Showing posts with label 2000's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2000's. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Waters Watch: Cecil B. Demented (2000)




Watched:  09/13/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  John Waters

2000 was a year for us at our house.  So, I'm not surprised that we missed the release of Cecil B. Demented (2000).  

You could easily release this film today and it would mean as much or more as it would have in 2000, when at least you were coming off an era of people *pretending* to care about indie cinema, if not outlaw cinema.  But here in 2021, the movie - if you ignore the casual violence and how you'd need to reframe it a bit now - is perhaps more relevant than ever as the studios have been purchased by mega corporations and warped the face of the film industry.  

Monday, June 28, 2021

Watch Party Watch: From Justin to Kelly (2003)




Watched:  06/25/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First full and complete watch of the movie
Decade:  the worst of the 00's
Director:  Robert Iscove

what to say...?

Well, here is what I had to say about the movie before we watched it, having had once caught a good part of it on cable.  Maybe all of it.  I can't remember.

Back around 2002, a show debuted on American television that would introduce the nation to its first not-pleasant gameshow personality, Simon Cowell. That show was American Idol, a program which has left a string of forgettable personalities and the occasional dead body.
 
The two finalists of the first season got recording deals, and a movie. Why a movie? When you're plucking nobodies from nowheresville who were the third best singer in their high school choir and live in their parents' basement? I have no idea. But the end result will also have you saying: what the @#$% is this @#$%ing movie?

That @#$%ing movie is From Justin to Kelly (2003), a singularly terrible film-like-thing that manages to be bad in a way that is hard to describe/ quantify/ explain. It sets its bar as low as any fradulent cash-in, and yet, somehow, manages to dig below that bar and far into the Earth's mantle.

It's a musical! It's a horny college spring break film! It's shot entirely through filters! It's not even trying to hide the fact these people can't act. It has a script seemingly drafted by a man who is probably estranged from his adult children, but who still likes to hang out in places young women frequent so he can comment upon them to young males, like he's one of them, making the young men very uncomfortable.

Because no one ever leaves showbiz, Justin is now "Lil Sweet" in Diet Dr. Pepper Commercials, and somehow Kelly Clarkson simply continues to insist on being an incredibly successful fixture for people with tastes best described as "very basic".

All of this is true.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Catch-Up Neo-Noir Watch: Layer Cake (2004)




Watched:  05/28/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Matthew Vaughn

For a moment there, Britain was exporting some hip crime movies that Americans decided were a pretty good idea.  For a number of reasons, I missed Layer Cake (2004) when it hit the States in the summer of 2005.  And just never saw it afterwards.  Which is crazy.  We're Daniel Craig fans in this house.

It's a plot-heavy, occasionally cheeky gangster movie that served as an accidentally good pairing with The Brothers Rico, which I'd watched the night before.  Both films are about guys who are doing well enough in legitimate business that they want to leave the life behind them - but in Layer Cake, we aren't there yet.  We're just considering retiring after years packaging and selling cocaine in London when our nameless lead, played by Daniel Craig (and - it's clear this is the movie that inspired someone to give him Bond), gets pulled in as an errand boy by his boss, to find a missing girl and to broker a deal with a wild-card hoodlum who has a million hits of ecstacy he's stumbled into and is looking to sell.  

Monday, May 24, 2021

PODCAST: "The Descent" (2005) - a Signal Watch Canon PodCast with SimonUK and Ryan



Watched:  05/18/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Neil Marshall



Simon and Ryan delve deep and explore the dark passageways of one of Simon's favourite films. You never know what lurks around all the corners and what we'll take a bite out of next as we ponder the first big success by director Neil Marshall.




Music:
Into the Cavern - David Julyan, The Descent OST
Alone - David Julyan, The Descent OST


Signal Watch Canon:

Monday, April 26, 2021

Art House Watch: In the Mood for Love (2000)




Watched:  04/25/2021
Format:  Criterion Channel
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Wong Kar-wai

Still processing this movie.  Stunning.

Clearly Hong Kong based and created melodramas are a bit out of my wheelhouse, but there's much here to admire, from the cinematography to the restrained, lovely performances of Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung.  

I've been meaning to take in some Wong Kar-Wai movies for... about 25 years.  Well worth the wait.  I admit what triggered me to take a look was that Tony Leung will be in Shang-Chi, and I remembered "oh, yeah...  some Wong Kar-Wait stuff is on the Criterion Channel right now..."

Anyway, will definitely watch again.  Lovely, and I wish I'd seen it on the big screen.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Doc Watch: Dangerous Days - Making Blade Runner (2007)




Watched:  04/21/2021
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's

For, really, the hardcore Blade Runner fan, Dangerous Days (2007) tries to put the documentary treatment to much of the same ground as Paul Sammon's book, Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner.*  It's definitely its own thing, and they cover different but overlapping territories.  There's participation from darn near everyone - and who knows who they left on the cutting room floor.

But, yeah, from coffee shop conversations about "you should adapt this novel" to "huh, looks like we made a cultural juggernaut", and everything inbetween, it's an expansive view of not just the vision and why's and wherefore's of this very special film, but a look at the machinery of movie-making that's only got one layer of gloss.  25 years after the fact, people are more generous with each other, even if you do wind up with conflicting versions of events here and there.  

Worth it for the behind-the-scenes looks as much as the interviews, but... just know as I did not when I started the doc - it's 3.5 hours.  Break it up into a 2 or more viewings.  It has handy chapter sections, so feel free to turn it off and come back.  




Coincidentally, this is the first book I ever purchased through Amazon.  

Friday, March 26, 2021

Comic Watch: X2 - X-Men United (2003)




Watched:  06/25/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Bryan Singer

Until Logan came out a few years back, I'd argue X2: X-Men United (2003) was the *best* X-Men movie, which may be a sign of how quickly I felt the franchise devolved, but it does wonders to build on the original, expand the world, mine the premise for narrative gold, and set us up for both continuing X-Men films and potential Wolverine spin-offs.  

Jamie was asking me if the movie was based on stuff from the comics, and while I could definitively say it was, I also don't know exactly when and who wrote them.  I didn't get to Uncanny X-Men until around issue 170, with the kind of third incarnation of the X-Men, but - and here's my argument to the Big 2 why you just go ahead and keep on your Chris Claremonts as long as you can - all of the stuff from those stories 50-100 issues prior still had impact in what I was reading years after the fact.  The writer knew and remembered the important stuff, and it was woven into the character's lives and informed how they behaved and thought about things. *

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Comics Watch: X-Men (2000)




Watched:  03/20/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  2000's
Director:  (ahem) Bryan Singer

Arguably *the* game changer for the entire comic book movie and TV genre - from goofy b-movies with occasional hits to the world we're in today with Justice Leagues, WandaVisions and  whatnot everywhere you look, X-Men (2000) arrived on the scene to an excited fanbase who saw a trailer that kinda/ sorta looked like an X-Men comics and seemed to treat the concept of X-Men with some faint degree of dignity.  

Now, many will argue that Blade was the kickstarter, and they're right!  But the thing about Blade was that it operated way more like a horror movie/ action adventure and less like a superhero flick - and there were maybe a couple thousand people walking around in 1998 who knew anything about Blade.  To this day, I have no idea if Blade has any real relation to the comics (and don't care.  Blade kicks ass.).  

From the late 1970's to the late 1990's, X-Men was a powerhouse franchise all its own, even within the Marvel line of comics.  It was more or less like the Game of Thrones of comics - even if you didn't read it, you knew about it, and the gravity well of the comic was massive.  In the mid-90's, I guess it was outperforming literally every other thing Marvel comics put out, so they rebooted their entire universe for about - I dunno - 6 months? minus X-Men.  Because X-Men was too big, baby!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Faux-Doc Watch: A Mighty Wind (2003)


A Mighty Wind (2003) is not the same, tight-knit ensemble film we got in Waiting for Guffman, and doesn't have quite the laugh-per-minute ratio or Best in Show, but, man, is it watchable and weirdly moving.  Which, in itself is a trick.  

This one centers on a rush to put on a memorial show for a former producer and promoter of folk acts from the 1960's - and thus jumps the awkward bridge of time a lot of us saw on PBS in the 1990's as concerts of folk favorites like Peter, Paul and Mary became staples of fund-raising weekends - an attempt to appeal to the nostalgia of the boomers and their wallets.  

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Doc Watch: The Pixar Story (2007)




Watched:  03/01/2021
Format:  Netflix?
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Leslie Iwerks

Biggest complaint:  not enough Michero

A weird movie only in that it's already 14 years old, and it's interviewing Steve Jobs, Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas, Roy Disney and I am sure others who are already passed since.  And, of course, this is well before Lasseter was shown the door.

But it does a phenomenal job of explaining how Pixar even happened.  Which was a wild mix of "right place/ right time" in the sense of chaos theory, and then key people who made some very right choices at the right time - from Lasseter to George Lucas to Steve Jobs to Bob Iger.  Heck, Tom Hanks' involvement and his delight at his involvement is evident.

Looking behind the scenes of what almost went wrong here or there is curious, but I wish they'd spent more time on Pixar story-management processes as part of the secret sauce.  They go into it very briefly and almost obliquely, but it's there.

Anyway, just to see who all was involved is a trip.  And, of course, to know what was coming after just heightens the joy of the thing.  And, of course, I am certain the place is no longer quite as "start-up-y" as the doc captured.  Sooner or later, efficiency needs and people needing to get home to kids is going to kick in.

But now I want to rewatch Monsters, Inc.  

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Comedy Watch: Anchorman - The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)




Watched:  01/24/2021
Format:  I lost my DVD somehow.  So, Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Adam McKay

Maybe the best thing about Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), other than that Jamie - 17 years later still wanders around the house quoting the movie - is that it's a generous ensemble movie.  Heck, for the first time, I noticed Missy Pyle shows up for two seconds at the end and gets a line.  But, yeah, while the star is of course Will Ferrell, virtually every speaking role has someone who either was or became a person worth noting, and everyone is given something like an opportunity for a laugh and delivers.  

Hence - we all get a 90 minute movie that never really gets dragged down by too much plot.  Everything is an opportunity to be silly.  Even a fight between Veronica Corningstone and Ron Burgundy that gets nasty (and probably some of the name calling would get cut in 2021) becomes absolutely absurd as Christina Applegate hurls a typewriter at Ron and Champ is holding the crowd back with "they're just talking...  they're just talking....".  It's good stuff.

I know it's been a while since I've watched the movie in its entirety - and in the intervening years, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.  And in Game 7 of that series, 1B Anthony Rizzo was famously caught saying "I'm in a glass case of emotion" to catcher (now manager!) David Ross and Tommy LaStella (who played everywhere, and whom I miss a lot).
  

So, yeah, it's still a lot of fun.  You forget half the people who are in the movie.  Danny Trejo, Kathryn Hahn (who actually rocks 70's hair), Fred Armisen, the great Fred Willard...  the list just goes on and on.

And, while we can all acknowledge the main four male leads, Applegate deserves a mountain of praise for the very specific take she brought to Veronica Conringstone that I find hysterical.  Were we ever to meet, I'd insist she tell me whatever I'm up to "is Grade-A baloney".  


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Française Regarder: Amelie (2001)




Watched:  01/13/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming - CBS All Access
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Jean-Pierre Jeunet

I think if I'd seen this when it came out, I would have been in my 20's, the techniques used would feel fresher, the gnome thing would not yet have been co-opted by a travel company and become a well know spokesperson, and I would have also walked out of the cinema dazed and delighted, feeling like I'd seen *something*.  Alas, now I am old, and my heart turned to stone.  The whimsy of youth is not what it was, nor the CGI of yesteryear.  

Amelie (2001) is very, very cute.  I bare it no ill will - it sets out to do a thing - a sort of almost magical realism thing - and incorporate CGI and other visual effects to give us picture-book insight into what the characters are going through.  And, in a very weird way, it's like a better version of some goofy 90's stuff like The Butcher's Wife where a particular person in a neighborhood makes all of the kooky characters go through a change before that character goes through a change themselves and we all learn a lesson about love/art/being silly.  You also get similar characters in, say, Batteries Not Included*, but no magical fairy girl to make it all happen.

The movie is not about falling in love.  Like most movies that pitch themselves that way, it's a movie about infatuation that kinda works out.  And that's okay - there's a place for that.  THAT it does very well.  It's two whack jobs circling each other until they finally collide.  Not my cup of tea, but it didn't fail.

It's genuinely better than most of the "neighborhood" movies in technique, ideas, visuals, etc...  but I just didn't really ever care about anyone on the screen.  Including Amelie.  And we are supposed to adore Amelie.  And, at age 26, I would have been *very* into a lovely girl with a Louise Brooks bob and who was demonstrably, cripplingly quirky.  Now...  eh.  

And, per the movie, I need a little bit more than a well edited beginning where they're literally telling as much as they're showing.  At the end of the day, you're telling a story or stories, and, aside from Amelie's father, I didn't get any sense of *closure* with the other characters.  Things happen, yeah - but we have whole storylines started that don't really go anywhere.  It feels like glimpses of anecdotes you never quite get to hear completed.  We spend so much time setting them up, and then... 

That said - I know people are bananas for this movie, so I'm missing something.  


*which has little mechanical aliens and is just adorable

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Trek Watch: Star Trek - Nemesis (2002)




Watched:  01/06/2021
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing: First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Stuart Baird

So, this movie wasn't very good.

To be clear - all my favorite ST:TNG people are back (even Wesley Crusher), and they're all good.  The movie even co-stars a very young Tom Hardy, Ron Perlman and good ol' Dina Meyer.   But.  The very premise doesn't make a lot of sense, it weirdly includes what amounts to a rape scene of Troi (handled in the most ham-fisted and traumatizing way possible) which comes from nowhere and is seemingly there only to motivate Troi in the final reel to play Space Ouija Board to find the baddies.*  

But, yeah, Star Trek: Nemesis is about off-brand Romulans and a clone of Captain Picard (Hardy) picking a fight with Picard by planting an early-model of Data on a nearby planet.  They seem to have a modestly large-sized ship that, for reasons I was not clear on, will somehow overtake all of Earth's defenses if the Enterprise crew doesn't stop them.

Monday, December 21, 2020

PODCAST: "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (2005) - a Xmas Genre Xrossover w/ Jamie and Ryan




Watched:  11/28/2020
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Shane Black


Jamie and Ryan talk the 2005 neo-noir by Shane Black and starring RDJ jr. and Val Kilmer. We hadn't seen it and were heartily surprised by the film - a noir murder mystery sort of thing with a lot of classic detective pulpy roots as both text and plot. 
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Intro and Titles - John Ottman

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

PODCAST: "Van Helsing" (2004) - our Halloween 2020 Finale! w/ SimonUK and Ryan




Watched:  10/18/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Stephen Sommers



Well, what better way to wrap up our review of classic monsters and monster movies than to discuss 2004's mish-mash of Dracula, Frankenstein, werewolves, hats, hair, bodices and swing around on ropes? Universal threw money at the guy who gave them the 1999 Mummy franchise and he promptly went bananas, abusing SFX teams and creating the worst kind of fan-fic. Join us as we make our way through Van Helsing.
 


Music
:
The Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt Kickers

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Comedy Watch: Hot Rod (2007)




Watched:  09/17/2020
Format:  Amazon Prime
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Akiva Schaffer

I'm a little surprised this movie isn't more of a cult favorite.  Or maybe it is, and I just don't know that cult.  4 out of five times, this is exactly the kind of movie I am thinking of when I go looking for a comedy. 

YMMV.


Sunday, September 6, 2020

PODCAST: "Pride & Prejudice" (2005) - a Jamie Cinema Classic, w/ Ryan


Watched:  09/03/2020
Format:  Netflix
Viewing:  First
Decade:  00's
Director: Joe Wright

For More Ways to Listen


It's not all-genre-all-the-time at The Signal Watch! We jump on a literary classic translated to a very well received film from 15 years ago. We uncover Jamie's secret passion for this film, Ryan gets out of character discussing Jane Austen, and it's time to talk 19th-Century norms, fantasies that don't include being Batman, and much, much more!




Music:

Dawn - Dario Marianelli, Pride & Prejudice OST
Mrs. Darcy - Dario Marianelli Pride & Prejudice OST


Jamie's Cinema Classics Playlist:



Thursday, July 9, 2020

PODCAST: 110 - "King Kong" 1933, 1976, 2005 & "KIng Kong Lives" (1985) and "Kong: Skull Island" (2017)



King Kong  (1976)
watched:  06/03/2020
Format:  DVD
Viewing: No idea
Director:  John Guillermin

Kong Lives (1985)
watched 06/08/2020
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  third?
Director: John Guillermin

Kong: Skull Island (2017)
watched: 06/12/2020
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  second?
Director:  Jordan Vogt-Roberts

King Kong (2005)
watched:  06/13/2020
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  third
Director:  Peter Jackson

King Kong (1933)
Watched:  06/23/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  no idea
Director:  Merian C. Cooper


For more ways to listen



It's King Kong-a-Palooza as we take on 5 movies about one big monkey. Stuart joins in as we talk about the modern mythology of King Kong, what the story tells us, and what it tells us about ourselves that we retell the story every few decades. We reflect on man, ape, mysterious islands, mystery in general, and fame as we ponder the various takes. Join us as we discuss 1933, 1976, 2005 "King Kong" installments, as well as "King Kong Lives" and the recent entry "Kong: Skull Island".





Music:
King Kong Main Theme (1933) - by Max Steiner
King Kong Opening Theme (1976) - by John Barry



Friday, June 5, 2020

Kaiju Watch: Godzilla vs Megaguirus (2000)



Watched:  06/01/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  00's
Directors:  Masaaki TezukaIshirô Honda

In general, I like dragon flies.  They remind me of lazy summer days and hanging out by the pool.  Sometimes they even land on you when you're on a float, and that's kind of fun.

I do not care, however, for the Megaguirus, the giant flying SOB that is the villain of the piece in Godzilla vs Megaguirus (2000).  Some of the monsters in Godzilla's rogues gallery are jerks - I'm looking at you, Ghidorah - but I straight up want to punch Megaguirus in its toothy face.  I can find room in my heart for a space monster that is just doing its thing of domination via rampage, but Megaguirus brings nothing to the table, charm-wise, while also being a real pain.

All the worst things bugs do?  Megaguirus is all about those things.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Kaiju Watch: Godzilla - Tokyo SOS (2003)



Watched: 05/14/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  second or third
Decade:  2000's
Director: Masaaki Tezuka


This Godzilla film is a direct sequel, sort of, to Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla.  But in the tradition of Godzilla movies, the humans in the foreground are not the same as those in the prior film, minus a cameo and a return of the same Premier of Japan.

This one follows up, basically, with the rebuilding of Kiryu - the Mechagodzilla built by humans to protect Japan - smartly made from the bones and DNA of 1954 Godzilla.  The flight team from the prior film is shipped off for additional training and so we get a new flight crew.