Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Candidate

Denmark 2008

Jonas Bechmann, a defense attorney, is a man of the system. Until the day he himself is accused of murder. Taking matters into his own hands, he throws himself into the hunt for a group of blackmailers who threaten to expose him as the killer. But nothing is what it appears to be, and the blackmail links back to his father's death under mysterious circumstances a year and a half earlier.


Besides two major bummer flaws of "The Candidate"; One being something I must not spoil the other is just the whole reasoning and justification behind what is really causing the antagonists to go through all this intricate blackmailing scheme.
Once you see how detailed and technically, psychologically involved this master frame job is for Jonas, you will just be wondering, why?
Fast paced editing and brilliant performances, you got Bodnia who I just love, Nikolaj Lie Kaas who was intimidating as fuck in Bornedal's "Kærlighed på film", which was one of my favorite films I saw last year. Some other familiar faces pop up through out making a solid cast. However with too many curve balls there is just something loose
with the big picture.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Japan/France/South Korea/Germany 2008

Directors Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Joon-ho Bong each contribute a short film set in the great metropolis of Tokyo. Gondry's "Interior Design" follows an aspiring filmmaker who drifts apart from his girlfriend as they pursue a future in the big city. In Carax's "Merde," a strange man commits a bizarre series of controversial public acts on the Tokyo streets. And in Bong's "Shaking Tokyo," a recluse falls in love with a pizza delivery girl.


Inventive, imaginative, intriguing yet completely identifiable. Tokyo! brings three non-Japanese director's visions of Tokyo, Japan together in this 3 part movie of top notch performances and production. Each film maker, with their distinct styles really bring a lot to the table. Where a despairing laugh or an empathetic tear is just around the corner of every scene, TOKYO! is absolute in it's searing captivation of all things that make the human condition complicated, yet so frail and unstable, yet intelligent and simple.Very fascinating movie with a high replay value!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chop Shop

USA 2006

Twelve-year-old street orphan Alejandro (Alejandro Polanco) lives and works amid the mass of auto shops and junkyards known as the "Iron Triangle" just outside Queens, N.Y. When his teenage sister (Isamar Gonzales) arrives, the ambitious boy is inspired to make life better for them both. Nominated for a couple Independent Spirit Awards, this second feature from director Ramin Bahrani is a tough, eye-opening look at life on society's margins.


I'm not Ebert, so in my review I am going just to express how I felt about the movie, not what it's about. Read the synopsis for that.
Despite what every one declares about the
no name, right off the street kids being phenomenal
actors, I am going to disagree. However I do think
for not being actors, they do an amazing job.
With the way the film was shot, no steady pans, documentary style, a genuine sub culture is captured within the boroughs and characters.
Chop Shop brings an underdog to life in it's main young actor by displaying his adaptation to capitalist ideology, without school or parent figures, only through the streets and body shop workers and owners has he learned to survive.
At such a young age in such a hard position, adolescents mature beyond their years when self realization and survival are laid out in front of them before puberty even comes close. Good stuff.


Italy 2008

The intertwining tales of a delivery boy, a tailor, a businessman and two cocky teenagers form the fabric of this gritty and lyrical examination of the influential Neapolitan mob known as the Camorra. Peering into a multitude of social strata within present-day Naples, director Matteo Garrone's film -- a hybrid of melodrama, crime and art-film genres -- was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Golden Globe and a Best Documentary Independent Spirit Award.


Nothing special. Totally worth the watch, but the whole cinéma vérité style has been done with crime and mobsters before. Refn's Pusher trilogy, in fact.
Not only did it remind me of the Pusher Trilogy to the t, of course except being Italian, it's seemingly a replica and not nearly as good. People complain about plot with this film, when undoubtedly it's a pure examination of different people caught up in the crime syndicates that run Italy and how they all interconnect. Definitely some major rawness, but when you shoot something cinéma vérité, it's not something that s hard to obtain. Well acted, kind of boring, but an interesting authentic look into the Italian street mafias of modern Italy. It makes for an intersting watch, regardless if I didn't feel attached to all of the characters.

Monday, March 16, 2009


2002 United Kingdom/Germany

Jamie Bell, Hugo Speer, Laurence Fox, Andy Serkis and Matthew Rhys play English soldiers stuck in enemy territory in this spooky World War I thriller. Desperate to stay unseen, they bunk out in an abandoned German hideout, where slowly, one by one, they're picked off by an otherworldly enemy they can't identify. For the rest of them to get out alive, they must understand what they're up against so they can vanquish it before it conquers them.

Deathwatch contains a lot of original ideas of violent oddities throughout it's wet and muddy terrain. Though the acting is terrific, the soundtrack seems out of sync sometimes with the films pace. Don't get me wrong the score is great but at times it brings the film completely out of it's structured environment, really weighing down what momentum the director had obtained through the intrigue of strong character discrepancies. Ultimately the film is a sure winner. But with the fore mentioned, the revelation the film builds up and spills in to sort of leaves you with a bland, unsatisfying taste in your mouth. Good film, though.

Secret Screening VOLUME I ISSUE I

I held a private event at my house with limited RSVP. Pretty much
I cram 20 people into my living room, 50/50 strangers to one another.
Some are even partial strangers to me, for the love of film.
What do we do? Consume beverages, pro or con alcoholic, munch on goodies
and watch a movie or two of my choice, on a 8' screen via my HP DLP.

I initiated these events for a sense of community in Cleveland revolving
around more of a geeky, snobby inside group of "genre" and "era" film love.
The opening event was on March 7th, 2009 at 8PM. The even went over great!
I had 19 people in my living room, relatively comfortably an attentive crowd
watching something they've never even heard of or seen.
Which was great for an opener. A great way to break the ice.
That film was, Taxidermia.

Everyone was really receptive and effected by the movie which saved room
for the already well known mockopic, JCVD. Everyone who had seen it, didn't
mind watching it again and anyone who had not seen it, loved it.

So the premiere night, was tight and felt as successful.
Next event is April 4th, 2009 8PM. With a secret opener
followed by a great Korean crime/thriller, "The Chaser".

3 seats left. This is going to be an interesting and ridiculous opener.
A lot of people have heard of and have seen bits, but maybe not in such
a big crowd on such a big screen, on a 250 watt PA...
I'm so excited to see how people react to the film.
Simply golden.

Aw Lizah, I luh you sah mawch.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


USA 1989 Released in 1992

Suburban teenager Bill Whitney (Billy Warlock) seems out of step, even more so than most kids his age. When his sister's boyfriend (Tim Bartell) introduces him to an underground society, Bill discovers a disturbing world of carnal expression, cannibalism and other dark desires. This disturbing tale of escape from the normal was the debut film for director Brian Yuzna (Bride of Re-Animator).

Brian Yuzna directs this slow burning horror romp about a seemingly misplaced youth troubled by what seems to be a teetering conspiracy that points back to his family as the antagonists. A bad script, some hit or miss acting, but a completely shocking and unpleasing(in a good way) climax that will leave you baffled if you are unaware of what's in store. Awesome practical special FX and a brilliant ending, leaves this psuedo-cheesy, cult classic embedded in your head and most definitely in my DVD collection.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Room

USA 2002

Terrible performances, ridiculous situations and unbelievably dim-witted dialogue abound in this unintentionally hilarious masterpiece about a banker (Tommy Wiseau) who discovers his fiancée (Juliette Danielle) and best friend (Greg Sestero) are having an affair. Lead actor Wiseau writes and directs this steamy, quirky and utterly bewildering cult favorite, which fails on so many levels that it delivers nonstop laughs from beginning to end.
1/10 yet a 10/10 (HUH?)

This film divides audiences. Critically it is either the worst film ever made or the best movie ever made. I was blown away. This is the biggest pile of steamy lard to ever be made and for $6 MIL! With a crew of over 400 people?!! This is genius it is that bad. Wow, absolutely terrible. It changed my life. I could not get this film out of my head. Watch the interview with Tommy Wiseau on the special features menu after you watch the feature. Your guts will hurt from laughing so hard. Love to hate it. This is a must see! There's nothing special about the plot, in fact it's horrible. Guy really loves woman, woman pretends to love guy, sleeps with the guy's best friend. That is it. Nothing else. AMAZING! Most awkward sex scenes I have ever seen and they do not ever seem to end. The score is so typical and tries to build a suspense that only lingers like a bad soap opera. Tommy Wiseau is the best in this. A Christopher Walken that had a stroke and then was retrained to talk by Anthony Hopkins and 1990's Van Damme. You have to just buy this.