Monday, November 12, 2018

Jeremiah Johnson (1972) ***

Exceptional flick marred by an obnoxiously intrusive score. Pollack's most beautifully shot and composed film.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) *

Bad CGI fest masquerading as fantasy. Unfortunate because the art direction is pretty good.

Camille Paglia:It’s Time for a New Map of the Gender World - Quillette

My substitute for religion is art, which I have expanded to include all of popular culture. But when art is reduced to politics, as has been programmatically done in academe for 40 years, its spiritual dimension is gone. It is coarsely reductive to claim that value in the history of art is always determined by the power plays of a self-referential social elite. I take Marxist social analysis seriously: Arnold Hauser’s Marxist, multi-volume A Social History of Art (1951) was a major influence on me in graduate school. However, Hauser honored art and never condescended to it. A society that respects neither religion nor art cannot be called a civilization.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) *

Laughably cliched and simple minded biopic of Queen, focusing on the trials and tribulations of Mr. Mercury who was quite the annoying diva.

Personal Best (1982) **

So-so sports flick, notable for using some actual athletes in major roles (very well) and manages to avoid a few relationship cliches but not all unfortunately. Nice shots of SLO in the 70's, and it's interesting to see what premier athletes looked like back then (NOT bulked up).

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Hall Of Fame Slugger Willie McCovey Dies At Age 80 : NPR

McCovey was nicknamed "Stretch" because his height at 6-foot-4. Left-handed throwing made him a natural at first base. He was best known for his 521 career home runs, 18 of which were grand slams — the most by any player who spent his career exclusively in the National League. McCovey was the National League's home run leader three times and RBI king twice in his 22-season career. He played 13 of those years on the Giants with teammate Willie Mays and together they formed one of the most powerful hitting duos in baseball history.

He hit one of the longest home runs I've ever seen into the high upper deck of right field in Busch Stadium II. Always thrilling to watch him at bat.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Under the Volcano (1984) **

Huston can be TOO literal in his adaptations and this time it doesn't come together. Great cast, beautiful pictures, evocative production.

Third Finger, Left Hand (1940) **

Droll rom-com more interesting for the glimpse into the mores of pre-war, almost post Depression New Yorkers.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Old Man & the Gun (2018) *

Even for a Redford fan, the sheer volume and intensities of the close ups is overwhelming. Yet, except for him there isn't much to write home about here. Very disappointing.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Demon Seed (1977) **

Features a superlative performance by the luminous Ms. Christie, but the rest of the picture is kind of silly.

The Immortal Story (TV Movie 1968) **

Beautifully shot, a bit too languorously paced, an intellectual exercise that never fully becomes real, which is kind of the point of the narrative.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Othello (1951) ***

Able to surmount the apparent production difficulties, the performances and production design carry the day. Imaginatively directed by Welles.