Paycheck (2003) - Good Good - Though it is getting bad reviews, the fact that this movie is based on a Phillip K. Dick story and is directed by John Woo made it a must-see for me. It was better than I'd been led to believe, but not that great. Some plot holes, not enough good science fiction stuff, Affleck, plus some confusing action sequences detracted from it's success. The great news was that we went to see it at the Pacific Vineland Drive-In in City of Industry. Located where the 10 and the 605 meet, it was very easy and tons of fun. We pulled up with our burritos and sleeping baby and got to enjoy two movies. It was playing with School of Rock which was just as good the second time through, an awesome movie.
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) - Good Good Good - A comic book action movie with characters taken from classic literature? Cool! This movie was a lot of fun, but some overly stylistic elements proved distracting and kept it from earning more goods.
Desperado (1995) - Good Good Good Good - Robert Rodriguez's big-budget follow up to the Cinderella story El Mariachi is a lot of fun and extremely enjoyable.
Eight Crazy Nights (2002) - Steaming Pantload - I consider myself somewhat of a fan of Adam Sandler and was excited for a haunakah movie, but I could barely get through 15 minutes of this. I then fast forwarded it to the point where the hero is redeemed and becmoes nice, but it was still awful and I had to turn it off.
About a Boy (2002) - Good Good - Molli made me rent this because, you know, I have a boy. It was pretty good but sappy, and had some problems with an unsympathetic lead character. It was worth it for the spot on depiction of the hippie mom.
The Last Samurai (2003) - Good Good Good - This is a pretty good action-adventure movie with great production design and exciting action scenes. It's dragged down a bit by it's predictable Hollywood-ness and it's confused socio-political stance. Tom Cruise is too much of a Movie Star to play this kind of a role, and he can't make you forget who he is like Russel Crowe does in Master and Commander. Still, it's worth seeing for the cool Samurai fighting and philosophy scenes, and the re-creation of 19th century Tokyo.
posted by Greg 3:03 PM
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) - Good Good Good Goo - This is a great swashbuckling action film about the British navy battling the French in 1805. It feels very authentic as it immerses you in the sailor's squalid world. It's a very good piece of filmmaking combining high-seas action with historical drama.
Elf (2003) - Good Good Good Good - A great funny holiday film. One for the ages.
El Mariachi (1992) - Good Good Good Good - Molli and I just finished director Robert Rodriquez's book "Rebel Without a Crew" which is made up of journal entries detailing the conception, filming, and sale of the film. It's a fascinating book which shows how this $7000 feature which was supposed to be a practice run he hoped to sell to the Mexican video market truned in to a Hollywood phenomenon and created a career. After reading this awesome book we both wanted to see the movie (I'd seen it many years ago, but Molli hadn't) so we rented this re-released DVD version. It's truly an amazing piece of work with huge amounts of style and some plot elements that a studio would never let you get away with. Knowing the story of how it was made makes it even more interesting, but it would definately stand on it's own. The DVD contains a special feature called "The Ten Minute Film School" in which Rodriguez shows some of the raw footage and details how he turned it into a finished project. It contains many amazing facts and I would say is a must-see for any aspiring film maker.
The Matrix Revolutions (2003) - Good Good - Great action sequences but no interest as far as the sci-fi or the philosophical angle. The ending was kind of a let down as well.
Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003) - Good Good Good Good - It's hard for me to reccomend this movie because of it's extreme violence and lack of plot, but I liked it a lot. If you're a fan of hardcore martial arts movies, then perhaps you'll like it. If not, stay away.
posted by Greg 1:40 PM