recent movies


    I got a kick out of this; the main character is the ship. The humans are just window-dressing, but not offensively so. It's better than Titanic. The effects are mostly pretty good, and they weren't afraid to deal out the "unfair" deaths (being "nice" didn't guarantee survival, as it usually does.)

Art School Confidential

    This movie was hilarious. The characters (caricatures) are the reason to see it; the plot itself isn't as interesting as the gags about "art school types", but those are awesome.

Thank You For Smoking

    Really great, and hilarious. Bitter and awesome. It's so awesome it had me rooting for a tobacco lobbyist.

X Men 3

    Pretty much crap. I liked the first two, but this one is just a parade of stupid. Among its stupidities is that, halfway through the movie, several major characters "die". Which we all know, simply does not happen in these kinds of movies. So I spent the whole movie expecting them to pop back in at some point. Then the credits roll, and I think, "wait, they actually expected me to believe that?" That was possibly the most insulting thing about the movie. Well, no, the whole pointless "moving the Golden Gate Bridge" thing was even stupider. Yeah, "parade of stupid" sums it up.

Mission Impossible 3

    Blows up real good. It is what it is, and it did it well. A zillion times better than X Men 3.

The Girl in the Cafe

    A poorly-socialized government finance flunky in his 50s meets a poorly-socialized girl in her 20s and invites her to go to the G8 conference with him in Iceland. The acting is really great; it's painful to watch how awkward they both are. There are lots of great bits like the faces he makes when he's silently talking to himself, rehearsing what he's going to say when he eventually talks himself into knocking on the door in front of him.

An Inconvenient Truth

    Half a movie about global warming and how we are fucked, and half a movie about Al Gore talking about global warming. It's entertaining and convincing, but mostly it makes me wonder where this literate, human-seeming person was during the presidential campaign. This guy might have had a chance.

The Lake House

    Pretty good for a chick flick. A woman moves out of her house and leaves a note for the next tenant; he writes back and they eventually figure out that he's the previous tenant, and somehow they are exhanging mail backwards in time: he's two years into her past. The fact that they overlap so closely throws a new twist on the usual time-travel gimick. Keeping track of the two timelines is a little tricky, but it seems to hold together pretty well. (I predict most reviewers will find it "too confusing".) It took me a while to get used to one of the wierd narrative devices they used: they only communicate by writing letters, but the voice-overs don't talk like letters, they talk like low latency conversations. I guess we were supposed to take that part less-than-literally.

I spent last week at the Another Hole in the Head festival at the Roxie, like I did last year and the year before. <LJ-CUT text="Twenty one movies in six days... --More--(33%)">

To Kako

    Decent by-the-numbers zombie movie, this one set in Greece. It's your typical "world goes crazy, handlfull of people take a while to figure it out, then run like hell" scenario. You've seen it lots of times before, but this isn't a bad version of that same story.

The Last Eve

    Complete crap. Imagine Zardoz without the plot. It starts off with some rather incompetent martial arts out in some field somewhere, with the actors making goofy faces. They are subtitled with names like "Lucifer" and "Asmodeus" so I guess that's supposed to mean something. Some cocks are chopped, and then it abrubtly turns into some kind of modern-day Mafia/Street Fighter story. I walked out after about twenty minutes. I almost never do that. It was that bad.

Rampo Noir

    This is four short stories that were so weird I certainly can't remember them well enough to describe them. But the last one involves a guy playing with a dead body, and throughout the story you only see his weird hallucinogenic fairy-tale interpretation of what's going on, so it's actually kind of pretty, until the inevitable reveal.

Zombie American

    Ed Helms from the Daily Show does a very Daily Show-like short about the kind of prejudice zombies have to face in today's world. Poor guy can't get a date, and nobody will shoot hoops with him. It's awesome.


    This is, like, someone's halfassed home movie. I've seen funnier things posted by twelve-year-olds to YouTube. Is this movie what what people did before the Internet? If so, how did this get made in 2006?

Blood Deep

    A bunch of high school friends get together for a reunion, and one of them goes nuts and starts killing the others. It was too long, and by the time the killer was revealed, I didn't care any more.

The Slaughter

    The Scooby Gang gets hired to clean up an old house, and Unleash and Ancient Evil. The Ancient Evil has Boobies. It's campy and ironic and pretty funny. Most of the characters are cliches, but I still got a big kick out of it. There are some good bits like, "From now on, we all need to stick together! Ok, just as soon as I go check out the basement alone. Ok!" The effects are really low budget, but you can tell they did well with what they had to work with.

Defenceless: A Blood Symphony

    This was pretty cool: the gimick is that there's no dialog at all. A woman's family is killed over a real estate deal, and is eventually murdered, then comes back as a sorta-zombie for Crow-esque revenge. It's played pretty straight, not goofy, and it works well.

Room 6

    After a car accident, a woman tries to track down the nonexistent ghost-hospital that the evil ambulance took her boyfriend to. It kept my attention, but then the ending was cheap and stupid (and you've seen it done before in a much better movie).

Call of Cthulhu


    This is pretty creepy and incoherent, but interesting. A guy wakes up in some horrible maze of torture, and every time he passes out, he's somewhere more awful. It's a bit like Cube, but way more tense and horrific, and with a resolution that I couldn't make sense of.

Ghost of Mae Nak

    A pair of newlyweds try to figure out what they have to do to get some kind of vengeful ghost leave them alone. Turns out she thinks the husband is her long-lost. It's pretty good.

Meatball Machine

    Tiny alien horseshoe-crabs clamp on to people and tentacle-pornify them into undead fighting Necro-Borgs that can grow power drills and mysterious weapons! Like Tetsuo The Iron Man if it that had a plot. It's good clean splattery fun.


    This was awesome, and really disturbing. A woman is kidnapped and wakes up in the forest where some backwoods hick puts her through some gruesome tests, and then trains her to be his slave. Maybe he has her daughter captive somewhere else, maybe not. She plots escape. He's not as dumb as she thinks.

The Hamiltons

    A family of siblings who have recently lost their parents tries to make it in their new community, and, oh yeah, they're also serial killers and there's some kind of monster in a box in the basement. Good twist at the end. I liked this one a lot.

The Lost

    A story about a young serial killer. It was mostly a character study about this completely twisted guy; he exudes confidence, but he walks with a limp because he's so insecure about his height -- and yet, so halfassed -- that he puts crushed beer cans in his boots. It's really well done, and the acting is great. The main character reminded me a bit of Rob Lowe in Bad Influence.

The Gravedancers

    After a friend's funeral, three people attract the wrath of three evil ghosts, and recruit some paranormal researchers to try to fend them off. It's played pretty straight, but by the end it turns into a fusion of Evil Dead and Ghostbusters. It's pretty amusing.

Dark Remains

    I liked this one a lot. Couple loses their kid, and moves to a cabin in the woods; out come the ghosts, but at first, only the woman can only see them in the photographs she develops of empty rooms at the local abandoned prison.


    This is a fantastic short. A woman sees her friend murdered, and then a few weeks later, finds herself trapped in a stalled elevator with the killer. Really well done.


    This is The Wicker Man, basically, updated with new "Burning Man" styling on the evil pagans. Eh.


    Oh man, this was incredibly disturbing. An Interpol investigator goes on the trail of a porn site where women who are too obese to get out of bed are fed and fed until the die. Extremely creepy, with a really well-played villain. It's great, but many scenes were very hard to watch.

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