Thursday, January 22, 2015

Election (1999) ****

Sharp, merciless satire is perfectly cast and perfectly executed. Hilarious and profoundly sad often at the same time. Brilliant film.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Paul Thomas Anderson Reveals the Secrets of 'Inherent Vice' | Rolling Stone

"You can go big, or you can just do a lot of close-ups.

"There are a lot of close-ups in Inherent Vice, aren't there? It wasn't by design, but right here [holds hand in front of his face] always seemed to be the best place to be. You know, a lot of these locations, there's not much else to look at. They're kind of dingy little motel rooms and apartments and stuff, so. . . . Plus, what's better than a Jena Malone close-up? Not much. Pretty high on the list of great things."

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he's joking. I mean, he HAS to be joking, right? RIGHT?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) ***

Effective mashup of Groundhog Day and Aliens unfortunately goes for the Hollywood ending when they had a terrific, poignant and meaningful one already. It's still a great ride to get there and Cruise's best picture in years.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

George Lucas details plans to make, but not release, two new films | Hero Complex – movies, comics, pop culture – Los Angeles Times

“'The way [the films] are, they’re not really movies that can be released,' Lucas said of his upcoming projects during a recent phone call from New York City, where he was promoting 'Strange Magic.' 'They’re movies more for myself and maybe I’ll show them to some of my friends.

“'It costs more to put them out there than it does to make ‘em,' he continued. 'These are movies that are never going to make any money or anything.'”

Whatever happened to George Lucas? I mean, how did he become such an idiot? If anything, it is EASIER to distribute a film nowadays than ever before. What he is talking about is major studio distribution which is essentially marketing and so riddled with bloat and corruption. But with a little imagination and effort, films can be distributed directly to theatres quite easily since they're all digital now. I don't think European filmmakers have the same concerns.

Foxcatcher (2014) **

Another in the despicable "based on a true story" genre that changes those true events to fit "the requirements of narrative". Aside from that the film is too long and drawn out but features 3 transformative lead performances that are all excellent and worth seeing.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Inherent Vice (2014) *

Apparently you are either on this film's wavelength or you're not. I was not. I could not make sense of the plot, and that's not always necessary, but it is necessary that it appears as though the plot (or whatever the protagonist is doing) makes SOME sort of logical sense even if that logic only exists in the film's world. Otherwise, unless the actors/characters are especially charismatic (not in this case), the viewer tends not to care. Plus I don't like films that are almost exclusively shot in closeups.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunset Blvd. (1950) ****

Deliciously creepy smack down of behind-the-scenes Hollywood. Iconic performances by Swanson and von Stroheim and a script that still surprises 60+ years later.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Australian actor Rod Taylor dead at 84: Legendary star suffers a heart attack at LA home | dailytelegraph.com.au

“I couldn’t live without it. And I don’t do it just for money. I love it. It is an honorable art. I am proud to be an actor. I pray and try every day to be a better actor. ... I am a poor student sitting at the feet of giants, yearning for their wisdom and begging for lessons that might one day make me a complete artist, so that if all goes well, I may one day sit beside them.”