Sunday, August 02, 2009

the avengers movie

i recall when i saw this shortly after release that i cut this one a LOT of slack.
upon recent viewing i feel that slack was overly generous and misplaced.
it's a bloated and wallowing mess of a picture, far too self-conscious and lacking in ANY of the charm of even the worst of the original tv series' episodes [and yes - some of the episodes were rather silly, but had, if nothing else, a great deal of charm and wit].

Friday, July 31, 2009

Big Man Japan

being a pretty huge fan of kaiju eiga [怪獣映画], it would follow that i would like 'Big Man Japan', the pseudo-documentary about a man that protects japan from raging monsters bent on destroying it [or at the very least, creating trouble and blocking traffic].

i found the deadpan of our hero pitch-perfect; his reluctance to pretend to be a hero seemed so genuine - it's his family legacy to be the Big Man [he is the sixth, his late father was the fifth, and his grandfather was the fourth and so on]. the random rocks coming in the window added to his less-than-happy existence, further evidenced by the continuous barrage of nasty notes and signs directed at him.

the ultraman-like family that showed up at the end to save his butt was hilarious, and got even more absurd as the family sat around and complained during the closing credits.

so if you like japanese monster movies and ultraman-type fare, you should get a kick out of this.

Friday, April 07, 2006

good night and good luck

watched this last night.

i liked the way they immersed you in the environment immediately.
it looked great - stunning black and white cinematography!
[which is not as simple as you may think to pull off...]

there were a couple issues i had with it, including some almost subversive subtexts with regards to morality in the time frame this was set in. i can't tell just how transparent [or apparent] they wanted this to appear, but i picked it up easily.

i also noticed in one scene a very deliberate glance from murrow looking at the ray wise character, and i immediately thought "he's going to kill himself". it was just held a few frames too many to be as subtle as i think they intended.

overall i found it very well made, pretty well acted [especially murrow's character], but also a little shallow and obvious, and perhaps a bit too self concious for its own good. i would recommend it, but it's not a film that blew me away or showed me anything i didn't already know. a double bill with "the front" makes a nice pair, if rather an obvious one.

wu ji [the promise]

just watched this two nights ago.
the "critics" are really trashing this one.
i will agree that the CGI is awful in many parts, but not ALL the effects are bad, and some of the work near the beginning with the water are quite stunning.

and just because a plot may be hard to explain in writing, does not mean that it's overly convoluted or confusing; just that it can't be summed up in a sentence doesn't make it bad. in context it was quite easy to follow, and never felt forced or convoluted at all.

it seems like the "critics" are looking for a clone of "hidden tiger" and are comparing the two every chance they get. that's like comparing every black and white film to "casablanca" - not a relevant comparison. [i over-generalize this intentionally].

it may be that "hidden tiger" and "hero" and "flying daggers" are the only asian films they have seen, and again, this is not a reasonable comparison.

i found this film to be a great and valid epic, flawed by some quite lame CGI in parts, but not enough to make the film bad in my eyes. i watch a film for other reasons than just quality CGI, and i am sure it was made for other reasons also...

it's not for everyone, but both the wife and i enjoyed this, and when it was over we both said it was a good one. we have seen at least a couple hundred "hong kong" movies, and this would likely be in our top 30 or so.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


you know how there are certain things in the world that are perfect... like, they could never be better than they are? supremely indisputably totally perfect?

things like the film rififi.

i see they are doing a remake.
al pacino is set to star.
great - pacino nearly always makes a role his own.

but i have to ask two questions:

what is the f*cking point?
who the f*ck do you think you are to attempt this?

yeah, it's easy to bash hollywood for this kind of arrogance, but they sure do make it easy. it's supremely indisputably totally lame.

Monday, February 06, 2006

daddy's going on vacation.

can't wait to see this one.
still no US release date as of today [020606].

terry is at his best when he gets to do it his way [for better or worse].
i hope he gets to do quixote someday.

are you a priest or something?

last night i watched my first hal hartley film [the unbelievable truth].
my friend kurt is a huge fan of hartley, so it's really about time that i got around to watching something by him. my friend king said i should start at the beginning, so this is what i did...

it's a very dry and deadpan film acting-wise.
the wife didn't care for this, and asked if it was SUPPOSED to be like that.
yes - obviously the delivery is very intentionally deadpan.
i can understand that some people don't care for that.
i laughed quite a few times, and really dug the interplay between the characters.
they are just pretty normal people given some odd situations to deal with and some really great lines.

it's the kind of film that keeps you on your toes, and it's hard to determine just who is being a jerk and who is just being honest and who is making assumptions about the cause behind someone else's behaviour. [note to self: we are all jerks sometimes]

speaking of assumptions, since this is my first hartley film, i am going to assume that he, like woody allen, is someone whose films people will either love or hate.
i just can't see being ambivalent about this guy's work.

next on the hit list for hal hartley: trust
i'll rent it thursday and watch it this weekend.

starting the new film oriented blog

since i am watching so many films lately, i am starting this to serve a number of purposes, all film related:
to help me keep track of them all
to have a place to keep links related to films
to create my own reviews
to editorialize on film

[it's also supposed to help nudge my friend malcolm into starting a music-related blog]