Thursday, November 30, 2006

Brave Story (Anime 2006)

Well this one was certainly not a Hayao Miyazaki film; that much I can say for sure. This anime was totally a children's movie, lacking in all of the blood, ninjas, mechs, samurais, and fun-filled violence that we've all come to enjoy; or at least some of us.

Most importantly though, the movie lacked in music, which, for at least one production company, is the key defining attribute that makes their films get noticed. I mention this only because all of the better movies in this genre that also catered to a younger audience, such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Laputa: The Flying Island, were all successful because the music in these films were both memorable and impressive. By lacking in this genre standard, this movie only had its plot, animations, and characters to be rated upon, and all of that was not enough to push it through. It's kinda like creating a movie to compete with a Disney film, but not putting in musical scenes or not having one flagship song. You're asking for an ass-kicking, that's what that is.

I went into this film expecting something geared for an older audience, even if that age group was in its teens, but instead I got a bunch of Carebears speaking Japanese. The movie's plot was very direct while its characters were dry and underdeveloped. The creators put together this one transition scene in the middle of the movie, which showed short snippets of the characters on their adventures. This scene should not have been a transition one, but instead, each adventure should have been thoroughly animated. How else is the audience supposed to get a feel for the main characters if you never get to see them in any sort of action!

Although I'm doing nothing but bashing this movie, it really wasn't as bad as I make it out to be. It was probably a film for 5-9 year old kids; and that's most likely the reason why everything was so rushed and superficial. I would not recommend it to anyone other than hardcore anime fans who want to experience everything just once.
Rating - C

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Layer Cake (Drama 2004)

I totally stumbled upon this movie by accident while chillin' on the couch during Thanksgiving. It started out slow but it got more and more interesting as people started getting whacked.

Normally I would be averse to any movie that dealt with drugs; but luckily, it concentrated more on the business and less on the doing. The rest of the film had the same atmo as Snatch. so that directly equated into action, ass kicking, and super thick English accents. Some parts seriously shoulda had subtitles.

It will be interesting to watch Bond, now that I've seen this Daniel Craig character in action. He's a fairly good actor so I can see how he was chosen. I bet being a Brit also helped, but yeah, the movie was pretty good and well worth my time.
Rating - B

Thank You for Smoking (Comedy 2005)

I think some would label this as being a dark comedy, but I guess it was not as excessive as Very Bad Things, which was definitely a crazy flick. Instead, the movie's plot egged on Aaron Eckhart's character of Nick Taylor, a lobbyist for the cig industry. Some would see this as tasteless, but since I don't think there's anything wrong with cigs, it instead turns into comedy.

This film was quite funny and even clever at times. Some of the lines were outta control and the cockiness of the main character made him all the more entertaining. Even though there was a lot of dialogue, it didn't weigh down the momentum of the plot. Everything was kept simple and to the point. I laughed my ass off so that's all that counts in my book.
Rating - B

Accepted (Comedy 2006)

Stupid premise, impossible, and not very funny. These three phrases sum up the bulk of this movie. Unfortunately there is nothing more to say; it totally failed in being any sort of enjoyable teen film because it never had anything going for it. On top of that, the main character was Justin Long, that smug ass "Apple Guy". Yeah he can go fuck himself with his single left click button and corduroy pants. This movie should never have been made; and yes, at times it was that painful to watch...terrible.
Rating - D

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Road to Guantanamo (Drama Documentary 2006)

Well if you've never seen a controversial movie, this one would probably go under that category. This film was a drama/documentary of the experiences of a few British friends who went over to Pakistan for a wedding, but instead, somehow ended up in Afghanistan and then Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The movie was, of course, one-sided, but the guys did describe how they were treated while imprisoned, which seems in-line with what the US administration claims, combined with what has been leaked to the public. At least there wasn't any Vietnam-era shit happening, cuz that would be super inhumane.

I'll just start by blabbing about what was going through my mind while watching this movie, because all I seem to do is question "why"? After 9/11 any dumbass would know that #1 If you are Muslim in a Western country, be the fuck careful. #2 If you knew anything about current events during that time, you would've known that the US was going to bomb the fuck outta Afghanistan. So seriously, unless you were there for a specific, distinct purpose, don't go there. These four friends didn't pay any heed to any rational thought and headed to the region anyway. Ok, so they went to Pakistan for a wedding, fine. Go to that wedding and get the hell out of the country. Why would they cross the border? Like seriously! In the movie they claimed to want to "help people" but really man...that's a fucking stupid reason. Unless you're a part of some real organization that helps people like the Red Cross or something, you don't enter a war zone without knowing that you are seriously fucking yourself and taking a huge risk on your life.

One fact that I've learned through the years is that people are stupid, like really really stupid. And in any sort of panic situation, people tend to react on instinct and not logic. One must assume that civilized actions and thinking only exist when you are within the boundaries of a lawful society; but the second you move outside that boundary, general human nature takes over and it becomes a vicious, Darwinian world. I always envisioned war to be much like that kind of world. Why do all movies show a post-apocalyptic world to be so bad? Cuz people would start killing, raping, and pillaging like no other. Law, order, morality, and everything else that makes a group of people civilized would go straight out the door. So for example, if Russia invaded China, I would certainly not be making a trip to China, ya know why? Because if a Russian soldier saw me, they would not think that maybe I was an American on vacation, but instead they'd probably shoot my ass.

So does this mean that I don't believe the peeps in this movie? Nah, they were probably telling the truth, but boy did they fuck themselves when it came down to the coincidental circumstances that caused the group to end up deep in Afghanistan. Their story was too far fetched to be believable by government and military entities, and that probably contributed to their prolonged stay in a military prison.

Everyone will have their own opinion of this film. Some people may hawk about the torture, others may go off on the false imprisonment stuff, and others may just call these peeps terrorists; but whatever opinion is taken, it was indeed an educational watch, if not a little disturbing.
Rating - B

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tucson's Finest

I would have rather liked it if this cop was in front of my house ready to haul away my crazy, ugly neighbor, but instead I had to settle for a fratty getting pulled over on Homecoming night. You shoulda heard him, "It's been a long night officer, and I just want to go home." Yeah, it probably was a long night, full of crappy beer and random attempts to slip a ruffie into some unsuspecting girl's drink. Fucker... The cop shoulda opened fire just cuz the guy was a Camero-driving prick. I would have looked the other way if anyone asked. Nothing good can come from letting him go...nothing.

Babel (Drama 2006)

Pretty good movie I have to say. The scene transitioning was totally the work of director, Alejandro González Iñárritu. It reminded me a lot of Amores perros in the way that film captured the lives of different peeps and how they were all related in some way to a specific incident. Location and scene jumping sure helped out with the flow of the movie, as I can't recall the existence of any boring parts.

The deeper aspect of this film revolves around communication and how important it is to be open with those around us or those who don't speak the same language as we do. It does illustrate how being able to communicate in different manners is one hell of an asset when you need it.

One part of the story that irked me has to do with a certain Mexican nanny and how she took the kids that she was looking after, across to Mexico to attend her son's wedding. From a personal standpoint I just can't empathize with her plight as well as I could with the other characters. If you are an illegal living in the US, you can't take any chances, especially when it has to do with the border. Didn't she even think that it would look hella fishy to be crossing back over to the US side with 2 white, American children? Wouldn't one guess that such a move would perhaps look super fishy in the eyes of Border Patrol? Now granted, her situation was not entirely her fault, and I know that her son's wedding was very important, but she had to have calculated the risk and sadly she thought that the wedding held greater priority. I personally don't like interacting with law enforcement and would not have taken that chance.

Besides that, the rest of the movie was realistic and put you directly into the shoes of each of the characters. It was also a pretty sad movie, considering the outcome of everyone's lives, but that's a signature end for this director. Special props go out to all of the sound people involved with this film; it was noticeably well done.
Rating - A

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mission: Impossible III (Action 2006)

Wow...action action action boys and girls. This movie was certainly a non-stop extravaganza meant to keep the audience locked in. Of course it does have foolish Tom Cruise in it, but you gotta admit, he can pull off these types of movies fairly well.

The plot was pretty straightforward in that there is a few bad guys, a few good guys, a few plot twists, and a whole shitload of special effects. I got to give a shout out to Kerry for pre-pointing out a certain "car exit" scene with hot-ass Maggie Q. Very damned impressive that one, and I loved the dress she had on too.

If you're in the mood for solid action flick then you've come to the right place; much better than the first and second one by far.
Rating - A

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties (Non-Fiction Book 2001)

Too bad I didn't know about this book when I first graduated because it would've helped in getting a little more perspective as to what was about to occur. The funny thing is that reading this would've saved me from spending too much time pondering about the precarious situation that lay in front of me, and instead, it would've refocused that energy towards more emphatic bitching about what I've slowly come to accept as life.

In a nutshell, this book describes pretty closely what a lot of people in my age group go through after graduating from college. It's a compilation of many peep's post-college experiences all separated out into different sections covering important topics such as jobs, unemployment, moving home, "catch 22" of experience, friends, relationships, kids, purpose, etc.

Because I read the book four years after the date it should have been read, no light bulbs went on because I already knew, heard of, or had experienced first hand everything that the book was describing. I do have to say that it's nice to know that other peeps have gone to hell and back with me. Actually, I think we're all still in hell, but we can't quite accept that part of it yet. At least none of us have kids, right?

I think most people in their 20s will be able to relate to this book. It was certainly an enjoyable read and you'll definitely get something out of it, even if it's only to hear the entertaining stories of other unfortunate people. Sadly, it gives no answers about what to do concerning the various worries that twentysomethings have; but the main Confucius statement I got out of it was:
"We all make choices in life, some bad, others good. Some of us get what we want while others don't, but that's life and you gotta keep on truckin'. The main thing is to not hold back if you want to do something because the worst thing you can do, is to do nothing then regret it when you can't get your youth/freedom back. If you fuck up, cool, you'll have your 30s to get a boring career and build up that nest for retirement. Just don't fuck up too bad like get an STD, get a Kid, or get thrown in Jail."
That's my version of course, but I think it's a pretty good methodology to go by.
Rating - High

It's that time of year again

Holiday Nog!!
I gotta say, some of the best things in life come in a half gallon jug and cost around $2.75. I wonder how many pills I'll have to take to avoid disaster.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Great New Wonderful (Drama 2005)

So this movie was a creative look on post 9/11 New York City? Shit, that's news to me. I watched this film blind and came out just as handicapped. I'll first let you know how this movie ever ended up on my computer. Casa prints out this monthly pamphlet thing that gives a list of new or interesting movies that are due to be released during a given month. I usually go through this and add anything that looks good onto a to rent list. They all have short plot descriptions, but I guess I bypassed reading this one because all I know is that this somehow ended up on my to rent list, so here I am, disappointed that I didn't watch something else.

This movie was another one of those pointless films that follow around a group of people who all have some issue, either with themselves, their occupation, or their surroundings. If there was supposed to be some sort of symbolism or analogy of one person's plight with that of a city or another character, then that went straight over my head because I didn't notice shit while watching this movie.

It took the creators of this film took 1.5 hours to show what was distinctly obvious immediately upon watching each character in action. Like seriously, I'll just go ahead and spoil it because I know nobody is going to watch this piece of shit.

In the beginning we see this couple with this spoiled, fat son and the first thing that pops into my head is, "Oh, you guys need to discipline the fuck out of that thing." And low and behold, that was the all powerful lesson that the couple learned in the end. The next character was hot Maggie Gyllenhaal. During the first few speaking scenes with her in it, I was able to say to myself, "Oh, you're a super rich chick in a fru fru business, and I bet that's a highly superficial, LA-esque, competitive, and cutthroat environment". So of course it later turns out that she steps over some people to get ahead in that world and then afterwards feels bad for being such a piece of shit. The last pair of characters were these two Indian bodyguards who merely BS while driving around in a car. In the very first scene it showed one of the guys totally eye-raping and flirting with a waitress I said to myself, "Oh, you're gonna to try to get some tail you horny old man." And of course it turns out he is married with kids, bangs this random girl, and then later feels like a bastard for doing it.

Again, I'll state that this movie was pointless. All of the choices and actions that the characters made in this film were 100% predictable and even foreshadowed before anything even happened. What is the purpose of this?? That's right, there was no purpose; this was a purposeless film.
Rating - D