Saturday, January 17, 2009


So once upon a time, I was at a bookstore and I really wanted to try out a random book. I wasn't sure what to get to be honest, but I was attempting, as I so often do, to read more. But to be honest, unless you have a favorite author who writes a lot of books, or someone has recommended a book to you, you're not always sure on how to start. I loved Fight Club (the movie) and figured that it was an interesting perspective to tell a story. Chuck Palahniuk wrote the book, and since I'd already seen the movie Fight Club, I didn't want to read it. So I got another book of his, 'Choke'. Going on a bit of a tangent, one might ask why I wouldn't want to read the book after seeing the movie. I've always been adamant that you should always read the book before seeing the movie. I feel that you are likely to have the director's perception of what the author wrote, rather than your own. It really limits what your imagination comes up with.

So anyways. I read 'Choke' it seemed like 5 or 6 years ago. It was a quick read, but I remember thinking afterwards, this Chuck Palahniuk guy is a bit of an oddball. How someone comes up with a story like this is beyond me. But I watched the movie finally tonight. I'm aware its 415 am but I planned on falling asleep to the movie, only to finish the whole thing. I'm way behind on reviews, so I wanted to write this one while its still fresh in my head.

Sam Rockwell did a great job in this movie. This is the second film I've seen recently that included him, the other being Frost/Nixon, and I must admit, I'm more of a Sam Rockwell fan. The story is creative, and out there. I could see most movie watchers thinking that the movie is a bit graphic, or vulgar in nature, but at the same time, its kind of humorous how some view sex. Everyone values sex differently, but its interesting to hear a story from the angle of a guy that has sex with strangers, but has difficulty with any actual relationship. This movie takes it to the extreme, since I think many a guy actually has a similar problem, on a much smaller scale.

His best friend in the movie, Denny, played by Brad William Henke, is a big plus in my eyes. I like him as an actor, first seeing him in the ABC show, October Road. He's what I think most people would describe as a 'Gentle Giant'. Coincidentally, this is where I first saw Odette Yustman, so that show is a big winner in my eyes. The movie was well done, there's a good few twists and turns throughout the movie that will keep you on your toes. It's entertaining, but nothing that I would really rave about. For a second opinion, you can ask Dave Newbery, but I think that you won't be upset afterwards thinking you wasted 2 hours of your life, but I don't think you will have missed much if you don't take the time to watch it.

I give the movie 3 out of 5 Manatees.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Unborn

Kicking off the 2009 movie season, I started with my previous post, the Wrestler. If that movie is indicative of the type of film to be watched in the new year, it was going to be a very good year. 2nd movie on my list? The Unborn. Starring Odette Yustman. I still need to devise a plan of clubbing her over the head and dragging her to my cave to make her my wife. So back to the point, I saw a preview for this movie approximately 6 weeks ago. I was SOLD. Scary movie? check. Hot girl? check. Gary Oldman? check. I love religious like movies, and I know that this isn't really that religious of a movie, but it had religious undertones. An exorcism and all. So what does this all mean? I'm 110% excited to see this, not matter how bad it turns out.

Coming back down to earth I know, supposed to be an extremely bad movie going in. It received a whopping 8% on rotten tomatoes from the 'Top Critics'. I'm still working on how to become a top critic, so if anyone can hook me up, let me know. Was I expecting much from the movie? No. Did it somehow still disappoint? Yes. The movie had lots of potential and somehow, the director just ruined it. The movie didn't flow well, scenes seemed forcibly included, there were few redeeming aspects in general. The special effects were some of the redeeming aspects. Especially the kids. They were probably the creepiest kids that Ive seen in a movie in quite some time. There were ideas taken from the original 'Exorcist' with an old man walking up the stairs crab walking with his head inverted. A creepy looking dog with an upside down head. Very subtle special effects that were still able to cause a chill down a spine or two. I think what amazed me the most was that the actual SCRIPT was bad. Some of Meagan Good's lines were just plain atrocious (as were Odette's but in my eyes she can do nothing wrong). There were a few scenes that will make you jump, but sadly there were more scenes that will make you laugh.

So when it comes down to it, I spent $8 for a movie I thought was horrible. BUT, do I think it was a waste of money? Absolutely not. Why? Two words. Camel. Toe.

If you have seen American History X, you have probably heard Edward Furlong at the end of the movie when he says, why say something if someone has already said it better.

"Fortunately, the film has one last trick up its sleeve. And by trick, I mean vagina. And by sleeve, I mean vagina. And by vagina, I mean vagina. And by that extensive use of the word vagina, I mean HOLY TITTY-FUCK, DID I JUST SEE A BLATANT 5-SECOND DISPLAY OF ODETTE YUSTMAN'S CAMEL TOE? The answer to that question would be yes. Yes, I did. And by God was it awe-inspiring. There I was, just sitting in the theater randomly pondering if suicide was a reasonable response to excruciating boredom, when BAAM! The camera pans down and shows a frontal shot of Yustman in those gravity-defying panties, this time presenting a distinct and revealing vertical slit. Needless to say, I came instantly."

- Adam Quigley from the site Always Watching

I give the movie 5 Manatees, okay, really I give it 0.5 Manatees.

The Wrestler

So, I'm pretty far behind and have about a half dozen of my shitty movie reviews to write so that no one reads them, but the goal of this weekend is to catch up. So now that my reader count is up to 3, I apologize for forcing you the three of you to reading several reviews in the near future. That being said, just because I said that I'll be writing these this weekend, it won't actually come true. Ask my boss at work, I'm the king of not meeting deadlines.

I saw this movie on New Years Day in theaters (shocking I know). There was a lot of hype for this film and I figured this was worth going to the theater to get the full experience. As a side note, I also go to theaters to get the full experience for bad movies I just really want to see, aka 'The Unborn' which I am leaving for in approximately 40 min. It was the first time that I went to the Georgetown theater and I kind of liked it. Parking is kind of a pain, but when is parking not a pain anyways. The theater was small, but I had a huge Cherry Coke and candy, so I was all set.

The movie started off weird at first. For about the first 10 minutes, you never saw Mickey Rourke's face. I'm not sure as to why the director filmed it this way, but the camera 'shadowed' him from behind. It turns out that several parts of the movie were filmed this way. not a smooth camera flow either, almost as if someone was walking behind him. So although I thought this quite odd at first, I turned out to really enjoy it. The cinematography style allowed the viewer to see the world through his eyes almost, to feel what he felt and his surroundings, and most of all, to help you relate to the character.

There are rumors that Mickey Rourke is a lock for Best Actor. First of all, what a great story for him. Getting himself back into the ring and possibly living up to the potential he had. I'm hoping this movie will be a springboard for his career in the next couple years. The film itself is set around the story of an over-the-hill wrestler that was once the king of the ring. 20 years later, his popularity is still there, but not only is he not at the same level, but it seemed the sport wasn't either. It was interesting to see these wrestling matches take place in high school gymnasiums and at community centers. There were several insights into what actually is discussed behind the scenes to these wrestling matches and I thought it was all extremely interesting. I never really got into wrestling as a kid, so I can't relate to this film as much as let's say Robby or Jon, but I enjoyed the story just as much.

So where was I, I think was trying to point out that although this movie is focused on a wrestler, that's only the plot. The actual movie is about a guy that is down and out, that has very little in his life, trying to make some sort of semblance of a life. He was a bad father that wanted to re-build a relationship with his daughter. A daughter that hated a father for never being around. A man who's only love interest is a stripper that he throws $20s at just to talk to him. The director does an incredible job making the viewer feel for Mickey Rourke's character, especially with his side job. I won't go into more specifics, but if you only see 5 movies from 2008, even though this was released so late, I think this has to be one of them.

I give the movie 5 Manatees.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Frost Nixon

Being a history minor in college, yes I know I wasted my time getting a minor, reveals that I have an avid interest in all things historical. I never saw very many previews for the movie Frost Nixon but finally saw one a couple weeks back. I had no choice but to watch it, if for nothign else but sheer intrigue of the plot of the story. Richard M. Nixon. The only US president to ever resign, and probably the only US president that ever will. One of the dark times of our recent US history (which is saying something with how the world currently views the US).

First and foremost, I must admit, Frank Langella's portrayal of Nixon was very good. Mannerisms, voice, etc.. Granted, I wasn't alive during Nixon's time so someone like my father would be a better judge, but I was impressed. Especially at the end of the Watergate interview (this is the last of the 4 interviews if you are unfamiliar with these events). He's been in a ridiculous amount of TV and film, but most probably would recognize him in his role in Eddie as 'Wild Bill'. I, however, know him as Boris from one of my favorite Johnny Depp movies, The Ninth Gate. Back to the point, the movie itself is based on true events, so creativity etc.. is automatically stifled, but the story is a great one, especially if you are unfamiliar with the true events. David Frost, a talk show host, had one of the biggest interviews of our time with a man that was truly hated by a great number of Americans. Within the first 20 min of the movie, Sam Rockwell's monologue when he's talking to Oliver Platt and Michael Sheen really hits home. Why were so many people truly hurt by Nixon's actions? It wasn't because he was just a dirty politician, we have dirty politicians everywhere. More specifically, individuals across the country saw him as belittling and corrupting the highest office in the country. Symbolically, the corruption was much deeper than could ever occur in any other country or position. Speaking one on one with a man with such a gait would be quite intimidating. To see someone as grand as the president of the United States simply crack and speak from the heart can be awe inspiring.

If you like history, I think that this movie is a must-see. I give it 3.5 Manatees for its use of Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon (both crowd favorites, I'm sure), and Langella's performance as Nixon.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pride and Glory

I remember when I first saw a preview for this movie on tv a few months back. I was pretty excited since it had Ed Norton, Colin Farrell and Jon Voight. Most people hate Colin Farrell in movies and I completely understand that. I've seen a good number of bad performances by him, but 'The Recruit' has always been a secret favorite of mine. So pretty much, I saw this movie because of the actors and not really about the story.

Basic plot is that Edward Norton, Colin Farrell and Jon Voight are all part of a cop family in New York. One of them (Colin Farrell) is a bad cop and now he has to turn him in. The story is very old and the movie has been done so many times over. Crooked cops in New York City, shocker. Most recently, it was 'We Own the Night' which was close to the same story (small differences here and there).

So the story is trite, the acting is okay at best. Edward Norton's performance was on par with his usual work. Colin Farrell was pretty much horrible as always (he definitely peaked in 'The Recruit'. I'm a sucker for Jon Voight, anyone that can create offspring that looks like Angelina Jolie is A-okay in my book. There was a speech he had at dinner at which point he talks about how proud he is of his family. It was a touching moment in the movie as it creates the necessary characterization for a part later in the movie. Overall, I'd say that most likely no one will see this movie and a majority of my readers have probably not even heard of the movie, you all aren't missing very much.

I give the movie 1.5 Manatees.