Aaron Neuwirth (DrZeek)Southern California
Aaron's Recent Reviews
I never really know how much to say about these Disneynature films. They are not insufficient enough to call them mild distractions, as the footage is generally great, the voiceovers are fun, and there is enough work done to build a narrative that I can get behind what they have to offer. It generally amounts to having a chance to see animals that kids generally grow up being intrigued by and having a new perspective that can be formed by families, in regards to those animals. African Cats worked for me, as it was neat to see a big screen documentary about lions, with the bonus addition of Samuel L. Jackson providing narration. That film also worked due to the stakes that, manufactured or not, presented a real life depiction of what lions go through. Bears finds a way to create similar stakes, which makes the film effective enough in what ultimately amounts to a large format way to see bears in action.
read the whole review at thecodeiszeek.com
Evelyn: Where are you going?
For a techno-thriller about artificial intelligence, it actually seems to make sense that Transcendence does not have a whole lot of emotion to back up its big ideas, aside from Paul Bettany's cry face, which makes its appearance now and again. This is a film that could have worked as a cheesy B-movie with the words, "When computers fight back!" written on a billboard entrance to a drive-in movie theater. Instead, it feels like a glossy, big-budget studio film with a screenplay that feels like a cautionary tale that has been updated from an original draft written 20 years ago. Not helping is the high caliber cast providing mostly half-hearted performances and a lack of urgency in a dramatic narrative that sets its stakes much higher than they ever actually feel. Even when some of the neat ideas are given some visual lift, Transcendence is still mostly a dull affair.
read the whole review at thecodeiszeek.com
Aaron's Favorite Movies
Narrator: This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time. I am Jack's favorite movie. 1. You do not talk about Fight Club. I love watching this movie, it's always entertaining, I could easily put in on a 24 hour loop. It is a film surrounding the boring life of an office drone who becomes involved with an outsider, working together to vent their feelings initially through brutality and later through an evolved system seeking to enlighten the world in their own sort of way. The movie combines dark humor, violence, social commentary, and various other themes, and still finds time for a small love story. 2. You do NOT TALK about Fight Club. Great casting, Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Jared Leto, even Meat Loaf, all at the top of their game. Just the right amount of nonchalance to their situations, yet great intensity to some important moments, as well as all the physical stuff involved, and being able to bring a great amount of humor to some dark topics. 3. If someone yells "Stop!", goes limp, taps out, the fight is over. David Fincher's best film, at the top of his game, and from the commentaries and behind the scenes stuff, you can tell he had a great time making this movie. His visual style is wonderful, showing how to make a movie through dialog, cinematography, and editing. The combination of cynical humor and a gritty atmosphere makes for a great looking film. 4. Only two guys to a fight. I have read the book that the movie is adapted from, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The script, adapted by Jim Uhls does great justice to the book and Chuck Palahnuik has even acknowledged how the film had improved upon the book in some ways. The story unfolds itself into a unique experience that is polarizing in terms of capturing it's audience, and even those who like it may still not see the message and themes that the film gets across. 5. One fight at a time. An amazing soundtrack. Composed by the Dust Brothers, they do a great job in capturing the spirit of the film, with many memorable themes throughout. The film also caps itself off amazingly with "Where's My Mind" by the Pixies, in fact, this is the movie that got me into the Pixies in the first place. Staying with the song, it is one of the best ending songs to any movie I've seen. 6. No shirt, no shoes. Addressing the style of the film again, the movie looks great. Filled with some very clever uses of special effects, frame splices. The way the camera moves, giving subtle hints about things and establishing the tones of how scenes should play out, accompanied by the, as mentioned, incredible soundtrack to help even further. 7. Fights will go on as long as they have to. The movie is very funny. Being my favorite film, that makes it my favorite dark comedy. Besides the sharp dialog, which contains all sorts of quotable lines, their are plenty of visual jokes that one can catch upon seeing the movie many times over. There is also a lot of clever/useful little information bits throughout the film, which I find neat as well. 8. If this is your first night at Fight Cub, you have to fight. When I saw this for the first time, I watched it right away the next morning. This was one of the first movies where, upon seeing it, I started to think about things. I find a lot of the ways I think about things and react to situations to be in relation to the line of thinking that these characters have, as well as the characters in other books by Palahnuik. I believe this movie to have been one of a few sources that gave me the kind of perception that I have. To me, this movie is perfect. Narrator: It's called a changeover. The movie goes on, and nobody in the audience has any idea.
Martin Blank: They all have husbands and wives and children and houses and dogs, and, you know, they've all made themselves a part of something and they can talk about what they do. What am I gonna say? "I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How've you been? There is no real reason why this movie should be in my top 3 of all time. It is simply a movie that just clicks with me and makes me feel like having a continuous loop of it would be just fine. It fits itself into my favorite genre of movie, a dark comedy, and a hit man-comedy at that. It's very funny, has a great soundtrack, some very funny characters, and some pretty cool action scenes. Martin Blank: If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there. John Cusack is Martin Q. Blank, in a great performance as a man who became detached from life, ditched his previous life in Michigan, and became a contract killer. He has a handful of charisma as well as a dark undercurrent and some paranoia issues that create a well balanced character. Debi: Some people say forgive and forget. Nah, I don't know. I say forget about forgiving and just accept. And... get the hell out of town. Minnie Driver is perfect as the lost girl in Martin's life, who plays as a good foil to his character. She is charming and funny, and very different in relation to the other people still in her Michigan town. Mr. Grocer: Easy there Chief, I don't see Hollow-Point Wound Care on the menu. Martin Blank: Why are you in Detroit? Redwings need a new goon? Dan Akroyd is also great in a complete bizarre role as a rival hit man to Martin, and has a great style of chemistry with Cusack as well. And then there are great little roles from Joan Cusack, Alan Arkin, Hank Azaria and Jeremy Piven, all with some of the best moments in the movie. Marty: Debi's house. Paul: Kinda crept up on you, didn't it? Marty: No, you drove us here. Paul: [pause] Yep. I love the concept, a hit man is disillusioned with his work and decides to attend his high school reunion and re-evaluate his life. Of course there is also a job to be done in his town, as well as rivals awaiting him. I also love how care free the responses are concerning hit men. No one takes Martin serious when he tells them what he does and in relation to the other people at the reunion, it seems like Martin would actually win the award for the most interesting life after high school. Mr. Newberry: What have you been doing with your life? Marty: Uh... professional killer. Mr. Newberry: Oh! Good for you, it's a... growth industry. The soundtrack of this movie is great. It got me into The Violent Femmes as well as a few other bands. I am not a big fan of 80s music, but this movie somehow manages to get the only bands and songs I like that had hits in the 80s and compile 2 great soundtracks albums. Martin Q. Blank: Oh, the reason I called... Could you find out who else is in town? I've made two spooks and a ghoul already, so if they've double-booked the job, and/or they're going to kill me, I'd like to know. If you could find that out, that'd be great. The direction by George Armitage also works very well. He combines all the elements of a dark/romantic comedy with an action thriller. The action is a lot of fun, with some memorable scenes, including a particular fight scene that is very gritty and real and a shootout in a mini mart. And this is all mixed once again with the great soundtrack as well as live vibrant colors fitting the nature of the comedy and situation. Mr. Grocer: So, what are you gonna do? You gonna Throw that gun at me? Marty: No... Maybe! Mr. Grocer: How 'bout this? How 'bout I sell you a piece for a hundred Gs? Marty: OK! Front me? Mr. Grocer: Deal! I love watching this movie. It moves quickly, has a number of memorable scenes, quick and sharp dialog written by Cusack and his friends, with a fun high concept and good characters. Martin Blank: You're a handsome devil. What's your name?