Saturday, July 28, 2007

June Movie Round-up

I am soooo slow at getting to my blogs. My New Month’s resolution is get to it more often. Anyway, here’s my oh-so-late list of June movies watched.

1. Smokin’ Aces - When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel (Piven) decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.

I had heard that this movie was so great. Greatly disappointing. None of the characters were very likable and I found the whole thing rather depressing. Too bad because the acting was quite solid.

2. The Queen - After the death of Princess Diana, HM Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.

I remember that week after Diana’s death and I wondered what the Royals could possibly be thinking. Their lack of recognition of her death seemed to show callousness. It’s good to get a counterpoint to the media’s view of the events.

3. Casino Royale - In his first mission, James Bond must stop Le Chiffre, a banker to the world's terrorist organizations, from winning a high-stakes poker tournament at Casino Royale in Montenegro.

Great Movie!!! The best Bond since Sean Connery (dare I say perhaps even a bit better)! Bond is dangerous again. You can believe that he’s got a licence to kill.

4. Happy Feet - Into the world of the Emperor Penguins, who find their soul mates through song, a penguin is born who cannot sing. But he can tap dance something fierce!

Good family animated film.

5. Blood Diamond - A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.

Strong performances in a great movie.

6. Ghost Rider - Based on the Marvel character, stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze gives up his soul to become a hell blazing vigilante, to fight against power hungry Blackheart, the son of the devil himself.

Fun time waster.

7. The Science of Sleep - A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is love struck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world.

A bit of a disappointment from the director of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

8. Blood and Chocolate - A young teenage werewolf (Bruckner) is torn between honoring her family's secret and her love for a man (Dancy).

Nothing special. Keep moving. Nothing to see here.

9.Hellboy: Blood + Iron - In 1939, young Professor Bruttenholm destroyed Erzsebet Ondrushko, a female vampire who bathed in the blood of innocents to stay young. Now someone in upstate New York is trying to bring her back.

Hellboy is a fave of mine. Good animated film.

10. Breach - Based on the true story, FBI upstart Eric O'Neill enters into a power game with his boss, Robert Hanssen, an agent who was ultimately convicted of selling secrets to the Soviet Union.

This movie is really good. Watch it.

11. Saw III - Jigsaw kidnaps a doctor to keep him alive while he watches his new apprentice put an unlucky citizen through a brutal test.

I find it interesting how much characterization is put into the Jigsaw killer. For those who like these movies, it doesn’t rate as high on the scare count, but in some aspects, it’s more clever.

12. Aeon Flux - Aeon Flux is a mysterious assassin working for the Monicans, a group of rebels trying to overthrow the government. When she is sent on a mission to kill the Chairman, a whole new mystery is found.

This movie is no where near as good as the animated series on which it’s supposedly based on. Charlise Theron was a good choice but almost everything else is wrong from the production design to the transformation of Chairman Goodchild to a good guy!?!

13. The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie - SpongeBob SquarePants takes leave from the town of Bikini Bottom in order to track down King Neptune's stolen crown.

Classic Spongebob! And I’m a Goofy Goober, too.

14. Roman - A lonely young man's obsession with his neighbor gets the best of him, resulting in a murder, a cover-up ... and a potential new romance?

Nice companion piece to the Lucky McGee film “May”.

15. The Road Warrior - In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.

Mel before he went crazy. An action classic!

16. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome - Mad Max becomes a pawn in a decadent oasis of technological society, and when exiled, becomes the deliverer of a colony of children

Another good Mad Max movie

17. Casanova - Heath Ledger plays the fabled romantic as a man who, after failing to win the affection of a particular Venetian woman, strives to discover the real meaning of love.

Fun take on the legend.

18. Bridge to Terabithia - A preteen's life is changed after befriending the new girl at school.

Must watch this again as I was too tired to appreciate it. Everyone seems to love it .

19. Stay - This movie focuses on the attempts of a psychiatrist to prevent one of his patients from committing suicide while trying to maintain his own grip on reality.

Good little mind scratcher!

20. The Tenant - A quiet and inconspicuous man (Trelkovsky) rents an apartment in France where the previous tenant committed suicide

Nice little Roman Polanski film.

21. Dead Silence - A widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife's murder, which may be linked to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist.


22. Batman - The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker

Tim Burton’s view of Batman is pretty good but not as good as “Batman Begins”.

23. Clerks 2 - A calamity at Dante and Randall's shops sends them looking for new horizons - but they ultimately settle at Mooby's, a fictional Disney-McDonald's-style fast-food empire

Another great Kevin Smith flick.

24. Pan’s Labyrinth - In the fascist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

At first, I was a bit disappointed. I had heard so many fabulous things about this film and I had seen a “making of” special before seeing the movie. My expectations were in the stratosphere and needless to say not met. A couple of months later, I decided to give the movie another try. Low and behold, I now love this film. Go figure.

25. The Fountain - Spanning over one thousand years, and three parallel stories, The Fountain is a story of love, death, spirituality, and the fragility of our existence in this world.

Wow! What a ride. This movie stays with you long after the film is over. Thought provoking, beautiful, well acted and a beautiful soundtrack.

26. The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury - A bridge of the gap between 'Pitch Black' and 'Chronicles of Riddick' to give more insight into Riddick as a character.

Solid animated sequel. Definitely worth a watch.

27. Xmen 3: The Last Stand - When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart), and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier's former ally, Magneto (McKellen).

Good fun sequel. A little less characterization and more action oriented

28. Lady in the Water - Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep (Giamatti) rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.

Who cares what the critics say!!! I loved this modern day fable. It has heart and humor and taken on its own terms. It’s a pure winner.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dammit, I Got Tagged

Amy the Black tagged me for this meme on June 29th. No one can say I don't react quickly.

Here are the rules:
Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I'm 6'2" with a long torso and medium legs. Now you know what kind of coffin to buy for me.

2. When I was young I got the eraser from the end of a pencil stuck up my nose. I was sent home early. When my father came home for lunch, I tearily told him about how I'd stuck a pencil too far up my nose.

And when I pulled it out the eraser was still lodged in my nasal cavity. Being a handy sort my father went for the needlenose pliers. That scared me to death. After several unsuccesful attempts we tried a different tack; exhaling through the blocked nostril while plugging the other one. "One, two, three, pop!"

3. When I was working as an usher at the Runnymede Cinema, I had the honour of ripping Bob Dylan's movie ticket.

4. The first restricted movie that I was able to sneak into was "Alien" by Ridley Scott. It was at the Odeon Lakeshore theatre in Toronto, which no longer exists. There were only about two other people in the audience. I loved it.

5. I was onstage with the Bolshoi Ballet as an extra when they performed on tour at the old O'Keefe Centre in Toronto. First one was "Romeo and Juliet", the other was "La Bayadere".

For the first one I had to brandish my sword as one of the warring families in time to the music at the close of Act I. In the other one I had to lift one side of a sedan chair carrying one of the performers onstage. The chair itself was extremely heavy.

6. While working at the now Hummingbird Centre (O'Keefe Centre) I saw Big Bird without his head smoking a cigarette. I believe I'm scarred for life.

7. I'm a Batman fanatic.

8. I must have been in grade five when my brother Jeff and I had a fight in the dining room. At the time there were pails of all kinds of paint. Jeff took one of these pails that had a skin over the top and assumed it would be safe to pretend to pour it over my head. It wasn't. The skin fell off and I got covered over my head and body with white paint. I was freaked. I tried to wash it off but it didn't seem to want to come off. I talked to my mother on the phone. She seemed to think all I needed was soap and water. So I did the best I could and walked off to school. I made quite an entrance. Everybody was laughing. My grandmother who was living with us quickly came to school and picked me up. My mom later found out that it was acrylic paint and I spent the rest of my night with her scrubbing terpentine into my hair and on my face. I still owe Jeff for that one.

I tag: Kelly, SciFiChick, Beccajane, Crowwoman, Miss Frou Frou, InterstellerLass, MichelleWriter and Julia.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

May Movie Round-up

Here’s a little challenge for those of you who watch a lot of movies, suggested to me by Jenny in Texas. Keep track of all the movies that you watch in a month and then list them at the end of the month on your Blog. I’ve been homebound for a couple of months so my new list is small and my re-viewed list is high (as I own most of them).


1. Spiderman 3 - Not quite as good as Spiderman 1 or 2, but still a lot of fun.

2. Night at the Museum - I enjoyed this thoroughly.

3. The Messengers - Ho-hum horror.

4. Eragon - Good actors + good source material + mediocre movie = bad director.

5. Walk the Talk - No laughs though I did smile throughout this Aussie comedy.

6. Signs & Wonders - Quietly effective drama about a man who allows himself to do things because of the signs that he thinks he sees.

7. The Birth of a Nation - Not the classic I thought it would be. Pretty lousy actually.

8. Utopia - Not bad Laurel and Hardy comedy.


9. Pirates of the Caribbean 2 - Arrrrr! ‘Tis a fine flick!

10. Sin City - One of my all time favorite movies.

11. The Exorcism of Emily Rose - this movie gets under my skin (that’s a compliment).

12. Phantom of the Paradise - I’ve loved this movie since I was a kid.

13. Time Bandits - one of the best pre-Harry Potter family fantasies.

14. 28 Days Later - really good zombie flick.

15. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children - a confusing story if you are not familiar with the game (I’m not) but makes up for it through the sheer beauty of it’s animation.

16. The Corpse Bride - I enjoy this film more each time I watch it.

17. A Dirty Shame - John Waters at his prime.

18. Batman Begins - Now that’s a Batman movie!

19. Bubba Ho-Tep - Bruce Campbell gets another great character to add to his repertoire.

20. The Woods - you’ve just got to like a movie directed by someone named Lucky McGee.

21. Haeckel’s Tale (Masters of Horror) - mediocre horror tale.

22. The Aristocrats - I can’t get over the glee that overtakes these comedians in the telling of this one fowl little tale. Too hilarious for words.

23. Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace - Okay... not as good as the first (last?) trilogy but still has that great lightsabre duel with Darth Maul at the end.

24. Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones - Better than The Phantom Menace; and Yoda with a lightsabre is classic.

25. Saw - Less bloody on a second viewing than I remembered, but still intense and grim viewing.

26. Team America: World Police - The height in low-brow humor. I loved it.

27. American Splendor - This is a well made and loving look at this curmudgeon.

28. Constantine - I liked it, though I have not read the comics. (It always strikes me as odd that people complain when a movie isn't the same as the comic. It's a different medium; one where compromise is the key to getting anything made).

29. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Tim Burton really shines here. Danny Elfman’s score is great.

30. Undead - Funny Aussie horror spoof comedy.