I died for your sins, so accordingly, here are some inane musings to contemplate...

Friday, October 30, 2009

PROJECT 365: 183 - 189

183. 5 Centimetres Per Second - a wonderfully animated Japanese Anime set in 3 stories about a guy who falls for a girl but is not sure if his feelings are reciprocated. Supposed to be all about some kind of Japanese classic cultural ideal of imperfect love, to me it just sounded like a whiny punk who was a bit of a wanker. Animation and the absolutely fantastic song at the end made it very watchable but the story and the way that most fo it is through voiceovers and letter reading was just awful. I guess you have to be Japanese to like that kind of thing, that or a whiny bitch. 2.5/5

184. Freedom Writers - there's something about Hilary Swank where I just can't decide if I find her attractive or not, that aside this is your typical "teacher rescues ghetto kids from their slum lives" type story but because it is actually based on real events it's slightly more entertaining than films like [i]Dangerous Minds[/i]. It kept me watching and only had a few roll-my-eyes moments. 3/5

185. Battlestar Galactica - The Plan - a final return to the BSG series where we get to see just what the Cylons and some of the Final Five were doing during the attack on the 12 colonies and how the evolved and survived. Interesting and with some great acting by Dean Stockwell it was a nice trip back into this series but all too short. There was also a bit of nudity which was good but the zoom in to the dude's dick was just plain weird, though rather amusing. 3.5/5

186. *Food, Inc. - housemate was watching this so I re-watched it with her. Some damn scary stuff and I really do hope that Australia is not going down this same path.

187. The Proposal - pretty much your average rom com with some ok performances. Not the best, not the worst, was watchable though very predictable. 2.5/5

188. Objectified - an interesting doco about the world of design and about the thought processes that go into even everyday products like garden shears or a vegetable peeler. Quite fascinating in places but a little disjointed in execution. 2/5

189. The Brothers Bloom - an absolutely fantastic caper/con film with great performances by Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody and especially Mark Ruffalo and an hilariously enigmatic Rinko Kikuchi. Off beat with some absolutely stunning sets and locations, gorgeous costumes right out of the early 1900s but worn in the modern world, and some dead-set funny deadpan humour; this film has everything I could want in a caper comedy with heart except ir did contain some poor editing - though that could have just been the print we saw. If you want some belly laughs while trying to think about who is conning who then go see this film. Absolutely loved it. 5/5

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

PROJECT 365: 177 - 182

177. The Hangover - was quite funny but not as great as everyone led me to believe. I really enjoyed the photos during the credits with the cameos in them. 3/5

178. I Love You, Man - surprisingly poignant and heartwarming, this comedy really made me empathise with the main character's quest for male companionship. It didn't go for cheap physical comedy or gross-out stuff (apart from the dead-set hilarious spew scene) but was actually very intelligent and adult in its treatment of the subject of Mancrush and Bromance. Loved it. 4.5/5

179. Bruno - only a few really cringeworthy moments which is not my kind of humour so it was much better than Borat. Better scripted with some epically hilarious scenes (Gayby OJ, the anti-gay pastors, the UFC-style fight) and I actually quite enjoyed it, I just kept marveling at how balls to the wall brave Cohen can sometimes be. 3.5/5

180. Astro Boy - quite a good take on the classic anime and manga. I enjoyed it quite a lot despite changes to the basic story - they kept the right elements there. Greta animation, good voice acting (though Bill Nighy as Doctor Elefun sounded a little out of place). 3/5

181. Race to Witch Mountain - fun, stupid, idiotic, but it has The Rock so it was awesome. A lot of it made very little sense but that didn't really matter. 2.5/5

182. Brokeback Mountain - finally got around to watching this and it was really such a desperately sad and moving film. If I'd known Anne Hathaway's tits were revealed in it I'd have watched it ages ago. Great performances from Gyllenhall and Ledger as expected (although they were bloody rough with each other weren't they?). What really made this film work were 3 elements - stunning cinematography, and understated yet perfect soundtrack, and the enveloping sadness of the story as a whole. 4.5/5

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PROJECT 365: 155 - 176

155. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - average entry in the franchise. better acting on the behalf of the main 3 characters but still some awkwardness between them. Liked the inclusion of so much humour which was missing a bit from the last two. 3/5

156. *In The Loop - got housemate to watch it so I watched it again. Not as good as the first time around as I knew all the jokes but that didn't really matter, still a great film. 4/5

157. Knowing - ridiculous, badly acted, laughably funny when it isn't supposed to be. I spent the film playing spot the Aussie and spot the Melbourne landmark, plane crash scene was pretty good though. 0.5/5

158. Joint Security Area (JSA) - fantastic film by Park Chan Wook about a South Korean man charged with crossing the border and killing two of his counterparts in a guard station across the Bridge of No Return, however as the investigation continues not all is what it seems. The opening investigation scenes aren't really all that good but the second act of this film is what gives it true cult status and a beautiful heart about friendship and loyalty. Some great performances and a truly sad ending, 4/5.

159. *A Crude Awakening - The Oil Crash - rewatched this scary as all Hell doco about how little oil the world has left and how we need to find a viable alternative NOW or our current way of living and thinking will be drastically different very very soon. Think along the lines that your grand children might not ever be able to fly in an aeroplane kind of thing. 4/5

160. Anvil - The Story of Anvil - FANTASTIC doco about a Candaian Metal band that never really quite made it to the big league yet they've stuck around for 30 years or so and still rock hard. Great characters, great story (final scene was just priceless) and a very pleasant film to watch. Gonna see them play at Soundwave early 2010. 4/5

161. *Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - was on TV so decided to watch it. Quite boring the second time around - some of it just wouldn't make any sense if you hadn't read the books. 2.5/5

162. *Matrix Reloaded - the sequel we just did NOT need to have. Beginning of the end for a film franchise that should have just stuck with the original. Some really bad effects along with some quite good ones, poor acting, poor story. Another exercise in spot the Aussie. 1.5/5

163. 17 Again - surprisingly funny in parts but still uses all the classic cliches that you'd expect. It'd be interesting to see if Efron could pull off a seriously dramatic role and not always just play teenagers. 1.5/5

164. The Burrowers - low budget US horror film set in the Old West that just does not live up to its potential and int he end is rather annoying. 1/5

165. (500) Days of Summer - went to a free screening last night and I gotta say this film has it all - good humour, great acting, smart script, perfect soundtrack, great story that jumps around a lot which actually helps the story flow better, and a nice twist on the traditional rom-com. Perfect film - 5/5

166. *The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - it was on TV on a Friday night, I even had the extended version in my drawer but couldn't be bothered getting up off the couch. Still a fantastic movie that makes the book come alive even more than when reading it. 4.5/5

167. Push - had free tickets to see this, took my friend Jane along last night and there was just one other guy in the cinema. I wasn't expecting anything much as I'd heard it had very bad reviews but in the end it was just a fun sci-fi romp where you didn't really have to think too much about anything. Not great, not total shite, bit of fun. 2/5

168. *Back to the Future II - absolute classic, love every minute of it especially the dual scenes from the first film that are done so well at the end of this one. 4.5/5

169. *Back to the Future III - great ending to the trilogy but not as good as the first two. 3/5

170. Up (3D) - wonderful story, great jokes, perfect animation just not quite as there with previous Pixar efforts but still brilliant. 4/5

171. Year One - dull, boring, crude, crap, maybe 3 or 4 jokes worthy of that label. 1/5

172. *Star Trek - just as good the third time around although the issues with Scotty and a dull Nero still stand out like a very sore thumb. 3.5/5

173. Monsters Vs Aliens - funny, fantastic animation, great story, wonderful voice cast. 4/5

174. Battle For Terra - good voice cast, semi-good animation (the Human Ark ship looked amazing) but in the end a relatively dull story that's been done to death before. Really didn't have enough emotional impact though it did try. 2.5/5

175. G.I. Joe - The Rise of Cobra - great, dumb, idiotic, stupid, fun that doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. 3/5

176. Terry Pratchett - Living With Alzheimer's - quite poignant and sad (the tie tying scene and the part at the reading really were rather depressing) but overall an upbeat look at a year in the life of Terry as he tried to find out more about this insidious disease and about his quest to stave off the inevitable and to also understand the disease. 4/5.

Monday, August 24, 2009

PROJECT 365: 84 - 154

Well it doesn't look like I'll make it to 365 moofies in a year but I'll keep trying!

84. My Sister's Keeper - it was OK but too obvious in the attempt to pull the heart strings. 2/5

85. Quantum of Solace - boring, dull, weak excuse to string some action scenes together with a very dull ending. 1/5

86. Last Ride - brilliant Aussie drama with an awesome performance by Hugo Weaving and great work by the kid, Tom Russel. 4/5

START OF MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival)

87. Balibo (Australia) - brilliant film about the 5 young Australian men killed in Timor Leste in 1975 by the invading Indonesian army, interwoven with their story is that of Roger East who went there three weeks later investigating their disappearance witht he aid of Jose Ramos Horta. This is a film that you really must see, it isn't perfect - a little too much shaky cam and some lines are impossible to hear or decipher - but it comes extremely close. The deft touch used to weave the two stories together and the true beauty and tragedy of the country and the story really come through. Was rather emotional at the screening with members of the families of the slain and East Timorese in the crowd bawling their eyes out during the harrowing execution scenes. 4.75/5 - See it.

88. Who's Afraid of the Wolf? (Czechoslovakia) - an interesting little tale of a young girl with a very active imagination who thinks her moher is now an alien after she starts acting strange when an old flame comes back on the scene, an old flame that threatens to break the family apart. Good acting from the child actors, a nice story and actually quite emotional considering the father's story. Also, the mother is STUNNING. 2.5/5

89. The Cove (USA) - well made and rather interesting doco about the yearly slaughter of about 23,000 dolphins migrating past Taiji in Japan and the extreme lengths the doco makers go to to get footage of the actual slaughter. Beyond any kind of moral or financial arguments, the revelation of just how toxic the dolphin meat is was fascinating. Also the fact you can go to a dolphin and whale museum and watch a show while eating the performers was just ludicrously funny. 3.5/5

90. Accelerator 1 Shorts Program (Aus, NZ, Denmark) - a fantastic short film Water that has a massive emotional punch; an hilarious one - Brave Donkey (the dolphin up the arse was rather poetic after just watching The Cove); a couple of rather funny ones - Happy Country & Two Men; a so-so one - Cathrine; quite interesting character observation - Lessons From Last Night; and a piece of sh*t, vomit-worthy pile of diarrhea - Side by Side. Highly recommend Water and Brave Donkey.

91. Like You Know It All (Korea) - a really weird film about a film director attending a film festival and later a college lecture and basically him screwing up. It just didn't really seem to have any point to it and was more a mish mash of ideas and long single shot scenes. Could have been an hour shorter and much more enjoyable. 1.5/5

92. Thirst (Korea) - Park Chan-Wook's absolutely piss funny take on the Vampire genre, the fact it's played straight edge just makes it that much funnier which is the point I guess. Just go see it, you'll love it. 4.5/5

93. Kimjongilia - featuring testimonies from escapees from the Kim reign of terror in North Korea, it's hard to believe that millions starved to death in the 90's and that hundreds of thousands of "political prisoners" live in forced labour camps, many are even born in them. Although poorly made with extreme close ups of the interview subjects, far too much vision of NK propaganda and not enough of actual events and suffering in NK, it still has quite a powerful message. 2/5

94. Accelerator 2 - some great shorts with the stand outs being One Night, The Boxer and The Cat Piano, there are some truly great up and coming Aussie directors.

95. Animation Shorts (Draw Me a Story) - relatively dull session livened up by the final short The Chainsaw Maid where claymation zombies are halted in their rampage by a Korean chambermaid.

96. Prime Mover - Aussie film following a young man whose dream is to be an owner/driver with his rig travelling all over Australia. Well acted, directed and written it's still quite a predictable story of boy has dream, boy meets girl, boy screws up dream, boy loses girl, boy saves his own skin and wins the girl back. You could see the whole story from a mile off about 15 minutes in. Nice performance by Ben Mendelsohn as a drug dealing loan shark. 2.5/5

97. Martyrs - absolutely bizarre yet rather interesting French torture porn film. Kinda like Hostel but it's mad from start to end and actually has a story (and no Americans!). Worth seeing on the big screen but in the end just didn't captivate me despite it being quite well acted and having a few surprises story-wise. 2.5/5

98. Yakuza Eiga - doco about the history of Japanese Yakuza cinema and the relationship between the actual Yakuza and the film studios. It was interesting but was just a typical "paint by the numbers" type of doco, kind of join the dots. Also really only focused on the golden age of Yakuza cinema from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, I'd have liked more on how the Yakuza are depicted in modern cinema. It did have some fascinating interviews with directors. 2.5/5

99. Pierrot Le Fou - a Jean Luc Goddard "masterpiece" featuring Anna Karina (who intro'd the film very poorly) that I just plain didn't get and left after 45 minutes. It was slightly amusing but was really just 60s absurdist humour that wasn't really absurd enough. 1/5

100. Troubled Water - a young man is released from prison and gets a job as a church organist, a young mother seeks answers as to why and how her son died. Basically the same story from the two separate perspectives, this film really got to me on an emotional level where the film maker manages to show sympathy for a child killer as well as empathy for a mother who has lost her son. Despite a predictable ending, it was so well acted, directed and beautifully shot that I didn't really mind - I liked it enough I spent the last hour with a bursting bladder. 4/5

101. Moon - wow, seriously brilliant performance by Sam Rockwell as a lone miner on the far side of the moon who, after an accident, finds out that his three year contract, and indeed his life as he knows it, isn't at all what it seems. Not a perfect film but still damn great as a character study on several levels and fantastic showcase of Rockwell's talent. With a haunting Clint Mansell soundtrack and a really intense and quite funny script, I totally loved this film EXCEPT [SPOILER]the audio in the last 30 seconds just PISSED ME OFF. For a film that had such a big mystery and didn't answer every single question, to tell us what happens when he returns to Earth just plain annoyed me.[/SPOILER] 4.5/5

102. White Night Wedding - an amusing though ultimately forgettable Icelandic film about a man, on the eve of his wedding, struggling to come to terms with the way his life is heading and what he has actually achieved as a man. It was interesting but didn't really pack enough of a punch to make me recommend it, though I did quite like the final scene that sort of laid down a cyclic nature to his douchebaggery. 2.5/5

103. Home - truly bizarre French film about a family living 5 metres away from a never opened highway who use the highway as their personal playground. Things change when the highway reopens and we experience how they deal with the noise and eventually how they all go a little mad when they solve the noise problem. Strange film but quite funny, was weird seeing the non-sexualised nudity of all bar the mother but that's just the French way I guess. 2/5

104. About Elly - Iranian film detailing how little white lies told to maintain social status can balloon out of proportion to cause real grief. Fascinating film that would work in any culture, not just Iranian. Very well acted but such a muted colour palette that it becomes quite depressing. 3/5

105. Red Riding: 1974 - first in a trilogy detailed the insipid corruption of the Yorkshire police department in the late 70s and early 80s. Extremely well acted, great direction and a very tight script, I'm curious to find out how much of this actually happened. Not a typical Journalist solves the case for the cops kind of film though it did feel like that at times. 2.5/5

106. Katalin Varga - a Romanian revenge noir film where a woman seeks out the men that raped her to even the score with not exactly the hapiest ending on Earth. Despite only being 90 minutes it felt too long with certain scenes going for far too long but that's a small gripe for what turned out to be a relatively interesting film. 2.5/5

107. The Chaser - once again a Koren director takes a stab at a genre and comes up with something quite different to western cinema. When the case is pretty much solved about 30 minutes into the film, what else can happen? Actually quite realistic as it depicts the incompetence of a police department that also has their hands tied, while watching I kept thinking of how so many serial killers were caught because of something unrelated to their crimes or had previously been caught and let go due to no evidence. The idea of an ex-cop pimp essentially solving the case tickled me and with an ending that goes right out there I quite enjoyed this film though it didn't quite go as far as I was hoping. 3.5/5

108. Still Walking - pretty much a perfect film. Basically a day in the life of a Japanese family who meet up at the home of the parents on the anniversary of their son's death. With great understated acting on everyone's behalf and a script that just lets the characters reveal themselves over a leisurely two hours this film won't be for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is why I love MIFF, where I see a film that doesn't sound like much and that I'd probably otherwise never see but I'm just mesmerized from start to end. 5/5

109. Land of Madness - a French nutter details the grisly murders and psychotic behaviour of people in a small remote area of the French countryside. A little bit nuts, a little bit scary, but a lot of utter crap. In the end was quite boring. 1/5

110. Red Riding: 1980 - continues detailing the corruption of the West Yorkshire police force with the Yorkshire Ripper murders featuring as a backdrop. This is some scary sh*t, to think that the men and women who are supposed to be protecting us could be worse than many criminals. Consummately acted, great direction and a very tight script that just oozes class. 4/5

111. Skirt Day - a teacher loses the plot when one of her students brings a gun to class and through a series of unfortunate events we see just how much pressure she is under and why she snapped and has taken the kids hostage. Good premise and well acted but just didn't go into the issues deeply enough for me and also had quite a predictable ending. 2/5

112. Prodigal Sons - poorly made but fascinating home-movie style doco about a guy who is now a girl trying to reconnect with her estranged brother who, quite frankly, is just not quite right in the head. The Orson Welles connection was just amazing and completely unexpected. Brave stuff documenting the highs and extremely low lows of this quite screwed up family. 3/5

113. The Misfortunates - although it had its moments I just didn't enjoy this film detailing the life of a young boy and his crazy arse family and his attempts later in life to free himself from his bogan-like background. Just didn't do it for me. 1/5

114. Bronson - a bizarre and violent ride through the life of Britain's most famous violent inmate. It's one of those crazy and insane films, like Ex Drummer from a couple years back, that just sucks you in and makes you realise how out there cinema can be. Brilliant performance from the lead and an awesome soundtrack with some truly classic lines that had me in stitches. 4/5

115. Hansel and Gretel - a distinctly Korean take on a classic fairy tale that just doesn't work. It had the potential to go into some seriously weird and cool head space or even into thriller/horror territory but instead sticks to PG-esque leanings and ultimately a boring pay off. 1.5/5

116. The September Issue - almost a perfect doco detailing the trials and tribulations of American Vogue and the journey to release their annually biggest issue. With particular attention paid to Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour - the inspiration behind Meryl Streep's performance in The Devil Wears Prada - and filled with inter-office and inter-personal wheelings and dealings it really is quite fascinating how they go about the process. 4.5/5

117. Ajami - 5 chapters in what you just know is gonna be a sad and grinding story set in the Ajami district of Jaffa, an incredibly violent and religiously divided city in Israel. Doesn't paint any one religion in any particularly good or bad light but instead tries to portray life as it stands for various people from different backgrounds. Well acted, well directed, and very well scripted, I enjoyed this from start to finish. It has an increasing sense of pointless dread so that you just know the end is gonna be depressing. 4/5

118. An Education - lovely UK film detailing the romance between a young school girl and her older paramour in 1961 London, however you just know that not everything is as it seems. Particularly good performances from leads Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan and highly touching and amusing turns by Emma Thompson and particularly Alfred Molina. A very enjoyable and charming film. Oh and I swear Dominic Cooper is Karl Urban's twin. 4.5/5

119. Flame & Citron - fantastically acted and brilliantly paced WW2 thriller detailing the lives of two Danish assassins charged with the task of murdering Danish Nazi sympathisers. But are they being told the right information and are they killing the right people? Based on a true story it is a great film from start to finish but for some reason the director kept doing wobbly zooms while in already close-up shots which I found very distracting. 4/5

120. Film Ist. A Girl And A Gun - utter tripe and yet I was bizarrely mesmerised by this 90 minute trot through archival footage of almost any subject from WW1 to early pornos with a constantly evolving soundtrack. The porn was fun to watch but the rest was pretty much sh*t. 0.5/5

121. All Around Us - a slow burn type film detailing the ups and downs of a Japanese couple through the 90's and early 00's. Wonderfully understated and beautifully acted, it took a while but I got fully involved and really enjoyed this film. I like how everything that happened wasn't completely explained and it was really just showing us the ever evolving nature of a couple's love for each other as well as their fears for their relationship. 4/5

122. Mother - did a son commit a crime? Is he really guilty or just a patsy? Well, leave it to Mum to find out the truth and sort this sh*t out. Despite, from the start, being able to tell how this was likely to end (knew it for sure when the old man was "remembered") I still quite enjoyed this quirky Korean whodunit with a twist. Some truly bizarre imagery and situations added to what ended up being a slightly too long but definitely watchable film. 3.5/5

123. *Watchmen - rewatched this Sunday morning 'cause housemate had it on, still a good film but I can see why some people didn't like it - you gotta follow it closely.

124. The King and the Bird - an old 1980 French film that had a dull story line, dull animation, and awful voice acting and music. Pretty damn crap all 'round really, I even dozed during the last half. 0.5/5 for the slightly cool giant robot.

125. Fish Tank - a replacement for the pulled The Moss, I enjoyed the director's first film, Red Road, and this was just as bleak yet strangely uplifting as well. Mia is infatuated with her Mum's new boyfriend and things go quickly down the gurgler when he returns the affection. Really good performances by some no-name actors, a mother who is a stunningly awful cow with perfect tits, and a little sister with some of the foulest language I have ever heard. Quite enjoyed it despite the expected dread that didn't quite go down the hardest path. 3.5/5

126. Breathless - a standover man for a debt collector has his view of the world skewed when he crosses paths with a tough-as-nails high school girl who changes his perception of life. Has a grounded reality and real sense of hope to this tale of two people whose lives have been pretty damn sh*t, to put it mildly, finding each other in a screwed up world and being able to accept each other without all the crap attached. Great performances with a real heart to the story and acting, I was taken in and surprised when it ended as the 2+ hours seemed to fly by. It's not all roses and doesn't shy away from the hard subjects and once again we have a wonderful Korean film - they can be hit and miss but this one definitely hits. 4/5

127. It Might Get Loud - The Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White get together and talk about their love of the guitar and also have a bit of a jam together. With constant cut aways to the history of each man and their path through music with particular attention to the guitars they used and what they meant to them, this is really quite a fascinating doco for music lovers. It isn't perfect, and if you're not into the music of any of them it might prove boring, but I enjoyed it from beginning to end although ti could have done with a little more editing and more of them just jamming together. The three of them performing The Weight at the end was wonderful. 3.5/5

128. Eden Log - budget black and white noir sci-fi filmed in actual sewers. A for effort, D for result. The story took too long to get into and was too confusing, many of the scenes seemed laborious and purposefully over-stylised, the relatively dull story line didn't help it at all. Interesting but in the end a failed attempt at something a little different - if the story is fascinating or new enough, no amount of "wow" factor will hold an audience and last night's audience definitely wasn't held. 2/5

129. Cheeky Girls - a German girl-teen comedy with typical hi-jinks that ensue when three best friends decide to mess with their teachers' lives while also just discovering the joys of boys. Was a nice start to the day, not too heavy and not too dumb. 2.5/5

130. Eastern Plays - two brothers try to restore some meaning to their lives after a random violent encounter. One is a recovering heroin addict, the other is being sucked into a violent neo-nazi gang. This was a so-so kind of film where in the end not a lot happened and I just didn't feel any empathy or sympathy towards the characters - they got themselves into their own messes. The main character of Christo was just plain weird at times and didn't deserve the attentions of the stunning Turkish girl. In the end quite bland story with a very bland colour palette which really didn't help. 1.5/5

131. The Maid - Raquel has been a made for a family for over twenty years, she only has time for "her" children and devotes her entire life to them. Starting to get on in years, the family decide it is time Raquel has some help with her duties and attempts to hire another maid to ease Raquel's burden. Unfortunately Raquel takes umbrage to this an proceeds to go a little bit nuts in protecting her kids and her territory. Great performance by the lead in this slightly funny slightly scary portrayal of a woman living for someone else's children. It didn't go deep enough into her hatred of the eldest daughter which was a bit of a red herring and also tended to pull back at places when I could see it could have gone further. All the same it was quite enjoyable to watch and really quite funny. 3.5/5

132. Morphia - a young doctor arrives at a remote village in 1917 Russia and through unfortunate circumstances becomes addicted to morphia (which I am assuming is morphine). Strange little film that is shot quite beautifully, the performances seemed a little stilted and the story just didn't flow enough for me - there was no real development of the Doctor as a character, it was really just a litany of events detailing his downward spiral into drug hell. The MIFF guide billed this as having one of the best and most shocking endings of the festival, it wasn't. 1.5/5

133. Antichrist - Lars Von Trier's ode to who-the-hell-knows-what. Features some pretty good performances by Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as the only two actors in the film but in the end it all seemed a little contrived and really just an excuse for Von Trier to go a little off the rails and show us some real sex, some genital mutilation and some weird animal sh*t. Beautifully shot but ultimately failing to move me in any way due to a story that was just so far out there it made little sense, I didn't really like this. 1/5

134. Brendan & the Secret of Kells - Irish animated film with a relatively dull story though it looked nice enough. 2/5

135. Members of the Funeral - confirmation that the Koreans are weirder than the Japanese. Strange film about 3 people attending the funeral of a teenage boy and remembering how they knew him. Just plain weird but actually quite entertaining. 3/5

136. Food, Inc. - scary doco about the US food industry and just how unnatural and unregulated it is. Not sure how relevant it is to the Australian market but interesting nonetheless. Didn't quite go into enough detail on a few issues as it's more a broad brushstroke sort of doco. 2.5/5

137. Blessed - brilliant Aussie drama featuring several stories about children and their relationships with the mothers. With an absolutely stand out performance by Frances O'Connor this is an overt attempt to grab the heartstrings that works quite well despite being so obvious. 4/5

138. In The Loop - one of the funniest films I've seen in a long time. I missed half the jokes 'cause the audience was laughing so much s I'll definitely have to see it again. Basically a piss take of the UK and US governments attempting to avoid or even cause war in the Middle East. Absolutely crazy and probably scarily accurate. Has a great cameo by Steve Coogan. 4.5/5

139. Louise-Michel - a French comedy that was actually amusing! Some seriously piss-funny moments are in this film about a group of factory workers pooling their money together to hire a hitman to take out their ex-boss who has shut their factory down. The 9/11 nutjob was hilarious. 3.5/5

140. Young Freud In Gaza - nice little doco about a psychologist treating various people in Gaza for mostly PTSD-like afflictions. Qas quite sad to hear the kids talk about thier loved ones who had been killed. Not brilliant but kept me interested. 3/5

141. The Hurt Locker - fantastic film about a US bomb squad in Iraq. Great story, tense action and great performances. 4/5

142. North - a guy traveling north to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend and his son meets a few off people along the way. Had quite a few funny moments and a fantastically understated ending, was a little dull at the start but last half was very good. 3.5/5

143. The Loved Ones - Best. Aussie. Horror/Thriller. EVER!!! So glad I stood in the standby queue for this one (also got to meet John Brumpton who plays the father in the film whilst I was queuing). I think the less you know of the plot the better as once it starts it just does not let up on the hilarious freakiness. 5/5

144. Tears For Sale - quite an amusing if overly long Serbian film about two sisters leaving their village to find a man to bring back to their manless village. Features some absolutely stunning women and quite a few laughs and it is beautifully shot in a highly stylized way. 3/5

145. The Sky Crawlers - worst Anime film I have EVER seen. The story was atrociously crap and it could have been an hour shorter as it featured so many scenes where nothing actually happened. 0.5/5 as the dogfights looked quite good, but that's it.

146. Bran Nue Dae - a fun Aboriginal musical with a great performance by Ernie Dingo and some hilarious over the top comedy from Geoffrey Rush and Deborah Mailman. I found the songs annoying as the Director made the mistake of just switching to the recorded songs and not including audio from the actual film - simple things like leaving in background noise at these times really makes a difference.


147. *Little Miss Sunshine - watched it again when it was on TV the other night. Great film, just great. 4/5

148. Dead Snow - concept was intriguingly funny - Nazi Zombies - execution was a little dull and not funny enough. 1.5/5

149. District 9 - fantastic film with some great commentary about race relations, bigotry, and a whole bunch of other stuff. There were two aspects of the film I didn't quite like but maybe that's just me nitpicking - during the film I thought they could be done in a different way that made much more sense. Great effects, great story, great action, lots of funny. 4/5

150. Mum & Dad - sadistic, cruel, disgusting, horrific, downright gross - all of these words perfectly describe this film inspired by Fred & Rosemary West. That being said, it goes more for the disgusting than any true attempt at looking at the motivations of such people or how they manage to cow their "adopted children." It went for shock rather than anything intelligent, give it a miss. 1/5

151. Red Riding: 1983 - final in a great trilogy once again exploring the deaths of the girls from the first film. Features a fantastic performance by Mark Addy (who will be Robert Baratheon in the Game of Thrones HBO series). I nice wrap up to the series with brilliant scripting and some great acting. The guy who plays BJ (and who narrates the whole trilogy) is just plain haunting. 4/5

152. Ice Age 3 Dawn of the Dinosaurs - the animation was better but the script was just woeful. I don't think I laughed at all and only smiled once or twice. They've really lost their touch. 1.5/5

153. Eden Lake - a couple go for a romantic camping weekend at a lake at an abandoned quarry but soon a small altercation with some local kids spirals out of control into increasingly sadistic and horrifying behaviour. Bravely acted, horrifyingly plausible and with an ending that ain't exactly happy, I was riveted. An exploration without any meaning of the sadistic and cruel nature of humanity and peer pressure. 3.5/5

154. Lesbian Vampire Killers - absolute bollocks although did feature some nice boobies but even that couldn't save an absolutely horrendously crap and boring film. 0.1/5

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

PROJECT 365: 47 - 83

First post in quite some while after the stupid angsty emo bullshit of the last one. I realise no one reads this anyway but it's nice to keep a list of what I've watched and what I thought of it even if for my own recollections.

MIFF starts up in a couple weeks - can't wait and it should almost double this lackluster list - perhaps 365 films in one calendar year was asking a bit much eh?

Also I couldn't be bothered linking to the IMDB page of each film any more.

47. Step Brothers - I'm not a huge fan of Will Ferrel or John C Reilly but this actually had a number of quite amusing scenes in it. I AM a huge fan of the ever sexy Mary Steenburgen - ROWR! 2.5/5

48. The Kingdom - I'd heard this was really trite and crap but I quite liked it. Seemed to have a lot of mumbling of lines especially from Jamie Fox, also I thought the fact that none of the main American characters cark it at the end was a bit dull. Still quite enjoyable. 3.5/5

49. Righteous Kill - total paint by the numbers "thriller" with Pacino and De Niro. Picked who the real killer was extremely early int he piece with some very poorly revealed red herrings merely confirming my theory. Dull, predictable, crap. 1/5

50. The Deer Hunter - I'm never EVER playing Russian Roulette. Not that I ever wanted to, but after watching this I REALLY don't want to. Was about an hour too long with certain scenes - especially the wedding - just going on FAR too long though I can see why it won so many Oscars. Basically a good film with a bit of a message and a great performance by De Niro and an even better one by Christopher Walken, yet not everyone's cup of tea. 3.5/5

51. Semi-Pro - another Will Ferrel comedy that really makes bugger all sense and is pretty much just a vehicle for a bunch of one liners. A few laughs but don't go out of your way to check it out. 1.5/5

52. Elegy - went to a free screening last night of the new Ben Kingsley film and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Basically this professor who has lead a very independent life falls in love with one of his students (Penelope Cruz) and it follows his rather amusing travails of a love lorn fool in his sixties. Although the ending was rather cliched the cameos by Patricia Clarkson and Dennis Hopper are just fantastic with the son played by an ever wonderful Peter Sarsgaard. Kingsley is just bloody brilliant as well. A little long at 2 hours it's still a really good and funny film with a bit of heart thrown in for good measure. 4/5

53. You Don't Mess With The Zohan - meh, had its moments. Actually portrayed Israeli & Palestinian relations with a bit of sincerity and reality despite the stupid jokes. 2/5

54. Star Trek - some minor quibbles with lens flares and under use of Nero still don't detract from a rollicking and fun ride. Karl Urban was especially good as Bones with a second viewing really helping to cement my feelings of the film. 3.5/5

55. Wolverine - a fun and nonsensical ride, it is what it is and makes no bones about being silly and overwrought. 2.5/5

56. Mirrors - complete and utter drivel. Like, TOTALLY shite. 0.1/5

57. State of Play - a great tension filled film with some great performances and a nice tight and well thought out script. Saw a few of the plot twists coming (especially the big reveal at the end) but was nonetheless a very enjoyable film to watch. 4/5

58. Sex Drive (Unrated) - typical teen losing virginity comedy except it actually had quite a few funny bits. Unrated version made it funnier 'cause they just had random shots of naked people superimposed into scenes for no apparent reason, also they showed multiple takes of certain scenes including ones where the actors stuff up and for some reason that made it funnier. 2/5

59. Donkey Punch - crappy UK thriller film with a pretty awful premise, pretty awful script and pretty awful acting. Dude getting hacked up by the outboard motor wielded by a psycho chick was kinda funny though. 1/5

60. Sunshine Cleaning - lovely little film from the people that brought us Little Miss Sunshine (I think) about two sisters starting up a crime scene cleaning business. Good performances all 'round with a great script and a heartfelt little story to boot including some very funny black humour. 4/5.

61. Fanboys - bunch of Star Wars geeks try and break into Skywalker Ranch to see Episode 1 six months early soa dying friend gets to check it out. Had a few amusing moments with some obvious Star Wars and Star Trek jokes but overall quite a flat film. 1.5/5

62. Yes Man - not a massive fan of Jim Carrey but this was actually quite a lot funnier than I thought it would be. Basically a nice little comedy with and admittedly silly premise that si pulled off quite well. 3/5

63. Coraline - stop motion animation with some CG that looks fantastic just doesn't help what I considered a rather flat story line that took far oo long to get going. Also Dakota Fanning as a voice actress just plain sucked, shame as Neil Gaiman is usually awesome. 2.5/5

64. Terminator Salvation - better than what I thought or had been lead to believe by very poor reviews. Sure it ain't perfect but it was a damn sight better than T3 even if Christian Bale is a total ponce who is bad as John Connor and is just plain shite as Batman. Sam Worthington did a good job with an essentially poor script. 2.5/5

65. *The Emperor's New Groove - the only saving grace in this pretty dismal effort from Disney was Patrick Warburton as the evil chick's hapless sidekick. I really don't know why I watched this again... 1/5

66. Superhero Movie - knew I wouldn't like it but left it on in the background while I surfed the web and watched bits and pieces of it. How these guys get funding I'll never know. 0.1/5

67. Religulous - Bill Maher's somewhat preachy dig at all religion (though he focuses on Christianity and Islam). Was certainly interesting but it was more just him making very religious people look stupid, which in all honestly is not a hard thing to do. 2/5

68. He's Just Not That Into You - I feel... I dunno, I just feel really awful for liking this film. Of course having Scarlett Johannson threaten to get her tits out in almost every scene she is in made me keep watching, but I did actually like the various stories and humour. 3/5.

69. Wordplay - fantastic doco about the history and the people behind the New York Times crossword puzzle and the yearly competition to become Crossword King or Queen. Some fascinating characters and some great interviews with the likes of Jon Stewart and Bill Clinton. Great doco with a great climactic ending. 4/5

70. Spellbound - fascinating but ultimately flawed doco about a spelling bee championship in the 90s. It was interesting to see where the contestants came from and how well they went in the competition, but it's just so poorly made that it detracts from the enjoyment of it quite a lot. It's like the guy recorded over his own early 1980s era VHS wedding tape to make this and the poor production just takes too much away form what could have been a compelling story. 2/5

71. Transformers Revenge of the Fallen - really not a thing was good about this film. Poor script, degrading and puerile humour, over-the-top gung-ho American Militarism, some really shoddy effects mixed in with quite good ones yet not used to nay great advantage, a total rape of Egyptian geography, some truly bad acting (when Shia Lebouf is the stand out in a film you gotta be worried) and once again Michael Bay's incessant use of spinning pan shots. Really, this is just plain ridiculous nonsense. Ah well, can't win 'em all. 0.5/5

72. *Aladdin - always loved this movie growing up but somehow it's lost a bit of its charm. Not nearly as amusing or with as many songs as I vaguely remembered, still a fun ride though. 2.5/5

73. The X Files - I Want To Believe - didn't see the last season or two fo this show so didn't know Scully and Mulder got together - that just felt weird. An interesting enough story I guess but it just didn't have the same pizazz as the original show. 2/5

74. The Ruins - truly awful "horror" film. Save you the trouble - the plant kills everyone. Yes. It's a killer plant. Can't believe I watched the whole 1.5 hours of characters you don't care about dying. 0.5/5.

75. The Promotion - ho hum comedy with touches of drama. John C Reilly is always interesting to see when he tries to do things slightly more seriously, some rather funny moments but overall very ho hum. 1.5/5

76. The Day The Earth Stood Still - relatively average remake. The nano-bots were interesting as was the reason Canoe looked human. Entertaining but not brilliant. 2.5/5

77. Burn After Reading - bizarrely funny, I rally like films where no one seems to know WTF is going on and they just keep digging themselves deeper or keep screwing things up (much like Very Bad Things). Great performances all round. 4/5

78. Immortal Ad Vitum - ugh. I ended up fast forwarding a bunch of this, totally crappy CG film containing some live action characters. They should have made them all CG or all live, the mix was just awful. Combine that with a truly inscrutable and bizarre story line and a dude dressed up as a hammer head chark and you have a stinking pile of crap. 0.1/5 - the 0.1 is for having Sigur Ros on the soundtrack.

79. Idiocracy - pretty dull film. Felt like a 5 minute Saturday Night Live sketch stretched out to an hour and a half, had a few amusing moments but overall quite shit. 1/5

80. The Tale of Despereaux - some great talents in the voices doesn't save a relatively lackluster film with a script that has a few too many jumps in it and some pointless scenes or characters. Kiddies might enjoy it but even then it doesn't have enough action scenes to keep them entertained. 1.5/5

81. Paul Blart - Mall Cop - surprisingly amusing film with some real laugh out loud moments. Stupid premise, stupid execution and stupid acting make for a stupid yet entertaining film. 3/5

82. Chaos Theory - doesn't start out promisingly but once we get into Frank's story and how his life disintegrates because of one single error in judgment by his wife it becomes a seriously funny and moving story about the strength of love and family. Ryan Reynolds once again shows why he should be on everyone's "to watch" radar as he continues to pick intelligent and meaningful roles. 4.5/5

83. 88 Minutes - Al Pacino hams in another performance with a dull and unimpressive cast. Leelee Sobieski makes watching paint dry look more exciting. Pretty average concept that has been done to death before with obvious Red Herrings being thrown up all over the place like Fruity Legspreader after an 18th birthday party. 1/5

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Le Sigh

Why is it the better things seem to get and the more that things look up, the more depressed and addicted to sadness and self pity I get? Damn you strange chemical reactions of the brain!

Meh, I'll get over it.

Project 365 has kinda been left by the way side 'cause of books, beer, TV, laziness and more beer.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

PROJECT 365: 35 - 46

35. Possibly, Maybe - I've always liked Ryan Reynolds as both and action man and a leading man for romantic comedies, this is of the latter variety and he does a pretty good job carrying a film that is relatively standard fare. It was rather enjoyable with nothing too disagreeable in there and it was nice to see Isla Fischer getting some good screen time. 3/5

36. *Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within - just had to check this out on the home theatre screen. It's quite a good film with amazing animation, it doesn't make a massive amount of sense but with great voice talent and a very nice score you can overlook that. 3/5

37. Rachel Getting Married - Anne Hathaway is fantastically unlikeable, annoying and just plain screwed up in this weird little film and I really enjoyed it the whole way through. Seriously strange family and the weirdest wedding scene in film history with great performances and fantastic script make this a must see for any indie film fan, also tugs at the heart strings quite powerfully. 4.5/5

38. Seven Pounds - Will Smith hams it up in this paint-by-the-numbers drama about a dude who is feeling rather guilty about once being a douche bag and killing a bunch of people, thus he spends the rest of his life paying back his "seven pounds of flesh". It was sad and uplifting when it needed to be but there was nothing really revallatory about it. 3/5

39. Eagle Eye - I figured out who the chick on the phone was pretty quickly and their big reveal was a bit of a let down. Check your brain at the door and just enjoy the strange ride witht he bright lights and loud noises. 1.5/5

40. The Wrestler - despite the overuse of bind-the-protagonist camera work where we are pretty much just following people around, this is actually a seriously good film. Who knew Mickey Rourke could actually act? Also, Marissa Tomei's breasts are a revelation. 4/5.

41. How To Lose Friends And Alienate People - quite an amusing if predictable Simon Pegg comedy vehicle with pretty good performances all round and a rather amusing script. 3/5

42. Terms of Endearment - had to finally check out this supposed classic tear jerker. It's a strange film eh? Debra Winger is just plain nuts but I think Shirley Maclean and Jack Nicholson really carry this film. 2.5/5

43. Watchmen - certainly not your typical comic book film! The 2hrs 40mins just fly by mainly due to a fantastically dark script and some great performances, especially from Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach. However, beware the blue penis. 4.5/5

44. Hitman - amusing enough although the story is ridiculous as is much of the so called "acting" (Dougray Scott is exactly the same in every single film he's ever been in). In the end more mindless violence just for the Hell of it although Timothy Olyphaunt's way of carrying himself as number 47 was pretty cool. 1.5/5

45. Run Fatboy Run - yet another predictable though rather amusing Simon Pegg film, nice to Hank Azaria although maybe saw a little to much of him. 2/5

46. 1408 - ho hum Stephen King horror film. I'm a major fan of John Cusack but the script and the non-scariness of this film were just too ridiculous. 0.5/5

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PROJECT 365: 26 - 34

26. Bolt - I was a bit leery going in to this but ended up quite enjoying it with many a *laughs* moment. The various pigeons cracked me up and loved the cats teasing bolt from the top of the trailer, tryin to perfect their evil laughs and remember Bolt's message. Vice talent was good, animation was fantastic, story was quite adequate. 3/5

27. The Reader - just came back from a free screening of this and I can see why Kate Winslett is getting so many awards, she is simply stunning in it (and not only 'cause she spends half the film naked and in sex scenes). I didn't now much about the story going in and that was a good thing. Seriously emotionally charged film that doesn't have the typical wrapped up happy ending. Everyone else in the film is great and I totally loved it. 5/5

28. Sharkwater - poorly made but good intentioned doco about the plight of sharks and how their demise due to the popularity of shark fin soup could have massive detrimental effects to the world's largest ecologies. 3/5

29. *Clash of the Titans - classic Ray Harryhausen animated/live action film that doesn't age well. Ah well, maybe childhood memories of these films should stay there. 1.5/5

30. Babylon AD - films like this PISS ME OFF. How do they get the funding to make films with such a disjointed script? Such awful acting? Such lame direction? Honestly, I could have shit a better film than this. -3/5

31. Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay - had a few giggles but not as amusing as the original. Neil Patrick Harris is, as always, awesome. 1/5

32. Speed Racer - Not a fan of the fast and frenetic nature of this film or the hyper-animated style but I actually quite liked the story line. Not great but not as crap as I thought it was going to be. 2/5

33. Elephant - disturbing Gus Van Sant film that sort of mirrors the events of Columbine High. Good acting and at times good directing - Van Sant's penchant for long ambling shots where you are just following a student walking through the labyrinth of halls worked sometimes but mostly not. It did evoke more eerie feelings towards the end though. Can certainly see where that young Aussie director who made "2:37" got his inspiration from. 3/5

34. Gran Torino - Clint Eastwood is simply awesome as a racist, bigotted, grumpy old man who becomes involved with the lives of two young Asian neighbours. I thought the young guy wasn't the greatest actor in the world but the story and acting from everyone else was just so spot on that it didn't matter. Sad but uplifting ending, Eastwood has certainly decided to pull out all the stops before he carks it. 4/5

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

PROJECT 365: 12 - 25

12. Wolf Creek - well I can understand why this film was lauded and loved, but honestly it was as formulaic as most horror films out there. John Jarrat and Kestie Morassi did great jobs with their characters, yet once again - like all these films - the protagonists have a ripe opportunity to kill the bad guy and they screw it up, or she decides to waste time watching video camera footage instead of looking for a car or her friend (and then gets what she deserves). 1.5/5.

13. *Awakenings - the first repeat of Project 365 and damn me what a great film to repeat seeing. I basically teared up the whole way through and was mesmerised by both DeNiro and Williams' performances. Was kinda weird seeing Julie Kavner in there - kept expecting her to launch into her Marge Simpson voice - but that didn't matter. This is truly an exceptional and wonderful and heart breaking film, all the more poignant 'cause it is all based on a true event. 5/5.

14. The King of Kong - A Fistful of Quarters - this is quite possibly the most perfect documentary ever made. It's hilarious, creepy, sad and really gets you sucked right in to the machinations behind these - let's face it - losers, attempting to break the world record in Donkey Kong. The whole story arc you couldn't have even dreamed up and the smarminess of Billy is just astonishingly awesome. Everyone should see this, it's just absolutely brilliant film making with a kick arse ending. 6/5. (yep, I loved it that much)

15. *The Fisher King - Terry Gilliam's films are a bit hit and miss with me and this one mostly hits. I like the redemptive story and also Williams' manic character suits him to a T. 4/5.

16. *The Joy Luck Club - another repeat and probably wasn't a good idea to do so. This film hasn't aged well but that might actually be due to the DVD I watched - it looked like it was shot on cheap video cameras like they use for dodgy foreign TV shows that appear on SBS and not proper 35mm film cameras. Apart from that the story was rather labored in that you kind of knew where each one was going; lay on the tragedy as much as possible and see them come through as stronger and more focused women - now I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff but the acting by Ming-Na Wen especially was just so wooden and unbelievable that I did not really enjoy this much at all. 1.5/5.

17. Valkyrie - had free tickets to see this through MIFF. I quite enjoyed it despite knowing that the whole thing was not going to end well at all (obviously they don't kill Hitler). Tom Cruise was quite good as the determined and driven main protagonist and the support cast had some big names who did very well in their roles. I was particularly impressed with Bill Nighy. The mix of Merkin, UK and German accents was a little off putting at the start but once the story kicked into gear I really didn't notice it at all. Will be very interesting to watch the original German version I recorded off SBS the other night as the ads had a few shots hat looked strikingly similar. 3/5

18. The Contender - Joan Allen plays a US Senator nominated for the Vice Presidency who has to go through a committee process where they basically dig through her past and rip sh*t through her. Caught it on TV and really enjoyed it with great performances all 'round especially from Gary Oldman. 4/5

19. *Låt Den Rätte Komma In (Let The Right One In) - had to re-watch after finishing the book and still really enjoyed it. They kept very faithful to the book although maybe finding out about Eli's past could have been good as well. 5/5

20. El Orfanato (The Orphanage) - nice little supernatural thriller with a gorgeous lead actress and a rather creepy story with a bittersweet ending. 3/5

21. Rock 'n' Rolla - Guy Ritchie attempting get back to his hey day of Lock Stock and Snatch and he sort of gets there. It was amusing enough the way he intertwined his stories and I enjoyed the end tie-up of the last few minutes even though you could see it coming. The gay club dancing was hilarious. 3/5

22. *Superman Returns - only saw this once at the cinema and thought I'd re-watch to see if my original vitriol was well deserved or not and basically - yes and no. Yes it is an atrocious script with one of the dumbest ideas for a villain's plan in the history of comic book films ever but Bryan Singer did shoot a beautiful looking film with really bright and saturated colours and some damn good editing and pacing. The actors are all quite good with Spacey being the stand out although why Kal Penn was mostly reduced to scenes where he has a stupid grin on his pace that is supposed to be evil rather than actually having a speaking role I will never know. I also found it amusing that Singer cast so many of his gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) buddies in the film in various roles (Spacey, that footballer dude, etc). 2.5/5

23. Charlie Wilson's War - a great film about the quest of a US Congressman to stave off the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 80's and covertly aid the Afghan's in their struggle. I couldn't figure out why I liked this film so much until the final credits rolled - written by Aaron Sorkin, creator of West Wing & Studio 60 - 'nuff said. Loved Julia Roberts in this. 4/5

24. My Sassy Girl - a great little Korean film about a guy who comes to the rescue of an abusively drunk girl on a train. He decides to stay with her and try and heal her pain despite the fact she treats him so bad. Very funny and heart warming, I'm tempted to check out the Merkin remake to see if they managed to ruin it or not. 3.5/5

25. Slumdog Millionaire - you've all heard about it, it's great to see the dude from Skins in the main role, everyone is awesome with fantastic performances from the two youngest boys especially. Absolute loved it. Was not too fond of Boyle's overuse of angled shots at the start of the film but he calmed that down soon enough so that I was completely lost in the story. 5/5

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

PROJECT 365: 6 to 11

6. The Lookout - Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a jock who winds up in a car accident that kills some of his friends and gives him some brain damage. Afterwards his life is all about making inappropriate comments out loud that he just can't stop and also making notes about everything so that he can remember things that he is almost certain to forget. He gets a job cleaning a bank at nights and soon some crooks start manipulating him into helping them rob the bank. Although it sounds kinda familiar the film is done so well and with an ending I didn't quite expect it is very much worth seeing. Some great performances especially by Levitt, Jeff Daniels as his blind housemate and Isla Fischer as the love interest. A great film with a real sense of menace from the robbers and a powerfully portrayed young man seeking redemption and acceptance. 4.5/5

7. The Bank Job - good film, not brilliant. Would like to find out just how much of it actually really happened. 2.5/5

8. Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging - a great little UK film about a 14 year old girl coming of age and trying to nab the perfect guy as a boyfriend. It's all been done before (found it very similar to 32A) but it was a very very funny film - Angus the cat steals the show. 4/5

9. The Mummy 3 - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - trite bull crap. Some good effects with the Yetis but apart from that, pretty damn boringly crap. Brendan Fraser has a really weird voice. 0.5/5 for the Vomiting Yak.

10. Igor - why waste so much money and some pretty damn good animation on a script/story that has been done a million times before by Disney? I really don't understand Hollywood sometimes. Seriously, this is exactly the same as so many other films that I started planning dinner 30 minutes in. What a waste. 0.5/5 - gets half a point for decent animation and the amusing Annie angle.

11. Max Payne - hmmm, was ok despite the wooden acting and pretty shoddy script. I liked the hallucination aspect of it but the story was just so damn obvious. I picked out who were the bad guys the instant they made an appearance and knew how the end game would play out. Mila Kunis' character was a complete waste of space and the bit after the credits was not worth the time it took me to fast forward through. Did notice it was filmed in Toronto and Hamilton though - I've been there! 1/5.

Monday, January 05, 2009


Only got to 42 but a certain computer game and a lot of alcohol got in the way during December.

01 Mary Gentle - Grunts!
02 Robert A Heinlein - Stranger In A Strange Land
03 Karen Miller - The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker 1)
04 Karen Miller - The Awakened Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker 2)
05 Joe Abercrombie - The Blade Itself (The First Law 1)
06 Joe Abercrombie - Before They Are Hanged (The First Law 2)
07 Ian McDonald - Brasyl
08 Richard Morgan - Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs 1)
09 Simon Hawke - The Outcast (Tribe of One 1)
10 Simon Hawke - The Seeker (Tribe of One 2)
11 Simon Hawke - The Nomad (Tribe of One 3)
12 Raymond E Feist - Wrath of a Mad God (Darkwar 3)
13 Chelsea Cain - Heartsick
14 Richard Morgan - Broken Angels (Takeshi Kovacs 2)
15 Richard Morgan - Woken Furies (Takeshi Kovacs 3)
16 Joe Abercrombie - Last Argument of Kings (The First Law 3)
17 Alastair Reynolds - Revelation Space
18 R. Scott Bakker - The Darkness That Comes Before (The Prince of Nothing 1)
19 R. Scott Bakker - The Warrior Prophet (The Prince of Nothing 2)
20 R. Scott Bakker - The Thousandfold Thought (The Prince of Nothing 3)
21 John Scalzi - Old Man's War
22 Ian Cameron Esslemont - Night of Knives (Malazan Companion 1)
23 Richard Morgan - Market Forces
24 Tobias Buckell - Crystal Rain (Nanagada 1)
25 Steven Erikson - Toll The Hounds (Malazan 8)
26 Various - Solaris Book of New Fantasy
27 Richard Morgan - The Steel Remains (People Who Say Fuck A Lot 1)
28 Joel Shepherd - Crossover (Cassandra Kressnov 1)
29 Joel Shepherd - Breakaway (Cassandra Kressnov 2)
30 Joel Shepherd - Killswitch (Cassandra Kressnov 3)
31 Kevin J Anderson - The Ashes of Worlds (Saga of Seven Suns 7)
32 John Scalzi - The Ghost Brigades
33 John Scalzi - The Last Colony
34 Ian Cameron Esslemont - Return Of The Crimson Guard (Malazan Companion 2)
35 Glen Cook - Shadows Linger (Black Company 2)
36 Glen Cook - The White Rose (Black Company 3)
37 Terry Pratchett - Nation
38 George RR Martin / Gardner Dozois / Daniel Abraham - Hunter's Run
39 Jeff Lindsay - Dexter In The Dark (Dexter 3)
40 Lynne Truss - Eats, Shoots & Leaves
41 David Gunn - Death's Head (Sven Tveskoeg 1)
42 Greg Keyes - The Briar King (Kingdom of Thorn & Bone 1)

PROJECT 365: 1 to 5

So my main New Year's Resolution for 2009 is to see 365 films within the calendar year with a ratio of at least 90% ones I have not seen before. Crazy? Maybe. Fun? Yup. Possible? Time will tell...

1. Bad Santa - very funny film. Laughed my arse off and loved the kid in it, he was perfect. 4/5

2. Mean Girls - pretty amusing and was funny to see half the cast of Saturday Night Live in there (man Tina Fey is HOT!). Also had the delectable Rachel McAdams although I prefer her with red hair and not being such a bitch. 2.5/5

3. Constantine - pretty cool flick although the DVD I watched had a very low volume for the voices which was bloody annoying. Loved Peter Stormare as Satan and anything with Tilda Swinton in it gets a thumbs up from me. 3.5/5

4. Suddenly 30 - Garner did really well with the body language and vocal patterns of a 13 year old in a 30 year old's (hot) body. Had some laughs and was good to see Gollum/King Kong in a non-cgi role. 2/5

5. The Strangers - kinda kept thinking about Charles Manson and those psychos during this. Was entertaining in its own way but very very predictable. 1.5/5

And so it begins, only 360 to go!

I'll be including "sessions" at the Melbourne International Film Festival in this list, eg 10 short films in a session is still just one "film". I'll be making use of the weekly deals at Blockbuster and might go through different sections each week picking up 6 or so films in each at a time - I plan on browsing the sci-fi section tonight.