Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Who? What? Where? #20

OK, sorry for missing last week. I had an issue with my computer and it didn't get up and running until this past weekend. So, hopefully I will have no more issues.

The winner from two weeks ago was Jess, who correctly identified the person to the left as Ginnifer Goodwin in the role of Gigi Phillips in He's Just Not That Into You.

Congratulations Jess - you have retaken the lead. I am enjoying the back and forth between the leaders and Fletch holding steady in third.

The concept is simple: each week I will place a photograph of a character within a film. It is up to you (the participant in the game) to tell me the following:
1) The name of the actor (or what the actor goes by in his acting profession).

2) The name of the character in the movie.

3) And, the name of the movie.

Each correct answer gets you a point - so if you get all three correct on a given week, you can get three points. I will keep a running chart each and every week. As of now, this will be played for bragging rights only - but we shall see what the future holds.

So here is week #19:

Jess - 18 points
Matt - 17 points
Fletch - 13 points
Mrs. Kano - 5 points
Nick - 4 points

For Your Consideration

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday's With Movies: 4/26/11

If you haven't noticed these are not the releases for today - but that is because there is no real major release for today. And, since I missed last week's Tuesday's With Movies due to my computer malfunction, I figured I would throw the 4/19/11 releases for this week.

The King's Speech: Not too sure about this one. I had absolutely no interest in seeing this film while it was in the theater, but after the Oscars and hearing a little more about it, I have a bit more interest in seeing it - at least once.

Bambi: Another old Disney film comes back to DVD, despite it already having a large release. I am still hoping that a few of the films that have not had a large release yet. But, you can't go wrong with Bambi so if you don't have it yet - go get it.

Rabbit Hole: Have heard some good things about this one, so I may check it out somewhere down the line. It isn't a film I plan on running out to see (or in my case trying to get from Netflix right away).

Gulliver's Travels: I am sure this is going to be a pretty dumb film, but I am not expecting too much from a Jack Black film. I still want to check it out though - I am a fan of Jason Segel and there should still be some funny parts (hopefully).

Monday, April 25, 2011

38/50: Bullitt

Steve McQueen was apparently the action star of the 60's, and died too young. I loved him in The Great Escape and had heard that Bullitt was one of his best action roles.

So, I added it to my list in hopes that it would be as good or as close to The Great Escape as possible - but i was wrong.

Yes, it had an amazing car chase scene - which is ranked as one of the 10 best on a ton of polls - but the rest of the film just fell flat to me. Maybe it was because of its age, but
I am not sure that is entirely the case.

So, Bullitt (Steve McQueen) is tasked in protecting a witness in a criminal case. And, of course, the person being prosecuted has his cronies attempt to kill that witness.

That is it basically, not too much of a story, just a few chase scenes and gun fights. Which in most cases I would love, but it really didn't do too much for me here.

It was sort of neat to see a young Robert Duvall in probably one of his smallest roles ever, a cab driver named Weissberg. And, that wacky landlord from "Three's Company" Norman Fell as Baker.

If you want to see one of the best car chase scenes in cinema history, check out the film or look it up on youtube. I don't really suggest partaking in this entire film for just one scene though.


37/50: Fargo

Have you ever seen a movie without actually seeing it?

I have never actually sat down to watch Fargo but it as like I had seen the entire film before.

Anyway, Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) has a money making idea, but needs a bunch of money to get it started - so he decides to have his wife kidnapped in order for his rich father-in-law to pay the fake ransom and therefore, front the money for his idea.

He hires a pair of crazy criminals, Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife - in return he would give them a small fee and a car.

Of course, everything goes wrong. The pair of criminals go on a sudden killing spree and all hell basically breaks loose.

Everything would be fine for the group of criminals if it wasn't for small-town cop Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), who takes it upon herself to solve the murders of the town, and leads her to Jerry and the kidnapping.

Like I said, I felt as if I had seen all of this before, I knew basically everything that was going to happen - but still it was great to finally see it.

Buscemi was, as always, amazing. And McDormand, who has never really resonated with me before, was brilliant in this role.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

36/50: Young Frankenstein

Like a lot of the older films on my list, I really feared watching this movie because I had really high hopes for it and had heard great things. That is why I sort of held off in watching it - that and I really enjoy Gene Wilder.

Anyway, Wilder plays Dr. Frankenstein, one of the descendents of the other Dr. Frankenstein, in Young Frankenstein. He tries to distance himself from that family even going so far as pronouncing his name differently.

But, he ends up being lured back to Transylvania and continues his grandfather's experiments after inheriting the castle. He finds a backroom where his grandfather was doing his reanimation projects and becomes infatuated with it - then begins to try and perfect his grandfather's experiment.

Teamed with his partner, Inga (Teri Garr) and his servant, Igor (Marty Feldman), Dr. Frankenstein steals a body and creates The Monster (Peter Boyle).

I have to admit, a lot scared me about this film. It is old; it is filmed in black and white; and Mel Brooks is sort of hit or miss with me. But, this one was a hit.

It definitely had a lot of the Brooks' humor - for instance the horse whinnying every time Frau Blucher's (Cloris Leachman) name is said, that had me laughing each and ever time. I really found myself laughing a lot.

Wilder was in true form, I can honestly say I can't think of another actor that could have played this part. He was so over the top and his voice gets so loud and crazy when he gets excited. Just amazing.

Peter Boyle was great as The Monster. He didn't have many lines, but almost stole the show. The song and dance number (which I had actually seen before) was outstanding. I was also not familiar with Marty Feldman, but he was awesome as Igor - his facial expressions were so funny.


35/50: Frozen River

I have been wanting to see this film since it was announced. There are not too many films that choose the North Country to shoot in, but this was one of the rare ones.

Frozen River was not only shot in the Plattsburgh, NY area, but a lot of it was actually shot right across the street from my in-law's house. In fact, on a handful of occasions, you can even see their house - which is really cool.

Anyway, the fact that the film was shot in an area that I know extensively may have a bit of an effect on my opinion of the film, but either way I thought this film was amazing.

Well, Ray Eddy (Melissa Leo) is a parent of two children and works at the local Dollar Tree. She lives in a single-wide trailer and has been saving up her money for a new double-wide trailer. On the day of its delivery, her husband split and stole the money needed for the trailer.

As she goes out to look for him she comes across Lila Littlewolf (Misty Upham) who has apparently stolen her husband's car. The two of them sort of team up and begin making money bringing illegal aliens to the United States.

The location of the city is right near Canada and when the river (or lake) is frozen, they are able to drive their car across and avoid the border. Eddy plans on doing enough runs to remake the money she needs for her double-wide.

The main issue, besides avoiding getting caught by police, Eddy has left her children home alone and her eldest son, T.J. (Charlie McDermott) was left to take care of his brother. As this was also around Christmas, T.J. ended up stealing a ladies credit card information to sell to a friend of his and was able to by his brother a Christmas present.

I am not going to ruin the ending, but it was rather amazing and something I just did not expect to happen. The movie itself was just done so well and I loved it - it reminded me a lot of Winter's Bone even though this was made first.


Friday, April 15, 2011

34/50: This is Spinal Tap

I have heard about this film forever. I absolutely love Michael McKean (mostly from Clue). And, I have known about the many quotes that come from this movie. But, I have never seen it and I began to worry that if I did I would be let down.

And, I was.

Spinal Tap just really wasn't a type of film that I enjoy. I can handle mockumentaries, but this was so obvious about what was going to happen. It made me laugh a handful of times, but that was the extent of it.

The film follows a trio of Heavy Metal artists known as Spinal Tap on a tour for their upcoming new record. The band consists of David St. Hubbins (McKean), Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer).

The group had been together forever and their following has sort of dwindled over the years. Once playing huge venues, they were now stuck playing smaller events - and even losing events due to lack of interest.

That, along with the major issue of the cover art of their new CD and St. Hubbins' wife, sort of drives a stake into the band - and things begin to go south.

I guess it is my fault for knowing a lot about music. The film basically pulled most of its content from famous bands - most notably The Beatles. The whole Yoko Ono scenario and a member leaving the band - then returning for one more amazing show.

I honestly don't have too much to say about the film. It was only 80 minutes long and at times that felt too long for me. I can't say I hated it, but I definitely did not enjoy it like I thought I could.

It was, however, strange to see some (now) pretty famous people in such small roles, like Bruno Kirby and Billy Crystal (both seen in City Slickers).


33/50: Requiem for a Dream

I have never really had the urge to try hardcore drugs, nor do I see the reason why anyone would ever want to. Besides the initial feeling you get from it, everything else about it just seems horrific. So what is it that makes people want to go down that path?

Anyway, if anyone is even considering taking hardcore drugs of any sort Requiem for a Dream should be appointment viewing. If they aren't scared off from doing drugs by watching this film then there was no real hope for them anyway.

The film follows four individuals, all linked in some way, that begin to go down that dark path of drug use. Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto) and Tyrone Love (Marlon Wayans) have decided that in order to always have their next fix they will begin to sell drugs. Also along for the ride is Harry's girlfriend Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly), who dreams of owning a clothing store - which Harry has agreed to fund with his drug money.

The weirdest story truly belongs to Harry's mother, Sara (Ellen Burstyn). She is a bit of a television addict and loves this infomercial guy, Tappy Tibbons (Christopher McDonald). One day she receives a letter informing her that she will be on television soon. So, she begins to try losing weight - when it becomes difficult she tries diet pills and becomes addicted.

The interesting stories belong to the younger three as we see just what they will do and how far they will go to make sure they have their drugs. All three take different paths, but the results basically end up the same.

I have to say, a very well done and disturbing film. Like I said, anyone who even has a thought about taking drugs should absolutely check this film out. Even though I had no plans to partake in any of these substances - I am definitely staying away forever now.

I haven't seen too many films with Leto, but I thought he did a great job in the role. Connelly continues to amaze me - she hasn't appeared to age in 20 years. And Wayans was great in a non-comedic performance.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who? What? Where? #19

Every so often Fletch comes out of the wood work and claims the victory. He correctly identified the person to the left as John Michael Higgins, and on his second try his role as Richard Meyers in The Break-Up.

With that, he inches closer to the top of the leader board. Matt holds on to a slim lead over Jess with Fletch just behind them for third.

So, congratulations to Fletch and good luck to everyone this week.

The concept is simple: each week I will place a photograph of a character within a film. It is up to you (the participant in the game) to tell me the following:

1) The name of the actor (or what the actor goes by in his acting profession).

2) The name of the character in the movie.

3) And, the name of the movie.

Each correct answer gets you a point - so if you get all three correct on a given week, you can get three points. I will keep a running chart each and every week. As of now, this will be played for bragging rights only - but we shall see what the future holds.

So here is week #19:

Matt - 17 points
Jess - 15 points
Fletch - 13 points
Mrs. Kano - 5 points
Nick - 4 points

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday's With Movies: 4/12/11

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part I: One of the few films I was able to see in the theater last year. Still not my favorite of the films, but perhaps combined with the final film it might. I will be owning this as soon as the mood strikes me - considering I own the rest.

Country Strong: Doesn't really look like my cup of tea, but I have been wrong on the musical fronts before. This is a film my wife wants to see, so I will check it out with her - and hopefully like Moulin Rouge and Chicago before it, it may work for me.

The Incredibles: Sort of a re-release for Blu-Ray, since I already own the film on DVD. I will not be purchasing this film, but for those of you that do not own it I suggest that you go out and grab it.

Cars: Just like The Incredibles, Cars is getting a Blu-Ray release. Sort of the step-sister of the Pixar clan for many people, but I absolutely adore the film. I say for everyone to give it another chance, especially with Cars 2 getting released this summer.

Summer in Genoa: A film with Colin Firth, and appears to be a film that Colin Firth does over and over again. Nothing about this really stuck out to me, so I am staying away from this one - at least for now. Who knows what the future will hold?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Who? What? Where? #18

I am sorry that I missed last week's posting. Usually I have them ready to go and I just forgot about it. I was going to put it up either Thursday or Friday, but that that really wouldn't have been fair since I try to do this at the same time each week. I will do my best to stay on top of this from now on.

Anyway, congrats to Matt who retook first place from Jess - and apparently some smack talking has also begun, that is what I like to see: take pride in your movie knowledge. Matt correctly said that the person to the left was Jena Malone as Mary in Saved!

Congratulations, Matt! Good luck to everyone again this week. Let's keep those guesses coming.

The concept is simple: each week I will place a photograph of a character within a film. It is up to you (the participant in the game) to tell me the following:

1) The name of the actor (or what the actor goes by in his acting profession).

2) The name of the character in the movie.

3) And, the name of the movie.

Each correct answer gets you a point - so if you get all three correct on a given week, you can get three points. I will keep a running chart each and every week. As of now, this will be played for bragging rights only - but we shall see what the future holds.

So here is week #18:

Matt - 17 points
Jess - 15 points
Fletch - 10 points
Mrs. Kano - 5 points
Nick - 4 points

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday's With Movies: 4/5/11

Tron: Legacy: Ever since I heard that this movie was coming out I have been trying to track down the original Tron. I thought that I saw it when I was younger, but apparently I was confusing it with The Black Hole. I have not been able to track down the original to watch, but once I do I will definitely be watching this sequel.

Little Fockers: I have seen the first two films and I enjoyed them as much as you can. I don't particularly enjoy Ben Stiller's brand of humor, but I thought that the first two films had a few decent jokes. I will watch this to complete the trilogy, although I have heard it is the worst of the bunch.

I Love You Phillip Morris: OK, so when I first heard about this film I added it to my Netflix queue and there it sat - for almost two years, maybe even more. This film was made awhile ago, but for some reason never got a release, despite some decent reviews. Finally, it is coming in the mail and I will get to check it out.

Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: I really enjoyed the first film of this series and I have the second film in my closet, although I have not watched it. I will have to though so I can watch this, the third in the series. I am a bit upset though because the two children that I actually enjoyed don't appear to be present in this film. I haven't read the books, but I am guessing they aren't in there either. I will give it a try.

Casino Jack: I don't know a lot about this one. I saw a trailer a long time ago and thought it rather odd that a drama/mystery movie had Jon Lovitz in it. Then I hadn't heard anything else about it until now. As of now I have no plans to see it, but perhaps some time down the line.

Monday, April 4, 2011

32/50: Heat

This was the longest film that was on my 50 list and I couldn't really figure out why a heist film would be so long.

I knew a little about Heat before going into the film, but apparently I didn't know much. I went in thinking that Val Kilmer was the main villain and Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were the cops that were tasked in stopping him. But, I was a bit wrong.

Anyway, Pacino is Lt. Vincent Hanna, a man who is married to his job, which has sort of ruined his slew of marriages - and is currently interrupting his new marriage.

De Niro plays Neil McCauley, the leader of the crime wave that has hit Los Angeles. McCauley leads a crew of Chris Shiherlis (Kilmer), Michael Cheritto (Tom Sizemore) and Trejo (Danny Trejo).

McCauley is planning one last major heist - a bank job - so he can leave town and retire in New Zealand with his new girlfriend, Eady (Amy Brenneman). Hanna is right on the gangs tail the entire way and soon figures out where the heist is taking place - and heads off to stop it.

I have to admit, this film was amazing - though it could have been a bit better. The heist and gun fire was amazing, but it was not in the film as much as it should be. There was so much depth to this film and so much is going on. De Niro was great as the bad guy, and man Kilmer is amazing again.

I believe this film may have also been one of the last films where Pacino didn't play Pacino. He was actually acting and was great.

Also, nice of the writer or director to step out on a limb and give Trejo an amazing name in the film.

Anyway, despite the film needing a bit more action it was a great watch and I couldn't even tell that it was almost three hours long - which to me makes the film worth the watch.


31/50: Red

This movie sort of got lost in the wind. I found myself counting the rest of the films I had left on my 50 list and I was coming up one short. I had to go back through and figure out what was missing - and sure enough I had forgotten to put down this film.

So, here is the missing film that I watched a good while ago.

Red is a film that follows a quartet of retired CIA agents that are brought back together to after Frank (Bruce Willis) is attacked in his house.

After realizing that the assailants have tapped his phone, he heads to Kansas City to find the only person he has been talking to, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) in fear that they would go after her to find him.

To help him along the way, he joins up with his former CIA team of Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) to help him track down who is after him and why.

This film had a lot of great action and plenty of small jokes. Malkovich was way over the top which is the way I like my Malkovich. Freeman wasn't in the film as much as I would have liked - and he was outstanding as well.

I won't go into the entire story as it might ruin what the film was about. I had heard that this film was outstanding, but I was a bit underwhelmed - however, it was a decent watch, just not outstanding.