flicker on a hamstring…

Another trip to the theater. this time for The Departed. This crime film, featuring some of my favorite film elements (police corruption and backstabbing) was quite good. The cast, at first glance, seems questionable (when was the last good Jack Nicholson role?) and we all still remember that Scorsese flick Gangs of New York (not that I ever saw it). But you know, his magic is still there! This was a great movie: A good plot, tons of suspense, good acting, good script and the last 20 minutes are a blast! Basically two southies in the police force, one is a plant in the mob and one is a plant for the mob. Both working with the same mobster and the same police and trying to figure out who the other one is. A great action movie with lots of tension and some nice surprises.

And trying to round out the Stephen King, we sat down for Thinner. This seemed like an overly long episode of some new Twilight Zone series. Very Kingy… as in: cheap, not scary and quite a bit corny. A big guy (with obvious “fat” appliances on… In case the title doesn’t make it obvious enough) who kills a gypsy gets cursed and tries to hunt down the gypsy clan before he gets too much thinner. It was a cute little story but very “TV movie”-like and nothing to write home about. At least Joe Mantegna is as reliable as always.

Rocky. Okay, Kurty is right. After Cop Land I had to try this again… and I give it props for a young unexperienced one-time porno actor being able to convince someone to get behind him writing and starring in his project, that seems impressive. The movie is really good, too. One of the great “American” stories of making one’s own success, it worked both in the movie and with the movie. Stallone does a good job, his unique style is great for the character and he really puts his heart into it… Though he just doesn’t having the acting chops that he displays in Cop Land.

Then I finally watched Youth of the Beast. Sort of like A Fistful of Dollars for Yakuza. Very “cool” and “Stylish” this was a very good movie and hard for me to believe it’s from the same guy who made Pistol Opera, one of my least favorite films of all time. A dull artsie mess of nothingness, it almost turned me off to him but this classic is far removed for that dreck! Black & White and brightly colored, incredible jazz score, beautiful suits, great set design and lots of gangster violence as Jo, the lone Yakuza, plays each gang back and forth… towards whatever ends he has in mind. It is a great looking movie with incredible 60’s Yazuza stylings and the movie grabs you from beginning to end! Not only is the cinematography great, but an endless attention to details makes it great fun to watch! I highly recommended this to any Yakuza fans or fans of crime films in general



harmful aspects of aerosol
youth of the beast 15:24


little clown car…
youth of the beast 27:40


fun with knife…
youth of the beast 38:30


The Stand. Yes, and again. Regardless of the corny low quality of these King TV movies, they just keep coming back to bite you. For starters, the cast: some of the actors can, I believe, act. They just don’t bother to in these movies. I mean, Ray Walton is fine and of course, Ossie and Ruby pull their weight, but everyone else acts as if it’s a school play. I mean, it’s weird to watch Miguel Ferrer and feel like he’s slumming… As for the rest of the movie, the effects are terrible and the whole story seems trite. I hear it’s a good book, but Mister King has a very interesting film sense. It seems he doesn’t like the good ones but gets a kick out of making this stuff. I think he likes things a bit corny. Well, this is terribly corny. But, as with all these things, the movie stays with you and is not only entertaining (albeit not scary) to watch, but I find that after a little time, one feels compelled to watch them again. I must give this a thumbs up, though. As befits king, it is an everyman movie: entertaining, easy to follow and sort of addictive.



the special features are scary…
the stand…

And for the historical drama of the week, Gosford Park. Quite fun in a subtle way. I found it to be very pleasant, entertaining, and subdued. Not a mystery so much as a movie with a mystery. The whodunit seems sort of secondary… It just feels like you’re watching these things unfold naturally. Very good, a great cast and a good look. It’s very involving and when it becomes a mystery, you aren’t really anticipating it, so it becomes all the more shocking.

Then as a follow up, we got Rocky II. While not quite as pivotal as Rocky, this movie starts immediately where that leaves off. The story suffers a bit from the single-mindedness of it. Everything that happens seems to point to the fight at the end. So the story-lines don’t run as deep as in Rocky, but it’s alright and the fight is great. Not being a fight fan, but it’s an edge of the seater and very convincingly co-ordinated.



again with the fisticuffs…
rocky ii 1:49:17

Unknown White Male. This was interesting, to a point. A documentary about a fellow who supposedly lost all of his memory. Honestly, it started off good, a bit unnerving even, but as the movie goes on, I found myself losing interest, as did the subject. Sometimes with documentaries it’s important to have a good subject. Like the flaw in Stone Reader where, once the movie gets going, it turns out that he hadn’t really tried hard to find this author after all, though he presents him as completely disappearing. This one suffers a bit from Douglas not really caring about his past after a while. But it’s still interesting, just because it’s such an odd occurrence.



 

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Vitruvian Man

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