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Action - John Woo's Hard-Boiled
Sci-Fi - The Matrix / Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Animated - Iron Giant / Monsters Inc.
Erotic - Last Tango in Paris
Horror - Tremors
Independent - Clerks
Foreign - Amelie / Run, Lola, Run
Martial Arts - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Comic Book Adaptation - Spider-Man
Comedy - Being John Malkovich / Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Romance - Chungking Express / In the Mood for Love
Musical - South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut
Satire - Fight Club
Suspense/Thriller - Se7en
Documentary - Bowling for Columbine
22 Jump Street (2014)
You don't step into a movie like this expecting something profound and deep, and surely enough, this is anything but. Packed with some offensive humour, foul language, and inappropriate sexual innuendos, this makes for a very entertaining night at the movies.
The film is at its best when it makes fun of itself (referencing the fact that you're watching a sequel with a much bigger budget, also poking fun at the fact that Hill and Tatum are way too old to play college kids, plus tossing in a few in-jokes to see how closely you're paying attention), and just as good with the wacky antics of the characters.
Watch out for some surprising cameos and stick around for the ending credits.
Logan's Run (1976)
First impressions, 38 years after release
After almost 40 years, any science fiction film will feel very dated, and Logan's Run is no exception. Having only seen bits and pieces of it on television, I borrowed a DVD from the local library and sat through it and found it a bit more difficult to sit through than I was expecting. The acting is pretty hammy and the story has a lot of holes in it. Dialogue attempts to be futuristic-sounding, which probably would've worked back then, but doesn't work now.
A modernized remake has been tossed around Hollywood for a while, which would have to be extensively redone, not just for the visual effects. The film does have its moments, and overall, it is an impressive achievement, but it's a bit of a chore to sit through if you weren't old enough to appreciate it when it first came out.
Blood Car (2007)
Interesting premise, but otherwise unsustainable for 76 minutes.
I went in hoping for Little Shop of Horrors vs. Mad Max, but ultimately found myself unamused and waiting for the film to end. While the premise is interesting, there's not enough substance to sustain the entire length of the film, which feels too long even at only 76 minutes.
It's a notable achievement for their shoestring budget, but otherwise it comes across as very amateurish, the comedic scenes are forced (as in, "look at me, I'm trying to be funny"), and the characters are really unlikeable (save for Anna Chlumsky, whose portrayal of the girl next door is one of he few redeeming factors of this film). But, I've definitely seen worse. Heck, I've WORKED on worse films.
Wok with Yan (1980)
I remember this guy
I used to love this guy's show when I was a lot younger. Oh, the bad jokes, the awful puns, and a Hong Kong accent that would put William Hung to shame, but this guy had the most manic energy and a genuine love for his craft and it shows. Adding a little bit of ethnic flavour to the morning lineups, he definitely knew his stuff.
I do recall at one point that he did have a chain of restaurants in the Vancouver area, but have since disappeared. Martin Yan (who apparently worked for Stephen at some point) doesn't capture the same amount of energy for my tastes.
Where is he now, I wonder? To Mr. Yan, good luck and keep on wokking, wherever you are.
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
It SHOULD be the worst movie ever...
...but I'll be damned if I didn't have the most fun time in the theatre. Sure, the storyline is ridiculous, the action is over the top and ludicrous, and the dialogue frickin' sucks, but you are guaranteed to at least have fun, especially if you go with your friends. Snakes on a Plane is the ultimate B-movie, given that the film practically invites, no, *encourages* heckling and audience participation. Long before the first victim gets bitten, you'll be too busy enjoying yourself to notice the flaws.
The film is a total fluke, but the producers know they have a hit on their hands. Just brace yourself for the onslaught of copycats.
Sin City (2005)
Vicious in delivery, brilliant in execution. A great comic book flick.
Just got back from this one. Easily one of the most faithful adaptations of the medium, right down to Frank Miller's visual style. Having picked up the odd Sin City comic here and there, everything's intact. And I'm not even a Frank Miller fan (outside of his work on Daredevil).
Great performances all around, especially from Mickey Rourke, who does a great turn as Marv (although the prosthetics make him look a bit like Hellboy). Benicio Del Toro, Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, et al are great as well.
Clearly, Robert Rodriguez "gets" it. Now, all I gotta do is break open the ole piggy bank, head to the comic book store, and pick up "That Yellow Bastard", "A Dame to Kill For", "The Big Fat Kill" and "Sin City".
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
The equivalent of paying someone to kick you in the teeth...in a good way.
I had the fortune of seeing this in the theatres and felt absolutely terrible as I left theatre, both physically and emotionally drained. Having since purchased the DVD, it is the one I watch the least, although it is still one of the most important films in my collection, if not for its message, but in the way the message is conveyed.
The transformation of each characters is heartbreaking to behold. Starting off with MTV-esquire reckless abandon, the characters quickly go into a year-long tailspin in which there is no hope for redemption.
The cast makes this one work. Despite their weaknesses, they are all people that you can relate to. Best friends, lovers, mothers, sons. Ellen Burstyn gets a lot of praise for her work, but all major players (Shawn Wayans, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly) all deserve praise for taking on such material and the way they do it.
On a technical note, the film is brilliant. Editing that would normally be headache inducing under any other director works for this film.
Although you cannot watch, you cannot look away.
Alone in the Dark (2005)
I can honestly say I wasn't bored.
I caught a preview screening for this in my hometown. While I can't really say much about Uwe Boll's directing, the acting, and the writing, the visual effects are fairly decent, plus local SFX artist Bill Terezakis creates some really gruesome stuff.
As for the rest of the film? Well, to put it gently, most of the audience I saw it with viewed it as a comedy and were cheering by the time the ending credits came up. Whether or not this is a good thing is up to you. Just consider what the film is supposed to be.
Not having seen "House of the Dead", I don't have a true frame of reference as to how good or bad this film could be, but I can say that I have seen worse (Elektra, Catwoman, and Batman & Robin come to mind).
Shark Tale (2004)
Whereas Pixar's animated flicks are built around a solid script with well-developed characters and some pop culture references added in, Shark Tale is built around stereotypes and dated pop culture references. It feels like this script was written at least ten years ago.
While the preview audience I was in was fairly entertained (there were a lot of kids in the audience), I found it to be fairly pedestrian and weak. I quickly lost interest long before Oscar starts rapping to MC Hammer and starts spouting over-used one-liners from much better movies ("You can't handle the truth!" "You had me at hello!").
Your entertainment dollar would be spent watching something else.
Well, at least it's not Batman & Robin.
Not much to say about this one. Formulaic plot, stock characters, overuse of CGI in the same way that made Spider-Man (the original) look bad (and it's even worse here), and on top of that, it's so completely removed from the original source material that you have to wonder why they even kept the character's name. Not much more than an exercise than an actual movie. Nothing new is said or done.
On the plus side, they didn't do the really bad camp humour as featured in Batman & Robin and there are some so-so action sequences (although they are completely ruined with fast cutting...possibly because the use of stunt doubles would have been too obvious otherwise...at least one of the Halle Berry stunt doubles is a man!)