Saturday, January 28, 2006

Scorpio- 70s espinoage thriller with Burt Lancaster as a company man marked for death.Basically he is on the run and there are chase scenes and gunfights and James B Sikking was in it. C


Enron:The Smartest Guys in The Room:Good documentary about the company that defrauded it's way to the top.Good use of vintage educational films/Enron prodcued skits and actual conversation with Enron traders.The DVD is chock full of extras- including Enron cartoons and commentary. B+

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Audition - a middle aged widower decides to start datin again- his friend -a movie producer suggests they hold an audition for his prospective dates to be.30+ women come in and audition for the movie-surreal enough.But this slow-building movie is mix of social awkwardness and well- physcological thriller and darned effective-well to me anyhow. A

Mad Hot Ballroom -charming documentary about inner-city youths learning ballroom dancing. B+

Male Order Wife - a well made fakumentary about a guy that orders off for a wife from Burma- well the first 30 minutes- after that the plot goes apeshit with too many ludirious turns and twsits- but a solid and engrossing low budget flick. B

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Aristocrats - the biggest inside joke in comedy- the comedians secret handshake - an aftershow tradition with roots in Vaudeville.Basically a simple joke told by comedieans for comedians with tons of crassness,profanity and more crassness.Funny watching folks like Jon Stewart refuse to tell it and folks like Gilbert Godfried revelling in it.Probably not for anyone-a mix of belly laughs and celebs working blue. B-

Mysterious Skin - captivating drama about 2 teen boys dealing with an event that took place 10 years previous.Great performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the street hustler and Brady Corbet as a kid who is convinced he was abducted by a UFO.Captures the endless void of smalltown America and the up and downsides of homosexuality in a rural town. A+

How To Draw A Bunny -documentary about mysterious collage artist Ray Johnson.Hilarious stuff with the artist haggling to get paid for his work.Interesting watching this talented artist find alternative ways of distributing his art.The DVD also includes a good 40 piece photo gallery of several of his pieces.The DVD also has interviews with Roy Lichtenstein,Christo and others from the art world. A

The Weather Underground - documentary about college students and rebels that decided to actively strike back in response to the Vietnam War.Tons of vintage footage and interviews with the former leaders of the rogue outfit flesh out this look @ these notorious revolutionaries.
A

Overnight - a cautionary tale about too much success too soon.This is the story of one man getting discovered and getting rich and pissing it all away.Troy Duffy was "discovered" by Harvey Wienstien of Miramax and given a 300.000 advance and a 15 million dollar budget to make Boondock Saints.Sadly Duffy got too full of himself and managed to alienate his friends,family,bandmates and his patron.This movie is more fun than the cartoonishly violent Boondock Saints - it feels like a mix of Spinal Tap,Decline of Western Civilization 2 & Swimming WIth Sharks. B

The River King - decent suspense thriller about a mysterious drowning death in a small town.Nothing really spectacular- but well told.With Edward Burns and Jennifer Ehle C

Monday, January 16, 2006

congrats to Steve Carrell and his Golden Globe win for The Office

Oakland Raiders-The Complete History(2 Disc DVD) - Splendid double disc set capturing the swagger,character and drama of one of the most compelling and villianous franchises in sports history.Disc one had a nice retrospective of the Raiders climb from the AFL cellar to consistent winners- it also had several featurettes on some of the greatest moments in pigskin history from the "Holy Roller" play to the Hiedi Bowl.Disc 2 is why I got the disc- it features an hour presentation of the "Ghost To The Post" game - the double overtime game between the Oakland Raiders and The Baltimore Colts-plus featurettes about the Raiders best rivaleries.
A

Sunday, January 15, 2006

the season is over- I hope Shawn Alexander is alright- he looked totally dazed after his game ending concussion-

Seattle Seahawks 20 Washington Redskins 10

oh well- at least I have my Madden team- they are undefeated- the stars are great- John Redmond is a stellar running back and Ade McPherson is having his best passing year.The defense gives up less then a TD a game- sure it is a game- but it is fun to win at something.

watched Incident @ Loch Ness - a pseudo documentary about Werner Herzog's attempt to film a documentary about the famed legendary Nessie.Things go from bad to worse -from ill-advised jumpsuits to a centerfold Sonar model it is obvious the producer(Zach Penn) wants to spice up the documentary and add "production" value.This is a fun movie with plenty of chuckles and guffaws throughout- B+

Nausicca - Another great flick from the director of Spirited Away - Hayao Miyazaki- this centers around a princess fromt he Valley of The Wind that has the an ability to communicate with critters,bugs and animals- as always great animation and a good story. A

Junebug- a nice little movie about a small town family meeting the new wife of thier son who has moved to the big city (Chicago) from Winston Salem,N.C.Good ensemble acting in this flick although Amy Adams managed to hijack the flick with her eternally happy Ashley.Lots of beautiful shots of small town America- no strip malls -just lots of green and brick. B+

tried to watch Two For The Money - but Pacino is too much in the hoo-haw mode to keep me watching- I also have Lord of War but it looks like it will get ejected quickly



last night our power went out- and it was off and on for the next 3 hours- I slept thru most of it-
today I am off from work again- tomorrow begins a 5 day work week- then I am only working 2 days the following week

Friday, January 13, 2006

Once Upon A Time In America- the first part of this movie is stunning,beautiful,great,awe-inspiring- Robert DeNiro is Noodles a former bootleger who has come back to his old town-Most of the movie is a flashback to the age of prohibition- DeNiro & James Woods head up a brash gang of bootleggers- they love each other but of course have differing philosphies on how to get ahead.The second more flawed part of the story takes place in the late 60s- just too many plotholes to fully get behind - overall this is a movie worth seeing- even with the 3rd act problems. B+

THe Eavesdropper- Straight to video suspense action thing about a girl with the ability to hear minds-with John Delancie,George Takei and others C-

The Man-crappy buddy comedy about an ATF man named Van(Samuel L Jackson) and a fish out of water Eugene Levy- a mix of fart jokes,biting and police intimidation make for a crappy 83 minutes. F

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Odd Girl Out -I felt while I was watching this one that it was a Lifetime Channel take on Heathers -and sure enough it was a Lifetime movie.We follow Vanessa a cute Freshman/Sophomore aged gal who is on the edges of the popular girl group- but is ostracized when she gets on the radar of the group's bitch who turns her friends against her.An indictment against the pack mentality- decently acted- but not much more than an after-school special on DVD.Probably the least compelling of the 3 high school based DVDs coming out this week. C-

Sunday, January 08, 2006

well I am using a vacation day so I don't miss a down of Skins playoff feetball

Hustle & Flow -I'll admit I was skeptical - til I saw it- Terrance Howard did an amazing job with a complex character - a low-level street pimp who wants to be a rapper- the entire cast did a good job- even Ludacris as a successful rapper that comes back into town. B+

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid 2005 Special Edition - more than a movie- a beautiful painting- a dreamscape with guns and violence and Dylan songs- Coburn is perfect as the conflicted Pat Garrett and Kris Kristofferson does a splendid job as Billy The Kid.This movie also has one of the best death scenes I have witnessed- pure poetry. A+

Friday, January 06, 2006

Dirty Deeds - typical teen movie- a high school flick revolving around the 10 Dirty Deeds- a task that is only tried every few years during homecoming weekend.Each task is either embarrassing or dangerous and most of them are illegal- the only real fun of the movie is trying to figure out what the next deed will be.The usual mix of vulgarity,nipples,class warfare and violence. D

The Chumscrubber - a quirky(sort of) high school movie revolving around the suicide of the class pusher and a kidnapping in a suburban cul-de-sac- think Desperate Housewives meets Heathers with a dash of Pump Up The Volume and a smidge o Garden State with some refried Stepford Wives(including Glenn Close as a near robotic widow).All of the kids seem obsessed with drugs and a videogame(The Chumscrubber) about a headless teen in a post-nuclear world.The movie revolves around Jaimie Bell(Billy Elliot) as the surviving best friend of the suicidal best friend/class pusher.The entire town is on some sort of medication- either pills or vitamin supplements.The movie was well executed and had some funny moments and a good cast- Alison Janney,Ralph Finnes,Lauren Holley,Rita Wilson,Justin Chatwin and more. A decent dose of satire and good performances save this project from being a wash. C+

for fans of Peckinpagh- three of his movies are coming out on DVD on Tuesday- Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid, The Ballad of Cable Hogue and Ride The High Country- I was too tired to finish PG last night- but I loved the first 30 minutes of it.

The Texas v USC game was amazing- a big game that actually lived up to the hype- what was astounding was listening to the postgame hype- it was like they were still trying to sell the game or college football or something-

found an iTunes gift card at 7/11 of all places - I have purchased some songs- but if anyone has ideas for good songs to add to my iPod- go ahead and suggest them- I am so behind on music-I was a DJ at one time- but now I spend my time watching DVDs or rasslin or sport.

I can't wait for tomorrow's Skins v Bucs game- I know the Skins can win- I just hope that Brunell is healthy enough to play- I am happy the Skins made it this far and I know they compete with the remaining playoff teams- they beat the Bears and Giants and were competitive with the Seahawks and Bucs.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Atom Age Vampire(Seddok, l'erede di Satana) - a sillybad Italian horror flick about an obsessed doctor that falls for a stripper who he helps heal using cells from donors that he has to kill.I paid a buck for this at Target- it was on a disc with Revolt of The Zombies and a Casper flick- sometimes I need my MST3K fodder- sadly I needed the robots to liven this one up. The only interesting things where photos of Hiroshima survivors and a fused soda bottle. Some funny murder abduction scenes also. D-

Porco Rosso (Kurenai no buta) -charming anime about a seaplane pilot that is a pig.Once again another excellent Hayao Miyazaki flick.A great mix of comedy and imagination. A

Monday, January 02, 2006

Bridge of San Luis Rey - costume drama set in Peru- a man(Gabriel Byrne) is being tried in an inquisition about a book he wrote about 5 folks that perished after a rope bridge gave way- some great performances(Kathy Bates) mixed with some bad casting- Bobby Deniro seemed out of place as the Archbishop.Some beatiful costumes and scenery- but nothing worth seeking out. C

Gangster Story(1960) - Directed by and starring Walter Matthau as a bank robber on the run and co-starring his wife Carol Grace as the librarian that makes him want to give up his career of larceny and homicide.Low budget with huge plot holes - a budget DVD with a bad transfer-
D-

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Flirting y Wonder Boys

Flirting - engaging teen romance movie set in a 1965 Australian boarding school between a stunning Ugandan student(played by Thandie Newton) and a stuttering outcast.This movie also had Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman in it.But the pulse of the movie is the awkward and charming courtship between the 2 leads.I enjoyed the movie alot- but the ending left me rather flat. B+

Wonderboys - a novelist/professor(Micheal Douglas) with tenure has a wild weekend-doggy homicide,failed marriage,unexpected expecting,robbery,snow,hoodjumping,etc.This Curtis Hanson flick has a strong cast and plenty of chuckles- better than the average mid-life crisis story-cuz of the humour. B-