Lists  Reviews  Images  Update feed
MoviesTV ShowsMusicBooksGamesDVDs/Blu-RayPeopleArt & DesignPlacesWeb TV & PodcastsToys & CollectiblesComic Book SeriesBeautyAnimals   View more categories »
Listal logo
All reviews - Movies (53) - TV Shows (1) - Music (2) - Games (2)

Sideplots really don't do much good nowadays

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 26 October 2009 02:27 (A review of Let the Right One In (2008))

I don't think this is one of those movies that will be hauled as classics in the coming years, but it's still a thoroughly entertaining and striking display of northern filmmaking at it's best. Often melancholic and almost completely silent, drowning in snowy suburban landscapes, Let The Right One In has tons of beautiful imagery to showcase along with a score that supports the film as a whole and almost elevates it to a higher level with piano that is so heartbreaking, and violins that manage to sound very un-sappy, yet touching. The problem lies somewhat within the story. It's a condesended view of the book that it is based upon, and even if you haven't read the book, you'll get the feeling that something is missing. For example the person who helps our young vampiress collect blood is in the film a mute Igor-like nutjob instead of the very deep and sophisticated, victimised individual we saw in the book. We also get a very half-built sideplot revolving around the people who reside the neighbourhood, but this is yet again very slight a story and doesn't really go anywhere as we never come to care of the characters. Had they cut this sideplot entirely, the film would be 30 minutes shorter and far tighter a package, and would still pretty much have the exact same content. This is why it is not a film worthy of a ten. It has very few things wrong with it, but this is one thing I can not excuse it for.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

Solid greatness

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 22 October 2009 08:50 (A review of Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008))

In the near future, an epidemic of organ failures has struck the globe. From the ashes of chaos, a savior emerges; Rotti Largo (Paul Sorvino) and his company GeneCo, which offers articifial internal organs for cheap monthly fees. The world is all good and well, until Rotti begins to abuse his power; he lobbies a bill through congress, making it possible to reposses organs. He also invents a new addictive painkiller, Zydrate. An illegal version of said substance can be extracted from the dead and sold on the street like a drug by Graverobbers (The narrator in this movie is one, and is played by co-creator Terrance Zdunich). So, if you miss a payment on your organ, Largo sends a Repo Man after you. One of the Repo Men, Nathan (Anthony Stewart Head of Buffy-fame), has a sick daughter named Shilo (Alexa Vega) to look after. But Rotti has a devious plan to destroy Nathan's life once and for all over an old grudge, and he will put it into action. Bodies will come, blood will flow, organs will be repossessed, and boy, everyone will sing through the whole thing.

Now, if you read what I just wrote about the plot, you're probably thinking only one thing; THIS MOVIE IS PACKED! And why, yes it is. This is why it's amazing how Bousman actually keeps all the strings in his hands. The film has a very straightforward progress, and it never feels truly confusing. Narratively, it's damn near film school-material. When we get a new character, we sometimes get his/her background story explained in neat comic book-panels, which provides calm moments in the middle of the storm that is the soundtrack of this movie. Repo apparently holds a record for having the most songs ever recorded just for a movie, and the number is somewhere around 65 or so. Even though some just last mere seconds, they're still good and enjoyable songs throughout. Repo follows a very different style as far as musicals go with the soundtrack. You see, Repo is literally an opera. This doesn't mean that it's full of fat bearded men going "AAAAA", as it is a rock opera, not a classic opera. The songs don't necessarily rhyme at all, but they're sung in rhyme. Most of them are rock songs, and many famous musicians were involved in composing them (such as a few former GnR-members). The funny thing is, most of the song are completely different from all the other songs; they're almost always different than the one that came before. This can have you thinking "Wouldn't that be pretty annoying to listen to?" And I answer, no. It's refreshing in my opinion to watch a musical so varied in style. Also, as I said, the comic book-moments really calm you down abit on your first viewing so you don't get an onslaught of musical goodness. Honestly, a great majority of the chances you have of liking this movie depends largely on your musical taste. If you like rap, you're **** out of luck, but if you're into pop, rock, heavy or even jazz, you'll probably enjoy the music. Don't skip Repo just because you don't like musicals. If you don't like musicals it's generally because the music in musicals is usually pretty classical so to speak, it doesn't necessarily have much to do with the fact that people sing in the movie. But if that's your problem, then unless you hate music, you will still enjoy the singing in Repo, and here's why: You get used to it. This film consists of nothing else but music and comic book panels; perhaps 20-50 lines of dialogue are spoken instead of being sung. This blasting of music at you from frame 1 gets you used to the fact that it's a musical very fast, and soon you hopefully won't hate it either. That's what happened in my case atleast.

For a film that cost roughly 6½ million dollars to make, Repo is excellent in visuals and production value. It looks pretty much as good as any modern fantasy/sci-fi film. The CGI never really looks cheap, and mostly it's undetectable. However, I must note the single flaw in the production design in my opinion; the blood and guts (there's quite a bit of it) mostly looks like rubber covered with blood, something that I always think is abit... well, dumb. I have seen intestines, and let me tell ya, they don't look the way they do in this movie, and sure as hell don't stretch that way. Anyways, how would I describe the visuals of this movie? Imagine if Philip K. Dick would meet Tim Burton, then they'd go on an acid trip together and draw what they see. The result would be pretty much the same as Repo's visuals. And when I say those two, I mean them quite literally. This Genetic Opera pulls a lot of things out of other movies and books, but instead of doing what I'd expect it do do with these other materials, it does the unexpected; Repo becomes something original by taking unoriginal elements from other works. It works to the movie's benefit, as instead of playing a game of "spot-the-reference" you get engrossed into Repo's world. It has some unique things in it, granted, but the visuals are mostly taken from other products, then manufactured into something original. One thing though that bothers me is that a large part of this originality comes from complete randomness, AKA the costume design. Some costumes are wonderful and seem practical, such as that of The Repo Man, but some... I mean there are people dressed in tutu skirts, bodyguards that are always topless, bodyguards who wear sunglasses all the time, huge fur coats all over the place, a feathered corset-skirt... The costume design is very hit and miss. It's original, but it seems some of it was just made by randomly pointing at two different materials and then combining them. But the designs don't lack consistancy, since the whole thing is consistantly random! It's really a weird thing, and annoying, but at the same time endearing; it's weird to see this amount of originality in movies nowadays, even if it is mostly achieved via being all random and stuff.

Now, let's quickly deal with the acting. Paris Hilton is the first thing I need to address because everyone goes "EWWW" when they see her in the cast-listing. You probably know my movie taste to some extent, right? You, my dear reader, must know that I have some resemblance of dignity and atleast some movie taste, and some honesty as well, so I would never say that there's a very good performance in a movie unless I REALLY thought so. Brace yourself, because I'm about to say something that is almost as bad as me sometimes liking Uwe Boll's movies: Paris Hilton is great in Repo. There's a reasoning behind this. She plays one of Rotti Largo's children, Amber Sweet. All of Rotti's children (more on the other two in a bit) are spoiled brats, and Amber happens to also be addicted to plastic surgery. Essentially Paris Hilton plays a spoiled bitch throughout this film, and I don't give a rat's ass if she does this well because she's experienced at being just that or if she's just a good actor; what matters is the result, and Hilton convinces as this fictional character. Also, she has some small things in her performance that you might miss unless you look close, and they add character to her... well, character. She for example shows joy in a very fun little way after Rotti promises to pay her next surgery, and she shows this joy in a way I won't spoil to you at this moment, since you have to see it yourself if you want to know. The other Rotti-kids are played by Bill Moseley and Ogre from Skinny Puppy. What's Skinny Puppy? I don't know, but I guess it's some industrial band. Bill plays a businessman-type of guy named Luigi, who has some serious rage issues. Moseley provides most of the comic relief here, and if you've seen The Devil's Rejects or House of 1000 Corpses or TCM2, you're probably wondering if he's any good at singing. To be honest, he isn't. His singing sounds pretty much like someone would be throwing a cat to a wall or something, but this fact is overshadowed by one thing; Moseley has fun with the part. He always looks as if he's enjoying himself, and Bill's the type of actor that can transfer that enthusiasm to the viewer as well. This works well, and his casting, though it may seem weird at first, makes sense the first time you hear him get pissed, because he is absolutely hilarious. Now, Ogre on the other hand plays a guy called Pavi, and he's the weird one in the family. Yes, he's even weirder than a plastic surgery-addicted little bitch or a rage-infested maniac. You see, Pavi is a true ladies man. As he says it himself, "I will leave your diapers dripping", he always hits it off with the ladies. Now comes the weird part. Pavi always wears a face. He has hooks on the sides of his face that allow an extra face to be planted ontop of his own hideously disfigured mutt, and for some reason THIS SEEMS TO TURN EVERY WOMAN INTO A PILE OF HORNY *****. It makes no sense, but atleast he's a very good actor/singer, and I enjoy his on-screen presence regardless of his silly character. Paul Sorvino is a very intimidating bad guy, and he has a very impressive voice. Anthony Stewart Head is also impressive in his part, but as a person who has seen the musical episode of Buffy countless times, this comes as no surprise. Alexa Vega is good in her role, and is obviously enjoying her on-screen time always. Terrance Zdunich also deserves a special mention as a somewhat seductive Graverobber, who also works as a narrator throughout the story. His voice is like someone would be pouring chocolate... INTO YOUR EARS. He might not be the best actor, but the moment he opens his mouth, you forget that.

Really, what's wrong with Repo then? Aside from the things I've already mentioned, there are still two things. One, the sound effects. They're often like out of a looney toons-cartoon with Zings and Boings all over the place, and it unfortunately breaks the mood sometimes during a few athmospheric songs. Don't worry though, they aren't that often used. The bigger problem to me was the fact that there is absolutely no one to relate to in this story. The person I thought I was supposed to relate to turns out to be a douchebag near the end, and by then it's too late to change your "allegiances" so to speak. Movies should generally have atleast one character with who you can relate fully, instead of being like in Repo where you can relate with one thing with one of the characters and another thing with another character. This causes major problems especially towards the end; I can't find myself really caring about anyone's fate because I don't "feel for them". This is obviously a pretty personal issue, but still, it's also a personal review, and that's what I thought constantly. Truly, the characters are one of the greatest charms in Repo but through this they also become it's biggest problem, and possibly the reason why I can't give this movie a ten with a straight face. I will give Repo! The Genetic Opera a solid 9 for being what it is.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

A great flick if you really like this stuff

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:12 (A review of Hostel: Part II (2007))

The first Hostel was gruesome, sickening and disgusting. Yet I enjoyed it's superb craftsmanship and surprisingly good charecters. It's pretty much the same thing here, except with more plot. Hostel 2 goes in-depth with the whole technical aspect of the torture business; We see how the clients buy their victims, how they are treated upon arrival to Slovakia, and also some rules of the torturer alliance are explained. And instead of using the directorial trick Roth used in the first film, to make us believe we're watching a comedy for the first 50 minutes and then punch us in the face by showing a severed head, here he starts off with that severed head-type of feeling. We still do get a lengthy set-up involving a group of vixens partying and talking. Thank god for the fact that Roth didn't go the Tarantino way and make them talk about popular culture. Instead they just talk bullshit about their friends, just like in real life. And Roth is a good dialogue writer otherwise too, all the dialogue we get here feels spot-on and something that actual human beings might say. When it comes to the torturing scenes, I won't spoil anything. They are extremely creative, but besides a little scene around the end, they're almost goreless. In a movie like this you would expect a whole lot more of torture and such. But on the other hand two side characters, two torturers to be exact, are shown having some very interesting ethical conflicts with each other, and the transformation they both undergo as humans is rather interesting to see.

The performances are also rather nice. All the women are hot as hell, except for the have-to nerdy kid with the gigantic gums and teeth. We ALMOST get some HLA, but it turns out to be Roth teasing the living shit out of us. I don't like that too much, but there still is a rather large amount of nudity here to please... Well, just about anyone. The technical side is magnificent here, sporting truly disgusting special effects just like the previous movie. The score should also be noted to be great, even managing to add some drama into a scene that would contain none whatsoever withou the music, but the music still doesn't steal the attention away from the movie itself, which really is a rather interesting thing. That's exactly what movie scores should be like. The problem here is that besides the two torturers we never really go above the good movie-level. It's good all right, but Hostel Part II never really manages to rise above that level into greatness. Nonetheless, I doubt that we will ever get a better movie in the torture-genre than this.

But do you really want to see people get tortured for 30 minutes, and an hour of partying? If you can take it, Hostel: Part II is definately worth seeing. Otherwise, don't bother.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

Lacks soul

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:11 (A review of Déjà vu (2006))

I'll get over the plot of this movie right away: It is by far the most extraordinary amount of bullshit and techno-babble I have seen in ages. The amount of that terrible techno-babble even exceeds the ludicrous amounts that Star Trek had. There's an actual moment where the characters engage in a pseudointelligent conversation regarding the physics of the entire time machine video thingie. They try to make it seem possible by using fancy words that the writers hoped the viewers would adapt as actual words in their head, and the writers obviously assumed that none of the viewers didn't know anything about the basics of time and space. Hell, I don't know shit about them either, but I can tell when I'm being subjected to techno-babble and bullshit. I mean why should they try to make us believe that something in a movie that obviously bases itself on a fantasy world unlike ours would actually be possible in our world? Deja Vu has magnificent action and a nice premise, so why bother our heads with dull dialogue that we know is in no way intellectual or interesting? It makes no sense, bring in the action already! I must say that how they did the whole time seeing thing was kind of impressive, especially a chase scene around the middle of the movie where Washington is chasing a man from the past with a humvee (this is a Bruckheimer production after all) in the current day.

Tony Scott is a great visual director. He can make things look really cool and such, but he is terrible when it comes to creating actually intense sequences, which is something that was already apparent in his previous movie, Man On Fire, in which the last hour was somewhat boring, monotone action. He is pretty decent when it comes to the dramatic moments. The camera work is actually relatively impressive at a few points. Also, thank god that Scott didn't go over the top with the color filters and such like he did in Man On Fire, it wouldn't have fitted this movie. It must be said though, that the man has kinda gone low. I mean he directed True Romance, and now he's making movies like this? He deserves better. The acting here was rather questionable. Washington obviously did this for the paycheck, and showed little to no effort in maintaining his character as a believable human being. Kilmer has done nothing in the last years except cashing in on those paychecks as well, so his performance was pretty much the same as Denzel's: Mundane. The female character here is the ultracliched black woman™ who provides the most unbelievable and idiotic movie romance of all time with Denzel. Nothing whatsoever stands out from the rest of the cast, because the screenplay is good in nothing but creating these cliched run of the mill unbelievably predictable charecters who do exactly what you expect them to say and do exactly what you expect them to do.

All and all, I enjoyed the action scenes in Deja Vu, but the movie tries too hard to make itself seem plausible or realistic, and fails miserably. This, like the 2006 movie Lucky Number Slevin, simply ruins itself by trying to be smart and witty. Underneath the pseudointellectual shell is nothing more but a run of the mill CSI episode combined with a few action scenes.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

A fountain of joy

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:10 (A review of The Fountain)

Andrei Tarkovsky is generally called one of the greatest movie directors of all time. Why is that? Is it because he had magnificent writing skills? Is it because he somehow managed to pick the cream of the crop as far as actors go? Is it because he was able to direct pretty frames? No. It's because he could direct pretty frames with a meaning. Every single frame has been designed and well, framed, with an obscure amount of skill, creating perfection. This does not only create pretty frames; it creates pretty frames with a meaning. What does this have to do with Darren Aronofsky's new movie, The Fountain? Aronofsky has reached the point where he can create pretty frames with a meaning. Is there really much more that needs to be said about the directing of the movie? I mean it's more than enough to say that the man is on the same level as Andrei Tarkovsky. Aronofsky's screenplay is pretty much equal in quality. Apparently he wanted to recreate the sci-fi genre, in the same way that Star Wars did back in the day. In my opinion he succeeded, as impossible as it may sound. Unlike many modern sci-fi films, the future part of this movie features no technology, which is great. I'm tired to see how fast spaceships can go, or how effective laser beams are when destroying planets. The special effects, which do not use CGI, are absolutely stunning. It's all done by macroimaging, which basically means taking really sharp, little images of blood cells and such. It looks amazing, and it shows off the best in the ending, which is the most beautiful ending I've seen during my life, and it's perfectly held together by Clint Mansell's excellent score.

The acting in this movie has been called somewhat steady, and people claim it has no variety. I beg to differ. The only reason Hugh Jackman propably agreed to do this movie is because his characters are all extremely different, and so he also gets to show off his different emotional stances, instead of simply showing how much hair he can grow and then shave in the name of his role. I was especially impressed with what this "wolverine" could do with the doctor character, who is almost constantly in pain and torment. Also, he showed great despair around the end as the Zen-guru. Weisz is somewhat balanced between her two roles; as the wife, she shines with joy of the little life she has left, and as the queen she is dead serious about everything. It works well, and she also gets to show off her acting talents. Ellen Burstyn and many others come by for side roles, but they stay in the shadows, as they should. This is a movie about two people in love. Well okay, 5 people in love, and one is in love with a tree. But still.

The Fountain is, in my opinion, the best movie of 2006 alongside Children Of Men. It would have entirely revolutionized sci-fi cinema if it would've been properly marketed. But instead it flopped. Sometimes this is the fate of great movies and I accept it. I just hate to see a new Michael Bay-flick surpass something that migh make people care about themselves, and make them happy. Oh well. Shit happens.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

Butter up your popcorns!

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:09 (A review of Smokin' Aces)

If Smokin' Aces is of any implication as to what the action genre is going to be like in the future, I'm in! Aces delivered smashingly good action, deep, layered characters, all frostcovered with a layer of humour. Never have I seen action quite the way it was in this film. This movie built up to the last 30 action-filled minutes for about 80 minutes, during which we barely got any action at all. It worked perfectly, because the small glimpses along the way that we received worked brilliantly in building up to something, and we knew that whatever it was going to be was going to be awesome. And it sure was. I will not spoil any of the action, but it is surprisingly gory for a seemingly hollywood-like action flick, and it's also incredibly intense. Carnahan really did some spectacular choices in this movie besides that as well. For example the characters that we get, primarily the hitmen in this case. Usually in movies they have these gimmick-like things, that are just that; gimmicks. They're just there because a regular hitman would be somewhat boring. But here they became something more than that. Perhaps it was because of the great cast or the witty screenplay, but the gimmicks truly became a part of the actual characters. Israel was a marvellous character as well, a desperate soul, and Piven portrayed him spot-on. There was also a twist ending in Smokin' Aces, which I hate most of the time. But here it felt sensible, but remained unpredictable. I quite liked it. And after the twist had come out, we got an audiovisually brilliant, emotionally touching sequence that made Ryan Reynolds a good actor in my books.

I will not go too much to the actors, since there are far too many to mention individually; this movie is absolutely packed with great performances from character actors who feel right at home with who they play. Ryan Reynolds pretty much established himself as an extremely cool actor with this movie, something he miserably failed in doing in Blade III. Piven was wonderful as the human McGuffin of the movie, Buddy Israel. He has an amazing ability to morph himself according to the character that he plays, and here it really showed. The rapper of which I've never heard of before, Common, was surprisingly charismatic in his role as Israel's personal assistant. But by far the biggest surprise performance in this movie is done by another musician whom I never expected to see on the big screen: Alicia Keys. That's righ, that Falling-chick. She does a splendid performance as a hitwoman who doesn't necessarily enjoy her job just as much as the neonazi Tremor-brothers, who seemingly kill just for the heck of it. Also, props to the wonderful score composed by Clint Mansell, better know for working together with the Kronos Quartet in the drug movie Requiem For A Dream, for his awesome musical score. Especially the song at the end of the movie (which you can listen to at Clint's myspace page) worked marvellously, at least on an audiovisual level.

Overall, Smokin' Aces is an extremely enjoyable popcorn movie, that you should see, as long as you aren't the type to pass out in case blood appears on the screen. It's my favourite action movie of the year so far, alongside the Zack Snyder epic, 300. That should already tell you something about this movies quality.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

All the little holes eventually form one big one

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:08 (A review of The Illusionist (2006))

Let's start by saying that The Illusionist is a movie that I did not like very much, but the reason is a little different than the regular reason; this movie does not suck. The story, even though admittably somewhat silly, is interesting and full of soap opera-style drama. And I mean that in a good way, you won't see an internet poker addicted former janitor or a retarded fat chick fucking her cousin here, just stylish costume drama so to speak. Though I was somewhat annoyed by the fact that we never actually found out how Eisenheim did some of his tricks, which in my opinion created a relatively large plot hole since the film actually built part of itself around the mystery of how he did one of his illusions. I can appreciate some mindfucking every once in a while, but here we never even got a slightest clue as to how he did his trick, which basically ruins all the fun of theorising since it's impossible to come up with any proof to support any theory. Also there's a twist ending, which I personally hate most of the time. They can work, but here the twist is just incredibly predictable and made in such a boring manner that I can't see how some people can enjoy it.

Norton does great here, although nowhere near as good as he did in American History X. He's more like on a Fight Club-level here, playing it low key. Unfortunately that doesn't work too well sometimes, and makes Eisenheim come off like a cocky asshole on a few occasions. That funny man you've seen in every other movie nowadays, Paul Giamatti does a good job here. I don't really understand why he has to shout all the time as inspector Uhl, but I suppose he just had some tension to let out. Biel is Biel, not a good actor and never will be, but she's pretty, and hence she does her job well here. The role of the Governor's wife really doesn't require top notch acting skills, especially since she doesn't even appear in about a third of the entire movie. The score of The Illusionist works surprisingly well, never making itself truly heard but yet keeping the happenings on screen become something more than just happenings on the screen.

There truly are no great, big flaws in The Illusionist. Only some small ones. But the plot holes are incredibly annoying, and a few perforrmances don't work too well due to the weird way the actors charecterise their roles. I'd still recommend watching this if you can ignore such flaws.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

Ruined by the thing that became a series staple

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:07 (A review of Saw)

Saw. I really do have a love/hate-relationship with this movie. Why? I'll tell you. The script is superbly written. Lawrence and Adam act exactly like human beings would act in such a situation, and Elwes and Whannell live up to their characters as far as their acting goes, and Charlie Clouser's spectacular score does really elevate their performances, even though it isn't necessarily used as well as it could've been used. Even though Elwes kinda overacts, it is interesting to see how well he manages to keep his british accent out of the way, transforming his voice to this Eastwood-kinda thingy. Actually he even sounded like Dr. Loomis from Halloween 6 around the end, which is great. Glover also surprised me, taking on a pretty serious dramatic role when you usually see the guy as Mel Gibson's funny sidekick. The rest of the cast did a good job as well, and the voice of the killer is pretty good, nothing compared to some others though. Anyhow, back to the script. It has some really, really clever use of flashbacks. We find out a few intriguing things of the characters through flashbacks rather than the regular way of being told. And also, even though the rest of the film is, these flashbacks aren't all too "in your face" so it doesn't get annoying or feel exploitive.

Part of that credit must go to the director and co-writer, James Wan. Wan makes this movie with heart, even though it sure is one cold heart. He gives us everything we would want from a thriller of this kind, and he does so with expertise and craftsmanship... Until the last two minutes of this movie. The ending of this film prevents it, atleast in my case, from becoming a great movie. Since I won't spoil the ending twist for you, I will only say that it is utterly, inexcusably ridicilous, retarded and overall so very meaningless. There is no need whatsoever to end a twist filled movie like this in the way this movie ends. It seriously feels like they would've just thrown it in there so that all the teenagers could go "Z0mGG I t0t4lly n3v3r s4w th4t c0m1ng!!1!" It is dumb, naive and vulgar, and yet again, there is no need whatsoever for it to even be there. Without the ridicilous ending, this movie would be a great movie, but with the ending it has now, it isn't one.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

Rather excellent

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:07 (A review of Fast Food Nation)

Ok. I have no idea how to review this thing. Regular mediums I use might not work here. But I'll still give it a go. First of all, in my opinion this thing is marketed as if it was a comedy of some kind. I warn you, it is not a comedy. It is an extremely dark drama, with very little, if any, dark humour in it. If you go into this expecting a comedy, you will be shocked. That is what happened to me. I try to keep my expectations as low as possible on all movies, but here I didn't quite succeed. Perhaps that worked to the movie's benefit, who knows. Anyhow, what should I comment on... The directing was pretty weird for a change. Fast Food Nation propably has the steadiest pace in a movie I've seen in ages, it movies extremely smoothly on it's blood and fat stained tracks like the midnight express. I just ain't all too used to a speed like that, usually all movies have atleast one part where the pace fastens up or slows down significantly. Fast Food Nation did not have one of those moments. Nowadays that is nearly an absurdity. Otherwise the directing was somewhat good, the lighting and overall cinematography deserve huge props, and the audiovisuality was excellent. Everything else about that section were somewhat mediocre though, even though by no means were they unfulfilling. They were simply there, nothing more or less. I think it quite suited the movie, because extreme experimentation with the colour scheme or something might've distracted us from the point of the movie.

And what is that point? I don't know. To show us things we've known for ages. Things like the unhumane treating of workers in meat packing plants, or the unhumane treating of cattle. Perhaps to how some people are so afraid of losing their jobs that they're willing to sacrifice the health of thousands of americans. It tries to enlighten us but it really just shows things that we've known for a fine while now. But that's just it. Fast Food Nation SHOWS innocent cows getting brutally slaughtered. It shows work accidents caused by drug abuse that's almost a have-to in a place like that. And it is so fucking sad. I did cry during the end and after the film. There's this scene in the end which is audiovisually so incredibly touching that it's hard to describe. Basically we just see what happens in "the kill floor" in the meat packing plant. It's propably the most depressing scene in modern cinema as of late. Really depressing.

The acting and such are good. Valderrama doesn't blow anyone away really, but on the other hand the guy did play Fez for ages and while watching this, you really don't feel like he'd be Fez, which is great. Kinnear and the other veterans give strong, admirable solid performances all around and are enjoyable to watch. Actually, Willis and Kinear really do give performances that enchance the movie in a way. Avril Lavigne also makes an appereance, and no, she isn't annoying as hell. Actually she was already great in Over The Hedge, and here she plays it appropiately low-key and well. Ashley Johnson has got to be one of my favourite current young female actors. She is such a damn cutie and fits her role perfectly, since she's one of those actors that can remain natural no matter what, and that is exactly what her role requires here.

Overall this is a solid, different, depressing and great movie. I loved it and it made me cry, and also I will propably never eat a hamburger again at a fast food place.

0 comments, Reply to this entry

Sure as hell beats part V

Posted : 9 years, 3 months ago on 20 October 2009 07:06 (A review of Rocky Balboa (2006))

The first Rocky movie is one of the greatest drama movies of all time. It's one of the few which I openly give 10/10 to no matter what. It's a great shame that the sequels weren't anywhere near as good... until now that is. This is absolutely the most cheesiest, korny and cliched movie ever. It is also one with more heart than any other movie I've seen in years. This thing was made simply out of love towards the Rocky legacy and overall cinema. I always loved how the main thing in these movies wasn't boxing, it was and is Rocky himself. Boxing is just in there because the story wouldn't work too well if Rocky was a football player or something. I mean here the boxing angle doesn't properly even enter the movie until the last 35 minutes. The story serves up all this nicely, the great script focuses on Rocky as a character, and especially his weird father-son relationship instead of focusing on boxing. Also, everyone loves cliched monologues about chasing one's dreams, and boy, this movie is full of them. And they're all great as well, as is Stallones delivery on them.

The final fight of the movie is absolutely brilliant. If you've ever watched a boxing PPV on HBO, you will consider it highly realistic. It looks and feels like a PPV from HBO, instead of looking all weird and cartoonish like in the latter Rocky movies. Also, Stallone nails the overall directing here. He even uses flashbacks in a stylish fashion, which is something that I haven't seen in ages, atleast not in drama movies. On to the acting. Stallone IS Rocky. He doesn't play Rocky. He IS Rocky. I mean he reminds me of Marlon Brando in Godfather. Just like Brando, every single hand movement, slight nod and even breathing is adapted to the character. That is what made Brando great in Godfather, and that is what makes Stallone great in the Rocky series. Complete, and utter deliverance of the character. I love it. Burt Young always looks and acts the same, no matter what character, and his tired rendition of Paulie makes no true difference to that pattern. I still enjoy the old fool, but I don't know how long that'll last. Milo Ventimiglia nearly steals the show here, which is a pretty hard task. He reminds me of Paul Rudd, except that he has charisma AND acting talent. I liked the guy here, hopefully he'll make me love him in his next movie. Tarver was a pretty decent villain, although admittedly he was no Apollo here.

I love this movie. It is a gigantic cliche bomb, but it's done with something people have forgotten nowadays; heart. And that's why this is such a great movie. It touches you. Down there. No, not that low, but between your head and your balls. That's where.

0 comments, Reply to this entry