Archive for the R Category

Reqiuem for a Dream

Posted in R with tags , , , , , , , on April 15, 2008 by theroboticdan

Dan says:

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attempted to sit down and watch Requiem.  Its one of those films that everyone has seen and nobody would like to sit down and watch it with you.  I heard stories about Requiem before I watched it on Hulu.com, people told me that it was graphically disturbing, that it would haunt me for days to come and depress me out of my mind.  It was supposed to be a big downer, and who in their right mind wants to subject themselves to that for over an hour?

I did.  Watching Requiem called for me to challenge myself and my desensitized nature.  I would get through it without being grossed out.  I would get through it without it messing with my brain.  I would not be haunted for days afterwards.

So what is Requiem about?  Most people would say drugs, addiction, heroin, speed.  It takes you down the path of several addicts and does not skimp on the gruesome details. Requiem stars Jared Leto as Harry Goldfarb, a heroine addicted dude who plans to sell drugs on the street to fund his cocaine addicted girlfriend’s dream project: her own designer clothing store.  As he sells drugs with his friend, he finds himself using more and more, in fun situations and as a crutch in bad situations.  Mom is sad? Heroine.  Girlfriend angry? Heroine.  Worried about not getting more Heroine?  Heroine.

He and his partner (Marlon Wayans in his most respectable cinematic role) encounter the violence and fear associated with depending on drug sales for a living, as they are haunted by the wishes of their parents, the dreams that they would have better lives.

Jennifer Connely plays the girlfriend, a girl that slowly sells out her integrity for coke and money, sliding down a slippery slope of sex and destruction. She dips so low as to perform heinous sexual acts in front of crowds for blow, on par with “two girls one cup”.

While the scarred arms, twisted addictions and insane cinematography associated with these young addicts is the film’s core focus, the real star of the show is Harry’s dementia ridden mother Sara (Ellen Burstyn, soon to play Barbara Bush in Oliver Stone’s “W.”)

The destruction of Harry and his friends was easy for me to shrug off, they still had their youth even if they had lost their way, they still had a chance, they may have learned their lessons.  But the most haunting and disparaging thing about Requiem is elderly Sara, who lives a life like so many older relatives we all share.  Small apartment, living alone, cleaning for nobody, living for nothing, a slave to their little world of  television and diets.  She is scammed into thinking she will appear on television, and in an attempt to lose weight for her big appearance, goes to a shady doctor who prescribes her speed.  Old age and drugs warp her mind, and with no friends or family near by to help her, she constantly overdoses again and again.  Watching her frightened, bewildered and unstoppable addiction to speed is like nothing else you’ve ever seen.

She has creepy hallucinations about a gameshow/infomercial she seems to watch non stop, and eventually fries her brain past the point of no return.  Her dream to be on television is the only thing that keeps her going, even when she is a shell of a person, insane, walking the streets, picked up by the police and placed in a mental ward.

The movie crescendos with its trademark music at the end, and a mixture of amputations, puking, anal sex and repeated electric shocks to the head.  Then all the characters crawl into the fetal position in despair.  Most people I’ve talked to about the movie described the ending akin to their senses being raped.

So did I accomplish my goal in avoiding emotional disturbance?  The answer is… for the most part.  I felt like the young people dug holes for themselves and I couldn’t bring myself to be disturbed by the consequences of their actions.  Now, the old lady is a different story.  She was an innocent bystander in all this, had a very well intentioned dream, had nothing left to live for, and was taken advantage of by doctors and scammers.  She didn’t deserve to lose her mind, and that made the loss of her dream, and sanity hard to bear.  In that, Requiem makes the ultimate point, drugs may harm you, and it may be your intention to use drugs to harm yourself, but supporting a drug filled culture will eventually turn on innocent people.  Drugs effect those around you almost as much as yourself.

[Editor’s Note: Big Tim is played by Keith David……..THE VOICE OF THE ARBITER FROM HALO 3!!!!]
Grade: 94

Run Fatboy Run

Posted in R with tags , , , , , , on April 5, 2008 by igrldremer

Izzy says:

I just saw this movie. Like, just saw it as in I just got back from the theatre. And you know what? It was fabulous. Maybe it’s because I’m a huge Simon Pegg fan. I mean, come on. Shaun of the Dead is an AMAZING film. Laugh Out Loud (or “LOL” as you kids these days call it) comedy. Same with Hot Fuzz. So I was already in the mood to enjoy a film based on the fact that he was in it. This is one of those films that is made better because everyone has English accents (and of course, the “bad guy” is American…which is amusing in itself, seeing as the bad guy is Hank Azaria and to me, Hank Azaria will always be Phoebe from FRIENDS’s geeky scientist boyfriend named David who went to Minsk, and it’s weird to see him as not a good guy) and say words like “arsehole”, “bloody” and “wanker”. [Editor’s note: Also directed by Friends’ DAVID SCHWIMMER & written by MICHAEL IAN BLACK!]

This is one of those “I am in love with this girl, but she thinks I’m a loser and I have to do something to win her back from her almost perfect boyfriend” movies. Usually this plotline tends to get a little boring, but not in this film. It was actually highly enjoyable because of that. It’s somewhat predictable at times, but in a good way. Dennis (Simon Pegg) ends up running a marathon in order to win back his girl and his son (yes! he has a son! and his son is very cute and reminds me of the little boy in Love Actually because he’s precocious and has an adorable English accent) and he’s in bad shape and a smoker so it’s really difficult for him. His “trainers” include his mate from Shaun of the Dead Dylan…(oh lord I just looked up this guy on IMDB and I ALREADY forgot his last name) Moran, and his extremely chunky Indian landlord (I don’t think he is a very well-known actor, but I could be wrong). His landlord makes him run by hitting him in the ass with a spatula. I guess that’s not a spatula, but a SPANKula! (that’s probably only funny to me…) His friend gets him to put KY jelly on his nipples before running the marathon so he doesn’t “chafe”. Humor like this really tickles my funny bone. There are definitely some excellent moments.

I really don’t want to give away much more of the film because it’s definitely worth seeing. The last few films I have seen in theatres recently have not really been up to par (see: Be Kind, Rewind) so it was really refreshing to see a comedy that was actually funny and worth $8.50 + popcorn and a cherry Icee. Also, it made me want to take a spinning class (you’ll see why when you see the film. I’m being presumptuous and saying “when” because I know that after reading this review you’ll drop whatever you’re doing and head for the nearest theatre) and that’s pretty awesome, except that I’ll probably forget about that desire within a few days. Still, points for effort! And mad points for the hilarity that ensues when you put Simon Pegg in tight running shorts (which may as well be briefs, mind you) and yellow sneakers.

Grade: 92

The Rutles

Posted in R with tags , , , , , , on March 13, 2008 by Schuyler

Schuyler says:

As a brilliant child prodigy in about everything I did, my parents developed high expectations for me. Thus, when I got a C- in my college Philosophy of J.R.R. Tolkien class, they were more disappointed than the parents of other C- receiving students. They expected me to get A’s, even when test questions such as “What was Tolkien’s favorite type of tree?” were the norm.

I, as a movie-lover, have similar expectations for Eric Idle. As creator of so many wonderful Python films/skits, I expect more from himrutles.jpg than what amounts to the watered-down-predecessor to Spinal Tap.

The jokes are few and far between, although the movie is clearly intended to be a comedy. The larger joke is that this band, the Rutles, blatantly imitates the Beatles. Ha….ha….ha. That’s it. That’s all it is. Just a band that looks like the Beatles and plays music like the Beatles and acts like the Beatles. Idle clearly had to come up with a movie idea in less than 5 seconds, because I know if he spent 6 seconds on an idea he would’ve given us a better final product.

Also, at first the imitation Beatles music, which merely changes a few words here and there, is charming. But by song three you are begging for someone to pull a John Lennon on these musicians.

“All You Need is Cash,” “Shabby Road,” and “Sergeant Rutter’s Only Darts Club Band” are some of the titles. They could’ve gone a lot further in parodying the Beatles songs, maybe with a better gimmick instead of just a direct imitation. Also each of the 14 songs they play in the film go on for 2-3 minutes a piece, and eventually you are left wanting it to be over.

The movie advertises starring roles by Mick Jagger and Paul Simon. The reality is that they answer one interview question a piece, and both answers are really un-funny. George Harrison’s appearance is also nothing special.

Narrator: Mick, why do you think the Rutles broke up?
Mick Jagger: Why do I think they did? Why did the Rutles break up? Women. Just women. Getting in the way. Cherchez la femme, you know.
Narrator: Do you think they’ll ever get back together again?
Mick Jagger: I hope not.

Mick, I can’t get no fucking satisfaction, either. This movie disappointed like an Uno’s Pizza Skins that has lumpy mashed potatoes in it instead of a smooth puree of mashed potato.

Grade: 66

The Replacements

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

Jason says:

Raise your hand if you like Keanu Reeves…ok, now go someplace where I don’t have to ever meet you. Watched this movie on tv, and thought it was actually fun,cheerleader.jpg except for the whole movie not involving football. It’s about scabs who break the football picket line. In short, football=kinda funny, not football=suck.
Football part: We’ve got the wacky players who don’t fit, and for some reason, I find that funny. There’s the receiver who can’t catch, the sumo linesman, the soccer drunkard who kicks…hilarious, right? Sometimes. Also, Roy from the Office is deaf, and cheerleaders (who apparently also went on strike) are now strippers. And the dreadfully cast Jon Favreau as a psycho defensive player a la the Waterboy. I loved Favs in Swingers, but nobody would ever associate football player with him (even now that he gained a ridiculous amount of weight.) Let him be the best friend to the wannabe football player (Rudy)
Not Football part: Shitty romantic leads (some chick I’ve never seen before or since with Keanu), bad sappy music, a dumb dance scene w/ “I will survive”,replacements.jpg picketing players breaking the law on a regular basis (but getting away with it), wimpy QB living on a boat and whining, a MVP QB who breaks the picket line (plus he never made the playoffs but is an MVP? Whaaa?) and not real NFL teams (NFL is smart sometimes).

Also, Keanu sucks. Oh, and why is Gene Hackman in this? He’s a good actor slumming in the worst way…C’mon Gene, how strapped for cash were you?
Grade: 53

Reign Over Me

Posted in R with tags , , , , , , , on February 7, 2008 by serranja

Jason says:

Ok, so I did a review of this movie for a class last fall. I said I liked it, blah, blah, and gave it three stars. But the more I think about the movie, the less I like it. reign-over-me.jpg So here’s some redemption.
First off, it’s not an awful movie because it has an interesting premise and some good performances. The plot is simple: Charlie lost his family in 9/11 (somewhere Rudy Giuliani perked up a little) and developed post-traumatic stress disorder to the point that he can’t recognize his college roommate, Alan. They reconnect and help Charlie through his troubles. Woohoo. Adam Sandler is actually really good as Charlie. Yes, that Adam Sandler. This almost makes up for Spanglish. But the problem that I failed to address in my article all have to do with the writing, casting, and direction by Mike Binder, whoever the hell that is.
Without further ado, I give you the Binder Rules for screwing a good premise with good actors:

  1. Cast a big actor and a good actress as his wife and don’t give them anything interesting to do. Don Cheadle is great as Alan, but is pretty much a stereotype who could’ve been played by one of Sandler’s buddies. Ditto Jada Pinkett Smith for his wife.
  2. Destroy the main character with a useless trial, heartless in-laws, and an idiot lawyer and judge played respectively by Ryan from the Office and Donald Sutherland.
  3. Add a character with no meaning to the script: there’s this chick who, not kidding now, really wants to fellate Don Cheadle. She really wants him in her mouth…it’s ridiculous. She’s in the movie way too much (read: any screen time is too much).
  4. Miscast Liv Tyler as a psychiatrist.

Plus, the dude has a lame part in his own movie. So he sucks at acting too. Do yourself a favor and watch the first half of the film only, without the scenes with the crazy bj girl. Then it’s a decent movie worth three stars. (I did get an A on the review,though). The grade is higher than it should be b/c I said I liked it initially, which must count for something.

Grade: 65

Redneck Zombies

Posted in R with tags , , , , , , on February 3, 2008 by jharoldson13

James says:

“Redneck Zombies,” two words that go together like a ramalamalamalama ding dong or whatever, provided those words mean DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. Granted, the mereredneck.jpg fact that this review exists means that there’s a greater chance that some hapless reader will go out and rent it just to see what the big deal is, but I have to try to warn you anyway. This is moviemaking at its absolute basest; a few assholes with a video camera who managed to scrounge up a few hundred bucks and decided to gather up their college buddies and make a movie. The only thing they managed to make was a resounding failure.

The movie begins when an army Jeep carrying unsecured toxic waste hits a speed bump in hillbilly country, and the barrel goes flying off the Jeep and into the woods. When the stalwart soldier goes to retrieve it, he gets ambushed by a fat redneck with a shotgun who insists that the toxic waste is now his, since it’s on his land. Harnessing the might of the full US Army, the soldier, who is completely unarmed for some reason, retreats like a Frenchman. The redneck then adds the goo to his moonshine, which he promptly distributes to the other rednecks in his town, and for some reason they all turn green and feast on the flesh of some pointless hikers who happen to be in the area. From there we’re treated to a few scenes of people getting mauled by vaguely dead people, including a baby whose mother gave it some of that tasty, tasty moonshine, with abrupt cuts to a survivor in a mental hospital, burning herself with cigarettes while the screen changes colors (someone figured out how to use the special functions on his camcorder!) and some orderlies talk about how she’s crazy.

By the time it’s all over, the viewer is left with a terrible taste in his or her mouth. It is the taste of sweat and horror in the knowledge that somewhere, someone was ACTUALLY PAID to make this movie. I only have two thumbs thanks to some evolutionary oversight, but if I had more, they would all be as down as possible. Luckily, as far as I know it never got the DVD treatment, so good luck finding a VHS copy of this travesty. You’d be far better served by taking shots of Listerine instead, and the effect on your body would be far less harsh.

Grade: 14

Rudy

Posted in R with tags , , , , , on February 3, 2008 by Schuyler

Schuyler says:

This is the only movie that MIGHT have swayed my college admission. I rememberrudy.jpg sitting in a chair in Father Giles’ office at my high school. The scene went something like this:

Father Giles: Schuyler, it’s between Boston College and Notre Dame. Which of these schools do you really want us to push for you to get into? Why do you want to go to BC or ND?

Schuyler: BC is in Boston…Notre Dame is in South Bend…I could have a ton of fun in Boston…South Bend only has a solitary Pizza Hut…………………………b-b-but what about Rudy?

At the last second I withdrew my app to Notre Dame and applied to my eventual college choice, Boston College. There was no reason to go to Notre Dame other than Rudy, and damn was that a powerful argument.

::Rudy orchestral theme plays for a few minutes::

I needed a pick-me-up.

Rudy is the story of a dumbshite hick that works in a metal-forging-and-melting factory. Daniel “Rudy” Reuttiger’s best friend Pete is killed when one of the forges explodes, melting his face off. I would suppose he gives not a shit about Global Warming. His face experienced Global Warming X10.

What would any dumbshite hick think when presented with such a tragedy.

“Hmm. My best friend is dead/that melted cheese on the bottom of the nacho plate after you’re done eating all of them….I WANNA PLAY NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL! YEAHHHHHHH!”

Yes, I know, but this movie takes place before abortions were legalized, so Rudy lives on.

He works night and day, gives a priest a handy, and even goes to COMMUNITY COLLEGE (I know, vomit) all for a chance to get in to Notre Dame (which does not fail to demonstrate that admission standards were/are/always will be shit by admitting Rudy “Failed Life Class” Reuttiger).

Somehow, he gets into Notre Dame. This matters not, because we all know College Admissions are bullshit. The amazing part is that after getting into Notre Dame, this r-tard decides “Well…garsh…now that I’m in this here skuh-ool, Imma play me some football?” And that he does! Rudy tries out for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, and makes the practice squad because…….the script says so. He gets his shit kicked in every practice for two years until the climax of the movie where he finally gets to play in the last game of the season.

Rudy plays for one single play in a game against Georgia Tech, another school of brilliant upstarts. Maybe Rudy should’ve transferred…

In the final play, Rudy sacks the quarterback, everyone who’s ever known him cheers, and he’s carried off the field.

There is SO much wrong with this movie

-The Pro-ND propaganda. What school WOULDN’T want a Miracle-type story produced about their institution?
-Samwise Gamgee = OPPOSITE of a D-1 college football player
-Rudy never touches a drink in college, and we all know that ND football players wouldn’t be half the team they are without booze. Oh wait, they lost every game they played this year (Boston College loyalties being what they are…)

This movie would get an F………..if it wasn’t for the amazingly heroine-esque addictive soundtrack, which brings it right back into the upper-echelons of mediocrity.

Grade: 81