Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Accept No Substitutes

The remake of Clash of the Titans is out this weekend. It was supposed to be out a few weeks ago, but the studio decided to have it retrofitted to be 3D.

To be clear, movies shot in 3D, cool. Movies changed to be in 3D, not so much.

Don't believe me? Go this weekend and let me know how it was? Oh your head exploded? Too bad.

This is one movie (that if I see) I will seek out 2D. Just like Mitch always does! And for once, he's right. Save your extra $3.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Repo Men

Repo Men is a movie with a lot of good ideas without great execution. With all the recent talk about healthcare reform and public option, it is topical to say the least. You can get any artificial organ. No more waiting for donors. But it's going to cost you. No insurance coverage, no problem. They will find a payment plan to meet your needs. Oh but if you're 3 months late on payment, someone's coming to get the organ. What happens to you, they're less worried about.

Briefly, let's talk about the twist (there's always a twist). For once I didn't see it coming. And I was told to be on the lookout for it. I was genuinely surprised by the ending. I'm still deciding if I like it or not (leaning towards yes). But I don't get fooled often (sadly) so I was happy to see that I didn't see it.

Jude Law. Usually I would say he's better in service as a supporting actor than leading man. But here he does a fine job. Forest Whitaker is much more interesting as an actor than a director. He's also slimmed down and is looking good. I believe these two as buddies. They both rely on each other too much and it will work against them after the second act.

Mindless usual fair, the movie looks really cool as a brief look into the future. But unless you're interested in seeing graphic removal of organs you can probably save your $11.

Did you enjoy it?

Would you see it in theaters again?

Would you buy it?

Would you rent it?
Maybe. Do you have alternate endings?

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

Thursday, March 25, 2010

At the Movies

I don't think it comes as a shock to anyone that I love movies. I'm a TV generation kid. We had HBO and Cinemax when there weren't even remotes for cable. You turned a dial that had about 50 numbers on it. That was a cable box when cable was created. So it is with a heavy heart that "At the Movies" has been cancelled.

I grew up in a town that had no movie theaters from 1986 - 1990 (ish). So really, At the Movies let me know what was out there. Those two guys let me know what I should be seeing when I did go out of town to see a movie. That information was precious for us rural folk.

I was a casual watcher of the show for many years. If it was on, I might hang on to see what they were talking about. When it became another Access Hollywood a couple years ago, I didn't watch it once. So when it went back to the old formula I immediately put it on a season pass. In August, it will end its current 35 year run (with many different versions). I suggest heading over to Roger Ebert's blog to read his personal take on the situation.

Until then, the balcony is closed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's Up with Topher Grace?

Okay, really I'm not trying to steal Gabe from v'gum's thunder. But since it's been really quiet lately, let's see what's going on with K.Nugs.

Work is long and boring. Waiting to get put on a new tech project soon. Until then, lots of clean up.

Movies. Hot Tub Time Machine is finally coming out. Ch-Ch-Ch-Check it out.

Music. Broken Bells is on repeat. 

TV. Justified is pretty good. Lost is almost over. 

Live. Aziz is coming to town. So is Coco. So is Ween. So is Pavement. Things are looking up. 

There is a woot off today and tomorrow (and maybe Friday). So I'm keeping my eyes glued.
**updated** Apparently one day woot off with no bag o' crap or woot lights or woot monkey!?!?!?

Ski School is on TV right now. So weird and terrible. 

Netflix. We've got The Box. Is Richard Kelly over? We'll see this weekend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Runaway from the Runaways

There are biopics and there are biopics. If you want one that will be remembered you can't pull any punches. This is harder to do if the people you want to put up on screen are still alive. It's even harder if they aren't good people or painted in the best light. 

So, yeah, The Runaways isn't so great. You know what I learned from this movie...Lita Ford was in the band.  Oh don't get me wrong, they spend almost no time on her as a character, but they say her name twice. Kristen Stewart plays Joan Jett. Her I know. But again, I don't really learn anything about her. The one person we do get to see with a family is Cherie Curry. The lead singer of the Runaways. But I wouldn't say I learn anything about her. 

This is a hollow movie that serves two purposes. It gives Kristen Stewart something to do in between Twilight films and shows us that 16 year old Dakota Fanning is growing up before our eyes. We also get a cameo by Maybe Funke (Alia Shakwat) playing a fictional bassist (because there were like 4 Runaway bassists. Or none of them signed off on the movie). 

I learned more by reading their wikipedia page than I did by watching this movie. If they had maybe focused on one character and shown the rise of the Runaways through their eyes, there might be more to recommend. The sleazy manager, Joan, Cherie, Lita. Anyone. Almost Famous is a better biopic than this, and its not real. You may say that is unfair because they could just make plot points up, but in reading about this band, I know there is plenty of stuff there. They just decided to gloss over it. 

Did you enjoy it?
No. I was in the front row. There were too many close ups. It was shot in 70's quick cuts and soft focus. And it was lackluster.

Would you see it in theaters again?

Would you rent it?

Would you buy it?

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

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Saint Patrick of Ireland

Happy Birthday, Jesus Saint Patrick.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Alice in Burton Land

Alice in Wonderland is a tale ripe for the world of Tim Burton. In the documentary "Waking Sleeping Beauty" a young TB can be seen cutting his teeth in the industry. So he grew up in the Mouse House. His films are visually unusual. Sometimes to great effect (Ed Scissors; Big Fish) sometimes not so much (Planet of the Apes). But regardless, you're expecting certain things. And he delivers those things.

What does he deliver? Bad action scenes. No heart (like most of his films, the two I listed favorably above withstanding). Even in IMAX 3D I was left unimpressed. There were moments, but fleeting. Crispin Glover gives a reigned in performace. You're in Alice in Wonderland, go nuts! Johnny Depp is getting on my nerves. What he did with great vigor in the first Pirates movie (Oscar nom) is now tired, no matter what character he plays. His Mad Hatter is a hero. That's the first mistake. I was going to put up his poster on this post to emphasize my point, but I'd rather look at Anne Hathaway. All the commericals revolve around the Hatter. Which is another problem, they hired a good person to play an older Alice (yes this is a sequel, not remake).

This sequel is half arsed at best. They go out of their way to make it a different tale but don't use it to good effect. They use it as a way to get an older person to play Alice and to let the Mad Hatter have a more prominent role (again as a hero). FAIL.

The bright spot is Anne Hathaway. She walks around as the White Queen with her arms in the air at all times. She flitters and flutters. She looks like the only person having fun. Other than that, its drab (even when it's full of colors) and boring and long. They tell Alice what she has to do from the moment she's in "Underland" but we take the boring ride for her to "discover her path".

Ham fisted, no clever tricks or riddles from previous versions (or the books). Since the writers on Lost love Alice so much, maybe we can get them on board to write a sequel. Which there will be since this movie made a gross amount of money. Just don't let them work a submarine into the plot...

Did you enjoy it?

Would you see it in theaters again?

Would you rent it?

Would you buy it?

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

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Five Buck Box (it rox, it rox)

Browsing they have 100 albums (digital downloads) for $5. And there are a lot of good ones on there.

Click Here for the magic

Obvious ones are Shins, Band of Horses, REM, Ugly Cassanova, Radiohead, Spoon, Phoenix, but there are some sweet old tracks as well. If you like paying for music then I suggest you check it out!

Rest for the Wicked...?

No movie screenings this week? I lost a chance to see Hot Tub again. Lost Alice In Wonderland, which I hear is terrible. They're showing She's Outta Ur League again, pass. Next week, Green Zone. Hope I win. How To Train Your 3D Dragon. Again, pass. But it is March. Next comes April. Then we hit the summer months. Iron Man 2. Huzzah.

Anything to talk about?
Ted Leo album coming out soon.
New Gorillaz was streaming on NPR. That's out next week too.
Broken Bells playing some gigs. Covered neutral milk hotel at a show.

VW and Zack Galifinakis on SNL this weekend. Should be warm in Chi Town.


Monday, March 1, 2010

A Couple of Dicks

Alternative title for this post was going to be Good Cop,  Black Cop which is Tracy Jordan's buddy cop picture. And it would be one thing if he would have at least tried to play it straight. That's the number one rule in all of comedy, don't think / act like something's funny. And that's the summation of this movie, it's trying too hard.

Cop Out is trying too hard to be funny. It started with this script. The original title was A Couple of Dicks. How clever. This is trying to hard to be Beverly Hills Cop. They even hired that composer to rip off his own score. He did Fletch as well, but in that case, they use the exact same score. The movie is trying too hard to be an 80's / 90's buddy cop movie. It's trying to be a kidnapping tale. It's a robbery film. It's a tale of a father not in his daughter's life but still trying to be there for her. It's Running Scared with Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines. It's a big old hodge podge of just about anything.

Is it any of those things? No. Is it funny? A couple of times, but not really. And this movie is loaded with people who could get laughs in their sleep. I include Bruce Willis in that list. Did you ever see Moonlighting? We've also got Sean William Scott as the most annoying person ever. Kevin Pollack and Adam Brody (terribly miscast) as other cop partners. You know the old chestnut that cops and partners zing each other? Since this is a Kevin Smith film he even got Jason Lee a job. Minor and also annoying, but he did get him on board. I'm sure he's thanking him right now.

Bruce is the only one who really gets off clean. He can still open a movie. This is no where near the end of his action career. He's been close but he hasn't had a Collateral Damage / Eraser / End of Days moment yet. I think if you cut around everyone else, you might have some semblance of a film here. Sorry Bruce, keep at it (but don't make Die Hard 5, that's done).

I remember a time when I would have watched Kevin Smith directed films till the cows came home. He made Mallrats. Hilarious. Chasing Amy. Comedic and touching. Now, I feel like I don't even know this guy. Zach and Miri was good. I know a lot of people were turned off by the subject matter, but I would say it was his most honest work since Chasing Amy. I would compare it to Apatow's Funny People.

Although, Kevin didn't write it, he did direct it. I'm not sure if the pushed Tracy Morgan on him, but that was the main mistake. He's not ready for the big screen. Luckily this won't help propel him to the next level. 

Did you enjoy it?
No. I hate to say it, but if I weigh the good and bad, this ends up on the side of bad.

Would you see it in theaters again?

Would you rent it?

Would you buy it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Most likely, not.