Archive for the H Category

Hostel Director’s Cut

Posted in H with tags , on March 11, 2009 by cam127

Cam Says:

There are directors you love, directors you hate, and directors you wished would just die already. Now I know the relationship with Eli Roth that many share, the hate aspect. Something that always bothered me was that if you don’t like the director, don’t degrade a good movie just because his name is on the box. I’m not sure why people dislike Eli Roth, and I don’t much care but this is a review on the movie on it’s own merits and nothing else. I personally love Eli Roth’s work, I own the original Hostel and Cabin Fever, now that that’s out of the way, on to the review.

The movie: The movie starts off much like a sex comedy with characters that seemed to be ripped straight from a late 80’s sex comedy movie. This movie starts off with a jolt though, with an opening scene of blood being washed from walls and the opening sequence begins. Something that just reassures you, that you indeed bought a horror movie. Though as quickly as it comes, it leaves and jumps straight into the sex, drugs and comedy. Set in Amsterdam in the back packing world we meet Paxton, Josh, and Oli. Paxton and Josh seem to be buddies from college or something similar and picked up Oli on the way. After they come back to the hostel late and after curfew they are welcomed into a fellow back packer’s apartment/hostel. After a quick showing of more pointless nudity that is neither welcomed nor pushed away, we are told of a wonderful place in Slovakia of beautiful women whom are desperate after the shortage of men due to some war that is only mentioned then. We get a quick shot of the train and inside it we go as the sex comedy shows it’s greatest lines of the movie. Coming into the train with a over sized shot of Oli’s ass with a happy face on it we realize that it’s all in great fun but Josh isn’t so convinced.

We are swept away into a new hostel that could only be dreamt up in a 14 year old’s mind. But as the fun just seems to begin the terror sweeps us off our feet and the laughter turns cold. The pacing in this movie seemed right with the exception of the publicity, people were saying it was just like Faces of Death or it was just an exploitation movie, people go into this movie expecting it to be the next Cannibal Holocaust, these people would be sadly mistaken. Now given this is not a PG-13 movie and it’s far from Disney’s standards, but it’s no gore fest. The ending will leave you slightly grossed out and extremely blood thirsty. Finding that there are tons of gallons of blood in this film it seems to just barely hit the “Gore Hound Meter” if at all, but still way above the “Church Go’ers of America’s Top ten movie picks”. This is a movie that will leave you fearful for your life in that there is no stretch of reality it seems. The editing was seamless and had no jumps in the movie that would ever be recognized, it was a wonderful and spell binding trip through the life (and death) of back packers in Eastern Europe. Don’t plan on me being seen that side of the world anytime soon due to this movie. With plots and actual morals that make sense, it seems this movie has only one flaw, it’s incredible chase scene near the end of the movie in which is just seems like too much in too little time. We’ll be left starving for more of the bloodshed and the seemingly complex design of the torture rings. Over all the movie is solid and is close enough to perfection that I would give it the highest rating possible for the movie alone.

Special Features: The special features are plentiful from four different commentaries that are laugh out loud hilarious and seem to never end with great fun. The first disk holds the near feature length behind the scene that was great fun that took Hostel from Pre-production to Post and was an extremely entertaining fun filled ride. The second disk provides many features that take all the way from Set Design to Sound Design. All in all the special features are something to watch but nothing to make conversation of. I personally have watched it many of times along with the movie and all the commentaries, I loved this movie from start to finish and loved the special features but they still felt lacking in some sense. Not sure why or how but just felt lacking. Regardless you have to love Eli Roth’s enjoyment and love for film making, it seems to be just a dream for him as it is a dream to watch this movie. Have to love the movie, gotta love the special features, gotta love the package.

Grade: 83

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Posted in H with tags , , , , , , , on December 21, 2008 by igrldremer

Izzy says:

How can I write a review for the first Home Alone without writing one for the second? That’s like having Christmas without a Christmas tree! And that’s an appropriate segway into this review, because the premise for this film is based on the fact that the Macalister family wants to spend Christmas in Florida. Seriously? I totally agree with Kevin on this one. Christmas in a tropical climate sucks. Call me traditional, but I like a white Christmas. I’m usually very against snow and cold and all that, but Christmas shouldn’t be rainy and a mild 75 degrees.

In my review of Home Alone, I bitched about all of the inadequacies of the movie and how it is completely irrealistic. You can’t take the second Home Alone seriously either. It’s also chock-full of things that do not make sense. But at the same time, there are a few things that I really love about this film. I figured I’d be fair this time and also list things that I really like about the film, because I’m probably going to give it a decent grade. But – first things first.

1) Why does Kevin have to apologize for hitting Buzz during the Christmas concert? It was Buzz’s fault that he got hit in the first place!!! Yeah, okay, Kevin knocked everyone down, but he didn’t MEAN to. He just meant to punch Buzz. It’s so similar to the first movie when he punches Buzz and spills the milk everywhere. And how on EARTH did no one hear Buzz say “troutsniffer”? What does that even MEAN? Is that a sexual joke? And then Kevin tries to EXPLAIN this to his mom and his mom just ignores him. Buzz is obviously the favorite child. Or maybe they just deemed him as the Problem Child and let him get away with things because it’s easier that way. I don’t know, but Kevin really does get dumped on. I’d probably want to leave my family too if I were treated that way. Yeah, at the end of the film he’s all like “oh my god wahhh I miss my mommy and everyone else” but it’s kind of like a battered woman always going back to her abusive husband because he’s all she’s got. Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but his family kinda sucks.av88zgoxiy006g7yx6nh

2) You’d think after leaving Kevin “home alone” last year, the mom would’ve held Kevin BY THE HAND through the entire airport. You don’t leave him trailing behind! That’s just asking for trouble, lady! Get one of those leash things they have for children! Clearly she hadn’t learned her lesson. And it’s only when she’s on the plane – in the air – that she thinks she’s “forgotten” something. You’d think she’d check ALL the seats and make sure EVERYONE was on board before take off. But nooooo.

3) What is UP with the ineptitude of the staff at the Plaza Hotel? Yes, the Plaza probably got great publicity out of this film, but come on now. It gives hotel employees a bad name. First of all – how did he make a reservation by just saying his name and that he wants a hotel room “with an extra large bed, a tv and one of those little refrigerators you have to open with a key”? What about “What is your phone number sir?” “How many nights would you want to stay, sir?” Kevin was so not prepared with that information. Okay. Let’s assume that he did manage to get information with his Talkboy tape recorder. What about the other staff members? Why is Tim Curry going into people’s rooms at 8:30 at night? He’s the concierge, not a maid doing turndown service! The concierge doesn’t even GO to rooms, ever…unless it was specifically requested by a guest. At a prestigious hotel like the Plaza, he’d get fired for just going up to the room and snooping around! I don’t get why all the staff members are out to get Kevin. You really don’t ask questions – unless there is legal work to be done. I would’ve thought they’d be more concerned about the fact that the Dad hasn’t come to the desk to sign the paperwork. I’m pretty sure that you can’t get a hotel room without a signature that says that you will pay for the room. I think the staff wouldn’t have attacked Kevin personally once they found out the CC was stolen, but instead would have called the cops. Kevin should NOT be afraid of the cops. He did nothing wrong! He should be using the cops to get help finding his family. Sigh. Very annoying. I also love the fact that hotel employees believe that a television sounds the same as a real person. It totally doesn’t. Why didn’t they go into the next room to see who was in there? It baffles me, really.

4) I mentioned cops earlier. Where ARE THEY in this film? Kevin’s screaming his ass off in the middle of the city and no one does anything? No one says anything? No cop nearby starts following the bandits because they’re chasing down a small child in broad daylight? They’re wanted criminals for Christ’s sake! I can’t go six blocks in NYC without finding some sort of cop. They’re about as common as Duane Reade. But apparently, not so in Home Alone 2. They’re all completely oblivious to everything…oh, until the end of the movie when they “save the day” by giving his mom an idea of where to look for Kevin and when they take the Sticky Bandits away. Too little too late pigs.homealone2_l

5) The Sticky Bandits are completely invincible. Harry jumps on one end of a seasaw and flies 30 feet in the air and lands on a car. In an action movie, he would’ve been completely done for. But no – he gets up JUST FINE, without a scratch on him. Somebody call the pope – I think I’ve found the second coming! Speaking of Jews (Jesus was a Jew, in case you didn’t understand my clever connection), Marv should have died after being hit in the head with ONE brick. A brick falling from the top of a 5 story building would kill a man if it hit him straight in the head. It would not just leave a reddish mark, similar to the one he received when being hit with an iron. Marv gets hit DEAD ON with a brick FOUR times. And the worst thing that happens to him is that he has blurry vision. He gets up and is just fine. He also gets HEAVILY, HEAVILY electrocuted and does not die. He just shakes a little. I’m shaking my head right now, because it’s just not right. Harry’s head gets torched again, and then he shoves his head in a gasoline toilet bowl. His HEAD. A large explosion happening directly to HIS HEAD. That would’ve blown his head right off…if the fire didn’t burn it thoroughly. But no – he just gets a little blackened and he ruins his hat. Why are these men robbers? They could make a considerable amount of money showing off how invincible they are! I’m sure we could find a spot on Cirque de Soleil for them.

6) It seems as if the bandits have also gotten dumber than last year. It was understandable that Marv would assume that Kevin didn’t have a plan in this New York apartment. However…once he and Harry saw that doorknobs were attached to staple guns and tools were conveniently placed at the top of doors, then they should’ve gotten the hell out of there. Take the money, and run. So what if Kevin calls the cops? NYC is huge. They could run off with the money anywhere. Is their need to kill Kevin SO GREAT that they are willing to risk their entire lives to do it? Come on guys, don’t you want to retire in Rio? Cops can’t getcha if they can’t find ya. But like I said before, it seems as if the bandits have lost some of their intelligence. Maybe it was the heavy beating they got before jail (or the ass-raping they received during) – whatever it was, they clearly haven’t learned from their mistakes. They clearly don’t deserve to breathe the clean air of freedom if they got beaten by a 10 year old.

I feel like I’ve ranted enough about the things that don’t make sense in the film (even though there are so many more I can mention), so I’m going to quickly say a few things that I actually like about it. Things that make me feel all warm and gooey on the inside.

-Mr. Duncan. What a sweet old man! Donating an ENTIRE DAY’S worth of sales to the Children’s Hospital. That’s not even the profits, either – that’s ALL the money he gets from the toys, so he’s taking a loss on the biggest shopping day of the year. Now that’s devotion I’d like to see at more stores. And on top of that, he gets presents for everyone in Kevin’s family! Aww! I wish I had a grandpa like him – and not just because I’d get awesome presents 🙂

-The sappy scene with the old homeless pigeon woman. Kevin is always able to help people in his life fix problems. While we don’t SEE the woman getting better, it’s implied that she does. Maybe Kevin should be like “Hey, I know how to get over your old lover! I know a very lonely man who salts the sidewalks in the winter time. He’s my neighbor in Chicago. You get enough money to head over there, and I guarantee he’ll give you a good home.” Seriously! Set them up! They’re both lonely! And they both learned something from Kevin! Though I think he should’ve probably given her something other than a turtledove. She could use some food, man! Get her a gift card to Subway or something. Take her to a soup kitchen. Good deeds count extra on Christmas Eve, doncha know! 🙂

-I liked the traps in this movie more than the first one. I think it’s because Kevin’s older, so he’s learned that gasoline + fire = BOOM!, electricity+stupid man = ZZZZZAP! and holes in the ground + not being observant = THUD. It’s a little more mature than stepping on ornaments and getting feathered.

That being said, I think I still like the first Home Alone a little more. It’s the original, and let’s face it, the original is always a little better. I’ve seen the second one just as often, but for some reason, I think I like younger, inexperienced Kevin more. And maybe the bad guys weren’t as dumb initially – at least then they didn’t know what they were getting into. Nevertheless, still a great film overall. I’ll always be a fan of both these films.

Grade: 90

Home Alone

Posted in H with tags , , , , , , on December 9, 2008 by igrldremer

Izzy says:

Home Alone is one of my favorite classic Christmas movies. If I’m watching Home Alone, this means Christmas is not too far away…which automatically gives it a special place in my heart. I also love the fact that I’ve been watching this movie since I was 6 or 7 years old, so I have the majority of it memorized. It’s always fun to say lines in unison with the characters.  Since I am writing a review though, I am going to talk about the inaccuracies of this film. Funny how Ihomealone never noticed any of these as a child…but seriously – how UNREALISTIC is Home Alone? Very. And here’s why:

  • I buy into the whole “phone lines are down” thing. It could happen. This is realistic. What is UNrealistic is the fact that the family could not get in touch with ANYONE AT ALL during Christmas time. Even if there was no one on their block that was home/that had a working phone line, I’m sure that the parents are not hermits. They probably go to the local church. Their kids go to school. Maybe the mom is part of the PTA. She has an address book, for Christ’s sake, and I’m sure not EVERYONE in that book is gone or living on their one block. Newsflash – not everybody goes away for the holidays! Even if they don’t get in touch with someone right away, I’m sure with such an urgent phone call, someone is bound to at least go over there and check on Kevin and let him stay with them for a couple of days
  • What is with the Chicago cops?! If the real cops in Chicago are as inept as the ones in this film, I’m sure as hell never moving there. I get it, going to someone’s house and checking on a potential home-alone situation is not the most exciting assignment…but come on. The kid is scared. Do you REALLY think he’s going to answer some random guy knocking at the door? No, he’s not. He would ring the doorbell and say “Hi Kevin! I’m here with the Chicago police department. It’s okay, we know you’re alone and we want to help you get in touch with your family!” Problem solved. Get a nice lady cop to tag along too to make him feel more comfortable. “Tell them to count their kids again”? What a rude piece of shit. I hope one of his kids gets lost or kidnapped or hurt. This cop has a terrible attitude, especially in a crisis situation around the holidays. I would sue him and the Chicago police department if I were Kevin’s parents.
  • You know who else I would sue? The fucking airports. Seriously! If I were in that situation in any airport, the employees would at least make an announcement saying that there was an emergency and a passenger is willing to offer an additional $500 and a first-class flight two days later for anyone who would be willing to let her on a plane. I hear these announcements all the time, especially on overbooked flights! Why on earth is every employee a douchebag, saying they can’t do anything and she just has to wait?
  • Why does Kevin’s mom need to ride with John Candy and the Poker Crazies? Why can’t SHE just rent a car? Does she not know how to drive? I find that hard to believe with four kids…sports practices, ballet, etc. I mean, how long does it take to drive from Dallas (which is the first place she landed in the States) to Chicago? *goes to google maps* 14 hours. Yes, it’s a long drive. But think about it – she probably got to Dallas at some point on the 23rd, considering she was in Scranton, PA on the 24th. Scranton is 11 hours removed from Chicago. It doesn’t make sense for her to waste time trying to get flights when she could drive. I understand that she was determined to get to her son ASAP, but she could DO SOMETHING about it and drive.
  • Kevin can’t pack his own suitcase. Kevin doesn’t know how to tie his shoe. How on EARTH does Kevin come up with a plan for booby-trapping his house in a matter of hours? And in COLOR too! Then he manages to put everything together before 9pm! That’s pretty impressive for an 8-year-old. F-CTL36467
  • Kevin, why did you put on after shave twice? It hurt the first time – learn from your mistakes kid!
  • If the Wet Bandits (yes! I am referring to them by their calling card name!) tried to get into the house in any other order, Kevin’s traps would’ve been useless. Say Marv tried to go in the window first. Then he wouldn’t be barefoot and the ornaments wouldn’t have hurt. Or let’s say he didn’t try to turn on the light downstairs…then he wouldn’t be branded with the iron. Also, who falls on icy steps THREE times? Pretty ridiculous.
  • Once a tarantula is released from its cage, it goes and hides in the netheregions of the house, never to be seen again unless it finds some other tarantula to breed with…and then you have a house infestation. You do NOT see the thing being social, crawling on stairs in plain view. That was just too unbelievable for me.
  • Why doesn’t Kevin ask for help from Marley, the old shovel man? “Please sir, it’s Christmas, I’m 8-years old and my parents abandoned me at home. I heard these burglars say they were going to break into my house tonight at 9pm. Can you stay with me? You’re obviously not doing anything tonight since you’re not welcome at church with your son!” (Okay, he might not want to say the last sentence to not piss him off, but still). That way, Kevin does NOT have to booby-trap his house, he can just chill in the living room and drink cocoa with tiny marshmallows in the company of a nice old man. If the burglars try to break in, HELLO 911! It’s not like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are armed. Yes, they have crowbars, but let’s not forget that Marley has his shovel.

I know the point of Home Alone is not its inadequacies and I need to work on my suspension of disbelief. Nevertheless, I found this amusing. I love Home Alone. It makes me think about how important family is around the holidays and how you can have all the presents or vacations in the world, but if you’re not with the ones you care about, then Christmas is meaningless. Also the story about Marley and his son not speaking always gets me teary-eyed, because we all know someone (maybe it’s even you) that is estranged from the family because of some stupid argument that happened years ago. The Christmas/Holiday season is the perfect time to end quarrels. Sigh. Oh and I love the fact that the choir sings a lot of verses of O Holy Night because that’s my favorite Christmas song.

Now I feel more in the Christmas spirit. Thanks Home Alone. You rock. Ahhhhhhhh!

Grade: 94

Hamlet 2

Posted in H with tags , , , , , , on September 4, 2008 by Andrew

ANDREW VS SCHUYLER

Andrew says:

It seemed as if the cruel bitch named Fate stacked the cards against me when it came to this movie. From the get go, it was set up for destruction. A minuscule theater with cramped seating that wouldn’t accept credit cards mixed with my bumbling entrance to a movie that was already at least five minutes in.  Furthermore, the beginning of the movie was horribly dry. Humor seemed to slip under the radar as the action played our more as a melodrama than an actual comedy film.

But it was not long before Hamlet 2 kicked it up a notch.

Switching up beat in gears, the failing drama professor played by Steve Coogan is greeted by two of his White-Anglo Saxon Protestant student outside the Cafeteria (which doubles as the drama room). After noting the sudden influx of problem, Mexican students, the female comments, “I’ve been asking God to help me with diversity in my prayer group but I’m still not comfortable around this many ethnics”.  The tempo proceeded uphill from there. With a slurry of gut tickling comedy from Mexican jokes to Impotence cracks.

The addition of Elizabeth Shue was a brilliant piece of work. Considering most people aren’t even aware of who she is in the least bit. I remember seeing her in Hollow Man and, because of that, I wish I was invisible and alone with her in a testing laboratory.  Her performance in this was beautiful and unexpected, especially as the interest of Coogan. The casting of Catherine Kenner as Steve Coogan’s wife was a bit of a surprise. Especially since she played such an honest, caring and compassionate figure in 40 year old virgin. She really wasn’t believable in my personal opinion. There are much more conniving women that could have been cast in the role.

The coup’de’grai of the movie was decisively the actual performance of the play. All the stops were pulled out as the “controversial” acts were finally revealed. Including pieces such as “Raped in the Face” and “Rock me Sexy Jesus”. Not only were these presentations absolutely hilarious, they were actually catchy and visually delightful. My largest gripe, however, was that the presentation of the play was not longer and the movie seemed to get a bit rushed towards the end. For example, they resorted to an montage of play moments, skipped promised scenes (such as Cheney kissing Satan) and pushed forward plot elements that forced rapidity (the fire department). There is SO MUCH potential for comedy in musical format and I feel it could have been better capitalized upon.

Overall I would give this film a 80 out of 100. While the film was refreshing and a great burst of comedy, it was not optimized. A bit more forethought into presentation and casting would have gone a long way towards pushing this film into the A catagory from a B-.

Grade: 80

Schuyler says:

Izzy and I missed the first 12 minutes of this 90-minute film.

We were outside, trying to get money from a non-descript ATM. While she was battling the economic-machinery, I had found a tiny frog on the ground and was trying to catch it. After a few attempts, I caught the little gradpole and named him Tompkins or Potiphar. He jumped around in my hands a whole lot and was really cute. When we arrived at the movie theatre door, the realization that I would have to sacrifice Tompkins/Potiphar hit me like a bullet. My heart sank as I lowered my cupped hands to the ground, and regretfully let Tompkins/Potiphar go. He didn’t even really want to leave the Townhouse Suite that was my hands. I should’ve realized he would’ve demonstrated loyalty…all the good times, and the hard times…

Anyway, we missed 12 minutes of film. The 12 minutes missed ultimately didn’t impact our enjoyment of this film. Interpret that any way you like. This movie is very “light.” A lot of cheap jokes, a lot of deep jokes, and a lot of AWK (if you’re unsure what AWK means, read some of my high school English papers). Steve Coogan plays your run-of-the-mill failed-actor-turned-high-school-drama-teacher. Yaddah yaddah yaddah…school has no money…blah blah blah…conservative school board cutting arts programs. LL Coogan and the gang (which consists of 2 cracka theater nuts + the cast of Dangerous Minds and 187) have to save the Drama program by doing something Coogan’s character, Dana Somethingorother, has never done: produce a hit! Coogan drinks heavily and as a result writes Hamlet 2, his own masterpiece. The school tries to shut down the performance of the play because it is filled with controversial topics such as the devil making out with the president, Jesus being a sexy biotch, and the maiming of Shakespeare’s work. Amy Pohler (BC Alum!) comes in to save the day as the ACLU lawyer with a ‘tude. In the end, the students rally around Coogan and put on a play the likes of which hasn’t been seen since…well, Jesus Christ Superstar.
To keep this brief…

Things I liked:
–Coogan is emerging as a media icon comparable to Seth Rogan. If Brits and Canucks keep stealing all the media jobs, we’ll have to ban their immigration to the USA. Sorry Beckham, but I gots to go to Hollywood.

–Cheap “Hispanic” jokes. Now that I’m an adult, I’m going to make a conscious effort not to say potty words that might get me in trouble, even in gest, on this website. You guys know the racist stereotypical words I’m thinking of though. It’s funny, not offensive, I promise. Just see the danged movie.

–Elisabeth Shue playing herself. Okay, Elisabeth Shue was always the hotter, cheaper version of Leah Thompson. She has aged GRACEFULLY and plays actor-wantaway…Elisabeth Shue. She’s a Tucson Nurse, but slowly becomes impressed with Coogan’s crazy enthusiasm. I just LOVE Shue. Well thank Shue. I love Shue, too. Oh…Shue welcome.
Things I didn’t like:
–The fact that a lot of the back-story was a straight up rip-off of Dangerous Minds. They even mentioned in the film that it was a ripoff of Dangerous Minds. C’mon Coogan. Apply pressure on your writers. They’re getting paid more than slave wages now. Make them earn their supper.

–That woman from 40 Year Old Virgin plays Steve Coogan’s mean, alcoholic, cheating wife. She’s such a NICE person in 4YOV! How was she cast in this role? I think it’s a bit of a mis-cast. You need someone meaner. Someone more likely to be a harlotous jezebel.

–Missing 1/6 of the film.

Things I was bi-curious about:

–Before getting roles in Tristram Shandy and Tropic Thunder…what else has Steve Coogan BEEN in? This guy is not a start-up actor. He’s definitely approx. 35-45 years old. Where has he been?

–Could a guy like me REALLY end up with Elisabeth Shue?

–Do any of you know Elisabeth Shue?

–What’s her phone number?

–It’s okay, I promise I won’t make it awkward.

–Well if you know it…why won’t you give it to me.

–No I swear…it’s cool…

–GIVE IT TO ME ASSHOLE!

– ::Gun shots::

– Um…That’s it. I have to run, but I loved the film-movie.

Grade: 84

Average Grade: 82

Hot Fuzz

Posted in H with tags , , , , on May 7, 2008 by jharoldson13

James says:

The second gem from the guys who did “Shaun of the Dead!” This time they tackle buddy cop movies and all their inherent homo eroticism, and mine that shit for all its worth. The story follows Nick Angel, a badass beat cop from London whose arrest record is like 400% higher than everyone else’s. This pisses off the top brass because he’s making them all look bad, so they promote him and ship him off to some tiny little village out in the country that hasn’t seen a murder in 20 years or so. Once there, Nick meets Danny Butterman, the son of the local chief of police, and the two form a sort of partnership, although the friendship takes awhile to heat up. Along the way, Nick becomes convinced that someone is murdering people in the town while trying to cover up a vast conspiracy, and enlists Danny to help him bring it all down.

First off, this movie is not quite as good as “Shaun.” But when you set the bar that high, it’s almost impossible to live up to it, so that’s not a strike against “Hot Fuzz,” it’s just a measure of how fucking awesome “Shaun” is. “Hot Fuzz” is still hilariously funny, featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost at their most badass and adorably oafish respectively, running train on crime in town. Timothy Dalton [Editor’s note: YES YES THE BADGUY FROM ROCKETEER!!!] also shows up to GREAT EFFECT as the owner of the local supermarket. I don’t really have any snappy remarks to make, because I honestly adore this movie. Grab some friends and some snacks and prepare to enjoy yourself thoroughly. And keep your ear open for the big revelation during the climax; it’s fucking hysterical.

Grade: 91

The Hours

Posted in H with tags , , , , , on February 11, 2008 by serranja

Jason says:

God, this movie was as depressing as… a poorly formed analogy. What it is is three women in different times, all living out or writing Mrs. Dalloway. I didn’t readthe-hours.jpg the book, but my roommate did and had to watch the movie for class, so I watched it with him. I would’ve been better suited watching crappy MTV reality shows, because then something would’ve happened
Nicole Kidman won an Oscar for basically just wearing a fake nose. And being depressing as Virginia Woolf, who killed herself by forgetting to swim. And Julianne Moore is a depressing 1950s housewife with lesbian tendencies. She’s married to John C. Reilly, who was fine in his little bit. But she leaves him. Meryl Streep is also depressing as a lesbian with a sick friend. But Alison Janney played her lover, and was good…like always. And Ed Harris, in a surprise turn as not-a-cop, plays a guy with leukemia pretty well…oh, and shock! He’s Julianne Moore’s son.

This movie got a Best Picture nomination because it’s that “Serious topic” movie that somebody somewhere likes. I give it a nomination for “most looking at time” and “Longest lasting movie”. Bleh.
Grade: 48

Harry Potter: Years 1-5

Posted in H with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2008 by igrldremer

Izzy says:

It’s about time that someone reviewed the Harry Potter series. It makes sense to combine all of the films into one major entry and talk about each film individually instead of doing separate reviews for each. Make sense to everyone, yes? Okay then.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Having watched a lot of Full Metal Alchemist lately, it’s hard for me to say “Sorcerer’s Stone” and notsorcerers.jpg “Philosopher’s Stone”, but that’s neither here nor there. This movie is definitely not the best Harry Potter film, but it does have its benefits. One of these benefits is the fact that you get to see little Harry, Ron and Hermione in their pre-pubescent years (you know, before Daniel Radcliffe decided to do donkey shows…I mean, horse shows…I mean, shows where he’s doing horses…I mean, artsy plays). I especially like the part when Hagrid bursts through the door, gives Harry’s obnoxiously chunky cousin Dudley a pig’s tail and informs Harry that he’s a wizard. And Harry’s just like “I AM?!” and he’s so surprised and elated and thrilled he gets to escape his shitty life. It’s really heart-warming. Because the first book isn’t that long, the movie actually manages to stay true to most of it…although when I first saw the film, I was kind of disappointed to see how the Sorting Hat was portrayed. It’s kind of annoying that it has a face and it talks out loud, because in the book it only talks in Harry’s (or the respective student’s) head. And I mean, COME ON. How hard would that have been to show? All you have to do to represent a voice in someone’s head is make the voice sound all echo-y and zoom in on the character’s head. It’s simpler than making a talking hat, but I guess less “magical” and I suppose that could be interpreted as Harry “imagining” the hat talking to him. But whatever, it’s not that big of a deal.

Another good aspect of this film is Dumbledore. Dumbledore is at his prime in this flick because he’s noble and wise but yet funny at the same time. He’s charismatic and he wins you over right away, even if you hadn’t read the book. He just has all these quippy lines, like when Harry asks him what he sees when he looks into the Mirror of Erised, and he’s all like “socks”. It’s pretty funny, I guess you had to be there.

The ending of the film is also quite enjoyable. Having the three of them go through all those tasks like getting past the three-headed dog and battling magic plants, life-size chess pieces, and living keys…well, it’s pretty nicely realized. And then finally seeing Voldemort as part of Quirrell’s head…pretty fucking eerie if you ask me. It’s also scary when you think about how LITTLE Harry is when he’s going through all this. I mean, this kid is only 11 fucking years old, he’s JUST learned that he’s a wizard and possesses magical powers, yet he was able to escape some of the wittiest magicians with just common sense and a little help from his friends (cue “Wonder Years” theme song).

Things I did not like about The Sorcerer’s Stone: it tried too hard to be an introductory film. Those who made this film did not operate under the assumption that people will have read the book before seeing the movie, therefore they felt the need to say things that weren’t in the book to prove a point. I guess that’s helpful if you haven’t read the book, but most kids have, so it’s kind of pointless. I don’t know, I guess that’s just my opinion. For example, when first introduced to Hermione on the train, she came across as a bratty know-it-all that no one wanted to be friends with because she was so obnoxious. Harry and Ron didn’t like her at all…in fact they didn’t warm up to her until they rescued her from the troll in the girl’s bathroom. They represented Hermione this way in the movie to show her personality from the very beginning, but they didn’t have to be so stark about it. Harry and Ron thought she was kind of annoying, but very friendly and not necessarily stand-offish.

Generally speaking though, I think this film was a pretty good intro to the HP Series.

Grade: 88

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Yeah, no. Didn’t like the Chamber of Secrets very much. I think Dobby kind of ruined it for me. He appears as this REALLY freakingchamber.jpg annoying thing in the first 15 minutes of the movie and you’re doomed to hate him from the start (see: JarJar Binks). While he does behave like a little turd in the book as well, you don’t see his actions to be as malicious as they appear. The look on Dobby’s face when he drops the cake on the Dursley’s relatives is purely mischievous. He looks like he’s doing it on purpose to piss off Harry and quite frankly, the viewer is gonna hate anyone that pisses Harry off. You’re not supposed to HATE Dobby, you’re supposed to be confused by him. Like…”what’s this elf’s deal? Does he want to help Harry? Does he want to hurt Harry? Is he maybe one of Voldemort’s drones?” From the interaction with Harry in the beginning, you’re bound to say “I hate this house elf. He’s so incredibly annoying” and continue feeling that way during the whole film up to the point in the end where Harry’s all like, buddybuddy with him. The book does a better job explaining the relationship between Harry and Dobby, and it wouldn’t have been THAT HARD to explain that.

As for the whole “Chamber of Secrets” part…well, I guess that was alright. The end fighting scene was pretty cool where he’s running through tunnels hiding from the Basilisk. Young Tom Riddle was represented well. Part of the reason I didn’t like the second movie as much is that I didn’t like the second BOOK that much. It was kind of a lame premise. The first one was much more exciting. Harry doesn’t even really battle Voldemort in this one; he battles 1/7 of Voldemort’s soul, which I guess is SORT OF a big deal, but not really. A lot of the film/book is a “mystery” as to what the monster living inside the chamber really is. That wasn’t too original. JK Rowling could’ve thought of something more interesting. The characters didn’t develop too much – Ginny is still a shy, timid little girl who has an infatuation with Harry, Malfoy is still a mean little bugger, Ron is still a pussy (who we learn is also really scared of spiders), etc. The only character development we see is with Dobby, and I didn’t like how that was done. SO THERE.

One cool thing though – we get to meet Fawkes, which is probably the coolest bird ever, and I don’t really like birds that much…at all. But Fawkes, man…he spontaneously combusts every once in awhile and then is reborn from his own ashes! That’s pretty sweet. I’d like to own a bird like him. His tears also cure wounds (like Chuck Norris’ tears. They cure cancer..but then again, Chuck Norris never cries). That would come in handy: “Oh shit, I got a paper cut. Get the bird over here.” “Bird, cry on me. Right now…cry on me or I’ll give you something to cry about!” Hahah. That made ME laugh.

Oh, yeah and about that. When Fawkes cries on Harry’s basilisk wound in the book, Tom Riddle’s all like “Ha ha Harry, even your own bird pities you now! Look he’s crying on you!” and doesn’t realize that the bird is actually curing Harry’s wound. In the movie, Tom doesn’t say this. I think that line should’ve been put in the movie because it just shows how completely ignorant Voldemort is. He thinks he’s so smart, but really there’s so much he doesn’t know.

In summation: Dobby – thumbs down. Fight between Harry and the Basilisk – thumbs up. General development of the story – thumbs down. Fawkes – thumbs up.

Grade: 75

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Two words: Sirius Black. Sirius Black kicks so much ass. I love this character so much. And I love the way that he’s represented in the film. He’s all scraggly and rugged and mean and it looks like he’s had the shit kicked out of him by dementors every day in Azkaban. Yet, he’s still a good guy and the only family Harry has left. I’ll try not to let my obsession with Sirius become the focus of this review, though,prisonerofaz.jpg because that’s not fair. And I am SO fair. With movie reviews.

All siriusness aside (I’m so witty with my words!) I still think this was a good film. And a good book! Since I’m tired of writing paragraphs (because I’m writing all five movie reviews at once on a diet of apple juice and Nerds) I’m going to do this in number form.

1. The time-turner is awesome. It was represented really well and is fun to see the way everything pans out.

2. Hermione punches Malfoy. Although the punch was pretty fucking girly (even for a girl), it was still nice to see some GIRL POWER! And come on, that little turd had it coming to him. [Editor’s note: Izzy wants to be Ginger Spice. Barf.]

3. Remus Lupin. Yay for Remus Lupin! He was exactly what I imagined him to be. And his character is just so genuine. It’s a shame he has to become a killing creature of the night.

4. The battle between Lupin and Sirius! Talk about fucking SWEEET! Man-dog battles Werewolf! [Editor’s note: sounds like Hilary and Bill Clinton conceiving Chelsea] I only wish it lasted longer! [Editor’s note: sounds like Hilary and Bill Clinton conceiving Chelsea] And I really wish the DVD had some sort of feature where you could play that scene like a video game where you got to be either Lupin or Sirius and just battle it out Mortal Kombat style. Beastiality! [Editor’s note: Friendship!]

5. The boggart lesson. Watching everyone call their fears ridiculous. Oh yeah, and Alan Rickman, the infamous Snape (which I am SO surprised I haven’t talked about yet, because Snape is such an intriguing character and I basically love every film Alan Rickman is in and if I don’t like the film he’s in then I at least appreciate his role in the film) dressing up like Neville’s grandmother…hilarious. Although the boggart isn’t REALLY Snape, Alan Rickman still had to dress up like that for the movie. That must’ve been a proud moment for him. Gosh, I wish I had an Alan Rickman paper doll. That would be so funny – take Alan Rickman to the beach! Oh, what sort of bathing suit will he wear? Time for Alan Rickman to go to sleep! Shall I make him wear footie pajamas? It’s raining outside! Better put on that yellow rain slicker or you’ll get wet Mr. Rickman! On second thought, no, it’s a silly idea. [Editor’s note: yes, silly. LET Alan Rickman get wet…BETTER IDEA!]
6. Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawney. She’s such a good actress, and Prof. Trelawney is such a zany character that she pulls off wonderfully. It’s also nice to see Emma and Alan in another movie together. Isn’t it cute that they were married in Love, Actually? (Well, until he falls for that despicable ugly slutty bitch girl and breaks his wife’s heart by getting bitch girl a gold necklace and his wife a fucking Joni Mitchell CD and she goes in her room and cries for a few minutes but then composes herself…okay I’m done being sidetracked but I really FELT for her character, you know? Stupid Alan Rickman! Go put on your rain slicker!) It would’ve been cute if Snape got together with Trelawney. Sure they might fight at first, but I could see them getting along…

Things I didn’t really like about the movie:

1) The Firebolt Inaccuracy. Anyone who has watched this movie with me has heard me complain about this, so if you are one of those people, kindly just…skip this bit because it’s just gonna be the same old complaint. So in the book, Harry gets a Firebolt for Christmas and McGonagall confiscates it because no one knows who its from and it could be bewitched blahblah. Turns out it’s from Sirius, but no one knows that until later. In the movie, he gets the Firebolt at the end of the school year obviously from Sirius because it comes with a feather from Buckbeak. Laaaaame. Why did they have to change that? They didn’t.

2) The Dumble-Switch! Yeah, yeah, I know – the old Dumbledore died so they had to get a new one, but despite what everyone tells me, I still think the old Dumbledore was better. The new one is more quirky and less intelligent. He’s a bit too hyper for my liking. He seems like an angrier Dumbledore. The other one was more sagely. Maybe I’m just too picky, but it’s my review dammit!
Yeah, that’s about it. This was a good film, definitely worth watching. And it was made for people who have seen the previous two films and read the book, so it’s okay. Happy ending and all…well, as happy as Harry Potter endings get.

Grade: 89

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This was a really long book, therefore there was no way the movie could incorporate everything. As a result, the film was sort of sub-par and rushed. The best part of the film was the ending. The worst part of the film was the Yule Ball. Everything else was kind of in the middle.

The drama at the end was pretty damn cool. Cederic Diggory dies dramatically. Voldemort comes back to life in a body of his own that isgoblet.jpg ultimately very, very scary. Now, Ralph Fiennes is not a scary actor. I kind of want to see him in “In Bruges” because it sounds like a pretty decent film. BUT he will ALWAYS be Lord Voldemort to me. I think he’ll probably be Lord Voldemort to his kids, too. Does he have kids? *checks IMDB* Nope, not that I see but I could be wrong. Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is that he’s horrifying! He’s just like…so frightening because he’s not even really human. He’s like, part human. And seeing that for the first time, and seeing Harry actually duel with him at the tender age of fourteen is so scary. Imagine where YOU were intellectually/mentally at fourteen. I know I was a confused little girl, giggling over boys and doing algebra homework…definitely NOT at the level of beating advanced wizards. It is such a powerful ending once he lets go of the wand connection with Voldemort. He grabs Cederic’s lifeless body and dives for the Goblet of Fire and transports himself to the beginning of the third task. Everyone is cheering because they think he has won and they do not realize that Cederic is dead in Harry’s arms. It was quite the scene.

As for the rest of the film…watching the Weasley twins try and put their names into the Goblet was funny. Watching Mad-Eye Moody[‘s proxy] turn Malfoy into a ferret was amusing. The dragon task was kinda cool. Schuyler bought the video game for this movie and it took forever to beat the task because he had to fly through a bunch of rings and avoid the dragon’s fire all while staying within a certain time frame. It was entertaining to watch for awhile, though. Then it got boring. Kind of like the movie’s version. I didn’t like watching all the drama between Harry and Ron, either. Yes, it was in the book, but it was less annoying in the book.

So I’m itching to talk about the stupidity of the Yule Ball. First of all, what the FUCK was with the music? Excuse me. EXCUSE ME. JUST because it’s the wizarding world doesn’t mean that the ONLY music witches and wizards listen to is music that has to do with what they’re learning in school…it doesn’t have to be “dance like a hippogriff, eat like a troll, fly on a broom” music. It can be regular rock ‘n roll. I mean, these kids wear hoodies and blue jeans when they’re not in class. Why should they listen to witch ‘n wizard music? There was no mention of this in the book! And I just didn’t care for the drama of the ball either. The Patil twins were so annoying. Even at the beginning before Harry and Ron refused to dance, they were all like “ew, we really don’t want to be here with these losers”. Ahem. Harry is a fucking celebrity. You should kiss the ground he walks on, you ungrateful bitch. You deserve to sit in the corner. Yeah, sit in the corner and cry about it. [Editor’s note: Just like wet Alan Rickman. What a pair they would be at prom.] It’s kind of ridiculous that Harry couldn’t have gotten a better date. Come on Rowling. You can do better than that. I know kids hated Harry for awhile, but they regained faith in him after the first task, so it should’ve been easy. Go figure. But I’m not here to critique things that happened in the book. My main complaint was how the ball itself was represented.

Some funny points + crappy ball + rockin ending = okay film. Something I’d watch if I were bored and had no other entertaining films around. It was slightly better than the Chamber of Secrets only because there was more action and the ending was more exciting. I mean, Voldemort coming back is a big plus already. I can’t say that enough.

Grade: 82

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Excellent! Definitely the best Potter film so far. This is probably because the 5th book is when the action gets to be a lot more dark. And we’re introduced to a character that we absolutely love to hate: Dolores Umbridge. Her name alone is detestable. She’s just as terrible of a human being and she’s depicted excellently. Her and her silly pink outfits and the cat dishes she has in her office: it’s ridiculous! Everyoneorder.jpg hates her, yet she’s still in power. The best part of the film is when Fred and George scare the shit out of her and then leave Hogwarts forever to open up their own joke shop. Or wait, maybe the best part is when she gets taken away by the centaurs whom she has so much disdain for. I don’t know, but I hate her. She’s suuuch a bitch. Everyone knows someone like Umbridge in their lives. Her actions are like a dictatorship. I’d compare her to Stalin, Hitler, Ceaucescu [Editor’s note: Some Romanian dictator, whoopydoo Izzy. We all took Romanian History 101. Oh wait…] and the other communists of our time [Editor’s note: Hitler was a communist?]. She puts up all these ridiculous rules and regulations that she claims are for the safety of the students at Hogwarts when they’re really just infringing on their basic human rights. And the fact that she insists that Voldemort isn’t back just pisses me off even more. What a stupid cunt! I mean, COME ON. It’s so obvious. It’s just like when Ceaucescu [Editor’s note: pronounced “Choochoo?”] would make these grandiose speeches in the 1980s about how Romania was thriving and how everyone was so happy when people were starving and aborting babies with hangers. JUST like that. Doesn’t it just break your heart when she attempts to throw Trelawney out? Poor Emma Thompson! Don’t you just wanna ask her to live with you? Sure she may be a little annoying at times, but she makes a damn good cuppa tea. Maybe she can live with Alan Rickman. [Editor’s note: Who is just sopping, let me say.]

You know what other character was very well done? [Editor’s note: the STEAK character!!!!] Bellatrix Lestrange. I can’t think of anyone more creepy or sinister to play that role other than the famous Helena Bonham Carter. Oh Mz. Carter. You’re so weird. You and Tim Burton are going to have either the weirdest gothy-est kids in the world, or you’re going to have star football player sons and cheerleader daughters who are only like that because they want to rebel against their parents. This would be a great conversation:

Carter-Burton Daughter: But MOM! Why can’t I go to the cheerleader’s carwash fundraiser! It’s for a good cause!

Carter: No. Go write dark poetry and smoke clove cigarettes with the goth kids.

Carter-Burton Daughter: Stop trying to turn me into something I’m not! I hate you! I hate you mom!

*snicker* Is that only funny to me? Anyway, yes. Bellatrix Lestrange is just such an absolutely ridiculously crazy person. I think HBC can only play weird pasty goth girls, and Lestrange is no exception. The only issue I have with her in this film is that she kills Sirius. Well, okay, I hate her for other reasons too, but the fact that she kills Sirius is heartbreaking for me because Sirius is my favorite character and Harry’s only true relative left. Sigh. Poor Harry is left to fend for himself.

But! Not all is lost! The building of Dumbledore’s Army in the film makes the viewer feel a little more at ease because at least Harry has SOME allies at Hogwarts even though there are so many others against him. Like Luna Lovegood. Although she’s a bit…out there and kooky, I kinda like her. And she wears Converse sneakers (when she can actually FIND her shoes) which automatically gives her points. It’s adorable how they all help out in whatever way they can in the Department of Mysteries. I liked it when all the different prophesies fell off the shelves and broke. Something about glass breaking is just fun for the whole family.

Just like the end of the 4th film, the fighting sequence at the end of the Order of the Phoenix is MOST impressive!! Dumbledore vs. Voldemort – another thing I’d like to see Mortal Kombat style. Ralphie is just as scary as ever. Dumbledore, although not as great as the original one, is still pretty awesome when he fights. So…yay for fight scenes! I don’t want to describe what happens because if you haven’t seen it already, you should see for yourself. If you only see one Harry Potter film ever, see this one…although I don’t know what’s in store for the 6th and 7th films so I may take that back eventually.

Grade: 90