Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Life and Death of Peter Sellers ( 2004) - FILM

Geoffrey Rush chameleons the chameleon in his award winning portrayal of funny man Peter Sellers. Sellers was a complicated and mean spirited individual and all of his major life beats are hit in classic Bio Pic style. Director Stephen Hopkins (of PREDATOR II fame!) throws in some very odd cartoony bits of style that clash straight up against the rough nature of the story being told - which while may be the point - only succeeded in taking me right out of the narrative. Still, Rush's performance is more then enough to give this one a watch.

Count of Monte Cristo (2001) - FILM

Forgotten in the annals of big budget adaptations, this adaption supposedly only shares the title of the French Novel and takes liberties with everything else. From my perception of having never read the source material to base it on, the film plays like a very enjoyable expensive looking adventure that only skirts the surface weight of the material. Director Kevin Reynolds (Of WATERWORLD shame) has a knack at keeping things interesting by giving it a big budget sheen constantly moving sheen without sacrificing its classic roots. Jim Cavaziel and Guy Pearce makes appealing heroes and villains (respectively). Recommended.

The Killer Elite (1975) FILM

There's a fun action film hanging around the insides of Sam Peckinpah's did-it-for-the-money film THE KILLER ELITE. The problem is that it's lost in so much padding. James Caan is fun as the swarmy CIA agent that's betrayed by his partner and left for a cripple. Instead of giving up, Caan learns some martial arts (which he barely uses) and teams up to save a Japanese client that's being chased by some Ninjas. The action is fun, in slow motion, and bloody, but there isn't nearly enough of it, and the story is a complicated mess of goobellygook. Mildly Recommended.

My Year of Flops - BOOK

I'm usually fairly uninterested in books that have to do with bad movies. It's just not fun to me. Yes, I realize they did something bad, and yes, it's sometimes quite funny to sit there and continually repeat "I can't believe they did that!" but it can only take me so far.
In MY YEAR OF FLOPS, writer Nathan Rabin doesn't want to make fun of the films he's considering in his essays, but wants to find them as something more than the original public did. He's always looking for a diamond in the rough.

And throughout the book he not only finds films that deserve a second chance, but he evaluates a lot of films I had never even heard of (the greatest compliment I can give to a book of lists). And even when he analyzes easy targets (Battlefield Earth anyone?) he still finds enough interesting things, from a production trivia perspective to a more analytical outlook, to make it worth reading over.

Highly Recommended.

The Cincinnati Kid (1965) - FILM

Norman Jewison crafts a solid motion picture that allows Steve Mcqueen to act as cool as ice (as per usual). The whole gambling idea just doesn't have much at stake, I never felt there was much danger to Mcqueen or the outcome meant much other then a personal point of pride for the main characters. I need a little something more if I'm expected to watch them play Poker for forty five minutes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


"I...want my money."

Lee Marvin is the baddest of badasses in John Boorman's Neo Noir masterpiece. Marvin stars as Parker, a man on an unstoppable path for the money that's owed to him. Grim, funny, perfectly paced and filled with bursts of crazed non-linear editing that the film is still remember for to this day. See it now.

BULLIT (1968) - FILM

Peter Yates energetically directs a story that doesn't have much going on about it. Steve Mcqueen exudes quiet cool. There's one wicked (and deservingly famous) car chase. Everything else is kind of dull.

WITNESS (1985) -

I'll be completely honest and state that I wouldn't really be interested in this film if it wasn't for the charming presence of Harrison Ford. And after viewing the film, I know I would have never made it through if it was for him. Director Peter Weir is a master of creating atmospheric tome poems, and he doesn't fail here when it comes to visually illustrating the world of the Amish. There just isn't much going on here, no discoveries made, or hard beats it, the film just plays itself out as a visually stimulating slow paced 80's cop film that happens to take place in an interesting locale. Odd 80's score from the man that scored LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.


I'm surprised it took me so long to see this film in its entirety. As a kid, I saw the ending one night on TBS and felt that I really didn't want to see something that seemingly ended in a downer.

I was a fool.

A stylish black comedy about High School politics that involves many complex emotions (and humans just asking like flat out jerks) but presented in a poppy style. You barely realize the horrible things going on because it's so much


Classic film about a father )(Dustin Hoffman) fighting his wife that left for fifteen month (Meryl Streepe) for the custody of his son. Every note is hit perfectly. The ending is a little saccharine and pat, but the performances pull it through and make it believable.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


It feels like a lazy Sunday I had when I was ten years old - flipping through the channels and only finding old movies and new stuff I didn't really WANT to see but will watch because it holds a vague interest to my sensisiblities.

-The Magnificent Seven: Classic on every level.

-Death Race 2 (2010): Above average DTV flick that doesn't have an ending and is pretty slack on the whole 'racing'