One Movie A Day Remix

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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
What was it about the film that puts you off mark? I know it's not everyone's cup of tea and has it's fair share of problems, but I'm curious to know your thoughts.

If you've posted them somewhere, kindly lead the way.
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I like Terry Gilliam as a person and a Python, but sometimes his personalized style of filmmaking irritates me. It's not just Twelve Monkeys, which I find to be a "respectable" movie. He just seems to cram so much into his films that the flamboyance and "kooky" details tend to overwhelm his stories. Half the time I'm wondering why something's happening (not that I'm exactly confused, but I question why anyone would care). As far as Twelve Monkeys, I'd probably have to rewatch it to say what it is that specifically distances me from most of the characters, but I'd wager in general it's there in the last two sentences.
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts. - John Wooden
My IMDb page

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 230: December 16th, 2010

Hatchet II

Ruined by Danielle Harris

Hatchet II picks up exactly where the first one left off, literally, to the very frame. Victor Crowley lives and Marybeth escapes. She decides to go back (great choice there) with a bunch of people to find and kill Crowley, once and for all.

Hatchet II felt like Aliens to me. A sequel that has a group of characters go into hell to find and kill any creatures. A bigger sequel with more guns and characters to kill. The comparing to Aliens stops there. Hatchet II is a typical horror sequel, it fails to capitalize on the success of the original and looses any fun the first one had. Hatchet II accomplishes all of this with one key annoying little factor, Danielle Harris.

I had about as much fun with this film as I possibly could. Danielle Harris for some reason tried to ruin all of that for me with her terrible acting and irritating voice that shrieks nonstop. The casting choice here is a failure and they should have waiting for the original actress to be available, or at the very least find someone tolerable. Just because she was in one of the Halloween flicks as a kid, doesn't mean she is right for this role. Adam Green was too excited at the fact that he has 'known' horror actors starring in his film that he forgot to remember, she can't act.

The first film had Freddy, Jason and the Candyman all in one flick. This one has the addition of Danielle Harris, step back in my books. Tony Todd is given a lot more to do here. His first role was a simple cameo, here he becomes a main character, one that kicks ass too. Todd does his best with the material, playing up the absurdity of his character Reverend Zombie. Parry Shen returns here, as the twin brother of Shawn (boat host). Just an excuse to get a fan favourite back for more laughs.

The kills are upped, as expected, and are gorier. If that was even possible. What Hatchet II does right is throw a lot of blood around on the scenes. I had a fun time watching Crowley slice and dice numerous people, but then Danielle Harris would show up again. I can't stress enough, how much she ruins this film.

Hatchet II ends just like the original did, on an abrupt note. Will there be a third one? Who knows, all I know is that if Danielle Harris is in it, I'll pass.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 231: December 17th, 2010

Exit Through The Gift Shop

Exit Through The Gift Shop Scores

I didn't know what to expect from this film, it was a documentary about 'street art' which many people view as vandalism graffiti. Many people question the validity of the film, thinking it's more of a mockumentary. In either event, the film is entertaining as hell and worth a watch.

Documentaries have the hard task of being informative and entertaining at the same time. Too much info will bore your audience. Michael Moore is probably the most famous documentary filmmakers, scoring two big hits with Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11. This film centres on a man who decides to follow street artists. He films all of them doing what they do best, saying he is making a movie. He really wasn't. He was just filming because he loves to film.

He hears about this street artist who calls himself Banksy. He's creative and also a bit of a reclusive. No one knows who he is for sure. Somehow Banksy and Thierry become friends and we are now following Banksy. Banksy tells Thierry it's finally time to edit the film and the result of hundreds of hours of footage edited by this man is quite strange. The best way to describe it was to quote Banksy himself. "Uhmmm... You know... it was at that point that I realized that maybe Thierry wasn't actually a film maker, and he was maybe just someone with mental problems who happened to have a camera"

So Banksy took over filmmaking duties, editing a new film, one that followed Thierry and also showcased street art. What we have is the film Exit Through The Gift Shop. Again, a lot of people debate over what is real or not, I don't care. The film is good and should be seen. Check it out.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 232: December 18th, 2010

Barney's Version

Another great performance from Giamatti.

Barney is and old and lonely man. A new book is coming out that highlights certain details he wishes to keep secret. He reflects on his life and falling in love on his wedding day...with another woman.

Barney's Version is a Canadian film that feels American. I can't really describe it any other way, it feels like an American film, mostly because it's not a documentary or directed by Paul Gross. That alone gets points in my book, are we as a country finally getting things right in the movie making business? A little late if you ask me.

Aside from the fact that it's Canadian, it's a really well made film. Paul Giamatti gives yet another terrific performance. One to add to an already impressive list. It's a shame the guy has never earned an Oscar. This role could have easily been nominated and I rank it among his best work. He has a lot of help from the supporting cast though. Dustin Hoffman plays his father, again a great role for such a character actor. Rosamund Pike and Minnie Driver are two ladies that Barney marries. Pike is given a bit more to do than Driver, but both are memorable. Scott Speedman, a guy more known for his looks than his acting plays Barney's best friend and has a key role in a bit of drama that circulates Barney's life.

The film is loaded with small cameos from famous Canadians, the aforementioned Paul Gross has a small bit, Atom Egoyan, Mark Camacho, and David Cronenberg. Film fanatics, or Canadians who know their movies will pick up on these things. They might also notice that while the film is Canadian, it never tries to force that fact on us. With most Canadian productions, you must have a certain amount of canadian content. One glance at the film One Week can testify to this. While there are bits and pieces that are definitely Canadian, it never feels forced. This is mostly why the film feels American at times.

Barney's Version is a great film that details the life of one troubled man who has everything and loses it. It's depressing at times and it hit home with a few topics that most people can relate to, alzheimer's. The film feels accomplished. It's well written and directed, as I mentioned earlier the acting is superb. I can easily recommend this to anyone looking for a film with a great story and great performances.

I love Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman, so I will be seeing it.

Ugh... I despised the first movie. There was all this talk about Hatchet being one of the best horror movies to have come out since the 1980's and that it would go down in history... I thought it was the dumbest piece of **** I had ever seen. I literally was torn up over spending $10 on the DVD to see it. Death to the Hatchet series! Danielle Harris -- I actually like her. But a shame that she did this movie.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 233: December 19th, 2010


Well made Science Fiction film.

I've been trying to see this little film for awhile now. Now that I've actually seen it I can say that it did not disappoint. The one problem going into it though, I already knew the "surprise" that was in it. Although I can say that I was surprised it came at the end of act 1.

Moon has many themes playing around. Long distance relationship, big business corporations taking advantage of the little guy, discovery about one's self, etc. Moon was able to jam pack so many things in a little run time and it never felt like it dragged on. In fact I was surprised that it was near the end of the film, it feels incredibly short because of how involved I was with such a minimalist story.

Rockwell does a tremendous job in dual roles. He plays the one part in a cocky, self assurance way, while the second feels more characterized and on edge. Two varied performances from one person in one film. He carries the entire film on his back and he did a great job. It's hard not to compare GERTY to Hal, they share so many similar things, yet they effectively made it different enough to be slightly original. The machine is voiced by Kevin Spacey, it a warm, yet still cold and machine like calmness.

The use of both miniatures and CGI was a wise choice. You can notice that they are miniatures, but it works for this type of film because that it what they drew their inspiration from. Films in the sci/fi genre that used miniatures, and it works well here. The film bridges both old school and modern ways of filmmaking.

Duncan Jones is a filmmaker to look out for, I expect great things in his career and look forward to his third film.

Well, do see Source Code - if you haven't already - it's directed by Duncan Jones. I didn't like Moon. It might deserve a second viewing. I totally lost interest in it after awhile.

I went back and looked. I did remember you not liking the ending. Actually, I believe we talked more about it in the actual Source Code thread.

Well, I guess we go for different sides of the Duncan Jones coin. You picked Moon, I picked Source Code.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
One I get back from Saskatchewan (Sunday night) I will get back to this and finish off December, then go on a non-stop spree of reviews until it's finished.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 234: December 20th, 2010


Unfortunately there is no giant head that chokes on strippers in this movie.

Much like The Road, Choke got the unfair comparison to the writer's previous book turned film. The Road had to face comparison to No Country For Old Men and Choke had to sit in the shadows of Fight Club. It's not fair to judge the two so I won't.

Now, this film isn't as good as Fight Club...oops, I mean. This film is decent. It has a weird story to tell and it manages to do so in a creative and sexually deviant way. The film is full of problems that are distracting, but there is overall enjoyment to be had.

In order to help pay for the bills that keep his mother in a hospital, a sex addicted med school drop out fakes choking in restaurants to get the pity and help from rich people. The rich person feels better about themselves for saving a life and send some dough to Victor (Rockwell) who plays up the helpless victim.

The choking aspect of the film is second fiddle to the sex crazed antics that Rockwell does. I haven't tried anal beads, but apparently if you get one stuck you'll have some issues. I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed the film, other than for it's sex scenes.

Flashbacks that detail his childhood with his strange and overbearing mother are hit and miss. Most of the time they are distracting and upset the flow of the film. We get hit over the head multiple times that she ruined his childhood. Rockwell gives a great performances, as usual.

It's no Fight Club.

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 235: December 21st, 2010

Black Swan

Black Swan is great to watch with the kids.

Aronofsky is a visceral director, most of his films are polarizing, Black Swan is no exception. Here, he takes the beautiful and artistic art of being a ballerina, which seems so innocent, and turns it into a sick and twisted mind melt of a film. Black Swan grabs you, shakes you and leaves you wanting more. The film is far from perfect, but it shows that Aronofsky is certainly a master of his craft.

After winning the role of the lead in a production of Swan Lake, Nina becomes obsessed with trying to be perfect for a demanding instructor, her overbearing mother and even herself. Her world is thrown upside down when she thinks that the new girl is vying for her spot, yet not everything is black and white.

Portman plays Nina, a girl who was thrust into his life by her mother, who gave it up to raise her. Her constant obsession with being perfect leads to her ultimate undoing. She tries so hard to please her mother, her instructor and herself that she starts to loose her mind. Her life begins to mirror the story in the production. I say the word mirror because Aronofsky uses this object in almost every scene he can. He shows the duality of the character, she plays both the white swan and the black swan. The creativity of the mirrors is quite something, I don't know if it's true, but it feels like there is a mirror in every scene of the film. As if it's another character, Nina's self reflection trying to break into this life.

Mila Kunis is the new girl who is both beautiful and talented. So of course she becomes Portman's alternate. Her eyes are hypnotic and she plays the role of the bad girl with an attitude. The polar opposite to the uptight and proper Portman. Yet the obsession and paranoia eats away at Portman enough to lead her to some dark places.

Nina becomes so entranced with the story and her performance that she can no longer tell the difference between her hallucinations and reality, even when she plucks a feather from her back and stares at it with her beady red eyes. That's a haunting image. Nina's obsession mirror's Aronofsky's own obsession to the art and the process of filmmaking. Every shot, every colour, every beat is mapped out in his mind and I believe he captured every moment on film. The cinematography in the film is fluid and beautiful, yet visceral when needed to be. There are moments that will get under your skin. I can watch a person being mutilated to no end in Saw, yet the little things that happen in Black Swan are enough to make you cringe. Remember, it's the little things that count.

I praise Aronofsky for taking a different approach to each film. The run and gun style of the Wrestler is far from the picturesque beauty of The Fountain. Black Swan lands somewhere in the middle. The film begins and ends with a beautiful dance number. The last performance in the film is quite beautiful to be honest. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next, she was possessed and I loved it.

Portman shines in a role that should earn her an Oscar nomination and the film manages to be one of the best of the year. The supporting cast was marvelous, Vincent Cassel is seductive and menacing. Mila Kunis, as stated before is a great counter weight to Portman and Barbara Hershey as Nina's mother feels like icing on the cake. Her relationship to her daughter rivals Carrie at times. I was engrossed with Nina and her deterioration from start to finish. When she told the story of Swan Lake to this guy in a bar, I knew how the film would end. The film takes some time to get to where it wants to go, so the pace is one concern I have with it, yet there is enough of a pay off in the end.

Black Swan is a film that stays with you, whether you enjoyed it or not. Aronofsky doesn't apologize for his films, he makes them the way he wants to and I applaud him for it.

I've heard so much good about Portman in it. I've gotta check it out soon!
#31 on SC's Top 100 Mofos list!!