Friday, February 26, 2010

What a great cast

12. "The Invention of Lying"
The first thirty minutes of this film are near perfect. Joke after joke works. A great mix of cynical, smart stuff with broad jokes that would work on a Comedy Central airing at any hour. Then it gets a little weaker. And weaker. Still a great movie, but not at the cult classic it looked like it would become.

I will now watch the entire UK "The Office" and regret not following Gervais ten years ago.

I am the sucker

11. "Julie & Julia"
Nora Ephron is an awful writer. It's insufferable. A waste of great actors. Also, anyone over forty should not use the word blog or have a blog be a major plot point.

This movie sets back feminism.

Watching people laugh and eat food and laugh about eating food is boring.

I shouldn't write about films while watching them. I seem to want to toss this computer through the television. I want to do that now, around minute 40, because Julie can't kill a lobster. Three lobsters. And Talking Heads are playing. Fuck this. Fuck everything about this. I can not finish this thing without drinking and I don't want to drink.

The only thing that makes this worth watching are the performances of Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci. They're great, like always, like they were in "The Devil Wears Prada".

Amy Adams, why have you forsaken us? Don't you know budgets kill careers. Go back to the small sets of "Junebug" and "Doubt". We all know you're one of the best actors of this generation.

Oh, fuck this. Any movie that explains PayPal should not be watched. I'm done.

I know that place!

10. "Public Enemies"
Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I don't know it I would have enjoyed this two hour and twenty minute film if I didn't live in Chicago, but I do, so I did.

Mann's 2009 film about, well, some stuff (What exactly is the plot? I didn't really sense one but it didn't matter) about John Dillinger was shot on HD cameras instead of 35 mm. While this isn't revolutionary, it's definitely different than the majority of films made about gangsters in the 30s. Mann's directing really wasn't about the actors but about where the camera was pointing. It's an aesthetic that you either love or hate. I happened to love it.

Could this film have been shorter? Sure. At least twenty minutes aren't needed. It didn't bother me. The style was so pleasant I could've watched another hour without getting bored.

I have a feeling this film will be re-examined in ten years or so and we'll all come to the consensus that it was a lot better than first thought. Mann's style will be copped for other big budget time pieces. It's too inventive not to.

Remember when she got lead roles?

9. "The Truth About Cats and Dogs"
Another laundry movie (a film on network television in the middle of a weekend day that I watch while folding laundry). Another piece of something that makes me sad.

Mookie's lament part 2

8. "The 25th Hour"
A great Spike Lee joint. Ed Norton plays a man about to go to jail. We spend roughly 24-hours with the man before the life he knows ends. Set in New York City in the summer of 2002, the 9/11 attacks play a large role in the tone of this film. Could it be made today? Yea, but it would feel tacked on. See this film.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Please come to the live podcast this Monday at the Hungry Brain. After this recording, I will no longer refer to the event as a live podcast. It sounds boring and it's not. It's like a talk show. It is a talk show. Prizes are given out. Games are played. Fun times.

February 22

You, Me, Them, Everybody Live Podcast Recording with Brandon Wetherbee and Esmeralda Leon, guests Scott Smith, Alex White, Francis White, a special set from White Mystery, stand-up from Brendan McGowan, music from Jeremy Tromburg and more

Hungry Brain
2319 W Belmont, Chicago, IL
Doors at 8pm, 21+, no cover


7. "Mystery Team"
I felt like an asshole watching this film. It's a great indie film with a story that's delightful. The lead, Donald Glover ("Community"), is charming and funny. The other guys in the troupe compliment him well. Aubrey Plaza ("Parks and Recreation," an excellent choice for Daria if a live action film ever happens) has taken the place of Elizabeth Banks as the indie comedy dream girl. Bobby Moynihan ("SNL") steals every scene he's in. I like a lot about this film. I did not like my experience. Why is that? How can someone like what's on the screen but not leave the theater happy? Well, it's quite easy. All you have to do is have a bias against people that enjoy things.

I saw this film at a midnight screening at the Music Box. The majority of the crowd appeared to be superfans of Derrick Comedy, the troupe behind the film. They laughed at exposition. They acted like stereotypical comedy nerds. Before seeing this film I knew nothing about Derrick Comedy. After seeing this film I was not interested in learning any more. Sure, the jokes are good, but I did not enjoy the company of their fans.

In other words, the film is good and I'm a judgmental prick.

Guitar is annoying

6. "It Might Get Loud"
If you don't play guitar and/or aren't obsessed with Jack White, U2 or Zeppelin, do not see this film. I finished it because I was putting away laundry.

Not starring Kevin Bacon

5. "Up In the Air"
Technically this film is great. Every shot, every line, every camera movement, is perfect. But it didn't move me. I'm not alone in this. It's my fault I don't love it but I have no idea why.

Tony and I will be discussing this film in depth on the YMTE Oscar preview episode.

It's gettin' heavy

4. "The Hurt Locker"
It deserves to win Best Picture. I want "Up" to win but we all know that ain't gonna happen. So it's between this and "Avatar," a film I haven't seen. Whatever. I liked the ambition. I liked the story. I liked the weight. See it.

I have a feeling this film will be in most 100 level film classes for the next thirty years. That's a good thing.