Queue Total

284 MOVIES (released titles only)

Note: Real spoilers are in black text on a black background. Highlight the black areas to read the spoilers.

Queue Numbers

#50- Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

#100- Black Swan

#200- Mysteries of Lisbon

Last- Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Marie and Bruce

Marie and Bruce (2004)

Director: Tom Cairns
Writer: Wallace Shawn (screenplay &play) Tom Cairns (screenplay)
Starring: Julianne Moore, Matthew Broderick

a couple who are on the verge of leaving each other

The Woman
i would not call this a comedy, or funny in any sense of the word. this was HORRIBLE! i had a hard time watching it all the way through, not only because it was bad, but the many things i need to get accomplished before the middle of december were beckoning. i ended up across the room at my table more than once because i just couldn't take it. basically, the couple, hate each other. he's boring as hell, and she's a raging bitch to him. the whole movie revolves around their boring meaningless night where she wants to confront him about how much she hates him and wants to leave, and he is totally oblivious because he's too busy going out to lunch and a party with his boring friends. the party scenes were extremely uncomfortable and hard to watch. it was like being at a party where none of the conversations interest you and you just want to break out with a flame thrower ant torch the whole building. i've experienced those kind of parties and was glad to be leaving them first hand, i don't need to watch them in a movie. maybe that's how i feel about this movie. like one long boring party where there is not a soul worth talking to, and you keep looking at your watch, counting down the time for an acceptable time to leave.

it was also too neurotic new yorker personality for me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Linda Woolverton(screenplay), Lewis Carroll (wrote a book of the same name)
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter Burton

A teenage Alice is starting to realize that she can be her own person and resisting "the man."  Running away from what's supposed to be her engagement party, she falls down the rabbit hole and becomes embroiled in the politics of "Underland" which she doesn't remember having visited as a child.

The Woman
this wasn't bad, but it should not have been called "alice in wonderland". there was also something missing that we discussed yet we still couldn't quite put our fingers on and it keeps me from calling this good. the art direction was very tim burton, but very colorful. the way the mad hatter was presented irritated me a little. i don't know. it kept my interest through the whole of it, but again, something is bothering me.... it was exactly what i requested being ill on the couch. "something brainless that i don't need to think about" also the MESSAGE was very apparent through the whole thing. MESSAGE!

better than "planet of the apes" but i think tim burton needs to go back to his roots and stop doing things that have strong reference material. it makes the public weary and lose faith in your abilities when you present us time after time with stuff almost completely unrecognizable from our beloved memories of the originals. do your own thing, or have you run out of ideas so completely.

This was fine, but so what?  I really didn't care about this movie.  This is Burton, so if you can get past the omnipresent CG you'll find plenty of beautiful visuals and setpieces; and even a couple of artsy shots of "dark" scenery.

The message was super-typical "find yourself through your dreams" and the plotting itself was superficial and linear while feeling inexplicably rushed.  It's not surprising at a very small majority of characters were acted with any amount of reserve.  We're supposed to excuse that because everybody else is one form of crazy or another, but it really doesn't have to play that way.  Everything was schticky or schlocky; and we already knew that Tim Burton is married to Helena Bonham Carter (that would have been a better title for this film).  The idiotic dance at the end served no purpose but to annoy me into the bathroom.

We watched this out of rotation, which is a pro/con.  We don't have to watch it again; but I could have lived another year without seeing it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Mother (2009)

Written by Eun-Kyo Park, Joon-ho Bong, Wun-kyo Park
Directed by Joon-ho Bong

Starring Hye-ja Kim, Bin Won, Ku Jin, Je-mun Yun

a slow kid is arrested and manipulated to plead guilty for the murder of a teenage girl in a small town in korea. his mother, knowing he is incapable of doing such a thing, begins to investigate the crime herself to free her son.
Another better-than-average outing from our friends in southeast Asia, this film brings us an interesting perspective of how some people are assholes all over the world and some people aren't, but possibly only at first glance.  Quality direction drives us through a story that I don't think could have been produced in this country.

Acting might not be quite the tops here but I doubt seriously that the talent pool over there is nearly as deep.  That said there are no prominent pustules, only a small area of abating acne on some of the supporters.  The leads are all great and their characters are even a little too believable.  Unlike White On Rice we have a genuinely-handicapped Asian person who is played for neither sympathy nor laughs.  And the mother, whose life plan didn't include any child let alone a slow one, treads her horrific path with as much  honor and humility as she can muster.

As we watch her journey, there are enough obstacles to both Schrodinger and the cat that we alternate between guessing and gasping until practically the last, beautifully composed frame.
The Woman
 i don't know what is going on with the mentally handicapped asian movies in our house, but this one was far superior to "white on rice". originally, i thought this was going to be much more suspenseful than it actually was. it was more a study of motherly devotion, and it was kind of sad. that said, it was still a really good movie. directed beautifully (i'm starting to think all asian movies would settle for nothing less, and i think american directors should catch on. even if the plot sucks, if it's got beautiful art direction and very deliberate framed shots viewers might get distracted enough and at least have one good thing to say about a cruddy movie) i also didn't see the direction the plot was going in because i was so wrapped up in the journey. being a mother myself, i felt for the overbearing mother, and the angry and annoyed son, irritated by the way she treated him like a child. good movie. two hours well spent.

White On Rice

White On Rice (2009)
Written by Dave Boyle, Joel Clark
Directed by Dave Boyle
Starring Hiroshi Watanabe, Justin Kwong, Nae

Asian man with hobble-along Asperberger's hobbles through life on various crutches.  He does many things which do not improve how most people view him.

The Woman
i thought this would be way funnier than it was. i only laughed a couple of times, but somehow, i think if you are first generation japanese this might be funnier. there seemed to be a lot of cultural clash that didn't hit home for me because i do not know any japanese, japanese people. it was amusing, but shme. the lead character, jimmy, really did seem mentally handicapped. he was like a much less functioning japanese napoleon dynamite. the less functioning part is why it wasn't really funny.

I don't usually enjoy what I call the Chris Farley School of Comedy (i.e. making fun of stupid people because stupid people are inherently funny) but that wasn't even the problem here.  With the exception of a few chuckles this just wasn't funny.  I think it was supposed to be more Gervais-style awkwardville but it failed more miserably at that not least because it was impossible to empathize with any of the primary characters.  Just because the guy meant well doesn't excuse any of his behavior and I really don't understand how we're expected to leave this experience with any optimism about his future.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Lathe of Heaven

The Lathe of Heaven (1979)

Written by Diane English, Ursula K. LeGuin (book)

Directed by Fred Barzyk, David R. Loxton
Starring Bruce Davison, Kevin Conway, Margaret Avery

this dude can change the past with his dreams and when his psychiatrist figures it out he tries to manipulate his dreams but he never learns how to word his demands correctly so things don't come out the way he wants them

It's been a grillion years since I read this, but it seems to me that they did a good job of capturing the concept behind the story.  To an extent it plays out like a Twilight Zone episode; but it's deeper and more SF than that.

This is a PBS production, hampered as much by budget as by the era in which it was made.  Music, effects, "technology of the future," and architecture are all presented from that indelible light.  (Of course, the same could be said of SF from any time period.)  With that in mind, everything was competent at least.  Conway is a real piece of garbage as the "dream specialist," and it's good to see that 30 years ago Bruce Davison was doing a much better job in making the equivalent of SyFy original movies.

I really liked this book and we've (well, I've) been waiting for it to come in the mail for much longer than the standard two year  interval.  I don't think I had expectations to be met or dashed, but I did get value out of watching this.

The Woman
this was rife with plot holes. if dude changes the past when he dreams how is it that the doctor can remember the past before the guy changes it when no one else does? all arguments fail. time paradox. then, about halfway through things get really abstract and i lost what was going on. things changed, things didn't change. things go back to the way it was three pasts ago. his chick keeps disappearing and reappearing. he somehow stops the doctor, but that was done so badly i have no idea what he did, or how he did it. i've never read the story so i have no reference point,but i think it was just the kind of story that translates bad into "movie" when you don't have the character's constant inner monologue to anchor what is going on around him. i didn't like this, if you can't tell.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


JCVD (2008)

Written by Mabrouk El Mechri, Frederic Benudis, Frederic Taddei, Vincent Ravelec, Christophe Tupin .  Belgish credits are weird.

Directed by Mabrouk El Mechri

Starring  Jean-Claude Van Damme, Francois Damiens, Jean-Francois Wolff, Karim Belkhadra

Having a pretty rough time of things, Jean Claude Van Damme (JCVD) goes into a post office in Belgium (many of you may know that European post offices are also banks) and becomes embroiled in a hostage situation.

The Woman
this was fantastic, and not in the way i expected it to be. i had to stop doing my fiber art because i was so wrapped up in it. though it seems to be a vanity "comeback" movie he has totally earned it. he doesn't paint himself in a very good light either. he's a flawed, has-been, aging, action actor who hit the big time for a fleeting second and pissed it away. i hope he gets lots of roles out of this movie. not only do i think it was way better than "the wrestler" i think van damme did a better job than mickey rourke.

i put this on the queue because we love a van damme movie in this household. i thought it was going to be a van damme movie making fun of van damme, but it turned out to be quite a great film. it kind of shocked me in the way that "rambo: first blood" shocked me. an action film that's actually got some substance to it, but is usually perceived as a brainless blood and guts and explosion movie. i may go as far as to say this was not an action movie at all. it was great to see jcvd speak his native tongue, and maybe that is why he could emote better than i've ever seen him do before. his performance was completely believable to the point where i had to keep telling myself this is not a true story. (clever trick on his part using his real name and old interviews and speaking about his actual career. also the little digs he gets in about people like john woo.). the more i think about this movie the more i like it. mad props to you, sir. i applaud you, and i hope you get some fulfilling roles out of this experience.


This movie exceeded my expectations on every level.  It was smart, interesting, well-directed and acted, and really quite good.

I don't know how much of the backstory is true, but his problems weren't played for laughs at all.  The divorce/custody hearing might have been a little over the top, but people are bastards when they're getting divorced so maybe not. And when we get to the actual meat of the film--far earlier than I had thought to expect--things unfold in a depressingly realistic way.  There's not a lot of urgency to the pacing here, which again makes sense, and I like how we get to see the politics and general infighting of the Brussles police. While this part is maybe a little more typical (one cop who's actually thoughtful vs. the trigger-happy SWAT guys) it doesn't play out like Die Hard, for example.

I really liked the acting, as well.  I think we see sides of JCVD which hadn't been uncovered before.  Among other things, this film was probably intended to showcase some other chops and I genuinely hope it was successful.  There's one neat little spot where he breaks the fourth wall and it, too, is quite effective.

So, yeah.  An excellence 4 when we were expecting an awesomeness 5 is a very nice surprise.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cirque du Freak: the Vampire's Assistant

Cirque du Freak: the Vampire's Assistant (2009)

Director: Paul Weitz
Writer: Paul Weitz (screenplay),  Brian Hegeland (screenplay), Darren Shan (series of books)
Starring: John C. Reilly, Josh Hutcherson, Chris Massoglia
The Woman
i was pleasantly surprised at this movie. i thought it was going to be totally stupid kids movie, but it wasn't. the first clue was the amount of time "shit" and "ass" were used. it had that lemony snicket's surprisingly interesting shock to it. it was no masterpiece by far, but it had a lot of sarcasm in it and i can dig. i like john c. reilly. it was definitely the first in a sequence because it had that just scratching the surface-ness to it. you know there is a lot more to all the details going on in the story. i didn't put this on the queue because of how stupid i thought it was going to be, but now, if they make another one i'll totally be on the couch for that.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

The Human Centipede (2009)

Director: Tom Six
Writer: Tom Six
Starring: Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura

a siamese twins surgeon specialist guy decides to create a human centipede connecting anus to mouth. three abductions and one very long and detailed surgical procedure later.....human centipede

Wow?  Wow.

This is one of those things which sidestepped my expectations completely.  I was expecting a low-budget schlock-fest but really this was almost perfectly-realized.  Production value is shockingly high.  The story is nicely linear and each actor is quite perfect for his or her role.  The two women play porn stars (maybe) and they act like porn stars.  But since the vast majority of their line-readings are moans that's perfect.  And Dieter Laser is just fundamentally creepy.

The story/message itself is a matter for interpretation by each viewer.  There was definitely some shock for the sake of shock, but I like to think that the lead is a surrogate for the filmmakers.

Good, sketchy times. I dug it enough to appreciate it and I will absolutely watch the sequel. 

The Woman
this was great! it held my interest the entire time and i had no clue as to how things were going to develop. i feel sort of like this is in the same vein as "hostel" but way better. more naturally disturbing to me, instead of hostel which seemed to try too hard for shock value. i have never seen anything remotely close to this sort of a plot and i love that. tom six must be one highly "disturbed" person to come up with something like this in his brain. or just obsessed with people eating poops. it was halfway between outrageous camp and horror. i think it's awesome.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)
Written by Steve Kloves, J.K. Rowling (book)
Directed by David Yates
Starring Those three kids, every other British actor except Colin Farrell

after dumbledore is killed in the last installment, harry, ron and hermione drop put of school and go on a mission to find and destroy the rest of the horcruxes (objects in which voldemort has placed a piece of his soul). meanwhile, the death- eaters, the ministry of magic, and pretty much everyone is looking to kill harry potter. lots more danger, lots more death and violence.

It's difficult to view this as a standalone film, but it's not impossible.  I suppose the better question is, "is it worth it to view this as a standalone film?" and the answer to that is an unequivocal "no."  So in 50 words or less, with a slightly different ending the movie could probably stand up on its own.

Much like the book, this movie is chock-full of important exposition with some relatively short excursions into action.  Each of these is played for the necessary overall effect, and as an adaptation it's first or second out of the 7 films to date: There were some changes for the good, like Hedwig's more-glorious death as well as some that didn't make any sense at all to me.  One was the reversal of a couple of lines which I feel actually really changed the scene for the worse; and another spans most of the action setpieces and I'm not sure if it was done for time or for (believe it or not) budget.  Regardless, the movie does a better-than-average job of bringing the story to the screen.  I'm interested to see how long the second film is because where the first book provides plenty of cuttable "and then they went here stuff a LOT goes down in the last 300 (out of 800) pages.

While Watson is certainly the strongest actor of the three, none of them are anything less than great or (dih), anything near as poor as they were at 11.  Aside from the obvious improvements in the younger actors, practically every competent British character actor was employed by this production, and in a role which perfectly suited his or her talents.  Excepting direction by a hair or two--personally I think Cuaron's dark touch was the most suited to the material--this trend continues through the rest of the production.  Effects have come a long way since motherfucking Jar Jar Binks to the point where almost everything is seamless; and the production value throughout is consistent in style and quality.

As the curmudgeon, I can only close this by saying that the movie didn't disappoint me as badly as I expected it to.

The Woman
i read these books only once so by the time the movie comes out i only have a vague recollection of what went on in them. i tend to do a lot of "oh, yeah"s. i think this is actually a benefit because i don't really remember what the movies have left out. i guess that's a reading comprehension problem because no one else in my family seems to have this problem.

 i highly enjoyed this movie. i got a little antsy knowing that certain characters were/ are going to die, and i don't like to reveal this thing you humans call emotion. especially in public. but i think i fared well. definitely way more dark, and scary, and violent and sad. there are dead bodies and such, so if you have a small child please don't traumatize them and annoy everyone else by bringing them to the theater. it didn't feel like a two and a half hour movie either. that says a lot right there, i think. i also *gasp* enjoyed the mixture of the audience in the theater with us. i think this is the first time i've ever said that. it wasn't just  the fact that during the intense scenes there wasn't a sound coming from anyone. it was the social experiment too. there was this big group of teenage girls across the way from us, and i quite enjoyed their gasps, and sighs, and "awwww"s and giggles. there was also this group of three or four skater looking teenage boys sitting in the row in front of us. definitely the "cool" kids. what? at harry potter? what's the appeal there? emma watson? probably not. probably the fact that they've grown up with these things before they knew what cool was. at least that's what i like to think.

moster and i kept leaning over laughing to each other saying "now, he, looks thirty!" and they do.

I Am Love

I Am Love (2009)

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Writer: Luca Guadagnino, Barbara Alberti, Ivan Controneo, Walter Fasano
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabriellini, Alba Rohrwacher

wealthy italian family's love lives, and business. mostly about the matriarch coming into her own happiness. this is a terrible description, but it's the best i can do.

The Woman
i love me some tilda swinton. ever since i saw "orlando" in my late teens i'll watch anything with her in it. i watched this in two halves over four days. the first half of my viewing session i was totally annoyed with this movie and thought it was terrible. then i sat down today for the last half and found it a wonderful, beautifully directed story. there were long sections of silence, or nature sounds, but it was all about emotion. there were times where i had no idea what was happening and began to wonder about the chronology of the scenes, but i think that was because i was crocheting rather intensely at the time. if i was just watching it i think i would have followed it better. i even pondered if i wanted to finish it, but i'm glad i did.

i guess i shut it off the first day right at the point of change in the movie. it was very fellini at that point, sort of boring and just a focus on the realness tedium of life. but after tilda swinton follows her lust after one of her son's friends it becomes more a study of emotion. you become more involved with the characters and the last couple of scenes are what make the movie. it's like this big explosion of all the pent up feelings. the music was totally fantastic too. at the end of the day i had a hard time rating this movie for netfilx. three or four.

Dark Star

Dark Star (1974)
Written by John Carpenter, Dan O'Bannon
Directed by John Carpenter
Starring Dan O'Bannon, Cal Kuniholm, Dre Pahich, Brian Narelle

In the year something-or-other, hijinks ensue on a ship which has the mission of destroying planets and/or stars.  The highest jink surrounds a "smart bomb" which selectively listens to reason.

The Woman
this was pretty damn horrible. it wasn't funny. in fact, it wasn't anything. the only good thing i have to say about it was that it was only about an hour long. and all the characters looked the same. they all had that jim henson look of 70's long hair and beards. to-to-totally lame. do not watch under any circumstance.

While I gladly accept responsibility, I have no memory of why I added this movie.  As Carpenter's first feature, you can see some competent direction here, but there's not much more than that.  There are some funny jokes but none of the running gags are of the appropriate length.  Attempts at political statement/humor are toothless, and I'm not sure if the philosophical discussion at the end is intended to be taken seriously.

The only mildly interesting part of this experience is that it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the inspiration for R2D2 came from the pod sticking out of the top of this ship.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading (2008)
Produced, Written, and Directed by The Cohen Brothers
Starring Frances McDormand, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich, Richard Jenkins

hmmmm. this is a hard one...okay, there's this cia agent guy who gets mad about his desk transfer so he quits. then his wife, who's been having an affair for a while, divorces him. she puts his bank records on a disc. said disc ends up on the floor of a gym. super gym guy, and francis mcdormand (who wants several plastic surgeries, but has no means to pay for them) think they have come across some "serious" intelligence. they come up with a plan to extort ex-cia guy. things go awry.

If there's an overarching theme in Cohen comedies, it's incompetence.  Each character on display here is phenomenally poor at at least one significant element of his or her life and knows it. Their general desire to improve their lot is the driving force of the film. Unfortunately that overeagerness to please bleeds a little too far onto the page.

Similar to The Men Who Stare at Goats, most of the elements for greatness are here; but differently from that movie I don't think the solution is as simple as a couple of rounds of punch-up.  In creating such a large number of independent, intersecting groups of characters the Cohens bit a little more off of the principal tree than they could easily digest; and while everything comes out OK in the end the funny is too rigid for its channel.

That's really a shame, too, because this is another example of top-notch casting of top notch actors who  (discontinue the previous paragraph's metaphor here) weren't given enough to chew on.  But they did as much as possible with what they had.

The above sounds maybe a little more bleak than reality; but that's because of the high regard in which I hold these brothers.  There were plenty of funny bits and a couple of great running gags.  Clooney's sexual adventurism, for example, carries both conspicuous and subtle touches and is conveyed in such a way that I'm not sure if it originates from existing or aspired skill.  And there's no other way to describe Tilda Swinton's character than as a world-class cunt.

Add all that up and the score is still above average.  This isn't top-tier Cohen comedy, but so what?

The Woman 
i liked this movie. i always like twisty plots with lots of characters like the cohens tend to do. there were scenes of this movie where i did not see the direction they took coming. one scene with brad pitt in particular. i also like the total incompetence of the bureaucratic nature of the cia. this movie was rife with silly paranoia as well, which i can always appreciate.

i thought this was going to be funnier. more like their comedy comedy stuff like lebowski, or raising arizona, but it was far more like fargo in the dark chuckle once in awhile. i did not really like fargo. i know, i'm an ignoramus, but i feel like the whimpy incompetence of william h. macy was too much and it mad me mad. this, i feel, though idiocy was a main theme, did not portray a situation where one man was entirely responsible. does that makes sense? no? well poops on you for reading this then.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Frost/ Nixon

Frost/Nixon (2008)

Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Peter Morgan (screenplay & play)
Starring: Michael Sheen, Frank Langella, Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Oliver Platt

This film follows the (apparently true) story of David Frost's three session interview with Richard Nixon. 

The Woman
i highly enjoyed this. it's been awhile since we, well, i, have watched anything worth substance. i guess ron howard knows what he's doing. i don't think i have ever disliked anything he's done (directed). this might be worth investigation....

the acting was pretty superb in this as well. it was all about the subtle face changes. the thoughts going on inside the interviewer and interviewee while the interview took place. this was a little more dramatized than the actual interview. i kind of wish we hadn't investigated and tried to watch the real interview. i want to believe the movies. it wasn't that there was a huge difference, but like i said before this was all about the subtly, and when a few of the words are changed it just wasn't as dramatically climactic in real life.

Alright.  Here we have that rare sort of movie which is both technically and aesthetically good.  Being both in my 30s and American I had absolutely zero knowledge of this part of history (the interview, not Watergate itself) going into the viewing; and I think that worked to my advantage.

You can't really talk about story in something like this because it's supposedly based on things which truly happened--and some dalliance in a misleadingly-named feature lends weight to that assertion.--but the facts are presented in a more than competent fashion.  Showing the disparity between Nixon and Frost people worked really well; and I really enjoyed the aged talking-head interview format using the same actors through the entire process.

Direction of a film such as this can be tricky.  After all, it's not too easy to generate tension in a story about someone talking to someone else.  But Howard couches all his trickery in actual skill, to the point where I was (metaphorically) on the edge of my seat as the climax approached.  Everything else combined to form a great experience.  Perfectly-cast actors did a great job in a seamless environment.

I didn't get up once during this movie, and there are few higher steps on my praise scale than that.


Cthulhu (2007)

Director: Dan Gildark
Writer: Grant Codgswell, Dan Gildark, H.P. Lovecraft (book)
Starring: Jason Cottle

the only things i'm sure about are this: there was this gay guy. things happened.
Being a dork adjacent to the Dragonlance types, I know there's something called Cthulu and I know it has a really rich history with a bunch of lore.  I therefore can't help feeling bad for people who might watch this movie thinking they'll get anything comprehensibly resembling of that story.

This was funded at least in part by Logo so it's understandable that they'd make a big deal out of the fact that the main character is gay.  But it doesn't actually play into the story at all.  I understand, "Hey. This is a gay dude and he's back home and this is his ex boyfriend."  Replace a couple of words and that's a common (if potentially facile) means of exposition.  But that should be the end of it.  His homosexuality is immaterial to the fact that he hasn't produced any offspring; and neither does it play at all into the apparently ridiculous climax.

I kind of disagree with the notion of giving this movie a 1 because it didn't generate in me enough passion to be classified as "hate."  I wanted to understand this movie and I hoped to enjoy it, but it didn't make me give a flying fuck, gay or straight, about anything... including the actual experience of consuming it.

The Woman
what? i don't get. salamander people? the end of the world as we know it? this was like from someone who really really liked "twin peaks: fire walk with me" and tried to attempt some sort of david lynchiness, but failed on an epic level. i have no idea what was going on 98% of the time in this movie.  i am tempted to read this book just to see what the fuck i spent an hour an a half watching.  is that a good thing? usually i would say yes because it invoked some want to research further. but in this case i'm going to have to say na nay no, my man. wattatai.

"i am the aaaaarm"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Think We're Alone Now

I Think We're Alone Now (2007)

Director: Sean Donnelly

a look into two obsessive tiffinay fans. documentary

The Woman
this was kind of weird. in one hand i'm totally freaked out by these two people, and in the other hand (quite smaller hand) i kind of feel sorry for them. they both have mental issues...obviously. one suffers from asperger's syndrome, and the other is an inter-sexed  person (hermaphrodite) who was in a terrible accident and has some sort of brain damage.  just they way they talk about tiffany scares me. it must happen with all celebrities, but jeebus. talking about her like they know her personally, and how they WILL someday marry tiffany and live happily ever after and seriously for total serious mean it. in fact one of them tells anyone who will listen that they are close personal friends. i don't quite understand how or why tiffany would continuously interact with these people. she took out a restraining order against one of them in 1989, but he has all these photos of him posing with her at events. i did enjoy when the two "stalkers" met up for a tiffany event and kelly (the inter-sexed one) got really mad at the other for comparing his experiences with meeting tiffany. she also reminded me a lot of napoleon dynamite. i also suppose that the one with asperger's is obsessed with her because obsession could be a part of the syndrome, but still. i wouldn't want that guy around me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day (2010)

Director: Garry Marshall
Writer: Katherine Fugate
Starring: Jessica Alba Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Carter Jenkins, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, Bryce Robinson, Taylor Swift

los angeles has lots of people who maybe in some sort of relationship with another human being.

The Woman
i hope everybody got paid well. this was two hours of boring. blah, blah, blah, relationships. valentines day. blah, blah, blah. my son woke up with ten minutes left, and i seriously considered fast forwarding through the ending. talk about dragging on, and on, and on, and on, and on. after it's boring conclusion i went to the computer and crossed my fingers that it was actually on the queue and i had not just subjected myself to that for no reason. huzzzah. it was there at #156.  yes. i actually demanded this movie. unfortunately. i hesitated with my finger over the button because i had heard it was terrible, but for the sake of clearing the queue.... i AM jeebus, the martyr. no. i cannot get off my cross.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Hasbro, i mean, Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Starring: The Beef, the fox in tight white skinny jeans, and some other peoples

Brought to you in part by General Motors, Sprint, State Farm, and Cisco, this movie reveals that The Beef and The Fox have had sex since the first movie. 

The Woman
this was super fantastic! we had a really fun time laughing at this movie. it really is a travesty, but i guess it's like watching hitler get a pineapple shoved up his ass. wait, is it? you know what i mean. maybe it's more like watching a train full of terrible people derailing with no survivors. we made fun of this movie for hours and, now days after it's viewing. i'm not really sure how "the fallen" had his revenge, since he was defeated without completing his mission of ten trillion kerjillion years, and was killed pretty darn easily. and didn't kill the beef. and didn't sully megan fox's white pants. i guess he destroyed the great pyramids.... and i guess he found that sun devourer thingy. fat lot a good it did him though.... but, man, it was a good time had at the orienter house. really. i can't wait for the next one to come out.

oh, the matrix of leadership. you can't pay someone enough for gold like that.

There's enough fucking garbage in this movie to make eleven Transformers movies, and while I don't think we'll get quite to eleven I think we'll get past three.  Hooray.

If you want to look for sense here, I think you'll need a very special sort of divining rod.  Beef is reluctant to go off to college even though his parents need to be shot in the face immediately.  Megatron was buried (?) 9300 fathoms beneath the sea, which is roughly twice as deep as the ocean actually is.  The Matrix of Leadership is a thing, but it's not; it's really a gift granted by the Transformer Gods (bestowed upon guess who?).  Optimus Prime is the last remaining heir to the seven Prime Transformers, which implies some sort of heredity, which implies some sort of procreation, which possibly implies some sort of female transformer.  (I think Transformers porn would have been preferable to this movie; oil squirting out of Optimus's crotch onto Hot Rod's face could have at least run under the credits.) The list goes on.

If you can suspend all that disbelief, you might be as Jesusy as Beef and consequently be able to forgive every other transgression on display here.  Action scenes--both full-on robot fights and simple car chases--are so frenetic as to be inscrutable; and I know these things are robots, but their dialogue doesn't have to sound like narrated voiceover.  As far as characterization, the closest one to "believable" is Beef himself.  Everybody else, humans and robots alike, is scattershot on a piece of graph paper representing various forms of caricature, stereotype, and comic relief.

Finally, I'd like to congratulate the single most successful member of the production staff: the continuity manager.  If not for the diligence of that person, Megan Fox might have looked differently in scenes which took place on the same day just because some of them were set in a small Italian town and some were set in the midst of a laser-firefight in the middle of the desert.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Land of the Lost

Land of the Lost (2009)

Director: Brad Silberling
Writer:Chris Henchy, Dennis McNicholas (movie writing) Sid & Marty Krofft (tv show)
Starring: Will Ferrell, Anna Friel, Danny McBride

dr. guy creates some sort of time machine using tachyons and crystals. he and a fan/ college chick and some hick trailer guy go back in time and have an "adventure" trying to get back.

The Woman
i'm not exactly sure why i put this on the queue. i knew it was going to be bad and not really funny, but it was really bad, and not funny at ALL. usually i expect some funny out of will ferrell. i like his sense of humor. i think his humor is found in his randomness, and this movie didn't have a shred of random in it. that goes for danny mcbride too. it felt extremely rehearsed. (maybe, perhaps a misguided attempt at cheese?) it was a similar feeling to the point in which i stopped watching saturday night live. the skits went on for twice as long as they should have, to the point where the joke wasn't funny anymore. the plot was unfunny stupid too.

 the show was great. the appeal of the show was the cheese factor. when studios dump tons of money into comedy remakes of low budget cheese it tends to fail miserably. the magic mixture has been tampered with. like all those cold products that had to change it's ingredients or be put behind the counter. add this to the ranks of dayquil. terrible and ineffective.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Wrestler

The Wrestler (2008)

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer: Robert D. Siegel
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei

a has been wrestler living his life after the limelight with no money, or house, or family, or anything. but he still wrestles because he's a wrestler.

Opening this with self-flattery, I will say that I've been largely underwhelmed by the other critics' choices in 2008.

I'm an Aaronofsky fan--I even really appreciated The Fountain--but this was a boring pile of boring.  Almost everything was here. Acting was really good. Production was really believable.  And it was a great, naturalistic, easy approach by Our Darren.  But the only element of this story we haven't seen before is Marissa Tomei's fakely-pierced tits.

Using the fanciest font you can develop doesn't change the fact that your message is 2+2=4.

The Womani thought this was actually pretty boring. i understand the premise, but eh. boring. i thought it was going to be horribly depressing, but it wasn't to me. i felt very indifferent to all the characters. life sucks, man. especially when you can't let go and you've been doing all sorts of  steroids and horse tranquilizers and oxycontin for at least twenty years.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Day the Earth Stood Still... Again!

The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008)
Written by David Scarpa (derived by), Edmund H. North (derived from)
Directed by Scott Derrickson
Starring A Block of Wood, A Younger Woman with a Mortgage, An Older Woman with a Mortgage, A British Gentlemen with Eleven Mortgages, A Relative Newcomer Who Still Should Have Known Better, Daniel San

Again this falls on me; but it will be easier this time.  A mysterious sphere shoots from far away right into Central Park.  Our government (and ONLY our government) is able to determine that with no course correction it will land in Central Park.  A canoe emerges, only to be shot, poked, prodded, and condescended to before it escapes.  Because Americans are the only example it requires, all this crap shows it how poorly humanity is doing and it makes the decision to extinctify us.  But then it learns about love from a stupid little boy who knows little more than how to complain and idolize his dead soldier father; so the Earth stands still... but not really.

The Woman
this was fantastic! all remakes should be as good as this. then maybe hollywood would stop making remakes. this movie is a perfect example of taking a simple, one track, moral of the story, classic and making so complex, and twisted around, that in the end it makes no sense. klaatu never spoke to anyone in power, never got his message across to the human race before he just said 'you guys are cool' to jennifer connelly and away he went up into the blue. the whole premise of this remake is that the human race must be pushed to the edge of destruction to realize they need to change. a plague of robotic locusts that go a hundred miles is not going to change the whole of mankind. i don't even think it would change american mankind. maybe it would. i feel the change in my heart. we can no longer fight wars and poison this planet. the robotic locusts have destroyed I-95. at least one trucker has died. we must change.

also what was the deal with the chinese/alien observer guy that sold us down the river. way to go asshole. now we're all doomed. you say you want to stay and die with us because we're so loveable and wonderful, but you can't tell an eentsie weentsie lie and tell keanu that our race is awesome and we'll hug trees, and dance around with daisies in our hair, holding hands and singing kumbaya!?! jerk.

i loved this movie.

ps. the earth stood still in the first one to get the attentions of the leaders of the world. it was not some expert throw in 'oh crap the earth has to stand still, because it's the title of the movie.....ummmm. we shall make it a fancy way for klaatu's ship to take off in the last 30 seconds of the movie'


This movie didn't exceed my expectations; it bucked them. I expected to see the Canoe doing more one-on-one stuff with that icy voice, and his Canoe-ness might have served that concept well.  But what we got was much more stock stupidity.  I could do a few hundred words just about the geography in this thing, but we'll skip that.

What was cool about the first movie was that Klaatu really was a cool customer.  This guy goes around and gets himself into trouble on purpose.  Then he does things like kill people just so he can resurrect them. Is he an investigator? An enforcer? A judge/jury?  You probably shouldn't care.

There's a whole thing with the army trying to (against Posse Comitatus) destroy the sphere or the robot, kind of reveling in the futility of their actions.  There's some sort of something about the robot turning into (or generating?) locusts which eat things? But it's unclear if they're eating humans or just stadiums.  Then there's something about spheres similar to the one that landed in Central Park (but the Americans were only cool enough to exactly track the one that went into Central Park) acting as some kind of arcs to take the other species away.  Even the people making the movie didn't take these things seriously enough to explain them with throwaway bullshit.

There are some good supporting actors here.  John Cleese plays the character probably most similar to his counterpart in the other film.  Jennifer Connelly does fine, because she knows how to read; but her character is completely different.  Leaving aside the whole thing about them shutting down the highway so she could get to the airport (way to keep a low profile, guys), she's some sort of xenobiologist but she obviously has no idea what she's talking about when she's asked.  Kathy Bates plays the Defense Secretary (see? we live in a progressive world) who ends up opposed to the violence.  All it takes is for humans (i.e. Americans) to be shown the mortality of their species.  And then there's poor, poor John Hamm who floats in and out of the story like what's-his-face McFly.  (There may have been some explanation to how he came back in; but neither of us caught that part of the movie... and usually between the two of us we consume 100% of even the dumbest movies).

AND we get to listen to Will Smith's kid! Holy shit, Will Smith has a kid! And he acts! And he's cute! And he's a curmudgeon! But he's still cute!

They should have made "Bill and Ted 3," in which Keanu Reeves goes back to the early 90s ans surgically sterilizes Will Smith.  That would have been considerably more entertaining, even in its shittiest form.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Played With Fire (2009)
Written by Jonas Frykberg, Steig Larsson (book)
Directed by Daniel Alfredson
Starring Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Peter Andersson

lisbeth salander is framed for a triple homocide. crime thriller things happen.

This was good.  It was interesting and well-paced.  

Returning to kick ass in a superlative way is Ms. Rapace as Lisbeth.  She enters the film looking like she's had some time off to think and eat (and yes, woman, I know you disagree) but her core is no softer and her performance of this excellent character is not to be trifled with.  Ditto Nyqvist/Blomkvist (though in his own special way).

While procrastinating writing this, I had the opportunity to think more about it.  I enjoyed this, but I wasn't floored by it.  This is a competent mystery-action-drama, but it's not much of a follow-up to the first film and I sincerely hope--and I've also been led to believe--that it's more in the adaptation than the source material. 

The Woman
i liked the first one better. that is not to say this wasn't good. it was. it just didn't have the mystery aspect. i also didn't like how nyquist and salander didn't work together in this. they only come together in the last scene. she is a pretty kick ass chick. i can dig. i also can't wait for the next installment.

X-men Origins: Wolverine

X-men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Director: Gavin Hood
Writer: David Benioff, Skip Woods
Starring: Huge Ackman, Liev Schreiber

like the title says, the "origin story" of further comment

The Woman
i admire liev schreiber's nose. that's about all the positive things i have to say about this movie. i only had a couple of weapon X comic books, and i read them *cough, hack* twenty odd years ago, but i can tell you this was not only incorrect, but a PG version. wait. PG-13 because of 1 distant bare ass. if i was a contemporary 12 year old i might have enjoyed this film. and, as the esteemed judge marilyn milian of people's court fame would say, " if i had two wheels i'd be a bicycle"

the music was totally outrageous in this movie too. it was like michael bay, jerry bruckheimer style, but without the outrageous moments. there were outrageous moments, but this super dramatic, over orchestration would come on when things were quiet. like after the girlfriend dies and wolverine is shouting to the heavens above. yes. the old overhead shot of a man holding his dead love shouting into the air. mostly used as a joke nowadays. total for serious in this movie.

ooh. i thought of another positive then negative thing. i like how you can tell some actors are comic dorks i.e dominic monaghan who had all of two lines before he died, but then i think 'did he read the script?' would a person outweigh the inaccuracies and stupidity just to play a certain character? hmmmmm.

that's all that pops out of my brain on this one.

"you know what happens to a toad when it gets hit by lighting?"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Spirit

The Spirit (2008)

Director: Frank Miller
Writer: Frank Miller (screenplay) Will Eisner (comic)
Starring: Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson

**We have decided that this movie cannot be spoiled. (that it's impossible to spoil because there is nothing to spoil. not that we don't want to spoil it for you. you should read between the lines here and never watch this movie)**

Oh, I have to write the synopsis of this?  Gee, OK.

Fairly recently in the land of whatever-Metropolisburgvilleshireton:

This one kid had a "relationship" with this unnecessarily cute girl, but then somebody shot her cop father so she left to become a Mistress Thief.  But the guy was more in love with the city than with her so he decided to stay. (Also she quite rudely declined to ask him.) Instead he fell in love with the law and became a cop.  And then somebody shot him.  And then for some reason to which I wasn't paying attention (see below) he became a vigilante with a new identity: the Spirit of the City.  Also somewhere in here he

a) became invulnerable (see below)
and b) learned that between each pair of female legs there is a distinct vaginal opening.

Anyway, just before the credits roll you learn that--wait for it!--one plus one equals two.

The Woman
this might be the worst movie i've ever seen. worse than "bride wars" worse than my memories of that john goodman movie "matinee" which i actually turned off when i was a pre-teen. this was torture to watch in it's entirety. i did it for you people, and you should appreciate my sacrifice.  i don't know where to begin on the root of where this all went terribly wrong. every choice made was the wrong one. like an infected pussy scab turned gangrenous on a limb. it was just all bad, man. the acting was public access channel bad. and just because the fank miller style worked for frank miller in "sin city" does not mean it can work for every comic turned movie. "sin city" was gritty and violent and written well. this was 40's radio fluffy trying to be tuff enough, and the art direction just made it more unbearable. and there are plenty of movies where this james cagney/ katherine hepurn style of speech worked moderately well. i.e. "the hudsucker proxy", or i'm even willing to go as far as to say "dick tracy" was better than this. if i could give this a zero star rating i would. if there was a time machine where i could go back in time and get my hour and a half back, and erase all knowledge of this movie's viewing, only the hint of a bad taste in my mouth, and the instinct to treat this movie like the plague. i would risk a time paradox.

I'm tempted to just write "see above" and live with the circular-reference joke, but no.

There were many things wrong with this movie.  Not being the comic book dork in the Intersection (i.e. my marriage) I can't speak to the accuracy of the story porting.  However, being the dork snob that I am I expect it to be pretty close.  With that in mind, I'm opening the gate to this edition of Three... Jump! on the bottom step.

I don't know how much of the acting is the actors' fault.  Scarlett Johansen, for example, plays her role in exactly the opposite way from Happier, With Your Mouth Open and the rookie cop (who, of course, is the eager, extra-super-smart girl from out of town) continually moves her jaw around in a circle while she speaks.  Then there's our Mr. Jackson, who we know is capable of pulling thousands of asses to the edges of their seats

Then there's our Mr. Jackson, who we know is capable of pulling millions of asses to the edges of their seats

but here he can't even keep necks vertical.  The gigantic mastermind-explains-the-plot-to-the-hero scene cuts back and forth between his pontificating and fuzzy flashbacks to Mr. Spirit's history, but it does so in such a history teacher, Ben Stein in Ferris manner that I just couldn't pay attention.  Luckily nothing else about the movie made me give a flying fuck.


OK.  I've been working on this for three days.  It's not nearly as funny as I'd like it to be and there's no point in continuing. I strongly recommend against watching this movie.

The Fourth Kind

The Fourth Kind (2009)

Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Writer: Olatunde Osunsanmi, Terry Robbins
Starring: Mila Jovovich, Elias Koteas aka casey jones

after the death of her husband, a psychiatrist continues her research of rampant insomnia  found in nome, alaska. they all have the same vision of a white owl. abduction theories start to emerge. (personally i think the goblin king is to blame) based on a true? story.

The Woman
i'm not sure what to think of this. i feel this is not quite authentic. there's too much pale make-up on the "real" dr. abagail tyler, and there is a little bit too much "this is REAL" announcements. that said, i did appreciate the style of split screening the "real" video sessions and the professionally acted ones, blending the voices, and lip syncing and all that. i thought this would be scarier. as far as real abduction movies go i think i liked "fire in the sky" better, but not a bad attempt on this one. i also liked the 'is she just grief stricken all kinds of crazy' angle to leave the viewer with a not quite certain feeling. the actor and director disclaimers were a little on the too much, eye rolling side. those could have been left out. especially with the epilogue texts directly following.

The Blind Side

The Blind Side (2009)

Director: John Lee Hancock
Writer: John Lee Hancock, Michael Lewis (book)
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron

super white rich chick takes in a huge black kid from the projects and he plays football.

The Woman
i have this soft spot for sandra bullock. i don't know why. i can't tell you that i have ever really liked a sandra bullock movie. this is no exception. i liked her character. but i am not a football fan and there is a lot of football in this movie. i don't understand football. and there is a lot of technical footballness to this movie. people have tried to explain football to me but it's like when my darling husband starts to talk about computers, i just sort of start to hear the charlie brown adults wha, wha,wha,wha. in one ear and out the other. maybe it's because it doesn't interest me in any sort of minutia. the football that is. i am completely interested in everything my husband has to say. anyway. this movie was eh. if you like football, and you're a chick (because this is a chick flick) then you may like this.

i also kept thinking how this is totally a diabetes coma sugar coated version of what happened in real life, but i am a very cynical person

just as a side note. i don't know if you can see this or not, but her ass in this poster is outrageous! why bother wearing pants? photoshop, man, jeeebus.