Friday, April 11, 2008

DVD Review - A History of Violence

The public Library has been good to me. Currently it is saving me alot of money I don't have by being able to check out DVDs.

My latest borrowing was A History of Violence. Overall, not a bad movie. The ending was inconclusive, but is otherwise good. The pacing of the movie is somewhat slower. The nice thing about watching this on DVD is getting the extras. The featurettes are worth watching, the Director's commentary is very similar to what you'll get out of just watching the featurettes. If you're in a hurry, skip the commentary, and just do the featurettes.

Personal notes:
I like the rough 'street-fight' style of fighting that was done. Real fights tend to toss out pretty styles for what works. No 'Rambo-isation' of the Protagonist, he gets injured almost as much as the bad guys. About the only thing that felt missing from this is a father-son talk. There occurred at least twice in the film where I expected it. It was well shot, with only one scene that I really disagreed with the lighting.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Underated flicks

There are several older good films to catch, and since the ones in the theaters have been pretty lame. I'll post on these.

Ladyhawke - A relatively well known flick, based off medieval french romance, about the only thing that truly ruins this movie is the helmets at the end. They look appropriate to sci-fi not medieval history. You should see this.

Flesh+Blood - More medieval and less romanticized, the criticisms are a DaVinci-esque siege engine and the plague that works too quickly. But it is worth seeing.

Wanted: Dead or Alive - A film that is appropriate to today's audience: going after terrorists. A grenade scene near the end makes it more than worthwhile.

Blind Fury - White guy learns from oriental master and kicks ass. Popular genre of the time. Good flick.

Split Second - Automatic shotguns?! YES! that makes this film alone worth watching. The story is okay also.

I Come in Peace - Seems listed as Dark Angel on IMDB now. Drugs, aliens, and a bad-ass cop.

The Last Starfighter - I was annoyed at the time that they did not come up with this as an arcade game. Merchandising cross-marketing was not what it was then. Good flick.

Escape from New York - good action of anti-hero Snake Pliskin.

Mad Max - The beginning of the Mad Maxx series. Great car.

Dune (1984) - I still like most of it better than the more modern version.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai - Still a classic.

The DEATH WISH series - Bronson killing badguys, a vigilante classic.

First Blood - The best story of the rambo series, though later ones have a higher blood and guts ratio. Alot of the younger crowd haven't seen the first one.

Dirty Harry, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact -and all the Dirty Harry movies with clint eastwood, though some are better than others.

Red Dawn - WWIII flick, america invaded.

Streets of Fire - urban action-adventure. Check it out.

The Dirty Dozen - WWII behind enemy lines, killing nazis

RAN - japanese medieval war scenes with lots of colorful armies.

Big Trouble in Little China - action comedy.

The Five Deadly Venoms - Foreign Martial Arts flick.

Better Off Dead - teen love comedy of the eighties, not as well known as others.

My list of films for the next 6 months

A list of films I'm considering and why:

April 4th
Nim's Island: hearing mixed reviews, but sounds interesting.

April 18th
Forbidden Kingdom: Jackie Chan AND Jet Li ... no more needs saying.

May 2nd
IRON MAN: This looks good, though they really should have done the suit in aluminum or used a metallized paint, it looks plastic in the stills, maybe it'll look better on screen. But since I've read the comic as a kid (though my best friend at the time was more into it), I am going to see it. Then again I liked Ghost Rider.

May 16th
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian : Big special effect film which (due to DFX not being finished) was pushed to summer release from this past christmas. I hope they kept a bit truer to character than the last one. Then again it's been Disney-fied.

May 23rd
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: I've watched the first three, and I might as well finish it, though we've been told that it will probably piss us off how they finish it. Like that's something new in Hollywood?

May 30th
Sex and the City: Yes, I am going to see this. Either I am going to be on a date, or looking for more sexually liberated women. We'll have to see. Yes, there is a difference between sexually liberated and slut. Way too many male and female sluts out there as opposed to sexually liberated.

June 6th
Kung Fu Panda: Animated safe flick, maybe get my mother out for a change.

Mongol: I generally don't go for films in other languages, but they're haven't been alot of Mongol films since the John Wayne version flopped.

June 24th
Wall-E: Again safe family film, probably will take my mother out in the second week.

WANTED: Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman ... nerdy nobody gets trained to be superhero and saves the world. Always a popular theme. Some scenes shot with Red Camera and I want to see how it looks.

July 11th
HB II (Hellboy 2): Not high on my list, but if I need to do something.

July 18th
The Dark Knight: It's a batman flick ... which means usually good. I expect alot of Heath Ledger fans will propel this one to #1 even if it is bad.

August 1st
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (a.k.a. The Mummy 3): Well, again the first two went well, so I'll give 3 a shot.

August 15th
Star Wars: The Clone Wars I'll catch this because I generally like Star Wars and because I can get someone else to pop for the ticket for my birthday.

August 26th
Babylon A.D.: Vin Diesel, Action, Sci-Fi ... enough said.

September 12th
Punisher: War Zone: Punisher flick, it had better have a good body count, or it can't be considered a Punisher flick.

September 26th
Death Race: Remake based on the 70's film. pretty low on the list of things to do. Might improve as we get closer.

October 3rd
Valkyrie: WWII film ... depends ... have to see when it gets closer.

October 10th
City of Ember: Family Adventure flick ... we'll see as it gets closer.

October 17th
Max Payne: Based off video game. Depends on how much big-screen action over small-screen action ... not high on list.

November 7th
Madagascar sequel: maybe ... day out with mother or something.

November 21st
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: As the books get worse, the movies will probably be better. Since the first four books that were good were badly hacked to make mediocre films.

November 26th
The Road: I got out of post-apocolyptic films years ago, but Viggo Mortensen & Robert Duvall, hmmm .... might be interesting, I'll keep an eye out as it gets closer.

December 12th
The Day the Earth Stood Still: Remake of the classic 50's film. I personally think they'll screw it up, but then again it might be fun.


You might notice that most are fantasy/sci-fi and not much comedy or drama or romance, etc. Now if I add in DVD to this, it would have plenty. At least FX can make it worth paying the exorbant fees that they want at the theaters. If I were dating regularly, there might be some rom-coms and drama tossed in, but where I'm not, I go for what is most visually spectacular. That's why I've put films that are not as large in story but are action heavy, and sometimes both. I also have alot in the fantasy because they don't put enough money into it as compared to sci-fi, though there is a definate market for it.