Saturday, April 17, 2010


I had a chance to see Chloe the last Thursday at the indi theater downtown which only shows one film at a time. They were losing it on Friday so decided to give it a shot since I had heard mildly interesting/controversial things about the film.

The film is about a woman who hires a prostitute to make a pass at her husband to see if he accepts after she fears he's been cheating on her. Julianne Moore plays Catherine, a doctor, wife, and mother who feels completely left out and unwanted from her husband and sons lives. When her husband David, played by Liam Neeson, "misses" his flight home on his birthday of all days Catherine grows suspicious and after finding a picture of him and a female student together on his pone the next day she decides to investigate the matter even further. That's where prostitute Chloe comes into play, played by Amanda Seyfried of Big Love fame. After Catherine sees Chloe leaving the company of numerous different men from the building next to her office she decides to meet with her and make her the offer to go after David. A test for David if you will.

As the film goes on we realize that Chloe has plans of her own and things start to get a little creepy. Catherine herself starts to slowly break down after she realizes the mess she's gotten herself into. The performances were okay. Julianne Moore is always good but she's really starting to annoy me with her whole pouty and whiney looking face. It's like she's crying in every damn movie she's in in almost every scene, it's just too much. Liam is always pleasant to watch but he's more of a supporting role here and we really don't see all that much of him as the film mainly focuses on Catherine and Chloe.

Director Antom Egoyan has always had a thing for erotic thrillers and that's mostly what he's made in the past with such films as Exotica and Where The Truth Lies. Chloe is in the same category for sure but it just didn't push the limits far enough for me. It just seemed to be holding something back and didn't go all out as the final scene for example seemed incredibly cheap and poorly done. But it is an interesting film to watch, the characters were entertaining, and although the ending was bad there's a pretty good twist about 3/4 of the way through the film that I never really saw coming. Chloe gets a 6/10.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Cruise

I had discovered the documentary The Cruise from watching a clip on Rotten Tomatoes that was Edward Nortons 5 favorite films of all time. The Cruise happened to be his favorite film of all time so with Norton being one of my favorite actors of all time, I immediately started searching for it and low and behold it was on the glorious Netflix instant view.

The Cruise is a 1998 documentary that follows Timothy "Speed" Levitch, a tour guide for New York City's double-decker Gray Line busses. This guy knows just about everything there is to know about NYC. He talks a mile a minute, he's flamboyant, he says what he wants, and he means what he says. He knows about the true history of the city as well as the architecture. I'm not sure if he went to school for architecture or not, I'm pretty sure he didn't, but he probably knows more about it than someone that did.

We come to find out that he only makes a few hundred dollars a week but gets a real joy out of teaching people about the city and making them happy. He certainly doesn't agree with current society and strives to be different and to not live in the shoes of someone who wants to follow all the rules and be a "sucker to society" so to say. I must admit he makes some really valid points on what is expected of humans in this world and how if we don't follow these paths of being "successful" that we're immediately shit on as outcasts. Yes he babbles on and on during the film but it really all makes sense and it's entertaining as hell to watch him strut around the city in his polka dotted jacket and his crazy hair flying all around.

There is a scene in this film where Timothy stands in between the Two Towers and spins around and around to make himself dizzy and then lays on the ground looking up. He stated earlier in the film that this was his favorite thing to do as it appears as though the Two Towers are crashing down upon you. This scene is absolutely beautiful and almost brought a tear to my eye. Timothy "Speed" Levitch may seem like a crazy person at first glance but he's really a beautiful human being with an extraordinary outlook on life and all it's beauty that so many people in this world pass by every day without even noticing. The Cruise gets a 4 and 1/2 outa 5.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I've been meaning to see Fido for quite some time now. I remember always passing it at the Blockbuster in LA at Labrea and Wilshire but never ever renting it. Anyways I had some time last night to sit down and watch it on Netflix instant which is streaming it in HD by the way, so if you have that, check it out.

Fido takes place in the 1950's in a small quiet suburb town that's fenced in from the outside world where zombies run loose in the wild. The zombies that are in the suburb have special electric collars around their necks to keep them under control like pets. People use their own personal zombies to mow their lawns, deliver milk, and to wave at people as they enter the town. When the Robinson's realize they're the only family on the block without one, Mrs. Robinson quickly acquires one and her young son Timmy soon forms a special bond with the zombie and gives him the name Fido.
After Fido saves Timmy from a couple of bullies he gets attacked by an old lady who happens to accidentally break Fido's collar causing him to kill her. Timmy then has to protect Fido form getting sent away back to the "other side" of the fence.

The film has a really great look to it with bright colors and a great 50's feel. Like how all the wives kind of act like robots in the 50's. It's got a look and feel of Edward Scissorhands, Pleasantville, and Dawn of the Dead all mixed as one. It's a very original script and story idea too that offers family fun, emotion, comedy, and gore. The entire cast was great. Carrie-Anne Moss as Mrs. Robinson, Tim Blake Nelson as Mr. Theopolis the neighbor, and of course Billy Connolly as Fido. They were all flawless. Carrie-Anne Moss looks absolutely stunning in this film and delivers some of her best acting ever. Just watching her prance around as this 50's house's amazing. I'm not sure what the budget was on this film but it looked fantastic and I'll be buying this on blu-ray when I get a chance. Go and rent or buy this film asap. I give Fido a 4 outa 5.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Date Night

So I saw Date Night opening night last Friday in downtown Charlottesville at the theater I worked at for a day, so of course I had to sneak around all the employees Mission Impossible style which is always fun. Anyways we got there a little late and got stuck in the second row but it actually didn't turn out to be that bad of a seat other than the super drunk guy next to us was burping and laughing like a drunky.

Date Night is about a couple who steals the reservation of another no-show couple at a nice restaurant and soon gets themselves involved in a serious scandal as they get chased around NYC by crooked cops who are trying to kill them. Steve Carrel and Tina Fey play the Fosters, a couple who aren't exactly questioning the legitimacy of their marriage but they're definitely missing something and there's a bit of tension. In an attempt to change things up a bit they decide to head to the city for their weekly date night and eat at a nice restaurant instead of the normal. This is where things go awry and the action starts.

The film has a strange feel throughout as it's really a mixture of drama, comedy, and action and you're not really sure what feeling to expect next. Sometimes it goes from an intense chase scene to them arguing and an awkward silence fills the theater, but it works for the most part. The comedy is definitely more toned down than that of lets say The Hangover or Superbad, but that's how Tina Fey's last film Baby Mama was too. Fey doesn't go out of her way to deliver comedy or to be noticed which is good, she just kind of has it and it's more realistic in a sense. Carrel is also more toned down in this. I'm not saying there aren't scenes that are dirty and funny, there are. Especially a hilarious scene where Fey and Carrel have to strip in front of a man at strip club. There aren't too many over the top crazy action scenes either with the exception of a really cool and funny car chase scene with J.B. Smoove from Curb Your Enthusiasm. But having everything toned down like that gives the film a more realistic feeling and I think that's what director Shawn Levy was going for.

The performances were good and there are some cameo's by James Franco, Mila Kunis, Mark Wahlberg, and Mark Ruffalo that were pretty decent. It shows them in the trailer so I'm not giving anything away here. There's really just no such thing as a surprise cameo these days and it sucks. Wahlberg doesn't do too much in his scenes other than walk around without a shirt on but he does bring some really funny stuff out of Carrel's character during those scenes. Tina Fey is on a role so far with feature films and although I liked Baby Mama a bit better than this, I'll still be looking forward to her next for sure. I give Date Night a 3 and a 1/2 outa 5.