Review of Fast Five

Directed by: Justin Lin
Written by: Chris Morgan, & Gary Scot Thompson (characters)
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, & Jordana Brewster

A TCC RATING OF

Sometimes when you go to see a movie you walk into the theater expecting an emotionally touching plot, snappy intelligent dialogue, and one or two tour de force performances. And sometimes you go to have fun. Fast five definitely qualifies as the latter. Some of you might say “but movies are supposed to be good, not fun” and I would reply “stop being so pretentious and learn to enjoy life.” Fast Five doesn’t try to be high art, it tries to be a car-focused balls-to-the-wall thrill-ride heist action film, and it succeeds entirely. Review with spoilers after the jump.

Fast Five follows the actions of three federal fugitives (Diesel, Walker, Brewster) as they attempt to establish a life in Rio de Janeiro, only to immediately get roped into a visually impressive car heist and become entangled with the most powerful criminal mastermind in Brazil, all while being tracked by “the guy the FBI hires when they want people found (Johnson).” To get their way out of trouble they bring back most of the characters from the past four films, cashing in on the viewer’s nostalgia, to plan “one last job.” Continue reading “Review of Fast Five”

Pulp Fiction Vs. Empire Strikes Back, or The Skinny on Flickchart

Flickchart Premise

The question in the image above is an important one, and the premise to perhaps one of the best film ranking sites out there on the web: Flickchart. I recently had a chance to talk to Co-Founder Nathan Chase about the site, where the idea came from, what all went into creating it and what’s in store for the future.

Interview after the jump.
Continue reading “Pulp Fiction Vs. Empire Strikes Back, or The Skinny on Flickchart”

Review of Black Death

Black Death

A TCC RATING OF

Directed By: Christopher Smith
Written By: Dario Poloni
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean and Carice van Houten

I feel like I could copy and paste my review of Centurion here and it would pretty much express how I felt when I left an advanced screening of Black Death. This is yet another sword and sandal epic that doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to grisly and harsh realities of “back in the day” and it does so in a way that makes you think.

The story is such: A young monk is tasked to go off with a band of holy mercenaries who are off to investigate a plague-free village in the monk’s homeland. Along the way they learn some startling truths and are forever changed by them. The standout here are the performances, with Sean Bean giving a weighted performance comparable to his Boromir in Fellowship of the Ring. It’s tough not to enjoy every moment he’s on screen. Contrasting his role quite nicely is Eddie Redmayne, who plays the troubled monk Osmund. Really, everyone delivers a strong performance and for it the film is much stronger than you might guess from the trailers.

Thematically, this film is strong. It was interesting to see how the main characters placed themselves in this battle between “good” and “evil.” There’s a particularly strong moment where Ulric mercy-kills a young woman accused of witchcraft, which speaks quite well to how complicated that time period was. It was also a strong move on the filmmakers part to not take a side on the issue or attempt to force some sort of moral choice on the audience, which I appreciated by the time I was well into the third act.

I do have some gripes about the film. Namely, I’m not entirely sure I like having that epilogue tacked on at the end. Compared to the rest of the film it feels clumsy and like something that could just as easily have been given to one of the other characters as a somber voice over. In fact, just before the epilogue starts there’s a rather nice voiceover by one of the remaining soldiers which serves as a nice objective look at what happened, and wondering what the events of the film meant. If it had just been that moment and then the credits, I would have been perfectly fine with this film and would have probably given it an extra star in the rating up top.

Just like with Centurion, some of the side characters don’t get a whole lot of attention, which really detracts from their eventual demise in the film. With these films, I’m always interested in these guys and how they develop with the story. And while there weren’t any “Mickey” level performances from these side characters, I still felt myself wishing the film would stop for a few moments and give them something more. But given how tightly paced the film was, I feel like this is more of a personal gripe than a legitimate one.

Overall, I enjoyed the film and thought it presented some really interesting ideas. If you get a chance to see it in the near future, you should. It’s only opening in two screens this weekend, but I expect it will open to more screens soon or at least make it’s way to Netflix Instant. And hey, it will at least give you a decent fix of medieval Bean until Game of Thrones arrives on HBO!

Quick and Dirty Rental Review: The Losers

My boyfriend described The Losers to me as “a more serious version of The A Team”.    I think that suits this movie quite well.  Seriously kick ass, and awesome also work in a pinch.

This movie has everything you really need in an action film.   Guns, things blowing up, sex with a hot girl and fantastically written one liners.   It also helps that there is some seriously messed up and fun characters. (Jason Patric’s character is great) There are some great scenes I could tell you about, but I don’t want to ruin them.    It is your standard not so good triumphing over evil but done in a really good way.

Now this is based on a comic that I have not had the pleasure to read. So I am not sure if this really does the comic any justice.  Maybe someone can weigh in on this matter, but I will say it  makes me want to read the comic.   I am very happy I rented this, but kind of wish I saw it in the theater instead.

Diagnosis: Film–Weekend of Jan. 28

This week seems like it’s another one of those “catch up on older films I haven’t seen” weeks. Sure, The Mechanic sounds like a popcorn riot and Biutiful looks to crush the very fiber of your soul. I’m just not all THAT anxious to see any of these this weekend. Your mileage may vary, however. Do any of these look watchable to you? Let us know in the comments! As always, you can click on the poster or the title to go straight to the trailer.

Films after the jump!

Continue reading “Diagnosis: Film–Weekend of Jan. 28”

Welcome Back TCC

Is it hot in here or is it just my regeneration?

Let’s compare TCC to Doctor Who for just a moment here. Whenever the great Doctor dies, he goes through a regeneration and becomes a completely different actor. That’s pretty much what’s happening here. We’re transforming from a podcast/blog to a blog. What this means is that things are going to be changing throughout this week. The design will be completely different and the types of posts you’re going to see here will be changing as well. The biggest difference is that we’re no longer limited to film in our scope. Now, we’ll be writing on a variety of topics such as television, anime, and web video(i.e. Legend of Neil, The Guild, and future web series).

I hope you rejoin us in the coming days for a new and improved Technicolor Commentary! Allonsi!

Digital Film for The Depression Era

Biograph

The year is 1933: Gangsters run amok, robbing banks in downtown Chicago. The great depression has the United States in dire straits. All of this is captured with…handheld digital cameras?

So I saw Michael Mann’s ‘Public Enemies’ last night. Overall I enjoyed the flick quite a bit, but there was something that kept tearing my attention away from the story: They shot a good chunk of this film on handheld digital cameras. This was a big surprise to me, since none of that style really came through in the trailers. But I want to establish that I’m all for advances in film tech and directors experimenting to get the best possible shots for their films. But handheld digital cameras emulate such a modern style and atmosphere; I’m not sure how appropriate they were in a 1933 gangster movie. The way digital cameras pick up light or sound is so inherent to a post-millennial, ’28 Days Later’-style of filmmaking. It just comes across as very “unnatural” for a strong period piece. It’s odd to see that shaky-cam style with all the little dancing pixels picking up G-Men firing tommy guns out of a Ford Model-T.

Maybe I’m too accustomed to seeing epic period pieces shot like epic old-school Hollywood films. There was a great sense of realism that Mann brought to the events depicted in the film. But overall, it was a very strange thing to witness, to say the least. It was almost as if I was watching footage of rehearsals on set, shot by a PA. Which, considering how it all plays out, wouldn’t be the worst thing to watch.

Episode 14: Death to Infidels

We’re back! This week we’re on the hunt…for a big purple rhino…named Smoochy. That shouldn’t surprise you, since that’s the motivation for just about every character in this week’s movie, Death to Smoochy. Danny DeVito directed this ramshackle comedy with more brutish tones and violence than 27 prison riots. But that’s what they call “black comedy”. So it’s funny, right?

What could be so horrible about a kind-hearted man wanting to spread messages of love, respect, proper eating habits, and respecting one’s step dad…all while donning a huge purple rhino outfit? Teach us, Edward Norton! It’s like behind-the-scenes at Sesame Street for adults, no? Well, for better and for worse. I failed to mention the Nazi rally and the murders. Oh, the murders. A little intrigued? Well, you should be you puffy rhinoceros! Listen in, and you’ll leave with a wonderful insider’s perspective of the world of children’s television. We certainly feel more enlightened.

You know what else is enlightening? Our new theme music, courtesy of Chewbaska. They’re noticeably less corrupt than the average children’s TV show host.

Don’t forget the Twitter, don’t you dare!

@movieguyjon :: @calamityensues :: @thegreatredhope :: @tccommentary

This Iron Man Doesn't Suck.

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I read on Animenation that the third Tetsuo movie has wrapped principal photography. Excellent.

I have only seen the first one, but it was dark and disturbing and, well, fucked up. Tetsuo II: Body Hammer, however, I have not have the pleasure of seeing. What we have here is  a metaphor for society’s dependence on technology.  Or maybe we have some crazy shit going on for no reason. It’s nuts.

I guess that’s all I got to say about that. Watch it!

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Episode 10: Monkey Flashback Incorporated

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There comes a time in a person’s life when he or she needs to come to terms with their past. That time came for dem TCC boyz with the screening of this film, Being John Malkovich. It is with great, newly found clarity that we present episode 10, filled with life affirming humor and warmth.

Although, I find this film more dark and depressing that any form of humor. Well, for the most part.

I’m rambling.

By the way, we got new intro music by Chewbaska. It’s good, because it’s ska. And everyone likes ska.

Oh, and the Twitter…

@movieguyjon :: @calamityensues :: @thegreatredhope :: @tccommentary