Sunday, May 31, 2015

As Good as It Gets

A misanthropic writer (Nicholson) finds inspiration to change for the better after falling in love with a waitress (Hunt) and fostering a dog for a neighbor who's been hospitalized (Kinnear). Nostalgic (look at the gas prices!) but also timeless, with an all around charm from the three leads plus the supporting cast consisting of Gooding, Herwick, Kennedy, Knight, Smith and Ulrich. The dosage of comedy is far more potent than the drama and romance, allowing for a chemistry that perfectly dodges anything too far-fetched or overemotional. The Baltimore and New York settings also add an element of class to this long-but-not-boring outing of proudly unusual friendships and love. Easily one of the best movies of the 1990s.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Green Mile

Unusual but charming blend of crime, drama and fantasy based on the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name, which follows death row corrections officer Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) during the Great Depression in the United States, and the supernatural events he and his fellow guards witness by gentle and simple-minded prisoner John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), who is accused of child murder and rape. With many charming characters and fun subplots, this epic outing is enjoyable from start to finish. Dabbs Greer's final film, whose character—an elderly Edgecomb—tells the story in a flashback format. A very touching masterpiece.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"A Book About a Film" cover and release date revealed

If you like thrillers or something along the lines of ergodic literature (√† la Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves) be sure to buy yourself a copy of C. W. Schultz's upcoming A Book About a Film on Tuesday, September 8th, 2015.  Geekster On Movies takes a particular interest in this, because the film that this book covers is The Cornfield People.  Some have called The Cornfield People an incomplete film, while others believe it is a true lost film; however, many believe that the film is banned and have pointed out that sites which attempt to host images or clips from the movie have suspiciously removed the content even though there is no trace of The Cornfield People ever being copyrighted.

The film follows journalist Joe Fischer as he investigates the titular group.  The Cornfield People are a secret society who know the meaning of life and what comes after death.  It is essential to the Cornfield People that their knowledge remain hidden from outsiders, and they will stop at nothing to protect their secret.

Schultz sets out to prove the film’s authenticity and that there’s something more sinister behind its scarcity.  A Book About a Film includes rare images of the unreleased Cornfield People.

Mad Max: Fury Road

One long battle of car chases and explosions set in a futuristic outback. Gasoline and water are apparently very valuable, but we see no character treating them like scarce commodities. There's not a whole lot of dialogue to establish what's going through the minds of these underdeveloped characters in a fictional world, but here goes a shot: At some point during a scuffle within a scuffle, Hardy and Theron team up to help the five wives of cult leader Keays-Byrne flee his wretched wasteland (no, they don't bother with trying to save any of the children or old people we saw for some reason, just five beautiful women). However, it is commendable for using CGI sparingly. Director Miller intended to make the film feel like one continuous chase, and his accomplishment is at the price of establishing interesting characters; not to mention that it's impractical for the audience to be pumped the entire time—a roller-coaster has to go up and down. The flame-shooting guitarist was undeniably savage though. There ends up being too many unintentional callbacks to Hardy's performance in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES: a mask covering the nose and mouth, blood transfusion tubing, the weakness of hope, use of a sawed-off shotgun, etc. Ultimately a fun nightmarish ride worth time and money, despite its obvious flaws.

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

This documentary about Kurt Cobain focuses on the life of Nirvana front man rather than his death or legacy. The film's start focuses on Kurt's birth and early childhood in Aberdeen, and proceeds to follows his successes and troubles all the way up to Nirvana's iconic unplugged performance. Director Morgen does an excellent job blending footage, art, music and interviews into a coherent story without any need for a narrator; its style ultimately (and intentionally) dragging the viewer into Cobain's emotional state. The soundtrack makes use of faves, outtakes and a surprising portion of ROCKABYE BABY! LULLABY RENDITIONS OF NIRVANA. Montages are used liberally to help shift tone, but it causes the film to go on way too long.

Taxi Driver

Spending his days and nights giving rides to rejects and criminals, Vietnam vet cabbie De Niro's sanity decays as his anger builds. The brilliant and brave performances from Foster and Keitel is quite apparent, but its De Niro's portrayal of Travis Bickle's slow spiral into madness that is most impressive and will leave the viewer wondering whether he is a hero or a villain. Bernard Herrmann's score is hauntingly beautiful, and Scorsese makes the neo-noir style fit the film's overall tone perfectly in what should be considered his magnum opus. The Geekster's favorite movie of all-time. The film gets more and more intense as it progresses, paralleling how it gets better and better with each viewing.

The Big Lebowski

Bridges plays Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, an unemployed slacker with very simple taste: bowling, marijuana, White Russians, and a rug that ties the room together. When thugs mistake him for Jeff "The Big" Lebowski (Huddleston) and "vandalize" the Dude's rug, he seeks compensation from the Big Lebowski; but by the time an agreement is reached, the Dude finds himself in the crossfire of a conflict involving kidnappers and the Big Lebowski's much younger wife (Reid). Above par upon first viewing, but the replay value is unmatchable and will eventually wind up at the top of your favorite comedies. Along the lines of other Coen Brothers comedies, but this one is easily the best. Layered with terrific minor characters played by an exceptional supporting cast. Let's not forget the incredible soundtrack, which consists of many of the Dude's favorite tunes… and some Eagles too.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Request a Capsule Review

Whether it be a movie you made, a friend made, or some random pick out of your DVD collection, the Geekster is down to watch it.  Please allow up to two weeks for a reply to your request.  Requests are denied all the time, so don't feel bad.  If your request is accepted, please allow up to eight weeks for the Geekster to post his capsule review on Geekster On Movies and IMDb.

The Geekster reserves the right to praise or criticize in his capsule review.  As a fellow storyteller, the Geekster understands what it's like to have a bad review, so he will make sure to be constructive.  The blog uses a four star rating system. The lowest rating is "BOMB", followed by one and a half stars, rising in half-star increments to a maximum of the coveted four stars. The only exceptions are two mysterious films, which are rated with three and one quarter stars out of four.

Please fill out the form below, and e-mail it to dant3p3rk1ns@gmail.com.  Important Note: If you fail to include the form in your request, it is automatically denied.

Title:
Release Year:
Country of Origin:
Primary Language:
Format you intend the Geekster to view it on:
IMDb link: 
Genre (pick one):
Sub-genre (pick no more than three):
Plot summary (one paragraph max):

American Psycho

Satire based on Bret Easton Ellis' book of the same name about Wall Street yuppie Patrick Bateman (Bale) and his day-to-day life that involves exercising, clubbing, dining at high end restaurants, drugs, sex, and murder. Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner are faithful to the book's concept but are forced to go their own way with the story's structure, and they do it as good as anyone possibly could with such a unique novel; and Christian Bale will forever have props for bringing Bateman to life so perfectly, a character that could've easily have been mis-portrayed. Marketed as a horror/slasher/thriller, but those who appreciate its genius will know it as one of the greatest black-comedies of all-time.

The Simpsons Movie

Feature-length adventure of the greatest animated family ever. Homer pollutes Lake Springfield, causing the EPA to enclose Springfield in a large glass dome. When Homer and his family escape through a sinkhole and aren't wanted back by the residence, the Simpsons head north to start anew in Alaska. Higher quality than the majority of what the show offered after 2001, but still nothing close to the first 10 or even 12 seasons. Offers an interesting plot and plenty of worthy laughs, but one can't help but gripe when the movie is really nothing more than an inflated episode on an inflated screen. Still, like the show itself, it is funny and has replay value.

GoodFellas

Classic gangster flick adapted from co-screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi's 1987 non-fiction book WISEGUY about Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and his friends working their way up through the Lucchese crime family, and the benefits and consequences that await them. After all these years, it's still all around excellent. Truthfully, it breaks the show-don't-tell rule several times, what with iconic scenes and a flawless soundtrack getting drowned out by voice-over way too frequently; but, hey, if someone were to ever reinvent the wheel, it's only right that it'd be Scorsese.

Mud

Two 14-year-old boys (Lofland and Sheridan) in a small Delta town cross paths with drifter McConaughey hiding on an island, who intrigues them enough to agree to run his errands on the mainland in exchange for a pistol and the idea that they can contribute in him finding a happy ending. Sheridan looks like a young Tom Hardy, and Lofland competed against over 2,000 others auditioning for the role. Charm is added to this unusual tale by complex supporting characters played by McKinnon, Paulson, Shepard and Sparks. Unfortunately, Shannon just seems to be there to keep up a streak of appearing in Nichols' films, and McConaughey just doesn't have the mysterious element intended for the role… and even in this intelligent coming-of-age drama-thriller, he still can't refrain from taking off his shirt. A movie that brings to the table more good ideas than it ends up consummating.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Geekster Missing in Action? Nope.

To my beloved readers:

I'm still here and haven't forgotten about you!


To my haters:

Sorry… I'm not dead… yet…


My absence from blogging is the result of a few wonderful web design opportunities, one of which involves the monitoring and reworking of author C. W. Schultz's YouTube channel.

Yup.  The business trip back in March was about my web design gigs and not The Cornfield People, even though I did indeed work alongside some people who have no doubt seen it!

No other updates, but this post guarantees there will be plenty to come!

Thanks for your patience and understanding.  Feel free to keep the movie discussions going while I'm gone, and I'll jump right in when I'm back.  Look forward to it.

Truly yours,

Geekster

Friday, May 1, 2015

Escape Plan

Ugh. Sylvester Stallone is supposed to be this talented escape artist who works for a firm that is hired by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to break out of prisons in order to test the reliability of the facilities' security. Oh yeah, and 50 Cent plays an IT wiz. You don't even want to know how senseless this plot gets when we meet Schwarzenegger in a high-tech prison run by Caviezel. While the concept is utter nonsense, it could've been passable if they stuck with the escape plan (no pun) instead of degrading to shootouts and blowups. Sam Neill's bit role is one of many lazy plot devices. Vincent D'Onofrio and his side-story add nothing. Disgraceful to a GREAT ESCAPE fan.

The Talented Mr. Ripley

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


Based on the 1955 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith, the first in the Ripley series or "Ripliad". Damon plays the titular character, who is a master imposter that takes full advantage of the random opportunities that cross his path, and makes full use of people's willingness to assume they're always being told the truth. After playing a gig as a substitute pianist at a cocktail party in New York City, Ripley accepts a generous offer from Herbert Greenleaf (Rebhorn) to go to Italy to track down his son Dickie (Law), who is having the time of his life against his father's approval. When things falls into place for Ripley to scheme his way to the easy life, he finds himself fitting right in with Dickie; but when things start to fall apart, blood is shed. For the viewer seeking a conventional plot structure, the movie does have its slow moments; but others will appreciate the psychological unfolding of the story, with the viewer rooting that the villain gets away with it, while also getting swept up in Law's toxic charm just like the regretful characters. Beautiful settings as well.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Exposé of sorts on Scientology and the deconstruction of its claims, as well as Tom Cruise and John Travolta's interaction with the Church, plus some very gripping stories from ex-members that include some pretty cruel acts. While the subject fascinates the masses of non-members, this two-hour HBO documentary based on Lawrence Wright's 2013 book GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY, Hollywood AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF doesn't really offer an overwhelming amount of new insight that the media hasn't already covered or that its critics haven't already satirized. Its most interesting segment is the rise of found L. Ron Hubbard.