Archive for September, 2010
Thursday, September 30th, 2010
Monday, September 13th, 2010
Here’s five movies I’ve seen recently, some good, some okay and one that really sucked.
The Grifters (1989)
John Cusack, Annette Benning, Anjelica Houston, J.T. Walsh
Reasons you SHOULD watch this: Great acting, great plot, great direction and a wonderfully surprising ending, although it’s not the happiest, I warn you. You’re not bored during this film. First of all, you might not recognize Benning as she plays a racy grifter (con artist) that will do anything to swindle someone, including opening her legs to the most unlikely of characters as well as others. In fact, Benning might be naked (and yes, we’re talking NAKED) more than not in The Grifters. The movie is so good, however, that it wouldn’t have mattered if she didn’t show anything. With Cusack and Houston playing off one another so well in their scenes, it’s hard not to admire how movies come to life with great acting. Maybe the best movie on this list.
Reasons you SHOULDN’T watch this: Unless you just love crappy movies, there’s no reasons not to check out The Grifters.
Clash of the Titans (2010)
Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
Reasons you SHOULD watch this: Fun movie, good special effects at moments, and it didn’t screw with the original 1981 version too much. The addition of a black Pegasus versus a white one actually looked better as did the witches who were more monstrous and scary this time around. I had expectations of Liam Neeson’s playing Zeus in a campy, contrived way but he actually makes the king of Mount Olympus believable. Joseph Fiennes does a decent job with Hades as well.
Reasons you SHOULDN’T watch this: Calibos blows in this version compared to the 1981 original. He looks more like one of William Wallace’s soldiers from Braveheart. There were also a few times where the special effects lagged big time. The scorpions were pathetic and the decision to go with more of them and bring in a new clan of people was simply stupid. Medusa’s new look wasn’t bad but it wasn’t anything special. The biggest reason however, not to watch this movie is that it worked much better in a darker tone as the original did. Greek mythology is anything but campy so going that route failed overall as I believe it was the difference between a decent movie and a great one.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring a bunch of actors you’ve never heard of
Reasons you SHOULD watch it: If you’re planning on being in the movie business or are a movie buff and generally enjoy a well made film no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel then this is definitely worth a look. Darren Aronofsky is probably the last guy I’d want to have at my annual Passover seder. He’d probably figure out a way to turn my a nice evening into something that would make me want to jump into a bathtub with a toaster oven. The guy has a way with misery the same way Kobe has a way with the basketball. He’s mastered the art of distress and it all started with this movie, his first. It tells the story of an obsessed mathematician that’s so brilliant it’s unhealthy. Wall Street wants his knowledge as do a group of Hasidic Jews. I won’t tell you why as you’d have to see for yourself. It’s certainly not the easiest movie to watch but a good one.
Reasons you SHOULDN’T watch it: If you’re easily turned off my dark, depressing movies, STAY AWAY.
Midnight Express (1978)
Brad Allen, Randy Quaid, John Hurt
Reasons you SHOULD watch it: This is just the kind of gripping movie that can blow you away because there’s so many scenes where you’re making that face of disgust because you know what’s happening to the characters. It takes place in a Turkist prison after Brad Allen is caught trying to smuggle hashish across the border and fails. You don’t ever want to go to prison but a Turkish one would be a disaster. The acting in this movie is excellent as is the direction and story. It’s actually from a true story written by the real life character, William Hayes, that Brad Allen plays. However, when the head Turkish prison guard is on screen, you’re at the edge of your seat wondering what sadistic idea the guy has on his mind at the moment. When he takes a prisoner away, you know something horrible is going to happen. He’s not killing them either. Just beating the ever-loving crap out of them and raping them. I know this doesn’t sound so appealing but I’m letting you know whether the movie is watchable and Midnight Express is definitely worth your time. There’s also Brad Allen’s classic monologue in front of the Turkish high court which is absolutely awesome even if it doesn’t pull any punches on its prejudice.
Reasons you SHOULDN’T watch it: Unless you’re easily turned off by prison movies or Turkish people, or both, there’s absolutely no reason not to watch this. Only thing I would mention is that if you happen to be Turkish, Brad Allen’s monologue could definitely offend you. Then again, you’d have to wonder what you would say if you had spent 3 and a half years in a sadistic Turkist prison.
Kick Ass (2010)
Nicolas Cage, Aaron Johnson
Reasons you SHOULD watch it: If you like little girls that curse too much then I guess that’s a reason to rent this. Other than that, there’s no use unless you’d like to use the disc as a coaster for your drink.
Reasons you SHOULDN’T watch it: Unless you have a hard on for Nicolas Cage or something, there’s really no relevant reason I can recommend this piece of crap. The fact that IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes users have given this flick a high score blows my mind as both sites are usually pretty legit at rating movies. With this film, there’s failure all over the place. The story is horrendous, makes no sense and has absolutely no direction whatsoever. In fact, the movie got dumber as it went along and even less believable even within the context of an already unbelievable situation. The major reason this movie sucks however, is its inability to decide whether it wanted to be action or comedy. Instead, it just winds up being a campy, horribly directed pile of dog shit that was still stinking up my PS3 even after I ejected the disc. This is merely a movie for people who want some kind of shock value no matter the expense.