Thomas Balkcom’s Movies

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Hello everyone, this will be the first ever blog that has no revisits at all, how exciting is that?

//addition I have just come back from F.Y.E. where I bought the Special Edition Steel Box of Cloverfield, and I thought I would share.

And here is what I have on my plate for this week:

Forbidden Kingdom – 5/10 <– I was fortunate enough to see an advance screening of this movie this past Tuesday evening, and due to the fact that all I was expecting was some serious fight scenes, I left pretty satisfied. The movie was a bit lengthy, but it was chock full of action so it kept me pretty interested throughout the movie. Don’t expect much from this but some fun times at the movie, and a rather disturbing scene involving urine.

The Proposition – 9/10 <– Brilliant movie, I thought that I had seen it before but apparently not, there is a chance that I watched it and just wasn’t paying any attention, preoccupied, etc. It was written by Nick Cave, who I have been hearing about more and more these days, from what I’ve read and heard from other people, he’s in a band called Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and he has composed a few movies, most recently he was responsible for the outstanding score in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (and also will be composing the score for the upcoming movie The Road). In addition to this, it was great to see Guy Pearce again, he’s an actor who is in far too few films. The movie drags at a couple of points, but it seems necessary. I love the idea of a rejuvenation of Westerns in America, and in the past few years, a few exceptional examples have come out. Hopefully this will continue and maybe they’ll flourish back to what they used to be, but this is just speculation and hopes, we’ll have to see. I really enjoyed this movie, and now wish to own it.

Primer – ?/10 <– I do not think that I can personally grade this film, I might give it something around a 5 MAYBE a 6 on a good day. Don’t misunderstand me, I actually thoroughly enjoyed the film, and the fact that it was made for $7,000 (approx.) makes it even that much more worthwhile. It’s roughly eighty minutes long and it keeps you thinking the entire time. If you have a keen eye you will notice a few technical errors and gaffs here and there, but I think this is expected but still not excusable. The idea of the movie is pretty original, but I think even with a bigger budget and better actors, it wouldn’t be much better. This is a movie that requires multiple viewings, and I’m interested to hear, is this a good or a bad thing? At some point do you just want movies to be entertaining? Or extremely thought-provoking? I’m guessing most of y’all are saying somewhere in the middle or if you are greedy than both after reading that, so I understand. Oh and by the way, just to give credit where credit is due, I watched this thanks again to the New Cult Canon over at the AV Club, I love reading their reviews and that feature keeps me watching movies I’d never watch. Here is the article. After I see this movie again, I’ll give it a proper score.

Princess Mononoke – 10/10 <– Only the second movie (at least that I’ve reviewed) that I’ve given a ten. I’ve been meaning to watch this movie for about three years now, and today after work, I finally got around to it. I loved every second of it, it truly was a great story. To give it some criticisms, some of the American voices were kind of wrongly cast in my opinion, still a great movie and does fine with these voices. I don’t know who I’d recommend this to, but it really was one of the best stories I’ve ever heard, it was so damn interesting and it freaks me out to see animation like this after all that we are used to. Not in the sense that the actual drawing is stronger, but the power and level of intensity of an animated feature possesses, it’s just bizarre to me. As I said, I loved it, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall – 6/10 <– A 6 is an extremely high rating for a comedy for me, so take that under consideration. This movie was HILARIOUS to say the least, it’s good to have another quality Apatow release. I’m not going to say much about this movie, but seriously, go see it. Trailer for Pineapple Express before the movie started, I am so excited about that movie. Also I saw a trailer for The Love Guru and I have no desire to see this movie, it looks terrible. And it’s so sad that Mike Myers movies have gone this route, with Wayne’s World and So I Married an Axe Murder being such timeless classics, and now he has crap like this coming out.

Atonement – 8/10 <– A good deal of this score derives from the overall beauty of the film, this movie was above all, absolutely beautiful. Not to say that the story wasn’t good by any means, I really did enjoy the overall story. I will admit that this movie is a bit more for women, but I still think men and fellow cinephiles can enjoy it as well. I assume there is a certain level of appreciation that goes along with movies like this, while I still don’t think it qualified to be an Academy Award Best Picture nominee, but it was very good. Also, now I have officially seen all of the 2007 Best Picture nominees.

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead – 7.5/10 <– Sidney Lumet is easily one of my most favorite directors of all time, and in my personal opinion, even with all of his praise, he is grossly under-appreciated. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is an absolutely brilliant story, insofar as the story is fairly original with some expectations aside. Albert Finney was brilliant as usual, and we all know how good Philip Seymour Hoffman can be, and this film is no exception. Even with the fantastical story of this movie, a few of the characters are extremely recognizable and easily related with. That is to say, especially in Hoffman’s case, you could see yourself acting that way in that situation, and for that to occur so successfully to me is absolutely brilliant. I definitely regret missing this last year. I’ll leave you all with a quote from Hoffman’s character: “The sum of my parts just doesn’t add up to the whole that is me.”

Just as a reminder, from one of my first posts, here’s an updated list of the movies that I missed out on in 2007


The Savages

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Youth without Youth

Gone Baby Gone


Michael Clayton

And The Savages came out today, so I will get the chance to see it sometime this week.

I know this is a blog for movies, but I’d like to include that after getting to see Say Anything/ Manchester Orchestra a couple weeks back, I got to see Murder by Death on Saturday night. It was a great show, there were only about forty or so people in the room, but it was a lot of fun. The number of people surprised me because Murder by Death actually has a pretty decent fan base here. O’death, the band that preceded MBD, was a good deal of fun, they had a banjo and a fiddle, and maybe the most interesting drumming ensemble I’ve ever seen. I’m going to wait a couple weeks and then buy their album. MBD played for a good hour or so, which was such a nice treat considering they are one of my favorite bands. Here are a few pics from the show:

Thank you so much for reading.


Written by thomasbalkcom

April 22, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I also saw a preview for the Love Guru and it looks so unbelievably stupid…I really would hate to think anyone wants to see it. Miss you and see you soooooooon!


    April 23, 2008 at 8:53 pm

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