Monday, October 17, 2011

Mr. Mom

I hadn't seen this in at least 25 years I'm guessing. But I'm kind of surprised by how much of it I remembered. I think the thing I thought was the funniest at the time was when Keaton made a grilled cheese sandwich using the iron. THAT is funny!

I had forgotten Jeffrey Tambor was in this. Hot!

I can't believe that no one wore seatbelts in this movie. Definitely a different time.

Other than the silly overlong soap opera parody, dare I call this movie absolutely 198o's perfect? I can't believe I didn't watch this while actually being Mr. Mom myself.

Sujan commented that they should remake this film with Mr. and Mrs. Coach as Keaton/Garr. Sign me up!

Directed by Stan Dragoti

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How to Train Your Dragon

I could tell that this would have looked fantastic in 3-D. In 2-D though, I was pretty bored. As was Otis. The boys and I watched this in three installments. Sam liked it all but I think he just liked snuggling with me on the couch while it was on. Otis spent the first third playing with Legos. The second third he spent running back and forth between watching the movie and listening to Nick Lowe and other favorites in his room. By the final installment, he was actually watching it but it almost felt like it was out of a sense of obligation.

Basically, my main problem with it was I didn't care about anything that was going on and Jay Baruchel really can't carry a movie even if in theory, the dragons were carrying him.

Directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Wow. Wow. Wow. And then some more wow. This movie had me hooked from the first frame. That first scene was crazy good. Gosling was incredible. Albert Brooks was incredible. Bryan Cranston was incredible. I loved everything about this movie. Perlman. Mulligan. The car chases. The scary mask. The gloves. The scorpion jacket. The score. The pop music. The cinematography. The whole Nicolas Winding Refn-ness of it all.

I loved how it felt a bit like Mulholland Drive, the recent David Cronenberg films, and even a bit like Two Lane Blacktop. I liked how the seediness of some of the lowlifes in their track suits felt like a nod to the Pusher trilogy. I heard the film described as "brutal yet serene" and I think that is an apt description. I've read some criticism that the film didn't amount to much other than a lot of fun style. Ok. That's fine with me when the movie is as fun and stylish as this one.

The one thing I don't see in this though is that it's like a John Hughes movie. Someone please explain that one to me.

So ... now that I'm back to loving Nicolas Winding Refn after not liking Bronson that much, I'm wondering if I should give a shot to his insane looking Viking movie. Or has anyone else seen any of his other movies?

I just noticed that he's slated to direct a remake of Logan's Run!!!!

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Chelsea Cinemas

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance

After seeing 13 Assassins, I decided I needed to rededicate myself to samurai movies. That lasted for one movie. Not because I'm tired of the genre or anything - just sometimes things happen that way.

This movie was completely insane. It starts with a young child getting beheaded and gets crazier from there. It's so much fun in a dated early 1970's kind of way. Apparently, there is a whole slew of films in this series. Maybe one rainy day, Sam, Otis, and I will have to delve further. For now, one was enough for me.

If you want to know what the film is about, the poster sums it up well. A ronin walking around the countryside with a boy kicking ass as he goes. What else do you need for a good samurai movie?

Directed by Kenji Misumi

Thursday, October 06, 2011

13 Assassins

I saw this back in the spring and absolutely loved it. I knew immediately that this movie had the inside track on being my favorite movie of the year. But then I never wrote about it. This happens to me sometimes with movies that I adore. I'm so overwhelmed by the greatness of a movie that I don't even know where to begin in my review. I'll just come right out and say it though. This movie deserves an A+

I love Westerns. I love samurai movies. I love how similar they are. As great as some of the old school samurai films are, this one definitely takes its place as one of the all time best. None of the navel gazing of the somewhat recent samurai film, Twilight Samurai. No, no. This one is all fun, all fighting, all craziness, all the time. But what else would you expect from Takashi Miike?

The plot doesn't matter too much. It was based on a true story. It features (you guessed it) thirteen assassins. It's about a sadistic, ruthless leader and the folks that aim to stop him. It's got incredible fight scenes. But yet, it wasn't nearly as bloody as I was expecting from Miike. I loved that we get to know each of the thirteen assassins a little as the movie goes along. They each have their own little quirks and calling cards.

And did I mention the flaming boars? FLAMING BOARS!!!!

Oh - and for the record - I really liked Twilight Samurai as well.

Check out the trailer to get a glimpse of the fun that awaits you if you see this film.

Directed by Takashi Miike
IFC Center

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

In a Lonely Place

I loved this movie when I saw it a number of years ago at Film Forum. It was perfect fodder for the second and final Tuesdays with Bart this summer. Bogart! Nicholas Ray! And tons of drunken wittiness.

I love the films that are really just dark commentaries on the depravity of Hollywood from this era. It isn't equal to Sunset Boulevard but it is still pretty darn good.

Bogart plays a washed up Hollywood drunk who invites a young wannabe actress to his apartment to read him a script. Too bad she ends up murdered shortly after leaving his apartment. Is Bogart's character, Dixon Steele, guilty? It doesn't seem like he is at first but he's such a sarcastic prick that doubts creep in.

I love this exchange between Steele and the police captain asking him questions about the girl.

Capt: You're told that the girl you were with last night was found in Benedict Canyon, murdered. Dumped from a moving car. What's your reaction? Shock? Horror? Sympathy? No - just petulance at being questioned. A couple of feeble jokes. You puzzle me, Mr. Steele.

Steele: Well, I grant you, the jokes could've been better, but I don't see why the rest should worry you - that is, unless you plan to arrest me on lack of emotion.


Movies like Barton Fink and The Player definitely were inspired by this film in one shape or another.

And the line, "I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me," inspired this mid 80's Smithereens ballad.

The most interesting aspect of the movie though is that director Nicholas Ray and his wife Gloria Grahame (Bogart's neighbor) in the film were going through a nasty separation during the filming but they didn't let anyone know. He would sleep on the couch of his office each night but would pretend that he was going home. Apparently, he had caught her in bed with his 13-year-old son from an earlier marriage. She ended up marrying her former stepson a few years earlier. Crazy!

Directed by Nicholas Ray

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Inside Job

I knew this was going to be good but it was even better than I was hoping it would be.

1. Even though I really liked Ferguson's definitive documentary about the lead-up to and the initial bungling of the Iraq War, No End In Sight, I wasn't expecting this one to be so darn entertaining.

2. No matter how many times I have this financial nonsense explained to me, I begin to tune it out. Not so with this movie.

3. The problems are even more insidious than I has previously understood. Holy mackerel.

This and Food, Inc would make a good extreme horror film double feature. Yikes.

Directed by Charles Ferguson