#19: John Carter
Here’s a film that I really wanted to love. I don’t have the same love for STAR WARS that everyone seems to have. I think that STAR WARS is an amazing film technically but the more and more I see it now as I grow older, the less enthralled I am with it. However, EMPIRE is still the shit though.
Sadly, JOHN CARTER seemed like a fabricated story of wonderment. All the motions were there but I didn’t feel any emotion to the story. I don’t blame director Andrew Stanton on this but more Taylor Kitsch. The guy was just boring and emotionless. I had nothing invested in him. The film is a bit of an empty pleasure.
#18: Project X (2012)
For what it is, I enjoyed it. It’s entertaining and is probably every teenager’s dream film. But much like any night of heavy drinking, it will be forgotten in time.
It plays out male fantasy and tends to push the limit to the edge which is something that I appreciated about it in that it is pretty fearless, regardless of any moral responsibility it might need to stand up to.
#17: Act of Valor
[thoughts & review soon - embargoed]
Like Hesher, this one was a blind buy as well. I really loved Superbad and I heard that people enjoyed this film but then I remember hearing about some people who said it wasn’t that funny. I know the film is semi autobiographical, so I figured I would throw caution to the wind and I threw down $5 for a non-sleeved Blu-Ray Blind Buy.
Unlike Hesher, this film was a bit disappointing. I got some chuckles out of it but ultimately, it fails as a comedy and the drama in here is not that strong either. Heder and Wiig are probably the most memorable out of the whole bunch aside from Martin Starr. Other than that, the film was pretty meh for me. I just wanted Kristen Stewart to close her mouth for the majority of the movie because I was sick of seeing her teeth and the confused look she is known for giving.
I never got to see this one when it came out in the theaters. It got mixed praise when it premiered at Sundance but I honestly can’t remember a film with JGL recently that I haven’t liked. Add in the great cast and the fact that it was directed by Spencer Susser who made of my favorite short films, I Love Sarah Jane back in 2008.
I recently picked up the Blu-Ray from a Blockbuster that was closing down for $5. Granted it had no case or cover art and came in the same sleeves they rent out to their online members, but I figured $5 was worth a shot.
Gotta say. I loved this flick. The performances, direction and vision of the film is amazing. It’s a demented yet heart warming film that really shows you a true humanity in someone that is externally and maybe even mentally a disaster. Another great performance from JGL. Far underrated & a must see in my opinion.
#14: The Last Circus
I first saw this film at the end of the 20+ films I saw in 6 days theatrically at Austin’s Fantastic Fest 2010. The film felt like a manifestation of all the films I had seen previous. The Last Circus is a crazy film. It’s a hyperkinetic, wild and just such a unique film.
However, while I enjoyed it, I had some problems with it but I believe it was because I was watching the film at 8 or 9 in the morning and I just wasn’t ready for it.
After watching the film there is an admiration I have for the free will at director De La Iglesia had while making this film. It’s unforgettable whether you like it or not.
#13: The Brood
The second show for my Late Nite Grindhouse program for 2012. We had a great attendance with a little over 100 people each night. I was pleasantly surprised by this because I was kind of worried about this one as it isn’t a straight slasher film and it’s just a weird flick.
The audience seemed to really dig it and when I watched it on Saturday night, there was a woman gasping during some of the murder sequences. It was interesting.
This film always was a unique film for me as when I was younger, I didn’t really like it that much. Now that I’m 30, I do like it a bit better but it still isn’t my favorite Cronenberg film but it definitely isn’t is worst or what I consider to be his worst.
It was great seeing this on the big screen and I was super happy to get a 35mm print of the film.
#12: The Woman in Black (2012)
Format: Digital Presentation
The first theatrical horror film of 2012 for me. Sure, there was The Devil Inside but I never saw it because I heard it wasn’t that great. I was excited to see this one as it was a new Hammer Films production as well as a remake of a TV film that was really well done but could have used some improvements.
While this film reeked atmosphere, it sadly resorted to 90’s horror film sensibilities/habits with cheap musical jump scare cues. No matter how much director Watkins built up a creepy feeling, the music by hack composer Marco Beltrami ruined everything that was built. It’s kind of a shame as it really looked and felt like a classic Hammer horror film when you subtract the music from the equation. That isn’t to say the music took away everything. Watkins also relies on scenes with close up shots on creepy dolls that will evoke a feeling from the audience but it is a false emotion in respect to the film. It’s not a bad film nor is it a film that needs tons of praise. It’s just there. Not a bad watch once it hits video for a rental or a watch on cable.
Format: Digital Presentation
20th Century Fox did a last minute screening of this film for the press at 4pm. Luckily, I was able to get out of work 15 minutes early to make it to the screening.
I remember the hyperbole behind Kick-Ass and I wasn’t too impressed with that film. There was some very quiet hype behind this one and I thought the concept was interesting enough.
I really enjoyed this one. Yes, it had some missteps in logic and maybe even in storytelling but there is a strong film in here that refreshes superhero films as we have become to know them in the past decade.
I had a couple of opportunities to see this film at some advance screenings in 2011 but I didn’t go for some reason. Either Nicci, my g/f, was working and didn’t want me to see it without her or I was busy.
Like Ryan Gosling, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is become a favorite of mine. All of his performances bring a certain honest delivery that seems very relatable.
I wish I would have seen this in 2011 as I think it is one of the best of last year. It heartwarming, honest, funny but most of all has a lot of soul in everyone’s performance. Levine did a great directing job with a film that could’ve been a PR nightmare - a comedy about a person that deals with finding out he has a rare form of cancer.