Back In The Day

Way back in the day, when things were simple, and there was far less to bitch about.

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Posts Tagged ‘Film review’

Inception

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on September 26, 2010

INCEPTION (2010)

At last, my long-awaited review for Inception is here. Who DOESN’T want to talk about this movie? Now, I’m going to attempt to write about this in a way that allows people who have yet to see it to skip over the spoilery parts, but if you’re super-strict about such things you might just want to come back here after you’ve seen it. And yes, you should see it. I am breaking my pattern here and telling you upfront that this is a film to watch. I saw The Prestige and I did not enjoy it, but I really liked this film (and yes, I understood The Prestige far too well, which is part of the reason why I didn’t like it–but I’ll get into that when I write that film up). So, for those of you who are terribly behind on your cinema exposure, go see Inception and then get back to me. Read the rest of this entry »

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Predators

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on August 8, 2010

PREDATORS (2010)

Well colour me shocked, kittens, but this I actually found this retread to be fairly enjoyable! If you haven’t heard of the Predators franchise, then please rapidly extract yourself from the hole in which you are currently residing and GET TO DA CHOPPA!! Er, I mean, introduce your face to the original film. In actuality, it’s not necessary for the understanding of this film, but there are references to what happened in the original, as well as a number of homages and throwbacks, so it makes the film a bit more enjoyable to watch if you’ve seen the first. I will admit that my memory of the first one isn’t that great, so I’m sure I missed many of those ‘inside jokes’. Either way, the throwbacks I did get were fun. Read the rest of this entry »

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Legion

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on July 10, 2010

LEGION (2010)

I like to follow good classic films with terrible movies.

Legion is almost inexplicably hard to describe. I really don’t know what it was that I watched that night. What I do know is that Paul Bettany has been on this weird ‘religious badass character’ binge for awhile (The Da Vinci Code, the upcoming film Priest), and this film falls firmly into that category. Bettany plays Michael, an angel who decides to disobey God’s orders and protect humanity when God decides to go all Old Testament on us and destroy human kind. I think the reason why is because we take everything for granted and we’re all pretty terrible. Or maybe we don’t love God enough. I don’t really remember. Either way, Michael decides God is just being moody and will eventually realize how ridiculous this entire plan is, so he comes to Earth with a purpose… to take off his shirt, as all the advertisements promised. Read the rest of this entry »

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My Man Godfrey

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on July 2, 2010

MY MAN GODFREY (1936)

“The only difference between a derelict and a man is a job.”

Another classic screwball comedy to throw into the mix. This title was always familiar to me, and yet I never really knew any of the stars, nor did I know anything about the plot. I found myself quite surprised and amused by the film, while also slightly irked throughout. The film is quick to the pick-up, dumping the viewer in a trash heap with a number of homeless men. When a few members of the bourgeoisie pull up to the site, one particularly snooty woman offers $5 to her homeless man of choice, telling him that they are taking part in a high-class scavenger hunt and that bringing in a “forgotten man” will bring their team a huge amount of points and the win. Little did she know that the man she chose is smart, quick-witted, and uncompromising of his dignity, nor is he afraid to speak back to those with money and power. Instead of helping her, he opts to help her kinder–albeit naive and spoiled–sister, and subjects himself to becoming an almost zoo-like spectacle to a room full of upper-crust men and women. Read the rest of this entry »

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Toy Story 3

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on June 22, 2010

TOY STORY 3 (2010)

OH MY GOD I AM TOTALLY REVIEWING A MOVIE IMMEDIATELY AFTER ITS OPENING WEEKEND!!!

I had forgotten what a solid franchise Toy Story was until I saw this film on Saturday. It doesn’t necessarily have a prerequisite for the other two films, but seeing them certainly would help to inform this installment. This film has it all–a decent story, enjoyable characters, great humour, content for both adults and children, and even decent tear-jerking and fear evocation. The plot is absolutely solid–the toys are facing a life-changing dilemma as Andy, their owner, is about to head off to college and has to go through his belongings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Taking Woodstock

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on June 12, 2010

TAKING WOODSTOCK (2009)

It’s so hard to watch films about music during this time period and not wish I had been around for it. True story: My father is so impatient that he turned around on his way to Woodstock due to traffic. I will never forgive him for that. The film Taking Woodstock isn’t so much about the music as it is about the man who ‘saved’ it. That man is Elliot Tiber in reality, and this film is based off his book (co-written with Tom Monte) about how Woodstock came to be in his home town. It’s a film that is much more about a young man’s struggle with his family and his own identity; it’s a story of self-discovery, of independence, Read the rest of this entry »

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The French Connection

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on June 5, 2010

THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)

Behold, a young Gene Hackman and possibly the best car chase scene in cinematic history!

Forgive me, but I just got obsessed with The West Wing and I kinda need to finish it before the fall begins (SEVEN SEASONS) so I have been powering through the episodes and not devoting my free time to this blog. I am ashamed.

The French Connection should ring at least SOME bells. It’s a definite classic, it’s a rough and dirty film, and it’s incredibly famous for the car chase sequence. This is a major Oscar-winning film, bringing in the little gold man for Best Actor, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Writing (based on another work), and Best Picture–the first R-rated film ever to win for Best Picture after the MPAA adopted the rating system. It also had nominees for Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound. It is another selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.  This movie, my friends, was a big deal. And rightly so. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hopscotch

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on May 29, 2010

Before I start, just going to say RIP Dennis Hopper. All of you people should see Blue Velvet immediately to honor his memory (or Easy Rider, but I still haven’t seen that and it’s on my list).

HOPSCOTCH (1980)

A lesser-known Walter Matthau film! Walter Matthau is probably best known to you whippersnappers as one of the ‘Grumpy Old Men’, along with Jack Lemmon. That pairing was actually made famous in the film adaptation of the Neil Simon play “The Odd Couple”.  Both had extensive movie careers and were widely respected and adored by filmgoers everywhere. I just want to hug Walter Matthau when I see him onscreen. Oh, and he was quite a lot of fun in Charade (recommended).

Hopscotch is a comedy about a rogue CIA agent who essentially engages in a worldwide game of cat and mouse with his former employer and colleagues. Matthau stars as Miles Kendig, an extremely smart and seasoned CIA field agent whose new boss, Myerson (Ned Beatty of Deliverance), decides to punish his latest antics by relegating him to a desk job in the filing room. Kendig, a man of superior wit and whimsy, immediately goes to work on a scheme to deliver the biggest, most embarrassing, and costly “Screw you” to the CIA, and specifically Kendig himself. How does he go about doing this? By leading the CIA on a wild goose chase all over the world in an attempt to find him and stop him from writing a tell-all memoir about his experiences at the CIA– a memoir he is sending out, chapter by chapter, to all major national intelligence agencies worldwide… including the Soviets. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Runaways

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on May 23, 2010

THE RUNAWAYS (2010)

Dakota Fanning as a sex symbol, oh my!

I realize that with my addition of pictures within my reviews, I have gotten a bit more tongue-in-cheek for the last bunch. Part of that is because the pictures lend themselves to a comedic slant, and another part is because the films don’t play into a more serious sort of review. I don’t intend to have that attitude in all of my reviews, but I will try to work with pictures, regardless. People seem to enjoy how the visuals break up my long-winded reviews. Additionally, I am playing with themes to get the pictures to format properly, so bear with me and let me know what you think when you see a new theme pop up!

The Runaways is a film about the 1970s all-girl teen rock band of the same name, specifically about the inception of the band and its beginning years with its original members. It specifically focuses on the two leads of the band, Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. While the film gives us a good understanding of Currie’s background, it leaves Jett’s story mostly in the dark, which I found somewhat odd as Jett was really the brains of the whole operation and the most musically successful member of the band. I knew who Joan Jett was before I walked into the theatre; I couldn’t tell you anything about Cherie Currie except that someone in the band was named “something like Cherry”. I really don’t want to get into specifics about the band history and all, because not only will I just be rewriting this biopic, but I’ll be constantly checking my information and this is not why I write film reviews! So, allow me to get into a little more of the nitty-gritty of the film, and please forgive me for not nitpicking some of the inaccuracies that it included (though I believe those were kept to a minimum since both Jett and Currie were involved in the making of the film). Read the rest of this entry »

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Iron Man 2

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on May 17, 2010

IRON MAN 2 (2010)

I’ve had AC/DC on the brain for days, so seeing this film only helped keep that going. If you don’t know, the film could essentially be considered a giant music video for the AC/DC “album” ‘Iron Man 2’, which is really just a soundtrack compiled of a lot of their “greatest hits” that were used in the film. Oh, there are a few other songs in the movie that are not by AC/DC, but they don’t really matter :P. But I guess I should talk about the second installment of the superfranchise instead of the soundtrack, so here goes.

Unless you live under a rock, you know about Iron Man and you know the general storyline of the main character, Tony Stark/Iron Man. At the end of the last film the world had just been informed that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) really is Iron Man, so now both Stark is even more of a celebrity. And everyone loves him. So now the question is, who could possibly be his adversary, and how? I mean, the guy’s suit is at least 17 different kinds of awesome and powerful. Read the rest of this entry »

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