Movies This Past Weekend

Now, it’s probably fairly easy to guess what I did this past weekend eh? …. saw 6 films (five of which I’ll post reviews on now; one of which I must wait until it is released). So, on to the films:

The Hole
This, essentially, soft-core porn is a spoof on the classic Japanese film, Ringu. Directed by
Wash West (who did The Fluffer), it ‘stars’ (and I use the term loosely here) big and beefy guys Josh
Hammer, Tag Eriksson, and Jason Adonis as lads who watch a video tape
only to have the phone ring afterwards and be told “in 7 days you will
be gay”. It follows the original movie to a tee (make-out scenes aside)
and has several laugh-out-loud funny bits. Big, beefy, muscle bound
guys do absolutely nothing whatsoever for me so the make-out scenes are
dull, boring and (yawn) tedious beyond belief. Course, everyone is not
me, and G found them quite, um, engaging. Worth a rent if only to
witness the ridiculous acting, terrible direction, and awful camera
work. My rating, for the sheer inventiveness of a porn trying to have a
plot, 2 out of 10. 


… and while on this topic, Priape has started a big video sale continuing to Feb 28th …  if that’s your thing.

The Forgotten
where to start the review on this trainwreck of a movie. How about
with, what on earth was Julianne Moore thinking? This 2004 stinker
starts out promising but when Telly (Moore) starts questioning whether
or not her son, presumably killed in an airplane accident, really
existed (or not) and NSA men in black suits show up things go
plummeting downhill quickly. Gary Sinise and Dominic West appear just
as lost and confused as poor Julianne. It’s like the worse episode of
The X-Files you can image, but 91 minutes long.  Joseph Ruben should
have his directing credentials revoked for this effort (ain’t happening
mind you he’s in preproduction for something titled “Crazy Dog” at the
moment). Sony Pictures should be ashamed to have let this forgettable
film loose. Unbearably stupid and horrible: avoid. My rating 0 out of


After This Our Exile (Fu Zi)
This quiet and ultimately sadly moving drama, directed by Patrick Tam, was released last year and premiered at the Reel Asian Film Festival here in November. It stars pop star Aaron Kwak as Sheng, an illiterate and volatile father with a gambling problem in Malaysia. Sheng is married with a wife, Lee (played by Charlie Yeung) and a young son, Boy (played by Gouw Ian Iskander).
The film really has two parts. In the first section we witness the the odd love-hate relationship between Sheng/Lin before her ultimate abandonment of both husband and son. Left alone, and saddled with gambling debt, Sheng and Boy become itinerants, roaming from city to city in a downward, sad, spiral that leads to violence, theft, and beatings.  In this second section we witness the odd love-hate relationship replay itself but between son/father … until they too separate. 

This film is very quiet but I did enjoy it. I felt immensely sad for the little boy and perhaps, at its root, this was Tam’s intent: when families disintegrate children suffer.  My rating 6 out of 10.


The Queen
We’re all familar with this story. Like our parents who can tell you exactly where they were when they heard the news of President Kennedy’s assassination, we too can recount exactly where we were when first hearing of Diana, Princess of Wales death in Paris. I was camping at Tobermory and happened to pick up CBC radio news that morning. Like so many, it did not compute in my mind Diana was dead. It was that unimaginable.

This movie, directed by Stephen Frears, recounts that week from the Queen and Prime Minister Tony Blair’s perspective and gives, I think, a better understand (fiction though it is) of the Queen’s actions. Helen Mirren as Elizabeth is brilliant and she has the Oscar nomination to add to her Golden Globe. Michael Sheen playing Blair is also great. This is classic Frears stuff with not a false move, note or shot anywhere. I can’t really say it’s Best Picture of the year quality however. It’s all rather pompous and dry stuff, sure, but that’s the monarchy for you. My rating 7 out of 10.


Thank You For Smoking
Released in 2005 and directed by Jason Reitman, this film takes a satirical look at the smoking industry from the point of view of its key spokesman, a fictional character named Nick Naylor (played by Aaron Eckhart), who will do and say anything to keep the choice to smoke an American right. It does draw such a thin line on this topic that one might wonder whether or not the film was actually financed by the tabacco industry. The film is fun and askew and wrong on oh-so-many levels but that’s exactly what makes it watchable. My rating (as a rabid non-smoker even!) 7 out of 10.

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8 Responses to Movies This Past Weekend

  1. enRoute says:

    I read reviews how Fu Zi is a rather sad story, but I believe the boy got some kinda awards for his acting, so good for him~! =)

  2. willariah says:

    i agree re: the queen; a bunch of boring, sombre talking heads. helen was awesome though as the character who played tony blair.

  3. willariah says:

    oh gimme a break hun! the forgotten should at least get one star for julianne moore. she’s so fabulous. whoever believed that there is a market for gay soft core porn has the market all wrong. all movies should have c*cks.

  4. orchidgrass says:

    i’ve heard fu zi is a bit boring. it’s kinda old-styled film cos patrick tam hasn’t directed any for a long time…but the little boy looks cute.
    the hole? as funny as porns it seems

  5. Haha. The hole sounds hella funny. It reminds me of the scary movie series. THey were really random, but because I am easily entertained I found that amusing =]

  6. Fatcat723 says:

    I totally agree with your rating. The Queen is very enjoyable. Thank You For Smoking is very much to the point too. The rest are a waste of time and film!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Gosh, between you and Tony – I think you guys will cover every film out there.

  8. YNOTswim says:

    of course I took that rock back in my luggage… how could I give it up on the beach? :)

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