Watching My Ass
Some movies I've seen recently:
Kamikazi Girls - 3.5/5 (I'm sure it's a 5/5 in Japan with the "in" jokes)
Sin City - 4/5 (well done.)
Charlie and Chocolate Factory - 4/5 (very well done)
Kung Fu Hustle - 3.5/5 (why do his movies start strong then get too silly at the end?)
Thrashin' 5/5. Best movie ever. Long live the Daggers and the LA Massacre! (I really did watch the whole thing.)
Beijing Bicycle - 1/5 (Terrible, terrible movie. Fucking say some dialogue fer Christ's sake).
Hitch - 1/5 Gee, thanks Ed.
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking
I can only assume that this is a continuation of the New Sherlock Holmes films that were started a few years ago with the actor Richard Roxburgh assuming the role in an adaptation of “Hound Of he Baskervilles”. I only assume this since they use the same Watsons (Ian Hart) and writer. That adaption was so so, with a few jarring modern sensibilities thrown into it, and a genuine antagonism between Holmes and Watson that was offputting. It was still not a bad adaptation however since they had good production values and were using one of Conan Doyles best stories.
This new one however is a mess from the start. First of all, Rupert Everett is horrible. Sure he looks the part but Holmes needs to exude a sense of overpowering intelligence. You need to feel that his brain is always thinking 12 steps ahead. Suffice it to say Rupert Everett does not possess this quality. He plays Holmes as a bored junkie with a mean streak. The relationship between Holmes and virtually everyone else in the film is antagonistic. He’s dismissive and insulting to practically everyone. This might have been an interesting angle to play if Holmes sense of genius came thorough, but it doesn’t. Even the way he investigates a case plays more like CSI than Holmes. Holmes is like Bond. Sure you can reinterpret and have infinite variations, but certain archetypes must always remain in place.
This brings me to the story. In another “modern twist” the story is about a serial killer and Holmes enlists the help of Watsons female fiancé who happens to be a psychoanalyst. They then use modern profiling techniques about sexual deviants, etc, to solve the crime. The whole thing would make a great episode of Prime Suspect, but in a Victorian England Holmes story it just doesn’t work. Holmes mysteries have to have a certain structure to them that they abandon. Instead of simply solving the film with his brain, he does a profile and then tries to trap whoever it is. There is no fun scene where he declares who the killer is and then explains how he figured it out in detail.
Part of the storyline is London enveloped in a huge fog but that also just makes it all look chintzy, as if they couldn’t afford the sets and covered it in fog.
There are some interesting touches to the film. I did enjoy how they actually set them in post Victorian England at around 1903. Holmes has a phone in his office, and everything takes place after the classic stories so its more of a “sequel” of sorts.
All that being said, I don’t recommend it. Go back and rewatch the Jeremy Brett episodes. They are much better.
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Two and a Half Men
My Name is Earl
The Amazing Race: Family Edition
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Had a recent “Big Brother/movie night" at the boss’s estate on Saturday and we decided on watching Jersey Girl. Yeah I know, its supposed to suck and it stars Ben Affleck. But I am a huge Kevin Smith fan. Clerks/Mallrats/Chasing Amy/Dogma are all really good films. Mallrats alone is the most quotable and underappreciated teen comedy in years. Plus I’ve met him a few times at his comic store in Jersey and at a few film fests he’s thrown and he’s always been a funny dude in person. While I can imagine him making a flawed not so great film (Dogma had its issues), I couldn’t imagine him making a flat out piece of shit. Boy was I wrong. This movie was a steaming pile of horseshit. Their wasn’t any redeeming qualities to it whatsoever. There was one mildly funny joke in the entire thing that barely made me think about smiling. And that was it. The movie is without any merit whatsoever. Well that’s not true, I get to see Jennifer Lopez die. Sure it was just a movie, and a bloodless death but you take what you can get. Even the inevitable cameo’s by Matt Damon and Jason Lee fall flat.
The premise is Ben Affleck, fake capped teeth from Armageddon and all is a big high powered publicity man in NYC in the mid noneties. HE’s a man driven by work and needs to be taught about the really important things in life, like family and friends (Yeah, its this bad). Soon his pregnant wife dies in childbirth and he’s left with the kid himself. This causes him to screw up a major publicity event and get fired where he retreats back to his father’s house (played by the once funny, and now confused looking George Carlin) in central New Jersey. Flash forward 10 years and hes working as a street sweeper and raising the kid with his dad. Soon he meets Liv Tyler in a video store and a potential…. God you know what I can’t even do it. I can’t even recap the plot. It’s that bad. Not only is it without laughs, it lacks any actual emotion or empathy for its characters, with Smith laying on the painfully overused pop song montage as a cheap gimmicky way to make you feel for these characters. Can’t elicit audience empathy through good writing? Use a song montage. Its beneath you Kevin. This is depressing. And since all of Smiths strengths are nowhere to be found, it makes his known weaknesses stand out all the more. The wordy overwritten dialogue that sounds awkward when spoken out loud is in full force.
Stay away from this film at all costs. I knew we shouldve watched Arthur instead....
Lets start with an anecdote. Everyone loves anecdotes! I was a huge Buffy fan for years. I hadn't watched one second of it until about 4 seasons in because I thought the idea of a TV show based on a shitty vampire high school movie was stupid. But I just kept reading all over the web about how great a show it was. So when the FX channel started showing them in chronological order I decided to give it a shot. And I was blown away. Smart, laugh out loud funny, truly heartbreaking at times, great characters, well written, fantastic season long story arcs. It was and remains a great show. In fact I recommend everyone to rent the DVD's if you get a chance. The first season its getting its footing, but by the second season it takes off.
What does this have to do with Veronica Mars? Well, the same scenario has played out again. I haven’t watched Veronica Mars at all this year. I mean it just looked like a goofy UPN teen show. But once again I kept reading over and over again from people I trust that the show is one of the best new shows on TV. So now that CBS and UPN are both showing reruns of the first season I decided to give it a shot.
And I'm hooked. It has many of the traits of Buffy, only without the supernatural aspect. Its basically the story of Veronica Mars, who lives in super rich Neptune CA. Her best friend was murdered a year ago and her and her then police chief father were ostracized after he refused to believe the man who confessed to the murder was guilty. He is now a Private Investigator an the show chronicles Veronica solving the towns dirty little secrets. And like Buffy, the show also follows a big story arc of the murdered girl, and a lot of other shocking surprises that I wont spoil. Suffice it to say the big mystery is crafted beautifully, with every revelation explaining all sorts of odd story threads and hints dropped along the way. I am already up to episode 10, and the revelation in that one alone was a whopper. Its tough avoiding all references to the show online (hence no links) because I don’t want to spoil the big mystery that I assume is finally solved in the final episode of the season (I’ve read they plan to continue the “big Mystery” theme each season, with a new story arc every year, a la the Buffy “Big Bad” villain used every season).
It’s a great show. I urge everyone to give it a chance. Since the show follows a season long story arc, you kinda need to see it from the start. So you have only 2 options. Download the first 12 or so episodes that CBS and UPN already aired this summer (Which I believe is legal since it’s a tv show. I recommend Bittorrent), and then watch the rest on repeats. Or wait until October when the first season DVD’s are released.
Also, Kristen Bell is hot.