Aug 142011

Fried Green Tomatoes posterToday’s task is almost a duplicate of #28, with just the note that this should not be “incredibly bad”, only inappropriate.

Fried Green Tomatoesis undeniably chick-lit, but a well-written and humorous period piece with a couple of surprisingly un-Hollywood plot turns. Saw it at the tail end of the season-starting tutorial week during the exchange in Utah, after a long week the chance to see a decent movie and drink a couple of beers on the side was nothing short of biblical.

Aug 132011

The top honors in the sheer un-understanadability go to David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive.

It’s a good movie, there’s no denying that – it simply packs in too many plot strands and characters and leaves them all hanging over the edge. That’s not surprising, considering how it was originally conceived as a pilot for a television show.

Aug 092011

Attack of the Clones posterI haven’t had any dramatic falling outs with any movies, opinions seem to be on the stable side.

However, Attack of the Clones, the second episode in the Star Wars-prequel trilogy deserves a special mention.

After the midichlorian-infested travesty that was Phantom Menace, its sequel felt like a much better movie. Until I realized that pretty much everything in it was nothing but an advertisement for merchandise – the characters for action figures, the action scenes for videogames.

Aug 022011

Spirited Away posterThere are a few directors who seem incapable for producing bad movies.

Richard Linklater, Alfred Hitchcock and Hayao Miyazaki all have crossed genres and been successful in whatever they create.

Hitchock, obviously, found his groove early, but still managed to produce a bona fide comedy alongside the thrillers. Linklater, on the other hand, has done pretty much everything but horror and porn – documents, comedies, science fiction, it’s all there.

Which leaves Miyazaki of the triplet. His movies are all animated, but it’s the content and approach that varies from child-friendly (Kiki’s Messenger Service) to violent stories without clearly identified protagonists (Princess Mononoke).

Amongst his movies, I like Spirited Away the best, it combines a personal quest with a hidden world exquisitely well, and is an entertaining ride throughout.

Aug 012011

Terminator 2 posterSummer of 1991.

The one after the freshman year in the university.

The one with Terminator 2, Metallica’s black album, double dose of Guns n’ Roses Use Your Intelligence. The one just before Nirvana exploded on scene.

Terminator 2 always takes me back to that, watched the movie in lamentedly gone Bristol, in a daytime slot, and got the whole balcony to myself.

Jul 292011

Nueve Reinas posterThere’s plenty of good movies that do not originate from Hollywood.

One such is Fabian Bielinsky’s Nueve Reinas, an argentinian movie that shows the ins and outs of life among the swindling class.

The film grabs hold from the very beginning and doesn’t let up until the very end. The plot twists and turns between several professional con artists and the viewer can never be sure whether he’s the ultimate mark in the game.

The US rights were optioned soon after the release of the film, and it’s already been remade in 2004.

Jul 172011

Moon posterIn the era of overblown toy commercials, installments of ongoing superhero continuums or displays of Los Angeles being demolished in the hands of unfriendly aliens, one thing stands out: script-writing is not the first order of business for most producers.

Hence the arrival of Duncan Jones’ Moon was an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. An intelligent science fiction movie is a rarity these days, and this debut film has both intelligence and science fiction in spades.

Jul 152011

Dazed and Confused posterThe movie whose soundtrack I’ve played the most must be Richard Linklater’s ode to mid-seventies: Dazed and Confused.

The songs are as seamlessly integrated into the plot as feasible, and the soundtrack contains both old favorites (amongst others Alice Cooper’s No More Mr. Nice Guy Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Tuesday’s Gone) and introduced new bands to check out. Sadly the namesake of the movie is not featured – on account of Robert Plant refusing to let the classic song to be used.

Jul 142011

Dumbo posterI’m a big fan of Pixar’s movies, but admire the early Disney animated films even more.

After all, they were all handmade, not created in render-farms.

And hence, instead of Toy Story 3 taking the top honours, the podium goes to Dumbo.

The short and simple story restored faith in the production company (floundering after the losses incurred by Fantasia), and the film remains pleasantly entertaining to the day.

Jul 112011

Fifth Element posterThat’s easy: the actor that invariably rubs the wrong way is Luke Perry (Jennifer Tilly and Kim Cattrall only manage to annoy).

His performance in Luc Besson’s Fifth Element is one of the very few blemishes on the top of the heap science fantasy of the nineties. Luke Perry’s role as the old priest’s assistant gets the film off to a lousy start in the beginning and sadly that’s not the last time the character appears.

Jul 102011

Pink Panther posterIn a world teeming with lousy remakes, one stands above the rest (when delta between the original and the new installment is considered): the travesty of the 2006 version of Pink Panther (and its even worse sequel).

On its own the movie is not terrible, but in comparison to Blake Edwards’ original it loses on all possible fronts.

Jul 052011

Doomsday posterWatched Neil Marshall’s Doomsday yesterday.

The film is a post-apocalyptic rollercoaster ride best epitomized in just three words: poor impulse control.

A deficit exhibited by many characters in the film.

And by the director.

How else could the plotline that manages to cohesively include medieval combat, a deadly virus, futuristic military hardware, homages to genre directors, eighties music in entirely inappropriate places, domestic politics and a clan of cannibals that dresses like the seventies punk never went out of fashion.

All done in best possible taste, skirting the edge of hysteria, with plenty of gory effects on the side.

And a considerably pretty stuntwoman as the tattooed bad girl of the cover who’s been criminally underused in the industry ever since.

Entertaining, certainly. But don’t expect a plot without a few holes an ocean liner could drive through.

Jul 032011

Ace Ventura posterI can’t recall why I went to see Ace Ventura: Pet Detective back in 1994. Maybe it was a case of a season ticket fast approaching its expiration date, a really boring evening or whatever. Nonetheless, the film was nothing less than serendipity – entered expecting very little and exited with a waterproof smile on my face. And a firm belief that Jim Carrey would be the official funnyman of the last half a dozen years of the millennium.

The film has withstood the test of time – it was chuckle-inducing on the rebound as well. But the character was not enough to give birth to a franchise. Neither the rather dreadful sequel nor the spinoff television show centering on his offspring rose anywhere close to the original.

Jul 022011

Sean Bean as Eddard StarkI’ve been a Sean Bean fan ever since the opening moments of Goldeneye.

His performances after being Alec Trevelyan have been pleasant, from Ronin to Game of Thrones, via the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His Boromir was a flawed hero, one that redeemed himself in his last moments (and had one of the most awesome death scenes in the history of film).