5/4/2006

Spitting Into the Wind

Filed under: — Kate @ 12:36 pm EST

So last night I decided to watch Windtalkers. And boy do I wish I hadn’t.

I’ve seen a lot of good movies lately that I’ve been meaning to mention here at some point; maybe I’ll get around to all of them eventually, but this one was so bad that it requires my immediate attention.

I remember being interested in Windtalkers when it first debuted, but I decided not to see it after hearing the less than stellar reviews. I should have stuck with that gut instinct, but there it was on television last night, and really, I thought, how bad could it be?

Having just finished reading a book about the Navajo code talkers (a topic of its own for another time), I was curious about how they were portrayed in this film. But this movie was so bad, that it doesn’t even matter. Seriously.

The screenplay is horrible. It’s filled with every cliché under the sun, including the “Nobody else is dying today!” cry of the hero as he becomes a maniac enemy-killing machine; apparently all Navajos live in Monument Valley; and the story barely even touches on the experience of the code talkers. It’s just a vehicle for Nicolas Cage’s feeling-guilty-he’s-still-alive, post-traumatic-stress-afflicted marine.

Everything is so contrived and ridiculous. The explosions are greatly exaggerated; Nicolas Cage has about 8000 lives; and it contains the worst usage of stock footage that I’ve seen in any movie made in the last twenty years. It’s like they weren’t even trying.

It’s such a shame, because the story of the code talkers has so much potential. I think the right people could have made a wonderful film about the code, and the men who, by many accounts, were responsible for our victory in the Pacific.

Once the memory of this stinker has faded, I hope someone tries to tell this story again, the right way.

Further Reading:
-Windtalkers [IMDB]
-Code Talker [Wikipedia]

5/3/2006

Could Somebody Please Turn On the Cruise Control?

Filed under: — Kate @ 6:27 am EST

Several of the news outlets have been doing stories about Tom Cruise’s shrinking fan base. First the president, and now The Cruise. Apparently Americans just aren’t into powerful, manipulative religious nutjobs these days.

Anyway, this basically echoes something I said the other night: I don’t think I could bring myself to watch another Tom Cruise film. I don’t care how good it is; I would only see Tom and that maniacal grin of his. It would ruin the rest of the movie for me. It’s a shame, really. I used to like him.

More Information:
“Mission: Impossible” Marketing Blowup [E! Online News]
Cruise’s Box Office Appeal [CNN Video]
Tom Cruise [Wikipedia]
Mission Impossible III [IMDB]
Just Cruise [YouTube]
Bush Losing About One Point per Month Since January 2005 [Gallup]
Image Credit: Worth1000.com

4/7/2006

It’s Friday Night: What the Hell Am I Doing Here?

Filed under: — Kate @ 7:58 pm EST

Perhaps the fact that I’m still here at work will excuse my not posting anything today? No? Well, it was worth a try.

It wasn’t a bad day. Just really busy.

But now I need to get the hell out of here: I’m seeing Evil Aliens in a couple hours.

Let’s revive those leg blogging photos on Monday. You have all weekend to come up with something, people!

Have a good weekend everyone!

4/6/2006

My Film Fest So Far

Filed under: — Kate @ 7:12 am EST

So far, I’ve been to three screenings from the 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival:

Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man
Being the Leonard Cohen fan that I am, I enjoyed this film, especially the interview segments with Mr. Cohen himself. The performances in the tribute concert were good as well. But the camera work and editing were total crap! There were these annoying red dots overlaid on many of the scene transitions.

Much of the historic footage was altered to look like something from a History Channel show about ancient mysteries. And while I admit that Leonard Cohen could be considered an ancient mystery himself, it just won’t do to have his tribute looking like it was put together by a couple kids in their high school AV room.

Four Kings of Silent Comedy
This was a series of five silent shorts, featuring Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, and Charlie Chaplin (and accompanied by live music and sound effects). My brother and his friend came down to see these with us on Saturday afternoon, and no one was disappointed. Simply fantastic. The Chaplin short was a little less impressive for me since I’ve seen some of his best feature length films, but still quite good.

I think the Buster Keaton shorts were the best. I had never really seen him in action before, and I was quite impressed, not only by his comic talent, but also by his athleticism. I had a similar reaction to Laurel and Hardy, since all I’d ever known from them was the famous “Who’s On First?” sketch (which had sound, of course). And for a big guy, Oliver Hardy can really move! From the skilled acting, to the audience laughter and live music, it was easy to forget we were watching “silent” comedy. Great fun!

Little Athens
This was a pretty good movie, in the tradition of films like Go and Magnolia, where several independent stories intersect each other. The low budget of the film definitely shows, but overall I thought it was well done. And a bit depressing, but I’m guessing that was the point.

So what’s in store for the rest of the fest?

4/6 - This Film is Not Yet Rated

4/7 - Evil Aliens

4/8 - Hell

4/9 - American Dreamz and Tokyo Zombie

3/30/2006

Take Me to the Picture Show

Filed under: — Kate @ 10:18 am EST

The 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival starts today. It runs through April 11th, so I’m hoping to catch a few movies in the coming days. Every year we say we’re going to do this… and we never do.

But this year, it’s happening! First up is Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man tomorrow night at the Bridge.

I won’t get to see all of them, but here’s a shortlist of the other films that grabbed my attention:
-Sir! No Sir!
-This Film is Not Yet Rated
-Fuck
-American Dreamz
-Evil Aliens
-Hell
-Tokyo Zombie
-Little Athens

3/22/2006

Lieutenant Dan in Space

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:20 am EST

Okay, this is going to sound a little weird, but bear with me.

A few nights ago, I caught a snippet of Forrest Gump on tv. It was the part where Lieutenant Dan says something like “The day you become a shrimp boat captain is the day I become an astronaut.”

I mused that it was sort of funny that Gary Sinise later played an astronaut in Apollo 13 (albeit, a grounded astronaut) along side Tom Hanks.

Then I started thinking: would zero gravity help to narrow the playing field for people who have lost their legs or the use of their legs? In other words, would a life in space be an equalizer for people with certain types of disabilities?

I haven’t thought this through in the slightest—just thought it might make for an interesting discussion.

3/7/2006

Oscar Observations

Filed under: — Kate @ 9:46 am EST

-George Clooney is still smoking hot.

-Thanking your mom is really “in” this year.

-I really need to catch up on my movie watching.

2/28/2006

In Other News, the Dead Walk the Earth!

Filed under: — Kate @ 12:50 pm EST

We watched Corpse Bride last night. If you are a Tim Burton fan, this movie is a must-see. It was beautifully macabre, and the animation was incredible.

Unfortunately, I thought the story was a little scarce. That was a bit disappointing. But, at only 85 minutes long, it’s worth it to watch for the visuals alone.

Oh, and the best character is definitely the maggot impersonating Peter Lorre.

2/10/2006

Brokeback Shire

Filed under: — Kate @ 7:45 am EST

Last week Edo’s friend… let’s call him Stu… got a sweet new 42″ flat screen TV. We went over to check it out, and help with the setup. Okay, Edo went over to help. I just tagged along and was completely useless.

Anyway, the TV is truly awesome. The boys had a lot of fun playing with it. For much of the night, their eyes were glazed over with some sort of big screen hypnosis.

As usual, Edo was sure to bring along a DVD for testing and demonstration purposes. This time it was Return of the King. We didn’t really end up watching the movie, so much as the scenes from the movie that had the most action and the biggest boom.

Still, I saw enough of hobbits gazing longingly into each others’ eyes to crack myself up. And that bed romping scene? It’s all just too easy. SNL should really do a segment called “The Ambiguously Gay Hobbits.”

Stu, of course, thought I was laughing at his other new purchase: a real sized steering wheel and pedals for driving the circuits of Gran Turismo. Well alright, I suppose I was laughing a little at that. I mean, I just don’t get car racing games. But mostly I was laughing at the hobbits.

At the end of the movie, when Frodo is saying goodbye to Sam, I just couldn’t resist shouting “I can’t quit you, Mr. Frodo!”

10/19/2005

You Can’t Take the Sky From Me

Filed under: — Kate @ 10:48 am EST

Edo and I went to see Serenity on Saturday. To prepare, we watched the all the TV episodes in order last week, so we were really excited to see the movie.

We both ended up being a bit disappointed. Now don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of awesome moments and we did enjoy ourselves.

It started out well enough, with a good opening scene (though I didn’t entirely understand how they got themselves into the situation in the first place). The first shots of the ship were also great.

The dialogue was witty and snappy throughout the movie, and there were many hilarious moments. But it just seemed like the story got away from itself toward the end.

I don’t know, maybe I would feel different (or think I did) if I was more than just a passive fan.

I welcome you to disagree, as long as you explain yourself. :-) Spoilers are fine, just post a warning.

10/14/2005

I’m Just a Shot Away From You

Filed under: — Kate @ 2:59 pm EST

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

Tomorrow: Serenity

Sunday: U2

Oh yeah, it’s going to be a good weekend.

9/18/2005

*Sniff*

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:36 pm EST

The Sun Online presented their list of the top 20 tearjerkers, as reported by men and women:

For Men:
1. Schindler’s List
2. Saving Private Ryan
3. Braveheart
4. Forrest Gump
5. ET
6. Chariots of Fire
7. The Green Mile
8. Gladiator
9. It’s a Wonderful Life
10. Field of Dreams
11. The Shawshank Redemption
12. Ghost
13. Awakenings
14. Titanic
15. Watership Down
16. Dead Poets Society
17. Of Mice and Men
18. Casablanca
19. Armageddon
20. Bambi
For Women:
1. Ghost
2. Bambi
3. ET
4. Titanic
5. Beaches
6. Terms of Endearment
7. An Officer and a Gentleman
8. Love Story
9. Steel Magnolias
10. Armageddon
11. Forrest Gump
12. Gone With the Wind
13. Schindler’s List
14. Truly Madly Deeply
15. Edward Scissorhands
16. The English Patient
17. The Elephant Man
18. Pay It Forward
19. Stepmom
20. When Harry Met Sally

What are YOUR nominations?

8/19/2005

Long Time Ago in the Faraway Galaxy

Filed under: — Kate @ 3:58 pm EST


Some of you may have already seen this on Fark, but it’s just so funny that I had to put it here. I was having a lot of trouble not laughing out loud at work.

Be sure to check out the whole thing.

Episode III, the backstroke of the west [winterson.com]

6/9/2005

Do the Hustle

Filed under: — Kate @ 12:59 pm EST

Saw Kung Fu Hustle last night. Good stuff. I highly recommend it.

That is all.

6/5/2005

Don’t Wake Me, I Plan On Sleeping In

Filed under: — Kate @ 2:01 am EST

Sometimes it’s so nice to just do nothing…

Today I slept until 2:30. Well, okay. I got up at 9:55, bought Coldplay tickets at 10:00, then went back to bed.

During the past TV season, we saved every episode of 24 so we could watch them later. So after I woke up, we sat down and began a little 24 marathon for ourselves. Well, we started it after I got over the nagging feeling that I had something to do today. I guess I’ve been so busy lately that I’d forgotten what it’s like to do nothing. Not that I’m complaining, but it’s still nice. (more…)

5/10/2005

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…

Filed under: — Kate @ 7:30 pm EST

Two suns

What is your earliest memory of Star Wars?

Myself, I was probably about 4 or 5 years old, at the house of family friends, watching the first movie with their son. I vividly remember that early scene on Tatooine with the shot of the two suns. I was so confused by that, and my father had to explain to me that it was another planet, not Earth. That was the first time I began to grasp the concept of other planetary systems besides our own.

So reach back into the archives of your brain, and tell me your earliest recollections of the phenomenon that is Star Wars. Anything associated with the franchise counts.

5/2/2005

And Now… Deep Thoughts

Filed under: — Kate @ 10:41 pm EST

Edo said something tonight that I thought was just so profound. If Jeffrey Combs and Bruce Campbell ever did a movie together, the universe would stop. Thoughts anyone?

4/22/2005

Hello again…

Filed under: — Kate @ 11:00 am EST

Well I’ve been absent for a while… sorry about that. I’ve been pretty tied up, both at work and at home. Let’s see… Edo’s birthday was Friday, so I helped him celebrate by taking the day off and doing seven loads of laundry. We also went out to lunch, hit the grocery store, took a nap (damn Indian food puts you right to sleep), and I got a chip in my tooth fixed. FUN!! Anyway, the real fun came later when I baked a cake and gave Edo his presents, which included (among others things) the Star Wars Trilogy. And that was that.

We watched the first movie the same night, and then Edo’s good friend Tom came over to watch Empire and Jedi with us on Saturday. Here’s my first impression of the dvds. WOW!! Freaking amazing sound and the transfers looked beautiful. I’m pretty miffed about all of the changes (which is why we didn’t buy it sooner), but the dvds really are quite awesome. That early scene in Empire with the shot of all the ships when you first hear the Imperial March—we have these sweet little bass transducers under the futon and it was just… OH MY GOD! It was so freaking incredible. I would bitch about the changes (especially replacing the Anakin force ghost with Hayden Christensen, that was just bullshit), but I’m assuming most of you are already familiar with the inability of George Lucas to LEAVE THINGS ALONE!!! (more…)

3/4/2005

Bond. James Bond.

Filed under: — Kate @ 1:15 pm EST

Who should play the next 007?

The frontrunners are rumored to be Clive Owen and Julian McMahon, but speculation on Pierce Brosnan’s successor has included Ewan McGregor, Orlando Bloom, Hugh Jackman, Ioan Gruffudd and Colin Farrell.

Personally, I still think Pierce Brosnan had one more Bond film left in him, but I would vote for Hugh Jackman or Clive Owen. What do you think?

(You aren’t limited to this list—suggest anyone you want.)