Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brad's Week in Dork! (11/6-11/12)

My original intention for this week was to follow up Hest Fest with a marathon run of the Planet of the Apes movies (yes, including the grotesque Burton remake!), but life got in the way and I just puttered about with my typical random movie watching.  Started off the week on a movie date night with my wife and even though I had no interest in a Shrek spin-off I came away thoroughly entertained.

I also managed to get my hands on an Advanced Reader's Copy for Elmore Leonard's Justified spinoff novel Raylan.  I'm only 40 pages in but I can easily see Timothy Olyphant strutting about those pages.  I really can't wait for the next season to start in February.


Puss in Boots:  It's amazing how much more entertaining Dreamworks' Storybookland is without the buffoonish Mike Myers bumbling about with his annoying brand of fart joke humor. Not to mention that Puss in Boots is the sequel I wanted so desperately from Desperado--Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek partnering up to wreak mischievous violence against Jack, Jill, and Big Mama Gooses!  Their vocal sparring is more exciting here than anything in the jumbled mess of Once Upon A Time In Mexico.

Jurassic Park III:  The great thing about Jurassic Park III is that it just wants to be a simple dino eat man kinda movie, a pulp adventure similar to the old Harryhausen flicks. Sure, it's saddled with everyone's enthusiasm for the high entertainment of Speilberg's original Blockbuster and I know there are lots of folks who just want to bemoan Tea Leoni's screamer and the ridiculous forced plot points, but dammit, just enjoy the Spineosaurus! Joe Johnston is just having fun here, as is the whole cast. You should too. And it's infinitely superior to the ultra dull and stupid second film.

Trespass:  There's nothing new under the sun so there's definitely nothing new in this Joel Schumacher home invasion thriller. That being said, the a to b to c acts of violence are handled extremely well by both the director and the actors. Both Nic Cage and Nicole Kidman sell the hell out of their whimpering and screaming and Ben Mendelsohn's head honcho intruder reeks with the appropriate desperation. Once again, I can't really sing the praises of the bland Cam Gigandet but he's been more annoying elsewhere. Typical excitement but excitement nonetheless. It's no Drive Angry.

Henry's Crime:  Keanu Reeves serves several years in prison for a crime he never commited. Upon release he decides to earn that time by robbing the bank he went up state for; with the help of professional criminal James Caan and stage diva Vera Farmiga Keanu's ambitionless mope finds his way in the world. This is a simple, but enjoyable comedy caper that won't stay in your memory banks for too long but it pleasantly kills an hour and a half.

Planet of the Apes:  I LOVE THIS MOVIE! It's not my favorite Heston performance (that would be a toss up between Major Dundee and Touch of Evil) but it's easily my favorite Heston film. I love the first thirty minutes leading up to the Apes int he cornfields. I love what a bastard Heston's explorer is and his cantankerous frustration at everything he encounters on this new world. Hell, there are no real nice guys in this flick. Roddy McDowell and Kim Hunter, those wonderful chimps are smug, stuck-up, and racist. Love it. The monkey makeup still holds up, amazingly expressive.

Win Win:  Tom McCarthy has mastered the feel good, thoughtful introspective drama genre. Paul Giamatti needs some extra dough so he takes on the role of Burt Young's (so great to see Burt Young again!) legal guardian...little does he know that's going to include a troubled wrestling wunderkind and his drug addict mother. Bobby Cannavale and Jeffery Tambor are fantastic sidekicks, but it's Amy Ryan's frustrated but fascinatingly understanding wife that sticks out as the film's heart. If you enjoyed The Station Agent or The Visitor than you're going to adore Win Win.

The Rum Diary:  A spiritual prequel to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Rum Diary may not be as whacked out of its head crazy as Gilliam's mondo fantasy but I found myself thoroughly involved in Johnny Depp's meandering quest to take down Aaron Eckhart's villainous real estate mogul. I'm a sucker for stories involving horrible, depraved spiraling addicts going to war against the true evil of corporate humanity smashers. It's all very pretend idealism, but I dig it.


The Devil's Rain:  In high school I was way into The Misfits.  Not so much the Danzig years (sorry, I know you hardcore fans out there only care about the Danzig years), but the Famous Monsters & American Psycho albums.  I love their obsession with classic (and not-so-classic) monster movies.  Their latest album is not quite up to snuff with some of their previous work, but you gotta appreciate the titular love letter to one of my favorite forgotten Shatner horrors.  And yeah, I absolutely love this mashup fan video below.


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