Thursday, April 10, 2008

King Kong (2005)

King Kong is an amazing tribute to the 1933 original. Peter Jackson proves again why he is one of the elite directors, producers, and writers in Hollywood. He gets so much from Jack Black, Adrien Brody, and Naomi Watts. Most importantly the original animators could only dream of having a Kong this lifelike. You easily forget it is actually Andy Serkis running around the soundstage. The CGI and special effects are flawless, even though some may disagree about a certain canyon run scene.

Kong 's last stand is reason enough to watch this movie.

Everyone should own this one.

4 1/2 Dead Clowns


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Shine A Light

After seeing this in IMAX, I can’t imagine seeing this in a regular theater or on the small screen. Brilliantly shot by Martin Scorsese, you are on stage with the Rolling Stones. More often than not you are looking out at the audience. There is still magic in the elder statesmen of rock, still a swagger in Mick’s hips, a hint of madness in Keith’s glare. Only Charlie seems to have loosened up over these many years. Ron still has the look of someone who can’t believe he’s there. After nearly 20 years I don’t quite understand while Darryl Jones hasn’t been made an official member of the band.

The set list is Some Girls heavy; possibly because it’s such a New York record. And considering they were out promoting a new disc, A Bigger Bang, it’s shocking to find no songs off it in there. I guess since it was a benefit show, they stuck to older fair. Keith is a mess for the most part, but then shows signs of brilliance as when he pulled out a 12 string for As Tears Go By. Mick is in shockingly good form, both in voice and with his manic stage prancing. My only real complaint is that there is some needless vamping at the end of certain songs, most notably Tumbling Dice and Sympathy for the Devil.


4 Dead Clowns

Thursday, April 3, 2008


An Epic tale about a hero and his unbelievable feats and accomplishments that was unfortunately not good enough on its own for Hollywood. Changes were made to flesh out a two-hour movie, and the revised story does not work well and leaves the audience without any reason to care.

Beowulf did not translate well in the animated medium even with the use of live action actors. The acting left much to be desired, but acting in front of a blue screen is never ideal. The CGI on the backdrop shots was excellent, but that was the only bright spot (except the rolling credits).

You’ve been warned.

1 1/2 Dead Clowns

Eastern Promises

A.K.A History of Violence 2 set in England in broken Russian and English. Viggo Mortensen wastes his time and a strong effort. At least he was given some recognition by being nominated. The pacing of the movie is terrible, and the movie easily predictable. The poor dialogue also plagues this movie leading to a noticeable lack of chemistry between the actors. This leads to some tense scenes only because you cannot bear to watch them.

You’ve been warned.

1 Dead Clown

I disagree! Look, I can't stand David Cronenberg, but this movie worked for me. A constant air of tension and look behind the iron curtain of the Russian mob.


3 Dead Clowns

We Own the Night

A crime drama directed by James Gray that tries to be something more. The strong acting of Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, and Robert Duvall is the only thing that carries it. The dialogue and pacing are good enough. Unfortunately the plot gets lost in sequences and situations that we’ve seen many times before.

Predictable, but I always enjoy movies set in New York (1980s Brooklyn). Attention to detail (The Twin Towers standing statuesque as you look out towards downtown Manhattan) is what really separates this movie from the forgettable gritty cop crime drama.

3 1/2 Dead Clowns