Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yes, this truly is the Final Destination

82 minutes of meat puppets getting decimated.

Is it a 3D movie?
Yes.

Are there 3D boobs?
Yes.

Is the movie totally BLUrsula when the camera moves?
Yes.

Will there be another sequel?
Who are you and why do you keep asking me questions? Leave me alone!

Are you okay?
No.



*Thanks for the company, Mark.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inglourious B**terds
(no swearing on the nugget)



Quentin Tarantino's 6th (ish, depending on how you quantify Kill Bill) film is more of the same. But different. But great. He's taking a fairytale approach to the events of Nazi occupied France. And what a yarn it is that he's telling.

It starts with one of the more tense scenes I've seen in a while. There's a joke about languages (or at least the audience I saw it with laughed, not sure it was actually intended as a joke) in the beginning of the film that ends up being a good example of what is ahead in the movie.

The advertising is centered around Brad Pitt. As it should be, he's one of the leads, but he's not necessarily the main character. The title of the film is really a small portion, maybe a third of the film. We're diced up cinematically in a couple different directions throughout. The most compelling being the tale of a young Polish girl, Shoshanna. We also follow the badass Basterdos.

The film is alternatively talky (classic QT) and action packed (but not as gory as the deaths of the Crazy 88, obviously). There are good pieces of long drawn out scenes. But instead of boring you to death (proof) he does a nice job of mixing the scenes and characters.

What's new is that QT isn't as in your face with all of his cinema references. This is as subtle as he's ever going to get, and I think it's just enough. What's the same is soundtrack wise: we get some David Bowie, we get some of his old music from his previous entries. The fonts from Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction and some others are back in the beginning (in fact, he uses 5 different fonts in the opening credits). We get chapters again. I think pretty soon, we're going to be just reading his scripts on the screen, no actors.

But as always, it's a great movie even with any flaws attached. The acting really adds to the film. The best two actors are people I've never seen before. The actor who plays Shoshanna and the man who plays our German counterpart, Hans Landa (the "Jew Hunter"). I wouldn't be surprised to see their names on the list of award nominated actors at the end of this year.

Did you enjoy it?
Yes.

Would you see it in theaters again?
Probably. I saw Kill Bill vol. 1 in theaters 3 times.

Would you rent it?
Surely.

Would you buy it?
Yep.

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
At any time of day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A(n im)Perfect Getaway

Pop Quiz Hotshot:
What do The Fugitive, The Arrival, Critters 2 and A Perfect Getaway have in common? They were all written by David Twohy (he directed Pitch Black, The Arrival and A Perfect Getaway too!). He's all over the map. But he is responsible for some interesting genre films. Looking over his filmography there is a lot to be proud of and a lot to be ashamed of too. How does his new thriller rank?

Well, you know I hate to be a spoiler, but let's just say I figured out the twist right away. Did that effect my enjoyment? Not in the least. It let me focus on how they were setting it up. This is the story of three couples in Hawaii. It feels like they all have something to hide. I really loved the way that they treated me like a head trauma patient. When they reveal the surprising twist (FYI, super twisty!) they spend the next 15 minutes explaining what they saw in the first place during the first hour of the movie. But, unlike My Bloody Valentine, they do a good job of staying within the realm of reality.

The movie isn't all that great. I would categorize this film as a surprise gem if you found it on cable one night. It was either this or THE GOODS when we went to the movies. I couldn't muster enough energy to care either way. So this is what we saw.

It has Ultraviolet star Milla Jovavich (also known for being in love with a guy who keeps putting her in terrible Resident Evil movies). Hilarious Steve Zahn is in this (not being allowed to be hilarious). He isn't sitting in the car for over a half hour. He didn't have to go into the bushes to smoke a jay. He didn't meet you at LOMPOC. Timothy Olyphant is around. He's the rugged traveler. And...finally we get Nikki of Nikki & Pauolo. Yeah, her. The last time I saw her she was saying that Pauolo lies (or was it "paralyzed"? I can't remember).

What is great in this movie is the luscious scenery that is Hawaii. I can see why the actors signed up to be in this film. See below if you don't know where this is headed.

Did you enjoy it?
Meh. If I had to flip a coin, I would say yeah.

Would you see it in theaters again?
No. NoNoNoNoNo. no.

Would you rent it?
No way, Jose.

Would you buy it?
Of course I would (..........NOT)

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Pass.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Purple is the new Green



Friends know I'm a Vikings fan. Have been since middle school days on the playground. Yeah, I had a Herschel Walker teeshirt. Well the time has come to really be conflicted.

On the one hand, I have spent most of my recent adult life hating Brett Favre, aka the Gunslinger. On the other hand, when your team has been to 4 Superbowls, all of them before your time, all of the losses, it's hard not to get excited.

Oh, if you have been living under a rock today, Brent Faver is officially a Viking. I spent the summer watching ESPN for their non-news update on Brett everyday. Man, that got old fast. Every day, "He's working out" "Oh no, he's getting surgery, he's done" "He called Brad Childress to say 'what up'". Blerg.

Finally, I had something to tease an officemate about. His beloved Eagles had hired a dog killer. That lasted 3 days. Nerts.

So bring on Cleveland, bring on Detroit. It really looks like Vikings can go 3-0 for the season, even if I was QB1. But week 4 is the Packers. Never before has a game between my friends who love the Pack been more important. A loss that week would mean I would have to Bartman myself to Alaska.

Regardless, you will see me having my "Purple Pride".

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hey Summer, Where Ya B'


As I sit watching John Rambo decimate all Burmese war criminals in his path (on Showtime HD, where the red blood really splatters well) at Krull Nugget Headquarters, MGM, I think about all the free movies that have come our way this summer. In a couple week's we'll do the summer round up.

But to be fair, we might as well wait until a contender for summer best comes out (hint: new Tarantino) and what will probably one of the worst (hint: sequel to a remake that had 8 entries before being taken over by a heavy metal front man).

I'm not sure what is in store this fall except for the occasional Video Pizza Party. I've got a project at work that I've been on since March. That rolls out in two weeks. I'm moving in October. The Room is coming back to town. So it might be quiet here at the old 'nug, but rest assured, when there are things to talk about, we'll be here. (OMG Rambo just mutilated a truck of small dudes with a giant machine gun).

We've had TV round up for the decade. Decade of music is coming soon. Movies from the past 10 will wait until it is time to open our presents. And who knows what hilarity will spring up in between.

But until then, here's a video that really sums up summer in Chicago...

Please to enjoy.



Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Friendliest Confines in TOWN!




Man alive, I love my city. Last night's Cubs / Phillies game turned into the stereotypical douchefest. The best part (covered on all news channels) was that the wrong guy was thrown out. According to http://deadspin.com/5336293/stay-classy-cubs-fans-update?skyline=true&s=i The guy on the left in the picture was the person who actually threw the beer. In some other pictures it shows this guy pointing at the fall guy. He actually did the "It Wasn't Me" and it worked.

Chicago is...my kind of town.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

(Not So) Funny People

I don't know what to make of Judd Apatow's Funny People. Is this his Punchline? He is continuing his streak of real life people with real problems. There are no heroes in this film. There really are no villians either. But if you ask me, there really aren't any likeable people either. That might be okay for a movie like Observe & Report, but its not the same thing when you're supposed to be painting a picture of relatable people and situations.

There's the two roommates. Ugh city. They all backstab each other, even one of our main characters, Ira, get some shady stuff to do. The loving mother is a whore. Our dying hero is a douche. Sandler does an okay job. I was really believing that this was going to be the perfect role for him. Getting involved with his buddy Apatow. I figured he'd be given the same stuff that Rogen and Carell got from his last two films. But sadly, he doesn't get the same stuff to work with as his previous two efforts. And it really is a shame.

There are some funny things. The comedians try out jokes on each other. There are good amounts of stand up scenes in the movie. If you've seen all the RAAAAAANDY bits that they have used as part of viral portion of the movie campaign, you've seen 10 times the amount of screen time that Aziz gets in the actual film.

What this film is more than anything is an interesting failure. It was entertaining. I laughed. I definitely enjoyed it more than Rex Reed did.


Did you enjoy it?
Meh.

Would you see it in theaters again?
No.

Would you rent it?
No.

Would you buy it?
No.

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Yes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

...And knowing is Half the Battle!


GI Joe. If you've watched the cartoon, if you read the comics, if you had the toys- just fear not. You'll enjoy the movie. Its one of those that's like cotton candy, it seems huge but when you actually ingest it, there's nothing there. Does that mean its not entertaining? Hell no. You just might have trouble with people who aren't familiar with the canon. But I had proof because my date had no idea about how cool Snake Eyes was going to be and she had a great time. But sorry fellas, she's one in a million.

What a great film. You'll watch this and wish that they had done something like this for the most recent Transformers movie. It's got all the fun that you'll recall from playing with toys (not just GI Joe, but any toys). Things blow up, people have histories, chase scenes bring a lot of destruction. Lives are at stake, lives are taken, lives are saved.

This is more in line with the Dark Knight in terms of rating. Its one of the hardest PG-13 movies in a while. Its actually a smart way to use the rating. There are lots of people dying but no blood to speak of. Also, the (pre) Cobra army is more like a super solider, so they don't use the A-Team way the old cartoon shot at everything but didn't hit anything. Its hard to kill the soldiers but when you do, they stay dead.

That's not to say the film is flawless. It suffers from one of the age old tales where everyone has a history with each other. Its the LOST of Hasbro toy lines. Also, I wish they had taken the approach that WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is doing. Practical effect enhanced by CGI would have made for a better Destro face. Again, since this is the Rise of Cobra, he's not Destro until later. Another thing that's just a little picking on my part, why does Snake Eyes have a mouth? Cover that up. It makes him look like a giant plastic toy (ironic?).


Did you enjoy it?
Hell yes. All the pre-bad buzz may have helped lower expectations to the point of getting wowed.

Would you see it in theaters again?
Yes. I think it calls for another view to make sure I'm not wrong about having enjoyed it.

Would you rent it?
Yes.

Would you buy it?
At this point, yes. Only time will tell.

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
For Sure.

YO JOE!



*Here's a link to one of the online community reviewers that I usually agree with.

Monday, August 10, 2009

District 9

District 9 is the story of a little girl and her puppy. No, wait, it's not. The actual story is a very personal one of the sad history of racism in Johannesburg, South Africa. Only instead of blacks, they're aliens.

28 years ago, an alien ship made first contact above South Africa. Unable to leave, they're set up in a slum that is called District 9. It may sound like they're setting up an epic battle of aliens versus humans. In actuality, this is a very personal story told via science fiction. We follow a low level bureaucrat named Vickus. He's tasked in serving eviction notices to the "prawns" of District 9.

From the trailers, I thought this movie looked a lot like V: the series. In actuality, it is a mesh of V, Aliens, The Thing or The Fly. Again, if you're looking for spoilers you're in the wrong house. I can tell you that this movie is the epitome of smart sci fi. The CGI is used to enhance the story, it doesn't sit front and center. Its not spectacle. Its a means to an end. It helps tell the story and get you from point A to point B. Also, if you've seen the trailer, a lot of that isn't in the movie. One of those where they use the trailer to give you more of a feel for the film, than spoil every turn.


Did you enjoy it?
Yes.

Would you see it in theaters again?
Yes.

Would you rent it?
Yes.

Would you buy it?
Yes.

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Yes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

fire mares

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Paper Hearts


Remember that stoned girl from the apartment scene in Knocked Up? No? That’s okay, but just know, she’s adorable in her lack of adorableness.

Paper Heart is the mockumentary of her relationship with Michael Cera (whom she did date in real life as well). The story starts with her setting out to do a documentary on what love is for different people. From there it blossoms into a romance caught on tape.

This is going to be a tricky thing because Yi uses a lot of her real life friends in the movie. Martin Starr, Seth Rogen and others get a little screen time to add heft to the proceedings. At that point you really buy this as a “documentary” which I think helps the movie. If this was just a regular love story, it would be called Paper Thin. Instead Yi’s charm and the back drop of making a documentary turn it into a very sweet film.

What little tension there is in the romance subplot is held off to the end of the second act, which is a good thing. There really isn’t a mean bone in this whole movie. It is a sweet little film. The whole thing feels like it was done fast and loose on the fly, even though I’m sure it was not.

I would still say you need to see (500) Days before this, but if you’re looking for a romantic double feature, this would be the sweet to (500)’s sour.

P.S. the dioramas of events are very cool.

Did you enjoy it?
Yes.
Would you see it in theaters again?
No.
Would you rent it?
Yes.
Would you buy it?
No.
Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Yes.