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.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

What a bunch of Idiocrats

Tomorrow, "Idiocracy," the new film from Mike Judge, opens in limited release in cities such as Austin, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston among a few others (no, Seattle and San Diego are not among them this weekend). It's a sci-fi comedy about Pvt. Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson), a regular Joe who wakes up in the future and discovers that he is the smartest man on the planet. The world has gotten progressively (and aggressively) dumber. It's going to be a huge flop.
Why? What, is their bad buzz? Is it a known turkey? Is Tom Cruise in it? The answer to all of these questions is no. Quite simply, there is no buzz, there's no trailer, there's been no advertising of any kind save one poster I've seen at one theater. doesn't even acknowledge the film's existence. My question is, is this pure stupidity (which as we all know could very well be the case given that we're dealing with Hollywood marketing people), or does Fox have some strange vendetta against Judge? Granted, "Office Space" tanked at the box office (my dad and I are among the twelve people who can actually say, "Yes, I saw it on the big screen") but it exploded on DVD. I think it's safe to say that it has more than made its money back for the studio by now. So why then is Fox behaving this way? It's absolutely baffling to me. The whole plan right now seems to be, "Let's release the movie and just not tell anyone." I mean chances are you'd never even heard of "Idiocracy" before you stumbled across this. It's like a master class on how NOT to market something. Mike Judge deserves better.
So if anybody out there sees it this weekend let me know how it is. Meanwhile I'll keep my eye out for a wider release.

"Idlewild," "Conversations...," and "Beerfest"

So I've made it to a few movies the past few nights and some early progress has now been made on the gigantic list. Here is what should (and shouldn't) be added to yours.

Idlewild- As anyone who's paid attention to music over the past few years knows, OutKast is one of the most innovative artists working today. After "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" expectations would be high for their next album. The good news is, the album doesn't disappoint. The bad news is, the movie of the same name does. I really wanted this movie to be great. Some of it is. Director Bryan Barber (who's also directed several of their videos) brings an exciting visual flare to the film. "Idlewild" is beautiful to look at and the musical numbers are incredibly vibrant. The anachronistic songs are, of course, great, and Andre Benjamin and Antwan Pattan (Big Boi) are no slouches as actors, especially Andre. There's some great work from the supporting cast as well, particularly from Terrence Howard ("Crash") as the sadistic nightclub owner, Trumpy. The real problem with this film is the anemic story. Not only is it bland and uninspired, it's just downright dull. I wouldn't say, "Oh, it's style over substance," because the style doesn't really overwhelm, it just would have been nice if there had been some substance to match. This might have been helped tremendously if Andre and Big Boi had had more screen time together. Their characters, Percival and Rooster respectively, were best friends as children, and supposedly are now, but we hardly ever see them in the same scene. Their relationship could have really brought some life to the storyline.
Ultimately, if you're interested in seeing this movie, go to a matinee because this movie is worth watching on the big screen, just for the visual style alone. Be sure to stay for the end credits. "PJ and Rooster" is the album's best song and it provides the best musical number of the movie. 6/10

Conversations with Other Women- Aaron Eckhart ("Thank You For Smoking") and Helena Bonham Carter ("Fight Club") are simply credited as Man and Woman. And while we never know their names we certainly come to know these two over the course of this highly enjoyable film. Man sees Woman across the room at a wedding reception and the two of them begin to talk. Their banter is natural and playful right from the start. It quickly becomes apparent that these two have a history. What that history is and what the future holds for them is slowly unveiled. Writer Gabrielle Zevin and director Hans Canosa are not concerned with having us figure things out about their past before the characters themselves actually tell us the full truth (or at least their particular versions of it). The fun of "Conversations" is figuring it out on your own and afterwards discussing with your friends exactly when you all figured it out. For Justin, Maureen, Craig, and I it all came at different points in the film. (For the record, they all liked this one too.)
This film is ALL talk. Going in I was worried that this might end up being a film where people decide, "Let's talk about pretentious philosophical things in a highly pretentious and philosophical way." But they don't. They sound and behave like real people and we come to like these two very much. Canosa also shoots the entire film in split-screen. What could have become an annoying gimmick within ten minutes actually works tremendously well. This is a hard film to find right now (in Seattle it's only playing at the Harvard Exit) but it's definitely worth seeking out if it's in your city. Also, Thomas Lennon of "Reno! 911" has a funny couple of scenes as the wedding videographer early on. 8/10

Beerfest- I can't believe that these are the same guys who made "Super Troopers." There is very little here that actually works. It's a funny idea, even to a non-drinker like me: The Olympics of Booze. The Americans versus the Germans. I had hoped that the Broken Lizard guys would be able to mine this for comic gold, but all we get is a terribly flat film that just leaves us shaking our heads. Clearly the guys themselves are having a good time, and while "Beerfest" has its moments they are incredibly few and far between. This is only made worse by the running time, which is about an hour-fifty. Not that that's long in general, but like many other films I've seen recently, it has absolutely no sense of pace. The movie's best moment by far comes when the German team is hiding in a submarine along with Jurgen Prochnow who complains about feeling cramped inside a U-boat. "I had a bad experience once," he says. This very funny reference to "Das Boot" was sadly lost on the entire audience I watched this with however. Don't bother with this one. 4/10

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The movie that I'm not going to let you forget about.

A couple of months ago Justin, Craig (a friend of ours who you'll be hearing a lot about on here), and I attended the Seattle International Film Festival screening of the film "Snow Cake," starring Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver. I went in knowing nothing more than that and I was absolutely floored. It's an incredible film. Justin and Craig loved it too, but of the three of us I was the only one who actually believed that it would get U.S. distribution. Thankfully I was right, and believe me they're both happy to have been wrong. Recently it played at the Edinburgh Film Festival. This from Film Four:
The evening saw Snow Cake get its UK premiere. A powerful and moving film, it features Alan Rickman as a dour, taciturn Brit who ends up living with an autistic woman, brilliantly played by Sigourney Weaver. Both stars attended the screening, together with Welsh director Marc Evans and one of the film's producers, actor and comic Steve Coogan. Earlier that day, Weaver had been interviewed on stage by Shane Danielson, giving a remarkable insight into how she prepared to depict autism. The party afterwards was a subdued affair, although things apparently hotted up when the talent were whisked away to a another bar where they drank copiously until 5am.

It's set for release in New York and L.A. on December 1 and the rest of the country on Christmas Day. Remember this one. And if you haven't gotten to "Little Miss Sunshine" yet be sure that you do. I just saw it again last night and took my parents along. They loved it. I plan to get to "Idlewild," "The Illusionist," and "Beerfest" very soon. And if all goes according to plan (finally) I may just have some news to report on the filmmaking front as well very very soon.

End transmission.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Do not mess with William H. Macy

I hate lateness. It drives me crazy. And it's especially annoying when you're relying on people to show up on time. "Fargo" Oscar nominee Bill Macy agrees. This from imdb:

Veteran actor William H. Macy has blasted co-star Lindsay Lohan for her behavior while filming the movie Bobby, insisting she "should have her a** kicked." The star shared scenes with the 20-year-old actress in the film and admires her talent, but not her manners. He said, "You can't show up late. It's very, very disrespectful." Lohan was blasted in a letter last month from the Ceo of Morgan Creek Productions for her absences on set of her new film Georgia Rule, who called her behavior that of "a spoiled child." Lohan appears in the film alongside Macy's wife, Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman. He explains, "I think what an actor has to realize (is that) when you show up an hour late, 150 people have been scrambling to cover for you. It's nothing but disrespect. And Lindsay Lohan is not the only one. A lot of actors show up late as if they're God's gift to the film. It's inexcusable, and they should have their a**es kicked."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fall Movie Overload

This is a full list of tentative release dates for the movies that I (the Bob) want to see before the year is out. These range from films I'm dying to see to ones that I have only a mild curiosity for. Would it have killed the studios to put some of these out earlier?


Conversations with Other Women
The Illusionist

This Film Is Not Yet Rated
Trust the Man
The Wicker Man <>


Hollywoodland <>


The Amateurs
The Black Dahlia
The Last Kiss <>


All the King’s Men
The Science of Sleep <>


A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
The Last King of Scotland
School For Scoundrels <>


Breaking and Entering
The Departed
Little Children
Stormbreaker <>


Running With Scissors <>


Driving Lessons
Tideland <>


Flags Of Our Fathers
Marie Antoinette
The Prestige <>



Catch a Fire
Lucky You <>


Borat <>


A Good Year
Stranger Than Fiction <>


Casino Royale
Fast Food Nation
For Your Consideration
The Hoax
Slow Burn
Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny <>

Deck the Halls
The Fountain
Let’s Go to Prison <>


The Nativity Story <>


The Good German
The Holiday <>


Blood Diamond
The Painted Veil
The Pursuit of Happyness
Venus <>


The Good Shepherd
Notes on a Scandal <>


Children of Men
Snow Cake <>

Somewhere in there

Letters From Iwo Jima
OSS: 117 (?)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

2006 So Far...

Here's everything I've seen so far in this movie year. Keep in mind that I got to see most of these for free so just don't ask when you see a few of them:
Hoodwinked: 8.5/10
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story: 9/10
The World's Fastest Indian: 10/10
Night Watch: 5/10
Nanny McPhee: 7.5/10
16 Blocks: 7/10
V For Vendetta: 7.5/10
Unknown White Male: 8/10
She's the Man: 5/10 (Like I said...don't ask)
Find Me Guilty: 7/10
C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America: 7/10
Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector: 0/10
Joyeux Noel: 9/10
Inside Man: 9/10
Thank You For Smoking: 8.5/10
Slither: 7/10
The Benchwarmers: 4/10
American Dreamz: 4/10
Lucky Number Slevin: 7/10
United 93: 10/10
Stick It: 5/10
Akeelah and the Bee: 6/10
Mission: Impossible III: 6/10
Art School Confidential: 9/10
The Da Vinci Code: 5/10
Over the Hedge: 6/10
X-Men: The Last Stand: 6/10
Just My Luck: 5/10
Wah-Wah: 8/10
Snow Cake: 10/10 (Saw this at SIFF- It's coming out in December: DON'T MISS IT!)
The Proposition: 7/10
OSS: 117: 10/10 (Another one from SIFF)
Cars: 7/10
A Prairie Home Companion: 9/10
Nacho Libre: 4/10
Superman Returns: 7/10
The Devil Wears Prada: 7.5/10
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: 7.5/10
A Scanner Darkly: 7.5/10
My Super Ex-Girlfriend: 6.5/10
Lady in the Water: 4.5/10
Monster House: 3/10
Miami Vice: 5/10
Scoop: 8/10
Little Miss Sunshine: 9/10
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby: 8/10
The Descent: 7/10
World Trade Center: 9/10
The Night Listener: 7/10
Snakes on a Plane: 4/10
Accepted: 5.5/10

Bob's Top 20 Movies Of All-Time

Well, I'll give you a more complete list of my favorites soon (and I'll try to get Justin to do the same) and I'll also put a full list and rating for every 2006 release I have seen. But to give you a small sampling of my taste in films, here's a list of my top 20 favorite movies of all-time...well as of today anyway. If I made this again next month it would probably look a little bit different, but anyway...
20. Everything Is Illuminated
19. A Fish Called Wanda
18. Fargo
17. L.A. Confidential
16. The New World
15. Unforgiven
14. Das Boot
13. Casablanca
12. Pulp Fiction
11. Heat
10. Ed Wood
9. Lawrence of Arabia
8. Amelie
7. Dr. Strangelove
6. Star Wars & The Empire Strikes Back
5. Rushmore
4. Network
3. Withnail and I
2. Magnolia
1. Fight Club