Monday, August 30, 2010

Trailers for Movies that Look Good

Mesrine: Killer Instinct

Red Hill

Julia's Eyes



I saw Cropsey the other night.  It's one of those rare instances where the trailer is better than the movie.  It just didn't grab me.  I thought it was going to be something really tangible and interesting but it just kept slipping around.  In that way it reminded me of Prodigal Sons.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Valhalla Rising

Valhalla Rising

I have to admit a soft spot for movies which feature battle axes and leather pants in conjunction with each other.  I want to love each and everyone I see yet I rarely do.  I've been really yearning for one lately and was rewarded with Valhalla Rising.  It's extremely violent at times, in the above image, Mads Mikkelsen, as One Eye, is about to remove and discard this guys guts like a pile of clean laundry.  There is a lot of vague talk about Christianity and heathenism, some debating about where the group of Scottish crusaders One Eye has taken up with are going and where they actually are which gets a little contrite but, hey, they have to talk about something until the next time someone gets their brains beating out with a rock.  The film is set in Scotland and the dense greens and mist cast sort of a diaphanous pallor over most of the imagery.  It makes the violence all the more striking.  Overall it reminded me a lot of Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man but there was also something sort of David Gordon Green/Terrance Mallick-y about the whole thing.  The characters were barely developed and One Eye has no lines of dialogue, which could be a hurdle for some on the road to enjoying this film but it didn't bother me in the slightest.  It was kind of like the director, Nicholas Winding Refn, stripped the film of possible plot holes and just left the skeletal remains of the movie.  In this case I think it worked quite well.
I'm rapidly becoming a huge fan of Mikkelsen.  I loved him in the Pusher series, which Refn also directed, and he stole those James Bond movies. Especially when he fucking cried blood.  But I also thought he was great in a movie nobody seemed to see called Flame and Citron.  Check it out, it's about the Dutch resistance during WWII.  He plays the titular Citron.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Trailers for Movies that Look Good



Watching Battlestar Galactica with Lauren

I convinced Lauren to watch the first episode of Battlestar Galactica with me.  These were her comments:

That lady is ugly.

All the actors on this show look like 90's douchebags.

What's with her outfit?  It's like 9021-android.

I don't like this captain, his face is too wrinkly.

This show isn't as good as that other show with the captain whose face is wrinkly.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Expendables.

The Expendables

So Sean and I actually paid money to see the Expendables the other day.  I came away with two things.  The first thing was that I love watching Sylvester Stallone run.  None of the movements involved in making that slab of beef pie (not cake, pie) move seem to be in conjunction with each other.  His shoulders bunch and remain motionless, his legs piston for more than they're worth and he apparently has a stroke but at no point do his arms ever do anything that seem to help him move.  I think I could watch his running scenes on a loop for maybe five minutes and then later again for two minutes and then probably never think about it again until I caught The Expendables in some sort of situation wherein I would not be able to get away.  Like if I was paralyzed in the hospital and couldn't reach the remote.  And then it would probably register a grin.  Unless my situation was particularly grim.
The other thing I came away with was a new word for when I'm taking a shit.  I'm taking an Expendables.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trailers for Movies that Look Good

Black Swan


A Woman A Gun A Noodle Shop (Blood Simple Remake)

Enemies of the People


This doesn't have anything to do with Mic Macs except that these people are the original Micmacs, a group of kick ass  outfit sporting First People from Nova Scotia.

Lauren and I caught MicMacs at the Loft the other night, chiefly because it was free.  I have always been a big fan of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, ever since my dad foisted Delicatessen on me at a young age.  My favorite film of his though is A Very Long Engagement.  It might have something to do with the fine source material.  Sebastien Japrisot is a seriously underrated French author who wrote a couple of other great novels besides A Very Long Engagement.  Engagement is also Lauren's favorite of his movies and though, we expected it to fall far short of that film, we didn't expect it to land with such a thud.
It was seriously terrible.  It has much of the visual splendor you've come to expect from Jeunet but little of ingenuity.  The story, what little there is, is childish and incomplete.  Describing the plot to someone makes you feel like you're in first grade telling some sort of lie to your teacher.  Another sad part of the film is the overall lack of a single character you feel even an inkling of a feeling for, I would have been happy to have been ambivalent about someone in the movie but none of them even rated that.
When I was a kid, I had a friend that would walk up to groups of people who were pleasantly talking amongst themselves and announce far to loudly, "That's preposterous!" and then walk off.  I wished I could have walked into this movie no less than a dozen times and done just that.
After the movie on the way to the car, Lauren said, "I wish we had just walked out."
I wished we had to, but was unable to suggest it on the slight chance Lauren had found something to enjoy about the movie.  Next time we see a shitty movie, I'm going to nudge her and make some sort of motion toward the door until she says, "What are you doing?" and then I'll probably just suffer through to the end.

The Kids Are All Right

I caught The Kids Are All Right the other day at El Con, 5:00 show. My favorite ticket taker was on duty, Michael. He's probably mid forties and kind of on the slow side but about a million times nicer than the shrew that usually takes tickets. I'm serious, it's a giant shrew that somehow managed to get a job at a movie theater, I don't know how it did it. I'm kidding, it's a weird lady. The late matinee has to be my favorite time to see a movie. Usually just you and a bunch of old people.
That particular audience consisted solely of myself and what appeared to be some sort of retiree movie club. There was a bout twelve of them, all gabbing the way people of that age gab. By that I mean, talking about bullshit that I can't possibly understand caring about. They sat far enough away that I couldn't really understand exactly what they were saying but close enough to remind me of a flock of cranky birds.
I saw some good previews in front of this one. Notably Never Let Me Go which I'm really excited for, though I usually don't care for Kiera Knightly (she's built like a weird shaped kite). It also has Andrew Garfield who was pretty good in the first Red Riding movie.
I didn't have high hopes going into The Kids Are All Right. It seemed like it was going to be a really obvious family drama that was decently acted but didn't offer an incredible amount of insight. Both of the movies I've seen by Lisa Cholodenko have been almost good. I can't quite say I wholeheartedly liked either High Art or Laurel Canyon both had aspects I enjoyed but neither really captivated me. I suspected the same would be true of The Kids Are All Right. I wasn't totally wrong but it is definitely a more capable and enjoyable film.
Julianne Moore is far and away one of my favorite actresses working today. Perhaps second only to Jennifer Jason Leigh. She is great as the less together element of the couple, Jules. Her spacey delivery balances out the wonderfully cutting silences that Annette Bening offers up in her role of Nic as the controlling breadwinner. Their performances form a great base for the film. Mark Ruffalo is capable in his role as Paul the sperm donor who fathered their children but he doesn't offer anything other than you'd expect from him. He is another one of my favorite actors but he never seems to be in good movies. He's kind of an Eric Stoltz for a new generation.
My favorite thing about the movie was that the two actors playing the kids in the movie acted like actual teenagers. They wore appropriate clothes and listened to appropriate music. It sounds obvious but it is actually quite rare to find a movie where this happens. Children and teenagers are almost always overly precocious, speaking like adults and having adult emotions. The writing for these two characters was terrific, they were at times impulsive with their emotions and responses. They accurately appeared to not know where their feelings were coming from. So kudos to whoever they were, I can't remember, I think the boy was in the Spiderwick Chronicles or something.
When I left the theater it was dark and since I went in during the day, I considered it a small victory as I always do when that happens.