Monthly Archives: July 2009

3:10 to Yuma (2007)

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I’ve always liked you Byron, but you never know when to shut up. Even bad men love their mommas.

— Ben Wade

Trying to acclimate myself to the western genre, I watched the 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma. The movie has an all-star cast with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, but the movie was mind-numbing. It was like a dead fish thrashing around.

Ben Wade (Crowe) is a famous outlaw in the Old West that is captured by rebel brigade that includes a rancher, Dan Evans (Bale). He is being transported on a train to Yuma so he could be executed by hanging. His partner, Charlie Prince (Ben Foster) wants to stop the transport.

Nothing happens in the movie. The movie was so boring that I had to turn it off. It is the same premise with the lead man wronged by the government to take their land and they go on a journey to get money for their money. Do something different, please.

It tried to be a modern western, but it rang false. I did not believe that these people lived in the 1880s.

Judgment: Watch the original movie instead of this drivel.

Rating: *1/2

Bambi (1942)

bambi_ver2It is Man. He is here again. There are many this time. We must go deep into the forest. Hurry! Follow me!

— Great Prince of the Forest

Hello, everyone. I am back from vacation. Ready to get back to the swing of things. I was in Florida for a week to visit Disney World with my family. Getting back on my home turf, I thought that I might get back to Walt Disney classic film that I haven’t seen in over twenty years, Bambi.

I believe that this was the first movie I ever saw in theaters when it was re-release back in 1988. This movie freaked me out with the famous scene of Bambi, his mother and Man. I cried endlessly about that. After all these years to see the film again, it hasn’t aged well.

Not to say that this is a bad movie. Far from it, but more recent offering like The Lion King has made this movie very dated.

The story is about a young deer named Bambi that is introduced to the unpredictable world with his mother by his side. As he is trying to find his way of surviving to forest life, he is befriended by Thumper and Flower.

The story is basic. The voice acting was a bit annoying at times. I still love the multiplane camera layouts. Still an enjoyable movie.

Judgment: If you want to watch a classic family movie, this is a good choice.

Rating: ****

New “An Education” Trailer

The trailer for “An Education”, the movie that is getting Carey Mulligan considerable Oscar buzz when it premiered at Sundance. The trailer has come out. I think that it is beautiful. I cannot wait to see it when it opens in limited release on October 9th.

It stars Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Peter Sarsgaard, Emma Thompson and Dominic Cooper.

Double Indemnity (1944)

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How could I have known that murder could sometimes smell like honeysuckle?

— Walter Neff

On the suggestion of my film blogger, Chazz Lyons from Gone Cinema Poaching, I watched Double Indemnity last night.

Nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director for Billy Wilder and Best Actress for Barbara Stanwyck. It is currently #47 on the Top 250 Films of All Time on IMDb. It deserves to be there.

Based on the novel, “Double Indemnity in Three of a Kind” by James M. Cain; director Billy Wilder and co-screenwriter Raymond Chandler sends the viewer a wild rise in the late 1930s Los Angeles.

Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) is an insurance salesman that is infatuated with a beautiful married femme fatale, Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck). Walter comes by the Dietrichson residence to follow up on some paperwork that the husband, Mr. Dietrichson (Tom Powers).

Over subsequent visits, Phyllis tells Walter about the mistreatment that her husband does toward her. They decide to bump off the husband so they could get the money for the life insurance policy.

After the deed has been done, Walter’s coworker, Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) begins to find cracks in seemingly perfect murder.

I loved every aspect of this movie. The rapid fire dialogue caught me off guard, but I got into it quickly. The acting across the board was fantastic. The score was intense.

Judgment: A masterful thrill ride with excellent dialogue, suspense and great performances. A must see!

Rating: *****

FB Rant: Are You the Everyman Superhero Type?

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Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, Captain Excellent, The Green Lantern and The Flash!

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WARNING

The follow rant may contain some  coarse language that is directed to Warner Bros, Martin Campbell, Ryan Reynolds and his representatives. Don’t let the kiddies read any further.


As many of you know from reading my posts over the past couple of months, I love Ryan Reynolds. He is even on the front of my Facebook profile.

Also, there were my numerous tweets about the speculation about who will be Green Lantern; Nathan Fillion, Brian Austin Green, Anton Yelchin, Chris Pine, Sam Witwer, Shawn Roberts, Jard Leto, Henry Cavill, Bradley Cooper and Justin Timberlake.

Over the weekend, I heard that Bradley, Ryan and Justin were the finalists. Yesterday, I heard that Ryan snagged the role. He does looks more like Hal Jordan, but isn’t he just type casted as the superhero type?

Earlier this summer, Ryan shined in an otherwise pile of elephant shit, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Now, he is in active development on the spinoff for his character, Deadpool aka “The Merc with the Mouth” that is slated to be released in 2011.

Ryan is also playing a superhero is an independent film called Paper Man. A movie that stars Jeff Daniels as a struggling author with writer’s block that has an imaginary childhood friend named Captain Excellent. Nobody knows when that movie is coming out.

Now that Ryan is the new Green Lantern, I have to pose the question. Is he being typecast? He cannot be his smart-alecky self as Hal Jordan. It will not work. What is going to happen with the Green Lantern and Deadpool movies coming out in the same year? Wouldn’t they be tired of Ryan as every superhero to ever exist?

I heard rumors that Ryan is set to play The Flash. It is set to be released 2011 as well.

Is he spreading himself too thin? Maybe he should play Captain America so he could be in The Avengers movie with his wife, Scarlett Johannson. Let him be Ant-Man, The Green Arrow, Aquaman and every other superhero that was ever created.

I’m sorry for the fanboy response here, but isn’t that move going to backfire on Ryan. Him playing multiple superheroes at the same time.

I am looking out for the best interest of Ryan. He is spreading himself out two thin. I am hesitant about the news. I just have to see it to believe it.

Brüno (2009)

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How do you defend yourself against a man with a dildo?

— Brüno

Sacha Baron Cohen dives back into his trifecta of characters from Da Ali G Show. Up to bat is the flamboyant fashionista from Austria, Brüno.

Brüno is fired from his popular fashion show when disrupted the show of Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada during fashion week in Milan.

After that his pygmy boyfriend, Diesel (Clifford Bañagale) and his assistant, Kookus (Josh Meyers)  leaves him. The only person that is left is the assistant to the assistant, Lutz  (Gustaf Hammarsten) whose name Brüno cannot remember.

Brüno goes to Los Angeles to be a big star. A series of wacky misadventures happen.

Giggles abound with this film. I heard about the Latoya Jackson section getting cut in respect to Michael. There was also a sequence where Brüno was marching at a Prop 8 rally. I was waiting for that scene. Kind of a bummer.

I hate to admit this, but I had a little crush on Lutz. His scenes with Brüno were both hilarious and touching to watch.

Being a gay man myself, I was not offended by the film. It is not going to set back the gay rights movement twenty years or anything. It’s light fun with crude humor.

Judgment: If you want to see a movie with cuckoo fashion, endless anal sex gag, ghostly blowjobs, and plenty of dildos, this film’s for you.

Rating: ****

Moon (2009)

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The last place you’d ever expect to find yourself.

Finally opening in limited release is the debut film from director Duncan Jones, Moon. This movie was one of my most anticipated movies of 2009 when word of mouth about this movie from Sundance surfaced. Now seeing the film, it was kind of a letdown.

Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is the lone astronaut in a lunar mining outpost. His three-year long mission is winding down. He is eager to return home to his wife, Tess (Dominique McElligott) and his young daughter, Eve.

The reason for his lengthy stay is to extract Helium-3 or H3, a potent compound that would help out with making a cleaner Earth. The company that he works for has mini shuttles bring the supply to Earth.

Sam spends all of his time on the ship, Selene. GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey) is the ship’s computer and the only friend to talk to.

Sam begins to have strange dreams that is affecting the effectiveness of his job. While he was out on a survey mission, he crashes into one of the rovers mining the H3.

He wakes up in the infirmary to the soothing voice of GERTY telling him that everything was okay.

Things turns suspicious when Sam goes on another survey mission and discovers a body in the crashed moon vehicle that looks exactly like him.

The two men try to figure out what is going on. Are they twins? Is Sam hallucinating? Is it something more?

Duncan Jones does a good job with the atmosphere of the piece. The score by Clint Mansell was the highlight on the film. The movie doesn’t look like it was made on a limited budget.

The movie overall is standard. The first thirty was clunky to begin this story. When the mystery revealed itself, I was way ahead of it.

Judgment: This was an admirable effort by Jones, but it could not raise above the contriteness of the plot.

Rating: ***1/2

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

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This is my country of Kazakhstan. It locate between Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, and assholes Uzbekistan.

— Borat

Before seeing Brüno, I wanted to catch up with the movie that brought Sacha Baron Cohen in the mainstream media, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. I saw most of the movie since it was released in 2006. It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Sasha Baron Cohen created three distant characters on his short lived HBO talk show, Da Ali G Show. There was the hip hop wannabe gangsta, Ali G; the flamboyant Austrian fashionista, Brüno; and the Kazak news reporter, Borat. Brüno was my favorite character of the show. Maybe I related more to Brüno than the other characters.

The endless lawsuits from the people that took part in this movie thrusted Borat into the limelight. The movie seems offensive to Kazaks, Jews, African Americans, but you cannot take it seriously.

Borat Sagdiyev (Cohen) is a news reporter for the Kazakhstani people. The country has a hatred for the country of Uzbekistan and Jews. Don’t understand why.

The government sends Borat to the United States to report his time in America with his agent, Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian).

Watching American television one night in his NYC hotel room, he catches an episode of Baywatch with Pamela Anderson as CJ Parker. Borat wants to meet this CJ Parker. He embarks on a journey across the country to go to California to find her.

He interviews different people on every stop on journey and gets into wacky hijinks.

Some of the jokes and situations fell flat. I understand why this movie was polarizing to some people. I laughed out loud at some parts. Most of it was uncomfortable silence.

Judgment: If you want a good reason to be offended, watch this movie.

Rating: ***1/2

Full Length “District 9” Trailer

A must see!

Millions (2004)

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God doesn’t rob banks, all right? God does not rob banks.

— Damian Cunningham

Reverting back to his old ways, Danny Boyle tackled “the boy gets the money” genre in a family friendly film, Millions. This was a recommendation from a member from my Oscar Watchers group when I pose the question of what film of Danny Boyle’s should I see. This movie was too far-fetched for my liking.

Damian Cunningham (Alex Etel) is a precocious seven-year-old that moves to a new town with his older brother, Anthony (Lewis McGibbon) and his father, Ronnie (James Nesbitt).

He has the tendency to be fascinated by the patron saints. His imagination runs wild when he is visited by this saints.

Damian builds a fort in the backyard near some train tracks. One day when he is in his fort, a large bag rolls and crushes Damian’s fort. He opens up the bag to find hundreds of thousands worth of English pound notes that will be of no value when the Euro currency begins.

Anthony and Damian devise a plan to spend the money before the money is no good.

Danny Boyle usual tricks are in place here with the double speed and all that. It did not gel with the supposed whimsical nature of the story. I was bored to tears. This movie gave me a headache that I had to stop it. I did not care about the story. It was ridiculous. It was supposed to be an Aesop’s fable, but not. I just didn’t care about the movie at all.

Judgment: If you want to induce a headache, watch this movie.

Rating: **

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