Bob and Justin's Mad Movie Blog

My name is Bob. My friend Justin and I are aspiring filmmakers and we have pretty similar tastes in movies. This will include our take on what's going on in film and television today as well as updating you on the status of our own work.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Yes, I'm still here.

You haven't heard much from me lately. Of course since there are only like three people who actually read this thing anyway it's not like anyone's noticed. Anyway, I haven't been to that many movies lately. Just "The Good Shepherd" and "The Nativity Story." Both are good. A lot of people have said that "The Good Shepherd" moves too slow. Not me though. I thoroughly enjoyed it, because man, it has great, great dialogue. Dialogue is my biggest thing, I think. If that isn't good that really sinks a movie for me. Eric Roth ("Munich") wrote a great script though, and Robert De Niro's a pretty dang good director. MATT DAMON! is really great too.
I got some cool Christmas DVDs. The Bond boxed set with "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was a highlight, as was "OSS 117," the funniest movie of the year, which coincidentally is probably never going to be released in the US officially. A few screenings at SIFF were all it got. Still, you can get the region 1 DVD from...Quebec. Yes, it's got English subtitles. Hilarious movie. Also, I got the 3-Disc region 2 "Withnail and I" that I was plugging back in October. Sweet!
So far as upcoming releases go, where's "Snow Cake"? I'm looking high and low for this thing and it's not playing in the United States yet. Canada's got it. Pretty much everyone else has either had it or has it right now. And we have to wait. I'll keep looking though because it's one you don't want to miss. One of the best movies of 2006. Also, if you're looking for a year end best of list, it's way too early for that. Because as we all know, many of the year's best movies don't actually come out in most of our cities until the year is over. At least I'm near Seattle. We don't get everything right away, but we're usually not too far down the list. If I lived in South Dakota, well I'd be waiting for a lot of DVDs probably.
I will keep you informed.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

New Reviews

Hey, I've been busy/lazy. So here they are:

It's been nearly a year since I first saw the trailer for "Apocalypto" before "The New World" (my favorite film of 2005). I was incredibly excited. Mayan with English subtitles? The downfall of an ancient civilization? Mel Gibson, a director with an incredible gift for visual storytelling? Let's rock! Sadly however, "Apocalypto" has gone from one of my most anticipated movies of 2006, to the year's biggest disappointment.
"Apocalypto" is exceedingly violent. Now anyone who has seen "Braveheart" or "The Passion of the Christ" could tell you that this is no surprise. The problem with the violence in "Apocalypto" isn't the fact that it's there. The problem is that unlike his previous efforts, it seems empty and without purpose. Still, no amount of relentless gore, not even the POV shot from a freshly severed head is anywhere near as revolting as the film's digital cinematography. It is absolutely abhorrent. Massive grain, particularly in night shots, as well as constant smearing anytime someone runs or merely walks quickly. This is especially a problem for this movie as it's essentially a two hour long chase scene. "Miami Vice" is the only other movie this year to look worse. A movie this unpleasant to look at has to work even harder to engage an audience. Who knows? Maybe Gibson wanted that kind of challenge. After all as I mentioned, he did shoot it in Mayan (with a cast of non-actors).
"Apocalypto" does have it's good points. Most of the performances are good and it's actually pretty well paced. It doesn't feel its 2 hour and 15 minute length, but in spite of its speed, it never feels as if it's going anywhere.
I'm a definite fan of Gibson the director. His first film, 1993's "The Man Without a Face" remains highly underrated, and "Braveheart" and "The Passion" are outstanding films. Say what you will about him as a person, but his second and third directorial efforts are not only great movies, but thumbs in both of Hollywood's eyes. "Apocalypto" has a decidedly politically incorrect point of view, particularly at film's end. That is something that is always exciting to me. Unfortunately however, that is virtually the only exciting thing about "Apocalypto." Now if you'll excuse me, I need to finish washing out my eyes. 4.5/10
...Okay, so that's done. Here's a quick look at the other movies I've seen lately:

Blood Diamond- Leonardo DiCaprio is excellent in this otherwise disappointing film from Edward Zwick ("Glory"). Imagine "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" remade as one of the current crop of African awareness movies and you have some idea of what Zwick is going for. I couldn't help but feel that "Blood Diamond" would have been more interesting if the sub-plot involving Djimon Hounsou's son being moulded into a murderous guerilla had been the main storyline. Zwick's only real achievement here is that he keeps it moving. Not that great, but see it if you're a DiCaprio fan. 6.5/10

The Holiday- A Christmastime romantic comedy from Nancy Meyers ("What Women Want," "Something's Gotta Give") that is as predictable and light as you would expect. That's not saying that that's a bad thing. Like it's cast, "The Holiday" is agreeable. Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz play two high strung women who switch houses and countries in an attempt at rejuvenation. Winslet pulls this off wonderfully, while Diaz has trouble with it. With her it seems forced, which makes her storyline less enjoyable. Jude Law raises it up however. I hope he gets more roles in romantic comedies because he's the closest thing this generation has to Cary Grant. Still, Winslet's storyline is the much more entertaining one, thanks in no small part to Jack Black. We're used to seeing Black playing the slacker, often with a mean streak. He's the quintessential nice guy here, something that he proves surprisingly good at. In the pantheon of Christmas-themed romcoms it's no "Love Actually," but it's a pretty good time, and Eli Wallach in a supporting role is worth the price of admission. 6.5/10

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Peter Boyle: On the Ritz One Last Time

There's just nothing else to say:

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Full Trailer for "Hot Fuzz"

I'm even more excited about this movie now. "Shaun of the Dead" was such a great movie because it worked both as a zombie film and a romantic comedy. If the teasers and trailer are any indication then "Hot Fuzz" is going to work both as an action movie and a buddy comedy. It could be next year's "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

J.D. and Turk- Guy Love

"Scrubs" is back for season 6 and the premiere was great. Here's a clip from the upcoming musical episode (how many sitcoms could pull that off?):

Monday, December 04, 2006

New Movies

Well, newish. I haven't written any reviews lately, and I'm not really in the mood to play catch up, so here's a quick rundown of what I've seen lately:

The Fountain- 8/10
Bobby- 7/10
Deja Vu- 7.5/10
The Queen- 10/10

Also, I watched "A Fish Called Wanda" again last week. If you've never seen it, or even if you have, do yourself a favor and check out the new 2 disc DVD. Audio commentary by John Cleese as well as special features that are actually interesting. For once the deleted scenes aren't boring! Plus you get the most special feature of all, one of the best films ever made. If you don't believe me, just ask Harvey...Manfren...jensenden.

Yes, yes. It's "The Star Wars Holiday Special."