Monday, February 22, 2010

The Art of Being Special...2? (These titles are awful)

I had some free time and thought I was going to be able to post an update without having to add any new movies but then the postman came and screwed me by delivering an order. Dammit. Sorry if the writing in this post feels abrupt and not very articulated, I'm running on a migraine and little sleep, with the cries of a teething baby accompanying me as I write. Hope to be firing on all cylinders next time.

This started out as interesting documentary on the evolution on martial arts in film but by the end I think it had started to flounder. The bits about the origins of martial arts and how it was incorporated into the Peking opera was fascinating, as was all of the footage from films made in the '30s that had never been released here in America. The movie still had my attention all the way through the origins of Shaw Brothers studios but as soon as it started on Jackie Chan and catering to more mainstream fare, I started zoning out. Plus, the kitschy camera work and Samuel Jackson's cornball delivery of the narration started to wear on me. The whole segment on John Woo felt really out of place as they never delved into his little seen martial arts films and only focused on his gun films, all while trying to tie them into martial arts which felt like they were really stretching it. It's a decent time waster but I think a much deeper film could be made on the subject.
Grade: C-

I've long held the belief that Steve Coogan is one of the most underrated actors working today, and this film only cements it. It follows the typical inspirational teacher story arc, but subverts it at every point. Coogan is an absolutely worthless and talentless teacher to the point that you have to wonder how the students are motivated to follow him at all. This is probably the most vulgar movie I've seen without having to be crass at the same time, like Bad Santa. The random insults alone will take you abrupt. I'll try not to go on too much about it so it'll be fresh to anyone watching it but I'll say that it's probably already one of my favorite comedies. I really hope it finds a following.
Grade: A

From Steve Coogan's best to Michael Rappaport's, it was a good day acting-wise. I always liked Rappaport but I never took him for a serious actor. He gives what will probably be the performance of his life in this. The trailers made this out to be a comedy, and it is somewhat, but for the most part it's goddamn depressing. Rappaport gets to live out the same fantasies we all tend to delve into, but the film does a great job of completely stripping away any glamor it might hold for us. The only fault I'll give the movie is that it doesn't seem like it knows how it wants to end, dragging a little too much for me. But through it all, Rappaport shines and makes the film worth checking out just for his performance.
Grade: B

Movies Watched: 3
- The Art of Action
- Hamlet 2
- Special
New Movies Bought: 14
+ The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe (Blu)
+ The Mighty Peking Man
+ Shikoku
+ The Sisters (2004)
+ Nite Tales
+ Kirei: The Terror of Beauty
+ Ringu
+ Ringu 2
+ Ringu 0
+ Rasen
+ Evil Dead Trap 2
+ Primal
+ Black Magic
+ The Worm Eaters
Unseen DVDS: 2964
Unseen Blu-rays: 48
Unseen VHS: 119

I feel like a little worm on a big fuckin' hook.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the guys who made Special didn't know where the fuck they wanted to go with it. Why can't people commit to an idea and finish the shit right?