Oct 2nd

Drive

By Geek Myth
One of my friends hated Drive and his girlfriend said it was "stylized as fuck".  She's right; Drive is a highly stylized thriller by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, from it's synthesizer score to it's pink credits.  This isn't a case of style over substance though, this is a case where style takes substance and makes it it's bitch.  It is also a movie that I at least found to be unpredictable, which is rare.

Ryan Gosling plays the Driver, no other name is given or needed, who when he isn't rolling cars for Hollywood or working in his friend Shannon's (played by Breaking Bad's Brian Cranston) garage, he moonlights as a getaway driver for hire.  He has one rule; you get five minutes of his time, no more no less.  What you do before or after those five minutes is none of his concern.

On his off time, the Driver finds himself attracted to Irene (Carey Mulligan), his neighbor across the hall.  She lives with her son Benicio, while her husband is in prison for an undisclosed crime.  In a bit of Hollywood wink wink, Driver takes Irene and her son to the place where both the drag race from Greece and first chase scene in Terminator 2 was filmed.  The Driver and Irene's relationship is sweet and even Benicio enjoys hanging out with him. 

Then Irene's husband, Standard, is released from prison and at first I was ready to hate him, but then it turns out he's not a bad guy.  There is a bit of bristly tension when he meets his wife's new friend, but that's to be expected.  Unfortunately, Standard owes money to some very angry and violent people, who threaten his wife and son if he doesn't cough it up.  Driver agrees to help him out of his jam by driving for what is supposed to be a simple Pawn Shop robbery.  Of course, nothing is simple and things spiral out of control as the body count rises.  

Drive is the quintessential existentialist movie.   Everyone is defined by what they do, must obviously Driver, who duh drives.  While the violence in Drive is a bit over the top, that doesn't make it any less impactful; I squirmed in my seat a few times.   However, a scene in which Driver calmly walks into a dressing room armed with a hammer is the very definition of badass.

The acting in Drive is top notch.  I recently saw the comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love and with that and Drive it is now proven there is no genre Ryan Gosling can't do, there is an Oscar in this man's future.   Carey Mulligan is one of the rare actresses who have both beauty and acting chops (sorry Megan Fox) and Oscar better be recognizing her someday too.  Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks as mobsters are always reliable, but the latter is particularly impressive in that he's usually done comedies and has never shown just how menacing he can be.  It was also a delight to see Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame on the big screen if even in a small roll; I've been a fan of hers (i.e. in love with) since the Firefly episode, "Our Mrs. Reynolds".

If you're lamenting the end of summer films and think there's dry spell of good movies until Oscar bait season, then do yourself a favor and go see Drive.

Apr 23rd

Scream 4

By Geek Myth

First, I loved the first Scream movie and consider it to be a classic.  Scream 2 was good at generating nail-biting suspense, but had an "eh" ending.  Scream 3 had some funny bits, but is by far the worst of the bunch.  So 11 years later (has it been that long?) with the original trilogy wrapped up, how does Scream 4 or Scre4m fare?

I would say pretty well thank you.  It may not be an insta-classic, due to the lack of novelty the original had, but I would put it on a par with Scream 2.  Maybe even higher.  

It's 11 years later and Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is returning to her hometown of Woodsboro for the final stop in her book tour; a book she wrote about her terrifying experiences growing up in that very town.  Also returning, or rather still living there are Deputy Dewey Riley (now Sheriff) and Gale Weathers (now Riley).  Joining the original trio is a whole slew of fresh meat, including Sydney's niece Jill (Emma Roberts), as a new Ghostface slices and dices his way through them.  

One of the reasons I like the Scream franchise is that on top of being horror movies, they're also whodunits and while the reveals diminished throughout the series, the revelation of Scream 4's killer is actually the best since the first movie and more unexpected. 

Credit needs to be given to Screenwriter Kevin Williamson and Director Wes Craven for bringing life to a franchise that had petered out a decade ago.  Do I hope fervently that they'll make a 5th Scream?  Not so much, but I'll be obligated to watch it all the same.
Apr 22nd

Sucker Punch Review

By Geek Myth
When I saw the trailer for Sucker Punch, the geek within had a joygasm, but when I read the reviews he died just a little.  With a metacritic score of 33 (out of 100), I was ready to write off Sucker Punch as a rental.  Then it occurred to me that spectacle is what the movie is about, and spectacle is meant to be seen on the big screen.  Therefore, with that mindset I went to see Sucker Punch with a friend, and visually it does not disappoint.  I don't know what the budget for the film was, but I bet every dollar of it is on the screen.  A sword fight with three giant samurai vs. one girl, a dragon, and hordes of robots are just a few of the set pieces one can look forward to in Sucker Punch.

Unfortunately, the story and characters are rather disappointing.   Characters are given names like Baby Doll or Blue and usually have one defining characteristic, but nothing to make them truly distinguishable from each other.  The script is the biggest let down.  You know when you watch a movie, you see this truly despicable character and, you just know they're going to get their comeuppance?  Sucker Punch is all set-up and no pay off in that respect, sort of like a, well sucker punch.

The movie is not as bad as the professional reviews made it out to be and is worth seeing for the impressive display of visuals, but it does have more than a few issues stemming from its script and horribly named characters. 





Feb 10th

I HOPE THEY SERVE BEER IN HELL- DVD Review

By Mitzi at the Movies


 

Well, hello there, strangers.  It feels as if it has been years and years since I last wrote.  I will be honest with you...my life has not been the same without LOST.  It is over and I am trying to move on but I am having a tough time.  I went to Maui and Topeka and smiled and acted like I was fine...but inside I was crying...feeling...an emptiness, that I have never felt before.  I got in a tad of trouble in Tijuana, but I am back now and things are looking up.  I may never find a TV series quit like LOST but I can be grateful I got to be a part of it.  I am looking forward to this next chapter in my exciting life.  Meanwhile,  this next film...hmmm....

Feb 10th

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT- DVD Review

By Mitzi at the Movies


Greetings, friends!  It has been ages and ages since our last chat.  I ran into a bit of trouble in Utah, but not a big deal, and I am back and I am fine and I am grateful for my friends.  So, how are you?  My editor is posting me someplace new, and I find it quite thrilling.  I adore change!   I know, you want me to talk movies to you …k, so here we go!

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