Monday, March 1, 2010

March Movie Madness

I like the movies, movies. I like the movies movies. I like the...MOOO-VIES!
Well, new month, new snow days and regular programming killed by the Olympics means...

Evil Dead 2

How weird was this movie? My overall impression is that Raimi was trying too hard to make a comedy and not putting enough effort into the horror, but when people are dying and things are coming out of graves, you're much more in the horror genre. So I don't think it worked on either level. I prefer the first one. Oh, I did wonder though, did they think they were good actors? Or did they realize they were the worst collection of actors ever in a movie that didn't go straight to video? Oh, for One Life to Live fans: Blair is in it!

Army of Darkness

I am a HUGE XENA fan. This movie is obviously a precursor to that show, complete with Xena's ullalating (is that the right word? You know, her tongue scream sound.) It was okay, but very weird and how does he get a shotgun and why doesn't his arm slip right through the pillory since he has no hand? Details, details. Just get the Xena series, it's way better AND Autolycus is in it too! AND Joxer. I mean...Ash and "Salesman #2"

Sorority Row

This movie was AWESOME. Okay, I know you're not gonna think it would be awesome because it's about sorority girls who play a prank on this guy by making him think he poisoned his girlfriend, but really she's just faking; he panics, kills her for real, they all swear secrecy, dispose of the body and think they've gotten away with it...until they start getting killed! But it is awesome! It gets my best compliment for a horror film...well, two of my best compliments 1) I didn't figure out the killer and 2) I had to close my eyes for most of the killings. You're welcome Sorority Row.

Everybody's Fine

"Everybody may be fine, but this movie SUCKS!" Put THAT on the DVD box, Robert DeNiro! This movie stars DeNiro and Drew Barrymore. It's one of those end of their lives flicks old actors make where they have grown children they don't speak to, so take ridiculous road trips to surprise them in their lives and find out they have terrible problems and unhappy marriages. This movie is so bad, you start paying attention to little details that just makes the movie WORSE. Like, DeNiro's wife has recently died, which is why he realizes he's been alienated from the kids - she used to keep him apprised, so he goes to her grave to talk to her. The dates say 1917-2008. HIS WIFE WAS 91!??!? But *Drew Barrymore* is her kid?? She had Drew Barrymore at 60?? AND all the kids are within a year apart, so she knocked out four children starting at age 56? Uh huh. And then in one of the flashbacks, they show a kid playing Drew Barrymore at age 7 or 8. Problem is WE KNOW WHAT DREW BARRYMORE LOOKED LIKE AT AGE 7! And that aint it. Boo. Movie blew.

Couples Retreat

Speaking of unhappy marriages... this movie is about a couple on the verge of divorce. They want to go to the very best marriage counselor, but can't afford him on their own, so they guilt their five closest friends into going with them and snag the group rate. I thought this movie was going to be dumb. I even braced myself for it by dealing with my Dell laptop issues at the same time. But it wasn't and I had to pause the movie while I dealt with the idiot on the phone! Couples Retreat is funny, unpredictable and touching. Vince Vaughn and the Swingers guy are BACK baby! Yes, the black characters are horrible coonish stereotypes of the fat black guy with bad credit who still is all buying a motorcycle, and the illiterate black woman who is loud with out of control nails...and that pissed me off...but the rest is so good, I am willing to put the racism behind me. You're welcome Couples Retreat.

The Informant

This movie was GREAT! Matt Damon NAILS this performance as a trying to please whistleblower in the 1980s. Actually, the whole cast is wonderful. The writing is funny, the characters are quirky and the twist will surprise you! I don't know why there wasn't more buzz about it or how it didn't get any Oscar recognition. Well, actually, I do know the answer to that part. The Oscars suck.

The Brothers Bloom

I saw this movie on Angela's recommendation. I was very nervous because I like and respect Angela and wanted to keep doing so. Whew! I loved the Brothers Bloom. And I usually don't like that brain tumor guy or the Halle Berry sexual assaulter. In this they play brothers who are also con men. For their final job, they prey on an orphaned heiress. Of course, one of them falls for her and stuff happens. But NOT stuff that you expect! Well, some stuff you expect, but it totally works. The movie is funny and touching and even though the script telegraphs much of the end way ahead of time, you're still surprised. Great job all around!!

The Box

Ugh. FAIL. First off, can anyone who ever starred in the Charlie's Angels franchise please SWEAR never to try to do a movie with an accent? Please, pretty. Dancing around in your underwear, yes. Dramatic features with crazy accents: No. Blah. This movie SUCKED SUCKED SUCKED. I really need a thesaurus. So, the premise? Um. This guy comes with a box to your house. He says if you push the button, someone you don't know will die and you get a million dollars. You get 24 hours. (Who the heck even needs 24 seconds?? PUSH! PUSH TWICE FOR TWO MILLION! Throw box in fire, so it doesn't come back and getcha.) Seriously, Hollywood needs to let me make the movies from now on. Anyway, they push it, feel all bad. Then the movie does what all truly terrible movies do: they blame it on aliens or a government conspiracy. Actually, The Box blames BOTH! For extra suckingness. Push the button and hope this movie dies.

Law Abiding Citizen

Sigh. This movie is okay. It could have been SPECTACULAR. There are some wicked revenge killings, massively cool explosions, I like Gerard Butler and usually like Jamie Foxx. But it just falls flat. Like they're just going through the motions of making an awesome movie. They have the scenes an awesome movie would have and the punchy burn lines before a killing that an awesome movie would have...but somehow came out with an okay movie. Boo. I was particularly mad because I saw this the same day I saw Brothers Bloom and The Informant and I had saved this one for last because I thought it was going to be the surefire "movie I will like" and I wanted to end on a good note. Instead, it ruined my streak of awesomeness. Pout. But, if you wanna see a movie about a father whose family is killed and is then let down by the Philadelphia justice system and then goes a little bomb happy...

A Serious Man

Mary has already reviewed this movie for Film Chaw. Mary highly recommended it. Mary needs to be locked away. And medicated. RUN! RUN AWAY!! Like, don't even go into a videostore that has this movie on the shelves run away! OH MY GOD!! WHAT WAS THIS HORRIBLE HORRIBLE CRAPOLA??!!!!! So it starts with some Eastern European couple speaking some weird language in front of a fireplace and then some old guy comes in and the wife starts to freak out because she sat shiva for this guy and she knows he's a ghost. So she stabs him. And then he laughs and is all "what'd you stab me for"? And she's all telling her husband "look, I told you! It didn't even harm him! He's a ghost!" But then the stabbed guy starts to bleed. He gets up and walks out of the house. AND THEN...
THIS MOVIE IS RIDICULOUS! And not even good clever ridiculous like I dunno something ridiculously good and clever. NO! IT'S JUST PLAIN "guy's wife cheats on him, but he stays with her because her boyfriend dies in a car crash and then everybody is maybe killed in a tornado" RIDICULOUS!! ARRRGGGHHHHHH Oh, but if you're Jewish you might enjoy some of the Rabbi/Bar Mitzvah scenes.

The Traveler's Wife

Usually when I've read a book and then they make a movie out of it, I like to pretentiously say "read the book," because I am a tool. However, in this case, I can say "eh, it's pretty much the same as the book." The movie is about a time traveler and um...his wife. Yep. The trials and tribulations that come from having a husband who pops around through time without warning. The acting is solid. You feel for her plight, but it's not anything spectacular.

Dark Water

Someone told me to rent this movie, but I don't remember who. It wasn't bad. Jennifer Connolly stars as a newly divorced mom, who moves into an apartment on Roosevelt Island. The apartment starts to leak, her daughter starts having imaginary friends and the landlord is super creepy. Turns out there's a ghost. The building has been the site of a terrible tragedy which stirs up memories of Connolly's own tragic childhood. The movie is decent, but I can't say I was very surprised by all that happened. Only a seriously disturbed woman would take a child to live in Queens! No good could come of it.

The Ninth Gate

I thought I'd seen every Johnny Depp movie. Then I saw a box for this and realized I was wrong. I have now though. So there. Um. It's okay. The movie is about a rare book collector (Depp) who is hired to authenticate some devil worship book and he discovers that there are only three copies in the world and they all contain pages written by Lucifer himself (each initialed LCF in case you missed that! Groan.) But, oh no, someone is out to kill him before he discovers the pages' evil secrets! It's like the DaVinci Code, except I think the DaVinci Code was better. And I didn't think the DaVinci Code was all that good.


WHAT A TERRIFIC MOVIE! It's old though, and I have no idea how I ended up with it in my queue, but whatever. Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman, delicious cute guy...what could go wrong! It's about a newly divorced patient (Uma) who is in her late thirties and her therapist (Streep) who discovers the patient is actually dating her 23-year-old son! If the movie was made more recently it would have been called "Cougartown." I like all the characters and the story is touching and believable. It's very sweet.


Angela said...

There would have been hell to pay if you hadn't liked The Brothers Bloom. Not really, I just would have just thought that you had poor taste in movies. Glad you liked it.

Rian Johnson's movie before that one, Brick, was okayish but if you watch that expecting a Brothers Bloom miracle, you will be disappointed, as I was.

Dawn Summers said...

Haha I agree with you about Brick. I saw that one first, I wasn't impressed.

Alceste said...

You're the only person I know who preferred The Evil Dead -- just need to figure out what that says about you... (And the shotgun in Army of Darkness is the same shotgun from Evil Dead 2 -- you can see it following Ash through the vortex -- movie is very silly though so would argue it really does not matter) -- although I fear that someone might actually take your advice and watch xena).

HighOnPoker said...

Army of Darkness was a joke of a movie. And I am kinda with Dawn. Evil Dead 2 is obviously just trying to be more goofy, were as Evil Dead 1 has its own low effects charm. I mean, they are running through the forest in the dark, but there is a ton of backlit fog? You can practically see the lights set up in the background!

You probably watched Prime because you probably added it to your queue instead of Primer (which you've already seen).

Now go watch Existenz so I can see if you absolutely love it or absolutely hate it.

Julius_Goat said...

Loved Brick. Haven't seen Brother Bloom, though I look forward to seeing it. Rian Johnson is clearly a talent.

I don't worship the Evil Dead series like some, but I am pretty sure the horror/comedy mashup is the reason for these movies to exist. What's an Evil Dead movie without toughguy quips?

madbrooklyn said...

Re Existenz - is anybody watching Caprica? I know, I know, it has nothing to do with movies but thinking about the Cronenberg film brought to mind the latest Caprica episode. Being a big cyperpunk fan, I loved the scenes taking place in the virtual world.

Dawn Summers said...

Wait, does that mean Mary liked Existenz??? Cause...umm...

madbrooklyn said...

Nowhere in my comment do I say I either like or dislike the movie.

Anyway, I think you're definitely not going to like Existenz.

: )

Alceste said...

Agreed with Mary on eXistenZ (i believe I said you would hate it on the way back from AC as well) -- if you thought the other movies i loaned you were "weird," prepare yourself (even if it is cronenberg-light)

HighOnPoker said...

Dawn, don't listen to these naysayers. First of all, they are clearly trying to keep the Existenz experience for themselves. Second, even if you hate it, it'll make for a great review. But this is Uncle Jordan talking. You can trust Uncle Jods.

Mary, I just watched a marathon of Caprica episodes starting last week and I'm all caught up. When they originally aired the show, I thought it didn't look as interesting as BSG (which I loved), but since TV has sucked lately and there was a marathon on, I finally gave it a shot. Pretty cool so far, although I agree with you that the virtual world is the best part. Some of the Adama stuff seems kinda stilted and forced.

Dawn Summers said...

Ooh who wants to start a group TV blog?! My first review will be titled Dear Alceste the Hater and will be all about the awesome that is Xena!

Alceste said...

As long as I can comment on the underrated humor of Hercules, go for it with the Xena talk

madbrooklyn said...

Nowhere in my comment do I say the virtual world portion of Caprica is the best part. What's with you people, putting words in my comments.

: )

Next thing I know you'll be trying to put peanut butter in my chocolate. Oh wait, I love both chocolate and peanut butter so that's okay.

And ok, I will admit, I do think the virtual world is the best part so far. Loved the New Cap City stuff.

Oh, and I think Dawn should still watch the movie, I just don't think she will like it. But of course I'm hoping to be surprised.

And I'll contribute to a TV blog - probably more than I'll contribute to FilmChaw. Unfortunately I've been a bit behind in my movie viewing, really need to pick up the non-Dawn movie slack.