I actually decided to see Under the Skin a second time before reviewing it. Given the film’s abstract nature and the level of hype I had personally bestowed on it (bolstered by the good reviews), I felt a single viewing wouldn’t do it justice. Seeing it a second time definitely helped solidify my opinion of it, though not exactly for the better. I’d originally felt the film straddled the line between ***½ and ****, but in reality, it’s on the lower end of the ***½ scale. It has many strong moments and is overall very well-made, but Under the Skin never quite engaged me, either as a drama or as a cinematic vision.
Not all famously bad films are so bad. Pootie Tang offers some absurdist pleasures. The Keanu Reeves 47 Ronin was fun in a B-movie way. The Adventures of Ford Fairlane isn’t very good, but it has its moments. Leonard Part 6, though, is just about as bad as its reputation suggests. Bill Cosby doesn’t only star, but he came up with the story and was the producer; he fails spectacularly on all levels. Though no review I could write could be as incisive and in-depth as the Agony Booth’s play-by-play, I think I’ll have some fun by comparing my present thoughts on the film with the review I wrote of it a few years ago.
It’s been a little while since I’ve done a soda review, and what better way to end this set of acquistions than with the most misanthropic soda I’ve yet to consume: Rat Bastard Root Beer, hailing from…somewhere. The bottle doesn’t say. Who cares, I want to drink this before it gets warm.
Or, “Time to Piss Off a Lot of People”.
Just as there are a great many films I think are underrated (here’s a list of 100 of them), so there are quite a few films I think are praised beyond their actual worth. I will only cite 25 films at present, for the following reasons:
– 1. Many of the films I consider overrated are recent releases which may find their proper level of obscurity in due time.
– 2. A lot of films I consider overpraised I have yet to give a second chance to, and in many of those cases (especially films I saw when I was fairly young), I have left them off the list.
– 3. The criteria for determining a truly overrated film is actually quite strict. For each film I’ll offer an explanation as to why I consider it so overrated.
– 4. There’s a lot of canonical cinema I still need to see/rewatch, so I can’t yet make a definitive listing of what I consider overrated.
Well, one of my most anticipated films of the year has finally dropped its first trailer. Linklater, along with Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, and Patricia Arquette, made a film that seems to be the Up series crossed with The Tree of Life (though this was shooting when ToL was a twinkle in Malick’s eye). The ambition, the scope (it’s 164 minutes, and I do like epic length when it’s used well), and the reviews I’ve read thus far (which have been glowing) all have me very excited.
The trailer itself…it’s okay. I think this is a film whose quality lies in the gradual development of its characters–not something that can really fit in a trailer. And the choice of song…blech. (Also, points for showing bowling, points off for the line “life doesn’t give you bumpers”.) Still, I’m excited for this when it comes out in July.
The Raid 2 is the sort of film that really irritates me. It’s the kind of film that will demand the state of the art in technical terms–the action scenes are astounding to say the least–yet will settle for a story that’s predictable, cliched, and reminiscent of a thousand other films. The Raid: Redemption largely kept the story to a minimum, keeping the focus narrow and on the brutal, yet tightly choreographed violence. The result: a near-great film. Here, the focus is spread (geographically and temporally), and while the violence is still there, it’s no longer in the name of desperate survival, but of a gangland power struggle which we’ve seen before. So why did I give it ***? Read on.
Fizzy Lizzy’s website claims that their pineapple drink inspires “breathless” fan mail. Though I’m no great fan of pineapple, I decided to see if indeed there was something to it. So, for the first return guest in the If You Want the Gravy soda series, it’s Fizzy Lizzy Pineapple, from New York, New York.