RSS feed for Rocco
  • (500) Days of Summer 2009

    ★★★ Watched 29 Jul, 2014 3

    The fact that it's one of the most well-edited movies I've ever seen makes up for that fact that it plays out like the hipster promotional film. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's relationship is certainly unique and interesting compared to other films, but it just didn't do it for me.

    There are scenes in this movie that are absolutely perfect ("You Make My Dreams"), but there are also scenes that made me shake my head and ask, "why" (IKEA). The…

  • Cave of Forgotten Dreams 2010

    ★★½ Watched 28 Jul, 2014

    Having now seen four of Herzog's documentaries, I feel he's best when he's focusing on individual human beings and using their story as a means of telling a larger story. While informative and somewhat interesting, Cave of Forgotten Dreams lacks the humanity which is so brilliantly captured in Little Dieter Needs to Fly and Grizzly Man.

    Granted, I'm not really interested in cave paintings or the people who painted them. I can not even begin to relate to men and…

  • Hercules 1962

    ★★ Watched 27 Jul, 2014

    "Looking back on Herakles today, I find the film rather stupid and pointless, though at the time it was an important test for me. It taught me about editing together very diverse material that would not normally sit comfortably as a whole. For the film I took stock footage of an accident at Le Mans where something like eighty people died after fragments of a car flew into the spectators' stand, and inter-cut it with footage of bodybuilders, including Mr.…

  • Little Dieter Needs to Fly 1998

    ★★★★½ Watched 26 Jul, 2014

    As much as a documentary relies on the true story it is telling, there is something about Herzog's understanding of humanity that leads me to believe he could make a great documentary about anyone, anywhere. This isn't to discount the incredible story of Dieter Dengler.

    Dengler's dreams of becoming a pilot eventually took him to the Vietman war, where he was shot down and imprisoned. His story is a truly remarkable one, but it's his retelling of the story and the way Herzog presents the retelling that make this a truly memorable doc.

    One of the best endings of any documentary I've ever seen.

  • La Cage aux Folles 1978

    ★★★★½ Watched 23 Jul, 2014

    Watching an interview with the movie's director (Edouard Molinaro) reveals that La Cage aux Folles probably shouldn't have worked. The writer and star of the original play, Jean Poiret, was barely involved. The lead actor, Uso Tognazzi, refused to speak French (in favor of his native Italian) and forced the filmmakers to change the dialogue, in order to match his mouth when dubbing in French. Michel Serrault, who absolutely dominates the film, was used to playing gay for laughs in…

  • Perfect Blue 1997

    ★★★★½ Watched 23 Jul, 2014

    Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue is both eerily beautiful and beautifully eerie. Kon's unique visuals have looked better (Paprika), though they've not been used as effectively. The dark, shadowy, J-Pop, neo-noir thriller is a genre that seems to really work and, with his style, it absolutely does.

    What I most admired was its ability to keep the mystery going throughout the entire film but actually end the thing. Too often, thrillers like this take the easy way out with open endings…

  • Top Gun 1986

    ★★½ Watched 23 Jul, 2014 7

  • It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World 1963

    ★★★★½ Watched 20 Jul, 2014 5

    Stanley Kramer's 1963 comedic masterpiece, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is absolutely HUGE. With its star studded (an understatement, if there ever was one) cast, memorable score, phenomenal stunts, and a simple story that absolutely cruises along, it is truly one-of-a-kind (no matter how many times it has been mimicked).

    When Criterion put it out on Blu-ray, I decided to buy, because I was familiar with its premise and of how many of the funniest people of the…

  • Little Shop of Horrors 1986

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Jul, 2014

    Whenever I think about Little Shop of Horrors, the music is what comes to mind. Ellen Greene's wonderfully unique voice on my two favorites, "Somewhere that's Green" and "Suddenly Seymour" and Levi Stubbs' unforgettably, soul-filled performance as Audrey 2 are what I normally go back to. I guess I just forgot how funny it is.

    It's been a while since I've seen it and (though I remembered he was in it) I completely forgot about how hysterical Steve Martin was…

  • Captain Kidd 1945

    ★★★ Watched 10 Jul, 2014

    Ahhh, the simpler times in Hollywood. When the flawed-but-good-natured protagonist, with the mysterious past was named something like Mercy and the damsels were in such distress that they said things like, "I'm so scared and confused!"

    My newfound obsession with swashbuckling films has still yet to let me down here, though, thanks mostly to Charles Laughton's performance as the eponymous Captain Kidd and a delightfully simple story. It isn't the best pirate movie, but it's a pirate movie and to me --for better or worse-- that might be all that matters.

  • The Battered Bastards of Baseball 2014

    ★★★ Watched 15 Jul, 2014

    Tells a really remarkable story, but is too much a fan of itself to actually deliver on an emotional level.

    Talking head interviews could have been used less, in favor of more of the awesome footage of the team actually playing. There is one excellent bit toward the end that lets the moment actually do the talking and more of that would have been great.

    In the end, worth watching for fans of baseball or Kurt Russell (he and his father are seminal figures in the film).

  • Muppet Treasure Island 1996

    ★★★★½ Watched 13 Jul, 2014

    A childhood favorite, Muppet Treasure Island may, very well, be the movie that got me into pirates in the first place. So, its only appropriate that, with my recently awoken love for buckling swash (as Greg Proops would say), I'd return to my first.

    As with all Muppet films I've seen (which, admittedly, is not enough of them), it's constantly clever and funny, but Treasure Island is, in my opinion, a more interesting story than other Muppet films tell. The…