Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hard Core Logo (1996)

Its only rock and roll
Hard Core Logo was one of Canada's great punk bands.  A film crew follows them as they tour across Canada for their reunion tour.  This is a great mockumentary, one of the best I've seen.  At no point did it ever feel like a spoof or a send up.  If I didn't know it was a mockumentary, I never would have guessed that's what it was. Recommended if you like music and/ or funny movies.

Hard Core Logo gets 4 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Bruce McDonald
Writer: Noel S. Baker
Strarring: Hugh Dillon, Callum Keith Rennie (Momento, Battlestar Gallactica), John Pyper-Ferguson (Caprica), and Bernie Coulson
Rotten Tomatoes: Not Reviewed
Metacritic: Not Reviewed

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bellflower (2011)

Crazy, just plain crazy
Woodrow and Aiden are obsessed with building a flame thrower.  They dream of being Mad Max.  They have dreams but their lives are going nowhere fast.  Bellflower is thoroughly depressing and a bit brutal.  It is also awesome.  This film was made for only $17,000, which is surprising because the production quality is so good.  The story is engrossing, the characters intriguingly tragic.  Not for the faint of heart, but worth it for everyone else. 

Bellflower sets the place on fire with 4 out of 5 Poblanos

Director: Evan Glodell
Writer: Evan Glodell
Starring: Evan Glodell, Tyler Dawson and Jessie Wiseman
Rotten Tomatoes: 72%
Metacritic: 72 out of 100

Monday, February 20, 2012

Stake Land (2010)

After the plague
The world had been infected by vampirism.  Humanity struggles to survive.  Martin is found by Mister and taught how to survive.  They are headed north towards New Eden, a refuge for humans.  The film chronicles their trip north.  This is a serious film reminiscent of the best post apocalyptic stories.  For a film that I knew very little about, this was surprisingly good.  A genre film mixing vampires, action, horror and post apocalyptic elements, Stake Land succeeds in being an entertaining and engrossing genre film that never descends into cliche.  Thanks to Twitch for the great recommendation.

Stake Land goes right to the heart with 4 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Jim Mickle
Writer: Nick Damici, Jim Mickle
Starring: Connor Paolo, Nick Damici, Danielle Harris and Kelly McGillis (Top Gun)
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Metacritic: 66 out of 100

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tres Dias (Before the Fall) 2008

I see the human dark potential
A meteor is hurtling towards the earth.  The governments of the world have known about it and have attempted to stop it.  Unable to do either, they announce the imminent disaster to the general population three days prior to the impact.  And people go bonkers.  A little bit of suspense, a fair dose of brutality, and a whole lot of bleakness, Tres Dias is interesting, although not necessarily enjoyable.  This is the bastard cousin of Melancholia.  The two films share a premise - a large object will collide with the Earth and destroy it.  But Tres Dias shows how bad people can get when things look bad.  Not my favorite film ever, but not bad for F. Javier Gutiérrez's first feature film.

Tres Dias gets tres out of cinco Poblanos!

Director: F. Javier Gutiérrez
Writer: F. Javier Gutiérrez, Juan Velarde (original story)
Starring:  Víctor Clavijo, Mariana Cordero and Eduard Fernández (Biutiful, The Skin I Live In)
Rotten Tomatoes: Not reviewed by critics, 53% (audience reviews)
Metacritic: Not reviewed

Monday, February 13, 2012

Die Welle (The Wave) 2008

Rainer is the cool teacher - he wears t-shirts and jeans to school, listens to rock music, and lets his students address him by his first name. When given the task of teaching a week long class on Autocracy, Rainer becomes Herr Wenger and teaches his class about authority, discipline, group harmony, and unity. Based in part on an experiment by a California high school teacher, Die Welle reveals how easily people can be motivated and manipulated, especially young people. Parts of the film seem implausible. For example, could high school kids really get this engrossed in something in such a short amount of time? Also, are high schoolers really this impressionable? With a strong script, engaging subject, and great young actors. They make the film feel more like a documentary with genuine high schoolers rather than a scripted film.

Die Welle made me a believer with 3 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Dennis Gansel
Writer: Dennis Gansel, Peter Thorwarth
Starring: Jürgen Vogel, Frederick Lau and Max Riemelt
Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Metacritic: Not reviewed

Friday, February 10, 2012

Love & Other Drugs (2010)

I need an Rx for a better film please
Jamie is a salesman who becomes a pharmaceutical rep for Pfizer.  His job is to get doctors offices to prescribe his drugs.  Then he meets Maggie and blah, blah, blah.  The idea behind this film is a good one, but the translation to film unimpressive.  I made it through about 30 minutes of then turned it off because I didn't care about the characters, wasn't interested in their lives, and didn't care how about the ending.  It was disaapointing, especially since I am a fan of Jake Gyllenhall

Love & Other Drugs disappoints with only 1 out of 5 Poblanos

Director: Edward Zwick
Writer: Edward Zwick, Charles Randolph, Marshall Herskovitz
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, and Anne Hathaway
Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Metacritic: 55 out of 100

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Bothersome Man (Den brysomme mannen) 2006

Where am I?
Andreas arrives by bus to a gas station in the desert. He is then driven to the city and is given a new life, job and a place to live. All his needs are met, but he is dissatisfied: Food doesn't taste the way it used to, alcohol has little effect. His life is bland and and drab so he begins searching for more. With echos of The Truman Show, this Norwegian film explores satisfaction and existentialism. For example, do material goods, security and comfort really satisfy? And if we had everything we needed and wanted, would we be happy with life? A decent film, but not one I would recommend except to serious film watchers.

An interesting and ambiguous film, The Bothersome Man gets 2 out of 5 Poblanos!

Director: Jens Lien
Writer: Per Schreiner
Starring: Trond Fausa Aurvaag, Petronella Barker and Per Schaaning
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Metacritic: Not reviewed