1408 – Review

You know how when you go to see a scary movie, there’s always some jerk who jumps at every little thing — to the point where it’s distracting? Well, that jerk is me.

I don’t do well with scary movies, so why did I go see 1408? I enjoy the hell out of Stephen King’s short stories and Character Studies (For those who have no idea what a Character Study is, it’s basically a look into the deep, dark past of a character and how he/she deals with it in the story).

1408 is not like today’s torture porn that makes up the bulk of the horror genre. It’s even tough to call it horror. There are plenty of parts that made me jump (farking Carpenters), but John Cusack does not get his rectum removed with a rusty spoon or anything like that. Those of you who like scary movies probably won’t find much to be scared about. For me, I’m pretty sure the couple behind me were taking bets on whether or not I had shat myself.

If you’re a John Cusack fan, go see this movie. It’s his best performance ever. If John Cusack make you wish you had said rusty spoon to remove your eyes, then avoid this one since he’s the only person on screen for about 90% of the movie. Sure Samuel L Jackson is listed in the credits, but he’s got a very small part.

Overall, it’s a good movie. I enjoyed the Character Study and the ending left me satisfied. It’s not perfect, but what is? And as a bonus, I nearly shat myself.

Grade: B+

Ocean’s 13 – Review

I caught Ocean’s 13 last night and for those of you on the fence (or betting behind the line) on this one, rest assured they did it right. It’s much, much better than 12, and as good as 11 – perhaps better in some areas.

It takes a special kind of person to enjoy these movies. Let’s face it, if you wanted a serious movie, you’d head to the local two-screen cinema for a matinée of “Gay Cowboys Eating Pudding.” (/end obligatory South Park reference) and call it a night over a glass of chianti.

For the rest of us, we enjoy these movies because we get to watch a bunch of guys (the same guys every woman in the world would leave you for) rob a casino. Instead of Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta Jones, we guys get Ellen Barkin who can still put the sweet on the eye candy.

Everything that made the first one funny, and was left out of the second one, is back in the third. The jokes work, especially the inside ones between Clooney and Pitt. Plus, there are a few cameos from the previous movies that are understated and thus, hilarious. And Pacino is one “Hoo-ah!” short of perfect.

For those of you who know Vegas well, you’ll enjoy the CG work done on the casino that appears right on the Strip. It’s very impressive and it’s how CG should be done in movies.

Great fun, and definitely worth a rental — or a matinée.

Grade: B

Paris, je t’aime – Review

So I got dragged to Paris, je t’aime last night. Yeah, I’d never heard of it either so I amused myself by telling everyone the title translated to “Paris is lame.”

Imagine what would happen if you tell 18 directors to write 16 love stories, all set in Paris, and to keep it under two hours. Basically, you’d get Paris, je t’aime (Paris, I love you). Believe it or not, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s sort of a gimmick, but it all works — mostly.

Each story begins in a different part of town with different characters. You get the title of the story appearing in the corner along with the director (including the Coen brothers, Gus van Sant, and Wes Craven). You math geniuses have already deduced that each story runs about 5 minutes. That’s a good thing in that there is no fluff and if one story sucks, you only have to suffer for a few minutes. But it’s a bad thing, because there were a few stories I really enjoyed and wished they’d gone further with them.

The stories are basically clichéd love stories that have been reworked with a twist. Everything from the Golden Age of Cinema to vampire lovers. For those people who are really into film, this adds another interesting dimension to each story.

But the best part is all the famous actors that play very small parts. I won’t ruin it by telling you who’s in it (easy enough to find on the web), but there were many moments where the audience chuckled when a familiar face popped on screen.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It’s worth checking out, not only because it’s entertaining, but just to see how each director visioned a simple love story.

Grade: B+