I made all those sophisticated tools available to anybody so you can do all of this too. This is a site for film and DVD enthusiasts (i.e. freaks) where you can build your own communities, with your very own movie and dvd lists, reviews, blogs and RSS feed, mailing lists, a home page like this one, and even keep track of movies your friends borrowed from you.
2011.09.09 - What Does Horror Mean To You? at Brutal As Hell
I am starting to write this article right after I just finished watching Dario Argento?s Stendhal Syndrome for the third time in about two years. I am fascinated by it because it is likely Argento?s last good/great film (Dracula 3D doesn?t look very promising so far), and because surprisingly, what disturbs me the most is the brutality of the film and that Dario put his own daughter Asia at the center of it. Talk about a Freudian setup. Additionally, the movie is gorgeous. Yes, its use of digital effects is very crude, even for the time, but the film is otherwise very polished in the greatest Argento tradition. I appreciate that. I also appreciate Asia greatly....
2011.08.25 - Not Quite Hollywood review at Brutal As Hell
Documentaries about films are a tricky affair. Either they have to be about an incredible film, or the documentary itself has to be cool and uncover little known nuggets about a cult classic, or they have to paint an epic movement and give you tons of information, references, and cool interviews. Not Quite Hollywood is of the latter kind, but unlike the recent American Grindhouse, it manages to pile on so much energy, laughs, outrageous interviews and cool film bits...
This film is a Masters class in squeezing the best out of a situation and assets you have at your disposal to make a film that is a billion times better than its budget would have otherwise allowed. As luck would have it, the filmmakers were able to get access to the actual USS Nimitz and squeezed all the juice out of it they could. It's a fun Time Travel film that may take the easy way out at the end (not enough budget) but remains wholly entertaining.
A box Office bomb in the US, an enormous budget for the time of $175M. It's not as bad as its reputation would suggest. It's actually rather enjoyable with some great cinematography and art direction. One would have just preferred a more menacing villain (Dennis Hopper would have certainly been capable of it) instead of a comedic caricature. One would have also preferred a more lively hero as well and Kevin Costner should have been able to do it.
Incredible film about people facing the worst of times, with nothing but the simplest and most profound truths about friendship and survival. An amazing film, full of unforgettable characters only thinly dramatized for the screen based on real people and real events. This is Jean-Pierre Melville at his finest crafting an expert thriller with so much guts and punches. A one-of-kind A-list French cast rounds this up as a remarkable film overall.
What a treasure of cinema, a highly entertaining film that isn't afraid to go wherever it feels. Monsters, Chinese magic, sorcerers, action, martial arts, Carpenter pulled all the stops for a mishmash of Asian influences gathered throughout the 70's and early 80's. It's hard to convey how ahead of its time this film was, how simply there weren't films like that this side of the Pacific. Great art direction and cinematography, great direction and music, all the hallmark of one of the best, if not the best, Carpenter films.
This is one of my guilty pleasures, a movie that i really enjoy tremendously, even though i think i shouldn't. I have watched it regularly, every 2 years or so, since i first saw it in the theaters in 1995. But so many things in this movie are just right.
First, the soundtrack is top notch. The music, and the songs featured are so 1995 it's incredible. You will be hard-pressed to find a top electronica song of that time that is not featured in this movie. We are talking Prodigy, Leftfield, Underworld, Orbital, Moby, The Orb. These are all the stuff i listened to day and night at that time, so each piece resonnates with me even more. Each track is used very judiciously in the film for maximum effect. The soundtrack of this film is just perfect. On DVD, the soundtrack is even better. The 5.1 mix is really powerful, and makes use of all channels. This DVD should be played loud: the music and overall sound effects are all great.
From a story point of view, this is a well rounded one, although the average writing detracts from it from time to time. But overall, this is a classic story of good hackers defending the right way against bad hackers. But it does not try to be over the top, or pretentious. They got the terminology right and beyond the Hollywood technobabble, a computer literate person will be fairly happy with the details presented in the movie. The story is full of likable characters and interesting situations.
Another strong point is the cast. We won't have any Oscar winners, but Jonny Lee Miller, the ever so gorgeous Angelina Jolie in her first role, and the rest of the crew form a believable posse of young hackers. I also liked the imagery created for the movie. Of course, they do not relate to any real computer interfaces, but it does not seem to matter here. It still works, and from an artistic point of view, they are very nice. Finally, art direction is quite cool with great outfits that feel so 1995 again, and a good use of New York City, although, at one point, the protagonists leave Washington Square going south through MacDougal in order to go to Grand Central. Ouch! But did i mention that Prodigy's Voodoo People is playing during that scene? So i guess it's OK.
Overall, the attitudes, the story, the characters, the music, the outfits, NYC, all capture better than anything i have ever seen the feel, the mood, of the computer geeks and hackers in the US circa 1995. The only other movie that captures the hacker culture as well in my opinion is The Matrix 1 (1999), although that movie is far superior to this one.