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About me

Name: Derek, D-rock, D-ron

Top 10 of 2020:
1. I'm Thinking of Ending Things
2. Calm with Horses
3. The Dark and the Wicked
4. Tenet
5. The Mortuary Collection
6. Books of Blood
7. Host
8. The Invisible Man
9. The Tax Collector
10. Scare Me

Interests: movies, animals, writing, occasional gaming, obsessive compulsive actions, sports, including fantasy sports, Muay Thai (Hopefully starting up again soon), worrying about all that exists, dumbbells, coffee, food that isn't good for you, daydreaming, people watching.

A Quick Summary: I enjoy all films, including the occasional CGI- fest, but hardly ever watch them. My current favorite genres are anything from back in the day, modern day thrillers and action films, and pretty much anything else. I consider myself a film buff, but still have a lot of work to do. Cinema is my number one passion, and that's mainly what I'm thinking about, or participating in more often than not. I try widening my array of the stuff I do watch, for that is the way to really become educated in this art form. I watch films for many reasons, including escapism, entertainment, to analyze them, for the actors, the acting, and because I just flat-out love to, and take them very seriously as an art form. My ratings are mainly very strict, as a film must impress me to a relatively large extent for it to receive even a 4/5 (8/10) star rating. I also have a different criteria for each genre, as each of them are ultimately aiming at different elements. That's why certain "WTF?" films will be given a relatively high rating from me. Most are guilty pleasures, or just underrated in my opinion.
I hope you enjoy yourself on Listal, as it's truly a great site. Also, NO SPAM FRIEND REQUESTS, it's become quite a nuisance. One more thing: If you rate 80 or 90 percent of your films 5 stars or a half star, please don't expect me to add you or accept your request, :)

How I rate films: (Differs between genres)

- A DISASTER in every possible way.

- An UTTERLY ATROCIOUS "Film" with no redeeming qualities. Except for maybe incidental humor.

- A BAD film, not really much different from a 1 star rating. Maybe a couple alright moments.

- Still a PRETTY BAD movie, just with one or two more positive aspects.

- MEH, not very worthwhile. The majority of these pass the time, but hardly do anything for me. I was most likely VERY disappointed, depending on the genre. Or, I enjoyed it, but not nearly enough.

- DECENT/SOLID, worthwhile for the most part, and actually pretty good. I may or may not see it again.

- A GOOD/DAMN GOOD movie, depending on the flick itself. Worth owning and seeing again.

- A VERY Good movie, not far from being a great one, and it should be on my shelves sometime.

- A FANTASTIC motion picture, and almost a guaranteed spot on my 'favorite movies' list.

- A MASTERPIECE pure and simple. One of the best films ever made. The rarest of the rare. Only 28 films on my list have this honor.

How I rate television shows:
Why this in addition to how I judge films? Television is on a whole different spectrum for me. I'm harder on them for some reason or another.

- One of the worst shows ever made. A rare sight.

- Still not worth any of your time. Just horrid.

- Still horrible.

- A very bad series....still.

- It remains a borderline bad television show. Not worth anything.

- An O.K show, but I won't be watching it again.

- Not so bad, it could be watched again, but chances are slim.

- Very much worth my time. Not a favorite, but still good.

- An extremely good show, sometimes great, and possibly one of my favorites.

- One of the greatest shows ever made, and a definitive favorite of mine. Another rare sight.

Note: Movies marked as "Watched" with no rating means I need more time to properly dictate a score. I need to mull it over for awhile. Or, in rare cases, I don't remember everything from it.

Occupation: Drifter

Collection stats

Watched Want to watch
Movies Movies 2620 2453
TV TV 618 138

Owned Wanted Used
DVDs DVDs 289 154
Books Books 9 34 14
Music Music 19 1 31
Games Games 127 105 238

About my collections

Movies: I collect Dvd's and Blu-ray's whenever I can. A.K.A when I have money to spend on them. I'm trying to build my collection the best I can.

Video Games: I have a wide array of video games, ranging from the Nintendo 64, to the original X-box and the X-box 360. As for the computer, I only occasionally play certain games. I don't collect very many games nowadays, but will acquire them when needed.

Music: I NEVER buy music, just listen to it pretty often, and am not by any means a fanatic. I am just your normal every day music listener, not something I'm passionate about.

Note: I have a lot of reviews from awhile ago that I have not yet revised or deleted, and they obviously aren't very good. Just please pay attention to the more recent ones. The old reviews in which will be changed will have an asterisk* in the title.


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The Watch

Posted : 11 years, 7 months ago on 4 August 2012 04:44 (A review of The Watch)

“I will get your name in due course”

Vaughn, Stiller, Hill: three HUGE comedic names, all of which I’m a big fan of. Add an interesting, somewhat funny Englishman to the mix (I now know who he is; Richard Ayoade. Back then, I hadn't a clue. Thank you, Caboose!), and you have the Neighborhood Watch. If you were as dumb as I was, you’d expect the above contributors to add an extra spark to the comedy genre, as well as a somewhat refreshing, humorous experience to boot. Trailers and clips alike boosted the films excitement value, to a point where I was seriously looking forward the ‘The Watch’, laughing a little each time it appeared on television.

In an unfortunate turn of events, the ensemble cast of comedic studs, are all extremely dry. The quote at the top is perhaps the funniest line in the entire flick, and guess what, the big three have nothing to do with it. Ben Stiller, is, I hate to say it, the absolute worst of every actor here. I adore his on-screen presence in everything he’s ever appeared in, so I actually felt somewhat sad during this. None of his dialogue, with the exception of a scene of him humming some sounds, works on any level. On a positive note, Vince Vaughn shows he can still provide some laughs, however you won’t be shocked at that revelation, as he plays the same exact character as always. That doesn’t change my love for him, though. Jonah Hill has some OK bits, but overall is very underutilized.

One of the biggest problems of the film is the absolutely lethargic storyline. Everyone, save some young viewers, will most likely find themselves bored half way through, perhaps even sooner. There just isn’t nearly enough interesting going on. I saw desperate actors yearning for their paycheck, which is shown very clear here. If the storyline, of four adult men defending their small town from an alien invasion, was perhaps differentiated with a different ensemble cast, comedic gold could’ve been made. Look at ‘Attack the Block’ or ‘Shaun of the Dead’. Two well-done horror-comedies, also two movies ‘The Watch’ should’ve learned from before production. Going back to the story, which has lately been utilized a lot, with thoughts of the apocalypse looming, seems kind of like a backdrop in this flick, opposed to a full fledged plot line. You are only vaguely introduced to the actual aliens, with the exception of a few scenes. In addition, every scene featuring said aliens, are all portrayed with such carelessness, bordering on unintentional hilarity. It’s a major disappointment, seeing as each actor has loads of talent, and the story in itself had the opportunity to really work.

To conclude, ‘The Watch’ is one of the biggest letdowns so far this year. I had high hopes for it, rushed to the theatre on opening day, and walked out with a feeling of complete emptiness. Its almost sickening to think just how different it could’ve been. Having said all of that, some of the movie is very watchable. Its just outweighed by the negative.


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Enjoyable, but an acquired taste.

Posted : 12 years, 2 months ago on 16 December 2011 04:41 (A review of The Guard)

I can't tell if your really fucking smart, or really fucking stupid.

First time big screen director, John Michael McDonagh debuts with a darkly funny satire, centered around an ignorant cop, Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) and the murder investigation he insists on pursuing. Joining the party is the always talented Don Cheadle, as the quiet yet aggressive FBI Agent, who tags along for the ride.

'The Guard' is filmed wholly in Ireland, and the film-makers make it quite clear, as a lot of scenes rely heavily on the atmosphere. There's a Tarantino-esk vibe flowing through a decent few of them. McDonagh does a splendid job in creating that dark, quiet, yet intimidating atmosphere throughout nearly the entire film, and seeing as this is only his first directed picture, I give him even more props. The first investigation consists of a murder scene, in which it appears the victim was brutally manhandled. Right above the blood-ridden body lies a number. Of course, immediate thoughts of David Fincher's 'Se7en' are brought to mind, not only for the viewer, but the police as well, who discuss the film for a brief moment. The plot is then flipped on its side, when we find out the dead guy was somehow connected to a large drug cartel, setting up Boyle's new prime objective. I wasn't totally shocked at that revelation, seeing as its been done numerous times, in numerous other films. But it didn't bother me at all, as it worked just fine.

The first half or so of 'The Guard' is well structured, and sets the tone great. The characters blend well, and everything is a hoot for the most part. Unfortunately, its second half falls flat. It seems the writers got lazy, because the rest of the film is too rushed. I know it's only a 90 minute movie, but its just far too brisk and nonchalant. The depth just does not hold up. 'The Guard' also suffers from cockiness. Tarantino works that way, but somehow his films manage to impress. Gleeson is great, most of his dialogue is pitch-perfect, but after awhile you get the sense that he thinks he owns the movie. Freshman director McDonagh did well, but a lot of his scenes try hard to be smart, instead result in some value, just not the kind he was going for. I understand the technique he was striving for, but it sort of insults the viewer.

British comedies are becoming very popular these days, and most of them are quite worthy of appreciation. The wildly popular 'Hot Fuzz' is very similar to 'The Guard', however instead of relying heavily on loud, in-your-face jokes, like 'Hot Fuzz', 'The Guard' is a bit more matured, forcing the viewer to think for themselves a little more. Don't get me wrong, I love 'Hot Fuzz', but the style in film-making between the two is on a different spectrum. If you enjoyed 'In Bruges', which also featured Brendan Gleeson, you should take a liking to 'The Guard'.

Plotting polar opposite characters together on screen, usually always results in a solid amount of chemistry, and laughs. Just take a look at Lethal Weapon. It's considered a classic now, and deservedly so. Boyle's first partner, newly instated Aidan McBride, played wonderfully by Rory Keenan, is on screen for a disappointingly short duration. He and Boyle are awkwardly introduced, and just when your getting a feel for the two of them, KA-Poosh! Having said that, the rest of the characters seem pretty well fit for their roles. Mark Strong stars as the head honcho of the drug cartel, and he really does not disappoint, proving a worthwhile leading man. The comedy in 'The Guard' is my type. It's tightly wound, dry, and most importantly, holds up fairly well. Most of the laughs come from Gleeson and Cheadle during their little conversations, but some humor sparks from nearly every party. This is NOT a laugh-out loud comedy. Those expecting that, brace yourself. Instead, its a great example of acquired taste. If your into this stuff, you'll love it. If not, you wont. Simple as that.

Other than the uneven plot structuring and heavily rushed narrative, 'The Guard' proves a worthwhile little comedy, that I'm sure will please its target audience.


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Among the best Scorsese has to offer

Posted : 12 years, 3 months ago on 13 November 2011 08:40 (A review of The King of Comedy)

In this 1982 film directed by Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, known for his roles in a few other Scorsese flicks, enters once again as middle aged-wannabe comedian Rupert Pupkin. The De Niro/Scorsese collaboration happens to be one of the greatest film teams of all-time, and easily one of my personal favorites. Together, they can do magical things, as portrayed for nearly 40 years, and beginning with Mean Streets. Their most recent picture together; Casino, made back in 1995 was a huge success, and just added to the greatness of both Bobby and Martin. Rekindling this team would simply be too dangerous, as De Niro is clearly past his prime, with Scorsese having moved on from the
Gangster scene.

‘The King of Comedy’ flew under the radar upon release, and is considered to be one of Scorsese’s lesser-known films, along with Boxcar Bertha. I do wonder how audiences could’ve missed this one, though, as it really is one of the duos best pieces of work. ‘The King of Comedy’ centers around a middle aged man, (De Niro) who goes by the name of Rupert Pupkin. He’s clearly not quite in touch with reality, or the word “no”. He lives with his mother, though still in his 30’s, and aspires to be the new “King of comedy” on co-star Jerry Lewis’ late night talk show-which Rupert is infatuated with throughout the film, as well as probably well before it.

I never heard any of Jerry’s stand-up comic material, nor had I ever witnessed him anywhere else on screen, with the exception of a few pictures here and there. I’d always heard he was a legend in both comedy, and for hosting one of the most popular talk shows ever, so it’s actually a shock I didn’t know anything else about the man until viewing this movie. Most people will probably find it hard to believe. De Niro and Lewis on screen together, was golden. They fed off each other like they’d been working side by side for years, which honestly kind of surprised me, as I didn’t have too high of hopes it’d work out.

The film opens with a rabid crowd outside of Jerry Lewis’ studio, all hoping to get his autograph, and maybe even hang out with him. Within the crowd stands one Rupert Pupkin. Pupkin has a “friend” who also happens to be obsessed with Lewis. The two have been big fans of his for years, and have sort of partnered in tracking him down. I was immediately reminded of De Niro’s role in ‘Fan’ after about ten minutes into this film, as he’s equally obsessive and out of touch with reality. He’s one of the few actors who can actually pull of such a role with prowess, as if he’s not even trying. ‘Cape Fear’ may be reminisced throughout, as well. If your searching for De Niro’s patented attitude, I suggest you prepare yourself for this one, as it’s much out of the ordinary. Eventually, Rupert hops into Jerry’s getaway car with ease, and progresses a discussion with Jerry about a possible career in comedy, specifically his talk show. You are immediately thrown into the mind of a sociopath, in which Scorsese does so well at portraying in De Niro’s character. Pupkin begins to bargain with Lewis, asking to have dinner with him at a later time. Much to Jerry’s demise, Rupert wants more than just a little get-together. What seems like a completely messed up motion picture at first sight can be cut into a masterpiece if the right viewers watch it. Those of which will pin-point the strong message portrayed, about modern day greed and just how far some will go in order to obtain such notoriety through any means necessary. Throughout the course of an hour and fifty minutes, Rupert tries nearly every trick in the book in order to grab the attention of Jerry Lewis. Some are very over-the-top, whilst others are just plain hysterical. Full fledged opinion here: I laughed at nearly every last scene in this film. It was that good, and that funny. I’m not talking about laughably cheesy scenes, bad acting or horribly directed interactions. I’m talking brilliant to the brim, amazingly timed one liners, PERFECT character spectrums and Bobby De Niro at his absolute finest. I’ll say no more about the scenes presented, as it would undoubtedly spoil it for those who haven’t yet seen it. Instead, I’ll leave the experience to be cherished first-hand.

De Niro portraying Pupkin is a perfect example of a man who simply wants to be liked, known and admired. Many of us will feel exactly what he’s feeling throughout, and perhaps be reminded that it isn’t actually so crazy to want what we cannot have. Okay, so he’s a creepy guy with absolutely no idea what right or wrong actually is; that I can see being very controversial to some viewers, including both Scorsese and De Niro, who have been cited as admitting they regret even producing this movie. When you’re this great of an actor, you are entitled to WHICHEVER character you desire. At least that’s how I see it. Props to Bobby for going against his usual schtick, showing once again how truly legendary he is. ‘The King of Comedy’ is a must see gem. If you consider yourself a fan of Scorsese, De Niro, or both, seeing this movie is a necessity.


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Ensemble cast wasted by lazy filmmaking

Posted : 12 years, 4 months ago on 21 October 2011 04:22 (A review of Trespass)

As they're held for ransom, a husband and wife's predicament grows more dire amid the discovery of betrayal and deception.

Nicolas Cage is uptight businessman Kyle Miller. co-starring are Nicole Kidman as his wife Sarah; a woman with a mysterious past, and Cam Gigandet as one of the disguised burglars. Trailers can be quite deceiving as I've not too long ago come to realize. With 'Trespass', they are dead on, if not even a bit worse. If I may be so critical, the last preview I witnessed for this film had to be one of the worst I had ever seen. You see Nic Cage frantically yelling and screaming for fear, as his wife (Kidman) is seen held hostage by multiple masked trespassers. It's so cheesy I just had to laugh, and not in a good way. I asked myself how on earth it was to be theatrically released. Much to my surprise, it did.

Mostly known for creating sub-par if not horrible motion pictures, (at least to the masses, not to me) Joel Schumacher re-acquaints himself with his '8mm' star Nicolas Cage. This time placing him in an almost opposite role. Cage is a jewelry salesman. He travels wherever necessary in order to sell the expensive items, including having to evade his wife Sarah multiple times. It's clear right from the start that Kyle is a predominate businessman, and places his career on a much higher scale than that of his family. Though his attitude is mainly very restricted and secretive, Kyle still shows signs of love towards his wife and daughter, just not sporadically. It is also quite evident that Kyle is hiding something, and the viewers will probably notice that right off the bat. I found the casting for this movie a bit mixed-up. Nicole Kidman seems lost nearly the whole time as the sex-deprived wife, and really is the weakest member in 'Trespass'' ensemble. I've seen her character portrayed with better actresses in many other films, and just couldn't really understand the meaning of her role. She was dry and nearly emotionless, with the exception of a few very "bleh" scenes. I always love Nic Cage, no matter what role he decides to tackle. But I found him quite bad in 'Trespass'. His acting chops are not put on full display, as he's unimpassioned throughout the full 90 minutes. I still didn't full-on hate him here, but it's definitely his worst gig. Also starring as a pill-popping intruder is Cam Gigandet. I saw him in 'Never Back Down' and honestly thought he did quite an impressive job. With his role in 'Trespass', he really isn't required to do a whole lot, and kind of just nonchalantly crawls to the finish line. I believe he's a very talented actor, but he was clearly miscast here, and I don't put all the blame on him, but to the casting director. The bright spot to the cast is Elias; one of the few trespassers, and played by Ben Mendelsohn. Again, a cast member who should've/could've gone for a better role, not just a stereotypical throw-in. For his full-fledged acting range see 'Animal Kingdom'.

What Shumacher attempts to do with 'Trespass' simply does not work. He re-surfaces an already worn-out sub-genre and attempts to trick the audience into thinking it's something different. 'Hostage' and 'Firewall' have been there and done that, and were a tad bit more watchable than 'Trespass'. If you've seen the above mentioned films, you've seen this. There are other movies that follow the same theme, but I won't go into those right now. Every scene in 'Trespass' is lazy, predictable and dry. The so called "intense" sequences of violence and terror are actually quite the opposite. You will indeed laugh at the awful attempts at suspense, 95 percent of which fall completely flat. The one (maybe two) scenes I enjoyed had absolutely nothing to do with action or suspense, but rather the couple of reactions from Kyle's face when secrets are revealed.

EVERYTHING in 'Trespass' is formulaic, no one will be surprised at the clumsy conclusion, but instead yell at the screen for pure stupidity reasons. Most may not even make it that far. I'm in complete awe that people continue dishing out nearly identical, unoriginal piles of dirt, and get credit for it. What has modern-day film-making come to?


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The Violent Kind

Posted : 12 years, 4 months ago on 19 October 2011 11:56 (A review of The Violent Kind)

A group of three best friends, who also belong to a biker gang, set out for a good time at a secluded house, only to be bombarded by a series of odd events, including some supernatural entities.

When searching through my local video store, The Violent Kind seemed to glare at me throughout my entire visit, as if it was a film I must see. The DVD cover presents the movie with a bad-ass look, while the entire premise and plot synopsis located on the rear of said DVD looks super intriguing, even after viewing the film. As I read it, I began visualizing certain aspects of other films that looked similar, sort of combining them together, creating the film myself. The Violent Kind looks like The Devil’s Rejects mixed with Sons of Anarchy, so I concluded what it would end up as, and rented it. Most of the time, a film in which you ponder on too much results in disappointment. The more someone tells you how great something is, that it’s the best thing since sliced bread, the higher your expectations will go up. Same goes with you’re thought process, in that the more you dwell on how good, bad, or weird a film may be, the more you’re brain analyzes it, and sometimes that happens to me too much, reaching a level of fogginess inside the brain. I’ve been trying to limit that as of late.

With The Violent Kind, the brain isn’t really a necessity. The whole premise begins rather interesting, introducing us to a pretty hardcore biker gang, which the three main characters are a part of. All the actors are unknowns to me, and only a select few put up solid performances, mostly to the part of the “leading man” Cody. (The guy must be Hayden Christensen’s twin, I swear.) Other than him, a rather decent acting show by Cody’s best friend, and a couple of the “villains”, the acting is very inadequate, as the rest are just you’re typical low-budget cardboard cutouts. Including an absolutely dreadful performance by a character named Megan, which was almost unbearable to watch. This film was directed by the Butcher brothers, a filmmaking duo in which I’d never even heard of until recently. The Duplass brothers come to mind in terms of low budget, up and coming directors, but they have the Butchers beat by a mile. Needless to say, I’m skeptical on whether or not to give these guys another try.

The plot then proceeds with the gang taking a little trip up to a secluded house, in which has been used as a party hangout for years by the gang’s friends and family. It’s now been, in so many words, passed down to the next generation. The filming locations and dark atmosphere are the film’s strengths, at least for most the duration. The cinematographer probably could’ve chosen a higher budget film that maybe would have attracted more viewers, not to mention a theatrical release. You know the campy, corny feeling these low-budget rip-offs present, as you know each and every scene ahead of time, can predict deaths, character emotion etc. That’s The Violent Kind in a nutshell, but not as bad as others due to a great attempt at a VERY clever and intriguing concept. More experienced filmmakers could’ve done big things with this project. Instead, it results in a forgettable, very disposable, very cheesy, very rushed horror/thriller with virtually no redeeming value. There are some fun-to-watch scenes, including two very well choreographed fight sequences that look as they are real, something not many films contain. Not to mention some very good-looking special effects when necessary. Saying exactly when said special effects are used would be a complete spoiler. But horror fanatics will most likely be impressed. Overall, The Violent Kind has a crap load of potential. The actors aren’t too bad, the premise is rather unique, and the atmosphere really blends perfectly with what the director was going for. Unfortunately, The Violent Kind is far too generic, clichéd and predictable, and almost completely fails to capitalize on it’s potential. Not wholly recommended, as it’s barely even worthwhile as a time passer.


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A delightful, relaxing little film.

Posted : 12 years, 4 months ago on 15 October 2011 09:47 (A review of Coffee and Cigarettes)

With Jim Jarmusch's film Mystery Train disappointing me to a relatively large extent, I almost immediately gave up hope on his work. Now I understand that his filmmaking technique is rather unique, obscure, similar to that of a Wes Anderson or David Lynch. They all go above and beyond Hollywood's mainstream material, forcing the viewers to really ponder what they had just watched, delving very deep into the human psyche, or maybe they just enjoy being obscure, I haven't a clue. Either way, like his work or hate his work, you will most likely end up respecting it, at least.

Coffee and Cigarettes is one of those pictures that don't come around too often, and catch viewers off guard. That sometimes seems too "different" for their liking, and quickly turn away from them, opting for something much easier to watch. The flick begins (and ends) with a multitude of restaurant meetings, often featuring some highly known movie stars. For movie-goers interested in a fast paced film filled with a lot of things going on, you most definitely should steer clear. The first story is one of my favorites. It shows one man waiting for another. Shortly thereafter, the other man arrives, and they begin a pretty hysterical, awkward conversation about numerous topics. My favorite type of comedy is dry, relaxed and awkward, so I was glued to the screen. The majority of actors present are indeed unknown faces. But there are some impressive appearances from the likes of Bill Murray, Steve Coogan, Alfred Molina, and Cate Blanchet. All in which do what they're supposed to, albeit not being required to do much.

There are a whole lot of mini conversations throughout "Coffee and Cigarettes", and that may bore some people, I understand that. I was able to find the wit and charm that was present within most of them, and it's a very easy movie to watch. Jim Jarmusch's black and white shooting technique seemed to work to a tee, really setting the perfect atmosphere within the various restaurants. The message behind this flick isn't a large one. In fact, it's rather small. That is if you consider life to be a miniscule thing, because that's what Jarmusch portrays here: the things that appear minute. Friendship, trust, human emotion, human behavior, and generally the low-key things that occur in everyday life. Look deeper into "Coffee and Cigarettes", and you'll be delighted at what you see.


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Top Notch on all accounts

Posted : 12 years, 4 months ago on 13 October 2011 05:38 (A review of Fargo)

Joel and Ethan Coen are arguably the best in the movie making business within the last ten odd years, only just behind Scorsese. And while other directors are truly brilliant, The Coen's usually have them beat in terms of unique direction, odd characters and completely capricious storylines. Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher and Paul Thomas Anderson will come into the minds of most that aren't particularly familiar with The brother's work. However Joel and Ethan Coen have EASILY entrenched themselves into the category of the above visionaries, and proven themselves as Rock stars in Hollywood, true master craftsmen. From a personal stand-point, these guys will eventually rise to the top of the charts, almost no doubt about it. Sufficed to say, they have steadily grown on me, and I try to see all of their films.

Joel and Ethan Coen's debut film; Blood Simple, made surprisingly back in the mid-80's, shocked audiences worldwide, as is often cited as their number one best, a masterpiece in fact. I didn't think so highly of it, and found it relatively dull, pretentious and too generic for my liking. Having said that, they've only let me down a few times in their career (True Grit, O'brother, the man who wasn't there,) and with already so much gold under their belt, those few missteps didn't dent my liking for them in the least.

Their second masterpiece (in my opinion) came to fruition in 1996 after the seriously underrated, masterpiece Miller's Crossing. That film happens to be Fargo, and oh boy did they outdo themselves this time. Shot in mainly one location for nearly the entire duration; Fargo takes place in the small town of Brainerd, Minnesota with some truly brilliant camerawork, to really show off the snowy terrain that captivates the surroundings. The snow never lets up, and "becomes a character in itself". (a movie critic said that) You are immediately thrown into the mix, showing the intro scene, with Jerry (Macy) making his way to a little bar to meet his two "partners" in crime. (Buscemi, Stormare) Pay really close attention to every scene in this film, not in the least of which being the opener. As it's PERFECTLY shot, perfectly acted, setting the tone for what's to come in the upcoming scenes. The conversation between the three consists of a kidnapping plot, in which Buscemi and Stormare will be paid a good sum of cash to obtain possession of Macy's wife. Jerry has planned to gather such cash from his father in-law, and his cut from the Kidnapping. Fargo delves deep into the moral dilemmas of income, desperation and Betrayal all so well, and Macy's character is the main catalyst for the reoccurring themes. Each Coen brothers movie seems to have that underlying theme, but Fargo truly exposes them even more so. Throughout the film you'll definitely be wondering why in the world these people are doing these evil deeds, but all the while enjoying it to the utmost extent. That's what I love so much about most of the brothers' films. The fact that there are so many things going on, it's impossible to look away, as the next big thing could happen at any moment.

Frances McDormand is nothing short of perfect, playing the intuitive Sheriff Marge Gunderson. She almost stole the show. The cast at hand couldn't have been any better, with every last one of them firing on all cylinders. The plot is nothing particularly special or unique. But what progresses throughout the short 90 minute duration makes it seem so complex. Twists and turns, capricious violence, and a dark tone set the mood for Fargo, and color me surprised if you do NOT enjoy it. Perhaps Joel and Ethan Coen's finest hour!


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The Last House on the Left

Posted : 12 years, 5 months ago on 6 October 2011 10:45 (A review of The Last House on the Left)

Wes Craven’s early filmmaking technique, to me, feels very scattered. Scattered in the sense that he never knows exactly where he’s taking his projects. At least that’s my experience of him. Though, “The Hills Have Eyes” was brilliant, and another brilliant remake was released in 2006. For that, I may have brought my expectations a little too high, as I personally loved both the original, and the re-telling. His last successful tidbit came in the way of the “Scream” franchise, the first two being seriously entertaining pieces of work, and also hitting it big around the world. I, as well, am a big fan of them. I didn’t get the chance to see his most recent picture, in “My Soul To Take”, but now I’m sort of relieved, as the first ten minutes were brutal to watch, just terrible, and clearly portrayed just how rusty Craven is becoming.

The Last House On the Left was recognized as completely horrifying, shocking, and absolutely controversial. Back in the 70’s, certain lines weren’t to be crossed, as viewers hadn’t yet been exposed to the gory, sadistic way of Hollywood. Nevertheless, “Last House” crossed all the lines, setting a new standard in the way of horror, which, we all know, would be done hundreds of times not long thereafter, including most modern day takes on “Horror”. Of course, it’s not always good to include gut-wrenchingly wrong scenes, but sometimes it works just fine, adding to the intensity, entertainment value, and so on. Since “Last House” was made so long ago, I almost completely ignore the fact that, indeed violence is a higher priority than most anything else in this film. Also, the fact that it worked relatively well for what Craven was aiming for. He aimed to shock audiences, and he succeeded admirably, setting a new precedent for the next wave of terror.

If you’re from the new generation, you more then likely saw the remake first, just a couple years ago upon release. I don’t blame you, as once upon a time, I went straight for the “easy” stuff that didn’t require a whole lot of you’re attention. I think it’s always a good thing, going back to the roots of when, how, and what exactly the dawn of a franchise was. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a major one to note, and I highly recommend seeing that at you’re earliest convenience. Not to be missed. I wouldn’t call “House on the left” a must see by any means whatsoever. It may be a cult classic to a lot of people, but it’s not actually a very good film, and I will probably get it out of my head within the next couple of days. I’m not calling this a bad flick, more so just a typical, sadistic horror. Perhaps in 1972 I would have respected it a lot more. Unfortunately, today’s audience have been exposed to so much crap, it’s a shock that we even get “scared” anymore during a viewing experience. On the bright side, Craven’s vision still holds up relatively well, and the clichés are few and far between. I was also surprised by the father/criminal fight towards the end, as it actually impressed me, not seeming too cheesy in the process.

What lacks in the acting department, is easily overshadowed by the somewhat intense sequences of desperation that had me entertained for the most part. Another thing to note is the premise. While the execution may be nothing special, it’s the whole idea that appears genius in my book, and I hadn’t seen anything like it before viewing the remake, or this version. The plot says it all. The soundtrack is a wee bit cheesy, but I think Craven wanted that, as this film has a lot of comedic value as well. If you’re looking for a general revenge flick filled with some nasty stuff, then look no further. Just don’t think you’ll be that shocked at what you see, because, chances are, you wont be. Have fun with it, as it’s a decent little 80 minutes.


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Same stuff, different title

Posted : 12 years, 5 months ago on 6 October 2011 12:01 (A review of Frontier(s))

The pretty recent movie production team, entitled “After dark horrorfest” have dished out many sub-par horror rip-offs, some in which actually have a somewhat likable value, rarely. I’ve come across a ton, and have now heard of all 40 of them. This all started back in 2006, and has become very successful since. Horror buffs, not necessarily even intellectual ones, are very impressed and mesmerized by this current run of horror, which is clearly the majority in which drives this new trend. I saw “Borderland” not too long ago, and found it to be pretty disappointing. “Frontier (s)” is not a whole lot better.

Deriving from nearly half of the current day horror flicks, Frontier (s) latches on to the clichéd premise, in a group of friends becoming entangled in an innocent looking, “too good to be true” situation, which ultimately results in mayhem and horrific events for all involved. If you’ve seen “The Hills Have Eyes”, “Hostel”, or “Borderland”, then you have most likely seen this film, numerous times in fact, as nearly one-hundred percent of the material shown is directly copied from them, albeit in a different style, and not executed in the least bit originally.

The story follows a group of good friends stuck in riot torn Paris, and their journey across the land attempting to escape the mayhem. All the while, the law is in search of them, as they are all under suspicion of sabotaging cars, breaking windows, etc, and etc. After a short while, two of them arrive at a hostel ran by a crazy German family disguised as kind, everyday people. The two are then introduced to a couple of prostitutes, and progress in doing the dirty. Shortly there after, the other friends arrive, only to be blockaded by the entire psychotic family. Sound familiar? That’s because it is. I don’t mind so much that it was by-the-books, as much as I mind the fact that the people behind the camera didn’t really put forth any effort into making it even slightly different.

I will admit, the first half had me enthralled, and was structured in the way that would interest most viewers. The freshness wasn’t exactly too strong, but the whole, very intense first twenty minutes or so bring this film a notch above being COMPLETELY forgettable. You get a good sense of the characters, as they are actually developed pretty well. I was interested in them a lot more than a lot of other characters from prior films. I did enjoy the fact that the development, conversations, interactions of all characters were put above the mindless violence, at least for the most part. Having said that, I was expecting a lot more from Frontiers, as it showed a lot of promise when I looked into what it was all about, the ratings, reviews, etc. Sadly, I was expecting something rather unique. Maybe something a little different. That was my mistake, and no one else is to blame. The whole idea is very intriguing to begin with, and actually got me excited to see what was in store. Unfortunately, nothing new is implemented, and I’ve seen this flick tons of times before. Stay away, unless you’re interested in some entertaining torture kills. Which, I admit, were damn entertaining, albeit annoying.


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Really, this show isn't bad.

Posted : 12 years, 5 months ago on 30 September 2011 06:37 (A review of Keeping Up with the Kardashians)

"Keeping Up with the Kardashians" is a reality television series, currently airing on the E! network. It chronicles the lives of the entire Kardashian family. Rob, the younger brother of Khloe, Kim and Kourtney, all in which have their own personal issues, and they are the main contributors to the show's attraction. If this were a reality show based on people that did nothing, then of course it wouldn't be a good watch.

With this series you are presented with human beings who are actually sort of fun to watch on screen, mainly due to how silly, albeit quite entertaining they are. Each "Character" has their own odd personalities, some more annoying than others. Once Scott came into the mix, the drama layer thickened, and drew me in even more. And of course Rob, the one everybody trashes because of his "low" end life he's living. No job, and still living at home. He's my personal favorite of the bunch. The rest? well....I could probably go without. Bruce Jenner's a fun one too.

Nothing special is shown on screen. Just you're typical reality set-up, but whenever I watch it, I feel better during my day, and just simply get a good feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why? personally, I believe it's the drama. Or could it be that I'm more interested in other people's lives than my own? Either way, I really enjoy this ridiculous show. Similar to "Jersey Shore" which is hated on by the majority of America. I don't understand the hatred there, as most reality shows are an excellent, brainless bit of escapism. "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" provides that, despite how truly silly, or absolutely mundane it is. So, if you like this type of T.V, then by all means watch this. And yes, I realize my opinions are a wee bit warped at times :)


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« Prev12 3 4 5 6 7 » 17 » 29 Next »


Posted: 1 year, 9 months ago at May 10 14:26
At last, I'm finally done with this list!
If you are interested and you want to check the end-result, you can use the following link :
Listal's 100 Films To See Before You Die (2022)
Posted: 1 year, 10 months ago at Apr 13 11:55
Thanks for you help!

The list has been updated with your vote.

If you want, you can double-check the end-result : www.listal.com/list/listals-100-films-see-before-8601
Posted: 2 years, 9 months ago at Jun 2 14:06
At last, I'm finally done with this list!
If you are interested and you want to check the end-result, you can use the following link:
Listal's 100 Films To See Before You Die (2021)
Posted: 3 years, 1 month ago at Feb 1 16:14
Thanks for you help!

The list has been updated with your vote.

If you want, you can double-check the end-result : www.listal.com/list/listals-100-films-see-before-614
Posted: 4 years, 1 month ago at Feb 1 17:10
My man!
We premiered Unleashing the Demons in July 2019. We immediately got distribution interest, and signed a contract with a North American distributor. In the interim, we did additional photography, reshoots, re-editing, got a whole new score commissioned, and now I'm just doing the final tweaks with the sound designer as well as final ADR.

It's 86 minutes long. The premiere print was 83 minutes. I'd estimate the recent additional shooting/reshoots accounts for about 35% of the movie.

When it's delivered to the distributor, I will let you know. All I know for sure is that it'll be available to rent & buy on Amazon Prime. DVD is also a lock. I'm trying to negotiate a Blu-ray, because that's bare minimum for me ;)

Cheers, bro.
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at May 15 7:45
At last, I'm finally done with this list and this year, there is a big surprise with this end-result!
If you are interested and you want to check it out, you can use the following link :
Listal's 100 Films To See Before You Die (2019)
Posted: 5 years, 1 month ago at Feb 2 14:45
Thanks for you help!

The list has been updated with your vote.

If you want, you can double-check the end-result : www.listal.com/list/listals-100-films-see-before-6391
Posted: 5 years, 3 months ago at Nov 22 17:06
Hey dude. There's now a teaser trailer for my new flick: vimeo.com/300030301

We're taking more time to shoot more material, beef it up to around 70 mins. My first film to exceed an hour. Exciting times!!
Posted: 5 years, 6 months ago at Aug 18 16:58
Just letting you know that the sequel to Inviting the Demons is my next project. And we've already wrapped (for now). It came together reasonably quickly (scripting started in earnest back in Feb, a treatment was written 12 months prior) and it's shaping up well. It'll be another feature, around 40 mins. I'll keep you posted!
Posted: 6 years, 10 months ago at Apr 19 13:54
At last, I'm finally done with this list!

If you are interested and you want to check the end-result, you can use the following link :
Listal's 100 Films To See Before You Die (2017)
Posted: 7 years, 1 month ago at Jan 13 9:54
Thanks for your help!

the list has been updated : www.listal.com/list/listals-100-films-see-before-9773
Posted: 7 years, 4 months ago at Oct 12 1:07
Thank you so much for your comments, mate! I actually met Ashley whilst looking for an actress for Betrayals & Bullets last year, but scheduling didn't work out for her. And now we're roommates.

As for my composer, I found his Soundcloud randomly back in 2014 and bookmarked it, thinking I should recruit him at some point. I messaged him a couple weeks before filming to ask if I could use some of his stuff, and he said he'd compose a full original score. And now we're really good mates.

Also, I got the inspiration for Nightfall mostly from Nicolas Winding Refn :D

Hope all is good with you, dude!
Posted: 7 years, 4 months ago at Oct 10 9:45
I can't wait to hear your thoughts, man!

Two features in two years was not easy. I won't be pursuing a big project again for a while, most likely. But we'll see!
Posted: 7 years, 4 months ago at Oct 9 13:24
Nightfall is up, brother. Can be watched for free. Available to watch in 4K, too!

Posted: 7 years, 5 months ago at Sep 15 12:43
Nightfall is finally landing in October ;)

Why did it take so long?
I wanted to conduct additional photography in June, I recruited a third-party colorist who took a while, the composer has written a full original soundtrack, and I wanted to take the time to do it right. Yeah that covers it.
Posted: 7 years, 5 months ago at Sep 14 7:44
Thanks for the list vote!
Posted: 7 years, 6 months ago at Aug 21 5:22
Thanks for the vote on My Favourite Rockstar Games characters list!
Posted: 7 years, 6 months ago at Aug 13 16:51
In reference to Goodfellas. Yeah I did some reviews I either make notes or type as I watch. Sometimes I feel it was more fun to write that way.
Posted: 7 years, 9 months ago at May 20 10:27
Tonnes of Nightfall stills on the Listal page!
Posted: 7 years, 10 months ago at Apr 29 15:32
At last! I'm finally done with this list...
Thanks again for your help.

If you are interested, you can check the end-result :
Listal's 100 Films To See Before You Die (2016)