Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Films

Halloween has arrived again and according to my tradition I have searched the shelves of horror movies to find rare gems I haven't seen or newbies worthy of my top horror films list. Here are all the ones I've seen thus far (good and bad, old and young).

1. Eyes Without a Face - A B&W French film written by the guys who wrote Vertigo (the book). A chilling concept that implements suspense without the gore. Frightening at times, but other times seems dated and drags in areas.

2. Suspiria - Argento film. The film is highly atmospheric in its horror and succeeds in certain scenes not only through gross out moments but the anticipation. The scenes aren't connected well so the movie as a whole suffers.

3. Peeping Tom - Michael Powell film (British). One of my favorite from this batch. A psychological horror in the vein of Psycho. Good performances, deals with a horror that's present in our world - voyeurism.

4. Rosemary's Baby - Watched it again after a long time and enjoyed it even more this time. The script is so efficient and tight. Their is nothing disguised or hidden, which plays with the imbedded audience expectations with horror films.

5. Grudge 2 - Saw it in the theater. A startling film, but nothing too frightening. Like other Japanese horrors, it is very twisted and strange with some story, if you can comprehend it.

6. The Fly - Weirdly enough I hadn't seen this. Cronenberg's version. Another great horror film that definitely grosses out with the weird. But excellent themes and moral at the heart.

7. Village of the Damned - Carpenter version. I was disappointed with this one. Boring and fairly uneventful. But I have hope the original will be better.

8. Pulse - Japanese version. I started this one, but fell asleep. People say it takes awhile to get started, but I don't fall asleep in many films.

9. Silent Hill - Could have been good if the story had more substance rather than the atmosphere. Definitely disturbing in parts, so don't watch it alone.

That's it for now. More to come.

Friday, October 20, 2006

What I saw the month of October

In order from favorite to least,

The Departed: I'm not a huge Martin Scorsese fan. I admire his films more than I enjoy them. But this film I admired as much as I enjoyed. As a matter of fact this is the most fun I've had in a theater all year. I think what makes a good movie exceptional is when every single character feels like they could be the star of their own movie. No one character dominates, everyone has something shines. It's still not my favorite mob movie, that would be Donnie Brasco, but it has some of the same charm. This movie is up there with Babe 2 pig in the city, Kill Bill Vol 1, To be or not To Be, and Midnight Run.

Also, I saw this in a theater in West Wales, and there were gasps whenever Jack Nicholson said the 'c' word.

The Magnificent Ambersons: I think I enjoyed this more than Citizen Kane, although the script wasn't as snappy.

North by Northwest: I think this works better on a tv screen. The jokes don't seem as creaky then. At the theater I saw this, the audience only laughed twice. The crop dusting sequence is sure intense though.

Jason and the Arganauts: Not as fun as I remember from childhood, but the skeleton fight is top notch.

Volver: This is the first Pedro Almodovar I've seen. I wasn't blown away but I still kind of liked it. It made me want to see his other films. It was the best Lifetime made for TV movie I'd ever seen.

Scanner Darkly: They wrongly marketed it. It wasn't a cool sci-fi with lots of action. I'm glad I was aware of that because I don't think I'd have liked it. As it is, I kind of liked it.

The Leopard: This doesn't deserve to be at the bottom of the list. It's too good a movie, but I was bored and confused. I think it will be much better when I see it again.

Friday, October 06, 2006

What I saw last week

1. Jackass 2: I love the sound of unrestrained laughter in a movie theater. I want to now write my favorite bits of the movie but I won't. The beauty of this movie is not knowing what will happen next. First the thought, who would be stupid enough to do this. then there is the equally suprising thought, they are going to do it. This is a must see, if you (like me) like to see someone get hit in the crotch.

2. School for Scoundrel: I laughed, but my enjoyment was dimmed because they put the funniest moments in the trailer. Luckily they were so funny that I still laughed. I like seeing Jared Hess in films. I hope he lasts.

Monday, October 02, 2006

organize movie and book lists

Sorry if this is off topic, but I thought you guys might be interested. is a site where you can rate and organize lists of films you've seen and would like to see. You can also form groups, share, get recommendations etc. This site also works with books, music and games. is another great site that's a bit more sophisticated with a deeper toolset, it only works with books for now.