Chris' Movie Log

Here is a my list of movies that I have rented from Netflix along with notes, where I have had
the time.  I do this to share some movies that I have enjoyed and to remind myself what I have
seen, 'cause the brain ain't what it used to be.  So in no particular order....

Alphaville, 1965

Chopper, 2000

Pretty good Australian bio pic about a rather brutal Austrailian killer, funny and frightening but not great.

Once Were Warriors, 1994

Story about a Maori family in New Zeland, one of those movies that you now is going to be good withing the first 15 seconds.
It's a rather violent film, the director was looking to make a New Zeland film that was not "pretty".  Mission Accomplished.
Highly recomended.  For more info check out the Web Page

The Intruder, 1961

An early William Shatner movie about racial hatred, does not pull any punches, it was very controversial in it's time and holds
up to the test of time.  Most of the cast consists of locals recruited for the picture.  Directed by Roger Coreman.

The Princess and the Warrior, 2000

From the folks that brought you Run, Lola, Run.  Entertaining German flick, twisty plot and plenty of turns.

The Devil's Backbone, 2001

Creepy Spanish film, not 100% successful but entertaining.  Takes place during the Spanish Civil War and is intended as a
comment on the war.

Joe (1970)

Interesting film, viewed today it's a great view into what 1970 was like; people who are too young to know about the era
should watch this move for that reason.  I find it interesting that if you were to have watched this film ten years ago you
might have said "it's amazing how much things have changed" now you might be amazed at how little they have changed.
It's a story about class and bigotry, and what hatred can give you.  It's also interesting to note how amazing Susan Sarandon
looks naked at 22.

Last Night (1998)

Interesting Canadian film, you'll either hate it or love it.  It's not all wrapped up in a neat bundle like a Hollywood flick.  It's
a tale about the last few hours of the world.  It's not explained why the world will end at a specific hour, it just is and
everyone knows about it.  What would you do if you new the word was going to end in six hours?

Existenz (1999)

Ok, I like this one.  If you don't like Cronenberg films, don't bother.  I think it's Cronenberg commenting on his own work,
the plot is fun and it's one you can talk about after it's over.  William DeFoe has a small part that is fantastic.

No Such Thing (2002)

Interesting Icelandic film about an aging monster and his exploits in the city.  Very odd, very funny.

Videodrome (1983)

Early Cronenberg film, very strange.  James Woods plays the part of a quirky, strange guy (a stretch for him).  Also stars
Debbie Harry.  A fun ride.

The Book of Life: 2000 Seen By...

Worthless piece of crap, trite story about Jesus in 1999.  The idea was that it was the last year of the millenium or some
such nonesense.  Too bad they were off by 12 months, 2000 was the last year.  Dumb, Dumb Dumb.  (I know, you ask
"what did you really think?")  Okay, I think it sucked.

Drugstore Cowboy: Special Edition

Interesting film about a happy couple that go around robbing drugstores to stay high all the time.  Not as dark as you would
think (or as I would like)  Interesting Cameo by William S Burroughs

Band of Outsiders: Criterion Collection (1964)

One of those Jean-Luc Godard films you watch when you take a film class in college, it's actually pretty entertaining.  The
extra material in the DVD helps explain some of the artsy stuff.

The Sheltering Sky (1990)

I read the book before the movie came out, so I went in with expectations.  Good casting including Debra Winger and
John Malkovich made this a good movie.  If you have not read anything by Paul Bowles, you should.

The Man From Elysian Fields (2002)

Kind of dorky Hollywood stuff, entertaining, not very memorable.

Directors: David Cronenberg (2000)

So-so documentary about the director.  There is potential for much better.

Love Liza (2002)

This is pretty much a one man show starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, the camera is on him the whole movie.  Man comes
home to find that his wife had killed herself, he was unaware that there was even a problem.  He pretty much comes unglued.
Very good commentary track.

Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975)

Ok, I like a lot of Peter Weir movies, but not this one.  At the end I started to puzzle this one out, and then decided I didn't
care.  It's comentary on Victorian whatever...blah, blah, blah....

High Fidelity (2000)

Good "chick flick" that guys can enjoy too.  I had read this book, and felt that the translation to movie was well done, there
are some major changes (moves the locale from London to Chicago) but the story came through.  Jack Black is great in this

Donnie Darko (2001)

I liked this this one.  A lot.  I don't want to tell you anything about it, just say that it's got some of the creepiest scary stuff.
A scary movie that makes you puzzle the plot out, which is a nice change.  This is one I'll watch again.  Love that rabbit.

Insomnia (1997)

Twisty Norwegian cop story.  Complex murder mystery takes place in the land of the midnight sun.  A Hollywood remake
was made starring Al Pacino and the locale was changed to Alaska, they probably screwed it up, I'll have to check it out.

The Naked City (1948)

Good, somewhat dated crime movie.  Probably a shocker in it's time.

Ghost World (2001)

Very good job at putting the Ghost World Comics (illustrated novels?) to film.  The look is perfect.  If you are familiar with
the books, you'll be happy with this "indie" move, if you are not, it does not matter, you'll still get it.

Secretary (2002)

I think that Maggie Gyllenhaal is going to be the next big thing.  You could hate this movie and like her, but I liked this move.
It's just your average S&M love story.  Creepy/Funny.

Jackpot (2001)

I liked this movie, many hated it.   Laid-back tale of a country-western karoke singer.  Well, at least it's different.

Twin Falls Idaho (1999)

Strange film about conjoined twins.

Glengarry Glen Ross: Special Edition (1992)

This is a stage play on screen, not a bad story but to me it comes across as acting.

Romance: Director's Cut (1999)

This movie is not for the squeamish.  It's a film by a woman who appears to have issues.  Certainly interesting, but
if you can't deal with the material you won't be able to watch this one.  Very graphic.

Slums of Beverly Hills (1998)

Funny film, starring Alan Arkin.  Good "screwed up family" story.

The Office: Series 1: Disc 1 (2001)

Odd BBC series about working in an office.  Very funny, but often too true.  There is talk about making a US version
of this show, which will suck.

Farewell My Concubine (1993)

Very interesting Chinese film.

The Replacement Killers: Special Edition (1998)

In spite of the great title, it's just a so-so Chow Yun Fat film, not his best.  Fun anyway.

Owning Mahowny (2003)

Another great Philip Seymour Hoffman vehicle, this time he's a compulsive gambler.  Based on a true story.

I Don't Know Jack: Collector's Edition (2002)

If you know who Jack Nance is, then you will find this interesting.  I guess if you don't you will as well, since this
movie tells the whole story.  Jack Nance was the star of Eraserhead, David Lynch's first full-length movie.   He
died under mysterious circumstances, this movie tells the tell of his death and his unusual life.

25th Hour (2002)

This movie has Edward Norton, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Brian Cox, who I think are 3 of the really good actors
out there right now.  A good story about a guy who is about to spend a very long time in Prison.

Shadows and Fog (1992)

Strange, funny Woody Allen film.  I liked it.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

This one took me by surprise, it was much darker than I thought is was going to be.  It could have been a better movie,
I think the straight story of Chuch Barris would have been better (but I think that was kind of the point of the book,
the "straight" version did not sell well)  I loved the idea of "The Old Man Game".

Gangs of New York: Disc 1 of 2 (2002)

A lot of critics trashed this one, I liked it.  Not Marty's best, but very good and very big.

Gangs of New York: Disc 2 of 2 (2002)

Stuff about the movie, mostly fluff.

The Quiet American (2002)

I liked Greene's novel, this is a pretty straight adaptation.  Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser play the Americans.  A
Good Viet Nam Story.

Barry Lyndon (1975)

One of Kubrick's movies you don't hear much about, funny engaging story.  Kubrick's attention to detail is amazing, it's
an 18th century period piece, every scene looks great.

Chinatown (1974)

Great movie.   Seen it a dozen times.  The sequel was not as good, but then not as bad as it's reputation.

The Hot Spot (1990)

This movie is lots of fun.  Don Johnson is a great skeezy guy, in this wild story.  Jennifer Connelly gets naked (only for
a short time, sigh)

Amores Perros (2000)

This Mexican movie is great.  There are dog fight scenes that will pop your eyes.  (The DVD has a piece on how they
did them, very interesting).  Violent tale of life in the slums of Mexico City.

The Four Feathers: Collector's Edition (2002)


Swordsman 2 (1991)

This is a seqel/remake of the film The Swordsman, one of the better martial arts films.  Lots of great supernatural
stuff, if like martial arts films, but have not seen a good Hong Kong film, this series is a good place to go.  There is
much more imagination than the Hollywood stuff, although you'll find less polish and you have to deal with subtitles
or dubbing.  The Swordsman is the best of the lot.

Miller's Crossing (1990)

Kind of different Coen brother film, but still has the surreal quality they always have.  The walk in the woods looking
for the body is a great sequence.

Adaptation (2002)

I liked this one.  It's the sequel to Being John Malkovich, in fact it starts inside of that movie.  It's a very funny and
convoluted self-referential piece.  It helps to understand recursion.

Widespread Panic: The Earth Will Swallow You: Special Edition

The bad is good in this film, the filmaking sucked.  This film introduced me to Vic Chesnutt, so skip this film and check
out Vic, if you have not already.

Monument Ave. (1998)

This is a good hidden treasure.  Denis Leary is great.  Real blue collar story about southies.

Tigerland (2000)

So-so war movie.

Spider (2003)

This movie is great.  David Cronenberg moves from visually creepy to psychologically creepy.  Ralph Fiennes is
very good.  I think this is just great film making, the story is complex and jumps back and forth in time, yet you
are never confused what is going on.

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Pretty good telling of a very good story, a better directory would have made this film.  Steven Spielbergs'
ham-fisted Hollywood style was not the right one for this.  He should go back to Indiana Jones.   Interesting
that so many of his recent films sucked, he needs to deflate himself a bit.

Autofocus (2002)

This one is weird.  Greg Kinnear plays Bob Crane who was murdered, apparently by a friend who shared some
of his odd sex hobbies that involved taking some, eh interesting pictures. (2001)

Not a very good movie about a not very good company.  Part of the dot com, this movie was made before the
dot bomb.  Watching this movie all I could think about was how stupid their idea for a company was.  As a
footnote, the company tanked before this movie even came out.

The Usual Suspects (1995)

Ok, everyone thinks this movie is great, I don't.  I saw the "surprise" coming from 100 miles away, it was all
so painfully obvious, I don't see how anyone could have been caught.  Kevin Spacey is great, but he could
not save this clunker.  It's just dumb Hollywood, I don't get why people seem to like this one.

Basic (2003)

Ok, Samuel L. Jackson is in this one, how bad can it be?  Real bad.

The Legend of the Swordsman (1992)

Another remake of The Swordsman, I still like the original.  This is a higher budget one starring Jet Li.  Get
the first one and learn the ways of the Sun Moon Sect.

Two Moon Junction (1988)

A real stinkburger.

Swordsman (1990)

This is the first, and best Swordsman.  Sacred scrolls and living mountains, and Martial arts.  Good fun.

Far from Heaven (2002)

Pretty good 50's melodrama, made in the style of movies of the period.  Woman finds out her hubbie is
homo, unpleasantness ensues.

The Bourne Identity (2002)

Crappy remake, typical Ludlum slush.  Good for watching in airplanes.

Vampire's Kiss (1989)

Pretty good wierd movie starring Nick Cage as a guy who thinks he's turning into a vampire.  Funny
and entertaining.

What Dreams May Come: Special Edition (1998)

Hollywood garbage.  I can't even begin to say how bad this is.  The story is a bunch of drivel about
a guy who dies in a car crash and goes to heaven. His wife croaks herself and goes to hell.  Roger
Ebert said "What Dreams May Come' is so breathtaking, so beautiful, so bold in its imagination!"
which makes me think that Roger needs to adjust his meds.  Bold, my ass.  It's an insipid tale with
a neat and clean Hollywood ending.

Pretty as a Picture: The Art of David Lynch (1998)

Not a great documentary on Lynch, but interesting nonetheless.

Love And A .45: Special Edition (1994)

Garbage.  Tries to be Tarantino and fails.  Really fails.

Freeway: Special Edition (1996)

Uneven film, in spots its great, but doesn't quite come together.  Amanda Plummer's character
makes "Honey Bunny" look like Mrs. Cleaver.

Lost in La Mancha (2002)

Really interesting documentary about Terry Gilliam's attempt to make story of Don Quixote
come to screen, he has his own personal vision of this film and is dying to get it out.  When they
realize that their attempt to make the movie has failed a few days into filming it's tough to watch
Gilliam's heart break.  Fear not, he's still trying to make this movie - his own personal windmill.

Lumiere and Company (1995)

Interesting documentary about Lumiere's camera, the very first motion picture camera.  The
original camera is taken out of the museum and given to some lucky filmakers who attempt
to make a movie with the limited technology.  Nothing is allowed to be done out of the camera,
no other technology, no synchronized sound.  The range material and quality is interesting, some
filmakers do okay, others fail. (IMHO)  David Lynch seems unencumbered by the limitations and
makes the only real movie.  Spike Lee is clueless and has the worst effort.

Fitzcarraldo: Special Edition (1982)

The once case where the "make of" movie might be better than the movie, and this is a good
movie.  A man has a mad plan to get rich that involves dragging a giant ship through the jungle.
Making the movie involved dragging a giant ship through the jungle, life imitates art.   The movie
stars Klaus Kinski, originally the part was played by Jason Robards, and Mick Jagger was also
cast!  The production is documented in the film Burden of  Dreams.

Run Lola Run (1998)

You gotta like this one.  It's a German film where a sequence in Lola's life is replayed several
times, each time with the details changing, the final effect is always huge.  Good filmaking where
you show the same story over and over and never lose your audience.

Master of the Flying Guillotine (1975)

Real 70s Hong Kong martial arts flick, I heard this is one of Tarantino's favorites, so I checked
it out.  Easy to see why, lots of fighting and lots of fun.  Low budget, high octane.

Directors: Terry Gilliam (2000)

Not great documentary on Gilliam, if you want better, check out The Battle of Brazil which comes
with the DVD of Brazil.  Lost in LaManchia is also better.

Austin Powers in Goldmember: Special Edition (2002)

Pretty funny sequel.  Nothing special.

Barcelona (1994)

This should have been good, but it falls apart.  You hate all of the characters, and don't care what
happens to them.

Stan Lee's Mutants, Monster & Marvels (2002)

Interesting interview with Stan Lee with Kevin Smith as the Interviewer.  Smith holds Lee higher
then God and Lee seems to like Smith, so it comes off as a couple of guys having a great conversation
and you get to listen in.

32 Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)

This is a really good one.  Put together in an original way that keeps your attention and is enjoyable

Red (1994)

White (1994)

Blue (1993)

Kieslowski 's Blue, White, Red trilogy is an interesting set, well worth watching.  Yes, artsy, but
entertaining as well. Red is my favorite.  BTW:  This really is a trilogy, everyone seems to call
everything that has two sequels a trilogy, wrong.  Also Lord of the Rings is not a trilogy. </rant>

Made: Special Edition (2001)

Stunk.  Had a couple of moments but the characters were just annoying.  Some like this one.

Boogie Nights: Platinum Edition (1997)

Interesting flick.  William H. Macy has a small part, but it's one of his best, very funny, well, not
how he ends up.  Some funny scenes but the point is "porn is not fun"

Requiem for a Dream: Special Edition (2000)

You may need Prozac after this one.  It manages to make a scene with a naked Jennifer Connelly
depressing, that's not easy to do.  Written by the same guy who gave us the cheeful tale Last
Exit to Brooklyn.
  The basic story:  Drugs mess you up.  But it lays it out and it's not preachy.

Fight Club (1999)

When this movie came out I saw the ads and said "forget this one!"  The ads were wrong
(fire those guys) this movie is great.  Watching it a second time is like watching a different
movie.  The first time you hate Helena Bonham Carter's character, the second time you
understand her.  All of the actors are great in this one.  People talk about how different
the Sixth Sense is when you see it the second time, this one has that one beat, big time.

Twin Warriors (1984)

Good Jet Li martial arts flick.  Good story, good fighting.  Good time.

Lantana (2001)

Good, convoluted tale.  Yet another goodie from Australia.

Essex Boys (2000)

Just your basic, very bad guys in England movie - but well done.

Risk (2000)

Another good film from Australia. In the heist/grift school.  Entertaining, but not perfect.

Happiness (1998)

Very strange film that will you reaching for the Prozac.  (or something)  Philip Seymour Hoffman
is good, once again.  Some pretty grotty stuff in this one, funny in places and super creepy in

Mean Streets (1973)

Good Mob movie.

Stardust Memories (1980)

Good Woody Allen movie, filmed in Ocean Grove and Asbury Park.

The Sopranos: Disc 4 (1999)

The Sopranos: Disc 3 (1999)

Carnal Knowledge (MGM/UA) (1971)

Controversial in its time, shows its age.  Jack is good in this one.

The X-Files: Fight the Future (1998)


The Sopranos: Disc 2 (1999)

Breaking the Waves (1996)

Weird movie by the director of Dancer in the Dark.  Grim, but not as grim as Dancer (is that possible?)
Very original filmaking and worth seeing.

The Deep End: Special Edition (2001)

Kind of forgettable murder story.

The Art of Action: Martial Arts in the Movies (2002)

So-So documentary on martial arts movies.  Did not do a very good job of highlighting the best of the
genre although some of the historical stuff was interesting.

An Evening With Kevin Smith: Disc 2 (2002)

Funny stuff, if you like Smith.

The Sopranos: Disc 1 (1999)

One Hour Photo (2002)

Hey, a good Robin Williams movie!  Williams has one of the highest stinker to good ratio in Hollywood and
this one almost makes up for What Dreams May Come (but not quite)  Good story about a nutjob.

An Evening With Kevin Smith: Disc 1 (2002)

Funny stuff, if you like Smith.  I think the DVD menu is very funny.  How many DVDs can say that?

The Blue Kite (1993)

Wow, life under Mao was no fun, but these people really had it rough.  He had neighbors spy on each
other and if anyone said anything bad about the system they were branded as "unpatriotic"  Good thing
things are not like that here...oh wait, el Busho..... Well okay, it's not that bad here, yet.

Husbands and Wives (1992)

Pretty good talky Woody Allen.  If you like Allen you'll like this one, if not....

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997)

Very interesting story about four obsessed men, (ok, three of them are interesting),  The stories are great
but the filmaking is not.  The editor should have been shot.

Dancer in the Dark (2000)

You have not been depressed until you see this one.  Bjork is very good, as is David Morse (this is one
of his best).  I liked it a lot, but it's not one you can watch every day.

The Taste of Others (1999)

Ok character study.  Not too memorable.

Cecil B. Demented (2000)

Pretty good John Waters number, a bit uneven but very funny in places.

Fingers (1978)

Good strange Harvey Keitel flick, dirt, The Mob, guns, etc.

The Mummy Returns (2001)

Yuck, he should go back.

Diamond Men (2001)

Interesting tale about diamond salesmen.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

You've already seen this one, so what can I say?  It's a "Chick Flick" guys can sit through.  No
surprise the TV show bombed.

A Passage to India (1984)

Bloated David Lean fare.  Tries to be deep, ends up pretentious.  Lean made Lawrence of  Arabia
and some other good ones, several other that could be listed as "bloated" but this one just creaks and

Big Night (1996)

This is a really good one.  Minnie Driver has a small part, but I like her a lot in this one.  This is just
a great story about a restaurant.  One of the better "indies"

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)

Strange, funny Spanish movie.

Sexy Beast (2001)

Ben Kingsley is great in this one.  It's a heist film, but we miss the heist!  I think a really great Parellel
movie could be made, this one takes place mostly in Spain, the other one could be all of the things
going on in London while this one is going on.  Has some very unusual elements to it.

The Green Mile (1999)

Standard Stephen King dreck, Tom Hanks is bad, David Morse is very good.  Story is stupid.

Trainspotting (1995)

Guys on Heroin in Scottland.  I was under the impression that this one was very grim, so I didn't
see it for quite a while.  Well, it's not that bad, but then again it's not Mary Poppins.

Barfly (1987)

Now this is definitely not Mary Poppins,  This is an autobiography, which gives you pause.  Mickey
Rourke is great as a drunken asshole, which may not have been a stretch for him.  Very funny and twisted.

The Straight Story (1999)

People who don't know much about David Lynch will not believe this is a David Lynch Film.. Those who
do will not be surprised.  This is not Eraserhead, but if you look there is the David Lynch Touch.  This
is a very good movie, and oddly based on a true story.

Nine Queens (2000)

Very good Argentinian grifter flick.

Iron Monkey (1993)

This is a great martial arts film, if you liked Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon you will find that this one is
in the same class.  I think the story is actually better and the film is better paced (Crouching Tiger dragged
a bit at one point)   Good stuff.