Thursday, December 30, 2010

Memory Movie Marathon

I always do a New Year's Day movie marathon every year. This year I decided to pick all movies & tv shows that have to do with memory in some way. Enjoy!

"Dollhouse" (TV Series 2009–2010)-A futuristic laboratory assigns different tasks to its various residents, who then have their memories erased upon the completion of their assignments.-"Noteworthy"

A Little Princess (1995)-A young girl is relegated to servitude at a boarding school when her father goes missing and is presumed dead.-"Epic"

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)-A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour. "Epic"

Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)-
A bored suburban housewife, seeking adventure to her life, accidentally gets hit on the head, wakes up with amnesia, and is mistaken for a free-spirited New York City drifter named Susan. -Haven't seen this film in a while so I can't give it a rating right now.

The Number 23 (2007)-Walter Sparrow becomes obsessed with a novel that he believes was written about him. As his obsession increases, more and more similarities seem to arise. "Noteworthy"

Shutter Island (2010)- Drama set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island. "Noteworthy"

Memento (2000)-A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.-My favorite movie-"Epic"

Triangle (2009)-The story revolves around the passengers of a yachting trip in the Atlantic Ocean who, when struck by mysterious weather conditions, jump to another ship only to experience greater havoc on the open seas. "Epic"

The Bourne Identity (2002)-A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and without memory, then races to elude assassins and recover from amnesia. "Stamped Out but worth seeing"

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)-When Jason Bourne is framed for a botched CIA operation he is forced to take up his former life as a trained assassin to survive. "Stamped Out but worth seeing"

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)-Jason Bourne dodges a ruthless CIA official and his agents from a new assassination program while searching for the origins of his life as a trained killer. "Stamped Out but worth seeing"

Labyrinth (1986) 15-year-old Sarah accidentally wishes her baby half-brother, Toby, away to the Goblin King Jareth who will keep Toby if Sarah does not complete his Labyrinth in 13 hours. "Epic"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Working Gal/Guy Movie Marathon

I always do a movie marathon on my birthday. This year I decided on the theme of working gal/guy movies, movies about people that are having a hard time at work/their career but ultimately succeed or at least get the last laugh. This list is split into 2 categories: ones I've seen so I know they have happy endings and ones I haven't seen that seem like good work/career bad day movies, but I don't know if they have happy endings. I also tried to take into account a plethora of careers, because not everyone (including myself) has an office job (I even highlighted the job names so you can look up specific movies to watch).

Have seen

A Night at the Museum (2006)-A newly recruited night security guard at the Museum of Natural History discovers that an ancient curse causes the animals and exhibits on display to come to life and wreak havoc.

Air Force One (1997)-Hijackers seize the plane carrying the President of the United States and his family, but he (an ex-soldier) works from hiding to defeat them.

Be Kind Rewind (2008)-A man whose brain becomes magnetized unintentionally destroys every tape in his friend's video store. The two men set out to remake the lost films.

Blades of Glory (2007)-In 2002, two rival Olympic ice skaters were stripped of their gold medals and permanently banned from men's single competition. Presently, however, they've found a loophole that will allow them to qualify as a pair’s team.

Boiler Room (2000)-A college dropout gets a job as a broker for a suburban investment firm, which puts him on the fast track to success, but the job might not be as legitimate as it sounds.

Demolition Man (1993)-A cop is brought out of suspended animation in prison to pursue an old ultra-violent enemy who is loose in a nonviolent future society.

Emperor's New Groove (2000) - Emperor Kuzco is turned into a llama by his ex-administrator Yzma, and must now regain his throne with the help of Pacha, the gentle llama herder.

Employee of the Month (2006)-When he hears that the new female employee digs ambitious men who are the store employee of the month, a slacker gets his act together but finds himself in competition with his rival, an ambitious co-worker.

Good Will Hunting (1997)-Will Hunting, a janitor at MIT, has a gift for mathematics but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Groundhog Day (1993)-A weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again.

Liar Liar (1997)-A fast track lawyer can't lie for 24 hours due to his son's birthday wish after the lawyer turns his son down for the last time.

Mission Impossible (1996)-An American agent, under false suspicion of disloyalty, must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization.

Monster's, Inc. (2001) - Monsters generate their city's power by scaring children, but they are terribly afraid themselves of being contaminated by children, so when one enters Monstropolis, top scarer Sulley finds his world disrupted. (power plant/electrician)

Office Space (1999)-Comedic tale of company workers who hate their jobs and decide to rebel against their greedy boss. (waitress)

P.S. I Love You (2007)-A young widow discovers that her late husband has left her 10 messages intended to help ease her pain and start a new life. (you don't know what to do with your life)

Ratatouille (2007)-When a young rat named Remy makes an unusual alliance with a restaurant's new garbage boy, the culinary and personal adventures begin despite Remy's family's skepticism and the rat-hating world of humans. (chef)

Remember the Titans (2000)-The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) - The Gremlins are back, and this time, they've taken total control over the building of a media mogul.

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)-A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavor. (stockbroker/salesperson)

The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)-Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.

The Simpsons Movie (2007)-After Homer accidentally pollutes the town's water supply, Springfield is encased in a gigantic dome by the EPA and the Simpsons family is declared fugitives. (nuclear plant)

Yes Man (2008)-A guy challenges himself to say "yes" to everything for an entire year. (banker)

Zoolander (2001)-At the end of his career, a clueless fashion model is brainwashed to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The Lake House (2006) - A lonely doctor who once occupied an unusual lakeside home begins exchanging love letters with its former resident, a frustrated architect. They must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it's too late.

The Wedding Singer (1998)-Robbie, the singer and Julia, the waitress are both engaged to be married but to the wrong people. Fortune intervenes to help them discover each other.

Tommy Boy (1995)-An incompetent, immature, and dimwitted heir to an auto parts factory must save the business to keep it out of the hands of big business. (salesperson)

Toothfairy (2010)-A bad deed on the part of a tough minor-league hockey player results in an unusual sentence: He must serve one week as a real-life tooth fairy. (athlete)

Waiting (2005)-Young employees at Shenaniganz restaurant collectively stave off boredom and adulthood with their antics. (if you've ever worked at a restaurant)

Still Waiting... (2009) (V)-On the last night of the fiscal quarter, Dennis, Shenanigan's manager, will be promoted to district manager if they have a $9000 day. (if you've ever worked at a restaurant)

Wayne's World (1992)-Two slacker friends try to promote their public-access cable show. (TV production/broadcasting)

Little Black Book (2004)-Stacy Holt, an associate producer for a daytime talk show, snoops through her boyfriend's palm pilot and reveals his former girlfriends, which causes her to question why they're still listed in his little black book.

Little Women (1994)-The March sisters live and grow in post-Civil War America. (writer)

The Young Victoria (2009)-A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria's rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert.

First Wives Club (1996)-Three divorced women seek revenge on the husbands who left them for younger women. (housewife/cashier/actress/advertising exec)

Beauty Shop (2005)-Gina is a hairstylist who opens up a beauty shop full of employees and customers more interested in speaking their minds than getting a cut. (business owner)

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)-While on vacation, a just-divorced writer buys a villa in Tuscany on a whim, hoping it will be the start of a change for the better in her life.

Weather Girl (2009)-A Seattle weather girl freaks out on-air over her cheating boyfriend, the morning show anchor, and moves in with her little brother.

Audrey Hepburn Story (TV 2000) - Biographic made-for-TV movie of the life of one of Hollywood's most famous actresses: Audrey Hepburn.

Temple Grandin (TV) (2010) -A biopic of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who has become one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry.

Speed (1994)-A young cop must save the passengers of a bus that has a bomb set to explode if the bus goes below 50 MPH.

Simply Irresistible (1999)-A department store executive (Flanery) tries to resist falling in love with a young woman (Gellar), who he believes has possessed magical powers after inheriting a restaurant. (business owner/chef)

Clockwatchers (1997)-Iris can best be described as a wallflower. She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her (mis)adventures with the other "corporate orphans", Margaret, Paula and Jane. Led by Margaret, they find subtle ways to lessen the ennui of corporate oppression. (Temp/secretary/assistant)

In Theaters

Hereafter (2010)-A drama centered on three people -- a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy -- who are touched by death in different ways.

Haven't Seen

16 Blocks (2006)-An aging cop is assigned the ordinary task of escorting a fast-talking witness from police custody to a courthouse. There are, however, forces at work trying to stop prevent them from making it.

Fun With Dick and Jane (2005)-An update of the 1977 comedy, Dick and Jane are living the good life. That is until Dick (Jim Carrey) loses his job shortly after getting a promotion that convinced his wife Jane (Téa Leoni) to quit her job. The money is gone, and the house ends up in foreclosure. Dick decides to turn to a hilarious life of crime to pay the bills with his lovely wife by his side. (corporate middle manager)

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009) - When a shopping mall is overtaken by a gang of organized crooks, it's up to a mild-mannered security guard to save the day.

The Slammin Salmon (2009)-The owner of a Miami restaurant indebted to the mob institutes a contest to see what waiter can earn the most money in one night. (restaurant owner)

Working Girl (1988)-When a secretary's idea is stolen by her boss, she seizes an opportunity to steal it back by pretending she has her boss's job.

In theaters

Morning Glory (2010) - An upstart television producer accepts the challenge of reviving a struggling morning show program with warring co-hosts. (producer)

Black Swan (2010) - A thriller that zeros in on the relationship between a veteran ballet dancer and a rival.

Burlesque (2010)-A small-town girl ventures to Los Angeles and finds her place in a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blog-athon Part III

Creepshow (1982)-Inspired by the E.C. comics of the 1950s, George A. Romero and Stephen King bring five tales of terror to the screen. A few of the stories were good, but overall the stories were too simplistic to be interesting and too goofy when it was trying to be tongue-in-cheek. Try the Tales from the Crypt TV show instead. "Rather Stab A Pen In My Eye than ever watch this movie again"

I Am Dina (2002)-In Northern Norway during the 1860s, a little girl named Dina accidentally causes her mother's death. An interesting, harrowing character study on what happens in Dina's life. "Dear Diary, I secretly liked this film but, I'll never tell"

Suspiria (1977)-A newcomer to a fancy ballet academy gradually comes to realize that the staff of the school is actually a coven of witches bent on chaos and destruction. Visually stunning classic horror film with one of the best jump-scares I've ever seen. The plot, however, is completely lacking with a lackluster ending. "Not the Brightest Crayon in the Box, but sure is pretty"

The Devil's Diary (TV 2007)-When two friends, Dominique and Ursula, uncover an ancient book in a graveyard one night, they discover that the book has the supernatural power to grant any evil desire written within it. Starts off as a fun, campy occult horror flick and descends into end of days shenanigans. Try instead: The Craft. "Stamped out so why bother?"

Mirrors 2 (2010)-When Max, who is recovering from a traumatic accident, takes a job as a nighttime security guard, he begins to see visions of a young mysterious woman in the store's mirror. A more simplistic version of the first movie. A few nice death scenes, but you can YouTube those. Skip this and try the first one instead. "Stamped out so why bother?"

Hangman's Curse (2003)-Bullying students are becoming deathly ill after screaming the name of a legendary ghost. Playing out like those Goosebumps stories, this film is really meant for the middle school age range, and therefore, did not appeal to me. There were some scary scenes with spiders though. "Stamped out so why bother?"

Bent (1997)-Max is gay and as such is sent to Dachau concentration camp under the Nazi regime. He tries to deny he is gay and gets a yellow label (the one for Jews) instead of pink (the one for gays). In camp he falls in love with his fellow prisoner Horst, who wears his pink label with pride. Sadly beautiful film that shows some of the other victims of the Holocaust that haven't really been shown in cinema. "Noteworthy"

White Noise 2 (2007) - A man is brought back from the verge of death, he then discovers he can identify people who are about to die. Surprisingly good for a straight-to-video sequel that actually surpassed the first film. "Noteworthy"

I Sell the Dead (2008)-A grave robber reflects on his life of crime. Interesting premise with a horrible, over-the-top execution that isn't even remotely funny. Try Shaun of the Dead instead. "Rather Stab A Pen In My Eye than ever watch this movie again"

Scary Movie 4(2006)-Cindy finds out the house she lives in is haunted by a little boy and goes on a quest to find out who killed him and why. Also, Alien "Tr-iPods" are invading the world and she has to uncover the secret in order to stop them. Once you've seen one, you've seen them all, but I still enjoy these parody films. "Stamped out but worth seeing"

Wait Til Dark (1967)-A recently blinded woman is terrorized by a trio of thugs while they search for a heroin stuffed doll they believe is in her apartment. Amazingly acted, tension filled piece of suspense. Brilliant film. "Epic"

First Born (2007)-A new mother starts to suspect that the ghost of the previous tenant in her new home may be haunting her. Suspenseful, well-acted, and very well-written. This movie turned this genre on its head. "Epic"

Elvis and Anabelle (2007)-Anabelle is on the road to winning the Miss Texas Rose tiara when she dies tragically during a pageant. Her death lands her on the embalming table of Elvis. When Anabelle is miraculously resurrected on Elvis' embalming table, the two unexpectedly connect and sparks fly. Oddly sweet romance that shows that Blake Lively actually has some acting chops. "Noteworthy"

Secondhand Lions (2003)-A coming-of-age story about a shy, young boy sent by his irresponsible mother to spend the summer with his wealthy, eccentric uncles in Texas. Fine but forgettable. Try the movie Driving Lessons instead. "Stamped out so why bother?"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blog-athon Part II

Old Typewriter

So here I go again with the catch up mini-reviews.

One Day Like Rain-A teenage girl living in California suburbia devises a metaphysical experiment designed to save the world from what she sees as an impending doom, but the results of such an experiment prove to be both beneficial and destructive. Starring Christine Haeberman.-Beautifully shot on a low budget with some nice cinematography and great music. Too bad this movie is so pretentious and convoluted. Watch Donnie Darko instead. "Kinda Like An Inkblot Test-Might be good to some, but I just didn't see it."

Sleepwalking-The drama follows an 11-year-old girl's struggle to come to terms with her mother's abandonment. Starring Nick Stahl & Charlize Theron.-An interesting twist on a coming of age story that gets pretty dark towards the yet, but is very effective. "Noteworthy"- Good solid film

Still Small Voices-A 911 operator receives a ghostly call from a child murdered thirty years before and becomes obsessed with unraveling the crime. What she discovers shatters her. Starring Catherine Bell.-The low budget really hurt this film. It made a cool, eerie mystery cheesy at times with its bad flash-back sequences and music box-like music. The story was strong, however, and would work well as a book. "Stamped Out so why bother?"

Mystery Team-A group of former Encyclopedia Brown-style child-detectives struggle to solve an adult mystery except they're not little kids anymore, they're 18. Starring the Derrick Comedy troupe. - This movie was hilarious and irreverent. One of the funniest movies I've seen in a while. "Epic"

Paris 36-Story of the revival of a Chansonia in northern Paris, 1936 with multiple story lines including a love story and a murder. In French. Beautiful looking with lush sets, dreamlike camera work that reminded me of Baz Luhrman films, and colorful cinematography. Some great music as well as a great ending. A bit melodramatic at times and sometimes hard to follow even with English subtitles. I'd still highly recommend this film. "Noteworthy"

The Fog (2005)-Based on the 1980 screenplay, the inhabitants of Antonio Island, off the coast of Oregon, experience a bizarre series of events, including several gruesome deaths and the presence of a mysterious fog. Starring Maggie Grace & Selma Blair. - Uggh. I jumped a few times, but nothing could make up for such a laughable script with an absolutely non-sensical ending. Have not seen the original. Maybe that would fare better. "Rather Stab A Pen In My Eye than ever watch this movie again"

Blood and Chocolate-A young teenage werewolf is torn between honoring her family's secret and her love for a man.-Straight-forward werewolf flick that's decent overall with a great soundtrack and film score. You just have to look past some pretty bad dialogue. "Stamped out but worth seeing"-if you like werewolf movies a lot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween II (UR Director's Cut)

Plot: Laurie Strode struggles to come to terms with her brother Michael's deadly return to Haddonfield, Illinois; meanwhile, Michael prepares for another reunion with his sister.


Starring: Sheri Moon-Zombie ("CSI: Miami" & Halloween), Scout Taylor-Compton (Triple Dog & Obsessed), Oscar nominee Brad Dourif (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest & Death and Cremation), Saturn nominee Malcolm McDowell (Time After Time & Golf in the Kingdom), Octavia Spencer (Peep World & Dinner for Schmucks), Danielle Harris (Stake Lake & Halloween), Saturn nominee Margot Kidder (The Amityville Horror & Something Evil Comes (TV)), Mark Boone Junior ("Sons of Anarchy" & 30 Days of Night), Weird Al Yankovic (G.A.Y.S & "Funny or Die Presents"), Chris Hardwick (Lego: The Adventures of Clutch Powers & Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines), Sean Marquette ("Ghost Whisperer")

Written & Directed by: Rob Zombie ("CSI: Miami" & Halloween)

Review: Not to be mistaken for the '81 version. Unlike 2007's Halloween remake, this one is a reimagining instead of a remake. Why? What made the first one work was that it stayed true to the original while adding that Rob Zombie flare to make it unique. This movie was a big FU to both the '81 version and the audience, completely teasing us with a bogus intro similar to the '81 version that turns out to be a dream sequence. Really? The first fifteen minutes were amazing. I want to watch that movie. There after begins the downward spiral. There were elements I liked. The sound effects were very creepy, the original theme song was used well, the element of gore were used well and realistically, and Mr. Zombie’s camera work was quite good. Ironically, one element that made the first film work just wasn't done well in this movie- Michael Myer's background story- complete with cheesy present day hallucinations of his dead mother. Other problems: Loomis suddenly becomes a total a-hole, and they actually unmask Myers who looks like a cross between Rob Zombie and a hobo. He really should have quit when he was ahead. Watch the '81 version instead.

Fun Facts: Rob Zombie originally stated he would never do a sequel to Halloween (2007), until the studio decided to make it. Then he signed on to write and direct, because he didn't want someone to ruin his vision. This is Rob Zombie's last Halloween movie. A new director, Patrick Lussier will be making Halloween III (2011). Laurie has a picture of Charles Manson over her bed. The first Halloween movie to include Michael clearly walking around without his mask on. John Carpenter was offered a cameo in the film by Rob Zombie, but he turned it down. The Young Michael Myers was replaced due to a growth spurt in the actor from the previous film. Danielle Harris and Jamie Lee Curtis are now tied at four appearances each in the Halloween franchise. They are both behind Donald Pleasence, with five films. First Rob Zombie movie not to star Zombie regulars Sid Haig, Bill Moseley and Tom Towles. Jeffrey Daniel Phillips plays two completely different roles in the movie: Howard Boggs and Uncle Seymour Coffins. He is only the third actor to ever play two different roles in the same film in the entire Halloween franchise (the others being Nancy Kyes) and Danielle Harris). Dick Warlock actually plays three different characters, "The Shape" (Michael Myers) and Patrolman #3 (the one that hits the Michael Look alike with his patrol car) in Halloween II (1981) and "Assasin" in Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982).




Directing-C- I prefer the theatrical ending better which I peaked at after watching the Director's Cut first.

Music-A-amazing cover of Love Hurts at the end


Editing-A- nice sense of tension & great use of jump cuts and sound editing as well

Visual Effects-A




Art Direction-C

"Stamped Out so why bother"