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Archive for January, 2012

Movie Tally 2012: Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Movie Tally 2012Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

Directed by Banksy

Viewed: 1/22/2012 (Netflix Instant Watch)

One of the best “documentaries” I’ve ever seen. The movie only gets better on subsequent viewings. I love every minute of it.

    5.0 out of 5

Movie Tally 2012: Louis C.K.: Hilarious (2010)

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Movie Tally 2012Louis C.K.: Hilarious (2010)

Directed by Louis C.K.

Viewed: 1/22/2012 (Netflix Instant Watch)

Still one of the best stand up performances I’ve ever seen. Up there with Carlin, Hicks and Pryor.

    4.5 out of 5

Movie Tally 2012: Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Movie Tally 2012Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)

Directed by Sam Peckinpah

Viewed: 1/22/2012 (Netflix Instant Watch)

I’m beginning to think Peckinpah gets me, at least through his movies.  I’ve loved pretty much everything he’s done and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid is no different.  Great lead performances from both Kris Kristofferson and James Coburn make the relationship between the two characters not only believable but by the end, somewhat heartbreaking.  The unique choice of having Bob Dylan do the soundtrack initially feels forced but by the end becomes clear that not is it a great idea, the music becomes absolutely essential to the film itself.  All that being said, I would love to see famed Director’s Cut which includes a somewhat alternate score and added scenes that only enhance the theatrical cut.

    4.5 out of 5

Movie Tally 2012: Naked Lunch (1990)

January 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Movie Tally 2012Naked Lunch (1990)

Directed by David Cronenberg

Viewed: 1/21/2012 (Netflix Instant Watch)

Long time coming for this one.  Fucked up, bizarre, and borderline nonsensical.  A true acid trip of a film.  I could try to tell you what it’s about but I’m not sure it would make any sense.

    3.5 out of 5

Movie Tally 2012: Haywire (2012)

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Movie Tally 2012Haywire (2012)

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Viewed: 1/21/2012 (@ Cinemark Tinseltown 20 and XD in Austin, TX)

Marketed as Gina Carano kicking lots of ass, that’s exactly what I got out of Haywire.  In addition to bone-breaking action sequences, Soderbergh added odd flourishes to enhance what is otherwise a by the numbers spy revenge movie.  After playing around from genre to genre in the last few years, he’s finally made a full blown action film…sort of.

The film is at it’s core an action showcase for Gina Carano proving  that not only can she kick ass, but she can go toe to toe with some of the manliest leading men in Hollywood and come out beaming.  What follows is a collection of the most unique sustained action sequences in recent memory.  Each has it’s own personality and typically one of the aforementioned manly actors associated.  The hand to hand combat is obviously the highlight, with Carano being a popular MMA female fighter.  The combat has the force and choreography of real, brutal combat complete with muted sound and sometimes quick finishes.  I like the choice mainly because it’s just so different then what we typically see with the closeup handheld camera style and overproduced sound effects.  The cinematography from Soderbergh also helps as it’s steady and easy to follow through mainly static and clean movement shots.  Carano more than pulls off each scene physically as do her fairly great cast of supporting players.

Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum and Bill Paxton.  The cast is ridiculously great and each shines in the small part they play.  Despite the predictably wooden acting of Carano, the rest of the cast does a great job of picking up the slack.  Michael Fassbender has possibly the best fight sequence in years and pulls it off almost as well as Carano does.  Ewan McGregor is deliciously evil while Channing Tatum is surprisingly tolerable proving that with a great director, he’s actually worth a damn.  Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas are mainly played for government figureheads and while definitely great, don’t get a whole hell of a lot to do character wise.  Paxton plays Carano’s father whom she has a surprisingly touching and deep relationship with,  another remarkably small yet effective detail.

The cast and the action make up for a fairly slow plot pace and a by the numbers revenge tale.  The movie reminded me of Lem Dobb’s previous script The Limey, also directed by Steven Soderbergh.  It moves slowly but deliberately, which I actually enjoy.  However, the mystery just isn’t that strong here.  As the plot progresses it becomes a matter of simply figuring out who’s left.  There’s an unnecessary amount of extra conspiracy thrown in throughout which strictly serves to complicate the plot.

Haywire serves as a great, enjoyable little action flick from a director who is clearly in a semi-experimental stage of his career, trying out new things.  As far as I’m concerned, Soderbergh is killing it with the recent genre entries and this is no different.

    4.0 out of 5

Movie Tally 2012: Peter Pan (2003)

January 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Movie Tally 2012Peter Pan (2003)

Directed by P.J. Hogan

Viewed: 1/20/2012 (Netflix Instant Watch)

Unconventional retelling of the famous boy who didn’t want to grow up.  This time the darker layers of the story are brought to the forefront creating a pretty bleak look on Peter Pan and what might drive him to never want to grow up.  Great cinematography with weird and interesting shot composition make up for dated and typically distracting visual effects specifically the green screen replacements.  The movie is obviously meant to be slightly over the top with exaggerated backdrops and borderline silly character, visual effect interactions.  While I didn’t particularly like the effects, I appreciate the idea and effort behind them.  Fantastic acting from Jason Issacs and most of the children also helps.

    3.5 out of 5

Movie Tally 2012: Wait Until Dark (1967)

January 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Movie Tally 2012Wait Until Dark (1967)

Directed by Terence Young

Viewed: 1/19/2012 (Netflix – DVD)

Great cinematography that adds lots of tension. Fantastic last 15-20 minutes that still holds up. Plot is a little silly and character choices are a bit nonsensical but it doesn’t affect the amazing atmosphere of uncertainty.

    4.0 out of 5