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.

Tags: , ,

37 Responses:

  1. strspn says:

    Just saw a preview for Who Killed the Electric Car documentary which looks to have lots of teeth. I can't wait. The preview (on the linked page, BTW) is far better than Prarie Home Companion which was appended to it. I can't say anything good about PHC. It's a movie about the radio show, which I enjoy, and how it was ending. By the end of the film I was hoping the bad guy would step in and kill the show even sooner.

  2. revsphynx says:

    There is a bit more of X-Men 3 after the credits. And exactly what you were expecting.

  3. margann says:

    being a diehard fan of daniel clowes' work, i was not all too happy to learn that the comic 'art school confidential' became a movie. although ghost world wasn't all that bad, but steve buscemi was in it, and he makes any movie he is in not all that bad. oh wait. he was in the waterboy. scratch that.
    anyway daniel has got a very cynical, sly writing style that i can get behind, and his artwork ain't half bad either.

  4. kumimonster says:

    xmen 3 made me sad
    wanted so much more
    expected more
    but knew it wasnt going to be great
    even stayed after the credits to see the little bit
    bah. killing off major characters
    bah. introducing 'new' ones

    bah. bah. bah.

    i had more fun watching fast n furious 3 tokyo drift last nite

    • Fave X3 gaff: the Bad Guys load up on the Golden Gate-cum-helicopter in the blazing sunlight, drift it over to Alcatraz island and presto: it's pitch-black night. Was there an entire scene that took place on the bridge that got edited out? Did they take the bridge for a joy ride before getting down to the business of completely squandering the "army" he insisted he needed for victory?


      • jwz says:

        Yeah, I noticed that. Also the only reason for the bridge to connect the island and the mainland was to ensure that the good guys could come bust up the party! All the bad guys were on the bridge before it started moving.

        • ctd says:

          No - it's because poor Juggernaut can't swim! And all the boats in the SF Bay were made out of plastic that day. And all the shipping containers at the Port of Oakland were also made out of plastic. And Brett Ratner's brain.

  5. Al Gore was always there during the 2000 campaign but the media never let you see him. Too busy making up shit about "inventing the internet" and "discovering Love Canal" and "earth tones" to actually, you know, inform the public.

    • jonabbey says:

      Yeah, Al Gore, the man with the truth-telling problem.

      Ha! Irony!

      Ok, thanks media, bye.

    • kebernet says:

      Yeah. You know, I grew up in Nashville and had a chance to speak with Gore on several occasions before he became VP. I am really convinced that in terms of politicos, he has hands down the best understanding of the modern world. Science, technology, non-jingoistic-cliche economics. The guy actually has read a book or two, which is way more than I can say about a lot of people.

  6. jkonrath says:

    I saw the Lake House, and it was one of those kinds of movies where I didn't care for the characters or the plot that much, but I really liked the actual device they used as far as the time wormhole or whatever.

    I found it more amusing that the audience that you usually lock by casting Keanu and/or Sandra are exactly the people who would become horribly confused as the main premise. It really made me wonder how the film ever got made.

    Also amusing that Keanu's been in two other time travel movies a way back, and the bus accident at Dealy Plaza made me wonder if it couldn't slow down under 55 or a bomb would go off.

    • applegoddess says:

      Unfortunately The Lake House is a not-so-good American remake of the Korean movie Il Mare :( Freaking Hollywood is butchering the remakes of all the good Asian films I know..

      Granted Il Mare and the Lake House are slightly different, but the basic plot still is the same - woman moves out of house and leaves message for next owner, who turns out to be the former owner two years ago, etc.

  7. silon says:

    Your description of Haze makes me think of Last Level, a user-submitted screenplay on that is the most joyfully incoherent thing I have ever read.

    (it's a word .doc, unfortunately)

  8. roninspoon says:

    I've been avoiding Poseidon because I enjoyed The Poseidon Adventure so much as a kid, and couldn't figure why it needed a remake. Is the new film any good in comparison to the older film, or is it different enough to warrant a watching?

    • I was surprised by how entertaining Poseidon was. I didn't watch the orginal when I was young, but I did catch it some years back, and I didn't care for it. I might come try it again to see if my tastes have changed.

      The need for the remake is a direct effect of the improvements in special effects over the past 30 years.

    • jwz says:

      I hadn't seen the original since I was like 10, so I have no idea. But my guess would be that they have little to do with each other beyond the obvious.

  9. ladykalessia says:

    Al Gore spoke at the Big G about a month and change ago. It's funny, because everyone who's seen this talk he gives wonders that exact same damn thing.

    • hafnir says:

      He spoke at our commencement almost exactly 10 years ago, and I thought he was only a little stiff and by and large affable.

  10. defenestr8r says:

    who knew al gore had a personality? maybe they just had to pull the stick out of his ass.

    also to the great benefit of that film, tipper is almost completely absent.

    and... nice choice on the tunes.

    • I hear they have an opening in the cast of The West Wing.

    • jwz says:

      Saw them again last night at 12 Galaxies. They were great, but there were like ten other people there. Mitch said, "ok, they're still not famous yet."

      • defenestr8r says:

        that's four more than the last time they played 12 galaxies. ;)

        i saw gram rabbit a few weeks back. they weren't as exciting live as i had hoped, but the singer's kinda cute which as you know makes up for a lot.

    • herbie says:

      Al Gore always had personality when talking about his favorite issues - technology and the environment. He's surprisingly good at talking about those things, too. Unfortunately, talking about those things a lot was really played up during his vice-presidency, so he veered away from talking about them too much in the campaign, to his detriment.

  11. chromebishop says:

    I think HAZE was about a murder-suicide. she wanted to go, he killed her instead. And attempted to kill himself. He went to that enclosed space in his mind and regained conciousness for a bit when he burst through the trap door and found himself on the floor of their kitchen.

    the last scene was flashback of his memory from earlier.

  12. cessibaby says:

    yep, i was drunk and XMEN3 was still crap!

    the script was completely mundane and predictable, i found myself completing the sentences of the main characters as they asserted their oh-so-unmoving dialogue. there wasn't any character development, nothing got accomplished and/or wrapped up and isn't that the point of the 3rd movie!!

    i could go on, but i would just get more irritated. at least i didn't spend money to see it.

  13. rjray says:

    I'd just moved here (back) to Denver from the bay area when X-3 opened. As we were leaving the theater, I turned to my housemate and said, "Yeah, you know I was still living in SF last year when they filmed the bridge scene. You cannot believe how long it took them to move it back." Of course, my housemate knows I'm just being a smart-ass, but someone right behind of us chimes in, "Really? I can't believe they were allowed to move it at all!"

    We almost made it to the car before the mocking began.

  14. tramp32123 says:

    Girl in the Cafe is fun. Kinda like Lost in Translation I thought, and Bill Nighy is quite different playing the civil servant than his role as the aging rock star in Love Actually.

  15. valacosa says:

    Thank You For Smoking is all kinds of awesome. Saw some Jason Reitman shorts at Atomfilms and loved them, so I went in there with pretty high expectations ... which were met. Probably the best movie I've seen this year.

    I also saw X-Men 3. I want my $10 CDN back.

  16. What really bothered me about Xmen 3 is at the end when Wolverine killed Rogue/Phoenix... why did they just drag that little boy over to stand in front of her? Her powers would've stopped working, right?

    Or did I miss something?