Saturday, March 14, 2009


Movies from March 2nd - 16th, 2009

1. White Heat ’48 

  • Director - Raoul Walsh
  • Cinematography - Sidney Hickox
  • Rating - 4/4

Here it is!  One of the best movies I’ve seen in the last two years.  James Cagney has more intensity, anger and depth than I thought was legal.  The movie was non-stop fun with my eyes being glued to the screen.  If I had a naked Penelope Cruz next to me looking for a pillow fight, it would have been a tough call as to what to do.

2 Two Lovers ’08 

  • Director -James Gray
  • Cinematography - Joaquin Baca-Asay
  • Rating - 3.5/4

First movie of the year that I was excited to see and mission accomplished.  For anyone who has been/is involved in a roller coaster relationship this movie should be next to your toothbrush or bible in terms of necessity.  The mood of the movie bares homage to the Italian films of the 1960s by the likes Visconti or Antonioni.

3. Coraline ‘08 

  • Director - Henry Selick
  • Cinematography - Pete Kozachik
  • Rating - 3.5/4

You know a movie is good when it leaves you with a lingering happiness and tranquillity.  This movie brought back nearly ever single creepy/exciting emotion I felt as a kid - a cross between entering a haunted house and seeing presents under the tree on Christmas morning.  Add the 3D to the mix and I would pretty much say that I time traveled back to 1995 for 100 minutes.

4. Shock Corridor ‘63 

  • Director - Samuel Fuller
  • Cinematography - Stanley Cortez
  • Rating - 3.5/4

Produced at nearly the same exact time as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (the book), this film critiques our notions of psychology, the way in which we deal with the sick and the problems plaguing our society; a pretty deep film for a B-movie.  Involves one of my new favorite scenes in which an institutionalized black man goes on a soap-box rant as to why the KKK is the correct ideology.

6.  Identity '03

  • Director - James Mangold
  • CInematography - Phedon Papamicheal 
  • Rating - / / / 1/2 slashes

I haven't seen this movie since its DVD release, remembering the terrible ending which resulted in destroying the movie.  But after seeing this a second time, understanding the twist and reluctantly accepting it as reality, I loved this movie.  Regardless of the conclusion, the entire movie is one of the creepiest motel-setting horror films ever made.

5. Lady of Shanghai ’47 -

  • Director- Orson Welles
  • Cinematography - Charles Letwon, Jr.
  • Rating - 3/4

Another Orson Welle’s film subjected to the butchering knife of major studio editors.  It’s not nearly his best film, but you can see the parts where it could have been amazing.  They cut it down from 155 to 87 minutes...think about it!  I’m awaiting the directors cut like Touch of Evil gave us.

6. Friday the 13th ’09

  • Director - Marcus Nispel
  • Cinematography - Daniel Pearl
  • Rating  - / / /

Just read the entry below.

7. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning ’06 

  • Director - Jonathan Liebesman
  • Cinematography - Lukas Ettlin
  • Rating - / / 1/2 (DOWN 1/2 from first viewing)

As I said in my entry below, this movie was a lot different than what I remembered, though kind of interesting for that reason.  I remebered it to be another addition to the TCM Slasher series and realized its more in line with gorno. Because of this I have changed my mind of gorno - as I’ll talk about in a new entry one day.

8. The Graduate  ’68 

  • Director - Mike Nichols
  • Cinematography - Robert Surtees
  • Rating - 3/4

This is my third or fourth time seeing this movie and I was left with the same attitude as always.  Overrated.  There are hundreds of better movies about rebellion.  Should anyone disagree with me, try this another great movie that Mike Nichols has directed other than Closer?  He combines so much style and story that continuity renders meaningless.  Ben is confused, Ben is a man, Ben is a creepy stalker, the movie is serious, the movie is a comedy (which isn’t bad, but the style constantly fluctuates with no fluidity). 

10. Pump Up the Volume ’90 

  • Director - Allan Moyle
  • Cinematography - Walt Lloyd
  • Rating - 2.5/4

I don’t know why I rented this, I don’t know why I thought Oliver Stone was invovled, I don’t know how this was produced.  Contains Marxist commentary on both broadcasting and free speech, but at ridiculous levels.  All that aside, it is a typical movie about the quiet new kid who falls in love with the girl.

11. The Serpent’s Egg 

  • Director - Ingmar Bergman
  • CInematography - Sven Nykvist
  • Rating - 1.5/4

Ingmar Bergman’s first and last English language movie and.  It stars Bill from Kill Bill as an alcoholic who’s in love with a prostitute.  Scattered throughout the piece are scenes that are true to Bergman’s style and yet quickly fall back into narrative convention cliches.  For such a great sounding synopsis, it sure was a terrible movie.

13. Shocker '89

  • Director - Wes Craven
  • Cinematography - Jacques Haitkin
  • Rating - ZERO!

Figures that with me seeing one of the best movies of all time I would also see one of the worst.  From Wes Craven is one of the most god-awful, incoherently shitty movies I have ever seen in my life.  The final 10 minutes leaves you with more questions than Socrate’s could ask.  Somehow a kid talks to his dead girlfriend through a necklace after a serial killer murders her.  Once he’s captured by the police and awaiting execution he absorbs the electricity of a television.  Somehow this allows him to enter in and out of bodies.  


Considering I have seen the movies below far too many times, they don't ranked.

Empire Records '95

  • Director - Allan Moyle
  • Cinematography - Walter Lloyd
  • Rating - 4/4

Cant’ Hardly Wait '98

  • Director - Harry Elfont/Deborah Kaplan
  • Cinematography - Lloyd Ahern II
  • Rating - 4/4

I love these movies, I don’t need to talk about them, just a few of my favorite quotes.  What’s with today, today?  The first thing you need is a name.  Why’d you glue these quarters to the floor.  I don’t feel the need to explain my art to you warren.  I don’t see no ho’s.  It means I gots a ninety-two percent chance of embarrassing myself. I roll up on that shorty be like, "What's up yo?" she be like, "You don't know 20 different ways to make me call you Big Poppa" cuz I don't yo. Somebody in there just called me a fag. College chicks are totally different, bro. They're all serious and shit. They all talk about world issues and "ecolomological" crap. They all wanna date older guys. 

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