RSS feed for Dan
  • Modern Romance 1981

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Jan, 2015 1

    Albert Brooks' Modern Romance is hilarious, this I am sure you're aware of.

    Going in, I had heard a lot of huge praise for this film, and all of it was warranted. What I didn't know, was that it would be mostly based around cringe-worthy emotional spiraling, and that most of the comedy would come from a pretty dark place - one man becoming more and more suspicious, neurotic, unhinged (so to speak) and obsessive.

    The film perfectly keeps this…

  • A Most Violent Year 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 26 Jan, 2015

    Viewed and reviewed for See You Next Wednesday podcast, Episode 149.

    Aside from a few minor issues, I loved A Most Violent Year.

    Stripped down, dialogue driven dramatics with mounting tension that sneaks up on you. Fantastic performances all around - while skirting that I'M ACTING! sense that has been swirling around some year-end flicks this past awards season.

    The dialogue and script will certainly bother some - it's blunt in its placement of plot points and motivations into these…

  • The Slumber Party Massacre 1982

    ★★★½ Rewatched 25 Jan, 2015

    A film so stuffed with jump-scares that a character taking out the garbage ultimately performs her own jump-scare.

    Slyly satirical, and a lot of fun, The Slumber Party Massacre gets labeled as a "pure" slasher a lot, and it's fairly apt. Also, bonus points for the subtle-and-not-so-subtle moments of winking feminism.

    Also, maybe the only pan-down-to-butt shot that comes across as a defiant moment. "Roger Corman says he needs some nudity in here, well here it is, as calculated and shruggish as possible."

  • It Follows 2014

    ★★½ Watched 23 Jan, 2015 1

    Wow, I did not expect to be disappointed with It Follows, but here we are.

    Gorgeous cinematography and an incredible soundtrack on this terrific concept - but ultimately I found the execution middling.

    Never full-on scary, but oft-off-putting, ultimately the film never capitalizes fully on its concept, but rather just shambles through despite the aforementioned positives.

    I liked some moments in here a lot, but I couldn't get behind it as a whole - which bummed me out.

  • Hawk Jones 1986

    ★★★½ Watched 21 Jan, 2015

    There's nothin' else like Hawk Jones.

    Sure, Bugsy Malone comes pretty close, but the low-budget and over-scoring of Hawk Jones has it end up feeling like some kind of fever dream. Did I really watch that on the big screen last night? Or was it all a dream?

    The most interesting thing about Hawk Jones, maybe, is that you don't see this kind of weirdo-kids production any more. Sure, you can go load up some YouTube videos where some family…

  • Ouija 2014

    ★★ Rewatched 18 Jan, 2015

    My Brother watched this, so I watched it again - for some reason.

  • Sniper: Legacy 2014

    ★★½ Watched 19 Jan, 2015

    Your basic straight-to-video action-film production.

    Viewers that seek this kind of stuff out are getting exactly what they're looking for here - slickly filmed action, solid production values for a DTV picture, bare-bones plot that constantly pushes forward by featuring an "international intrigue" angle, and a few moments over-the-top violence.

    The acting ranges from fine, to below-average, and overall it's just all what you expect it will be. It also doesn't pretend like it has a lot to say, it just gets in, boom boom shoot explosions, and gets out.

    Not much to hate, not much to like.

  • Clueless 1995

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Jan, 2015

    "I would like to say this. Tardiness is not something you can do on your own. Many, many people contributed to my tardiness. I would like to thank my parents for never giving me a ride to school, the LA city bus driver who took a chance on an unknown kid and last but not least, the wonderful crew from McDonalds who spend hours making those egg McMuffins without which I might never be tardy."

  • Stand Alone 1985

    ★★ Watched 18 Jan, 2015

    Turns out, alongside The Rookie, I had inadvertently planned a "takes forever to get around to it" double feature with Stand Alone.

    Charles Durning plays a World War II vet who has returned home to his sleepy suburban life - only to witness a drug-and-donuts related execution. Much like Gary Busey in Eye of the Tiger, released one year later, Durning won't have any of it, so he takes it upon himself to clean up the streets, so to speak.…

  • The Rookie 1990

    ★★ Watched 18 Jan, 2015

    After a phenomenal opening car-chase, you may be wondering why The Rookie has such a bum reputation. Hey, it opens with the baddies spectacularly tossing cars off a truck at Clint, so it's bound to be packed with wall-to-wall action, right?

    Well, no. The Rookie is so padded out, it's not even funny. After about 25 or 30 minutes, you'll be reaching for the fast forward. I fully believe you could pull whole scenes out of this movie and cut…

  • White Oleander 2002

    ★★★½ Watched 17 Jan, 2015

    Some dated moments here and there, but overall far better than I was expecting from an early-aughts drama that I had (unfortunately) overlooked.

    Plenty of great performances in here, and the cinematography from Elliot Davis surprised me - there's a lot of impressive long takes, winding throughout interiors that mirror the films structure, in some regards.

    Absolutely worth checking back in on.

  • Matinee 1993

    ★★★★ Watched 17 Jan, 2015

    Near pitch perfect coming-of-age tale from Dante set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile crisis.

    Sweetly humorous, and a wonderfully charming turn from Goodman as a William Castle-esque filmmaker.

    That said, the film could have benefited from one final pass on the editing as it could be tightened up juuuust a little - a few moments of weird editing pop up near the finale.