Category Archives: Film

V for Vendetta Veneration

Yep, I liked it, allot. I liked just about everything about it. Casting, cinematography, choreography, costumes, the way they were able to put together intelligent and interesting dialogue that had every letter starting with the same letter (they used V, not C like I was doing until I ran out of words). The dialogue was so good I was convinced that Kevin Smith must have been involved with the screenplay until I saw the credits. I think the reason I enjoyed V for Vendetta the most was because it didn’t feel like the regular Hollywood script written by a committee of idiots, steered by marketing monkeys and studio nitwits. Usually, in the process of dumbing down a script to feed it to the target audience, they ensure that there is a clear and simple message, yet in this case it wasn’t that way at all. Is the terrorist a good guy? See it and think about all his actions for a full day before you answer. It wasn’t complex or deep so much as fully developed in ways that are refreshing in modern cinema. Furthermore, the main ?non-spoiler? plot theme was that an oppressive government with religious overtones is bad (aka the big bad republicans if it had been written in Hollywood), yet I recognized a few quotes made by the good guy from NRA speeches and propaganda!

Of course, I LOVED Natalie, and not just in a venereal way (adj relating to sex acts or sexual desire). She rocked in at least 7 different ways that I counted. She should be in every movie that deserves her, which sadly is not that many. When she did that thing to that guy, damn, it was like, wow! (You try to write a review without spoilers.) Now, I know there will be some who will disagree with me here, but I actually loved her English accent, and I had watched Pride and Prejudice the night before (for her sexalicious clone, Kierra, who also was amazing, of course).

The actor playing the lead was also astounding. He was able to put more feeling and emotion in scenes while covered from head to toe in his costume, including the mask and hat, than most Hollywood ?actors? would be able to express if they were set on fire naked! Truly an amazing performance. Same with the lead antagonist. His speeches were scary good. I hope he never moves to Germany and runs for political office. Overall, I can’t think of the any of the main cast that wasn’t great. Bravo all around. I recommend the movie with all the credibility as a movie aficionado that I deserve.

Ultraviolet? No, Ultracrappy.

I’m typically not a hater, because there’s so much good stuff out there; I’d rather spend my time praising things I love. Also, film is subjective, and I don’t want to stop you from seeing something you might like. I am making an exception because a) Ebert didn’t review it (they probably didn’t let him screen it), and b) I am very confident you won’t like this film.
     Yes, I do see a lot of art, classic, and independent films, so you might discount my opinion based on that alone. But I have also seen both Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Ok, I didn’t really like those, either, but both are much better films than this. I’ll break it down for you, as spoiler free as possible. Again, when I say something is bad, I mean bad compared to Resident Evil, not Citizen Cane. Heck, not even The Fifth Element.

+ The plot is, “Milla mows down soldiers effortlessly.” That’s pretty much it. Ever play an arcade game with a cheat code that gives you infinite ammo, energy, and lives? It’s kinda like that, only instead of infinite lives, you only get one. So it makes you invincible! This is an action movie with no real conflict. Very shortly into the film, you realize Milla is never in any danger, ever, because she’s just that good. There are other plot points, but they are confusing and poorly explained.
+ The effects are mediocre, except the last sequence, which is really bad. This is probably because they spent all this money on some stupid blur effect on everyone’s face to make them look digitally airbrushed, all the time. I’m sorry, but have you seen Milla Jovovich? Because she’s really hot! She does not need any airbrushing!
+ It appears that camerawork and editing are used to hide lousy fight choreography. However, the movie is only PG-13, so that also may have contributed to the lousy fight choreography.
+ Action heroes spend so much time kicking ass, they don’t have much time to talk. Therefore, it’s crucial that their lines are clever and memorable. Milla gets lines that painfully state the obvious. It would have been better if most of her lines were dropped.
+ If you’re not turned off by now, the only thing that will possibly stop you from seeing this is a reminder that it’s PG-13. That’s right, when she “gets naked”, they make sure you can’t see a darn thing. It’s only there to frustrate you.

So what can you watch instead? Well it turns out the writer/director is not an idiot. He did another action movie set in a future dystopia called Equilibrium. It stars Christian Bale (with a good supporting cast) and it’s actually quite good! It’d probably make a good double feature with Batman Begins. If you were really after Milla, rent The Fifth Element. Yeah, it can be cheesy and over the top (it’s a Luc Besson film, what do you expect?), and Chris Tucker is pretty annoying in it. But it’s also pretty entertaining, and you get a gorgeous 22 year old Milla wearing nothing but a few strips of gauze expertly designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier. I give it 3 thumbs up.

Arclight Cinemas: Fuck You!

Tonight I had a horrible experience at Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood. A couple weeks ago I purchased 4 tickets to The 40 Year Old Virgin, to be followed by a Q&A with writer/director Judd Apatow (of Freeks & Geeks and Undeclared fame). My confirmation email very clearly states that all I need to do is bring the credit card I used to a box office agent to pick up my tickets. I go to customer service, and they can’t find any reservation connected to my credit card! I only use one card, no exceptions. Nothing connected to my name or phone number, either. Nothing they can do about it, and the show is sold out. Yeah, sold out with 4 empty seats! Bastards! And this is after sitting in traffic for 1.5 hours. I am sure they will not deal with this in any satisfactory way, and try to say it wasn’t their fault, or say, “Oops, sorry about that! Now please hang up, asshole.” I have found their web site to be a flakey piece of shit in the past, but I DEFINITELY got a confirmation this time. I fully admit I should have printed it out as insurance, but it also stated I had no need to do so (and I’ve had no problems in the past). Apologies again to Agents Hulagun and Doubledeuce, whose nights were also ruined.

Movie Car Collection: Cruel Intentions: 1956 Jaguar XK-140

I continue my series on great movie cars with a very elegant automobile in a rather inelegant movie [ Blu-ray ] [ DVD ]:

Cruel Intentions: 1956 Jaguar XK-140
Average price: $75,000
1956 XK-140

This movie has 3 things going for it:

+ Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar performing one of the greatest on-screen kisses ever
+ Reese Witherspoon naked
+ A 1956 Jaguar XK 140

Other than that, not so much. Without giving too much plot away (like you’re renting it for that), Sarah bets Ryan Phillippe that he can’t nail virgin Reese Witherspoon. If she wins the bet, she gets his Jag. If he wins, he can also nail her, and she makes a not-so-subtle hint that anal sex could be involved, and in fact damn well better if he knows what’s good for him. Did I mention she’s his step-sister? Definitely my kind of freak. As soon as he realizes he looks exactly like Ryan Phillippe, he goes for it. I’m sure I would too, if I were in the same situation.
     The Jag is black with a red interior, and I believe it’s a drop head coupe (DHC), not a roadster. A DHC is what we Americans call a convertible. A roadster is what we call a really stupid idea – no top at all! How did they come up with that idea in cold, rainy Britain? Beats me. Anyway, the car is beautiful, but for a long time I thought it was a 1952 XK-120, another very popular model, named after it’s top speed of 120 MPH. I doubt the 140 can do 140, but it’d be fun to try.

HD DVD and Double Layer DVDs

First, I’m finally seeing double layer discs available to the public, without being bundled with other media you don’t need. Not terribly cheap, Amazon has Verbatim DVD+Rs (which seems to have the fewest defects) for around $10 per 3 pack. I wonder how this will affect piracy now that you can copy normal DVDs with little to no quality (or feature) loss.

The other item I caught is the imminent arrival of HD DVDs. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is going on in Las Vegas right now (and some day when I’m rich I’ll get tickets), so product announcements are abound. You might have heard that Sony came up with Blu-Ray as a high definition DVD format, but the DVD Consortium decided HD DVD was the better format. True to form, Sony couldn’t lose graciously and decided to go ahead with it anyway, attempting to fracture the market. And true to form, they are about to have their asses handed to them, as Toshiba is coming out with their HD DVD player several months ahead of Sony. And one other thing, heck, probably not even worth mentioning, shouldn’t have much impact at all. It’s half the friggin price! Booya! Of course, Sony will probably retaliate by not putting their movies in HD DVD format, so you’ll have to wait a long time, or by a Blu-Ray player, if you want to see a high def Kirstin Dunst all wet and cold and thinly-t-shirted in Spiderman. As much as I’d like to buy an HD DVD player as soon as they’re released, I can’t help but remember that the standard DVD players didn’t have all the kinks worked out until the 3rd generation. However, I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop myself once Netflix comes on board.

Movie Car Collection: Better Off Dead: 1967 Camaro

Continuing the Movie Car Collection series with another great American muscle car:

Better Off Dead: 1967 Camaro
Price range: $20,000-45,000
1967 Camaro

Better Off Dead is my favorite 80’s teen comedy. Considering the number of 80’s teen comedies, that’s pretty high praise. This car brings Lane together with cute French chick Monique (I bet he put his testicles all over her). More importantly, it flattens a Ford Falcon driven by the Asian Cosell brothers. On second thought, that’s not more important. I’d much rather have a hot French foreign exchange student than beat a Ford in a street race – I can do that with my WRX already.

Turns out, I am not the only one in love with this car, not by a long shot. There is a terrific story at about how the owner of that site tracked down the original car (wasn’t easy!) and fully restored it to it’s former glory. Just like the movie. Wow, man.

Since the original isn’t for sale, you can settle for a diecast 1/18th scale replica. Yes, of course, it’s black.

Movie Car Collection: Animal House: 1961 Corvette

I am finally getting a chance to expand upon my earlier post about movie cars. The first car in Archangel’s Movie Car Collection is the 1961 Corvette featured in the movie Animal House

Animal House: 1961 Corvette
Price range: $35,000-65,000
1961 Corvette

The car driven by pre-med student and all around ladies man Eric “Otter” Stratton. It’s red with white cowls. Any car with cowls automatically goes up a notch in my book. Batman has a cowl – I rest my case. This car has also been memorialized in a 1/18 scale die cast model. You can view other Animal House cars at Granted, it would be a little cooler if it was a convertible, but either way you’ll be turning heads and sleeping with Dean Wormer’s wife in no time.