Friday, November 24, 2006

The Fountain

It is a sad comment that an American director is tagged with "pretension" on his 3rd great film in a row. Did Kubrick deal with this scorn? Umm. Yep. Malick? That goes without saying...
Yet the stylish grind house romps of Tarentino--and not to denigrate his contribution-- are greeted with accolades of the highest order. The retread of Bond is somehow fresh and "Borat" a virtual cultural scholar.
God Forbid a director look beyond national borders and tackle the big stuff. Perhaps Aranofsky should have stopped during the last five years to read the reviews of "Solaris"---he could have thrown in the towel then and started on a made for TV Cop Show.
Ignore this film if you will, call it muddled if you have ADD, but don't pretend "Happy Feet" is all we have left. Aronfosky is an artist painting in film. When was the last time you went to a gallery? Put down the controller and read a book. Yes, I am angry as hell about the trashing this film is getting. I won't even talk about the trailer reveals, and you stay at home "connoisseurs", you deserve every inch of that plasma screen stuck where it hurts most.
This is a big screen film, and 60 don't cut it.
Clint Mansell, bravo! Mr Aronofsky, thank you.
A brilliant film.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bond is Brown

or, Leaving the Desert of the Real
Apparently "Bond Begins" is as good as the press says.
I wouldn't know, I left before the Title Credits "rolled" <--does a DLP projector roll film?"
I noticed the problem during the trailers: no red. The Coke bottle --because every theatre needs to show TV commercials--was brown.
This is opening night, 8pm show, packed house. I mention the color problem to the ever vigilant usher. "Wait until after the trailers" was the response. I said to my companion, I will walk if this is not fixed.
I walked.
Management offered me my money back.
A whole theatre of people watched brown blood cover the bullet iris and I was the only one who left.
Man this Big Mac tastes good.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Flushed Away

Terrific stuff here, "Flushed Away" by jaded critics. This is a complete shame. Outstanding clever animation, good soundtrack, and a Dreamworks distribution can't get America to bite. What a darn shame. It is, as the song says, "easy to be hard". Enjoy your "Click" and your "Bewitched" we are hardly worthy of the efforts of the Aardman Animation crew.
The "Wallace and Grommit" guys have switched to computer animation in a claymation style, and I can't help but wonder if the fire in their studio forced this move. They are none the worse for it however, in fact the computer seems to have freed them up to fill the screen to the very edges and beyond...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

The mockumentary bar has been raised. It is now safe to see a comedy in the theatre without fear of dropping 20 IQ points.
Borat is dead on, sophisticated satire painted in slapstick and cheap filmstock.
While America wages a pre-emptive strike against the enemy (you know, the ones against us) and builds a fence to keep our undocumented workers out the rest of the world stares agape at our xenophobic patriotism. Borat skewers the underlying inbred culture that got us here.

This movie provides nothing but a mirror, and it is shocking that he gets away with it..
See it now, and ponder the freedom we are willing to give away for security.

Flags of Our Fathers

The country has not embraced this movie, and yet it was made from the heart, and given to all of us.
With deceptively simple technique this movie tells the story of an iconic picture from an iconic war about the apparently iconic "Great Generation."
Clint Eastwood, no stranger to the director's chair, has now shown us the first half of his WW2 diptych. The second part is due soon, taking the same event from the perspective of the enemy--now our ally.
Music is important to Mr Eastwood, which may account for his film "Bird", and the tasteful restraint applied here, in "Flags of Our Fathers". The score is Period, minimal, and spot on.
What is more important to Eastwood, apparently, is getting it right. He has wrapped the ideaS of many books and films into 2 movies. Sections of this first film can be examined, deconstructed and absorbed days after viewing.
I did not leave the theatre dazed like I did "Apocalypse Now." I was not sick to my stomach like after "Saving Private Ryan", nor was I doe eyed with amazement a la "Thin Red Line". Instead I was introspective, mind on fire, sorting through the lessons and experiences that flow from this film unfiltered, like the emotion from the business end of Charlie Parker's saxophone...