Friday, April 23, 2010
27. "The House Bunny"
You know what you're going to get with this movie but it's not so bad. Yes, the writing and premise and soundtrack and camerawork is formulaic and blah, but Anna Faris is hard to hate. In fact, she's great. I loved her in this film. She carried through with the dumb, innocent ditz throughout and we're all the better for it. Sometimes you want to eat candy for dinner.
26. "We Live In Public"
I sure did enjoy Nine Inch Nails' "The Fragile" and this film reminded me of that. The use of their music was perfect to illustrate the 1999 internet boom.
Josh Harris is crazy. He's a genius but insane. He didn't get hugged enough. He needed more Mr. Rogers in his diet. It would have given him some perspective, the kind that tells you that it's not nice to interrogate people and film everything for no end. It's not art. It's selfish. No one wins. "We Live In Public" is a wonderful documentary with many messages, one of which is no one wins when there's no privacy.
I'm not giving this film enough credit. Watch it. If you liked "Dig!" you'll like this. If you're slightly leery of things like Four Square, see this film.
While not awful, this stylized and quiet indie felt like an excuse to see Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried topless.
Chloe, played by Seyfried, is a prostitute. She tells and does things people want for money. Catherine, played by Moore, is a gynecologist that believes her professor husband, played by Liam Neeson, is cheating on her. Catherine hires Chloe to see if her husband will take the bait. Lovers quarrels and general unpleasantness ensue. It's not my cup of tea.
All the performances are excellent. It's just the story didn't do much for me. The story is ambitious in scope and wants the viewer to think. It did not make me think.
24. "Whatever Works"
"I saw the abyss."
"Don't worry, we'll watch something else."
"She had a high IQ and a low cut dress."
Whether or not you like Woody Allen as a filmmaker shouldn't take away from his great writing. The man is a genius with a pen. With a camera, he's hit or not as big of a hit. "Whatever Works" is not as big of a hit. Larry David plays a role Allen would have if he wanted. I think Larry David played a better Woody Allen then Allen. I enjoyed David's ire more than Allen's neurosis. Coffee vs tea. You just like what you like.
The story isn't great. David lets a homeless teenager stay over one night. She's a rube and he's a genius. They fall in love, get married, things fall apart, NYC plays a big role, talk about baseball, art. sex, etc. It's exactly what you think it will be. It's not bad.
Older directors should not get to name "young bands". I have a theory that the older you get the more you associate loud rock music with anal rape.
23. 2010 Oscar Shorts
One of the nice things about the Brew and View is you'll see things like the Oscar shorts, the short films nominated for Academy Awards. It's a treat to see such neat little packages of art on the big screen.
See this program if you can. All of the shorts have something to offer. If you have children this would be a perfect introduction to independent animated film.
22. "Youth In Revolt"
I don't mind watching Michael Cera in everything. He's hard to hate. Sadly, he hasn't been in many good films.
The story is bad, the direction seems aimless, there are some laugh out loud jokes but more duds, yet it's not completely awful. I think it has more to do with the performances. Yea, the story is absurd in a boring way and the film plods along, but Cera's two performances are fun. It's a fun movie that I will not remember. Still didn't like it.
21. "Sherlock Holmes"
Guy Ritchie knows how to shoot a fight scene. He does not know how to light, edit, capture great performances, etc. He's not necessarily bad at these things, just not great. Maybe he does know how to do it well and just chooses to make fights look neat.
I saw this at Brew and View. It was a good experience.
Friday, April 09, 2010
17. "Under Great White Northern Lights"
The White Stripes are the most important American band of the 00 decade. They revitalized the blues/garage sound, inspiring kids across the world to play guitar (which to me is the best thing anyone with an instrument can do). Their simple songs blah, blah, blah. If you follow rock and roll know the importance of this band. If you like their music you'll like this "documentary" (I use quotes because the band released it and obviously had final say and what went in and there's no talk of their former marriage, Meg's anxiety, the cancellation of the rest of the tour, etc.) If you're not a casual listener, you will like this film. If you aren't into bluesy rock guitar, stay away.
16. "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men"
I wanted to like this film. I did not. Rather than just attack, here are some things I did enjoy.
-The cast was great. A good mix of comedic talent and two well delivered performances from major players in "The Wire".
That's about it. It just didn't work. I put off writing this because I thought I would enjoy it more with distance. That did not happen. I think I now loathe this film.
Sam Rockwell should have been nominated for Best Actor for this role. I couldn't imagine anyone else in this role and that is a very rare thing.
"Moon" is a film about the self. Who we are, what we represent, what we hope for, etc. It happens to be set on the moon. See it.
14. "Shutter Island"
What a great adaptation of a very solid book. The only reason I can muster for people disliking this film is it's not a nice, little package. Scorsese doesn't tell you that everything is going to be ok/make sense, and there's no getting around that. You either accept the reality or leave the theater perturbed. I did not.
Sunday, April 04, 2010
2. "Shutter Island"
My friends Amy and Chuck gave me this book to read around Christmas. They said it would be a good, quick read. It was a good read but I wasn't so quick. I enjoyed this book immensely but would have loved it I consumed it in one week. It made the film better. Read it.