Saturday, November 18, 2006

Happy Feet

This is one of the few movies I've seen that have really left me speechless, but I'm not sure that's such a good thing.

At first there's a whole lot of cuteness and singing and I couldn't help but think: "This is 'Penguins: The Musical'!"

But then about half way through the movie it took a very drastic and strange turn. All the sudden it became this big allergory for American politics and I wasn't even sure of half the messages they were trying to dish out; though I did know they involved religious fanaticism.

If you feel like being cheered up, go see this movie. Nothing makes you smile more than a dancing penguin... but I really did feel overwhelmed with all the political messages they tried to incorperrate in this movie.

It was too much and I wish one of them had been left on the cutting room floor. The only political message I thought fit well was about fishing conservation because that's a big problem for both penguins and humans.

But seriously? Did it need so much more? Why not just have singing and dancing penguins!?! Why is that so wrong!?!


(I wrote this review the weekend the movie came out, but wrote it for my newspaper and didn't bother to post it. This will be printed in the November 21st issue of The Chronicle)

Borat is the tale of one man’s journey across American in order to meet Pamela Anderson. Along with his trustee producer Azamat (played by Ken Davitian) and a camera, Borat embarks on an unforgettable adventure all captured in one 84-minute documentary.

Only, it’s not technically a real documentary, because Borat isn’t real. He’s a character, originated on Da Ali G Show by Sacha Baron Cohen, whose sole purpose seems to be to find and offend anyone he possibly can.

That’s what the entire movie is, one long line of offensive jokes, and it’s worth every minute.

Cohen is really quite ingenious. By saying terrible things in interviews such as suggesting homosexuals should be killed, he gets others to admit they actually agree with this.

The whole point of Borat, and indeed this movie, is not that he’s offensive and terrible, but that there are people – real people – who are that offensive and terrible.

Of course, some people are still taken aback by Borat, being too closed-minded to take a joke. And then there’s the Kazakhstan government which actually threatened to sue Cohen.

Borat’s very similar to Stephen Colbert in one sense, putting on a façade just to bring attention to how ridiculous some of the things he’ll say in character are.

The movie starts off in a small Kazakhstan village, where the movie audience is introduced to life there, which includes fun activities such as bathing in a rather unique thong and The Running of the Jews (Cohen is Jewish).

Then Borat and Azamat head to New York where Borat watches Baywatch and decides he must travel to California in order to marry the woman of his dreams.

From start to finish this movie will have audiences laughing, even when something truly offensive does happen, such as a group of drunken frat boys admitting they thought slavery should be brought back.

But the movie wasn’t just jokes from start to finish, there were quite a few really sweet moments, dare I say heartbreaking?

When Borat is sitting in the back of the ice cream truck and talking to the camera all by himself, trying to keep a smile on his face even though his documentary is crashing down around him, you can’t help but sympathize with the racist, sexist, anti-Semitic shell of a man.

That being said, the naked man fight is perhaps the funniest thing ever seen on film. Cohen and Davitian are brave, brave men.

And the last scene in the movie will completely blow minds. It’s hard to believe what they did, and most people are theorizing that it was staged.

But, audiences will be the judge.

Go and see this movie, you won’t be disappointed, though you may be traumatized for life.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Grudge 2

I'm a pretty big fan of The Grudge and the Ju-On movies, so I went into the theatre with some fairly high expectations.

I wanted to see some creepy ass shit and be scared out of my mind and I was. For the past few nights I keep thinking that Kyako is going to crawl out of the crack of the door on my sliding closet.

But there was something to be desired throughout the whole film. The two different story lines didn't bother me, but all this was going on and there were so many characters to see that you felt cut off from them. I never once really cared about what would happen to them (except for Jake. I always feel bad for children in horror movies) and couldn't even tell you half their names.

The last five minutes of the movie totally rocked my world. There was this great sense of: "Oh man, I GET it." I mean, the movie wasn't confusing or anything, but the ending just tied up everything so well that it made up for some of the less appealing scenes (c'mon, the phonebooth? Not scary OR creepy).

All in all, good movie, go see it if you want a really good scare and don't forget to check out the other movies, because I still strongly believe that they're much better.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Jackass Number Two

(The following review will be published in Issue II of The Chronicle)

I took great pride in the fact that I’d never seen the Jackass TV show. When all my friends in high school would go on and on about it, I always felt a slight sense of superiority.

Well, I felt it was time to get over myself and go see Jackass Number Two (justifying it by publishing this review). I went out and bought the first movie to prepare myself for the sequel but mostly because it came with a free movie pass.

After all that though, I was still not prepared for what I witnessed. In fact, I strongly believe that having now seen this movie I’m still not sure I’m prepared to see it.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so continuously horrified, offended and sickened. There were two specific scenes (though I’m not going to tell you which in order to keep this spoiler-free) where I did gag and almost threw up.

There was a scene at the beginning where my 250-pound male friend was so terrified at what he was witnessing that he grabbed onto my arm, screaming, until my hand went numb.

But I could not stop laughing.

Even while I was gagging I was laughing – which certainly made matters worse. I can’t even tell you how funny this movie was without saying something extremely cliché such as: “This was the funniest movie I’ve seen all year.” Which, I’m sorry to say, it was.

Comparing this movie to the first one, I have to say the second is faster paced. The stunts/pranks don’t go on for as long, so you never get bored and in between everything are small vignettes of the Jackass boys (Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Dave England, Ehren McGhehey, Brandon DiCamillo, Preston Lacy, and Jason "Wee-Man" Acuña) doing something even dumber and funnier than what you just saw.

It never lets up and once we got to the ending I felt a great sense of disappointment that I wouldn’t be able to see any more of the stupidity.

I mean, what else would you call piercing your own cheek with a fishhook and then jumping into water teeming with man-eating sharks (oops, was that a spoiler?) if not sheer, absolute and unbelievable stupidity?

And I loved it! Oh forgive me mom, I loved every terrible second.

One thing I can’t wrap my head around though, is how the Jackass boys actually remain friends. Their favourite pastime seems to be hitting each other in the balls when it’s least expected. I am positive that whenever they sleep in close quarters they lay awake terrified by what their ‘friends’ might be planning.

There were two scenes where their friendship really came into question. Two pranks on Margera and McGhehey were so terrible that they actually started crying.

And may god have mercy on my soul, I was still laughing.

Strangely enough, I still felt my sense of superiority. I couldn’t help but think that not only had I not paid money to watch this, but I was a better human being than these boys in almost every way. From the way they treated each other, to the stupid things they did to themselves and the fact that they let people film it.

I do have to give them kudos though, for the simple fact that although they might be doing this for money, they’re also doing it for the enjoyment of bored people such as me. There are not a lot of people out there risking life and limb (and friendship) just to get people to laugh.

Maybe that isn’t actually something they can be proud of, but I’m still thankful and I’m sure everyone else (not including the humourless) who sees this will be too.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Since about March I have been heralding the arrival on Snakes on a Plane. I couldn't wait until August 18th to see this movie, so I got myself some advance tickets to the preview on the 17th. I just got home 40 minutes ago, and I am still psyched.

I was expecting Snakes on a Plane to be awesome, but I am in actually disbelief about how good this movie actually was. I honestly believe that people who weren't all excited about this movie will love it nonetheless.

Is the plot somewhat farfetched and ridiculous? Of course. But they still did it well. The fact that they managed to keep the movie going for almost two hours (with some well-placed cuts back to the mainland and the reactions there) and still have it be exciting and interest was a feat in itself.

Samuel L. Jackson was incredible. Especially at the end with the reaction shots he was giving to Keenan Thompson.

The crowd I saw this movie with was just great. There was hissing and excited screams and applause and rubber snakes being thrown in the air. It kind of had the feel of one of those midnight films that people have seen so many times and enjoy and cherish every moment of it. Hell, maybe this will become a midnight film. There's no doubt that it's already a cult classic and will be a blockbuster.

The theatre was packed and everyone loved it.

You must see this movie. MUST. You will actually keel over and die if you do not go see this movie in the theatre. So go now, to the motherfuckin' theatre and go see Motherfuckin' Snakes on a Motherfuckin' Plane!

P.S. Check out the article I published: Falling in love with Snakes on a Plane. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Superman Returns

I told myself I’d write a review for Superman Returns, and over a week later here I finally am,

Let me explain something first. I hate Superman. I think he’s a dick and far too perfect. But this movie was awesome!

I love how it started after the second Superman film, because I think I would have gone absolutely insane trying to sit through his origin again. We get it, kid from Krypton, planet blew up, kryptonite bad.

I have no idea who this Brandon Routh character is, but he’s incredibly hot and incredibly talented and hey! he’s a Libra! That’s all I need to know. He’s gonna become very famous very soon.

Kate Bosworth was cool, especially in the scene where she got slammed in the head with a steel door – in 3D!!!

Oh yeah, go see the 3D if you can. It really is worth the slight annoyance of having little green lights flash to tell you to put on glasses. My only regret is that the entire movie is not is 3D. Would that really have been so bad?

Kevin Spacey? OMG KEVIN SPACEY!!!

Parkey Posey was brilliant and Kal Penn’s role should have been bigger and the effects were super (no pun intended).

Alas, if only Bryan Singer and his writer crew could have come back for X3. I weep, oh how I weep.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Banlieue 13 (District 13)

Lovers of kung-fu, sci-fi, France, hot men and/or incredible action sequences, rejoice!

I thought that this movie would be good because it was made by the same people as Ong-Bak, one of my favourite movies. However, two things took me by surprise. 1) This movie was absolutely incredible. I loved every second of it. There really was nothing that I didn't like about it. 2) It was French.

Yeah, like most good kung-fu (ok, so there's no actual kung-fu in this movie, but that's just the best way to describe the fighting in this movie. Because honestly, the fighting in this movie in indescribable) movies you have to sit through sub-titles. 'Course being that I speak French, this really didn't bug me. Though it did amuse me just how much the French say 'merde' and how little Americans are willing to translate it.

Now, onto the actors.

I'm pretty sure that I want to marry and bear the children of David Belle (Leito - the main character). I really don't know what better way to put it. He's completely replaced my love-lust for Tony Jaa (Ong-Bak), though some of that may have to do with the fact that I could actually communicate with David Belle. Good actor, good looking, good hair, good god...

Cyril Raffaelli (Damien) looked like the French love-child of Jason Statham and Vin Diesel, which is amusing because I just found out that Raffaelli was Statham's stunt double in The Transporter. Anyway, he was incredible in the fights and not so bad on the acting plane.

Though really, this isn't an 'acting' kind of movie.

Dany Verissimo (Lola) was great for the 10 minutes she was actually in the movie. She was also the only woman in the ENTIRE movie. I didn't actually notice this until after seeing the movie, which I guess just goes to prove that the movie was so good one doesn't even notice such a grand imbalance in the sexes.

I could probably go on praising this movie for another thousand words, but really one thing needs to be said: GO SEE THIS MOVIE NOW!!!

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

The Omen

My first impression was something along the lines of: "Oh man, this is sooooo much better than I thought it would be!"

I never really liked the original. I bought it some time ago and was kinda bored with it, but I recognized the potential and understood why people would like it so much. This remake (and I'm sure people will disagree), took everything that was wrong with the original and made it far, far better.

The story and all the plot-points are the same, but things seem to fit better this time around. The look is better, the effects are better, the acting the same (as in very good in both versions) and those dreams were wicked!

I especially loved Liev Schreiber. I've never really cared about him before, but he was just awesome in this. I really felt for him (and he was really hot... but this is not important!). Julia Stiles was good, but I had a hard time buying her being old enough to have a child. That's not her fault though, that's mostly because I just re-watched 10 Things I Hate About You the other week. Pete Postlethwaite played a priest... again. He was incredible and all, but nothing special or different. Mia Farrow freaked the hell outta me, good work Mia.

David Thewlis is my god, 'nuff said.

Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick (Damien) was nothing special. He just kinda looked confused for the whole movie, but one can't except too much from a five-year-old.

Not to give too much away, but the ending of this movie really touched me. It was the same as the original, but Liev Schreiber was absolutely heart-wrenching to watch.

Go see this movie, now, NOW I SAY!!!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand

Mmm... Hugh Jackman... mm... Hugh Jackman as Wolverine... mmm... Hugh Jackman as Wolverine with no shirt on...



... Uh, right, but in all seriousness folks. *Clears throat*

First and foremost, I hate the title. 'The Last Stand'? That's so fucking corny. But a title does not make a movie. Now there is lot to like about this movie. The acting was superb, the CGI was astonishing, the fights were SO FUCKING AWESOME!!! So those three things made this movie incredibly enjoyable, but there were a few hiccups.

The first 20 minutes or so of the movie were extremely jarring. They were trying to introduce about 30 new characters and five plot lines and it felt very rushed and annoying. For people who haven't read the comics, I think they'll hate the first bit, because they're really not going to know who's who.

Phoenix was awesome. Phoenix's explanation was bullshit. I can understand them not wanting to go down the road of the aliens, but a split personality? Ugh. It just came out of nowhere and felt really - sorry to be repeating myself - jarring.

I hated the music. John Powell should never work again. I hate you John Powell, you ruined almost every dramatic moment!

So, to recap, there's a lot to love, but a lot to hate, which makes this movie the worst out of the three X-Men movie. However I did like this movie. I just don't think many non-comic book people will like it very much.

Now where was I?

Oh right... mmm... Hugh Jackman...

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Rocket

Before going to see this movie I read a review and it was less than flattering, but I still went to see it because I was in a hockey mood (play-offs and all). I have to say that reviewer had his head up his ass. I really liked this movie. Now I'll admit that it wasn't the best movie I've ever seen, but it certainly was enjoyable and worth checking out (though I suppose it's something that can wait until DVD).

Roy Dupuis was just frakking amazing. There's really little more I can say on that. I thought he was absolutely fantastic, and my father (who's a big Maurice Richard fan) leaned over half-way through the movie to tell me that he'd been cast perfectly. Good on you Roy, I hope you get an award (though, who are we kidding, it'll probably just be a Genie).

I also really liked the fact that they kept the French French and the English English (though being that I speak French I may be slightly biased. I hear some people were rather annoyed at having to read subtitles half of the time).

There were three things that kind of annoyed me about this movie. The simplest one was that I wish there had been more hockey, though I'm glad they didn't sacrifice the other aspect of Maurice Richard's life to show the hockey.

Another thing that annoyed me was Julie LeBreton. I'm not saying she was a bad actress, she was good, though all her role entailed was to look worried once in a while. My problem with her is that she looks 33 (maybe she is 33, I don't know) and the first time you see her in the movie she's supposed to be 17. Fuck! They should have hired someone who was 20 or something, then they could just age them through good ol' fashioned movie magic, because it really takes you out of the moment trying to pretend this woman is 16 years younger. For the record, I also know Roy Dupuis is far older than his role, but his acting was so amazing that I barely noticed it (and even then, only for the first five minutes).

The third, and final, thing was that I felt things weren't explained very well. For someone who doesn't know a whole lot about Maurice Richard, I found myself lost at a few scenes and it would take me a few minutes to figure out when it was and what was going on. Though this shouldn't be a problem for most hockey fans.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Silent Hill

The simple review to Silent Hill is that I didn’t like it, but what kind of a review is that? After all, I didn’t think that it was a terrible movie; it just fell below my expectations.

This movie was exactly like the game. It looked like the game, sounded like the game, felt like the game, but it wasn’t the game, it was a movie and it seemed like someone forgot that. The dialogue was like chewing cardboard and the acting was… well, it just seemed like the actors were only there for a paycheck.

I’ll give them bonus marks on the makeup and special effects; Pyramid Head was incredible to see.

The plot was acceptable, but it seemed rather small and unimportant. The movie seemed to be putting a lot of it’s stock into being seen as a very pretty movie. They didn’t try very hard with the plot.

Sean Bean rocked, he should have been in more of the movie… and he should have died. It’s unnatural to not have Sean Bean die in a movie.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

V for Vendetta

This is probably the most powerful movie I have ever seen and definitely one of the best movies I have seen in the past year (this is counting 2005). From the previews I thought it would be awesome and being a comic book geek I've been eagerly awaiting it for almost a year. Now normally when something gets hyped up like that there is no way it can live up to your expectations, but this simply went above and beyond them.

The movie's theme is not original, in fact it's basically the sequel of 1984 (both movies cast John Hurt as well, though in completely different roles), but that's not important. I love movies that are all about governments going too far and the people finally standing up to them. It inspires me to believe that we can really make a difference in our world, but I've never seen a movie with this theme that has moved me so much. Yes, it's moved me so much that I have begun to use cliches in order to explain my feelings towards it.

"I laughed, I cried, it moved me Bob."

There were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way, like Natalie Portman's accent. Now, I have nothing against Natalie Portman, I love her in fact. I think she is a great actor and I think she did an incredible job in this movie, but her accent just sounded really fake. I suppose we can't win 'em all... I also wasn't entirely sure if I liked some of the director's (James McTeigue) choices in the fight scenes. In the last action scene with V vs. Creedy and his goons they made it look like a comic book which in turn made it look a little too Matrixy for my taste, but I still think it was a cool scene.

I recommend that you go and watch this movie in the theatres, because it is most certainly worth the money and if you are reading this too late to do that, go and buy the DVD. You will not regret it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Well, in a word: interesting. In a sentence: Not entirely good and not entirely bad.

It was nothing like I expected it to be, mostly because the preview didn't show anything other than scenes of people being tortured. Basically I expected to sit through a movie entirely composed of disturbing events. The first scene of the movie however was in Amsterdam and involved lots of drugs and sex. I was puzzled, but found it all amusing so I didn't care. That's how the movie continued for about 45 minutes. Lots of drugs and as many tits as one sees in a porn.

Still, I found the movie funny so I didn't mind. Then of course people FINALLY start getting tortured. You don't see a lot of it though, and the only thing that really disturbed me I've actually seen in other movies before. So nothing new, nothing special. I didn't really care about any of the characters until Pax (Jay Hernandez) put a suit on. Suddenly I was invested! It's strange how a nice black suit can make the most boring of people suddenly attractive and bad-ass.

The movie was also really short! I couldn't believe how fast it went by, but being that there were only three main characters and a plot that really only belongs in a short story, I can forgive that. The movie would have really reeked something awful if they'd tried to carry it any longer.

All in all, good movie, but I won't be seeing it in the theatres again.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Underworld: Evolution

Yay, first review of the year!

Go see this movie. I thought it was going to suck, I didn't even want to see it, by Kat showed some interest, and I think Scott Speedman (we'll talk more about him later) is hot. So we went, and I was pleasantly surprised.

It takes off right where the last movie ends, Selene (Kate Beckinsdale) and her newly acquired puppy Michael (Scott Speedman) trying to find a safe place, Korvin headin' off to kill Marcus, Marcus waking up, etc. And it jumps right into the action. It really feels like a continuation of the first movie, like they are one, like Kill Bill. So if you haven't seen the first one, DO NOT see this one. You will have no idea what's going on.

So, right, Scott Speedman. I am almost 100% positive that it is in his contract to be shirtless for half the movie (both movies, actually). He is absolutely adorable though! I've only seen the man in three movies (Underworld 1, Underworld 2, and The 24th Day), but he always plays the most adorable person. I adore him and his little lost puppy ways ("Love me Selene!").

Also, I always loved how they (Michael & Selene) never had sex or had a mad passionate kiss in the first movie, but was absolutely ecstatic that they had both in the sequel. *Squee*

Now, there were a few things that confused us. The biggest one being: WHERE ARE THEY!?! So I spent all day trying to figure this out. We couldn't figure out how they seemed to be in America in one movie, and then seem to be in Hungary and France in the sequel. Well, in the first movie she looks up Michael's address, it says he lives in Budapest, Budapest is in Hungary. It makes sense!!! But why are they speaking English?

I believe I’ve rambled sufficiently. Movie: good. Scott Speedman: Adorable. Kate Beckinsdale: HOT!!! Plot Holes: There, but easily dismissed.