Dec 31 2009

Taking Stock 1/1/2010

Enter some interesting shit here…

The White Ribbon [limited]

James:  I don’t see many foreign films in theaters.  I watched the trailer to this film and find the cinematography, if nothing else, is completely and utterly stunning.  I’m also ready for a good unflinching adult drama a la Doubt.  Word on the street is good.

Benn:  Michael Haneke has always proven to be, both, intriguing and frightening.  I read an article about this in the LA Times the other day, and there is a lot more to this movie than one might think.  Themes of religious extremism, child  development, and the duality of innocence drive this movie, and it all takes place in the scariest place the world has ever known: black & white Germany.

Dylan: This looks good. It has that classic look and an intriguing who-done-it plot. The only other film by Michael Haneke I’ve seen his his U.S remake of his own German film, Funny Games, which board me to tears. SPOILER ALERT: 10-foot-tall blue cat people burn down the barn.

Fil: Welp, people who know me will know that this kind of movie is not really my thing. But, from the trailer (which is amazing, by the way), it looks pretty good. A little boring, perhaps, and you can’t judge the actual acting and dialogue unless you’re German – but it does look interesting. I probably won’t see it on my own. Unless I find out somewhere that it’s actually about robots. ROBOTS WHO SET FIRE TO BARNS. Continue reading


Dec 30 2009

World’s Greatest Dad

worlds greatest dad

Every year dozens of great films slip through the cracks as far as mainstream audience reception goes.  People are often unwilling to pursue smaller films to their smaller, more rare theatrical presentations, especially if it’s something they haven’t seen many advertisements or media coverage for.  The great thing about the home theater world we live in is that the experience of watching a film at home is almost as good, if not better than the experience of watching it in the theater.  It’s with this in mind that I’d like to highlight a film that just recently went to DVD and Blu-ray after its small theatrical release this year, hoping that some of you will pick up the dark comedic gem that is World’s Greatest Dad, written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait and starring Robin Williams.

As with several of my other reviews, I find myself torn about how much of the plot to reveal.  I prefer to view movies knowing as little as possible about them, particularly with regards to their story, and I feel that my readers would benefit from the same type of experience.  Therefore I must say that the big turning point of the film is at the end of its first act, and you won’t truly understand what it is that you are watching until this point.  But the setup is this: Robin Williams plays an unpublished writer who teaches poetry (also unsuccessfully) at the High School where his teenage son also goes.  His son is dumb, perverted, and completely cruel to him, and yet he tries the best he can to be a good father regardless.  The only people who seem to have any appreciation for him are the art teacher at school who he’s having a secret fling with (but might lose to a handsomer, more successful teacher), and his son’s best friend, who’s unhappy home allows to see the effort with which Robin Williams’ character puts forth in his parenting. Continue reading


Dec 25 2009

Article VIII – In Which I Revolutionize Film Reviews…Forever

I really really hate this poster.

WTF, this isn't the nickelodeon show I googled.

Alright, you ungrateful swine.  Here I am on Christmas Eve – slaving away, all for you.  I hope you appreciate all my sacrifices for you.  Well, I’m going to be the winner this week.  THAT’S RIGHT, this week I break the mold and review something…wait for it…SOMETHING NEW.  What is it?  HAH I’ll never tell the likes of you!

So it’s Thursday, and I’ve already seen Avatar three times (research, you see).  A little excessive – possibly.  But how else can I discuss a 2 hour and 40 minute movie that’s being shown in three different formats?  Avatar has been released in regular format, 3D, and IMAX 3D.  Should I write this article in three different formats?  I THINK SO.

Continue reading


Dec 24 2009

Taking Stock 12/25/2009

This is “Weekend Roundup” renamed. Each week we’re going to give our opinion on the movies coming out this weekend, without actually having any firsthand experience with them. Trust us, you’ll feel better in the long run if you just listen to us.

Up in the Air [expands]

James: Having already seen this film I can highly reccomend it on all accounts. This could even be the best picture this year, you don’t want to miss out, do you?

Benn: I’ve actually seen this film, and it’s actually my favorite of the year. The acting, dialogue, directing, and the story is brilliant. Jason Reitman has a knack for taking seemingly little stories like these and using them to explore the human condition.

Dylan:Great cast, better director. Although it doesn’t appear like there will be any Daniel Day-Lewis dance numbers, which concerns me. See it anyways.

Fil: While this movie doesn’t involve blue aliens fighting for their home-world or anything like that – put me down to watch this one. The trailer is simple and it doesn’t give anything about the plot away. Other than the fact that it has airplanes. And Fil likes airplanes. Continue reading


Dec 24 2009

Podcast 14: Die Hard vs. Lethal Weapon

In honor of Christmas, we decided to experiment with our podcast format a little.  So we split into two teams to debate which of our favorite Christmas set action films is better, Die Hard or Lethal Weapon.  It gets a little wild and hectic, but it also gets a little hilarious, so make sure you check this one out.  The Die Hard Team: James, Fil, and Vince.  The Lethal Weapon Team: Benn, Dylan, and Eric.  Also, you’ll notice this podcast is up a few days early, that’s so it can be here before Christmas.

As usual the podcast is available for download on iTunes and Podcast Alley. Please leave a review there if you haven’t yet, we need more listeners. And you can always listen to it right here on our web page.

Right click and “Save Target As…” to download mp3 file directly.

Lock, Stock, and Two Film Geeks Podcast

 

Dec 23 2009

Avatar

avatar_poster

Dear Michael Bay,
About six months ago, you released a massive Hollywood blockbuster that was critically attacked for being a bloated catastrophe that heralded the end of an era for big budgeted, effects-laden epics. On 17 December 2009, cinematic titan James Cameron released Avatar, which was equally expensive and chock full of special effects, yet had a well-written script, a solid cast, and has been recognized as being revolutionary due to its achievements in digital filmmaking. Man, you must feel like a total ass right now.

Avatar, beneath its technical achievements, has a story. I’ll repeat that, Mr. Bay, because you need to read that again: beneath all the CGI and intense battle sequences, Avatar has a story to be told that isn’t just fireballs and bullets. Set on the planet Pandora in the 22nd century, paralyzed ex-marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is recruited into the Avatar program, a research-based extension of an aggressive mining company that mines an in-demand mineral found only in Pandora. In an attempt to improve relations with planet’s native population, the Na’vi, the Avatar program allows researchers to download their consciousness into artificially grown Na’vi bodies in an attempt to study the planet and it’s inhabitants. Although Jake is assigned to gain information on the tribes that could be used in less-than-diplomatic situations, he begins to appreciate the Na’vi’s culture and questions his own identity and loyalties. Continue reading


Dec 18 2009

Article VII – In Which I Go Back In Time and Kill Hitler

Looks like the Second Planet of the Apes...

A Rousing Game of Hide and Seek

Well, faithful followers, another late night, another ON TIME column.  You better be glad I get paid the big bucks for this.  I’ve decided that I need a good name for my readers – kind of like how Marvel has their Zombies and DC has their Fanboys…what do you all want to be called?

Tonight I watched H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine starring some dudes from the sixties.  This 103 minute long adventure science-fiction film is one of the shining examples from that staple of sci-fi: Time Travel.  But more on that later – when we’ve had some…**ahem**…TIME to warm up.  You guys like puns right?  Is that even a pun?

Continue reading


Dec 17 2009

Taking Stock 12/18/2009

We’re trying something new this week, and if it goes over well, look for it every Thursday. Here we give our purely speculative opinions on whether you should see each of the movies that are being released this weekend. Let us know what you think.  Also, make sure you take a look at all five films after the jump.

Avatar

James: My anticipation for this film started high about two years ago, when I found out that it was made by James Cameron. James Cameron, in my opinion, has never made a bad movie. Unfortunately as the hype builds and the ads begin to come out, I’ve become increasingly worried that there’s just now for it to live up to the “it will revolutionize film” type claims. I still have faith that it will be a really good movie, and will be seeing it opening weekend.

Benn:  This film is supposed to revolutionize film making.   Given that this kind of thing tends to be James Cameron’s forte, I’ll buy into the hype.  Besides, Cameron has always delivered good storytelling along with mind-blowing effects.

Dylan: I really liked the idea of “Avatar,” back when it was a secretive, pet project of James Cameron no one knew anything about. “He’s going to revolutionize film making as we know it!” Then the story came out. Not so excited by that, but the visuals look very promising. If you’re going to see it (which you should), go for broke and see it in IMAX 3-D. Cameron is the sequel God, so we can only hope.

Fil: Well, I’m not quite to the fever pitch of excitement for this movie, mostly because I’ve tried to avoid watching YouTube videos of it, but I’ve got to say I’m decently interested in watching this. James Cameron is a Sci-Fi GOD. Totally going to see this movie Friday night with James. And that’s only because he doesn’t do midnight showings. Pussy. Continue reading


Dec 16 2009

Take the Money and Run

This week marks the first week of our new wednesday review days, in which the guys take on solo reviews instead of our traditional Film Duel format.  It’s James’ turn now, so expect Benn’s entry next week.  And on to the review…

When you admire an artist of any type, it’s always good to go back and see where he started out.  It was with this in mind that I decided to view Take the Money and Run, Woody Allen’s first film in which he performed the triple duties of writing, directing, and acting.  As with most first efforts, you can see bits of pieces of the style that would define Woody Allen down the line, but in a lot of ways this does not feel like a traditional Woody Allen film.  That said, it’s still very entertaining and has some great laughs. Continue reading


Dec 12 2009

Podcast 13: Sam Raimi

Drag Me to Hell, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, and Spider-Man take the stage as we cover the work of Sam Raimi.  He’s a big filmmaker with two blockbusters on deck, so we dig into what makes him great, and what might make him not.  Our guest this week was our very own columnist, Fil Garrison.

As usual the podcast is available for download on iTunes and Podcast Alley. Please leave a review there if you haven’t yet, we need more listeners. And you can always listen to it right here on our web page.

Lock, Stock, and Two Film Geeks Podcast