Log in

i started this whole thing with a review of the second pirates of the caribbean movie, so it is very fitting that i start it up again with a review of the third.

the sum-up: youve come this far, seen the first 2, maybe loved the first 2. you might as well go see it.

the review: i'm going to start this with a quick review of spiderman 3, which, if you havent heard, really isnt all that great. my roommate hit the nail on the head for WHY, which is something no ones really doing.

his theory is that, by the 3rd film in a mega-millions franchise they just dont have to care anymore. they KNOW its going to make millions, and everyone will go see it, so dont even really worry about, oh, say, the plot, or characters, or awesome fight scenes. throw in a musical number, and youre aces.

this is the curse that struck pirates III. and it pains me to say that, honestly, because gore verbinski was a personal hero. even though i wasnt gungho about the second pirate film, i still liked it as a film. it was brilliant on a lot of levels. i cant remember much of it now, not in the way i remember the first one, but i REALLY cant remember anything about the third one, and i just saw it less than an hour ago.

but its pointless to say this. its pointless to bash a movie like this because its going to do well, and everyones going to go see it. you HAVE to. its like a law.

regardless, here's what sucked about it-

the plot was atrocious. where the second film was 'patchy', the third was all over the place, barely even together. it didnt flow, it didnt make sense, and they kept bringing up great things and then.... never going back to them. what they needed was a script consultant to tell them where to trim the mass amounts of fat, and where to add really awesome fight scenes.

oh, speaking of fight scenes... there was like one really awesome one. there were a few fight scenes, i guess, but they werent awesome. the very last fight scene was awesome, but only by virtue of the fact that there hadnt been much fighting previous to it. there was lots of talking and... talking. and talking about talking. and more talking. and then some talking that was kind of funny. then serious talking. then something with a monkey.

the characters were all there, but none of them- not a one- was what they were/could have been. capt. jack sparrow was just some guy with a hat, barbosa was just some guy who used to be dead, will barely spoke, elizabeth spoke too much, and davy jones was in the film like a total of 8 minutes.

and keith richards' character, jacks dad, was clearly added in late in the game, because, seriously, what was with that?

filmmaking-wise, there was not a shot in this film that i felt was really special. if youve seen it once (and youve actually seen it twice, because this is the third film), youve seen it a hundred times. some beaches in a big wide shot, a sunset, a boat. oh, wait... wait... i lied.

beyond a few, spare things here and there- a nice line, something with a monkey- there was only one thing that was really fucking amazing about this film.

there is a sequence as the black pearl floats over a completely calm sea at night. the stars are reflected in the water like a mirror, and the ship sails through it slowly, blurring the stars' reflections as it goes.

this was gorgeous, and, if something like it happened even just twice more, it could have redeemed this film.

also, the sequence reminded me of this game: pocketful of stars.


trailers i saw:

gracie. some 'true story' about a chick who joins a soccer team in place of her dead, all-star brother, and she, of course, faces obstacles (read: men).

ratatouille. the trailer starts out with a voice-over by PATTON OSWALD. and then it turns out... HES THE LEAD CHARACTER. wtf. awesomex2. im in for this.

evan almighty. my roommate just made an awesome point when i said it looked like crap- so did bruce almighty. and that was an alright film. steve carrell is funny regardless of... well, an 'almighty' movie.

live free or die hard. i dont know. its a die hard film, but some die hard fans i know (well, one) are kind of not into it because its PG-13. and... well... that doesnt really mean anything. everyone who likes die hard, which is like everyone, will go see it, and itll just be an action film, and thats it.

and something we didnt see, but something my roommate just mentioned- nancy drew. theres nothing to say except... 'i have to diffuse this bomb.' WHAT? YOURE LIKE 11?! 14 yr old female jack mcclane. thats all im sayin'.
29 July 2006 @ 08:48 pm
i finally had a chance to see strangers with candy.

the sum-up: whatever you think this movie's going to be, it is.

i know; that's vauge. but it's true.

the review: i'm a big fan of SwC, and i was excited when i found out they were making this movie.

they clearly didn't feel the same way.

something that makes SwC the show some of the greatest comedy ever created is the writing. the writing was always so crisp and perfect. its hard to get that clean parallel of intellectual and fart jokes, but they always did it so well. it was inventive.

unfortunately, they seem to have completely lost that ability.

i like to imagine it as not actually any fault of writers/creators/actors Sedaris, Dinello, & Colbert, but a magical curse put upon them by an angry gypsy. like, maybe this gypsy hates laughter and fun, so she cursed the 3 of them to never again be able to spin the comedy stylings that they have done so well with in the past. i see her, hunched over some beads and crystals and tarot cards, mumbling the curse and laughing softly to herself. which is ironic, because she hates laughter, but maybe she considers it more of a cackle or a snicker. i dont know, im not very friendly with her.

but i digress.

this movie just didn't have the spark of the show. it tried to recreate that spark. it tried so hard, they ended up using famous lines from the tv show. yes, that's right - the movie isnt even entirely original. and i know it isnt meant to be insulting. if youre a fan, you know those lines, and you were probably quoting them before you walked into the theatre. and the first time you hear one in the movie, you laugh, because its like an injoke. but by the 8 line stolen directly from the tv show, youre kind of like, 'cmon guys. this is crazy.'

so was the movie just a cesspool of less than funny rehashings of old episodes? no. no, it wasnt. a lot of stuff was pretty funny. very new. little glimmers of the show that was. i laughed quite a few times. and i walked out unashamed for having bought a ticket. which feels like something new, after my recent movie travels.

the movie was exactly what i had thought it would be. not quite the show, but not a total and utter disappointment.

as a matter of fact, i rather liked it. it put a smile on my face, and it made me hate comedy central for canceling the show all over again.

other than the little bump with the actual writing, everything else was GREAT. the acting was as good as it ever was, with extra awesome work by guest stars - alison janney, phillip seymour hoffman (!), matthew broderick, sarah jessica parker, kristen johnston, & ian holm (lol bilbo!). i kind of wish i got to see more of them all. actually, i really wish i got to see more of all of them.

who was the best out of the big 3? stephen colbert. and is anyone surprised? no. he was just so good. hes always so good.
but, to be honest, Sedaris, Dinello, and Colbert all 'had it'. they were as hilarious as ever.

oh, and there was no le tigre music in the actual movie. wtf? misleading trailer!

i mean, thats really all i have to say about it. it was good. not the best.
4 stars, 1 thumb up, and 3 "riveting! ~ paul simms, new york post"s.


here's the only new trailer i saw: accepted.
it looks like a standard 'teen does wacky thing and antics ensue!' kind of movie. i just hope it has some wit. you know?

here's where i go to see movies, pretty exclusively: ritz theatres.
theyre local, but i just thought id pimp them, just so youd all know what youre missing.
24 July 2006 @ 09:17 pm
this weekend, i saw lady in the water and a scanner darkly.

i really wish i hadn't.

lady in the water

the sum up: this movie is shit. don't go see it. don't rent the dvd. don't even bother writing a letter to m night shyamalan asking him never to do this again. he won't listen.

the review: i wanted to make a pyramid diagram showing how shyamalans movies have gone from the top, the summit of really brilliant filmmaking, to the fat, submerged bottom (where they buried the serfs). but then i thought...

why spend time on that when clearly m night didnt spend any time on this movie?
it would be ironic, expending more energy to show why he sucks than he did himself.

i question shyamalan's degree from tisch. i really do. this movie was like a movie made by someone who has never, ever even SEEN a camera. and i'm talking, the WHOLE thing.

shoddy camerawork that, idk, was that supposed to be artsy? it was just so disjointed and blurry, but not at all in a 'good' way. it was almost like no one was working the cameras, they just let them roll and went to lunch.

the script was the worst though. it was like something a child would have written. he used incredibly sloppy plot conventions to pull the story out over the most tedious 1 hr 40 mins i have ever experienced. after the 6th sense and signs, where things were so meticulous, and even the village, where there was at least some semblance of a mystery, this was honestly like a big phoning it in fuck you from shyamalan.

especially since he walked around saying this was the one and only movie he ever hopes to make.

as an extra added bonus, the acting was pretty shitty, too. paul giamatti was okay SOMETIMES, but, again, shyamalan clearly wasn't at his best at any point in this production, and he let a really fucking genius actor slip through his fingers.

this is what he gets for not casting christopher walken.


a scanner darkly

the sum up: if you enjoy seeing films that are kind of blowing open the industry because of revolutionary techniques (well, re-revolutionary), and you dont really care for plot or purpose, this movie will make you wet yourself. go see it.
if you want to laugh and see some amazing acting, go see it.
if you want to see a movie and be entertained and have something to think about, don't go see this film.

the review: here is a movie that really had an amazing chance at being... amazing. rotoscoping, richard linklater, a truly all-star cast, and a story that is perfect for our current political situation, and probably plenty of situations to come.

and i can't say it didn't live up to all that. it was funny, it was smart, it was pleasing to the eye. the acting was... UH MAZING. i won't lie. everyone should get oscars. i swear. well, except for reeves and rider, but... whatever.

so what was the problem? well... it didn't make sense. i don't mean, it didnt make sense in that surreal, OMG MAN, YOURE BLOWIN MY MIND!! kind of a way. i mean, it literally just made no sense. i have no idea what the plot is, or why anyone would make this film. it had a beginning, a middle, and an end, but they might as well have all been different movies, because they didn't connect. the characters that were really strong were examined for a brief moment and then dropped and never heard from again. and the characters you had no reason to pay any attention to, in the end, become the ones the 'plot' rallies around.

the movie starts - its really great.
the movie continues - you have no idea where this is going, but its still pretty great.
the movie ends - youre not even sure you saw a movie.

and whats unfortunate is that i did some research on the book, a scanner darkly, and it sounds fucking cool. but the real plot of the book was just non existent. i won't spoil the movie or the book for you by saying that the real point is about drug addiction, under the allegory of a cop who is an addict, who spies on himself, and then can't tell the difference between himself and the guy he's spying on.

thats fucking intense.

and that's not at all what happened in this movie.
at all.

but i wont say i was disappointed. i just feel, as filmmakers, they should have worked harder to produce an actual movie as opposed to a beauty of modern rotoscoped cinema.

AS AN EXTRA ADDED BONUS, robert downey jr will fuck you up. he is... so. good. he is my new idol. he was so on. i LOVED IT. loved it.
woody harrelson, same thing. i was pleasantly surprised.
rory cochrane didnt get enough screen time, but from the forst second of the film, he was amazing. YEAH SLATER MAN!

i also really liked the doctor lady. something about her made me very happy.

2 stars if its a movie. 8 stars if its an art installation.


trailers i am in love with: the science of sleep. factotum.
a movie i am not at all excited to even hear about: world trade center.

i just realized this is coming out soon: trhe assasination of jesse james by that coward robert ford.
i love brad pitt.
i saw click this evening.

sum up: if you like adam sandler movies, and are 30+, you will like this movie.
if you are a woman, especially a woman who likes adam sandler movies, you will like this movie.

otherwise, i would say don't hesitate to rent the dvd.

the review: if you don't know, click is the new adam sandler movie. in it, adam sandler is a 'workaholic', and kind of a jerk, who only ever eats twinkies and has a small penis. and he's married to kate beckinsale (this part requires a TON of verisimilitude).

this movie is the next installment in the '30 year old boy' movie line that adam sandler piloted, and of which he continues to be the leader. billy madison was as juvenile as it could be, with kids being the playmates and equals. bid daddy showed the beginnings of interest in adulthood. click is what all 30 year old boys become: family-oriented, with an obsession with tits, death, and fart jokes.

oh, and dog humping jokes. how could i forget the dog humping jokes.

there was pretty much nothing special about this movie at all. it didn't suck. it was just standard blockbuster fare. the sets and special effects were awesome, but they weren't new or original. the message was a classic one: enjoy life to the fullest! don't be a money-obsessed asshole! christopher walken is best at playing creepy roles!

oh, wait - here was an endearing thing about the film: CHRISTOPHER WALKEN. man, that guy is awesome. why isn't he in every movie?

wait.... he IS in every movie!

my least favourite thing about christopher walken is that he always seems to be playing a parody of himself. well, in this film, i felt like we were getting a lot of realism. which is funny because this movie is so far from real, it's like lord of the fucking rings. but he gave a stellar performance. he was creepy, but in that nice-guy way. also, he sings! which is great. he was definitely the best thing in the movie.

the plot isn't really that terrible, but some of the actual plot points irked me. the movie is pretty slow to start. he has the remote, he's doing stuff with it... wait, now he'as asking chris walken for advice. okay, now he's using the-- wait, he's talking to walken again. oka, he's got it.... but when does bad shit befall him?

the end also disappointed me, mostly because i always want the end to be unexpected. and it was clear where this was going.


a lot of reviewers have mentioned that the melodrama, the touchy feely stuff, is crap. i disagree, and not just because i have a uterus. in the context of the full story, it makes perfect sense. it makes perfect sense, and it evokes feeling. which i love. i love crying like a big sack of crap when stuff happens in a movie. i like that connection. i didn't question the sensitive stuff. i thought it was well-written, and i thought that adam sandler played it really well.

something that i'll agree with most of the reviewers about is the fart jokes, ETC. some of them were very funny. people getting kicked in the nuts is always hilarious. farting in your boss's face and then having him say, I TASTE SHIT! isn't as funny. actually, it's not funny at all. it loses ten more points when you factor in that the boss is david fucking hasselhoff.

so there it is. that was click for me. if i had to give it a grade, it would be like a b. if i had to do something with my thumbs, they would be up. if i have to give it x amount of stars out of x amount of stars, 3 out of 5.

if i had to give christopher walken an oscar, an emmy, a tony, AND a grammy.............. i would. in a hjeartbeat.

god i love him.


i saw the trailer for brothers of the head again today. and a trailer for little miss sunshine. yet again. will that movie ever come out? seriously.

and, as an extra bonus: i have a pet peeve. a new one. i hate going to movies like click at little arthouse theatres like the ritz. the crowd is always uberwhite pretensious, and they say the stupidest shit during the previews.

they also don't laugh when people get kicked in the nuts.
which is just not excusable.

um... hmm. let's see.

to start:

if you loved the first pirates of the caribbean movie, you will like this one, so go see it.
if you are a fan of film in general- splendid directing, acting, fun dialogue, and amazing camera work- you will like it, so go see it.

i never really... went for all that talk about sequels. most sequels suck, some are on par with their predecessors. i don't know or care, on the whole. a good movie is a good movie.

pirates II was a good movie, AND a good sequel. the first movie is better, but not by much. this movie had all the things that made the first movie great: the sword fights, the crazy gross special effects, the humour, the adventure. and something i found very interesting- it had few 'new' characters. all the old favourites returned, with some surprises. and i think that may be the key to a good sequel. back to the future, unarguably one of the best film franchises ever, always remained amazing, and it employed the same 'same characters, same actors' theory as pirates II. you also have to have the same director (the harry potter franchise is proof that same characters & actors isn't enough).

here are my gripes: the plot is, what has been called, 'patchy'. i think what's meant by that is... some stuff just ddin't make sense. which is a fair assessment. something i'll say right now: why is keira knightley's character all of a sudden crazy great with swords?? she says will taught her, but when? in like 3 months? no way, sister. no way.

also- and this has been said, too- the script relies more on humour than anything else, leaving characters like will and elizabeth without much to 'do'. but i actually didn't think of that till i read it in a review, and then it struck me as something that was very true.

gore verbinski... well, i'm already in love with him. he's an amazing director with an amazing talent for colour and stunning imagery. i was wowed by even the littlest things; in particular, sunlight during a chase scene. i was just really blown away by how great the whole thing felt.

and the end... well, i wasn't expecting it. those who have seen it probably felt the same way. it was such a great, suspenseful feeling, like, 'oh wow! okay, so... WHAT?!'
i LOVE that feeling. the, what could possibly happen next? surprise feeling. it's great, and it's almost nonexistent in films. everything has to be tied up neat with a little bow, and you as the audience don't have to do any work. it was great to see just a small flash of something to look forward to. 

i guess my final word is that you really should go see this in the theatres, if you have the littlest inkling to do so. it is well-worth it. really.


a trailer i saw that i really liked: brothers of the head. you had me at '70s punk rockstar conjoined twins'.

a trailer you should all watch: the illusionist. it was actually just posted today. i was, obviously, all over it. it looks amazing. i had no idea of the story, so this was interesting to see. not what i expected. beautiful. i'm siked.

movies i'm going to be reviewing next: watcher in the woods, strangers with candy: the movie (the trailer is packed with le tigre music... i can't even predict what that means).