Mar 1, 2015

Review: And So It Goes (2014)

Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton have both had illustrious careers and no one can really say otherwise. While I've never been one for Diane Keaton personally, she's got some big movies to her name and her typical high-strung performances do at times fit in very nicely. I'd definitely call myself a Michael Douglas fan though.

What I've begun to notice about Douglas and Keaton is that they're starting to be in movies I'd term as "old-timer" movies. Meant to attract the 50 and over crowd, they usually end up being pitiful tributes to once better times. Last Vegas is definitely one of these and The Big Wedding to be fair tries to be a movie for young and old by assembling an ensemble cast of young actors not trying and old actors not caring. Point is, Douglas and Keaton aren't getting the offers they once were. I'd rather they skip out on projects like this, but when there's bacon to be taken home it's a different story.

Feb 28, 2015

Review: Larry-Boy! And the Fib from Outer Space! (1997)

There's something quite ironic about watching and reviewing all these Christian friendly VeggieTales videos. If it's not already clear, I hate the series, I hate the characters and I hate the songs. I hate pretty much everything to do with VeggieTales. Sorry fans of the series, but it's the truth. Don't want to be caught in a lie now do I (heheh)?

Despite hating the series as much as I do, I think Cinema Whatever might end up becoming one of the best resources for VT reviews on the internet. Albeit, all negative ones most probably. I aim to make that happen anyway because I intend to watch every single video which currently stands at fifty in total, not including the two feature length films. To say that's a tall order would be an understatement.

Feb 27, 2015

Review: Junebug (2005)

Amy Adams had been around for some time before truly catching fire for her role in Junebug. Known to be her breakthrough performance, it netted Adams a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006. She unfortunately ended up losing to Rachel Weisz of The Constant Gardener. Even so, it's been a great decade for Amy Adams who's momentum hasn't shown any signs of slowing down yet.

In terms of Phil Morrison, he doesn't have much of a track record before or after 2005 which is a bit surprising given Junebug's popularity with the critics. Junebug happened to be his first big movie project after directing some episodes of TV series Upright Citizens Brigade. The only thing of note he's done since then is a Christmas comedy/drama called All is Bright released in 2013 with Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd that hasn't gotten much fanfare. It seems kind of interesting actually, so I got to remember to look out for it come December.

Feb 26, 2015

Review: The Negotiator (1998)

Based on the 80's-90's pension fund scandal in the St. Louis Police Department, well loosely anyway, The Negotiator pairs heavyweights Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey. From an acting and screen presence point of view, you can't ask for much better now can you? Sylvester Stallone was originally cast to be in Spacey's role and Spacey was going to be in Jackson's role. The deck got reshuffled once Sly dropped out and probably for the best.

There have been some good police-themed crime/action thrillers that I've enjoyed over the past few years such as 16 Blocks, End of Watch and Infernal Affairs. I'm not saying that 16 Blocks is a masterpiece or anything and to be fair it probably shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence as Infernal Affairs. All I'm trying to say is that I like cop movies and I had high hopes for The Negotiator.

Feb 25, 2015

Review: Western Spaghetti (2008)

I've already seen a PES short film before and that was when Fresh Guacamole was nominated for Best Animated Short at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013. I remember going ahead and watching three out of the five films that made up the category and coming out quite impressed with FG. Best word to describe it? Satisfying.

Feb 24, 2015

Review: The Sound of Music (1965)

The Sound of Music was one of the many VHS tapes my parents had bought for my sisters and I when we were children. That makes it one of my most watched movies even though I haven't seen it since VHS was actually a thing. Pretty sad really, so it's about time I get a proper viewing of it. I'm finally able to appreciate it properly too because how could you expect a young boy not to zone out from time to time during a 174 minute movie?

There's no doubt that The Sound of Music is one of the greatest musicals of all time, arguably the best of all. I'm no musical expert though, so I can't really say. I'm going to say it anyway. It's based on The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria von Trapp herself. Don't be fooled though, there are of course some facts that have been changed for entertainment's sake. But who really cares though right? Julie Andrews' place as an actress was firmly cemented because of her performance as Maria von Trapp and with Mary Poppins coming the year before, that's quite the 1-2 punch.

Feb 23, 2015

Review: Rejected (2000)

Don Hertzfeldt's Rejected is a certifiable cult classic. It gained a large following from its many film festival showings and it's the kind of thing that's commonly referenced in popular culture. I've seen a couple of Hertzfeldt animated shorts and my opinion is that they're definitely pretty out there. Not in a bad way or anything though, they're just very different and he always uses this simplistic stick-figure-on-paper kind of animation that's supposed to bring attention to what's being said and not necessarily what's being shown.

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 2000, Dutch short Father and Daughter won that category and for good reason. It's a great little short that packs a pretty big emotional punch along with some pretty visuals. Still, Rejected is the short that has lived far beyond its awards season and release year. Does that make it the better film?

Feb 22, 2015

Review: Alien³ [Alien 3] (1992)

The production issues of Alien 3 are pretty well known by this point. Pre-production went through several writers and directors as no one could seem to decide what the next logical step in the Alien universe should be. All sorts of ideas were proposed like Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn) being the main character of the film instead of Ripley and having the film set on a wooden planet. David Fincher was brought in at the last minute in what was his big budget debut and he didn't even have a finished script to work with.

Predictably, production continued to be troubled and David Fincher went on to disown the film, mostly due to studio interference. Amazing to think that just a few years later, he'd direct insanely popular movies like Seven and Fight Club early on in his career. Who knows what could've happened. There probably was no way that Alien 3 could ever match up to Alien or Aliens though, even if Fincher was given all the breathing room he wanted.

Feb 21, 2015

Review: One True Thing (1998)

One True Thing was nominated for a single Academy Award and it's no real surprise which one it was. With Meryl Streep as part of the cast, do I really need to spell it out? It's all too easy to nominate her as best actress every time she's in a movie practically. I got no problem with that though because Streep truly is something special, an anomaly really. Although people might be sick of her getting so much praise, her performance in One True Thing is just another feather in her cap.

The 71st Academy Awards are famous, or infamous really, for awarding the Best Actress award to Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love. OK, most of the infamy is for giving Shakespeare in Love Best Picture over movies like Saving Private Ryan, Life is Beautiful and The Thin Red Line. But still, doesn't Paltrow winning feel like a typical Harvey Weinstein job? I guess I can't really say much though because I've never even seen Shakespeare in Love. It's just that the consensus seems to be that SiL was the wrong choice at the time and I can't help feeling so strongly about Meryl Streep in One True Thing.

Feb 20, 2015

Review: Mann (1999)

It's always a challenge for me to get excited to watch a Bollywood movie and I guess that's my own doing. I've forced myself to sit through so many bad ones over the years it's not like Mann is really setting itself out to be any different. It looks to be the usual song and dance, or at least that was my impression before I started watching it.

For one thing, it's rated quite low on IMDb for a Bollywood movie which isn't a good sign. It's weird how so many Indian movies are in the 8's and higher with at least 10,000 ratings or more, but that seems to be par for the course. It's a little suspicious really and the only other country that I can think of that has as much nationalistic pride when it comes to their movies are Turks. There's nothing wrong with loving the movies that come from your own country, but there's no way all of them can be masterpieces.