Tip o' My Brain

January 31, 2011

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 9:59 pm

This is my favorite Terry Gilliam movie.  Yes, Heath Ledger’s shadow hovers heavily (he died during filming; they cover it over with some clever recasting), but at its heart is a compelling idea of a lost man trying to make up for past sins and yet getting in deeper and deeper. And, as always, Gilliam effects drive the story, not the other way around.

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Funny People in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 9:55 pm

Again, the Apatow conundrum–can we wade through the crap to find the diamond within? Case in point–we listen to lots and lots of crass stand-up comedy routines (who knew comedians were so obsessed with body parts?) to get to the story of a man who’s afraid of the choices he’s made, and the ordinary guy who decides to befriend him. You figure it out, but I warned you.

Knowing in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 9:51 pm

Critics weren’t kind to this movie. I have no idea why.  It’s a bit grim, yes, but I was engaged the whole time.  Alex Proyas knows how to mesh reality with fantasy, and I bought it completely.  And, can I let out the geek a little? Dude! That plane crash scene is incredible.

Astroboy in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 9:48 pm

I wanted to like this movie. The story of a scientist who loses his son and builds another one seems ripe for emotional exploration.  Yet on the whole it never seems to rise beyond Dreamworks also-ran status.  Bummer.

Fanboys in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 9:47 pm

In 1998, a geek squad hatches a scheme to break into Skywalker Ranch and steal a print of Star Wars Episode 1 so their  friend can see it before he dies.  The cast is great, and I laughed a lot.  What surprised me most, though, was its heart. It’s not just an ode to friendship, but a tribute to those who know how insane their level of fandom is.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 9:37 pm

Definitely cleans up for TV.  Judd Apatow produces, and you can see his fingerprints–his favorite theme of schlubby men who discover the need to grow up comes through strongly. And yet, with Jason Segal’s quirky script, and affecting performance, it all still seems fresh.

Adventureland in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 9:33 pm

I hate how movies treat sex as some kind of Holy Grail–it doesn’t ring true for anyone in real life.  Still, I enjoyed the unpretentious flavor here– Jessie Eisenburg, stuck working at a battered amusement park after college, finds himself with the help of his colorful co-workers (including Kristen Stewart, not once playing with her hair).

The Mechanic in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 9:24 pm

This is one of Simon West’s better films.  This isn’t saying much.  Jason Statham and Ben Foster are interesting characters moving towards an uncertain climax–that’s good.  In the meantime, we have to wade through gratuitous sex and violence that’s made more violent with CGI.  Bummer.  Statham is a great action star in need of a great movie.

Extract in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 9:19 pm

Mike Judge creates average-joe characters that experience the extraordinary and then have to reckon with the new world around them.  In this case, ever-reliable Jason Bateman accidentally ingests a horse tranquilizer and finds he’s begun a caper to cheat on his wife, guilt-free.  The ending didn’t quite ring true for me, but I appreciate the realization that honesty in marriage beats plotting any day.

Ponyo in 13 seconds

Filed under: 13 Second Review — kryptobrent @ 9:09 pm

Hayao Miyazaki’s movies are, in filmmaker lingo…kinda trippy.  His animation is exciting, engaging, and totally bonkers from a narrative three-act structure point of view.  But his landscapes and what-if scenarios (in this case, what our world would look like if it was suddenly underwater) make me marvel and ask myself, “Why haven’t I ever thought of that?”

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