Project 101

Dan attempts to watch 101 movies in 12 months

Archive for August, 2009

#35 – Family Guy Presents ‘Blue Harvest’

Posted by Dan on August 31, 2009

Blue Harvest - Cover ArtOkay, so I guess this is kind of cheating. It’s not really a “movie” exactly, but it is a ‘feature-length’ episode, and it was released on dvd as it’s own special, so fuck it. Besides, I’m a little behind schedule and need to catch up, so this is a quick win for me.

I really don’t know what to say about this – it’s exactly what you think it is. It’s Family Guy taking off Star Wars IV. It’s good because there’s enough for just the casual Family Guy fan (because let’s face it, if there’s anyone that hasn’t seen the Star Wars trilogy, well, I can’t know you), but then there’s a heap of great references to keep fans going as well – some of the ‘camera’ shots are absolutely perfect. Not to mention how much they would’ve paid in royalties.

So, essentially, the ‘episode’ happens when the episode opens to the Griffins watching tv (one of the funniest gags of the whole thing), when the power goes out, Peter tells everyone the story of Star Wars. One of the best bits is actually right at the end, when Chris accuses Peter of just copying what Robot Chicken did a few months ago – funny because Chris is voiced by Seth Green, one of the co-creators of Robot Chicken, with Peter, voiced by Seth MacFarlane, one of the creators of Family Guy.

As a self-confessed Star Wars geek, the most impressive thing about this is the attention to detail. From the same shots, to homages to favourite quotes, to picking at what was originally a huge plot hole that have been talked about for years. Naturally I’m going to give this a solid 5 out of 5, and as an indication, here’s the opening scrolling text that parodies the intro to each of the Star Wars movies…

A long time ago, but somehow in the future…

Episode IV A NEW HOPE

It is a period of civil war and renegade
paragraphs floating through space.

There’s cool space battles, and the bad guy is the good guy’s dad. But you
don’t find that out ’til the next episode. And the hot chick is really the sister of
the good guy, but they don’t know it and they kiss. Which is kind of messed up.
I mean, what if they had done it instead of just kissed?

Angelina Jolie kissed her brother. Yeah, she did. You know it, I know it,
and her dad knows it. That’s why they hardly ever talk anymore.
You can run away to Africa, but you can’t run away from the truth.

Oh, by the way, here’s a tip for you: when this is over, go out and
rent the movie “Gia.” She’s way naked in it, and makes out with another chick
and everything. It’s awesome. I stumbled across it late night on HBO after I had
just got back from hockey, and I almost fainted. But I digest…

Princess Leia was coming back from buying space groceries when this happened…

Oh and by the way, it’s called “Blue Harvest” because that’s what Return Of The Jedi’s working title was.

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#34 The Wrestler

Posted by Dan on August 27, 2009

The_Wrestler_posterThis was another movie I watched on my airline flight from the UK. Probably the wrong time to watch it, being all sleep-deprived that I was, because this movie is super-depressing. Even during the rare happy moments, you just know that something fucked up is about to happen. For people that have seen the doco from the 90s, Beyond The Mat? It’s basically a screen-play version of that.

The movie stars Mickey Rourke, a washed up wrestler called Randy “The Ram”, who used to be a high profile wrestler back in the 80s, but these days he struggles to pay rent in his trailer park home and spends most nights sleeping in the back of his van. He wrestles are small-time community halls in local wrestling circuits, surrounded by wrestlers half his age, while he spends his prep time taping up his various failing limbs and joints – that is, when he’s not injecting steroids.

Life goes from bad to worse when, just weeks after having a come-back match in the big-time with The Ram’s arch enemy, he suffers a major heart attack and needs to have a heart bypass. The doctor tells him that his body simply cannot take any more wrestling or steroids, and basically says to him point blank that if he continues with this, he will die. Randy decides to take the doc’s advice and starts on the straight and narrow, yet after just a few days working in the deli at his local supermarket, he realises he can’t take it anymore and books himself in for the showdown against The Ayatollah. The final wrestling scene leaves things a bit open-ended, which I kinda liked, as the movie was becoming incredibly predictable, so to leave it a little open-ended wasn’t too bad.

Along the way, you see the relationship with his teenage daughter, or lack thereof, as she deals with not having her father around. He’s incredibly incompetent as a father, and doesn’t seem to know the first thing about parenthood, but his heart’s in the right place, so you do end up feeling sorry for him. We also see a relationship play out with a stripper at his local bar, played surprisingly well by Marisa Tomei.

As I mentioned the whole movie is fairly heavy-going, and it’s quite upsetting to see a guy take hit after hit in his life, and really struggling to deal with his life after being in the spot-light for so long. But it’s still a captivating movie, and I couldn’t help be stay pinned to every scene just to find out how it ends. Make sure you’re in the right mood to see this one, but just make sure you do.

I give The Wrestler 3 and a half People’s Elbows out of 5

“I just want to tell you, I’m the one who was supposed to take care of everything. I’m the one who was supposed to make everything okay for everybody. It just didn’t work out like that. And I left. I left you. You never did anything wrong. I used to try to forget about you. I used to try to pretend that you didn’t exist, but I can’t. You’re my girl. You’re my little girl. And now, I’m an old broken down piece of meat… and I’m alone. And I deserve to be all alone. I just don’t want you to hate me.”

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#33 This Is England

Posted by Dan on August 23, 2009

432px-This_is_england_film_posterThis is a movie I picked up almost by accident – I was looking at the dvd store a while ago, and happen to pick this up, thinking it was a different movie, then read the back and realised it was worth the hire. And now that I’ve watched it? Yeah, totally worth the hire.

The story’s about this young kid called Shaun, who’s father was killed in the Falklands War, gets the shit kicked out of him at school on a fairly regular basis. He’s on his way home from school one day all pissed off and frustrated at the world, when he runs into a group of skinheads who take pity on him and start to bring him into their group, lead by an older boy called Woody.

One day, a mate of Woody’s is released from prison, nicknamed Combo. Combo’s found a new streak of racism in him, and is wanting a team of followers, only Woody and his mates, who are more of the traditional non-political skinheads, want nothing of it. Shaun, however, chooses to side with Combo, who then takes him under his wing. Shaun is lead down a steep and dangerous path, which eventually ends up in a deadly confrontation and forces Shaun to have some solid realisations about where his life is heading.

This movie is definitely not for the faint of heart, and is fairly tough-going for most of the movie. The racism is incredibly confronting, and it’s quite sad to see a young child swayed so easily on his quest to look for a new role-model. Despite being so hard to watch, it’s even harder to turn away. A quality cast, a solid script and a genuinely great storyline that just drips of gritty realism.

I give This Is England 4 out of 5 St George’s Crosses.

Lovely, lovely, love you for that, that’s fucking great. A proud man, learn from him; that’s a proud man. That’s what we need, man. That’s what this nation has been built on, proud men. Proud fucking warriors! Two thousand years this little tiny fucking island has been raped and pillaged, by people who have come here and wanted a piece of it – two fucking world wars! Men have laid down their lives for this. For this… and for what? So people can stick their fucking flag in the ground and say, “Yeah! This is England.”

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#32 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – LIVE BLOGGING!

Posted by Dan on August 23, 2009

209731_3Well, here’s another one of my movies that gets the reaction of “oh my god, how could you not have seen that movie?” with Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. So, given that everyone’s probably already seen this, I though I might do something slightly different and live-blog my review, so I’ll give some running commentary as I watch it, completely unedited. I dunno how this will pan out, but let’s give it a shot, shall we?

For those that want to play along at home, I have the dvd copy of it (yes, a legally purchased copy – I got it as a triple pack a few year ago, and yet I STILL haven’t gotten around to watching it until now), so to get the full experience, you’ll want to watch it along with me, press play on your dvd player …… now:

0:00:00 START
0:00:39 … is there a movie from the 80s that DOESN’T have a wood-panelled station wagon?
0:03:18 oh god, I hope they don’t do that “break the fourth wall” thing throughout the whole movie
0:03:56 … shit, they really are, aren’t they
0:05:22 if this was around today, I’d assume he was gay
0:05:35 what?? WRONG! THE WALRUS WAS PAUL!
0:06:17 … I’ve seen that teacher in something before, I swear. I should IMDB him later.
0:06:57 oh hey cool, it’s the guy from Spin City
0:08:49 holy shit, that computer is SO HIGH TECH!
0:11:46 ew, did Jeanie just refer to her brother as a ‘trouser snake’?
0:17:26 the first black person of the whole movie!
0:18:07 as if they’d leave it to the school nurse to pass on the news of a death in the family!
0:23:23 seriously, is Ferris meant to be gay?
0:35:00 Cameron’s outfit does not work at all. A hockey jersey with brown slacks? And that hat!
0:36:14 very very nice. It explains the rope on the statue from earlier.
0:27:02 wow, that really is a fucking nice car
0:27:41 .. is she wearing shorts? Are they shorts?
0:28:40 jesus, they really are shorts. Fuck I love the 80s
0:29:04 first genuine laugh of the movie
0:29:32 stop talking into the camera!
0:31:14 aahh, so this is where “Save Ferris” comes from
0:31:58 This principal really has a lot of spare time on his hands
0:37:11 is it just me, or does this seem like a really lame day off? They’re not even drunk yet!
0:38:01 So was Steve Jobs a fan of this movie?
0:42:31 Seriously! Why is nobody drinking????
0:42:41 This Gloria Estefan wannabe is getting really annoying. I hate her character
0:46:02 hahahaha, those sunglasses are AWESOME
0:48:00 do they really have baseball games during the week? In the middle of the day?
0:48:48 Seriously, what is her problem?
0:49:19 Well, it’s nice to know where they got the idea for Home Alone
0:51:35 See, I don’t buy a school principal taking THIS much interest in 1 student. This guy has issues.
0:54:19 Really? An art gallery? How fucking lame are these kids?
0:55:50 Okay, now I’m confused – this is as normal school day and now there’s a parade? With children both in the parade and watching it? Why aren’t THEY in school?
0:57:41 And now I’m supposed to believe that Ferris has made it to the front page of the local paper??
1:00:48 Okay, now you’re really jumping the shark. I’m seriously close to turning this off.
1:03:43 And now he’s hurting animals? This principal is seriously not right in the head
1:04:43 … and breaking-and-entering
1:07:00 wait — so she doesn’t recognise the principal at her own school? wtf?
1:07:30 fucking hell, the towing companies don’t fuck around
1:09:30 Surely you’d just go back to the parking place and complain?
1:11:46 ooh good, we might at least get a good perve session in this scene. Let’s find out!….
1:13:11 hmmm, yeah, that’s not a bad view
1:13:56 holy shit, is that Charlie Sheen? Playing the part of Charlie Sheen? I wonder if he knows the camera is even rolling. They just pushed him onto the set and told him to take a seat.
1:15:32 THANK YOU CHARLIE SHEEN! THE ONLY VOICE OF REASON IN THIS MOVIE
1:16:32 Okay, this clearly is going to end badly. Hughes was never one for subtlety, huh.
1:18:23 What made them thing that that trick would even work?
1:19:19 here it comes…….
1:20:04 wouldn’t you turn the engine off?
1:21:25 aaaand there goes the car.
1:23:48 I must say, he’s being awfully calm about the wreck
1:27:22 I still don’t understand why she hates Ferris so much
1:27:46 wait — isn’t that the girl from Flashdance?
1:28:05 So I just went off to check IMDB, yeah, it is her
1:28:40 but yes, in case you haven’t guess, I haven’t seen Flashdance either
1:29:50 Mind you, I have no interest in seeing that movie either.
1:30:15 I can’t believe I’ve had to wait this long for the only decent part of the movie
1:31:05 No seriously, that principal is fucking disturbed. He would be fired in a minute.
1:32:37 If nobody was home, how did all the deliveries make it inside?
1:34:58 This song is the only good thing about this movie
1:35:26 that is the worst fake-driving I’ve ever seen
1:37:39 GOD WHY WON’T THIS MOVIE END???
1:38:45 THE END.

That was awful. Truly, truly awful. I mean, I know there’s always the factor of not having seen it back when it came out, so part of the point of the movie is kinda missed now that it’s been over 20 years since it came out, so maybe I would’ve enjoyed it more if I’d seen it back then. But now? Wow, this movie does NOT hold up well. Far too many plot holes, way too many cliche movie mechanics, terrible acting, unbelievable scenarios. Eugh. Just eugh.

I give Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 2 out of 5 Ferrari’s.

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