Viewed – 09 April 2013 Cinema
Now this was a unique visit to my local multiplex! The movie starts … large, brash colored letters for the title, then a big, loud montage of spring break, complete with ample close-ups of breasts, girls in bikinis more breasts, pert bottoms, drunk guys spraying water on, yes you guessed it, more breasts – and the tone of this particular movie had been set. Now I am no prude, but when in a fairly occupied theater, ogling some bouncing boobies actually made me feel a bit of a perv. So thankfully there is a bit more to this than tits and ass (almost).
Squeaky clean TV favorite Selena Gomez is part of a clique of girls dreaming of joining everyone on some resort in Florida for Spring Break. Only trouble is they don’t have enough money. So do these girls get a summer job to pay for it? No, how about holding up a diner wearing balaclavas and using water pistols? Job done! This is a pop-video on steroids kind of viewing experience, filled to overflowing with rapid editing, experimental camera work, video-effects and loud pounding dance music that has no actual tune other than thump thump thump. Directed by relatively unknown Harmony Korine this feels more like an extended YouTube montage than a movie, loving to repeat lines, sounds, images etc to the point of nausea Acting-wise the young cast of pretty-little-things (including Vanessa Hudgens) did a good job with limited material, and current hot-property James Franco made a memorable appearance as a blinged-out Gangsta-rapper who gets involved with the girls and leads them steadily off the rails.
I think what this movie was going for was the tried and tested ‘innocence shattered’ message with all the free-loving excess brought down to earth with a bump. Only problem was it took a very long time to get there, and even from this male perspective, all that flesh got boring very quickly. I think there might be a very interesting movie hidden away in there somewhere and some of the imagery, use of songs to convey the ideas was fairly well done – just a shame the movie cared little about such things, in favor of another tit shot.
Verdict: 2 /5
Looks good, even if the overdose of costumed heroes thing looks lame. Jim Carrey could be good, and Hit Girl loses something for me for not being a kid … now she’s just a potty-mouthed teenager … is that as funny?
It baffles me some times, as a movie fan the amount of highly regarded movies I just haven’t seen. With the current buzz surrounding the Anthony Hopkins starring Hitchcock, I still have yet to view classics such as The Birds and Vertigo. Only the other night I noticed that the cult favorite 300 was on TV, so have recorded it for some future viewing, as have I the two previously mentioned movies. Will I actually get around to them? Who knows. Sometimes life gets in the way, work, personal stuff, you name it! Hell, even video game playing with the completion of such titles as Mass Effect 3 and DMC: Devil May Cry in my recent past.
Over the years I have been ticking off those movies from the ‘films I must see before I die’ list in my head, and finally got around to the likes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Godfather, Casablanca (erm, expect a review of this one soon, just out on Blu-ray) and Some Like It Hot. There are possibly many more if I was to put my mind to it, and trawling the likes of IMDB’s top 250 would be a good start. So apart from the aforementioned movies, what is out there, past, present, classics etc I still would like to see some day, hmm…
A quick list I think…
12 Angry Men
Cool Hand Luke
There Will Be Blood
The Wicker Man
… I could go on but for now I’ll stop there. You can expect some if not all of the above to get full reviews on this site in the months (years?) to come as I do intend on seeing them, eventually. For now back to blogging and watching stuff that’s probably not as good.
Now this isn’t a post about movies set on a desert island (no, have never seen Castaway) but more so that age old radio show item, desert island disks, meaning what are those personal favorites, those classic movies you can’t live without? Here is a simple run down of some of the movies I couldn’t imagine not owning and watching from time to time…
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The sequel to James Cameron’s break-out cult sci-fi thriller, this added a massive budget, state of the art effects and a director at the top of his game. I get the feeling from watching this that Cameron was able to finally realize all his most fantastical ideas with this concept – and so we have I think one of the finest action movies ever made. Add to this the casting is excellent (with a career best from both Linda Hamilton and the much underrated Edward Furlong, as well as Arnie owning the movie as everyone’s favorite hard as nails cyborg. And who can forget the villainous brilliance of Robert Patrick’s T1000?
Favorite scene: I have many, but the sequence that stands out for me is when Sarah Connor (Hamilton) escapes from the Psychiatric Hospital, just as the T1000 turns up and Arnie and John Connor (Furlong) come to save the day.
The Big Lebowski
Arguably the best movie the celebrated Coen Brothers have ever made. Two slacker buddies that I absolutely love (John Goodman’s Walter, Jeff Bridges ‘The Dude’), a dry comical narration (by the brilliant Sam Elliot), great music, surreal dream sequences, over-use of cuss words, and superb, endlessly quotable dialogue. I have watched and re-watched this movie more times than is strictly healthy.
Favorite scene: Not easy picking a favorite but I really like the scene where The Dude (Bridges) arrives at the mansion owned by namesake millionaire Lebowski (David Huddleston) who’s trophies and achievements are shown off by a perfect Philip Seymour Hoffman.
….to be continued
Viewed – 29 January 2012 Cinema
When Quentin Tarantino makes a movie, it’s an event. Fact. Few director’s have the kind of celebrity status he enjoys, and thankfully more often than not, he can deliver. Over the years I would say he has evolved, from merely the movie geek wonder kid with a series of snappy scripts and a growing cult fan base, into a film-maker of true credibility. 2009’s Inglorious Basterds proved that, and now with this highly anticipated latest effort, he’s painting the classic spaghetti western in his trademark sharp-as-a-knife dialogue, clever-ass narrative and obscure soundtrack.
Jamie Foxx (Ray, Colateral) plays Django, a slave who teams up with savvy bounty hunter King Shultz (Inglorious Basterdz’ Christoph Waltz) who promises to help him track down and free his wife, who has been sold off to a local tycoon, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Now as should be expected, this isn’t like every other western you might have seen (technically it’s a southern, according to Quentin) with Tarantino’s usual mix of sporadic violence, smattering of carefully implemented comedy and lengthy scenes of tense dialogue all aided by a soundtrack so bizarre and obscure, that the whole thing threatens to turn into farce. Yet Tarantino is better than that and somehow makes it all work, especially once you get into the groove. Waltz, as in Basterdz steals the show with a brilliantly charming but no less deadly performance, aided by a perfect Foxx, who owns the title role. Of course it should go without saying that DiCaprio is also excellent in possibly his first villainous turn (proving very psychotic), and a special mention should go to Samuel L. Jackson who as always lights up the screen every time he appears.
Naturally though this is QT’s gig, working from his own brilliantly entertaining and often shocking script (his take on the slave trade utterly humbled this viewer) … and although stylised and at times comic-book-like (the bloody violence clearly exaggerated) still nails one of the darker times in American history.
Verdict: 5 /5
- Review | Django Unchained (theblend.ie)
- “Django” Is an Entertaining Revenge Story, Despite Becoming Too “Unchained” in Its Ending (thejkreview.wordpress.com)
- Tarantino releases Django Unchained comic-book series (telegraph.co.uk)