Posts Tagged ‘movies’

pretty wack..

Tue ,06/02/2018

yet, cool.

Willy Wonka dialogue as a sax and drum jazz duet

candybowl

Stormtrooper!

Wed ,17/01/2018

Saw (finally) The Last Jedi last night. Spoiler-laden review coming next, but in the meantime… 🙂

candybowl

Being Evel.

Wed ,03/01/2018

Saw this documentary yesterday – pretty interesting, actually. It’s a look back at the life of Evel Knievel, hosted in part by Johnny Knoxville, several of Evel’s contemporaries, and sports broadcasters like Frank Gifford (RIP), Jim McKay and other ABC Wide World of Sports luminaries. Weirdly, Geraldo is in there too.

As a kid in the 70’s, we all knew about Evel – hard to not know about him. And i’m halfway sure I had one of those Ideal Stunt Cycle toys they show (or had friends who had one – I definitely remember the commercials). I also remembered that EK had spent a bit of time in jail, but didn’t know the details until seeing this movie (pretty scary, actually).

I was also very vague on the whole Snake River rocket jump attempt in ’74, but they sure go into a lot of detail here – sounds like a scary event for a lot of reasons, most of them not positive (for attendees as well as EK). As the story progresses from around that point and beyond, his decline and excesses get hard to watch, and in a couple of key areas, hard to forgive.

While I’m not ready to lionize him quite the way that Johnny Knoxville, Tony Hawk and others seen here do – you can’t argue with his influence on their (and similar) careers, and the industries they spawned (extreme sports, X-Games, etc.).

And I definitely *will* say, that he’s a true American Icon, for better or worse (to the filmmakers’ credit, they cover both) – and yet another example of being true to your dreams.

candybowl

Logan…

Mon ,01/01/2018

finally got around to watching Logan tonight – definitely one of the better X-Men movies, but a few comments (which could be taken by some as spoilers, be forewarned):

1) pretty over the top violent, even with the lead guy having blades fly out of his hands as per usual. We’ve actually been watching Daredevil a bit lately too, and while that show lacks (for the most part) super powers (Daredevil is not a mutant), it’s violent like this one was….

2) there are a lot of influences going on here, from Terminator 2 to The White Mountains, to Escape to Witch Mountain being the most obvious in my mind. Unlike T2, there’s very little to no ‘end of the world monologuing’ a la Linda Hamilton here, however. And unlike the other two, there’s definitely a much darker tone, especially compared to E2WM. Nor was there a ‘rescue’ by other hideout mutants at the end the way I was expecting (following from the White Mountains or E2WM plots).

3) I was a bit unclear on how Charles Xavier is alive in this movie, when he was killed by Jean Grey in the 3rd movie – the 4th movie doesn’t count because that was time travel, and I haven’t seen the Apocalypse one yet.

4) I’m also a little skeptical that they could kill off nearly the entire world’s mutants in the space of only about 25 years(?) – in the early movies, we were led to believe that there were only going to be more and more mutants, and, what about all those that already existed – only Logan, Charles, Caliban and these ‘manufactured’ kid mutants exist over the whole world? Hmm.

Otherwise, it’s pretty good, although also pretty long (clocks in at almost 2.5 hrs).

candybowl

A good point!

Mon ,25/12/2017

happy holidays!

candybowl

Norm!

Mon ,04/12/2017

Besides Maria Bamford, I think Norm is my favorite comic.

candybowl

K2: Siren of the Himalayas

Thu ,02/11/2017

So I’m on a bit of a mountain climbing movie kick now, for whatever weird reason, following on from the Everest Unmasked movie of mid-Oct. This time, it was the recent K2 documentary from 2009. I’ve also decided that I don’t want to watch either ‘movies’ of mountain climbing unless there’s some other aspect of the plot too (e.g James Bond flick or something) – I’d rather just work through the scary-enough truth of these crazy climbs via actual documentaries. Besides these two movies, I’ve seen Touching The Void several years ago not long after it came out.

So once again in watching this film, there were parts of the movie where I wanted to just shut it off – they are up SO high. Plus on K2, unlike others, they do a up-down style so they can survive acclimatizing to the extreme lack of oxygen and climb itself, so they go up to Camp 2, then back down, then up to Camp 3, then back to 2, and so on.

The personalities here are a bit more interesting than the two guys in Everest Unmasked, but R. Messner from that climb went on to become one of the greatest climbers of all time in the decades since (they briefly mention his summit of K2 years ago on what seems to be the most difficult possible way).

Even the drive to get them into the mountains and then long hike to base camp seem far more extreme than Everest by contrast, even though Everest is of course the highest peak on earth (K2 is #2). But they show stats early on about how much tougher and far fewer summits have been done on K2 vs. Everest.

Finally, a great counterpoint in this documentary is the story of the first summit attempt, way back in 1912, by an Italian duke. They intersperse that story with the modern one throughout the movie, makes it even more impressive for both expeditions in the end, in my opinion.

Check it out!

Other perspectives:
Rotten Tomatoes

candybowl

Insane…

Wed ,18/10/2017

Anyone who knows me knows – I don’t like heights, and never have. Watching this from the comfort of terra firma is STILL wild to consider. This is the story of the first two guys to have climbed Everest without oxygen, way back in 1978. I recently read the Outside article on it, and found the short movie made at the time (Everest Unmasked), linked below.

It’s about 51 minutes, spends about 12 min giving some of the history and the middle portion details the danger, including two major Sherpa accidents that happened. The last half of the movie is the best part, especially in detailing the two climbers’ final success.

here are two more NOVA links on the topic too, including one from a person involved in the first Everest summit by Sir Edmund Hillary back in the 60’s.


Everest Unmasked – Everest without oxygen (1978) by optimari

candybowl

Shin Godzilla!

Sat ,12/08/2017

So, in response to the big success of Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla film (discussed earlier here) – the original Godzilla film company – Toho – decided to do yet another Gz film of their own. The result: Shin Godzilla, which just came out on DVD and Blu-Ray this month.

Funimation, god love ’em, actually did a limited release of this movie in theaters last year(?) – and I went, but like an old loser, fell asleep midway through the movie so missed most of it – doh! So I’ve been waiting for it to come out on DVD so I can actually watch the whole thing through.

My take: mixed feelings. So on the one hand, the special effects are definitely in the top tier of any of the Toho Godzilla films – especially when the earlier mutant version of Gz is waddling through down (there is no other way to describe it) and crushing boats, rivers, trains and buildings – very, very realistic looking, even if Gz doesn’t look very dangerous at that point – yet.

But then on his second run of destruction through town, the battle is a bit too drawn out (timewise) even if a bit too abbreviated (battle-wise). You see, the filmmakers are obviously putting in a lot of human commentary on Japan’s current political situation – the first half hour of the movie if not a bit more is spent spoofing meeting, after meeting, after meeting, at the govt level and how they are ‘paralyzed by process’, even when faced with a giant mutant nuclear-fired monster is about to stomp their country into oblivion.

While this setup is funny at parts, it drags on a bit too much – bring on the monster!

My other minor/major gripes are two – Godzilla himself looks like he’s wearing a weird chest-jutting haltertop underneath his skin when he finally assumes the role he was born to do – his upper body is just weird looking. His skin looks much closer to General Tsao’s Chicken than the usual scaly, rubbery mutant we know and love, and most egregious – his roar is severely muted, if you hear it at all.

This last was largely my big gripe for the Gareth Edwards film, likely because he probably couldn’t license the sound, but Toho OWNS that roar – hel-lo?

Also, as you see in many Gz movies, they play up the ‘sympathy’ angle more than a bit – especially when the military is (literally) dropping buildings on him left and right. In the older movies when this happens, he really gets pissed off – and to some degree that happens here, but we never really see the big ‘rage moment’ that happens at least once or twice in the older movies. Disappointing – I wanted to see more destruction!

The actors are good otherwise, although the ‘americans’ mostly appear off camera with pretty stilted dialogue. And the notion of a Japanese-American woman becoming President by her 40th bday is fine by me, bring it!

So I think in the end the movie is definitely worth watching but a bit too long and not enough Godzilla. I think on balance still my fave movie is Godzilla 2000 – easily the scariest looking Gz in any of the movies, definitely among the most badass, especially at the end.

Other voices:
Rotten Tomatoes
Metacritic

candybowl

The Big Sick – go Kumail!

Sun ,23/07/2017

What a great movie – we’ve been fans of Kumail Nanjiani for some time – his standup is funny, and he’s great in Silicon Valley too, plus where he shows up in other stuff occasionally – but his new movie, The Big Sick, could be huge for him – it’s the story of how he met his wife, Emily.

No spoilers here – just go see it!

other reviews:
Rotten Tomatoes
Metacritic

candybowl