My recent impulse watches and what I thought


I've been a movie addict for 20 years. 20 year and 10,000 movies later I discovered I require impulse movies. This is the start of my log.

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Buxom, burly women burning down a man's world. Faster Pussycat is a very entertaining movie, a tacky epic of exploitation. I enjoyed it greatly. (7.5)

Russ Meyers' Up & Beyond The Valley Of The Ultravixens
The follow-up to my first Meyer experience. A frenzied rampage of fornication, gore and convoluted plotting. Most scenes involve people travelling or running, often naked, to and from copulation. A commentator tells you of their trials and tribulations. These movies involve plotlines and characters so inane you could hardly fault them. You'll have to watch for yourself and make up your own mind. (5 & 5)

Jack And His Friends
I rented this movie, strangely enough, for its cover. I was suprised by the subject matter of this film. Two house invaders kidnap an overweight man who's wife has left him. Jack eventually wins over his captors and they get in a hot tub together. What this film lacks in cohesive story and directing it makes up for with personality. I found myself enjoying this pretty awful movie. Definately a guilty pleasure. (6)

Venus Beauty Institute
A movie about three women juggling the demands of love and beauty makeovers. Angele is searching for love, Samantha has too many boyfriends and Marie is finding love for the first time. It's a throwback to classic French cinema and a good film. It's flaws include spotty acting, MIA sub-plots and a flat ending. Still worth watching for Nathalie Baye's excellent performance and a hot scene with Audrey Tautou and a much older guy. (6.5)

Halloween 2
A bad movie, but funny bad. Worth watching to see every idea from the first film contradicted. (4)

An illiterate, street-smart girl's mother and father are arrested, together. The girl (Reece Witherspoon) escapes from a family services counsellor and travels cross country to find her grand-mother. She's picked up by a psychopathic guidence counsellor (Kiefer Sutherland) and that's just half of this film. Freeway is a juggernaut. A startling, brutal and funny film, frothing with rabid intensity, throwing twists and turns at the viewer. Witherpoon is incredible as Vanessa. (8)

Resident Evil
After all the fun I had playing the game, and the really great trailer for Res2 that reminds of the one aired for Strange Days many moons ago. I rented numero uno, and was astounded by the lack of anything involving good movie-making. Bad direction (people look confused, the sets are badly filmed, irritating close-ups and stretches in continuity that Mr. Fantastic couldn't hold together), bad acting (did I eat a moldy burger or am I being chased by a thousand zombies), bad costumes (swat-chic and a red dress), bad lighting (green is never a good choice outside of France), bad scripting (The computer gets the most intelligent lines), etc.. Then, because of boredom, I listened to the DVD commentary and understood why this was such a bad movie. This group of actors were party animals shuttled the Germany (land of party) to party...and maybe make a movie. It's worth hearing the commentary just to follow the escapades of the actors. In fact that should have been filmed and released as Resident Evil, wouldn't that have been weird. (movie 2/commentary 7.5)

Ben Affleck will soon be known as Ben Affliction if he keeps making movies like this. In an shameless attempt to cash in on Spiderman (Which I liked a lot) MSJ directs exactly the same movie with a different super-hero. It's like watching inferior outtakes in which Colin Farrell pretends he's in the action movie remake of The Crying Game and Ben wears really dark shades. This movie proves one thing, that Jennifer Garner is awesome. She needs to find much better movies to be as cool as she is in the starring role. (4)

The Hulk
I went on a super-hero rent-fest. Ang Lee is a very good director, he makes Hulk tense, edgy (no skimping on the puny human pounding), interesting (he keeps the story rolling) and visually striking (great use of split screen and it's got the great natural lighting of the TV show.) Unfortunately the hulk just isn't that interesting, he's big, green and mad...all the time...every day, except when he bounces around like a little green ball. Eric Bana gives a great perf as Bruce Banner, understated and actually affecting. Jennifer Connelly, as in every movie I have seen her in, is amazing (she's sweet, smart, strong, full of charisma and usually the best part of the scene she's in) and beautiful. I was thinking, I wonder what Betty is doing right now, when she wasn't in a scene. Nick Nolte is awful, playing his character with far too much conviction. He's eating his scenery with fava beans and a nice chianti. Overall, an inconsitent, very entertaining but silly movie. If you like the look of bouncing green men, this one's for you. (6.5)

The Core
Ever since the days of Melies this movie formula has existed. This one is no different. This movie is also very long, the 138 minute running time just about frightened me off. And it has a great cast. It starts out half descent with some witty lines "and what if I say no""we have no sense of humour", gets to the lumpy explain the gadgets scenes (snore) and then propels into a thrill a minute serial movie. Remember those serial thrillers of the 20's, they were really fun...if you didn't watch them back to back. And that's why this movie bored the Turkey Dinner right out of me. How many times can you play the same scene of person in peril who has to go back in to save the other guys and dies before he can escape before it gets really boring. Well, basically 3 times about does it. This movie proves to be an equal oportunity crapper, putting forward the idea that smart crap is just crap too. (4)

Open Range
Excellent 1st hour. Beautiful, excellently paced and very interesting. Kinda boring 30 minutes in the middle. wandering in the rain, rescuing dogs, planning stuff, breaking plates, etc. Really good kinda violent ending. Robert Duvall is the dude...dude. (7.5)

Dawn Of The Dead (merf)
Where do I start. This movie is a bizarre remake of two movies, Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later. The mad rampaging zombies ghoulishly bluster about negating dogs as a viable food source (huh) and basically just scream a lot. The movie is a bombastic mess, ever struggling with the conundrum that is post-mtv hyperness vs. moviemaking. Sarah Polly (one of my favorite actresses, Canadian too) is good in the disturbing opening scenes featuring a very frightening zombie girl. it's about ten minutes of brilliant film. But after the credits roll things start going awry. Characters are introduced that are stock characters. (the cop, the villian trying to do good, the pregnant lady, the annoying rich guy, the nasty redneck), it becomes tedious to wade through this cliched, hyper-violent, noisy action-horror. Certain set pieces work efficiently (checking the mall, the birth, delivering the food, but it all slips into a morass of depressing insanity)but a series of scenes never effectively set up any tension.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
The end of the film is burdened by messy editing(probably the only way to connect these scenes together), and too many scenes stripped straight from The Gauntlet. There are two brilliant scenes in this mess of an ending 1) A propane tank is thrown into a mass of zombies, is shot and blows up. The subsequent shot is an incredible, bodies fall over in a wave and a huge white, yellow fireball rises. And 2) The closing scene of a man sacrificing himself is excellent. It's 2 minutes of great movie.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
And as if I didn't like this movie enough, if you stay for the closing credits you'll see all the rest of the characters killed on an island. What witty nihilism arf. .
This movie is not tense, interesting or entertaining. I would recommend this movie to people interested in self-flagulation. (3)

P.S.: Far more creepy than this film could ever be was a group of 10 year old kids, accompanied by their father, who watched this delightful film. They were screaming with glee and excitement as each grotesque horror was paraded in front of them. Clapping followed a scene in which a zombie twitches in a fountain like a fish, and is then shot in the head. This is the youth of tomorrow. They enjoy almost any horror you can possibly throw at them, they did quiet down for one scene however, that was the sex scene.

P.S.S: After a good nights sleep I have come up with a succinct rule. Absolutely, under no circumstance, will I ever theatre watch a movie getting under 60 on Metacritic again. It's just not gonna happen. :?)

Matchstick Men
A movie that is very long. The movie moves along very slowly. Nicholas Cage shows every tick known to acting, his performance can be very irritating. His squirelly Roy is such a collosal nervous reck that the film just lags underneath him. Alison Lohman is good and does a fair bit of mugging herself and Sam Rockwell is quite good. This movie is half good and half bad. The twist ending is kind of a surprise but the end just fizzles out. Definately one to rent on a night you have nothing else to watch. (5)

I ventured to the distant city theatre to partake of the joy-ride that is Hellboy. The movie began with a rainy scene from long, long ago explaining the birth of sorts of said character. Action explodes, many die and I'm introduced to a cute, tiny red guy with a stone hand and a hankering for Baby Ruth. After the credits roll the words present day pop up on the bottom of the screen. The little red guy is all grown up and he's hungry. Ron Perlman invests this character with oodles of macho charisma and manages an incredible performance to match the bright red physic. His bravodo is only matched by Professor Broom (John Hurt) and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) who I wish had been featured more prevelantly. The rest of the cast just has a hard time keeping up. Del Toro has a knack for mixing great visuals, flamboyant special effects (they're excellent), and fabulous action scenes into something very exciting. His ability to invest scenes with actual emotion edge the film alongside Spiderman in the new royalty of the super-hero pantheon. The one main problem is the editing, some scenes run on far too long while the ending is so jaggedly cut it almost forced me out of the movie altogether. That causes a problem with the pacing of what could have been an excellent picture. Even with those flaws Hellboy is a very enjoyable, action-packed spectacle. (7.9)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (03)
This is a very bad movie,
No it ain't that groovy,
Certain scenes were kinda scary,
The movie is directed garishly,
The actors are pretty bad,
The plot twists are really sad,
It turned out to be kinda silly,
This one's just a crap-fritter. (1)

Secondhand Lions
This is a sweet, sometimes funny, pervasively hokey little movie. Each actors does a nice job interpreting their part. The script has a certain charm in between the silly parts. Overall this is a friendly, eager-to-please movie that's a little too pleasant to make a large impact. (6.5)

The Killer Elite
James Caan is one of my least favorite actors (right up there with Nick Nolte), strangely enough both these actors seem to be in quite a few of my favorite movies. This bizarre conundrum led me to watch this film and here is a warning, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE! and here's why: James is betrayed by best friend and longtime rogue buddy Robert Duvall. Caan becomes a cripple from his injuries (Knee and elbow if you really care) but he's a kung-fu cripple. His cane's a lethal weapon and his chest hair makes several unpleasant appearances. Soon he's on the track of his bad-ass bud, saving a kung-fu-fighting-Chinese-diplomat-refugee and kicking some bad-fighting Ninja ass. Does this sound confusing, dumb and silly; well it's all the above. There's also a love affair with an understanding nurse (apparently very understanding, wink, wink), the usual political intrigue and "suprise" bad guy so easy to spot it's criminal. Beyond that there's a bounty of inept acting in the middle and a terrible script. However if you want to see a kung-fu-fighting, crippled, half-naked, cane-tossing James Caan make a complete ass of himself, well here's your chance. (-2)

Pearl Jam Live In New York
Pearl Jam are rockin'. They're generally rockin' most of the time. Ben Harper makes an appearance, so do the Buzzcocks. I had fun. (7)

The Dancer Upstairs
John Malkovich's directorial debut is blessed to have Javier Bardem (a brilliant actor) in the lead. He gives an excellent performance as the leader of an anti-terrorist squad in a Latin-American country. A small revolutionary group grows out of control into a murder squad that seeks to topple the government. This movie in my opinion suffers greatly from the length that involves too many plotlines that trail off. The movie itself is slightly incoherent at times. But specific scenes work so well you can forgive the shortcomings and just enjoy the film. (7)

The Matrix Revolutions
Ha! This is one huge incoherant, soul-depleting, inept, confused, smelly, quease-inducing, sticky sweet, sour ended, pretentious, eye-sore that was so awful it made me feel dirty even watching it. Now let me say, I knew it was going to be bad when I decided to watch it, but my expectations were bowled over by the craptacular monolith of dung that was this film. Could this be the worst film ever made...that's a maybe. Would this film make Ed Wood Jr. proud...that's a yes. (0)

The Five Senses
Canadian cinema is lot like a first date, it's kinda slow yet enjoyable, with information being shared with a slow, sometimes sensual, repetition. The Five Senses is a perfect example of said analogy. The film has an sensual quality that I would guess comes from the rich reds and browns of the art direction. The actors (many Canuck mainstays) give commendable performances, the script is witty and it's just daring enough to be interesting. The film is split into 5 stories that rely on the five senses. It was enjoyable. I would say this was a good date-nite movie, it's intelligent, moderated, woman friendly and geared toward introspection i.e. good for gettin' the juices flowing (It's spring folks and the stook is frisky). :?) (7)

Reign Of Fire
Hardy-Har-Har Me Matey. Other than the hideously overblown acting, startlingly good cast (huh), and basically good story-line there's the problem that the movie is far too long and has some of the dumbest dialogue this side of a Christopher Lambert film. Yet, I halfway liked it in a so bad it's kinda good way. All I have to say is Hey mr. dragon, leave my tomatoes alone! (5)

Love, Actually
A brilliantly funny, very romantic film. I honestly tried not to like this movie, I attempted to resist the inimitable charms but they snuck up on me like tarantula and pounced. Soon I was giggling along as each zinger and shaking my head affectionately at the sour scenes. Love, Actually brings together stock characters, clunky direction with familiar plotting but contains snappy dialogue. These 4 things mixed together seemingly make a wonderfully gooey treat. Favorite scene two people are simulating sex and the man says "It's nice to finally find someone I can talk to." Yep, this one's a keeper. (8)

Jack The Ripper (194something)
It turns out Jack's victims weren't prostitutes but just burnt out caberet dancers. A truly silly film. (3)

The Emperor's New Clothes
I stumbled into a marvelous scene at the 30 minute mark. Napoleon disguised as a lowly ship-hand hugs the Sergeant who has escorted him to Paris. The Sergeant's frame dwarves the tiny Napoleon, who struggles not to be suffocated. Brimming with subtle insights and an equally subtle sense of humor The Emperor is infused with a buoyant, enjoyable storytelling. The last act has an extended series of conflicts that become monotonous. But it's a small quibble for an excellent story of whimsy and humanity. (8.5)

Man, you've only been here a short time, but it's great having you around Listology! I'm really enjoying the lists and commentary you're kicking in.

I'll check out Venus Beauty Institute, if for no other reason than to get another Audrey Tautou movie under my belt (only seen Amelie so far). I'll probably have to also see Faster Pussycat, based on your comments alone. Well, and to rack up some more Kill Bill influences.

Thanks Jim, it's nice to be appreciated.

Can't wait for Kill Bill V.2, Hannah vs. Thurman is just what the doctor ordered. :D

oh yeah and tell me what ya think of Faster Pussycat. It's interesting to hear peoples opinions of cult classics.

Will do! In case I forget to pop back over here, everything I see ends up here in some form or another.

I've been checking with anticipation but notta. However this has not brought my spirits down, I've just been watching average super-hero movies. :\ <----super-hero distressed stooky

Okay, The Mirror might have cracked the top 20 of my queue, but Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is going to have to wait for the right moment. :-)

Sorry about your wallowing in superhero mediocrity. At least you liked The Hulk a bit more than I did. I agree that Daredevil was pretty Daredismal though.

:|<---patiently waiting.

(hee hee) Daredismal.

By the way what is on your top 20 if you don't mind me asking?

At the moment the top 20 in my Netflix queue is: [1] Charade, [2] Dog Day Afternoon, [3] Sunshine State, [4] Drumline, [5] The Elephant Man, [6] Elling, [7] Gangs of New York, [8] The French Lieutenant's Woman, [9] High and Low, [10] Mr. Death: Fred A. Leuchter Jr., [11] Henry & June, [12] Koyaanisqatsi, [13] Comedian, [14] M, [15] Mirror, [16] Metropolis , [17] Midnight Cowboy , [18] Metropolis, [19] Nashville, [20] One Day in September

That's a nice list of movies. Definately an eclectic group.
1> yep tis a good 'un. I went to the local video store to rent The Truth About Charley (a good friend wanted me to see it), and the Video store clerk said "That's a good movie (it wasn't), but don't watch the other side, it's some crappy old movie.". That movie was Charade and it's a hoot and a holler.
2> "Attica!"
3> You can't go wrong with John Sayles now can you. He's number 17 of my fave directors. Edie Falco is incredible, amazing, stupendous, mauvelous in this movie plus she's one hot mama.
4> haven't seen.
5> Lynch is very tragic...dude.
6> huh?
7> It's like an intelligent, period piece remake of Friday The 13th.
8> Arg. Meryl and Jeremy drive me insane in this movie.
9> Arf.
10> Haven't seen, but want to.
11> H & J is intelligent, entertaining, beautifully shot and dirty, dirty, dirty.(yay)
12> ZZZZZZZZZ. O a vista. ZZZZZZZ. Skyscraper. zzzzzzz.
13> Haven't seen.
14> "You are the monsters!"
15> 1st watch: Huh? what the heck? Is that a barn? Who? why? huh? 2nd watch: Okay that makes sense, why is that there? that doesn't make any sense. Where'd he come from. 3rd watch: Hey wait, this all makes sense. (yay)
16> (contorted face looks up)(crowd shot)(woman walks on plank)(evil eyes watch the city)...
17> "Hey, I'm watchin' here!"
18> Metropolis is on again. That's love.
19> The worst burlesque performance ever filmed.
20> Arg, a political thriller. Nooooooooooooooo!

Sorry...I couldn't stop myself. :?)

Great stuff. I'm mostly filled with anticipation, now mixed in with a bit of trepidation. :-)

Some explanations: Elling (scroll down to #43). One of the Metropoli was the anime. I've deferred it and Koyaanisqatsi for now (saw Baraka not too long ago, and I find I'm not quite back in the mood for another "music and images" documentary.

We've been watching a lot of the same movies, me and jgand. Elling sounds interesting, I'll check it out. Metropolis anime is kinda cool. Great visuals, but alas as all things are never equal, the graphic novel is better.

I've got a reccomendation for ya, it's called Winged Migration and it's really, really good. It shares the same basic ideas as Koyaanisquatsi but updated and involving birds.

I'm really looking forward to Winged Migration. My wife and daughter saw it in the theater and loved it. It's in my queue, just further down the pack.

It's 7 in the morning up here in Canada. I've got coffee brewing but it ain't ready. I'm off to be hastled by a group of hyper, preppy ladies loitering at A&W wanting to discuss the color of bandanas. I am living the surreal life.
At the last meeting I was told your the only man here, and we need a man's opinion unforunately I was not the only man and my male counterparts have since disappeared. arf. And I'm complaining to you Jim because I live with even more women. I'd have to talk to my dog for any sympathy. Who says it's a man's world? cause I wanna kick 'em. :)

Good to hear. (I'm constantly waiting, I think I'll take up knitting.) :)

The meeting didn't happen. I got some coffee. And the women in my family did feel sorry for me and even offered to help. What'ya know, this was a good day. :?)

Any time you wanna say, what are you talkin' about?, feel free. :)

I am no longer surprised at how youngsters (single digit years, even) get to watch (or are even encouraged to watch) R-rated movies of all stripes. Well, maybe not ALL stripes, but a surprising number of parents don't seem to care about exposing little kids to violence and gore. Just because I'm not surprised doesn't mean I'm not discouraged though.

I agree. It is discouraging. Although (and partially for this reason) I don't have any children, I am always amazed by these toddler's glee at any disgusting or horrific event that befalls a character. Critics will have to come up with a new saying for these creepy up-and-comers. In music they say don't bore us, get to the chorus in movies they'll have to say don't bore us, get to the violent decapitations.

I remember watching Freeway a few years ago in a smelly dorm room. It was the most God awful thing I have ever seen.

I particularly remember Witherspoon's line "I ain't no crack baby!". Classic.

one man's trash...