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CASINO ROYALE (2006)

Directed by: Martin Campbell

Written by: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, & Paul Haggis

Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench

I got considerably lucky that I wanted to get into the James Bond franchise around this time. What better way to get into anything than with a reboot? Funny to think that people were going bananas over Daniel Craig being James Bond. No one thought he was the right choice but he clearly proved everyone wrong with his suave demeanor and badass skills. This is a solid movie overall although it does suffer from some pacing issues. There are some lovely set pieces but they are sometimes sandwiched between scenes that take forever to finish. Case in point the final scenes which I couldn’t believe how long it took. I like there’s a twist at the end involving Eva Green’s character but I literally wanted to fast forward at this point because the movie was taking too long.

Also, I love the song ‘Skyfall’ but in my opinion ‘You Know My Name’ is my favorite Bond theme. Chris Cornell created one hell of a hook with this song and it is one of my most top played songs on my iPod. No offense to you Adele fans, and again I like her song just as much, but give me Cornell any day of the week.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #425

CASINO ROYALE (2006)

Directed by: Martin Campbell

Written by: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, & Paul Haggis

Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench

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BORAT (2006)

Directed by: Larry Charles

Written by: Various

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Pamela Anderson

(Apologies on lack of a quality video for this post. For whatever reason it is impossible to find a YouTube post where it isn’t filmed on a handheld or has poor audio.)

A Story: My Father doesn’t like to go to the theaters very much. It might have to do something with how many terrible children films he saw when I was younger. Anyways, when Borat was coming out he saw a couple of TV spots and was curious on seeing it. On Thanksgiving we both went to the local Regal and the moment the opening titles came on we knew we were in for an experience. Never saw a film that opened with some sort of chanting, possibly Muslim, and when that occurred my Dad turned with a look expressing something like: ‘What have we gotten ourselves into?’

But we came out of this bonding because Borat wind up being one of the funniest films we’ve seen together. Seeing Sacha Baron Cohen in this alias making everyone look terrible or stupid never got old. Whether it’s a used car dealer, a couple of college jocks, or even a representative of Congress; every twisted idea that Cohen and his writers came up with are just hilarious. To this day me and my Dad still quote from the fancy dinner party and the bag of poop is….well you know. This was the last film me and my Dad watched together in a theater and while eight years seems like a long time I cannot think of anything better we could have seen. Actually the upcoming Frank Sinatra biopic by Martin Scorsese might top it….But for now Borat is still a wonderful memory for me.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #424

BORAT (2006)

Directed by: Larry Charles

Written by: Various

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Pamela Anderson

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THE DEPARTED (2006)

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Written by: William Monahan

Edited by: Thelma Schoonmaker

Music by: Howard Shore

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin

Hard to imagine that it took this long for Martin Scorsese to win an Oscar but in 2006 that wound up being the case. The man responsible for some of the biggest films thirty three years beforehand and he didn’t win a single statue. Hell, none of his films ever won for Best Picture either! I’m usually not one of those kind of people who think the Academy gets it ‘wrong’ but like many it puzzles me to no end why these group of judges never gave love to Scorsese. What puzzles me even more is why The Departed, of all films, was finally the film that broke the camel’s back.

Don’t get me wrong, The Departed is an enjoyable film and deserves some of the praise. But I put it in the same mold as Casino or The Wolf of Wall Street as entries I wouldn’t necessarily call Scorsese’s best. Most of it has to do with the story in that I find it to be very predictable (not because it’s a remake mind you) and the angle of mob v. cops isn’t groundbreaking. I think the performances are hit or miss too with DiCaprio doing a good job while people like Damon & Sheen seem to be going through the motions. Although the standout has to be Jack Nicholson who, like always. goes for broke being over the top and because of that he is easily the best part of the film.

At the end of the day I am happy to see Scorsese finally getting the award he should have gotten half a dozen times by now. But again, I just don’t see how this film deserves all the love it got. It’s a fine film in its own right and a mediocre outing by Scorsese is still a good film. Oscar award winning though? Not seeing it.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #424
THE DEPARTED (2006)
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: William Monahan
Edited by: Thelma Schoonmaker
Music by: Howard Shore
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin

OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #424

THE DEPARTED (2006)

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Written by: William Monahan

Edited by: Thelma Schoonmaker

Music by: Howard Shore

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Anthony Anderson, Alec Baldwin

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JACKASS: NUMBER TWO (2006)

Directed and Written by: Jeff Tremaine

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Wee Man, Preston Lacy, Dave England, Ehren McGhehey, Brandon DiCamillo

What a difference a bigger budget can do. By getting almost double the money to spend on from their previous film, the cast of Jackass are able to invent some twisted ideas this time around. What I find funny about this film is how they ratcheted up the painfulness and insanity. A snake going toward’s Pontius’s manjunk, the infamous branding iron for Margera, and quite possibly the bloodiest moment in the series history is involving an Anaconda in a ball pit. There’s a lot of other smaller, but still just as stupid, stunts throughout this film that harkens back to the old days of the TV show. With this sequel though Jeff Tremaine and Johnny Knoxville never looked back in terms of imagination in making the best material possible. Is this the most highbrow of entertaining out there? Absolutely not. But is it funny? You bet your ass it is.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #423

JACKASS: NUMBER TWO (2006)

Directed and Written by: Jeff Tremaine

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Wee Man, Preston Lacy, Dave England, Ehren McGhehey, Brandon DiCamillo

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CRANK (2006)

Directed and Written by: Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor

Starring: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Efren Ramirez, Dwight Yoakam

(Favorite Film: #11)

This film introduced me to the world of Jason Statham. His world is filled with mediocre action films but it is hard to stay mad at them. He’s so suave and so cool that you can never stay angry at him for too long. Usually he provides a good amount of action and he can deliver some incredible set pieces if the film is right. What I love about Crank though isn’t the action, although it is very good. I love it because it is absolutely insane.

By having this ridiculous premise of having a man keeping his adrenaline up at all times the possibilities become endless. A shoot out at a strip club? Check. Having sex in public? Double check. Falling out of a helicopter and somehow getting a cellphone signal to call your girlfriend? Why the hell not? This film’s universe is also populated by some ludicrous men including one of the most offensive portrayals of a gay man in film history.

And yet a lot of care is put into the production of this insane film. I noticed it when I did a paper in college when we were ask to look deep into a film’s production design. It might not seem like it but a lot of care was taken into colors and how certain clothing and key items are colored in a subtle system. Basically pay attention to anything that’s blue or orange and you can be it’s integral to the scene. The soundtrack is also pretty bitching with some tunes by Quiet Riot, NOFX, and Harry Nilsson.

In short, Crank is an absolutely insane film but there is a lot of care when it comes to the production. Of course I could just be as insane as this film because I rewatched this so many times for that paper. (Got an ‘A’ by the way if anyone wanted to know.) I’m gonna say probably not or in the very least I’m not as insane as Mr. Chev Chelios.

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OH, THE MOVIES I’VE SEEN #422

CRANK (2006)

Directed and Written by: Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor

Starring: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Efren Ramirez, Dwight Yoakam