Monthly Archives: June 2009

July Director Spotlight: Francis Ford Coppola

July will be hot, hot, hot.  That’s why we plan to stay in, watching one DVD after another.  In order to insure that we get the most quality indoor time, we’ve chosen Francis Ford Coppola, since his movies tend to clock in at 150 plus minutes.    More movie and AC to enjoy.

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The Brothers Bloom (Lil Devil)

So…this is my first one of these. Big thanks to Monnie for alerting me to his awesome site, and to Mike for bringing me into the fold. Hope you enjoy it.

Con artists have always fascinated cinema. After all, what is the vast audience always ready for in a serious film? The twist ending! (Did you hear the alternate ending to Terminator Salvation? But back to the topic at hand.) One of my favorite directors has a particular interest in confidence games: David Mamet. The famous playwright (“Glengarry Glen Ross”) has a slew of films under both his writing and directing belts, and a good number deal with hustlers: House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner, and his most recent, Redbelt.

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Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen

As I sat with Mike & Veer Wednesday night after seeing Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I realized while yes it is easy to point out all the flaws of this movie, you should just take it as the summer action flick it’s supposed to be.  Doing so will allow your inner teenage self to enjoy those big butt-kicking, transforming robots we grew up with and loved.

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, No More than Meets the Eye (Devil’s Advocate Review)

Of the hyped blockbusters of 2009, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was among the top of my “to-watch list” this summer.  Think about it, it has everything a summer blockbuster should have; action, adventure, explosions (It set a Guinness Book World Record in this category) and of course state of the art special effects.  In the end the movie suffers from the Michael Bay sophomore curse: poor acting and a storyline that leaves one scratching your head.

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The Proposal (Lil Devil)

Ok short and sweet. So with Transformers:  Revenge of The Fallen out and about to take over the weekly box office I wanted to make mention of last week’s winner. The Proposal is a movie about two people who hate each other at first, then fall in love. I know this seems something new for Hollywood but bear with me.

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Director Spotlight: Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Vicky Cristina Barcelona Woody Allen Love Sex Passion Relationships Perspectives Good.

Okay so I wanted that line to be my review, but sadly it was considered unacceptable by my Devil’s Advocates peers, however witty it may have been in my eyes. Man, honestly though, Woody Allen is a genius. It is no wonder that this film was nominated for so many awards (too many to list here, IMDB it!); it is a masterpiece of sorts. This film is yet another affirmation that Woody Allen is a master of relationship studies.

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The Last Airbender Trailer

I know nothing of the franchise.  I’ve never watched the cartoon.  I own none of the toys.  Somehow, though, I am excited for this film.  I think it really boils down to one thing.  Shyamalan is a great director, who has relied on his own material for far too long.  Finally, he is working with an already existing concept, and writers who aren’t concerned with “how am I going to surprise my audience next?”   With his directorial vision and the right script (yes he has a writing credit on the film, but it isn’t his script) this film could be remarkable.  Check out the teaser trailer and judge for yourself:

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Year One (Devil’s Advocate *sigh* what the hell was this edition)

As I prepared to write my review of Year One I remember what my Mom always says “If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.” Then I think to myself screw that…this movie was crap. Jack Black and Michael Cera are two sidekick actors thrown together in a leading capacity. Shocker of shockers it doesn’t work. Jack Black plays hunter Zed, who isn’t very good at hunting. Michael Cera plays Oh who can gather, but he whines a lot and is overly sarcastic. They get kicked out of the village and embark on a journey where nothing really happens.

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Year One

Year One follows two misfit friends as they stumble their way through the Old Testament. The two friends played by Jack Black and Michael Cera are banished from their village after one of them eats from the Tree Of Knowledge Of Good and Evil. From there they make their way through the ancient world and run into a few familiar faces from the Bible, ending up in Sodom and Gomorrah to rescue two women from their village who have been captured and enslaved.

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Green Lantern Getting Closer To Its Brightest Day (A Mad As Hell Op-Ed Piece)


With the DC comic book production company and Warner Brothers slowly removing their own heads from their collective asses, we’re starting to hear rumors about a Green Lantern movie. Now it’s my opinion that DC has a slew of good super heroes. What’s that? With a slew of good super heroes why are they only focusing on Superman and Batman? That brings me back to the head and asses thing. Well this week finally some news about the movie I’ve been waiting forever for DC to remember they owned the rights to.

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Director Spotlight: Match Point

So the fiancee and I sat down the other day & watched Woody Allen’s 2005 flick Match Point.  It’s been years since I saw any of it.  I almost forgot how well Allen can write and direct. I haven’t always been a fan of his work, but here is a prime example of pure quality work.  The opening scene itself using tennis as an analogy for life and as a set-up reference for the end was quite a nice touch.

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Summer Movies That More People Should Be Looking Forward To (A Mad As Hell Op-Ed Piece)

I know it’s tough when there are so many blockbusters to be had in the summertime.   And I’m going to say this and be met with some resistance, but really, the blockbusters haven’t been all that great.  With the exception of Star Trek it’s been a pretty tepid summer.  So, here are the anti-blockbusters that you can see once you are tired of the mediocrity that has been left on our doorsteps this summer:

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Gran Torino DVD (Devil’s Advocate Review)

In the dictionary next to the word crotchety is a picture of Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino character Walt Kowalski. Clint Eastwood returns from his Million Dollar Baby hype to direct and star in what’s rumored to be his last film.  Gran Torino tells the story of a man whose time in this country has passed. Walt Kowalski a veteran of the Korean War, Ford plant worker, and all around mean old man. Walt would like nothing more than to hang out on his front porch, drink beer, and be racist. He then finds himself the hero of the block which now is prominently Chinese Hmong. In an act of heroism he rescues the neighbor boy from gang members. This happens in true old man fashion as he aims a shot gun and growls “get off my lawn”.

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Gran Torino DVD

In Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial film, Gran Torino, he not only shows us he still can be that tough guy/no mercy type but also show us heart and soul.

Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, an old aged, bigot that despises how, as the years go by, the world around him changes while he, like his prized possession the ’72 Gran Torino, stays vintage and a thing of the past.
With that car, Kowalski builds a relationship with his Hmong neighbor Thoa Van Lor, played excellently by newcomer Bee Vang.  This is where the main focus of the film lies.  Showing how two completely different generations and cultures can come together and form a bond.

Poll: Who Should We Spotlight In July?

We came up with a short list of directors to spotlight in July.  We need your help to decide who to start with.  And don’t worry…regardless of who wins for July, we’ll be doing the others over then next six months.  And feel free to add anyone we missed and leave a comment as to why you chose that director.

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Director Spotlight: A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy

Going from Annie Hall to A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy is like going from Crème Brûlée to a Little Debbie’s Snack Cake.  Both are enticing treats, but one…well, it’s Crème Brûlée.

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Tyson (Lil Devil)

Tyson is a character study, psychiatric profile and career retrospective of Mike Tyson. The movie is a documentary directed by James Toback in which we hear Tyson describe his career and life. We also get to see Tyson’s life flash before his eyes through classic footage of Tyson from the start of his career to its end. (No MMA or WWE, though.) It’s at times surreal watching Tyson narrate his own downfall. I think the best way I could describe the film is: It’s a feel bad kind of movie. There’s no happy ending to this story. Except, this time everyone knows it.

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To Remake or not To Remake? What is the point? (A Mad As Hell Op-Ed Piece)

So I think Hollywood may have just given up. What???? You say. It’s true. Not a day goes by that as I look through the movie web sites that I enjoy news of some ridiculous remake. Could it be that every good idea has been done?? The art of movie and film peaked in the late 80’s and early to late 90’s? Really?  I grew up in the aforementioned period of time, and I’ll tell you we can do better. The list of movies being remade grows by the day. I’ll give you my favorites:

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The Hangover

Have you ever had so much fun one night, you couldn’t remember any of it? I have.  My first time in Vegas, the night we arrived was a blur.  Stories told at every get together always end the same way, “and then he passed out by the pool and was seriously sun burnt.” Words like stripper, making out with a stripper, and up 700 bucks and not realizing it pop up every time. Sounds like I had fun, but then again I wouldn’t know. I was drunk. That is nothing compared to the newly released The Hangover. A story brought to you by Todd Phillips who gave us Old School, Starsky and Hutch, and Road Trip. The Hangover is about four friends on the way to Las Vegas for a one night bachelor party.  Needless to say things don’t go as planned.

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The Hangover (Devil’s Advocate Review)

I went in with high hopes for The Hangover, and those hopes were met if , I  was looking to watch a crude and over the top vulgar depiction of a bachelor party gone wrong.

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Land of The Lost (Lil Devil Review)

I don’t know what I expected.   Land of The Lost wasn’t exactly The Sopranos of the sci-fi world.  Hell, it wasn’t even The Tortellis (if you get that reference, get checked out immediately).   The premise was cheesy and still is on the big screen.  The updated effects are just that.  They don’t enhance anything.  In fact, audiences of a certain age will see it simply as today’s standard.

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Black Dynamite Trailer

This is something I’ve been waiting a long time to see.  I’m not sure if anyone else had heard about this. If you have, then you share my excitement. If not, then prepare to pick up what Black Dynamite is throwin’ down. It just previewed at Sundance and I’ve heard a lot of good buzz.  Coming this September is……Black Dynamite

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Director Spotlight: Annie Hall

Up until recently I had zero experience with Woody Allen.   Then, for some odd reason, I decided to cut my teeth on the film Cassandra’s Dream, which really did nothing for me.   Shortly after that I watched, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which I enjoyed and decided that I must look into his more critically acclaimed films.  Once the decision was made, I went straight to the top and watched Annie Hall, one of Allen’s undisputed masterpieces.

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The Flying Scissors Trailer

Every now and again we luck out and someone will bring something to our attention that might have otherwise slipped under our radar.   Imagine how we felt when we saw the trailer for a mockumentary about the competitive world of…Rock, Paper, Scissors. 

The Flying Scissors trailer was brought to our attention over the mighty, mighty waves that are the internet, by writer/producer Blake J. Harris.   Not only are we glad it was brought to our attention, but this hilarious trailer now has us perched in anticipation for the film’s release.  Watch the trailer and judge for yourself:

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