Monday, April 19, 2010

What I Watched the Last Two Weeks


Think of this film a Jurassic Park light. Michael Crichton directs this future amusement park film. There are three separate themes in the park, Wild West, Medieval, and Roman. Each theme park is inhabited by robots meant to make the experience seem real. The robots go on the fritz and start killing everyone. Yul Brynner barely says a word, and he is terrifying. It is pretty cheesy, but is lots of fun.


Speaking of cheesy, this movie is the very definition. Most of that cheese is courtesy of Sylvester Stallone. This movie is about a prisoners of war during WW2 competing in a soccer match against the Germans. Michael Caine is awesome as he always is, and Pele is decent for a soccer player. Stallone is way over the top as the goalie on the team. Apparently he was so high up on his ego that he wanted to score the winning goal at the end of the movie. Thankfully the crew talked him out of it. Nothing special in this movie, but it was worth a watch.


This is the sequel to Westworld that has nothing to do with the original movie. The theme park from the first has re-opened, well except for Westworld which is replaced by Futureworld. Two reporters are trying to figure out why employees have been turning up dead. I think that is what was going on. The movie is very poorly put together. Watch for the appearance of Yul Brynner in a bizarre dream sequence.

The Last House On The Left

Like most Grindhouse movies this is not easy to watch. Not because of the graphic content, but because of it being poorly made. This movie contains some of the worst music I have heard in a movie. It did not fit what was happening on screen at all. Of all the iterations of this story, I find the original The Virgin Spring to be the most disturbing. Interestingly that version is the least graphic. This was Wes Craven’s first film, he got much better after this.

Hard Core Logo

This was a first time watch for me, and I am very glad I finally got around to seeing. I have watched this just once, and I would easily call it one of the best Canadian movies ever made. This is a very realistic portrayal of a band going out for one last tour. The arguments and the events at times are funny, but are also very human and kind of sad. The mockumentary format works very well, and the movie itself looks gorgeous.

The Living Daylights

This Timothy Dalton Bond film is pretty bad. The movie is very forgettable, so forgettable I couldn’t even explain the plot. There is a Russian cellist who is also a sniper, and also beautiful women. None of the action is fun or thrilling. This movie makes me long for the recent Daniel Craig Bond films.

Yours, Mine, and Ours

This movie definitely feels like a late sixties film. Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda go out on their first date to a bar, and it is packed. Attempted hilarity ensues. Fonda keeps running into a swinging young bird who appears very interested in jumping his bones. I may be reading too much into this scene as this is a family movie, but this scene really bugged me. The rest of the movie also kind of bugged me. Lucille Ball’s shtick doesn’t do anything for me. The funniest thing about the movie is that it was turned into a comedy farce. If the family this movie was based was around today they would have a reality show based on them.

Shutter Island

Third time watching this and it is still great. I was lucky enough to see this as a double feature with Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver

Interestingly this has more akin with Shutter Island then you might think. The theme “is it better to live as a monster, or die as a hero” is in both films. As for watching this in a theatre, it is the way to see it. The movie looks much grittier and New York comes alive.

Marie Antoinette

This movie has not gotten the love it deserves. Sofia Coppala is a great director and this is a great film. Kirsten Dunst is very good in the title role. She lends a lot of humanity to the character. Making Antoinette out to be like a privileged heiress was a brilliant idea, as was using modern music. There are points where this movie feels like a Terrence Malik film, and in my opinion there is no greater compliment.

Summer of Sam

Spike Lee’s character piece based in the summer of 1977 around the Son of Sam killings. Comparative at least thematically to Do The Right Thing. I much prefer that film. I didn’t like any of the characters in Summer of Sam as they were not very compassionate. This feels much like a Robert Altman film.


This is a very well made little film about the end of western civilisation. It follows the aftermath of multiple nuclear strikes on the US of A. Produced in 1983 as a TV movie; executives were so pleased with the end results that it was given a theatrical release. Testament definitely deserved the special treatment. The movie stays grounded in reality, and is surprisingly horrific. Watching a mother bathe her young son in a sink as he is dying of radiation sickness is rather painful to watch. This movie is pretty slow, but it is very controlled and meticulous. There is good use of 8mm film as flash backs to better times, and I would bet my last dollar that this inspired the movie Carriers.

Layer Cake

Matthew Vaughn’s first movie and while it is nothing special, it is fun. Daniel Craig is a by the book drug dealer who is thrown into a situation that is way over his head. There are some good scenes of dialogue throughout the movie, which usually involve copious amounts of swearing. The story doesn’t impress me, but I enjoy it enough to have watched it multiple times.

The Great Buck Howard

This is inspired by The Amazing Kresken, and is an enjoyable but flawed film. Buck Howard played by John Malkovich is a magician who is way past his prime. He still travels around the country and needs a travel assistant played by Colin Hanks. Buck Howard is a real jerk and the films follows how Hanks’s character deals with everything. The movie looks very cheap and the music is terrible, but the movie is funny so who cares. Great performances by everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment