Monday, June 29, 2009

What a weekend!

Just Another Movie Geek Headquarters was proud this weekend to partner with Akbar Cinemas (aka my redesigned living room) to host the first annual Movie Marathon.

12 hours.
5 movies.
10 people (total spread out over the day)

Perfection was met.

Pictures of the "theater" and a more detailed review/crowd reaction of each film will follow here later this week. For now, just wanted to throw up quick post as to what we watched. The overall unifying theme to my marathon was "Fun" As it turns out (as we will review later) there were alot of unplanned but amazing sychronicity between the films.

Films: (presented in their viewing order)

Castle of Cagliostro

(one of my all time favorite Animes)

Big Trouble in Little China

(easily one of the greatest action films ever made)

The Good, The Bad and The Weird

(my new obsession film)

Iron Man

(comic book personified perfection)

Mystery Film:


I think I am going to reserve revealing this until the full review comes up. It was well received at the marathon so that made me very happy.

Then on Sunday, Dr. Mrs. Just Another Movie Geek and I gave the theater a second run and watched:

Galaxy Quest

Still hilarious and STILL a better Star Trek film than that recent waste of celluloid.


Way better than its concept should have let it be. Alien Monster, Spaceman and Vikings. Really, what more could you have asked for?

The Muppet Movie

We decided to bring the Lego out and needed some back ground noise to carry us along. The film seemed like a perfect way to go.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A movie, a show and a theater upgrade

Movie Review:

The Frisco Kid

Pulled up an older film this weekend to re-visit. Re-visit isn't the right way to think about this. I recall bits and pieces of this from my youth but I think it was a bit beyond my young age so I don't think I actually saw it. A period comedy set in 1850 we see the tale of Gene Wilder as "not the worlds greatest Rabbi" be sent from Poland to San Francisco to tend to a new Jewish community.

I'm a Rabbi!

Hijinks ensue along the way as he treks across the old west. Hooking up the Bank Robber Harrison Ford

I'm a Bank Robber

( Dr. Mrs. Just Another Movie Geek says "damn that boy is hot.... Young Harrison is going back on my List")

Early on into the film characters start to become almost one dimensional stereotypes and you feel that this may not be a fun ride. But then you realize that every character is a stereotype and it is played to the fullest the romp becomes a good time.

"Here Chicky, Chicky. I don't want to eat you...I just want to make you Kosher!"

The film even manages to touch a few points of cultural bounds being broken and true friendship but ends up not playing it cheesy.

C'mon Sioux nation... do the hustle!

A decent comedy that holds up 30 years later. Harrison and Gene play great off each other. It's a shame that Harrison didn't do much more comedy*. He was actually quite funny.

An interesting marketing thing. Check out the original poster back from the 70's when Gene was a huge comedy draw (and Harrison hadn't quite his full super star status yet) and then check out the DVD cover from a few years go:

Show Review:

Being Human

Got suggested a new BBC show so we checked it out. Well worth the checkout. Now this may sound as a bad joke setup, but this is the premise of the show:

A vampire (who's on the wagon from sucking blood,)

A Werewolf (who has issues dealing with his moon light transformation or as the show calls it "his time of the month" )

and a Ghost all share an apartment.

The three of them try to lead a normal existence with their lives and neighbors. Unfortunately they can't stop being who they are and all the baggage that comes with that. Smartly written (I would classify it as a Dark Drama/Comedy) the show weaves a great mythology with a fun story. Even at only six episodes for the first season (and another on the way) I recommend giving this a go.

New Project:

Here at Just Another Movie Geek headquarters, my screening room (aka the living room) just got an upgrade. I spend the weekend making a 5x8 foot platform for the back half of the room has stadium seating. I will post some pictures of it later when it gets a full test drive this weekend.

*His accent in K-19 The Widowmaker doesn't count ;)

Monday, June 15, 2009

History lesson for children everywhere...

...back in the 80s it was a law that any performer MUST produce at least 1 rap video in the career.

Observe: Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd*

*Don't get me wrong, I acually love this movie and think it is a fine piece of 80s cinema and a great TV to film conversion. But oh man... this video is a stinker.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

81-98 of the 98 movies everyone should see

You have waited for ever for this. It is finally here.

Yes, we finally get to finish last films to my list of the 98 movies everyone should see.

81. 82. 83.

These three are to me the ultimate Comic Book movies.

Spiderman 2

After dealing with the usually good but unfortunate origin film, the second chapter in the recent Spiderman series was perfect. Peter comes into his own and deals heavily on he wants to be and who he truly is.

The Rocketeer

I like to imagine this film takes place in the same world as Raiders of the Lost Ark. Young hot shot pilot, comes across a rocket pack, fights nazis. What more could you ask for?

Batman Begins

While I do have the luggage that comes with being a DC Fanboy, Batman Begins works really well for making a almost plausible and believable Batman in a real world situation. A few plot holes still bug me from time to time, but it is so far the best ever that DC has managed to put on the silver screen.

84. 85.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

The dichotomy of Star Trek films. The needs of the many, versus the needs to the few..or the one. Wrath of Kahn is the greatest Star Trek film and does entirely work on its own but I do enjoy the two of them together. Plus I have great childhood memories of both. WoK I saw in an afternoon matinee with Disney's Treasure Island with my brother, SFS my father pulled me out of school early one afternoon and took me to see it.


WARNING: Only see this film if you have access to delicious noodles after viewing. You will want to eat them.

This is a Japanese movie all about food and primarily Noodles. It is an awesome and surreal romp into a cultures love of food and the traditions therein.

The Bride With White Hair

Chinese supernatural mixed with extreme wire work Kung fu. A fun film that is totally representative of its greater genre.

The Fifth Element

A visual treat and (to paraphrase a new friend met today) "a delightful scifi romp" Totally fun and exactly what you need when you want Fun and Scifi.

The Professional

The hitman and the orphan he protects. Luc Besson's greatest film.

90. 91.
Two 80's scifi films lead us into the final 8 on our list. While Pixar and practically every other films use of CGI today we must never forget two forefathers of merging computers and cinema.

The Last Starfighter

A teen who is a wiz at a video game gets recruited to defend the frontier from Zur and the Kodan Armada.


A man gets sucked into a virtural world of a computer and must stop the evil CPU.

Both are excellent adventures.

The Wind and the Lion

Sean Connery as a Muslim pirate in 1904 in Morroco. Really, what more than that do you need to see it?


Sean Connery in a loin cloth for most of the movie. Really, what more than that do you need to see it?


My favorite take on the Arthurian legend. John Boorman paints a beautiful mystical world to experience a great version of Le Morte d'Arthur

The Lord of the Rings

These three films get lumped as one for they truly are one story. A great fantasy story and an excellent adaptation of three awesome books.

12 Monkeys

Terry Gilliam hits us with one of the best time travel movies put to celluloid. Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis give two amazing performances.

What's Up, Doc?

A screwball comedy from the 70s that got a lot of play in my house growing up. Barbara Striesand is actually quite funny and the zany film works. A final car chase that ranks up close to the chase from The Blues Brothers.

Hudson Hawk

We end our list with a film that gets not enough love. Bruce Willis at the height of his early career convinced some studio to give him a bunch of money and just let alot of people have a great time making a fun movie. So many great one liners and just overall fun.

Punisher War Zone aka Land of a thousand blood squibs

I will freely admit that I was always a DC Comics boy. While I knew of characters existence in the Marvel world I never really followed their books. So with that, I get to go into most Marvel films without the fanboy luggage I have as with a DC film. And with that, I did fully enjoy the recent film "Punisher War Zone."

Being a big fan of Ray Stevenson from Rome, my limited (to one Batman/Punisher cross over comic) knowledge of the character led me to feel that he was born to play the role. He pulls it off well (far better than Dolph Lungren or Thomas Jane) and the story (while not deep) carries the film well.

What truly works in this film is the level of violence. It is over the top. So over the top it loops back on itself just to go over the top again. I would say it even takes it to almost camp levels but not so far that it is unbelievable. And for a character that is essentially Batman without the qualms about taking a human life you should see it.

I would recommend this film for big action buffs or those that like excessive violence and dismemberment.

The Good, The Bad, The Weird

Once in a while a film comes along and just hits me in a perfect way. Now, I know I tend to pretty much only gush about things or think they are the worst.* I am trying to expand my levels of review but I have to say, this film was one of the funnest experiences I have ever had.

This weekend I had the pleasure of viewing a Korean film called "The Good, The Bad, The Weird."

If the title evokes a Sergio Leone feel it, then you are in the right place. Set in 1940 Manchuria, we follow the tale of a bandit, a Bounty Hunter, and a Gangster all after a treasure map and each other. They are then followed by various Manchurian Warlords, Local gangsters and even the Japanese Army. Throwing in every possible homage to Leone (and even Morricone in the music) we are given a 2 hour and 15 minute Korean love letter to the Italian Maestro.

Check out the opening credits for the film. The Korean characters you see on the screen are the main actor credits as they fly by.

*I have found that my rating scale is based on I only like to watch things that I have a feeling I will enjoy it (be it plot, actor/director/writer I admire, etc..) and when i do see something I think is utter trash, I really really don't like it. I am trying to expand this.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mini Movie Reviews (aka what I have seen recently)

King of California
3.5 out of 5

This film was a weird one. At the end of it I totally enjoyed it (if for nothing else than Micheal Douglas' stellar performance) but this film was a bit strange. It has to be the most bi-polar film I have ever seen. At one point it wants to be a kooky comedy about a girl and her slightly deranged father. Then 5 minutes later its a touching drama on the strained relationships children can have with their parents followed again later by a satirical look at consumerisms rapid destruction of California. Either the director wasn't sure totally where they wanted to go with it, or it was a direct parallel to the mental state of the main character. Either way, the film is worth a watch but don't expect much coherence.

4 out of 5

Finally got a chance to see this. A loose retelling of the Ole English poem this entirely Motion Captured CGI film was entertaining. Other than the abysmal Angelina Jolie (seriously, she can't act her way out of a wet paper bag) the voices/faces* captured for this animated film worked wonders. Creating the film in a CGI world worked really well IMO instead of making a set and shooting it for real. The only thing that bothered me about the film was since this was originally made to be a 3D film, many of the "in your face" moments were a bit jarring in a 2D presentation. Quite a bit more violent than I thought it would be but an enjoyable experience.

*most of the main cast were digital recreations of the voice actor supplying the part. Very well done and quite fluid.

4 out of 5

The uber talented and quite gorgeous man Paul Gross has continued to entertain me. His Grandfather who fought in WWI shared only with him a horrific detail he encountered while in the service. Paul dedicated this film to his and the other thousands of Canadian soldiers who gave their life. As for the actual Battle of Passchendale, the film comes up a little short but in reality, that was not it's goal. Showing us only a little of actual fighting in the beginning and then more at the end, the flim primarily focuses on life back home in Canada and the actions of soldiers who made it back. A decent love story interweaves into the whole story and connects the whole thing together. Saving Private Ryan level of graphic war time action is shown in both fighting sections of the film. Highly recommend if you want to see a fictional tale in a quite realistic setting and history.