Saturday, February 12, 2005


117) Mule Skinner Blues. There were so many chances to make fun and take a lot of cheap shots at the people in the trailer park, but they didn't do that, and I really appreciated it. These are people making their lives with what they have and trying their best to enjoy it, and there's not a single thing wrong with that. The best line was Beanie and Larry talking about the movie and Beanie says "I don't even care if we don't make any money, I'm having fun!"

118) The Cooler. I don't know. On the one hand I'm glad it didn't turn out to be the depressing movie about depressing people that it started out as, but on the other hand it might have been better that way. And I hate Alec Baldwin, so whatever.

119) Le Divorce. Oh Naomi, why must you make it so hard for me to love you? I mean, I can forgive the David Lynch movie. All of his movies are utter crap, but I got suckered in with Twin Peaks so I know how hard it is to say no, and you were just so adorable during the first half before the movie got all, well, David Lynch. And The Ring? Look how cute you were there! But then, Sean Penn? Really? The movie wasn't even good! And now a Frog? You should have known he was a scumbag! He's French! I hope I Heart Huckabees is good because I just don't know how much longer I can take this.

120) Identity. I thought this was supposed to be an adaptation of And Then There Were None but, man, was I sorely mistaken. Oddly enough though, John Cusack didn't really bother me this time. Usually I can't stand him because his greatest acting achievement is taking the character of Lloyd Dobler and using him for all of his other roles. Too bad he picked this piece of junk to actually do something a little different. What a total cop out! And the big twist ending? Blech.

121) Intermission. Man, the Irish know how to freaking get it done! I'll say this is probably my second favorite movie so far. Each scene is exactly as it should be and all of the performances were great. The ending seemed a little forced and too neat, but getting there is so worth it.

121 down, 879 to go.

Friday, February 11, 2005


114) The Shape of Things. Okay, every three minutes I would alternate between liking and hating this movie. Like, I'd start thinking "geez, can we get some dialogue that's NOT lame and stilted in here!" and then everything would start going normally again and I'd find something in a performance that was just brilliant and then I'd start thinking "could you stop being such a stereotype for five seconds Rachel Weisz" and then I'd start thinking "but it's such a perfect performance as the stereotype and really, stereotypes are around because enough people fit them" and just back and forth like that so I have no idea how to feel. Just weird, but I guess if it got me thinking about it so hard and provoked such a reaction then it's done it's job. Also, Gretchen Mol can now officially be added to the list of actresses I am madly in love with.

115) Pauly Shore is Dead. I was really disappointed in this because I thought it was going to be this documentary about some joke Shore pulled on all these celebrities, like he got some guy from MTV or E! or somewhere to ask if they had heard about Shore's death and get their reactions to see what they said about him and then surprise them, but as it turns out it's all scripted so that was a total let down. My way would have been funnier, I think, but whatever. The vulgarity level was disturbingly high (I watched it with Sarah and Charity and I'll admit to being embarassed a few times) and a lot of it was pretty dumb, but there were several truly inspired comedic moments. Take this exchange:

Blonde Girl: Hey, you're that creepy guy in all those movies!

Tom Sizemore: No, you're thinking of Michael Madsen.

See, if she had said "you're that creepy guy from real life" then she would have had him. Anyway, the script was clearly written by Shore and it's quite amauterish at times, but for the most part it's pretty funny. I even managed to get in an awkward thirty seconds of face time with She Who Is Not Spoken. That didn't go well at all.

116) Raising Helen. I liked it, because I am a girl. And Kate? Would it hurt you to maybe eat something from time to time? I'm just saying. Cause those sticks you're walking around on? Yeah.

116 down, 884 to go.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


CALIFORNIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! HERE WE COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOME! Yeah, it's thursday, and yeah, Lindsay is still adorable. But on the down side, two chicks made out and I wasn't at all pleased. Something is terribly wrong here.

Random Observation: Only Neil Young could sing "Rock 'n Roll can never die" over the folky strains of his acoustic guitar with a straight face. What a douche bag.

112) Il Bidone. So I made myself a promise that I'd do my best to find out why the "European Masters" are the "European Masters" in this whole thing. I've seen enough Bergman to know why he gets the title, but as far as the rest go I've really only seen one or two of their movies that are generally considered their best work, and pictures that are generally considered someone's best work aren't really an accurate judge of their real talent/skill. So I decided to start on Fellini with one of his movies that I've never even heard of thinking that would be a good way to go. I liked it all right, but a lot of Italian cinema has always been a little weird to me. Take The Big Deal on Madonna Street. When it was remade as Welcome to Collinwood it just didn't work. A lot of that has to do with poor direction/production and a bungled update of the script (I'm real sure low level crooks in Cleveland regularly use archaic Italian slang from the fifties), but even under surer control I still doubt it would have been a success. Madonna Street is a product of the time and place it was made and therein lies it's brilliance, but also it leaves me feeling like I'm missing something because I wasn't living in Italy and seeing it in the theater when it first came out. I got the same feeling here, like I don't really get a lot of what's going on, not because it's confusing or weird, but just because the culture is so close to our own but just different enough that everything seems off. I'm probably just thinking too much into this and being a "nature of film" jerk. Anyway, I liked that this wasn't so much of a con movie as a movie about con men. Most con movies now are so caught up on the big scam, and it's rare that they con anyone who doesn't deserve it and they try to be so clever but mostly they are just silly and transparent. I didn't really get how some of the scams worked or what they were getting out of it (they're trading coats for gas? What?), but I liked that Fellini showed that most of these guys as true scumbags and what the life can do to someone who isn't. I'll check out more of his work.

113) Rio Conchos. I think Jim Brown had maybe three lines of dialogue in the whole thing. Kind of a drag through the middle and definetely more violent than I would have expected, but overall it was okay. One of the weirdest westerns I've ever seen.

113 down, 887 to go.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


110) The Player's Club. I told you I'd watch this, Tita. Yeah, so Bernie Mac is a damn genius. Other than that, eh.

111) The Chronicles of Riddick. I liked Pitch Black all right, so I was looking forward to this. A lot of overblown action/effects, but it's a good summer blockbuster type movie which I have no problem admitting to being a total sucker for. I wish I could have seen it on the big screen, but whatever. I actually prefer Pitch Black, not because it's really any better or anything, but just because it was more of a straight forward and simple action picture. At times this one seemed like it was trying to do too much and subsequently short changed what might have been an intriguing subplot or two. But I guess we're not looking for nuance here, just a lot of stuff blowing up real good, and in that regard it delivers.

111 down, 889 to go.

Impending Tragedy Update: Marcia Cross has now given the offical denial that she's gay but, as Donna so succinctly put it, the official denial is usually only one step before the admission of guilt. Fingers are still crossed.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


108) The Story of G.I. Joe. I don't know how many liberties were taken with actual events, but knowing that the script was based on columns from a newsman who was actually there makes it all the more affecting. It's a war picture, but really more about the men who fought in the war than the war itself. The action scenes were few and far between and served more to take us from one character driven sequence to the next instead of being the sole focus of the movie. Very well done, especially for it's time. I thought about Band of Brothers a lot while I was watching it.

109) Secret Window. I'm usually not too keen on King adaptations. His stuff usually doesn't really translate well, mostly because his stories are all about the details and it takes too long to tell them properly, so an hour and a half to two hours doesn't usually do them justice. The It and The Stand mini-series were pretty good, but even all the extra time afforded them with the mini-series format still managed to leave a lot out. Firestarter is the only one I think included all of the pertinent details and succesfully told the story the way it ought to be told. I was convinced that I had read this story before I started watching the movie but just couldn't really remember what happened, and after watching about half of it I was pretty sure I hadn't. I knew I had read Four Past Midnight so I pulled out my copy and, lo and behold, the very first page of Secret Window, Secret Garden had it's corner turned down. So I somehow managed to read the other three stories but just skipped over that one. So that all being said, I have no idea how well this one holds up against the book, but I really hope the book is better. I mean, what a cop out! I know King was kind of coasting at the time this was published, but even a coasting King should have written something better than this. I also couldn't quit thinking "get a haircut, Depp."

109 down, 891 to go.

This is quite possibly the worst thing that could ever happen to me.

Monday, February 07, 2005


104) Grind. Hey kids! Just be yourself and everything will work out! Don't worry about effort or achievement! Just do your thing and someone is bound to notice! My eyes about rolled out of my head watching this and, while I can understand Tom Green and (sadly) Randy Quaid, I couldn't figure out why Dave Foley and Stephen Root would make cameos in such obvious low budget junk. Someone from Newsradio must be involved, but certainly not a writer (or at least not one of the good ones). Anyway, the annoying guy was, well, annoying, the lead was kind of a lame-o, Smooth Lou (?) was greasy/gross and Seth just stood around whining. So yeah, whatever.

105) The Van. The same guy that first told me about The Commitments found out about this, and after a few years of searching neither one of us could ever find a copy or catch it on TV. He moved back to Kentucky three years ago and I don't know if he ever managed to see it, but I really hope he did. It has the same Irish sense of humor as The Commitments (same screen writer I think) and the best parts are the little throw away lines that go by so fast you can't hardly catch them all. Seriously funny stuff.

106) Full Eclipse. So let's go through the cop movie cliche checklist real quick here. Our hero can't do anything but be a cop? Check. His wife just doesn't understand what that means? Check. He has a partner that just got engaged and is ready to retire? Check. Said partner gets shot because of our hero's brash antics? Check. Our hero gets recruited to join a special team that uses a serum to give them werewolf like strengths and abilities? Check. That about covers it. The incredibly disturbing "raped by a werewolf" scene is a new one though.

107) Torque. I have a real hard time taking guys on rice rockets serious as bad guys. Maybe that explains their elevated levels of anger and agression.

107 down, 893 to go.

Sunday, February 06, 2005


101) The Order. What? So let me get this straight: Rich, excommunicated Catholics pay this guy to come around and absolve them of their sin through some weird and arcane ritual so they can get into heaven without the help of the church? I'm going to forget my issues with Catholocism, and even my whole deal with "it's okay to make a blasphemous movie about those bigoted and narrow minded Catholics and maybe you'll tick off a handful enough to protest, but don't say anything against The Religion of Peace or you'll get stabbed in the streets", and just say that as a movie the story isn't sound, much less theologically. What crap.

102) Final Destination 2. NOOOOOO! NOT ALI! DAMN IT! Yeah, so there's a lot of messed up ways to kill people in the movies. There was about one "clever" twist too many and the ending was just tacked on for an extra scare/laugh, but as far as teen horror vehicles go it's pretty good, and it's one of those sequels that's probably better than the original, so I'm down.

103) Open Water. I loved this. For real, it wasn't a scary "oh no, sharks!" kind of deal like the trailers were making it out to be, but it's just one of those great movies that shows you so more about a character in five minutes just by putting them in an adverse situation than some movies do in their whole two hours. I mean, you could tell it was a pretty amateur work (some of the acting was horrendous and a lot of the shot choices were very first year film school. I can say that because, you know, I went to film school and all.) but the script was fantastic and, oh how I hate myself for saying something so trite and cliched, real. Like when they started arguing over who's fault it was and how their first reaction wasn't to devise an ingenious plan built around some deus ex machina item that they just happened to have on them and trying to remember information from shark week and the history channel. It was just great.

After Open Water I went to see my brother's new baby (he looks like Winston Churchill) and then to a Super Bowl party at Fancy Nancy's so that killed the rest of the day. I'm so full I think I could pop right now. I'm going to put in Grind but I'm sure I'll fall asleep so it will have to get finished tomorrow. I'm really going to have to play catch up this week since I'm roughly seven behind schedule right now. I've got about 40 extra movies worked into the schedule so I'm actually on pace, but it's still nice to have as much cushion as possible. Hopefully Donna will let me come over and watch Desperate Housewives with her tomorrow night so that will get me a little further behind but I'm not willing to sacrifice Desperate Housewives for a bunch of stupid movies damn it!

103 down, 897 to go.