Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Movie Dump (Drum Roll, Part 3)

It's ridiculous that I keep thinking I'm going to catch you all up on the movies I saw in that long post drought of December (and then the others I've watched since then that I haven't written about). But I have this obsessive need for closure about it, so I'm going to try to list them all with short commentary where I deem necessary. My hope is also that someone will see a film in there that they've seen and are interested in discussing further. If not, it will just be a point of curiosity (either the films I've seen, or my persistence in trying to list them ALL on the blog).

Again, this is why Flixster is useful to me in helping me to keep track of what I've seen. I used to write them all in my planner, but I don't use a planner now since I've gotten my iPod.

The list starts some two months ago, but is not in any strict chronological order, since sometimes I forget to put stuff into Flixster until later. I'll put an exclamation point by the ones I've seen before and an asterisk by the ones I saw on NWI (I didn't check again to see if they're still available, however). 

She* (Nesher, 1982) Post-apocalyptic weirdness. I was half asleep and don't remember much.

Cashback* (Ellis, 2006) Decent indie short-film-turned-to-feature about making something of your life.

Dance Flick* (Wayans, 2009) These movies are terrible, yet I can't seem to stop watching them.

The Breaks* (Meza, 1999) An Irish boy in the 'hood. Sucked.

Hound of the Baskervilles* (Morrissey, 1978) Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Spike Milligan. Very Python-esque. Very funny.

How Much Do You Love Me? [Combien tu m'aimes?]* (Blier, 2005) Nice acting by Belucci. A drama that becomes a comedy. Strange but compelling.

HP:Deathly Hallows, Part One (Yates, 2010) What you'd expect from the franchise, but with the addition of wonderful waiting-in-the-highlands scenes.

Better Than Chocolate* (Wheeler, 1999) Well-done indie film. Taught me that transgendered folks are even more marginalized and discriminated against than homosexuals.

Freezer Burn* (Hood, 2007) Another entertaining indie film. Good acting by the leads, but not so much anyone else. Great premise--a man goes into deep freeze to wait for a high school girl he has a crush on to catch up to him in age.

Thankskilling* (Downey, 2009) It's about a demon-possessed, murderous turkey. Does it matter whether or not it's any good? (it's not)

Hot Tub Time Machine (Pink, 2010) Awesome premise, disappointing follow-through. Oh so disappointing.

Antichrist* (von Trier, 2009) Incredibly beautiful cinematography. Incredibly effective (and spare) use of gore. Depressing as hell.

Stone of Destiny* (Smith, 2008) Fun, feel good all-ages film about some college kids trying to steal Scotland's Stone of Destiny.

Funny Farm (!)* (Hill, 1988) I've seen this 3 or 4 times and love it every time. Classic Chevy Chase, but nicely understated.

Mrs. Doubtfire (!) (Columbus, 1993) Robin Williams before he started saying Yes to every crappy comedy that came across his desk.

Everybody's All American (!)* (Hackford, 1988) It's a little long and a little overly sentimental, but it's genuinely heartfelt.

Gallipoli* (Weir, 1981) Excellent film, but I can't get over Weir's cavalier disregard for historical accuracy.

The Dark Crystal (!) (Henson, Oz, 1982) Visually stunning. Unbelievable puppetry. Holds up amazingly well after all these years. Just don't watch it if you're sleepy.

Best Worst Movie (Stephenson, 2009) Documentary about the making of Troll 2. Funny and entertaining. I kind of wished I'd watched Troll 2 first, though.

Troll 2 (Fragasso, 1990) Supposedly the "best worst" movie ever made. I think I need to watch it again without having the  documentary in my head. There were advantages to watching the documentary first, but the film lost some of its impact because of it. Made in 1990, but plays like it was made in the early eighties.

The Girlfriend Experience* (Soderbergh, 2009) Soderbergh writes a film about a call girl, starring a porn actress, with relatively little nudity and a surprisingly emotional ending.

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (!)* (Burton, 1985) My son didn't like this. I was so disappointed. I guess he had to be there.

Love Me If You Dare [Jeux d'enfants]* (Samuell, 2003) Samuell boldly follows an idea to its grave (literally). A couple of friends/lovers who ride the edge of psychopathy as they try to one-up each other in a series of dares that lasts for decades. Bitter-tasting and original.

Frozen* (Green, 2010) College students trapped on a chair lift at a lodge in New England that closes on the weekend at the height of the ski season. Whaaaat? Still, I absolutely loved this movie. And, there are wolves.

The Canyon* (Harrah, 2009) A couple gets lost and injured in the Grand Canyon. It's really good until the director screws over the audience at the very end.

True Grit (Hathaway, 1969) See earlier posts.

True Grit (Coens, 2010) See earlier posts.

Innerspace (!)* Ridiculous comedy, but I like the concept as much as I did when I was a kid.

True Stories* (Byrne, 1986) Highly recommended quirky musical.

Pom Poko (Takahata, 1994) Studio Ghibli anime about raccoons who use their scrotums as parachutes. Kinda preachy, but cute and funny.

The Secret of Kells* (Moore, Twomey, 2009) Otherworldly animation more than makes up for a simple plot.

Cube 2* (Sekula, 2002) Don't waste your time.

Cube Zero* (Barbarash, 2004) Better than the second, not as good as the first.

Shiver [Eskalofrio]* (Ortiz, 2008) Surprisingly good thing-in-the-woods film. The cowardly sun-sensitive protagonist is a fun twist.

The King's Speech (Hooper, 2010) See earlier post.

The Babysitters* (Ross, 2007) Uneven but promising indie film about high-schoolers who start a prostitution ring. Thoughtful and not as smarmy as it could have been or was accused of being.

Cold Storage* (Elwood, 2006) The girl's dead within the first twenty minutes, so, really, where's the suspense?

Dead of Winter/Lost Signal* (McNamara, 2007) If your friends spike your drink with LSD without your knowledge, and then let you leave the house, they're not your friends.

Nature's Grave/Long Weekend* (Blanks, 2008) I just found out this was a remake of a film from the seventies. It got a lot of bad reviews, but I loved it. I loved the arguing couple, I loved the wandering dead manatee, I loved that they left the tent flap open ALL THE TIME and never seemed to have any problem with bugs or snakes in the tent. I bet I won't like it as much if I see the original. I'm a sucker for a fun concept and will be remarkably forgiving if its execution is even remotely entertaining.

Wilderness Survival for Girls* (Despres, Roberts, 2004) It's a shame these three actresses haven't made it big. Their performances really make this film. The plot is a little twisty and turny, but not overly so. It's all the "You don't like me" and "She's a bitch" and "You should have heard what she said to me about you" that really won me over. I think that this is how high school girls really talk to each other, and I loved every minute of it.

Revolver (Ritchie, 2005) I had no idea what this movie was about. Jason Statham is conning himself but he doesn't know it? What the hell? Madonna did not do a single good thing for this poor director.

1776 (Hunt, 1972) Very long musical about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It's better than it sounds, but plan for an intermission.

The Last Detail (Ashby, 1973) Impressively competent comedy/drama about a couple of sailors taking another one to the brig, and giving him a good time along the way. Nicholson is his usual angry, brash self, but shows glimpses of compassion and empathy. Randy Quaid's performance is excellent (nominated for an Oscar, he was).

Funny People (Apatow, 2009) Adam Sandler has some good moments in this film, but Rogen really shines. And Jonah Hill and Schwartzman are funny as hell. The uncut version is a little too long, though, and the film loses its punch a bit. As if a two-hour comedy isn't pushing it enough, throw another half hour in there and see where your audience is at the end.

The New World (Malick, 2005) Powerful visually and aurally. Kilcher is amazing. I plan to write more about this in another post.

Whew! It doesn't seem like so many when you're watching them one at a time...

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