Sunday, February 01, 2015

Short Reviews - February 2015

And now, for our special guest reviewer, Peggy Noonan

Good Night, and Good Luck. - I have no problem with George Clooney making a movie about Edward R. Murrow taking on Joe McCarthy, I just have a problem with him thinking that he did it all by himself.

The Monuments Men - I have no problem with George Clooney making a movie about saving art during World War II, I just have a problem with him thinking he did it all by himself.

The Thin Red Line - I have no problem with George Clooney making a movie about going to the Guadalcanal during World War II, I just have a problem with him thinking he did it all by himself.

The Peacemaker - I have no problem with George Clooney making a movie called "The Peacemaker," I just think that nuclear terrorists should be dealt with by the free market the way Jesus intended.  You know, when he had that free concert at Red Rocks?

Ocean's Eleven - I have no problem with George Clooney making a movie about taking down the hated casino mogul Andy Garcia, I just have a problem with him thinking he did it all by himself.

From Dusk Til Dawn - I have no problem with George Clooney making a movie about the vampire apocalypse, I just have a problem with him thinking that he won it all by himself.  I mean... what's Juliette Lewis?  Chopped liver?

Return of the Killer Tomatoes! - I have no problem with George Clooney making a sequel about killer tomatoes, I just have a problem with him thinking he defeated said killer tomatoes all by himself.

Up in the Air - I have absolutely no problem with George Clooney downsizing the last remnants of the American workforce... best thing to happen to them, frankly... I just have a problem with the number of air miles he's racked up, so to speak.

Burn After Reading - ...WHY DID HE BREAK THAT MACHINE?  WHY?? I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!

...okay, take a break, Peggy.  You've worked harder than you should of... have.

Aliens of the Deep - NASA just announced a submarine that could explore the methane seas of Saturn's moon... probably Titan.  Well, James Cameron wants in!

The Great Race - Tongue thoroughly in cheek, of course.  I never saw the opening credits before!  Jack Lemmon's name and picture card comes up, and the audience on the soundtrack boos.  Tony Curtis' name and picture card comes up, and the audience lets out a mighty roar.  Then the title card comes up... "THE GREAT RACE".  The audience goes "Ugh.  How long is this movie?  The pie fight's at the end, right?  What's on ESPN?"

Groundhog Day - Wow!  This has to be the most low key Groundhog Day ever!  Doesn't anyone care?  I guess it was overshadowed by the Superb Owl, so to speak.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome - Ah, just like the American economy now: barter-based and Thunderdome-based.

Some Girl / Something About Sex - ...how do I end up with these things?  I gotta stop these drunken DVD-buying binges!  I guess these two movies belong together on the same DVD, ultimately, as even the filmmakers aren't willing to put up the money to do commentary and all that other hoopla.  Not every movie can afford to have a documentary crew on hand to film the cast and crew joking around.  But really, when you get right down to it, these two titles together are an apt description of your average movie.  "What's this movie about?"  "Oh, some girl... something about sex."  Way better title than Denial, dontcha think?

The Prisoner of Zenda - Boy!  The IMDb Auto-Fill is dissing the Prisoner of Second Avenue a li'l bit!  ...that's that Nintendo game, right?  Ah, good times.

The Prisoner of Second Avenue - Well, there's your problem right there.  As David Letterman might say, you're trying to make your big time movie about New York City as a hate-filled hellscape, and you're doing it with a PG rating?  Puh-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze.  NC-17 minimum for starters!  Taxi Driver and Bad Lieutentant 1 knows that... also, Letterman would throw in a couple jokes about rats and squirrels in Central Park.  Ah, rats and squirrels... Letterman's only friends.

"Fargo", Season 2 - ...well?  When's it debut?

"Harve Karbo" - ...well?  When's it debut?

Hail, Caesar! - Got my ticket! ...oh, right.  It's for next year.  No wonder it cost me $100!

Heaven is for Real - With Margo Martindale as the pudgy best friend and/or disappointed mother, looking on in quiet concern

Spellbinder - With Kelly Preston as Elizabeth Taylor

Mischief - With Kelly Preston as the mischief

Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers - ...did they film this at the same time they did Yellowbeard or what?  Boy, what were they smoking?  Also, there's your problem right there.  As David Letterman might say, you're trying to make your big time Cheech and Chong movie, and you're doing it with a PG rating?  Puh-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze.  NC-17 minimum for starters!  Go figure, even Cheech and Chong got tired of remaking Up in Smoke and Things are Tough all Over.

Rude Awakening - With Eric Roberts as Chong

School's Out - With Eric Roberts as... Eric Roberts.  Dude... you need to dial it back a bit or something, Roberts.  You've got, like, 500 movies in production!  STRESS KILLS!  And Julia's STILL not going to invite you over for Thanksgiving!

Humoresque - So, what's it going to be, John Garfield?  Is it your little music, or no wire hangers?

Assassination Games - Great opening credits, but I'm pretty sure the dead guy's not Jean-Claude Van Damme... wonder if Van Damme ever worked with Jonathan Demme?  And if not, why not?

"Bosch" - They wanted an Anthony Bourdain-type for the lead

Chairman of the Board - Wow!  They have it on YouTube!... ah, close enough.

Desperately Seeking Susan - Oh, how Madonna wishes she could play that role forever.  Can't do it when you're old and thin!

Every Thing Will Be Fine - So here's the plot: a writer is driving around aimlessly after a domestic squabble, and he accidentally hits and kills a child... Bjorn Olaf Johannessen, are you trying to tell us that you shot a man in Reno just to watch him die?  Or are you trying to say that, yeah, you remembered Lily Tomlin's story thread from Short Cuts too?

The Falcon and the Snowman - ... Private Eightball?

Focus - ...Features?  Oh, I LOVE that company!  That's James Schamus' new company, right?

Free the Nipple - I know, I know, the law is biased against women.  On the other hand, the law isn't exactly championing that film called Free the Testicle either, right?.... there is a film called Free the Testicle, isn't there?

Gone Girl - With Kim Dickens as Amy Adams

Gone in Sixty Seconds - With Christopher Eccleston as Raymond Halicki... I mean, Calitri

Hi, Mom! - Rear Window but with movie cameras.  And everyone seems to have them!  Why, De Niro's so young in this, he looks like Bill Pullman.

Kingsman: The Secret Service - Finally!  A movie with Michael Caine and the new Michael Caine, Colin Firth!

The Limits of Control - Who's the Ghost Dog NOW, bitch?

Looking for Lola - Wow!  What a terrible opening credits font!

Looking for Kitty - See?  Now that's the more appropriate title!

Maximum Risk - Oh yeah!  Natasha Henstridge!  Wonder what happened to her.  Good thing this came up when I was looking up Until Death.

Pet Sematary II - I just wish certain directors were less concerned about their age and more concerned about choosing good projects.  But there's also a certain amount of luck involved as well.  Even Stephen King can't figure that one out.  I mean, he could've sworn that they'd get ten films out of The Graveyard Shift or the Pet Sematary series.  Even he's shocked by the proliferation of the Children of the Corn franchise.

Schizopolis - Lol.  Are you a follower of T. Azimuth Schwitters too?  Go bold yourself today!

Seein' Red, White 'n' Blue - Boy, this is, like, the stupidest film ever.  "Seein' Red, White and Blue."  IT'S IN BLACK AND WHITE!!!!!!  DER!!!!!  DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sibling Rivalry - Universal concept, obscure movie.  Yeah, reminds me of that time when one of my younger siblings introduced me to one of their co-workers.  The co-worker shook my hand, and I couldn't help but notice, in that sociopathic way of mine, the strange look on the co-worker's face.  And then it hit me, and I thought to myself, "Oh!  You've heard about me... and I'm guessing it's none of the positive stuff."  ...now I'm waiting for someone to comment "Obscure?  Hardly.  Why, it airs all the time on TBS and I happen to own signed copies of it on VHS, Beta, laserdisc, DVD, Blu-Ray... and 16 and 35mm, and I have the poster on my wall, signed by all the cast and crew!"  To which I say, okay, Rob or Carl, I will retract my earlier judgment immediately, and offer my sincerest apologies.

"The Slap" - Ah, great title.   Reminds me of this asshole I was friends with in high school.  He must be like Sam Hess in season one of "Fargo" by now.  Lots of kids, good job, summer home on Bear Island, really sweet!  He sent me a friend request on one of your social network channels out there, and I couldn't help but think to myself: desperation.  Rose-colored glasses, three pairs.  I mean, shouldn't I have to do something humiliating first to earn the privilege of being online friends with you?  But what can I say?  I'm just a beta male in an alpha male world... make that omega male.  Oh, I can only wish to be a beta.  Why, that guy's so much of an alpha, he's probably online friends with all his ex-girlfriends!  Now they could tell some stories; of course, they know what happens if they don't keep their mouths shut.  Swift retribution.

The Star Chamber - Okay, Movie SATs time.  What Dick Miller is to Joe Dante, Don Calfa is to .....................

The Terror - With Boris Karloff as Jack Valenti 

Tommy Boy - Hey, Tommy Boy.  Planes, Trains & Automobiles called.  Wants its font back... AND plot!!!

Until Death - Wow.  Stephen Rea in a NON-Neil Jordan movie?  What will Neil Jordan say?!!!

The English Patient -  Ah, Miramax.  They make the movies that win all the Oscars, then years later online critics ask themselves and the world "... that swept the Oscars?  Boy, what were they smoking back then?"

The Artist - Ah, The Weinstein Company.  They make the movies that win all the Oscars, then years later online critics ask themselves and the world "... that swept the Oscars?  Boy, what were they smoking back then?"

Hannibal Rising - They do kitsch as well!

"The Simpsons" - Now, I love The Simpsons as much as the next person, but I was a little taken aback when Lisa recently called the cartoon strip "Peanuts" a one-hit wonder.  Well, you know how it is.  Even Charles Schulz foundered at first when he was starting out, and some of his pre-Peanuts stuff is interesting to look at, if only to see what it would eventually become.  I hate to throw around terms like "billion dollar empire," but "Peanuts" can certainly be called a franchise, maybe even beloved to some, even if it's not so beloved in the halls of Gracie Films and company.  (it actually is)  I think of it as a different time.  Nowadays, sure, you have to branch out and try for that second hit, but trying to compare "Peanuts" to "Funkytown," well... doesn't sit too well with me.  Maybe I'll get over it.  After all, they already took their potshots at "Family Circus," and well-deserved, in my opinion.  "Family Circus" is just kind of the Rush Limbaugh of cartoon strips: no one knows how it got there, and everyone knows it'd take nothing less than a Constitutional amendment to get rid of it.  Now, Garfield... yecch!  That's a one-hit wonder.  And arguably, Johnny Hart of B.C. fame has one and a half hits under his belt, if you count his co-founding of The Wizard of Id... but I don't want to come to his defence, and risk the wrath of the cult he joined near the end of his life.  Okay, back to business as usual.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - This Nick and Norah fascinate me.  Surely, these characters are taken directly from real life and not from some Film School reject's curriculum?.............

The Thin Man - BUSTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the Thin Man - Ooh!  The drunk guy from Scram!  What's his name again?

Fifty Shades of Grey - The Huffington Post apparently has the first review of the movie... big deal.  It's probably going to disappoint the fans.  You know, the way the casting of Presumed Innocent did way back when.

"Mad Men" - Welp, now that the big plot secret's been spoiled for me, I guess we should call it The Return of Martin Publicité.  C'est vrai, oui?

Sommersby - Makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind...

Breathless - Geez Louize!  How many French films is Richard Gere gonna remake here?!!!

Tombstone - Now, I'm not sure if Tombstone is a red-state kinda movie.  Something tells me it is.  But it's got a rather potent scene, if not anti-gun, then surely pro-gun control.  One of the young town elders of Tombstone says something like, "We're soon to be the next San Francisco!"  Just afterwards, a fight breaks out from the saloon, and a guy accidentally gets shot, rather close to where all the guys we're with are standing.  Doc Holliday quips, "Very cosmopolitan."  So, even a guy like Doc Holliday thinks there's too many guns.

Unfinished Business - Yeah, Vince Vaughn wishes he was in The Hangover trilogy too.

Yellowbeard - By Yellowbeard's yellow, the phrase "A Mel Damski Film" is going to mean something to you, God damn it!

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