Hey loyal readers, 3D is back once again to give you your weekly movie recommendation. This month I’ve been recommending heist movies. In keeping with that theme, this week I’m advising you to give “The Score” a try.
Like many of the heist films I’ve been recommending, I was first drawn to this film because of its cast. It features Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando, and Angela Bassett. They are all great actors who turn in wonderful performances as usual, but the stand out here is definitely Norton.
In the film De Niro is the veteran thief on the verge of retirement. Norton comes along as the young upstart who convinces him to do one last job. For his part of the con, Norton disguises himself as a mentally disabled man, and it is fascinating to watch him play a character who is playing a person like this.
Of course, as with all heist films, things don’t go according to plan, complications ensue and the best part is figuring out how our heroes are going to get the best of the situation. This film was really overlooked when it came out, so I hope people will give “The Score” a chance now.
In keeping with my heist movie theme for this month, I’m recommending the 1992 comedy “Sneakers.” If you haven’t seen this film, then you must not know who is in it: Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, David Strathairn, Dan Ackroyd, River Phoenix, Timothy Busfield, Mary McDonnell, Sir Ben Kinsley, and James Earl Jones. It is quite a cast, and they have terrific chemistry.
The movie is based on the idea of a group of talented individuals, with somewhat shady pasts, who have formed a business where they test people’s security by breaching it. In the words of one of the characters, “So, people pay you to break into their places, to make sure that no one can break into their places.” It is an interesting idea, and it’s amusing to see them utililizing their skills in this manner.
However, it wouldn’t be a movie if a job didn’t go horribly wrong, and our heroes weren’t forced to use their skills to make it right. On a side note, it’s interesting to look back at the technology in this film from so many years later and see how far things have come. But the movie itself still holds up as a witty, light-hearted heist caper. If you haven’t already, then you need to see “Sneakers.”
My movie recommendation for you this week is the 2001 heist film titled, accurately enough, “Heist.” I’m a fan of heist films in general (you may notice me highlighting more of them in the coming weeks), and this one caught my eye because of its excellent cast, which includes Gene Hackman, Delroy Lindo, Danny DeVito, and Sam Rockwell.
The film revolves around a band of thieves, led by Hackman, who are forced by a gangster (played by DeVito) to perform a gold heist. Of course, if you know anything about heist films, you know that the plot is less important than how the heist is executed and the twists and turns that ensue.
It’s important to tell you that this film is written and directed by David Mamet. This is both a blessing and a curse. If you like Mamet and his trademark style of telling a story (not to mention his extremely distinctive dialogue), then you will like this movie a lot. If you aren’t the biggest Mamet fan, then this movie will start to irritate with its twists and turns.
For me, it was enough to see these great actors in a heist film. Also, I have a special liking for Ricky Jay (who makes one of his frequent appearances in Mamet’s films here) because of his expertise as a historian of magic and sleight of hand artist. So, if you like heist films and have never seen this one, why not give “Heist” a try?
Well, it’s Halloween, so I have to get serious with my horror movie recommendation for today. No more horror/comedies or camp cult films. No, today’s recommendation is one of the bleakest and darkest films I’ve seen in a while. Fittingly, it is called “30 Days of Night.”
Based on a graphic novel (emphasis on graphic), this is a movie that takes vampires to one of their goriest and scariest incarnations. In other words, don’t you dare watch it if you like the vampires in “Twilight.” There is nothing sparkly or romantic about the bad guys in this film.
The movie is set in a small town in Alaska that is going through 30 days of darkness because of the time of year. Mostly, I like this film because of the setting. Not only is it interesting to see vampires in the snow, but this film eliminates the out of daylight. In most vampire films, you just have to make it till the sun comes up, but in this film, that is a very, very long time.
If you like dark, gory films and haven’t given this one a chance, then you need to see “30 Days of Night.”
Well, it’s another horror movie recommendation for you this weekend, but this one is just a little different. It falls squarely into the category of horror-comedies. And believe me, “Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon” is one of the funniest slasher movies I’ve ever seen.
It tells the story of an aspiring serial killer, his mentor, the plan he has to perpetrate a horror movie type massacre, and, of course, the documentary crew that is following his attempts. Yes, you read that correctly. “Behind the Mask” is a satire of slasher movies, and it is told through the conceit of a documentarian following the main character as he stalks and later attempts to kill his chosen prey.
Once you buy into the movie’s premise, it is endlessly clever as it sends up the various cliches of the horror genre. It even includes horror legend Robert Englund (a.k.a. Freddy) as the “Ahab” to the titular Leslie Vernon. (Want to know what an “Ahab” is? Watch the film. It’s just one of the helpful horror movie terms defined for you.)
So, if y0u’re in the mood for a slasher movie, but you’re tired of the same old predictable stuff, why not try a different kind of movie. A movie that will explain to you just exactly why the handle of the ax the heroine is swinging at the killer ALWAYS breaks or why on earth the foolish young teenagers will think they can hide in the barn. If you want to know the answers, you need to see “Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.”
Hey there loyal readers. This week I’m continuing my horror movie recommendations for the month of October. As I stated last week, I’m trying to suggest some stuff that you might not have seen or heard of (as an alternative to the many great horror movies you’ve seen tons of times already).
My movie recommendation this week is the 2006 film “Big Bad Wolf,” and it will not be for everyone. For one thing, it is definitely adult viewing so don’t let the kids see it. For another, serious horror buffs may not respond to the campy tones of the film, but for me they made the film great fun.
This movie starts with your typical horror setup as a group of teenagers become trapped in a cabin in the woods and are picked off one by one by a werewolf. However, this situation lasts for less than half an hour, and from that point on the film develops into something else entirely. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the werewolf talks? (Yes, while in wolf form.) Thus, the camp factor.
Even if you don’t enjoy it, you have to admit that the filmmakers took some bold and unexpected risks with this film. I would recommend it for that alone. I love a good horror movie (and a bad one and a mediocre one…), but it does get tiring to see the same thing over and over. So, anytime someone tries to shake things up, I’m all for it. That’s why I say, if you’re into this sort of thing, you might want to give “Big Bad Wolf” a try.
Hello loyal readers. 3D is back for your weekly movie recommendation. Since it’s October, I thought I’d do horror movies for you until the end of the month. However, these will not be famous, popular horror movies. Nobody needs to be told how awesome those are. Instead, I’ll be recommending some stuff that you might not have heard of or given a chance.
I’ll start out with something at least a little familiar this week: an adaptation of a Stephen King book. “Desperation” was done for TV back in 2006, so if you’re worried about gore, you shouldn’t be. It is more of a spooky, psychological film.
I will admit the film is uneven and has some problems; however, I highly recommend it and I can tell you why in two words: Ron Perlman. I’m a Perlman fan in general, and he gives an inspired performance in this film. (On a side note, he’s also quite funny in the commentary track commenting on why so many of his roles require his face be covered in prothestics.)
In fact, the big problem with the film comes when his character in no longer on screen. Even then, you have the likes of Tom Skerritt and Charles Durning to carry the rest of the film. So, if you’re bored with all the horror movies you’ve seen over and over, why not give something new a try. I promise Perlman at least will not disappoint
Hello loyal readers. This week I thought I’d make my movie recommendation the overlooked 2006 crime thriller “Lucky Number Slevin.” It is, I believe, a victim of a truly terrible title (which also kind of spoils a plot twist in the film). The director originally wanted to call it “Kansas City Shuffle,” and I wonder what would have happened if it had been released with this title instead of the cutesy “S7evin” moniker (no, that’s not a typing mistake, the number 7 was actually in the original release stuff.)
If you’ve never seen or heard of this movie, you will be truly shocked to find out the cast list. Bruce Willis, Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Stanley Tucci, Danny Aiello, and Robert Forster are all in this film. It is a great ensemble cast, but the movie is really stolen by Bruce Willis as a professional assassin who is several steps ahead of everyone.
The film revolves around the character of Slevin (played by Hartnett) who ends up being mistaken for an unlucky individual who owes money to two different mob bosses. Before you know it, he is being threatened by both mobs and a police detective, being stalked by a hitman (Willis), and romancing his neighbor (Liu).
If you like crime thrillers, this is a movie for you. Even if you figure out where it’s going, the ride is worth it. So, ignore the goofy title and give “Lucky Number Slevin” a look.
3D here with your weekly movie recommendation. Loyal readers of the site will know that I have also been posting each episode of Red vs. Blue: Recreation every week. I thought that in honor of the return of my favorite character this week I would make my recommendation the original Red vs. Blue series set.
If you are unfamiliar with RvB, it is a machinima series, which means it is filmed using a video game engine (in this case the HALO games are used), done by a website called Rooster Teeth. The guys at Rooster Teeth started putting up funny videos set in this world several years ago, and they became immensely popular.
They did five seasons worth of the original series “Blood Gulch Chronicles,” which are available together in a box set with lots and lots of extras. Although the episodes were originally only a few minutes long and aired each week, for the DVDs they have been edited together into movie form.
“Red vs. Blue” is based around what my mother calls “guy humor,” which is filled with double entendre’s (and single ones for that matter), bodily function references, and, in this case, a truly epic amount of foul language.
In other words, it is not family entertainment. But for adults, it is one of the most consistently funny things I have ever seen. If you want to give a couple of episodes a try to see if it is your sort of humor, you can see all the previous episodes in the Rooster Teeth archives. Beware though, you may find yourself sucked into watching quite a few episodes, since RvB is pretty addictive.
Don’t be confused by the title, this week’s movie recommendation has nothing to do with the Hollywood awards show. It has to do with a criminally underrated comedy from the early 90′s called “Oscar.”
The movie stars Sylvester Stallone but it also has a fabulous supporting cast including Tim Curry, Peter Riegert, Marisa Tomei, and Chazz Palminteri. It is a period piece about a 1930′s gangster attempting to fulfill his father’s dying wish by going straight. Needless to say, a number of wacky obstacles pop up over the course of his attempt.
The movie is very much like a play; almost the entire film takes place in the same location over the course of one day. The jokes fly fast and furious and include some that you won’t get if you don’t understand the period and the lingo. There are also some terrific sight gags, including one scene in which Stallone attempts to disarm one of his lieutenants, played by Chazz Palminteri, and finds the task quite a bit more challenging than he bargained for.
If you’ve never heard of this movie, that’s because it bombed upon its release. Maybe that is because Stallone is not really known for comedy, but whatever the reason, it is a shame. So, if you feel like a wacky period comedy tonight, give “Oscar” a try.