Lets Talk Movies

Thursday, January 29, 2009

REPO! The Genetic Opera

This offering concerns a direct to DVD release.

REPO! The Genetic Opera is one of the wierdest, most creative movies I've seen in a long long time.

The plot goes like this: in the future there is a plague which causes internal organs to fail. GeneCo is a company which builds/recycles organs..For a price. Easy finance terms are available but if you miss a payment the REPO man will come and retrieve the company's property. Each organ has a barcode on it for "easy" identification. There is drama, intrigue and subplot so fans of classical opera will be satisfied.

Musical voices are supplied by Sara Brightman and Paris HIlton! (See..I told you it was wierd)

Set design is amazing, acting is great the music is a blend of Wagnerian classical to Nine Inch Nails industrial. - the first true Rock Opera in a long while..and the genre has been sorely missed.

I'm not going to say much more about REPO..except
You all MUST see this movie! It is available from NetFlix. Watch the extra features also..and get the history of the writers.

Monday, January 26, 2009



This movie really brought back memories for me. I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic School all my life. The opening sequence has Fr. Flynn delivering a sermon on a Sunday morning. There are several children in the congregation fidgeting, sleeping, chatting with each other... Sr. Aloysius (Meryl Streep) walks down the aisle..with a stealth only attainable by a nun in full habit (trust me I've been there!) ... and reminds each one to pay attention..smacking one in the head, and startling the sleeper to full attention. Those nuns are Awesome!

The story concerns an older nun in the post Vatican II church mid/late 60's located in something like upstate New York or possibly Southern New Jersey. Sr. Aloysius has it in her head that Fr. Flynn has engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a young 8th grader who happens to be the only black child in the school. The student is also gay in a time when the world did not accept them, and even parents, particularly fathers, were known to beat and even kill their children for being "that way".

The film design is wonderful, voice coaching is perfect, the story is compelling. A friend and I went to see it and we came out with oppositional conclusions about what really happened. Either conclusion is valid based on the evidence put forth. Ms Streep has most certainly earned her Best Actress nomination, as well as Philip Seymore Hoffman as Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Amy Adams and Viola Davis as Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Truly amazing work done by all.

Now, the only criticism I have is that I REMEMBER what it was like to be a practicing Catholic back then..and trust me..the priest NEVER left the pulpit. (Fr. Flynn wanders from the pulpit during his sermons), a nun would NEVER have spoken to a priest in the way that Sr. Aloyisuis speaks to Fr. Flynn, and Sr. James would NEVER mouth off to her Mother Superior.
But that's old school Catholic memories for ya..

This is still a film worth seeing..and I do recommend it!

til next time..


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Hi there!

I just got back from seeing Defiance. With Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, and Daniel Craig.

First I confess I really enjoy war films in general, and WWII films in particular. This one is the story of the Bielski brothers who, after watching their family murdered by Polish police paid by the German Nazi's to hunt Jews, find themselves the guardian/protectors of a group of 1200 Jewish refugees.

They hid in the forests of Belarussia for almost 3 years, joined Russian resistance fighters, and created community in a time of fragmentation, chaos and terror. A memorable quote "just because the German's hunt us like rabbits, doesn't mean we become animals".

The only criticism I have for this film...and I have the same criticism for most films these days..is that the compositors these days thing that they must fill EVERY inch of the frame for a scene to have value. My suggestion: go to film school and learn how to compose a frame! There are reasons why we don't fill the whole frame: we can't see it! THe battle scenes are TOO busy! It is difficult to track the action because it is splashed across the whole screen. It is almost impossible to watch. The rest of the film is well framed and well staged. There are one or two incidents where accents peek thru but this does not impact the experience of the film.

All in all it was a very enriching film and I do recommend it.
Lest we forget..

Til next time...

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Day The Earth Stood Still

Have I ever mentioned that I HATE movies that use a great idea to manipulate me about political issues?

The Day..etc. Is such a film. The Alien in the film, very well emoted by Keanu Reaves, represents a galactic group who has judged the Earth to be in need of protection..from US! And so starts the "we-humans-are-destroying-the-planet-and-all-the-plants-and-animals-on-it" morality tale.

Now I know that the original version from 1951 has the aliens as the galactic peace enforcers...which is funny..the penalty for not being peaceful is that they will destroy the world..peace under threat of violence. hmmmm

Truthfully the new version is much more positive. The Aliens are going to protect the earth by eliminating us..since we're using this lovely planet up at an alarming rate..perhaps it's a good notion to get us out of the way and give Earth time to recover it'self.

My thoughts are that the planet does not require anything of us. It is an amazing machine that will run with or without intervention from mere human beings and it's arrogance for us to think anything else. Evidence of this is in front of us who live in areas of the country with "fire seasons". It is amazing how little time it takes for new lovely green life to spring from the ashes of a forest or canyon fire.

The movie was enjoyable. The special effects very good, and inspite of feeling a bit manipulated, the content was compelling enough for me to recommend it.

til next time..

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Quantum of Solace

Ok, did anyone else have a problem with this member of the James Bond Franchise?

The story was ok...some have been worse..I mean did anyone actually like "Die Another Day" (except for Halle Berry of course)
and did everyone not love the Casino Royale remake?

Now let me qualify things..I LOVE Daniel Craig as the new choice for James Bond. The criticism I have is in how the movie was put together..

Well this one has a reasonably good story, but two conspicuously missing elements push this movie into the category of "once is enough". What are the missing elements?
Theme Song
Opening Sequence

This move has an opening car chase that is boring and too too long. What a cop out. Cars..the demise of "The Matrix Reloaded". The only car chase scene that I've EVER enjoyed in a film was in the remake of The Italian Job with Mark Wahlberg Carleze Theron and Donald Sutherland and that was because every single element of it played into the whole plan/dance of the heist. This one is gratuitous and long.

You know, I will go along with almost any Bond movie plot..weak ones, marginal ones wonderful ones..IF and only IF you give me an engaging opening sequence AND a great and catchy theme. Now we all know that the great Shirley Bassey is hard to beat as the voice of James Bond but Paul McCartney has done it, so has Sheena Easton and even Duran Duran. We KNOW that Alicia Keys is an amazing and gifted musician, composer and arranger..so what happened?

It's sad that this edition of the Bond franchise will not be joining the timeless list.. maybe next time...

Delightful Little Movies

Happy New Year!

I spent the year enjoying lots of "Oldies but Goodies".

Around Halloween I revisited what I consider to be the compleat ghost story movie: "Ghost Story..featuring an amazing cast list of: Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., John Houseman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal and Alice Kreige, and masterfully directed by John Irvin.

Simply an awesome Ghost Story. I recommend it highly.

There is a local cable channel here which features Night Gallery episodes and The Sixth Sense..a Night Gallery spin-off..ah the nostalgia.. I think my first crushes were on David McCalum - The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Patrick McGoohan - The Prisoner, Gary Collins - The Sixth Sense, and Bill Bixby - The Magician. I know this dates me..but well there ya go.

Today I'm sitting doing my favorite thing: The Twilight Zone Marathon..sigh..bliss and contentment.

next entry..Quantum of Solace