Monday, 31 March 2014

Anchorman 2 (2013)

Anchorman One was a extended SNL skit that barely succeeded. Anchor man two is more of the same. Encouragingly lots of thought has gone into this satire.It has a central narrative that moves this movie into Jonathan Swift territory. Mocking Fox News with great effect is the hook that sews all the stupid corny obvious activity into a experience that will make you laugh out loud several times.  For a movie to make me laugh out loud in this century is like time travel,  once thought impossible but some mad scientist have made this possible. Conventional wisdom says there is a circle where genius and insanity intersect. As an aside I think smart people are driven insane by having to deal with normal people. This is a movie where this theory is tested. Stupidity made brilliant by authenticity.

Three point four stars

Friday, 28 March 2014

American Battleship (2012)

From the prolific producers of modern B movies Asylum comes this direct to disc mockumentary of the giant bomb Battleship. Mario Van Pebbles gives the performance of his career as the Captain of the legendary USS Iowa. I also enjoyed Johanna Watts as his leading lady. Hopefully its just a tease and not a spoiler to say this movie has a certain resonance  with the Philadelphia Experiment and The Final Countdown. For this genre one of the better efforts.

Two point seven stars

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Secret of the Incas (1954)

A movie very notable because it is the template for other movies all having the name Indiana Jones in the title. While this movie can in no way compare it is an interesting film. It stars the legendary Charlton Heston and Nicole Maurey. She also starred in the classic Day of the Triffids. Lots of gorgeous scenery and fifties style romance.  Watch it here. (or below) This is a very cool and legal website that has hundreds of copyright free movies from forties to the sixties. I liked the movie, of course the pace is slow, the dialogue ridiculous and the action scenes laughable by today's standards. A great movie for a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon. Just remember it inspired Raiders of the Lost Arc and have fun!

Two point six stars but for its time at least four.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Snowpiercer (2013)

Snowpiercer is a Korean film based upon a French Graphic Novel. The version I watched had no subtitles, fortunately most of the dialogue is in English and you will see many familiar stars like Chris Evans, John Hurt, Ed Harris and Tilda Swindon.  Jamie Bell who was Chris Elliot and Alison Pill the love interest from Goon also have nice turn here.

When global warming gets out of hand humans try and adjust the temperature, what could go wrong? This movie spin dials the climate back to a world wide ice age. The only human survivors live on a sustainable habitat train created by billionaire prepper with a God complex. In some respects the train is the biggest star in this movie  Bong Joon Ho directes this metaphor for mankind beautifully. Its an above grade morality play. Think of Cloud Atlas crossed with a Clockwork Orange in a Braveheart like story. For sure Bong and supporting actor Sang Kang-Ho will become international superstars.

There has been continuing controversy surrounding this movie. The owners of the US rights wanted to dumb down the movie and remove about forty minutes form this 126 minute film now scheduled to open summer 2014. If you have a chance to buy the original version on Blu Ray do it. This is a movie you will want to hold on to. Destined to be a cult classic on the Bladerunner scale. This movie pulls no punches and neither will I.

Five Stars

Saturday, 15 March 2014

The Internship (2013)

If you do not like Owen Wilson stop reading. I love the Owen Wilson, his stich makes me laugh. Combine that with Vince Vaughn and in my book you get some kind of comic genius. The script was written by Vaughn  and he drifts successfully into Jonathan Swift territory. This is a better movie than the smash hit Wedding Crashers. Its a feel good movie thats totally predictable but the boys make it fresh. If you think there is a Harvard of online universities you will want to be one of the viewers that graduates from experiencing this movie. Rotten Tomatoes was way way off on this one.  I give it at least double their rating.

three point nine nine stars

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

This is a important movie. Quentin Tarantino's directorial debut has been hugely influential. The backstory device or as some call it the non linear narrative. The street level dialogue, and the bloody scenes and scenery. Last but not least perfect execution of the soundtrack.

This is a tiny movie, very few sets, all sets simple, the actual robbery is not even shown. With a totally character driven story where the action has to be carried mostly by conversation, the actors have to be terrific. The ensemble cast is fabulous. Harvey Keitel is good. Steve Buscemi is better, but Micheal Madsen's performance is spectacular. He gives the movie legitimacy. Not that Micheal has not had a respectable career but he should have been a superstar.

I watched the 15th anniversary edition. Only relevant because the remastering renders the movie magnificently. I saw the original release of the movie and owned the original DVD. Its been well over ten years since I last watched. Time has been mostly kind to this flick. Some of the dialogue seems more corny than I remember but overall still a great movie. It remains a critical success, and is a true classic for the ages.

Four point two stars