July 3, 2012 1 Comment
One movie a day until the reel change happens.
May 28, 2012 4 Comments
On this Memorial Day, I know it is weirdly customary for some reason to watch war movies. Now I am all for a good war film, but watching a film like Platoon or Saving Private Ryan on a day when we are honoring veterans doesn’t seem a bit kosher to me. Maybe it’s just me, but that is how I feel. So if you were to watch a film about war or about people who served in war times, I think today’s film pick is an unsung film that captures the emotional impact and somber effect about those who have served and what their service means to family or loved ones. The Messenger is a film that looks at the other side of war, the one where people don’t come back from their war to their families and friends, instead the news is broken to them all by the words of servicemen tasked with the most difficult job of all.
May 17, 2012 Leave a comment
After coming off the explosion high that was “Battleship” I decided to stick a naval warfare genre for today’s post. Yesterday saw me looking back fondly on the “it’s so bad it’s good” film, “Battle: Los Angeles” and remembering that yes, they did say that the aliens have no air support. As ridiculous as that statement is, I like when things go boom and guns firing. I am American and it doesn’t get more American than that. So I decided on today’s post cause it was playing on TBS one day and I remember that I really enjoy this strong ensemble, American version of “Das Boot”, known as U-571. Now I will say that while entertaining, this is a butchering of the actual events of the allied efforts to capture the German coding machine called, Enigma. How did they butcher it, well it was Americans that were credited for the capture of the device, but I won’t lecture you too much on the pathos of this film, rather I will talk about the strong acting and tense, claustrophobic scenes that heighten the mood and creates an engaging story.
May 16, 2012 2 Comments
In a few short hours, I will be watching Battleship. Before you ask why, let me direct your attention to the Summer Movie post I put out that indicates my general wanting to see this cinematic masterpiece. I know it will be entertaining, explosions and gratuitous special effects can do that to a general audience. Heck even The Avengers was a visual eye candy film and that one will be no different. My expectations are low, low enough that I will enjoy it a base level as I will not care for the characters they are trying to make me care for. With that said, I wanted to pick a film today that represents the sort of action film that Battleship will be, one of cliches and familiar territory, while pumping you full of action to keep you entertained. And when you think about, that’s all you can ask in an action film.
May 14, 2012 2 Comments
What kid hasn’t dreamed that one day, all those countless hours of playing video games would suddenly become the one thing that could save humanity? Come on, you can hear the collective outcry of mothers across the nation telling their sons or daughters that playing video games is a waste of time and it could be spent outside, doing things that normal kids do. I certainly heard, but then again the outside was scary and video games were a safe alternative lifestyle for my reclusive nature. But one day, I wish I could prove the world that my great skills at playing Q-bert would come in handy if I needed to defeat some aliens on a block pyramid of some kind. But alas, that won’t happen, but the movie The Last Starfighter definitely put the fuel on the fire of our dreams that our quarter dropping, arcade playing skills would be needed to defend the universe. The 80s fucking ruled!
May 5, 2012 Leave a comment
So today is Cinco de Mayo, which means everyone gets the chance to be Mexican for the day and drink Corona’s (bleh) and eat Mexican food, which honestly is what I do most days. Stereotypes are there for a reason. Anyways, so while I could write about some incredible important Mexican film to commemorate the day we defeated France (who hasn’t really), but I decided I must show you this ridiculous film that is streaming on Netflix. It is like the Mexican version of Saving Private Ryan, but you know, with more cartel shootings and Mexican soap opera drama.
April 20, 2012 3 Comments
Now pick your jaw off the floor and get ready for this review. We as a film audience have been spoiled and lied to time and time again. Action movies are about as common as the air we breathe so we almost become numb to the sort of whiz bang effect that these types of movies can have on us. You can go to any rental store or even check out Netflix and realize that the action genre is over bloated with bad action movies. Stuff with too much shaky cam or crappy fight scenes or hell, not enough action to sate the lust that we have for bone crunching punches and unlimited ammo usage. I am not knocking all action films, just the bad ones that we pass for entertainment. There is one thing that amazes me though and that is the international film market for action movies.
Hong Kong hit the scenes with the John Woo classics that look like American films pumped up on the juice and it showed. It set the standard for duel wielding guns with an almost ballet like style to the gun fights. Then for those kung fu enthusiasts, look no further to Thailand that reinvigorate the fight genre with Ong Bak and making Tony Jaa a household name. But for the ultimate in cinematic satisfaction, we look to Welsh director Gareth Evans and his Indonesian film, The Raid: Redemption.
January 9, 2012 4 Comments
As part of my New Year’s Resolution to start branching out more with my film blog, I decided to do more film centric articles, almost in the same vain as the Top Ten Lists or even more analysis/praise of particular things about film. As of late I have been reading a lot of different film blogs and appreciating all the work that others have done with the medium of film, but one particular has caught my eye and really made me appreciate what it is I love most about movies.
In some ways, we as a movie going audience have become numb to what all goes into a film. The beginning, middle and ending of a film are just the parts of the film that we think begins with the start of the story. Once the title cards roll past the screen, we assume that is when the movie begins. In reality, there is a subtle art that goes into the opening title sequences. It isn’t just about telling us who is in the movie, but the title sequence can be a mechanism in which a story it setup or thematic elements of a film can be explained. The blog entitled, Art of the Title, is a fantastic site that goes into deep, critical analysis of the title sequences of some of the best movies out there. Another fantastic site called, Forget the Film, Watch the Titles, expands upon the art of the opening and even crosses over to television openings. Both sites feature amazing interviews and chronicle some of the previous incarnations of opening sequences. While they are sites strictly dedicated to that art form, I am doing this as more of an expansion on my repertoire of film postings.
While I will try and give some insight in the thematic elements and meaning of the opening sequences, if you want to explore more of the art and direction that goes into the title openings, check out the sites mentioned above.
So to start off the first of many posts on the subject, today will be about the opening sequence for the film, Lord of War.
December 14, 2011 1 Comment
Like any red blooded American, war movies are a main staple in your movie watching experiences. Sure the grand opus of war is often bloody and a spectacle to behold, but for me, it’s when a movie chooses to focus on the tense hunt of tracking down the enemy and taking them out. I enjoy war movies, but often times it is chaotic and hard to focus on a singular person. What appealed to me about this movie is that the focus is on a sniper battle. The often unseen trigger man on the battle field that sees who they kill, rather than a soldier just spraying bullets down the battlefield. Enemy at the Gates is a very tightly paced movie (except for that stupid love story, which I will get to) and more of a character study about two men who are locked in combat with one another. It is more about the brains rather than the brawn in this particular combat.
November 9, 2011 2 Comments
I wondered if I would ever decide to pick this as a movie post one day. Ever since I have seen the documentary, it has been this grim and stark reminder of this on going war. While I can sit on the sidelines like most Americans and critique the war from the safety of an arm chair and thousands of miles between me and mortar fire, it doesn’t seem fair to really just push this aside. I don’t know too many people that are in the military. It’s not that I avoid militaristic folks, but rather just never been in the situation in which I would personally interact with an officer. I only personally know of my friend Heather’s husband Luke, who has sometimes told me about things he has experienced while deployed. I can’t say that I feel his pain as it would be disingenuous to compare my civilian life with one who is serving. I try and listen and understand, but truly we don’t know what it’s like over there. We can watch all the news clips and talking points, but it doesn’t matter.
To me, being a person who watches every documentary that is available, every war movie and every facet of military presentation would be ready to watch a documentary that is about a group of soldiers in combat. While I can split the difference between reality and storytelling, seeing Restrepo is something a bit more daunting. It is about a group of soldiers, real people, being placed in a deadly location and we watch. We watch what becomes of them during a time of war. It’s real and it’s frightening.