Monday, April 26, 2010

Go Ninja! Go Ninja! Go!

I'd like to apologize* in advance for this, but it keeps coming up lately and must be posted.

*I'd like to, but I'm not gonna.

Professor of archeology, expert on the occult, and how does one say it? Obtainer of rare antiquities.

If you read movie blogs, and if you're here it's a good bet that you read one or two, you may have seen a meme going around. Basically, people have been writing 10 movie based facts about themselves, and then tagging other to do the same. I was not tagged. I'm not surprised by this as I write pretty infrequently these days. And besides, if I really cared all that much, I'd just do the damn meme anyways.

Now before you start yelling at me to 'quit your whiny whining whiner', let me explain something. The whole point of that last paragraph (other than linking to 3 other blogs) is because something came to mind this evening and, well, it made for a good lead in.

I have one movie related thing about me that I want to tell you. One thing that I want to write about tonight. See, I was looking for a movie to watch tonight. I'm bored. That's all there is to it. So, it occurs to me that I could watch a movie. Ok, sounds like a plan. I'll put a movie in. Well, I don't want to pay too much attention to it. See, I almost want background noise as much as I want anything. So, whatever movie I pick, it has to be something I've seen before. And it can't be Evil Dead 2 since I just loaned it out. It's been a long time since I saw Amelie and I've been wanting to watch it again for some time.

So I pull the DVD out of the DVD drawer. I put it in the DVD player. The menu comes up. I press play. I wander off momentarily. I come back. I press the audio button on the remote. As much as I love the sound of the French language, I know less than 30 words any more. And besides, like I said, I don't really want to pay that much attention. There is no dub on the DVD. French audio and English subs only. Now. This wouldn't normally bother me. Not even a little. Like I said, I love the sound of the French language. Subtitles don't bother me, not even a little. I just didn't want to pay much attention.

See, this happens to me a lot. I want to watch a movie, but not something new. Something I've seen before. Something that I've seen many times. Something that, if I leave the room and come back, or turn my attention from for a little while, I'll know just what's going on when I come back in the room.

This brings me up to the real reason for this post. My assumption is that I'm not alone in this. That other people do this with movies as well. And, well, I thought that it might be fun to share some favorites. I don't really have a good name for the list, but I'm going to list a few that I always fall back on, and if anyone else is so inclined, comment, or write about it on another blog and let me know.

My List Of Movies I Like To Watch When I Want To Watch A Movie But Don't Want To Watch Something I'm Unfamiliar With (in no specific order):

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (tonight's choice (Temple of Doom and Last Crusade are just as likely))
  • Star Wars (any of the six)
  • Lord of the Rings (any of the three)
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Serenity
  • Doomsday
  • Event Horizon
  • Hellboy II
  • Planet of the Apes (the Chuck Heston original)
  • Resident Evil
Alright. What have you got?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Assassins. That are ninjas.

Some movies are made to explore a theme. To tell a rich, compelling story. Some movies develop and grow characters. Sometimes movies are made to explore a director's vision, or because a writer has a story he's aching to tell. Some movies get nominated for awards, and go down in the annuls of history as works of art.

Other movies exist solely to put really cool shit on the screen for 90 minutes.

Guess which one Ninja Assassin is.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

I'm sure I'm not the first to reference REM in a post about the movie 2012. I don't care either.

I don't have it in me to really sum up and review this movie. It's just...I can't. I just can't so it. What I will do is give you a series of thoughts on 2012.This way, you can watch it yourself and pretend I'm turning to you and making these comments through the movie. Sort of the home version of $7 Popcorn. It's not the full experience. Oh no. I talk a LOT more during the average movie. Also, I offer to get beer more often.

  • There are a lot of good actors in this movie. And every time one appears on the screen, all I can think is 'this is beneath you. what are you doing?'
  • If you made a drinking game where you had to drink every time there was some sort of blatant product placement, you wouldn't make it through the movie.
  • If you made a different drinking game where you took a drink every time something scientifically impossible, scientifically implausible or historically inaccurate happened, you'd be just as fucked.
  • Woody Harrelson really does play crazy well.
  • There is a lot of humor to be found. A lot of it is even intentional.
  • There are also a lot of moments of gut wrenching tragedy.
  • Someone really should have punched Carl Anheuser (Oliver Platt) in the nose. EDIT: Someone did. In a deleted scene. Should have left that one in the movie.
  • Without a doubt, this was Chiwetel Ejiofor's best role since Serenity (if you forgot about Children of Men like I did...)
  • George Segal is kind of a poor man's Elliot Gould.
  • It is possible to enjoy this movie. The trick is to forget know...reality. You have to find a way to buy into a world where the laws of physics, science and reality are fundamentally different. If you can manage that, 2012 isn't bad.
  • As movies about the end of the world go, 2012 is certainly one of them.

I have to say, as discussing movies goes, I really kind of like this format. Maybe I should do this more often.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    Desert Island DVDs

    Apparently there is a radio show on BBC...something about what 8 cds you'd want to be stranded on a desert island with. Now, I usually think of High Fidelity and top five lists, so to my more American sensibilities, 8 seems a bit odd. I guess if I want to make the rules, I can create my own multi-blog, all internet all the time kind of event. Why do that though when the Fandango Groovers Movie Blog has already gone and done it?

    So, let's let them sum the whole thing up:

    The idea is a variation on the radio program Desert Island Discs: For those who don’t know the show has been running on the BBC for nearly 70 years. Guests are invited to imagine themselves cast away on a desert island with only eight pieces of music to listen to. Being a movie blog obviously we are having a twist on the idea. Simple pick the eight DVD’s that if you were stranded on a desert island (don’t ask how you would play them) you could happily watch over and over again. For some people this will be their favourite movies for others it will be subtly different.

    Sounds easy enough, right? Especially for someone like me who watches the same movies over and over (and over) again. What 8 movies would I be able to be stuck on an island with and watch on my solar powered, built from coconuts, portable dvd player?

    I've said it many many times, and I'll say it once more. I loved The Brothers Bloom and I like it more every time I watch it. I'm happy to watch it and relax, and I'm happy to watch it and study it in depth to look for new details and clues. Without a doubt, this in one movie I'd be happy to have with me.

    Ah, Jurassic Park. You know how you can tell a movie is good? After almost 20 years, it's still enjoyable. I saw it, like millions of others, back in the summer of '93 and to this day watch it a couple of times every year. Even with the advances in CGI over the last 17 years, the effects in Jurassic Park look as good as ever. To me, this is Steven Spielberg's master work.

    I came late to the Firefly/Serenity party. I'm not alone on that. If I were, it wouldn't have been canceled so early. It's a testament to the creators and fans that this canceled series got made into a movie, and a damn good one at that. Serenity is just a fantastically re-watchable movie.

    How can you go wrong with High Fidelity? I've seen it many many times now and still love watching it. I will admit though to finding Rob to be a bigger and bigger jerk as time goes on.

    I'm generally among the first to admit that Johnny Mnemonic is a terrible movie. Terribly AWESOME! (See what I did there?) Like a moth to a flame, I'm inexplicably drawn to this movie. I can't imagine ever NOT wanting to watch it.

    King Kong. No explanation needed (I hope).

    How many ways can you say you just don't get sick of a movie? Think of another and apply it to The Thin Man, the charming story of two drunks solving a murder.

    And last, but not least, the charming story of zombifying slugs run amok in rural America, Slither. Quotable and hilarious, it's hard to leave this one out.

    This is just my list, and I told you way up at the top that this was a multiple blog event hosted by Fandango Groovers Movie Blog. To see more Desert Island DVD lists, you can go here

    Thursday, April 01, 2010

    First Resident Evil: Afterlife Stills

    I liked the first Resident Evil movie a lot. The second was ok, but I didn't like the third at all. Still, I'm not going to lie and say that I don't want to see a new one.

    First Resident Evil: Afterlife Stills Go Deep Inside The Umbrella Corp - Resident Evil - io9