Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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One of my favorite movies, ever, if you're going to watch a Dennis Hopper movie in remembrance, I say go with Night Tide. All too hard to come by in movies especially, back in the day, like another big favorite of mine, I Know Where I'm Going!, Night Tide is an essentially realist story in which magic works anyway.
What could have been a cheapie rip on Val Lewton's themes with a slightly Lovecraftian bent becomes, in Curtis Harrington's hands, a full on old school fairy tale, the bloody original kind, for the age of Dick Tracy. Don't show your daughters the Disney Little Mermaid - show them this mermaid movie. You will not be sorry.
So far ahead of the rest of the late craze for alien invasion movies, there's very little chance anybody will ever catch up. The best kind of geeky geek's movie: wearing its influences on its sleeve while being entirely its own, new thing. (If, uh, John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon made The Goonies in 1974 and it was rated R...)
And what a thing it is, as surprising and heartfelt and genuinely engaging as Super 8 wouldn't have been even if Captain Lens Flare the Teevee Wondah hadn't made that bloated homage to homages past, with a stellar young cast and the best soundtrack since Scott Pilgrim, in no small part thanks to Basement Jaxx.
Very cool, almost too cool in its seventies-ness, if such a thing were possible. And if the rest is more or less like many other plague dramas, Jude Law's villainous homeopathic blogger should be spurring many interesting conversations for some time to come, at least.
There's only one even remotely interesting part of this movie, and SPOILERS, IT'S JUST LIKE THE NARNIA BOOKS!
I actually kinda like the FD movies, and thought the last one had to be the low point. Nope, apparently not. Poor Tony Todd looks more and more like he wants to spay and neuter the whole cast with his hook hand, every time.
I really can't blame him, at this point. A new wrinkle (I think already got covered in the tie-in novels, but not sure, I haven't read any) got inserted, you can kill somebody and then death skips you, but nothing's really done with that except a couple characters accidentally kill somebody else and one turns psycho on a dime for no good reason, and...if you don't know what happens after that, you're either an infant or Helen Keller or Michelle Bachmann, and anyway, you're not reading this post or seeing these movies.
Can the next one be left undone because everybody involved doesn't die in a fire and then they die in a fire? Thanks, God of the Final Destination Univer - AAAAAIEEEE, the shower just turned on, which steamed up the mirror, which made my girlfriend slip, which scared the cat, and the CAT BLEW THE HOUSE UP.
Oh, phew it was just a dream - is that the shower?
P.S. To cover the real reason anybody sees these movies: all the best grossout bad, bad deaths are in the clips from the first four movies in the final credits, and almost every death scene in this one involves fakeout after fakeout leading to the least creepy or alarming choice possible. Sorry.
Science Man: I have come up with a new anti-Alzheimers virus! It is numbered 13!
Business Money Demon Man: I NEED IT NOW FOR HUMAN
Science Man Who Is Not a Slave Owner: No, it makes all the apes ever way smarter than human when they are three years old, even! We don't possibly know God Knows What it does to human!
Black Boss, Just So You Know for Sure James Deano Is No Slave Owner (but he is still a Money Demon Man, anyway): MAKE IT SO
Science Man: Okay. You want me to aerosolize it?
I mock, but the remake of my favorite of the original movies is a big improvement, if only for that one thing: the story makes more sense. There's a great big "1. GET LOTS OF APES TOGETHER, 2. ???, 3. SMART APES" issue in Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Rise sews that up. And it's got about eight billion times the budget and nobody in an ape suit.
Officially my favorite Planet of the Apes movie, ever, and I'm kinda partial to those movies. You can forget that Tim Burton S&M festival of Not-Funny-Jokes for Eight Hours bullshit. Probably my favorite big summer movie this year, period.
Daniel Radcliffe is aging decidedly less cute by the year, getting a little squishy looking, and never could act. As an adult, he's kind of like the eunuch crack baby of Christian Bale and Joaquin Phoenix. His every intended meaningful glance says "I have to fart." He and Kiera Knightley should team up for a series of romcoms about a British couple who cannot achieve fart confidence, really. I hope he saved some money.
There's a neat dragon in this one and it robs a bank and then blows it up. Which stops me worrying about the bankers in these movies being hook-nosed, conniving foreigners who work for Satan, because the Order of the Deathshead Chimera or whatever genocided them all and took their gold. Phew!
Big surprise of the film: they make a rug out of poor Ron Weasley for the Hufffenstuff poker room, and not even his future children seem to notice.
Hermaphrodite is way hotter when she's the chick from Fight Club.
Simon Pegg is delightful, as always, as Artoo.
That was a perfectly adequate scale model of What If Stephen King and Steven Spielberg Really Had Made a Movie Together In 1985, I guess. Either this movie has no soul, or I don't. Either way, it left me numb.
For proof that "The old days were way better" is always bullshit, you could just keep a copy of this movie around forever. Not even remotely the utter disaster I expected from others' reports, Green Lantern is...a superhero movie like they used to make. You know, for kids.
No subtext, no subtlety, no sense on display. Ain't nothing in this one for the adults, really, unless you're an adult fan of eyeball-scraping CGI hallucinations. If you are seven or eight and already loved the second Transformers movie and have no idea who Peter Sarsgaard is except he plays the evil mutant scientist in this movie, The Green Lantern will blow your ass out of your pants.
Have fun, kids. And stock up on the lime green crayons for the next six months or so, parents.
Going to make canon nerds scream, I guess, but the X-Men movie that maybe diverges from the official story hardest, so far, turns out to be the best one. (Then again, I've never liked Bryan Singer much and I've liked every movie Matthew Vaughn's directed, so far.)
Loads of fun, great cast, and...so much love dedicated to making the movie feel "sixties," in a totally non-Austin Powers direction. (There's a lot in First Class that wouldn't be out of place in a Flynt or Matt Helm movie, anyway, if not James Bond.) Hey, whaddaya know, there's some life left in superhero movies, after all.
Charming documentary about mostly white "animal rescuers" who apparently waited their whole lives to play the evil dog-napping rich fucko from Lassie in a real life movie. Mine gloriously details their triumphs over much poorer (and generally much browner) people who've lost everything else already, and now they get to lose their pets, too. Bwahaahahahaha, because we care so much and we're richer than you, that's why.
May cause strokes or stroke-like symptoms, unless you're exactly that kind of creep.
Probably should have left the vampires in.
Presented in trailers and packaging, god knows why, as some kind of dark comedy, Falling Angels isn't. It's not particularly somber, either, in its view of a end-of-the-sixties Toronto family that's been crazy for a good long time. (There is one kind of LOL moment, I guess: late in the film when Miranda Richardson suddenly says "I think your father has lost it.")
Three daughters, the ____ revolution, a dark secret, the last dad on the block with a bomb shelter, mom in hiding, sexual awakening, experiments with LSD, one of them might be lesbian...this all sounds like a lot of mediocre movies. Or worse, that horrible Beatles movie the Spider Man Murders of Broadway lady did. Falling Angels has an overwhelming warmth to it, for all its angry and hurt detachment, though, and a great cast, and...Katherine Isabelle just never did make enough movies.
To dispense with glib and unhelpful comparisons you may have heard about We Are What We Are: it's way more like The Threepenny Opera than any telenovela. And it resembles Let the Right One In only in that both are recent foreign horror films that are much smarter and more genuine and roundly affecting than the general mass of horror films. If WAWWA had come out ten years ago, they'd call it "Mexico's Ginger Snaps."
And WAWWA is most definitely a horror film, despite some reviewers insistence on calling it another kind of movie "with trappings." Its impoverished Mexico City cannibal family may not be human at all, or under some sort of otherworldly curse, anyway, if taken at their word. (Hell, they may not even be cannibals: dunno if Grau is riffing on Bunuel or not, but...they never do manage to complete their religious rite and *eat.*)
The film flags a bit whenever it leaves the family for a subplot about inept, corrupt cops looking to make a name and a media bundle on the bizarre case, but for the most part deftly weaves its bloody horrors with the more realistic terrors of a wildly dysfunctional family whose last pin just got pulled.
We Are What We Are is that rarity: a horror film that is not at all entertaining, to anybody, on purpose. It's a cannibal movie with no cannibalism in it, and the kind of film that manages to find its greatest moments of despair in a stranger's kindly offered message: "You are alive." They just do not make enough horror movies like this one.
The Tree of Life spends about the same number of minutes on spectacular non-sequiter/anti-narrative visuals as the second Transformers movie, they're about the same length, and the parts where people talk to each other (or more often, to God) have about the same level of traditional narrative going on in each movie. Which is to say: almost none.
The Tree of Life, however, features much better acting, the real care of a master's hand is evident, and isn't a three hour toy commercial, so anybody who sat through Revenge of the Fallen like it was anything like a real movie is likely to scream about emperor's new clothes and I'm a Plain Old Cheeseburger Man, Myself after storming out of Tree of Life. (And yes, there were walkouts and people going DOUBLEYEW TEE EFF after, even at at the Sunday night artsy house screening I went to.)
The Dark Knight made me look at the time a lot during its approximate sixteen hours, and I ended up falling asleep and snoring and embarrassing the hell out of Evonne in reaction to the convoluted last act. (How I managed not to do that watching Inception, I'm not sure, since it basically had the same last act, only way worse and featuring a van that takes four hours to drop ten feet and...I'm nodding off, now, just thinking about it...) I did not do either during The Tree of Life.
I get self indulgent, but don't consider that a deficit. I thought "hey, it's like the planetarium," myself, but that just made me love the poem more, not less.
Pretty much perfect, and as close to art as mainstream American movies get, IMO. Your mileage, as always, may vary.
What a pile of shit that thinks it's something much better. I'd forgotten how bad it was
Easily the best of the late run of indie sorta-superhero movies (Special and Defendor trying hard in other, similar directions, flailing), Super is...you know how every other dipshit online describes every other tentpole piece of crap every summer as "a rollercoaster ride?" (When it's hey, not Shakespeare?) Super really is a rollercoaster ride, through levels of utter discomfort.
James Gunn's Troma roots totally show, here, without turning Super into the idiotic slop and offense-fests that define that label. We are all much older than Tromeo and Juliet, now.
Which is not to say that Super isn't an excessively and viscerally violent grand guignol anyway - it is. But it's most agonizing and eye-covering moments aren't grotesque, they're deeply personal. They're scenes of Rainn Wilson praying (and Super is a movie very much about religion, and contains more on-screen praying than any movie you've ever seen, maybe), or castigating himself, in tears, over what an unlovable, stupid piece of shit he is. Or Ellen Page, veering mid-rant from one of the most hilariously psychotic vigilante portrayals ever attempted in black comedy film to...a twenty-two year old girl who really does seem to be off her meds.
If you love the Gunn-scripted The Specials (2000) as much as I do (and I think it's about the best superhero movie I've ever seen), you'll see some similarities between the two films - both follow a similar path through laughter at pain and appreciating pain and walking past pain. Super just does it all a lot louder.
Will. Offend. And if you're not used to laughing at offense, you probably won't find much to laugh at, before dropping into depths of agony again. Not for everyone, I loved it.
Maybe not in the top tier of haunting movies, Insidious is nonetheless a great entry in the subgenre. Shocked the hell out of me, coming from James Wan.
Glib and widespread comparisons to Poltergeist aside, what's surprising is how much, even visually, Insidious owes to the Twilight Zone episode that movie swiped from. This is a very old school scary movie, Insidious, and where there is surely CGI throughout, it all feels...so in camera, anyway.
The movie starts out familiar enough to maybe put someone off - you have seen this Amityville Entity from Connecticut movie before, a whole bunch of times. It quickly curves into its own space, though, presenting a mashup of haunting tropes, demonic possession, and that little-used stepchild of spiritualist horror fictions, astral projection.
If it wears some influences, Insidious does so proudly, and in the end is its own unique thing, and accomplishes what many films have tried lately and failed, Raimi's Drag Me To Hell springing to mind: a good old fashioned getting the pants scared off you. That it does so with style and a great sense of mounting and spiraling terror, even better.