Monday, July 04, 2016

The Big Short (2015) **

Making a watchable film that stays remarkably faithful to its non-fiction source material is no small feat but it's not something I want to see again.

The Conjuring 2 (2016) **

Effective jump-scare flick with some distractingly bad '70's period cliches (I don't recall the plethora of awful sweaters and sideburns). Nice to see some underused talent get some screen time.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Rock the Kasbah (2015) *

Another movie that takes an actual non-white, non-male person's hard fought battle and turns it into a story about a white male's struggle to redeem himself. Reprehensible AND a waste of a top notch cast. Incredibly cliched script including, but not limited to, a hooker with a heart of gold.

The Rewrite (2014) **

Watchable thanks to an appealing and adept cast but the director keeps piling on the cliches to its detriment. Hugh Grant is actually quite good in this weak romcom.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Love & Friendship (2016) ***

A period piece/romcom impeccably cast and performed, well directed by Whit Stillman. Clever, subtle, beautiful.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Festival Drops Band Whose Drummer Supported Brock Turner

“I don’t think it’s fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn’t remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him,” Rasmussen wrote in a letter, obtained by The Cut, to Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky. “I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn’t right. But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists.”

Yikes where does one even BEGIN with such statements? Basic logic doesn't stand a chance. We must remember though, she IS a drummer. ;-)

How Did Consciousness Evolve? - The Atlantic

Consider an unlikely thought experiment. If you could somehow attach an external speech mechanism to a crocodile, and the speech mechanism had access to the information in that attention schema in the crocodile’s wulst, that technology-assisted crocodile might report, “I’ve got something intangible inside me. It’s not an eyeball or a head or an arm. It exists without substance. It’s my mental possession of things. It moves around from one set of items to another. When that mysterious process in me grasps hold of something, it allows me to understand, to remember, and to respond.”

The crocodile would be wrong, of course. Covert attention isn’t intangible. It has a physical basis, but that physical basis lies in the microscopic details of neurons, synapses, and signals. The brain has no need to know those details. The attention schema is therefore strategically vague. It depicts covert attention in a physically incoherent way, as a non-physical essence. And this, according to the theory, is the origin of consciousness. We say we have consciousness because deep in the brain, something quite primitive is computing that semi-magical self-description. Alas crocodiles can’t really talk. But in this theory, they’re likely to have at least a simple form of an attention schema.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Dame Helen Mirren: 'I love no longer being a sex symbol'

‘I have absolutely no beauty regime,’ she says in that perfectly modulated, husky voice. ‘I sunbathe – I know I shouldn’t but I love sitting in the sun. I drink wine and occasionally I’ll drink to excess. I eat French fries. I’ve never managed to go to the gym for longer than two months. I always forget to take my vitamins.

‘I’ve done everything but I haven’t done too much of anything – I’ve never had a Coca-Cola, ever. Sometimes I use hotel body lotion as conditioner for my hair. I’m not particular. Life is too short and too precious.’

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Roetemeyer, Joanne "Josie" - Kutis Funeral Home

Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going — Two simple happenings
That got entangled.
-- Kozan Ichikyo's Death Poem

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Good Dinosaur (2015) *

Unsettling combination of photo-realistic background animation (they have NAILED oceans, rivers, all things aquatic by the way) and Flintstones-style dinosaurs (who have developed language, agriculture and animal husbandry) in a by-the-numbers story. Disappointing from Pixar.

Bowfinger (1999) **

Some laughs especially in the first half, but falters badly in the second. Disappointing for Steve Martin.