Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Movie List 2013: 51 - 65

The continuing list of all the movies I've watched this year.

There is some occasional swearing, because I just love movies so much I can't help myself sometimes.

* = rewatched


Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

 A man tries to kidnap the daughter of his former boss in an attempt to recoup the money he lost in his failed attempt to sell a kidney on the black market in order to pay for his sick sister's surgery.

Genre: Korean vengeance thriller

My friend heard I had seen Oldboy and wanted to know if I had seen the other 2 movies that apparently composed the The Vengeance Trilogy: Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. I had not so she let me borrow them. Well, technically I don't think I asked to, I think she just went out to her car and then handed them to me, but that's neither here nor there.

I don't like this movie. There. I said it. All my favorite characters died for absolutely no good reason. The main character had the stupidest looking green hair, not to mention was dumb enough to try and sell a kidney to a surgeon so jittery that she couldn't even inject herself with a syringe full of narcotics.

Hey, buddy, first clue that maybe you're making a bad decision? It was right there.

Plus the film is full of bizarre things that don't make any sense! There's a scene where they show all these young guys jerking off together next door...for no reason. There's no reason to show it, unless it's purely there to make me confused and uncomfortable. In another scene there's some mentally handicapped guy is wandering around in the middle of fucking nowhere. Why?! Even the main characters are like, "What on Earth is this guy doing here? Go away! You're ruining the moment."

So yeah. I am not a fan.


Minority Report

 In a future where crimes can be seen before they've been committed and people locked up for crimes they haven't committed yet, a police officer is accused of the precrime of murdering a man he's never even heard of. He goes on the run to try and get to the bottom of this mystery and prove his innocence.

Genre: Sci-Fi Action

I can't say this is a great movie...I'm not even sure I can say it's a good movie, but it's definitely a memorable movie that has moments of greatness. And you know what? That's a compliment in my book. Most movies out there are forgettable and never even come close to greatness. I've gotta give credit to a movie that I still find myself wanting to rewatch every couple of years, good movie or not.

Let's start with the good. The movie has a number of interesting visuals and ideas. The pool of precogs (the three psychics who see the crimes before they happen)? Very interesting. The idea of precrime and the consequences of locking people up for something they haven't done? Intriguing. The philosophical ideas of free will? Thought provoking. Plus there's some really interesting visual moments (there's one scene where these little spider robots are after the cop that especially sticks with me).

But then there's this whole thing where they try to make it seem super futuristic with weird cars, and jet packs, and HORRIFYING new forms of advertising (the day ads scan my retinas and use my name is the day I go to live in the woods and/or start blowing shit up). The film is over 2 hours long and it really didn't need to be. The story is just needlessly padded out with chases and fights and scenes where they just want to show how cool and futuristic everything is.

So yeah. I'm a little hard on it, but that's only because there are some genuine moments of intrigue and fear in this movie and you can't help but to be a little disappointed that the rest of the movie couldn't live up to those moments. But they are there. While I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see this thing, I still think it has worth.


Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

A woman is coerced into pleading guilty for a crime she didn't commit in order to save her daughter. However, once she gets out she begins to execute an elaborate plan of revenge.

Genre: Korean vengeance thriller

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I watched this one in spite of my feelings for the other one. I feel socially obligated to watch things that people lend me. But luckily for me this one was much better than the others. I'd say this is my favorite of the 3, actually. Which, I suppose doesn't sound all that impressive considering I just ripped into Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, but I did enjoy Oldboy. So there.

Lady Vengeance was definitely enjoyable, but wasn't without its problems. The whole thing kind of seemed like Kill Bill except without the same consistency of vision. Kill Bill had a full narrative and the arcs of the story flowed from one into the other. Lady Vengeance, however, seemed to have a story it wanted to tell, but it kept skipping from point to point and it made the narrative rather jagged.

Ugh. I actually really liked a lot of this movie. I really liked the main character, I liked her revenge at the end, I liked the flashback scenes to her time and exploits in prison, and the movie's visuals were all very interesting (the signature red eye shadow was an especially effective choice). My big complaint is just that this director doesn't blend jumps from one point to another. It's like he has all these moments written down on cards, but instead of leading one naturally into the next he'll just force some excuse then jump right into it.

In summary, I really liked this movie, but it has that nagging quality to it where I could have loved it. If it had just been polished a little more I could have loved it.


Away We Go

A young couple with a child on the way realize that there's nothing keeping them at their present location and decide to move to somewhere new for a fresh start. However, figuring out a place they could consider home is harder than they thought.

Genre: Drama-Comedy

I remember hearing about this one, but I ended up forgetting about it before I got a chance to see it. But lo and behold, a friend put it in my hands and told me I would like it. (This seems to be happening a lot in this list.) Anyways, she was right and I loved it.

First of all, John Kransinski does an amazing job in it. I'm glad he managed to get away from that License to Wed crap he was doing for a while. The chemistry between him and Maya Rudolph is fantastic.

Second of all, this is the second time I've seen a movie starring a pregnant Maya Rudolph (the first was A Prairie Home Companion, in case you were curious). This doesn't really pertain at all to the movie, but I found it interesting and it's my blog so there.

A lot of movies have such grand scopes and yet this one's is quite small. It's just about a couple who are trying to figure out where they want to live. The stakes aren't very high, no one's life or love is on the line; it's just a big decision in the lives of these characters and through it we're able to learn about them.

As I've mentioned before, I'm rather character-centric when it comes to stories. If I don't like any of the characters it really doesn't matter how grand the story is. So a movie like this that is entirely about charming characters is right up my alley. The fact that the movie is both funny and heartfelt, sincere and silly at the same time just makes it even better.


Jurassic Park
[in 3D]

An amusement park featuring living dinosaur clones goes horribly awry.

Genre: Dino-action!

The very first time I saw this movie my family was late and so we missed the very first scene where they're putting the raptors in the pen. We came in right at the bit after where the lawyer is on the raft in the jungle. Anyways, what I'm getting at here is that every time I see that opening scene now it feels like a deleted scene or something.

In other news I wasn't planning on seeing this, because despite how cool it would be to see Jurassic Park on the big screen, 3D is stupid. But as I told my sister, "When a beautiful woman asks if you want to see Jurassic Park with her, you go." And for the record seeing it with a lovely lady heightens the experience much more than seeing it in 3D does. The 3D, like usual, was more distracting/forgettable than it was beneficial.

But who cares about ridiculous 3D and those horrible glasses that you have to wear on top of your normal glasses...well obviously I do, but it's Jurassic Park!

I love this movie. I kind of hate that one little kid in it, but I love the movie. It holds up so well over the years. In no small part because of the practical effects used in the film. It still looks awesome because it was made with real awesome looking things! Except for the parts that are so obviously computers, but there really aren't that many of those scenes. Plus that kid gets beat up, nearly eaten, even more nearly crushed, and severely shocked with electricity. You gotta love a movie that will do all that to the annoying kid character.

But maybe you haven't seen this movie?! What can I say to you to convince you to see this movie? It has Samuel L. Jackson in it playing a badass computer engineer guy. There's a scene where they show a giant pile of dino poop. Jeff Goldblum is in it and he's at his Goldblumy best. The science on display in the movie is so ridiculous it's kind of hilarious. There's freaking dinosaurs in it! Sure they keep referring to a dinosaur that is clearly a Deinonychus as a Velociraptor, but who cares! DINOSAURS! What part of that aren't you understanding? Dinosaurs, Sam Jackson, Jeff Goldblum...why aren't you watching this already?


13 Going on 30

A 13 year-old girl wishes that she was 30 and awakens to find herself in the body and life of her 30 year-old self. However, even though she finds she has the life she always wanted, she also learns that getting what she thought she always wanted has come with consequences.

Genre: Cute Romantic Comedy

No shame, this movie just makes me happy. It's cute and fun and it has a happy ending and think what you will of me!


The Great Gatsby

A wannabe novelist turned stockbroker moves to New York and discovers he lives next to one of the city's most enigmatic figures: the mysterious Mr. Gatsby. Soon enough he finds himself entangled in the many mysteries and love affairs that surround this unusual man.

Genre: Modern adaptation of a literary classic

I went into this one expecting to not like it at all. The trailer seemed to show it as strangely futuristic, which I didn't care for. But after seeing it I'm actually quite impressed with what they created. The story is set around the roaring 20s, where people were throwing their money around in extravagant ways, but if you set your movie purely in that time period it simply becomes a period piece. However, if you incorporate a modern sense of opulence into the period of your subject matter (like this movie did), the story immediately becomes that much more accessible to a modern audience. Really, it was a brilliant choice.

I can't see the movie without thinking of the book, so I have to take a moment to discuss the work as an adaptation. Overall it follows the book pretty much exactly. I mean, sure they make Nick into a wannabe novelist which he wasn't, and they try to give him some personality, but it just makes him all the more dull. However, the one big issue I have with the movie is that they nailed down all the metaphor and ambiguities of the novel. What is left as mystery and suspicion in the book is carved into a stone tablet in the movie.

For example in the book there's a scene wherein at one of Gatsby's parties Nick and Jordan come across the library. Inside there's a drunk old man who seems to be amazed that all the books are real. In the movie the same scene exists, but this time the man flat out says that he's amazed all the books are real because everything about Gatsby is a disguise, and the fact that the books aren't just decoys goes to show how deep the disguise goes. So yeah, they really spell everything out for you.

Personally I prefer the novel's wonderful use of metaphor and mystery as it pulls you into the story as you try to piece together the truth yourself. The movie just seems extremely heavy-handed in comparison. However, I also feel that this movie is probably the greatest adaptation you could wish for from a book like this. It really does a great job at bringing these characters to life and the soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission.



Two kids desperately try to protect each other from the evil forces of mobsters, business men, gangs, and supernatural hitmen.

Genre: Animated Japanese Masterpiece

Every time I see this movie I love it a little bit more. The story is so deep and metaphoric and it's just beautiful. The animation works so well with the story and allows them to depict things that reality just couldn't handle.

I have an extremely hard time trying to explain this movie to people, because it is so far outside the realm of the usual. People want to know what the plot is, but in something like this the plot is secondary. It's not about what happens so much as how it happens and why it happens. It's about darkness and light. About how they both work together and what happens when you embrace darkness too fully. It's about friendship and love and being there to support someone you care about. About how we need those people we love to keep us in balance and to tip us back when we start to lean too far one way or the other.

Really I can't recommend this movie enough. It's brilliant and lovely and odd and fascinating and I just can't say enough nice things about it.

Fun fact: "Tekkonkinkreet" is a child's way of mispronouncing the word Tekkin Konkurito, which is Japanese for reinforced concrete.


Ping Pong

Two friends who have played Ping Pong with each other since they were kids try to find a way to inspire one another while maintaining their friendship.

Genre: Japanese sports but-not-really-about-sports movie

Anytime I try and tell someone about this movie the person will inevitably go, "Wait? That stupid movie with Christopher Walken?" And I have to go, "NO! Not Balls of Fury! PING PONG! It's Japanese and it's amazing!"

I would go as far as to say that this is my favorite sports movie. Which is ridiculous because it's about ping pong, but the fact that it's based around something as silly as ping pong just makes it that much more appealing. It gives an air of humor and light-heartedness to the movie that is kind of super charming.

It is a movie about ping pong and players who want to be the best and overcome adversity and all that shit you expect from a Sports movie, but it is so much more. At its heart Ping Pong is a movie about friendship. About those people in our lives who come in when we're feeling down and pick us up, who give us hope. How sometimes even our heroes fall, and then we're the ones who have to save them.

Fun Fact: The main characters names are Hoshino and Tsukimoto. In Japanese Hoshi means Sun and Tsuki means Moon. The metaphor gets lost in the translation so I figured I'd mention it.



A 13 year-old kid wishes that he could be big on a carnival's Fortune Teller game. However, his wish comes true and now he's stuck in the body of an adult until he can find a way to reverse it.

Genre: Dark family comedy

13 Going on 30 and Big in the same list? Yes, yes, I'm aware. What can I say? I saw the one and it reminded me of the other. Plus I hadn't seen this movie in years so I figured I should correct that.

I think I watched the extended edition, but it's been so long that I can't remember what was extended and what was always there. I definitely didn't remember the kid going all the way with his coworker love interest lady. Because DAMN...that's kind of fucked up in a Big way.

(see what I did there?)

Despite the obvious creepiness inherent in this movie, I've got to give it credit for taking the dark path through this story. 13 Going on 30 takes the light-hearted path. For instance, by putting her into the future it skips over all sorts of dark aspects of Big. I mean in Big his mom thinks he's been kidnapped! She thinks her son has been kidnapped and she's separated from him for months and is out of her mind with worry. Even when he's having fun with his friend and dancing on the keyboard, the idea of the traumatized mom is still there in the back of your head.

I really do think it's dreadfully interesting to compare these two movies side by side. They take the same idea but go after it in completely different ways. While 13 Going on 30 is about how your choices can affect your future and how you should care about the people who care about you, Big is about how we can't have everything and that you have to deal with some shit if you want to be happy.

But yeah, I love this movie. I can relate to that depiction of being a kid trapped in an adult world. Heck, I think we can all relate to that, don't you?


A Mighty Wind

A legendary folk-music producer dies and his family tries to reassemble all his greatest bands in order to put on a tribute concert.

Genre: Mockumentary

My best friend's family turned me on to mockumentaries and I've had a soft spot for them ever since. There is just something about them that is just so goshdarned TRUE. I realize that they're satire and they're poking fun at reality with exaggerated situations and characters, but while doing so they end up much closer to real life than most dramas. People are ridiculous and weird and movies like this do an excellent job at pointing that out.

Anyways, I wouldn't say that A Mighty Wind is a particular favorite of mine in the genre, but it's still a lot of fun. The songs are much better than they have any right to be. The thing holding it back is probably just that there really isn't much a plot per se. It's just about a tribute concert. There's not really any high stakes or drama. Something like Best in Show was about a competition so it had natural drama to it, while a movie like This is Spinal Tap went to a lot of different locations to gave its characters new situations to interact with. A Mighty Wind really doesn't feature all that many locations and there's no mystery, or competition, or anything of that sort. It's just an exploration of some humorous oddballs and some music. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with that, I'm just saying it's a low key movie so don't go in expecting to be Thrilled or whatever.


Midnight in Paris

While vacationing in Paris with his fiancee a screenwriter turned novelist happens upon a way to travel into 20s era Paris and talk with all the legendary artists who live there. While these visits prove to be just what his novel needed, they begin to play havoc on his relationship with his fiancee.

Genre: "Arty" comedy

I watched this one again entirely because I saw The Great Gatsby and it made me want to see this movie's depiction of the Fitzgeralds.

I know a couple of people who really love this movie, but I don't really see what it is they're seeing. For me its depiction of 20's era artists is the only real strong point to the movie. I don't really care about the main characters at all and the plot isn't really about anything.

Plus it features one of my story pet peeves which is characters that are given terrible relationships just so you can feel better about them cheating on them on finding someone better. I don't care if you're engaged to some lady who you don't get along with at all for some inexplicable reason. That doesn't make it okay to cheat on her. If you don't want to be with her break it the fuck off. Come on! Not. Cool.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A high school cheerleader is told that she is the reincarnation of a force known as The Slayer and that it's up to her to kill vampires or die trying. She is less than pleased at this news.

Genre: Campy Comedy Horror

For some reason I can never remember Donald Sutherland's name. As my sister can well attest, anytime I need to reference him I'll refer to him as "that guy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer." And bless my sister's heart, she knows exactly who I'm talking about. I think a lot of people would think Luke Perry...or possibly David Arquette. But obviously I'm talking about Donald Sutherland!

Anyways, what a great movie! It's campy and funny and surprisingly heartfelt. It's the kind of early 90s movie you can watch a million times and never get sick of.


The Faculty

A motley collection of misfit students begin to suspect their teachers are infecting everyone in town with a horrible body-snatching parasite and they join together to try and save their town (and the world) from this parasitic scourge.

Genre: Horror attempt

Right off the top can I just say that this movie obviously saw John Carpenter's The Thing? I mean, the tentacles, the body parts moving on their own, the whole "How do we know who's human?" thing? I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, I'm just saying the impact is pretty apparent.

Anywho, I've been meaning to see this one for a long time and never quite had a good opportunity. Until now! One of the coolest movie fans I know said I could borrow any of her movies I wanted! Any of them! So obviously I'm going to take advantage of this gift...to watch movies like The Faculty...

That probably says something unfortunate about me, doesn't it? Or something awesome? Let's pretend awesome.

This movie is delightfully odd. For one thing it's got a truly bizarre and extensive cast of stars. This must have been before most of these people got real famous, because damn. The movie is just chalk full of famous faces. I'm not even going to tell you who's in this thing. There's too many people to name. A lot of them I can't even name, I've just seen them in all sorts of memorable roles in other places. It's wonderful.

Ugh! I'm having a lot of trouble trying to figure out how to describe this movie. It's either pretty good or so ridiculously bad that it's thoroughly enjoyable. I haven't quite made up my mind. All I know is that I had a blast watching it. It's just so much fun. I kind of want to watch it again in fact.

My one significant complaint is the ending. I am not a fan of the ending. It is way, way too happy-go-lucky. People who should have been died weren't and one character hooks up with the total bitch character, even though she's a total bitch and is only with him because he's famous now. And now that doofus is probably going to turn into a douche himself and that's depressing. I realize it's supposed to be a happy ending because he fancied her, but it still bums me out. The movie is still awesome though and that minor complaint is really the only one I have.

You know, sometimes I really want to tag team a movie review as I know people who would have much more interesting things to say than I would. Unfortunately for me they choose to use their time for things other than talking about movies they've seen...I can't say I blame them for their practical thinking, but still! Let's be quietly annoyed with them anyways, because now we all have to settle for me.



A brother and sister survive a werewolf attack, but find themselves slowly changing into werewolves themselves. Now they must survive continued attacks on their lives while also finding a way to free themselves from the curse.

Genre: Horrorish?

This was on the same DVD collection as The Faculty and I figured, "Hey, why not give some of these other movies a watch."

Jesse Eisenberg and Christina Ricci star in this movie! What? I was not expecting that from a weird werewolf movie on a strange horror movie collection dvd.

I don't even know what to say about this movie. I will, however, start by saying that Eisenberg's hair post-infection is RIDICULOUS. It is the silliest looking thing I've ever seen. It is incredibly distracting. I couldn't take any scene with that hair in it seriously.

Also Eisenberg uses a butt double in one scene. Which is lame. If we're not watching movies to see movie star butts then I don't know why we're watching movies at all. Obviously I'm being hyperbolic, but if they won't show us their butt then can you really expect them to show us their true talent? Think about it.

As for the movie itself? Well, it's not good. It's silly and dumb and I had no small amount of fun watching it, but I won't do you the disservice of telling you that it's a brilliant movie, because it's not. The plot is extremely shallow, the characters terribly stereotypical, the werewolf looks like a mutated ape, the villain fairly obvious, and the movie is extremely heavy-handed about reminding you at every possible chance that it's a werewolf movie: it starts off with a song about little red riding hood, there's a wolf cuckoo clock in the siblings' home, the wolf mauls a girl in a cat costume, there's a Wolf Man statue in the background of a main set in a club that they do everything but draw a big circle around it to point out to you, and more! "Have you forgotten that this movie is about werewolves? Please don't!"

But whatever! It's fun. There's a part where a werewolf gives the middle finger! Say what!? You can't hate a movie like that, can you?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Movie List 2013: 36 - 50

The continuing list of all the movies I've watched this year.

I occasionally use some swear words so those who are sensitive about that sort of thing should consider themselves warned.

 * = rewatched


Evil Dead

A group of friends meet at a secluded cabin to try and help one of them overcome her drug addiction, but while investigating a noxious smell coming from the basement they encounter a strange book and accidentally release a demon that begins possessing and mutilating them one by one.

Genre: Modern Remake of a Horror Classic

Have you ever gone to see a movie with someone else and the memory of the movie becomes inexorably tied to your experience of going to the movie? Thus your memories of the movie itself are interspliced with your memories of seeing it while on a date with a beautiful women and wanting to hold her hand because you're considerably freaked out...for example...


In other news! I haven't seen the original since high school, so I'm in no position to compare the two. I tried to watch it before I saw the new one, but there's this scene early on where freaky shit starts happening by this trap door in the floor and I was right next to a very similar thing in my own floor and I decided "Oh, Hell no. Nonononono." I'll probably go watch that whole series later in the year though.

But I quite enjoyed this new remake! I was really freaked out and often considerably disgusted and I suppose that's kind of the point of a movie like this, isn't it? It's like a roller coaster in a way: you strap yourself in to be freaked out, because there's something exhilarating about being freaked out.

The one big complaint I have with it is that the characters are mostly awful. Usually this would be a deal breaker with me, but in a story like this the characters are more or less props. There are many different types of horror movies, but for the sake of explanation let's say there are just two: the ones about Fear & the ones about Horror. Some scary movies are about Fear and they need quality characters that you can empathize with in order to share in their fear and also to have fear for their well being. A movie like Evil Dead, however, isn't about Fear it's about Horror. It's about that horrifying sensation of shock and disgust that comes with seeing something grotesque, thus the characters are often just props used to create situations of horror. I would certainly have preferred better characters, but they could have been a lot worse and they got the job done.

In terms of the movie as a whole I find Evil Dead's depiction of possession to be very interesting. The demon is crude in its speech and actions. It jumps from person to person and mutilates them just for the fun of it. It has this manic and perverse nature that brings to mind a kid burning ants with a magnifying glass. In my mind this is what separates it from the others of the genre. I have no interest in movies like Hostel and Saw, but Evil Dead combines the grotesque with that gleeful smirk of a malevolent child and it makes everything all the more intriguing. At the end of the day the movie is full of imagery and ideas that stick with you long after the movie is over and that's exactly what I want from a Horror movie like this, and thus I like it quite a bit.


Interview with the Vampire

A vampire tells the story of his life to a journalist.

Genre: Brooding Vampires

Right off the bat can I just say that there should have been much more Christian Slater in the this movie? Can I also just mention that he was far and away the main hottie in the movie? Because damn, folks, he is looking dashing as hell up in this movie.

I've been told I'm a little late to the party for having never seen this until now, but there's something about vampire movies that I've generally avoided. At the very least I'm dead certain that I've seen parts of this one before, just never the whole thing. I think I'd always catch bits and pieces of it when they played it on TV sometimes.

Anyways, I like this one; it's got a lot of memorable moments. There were definitely some parts that lagged a bit, but overall I enjoyed it. I certainly wasn't expecting Tom Cruise to outact Brad Pitt though, but he definitely does. Brad Pitt's role is rather monotone, while Cruise kind of just crackles with manic energy. A very young Kirsten Dunst also stars in the movie and she was...alright, I guess. Certainly no young Natalie Portman or anything. I probably won't find myself dying to see this one again, but I'm definitely glad I watched it and if someone else put it in I'd have no objections.

But seriously, Christian Slater needed so much more screen time.



A boy is sent to strange hard labor camp after being convicted of stealing a pair of shoes. Every day each of the kids of the camp have to dig a hold 6 feet deep and 6 feet wide. But what exactly are they digging for?

Genre: Kids' Adventure

This was actually the first time I'd seen this one since it first came out in theaters. It's not really the kind of movie that you find yourself with a need to see, but when you're at someone's house trying to pick out a movie to watch and you see something like this on the shelf, well...

When you have a chance to watch an obscure movie like this, you take it. That's all I'm saying.

I was a big fan of the book and the movie is certainly an interesting adaptation, but there's just something...too light about it? It's kind of has the air of a family friendly TV special: seemingly low budget, has a moral message that's delivered very heavy handedly, and it maintains a feeling of lightheartedness even during its serious moments (which also means there's never really any true sense of urgency or danger).

So yeah, my personal opinion is that it would have been better if it had been a little more serious and little more dark, but it's very enjoyable for what it is. I had a good time watching it. If someone wanted to watch it with me I'd be up for seeing it again. Why not.

Also before I wrap this up I feel the need to say that Jon Voight is brilliant in this movie. His performance is just so weird! He completely steals the focus from any scene he's in and is chewing up the scenery left and right. It's amazing.


Cabin in the Woods

A group of scientists manipulates a group of friends into taking a vacation to a remote cabin in the woods for mysterious reasons.

Genre: A Loving Hate Letter to Horror Movies

This is a weird movie for me to talk about because the plot and the characters aren't what I like about it. The thing I enjoy so much about it is the odd way it isn't a horror movie at all, but a pseudo love letter to horror movies. I know this is a copout, but Joey Comeau's review of this movie is so pitch perfect that I can't even begin to talk about without masquerading his ideas and points as my own, so you should probably just go to the source and read his review.


Stranger than Fiction

Harold Crick begins to hear a voice narrating his life. Even more concerning is that the voice says that Harold is going to die soon. Can he figure out the nature of his story or perhaps track down the author and convince them not to kill him?

Genre: Modern Fairy Tale

Oh, Will Farrell, much like Jim Carrey you are at your best when you're doing drama mixed with comedy instead of just nonstop comedy.

It is just a gem of a movie. It's quirky and dark, it has such a cute romance, the characters are great, and the story is so strange and kind of wonderful. It's a perfect balance of drama and comedy and romance and fantasy. I liked it so much that I watched it twice. I might have watched it yet again, but I was borrowing it from a friend and had to get it back to them.

In conclusion: I love this movie.


While You Were Sleeping

A woman saves a handsome stranger from getting hit by a train and through a series of misunderstanding is mistaken as the man's fiance.

Genre: Romantic Comedy

This is kind of one of those dorky cookie cutter romance movies, but, Lord help me, I keep coming back to it. I love the shlubby Sandra Bullock and dorky Bill Pullman combo. And I love just how utterly ridiculous the the whole thing is. Whatever! It's just a really cute movie! DON'T JUDGE ME!


Suicide Club

People begin to commit suicide en masse and various parties are all trying to figure out why.

Genre: Japanese WTF Horror

This movie is awful. Just. Awful.

There are all sorts of random shit going on in this thing, none of the story threads are developed, and none of the them are successfully concluded.  It's like they had all these ideas and tried to stuff them all in and inevitably wrote themself into a corner and didn't have the skill to get out. I mean, heaven forbid you edit your story to clean it up. Maybe drop some of random shit and actually develop the parts that matter?

I watched the entire bizarre thing just to see how they wrapped it up and then the ending was ridiculous and stupid and didn't make any sense or explain much of anything. Just UGH! Why!?

I feel like this movie stole an hour and a half of my life and I choose to hold a grudge over this.


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

A man finds out that his ex girlfriend has undergone a new scientific procedure to remove all her memories of him. In retaliation he goes to have his memories of her deleted too. However, as the memories begin to disappear he realizes that this will mean losing all of the good memories along with the bad and desperately tries to stop the procedure.

Genre: Sci-Fi drama

I love this movie. It's just such a fascinating idea and the it is developed and executed in such a beautiful way. It's weird, it's outgoing, it's endearing, it's memorable, and best of all its thought provoking. It's about seeing the beautiful in the terrible. About how all our great memories are intertwined with the bad ones and how you can either have both or neither. And it's just so freaking good!


Romancing the Stone

A romance novelist gets flung into a dangerous adventure when her sister gets kidnapped.

Genre: Silly Adventure

There's been a scene stuck in my head since childhood of a movie where at the end the hero (who is kind of like a Kurt Russell, but not Kurt Russell) has gator boots on and maybe something about a jewel. I asked my friends on Facebook if they knew what movie that was, and my sister actually came up with the answer: Romancing the Stone! I'm pretty sure I had seen part of it while at my Uncle's house as a kid, and I've seen the ending a couple times on TV as well, but this is the first time I recall seeing the whole thing.

On the whole it's pretty fun. I really liked the main character, although I felt that she kind of ended up playing second fiddle to everything else, which is too bad. Also her romance with the Michael Douglas guy was a bit silly. I mean, sure, I can see why he'd seem new and exciting and obviously I can see why they'd go have some wild and crazy sex, but let's be realistic. She lives in New York and is a novelist, while he had preciously been living in the jungle for years collecting birds to sell in order to buy a boat. Match made in heaven? Probably not. I tend to be a stickler when it comes to unrealistic romance though (as you've probably already noticed).

Whatever! It's a silly adventure movie! It's about silly adventures and things going wrong and people coming to your rescue and all that jazz.


30 Days of Night

In the town of Barrow, Alaska the sun has just set and it won't return for an entire month and unfortunately for Barrow a clot of vampires decides that this is the perfect time for a visit.

Genre: Comicbook adapted horror

Oh, I have so many mixed emotions regarding this movie. It does so many things right, but it also does so, so many things wrong.

(I should mention that I'm a big fan of the original comic and thus I can't help but compare the two.)

I think the movie does a great job of expanding the story and the development of the characters in order to make it feature length. I think the acting is all very good, the look of the movie is very good.

But I don't like how the vampires were handled and that's kind of a big deal in a movie about vampires. In the comic they're quite animalistic in their brutality, but they're still very eloquent and intelligent in their demeanor. In the movie, however, they're almost like aliens, with all these cocking their heads to the side over things. Either that or they're like zombies where they just react and eat and there's nothing between the eyes. Oh! and don't get me started about when they eat. When they feast on the humans it looks like they're having a seizure, their heads just wavin' all over the place. I realize that certain animals will bite into their prey and thrash their heads in order to tear a piece off, but that's not what they're doing! They go at it like one of those pie eating contests where they tie your hands behind your back. It's weird and unnatural to the point of distraction. It bothers me to no end.

Also they screwed up the ending and ruined the best line in the book. The ending of the comic was amazing and powerful. And the movie tried to capture that, but it didn't have the tension the comic did. Sure, I liked the movie's new motivation behind the final showdown, but the execution of it just wasn't as good.

In summation: it's a very interesting adaptation, but overall the comic is much better. Although  I wish someone could combine the best parts of the movie with the best parts of the comic to create some sort of perfect hybrid story.


John Dies at the End

Two friends are exposed to a frightening new drug that awakens them to the horrors hiding behind the veil of our reality.

Genre: Bizarre horror comedy

Oh, I have mixed feelings about this one.

On one hand I think it's an amazing adaptation. The casting, the look, the dialogue: it's got the feel of the book down to a tee.

But, BUT, I think the plot is severely flawed. I'll admit that the book would be an extremely hard one to adapt. It's essentially three different story arcs that are all tied up in one another. But I feel they ended up going with one of the more memorable and JohnDiesiest stories instead of the best one for the movie and by doing so they aren't able to pull off a proper ending. The ending to the book is twisted and dark and all of the book's threads get pulled together into a dark little knot. It makes you want to read it again so you can see the story in this new light. But the movie's ending...is just an ending. Just an "okay, it's over now."

I think if you've read the book then the movie is a very interesting adaptation and is well worth watching if only to see the many interesting ways they translated the book's feel and imagery.
However, if you've never read the book I think this movie would be extremely confusing and not entirely satisfying. You'd still get a kick out of the jokes and the weirdness and maybe it would be worth it for that?

I can't say for sure.


Deep Blue Sea

A group of scientists genetically engineer super-intelligent sharks in order to find a cure for Alzherimer's Disease, but have to fight for their lives when the sharks get loose in their lab.

Genre: Killer animals attack

If you're ever on a date and want to know how cool this person is then ask them what they think about Deep Blue Sea.

If they love it then you should marry them. Okay, well, no, don't marry them (although you certainly could do a lot worse), but definitely increase your attraction to them. Actually your brain will take care of that part for you. Just appreciate them that much more.

If they don't like it, then you should let them know that, "We dueling with the mind /You blind, crippled, or crazy / You're real easy to find / Struggling to flow with hemorrhages in your throat / Getting the lap dance while I smash through your boat."

If they've never seen it before then you've got yourself a great activity for your next date right there! Be the one to show them Deep Blue Sea!

I'm sure someone out there is saying, "Really, Jesse? The movie about the super intelligent sharks that attack scientists? That's the movie you're hyping?" And Yes. Yes I am.

You know those individuals who are just completely at ease with themselves? Who embrace themselves flaws and all? Who can laugh at themselves and will do what makes them happy because they don't care what anyone else thinks about them? And how all of that just makes them so cool? But you could never do what they do because it would be ridiculous on you because you do care? Deep Blue Sea is like one of those people. It's silly and stupid and fun and exciting and it knows it and embraces all those parts of itself and that's what makes it amazing. It is one of the few movies that I can watch again and again and never get sick of it.


The Golden Child

A social worker must find a kidnapped child who happens to be mystical child of great power and save him from the forces of evil who wish to corrupt him.

Genre: 80s Asianesque Adventure

My friend told me that Big Trouble In Little China reminded her of this movie...multiple times. Since I am a huge Big Trouble fan I felt that I needed to see a movie that could be so closely related.

HOWEVER, I really shouldn't have gone in thinking "I bet this movie will be just like one of my favorite movies!" In hindsight that was a terrible idea. I now find myself unable to judge it on its own merits, so here is my advice: if you see this movie just see it for what it is, don't compare it to anything, because Big Trouble is so much better. Dammit! I'm comparing them again! I can't stop myself. Ugh! I don't deserve to review this movie. I fell asleep halfway through it and didn't go back to see the rest of it until a couple days later!

Jeez...okay, I'm recusing myself from this review. My friend really likes this movie. She has amazing taste. There's a scene with a water glass that I really enjoyed. Eddie Murphy was so much better back in the day.


Bright Star

The story of the romantic relationship between Fanny Brawne and the poet John Keats.

Genre: Period Romance

If my friend Sarah and I have one thing in common it would probably be that we're both hopeless romantics (with an emphasis on hopeless). Anyways, she told me I should watch this movie and I DID!

I was expecting some form of the typical period romance story, and I suppose this definitely was, but the manner in which it is executed was leagues beyond my expectations. At its heart it's still your usual story of early 19th century Europe, and fated love, and people saying things like "But he doesn't make enough money to support you!" We've all seem some iteration of that.

Yet, the movie delivers the story at a level I was definitely not expecting. The acting and chemistry between the leads was phenomenal. They would share these little looks that carried so much weight and realness. You're watching it and you can't help but go "Yes! That's what it's like!"

The looks and subtle flirtations between people who fancy one another. The way you'll go out of your way to see them, to try and make them smile, to take an interest in what they like so you can relate to them more. Even the way they showed crying was spot on. The details at work here and the level of execution needed to pull them off in such a way is a bit shocking. There are so many skeleton romances out there wherein the romance is forced and staged, but here it is all so fleshed out that it is just a pleasure to witness.

Also, in a twist on the usual story, Bright Star has a very unusual love triangle element. Because Keat's best friend, Charles Brown, loves him as well (not in a romantic way mind you, but in that Shaun&Gus kind of way). The affection between the two of them and the tension that results when Fanny is thrown into the mix was very interesting. And once again, it just made the romance seem all the more realistic.

On a technical note, I watched this one on my computer, but I wish I had watched it on the TV because it was beautifully shot and there are some scenes I think would be all the prettier on a big screen.

Did I mention the movie also frequently talks about poetry! Because it does!

I don't even know. If you like romantic movies then you should see it. That's what I've got to say about that.


Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die

Famous author Terry Pratchett investigates assisted suicide and the people who seek it after considering it for himself after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.

Genre: Assisted Suicide Documentary

I didn't plan on watching this at 3am, but that's when I saw a link someone had posted to a youtube video of it and....well one thing led to another and there you go.

Terry Pratchett is my favorite author and so I've heard all about his diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease and how he'd like to die when he gets too far gone, but damn if it isn't a little bit surreal to watch an hour-long movie about it. It's a really bizarre topic isn't it? It's an important one to be sure, but telling someone in all earnestness, "Hey, I don't want to die a slow agonizing death and I know I'm fine right now, but I need you to kill me so I can avoid that."

Personally I'm too stubborn to ever want to kill myself, because that's like the epitome of admitting defeat and haven forbid I admit defeat. I'm also too selfish to kill someone I love. Or to help them kill themself in anyway. Oh, you don't want to die slowly and scared and in pain? Well suck it the fuck up. I love you more than the goddamn moon and your ass is sticking around until God herself comes down and rips you out of my fucking hands. So deal with it. Now how about we make up and then make out.

Also this movie shows him meeting with people who later go through with assisted suicides at a place that does that in Switzerland or something. It actually shows you some dude going through with it. So it is, in a fucking weird sort of way, a snuff film.

In conclusion: Watching this thing at 3am was a truly bizarre experience to be sure.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Movie List 2013: 16 - 35

The continuing list of all the movies I watch this year.

Warning: I occasionally curse a little bit.

* = rewatched



A queen and her rebellious daughter struggle to overcome their differences before their relationshipand the kingdom itselfis torn asunder.

Genre: Animated princess tale

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Is Brave the best of the Pixar movies? No. But is it the only one I own and consistently want to watch again? Yes.

There's a lot of criticism of Brave out there and I'm not going to say it's all unfounded, but I think people went into it with a lot of preconceptions and then were disappointed when it went in another direction.

At the end of the day it's a movie meant for kids, not for 20-somethings. That's what it comes down to and Pixar's wide range of appeal makes people overlook the fact that there is a target audience and it's children.

Personally, I think the movie does a truly brilliant job of taking some complex ideas regarding relationships and putting them into a story form that all age groups can understand and enjoy. Not to mention the fact that the characters are amazing and the animation is gorgeous.


Planet Hulk

The Incredible Hulk is exiled to another planet where he is forced to be a gladiator by an evil king and a prophesied savior to the masses.

Genre: Animated excuse to watch The Hulk smash things

I'm not going to get into why this movie is pretty awful, so let it suffice to say that it is pretty remarkably bad.

However, I do have to concede that when you watch it with your friends while drunk it is extremely entertaining.


Refer Madness

Anti-marijuana propaganda film from 1936.

Genre: Hyperbolic 30s propaganda

I kind of assumed this was satire, but apparently it's legit. You know those informercials where the actors exaggerate minor inconveniences to the point of lunacy? This film is kind of like that, but for the "dangers" of weed.



Immortals are pitted against each other over the centuries until only two remain: the Scottish highlander Connor Macleod and a creul barbarian known as The Kurgan.

Genre: Epic guys-with-swords adventure

Okay, I've gotta be honest: I love Highlander. I'm not sure I love it for the right reasons, but I love it. There's something I just can't help but love about a film that's inherently ridiculous and just embraces that part of itself.

I've seen this one a number of times, but I recently bought the extended edition on DVD* and I feel the need to point out that the extended edition is loads better. I was already a fan, but the extra scenes actually fix a a couple of little things that had bugged me in the original.

Also can we talk about Christopher Lambert for a second? I think I've only seen him in this and in Mortal Kombat and loved him both times. I think he might have gone to the Christopher Walken school of acting though, because his style is both fascinatingly odd and impossible to describe.

I don't know what to say. It is just such an oddly brilliant movie.

*The extended edition was like $5 at Target. I just think that needed to be said for context.


Silver Linings Playbook

A man tries to get his life together after a forced stay in a mental institution, but in order to have a chance to reconcile with his ex-wife he has to make a deal with a strange woman who has problems of her own.

Genre: A romance of flaws

I've already seen this movie 3 times this year and, Lord help me, if I owned it I probably would have seen it another 2-3 times. What can I say? This movie has my number in a big way. I could talk about it at length, but I think what it comes down to is that it's a movie about imperfections. The movie entrenches itself in its characters' flaws, which in turn makes the characters so very interesting and relatable.

Sure, it's still a romance movie and it's still presenting a fairy tale romance, but in this case it's fucked-up fairy tale about mental illness and dysfunctional families and loving someone for their flaws not in spite of them.

And what's not to love about that?


Dale and Tucker Vs Evil

Two friends go to the woods to fix up their new summer home, but when a group of camping college kids mistake them as murderous hillbillies things take a dangerous turn for the worst.

Genre: Funny Horror Parody

To be fair my roommates were watching this and I was only half watching it while I was cooking (and subsequently eating). I did, however, see most of it and what I didn't see I heard...plus I've seen it multiple times before! So I think I'm still qualified to talk about it.

I don't really know what to say though. If you like horror movies and/or movies poking fun at horror movies then I think you'll have a lot of fun with this one. It's an excellent twist on the genre.

As a final note I will say that I would recommend not watching the trailer for this one as it shows you the vast majority of the deaths and that's a dumb thing to do. The surprise behind the bizarre ways in which people end up dying is a huge part of the fun! But that's just me. If you're on the fence, watch the trailer. If you were (like I was) sold on the premise alone, then just watch the movie proper.


La Femme Nikita

A female convict is coerced by a secret agency to be a spy.

Genre: European Spy Character Study

I saw this one entirely because it was the movie that gave birth to the brilliant Leon: The Professional. I'm not really sure how I feel about it. It was good and I'm glad I saw it, but I'm on the fence about the ending. I think I'd have to see it again before I could make a hard decision about it.

I think what I enjoyed most about the movie was that it was told in a much different way from how I'd expect a story like this to be told. It was much more involved with the character and not so much with the spy and the action elements. Those are still central parts of the movie to be sure, but the vast majority of the film is trying to get inside this woman's head. A lot of movies would straight up tell you how she's feeling and what her motivations are, but this one doesn't. It keeps you wondering and guessing and it makes the character all the more interesting because of it.



An high school student tries to unravel the mystery behind the murder of his ex girlfriend.

Genre: Film noir

A while back I asked my friends for some movie recommendations. More specifically I asked for movies that they liked, but that other people have rarely heard of. And this is one of the ones mentioned.

I had heard it was a detective story, but I definitely wasn't expecting it be done in a film noir style and I found the whole thing to be fascinating because of it. Much to my surprise the film noir style seems to fit a high school setting extremely well. Actually in a lot of ways the stereotypes of the genre fit better with the world of high school than the usual world of crime.

If you're a fan of Veronica Mars then this strange mash-up won't be completely foreign to you, but Brick definitely entrenches itself much deeper in the film noir style than Mars did.

It's such an unusual movie, but such a great one. Did I mentioned the star of the movie is a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt?! And he nails it (like usual).



A centuries-old battle wages between the Vampires and the Werewolves. A seemingly unimpressive human finds himself in the middle of their war when the wolves take unusual interest in him and a special agent vampire tries to figure out why.

Genre: Supernatural Action

References to this movie keep popping up so when one of my roommates suggested watching it I was all for it.

I think I understand why people like it, and I've gotta admit that they've definitely created a world with a rich backstory. Most people would have just taken the premise of Vampires vs. Werewolves and slapped on just enough story so they could show a lot of action. The fact that they bothered to flesh it out shows that they really cared about the project, but in the end it just wasn't my kind of thing. The romance seemed forced and I didn't really like any of the characters.


Shadow of the Vampire

A fictionalized account of the making of Nosferatu. The filmmakers are trying to to make the movie, but the lead seems to be taking his role a little too seriously.

Genre: Faux Old-timey Horror

This movie is definitely an odd one, (is John Malkovich ever in  a movie that isn't a little odd?), but it was enjoyable. You gotta love quirky movies that tell offbeat stories. I've never actually seen Nosferatu so I'm sure I'm missing out on a whole additional level to the movie, but the way the story is told you don't really need to have seen it.

A very unique vampire movie, that's for sure. I'd definitely be up for watching it again at some point. If nothing else you'll love the cast: John Malkovich, Eddie Izzard, William Dafoe, it's even got Cary Elwes!


Jiro Dreams of Sushi

A documentary about Jiro Ono: the man regarded as the greatest sushi chef in the world.

Genre: Documentary

A documentary about sushi? And it's on Netflix? Oh, you know I'm there.

The title comes from the fact that sushi is pretty much the only thing Jiro thinks about, thus when he sleeps it's also all he dreams about. You've gotta respect someone who is dedicated to their craft at such an extreme level. But at the same time that's a dedication I will never have and don't really want to have.

I've had people ask me how the movie was and I never really know what to say. It's essentially exactly what it appears to be. If you like/are interested in sushi then you'll definitely enjoy it. If you don't really care then you're probably going to end up a little bored.


Safety Not Guaranteed

A team of magazine writers investigate a bizarre classifieds ad only to find the story leading them in directions they didn't expect.

Genre: Romantic drama with a Sci-Fi twist

I relate to every single character in this movie. It's rare that such a thing happens, but there you are. I don't even know what to say I like it so much. It's just impossibly cute, and weird, and wonderful.


The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

An aging magician tries to revamp his dated act, but in order to do that he's going to have to remember why he fell in love with magic in the first place.

Genre: Goofy comedy

I went and saw this one with a couple of my friends and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be, but it was still fun. Jim Carrey should have gotten more screen time because he was brilliant as always. I also have to give it a lot of credit for having Steve Buscemi as Burt's sidekick. It was such a weird choice and yet such a brilliant one.

Sidenote: The movie features an absolutely hilarious Mandy Patinkin reference that cracked me up something fierce, but no one else in the theater laughed! Just me and my friends. What is the world coming to when no one laughs at Mandy Patinkin jokes?


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

A queen tries to have someone remove the heart of her step-daughter, because the girl is prettier than she is, but more accurately BECAUSE THE QUEEN IS INSANE! The hired gun, however, realizes that he can't bring himself to kill and remove the heart of a young girl, BECAUSE HE'S A DECENT PERSON. Anyways, Snow White breaks into a cottage in the woods and the dwarfs who live there decide to let her live with them.

Genre: Classic Animated Fairy Tale

Okay, so there's a slew of Disney movies coming up here and I feel obligated to explain. You see, I realized that I haven't seen any of the classic Disney movies in many, many years and decided to do something about that and had a little Disney movie marathon. It was a pretty gosh-darn good night. But who cares about me? Not me! Let's talk about movies.

Here's something you might not remember about Snow White: it looks terrible compared to the other Disney movies. It was rotoscoped all up the wazoo and the effect is super creepy. I appreciate all the advances it made to animation and its role in animation history, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a little weird. Especially when you're used to a certain style from Disney. It's much more similar to other old cartoons of its era then it is to the Disney films I grew up on.


Beauty and the Beast

A prince acts like a jerk to a witch and is cursed into the form of a super-strong but scary-looking beast until he can find true love. His servants, however, are cursed to be furniture because...I dunno. F#% the lower class, amiright? In an attempt to break the curse he blackmails a girl into being a captive at his house. This is met with mixed results.

Genre: Classic Animated Fairy Tale

If you ever get the opportunity to watch Disney movies with 2 animators and a composer I highly suggest you take advantage of it. You learn all sorts of interesting things. Did you know that when Gaston is falling to his death there's a brief moment where skulls appear in his eyes? I DID NOT KNOW THAT! Seriously, go watch it and try to catch it. Amazing.

I don't really need to do proper reviews of these ones, right? You've all seen them. You all already have your own opinions on them. But I like this one. It's one of my favorites. Although it would be made a lot better if the Beast's human form didn't look so goshdarn awful. I mean honestly, whoever made the decision to use that character design should be severely reprimanded. Someone told me that when they saw it as a kid they cried when they saw the Beast's human form.

Which is an understandable response.


The Great Mouse Detective

A detective takes on a case to find a girl's missing father when he suspects that his arch-nemesis might have been involved, however, it seems that the case might be more dire than he first suspected.

Genre: Animated Detective Story

This is my 2nd favorite Disney movie right here. I love it. It's an animated Sherlock Holmes story, Vincent Price is the bad guy, it's got some parts that are legitimately creepy/of questionable appropriateness, it's got everything!



A crew of assholes sail to North America in search of gold, but when they don't find any they decide to act like dicks to the natives instead. Oh, and one of the native girls falls in love with one of the assholes for some reason.

Genre: Animated musical

Disney really loves their stereotypes don't they? While watching this I found that I can no longer hear the character John Smith without imagining Mel Gibson in the recording booth. Which is generally why I hate when studios try to use big name actors in animation.

Ugh, I couldn't even begin to think about the merits of this movie because one of the lead characters was so distracting, but I'll try anyways: it's not very good. "Colors of the Wind"? Brilliant. An absolutely amazing scene. Most everything else? Kind of meh? It's another one of those romance stories where I cannot figure out why they love each other. Sure, I could see why they could be friends, but not people so in love as to risk death over.



A parasitic alien slug crash lands in a small town and attempts to infect the populace.

Genre: Profoundly weird Horror with Humor

I've been wanting to see this movie for quite some time. I mean it's a horror movie starring Nathan Fillion! How could you not want to see that?

I don't even know what to say about it though. It is wholly bizarre. Like...a combination of Army of Darkness, The Fly (1986), and The Crazies? I'm actually a bit disappointed that I watched this by myself as this definitely strikes me as one to watch with someone else. If for no other reason than to have someone who can relate to the strangeness of what you just saw.

So yeah. It was good! I'd watch it again, but only if someone else was with me to share in the insanity.


Thir13en Ghosts

A family inherits a house that turns out to be home to a rather unique collection of ghosts.

Genre: Haunted House Horror

Is it weird to say that I really enjoyed this movie despite the fact that most of it isn't very good? The thing about it is the parts that are good are really fun. The visuals of the house are very unique, the multiple distinct ghosts are all quite interesting, the idea of being able to cage ghosts and the expansion of that idea into a collection of ghosts is extremely intriguing, and to top it all off the practical effects used for the ghosts just makes them all the better.

The big problem is that the reveal of the purpose behind the house is just silly, and that most of the actors are not a great fit. Pretty much everyone plays these impossibly bland characters. A lot of them disappear at some point in the movie and you hardly even notice because they were adding nothing to the movie at all. The notable exception to this being Matthew Lillard who was amazing. I kind of want to see the movie again just for him. I am a big Lillard fan though, but even with my bias I still think it's pretty obvious that he steals the show. Plus his character was the only one who had realistic motivations.

Anything else I would mention about the movie was already summed up much more eloquently in Joey Comeau's review.



When a giant asteroid is found to be headed towards Earth the planet's only hope lies in a roughneck team of oil drillers.

Genre: Explosions

Armageddon gets a lot of flak for being ridiculous and physically impossible and all sorts of other things and you know what? Those people are 100% correct. HOWEVER, they are missing the point entirely. The point is that the movie is ridiculous and over-the-top! That's exactly what makes it so much fun. No one is watching this for the cinematic artistry. They're watching it because it's full of explosions and hilarious one liners and if you like explosions and one-liners then you will not be disappointed.