TGWTG Film Club #8: Shaun Of The Dead

January 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well, It’s been a while since I’m doing my selected TGWTG Film Club Reviews and I thought I should do at least one more because the thread that involves these hasn’t been updated for a while and it’s surprisingly not up to the movie that one forum member (which is me) have selected. So instead of ending it with nowhere, I decide to end it a bang and the movie that I’m reviewing is Shaun of the Dead.

 

 

This cult-classic movie opens up with Shaun (Simon Pegg) who is facing his future by his slacker lifestyle involving his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) whom she’s having second thoughts about their relationship and his dead-end job at an electronic store. Over a day has passed and the Zombies have rise to kill anything that moves and I like it when Shaun walks from his home to the nearest Kiosk to get the Cornetto and other stuff.

 

 

Shaun and his best friend Ed (Nick Frost) eventually discover the outbreak and attempts to kill the first undead they encountered by – throwing Vintage Vinyl Records. Actually, They got stuff from the Shed they haven’t been there yet and so on. Shaun later decides to get their flatmate Pete’s car (note that Peter is played by Peter Serafinowicz), get to his mother’s place while killing the stepfather Philip (Bill Nighy), go get Liz and survive the walking dead in the nearest pub known as The Winchester.

 

 

However, Not anything goes according to plan as Philip didn’t become Zombie until close to an hour later, his mother got bitten by a neighbour and Shaun distracts the Zombies so the other survivors hide out in the Winchester (which its window is smashed by Dylan Morris). He survives and ended back to his favorite pub but didn’t notice the Zombies will return eventually and it leaves Shaun, Liz and already bittened Ed as the last set of survivors.

 

 

So the military appears, Several Zombies are now replacing slacker workers for work and Shaun lives happily ever after with his girlfriend… oh, and Zombie Ed is playing Video Games in the Shed. This is one of the classical efforts on the second “Zombiemania” that’s happening last decade and still stands today. It has funny jokes, good acting and couple cameo appearances (blink and you’ve probably miss Coldplay surviving the Apocalypse) and it’s very Recommended by all so go see it… unless you already did.

TGWTG Film Club #7: The Departed

September 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Any director has their ups and downs during their careers and Martin Scorsese is no exception since I know the cast members of The Sopranos made fun of him because he made “Kundum“. I seen several of his movies and the last Scorsese movie prior to this that I have seen is The Aviator and it’s pretty weird enough that Gwen Stefani gets a role. What? Lori Petty is not available (actually, don’t get her since she still sucks) and that movie suffered Leonardo DiCaprio to slow his career down before The Departed. By the time this movie hits, it gained a couple of Oscars and great performances which ignite an “unofficial” comeback to our Jack Dawson himself (this is before Inception and Scorsese’s Shutter Island).

I bet Today’s Gangster Culture makes fun of Scorsese because of “A Shark’s Tale“. Am I Right, My Homies?

This movie focuses on two different subplots – The first subplot involves Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) whom after graduated to the police force has suddenly become an undercover agent to check on the wrong-doings of Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). While investigating, He stumbles in the Brooklyn crime of blood and murder while he developed a relation with psychiatrist Madolyn Madden (Vera Farmiga). I can tell you that if you seen the trailers and television spots that if Billy Costigan will make it throughout the movie than here’s something you should know – It’s an Scorsese movie so don’t expect everything.

I’ve been wondering what Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon is watching at the cinema – I bet it has something to do with an emo teenager and an imaginary bunny named Frank.

The second subplot focuses on Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) who’s been raised as part of Costello’s family of organised crime and had just graduated from the police force and had developed a relationship with Madolyn. Yeah, those two subplots involve both Billy and Colin becoming a narc and is a lover of the same psychiatrist. You might think it’s Hostel 1 & 2 combined but Eli Roth has nothing on Scorsese and those subplots are connected in a genius way possible. And what’s also genius about it is that “X” influences he lifted from Howard Hawks version of Scarface. By The Way, Has any guest stars of MTV’s Cribs ever seen the 1930s version instead of Brian De Palma’s acclaimed classic?

This makes the X-Men movies series more foreshadowing when it comes to the deaths of Jean Grey, Cyclops and Professor Xavier amongst many others. Damn, I hope Deadpool won’t be on the list (and I mean when it’s played by Ryan Reynolds and not some idiot who cannot speak).

This movie is a definitive of a modern masterpiece and is Martin back to this roots that he started on Mean Streets, it has good storytelling, awesome dialogue (especially from Nicholson and all-cursive Mark Wahlberg) and powerful score. There’s twists and turns and I can’t wait for the sequel because of one thing – Robert DeNiro returns to the movies directed by Scorsese. I fucking love DeNiro as an antagonist in those kinds of movies (he’s playing a corrupted senator) and I like to see how it goes so fingers crossed on that.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg could be the best Hip-Hop duo if Marky Mark remained an hip-hop artist.

TGWTG Film Club #6: RoboCop

September 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

Back in the eighties, We were given the kind of people who are considered icons from Chuck Norris to Pierre Kirby to… Steve Guttenberg (so sue me if I still like those Police Academy movies). There are also fictional characters that became part of our media culture and one of them is the perfect police officer known as RoboCop. Ever since the first movie hits, RoboCop is one of the franchises that is still around but today’s people hardly took a notice. It gained two sequels, couple animated series, a television series and countless comic books. And yet, RoboCop isn’t as big as Star Wars and Star Trek combined but is near there. I remember seeing this movie when I was a kid and despite the R-Rating, I can still watch it even with my soon-to-be divorced parents involved because it’s that nostalgic anyway.

You know what? This would have been the best RoboCop sequel that I badly wanna see, I ain’t kidding.

I really need to get a life but anyway let me review the first movie in a retrospective style. The movie sets within in the not-too-distant future and it involves Officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) and his partner Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen) as they try to bring justice to the war-torn streets of Detroit (which seems to be too late despite Devil’s Nights and Gangsta Rapping involved there) but Murphy himself got killed off by one of the local gangs, which is led by Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood “Red Foreman” Smith). But don’t worry, the Omni Consumer Products corporation have the chance to rebuilt him and became the six-million dollar icon known as RoboCop (I’m gonna stop making references to other television shows and movies). Meanwhile, Dick Jones has an alternative known as the ED-209 who is so antagonistic enough to kill few humans in the flick.

Kurtwood Smith came a long way from a little show with Patrick Swayze as a gang leader. What? You haven’t heard of the short-lived television show “The Renegades“? Gee, I have seen the stuff you humans never seen (okay, this is the last shout-out reference and I swear to God on that).

While being resurrected as RoboCop, Alex Murphy has to obey the law while gaining his old memories involving his family along the way. And guess what? The action gets more bloody beyond Murphy’s death involving the death of few characters before the showdown with ED-209. The movies then closes out with Dick Jones facing a crisis in the boardroom which results to his death and RoboCop giving the name “Murphy” to the president of the OCP corporation. The end (and that was pretty fast).

Finally, something worse that his own sex tape – Dustin Diamond as RoboScreech with boobs!

With Paul Verhoeven’s directing style, This movie is very known and is must-recommended to those who haven’t seen RoboCop. It’s an stand-out for its ultra-violence through catchphrases (eg. “I buy that for a dollar”) and it’s also prefect to be just an stand-alone movie. Even those commercials (I wanna play that nuke board game) is awesome. Heck, It even has great sequel like the one with an foul-mouth pre-pubescent gang member. Okay, bad example but what about the flying Robocop one. Uhhhh, I remember a television show with that “Commander Cash” involved. You know what? Just see the first one because the others suck anyway.

Additional screencaptions time…

Michaelangelo approves of an Robocop Pajama guy so Cowabunga, Dude!

I wish I could interrupt Kanye West with the fact that his song is good but the movie is 100% friggin’ times better. Oh yeah, I wanna go there.

Is this how Paul Verhoeven thinks of Robocop as an “American Jesus” figure (and in addition, Why there’s a remakesploitation of Robocop that I haven’t heard?)

Oh, not another one. How the heck did I miss that?

TGWTG Film Club Review #5: A Serious Man

September 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s pretty obvious that I’m yet another movie buff but here’s the thing: I haven’t seen all of Roman Polanski and it’s not because of his charges against an underage girl… it’s because I haven’t got the time to see The Pianist or Rosemary’s Baby. Heck, The only Sidney Lumit films I seen are Network and Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead. And Surprisingly I haven’t seen movies that stars Ronald Reagan but I do know he played an US President decades before he actually succeeds as one. I’m the kinda critic who has the average movie buff knowledge. And you already knew about my Mad Max/Road Warrior mistake. So now comes the Coens Brothers directorial works. Believe it or not, I actually seen all their movies from their debut feature Blood Simple through this movie. Not only that, I even seen Crime Wave and it’s produced by them.

Joel & Ethan Coen: Making us believe that Fargo was a true story since 1996.

Since we getting to A Serious Man, It’s another Coens movie that doesn’t seem like the Coens themselves had made it despite no George Clooney starring role and no cameos with Bruce Campbell or Frances McDonald. Though I like to see a Coens movie with Bruce Campbell in a starring role. One Day, It will happen.

A Coens Brothers movie with Ash in a main starring performance, It must happen! It must!

Like The Brothers Bloom, This movie is recently released and that means no spoilers and plot twist for another year or so. The movie sets in Minnesota in 1967 and focuses on Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) who’s facing his mid-life crisis situation that involves his Wife leaving him for another man while his brother (played by Spin City‘s Richard Kind and a good performance here) is slacking off like he has no job and no place to live. Meanwhile, Larry’s son is also in a situation of avoiding him being bullied before of the money that he borrowed for his high times with marijuana.

Larry Gopnik is secretly played by Jason Lee but the Coens can get away with everything (Yeah, I can’t think of a good joke on the only actual screencaption from the movie itself so sue me).


While Larry’s life is fucked at this point, He is seeking his Rabbi priest in order to get a divorce but ended up with two other priests that he don’t find suitable for the divorce situation, including one played by Simon Helberg (best known on ”The Big Bang Theory”). And while this movie involves what the Jewish life was like in the 60s generation, there’s deaths, a dream sequence (I blamed the Oscars for thinking that was real in a 2009 movie montage) and bizarre scene with Larry’s son and the Rabbi priest which involves the meaning of… well, you have to see it.

The truth about ”The Meaning of Life”: The title of an 1980s sketch comedy movie starring six well-known British comics. No seriously, The cast of Monty Python are gods amongst all comedians.

What’s strange about this movie more is the prologue that doesn’t seem to be related to the story other than the Jewish connections so it felt like the Coens made their own ”Big Lipped Alligator” moment so it is a first and I know because I seen all the Coens movies.

Coming soon from the Coens Brothers: A Cereal Man starring Al Gore… and Man-Bear-Pig!


To sum it all up, this movie is okay and good to watch along with The Ladykillers, Raising Arizona and well, Intolerable Cruelty (which to me is the least-favorite of all Coens movies) and fun for a drinking game. So here’s to the first Coens movie with brand new cast (other than Richard Kind and Simon Helberg) and drink it up because their next feature, True Grit is on the way. Before I done, I’m gonna review an non-TGWTG Film Club movie next week because I don’t have a copy of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels which is one of Guy Richie’s best so I have to suffer myself with something awful and bad.

So freaking what? I seen parts of ”Who’s Nailin’ Paylin?” and to be truthful, Dick Cheney does the shooting of this movie (and no, I don’t know how I put this image which is unrelated to the movie that I’ve just reviewed).

TGWTG Film Club Review #4: Twelve Monkeys

September 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ladies and Gentleman, I’m here to make something official – Twelve Monkeys is the best movie directed by Terry Gilliam. No, Really. To Me, This is the best Terry has ever done along with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Brazil and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The movie is suspenseful, mind-blowing and claustrophobic at the same time and I enjoy every minute of it. Now I know that it’s not Terry’s original idea since it’s ”inspired” by La Jetee, an 1960s short film with a similar plot and I never seen it. Sure enough, It can be seen on YouTube but I know how it ends… that is unless Terry change the ending up a bit. So let me start the story…

Did you know that Terry’s original idea of 12 Monkeys actually involved Talking Monkeys? Nope than considered yourself fooled.

The movie involves James Cole (Bruce Willis), a prisoner who keeps having dreams involving the death of a certain somebody on the airport. He exists in an now-alternate future where the virus (I call this ”The Gilliam Syndrome” since either I forgot what’s it called or that they never mentioned it) drove the remained humanity to underground and let the animals roam the earth (or one city that well… you probably get the idea). He is assigned to travel to the mid-nineties to see how ”The Gilliam Syndrome” started and so on. But here’s the fucking twist, Their time travel device is malfunctioned and actually sends him to 1990 to the point he is committed to a mental institution. You know what? That is a good plot device, An actual time-traveller send back in time and his actions landed him to the loony bin. We haven’t seen that in other time travel movies before that (well, except that ”1985A newspaper article” on Back to the Future Part II but moving on)…

Bruce and Brad are pissed that Ashton Kutcher’s twitter stalkers are always near them.

During his stay in the Baltimore Mental Hospital, He meets two people who becomes part of his life – Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe, who pretty much does few films and several television stuff before her retirement to the movie business last year) and Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt, who pretty much does more films before I discovered him to be an atheist and I can take that). Now Jeffrey Goines is send there because of his animal rights and anti-consumerism. Wait a minute, Brad Pitt plays a guy who’s not down with Consumerism. You know what? Screw Jeffrey Goines, I’m just gonna call you ”Tyler Durden” throughout the review.

Brad Pitt is an atheist! Okay, So what is Angelina Jolie’s religious status anyway?

Back to the Baltimore 1990 time period and the movie became filled with familiar Gilliam motifs and styles even to the point Jack nearly escaped but he eventually send back to his own timeline. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Kathyn thinks Jack is a bit familiar but we get to that part later. Nothing much happens before his second time travelling occurs when he accidentally is sent to WWI era and got a bullet. Not only that, he’s not the only time-traveller to being accidentally send there since his friend Jose. But don’t worry, he is eventually sent to the mid-nineties and kidnapped Kathryn who’s now an best-selling author. Jack wants to track down Tyler Durdan but before that, they see a painted graffiti of ”Twelve Monkeys” logo (along with Muse poster which predates the band’s mainstream career) and a weird shop with plants and animal noises soundtrack. It’s claustrophobic at best and I’m going straight through Jack meeting Tyler Durden who’s now acting like a spoiled son of his millionaire father (played by Chrisopher Plummer) and it’s a matter of minutes before Jack returns to his timeline.

I didn’t know Muse have the part of this movie, Sweet!

Before the third time-travelling act, Kathryn gets visited by Detective Elliot Stabler (okay, Christopher Meloni as a detective but who cares? He’s still Stabler) and later discovers where she recognised Jack from earlier, on a WWI photo with Jose also pictured. Now on the final act and things are getting crazy, Kathryn now believes Jack’s future history and they try to prevent the virus. While thinking it was Tyler’s doing, they are actually releasing animals to the streets (along with killing Tyler’s father!) and it was actually Dr. Peters (David Morse) who has the holding of the virus and about to unleash on the airport. Jack and Kathryn (in disguise) are attempt to stop Dr. Peters before Jack sees Jose and other time-travellers in the airport and this point explains the ending – Dr. Peter did unleash ”The Gilliam Syndrome” and Jack attempts to shoot Dr. Peters but the security guards with guns stopped that. And Jack’s death is being seen by a little kid who later turns out to be Jack Cole. Thus, This explains the nightmare part of the story.

Don’t tell this kid but he will grow up to be Hudson Hawk and that Easter Bunny from North.

The movie ends with Dr. Peters on the airplane, Jack Cole closing the time loop and the world filled with animals. To Me, this is the best Terry Gilliam I ever seen (again, along with the other three I previously mentioned) and it’s one of the best Time Travelling stories ever told. Now if excuse me while I’m gonna leap to somebody else and putting things right that once went wrong and hoping the next leap will be… well, you get the idea.

Sunuvabitch, I leaped into a monkey again!

TGWTG Film Club Review #3: The Brothers Bloom

September 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Brothers Bloom… Not Starring Orlando But At Least Miranda Kerr Dreams About It.

After the week of mishap that was “The Road Warrior“, I’m moving on from the shenanigans and get on to my third review known as The Brothers Bloom, which is a second directorial feature by Rian Johnson. Before I Start, I got two things to write – one is that the movie is released last year so despite the recent times, I won’t spoil you the endings and twist and another thing is I was a fan of his earlier film known as Brick which involves Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a high school student doing detective work involving the death of his girlfriend played by Emilie De Ravin. Heck, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is pretty awesome in any movie I have seen (as well as 3rd Rock From The Sun).

Yes, I also seen Mysterious Skin and At least I find it enjoyable despite the controversial context like that Aliens Kidnapping plot.

Now on to this movie, The story involves two Bloom brothers – Bloom and Stephen (Oh Great, It’s the Super Mario Brothers Routine Again) who along with sometimes silent-but-indeed deadly friend “Bang Bang” do the usual conning stuff involving stealing cash before they sometimes get caught. Their latest mission is to use Penelope Stamp (played by the hot, hot actress Rachel Weisz) as a mark to get more cash while getting involved with ”The Curator” and ”Diamond Dog” (hopefully not based upon a David Bowie album title with an additional ”S” involved). With Penelope involved, I can’t tell if her breakdancing and other skills she used is by either Rachel Weisz herself or some girly haired dude like what happened on Flashdance but anyway. Oh shit, I had drawn a blank (meaning I got nothing to say) and it’s because of Rachel Weisz.


Oh Rachel Weisz, You Can ”Mummified” Me Anytime.

Okay, back to the movie. She did fall to the plan by stealing a fake book and so on and so far, I can’t tell you no more of the story so it’s better if you see it. What do I describe the movie is as if Wes Anderson had a drunken night out with a female version of Michel Gondry and created an lovechild that is almost an perfect Auteur film. It has great scenery, good soundtrack with Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens and surprising twists near the end. If Rian is trying to be an Auteur storyteller, it’s working so far and he might succeed with it further with his next film called Looper (think Bruce Willis and Joseph in a time-travelling thriller… Sweet!). Next week is another TGWTG review involving The Talented Mr Ripley and sadly, I don’t have a copy of the film (nor do I have a copy of Ripley’s Game and three other movies that I didn’t know of that has Tom Ripley as a character) so I look for a different kind of movie to review so I won’t spoil you that until then. At least the week after that involves Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt and their involvement in another Gillian masterpiece known as 12 Monkeys so that’s all I got for now.

Dennis Hopper as Thomas Ripley and hopefully set during the 70s… I Must Track This Down Immediately.

TGWTG Film Club #2: Mad Max

September 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

NOTE: After the time of this writing, I made a goof and thinking The Road Warrior is the first Mad Max movie rather than the second which is also known as ”Mad Max II: The Road Warrior”. I apologise for the confusion of this review and even made an apology on the ”OMG, I Made A Total Mistake” post so yeah… everybody makes mistake and this is one of mine.

Since I’m an Australian-born critic then I’m here to talk about the thing known as ”Ozploitation” and… It’s best to see Not Quite Hollywood because I hardly seen any Ozploitation movies. Other than this classic franchise, the only movie of the genre I seen happens to be Patrick and that’s about it. Oh, Don’t worry… I did see several Aussie movies from time to time but hardly in ozploitation genre.

NOW on to the Road Warrior or as we say in downunder ”Mad Max” or ”Max Max, the Road Warrior”, this movie is the first of three (so far) post-apocalyptic ozploitation saga that everybody knows except one thing… the first movie isn’t really post-apocalyptic. No seriously, some people say Mad Max takes place in Australia after an apocalyptic event. True, if you meant the next two movies but the first actually takes place while the event is still happening.

We meet Max Rockatansky played by a famous Australian actor known as Mel Gibson (even though he’s born in New York but let’s not get ahead with ourselves). You see, Max is a highway police officer who hunts down nearby gangs through graphic car chase sequences. He is also a family man on the first movie but it’s a ozploitation movie so something unthinkable is gonna happen.

Mad Max… looking Madder than before

The antagonist in this movie is known as Toecutter and his gang that remains nameless so I could make fun of his gang names throughout the review and Toecutter himself is pissed off about the death of his gang member Nightrider so what do they do? They vandalise the towns while Max and the other highway police officers is not around as well as stealing oil and that’s about it. Max them became disillusional with his police force that he resigns his job and spend time with his family several miles outside his hometown.


What’s next? A gang leader known as Sugartits (apologies with females and anybody that’s been called that name by Mel Gibson himself)

And then we get to the point when Toecutter and the Fingercuffers vandalise the town that Max happens to stay in including attempts to rape Max’s wife and with the attempt failed, how about killing her… oh, and also their only child.

With his family dead, Max is now Mad tuned up to 11 (Sorry, I can’t find any angry Mad Max picture but it is kinda funny to put the pictures of him not looking mad)

While it’s too late for Max to stop Toecutter and the Goldfinders, Max then became a vigilante with nothing to lose and gained his revenge by killing off Toecutter and the Middlefingers (that’s it, I’m done with the gang names) and left him to wander on the outback while the crazy shit is happening. The End.

This movie is indeed a cult classic and while there’s a fourth one coming (with or without Mel Gibson, no less), who knows if it’s gonna be good. Though I’ve been wondering what kind of apocalypse is taken place in Mad Max universe.

Well, Al I know is there’s an fan-made speculated timeline (the link is on below) which explains Mad Max takes place in 2000 (or in George Miller’s case, a few years after the release of the first one) and in few years time, there’s an ”Oil War Apocalypse” which involves empty oceans, nuclear holocausts and no mentioning of Lady Gaga, Twitter and the Twilight Saga. So take that, Generation Y.

I’m actually 25 and that classify me as Gen-Y material so my bad on that. Yes, that’s my third apology.

While it is just a speculation except the empty ocean part which if you seen ”Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” where there’s a shot of Sydney shown, let’s leave it at that then. I also found out there’s an children’s picture book on the third movie and I seem to remember owning it once. I’m not kidding, an kid-made pictional adaptation of the third movie which is based on the first and second movie that contains scenes of violence and gore exists. I’m pretty sure it cost a hundred bucks on ebay by now.

Not only that, one of my parents used to own this book at the same time I got Beyond Thunderdome. The 80s are so weird and wonderful.

So if you wanna see Mad Max (or the Road Warrior), just see the non-dubbed version or see the dubbed version while smoking a joint and playing a drinking game. Oh, and who cares about Mel Gibson’s recent controversies involving racism, sexism, alcoholism and anything else. He is fucking Mad Max and also he’s Riggs because he’s crazy.

In the meaning, here’s the website of the timeline (http://www.madmaxmovies.com/archives/web-pages/alex-maddison-mad-max-chronology/mchron.html) and in addition a clip from The Chaser’s War on Everything that’s inspired by Mel’s drunken stages:

So until I’m getting a copy of The Brothers Bloom and The Talented Mr Ripley, I’m gonna go beyond this review… Beyond Thunderdome, no less.


1) This is my fourth apology so there you go and 2) I’m pretty sure the progress is passed so the joke is already failed in a million places. Damn, I suck.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the TGWTG Film Club category at The Ludovico Technique.