Saturday, April 07, 2007

Rent It / Skip It

Well thanks to my medical-induced house arrest, I have been caught up on a few films that were on the PVR. Once these meds wear off I'm hoping to get around to seeing "Grindhouse" and "The Lookout". Lastly, The Sho'Nuff is back up and running again. Keep a regular eye on it to see what is happening at the 2007 Philadelphia Film Festival, in the world of music, and much much more.

Random Song 1: Public Enemy - Don't Believe The Hype (buy)
Random Song 2: Oasis - Wonderwall (buy)

Cache (Hidden)

I have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the films of Michael Haneke. Yet his works have definitely left a lasting impression on me, and not necessarily in a good way. Whether it is the self-mutilation scenes in the La Pianiste (The Piano Teacher), or the rape scene in Le Temp du Loup (Time of the Wolf), his films are not easy to forget. This is probably explains why it took me so long to see "Cache". I could never find the time when I was in the right mood. That was until I read that Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, the duo that recently butchered the "Da Vinci Code", were planning to do an American remake. Having now watched "Cache" I can safely say PLEASE DON'T REMAKE THIS FILM. Go make a sequel to "A Beautiful Mind", or even better yet, remake the awful "The Missing" (maybe people will actually see it this time around). I have nothing against Ron Howard personally; I just think "Cache" is a brilliant piece of cinema that should not be touch. My biggest fear is that Hollywood will try to explain every aspect of what is happening in the film. Similar to how they ruined "Open Your Eyes" with the American remake, "Vanilla Sky". What makes "Cache" such an enjoyable, and for many a maddening, film is that a lot is left to your own interpretation. The audience is showing a snap shot of a couple's (Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil) life, just as they realize someone is stalking them. There are several still shots where all you see is the outside of the couples apartment. Which mean nothing until you realize that they are watching a tape of someone watching them. I found these scenes to be far more interesting, and strangely much tenser, than any of the thrillers to hit North American theaters recently. While the film's pacing is bound to annoy many, I thought if was perfect for the mood of the film. I can't wait to see "Cache" again. Verdict: Rent it

Random Song 3: Duran Duran - Reflex (buy)
Random Song 4: Mad Cobra - Flex (buy)


Somehow I have gone through life without seeing the original "Poseidon". I hear it is good campy fun. Hopefully I'll catch it on Turner Movie Classic or something. With that said I must judge the 2006 remake on its on merits. The thing is, I really hated the film. So I will just recap my experience of watching the film (hey, Harry Knowles at "Ain't It Cool News" seems to have made a career out of doing the same). Movie starts...characters quickly introduce...hey, Kevin Dillon (a.k.a Entourage's Johnny Drama) is in the film...must remember to tape new Entourage episodes this weekend...The wave hit already??...What the???...It’s not even ten minutes into the film...I guess character development wasn't important...why did Fergie just hug Andre Braugher?...Are we to assume they know each other?...Did he just grab her lady lumps?...Freddy Rodriguez is a far better actor than this...must be doing it for the pay forward...if Kurt Russell is a former firefighter, why does Josh Lucas have to tell him the basics in fire safety (i.e. checking door to see if hot)?...Fast forward...what happen to___?...Oh well I'm not rewinding foward...less than a dozen survive and thousands die…sounds like a happy ending to me.
Verdict: Skip it. Go rent Soul Plane instead (ya, I said it)

Random Song 5: The Shins - Australia (buy)
Random Song 6: Girl Talk - Pure Magic

Double Dare

It was actually quite fitting that I watched Amanda Mitcheli's documentary, "Double Dare", before seeing "Grindhouse". As one of Dare's stars, Zoe Bell, is also in Quentin Tarantino's latest 70's homage. "Double Dare" is an interesting look at the two women in the male dominated stunt industry. The aforementioned Bell, who is a dead ringer for Uma Thurman, moves from New Zealand to America looking for her next big break. Up until recently, she served as the stunt double to Lucy Lawless in the hit series "Xena: Warrior Princess". Mitcheli follows Bell as she moves in with stuntwoman legend Jeannie Epper, and struggles to find work. It is Bell's determination that eventually lands her an audition with Tarantino who is casting stunt doubles for his next film "Kill Bill". Tarantino even makes an appearance in the film and gives his thoughts on Zoe's audition. Zoe Bell's young carefree eagerness is contrasted with Jeannie Epper's jaded wisdom. Epper, best known for her work as Lynda Carter's stunt double in "Wonder Woman", has seen first hand the double standard placed on stuntwoman in Hollywood. She is even marginalized in her own stunt workers union. Epper's tale is the most interesting as she still has the desire to prove her worth on screen. It is hard enough for older actress (i.e. over 40) to get decent roles in movie. So you can imagine what it is like for an older stuntwoman. While "Double Dare" is not one of the strongest documentaries to come out in recent years, it plays a little too safe at times, it is still worth watching. Especially if you plan on seeing the stunt filled Grindhouse. Verdict: Rent it.

Video: The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work (buy)

1 comment:

  1. Everything you need to know about whether you should see the Poseidon remake is summed up in the following dialogue:

    "I'm an engineer. I can tell you that this cruise ship was not made to be upside down."

    You know what, I'm NOT an engineer and I could have told them that, too.


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