Archive for October, 2007

Talk to Me

October 29, 2007

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There’s nothing quite like watching a great actor do their thing, and if you haven’t figured it out yet, Don Cheadle is a great actor. That much was obvious when he landed a recurring role on the television series Picket Fences, or when he outshined Denzel Washington in Devil in a Blue Dress. And even when he is in crap like Mission to Mars or Swordfish, or when he’s stuck playing basically the same character in films like Out of Sight or Bulworth, Cheadle gives a great performance. By the time he received an Oscar nomination for Hotel Rwanda, Cheadle had moved up from the ranks of a character actor in supporting roles to leading man, catching those who weren’t paying attention unaware. He has not yet made it to the A-list of black actors—a short list that consists primarily of Denzel, Will Smith and Jamie Foxx—but as Talk to Me proves, Don Cheadle is certainly a talent to be reckoned with. (more…)

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T-Shirt of the Week: WEEK 20

October 28, 2007

tsotw-button-1.jpgSome people believe you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear. I believe you can tell more about a person by the t-shirts they have worn. This is the story of my life, as told by the t-shirts I have worn. (more…)

Jackie Chan's The Myth

October 27, 2007

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When Jackie Chan attempted to conquer Hollywood in 1995 with Rumble in the Bronx, diehard fans in the United States had high hopes. Fifteen years earlier Chan had ventured to the states in an attempt to build on the popularity he had already established in Hong Kong; but with films like The Big Brawl and Cannonball Run he failed to make a real impression on mainstream audiences. Only a small handful of chop sockey fans knew who Chan was, until Rumble in the Bronx helped to establish him with the multiplex crowd. Unfortunately, after a few successful releases of some of his older Hong Kong films, Chan soon found himself stuck in silly action comedies like Shanghai Noon and Rush Hour, which weren’t nearly as bad as The Tuxedo, but didn’t do much for his filmography in terms of quality work. In the end, Chan’s Hollywood films reduced him to watered-down version of himself, co-starring in movies that seldom used him to his fullest potential. (more…)

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

October 23, 2007

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WARNING: This review contains spoilers.
It’s funny how much life—and a little editing—can change your perception of a movie. Twenty-five years ago, when my cousin Sean and I managed to scam our way in to see Blade Runner, it seemed like one of the coolest movies of all time. We were 13 years-old at the time, and Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), the futuristic cop hunting androids, seemed like one of the coolest screen heroes since the previous summer’s Snake Plissken escaped from New York. But a lot can happen to you over the course of a quarter century, you experience many things, your view of the way things are changes considerably, and what you saw in a film as a child can become something completely different when you are a grown man. (more…)

T-Shirt of the Week: WEEK 19

October 21, 2007

tsotw-button-3b.jpgSome people believe you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear. I believe you can tell more about a person by the t-shirts they have worn. This is the story of my life, as told by the t-shirts I have worn. (more…)

Fido

October 21, 2007

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“Man, I know you don’t like that many movies, but you are going to love Fido.” That’s what everyone I know who saw Fido told me. They emphasized it so much, that I actually started to believe it. I mean here were people who seemingly knew my taste in film, so I figured they must be on to something. And then I started reading all of these reviews, and it seemed like if I didn’t love Fido, then at the very least I was going to like it a lot. But a funny thing happened about twenty-minutes in to the film, I started thinking about how much everyone told me I was going to love Wild at Heart, and how my friends dragged me to the theater to see it, and how I tried to walk out because I absolutely hated it. And the more I watched Fido, the more my respect for every person who sang the film’s praises diminished, until it got to the point where I wanted to call every person who recommended the film to me, and tell them to kiss my ass. (more…)

Lights in the Dusk; 12:08 East of Bucharest

October 17, 2007

lights-dusk.jpgAki Kaurismäki is one of Finland’s most highly regarded filmmakers. In 1989 Kaurismäki’s Leningrad Cowboys Go America helped solidify his place in the international film scene, and ever since then the prolific filmmaker’s work has played at festivals and arthouses throughout the United States. The 1996 film Drifting Clouds was the first installment in what was first known as the “loser series.” Drifting Clouds was followed by 2002’s The Man Without a Past, one of Kaurismäki’s finest achievements as a filmmaker. Both films, though unrelated by story or character, are set in Helsinki, and revolve around a sad-sack cast of characters who have been dealt losing hands by life. With his most recent film, Lights in the Dusk, Kaurismäki’s “loser series” has become the “loser trilogy” as the director once again explores the bone-dry comedic landscape of Helsinki. (more…)

30 Days of Night

October 16, 2007

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Over 80 years ago, director F.W. Murnau’s groundbreaking film Nosferatu helped introduce the blood-sucking vampire to motion pictures. In that time, vampire stories have been done to death in film (no pun intended), with only the occasional entry coming along and breathing new life into what is most assuredly a tired genre. The best films are those that either seek to somehow reinvent the conventions of vampire mythology, like George Romero’s classic Martin, or put an interesting twist on the blood-suckers themselves, like Near Dark. If a vampire film can’t do that much, at the very least it should be an effective monster movie. 30 Days of Night, based on the popular comic book series created by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, doesn’t do much to rewrite the mythology of vampires, but when it comes to being a straight-forward monster movie, you can’t ask for much more. (more…)

Buried Alive

October 16, 2007

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Robert Kurtzman is best known to horror fans as the “K” in “KNB”—the legendary special makeup effects crew that has worked on some of the best known genre films of the last twenty years, including Evil Dead II and From Dusk Till Dawn. Kurtzman has also lent his special effects talents to a wide array of films that range from Dances With Wolves to Pulp Fiction, all of which have helped to establish his skills and abilities with creating a variety of illusions. But for all of his magical ability to make wonderful and disgusting things come alive (as well as die)—the one thing Kurtzman can’t do is make Buried Alive a decent movie. Kurtzman takes on the role of director for this poorly written bit of B-movie trash that is as boring as it is lame, as full of clichés as it is devoid of entertainment value. (more…)

Rapturious

October 15, 2007

rapturious.jpgOdd. That would probably be the best word to describe Rapturious, a hip-hop horror film about a white rapper who may or may not be possessed. When I describe the basic plot, I’m sure there are other words that may come to mind like “ridiculous” or even “crap,” but for whatever flaws it may have, Rapturious is neither. So, yeah, the best way to describe the film is “odd.” (more…)