mardi 21 février 2006

I Pity The Fool !

What a record ! I don't know how it happened but in three days, I managed to see two films by Tony Scott, talk about overkill.... Got a recommendation for SPY GAME (2001) and I decided it would be my no-brainer action film for the weekend. A spy film with testosterone starring an aging Robert Redford and a usual Brad Pitt centered around Redford trying to get Pitt out of a prison on his last day at work at the C.I.A. before retirement, doing his best to pass by all the paperwork since, in 24 hours, Pitt's gonna be dead (figures...). So basically, you get Redford running around desks, playing against the clock and his superiors while at the same time, they're interviewing him which gives us flashbacks to Pitt's training as an agent under Redford's supervision.

While all this is allright and dandy, it over-complicates the plot with many useless subplots which are basically there to decoy the audience and keep them riveted without knowing why, which for a movie longer than 2 hours is kind of overkill. Anyway, still one great spy film without any boring moments and acts just fine as a time waster.

Next up is DOMINO (2005), Scott's most recent effort which comes out today on DVD actually.... Well, this one's a worthless one. Seems Scott invented overkill as is demonstrated in the style of this film. The camera is always moving, the editing never stops, the music is loud as hell, nothing makes much sense, everything a good teenager suffering from ADD would like. It's about bounty hunters and as the credits at the beginning of the movie indicate, it is based on a true story.... sort of. The Domino Harvey character exists and she is a bounty hunter in real life (although she died last summer) but everything else except some of her partners' names is fictitious.

All hell breaks loose in this film and I do like a film with much chaos in it, where everything goes to hell and seems insane but this one is really not worth it. It has some nice moments, most of them I probably appreciated more since the film has a gritty look, very grainy and dirty with vivid colors making every spot on an acotr's face visible, a look coming from the seventies which I adore and which THE DEVIL'S REJECTS made a perfection of (if it wouldn't have been for some of the actors in the film, you could surely mistake it for a 70's film, easily. I guess I'll talk about this gem later on). Other than that, there's Keira Knightley which is nice eye candy in all the chaos and, of course, Mister Badass himself, Mickey Rourke which is always fun to watch in these roles. Basically, watch the trailer, catch the drift and pick something else.

Two Tony Scott films in three days, urgh ! At least, they're not Roberta Findlay films and I did watch some other stuff to lighten up the mood. One of these is Laurent Tirard's MENSONGES ET TRAHISONS (2004), a decent french comedy starring Edouard Baer and our very own Marie-Josée Croze. This one starts off really promising, much to my surprise, but of course it has its pitfalls. Baer plays an author who writes anonymously "auto"-biographies of celebrities since he lost confidence in his talent after his first novel was, according to him, a piece of shit. A charming little film nonetheless with some very funny moments involving Baer interviewing his newest celeb, a football jockey that wants him to write his book like Baudelaire would.... Croze, finding work overseas since her big break in you-know-what (I still haven't seen that one, ain't in a hurry either), is quite amusing in this one. All in all, a light and clever comedy with maybe a touch or two of too-much melodrama.

More to come......

lundi 20 février 2006


I watched this very early Jodie Foster film a few weeks ago and didn't know a thing about it. Somebody at work recommended it and thought I might appreciate it. It's a 70's film (1976 to be exact) by Nicolas Gessner, an otherwise unknown director to me but since I do love movies with atmosphere and always liked Foster, I thought I should give it a go.

What a creepy little gem this is. It's about a little girl (played by Foster of course) who lives in a remote house with her father or so she says, since we never actually see the father. She is quite brilliant for her age and manages to get by without any problems and as the film unfolds, we can feel the eeriness of the whole situation even more heightened by a young Martin Sheen who, it seems, is a known pedophile around town. Of course, he was never convicted of anything since the powers that be are closely related to him and they attempted to hide this fact by arranging a marriage with him and a mother of two.

But his visits to Foster's home are pretty disturbing with a subtle and creepy performance by Sheen who doesn't let up and doesn't show his real face right away, like all good pedophiles do. Anyway, I don't want to spoil anything to you so I might as well let you discover all the fine tunings of this film with the proper mood but be prepared for an amazing performance by Jodie Foster, she is quite astonishing in this, demonstrating an incredible talent at an early age that really made my jaw drop more times than I can count.

A slow, burning movie that stays with you without any dazzling effects or otherwise but manages to hypnotize you with ingenuity, a proper eerie mood and wonderful acting. Recommended.

On another note, about a week later, I also saw the newest film starring Foster, FLIGHTPLAN (2005, Robert Schwentke) which is a hit & miss film. It starts out with an interesting premise: a woman loses her child on a flying airplane and nobody saw her, hence nobody believes the woman. There are hints of madness and the whole first act of this movie is really well done, especially everything setting up the situation and of course, Foster is always interesting to watch. But then, halfway through the film, while good ideas have been spreading around like her being just plain mad, the last half starts rearing its head and ends up being a usual blockbuster finale with all the clichés and lame plot devices intact. Sad, but still fun to watch except that if you turn off the film before that last part, you will end up with a fine souvenir of a great film, alas, that's not what it is.

This is Schwentke's first US effort after his hit German shocker TATTOO (2002) which was another interesting little thriller but one that gets forgotten after a couple of days. Grim, perverse and well shot but doesn't leave any lasting effect. Still, hopefully, he'll bring us something better next time and so will Foster.

Buko-san out.

dimanche 19 février 2006

Shaking Grounds

For some reason, I've amassed quite a number of great films to watch but for the past few months I've been watching only crappy films or stuff that lets your mind wander while you're watching. I guess I picked this up when I was trying to reduce my VHS collection (still way too much).

You see, for years I was into trading and all that stuff so basically what that means is you get a shit load of films for nothing, all of them rare as hell (mostly eurotrash) so you have a tendancy to archive everything just in case you might want to see them again at some point. Seems like a good thing when you start, but after a couple of years, you're crying your eyes out to find more room for all that shit. You wish you could travel light. And then, DVD hit.

The buying frenzy began, replacing a lot of great films from VHS to DVD and more room was created both in your house and in your wallet. Not to mention a lot of the rare as hell stuff was now coming out on DVD and available anywhere in great quality which is really nice. Except for the fact that non-connoisseur and people not open to general cinema now had an opinion on this unusual stuff, basically saying that it is crap compared to the films of today and stuff like that.... well fuck you too. Widely available........... That means everybody's getting an opinion and not necessarily an open one.

Anyway, so it seems that while trying to get rid of VHS, I picked up the habit of trying to watch every crappy movie I had to get rid of them. And that habit stuck for some reason. Hopefully, I'll get nourished back to health some day.


This past week, I watched the whole franchise of TREMORS which a friend lent me. What a way to present myself and my tastes on this blog. I guess you'll discover by yourself that I'm very eclectic in my choice of movies. And now, with the aforementioned addiction, I preferred watching those just in case I might fall asleep while watching them after a hard day at work. If you don't know what these movies are, it's about these creatures (like big worms) that live underground and pop up to eat people and terrorise a little town called Perfection in Nevada. So here's a quick view of 'em all (4 total)....

TREMORS (1990, Ron Underwood)
I always enjoyed this one, maybe because I watched it when I was at a young age and it still aged pretty good. It has its cheesy moments all done in a 50s invasion monster/sci-fi way which always works out with the comedy in there. Tongue-in-cheek, this stuff is quite entertaining. Fun to see a redneck Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward team which have quite a good chemistry together. Michael Gross as Burt Gummer is also a hoot and he's basically the character that endures throughout the whole franchise, Bacon never to set foot in the series again after this one. This one is all in good fun.

TREMORS 2 : AFTERSHOCKS (1996, S.S. Wilson)
Here, we pick up a couple of years after the events of the first one where we see Ward has been fucked over money-wise and still has a recluse existence in the middle of nowhere which suits him quite well. Of course the graboids (that's what the big worms are called) are back and Ward gets an offer he can't refuse to go hunt the damn things. So here we go for another round with Michael Gross poping up to get things more entertaining and less cheesy. You see, he's a gun freak and always fun to watch. The big worms have evolved which brings in a new challenge for our heros.... This second installment is also fun, much less than the first one of course, but what do you expect from a sequel ?! A nice time-waster.

TREMORS 3: BACK TO PERFECTION (2001, Brent Maddock)
Now we're falling into usual straight-to-video territory where our gun-freak is back to kill off more of these things which have evolved once again. This one has its moments but none of the characters are really that interesting and we wish most of them would get eaten. Kudos to the creators for bringing in most of the actors that consisted of the secondary characters in the first one, we see what they're up to now. With this one, everybody thought the series was finished 'cause, well, how long can you keep people being entertained with giant worms that evolve into new creatures ? The way to get out of this mess is always a prequel.....

Guess what ?! A prequel in 1889 !!! Damn. Of course, they brought in Michael Gross to play the first Gummer to come to Perfection so we have a british dude that will develop an affinity for guns. Has some fun moments, but mostly bores you except for Billy Drago who plays a fun hired gunman but he gets eaten up quite fast. Other than that the cheese factor is up and the creature factor is down which isn't necessarily a bad thing since we all know these worms after three movies but try entertaining an audience with boring characters in 1889.... And that's the end of the franchise for now.

Hopefully, I'll attack some other kind of films in the next few days..... Buko-san out.

Breaking The Ice, It's Freezing In Here

So how do you we begin this whole thing ?! How about a would be presentation that doesn't seem too boring.... Hmmmm. Basically, I'm a film buff who's been having problems getting my films completed the past few years due to lack of money (what else ?). After having all these problems, I hope to pick things up this summer when I get a new editing facility and hopefully get back on the wagon to create something.

If you're a creative person and can't do shit to create, I guess you can understand what it is to go through. Long, depressing and frustrating. So, I started this blog after reading one of my friend's and on a drunken night, I applied. I might as well try to do something with it. I guess you'll read about films I see, thoughts and other shit like that. We shall see if it gets interesting or if it gets boring like hell.

So let's start this damn thing and hope for the best.

samedi 18 février 2006