Project 101

Dan attempts to watch 101 movies in 12 months

Posts Tagged ‘2008’

#26 Choke

Posted by Dan on April 18, 2009

chokeOkay, so according to Wikipedia, Choke  “is based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. It tells the story of a man who works in a colonial theme park, attends sexual addiction recovery workshops, and at nights pretends to choke on food in upscale restaurants so his ‘rescuers’ would pay him out of sympathy and thus cover his mother’s Alzheimer’s disease hospital bills.”

So, I’m hooked already and I’m pretty damn keen to watch it. So let’s go through a list of things about this moving that have me excited about watching it:

the main character is played by Sam Rockwell,
it also has Angelica Houston, who’s an amazing actress,
it has Kelly MacDonald, who I have a huge crush on,
and it’s written by Chuck Palahniuk, the author of the book based on my favourite movie of all time, Fight Club.

Yet, despite all this… My god does this movie suck. I really wanted to like this, but the movie went absolutely nowhere for nearly 70 minutes, then in the last 20 minutes it totally falls apart and it feels like all these ends that were about to be tied up now frayed more than ever. There are almost far too many holes to make this even a mildly enjoyable film.

I can’t go on, I’m only going to trash it more and more. This is one of the most disappointing movies on my list so far.

I give Choke 1 out of 5 anal beads.

A long time ago in ancient Greece,there was a young girl who fell in love with a young boy from another country.One day word came that the young boy would have to go home.So on their last night together she traced the outline of her lovers shadow,so that she could always remember how he looked on the very last moments they were ever to be together.

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#24 Burn After Reading

Posted by Dan on February 12, 2009

burn_after_readingYou can usually pick a Coen brothers movie from a mile away, and this one is no different. In fact, you could probably pick this from 5 miles away. Mind you though, I’m still undecided on whether or not this is a good thing. When you’re a filmmaker, you can either keep making the same type of movie again and again and get accused of just churning out the same photocopy on film again and again, or you can finally do something different, and get accused of selling out – I mean, shit, just ask Kevin Smith. I guess the secret is finding something to churn out time and time again that’s actually good. And as much as I’d hate to admit it, the Coens have probably found it. But, this isn’t an essay on the Coen brothers (although I would love to write one).

One of the things I love about a movie by the Coens’ is that they almost have a celebration of the ordinary. There’s usually themes of average people, even losers, who manage to think that they’ve made it big, that they’ve hit some deep hardcore problems. It was evident in one of my favourite movies ever, The Big Lebowski, and it reeks here.

Burn After Reading has an amazing cast – Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, John Malkovich, as well as some cult favourites like the always-amazing JK  Simmons. It’s kind of hard to go into the a simply synopsis of the movie without writing for pages and pages, but needless to say, if you’ve liked previous Coen movies, you’ll like this one too. There’s some kind of sick fascination that I have with watching idiots get in over their head, and just witnessing the painful scenes that play out – kind of like in the original version of The Office. I can only watch a couple of these shows in a row because it’s so awkward. This is similar – it’s so hilarious, yet oh so painful to see these idiots (well, mainly Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand’s characters) who think that they’ve stumbled on some high-class military FBI secrets. But really, it’s just a book that Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) has written about his life working in the FBI, which is nowhere near as insightful as it could be.

It’s one of those great movies that has lots of characters with seperate storylines that always seem to end up being the same storyline with the same characters. The plot twists are ridiculous to the point of hilarity, and at times you just have to accept that what you’re watching really is happening. It’s only during the last few minutes watching JK Simmons sum up what you’ve ultimately just watched, that makes you realise how stupid the events that have just unfolded have been – but it’s an amazing ride that’s definitely worth a second visit.

I give Burn After Reading 4 out of 5 hard-bodies.

Rather than give the usual quotes from the movie, I’ll give you an excert from a great article I read about the movie:

Pitt, who plays a particularly unintelligent character in Burn After Reading, said of his role, “After reading the part, which they said was hand-written for myself, I was not sure if I should be flattered or insulted.” Pitt also said when he was shown the script, he told the Coens he did not know how to play the part because the character was such an idiot: “There was a pause and then Joel goes…’You’ll be fine.'”

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#19 Tropic Thunder

Posted by Dan on January 1, 2009

tropic_thunder_ver3I was really looking forward to this movie. I wanted to go see it at the movies, but I just never quite found the time to go. Thankfully due to the lightning speed that it seems to take movies to come out on dvd now, I didn’t have to wait that long.

I should have kept waiting.

This movie is awful. I’ve never been so disappointed in a movie like this for ages. I love Robert Downey Jnr, but his character was a bit of a one-trick pony and the funniest lines he had were already used in the preview. Jack Black was almost nonexistant in his usual comedic schtick, which seemed to be simply overrun by the other actors on the screen. Then there’s Ben Stiller. Fuck I hate that guy. The only thing I really liked about that movie was Tom Cruise’s role and the fact that Alpa’s man that he was in love with, “Lance”, turns out to be Lance Bass.

This movie was incredibly sub-par. Sure, I can see what they were trying to do with it, and I totally get it, but just the execution was awful. I even hated the commentary, which has Ben Stiller and Jack Black giving some really boring insights, and RDJ who kept in character the whole time.

I give this movie 2 out of 5.

“I know who I am – I’m a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude!”

P.S.
Here, as a treat, let me save you the copy of rental, the whole movie can be summed up in their trailer:

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#13 Definitely, Maybe

Posted by Dan on December 20, 2008

maybeposter1I know that any last shred of credibility has probably now flown out the window at the mere reading of this title, but please bare with me faithful reader, it’s worth it in the end.

I probably should’ve given up on the romantic-comedy thing after watching Elizabethtown, which was fucking woeful. But you know, as much as I wouldn’t normally like to admit it in public, I still have a soft spot for a good romantic comedy. I did say good romantic comedy. There are some shockers, trust me. Apparently “sarcasm is the lowest form of wit”, but generally, you can replace the word “sarcasm” with “romantic comedy” and replace “wit” with “film making”. It’s such a terrible cookie-cutter of a plot-line that it’s easy to dismiss it entirely.  While you can pretty much write off anything with Meg Ryan in it, every now and again, on a very rare occasion, a genuinely enjoyable romantic comedy comes along.

Definitely, Maybe is a movie that surrounds the tale of boy-meets-girl which starts after Wil Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) picks up his daughter Maya (Abigail “Little Miss Sunshine” Breslin) to find commotion at the school after the kids were taught some rather graphic and brutal sex education classes. Maya’s a naturally inquisitive girl, and eventually the questions turned to the typical “how did you and mummy meet?”. The story it tells, however, is anything but typical. Wil then tells the story to Maya, but changes the names along the way of his story of growing up and the 3 main relationships in his life, leading Maya to try and guess which one is her real mother.

I know it sounds really cheesey, and I guess in a way, it sort of is – but the cheese isn’t laid on thick. But it’s a nice story that’s told really well, and there are a lot of genuinely funny moments. I think the reason why I enjoyed this movie so much is because I wasn’t expecting to. It’s a very sweet story told lovingly by writer and director Adam Brooks, who’s previously brought us Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason, Wimbeldon and French Kiss. Fortunately though, this movie is far more enjoyable than anything else that Brooks has done before. Whether or not you’re a girl or a guy or whether or not you love or hate romantic comedy movies, if you’re looking for a nice feel-good movie about love lost, then won then lost again, this is the perfect one.

I give Definitely Maybe 4 pelvic thrusts out of 5.

Will: I had two serious girlfriends… and then some other smattering of other women.
Maya: What’s the boy word for ‘slut’?
Will: They still haven’t come up with one yet. But I’m sure they’re working on it.

PS
Charm, if you’re reading this, I know you’re going to want to comment, and I know what you’re going to say. Don’t bother, because I’ll never approve the comment.

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