Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Break Update

The last few weeks of school pretty shut down any time I would have had to post new updates so this one will probably run a little long again, though I'll try to keep my comments brief. I want to get caught up because DVDTalk is having a challenge where the goal is to watch 100 exploitation or B-movies within the month and I'd like to have a clean palate to start it with. This post also heralds the last of my tax refund money so there won't be many new additions for a little while. Hopefully there won't be anymore Criterions going OOP to suck my money away. If I have time this month, I'm hoping to start up a few new features here at the blog so that it'll be interesting beyond just what crap I've been watching. Also, I'll be starting up a whole other blog dedicated to a particular sub-genre I've been obsessed with since infancy so be on the look out for that as well. Now, onto the babbling.

Growing up with David Lynch as your father has got to effect you in someway, and Surveillance can attest to that. What should just be a simple unraveling of an incident along the roadside leads to a convoluted, twisted, grimy mystery that leaves you with a new-found distaste for human nature. The acting is all top-notch, though I'd watch just about anything with Bill Pullman in it. And it's nice to see actors like French Stewart given a chance to show what they're really capable of. I guessed the big reveal about six minutes in, but the film was still compelling enough that I didn't even mind, even if it did leave me cold and depressed afterward.
Grade: A

I don't know, what everyone describes as "one bad-assed movie" just left me in the middle of the road. It's not bad but it's not great either. The story's nothing that new but it is entertaining throughout. On one hand, the ending's pretty anti-climatic, but on the other hand I did respect what it was doing. Maybe it was because every single actor in the film was horrible, save for Eastwood who at times felt just as bad simply because he had surrounded himself with all of these non-actors. It was fun as hell to see him acclimate himself with this whole other culture but beyond that I had no emotional investment with the story itself which felt more and more rote as it went on. It just feels like I should like it more than I do and I'm not sure why.
Grade: C+

As much of a fan of Fight Club and other Palahniukisms, I just couldn't get into this one. I haven't read the book so I have no idea how faithful it is or if maybe it would come across as more interesting when read. The biggest problem for me was that I just didn't care about anything in the movie. Most of the film just felt as though it was being weird for the sake of being weird than for actually having a purpose. The only compliments I can give it is that Sam Rockwell was pretty good and whenever it flash-backed to Anjelica Huston as his mom, the film actually felt like it was coming to life, and then it jumped back to present day and flat-lined again. This might be one I come back to in a few years to give it another chance, but for now, it's just not for me.
Grade: D+

You may not know this about me, but for the first six years of my life, I had planned in following in the footsteps of Sam Kinison and Rodney Dangerfield and becoming a stand up comedian. As I became more and more withdrawn from the world and retreated into the world of cinema, that plan fell by the wayside. However, I've continued to have a passionate interest in at least watching stand-up and tend to watch whatever I can. I was looking forward to this film as it has early performances from a lot of future stars, but as I watched it, I realized why these shows weren't really repeated once they hit it big. There's nothing really stand out here and everyone, Chris Rock in particular, seemed pretty bored. To be honest, there's not much I remember from it, hence the filler at the beginning of my review.
Grade: C-

Yeah, you're seeing right. It's the same DVD cover. That's because I watched the B-feature on the disc, The Heavyweights of Comedy, as well. I don't know what it is, but somehow fat people are funny. Well, most of them are. I don't really see myself as coming across as "funny." And I don't mean funny-lookin' either, smart ass. This was a concert that focused on the heavier side of stand-up, and for the most part, fares much better than the A-feature. The comedians are energetic and bring their personalities across very well, even while covering the same ol' topics as sex, race, New York, and eating.
Grade: B-

Wow. As an adult, I can count on one hand the number of films that have kept me up laying in bed at night, too haunted to fall asleep. Maybe, the BBC's Ghostwatch, The Changeling, and a few others. I would have never guessed that this film would have joined them. Nothing scares me more than what is left to the imagination. The intangible horrors my mind can conjure up trumps anything that's blared out on the screen. By spending the whole film with this man, getting to know him and understand why he is the way he is, then leaving the image of his ultimate demise to be formed by the various descriptions given by others, as well as Herzog's own shell-shocked reaction to the tape, it creates this emotionally twisted and damaging depiction that's constantly haunted my thoughts since watching it. That's not to say the film's success only relies on this aspect. The film depicts the man as a fully realized and heavily damaged little boy trying to live in his own idealized world, only to have the chaos that is life constantly slap him in the face. There is a quiet beauty in the footage of wilderness that still appears as if man doesn't matter. When the film begins to lead up to Treadwell's demise, you can feel the impending doom become almost oppressive. If more horror films could learn some lessons from this film, I could die happy.
Grade: A+

Bleh. For some reason, these Family Guy Star Wars specials just don' come across as very funny to me. I don't know if it's because they're following the films a little too closely or if I'm just completely dead to all things Star Wars anymore. There's some laughs here and there but it just doesn't live up to even the show's weakest episodes. Robot Chicken is completely blowing these Family Guy specials away.
Grade: C-

What an emotional u-turn. When you put in a movie marketed the way this was, you expect a somewhat fun time with a message at the end, not a strung-out, depressing, revisiting of all of those horrible emotions you had hoped you abandoned as you grew older. There wasn't a lot that felt fun in this movie. Instead, just about the entire running time felt like a psychological exam of a child. These monsters are menacing and do nothing but spew out raw emotions, cutting through the shells we've built around us as we hardened to the world's edges. Through it all, the film has an almost overwhelming sense of beauty with the landscapes and the monsters creating a completely believable setting for a child's imagination. After it was over, I felt drained but better for it, almost like what an intense therapy session would presumably feel like. I could only imagine watching this as a child myself, but I have a feeling that most kids would come away with the fact that this film truly got them and who they are.
Grade: A

Hands down, despite a plethora of other great shows, Rescue Me stands as my own favorite show still running, even if I have to play catch-up with the DVDs in order to watch it which sucks when you have to wait about a year to finally see how the cliffhanger's been resolved. Since I've fallen behind so far with all of my DVDs, I at least know that there's already two other seasons to catch up with without having to wait too long. This season was probably the weakest of the show so far, but that didn't make it any less fun or compelling. Even though you could probably figure out what would happen after the third season's ending, it still was able to keep some details in the air until the final beat of the first episode which was great. Overall, it still had the same feel as other seasons, though it had way less of Sheila and a little too much of Gavin's new girlfriends which alternated between boring and annoying. Surprisingly, the most interesting character in this season was Garrity as he dealt with his divorce and tries to turn himself into an alcoholic in order to fit in. This season didn't end with a huge shocker but was more about leaving the characters with a whole new set of emotional issues to deal with. If anyone hasn't been watching this show, they need to get on that pronto.
Grade: B

I will give the film credit. At no point does it feel "preachy," something I have to give props to given how schmaltzy these movies typically are, i.e. Crash. While it's certainly better than that claptrap, I'd say it's also better than the director's own 21 Grams, even though it suffers from the same faults as that movie. Only two stories out of the featured four were interesting me, the Moroccan family and the nanny who took the kids to Mexico. The Brad Pitt story didn't feel like anything special and I'm not sure why he got the raves that he did for the film since he's pretty much acted circles around what he's done here in prior movies. The Japanese story just felt as though it had an idea but never knew how to get that idea across without dragging. I grasped what it was going for pretty quickly and then the rest just felt pointless. The main problem is that it outlasts its welcome, continuing on and dragging on when the point has already been made yet it keeps on rollin', much like this review.
Grade: B-

Movies Watched: 9
- Surveillance
- Choke
- Comedy's Dirtiest Dozen
- Heavyweights of Comedy
- Grizzly Man
- Family Guy: Something Something Dark Side
- Babel
- Where the Wild Things Are (blu)
- Gran Torino (blu)
New Movies Bought: 142
- Triangle
- Psycho Ward
- Summer's Moon
- Smash Cut
- Family Guy: Something Something Dark Side
- Blood Wedding
- Carmen
- El Amor Brujo
- Straw Dogs
- Thieves Highway
- Devil Doll
- Night on Earth
- Equinox
- I am Waiting
- Rusty Knife
- Take Aim at the Police Van
- Cruel Gun Story
- Colt is My Passport
- Make Way For Tomorrow
- Haunted Strangler
- Corridors of Blood
- First Man into Space
- Atomic Submarine
- Homicide
- La Haine
- Sisters (de Palma)
- That Hamilton Woman
- Chance
- Skin and Bones
- Eater
- Sacrifice
- Community
- In Sickness and In Health
- Spooked
- Family Man (Fear Itself)
- New Year's Day
- Something with Bite
- Spirit Box
- Echoes
- Circle
- 13 Frightened Girls
- Old Dark House (Castle)
- Mr. Sardonicus
- Silent Venom
- Hideous
- Bloodsuckers
- Jaws The Revenge
- The Flying Serpent
- Slaughter
- Onibaba
- Chaos
- Black Magic Rites
- Devil's Plaything
- Ritos de Frankenstein
- Zotz
- Royal Tramp
- Royal Tramp 2
- Raptor
- Scorpius Gigantus
- Rape of the Vampire
- Wig
- Witchboard ('05)
- The Blob (original)
- Haxan
- Viva le Tour
- Humain Trop Humain
- Place de la Republique
- Phantom India
- Calcutta
- God's Country
- And the Pursuit of Happiness
- House of Games
- Ghost Train
- Alligator People
- Hills Have Eyes 2 (Craven)
- Naked Kiss
- The Last Emperor
- Django Kill
- Speed Grapher Complete Series
- La Cercle Rouge
- Trainman
- Quai des Orfevres
- White Sheik
- Port of Shadows
- Mannaja
- Intercessor: Another Rock 'N' Roll Nightmare
- Junk
- Juon: Curse
- Killer Condom
- Passion
- Horror of Blood Monsters
- Tomb of the Werewolf
- Fiend Without a Face
- Coup de Torchon
- Bronson
- Triangle (Lam)
- Rise of the Gargoyles
- Farcry
- Hard Revenge Milly
- Hard Revenge Milly: Bloody Battle
- Ashes of Time Redux
- Diary
- Vampire Killers
- Big Fan
- Alone in the Dark 2
- Forbidden Games
- Fallen Idol
- Grand Illusion
- Tales of Hoffman
- Small Back Room
- Trafic
- Blood of a Poet
- Orpheus
- Testament of Orpheus
- A Canterbury Tale
- Stray Dog
- Triad Election
- Kill Theory
- The Reeds
- Zombies of Mass Destruction
- The Final
- Dread
- Hidden
- The Graves
- Lake Mungo
- GI Samurai
- Ninja Wars
- Legend of the Eight Samurai
- Resurrection of Golden Wolf
- Scream (80's)
- SS Hell Camp
- Gestapo's Last Orgy
- Red Nights of the Gestapo
- Le Samourai
- Possession (blu)
- Monsoon Wedding (blu)
- Pierrot le Fou (blu)
- Paris, Texas (blu)
- Revanche (blu)
- Hunger (blu)
- Fearless (blu)
- Pandorum (blu)
Unseen DVDS: 3254
Unseen Blu-rays: 71
Unseen VHS: 119

No comments:

Post a Comment