Crimewave

IMDB

(Sam Raimi, 1985)

2.0/5.0

Similar in tone to the EVIL DEAD series, in the way that it’s inspired by Tex Avery and the Three Stooges, complete with silly voices and cartoon violence. However, you can almost taste the re-editing and re-scoring of this flick, and the main character is almost unwatchably bad.

Still, some good things: a few inspired set pieces mired in the middle, an extended Bruce Campbell cameo, and Brion James and Paul Smith eat up their villain roles. Also of interest because it’s a Coen Bros/Raimi collaboration. But both directors have done the cartoon violence/Avery tribute better (RAISING ARIZONA, EVIL DEAD series). Fans of either should tread very lightly with CRIMEWAVE, as it’s been flatly disowned by the filmmakers.

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Near Dark

IMDB

(Kathryn Bigelow, 1987)

3.0/5.0

Bigelow’s great visuals and action set pieces matched with some nice evil turns by Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton.

Pretty dated, though, and not a little campy. Strongly damaged by the presence of a Tangerine Dream score. Ugh.

Escape from New York

IMDB

(John Carpenter, 1981)

2.0/5.0

Gets +1 for the name “Snake Plissken”.

The rest is just a good high concept with no real payoff. Russell just kind of half-blindedly stomps his way through the film, and it’s nowhere near as fun as it should be. It’s badly dated, and there’s scene after scene that are awkwardly delivered. Also, there’s not much NYC — mostly because it was primarily filmed in St. Louis. Now, there’s a movie I’d see – ESCAPE FROM ST. LOUIS.

Note: This is not the Special Edition DVD, which apparently features even more Plissken wonderment.

I probably need to upgrade what I thought of Carpenter’s THE THING in comparison, since it’s so much better than this.

Inherit the Wind

IMDB

(Stanley Kramer, 1960)

3.0/5.0

The historic case, of course, is fascinating and the acting, if overblown, is sound. What probably bothered me the most in that the screenwriters and director Kramer don’t trust their audience. It feels from an ancient era where black/white and right/wrong needs to be clearly defined with broad strokes. I would have preferred more ambiguity, but didn’t get it.

Even though Spencer Tracy’s arguments come off as anti-religion, the amount of off-topic and out of turn speechifying in and out of the courtroom by his verse-quoting opponent and the one-sided mob that is the town seem designed to ensure the viewer that seeing the reason in Tracy’s Drummond is proper and right.

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Muriels: If I ran the Muriels

This year’s Muriels have been put to bed, so you no longer have to worry about any 2009 film awards, unless you’re dying to see what designer Sandra Bullock will be wearing to the Oscars.

So, now I can finally speak my mind without fear of oppression by those blowhards/proprietors of the Muriel Awards, Steve Carlson and Paul Clark. I’ll finally reveal my full 2009 ballot, and detail the awards as they SHOULD HAVE RIGHTFULLY GONE if only everyone thought just like me.

Best Film: Sita Sings the Blues.

Synopsis as posted during the Muriel Awards.

Watch the entire movie online for free thanks to Creative Commons licensing at sitasingstheblues.com.

Best Actor: Sam Rockwell, Moon.

Rockwell plays an Everyman (somewhat literally) with a lonely job stuck out on the moon. Rockwell appeared in darn near every scene, and is ultimately watchable and believable as our narrator throughout this throwback sci-fi film.

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, Julia.

Swinton as a blackout drunk and a calculating kidnapper = OWNAGE. If I didn’t give her this award, she’d probably drive me over with a tank and snatch it.

More after the jump…

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Amazing Race drinking game

Keeping this handy for this latest season of The Amazing Race, as it may keep me sane. The teams on this season might otherwise kill me with their stupidity and worthlessness.

Partly cribbed from RingThis’ version:

One Drink

  • For each participant who — within the first 15 minutes of appearing on TAR  — proclaims their disbelief of appearing on TAR
  • When you see the following:
    • Opening credits
    • Exposition Hands demonstrating ripping open a clue
    • Amazing World Map with Amazing Lines showing flight paths
    • Phil in white pants
    • Team member fights with Taxi Driver
    • Team member fights with partner
    • Team member fights with other team

More after the jump…

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Muriels: Countdown to Best Picture

Image courtesy of Craig Kennedy of Living in Cinema.

Today is the day that the Muriel Awards for Best Picture of 2009 gets announced. And it’s being celebrated with a countdown – Casey Kasem style – of every picture that received a #1 vote from the panel, including yours truly.

Updates every half-hour today  until Best Film of 2009 is revealed at Steve Carlson’s Tumblr.

Final tallies will be posted shortly thereafter at murielawards.org, where the last three years’ results are currently listed.

On a personal note (which is odd for a blog, don’t you think?), I was more than honored to participate in this annual cine-geek-a-thon this year. Three cheers for Muriel! Long may you graze!

Muriels: Best Female Performance of the Decade

As pulled from the flick: This is the girl.

Read daily vote results from now until Best Film of 2009 is revealed on February 28 at Steve Carlson’s Tumblr.

Final tallies will be posted shortly thereafter at murielawards.org, where the last three years’ results are currently listed.

Muriels: Best Male Performance of the Decade

Draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaainage!

Read daily vote results from now until Best Film of 2009 is revealed on February 28 at Steve Carlson’s Tumblr.

Final tallies will be posted shortly thereafter at murielawards.org, where the last three years’ results are currently listed.

Muriels: Best film of the decade

Image courtesy Craig Kennedy of Living in Cinema.

Our mascot, Muriel, is one picky filmgoer, and proves it again with the award for best film of the 2000s.

No, it’s not the Tarantino. It’s the mind-bending Lynch.

It’s always fun to look back at the year (and now the decade), and I am proud to participate with the awarding of the Muriels again this year.

Even though I’ve never met any of my fellow voters in person, I’m saddened about the loss of one of co-founder Paul Clark’s other guinea pigs. RIP Charlotte.

As always, read daily vote results from now until Best Film of 2009 is revealed on February 28 at Steve Carlson’s Tumblr.

Final tallies will be posted shortly thereafter at murielawards.org, where the last three years’ results are currently listed.