Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Movies I Watched In January

I've gotten a few requests over the last couple months to bring this monthly post back to the blog in 2010 and although we're already almost halfway through February, i've decided to oblige those few folks. First i'm gonna tell you my favorite movie I watched last month and then i'll give ya my brief thoughts on all the rest. At the risk of being redundant, i've left out the movies that I already talked about/reviewed at length this past month. Click on any of the links below to find out more information on each movie or to buy a copy for yourself.




Is Park Chan-wook capable of making anything less than a masterpiece? The way I see it, Chan-wook is the foreign equivalent of Quentin Tarantino - you can ALWAYS count on him to deliver the goods. I think we're all sick of vampire movies at the present time, but Chan-wook is such a unique and smart filmmaker that it barely even feels like a vampire movie - certaintly nothing like any vampire movie we've ever seen before. It took me two viewings, within 12 hours of each other, to fully absorb everything on screen (not even sure i'm totally there yet) and it just goes to show that those overseas are oftentimes light years ahead of Americans when it comes to filmmaking. Oldboy will probably forever remain Chan-wook's ultimate masterpiece, but Thirst definetly gives it a run for its money. It's a complete masterwork, as both a horror film and a love story, and I cannot recommend enough that you experience it.


The Boy In The Striped Pajamas - Incredibly bleak and depressing flick, just as a movie about the holocaust should be. As far as holocaust movies go, this half factual half fictional account is one of the best i've seen. If you don't lose a couple buckets of tears throughout this incredibly powerful film, i'd say you pretty much have no soul.

The Dead Girl - After hearing about the death of Brittany Murphy, I decided to go back and watch my favorite film of hers - I guess it's ironic that that film is titled The Dead Girl. What was always a highly powerful and emotional film is even moreso now, making it almost hard to watch at times. In my opinion, this will forever remain Murphy's best performance and best film.

The Gate - Childhood favorite and after watching it on DVD last month for the first time in a while, i'm glad to say it still holds up. Love the effects and love how it pushes the boundaries of a children's horror film.

The Girlfriend Experience - After hearing so much hooplah over this movie over the past year or so, I was left incredibly dissapointed and ultimately bored by it. What's all the fuss about?

Happiness - The most twisted movie ever made? Perhaps. A good twisted movie? Without question. By the way, what's with Dylan Baker and tormenting small children? First he rapes them in Happiness and then he kills them in Trick 'r Treat!

Hardware - Gotta apologize to Severin for taking so long to watch and review this movie. That being said, i'm so glad that I finally watched it because I really dug it and it looked great on Blu-ray to boot. Thank you Severin for digging this film up because if it wasn't for this new re-release, I would still have probably never heard of this sci-fi gem - and that's downright criminal.

Harry and the Hendersons - I'm a sucker for Bigfoot movies and for movies about big scary monsters that turn out to be loving and friendly, so I naturally love this movie. It's the finest Sasquatch film ever made, bar none.

The Hurt Locker - Incredible movie with an incredible performance by Jeremy Renner. If this doesn't win Best Picture this year, I hope that Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark) at least wins Best Director. It was her amazing direction that made me feel like I was actually at war with the cast of characters on screen, which was both an awesome, emotional, and INCREDIBLY tense experience.

Inside - This was only the second time I had seen Inside the whole way through and although I felt it was an awesome and fucked up movie the first go around, a go around that involved lots of alcohol and some friends, I now see it as not only those things, but also a really good horror movie. So while I did like Inside after that first drunken viewing, I definetly have more of an appreciation for it as a film after my second viewing - though I still hate that scene at the end where the dude turns all zombie.

Intruder - One of my favorite 80's slashers. Awesome kills and the fun the cast and crew had making it really shows through, which always makes it such an enjoyable watch for me.

L.I.E - Strange and uncomfortable film, but a pretty decent one. Gotta give Brian Cox serious kudos for taking on such a role and for uttering some of the lines he utters in this film.

Moon - It seems every year there's one movie that gets shafted at The Oscars. In my opinion, Moon is that movie this year. How Sam Rockwell did not get nominated for Best Actor is totally beyond me, as his was one of the best performances i've seen in years. On top of that, it's a damn fine movie. By the way, it was directed by David Bowie's son!

Red - Huge fan of this movie, although it always gets me incredibly pissed off about my generation. Brian Cox once again proves that he's one of the finest actors in the business today.

World's Greatest Dad - I gotta say, i'm not the biggest Robin Williams fan, but I completely loved this movie. There's aspects I didn't like and I wish it had at times played things dramatically as opposed to comedically, but in the end it ended up being a really good movie that completely took me by surprise. Nicely done, Bobcat.


oducerproducer said...

For my money the only actor better than Rockwell last year was Bridges in Crazy Heart.

Fred [The Wolf] said...

Congrats! I awarded this blog a Kreativ Award. Check it out! Keep up the great work!

Cat said...

Boy in the Striped Pajamas wrecked me. I actually SOBBED at the end. And I felt so down the rest of the night. But it's such a powerful movie.

Johnny said...

Thank you so much, Fred, and I appreciate the kind words =)

Wings said...

Great stuff. I haven't seen any of those, so heading to Netflix now.

Zacery Nova said...

I liked Happiness, it was a strange movie because not only do I like Dylan Baker as an actor but I liked all the characters that did something wrong: the girl that murdered the rapist doorman, the child-raper and the phonesex pest. Whereas I despised all the 'normal' characters: Dylan's wife and her sisters. Todd Solondz did a good job on that movie, and Daniel Clowes (Ghost World) did the movie poster for it.

Johnny said...

Very interesting Zac, I never really thought about that. Now that ya mention it, the only endearing characters in the movie truly are the ones who did/do bad shit!

Dorian Gray said...

I really liked Red as well, mostly because it defied my expectations. What I mean by that is, when I read the synopsis of the plot I was expecting a "revenge" or "vigilante" type of movie. But the movie didn't play out in the way I thought it would, which was a good thing. It dealt with themes such as suffering the loss of a loved one, dysfunctional families and personal responsibility. Brian Cox was great and so believable in his role. He gives this monologue about an event that changed his life (midway through the movie) that was so heartbreaking that I actually cried. I plan on buying the movie and I recommended it to some of my co-workers too.

ThePersonYouBenefitFromKnowing said...

I have nothing worthwhile to say except I agree with most of your observations.....and I want you to watch Mac & Me for the next installment hahahaha...or Spaced Invaders. Why is it I thought of those 2 movies when you said Harry & The Henderson's?????

Johnny said...

Dorian - I too shed a few tears during that amazing monologue and you're spot on as to why the movie is so good.

Kristy - Mac & Me is one i've never got around to seeing but I think I just might have to oblige you and watch it!

frankie said...

Wow... I'm astounded by how similar you and I feel to everything we've both seen in this list. I was so excited to drag my girlfriend to see Thirst, and I was not disappointed. Girlfriend Experience, Hurt Locker, Moon, World's Greatest Dad... spot-on, man. Crazy stuff. Say hi to your dad for me (if you remember who I am!)


Johnny said...

Frankie! I do remember you! How have ya been?

Geof said...

Happiness was a really f'd up movie and I was in shock when I first saw ti several years back. But I enjoy it. Well acted.

I can't wait to see Moon, so I'm glad I keep hearing good things about it.

And you can never go wrong with The Gate.

frankie said...

Things are well! Thanks for asking.

I haven't seen The Gate since I was a kid. Looks like I'm gonna have to add it to my queue...

Carl (ILHM) said...

The Gate > ALL