The Denim Record

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*per the legal department*

Be aware of spoilers, you never know when they can pop up.


Movies I Need To Watch This Year 2018

The Best Diehard
The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)(that trailer, yikes!)
Kevin Smith's one great film
Inside Llewyn Davis
JFK(never seen it Gary Oldman)
True Romance
Reservoir Dogs
Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte des loups)
Chappie (bc there will never be a D9 seq.)
Cool Hand Luke
The Usual Suspects
The Dark Backwards

Fast Travel Station

The Big Lebowski
The Dark Knight
The Post
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Lawnch Brake

Oliver Stone's anti-Vietnam film is a brutal portrayal of class division in a blender of human atrocity.

Platoon (1986)

The list of faces involved runs the gamut. Mr. Tiger Blood, Jake Taylor, the Green Goblin, the Candyman, the voice of all those U.S. Navy commercials, Johnny "Drama", Edward Scissorhands, Ghost Dog, and Dr. Cox to name a few. Shellshocked was how I felt trying to allow these characters to be in a movie made 30 years ago, as opposed to all the stuff I associate them with in the mental.

Sheer brutality permeates the essence of this film. Violence, death, rape and wrath smother this world and leave little hope that anything less can survive. Stone's depiction of combat and the aftermath goes to a dark place in humanity.

Class portrayal is a broad stroke of those having no choice in being there and those of privilege who were careless enough to be there. No matter what the situation, that division will always be present and it manifests itself in many forms.

Everyone knows about the great roles in this film, but I need to address the one that stuck out to me. John C. McGinley's every scene appeared like he just left Studio 54, if its doors would have been open at the time. Of all the great performances, his was a sore thumb that left me wondering why Stone had portrayed him in that manner.

He isn't to be outdone by Charlie Sheen, but I blame the script for Sheen's character's issues. Insert a middle-class underachiever who chooses to go where so many of lesser means would give all to avoid. Lost, weak, and out-of-touch at the beginning goes to tip of the spear commando in the matter of minutes. Whatever the symbolism of this was, it flew over my head. One doesn't go from scared to brave that quick unless there is a major psychotic break.

Platoon is a raw, gritty, possibly realistic portrayal of war and how it affects the different classes of people it consumes.

"I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there.

The Dude."

The Big Lebowski (1998)

What else can be said about this tapestry of absurdity? A display of talent so deep that David Thewlis has 2 minutes of screen time. Bowling ball montages, granny ashes and sansa belt slacks. Still went to In-N-Out. John Goodman burning a dart, fired up over a rug. Seaside Folger's can. Bowling bowl action p.o.v.

No? Obviously you're not a golfer.

A great haze of a movie to sit in the backseat to.

"Madness, as you know, is like gravity, all it takes is a little push."

The Dark Knight (2008)

It is hard to believe that this movie will have 10 candles on its cake this year. Maybe that explains why I'm not "so" impressed by it anymore. If this was 2008, I would toe the company line a little more.

Ledger is captivating, My Cocaine is a gem in all his scenes, and Nolan executes with surgical precision. I think this why I don't enjoy this as much anymore. It feels cold and sterile now and never reaches out to grab my hand. The spark is gone.

Ledger is still a marvel, but the movie feels like I've gone back for my 3rd piece of pie.

A bowl of cereal without any milk.

The Post (2018)

Steven Spielbergís name guarantees execution at the highest level. Detailed sets, top shelf talent and a polished camera. Go ahead and give the award to the Post, right?

Streep is on full display here and that goes a long way. Hanks is doing Hanks and Bradley Whitford is playing a Whitford character, but I love the weasel. Everybody else is competent, but Streep keeps the boat afloat with her sheer verve.

To me this is a case of making a cake, but you didn't measure the ingredients right. Everything is spot on by itself, but the sum of them all yields a lukewarm product. Fear not, the final act swoops in and delivers a jolt of manufactured sweetness. I couldnít really believe the ultimate decision and how it was made, with all its possible repercussions, but it gets the movie where it needs to go. While maybe contrived, a Twinkie still hits the spot.

The Post is filled with stars and production value, but feels like reading the paper from last week.

"It was like walking barefoot through broken glass to get a milkshake."

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)

What a little gem this is. Another example of a movie I heard such good things about and it took me a while to get there. Hoffman and Sandler shine, while Stiller does a great job carrying the bags.

This movie had many proclaim that Sandler can act...again. His performances never lack for being earnest, regardless of how serious they are. The opening scene driving in Manhattan is genuine to a T. I could watch him and Hoffman all day, no matter how uncomfortable it gets.

Despite whatever history there is behind it, a family is defined by the love it shows to one another.

"I knew when he took her to a Richard Marx concert, it was serious."

I, Tonya (2017)

What a great movie. No matter how much I butcher the liner notes, this was a good time. My cup runneth over with characters, period clothes and distorted love. I'll do you a solid and drop the rating now, cuz here comes the ramble.

"You F#@% dumb, you don't marry it."

One could argue that the "Incident" was a vanguard to the reality state that we live in now. It was all over the place featuring a tried and true class divide story between the princess and, well.... Tonya Harding came from a working class home, with a tough mother who pushed her daughter to the edge of greatness and possibly into the arms of Jeff Gilloly. Allison Janney earns all the praise for her real?/not real? portrayal of a helicopter mom. A UH-1 Huey gunner wielding a M-60 machine gun.

"With a mustache I still can't apologize for."

I can't think of anything he has been in besides that seasonal fighter movie, which was forgettable at best. He makes a splash as the weak-minded, controlling, abusive grease ball that was conducting the crazy train. Soooo good.

FBI Agent: What can you tell us about Tonya Harding?
Shawn Eckhardt: I donít know a Tony Harding.
Other FBI Agent: Arenít you her bodyguard?

Shawn Eckhardt was Gilloly's toadie and delusional mastermind of the whole process. Imagine Paxton's character from True Lies fueled by deep-fried mozzarella manning a command center in mom's basement. Yeah, I'm developing a script for the spinoff already.

Okay guy, what about the star? Well, Robbie is great. Maybe she does too good of a job being relatively normal compared to the cartoons she is surrounded with. This movie walks a fine line between real and absurd with her serving as the anchor.

How much of this is real and how much sells tabloids? It matters not a bit, because this is one is a gem.

1st Employee Pick of the Year

The Goodfellas vibe is strong between the 4th walling and soundtrack and some of the shots seem lifted str8 from Marty. I can't take these soundtracks anymore.

"That pail be jail."

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987)

The children's black market will flourish, as long as the sugar-fueled little maniacs are told they can't have something. Enter the Garbage Pail Kids. Me being me, I never realized they were a parody of the Cabbage Patch Kid. I just knew they were awesome, like a Mad magazine on a card. And they were forboden, so I always wanted them.

It's not to hard to believe that a studio took a million dollars, threw it at the wall and got this. I mean, it was the 80's, so all the little monsters got plenty of sexualized PG goodness. There is no need to talk about this movie, or the antiques dealer who gives our protagonist baths while not being his guardian and has imprisoned a tribe of nightmare faced uglies in a garbage pail with magic but they still love him and don't try to murder him even though one of them is an Ali Gator. I'm not going to be the guy bringing up the issues in a movie that looks like it was shot on 3 sets.

This is The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. They made it for $1mil to tell the story of a young boy in love with an aspiring fashion designer and how he used forced labor to try and win her black heart.

You Can Be A Garbage Pail Kid

Whenever them normies started comin around
Laughing and pointing and putting us down
If they think we're ugly, they should look in a mirror
It's not how you look, it's what you got in here
We're all special, yeah, special in unique design
Everyone's a reflection, reflection of these crazy times

If your teacher says you're bad and sends you to the principal
You can be a Garbage Pail Kid
If your parents say you dress like you should be in a carnival
You can be a Garbage Pail Kid
It's international, radical, how anything unusual
Ends up like a Garbage Pail Kid

You think you're all so brave and all so cute
But you don't understand, you try to persecute
Well, here's a pail and here's a lid
You can be a Garbage Pail Kid!
You can be a Garbage Pail Kid!

I'll take Juice
And squeeze him right and make him pay
For what he does to Dodger,
He's gonna have a judgment day!

If your teacher says you're bad and sends you to the principal
You can be a Garbage Pail Kid
If your parents say you dress like you should be in a carnival
You can be a Garbage Pail Kid
It's international, radical, how anything unusual
Ends up like a Garbage Pail Kid

You think you're all so brave and oh so cute
But you don't understand, you try to persecute
Well, here's a pail and here's a lid
You can be a Garbage Pail Kid!
You can be a Garbage Pail Kid!
You can be a Garbage Pail Kid!

"Hell, I don't know.
I don't really give a s#!+.
I'm dying. Remember?"

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

There is no denying the beauty of Nocturnal Animals, the sophomore offering from Tom Ford. What's debatable, is the effectiveness of the narrative. While telling two stories in parallel with each other, one is sad and the other is just a sad existence. I can see what was being done here, but I'm not advanced enough to enjoy watching it.

All parties involved do a solid job, but two people standout. Michael Shannon, playing to type in looking like a creep, but without the usual menace. I'm probably too biased to say anything with merit, but he is a great Texas slim.

Let me introduce Aaron Taylor-Johnson. This fresh face is bound...wait, what's that. He's been around for how long? Oh, that's right. He always played a stiff, non-emoting character. If this is him breaking out of a shell, then get ready. What a menacing, scary real person he showed up as here. I didn't recognize him until I paused the movie and looked up the cast.

Much like one of Tom Ford's magnificent suits, it would show better if there was something inside of it.

You can't win an argument just by being right!
Nice review, DD. I actually dont remember this movie other than I was a bit bored.

You can't win an argument just by being right!

"I knew when he took her to a Richard Marx concert, it was serious."
Fantastic summary! I really enjoyed this, and evenmore dys later just thinking about how easy it is for parents to break their children.

Fantastic summary! I really enjoyed this, and evenmore dys later just thinking about how easy it is for parents to break their children.
I don't really buy movies anymore, the last two I bought would be pretty easy to figure out . Given that, I may ... well, ask for someone to buy it for me. I just loved it and the characters, despite the fact that the music drove me crazy.

"Poetry in translation is like taking a shower with a raincoat on."

Paterson (2016)

A friend recommended this a while ago and I finally saw it today. This is one of the more unique films I've seen in a while. What does it mean, where does it go, what happens? I'm not really sure.

There is a lot under the surface here that left me bemused. Paterson is a man that is in contrast with almost everything in his life. His old-fashioned tendencies in a modern world, his methodical tendency opposite his day-dreaming partner, his peaceful life versus a co-worker's many perceived problems. And the dog that leads him to drink . Pairs keep showing up in life, but he seems to not have one himself. I won't list all the symbolism, because it is all lost on me.

I could easily have copypasta'd a meaning from somewhere, but you would smell a rat. I just ended up being confused by all the symbolism and what it meant. Then I saw this was a romantic comedy.

Despite what you see, there is no black and white.

" I gave' em a sword. And they stuck it in, and they twisted it with relish. And I guess if I had been in their position, I'd have done the same thing. "

Frost/Nixon (2008)

On all technical merit, Frost/Nixon is superb. It looks great and does a good job making you feel at home in the 70's. Langella steals the shows with a performance for the ages as embattled Richard Milhous Nixon. In my mind I have probably considered Langella's Nixon as the real thing for many years. And Sam Rockwell is a Tarheel!

This must be the part where good ol' denny roles out the 5 buckets, end of story. Not so fast, friend. While the movie is executed without nearly a flaw, there is one issue that struck me in the jaw.

This really plays out like the best Rocky movie, number IV. Frost is built up as hotshot on his way to conquer after having previous success. Bright lights, big city, jet planes, beautiful women, et cetera. Nixon is the villain, a polished wall of stone. Controlling, dominant, calculated, brutal. Then one fateful night, it all crumbles and the hero wins.

I am curious to see the difference between the real story and Hollywood. It is great for entertainment, but I fell off the boat when that happened and sank back to earth. I can't say anything bad about the movie, I just soured on the moment when I realized I was being manipulated.

Yes Mr. Nixon, you are my boogeyman, you're here to do whatever you can.


"I keep in pants, always in pants.

I take out of pants for pee-pee only."

The Polka King (2017)

I stumbled across this today and I was on the fence. Sure Jack Black is nice in measured doses, but do I really want to...wait, Schwartzman is in this. Play.

This movie works for about 20 doesn't stop for another hour and 15 minutes. In fact, they basically replay a loop of events a couple of times for no purpose other than filler. Jack Black is being full-blown schmarmy and it's loses steam fast. Of course Jason Schwartzman is great in every scene.

Now I am basically just posting these images, which try to replicate the 80's-90's fidelity aesthetic.

Unbeknownst to me until the end-credits, this was actually based on a true story. Yikes. Here's the hero.

If you really want to see Jack Black, Jack Black Jack Black to death.

dobrej zabawy

"I threw his little brother off the thirty-second floor of Nakatomi Towers out in L.A.
I guess he's a little pissed off about it."

Diehard with a Vengeance (1995)

For the past _____ years of my life, I would have bet your paycheck that Diehard Trey was the best of them all. Hitting play on the nostalgia tape (literally) unleashes a frenetic, non-stop action smashup / caper / revenge film. It's m***** f****** McTiernan, man!

Well, that's how I remembered it. All due respect, McTiernan makes this look like $90 mil in 1995 dollars. Explosions, how many car chases? and camerawork that puts you there. But, I suspect there is a hole in the bow and some of the magic has leaked out.

Jeremy Irons and his accents are still as villainous as ever. It just doesn't have the same ring as it use to. Maybe I've seen this too many times. Maybe watching a 20 year old vhs and the inherent image issues played a part. Maybe people are right. Maybe Diehard is the best one.

McTiernan makes a spectacle for the senses, but I prefer the nostalgia cut.

How spooky is it watching this in 2018, when there is a Trump reference and a Hilary as president line in the movie.

WTF Dave Thomas cameo

ďIím admiring my own gallantry for eating it the way you prepared it.Ē

Phantom Thread (2017)

4 people. Mother, brother, sister and lover. All sewn into a world of eccentricities and elegance, designed with the flourish of an auteur .

I give up. The wrestling match I have had with this since Sun, has left my forehead bleeeeeeding after being thrown from the top of a steel cage into the announcer's table. It really is a sharp movie. You must buy the soundtrack. Daniel Day-Lewis shows such artistry in making the most mundane action fascinating.

Cyril is not to be outdone. She does her fair share of scene-stealing and is possibly my favorite part of the film. I am at loss to say anymore. I want to see it again before I even look up any analysis. The way all the major events centered around a meal or food is lost on me, but I know there is something there. I also feel a bit of a mystery towards Woodcock's mother and whether or not she did what I think she did .

A brilliant man with mother issues loves to argue over dinner.

"You didn't happen to drill a *little* hole in the dentist today, did you?"

3 Billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

What do Phantom Thread and I, Tonya have to do with 3 Billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri? If not for those movies, I would feel like a broken record of "great actors, looks great, why isn't this great?"

3B's has been praised from the drop. The story of a mother seeking justice for her slain daughter, trying to pick up the pieces in Missouri, which has apparently being blanketed with southern charm. Unfortunately, it just doesn't shake out to much. Especially in comparison to all the other award frontrunners, this one is laughable. I just can't make sense of these characters or much else. If I was an intellectual, I would say there are some politics behind all the good press this received.

The Coen Bros. work in absurdity and bizarre with a master's touch. They make nonsense believable and approachable. Martin McDonagh seems like some manic hack that is standing in front of a bulletin board with push pins, creating a web of ideas with red yarn. It creates such absurdity and then goes back to normal. Not normal in a surreal world, but random acts that suffer no repercussion in a film that supposedly needs real detective work to exist.

It wasn't all bad. Sam Rockwell is that dude, imb.

3B's just seemed like a hodgepodge of this character, then that character, try this one and cue ambiguous ending. Definitely file under "hot mess with a tilted wig".