Wednesday, December 31, 2008
First feature film by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. I don't think I've enjoyed watching a movie in a theater this much since Shaun of the Dead. Colin Farrell doesn't get enough credit as an actor.
This is the first Woody Allen movie I've really liked in years. what's interesting about this little thriller is that it's mostly made up of the moments your standard crime drama would leave out. You know, the "boring" bits in between the action and what not. Allen even goes so far as to pull the camera away from the big moment, what would normally be the scene in which an average thriller hinges upon, as if it were completely irrelevant to the story. And you know what? it is. This is a film about brothers. not the other stuff. and you've got two of my favorite actors - Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell. why aren't they in more movies together?
I knew Danny Boyle still had it in him. I'd been a little disappointed in my favorite director as of late (Sunshine). He's taken the best parts of his previous work - that gritty "beautiful filth" aesthetic of Trainspotting, mixed it with the fairytale absurdity of A Life Less Ordinary, and thrown in a dash of Millions. I'm pulling for him with the Oscar noms. He deserves it.
Quantum of Solace
I'm still not convinced it's its own film and not just an epilogue to Casino Royale, but there's something you've got to admire about its unrelenting focus. Despite Roman Polanski being the villain and some dodgy CGI, it still made my list. It gets better on repeat viewings.
Robert. Downey. Jr. He's certainly on a roll (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Zodiac, his performance in Tropic Thunder... keep 'em coming...)
I cried a little bit.
The X-Files: I Want to Believe
As a fan of The X-Files, I enjoyed the hell out of this film. Partly because it's the exact opposite of what you're expecting it to be, and probably what it should have been, by which I mean if you're looking to give your long dead TV series another kick start for the big screen and make a series films, this isn't how you do it. Cold bleak landscapes, slow burning plot, and subtle character studies are not the way to go. Opening against The Dark Knight is also not a good idea. What this film is is a solid episode of the show. If you like the show, what exactly do you have to complain about? We're checking in on these characters five or so years later. Like an old friend you haven't talked to in a while, we're just giving them a ring to see what they're up to. "Hey guys - any aliens, comas, abductions, or resurrections? no? good. glad you're doing well. keep in touch!"
The Bank Job
solid, old-school British heist flick. enough said.
The Dark Knight
Yes, Heath Ledger is as amazing as you've heard he is. No one says enough about Gary Oldman though.
Son of Rambow
Adorable tale of youngsters and DIY film making. Directed by Garth Jennings of Hammer & Tongs fame. succeeds where Be Kind, Rewind failed.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Resident Evil: Degeneration
An American Carol
Beethoven's Big Break
Battle For Haditha
Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 20th Ann. Ed.
My Heart is Mine Alone
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
The Elizabeth Smart Story
Nip/Tuck Season 5, Part 1
Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget
Oliver & Company
Escape to Witch Mountain/Return From Witch Mountain
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The best film of the year was MAN ON WIRE (1) This documentary about Frenchman Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the two World Trade Center's twin towers plays more like an incredible thriller. Like a Frederick Forsyth novel it’s all about the intricate planning of his illegal dream stunt. It’s a stunning piece of storytelling.
I’ll honor the January release plan and consider CHE as two different films and they definitely play like two separate films. Also with the more morose and difficult to get behind PART TWO not weighing it down PART ONE aka THE ARGENTINE (2) is the best non-doc of the year. Steven Soderbergh’s epic, visually stunning, fly-on-the-wall account of the the guerrilla overthrow of Cuba is a mesmerizing experience. It definitely helps to go in with a knowledge of the events because the movie throws you in right there. I think Benicio Del Toro out does even Mickey Rourke for the best lead actor performance of the year, but I suspect he will be overlooked when Oscar nominations are announced. Soderbergh again doing his own cinematography under the name Peter Andrews is becoming on of the most impressive DPs working today.
On the subject of near perfect, the first half of WALL-E (3) is a masterpiece. The second half, once people come into it looses some of that greatness and plays like a very good Pixar flick. But that first half is the best film of the year. If only they too had cut it in half and and released it as two separate films.
The last quarter of THE DARK KNIGHT (4) kinda lost me (that bomb on the boat and Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face), but still amazing film making and an iconic performance by Heath Ledger that is sure to last the test of time.
Admittingly I have not seen many of this years acclaimed foreign films yet (The Class, A Christmas Tale, Let The Right One In, I've Loved You So Long, or Gomorrah, etc). But I did catch the Hitchcockian French thriller TELL NO ONE (5) and was rightly on the edge of my seat. One of the most suspenseful flicks in years.
ROUNDING OUT A TOP TEN I would add:
CHICAGO 10 (7)
THE READER (9)
GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF HUNTER S THOMPSON (10)
15 MORE 2008 FLICKS I ENJOYED:
Baghead, The Bank Job, Boogie Man: Lee Atwater, Che Part 2, Control, Constantine’s Sword, The Curios Case Of Benjamin Button, Dear Zachary, Frost / Nixon, Ironman, Milk, Roman Polanski: Wanted & Desired, Slumdog Millionaire, The Visitor, The Wrestler
SOME KINDA, GUILTY PLEASURES
VERY GOOD LEFTOVERS FROM 2007
Starting Out in the Evening
BEST REVIVAL HOUSE FLICK
Sicilian Clan (1969) at The Egyptian Theater
FAVORITE OLDER FILMS I SAW FOR THE FIRST TIME
Black Narcissus (1947)
Clair’s Knee (1970)
Classe Tous Risques (1960)
Mississippi Mermaid (1969)
Peter Pan (2003)
Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)
I’ve seen these on some Top-Ten Lists.
Some are not bad, none would come close to mine (though Stuck did kinda suck and Priceless was incredibly annoying).
Burn, After Reading
Synecdoche, New York
Young @ Heart
WORST FILMS I'VE SEEN
By Directors who have made at least one or two films of quality in the past
Be Kind, Rewind
Diary Of The Dead
Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
Rambo (I liked Rocky 3)
Shine A Light
AND THE WORST FILM OF THE YEAR
Even worse then his previous effort, Lady In The Water....
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The House Bunny
Burn After Reading
Stanley Kubrick's The Seafarers
Slacker Uprising (Michael Moore)
Lost - Season 4
Prime Suspect 6
Lost in America
Prince of the City
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Fox and the Hound 2
Snow White and the Three Stooges
Robin Hood (Disney)
3:10 to Yuma (Original)
Make Mine Music
Pocahontas II: Journey to the New World
In Search of the Castaways
The Illustrated Man
The Hills Have Eyes 2 (New)
10/Tarzan the Ape Man (Double Feature)
Fun and Fancy Free
Last Tango in Paris
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Biography: Buster Keaton
Biography: Federico Fellini
Biography: Maria Callas
Dr. Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Poor Little Rich Girl
Thank Your Lucky Stars
This Is The Army
The Wedding Director
A & E: Cannibals
Aqua Teen Hunger Force 6
The Dark Knight
NEW RELEASES/ REPLACEMENT DVDS:
Alias Jesse James
Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number
The Facts of Life
The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 (Original)
Hitler: The Rise of Evil
I'll Take Sweden
The Little Mermaid II
Mae West Glamour Collection
Princess and the Pirate
Road to Hong Kong
Saludos Amigos/Three Caballeros
A Shari Lewis Christmas
They Got Me Covered
This So-Called Disaster
The Wedding Date
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
American Nudes, Vol I, II, II
The Dark Knight
Funny Face - 50th Anniversary Edition
Gitane Demone: Life After Death
Here Is Always Somewhere Else
Horton Hears a Who
LA Confidential (2 Disc Special Edition)
Man on Wire
Slogan (2 Disc Secial Edition)
Sukiyaki Western Django
Frank Capra Set:
You Can't Take It With You
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
It Happened One Night
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
David Lynch Lime Green Set:
Wild At Heart
Industrial Symphonies No. 1
The Short Films of David Lynch
David Lynch Mystery Disc
Night Gallery - Season 2
James Bond, Volume 1 (Die Another Day, Live and Let Die, Dr. No)
James Bond, Volume 2 (For Your Eyes Only, From Russia With Love, Thunderball)
There Will Be Blood
NEW ARRIVALS/REPLACEMENT DVDS:
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas
Best Of Youth
A Charlie Brown Christmas (Deluxe Edition)
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (Deluxe Edition)
A Christmas Carol (1999 - Patrick Stewart)
Dog Day Afternoon
40 Days and 40 Nights
Guns n' Roses: Sex n' Drugs n' Rock n' Roll
Home for the Holidays
It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (Deluxe Edition)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Notorious Bettie Page
Perfect Murder/Murder By Numbers/Murder in the First
Postcards from the Edge
Places in the Heart
10 Things I Hate About You
Valley Of The Dolls
The World According To Garp
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Fly Me to the Moon
Rise of the Footsoldier
Frost/Nixon: The Original Watergate Interviews
Pleasure For Sale
Pursuit of Equality
My Father My Lord
White Dog (Criterion)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2 Disc Special Edition)
Casablanca (3 Disc Ultimate Edition)
Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!
The Man Called Flintstone
SNL: Season 4
Law and Order - Season 6
New Arrivals, Replacements, & Requests:
Silent Night, Bloody Night
Choose Your Own Adventure: The Abominable Snowman
Christmas That Almost Wasn't
Hill Number One
I Beheld His Glory
The Littlest Angel
Guys Gone Wild: Cream of the Crop
Dangerous Christmas of Little Red Riding Hood
A Christmas Without Snow
Girls Gone Wild: Spring Break Orgy
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Atomic Cafe - Collector's Edition
Bottle Rocket (Criterion)
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
Chungking Express (Criterion)
Fantastic World of Michael Crawford
Kiss of the Spiderwoman
The Mark of Cain
The Royal Scotsman: Luxury Train
Silence of the Sea
Slap Shot 3: The Junior League
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (Criterion)
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All
The Mod Squad - Season 2, Vol. 1
The Sarah Jane Adventures - Series 1
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
DW Griffith: Father of Film
Encounters at the End of the World (Herzog)
Fanfan La Tulipe (Criterion)
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
The Gospel at Colonus
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
Stars and Their Guitars: A History of the Electric Guitar
Working Class Rock Star
Bones - Season 3
Doctor Who - Series 4 (NEW)
Doctor Who - The Infinite Quest (Animated)
Hannah Montana - Season 1
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Beer For My Horses
Bigger Stronger Faster
Boys In The Band
Chronological Donald Duck Volume 4 '51-'61
Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
It Happened on 5th Avenue
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl
Kung Fu Panda
Little Rascals: Complete Collection
Madame Bovary (1991)
The Perfect Holiday
The Pink Conspiracy
Quo Vadis: 2 Disc Special Edition
Roman Holiday (Centenial Collection Special Edition)
Sabrina (Centenial Collection Special Edition)
Spellbound (Hitchcock Premiere Collection)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Sunset Boulevard (Centenial Collection Special Edition)
We All Fall Down
Yo-Yo Sexy Girl Cop
Chuck - Season 1
Mickey Mouse Club Presents Annette
Rocky Jones Space Ranger Collection
Tracey Ullman's State of the Union
Zoom - Back to the 70's
Blood And Choclate
Day the Earth Stood Still
Journey to the Far Side of the Sun
Manhattan Murder Mystery
Vanishing Point (1971)
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Is this some kind of November, April Fools prank?
The just in to the Rocket News Room in Los Angeles...
According to Micheal Fleming at VARIETY... Steven Spielberg and Will Smith are in early discussions to collaborate on a remake of Chan Wook-Park's Oldboy.
What’s next... Robert Zemeckis remaking (the even better) Lady Vengeance with Natalie Portman?
In fairness, I admire both guys as being smart about their choices.
And assume Spielberg would do something interesting with the material. And he has grown a hell of a lot as a filmmaker since his unwatchable remake of A Guy Named Joe, the pathetically titled Always (and the first half of his War Of The Worlds remake was pretty good. However his Twilight Zone: The Movie remake of Kick The Can was closer to the icky sap of Always).
And Will Smith was terrific in his Omega Man remake I Am Legend and for the first hour of it was a very good movie (but oy-boy did it go down hill by the third act)
Now that I think about it, maybe these two box office titans could do something interesting with what actually is a flawed film (though it does have one of the greatest fight scenes in movie history).
Okay. Maybe I’m sold. I’m easy that way.
I’ll bet you ten bucks... in the next 10-15 years Will Smith will do a Cool Hand Luke remake. I see it. Watch, I got the shine...
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Here’s a couple of the articles that I’ve come across on the net the last couple of months that I remembered to make a note of.
Good profiles of actors...
- Dan Callahan in Bright Lights George Sanders A Mitigated Cad
- The Daily Mail had a great piece on How Sean Connery seduced a movie legend and faced the wrath of the Mafia
In the Guardian:
- And then he follows it up
- I’ve only seen two of them but it’s a cute little list at IFC
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio
Flashbacks of a Fool
Comic Books Unbound
When Did you Last See Your Father
Man from Colorado/ Man from Laramie/ Man in the Saddle
Against All Odds/ Jagged Edge/ Starman
Awakenings/ Fisher King/ The Survivors
Popeye the Sailor 1941-1943
A Christmas Story (2 Disc Special Edition)
Barbie in A Christmas Carol
Dare Not Walk Alone
Return to Sleepaway Camp
Confessions of a Pit Fighter
The Tall T
Decision at Sundown
Buchanan Rides Alone
Futurama: Bender's Game
The Howdy Doody Collection
Spin City: Season 1
TV Commercials: The Ultimate Collection
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Abbott And Costello: The Complete Universal Collection
Anaconda 3: The Offspring
Animal House: The 30th Anniversary Edition
Annie Leibovitz: Life Through A Lens
Baraka: Special Edition
Billy The Kid
Blue Eyes Of The Broken Doll
Dick Tracy Vs. Crime Inc.
Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot
Horror rises From The Tomb
Journey To the Center Of The Earth 3-D
Night Of The Flesh Eaters
Poultrygeist: Night Of The Chicken Dead
The Prince And Me: Royal Honeymoon
Run For Your Life: The Fred Lebow Story
Vengeance Of The Zombies
According To Jim Season One
Biography: Elton John
Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav
The L word Season 5
Mystery Science Theater 3000:
* First Spaceship on Venus * Future War * Laserblast * Werewolf
NEW ARRIVALS, REPLACEMENTS, REQUESTS:
Executive Decision/ Unlawful Entry
The Hills Have Eyes
The Hired Hand
Never Been Kissed
Of Mice And Men (1939)
The Pick Up Artist
Romeo And Juliet (2002)
This Film is Not Yet rated
Where Eagles Dare
Sunday, October 26, 2008
1. WHAT ARE A COUPLE OF YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME?
Annie Hall, Godfather, Once Upon A Time In The West
2. WHAT'S A MOVIE YOU MIGHT CALL A GUILTY PLEASURE?
My classic lame flick I dig would be The Fast And The Furious.
In terms of pleasure and guilt? Thriller with my favorite Swedish actress Christina Lindberg.
3. WHAT'S A MOVIE THAT RENTS A LOT, YOU'RE NOT TOO CRAZY ABOUT?
I hate Boondock Saints. It seems to have a following with the collage crowd who have never seen seen a movie before Fight Club.
3. HOW ABOUT A COUPLE OF RECOMMENDATIONS THAT DON'T RENT MUCH?
Today I would add The Wanders.
4. WHAT MOVIE ARE YOU STILL WAITING TO GET A DVD (REGION 1) RELEASE?
Tougher Then Leather with Run DMC.
5. WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FROM THE TELEVISION SECTION?
The first couple of seasons of Happy Days and All In The Family. Then the usual suspects The Sopranos, The Wire, The Shield. You know what I thought was good was that thing where Lisa Kudrew played a washed up actress. She was great.
6. HOW ABOUT FROM THE MUSIC SECTION?
I liked that Elton John Doc we got recently.
7. HOW ABOUT FROM THE CHILDREN'S SECTION?
I just watched this Peter Pan (2003) with Jason Issacs as Hook and Ludivine Sagnier as Tinker Bell. Loved it.
8. HOW ABOUT FROM THE FREE SECTION?
The gem in there is our copy of the amazing doc LA Plays Itself. Also amazing also is Sean Sweeney’s Reel.
9. OVER ALL WHO MIGHT BE YOUR FAVORITE DIRECTOR OF ALL TIME? WHAT ARE SOME OF HIS/ HER FLICKS YOU DIG?
I wanna say Billy Wilder. But hey, I love a buncha flicks by Sergio Leone and Hawks and Ford and Robert Aldrich and John Borman and Orson Welles and Spielberg and Scorses and Melville. But the bottom line, A-Number One for me is Alfred Hitchcock. I’ll just toss out one title... Vertigo.
10. WHAT 2008 FLICKS HAVE YOU ENJOYED?
Man On Wire, Wall-E, Ironman, The Dark Knight, The Chicago Ten, Surfwise, Tell No One