RicardoCraneo's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Martyrs
Martyrs(2008)

Exceedingly disturbing and with an existential plot to boot.

The Ring
The Ring(2002)

Aside from the first climax, which I think is this movie's sole weakness and the point most susceptible to aging stupidly, it knocks every feature from Ringu (the original Japanese film) out of the water, from the creepy atmosphere and photography, to the tighter writing and austere directing. Displaying meticulous artistic and horror-thriller consideration, it's still become somewhat of an ignored, underground picture with its blockbuster affiliation, being exclusively remembered as the American J-horror catalyst. And while the Asian-remake kick start was annoying, there's more positive contributions to be found here, in particular Naomi Watts' well-grounded performance, who already stands between strong actors, and a consistently classic, eerie, unsettling vibe rarely manifested elsewhere. Currently underrated and under appreciated, I think it might rightly be recognized as one of the defining 2000s chiller movies in a couple of years.

American Pie
American Pie(1999)
½

I've never quite understood the American male preoccupation with announcing the size of their sexual ego at every corner and so it's a bit sad seeing how much films like these perpetuate the epidemic by influencing the same hedonistic teenagers that fall in the same camp as the central characters, setting obnoxious sex phrase trends, normalizing lewd behavior, and publicizing fetishes. It's the heterosexual equivalent of gay parades that despicably and shamelessly exhibit what should be the sexual privacy of someone, which warps the minds of the unfortunate child onlookers. But maybe I'm just prudish and society needs these mentally scarred children and sex obsessed, exhibitionistic teenagers (and adults). Although American Pie may not be knowingly contributing to an airheaded idealism, as it only cares to cater towards, or simply document, this lascivious social circle, it still falls victim to the pitfalls associated with a film solely intent on providing titillating imagery and class clown naivety. Meaning, it's the film in the crowd of films that attempts to mention a sexual pun at its every breath, gloats about alleged and planned sexual accomplishments, never offering a glimmer of changing the subject or recapitulating their contributions maturely, and exiting the scene having damaged their reputation, defeating the purpose of ever trying to share their sense of humor. Yes. The humor in this film is non-existent and self-inflicting. I suppose, however, in identifying its positive features, it does inform extant members in society how better (or worse....really?) they are since high school, especially if from a different decade, because all in all that's all its insulated, oblivious self good for.

Shrek 2
Shrek 2(2004)
½

A good example of building on an original screenplay and keeping a consistent, escalating innovation by adding characters and wisely balancing out time for each of them according to their focal importance. Too often a cartoon-related (Or general) sequel fumbles under a studio's desire to hastily toss in empty additional details so as to quickly cash in on the coattails of the first film's success, which is what this film's sequel did. Shrek 2 instead benefits from the expansion with the sardonic Disney-mockery - hinting at the amount of Monty Pythonian influence amid the diverse type of humor - that functions just as well if not better than in the first film as we're also treated to a hypothetical twist on the main ingredients that made Shrek 1 stand out. It confuses somewhat how easily it's dismissed; I suppose I can attribute the kiddy-appealing byproduct to it, and, or, slash, the toilet humor Mike Myers persists on instilling into his principal role, and, or, slash, Eddie Murphy's appropriately selected blatant voice. Still, with a mediocre CGI picture releasing every other weekend, you'd think it would be a bit more recognized as the petite landmark that it is.

Rocky
Rocky(1976)

Embarrassingly naive and proud of its imperialistic step into cinema. Stereotyping sports movies as dim vanity projects, it probably unleashed a constricted wave of reducing the genre to simplistic storylines, cheesy acting, deflatable machismo for years, in addition to limiting the sports-movie quality expectancy at present, explaining the few number of more (what we have to call) sophisticated pictures like Rudy and Remember the Titans. Where films on the other side of the globe were already working on incorporating believable drama into their thrilling action (Asian martial arts movies, for one), here we're stuck with two hours of a camera aimlessly following around a lonely, unproductive chum who could probably have neanderthal impersonations as his stunt double. Oh, but the action is so real, man. It makes clashing action figures placed behind a cut-out soap box television screen a thing of the past, man. Plus, that guy up there feels my underdog pain and conveniently offers some hope with its priceless inspirational undercurrent. Indeed to the latter, but nah, man, the low budget is plainly visible, and worse it's used as a justification for careless and inconsiderate filming mechanisms, perhaps the reason why sports films as we know them are horribly subjective and unappealing most of the time. You're better off with the upped energy in actual boxing footage, something I never before pictured myself recommending.

Spider-Man
Spider-Man(2002)
½

It's hard not to be taken in with the amount of acrobatic action it introduces the viewer with and invites to voyeuristically partake in. Unless you're of the type that hoped to see a faithful comic-book rendition, which is next to inconceivable a demand, so might as well get over it and adopt an alternate Peter Parker into your scope. Anywho, the visual effects and action sequences, like the easily replaceable actors and their popcorn performances, are imperfect but they service a solid enough blueprint to create what is essentially a zero-to-hero story updated to the 21st-century superhero craze. The part of me hypocritically sympathizing with Spider Man purists wishes for a more complex script with an extra, uncomplicated antagonist thrown in, but that void kind of became filled with the sequel (And clotted with the third film). Although the introductory air cuts down on character depth and instead concerns itself with impressionistic style, fight scenes, and spurring romance, there's a noticeable evolution of plot which is what sold audiences, together with the original and intriguing story basis. It's a far cry from anything groundbreaking but it is a well rounded venture into the secret-identity formation of an iconic figure.

Gladiator
Gladiator(2000)
½

Tons of audience appeal here, but I don't remember exactly how consumably Hollywood it is. These swords and sandals box-office epics often tend to make a commotion when they're first received, along with the coincidental detail of being filmed well. Or not. The sentimentality was crap, for example, and it detracted from the realism but it provided fuel for the engrossing and violently accurate revenge and action. The historical sets also help in providing a vivid Roman image of glamour and circumstantial loss. Despite the difficulty, It's possible to suspend a lot of Russell Crowe's personal life out of the picture as the focus on his character depicts a damaged rising hero who's easy to root for. The recurring villain, in contrast, provides a masochistically entertaining malevolent force to assist with the protagonist affinity. Overall, very overplayed and talked about to death but it retains its cinematic value with its raw upfront history-channel feel and actor assortment.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Needs a reluctant rewatch, but for now I'll base my rating on predominant failure to provide interest for general audience members, in addition to the half-hour or so of the climax, when the amplified sound awoke me. Not that its much of this particular outing from the franchise's fault, as I've generally not been keen on Star Wars lore period, much less of the prequels, but Episode III includes several portions that epitomize the unnecessary, lifeless, drab launch of the triplex addition to the saga. It's slightly better than the wordy, plainly intermediary Episode II owing to the dramatic structure of the finale, crafted rather sweetly due to an expected yet rapid and arresting switch in arrangements in character and events, but still stands behind Episode I's jolted first-taste installation. That neat moment exclusive to prequels seeing how writers creatively weave story arcs from two different films, somewhat justifying their existence, pretty much explains the sacrificing of so much badly written and executed cinema spread throughout the three Episodes in exchange for propping up the scenes that gave birth to the franchise (The connecting conclusion of Episode III was probably the first thing in mind, forcing the script writing to work backwards). So if any time has been wasted in any film, one might as well be compensated in the form of this film's conclusion, basically. Otherwise, the most overhyped galactic borefest of our time, with a (dare I mention it?) null lead actor mirroring the bane of the film industry, and dialogue fit for a suffering insomniac. I only wish I could've seen all of it so I could berate it properly.

King Kong
King Kong(2005)

The Peter Jackson that the public should recognize him as, returning to his New Zealand filming roots for isle inspiration, peculiar fantasy admiration, and audience concern. Gone are the temporarily feigned folklore formalities owing to the accolades in the bag, replaced by an innocent homage phase in the form of a remake that hugely improves on the original, even when taking relative decade capabilities into account. The comparatively monstrous budget gives way to an impressive script that seamlessly evokes the 30s time period - as if either period piece or unsuspecting adventure epic direction could've proceeded the start - as well as an entertaining jurassic setting choc full of the visible inspiration responsible for any of Jackson's geek projects. It swiftly engages despite the duration and you can't fault the cast, shockingly blending usual-side thorn Jack Black in with the professional, likable mix, matching the quality in the special effects and directing departments. Essentially outdoes the combined LOTR trilogy for my money's worth.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
½

Although each individual Harry Potter movie at this point had a lightly altered cast and style partially due to plot modifications and change of director there was a consolidated vision shared because of keeping the film format presentable to the target audience (Curiously, randoms from pretty much any social circle). The novels were never meant to adapt faithfully given their pop ambiance, and I've no problem in a director inserting their relevant spin, but when it becomes mired in capitalistic interests, as with this version, it alienates one from the franchise. I don't think I cared or payed attention much to the sequels following this one, for example, as evidently none of the primetime subject matter would be translated. And this one was moderately dark in origin, but still would've been interesting to see it given its due. Horribly miscast Radcliffe has always stood out as the unconvincing type among his two proficient peers anyway, and playing the waiting game for two years between each film just to await another "To be continued..." was getting pretty pointless. The one good thing about the other HPs usually condemned in cinema (Style over substance) is just as fun seeing toyed with here, and the international angle beckoning foreign actors adds a little more distinction, but Goblet of Fire is best left for the HP fanatics.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
½

The British backdrop and acting choices notwithstanding, it's virtually a terrible waste of effort once you realize its uninventive child-oriented fantasy sounds and looks fishy because of the deceptive Protestant undertones. Christian-allegoried movies in this camp blow! They suck the fun out of every genre they're disguised behind as they limit themselves to puritanical imagery and plastic, disposable, cheapened and washed out content, like having puerile speaking animal characters for the sole purpose of the Jesus-lion sermon puppetry. Someone like Mel Gibson at least has the balls to show the awesomely graphic details from the raw-like-war source material without needing to implement disingenuous gimmickry, although his work is more for adults I admit and doesn't go without its evangelizing messages either. Regardless, don't insult my intelligence by attempting to use Tilda Swinton's invaluable (and now tainted) chameleon skills, sophomoric battle scenes, and "intriguing" family-conflict plot devices to brainwash me (or poor impressionable children, you child abusing anuses, you) into your cult for retards.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Like its predecessor, it depends on the geek audience interest to spring its dead, boringly revisited themes and arcs forward. Its particular fantasy content I'll never comprehend as having achieved its level of popularity, obviously, but even more puzzling is the level of concern of the fanbase in wanting to see an exact depiction of their Elvish bible trilogy resolution, considering it's incredibly close to the novel as sources tell me. One factor involved with the excitement behind adaptations is the amount of deviance a writer or director imparts; otherwise, you more or less have replicated material, or at least a work and its carbon copy, which is of interest to ...whom? Millions apparently. But that's just me. As has been said with dissenters of any of these overrated, overhyped, overlong fairyland pieces, there is way too much budget blown on actors, sets, and special effects for an uninteresting, idiosyncratic picture that can never centralize its well filmed moments, pantheon of diverse characters and worlds, and ridiculous tacked-on alternate endings to present something remotely watchable.

Titanic
Titanic(1997)

Probably the penultimate three-hour epic (Before the LOTR trilogy) having created a buzz with Hollywood and tragi-romantic-loving company. Either they (thankfully) don't make 'em like this anymore or we're due for another one soon. Still, its much hyped, polar-opposite criticisms and praises have both disturbed a readily available impartial evaluation, or maybe I'm slightly taken in by the sappy storytelling, the pop stir and referential (For mocking or mentioning's sake) scenes aplenty, and complete social apathy disregarding charged opinions on the film. I'd like to find fault at certain points, and some of it is beginning to age slowly and surely, namely the present-day reminiscing narrative, but there's too much in the way of its coalesced cast, cheesy unaware romance, genre criss crossing, and heavily financed production tidbits.

Tintarella di luna

Gaspar Noe's first "anything". The first short that he made, two shorts before Carne. Really hard to find and even worse only available in videotape condition. I could barely make out some of the figures in the black and white, although when you see two large white rounded objects fretting about up against each other, images get the message across quite well. I didn't even know what it was entirely about until the plot synopsis was translated (Weirdly as you can tell by looking at the one I put on Flixster). Peculiar and elementary, in the sense of electing the directing choice of encasing relatively mature themes in a hermetic, cartoony setting, it has Noe's interest in full fleshed characters by means of realistic dialogue and diverse French residents commingling. It's also a dry case of "realism within surrealism" which he would go on and film with Irreversible and Enter the Void provided with a larger budget. Recommended if you're interested in what Gaspar Noe started out with - otherwise not very much worth seeking out. The title is also a really catchy song which is put on in the end credits. It's available to watch on Noe's fan website (letempsdetruittout.net) or on dailymotion. Both versions are the same and they're unsubbed I think.

Melancholia
Melancholia(2011)
½

The von Trier bastard has officially date-rape drugged me and won me over with classical music and astronomy in this stellar feature of his which I oddly enjoyed. Strange, as it includes similar stylization, "Dogme" shittiness, and art house melodrama as in his other wank works. It shares quite a resemblance to Antichrist in fact, with the opening time lapsed shots of spellbinding awe, the focus on wildlife metaphors, and the "Chapter 1...Chapter 2...." bullshit, but surprisingly the interest that the opening garners plummets not afterwards in Melancholia, and there's very minimal to no pretentious actions - we've got a solid finale even. I suppose the sense of impending doom gives it kind of a thrilling, nerve-wracking edge which aids in caring for characters, "evil" or not, while the melodious classical motif resonates along providing a differently charged emotion every time it pops up. Damn does it remain a beautiful supplementary detail to the scenes. As far as the gist of the philosophy, I can also finally say I concur a bit with von Trier's nihilistic perspective on humanity even if a bit unrealistically pessimistic but it works in the overall effect of what the film was going for. However, the parallel it works with marriage and the planet sort of dulls each portion of the film when it comes to the slow burning of the plot and this is when I have trouble deciding whether to opt for substance over entertainment in my films. Also, I don't see the fuss over Kirsten Dunst's role as her range of character development can be played easily by any other X or Y female actress and so it's underwhelming especially seeing how Gainsbourg steals the show triumphantly over her. Ultimately perhaps its apocalyptica goes Hollywood-ish from time to time but that's countered by the unmatched memorable visuals I say and the emotions it storms up. Best I've seen from von Trier thus far, and incidentally my favorite too. Actually, the only one I've liked.

The Mirror
The Mirror(1975)

Much too personalized, even for its genre, so much that it needs accessory instructions to extract literally anything of worth, this beside the fact that there IS next to nothing substantial to begin with once you finally do manage to cut through the dross. Like if you madly delivered a cow to an urbanized adult and expected them to understand the cordial gesture in rural terms. No, Tarkovsky, you fool; this ambiguity is not only departing from the mainstream cinema communicating world altogether, but the human one too, and worse, any camp can tell you're intentionally feigning it for pretentious ulterior motives ("Cinema is impure, and I shall restore it while making a name for my misunderstood self.") At least the ones that failed to coincidentally connect with the low quality surrealism that they did have a bone to pick. I'll grant that about three, count them, three short scenes are nice to look at, and the countryside scenery lays down an inimitable, genuine mise-en-scene, but even the filming mechanism used for them is cheap and outdated, the lead actress appears to have been paid off the street (While the kid actor no doubt naturally acting on his own is a professional in comparison), and these surrounding low-key features clue in on the budget utilized for the outline of the incomprehensible (Again, probably because of a lack of resources) plot, the dull characterization and pace, and the weak political and interpersonal statements. Tarkovsky is full of himself. Or autistic.

Straight Story

It's funny to me in that it seems like a Greek blockbuster studio helmed this original queer romcom, as opposed to some indie students who are more likely to think up and film something like this. You've got what appear to be big name, quality actors that awkwardly convince in their largely atypical roles, a philosophical premise that challenges your sexual perception from start to finish (And that I'm sure the gay community will instantly enjoy) which I still can't wrap my head around as it's mentally akin to reciting the alphabet backwards, and if I remember correctly a fair share of chuckles that comfortably situate Straight Story betwixt its two mainstream genres. As expected, the film is summarily used as a political and cultural statement, but it does so inventively and that's primarily of importance when dealing with such films for me.

Come and See (Idi i smotri)

Hits you in the gut with its sheer power and realism, thankfully and refreshingly seen from the eyes of one of the lesser focused ethnic groups of WWII when it comes to film. Even with a teenage perspective you're thrusted into an adult situation as war discriminates against no one, again something mainstream war movies miserably fail at thoroughly addressing. It aims at shaking your subconscious and mind with its Aguirre-like madness, expressed with gritty imagery of ransacking, humiliation and psychological torture of the captured underaged soul, and a musical score that disturbs the senses. Plays out as if you were a witness to the scene, making you personally feel the peril and casualties.

Biutiful
Biutiful(2010)

Iñárritu has a fixation on transferring the impoverished, third-world bleakness he's experienced that so permeates and propels his motivation for filming to viewers, most of which I take are oblivious to the feeling and existence. And it's a talent to be able to communicate it well in the first place, I suppose. Just don't take it as a given that it makes his films cinematic, or to put it bluntly, enjoyable. It's quite the anti-cinema antithesis, in fact, since cinema is mostly made to counter hopeless, dismaying realities with escapism. Not to say that Biutiful doesn't have its share of respectable qualities, such as presenting its story honestly and free of bullshit (That at the same time faults it), something many dramas follow through until the last minute. Furthermore, accurately illustrating the process of cause and effect in risks, the universal multitasking complex humans adapt to, and lastly including the abilities of Bardem in playing complicated, multidimensional roles. Yet in the face of an overlong, slowburning, sluggish script, there's the twin inclination to opt out because of lacking a spark and wanting to disassociate yourself from the grim atmosphere. Surprisingly, the one aspect one expects the film to instantly crumble from (The mystical humbled clairvoyance) because the film strongly rests on its callous reality actually temporarily salvages it under the guise of magical realism, an indication of the film easily bettering were there more surrealist injections. But see, a revision like that, and the purpose is defeated, further attesting to its misplacement in film. It just wasn't going to work, even with a different director, methinks. And I don't really know what the desire to link Mexico and Spain ethnically and culturally is all about...

American Experience

I've read and read about this case over a dozen times on-line and off-, and yet cannot tire of its retelling because of how catastrophic and bizarre, and telling it is of US spawned dogma. But now hearing of the roots, the background, and the leading up to has you practically questioning your sanity! This Jim Jones tool basically took advantage of the inherent human perception of conformity and had a lot of perverse methods of manipulating his crowds. It's saddening and scary hearing how fragile people were taken advantage of so easily based on Gestapo scare tactics, the herd mentality and reverse psychology. The documentary has a lot of up close footage of the ongoings and surprisingly even the culminating political situation, although not the mass suicide. Still, listening first hand to the few survivors makes for an insane account. Undeniably interesting from every approach and there's plenty to analyze. Yes, it's a by-the-numbers dissection of the story, and pretty much any director could've carved out a meaningful film based on the content, but you can't over achieve with the subject matter either (That usually takes chance), and it's probably one of the most non-standard from PBS.

Martha Marcy May Marlene

"That one case" brought down to earth, away from sensationalism, frivolity and media concern. Which is a relief to finally have after all of these years and shitty versions reflecting the case obsession, despite being psychologically terrifying, authentic and stark in this outing. Like watching a nightmare unfold, thanks to the carefully laid out story that works to juxtapose two films almost and keep you locked on to the tightly paced, chilling car crash precedence and aftermath. The acting party works well as a component of emanating the dangerous, palpable reality, ranging in a gamut of hollow, spiritless beings to confused and reactionary wanderers, and living, breathing humans. The overall implications it leaves for the audience, in terms of storytelling, signals respect and a mature feature whose silence smartly communicates deep, subdued pain, agitation, loss and fear, and along with the nonverbal plot cues, it creates a consistent discomfort to unease the viewer which is one of the reasons why psychological dramas work so well.

Vertigo
Vertigo(1958)

Hitchcock's got a great deal of pictures I've yet to discover, but chances are I'm unlikely to find a film as downright astonishing and impressive. Surreal, too, considering how it parallels the courses of actions of the characters if you so dare to obsess over its enigmatic charm, as it only ages like fine wine. Plot wise, unmatched, unpredictable, and psychologically formatted to appeal, bewilder, and whiplash. Acting, suitably performed in a dramatic, classically cinematic fashion with some rare, oddly abstract moments leaping from the screen as though breaking the fourth wall. A soundtrack that sounds rather cheesy out of context but actually has a legendary score to offer to the trained ear. And the rest is history.

Caché
Caché(2005)
½

This represents the director's best original-screenwriting abilities as most of what he works with is adapted either from a book or a news story. And yes, it's based off of a speck of Lynch's work, but if you're able to intake information, process it, and spit it out resulting in a more entertaining storyboard (Sorry Lynch fans) then that merits more credit, in my opinion anyway. I mention these details because Haneke's other attempts at diverting from his adaptation screenwriting bubble (Benny's Video, Funny Games, The White Ribbon, The Time of the Wolf) is really crap as he just isn't familiarized with the process like what tends to happen with directors that opt to adapt material other than their own, or plainly he might not have the gift for combining independent thought with perception of audience appeal. With Cache, though, ironically his best film, he defies these odds and for once intrigues people plus offers up an original piece that challenges film making and the involved genres altogether. Although it's not as flawless as I pictured it to be four years ago when I first saw it, notably because of the otherwise talented leads that mysteriously overact like a Hollywood duo would, the overall impact of how uniquely structured, layered, creepy, suggestive, and infuriating it can be is still here, which is what matters in the long run. I once compared it to a triangular prism because of the plot elements, and if you've the time to analyze it some you might see why, but ostensibly I liken it to an internet analogy (No spoiler), and rumors of an upcoming internet-themed Haneke film sort of reaffirms that. It all depends on its relationship to you though, which is radically different for every viewer practically. It might make you flinch, leave you angry, unmotivated, or frightened. Which is its beauty.

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Gradually Miike moves more and more into drama and arthouse which is upsetting partly because his disturbing and eccentric trademarks are vanishing (Yeah, there's unfortunately practically nothing bizarro you can freak people out with here. Kuso!), and also because people will criticize the man like any other auteur despite clear inexperience in the genre. Hara-Kiri is still a valuable effort, however. The plot threads enveloping within themselves suck you into the dialogue and circumstances, very reminiscent of the speech in the equally captivating 1950s Hara-Kiri film which it homages (Or is a remake of?) Although the acting borders along your typical Kurosawa or low budget samurai overacting buffoonery, highlighted in the part of the film where the melodrama makes you question the effect age is having on Miike, the sets and costumes are stylish and the camera scope makes sure to demonstrate the fine details. Does it convince in persuading you of the dangers and illusions of dogmatism? A bit, but that's always been an argument more reserved for paper, in either Hara-Kiri movies' cases, so it's good that the film's storytelling provides backup, as I preferred it over the rising action that seemed to pale in comparison. Bamboo invites but a worst case scenario mental image of rears being smacked until red and bruised, this still despite the mildly gruesome way we see it handled the first time in the film. Not that it damages the flow we were used to prior to the climax but it does feel shifted into neutral gear. I've still got faith in seeing a perfected Miike outing, though, because God knows he tries (and tries, and tries....) More refined, in acting and in script, and you've got yourself an A list name directing some of the most challenging cinematic material from Japan.

Michael
Michael(2012)

Didn't think I'd see one of these for a while, wherein the pedophile is frankly analyzed bare bones and all, in his rugged terrain accompanied by his victim in his claws, leaving the audience to helplessly sit back and watch as he devours the prey in plain sight. Not to mention the depth a devil is given, committing one of society's unpardonable sins. Then again, "Foreign film. From Austria." Male director though. Hmmm, I'm guessing sex is less worrisome over there in this context, or the guy just hopes his audience consists of mature minded arthouse individuals, which I sometimes still don't think is the case when it comes to provoking some of the more emotional art fans. Anyway, the reactions from virtually every perspective are way too convoluted for a simple dissection. There is no doubt that the people that are involved with this film in any way, whether it be the production department, the unsuspecting viewer, the film critic, the Flixster critic, the critic of the Flixster critic, etc. risk being seen in a stigmatizing light because the subject and theme is that strong, especially in this scenario, given the raw manner of filming arguably the most taboo subject in the West with an awkward, unafraid, contentious precision. The film is remarkably well written, acted, and filmed. Even without the morbidly compelling element of being witness to....you know...."that".... it stands on its own as an evenly paced, thought provoking, taboo shattering polemic study while remaining even handed. I'm genuinely curious what the "Immediately shut off, take disc out and burnt it" rate is for people as I'm sure parents are programmed to have this elephant's feet super glued to the floor of their kids' rooms rather than figure out how to shoe it away, and secondly they feel it's illegal to have the film in their possession.

Winter's Bone

It's not just life, people, culture in the Southern US but rural social norms period. The Americana aspect repaints the image of ugly, backward and simple-minded Southerners, or at least familiarizes with a palpable and realistic platform, like a documentary feel, typical of indies that dispel cartoonish notions of things. Also standard for indies comes a devotion to script and characters, sporting a cast with each performing their roles believably, including a female lead that carries the weight of the film on her shoulders and succeeds. The plot, a pretty much solid work (Although the end's kinda convenient in my eyes), takes a bit to get going at first but after the introduction of every character it becomes difficult to turn away. There's a slight detail where the formula for the folks' reactions becomes predictable and expected, and so what's seen as stark and unadulterated turns somewhat dry, but that may be my prejudice in having experienced the familial approach before. Blue, chilly, wintry photography round up this admirable drama and set the backstabbing and raw climate quite nicely.

Amer
Amer(2010)

At last, a film surpassing its trailer promises. Depending on how you see it, though, because the public disliked it even though there's a sharp caliber of attention to detail in literally every shot. Moody, hypnotic, incrementally adult and nonverbal for the most part, it makes up for all of those badly acted, photographed, edited, directed, etc. giallos that are so commonly accepted as cinema. Which is kind of ironic seeing as how those are praised and this isn't, simply due to a matter of time placement and cultural acceptance of the genre. I guarantee if Amer were released say thirty years prior, and had its 21st century technology adjusted, it would be the magnum-opus standard by which all giallos are to be judged as opposed to something stupid like ______ by Dario Argento. The minimal plot, mostly auditory, communicates with its actions, takes its time, and presents a side of giallos most people would've probably preferred. Basically muted characters, so as to not rely on idiotic self-voice overs as was the norm back in the day, and the main character going about her excursion and exploring, which gives the viewer a slight feeling of continual suspense. The three main sections it's divided into could pass as three short films, which was more or less the goal, and it could also be seen in several other perspectives, which creates a minor skeptical sense of "Is it all connected?" as the parameters are erased. In effect it might bother some people that prefer the traditional presenting fashion, making them feel they needed a consolidated story for an actual film, but I don't think it takes away from the other genius traits that are offered. It's atmospheric, absorbing, erotic, and artistic and that's giallo done right.

The Tree of Life
½

None of Malick's projects appear consistent in terms of a number of different elements, although there is a common thread, you might say, other than pristine cinematography. You'll either get a profoundly moving spiritual picture, a serial killer oddity, the most suicide inducing borefest, etc. The Tree of Life mostly falls into the first category with the added value of redefining a genre. It's 120-some minutes of a serene and godlike visual poem, rotating its storytelling endlessly and still resulting in a coherent spectrum of emotions and themes. I used to think the schizophrenic mechanism of unraveling plot details functioned only under experimental and horror tags, but it fits neatly into drama, allowing the film's core features to be expressed as intended. The actors are natural in their roles, with the children outshining the adults oftentimes, and the score if I remember correctly synchronized well with the imagery it paired up with. I've mentioned the plot as scattered already, which is something I believe to be either greatly appreciated or detested, especially since it's something of a novelty in this terrain. Indeed there are moments of slight confusion, such as the shift in time slots to the past and present, as well as onscreen metaphors used to elucidate catharsis instead of logic, but I can't picture the film as having a better outcome were there different options used.

The Woman in Black

One can easily tell what talent, if any, an actor actually possesses outside of their familiar territory, although it comes as no surprise that Mr. Harry Pot-tah be a talentless and embarrassing glamour mannequin knowing the franchise he's involved with. I'm tempted to say much potential is wasted in this run-of-the-mill horror but there's too much a cluster of missteps, shortcutting, and formulaic plot devices that are used for prostituting the woman in black for a quick buck. The main character is your typical working man sent away on a quest under company orders and then encounters the dilemma of superstition and hauntings which all coincidentally connect back to his problems at home somehow. Although there's a slightly interesting spin as the backdrop, regarding the horror element used to unnerve, the film constantly suicides by relying on annoying random jump scares and zero creepiness build up plus boring characterization and characters about as dimensional as...well...kids in a fantasy film. The settings are sort of eye catching but they don't really drown out the muddy feeling you get after you've witnessed yet another stereotypical modern horror film with all around cheap value and empty foundations for a depressing and laughable finale. These editors and directors of horror trailers should really be given more credit and used instead of people responsible for projects like this.

Thriller - A Cruel Picture (Thriller - en grym film) (Hooker's Revenge) (They Call Her One Eye)

As perfect as films come, for the sexploitation junkie and fan of the disturbing and extraordinary. Even if distasteful to some, there is a feeling of balance in this film where all of the subjects it criss crosses are accounted for in order to deliver the goods. The film makes it easy for the viewer to sympathize with the main character given her circumstances and it's what enables fascination with the character evolution. The rawness of the sex I believe fits well with the intent of the rest of the film (Displaying unadulterated unfortunate events; why trivialize sex trafficking, ever?) but the low budget in other scenes lessens the cohesiveness and it's what makes the sex seem out of place. It's great to see a violent female phoenix in this movie era kicking ass the way modern day female characters can hold their own, and the climax is just a series of stunning poetic images filmed courageously.

Cannibal Holocaust

Shock and gore classic that yanks the mainstream cine population's chain and makes them soil their diapers a bit. I became a man after I saw this. No, but, you've got to applaud its legacy in withstanding the test of time and stirring up controversy every decade since it's been released. Its cinema verite is criticized as being hokey even though it launched the wave of reality footage permeating cinema today. I recall it as being slightly better than what other giallos and Italian films of the time would serve up in terms of acting, so I think it's an exaggerated emotional reaction, this nitpicking. As far as plot there's not much in the way of innovative details other than its unique shock tactics via scenes of brutality but that's expected from a trend setter. There's also an attempted maintenance of dignity that's glossed over as an unserious social commentary. You don't find those in post films of the same genre, really. So I'll take it as genuine art guideline-following. The whirlwind of blood, culture shock, and violence may not match up to its production value overall but its sheer magnitude in assaulting distracts from its consideration.

The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste)

Haneke's most thrilling endeavor and no less dense. Plays like a thorny dysfunctional drama for Hollywood audiences and acts as a fully functional reel to them despite omitting one of the most vital components in film composition (It'll be made clear when you watch it). And this doesn't detract for any type of viewer either. Most of any arthouse director's repertoire is lost and blank to consumerist film goers whereas others attempt to draw them in and so they're still enjoyable, which is what we're given here. If you're going to include shock, at least guide it properly like artistic provocateurs. And if you're going to be artistic, structure it to appeal to inherent human needs, you know. For the art crowd, however, it remains an acidic character study, collectively almost like a two-faced story line (Wouldn't be reading too much into the plot if it wasn't as pertinent to the film outline). This was back when the director was still underground some, so its shock in terms of acting and subject matter is uninhibited, as many viewers will readily point out. It's best to experience The Piano Teacher's edginess and danger, in particular Huppert's act, as humbly and unbiased as possible even though it's already been inflated about in cine circles.

Anatomy of Hell

None of it bothers me. I like Catherine Breillat's intentions, her unapologatic and unconventional filmmaking that challenges the big dogs (Men). The controversy she spurs is also a plus. If you're familiar with editing techniques, some of the gross-out imagery in this movie will not get to you, though I read that the sex was unsimulated (!) Its problem was its stationary anatomical dissection. I deduce simply from the title because I had some effing bad fansubs (Need to rewatch), which means a lot of the dialogue I didn't fully comprehend. But I saw enough to make me decide it's badly put together. The script and ending have no true dedication, the actors are there so that Breillat can just teach audiences with them, as though they were puppets.

Nekromantik
Nekromantik(1987)

It's unexpectedly more comical than disturbing. At least, the necrophile scenes are, filmed with a romantic edge that cancels out any gross factor you may have accumulated. There's still the matter of other forms of aberrant sexual perversions that will surely induce a wince, plus a symbolic attachment of the obsession of death, which is expressed rather amateurishly. Not at all intended to shock or repulse, I thought, but to share the twisted polygamy of an uncommon couple (As the title implies), although it's fixed more on the male perspective. Compared to Lucker, a slasher film with the necrophile angle intended to shock, this film is almost poetic in its own unique artistic vision. Darkly photographed, low key, and the primitive cinematic offering on this subject.

Do Começo ao Fim (From Beginning to End)

Boring, gross, and cheesy. Exactly how one should not handle a story with these types of taboos. A "liberal" angle, with slightly concerned but passive parents and a lot of sex scenes, ain't gonna cut it when there are other repercussions afoot in real life such as legality and religion which isn't even touched upon. The story's conveniently standard if not for its gay and incest content and is horribly constructed. There's a forty-minute gap of empty talk and empty events somewhere in between the flat children and adult stages. As in any foreign or indie films typical of this drama involvement, the actors are OK for their parts but everything else sucks balls from beginning to end.

The Skin I Live In

The most fucked up shit I've seen all year long I think. I don't wanna spoil anything as even talking about the mere subject name itself would give too much away, but I've read volumes on this topic before and desensitized myself to it and still found it profoundly disturbing portrayed on screen. I guess because it's so much a part of the essence of every human being. I underestimated Almodovar this time around thinking I had another one of his slightly off-kilter but pathetic premises that he usually toys with to unease the audience, but I stand corrected - even the pace keeps the film interesting as it's spliced nonchronologically in the best-fit order to prevent boredom setting in. Great cast and directing as usual and with an unorthodox plot full of creative sub details that appeal to the audience moreso than his previous films. It's actually pretty surprising that so much fits within two hours. Haunting, bizarre, and philosophical.

Ip Man
Ip Man(2010)
½

I know it's not just because I've been so long without seeing any martial arts movies whatsoever that I found Ip Man to be a spectacular cinematic treat. The combat is just as striking as in any reputable kung fu film with attention to detail and the blows seem legitimately filmed in real time. Although it at first relies on the cliche premise of an invincible "secret weapon" that conquers any foe, it seeps in some of the most interesting Sino-Japanese history giving way to what can be considered original, and it pretty much continues to excite with fight after fight using nationalism as an undercurrent. The actors are all new to me but I liked how compatible they were with drama and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi sizzles like sex on screen - goddamn. Seriously. A great fight flick that the uninitiated can enjoy and also a traditionally styled martial arts flick that stays true to its ethic in modesty.

I Saw the Devil
½

Something about the two main actors just has them getting cast for revenge flicks left and right. And so it seems fitting that they pair up and face each other off in a brutal revenge thriller that depicts nasty, angry, relentless and irrational violence from innocents to sickos alike. About the first forty minutes are like how the average revenge thriller wraps up, and so its expansion into prolonging the torture is original and it allows for more thrilling plot threads.

Jackass - The Movie
½

Classic grimace inducing daredevil viewing. You either like it or you don't. These guys do a lot of damage to themselves and put themselves in embarrassing and lethal circumstances and they still have people that hate them for their masochism. Nevermind hating people that personally attack you or your views, or present dangers to society! The comedy skits in this film are varied, with several extreme toilet humor gags that always upset my stomach, plus deadpan dark comedy, phobia tampering, perilous stunts, etc. A few are hilarious, most of them are either painful to watch, gross, or head-shakingly ridiculous. However, they are pretty inventive in and of themselves and I've got to give it to the crew that breaks so many taboos with their debauchery because not many would be able to perform even if getting paid millions like them. I'm shocked after every Jackass film I watch that the participants remain alive by the end. Unique, exciting, stupid, entertaining and inspiring.

Kill Bill: Volume 2

Tamer, sappier, less eventful, but still a wild ride mind you, and worth rounding up the first part. I don't know why it's advertised as equivalent in action and style to the first one, and I don't know why people that preferred this one to the first don't just admit their preference for drama oriented melodramatic crap. Anyhow, Tarantino has left the best action sequences in his films for the very last before, so it's odd knowing he could've equalled the first in entertainment and spunk, but instead opted for conventional family gobbledygook. There's some classic scenes rivaling some in Volume I, but Volume II will forever remain a shadow piece.
_

After a second viewing, with about a four- or five-year gap in between, Volume II is a better viewing experience from the first time around since you already know you're not going to see as much violence and so you don't get your hopes up. I was wrong about this film. And it wasn't really fair to compare it to Volume I I think because this portion has a different purpose going for it. It's got a heart, it's got the explanatory angle that was hinted at in Volume I and it honestly wouldn't feel like a complementary sequel or even a nicely knitted up concluding piece if it didn't lower its violent momentum in exchange for some talk. A shame it couldn't be released at the same time the first one was because I would've preferred seeing both volumes in one sit.

Irréversible

The most beautiful film ever made and simultaneously the ugliest. Visceral, graphic, saddening, horrific, and yet creative, personal, provocative and bewildering. Never have I seen a film whose philosophy has remained honest and poetic for such a long time, hinting at a timeless theme which Irreversible espouses. At this point I guess I could call it my favorite film of all time, tied along with Vertigo. It retells the human condition in such a precise, exotic, unorthodox, unforgiving fashion and boasts necessarily untamed camerawork to aggravate your senses and have you experience concentrated fury in cinematic form. It actually suspended my mind in a "experiencing roller coaster" state when I first saw it. Can't say I recommend it to the faint of heart as I've been reprimanded for showing it to friends before but if you've any interest in analysis of taboos and have the stomach for it I'd say give it a peek.

Ju-on 2 (Ju-on: The Curse 2)
½

For some lame fucking reason the last half hour of Ju-on: The Curse 1 is the first half hour of the sequel. Worse yet, the plot (Of the actual sequel past the thirty minutes) spirals into bizarro world, leaving nonsense where a storyboard once was and investigative drama and low-budget silliness where creepy chills once were. I cannot recall a single moment which evokes any terror and again a lot of the plot is unexplained, or at least explained rather vaguely. Unintentionally vaguely. I see that much of the interest may be lost on people here without the main murder element that carried the first film and so with that and the worsened acting and directing, I now pronounce this the worst of the Grudge series.

Fritt vilt II (Cold Prey 2)

Yup. Complete US slasher-film homage. Particularly Friday the 13th perhaps. Also a bitching sequel that improves intensely on the predecessor in terms of writing and action. I'm tempted to give it a solid four-star rating because of how much it surprised me and exceeded my expectations even. It spends a good thirty minutes setting itself up drama-style such as in the first film (And it's mildly bothersome in this outing) but then things get good and the suspense heats things up to shatter your security and attachment to the developed characters - pretty gnarly and sadistic actually. As a backbone you're now treated to a plot that tries to amend the first film's errors and it's quite amusing how plausible some of it is by horror standards. Thought it was pretty original how that was handled overall when the first film was a disaster, and it's even got strong female "worthy adversaries" to boot with well filmed climactic action.

The Grudge
The Grudge(2004)

This Takashi motherfucker has remade his "Grudge" film twice with the emergence of this US version (Although this is a direct remake more related to Ju-On: The Grudge instead of the unpopular Ju-On: The Curse) so I suppose he thinks his story is worth telling and that a non-linear plot makes horror movies sophisticated. I prefer this one to Ju-On: The Grudge but that doesn't say much since that one suffers the same major flaws in storytelling, such as cliché A-and-B conversations. I like how Shimizu retains the Japanese backdrop to stay within authentic boundaries, something which any other J-horror remake would probably cut down on to save a few buckaroos, but the major point of interest, the main character and her boyfriend, are ditzy newbs and it's difficult to truly care about their fates in effect. It does include a couple of memorable creepy sequences that automatically tower above the ones in the original Ju-On: The Grudge due to budget assistance, however. Not really the worst in the franchise either. Each individual film has select scenes that you might pick as interesting for the sole reason of seeing a character uniquely attempt to survive through their Kyoko dooms, and so it's worth seeing The Grudge just to see the ways in which Kyoko manifests herself this time 'round, but there's nothing else that really distinguishes it from other J-horror remakes or horror movies in general.

Ju-on 2 (Ju-on: The Grudge 2)

Doesn't quite have the same luring vibe to it as in the first film although there are several creepily filmed portions spread throughout, none of which combine well at any moment. Working with a thicker but inferior plot there's many more moments of tedious overacting, uneventful time intervals, and the angle in which the dilemma of the story focuses on is a silly Western themed nonsensical cop out. The nonlinear storytelling shuffles pretentiously at one moment and pretty much does more damage than good compared to the first film which rarely hindered on the scare factor. I still prefer this to any of the overrated Ringu movies that think plot elements such as slapstick are scary, but it's plainly boring even with its vignette separation. It's specified more to a Japanese audience I think whereas the first one was generalized with a haunting theme - something most people can relate to and are more likely to be hit at home with.

Fritt vilt (Cold Prey)

Below-average slasher fare but in Norwegian with enough developed drama and professional directing and acting to excuse the staleness of the genre. Not. The last slightly horror Norwegian movie I saw was also a rehash of typical unwanted Hollywood money baiting and so I guess there's a trend in formulaic Hollywood replication overseas. Poor story, minimal and queued-towards-the-end thrills with annoyingly weak and vulnerable "prey" victims. The scenery is quite beautiful but geez do you feel it's a waste of film roll by the end of the day with the amount of time that passes and passes between scenes of introduction. At least I learned that blondes are frigid virgins that *spoiler* die when they turn down sex opportunities, male gingers are fun to have as comedic company while you're in a couples getaway in the mountains because they can never get dates even if they're with the last redheaded woman they will ever see alive, and keeping certain people alive is inexplicably key if you're a homicidal mountain dweller because it might just be the red herring you need to tie loose ends in your avalanche of a script.

Ju-on: The Curse (Curse Grudge)

And that's how you make a creepy-as-shit film using basic filming techniques, limited locations, little to no special effects, etc. It manages to send a chill up your spine even when all of the film is set in either daytime or broad daylight. Produces many indoor phobias too. The scares are set up in such a way where you don't really need much acting skills from your cast palette, which is why the minimalism might also be adding to the creep factor as it alienates the audience in more way than one. Kinda weird that it was made on a four-mill budget (IMDb) though. Anyway, some might see it as hokey and lacking in a solid story and format since a lot of the elements are tossed about non-chronologically but it kept the storytelling interesting seeing how one event relates to another and unwinds for the worse. Might need some clarity with another viewing on what precisely went on since a lot of the synopses online are retelling stuff that wasn't even hinted at. Far from polished but the best 69 minutes of J-horror I've seen so far.

Friday the 13th Part 2
½

More of where the series originally derives its cult status I presume, presenting the slasher horror hallmarks familiar in contemporary slashers such as jump-scare audience manipulation, sadistic serial killings, etc. There does seem to be some wit involved compared to the first film, directorial and script wise. The dialogue sounds more down to earth as opposed to airhead-like such as in the first film, the actors are given more physical range now that they're up against a realistic threat thereby making some of the "boom" cue points more memorable. The psychoanalsis is totally out of place, considering how it only stems from one character who happens to know all of the whys, making certain explanatory scenes and the ending contrived but still intriguing nonetheless. I am annoyed by how it ends as if regurgitating and ripping off of the previous film's high point. As if the first minutes of reviewing weren't a waste of time already.

After.Life
After.Life(2010)
½

Unimaginative drama that doesn't even remotely resemble a movie which tries to interest you with its concept of the after life. Indeed it sacrifices itself, character development, pacing, and all, for a meager plot twist that doesn't even render the script as holeless. The star cast is used to sucker in viewers, and so they seem like puppetted embezzlers in effect, like something Hitchcock would say towards his actors, but the good thing is that you have your Flixster community warning you against this thumbs-down project. Only of interest to completists of death-, morgue-, mortician-theme-oriented films, and another example on how "Hollywood" and "original" and "superb" can never be in the same sentence together nowadays... (Except this one....) But on the plus, I suppose it did keep me thinking about my erroneous initial perspective of the film which is a sign of a memorable experience that stays with you long after, but the fact that two high school movie geeks can probably add more spice and uniqueness to the script so as to lessen its dullness leaves the film overall forgettable and disposable.

Pontypool
Pontypool(2009)

Creepy and scary. Effectively psychological, thrilling, and horror. Smart how the angle of the story starts out where you're simply clued in on the terror with the chilling details, letting your imagination run wild and paranoid at first instead of cheaply revealing the action. No, the writer knows it's more terrifying to the audience to omit the graphic elements such as in most epidemiologic horror movies where mayhem and blood and guts are common. The suspense keeps one engaged and as curious as the characters up until some of the last scenes when reason is applied to the plot, and I suspect many might be put off by the linguistics component, thinking it slightly ludicrous and unscary, but I thought it was fitting and even scarier for English-speaking monolinguals. McHattie would be hard to be played by another actor as his role seems to be impeccably in tune with his voice, and a lot of other minor parts throughout such as the introduction are directed scarily to the point where I can recommend this fully for a dark and chilly night.

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)

I don't get what the point would be other than seeing how bad viewers trash talk it. I mean, what does a monotonous hour of indoor character observation on a mentally ill but uninteresting villain protagonist offer to anyone? Adding to that a half hour that recurrently wants to shock an audience with cheap toilet-humor manipulation tactics? And then self promoting your first film as if it would somehow make the plot in your second film appear worthwhile because it apparently goes where no film would dare go (For good reason) and it sports a supposed unique and smart premise. On the contrary, this film is a very poor excuse for filming torture porn, and its script is far from the exciting, new, daring story it thinks it is. Don't get me wrong though; I'm an unashamed fanboy of the first film which I think as courageous and inventive despite what critics and the like like to categorize it as. But for one, a lot of value is lost with a slow and frequently annoying climax precursor, vainglorious self-references, and graphic sex and violence whose omission is what made the first film as great as it is and which goes overboard, past the point of keeping with the audience's suspension of disbelief. It's definitely gross seeing the demented concept emerge once again in explicit form and several portions of the film pretty much aim at rivaling A Serbian Film, another shock film which crosses many tabooed lines, but the exaggeration gets tiresome and ridiculous and eventually hilarious. Dark humor is intended and unintended, and it's the inadvertent which takes points away from being an enjoyable horror / torture porno, whatever you wanna call it. I feel embarrassed for the actors that participated and I think after Tom Six's Hollywood high that he's full of himself and can do much better than upfront shock attempts. Disappointing, stupid, and far fetched.

Friday the 13th

Best remake I've ever seen. Actually, I'm just saying that because the original was so shitty, even though it's practically unrelated in a sense, and so virtually anything is better than shiiet. I watched the "Extended Killer Version" or something like that so I assume I got more of the graphic details than the theatrical release and by chance some added suspense and the like? Because a lot of people are reviewing it negatively although I thought it was generally good for the average modern slasher flick. Keep in mind that I've only seen the original movie from the FTT series. Thrilling, scary, and original to a certain extent, Friday the 13th contains all the gruesome slayings to induce paranoia about general serial killers, its gratuitous sex is momentarily present (And its use in the Jason Voorhees story weirdly renders it linked to terror, fear and violence), the acting and directing is up to par with the genre, and the jokes are unintentionally losertalk. I like how this film attempted to modernize the story as according to the 21st century and how it even made the Jason character an immediate threat who's around every corner and it even makes sense because we see footage of juggernaut Jason who runs like a bull and possesses superhuman strength. As opposed to slow walkers like zombies and Michael Myers that would only be able to capture the elderly. I also think it incredibly smart that the entire first, original film is reduced to some minutes at the beginning and continues after that point because the writer knows the original film is a waste of time and it works better as an introduction. In terms of its clichés, it's not without its faults but they don't add much negative impact in the scheme of things.

Friday the 13th

No way is this the legendary film that people talk so much about as being the catalyst to so many slasher films and the Jason Voorhees mythos. Literally the worst slasher film I've seen - unforgivably boring, cheap, lamely written, directed, and acted. Something that could be condensed into a half-hour short film, tops. Much too many lollygagging from character to character with dense portions of inaction. Not to mention that its petite twist actually worsens the plot in that you don't get to see a certain someone whose appearance is the sole reason people watch these films. Retarded death scenes, annoying suspense where the stupidity of characters has you wishing they were dead, but there's a part towards the end which is filmed so well that I reckon it alone is what inspired the many sequels that followed.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The worst of the NOES movies thus far. Quite the disappointment taking into account how easy this could have bettered the original which worked on such a relatively low budget and had readily fixable plot flaws. Just about every aspect is worsened, from the incredibly shitty writing, brain-dead dialogue, and complete lack of horror to the point where it literally relies entirely on jump scares to scare you. The actors have no chemistry working together and what's more is that they're mid-twenty-somethings playing teenage roles. However I do think Rooney Mara plays a more likable Nancy compared to one in the original NOES who irritates with her yodel-y voice and moronic acting. She's played by a stronger actress and the acting cast can individually carry their roles well for this movie type, not without their faults. But when it comes to Earle Haley's performance all is lost with the unimpressive CGI for his facial costume design. The kills are comparatively weak, uninspired, and seemingly censored which is a shame since this is the only reason people are watching these types of movies so might as well spend your loot on at least developing it properly. Really just another inferior-to-the-original(s) impersonal cash cow horror remake which barely strays from the original script, turning it into a yawn fest at times.

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy
½

Fackin long documentary chronicling every movie involved with the Freddy Krueger franchise, going into detail with how every director past Wes Craven was just starting out, how they had difficulties pulling off stunts with low budgets, constrained time, etc. Pretty well edited to grab your attention; I assume hours of footage were skimmed through and painstakingly rearranged to give each speaker from respective sequels their allotted speaking time. It might be a wee spoilerish if you haven't seen all movies in the series but I imagine most people might think them crap and so a documentary of how those movies fared and were filmed might be more interesting anyway. A lot of adult humor is on the set as well as an angle for amateur filmmakers which might inspire considering how many times these movies were used to gamble at the box office under an independent film position.

Pusher II: With Blood On My Hands

Continuing on a tangent from the first Pusher movie sans the main character but with the same environment and more or less secondary characters. The series so far seems like a didactic character study however its grasp on harrowing reality encircling the criminal drug life is disturbing, telling and gripping. It touches on matters relating to innocence like infants amidst cycles of hedonism, corruption and addiction, and gives it a different, liberating spin as opposed to claustrophobic, panicky and guilty like how the first film revolved around. Admittedly it is less of a thriller and more of a drama I think compared to Pusher I but its shift in angle and viewpoint is innovative.

Broken Embraces

As with all successful Almodovar movies: unique, refreshing, complex, symbolic, artistic, cerebral, subdued, personal, emotive, mystifying. There's not a boring moment as it's layered to develop its story as according to piquing the audience's interest. It might get exhaustive and unoriginal seeing the same faces but the actors show some range. I'm still trying to figure out its argument and the anticlimactic open ending doesn't help any.

Yeti: A Love Story
½

The latest Troma film I've seen and the funniest (Only seen about three though). A camp classic that has you thinking how well the Troma formula has evolved and adapted over the years to equally evolving morals and concepts of sexuality. That being said the homosexuality is so funnily poked fun at that I don't think any adult from any camp'll be bothered by it. The actors, however dime-a-dozen they are, seem to enjoy their non professional roles and some of their dialogue is hilarious because of how out of place it is with respect to the film. The filming mechanism is terrible and probably one of the worst movies at face value as with all Troma, but the way it's directed here is intentional and it leads me to the belief that it takes talent to pull it off even at $200 (IMDb budget estimate). Funny bad acting, funny gay jokes, and an interesting plot considering its environment of low quality.

Brother
Brother(2001)

Much better than the other dry and lifeless works the director has made. Still only my fourth from Kitano. I think it's only fair to judge him based on his best though? Brother is dense, unique, violent, badass, funny. It turns a lot of cliches on their heads and best of all a two hour add on (An extension of the rising actions) would've not harmed the film one bit - it's that diverse and entertaining with the plot. It's great how it paints a Yakuza as so cruel and intimidating, yet there's still a soul within the story and character. Some of the acting gets choppy and you can tell it's because of the style of the directing, but there's no net damage because we just can't get over the awesomeness of the concept of oriental organized crime intermingling out of its native territory and into America..

Sex with Strangers
½

It looked really stupid, but as with most well made documentaries it's more insightful than at first glance. An entire world of polygamy has been opened here for neophytes of the topic, and although I don't think I'll try it, Sex With Strangers leaves one open minded in spite of how even handed it is in bringing up polygamous dilemmas (As in, it's not fully supportive at every corner). The sex is fully explicit; not of the XXX type as I don't think it titillates (or is meant to titillate) and furthermore there's no close up of the sex or active sexual organs. At least three (Might be four - can't remember) couples' swinging lives are shuffled throughout and it's ironic how these are Middle USA white people, ones one typically expects to be fervently religious and sexually conservative in these matters.

Micmacs (Micmacs à tire-larigot)
½

The quirky-for-quirky's-sake Jeunet trademark is brought forward childishly towards the beginning introductory segments. The characters are all "so diverse" and wacky that it's more of a convenient excuse for shortcutting (Seeing how similar in repetitive style it's to every other Jeunet film) than actual dark comedy or even comedy. Eventually it cements into a worthwhile story, albeit one that's unoriginal. Nevertheless, the effort and talent put into it still entertains, and the anti-ammunition blanket statement is a smart way of dealing with France's political controversies. A standard deal from Jeunet, but as with every other film of his it's fascinating for those unfamiliar with his circusy and eccentric style.

Perdita Durango

A wacky and slightly hilarious voodoo road movie which also functions as a character study I guess. Apparently it's based on Wild at Heart, a David Lynch movie which I thought flopped on all accounts. This is a better version even though it's overlong, restricted, and with some boring, cliched points for the genre. Also, there's an emphasis on ethnicities of characters and the Spanish-English language switching is unsubbed. The lead characters are unique and radiant, but their philosophies are cheaply presented. The director does action and violence remorselessly as in Accion Mutante, so I was expecting more of it in this film. Maybe the Americanization bogged it down.

Dancer in the Dark
½

I can dig the drama bits which von Trier can direct well in every film he makes - it's his forte. But where do these wild necessities for sentimentalism come from? Why do these flat characters emerge from a director who appears to have the tools on how to craft an imaginative piece? Bjork cannot act, cannot sing, cannot carry a film, and the musical numbers are like in any other musical - grating. If musicals suck on average, they'll blow even more in a "Dogme" film restricted by self important rules. Overrated and over hyped, but not enough for me to hate it.

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession
½

A tad overlong, but otherwise, a cinephile's revelation in what makes cinema today - the good and the bad. Quite shocking to see how much of this relatively small but heavyweight business rested on one man and how it was cut short before its ballooning in what would've probably been the expanding of art house, indie and foreign nationwide in the US. This would've probably prevented the crap movies Hollywood makes these days too. Endlessly interesting for the film lover as it mentions films from every corner of the world; movies featured on what sounds like was the best television channel ever made for films.

Kill Bill: Volume 1

Excellent. An audience pleasing violent revenge tale with eclectic taste derived from several Asian sources. In many ways it equals and betters them, in fact, despite what acid tongued pessimist trolls will say. Hip, entertaining, and the better of the two volumes due largely to the pace and turbo charged adrenaline which is better crafted here.

A Walk to Remember

Deplorable and obnoxious. Targeted audience: retarded sexually prudish preteen fundie girls. It embodies everything wrong with Hollywood with its typical cliched puritanical "hottie" as the social outcast who scores with the high school hunk who "sees the light" and changes his ways. Then it ends with sentimental crap worsening the plot (If that was even achievable). Am I the only one who hates these films that manipulate the audience into listening to a so-called actress' singing in films as a way to market their plastic voice?