One Movie A Day Remix

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Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I don't know how in-depth to get into the original film, but I wholeheartedly recommend it. Have you watched that one yet or did I forget?
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 148: September 25th , 2010

The Passion of the Christ

By his wounds, we were healed.

Passion of the Christ is a grueling experience. I saw this in theatres and while I did not faint or find it extreme, there were points that had me closing my eyes. Mel Gibson goes a little bit over the top in these scenes, such as the eye pluck and the skin ripping, but the message he wanted to deliver is still clear. Christ suffered for our sins. I don't want to bring religious beliefs into this review, so I'll just steer clear of that stuff.

A lot of people complained that the film was too violent and had no meaning behind it. It was a film about his crucifixion, I don't really see what else people expected. Those knowing the story, knew what was going to happen. They might not have expected the amount of bloodshed that appeared, but the story is still there.

I was impressed that Gibson decided to have the film not be in english, instead he opted for subtitles. A film that was geared towards a specific audience, not in english? A big gamble, especially in 2004. Yet it paid off. The film felt more 'true' to the life of Jesus, not being in English. Going with a relatively unknown actor (at the time) for Jesus was also a smart idea.

Indeed a powerful film, with performances that ring true. Say what you want about Mel Gibson as a person, but the man is talented behind the camera. The troubles the film went through while filming are interesting. Caviezel getting struck by lightning, separating his shoulder and getting whipped. An AD was struck by lightning twice as well. Did God approve or disapprove of the film?

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 150: September 26th , 2010


Given to me by Iro to watch.

Repo Man is a cult film, whose status far exceeds the actual quality of the film. It left me less than thrilled with the end results. The bits of comedy are misplaced and don't really jive with the sci/fi (or lack there of) bits to it.

Harry Dean Stanton and The Might Duck Man (I swear to god, I was like EMILIO!!!!!) make the film more enjoyable than what it should have been. I'm a fan of 80's and this film no doubt screams that, but I just got bored by it. Which is a shame because normally I would like a film like this and I should have. I also couldn't get pass the stupid earring he wears at the beginning. It looks like it should weigh down his head.

The more I look back and think about the film, the more I like it. But I have to go with my initial gut reaction, which is more negative than positive.

I can't say I essentially got it, the film is out there in terms of plot and story. But it didn't really grab me at any point. Points for Iggy Pop and the theme song.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 151: September 27th , 2010

Suicide Kings

Their plan was perfect... they weren't.

I dig this film. I can't really place my finger on the reason why. I just enjoy it, that's all. It tries a little bit too hard to be clever with the plotting and hip with the dialogue, but I adore it for that. The cast is impressive, you have Christopher Walken, doing his thing even though he is tied to a chair. Denis Leary, being a bad ass. Sean Patrick Flanery, Henry Thomas (E.T. kid), Jay Mohr, Jeremy Sisto, Brad Garrett and Johnny Galecki.

The film is a mystery, you're always questioning the characters, their actions and the final outcome. Is what is happening the truth? Or is there someone else behind everything, who is playing who? There is enough questions and mysteries in the film to keep me entertained and interested in what happens next.

This film was from 97, so while watching it you could tell they were trying to go for that Tarantino vibe that so many films tried to do. This is one of the better copy cats. The dialogue is snappy enough to keep the plot moving at a nice pace, there are moments of brevity that are nice. The ending is where the film will split the viewer. In favour of, or totally against. Surprisingly, I'm still on the fence.

I picked this film up many years ago in a 5 dollar Wal-Mart bin. Can't go wrong with that.

I don't know what the timeline is in The Experiment, however, in the real experiment (which I think was carried out in the late 60's, but could've been 1970-72) I think they had to call it off after 5 days because things were too out of control. I've not seen either film, but if it seems unbelievable, it's either the fault of the director and editor or it's because, when actually done, people get out of control unbelievabley quickly.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 152: September 28th , 2010

Assassination of a high school president.

Forget it Bobby, it's high school.

Going into this film, I had no idea what it was about. So by the end of it, I was genuinely surprised by how good it actually is. It seems to have fallen to the way side of things as not many people even know about it, or care to watch it. It reminded me of the old school film noir movies, this time set within a high school. They even homage Chinatown with the highlighted line above. While that line might be a bit cheese, it's nice to know that it isn't afraid to show where it grabs it's influences from.

Despite the films best efforts to surprise me at the end, I found it rather obvious who did what form the get go. After watching so many films, you tend to pick a character as the "one who did it" early on to see if you are right. I was right. More than once. Yet, where the film failed to surprise me, it excelled at holding my attention and crafting a well written story. Bobby Funke is a journalist and after some S.A.T papers go missing, he is on the case. He suspects it was the class president and writes an article saying he did it. They open his locker, there they are. Yet he claims he was framed. Bobby is back to finding the truth before people find out he told a lie.

The actual story of the film is pretty basic, yet the film somehow manages to make it seem more important and epic than it really is. Each supporting character has their place and it's interesting to see Bobby go to each one for their own unique abilities and information. While watching this film I kept thinking to myself, this would work as a television series. Each season is a new case, the school is filled with quirky characters, etc. As a film, it works, but I wouldn't mind seeing it on the television either.

Bruce Willis does a marvelous job in the small role he has as the principal. He isn't afraid to demean the students with verbal abuse, or even physical. He's a stereotype of the proud American, whose backstory is that he served in the armed forces. Willis is always off and on with comedy. Here he is comedic gold, Cop Out he isn't. With the right material he is quite funny.

The cast is young, but they never annoy you. Reece Thompson has his break out role as the gumshoe who never seems to have things go his way. Mischa Barton plays the 'hot' girl in the school who takes an interest in Bobby. I was surprised that I didn't hate her in this film.

The film has some random nudity, which seems completely out of place here. It also showcases the absurdity of high school, takes the cliches and stretches them. I never went to a school like this, the question I am asking myself though...did I want to?

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 153: September 29th , 2010

Grown Ups

Missed Opportunity.

A group of friends get together for the funeral of their old basketball coach. They head to a cottage on a lake to remember the coach and be with their families. Not much else to say about the story than that.

It seems that the funniest parts of this film, all happened behind the scenes. Going into Grown Ups, I got the nostalgic feeling, old buddies from the SNL days and stand up comedy are doing a flick together. Should be funny, since you have all these comedy 'heavy weights' together in one film. Too bad they had the cameras rolling during the wrong time.

Grown Ups is chuckle funny, but should be gut busting funny. That's the problem with this film. It seems that the guys just seemed to be hanging out and having a good time. That's great and all, but we aren't apart of it. Sandler, without a doubt, decided he wanted to hang out with his friends and get paid to do it. Then one day they thought they should go to the water park and have even more fun while they get paid...and they did.

Another set back is that the film is kid friendly. You're taking funny man Chris Rock out of his element right away, and it showed. Kevin James, as funny as he is, will never replace Chris Farley. I still prefer the physical comedy of Farley over James. Schneider plays the weirdo of the group, that they like to pick on. He is stuck again as the sidekick, even in the this ensemble piece. David Spade plays his crude self and of course Sandler is playing the kid friendly version of himself.

Most of the stuff is improvised, they even keep all the scenes where they laugh at each other. It's all good an fun, but most of it isn't that funny. Spade walking out of a closet dreaming he did stuff with a short blonde, then moments later having the dog walk out, is not funny. The funny men have their families with them. Their wives, all of them out of their respect husband's league. Yes, even the grandma/wife. The kids, most of them are annoying (Sandler's kids) which I guess was the point, but even after they accepted the awesomness of playing outside, I still despised them.

The film has no real plot, as I mentioned, it's just the guys hanging out and having fun. You'll get a few laughs here and there, but every single one of these guys have been in something funnier.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 154: September 30th , 2010


So Close, Yet So Far.

A group of people are dropped into a planet as a part of a game. Kill or be killed. There's a small snag though, the other team are an alien race with advanced technology and a vagina mouth.

There was no chance that this film was going to be better, or even match the original. I did have my hopes for it to be better than the 2nd outing, and all the alien vs predator garbage that came after that. So in the end, I got what I wanted. Yet the film manages to fall short of it's own expectations.

Adrian Brody did try his best to be an Arnold fill in, sorry to say it didn't work. He tried to be tough by getting a deeper voice and getting the chance to rip off his top and show off his oh so sexy abs. Taking a page out of the original, which this film mentions, Brody runs around covered in mud and does what he can to try and be a bad ass.

The premise of the film is better than the final product. We have Predators, which we know are bad ass, then we have a team of highly trained and skillful people dropped on this planet. Each have their own specialty. So, that was cool in itself. Yet every death scene lacked spark, originality and the coolness that it should have had. The most interesting part of the film to me was equally the silliest. When a Predator and a Yakuzza member, have a so called "sword" fight.

For me the film fell apart with the introduction of Lawrence Fishburn. From then on, it was all downhill. I particularly didn't like how some characters suddenly changed at the end and out of nowhere a new subplot pops up. It was distracting and not true to the rest of the film. A predictable and poor ending hurt the film even more. Rodriguez should have directed instead of producing and maybe we could have had a more interesting film on our hands.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 155: October 1st, 2010


Fight or die.

A small group of Roman soldiers are left alive after an attack on their legion. They must survive the elements and an expert tracker coming after them. Behind enemy lines and fighting for the lives.

With Centurion, Neil Marshall has his biggest budget to date. The film is ambitious in style and tone. Marshall, who get a cult following after two excellent small horror films (Dog Soldiers and Descent) has gone on to bigger, but not really better things. Doomsday was a nice throwback to genre films (even though it didn't really know which one it wanted to be) and now Centurion, which has Marshall tipping his hat to Gladiator and Spartacus.

I consider myself a Marshall fan, which is why I even bothered to give this film a viewing. If his name weren't attached, I wouldn't have bothered. Marshall is apart of the Splat-Pack. The horror coined group for filmmakers like Rob Zombie and Eli Roth. It's no question as to why Marshall is apart of this group, every film of his has some body part ending up some place. It's funny to me that this film might be his most gruesome one yet and it isn't even horror.

The film's most gruesome moments are during the big attack on the romans. Arrows are shot into heads, arms, legs and necks are taken out like a hot knife through butter. I had a few moments where I was actually shocked at the carnage on the screen. One of the more gruesome period pieces. During the attack, the Picts (Scottish) take prisoner the General (Dominic West). The small group of survivors, including Michael Fassbender decide to try and get him back. They fail, but they did succeed in killing the lead Pict's son. He sends a group of people to go after them, thus we have a cat and mouse chase throughout the film.

It's suspenseful in places and aggravating in others. The lead tracker, is suppose to have excellent skills, where she is always on their tail, no matter what. Yet the filmmakers seem to forget this sometimes. She can sense them across the river in one scene, but not underneath her feet in another. These inconsistencies are bothersome. Yet it happens. The characters themselves aren't too memorable either. I couldn't really tell the survivors apart from one another and neither stood out of the crowd. These shortcomings in the script are what bring Centurion down. The most interesting character is killed off too early too.

Yet, Marshall still manages to deliver an entertaining film. It's not near the level of awesome that is Dog Soldiers, or even The Descent, but it does deliver what you would expect from this genre. There are moments where the film loses its sense of direction (such as a lover subplot) and there are even moments of predictability, but as a whole, the film delivers.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 156: October 2nd, 2010

The Social Network

A Win For All Involved.

Mark Zuckerberg is dumped by his girlfriend in the opening scene and in a drunken rage he goes online and hacks into different websites to take student photos and create a site called FaceMash, where people pick which girl is hotter. This leads to some academic probation, but it catches the eyes of three other students who want to create a social networking site that would be exclusive to Harvard students. They tell Zuckerberg the idea and he joins the team. Unfortunately Zuckerberg shuts them off from communication and writes his own codes and brings in his best friend as CFO. Thus The Facebook is born. As the site gets more popular, Zuckerberg loses his connection with his best friend and ends up getting sued by him and the three students for millions of dollars.

When I first heard that there was going to be a movie based on Facebook, I rolled my eyes and asked why even bother. Then, to my surprise, I heard that David Fincher was set to direct. My interest perked up a little bit, after all the guy directs some stellar films. It wasn't until the trailers starting popping up did I really want to see this film. The accolades that it has been receiving added more anticipation. Now that I've seen the film, all I can say is bravo.

Fincher and soon to be nominated for best adapted screenplay Aaron Sorkin, have created a film that defines what this generation is all about. Facebook is such a cultural impact that some people can't live their lives without it. I have it open in another window as I'm writing this review right now. The film will undoubtably receive more award nominations than screenplay, I'm just curious to see if any of those are in the acting department because this cast is great.

Jesse Eisenberg, who people always claimed to be a Michael Cera rip off, commands the screen with his awkward and pseudo intelligent riffs in his speeding bullet laced monologues. The guy (Zuckerberg) is brilliant at code writing, but his social skills are clearly lacking. His best friend, Eduardo Saverin (soon to be Spiderman Andrew Garfield) is desperate to get into elite clubs and has his emotions close to the surface. Eventually they explode when he learns he's being shifted out of his CFO position. Garfield plays well opposite Eisenberg. To my surprise Justin Timberlake wasn't irritating. He plays egocentric Sean Parker and while I don't see any awards heading his way, he does help complete a well put together cast.

The story jumps between two timelines. The present, in which Zuckerberg is facing two lawsuits and the past, which we see the creation of facebook. Heaps of praise should be thrown on Fincher and Sorkin, they pulled off this structure perfectly. The film feels just like his previous efforts, dark and cold. Much like the depiction of Zuckerberg. I can't comment on how true the film depicts the events, but we all know he did get sued and the filmmakers stand by the truths they tell in this film. It's all heightened to be entertaining, but with Zuckerberg trying to steer clear, I see a lot of truth in this film.

The Social Network is one of the years best films. It's solid direction from Fincher, who knows what he wants from every aspect. Sorkin delivers a timeless story set in our age of the internet and facebook. Friendship, greed and loyalty are all called into question. The performance are strong across the board with such a young cast. Eisenberg standing out in the lead role of Zuckerberg. The score is phenomenal, Fincher knew what he wanted and he got it with Trent Reznor. His style of music perfectly matches the film with the technology it's bringing to the forefront.

I wouldn't call this the film of the decade, but it is good enough to be in the high ranks of Fincher's best work and one of the best works this year. For a film that is simply people talking, it feels natural and goes at a breakneck speed. I highly recommend The Social Network.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 157: October 3rd, 2010

Crazy on the Outside.

Just Not Funny Enough.

After being released from prison, Tommy must cope with his family, his new job, his desire to follow in his father's footsteps and of course, not getting himself thrown back into prison.

This film has an impressive cast, first you have Tim Allen, whom I find funny. His sister is a compulsive liar, played by Sigourney Weaver. She is married to J.K. Simmons, who has a beef with Allen. They lie to the grandmother, saying Allen went to France for 3 years, instead of prison. He went to prison because his best friend is in some illegal shady business work, this is Ray Liotta. Allen also goes to find his old flame, the girl he loved before he went to prison, played by the funny Julie Bowen. She has a fiancee, played by Kelsey Grammer. Finally Jeanne Tripplehorn plays Allen's parole officer.

Those are the players, and even though all of them have had success in the past with their comedy chops, they all seem to be flat here. Bowen, in my opinion, as the funniest role as the girlfriend who wants to marry Grammer, while see Allen on the side. Allen himself seems too distracted here, this is most likely because he was directing this as well. He went for a more likable schmuck role than a funny one. Weaver, as the compulsive liar, steals every scene she is in. Every lie she comes up with his more outrageous than the next.

The problem with the film is that it was more kind hearted than funny. A lot of the story elements are cliched and predictable. Which takes the fun out of the film. One of the things I look forward to in comedies is the unexpected, this film throws nothing like that our way.

The film had potential, and it means well, but it leaves an unsatisfied taste in your mouth. A lot of the film is just mediocre and given the amount of talent behind this one, it falls short.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 158: October 4th, 2010

The Expendables.

The Expendables falls short on expectations.

A team of mercenaries head to an island to overthrow a dictator.

The entire plot of the film can be summed up in 12 words. Even less if I try. Merc overthrow dictator. There, only 3. I was somewhat excited to see The Expendables, Stallone having a throwback action film, with a cast that had jaws drop everywhere when it was announced. The sad part is, the film falls short in many areas and just meets expectations in others. For a film like this, I wanted to be engulfed in everything it had to offer, I wasn't.

The film stands out in the pile of films that hit theatres this year about a group of skilled guys with guns who have to kill people. The Losers, The A-Team and most recently RED. The difference is that each one of those was based on something prior. Be it a graphic novel or TV show, and they had a bit of revenge thrown in. The Expendables is simply about guys kicking ass. I appreciate Stallone for doing what he set out to do. He made a guy flick, with muscles, guns, knives, one liners and explosions. Yet, the film was still missing something, it had no heart.

Here we have a great cast, yet everyone is underused. Especially Dolph "Drago" Lundgren, it's almost criminal. With a cast like this you would expect everyone to get their moment to shine and have a kick ass part in the film. Jet Li does his martial arts thing, which we have seen before. Statham and Stallone are the only two characters the script pays attention to, everyone else is left to the wayside. Randy Courture and Terry Crews seem like after thoughts in this cast of characters. Stallone, you can't expect to give one character a big loud gun and expect everyone to forgive you by thinking he had a purpose. Mickey Rourke shows up, looking like he walked right off the set of Iron Man 2. His role is strictly dialogue and apparently gives Stallone a reason to go back to the island and save a girl.

Cordelia Chase or Charisma Carpenter, as her real name is, has two scenes. Both of them are a poor attempt at giving Statham some kind of backstory. The backstory is clichéd to hell and eye rolling. But, heck, what am I saying? Story in a flick with a bunch of guys who blow things up? I must be crazy right? The target audience doesn't care about that sort of thing. They want to see guns a blazin and explosions exploding. The last fifteen or so minutes is full of explosions, it is almost overkill. They needed to fill the running time so they added 5 minutes or so of just explosions. Exciting? Not really.

The fight scenes are poorly edited, hell even the famous trio scene is half assed. Stallone wanted to get so much in with Willis and the Governator that the scene is way to choppy and loose that it's just a mess. We get it, the three of you in one scene together, cool. Now let me actually enjoy it. Another nit pick I have, Stallone wants to celebrate the old days. The 80's if you will, with this film. Yet he had horrendous CGI effects. The green screen and the blood were so brutally obvious that it's jolting. What's wrong with squibs? If you really wanted to make a throwback action film you would have had those instead of CGI blood.

The Expendables is underwhelming, Stallone tries and has some moderate success. I couldn't get pass the whole going back for the woman bit. Eric Roberts makes a good bad guy, but the story revolving around him is pointless filler to get another 'name' in the picture. Stallone wanted to put way too much into this film and he seemed to rely too heavily on that dreadful line that will always come back to bite you in the ass. "We'll fix it in post".

No you won't.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 159: October 5th, 2010

Knight & Day.

A Fun Time.

June (Diaz) is on her way home for her sisters wedding, when she meets a good looking guy, Roy (Cruise) that is on her flight. Little does she know, he is actually a spy and a trained killer. He has a battery that is wanted by the same organization that he use to work for. Now they both find out that the only people they can trust is each other.

Killers starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl is almost the same idea here as Knight & Day. Blonde woman who is enjoying her everyday life runs into a handsome guy, guy turns out to be a trained killer, yet she tags along with him anyways. The difference is that Knight & Day has a better cast, script, comedy, action and is more fun.

The film has its fair share of problems, but the overall product is a fun entertaining thriller with two leads who play well off each other. Cruise is back and this time he brought he comedic chops with him. Cruise was the funniest thing about Tropic Thunder and he might have a new genre to star in. He takes the role with charm, danger and fun. His co-star, Diaz, whom shared the screen with Cruise in Vanilla Sky, plays the role of the audience member. She is thrown into this world, knows nothing and is basically along for the ride.

James Mangold, who has some good films under his belt, directs the film well enough so the viewer can actually see the action sequences. There are a few instances where the obvious green screen was a bit of a distraction, but other than that, the action set pieces were entertaining enough. We start with a fight sequence on a plane, which is then landed in a corn field, then a car chase, some more fight scenes, followed by more chases, both on foot and a motorcycle. The film goes globe-trotting and it's nice to see the Europe country side.

The film does suffer from some weak writing for the so called bad guys. Throughout the film we are told two things. One, that the guy after Cruise is trying to sell the battery is framed him and two, that Cruise himself has gone rogue and stole it. It's obvious how the film will eventually unfold and this leads to some weak antagonists for the film.

The banter between Cruise and Diaz is fun and there are some funny sequences when Diaz is drugged and so many impossible and crazy things are going on around her, but we the audience only get a glimpse of it through her dazed and confused eyes. It's a funny sequence that starts with them getting captured and ends with them on a beach in swim gear.

Knight & Day is a fun way to spend 109 minutes and it's also nice to see Cruise back in films where he is having some fun.