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Appellate Judge Patrick Bromley's Blog

Appellate Judge Patrick Bromley • Location: Schaumburg, IL
• Member since: March 2004
• 344 full reviews
• 359 small claims

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You Should Be Watching This
February 23rd, 2009 4:04PM

I admit I'm late coming to The Wire. But now that my wife and I have finished watching all five seasons in just under a three months, I feel pretty confident in saying it's the best show ever.

Please go out and watch it now. Please. Now. Now please.

Top 10 of 2008
January 27th, 2009 4:43PM

Because no one asked for it, here are my Top 10 favorite movies of 2008:
1. Rachel Getting Married (Jonathan Demme)
2. The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky)
3. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)
4. Snow Angels (David Gordon Green)
5. Milk (Gus Van Sant)
6. Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard)
7. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Nicholas Stoller)
8. In Bruges (Martin McDonagh)
9. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (Peter Sollett)
10. My Blueberry Nights (Wong Kar Wai)

Good News
August 25th, 2005 10:36AM

Satisfaction hits DVD shelves in a couple of weeks.

Thank you, Santa.

Blog Review: Junked/Hotel Room
August 3rd, 2005 7:15PM

When a studio sends a screener of a film that I don't like, I'm disappointed. After all, who goes into a movie not wanting to enjoy it? When a studio sends a screener of not one but two films that frustrate and annoy me, I'm frustrated. And annoyed.

Such is the case with Ariztical Entertainment's double feature of Junked and Hotel Room, two films I wouldn't watch again on a triple-dog-dare. It's harsh. I know. These movies bring that out of me.

Lance Lane's Junked is the bigger offender of the two, as it has a pretty decent cast and therefore greater potential than its grainy, indecipherable counterpart. It stars Thomas Jane (Stander) as the unlikely-named Switch, a guy who sells drugs. Or buys drugs. Or is waiting in an abandoned building to buy drugs. Or sell them. I don't think he's making them. Just buying or selling. And waiting. He waits with his sister, who's played by Cabin Fever's Jordan Ladd. She's for sure a prostitute, and she for sure takes drugs. I know that. And her boyfriend is Channon Roe (the guy who beats up Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights), and he sometimes wears lipstick. And gets smacked around by Thomas Jane. He might take drugs. I'm not sure. But the lipstick thing, that's for real.

They all wait around this abandoned building and swear and yell at each other and threaten to fight and leave, and then good old Crow (the great Kevin Gage of Heat) shows up and wants to shoot at stuff and "get the money," so everyone focuses on that for a while. I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, but any movie that involves drugs and guns and swearing and fighting and lipstick and guys saying "let's get the money" can pretty much only end one way. This one is no different.

If my disdain for Junked didn't come across in the plot summary, allow me to say that I didn't much care for it. It's not horribly acted, though I can't figure out why this group of actors agreed to participate in it - it feels like the worst, most pretentious student film you've ever seen.

Wait, I take that back. That honor goes to Hotel Room, a movie I might have liked even less if I were able to make out any of the onscreen action or dialogue being spoken. See, the source elements are either so awful or Ariztical Entertainment's transfer so inept that just about every moment of the movie is an unintelligable mess. The black and white image makes most poorly-treated workprints to shame, and the audio track is even worse; I had my player's volume as high as I could comfortably take it and I still couldn't make out most of what was being said. The lack of subtitles is no help. This is one horrible-looking and horrible-sounding DVD.

As for the film? Well, it borrows a page from Four Rooms (sort of) by confining all of the action to the interior of a hotel. Rather than aim high for four separate rooms, though, it sticks to just one. It's just as episodic as one might expect, telling the stories and anecdotes of everyone who passes through the room. The first, involving a dead body, was my favorite.

I don't enjoy being this negative, but these are fairly awful movies on DVDs that actually make them seem worse. Fans of Thomas Jane (sorry, I think it's "Tom" now) are better off with The Punisher, and fans of Hotel Rooms are better off staying at the Holiday Inn Express. They've got the number one guest-rated showerhead, you know.

I Am That Guy
May 19th, 2005 9:18PM

Yes, I'm the guy that was disappointed by the first two prequels. I'm the guy who was sure that Return of the Sith just couldn't be any good. How would it be possible that the payoff to a letdown be anything but a bigger letdown?

I'm also the guy who likes the original trilogy, but who has never lived or died by it. The guy who's well-versed without being slavishly faithful. The guy who felt like the prequels just didn't work as movies, not that they didn't work as Star Wars movies.

So today I saw the last Star Wars movie that's ever likely to be made, and I liked it. No, I really liked it. There are a number of things about it that are bad - it's not perfect, but what Star Wars movie is? Does anyone else remember two robots dicking around the desert for the first twenty minutes of A New Hope? YES, the dialogue is problematic and YES the acting is often wooden (shoot me now, but I thought Hayden Christensen was actually good here) and YES the effects are often overcrowded and overwhelming and numbing. But I also found myself caring about the characters for the first time in a while, and actually being invested in what was going on. I thought a number of sequences were spectacularly handled and showed real invention, not just busy doodling come to life.

It gets worse. I'm now the guy who likes Sith enough that I feel like it casts the previous two films in a new light. I mean, it really PLAYS when taken as a whole piece, right? I mean, maybe I've been totally mistaken all along. Maybe they do work after all...

I'm that guy. I'm the prequel convert. Chop off my legs and burn me alive, I'm the prequel convert.

The Upside of Anger
March 18th, 2005 8:06PM

Saw Mike Binder's new movie today, and it's the first really good thing I've seen in 2005 (though I enjoyed Constantine, but in a very different way). It's the kind of film I like to see -- something made for adults, something about characters and dialogue, something that's as funny/sad/desperate/frustrating as life can be. It asks us to like people that are often unlikable, succeeding without becoming soft or sentimental. The kind of movie that James L. Brooks is so good at making.

It also reminded me that Kevin Costner ought to pick his roles better. I recognize that he doesn't want to be typecast or to keep repeating himself, but in this kind of role he's like a natural resource (Hugh Grant has a similar problem), effortless and funny with an easy, rumpled charm.

If you're going to the movies this weekend, please go see it. I don't want there to be a Ring Three.

Joe Dante Might Be My Favorite Director
March 3rd, 2005 11:23AM

Does this discredit me?

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