Saturday, July 18, 2015

Snakes on a Plane (2006)

IMDb plot summary: An FBI agent takes on a plane full of deadly and poisonous snakes, deliberately released to kill a witness being flown from Honolulu to Los Angeles to testify against a mob boss.
Directed by David R. Ellis. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Julianna Margulies, Nathan Phillips, and Rachel Blanchard.

I really enjoy what this movie was trying to do. The campy, over-the-top action scenes are really a lot of fun to watch as snakes attack people in some truly hilarious and bizarre ways. The moments of uber-simplified exposition are effective and mercifully short so we can get right back to crazy snake attacks. The movie does exactly the right thing in not giving any of the characters important or significant personalities, because they are incredibly disposable. Where this movie falls flat is in going on just a little too long. An hour and twenty minutes of snakes on a plane sounds awesome. An hour and forty-five minutes is long enough that I'm a bit bored by the end. It's no Sharknado, but if you like that kind of silliness, it's probably worth checking out.

2.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Snakes on a Plane > Talk Radio
Snakes on a Plane < Argo
Snakes on a Plane < Spider-Man 2
Snakes on a Plane < Killing Season
Snakes on a Plane > Monster
Snakes on a Plane < The Return of the Living Dead
Snakes on a Plane < George of the Jungle
Snakes on a Plane > The Age of the Medici
Snakes on a Plane > My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Snakes on a Plane > Win Win
Snakes on a Plane > The Wrestler
Final spot: #1092 out of 2369.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Nightcrawler (2014)

IMDb plot summary: When Louis Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.
Directed by Dan Gilroy. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, and Bill Paxton.

Finally got around to seeing this one, and, wow, this was quite a watch. The writing is excellent, but it's really Gyllenhaal's show here, and he shines, completely inhabiting his character in a way I haven't seen him do since Donnie Darko. He's always been a good actor, but he completely disappears into Louis Bloom, and watching him interact with others throughout the movie is truly captivating. This is an artistically excellent film, with nearly every note hitting just right, and it's definitely in the top tier of 2014. Absolutely worth all the hype I'd been hearing about it.

4 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Nightcrawler > The Man in the Iron Mask
Nightcrawler > Eat Pray Love
Nightcrawler < Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Nightcrawler < Schindler's List
Nightcrawler > Billy Elliot the Musical Live
Nightcrawler > The Basketball Diaries
Nightcrawler > Hawking
Nightcrawler > Repulsion
Nightcrawler > E.T.
Nightcrawler < Punchline
Nightcrawler > Bernie
Final spot: #447 out of 2368.