Tuesday, December 29, 2009

slowly recovering

I love the ability to create wishlists on tivo. I have wishlist after wishlist. One of these wishlists is for anything having to do with Russia or the Soviet Union. And after having to sit through Excess Baggage and Rachel Getting Married, I was ready for something to redeem my holiday movie watching. Thought about Revolutionary Road ... but went to the wishlist pick and picked Transsiberian. Wow, good choice!
Woody Harrelson plays this doofus who is with his wife in China and they decided to take the Transsiberian railroad from Beijing to Moscow for an adventure. It was awesome! Total suspense, a little blood, gore and good old fashioned torture .. this is the former Soviet Union afterall. And Ben Kingsley! Dude cannot make a bad film.

Having travelled to Russia when it was still the USSR and during the month of January in 1990, seeing the scenery ... winter in Russia ... dang, it made me cold. Kind of like how Fargo made me shiver because the cinematography was so real ... very Roger Deakins.

Maybe Revolutionary Road will be tonight's post dinner viewing.

I have Inglorious Basterds to watch on Blu-Ray at some point, but i need to really psych myself up to watch it so I can take proper notes. Tarantino in HD ... yahoo!

Monday, December 28, 2009

I HATE pretentious films

Yes, ugh! I hate pretentious movies and boy did I see one last night ... Rachel Getting Married. Why did I watch it ... I have no idea really, all my other shows are on a break, and I heard about what a great movie it was ... ok, so I had to check it out. Plus, I finished watching what could possibly be one of the worst films of all time earlier in the evening, more on that later, so maybe I was seeking balance.

did I mention that i hate pretentious films and that Rachel Getting Married was one of them?

Anne, love me because of my big doe eyes, Hathaway is this stupid loser with an even more stupid haircut (I think the hype was more about how Anne Hathaway looked in this screwed up haircut than anything else) ... ooooo, look at Anne Hathaway.. he hair is cut so spikey ... ooooo, give her an Oscar. Ugh, and this stupid too cool for school family ... geez, who wrote this film ... obviously someone from a privileged background ... writing what they know about because they can't relate to anything else.

ok ok ... so Hathaway plays this woman named Kym ... pretentious spelling of KIM!!!! She's this drug addict in rehab who comes home to wreck havoc on her sister's wedding ... some Hindu shindig, when both are not hindu ... or appear not to be hindu ... again, PRETENTIOUS CRAP!!! Oh and this family is just so cool ... there are a couple scenes that made me want to vomit. There's this scene involving loading a dishwasher that is just pointless ... i mean, who the heck has a contest to see who can load a dishwasher faster than a pretentious family who are desperately trying to look like an unpretentious family? This scene took forever and the climax of the scene was supposed to be sad and poignent, but since they were busy trying to act like an unpretentious family, the climax turned out like a flat tire.

Now, I'm a big sap when it comes to crying in movies. And this stupid film was trying desperately to make people cry and guess what, it didn't work on me ... IT DIDN'T WORK ON ME! so what does that say? it says THIS FILM IS A PRETENTIOUS MANIPULATIVE PIECE OF DOO DISGUISED AS ART, written by a pretentious twit who obviously has family ties to the business.

The cast was great. And even Bambi eyes Hathaway gave a great performance. My favorite character was in the very first scene ... this guy who is in rehab with Bambi let off a couple zingers that gave me hope for the film. So basically, i liked the first scene. The rest of it was pretentious crap. The guy who played Bambi & Rachel's dad is Mr. Noodle from Elmo's World, who should really stick to mime ... and then Robyn Hitchcock ... the ever pretentious Robyn Hitchcock ... ok ok ... geez I think i'm making my point. I hated this film.

And the film I watched before Pretentious Rachel getting hitched in an equally pretentious wedding, was ... oh man ... Excess Baggage. Yes, Excess Baggage. Why? Benecio Del Toro that's why.

You really see what actors have to do to get into the business when you see drivel like this. He had to know that this stupid movie was way beneath him. Chris Walken will do almost any film .. he admits it. he's a working actor and I love him for it and I'd like to think the reason Del Toro did this film is to be able to work with the master that is Christopher Walken. Walken acts with no effort ... he's just a natural and he's fabulous even in horrible movies like this. And tell me please ... why does Alicia Silverstone have a career in hollywood??? someone someone??? Is it the hair? the pouty mouth? I don't get it. There are so many good actresses in hollywood, and she gets parts? I mean, this movie was as much of a chore to watch as Rachel Getting married was pretentious. But while Rachel was trying desperately to be a good film, Excess Baggage wasn't even trying, so in that respect, it was easier to watch.

I may try to watch Revolutionary Road tonight. Fingers crossed that it will be good.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

what have i been doing???

Watched Taken. Liam Neeson playing a former CIA operative ... at least that's what I think he was. Anyway, he was a total badass who was forced to rescue his less than brain blessed daughter from Albanian sex traders. I don't think it's a big stretch, or spoiler when I say that Neeson wins. It wasn't on my tivo, I flipped onto it and it wasn't a bad 2 hours to spend at all. I guess you could say I was pleasantly surprised.

And then came The Wrestler. Wow. ok, big Mickey Rourke fan. not ashamed to admit it. This guy is amazing. The story was amazing. Yea, it's about a wrestler and Mickey Rourke is the wrestler, but there's more to it than that. After seeing both Milk and The Wrestler, well, I have to say that Rourke was robbed for the Oscar. Sean Penn was great at Harvey Milk, but the physical demands of The Wrestler and the acting job ... again Mickey got robbed. You can really see how mickey rourke made it into The Actor's Studio in 1 try. The one weak spot was the stupid Evan Rachel Wood. Why is it that she has a career again? Seriously. Her scenes with Rourke were so one sided, it was hard to watch. mickey could have done those scenes with a wall and it would have been better. Marissa Tomei was great as a stripper. I remember when Demi Moore was being an attention whore showing off how she went to strippers to learn the tricks of the trade and showing off her new moves. It made me want to vomit ... what was that dumb movie? Showgirls? no .. Striptease ... ugh! Demi Moore is awful and that movie, thankfully, bombed and so has her career. Anyway, Tomei could kick Moore's butt in the stripper department. She was much more believeable and did it with little to no fanfare.

Started watching Men of a Certain Age. How can you not like Ray Romano? Such a loveable dork. The first episode was good ... 3 college buddies in various states of middle aged malaise. Andre Braugher, mr. intensity. Seriously, he makes me sit up straight when he's on screen. i wonder if he could do comedy. probably not. Scott Bakula is a washed up actor ... has a weak spot for the young ladies ... blah blah blah. Romano is a gambling addict who owns a party supply store. The pilot was good enough for me to record the second episode.

Californication had a great season finale. mia came back and screwed everything up. She's one of the worst villians ever written. Hank ended up in the back of a cop car for beating the tar out of Mia's boyfriend. Well, hopefully that will guarantee a return for next season. I hope Kathleen Turner doesn't get any recognition for her performance this season. It was so faked and cartoonish. She can do better than that.

Friday, December 4, 2009

how 'bout these for heavy films???

But first! Modern Family is simply the funniest show of the season, if not on network tv. It's bad when I can't iron while watching this show because I'm laughing so hard, the water comes spilling out of my iron and I have to put it down to laugh because I can't iron straight. Serioulsy, every single character, even the annoying husband who thinks he's Mr. Cool Dad has his moments. This is the funniest sitcom since Arrested Development and we all know how that one ended ... at least IFC is rerunning the entire series, yes, I'm tivo-ing that one too.

Californication is turning into a show that is more about Hank's witty little ghetto talkin', which is amusing, but after awhile, it seems like the show is dependent on it.

Nip/Tuck is sputtering to a close. I still think that Julian McMahon would make a fantastic Montgomery Clift.

30 Rock ... I still find Tina Fey annoying, but all the other characters, even Jane Krakowski is funny ... but I wish they would stop inventing scenes for her to sing in. That gets old. More Kenneth!!!!

Ok ... movies.

I watched Slumdog Millionaire. Ok ok ok ... yippee .. yes yes yes, it was good! But the hype machine behind it, ugh!!! It almost took on a Titanic feel. That being said, the film was wonderful! But what is it with Danny Boyle and poop? Seriously, dude has a poop fetish. In both Trainspotting and this film, the main character ends up covered in poop. In Trainspotting, a guy comes out of a toilet covered in poop so he doesn't lose his drugs ... in slumdog, the main character jumps down a toilet in order to get an autograph from a hero of his.

I guess what I liked about it was the way the story was stitched and woven together scene by scene. Each question had to do with something that happened to him and he won the girl! I loved the dance at the end.

And in my revolutionary film festival, I watched Che. Where to start with this film ... this piece of art ... well, we'll start with a criticism. Hellloooooooooo!!!!!! Belgian Congo?????? Congo????? Where was this segment of his life????

ok, this film altogether is 4.5 hours long. It was directed by Stephen Soderbergh, with whom I have a love hate film going thing with him. He makes art like this film, Bubble & Traffic, but then he makes pure crap like Erin Brokovich and Ocean's movies ... blech. But here's my biggest beef ... WHY WASN'T BENICIO DEL TORO NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR FOR THIS FILM??? Seriously. This was a role of his career and he played it flawlessly. He doesn't speak one word of English either. The film is in Spanish.

It's split into 2 parts ... the first part takes place during the Cuban Revolution and focuses on his speech to the UN, which, again, was magnificent. You can feel any way you want about Che Guevara, but you cannot deny that this film was powerful and the performances were career making. Shoot, even Matt Damon had a cameo as a Bolivian man who didn't want Guevara's men to come to their village.

Part 2 takes place entirely in Bolivia. Again ... Congo????? Part 2 had a completely different feel from part 1. Part one, you felt like Che was in total control, but in part 2, you really see how it all falls apart and it's really sad. The fighting scenes which take place in the jungles of Bolivia are incredibly realistic. But the most masterful scene of the film was his execution. Masterful in a sense that I've never seen an execution filmed in such a way. It's like the executioner is shooting the audience. There's such a sense of finality in that scene ... it sounds corny, but it's true ... it was truly over. The film was over, Che was over, the revolution was over. This is easily in my top 10 films of all time.