Friday, December 31, 2010

MOVIES FOR THE WEEKEND

Happy New Year's Eve to everyone who reads this blog!

The King's Speech is the one new film of interest that opens in my area this weekend.  Not sure if I'll get a chance to see it this weekend but I will definitely check it out.

Still have A Prophet from Netflix.

All Good Things just hit HD On Demand...I'd like to check that out too.

I can't stop watching The American...it's lush and gorgeous and hypnotic and engrossing and totally perfect.

Can't believe that The Social Network hits Blu Ray in 2 weeks...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TODAY'S BLU

LOVE this film.

Monday, December 27, 2010

AGONIZINGLY AWESOME

The documentary on the making of Alien 3 (David Fincher's feature debut), which is a special feature on the recently released Alien Anthology Blu Ray, is spectacular on multiple levels.  The much-discussed, behind-the-scenes shennanigans during the making of Alien 3 are the stuff of movie-making legend, and during the course of this incredible and amazingly honest documentary, you get a chance to hear from all of the major parties (except, of course, for Fincher) who describe all of the problems that the cast and crew encountered.  Running close to an hour, it's utterly fascinating and a real treat for fans of this franchise.

ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF ALL TIME

Just got the Ghostbusters Blu Ray for X-mas.  It's such an amazing film...so funny...so clever...so consistent...they don't make 'em like this any more...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

COMING UP

At first glance, these are the the titles that I'm most excited to see in 2011:

The Tree of Life
Drive
Margaret
Immortals
Battle Los Angeles
Meek’s Cutoff
Your Highness
Hugo Cabaret
Super 8
Contagion
Haywire
The Adjustment Bureau
Transformers 3
Cowboys & Aliens
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Source Code
The Ides of March
The Descendants
The War Horse
The Beaver
Rampart
Take This Waltz
Pirates 4
Captain America
Thor
The Hangover 2
Happy Feet 2
Hanna
Young Adult
One Day
Jane Eyre
The Eagle

What am I missing?

Friday, December 24, 2010

MOVIES FOR THE WEEKEND

True Grit today at 11:30am.  Should make for a nice early x-mas present.

From Netflix is the acclaimed French prison film A Prophet.

Just watched Easy A a few nights ago -- cute, funny, harmless fluff.  Emma Stone was terrific and I can see why she's the object of desire for so many casting agents/directors. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

SWAN POWER

Can't stop thinking about Darren Aronofsky's masterpiece Black Swan -- for any number of reasons.  I am still putting together a formal review, but I know that multiple viewings will be required to truly dissect this amazingly powerful cinematic creation.  Matthew Libatique's stunning cinematography in tandem with some extremely clever visual effects help contribute to a general atmosphere of dread, anxiety, and unease.  Melding a pyschosexual thriller with the melodramatic tale of a mentally and physically tapped ballerina losing her mind over her art, Black Swan is an unsettling and unforgettable film, powered by a bravura lead performance by Nathalie Portman and fantastic supporting work from Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, and Vincent Cassell.  I can't wait to delve into this mysterious, sexy, and brilliant piece of work again and again.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

HO-HO-HO

Aside from Airplane!, Bad Santa is arguably the funniest movie ever created.  And the director's cut is even more deranged and offensive.  Merry X-Mas and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

UPDATED: TOP 10 OF 2010

Enter the Void
Carlos
127 Hours
Black Swan
The American
Valhalla Rising
Inception
The Social Network
Never Let Me Go
Cyrus

Major titles from 2010 left to see before I can officially call it a year:  True Grit, Rabbit Hole, and The King's Speech.  Blue Valentine, The Way Back and Somewhere are also of definite interest but I doubt they'll open theatrically in my area.

BLACK & BLUE

Tron: Legacy was only O.K. for me. Daft Punk’s musical score was ridiculously amazing (I'll be buying it this week) and the art direction/architectural design aspects of the movie were very unique and eye-catching, but overall, the movie didn't do a ton for me as a whole. Olivia Wilde is very hot and alluring but I thought Garrett Hedlund, the lead, was average at best.  Michael Sheen completely stole the show as an over the top nightclub owner how knows more than he lets on.  And while it was fun to see Jeff Bridges hamming it up in dual roles (the eerie looking de-aged version of Bridges was a neat trick), everything had a weightless/soulless quality which resulted in a “who gives a shit?” mindset while I watched.   Maybe that was the point considering the all-digital-environment that the characters were living in, but something tells me it wasn't. It probably had more to do with the fact that the screenplay was a disaster of half-formed ideas and notions, and that nothing was ever adequately or sensibly explained.  This is director Joseph Kosinski's first feature film and it clearly showed.  Coming from the world of commercials and architecture, it’s clear that he’s got a sharp, lightning-quick visual sensibility, and some of the big action set-pieces definitely left an impression.  It’s just that literally everything else in the film fell short. The dialogue was painfully on the nose and the multiple/endless scenes of exposition made similar scenes in Michael Bay's output look like quiet moments out of an Antonioni film. It's the kind of movie were bong hits or a nice gel tab of acid would improve everything.  All that said, I was never bored, the sound design was fucking tremendous, and there were enough money shots for me to recommend it to hard-core sci-fi fans. The blue/black/gray color design with bold swatches of neon orange and yellow were very interesting and unlike anything I've ever seen. It's just that the whole endeavor seemed more like a piece of video/concept art that you'd see in the bowels of the Getty Museum than a fully fleshed-out feature film.  It’s almost as if Kosinski showed a pre-viz version of the light-cycle chase to Disney execs, and then the execs green-lit the film based on that one piece of action, under the mandate that they do 5 or 6 similar scenes, and then fill the rest with techno mumbo-jumbo that nobody in the audience will be able to understand much less make sense of.  When in doubt, confuse your audience, and then pummel them with shiny colors and flashing lights.  Tron: Legacy will work for you if your desire is to see some cool shit on an Imax screen.  Don’t expect anything more.

NO GUTS...NO GLORY...

The Fighter is a total triumph. Christian Bale, as a crack-addicted boxing coach, is worth all the hype, but  Mark Wahlberg, starring as boxer Micky Ward,  is every bit his equal. Wahlberg clearly excels while working with director David O. Russell (they previously teamed on Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees) and it's clear from frame one that this is Wahlberg’s passion project. It's the least idiosyncratic movie that Russell has directed (he debuted with Spanking the Monkey and then followed with the brilliant black-comedy Flirting with Disaster) but switching it up a bit thematically and stylistically was probably a good move for him; he definitely showed that he’s got solid commercial chops and that he can stay focused with a concise story. The film also has some huge and unexpected doses of humor (mostly at the expense of the broadly drawn characterizations that comprise Ward’s white-trashy sisters) that really had me laughing out loud. It's a very solid piece of work on all fronts, and it'll be a tough movie for people to walk out of and say that they didn't like it or that it was bad. You might not like the brutality of boxing, you might not want to have your face rubbed in the low-class-Lowell-grit-'n-slime for two hours, and sure, most of the beats in the script are predictable, but it's got such a rousing finish and the story is so quintessentially American (who doesn’t love a second, sometimes third chance in life?), I don't think there's any question that it gets a best picture nomination. The acting across the board was so strong and persuasive that in tandem with the sharp and believable dialogue, the obviousness of some of story receded into the back of my mind.  The Fighter has a somewhat traditional boxing movie story trajectory but everything is spiced up by the gritty, lived-in atmosphere and by the Ward family’s rough and tumble dynamics.  Because at the end of the day, what makes The Fighter so effective are the characters on display, and the actors bringing them to life.  It’s a crime that Bale has yet to get an Oscar (he should have won for American Psycho) but it seems impossible that he’ll lose this year…his work is Method to the extreme and unbelievably powerful.  He’s able to make you love him despite his character’s many, many weaknesses and faults, and the brotherly chemistry that he shares with Wahlberg pumps up every scene.  Amy Adams and Melissa Leo are obvious supporting actress contenders for their terrific work, and again, it needs to be said – without Wahlberg’s sensitive and quietly observed performance, the film would be without anchor.  It's his best overall performance since Boogie Nights and it's something that he should be very proud of.    

Friday, December 17, 2010

THIS WILL BE GREAT

MOVIES FOR THE WEEKEND

Tron: Legacy Saturday morning in 3-D Imax.

The Fighter late Saturday afternoon.

Black Swan 1st show Sunday morning.

Huuuuuuge weekend of moviegoing...

Just sent back the slightly disappointing Micmacs to Netflix...not entirely sure what ships today for delivery tomorrow...

Monday, December 13, 2010

WHAT'S IN THE QUEUE?


Shipping tomorrow: Micmacs

Followed by:

Easy A
Map of the Sounds of Tokyo
Restrepo
A Prophet
Three Monkeys
Reprise
Barking Dogs Never Bite
Paris
The Secret in Their Eyes
Memories of Murder
Silent Light
Revanche
Red Road
Altered States

ANNOUNCED & PRE-ORDERABLE

THIS WEEK'S BLU

I really enjoyed Ben Affleck's sophomore directorial offering The Town, which hits Blu Ray this Friday. I'm definitely interested to see how an extra 20 or so minutes (Affleck has created a director's cut) fleshes out the already engrossing film I saw last October.  One thing's for sure -- those car chases and shoot-outs are gonna rock my surround sound system.

UPCOMING EYE-CANDY

Friday, December 10, 2010

MOVIES FOR THE WEEKEND

Sadly, I'll be waiting for The Tourist to hit Blu Ray as opposed to seeing it in the theater.  I just can't bring myself to spend $16 on a movie that has a Rottentomatoes score of less than 30% (as of last night).  And to be honest, there's no fucking excuses as to why the extremely talented group of Depp, Jolie, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others), and writers Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie) & Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park, The Young Victoria) couldn't and shouldn't have knocked this type of supposed entertainment outta the park.  Set in Italy with Jolie acting all sorts of extra-hot-glamorous and Depp playing a "regular-joe" for the first time in eons, I was really excited to get whisked away by some international intrigue and speed-boat chases.  I guess not this time.

From Netflix is Olivier Assayas's (Carlos, Boarding Gate, Irma Vep) French family drama Summer HoursCarlos is a masterpiece, and the second best film from 2010, so it's now my mission to track down all of Assayas's previous films unseen by me and give them a watch; those titles include: Clean, Demonlover, Les Destinees, and Late August, Early September.

Next week will be a busy one: Black Swan (fucking-A-finally!), The Fighter, and Tron: Legacy in
3-D/Imax.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

3-D BAYHEM

My eyeballs will likely fall out of their sockets next summer...

OH FO SHOW

The genre-blending of this film makes me weak in the knees...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

MOVIES FOR THE WEEKEND

Nothing in the theaters this weekend, as, well, there's really nothing to see.  Black Swan opens but only in limited release...Aronofsky's latest can't get to CT soon enough...

From Netflix is the acclaimed foreign film Mother from the director of The Host, a film I quite enjoyed.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

INCHING CLOSER

BOUND TO BE EPIC

Picnic at Hanging Rock.  The Truman Show.  Witness.  Master & Commander.  Peter Weir doesn't mess around.