Friday, June 29, 2012

Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)**
This film has a lot of truthful and serious things to say about human relationships. Unfortunately it's trying to be a comedy and failing miserably. If you think about it, it's a good film. But the actual watching of it is not entertaining or enjoyable, even with a stunning Kim Novak.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)****
It's like a live animated film. You get the feeling that every blade of grass was selected specifically by Wes Anderson, it is that controlled of a film. Kind of a romanticized remembering of a childhood dream or feeling.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)****
It has its flaws (Sinatra, miscast Laurence Harvey, heavy close-ups) but enough interesting quirks to make it special.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Some Facts, Insights Into The Whole Discussion Of 'Ethics' And Music Business Models | Techdirt:
"No one has ever had a 'right' to make money from what they create. They have a right to try to do so. And many people have figured out how to do so under the current system. Those complaining don't seem to understand that you don't just get to sit back and have people give you money. You have to work at it, every day. That's the lesson Amanda Palmer provided everyone with her massively successful fundraising. She didn't raise that money based on any 'ethical' arguments or anything having to do with copyright at all. In fact, she's explained how infringement has always helped her. She's able to do that because she works hard every single day to not just create great music, but to connect with her fans at a very deep level. She doesn't scold her fans -- she celebrates them. And because of that, she can make a ton of money and her fans love her for it."

via Boing Boing

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thunderball (1965)**
Can't recall another mainstream picture with so much underwater photography. Trouble is most of the action takes place there. Laughable villain.
Goldfinger (1964)***
Bond hits his stride in this stylish, gadget-filled caper. Set the mold for future Bonds. Great Shirley Bassey theme song.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Innocent (1993)**
Graham Greene-ish melodrama set in 1950's era Berlin with spies and counter spies trying to one up each other. Anthony Hopkins is fun playing an American but Campbell Scott doesn't have enough star power in the lead to overcome a too long script.
Certified Copy (2010)****
Smart, stylish, compelling introspection on originality, truth, relationships, you name it. Gets to the painful truth of all of it. Juliette Binoche is astounding.
White House refuses to reveal ties with Monsanto — RT:
"Michael Taylor, a former attorney for the US Department of Agriculture and lobbyist for Monsanto, was recently appointed to a federal role as the deputy commissioner for foods at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since then, the FDA shot down requests from consumer protection groups to label genetically modified products as such. With a White House-Monsanto connection already established with the appointment of Taylor, PEER and others are interested in what other ties could exist between the two."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vertigo (1958)****
Superb film with Hitchcock working all the buttons at his disposal. Kim Novak's performance gets better each time I see it, especially when she's the brunette. ;-)
The Rules of the Game (1939)***
Some nifty camera work, sharp dialogue, and a very modern sensibility elevates this dramady of manners among the elites and their underlings in pre-war France. Compare and contrast with Gosford Park.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)*
Also known as "Extremely Long & Incredibly Annoying". The epitome of "ham-fisted". Makes a Steven Spielberg flick look like "Last Year At Marienbad". Get the drift? If you like being hit over the head with a sledge hammer, repeatedly, this is your movie.

Monday, June 11, 2012

From Russia with Love (1963)**
Second Bond picture is an improvement over the first, but that's not saying much. Still, this one has Robert Shaw and a terrific, iconic score by John Barry.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Champagne for Caesar (1950)**
Starts out as broad satire, settles into a rom-com vibe and ends with a thud. Strange in a bad way.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Stage Fright (1950)***
Lots of interesting shots and sequences in this "minor" Hitchcock murder mystery. A fine cast, particularly Marlene Dietrich and Alistair Sim, with the notable exception of Jane Wyman, who sticks out like a sore thumb.
The Andromeda Strain (1971)****
The kind of sci-fi film they don't make any more, probably because it's not based on a comic book, I mean "graphic novel". Sharp direction from anti-auteur Robert Wise.
Dr. No (1962)**
More interesting as an historical artifact than film, this "action" flick is quite dull now with only Ursula Andress providing any spark. Too bad she arrives late in the picture.
Smile (1975)***
Not as sharp as The Candidate or The Bad News Bears, but still a fine portrait of American delusions from Michael Ritchie.