10 years ago
Just got back.
Kung Fu Hustle is an amazing achievement. It's now my favorite Chow movie, because it reaches an almost perfect balance between imaginative action and zany comedy. Its direction is a great combination of quick cuts and lingering long shots. The CGI obviously has quite a presence but so does the wire work, which is extremely well done. Its action sequences succeed on all accounts that The Matrix sequels failed on.
But the best part of this film is its style and homages. There are references to The Shining, West Side Story, Reservoir Dogs, Miller's Crossing, The Silent Era (City Lights and Buster Keaton in particular), Looney Tunes shorts, Sergio Leone, and many more.
The most impressive scene in the entire film was easily 2 hitmen (who look like a cross between Fu Manchu and The Man with No Name) using a stringed instrument as a weapon. There are nods to many films at this point, but this tip of the hat to Leone makes me smile just thinking about it.
If there are any problems (and there aren't many) it's that not every joke works. To be honest, there are some things that just made me cringe (e.g. the really fast running). But hey, when a movie is so chock full of jokes and action, it can't all work. So I give this stylish chopsocky flick 3 1/2 Stars.
Also, I will definitely be seeing 4 films at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival (I'll elaborate on them later):
- Layer Cake - A British Crime film.
- Dead Man's Shoes - A British Revenge FIlm.
- 4 - A Controversial Russian Dramas that won top prize @ the Rotterdam Film Fest
- Night Watch - A Russian Vampire Flick
I also want to see 2 films that are already sold out:
- Asylum - A Pyschological Thriller adapted from a Patrick McGrath book (the guy who wrote Cronenberg's Spider)
- Love - A NY-based Crime film with a nonlinear structure. It's already being compared to Pulp Fiction, so I just gotta see it.
10 years ago
The Pope (Sunday)
Being a member of Greenpoint, which features the largest Polish population outside of Poland, here are my thoughts on the senile old bastardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s death.
Yes, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to hell. But hey, I have to thank him for something, no school on tomorrow! On the subject of school: Fuck Latin. That is all.
The Mets (This Week)
Goddamn you for your lack of a bullpen! This is going to be a long seasonÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
I will definitely be seeing Kung Fu Hustle tomorrow. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the new film by Stephen Chow, best known for last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s big foreign success story, Shaolin Soccer. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a cross being marketed as Tarantino meets Buster Keaton, and judging from the trailer, it should be a really fun film.
If it gets good reviews (and I think thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a pretty damn good chance) I will see Fever Pitch, if only for the fact that it was adapted from a Nick Hornsby novel and the Farrelly Bros. have been due for another good movie (I enjoyed ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Something About Mary) for almost a decade now. And I might see Hostage. It got bad reviews, but I like Bruce Willis and the director is Florent Emilio Siri, who directed the French film The Nest. It's basically just an old-school, intense action flick with art house level direction. I dug it a lot.
10 years ago
What did I spend the past 14 days doing? (Yeah, I should update this daily, I know)
My godfather rode into town with his wife and 2 kids (Ages 3 + 7, respectively). So, whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the first thing you think of when you put young children and Easter together? Why, Church, of course. So off we go! What transpired was one of the longest awkward moments in recorded history. I have 2 kids screaming, crying, and fighting next to me. This obviously makes us the center of attention. I have not been to Church since I graduated from my parish (roughly 2 years ago). My valedictorian speech berated the school and has made it impossible for me to ever go back; even if I wanted to (I tried and was subsequently kicked out). Fuck them, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s being shut down in a few years due to lack of proper enrollment. So IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not exactly the most wanted person in the joint. Not only that, but the priest opened the sermon with a joke. I swear to God. Not only was it unfunny, but he had no comedic timing. Then the sermon, the guilt trip, what if Satan had beaten Jesus. I paraphrase the best parts:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If Satan had one, it would be okay for people to pull feeding tubes out of vegetables!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If Satan had won it would be okay to have gay marriage!Ã¢â‚¬Â
This is the priest that had a sermon on Harry Potter and how he was a bad influence on our youth due to his use of witchcraft. I almost threw something at him, but then I realized that I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be able to see Sin City in a jail cell. Then I went home and ate. A lot.
Wisdom Teeth (Monday Ã¢â‚¬" Present)
I waited at a fucking dentist for 2 hours to get 2 teeth removed. I was in much pain and took triple the amount of recommended painkillers within the first 24 hours. I was incapacitated all week, and looked like a chipmunk on crack. As I write this, I can still taste rank blood in my mouth, and this morning I spat out the last of those damn stitches. I hate dentists.
Movies (Thursday + Friday)
I saw the Korean revenge film Old Boy in theaters on Thursday. It was directed by Chan Wook-Park and won the Grand Prix (2nd Prize) at last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Cannes film festival. I think that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a solid 3 star movie; I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand the rave reviews. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s visually stunning, but the plot is just silly. I understand that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more like a Greek tragedy than a real revenge film, but some of the plot points donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work. Maybe itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s culture shock, but I like Takashi Miike films, so I doubt it.
I then saw Sin City on Friday at 12 pm (the first showing) with Finchmeister. I really wanted to go to the midnight showing, but that just didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work out. Oh well. It was a great throwback to 30s/40s noir films, but with a twist: itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s crossed with The Twilight Zone. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a huge fan of comics in general (MillerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in particular) and noir films, so I was born to enjoy this film. While the acting was inconsistent (hurting some of the great stilted dialogue in pointsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ such as Michael Madsen as HartiganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s partner, Bud) and some minor changes to the comics, it was the best film IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen in awhile. The visual style which I first glimpsed last year at the San Diego Comic Con has changed for the better; they really got the shadows down pat. The SDCC reel was cool, but this is beyond words; I can now safely say that going digital is the future of film. 4 Stars.
After that I picked up the Sin City soundtrack (which is sadly missing Ã¢â‚¬Å“CellsÃ¢â‚¬Â by The Servant but still really kicks ass) and Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Making ofÃ¢â‚¬Â hardcover (which has great production values) at Midtown Comics.
2015 years ago
"I take his weapons away from him. Both of them." ~ John Hartigan.