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Archive for October, 2010

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Review

My rating 4.5 Stars
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is an amazing movie. The film reaches new levels of “Holly Crap!” and makes no apologies for itself. This movie is as raw as I’ve ever seen. Fans of movies like Traffic and Training Day will find it an exhilarating ride making those two other movies look like a Romper Room episodes.

The energy of it is overwhelming! There are times you watch this man behave in such destructive behavior and you feel so bad for him, but then he goes way beyond the realms of reasonable that it becomes more and more difficult to tolerate. You want to believe that he is trying to do good. You want to believe that deep inside he’s just trying to do right by the victims, but is he? Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t or maybe things just get out of hand. I think the man is a good man who has some SERIOUS problems and his problems just get worse by the minute.

Nicolas Cage gives an impressive performance. From the moment he hits the screen he gives off essence of awesome. His performance was worthy of an Oscar nomination. I sit here in awe wondering why they passed him by. Was he even considered? He played this part perfectly and I should know. I have back problems so I watched him very closely since he was playing the part of a man with the condition. His acting couldn’t have been better. I felt his pain; I saw pain and discomfort in his eyes and on his face. I wouldn’t be surprised if for preparing for this role he had a buddy whack him in the back with a 2X4, because he nailed the walk, the movements, the grimace, everything.

This is a must see film. Don’t think about the 1992 movie of the same name. This movie has nothing to do with that film. It isn’t a remake and it isn’t a sequel. It is its own entity and it is pretty darn impressive. I love how the film builds tension like a rope being twisted slowly and then how it all unravels at the end. The overall package is as close to perfection as you can get. This is an astounding film. Watch it!

Me and Orson Welles Review

My rating 3.5 Stars
What’s going on here? Is Me and Orson Wells a play or is it a movie? I seriously couldn’t tell the difference. The movie felt like a play of a play performing a play and that confused me at first. It made me forget that I was in fact watching a movie. The question is, was that a good thing or a bad thing? It all depends, do you like plays? If you do then you’ll probably like this movie. If you don’t, then by all means do not watch this film. If you don’t like plays, if you detest them, you are done! There is no need to go on reading this short review. If you do like a good play, by all means, continue.

If you have decided to continue reading my review it is probably because you enjoy a good play here and there. Or maybe you just love my writing—I can’t imagine why, but in either case here we go. I’ll assume you like plays. Since you like them so much, I think you are going to enjoy this movie. The performances in it are akin to those of the stage. There is witty dialog, good performances, romance, back stabbings, lots of those actually. The play… I mean the movie has something special for everyone.

This is a good story and I think it’s one that people will enjoy. I especially liked the sets, the clothing and the music. The movie is set in the 1950’s and it really did look the part. It would be nice to get the opinion of someone who lived through the era. I would like to know how close it was to the real deal. It looked really nice to me.

However, looks aren’t everything. When watching a movie I believe story is key and like I said this was a good story. I did, however, found the second act to be a little slow. The movie starts out strong and ends very effectively, the middle makes you wish they had either shortened it a bit or add just a touch more of excitement. There are a few key moments in the second act, so I can’t even recommend that you fast forward through it, but nevertheless, even with the slow middle the movie is still worth watching. If you really want to watch this film, don’t let me stop you.

Fantastic Mr. Fox Review

My rating 1.5 Stars
If I could only use one word to describe Fantastic Mr. Fox, it would have to be the word “Boring!” If I could use another word, I’d have to go with a big expletive to modify the adjective. I can’t even describe to you how bored I was watching this film. Using the Six Flags metering system I’d give it a half a flag, a quarter even! I’m serious, I’m lucky I stayed awake and coherent through it. I know that this wasn’t made for adults. I didn’t watch it looking for an adult story, but do you have to bore the living crap out of adults just to entertain children?

I was surprised to learn that this movie got a PG rating, really? As if adults would get any enjoyment from it what so ever. I didn’t see how that could be possible. Only newborns who are incapable of standing up and walking away from it could possibly suffer through it. There were plenty of moving images and talking animals to keep those young brains from developing properly and possibly discovering that this movie is actually really god awful boring. So if you hate your child (I won’t judge) feel free to pop this in the DVD player, plop your kid in front of the TV (don’t forget to prop him/her up with some sort of homemade child kickstand) while you go do something a bit more entertaining, like the dishes or laundry! Make sure you sedate the child so they don’t start crying 10 minutes into the film.

In my opinion this is Clooney’s worst acting job and I wasn’t very impressed with Meryl Streep’s performance either. It’s too bad too cause I love them both. The whole thing was just dull. I think I can best describe this movie as an “animated” bad children’s book. So unless you have kids you hate or you’re a diehard fan of stop motion, skip this movie entirely. If you want to watch something nice with the kids you love, may I suggest Ponyo or Coraline.

That Evening Sun Review

October 21, 2010 1 comment

My rating 4.5 Stars
I was drawn to this movie like a convict looking at a poster of a model. From the moment I saw that old man flee from his nursing home. I just knew I was in for a good film. This movie was captivating, entertaining, and intense from the moment it started till the very end.

I have never seen anything like this before. This is a story of grudge between a mean old man and a stubborn young drunk. The tension between the two characters is felt through the screen like a defibrillator jolt. These two actors were outstanding. You could feel the anger and the resentment between these two individuals anytime they interacted. It was just uncanny.

This movie was just amazing; the story is brilliant! The writer devised a problem where neither of the two men were at fault. The old man’s farm house had been leased to an old enemy without his knowledge while he was in the nursing home. Naturally the old man was furious at this and wanted his house back and he would do anything to get it back. However, the new owner had no intention of giving up his new property which he intended to buy after the lease was up and he would do just about anything to get the crazy old man off his property. They were both stubborn and neither of them would budge. They argued, and they feud, and they threatened; it was brilliant, just brilliant!

It’s not very often one comes across a movie like this. Movies with great stories and flawless acting do not come by very often. When they do, they are a treat to watch and I believe this movie was such a treat. The only thing that troubled me was the end. The filmmaker left the end so ambiguous that it almost felt like there was no ending. However, when you stop and think about a feud like this, is there ever a clear end, is anything ever resolved. Nothing good can come from a problem like this. That really made me think and isn’t that what great movies are supposed to do? Now, if I am not mistaken the short story that this movie was based on also ended very ambiguously. Perhaps the film was just trying to do right by the original story.

What an amazing movie! If you want to see a great drama, this is it!

White on Rice Review

My rating 3.5 Stars

White on Rice is nothing like I thought it was going to be. Don’t let the name of this film give you any indication of what this movie is about; it won’t help you! A quarter or so into the movie and you’ll realize why it’s called “white on rice.” And it has nothing to do with the cultural reference of Japanese eating rice. No, it’s more akin to the maxim “Like white on rice” meaning someone who clings to you like a long lost brother.

The movie starts with footage of a bad Japanese samurai movie. It is obviously a very bad dubbing job. What they are doing in this scene is showing you right away that you’re in for a silly treat. That is what this movie was, a silly, silly treat. However, I really liked it. It was warm and witty and pretty darn smart. The comedy is done well with excellent timing. I can’t remember how many times I just laughed out loud freaking the hell out of my dog. This is a really sweet, feel good movie.

The Young Victoria Review

My rating 4 Stars
I don’t normally like period pieces like The Young Victoria, but I must say, I really enjoyed this one quite a bit. Perhaps it can all be attributed to Emily Blunt’s performance which was wonderful, pure genius. She was stunningly beautiful and played her part flawlessly. She is quite the thespian. I have come to respect and admire her work immensely and I now look forward to films that star with her. I have yet to see a movie in which she stars that I did not enjoy in one way or another. I will admit I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this one, but thank God that my initial judgment was dead wrong.

To complement Blunt’s performance the movie also boasted a great story, marvelous sets, and gorgeous costumes. It is very obvious when you watch this film that the makers of it poured their hearts and souls to make this film look as splendid as it could be. Of course without the right person to capture the beauty of all of these elements, this movie could have easily fallen short. Thankfully, the cinematography was stunning, interesting and unique; it was pure nirvana for the senses of sight. Hagen Bogdanski used the camera in ways I have never seen before and I loved it. It made the movie even more enjoyable. I thought his use of focus and jump cuts were brilliant and brave. This is an excellent film that can be enjoyed by anyone, even if you’re not a fan of period pieces, I did. Bravo!

Women in Trouble Review

My rating 3.5 Stars
I have a soft spot for women and no it’s not because I am a man and I am sexually attracted to them. It is because of my mother and my sister whom I love dearly. They have so much talent, but life dealt them a really crappy hand and they never really knew what to do with their God given talents. Both my mother and my sister are strong women who never quite materialized. So when I see roles of strong women in film I am immediately biased and no matter how bad the movie, I find something good about it.

Women in Trouble is no price of a film. The dialog is cheesy at times. The situations are outrageous. I mean when was the last time you got stuck in an elevator with an award winning porn star? That just doesn’t happen unless you’re best friends with Ron Jeremy. But there was something behind all of these desperate women that really struck a chord with me. They all had serious problems, but they all came through with each other’s help and prevailed.

The movie IS very weak. At times it felt as if I was watching a soap opera, but it was pretty funny at times and I really enjoyed some of the characters. They were very sweet in their own way. They were very strong in their own way, even the really dumb one. So in my bias, I have to give this movie high marks even though it really doesn’t deserve it. You can call me a “pansy” or a “sissy boy”, I have a soft spot for women who do their own thing, who stay true to themselves and don’t look for reassurance from a man. You have to respect that.

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