Friday, December 19, 2008

Night at the Iguana on the Isle of Jura



The delicious Jura beat back the cold on this the final movie night hosted by the 2404i crew. Big thanks to Steve for a fine scotch pick. A shout out also to David, for recommending the too good for the iPod generation film, "Night at the Iguana".

Movie Night ended then at the 2404 location.

Movie night will return 5 days a week and a Sunday Matinee relocated in Tambor, CR pending renovation of the existing building and acquisition of a DVD projection system.

Planned schedule: Monday - Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10:15pm. Sunday Matinee at dusk. Admission free, seating limited. Accepting suggestions for "Grand Opening Film"..

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quantum of Solace


The Vesper Martini: 3oz Gordon's Gin, 1oz Stoli, 1/2oz Lillet, lemon peel and we all know how to prepare it. Served a batch before the Midnight Opening, and it set the tone for a normal Bond film: excessive and in good spirits -- but this was no normal Bond film.
Let me whip out a reviewer word "hyperkinetic" and then continue down that path - nope! Can't join that whining line o' chatter.
Never mind the title sequence, just enjoy the cool title track and the rest of the film's "Bond variations" soundtrack. Where is the tracking gunbarrel and blood wash? Where is Q? Patience!
This film is edited in shorthand. The fourth wall is chalk outline. I went to the film with the usual suspects and the newcomer, my less than 2 month hitched wife, who has not seen every Bond film 3 times like some of us. She has not scoured the intertubes looking for bits about Parkour or even contemplated seeing "Blood and Chocolate" for the Parkour alleged therein..so the editing was a little hectic for her.
Just right for me though. The film was like a conversation between two East-Coasters -- half sentences and interruptions and a whole lot of ground covered really quickly. Bring it on. I am sure I am not the only one looking for the next level.
Recommended!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama. I still can't believe it. Wow!

Fingers crossed that the new boss ain't the same as the old boss. Hope. There is still time to fix this big country. Darren was right, racism has lost. I predicted White Fear to stop this, and I am happy to be wrong. I thank Science Fiction, and the dream of a color blind world. Now if we can just get the media to stop fanning the ashes..

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Electric Dragon 80.000V



This is Japanese CyberPunk from Sogo Ishii. Yes, yes, the guy that did the insane "Burst City". "Electric Dragon" is a touch more linear, and benefits from that for my tastes. This is shot in black and white, with deft camera movement and embedded animation, Manga style. I'd like to comment on the terrific music that Dragon Eye Morrison (our hero) wrenches out of his electric guitar.
The movie is short, loud and fast. It has a stripped down lean feel, like an old biker film with a sheen of art and better editing. This is highly recommended with the caveat that it is not for everyone. It is non-linear, abrasive and gorgeous. The soundtrack is psychedelic punk guitar. There are no Asian women, no Kung Fu, just the crackling of 80.000v!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

babylon AD

Vin's "Children of Men" earned a 4 on the "Tomatometer". Partly because it was "Children of Men", partly because it was Vin, and most assuredly for the editing of the fight scenes. That being said "4" is harsh and wrong and a collection of straight world reviews. PS: not all science fiction has to transcend the genre.
This is genre, it is chock full of cool things, it has the Belle Parkour Team doing the stunts -- and if you don't know who those guys are you haven't been paying attention. Did I mention Michelle Yeoh as a co-star? No? A 4 -- shame on your tomatometer. Check out the interactive folding map in the trunk and then you give it a four.
Recommended

Red Belt


Next time you catch a rerun of Married With Children -- and I don't care if it is for the sharp writing, Christina Applegate or Peg's Leopard top -- try to get your head around "Al" being a Black Belt. We already know from the "Spanish Prisoner" that he and Mamet work together..but to this Kansas transplant they seem an unlikely pair. Apparently Ed O'Neill (Al) has some martial arts in him, and got Mamet involved.
"Redbelt" is the first child of this pairing on that subject, and man is it good.
Like all Mamet it is important to have the guests seated and focused and well-lubricated prior to pressing play(you assume correctly Grasshopper, this did not make the 50 mile travel for a movie radius). "Redbelt" opens hard and fast and keeps moving. The moments of stillness that come in the film are oasii of reflection and conjecture as the none riveted parts of the mind fill in the backstories, the time and the place of this wonderful tale.
Top notch writing a given -- this is Mamet -- and the actors are up to the task. Camera is good, if not excellent, as is the soundtrack. The story may strain plausibility -- but look at the VP on the Republican side -- truth can be stranger than fiction.
This is highly recommended on several fronts, not the least of which is my love of action films -- which this qualifies as easily, though is not confined by the label, and as another feather in the cap of Mr Mamet.

Mad Men


I will start off by mentioning my bias: I am an ex-salesman. "Glengarry Glen Ross" is not a sad movie about desperate men for me but a tour de force by Mamet that captures the biz on key, perfectly. Additional bias includes watching the series on Blue-Ray with a beautiful woman that loves the show. No, she does not call me "Don Draper" at inappropriate times...
All that being said, here is a quick synopsis, and a couple o' comments. "Mad Men" are a self-promoting group of Madison Avenue advertising guys in the late 50's - early 60's. The 1st Season introduces the team, and their office -- and the politics of the office and the times.
This is done with a hyper saturated palette and sense of irony. The viewers already know the results of their campaigns (or at least we should -- I work in an office that thinks Pinochet is a wood puppet) but the entertainment is in the details. Like the Glengarry Glen Ross crew these guys are charismatic, focused, and completely wrong on so many levels.
The show is nuanced enough to keep you watching, and caring, for these b-(ad) men and the women that love them. As a period piece it may be way over the top. As a costume drama it is nearly as interesting as "Rome" -- yes, the costumes are at that level -- and the colors of Rayon and Polyester pop amidst the clatter of manual typewriters and glass doored office spaces.

I am so looking forward to Season 2!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Twilight Samurai


This poster is a little misleading: there is precious little blood in this quiet, moving film. Apparently the critics mistook Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat's understated acting as turgid and unemotional way back when "Crouching Tiger" landed on US soil. Not sure how this could have been said, as every gesture and glance spoke clearer love than I can even imagine, never mind endure..
"Twilight" has as powerful an emotional feel, in a slightly different period of time in history.
I'm betting the critics were too busy reading the subtitles to see the actors! A common complaint, "I want to watch movies not read 'em," apparently extends beyond the Kansas borders...
"Twilight Samurai" is the first part of a trilogy I have been hounded to watch for over a year now.
I was not fooled by the cover, and imagined a slow period drama sleeper, in spite of the stand up guy that recommended the film. I should have been more trusting, as this film is superb.
So you lean back, mumble a bit about my incoherent spoiler free reviews and think, well, he says it is a Samurai film without blood and has love at the core, so how could his original assertion that the film must be a boring period drama have been so wrong?
Alienation does not always mean tattoos and piercings or even that we are all storage cells for the hive mind!
Recommended

Saturday, August 09, 2008

RIP Bernie Mac


As my sister once said, "Bernie Mac is one funny motherfucker."
"Kings of Comedy" was the movie we were discussing. Bernie Mac, bigger than life with a bigger heart. He will be missed -- and I don't like comedy. We could talk about his show, we could talk about the smartfellas trying to find a place for this very funny guy -- from his TV show to the "Transformers" and yeah "Charlie's Angels 2". That list should let you know just how hard they tried and failed to contain/showcase his talent.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Anthony Wilson "Adult Themes"

The nature of my day job is largely thankless. We replace electronics for the insurance industry, so are customers are not repeats, usually suspicious, and have just been ripped off by thieves -- not the best environment for fun. I am no longer a rep, but the IT guy. I do answer the phones once in awhile, and, as luck would have it, found a fellow Jazz listener.
I recommended Kip Hanrahan, he recommended Anthony Wilson. I ordered "Adult Themes" on his rec, and was delighted with what I heard. Anthony Wilson has put together a terrific album. I enjoyed it from the first listen, but took a couple more spins just because.
"Because", the Beatles tune, is one of the covers on this record, and it is very well done. It is nice to have a familiar melody deconstructed and exploded by guys at the top of their game, and this is a pretty solid cover.
The gem on this disc is the "Adult Themes" suite, which closes the record. It is done in several movements and really swings. This is big band music with intimacy and chops that hold up to repeated listenings. Like Mr Gold(thank you), I will have to recommend this one!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dark Knight

Darren says: Best comic book movie ever. Christopher Nolan says, damn skippy.
"Memento" rocked. "Batman Begins" rocked. That is just the director.
Toss in Christian Bale -- "American Psycho", "The Machinist", "Equilibrium". "Reign of Fire", "The Prestige" and even "Velvet Goldmine" -- as the darkest Batman yet and the only thing that could go wrong would be the villain.
Actually the hardest part of the Dark Knight is knowing Heath Ledger is dead. He made a lot more movies than James Dean, and leaves us with quite a legacy. The marketing suits play up the connection, but it is absolutely unnecessary, excessively tawdry, and even worse than all the damn product tie ins that play during the previews/tv ads.
Ledger played the Joker unflinching. A masterful performance. I could not watch, just as I had trouble with "the Crow", and forget that the guy I was watching was dead. A true shame.
On the positive side, this bleak uncompromising vision of Gotham has terrific camera. I was actually able to see the heightened depth of field of the Imax equipment, and Nolan was able to show it off. Fight scenes were brutal, quick and physical. Until the blinking blue eye caps we are treated to Bale in the blackest black suit and the clearly real world engineered Batmobile with a dose of real world weight and heft unmatched in the artificial light of the CG choreography that rules the modern actioner. No F15s in midtown Gotham!
Nolan does not live in a bubble, and like every film made since 911, he pushes the Iraq War into our face. Batman faces his heart of darkness, we must face our chickenshit response to a conflict we choose not to understand. We must face the absurdity of serving evil to destroy a perceived threat, and understand the cost to our own soul.
Heavy stuff for comic books.
That just means you haven't read any comics lately. Comic writers have been grappling with power and the abuse of it long before Bush took office, but the lines have never been drawn with such emphasis. Artists are sensitive people, and the assault on morality and reason has been unrelenting for the last 8 years. Enough is enough, and that plain fact has bled onto the screen, into the comics, and blogs and the cereal aisle at Dillons.
Janet Jackson (fine rescinded) was charged a half million dollars for a breast flash while we waterboard human beings. Thank goodness the Pentagon has a voice in every newsroom to make excuses.
The overt critical movies like "Rendition" and "Stop Loss" died like "Talladega Nights" should have, Nolan is smart enough to wrap his message in Batwings and serve it hot, in the dark.
Since every man woman and child in America will see "Dark Knight" twice (if the box is to be believed) perhaps the tide will turn -- no more eviscerated, bubble-gum "Fantastic Four" movies, and no more draconian laws and pardons for the illusion of safety. When the corporate ties to modern evil are a given (A la Iron Man) and government collusion (Lord of War) not even a twist, perhaps the voting public will make the connection.
"The Sheep Look Up" if you will, with all apologies to John Brunner.
Recommended (even though you have already seen it)

Hellboy 2

Hellboy 2 was worth the wait! Real time seemed to pass very slowly, as it was clear all Mr Del Toro needed was a green light to make this sequel. In the interim we received "Pan's Labyrinth" and that pedigree is evident in Hellboy 2. Maybe pacing had some issues, maybe silly and slapstick were pushed a touch far -- but you can choose to let the bowling pin sounds in "Burly Brawl" ruin the film or just go with it.
The creatures and attention to detail will have me watching this on Blue Ray over and over.
There a section of the film that plays as an homage to the puppeteers of that underseen gem "Strings".
Jim Henson is smiling from the grave at Hellboy. The Brothers Quay and even Tim Burton have to love what Del Toro has done!
This movie slathers a little weight over the lightness, and a little silly romance...We lost our straight man Myers and the cigar smoking bald guy has also undergone a script castration, but Ron Perlman is Hellboy. No one else could pull it off, not even Christian Bale! It is about time Perlman got the DaVinci/Lovecraft symbols cut into his flesh -- they look great, and think of the time he will save in make-up for number 3!
Our ace badguy, the long haired sword swinging freak in the trailer, was my last concern that was completely demolished by the very first scene of advanced Tai Chi with stick and blades.
Recommended

Monday, July 07, 2008

Brave


A Thai action-comedy. You can see above cool haircut, glasses and even legible titles...
This was the film I saw the trailer of on the "Chocolate" stunner reviewed earlier. There were several trailers on that disc, this was the one I did not already have. It appeared from the trailer to be a must see, and, thankfully, did not disappoint!
This film has some very nice stuntwork, a convoluted plot and a couple of high kicking receptionists--the only thing missing the Thai Trannie! I am getting used to the slapstick Thai sense of humor, I suppose it may atone for the over the top brutality of the Muay-Thai elbow. "Brave" is not a Tony Jaa or even a Jija Yanin Vismitananda take no prisoners elbow smash stunt man wounding epic, but it is no slouch either!
Ultimately it will be my kick along while watching heartrate that eventually stops me from watching these crazy films, but until then stay tuned.
Recommended

RIP: Thomas Disch

A suicide along the lines of Spaulding Gray perhaps? Done on July 4th, so perhaps a touch more pointed, but Disch was a poet. He was also a science fiction writer.
I found him after reading a blurb from him on the back cover of Theodore Sturgeon's "More than Human."
Follow the journey, pick up a copy of "Camp Concentration." This is not your father's Space Opera.

4th of July Reflections

I have a dirty secret. I listen to Limbaugh on the way home at lunch, a 7 minute commute. I don't make it home without shutting it off in disgust, but last week I found myself sitting in the car in my driveway listening while he read the following text:
A Not-So-Glorious Fourth
When he finished reciting he launched into a tirade about the Left and the Media and I enjoyed my lunch, "Rush free." I looked up the editorial, read it through a couple more times, and chose not to celebrate Friday.
Chris Satullo hit the nail on the head. Thanks!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Blue Ray B-13


I vowed I would not rebuy movies I already own just because they are available on Blue Ray. The image can't be that much better can it? My flat screen only goes to 1081i, what is the point? The movies are more expensive! Yes, I have 105 other reasons not to make the jump.
I did it.
It is that much better, even in 1080i.
District B-13 is, like Crank, a perfect "B" movie. Unlike Crank it showcases Parkour, and the clarity that Blue Ray brings to the image rules. There is absolutely no excuse not to see this movie now. Get to it!

Resistance: Fall of Man


I finally finished my first borrowed PS3 game. "Resistance" is an FPS, and if you ask around those that know will tell you I am an iD fanboy with a Quake tat where my heart belongs. That should give you all the necessary clues to recognize that I am not a console gamer by nature!
Regardless, I played on medium setting and had a blast. This alternate past alien invasion shooter made the hours go by with amped up heart rate and twitchy finger. Hardest thing for me was to not mash the right stick and go into zoom mode during melee.
Artwork looked great -- what doesn't on the PS3 -- if somewhat dated. Concept stuff was cool, if derivative of all our FPS favorites. Half-Life, Unreal Tournament, Halo et al. Thank goodness they left the "only what you can carry rule" out -- I must have had an arsenal of 10 cool weapons in a sack. Gameworld paused while I switched weapons, which is very handy for a guy who wants to hit the 3 key for the shotgun!
Medium was not particularly challenging, which is good because this has a "checkpoint" save system, and we all know how a long checkpoint through total crap play can ruin a game. I have to kill all the flying pigeons again??!! That being said, there were no standout desperate must get to checkpoint moments.
Apparently this has a multiplayer component, but that will remain untested. Tuesday I return the game with a sincere thanks.
Recommended

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hancock


Summer Fluff?
I think not! Sure, Hancock is shiny, has Will Smith, and some really funny bits we have all seen way too many times in the trailer -- but Hancock has meat. Hancock has emotional weight -- unlike "Iron Man," who had a heavy suit. I am not denigrating "Iron Man" just pointing out the differences.
There are parts of this movie that will be really heavy for young kids. I don't like trailers, never mind spoilers, but suffice to say that the 8 and under crowd may find parts of this disturbing, and not in a gore way but in the consequences of modern, broken families.
I cannot underline enough my pleasant surprise with "Hancock." It is the flipside to the comic book cynicism of "Wanted" -- where the comic artists are grappling with new view realities that recognize secondary consequences, and just what we have been doing over the last 8 years and how that has shaped the national psyche.
Christ, look at the deep-ness of this summer movie review.
Hancock! See It!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Wall e


The opening Pixar short was absolutely fabulous. Inventive, with not a frame wasted...
"Wall e" does not suffer the same economy. Because this is "I Am Legend" or perhaps more apropos "Silent Running" there is not a lot of dialogue in the single robot in post apocalyptic world scenario...and plenty of sprawl.
This freaked the adult audience out..they squirmed more than the kids at the showing I saw! That being said, this is not for the short of attention, perhaps too long for kids, like "Speed Racer" before it.
"Wall e" is light satire, but should be understood by all as not an illogical conclusion to our present behavior as a species. It reminded me of "The Happening" -- a film I went in wanting to like but was put off by the gore -- but I am still thinking about both of these films, days later. "Wall e" tells a great tale, gently. Humans are the cause, and the cure. There is hope in this film, and a warm gentleness that might let its message sink in.
Recommended

Saturday, June 28, 2008

archive -- American Psycho


Directed by Mary Harron.
Starring Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Cara Seymour.

For me American Psycho joins a number of films in the past year that nail my experience(s)/mindset.
The other films on this list?

Fight Club
American Beauty
Magnolia

It has been said by more than one person that the books I read are all the same. Sometimes the speaker will qualify--
the books aren't about the same thing, but the "tone" and "outlook"(bleak) are the same.
I found that all of the films listed above had similar themes, similar outlooks, etc, but in my deconstruction the endpoint is hope.

To American Psycho, pointedly: the "eighties" (the actual main character in American Psycho, not the lead "role") was my time in the corporate world.
I remember showing off my business card design. I remember nouvelle cuisine, audiophilia, and yes, Huey Lewis and the News.
American Psycho is black comedy in the vein of Natural Born Killers, without that film's air of voyeurism.

I'm tempted to read the book!

Could this body be the next Batman?

Kung Fu Panda


Martial Arts? Animation? Panda? How can this possibly work?
Wonderfully.
It may not be "the Incredibles" or "Wall E" but it is a fun film for everyone, not just boomers and their late born spoiled children!
I don't want to sell this short by comparing it to two of the best big budget animations, but I found little to offend my "delicate sensibilities" and a lot to recommend. I prefer a theater filled with excited children to a bunch of rude texting teens anyday.
Recommended.

The Incredible Hulk


The "Incredible Hulk" arrives with some baggage. It is not a sequel to Ang Lee's fine film, but a "redo." One could derive the rest of this review by simply deconstructing that sentence, but I'll elaborate. Let's pretend the baggage doesn't exist.
Starting there, the Incredible Hulk impresses. Origins are dealt with quickly in the title sequence, but it will be awhile before we see the Hulk big and green. Norton does a fine job with the human Banner half of the Hulk, though I would not say that he has channeled Bill Bixby -- the TV Hulk -- which was part of the intent. This human half Hulk has more in common with the "The Ultimates" Hulk, a more rounded, less sympathetic portrayal.
Tim Roth impresses before the CGI takes him out of the picture. William Hurt does a less blustering more tortured General Ross than the comics I remember, but he is a delight to watch. The action sequences are fine green eye candy. A couple of them are inventive, and there is some nice "Parkour" chase stuff sprinkled throughout.
However -- this Hulk is not even 25% better than Ang Lee's, and that is the line I drew in the sand. Remakes -- like "Batman Begins" and "Casino Royale" must exceed what has come before, particularly when they start with the stated -- we can do better. "Batman Begins" did it, "Casino Royale" did too, for it's Bond audience.
Go to this one if you didn't like Ang Lee's, enjoy your Hulk Smash -- otherwise go to Hancock!

Wanted


Unlike "Tomb Raider" the image above is the only deliberately prurient shot in the film, and it is very short. This is a nihilistic comic book action film directed by the crazy guy that brought us such delight with "Nightwatch" and "Daywatch". Blood is the fluid most oft displayed, but the action sequences are nearly "Ultraviolet" impossible and require a supreme suspension of disbelief.
The movie opens with one of these pieces, and by the time the human propelled flight ends you will know whether you should stay or not.
I stayed twice.
That being said, there is a mean streak at work here and in the source material. I might add that the comic book origins have been watered down like "The Golden Compass" -- without the film spoiling that evisceration caused, but still changing things as only a nervous Hollywood can.
Recommended.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

archive -- Pitch Black




Directed by David Twohy. 2000
Starring Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser.
Anticipation and expectation once again collided with reality.
An hour long special on SCI FI, Into Pitch Black, created an intricate picture of
the Vin Diesel character, Riddick. Glimpses of the planet, hints of plot: I was
hooked.

Movie opened in space, camera tracks inside ship. Best image of the whole movie:
Riddick in chains and horsebit, blindfolded but awake during cryosleep.

Crash land into "Alien in the Desert".
The good:
Vin Diesel
Zeke (character)
Landscape Camera
Bang for buck special effects
Pace
Bad:
Coincidence
Stupidity
Lack of character development

Verdict:
Try to ignore the real obvious plot problems, get your head spun around for a couple
of hours. This is bad science fiction, not horror. Bad science fiction beats Teen Comedy
in my book EVERY day.

archive -- End of the Affair




Directed by Neil Jordan 2000
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore, and Stephen Rea.

A portrait of jealousy in brown,black and rain.

40 years later, even through the camera lens, Graham Greene's self-loathing is palpable.

It is hard to feel sympathy for the man, he wants us to stare at jealousy and understand it's
power to destroy love, and life. Neil Jordan paints it black.

The cuckold, his wife and her lover.

Painful to watch; civilization straining it's layered linen and wool in a time when to "let it all hang out"
was simply out of the question.
Recommended.

archive -- Magnolia


Directed by PT Anderson
Starring William Macy, Tom Cruise, Philip Baker Hall.

"How come there's no 10 o'clock show?"
"The movie is 3 1/2 hours long sir."
So I sat in the front row so I could stretch my legs.

The movie opens "Bond style", a few minutes of action, then credits, then into the film proper.
The few minutes of action were 3 short "films", all shot in wildly different styles.

After the credits the camera began throwing images at us as the narrator continued. He stopped. The camera
did not. After about twenty minutes of the camera pouring information straight into my hind brain I leaned to my partner and said,
"if he can keep up this pace for 3 hours I'm going to pop." It was like a moving "Run Lola Run" jag.

Of course it is not all that fast, and we soon settle into solid story(ies)telling. Multiple characters, same general location, same day.
Variable weather titles break the action up into chapters, or movements. We've seen similar technique, "Go", "Pulp Fiction", "Happiness".

Well, this is the film "Happiness" should have been, and is just as ambitious. Sure, we all have the scenes we'd like to trim out, but who are we?
I had written some painters a while back about the size of their canvas. Cristo is the only one who responded, with the point that if I was orbiting the planet his scale would seem just right.

Our themes here? Guilt, regret, forgiveness, aging. Why would a young, charismatic guy develop a mysogynistic self help system called Seduce and Destroy? What sends a man into that kind of rage?

"It's in my bones, I'm fucked. "

"It is dangerous to confuse children with angels."

These people careen through the day mindless of the connections, watching a quiz show developed by a dying old man, hosted by a dying man, turning parents into monsters and kids into freaks and in the end we slip the shoes on and pull the strings taut and who would have guessed how well they fit?

Great cast, worked well together. Some of the "notes" of this symphony seemed more phony than symphonic, which hurt the film, like Spike Lee's hammy acting in Summer of Sam. Sure, they pulled you out of the frame, but there was way too much greatness there, and in this film, to make it fatal.

Have an early supper, catch this film. Spend a few days looking inward at the heart of darkness, stare the beast down.
Oh yeah, buy the soundtrack!

archive -- Supernova





Directed by Tommy Lee (aka Walter Hill)
Starring James Spader, Angela Bassett.

One quick question: What kind of dimension-jumping ambulance can't bring the wounded to a hospital?
I'll back up:
In order to travel multiple light years in minutes instead of decades all living crew must be in protective chambers.
This ship has exactly enough chambers for the crew, and no one else! They jump multiple light years and have to leave the patient(s) where they find 'em.

But enough about plot!

How about zero gee sex!

But we cut the movie into a short pg13 version!

Ok, what about cool spaceships!

Babylon 5?

Star power! Angela Bassett, usually hotter than Georgia asphalt, the best part of Strange Days, limps through this role on ice. Spader is decent as the new guy freshly off some future drug addiction and also second in command. Oh wait, we talked about plot already!

What happened? Making movies takes a lot of time and money. The SFX guys worked hard, the actors did there best but nothing gelled. I wanted to like this movie, like I wanted to like Event Horizon.

I enjoyed the time in space, on the ship and off, and I guess I still don't value my time and money enough.

This is a solid "B" movie, I think the new term is straight to video. If you're a sci-fi nut go ahead. You've seen worse.

Maybe the Dvd version will be put back together.

archive -- The Hurricane



A picture only review from www.valiscafe.com. Movie bred a little controversy, and an older guy at the T-Star through me this tidbit:
The shells from the crime were in the Hurricane's car. This is not in the film, which I enjoyed!

Archive -- Stuart Little



Wow! A review with a review from the ol' Valiscafe.com site!
Directed by Rob Minkoff.
Starring Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie and the voice of Michael J. Fox.

"Please pass the gravy."

With that line George Little dodges his parents gentle pressure and underlines the basic problem of having a mouse as an adopted brother.

Colorize a Tim Burton film, add SOTA (state of the art) animation, and squeeze a "Little" house into Manhattan.
Fabulous sets and locations; a Surreal skew on the Big Apple

Ignore natural and physical laws.
Mouse adoption, cat co-operation, crossing the street in New York.

Put Duracell batteries into the toys.
To run the radio and lights of the Roadster across the city and back.

Give George a basement bedroom, complete with train set straight out of Track 29--and a model building table!
To build the boat and a wooden RC controller overnight!

Did I mention two loving parents?

Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Iron Giant, Toy Story 2, Stuart Little. I'm not sure what is driving the current bonanza in animation but please continue.

Getting a single ticket for Stuart Little @ 9:20 pm is like buying a condom in a drugstore--b4 Aids made it ok!
So get your friends to go with you.

Archive -- Anna And the King




Another www.valiscafe.com picture "review".
I brought Ray and Hazel to this film as I was blown away by my first viewing and thought everyone should see this beautiful place. Then there were the beheadings..

archive project -- Eye of the Beholder

My old site was valiscafe.com, hosted by a good friend TR who has since moved to more siliconized pastures. He leaves the site up for historical value I suppose. It was a much more ambitious undertaking than this blog, and consumed a lot more time.
Pauline Kael's "5000 Nights at the Movies" is a staggering work for sheer breadth. My reviews have thus far been scattered across 3 blogs, 2 sites and one long out of print magazine. I will be slowly transferring early reviews to this site...which is not to say I plan on publishing the pile, but nothing wrong with consolidation. Those posts will be marked as archival, and let me apologize in advance for rough edges of the older posts, this opening post is a case in point.
My review of "Eye of the Beholder" had links to other reviews, and the following pics!





Yes, I enjoyed the film thoroughly!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chocolate <--M &Ms in Thai!

Some kick ass martial arts Thai style. Let's take a look under the hood:
Homages to: Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Tony Jaa, David Bell, check.
cool tattooed women with scars, check.
ladyboy assassin squad, check.
guns, swords, blocks of ice, parkour, check.
What is not to love?
Rush out and find this please. Yes I liked Iron Man. Sure, Forbidden Kingdom had Li and Chan, but this is Muai Thai!
No budget, all heart and knees and elbows and one riveting flic!
Recommended!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Round Black Ghosts


This is a cool Dubstep collection. I have owned it for awhile, but it took several at volume listenings to really feel the disc. First impression was oh..the tempo is too fast...as it was late at night and I was looking for dark journey inside my skull, not a spine based trip. The next spin was at brunch while I multitasked in the kitchen. Much better.
The record is not "drum n' bass" tempo stuff, just not dubbed out honey...which, of course, is my "easy listening." To enjoy this record you will need a system with some bottom, and a time when you have not been beaten up all day by the stresses of "real life." Given those two conditions this will prove to be a hot disc for your edge electronics ears.
Recommended