Family Guy: Star Wars Trilogy 0/10
So I decided to give Family Guy another try because I used to like it and haven’t watched it in over a year.
Apparently, Seth MacFarlane’s idea of parody is ‘A popular movie, scene for scene, with characters replaced by characters from our show.’ The writers seem to think that their choice of casting is so funny in itself that they don’t even need to tell a joke. Obiwan is…the old pedophile! Isn’t that hilarious, huh, huh? Jabba the Hut is…Joe! Get it? Jabba has no legs, and Joe is paralyzed! Isn’t that hilarious? The rankar beast is…Rush Limbaugh! You know, that guy you hate! Isn’t that hilarious?
The few actual jokes they do tell read more like the kind of snarky comments your buddy makes on movie night. This is honestly the laziest, worst written, most pointless parody of anything I have ever seen.
Didn’t this show used to try to surprise the audience with non sequiturs?? Jesus fucking Christ!
Out Of The Past 7/10
It’s a really well acted and well staged movie, but the plot is a little too confined in the cliches of the genre. The glib one liners get to be a bit much.
Robot Chicken does a much better job with Star Wars parodies.
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle – 6/10
A decent plot about a Romanian kid struggling to cope in a reformatory while finding hope when he is released. He faces a lot of challenges to keeping his head down and waiting until his time is up, like the taunting of other detainees and his mother who want to take his younger brother away with her and move away to Italy.
Some nice performances but the drama rang a little false. The low production values also were a little distracting.
Good pacing and photography, but not quite up to par with the likes of Police, Adjective….
I bought a French DVD (Region 2, Swedish with English subtitles). It is obviously a bootleg, but it played fine and looked good enough.
There is a scheduled USA release of Face to Face at the end of August on Olive Films, but judging from the company’s web cite, I doubt it will be a great improvement, beyond being playable on your Region 1 only players.
Michael, thanks. I’d forgotten about the Olive Film release later this year.
Are you familiar with Olive Films? Is there likely to be a great improvement in picture, sound, etc.?
Spirited Away (2001, Hayao Miyazaki) 10/10
Fourth watch. Still one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen.
The Circle (2000, Jafar Panahi) 8/10
A piercing look at sexism in contemporary Iran. It’s kind of surprising that Panahi managed to get this made, because whilst it is in many ways restrained and subtle it’s also very clearly an attempt to expose this sexism. This is a compassionately made, well observed, fairly moving piece of filmmaking. The situation the film presents is frustrating (and rightly so).
13 Assassins (2010, Takashi Miike) 8/10
The comedy doesn’t always suit the rest of the film, and I didn’t care for the characters enough (except for Kiga Koyata who is awesome), but damn this is entertaining. It’s so rare nowadays to find an interesting, engaging, well-made fight scene, and that this battle is kept exciting for 36 minutes is quite an achievement. It helps that the prior 80 minute buildup consists of some well done (if admittedly unexceptional) drama, and also that I find Miike’s body of work so..um…fascinating?…
Miller’s Crossing (1990, Joel Coen) 8.5/10
Tempts cheesiness at times, but for the most part this is a sharply written, funny, gripping and beautifully shot neonoir.
Escape from New York (John Carpenter, the 80’s) 9/10
Really good, cheesy but counter acted by a probably unintentional theme of the cold war and the madness of it all, its the polar opposite of the modern SG shit that people like Jerry Bruckheimer and Micheal Bay pile on to the theaters
The Last Picture Show 1971
DIR Peter Bogdanovich
EXEC Bert Schneider
PROD Stephen J. Friedman
SCR Larry McMurtry, Peter Bogdanovich
DP Robert Surtees
CAST Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, Eileen Brennan, Clu Gulager, Sam Bottoms, Randy Quaid, Sharon Taggart
ED Don Cambern
01:50:13 —> He was sweeping, you sons of bitches! He was sweeping!
A parade of characters drags along the edge of the open emptiness; searching the verisimilitude of community for life, liberty, and happiness.
If the 1970’s possessed the nostalgia of the defeated, The Last Picture Show would be the filmic equivalent of the Great American Novel.
^^^what do you mean by the ‘nostalgia of the defeated’? wasn’t the 70’s all about defeat? ;-)
Watch Paper Moon next if you haven’t already!!
Tucker and Dale vs Evil
A bit flat in parts but just great fun.
can’t delete double post .. woopsie!
The Great American Novel.is supposed to reflect the zeitgeist of the times – think Gatsby.
Here there is a feeling of nostalgia for a time period that perhaps didn’t exist for the characters – a time between Father of the Bride and Red River. ( SoC )
The middle-age people in the film were defeated: Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Ellen Burstyn, Eileen Brennan, Clu Gulager
Salesman – Maysales Brothers Great use of close up, much pathos- amazing to see the difference between the person who is in the house selling bibles and the sad, desperate figure back in the motel room.
True Grit – Coen Brothers – I am only watching films by brothers this weekend. This might be my last by these guys. The little girl’s character was compelling but that was the only thing I found interesting in this tension free, overrated film. Seemed like another exercise in these directors spinning there wheels in a search for dark meaning but staying still, stuck in the sludgy mud. More like True Shit if you ask me.
Of the three Sembene films I’ve seen, they all have one thing in common: A lot of people being really obstinate for no good reason. In that, Sembene portrays a very realistic view of the human race. Characters get irrationally angry and combative, giving religious issues for their reasons, when it’s really all just a cultural penis contest. (Maybe Americans and Africans aren’t so different after all.)
This is the best acted of the Sembene films I’ve seen, and it manages to be both anti-American and right wing without promoting violence or sectarianism,
The Trip 7/10
To the manager of Michael Winterbottom: Even though you lost, you can be happy that you’ve interested me in his films. The film has some hilarious conversational humor. The characters aren’t quite interesting enough, though, to get me through the dry parts. I loved the ending with the contrast between the two characters going home, one being with his family and one being alone, and the statement that made about sticking to your artistic integrity.
Although, the whole thing where a director who makes art films comments through his films about the ‘Faustian bargain’ of making art films is getting a little tiresome.
Odd Man Out 9/10
My favorite Reed. Much better than The Third Man, although not as pretty looking.
The English Patient (1996, Anthony Minghella): I’m not convinced. The flashback “love” story is particularly weak being more about lust than any genuine connection, asking us to find an unjustified affair between two bland characters romantic, being poorly observed and with the affair feeling passionless in part due to a performance from Fiennes where he looks bored most of the time. The scenes set around Juliette Binoche’s character are quite a lot better and could have made for a pretty good film if not for all that other stuff… 5/10
Avanti! (1972, Billy Wilder): Enjoyable and pleasant romantic comedy, with a fair few laughs and a nice light touch to the romance. It’s annoying that the film keeps insisting that Juliet Mills’ character is fat – she’s a perfectly normal, healthy weight. Also the film feels a tad too long for something so fluffy. 6.5/10
High Noon (1952, Fred Zinnemann): Beautifully shot and fairly gripping western with a nice bleak streak to it (hinting at what was to come for the western in the decade that would follow). Some of the arguments that characters make for not helping the marshall make no sense, and though the final action scene is great it still feels far too easy considering how much effort the film put into building up the bad guys as a genuine threat. Very good, but definitely not among the best the genre has to offer. 7.5/10
Pulp Fiction second watch (1994, Quentin Tarantino): Though I’m not a fan of Tarantino, and dislike much of his recent output, it’s hard for me to deny this film with its energy, wit and style. It’s just damn fun and really damn cool. 8.5/10
Lost in Translation second watch (2003, Sofia Coppola): A beautiful and stirring film about the struggle to communicate in relationships, about the feeling of being physically lost in a land that is alien to you, emotionally lost when no one you know can serve as support for you, and also about friendship and the connections that can flourish when you’re lost. It’s a melancholic film with a gently evocative ambience, is a pleasure to watch, and really moves me. This film could become dear to me over the coming years. 9/10
Dir: Silvio Narizzano
Starring: Lynn Redgrave, James Mason, Alan Bates, Charlotte Rampling
Cinematography: Kenneth Higgins
A good spoof of the times in the best British ‘kitchen sink’ realism tradition. Lynn Redgrave is perfect as the gullible foil, lost in a sea of opportunists and self-centered types in swinging London (circa mid 1960’s). The irrepressible Charlotte Rampling does a great turn as the total bitch who first has an abortion and then has a baby by ever reluctant for responsibility Bates. The film’s best scenes are courtesy of Rampling when she gives birth to the baby, with whom she wants virtually nothing whatsoever to do. Great scene with her at the hospital ward after giving birth – with all the other doting moms and families gathered around their newborns – shouting she doesn’t want to see the baby ever and she wants it taken away! Pointed dark humor for the time, indicative of the subversive nature of the films from this period in Britain. James Mason does a good turn as a dirty old man infatuated with Redgrave (not quite as vulgar as he was to be later in The Pumpkin Eater) and Alan Bates does a good job playing the sappy/horny boyfriend of Rampling and later Redgrave. A light, but still poignant drama in the best anarchistic 60’s tradition.
4/5 or 7/10
Zippy tune sets the action off
“The English Patient (1996, Anthony Minghella): I’m not convinced. The flashback “love” story is particularly weak being more about lust than any genuine connection, asking us to find an unjustified affair between two bland characters romantic, being poorly observed and with the affair feeling passionless in part due to a performance from Fiennes where he looks bored most of the time. The scenes set around Juliette Binoche’s character are quite a lot better and could have made for a pretty good film if not for all that other stuff… 5/10”
I never got the fuss aboutthis one, especially when it was referred to as a ‘quintessential Miramax film’.
yeah, after the studio sold their souls on the back of Pulp Fiction maybe ;-)
Another Year 5/5
For me, this rates among Leigh’s very best, which is saying a great deal. Heartbreaking, without a major tragedy, he captures life in a way that only film really can.
The usually great acting as well.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010, Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders): Surprisingly charming and funny animation, especially surprising considering this is Dreamworks we’re talking about (thankfully they’ve abandoned the annoying pop culture references for the sake of this film). It loses itself a bit in the last act where the character writing goes all over the place, and wasn’t anything special to begin with, but I enjoyed it (and Toothless is darn cuuuuute!). 6.5/10
Intolerable Cruelty (2003, Coen Brothers): As a Coen Brothers fan I was going to have to endure this eventually. Thankfully it’s not quite as bad as I feared it might be, it’s certainly quite a bit funnier than I was expecting. Still, there’s something kind of repulsively uncharming about it – a romantic comedy isn’t exactly the sort of film that can get away with having two veeeery unlikeable characters in the two lead roles. Also it feels muddled about whether it’s trying to play the genre straight or be subversive. I’ve seen worse. 4.5/10
Downfall (2004, Oliver Hirschbiegel): The fascinating subject matter and Ganz’s excellent performance make this a good film, but I can’t help but find it a bit tedious at times as it’s such a clinical and cold (and unfocused) recitation of details, very occasionally giving way for some music choice that seems overwrought in comparison. I want something more than just recitation of history; some attempt at insight into Hitler’s psychology, some attempt to break out of a simple dramatisation of what happened, some artistry. 6.5/10
You want more artistry in your Hitler pics?
Hitler’s psychology can be found in this act:At 8 pm on the evening of 1 May, Goebbels arranged for an SS dentist, Helmut Kunz, to kill his six children by injecting them with morphine and then, when they were unconscious, crushing an ampule of cyanide in each of their mouths.
A good follow up to Downfall is Blind Spot. Hitler’s Secretary (2002)
I watched Pulp Fiction again, and that’s a solid 4.5/5*.
But I recently watched all of Clerks, and I give that a 4.5/5* as well. There was an undeniable sense of humbleness to it.
accidental double post. sorry.
Insidious: 3/5 || but yeah, the story was good. too bad the sound effects are annoying.
Super 8 5/10
It’s like JJ Abrams was trying to make Cloverfield, Steven Spielberg was trying to make Close Encounters, and they ended up just kind of cross-hashing them both.
The idea of the film is simple, take all the tropes of a 1980s monster movie but with modern ironically gaudy special effects and from the perspective of regular people just stuck in the middle. The soul of the movie was there, but it didn’t show itself enough to be as entertaining as it wanted to be, and when it did the tone of the movie alternated between two styles schizophrenically.
Abrams and Spielberg: Oil and water.
Don Juan DeMarco: 5/10
I know that my 14-year-old self (the age I was when the movie was released in 1994) would have given it 8/10, but my current 31-year-old self started falling asleep and never wanted to hear a single chord of that cheesy Bryan Adams song.
My bad, double post for a moment.