The Tree of Life

If I were to describe this film in one word, that word would be “overrated.”  On further reflection, however, words such as “disjoint,” “muddled,” “confused,” and “pretentious” would suffice as well.  The only problem is that none of those words carry the same weight of disappointment that came upon me after the final twenty-some minute long climax and dénouement had finally croaked its weariness into the comforting blackness of the closing credits.  Then again, perhaps that simply describes Terence Malick’s game face in general. Read more of this post

The Guilty Pleasures Pile: Carnosaur

Science Fiction; U.S.; 1993; 83 minutes; written and directed by: Adam Simon; based on the novel by: Harry Adam Knight; produced by: Mike Elliot; Executive produced by: Roger Corman; New Horizon Home Video

Actual Quality

Guily Pleasure Quality

There are some movies that defy all thought and predictions. Films that go beyond the boundaries set for them by their contemporaries. Films that literally boldly go where no respectable person has gone before. (Mainly because respectable people know better.) These are films that are so bad they’re good. You laugh at they’re vain attempts to make you care, the silly ideas that are meant to scare you, and performances that no one, not even the actors and director, seemed to know what they were going for.These are the films that find themselves in our Guilty Pleasures Pile, and though many on this film blog have already thrown stuff into the pile, I’m going to make my first contribution in a while to the stash with a little mockbuster film Roger Corman executive produced en lure of Jurassic Park called Carnosaur. In fact, it’s fun to see how these two franchises kept butting into each other’s territory.

Corman was known in the olden days as the director who looked for one thing from his actors and one thing only: Stand on the tape mark, you turd. Actually, he was a wonderful guy to work with and lot of fun, but you had to hit your marks. He didn’t care what your line sounded like, he didn’t care how you did what you did… he just wanted you to stand on the tape mark and say your piece so he can say “cut”. Read more of this post

Jurassic Park

U.S.; Science Fiction/Adventure; 128 minutes; Directed by: Steven Spielberg; Produced by: Kathleen Kennedy, Gerald R. Molen, Steven Spielberg; Amblin Entertainment, Universal Studios

It always surprises me how much people will forgive in a film because they simply call a “popcorn flick”. It’s one thing for a film just to provide a premise for tons of action, loads of special effects, and doesn’t ask the audience to engage in any critical thinking throughout the film. Films like that are actually a lot of fun to watch and can provide good action or suspense from time to time. But it’s another thing to forgive sloppy filmmaking, clumsy story-telling, stale actors, unnatural dialogue, and gaping plot-holes just by labeling it among the “popcorn flick” sub-genre of film. Too long have people looked-over the ugly flaws in Roland Emmerich’s sci-fi/disaster exploits simply because his films didn’t ask them to do any critical thinking at any one point. Why can’t there be a group well-crafted films that are just made for the sake of entertainment without being so utterly stupid at the same time?

Well, films like that do exist. Ladies and Gentleman, I submit for your consideration Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. Read more of this post