Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Thin Man charming comedy about retired PI Nick Charles and his wife Nora- quick delivery and a good plot keep this murder mystery popping for the entire 87 minutes - the DVD also includes trailers for all of the sequels B+

Betsy's Wedding - An Alan Alda flick about a wedding and typical family mayhem before a wedding- mixed in with mob ties,class warfare and odd romantic pairings.Featured an all star cast with Madeline Kahn , Catherine O'Hara,Joe Pesci,Ally Sheedy,Dylan Walsh,Molly Ringwald and a blink you will miss it cameo from Samuel L. Jackson and Frankie Faison(from the Wire). Funny at times- but nothing worth seeking out- although the ending almost redeemed the thing.

C-

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Changing Lanes - a fender bender between an insurance salesman(Samuel L. Jackson) and a lawyer(Ben Affleck) alters their day for the worst.The take turns trying to turn the cheek and then get vengence in this dick waving contest with racial undertones. It feels like a Grisham novel mixed with Falling Down in NYC - in other words nothing new or worthwhile- although I liked the brief scene with William Hurt when he tells SLJ that society is held together by an agreement "to not go batshit" C-

Monday, August 29, 2005

Safety of Objects - basically a moderately dysfunctional suburb is chronicled in this movie- Dermott Mulroney is a lawyer passed over for a partnership- he vows to help Glenn Close win a SUV- Tompthy Olyphant is a creepy child abducter,Mary Kay Place is sexually frustrated and one child's doll speaks to him.Nothing spectacular just a typical drama with something connecting all the nieghbors.. C

tried watching Muppets:Wizard of Oz- just could not get into it- although my fatigue and general weariness of the notion probably made that a loosing effort to begin with

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Warm Springs- made for HBO movie about FDR's battle with polio and paralysis.A feel good drama about the only 4 term president in US history.Cynthia Nixon does a bangup job as Eleanor Roosevelt and Tim Blake Nelson nearly runs off with the picture as the manager of the Warm Springs resort in GA.Kenneth Brannagh does a good job as FDR also.May be slow for some- but a decent drama. B

Oldboy Korean revenge flick- a man is kidnapped and held for 15 years- he has 5 days to find out why.This brutal twisted and sometimes funny flick is eyepopping with some great visuals- the plot is even better.....good stuff A
Quicksand(1947) - Mickey Rooney is a mechanic that makes a series of bad moves trying to impress a female- nothing works out the way he intended them to-pretty basic flick- the best stuff is the confrontations between Rooney and Peter Lorre as a jealous penny arcade owner.
C

Sahara - bigscreen adaptation of a Clive Cussler novel starring Matthew McCongahey as Dirk Pitt & Steve Zahn as the Steve Zhan character with Penelope Cruz as the dowdy(not really-but she is not my cup of tea) altrutistic doctor person.Some decent action sequences and a typical bad guy is killing the ecosystem plot plus a little treasure hunting. C-

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Chyrstal - modern hillbilly flick about a family torn up about the loss of their son after a car wreck.Billy Bob Thornton comes home after a 20 year old stretch to try to redeem himself.The movie has some funny scenes(including the hilarious redneck fight club scene) and some good picking and grinning( there is a subplot about a professor writing about hill music).
B-

Friday, August 26, 2005

To Live & Die in LA

WOW- now that is what an action flick should be- gritty raw determined from beginning to end- William Peterson is superb as a vengeful secret service agent- John Pankow also does great work as his unwilling new partner and Willem Dafoe is perfect as the tortured artist counterfiter.Great action sequences- and a young Jane Leaves in lingerie. The DVD also has a decent featurette about the making of the film and the really bad ending that the studio demanded. A+

I just got in from work - tried to watch Monster-In-Law - the stereotypes played by Jane Fonda( a washed up Barbara WaWa woman after a nervous breakdown) and J-Lo as the oh so nice "eccentric"(she is a temp and an aritst- man she is so wierd) bride to be- Wanda Sykes managed to ellict a few chuckles- but this is a dog

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Last of The Mohicans a decent action flick with Daniel Day Lewis & Madeline Stowe.The most riveting character of the movie was the villian Magua- driven by revenge and dominating the screen - he was a compelling foe for the lovestruck Hawkeye. B


Brothers Grimm - Terry Gilliam melds fairytale with French occupied Germany.The Brother's Grimm are essentially ghostbusters who get recruited to find a child killer in the woods near a small town.This flick melds captivating visuals with a Danny Elfman score -Heath Ledger & Matt Damon play the brothers- one is about profit and the other brother wants to follow his imagination.A decent popcorn flick for the whole family B-
Mondo Mod - a rather mundane look @ youth culture in the 1960s - narrated by LA DJ Humble Harve we look @ such extreme activities as drug use,terrible music,motorcycle clubs,surfing ,fashion and a curfew "war".Fun on a D.I.Y. MST3K level but actually very lame when compared to other Mondo titles from the 60s. D

Ong Bak:The Thai Warrior eye popping martial arts from Thailand- Tony Jaa is simply amazing- the chase scene through Bangkok is worth a rental by itself.The fight scenes are close to brutal but still beautiful to behold.The only bad part of this movie is the same old hackneyed plot- small village has it's symbol stolen- they send a young champion to retrieve it... B+

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ghost Dog:Way of The Samurai

Quirky,odd - interesting- Forrest Whitaker is killer for hire with a code for the mob- He is always on target and loyal- but this time he killed one of the mob and they want revenge.This Jim Jarmusch flick has the usual odd silences and eccentric dialogue- the best characters are the PE loving mobster and the french ice cream vendor.A mixture of violence and humor-worht checking out for fans of Tarantino flicks and martial arts. B+

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The 40 Year Old Virgin

I am physically exhausted- from laughing- damn that was fun.Steve Carrell(The Daily Show & The Office) nails it- note perfect comedy about an awkward adult that has yet to get physical with the other sex.Judd Apatow(Freaks & Geeks) wrote and directed .Tons of big jokes and even more small jokes- and most of them worked.Fine job by the supporting cast - Paul Rudd(Clueless,Friends),Catherine Keener(The Ballad of Jack & Rose)- I hate giving away jokes and plotlines- so to sum up- second great movie today- this being a LOL comedy. A+

Lackawana Blues

An impressive HBO movie about a beautiful woman that made her house a home for several characters.Touching,alive,entrancing-a great mix of sound and story- based on a true story featuring an All-Star cast.A time capsule about .....

you get the point and no I am not on the payola for the HBO crew- I would throw around more superlatives but I am about to go out . The extras on the DVD include a deleted scene,a featurette and commentary.The funniest part about the featurette was "star" lighting they used when interviewing exec producer Halle Berry..

ok seriously - good times A

Saturday, August 20, 2005

L4yer Cake

British gangsta flick with twists and turns and brutality and humor and more brutality.Cast includes Colm Meaney & Micheal Gambon- probably will work great for fans of the genre but may too brutal for the average viewer. B+

Dust To Glory

The latest documentary from Dana Brown the guy behind Step Into Liquid & Endless Summer 2. D2G follows a recent running of the Baja 1000- a 24 hour off road race in Mexico - filled with stunning footage,compelling characters & entrancing storylines this documentary drags you from the green flag to the checkered flag.My favorite sequence was Coco's Corner - an outpost in the middle of nowhere decorated with beer cans,borken motorcycles & found objects.The Baja has been run by NASCAR drivers,Indy racers,Steve McQueen,James Garner & others- btu the real star of the film is the race itself- part cannonball run ,part deathrace2000 and all fun.

B

Friday, August 19, 2005

Personal Velocity y Patton

Personal Velocity
Rebecca Miller's trilogy of stories about 3 wimmin in NY state played by Kyra Sedgwick,Parker Posey & Fairuza Balk- the first effort from the director of The Ballad of Jack & Rose. For some reason this felt like a Lillith Fair movie-just felt like it was marketed and directed towards that demo.It was interesting to watch the first time- but nothing I would suggest to others C

Patton
George S.Scott chews up in the scenery in this Francis Ford Coppola penned dick-waving contest and does a good job of it.Patton captures the controversial and enigmatic figure as he fights the Nazis and the political mechinations of the Allied war machine. B

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fritz Lang's Cloak and Dagger

Follows a mild mannered scientist(Gary Cooper) who is recruited by the OSS to run some spy games in Fortress Europa.Nothing spectacular - but I did enjoy the consequences of the smallest missteps during each episode of espionage. C

Chinese Hercules - Bolo Yeung( the imposing and muscular chap from Enter The Dragon & Bloodsport ) is an enforcer for the syndicate who takes on some coolies to claim a pier in a small village.Hiding in the village is a master of martial arts who has vowed to never fight again cuz he killed someone.Pretty predictable chop-sockey kung fu theater stuff. The Platinum Disc transfer was terrible- terrible dubbing and lots of long torso vision. D

This week's sonic sample:"Get Off"-Floyd's Funk Revival- easy smooth soul- I was sent this band's demo years ago- sadly I could not book them @ the time -link active for 7 days only


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Heavy

A slow paced drama about a heavyset line order cook(it seemed like the early years of Private Pyle) in a small town tavern.With Evan Dando,Liv Tyler,Shelly Winters & Deborah Harry. C

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Country Girl

I love being pleasantly surprised by a movie- sure it had mentioned the 7 Oscar noms and the win on the box- but that does not always insure quality.Bing Crosby is a former star given one last chance to be a star- Grace Kelly is his wife and William Holden is the director who feels that Crosby is the right guy for the role.This Clifford Odets play crackles with razor sharp dialogue from the first scene til the end.Grace Kelly won an Oscar for her portrayal of the loyal and protective wife of Crosby, the real star of the flick is Crosby- a mixture of charm talent and sadness- I am glad the library still has older films to check out. A

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Foxy Brown

Low level 70s blaxploitation- starring Pam Grier as the title character- she is lovely- but this flick does not age well- the fight scenes are ludicrous and the plot extreme- her brother fingers her bf to the mob- she becomes a hooker- what?This movie is a hoot with a decent Willie Hutch soundtrack and cameos by Sid Haig and Antonio Fargas.If you looking for some 70s action with a strong female lead than this will be a decent 90 minute ride.On the audio commentary the director said that he wants to try his hand at romantic comedy- you know I think a catfight in a lesbian bar might of helped Wedding Date. C
The Ballad of Jack & Rose
A compelling look @ a father and daughter on an island commune-Daniel day Lewis shares his own island refuge with his 13 year old daughter- they live off the land - it is idyllic,peaceful,perfect- but Jack is getting sick and he needs help.It is hard for me to be objective about this film- since I was snagged from Suburbia by my parents and subjected to farm life for most of my formative years.They did a good job capturing the good and bad parts of living off the land.But of course all things must have act 2 conflicts-Beau Bridges is an evil developer building cookie-cutter dwellings(It is frustrating how generic housing is now) and Katherine Keener is sort of hired to be a surrogate mom for Rose- the experiment yields drama.This is a well told and acted flick and will probably hit home for other granola generation offspring like myself. B+

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Wedding Date- narcolepsy in DVD form - Debbie Messing hires an escort for her sister's wedding- fluff in the British countryside-90 minutes I donated to ...well at least it was free D

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Deal- looks to be either straight to DVD or made for TV movie about a Wall Street guy that is caught in the middle of a multi-million dollar oil deal- passable entertainment with Christian Slater,Robert Loggia,Selma Blair and Angie Harmon C-

Dave Chappelle:For What It's Worth:Live @ The Fillmore - decent standup set from America's hottest stand-up- some funny riffs- but not as consistent as his TV show- guess this will have to do as a stopgap for Chapelle comedy til (crosses fingers) he gets back to work on season 3 of Chappelle's show

tried to watch Bill of Divorcement with Katherine Hepburn yesterday- she looked lovely in her film debut- but I found my attention wandering after awhile and I ejected it with 15 minutes to go

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Corporation - a "documentary" about evil and unfeeling businesses that have ruined the world- trots out the usual suspects- Michael Moore,Noam Chomsky- uses business films from the 50s to mock corporations- now I am more prone to agree with the viewpoint of the filmmakers- but I wish that documentaries were more balanced C

snagged the Mojo Chess Comp and the latest issue of Paste today- also the WIlliam Regal autobiography and Chinese Hercules on DVD
That Forsythe Woman
A costume melodrama from 1949 with Greer Garson as the lady everyone must have- also Errol Flynn(looking so much like Kevin Kline that I kept spitting out Fish Called Wanda dialogue when he was on the screen)- also Robert Young as the impulsive architect,Janet Leigh and Walter Pidgeon.Nothing exciting- just lots of ass ruffles,dancing and snobbery with a smidgeon of adultery and a healthy dose of London Fog C

Stories of Lost Souls- a compilation of short stories- inconsistent @ best- ranging from sci-fi to domestic displacement- featuring James Gandolfini,Kate Blanchett,Hugh Jackman,Keira Knightley & Micheal Gambon. C

Monday, August 08, 2005

Man of la Mancha

Impulse buy on the heels of another impulse buy( I had stopped @ Rite-Aid to get a box of chocolates)- a fun and imaginative musical- sure Sophia Loren's vocals were less than stellar- but it was fun seeing Peter O'Toole camp it up - I loved the windmill confrontation and the kinighting ceremony - I am not a big fan of musicals- but this one is worth seeking out B

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
Decent noir pic about a love quadrangle and blackmail.Barbara Stanwyck is the evil title character and she is in a loveless marriage to Kirk Douglas.Van Heflin is the long lost love/obsession of Marhta Ivers and he comes back to town by accident after running away 17 years previous to join the circus.The movie also features Lizbeth Scott who is up there with Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls when it comes to overacting. B-

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Hitchhiker
A taut little thriller about 2 guys abucted by the creppy Emmett Myers(played to perfection by William Talman).The bad guy feels totally evil and that is fine with me- no quips or bluster even- just a shield of isolation and anger.71 minutes short- this Ida Lupino flick is full of tension from the first scene til the climax B

currently TMC is running a 3 Stooges biopic with Micheal Chiklis as Moe Howard and he is doing a good job.

just finished watching BB6- I am glad to see James nominated- but I hope that Kaysar gets reinstated or whatever- I can not stand Cappy

Kung Fu Hustle

I love it when I see good flicks- this was fun- sort of like the chop sockey answer to the imaginative Spirited Away .Tons of outlandish stunts and fights interlocked with humor,a love story and a Of Mice & Men chemistry between the leads.This movie has it's own internal logic and takes the mythology of Martial Arts to it's sill extremes.The DVD has outtakes,bloopers,commentary and a making of special A

I also watched 24 Hours in London a predictable bulletfest with kissing after the killing and twists just to deliver them- felt like it was made for TV D

Friday, August 05, 2005

My Architect

Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary feature - and deserving.This follows an illegitimate's son journey to discorver more about his world famous father - a man that had 3 families and buildings in Bangladesh,India,Trenton,Philly and other places.A mixture of touching personal scenes with some bizarre grudge hatred( the scene with the guy in charge of the downtown Philly renovation was Zell Milleresque) to innovative- his music boat was fun- his capital building for Bangladesh breathtaking. A compelling documentary from beginning to end

A

tried to watch 9th Gate -the pacing was just too slow for me today - I did try out the Fantastic Four game for Ps2- it got repitive quickly

well off to work

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Margaret Cho:Cho Revolution
Another live standup DVD from the foulmouthed hilarious Korean comedian.Most of this is too raunchy for FCC broadcast-but still a fun 87 minute concert mixed with funny pantomime and insights.The extras include commentary and the top people who got jacked in 2003. B-

I also snagged 3 other DVDs last night- My Architect ,Penn & Teller:BS Season 2 Vol 1 & 6 Strong Guys.

Yesterday was my off day - but I spent the day anchored to a courtroom to be a witness in a case for the bf of my of my former employees.I never got called and he was found guilty- so in other words I got to waste my entire day.

Last night we did go to Otani a great Japanese steakhouse-good times- I want more Shrimp Tempura- NOW

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

stuff I own





















love the picture of the records- taken by a good friend- Hamburger the Movie has Chip from the beloved Chim team on TAR - the collage is something I did with my life partner a few years back and the Trek comic cover is neato and I love comic covers from the 50's,60's & 70s

Greydon Clark

coming soon to DVD

I found this in a Blockbuster PVM bin for 2 bucks in 1993- it was so terrible - I made several friends watch it-Greydon Clark's Black Shampoo just came out on DVD complete with commentary by the the director- and some of his movies are on MST3k- Final Justice with Joe Don Baker & Angel's Revenge. Other flicks by Clark include Joysticks,Skinheads & Lambada:The Forbidden Dance.

sonic sample of dialogue from The Bad Bunch


audio up for 7 days only

Monday, August 01, 2005

just finished disc one of Eerie,Indiana - decent kids whodunit show about about a NJ transplant who moves to a town with wierd stuff going on- don't know if this is on Nutflix or not- but it is a dcent thing to watch with kids- funny enough for adults and clean enough for the average kid- this was a TV show that had a short run in the early 90s- disc one was alot of fun with episodes about human tupperware,talking dogs and an ATM with feelings