by Anthony Drazan and it's sad that he hasn't done a lot more work. His ability to capture some great drama probably got him his one shot directing on "The West Wing" but that's about it for his credits. Writing drama aside, his ability to craft a decent story with a lot of characters you not only care about but could possibly identify with. Michael Rapaport (of Boston Public fame) plays Zack. Michael definitely has the widest range to work with. He gets to play the bridge. He finds himself in two worlds. He knows he's white but he knows the way he acts makes people think he's trying to "act black". He's a flawed character but he pretty much knows who he is. In this movie you have some great scenes of "sampling" and mixing music that his character does too. DeShonn Castle plays Dee and it's kinda a let down you don't get to see as much of him as you do Zack. You can definitely feel the brotherhood and love between the two but the main focus seems to be on Zack. N'Bushe Wright plays Nikki and this was her first of many roles she has undertaken. She is also gorgeous. She has that "girl next door but could probably kick your butt" look to her. Personally, that's my favorite look. Growwwl! Ron Johnson plays Nut and he plays a classic villain that you automatically hate. You don't want him looking at Nikki the way he does, you don't want him to have any part in the movie other than to get beaten down or something. Johnson was a great choice for the role and he plays out the character perfectly.

Grade - B

Overall this is really a great movie. The draw of the audience to the characters, the heightened state of racial tensions in inner city Detroit, and the high drama are all positives to this film. The story moves a little too quick for my taste as I would have loved to see more of the relationship Zack and Dee had. Nut is a great villain and he was played perfectly. I would compare this movie with being on par with Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" with a reversal outlook with a white kid in a predominately black neighborhood. The use of sampling and mixing music in this movie makes for some entertaining film, as well as having a great soundtrack. This is one of my top five interracial movies. I highly recommend it!

The Alien Conspiracy - Grey Skies

The Alien Conspiracy - Grey Skies

There are times when I don't understand how a movie gets made. I see some passion and care in really bad 70's filmed-with-a-home-camcorder movies with just enough plot to actually have a storyline of sorts. However, there are times when I see that same quality of movie but I have no clue what the plot is about or why anyone thought to make the movie (let alone two sequels).

The two writers and directors, Kevin J. Lindenmuth and Tom Nondorf have a slew of "bad" movies under their belt and some of them look like they actually make sense. There's no one of fame, in the least, in the movie and if the people who "starred" in this picture are anything more than friends and family of the directors, I'd be shocked.

I'll tell you what the plot is suppose to be about and then I'll tell you what it really is.

"The Earth has become a three way battlefield between humans trying to defend against two different alien species bent on taking charge of the planet. The Greys are an alien race who want to destroy the earth in a nuclear blast while the Morphs want to preserve the planet for their own purposes. Meanwhile, several fellow Earthlings are doing what they can to protect our troubled planet." (Comes from the IMDB page)

Now I wish I could tell you what this movie is about but I'm afraid to do that, I'd have to drop acid laced with stupid. I would say this movie is weird except that it's far too stupid to be considered cutesy weird. The movie starts out trying to be a semi-documentary but it all of a sudden gives up on that whole notion. We're shown the Greys a few times in the beginning, but other than the aliens looking like people dressed up in Big Lots alien costumes, they don't seem to have a role in this movie. There's also some random guy who is trying to interview for a job but he's really talking to a shape shifter. I don't know, that's what I got out of it. I ended up cutting my eyeballs out with a rusty spoon and seeing how much salt I could pack in. It made more sense then anything in this movie.

It got a lot worse too. You have a guy interview Death, for some apartment reason. You're thinking to yourself, "Well there has to be a transition in there and it has to do with the overall story. This guy is just leaving it out." You are wrong. There is no reason given why a random character is getting an interview with Death, who is once again a cheap Halloween clad figure. After we are shown a normal day in the life of Death. Then what happens? The movie is over.

Grade - F

No plot, no actors, no coherent storyline, no transitions. This was nothing. It was worse than nothing. You can't watch nothing. This was worse than watching an elephant being thrown from a plane and after he hits the ground you have a bunch of naked Smurfs drink up the carnage. The guy who goes for the job interview, the interview with Death, the start of a mocumentary that just stops, I don't get it. How is this a movie? Also, how did two sequels get made? I understand independent films, but even a 30 second short involving gay, clown cowboys cleaning their dishes with their feet would make more sense than this movie.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Show Notes For 04/20/2008

Download the show here - http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/14391

Movie news:

http://joblo.com/spielberg-does-ghost - Spielberg will do 3D live action Ghost In The Shell

http://chud.com/articles/articles/14429/1/JUSTICE-LEAGUE-DISBANDED/Page1.html - Jutice League once against gets "tabled"

* = talked about
** = disagreed on

Good Villians
- Hans Gruber* - Die Hard - The best bad guy ever
- Hannibal Lecter* - Silence Of The Lambs - so darn smooth and yet psychotic
- T-1000* - T2 - unstoppable
- The Operative - Serenity - he scares me
- Agent Smith* - Matrix Trilogy - can kill you with in/with out, take over your body, and if you're not the One...you be screwed
- Ivan Korshunov* - Air Force One - any villian Gary Oldman plays is awesome
- John Doe - Se7en - plans everything perfectly and wins in the end
- Leatherface - Texas Chainsaw Massacre - no matter how fast you run, no matter where you hide...you're dead. He won't kill you right off, he'll experiment on you
- Jaws* - Jaws series - he kills almost everyone, including some heroes and in later movies he tracks your movements on land by scent...somehow
- Vigo the Carpathian* - Ghostbusters II - so scary
- The Emperor* - Star Wars series - he single handly destroys the Republic (with the help of Jar Jar) and he tricks the rebels and knows when to destroy his enemies
- Darth Vader* - Star Wars 4-6 ONLY - make fun of his religion...that's a choking, apoligize to him...that's a choking, but is he really a bad guy?
- Nazis* - I hate these guys
- Freddy/Jason/Michael Myers - you just can't kill these people!
- Biff Tannen* - Back To The Future - The worst bully in movie history
- The government - The Siege, Shooter, Enemy of the State
- The Devil - The Stand, The Exorcist, Emily Rose, End Of Days

Bad Villians
- Wicked Witch of the West - Wizard Of Oz - kill a girl for some slippers?
- Borg Queen* - First Contact - too human
- Commodus** - Gladiator - how great can a villian be who crys all the time
- HAL 9000** - 2001 - ya sure he can eject a man into space, but he's taken out by a screwdriver
- Mr. Freeze* - Batman And Robin - how many ice/cold jokes can we take? Where is the class Mr. Freeze is suppose to have
- Pennywise - It - HE'S A BUG!
- Bennett - Commando - how is this guy intimidating? what's with the chainmail? what does he do? what's with the mustache?
- Gozer the Gozarian** - Ghostbusters - when Walter Peck is meaner than you it's sad, also what bad guy lets someone pick their destroyer
- Terl - Battlefield Earth - he's a complete moron
- Sauron** - LOTR - sure he was cool before he was killed the first time, but he's the overlord who lets his minions do all the work.
- Harry and Marv - Home Alone - How do you slip on toy cars? I've tried that and there is no way!

Next week's show topic - Best and worst animated films in the history of cinema.
Next, Next week's show topic - unintentional comedies

Fear - Review

Fear

There are times when I think I'm too masochistic. I mean, sure I like bad movies, but there are a lot of bad movies that have a lot of charm. It's kinda like a mangy dog you pick up at the pound and you just fall in love with it because it's so helpless and sad. However, there are times when I think I'm one sick puppy.

I should really learn that a movie that stars both Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon is going to hurt. Even a pre-CSI William Petersen and an always sexy Alyssa Milano can't help this movie.

Nicole Walker (Witherspoon) is your normal 16 year old girl. Sure she's in her rebellious stage but she still doesn't like skipping class or being out past curfew. So when she meets an almost perfect yet mysterious older guy named David McCall (Wahlberg) she stops being daddy's little girl anymore. Yet when she see the real David for the psychopath he really is and his good boyish charm melts away, she realizes that she picked the wrong guy in a seedy hangout bar. Who woulda thunk? Her father (Petersen) tries to protect his daughter the best he can, but soon David and his friends attack the family in their nice, safe home.

So dealing with Marky Mark first I have to be shown right, once again, that his attempt at acting is just the same way he plays every other character he's ever done, but with a bit more yelling. Half of his lines are whispering and on the verge of tears. When he tries to turn the character to the psycho he really is he doesn't do a very good job. All he has to do is frown and look at the camera with upturned eyes. Even when he completely flips and tries to take Nicole away to live happily ever after, you don't really see the person who actually believes that, you just see some guy who's kinda mean.

Reese Witherspoon has been trying to play the all American girl for so long now. She's tried it in this movie, "Cruel Intentions", and "Election". She's never been really able to pull it off. Her slutty character in "Pleasantville" seems like more the character she wants to be. I do have to say, getting felt up on a carnival roller coaster is pretty unusual. The thing I can say about her character is that I believe she's doing a good job at playing a 16 year old who's dating an older boy who turns out to be a psycho. She mopes and cries a lot, she never learns the first time that the guy is bad news, and once she finds how crazy he is she doesn't get the police involved in anyway.

I do have to say that the little kid in this film is awesome. Christopher Gray plays the brother, Toby Walker. The thing I like about this kid is that he's the smartest one in the family. The bad guys decapitate his dog and he takes his revenge out on one of the guys by running him over with a car. Does he check the guy to see if he's still alive only to be taken as a hostage when the bad guy gets up? No! He dials 911! He also saves his mom by himself, not to mention bringing the police to come and save the family.

There are three big problems that doesn't include the storyline or the acting. However, I must give a SPOILER ALERT, since some of them might give away the ending if you still plan on watching it.

1) When David goes out the window and onto the rocks below you can clearly tell that the falling object in a dummy; and no, I'm not saying that Mark Wahlberg did that stunt. This is a 1996 movie, films before have done much better jobs at showing people going over cliffs . It almost seems like the filmmaker did one take and didn't even bother to make it more realistic.

2) When David shoots his buddy for touching "his woman" it's one of the worst gunshots to the head scenes I've ever seen. You have a close up shot of the two men, David pulls the trigger, and the gun flashes. The other guy just says "Uhh" and drops to the floor. There is no bullet hole, there is no blood splatter, there are no pieces of bone and brains anywhere that would happen as a result of a gunshot to the back of the head at point blank range. It's not like there hadn't been a blood splatter scene in movie history before ("Pulp Fiction" was two years prior to this film). This shows sloppy work on the part of the director.

3) This is my favorite. In order to slow down David, Nicole takes the peace pipe he won her at a carnival and stabs his very hard with it in his back. I don't know about you, but I doubt anything won at a fair would make it more than a month without disintegrating, let alone being able to use it to forcefully stab an attacker. I think some carny is going to be getting sued if that were to actually happen.

Grade - D

The father is a moron in this movie, so is the mother, so is the daughter, so is everyone except the little boy. He's the only person that accomplishes anything to help save his family and he gets to take out some revenge on someone who killed his dog. Marky Mark falters severely at trying to convince me he's not just another whinny, whisper talking character he almost always plays (sometimes he both whines and whispers at the same time in this film). Witherspoon plays an okay 16 year old but she doesn't seem to do much in the movie. It's really hard to feel anything from this movie. I never really felt like rooting for either the father or the daughter and Wahlberg didn't scare me at all. If they were to just call the cops and get a restraining order on him, he would have went away quietly.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Accolade

This is going to be a quick post but I wanted to get it up and share.

I was recently contacted by writer and director of "Kids In America" about my review, Josh Stolberg. I also want to add that I even have in my review, a part that slams him, "Yes that's the same Josh Stolberg who wrote Good Luck Chuck. I know, I'm as surprised as you are he can write a decent movie that doesn't defame females." It shows you Hollywood people have some tough skin to take abuse like that from a lowly person like me and still be a class act. The following was written to me:

"Hey there,

Thanks for the nice write-up about my movie. It made me smile.

Cheers,

Josh"

Not bad for an amateur reviewer, if I can say so myself!

Also this review came in:

"Nice review. I would, however, recommend you check out the studio's other prequel, DOMINION: PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST, the film by Paul Schrader which EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING reimaginined, poorly (ie. with high octane action and "scares"). It, too, features Stellan Skarsgard as Merrin.

No one should just see one prequel and not the other. Both have pros, both have cons, and are in fact good, bad and ugly, and only hint at what could have been without the heavy-handed studio interference.

I'm writing the definitive book on all 360 degrees of the two films and their production history. It will be a year or more before It's available, but fortunately a fair amount of key players have granted me interviews, and a few more are waiting in the wings, as I deal with my more practical priorties. But stay tuned to my website, which I update as often as possible.

Stay geeky, my friend.

MG
www.evilagainstevil.com

Michael Garrett"

This is our day for accolades today I guess!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Solomon - The Bible Series - Review

Solomon - The Bible Series

I am a big fan of the TNT "Bible Series" that were made in the late '90s. My absolute favorite is "Joseph" and it still brings a tear to my eye whenever I watch it. These movies have some high profile actors and the settings, the characters, and the stories are usually pretty good.

Roger Young is the director of this one. He also directed "Joseph" and "Moses" of the "Bible Series". He even directed his own Jesus movie. However that movie had the whitest Jesus I've ever seen, even more white than the blue eyed Jesus from "Jesus Of Nazareth".

Ben Cross plays Solomon, Max von Sydow plays King David, and Vivica A. Fox plays the Queen of Sheba. I do have to say that Fox is gorgeous in this movie and I always feel kinda weird that this is a Bible movie and I'm getting flustered. Good thing she has her face covered half the time she's on screen.

The movie covers most of the important events of Solomon. From his taking over the kingdom of Israel when David passes away, to his adultery with Bathsheba, to his building of the Temple, to his worshiping of false gods, to showing his God given wisdom.

I want Bible movies to be as close to the actual stories as possible. So I don't want to watch a Noah story where Noah goes crazy and his sons and their wives can't keep their hands off each other and there are some people who survive and want to pirate the Ark. Nor do I want to see a gay Jesus or anything along those lines. The one movie that is an exception to my rules is "The Last Temptation Of Christ", and those reasons will be in a review for that movie. So with any Biblical based movie I always look at three important aspects to determine if I like it.

1) The acting. I want to be able to believe that these actors are the characters they are trying to embody. An actor who portrays Jesus as really skinny and weak is not doing a good job. I also don't want to see the cheesiness (probably the only time I don't want to see it) of acting that many independent Christian films show.

2) The amount of plot dedicated to God. These are Bible based movies. So I don't need a 90 minute movie dedicated to sex and politics. I want some theology in there. I want an all powerful God to be present in the story. Save the debate on if these stories happened or not for a different film and just make a movie close to the stories in the Bible. You don't have to include everything, but throw some God in there and have it not go against what the Bible says. So if God is given Moses the Commandments I don't want Moses to then tell the people that these are just "suggestions" God gave him.

3) Closeness to Biblical accounts. Like I said, I don't mind not including everything from the actual story, but I don't want things added just to try and make the story more interesting. If this movie didn't show the adultery with Bathsheba that would have been fine. However, I don't want to see Jesus soaring through the clouds like Superman, just to make it more interesting.

The list above is listed from least to most important and the scale of judgment is from 1 to 10.

So the scores for this movie are the following:
1) 6.5/10
2) 8/10
3) 5/10

Grade - C

1) The actors did a fairly decent job at portraying their characters. However, because the Biblical account is much different than the way these characters acted, they lost a lot of points.

2) For a movie that didn't deal too much with theology this movie held up well in showing the presence of God in the character's lives. You have the visitation of God and bestowing Solomon with wisdom in there. You also have bad things happen to Israel as a result of Solomon's sins. My favorite example would be when the architect of the Temple asks Solomon how can God live in a place made by men if God is everywhere. Solomon uses his godly wisdom to answer the question splendidly. I was really surprised this was included in the movie since it's more theology based than anything else. You'll have to watch the movie to find out the answer.

3) This was the big downfall of the movie. The main problem being the over focus on the historically unknown relationship between Solomon and Sheba. The Bible dedicates only one passage to it and it's just about how the news of Solomon's wisdom reached so far and wide that even the Queen of Sheba heard about it. However, in this movie, they have a romantic relationship and even father a child. I think this was a bad use of liberty to take from such a small passage. The biggest problem with this movie was Solomons character himself. I didn't like how they showed him going from a wuss to a tyrant a lot of times. Very little focus was given on his closeness to God or godly spiritual matters. I agree that Solomon did a lot of the bad things this movie shows, but his character is so unlikeable in the 2nd act of this movie it's hard to even root for him or even like him. Not only does he constantly switch from wuss to tyrant a lot but he's also shown to be harsh and manipulative. While I don't think there's anything wrong with showing some of this, it just seemed that most of the movie was dedicated to showing the bad side of Solomon. Lastly, the way Bathsheba is talked about in the Bible is not at all how she was portrayed in the movie. There were other flaws, but I'll just stop there.

Overall, not a bad flick, but "Joseph" is still number one.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Superman Returns - Review

Superman Returns

This movie was almost a decade in the making. Not for reasons of technology trying to catch up with the creator's imagination or anything like that. We had to wait so long for this movie because the script went through as many rewrites as India has telemarketers. The scariest part of this movie was the first person picked to play Superman was going to be Nicolas Cage. If that would have happened, you would have seen me on street corners throughout the world chiming of the end of the world is neigh! I think that's in the Bible, "Lo, and if an actor with little talent and blading head would play the man of super let your children cry out in the night, let your women cry tears of sorrow, and let your men tremble with fear." Of course that could be talking about any Nick Cage movie so I don't know. However, just try and image a more horrific image than a balding, untalented, looks like a puppy dog who's been hit with a rolled up newspaper actor try and play the man of steel. I weep for our species when I consider that was not only an option, but the first choice.

For my superhero movies I like lesser-known actors. I think they have the ability to bring a lot of new talent to great characters but without bringing the big-headedness of big Hollywood actors. I do have to say that Brandon Routh was a decent looking Superman/Clark Kent. Unfortunately, Brandon Routh is the only well cast person, or at least his character is written in the best way.

My other three complaints with this movie's casting might have to do more with the way the characters were written. Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane was a boring choice. She neither embodied the independent nature of Lois Lane nor pulled off a sense of beauty that would attract the most powerful man on the planet to her. The character of Lois Lane was written atrociously. If I didn't know any better I'd say this was Bizarro Lois Lane. She was weak, annoying, and not even close to the hard hitting reporter she's suppose to be. The character of Lois Lane has a lot of history you must carry with her. In the 1930's women weren't considered professional or strong or even good at "men jobs". Lois Lane is the first, real true feminist heroine. She can outshine even Superman at her job and she's not some weak female who screams her head off and plays the damsel in distress. Sure, Superman saves her from time to time, but she's not one to wait in the tower while her hero princes comes to rescue her. The Lois Lane in this movie for some reason, comes to hate Superman and is good for nothing. I would have suggested that we trade Noel Neill (who played one of the Lois Lane's in the TV show who had a cameo) for this character. She would have known how to play a better Lois Lane. There is no chemistry to this Lois Lane and there's not one inclination of attraction that she has for Superman.

My second big gripe is the way Lex Luthor was written. Kevin Spacey, I thought, would have done an excellent job as Luthor. I'm a big fan of Spacey's work and I can't say there hasn't been a role he's been bad in...until now. I believed Gene Hackman's Luthor over this one...and Hackman wasn't even bald! Kevin Spacey either didn't know how to play Luthor or his character was written so out of context. Luthor is not a methodical genius in this movie. He is not evil or bent on world conquest. His plan is so stupid that it makes spray on hair look like the best millennium invention. Luthor seems to yell and scream a lot and I don't know how this guy is suppose to be Superman's arch-nemesis. Also, Luthor isn't head of a corporation so he can use technology against Superman. Instead he marries some old rich lady who dies. Wooo, real clever there. There is so much wrong with this character and the way he was portrayed. This is not the true enemy of the strongest man alive.

My third gripe in the cast is James Marsden as Richard White. Is it Marsden's goal to cry and whine in every movie? This guy just reminds me of a really tall six year old who doesn't get his candy bar at the store. I expected Marden to drop on the floor in some scenes and just throw a temper tantrum.

Let me talk about the director now. Bryan Singer had his own vision for Superman. While most of the time that's ok for superhero movies there are certain tenants that you must stick to. For example, if Superman didn't fly you couldn't really consider him Superman (although some comic series say that Superman can't fly but jumps, still you get my point). Singer's vision for this Superman was to make him asexual. He didn't want Superman to really be part of the world he swore to protect and that vision shows in this movie. Superman seems to treat Lois as an object rather than the love interest they are suppose to be. The worse part of his vision is that he completely goes against it when you come to find out Superman and Lois had a son (more on that later). You also don't have a lot of Clark Kent in here. You also don't have Superman doing a lot of good deeds either. Sure he rescues a few people here and there but that's like watching Spiderman stop one purse snatcher and calling it a night. With no chemistry at all between Superman and Lois why did Lois even need to be in there. We get it Singer, you're gay, stop messing with our superheroes. Just because you don't like women doesn't mean our comic book hero don't have to either. We were so worried that they would change the costume of the character more than what they would make him do and be. It really is true that this Superman is some sort of sexless, quite alien that shows throughout this movie.

I'll explain the plot and then tell you why it's boring and stupid. Superman has come back from his excursion of trying to find Krypton. He tries to pick back up his normal routine but the world seem to have forgotten him and his love, Lois Lane, hates him. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor has been concocting an "ingenious" plan. He's going to fuse Kryptonite with a crystal that made Superman's Fortress Of Solitude. Then he's going to throw it in the ocean and upon expanding he will have new land that he, somehow, owns. This will cause sea levels to knock out a lot of the world and people will come to him to buy land. Superman must stop him, but how? Kryptonite is his weakness. Also, we learn that Lois had his son but she's hooking up with Perry White's son.

There are SOOOO many problems with this plot. First and foremost, the plot is moronic. Luthor is going to get rich off destroying America and a big part of the world by selling them land? For a super genius that is the rival of the man of steel, Luthor is loosing his touch. What was with swindling the old lady out of her money? This is Lex Luthor, he's an inventor and a genius. What happen to his fortune? Also, Luthor was crazy but he wasn't a mad lunatic; yet in this movie he seems off his rocker. How dare he interrupt Lois Lane saying Superman will save her by just yelling out "WRONG!"? That was a perfect opportunity for a one liner. This movie also has five different writers working on the story, characters, and screenplay. That seems a bit excessive. How hard is it to make a decent Superman movie?

Second of all, Superman embodies truth justice and the American way. Whether we agree with it or not, Superman embodies old ideas and I don't think he would have premarital sex with Lois Lane and produce a child and just leave. Not to mention, when did these two have sex? We can point to Superman II where Clark gives up his powers and knocks around with Lois and then wipes her memory (post rape?) with the super kiss. Still, fathering a child out of wedlock seems unlike the Superman I've known from any source (other than those of today that try and reinvent a dirtier version of Superman).

Third, does Superman really do anything in this film? He saves a plane, stops a burglary that has way too much firepower, and stops Luthor. The rest of it is Superman looking "messiah-like", almost emo-ish, at the planet and trying to figure out his relationship with Lois. This was a really boring Superman movie. Like the Hulk movie, I want to see Superman hit something! Hollywood has this obsession with making movies that shouldn't be actiony have explosions and random action. Yet, when they want to make a movie that the audience would appreciate Superman punching tanks or destroying a huge meteor with a few power blows, they give us a bloody love triangle.

Grade - D

This movie makes Superman IV seem like Casablanca. I wouldn't even call it a Superman movie. The visuals are nice, I'll give it that. I like some of the iconic imagery used such as Superman hovering over the Earth and we hear all the problems he can deal with, all the people that could use his help. It's a touching scene. Also the minigun scene and the bullet in the eye is just awesome. Too bad the rest of the movie didn't have anything like that.

However, this movie lacks anything Supermanish. There is one, and only one, thing that is on par with a Superman character. After S. puts the plane down in the stadium he says that air travel is still the safest way to travel. It's the only "all American, tomboy, superhero" real Superman thing in the whole deal. It's just too bad that the older Superman movies said the same thing in regards to the subway scene. Luthor's plan is moronic and Spacey does a horrible job with the character.

Superman's love child and a love triangle made me feel like I was watching a sequel to Pearl Harbor. Yes, it's that bad of a story element. You can't tell me there are strong parallels between Routh and Marsden. Shoot, even Marsden's character flies a plane!

I hope that the next movie that's done is actually done by someone who has at least read one comic book and not trying to preach a non-homosexual / non-heterosexual, believable Superman!

Time Code - Review

Time Code

Once in a while...a great while...a movie comes along and tries to break the monotony of standard movie making. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes a movie is ahead of its time so much that it isn't until much later that others pick up on the trend.

Unfortunately, the only thing this movie has with what I've written above is that it tried something different.

The movie was written and directed by Mike Figgis and looking at his credits he's had some directing/writing credits before this movie that I would assume allow him to write and direct a decent script. I guess having both under your belt doesn't help much.

This movie is film in four windows and it's up to you, the viewer, to pick which to watch. The dialog is focused at times on one screen so the director doesn't really let you choose. The movie is also filmed in real time. You never really realize how boring a "normal" person's life is until you watch this movie.

Lauren (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and Rose (Salma Hayek) are lovers and Lauren suspects Rose of cheating on her with a movie producer. She plants a bug on Rose and listens to her from her limo. We also see a bunch of other people but I don't really want to describe this plot anymore.

This is one of the most horrible excuses for a plot and movie I have ever seen. The split screen would be great for a spy or thriller movie where, while your gaze is on the screen that the dialog is happening, something is going on in other screens that you need to know about to figure out the ending. This...feces laden script is about nothing at all and I was never so bored with a movie. I would rather watch someone how to teach me how to build a wood cabinet from scratch than watch this movie. Sure the carpenter movie wouldn't have a lesbian make out scene, but the cinematography and script for his show would be better than this pile of baby mucus.

How this movie got made, and got good reviews, I'll never know. There is not even a semblance of a plot going on in this movie and the ending is utterly unbelievable and ridiculous. After watching this movie I felt as if I were repeatedly slapped by a marlin. I might have enjoyed that better.

Grade - F

Plot? We don't need no stinkin' plot! We'll just say the movie is avant-garde and we'll make it sound like it's an intellectual film. That way people won't admit to not getting it because it'll make them look stupid. Seriously folks, watching one episode of any soap opera is better compare to this dreck.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

SPOILER ALERT! - Revolver

Revolver

First of all, if you haven't seen this movie and want to you should stop reading in order to not learn all the secrets of what this movie is about. Second of all, this movie is so not worth it that if you do continue to read, you'll probably know more about what happened in the movie and its secrets than anyone who's actually viewed the movie.

I've gotten a lot of hits on this site for people are looking to "What the crap went on in this movie!?" This might be a common segment if I keep getting hits like this.

If anyone has any other questions regarding what happened in this movie that I don't answer feel free to contact me at film.geeks@yahoo.com. I also want to say that since I had no hand in this movie other than viewing it, the views I express could be wrong. Telling you this movie is a waste of talent is, however, correct in every way.

1) Were Zach and Avi real?
A. No they were not. Zach and Avi represented people Jake created in order to deal with Mr. Gold. Try to think of them as a split "Tyler Durdan". They were never Jake's cell mates, they never taught him about chess or cons, and that how they knew where Jake had hid all his money.

2) Who was Mr. Gold?
A. Mr. Gold was the ego Jake created in jail. Mr. Gold represents the side of Jake that wants to destroy Macha and obtain vast riches. Anything revolving around Mr. Gold's character, such as his drugs and his assistants were paid for by Jake unknowingly.

3) What was the rare blood condition Jake had and how was he saved from it?
A. It seems that Zach and Avi could have some control over Jake's body. I doubt the blood condition was real but maybe appeared to be real to convince Jake when he went to the doctors.

4) Why the animation?
A. This was to give you hints that what Jake was seeing were not only not real but also what elements of Jake's subconsciousness they were.

5) What was Zach and Avi's plan?
A. Since they were part of Jake's subconscious, he created them to help him get rid of Mr. Gold. Since Mr. Gold would use Jake to destroy himself, Zach and Avi were created to help Jake get rid of Mr. Gold. They were also trying to show Jake how to get rid of his Mr. Gold by telling him what he's doing is helping to take down Macha. This set up the "chess pieces", if you will, on how to position Jake into getting rid of Mr. Gold. Remember, Avi was the persona that taught him chess and he's the one who keeps on convincing Jake to go along with their plans. Likewise, Zach is the one in charge of setting up Macha, since he was the con artist persona.

6) Why is the movie called "Revolver"?
A. First of all I think it's because Guy Richie wanted us to believe it was an action movie. So he lied a bit. It's called that because of Jake being the center and he must deal with everything that "revolves" around him. This is more the BS explanation, but I think my first answer is the real correct answer.

7) Was Macha devolving his own Mr. Gold?
A. In a way, he already had a Mr. Gold. In fact, we all do. The main difference between Jake and everyone else is that his was a more defined separate identity.

Any other questions I receive I will put into this list so check back for updates if there are any new questions. I will just put them in the same list. Hope this helps, other than telling you not to watch the movie, this is at least some help

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Vampire Conspiracy - Review

The Vampire Conspiracy

When dealing with B movies, especially B horror movies, one must almost always take to heart the old saying of "Don't judge a book by its cover." Except the saying has the opposite intention. It always seems that the most money these types of B movies spend on something in the movie is always the artwork for the cover. This movie sounds from the description and the DVD cover like a decent movie you'd watch if it was on the Sci-Fi Channel. However, once you view the first few scenes you know you've been screwed over and almost lied to.

This plot is a dumbed down version along the lines of the "Saw" series or the "Cube" series. The "Cube" series is a B movie series, and a good one in my opinion, but this movie is worse than "Cube" but is still considered a B movie. I don't want to start calling movies C or D movies were the B movie looses all its meaning. I just wanted to make that clear that you can't judge and compare B movies without context.

Five strangers are abducted and put into a room together. They start out, like any of these types of strangers-abducted-and-put-into-the-same-environment goes, trying to figure out who the others are and why they are there. A 250 year-old vampire shows up and informs them that they are in a maze of his making. If they survive and make their way out of the maze, those left alive will receive the vampire's entire fortune. As they go from room to room they are given clues to help them what path to take. Not only do they have to decipher the seven word clues given to them but they must also fight off and/or escape from the vampire's undead army. Why were these people chosen? Will any of them make it out alive? Do you really care?

Ok so the end of my plot description makes the story sound sort of anti-climatic. In one sense it is. This is the same old story of a "Saw" a "Cube" and the 1999 version of "House On Haunted Hill"...but with vampires! However, on the other hand, this is a very low budget movie compared to any of those other movies. I'm never one to rag on a B movie for lack of picture and/or sound quality. I give each movie a fair shake. Yes, it would be nice if everyone could shoot movies with the same equipment that big, Hollywood pictures shoot with, but I think you'd loose some of the charm of these movies. "Saw 4" might have had a full blown autopsy scene, but you have to laugh at how much money they spent compared to some movies who use just some hamburger meat, red food coloring, and other sorts of fake internal organs and effects. I appreciate the charm of such techniques.

The main problem I had with this movie was more the set itself. This movie appears to have been shot in an old motel that's been converted into an independently run haunted house that pre-teens visit for Halloween with their dates who were all dropped off by their parents. It really is a weird look to a place for a vampire who has such "unimaginable wealth". If I had 250 years worth of interest in the bank, my death chamber would at least be decent looking. You don't have to go with the old gothic, dungeon-esk scene. You can really modernize it or put your own spin to it. However, it's kinda hard to be scared in what looks like an old, rundown motel.

Grade - D-
B Movie Grade - C

This wasn't the worst movie I've ever seen but it definitely did have some big problems with it. This reminded me a bit of movies such as "Saw" and "Cube" a bit. Too bad it didn't push more into those types of story ideas. My biggest problem with the movie is the over use of the f-word. This movie sticks it in between every other word. It's not the only over used curse word in here but it definitely was the word most used. Another problem was that the ending made no sense at all, there is no conclusion and it ends up making the rest of the movie utterly pointless. The thing that bumps this up in the "B Movie Grade" comes from the attempt to tie all the characters in the movie to each other. The people in this movie find out later that while being chased by a horde of the undead, there is someone they are traveling with that, in someway and for some reason, want them dead. It's a nice try for the movie. This movie should really teach you to read the script to your movie after you binged on pot, coke, and beer before you shoot your movie.

Twelve Angry Men - Review

Twelve Angry Men

Today's drama movies have nothing on old classics. Sure they might have some decent actors and some fancy twists, but they still fall short. Older movies have great actors and fancy twists as well. They also have one more thing - original story ideas. That's why Hollywood has to reuse and reuse and reuse ideas from the golden age of cinema. When given the option to watch these classic giants, take it upon yourself to add a little class to your life.

While most of the time I tend to credit the writers or the directors for making a film what it is, it rarely is the case where the actors carry the main gusto on the movie. Just another difference between today's movies and those of yore; today's movies have to throw in sex scenes or random violence to appease an audience. It's not that this movie is badly written or directed (written by Reginald Rose and directed by Sidney Lumet) but it is nothing compared to the acting of all twelve people in this film.

The actors who played the jurors, in there respected juror numbers are the following: Martin Balsam, Lee J. Cobb, E. G. Marshall, Jack Klugman (of Quincy fame), Ed Binns, Jack Warden, Henry Fonda, Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, George Voskovec, and Robert Webber. Each and every one of these roles were perfectly filled and perfectly executed.

The story is pretty simple. A young Spanish-American man is on trial for the murder of his father. The audience is thrown into the story after both sides have rested and the judge gives the jury their instructions. It seems like a cut and dry case and all the jurors seem to agree to the boys guilt and want to get out of there as quickly as possible. All except one low juror. Henry Fonda plays the one lonely, dissenting voice. Now he has to try and convince not only everyone to listen to him, but to prove to them why he thinks the boy is innocent.

There are two problems I have with this movie I want to cover before I get to the grade and explanation. While this movie was shot wonderful and acted wonderfully, there are two deep, glaring inconsistencies this movie can't get away from.

First of all when Henry Fonda tells them about knowing the layout of the area the murder occurred. He tells everyone that what was reported by one of the witnesses was inaccurate. When you are chosen for a jury you are told that whatever facts you know about an area or a person before the trial starts must not come into play. You must only go by the information that was entered to in evidence. This would have been cause for a probably mistrial.

This next problem would not have only caused a mistrial but would have gotten Henry Fonda thrown into jail. The murder occurred with a knife that was supposedly very unique. The jurors make the point about how there couldn't be another knife and the defendant was known to carry that same knife. It's a great scene when Fonda opens a knife and slams it down on the table. It's a very dramatic scene. He then goes on to explain that he was in the area that the murder occurred and found this type of knife being sold. The two problems with this is that a jury is sequestered and is definitely not allowed to visit the place of the murder area unless if the entire court goes with instructions from the judge. Second of all, a juror is not allowed to do his/her own investigation must way the facts and evidence that were laid out in the trial only.

These are two small points, and only a movie snob like myself would get flustered by these facts.

Grade - A+

When I say this movie is a drama I mean that each and every sinew and fiber is thrice coated with a layer of drama and each copy of the film is dripping with it and lays in a pool of its own drama.

There isn't a bad actor in any of the twelve people I listed. Henry Fonda outshines the others, but I don't want to detract from their talent. This movie also refers to the characters by their juror numbers. The interesting thing about this is that you get to know the characters pretty well. You get to know who they are, their motives for their decisions, and a lot of personal information. Yet you don't get to know their names. At the very end, you do learn a few of their names. It really leans on the idea of showing the entire "world's a stage and all men and women players". There isn't much more I want to say about this movie because it would detract from the viewing experience. I will say that if you're a fan of some intense drama - this movie is for you.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Film Geeks Show Notes For 04/13/2008

We decided to change next week's show topics to "Good and Bad Bad Guys" Join us, won't you?

http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/14391

Heath Leger body bag rumor
http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/batman%20screener%20audiences%20upset%20by%20ledger%20bodybag%20scene_1065134

film.geeks@yahoo.com - Email contact

http://filmgeeksshow.blogspot.com/2008/04/patricks-guest-spot.html
- Patrick was on Sound Check hosted by Chris K

http://filmgeeksshow.blogspot.com/2008/04/new-episode-of-patricks-b-movie.html
- Episode 4 of Patrick's B Movie video series is up on youtube. You can also subscribe to his page for updates here - http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=agentx216

* - denotes ones to talk about

War Movies

Good recent war movies:
- Saving Private Ryan*
- Band Of Brothers*
- Platoon
- We Were Soliders
- Glory
- Gettysburg*
- Flags Of Our Fathers/Letter From Iwo Jima
- The Patriot
- Andersonville
- Braveheart*
- 300
- The Sharpe Series
- The Horatio Hornblower Series
- Hotel Rwanda
- Buffalo Soldiers (1997)

Good older war movies:
- Kelly's Heroes
- Patton*
- Sands Of Iwo Jima
- The Dirty Dozen
- Devil's Brigade
- The Great Escape
- Stalag 17
- All Quiet On The Western Front (1979)* - one of the best WWI movies
- Das Boot
- Tora! Tora! Tora!
- Pork Chop Hill* - Gregory Peck in a great role
- The Alamo (1960) - not historically accurate but an awesome John Wayne movie
- Zulu
- Midway
- John Paul Jones
- Midway
- PT 109*
- To Hell And Back*
- Go For Broke*
- Up Parascope
- Sahara

Bad war movies:
- Tears Of The Sun
- Thin Red Line
- Apocalypse Now* - not an overall bad movie, but it felt like there was no editor!
- 3 Kings* - Rip Off Of Kelly's Heroes but with a twist
- Full Metal Jacket*
- Pearl Harbor* - we're told never to forget what happened at Pearl Harbor. But this movie associates itself with the actual event that I find myself wanting to forget anything surrounding the events. I don't even recognize Hawaii as a state anymore.
- Windtalkers - Nick Cage takes a good premises for a movie and kills it with his "acting"
- Invasion USA (1952) - not the Chuck Norris movie - propaganda through and through
- Behind Enemy Lines* - 2 hours of a guy running. He outruns explostions too.
- The Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission - no reason for this made for TV movie sequel. They must kill a Nazi general who is trying to assassinate Hitler. What?!
- The Alamo (2004) - this movie was just boring. There is such a thing as trying to be too historically accurate. Also Billy Bob Thorton is horribly miscast.
- Master And Commander - The Far Side Of The World* - there isn't a more possibly boring war movie.
- Jarhead* - A waste of my time.

Some ok, but not great war movies:
- U-571
- Green Berets
- Deer Hunter
- Enemy At The Gates - if more like the book, it would have been excellent
- Where Eagles Dare
- The Bridge On The River Kwai
- M*A*S*H*
- Good Morning Viewnam - Funny, but anything having to do with the VC and the war is just thrown in.
- Black Hawk Down - the best part is seeing Orlando Bloom fall
- Troy
- Stripes
- In The Army Now
- Down Parascope

Have a good week folks, and enjoy the movies!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

13 Ghosts (1960) - Review

13 Ghosts (1960)

I feel really bad that most older sci-fi and horror movies are no considered B movies. At the time of their released most were on the cutting edge of film technology. The stories might not be considered the best by todays standards but for the time they were made, these plots were just as normal as any normal flick we watch today. The giant ants of "Them!" could be compared to any normal horror flick today, just with more story and less mutilated bodies. So looking at this movie should be looked at with not just eyes of today, but through the eyes of the golden age of cinema.

I know more people have probably seen the 2001 "remake" (and I use that term in the absolute loosest terms possible and I mean lose like a 96 year old prostitute who has been working everyday for 86 years.) However, that movie is blasphemous to this wonder and classic film.

This film was directed by William Castle who was a master director and movie magician of his time. He made some great horror movies in his day and he loved having gimmicks for his flick. His 1959 movie, "The Tingler", rigged up seats to vibrate and were used to scare people during the movie whenever the monster showed up. Likewise, this movie was filmed in "Illusion-O". The audience would put on special glasses when the characters in the movie did. This allowed only those wearing the glasses to see the ghosts. Wonderful, classic '60's movie nostalgia. The movie also stars Martin Milner who played Pete Malloy in the wonderful "Adam-12" series.

Buck Zorba (isn't that a cool and creepy last name?) is having trouble providing for his family. Their power has just been turned off and their furniture is reprocessed. However, lawyer Ben Rush (Milner) contacts Buck and informs his that Buck's reclusive uncle, Cyrus Zorba, has passed away and left his house to Buck. There's just one catch, through his world travels, Cyrus has captured 12 ghosts and invented some special glasses to see them. Ben also informs the family that Cyrus has hidden a great deal of his wealth in the house somewhere. Seeing as the movie is called "13 Ghosts" and not 12 ghosts, someone in the story will become the 13th. But who?

Grade - A+

Although I was never able to see the movie with the Illusion-O glasses, I was very impressed with the visuals in this movie. I remember the first time when I saw this when I was young, the movie did scare me. The ghosts are both funny and scary. The housekeeper who looks like witch is one of the most entertaining characters just the way she plays the creepy personality. The kid in this movie is pretty entertaining too. This is a perfect example of why old horror movies are superior than today's flicks. This movie relied on showing ghosts, sure, but it also has a great story line. You get scared by some of the ghost and the sayonce scene. Then you have to guess who is going to be the 13th ghost, where the money is, and what's going on. If you're a fan of old horror movies, this is a must see.