Tuesday, May 30, 2006

there you go

I was going to watch last night. But my DVD player was being all sorts of wonky and I couldn't get any audio out of it. So I tried something else and got it working. Something else was Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic. It wasn't a movie, really, it was mostly a stand-up performance with some bits and sketches thrown in, but it DID get a theatrical release and it was the length of a movie. So, I suppose it counts...

Regardless, here it is. Sarah Silverman is a stand up comic and actress. She's a bit brash at times and doesn't shy away from any topic as far as I can tell. The premise was a show about AIDS, rape and the Holocaust, all of which appear in the movie as well as a few songs to round it out. And, it was funny. There's not much else to be said about it. The point of comedy is to laugh and it accomplishes the only goal set out for it. It's not something where you can talk about the believability of the characters because, there aren't characters, there's no story and it's intended to be that way.

I enjoyed it though. And besides, Sarah Silverman is pretty hot.

I shouldn't do this

I watched an English movie the other night. I know it was English because it was a BBC production. That's a dead give away, right? And it took place in England. And it didn't make any fucking sense.

The movie? Dirty Pretty Things, starring , what's her nuts, from Amelie, Audrey Tautou. Well, kind of. She's on the cover of the DVD and she's a main character, but it's really the story of another dude. And it's all about...well, all sorts of seedy shit.

Black market medicine and organs and it's like a giant urban legend brought to life, only without the interesting bits. It wasn't mysterious. It wasn't suspenseful. It just was. It was boring and I hated it. It was stupid.

I know, I'm being pretty mean. But it deserves it. It was not what it advertised itself to be. It was dry and uninteresting and I wanted to turn it off, but I had invested too much time into it. This was a movie that was a hundred times less interesting that my new neighbors moving into their apartment at midnight. Well, I suppose that's not saying much, someone moving in at midnight is pretty interesting. There's intrigue and suspense and mystery. All of which were missing from this movie.

Dirty Pretty Things, you were not dirty, you weren't all that pretty and you were barely things. You sucked.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I suck

I am a horrible, horrible person. I know. I'm sorry. It's been a week since I've posted anything and that's like a million years to the average internet user. I may as well have died!

But no! I am alive. Alive and ready to go. I'm not sure where I'm ready to go to, but dammit! I'm so friggin ready!

Let's take a minute and look at The Producers. Based on a Broadway show that was based on a Mel Brooks movie, it has all the charm of a remake. It's the story of a down on his luck broadway producer and a timid as a mouse accountant who team up to put on a show that will be an instant failure. That show? Springtime for Hitler. A bit of musical propoganda for the Third Reich.

Now, I am generally a fan of Mathew Broderick and I've liked Will Ferrell since he left SNL. That said, this wasn't that good. Even for a musical. And a musical will generally lower my expectations to begin with. I just didn't find it to be all that funny.

See, THIS is funny:

Sushi Picnic, now THAT would be a movie. Maybe they could team up with the Country Bears, yeah... branch out a bit. Or! Imagine this, Sushi Picnic...on ice! Yeah, with Brian Boitano as the Tomago, Sasha Cohen as the California Roll and Michelle Kwan as the Sushi Chef. You'd get at least 10 people in every city to go see it. At least! Maybe more in San Francisco.

There was all this talk when The Producers was on Broadway about the great chemistry between Mathew Broderick and Nathan Lane. I wasn't horribly impressed. It was okay, the worked well together, but you'd expect that after all the prectice they'd had. If they came out seeming like Hayden and Natalie, it would have been laughable.

It does make me at least a little interested in seeing the orginal, non song and dance version...but I don't think I will.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Too bad, she was one hot vampire

Mtv, the source for everything cool in your life, is saying that Underworld 3 may not include Kate Beckinsale.

I think I'm mildly outraged. Mildly. It's not the worst thing in the world. It's not like George Lucas editing Sir Alec Guiness out of Star Wars and putting Ewan McGregor in, that would be massive outrage, this is mild. Like the sauce at Taco Bell.

Apparently it's to be a prequel, set in a pre-Beckinsale time.

I'll still see it I'm sure. I liked the first two.

Monday, May 15, 2006

That's a lot of commas

Ga-mer-a...Gaaa-mmmer-a...Guardian of the Uuu-ni-verse... sing along with me...GAAAAAAA-MMMMMERRR-AAAA.

Screw you. I'm trying to bring some excitement to your otherwise giant monster-less lives! And this is the response I get. Indifference! Hmph.

Well, I'm going to get to it, even if you don't care about my love of giant monsters. Speaking of which, did you see this? Lava Shark. Totally. The lava shark is going to emerge from Mt St Hellens and ravage Seattle. And I will be in love. No, I'm not kidding. I'm going to start the First United Church of the Lava Shark. I will worship it and sacrifice potatoes to it. I will write bad goth poetry about how I am so in love with the Lava Shark, but the slings and arrows stop him from truly loving me.

Back to the matter at hand though, Gamera: Guardian of the Universe. No, I wasn't singing it that time, just proper attribution. Right, the movie starts off like many monster movies do, at sea. A ship seemingly runs aground. But, they're out at sea! What the heck, some sort of atoll? We'll come back to that.

Meanwhile, giant prehistoric birds are attacking a small island. Where the hell did they come from??? And why are there glasses in their poop! Oh no! The professor!

Back at the atoll, there's an odd rock. Let's dig it up. It's a monolith, and there are commas EVERYWHERE! Let's take them. The excavators touch the monolith and it shatters, waking Gamera from his sleep.

The birds though are beginning to threaten Tokyo! We have to capture them...to research them. Let's lure them into the retractable roof stadium with raw beef! And then shoot them! With tranquilizers, not bullets. They're trying to escape! Here comes Gamera! Kill him!

Wait, what? Gamera is on our side.

That's sort of the gist of the movie. It's fun. It's a fun movie. I need to see the next 2 in this particular trilogy. I need to get them and maybe make a night of it with Gamera and Godzilla. My two favorite monsters.

It occured to me though that we as Americans don't really make many giant monster movies. It seems that it's just not something that appeals to the masses here. I mean sure, there was Jurassic Park, which was KIND of a monster movie. Or the remake of King Kong, which was crap. And of course the American version of Godzilla, which wasn't bad, but would have been better had they not called it Godzilla. Maybe they could have called it...Jonathon.

I think we need more giant monsters though. Massive creatures who destroy cities and fight amongst themselves. And maybe they can fight big robots. Big robots with claws.

Top 5 Movie Apartment Special Edition

So, I spent my day today moving into my first apartment. Got the keys this morning. Moved boxes of stuff all day. There's no furniture yet...but it's a start. It'll be a process I suppose. It's exciting stuff though, so go me.

All things considered, I thought I'd do something special today. My Top 5 Movie Apartment Special Edition. That's a pretty fancy title, I know. Especially since my list is so lame. That's why you keep coming back though, the lameness mixed in with MORE lameness.

First, in our Honorable mentions category, is Denethor's throne room from Return of the King. As a Steward, he's not really king, so in a way, doesn't that make all of Gondor a rental?

With that out of the way, lets get into it. Coming in at #5...

Edward Norton's apartment in Fight Club. Like a page out of an Ikea catalog, our humble narrator led the ultimate single serving life until "a volcanic blast of debris that used to be your furniture and personal effects blows out of your floor-to-ceiling windows and sails flaming into the night. I suppose these things happen." Shortly afterwards, he became a champion for squatter's right and the original proprieter of Bum Fights.

Number four on our list takes us to the other side of the Pacific Ocean...

The lovely 2 bedroom apartment of 2LDK. This spacious apartment is home to roommates Lana and Nozomi. 2 young women with almost nothing in common brought together by the prospect of cheap rent. Shot in sequence over 8 days, it's the story of the ultimate division of space as the two begin to attack belongings and each other with food and swords. A darkly funny improvement on the old painting the room in half gag.

From Japan to a galaxy far far away, let's visit the home of 1 Padme Amidala...

Padme's apartment is a beautiful, and rather large, apartment with an amazing view of the lights of Coruscant. It's the kind of apartment that only a government official could afford after a few kickbacks for putting a Supreme Chancellor out on his ass. With it's retro futuristic design you can't help but wonder where they hide the tv. The apartment's best feature though? Jedi defence system included in the rent.

Let's come back home though and look at an apartment that isn't really from a movie. Though everyone in it appeared in Shaun of the Dead, number 2 is the London flat from TV's Spaced...

Filled with comic book and movie memorabilia, this is a geek's paradise. With a pleasant but unhinged artist downstairs and an alchoholic single mother upstairs, two people pretend to be a couple to get a good price on a little apartment. Tim and Daisy are visited constantly by not only their neigrbors but their friends Twist and Mike. Not to mention the occasional bike messenger dancing along to any rythmic noise. And like any good English home, good times can be had simply by walking to the closest pub.

We're down to the last one, aren't we? This is the end, my only friend, the end. Well, not quite, almost. Are you ready? No? Well, take your time...I'm not going anywhere...

Okay, you good? Good. The #1 movie apartment according to our panel of judges (me) is...

Rob Gordon's apartment from High Fidelity. This amazingly large apartment near downtown Chicago proves one thing, Rob is blackmailing the landlord. There's just no way he could afford this large 2 bedroom apartment on his salary from a barely staying open record store. That aside, it has everything, tons of records and concert posters and some presumably great stereo equipment. And shockingly, you never seen a television. This is the life. Rob somehow manages to live out all his dreams despite being broke. What more could you want from an apartment.

That's all I've got for now! Tune in next time for the Top 5 Movie Toilets!

By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe.

"Remember remember, the Fifth of November the gunpowder, treason and plot
We know no reason why gunpowder, treason should ever be forgot"
I finally got around to seeing the Wachowski Brothers' V for Vendetta on Friday. Let me start with this...wow. Just wow. It was a very "word-y" movie, filled with words, explosions and then more words, before finally, more explosions.

The movie, of course, is an adaptation of an Alan Moore graphic novel of the same name. So, what does he have to say? He says it was "turned into a Bush-era parable by people too timid to set a political satire in their own country.... [This film] is a thwarted and frustrated and largely impotent American liberal fantasy of someone with American liberal values standing up against a state run by neoconservatives which is not what [the comic] 'V for Vendetta' was about. It was about fascism, it was about anarchy, it was about [England]."

To be honest...I never read the comic. I suck. So, lets look at it as a stand alone movie. Moore may have a point. You can see a lot of where America could be heading in the film. An ultraconservative state after a mysterious virus and terrorist attacks. People electing a fascist because he preaches security and faith. Curfews are the rule, corrupt police and governemnt officials. Television stations that are essetially the voice of the government. Scandals, cover ups, you name it.

Then appears V. A man in a Guy Fawkes mask. Blowin shit up. Trying to wake people up. Show them that they should be in control. On November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day, V takes over the television station to tell the people to meet him in front of Parliment on Novemebr 5th of next year.

Over the course of the next year, V befriends a girl named Evey. V saved Evey the first night, and the following day, she saves him. He kind of kidnaps her as thanks and they begin to become friends of a sort, until she escapes from him.

Ultimately, V and Evey both have to make a choice that will be the key to the future.

V is played by Hugo Weaving, who you never get to see. He's sort of like James Earl Jones in Star Wars. He could have just done a voice over except for 1 scene. Aside from that, he did a fine job. He has just the right voice. It works so well that it's difficult to imagine anyone doing it better. Evey is played by Natalie Portman, who, besides looking hot as a bald chick, actually shows something that was lacking from he performance in Star Wars, an ability to act.

It was a great movie, I don't think I could have asked for more out of it. I think everyone should see it, if only once.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

We're not supid, are we?

I never thought I would agree with Ron Howard on something. Not because I tend to disagree with him, but because I've never heard or cared about how he felt. Sorry, Opie, it's nothing personal. It's just that, you've always been a million miles away, and you've never taken the time to ask how I felt, so fair is fair.

The Da Vinci Code will not have a disclaimer stating that it is a work of fiction. In related news, water will not have a disclaimer stating that it is wet.

Apparently, some in the catholic church have so much faith in the movie going public that they feel we won't be able to tell that Forest Gump is not really a Harvard Scholar.

It's a movie, I think we all know that it's not factual. It's a story. It's made up. Just like Jesus. Maybe.

Ok, lets look at it this way, it's no more true than Dogma and no one put a disclaimer on...wait, there was a disclaimer on that. A movie with a POOP MONSTER needed a disclaimer.

Maybe there's some truth to it all. Maybe ALL movies should have a dislaimer...

Ultraviolet could have used one:

WARNING - This movie is a complete waste of time. Go ask for a refund now. It's PG-13, so there aren't even any boobs or blood to save it. How do you make a bloodless vampire movie anyways?

Or King Kong:

Warning! - Sure Naomi Watts is hot as hell, but she might as well make out with the giant monkey

Or Star Wars: Attack of the Clones:

DUDE! - If you pause the movie at XX:YY:ZZ when Padme and Annakin are in the ship, about to leave Tatooine to go to Geonosis, you can totally kind of see Natalie Portman's nipples.

Well, you have to keep your target audiance in mind.

It's ridiculous though to have to tell a movie audience that they're about to sit down and watch a piece of fiction. It's a given. We understand that. Movies have been around long enough now. And I would think that a movie like The Passion of the Christ should have been more in need of outrage and disclaimers.

Warning! - This is the story of Jesus as told by the crazy cop from the Lethal Weapon movies. He played Mad Max for fuck's sake! And now, what? He's a religous scholar? RRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIGGHHHHHHHTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Movies are movies. They're entertainment. They are not now, or ever a replacement for genuine learning tools like the internet. Because everything on the internet is true.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Can you think of anyone?

Since 1999, we've had 3 big trilogies I think. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and The Matrix. I think that we can agree that they were big, right? And they WERE trilogies. So, yes, 3 big trilogies.

What I wonder though is if anyone was in all three of them. Cristopher Lee was in Lord of the Rings and Star Wars but not The Matrix. Hugo Weaving was in Lord of the Rings and The Matrix, but not Star Wars.

It seems like there should be someone who was in all three, but there doesn't seem to be.

Someday, it'll be a Trivial Pursuit question, and you won't now, so you won't get the pie piece and on the next turn, someone else would get asked "What is the football team in Green Bay" and they'll say Packers and win the game and laugh at you for not knowing "so and so" was in all three.

And somewhere far away, I'll die a little on the inside.

It could happen.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

He's grumpy, he's broke, he hangs out with the musical moron twins...

It was announced yesterday that the original Star Wars trilogy would be released yet again on DVD. This time as "attractively priced individual two-disc releases". Basically, disc 1 is the dvd you already own and disc 2 is the unmolested trilogy. Apparently, there will be no added bonus content. So, why bother? I have both versions on DVD. And, most likely, I will buy it again, because...well, I'm just not all the bright.

But it got me to thinking about a conversation that I had last weekend. I think it was last weekend. If it wasn't, lets pretend that it was. A movie I think should get a new version, a "special edition" perhaps, is the 2000 John Cusack film High Fidelity.

The DVD, when it was originally released, was amazingly sparse in terms of special features. A few deleted scenes and a couple interviews. By today's standards, you could hardly call them special features. So, here's the special features that I would want on my fantasy DVD...

1) Commentaries. 3 of them actually. The first would be Cusack and director Stephen Frears. The second would be a cast commentary with Cusack again, Jack Black and Todd Luiso. Iben Hjejle would also be welcome here. The third, and I think this would be great, would be Nick Hornsby, who wrote the novel the movie was based on. He'd be able to talk about the differences in the stories and how he felt about them.

2) Deleted Scenes Undeleated. That's right, take the deleted scenes and put them back into the movie. Or, at least make it an option.

3) A trivia track. The Ultimate Edition of The Fifth Element has one. Shaun of the Dead has one. I think they're fun, and a great use of a subtitle track. I wouldn't want it to go all Pop-Up Video or anything, but a little bonus information at the bottom of the screen would be pretty nice.

4) A gag reel. They're just fun.

5) Behind the scenes kind of stuff. Mini documentaries. Making ofs. Something like that.

If High Fidelity ever gets a new version, I'll buy it. But these would just make it a great DVD as opposed to a DVD with a great movie.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Just a fun movie

If there was anything good that came of the Ultraviolet suckfest, it was that it ended. And when it ended, it was time to watch a new movie.

Now, I have a tendancy to rent/buy/watch movies that I know almost nothing about. Take a chance and hope for the best, you know? Sometimes it doesn't work out real well, but in the case of Kamikaze Girls, it worked out great.

I get the feeling that IMDB is going to be able to explain it better than me...

Momoko is an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life. Ordinary, that is, if you define ordinary as wearing elaborate lolita dresses from the Rococo period in 18th Century France. A complete fish out of water in her rural and sleepy Japanese town, where everyone buys their clothes (and everything else) at the same store and no one understands her, Momoko's life is one of sugared sweets and frilly treats. Desperate to make some money to pay for her expensive indulgence, Momoko tries selling bootleg Ver*ace and Uni*ersal Studios clothes left over from her Dad's yakuza (gangster) days. However, when punk girl and self-styled 'Yanki' Ichiko comes calling, her days as 'ordinary' are most certainly numbered... Road movie, buddy comedy, deeply insightful and surprisingly touching, the surreal world only further highlights the all too real friendship that brings these two unlikely girls together.
Sorry, I tried summing it up like 3 times and it just wasn't making any sense. So, I cheated.

Moving on. The movie is just fun. It's ridiculous, but in just the right way. It's the kind of movie that I would probably just look past on most days, but I'm glad I took a chance on it, because, honestly, it's one of the best movies I've seen in a while. It was just a fun movie. It moves at a fast pace and there's always something bizarre going on, Momoko's dad farting in her face or her friend Ichiko attacking her. It's constant and hilarious. And it's very much like a live action cartoon like Kung-Fu Hustle.

Seriously, check it out.

Here's the trailer, see for yourself.


Sometimes, a movie just looks so cool. And you anticipate it's release. You look forward to it even though in the pack of your mind you know it can't possibly live up to your expectations.

And then, you finally see the movie. And it's bad. Worse than you'd heard. Worse than you could have reasonably expected. It's so bad that you start thinking about all of the things you could be doing, things that would be more enjoyable. Like cleaning the toilet, or shopping for underwear with your grandmother. Just anything to end the pain of watching the movie.

Ultraviolet was such a movie.

Ultraviolet is a timeless tale of vampires (or hemophages... though, I prefer hemopire, vampirephages) against the political/religious/medical establishment. Violet spends the movie pulling weapons out of nowhere, fighting against...everyone...to protect a child she found floating inside a briefcase. She then takes the boy (named 6) to Garth. Garth is a weapons expert, I guess, I'm not sure. He does research. They say it's really important.

And that's one of the problems. They don't take the extra couple of seconds to explain anything. They use some sort of dimensional technology to hide weapons or rooms...but never say much about it. The movie comes in at 88 minutes. They could have explained a few things better and still come in under 100 minutes.

Of course, since it was PG-13, there was almost no blood. Which for a vampire movie (even the bad ones) is odd. They cut people with swords, and they don't bleed.

And why do the military guards wear armor made out of ice, or glass? And why do the swords catch on fire at the end?

It's like Kurt Wimmer thought of just a bunch of shit that he thought would look cool in a movie and decided to put it all in a movie.

So, congratulations Ultraviolet, you were worse than King Kong.