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Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
i don't even know where to start...
It wasn't the predictable bad-guy-from-the-first-movie thing. It wasn't the A-lister-is campy-bad-guy shtick. i love spy-movies. i know what's going to happen and i don't care - i love the action, the swanky spy, the "evil" bad guy, the preposterous plan of world domination.
oh, i know. it was the fact that the Americans were named after liquor instead of-oh, i dunno... STATESMEN!? The kingsmen are not named after tailors. it's not Ralph Lauren and Dolce and Gabbana. they are named after he legendary Knights of the round table. the characters of honour, loyalty, and leadership. the Americans, on the other hand, are named -not after the many many statesmen/women or great cowboys that helped our good country - but for the many types of booze we encounter. what a let down. i was SO stoked to see it and was disappointed how over camped this film was. there is a fine line "reality" in spy movies. no matter how insane - play it straight and it works. as soon as you let the kitsch overrun the camp, it becomes a farce instead of a homage or pastiche. also, Brits don't know how to write Americans without making them look like red-neck idiots. (on the other hand, Americans can't write a British part without making them look snobby - see the Avengers 1998)
Fright Night (2011)
One of the few horror remakes that is actually on par with its original...
If you liked 1985s Fright Night, you're in for a treat. This remake takes notes from the original, loosens the tongue from cheek a bit, and gets the ball rolling quick. Good nods (apples), great acting (Farrell surprised me), and cool FX without overdoing the gore factor. Peter Vincent is still a coward pulled into a realm he doesn't want to believe in, Mom is still clueless, The loner friend is still a prat, and the damsel is still pretty; but all else is new and exciting. For laughs and suspense, this holds up. Somehow there needs to be 10 lines of text, so... I liked seeing Yelchin is something other than Star Trek. I'll be sure to watch Huff now as well. Toni Collette was just about unrecognizable since I saw her in Sixth Sense and Muriel's Wedding, but her acting is still great. Enjoy!
American Horror Story (2011)
never thought i'd say this about a TV horror anthology...
Murder House - BRILLIANT Asylum - BRILLITAN Coven - BRILLIANT
Jessica Lang - BRILLIANT Sarah Paulson - BRILLIANT Frances Conroy - BRILLIANT Denis O'Hare - BRILLIANT
newcomers Taissa Farmiga - BRILLIANT Jamie Brewer - BRILLIANT Evan Peters - VERY PROMISING
I have seen lots of other anthologies (Friday the 13th,the series; tales from the dark side, Freddy's Nightmares) but NOTHING has ever got my attention like American Horror Story. The camera work alone elevates this particular anthology to excellence, as well as the spectacular choice of cast. This, the epitome of horror anthologies, is the best i have ever seen. Even with the fact that most anthologies were standard TV releases and this one is a Cable/Dish era release (we've come a long way in what we can show on TV). Not only did they have excellent stories - and the season-per-storyline is an excellent format - but as seen above, the actors are top notch and give a sense of quality within the show that other anthologies were missing.
what were they thinking!!! ***spoilers**
i can't believe i'm doing this. this film sucks! i'm a BIG Lucas fan and Indy fan but, Lucas has GOT to stop making films for the hell of it. he's got enough money to retire on - please do! so many things were wrong with it that even my 13 year old was bored.
first, the editing between Harrison ford and his double was bad. you could tell it wasn't ford. (and we all know but in the other movies, the editing was seamless comparatively) the stunt man would do the fall and you could see ford "pop" up from his mark but the flow was off. secondly, a son gets introduced and he's so nonplussed about it. what the hell? that was placed as a plot mover but all it did was confuse the viewer for a minute. third, the refrigerator scene. not even plausible with suspension of disbelief. fourth, we already have reservations about the Russians. (especially w/ the Georgia thing happening) do we really need to re-start the better dead than red routine? we already have someone to be adverse with let's not add to the list of people who hate us.
finally, the straw - aliens?!?!? seriously?!?!?! ID and the -enter whatever here was always about faith and the spirit. raiders it was the ark of the covenant, the last crusade was the grail, even the Sankara stones were of religious importance in temple (which has been replaced as the worst Indy film ever)
there were a bunch of "nods" to other Indy/Lucas/Spielberg films through out this one but even that didn't entertain me.
why isn't this on!?!?!?!?!?!?
the best thing to be on TV since the west wing and they pull it for the crap laden 30 rock???
when baldwin had his meltdown and the writers came off strike, i thought: "great! finally this'll take off like it should." but no. too "deep", too "intelligent", to close to the mark! i say. i think the only reason this is off the air is political. the back lot money mongers didn't like the idea that studio 60 may be airing too much dirty laundry. TOO BAD! this was brilliant, yeah, it had it's flat moments, but it had SO much better scripting, and dialogue, and cast, and chemistry, and, and, and...
The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)
karate kid for the next gen
this fun moralistic study of honor and integrity is geared to the mid-teens and their love for all things martial arts. as Martial Arts get it's first big 21st century boost, Jackie Chan and Jet Li farce their own creations and add Asian/oriental legends to the mix of flying F/X and great stunt work. the storyline follows the formula, but you don't care - it's Jackie and Jet doing what they do best and in one movie!
don't criticize the lack of luster on the script too much, it makes up for it with the great fight scenes. the opening credits are a fun homage to the TV version genre as a whole, and the costuming, scenery, characters and "in" jokes are tightly laced in this fun flick.
Doctor Who (2005)
i watched all of the doctor who episodes that my local PBS station played while growing up.(got introduced to the doctor by way of John Pertwee)as well as "camera copies" of doctor who sent to America by UK fans to their US counterparts. i had a great time w/ the show, but it never seemed to take itself seriously - i mean as seriously as a sci-fi show about a time traveler could be. i went to the CONs, did the costume bit (doctor#5,6 and Tegan were my costume characters), loved it. then it all came to a sudden halt. program politics and lack of interest and funding turned doctor who into a 25year old antique that drifted into the ethos.
when i heard that the sci-fi channel had picked up the new doctor, my first thought was, "cool, now my 11 year old son can see what i've been babbling on about all these years, and know what the heck a TARDIS is" (i have several phone boxes and TARDISes of various sizes around the house)i didn't expect the excellent quality of story, character development and f/x. i was to say the least - pleased. for the first time, i found a doctor that wasn't a curmudgeon, a clown, a fop, a trip-head, a pussy, or a jerk. Christopher Eccleston is by far the most believable doctor to date.now, now, calm down tom baker fans! don't get me wrong, i loved almost every doctor and his quirks, but Christopher gave something to the doctor that he'd never had before - real word believability. i'm just sad that he decided against another season. i'll try out David Tennant as i would any other doctor, but now the bar has risen...
bad wolf rules!!!!!
2008 update - i love David tennant! his "mod" persona is something that my generation remembers, my son's generation can deal with, and fashion gestapo can relax! he's a little more human than christopher, but not as humas as other former doctors. i miss rose, i dig martha, and what were they thinking with donna noble!?!? it's still the best ride on TV
Cabin Fever (2002)
hilarious - sam raimi would be proud...
i am a BIG fan of horror and "B movies". this was both. i noticed by the comments that a lot o people DID think it was supposed to be an honestly scary horror film. i did too. i went to see it big screen and was a little miffed that i was watching something closer to ed wood than john carpenter - especially after the "return to the 70s" hype. i left disappointed. when it came out on DVD, i rented it again to give it another round and i laughed my a** off. i got it! i got it! this is homage to the severely laughable. nods at wonderful movies like army of darkness, toxic avenger, phantasm, and rabid grannys as well as the honored nods at raimi, king, craven and carpenter. here is horror for the humorist.
Scary Movie 3 (2003)
too bad they didn't finish the "trilogy"...
i wish that the wayans held on for one more gag. that would have been the shiznit!!
don't get me wrong, i like zucker, it's just NOT the same style of humor. zucker is dryer and usually industry oriented jokes are the key. the wayans... well there just the three stooges of the hood - slapstick at it's modern best. i liked S3. it just wasn't what i was expecting. i didn't know when i watched it that zucker was the helmsman. if i knew, i'd be ready to snicker and sneer. i wanted ROFLMAO style humor. the only repeats are the lovely gals that the weinstein's keeps finding. i miss shorty...
Lost in Translation (2003)
sophia coppola has done it again
"genuine film talent runs in the blood. sophia coppola's debut is so perfectly done that it'll be hard for her to top..." that's the first line in my review for VS. well, she did top that with this wonderfully calm moment of "reality". LIT is a quiet and thoughtful piece of work. you feel the abandonment that charlotte feels as the newlywed in a big new world. you want to explore something like this with someone. and bob's obtuse attitude towards life is shaken up when he finds himself needed for more than just a charicature of his former self. i loved it. it's nice to know that even though independent film has now been turned into a hollywood genre, there are really independent ideas still floating around...