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Porn Star - The Legend Of Ron Jeremy (2001)

Porn Star - The Legend Of Ron Jeremy (2001)

I started reading a book recently about Ron Jeremy, The Hardest Working Man in Showbiz. Haven't gotten that far yet, but so far it's an entertaining read, and it gives an image of Ron as a surprisingly self-conscious individual, yet at the same time both humorous and confident.

This movie gives a different image, it seems to tell the tale of a lonely individual, like he is keeping his schedule full as to not think about his problems, like there's something missing in his life (stable relationship?)... but at the same time it does look like he's enjoying his fame.

He's everywhere, not just in porn, but in regular movies (though usually with no major roles - and as someone kindly points out - he seems to get killed a lot), in music videos (he played at a Kid Rock concert too), in commercials, in music (he had a rap song hitting the charts), at parties, hanging out with celebrities, pretty much everywhere! Though when they show that scene with him flipping through a photo book with pictures of him together with all these different celebrities it's just sad, why wouldn't we take his word for it? He is a celebrity. What's he trying to prove... to us? To himself?

Ironically, at the time of writing, I haven't seen any porn Ron Jeremy has starred in. You'd think it'd be floating all over the Internet since he's been in so many flicks and is even current record holder with over 1800 movies on his list of merits. He's also special in another way, as one adult director mentions: in his stamina and control. Females (though apparently often exploited) have it easier in the business, they can fake their orgasm, but: you can't fake an erection. And he doesn't do Viagra.

Did you know Ron Jeremy was in Killing Zoe btw? He has a couple of seconds of screen time, getting shot down when he refuses to raise his hands from a desk. So I've seen him in one movie at least! :D It's hard to find out which regular movies he's been in, because at least on IMDB it seems that they are all listed, not just the legit ehm... non-porn ones.

He really isn't a bad actor though, as is shown through many clips in this movie, and along with personal interviews and interviews with other people an image of a very humane, down-to-Earth kinda character takes shape. I wasn't really sure I wanted to post this review on my site, but WTH, I might as well be open and share with the world my views on all the movies that I watch... and in comparison to the babe-filled B-movies I've been reviewing lately this is actually comparatively tame. :) Not that many revealing scenes.

In the movie you get to hear Ron, his sister, his dad, his buddies, fellow adult actors (both new and old) and a few celebrates speak to and of him. It might not delve as deep into his past and his personal experiences as that book that I started reading, but it's a good promo, it's making me all the more interested in the fate of this rather unusual person. Good watch.

 rated 3/5: not bad

The 51st State (2001)

The 51st State (2001)

I don't know why, but for some reason I was under the impression that Xhibit had the lead role in this movie. Turns out it was Samuel Jackson, and that's great, I couldn't think of a more fitting main character!

I remember watching this movie on VHS a great many years ago, and watching it again, a few of the scenes (especially towards the end) ring a bell, but fortunately they do so in retrospect as not to spoil the rest of the movie for me. Somewhere in the back of my mind I'm certain the ending was a happy one though... was the back of my mind correct? No spoilers. :)

As for the plot, it's about a drug, a '51st state of mind', a drug that is 51 times stronger than cocaine, which exists solely in the head of the rather controversial main character Elmo McElroy, the only black dude I've ever seen wearing a quilt (at the end of the movie it is mentioned that no one ever found out why he wore a quilt... but considering his name, is it really that strange?).

His name brings another consideration into mind, the one that he and the secondary main character Felix DeSouza (a very patriotic anti-Yankee, Liverpool supporter with a hitwoman as ex-girlfriend) and him aren't too different after all, even though the one seems to hate Yanks as much as the other hates Brits. Well maybe not really the same, but there's a lot of cultural crashing going on at the start of the movie, and it keeps going for quite some time until they team up and become best (but still a bit distant) buddies.

Another fun thing about this movie is Meat Loaf making an appearance as the main villain. I wouldn't have known it was him unless I peeked at the IMDB cast list, but as it turns out he's a pretty intense actor! Emily Mortimer appearing as an assassin seems like another granted choice, considering her role as assassin in other known movies. So to sum it up: the actors are an awesome bunch of people and strongly enforce the at times normal, at times rather bizarre, plotline of the movie. Some things you'll expect, somethings not, but it's a constantly violent and likewise entertaining voyage through the slums (and other parts of) England.

The 51st State is an interesting title, since it doesn't only refer to the drug, but also to England being 'just the 51st state of the US' as the Lizard so humbly puts it at the end. So it seems the movie is a bit more symbolic than you'd expect. You can watch it just for the action, for the grim comedy, or you can take in the little details that form some sort of secondary layer of intrigue. Definitely one of Samuel Jacksson's less known, better movies. Good watch.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Taxi (2004)

Taxi (2004)

The 2004 version of Taxi is Luc Besson's remake of his originally French series of Taxi movies featuring the previous star Samy Naceri, now with Queen Latiffa as lead character. The roles are pretty much all switched up since the old days aaand so is the location, it's now in New York!

A lot of people seem to have a lot of negative things to say about this movie: that the Americanization ruined the previous light-hearted humor, the change of locale didn't work very well, that it's trying to appeal to all types of audiences, and well, I agree with all of those points, but I still like it!

Even if it is Americanized, catered towards certain audiences and the overall atmosphere has been greatly renovated... it's a great movie. There's action, there's drama, there's romance (though mostly just relationship trouble) and there's definitely plenty of comedy. The actors all play their roles well, they're all charismatic, and the car chases certainly manage to seem faster than they are, so what's there to complain about? The only thing that really sucked is the cover.

It'll never be like the old Taxi movies, true, but disregarding previous titles this is one of the more entertaining action comedies of the year. Seems like everything Luc Besson makes is worth a watch; this is no exception.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Infestation (2009)

Infestation (2009)

B-movies. It's like they're made for me. Like they're Bob movies.

Yeah the acting could be better, and yeah the props and special effects aren't always perfect, but they're always entertaining. Action, comedy, a set of characters you probably haven't seen in other movies, filmography that freely experiments with different effects and props, all the while working on a tight budget... and sometimes making a movie that actually keeps you interested all the way through. These might be the type of movies I enjoy the most, ones that surprise me, ones that entertain, ones that always deliver something different!

Like a post-apocalyptic world infested by insects, with a little romance, a little relationship and family drama, a grand adventure and a bunch of explosions and splatter. Not the best movie I've seen, but definitely not the worst either. And it's never boring!

 rated 3/5: not bad

After Earth (2013)

After Earth (2013)

I've read a lot of critique about this movie, about Jayden Smith in particular, and how he can't act.

I disagree, I don't see any flaws in his acting (excluding his attempts at acting like his dad). What I do see a flaw in is his speech. Unlike his dad, his voice doesn't have the clarity really needed for narration, or the same strength. I don't catch all the words he says, and that's a pretty big downside to a movie. I wonder if this is what bugs people when they criticize the act, or if they find his persona a bit too apathetic? Isn't that what he's supposed to be, isn't he supposed to have his emotions intentionally restrained?

As for the father and son relationship, as real in the movie as it is for real, it builds for some real tension; some really uncomfortable moments. The father is a legend, a hero, completely without fear, whereas the son has almost impossible expectations to live up to.

I'm not fond of the tension, the uncomfortable moments where the father gives orders to his son, where emotions aren't allowed free reign, yet where it's easy to see that none of them are emotionally unaffected. Just five minutes in the tension begins, and then... it pans out... a bit. Probably because there's a greater distance between them, and ironically they are at the same time growing closer; bonding. I wonder how much of the tension between father and son is real, and how much is acted out, and seeing as I can't really differentiate between what is and what isn't they must be acting pretty good the both of them. If it is real, what better way to manage trauma or relationship trouble than by making a movie out of it? Might be the first time it's done, too!

The movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, when humans have moved away from the world, where Earth is forbidden space, a planet where 'everything has evolved to kill humans'... as they say. It turns out this isn't really the case, as they crash land on the planet, and our very young hero ventures off on a mission to light an emergency beacon and signal their rescue.

It's a venture through awesome sceneries, through nature, through a world where humankind no longer dominates, and animals reign free. At the end, that's how it's left, and it's definitely for the better. You'd have thought humans would take over once again when they realize it wasn't so bad after all... but I'm glad that wasn't the case! It feels like there's a moral in here, in that we are wasting our natural resources, killing off anyone who's not human, really taking over the planet. Maybe that won't be the devastation of humankind as we know it, but it's definitely not progress, it's not progress that I'd like to live with. Maybe people get used to the cities, and in a few generations nobody will still actually long for real wilderness, just enjoy the trees that be... but for now, I still love the wild, that's where my soul is.

And that's where this movie takes place, in a distant future, and yet in a scenery as strange to the main characters as it's like a glimpse of hope for us, of how it could and should be.

At the end I am admittedly a bit bugged over Jayden's acting, but it's not because he's not a good actor, it's because I feel he's watched too many of his dad's movies. He's acting just like Will Smith, and it's not working for him. Maybe he's just not old enough yet: he's skinny, he doesn't have the same (natural?) charm and charisma, he doesn't have the same vocal resources... hope he figures out his own style. Maybe it was this movie in particular that made the clash so apparent, with both of them in the same movie, or maybe it's a constant dilemma.

Gotta be tough growing up with expectations, like the movie; like in real life. I like the symbolism there. In the movie it's becoming a ranger, in real life it's becoming an actor, paradoxically... maybe through this movie. :)

Also, considering the movie stars almost only Jayden and Will (apart from wild animals/aliens), it's a surprisingly captivating flick. I'm always awed when I watch something with so few characters, that still manages to grab your attention. Not the best movie of the year, but definitely a good watch! Looks like sci-fi is on the rise.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Up! (2009)

Up! (2009)

This movie is amazing. I watched it for the second or third time yesterday, and yet the introductory sequence still digs deep into my soul.

One of many things that make this movie unique is how they fit in an entire life story in just the introductory sequence, a young adventurer watches a great idol get accused of fraud, walks home, meets a girl, gets married, they get a house, they save money, they have dreams, they spend money, they get old, and in the end all that's left is him, the main character, memories and a life quite unlike how it used to be. A construction site surrounds his house, and when he one day bashed a worker in the head with a broken mailbox (accident) things head for the worse. His house is about to be taken, a retirement home seems like the only remaining option, and that's when...

He steers his house with a cloud of balloons to Paradise Falls, to finally live the adventure he and Elly always dreamed of.

Up until this point it's been a somewhat realistic movie, sad, bitter, and yet not very long. This is where the adventure starts, and as the house drifts over the cityscapes, the balloon cloud casting colorful shadows on the faces of all ages, it's clear this is going to be one amazing movie.

And it is. It's both familiar and foreign, safe and exotic, adventurous and calm, and the fact that the main character is an old man who moves slow and doesn't have any real teeth... well that doesn't matter one bit. There's drama, there's comedy, there's action, there's everything! The plot is both consistent and surprising, and it's particularly nice how even the most insignificant details play a role. Everything that we are shown at the start of movie isn't just shown to fire up the story, it's all tied together. That might be my favorite aspect of this movie, there is nothing superfluous, there is so much symbolism; it's a venture as much through your own mind as through the characters great escapade. For both young and old, human and animal.

When it's all over my spirits are as the title, Up! And the entire journey's been one great adventure... even the credits. Great movie.

Fantastic movie.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

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