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[insert barely witty and overly lengthy title about watching bad movies].

another round-up of old movies i've finally gotten around to watching, with succinct reviews and warnings about whether they're worth watching or avoiding. enjoy.

born into brothels: i thought i was getting into another "check out this problem that's going on in the world - doesn't it suck?" documentary, so i was prepared for a big disappointment. however, it turned out to be one of the few documentaries that recognizes a problem, presents a solution, and enacts that solution within 110 minutes and doesn't make it feel like a patchwork job. highly recommended and yes, i cried sad tears and happy ones. but then again, i cried at the end of the pursuit of happyness. see it! grade: A.

night watch: at one point, i must have thought to myself, "this might be what underworld would have been like if it was good," so i added it to my nerdflix queue. and britain's the descent made me consider that possibly all horror movies outside the u.s. might have redeeming qualities, but i was wrong. i now unfairly want to stay away from all russian cinema. there's a sequel out now called day watch, and unless you like hyper-stylized and hyperactive editing and ridiculously convoluted plots about vampire hunters, then stay away. grade: F.

shadows and fog: i only like a few select woody allen movies, but those ones i like i really really like (annie hall, hannah and her sisters). so i'm always up for sitting through something boring and slightly annoying in case on the off chance it's another stroke of genius. for the first 20 minutes, i thought this was brilliant - an awkwardly hilarious blend of uncomfortable comedy and german expressionism. then i realized that that can't really continue to be hilarious for much longer. i continued to fall asleep multiple times as it switched from woody being a jackass at some party to someone getting murdered among the err, shadows and fog. not even jodie or cusack could make it interesting! grade: D+.

klute: donald sutherland is way creepier than his son, kiefer sutherland. he just stands around in this movie as a stoic private eye staring at prostitute jane fonda, who's whacked out and sultry. it's one long drawn-out episode of law and order: svu with good acting. nothing terrible, but nothing to write home about. grade: C.

laurel canyon: here's the kicker. christian bale is a tightly wound psychiatrist-in-training that is living with his hippie record producer mom (frances mcdormand) until he can find a house of his own with his studious and prude wife kate beckinsale. bale can't stand living with his mom, but beckinsale becomes slightly interested in her bohemian lifestyle as she watches her mess around with her rockstar boyfriend (who plays sparklehorse songs for some reason?!) and eventually kisses both of them in the pool (whoa, someone watched wild things and got inspired!). and yet still, it's incredibly boring and frustrating, but had an unresolved ending i actually liked and aggravate everyone else that watched it with me. grade: D+.

bobby: so i wanted to rent a bad movie. i thought this would be a sure fire laugh riot - emilio estevez directing and half of hollyweird (including ashton kutcher, demi moore, shia laboeuf, sharon stone, freddy rodriguez, and more) starring in a pastiche of what happened the night bobby kennedy was assassinated? and yet, it somehow wasn't terrible or totally full of itself. in fact, the only part i really laughed at was when it said "an emilio estevez picture" during the credits. there's a lot of forced dialogue pretty cannily delivered to the point of melodrama, but other than that, good characters and a well-executed closing sequence. grade: C+.

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  1. Blogger Nicole | 2:14 PM |  

    I read your review of "Born into Brothels" to my dad, who've I've been telling to see if for at least a year (but he doesn't trust my judgment about movies since the "Y Tu Mamá También" fiasco). After I finished, though, he said, "Hmm, maybe I will see it" and "Chris should be a writer." The Blogulution has reached the middle-age set and succeeded! Maybe it's time for a link to AARP online ;)

  2. Blogger DoktorPeace | 4:02 PM |  

    You weren't at my NightWatch party? We had it in my basement last year I think, and we put mirrors all around the television to both set the mood and protect ourselves.

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