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I watch movies. On DVD, at the theater, via cable TV. Sometimes I want people to know what I think about the movies I watch, regardless of whether or not they care. I promise I will make my reviews short, but I won't be ashamed to throw around cliches like "beautiful cinematography" and "post-modern irony," so be warned.

Monday, June 21, 2004 :::

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Why I saw it: My friends were going, and because I consider Zoolander to be a modern classic.

What I think about it: I got nuthin' against this movie, really I don't, but too many of the jokes were old, or recycled, or variations on the same old jokes they've been telling in every low-ball comedy since There's Something About Mary set the low-bar. Sure, they're funny, but I've seen them already. Ben Stiller was very funny, and I definitely laughed out loud a few times, but it just wasn't the over-the-top absurdist masterpiece that I wanted it to be. And I totally didn't understand the pirate stuff.

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::: posted by dan at 11:16 AM :: #

Monday, June 14, 2004 :::

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Why I saw it: because the original is one of my favorites.

What I think about it: I was unable to watch this movie without constant comparison to the original, which is unfortunate, because on its own this would have been a worthy horror movie. It definitely had its tense moments and a cool, creepy atmosphere. But having seen the original 50 times, you'd have to prefer its subtlety, restraint, and its warped plot development. This remake, on the other hand, is all over-the-top gore, glossy close-ups, and way too much information. The new version attempts to add backstory and new twists to the legend, with references to some mysterious skin disease and some nonsense about a stolen baby, which is totally unnecessary and ultimately a lot less believable. But I think worse is the momentum of the new version. In the original, the audience more-or-less discovers each hideously shocking plot advancement along side our shrieking heroine. It never gives us hints and it never foreshadows, so whenever she stumbles across something distrubing for the first time, so do we. This new version wastes no time before cutting to Leatherface, sitting in his flooded basement, sewing faces and pickling fingers, totally outside of the point-of-view of any of the main characters. They'd rather gross you out as often as possible than slowly reveal the disturbing monstrosity of it all, which is why the original will always be a classic, and this new version will always be in a 2-for-1 DVD double feature pack with Jeepers Creepers or Final Destination.

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::: posted by dan at 12:13 PM :: #


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