Feb 26 2010

Taking Stock: 2/26/2010

We enter OUR MOST FANTABULOUS week of “Taking Stock,” our weekly column in which the entire staff (ESPECIALLY FIL – HE’S SO DREAMY) tells you what they think of the movies coming out this week based on very little knowledge and first impressions.

Cop Out

James: I’ve always been a fan of Kevin Smith, and I think directing someone else’s script might be the type of thing that could get him out of his funk.  I do wish he’d make another “Kevin Smith” movie, it feels like he’s been trying to vanilla-ize himself too much lately.  That said, I’d like to see this.

Benn:  This makes “Jersey Girl” look like “Clerks”.  Shame on you Smitty, you’re better than this.

Dylan: I’m so torn. I really want this to be funny. I just don’t think Kevin Smith should go too mainstream. If I can fit it in, I’ll see it, otherwise I’ll wait for netflix.

Fil: I really wish this was still called A Couple of Dicks, but renaming it to Cop Out has a certain self referential humor to it.  I’ll see it if someone else wants to, but I won’t go out of my way. Continue reading

Feb 26 2010

Article XVI – In Which I Father Humanity’s Last Hope

No, this is not 2001. It's 2027.

Do you ever reach that point where you feel like you’ve run out of things to say?  Like you’ve written all there is on a certain subject and you just feel like giving up?  Like…you just wanted to finish with this stupid quest you stupidly decided to embark on for no reason other than to get the ladies to like you?  I haven’t.  I’m not a loser.

This week’s column covers one of my top ten favorite films of all time: Children of Men.  As such, I may or may not overcompensate in the not-funny joke area and not actually say anything productive in this article.  And to those of you who insist I never say anything productive – I’ll have you know that my article on A.I. saved a 4 year old Brazilian child from drowning last week.  What did your article do?  Oh, that’s right; you don’t write articles hard-hitting investigative reports. Continue reading

Feb 24 2010

Shutter Island

Let’s just be clear from the start.  It’s not often these days that a film causes me to constantly think to myself, This is so awesome. But sitting in a darkened theater, watching Shutter Island, the latest from Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Di Caprio, that is exactly what I was thinking.  Martin Scorsese is a master of the medium, so this is certainly no surprise, but seldom has his work been this much fun.  Not only does this film pay homage to the greats of the thriller genre while fleshing itself as a full-fledged entry itself, but it’s also an example of some of the finest filmmaking execution I’ve seen in some time.

As always, I’ll stay brief with my synopsis.  Di Caprio plays Teddy Daniels, a federal marshal who, alongside his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) goes to an island to investigate the disappearance of a patient from a highly secure mental institution for the criminally insane.  And let the eerie events ensue. Continue reading

Feb 19 2010

Article XV – In Which I “Visit” the Wife of an Old Friend

The girl at the top left is Dr. Frankenstein's actual Bride.

I’m sure by now you’re all wondering (especially if you’re a friend of mine) if it was YOUR wife I visited.  Odds are at some time this would be true – don’t hold it against them, it was probably my fault.  Ladies, don’t think this discounts you, too.  I attract husbands as well.

No, this week I’m revisiting our mad friend: the good Doctor Frankenstein.  The Bride of Frankenstein was released in 1935, only four years after the original, and clocks in at a very black and white 75 minutes.  For my personal biographers out there this is also my first review of a sequel.  So I don’t have mobs of reporters bothering me – yes, I’m happy to do it; no, it won’t affect the quality of my future columns; and yes, you can sleep with me for an interview.  I’ll get the champagne wine gin. Continue reading

Feb 18 2010

Taking Stock: 2/19/2010

We enter another week of “Taking Stock,” our weekly column in which the entire staff tells you what they think of the movies coming out this week based on very little knowledge and first impressions.

Shutter Island

James: Martin Scorcese, DiCaprio, Ruffalo, Kingsley, and doing a genre thriller. Nothing more needs to be said, I’m going tomorrow.

Benn: Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge Scorsese fan, and I’m excited to see how he does with a non-gangster film. Then again, most of his other non-gangster endeavors tend to be very good anyway. See it.

Dylan: I think we all need to recover after a lack luster month of sub par movies. This’ll pick you right up. Seeing it as soon as I can.

Fil: I don’t even need to review this trailer…I’ve been watching it for what seems like years. I’ll be watching this as soon as I knock over a bank for cash money. Continue reading

Feb 17 2010

The Room

Works of great cinematic art are a funny thing.  Often, they are the result of a brilliant script, fantastic direction and solid performances by able actors.  Sometimes, however, greatness can be achieved entirely by accident, or in spite of itself.  Such is the curious case of The Room.
Continue reading

Feb 15 2010

The Spoiler Dilemma

At least everyone already knows this one.

I realize discussing the topic of spoilers is not a new one. On some podcasts and websites it may even qualify as “over-discussed.”  But as someone who writes a review every week, waxes poetic on films in a recorded fashion every other week, and talks movies with my friends every day, I constantly find myself having to balance revealing too much about plot whilst still explaining what to expect from a movie to those who inquire.  This article isn’t going to be about the big marquee spoiler type situations.  We all know that Darth Vader is Luke’s father, and we all agree that knowing the end of The Usual Suspects before viewing it does harm your initial viewing, or at least deprives you of a pleasant surprise.  Instead I’ll be talking about the other stuff; how does being aware of the basics of the plot affect the way you watch a movie the first time around?  How does being aware of the existence of a specific great scene change the way you watch a movie?  Can having seen something like a specific shot or still from a film have a noticeable effect?  These are the types of questions I’d like to explore.

Continue reading

Feb 12 2010

Taking Stock: 2/12/2010

As per usual, “Taking Stock” finds our ever-presumptuous crew giving their opinions on this week’s upcoming films.

The Wolfman

James: I’d love for this to be great but several delays, three editors, moving from one composer to another and then back to the first all bode really badly for the final product.  And so does the 36% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Benn: Constant delays in post-production make me a bit nervous, but the trailers looks so good, and look at that cast.  My advice?  Give it a shot.   We need a good traditional horror film to wash the whole torture porn movement out of our mouths.

Dylan: On one hand, it doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of love from critics. On the other hand, Hopkins and Del Toro are a good combo. Plus, it is the Wolfman. Let’s give it a shot.

Fil: I’ll be really happy to see this film finally come out.  Hopkins in a Universal horror film?  Yes.  Please.

Continue reading

Feb 12 2010

Article XIV – In Which Bruce Willis is Dead (Murdered by a Robot Child)

Not the Will Smith movie...I Robot?

I have finally broken the cycle of reviewing post-apocalyptic films!  No nuclear explosions/dragons/ominous amnesia winds in this film.  No rescuing the president from downtown “prison” New York.”  Indeed – no end-of-the-world in sight.  Just simple robots wanting to live in peace.  And be left alone.  And to be understood by humans.


So, this week is the pre-apocalyptic film A.I. Artificial Intelligence, we will examine why robots are evil, why child robots are creepy, and why I can never see Jude Law in the same way again.

My “review” this week is going to deviate from the normal format I’ve fallen into over the last thirteen articles.  NO MORE, I say.  Today, the history behind the film comes first, THEN the summary, then the rest of the crap you guys don’t read. Continue reading

Feb 11 2010


As someone who tries to keep up on important filmmakers, both within my wheelhouse and outside it, I’d read quite a bit about Pedro Almodóvar.  Unfortunately, since my viewing of Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! in college was cancelled, I’ve never actually had the pleasure of seeing one of his films.  That changed this week, when I finally got the chance to sit down and watch Volver on beautiful blu-ray.  This is a film that’s been sitting in my queue for ages, so the big question is: was it worth the wait?  And should I have pushed it up sooner?

Volver, for those unaware, and I’m sure there are many, is the Spanish film from 2006 that got Penélope Cruz her first Oscar nomination.  It’s one of those films that to explain the plot too heavily can hurt some of the surprise, so I’ll try and be brief.  Volver is first and foremost a story about multiple generations of family, particularly woman, and how they relate to each other and deal with their problems.  The central characters are Penelope Cruz’s Raimunda, her teenage daughter Paula, and her sister Sole.  There’s a slight supernatural/mysterious element thrown into the mix as well because after the death of Raimunda and Sole’s aunt, their dead mother begins “appearing” to Sole. Continue reading