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Posted on Jun 26, 2012 2:39:01 AM PDT
7 & 7 IS says:
Today, it was "RoadRacers", part of a series of revamped takes on old 50s rocK 'n' roll, j.d., hot rod flicks by new director's [circa 1993] for HBO. "RoadRacers" was minuteman Robert Rodriguez' 2nd effort and stars David Arquette, Salma Hayek, John Hawkes, Jason Wiles and William Sadler. With more money than the lack of fourteen dollars having 37 cents used on his 1st straight to Spanish video offering "El Mariachi", this looks like a more expensive shoot & run & make it up as we go, 1 man show guerilla-style film making he likes. No green screen, digital camera, surround sound whoosh's. It plays out more like a Disney-tized version of his stuff because there's not much violence in it. It sets it apart but it's still entertaining. A more subtle, low key & charming R.R. movie than we're used to.You won't have to leave your brain out in the car-it's pretty much bare boned & down to earth. And much better than the original Road Racer's. 1st time on Dvd. Director's cut w/ a pretty decent commentary + 10 minute Film School. Another thing, it's got alot of cool Link Wray music in it. I really liked it. I'd give it 2 & 1/2 out of 5 stars. Easily.

Posted on Jun 26, 2012 3:37:34 AM PDT
Dogfight

Lili Taylor plays the frumpsy, folkie girl who soon-to-fight-the-Viet Cong-and-become-disillusioned River Phoenix takes to a dance to be humiliated, only to decide against it when he finds himself taking a shine to her, and drops his own pretenses for a night.
I prefer this sort of romance, which is similar to if 'Before Sunrise' was a period movie set in 1963 Americana, to all the rom-com filler of the past 30 years put together.

And it's not a happy romance, it's filled with plenty of ugly realities, shown unflinchingly. Nancy Savoca is a sensitive filmmaker, and her evocation of New York in the folk era is simple and strong.
Elizabeth Daily (aka Pee-Wee's girlfriend!) does a rather brilliant turn as "Marcie." What ever happened to her? She's been going by the name E.G. Daily, and gets a lot of work, but not in anything I've seen.

I saw 'Dogfight' after reading the Coen brothers script for 'Inside Llewyn Davis' a second time. It really got me in the mind to see the movie as soon as possible. Too bad I'll probably have to wait until next year.
Well, there's always 'Dogfight', which I might watch again before 'Davis'.
6.7 / 10

Posted on Jun 26, 2012 5:32:29 AM PDT
I just watched "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" last night for about the tenth time, and it is a superb action film. If it was the first entry in the series, it would have been almost as acclaimed as the original "Raiders of the Lost Ark". As it is, it's better than most summer blockbusters being made today, a film I like watching several times.

Score: 9/10

Posted on Jun 26, 2012 8:14:27 AM PDT
I watched Words of Captain Scott from the beginning and now revise my original rating.

15 out of 10.

Please try and watch it - thoroughly recommend.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2012 8:49:33 AM PDT
Zolar Waka says:
Mitchum was so great on "...Eddie Coyle." I picked up the Criterion disc and watched it about 6 months ago. Great stuff!

Posted on Jun 26, 2012 8:52:29 AM PDT
Zolar Waka says:
I've been watching Sister Street Fighter late at night over the past few nights in half hour chunks. I'm not really a fan of kung fu movies, but I've decided to start watching a bit of Chiba. This was a spin-off and had 3 sequels. The level of gore in these films is really high; new at the time for this genre. This has been pretty enjoyable. 6.3/10; I picked up all 4 for a total investment of $2 plus tax. Nuts.

Posted on Jun 27, 2012 6:06:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2012 6:33:18 PM PDT
7 & 7 IS says:
Solomon Kane 1 star
The Wicker Tree 1 & 1/2 stars
Telstar 2 & 1/2 stars

Posted on Jun 27, 2012 7:58:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2012 7:58:36 PM PDT
Zolar Waka says:
Robin B Hood; Jackie Chan, again! One thing I've noticed about a lot of Chinese films is that they seem to vary in tone from act to act, sometimes from scene to scene. It's almost as if they are resistant to genre. This is a perfect example. Starts out as sort of a goofy caper action comedy, morphs into some real great, laugh out loud comedy, then back to action, then moves to an a real downer drama, and ends with a totally goofy coda! It's like you are on a rollercoaster. That said, I'm a huge Jackie Chan fan and anything he does automatically gets a 50% from me just by his involvement. This, 6.6 or 6.7/10.

Little Big Soldier (Bluray + DVD Combo) [Blu-ray]; Jackie Chan again. This was a rewatch on my part. Another great example of Chan's talents in period films. 7.5/10.

Dodes'ka-Den; Kurosawa, genius. For some, maybe a bit "sentimental" or "symbolic." It's a bit heavy in that regard, but who else can make a film about a bunch of down-n-outers living in a garbage dump and yet convey so much about the human condition on such an artificial set with little or no action? 2.33 hours of total cinematic vision. 9/10; This was a rewatch...I think #4.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2012 8:08:14 PM PDT
Theo says:
(6/10) I don't think Denzel was playing a bad guy in this film, but a rogue agent who was trying to take down the bad guys in the CIA the only way he could. What didn't work for me was Mr. Washington seemed a bit overweight to be running and jumping on rooftops.

I thought Ryan Reynolds was a good fit, it actually helped me to warm up to him after finding a chill watching "Green Lantern". The plot twist with revealing the bad guy was somewhat contrived. It did not affect me in the "Oh, wow" sort of way, but rather asking myself why some people had to die just in order to move the story forward. (SPOILER ALERT below)

Same with Mr. Washington's character. But, you realize the hope is that Mr. Reynolds will be the next Michael Bourne. Which is kind of cool.

Posted on Jun 27, 2012 8:19:59 PM PDT
Theo says:
I saw "Prometheus" recently,

I was eagerly anticipating the movie. Maybe more so b/c I'm a fan of "Alien" and "Aliens", love the "Predator", than being a fan of Ridley Scott as a whole (but he is talented!). So my take on Prometheus was this: The pacing I felt was great, it didn't take too long to get to the planet and get the ball rolling. The characters for the most part were intriguing. Most intriguing was David Fassbender's character, due to his duality of good and bad. But he's not like us, right? The human scientists/engineers were fodder, I thought they reacted like idiots to move the story along. The leads were good.

The special effects are AMAZING! I can't believe we are almost where CGI can seamlessly blend with real time in cinema. The production sets and costumes were great. Overall the story did have some holes in it.

There were some ideas I would have liked to have been developed further. But overall, the film had parts where I was disturbed. The ending was one part. I kept thinking about what happened in the escape pod long after the movie ended. That's why I give the movie a better review than some people. I walked away thinking about that film, and going home to look at the online reviews.

The few films that have moved me in ways long after the credits were "The Ring", "Gladiator", "Se7en", and "The Shining". Now "Prometheus". Maybe the "Dark Knight", can't remember. Anyhoo 8/10.

Avengers (week prior) 9.5/10. Hulk SMASH! Thor(personality) dull...

Posted on Jun 27, 2012 9:35:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2012 9:40:00 PM PDT
Townes Van Zandt - Be Here to Love Me
-- must see for fans of American music with a western approach, and of course those into one of the great songwriters of the form. Not much to say. It's a beaut.
7.2/10

Bewitched
-- so far the only people I've heard that didn't like this are ones who didn't understand it, or who reacted so strongly against Will Farrell and Nicole Kidman that they blamed the filmmakers. It's a very clever script, well filmed, if somewhat overdone.
It's unfortunate that they made Kidman such a ditz, but oh well, having a complicated female character wasn't the point of this remake. The point was to make a meta comment on the state of Hollywood and the endless remake's-mill, in the spirit of Andrew Niccol and Charlie Kaufman's postmodern approach.
As RomCom, it fails, but that's not the wind that blows the sail of this story; the romance is the crusty icing on this rather expertly made pastry.

I think people are just not accustomed to light and witty fare anymore, in the 'I Married a Witch' vein. The old Hollywood moonshine isn't enough to dazzle audiences who need bigger and louder jolts to keep them satisfied.
Nora and Delia Ephron were up to it. The audience wasn't. This one bombed bigger than 'S1m0ne', with crits and auds alike, which is unfortunate. I was particularly impressed with the reserved, adroit use of special effect, never getting ahead of the plot or being the tail the wags this pup. The supporting performances are almost universally commendable.

6.5/10

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 10:01:11 AM PDT
Severin says:
Jonathan, I agree that "Bewitched" wasn't as bad as the critics claimed. I'll watch anything with Nicole Kidman but have no use for Will Ferrell. The support cast tips the scale for me, Shirley MacLaine as Endora is brilliant and Steve Carell as Uncle Arthur is perfect. Also it has Michael Caine, Kristin Chenoweth, Stephen Colbert and David Alan Grier. If only they'd found a better Derwood this might have been a classic.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 10:44:19 AM PDT
Donald Nelson, you got it right on the cast. Kidman did what she could, but it was the only character I think the Ephron's got lazy on writing. And I'm not a fan of Ferrell, but it's not his fault he was so incredibly miscast in this. He was good in 'Stranger Than Fiction'.

I'm one of those who thought Stephen Colbert should have played Darrin.
It would have been so nice to see Colbert and Carell in those scenes together.

And to round-out our appreciation of the supporting cast, I would need to remark on how well Carole Shelley did as Aunt Clara, Jason Schwartzman as the unscrupulous agent, Michael Badalucco as the disgruntled prop man, Richard Kind and Amy Sedaris as the Kravitz's at the end was a good touch, and the underappreciated Second City alum, Heather Burns (who was also in 'You've Got Mail') is always a welcome presence.

Posted on Jun 28, 2012 7:50:01 PM PDT
The Graduate:

Truth be told, just saw this film for the first time today. I'm very glad that I saw it, and I do like it a lot. However, there are a couple of setbacks that kept me from loving the film.

Score: 8/10

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 7:16:30 AM PDT
PoM: And those setbacks were...?

Still a fine film. Very much of its time--and in consequence a bit dated. And rather a forced ending--in a way, really the beginning of perhaps a more interesting story.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 3:26:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 29, 2012 3:26:50 PM PDT
WAS: That was one of the setbacks, it being a bit dated. I loved the screenplay, cinematography, and acting, but that's my problem with the film.

I guess you could make an argument about the ending not working, because both Elaine and Benjamin feel very confused and awkward.

I do agree that The Graduate is a fine film, one I liked very much.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 3:29:02 AM PDT
I love Dustin Hoffman, I think the Graduate was the first film of his that I watched. Another favourite one of his that is great is John and Mary. I defy any red blooded female not to fall in love with Dustin. The man is so charismatic and sexy. (yes I find Dustin very sexy, purr).
I rate this 7 out of 10.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064513/

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 7:52:14 AM PDT
PoM: It's sometimes quite difficult for a film to be both very much of its time, and at the same time have lasting qualities. Casablanca, for example, does both; The Grapes of Wrath, by contrast, looks more dated every year.

If I may coin a term--Hoffman is a very fine actor, but hunk-osity is not one of his signal qualities. And John and Mary--besides being another very dated film, and full of Mia Farrow's trademark twitchiness (the only director who ever got a good performance from her was Woody Allen, and no, I don't rate Rosemary's Baby very highly) is scarcely representative of Hoffman at his best.

Anyone got a mop to clean up the drool on the floor?

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 2:41:19 PM PDT
The Tenant

My favorite Polanski of the 1970s. This was my forth time seeing it. Not a masterpiece by any stretch, but a damn fine piece of filmmaking most of the way through. One of those movies like 'Barton Fink' where you could spend hours passionately arguing just how insane the lead character is with a group of fellow film lovers, or just except the brilliant funhouse ride into a mind coming unraveled, a good, nasty (and surprisingly funny) entertainment.
I found the pitch black comedy much more successful here than the 'Rosemary's Baby' assortment of grotesqueries. Not as interestingly sustained, or seriously creepy a piece of machinery as 'Repulsion'. Still impressive in large parts. Hard to defend it as a whole. Ah, but those parts... they do stay with you.

7˝ / 10

A bit of triva I picked up before watching it this time (from IMDb):

"Philippe Sarde (the composer) chose the glass harmonica after having seen Polanski, at the restaurant, mimicking with his finger the action of making the glass sing. There was only one person left in the world that could play this instrument, for which Mozart wrote a few pieces."
Also, the composer has the cameo role of "the man that stares at Trelkovsky in the movie theater"!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 4:34:17 PM PDT
WAS: Concerning Casablanca, I just watched it for the second time the other night, and I loved it much more than I did when I first saw it (and I loved it then).

As I said before, I liked The Graduate a lot, but it's not one I would put in the top 30.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 4:58:53 PM PDT
re: 'The Graduate'

Over in the "The top ten anything thread" thread, it made my list for 1967. I did one for Bests and one for Worst Ten. Guess which one it's on.

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 9:19:36 PM PDT
The Richard Curtis (Blackadder) penned The Tall Guy

A so-so comedy in which a faulty answering machine provides the biggest laughs. Notable for a room-trashing sex scene in which Emma Thompson displays her jubblies. Very watchable, but still a little ho-hum. 6/10

Also, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny

Low brow, but completely entertaining (for us low brow types). Jack Black sings his way through nearly the entire film. Kyle Gass plucks and strums like a pro. Plenty of cameos, but no-one can steal the show from Jack Black....although Dave Grohl as Satan comes close. Funny musical ride. 7.4/10

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 5:12:51 AM PDT
Pee Wee's Big Adventure

I know, I know, shoot me now. But seriously, it's my favorite Tim Burton film and it's hilarious. Favorite scene: Pee Wee storms on Francis in the pool and tries to strangle him. "GO AHEAD AND SCREAM YOUR HEAD OFF! WE'RE MILES FROM WHERE ANYONE CAN HEAR YOU! HEHEHEHE!"

Score: 8.5/10

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 3:16:11 PM PDT
Zolar Waka says:
I've been doing somewhat of a Norman J. Warren retrospective recently with "The Terror," "Satan's Slave," "Inseminoid," etc. The other day I watched Prey aka "Alien Prey." This was from '78; alien comes from space, takes over the body of a victim, and then starts boarding with a lesbiancouple. Little does our resident alien know that the two women have a very strange power/victim dynamic and he's stumbled right into the middle of it. They are suspicious of him, and why not, with all manner of small animals turning up mangled and/or half-eaten in the yard (chickens, rabbits, foxes), and yet, their odd houseguest never seems to eat around them. Gory climax. Creepy. Can be found as 1 of 50 movies in this set: Sci-Fi Invasion - 50 Movie Set. It would cost you more to buy this movie by itself in either of the Redemption releases, both of which indicate fullscreen. (7.2/10) No widescreen version currently available as far as I can tell.

Posted on Jul 2, 2012 3:49:54 PM PDT
Dragondog says:
I just watched My Boyfriends Back and found it to be a terrible zombie comedy. The only good parts of this film were when the zombie's parents were on screen. 3/10
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