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A History of Violence (2005) – His Review November 26, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Action, Drama, Movies, Thriller.
6 comments

temporary

Dir. David Cronenberg

Starring Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, Ashton Holmes, William Hurt etc.

The name Cronenberg should mean something to most people. To me he’s “not the weird guy who made Twin Peaks, the other one”. Call me uninvolved, but I’m not really a fan.

A History of Violence is a good start to making me one. It’s intense in it’s stillness, and very much seething with the titular violence. Homely small town diner-owner Tom Stall (Mortensen) takes on the forces of darkness from his own past, while trying to keep his family out of harms way. It’s all written and played very small, with bursts of plot/character development/action. This makes the whole experience come together as one entity, with nothing to detract or disorient.

Acting – superb. Photo – perfect fit. Movie – fantastic. I can’t see any reason not to see this movie, unless you’re a whore of Satan. You’re not a whore of Satan are you?

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

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A History of Violence (2005) – Her Review November 26, 2006

Posted by Eury in Action, Drama, Movies, Thriller.
2 comments

Hey, look it's Aragorn

Dir. David Cronenberg

Starring Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, Ashton Holmes, William Hurt etc.

I was a little apprehensive before seeing this movie.. first because it was by David Cronenberg (yes, he’s Canadian… but still, not everybody’s cup of tea). He’s known particularly for being off-beat, unique and a little crazy. I was also a bit hesitant as the title sort of made it look like it may be full of gore and I didn’t feel up to seeing it.

This movie, however, was a pleasant surprise. It starts off with a couple of psycho killers who leave a motel and kill the clerk before leaving. My first instinct was to believe that this movie would be about these two guys going from town to town, just killing people off like flies, without a care or a look behind. We’ve all seen those movies… the been there, done that kind of movie… blood, guts and a bit of yawn.

What actually happens is that these two crazies come to a small town, where mostly everyone is kind and polite and a bit conservative and bully their way in a small restaurant where they get surprised by normally very calm and collected Tom Stall, played by Viggo Mortensen who in a burst of bravado kills them with their own weapon and becomes the town’s hero.

After appearing in the newspapers and on television, Tom must now confront mobsters from Philadelphia who believe he is an ex-mobster and are now harassing him and his family.

Violence runs throughout this movie, but it isn’t in any way gratuitous. I want to say so much about reactions and how events open deep feelings, restrained feelings, but I won’t go any further because such statements wouldn’t make much sense without explanations and it’s too hard to explain without giving anything away, and for once, I really think there should be no spoilers at all. I can say though, that you will probably be completely immersed into this film.

The acting is superb, the direction of this movie is exceptional. This may be perhaps David Cronenberg’s most commercial venture of date, but I must say, it doesn’t make it bland, boring or ordinary. Au contraire, this is one of my favorite movies I have seen this year. I was in awe.

This is Her review, you can read His review here.

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King of Comedy (1999) – Her Review November 26, 2006

Posted by Eury in Action, Comedy, Movies.
2 comments

King of Boring

Orig. title Hei kek ji wong
Dir. Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee

Starring Stephen Chow, Karen Mok, Cecilia Cheung etc.

We watched this movie about a month ago, and honestly, I already don’t remember that much of it. I guess it was just not that memorable. What I do remember is that it’s about this out-of-work actor that tries to do everything he can to break into movies. He is very confident that he’s the next big super star but actually he’s just not very good, not even in this movie. He gets a break at one point to be the leading actor in a film but that doesn’t work out and it seems fitting. Sometimes you watch a movie and when someone is down on their luck you feel for them, even in a comedy, but that just didn’t happen here.

This movie was a bit of a let down. I guess I was expecting more. Nothing really stuck out as being really good or exceptional. There were a couple laughs but they were few and far between.

This is Her review, you can read His review here.

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The King of Comedy (1999) – His Review November 26, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Action, Comedy, Movies.
2 comments

temporary

Orig. title Hei kek ji wong
Dir. Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee

Starring Stephen Chow, Karen Mok, Cecilia Cheung etc.

Wan Tin-sau (Chow) is an unemployed actor trying to get work in Hong Kong movies. He’s well read, but also well bad. This is where the fun ends.

Before the excellent Shaolin Soccer and the reasonably good follow-up Kung-Fu Hustle, Stephen Chow made a name for himself with similarly styled, but lower budget kung-fu/comedy movies. This is not a big secret of course, everyone comes from somewhere. I hadn’t seen any of his earlier stuff though, and what I found most surprising was the very low quality.

Low quality meaning bad movie – more specifically bad acting, bad action sequences, completely incomprehensible characters, and just plain stupid dialogue.

I want to like Chow, i really do. But this makes me think Shaolin Soccer was a fluke more than anything, and that the not-as-good Kung-Fu Hustle was a step backwards. The weirdness that permeates King of Comedy may come from referencing Hong Kong popular culture, something I’m not that keen on researching, or it may just be his unpolished brand of humour. Either way, I didn’t find it funny, which doesn’t mean it’s not. It just means it’s not my cuppa.

I’ll wait for Kung-Fu Hustle 2 instead of watching more of Chow’s old stuff.

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

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Scary Movie 4 (2006) – His Review October 21, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Comedy, Movies.
4 comments

Dir. David Zucker

Starring Anna Faris, Anthony Anderson, Bill Pullman, Molly Shannon

Scary Movie was a fairly bland experience. Scary Movie 2 I liked a lot. Scary Movie 3 had some good ideas, but lacked in execution.

So.. how does number 4 square up against it’s predecessors? Well, if you’re a fan of the series and their style, and you have seen the movies that it spoofs this time around (Saw, War of the Worlds, The Village, The Grudge, etc), you may laugh.. oh maybe a dozen times. If you’re not really a fan I suggest you skip it.

I like spoofs in general, and stupid jokes can be really liberating, but in this case it’s like watching a clown punching himself in the nuts for an hour and a half. It’s painful to watch in the same way that Robin Hood: Men in Tights was – like you’re attending the funeral of a few careers. Well, the folks in that one survived fairly well after all, so I do hope Zucker and company can come back with some new, fresh ideas. Like an actual stand-alone movie perhaps?

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

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Scary Movie 4 (2006) – Her Review October 18, 2006

Posted by Eury in Comedy, Movies.
2 comments

Hit me baby, one more time

Dir. David Zucker

Starring Anna Faris, Anthony Anderson, Bill Pullman, Molly Shannon

This is going to be a very short review because I just have so little to say. I found the movie to be stupid and really cliché. I know when I’m watching a parody movie about horror films that I shouldn’t be expecting Oscar material, but this was a regurgitated mess of old jokes and slap stick.. let’s see how many times we can hit someone over the head before people find it boring … Apparently not as long as they thought it would take. There were a few good lines and visual jokes, but they were few and far between.

This is Her review, you can read His review here.

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Over the Hedge (2006) – His Review October 11, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Movies.
3 comments

Overt hedge joke
Dir. Tim Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick

Starring Bruce Willis, Gary Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte, Avril Lavigne

Over the Hedge is part of a slew of “animated funny animal movies” that started (as much as a slew can start) with Madagascar. I’d call it a slew, not quite a whole bunch, but still it’s been difficult telling them apart unwatched. Most of the trailers seem.. well, a little dull. Watching this was a pleasant surprise though, since it’s actually very good. Here’s the plot:

A forest animal with a bandit mask accidentally destroys the food supply belonging to a bigger forest animal that is big and also fat. Zorro then has to return the exact same amount of food supplies to Biggie within a week, or he is as dead as a doorbell. He tricks a bunch of small forest animals (too many to vaguely describe) into helping him gather food, under the pretence that he’s helping them gather food for next frozen-cold brrr-type season.

Oh and there’s also a hedge.

Man, this review isn’t turning out very good is it? I wish there was some way I could magically erase digital text.

Anyway, the movie’s got some extremely funny scenes in it, things that made me cry with laughter. It’s also got some less good aspects, but luckily there’s not room for many errors, with it being so short. It’s not entirely original, but a mix-and-match of things that work is fine with me.

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

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Over the Hedge (2006) – Her Review October 10, 2006

Posted by Eury in Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Movies.
3 comments

Put a cork in it, will ya?

Dir. TIm Johnson and Karey Kirkpatrick

Starring Bruce Willis, Gary Shandling, Steve Carell, Wanda Sykes, William Shatner, Nick Nolte, Avril Lavigne

When RJ (Bruce Willis), an overachieving raccoon, gets caught raiding a bear’s cavern, the bear wakes up, is both very hungry and very angry. The lot of food rolls down a hill to utimately be run over by a huge semi-van leaving only crumbs in the wake. RJ makes a one-sided deal with the bear… he’ll bring him everything that was lost within one week or the bear gets to do whatever he wishes to him… which cannot be anything pleasant.

When the food ends up under the van, I was a little worried… and thought to myself, “oh.. geez, I could see that coming from a mile away and now the whole movie is probably just going to be unoriginal and boring”. Well. thankfully, it was not!

It is springtime, the animals have come out of hibernation to find suburbia has built a residential area all around them and they are separated by a huge hedge. Worried that they will not be able to gather enough food to last for their next winter snooze, RJ comes to their rescue by promising to show them how to stock up in no time at all, by raiding the human’s pantries. Of course, this is RJ’s way of tricking them for his own agenda.

What ensues is truly hilarious and great fun for the whole family. The few bad guys are merely an overstuffy lady that hates all critters, apparently even humans, the pest control guy and of course the bear. It’s really not very violent, (well, a bit, but only of the Bug Bunny type kind) and they all get theirs when the time comes.

This movie was laugh out loud funny, especially in the second half where many movies start losing steam, this ones picks up the beat and doesn’t let go!

I fixed up an image to create a family-friendly wallpaper for your computer.
Simply click on the thumbnails below:

click here for a 1024 x 768 wallpaper
click here for a 1280 x 960 wallpaper
This is Her review, you can read His review here

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Gegen die Wand (2004) – Her Review October 10, 2006

Posted by Eury in Drama, Movies.
2 comments

I've had much tragedy during my life, at least half of it actually happened: Mark Twain

Dir. Fatih Akin

Starring Birol Ünel and Sibel Kekilli

Cahit (Ünel), devastated, overloaded on drugs and booze, attempts killing himself by ramming his car headfirst into a brick wall. All he really achieves though, is some nasty bruises, a neck brace and having to visit a psychiatrist. While at the doctor’s office, he meets up with a young girl, Sibel (Kekilli). who is there for the same reason. Finding out that he is Turkish, she asks if he’ll marry her. When he refuses, she slits her wrists … so, heh… of course, he agrees! (I’m rolling my eyes here, so you can visualize my reaction to this).

Cahit is devastated because he has lost his wife who he apparently loved dearly. Sibel, on the otherhand, feels opressed and not allowed any freedom at home, and decides that if her parents think she’s happily married, they will leave her alone. She makes an arrangement with Cahit. She’ll clean his house and make his food then do whatever she wants on the side… which is pretty much f*cking guys. They both overconsume drugs and alcohol and to say that they are really messed up is an understatement.

Warning: Spoilers ahead

Sibel, even after tragedy strikes, gets several chances at shaping up but just keeps getting herself into more trouble. Why? Because she’s a drama queen, because she selfishly only thinks about herself. She may just look like she’s had a sad life, but when you really look at her, all through the movie, she wants what she wants, when she wants it. When she wants to leave home, she childishly cuts her wrists to get her way, She screws around with a bunch of guys, and is only too happy to let Cahit know where she’s off to. When Cahit finally falls in love with her, she won’t have relations with him… She doesn’t want them to become attached (like husband and wife) because that means her personal fun outside the house is over… Of course, this is only until she finds out that he’s screwing around with someone else… oh, well.. now of course, she’s jealous, decides she loves him and wants him. As if that is not tragic enough, Cahit ends up in jail and she promises to wait for him. Here is the perfect moment for her to prove herself, to clean up, to get on track… does she? No.. she moves in with her cousin in Istanbul, is snarky with her, because she doesn’t find her the type of job she wants, still goes out and takes drugs and the moment something appears to be a better opportunity is flashed in front of her eyes, she’s off again, without being in the least appreciative of her cousin’s efforts. Is it over now?… no!! It just goes on and on, and gets worse and worse.

Cahit is not much better until he goes to prison, where he does finally shape up only because he believes she’ll be out there when he gets out, which keeps him hanging on.

Is this a good movie?, yeah.. it has merit and the director did a good job but it’s an extremely hard movie to watch. It’s simply bleak, tragic and as heavy as lead.

Believe me, I know people live through many sad and tragic events in their lives.. it’s hurtful, it’s very hard and you want to rip yourself apart.. but eventually, you have to stop being a martyr…you need to swim, or sink. You have to stop smashing yourself up to prove (even if it’s to yourself) that you loved someone. There comes a point when you have to take back your life.

The song at the end of the movie says “Life is what you make it”… Is this a love story? Sadly, I don’t believe these two people know what love is and they make their lives über-difficult. Sometimes it’s easier to just be unhappy forever, cause that’s what you are used to; It feels comfortable , gets you lots of attention and requires no effort, than to instead, make a sincere and brave attempt at trying to be happy.

This is Her review, you can read His review here

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Gegen die Wand (2004) – His Review October 10, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Drama, Movies.
3 comments

temp

Dir. Fatih Akin

Starring Birol Ünel and Sibel Kekilli

Gegen die Wand has an 8.1 rating at IMDb. Since I disagree with most of the voters I’m just gonna tell you some of the key things I didn’t like about the movie. Don’t be hatin’.

  • Mean drunks who are really mean and really drunk don’t interest me.
  • Woman-beating is something I’d rather not see up close and personal.
  • The red thread throughout the story is just knots of unresolved plot.
  • I didn’t like the movie Irreversible. This is the same movie, except less extreme.
  • I can see why people may enjoy it. It’s a very competent movie, and any movie with good enough craftsmanship finds an audience, if only with movie snobs. That doesn’t really win me over though, when all the characters are unlikeable for one reason or another, and the world they inhabit is harsh and opaque. There’s noone to connect to, and I was left feeling like I was watching Bumfights or something, and I’d rather not.

    This is His review, you can read Her review here.

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