Friday, May 21, 2010

#107 The Lord of the Rings - visually stunning...

2001. dir. Peter Jackson, starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, John Rhys-Davies, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett.

Seen it before? Yes.

But I'll take Harry Potter any day...though Vigo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom are rather dishy.

We watched it on Blu-ray and I still can't tell the difference. If you have 178 minutes to spare and want to be taken away from your regular life and sucked into a fantastic world where creatures speak a different language and good and evil are not cut and dry, then watch this movie. I loved the relationships between the characters. The myth of the object (the ring for those who are still absolutely clueless) was interesting too since Hobbitts didn't get nearly as affected as others...why is that by the way? Gollem was (as was intended I'm sure) creepy to the core. I already don't like hearing how precious something is but then to have Gollem say it, well, it sends a shiver down my spine!

See it again? There are so many other movies I would rather see Vigo Mortensen in...
Own it? Yes, we do

For the record - I watched all three on big screen and I haven't read the books because Sam told me I'd hate them...considering I'm not 100% feeling the LotR love, I can totally understand why he told me that...

PS between Jar Jar and Gollem I will gladly take Jar Jar. There, I said it.

#106 Infernal Affairs - the Departed...Hong Kong style

2002. dir. Wai-keung Lau and Alan Mak, starring Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang. Cantonese with subtitles.

Seen it before? No

Sam pretty much covered all the similarities between this movie and The Departed. We watched it with the English subtitles so you had to pay attention. Good thing too because it would have been pretty confusing otherwise. Yan and Lau are Costigan (DiCaprio) and Sullivan (Damon). They both work for the police or investigations. They both are in Sam's (think Nicholson) working for Sam through the police, the other working for the police through Sam. The lack of an extra hour does make it hard to distinguish who the secondary players (in the gang and the police department anyway) are but if you have seen The Departed then you can pretty much figure out who plays whom.

See it or don't. It's fascinating to see the differences and the similarities in the two movies.

See it again? Yeah, I'd see it again.
Own it? Why should I when I own The Departed?

#117 Shadow of a Doubt: I broke my mother's back three times

1943. dir. Alfred Hitchcock, starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey.

Seen it before? No.

Sometimes we get asked, "How do you pick what order you watch the movies in?" Well, it's like this:

So today the dart landed on this movie... Joseph Cotten plays this creepy guy Charlie who's possibly a murderer. He gets chased out of Philadelphia by two detectives, and gets on a train to go see his sister in California. His niece (Teresa Wright) is also named Charlie and she's sort of smitten with him. eeww. Oh and there's also two annoying other kids; the girl sort of reminded me of Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine, or the kid from Head of the Class.

It's an interesting movie... not Hitchcock's best work, but still high quality. Good job, Dart Monkey.

Position on the list: 209
Telegram!: The characters in this movie send telegrams. I was curious and I looked it up... apparently Western Union sent its last telegram in 2006, and there were 20,000 telegrams sent in 2005. Who was sending them?!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

#116 Judgement at Nuremberg: The hare was shot by the hunter in the field

1961. dir. Stanley Kramer, starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Maximilian Schell, Marlene Dietrich.

Seen it before? Parts of it... for school... doesn't really count

This DVD has been sitting on the entertainment unit for about a week and a half. Staring at us with its unblinking eye. Taunting us. Daring us to watch it. "I'm 3 hours long! In black and white! I'm about the Holocaust!" So finally we watched it, and I have to say, we were riveted the whole time. Did not feel 3 hours long.

Spencer Tracy plays a judge; he's presiding over a trial of some former Nazi judges - Burt Lancaster, Colonel Klink, and uhh, two other guys. Richard Widmark plays the prosecuting attorney, and Maximilian Schell (who won Best Actor) plays the defense attorney. Why don't they make courtroom dramas anymore? Aside from various bullshit John Grisham movies, I think the last notable one was A Few Good Men, and that was almost 20 years ago. I don't know why this genre has fallen by the wayside. Anyway this is a great movie. Don't let the length and the Nazi atrocities throw you.

Position on the list: 182
Two people I didn't expect to see in this movie: Judy Garland, who looks old and tired here, and pre-Star Trek William Shatner.

Monday, May 17, 2010

#115 The Terminator: Don't you have, uh, ray guns?

1984. dir. James Cameron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton.

Seen it before? yes.

One of the greatest action movies ever made. About the only negative thing I can say is that it indirectly led to Titanic being made...

This is probably the defining example of the Stable Time Loop. In the future, the defense network, aka "Skynet" has become self-aware, so they decide to kill all the humans. They send a robot (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the mother of the leader of the human resistance, so the humans send back a soldier Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) to protect her. Reese ends up fathering John Connor, who, knowing who his father is, intentionally sends him back in time so he can, uh, exist. Oh yeah, and it's revealed in the next movie that they invented Skynet by reverse-engineering parts from the Terminator that was sent back, so... wait, how did all of this happen?

You can send metal back in time if it's wrapped in living tissue, so I would have surgically inserted a ray gun into a dog or something.

Position on the list: 158
Hey, it's that guy! Bill Paxton is one of the punks at the beginning. I always get Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman confused.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

#105 Taxi Driver: Another DeNiro movie...

1976. dir. Martin Scorsese, starring Robert DeNiro, Cybill Sheppard, Albert Brooks, Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel.

Seen it before? No.

Here we go, another DeNiro movie. Unlike Brazil he's the main character in this movie. He plays, can you guess? Yep, that's right, a taxi driver in 70s NYC which is probably the scummiest place on earth. Not nearly what Times Square would have you believe. Porn theaters are everywhere, as are hookers...even super young ones like Jodie Foster...I know, what is with her and all her questionable roles? Anyhow, while driving around DeNiro sees an extremely hot Cybill Sheppard through the window of the political office she works in. He becomes bold enough to ask her out and then shows his true colors on the second date where he actually takes her TO a porn theater!!!

The movie constantly shows DeNiro writing letters to people and complaining about NYC and people in general. His character becomes increasingly insane and stalker like. He bumps into Jodie Fosters' character a few times and tries to save her from the life she's leading.

Since I didn't ruin the movie you'll have to either watch it or read it on some spoiler website.

See it again? DeNiro is beginning to grate on me...
Own it? UGH

#114 Gran Torino: Get off my lawn

2008. dir. Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Ahney Her, Christopher Carley.

Seen it before? yes.

Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, who is a bitter, racist old man. His wife dies. He has two sons who are just awful people. I mean, who lets their kid wear a Lions jersey to a funeral? Or out in public? It is the clothing of failure.

Walt has some Hmong neighbors - the H is silent, it's pronounced "Mong". When Sue (Ahney Her) introduces herself to Walt and tells him that she's Hmong, Walt says "Hu-mong?" So either Walt can hear the silent H, or he read the script ahead of time. Sue's lackwit brother Thao (Bee Vang) tries to steal Walt's mint-condition Gran Torino, and at first Walt tries to murder him. But then he feels pity for him, and decides to help him instead. Yadda yadda, they all confront their prejudices, wait, is that Clint Eastwood singing? Ow, my freakin' ears!

Position on the list: 90
Shot on location! In fabulous Detroit, which really does look like crap.

#104 In Bruges - NEVER kill a kid!!!

2008. dir. Martin McDonagh, starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Clémence Poésy, Ralph Fiennes.

Seen it before? Yes.

I'll be the first one to admit it...I don't get Colin Farrell's appeal to women...Personally I think he's gross or the equivalent of a walking drunk...but in this movie, I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised at his acting ability...I was sympathetic to his character and didn't even mind his whiny moments. His scenes with Clémence Poésy were sweet because he was so self deprecating.

Brendan Gleeson (who you'll remember as being creepy Mad Eye Moody) was charming as Ray's partner who is trying to stay positive despite knowing what lies ahead. I loved how he was ordered to play tourist and therefore he was enjoying seeing the old buildings and the views from the top of the tower. I also loved that he kept tabs on Ray like a brother. He got him into this mess and he'd keep him from getting into further trouble - if possible.

Ralph Fiennes can be so freaking creepy!!! But I totally understood his character's ethic of NOT killing children. What kind of father would he be if he was okay with killing children...not to say that I didn't approve of his line of "work" of hiring hitmen but a job is a job I suppose. His is technically "crime boss."

See it again? I liked it so much I saw it twice...I would definitely see it again and encourage you to watch it too!
Own it? YES! =)