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21st February 2010

nom_de_paradis9:58pm: shortbus
basically, if I'd seen this in a movie theater in the 1970's it would've been a porn film that had what was called then "redeeming social value". it's basically the story of a group of disparate folks who become connected through a sex club called Shortbus. mostly, though, it's the story of how everyone finds their orgasm. so, kinda like "deep throat" only sad.

27th December 2009

nom_de_paradis10:50am: at the movies
since no one was available for jews night t the movies, I took a cab to the chinese joint across the street from the galaxy and had chinese food for dinner. then I walked across the street and took in a screening of the movie called "the road". it was the perfect anti-christmas movie! a bleak, distopian vision of a future in which almost everything is dead and the only folks left are ultr-violent gangs of cannibals. into this viggo mortensen and his tween son are attempting to "head south" to where they believe it is still a healthy land to live. before they leave on this voyage, charlize theron (as the wife and mom) decides she just can't take it anymore and leaves them to go out into the wilderness and die. they attempt a happy ending in which viggo's TB gets the best of him and he dies, but a family which in a deux machina way suddenly appears to adopt the boy. doesn't quite work.

then, on christmas day, catastrophegirl took me to a showing of the new 3d pictuare "avatar". I kept finding myself uttering the word "wow" at the awesome 3d effects. but, basically, it's a dumb movie and if they'd only spent 1% of that they spent on the effects on better dialogue it would have been a much better movie going experience. awesome effects work, regardless.

11th November 2009

nom_de_paradis11:46pm: oookkaaaayyy...
just watched the john cusack movie "war inc.", which is quite a picture and I do recommend it. the most surprising thing about this satire of our war in iraq is the role of the "pop singer" from "turkraqistan" that of yonicka babyyeahyeah was an actress I couldn't identify, either by her look or her voice. turns out it was hillary duff! didn't see that one coming. she was great! which I also would never have thought possible, but there you go.

24th October 2009

nom_de_paradis12:41am: twist around the clock
I just watched this old movie, which was the sequal to Rock Around the Clock. The most overarching feeling after this is that I had no idea that The Twist was an entire subgenre of rock n roll nor that almost any lyrics could be written to that melody. Let's twist like we did last summer was nowhere to be found in this movie, even though Chubby Checker was featured prominently. so there!

15th October 2009


24th August 2009

nom_de_paradis12:07am: 3:10 to Yuma
just watched the DVD and now understand all the glowing reviews this picture received. It is a really great western and also just a really great flick. From the direction, to the performances, to the art direction to the moral, it's all just a really great ride. It clocks in at just 2 minutes over 2 hours, but it moves along at such a great clip it feels sorta short. I heartily recommend that you rent this movie.

20th August 2009

nom_de_paradis12:30am: hard candy
just finished watching the DVD of 3 year old movie "hard candy" starring a very yound ellen page. I recall reading the reviews when it came out and thing "hmmm...sounds kinda cool", but now that I've seen it I know that it is so much more than kinda cool. it's a thriller, and a morality play. there are so many twists and turns that it's amazing. And, if I thought I enjoyed page's performance in Juno, well, this performance blows that one out of the water! the script is incredibly tight, leading the viewer down so many wrong and dark paths, I don't really know what to say about it. and the twist at the ending is amazing! please rent this picture!

18th June 2009

nom_de_paradis4:13pm: Pixar's "Up"
this movie surprised me, all along the way. From the really fun movie short at the head all the way to the end credits, I was surprised. Surprised mostly because I didn't realize how much they would so masterfully tug at the ol' heartstrings. damned movie made me cry three seperate times!. So, as far as comedies go, it was far more heartwarming than funny. not that there's anything wrong with that!

24th May 2009

nom_de_paradis9:51pm: taken
OK, I just watched the DVD of "taken" with Liam Niesen and I would give it a pretty big B+ for anyone who enjoys a one man army flick. It's written by Luc Besson so it's a pulse pounder from start to finish.It would have been better with Jean Reno, but, really, what wouldn't be?

Of course it's contrived, but what one man armey picture isn't? the action and chase scenes are great, and of course the really overly choreographed fight scenes are great. And, as always with Luc, the ex-wife is stupid but rich and goes, in the end, with the rich guy, but you know she's now gonna cheat on him with her ex, the one man army which will make her daughter happy, sorrta.

so, if you like this sorta thing, it's all right.

8th May 2009

nom_de_paradis8:02pm: star trek!
2 words summarize this viewing experience: FUCKIN' AWESOME!

there wasn't a single wrong note in this picture. it hit everything just right. you owe yourself a viewing of this flick!

4th May 2009

nom_de_paradis1:12pm: watchmen
finally got so see watchmen, and I absolutely loved it! I have never read the books, but I think I really want to now. This picture has everything I could want in a comic book movie. it has a great story, it challenges comic book conventions, it has great stunts and CGI, it has a troupe of talented actors, it has lots of gory comic book violence, and best of all, in addition to great art direction and costumes, it has one very smokin' hot babe in a totally hot set of costumes and yes, we even get to see her naked and fucking! is there more that could possibly be asked for? I think not!

25th February 2009

ammie82:33pm: The Oscars
OK, I know it's three days after the fact but I'm busy people.

Still, I wanted to get this up because I was hoping to learn your thoughts on Sunday's Oscars.

Ratings went up this year probably due to Hugh Jackman's barrel chest. But I thought Jackman was a bore and I hated all the song and dance numbers except the "Slumdog" and John Legend performance.

Other than that I was hard pressed to find one enjoyable moment. Even the speeches were boring.

10th December 2008

lauramander8:49am: Dark Knight
Okay, I rarely gush about a movie like this, but Dark Knight blew me away. (No, I didn't see it until now - I hate movie theatres, prefer my own living room with its surround sound and big screen and lack of screaming children and gum stuck to my shoe.)

I was so impressed that I am keeping the DVD to watch it again, maybe tonight. I never do that. But this movie was that densely packed and well done. And heart wrenching. And I think I am in love with Bruce Wayne. This one makes all the other Batman movies look like children's cartoons, and it's not just the spectre of Heath Ledger's suicide - his portrayal of the Joker would be haunting anyway.

15th September 2008

nom_de_paradis3:07pm: Burn After Reading
I was supposed to go all the way to wakefield to catch ascreening of A Brush With Murder saturday afternoon. But, the headline on my morning newspaper said on Friday the price of gas had gone up to $5/gallon. So, that put the kibbosh on that.

But, as I only live about 3 blocks from a theater that was showing the new Coen brother's movie I went and saw that instead.

The movie is very funny and works on many levels of funny. Malkovitch plays a CIA analyst who when summarily informed that he's being demoted, quits his job. He goes into a deep depression and decides to write his memoirs, including the naming of names. Swinton plays his wife he doesn't know wants a divorce. Councelled by her lawyer to get a good feel for his financials, she copies the entire contents of his computer onto a disk.

Meanwhile, McDormand and Pitt work at a fitness club and the janitor finds the disk on the floor of the ladies room. Pitt has a friend take a look at it and learns that it is very highly classified material. The two of them hatch a plan to get the disk back to malkovitch in return for a reward of $50K. hilarity ensues. Clooney is very good. Pitt is top notch as a dimwit, he's very over the top. I caught a matinee and the theater had about 20 people in it, but we were all laughing out loud as the absurdity grows and grows.

Go see this one, you won't regret it.

21st August 2008

ammie87:53am: Wall-E
Finally, saw Wall-E a little while back and loved it. So cute with a strong message. I hope we listen. Did I mention it was cute? Cause it was really, really cute.

21st July 2008

nom_de_paradis3:19pm: the dark knight
took myself to see it friday night. LOVED IT! it is the best comic book movie of the summer, and that included iron man which I also loved. heath ledger's joker actually scared me a little, even. and thank god, there was no katie holmes in the picture...

7th July 2008

nom_de_paradis2:57pm: Hancock!
OK, I enjoyed this movie very much. I laughed, I cried, etc. the first half is a joy of craziness. then, at about the hour mark, it takes a (what to me, anyways) out of left field curveball and doesn't really come back. at least not until the short scene in the middle of the end credits. I recommend this movie as being a good time had by all!

27th June 2008

nom_de_paradis11:21am: Narnia
when I was a child almost everyone I knew was into reading the CS Lewis books. all, that is, except us jewish kids. our parents wouldn't let us read them because they told us the books had hidden messages about jesus and believing in jesus. so, I never read them. I also didn't see the first narnia movie, though I did add it to my netflix list.

last night I watched it. it was pretty entertaining. but, I have to say, I didn't see any jesus in it anywhere. Can someone please explain to me what the fuck our jewish parents were on about?

20th June 2008

marram4:16pm: Kung Fu Panda - Review
X-Posted from my journal.

I've been literally on the run for the past few weeks and I'm a tad bit behind with my movie viewing. Fortunately, the task of catching up looks to be a pleasant one and I'm starting with this movie!

Here's what I thought:

Kung Fu Panda
9 out of 10 overall.
Full-fare value.
Well worth seeing.
Tight and fun!

Rated PG
Running time: 1h 31m

When I first saw the trailers and heard that the 'team that brought you Shrek' had a new movie coming out, I was underwhelmed at best. But as the premiere date for Kung Fu Panda drew closer, my skepticism shrank and I was actually starting to look forward to whatever they had to offer. And what they had to offer was a whole lot of fun!


I hit a matinee this afternoon and may have been the only adult without a child in tow, not that it bothered me. My only fear was that I wouldn't be able to enjoy the movie for all the talking and squabbling I anticipated from the junior sectors of the audience. Just the opposite may have been closer to the truth!

Kung Fu Panda starts out fairly slow, but quickly finds the accelerator and sets about building speed. And it's all done with a wonderfully crafted touch, both looking and feeling great along the way. The movie's art direction is amazing and complete, with great voice acting matched to some stunning and hilarious animation. (My big surprise was that English actor, Ian McShane, from the BBC series, Lovejoy - a personal favorite - voiced the snow leopard, Tai Lung!) Directors Mark Osbourne and John Stevenson did a sterling job of bringing both the world and the characters to life. But it would have all been for not if there hadn't been a solid story behind everything.

It's more than a little obvious that the screen writers, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, are big fans of the kung fu movie genre. The story unfolds around some tried and true kung fu cliches, only more so and with a few twists. And thankfully, unlike the Shrek franchise, all of the satire and humor were drawn from within the kung fu movie genre, rather than using any contemporary avenues. And even though the 6 to 12-year old crowd couldn't possibly be well-versed in the kung fu movie traditions, they were none-the-less laughing they butts off at all the right places! It also didn't hurt matters that the main story, the two or three sub-plots, and all of the characters were refreshingly un-convoluted, well-defined, and presented in a way that made them all accessible.

I had a great time with Kung Fu Panda and can't wait to drag other people to see it! Oh, and once again, for those who stay to the end of the credits, there's an added treat!
Current Mood: pleased

19th June 2008

marram2:57pm: Transatlantic Theater
X-Posted from my journal.

The travel-mad hysteria of the past 6-weeks is finally at an end and I'm home for a goodly bit of time!

One of my most recent company trips took me across the Atlantic, for the UK Games Expo in Birmingham, England. One of the very few benefits of such a long journey is the chance to catch up with whatever movies you might have missed!

Here's some quickie reviews of the 6 movies I saw!

The West to East leg:

7 out of 10 overall.
Godzilla crossed with Blair Witch.

7 out of 10 overall.
A bit too much in love with its own dialog.

27 Dresses
4 out of 10 overall.
Surprisingly likable, despite the road-weary story.

The East to West leg:

The Other Boleyn Girl
10 out of 10 overall.

The Spiderwick Chronicles
6 out of 10 overall.
A gritty, snarky Harry Potter-styled effort.

10,000 B.C.
1 out of 10 overall.
A great steaming pile of post-consumer product!

And that's how I saw 'em!

24th May 2008

marram4:56pm: Indiana jones 4 - Review
X-Posted from my LJ.

It's been 19-years since Professor Jones has last hit the big screen and I, for one, was glad to have him back!

Here's what I thought:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
8 out of 10 overall.
Full-fare value.
Well worth seeing.
The tradition has continued.

Rated PG-13
Running time: 2h 4m

Full ReviewCollapse )
Current Mood: pleased

13th May 2008

marram5:19pm: Speed Racer Review

I'd grown up with the Speed Racer cartoons as part of my life, so I was a bit dubious about what the Wachowski brothers may have done to it in their movie adaptation. But I couldn't judge without having seen it.

Here's what I thought:

Speed Racer
6 out of 10 overall.
Matinee value.
Worth seeing.
Surprisingly good story motivations.

Rated PG
Running time: 2hrs 15mins

Speed Racer, to the Wachowski's credit, isn't trying to be anything more than what it is. But what it is is on steroids! The style of the movie looks as though the Las Vegas strip and the original cartoon series got together and had a crack baby! The thing is, it kinda' works! It's definitely a different take on your usual CGI movie populated with real people!

The brothers also found ways to play to their strengths in movie making with Speed Racer, keeping to as much car action as they thought they could, and even working-in a couple of ninja fight scenes (ala The Matrix)! The cast also carries the day well throughout the film, despite -- or maybe because of -- the tongue-in-cheek moments that absolutely litter the storyline. But in the end, this movie is all about the racing!

And they had way too much fun with the race scenes in this film!

Fans of the original cartoon series will recognize several references to different episodes in the movie. (I caught at least six worked into the storyline, plus dozens of original baddies, like Snake Oiler and Cruncher Block!) The brothers also expand on the world of Speed Racer, giving us an overview from the Mach 4 (not part of the original series), up to and including the introduction of the new Mach 6! And this was all managed with an obviously fond, and nostalgic touch.

This movie is targeted at a more family sort of audience, and it should do well there. The only real problem Speed Racer might have this summer is its competition. People may not give it the chance, which I think -- for the most -- it deserves. Personally, I was pleasantly surprised by this film (in a popcorn movie sort of way), though I realize it may not be everyone's cut of tea!
Current Mood: nostalgic
marram5:16pm: IRON MAN Review

I've gone to experience the first in what looks to be an avalanche of super hero, action adventure movies this summer, seeing Iron Man! Here's what I thought:

Iron Man
9 out of 10 overall.
Full fare value.
Might be worth multi-viewings.
A tight, well managed story.

It must be understood that I am (for the most part) judging this movie against its other colleges in the super hero genre, and on that level it clearly shins above most! The movie is also smart, clever (I do make a distinction between those two things), and a whole lot of fun to watch. Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) carries the weight of this movie on his shoulders and manages to take the film to where you'd hope he might. He's brilliant! There was also a huge surprise from Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts - Tony's personal assistant), who turned in some of the finest work I've seen from her since Shakespeare in Love!

I do have to admit that I'd been holding a minor concern over the director of Iron Man, Jon Faverau. He's never done this sort of movie before. But it's quite possible that the consistent and engaging performances in Iron Man owed much to his touch and experience with his more character driven movies (Elf and Zathura). And everything from the quiet moments to the high action scenes were handled amazingly well! I can't even remember feeling that this movie had any slow, or dragging moments!

Iron Man has the potential to appeal to a much wider audience than most movies in the super hero arena, if for no other reason than the chemistry between Downey Jr. and Paltrow. The story does however follow some well trodden paths, and a few story elements are telegraphed more than they should be, but overall I stamp it as a real success! I'm surprisingly jazzed about this movie and highly recommend it!

Oh, and be sure to stay to the end of the credits! There's an epilogue scene! (And over 80% of the audience didn't see it because they immediately left as the credits started...)

I smell a successful franchise here!
Current Mood: excited

22nd February 2008

laraemeadows11:34am: Be Kind Rewind - MosBlack Surprised Me!

Be Kind Rewind is a sweet, funny, cockle-warming movie sure to make you smile long after you’ve left the theater.

22nd January 2008

nom_de_paradis12:46pm: cloverfield
blair witch project meets godzilla with subtle hints of 9/11 thrown in just for giggles. I will say that the movie was exactly what I anticipated, except for I didn't think there would be as many actually scary or frightening moments in it. here are a bunch of really frightful moments in the movie. the audience seemed inappropriately stupid though. this was proven by the fact that most of the audience kept watching the movie, even though it was the end credits, and many could be heard asking their companions "wait, is it over?".

I din't know if the movie can be as tense and frightening if viewed on a small screen. I think it's definitely mandatory that it be seen in a theater, with others sharing your fright and tension.
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