Monday, March 02, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) **

Watchable but oddly un-erotic and un-romantic depiction of what ostensibly should be an erotic romance. Uninspired casting.

Belle (2013) - **

Bland period piece depicting sexist and racist English cultural rubrics of the 18th century. Film assumes its noble purpose is all that matters.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Marathon Man (1976) **

It's really well put together, Sir Larry and Dusty give "A" list performances, Marthe is lovely, NYC looks gritty and grimy in that awesome '70's way, but the implausibility of it all is too much in the end. Still, it's worth seeing if only to be reminded of a time when only the bad guys used torture.

Monday, February 23, 2015

'Arrested Development' Season 5 Air Date: What's In Store For Next Installment?

“Right now I’m cutting a version of season four that tells it chronologically,” said Hurwitz in an interview with Pretentious Film Majors. “There’s more of a story that has to be told somehow, and we’ve got the whole story broken. Season four was always meant to be like act one of a three-act structure.”

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Solo con tu pareja (1991) *

Disappointing first feature from otherwise talented director Alfonso Cuaron is ostensibly a rom-com/sex farce but it's lit like a dour crime drama, not funny and not the least romantic.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Miller's Crossing (1990) ***

Typically solid Coen's production doesn't soar to the heights of some of their other films, but it's still packed with smart and witty scenes and some terrific supporting performances.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) ****

How to do an action/fantasy film right. One of the greats.

The Humbling (2014) **

It's always Pacino you're watching, but he's interesting to watch plus he has excellent support from Greta Gerwig. Opens and closes a lot like another film but without the same panache.

Jupiter Ascending (2015) **

Overlong, repetitive and predictable, this grand space opera does have a handful of superb action sequences that break the over-cut, shaky-cam approach of most action films these days. Excellent art direction, makeup, costumes it's just not quite there in terms of compelling narrative or compelling leads.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Letter To The Millennials — Medium

So one of the things I want to teach you about is a time from 1965–1980 when the artists really ruled both the music and the film industries. Some said "the lunatics had taken over the asylum” (and, amusingly enough, David Geffen named his record company Asylum), but if you look at the quality of work that was produced, it was extraordinary; in fact, most of it is still watched and listened to today. Moreover, in that period the most artistic work also sold the best: The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper was without doubt the best record of the year but also the best selling, and The Godfather was similarly both best movie of the year and the biggest box office hit. That’s not happening right now, and I want to try to understand why that is.

Aside from the subjective distinction about what constitutes "the most artistic work", during that period (65-80) the artists and the majority of the public were the same generation. It was because the Baby Boomers numbers were so huge they were, and still are, the primary market force. Today, Boomers don't go the movies very often (or buy as much music) but Millenials do it's just that their numbers are nowhere near as large as the Boomers so they are a market force, just not on the scale of the Boomers' heyday. Great movies and music are still being made today, arguably better than ever, but the market is much more diverse than ever so to be a "best seller" the movie/song has to be appreciated by all segments and that usually spells "artistic" disaster.

Note: Starting with this post, excerpts from the linked content will be shown in Italics at the top of the post.