One Movie A Day Remix

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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 256: January 11th, 2011

Stone



Slow and utterly boring.

A convicted arsonist looks to con a parole officer into getting him out early, with the help of his sexy wife.

The premise of this film is pretty lame if you ask me, but it seemed to draw some talent so I gave it a chance. The talent this film got must have been because of the dollar signs because Stone is a boring, tepid film that goes nowhere and entertains no one. The film tries to be more important and self righteous than it actually is and this is where it falls flat.

DeNiro hasn't been in a good film in years, to me his last decent one was with his co-star of this one, ironically. The Score, even then he seemed on auto-pilot. Here he shows no signs of caring for the material as he goes through the motions of spewing out the dialogue and hitting his marks. Edward Norton, upon first glance, makes you giggle. His character has cornrows and speaks like a thuggish kid. Norton somewhat pulls it off and he has the more interesting role of the two. His character goes through some kind of epiphany, or doesn't. It's not really clear, neither is how the con actually worked or why.

The con was to get his wife, Milla Jovovich to 'convince' DeNiro in helping him get out early. After one chat with him he becomes a horn dog and sleeps with her. The con was lame and uninteresting, nor does it explain how it works. My interest level faded fast with this one. The story was as dull as the characters. Even the subplot involving DeNiro and his unhappy wife was a bore. I wanted the film to end sooner than it did.

Most of the film is simply the two characters talking. So Stone is a character driven piece and not some kind of thriller as the trailer would have you believe. Character driven movies have to be careful, because in order for you to want to finish the movie you need to have some sort of emotional investment in these guys. Stone gives you no reason to care or to even finish the film.

Everyone involved, even Jovovich, can do better. The writing here is below par and the performances, while decent, do nothing to draw you in. The film is confused as to what genre it wants to be in. Stone leaves loose ends everywhere and the final act seems out of place. It ends on a weird absurd note that finally manages to ignite some kind of emotional response from the viewer....it's anger.

__________________
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



Hmm. I was tempted to buy this when it first came out but I didn't. Maybe I made the right choice... I'd still like to see it sometime, though, I think.



Hmm. I was tempted to buy this when it first came out but I didn't. Maybe I made the right choice... I'd still like to see it sometime, though, I think.
You bought Grown Ups, you thought of buying this. I'm starting to think that you need to run future purchases by me before wasting your money.

Good review of Boys Don't Cry, TUS. I saw that a couple of times when it came out, but I've not seen it since. Great film. Incredibly powerful, but I don't know if I could watch it again.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 257: January 12th, 2011

Alien



In Space No One Can Hear You Scream.

If there is one movie I wish I can see in the theatre when it was first released, it's Alien. Not Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia or some other big blockbuster. A nail biting, hold your breath scare-fest that demands to be seen by those who love science fiction and horror.

After investigating an SOS distress signal, a mining ship encounters a strange species that attaches itself to one of the crew members. The creature impregnates the crew member and the alien is unleashed on the ship to wreck havoc and hell.

The claustrophobic atmosphere adds multiple layers of tension to an already tense situation. Scott only shows us glimpses of the alien here and there, much like the film Jaws. We only see parts of it before it attacks.

I remember watching this when I was younger, my dad said it was the 'next restricted film I can see". I watched it in my uncles room and was completely enthralled by it. I even thought the 'final act' was sexy because Weaver was in her underwear. The most unattractive underwear ever, but it was hot to me.

The scenes of suspense and terror still hold up to this day and the film is a toss up with the Cameron held sequel as the best in the series. The two are totally different though, one is about sheer terror and isolation, the other decides to go bigger.




I even thought the 'final act' was sexy because Weaver was in her underwear. The most unattractive underwear ever, but it was hot to me.
It's always sexier when it's uglier. Anyway, I think Alien is one of the best movies ever.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 258: January 13th, 2011

Aliens



This time it's war.

After 57 years in hibernation sleep, Ripley is found and awoken. She discovers that the planet where they originally found the alien is now colonized and of course they have lost contact with them. She decides to go back, only to exterminate the creatures once and for all.

Where do you go after the success of such a film like Alien. Cameron knew what to do and he manages to pull it off effortlessly. This time Ripley is meaner, leaner and more determined. Most sequels are bloated, lifeless poor imitations of the original film, look at Transformers. Cameron on the other hand is a keen storyteller, despite his writing being a shortcoming.

The initial alien attack is where you know this film means to aim higher and it's often looked to when people talk about films surpassing the original. As I mentioned before it's either or for me. Both are great additions to the sci/fi genre. Aliens seems to be a bit more ambitious in my opinion and Cameron is always one to tackle ambitious projects.

Packed with great action sequences, memorable characters and special effects that don't seem dated. Aliens works on multiple levels, we get a deeper sense of who Ripley is and her determination to look after a young child as her own, we get action extravaganza and terror. The film is long and the last 30 some odd minutes is just as intense as the original.

Get away from her you, BITCH!!!!




Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I believe that both flicks are one of the best ever. I realize that it's a cliche to try to break them down. The first one is a 2001-esque masterpiece of horror and the second one is an attempt to remake The Terminator in Alien's universe. I know that honey doesn't like the sequel, but he has a way of not liking all kinds of coolio movies.



It's good to see this continuing, TUS. I know it's a long way off yet, but I'll miss this thread when it's done.

Alien now gets a rating of around
. It's on the rise, but I can't ever see it being a film I really like. Aliens, on the other hand, is a
on a good day. I just can't stand it.



The first movie feels more cerebral or something. I felt like it was deeper and said something significant about life. The second movie, especially at the very end, when she's in that hole trying to throw the alien queen out into space and the wind is rushing all around her -- that gave me goosebumps. That moment was so emotionally charged for me -- with the music and everything. I watched it earlier this year on Blu-ray and it was one of the best moments I can remember having while watching a movie... in a long time, at least. But I think Alien is the better movie -- and I used to not care for that movie much, but now I do.

Alien 3, however -- I could almost give away my copy of the movie and I wouldn't miss it that much. I think that movie totally stinks compared to the first two. I wish I had Alien: Resurrection in my collection instead of that one -- I remember liking Alien: Resurrection at least, even if it's not all that great, either.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
It's good to see this continuing, TUS. I know it's a long way off yet, but I'll miss this thread when it's done.

Alien now gets a rating of around
. It's on the rise, but I can't ever see it being a film I really like. Aliens, on the other hand, is a
on a good day. I just can't stand it.
Yeah, the last month has been crazy busy so I put this on the back burner.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 259: January 14th, 2011

Alien 3



The Bitch Is Back


After the terror of the original, the explosiveness of the second, where else is there to go? Well, the filmmakers of Alien 3 wanted to take the series in a new direction. The behind the scenes fiasco with the film is well documented. Script changes at the last minute, sets being destroyed because of said script changes, studio interference, the director (David Fincher) publicly disowning the film. To this day he will take no part in anything Alien 3 related, which is a bummer for those dvd extras.

Ripley crash lands on a prison planet, Hicks and Newt have died and to everyone's surprise there was one last egg, which was left on the ship she was on. The facehugger attached itself to a dog, a now we have a new breed of alien to face. With CGI enhancements of course.

This third film doesn't ante up the action, it doesn't expand on the characters and it doesn't frighten the viewer. So what does the third film in this series do? Apparently it kills it. While I do not hate the film as much as most people do, I don't love it either. I give it credit for having the balls to end it the way they did. But that's about as much praise as I can give it. Aside from Weaver's portrayal of Ripley on borrowed time.

This is the least appealing, visually, of all three films. Which is a surprise because Fincher has beautiful films on his resume. The film comes off a poorly edited and constructed. The Assembly Cut is a bit cleaner, but still a mess. There are entertaining moments in the film, but they are few and ar between.

The biggest flaw in this film? Killing off two characters from the first film before the opening credits finished. Thus making all her heroic efforts from the first film all for nothing. It leaves the viewer with a bad taste in their mouths and since it's right at the beginning, you set them in a bad mood for the remainder of the film. Bad move? I think it was.





Ripley crash lands on a prison planet, Hicks and Newt have died
Which instantly makes it better than Aliens.

I've not seen it for a very long time now, but this is/was my favourite of the 4 Alien films. I know I'm in a minority of one here, but I don't care. That's the way I see it. Obviously I disagree with the last paragraph of your review as well.



Welcome to the human race...
I know I'm in a minority of one here, but I don't care.
Honeykid in a nutshell.



I don't understand how Ripley can turn into such a floozy in Alien 3 after losing everything she fought for in Aliens. I understand she likes men -- this was obvious in Aliens with the Hicks character -- but she begins Alien 3 learning that Hicks and Newt are dead and what does she do? She sleeps with that guy played by Charles Dance. To me, this was very odd and really took away from what I thought was an extremely serious demeanor that Ripley had in the other films. I don't know if this is normal behavior or not -- she certainly deserves the sex -- but I just thought it was weird to see her jump into bed with some new guy after all the hell she's been through. She loses that guy quickly, anyway.

And don't the prisoners try to rape Ripley at one point, too? Alien 3 feels like it's all about trying to get Ripley to have sex. Maybe that's supposed to be symbolic or something since she is impregnated with an alien. To me, this all just doesn't flow together after the events of Alien and Alien 3. The tone of Alien 3 tries to be too different. It might have worked with some other character, but not Ripley. I don't think Ripley is that great of a sensual, motherly figure. It's a good thing that James Cameron deleted the scene in Aliens where it's revealed that Ripley had a daughter. I think that when Ripley is running around that planet in Aliens, trying to protect Newt, it may supposed to look like Ripley is being all motherly and protective, but I actually think Ripley is being more fatherly. She's a very tough woman and it makes her masculine. I mean, all the other women die except her. Ripley is really a man, symbolically. And Alien 3 bogs her down too much in femininity. It's a huge stretch and it feels wrong. She gets over Newt and Hicks' death real easily - tough and strong, like a man. But then she's letting a man take care of her and have sex with her and then she risks getting raped by the prisoners and then she discovers she's got an alien baby inside of her. It's just a mess. Her character is all wrong in Alien 3. It's like the whole point of the movie is just to give the message to Ripley: Hey, you're a woman, so stop acting like a man. I'm gonna make you have sex and give birth to a baby - and then I'm gonna kill you.

It's a harsh treatment to Ripley and I think that's why this movie fails: Nobody wants to see Ripley be a woman.

The crazy thing is, Ripley looks more like a man than ever in Alien 3. It's like she hits the most extreme point she can go at being a man and then the series totally dismantles her, turning her back into a woman, turning her into a baby making machine. And then she dies and it's over. She kills herself because she can't give birth -- that would be the ultimate act of womanhood.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 260: January 15th, 2011

Case 39



Tame, uneventful and tiresome.

A social worker is working on 38 cases right now and she is given one more. She goes to visit the little girl and immediately bonds with her, despite her creepy parents. She fights to get the little girl free from her parents who tried to kill her by burning her alive in their oven. Yet things aren't really as they seem.

I wanted Case 39 to be creepy, but what I got was a boring flick with a miscast Zellweger. The best thing about this snoozefest was the little girl who played creepy and nice all in one menacing performance. If it weren't for her I think this film would be rated lower. She was the saving grace and did a better job than Zellweger.

I don't know if it was the lazy and uninspired directing or the fact that Zellweger seems totally lost in the role, but Case 39 doesn't stick with you. There was no creep factor. Their big guns is this little girl and they don't use her enough. When she is used though, she is effective and I hope for big things to come her way with her career, but every moment she is not on the screen you start to fall asleep. Where are the thrills? Where are the scares? Case 39 has none of this.

The story isn't even that interesting and the ending is abrupt and too safe. Reading up on the film, I would have preferred their original ending, which I won't indulge you fine folk with. I'm surprised that people are giving this film good reviews, maybe they went in thinking it was going to be one of the worst things ever and were pleasantly surprised it wasn't. This isn't one of the worst movies ever, no. So it has that going for it.

I think it all boils down to the fact that I did not care about anything or anyone in this movie. When the best scene in the entire horror film is Bradley Cooper sitting down and talking to the little girl, then you know you have a stinker on your hands.

Case 39 stinks.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 261: January 16th, 2011

Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father.



A haunting and devastating documentary that will stay with you for days.

There are many documentaries that are better than this one, specifically from a technical stand point. The biggest shortcoming on this film is the poor editing. It was never meant to be released theatrically, it was meant for the family it focuses on, so there are forgivable aspects, but it is indeed distracting to watch the film with distracting editing choices. Parts of the film do feel really messy and quickly put together.

The subject matter on the other hand is one of the most heart wrenching things I've had to watch. It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion and you sit there, helpless with nothing to do. The film is about Andrew, a 30 year old male who was shot to death, 5 times, from his ex-girlfriend. The filmmaker, one of his best friends, decided to make a film dedicated to the memory of his friend. Along the way they discover that the ex-girlfriend was 4 months pregnant with Andrew's child. Now the film switches focus and becomes a "letter" of sorts to Zachary (the child) about the father he will never get the chance to meet.

That's only a fraction of the emotional core of the film. I have nothing but utter respect and disbelief in the strengths of Andrew's parents, for what they chose to go through in order to be apart of Zachary's life. The director manages to showcase Andrew enough to make it seem like the viewer knew him by the end of the film. I have to hand it to Kurt (the director) as well, he goes to great lengths to speak to and film every person that had some sort of involvement in Andrew's life. His family, his friends, his co-workers, etc. He goes on a cross country trip to track down these people and talk to them.

There was undoubtably hours upon hours of footage to splice together and as I mentioned before this film was never meant for theatrical release. So the entire production was done by Kurt. Every aspect he had control over and it's a heavy task. His relationship with the subject matter makes the doc extremely subjective. Yet with all the evidence presented, is there another way to look at it?

An abundance of emotion overcame me while watching this documentary. The two that stood out to me was sadness and anger. The filmmakers shortcomings from his technical aspects isn't a deterrent to the overall film. I say that everyone should go out and seek the film. If you have Netflix, it's available. It's a must see film.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 262: January 17th, 2011

The 'Burbs



Do you live in this type of neighbourhood?

In my last attempt at this thread, Destiny was so kind to recommend a few films for me. Well, I managed to watch a few, Raising Arizona, Clue, Near Dark and The Changeling. The last film there I had some fun with, leaving it till the second to last day in October for Halloween. Long story short (too late) I've knocked off another flick that was recommended to me and that is The 'Burbs.

The first thing I noticed is how much I miss THIS Tom Hanks. He was great in the lead role of the overstressed and ultra curious neighbour. With the patriotic Bruce Dern and the bumbling Rick Ducommun, The 'Burbs has a great ensemble cast. It's nice to see Carrie Fischer in a role other than Star Wars or a parody of Star Wars. The neighbourhood is really brought to life with the quirky characters that inhabit it.

It's interesting to note that we never see the family 'move in'. In scriptwriting it's always key to come in late and leave early. We come in late to this story, the weird neighbours have already moved in. This was an interesting aspect of the film because usually you'll have it start normal and have the weird come in later. This film starts off weird right from the get go.

This is a funny film that I can see myself watching more than once. The paranoia of the neighbours is a highlight and the "are they, or aren't they" theme works right up until the climax of the film. I got a strange Rear Window vibe from this. In that film, we are stuck to one room, but we get to see the lives of the people who live in this one area. The same can be said for The 'Burbs. We get to see the lives of these people who live in the same community and some sort of occurrence disrupts the peace. Odd connection, but I got that vibe.