Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) *

Peter Jackson can REALLY stretch out a scene. The film is bloated, repetitive and heavy handed. The entire trilogy would have been a terrific single film. As it is, it's a sprawling mess.

Alice (1990) ***

Wonderfully designed and sumptuously shot fable about getting outside your comfort zone for true happiness. Great cast, typical Woody film (and that's a good thing).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert? What It Means For Your Career | Fast Company | Business Innovation

"Introverted people are known for thinking things through before they speak, enjoying small, close groups of friends and one-on-one time, needing time alone to recharge, and being upset by unexpected changes or last-minute surprises. Introverts are not necessarily shy and may not even avoid social situations, but they will definitely need some time alone or just with close friends or family after spending time in a big crowd."

Monday, December 08, 2014

September (1987) ***

Apparently Woody doesn't think too much of this film, but it's another well written, acted and shot Chekovian study of (again, white elite) people and the secrets and lies they keep to avoid despair.

Interiors (1978) ***

Gorgeous looking examination of an insular elite family of upper crust New Yorkers and the havoc wreaked by the patriarch's divorce and remarriage. Well written and acted but doesn't quite reach universality although some of the characters are exceptionally well drawn.

Friday, December 05, 2014

The Police in America Are Becoming Illegitimate | Rolling Stone

"This policy of constantly badgering people for trifles generates bloodcurdling anger in 'hot spot' neighborhoods with industrial efficiency. And then something like the Garner case happens and it all comes into relief. Six armed police officers tackling and killing a man for selling a 75-cent cigarette.

"That was economic regulation turned lethal, a situation made all the more ridiculous by the fact that we no longer prosecute the countless serious economic crimes committed in this same city. A ferry ride away from Staten Island, on Wall Street, the pure unmolested freedom to fleece whoever you want is considered the sacred birthright of every rake with a briefcase.

"If Lloyd Blankfein or Jamie Dimon had come up with the concept of selling loosies, they'd go to their graves defending it as free economic expression that 'creates liquidity' and should never be regulated."

Random Harvest (1942) **

Well done weepie with excellent lead performances although Colman seems a bit too old for the part.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Front (1976) **

Never quite manages to rise above its contrived origins and Woody is miscast, but the great Zero Mostel is so good he almost pulls it off.

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Time Traveler's Wife (2009) *

Maybe Terrence Malick could have done something with the source material but this literal adaptation just does not work.

Fedora (1978) **

The story is just not as emotion packed as the director thinks it is and the actors just aren't capable of providing the difference. A little too "inside Hollywood".

Ida (2013) ***

Tightly paced, crisply shot in black and white, a portrait of human beings pushed to the brink of despair and sometimes beyond. Difficult, but well made and often profound.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Case for Policing Reform Is Much Bigger Than Michael Brown - The Atlantic

"As a longtime proponent of sweeping reforms to the criminal justice system, I'm extremely apprehensive of the impulse to treat the killing of Michael Brown as a focal rallying point, even granting that the case has mobilized people and attention. His death is a perfect illustration of the need for dashboard cameras on every patrol vehicle and lapel cameras on every police officer in America. The way officials in Ferguson reacted to the protests over his death did illustrate the alarming militarization of U.S. police agencies. But when it comes to the problem of police officers using excessive force, including lethal force, against people they encounter, there are scores of cases that better illustrate the problem."