Thursday, April 23, 2015

While We're Young (2014) ***

An intelligent and densely packed script is the highlight here. But Baumbach's insistence on casting Ben Stiller in the lead really hurts the film as well as his penchant for tight close-ups which hopefully is just an aberration. Reminiscent of parts of a certain Woody Allen film, although Baumbach would do better to imitate Allen's love of medium shots instead of his plots.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Babadook (2014) **

Well put together parenting fable is hamstrung by the fact that the kid IS truly supremely annoying so the "twist" can't come soon enough. Outstanding job by Essie Davis in the lead.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Imitation Game (2014) *

Another Hollywood-ized biopic (meaning characters/events invented, key characters/events ignored) using flashbacks seemingly willynilly to annoying effect especially when the real true story is more compelling. The only problem is real life is not an arc and people are not usually defined by one traumatic event in childhood. One more time, a simple thing to change names and/or completely invent a story and that way nobody gets hurt and we MAY end up with a decent film.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Across the Pacific (1942) *

Given the stellar pedigree this one's a big disappointment with very little style and not much to say other than WWII propaganda.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Kicking and Screaming (1995) ***

Pretty rough around the edges, but the actors sell it well especially the great Chris Eigeman. Early Noah Baumbach effort is strained at times but clearly shows the talent and the smarts.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

SPIEGEL Interview with John Cleese - SPIEGEL ONLINE

SPIEGEL: Somewhere in your book you call Terry Jones a "swarthy, excitable, plump, Celtic demi-dwarf." Apart from that, is everything okay between the two of you?

Cleese: We always fought, Terry and I, and we don't understand each other. But there's a genuine affection. We were playing two old women in the reunion show last year, and I don't know why, but we started holding hands before the lights came on. We disagree a lot. And Terry Gilliam has only said two things in his life that I agree with but there's still an affection. We all went in completely different directions after Monty Python. Eric went into music, Terry Gilliam directs movies -- he is wonderful at images, but not very good at narrative. Terry Jones does all sorts of things. Michael does a lot of programs about travel and painting. I don't know what I've done.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Paul McCartney defends Kanye West over use of racial slur - Daily Dish

McCartney also revealed his wife Nancy Shevell was less charitable over the performance, adding, “It really shocked Nancy, because she’d been to school with a lot of black kids and been immersed in that experience.”

Paul, Paul, Paul. Just say "Some of her best friends are..." instead.