Thursday, June 16, 2011

What I've been watching

I've been on a huge kick this month. Knocking out two fims a day. All are first time viewings. Here's the ones seen so far:

The Pledge
The cast alone made me want to see this- Nicholson, Tom Noonan, Rourke, Del Toro, Harry Dean Stanton, Vanessa Redgrave, Helen Mirren, Aaron Eckhart. It's a nice thriller where Jack isn't playing Jack. 4/5

Doug Liman made it clear in Swingers- if you're gonna steal, steal from the best. This is clearly a Pulp Fiction rip off through and through but instead of the kinetic hustle and bustle of that script we get one that is just above mediocre. 3/5

Linklater films are usually a treat because of the loose facia of dialogue and characters. Here, the characters were not as interesting as the ones in Dazed or Before Sunset & some of the situations felt less naturalistic. Still, a solid effort.3/5

Ever since seeing Rourke in The Wrestler, my appreciation for him skyrocketed. Here, he is given a fair amount to do in a drug movie that uses frenetic style ala Requiem For A Dream. Only difference is that a number of sequences are played as dark comedy. The consequences are still harsh. Not great, but a worthwhile watch. Particularly for Rourke's 'heartwarming' speech when he is in a porno shop. 3.5/5

Shock Waves
Nazi zombies. Yes, you heard it right. Directed by one Ken Weiderhorn. While I have some reservations for Return of the Living Dead II, the premise for this effort I feel is more enjoyable overall. 3.5/5

An astounding debut for director Boaz Yakin. Someone who I've never heard before. My ears are listening now. Fresh captures life in the projects the way few films do. Great performances from Sam Jackson and especially the kid, Sean Nelson. Even Gus from Breaking Bad is in this. A highly reccomended overlooked gem! 5/5

A documentary about the Staten Island boogeyman. The biggest problem I had with it was the (at times) hokey narration. Other than that, this doc kept me interested in learning about the accused Andre Rand and the folklore that surrounded the case. The most impressive thing here is the news reports, full newspaper spreads mixed with current footage & interviews. 4/5

Midnight Run
The buddy movie really ended here. & what a grand finale it is. DeNiro & Grodin are perfect in this. Along with a stellar backup crew of Yaphet Kotto, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano & Philip Baker Hall! 5/5

Bubba Ho Tep
One of the most imaginative genre scripts to be cranked out in a long time. Pure fun all the way through with Elvis in the driver seat. Can't believe I didn't see this one sooner. 4.5/5

The Cooler
Bill Macy has made a living out of playing the schmoe in films. Here, he steals the show as a down on his luck cooler who brings luck after falling in love. 4/5

In addition to these, I have also seen Super 8 & I Saw the Devil but plan on doing mini reviews on those at the end of the year.

Oh & stay tuned. Some new features for this blog are in the works.

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