November 16, 2006

Film Fun

Guillermo del Toro's PAN'S LABYRINTH (2006) - Absolute genius. A beautiful, dark, violent, and engrossing fantasy film. Like nothing else out there. Grade A+

Park Chan-wook’s LADY VENGENCE (2005) - The conclusion to Chan-wool's "Vengeance Trilogy", this ended up just being a little more of the same. Great visuals, but a limp storyline. Grade C

John Boorman’s POINT BLANK (1967) - Existential as$ kicking starring the cold Lee Marvin. Kind of a cold and distant movie....but Marvin's character's single mindedness of his existence was kind of fun. Grade B

Robert Altman’s CALIFORNIA SPLIT (1974) - Loose improvised gambling flick from the man who only knows how to make loose and improvised films. Breezy, light, and fun. For once Altman seems to get all the pieces right......including a nice quiet understated ending. Grade A-

Spike Lee’s SUMMER OF SAM (1999) - A little unfocused. Not quite a movie ABOUT the Son OF Sam as much as it is about the neighborhood and the effect the killings had. But the movie even fails to keep that storyline focused well. Grade C-

Stephen Spielberg’s DUEL (1971) - Checking in on where it all began for a young dude named Spielberg. Fun Movie Of The Week about a small car being hassled by a large dirty truck. Even this early it was obvious there was nobody better with pure story than our boy Steve. Grade B+

Oliver Stone’s U-TURN (1997) - A big loud mess of an Oliver Stone movie. Characters come and go, the camera swoops and cuts, storylines pop up and drop out. Yet some how the whole thing keeps moving. Grade C+

David Gregory’s THE GODFATHERS OF MONDO (2003) - Solid little "talking head" documentary on the birth of the "Mondo" movie and it's creators. The bad reputation of the "mondo" movie is surprisingly undeserved, as this doc shows it's humble beginnings and honest creators. Grade B

Russ Meyer’s UP! (1976) - Like a loony toons cartoon come to life. With nudity. This was surprisingly graphically violent for Russ. Not nearly as slapstick as his earlier films, and therefore, not nearly as fun. Grade C+

Robert Rodriguez’s SIN CITY : THE DIRECTOR’S CUT (2005) - I couldn't tell you what the difference between this and the theatrical cut was. Seem the same to me. Still a fascinating film to look at. Truly, truly, there is NO other movie that looks quite like this. Grade B