xannoside: (zombie link)
Strigoi 
directed by Faye Jackson
TL;DR: A wonderful dark comedy involving Eastern European politics, small town isolation, and vampires.  A must-see for lovers of indie-horror looking for something truly different.

I'm not even sure how to describe this film )
xannoside: (school me)
I'll put most of it behind jump, but...wow.  Solid job, all around, folks.  

Look, I didn't like a lot of where the show went this season.  It felt contrived, it felt tired, it felt seen before.  But this finale reminded me of everything I loved about this show in the first place.  

Maybe you guys fell off the bar in the end, but damn, you stuck the landing.  Good job, and thanks for all the memories.

5 long years (spoilers) )


xannoside: (ahem)
So I went to see The Adventures of Tintin a couple nights ago with the sister.  I was a little apprehensive; the Tintin comics were an enormous part of my childhood, I still love re-reading them, and the last thing I wanted was for general American audiences to be introduced to the character via some bloated, soul-less adaptation.  That, and the CG looked more than a little uncanny valley.

Well, it wasn't soul-less.  At all.  Giving Spielberg and Peter Jackson every credit, they really worked hard to make this movie shine in every possible way that the books did.  But it is a bit bloated.  Tintin is stuffed to the gills with as much as they could have possibly fit in; the film is an amalgam of Crab with the Golden ClawsSecret of the Unicorn, and Red Rackham's Treasure.  And as an unfortunate result, everything feels a little rushed.  It's a little peculiar because they did a good job otherwise of trying the three together into a single story that could fit in 2 hours.

 Admittedly, adapting a Tintin story into a movie accessible to an audience not familiar with the character is a tough task.  Many of the best Tintin stories (The Calculus Affair, Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon, The Red Sea Sharks) simply aren't new audience-friendly, and most of the earlier stand-alone stories like King Ottakar's Sceptre and Cigars of the Pharaoh don't feature Captain Haddock, one of the most iconic comic-book characters ever devised.  

There are some stupendous action sequences that fit the books perfectly, being both exciting and slightly slapstick.  Thomson and Thompson are pretty funny as played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and there is a brilliant character cameo by Bianca Castafiore.  I just wish they had let the story breathe a bit.  
xannoside: (ding!)

That also goes for the one who txt'd me w/ b-day wishes @ 1am from a number I didn't recognize!

Merry Xmas, everyone!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

xannoside: (LMAO)
From Cracked's Top 8 Movies of 2011:

"The first four movies didn't make sense in the insulting way a dumb person doesn't make sense when trying to talk their way out of a speeding ticket. Fast Five didn't make sense in the awesome way that Wu-Tang Clan lyrics don't even try to make sense. The first four movies failed to ask the all-important question, "What if we rubbed melted butter on the Rock and told him to pretend to be Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive?" Fast Five asked that question, and had the good sense to realize the answer was, "That would be goddamn hilarious!""
xannoside: (ding!)
Saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows yesterday with [livejournal.com profile] bigscary and [livejournal.com profile] negativeq.  Really, really enjoyed it, just all in all far surperior to the first one.

It was kind of like X-Men 2.  The first movie was purely for character setup, and that it's out of the way, it's full tilt for fun, action, and breathless set-pieces.

There was even a little more on-screen detecting.  And a lot more, ah, "subtextual" nods befitting the world's most classic bromance. 

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law ham it up enormously, clearly having a fabulous time.  Jared Harris is a fantastic Moriarty, brilliant, classy and yet utterly sinister, Stephen Fry was born to play Mycroft Holmes, and it's great to see Noomi Rapace in a movie based on a book that isn't all about how rape-is-awful-so-how-about-some-more-rape?

Guy Ritchie is a little too fond of both slow-mo and quick-cuts.  While I appreciate the skill that went into choreographing the action scenes, sometimes I'm not sure why directors spend so much time setting up a visual piece only to quick-cut all over the place, or set up a smoothly flowing motion only to randomly slow it down so the audience can see in intimate detail all the particles of dirt make-up added to an actor's face.  

In the end though, the better bits of the movie overcome this handily, and the last 10 minutes could not have been done better.  Highly recc'd.

xannoside: (zombie link)
Triangle
Genre: supernatural/slasher
Chris Smith (who directed Creep) 2009
starring Melissa George and Chris Hemsworth's little bro.

This one is a holdover from my Halloween prep Netflix queue.  I liked Chris Smith's other films, Creep  and Black Death, but I was a little antsy about this one, which gave all appearances of being a generic slasher film on a boat.  I only added it to my queue because it had a stellar reputation quite beyond what I expected of a slasher film.

There's really only two things to say:
  1. This film is a hell of a lot more than a generic slasher on a boat film.  A ton of thought got put into everything, and it shows.
  2. I would be doing a collosal disservice to potential watchers if I reviewed this film in-depth because it's almost impossible to not spoil.
If you like thoughtful atmospheric horror with a supernatural, almost Twilight Zone, kind of feel, do yourself a favor and see Triangle, it's 100% worth it.
xannoside: (ding!)

Enjoy your turkey, turkey-alternatives, and thankfulness!

(and avoid Black Friday)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

xannoside: (ding!)
So it's been 2 years since it came out at the IFC, but I missed it then, so I finally got around to watching The Good, The Bad, The Weird, a korean action-comedy-homage to Sergio Leone in particular and Spaghetti Westerns in general.  It shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone that I'm very fond of Spaghetti Westerns.  They're the original summer blockbuster - bombastic, anachronistic, and gleefully ridiculous.

GBW isn't a remake, as I originally thought, but a stylistic re-interpretation of the genre in a 1930s Korean setting.  As you might imagine, the story is classic Leone-style: the Bad is hired to steal a map of great important to the Japanese, the Weird shows up and steals it first by accident, and the Good is just out to bring the Bad in for a bounty.  Nothing more, nothing less.  And yet, in the resulting chase between the three draws in two local gangs, the Korean independence movement, and the Japanese-Manchurian army.  In the end, the plot is really there for one reason: for the three main characters to slowly but surely get drawn tighter and tighter together in increasingly ridiculous set-pieces (including possibly the greatest horseback chase scene in history) until the inevitable final showdown.

So how is it?  In a word...wonderful.  This flm has everything.  Cowboys, machine guns, bandits, trains, motorcycles, Tarzan-style gun-battles, ridiculously out-of-place boy band haird, and bullets that never run out until a character needs a cool reloading pose, all set to a soundtrack that is about 50% genre music and 50% techno K-hop.  The three main characters are each really funny in totally different ways, and are complete different in style, temperament, and approach.  This is one of those films where you can tell that they had a blast just making it.

Highly recc'd for anyone even curious, it's on Netflix streaming.

xannoside: (Mass Effect)
From a game design standpoint, the Uncharted games are not the greatest games in the world.  Its gameplay has been done better elsewhere, in the likes of Assassin's Creed and action-shooter hybrids like Mass Effect and Gears of War.  It's not even the most seemless action-gaming experience like God of War.

And yet, Uncharted 3, just like the two previous iterations, is one of the most fun, rewarding action-gaming experiences I've ever had whose actual enjoyment blasts it past most of those previously mentioned games as an overall experience.

Big cut demonstrating how much I love this series )

The plot is so impressive, and the action so tight, and the set pieces so awesomely huge, that they could have called this game Indiana Jones Had a Kid Who Isn't Shia LaBeouf and I would consider it a compliment.  To Indiana Jones.

Yeah, I went there.


xannoside: (LMAO)
...but shitmazing was definitely the right word for the new Three Musketeers movie.  I have never seen a movie that was so gleefully awful.  Not only were a couple actors in different movies than everyone else, I kind of think everyone was in a different movie than everyone else.  And somehow, it kinda worked.

They had excellent duels and sword combat, they had zingy one-liners, they had airships, they had slo-mo combat, they had corsets everywhere, they had accents from every land, they had fucking titlecards for the characters, and Orlando Bloom's pompadour and outfit each had their own parts in the film.

Shitmazing, my friends. Shit. Mazing.
xannoside: (zombie link)
Little Shop of Horrors
Genre: SF/Horror Musical
Director: Frank Oz, 1986
Songs by: Alan Menken
Starring: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, and a huge cast of SNL Alums
TL;DR: Okay, okay, not strictly speaking a horror film, not even a horror musical really, but the space-born mutant plants eating people would seem to be close enough.  The puppetry is jaw-dropping, worth seeing this film alone for it, and the songs are a highly enjoyable bonus.

Read more... )

xannoside: (zombie link)
R-point
Genre: War Horror/Ghost Story
Director: Su-chang Kong, 2004
Starring: If you're not a serious K-films fan, you'll have no clue who these guys are
TL;DR: An excellent addition to the "War is Hell...now with demons" genre.  Tight, creepy, and atmospheric.
Note: Film is in Korean, with english subtitles.

Read more... )
xannoside: (zombie link)
Tucker & Dale vs Evil
Genre: Hillbilly Horror Spoof Parody
Director: Eli Craig, 2010 (released in 2011)
Starring: Wash, some Canadian actor who is in lots of things, and Cerie from 30 Rock
TL;DR: Everything in the trailer is still really funny watching the actual movie, but there's not much left.

Read more... )


xannoside: (zombie link)
REC 2
Genre: Fast Zombies (also Spanish)
Director: Jaume Balaguero & Paco Plaza, 2009
Starring: Spanish unknowns (aside from a couple who might be recognized from the first film)
TL;DR: Not as spine-gripping as the first fantastic film, and picked up a few plot-holes in transition, but still all-around freaky and great.

FYI to folks: REC 2 is not the same as Quarantine 2, the sequel to the American re-make of REC.  Quarantine 2 (which I am also hoping to see before Halloween) took the re-make series into a completely different direction, due to changes made in the last 10 minutes of Quarantine.

Read more... )

xannoside: (zombie link)
Creep
Genre: Urban Monster in the Dark
Director: Christopher Smith (who went on to direct the well-received Triangle and Black Death), 2004
Starring: Franka Potente and some British people
TL:DR: A little uneven, but overall a decent use of of the "beast in the underground" concept (helped by it actually being the London Underground)

Read more... )

Anyone notice that the films I've liked out of these batches so far are all European?

Next one coming in probably a couple days, as I will be busy, but I hope folks are enjoying them.

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