Friday, August 20, 2010


Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Alexandre Aja's films have always been a mixed bag. His first film "Furia" was panned and completely ignored by the general public. His second film "High Tension" was raved as an equally great and equally horrible film by fans and critics alike. His third film "The Hills Have Eyes" was better received by critics, but still mostly disliked by the general public. Then P2 came out which I enjoyed, but most people didn't. And Mirrors was panned by everybody. So needless to say he hasn't had the best track record with critics and the general public.

"I know what you are." "Say it. Out loud say it." "Jonas Brother."

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

It's such an easy target. Vampires and werewolves have dominated the past 5 or so years in terms of literature, film and television. And besides True Blood and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer, all vampire and werewolf related entertainment has sucked. The Twilight series, book and movie, have turned a once awesome creature of death into a sparkly, abstaining pussy and an evil creature of death into a sensitive, shirtless dweeb. The book series is dumb and ends on a weird, anti-climatic note and there are some really questionable and weird side plots. Are they the worst books ever? No. But are they worthy of being practically worshiped in the eyes of teens and middle aged mothers' everywhere? Absolutely not. And the first two films were horrible pieces of unwatchable crap. The third one wasn't all that bad if you knew what to expect and I do honestly hope that the two final films are actually pretty good.

Either way, making fun of Twilight and this whole vampire/werewolf craze should be easy. Whether it's the sparkle jokes, the abstinence joke, the werewolves are gay jokes, the baby love jokes, the bad dialogue jokes, the pretty boy jokes, the fan jokes, the team Edward/Jacob's easy. My friends and I could write 100 pages worth of really funny jokes based on Twilight. So when I heard a spoof movie was made based on and around Twilight, I was willing to give the notorious directors of Disaster/Epic/Date Movie the benefit of the doubt.

What is going on here?

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

If you listened to The Demented Encyclopedia or have periodically read my site then you will know that I am a huge fan of That Guy With The Glasses, specifically Noah Antwiler of The Spoony Experiment. Well about a month or so ago he posted a Riff (his version of a Rifftrax) of an ENTIRE movie called After Last Season. After a day though the creators asked him to take down the video and instead Noah just posted an iRiff on There was one problem though, I watched the first ten minutes and had to see the end. So I went to Amazon and bought the DVD along with the iRiff and watched it. It was amazing. But out of curiosity I decided to watch the film without the riff and just on it's own merits. Well I can safely say this makes Nudist Colony of the Dead and the Room look like Academy Award Winners.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Movie Meme Day 18-Favorite Title Sequence

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I love the Bond movies. On my top 3 list of favorite film series this ranks third, just below Star Wars and The Matrix. But even though Bonds have been swapped, directors have changed and it seems that we are on a permanent standstill when it comes to the future of the series (film wise...Blood Stone, the next original Bond adventure is coming in game form) the Bond films have always been awesome. And if you ask any guy, he will tell you that he has dreamed of being Bond at one point or another.

One of the trademarks of Bond is the title sequences. While Carly Simon's classic song in "The Spy Who Loved Me" was brilliant, my favorite Bond intro has got to be Casino Royale. It's epic, it gets you pumped and it sets the stage nicely for an amazing film.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Movie Meme Day 17-Favorite Film Series

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Look I am probably going to get a lot of flack for this one. But if you are going to comment and just say "You're wrong (enter series) is a lot better," save it. The Bond series is amazing and my number 3 favorite, and by a millapoint Star Wars is number 2. By that I mean it switches up all the time and it has for years. But when I really sit down and think...The Matrix is and always will be my favorite series. The message, the action, what it did for special effects, the allegories to many different themes and religions, it's a brilliant series.

Plus it has Agent Smith. It's hard to beat Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Who sent you?" "Your hairdresser!"

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I absolutely love the 80s. While I WAS born in the 90s (91 to be exact), I've always loved the music, the fashion, the television and most importantly the movies of the 80s. One genre of 80s film has always stuck out to me though: action. Whether it was Stallone with Rambo, Arnold Schwarzenegger with Predator, Commando or Terminator, or Jean Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal with their mass amounts of films I've always loved 80s action films. They are loud, violent, and don't really NEED a plot or great, memorable characters to make you want to watch. They had shit blowing up, people getting shot and stabbed and they looked cool doing it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Who do you suspect?" "Nobody...and everybody. That's where you come into play."

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I was a little late to the party when Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy first came out. Then again, I always am. Why? Well after reading and obsessing over Harry Potter when it first came out I learned that there will always be bigger fans of things than me. And when the inevitable movie, television show ect comes out, I will be grouped with these fans who make me seem like a total noob. So whenever I'd go to a release of one of the films or one of the books I would always feel out of place since they were all decked out in wizard gear and they had memorized all the spells. I mean I liked the books a lot but I don't obsess. I'm a geek, not a nerd (there IS a difference).

So as time went on more series I read became popular (Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dead Until Dark, Twilight, and a myriad comic books/graphic novels) I started getting that same Harry Potter feeling I had before and stepped back away from following the masses. So when the time was right I dug into the Millennium trilogy and I have to say that they are fantastic books. I could say a lot about them in detail but Wikipedia will pretty much tell you everything that I could and probably better (I suck at explaining).

Movie Meme Day 15-Favorite Musical

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If you've read my review of Phantom of the Opera, then you will know that not only is Phantom of the Opera one of my favorite films, but also my favorite musical. The songs really resonate with me and hit close to home, and every now and again I'll hum some of the songs to myself. That and Gerard Butler and Emmy Russum are great singers.

I will say though it was almost a tie with Dr. Horrible and Repo the Genetic Opera.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Movie Meme Day 14-Favorite Black and White Film

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

"Favorite Black and White Film." This one was tougher than I expected it to be. So many great black and white films have been released. Battleship Potemkin, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Birth of A Nation, Triumph of the Will, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Gold Rush, It's A Wonderful Life, and many many more. But it wasn't until recently, thanks to Ryan over at A Life in Equinox that I discovered this little gem of a movie he's mentioned once or twice: "Seven Samurai." He could probably talk days about how and why it's the greatest film ever but I can say that it is definitely a great film. Is it my favorite? No. But is it one of the best made? Probably. But it is my favorite black and white film that's for sure.

There are five girls missing, and you put the one person who knows where they are to sleep?

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

As most people who are long time readers and friends of mine know, The Descent is, in my opinion, one of the best horror films ever made and of the scariest films ever made. On top of being bloody, gory and dark, this film had a big heart with its characters as well as it's great manipulation of the blackness to create tension and suspense. And the big twist ending is such a "Ah yeah...that's good" kind of ending.

So when I heard that they had made a sequel which would be released straight-to-DVD in the US, I was both angry and confused. There didn't NEED to be a sequel. There was no reason why we needed to re-do a film like this. Even Neil Marshall, the director of the original, opted out of directing the film, instead only executive producing. Instead the EDITOR from the first movie is directing it. That's never a good sign when the original director steps down.

The more I read about the film, the more it both simultaneously pissed me off and intrigued me. It didn't get the glowing praise that the first one got, but it also wasn't being panned by critics either. It was going under the "more of the same" category with an average of three stars. So eventually I headed over to the video store and picked this one up and gave it a watch. And while not as good as the's not half bad.
Picking up two days after the original, Sarah (the only survivor from the original) is found and hospitalized after going through the Hell that was the first film. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, the sheriff of the town starts investigating what happened. When he finds that the blood that was stained on her shirt belonged to Juno (the kinda maybe other survivor), he gets his deputy to drag her out of bed and take her to the caves to look for the rest of the team. They find a new entrance and with the help of three specialists, the sheriff, the deputy, Sarah and the three specialists are going back into the caves.

It's not a bad plot overall. You can see the twists coming a mile away and it kinda leans heavy on the jump scares but it does it's job well. I was surprised at how much more of the cave dwellers you saw and how much they changed since the first movie (they look like goblins now), as well as how much violence and gore there was. I was disappointed that besides Sarah and the deputy you really don't learn or care that much about the characters, but for a horror film I don't expect TOO much development. For what it was, the writing was solid enough and the film didn't overstay it's welcome.
The one big gripe I always have about sequels, especially direct-to-DVD ones, is that they take the really solid cast of the first one and squander it, only giving the original characters brief cameos of a movie that was much better. Well the good news, and one of the best things about Part 2, is that they got all of the original actresses back. Despite all but two being dead, it IS nice seeing everybody again. And it's especially good since they are great actresses. Juno feels like an evil Lara Croft and Sarah, while suffering from amnesia in the beginning, gives it her all as the brave heroine yet again. The new actors are kind of meh horror fodder but do the job well enough. That and most of them are there just to be killed so hey, whether they are great or not doesn't matter if they get ripped in half ten minutes in.

One of the things I loved about the original was the cinematography and the masterful score. Well the great thing is that this still has that great feeling of claustrophobia and the fear of the unknown like the original, and the ambient noises and the silence accentuated suddenly by a blasting score is something to behold. While I'd seen it all done before, it's one of those "If it ain't broke don't fix it" kind of things.

Despite all this praise I DO have some gripes. It overstays it's welcome slightly and it's easy to spot places where it could have been trimmed down. The supporting cast, like I said, really does lack compared to the original actresses, and the revealing of the cave dwellers earlier on and more so than the original is a bit of a let down considering how creepy and mysterious they were before. Now they're pissed off orc goblins who have heightened hearing. My only other gripe is that you can TELL Marshall wasn't involved. Considering how much he made the first one his own, you can tell that he pretty much just slapped his name on it and said "There." At least with Smokin Aces 2 you could tell Carnahan had SOME part in it.
Gripes aside, The Descent Part 2, while not as good as the original, is a solid follow up and worth a look even to those who were skeptic like myself.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Movie Meme Day 13-Favorite Animated Film

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

"Favorite Animated Film." Now I could have gone a lot of ways with this one. I could have gone for the more adult oriented cartoons like Studio Ghibli, or I could have gone with any of the outstanding Pixar films (besides Cars) or even any of the older classic Disney films. But when I think favorite animated film, only one comes to mind. If you read my "Movies That Defined Me"
post then you will know I already put in my top spot for animation on that list. Well the same goes for this meme. I'll put up an extensive review why later but for now I will say it's my favorite because it gets better with age in terms of humor and content, the message is great and it's still funny.

The Walking Dead Chapter 1-Days Gone By

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

If you remember back at the beginning of the month I did a post about The Walking Dead. In it I said that it was one of my new favorite comics and that I was going to start a new feature on TME where I review The Walking Dead Chapter by Chapter. Well 13 days later I am here again and what better day to start analyzing a zombie apocalypse graphic novel than on Friday the 13th? So without further ado...

Chapter 1-Days Gone By
Plot Outline-
The story begins with Rick Grimes, a Kentucky sheriff, and his partner Shane right in the middle of a gunfight. Things aren't going too well for the cops and so in a spur of the moment decision Rick decides to try and flank him. This gets Rick shot which sends him into a coma.

Rick awakens about a month or so later from his coma to find a deserted hospital. He puts on his clothes and looks around to see where everybody went. After searching for a while he gets on the elevator and goes down a few floors to the cafeteria. When he gets off though he sees a dead body. He freaks out and rushes to the cafeteria. When he opens the door he sees this:
Rick freaks and rushes out of the hospital after fighting some of these things off by himself. He sees more dead bodies strewn about and decides to head home hoping its some sort of isolated incident. Rick arrives at his house to find that his family is gone. He starts searching around but gets a shovel to the back of the head.

He awakens to find Morgan and Duane, a father and a son who are holed up in the house next door. They explain that there was a huge zombie outbreak and that all the people left alive are all in major cities apparently being protected. Rick figures Atlanta is the closest big city, so after getting some guns and a change of clothes (along with some weapons for Morgan), he heads off for Atlanta.

He arrives in Atlanta to find it overrun by zombies. A young man (in his 20s) named Glenn helps him out and together they escape the town, after grabbing a few essential items. Glenn explains what happened to most of the major cities (or at least Atlanta) and that the survivors are all holed up in an RV outside of town. Rick follows Glenn to the camp and there he is reunited with his wife Lori and son Carl as well as his partner Shane.
After the tearful reunion, Rick meets the rest of the crew and they all seem to live fine. The men hunt, the children play, the women cook and clean and all is well. All is well that is until one of the women gets attacked by a zombie. She isn't bitten thankfully but this inspires Rick to take Glenn to the nearest gun store in Atlanta to pick some up so he can teach everyone how to shoot.

Things are bumpy but Rick and Glenn DO get a lot of guns. The training is going well, some better shots than others of course, but when Rick suggests that they should maybe move somewhere else, Shane explodes at Rick. Shane settles down quickly though and things go back to normal.

Later that night at a campfire there is a giant zombie attack on the group. One of the women and one of the men die in the attack and the next day they hold a funeral. Rick explodes at Shane in an "I told you so" manner and when Shane violently retaliates, Lori scratches him. Lori and Shane had had a one night stand while Rick was out and this scratch puts Shane over the edge. He grabs his gun and storms off into the woods.

Rick tries to calm him but Shane's done talking. He says he HAS to kill Rick or things will only get worse. Right as Shane's about to shoot Rick, Carl shoots Shane in the throat, saving Rick's life. Carl crumples afterwards and the both of them cry as they have both lost a friend.

Character Development/New Characters-
Rick: Rick starts off in the series as a clean shaved, straight laced cop with an eye for justice. He is scared by all that has happened and after losing everything his only concern is his family. He loves his family more than anything and will do any and everything to protect his family, at the expense of his safety. As the chapter develops he becomes more of a leader figure and people start to look up to him.

Shane: Shane starts off a lot like Rick (clean shaved/straight laced/eye for justice) but after Rick goes into a coma, he starts to show his true colors when he makes his advances towards Lori. When he does finally find success with his advances, he is happy and hopes that everything stays the way it is. But when Rick shows up, he becomes angry and bitter and eventually cracks at the seems. His death, while sad, probably saved a lot more lives than Rick that day. A good example of what's to come in terms of what the characters go through.

The Rest: The rest of the group is a pretty tight nit community. They act and behave like not a whole lot has changed but due to the age of the group (for the most part), they need a leader to guide them and keep their heads out of the clouds. They are pretty competent though but some need more training than others. You see a lot of Dale and Andrea, which is a good foreshadowing since these two are really big main characters along with Glenn.

Action-This was an action packed intro. Escaping the city, the gun store raid, the campfire attack, the final fight between Shane and Rick as well as Rick's escape from the hospital...all great examples of action in this chapter. Not a whole lot of dull moments, and even those build tension. Great action.

Zombies-The zombies are much more violent in this chapter than normal. Part of that is probably due to the infancy of the outbreak as well as the sheer mass of all the zombies in the nearby cities. Once they spread out later on they become less violent than this (for the most part..the early chapters are quite violent)

Art Style-I don't really like the pre-Adlard artwork. It's okay but lacks realism. The borders are way too thick, faces and bodies way too big and feels a lot like a pilot. But it's not terrible, much better than a lot of comics, but once Adlard gets on board the art is brilliant.

Bottom Line-Great intro, great writing, great action, pick this one up!

Well that's it for the first chapter. Stay tuned for the second one coming soon.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Films That Defined Us

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Between the Hollywood Draft, my ever growing drafts and backlog of reviews, my me time and preparing for PAX, I nearly forgot about this really awesome blogathon/list that was created by Marc of Go, See, Talk. A regular poster at Anomalous Materials, Marc's site is a great one to visit if you get the chance. And lately in my inbox and for the past couple weeks I have been getting e-mails about this blogathon/list that he's trying to get off the ground due in part to the success of The Desert Island blogathon/list a while back that was extremely popular.

The topic? Movies that Defined Us. Movies in our impressionable years (aka till I was 13 or so for me) that shaped the way we look and view films. Well I've only been alive 19 years and up until I was 13 I wasn't allowed to watch R rated films. So no Taxi Driver, Godfather or the like on this list. The only reason there is even ANY R rated films on this list is because the one listed was the first one I ever saw. But this list is a great idea and one of the entries on the list is getting quite the treatment soon. And by that I mean my longest review to date.

The way I'm doing this is by category/genre. After I list the movie I will answer the questions that Marc put up regarding how it defined me:
  1. Why it dazzled me at a young age
  2. What still stands up about it
  3. Why you think it sets the standard for that genre
So without further ado let's get this started. First up...

The film: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
  1. It was the first R-rated film I got to watch by myself. When it first came out on VHS I was in that phase where I want to watch the best scary movie ever made. I had watched plenty of PG-13 ones and PG ones but never any R-rated ones until this one. That and the trailers looked awesome.
  2. It's without a doubt one of the best (in my opinion) remakes of a horror classic ever made. George A Romero's Dawn of the Dead was a cult classic that had a deep meaning, plenty of scares, and made zombies awesome. Zack Snyder's directorial debut takes out the meaning (which is a negative to some) but in it's place adds a lot of tension, action and drama that makes this an amazing film to watch.
  3. Most horror films nowadays ARE remakes, revamps, or re-do's of older films or other source materials (books, games ect). The problem is that most of them suck. Every now and again an original one comes out that is really good or there is a really good remake, but for the most part it's either PG-13 schlock or crappy, sexed up slashers. Dawn of the Dead is a remake with heart and intensity.
Next up...

Romance (I realize not in the traditional sense but dog lovers know what I mean)-
The film: Old Yeller
  1. It was the first film I ever watched on VHS. I had seen The Lion King when it was in theaters (very fuzzy memory though) but I had yet to watch a movie on VHS. It was mostly Pooh episodes for me. But then Mom picked up Old Yeller. I loved puppies. And I loved the first three/fourths of this film...then the ending happened. Yeah...try explaining why Yeller is getting shot to a 4 year old.
  2. It's a great story about a boy and his dog. The theme song is good, Yeller is a badass dog, and the acting still stands up as being really good. A great kids film with a scarring ending.
  3. Well for someone who has yet to see Gone With The Wind or most of those other romance films (besides Casablanca, I saw that), this was the closest thing to true love I saw as a kid. A boy loved his dog so much that when he got rabies, he had to be the one to put him down. And you could see he loved that dog.
Next up...

The Film: A Goofy Movie
  1. It's Goofy...I wish I could be more detailed but it's freaking Goofy. If you were a kid of the 90s who loved Goofy than this film was on your most watched list and was probably your favorite film of all time.
  2. Everything. In fact this movie gets better every time I see it. The more I see and analyze it and the older I get, the better it is. It is the film equivalent of wine. And you will hear more in my next review/meme/summer blogathon post which is devoted solely to this film.
  3. Most Animated films talk down to the audience and make jokes that are only relevant to kids or current pop culture. A Goofy Movie doesn't talk down, it's jokes are still funny and the references still stand up. It's a great animated film.
Next up...

The Film: Airplane
  1. My grandparents and my parents kept saying that this was one of the funniest movies of all time and that it would be appropriate for an 8 year old to watch. I had no idea what this movie was or who was in it but if they said it was funny than it must have been.
  2. It's quotability and humor as well as its memorable scenes and characters. Almost on a daily basis I find myself quoting SOMETHING from this movie (My most quoted is Shaun of the Dead). It's still as funny as it was years ago and I still love it (although I need to get it on DVD since the VHS is worn out)
  3. It's humor, characters, story and almost everything about the movie is timeless. You will always get a laugh out of the film and enjoy every minute. And it doesn't rely on raunch to be funny, something a lot of comedies haven't been able to do.
And Finally...

The film: Ghostbusters
  1. Back when I was growing up their was a cartoon called "The Real Ghostbusters" and "Extreme Ghostbusters." I had no idea what a ghostbuster was, but it was funny, they were kicking ass and taking names and it had ghosts. As a fan of Casper growing up I always loved ghosts. So when I learned these cartoons were based on a movie I was happy to watch it.
  2. The story is what really grabs me. To this day the story is engaging, full of wit, the characters are well developed, you really care about them, and it's just a fun ride from beginning to end. Plus ghost hunting will always be awesome. And the theme song. Show me one person who doesn't know the theme.
  3. It really showed that PG action/sci-fi can be entertaining for everybody and that if you have a great script with great characters and an awesome theme song, that a film can become timeless. It's still being shown regularly on TV, it's been released and re-released numerous times and they even made a video game sequel to the films in 2009. And it was a popular game...that's saying something.

Well that's my list. Hope you enjoy it. Be sure to check everybody elses.

Movie Meme Day 12-Best Soundtrack

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Going into this meme this was an extremely difficult one. So many great soundtracks, only one can be chosen. Despite my dislike of the film series, The Twilight Soundtracks are badass. Then there are all the Disney film soundtracks like A Goofy Movie and The Lion King. Then there are all the awesome scores like Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones.

But then Tuesday happened and the Scott Pilgrim Soundtrack was released. It is made of win.

Sex Bomb-Omb=Win
Crash and the Boys=Win
Scott Pilgrim Soundtrack=Epic Win

The Demented Encyclopedia Final Episode-I just BUTCHERED SPANISH!!

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

It's been a fun 20 or so weeks but even the best things have to come to an end eventually. That's right, The Demented Encyclopedia, which started as a project between two bloggers to get their voices heard on different topics (and American Idol), evolved into a LAMMY nominated podcast with some unforgettable moments, mostly due to our most listened to segment "The Mono-Dialogue of the Week." But due to work schedules, school, PAX, and just not having enough hours in the day, The Demented Encyclopedia is coming to an end.

Yeah it's a tragedy I know, but like I've said numerous times, it's not the end of Nick and Travis forever. Nick has been a great friend and podcast partner and I have a feeling that a reunion will happen someday.

But this episode was one that goes out with a bang. For almost an hour and a half we talk about our top 5 (and more) best cliffhangers of all time. Movies, TV, it doesn't matter. We spoil a shit-ton of movies and TV shows (just go to Nick's write up to get a list), have some great laughs, recommend some great things and have two amazing Mono-Dialogues. Even our ending is epic but you'll have to listen to find out.

It's been quite a run and hopefully you enjoy our last hurrah.

Thank you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Movie Meme Day 11-A Movie That Disappointed You

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

"A Movie That Disappointed You?" Hmm...a lot of films disappoint me or make me cringe but in the way this meme is talking about I guess the only choice would be The Last Airbender. I expected so much from it based solely on the source material:
  • Great characters
  • Great story
  • Great CGI (Which it somewhat maybe had)
  • Great Fight Sequences
  • Great Acting
But nope I got nothing. Check my review for more but it really did disappoint me greatly.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Movie Meme Day 10-Movie Thought Wouldn't Like But Did

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

This was an interesting one. Usually when I see movies I know what to expect. Rarely do I ever get surprised. Sometimes it happens but usually it's a "Well that was better than I thought. Not great but not a trainwreck." But to LIKE a movie after already having in mind it would be bad? Only once has that happened. And that was with The House Bunny.

Total chick flick I know but Anna Faris is SO hilarious, so likable and so cute that she can make any movie funny and appealing to either gender. It has a cute story, good characters and it's funny. I was really surprised with this one.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Movie Meme Day 9-Best Scene Ever

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Today's was "Best Scene Ever." Boy that's a tough one. There are so many great movies with so many great scenes. In fact the film I picked had at least 3. But in the back of my mind I had this one:
The death of Malone in The Untouchables.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Movie Meme Day 8-Movie That Should Be Required High School Viewing

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Required High School Viewing? Easy...Breakfast Club. Great cast, great message, great representation of high school and high school life, and a kick ass theme song. Plus it's John Hughes so it automatically makes it essential high school viewing.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Movie Meme Day 7-Least Favorite Film by a Favorite Actor or Actress

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

As most people know Christopher Walken is my favorite actor. His skill, his voice, his inflection and his willingness to do any and every movie make him a very enviable and unforgettable man. But while he's done some great films, he's also done crap. Case in point: The Country Bears.

A trainwreck of a film, Walken is great but the rest is a boring, humorless, kids film with bad animatronics. This is one for the trash heap.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Movie Meme Day 6-Movie That Makes You Cry Every Time

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

I am a man. Most men do not cry during films. I am not most men. I don't cry at every movie, but if a film is sad and that particular scene is quite moving then yes I will shed a tear or two. But usually upon a second viewing I don't cry. I know what to expect so the emotional feeling I get is different than the one I had during my first viewing.

So it was kind of hard to pick a movie that makes you cry every time. But then I remembered the ONE movie that always gets me. The one movie that always moves me. The one movie that makes me go for the tissues every time: The Notebook.

Don't believe me? Here ya go...I dare you not to cry.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Movie Meme Day 5-A Movie You Loathe

AHHHH!! Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Today's entry into the meme is a movie you loathe. LAMBcast listeners and friends of mine will know the top contender for this day: Ghost Ship (AHHHH!) Someday I will review this but I'd have to stop trying to stab myself with sharp objects first.

This film could have been good. Great cast, a great "And Then There Were None/Treasure of the Sierra Madre" thriller story aboard an abandoned boat and an R rating so they could get as down and dirty as they had to. Then the company scrapped the script and the rating but kept the cast. What we were left with was a half-assed PG-13 slasher horror involving ghosts. Even the cast phoned it in since they knew the film was going to suck with all the changes.

There's so much wrong with this film that it blows my mind. I abhor this film.

Protect the dagger no matter what the consequences. That was my sacred duty. That was my destiny

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Video game movies...where do I begin? They all fundamentally suck. There are some exceptions for guilty purpose sakes like Doom or for acting sakes like Timothy Olyphant in Hitman but for the most part they all suck. Gamers don't like them, movie goers don't like them so why do they keep churning them out? Easy money.

Well the next one on the churning turnstile is the movie adaptation of the classic game series "Prince of Persia." Although based more along the lines of the first (and maybe the second) game in the Sands of Time Trilogy, this film tries to embody the entire series into one film. It also tries to embody every single action epic ever made. I know I'm not alone in that one.
The film follows Dastan, a street rat turned royalty, who has just raided Alamut, an ancient city that holds a secret and loads of weapons, at least according to the higher ups. Dastan is a gifted athlete, a great warrior and charismatic to boot and he easily takes down this peaceful and unprepared city. Dastan stumbles upon a dagger, which he decides to just keep since it's pretty. The princess Tamina sees Dastan with the dagger and tries to get it back, but to no avail. Instead she opts to marry Dastan, to which Dastan is for once speechless. The audience sees this as a ruse to get the dagger but Dastan is like a deer in headlights. At the celebration party, Dastan gives his father, the king, a robe. This robe kills the king and Dastan and Tamina have to escape the palace, or face certain death.

Tamina is spoiled, unruly, talkative, sassy and smart. She tries at every turn to get the dagger but to no avail. Dastan wonders why it's so important and learns the hard way of its true powers: it can rewind time briefly. Tamina is adamant about not letting the dagger fall into the wrong hands and decides it best to return it to its original place, while Dastan is determined to find out who murdered his father. Battles, traveling, large CGI filled jump sequences ensue.
The story isn't fundamentally bad. It's really cheesy and hokey but it works considering this film tries SO hard to be a classic action epic. You can see elements of almost every single action epic or swashbuckling adventure ever in this film. It's slightly a rip off, but it works. The casting is odd (Jake Gyllenhaal is NOT Middle Eastern) but the cast does well with what it has and Jake is actually pretty fun to watch. The action is exciting and fast paced and I was never really bored with this film.

The major flaws come with what I mentioned: cheesiness, hokiness, rip-off(iness) but the only other one is the ending. I won't spoil it for you but the ending will make or break the movie for you and to me it was a really cheap way of cleaning up your film to make it happy. I really didn't like it.

It's not a bad film, it's good for kids, has some laughs, tons of action and good performances. Worth a weekend rental.


MacGruber don't play like homie, and homie don't play that game.

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Saturday Night Live isn't really all that funny anymore. Every now and again I'll get a laugh (mostly from the guest actors/actresses) but Saturday Night Live is past its prime. Maybe I'm in the minority but besides Betty White, the musical performances and Andy Samberg the show is on its hind legs. It's sad since there are a lot of really funny comedians in the cast. But the writing and it's attempt to stay current and edgy in an era of Tosh.0 and South Park is really drowning it out.

The movies don't fair well either for the most part. Some like The Blues Brothers, Wayne's World or Night at the Roxbury work but for the most part a 3 minute sketch shouldn't work as a ninety minute film. So when they announced a MacGruber film I was a little disappointed. The sketch isn't that bad, for the thirty seconds a piece they are, but a film seems odd. I mean watch this:

That is the basic idea of the sketch. They are trapped somewhere with explosives, he mimics the idea and the character of MacGyver and he gets himself blown up because he is stupid. Funny for a minute, not for a whole movie.
The premise of the film is that Dieter Von Cunth (ha ha it's a c**t joke I bet they won't use that a million times) has stolen a nuclear warhead and plans on bombing Washington D.C. Word gets out about this so Col. Jim Faith and one of his best men Piper go searching for the legendary MacGruber. His wife was killed by Cunth and that sent him into a tailspin. After initially refusing he accepts and gets a team of men. He blows up said team of men so he ends up working with Piper and his friend Vicki St. Elmo. They try to foil Cunth at every turn but he outsmarts them. Eventually though they do stop him and everyone lives happily ever after.

This film is painful. Yes there were some really funny parts (which is why it's not an abomination) but it relies too heavily on shock value and trying to be edgy that it becomes more awkward and less funny. Jumping around with a celery stick up your ass is funny...for a minute. But it goes on for a whole scene. Promising to suck a man's penis as a form of apology is funny...for a few seconds. But he keeps going and going and going to where it reaches Bruno levels of weird. That's the film's keeps going. That and when they repeat the actually funny things twice or three times, it loses it's charm. The acting is solid for the most part, it's not their fault after all. All of the actors are trying their hardest with what they have but it's just not that good. The effects and the action are cool though!

The writing is the albatross around this films neck and it only proves that a 3o second sketch can't make a good 90 minute film. If you MUST see it, it's kinda funny, but I'd suggest avoiding it.


Just Pet the Furry Wall

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

It's hard to deny that Russell Brand has now become a mega superstar. Engaged to pop sensation Katy Perry, lead singer of a rock band, one of Hollywood's most wanted stars and all after dealing with a bad heroin addiction that almost ruined his life. Whether you like him or not he has made leaps and strides I haven't seen in years when it comes to fame.

His big breakout role though, and in my opinion what really put him on the map, was his performance as Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The movie itself was only okay, but everybody remembers the hungover, sex crazed mumbling Brit who stole Sarah Marshall away from Jason Seagal's character. Well apparently Nicholas Stoller, the director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Judd Apatow, the every movie producer, decided to take that character of Aldous Snow and give him his own movie. But does this spin-off live up to the fame and recognition that the character it's based off got? Yes...yes it does.
The story follows two completely different people:

The first is Aldous Snow, a rock star who has fallen off the wagon thanks to his latest album bombing. Before his latest album he was the biggest thing in both music and Hollywood. His loud, abrasive music, his sexual charisma, and his ability to do so many drugs and drink so much alcohol that he becomes immune wowed everybody. But then he had a son with his wife and decided to become sober for his kids sake. That and he wanted to take a more spiritual approach to his new album entitled "African Child." It bombed, his wife and son left him and he started doing drugs again.

The second person is Aaron Greene. He is a talent scout at Pinnacle Records, although he seems to get passed up and ignored half the time. Nobody takes him serious but Aaron is driven and wants to make an impact. So what is his plan? Since the record label is losing a lot of money, he recommends getting Aldous Snow to perform a ten year anniversary concert at the Greek Theater in hopes that the Pay-Per-View event, the tickets and the merchandising by word of mouth and Aldous' elusiveness since his last album will get people to come out to the concert. Aaron's boss Sergio agrees on the condition he goes and gets Aldous himself. While all this is happening he's also dealing with a girlfriend who doesn't seem to listen to his needs.

The majority of the movie is spent once these two people get together. Their exploits are the basis for most of the film. Whether it's sex, drugs or the Today Show, they are everywhere doing crazy hijinks.
The writing is FANTASTIC. The comedy is a laugh a minute with Aldous saying ridiculous things and Aaron being a serious but silly straight man in this situation. Aaron is an optimist but a cynic with Aldous while Aldous is in some sort of drugged up fairytale. But on top of the laughs there is a lot of depth. We see every side of Aldous, not just the crazy, but the normal, the sensitive and the vulnerable Aldous. And we see the serious Aaron but also the crazy Aaron, the wild Aaron and the Aaron that wants his hero to be great. And the chemistry between the two is amazing as well. These two work extremely well off of each other and accent each other perfectly.

The acting is amazing as well. Brand and Hill bring their A-game and each deliver in every scene. Jonah Hill is a lot more subdued in this film than he usually is (which was getting tiresome) and he is a joy to watch. And Brand is like a sparkly just can't stop watching him. The supporting cast is good as well with the major stand-out being Diddy. Diddy is hilarious and almost every line he delivers is comic gold. I absolutely loved every scene with him in it and when all three are together it's hard not to laugh hysterically.

This is an amazing comedy with fantastic writing, great acting and a depth you usually don't see in comedies. Be sure to see this one, and be sure to pick it up when it comes out, you won't be sorry.


Rise Rise until Lambs Become Lions

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Robin Hood is a character not unfamiliar to cinema, music and literature and the like. Whether it's Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Carey Elwes or a fox, Robin Hood has seen many forms. But where does Robin Hood come from? How did the legend come to be? Who is the man under the hood? Well Ridley and Tony Scott of Gladiator fame decided to make that the subject of their new period piece epic entitled Robin Hood. Is it the epic follow up to Gladiator we were all waiting for or is it over hyped, over blown rubbish. Well while not a perfect movie by any means, Robin Hood is still a decent film worth seeing.
The story follows Robin Longstride, an archer of King Richard and his three "merry men" Will Scarlett (his nephew), Little John (his best friend) and Alan A'Dale (the minstrel?). All of them together work as a cohesive unit and when King Richard dies in battle, the four decide it's time to go home after ten years of fighting. They run into a glitch however when they learn the King of France and his assassin Sir Godfrey (who works for the King of England as well) wanted the King dead and want to take over England. On top of that, one of the men that Godfrey kills during a nearby ambush's (where they discover the plot) last request is that his sword is returned to his wife.

So with a storm a brewing and a sword to be returned the men are off and after returning the crown (and getting some money), they head to Nottingham where the man is from. They return the sword and Robin falls in love with the man's widow Marian. They live well until the storm starts exploding and so it's up to Robin to protect his land, his new woman and the king of England.

The story for the most part is actually good. Part drama, part action and part comedy it mixes quite well. The "merry men" work well as comic reliefs and can lighten some really heavy moods or provide hilarious banter. The drama between Godfrey's actions as well as the romance between Robin and Marian is pretty well developed as well although some of each of those instances could have been cut out. And the action is what you'd come to expect from Ridley and Tony by now. Big, epic fights over beautiful landscapes with lots of people fighting, cool death blows, Russel Crowe screaming, and slow-mo. It's awesome but nothing we've never seen before.
The acting however is hit or miss. Crowe, Blanchett, and the "merry men" are all quite good but the rest of the acting is pretty sub-par. The King is a total whiny baby and must have taken classes from the Johnathan Rhys-Meyers school of yelling to make things sound important school of acting. He yells, he throws things, I was just waiting for this:

See what I mean? Also most of the great character actors are misused or only have brief scenes which is really a shame. And Mark Strong is near insufferable playing the same character we've seen for a few movies now of angry villain character. It gets old after a while. The only other complaint I have is it drags on too long and feels heavy.

Heaviness, length, and sub-par acting aside this is a decent adaptation of a classic character. Give it a look.


I'm a peacock man! You gotta let me fly!!

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Adam McKay has established himself in the world of comedy thanks to his involvement and friendship with Will Farrel. Since 2004, Adam has released a good number of Will Farrel's top selling comedies including Anchorman, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, as well as some of his bigger flops like Land of the Lost. Whether good or detrimental to his career, Adam knows Will Farrel and how to make him as funny as possible in ANY movie. On top of knowing Will, he also knows that he can't re-use ideas and settings of his previous films so instead of opting out for a standard comedy, McKay has opted to do: a buddy cop film.

Before you start screaming "AH flashbacks of Cop Out" don't worry this film is FAR better than Cop Out. Unlike Cop Out, the chemistry between the two leads is actually there and never feels forced. While Mark Wahlberg and Will Farrel's characters may rarely get along in the movie, they ARE a cohesive unit and they work well off of each other. This works story-wise and comedy-wise. You WANT to see them together and when you do it's funny. It's an organic pairing I haven't seen since Danny Glover and Mel Gibson.
The story of The Other Guys follows two detectives, Allen Gamble and Terry Hoitz, who are basically the third wheel of the police force. There are the hotshot detectives (Samuel L Jackson and The Rock), the competent but not bad ass as said hotshot detectives (Rob Riggle and Damon Wayans Jr) and then the other guys. Allen is a former forensics accountant and pimp who really doesn't like confrontation and would rather sit and do paperwork for everybody rather than go out in the field. Terry on the other hand WAS a hotshot detective and about to be promoted to the head of homicide when, during the final game of the World Series, accidentally shoots Derrick Jeter in the leg, causing the Yankees to lose the World Series. That pretty much ruined his life and got him demoted to third wheel. But a robbery gone wrong ends up killing the hotshot detectives (Aim for the Bushes) and now it's up to Terry, with very little help from Allen, to prove themselves as detectives and that they can be heroes to.

The writing is actually quite good but does have some hitches. First is that the film runs out of steam about halfway through the movie. The first half is near peeing funny with so many great back and forths between Allen and Terry as well as just the situational humor that happens with them (the music they listen to, accidentally going too fast on a road, police car Prius). But towards the second half they start trying to develop Allen and Terry more as characters so that we care about them more and for the most part it ends up being more awkward then actually funny. That's not to say they AREN'T funny, but they really slow the pace of film down to a crawl. On top of that, there is more action then comedy in the second half so there is less time for subtle humor than there is the first half. Also the whole Allen as a recovering pimp thing is only funny once and that's near the end of the movie. Otherwise it's just kind of an odd "Well we need to get out of this scene so let's have Allen gangster out and end this scene on an awkward note" kind of feeling.
Besides the top heavy writing though the film is actually really good. You have to LOVE the main actors though. If you are tired of Will Farrel being Will Farrel than you aren't seeing anything new. He's loud, slow, abrasive, blunt, deadpan, over-the-top, silly and like a clown without makeup who had been hit over the head. If you don't like that Will Farrel than you will hate this movie. You also have to love Mark Wahlberg because you get a lot of his same stuff as well. He's mean, yells a lot, is violent but has a soft side underneath it all...classic Wahlberg. The difference though is you are laughing ON PURPOSE when he's being this over the top angry character.

The supporting cast is good as well. Despite only being in the movie for seven minutes, Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock (I will always call him that) are phenomenally funny. They are every action cliche in two bodies. My only problem is they should have been in the movie more. They were some of the funniest scenes but only Samuel L Jackson ever returns after those seven minutes and that is to work as the narrator of the film (which is kind of out of place). Michael Keaton, Rob Riggle and Damon Wayans Jr are also all really funny as the rest of the squad. Keaton is a good chief, but is less angry than you'd think a police chief would be. Riggle and Wayans are their over the top selves and it works well for them. Eva Mendes is good for the brief scenes she's in, but she's mostly used for eye candy.

The main villains are good as well. Ray Stevenson (aka The Punisher from Punisher:War Zone) is great as the villain, working to make sure the other villain David Ershon (Steve Coogan), a greedy businessman who owes a lot of people way too much money, stays on track and never leaves his sight. Coogan is typical Coogan, take it or leave it, but Stevenson works well because he's menacing and his voice is very intimidating. You'd believe he is a "babysitter" if that's who he was in real life.

This film is good. It could have been great if not for the top heavy writing, awkward character scenes, and more Sam Jackson and the Rock, but for what it is The Other Guys is one of the better comedies of the summer and the definitive buddy cop film of 2010. That's not saying much given it's competition but if you've loved Adam McKay/Will Farrel's stuff in the past then you will love this. I liked it.