January 8, 2007 at 6:31 am #584
Okay, guys, here we go. Over the week of Christmas, I got to watch a shitload of movies. And it was a blast. I’ve watched more since then, so I thought I’d review ’em for you guys. I figured since there are many movies on my list that probably don’t appeal to you guys, I wouldn’t do full fledged reviews. You’ll also notice that there’s a mix of movies currently out in theaters and some video titles. I also rate the movies with smilies, out of a possible 4 smilie dudes. Whatever, so here we go…enjoy!
Borat – Yeah, well, fuck the 85 word title. Yeah, it’s funny. I laughed quite a bit. But there’s a scene in the movie that’s quite uncomfortable to watch. And you’ll know it when you see it (or rather, if you’ve seen it, you know exactly what I’m talking about). The whole schtick just — it gets old. But there are some extremely funny, very inspired gags in this movie that put it way ahead of what I was expecting. 🙂 🙂
Rocky Balboa – A couple of people have already talked about this on here. As far as I’m concerned, this is almost a remake of the first Rocky. If the movie wasn’t so slow to get started, I would rate it higher. Overall, though, it’s definitely worth watching, and since I’ve recently watched Rocky, II, and III, I can confidently say that this is the best Rocky since the first. 🙂 🙂 🙂
An Inconvenient Truth – You could argue that this could be hard to watch, depending on your political views. Al Gore doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on political issues, other than the fact that this really doesn’t have to do with politics at all. My view on it is if you live on this planet, you should make yourself watch this. It’s surprisingly entertaining, even interesting. There will be those that simply won’t watch it because it’s got Al Gore in it or they just don’t believe that there’s a global warming problem. Before you make a decision before watching it, just give it a chance. I, for one, being very anti-Gore during the election, must applaud him for doing something like this. And, running his entire presentation on Keynote for Mac doesn’t hurt the coolness factor in my eyes. Give it a shot. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Little Miss Sunshine – A very touching, sometimes hilarious look at a very, very fucked up family. Really, every actor was top notch. It gets to a point, however, where you’re almost taken out of the story because so MUCH bad shit happens, but I still say it’s worth the ride. 🙂 🙂 🙂
The Queen – Now here’s one of the first that probably won’t appeal to everyone. This is a story about Queen Elizabeth around the time of Princess Di’s death, focusing on her delay of a speech about the accident. She basically refused to say anything, because it was no secret that Diana and Elizabeth didn’t see eye to eye. Helen Mirren, as the Queen, should win the Oscar for her portrayal, and I quite enjoyed Michael Sheen’s take on a newly elected Tony Blair. If you’re not into character dramas, then this is probably a waste of your time. But I loved it. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Pan’s Labyrinth – If you’re a movie geek, you’ve probably heard something about this one. Guillermo del Toro, the director of Blade II and Hellboy, goes back to his roots with a fairy tale set in World War II about a child and her pregnant mother living with her new stepfather, who is a ruthless commander of a military outpost in Spain. The movie is like a mixture of a war movie and Labyrinth (yes, the movie with a young Jennifer Connelly and a bunch of druggie muppets). It’s quite the hard “R” rated movie, with lots of violence. You can read more about the movie elsewhere, but for me, this was a fair movie — not so great that it warrants the big recommendation, but it’s still worth watching. My biggest problem is that it’s almost like del Toro didn’t know what kind of movie he wanted to make. The special effects are almost entirely practical, with just a hint here and there of computer effects, and I’ve always enjoyed his quirky view. I think that this is one of the more audience friendly movies on this list, except for the violence. Check it out, though, if you can… 🙂 🙂 🙂
Little Children – Here is “American Beauty” remade for women. Really, that kind of sums it up. Kate Winslet proves herself again as an incredible actress, and it also helps that I think she’s quite yummy and spends a few moments super-naked in this. Jennifer Connelly is also in this, and she’s really hot, but doesn’t get a whole lot to do. Here, though, is yet another movie with multiple characters and story threads that they try to tie up at the end, with each character making some kind of effect on the others. It just doesn’t quite work. Some very funny, and very uncomfortable parts in this. I can’t really recommend this movie for everyone, unless you really like the character-driven up-for-Oscar-for-sure kind of movies. In fact, it almost seems like an attempt to get the attention of Oscar, but not because it’s really that good, but rather it tries to hit on some of the things that have won awards in the past. 🙂 🙂 1/2
Casino Royale – My favorite movie on this list, without a doubt. Daniel Craig proves himself to the rest of the world. I knew he would be great after I saw Layer Cake, and he’s just — kick-ass. Probably the best story of any Bond movie, the best action, no stupid eye-rolling one-liners, just the best spy in the world kicking ass the best way he can. Even people who steer clear of the older Bond movies because of the cheese factor can find themselves having a good time with this one. I just love it. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Flags of Our Fathers – Clint Eastwood’s Saving Private Ryan. A really, really great movie. Great actors, great shots — there’s a couple of scenes taken shot from the viewpoint of a pilot on a bombing run on the hills of Iwo Jima that is just breathtaking. About half the movie takes place on the battlefield, and half on the three surviving soldiers that planted the flag on the top of the hill of Iwo Jima, and you know the picture — the six or seven guys hoisting up the flag. They are paraded around the country, branded as heroes, to rally America to buy war bonds. The battlefield scenes are as good as any war movie, and just as bloody. If you can stomach war movies, I highly recommend this. 🙂 🙂 🙂 1/2
Babel – Another attempt at showing four separate stories to show what affect they have on each other. It’s a little too much, at points, that horrible things are seeming to happen all at once, but it’s still really watchable. Very well shot and edited, and I can’t say enough about the soundtrack — some really great themes and songs. It would be hard to recommend this one, either — it seems to be the movie “Crash” on a bigger scale, not confining itself to one city. Really, I was more affected by the soundtrack than I was with the movie — it just didn’t really stick with me. 🙂 🙂 1/2
The Illusionist – Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti. Can it get any better? I haven’t seen The Prestige yet, but I have a feeling that this one’s the better of the magician movies. This was just a perfectly acted period movie about a magician and his battle against a Prince. I can’t even say any more — just watch it. Go Paulie! 🙂 🙂 🙂 1/2
The Good Shepherd – Surprisingly good. I thought it was going to be boring, but I enjoyed it. I can see how many would find it boring, however, as it’s not the most action-packed movie. I just really thought it was well acted — Matt Damon was great, John Turturro didn’t really get to do much but he’s cool, DeNiro acted in and directed it, you know — and I have to say — I’m not the biggest fan of Angelina Jolie. In fact, I’ve never really thought she was that hot at all. But she looks great in this movie. I think it’s the ’40s style hairdo, I don’t know. She just looked great. Anyway, it’s an in-depth look at the beginnings of the CIA. More talky than anything. Watch the trailer — you’ll be able to tell really quick if it’s your thing or not. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Blood Diamond – Leonardo DiCaprio is officially one of my favorite actors. He was so damn good in this movie it’s sickening. Djimon Hounsou is great (who, you say? You’ll know him when you see him — he was in Gladiator and a whole shitload of other movies). Some of the most intense action scenes I’ve ever seen. I just feel that the movie just seems a little on the forced side. Great movie, don’t get me wrong — there’s just something missing, and I can’t really put my finger on it. I really liked it, though. I would put this at a high recommendation. 🙂 🙂 🙂 1/2
Wow — I’m done for a while. I still have a couple of movies left to watch, but I was eager to get this out there. Oh, and if you’re wondering, this is the order I watched these in. No real significance, just the order I had on the list. So get off my back about it!
EDIT: After reading through my list here, there really wasn’t one dud on here! They were all at the very least better than average..January 8, 2007 at 9:27 am #8689FrankParticipant
Geez, Rob, when did you find time to watch all of these??? 🙂January 8, 2007 at 2:15 pm #8688BingParticipant
The real question is how can someone as cool as Rob have DiCrapio as one of his favorite actors?
Rob you wound me…you wound me deeply in the doudenum.January 8, 2007 at 3:10 pm #8685
Ew, that’s…that really sounds like, well, like I did something else to you… ::shudder::
Nah, man, the guy’s proven himself tons of times. Watch The Departed. He’s great in that, too.
And Frank — most of these were done on that time off from the 23rd to the 2nd. With the wife at work, I had lots of time to watch movies…January 8, 2007 at 3:31 pm #8678
DiCaprio is gold… and that’s saying a lot considering where my view of him started.January 8, 2007 at 10:42 pm #8683
Awesome dude, it’s about time us movie dorks got some more Rob reviews. I’m totally with you on DiCaprio since The Departed. Before that he was almost always a reason to not see a film for me but in that film he became a real force to be reckoned with. Blood Diamond is still a couple of weeks away for us but I’m pretty amped for it now. Really want to see Pan’s Labyrinth, Flags Of Our Fathers (and Letters From Iwo Jima) and Little Miss Sunshine.
Actually there’s a shitload of films on your list that are films I want to see but haven’t yet. Casino Royale I liked but the hype had led me to expect something like the hardness of the Bourne films and CR had too much of the cartoonish elements for it to have that sort of impact on me. That was probably an unfair expectation on my part though, given that Bond is all about cartoonish action. Craig’s delivery was also too cute in some of the romantic scenes, he needs to get more of the rogue-ish Connery style into that part of his game and he’ll be awesome. Some great action scenes though (the opening bathroom fight/second kill and the construction site chase/embassy escape) and a lot more laughs than I was expecting. I want to see it again when the dvd is out, I think I’ll like it better now knowing what the tone is.
Borat, I had the same disappointment. The story is fine but it’s badly editted and the jokes are on such easy targets that the film has no teeth as the satire it was touted as. Like with Casino Royale I let myself get too hyped, both from loving Borat as a tv character and the ridiculous reviews it had and probably unfairly expected too much. I still laughed a bunch of times, but not as much as I did at Scary Movie 4, from a franchise that bores the crap out of me usually. I would never have seen it if it wasn’t for a girl (see, sometimes they are good for other things) since I didn’t like 1 or 2 and avoided 3, but Scary Movie 4 busted my guts a lot.
Babel blew me away the most, even more than The Departed which I loved also. There are a fair few films from this decade so far that use the interconnected stories way of telling themselves, from Traffic on through to this new one. I haven’t seen Crash but I saw 21 Grams, Magnolia and Traffic and I like the method when it’s pulled off well. Saw Syriana too, which for me was an example of that method not working. In Babel the story itself is not extraordinary, there are no superheroes, worldshattering events or showy gimmicks, none of the characters is a high powered official, spy or celebrity, it’s just cinematic storytelling at very close to the highest level. Like Rob says the editting (which is the key to the style) and camera work is second to none and the sound is magic. And like with 21 Grams you see Innaritu get some great actors giving phenomenal performances. That doesn’t mean every character stuck with me after it was over, but while I was in it I was as engaged as I have been with any film of the last five years at least. The best recommendation I can give it, along with a warning that it’s no popcorn blockbuster, no easy thrill ride, is that after 140 minutes of sitting in that theatre, having a sore ass and needing a bathroom visit, I still didn’t want it to end. That’s a rare thing for me.
Saw The Prestige last night and was disappointed. I don’t want to go into it now because it really is a film that would benefit from as little knowledge as possible going in. My biggest problem again was probably having expectations (I’m seeing a pattern here) way too high given the people involved in making it (Nolan, Batman, Wolverine). I need to see The Illusionist when it’s out on dvd (fuggin love Giamatti too).
Also, I watched the first three Rockys again with Balboa released soon and I’ll see Rocky 4 again too (nothing could make me watch 5 though). I forgot how likeable and funny the character was, and how well made the first two films were. I don’t see how Rocky won the Oscar in ’76 (against Network, All The Presidents’s Men and Taxi Driver) but it’s no surprise it was one of the nominees.
I think tonight I’m seeing Children Of Men, although I’ve heard that one hyped to the heavens too. I just hope it can stand up to it the way Babel did.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.January 8, 2007 at 11:55 pm #8679
I liked Children of Men (saw it last night) but I think I had higher expectations, or even slightly different expectations. It still could have been a better film.January 9, 2007 at 12:34 am #8687YouFollowMeParticipant
I saw The Sandlot for the kabillionth time. Still a classic, in my opinion.January 10, 2007 at 3:53 am #8686Justin J-dudeParticipant
Oh Sandlot. Now thats a movie thats as good to today as was when it came out.
The Departed was fucking great.January 11, 2007 at 12:06 am #8682
I was set to go to Children Of Men but a friend called and said, “free tickets to a catered special showing of 2001.” So I saw it on the big screen for the second time (last time was about 8 years ago). The first time I saw it was a massive WTF experience but seeing it again it was pretty fuggin great until the weird out Jupiter stuff and fucked up ending.
Also, watched the other two Rockys and now I rate the films in descending order but the fight scenes get better each film. I still like them all out of love for the characters even if the plots get lamer. I’m even on the edge of getting a hold of Rocky V now … the new one doesn’t come out start of Feb here, same as Blood Diamond, Good Shepherd is mid Feb and Pan’s Labyrinth an The Illusionist in APRIL!!?!?! It’s fuggin ridiculous living out here in the colonies sometimes.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.January 11, 2007 at 2:49 am #8684
You know what’s sad? I look at this list and say, “Shit, that’s a lot of frickin’ movies!” But you know what? I could do it all day. All day, every day.January 11, 2007 at 2:52 am #8677
and you could have been at Sundance if you didn’t sssssssugghk.January 11, 2007 at 4:35 am #8681rob wrote:You know what’s sad? I look at this list and say, “Shit, that’s a lot of frickin’ movies!” But you know what? I could do it all day. All day, every day.
Sad, my ass dude, movies are awesome. You should think about fleshing out your reviews more and send them to every publication or website you can that has movie or dvd reviews and you could be getting a bunch of watching for free. Even better, imagine in five or ten years your job is to watch films and write about them. Gotta start somewhere. Actually, that’s not a bad idea …
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.January 11, 2007 at 4:36 am #8676
I used to review movies for a local publication for a short bit. It was cool seeing movies early… I say Episode II nearly 2 weeks early. 🙂 In a DLP theater no less!January 11, 2007 at 1:23 pm #8680
Yeah, it actually seems like a great idea, get to (possibly catered) previews for free, maybe earn some pocket money on the side, maybe end up with your own tv show in ten years. I better start learning how to spal propirly.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.
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