Movie of the Day – Pineapple Express

Now surprisingly, this is not about the weather phenomenon that is defined as being a warm, moisture front from Hawaii and extending up and down the Pacific coast.  So for my meteorologist readers will need to go somewhere else to read about weather fronts.  I am talking about the old, go to sub-genre of film called the “bud”dy action comedy.  I emphasized bud since this is a stoner comedy brought to you by the Apatow crew and their penchant for bringing back the coveted R rated comedy genre.  It’s kind of refreshing to watch R comedies, especially when they dabble in the absurd and over the top reverence they have for the medium.  I realize that I am dressing up a film in which the protagonists smoke copious amounts of weed and get into gun fights, but it is really a loving ode to comedy films and the action genre by taking them just one step beyond ridiculous, while maintaining self awareness.

Also stoner comedies are just fucking hilarious.

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Movie of the Day – Black Mask

This is what I am talking about.  Nothing like some all out, Hong Kong wirefu to get the week going.  Frankly my day hasn’t been spectacular, but I know what cheers me right up, watching Jet Li be a badass in a Hong Kong Kung Fu spectacle.  Black Mask is one of the more overlooked films in his careers as it was made in 1996 and he was just starting to get his legs into major motion pictures especially with his upcoming role in Lethal Weapon 4.  It is as stylish as they come with the action and thin story line, but I just want to see some fancy fight scenes and lots of them.

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Movie of the Day – Bronson

When a movie description starts with the phrase, “known as Great Britain’s most violent and famous inmate” you got my attention.  We really don’t need to go further than that statement since I am already trying to imagine in the most absurd way what and who this famous prisoner is all about.  I admit I am not familiar with the man unless you are a gym buff and read his book, Solitary Fitness, to get that coveted prison physique.  But I wanted to go in a bit fresh with this movie and not know a thing about the man, other than he shares the name of a badass movie star and being portrayed by Tom Hardy.  So director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) has my rapt attention and my morbid sense of curiosity for a film about the most famous prisoner of all time…in Britain of course.

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Movie of the Day – Trainspotting

Ah youth culture and their disenfranchised view of life.  Trainspotting was one of the films that had this reckless abandonment of establish norms and showed what the youth culture was really about.  Now I was born in 1985, so I can’t say I grew experiencing the joys of being a shiftless layabout giving myself a daily dose of heroin injections, but after seeing this movie I am glad I grew up just a bit later in life.  While I think some people look at Trainspotting as this scrapbook of the youth culture, it’s a powerful film about drug addiction and the effects it has on a group of people.  You watch people in a cultural rich environment choose to junk up their lives as some sort of middle finger to the life that is around them, dabbling further into a demented world in which the needle seems more appealing than life.

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Movie of the Day – Paradise Now

So several months back I talked about a movie that touched upon the subject of jihads and suicide bombers.  It was a darkly funny movie, one that in some ways aimed to humanize and also curiously tried to find a way to present such a touchy subject matter without  upsetting a lot of people.  Four Lions was one of the films that is vastly underrated and also unseen by a lot of people.  I talked about the film in how it used the humor to lighten a serious subject matter, almost getting us to realize that we are laughing at the characters in a film that are trying to carry out a bombing.  But with that humor, it also focused on the people in the story, people who are our neighbors, friends, even someone we know off-hand.

While Four Lions took the side approach to telling a story about jihadist and suicide bombers, as bumbling as they may be, a film that came out in 2005 that approached the touchy subject with an artful and often times, far too humanizing eye to the characters and story.  Paradise Now is a Palestinian film about two men who are preparing to launch a suicide attack in Israel.  It’s a polarizing look at the subject of suicide bombers, mainly because we often view the act as a black and white issue, but Paradise Now tells a personal tale of the individual that carries out the act of bombing.  They no longer become just a bomber, but an identifiable person, one who we watch from inception into the cause and his eventual mission.  It’s no longer just an act we read about, but one we watch  and become personal with.

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Movie of the Day – Lust, Caution

Time for sexy spy, thriller, Asian film, which I am certain that statement has filled some niche fetish out there, but I am talking about a classy sexy spy thriller.  Lust, Caution is another phenomenal from Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) that is both a historical, period piece and also a finely tuned spy thriller.  The film though is more so remembered for the controversy that it courted as it was rated NC-17 for explicit sex scenes.  Sadly this movie will be remembered for that fact rather than the beautiful acting and engaging story.  It’s weird that if you bring up this film, the sex scenes are probably the only thing that people will recall if they have heard of the movie.  What the fuck is the deal with people being hung up about a little acrobatic sex in movies?  Well I want to do this film justice and also talk about the sex scenes for some additional page views.

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Movie of the Day – A Scanner Darkly

Oh Phillip K. Dick, if there is one thing you have contributed to society, other than a fantastic body of work, is a fantastic body of work in which Hollywood fucks up most of your writings into shitty adaptations.  Sometimes thought, sometimes, there is a gem that is created out of his work.  Listen, we can all agree that Blade Runner is a master piece in filmmaking.  The adaptation of Dick’s story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”  to the Scott inspired cityscape of Blade Runner was just awe-inspiring, but I am going to save the praise for that movie for another day entirely.  I want to talk about the film that was inspired by the novel of the same name, A Scanner Darkly.  The rotoscoped film that features a strong cast of actors and seems to blur the line between what is real and what is a drug induced haze of paranoia.

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Trailer Time! – Windfall & This Means War

Round Three folks and this time I got a couple of trailer I want to highlight, even though they are close to being released in theaters.  On the offering plate today, Windfall, which apparently tells about the dark side of Wind Technology ( IS NOTHING SAFE ANYMORE)!?  The last trailer is a bromance if I have ever seen one, This Means War.  Hey it even has a release date of Feb. 14th, you can take your favorite bro to see this!

Windfall:

Honestly, even wind turbines have a dark side to them.  I can’t even fathom living in a world where every fucking thing is out to get you.  All knee-jerk reaction aside, this documentary actually brings up a good point about the pursuit of Green Technology.  It’s one thing to want to turn green and pursue clean energy resources, but it’s another to turn a blind eye to what that pursuit means for everyone.  Windfall looks to give some clarity to the debate about Wind farms and their placement within  a community.  While green energy is a fantastic idea, there hasn’t been a lot of insight into the environmental effects of the windmills as we usually dismiss them because, hey it’s green technology.  I certainly find the aspect of the focusing on the community of people that have to deal with the windmills and what they think about having a giant, massive windmill sitting in their backyard.

This Means War:

You know, I realize that this is a fairly bro-ish movie, but damn if it doesn’t look entertaining.  I like the aspect of having a suedo, Spy vs. Spy movie and having both Tom Hardy and Chris Pine together on screen seems like a good mix.  Hell, this movie is being released on Valentines day so you can take your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife or even your favorite bro to this movie.  It’s a safe bet!

Movie of the Day – Burn After Reading

I honestly question people who don’t enjoy a Coen Brothers movie.  I mean their films are just flat out amazing, funny, well cast, and genuinely some of the best movies around.  They can mix genres wonderfully, actually almost seamlessly, they can play serious in one movie and then give us a comedy the next.  I sit in anticipation for everyone of their movies and I own practically every single one of their films on DVD.  While some might be saying. “why isn’t this about The Big Lebowski” or “How about No Country for Old Men”, I have a certain affinity for this movie and I also covered The Big Lebowski in an earlier post.  Besides, you don’t need me to tell you why The Big Lebowski is a good, it just is.  So Burn After Reading brought together a stellar cast, a wacky plot, and all the dark comedy trappings that make their films so enjoyable.  Plus coming off the high of No Country For Old Men, we needed a little something comedic to make us push the image of Anton Chigurh out of our minds.  God that villain was frightening.

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Movie Review – Shame

From the outset, Shame is a provocative movie.  The mere mention of the name of the film might elicit some whispers or murmurings from fellow movie goers about the NC-17 rated film.  We are used to seeing films that deal with addiction, whether alcohol or drug related, but never a movie that goes right for an already taboo subject like sex addiction.  Yes I can hear the groans, pleasurable or not, that this is an art-house film that talks about sex.  Shocking I know.  You might have heard about sex addiction, sometimes in a joking manner as some people jest about the seriousness of this addiction.  For some, how can you feel bad about a person getting sex all the time?  It’s an enjoyable experience, one that a lot of people engage in, but deep down inside, for some it might be more than pleasurable, it could be downright painful.

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