August 11, 2009

Mini Review Capsules

Winter Passing (2005, Adam Rapp)
Decent flick, up until the ending, which destroys it. One of the few times a film has actually angered me. The only really good thing about the film was the excellent chemistry between Deschanel and Ferrell. The fact that Reese and Corbit did not end up together really pissed me off. Is the viewer supposed to be happy that Reese went back to her miserable New York existence? Deschanel and Ferrell are great, Ferrell especially. Ed Harris is decent, and the cinematography is good, but the screenplay is bad, and the ending just absolutely ruins it. Clearly, this was not screened for test audiences. Perhaps the ending was writer/director Adam Rapp's lame idea of being 'original' or 'innovative', but it just irritated the hell out of me. 4/10

The Tigger Movie (2000, Jun Falkenstein)

I have been known to state the highly unpopular opinion that The Tigger Movie is a masterpiece and one of the greatest animated films ever made, though in the back of my mind I thought that might be nostalgia speaking. After buying the 10th Anniversary DVD (which really is a year too early) and watching the film for the first time in years, I see that my opinion was not clouded by childhood memories after all. This is an outstanding film.

The animation, though something of an afterthought and more low-key than most Disney theatrical releases, serves the film quite well. The snow scenes in particular are nice. The film is charming and moving without being overly sentimental and sappy. The film's original songs are brilliantly composed by the Sherman Brothers, who are perhaps the greatest songwriters in Disney history. Every single song here is great, with my favorite being the show-stopping "Round My Family Tree", which is filled to the brim with subtle pop culture gags for adults, such as a hilarious homage to the 1930s Golddiggers musicals. The film's characters are all very likable, and the live-action opening perfectly conveys the tone for what is to come. The Tigger Movie stays true to the previous Pooh cartoons and chooses to rely on 'Pooh humor' instead of the 'poo humor' that saturates nearly every other kid's flick on the market. I believe Walt Disney would be very proud to have his name on this one. 10/10

Videodrome (1983, David Cronenberg)

Long live the new flesh! 10/10

Fargo (1996, Joel Coen)

I've reviewed this one before, so I'll just say that it is now my #5 of all time. Eat your heart out, Eraserhead. 10/10

Heavy Traffic (1973, Ralph Bakshi)

I think I liked it a lot, but I don't know, because I'm not really sure what the hell I just watched. Can someone explain this film? WTF/10

August 3, 2009

Freddy Got Fingered

I witnessed something today that makes Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (the "____ Movie" guys) look like the smartest, funniest bastards that ever lived. I seriously didn't think film could get worse than Meet the Spartans. It sucks in every imaginable way, so how could there be a "film" that is not only worse, but makes Spartans look like 2001: A Space Odyssey in comparison? I've seen an abomination on the absolute lowest end, not only of things put on camera, but possibly the most vile, retarded act ever committed by those who (allegedly) are members of the human species. This despicable piece of filth even makes those internet shock videos seem less awful. What could possibly lead me to use such venomous, angry words? Have I just seen the latest disgusting shock video on the internet? No. Did I see that one video of some monstrously warped teenager urinating on a dying homeless woman? No. The thing causing me to feel this way ACTUALLY GOT A THEATRICAL RELEASE IN 2001 FROM 20TH CENTURY FOX AND REGENCY ENTERTAINMENT!!!

Freddy Got Fingered. Frankly, I don't know or care if Freddy (a minor character played by Eddie Kaye Thomas) was penetrated with a finger. I didn't stick around to see. After thirty-four minutes (more than any sane person should subject themselves to), I flipped the television off, spiked the remote, and screamed in disgust. How did this filth even get released? Did no one at Fox or Regency bother to watch this? Did some studio bigwig just say "hey, what about that one guy who does shock stunts on MTV, why don't we let him make a movie?" Did they know about the classless, tactless, unbelievably offensive, heap of cinematic feces they were spewing forth upon the world, or did they just not care? If there is in fact a Hell, everyone who even contributed to this broken condom of a movie in the slightest way will spend eternity there, consumed by flames and festering boils.

I cannot assign a score to this atrocity. There is no number low enough. Negative 999,999,999,999 (yes, that is a real number) is far too high. Tom Green has truly poisoned the world. If I am ever in the same room as Green, I fear that I will try to punch him in the face. The only thing that would stop me is the fact that he'd probably enjoy it.

This review (with slight variations for each version) has been posted on the IMDb Oscar Buzz message board, on the IMDb comments section for Freddy Got Fingered, and at

July 29, 2009


Fargo (1996, Joel Coen)

I'll cut the crap and start by stating my opinion on the film. After viewing it recently on IFC, it's in my top ten of all time. This was the first time I'd seen it in at least two years. That was before I was really into film. I had liked it, but didn't think it was great and kind of pushed it to the back of my mind. Now, it's right at the very Everything about it is perfect. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a dark comedy, but I would say it is a very funny dark drama. In particular, the dialog is very subtly hilarious.

The acting is amazing, particularly that of the truly gifted Frances McDormand (wife of writer Ethan Coen), the outstanding character actor William H. Macy, the also outstanding character actor and frequent Coen cast member Steve Buscemi, and Harve Presnell. The direction is also superb. Joel Coen's film is truly beautiful to look at.

The wood chipper scene is one of the absolute most disturbing things I've ever seen in a film. I instantly became nauseated by seeing it. That's truly about as gruesome as I can imagine a murder possibly being.

Is Fargo a masterpiece? As the film's spunky female cop protaganist Marge Gunderson (McDormand) would say, "you betcha!"

Hamlet 2

I was surfing through channels one night, and happened to come across Hamlet 2. I'd been interested in it when it was on theatres and at the rental store, but I always passed over it. I decided to watch it. Overall, I'm somewhat glad I did. There are certainly worse ways to spend an hour and a half. The film is very flawed, but enjoyable. It gets a little too stupid at times, but has some great moments. I'd love to have seen more of the actual play, instead of the misadventures of playwright/drama teacher Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan). The film comes across more as a homage to those annoying inspirational teacher movies, instead of a parody.

Coogan was okay. He's sometimes annoying, but he's likable enough. Catherine Keener, who plays Marschz's foul-mouthed alcoholic wife, is one of the weakest spots in the film. Her character is obnoxious, unfunny, and really doesn't serve much of a purpose. It's pretty frightening, by the way, how much Keener has aged since 2002's Death to Smoochy, in which she was flat-out hot. Elizabeth Shue was excellent as herself. Her performance, specifically her hilarious visit to Marschz's drama class, was the best thing about the film. And Amy Poehler, who is a very hit-or-miss actress/comedienne, is all hit here. She was great.

As for the music, I think "Raped in the Face" (yes, that's the name of the song) is probably in my 2008 song lineup now. That's the only Oscar nomination I would say that the film really deserves. "Rock Me Sexy Jesus", which was used in most of the TV spots and advertising for the film, was good as well, but sort of loses some impact after being heard on so many TV spots and trailers. The end credits number "Gay As the Day is Long" was ridiculously stupid, and feels like it was written by a dumb thirteen-year-old.

The film is like an R-rated version of another polarizing 2008 comedy-drama, Be Kind Rewind. Both films feature a kooky guy (or in the case of, Rewind, two kooky guys)'s unusual artistic visions, and the troubles they go through to create them. In both films, some people try to shut down the guy (or guys), while others stand behind them. Also, both films really should have been better than they are. If Trey Parker and Matt Stone had rewritten this for their friend and South Park colleague, the film's co-writer Pam Brady, it could have been excellent. As is, it's an amusing, but not great, little comedy, watchable at least once. 6.5/10

July 27, 2009

My Current Playlist

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There are 80 songs on this playlist. There's something for everybody, I guess, though it's all for me. Haha.

1. "Old College Try" - The Mountain Goats
2. "Going to Georgia" - The Mountain Goats
3. "Black Hole" - She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward)
4. "Little Person" - Jon Brion (from the Synecdoche, New York soundtrack)
5. "Pink Moon" - Nick Drake
6. "Out of Gas" - Modest Mouse
7. "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton" - The Mountain Goats
8. "Source Decay" - The Mountain Goats
9. "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" - She & Him
10. "Rocky Raccoon" - The Beatles
11. "Trailer Trash" - Modest Mouse
12. "Let's Live for Today" - The Grass Roots (Creed Bratton from The Office was in this band!)
13. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - Joy Division
14. "We Didn't Start the Fire" - Billy Joel (I like "Ryan Started the Fire" from The Office better, but doesn't have it.)
15. "Little Boxes" - The Decemberists (theme song from Weeds)
16. "I Don't Want to Get Over You" - The Magnetic Fields
17. "World Spins Madly On" - The Weepies
18. "Jesus Christ" - Brand New
19. "I Was Made for You" - She & Him
20. "Young Folks" - Peter Bjorn and John
21. "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" - The Smiths
22. "All the Young Dudes" - Mott the Hoople (And unlike lame hipster kids, I actually liked this song BEFORE Juno came out.)
23. "Shine a Light" - The Rolling Stones
24. "Whiskey Lullaby" - Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss
25. "In Dreams" - Roy Orbison (Candy-colored clown they call the Sandman, tiptoes through my dreams every night.)
26. "Gospel" - The National
27. "Jenny" - The Mountain Goats
28. "Fault Lines" - The Mountain Goats
29. "My Body is a Cage" - Arcade Fire
30. "Wise Up" - Aimee Mann
31. "Life on Mars?" - David Bowie
32. "Little Motel" - Modest Mouse
33. "Copperhead Road" - Steve Earle (Every good playlist needs some Steve Earle, and doesn't have "Hardcore Troubadour".)
34. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" - The Beatles
35. "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" - Wilco (Possibly the best nonsense song ever made.)
36. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" - The Beatles
37. "Definitely Maybe" - FM Static
38. "It Only Takes a Moment" - Michael Crawford (from Hello Dolly! and reused in Wall-E.)
39. "Say Yes" - Elliott Smith (Too bad it's the crappy live version.)
40. "21 Guns" - Green Day (I like Green Day. Shut up!)
41. "Aside" - The Weakerthans
42. "Jesus is Just Alright" - Doobie Brothers
43. "The Office Theme"
44. "White Rabbit" - Jefferson Airplane (I could listen to this song all day long and not get sick of it.)
45. "Jude Law and a Semester Abroad" - Brand New
46. "Teeth Like God's Shoeshine" - Modest Mouse
47. "The One I'm Waiting For" - Relient K
48. "In the Year 2525" - Zager & Evans (This song is probably the most moving song ever written. It gives me the chills every time I hear it.)
49. "Teenage Dirtbag" - Wheatus (Such a funny song.)
50. "It's the End of the World As We Know It" - R.E.M.
51. "The One I Love" - R.E.M.
52. "Colors" - Amos Lee
53. "Jed the Humanoid" - Grandaddy
54. "Comes a Time" - Neil Young
55. "Let's Dance" - M. Ward (Ward is the "Him" of She & Him.)
56. "Holland, 1945" - Neutral Milk Hotel
57. "His Dream" - Asher Roth
58. "As I Em" - Asher Roth
59. "Constructive Summer" - The Hold Steady
60. "Girls Like Status" - The Hold Steady (from the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theatres sountrack)
61. "Cubs in Five" - The Mountain Goats
62. "Pale Green Things" - The Mountain Goats
63. "Diverse City" - TobyMac
64. "You Think You're a Man" - The Vaselines
65. "La Duchess Anne" - Grizzly Bear
66. "They Done Wrong / We Done Wrong" - White Rabbits
67. "No Cars Go" - Arcade Fire
68. "Yer Not the Ocean" - The Tragically Hip
69. "New Orleans is Sinking" - The Tragically Hip
70. "A Forest" - Bat for Lashes
71. "Incinerate" - Sonic Youth
72. "Who'll Stop the Rain" - Credence Clearwater Revival
73. "God Only Knows" - The Beach Boys
74. "The Man in Me" - Bob Dylan (The Dude's song from The Big Lebowski.)
75. "Glass Onion" - The Beatles
76. "Rodeo" - Garth Brooks
77. "The Distance" - Cake
78. "Born to Run" - Bruce Springsteen
79. "He Stopped Loving Her Today" - George Jones
80. "Hiroshima" - Ben Folds