Category Archives: Movies

Crank

I’ve been a stranger around these parts and I have to thank Cool Jesus for keeping the vibe alive while I was missing from The Diatribe. Some of the greatest news that I wanted to write about today was . This may seem like nothing to you — but it means the world to me. So, like I said — it’s what I wanted to write about, but instead, I would like to talk briefly about the film I saw last night — Crank starring Jason Statham.

I’ve never really though of him as a great actor. He’s been in plenty of supporting roles, but for some reason he makes me think of d-list action films for some reason. Crank was no different — or was it. At first, I was thinking the movie was going to be completely cheesy and terrible but it got worse. So much worse.

It got so bad, that I realized that it couldn’t possibly have been done intentionally. The scenes were so ridiculous that I couldn’t believe my eyes — each action sequence was more unbelievable than the one before.
Continue reading Crank

Rosebud….

We’ve had the movie Citizen Kane at our house for quite some time, now. I figured it was finally time to watch it last night and though I knew that this film revolutionized the way that movies are filmed and written — I wasn’t expecting anything new or exciting.

I feel like I’ve always been jaded towards the classic movies — but then when I actually sit down to watch them (Casablanca, The Great Escape, etc.) I find that they’re still really good films. The same holds true with Citizen Kane, more-so than any other movie.

It reminded me a lot of Ayn Rand’s novels — and you could possibly argue that it even touched on Objectivism with Mr. Kane’s self-indulgence and motivation to achieve success. All told, though, the film was excellent and I was very impressed.

For those that haven’t seen it, I would definitely suggest adding it to your . Heck, I’m even considering watching it again before I send it back.

Oh yeah.. and that whole Rosebud thing… I loved it!

A movie re-hashing

I’ve been trying to seek out an idea for a participatory post from the audience, and I think I came up with  one. What was the best & worst movie you’ve seen recently. I’m not asking for your all-time greatest or anything. It’s more like, what was the most recent movie that you really enjoyed. And on the flip side, what’s the movie that you recently watched and particularly disliked.

There’s often a large number of films that fall in between these two categories and just entertain — I’m looking for the extremes. Here are mine:

Enjoyed:
I actually have two:
"The Aristocrats" — Not for the faint of heart.
"Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" — A surprisingly clever comedy that I particularly enjoyed.

Disliked:
"Lady in the Water" — Horrible. I typically like M. Night’s movies.. this one, however, was a waste of my time. I want my 110 minutes back.

What are your recent faves?

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So sad…

Two things that disturb me:

1. The new show with David Spade. Don’t people realize that he’s not funny anymore?

2. More importantly, what happened to Peter Stormare? You know him as Nihilist #1 in The Big Lebowski and Gaear Grimsrud (woodchipper guy) in Fargo.. He’s now starring in the Volkswagon commercials as an annoying German Engineer. So Sad.

It’s A Wonderful Question

I realize this post is a few days late, but (a) it’s been a busy week for me, and (b) it’s the only blog idea I’ve had that’s just been gnawing away at me. Forgive me as I discuss one of my favorite topics…

As I have mentioned here previously, I am a certified fanatic of It’s A Wonderful Life. I will never tire of this film. It’s not as densely packed with rich layers as Casablanca, but there is enough there to allow me to find new nuances that I hadn’t noticed before. I love how dark it is, specifically for a 1940s film. I’m not a classic film expert, but I don’t really think too many movies or TV shows from that era (not counting mysteries, of course) are as dark. I mean, George Bailey yells at his children and makes them cry, angrily asks his wife, “why do we have to have so many kids?!?,” gets drunk alone on Christmas Eve, and then gets punched out by the husband of a woman he yelled at.

I realize not too many of you out there are familiar with IAWL. It was about 10 years or so ago that the world changed and you couldn’t find this movie spread across the dial at any time night or day. NBC bought the rights (not sure if this includes international rights) and airs it once or twice in December. Before then, since its rights had lapsed into the public domain (meaning that no one owned it), it could be aired for free. And it was. Oh boy, it was.

Here’s the question I alluded to in the title: what did George end up doing with all that money at the end? His Uncle Billy accidentally gave $8,000 to Mr. Potter (do we ever find out his first name?) at that bank on Christmas Eve and then Mary Bailey went around Bedford Falls alerting everyone that George was in trouble. She must have spoken to Uncle Billy, because there’s no other way she would have known that it was a money issue that got George so upset. So we see all of our favorite Bedford Falls residents pour into the Bailey home with money to help George and the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan.

It’s possible, but not probable that the town contributed the sum of $8,000 to get George off the hook. But then Ernie reads a telegram from Sam Wainright in London instructing his company to wire George “up to $25,000.” So, what happens if George ends up with $30,000 – $32,000. Does he get to keep the balance after paying back the $8,000 that Uncle Billy lost? When Harry Bailey toasts his brother as “the richest man in town” we’re sort of led to believe that George will get to keep all that money, right?

When I was younger, I never gave it a second thought that George would get to keep all that money and truly become rich. But now I’m not so sure. This will have to be added to my list of questions for the afterlife. Paging Frank Capra…

She could be your sister, too

A while back, I posed a question to my friends – including Captain Larby, LTJ, Mrs. Larby, Matty Ballgame, Dr. Doop, and the rest – “who could portray us in a movie?” I don’t recall all the suggestions, but I think Edward Norton was brought up for LTJ and Bruce Willis for Dr. Doop. This was before Josh Groban joined the ranks of the rich and famous, or else he would have been mentioned for me, just as surely as I get “has anyone ever told you that you look just like that singer, Josh Groban?” on a weekly basis.

However, Swedish Girl and I have come up with a variation on this game. Since my doppelganger is already known and Swedish Girl doesn’t seem to have one, we are now onto finding who our siblings could be. I think it started while watching House of Sand and Fog on HBO sometime last year. I mentioned that Jennifer Connelly could be my sister. She looks more like me than my own sister does, since she has dark hair, dark eyes, and bushy eyebrows. I’m not sure if Swedish Girl was convinced about a possible sibling resemblance there, but that was the spark that ignited the search for my Hollywood sister.

For some reason, the search has heated up recently. See, this game may be dormant, but it never dies. After seeing Saw 3 the other day, Swedish Girl thought that Shawnee Smith could be my sister. I wasn’t quite so sure about that one. I still thought Jennifer Connelly was in the lead. However, her lead was threatened yesterday, as we were watching Scream 3 on TV. As if reading my mind, Swedish Girl said that Neve Campbell could be my sister. Kind of round face, dark hair, dark eyes, the same packaging.

Anyway, maybe you can adopt this game, too, and as you’re watching TV shows or movies, you can pick out your siblings. I’ll even start you out by combining the aforementioned game and this sibling game – Josh Radnor, the guy who plays Ted on How I Met Your Mother, could both portray LTJ in a movie and be his brother. Discuss amongst yourselves…

Confusion Illusion

I am thoroughly confused about a couple of movies that are hitting cinemas this weekend, or may have already hit cinemas. I only moments ago found out that there are, in fact, two separate movies that appear to deal with magic, illusionists, black magic, and intrigue and both appear to be set in the 19th century. One is The Prestige and the other is The Illusionist. I am sure I will see neither, confusion or not. I remember seeing the trailer for one of these (can’t remember which one) about four to six weeks ago and it looked interesting. Then, a few weeks later, I saw a TV ad for it and the plot seemed hastily rearranged. And, wait a second, I thought, what happened to Christian Bale? How did they get Paul Giamatti to come in and take Bale’s place so fast? I was flabbergasted. I genuinely thought these two films were just one film and I thought that Bale and Hugh Jackman had been edited out of the film and Giamatti and Edward Norton had filled in somehow at the eleventh hour.

I was intrigued. It blew my mind how quickly Hollywood had changed the entire movie and created a new one. Now that I know I had merely confused two very similar-looking films, I’m much less interested. However, I will be keeping an eye on how these films do at the box office, and I’ll probably check out some reviews. Afterall, there is still the confusion over releasing two black magic period pieces in the same month.

Another First

Last night marked a momentous first for me. I went to a movie theater that serves beer and wine and took full advantage of that perk. It was a silver lining in what was a bummer of an evening. My “sis” Lisa had given me Patriots tickets, which were given to her by Patriots legend Andre Tippett. Due to a series of mishaps consistent with the life and times of Cool Jesus, I didn’t make the Sunday night game, and coincidentally, probably ruined any chance of future tickets. I pictured myself in a Seinfeldian moment in which I was George and Lisa was Jerry. And instead of Keith Hernandez, the (less) famous athlete involved was Andre Tippett and he was pissed that his tickets went to waste.

Instead, Swedish Girl and I went to an ancient cinema (with unfortunately contemporary ticket prices) near our neighborhood and took in Little Miss Sunshine. The film was enjoyable and I was glad that Swedish Girl enjoyed it, since we rarely ever agree on movies. I sulked through the first half of the film, but soon enough the beer did its job and acted as the balm to my wounds. All in all, not a bad plan B.

A Lonelygirl on the Internet

It was only a few days ago that I first heard about , but I’ve already become fascinated by the concept. Let me explain.

In last week’s edition of , there was a piece talking about “The lonelygirl15 Phenomena” that has is this summer’s . To summarize, lonelygirl15 is a video blogger that uploads periodic posts to YouTube for the internet to watch. In her blog, she portrays herself as a normal 16 year old girl, who has typicaly teenage problems.. but something’s just not right. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but she doesn’t “seem” to be only 16 years old.

That’s where the plot begins to thicken. There are a number of clues and various tidbits of information that are slowly leaked throughout her many video posts, which takes on a “Lost”-esque appeal. Then, today, there was an article in the LA Times about the lonelygirl15 mystery. According to the LA Times:

No one has publicly come forward to lay claim to her work, but she is starting to look as connected in Hollywood as any starlet. Three lonelygirl15-obsessed amateur Web sleuths set up a sting using tracking software that appears to show that e-mails sent from a lonelygirl15 account came from inside the offices of the Beverly Hills-based talent agency Creative Artists Agency.

It’s an interesting concept that might develop, if this is in fact a movie in the making.. stemming out of a user-generated content idea, it created such a buzz and viral marketing effect, that it seems like a clever way to promote a new product or film.. though, it certainly does blur the lines between advertising and content.. it’ll be interesting to see what happens with our friend Lonelygirl15..

Flix. NetFlix.


For the past few years, I’ve had a number of people tell me how much they like . I’ve always been a fan of the service, and even Miss Possible was a subscriber back when we first had started dating. She cancelled the service, however, after we found that we weren’t really taking advantage of it because we would never be at one person’s house consistently enough to watch the movies all the time. Plus, when you first start dating someone, I think it’s difficult to immediately share a Netflix queue with them.

But, in that time, I’ve given a NetFlix membership to a number of people as birthday or holiday gifts. Each one of them enjoying it, after signing up and getting involved in the system. I had heard froma number of friends (The Captain and his lovely bride included) as well as a number of co-workers how great the service was. But.. It wasn’t until just recently that I started taking my own advice and signed up for the NetFlix service.

Since then, while we have not taken full advantage of our two-movie a month options, we’ve definitely watched more movies than usual. Being the summer, there’s a lot less new TV to DVR, so.. we’re more inclined to throw on a film or play an XBox 360 game.

Just today, though, I came across a very fascinating article in about the NetFlix service and how the facilities operate. It’s not one of those 6 page New Yorker articles, but rather a “Talk of the Town” segment that is roughly a page long or so. It goes into great detail about what is required to maintain the fast turnaround time.

Whether or not you’re a NetFlix subscriber, I recommend the article, it’s a fascinating read.