Sunday, March 30, 2008


3 out of 5 Stars
This documentary made me want to move to Paris and have the government pay for someone to do my laundry after I give birth to kids. But before my ultimate move to Paris it solidified my vote for Hilary in 2008.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pirates of the Carribean - At World's End

0.5 out of 5 Stars
I fell asleep during 30 minutes of this film. Even with the ongoing Depp action.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hostel 2

3 out of 5 Stars
I think Eli Roth has the potential to be one of the great horror directors of our time. Look at the poster for this one. Plus Roger Bart as psycho guy. This film was much better than the first. Way to let the women take charge, Eli!

Friday, March 21, 2008

August Rush

1.5 out of 5 Stars
This movie greatly annoyed me. Okay, rockstar has one night stand with classical cello player -- movie could have ended there -- but *no*, dude gets all crazy about the girl and girl's dad is all judgemental. Even that could have been a (not very believable) story. But it gets worse -- girl gets hit by car and dad lies to her about losing her one night stand baby. And eventhough the dude is wealthy, baby ends up in some 'Oliver' or 'Annie' or 'Cider House Rules' type orphanage. Riiight. Oh, and because his parents are musical he's a prodigy. Then crazy Robin Williams appears and pimps the kid out. For his musical talents, of course. No, nothing sexual or anything. Because we're supposed to believe this is a fairy tale film. I'm sorry, this was all too much suspension of disbelief for me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Amityville Horror (2005)

3 out of 5 Stars
I can honestly say that I liked this better than the original -- shirtless Ryan Reynolds, creepy children, great digital effects -- thumbs up from me!

Monday, March 17, 2008


1 out of 5 Stars
I kind of knew that this movie would be stupid but I thought perhaps Terrance Howard and the subject of anesthesia awareness (which, in theory, should make a pretty interesting film plot) might make this film worth checking out. I was wrong. This film is just incredibly stupid. The plot twists were extremely obviously to the point that, unless the viewer is extremely dense, can hardly even be considered twists. And Hayden Christensen lurking around while his body is in a coma trying to convince the other characters of what to do was laughable. SKIP IT!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Funny Games (2008)

3.5 out of 5 Stars
I have a feeling that many people will loathe this film and say that it is 'Hostel-esque' gore. Yes, it's brutal and shameless and makes absolutely no apologies for itself. But unlike gore films where (for the most part, Eli Roth aside) the director's main purpose is usually to depict computer generated gore and half naked girls, I think Haneke goes a step further and approaches the topic with a more intellectual, satirical, meta theatrical and post modern approach. I'm biased, of course, having been disturbed yet riveted by Haneke's films from the 90s. Someday I'll post my review of 'Benny's Video' (which while obscenely disturbing is actually a very astute commentary on the Third Reich and the treatment of Bosnians. And the original 1997 'Funny Games' continues with the same underlying political statements.
So, why remake this as an 'American' film and set it in East Hampton? Simply because American audiences (when viewing films centered on murder and torture) are aching for the final redemption. As mentioned in the 'Scream' films, there is always one 'good guy' left alive to tell the next story. Or in the case of the more 'home invasion type suspense films', usually the family is left mostly intact and the bad guy (s) are killed. But we've got a Haneke film on our hands and cause and effect rarely go hand in hand. While the torture scenes in this film are hard to watch, the confidence of the family that they *will* survive only serves to act as a cruel (though quite clever) joke on the expectations of those who choose to see this film. It opened in public distribution, which I also found to be a rather interesting choice. Audiences will no doubt write loathing and scathing reviews or walk out of theater. Which is what Haneke would want!
And if you read my review and think this film sounds pretentious, or that it will suck, all I can say is that I could watch Michael Pitt read the phone book on screen and still be entertained. His piercing eyes, his sociopathic apathy -- amazing.
But all that aside, I can't say that I 'liked' this movie. I appreciated it, but some of the torture scenes were very drawn out and hard to watch. I had seen the original so I knew not to get attached to the characters, and even so, it's cold, calculating and...yes, I'll say it...very well done. The joke is on the audience.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


4 out of 5 Stars
Four Stars from me. Love that they live in the San Remo. Jacob Kogan is my new favorite Manhattan kid. This film is the antithesis of 'Little Manhattan'. It caves in on itself a bit at the end but mostly it had me interested. Sociopathic children tend to make interesting films.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Paranoid Park

4.5 out of 5 Stars.
Dear Mr. Van Sant,
Thank you for making this film. It is so refreshing to spend two hours in a dark theater watching a film that evokes image, feeling and mood rather than picking a mundane script with cheap and tacky dialogue (ummm, look at what else is out there this winter, folks! 'College Road Trip'? I'll pass.)
I'm a big fan of Van Sant's non mainstream work (Them apples just weren't for me, I guess).
I know many people will say this film is pretentious. But I say bring on the lengthy tracking shots, the jolting music, and the improvised dialogue.
This film made me feel nervous and angry one minute and then calm and serene the next. The ending? I thought the lack of cause and effect perfectly captured today's teen generation. Apathy clashing with needs and wants, parents who are clueless and out of focus (literally) and a general lack of communication and understanding among peers. This was the first film in quite a while that I reacted so strongly to.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Definitely, Maybe

2 out of 5 Stars.
Definitely, Maybe this film would have been A LOT better had Ryan Reynolds taken his shirt off. I'd take watching him in the remake of 'Amityville Horror' over this one any day. Definitely, Maybe Abigail Breslin is a one trick pony. She's cute, okay, I give her that. She had a good thing going in Little Miss Sunshine but for a child actor she is no Dakota Fanning. There. I said it. Sorry Abby. Definitely, Maybe Isla Fisher is cute, though her small physique was moderately distracting in the wide shots of herself and Ryan. She looked very Olsen Twin-esque which was frightening. I don't see the appeal of Rachel Weisz, though I'm sure many men disagree with me. In which case let's think about this story rationally -- Ryan Reynolds character dates some hot blonde (don't know that actress) and said blonde had a lesbian affair with Rachel Weisz's character. Yet Ryan Reynolds does not seem lured by a threesome? Hmm. The film was quite a bit too long, way too sappy for my taste, but it gets 2 stars because I liked the shots of New York and I LOVED Kevin Kline in his small part. And even in clothes, Ryan Reynolds is hot.
Case in point. Ryan Reynolds in this film-

And Ryan Reynolds with no shirt--

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fay Grim

4 out of 5 Stars
I really loved this. I was expecting to be disappointed, based on the reviews I read but this film gets a hefty 4 star from me. Maybe it's because I have the flu and a fever or maybe it's because I just got back from Istanbul (yay for Fay being in Turkey!) or maybe this really was a good follow up to Henry Fool. Terrorism, politics, espionage...I thought this was a well done and very riveting sequel. Like 'Henry Fool' very well written and well acted.

Monday, March 3, 2008


3 out of 5 Stars
Not bad as a film but it lost quite a bit in the adaption from the novel, such as the class struggle and the love story. I did very much love the character of young Briony.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


3.5 out of 5 Stars
Very, very good. Like watching a quality play in the West End.