The Movie Buffer

Monday, September 26, 2005

So long Famous Players, Capitol 7 has a new master now...The Empire

This may be news for some, but Famous Players is handing over control of the Captiol 7 theatre, the movie theatre on Princess next to the skateboard shop and the McDonalds, to the Empire movie conglomerate.

What does this mean to you and I? Well, they can change the prices and the show times. They can also change the types of movies they show. All I can say for now, before the handover is complete, it will be Empire Capitol 7 on friday for the release of Serenity, I hope that they realize that this is a student oriented market and they have to market the films there accordingly.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Film watching etiquette

This is another ongoing topic because one post is just not enough.

This one starts at home. The movie rental. Not all movies are viewed the same way: some require discussion during the movie (mulholland drive) and some need absolute silence (waking life). Lots of things get one my nerves about watching a flick at home and they are unlikely to stop until I get my own place, kill everyone around me or die. These are my top 4 pet peeves about rental movie viewing.

1. The "come-in-at-the-middle-and-ask-all-kinds-of-dumb-questions" problem.

Everyone has had this one. But what can you do? You tell the idiot to shut up and then he/she does and then at a crucial point in the plot they blurt something out. Goddamn! If only there was a way of watching the first part of the film again... Oh wait rewind the tape and watch it later or for you young'uns rewind the DVD!

2. The "Why did you rent this movie it looks stupid/infantile/animated" problem

To all those jackasses who think they're all that and a bag of partially gelatinized, non-gum based, dairy snacks, shut up! Just shut up! I spent my 5$ to rent this movie, crappy or not, and I intend on watching it. It may have been a mistake to do so but I'm not asking you to stay. I'm not pulling ye olde Clockwork Orange stunt and making you watch the Chronicles of Riddick with me. Just leave me be and you won't wake up to me shitting in your mouth.

3. The "I'm a film buff so it’s alright for me to ruin the movie with 2$ words" problem

Analysis of the film is key after everyone in the group has seen and watched the movie. During the film saying "The juxtaposition of light and dark in combination with the dolly work and angles give the film a pedantic and homoerotic feel. Kafka would be proud" is not only pointless because regular people don't know what that means but also rude because if what you're saying is true that one crazy plot line and everyone needs silence to understand it. Furthermore, thanks a lot moron, I can never watch the Care Bear movie again.

4. The "Is this the one" problem

This problem may be lumped in with the dumb questions problem but it is its own type of douche-baggery. The one where some mouth breathing cretin says " is this the movie where.....x?" where x is equal to the plot and the resolution of the film. In the immortal words of Dead Man on Campus “flush off, flushels!" Please enjoy this boot to the teeth.

Even I have am guilty of committing one or two of these sins but I paid dearly for it. Now that everyone know the rules, things should be getting better.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

On Movie Criticism pt. 1

I read reams of movie reviews and I have often wondered if a published film critic has ever given a movie they didn't like a good review on technical merit or the reverse.

For example, Napoleon Dynamite was a terrible movie because the characters were never really described or defined, though the film was bound to the "slice of life" style. When asked why anything happens the response is invariably "why not?". The Napoleon dance scene goes against anything we know about Napoleon's character. With all of this said, I would give the film a 6/10 or 3 stars because the film tries to deliver a segment of the characters lives, regardless of who they are, and it succeeds. The technical aspects of the film need some improving like editing, to make it flow seamlessly from story to story.

For my next witness, FourBrothers. I liked this film, but it was nothing more than mindless self indulgence. It had all the marks of a summer movie, Guns, car chase, Marky Mark, and minorities. The "get revenge" archetype was upheld in the film with several glaring plot holes and flubs. The movie's highlight, spoliers!!!, is when a panicking Andre3000 kills the hell out of a home invader with a butcher's knife. This film deserves nothing more that a 2 or 3/10 or a 1-1.5 star rating.

I think the problem stems from the fact that the ranking of films was never really taught to anyone and each review has their own scale within "stars" or "out of ten". Also, Movie critics are a dime a dozen and if they say something mean-spirited about a movie that truly stinks they can get burned and cut.

part 2 coming soon...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

*** note***

There will be some minimal spoilers in this review so if you don't want any of the plot or the characters revealed do not read on.

*** end note***

The Exorcism of Emily rose is being hailed as the first truly frightening movie of 2005. Based on a true story of an exorcism that was tape recorded, reviewers and critics alike are saying that this movie will make your skin crawl, your stomach turn and your hair stand on end.

The movie takes form of a person reciting what their part of the story is. Flashbacks are the main driving mechanism of the film. The lead is played by Laura Linney, you may recall she was Truman's wife in "The Truman Show", who does a reasonable job digging for the truth until the flashbacks kick in. Other notable stars in the film are: Tom Wilkinson, Juntao from "Rush Hour" and Shohreh Aghdashloo from "The House of Sand and Fog".

The movie was entertaining though not as creepy as was advertized. The crowd seem to like the style and there were a few screams that rang out every once in awhile. I would have liked to see more of the rituals, the demons and the evil but it was a good mix of horror and drama( screaming in fear and screaming in disbelief.) Though the film falls back on trade mark horror movie achetypes, spine tingling pizzicato violin background music, then silence, then a big thing out of nowhere with a crash of noise. The cinematography was on par with any horror flick so there isn't anything to complain about. My one big disappointment with the film was the lighting and some of the effects shots. The poorly lit scenes lent to a poorly described fear and the film lost a bit of the mood.

With its categorical flaws accounted for, I liked this movie because it was entertaining, not novel but worked well in the genre and it never got bogged down with the usual horror movie slow parts inbetween scary bits, which is remarkable.

I give this film a 5 out of 10, nothing spectacular and nothing really bad.

True story
pretty freaky
Good social comentary

Lighting made scenes hard to recognize
Linear plot with suspiciously convenient pop up evidence

Hello and Goodnight

This is a fairly usual blog topic film and entertainment reviews.

Though I am not trained as a critic, I have spent years of my life watching, enjoying and discussing film with my friends, family and other movie patrons. The discussion here will be short, too the point and blatanly plain. No artsy, pretentious bush beating.

In all cases there will be minimal to no movie jargon, "leet speak" or any other form of literary abortion mostly because I find it annoying and who really knows what "Kafka-esque" really means.

A little back ground on myself: I am a college student, in computer science, that spends most of his leisure time, not on the computer, but watching the new releases from the video store or going to see films at the local cineplex. I'm a sci-fi buff in every respect. I play around with digital photography. Video games are cool, the more turn-based the better.

Thats all I can think of right now, Things will keep coming up. And now for your feature presentation...