Thursday, December 23, 2010

Terrifying Family Films - A Christmas Story

In the spirit of the holidays, I thought I’d discuss my favorite Christmas movie ever: A Christmas Story. When I started outlining this piece, I realized something. This movie, while it’s amazing and hilarious, is kind of scary. I’ve unintentionally dug up some repressed feelings and am therefore dusting off a series I call Terrifying Family Films. Here are the top five real reasons your kids will be up all night Christmas Eve.


1.) I think we can all agree that the pivotal moment when Ralphie tells Santa his wish, and is subsequently pushed down the slide, is pretty freaky. The elves are mean and Santa looks like the devil. The thing that really gave me nightmares was that slide. I don’t know why; maybe because it was bright red or because it was monstrously huge and out of place. I had night terrors as a kid and the majority of them were about plummeting to my death on a long slide like that. Usually there was no end to the slide, but every so often I fell into the Sarlac pit from Return of the Jedi.



2.) At one point in the film, Ralphie’s teacher Miss Shields and his mom are dressed as a witch and a harlequin and proceed to make fun of him. I hated this scene. If you can’t trust your mom or your teacher, who can you trust?



3.) If you can watch A Christmas Story without feeling a little anxiety when Scut Farkus comes around, you probably are Scut Farkus. If so, stay far away from me because you are absolutely grotesque. The braces, freckles, and yellow eyes - yikes! And you’re so mean. Making kids cry, shame on you. As horrible as you are, Ralphie’s final battle with you is glorious.

4.) Some of you may not recall this absolutely terrifying scene, however, I can quote every line. After Ralphie say’s “Fudge” (And by the way, did any kid understand this joke? I did not. For many years I thought Fudge was a swear word.) Anyway, his mother puts soap in his mouth and then asks where he heard the particular word. Ralphie totally narks on his buddy Schwartz. Mrs. Parker calls Schwartz’s mom. Mrs. Schwartz freaks the fudge out, and we listen as she beats him. "Ahhh what'd I do mom!? What'd I do!?"

5.) Finally, and the most horrible of all, the tongue on the frosty pole scene. The lead up to this scene is tense, but it’s not scary. The triple-dog-dare is mean, but not scary. The fact that all Flick’s friends leave him stuck to the pole and not inform anyone of his predicament is sick, but not scary. The scary part, the scariest part of the whole movie, is when they bring Flick back inside and he’s got gauze on his tongue. However, as a kid, I was convinced that the firemen had ripped off half his tongue, and the white stuff was the inside of his tongue. What a great Christmas movie mom and dad!

All kidding aside, I love this movie. A Christmas Story is one of America’s most cherished films and I watch it all day on Christmas just like the rest of you. The bunny pajamas, Randy in his huge coat, the crummy commercial for Ovaltine, and of course the leg lamp are all iconic film moments all surprisingly found in the same movie. How can one movie have so many great scenes? I think we've all seen this movie so many times we forget how truly great it is. I wish I could go back and watch it for the first time all over again.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tron: Legacy


What was the most common thing heard at the movie theater this weekend? “One ticket for Tron, please.” Tron: Legacy is a movie with a very specific audience and though it’s very good, I’m not sure it will achieve the box office numbers Disney was hoping for. It opened at number one, but I don’t think it will last. I could be wrong here, but Tron: Legacy might only appeal to men my age. We remember the original Tron from when we were kids and want to relive it the same way we lined up for The Phantom Menace. I’m pretty sure the dinner-and-movie date demographic skipped this one. That's unfortunate.

Tron: Legacy is definitely worth seeing in theaters, even if you aren’t familiar with the original. I passed on the 3D as I usually do for review purposes. (I’m always afraid I’m going to miss something important when I’m trying to grab the 3D effects.) The visuals were still impressive and nice to look at. However, it didn’t really look all that much like Tron. That’s due in part to the plot which is set up something like this:

Kevin Flynn, the man behind the Tron game has been living inside the grid for 20 something years. His son Sam receives a message from the grid so Sam goes to find him. The grid has changed a lot because Kevin, along with his “program” Clu, have been making nice alterations. So the flat geometric shapes and monotone color scheme have been updated, which is a clever tie in to modern day computer graphic capabilities. And speaking of modern day capabilities, the animators actually make Jeff Bridges look 20 years younger as he did in the first movie. Pretty snazzy. Everything looks amazing, but it doesn’t really feel like a video game anymore. I suppose video games really don’t look like video games anymore either.

Tron: Legacy is also an interesting story, and it held my attention. There’s a new twist to the grid which I found intriguing. The whole idea behind this new character Quorra, played by Olivia Wilde, is clever and thought-provoking. Plus she’s really hot. There are some pretty decent action sequences as well, all using the classic Tron games. Light Cycles, which have been updated, are totally awesome.

The film is very entertaining but you walk away with some questions that can’t really be answered because in no way is this story possible. So you have to suspend your disbelief a great deal and ignore any holes. However, I still have questions. For example, how does one manage to find food and eat it in the grid? Is the roasted pig on the dinner table just a program? If so, does that make it vegetarian?

Tron: Legacy is a great tribute to the original. It’s fun if you don’t think too much about the science behind everything. You also have to appreciate that everything has been upgraded. The suits, the vehicles, and the city itself have all been improved and rendered intricately. The futuristic theme music from the original has also been upgraded… by Daft Punk. So if you’re expecting the Tron you remember, go watch that. This isn’t it. This is better! So see it, and bring a friend!

4 arcade classics

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let the Right One In

So I’m pretty tired of the vampire thing and although I enjoy The Walking Dead on AMC, I’m pretty tired of zombies as well. Isn’t there some other monster we can exploit? There has to be something. Bigfoots maybe? I’d love to see a tween romance with glittery bigfoots.

Let the Right One In is another vampire movie. But, this one is different. It’s not really a vampire movie at all. In fact, it’s quite lovely. I have no doubts that Let Me In, the Hollywood remake released last month, will be scary and totally miss what makes the original so great. I need to see the new one before I make rash judgments of course, but I have a pretty good hunch. Let the Right One In isn’t meant to scare. There are a few spooky scenes and a little blood, but this story is really about friendship. It’s like My Girl meets Nosferatu.

This film was made in Stockholm and it’s entirely in Swedish. Oskar is a boy with an unfortunate haircut and no friends except his mom. He keeps to himself and is frequently picked on by a kid named Conny. He meets a girl named Eli and they form a nice little friendship over a Rubik’s Cube. And so you know, Rubik’s Cube is the same in Swedish.

Eli is a fascinating and complex character. You know from the beginning that she’s different. Although she is 12, she admits to having been 12 for a long time and you can actually see it in her face. I’m not sure if it’s done with makeup or if it’s the actress, but she looks very mature. Interestingly, when she meets Eli she begins to act childish and not sure of herself. Oskar tells her that she smells. Hilarious. But then she worries about smelling nice for him. Oskar tells her that she’s ice cold and Eli wonders if that makes her gross. The complexity of her character is amazing. Young Oskar is interesting as well, but Eli steals the show.

Considering this is a vampire movie, there is some violence. The film doesn’t shy away from the notion that vampires eat people; it’s a fact. There are no vegetarian vampires. To me, the scenes are more beautiful than gory. You might think the part where Eli bleeds profusely is disgusting, but in the context of the scene, it’s a beautiful moment. The attack scenes, which in other films might be brutal in order to scare the audience, are more subtle in Let the Right One In.

Furthermore, the story remains true to classic vampire mythology. I definitely appreciate this. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it old school. If you’re a vampire, sunlight will kill you. It’s that simple.

Let the Right One In is a wonderful little film. It's a refreshing story; heartwarming when Oskar and Eli are together and thought provoking as their relationship develops. You definitely question the lengths you go to for the ones you love. It's also nice to look at. The winter in Sweden is just beautiful, even if there's a little blood in the snow.

3.5 nice vampires





Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nightmares in Red, White and Blue


This really isn’t a review - more like a recommendation to horror movie fans. I'm not saying I’m not a horror movie buff, myself. I just don’t like the gooey kind they make these days. I watch scary movies, especially around Halloween, but they’re usually cheesy and dumb. Evil Dead and Freddy Krueger are my favorites. Also, I believe that if a director is talented, he can scare an audience without too much violence. The Shining is a perfect example of that. Movies today have become torture porn and I generally avoid them. I like being scared, not being ill.

Nightmares in Red, White and Blue is a documentary that covers the whole spectrum of the genre, from early monster movies to the ultra-gore we have today. It's a pretty simple film in its composition, but it's quite interesting. It's packed with great interviews and facts I didn't know, which surprised me, since I know everything!

The narration is done by some of horror’s greatest directors, including George Romero and John Carpenter. Wes Craven is missing, but I saw enough of him on my Freddy box set. The directors provide great insight to the themes present in these movies and go way beyond the virginal final girl cliché.

This documentary is also entirely focused on American culture. They compare the themes of each film to what was going on in America at that time. So it’s a great film for history buffs as well. It’s fascinating to see how much war, depression, and the economy play a role in these films. If Americans were scared of something, you can bet Hollywood capitalized. They discuss the effects of international horror on Hollywood, as well, but briefly. This movie is really about America.

So, it’s kind of hard to review a movie about movies but I definitely recommend it. Whether you’re a fan of those old Universal monsters, or if you crave blood and eyeball poking, you’ll enjoy it. And if you watch scary movies just for the gratuitous nudity like I know most of you do, watch for a great unedited montage taken from easily fifty movies.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

City Island

In the movie A Bronx Tale, Robert DeNiro’s character drives a bus to a place called City Island, a small fishing village in the Bronx (of all places). For some reason that scene always stuck with me – the image of a peaceful island, surrounded by an overcrowded city. So I rented this movie called City Island, not knowing anything about it, only because I liked the concept. And really, I think that’s the best way to go into the movie; not knowing too much. So I won't talk too much summary.

City Island is about a family living on, you guessed it, City Island. Andy Garcia, who is just so awesome in this, plays Vince, a father with a secret. Julianna Margulies, plays the mother who also has a secret. The son and daughter also keep secrets from the rest of the family. The son’s secret is just so crazy, I can’t imagine how the writer, Raymond De Felitta, came up with it. They all live under one roof, yet they all live their own private lives, on their own private islands. Neat connection huh? Vince works as a correctional officer at a prison, and when he brings a convict home with him, the secrets start to come out.

Andy Garcia is great. Most of the time I think he’s okay. I think his performances are pretty standard; a debonair Italian dude. In City Island, he plays an older, unsure of himself, kind of guy, who longs to be a debonair Italian dude. He even references Pacino, DeNiro and his idol, Marlon Brando. Garcia plays Vince in a humbling yet charming and likeable way. There’s one scene where Vince stares at his own daughter’s chest. It’s a pretty awkward scene, but what makes it even funnier, is that the actress playing his daughter, is actually Garcia’s daughter, Dominik.

Emily Mortimer plays Vince’s friend Molly. She doesn’t have a very large part, but she invokes the beauty and quirkiness of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She’s graceful and silly and supports Vince during his transition into the man he wants to be. I couldn’t help but like her as well.

City Island is a funny movie, but it’s mostly that interesting kind of funny where you say, “Oh that’s funny,” instead of actually laughing. Some of the scenes definitely had me LOL-ing though. It’s a great story, set in a unique locale. The characters are interesting and have some pretty wild secrets. I could definitely see this working on an off-Broadway stage. The ending alone is reminiscent of a Shakespeare.

3.5 Italian dudes

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Devil


Hey.

Been a while.

You look good.

So my friends and I went to see Legend of the Guardians. You know, the owl movie. When we got there, the ticket lady said they weren’t playing it. The Regal website said they were, but they weren’t, and she didn’t know why. She just pointed to the electronic signboard behind her, where the owl movie showimes ended at 3 pm. Can’t argue with that.

So we saw Devil.

We thought it would be good for a laugh. But actually, Devil is a pretty decent flick. It’s scary as hell. You’ve probably seen enough advertisements to know that this is the movie about the people on the elevator. So I don’t think I need to explain much more than that. It’s about people on an elevator and they may or may not have encountered the devil himself. According to the film’s narrator, a security guard who watches the events unfold, the devil arrives whenever there is a suicide and torments the damned on Earth.

When the movie starts, the first thing you see is “The Night Chronicles” followed by a giant number 1. This is the first in a Twilight Zone-like series of supernatural movies under the night chronicles moniker. M. Night Shyamalan has invented each story, the final one apparently based on an Unbreakable sequel, but he isn’t directing. I think he is tired of getting laughed at. Devil is directed by John Erick Dowdle.

In my opinion, M. Night should be happy with Devil. Like I said, it’s really scary. Devil is legitimately the scariest movie I’ve seen since The Ring. In a decade of torture porn, this is a refreshing change. There is actually little to no blood or guts. No one has their eyes poked out and no one is surgically attached to someone else’s butt, centipede-style. For the most part, the really gruesome stuff happens when the lights go out. The lights flicker and you know something bad is about to go down. Only hearing the nasty stuff, and not knowing what you’ll see when the lights go back on, is the scariest part. I think that’s more effective than the disgusting garbage all these amateur studios have been filling Blockbuster with.

The tension increases with the concept that humans become the villains when we are at our worst. I quote Rodney Dangerfield, “What good is being the best, when it brings out the worst in you?” Okay, that’s a stretch, but I watched Ladybugs this morning. In Devil, the five characters are so stressed they turn on each other, which adds a whole new freaky element. Dowdle’s other movie, Quarantine, was also successful as an experiment in claustrophobia.

In classic M. Night style, the actors aren’t the best. I only recognized one of them - he was on The O.C. They do pretty well for the most part, and they are convincing, but there aren’t any stand-out performances. The most annoying thing is when they look into the camera when addressing another character, as if the audience were that character. I get that elevators are small and probably hard to film in. It's just irritating and I might be the only one that noticed it. But now you will, so enjoy.

I’m not sure how scary this movie will be on video, unless you have a really big TV with great surround sound. For me, Devil worked as an experience. When the lights go out, the theater is pitch black and you become an elevator rider yourself. You can’t really escape. In your living room, you can keep the lights on. Plus, you can take the stairs. So, if you’re looking for a good Halloween flick and are tired of the Saw movies, go see Devil. And bring a second pair of underpants.

3 safer methods of transportation because you will not want to ride an elevator again.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dinner for Schmucks


I didn’t expect a whole lot from Dinner for Schmucks; I assumed it would be kind of dumb actually. But I’m happy to report, the movie is hilarious. I’d say it’s this summer’s Hangover.

Paul Rudd plays Tim, an analyst for some kind of financial firm. He’s trying to make his way up the corporate ladder and needs to impress his boss. The boss and his cronies invite him to a special dinner, where each employee must bring an idiot so they can all have a laugh. Tim feels a little weird about that, but he eventually meets Steve Carell’s character, Barry, and decides he’s the perfect idiot.

The movie isn’t just about this dinner; that only happens at the end. This is really the story of how Tim meets Barry, and how Barry keeps screwing up Tim’s life. Tim wants to marry his girlfriend, but now that Barry is in the picture, things get pretty messed up.

Steve Carell is better than ever in Dinner for Schmucks. He could have easily taken this role too far. I think Carell must have some kind of alarm that goes off when he borders on over-the-top, something that Jim Carrey lacks. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jim Carrey, but he would have ruined this movie. Carell brings a certain amount of pitiful to Barry, and you feel sorry for him. Everything about him is endearing, and that’s all due to Carell’s performance, which is on par with John Candy in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

You can tell when Tim first objects to the dinner for winners, that the movie has a sensitive spot. It definitely does. At first you say, yeah, these guys are total idiots. But then we get to know them and we see that their talents are pretty impressive. The moral of the story is obviously don’t invite people over just to make fun of them. It’s not an extraordinary message, but what I’m saying is, Dinner for Schmucks isn’t all schmuck jokes.

Barry’s talent is totally absurd, but only at first. After a while we realize that he’s amazing at what he does. The talent the writer’s created for him is truly an art form in itself, and it works on several levels. I’d really like to meet the prop designer. The other idiots at the dinner are similar. They seem ridiculous, but, in their own right, they’re very talented. The biggest idiot of them all is Kieran, played by Jemaine Clement, and he’s not even invited to the dinner. He’s an artist who’s very involved in his rather perverted craft, and works very closely with Tim’s curator girlfriend. I’ve never really followed the guy, but he’s brilliant here.

Dinner for Schmucks is just a really funny movie. The jokes just keep coming and they really aren’t too dirty or juvenile. For me, every joke is cleverly written, and just when you think they’re going too far, you’re hit with a totally different joke. It’s hilarious and I definitely see this as a dvd on regular viewing rotation, just like The Hangover.


4 mice








Thursday, July 8, 2010

Toy Story 3

When I was 15, I went to a computer convention in New Orleans. Aside from a crazy stripper trying to pull me into a Bourbon Street burlesque, the highlight of my trip was a convention booth run by Pixar. Little was known of Pixar at the time, but computer animation was the new thing on the horizon. The Pixar people demonstrated a new animation tool called Renderman, with a little movie they were making. That movie was Toy Story and I'd never seen anything like it. I was instantly hooked. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. They let me fill out an application and said they’d keep it on file. I wanted to be a Pixar animator so bad I majored in art (which quickly changed to English, but that’s another story).

Toy Story was eventually released and I loved it. When Toy Story 2 came out, I was a little disappointed. It felt more like a straight-to-video release. So I wasn’t overly excited for Toy Story 3. It looked funny of course, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I was pleasantly surprised. Toy Story 3 is the best movie Pixar has ever made.

Andy is off to college and the toys we remember have been sitting in the toy chest. What’s interesting is that all the voice actors return. Even Andy is played by the same kid all grown up. The toys are dealing with some pretty serious emotions now. They’ve lost some toys over the years, just as people do, and they’re worried about their own fates as well. Through a comedic mix-up, the toys end up in a daycare facility run by Lots O' Huggin' Bear, a disgruntled purple bear that smells like strawberries.

The toys deal with so many emotions over the course of this movie, you easily forget that they are toys. They are actually more convincing than real actors. The toys experience grief, fear, anger, joy, and resentment. You’d assume that in a kid’s movie, the toys would be forever happy and devoted to Andy, but they’re not always. The climax in which the toys come to terms with their fate is so powerful and emotional that the scene stayed with me the rest of the day. I could barely drive home.

The movie is not all sad like most people are saying. There are some pretty destitute moments, but the message is completely positive. The film is so clever and funny, it will just make you happy. The actions sequences are also cleverly devised and would please any action fan. So much so that I would even go as far to say that while this movie is perfect, it’s probably not perfect for kids. Lots O' Huggin' and his chronie, Big Baby, are kind of scary and the climax is pretty intense. A child would not understand the final scene's significance. So it's up to you if you bring them or not, but they won't appreciate it as much as you will, and they'll probably cry but not for the same reasons you're going to.

Toy Story 3 is a wonderful tribute to the characters we all know and love. Pixar could have very easily just come up with a simple story using the same old toys and done just as well at the box office. Instead, they created a masterpiece that exceeds the first and second film. The favorites return along with tons more, and they are all given screen time and funny jokes. You can really tell how much the writers love their characters. The new toys they've created are brilliant too. Ken, voiced by Michael Keaton, is hilarious. Some will say Ken's love of fashion and glitter is homophobic, but I really don't think so - he's just a girl toy, and girl toys get dressed up and play house.

The artistry and animation of Toy Story 3 is amazing. I didn't think I’d ever see computer animation as beautiful as Wall-E, but this one tops them all. There are so many toys at the daycare and all of them are detailed and colorful. Each toy has movements specific to what kind of toy they are. Even the walls of the daycare, you know that painted brick all schools have, are natural. You can see the little bumps and everything. It just fascinates me that it was probably one animator’s job to get the bricks looking just right.

Toy Story 3 is beautiful to look at and a beautiful experience overall. I predict that it will win best animated feature, as well as best picture, if that's allowed. This movie has inspired the artist in me again and I can only hope that one day I'll be involved in something as great. Of course, it receives the highest rating any movie has received on this blog:

5 stickers.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jonah Hex

Jonah Hex is not the worst movie of the year. It’s far from that and I think it succeeds at what it is – a summer movie. We tend to expect huge jaw-dropping blockbusters in the summer because we’ve been spoiled. Generally speaking, the greatest movies we see during the year come out during the summer months. Because of this we lose sight of what a summer movie really is… just something to do. It’s entertainment and it’s nice to get out of the heat for a while. I’m not saying a movie is allowed to suck just because we were bored and needed an escape for 90 minutes. I’m only saying we shouldn’t criticize movies too harsh when it doesn’t live up to summer standards.

Jonah Hex has plenty of faults, but it’s not terrible. Like I said, it is what it is and I quite liked it. The action, the brief moments of comedy, and the special effects are all decent. I’ve always liked Josh Brolin and he’s pretty good as the vengeful titular cowboy. I’ve always liked Megan Fox as well and she’s not as bad as I would have thought. She’s cute and pulls off a relatively convincing southern twang. Both actors do well in their action sequences and have some nice chemistry.

Now, if you’ve got nothing else to do this weekend and don’t feel like standing in line for Knight and Day or Toy Story, see this movie. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. However, this movie can easily wait for video and I’m guessing that since it’s getting such bad reviews, Jonah Hex will be on DVD soon.

I’ll only highlight a couple things I disliked about Jonah Hex, because I really don’t want to dissuade anyone from seeing it. First of all, Josh Brolin’s make up is cheap. We’re supposed to believe that from a branding “accident” he is badly burned and has a hole in his cheek. To me it just looks like they put a piece of string cheese over his lip. It’s rather distracting… and disgusting.

Jonah Hex also severely lacked development. The writer spent very little time on his characters. Maybe they thought followers of the original comic already had enough information, but I’d never actually heard of the this book. The villain Quinton Turnbull, played by John Malkovich, is the most one-dimensional. There is little to no back story, so we don’t really know why he wants to destroy the country. Other than a shocking intro scene where Turnbull murders Jonah's family, we don't see much of their history together so any meeting between the two if them isn't very interesting. Plus, and I don’t think I’ve ever said this, Malkovich really phones this one in. He’s played some crazy guys before, so I really expected something more menacing. In Jonah Hex he’s just kind of “Grrr! I’m a bad guy! Okay, where’s my paycheck?”

The last thing I’ll mention is that the supernatural theme is a bit off here. We see that Jonah almost dies at the villain’s hands and because of this, he can speak to the dead. It’s a pretty cool concept and most of the time it works. However, there is another power that I don’t understand at all. It has something to do with dreams or the subconscious mind or something. Jonah is told in a dream sequence that his “unfinished business” is fighting and defeating the Turnbull. Ok so that’s cool I guess. But then we have to see the dream sequence again edited in with their actual fight at the end. That didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me and was a little annoying.

Despite a few problems, Jonah Hex is an okay movie. I enjoyed it. If you go into it not expecting too much, you may enjoy it too. As I said, don’t rush out to see it. If you’ve got nothing better to do, check it out. What else are you gonna do with your summer? Hang out at the Gas n Sip?

3 comic covers

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The A-Team

This is not the A-Team you remember. In fact, it has very little to do with the original series at all. The names are the same, the mohawk is relatively the same, and the catchphrase, "I love it when a plan comes together," is the same. That's pretty much it. I'm not saying that's a bad thing; just don't expect yo mama's A-Team.

This A-Team is violent and more explosive. That's to be expected. It's been about 30 years since the show aired, and the audience has changed. Mr. T didn't like this movie for that reason. But I enjoyed it. It is an action movie above all else and it is a succesful one. However, these action stars seem like new characters we've never seen before. Face and Murdock are good, if not a little over the top, but the other two didn't really convince me. BA is a little soft, and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson even admits that fact in some interviews. In my opinion, this could have easily been a brand new, totally original movie without anything to do with the A-Team. But, Hollywood loves the remake.

I guess you could call this movie a re-imagining although I hate that term; a re-imagining just means one thing. Hollywood has officially run out of ideas. You should fully expect to see Silver Spoons or Small Wonder hitting the big screen soon. Due to the gimmicky popularity of Betty White, I wouldn't be surprised if Golden Girls made a comeback. Actually wait, they already made that - Sex and the City 2.

On its own, A-Team is a good movie. There's plenty of action, plenty of jokes, and plenty of twists and turns. My favorite parts are when the boys have to escape from somewhere, and they have to escape a lot. The team comes up with some pretty clever (crazy) plans. The storyline is decent, though it's pretty simple. With the amount of violence and explosions I kind of expected a save-the-world scenario but it's nowhere close. Despite all my observations, I didn't think this was a bad movie. I really liked it and I definitely recommend it. See it in theaters while you can. The A-Team is probably one of the better movies you'll see this summer. The final scene is so explosivy; the ending alone is worth the admission.

4 awesome explosions!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vincent: A Life in Color returns to Chicago

If you're going to be in the Chicago area during the last week of July, please make sure you go see Vincent: A Life in Color. It's not on DVD so the only way to see it now is if you attend a special screening like this. I think you'll like the movie - read my review here. And if you're from Chicago, you have no excuse. You are required to go. This is Chicago history right here.

From Zweeble Films:

We have been invited back for a second week's run at the Gene Siskel Film Center beginning Friday July 23 and running through Thursday July 29. Screening times are:

Fri. at 6:00 pm and 8:15 pm;

Sat. at 3:00 pm, 5:15 pm, and 7:45 pm;

Sun. at 3:00 pm and 5:15 pm;

Mon.-Thu. at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm


For more information you can visit the Gene Siskel Film Center or the director's website. Go see this movie now! In July, I mean.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Movies that WILL be Video Games - Back to the Future


Looks like Telltale Games has been reading my thoughts. Sneaky psychic game designers. I briefly toyed with the idea of a Back to the Future game sequel, one in which Marty is much older and Doc still lives in the Old West. Marty's kid takes a joyride in his DeLorean and completely screws things up for Marty in the present day. Somehow Biff becomes president, and the entire country falls apart. Marty marries someone other than Jennifer, thus preventing his kid's own existence. When his kid disappears, the DeLorean gets left in the past. Marty has to steal the time-traveling train from the Hill Valley museum, which has been there since 1885. Doc Brown covered up the time traveling mechanisms and donated it to the museum to preserve it, just in case.

I imagined that since Marty's kid screws up so many different things in the past, Marty would have just as many missions to set each thing back to normal and bring back his son. That's about all I came up with. I couldn't think of how to make fixing things fun, and I wasn't sure what kind of game it would be.

But it looks like Telltale Games, a group of ex LucasArts designers, is now making an episodic Back to the Future game. If it's anything like their creation Sam and Max: Season One, it will be great. I'm definitely interested to see what kind of storyline they come up with.

Read the press release here.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Grown Ups... something's missing.

Today I caught Beverly Hills Ninja on Starz. I realized that even though Beverly Hills Ninja is a freaking terrible movie, I just can't help but laugh whenever I see Chris Farley. He just seems like such a fun guy.

So that got me thinking about this movie Growns Ups with Adam Sandler and his buddies, Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Chris Rock. Seems to be kind of a nineties SNL reunion. But of course, Farley is missing. The fifth guy in Grown Ups is played by Kevin James, the only comedian not from SNL. Could this role have been written for someone else? Of course, this is just theorizing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Road... the scariest movie ever.

Have you heard of this book, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy? I've heard of it, and I've heard people say they love it. If the movie I watched last night is anything like the book it's based on, I don't think I'll read it. Not that it's a bad movie; it's decent actually. It's just so scary I can't imagine getting immersed in it all over again.

The Road stars Viggo Mortensen. His character, known as the father, has survived some kind of judgement day style nuclear war. He wanders the country with his little son during this post-apocalyptic winter. The sky is cloudy and dusty, so plants won't grow. Without plants, the animals die off. Basically there isn't food for humans to live on... except other humans. Gross.

The movie touches on some pretty heavy themes of suicide, justice, and of course cannibalism. The son constantly asks his father if they're the good guys and the answer is always yes, because they don't eat other people. The notion is terribly disturbing, but more than likely realistic. What would humans resort to in that situation? That's what's so scary. Thankfully there's hope with the father and son; they continue to "carry the fire" as they say.

The film is very bleak and gray. Everything looks cold and wet. The future pretty much sucks and it's depressing to watch. I think the director is very successful in his portrayal of the future. He definitely makes his point. Positive moments are so rare in the movie, that when good things happen, they're miraculous. The screen lights up, color returns to the characters faces, and there's laughter. Those few scenes are what make the movie watchable. Otherwise, I don't think I could stomach it.

Now I mentioned before that the idea of humans losing all humanity is really scary, but the movie doesn't stop there. Humans become monsters in the future. They aren't like mutated zombies or anything; it's not technically that kind of movie. The Road is probably the scariest non-horror movie I've ever seen. Not having read the book I did not expect to see the things I did. It's not really grisley or gory or anything, but it is pretty icky. Let's just say if you're not a cannibal, you're cattle.

The Road is effective and thought-provoking. As gloomy as the visuals are, it's shot beautifully. There are some really cool background shots as the two make their way across the country. Viggo's portrayal of a scared and protective father is believable, especially when he starts to question his humanity as well. But unfortunately, I just couldn't get into this movie. It's not that every movie has to be entertaining and all nice and Hollywood, I'm not saying that at all. For me though, there just needed to be a few more postive moments for me to enjoy it. I appreciated The Road, but I just didn't enjoy it.

3 much needed cleaning products...


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Well, this is kind of movie related...

I could write a review today... but I'd rather make fun of this defenseless little tree frog. No wonder he's been hiding out all these years.



Why do so many things remind me of Teen Wolf?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shrek: Forever After

I know. Donkey isn't brown. I couldn't find a gray dry-erase marker.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ebertfest 2010 - Part 2

I slept in Saturday morning because my sister and I were out all night partying with the college kids. We did shots at Kam's, had some Jager bombs at Joe's, and then did some keg stands at an after party. Just kidding. I slept in because I just turned 30 and my body is slowly disintegrating.

We lined up at the Virginia Theater for Vincent: A Life in Color. I had a pretty good idea about what Vincent was, because I knew who Vincent was. If you're from Chicago, and have ever watched NBC news in the morning, you've probably seen Vincent. Or perhaps you've visited the windy city recently and taken a boat ride down the Chicago River - did you see a man dressed in a brightly colored suit dancing on the Clark St. bridge? Well that's Vincent.

Vincent: A Life in Color is a fun and interesting documentary about Vincent Falk. Vincent walks around Chicago all day in these crazy colored suits. He twirls in them and waves at passersby, including tour boats. I first saw Vincent on the morning news, standing outside the studio, twirling around. I thought he was nuts. But as I learned from this fantastic documentary, Vincent is just a nice man, wanting to share his passion with the world.

The director of the film, Jennifer Burns, was a hostess at McCormick and Schmicks downtown, and she would see Vincent strolling by every day. She was confused, like most people, but wanted to know more about him. Jennifer maxed out her credit cards and made a movie, following him around Chicago. And for a first-time director, she's pretty good. I laughed a lot, and there's some pretty emotional stuff that made my sister cry. Not me though.

This film works, mostly because Vincent is such a likeable guy. He's happy all the time. He tells jokes, all the time, and you eventually realize why he does. Vincent had a challenging life. He's almost completely blind and was raised in foster care. You can tell when he interacts with people as an adult, things are a little awkward for him. My guess is that to avoid conversation, he tells jokes and puns. This is just one of many endearing qualities about him. The fact that he's blind, and still manages to get around the city every single day is also remarkable.

Jennifer really brings Vincent to life on screen. We see his every move and every little quirk, and we're even treated to his personal evolution of dance. Jennifer introduces us to Vincent and throughout her film, we become his friend. She also introduces the audience to Chicago. This film, in my opinion, is one of the best Chicago films and will easily become a true classic. Being a Chicagoan myself, I enjoyed seeing my favorite spots. There are also places I've never seen and probably never would, like the store Vincent buys his suits at. I've always loved the city, but Jennifer really brings out its true colors. I actually couldn't wait to drive back home.

The pacing of the film is perfect too. It's never boring and there's just the right amount of history, interviews, and Vincent in the present. When things get a little sad, the next scene is usually something sweet. The editor of the film, Christine Gilliland, should be recognized for her contribution as well.

Jennifer has made a heartwarming documentary that totally engages the audience. She introduces us to a wonderful person that most people, in all honesty, would avoid. In doing that, she's also created a very nice homage to Chicago. So, to all my out of state readers, I recommend you see the film, get to know Chicago and Vincent Falk, and then come for a visit! And if you see Vincent on the street, say hi and shake his hand. Thanks to Jennifer, you are already friends.

4 Awesome Suits






Richard Roeper, a producer, Vincent, Jennifer, and Christine


To make my Ebertfest trip extra special, my sister found this at a vintage record store for 20 cents. Superman practically flies of the sleeve when you open it! Booyah!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ebertfest 2010 - Part 1

Every year Roger Ebert selects a dozen movies that he believes are "overlooked". The movies are then played on the big screen at the Virginia Theater in beautiful Champaign, home of the University of Illinois. Ebert went to U of I and so did my sister. It's been sort of a tradition of ours to attend the fest. It used to be that I would drive down and visit her, but this year we drove together which was interesting. We sang along to every song from Queen's greatest hits. Yeah, we're those people.

Since we both work during the week, we went down Friday evening. We had enough time to check into our hotel, have dinner, and line up for our first movie Synecdoche, N.Y.

Synecdoche was written and directed by one of my all time favorite writers, Charlie Kaufman. Charlie is responsible for crazy and thought-provoking stuff like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich and the film I consider to be a true work of genius, Adaptation. Now if you thought those movies were out there, wait until you see Synecdoche. Let me just say, it's not for everyone. But if you give it a shot, I think you'll definitely be affected. By what, I don't know - but you will be affected in some way I assure you.

Synecdoche, N.Y. is a really intense story about a theater director named Caden Cortard. I only read a little bit about this film beforehand, and it seemed like the main plot was that Caden, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, builds a life-size replica of New York City in a warehouse. And that happens, but nothing can really prepare you for what this movie really is.

Caden obviously has issues from the start. He believes he has every disease in the book, but also projects them onto other people. He thinks his daughter Olive and wife Adele, played by Catherine Keener, are also sick. He even imagines characters on the television are sick. He doesn't have a very good grasp on time either and scenes kind of jump around frantically as if we were sick too.

After Adele leaves him, taking Olive with her, Caden must deal with his issues alone. He starts to slip into what I can only describe as a permanent nightmare. In the beginning, everything that happens to Caden is funny, and Hoffman's brilliant performance lets us know that it's okay to laugh. But after a while things get confusing, for Caden and for us. The audience gets twisted up into Caden's psyche. We don't know what time it is, and we don't know what's real and what isn't. And the movie never explains. It's kind of like watching Lost... if they had canceled the last season. One memorable scene is when Hazel, Caden's new love interest, buys a house that's on fire. It's a really funny scene, but doesn't make a lick of sense. She lives in the house and everything as it continues to burn but never burns down. Obviously this a metaphor for something. Or maybe it isn't. Who knows.

This was the one movie Ebert introduced himself this year. And just a little side note - his speech, broadcast from his MacBook as he pantomimed, was truly touching and I'm thankful I got to see it. Ebert warned the audience that to truly appreciate this movie we needn't not try to figure out what Kaufman meant by it. I'm really glad he said this because otherwise I would have tried to place meaning to things like a burning house. But when you just watch and see it for its beauty and humor, its much more enjoyable.

Caden eventually decides he's going to put on a play that everyone will remember after he's gone. He rents out a giant warehouse to stage his play and goes about building a lifesize New York City. He wants the play to tell a story about real life, about everyone's lives. He says everyone has a story to tell and emotion to convey. So he keeps casting actors to play real people until he fills his city. Then he decides he needs to tell the story of how he creates this play, so he needs more actors to play himself and everyone involved. This continues on into absurdity until there are warehouses built inside warehouses. We know this isn't humanly possible, but it seems so real. And to me that's why this film works. We are trapped right next to Caden in our own personal director's chair. We apply our own ideas to what this movie is. It's like poetry. Kaufman lays the groundwork and we build our own stories. It's just brilliant.

To make the experience extra cool - Charlie Kaufman was in attendance. I watched a Charlie Kaufman movie... with Charlie Kaufman. I didn't talk to him or anything, or even sit by him - we were kind of in the nosebleed section. It was still probably one of the cooler moments of my life.

After the movie, Charlie and four other panelists (producers, journalists, etc.) discussed the film on stage. Charlie is a pretty interesting guy. He seems to be kind of uninterested in Hollywood and budgets and genres and things like that. In fact he made some pretty funny jokes about how this movie didn't produce box office numbers anywhere near their budget. He also went on about how he won't explain anything no matter how many times he's asked. And the audience offered some pretty outlandish ideas about the meaning of it all. But he just laughed and said, "Okay. Whatever you think."


4.5 Stickers. (Might be a 5 after a second viewing.)






Chaz, Charlie and Roger


Friday, April 30, 2010

"Every town has an Elm St..."

So why haven't the people at Regal Cinemas heard of it?



And I especially like their spelling of Kick Ass. Wouldn't want to offend anyone I guess!

I know I'm late on my Ebertfest coverage. I'm working on it. Still can't really wrap my head around Synecdoche, New York.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Not the same guy.

I was so sure... but IMDB proved me wrong.

Dr. Walter Bishop on Fringe...


...is not Centauri from The Last Starfighter.

Dr. Bishop is played by John Noble. Centauri was played by Robert Preston who died in 1987.
However, Peter Bishop is definitely Pacey Witter.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Alice in Wonderland


I finally saw it! Let me preface by saying that I’ve always been a big fan of stories like Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. I’ve read several Oz books and the two Alice books. And anytime something related to either of them comes around, be it a game or made-for-TV movie, I get a little excited. Take the sci-fi networks recent airing of “Alice” and “Tin Man”. Both miniseries sucked really bad, but I still liked them. It could be said that I loved Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, just because it was about Alice in Wonderland. So I’m going to review this movie pretending that I hate everything about Alice and her adventures. Stupid Alice, she’s not cool at all!

The first thing you should know is that Burton’s AIW isn’t really based on either of the books. It’s sort of a combination of the two. It features characters from both, but they’re revised a little to fit the story. The Red Queen is actually a combination of The Queen of Hearts and The Red Queen. Tim Burton’s version tells the story of Alice coming back to Wonderland to fulfill her destiny as the one who will slay the Jabberwock as foretold in the poem, Jabberwocky. The poem itself is from Through the Looking Glass and it actually never states that Alice is the slayer; I think it’s a young boy. But regardless, this movie is mostly based on the poem; which is a great idea. Jabberwocky mentions a few other creatures that we’ve never seen on screen. Burton is able to bring them to life in his version thanks to CGI, and they look amazing. The Jabberwock actually looks very similar to John Tenniel’s illustrations from the book. The Bandersnatch and the Jub Jub Bird look pretty cool too. The Cheshire cat is probably my favorite though. He has mad evaporating skills and the way he floats around, backwards and upside down, just looks awesome.

Everything in this movie looks cool. The costumes, the creatures, and wonderland itself all look amazing. It has a Burton feel to it, sure, but this isn’t Halloweentown. Wonderland has a look all its own. Burton gets some flack for doing the same Burtony stuff for every movie. But I definitely think he stepped outside the box for his depiction of Wonderland.

Speaking of Burton doing Burtony things, yes, Johnny Depp is in it and he plays a wacky guy. And I thought he was pretty funny. But the real star of this movie is Helena Bonham Carter, another Burton regular. She’s perfect as the red queen. She’s evil and totally out of her mind, but is also hilarious. Plus she looks really good with such a huge head. I kind of always thought Burton cast her in everything because they’re you know, together, but she totally owns this movie.

I loved this movie and whether you believe me or not, it’s not just because I like Alice in Wonderland or have a man-crush on Tim Burton. It’s a fun and visually stunning film that deserves some recognition. The writing isn’t outstanding, and the story doesn’t really take Wonderland to new levels, but I didn’t really expect more than that. It’s definitely a different kind of Alice story. I think the artistry and that jaw-dropping scene where Alice finally meets the Jabberwock impressed me enough.

I will pick one thing I absolutely hated about AIW just to convince you. At the end, The Hatter does a dance, a futterwhacken, to be precise. And it is so dumb. And then when the credits are about to roll... sheesh... an Avril Lavine song. Could have been worse I guess; Prince comes to mind.

4 Queens

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Movies that Should be Video Games – The Wizard

Look out, there's stuff flying at us - only one of which is from an actual game!

Right when you read that title you said to yourself, “Of Course! Man, that Good Indoorsman really is good!” But then you thought, “But how can you make a movie about video games, into a video game? That’s just crazy!” Well, here’s how.

The Wizard is the classic video game movie. If you like video games, you’ve undoubtedly seen this 80’s gem. If you never saw The Wizard and hate video games (why are you reading this), let me fill you in on the plot.

Totally awesome Fred Savage plays Corey. He and his brother Jimmy have run away from home, hearing the news that the children will be split up once their parents are divorced. (Does that really happen? “Honey which one do you want? I’ll take Jimmy. He’s quiet.”) On their way to California they meet uber-bingo Haley, played by Jenny Lewis. I loved her then and I love her now as front woman of Rilo Kiley. Haley, seeing that little Jimmy is somewhat of a video game savant, convinces them to head to Video Armageddon.

I imagine The Wizard game will have two components: A cross-country adventure game and a vast library of 97 classic 8-bit Nintendo games. I probably just blew your mind right there, so I’ll give you a second to recuperate.

Hey.

The adventure game will tell the story of Corey, Haley and Jimmy traveling to California to compete in a totally made up (I checked when I was 10) video game tournament. You control Fred Savage mostly. Sounds kind of boring right? Wrong! Get this – The adventure component is an all out tribute to classic games of the 80’s. There will be car chases, action, fighting, puzzles, role-playing and even spelunking! I don’t know for sure how spelunking will tie in, but I just like typing it. One minute you may find yourself on the back of a Harley Davidson, racing down the highway, avoiding the police and that weasely bounty hunter. Another minute you might be kicking and punching your way through a casino, trying not to get caught by security, or that weasely bounty hunter. And then who knows, you might even find yourself in the middle of a turn-based rpg battle with cactuars in the desert, and just when you thought you were safe, that weasely bounty hunter jumps out and steals 100 magic points! Damn!

But every so often, the wizard encounters a different challenge. This is where the second component I mentioned comes in. It could be a competitive tournament, a showdown at an arcade, or a duel with Lucas (You know – the power glove guy

No I will not keep my powerglove off her!

Arcades are scattered throughout the first component and the gang can earn money by challenging old businessmen. When you enter a challenge, you actually get to play the old games. I was inspired by the Nintendo Wii’s virtual console, where every old school game is readily available for download. Why couldn’t The Wizard game be designed so you can draw from that collection when entering a challenge? And to add a bit of excitement to the old games, you’d be playing split screen with the challenger, be it the computer or a maybe even someone over wifi.

Once Corey and the gang reach California, they are entered into the Video Armageddon. Games are chosen at random so you have to be good at all 97 of them! If you can win more points than your opponent, you win the game! 50,000 wii-points will be credited to your account! Congratulations, you are a wizard.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Hurt Locker


Like most people, I didn’t see The Hurt Locker before the Oscars. And like most people, I watched The Hurt Locker the very next day. Was it Oscar-worthy? I don’t know. If I’d seen it before the Oscars, I don’t think I would have voted for it. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a fantastic movie. It’s just hard to believe Hurt Locker was better than the other 47 movies in the best picture category.

If The Hurt Locker succeeded in one thing, it’s that it opened my eyes to the chaos and terror that’s happening in Iraq. Aside from a family friend serving overseas, I haven’t really been touched by this war. In my ignorance, I picture Iraq as a big desert with some stone buildings here and there. The Hurt Locker puts everything into perspective. We see every aspect of Iraq, from the deserts, to the cities, to the small homes that look surprisingly like suburban American homes. And the crazy part is that there’s a war right outside these homes. The entire movie I just kept thinking, “Man, it’d be really crazy if Jeremy Renner was disarming a bomb in my front yard. Would I help him or just keep playing Mario?” But if you live in Iraq, that’s life.

Jeremy Renner plays Staff Sergeant William James, an expert bomb technician. He’s reckless and loves a thrill. In fact, the movie begins with a quote that explains William perfectly. “Battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug.” Williams loves running up to a bomb in the middle of crossfire, with his radio off, waving firecrackers. A typical technician goes above and beyond to ensure his own safety. Therefore, James is a cool character, and keeps the audience on their toes. Not to sound cliché, but I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire movie. James encounters other threats on several different missions that keep the movie roaring along. Each scene is more intense than the one preceding it. It’s a longer than average movie but you don’t really notice. In fact, the ending kind of comes out of nowhere and honestly I was left wanting a little more.

I don’t really know anything about battle, but The Hurt Locker feels very authentic. When William disarms a bomb, we get in close and see how he does it. But it’s not flashy, sweaty, cut-the-blue-wire kind of stuff; it’s meticulous and slow. In fact, just from watching him work, I could probably disarm a bomb myself. (So, I got that goin’ for me.) The emotions are all authentic too. William is calm but there’s something else under that cool exterior. His teammate Sergeant Sanborn is a good soldier that does everything by the book. On the outside he’s frustrated with William’s antics, but deep down he’s intrigued by his lack of fear and questions his own motivations.

The Hurt Locker is a really good movie. It's a relatively small and simple story but that's what I like about it. It's not a Band of Brothers war epic. It's more personal and thus more authentic. It’s eye-opening and pretty disturbing in parts, but remains an enjoyable movie.

4 Bombs

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Crazy Heart

Thanks to the very kind people at WXRT Chicago, I won passes to yet another movie screening. This time I saw Crazy Heart. It’s a good movie with a really great soundtrack. And actually, before the movie, we were treated to a live performance of the Oscar nominated song, The Weary Kind, played by the songwriter himself, Ryan Bingham. Words can not express how amazing this was. An Oscar nominee playing live before a screening of his movie is definitely not something you get to see everyday. I’m not a huge country music fan, but this guy is the coolest.

The movie is pretty cool too. Jeff Bridges plays a very complicated musician named Bad Blake. Bad is, or was, the epitome of cool. He is reminiscent of Johnny Cash and looks quite similar to Kris Kristofferson. Bad Blake, while dirty and probably smelly, is charming and funny. He is destined to become a cult favorite not unlike The Dude.

Bad is pretty much at the end of his career. When he’s not playing gigs at bowling alleys, he’s drowning himself in whiskey. His agent books him at ridiculous places around the country and Bad has to drive an old pick up truck to each one. I mean, that sounds like a country song right there. His agent also represents Tommy Sweet, a country star played by Colin Farrell. Tommy is the new face of country music and he has a large and young fanbase. Bad’s fans are mostly old hags, but he does not hesitate to sleep with them. The agent has been begging Bad to do some duets with Tommy, but Bad refuses out of obvious jealousy.

It’s all very depressing but Jeff Bridges plays Bad with such charm that we can’t help but laugh a little bit. Things start to look up for Bad when he meets Jean, a very young writer and single mother played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. For some reason Jean falls for Bad. The chemistry between the two is phenomenal even though she’s young and beautiful, and he’s pretty much the walking dead.

Maggie plays Jean very well but I wasn’t sure what her motivations were. Perhaps this was a problem with the character she played. She’s adamant that she wants to stay away from bad men, but then falls instantly for Bad, and I’m not sure why. He's gross. I thought the story would supply us with a little background on her – that maybe she had daddy issues or something. But really her character is kind of a mystery. She has an adorable son that she’s very protective of, but then she keeps letting Bad come over and play with him. And you just know something bad is going to happen. Not that Bad does anything wrong intentionally, he’s just kind of an idiot sometimes. There’s a lot of buildup to these bad things but it takes a really long time to get there. In fact the whole movie is kind of long. And with all the depression it gets a little tedious. Luckily, there are enough funny and relatively uplifting moments to break it all up.

Jeff Bridges is a great character actor and he really makes this movie. He gives Bad a lot of charisma so we want to see him rise above his depression, even though his life is so pathetic. His performances on stage are so convincing, it’s hard to believe that Bridges is an actor and not a country music star. The songs themselves are just as good and could pass for real songs. Some of them were covers, I’m sure, but the fact that I couldn’t tell them apart should mean something. Bridges interpretation of Bad is so authentic Crazy Heart seems like a biography in the vain of Walk the Line. But Bad Blake, as far as I know, never existed.

Crazy Heart is a pretty decent movie. It’s a little slow and a little long and extremely depressing in parts, but it comes around in the end. I think Bridges will win the Oscar. He definitely deserves it – the character was so demanding emotionally and physically. I mean, he’s drunk and vomiting one second and hobbling on crutches the next. Not to mention the fact that he sings all the songs. Maggie did a good job too, but I don’t see an award in her future, at least not for Crazy Heart. Especially when she is up against Mo’nique. (Did I place that apostrophe right?)

And thanks again to my friends at XRT. You keep giving me free stuff. And to throw in a live performance by Ryan Bingham too – you guys are the greatest! Thanks, now can you stop playing so much U-2?





3.5 cowboy hats

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dear John


You couldn't pay me to see this:





But I might see this:





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