Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Serious Man

I went into A Serious Man with just the trailer and one Calendar section article to recommend it. A deeply personal, very Jewish (too Jewish for even me), deliberately indie flick after two successes seems fair to me. The Coen Brothers definitely owed themselves some fun, even if the resulting film is another erratic physiological trip. There’s a lot going on in this movie, to be sure, but I don’t feel as though I am schooled enough in my own roots to understand the all the anxieties on display here, and I’m watched every Woody Allen film at least twice! I can also conclude from the screening that I have no desire to ever see it again. This film is just nuts and that’s not always a compliment in the world of self-indulgent art-house cinema. Still, given that the film ends on an awkward, unsatisfying cliffhanger that many films of this type do (Broken Flowers for example) and I wasn’t really annoyed by it, is probably the best compliment I can give it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Paranormal Activity Freaks My Shit!

Pet Cemetary remains my scariest film to date (largely because I saw it as a child and have not been able to re-watch it), but PA deserves the praise it’s received. It revels in the simplicity of it’s scares and atmosphere and serves as a reminder that no filmmaker can ever put on screen what the individuals imagination conjures up. See with company and see it soon.

Finally saw Zombieland

This is the filmic version of cotton candy and you would have to enjoy picking peanuts out of poop to be highly critical of it. A lot of the guys in the film department were surprisingly hard on it. If this was a remake of a horror classic I might have been inclined to take heed, but their synopsizes turned out to be highly inappropriate. It’s just a fun flick and horror fans should count their lucky stars they got TWO decent genre films this October to counter the usual lame offering with Saw VI and the needless rerelease of Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2. Zombieland is just about appropriate for anyone who can handle the contents of something like Superbad. Really, go see it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Paranormal Activity & Zombieland Reviews Coming

Zombieland is a given, but Paranormal Activity playing in Santa Barbara is just a happy accident. Very cool. When's the last time their were ANY worthwhile horror films playing in October? Things also look good for gamers this season with Cursed Mountian, Dead Space: Extraction, and the sweetness that will be Silent Hill: Shattered Memeories. I love the idea of filling out a questionaire before starting the game to make the expeiriance more personal. All this complements what's sure to be a great Halloween. Lot's of parties happening in the SB area, just stay out of I.V.!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Late Surrogates Review

Working on New Reviews and Show

Got a late review of Surrogates on the way. Also now recording audio for Dr. Katz-like improv web show. Difficult to explain, but if you like stuff like Home Movies, Daria, and of course Dr. Katz, then you’ll love what’s coming soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lessons to be learned from Inglorious Bastards

When I finally saw Inglorious Bastards, I was more than happy that I hadn't read years worth of interviews, speculation, not to mention anyone of the millions of reviews the internet produces each week before going into the theater (unlike what I did before seeing District 9. (I ruined that movie for myself!). It's no secret Tarantino had this project on the back burner for a very long time and all the more obvious when you've seen the film. What we have here we can call Terrance Malick syndrome. A little history: Malick took more than twenty years of fumbling around with ideas before producing his next (and only third) film. That movie was the deeply layered war epic The Thin Red Line...which had the misfortune of coming out in the wake of $200 million grossing Saving Private Ryan. Obviously not all that goes for Malick goes for Tarantino, whose new film has grossed $95 million as of this posting. However the lesson in general filmmaking preservers. Any English or speech craft teacher will tell you not to over think your thesis, or for the film industry, premise. Here’s an abridged list of glaring errors found in Inglorious Bastards no teacher of my school would condone:

Character development: The few lines (and even fewer actions) most of the cast has to work with barely define any of them as anymore than fragments of a greater script. Case-in-point: who the hell is the only other surviving bastard with Brad Pitt at the end? He is named, but not surprisingly I cannot remember his name. How about one the top billed actors, Eli Roth? I was honestly afraid that he would chew every scene with obnoxious quips, but he’s barley even in the picture! Or the British film expert? Or that crazy mother Stiglitz!? We get a background vignette (the only in fact) and displays of his badassness, so what gives?!

Lip service is not exposition: There’s furthering the plot and there’s grinding it to a halt with self-indulgent dialogue that while regularly entertaining through Tarantino’s smarmy humor never lets up.

Action: This is not an action movie. There are moments of action that are beautifully calculated and choreographed. But action does not solely mean violence. It can mean conducting espionage, traveling from one German city to another, simple transitions by vehicle to showing some degree of arch in the story. No action, no build up. No build up, no tension. No tension, no genre film. No genre film….?

Well, I’ll give Quentin his due: Inglorious Bastards is his most original and ambitious film to date and that’s saying something this far into his career. Hopefully his next work will include an unflinching script editor. Too bad we already have another misfire for movie going on the horizon. I’m looking at you Avatar (Cameron paid people to develop a language for his alien race! Shucks, and I just finished learning Klingon).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Going to see Inglorious Bastards tonight.

I won’t make the same mistake I did with District 9. With that movie I just read way too much about it before hand and ruined the experience for myself. There needs to be some mystery going into a movie.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Games & Movies: Nightbreed & Primal

A new direction for the series. That's not to say the regular Do Them Justice is kaput! I just wanna start paying dues to some great games you can't play on your $300 systems.

Do Them Justice Presents Coonskin follow up

random continued discussion on Coonskin.

Do Them Justice: Ralph Bakshi Part 1

A look at the infamous animator/director.

Do Them Justice: Stuart Gordon

Here's the pilot episode to Do Them Justice.