Monday, April 30, 2007

Grindhouse

Did the Weinsteins really think that this was going to be a blockbuster? A three plus hour movie whose whole premise is based on glorifying a genre of films that not many people are even familiar with? This is what you're banking on? Wow.

That being said, I did like the movie. I would have liked it more if it had been an hour shorter. Three hours is a long time to sit through a movie like this. The Rodriguez film Planet Terror had its moments. It was a lot of fun. I loved the John Carpenter like soundtrack and the virus zombie plotline. Any movie that has a mom warn her son to be careful with the gun only to have the kid blow his face off in the next moment is A-Ok in my book. But, man, Quentino Tarantino did not need to be in this film for as long as he did. Freddy Rodriguez was a badass though.

I enjoyed Death Proof more. Yes, it dragged a little after having already sat through over 100 minutes of screentime before the damn thing even started. Yes, the Tarantino dialogue was a little too Tarantinoriffic at times. Yes, there really wasn't all that much to this film. But, god damn, how great was Kurt Russell? How amazing was the scene where he successfully snuffed out all those fine young ladies? How much fun was the big chase scene with the stuntwoman vs. Russell? I don't care what anyone says, I like pretty much anything Tarantino does - as long as he stays BEHIND the camera!

Directed by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez
2007
BAM

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

I liked The Corporation more. This was fine and all but whatever. Enron, Enron, Enron. Adding four Tom Waits songs to the soundtrack doesn't change the fact that I don't really care much.

Of the big news stories of the past ten years that I haven't cared much about have been this one and the Catholic coverup of all the molestation going on. Corporations are evil? The church is in denial? Tell me something I don't know. I guess the fun is in learning all the sordid details but it just doesn't interest me that much.

Directed by Alex Gibney
2004
PBS

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Elevator to the Gallows

This was Louis Malle's first full length film. It is a fun if not a wee bit slight. This reminded me of the first Stanley Kubrick full length film (The Killing). Both films are exercises in genre study that eclipse what came before them in many ways. Both Malle and Kubrick both went on to do bigger and better things but their first films are both very good.

The cinematography of Paris at night is breathtaking, the Miles Davis score is perfect, and the film noir plot is entertaining. Not a must see but you won't be disappointed if you give this film a whirl.

Directed by Louis Malle
Showtime Showcase
1957

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

T-Men

Every single Anthony Mann movie makes me quite gleeful visually. I was a little disappointed with this movie though. I've always heard that it was such a great film noir but it was more of a police movie than anything. Visually though, it can't be beat. Shadows and all that.

Directed by Anthony Mann
1947
TCM

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

I liked the stuff about the history of the film board. I liked the stuff about the absurdities of the system and how it is geared to screw independent films. I also liked the parts where Dick received an NC-17 for this movie and then began to hassle the board about it.

But the other part about the detectives trailing the board members was silly as was too much of the tone of the movie itself. Not that Michael Moore or Morgan Spurlock would slum to do a movie of this sort, but it needed a better and more charismatic storyteller than Dick. I'm not upset I saw this movie but I sure as hell am glad that I didn't spend 11 bucks on it.

Directed by Kirby Dick (When SHR saw this guy's name, she said, "You've got to be kidding me."
2006
IFC Channel