Ocean's 8

I'm not sure if you liked Ocean's 11 Jamarr, but I did and I think you'd agree Ocean's 8 is a disappointment. I wanted to like it, because I like Bullock and Blanchett, and Rihanna seemed as sharp in the previews as other supersmart geek heisters but I don't think they used her as they might have. It all feels pretty corny.  I usually enjoy a heist caper but the ensemble and script have to have more chemistry and speed.

Were Blanchett and Bullock lovers or not? Did every single detail HAVE to go exactly as planned? And SOOO much money, with a little side heist we didn't know about, in fact that most of the 8 didn't know about, until after the fact. And the reveal -- no wonder in it.

I tried to laugh at the quippy banter, mainly because I'd dragged along your son Ahmad and was trying to make it fun. But, Lord, what a lame script.

So you didn't miss much when you missed this one Taz. Still wish you were here though to spice up our critique. Oh, did I mention No Action. Whatsoever. I figure you'd give this one a Aah. Imma agree and give it 2 stars. I just asked Mahd (he's living with me now). He said 2, too. So...But luckily we got in free. I had enough points on my regal card and someone had given him a free coupon. Nice huh?

Where was the action, heist movie?



Looks like a lotta talkin but I'll give it a try. I like Rachel Weisz. Be back to fill you in.  Mick Jackson of The Bodyguard did the direction, so... courtroom drama. What's your favorite TAZ? They didn't read To Kill a Mockingbird at your jr high or high. The Lincoln Lawyer would be my guess. Oh no no no. It's A Few Good Men, for the Nicholson melt down scene. Or Slade's ending speech in Scent of a Woman? I doubt Denial will match that, let's see. Can a woman yet speak that coldly and unself-consciously?  



Here's one you might have liked TAZ. Spectral.The CGI effects were pretty good. It's a civil war, Moldavia, future-ish I guess. Some ghost-like wraiths of energy are attacking the Americans, who are there because...we'll because we're everywhere. They fly in the handsome good enough geek actor who whips up a way to see these things, and then after lots of running and fighting and uncounted flash-frozen bodies finds a way to fight them. According to Wikipedia, Universal decided to send the movie right to Netflix. Something real flat about it, though the bombed out city looked very bombed out.

Everybody's scared the whole time.
Sorta like North Philly huh TAZ?
And two cute kids with a clue -- iron shavings are a barrier. They're dead dad discovered it. The movie nods toward sentiment a few times but can't muster much execution because of the mediocre acting and so-so script. And there's all that rushing around and running from the many spectres, and implausibly figuring out they must have been made at the power plant, weaponized nervous systems. Or something.

Whoever designed the rigged up weapons and the power plant, with its secret, diabolical weapons program, did a pretty good job. It looks real enough, almost A movie level. But overall this dog gets a low C from me -- Eh.

Not sure what you'd give it. You were always pretty generous as long as the action kept moving and the CGI effects weren't too dismal. Maybe I'll ask one of the trips if they've seen it and what they think. Maybe they'd even want to take over your spot. We'll see.

Peace out. and ps thanks for that advice in a dream last night. Not sure of it was YOU you or just my sub-conscious wearing a Jamarr face to catch my attention. I read somewhere it's a real spirit contacting you if they speak, if you hear words, and yet their mouth doesn't move. It was at the house in Kingsley. 4-5 of your guys were hanging around too. You had a new flat screen TV set up in the back yard. It was good advice. And then you were crawling through a PVC sort of tube. Coming back for another go 'round?


I'm back wish you were maybe you are - spoiler alert

Jamarr I was thinking of you while I was watching The OA. On Netflix. yes I binged it in a night and an afternoon, with a couple of ice cream sundaes and some attempts at other meals. I keep feeling, with you as with my brother who died at 16, that you're around. In and out. Not far. And this show was about Near Death Experiences, connections between dimensions, caged people escaping through the mind through mystical leaps.

Are you more mystical now, where you are? Are you free of addictions?

Why do I think you'd like this? Well, I'm not sure of that. I'm sure you'd appreciate it. The OA. Eight amazing episodes. Maybe just one, the 7th, a bit slack with climax-prep exposition those of us who were binging didn't need. A little weak too was the dream premonitions thread, or maybe it was just me watching the middle patch in the mid-AM after a long day at work. Maybe that was developed more. The lead, a beautiful Brit Marling (also a producer), has three dreams that foretell three disasters. With the third she successfully prevents the disaster. But what's amazing and riveting are the scenes of the five people held prisoner in a mad scientist's basement. (And no I still haven't watched past the first few minutes of The Human Centipede).

Brit Marling as the OA
For most of the series, we believe the survivor's story of the amazing things that happened among the five. At the end, it seems possible, even likely, her story is a fantasy overlaying something more sordid and banal. But like the five people she tells the story to, we want to believe. And we're changed by wanting to believe.

We're among angels, the spirit of the show seems to say. We live beside a miraculous river we can jump into any time. I jumped in. I binged. I'd love to light up with you and talk about it. But you're stupidly dead. Drove head on flooring it into a bus. WTF Jamarr. What were you thinking were you thinking at all. Outta yr mind on that shit. Where are you now? Where are any of us? We live in our prisons. We escape through our minds, if we can, with help or on our own. If we feel like lab rats maybe we are lab rats. Lab rats and mad scientists too.

Well, being as I can't seem to stop watching and binge watching I'll keep writing to you here. As if you could read our blog. As if we could share again this little rectangle of common ground. We can add to our clever description: one alive one dead. Both (I believe this) still in love with movies.

Peace out big guy. I'll be back.

The OA - I'm giving this one 5 stars, EXcellent. And I'm going to guess TAZ would give it just 4, Dope. Because limited CGI and gore effects. But great acting and ideas.


Rest in Peace TAZ. You were The Dopest. You made us family. Leaving, you don't ever really leave that. I will see you again. Rest in the peace beyond our understanding. You live in your sons and your stories, and in me. Many weep for you. You will be missed, always loved.
It was a car accident, after everything. A damn car. He survived so much growing up and now this. Please drive with care and tell the people you love you love them over and over and over.

Every movie I watch I'll be watching with you.



Better than I thought it might be(just), this heavy-handed condemnation of homophobic Christians almost creates three likable and believable characters but kills them off too fast for us to care. A haggard and limping John Goodman is a relief but the script hobbles him further, with his final monologue embarassingly long-winded, irrelevant and borderline incoherent (and he somehow shows he knows that). So too is the jab at post 9-11 curtailment of civil liberties. And the preacher nutjob leader is so badly cast and acted there's little satisfaction in the fast that this homophobe is likely to live out his life as some guy's (or guys') bitch. Not no satisfaction mind you, but little.

It's scary, in parts. I'll give you that TAZ. But once I realized there was no way the flick was letting any of those 3 kids live the chase scenes lost their kick. Lots of bullets between the eyes, or thereabouts. Lots of multi-tasking on my part.

How can you call this the dopest TAZ? Must be a post-30 lowering of standards. All I can give it is two stars. Eh, with some stretches of abysmal and maybe a little not bad for Goodman and one of the "believers" who tries, with some semi-plausible acting, to save the kids.

I may regret this

So TAZ says Red State is the dopest in a long time. I'm about to watch it. Hope I don't regret it. But I'm hoping he gets his self back here and starts reviewing again because we're the dopest.


Attack the Block, inner city vs outer space

This intense, close-quarters ensemble movie is just the kind of character-based, tightly scripted sci-fi I love. I know TAZ under-rates character development but if he watches this he'll see what I'm talking about. People change. Yeah they run and scream and get eaten by creatures--these ones with oddly glow-in-the-dark incisors--and the tension IS more important than emotion, but the two together make for entertainment and thought. Plus there's a lovely little expository lump of biology near the end, from a goofball pothead rich kid sidekick who justifies his existence, to the tough gang and in the movie all at once. yes saving the day Jeff Goldbloom style. Via pheromes again...a real sci-fi motif. But I think it works better here than I've ever seen it work. And the two pre-ten sidekicks who come through big time is top notch. An awesome movie all around. I think my first 5 star flick. Excellent. The script gets an excellent-plus. And the white guy with the heavy heavy south London accent in the gang is great.


Taz says it's near perfect - Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I just saw it, loved it. Near perfect? Let's think about it. What IS a perfect movie? Holds your attention the whole time? Yes, but there were a few plot shortcuts. More soon.


pop and cob corny

K-Pax. Yes Kevin Spacey turns in a stunning and so forth but - hey how many violins can we fit in the recording studio Harry? And I guess I just don't like Jeff Bridges. And yet, some ideas, some science, and an excellent hypnosis scene, played well on both parts. Some fun minor characters too, and a seductive plot. Have it either way. Have it both ways. and float away on violinsyrup river. I give it three stars - not bad. But then i forwarded through the real thick scenes, so maybe 2 1/2.


no not this

Look at this review of The Human Centipede from Vulture, TAZ. You really want me to watch this? Could we take m-fkg turns suggesting movies pa-lz?


he's back

Look out now, TAZ is back. Back getting me to see movies I'd never even think of seeing. And maybe like them, or anyway appreciate their special genius which i might not see on my own. ttyl


TAZ on The Human Centipede Sick Fun I Must Admit

I First heard about this movie a few months ago on youtube I instantly thought Nah it looked like a low budget suckfest, but it still made me curious. Fast forward a few months of constant teasers,trailers and a promise of 100% medical accuracy and I was drooling the marketing for this movie was great. I'm not going to spoil any of this for anyone it can be seen in theaters and on paidperview on cable its a gem in the sense of a Texas chainsaw massacre tobe hooper great, U know what's going to happen from the title but somewhere in your sick mind U just want to see it happen. The cast is pretty bare bones with the setting being a rural great house in Germany U have the victims who are pretty much nameless in the movie But we will improvise It stars Akihiro Kitamura(The Head), Ashley C Williams(The Middle),Ashlynne Yelle(The Tail)and Dieter Laser(Hitler wait I mean the doctor when U see it U will get it). The movie starts randomly with a car sitting bye the side of the road and Hitler I mean the doctor looking at a picture of 3 dogs nose to tail in a line, A big rig pulls behind it and out runs a huge guy with toilet paper in hand running it to the wood to take a mean shit meanwhile out jumps Hitler with a dart gun in hand creeping up behind him to knock him out to kidnap him without even letting him wipe,and it fade to black. I don't want to spoil anything else but this movie has a few point the I don't know how to cover without sounding raciest but there's a lot of black comedy in this movie I don't know how much they meant to do but it works the movie just touches everyone I know that saw it the same way no matter the race its funny,scary,exciting and just down right interesting. Akihiro was great from the start being that he only spoke Japanese(wait subtitles its a foreign flick to everything I tell Ya!)He cursed him the hell out from his first shot it was great, and Dieter was a classic psycho in every sense of the word genius, after a little research I found it to be 100% medically accurate to and that's the farthest I will take it U have to see this movie. It has a few plot holes but what movie doesn't one word dope!


Jacob the Liar

omg I found a watch instantly Robin Williams film I haven't seen. It's next in the marathon. "Jacob the Liar." Has Alan Arkin in it too.

Williams was exec producer on this one. Like nearly every film he's starred in, the thesis is implausibly and powerfully healing. Suspend belief and believe.

Believe what? "That nothing in this world moves," as Mary Oliver writes, "but as a positive power." Whether he's a doctor, a teacher, a father, a robot or a Jewish cook trapped in a Nazi ghetto, he's a positive power. (Okay, he was a psychopathicly lonely film developer once, but even then all he did that time was peep on a happy family - could have been worse).

The film froze half way through...buffering now. It's slow, admittedly. Once the premise is set up it's all stilted dialogue and same-old WWII ghetto sets. No one looks hungry or cold really and the orphaned girl RW helps out is way too jovial. "When the war's over I'll be your waitress. You don't have to feed me I'll just eat as many pancakes as I like."

It's fairytale holocaust. It's a happy story of how one reluctant schmo brings hope to the hopeless.


Enough. If you like RW, watch it. I'll come back and rate it when it's over.

Not bad. *** 1/3 corny; 2/3 moving


Netflix will be the death of me yet, or of my job anyway. I better cancel soon. But here's another Robots take over flick, with Bruce Willis figuring things out just before (or maybe just after, I didn't watch it yet), it's too late. Here I go.

I like the documentary style opening; summarizes and makes plausible the leaps--technological, social, even judicial--that made robot surrogates possible then commonplace.

Of course I think of I Robot, and Willis isn't Will Smith when it comes to charisma and stage presence, but let's see if the script lets him act because he can. I'm interested, enough. Doesn't take much when you're evading reality. As 99% of humanity is in this movie. Except for Luddite types who life in surrogate-free reservations.

Good job world building. Handy to get most of the exposition into the documentary opening.

Ok let me enjoy now....will get back to you around half time.

"Get ready to live your life without any risk or danger," the digital billboard says. Get ready for a living death. That's what I like about sci-fi - the instructive possibilities.

I-Robot looks superior to this because of the design of the robots - remember? The robots here wear human skin so except for a stiff gait and low-level mechanical sounds, they look like people. And I-Robot's cityscape was more futuristic. But enough with comparisons. I'll let this movie be what it is and see how it works on that level.

Nice plot complications. Now if they can just limit the chase scenes we might have a movie.

"It appears. at least for now, that we're on our own." Always a god way to end. And Bruce saved all the meatbags on the planet while also, in another way, saving humanity. Oh, and his wife. That was his real motive. All the rest was chase scene and filler.

Has a TV-movie feel, but a pretty good TV movie. Not bad, not bad at all.

Raging Bull

I been going through a major movie fiending period. Blocked in my writing. Not good but I thought anyway I'd ad a few posts here.

So this afternoon it was Scorses's "Raging Bull." De Niro does dumb and crazy so well but you know I think this may be overrated. The fight scenes are powerful, skillfully cut - a dance. But Lamatta is unappealing; you get tired of watching him fume paranoia at his wife and brother. I guess for those who were around in the 30's and 40's and followed the guy's career it's a nostalgia trip. I'm not that old.

The one highlight was when his wife finally leaves him. Good thing she told him through a mostly rolled up car window. And De Niro's face - a truly beautiful man and a great actor. Unfortunately his nose what made-up to be swollen but still the wise-guy smile, the intelligent eyes, and cutely curly hair that isn't, I assume, natural. I never bought his slight build as a boxer's; but the fierce focus and pitbull personality sold me.

I guess classics get rated on an inflated scale, so I give those one four stars. To get five out of me it's got to be all this one is plus deep or mystical or, you know, about time travel.


The Book of Eli

Interesting that Eli is the only name mentioned in McCarthy's book The Road (as one of my RPI students pointed out), and in this more accessible post-apocalyptic/cowboy flic it's the lead character's name.

The first scene, with Denzel in a dead forest hunting a horribly starved cat, using a dead human as bait, could have been maybe should have been the style of The Road. Like you're on another planet, TAZ said of The Road (the book). But from that stark opening, the only sound labored breathing through a gas mask, The Book of Eli's staging appears to have switched to stage-sets from old westerns and it stopped being artistically interesting, but remained entertaining. Just barely though, and only if you thing "Remember the Titans" is one of the ten best movies ever (which I do).

But I couldn't quite buy DW as a Samurai-Matrix type swordsman. And the film's message is direct to the point of corny - save the Bible for posterity! In contrast to McCarthy's, which is subtly indirect and the more powerful for it. Plus the book arose from an individual vision - an intense love for the planet, nature, and humanity in the form of a young sensitive boy. Eli's vision is same-old same-old - greed tries to kill innocence and the people of God try to stop it.

The twist at the end was nice, if implausable. Won't spoil it for you. Another good movie I probably wouldn't have gone to if TAZ hadn't recommended it. I give it 3 stars for middling, with a plus for Jennifer Beals, of the L-Word. She plays a righteous and wronged damsel very well, and the villian's pretty darned villanous but the script just spent too much time on his greed and power-driven villany. We've seen it before. I want to see a post-apoc movie where the survivors find a new way to be. I believe they/we can do it, just as someone with heart disease suddenly turns their lifestyle around, or a convict comes out determined to serve.

Do these doomsdays that look lie our worst historical days make bleak futures more likely? Does movie-going itself? I'm not sure. So much work to do...but we need recreation, right?


The Road

I did see The Road finally. It was disappointing and confused, the screenwriter's additions undermining McCarthy's vision, which was communicated mainly through the intensity of the prose. It's like the movie didn't trust itself. Needed to back away. That, in a sense, is a tribute to the book.

Babies turning on a spit. What, after the last century, you can't film that? After the 6 million, you can't film that? After ten thousand rapes a year and a million-something murders, for our entertainment? You can't film the truth?

Everywhere babies turning on a spit above a cooking fire. The hungry adults waiting, adding sticks.

sorry, can't give this one better than eh


Terminator Salvation

Since he's not here I'm telling everyone, TAZ just had a b-day and won't be seeing much more of the twenties.

Let me go watch this movie. As TAZ said once when me him and his woman and mine-at-the-time (long story) and the triplets were waitings in line at the overpriced NJ Acquarium to see the overpriced new 3-D all-that show: "Please God don't let this suck."

B back soon...I love the lead in and music and everything. Must be movie-starved. Hope my old laptop DVD lets me watch the whole thing.

"Kill Kyle Reese, reset the future, no john Connor." Not a good plot if they have to telegraph it that way...and acting not great but I'm still interested.

Well it's over, thank God. Couldn't they find a writer? A heart transplant, in the post judgment day desert? Fight scene (in the steel plant again, sort of), chase scene, actor announcing the plot segment we're supposed to feel suspenseful about - others popping in to summarize for us, like the death-row cancer lady (her face anyway). Just boring, and what a rip-off on The last Matrix, which was truly epic and made you feel the fate of the surviving world really was at stake.

Why does John Connor have a lisp?

The musical score was good. "Tell them" -- busy but subdued music suddenly pauses, and you don't realize where it had take you until it does pause "I'll be back."

But in T2, lines like that had referential drama within the movie, like when Schwartz. says Hasta la vista baby we remember JC the kid trying to teach him to lighten up. This movie, like so many sequels, has to refer back to earlier flicks for its drama. That and explosions, which for me is not, sorry, drama, just stimulation.

Stimulation is not art; it's addiction's younger cousin.

And fuck you yes I am an addict. We are all. The machines don't need to defeat us these shitty movies and virulent videogames and fake food and treated week have already done it.

Or nearly. And do me a favor arright--leave a fucking comment why do we have all these hits and no mfing comments. Drones out there surfing the web? Chinese censors looking for suspicious anime?

Abysmal. Except for the score and the kid with the big hair. And sorry about all the cussing.