Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mission Impossible 2

Beeps Pick:  Mission Impossible II

Why we picked this film: We watched the first one so we might as well finish them all. Plus I really want to go see the new one in the theater.

Beeps:  Man, this film is almost too John Woo for being a John Woo directed film.  This film reeks of his stink all over it.  Here are some of my problems.  1.  Apparently after the events in the first film, Tom Cruise went to the Jackie Chan school of fighting.  I've never seen anyone leave their feet so many times during a fight.  It's almost to the point that it's ludicrous.  There is so much wire work and flipping kicks that it really brings things down.  If there was maybe one or two flip kicks I'd be cool with it, but there's about 15, and well I don't want to see Tom Cruise do that because it just feels cheap.  2.  Slow motion.  Holy crap, I like slow motion for some action scenes, but it does not have to be in every action scene multiple times.  I bet this film would be 20 minutes shorter if they ran everything at full speed.  3.  Overuse of masked characters... Okay it was cool when we got to see it in the first one.  I felt like it was a crutch here.  It was pretty easy to spot when someone was not who they were pretending to be, and that's unfortunate because it makes the film fall victim to predictability.  All of the negatives aside, this is a decent popcorn flick.  Turn your mind off and enjoy the ride.  However, not even the absolutely radiant Thandie Newton can elevate this movie to the status of the first.  2 1/2 Stars!

Apes: I'm not sure what to say. I almost fell a sleep during this one. Its a lot slower (and full of slow motion), less interesting, and more of a love story than an action flick. The first 45 min to an hour are slow and dragging. Then the last 30 to 45 min are so action filled its a bit over the top. I'm not a huge fan of the fight scenes in this, they have too much slow motion. This movie felt like they were going for more of a James Bond feel with the love story and romance instead of the kicking ass and taking names feel of the first one. I was not a huge fan of this one, but I'm sure we will keep it because you have to have the full series right? I give it 2 stars - for good acting and a decent story. (Oh and bonus points for Tom Cruise rockin' the Bieber hair before the Bieber hair was cool)

Overall we give this film 2 1/2 Stars!

~Beeps and Apes

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mission Impossible

Apes Pick: Mission Impossible

Why we picked this film: We opened all of our Christmas blu-rays and I figured we should watch one... Especially since this one had a free ticket inside to see the new Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

Beeps: I've seen Mission Impossible probably 3 or 4 times now, and I'm happy to report that the film holds up somewhat well.  My biggest gripe is the way technology is portrayed in the film.  My personal favorite is when the main character does a search for "Job" and gets no matches found.  Try that and get back to me.  I also like the fact he sends e-mails to an address without a .com or .net or dot anything.  My complaints with the tech aside, I really like the film.  They do a great job of making this film Mission Impossible and not Mission Improbable.  There are some really epic special effect scenes in this movie that do stand well against the test of time.  The ending and the assault on the mainframe are two of my all time favorite action movie scenes.  Again, the impossibility of what must be overcome makes the movie what it is, and it is a delightful popcorn movie that requires you to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the show.  4 Stars!

Apes: I've seen this one before maybe a couple of times, and I have to say its getting a bit dated.... I mean zip discs? 250 mega bytes - funny! Plus the cell phones are a little big and a few things here and there are funny, but for a 15 year old film, Mission Impossible still kicks a ton of butt! The special effects are pretty awesome (and a little over the top) the acting is great, the story is interesting, and if you haven't seen it before its definitely worth a watch. Its interesting, action filled, well written, impeccably acted, and a just great popcorn flick! I give it 4 stars for holding up well after all this time and still kicking butt!

Overall we give this film 4 Stars!

~Beeps and Apes

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bad Santa

Beeps Pick: Bad Santa

Why we picked this film:  It's Christmas time... The time of year for Christmas movies!  I hate Christmas movies, so I figured I'd go with this unconventional Christmas tale since Apes had never seen it.

Beeps:  I really enjoyed this flick.  I love the way that this movie is a complete and utter mockery of the holiday and everything that people find so wonderful about Christmas.  This is the tale of a mall santa and his elf who are a bit more than they appear to be.  Billy Bob Thornton absolutely kills as the santa who is drunk 95% of the time, rude to children, rude to parents, and is just awful in every single way.  There is something totally endearing about the spirit of the boy who idolizes Santa.  Even though the santa that he chooses to be completely smitten by is an utter assclown.  It totally makes me a bad person but I love this film!  4 Stars!

Apes: This movie crushed my spirit, killed my enthusiasm, and in all ways sucked the joy out of my evening. There were 2 or 3 mildly endearing moments and a chuckle or 2 throughout the movie, but other than that it was dry, dragging, and depressing. Maybe I'm just too much of an optimist, but just because your father was an ass hat doesn't give you the right to continue the family tradition. The story is meh and a bit predictable... how many cuss words and short jokes does one movie need? I'd never watch it again  and wouldn't recommend it to any one (except Hayner because I think he would like it - only because I hated it) I give it 1/2 star for the few chuckles and for Billy Bob's performance (but is playing a dirt bag really much of a stretch for him?)

Overall we give this film 2 1/2 Stars.

~Beeps and Apes

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Chronicles of Riddick

Apes Pick: The Chronicles of Riddick

Why we picked this film: We worked together using the process of elimination to pick this film.

Beeps:  Oh...my poor head.  I think this film gave me vertigo.  The action scenes are enough to send me into an epileptic fit.  If I can put that aside, what I'm left with is a film that is the story of a convict, who is my #2 greatest character ever. (A distant second to Hannibal Lecter, M.D.)  Vin Diesel shines here as Riddick who is a certifiable bad ass in virtually every moment that he's on screen.  The film is light on story and character development, and although I've seen Pitch Black several times, we don't really know who Riddick is.  You get a piece of his backstory here, but it's only a morsel, and you're left wanting more.  I honestly believe that after Pitch Black came out and people saw just how chilling and fascinating the character Riddick was, they had to have more.  So writer/directer David Twohy basically created a world around him.  I have no clue if that's true, but it seems to make sense, especially since they renamed the first film to The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black.  Of course following that logic this would be The Chronicles of Riddick: The Chronicles of Riddick... Oh dear god, and I thought the action scenes were what gave me the vertigo!  Go watch this now, if not for the fantastic world/effects, then for the character Riddick, a savage, heartless, animalistic killer, who somehow finds his way into your heart.  3 1/2 Stars!

Apes: I think I like the idea of this film more than the actual film. The action is too jumpy and flashy for me and that makes it hard to watch. I love Vin Diesel in this role. He comes across rugged, strong, tough, and that voice... oh that voice... yummy! Other than that the film feels like it's missing HUGE chunks of the story line. This feels like the 3rd movie in an epic trilogy, but with those first two missing this feels odd and out of place. Sure there is Pitch Black, but that doesn't really tell you much about anything either. There is enough information to fill in the story a bit, but not enough to make you feel connected. I need a little more back story on Fury and on the characters... I mean why is he a convict? What did he do - other than kick ass and take names- he comes across so lovable, but hardcore. Who are all these people... This flick is all flash and pop, but where is the meat? Its like a one night stand... enjoyable, but so meaningless. Its well worth a watch, but because it left me wanting (and wanting more than just Vin Diesel) I give it 2 1/2 stars.

Overall we give this film 3 Stars.

~Beeps and Apes

Friday, December 16, 2011

Serial Mom

Beeps Pick: Serial Mom

Why we picked this film: I was in the mood to laugh and remembered this being really funny.

Beeps:  "I Love this movie, you're gonna love this..." -Beeps (as I'm loading the DVD)...  "This movie sucks..." -Beeps (After watching it again).  I totally would have been cool shutting this off during the screening.  Odd, I remember it being so darkly funny the last time.  I guess movies that seem cool when your 12 lose their luster when your 30... Imagine that!  Anyway, the movie is a triple-U, Unfunny, Uninspired, and Unwatchable. 1 Star.

Apes: Wow oh wow! I haven't seen a movie this bad in ages! Beeps picked this because he wanted to laugh. I didn't laugh once, and he might have chuckled. The movie is definitely not for kids with random bouts of unnecessary profanity, porn, and gore. However, this movie isn't really for adults either. The story is sub par at best. A Leave it to Beaver Stepford Wives type mother who has a few screws loose goes nuts and kills people in weird ways. Ricki Lake is extra annoying, Shaggy is just like every other 80's movie stereotypical son is supposed to be, and the dad is well, awkward. I didn't feel anything for this movie other than boredom. Had this not been for posterity the blog I would have bitched until Beeps relented and turned this off. I give it 1 star for having a story idea that could have been interesting, but other than that it was lame, boring, and predictable!

Overall we give this film 1 star.

~Beeps and Apes

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Apes Pick: 300

Why we picked this film: I let Beeps set up his surround sound system (an early birthday present) and we NEEDED to test it out using one of our new Blu-Rays... So I figured this was one of the best movies we owned to test this beast out!

Beeps:  Ah 300.  What's there not to love?  A bearded Spartan maniac king leading his people to battle outnumbered 300 to 1,000,000+  That's the makings of an epic, but there's something lacking here.  We're thrust into the heart of the story with only a glossing over of the Spartans, and young Leonidas.  I'd have liked to seen more character development, so that I can become invested in the fates of these men.  I will say that the film is extremely stylized, and that particular style doesn't do it 100% for me.  It's alright, but it leaves the video quality a bit grainy.  Would the movie still have the same charm that it does if it were filmed like Gladiator?  It probably would, and so I think the style detracts overall from the movie itself.  The story is solid, and the acting is fine, unfortunately the character development is lacking and so it doesn't have an overall epic feel to me.  The action scenes are very good, and most often shown in slow motion for emphasis on the beauty of the Spartan war machine.  I enjoy the film very much, and it is a great popcorn flick, and definitely worth purchasing.  4 Stars!

Apes: This is probably the 3rd or 4th time I've seen this movie, and it is still truly amazing. The way it is filmed, scripted, and edited is nothing short of art. The movie is violent and graphic, but comes across as artistic and beautiful. The way the battle scenes are shot in almost a sepia hue with the only real color being the crimson of the Spartan colors and blood make what could be gruesome much more palatable. The fight scenes look like epic ball room dances. Every time I watch this I am moved by the beauty, the simplicity, the effortlessness, and the whole experience. Every part of this movie is well done. The cast, script, music, choreography, and editing are perfect. I give this movie 5 stars for not only being bad ass, but for being epicly moving and beautiful. (but don't forget bad ass!) I can see this staying in my collection for a very, very long time.

Overall we give this film 4 and 1/2 stars!

~Beeps and Apes

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Private Parts

Beeps Pick: Private Parts

Why we picked this film: I was in the mood for a comedy and quite frankly "vampired out" so I went for something I've been trying to get Apes to watch for ages.

Beeps:  Oh man, I haven't seen this film in ages.  Good stuff to be had right here.  I really enjoy this film, and it's not as dirty as you would believe, given the subject matter.  Anyway, it's basically a biographical account of the life of radio personality Howard Stern, up through 1985 or so.  I remember when the book for this came out, it got so much press as Stern proclaimed himself the King of All Media.  That title is a bit overreaching, but nonetheless the film is completely entertaining.  There isn't really a slow part, or even a plot really for the film.  I didn't feel like it followed your conventional film format.  It's almost as if the film says to you here's what I am, I'm telling you this story, so sit there and watch it.  It works, and it works well.  The film is funny and paced very well.  I certainly didn't look at my watch to see how much longer I had to go to get through it.    I don't consider myself a Howard Stern fan, I think he's an interesting person, but I haven't really followed him or his show, but I would love to see a sequel to this to bring us up to present day.  Long Live The King!!! 3 and 1/2 Stars!

Apes: Beeps has seriously been trying to get me to watch this one since we got married, and I had ABSOLUTELY no interest. I'm not sure why I refused this one so long; maybe I'm just a little young to remember the Stern Revolution or maybe I was put off by the stigma surrounding him. I've never listened to Howard Stern on the radio and still have no desire to, but I'm glad I watched the movie. The semi documentary feel was nice and the way it was mixed in with the movie and acting bits worked really well. I enjoyed learning more about the radio biz and about a very miss understood radio personality. For a movie titled Private Parts there really aren't many in the movie. A boob shot here and there and a lady swallows a 13 in kielbasi, but who doesn't want to see that ;). I found the movie funny, entertaining, and a tad enlightening (you know the kielbasi bit - just kidding). I'm glad I've seen it, but I won't seek it out again. I give it 2 1/2 stars for being interesting, moving at a good speed, clearing up my misconceptions, and being less dirty than I imagined it would be.

Overall we give this film 3 Stars

~Beeps and Apes

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Queen of the Damned

Apes Pick: Queen of the Damned

Why we picked this film: Since we watched Interview with a Vampire last time I figured we aught to go in order and finish this one up as well!

Beeps:  Queen of the Damned... I'm pretty sure I would have rated this much higher if this were my first time seeing it.  I really remember enjoying it.  The fourth-ish viewing... not so much.  I watched this with a much more critical eye since I was reviewing it for the site.  I'm not going to rant and rave about it, but it's worth noting that you can not go into this film expecting it to be similar, or even the character Lestat to be similar between the two movies.  It's best to watch this film as a different movie entirely and pretend that you never saw Interview.  With that out of the way, let's go on to the film itself.  The best thing about this movie is the performance of the late Aaliyah.  She is absolutely chilling as Akasha, but she really doesn't have to speak to do it, she's just... mesmerizing.  I own the soundtrack to this film, and I like the versions of the songs on the soundtrack a bit more, but the sound is definately a high point.  Johnathan Davis of Korn provides the singing for rockstar Lestat in the film, and bonus points to you if you caught his cameo.  The worst thing about the movie is well, the story.  Ouch, that's pretty much a deathblow in my opinion.  Queen of the damned in 10 seconds or less... And Go. So a vampire becomes a famous rock star, other vampires get pissed that he's in the open, but because he's in the open he attracts a fan, the original vampire.  She's got bloodlust, and that doesn't sit well with some other old vampires that you never get introduced to... and there's the movie.  Sadly, I'm not making this up, they really don't give you much story at all.  Something about the film attracts me to it every few years, but I think after this viewing, the next time I get the feeling to watch it, I may just leave it on the shelf...  2 Stars.

Apes: After watching this I'm pretty sure I had never seen it before, or at least not in its entirety. I definitely stayed engaged by this more than interview with a vampire, but a HUGE part of that was that this was new to me. Plus the music is way better. The lead male is meh... I don't want him to bite me, but I see how they were trying to at least make him look like Tom Cruise. The story is interesting, but it feels like huge chunks are missing. Who are these other people in the story, are they necessary, and could we have made this film work with out them?  Was it a love story? I mean a little, but that felt like an after thought. I say if you haven't seen it go for it. It is enjoyable, interesting, and dramatic (I haven't seen that much crushed velvet since I was back stage at a high school play!). However, I have a sneaking suspicion that this film would lose a LOT in a second viewing, (but it did make me want to read the books.) I give it 2 1/2 stars for being entertaining and interesting, but leaving me confused about the "extra" characters.

Overall we give this film 2 1/2 stars.

~Beeps and Apes

Monday, December 5, 2011

Interview with a Vampire

Beeps Pick: Interview With A Vampire

Why we picked this film: Apes wanted to watch Queen of the Damned so I figured it would be best if we watched this first. We've both seen this before, but its been AGES!

Beeps:  Oh Louie... Never at any time in my film watching life have I ever seen a main character that is such a tortured soul.  I enjoy the first hour or so of this film, Tom Cruise is effective as the maniacal Lestat, but once he exits from the story, the film begins to take a nose dive.  I find myself caring less about the characters as the movie progresses.  I mean if our tortured protagonist doesn't give a shit, then why should I?  I'd recommend this movie if you've never seen it, it is dark and brooding, and while it does show it's age, (the quality on this DVD is utter shit) it is still a good film, once.  However after multiple viewings it just sputters out too hard at the end to be called a classic.  2 and 1/2 stars!

Apes: I still really enjoyed this movie. It is a bit dark and melodramatic, but it some how oddly works for this movie. I enjoy the character development, the anguish and emotion, and the overall feel of the film. I hope this cleans up a bit on Blu Ray because I found the picture quality on dvd less than awesome, but then again it does add to the whole feel of the flick. I think this is definitely worth a watch! Its not scary, its well written, well acted, and an enjoyable story! I give it 3 stars.

Overall we give this film 3 stars.

~Beeps and Apes

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Castle In The Sky

Apes Pick: Castle in the Sky

Castle in the Sky

Why I Picked this Movie: So Beeps broke me into the anime world with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and from that point on I've been trying to get him to watch more anime with me. Especially the Studio Ghibli films. So I checked this one out from the local library and forced him to watch it! :)

Beeps:  I like this film.  Maybe it's the goofy way that James Van Der Beek sounds as the main character, but he sounds as if he was the right choice for the role.  I know that anime elitists are rolling their eyes right now... I can hear them saying to themselves, "I can't believe you didn't watch the film in its native language..."  Well believe it dorks.  The movie is a good mix in that it has some elements that are quite cute and some elements that are very exciting.  The typical Miyazaki film follows one of the two paths, but this one treads a line between them both and it really works for me.  4 Stars!

Apes: I don't think this is my favorite anime this far, but I did really enjoy it. I mean whats not to love about flying pirates, escaping the government, magical powers, and finding a mythical floating city? Actually now that I list all that out maybe it is my favorite anime. The characters are great! Some are always sweet and lovable while others are a bit rough around the edges, but they too some how grow on you. Most of the studio Ghibli films this is a coming of age story with love, adventure, and danger all while a young girl finds out about her families past and her heritage. I give this movie 4 stars for animation, character development, story line, adventure, and most importantly flying PIRATES! :)

Overall we give this movie 4 Stars

~Beeps and Apes