Movie of the Day – Funny Games

It’s all fun and games until someone starts holding everyone hostage.  Yeah I am aware that the opening statement is a cheesy one, but this is not a game that people want to play.  Funny Games is a psychological thriller that is a remake of the 1997 Austrian film of the same name and by the same director coincidentally.  Michael Haneke remade his own movie, changing the language to English and setting the characters of the movie in America.  I am not sure as to why this movie needed a shot for shot remake, especially by the same director.  The overall result though is, in my opinion, a better version than the original, due in large part to Naomi Watts, Tim Roth and Michael Pitt.

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Movie Review – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Oh boy, another summer movie season means another pirates movie.  Now don’t get me wrong, Pirates are cool, in some instances.  I rather enjoy swashbuckling movies about high seas antics and man-o-war style ship battles.  You got to love the clairvoyance and swagger that pirates have when they gallivant about the open seas causing havoc where ever they go.  The Pirates movies for me, wore out their welcome, lets us say around the end of the 2nd movie.  So the review might be biased as I think that movie got weighed down by crappy side stories, stilted love triangles, and far too much focus on Johnny Depp sashaying his arms around while he runs and screams in every scene.

But with a new director, dropping dead weight characters, and introducing another mythical artifact to search, maybe the Pirates film franchise has some new wind in their sail.

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Movie of the Day – Stripes

Now this might seem crass or tasteless to post a comedy about military service on Memorial Day.  Personally, while other hoorah military movies might serve to  sate those who want action oriented war movies, I am not necessarily looking to be reminded about a ragtag group of soldiers that singly handily win a war.  I am not being insensitive about the actualities of war and the toll that it takes on society, but some days we need a little something different instead of being bombarded with symbolism and explosions.  I get enough of those things when watching CNN or Fox.

So with my explanation on the Memorial day choice of Movie of the Day out of the way, now I can start enjoying the remainder of the weekend.  What better way to spend a Monday than watching Bill Murray movies, Stripes being one of my favorite comedies.  You got Ivan Reitman directing, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis acting side by side in movie reminiscent of old Sgt. Bilko shows, and multitude of side characters all versed in comedy.  Let me say though, the last third of the movie is where the movie kind of falls off track, but still an enjoyable movie.

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Movie of the Day – Lady Vengeance

Now  we come to the grand opus of the Movie of the Day revenge trilogy with Lady Vengeance.  This is Park Chan-wook’s most operatic and grandiose movie.  Out of all the movies in the trilogy, this is the prettiest looking movie of the group and one his best artistic endeavors.  While not my favorite of the three, this is a crowning cap on the essence of revenge and the cycle of violence that happens.  Before, I discussed that each movie centers around a different theme of revenge.  Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance dealt with revenge and the consequences of our actions when we want vengeance.  Oldboy handle the idea of the revenge and the human condition, seeing how far a human being will go to exact revenge.  Lady Vengeance is a story about redemption and salvation that comes from the act of revenge.  Can one bury their past once the act of violence is complete?  I think that this is the culmination of all the past themes of revenge and presented to us in a neatly wrapped package. Chan-wook gave us a look at revenge through the eyes of a female lead this time around and deep insight into the cold and calculating ways of a woman out for revenge.

Spoiler warning ahead of Lady Vengeance!

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Movie of the Day – Oldboy

Well, this is part two of the three-part movie of the day posting and we continue with the 2nd of the vengeance trilogy.  It should be noted that these three movies have no tie to one another and the only theme that they share is revenge.  While Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance was about the consequences for our actions, the revenge that we seek at all costs, Oldboy deals with the aspect of how far a human being is willing to go with vengeance.  To what depths of the human soul can be fueled only by revenge and the toll that it takes on a person.

So now for the plot of the movie.  It should be noted that there is a huge twist that takes place near the end of the movie, so the plot synopsis will be brief, but I will talk about the ending in the final portion of my article.

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Trailers of the Week – 50/50 and Showrunners

First, want to say thanks to the /Film for posting these trailers several days ago.  Their film blog is one my favorites and they also produce a stunning podcast that is a main staple of my listening time.  So two new trailers for people to get excited about this week.  Another Joseph Gordon-Levitt film (love his work) and a new documentary that I am really excited for since it also covers another great time waster of mine.

50/50

A cancer comedy?  I am already hooked since the movie star Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the subject matter is a dark comedy, two things that I truly enjoy.  It is interesting seeing a movie deal with the subject matter of cancer in a crude and funny way.  The synopsis of the movie about a young man who discovers he has an aggressive form of cancer and must come to gripes with the reality that he is a 50/50 shot at living through this.  The trailer is funny and thoughtful about the subject matter.  I am interested in seeing how this all plays out in the end, but early buzz has this movie as a hit.

Showrunners

I do love documentaries and this is one that gives us a little insight to the world running a network television show.  We all watch tv, unless you are one of those people that are smug about not owning a tv and must tell everyone about it.  We get it, you refuse to be mainstream and watch television, cool story bro.  Anyways I am fascinated with idea of getting to see what all goes into making a show.  It is rare when you can see the beginnings of making a show happen, from writing to production and to the final product that is put on television.  So far there have been some strong indications of solid performance at several film festivals and I eagerly await it’s nation wide release.

Movie of the Day – Sympath for Mr. Vengeance

I have talked before about my general love of the revenge movie.  Man on Fire was about exacting revenge when the thing that has given you a reason to love is stripped from you.  That movie was a more in your face sort of revenge film with undertones of redemption.  While the idea and theme of revenge in movies is not new, since you can find it in almost any movie out there, centering a movie on the central theme of revenge is interesting to me.  To craft a movie where revenge permeates every characters motives and emotions, but also to tell a story about atonement, salvation and human limits.

There is a trilogy of movies out there that embody the aspect of revenge, but each movie in the trilogy has an underlying meaning to each of their movie.  Park Chan-wook, a phenomenal South Korean director, created The Vengeance Trilogy, where each movies central theme is vengeance, but each tell a different tale of vengeance.  In 2002, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance broke out into Korean theaters and made Park Chan-wook an essential power in the international cinema scene.  This is the first of the trilogy and while not one of the more widely known of the trilogy, this is the start of something amazing.

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Movie of the Day – Street Fighter

Alright seriously, what kid in the early 90’s wasn’t excited when they found out that Hollywood was going to turn the now iconic arcade fighting game, Street Fighter, into a major motion picture?  Don’t lie cause you were all excited for this ultimate in cinematic enjoyment.  How pumped were that the “Muscles from Brussels” Jean-Claude Van Damme was going to be high-kicking his way on to the big screen as Guile?  You are lying to your past kid self if you  weren’t excited that the dude from Hard Target, Timecop, Bloodsport, Lionheart, Double Impact and Universal Soldier was going to be playing the best character in a fighting game ever (fuck you and your love of Ryu or Ken).  The best kicker of this cinematic masterpiece was that it was being directed by Steven E. de Souza, who written some of my favorite action movies of all time (Die Hard and Die Hard 2, Running Man, and Commando).  This movie blew my mind back when I was 10, but now looking back on it as a man in his mid-twenties, it fucking sucks.  My nostalgia and childhood feels like it was taken out back to an alley and beaten mercilessly.

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Movie of the Day – Grandma’s Boy

I got to tell you all, between all the storms and tornado warnings and actual tornado’s, it’s been a crappy couple of days.  I need some cheering up and a stoner comedy is just the medicine I need.  Preferably medicinal in nature.  So I am very happy to have an under appreciated stoner comedy from the folks at Happy Madison production on hand to make me laugh, with or without help, not sure.

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Movie of the Day – Fido

Out the massive amount of zombie movies, there are a few that kind of turn the genre on its head (or remove it all together, a little zombie humor).  Shaun of the Dead was one of those movies that brought comedy in the general horror driven genre.  British people are so damn funny that it is hard to find any fault in the movie.  So I was surprised that there was another zombie comedy that came out a few year after the whole revival of the zombie genre.  A small Canadian zombie comedy called Fido was released to very, very small fanfare.

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