Posted: May 6, 2010
|As an avid movie-watcher (typically see at least two films a month in the theatre and countless movies at home on DVD) I wonder what everyone else is watching.|
Often I'll just get home from work & there'll just be the usual crap on TV - so I throw in a DVD to watch during dinner until "PrimeTime" (although sometimes there'll be nothing worth watching then either)... and there will be that moment when I'm staring at the HUNDREDS of movies in front of me on the shelf with no clue what I want to see...
Sometimes just talking about movies with folk will inspire me ... remind me of a great movie I haven't seen in a while and I'll dig it out of the collection & toss it into the DVD player (or *gasp* - find an old VHS copy and pray it still plays!)
Posted: May 10, 2010
|I recently watched the last two DVDs (within two days of receiving each movie which is the quickest I've ever watched a DVD since joining this past October) that I received in the mail from Netflix: BAD COMPANY (1995) (Ellen Barkin, Laurence Fishburne) and DOLEMITE (1975) (Rudy Ray Moore).|
After recently reviewing my Netflix "Watch Instantly" queue (currently at 70 titles), I set a goal to watch at least three movies per week since I only watch two prime time TV shows ("House" on Mondays and "Fringe" on Thursdays).
Posted: Dec 7, 2010
|I watched "It Happened One Night" a couple of nights ago. After 77 years it's still a terrific comedy.|
Posted: May 8, 2011
|On 5/5/11, it was 'Confederate States Of America'. A mockumentary of what the U.S.A. would be like if the South had won the Civil War. Hilarious!!! |
On 5/6/11, it was Tim Burton's version of 'Alice In Wonderland'. Very good visual eye candy! Really enjoyed it!
Posted: May 9, 2011
|Just saw a really fine film starring Rachel Weisz called "Agora".|
It's a historical drama which takes place in 4th century Alexandria, Egypt and has themes that still echo today, the relationship between religion & science, and the effect and rise of two of the major religions in the area, Judaism and Christianity. Rachel plays Hypatia, a mathemetican, teacher, and philosopher at the center of this cultural maelstrom and the other characters in this film. Recommended.
Posted: May 20, 2011
|05/15/11- Diary Of A Tired Black Man (2008): A humorous and deep look into why relationships fail to work from the point of view of a good black man. It is part scripted and a series of interviews with real people from across the country (from IMDb.com)|
05/16/11- The Dreamers (NC-17 Version) (2003): Paris, spring 1968. While most students take the lead in the May 'revolution', a French poet's twin son Theo and daughter Isabelle enjoy the good life in his grand Paris home. As film buffs they meet and 'adopt' modest, conservatively educated Californian student Matthew. With their parents away for a month, they drag him into an orgy of indulgence of all senses, losing all of his and the last of their innocence. A sexual threesome shakes their rapport, yet only the outside reality will break it up. Written by KGF Vissers (from IMDb.com)
05/19/11- Nosferatu (1929): The classic silent German film based on the story "Dracula" with an updated soundtrack. A must see for all horror film buffs!!!
Posted: Jun 12, 2011
|06/10/11-'Assisted Living' (2003): "Assisted Living" chronicles a day in the life of Todd, a janitor who spends his days smoking pot and interacting with the residents for his own entertainment. Todd's detachment from his surroundings is compromised only by his unlikely friendship with Mrs. Pearlman, a resident who begins to confuse him with her son. On this particular day, Todd must choose whether or not to play the part. "Assisted Living" is shot and staged in a real nursing home and gains much of its unique effect and style from the participation of actual residents and staff members. During much of the film, it is impossible to distinguish between what is real and what is fiction. Written by Lars Ericson (from IMDb)|
This movie brought back memories of when my job, during the 90's, required me to visit nursing home patients who were applying or re-certifying for Medicaid benefits.
A sad reminder of how it can be hell getting and/or being old.
06/11/11-'Mirrors' (2008): Former NYPD detective Ben Carson is hired to work as a night watchman of the remains of the Mayflower Department Store that was partially destroyed by fire many years ago. Ben became an alcoholic and was retired from the police force after killing a fellow officier in a shooting. His marriage was also destroyed and now he is living in the apartment of his younger sister Angie. However he has not been drinking for three months and sees the employment as a chance to rebuild his life. When he does the rounds in his first night, he finds that the mirrors are impeccably clean and his colleague explains that the former night watch was obsessed by the mirrors. After a couple of nights, Ben sees weird images in the mirrors, but due to his lack of credibility because of his past, his ex-wife Amy believes he's having hallucinations as a side effect of his medication. When Angie is found brutally murdered in her bathtub, Ben discovers that there is an evil force in the mirror that is chasing him and jeopardizing his family. Written by Claudio Carvalho (from IMDb)
I watched the unrated version. I thought the ending was a bit over the top. The special features of the Blu-ray disc has an interesting 18-minute documentary regarding the history of mirrors in various cultures.
Posted: Jun 27, 2011
|My most recent viewings were: |
1) Mala Noche (1986): Director Gus Van Zant's debut feature film shot in black & white.
2) Honeydripper (2007): Stars Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton and Stacey Keach
1950. Rural Alabama. Cotton harvest. It's a make-or-break weekend for the
Honeydripper Lounge and its owner, piano player Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. Deep in
debt to the liquor man, the chicken man, and the landlord, Tyrone is desperate to
lure the young cotton pickers and local Army base recruits into his juke joint, away
from Touissant's, the rival joint across the way. His plan to hire a guitar legend go
awry and Tyrone is forced to take drastic action in a final scheme to save the club
3) Poison (1991): Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. In "Hero,"
Richie, at age 7, kills his father and flies away. After the event, a documentary in
cheesy lurid colors asks what Richie was like and what led up to the shooting. In the
black and white "Horror," a scientist isolates the elixir of human sexuality, drinks it,
and becomes a festering, contagious murderer; a female colleague who loves him
tries to help, to her peril. In "Homo," a prisoner in Fontenal prison is drawn to an
inmate whom he knew some years before, at Baton juvenile institute, and whose
humiliations he witnessed. This story is told in dim light, except for the bright
flashbacks (from IMDb)
'Mala Noche' and 'Poison' are not recommended viewing for homophobes.
Posted: Jul 8, 2011
|My recent viewings:|
1> The Sean Penn classic 'Bad Boys' (1983). Seeing old movies such as this brings into perspective the actors/actresses whose careers thrived and those whose careers fell off.
2> Lynch (2007). Documentary about one of my favorite directors David Lynch.
3> The Bruce Lee classic 'Chinese Connection' (aka Fists Of Fury) (1972). For those that
like the martial arts, this film justifies his legendary status.
Posted: Jul 20, 2011
|1> Iron Man 2 (2010)|
This sequel didn't disappoint. Enjoyed it just as much as the first one. Liked
Don Cheadle's "Colonel Rhodes" better than Terrance Howard's; Cheadle played
the character more loose. Despite being a plastic surgery disaster, it's good to
see Mickey Rourke making a comeback. Scarlett Johannsson, as always, was
2> M (1931)
Director Fritz Lang's first "talkie". Someone is murdering children in a German city.
The Police search is so intense, it is disturbing the 'normal' criminals, and the local
hoods decide to help find the murderer as quickly as possible. Except for the
super excessive smoking of the characters, everything about this movie still rings
true even today. This movie is indeed a classic!
Posted: Jul 22, 2011
|Its not a movie but i did just rewatch the first season of swamp people on netflix. i love that show, the second season ended its run last night, and with gator season in La opening soon, looking forward to the next go round with T-Roy troy Lizabeth. and all the rest.|
Posted: Aug 1, 2011
|1> My Brother's Wedding (1983)|
Pierce Mundy (Everett Silas) works the counter of his parents' dry cleaning business. He's not necessarily the black sheep of the Mundy family, but he has few prospects and far less ambition than his upwardly mobile brother Wendell (Dennis Kemper), a lawyer about to marry into a wealthy professional family. Pierce bristles at his mother's deference to Wendell's fiancée Sonia (Gaye Shannon-Burnett) and has nothing but disdain for her snooty, socially pretentious family. Meanwhile he falls back into juvenile shenanigans with his boyhood buddy Soldier (Ronnie Bell), an ex-con who promises his mother to go straight but spends his days womanizing and killing time while Pierce enables his worst instincts. (Reprinted from TCM.com)
2> Dreamgirls (2006)
Based on the Broadway musical which basically tells the history of The Supremes and Motown Records. Stars Jamie Fox, Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Eddie Murphy and
3> La Dolce Vita (1960)
Journalist and man-about-town Marcello struggles to find his place in the world, torn between the allure of Rome's elite social scene and the stifling domesticity offered by his girlfriend, all the while searching for a way to become a serious writer. (Reprinted from IDMb). The classic Federico Fellini film is a must see for lovers of foreign films.
Posted: Aug 1, 2011
|I'm watching "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." I wish my Redbox DVD wasn't screwing up on me so I'd be able to watch "Cedar Rapids" because I am not liking Fear and Loathing.|
Posted: Aug 8, 2011
1> Faces (1968)
The film, shot in cinéma vérité-style, depicts the final stages of the disintegrating marriage of a middle-aged couple. We are introduced to various groups and individuals the couple interacts with after the husband, Richard Forst's (John Marley), sudden statement of his desire for a divorce. Afterwards, Richard spends the night in the company of brash businessmen and prostitutes, the wife with her middle-aged female friends and an aging, free-associating playboy they've picked up at a bar. The night proceeds as a series of tense conversations and confrontations occur, illustrating where the modern American lifestyle has failed to nourish the interests, love lives, and emotional/spiritual fulfillment of these characters. Nearly everyone we meet expresses deep dissatisfaction with their lives and also a resigned attitude to this malaise. The film offers little hope, only a suggestion that in this world merely understanding that we're unhappy or dissatisfied is a revelation. (Reprinted from Wikpedia)
A recurring thought I had while watching this film was, "Why wasn't/isn't Lynn Carlin more well known?" Man, one of the most beautiful faces ever committed to celluloid. At least she received an Academy Award nomination for her role in this film.
2> Subway (1985)
Having stolen some compromising documents, a man known as Fred (Christopher Lambert of 'Highlander' fame) takes refuge in the underground world of the Paris Métro. While the henchmen of the gangster owner of the documents chase him, Fred develops a relationship with the gangster's young trophy wife Héléna (Isabelle Adjani) who is bored with her gilded-caged life.
Fred decides to form a band and perform in the subway. Among the band members are the Drummer (played by Jean Reno) and the Bass Player (Éric Serra). (Reprinteed from Wikipedia)
A really good French film overdubbed in English.
3> Harold And Kumar Go To White Castle (2004)
The story follows Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) as they decide to go to the fast food chain White Castle after smoking cannabis, but end up on a series of comical misadventures when they cannot find the restaurant.
If laughter is the best medicine, this film is the remedy. Laugh out loud funny!
Posted: Aug 11, 2011
|THE TOWN is indeed a dandy crime-drama-with-a-heart... a great comeback for Ben Affleck. Speaking of Ben, check him out in THE COMPANY MEN (2010). Also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner and Craig T. Nelson. Best movie I've seen in months. A flop at the box office, but it's become a big hit on DVD because it sends a strong message about what's happening in America today: the need to live within your means in a society where corporate big shots live high on the hog... while their employees sacrifice, suffer terribly, and sometimes lose everything. What happens to Chris Cooper's character in this film is happening to people all over the USA right now.|
Posted: Aug 16, 2011
|1> Harold And Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (2008)|
The sequel and the story takes place the following day. Kumar gets the pair in
more trouble when he takes a bong, which is mistaken for a bomb, on their
flight to Amsterdam and are busted by the U.S. Marshals onboard. Mistaken
for terrorist, the pair is sent to Guantanamo Bay, but escape shortly after
arriving and are chased across the country by the Department Of Homeland
The hilarity continues. A good sequel.
2> Borat (2006)
I think most already know about this Sasha Baron Cohen comedy/mockumentary.
Funny, but I really felt bad for the horse and rider during the rodeo scene.
3> Venus In Furs (1969)
In Istanbul, a jazz trumpeter named Jimmy pulls the murdered body of a young woman from the
surf. He remembers her from the night before, when he saw her at a millionaire playboy's party
and then later watched as she was assaulted by the party's host and two of his friends. In
confusion, Jimmy leaves for Rio where he finds the sympathetic ear of Rita, a singer who invites
him to live with her and helps him recover his equilibrium and his musical ability. Then, into the
room walks a woman who looks like Wanda, the murder victim. Jimmy pursues her, not caring if
she's alive or dead. What's going on?
(Reprinted from IMDb)
A sexy, trippy and visually appealing "horror/thriller". If you've ever seen 'Vampyros Lesbos',
then you'll really enjoy this film.
Posted: Aug 29, 2011
|1> Akira (1988)|
Classic Japanese animation film.
2> Gang Tapes (2000)
A 13 year-old kid documents the activities of his L.A. gang member lifestyle with a
video camera obtained during a carjacking.
3> The Hurt Locker (2008)
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences winner for "Best Picture" in 2010.
It's good and engrossing! Didn't feel as if I was watching a movie that's over 2 hours
4> First Sunday (2008)
Durell and LeeJohn are best friends and bumbling petty criminals. When told they
have one week to pay a $17,000 debt or Durell will lose his son, they come up with a
desperate scheme to rob a neighborhood church. Instead, they end up spending
the night in the presence of the Lord and are forced to deal with much more than
they bargained for. (reprinted from IMDb)
Ice Cube's movies are to the 2000's what Richard Pryor's were in the 80's. Just
lame and predictable sh*t. Only a few gems among so much garbage, and 'First
Sunday' isn't one of those gems.
Posted: Oct 2, 2011
|In the past week, I watched the following:|
1> 'The Devil Wears Prada' (2006)
Really good film and good performances all around. Yeah, Meryl Streep's Oscar
nomination was most certainly deserved. Man, she's truly one of the greats.
2> 'Tales From The Hood' (1996)
Clarence Williams III could've been Morgan Freeman.
3> 'CB4' (1993)
Eighteen years later and still funny, funny, funny! One of Chris Rock's best
performances. Gosh, the 80's through to the early 90's were truly the best
days of hip-hop.
4> 'River's Edge' (1986)
One of my favorite Dennis Hopper performances as the character "Feck".
Also stars Keanu Reeves and Crispin Glover.
5> '2001: A Space Odyssey' (1968)
Stanley Kubrick's cinematic masterpiece. Forty-three years later and still
visually stunning. It's now a decade past 2001, and humans are nowhere
near space travel as depicted in this film. At least we have tablet computers
now. However, instead of IBM it's Apple. Pan Am is the space airline in the
film, and now it no longer exists. Unlike 'Star Wars', Stanley Kubrick, his
estate nor MGM (or any studio) didn't go back and re-work the visuals to
make it look more current.
Posted: Oct 10, 2011
|'The Amazing Transparent Man' (1960)|
Paul Krenner, an ex-major with delusions of grandeur, has forced scientist Peter Ulof to develop a radiation-based technique to turn men invisible, with which process he plans to create an invisible army to sell to the highest bidder. He busts safecracker Joey Faust out of prison and forces him to undergo the invisibility treatment so he can steal more radium to further the experimentation. Plans go awry when Faust discovers there is a side-effect to the invisibility treatments he didn't count on. (Reprinted from IMDb)
Posted: Oct 31, 2011
|Recently, watched two of the three on my "Spooktacular" list; Night Of The Living Dead (1968) and Halloween (1978). |
In reference to the "Still Buying" topic, 'Night Of The Living Dead' was last the DVD I purchased. I got a used copy for $2 at a record and cd show over three weeks ago.
Posted: Nov 26, 2011
|1. Don't Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood (1996)|
2. The Wild And Wonderful Whites Of West Virginia (2009)
Posted: Nov 26, 2011
|Currently watching the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie...reliving my childhood.|
Posted: Dec 11, 2011
|Ichi The Killer (2001)|
Japanese film with English subtitles. Extremely gory, but exemplifies why I love foreign films better than domestic releases. This film is a decade old and one still doesn't see life's realistic extremeness displayed in such a nature with most domestic action movies. 'Kill Bill Vol. 1' is probably the most recognized domestic movie known for its over-the-top goriness, but Terantino was just paying homage to Japanese films anyway. A fun and memorable cinematic ride. Not for the weak hearted.
Posted: Dec 18, 2011
|Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008)|
Really good documentary about the late, controversial writer. Johnny Depp reads/narrates and includes interviews with 'Rolling Stone' magazine founder Jann Wenner, Jimmy Buffet, Pat Buchanan, George McGovern, Gary Hart and the late writer's ex-wives and his son.
Posted: Dec 18, 2011
|Last night we went and saw an absolutely brilliant piece of pure cinema, "The Artist"!|
Hope this garners a few Oscar's this year.
Posted: Dec 28, 2011
|Enter The Dragon (1973)|
Bruce Lee's last film and a martial arts classic. Even the parody of this film in 'The Kentucky Fried Movie' is classic.
Story Of A Junkie (1987)
This film, along with 'Dead Is Dead', should be required viewing in schools in order to deter children from using drugs.
Posted: Dec 28, 2011
|The Bad Seed (1956)|
The tag line on the movie poster reads, "For little Rhoda, murder is child's play." It was nominated for four Academy Awards.
Posted: Jan 2, 2012
|Dial 'M' For Murder (1954)|
A timeless, Hitchcock classic staring Grace Kelly and Ray Milland. There's no such thing as a perfect murder, indeed.
Posted: Jan 15, 2012
| I recently saw “The Bounty” on HBO. This version starred Mel Gibson as Fletcher Christian and Anthony Hopkins as William Bligh. There were a lot of mistakes made in this voyage. The Admiralty assigned this mission to a vessel much too small; there was no marine detachment on board to keep order; Bligh tried to round the Horn against wind and currents; the Bounty’s stay in Tahiti took months longer than anticipated.|
What struck me most in this retelling was more systemic. The Kings of England for centuries have prided themselves, without any sense of irony, on the belief that they “rule over free men.” The clothing habits of any people, while controlling for climate, speak volumes about their politics. Two clothing variables in particular are in play: 1. The more stratified a culture, the better men dress up, and 2. The more free a culture, the less women wear.
In England, we saw Lt Bligh and the Court wearing their dress uniforms with wigs and gold braid. In Tahiti men wore a short pareo wrap. Only the king had a shirt. No one else had any need.
English women in the film wore multiple layers of clothing, covering their bodies entirely, except for their hands and faces. Women in Tahiti wore a triangle of cloth tied around their hips. In this version their costume was authentically bare-breasted.
In short, where men do not dress to impress, and women hardly dress at all, there you have a culture of equality and freedom.
When English sailors, who were taught that they were freemen and equal before the law spent several months in a culture where people really are free and equal, as evidenced by the differences in clothing customs, is there any wonder that they didn’t want to go back?
William Bligh was in fact one of the gentlest of captains, by the standards of his time. He was not at all like the Charles Laughton portrayal. Everyone on the mission was a volunteer, there were no impressed sailors. His men had tasted freedom. By the time they finally got under way with their cargo of breadfruit plants, it was too late to revive their English sense of “duty.”
Posted: Jan 24, 2012
The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization. (Reprinted from IMDb)
The effects are cheesy and campy by today's modern standards, but an enjoyable sci-fi adventure.
Posted: Feb 1, 2012
|Naked Lunch (1991)|
Adaptation of the William S. Burroughs novel of the same name. Stars Peter Weller and Judy Davis.
Carlito's Way (1993)
Stars Al Pacino and Sean Penn. Good performances by all. Really enjoyed this one.
Posted: Feb 16, 2012
|1. Metropolitan (1990)|
In an apartment on Manhattan's East Side, a couple of friends from the New York upper-class meet almost every night to talk about social mobility, play bridge and discuss Fourier's socialism; the cynic Nick, the philosophical Charlie, party girl Sally and austenite Audrey. They are joined by Tom. His background is much simpler and he is critical of their way of life. But he finds a soul mate in Audrey, who without his knowledge falls in love with him. (Reprinted from IMDb)
Initially saw it upon its release back when I was in college. Back then, I thought it was a great film; but now that I'm older, I think it's just good. The film is somewhat prophetic because of the concerns expressed by the character Charlie actually came to be when the world economy went sour.
2. The Cape Canaveral Monsters (1960)
Sci-Fi B-movie about aliens who attempt to sabotage NASA's space program.
The movie obviously wasn't shot in Florida since most the action takes place in a mountainous, hilly region. The opening beach scene has large rock formations that don't exist on any part of Florida's coastline. I find old, cheesy B-movies to be more watchable and "artful" if it was shot on black & white film.
3. The Price Of Pleasure (2008)
A documentary that discusses pornography's effect on relationships and sexual identity, as well its impact on American culture. The film's running time is just under an hour and it's really good.
Posted: Feb 24, 2012
|Tron: Legacy (2010)|
Hey! I've seen this movie before. It's called 'Star Wars'! Maybe my expectations were set too high for this sequel, but I definitely wasn't expecting it to bite so hard off of 'Star Wars'.
Stranger: Bernie Worrell On Earth (2005)
Very good and insightful documentary on the phenomenal, inventive, legendary and funky keyboardist Bernie Worrell of Parlaiment-Funkdalic fame.
Posted: Mar 5, 2012
And the title character isn't the one kicking ass! Funny and action packed. Most would probably enjoy Nicholas Cage in this one. I think it's definitely one of his better roles. A kick ass movie for sure!
Posted: Mar 6, 2012
|Just saw "The Iron Lady" last night, and while Meryl was amazing as Maggie Thatcher, the movie itself was just OK.|
Saw "The Help" a few nights ago, and even though Viola and Octavia were excellent and also deserved Oscars, I was really disappointed that that Bryce Dallas Howard wasn't recognized for her spot-on portrayal as that slimy, mean-spirited, and entitled southern belle, Hilly.
I also enjoyed Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life" which also starred, "The Help's" Jessica Chastain.
This is a film that you'll either love or hate, my wife walked out when it got to the "Big Bang" sequence, it was just too weird for her. A very slow, impressionistic film that's primarily about a Texas family in the '50's, that, at least for me, paid off in the end. Technically gorgeous, but trying, if you're not familiar with Malick's work.
Posted: Mar 26, 2012
|Invaders From Mars (1953)|
It's fun looking at old sci-fi movies (especially the ones before man reached orbit) to see what they got "right" about space/space exploration based on what we know currently. A Martian spaceship lands near a small town and burrows itself into the earth. Anyone that approaches the area where the ship is buried is sucked down into it. When the person re-appears, the individual has been changed, controlled by the Martians with a device implanted at the base of his/her brain. The first hour of the movie is good, but the last twenty minutes of it got rather silly. Overall, an enjoyable movie and worth checking out if you're a lover of old 50's/60's sci-fi flicks.
Posted: Mar 30, 2012
|1) The Black Power Mix Tape 1967- 1975 (2011)|
A Swedish documentary on a period of American history.
2) Beats. Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest (2011)
Film directed by actor Michael Rapaport that documents the history and drama of one of the
best, innovative and influential hip-hop groups of all-time. For me, the most obvious glaring
omission was not getting/having interview footage with one of the original members of the
Native Tongues collective who is now a famous actress, Queen Latifah. She's in old footage
and photographs, and Rapaport interviewed most, if not all, of the original members of the
collective except for her. Otherwise, I really enjoyed it. For me, a period of hip-hop that is sorely
Posted: Apr 8, 2012
It's all about the oil baby! Left me with the feeling of why conspiracy theories are justified. I found it interesting that the movie and the book 'Bad Money' by Kevin Philips touched on the same themes regarding peak oil production having passed and the shift towards China having the greatest demand for oil. Suspenseful and good.
Posted: Apr 8, 2012
|The Muppet Movie ... the 70s version|
Posted: Apr 9, 2012
|The other night I went to a screening of Morgan Spurlock's new documentary, "Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan's Hope" with Morgan and one of the subjects of the film, Holly Conrad, answering questions after the film. If you're a fan of comics, Comic-Con's, a collector, artist/writer, into cosplay, or someone who can identify with geeks and nerds worldwide, you must see this film! Essentially it's a homage to the thousands who gather in San Diego every year for the Con, and follows a number of subjects before, during, and after their time at the 2010 Con. Holly is a costume designer, two up and coming artists, a comic book retailer, and a couple who get engaged at a Kevin Smith panel are among the primary subjects. The cool thing is that this film is already available online, on VOD, or Xbox 360, in addition to screens nationwide. Stan Lee and Joss Whedon were also involved in the production and are featured among other celebrities. Overall, a positive, fun film that takes a look at this pop-culture phenomenon!|
Posted: May 4, 2012
|Foxy Brown (1974)|
Classic "blaxploitation" film starring Pam Grier and Antonio Fargas. She's sexy, superbad and out for revenge when her government agent boyfriend is gunned down by a drug syndicate. The character of "Miss Katherine" is one my favorite villains in cinema simply because of her campiness.
Posted: May 5, 2012
|The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher Version)|
Finally saw the english version with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. While it was well done, I've got to say that I much prefer the Swedish version. For me, Noomi Rapace captured the character of Lisbeth much better and closer to the book, as did the rest of the film. The only thing that was better in the english version were the opening credits set against Trent Reznor & Karen O's cover of Led Zep's "Immigrant Song". Very creepy in that Fincher way.
Posted: May 31, 2012
|1> Metropolis Restored (1927)|
Fritz Lang's classic silent sci-fi film set in 2026 regarding the ongoing struggle between the working class and the rich. It's easier to tell the previously deleted scenes because they appear more grainy. It's still a great film and a must-see. Highly recommended.
2> Muhammad Ali: Made In Miami (2008)
PBS documentary on this legendary champion's life while living/training in Miami during the early 60's and how it shaped him. Really good and informative.
3> 5 Sides Of A Coin (2003)
One of the most informative documentaries regarding the history of hip hop culture that I've ever seen.
Posted: Jun 4, 2012
|Magic Trip (2011)|
Too young to be "Beats" and too old to be 'hippies", Ken Kesey (author of 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest) and his Merry Pranksters take a cross country trip from California to the 1964 New York World's Fair in a psychedelic colored school bus called "Furthur" and shoot a movie about it as well. This documentary pulls together the film footage of the "long, strange trip" (to quote The Grateful Dead who are featured in it briefly). The 60's counterculture starts here. Very interesting and recommended viewing.
Posted: Jun 19, 2012
|1. Precious: Based On The Novel 'Push' By Sapphire (2009)|
Precious is 16 years-old, obese, illiterate, still in junior high school and pregnant with her second child fathered by her own father. She lives in a Harlem Section 8 apartment with her abusive mother, who does nothing but watch TV and screams at Precious to go to the welfare office when she's not physically attacking her. When she is re-assigned to an alternative school, her teacher, Blu Rain, inspires Precious to move her life in a positive direction and find therapy through writing.
After watching it, I understood why so many in the African-American community were so divided about this film. The film "keeps it real" while airing dirty laundry. Despite the troubling issues the film covers, I thought it was very good and worthy of the praise it received. Mo'Nique definitely deserved her Academy Award for portraying the most evil mother committed to celluloid since Angela Lansbury in the original 'Manchurian Candidate'.
2. Anna Lucasta (1959)
Having been kicked out of the family home years earlier by her father, Anna Lucasta (Eartha Kitt) makes a living as a prostitute near the naval base in San Diego and becomes involved with a sailor named Danny (Sammy Davis Jr.). When Anna's father Joe receives a letter from his old Alabama friend Otis Slocum about sending his recent college grad son Rudolph to California with $4000 and hopes that Joe will help Rudolph find a good wife, Anna's brother-in-law Frank and her brother Stanley hatch a scheme to separate Rudolph from some of his money, which involves Joe having to allow Anna back into the home so that Rudolph can court her. However, once Anna is back, Joe's hostility towards his youngest daughter immediately returns and he attempts to make her life miserable as much as he can. Adding more fuel to the fire, Danny comes up to Los Angeles from San Diego to take the newly wed Anna (to Rudolph) away with him.
This movie deserves to be mentioned whenever there is a discussion regarding good "black films." Eartha Kitt and Sammy Davis Jr are good in this one. Love the swagger Davis brings to his character. Worth checking out.
3. High School Hellcats (1958)
Squeaky-clean Joyce Martin is the new girl at school. She tries to fit in with some of her other female classmates by joining their gang, the Hellcats. It's all fun and games until the gang's leader, Connie, ends up dead during a party. Adding to Joyce's pressure of being in the Hellcats is the flack her father gives her at home about her "unruliness."
This one was a lot better than I expected. Really enjoyed it.
Posted: Jul 1, 2012
|AMERICAN CLASSICS FROM THE 70'S ADAPTED FROM OTHER ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA:|
Based on the 1975 song of the same name by C.W. McCall and released at the height of the CB radio craze. After a brawl with police officers at an Arizona truck stop restaurant, several truckers make a run in their semis for the New Mexico border. However, it turns into a multi-state police chase and forms into a mile long convoy as other truckers join in.
Loved it as a kid and it's still fun to watch. Actually, the movie feels somewhat akin to the recent/current Occupy Movement.
The Exorcist (1973)
An atheist actress with a short temper seeks the medical community's help in finding the reason for her 12 year-old daughter's strange behavior and the weird happenings that occur in the child's room. After putting the child through intensive medical tests and finding nothing wrong with her, one of the doctors suggest that she seeks an exorcism.
Based on the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty.
It was the first horror film to earn an Academy Award nomination for "Best Picture". It still holds up well against the Jasons, Michael Myers, Evil Deads and every type of horror film/genre that came afterwards.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Ken Kesey. Randle P. McMurphy is sent from a prison work camp to an Oregon mental hospital although he shows no signs of mental illness. His rebellious attitude towards the head nurse of his ward inspires the other patients; in particular "Chief", a large American Indian whom the hospital staff thinks is deaf and mute.
It won all five of the major Academy Award categories for which it was nominated: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Best Director (Milos Forman) and Best Screenplay. Still one of Nicholson's best and most memorable performances. The cast also includes future stars Danny Devito and Christopher Lloyd, and familiar faces Brad Dourif and Vincent Schiavelli.
Posted: Aug 8, 2012
Everyday Sunshine: The Story Of Fishbone (2011)
An insightful documentary on one of the most influential (and one of my favorite) alternative bands of the 80's and early 90's, Fishbone. Features interviews with all current and former members of the band, contemporaries (Perry Ferrell of Jane's Addiction, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers) and those whom they influenced (such as Gwen Stefani of No Doubt).
Women In Cages (1971)
Sexploitation flick featuring Pam Grier as a sadistic matron of a women's prison located in the Asian Pacific region. An American woman, Carol Jeffries ("Jeff'), is sent to prison after being set up by her player boyfriend for drug possession. Despite being incarcerated, the boyfriend (Rudy) wants "Jeff" dead and has one of her cellmates who worked for him to do it. Longing to be with Rudy, whom she hadn't heard from since her incarceration, and tired of the torture inflicted upon them, Jeff and her cellmates make an attempt to escape despite the risk of being hunted and killed by the jungle bandits.
This is definitely worth checking out if you're into grindhouse cinema. I enjoyed it.
Posted: Oct 14, 2012
|The Trip (1967)|
No, not a vacation, but a hallucinatory one. Written by Jack Nicholson and starring Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern and Dennis Hopper. Paul Groves (Fonda) is a commercial director who is going through a divorce and decides to try LSD for the first time. His friend John (Dern), who is a self-styled LSD guru, acts as his guide. Max (Hopper) is John's dealer and supplier of the LSD necessary for "the trip". Full of psychedelic images which are connected to his soon to be ex-wife and a woman named Glen, who Paul met while visiting Max's house.
It's definitely a trippy movie and fun ride.
Super Fly (1972)
This classic "blaxploitation" gets too much of a bad rap for glorifying hustling and drug dealing; however, the protagonist's goal is to leave that bad lifestyle behind. Priest (Ron O'Neil) is a cocaine dealer whose product is described at one point in the film as being "super fly". Along with his business partner Eddie, Priest wants to make a big, last score so that he can retire from the drug game. However, when they end up cutting a deal with a group of corrupt police officials who will be supplying the cocaine for distribution, Priest later learns from his former mentor named "Scatta" that he's now owned by "the man" and that they're not just going to let him walk away. Yet, Priest remains determined to fulfill his goal of leaving the drug dealing lifestyle behind and executes a plan along with his girlfriend to secure his "freedom."
A good movie because the underlying theme is timeless and the soundtrack by the legendary Curtis Mayfield is a classic.
Natural Born Killers (1994)
Directed by Oliver Stone and starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore and Rodney Dangerfield. Lovebirds Mickey (Harrelson) and Mallory (Lewis) are serial killers who are elevated to celebrity and "folk hero" status thanks to the media. The screen play was originally written by Quentin Tarantino.
A great social commentary on how the media glorifies violent offenders. Just like 'The Trip', it's full of hallucinatory images and flashbacks. Definitely one of Oliver Stone's best films.
Carnival Of Souls (1962)
Mary Henry, who is a church organist, is riding in a car with two other female friends. The friend that is driving gets them involved in a street race with two males in another car. However, during the race, the car with Mary and her friends plunges from an old bridge and into the murky river below. The local authorities spend hours dragging the river for the car when Mary suddenly emerges from the river without explanation or questions asked. Mary decides to move to another town. While driving along a desolate stretch of highway, she passes an old carnival that has been abandoned for years. Within the old carnival's vicinity, Mary starts to see images of a ghostly looking man. Once settled into her new town, she starts to this see this man wherever she goes and other strange events begin to affect her. Determined to find out why these things are happening to her, Mary goes to the old carnival seeking answers.
This movie is now regarded as a horror classic and one of my favorites to watch as Halloween nears. The ending has a surprising twist. Worth checking out.
Posted: Oct 27, 2012
|Leap Year (2010)|
Laura Lopez is a loner and liar. She writes for a business magazine and has one night stands. She meets a guy named Arturo, with whom she has an ongoing kinky sexual relationship. Except for the opening scene, the entire movie is set in Laura's apartment. This is a Mexican film, so it's in Spanish with English subtitles.
I tend to think of "foreign" films as those made outside of North America. But if you enjoy foreign films and don't mind reading subtitles, this is a good one worth checking out.
God Bless America (2011)
A dark comedy written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. Frank (Joel Murray, brother of Bill Murray) has become fed up with the rudeness and meanness of America. He is a divorced father who has been terminated from his job at an insurance company and later learns from his doctor that he has a brain tumor which can't be operated upon. While having a phone conversation with his ex-wife, who is trying to appease their unruly pre-teen daughter, Frank hears the child state how she hates him and never wants to see him again. These events make him so depressed that he wants to kill himself; but after seeing a reality show based on a spoiled rich teenager name Chloe, Frank is so angered by her rudeness towards her parents that he decides to kill Chloe instead. He later meets Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), a schoolmate of Chloe, who convinces him that they should kill the most rude and annoying people across America.
Really enjoyed it. Reminded me of another great dark comedy from the 80's, 'Heathers', which has the same premise of dealing with mean people but within the high school of a small Ohio town.
The Man From Planet X (1951)
An alien from a dying planet has landed his spaceship in the Scottish Moors near the observatory of a professor, who has been observing the previously unknown planet that is days away from reaching the Earth's orbit. When the spaceship is discovered, attempts are made to communicate with the alien to determine its purpose and connection to the approaching planet.
Worth checking out if you like old sci-fi, B-movie horror. The story moves at a good pace until towards the end. In the "I've seen that face before" department, one should recognize actor William Schallert, who's been in a lot TV and movie roles.
It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958)
In 1979, this movie was called 'Alien', and is the inspiration for that blockbuster. The story is set in 1973 and begins on the planet Mars. Col. Edward Carruthers is being picked up by a rescue ship that is taking him back to Earth where he is expected to face a court martial for the deaths of his fellow crew members on the ill-fated mission. Carruthers insists to the crew of the rescue ship that he is innocent and had nothing to do with his team members' mysterious deaths. As the rescue ship travels through space, crew members go missing. The team discovers there's an alien aboard and that Carruthers was right all along.
Definitely worth watching if you like 'Alien'. Even the way the alien is killed in both films is similar. There's even a scene which Stanley Kubrick would later re-create in 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the "I've seen that face before" department, one should recognize actor Dabbs Greer who played Reverend Alden on 'The Little House On The Prairie' TV series.
Posted: Jan 28, 2013
|I have taken on the quest to see all the films since 1927 nominated for the best picture Oscar. The list is still long, but I am DVRing a lot from Turner Classic Movies, Cinemoi, IFC, Encore, HBO, STARZ, Showtime and others. Some are excellent and some are either boring or not deserving to be on the list. Of course, ,last year they added ten and this year nine, so always something new to see. |
Has anyone else done this?
Posted: Mar 1, 2013
|1. Kevin (2011)|
Documentary about Kevin Gant, a popular musician in Austin, TX in the early 90's who mysteriously disappeared in 1995.
2. Fallen Angels (1995)
Directed by Wong Kar-Wai, who's one of my favorite directors. The film is basically two stories loosely tied together; a hit man and a woman who work together but never see each other, and a guy who breaks into businesses after they close but opens and operates them as if they're his own.
3. Shadow And Fog (1992)
Woody Allen film with an ensemble of stars (Lilly Tomlin, Mia Farrow, Jodi Foster, Madonna, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Donald Pleasence, Julie Kavner, etc) about a vigilante mob attempting to catch a killer during a foggy night
4. Another Woman (1988)
Another Woody Allen film starting Gena Rowlands, Mia Farrow, Gene Hackman, Blythe Danner and Ian Holm. Marion Post (Gena Rowlands) is a philosophy professor who rents a NYC flat in order to have peace and quite while working on her new novel. However, she overhears the private analysis sessions of a stranger (Mia Farrow) in the next apartment, which leads to her reflecting on her own past.
5. The Big Lebowski (1998)
"The Dude"! Classic Cohen Brothers film staring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore and John Turturro.
6. Jackass: The Movie (2002)
Funny pranks and stunts.
7. The Flaw (2011)
Another good documentary about the nation's financial meltdown.
8. Gomorrah (2008)
Italian film that follows a tailor, a business man, a money runner, a young delivery boy and a pair of wannabe gangster kids with the mob as an underlying connection to them all.
9. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1963)
Italian film starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, who play couples in three different stories.
10. The Brother From Another Planet (1984)
Stars Joe Morton as an alien whose spaceship crashes in Harlem and his attempts to hide from "the men in black" who are trying to capture him.
11. Kill Your Idols (2002)
Documentary about the No Wave bands of 1970s New York and the bands who were influenced by them.
12. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Classic mock documentary directed by Rob Reiner. Still funny!
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