Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Mercenaries aka Dark Of The Sun

Here is a film thats tough as nails and once it ends your inner voice is screaming about how fucking incredible those 100 minutes of your life were just spent. The opening credits alone are worth the price of admission, with a incredible theme composed by Jacques Loussier. As soon as the film was over i had to rewatch those credits just to hear that beautiful piece of music. Taking place during the Simba revolt, Rod Taylor and Jim Brown are hired by the president of the Congo to journey into hostile territory, retrive millions of dollars worth of diamonds and rescue the mostly white population of a isolated village. Rod Taylor looking every bit of a buff Robin Williams is without a doubt one of the coolest togh guys in a leading mans role. Jim Brown brings sensitivity to his role as Taylors right hand man Ruffalo, who does what he does for the love of his country. Peter Carsen makes your skin crawl as the ex-nazi whos recruited to be the military power to back up Taylor and Browns mission. This is absolutly one of the best Mercenary films ive ever watched. The viloence is still shocking by today standards. This is one fucked up film in that aspect. i can only imagine how people reacted to it when the film first ran in 68.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My picks of 2009

Picks 1 - 8 are not really in any kind of order. These were definatly the best films of 09. I cant say i liked one more than the other, but each one holds a #1 spot in my heart for different reasons.

10. Terminator Salvation

I went in to this with very low expectations. All ive read is bad reveiws with a couple positive ones thrown in. Several of my friends told me to it wasnt good and i should wait to see it on cable. But i was pleasently suprised. I liked it. Its renewed my interest in a series i considered dead. Sam Worthingtons character was one of the more interesting characters in the whole series. Alot of the set peices were cool. The scenery was shot gorgously. And although the action was a bit shaky..it was fine. The kid who plays Kyle Reese does a fine Michael Bein impersonation. Shit he even sounded like him at times. Sure there was a ton of action followed by more action..but it worked just fine. And the characters they focused on were interesting to level out all the action.The Arnold cameo was just plain dumb but expected. What can you do? Relax and enjoy the film..its a popcorn passer.

9. The Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker makes no attempts what so ever to send any kind of sided message at the viewer. This isnt anti war and it isnt pro war. Its just about war. And damn it thats the way a war film should be! The Hurt Locker is possibly the most realistic depiction of war that i have ever seen. There is no Spielberg corniness about life back home every ten minutes. These guts here are brutaly real. The three leads had me convinced they were real soldiers and i was watching a documentary about them. The suspence is almost unbearable at times. This is a full throttle action film with out the "Hollywood" over the top bullshit. And this coming from the woman who made Point Break!!? On a bad note and honestly i would have normally knocked the rating had the film not of been so damn good, is the fact that its a very shaky cam film. Iam ultra sensitive to this and i was ready to blow chunks from motion sickness about an 1 and 45 mins into it. Fuck your 'gamer generation' style of filmmmaking! And damn you for being so good that i cant hold it against you! War doesnt get any more realistic than this...unless you sign up.

8. Drag Me To Hell

Drag Me To Hell is Sam Raimi's triumphant return to the Horror genre. Its been almost 20 years if you count the awfull Army Of Darkness. And With Drag Me To Hell Raimi out does
himself. Its extremly entertaining. Full of jumps galore, frightening imagry, lots of foreign fluids in the mouth, loud creepy sounds, a wonderful Cristopher Young score and that unique Raimi visual style. The story is a good one and Alison Loman is so damn cute you instantly sympathize with her. And Raimi abuses the fuck out of her. He abuses her like he would Bruce Cambell!! In fact i bet when Bruce first saw the film he said, "it about damn time Sam did this to someone other than me!"

7. Moon

Another kick ass entry in the Sci-fi catagory from 2009. Moon is a rather brilliant Sci-Fi film thats relies heavily on mood and thought. Sam Rockwell delivers a fantastic performance. Hes gotta carry this one all by himself. I really didnt know which way the film was going at first and it brilliantly chose the right path. It really makes you think about morality and existence

6. Watchmen

Alan Moores Watchmen like many of his other comics is one of my all time favorite reads! I was a bit hesitant when i heard that Snyder was going to direct. I liked 300 the first time i watched it....but after a second viewing i really disliked it. It has no substance just visual flash and glam. But then i started seeing little bits poping up on the net with Watchmen footage and my hesitation grew to anticipation. And now that ive seen it i can finally say with appreciation "HE DID IT!!" Wow did he do it. What a fantastic job on Snyders part! I dont think anybody could have done a better, more faithful job! And thats saying alot!! The actors cast almost seem to have leaped right from the pages of Dave Gibbons art! The acting was great, the story was perfect and the visuals were breath taking! Thank god Snyder didnt over use his slow-mo style that fills every damn scene of 300. The film never compromises any of the mature stuff and actually improves on some things...namely Comedians brutal ass beating and murder at the very begining. I cant wait to see the extended cut of this when it comes out on dvd later. Until then i think a couple more visits to the theatre will suffice.

5. Taken

O.K. it took me about twenty minutes or so to take the bait but once i did i was not disappointed. Taken has brass fucking balls!This is like Get Carter on PCP. Liam Neeson character does exactly what you would want a person in his type of situation to do...be fucking relentless, show no mercy and make the bastards pay! I cant believe this had a PG-13 rating. Theres no way in hell i would let a kid that age see this. This film makes no apologies for what a revenge film really means. Fuck justice...its all about revenge. Hard hitting, brutal and sleazy as hell!

4. Antichrist

Antichrist is a very mood heavy film. Its dark, bleak and utterly unforgiving. The acting and direction is brilliant. Major kudos goes to its two leads for taking such a risk in the material presented. There is alot of strong imagry and the relationship between the grieving husband and wife is totaly masochistic. This is a incredible film and although I understood what went on I definatly need to see it a couple more times to totaly get it. There is a good bit of heavy symbolism thrown at you on top of the heavy subject matter and mood that it will take me a couple more veiwings. But thankfully i found it that good that i look forward to revisiting this nightmare again. Its original and a welcome entry in the genre! Just see it!

3. The Road

This is a well made and well acted post apocalyptic film. The filmmakers capture the bleakness and physical deteriation of what it would be like better than almost any post Apoc film ive seen. The one film that manages it much more realisticlly is a BBC film called Threads, but this is right there with it. The Road has many tense scenes that at times get down right scary. Those that have turned towards cannibalism are the biggest and ever present threat in this film. Viggo Mortensen is a great actor and this is just one more terrific role in an already impressive resume. The humanity he brings to the role really grabs at you. His main goal is his sons survival. His son in the film holds his own for the most part having to basiclly carry this film with Mortensen. The relationship and bond between father and son is really were the heart of the film lies. There is no political messages made in the film. There is not gore for the sake of grossout. Its just a film about father and son fighting to survive and protecting one another in a horrific situation. Highly recommended!!

2. Inglorious Basterds

Tarintinos masterpiece. Its part pulp war film part spaghetti war film. Its everything you want to see from a Tarintino film. Technicaly its his most accomplished to date. Having studied Leone, there are several scenes of slow building tension thats as good as anything Tarintino had drawn inspiration from!

1 District 9

Finally an original film to see during the summer months! District 9 exceeded expectations. Its a smart film with alot of underlying political themes set against a action packed Sci-Fi film. The first half plays out documentary style before becoming a total assault on the senses. The last half of this film gets very moist and even manages to pull at the heart strings in the process. The CGI is flawless. Lets hope they leave it at just this one and we dont see a sequel! Sci-Fi is getting smart again! This is definatly at the top of my list for 2009! Highly recommended.