Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The movie that everyone is talking about

Yeah, I know Iron Man opens on Friday. And, sure, I want to see it...but...the movie I'm really looking forward to is Wall-E.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A bit off topic, but what the hell

A bit of an off topic post today. Nothing about movies, and no movie posters. Nope, instead, I'd like to talk about something else.

I spent my weekend in Portland, Oregon doing a bit of work. It was the first time I worked a weekend in...a few years. I thought I was done with that nonsense. Nope, company proved me wrong (I volunteered). So, it was off to Portland I went. And in Portland, I got to be everything I hate about the world. I helped an old lady with a microwave carry a microwave like a good person, and I forced my own personal beliefs upon a complete stranger like a complete asshole. I'm just that kind of guy.

Aside from all that, I went to the Stumptown Comics Fest. It was an odd sort of coincidences that led to me being in the right place at the right time. Who would have thought that it would work out so well, right? It's another coincidence that I even heard about it. Have you read the webcomic Octopus Pie? It's written and drawn by Meredith Gran, and it was her on posting about being there that alerted me to it even going on. And I told her as much. She seemed genuinely pleased that some guy from Detroit happened to be in town and happened to be a fan of the comic. Not only that but enough of a fan to come and meet her. And, you know, she was a really great. She gave me a book and even drew a picture in it for me. I have to say it was very much worth going down there.

It does make me think though, I've had the opportunity to meet quite a few people who's work I enjoy. Sometimes it's through a quick meeting at a con, other times it's been a chance meeting on the streets. I'm no autograph chaser (though I did buy one from Johnathon Frakes because I wanted him to take a picture with a stuffed monkey), it's just nice, I think, to have the chance to tell someone that their work has had an impact upon you. That they've done a good job. I know I get a kick out of it when someone sees a movie on my recommendation and likes it or tells someone else about it.

Bah. I'm rambling. Whatever. Go check out Octopus Pie, it's funny and it's written by a really cool chick. I have a flight to catch (first class, baby. gotta love those free elite upgrades.), I get to go home for a few days.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Basking in the glow

It was Groucho Marx I think that said "I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." Well, nuts to Groucho Marx. I'm more than happy to have become a member of The Large Association of Movie Blogs.

That's right, 7dp is a LAMB, or asheep. It's hard to say. I mean, it was Piper and Stacie talking about it that got me interested. So, once again, I'm following in the footsteps of others. 79 others actually. That's right, 7dp is lucky number 80! The 80th member of LAMB. See, that LARGE ASSOCIATION part of it, not just a clever nickname. That's right, as of now there are 79 other people writing about movies. Many of them are ever better writers than me! Well, at least more consistent. Ok, they got around to joining before me.

For what it's worth, I'm currently sitting in a hotel room in Portland, OR with little to do at the moment. But that's okay. I have a plan for tomorrow. A plan aside from working tomorrow evening. Stumptown Comics Fest. Hell yeah man. I guess there are some cool things about my job.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yeah, you know what, I'll show you how to avoid it...

Sometimes, I just can't keep my damn mouth shut. published an article today called How to Avoid Watching Bad Straight to DVD Horror Movies. It was complete and utter shit. In fact, it was such a piece of shit that I needed to write about it myself.

You want to know how to avoid watching a bad straight to dvd horror movie? You can't. Because it's all fucking subjective. Just because you didn't like Shark Attack 3 doesn't mean that someone else didn't like it. Or, for that matter, love it...

I just think that when pick up a movie like Blood kind of know what you're getting yourself into. You aren't picking it up because you looked at it and thought 'Hey, this is directed by Robert Young! I love that guy!' No, I'm adding it to the top of my Netlix queue because I want to see chimps kill people with names I can't Freishia Bomambehran and Prapimporn Karnchanda.

And, honestly, if these kind of movies "make you feel like taking a “NBC movie of the week” rape shower or rub pharmaceutical cream all over you just to get rid of the DISGUST they make you feel afterwards" maybe you should pick out a different type of movie.

Monday, April 21, 2008

FGFC: That's the guy from Heroes

There used to be some confusion between Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton among my friends and I. They're kind of interchangeable. This led to a bit of a game between us, basically you would try to name 5 movies starring one without naming a movie starring the other. Pullman or Paxton. It was a fun game. Unfortunately, it's replay value was limited, so it spawned a new game. Name 5. Same general concept, you would try to name five movies starring a given actor or actress. It's harder than it sounds. It's a pretty good party game though. It's especially fun amongst drunken movie fans. It's sort of become our version of 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

It's not, however, what we were playing the other night. Though, I kind of wish we had been because it would mean that we didn't go out to that particular bar, and it would mean we wouldn't have been *ahem* politely asked to leave... And, most likely, I wouldn't have spent all day feeling like hell. And there's no one to blame but me, since I helped put the excursion together.

And so it was that I ended up on my couch, trying to keep my lunch down, and remembering that it was time for this month's Final Girl Film Club movie. This month's selection was Near Dark, a vampire movie. A vampire movie with a lot of least that's what the internet keeps telling me.

It all starts when Nathan Petrelli, I mean Caleb, meets a girl with an ice cream cone. It's sort of all down hill from there. See, she's a nice enough girl but she's a vampire. And she turns him into one. Well, this isn't exactly good news to her 'family'. See, she travels around the west with the cast of Aliens (minus Sigourney Weaver and Paul Reiser), drinking blood and setting shit on fire, though she seems to find less joy in it than the others. They decide to take Caleb with them to see if he can can survive as one of them.

Well, he can't. Not really. He seems okay with the drinking blood part of being a vampire, but he's opposed to killing. Instead, Mae does the killing and then lets him feed off of her. I'm not sure why this is a morally superior alternative, but it seems to work for Caleb. The family doesn't really like it though. Not surprising, if they were people they'd be absolutely awful. As vampires, their monstrous actions seem...if not fitting, then at least in character. I guess you half expect monsters to act like monsters.

They start to take a liking to Caleb after he saves them from a police shootout (a direct result of his reluctance to kill someone) by running out to the van in the daylight. The DEADLY daylight! It's after this escape that they run into Caleb's father and sister at a motel. Caleb escapes with his family, and after a quick blood transfusion out in the barn, he's back to being human. Hooray!

That's not the end though. Oh no. See, the family isn't too happy about the three of them getting away and knowing about them (not that anyone would really believe them). Not to mention that Homer, the youngest of the vampires, wants Caleb's sister as a companion. So, they go back and kidnap her. Caleb gives chase and...ok, here's where I spoil a 20+ year old movie...kills poor Severen by blowing up a semi truck. And then manages to save his sister with the help of Mae. He then gives Mae a blood transfusion as well so that she is human again and they can live happily ever after as mortals with sun tans.

Actually, I have no idea WHY he changed her back. I don't recall him asking her if that was what she wanted or not. Perhaps it was revenge for turning him into a vampire without telling him. Maybe he just assumed that she wanted to be human again. Regardless, she didn't seem too thrilled about the whole thing. In fact, she seemed kind of sad about it. It makes me wonder why Caleb was so sure that what was best for him was what was best for everyone else. It reminds me of people claiming that they can 'cure' the gays.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a huge fan of vampire movies. They all feel the same to me, even when it's something different. It just always feels like we're covering the same ground. And what's worse is that I helped to write a vampire movie (that last I heard had decided to...rework...most of what I'd written. Oh well). How many different ways can you tell a story? Vampire as protagonist or vampire as antagonist, it doesn't matter. There have just been so many vampire movies that the rules are too clearly defined and too difficult to break away from. They stay away from crosses and garlic here, and use daylight as the primary vampire killer. Which allows for a neat scene during the shootout where the bullets open up holes in the building, letting the sunlight in.

Overall, I can understand why people like this movie. The characters are...unique. Bill Paxton approaches the character of Severen with a real maniacal glee. You can feel his love for the brutality and chaos that comes of his actions. Lance Henriksen, too, takes what could have been a very goofy and over the top character and grounds Jesse Hooker into this world. Jesse is a very different kind of character than Severen, but he's just as cruel. So, lets add all of this up and see what we gets...ok, let's go with 7 RVs on fire on the side of the road out of 10.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

the best movies that I can't possibly recommend to anyone I know

Piper lost some movies on a recent trip. Among them was a favorite here at 7dp, a wonderfully surreal Asian western called Tears of the Black Tiger. I told him:

Tears of the Black Tiger is a heart breaking loss. It's one of the most visually interesting and surreal movies I've seen in quite some time and I can't stop raving about it (even after seeing it for the first time 2 years ago). It quickly earned a spot among 'the best movies that I can't possibly recommend to anyone I know'

And that got me thinking about the phrase 'the best movies that I can't possibly recommend to anyone I know.' I think you know what I'm talking about. The kind of movie that you watch and think to yourself 'Wow, self, that was an f'n sweet movie.' and then, a couple days later someone says to you 'Hey, you, I saw this movie on the shelf at the video store last night and it looked kinda interesting.' So you say, 'Dude, that movie was realy f'n sweet.' And a couple days later, same dude comes in to your office and is all like 'WTF dude?!?!? That movie was f'n shit! I coulda rented Transformers again! I mean, COME ON! It had SUBTITLES! Good Luck Chuck didn't have subtitles! And it had Dane Cook! That dude is funny, yo!' And then a little part of you dies inside. We all know and work with people like that. I don't suppose there's anything wrong with it. I mean, ultimately it's their loss, isn't it.

Like I said though, it got me thinking, what are some of the movies that I really enjoyed but can't recommend to anyone?

-Tears of the Black TigerAnd I've tried! I've loaned my copy out to 4 different people and gotten 4 'Why did you make me watch that's. Everytime, it's the same thing. So, I've gotten to where I won't talk about it until someone else shows a real interest in it. It's a shame though. It's such a unique experience. Everything about it feels deliberate. Every choice be the director and actors only adds to the over the top feel of the movie.

I just watched this one the other night. Junkies, midgets in knight armor, preppy satanists, hippies and drug dealers. It's like someone thought to themselves 'You know, Trainspotting was great...but you know, it was missing something. It just wasn't WEIRD enough. Let's set it in Canada and see where that goes.' Don't get me wrong though, aside from the's nothing like Trainspotting.

A old school noir mystery set in a suburban high school. A movie that instantly feels like one of the great detective movies of the 30s and 40s while being uniquely modern. I loved this movie like I loved my hamster when I was 12. Except the movie didn't bite my finger.

-CashbackImagine you can stop time. Now, imagine that you work as a stock boy in grocery store. Now imagine that you use your powers to stop time and undress women in the aisles so that you can draw them. That's sort of the premise of the short film that grew up to become Cashback.

Those are some of mine. What say you, internet? Any movies that you like that you have trouble recommending to people? Let me know.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

14 bucks? Almost seems worth it!

While we've got the old Wayback Machine all gassed up and dusted off, lets go back even FURTHER into interweb history. Back to a time of legend and mystery. Back to...December!

You may recall that there was some excitement about a Japanese movie that featured a young lady seeking revenge. Well, she's coming to DVD in June. June third actually. That's less than 2 months away!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

That wasn't half bad

You may remember a couple of months ago that the interweb was all up in a tizzy* about a certain movie. I know, a couple of months is a lifetime at the speed the interweb moves, but, if you think hard you'll remember a certain monster movie, with a viral marketing campaign, named Cloverfield. You remember it now, don't you? Yes, I know, it was forever ago. I mean, fucking JANUARY! It's APRIL now! I don't think anyone was alive back then! I only heard about it because of my history books! But, that's life in the internet age. Everything just happens so fast!

The 'story' of Cloverfield is straight forward enough. Rob is moving to Tokyo, so everyone is having a going away party, and Hud is documenting the party, getting people saying goodbye and , you know, that kind of shit. Suddenly, the shit gets real** and big fucking piece of copper flies down the streets of Manhattan. I'm sure the copper is of some sort of symbolic significance, but I have to admit that it eludes me at the moment***. The decision is then made to evacuate via the Brooklyn Bridge. This, naturally turns out to be a mistake****. A mistake that costs Rob's brother his life. His tombstone will read 'Jason Hawkins: Crushed by a Tentacle". Let's just hope they spell that right.

So, our intrepid gang heads back to the city where Rob makes the decision that he has to go find Beth*****, the girl he digs. So, they go looking for her. Rob, Lilli, Marlena and Hud...traveling 40 blocks up to Central Park to get to Beth.

I found nothing likable in the characters themselves. They were all pretty shallow and underdeveloped. The movie itself was entertaining. I'm not sure that I could watch it again though. The constant camera movement wasn't enough to make me queasy or anything, it just felt like a gimmick. I had the same problem with The Blair Witch Project. The first person perspective is definitely engaging. It draws you into the story, and there are times when it's hard not to react to the action on screen, but, like I said, it feels gimmicky in a way. It's a novelty******. It's certainly a movie worth seeing though. 7 spider looking monsters attacking you and making you explode out of 10.

* Hmm...I really thought the spell checker would flag 'tizzy'...but no. It seems to feel that it is a valid word.
** I watched Hot Fuzz again over the weekend.
*** I'm lying, I totally know it was that statue from the end of Planet of the Apes. I didn't know that JJ Abrams was such a fan of Chuck Heston's work.
**** It's not really a MISTAKE, per se, it was the best option given the available information.

***** Whom you may remember from Kindergarten Cop.
****** Like an ice cream taco.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Monster Movie Poster Monday

Okay. Sure. Technically...NOT a monster movie, I guess. At least, not in the way one might think. No 80 ft tall beasts trampling through cities or anything, but it is the type of movie in which the monster is US! Or something. As you may have heard, Chuck died over the weekend. He was 83. I never met him, but I liked a couple of his movies.