Saturday, December 11, 2010


Considered the best of several films on the life of Martin Luther (Niall MacGinnis), this 1953 black-and-white classic reveals the Europe of Michaelangelo firmly under the thumb of the Roman Catholic Empire. While still a professor of theology at the University of Wittenberg  and a Augustian monk, Martin called for sweeping reforms of the Roman Catholic Church. Martin`s preaching and writings, in particular his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517, led to a clash with Pope Leo X (Phillip Leaver) and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (Hans Lefebre) resulting in Martin`s excommunication and eventually to the Protestant Reformation.

The stories place in time is the same period as "The Agony And The Ecstasy", and though Enry Iggins made the more stylish pope, the contrast of Italian and German settings and the financial woes bemoaned by both versions of the papacy (they were all worried about paying Michaelangelo and Raphael) made both of these movies more interesting.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


In a civilization ruled by light and darkness Neil Geiman and Dave McKean (creators of "Coraline") meld live actors and animated ones to portray the existance of a fifteen year old girl named Helena (Stephanie Leonidas). Working with her family`s circus, she wishes she could run away and join real life. Instead, she finds herself on a strange quest into "the Dark Lands," where with the help of the juggler Valentine (an important man with his own tower) she must recover the charm and restore the balance.

 This 2005 fantasy film is from Jim Henson Pictures, with music composed by Ian Ballamy. Notably, the musical contributions of Josephine Cronholm brought an intresting touch of silky sad but certainly odd and somewhat discomfiting tone to the already amazing dimensionality we found ourselves adrift in, and yes, "I too felt myself lucky to have seen it at all."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This Jamaican film released in 1991 is a tale of the lunatic (village madman) Aloysious (Paul Chambers). Based on a novel by Anthony C Winkler, it is told from a Jamacian perspective with careful attention to Jamacian dialect and the ambiance of village life. "The Lunatic" follows village idiot Aloysious who talks to trees, cows, bushes, even cricket balls, and his best friend the huge hard tree he usually sleeps under. When the busty German nymphomaniac Inga (Julie C Wallace) captures his heart the bush warns him but, her pum pum power has him wrapped up tight. Directed by Lol Creme this child like romp had me rooting for my hero Aloysious Ideomatic Gossamer Impracticable... and hopping he could shake off the tyrany of the rule of the pum pum.

Aparently someone has gone to considerable effort to eradicate all clips, trailers, and even images from YouTube, IMDb, and even MSN. I found this washed-out looking poster, but there's no telling how long it'll be allowed. As of this August 30 2011 update, the movie is still accessible on Netflix Instant View list, wohoo! 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It is now that my life is mine. I`v got this short time on earth. These are a pair of lines from Gabriella`s song shown with the credits at the end of the movie. In this 2004 Swedish film directed by Kay Pollak, Daniel Daréus (Michael Nyquist) a world famous conductor at the height of his career returns to the small village of Norrland where he grew up. Physically and emotionally in need of a new start, he is nonetheless unable to refuse to at least have a listen to the local choir. Reluctantly he agrees to work with them, and is caught up in their lives as he shares his life-long joy of music. Daniel`s life and the people of Norrland will never be the same.

This Oscar nominated film written by Kay Pollak, Anders Nyberg, Ola Olssen, Carin Pollak and Margaretha Pollak, is one of my favorites. The music was beautiful and the story was heart warming. However the beauty and warmth don`t shield us from the dark memories of childhood bullying or the enmity and jealousy that still swirls around him as his work with the chior becomes a threat to the status quo of the tiny insular village in the far north of Sweden.


No, not the Polish MMORPG. Nah, this was much harder to find the skinny on. Written by Ramesh Thadani and directed by Tom Shell. Pinning down who was who was made challenging by way of no findable full cast list. Julien (Tony Todd) was head plum munching vampire. Dam , what`s up with a bunch of fruit eatin vampire witches? I`m sure I tried to watch this movie at least once before. I must`ve missed the beginning last time or I`d have bailed too soon to even recognize it this time. Our hero Nick Holmes (Jason Pierce) is a pacifist, hippie, college student turned reluctant Tia Che Dancin, vegetarian, vampire. We got a bunch-o fruit eatin vampire witches and Darren (Cameron Zeidler) roid raging redneck fraternity warlock (he was hiding his face in the only cast list I could find). Ok, I admit I didn`t last thirty minutes on my first attempt at viewing this ham-handed, college vampire, "classic." But the not so vague similarities to "Cirque Du Freak" tweaked my imagination enough for me to give it another chance.

Seems to me like sombody took a copy of this scipt ard sat down with a red pencil and a type writter and went, love it, lose it, love it, lose it, uh huh. Now all it needs is Dewey Cox, a bigger budget, spiders, a freak show, and an ending. Voila "Cirque Du Freak!"

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Man these aisles are tight! Ok so maybe it isn`t fair for me to rate every cool sounding movie whose name I find onna list. But is it fair not to be able to mention one just because I wasn`t tuff-enuf to hang in there till the very end? Under the "Movies You`ll Love" on the netflix page I have rated 3,403 movies so far. That doesn`t mean I`ve had time (or interest) enough to watch any where near, all of, that many movies. It doesnt take an hour or two to tell that you don`t wanna be some places, and rather than a review those are only a rating. More of a way to keep from stepping in something icky again and again than a description

Still even though I don`t wanna watch enough for a fair review, some of these were trippy enough to be memorable, if not something I`d recommend. The first one to pop to mind in this regard falls into the Japanese horror category, but damn! After looking into a few of it`s clips on YouTube I had to rethink even quoting the name. Talk about stepping in something something icky. The grisly clips I just found were enough to make me rethink the whole idea of proffering the names of movies I couldn`t stomach watching all the way through. It`s quite possible that they were even worse than the one I just now almost foisted on my unsuspecting readers, oy!

Ok so I`ll continue watching them before calling attention to them. It`s embarrassing enough to admit I didn`t bail on some of these I did watch. If it sucks don`t watch it. Just because somebody had the money and time to make it into a movie doesn`t mean it`s worth a crap, and if you think it`s awful now it`s libel to get worse inna minute. You`ve gotta watch out what you allow people to pour into your head. Like Monk said, " You`ll thank me later."

Friday, September 17, 2010


Oona (Emma Caulfield) had her Timer installed at puberty, 15 years ago, and it still hadn`t begun to count down. This was a deceptively ordinary feeling movie. Oona (who also played Anya on Buffy The Vampire Slayer) was a plesant enough girl, but now approaching 30 she was getting a little obsessed about her Timer. The Timer was a" mostly painless" implant installed at a TiMER boutique," If you don`t have the timer you`re not really trying to find true love."

Weirdly funny and at the same time a little too close to home. As if dating wasn`t complicated enough, the Timer guaranteed to tell the date and time you`d find your"one and only," ow no pressure. This 2009 movie written and directed by Jac Schaeffer is his film debut. A damn nice first up, even if it did sneak out there, I gotta feeling it`ll be fun for quite awhile yet.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I`ve got to say "The Color Of Magic" was excellent. Directed by Vadim Jean and writen by Terry Pratchett and Vadim Jean it was released in the UK in 2008. "The Color Of Magic" begins with a chance meeting of Ankh-Morpork`s oldest and worst student wizard and the city`s first tourist.

Forced by the uncannily well informed Patrician Lord Havelock Vetinari (Jeremy Irons) the incompetent and cynical wizard Rincewind (David Jason) involuntarily becomes a guide for naive tourist Twoflower (Sean Astin). Accompanied by his trusty Sapient pear-wood trunk Twoflower is determined, with Rincewind`s help, to see all the most memorable sights Ankh-Morpork has to offer.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This 2009 film written and directed by Julie Davis follows Jody Balaban (Leelee Sobieski) through her first year in Hollywood. Her determined searching finally leads to a promising job offer.

  Reminiscent of The 2004 movie"Girl Next Door," another warm, sexy, feel good comedy with another cameo by Ron Jeremy as (himself). At least he wasn`t naked. Hey they even managed to get underpants on Ricky Bobby.

Friday, September 10, 2010


"Travelrers And Magicians" is a 2003 Bhutanese Dzongkha language film written and directed by Khyentse Norbu a reincarnate lama of Tebitan buddhism, who is also known as Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche. This movie is the first feature film shot entirely in the kingdom of Bhutan.This movie was so cool I got whole new genre name out of it,"divergent cultural templates." It wasn`t just that it was in Dzongkha, or that the scenery of Bhutan was so different (it just looked mountainous). It was more like the weird humor of "Nacho Libre." The everyday events colored by the filter of a basically different set of expectations.

As a westernized civil servant Dondup (Tshewang Dendup) makes his way from his isolated village to the capital city of Thimphu on his way to America, he is joined on his journey by a Buddhist monk (Sonam Kinga). Playing his ornate dramyin by their campfire the monk shares a folk tale of a boy who steps across a dream barrier to the forest shack of a shaman.


No, that`s not prison lingo. This 2008 movie from Kartemquin films produced and directed by David E. Simpson, is an examination of the emerging face of community based wildlife conservancy in post-colonial Africa. Addressing head-on the myth of "wild Africa" this is a some what harsh movie, probably a bit too bloody for little kids. It is a penetrating look at the benefits and consequences of wildlife conservancy, from the point of view of the people living day to day with large wild animals.

Centered mainly on the Himba of Namibia and the Maasai of Kenya, this is a look at their experiences with Western-style game reserves and eco-lodges and the impacts they`ve had on the local inhabitants. Actually a pretty good (though not a very rose-colored) short vacation to Africa. No shots necessary.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010


We just wished it was fiction, and in English. Yet another uncomfortable movie to watch. Revealing a cult of amoral greed and thinly veiled fascism, this movies promotional ads were banned by Italy`s state broadcasting agency. Through the use of salacious TV productions the ongoing régime of Italy`s three time prime minister and top media mogul Silvio Berlusconi has sent Italy down a dark and stupid path. Foisting the velina (who began as game-show Vannas but morphed to become more like squirmy, underpants-optional, Paris_Hilton wannabes) and their clones at every opportunity.

Unfortunately the "Videocracy"/"Ideocracy" connection seems unbreakable. Italy appears destined to become a place where education, intelligence, and morality are kept secret for safety `s sake.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Tommy Lee Jones stars and directs in this 2005 movie written by Guillermo Arriaga. Set straddle of the border, this dark tale bleeds back and forth from English to Spanish, and from Texas to Mexico. It is easy enough to forget the subtitles. The lives and laws seem to become more tangled, and the values more blurred the closer to the mostly invisible border we look. The border patrol wages a war in boxing gloves, sorting lives and livelihoods according to rules that keep the tension constant. There, a few miles means feast or famine and the whole economy revolves around a bilingual culture trapped on a knife edge.

This is the best tease of a trailer I found, though any of them really told more than I would have liked. This was an uncomfortable movie to watch, with no clear hero. Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones) wants to do right by his friend Melquiades Estrada (Julio Cedillo) by returning his body to his home town of Jiménez in Mexico as he promised. He enlists the unwilling help of Border Patrol Agent Mike Norton (Barry Pepper) to bring this about.


I had to get this one on the list as quick as possible. Woo Hoo! Eggcelent, definitely my favorite since my last favorite movie awhile ago.The movie had so many high points, I`m not going to tell you any of them. "Son of Rambo," a 2007 film including Neil Dudgeon, Bill Milner, and Jessica Hynes, is a blast from the brick-phone past. The hardest part was finding a place to pause to wash the dishes. In this nostalgic comedy, young Will (Bill Milner) whose ultrareligous family forbids him to watch TV or go to the movies, is recruited by class bully Lee (Will Poulter) to help make a movie based on "First Blood." This film documents the unlikely friendship that blossoms between them.

"Son Of Rambo" is a British-French product from the team behind "Hitch Hikers Guide To The Universe." Unlike "Crank 2 High Voltage," (an excellent movie we`ll finish watching next) this was a really good dinner movie. Wish I was 10.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


A Damn pretty movie, with an excelent looking bunch-o-promotional art. I shoulda know better. Just the idea of hospitalized stuntman Roy Walker (Lee Pace) using a lonely child to steal drugs for him, made us so mad we turned it off. I wanted it to not be awful. I searched out info, pictures, trailers, cast list, whatever. It was so pretty, we thought maybe we should take another look. Yeah, it was pretty all right, pretty disturbing, pretty sad. If I lived near the people who made this movie, every time I could afford more toilet paper I`d go see em. "The hero" Roy shoulda ended up in jail, wearing that same harem-pants bullfighter outfit and too much eye shadow.
Lee Pace was a little creepy in " Pushing Daisies" as pieman Ned. He was the guy who brought dead things, including fruit, pets, and people, back to life by touching them. That was creepy but sometimes cool enough, but even his unnaturally good pies of undead fruit didn`t make up
for having us stumble through this overly mysterious, as Detective Emerson Cod would have put it, Crap Salad.


Yeowy, that red envelope crack in the Flatware-Plubar article turned out to be prophetic. The red envelope in question contained "The Fall". P-u-ey! Good thing some far sighted programming type thought to include a preview for "Kabluey", also not really a kid movie, but available to watch instantly. It got us through dinner without making us cry. This 2007 movie from writer-director Scott Prendergast had sone very funny people in some sad-unfortunate roles. Like Leslie (Lisa Kudrow), the overworked, overwhelmed, working mother, We were looking to Salman (Scott Prendergast, yeah again) the slacker brother-in-law to bring us some comic relief. Sorry, no "Smelly Cat" to the rescue this time, it`s not my fault. Salman means well, but his adventures in babysitting made it clear he could be most usefull by re-entering the work force immediately.

The job market was tight in the small town Salman found himself in, so he had to think hard before turning down any job. Though not a movie for the chronically depressed, I`d have to say it would probably be safe to watch it even with abdominal stitches.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


A parole violation wins Wesley (William Lee Scott) a place in a halfway house run by an eccenrtic Bible-banger Ned (Fred Willard). As an alternative to going to jail Wesley finds himself pressed into the house`s band playing "church music."

Their gigs at nursing homes and elementary schools help to break up their days of doing good works for the community. Wesley`s just keeping his head down going through the motions. The music is just another aspect of his punishment till he runs into piano playing savant Vernon, and strikes up an unlikely friendship.


Thursday, August 19, 2010


On the wings of a dream I am snatched up by my heart strings, and I plummet into the sky. Ignacio may only pretend to be, and the story tellers only pretend to tell the tale. I read the subtitles and pretend to grasp the meanings of his songs, and listen to his lyrics in Spanish that is also only a song to me.

The Wind Journeys” is a Columbian film made in 2009, and my favorite movie so far this year. It was written and directed by Ciro Gurrra, and spoken in Spanish,Palenquero, Wayuuniaki, and Ikun. After the sudden death of his wife Ignacio Carrillo (Marciano Martinez) decides to return his cursed accordian to his master. Ignacio is more of a closet Gandalf than a Frodo. Still, his Samwise is definately Furmin Morales (Yull Núñez), a teenage boy who admires Ignacio and wants to become a juglar like him. Ignacio`s journey is long with many dark turnings.