Sunday, September 25, 2005

Carlito's Wayward Son

Carlito's Way :Rise To Power straight to video prequel of the Pacino flick- we follow a young Carlito as he forms a interracial coalition to distribute heroin in Harlem- with Luis Guzman,Mario Van Pebbles,Diddy,guys from the Wire and the Sopranos- pretty typical gangsta flick C-

Carlito's Way Al Pacino is Carlito a reformed gangsta looking to clean up after a five year stint in a correctional facility.The DePalma flick never really jelled for me- it did have nice scenes like a groovy escalator shootout and Sean Penn's Jewfro- but I never bought into Carlito's romance with Penelope Ann Miller- she is cute- but there seems to be no chemistry. C
Lords of Dogtown - following the swell documentary Dogtown & The Z-Boys this flick follows 3 of the legendary sidewalk surfers from their early days as grommits keeping the pier locals only to the dogbowl sessions.The movie does a good job of capturing the exuberance of youth - the ability to create your own fun with limited resources- and like a typical "rise and fall " of rock star movie- we get treated to the rise and fall of the Zephyr team.A good vintage soundtrack(including "Super Stupid" by Funkadelic) and tons of cameos from skaters flesh out an entertaining look @ skating years before it was part of the extreme sports thing. The DVD is chock full of extras including 2 different commentaries- including one by 2 of the original Z-Boys.Starring Emile Hirsch,Heath Ledger,Johnny Knoxville and others. B+

The Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin The Untold Story - a decent yet inconsistent DVD featuring the talking baby and dog(my 2 fave family guy characters)- I laughed several times- but rolled my eyes a few times also- Family Guy is a comedy show that wears down the will of the viewer by attempting humor thru quantity rather than quality- almost every line uttered is supposed to be a punchline- good in theory- but sometimes you need a straightperson/setup to better get the impact of the comedy.The DVD is 3 part storyline with new wrap-around segments from the debut of the "movie". B-

Silver Hawk - felt like a straight to video Hong Kong action flick with Michelle Yeoh as a customed super-hero- the action was subpar and the story typical D

Path To War -Micheal Gambon plays LBJ during his admin- most of the film features LBJ talking about the Viet Nam War- he is constantly dealing with the hawks and doves in his own cabinet- most of the HBO movie is dialogue about the war spliced with occasional stock footage of bombing and whatnot.It was interesting to me as a history buff- but would probably be rather dry for alot of folks. C-

Desperate Housewives:Season One - a funny soap opera with a cast of MILFS and a little murder mystery thrown in- I think season 2 will have me watching every Sunday night.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Stone Cold - The Boz(ex Sooner/Seahwak MLB Brian Bosworth) is an undercover cop sent to the south to infiltrate a biker gang lead by Lance Henriksen- lots of macho posturing and fighting.Ridiculous - but fun

Ishtar- Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman are a couple of schlub lounge singers who go to Zirconia(ok some middle east country) and become mixed up in intrigue or something- the best sequences are the song writing ones.

Sextette - Mae West runs a hotel - and is/was a spy who uses her appeal to woo the men- in 1976- the cast includes Ringo Starr,Keith Moon,Timothy Dalton & the US Men's Gymnastic Team.

The Bad Bunch -Greydon Clark is a nam vet who comes to Compton to give his purple heart to the family of his fallen comrade- he is confronted by a black gang and they chase him around the town.The interacial pool party in the middle flick and the random dialogue in the strip bars up then ante.

Hotel- several stars(Salam Hayek,Burt Reynolds,John Malkovich,David Schimmer,etc.) go overseas to improvise their way thru a Mike Figgis film about a low budget film about a play - a murder plot,cannibalism,odd sex stuff- I still don't know what it was about.....

Ruckus- Dirk Benedict is an ex-nam vet that takes on a small southern town
Roadhouse- Patrick Swayze is Dalton- he is not as big as folks would think due to his rep.Tons of funny lines and John Doe and former ECW/NAW champ Terry Funk

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Longest Yard(2005) - take some pro rasslers,some NFL dudes add some SNL folks remake a Burt Reynolds 70s flick and get a hit movie- sadly the movie just never works- it has a few chuckles- and some hard hits- but it just never gels-never feels even close to real enough to care about the characters and most of the jokes are retreads including a lame "run Forrest run" joke. Skip unless you need to see former grapplers like Big Sexy and Goldberg "act". C-
Born into Brothels- Oscar award documentary about a bunch of children in the red-light district of Calcutta. I was afraid this would be the social equivalent of a car wreck.It was not - nor was it a hands off documentary- the first half of the film introduces us to the children and the second half of the movie shows the director making efforts to get the children into better enviroments.

Mindhunters - B-level thriller with LL Cool J , Christian Slater & Val Kilmer directed by Renee Harlin.Basically a bunch of FBI profilers get dropped on a deserted island for a simulation - then people start dying for real- a whodunit that turns into a whocares D-

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Enemy @ The Gates-the pivotal battle of WW2 European theater- brutal,gruesome,thousands dead- and Hollywoood managed to sammich in a love story-wtf? Jude Law is a sniper who learned his craft hunting wolves on the frozen tundra- he is a foot solidier dropped into the insanity of Stalingrad- he manages to survive the initial battle and is left for dead- he meets a political officer(Joe Fiennes) for the USSR- he is seen killing off several Nazis- and turned into a
propaganda hero.He does so well the Nazis bring in Ed Harris to have a shootout in the middle of this seige.Also Joey Fiennes & Jude Law both fall for Rachel Wiesz- ok I know HOllywood did not need to remake Stalingrad (which was brutal sad and hard to watch) - but a love story in Stalingrad-yeesh C+

Inside Deep Throat a decent documentary about one of the most profitable and controversial movies of the 70s- B

I have started watching Desperate Housewives- besides the obvious Milf factor- it has some funny writing and well I think I may be hooked

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Reflections of Evil- a mesmerizing & disjointed journey that follows a frustrated and mentally disturbed watchseller ply his trade in LA.This movie will not be for everybody- but it hooked me from the beginning- the sound editing is off kilter but perfect for the dementia of the lead character.This film was made on a shoestring- most of the shots were stolen on the streets of LA and @ Universal Studios.At times the movie felt like a 70s horror flick mixed with a 60s acid trip with random bumfights thrown in-bizarre stuff like a Klaus Kinski ride at an amusement park and the ominpresent Miss Congeniality posters in the background of homeless folks struggling to survive. B+

I also watched most of Hardcore Homecoming - for some reason this "ECW" show lacked the match quality of the WWE ECW 1 Night Stand PPV from the next night- part of it was star power - the other part was the lack of storyline . I enjoyed the DVD- but it was a sad shadow of the WWE event C-

Monday, September 12, 2005

Lost(Season 1) - just finished a Lost mini-marathon-great stuff from the pilot to the cliffhanger- a well executed mix of action/adventure/horror/comedy and romance.The show has several different lead characters from the heroic doctor to the "unlucky" lotto winner to the on the run fugitive,etc.Mixing feature film production values with talented actors and a nice twisted plot.The show succeeds for many reasons- but main reason is the wide array of compelling characters. The DVD set has tons of extras including branching commentary tracks,a blooper reel,deleted scenes ,audition tapes and featurettes. A+

Age of Innocence a beautiful romance set in the late 1800s -Martin Scorsese does a great job capturing the details and Edith Wharton delivers the dialogue with zest.Stellar acting jobs by Daniel Day Lewis,Michelle Pfieffer & Winona Ryder help deliver this epic lovestory.Maybe more nuanced and slowpaced for the modern day film fan- but I loved every minute of this flick. A+

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Rock School - a former guitar whiz uses a tough love approach to get children to rock out zappa style.This documentary follows a semester @ a Philly after-school program- it is fun watching the Zappa band travel to Germany and wow the crowd- it is not as fun watching the patriarch of the school be an overbearing bully- sure he is funny @ times- but I think I would end up punching him. C+

Fever Pitch -The Farrelly brothers do a good job in adapting this Nick Hornby book into a cute and charming love story with Drew Barrymore,Jimmy Fallon & Ione Skye.Fallon is inconsistent but charming in his role as the obsessed Bosox fan - Fans of the original Hornby novel might want to check out the 1997 version of the flick with Colin FIrth as a soccer mad teacher. B

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Fubar:The Movie - a fake documentary following 2 loveable loosers who spend their time drinking,mauling the language and dealing with testicular cancer.It felt like an unofficial sequel to American Movie - low production values and following 2 headbangers thru their life.Not something I would watch again- but I enjoyed it. C+

Cellular - Kim Basinger is kidnapped by Jason Statham- she needs help- she reconnects a phone and contacts a surfer dude - ok- it all sounds ridiculous- but it works- a decent lowbrow thriller with car wrecks,fighting,cursing and William H. Macy. Co-written by Larry Cohen(Phonebooth ,God Told Me Too) B-

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Lipstick & Dynamite- neat documentary about female wrestling in the 40's,50's & 60s- filled out with archival footage and current interviews with several gal grapplers.The DVD has deleted scenes and director commentary. B+

Elvis Has Left The Building - a hunk hunka burning crap - I wish I had left also- whatever this Joel Zwick comedy failed to provide any laughs - the multiple Elvis impersonator homicides and the Kim Basinger/John Corbett romance collided in this dud . D-

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Who's Your Daddy

Typical nerdboy gets newfound respect when he inherits money movie- an attempt @ a r-rated 80's style boob fest- The main character is an outcast who hangs out with the geek squad @ school- he wants the typical "hot" blonde- but is pursued by the editor of the high school paper- the cast included Kadeem Hardison,Dave Thomas,ALi Landry,Wayne Newton and the guy who played Bill on Freeks & Geeks.Not even worth a rental . D

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Gunslinger's Revenge (aka Mio West) - filmed in 1998 in Italy- this western is PC to the point of sacchrine OD- centered around a half-breed child with a father who is a pacifist and a vegeterian- the first part of the film plods along until grizzled gunslinger Harvey Kietel comes into town to reunite with his family and retire - sadly his retirement is interrupted by David Bowie who camps it up as an evil fame seeking outlaw .The movie almost has a pulse when Kietel or Bowie are on the screen- the other 60% of the film is a bust C-

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Crash decent drama with several interspliced stories set in LA.Nothing spectacular but it did have a hilarious carjacking scene.Tons of folks in this "indie" film- Sandra Bullock,Don Cheadle,Terrance Howard,Ludacris,Brendan Fraser,Matt Dillon,Larenz Tate,etc. B

Three Iron quirky Asian film about a guy who loves golf and goes from home to home squatting when the homeowners are away.Slow paced but interesting. B

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Apostle - Robert Duvall plays a cuckold preacher on the run in this film that Duvall also wrote and directed.This is a riveting movie from the git-go- Duvall nails Sonny or the apostle EF perfectly in this flick- as a matter fact the whole movie plays note perfect- you get a real sense of what religion adds to the lives of many who have not much else to latch onto- Duvall's character is a combination of saint and sinner- he lives to preach but he is not able to turn the other cheek.Farah Fawcett,Billy Bob Thornton,June Carter Cash,Walter Goggins and others round out the cast- but this is Duvall's show and he is excellent. A