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Lawson's Movie Blog
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21st-Oct-2012 06:46 pm - The End?
Okay, I give up. I'm not even motivated anymore to review the movies I've seen in 140 characters or less. I really first started doing all this because I watch so many movies that the lesser movies I watched, I forgot about, and so I wanted to help myself remember. Ah well, I guess if I found them lesser movies, they're not worth remembering anyway.
10th-Sep-2012 02:52 pm - Tweets
#movie ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld2010 Sometimes quirky cute; sometimes overly cutesy. I was more into Kieran Culkin's gay BFF. Spin-off please!7

#movie Prometheus2012 Not quite as iconic as Alien/Aliens and feels like it's trying too hard to be epic. A grand adventure nonetheless. 10

#movie NarutoShippuden:BloodPrison2011 There is never enough action for me but at least this feels like a movie rather than a bunch of eps.7

#movie TheAvengers2012 Joss Whedon can do no wrong. Great mix of action and Whedonesque humor. Feels a bit dumbed down but still awesome. 10

#movie AsylumBlackout2011 Good production values for a budget horror but unexceptional in story and scares. 5

#movie TheOtherGuys2010 Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are pretty good but the comedy is uneven and alternated between funny and grating. 6

#movie It'sAGreatFeeling1949 A Doris Day musical-com with a cute premise and many cameos. Not that funny but quite charming, as is Day. 8

#movie TheDayOfTheBeast1995 A Spanish cult horror that feels inspired by Argento, etc. Not a fan of either but it's quite engaging somehow.6

#movie DeathAtAFuneral2010 Same yet so different from the 2007 Brit production. Crasser, for better or worse. Peter Dinklage is the shizz.7

#movie TogetherAgain1944 Irene Dunne and Charles Coburn are delightful but the story's mediocre and Charles Boyer is a ham as usual. 5

#movie Overheard22011 Same cast but no relation to the first. Also less interesting than the first as it's more like a rote triad thriller.5

#movie TheBrideWoreBoots1946 A tired rom-com about a mismatched couple that fails at the com. Barbara Stanwyck is lovely but can't save it.4

#movie Haywire2011 Always been a fan of girls kicking ass. The story 's boring but the action is awesome fight-porn. I wanted a lot more. 6

#movie MenInBlack32012 Josh Brolin as young Tommy Lee Jones was inspired; the rest of the movie, not so much. Still fun for fans though. 7

#movie TheCabinInTheWoods2011 Brilliant scifi-horror-fantasy-comedy as only Joss Whedon (with Drew Goddard) can write. Shades of Buffy. 10

#movie ThisMeansWar2012 Chelsea Handler, though slightly neutered, is the best part of this largely disposable rom-com. PS I'd choose Tom. 6

#movie TheCateredAffair1956 Grating characters make for an annoying movie but Bette Davis manages to make hers sympathetic, eventually. 6

#movie TheWeb1947 Unexceptional film-noir, though William Bendix is a scene-stealer (in his few scenes) as the crafty police detective. 6

#movie BodyguardsAndAssassins2009 A faux epic set around real Chinese history. Uneven and melodramatic but the actors and action are good. 6

#movie TheFlyingSwordsOfDragonGate2011 A pale remake of Tsui Hark's own DragonInn1992 with too much CGI-enhanced action. Pointlessly long. 4

#movie TheSorcererAndTheWhiteSnake2011 Old Chinese fairy tale retold with a ton of CGI. The story isn't better told but it sure is pretty. 7

#movie Shaolin2011 A little preachy but I found myself ultimately moved. Good action and actors except for the hammy white villain. 9

#movie WuXia2011 Remake of AHistoryOfViolence meets CSI. Good action choreography by Donnie Yen but not enough of it. Stupid final fight. 6

#movie OnceUponAHoneymoon1942 Set in WWII Germany, this Grant-Rogers romance-dramedy overreaches and comes across like Notorious-lite. 4
29th-Aug-2012 05:49 pm - Update
I got so backlogged that I pretty much gave up being able to catch up, considering how the older movies have probably half-faded from memory by now.

However.

I'd never gotten on the Twitter bandwagon because I didn't feel I had anything interesting to say that could fit into 140 characters. Most people don't. When I tried Following people years ago, their tweets were so inane that I just gave up on Twitter.

Recently though, I started watching a lot of Chelsea Lately and she has a lot of comedians on. I checked out some of their tweets and they're at least amusing, and so I started a Twitter account again and Followed a bunch of funny people. Most people are still tweeting inane stuff though.

Anyway, I still didn't feel like I had anything interesting to tweet about but then it came to me that it would be an interesting challenge to just tweet-review each movie I watch. It's perfect. I don't have to fight my ADD in sitting down and writing something of significant length but it's still a writing challenge because I have to fit what I want to say into 140 characters. Less, actually, seeing as how I #movie and put in its title too.

I was hoping I could get Livejournal to automatically transfer any tweet I make over here but it doesn't work for community sites. So, what I'll do is just copy and paste them over here in batches. #oldfashioned

@lawsonteo
9th-May-2012 11:55 am - Shrek Forever After (2010)
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I liked the first two Shreks but the third one was tired and the fourth one is rather as well. There really is just so much they can do with the franchise. It's still a pleasant enough diversion though. I have to wonder why they went with an unknown actor for the main villain, Rumpelstiltskin, role. Maybe no big name was interested in a tired franchise. 6
9th-May-2012 10:57 am - The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940)
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It's not a good sign when the first scene of a movie has the lead actress being a bossy, manipulative bitch, especially when it's a romance. That tone of the movie was set from that scene and it didn't matter that the actress was Loretta Young, there was really no backtracking from that and I maintained my dislike for the character. Ray Milland's character, being somewhat of a doofus, wasn't too likeable either. Who cares if they wind up together or not (of course they did). 3
9th-May-2012 10:02 am - A Night to Remember (1943)
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This title was made for irony. I really did forget most of the movie, bland as it is. Revisiting it didn't inspire me to want to remember it either. It's a mystery-comedy featuring a married couple-turned-detectives and well, Nick and Nora Charles this couple isn't. The mystery's not very engaging and the couple, not particularly funny. 5
9th-May-2012 09:46 am - Accident (2009)
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This reminded me of the Jeffery Deaver novels I like in which the villains create extremely elaborate and intelligent setups for their murders. While the opening of the movie hinted at a similarly intelligent thriller, which would've been quite awesome, the focus instead shifts to the breakdown of the setup team and their leader's apparent paranoia. It still made for a fairly interesting movie, but I just feel like it's a pity that they went in that direction. It was nice seeing veteran actor Fung Shui-Fan in a serious role though. 7
9th-May-2012 07:20 am - The Tunnel of Love (1958)
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I love Doris Day and Richard Widmark but this was one agonizingly tedious movie. It is almost completely unfunny and full of people behaving against common sense. Surprisingly, it was directed by Gene Kelly, who you'd think would have a better sense of comedy, and unsurprisingly, it was one of Day's few box office bombs. 1
9th-May-2012 06:56 am - Transporter 2 (2005)
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The original Transporter was an unexceptional action movie but apart from Jason Statham's hotness, there was also Shu Qi as a co-star and I've always enjoyed east-meets-west situations. This similarly unexceptional sequel has Kate Nauta as a vampy villain but she didn't kick all that much butt and her hand-to-hand skills are pretty lame. Disappointing. 5
21st-Apr-2012 12:25 pm - Megamind (2010)
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To the cast's credit, half the time I forgot who were voicing the characters, which is a good thing, because it means Will Ferrell and Tina Fey embodied their characters enough so that their very distinct voices didn't overwhelm them.

The story is kinda like a PG-rated take of "What happens if Superman gets tired of being THE hero?" and "How did Lex Luthor become evil?." It's kinda all been done with much more depth in the comics but this is a simpler take on things for the masses. The character of Titan reminded me of Superboy-Prime, one of the most psychotic villains ever, but again, also a PG-rated version.

It wasn't a complete barrel of laughs but I still really liked the movie, primarily because I like most of Ferrell's work and he created an especially lovable character in Megamind. 9
21st-Apr-2012 11:24 am - Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
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And here's Cloris Leachman again, in her first credited role. What a long career she's had. Already she's able to captivate in her first performance (though part of the reason is her bad perm). She kinda sets the tone for the movie with her short role, much like what Janet Leigh did with Psycho.

Ralph Meeker makes for a pretty good film-noir lead - he manages to still be sexy despite being angry and sardonic. And it's a good film-noir, full of mystery, murder, and dangerous dames. It's a pity the ultimate macguffin is kinda silly. Raiders of the Lost Ark-silly. 9
21st-Apr-2012 10:35 am - The Fields (2011)
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Starring Tara Reid and Cloris Leachman. Wtf?! What confounds me is that they billed Reid first even though she's barely in a third of the movie whereas Leachman is in more scenes AND has an Oscar and multiple Emmys. I would've guessed that it's because their target audience is college boys but then again they're trying to selling this as an intelligent, slow-burning horror. Well it's slow alright, and not particularly exciting either. The only highlight is, of course, Leachman, who's delightfully pottymouthed and gives as much as she does to all her projects. 3
21st-Apr-2012 10:07 am - Seven Below (2012)
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Some wackadoodle horror about reincarnation. The only point of watching this movie is to ogle the blond hotties and wonder if this is the nadir of Val Kilmer's career. He's really letting himself go in terms of shape a a la Marlon Brando. I'm sure I'll see him soon enough in a recurring supporting role as someone's loony dad on some TV show. 2
21st-Apr-2012 09:35 am - Love in a Puff (2010)
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Oh I thought I'd love this more, considering I'm a fan of both Miriam Yeung and smoking. It's still a charming movie, but I didn't find it all that exceptional. It's a typical Meet-Cute story and while smoking is what leads them to meet, the story doesn't really revolve around it so much. Yeung is slowly but steadily improving her acting skills but she really has to break free of her trademark cutesy mannerisms. 8
16th-Apr-2012 09:20 am - Psycho Beach Party (2000)
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This was written by Charles Busch and adapted from his drag act and there's certainly a drag queen sensibility to its satirical plot and humor. Though oftentimes silly, there were also many hilarious scenes I loved because the humor was so unexpected. It reminded me of the impromptu and original zingers that the queens in RuPaul's Drag Race would dish out. It's a strong B cast - though it also has a pre-fame Amy Adams - and part of the movie's charm is seeing that the actors are having fun with their roles. 10
16th-Apr-2012 09:12 am - Topper (1937)
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I generally like movies in which Cary Grant's all cavalier but he (and Constance Bennett, as his wife) are a bit too hedonistic to be likeable here. They play a recently-deceased ghost couple who make it their mission to get stuffed-shirt Roland Young to cut loose and have fun. Young's character is quite lovable, actually, and I felt bad for him that he was not just haunted by the two pests but put upon by his status-hungry wife as well. Poor sod. 5
13th-Apr-2012 11:30 am - She Wouldn't Say Yes (1945)
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This was really quite tedious and wow, kinda a little sexist, if not mysogynist. Apparently a woman's father and suitor could conspire to get her married without her consent so long as the former said she was incapable of making her own decision. I'm sure it didn't come off as creepy then as it does now. Anyway, I might've possibly overlooked that if the movie were funny but it's not - it stretches its jokes till the welcome's worn out. Not even the delightful Rosalind Russell can save this movie. 3
13th-Apr-2012 09:53 am - Another Thin Man (1939)
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The original Thin Man originated the charming and witty couple, Nick and Nora Charles, and spawned six sequels. As declining rewards with sequels go, this third movie can't compare to the original, or even the second movie, which featured a young James Stewart. As usual, the highlight is the repartee between Nick and Nora, and it's a pleasant enough watch if you just want a fix of their banter. 7
13th-Apr-2012 09:26 am - Grey Gardens (2009)
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The original Grey Gardens was a fascinating documentary portrait of an eccentric mother and daughter duo who marched to the beat of a different drum (sometimes literally). This movie incorporates what was featured in that docu and adds a backstory for them, though I've no idea how much of it is fabricated and how much is based on gathered information.

I have to say I didn't care that much about the backstory. Not that it wasn't interesting but I preferred to wonder why they had become such oddballs and create their own story in my head. Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore are wonderful in the roles though, from embodying their characters in the flashbacks to imitating them in the enactment of scenes from the docu. 8
12th-Apr-2012 06:32 pm - I Love Hong Kong (2011)
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I gather this was a united effort by Hong Kong Airlines and various HK movie studios to celebrate living in Hong Kong. What better way than with a mo lei tau movie? The jokes come fast and furious and while many miss, at least plenty hit their mark. The weakest scenes are the dramatic ones, which feel too manufactured.

In any case, the highlight of the movie is the pantheon of HK actors from past and present involved, mostly in cameo roles. I wish they had gone with less unknown young actors but at least the veterans - Tony Leung Ka Fai, Sandra Ng, Eric Tsang - get a lot more screentime. Or maybe I just pay more attention when they're on. It's not the best example of HK comedies but I'm happy with the few laugh-out-loud moments I came across. 7
12th-Apr-2012 04:32 pm - Porco Rosso (1992)
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I realize that while I love Studio Ghibli's animation, the stories the movies are based on, not so much. It's not that they're bad - it's just that a lot of them are not the kind of genres and such that I'd typically watch.

Like this movie - it's about a pig flying a bomber plane in WWII Italy. It's charming, as Ghibli movies are, and it has a lovely score by Joe Hisaishi, but I still had trouble giving the movie my full attention. 7
12th-Apr-2012 04:22 pm - Cry Danger (1951)
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This is a competent film-noir but somehow it just didn't resonate with me as much as it should've. I reckon it's because the lead actors... and characters aren't as interesting as the supporting ones. To be fair, Dick Powell is a good actor, but while he does gritty well, he just doesn't come across as the kind of ladies man the role needs him to be. 7
12th-Apr-2012 02:11 pm - Intruders (2011)
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Humph. This was a UK-Spain co-production with a Spanish director and a mixed cast but while it has an atmosphere reminiscent of better Spanish horrors, it has the British flair for sleep-inducement. I didn't think the underlying mystery was particularly fascinating. It's eventually made more interesting by the Big Reveal but it's also too late by then and in any case, it kinda reminded me of Insidious (which was a whole lot better). 3
12th-Apr-2012 01:59 pm - The Hunger Games (2012)
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I was totally dreading watching this. A 2.5-hour movie that's based on a popular tween novel and featuring kids killing kids? I would say that it was against all odds that I wound up liking it.

I had read that the kills were done... tastefully, lol, and that's what sold me on watching. And they really weren't graphic enough to put me off, thankfully. The story was very overtly moralistic but that wasn't a surprise. I'm fine with that so long as the movie's captivating, and it is.

For me, the movie revolved around Jennifer Lawrence, whom I had appreciated in Winter's Bone. I thought her performance was just as well-rounded and empathetic here and it went a long way to making me care about her character's trials and tribulations. 9
2nd-Apr-2012 09:45 am - Storm Warning (1951)
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This film was surprisingly - amazingly, really - gritty, considering it stars Ginger Rogers and Doris Day. Rogers witnesses a murder by a KKK mob only to find out that the sister she's visiting is married to one of them. While the movie avoids race relations by having the victim be a reporter rather than a black person, it is still a very condemning message towards the KKK. How much tougher can it get, having two darlings of the screen - Rogers and Day - get menaced by the KKK? Anyway, for essentially a message movie, it's a very engrossing watch. 10
1st-Apr-2012 03:06 pm - Blitz (2011)
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Shucks, I wish Jason Statham isn't so hot that I feel obligated to watch all his movies. Blitz is quite the British movie... in that I find it boring. I reckon they call it focusing on character development or something. It's a little pointless, all that character development for a villain that's not particularly interesting or even clever, just a thug on a cop-killing spree. Paddy Considine plays a gay cop but it's kinda what's-the-point?. He's pretty much just being the antithesis of Statham's character and being gay is just the opposite of Statham's overwhelming machismo. 4
1st-Apr-2012 01:34 pm - Spring Breakdown (2009)
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Oh, this was so sad. Three of my favorite comediennes - Rachel Dratch and Amy Poehler from Saturday Night Live and Parker Posey, a strong comedic supporting cast that includes Seth Meyers and Jane Lynch, but a screenplay that's blah. There are some laughs but most of the jokes just fall flat, and I even felt embarassed for some of the ladies in some of the painfully lame scenes. Considering the ultimate story of female empowerment, with better writing, this could've been the Bridemaids of 2009. 5w
1st-Apr-2012 01:25 pm - Dead of Night (1945)
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Oh I don't know why I watched this - classic horrors do nothing for me and most British movies bore me to death. There is some charm to this anthology of ghost stories, fortunately - mostly in the sequence with Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne, the comedy duo who were also the highlight of Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes. The Michael Redgrave puppet story isn't too bad either, actually. So, I suppose for a classic British horror, this movie's really quite decent. 7
1st-Apr-2012 11:22 am - One for the Money (2012)
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I actually read the book this movie was adapted from, a long time ago. And like this movie, it was pleasant enough but didn't leave much of an impression. Katherine Heigl is okay in the leading role but she doesn't manage to make it much of an iconic character (the book spawned many sequels). Sherri Shepherd and Debbie Reynolds are fun in their supporting roles at least. 6
30th-Mar-2012 12:07 pm - Dial 1119 (1950)
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This is a short movie about a hostage situation in a bar. There's no one really famous amongst the cast and crew but it's still pretty competently made, if not the most interesting of movies. There's enough tension here to make it a decent watch though. 7
30th-Mar-2012 09:40 am - Rainbow Eyes (2007)
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What seemed like a straightforward and somewhat homophobic Korean murder-mystery-thriller about a series of gay murders takes an interesting turn when it comes to involve the past of the (woof, hot) lead detective. I found the movie unnecessarily convoluted and flashy but the twist at the end is a doozy and I found myself touched by its message that love transcends gender and orientation. 7
30th-Mar-2012 09:29 am - Harper (1966)
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Harper is the 1960's version of film-noir. It has all the traditional elements of it - the flawed anti-hero, the darkness, the mystery, the double-crossing dames - but it also has color and camp. I think I still like my film-noir traditional but this movie has a lot going for it nonetheless - namely the actors. Paul Newman is a great lead, as is expected, but there is a strong supporting cast of ladies, with Lauren Bacall, Julie Harris, Janet Leigh, and Shelley Winters. It is unsurprisingly that Winters, one of my favorite actresses, is the highlight for me, being the comic relief in the movie. 8
27th-Mar-2012 04:20 pm - Deadline at Dawn (1946)
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This was a surprisingly charming film-noir, about a naive sailor, a weary taxi dancer, and a helpful cab driver, who try and solve a murder mystery. The plot is a little convoluted but the three actors - Bill Williams, Susan Hayward, and Paul Lukas - are distinctly attractive in their roles. Hayward especially - she's left a greater impression on me here than with her other roles I've seen, including her Oscar-winning one. 8
27th-Mar-2012 03:52 pm - Super 8
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The Goonies is one of my favorite movies, and though this movie and its teenage ensemble cast is reminiscent of it, I found myself mostly disaffected throughout. Perhaps it's because the kids here didn't have personalities as distinct (and lovable) as Data, Mouth, or Chunk. And perhaps there's a tad too much special effects that it comes across as more of a sci-fi action movie than an adventure one. A lot of the Goonies charm came from its sets.

Perhaps I'm making unfair comparisons but I feel like JJ Abrams was trying to create a movie that evokes the same emotional responses as The Goonies did and I just don't think he did it as well. Good effort though, if a little long. 7
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I'd been meaning to watch Recount since, well, it was released in 2008, but Game Change rolled around and I watched it and enjoyed it, and it spurred me to finally watch the former. I'm lumping them together because they share the same director and screenwriter, and their subject matters are similar too.

I'm more familiar with the story behind Game Change, since I only started actively following US political news from 2001 (Recount took place in 2000). Even then, it is quite eye-opening, how Sarah Palin came to be the vice-presidential candidate and how she flamed across the sky and exploded. I didn't find the movie politcally-biased - honestly, the real Palin is enough of a caricature that they didn't need to do anything more with her character in the movie. It's a strong cast, though Julianne Moore is naturally the star. Since half the movie takes place behind the scenes and the other half features Palin's media-televised appearances, Moore has to both embody and emulate and she carries the movie more than capably. 10

Recount, on the other hand, feels skewed towards the Democrats. Though I don't think the butterfly ballot was a Republican scheme, how they handled it afterwards sure comes across as evil as I've always believed they are. I was outraged to the point that the movie was uncomfortable viewing. Gads. Anyway, it's another strong cast here, though Kevin Spacey as a lead isn't as captivating as Julianne Moore. Laura Dern's Katherine Harris character comes close though. She seems all kinds of white trash dumb but sometimes there's a certain glimmer of cunning sometimes to make you wonder. 10
19th-Mar-2012 03:49 pm - Conflict (1945)
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Though this movie stars Humphrey Bogart, he's not at his best here - not caustic enough I reckon. Again, the most interesting character is the bitchy one - it's too bad she's the victim and gone all too early. Bogart is kind of a limited actor and he's not as interesting when he plays it straight. Alexis Smith, the lead actress, is just plain bland. And well, straight and bland doesn't make for an engrossing movie. 6
19th-Mar-2012 02:10 pm - The Mechanic (2011)
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I really should stop trying to catch all of Jason Statham's movies just because I find him hot. Well okay, this movie wasn't bad, I just wanted better. The action scenes were good but the story was rather rote - there wasn't anything I couldn't see coming. Ben Foster is a really compelling actor though - he needs to get on the Ryan Gosling bandwagon and find some good indie Oscar-bait to star in. And he's hot too. I'd be lying if I said I didn't get turned on by the gay seduction scene. 7
19th-Mar-2012 01:58 pm - Absentia (2011)
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This was surprisingly lauded for an indie horror and I think it's because it tries to have an intelligent story. Tries... I got lost along the way somewhere, though that might be my fault since I tend to tune out when a movie loses my interest. I just didn't find it scary and the score is one of the most annoying I've ever come across - it's just a constant drone. 3
19th-Mar-2012 01:50 pm - The Lorax (2012)
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Just like how Ed Asner's voice was perfect for Carl Fredricksen in Up, I found the casting of Danny DeVito to tbe the voice of The Lorax to be inspired. It's a pity this isn't as great a movie as Up, despite the presence of Betty White as well, and a villain who looks like The Incredibles' Edna Mode as a drag king.

I didn't really have a problem with the movie - the Lorax was adorable, along with the other forest critters, and I didn't mind that it was a moralistic tale of environmentalism. Mainly I think it's that the boy and girl lead characters - voiced by Zac Efron and Taylor Swift - were kinda unremarkable and completely upstaged by the side characters, which made the movie less compelling whenever the latter weren't on. It is otherwise a cute family film. 8
19th-Mar-2012 01:39 pm - The Unsuspected (1947)
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Shades of Notorious, this movie even shares the same star in Claude Rains. The director here is Michael Curtiz and while he's good, he's not as good as Hitchcock, and I didn't find the story as compelling. Joan Caulfield is no Ingrid Bergman either. The most interesting character here is a trampy bitch played by Audrey Totter. It's a little sad when a side character is the best part of a film-noir. 6
19th-Mar-2012 12:21 pm - Killer Elite (2011)
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It's a little sad that Robert DeNiro seems to be just taking roles for money nowadays. Though he has a bit of his trademark swagger here, his role might as well have been played by any middle-aged actor, though that wouldn't have brought in as big a box office.

Even without DeNiro, an action movie with Jason Statham and Clive Owen really should've been better, and indeed the best scenes of the movie are when the two of them are duking it out, but the rest of the movie is just... unexciting. 5
19th-Mar-2012 12:04 pm - I Saw the Devil (2010)
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It's funny how an interesting plot is what separates good movies and torture porn. The violence here would fit right into a movie such as Hostel, but this movie is acclaimed because it is well-made and has a fascinating - albeit sick - story. And while I don't even watc torture porn, I did enjoy this movie... Or maybe I was just hideously-fascinated.

I thought it was just Park Chan Wook, director of Oldboy and the Vengeance movies, who was good at handling such disturbing material but now I'm thinking it's a Korean trait or something. The Japanese are great with horror and the Koreans are great with violence. Well I'm just stereotyping.

Anyway, it's a great production and the actors are excellent, but gosh, I think I can only handle one of these a year. 10
19th-Mar-2012 11:51 am - Internes Can't Take Money (1937)
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This was the first of a series of movies featuring a popular character, Dr. Kildare, but I haven't seen the rest of them. Apparently he's some kind of a preachy surgeon who defends his morals even when he's forced to go against them. And apparently, the code at that time allowed doctors to ask their patients out.

Preachiness aside, I still enjoyed this movie because of its two leads. Joel McCrea makes for a perfect morally upright and hunky Dr. Kildare, and Barbara Stanwyck, well, she's always magnificent as a desperate mom who'll do anything to help her child. 8
19th-Mar-2012 11:12 am - Ninja Assassin (2009)
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This would've been more entertaining if it had taken itself a little less seriously. Really, people don't go into a movie titled as such wanting dramatic scenes. Moar ass-kicking! There are quite a few action scenes but since half of them take place in the dark where I could barely see much, I'm discounting those. The ones that I could see though, looked great, and Rain is extremely lithe and hot. 6
19th-Mar-2012 11:04 am - The Moon Is Blue (1953)
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This is a play-based movie about a quirky ingenue, embodied by Maggie McNamara, who herself was an ingenue who resembled Audrey Hepburn. The character borders on annoying but her world-view is unique enough that it keeps the movie somewhat fascinating. What makes it better though are the two male leads - William Holden and David Niven, both of whom are jaded and slightly smarmy and a good counterpoint to McNamara's character. The three of them maintain a great repartee and it's really what makes the movie. 8
9th-Mar-2012 03:21 pm - Legend of the Liquid Sword (1993)
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I have yet to watch a good movie adaptation of a Jin Yong story. His works are best suited for long productions where there's room for character developement, and I reckon that for me, there'll never be any better than the 1980's TVB productions.

But I digress. It's quite obvious that this movie's just uses a Jin Yong story as background for a mo lei tau kungfu movie. It's pretty darn stupid but it does feature surprisingly good choreography, when they're serious with it. This was made back in the day, when they didn't rely on special effects and it was just plain ol' stuntmen working hard. The good ol' days. It's what makes this watchable at all. 4
7th-Mar-2012 04:00 pm - Crank: High Voltage (2009)
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I loved the first Crank. It was a great action movie that set itself apart with quirkiness and good humor. High Voltage though, goes over and beyond quirky, like if quirky took crack cocaine. It gets to the point of silly, unfortunately. I still enjoyed the movie, but it could've been so much better if its two writer/directors didn't get so full of themselves. 7
7th-Mar-2012 02:33 pm - Matador (1986)
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I find that with age, Pedro Almodovar learned to rein in his tendency to go over the top. The stories are still way out there but there's a certain gravitas that grounds them and makes them feel less trippy. Matador, about a couple who gets sexually aroused by death, is trippy and I didn't connect with them. The supporting characters were fun, at least. I especially liked the scene in which the gay detective was pointedly checking out the crotches and butts of hot bullfighters, lol. For better or worse, an Almodovar movie is always enthralling. 7
7th-Mar-2012 02:17 pm - The Gay Divorcee (1934)
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This is my first Ginger Rogers-Fred Astaire movie. While they both dance well, I don't think I care much for ballroom dancing in a movie. A big dance production in a musical, sure, but this is more like watching a ballroom dancing competition. Astaire has a dorky charm but Rogers fades into the background somewhat, probably due to her limited role. In any case, they're both upstaged by Alice Brady's delightfully ditzy aunt. The story is a bit lame but thankfully Brady has a pretty big role so it went down smoother. 7
7th-Mar-2012 02:01 pm - Caught Inside (2010)
Thumbs Down


A murderous Aussie redneck on a boat terrorizes his passengers. Terrorizes, not murderizes. The violence in the movie is a bit limited. While I'm usually not an advocate of gore, it makes it a bit limited when the villain doesn't push the envelope. Most of the actors are unmemorable, save for the nutty psycho, who has a very convincing scene of standing alone in the dark talking to himself. 4
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