Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

IMDb plot summary: A family is haunted by the tragedies of deaths within the family.
Directed by Jee-woon Kim. Starring Kap-su Kim, Jung-ah Yum, Soo-jung Lim, and Geun-young Moon.

3 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
A Tale of Two Sisters > Ghost
A Tale of Two Sisters < Kolya
A Tale of Two Sisters < Charlie St. Cloud
A Tale of Two Sisters > Three Amigos
A Tale of Two Sisters < Extraordinary Measures
A Tale of Two Sisters < The Ring
A Tale of Two Sisters > Nine Lives
A Tale of Two Sisters > Ghost World
A Tale of Two Sisters < Cat's Eye
A Tale of Two Sisters > Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
A Tale of Two Sisters < Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Final spot: #1125 out of 2652.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Kanal (1957)

IMDb plot summary: In 1944, during the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis, Polish Lieutenant Zadra and his resistance fighters use Warsaw's sewer system to escape the German encirclement.
Directed by Andrzej Wajda. Starring Teresa Izewska, Tadeusz Janczar, Wienczyslaw Glinski, and Tadeusz Gwiazdowski.

Holy moley, this was depressing. But good. I think. It's definitely a movie that will stick with me.

3.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Kanal > Alice (1990)
Kanal < Kolya
Kanal > Premium Rush
Kanal > Two Weeks Notice
Kanal > Radio Days
Kanal > Sleeping Beauty
Kanal > A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit
Kanal < Chronicle
Kanal > The Reader
Kanal > Atonement
Kanal > The Abyss

Final spot: #674 out of 2651.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Harakiri (1962)

IMDb plot summary: An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
Directed by Masaki Kobayashi. Starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Ishihama, Shima Iwashita, and Tetsurô Tanba.

3 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Harakiri > American Hustle
Harakiri < The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
Harakiri < The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
Harakiri > Away From Her
Harakiri < Judgment at Nuremberg
Harakiri > Prometheus
Harakiri > The Elephant Man
Harakiri > The Prestige
Harakiri > Ender's Game
Harakiri < Out of Sight

Final spot: #1081 out of 2650.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

IMDb plot summary: A newly wed man who believes he's just gotten hitched to the perfect woman encounters another lady on his honeymoon.
Directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly. Starring Ben Stiller, Malin Akerman, Michelle Monaghan, and Jerry Stiller.

A Farrelly brothers remake of what had been a Neil Simon screenplay... couldn't figure out whether I'd love or hate it. Well, I'll tell you, it's pretty easy to identify the Farrelly parts, and I hated those, but I could see where it could have been a much better movie. Malin Akerman especially has some funny moments with the little tiny things that drive her new husband up the wall. Overall I'd much rather go back and watch the original movie without random gross-out body humor added in to a story in which it Does Not Fit.

2 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Heartbreak Kid < Company (2011)
The Heartbreak Kid > Nick Nolte: No Exit
The Heartbreak Kid > Cinderella (1965)
The Heartbreak Kid < Patriots Day
The Heartbreak Kid > Cropsey
The Heartbreak Kid > The Woman in Black
The Heartbreak Kid > Quiz Show
The Heartbreak Kid > The Ides of March
The Heartbreak Kid < L.A. Confidential
The Heartbreak Kid > So I Married an Axe Murderer
The Heartbreak Kid < The Hurt Locker

Final spot: #1496 out of 2648.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fury (2014)

IMDb plot summary: A grizzled tank commander makes tough decisions as he and his crew fight their way across Germany in April, 1945.
Directed by David Ayer. Starring Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, and Michael Peña.

3.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Fury > Beach Party
Fury < The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
Fury > Don Jon
Fury < The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
Fury > The Duellists
Fury < A Serious Man
Fury < Snowpiercer
Fury > Dave and the Giant Pickle
Fury > My Week With Marilyn
Fury < Synecdoche, New York
Final spot: #894 out of 2647.

Transformers (2007)

IMDb plot summary: An ancient struggle between two Cybertronian races, the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, comes to Earth, with a clue to the ultimate power held by a teenager.
Directed by Michael Bay. Starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, and Tyrese Gibson.

1.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Transformers < Company (2011)
Transformers > Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
Transformers < Cinderella (1965)
Transformers > Snatch.
Transformers < Dr. Strangelove
Transformers < The Life of David Gale
Transformers < Burlesque
Transformers < Paint Your Wagon
Transformers > Arlington Road
Transformers > Cinderella (1950)
Transformers < Thoroughly Modern Millie
Final spot: #1811 out of 2646.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Gift (2000)

IMDb plot summary: A woman with extrasensory perception is asked to help find a young woman who has disappeared.
Directed by Sam Raimi. Starring Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi, Keanu Reeves, and Greg Kinnear.

This is kind of an unusual movie. Cate Blanchett is much more downplayed than usual, playing a psychic who almost seems to wish nobody knew about her gift and that she could just get along under everyone's radar. There are a bunch of other big-name actors that have varying role sizes, but she's the most interesting, partly because she's the only one written with any even implied depth and partly because Blanchett could take on any role under the sun and make it interesting.

The mystery itself unfolds somewhat predictably, but the addition of the supernatural adds a fun little twist into it. I do get the sense the movie wanted to be more shocking and more beautiful than it actually turned out to be, but it was interesting enough to keep pulling me along. I'm not sure I could confidently say it was a good movie, but Blanchett and the slightly more original twist on the genre made it a fun one to watch.

Wait. I FORGOT THIS WAS DIRECTED BY SAM RAIMI. Well, that makes all the sense.

3 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Gift > Beach Party
The Gift < Kolya
The Gift > Stage Fright (2014)
The Gift < Out of Sight
The Gift > Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
The Gift < Notorious
The Gift < Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken
The Gift < The Ring
The Gift > Prometheus
The Gift < Descendants

Final spot: #1112 out of 2645.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Jack Strong (2014)

IMDb plot summary: The most spectacular Polish spy of the Cold War era, Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, informs Americans about the Communist Bloc's top secrets in the face of the upcoming martial law.
Directe by Wladyslaw Pasikowski. Starring Marcin Dorocinski, Maja Ostaszewska, Patrick Wilson, and Dimitri Bilov.

2.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Jack Strong > Beach Party
Jack Strong < Kolya
Jack Strong < Interstellar
Jack Strong < The Matador
Jack Strong < Water for Elephants
Jack Strong < Lord of War
Jack Strong > Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Jack Strong < The Lion in Winter (2003)
Jack Strong < Ran
Jack Strong < Single White Female
Jack Strong > House of Flying Daggers
Final spot: #1299 out of 2644.

CBGB (2013)

IMDb plot summary: A look at the New York City punk-rock scene and the venerable nightclub, CBGB.
Directed by Randall Miller. Starring Alan Rickman, Ashley Greene, Richard de Klerk, and Freddy Rodriguez.

I knew absolutely nothing about this movie or the club and people that inspired it, so I went in completely blind. Right away my attention was captured by the creative packaging of the story in comic book form, dealing with exposition through text bubbles and captions, a device that I thought worked well and captured the spirit of the story. I was also particularly taken with the pacing of the film, which is unusual for a biopic. It jumps from moment to moment, only showing the most interesting or most important parts, and then skipping the rest or covering it in sketch or montage, but somehow I never felt like we were skipping along too fast.

Alan Rickman is not the first person I would have chosen to play Jewish guy from New Jersey, and his casting was occasionally distracting, but he faded nicely into the role as the movie went on. Overall, I had a good time with this movie and am happy it was assigned to me for this challenge. Nicely done!

4 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
CBGB > The Family Man
CBGB > The Englishman Who Went up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
CBGB < The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
CBGB < The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall
CBGB > Little Children
CBGB > Hoodwinked!
CBGB < Jack Goes Boating
CBGB < Mary and Max
CBGB > Match Point
CBGB < Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Final spot: #530 out of 2643.