Sunday, November 28, 2010


the wrong feeling.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I can't keep devils and demons locked in no jail.

Paranoid Park.
8.5/10. An incredibly tense movie about forgiving yourself. As with 'Elephant,' which I loved, Gus Van Sant's got a great ability to turn simple themes into thrillers. The other end of the Danny Boyle spectrum, where Van Sant tries new tricks and can put things together awkwardly, but there's a more consistent sense of taste.


Crazy Heart.
5/10. Maggie Gylenhaal doesn't show her breasts. I wasn't a huge fan of 'The Wrestler,' but this movie succeeds in making me pine for the type of allegory found in that movie. Namely, that some careers simply don't allow for a comeback, and that maybe some people simply don't deserve it. This one's not nearly the level of a fuck-up. This one seems to be afraid of saying anything interesting.

It used to feel like a big ocean.

7/10. There should be more submarine-based horror movies. Tense and claustrophic by nature of its surroundings, a 'who knows what?'-mystery and a 'what the fuck is happening to us'-horror. Sometimes it gets cheap, both with CGI and certain thrills, and there are some connective scenes missing that seem to accidentally create new, unnecessary mysteries, but there is a very solid, very interesting movie inside the capsule.

Furious styles.

Boyz N The Hood.
7/10. Unabashedly an 'American Graffiti' for the gangster-rap set. As with that movie, it does a great job of setting a moment in time (re: Tre's shirt), but it also feels not new, probably by nature of every movie that came out afterwards that tried to say the same thing. I don't think they said it as well as Doughboy puts it at the end, but it'd be nice if one of these movies talked about what got us there, rather than where they got, and where it leads.

I am the backbone of colonial America.

4/10. The blonde girl from 'Community' shows her boobies. Completely amateurish, up and down, and I'll put most of the blame on the director. Poor transitions, unnecessary flashbacks, speeding through lines, not dwelling enough on things that could be interesting, Sam Rockwell not being pushed. Points being telegraphed, and then not even being very good. That might just be Palahniuk, though. 'Fight Club' was a stylish movie that wasn't as deep as it would have liked to have been. This couldn't even be stylish.

You must use friendship.

Gentlemen Broncos.
6.5/10. A milder 'Napoleon Dynamite,' in that it's less memorable, and less annoying. I don't think anyone grew in this movie. A bigger story arc gets lost in tangents, so it doesn't really build any momentum. But it's okay. Sam Rockwell's tranny amuses me.

Treat fucking Williams.

127 Hours.
7/10. I think it comes down to Danny Boyle just kind of fucks around too much. He's got this kitchen sink style of making movies, where he wants to throw a lot of different things at us, but only sometimes are they interesting. He's got this great ability to create emotional crescendos, as with everything from the cutting onwards, and a handful of scenes beforehand, but he tries so many different techniques in the course of keeping it interesting that a certain amount of drama is lost.

I don't like that guy. That guy that holds the cup with one hand, with two hands...

Real Life.
6.5/10. Ahead of its time. The first movie to mock reality television, when at that point there was only one, two reality television things that had existed, and I think 'Spinal Tap' could have gleaned a certain level of influence from it. It's interesting.


G.I. Joe.
5/10. They made Snake Eyes look stupid. That… I feel like that would have been a harder thing to do. Stephen Sommers' ability seems to be being able to make big, dumb movies that at least realize they're big and dumb. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Cobra Commander. Rachel Nichols is attractive.

I'm beginning to think my being courteous is getting in the way of my being effective.

Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call - New Orleans.
6.5/10. There was the promise of a certain amount of crazy that wasn't delivered nearly enough. It's a surprisingly straight movie. That's not a bad thing. Just kind of a boring thing.

Timothy Leary's dead.

Men Who Stare At Goats.
6.5/10. The fun comes through the absurdity of the idea. When it tries to be clever aside from that, whether through wordplay or physical comedy, it tends to falter. The bad guy from Avatar is a surprisingly good comic actor.

The spice must flow.

4/10. This movie got some attention because the makers released it through the torrents and the torrent-folk downloaded it. It's some sci-fi fantasy shit about people who give good dreams and people who give bad dreams. It looks awful and is stupid. Thank you.

The same things that float your boat

can capsize it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

God bless you

and keep you safe.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A rational


Monday, November 8, 2010

The 6 inches in front of your face.

Any Given Sunday - 5/10.
There's a five-minute speech in the last quarter of this that, in isolation, makes you think this movie is worth watching. It ends up being about too many things to make that five-minute stretch be the perfect encapsulation of anything. Lose everything about that-actress-who-smiles and Randy Quaid's star-whacker brother, give Al Pacino more of a history, make Jamie Foxx's racism rants come from anywhere but out of nowhere and it might be okay.

We need a fucking hero.

Observe and Report - 7/10.
This was fun. It's trying to be 'Taxi Driver' and I think it mostly succeeds. Anna Faris is great in everything and, in contrast to 'Funny People,' Seth Rogen doesn't embarrass himself. Makes his hero something approaching sympathetic. Way to act, guy.

Where'd you get that negro, Butch?

Crimewave - 6.5/10.
Honestly, *not that bad.* Sam Raimi's first studio production (from a Coen Brothers script) and disowned by him as apparently the studio didn't trust him to make his own decisions. But what follows is a wild Hudsucker Proxy-esque Three Stooges clip. Everyone is having fun and I think at least most of it was intentional.

Foreigners are fucking crazy.

The Happiness of the Katakuris - 6.5/10.
Genre-bender by Takashi Miike. Horror, comedy, musical, etc. Musical's probably the worst genre for having subtitles attached. At its best when it's being inventive and seemingly making shit up as it goes.

Why are you crying, happiness?

Hausu (House) - 6.5/10.
Old Asian horror. A wild, wild ride. Foreigners are fucking crazy.

The reductive power of the close-up.

Froxt/Nixon - 8/10.
An incredibly enthralling movie about a conversation. Thriller-like, in that you know what's coming until you start to think it won't arrive.

This way, it's poetry.

The Commitments - 7/10.
The thought that a little bit of hope, once entertained, is hard to put back is a great one. But too many songs turn it boring. Otherwise, the best version of 'Dark End of the Street' I've heard.

Bird-doggin' chicks.

It's Kind of a Funny Story - 6/10.
A certain amount of built-in charm that gets fucked up by saying too much. Thinking you're worse off than you are is a nice thought to build a movie off of, but it gets lost in the idea that everyone can be saved if we just clap our hands to the beat.

Every creation myth needs its devil.

The Social Network - 8/10.
In science, the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurred. Comparisons to 'Citizen Kane' are apt, as it is pretty much the story of 'Citizen Kane.' Plays it even keel. Mark Zuckerberg doesn't come off as a good person, but neither does he come off as anything other than someone who wanted to make something great. Ignoring the obvious, I think it ends up being a movie that defines the times more because it kind of builds a definition of who is the rightful owner of an idea – whoever can pull it off. It's not the songwriters that tend to get famous, baby doll, it's the singers.

Monday, November 1, 2010

It took a city like New Orleans

to kill a man like Johnny Thunders.