Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a dark comedy with a strong noir edge mystery about a murderer being pursued by a gay private investigator, a thief mistaken as an actor and his childhood love interest.

Though this movie may be enjoyable to the casual movie going audience, it is especially appealing to those well versed in the medium of film. Film buffs will find great pleasure in this film as it takes the conventions you’ve come to expect and twists them around to great comedic effect. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” follows a somewhat generic murder mystery plot, but infuses it with genre defying dark comedy at crucial moments to steer the film into unexpected territory with the comedy forming to the point of perfection and hitting its mark every time.

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While the comedy and some of the direction/cinematography stop “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” from being a true hard boiled noir, all the style is still there. The film has a great grasp of the noir style, with a lot of darkly lit sets, many washed over with heavy color as many neo-noirs do.

The music is also excellently noir and it is impressive how the often serious music manages to avoid clashing with the comedic moments that occur simultaneously. The music is all great and genre fitting, until the end credits where they used a horribly unfitting song. I’m one to usually read through the credits of a film if I like it, and the music choice stopped me from doing so. This isn’t a bad mark on the film itself, just a poor decision from the soundtrack department which up until that point had been so great.

The two leads are great. Robert Downey Jr. as Harry Lockhart and Val Kilmer as Gay Perry are both terrific. Each character is well formed, and though the characters never take on the buddy cop formula, they do have good back and forth on screen chemistry which makes the comedy work that much better. The excellent comedic writing is pulled off flawlessly by these two leads. The female lead, Harmony Lane played by Michelle Monaghan, is a different story. The threeactress did a fine job, but the writing of the character does not work to the film’s benefit . The only aspect of the film that didn’t work to me was the romance between Harry Lockhart and Harmony Lane. I really can’t see why she is worth all the trouble or why Harry would even want to be with her, she’s honestly quite a whore.

The film has one of the absolute best narrations of all time from Robert Downey Jr. as his character tells the story while having quite a bit of difficulty. He goes back to parts he forgot, criticizes scenes and gets off topic. All to excellent comedic effect. The film is very self aware which works in its favor and gives a feeling of true originality to the film.

The clever, tightly written script is the main reason to watch the film. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is hilarious but also manages to be very cool and stylish with a nice noir tone and even managing to have a pretty damn cool final shootout.
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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is a fantastic film. I highly recommend it to all fans of cinema. Anyone looking for a neo-noir, a comedy or even a low octane action film will likely find a good time wrapped up within “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, it can even work as an alternative Christmas film like “Die Hard” or “In Bruges“.

 

A Crossover I would like to see

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So they made 2 Alien VS. Predator movies, but you know what movie I’ve always wanted to see? Terminator VS. Predator. I think that would be a much more interesting movie. The aliens honestly don’t stand a chance against predator, but the Terminator? That would be a showdown worth watching. A nice one on one fight between the two of them.

Here’s how I would make the crossover work. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Terminator. He also played Dutch, the guy who managed to kill the predator in the first film. Now in both series there are more than one terminator, and more than one predator.

My theory: Dutch was the guy they modeled the terminator model after. Think about it, it would make perfect sense. In the future once Skynet happened and all that they based that particular model of terminator after Dutch, a war hero. Since both the terminator and dutch are played by Arnold I think this is plausible. You could say that the terminator wasn’t modeled after a particular person, and while this would make sense that they would make an incredibly physically fit person like Arnold, why would they give him an Austrian accent? That’s a little question I always had in the terminator movies, why would they give the robot an Austrian accent? Well the answer is that they were just being faithful to Dutch who the terminator was modeled after.

So now that Dutch is the terminator he can continue to fight predators, it would either be one terminator vs. one predator, or whole armies of them, either way, make this movie happen. LISTEN UP HOLLYWOOD; IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BOTHER COMING UP WITH ORIGINAL IDEAS AND CHARACTER, DON’T MAKE REMAKES, INSTEAD MAKE CROSSOVERS.

Macabre Month of Horror #25 “The Strain” Guest review by Amy Lyn Kench (when did I become a guest on my own blog?)

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan Published by Harper

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan Published by Harper

If there is only one book you have the chance to read this Halloween season, “The Strain” is it. Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan bring back the evil, dark, twisted and tormented vampire in this shake you to your skeleton thrill ride.

If you are a fan of the Twilight books you will be shamed to learn, vampires are not sparkly or cute boys looking for love. They are blood sucking, emotionless, death mongers. So, deal with it!

Whether it was the gripping tale or the fact that I was too scared to turn out the lights, I could not put this book down! “The Strain” will stay with you, it will haunt you in the way true horror lovers appreciate to no end.

Description from the publisher:

“An epic battle for survival begins between man and vampire in “The Strain” – the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy from one of Hollywood’s most inventive storytellers and a critically acclaimed thriller writer.

Guillermo del Toro, the genius director of the Academy Award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, and Hammett Award-winning author Chuck Hogan have joined forces to boldly reinvent the vampire novel. Brilliant, blood-chilling, and unputdownable, “The Strain is a nightmare of the first order.”

COMING SOON – “THE STRAIN” MADE FOR TV MOVIE

So, I have to say I’m more than a little excited about this. It’s not just because Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan wrote the book and screenplay, nor because Del Toro is directing. (I mean seriously, come on, who else could handle this monster?) After seeing the cast list I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see this sure to be horror masterpiece.

As soon as I read Corey Stoll was cast as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather I just knew there was no way this movie could go off the rails. He is amazing in “House of Cards” and I can totally see him taking this role to the next level.

English: John Hurt at the Cannes film festival

More perfect casting is John Hurt as Professor Abraham Setrakian. The man is a master of walking that thin line of nice and wise older gentleman to slightly deranged loon.

The cast list is fantastic and I’m especially excited to see

Robert Maillet at the gala premiere of "M...

 as The Master. He is going to kick some serious ass!

Four Rooms Review of Rodriguez and Tarantino Sections

Four Rooms Review of Rodriguez and Tarantino Sections

“Four Rooms” is an anthology of four stories each one by a different writer/director, but all starring the same main character.

Tim Roth stars as Ted the Bellhop, the character that connects the stories together. Each story takes place in a different room of the hotel that Ted works at. The time is New Year’s Eve and everybody is celebrating. Ted is practically alone at the hotel, and has to rush around to the rooms. The movie is mainly a comedy.

Robert Rodriguez does the third  section of the movie. His section is called The Misbehaviors. Antonio Banderas is in the part and he plays some kind of gangster or tough guy, it’s not very clear. He and his girlfriend, or wife (not very clear again) are bored and want to do something exciting, so Banderas takes charge. He makes Ted take care of the kids while him and the woman go out and see the fireworks, and do “other stuff”.

There are two kids, a little girl and a little boy. The boy looks like Banderas and the girl looks like the woman. This leads me to believe that the two adults both are single parents meeting up, because the kids look so different. There are little funny bits sprinkled throughout, but nothing really that funny…until the end. When you get to the end you see how the rest of the segment is all leading up to the hilarious climax. Everything just erupts at once, at the moment that Antonia Banderas walks back in.

Spoiler Alert: At the end the room is on fire, there is vomit everywhere, the paintings are ruined, there is dead hooker in the bed, and there is a giant syringe plummeting towards his child and the kid is smoking a cigarette, and more chaos. Everything comes full circle, and all the little things that seemed random before now make perfect sense. Throughout the segment they are always complaining about the smell, and think that it is someone;s feet. Turns out they were smelling a dead body rotting in the bed the whole time. Everything works out with perfect comedic timing.

The acting is good, but nothing special from the parents, and the kids, are really awkward, but I think they’re supposed to be that way. Selma Hayek is in the movie. She just plays a stripper who dances on the TV, and you never see her head.

This segment works, because of the fantastic ending.

Quentin Tarantino’s  section is called “The Man From Hollywood. Tarantino is the man and stars in this section. Bruce Willis also stars in this part, working with Tarantino again after Pulp Fiction”.

Tarantino has the ending segment, and the credits play while his part ends. This segment fits perfectly at the end. I think that this segment is the best. Best, does not mean funniest. This segment is the best speaking in terms of acting, and writing. Personally I think it is funnier throughout than any other segment, but the ending of the Rodriguez segment is arguably the funniest part of the movie.

This section can be summarized as: Ted the Bellhop goes into the penthouse suite, and is talked into refereeing a bet between Tarantino’s character and Paul Calderon’s (also from Pulp Fiction) character.

Bruce Willis‘ character spends the majority of the segment fighting with his wife over the phone. A character from the second segment , played by Jennifer Beals comes back for Tarantino’s segment, she doesn’t do too much though. Tarantino plays a big shot, Hollywood movie director who is staying at the hotel, spending New Year’s Eve partying with his friends.

The bet is over a Zippo lighter and is inspired by a 1960 Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “Man From the South” starring Peter Lorre and Steve McQueen.

Paul Calderon‘s character has to light his lighter 10 times in a row. If he wins he gets Tarantino’s brand new expensive car, but if he loses, his pinky finger gets cut off.

Most of the segment is Tarantino trying to convince Ted to cut off his finger if he losses the bet. Ted finally accepts. When the time comes, the comedic timing is so perfectly hilarious.

 “Four Rooms” is a good movie. But it’s a great one if you skip the first half.