Monday, March 31, 2008

Blades of Glory

Unlike Jack Black, I really can't get enough of Will Ferrell. He makes me laugh in everything I see him in.

There's a lot to be amused by in this movie despite its lightweight nature. Too bad I had to deal with that Napoleon Dynamite asshole. I hate that guy.

Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck
2007
HBO

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt

I liked this film okay but it was a bit disjointed to me. I really wanted to learn more about the enigmatic Van Zandt but I didn't really feel like I got a good sense of who he was and what he was about from watching this documentary.

In comparison to the recent Daniel Johnston documentary that successfully clued me into the man, this film didn't quite do that for me. Granted, Van Zandt is no longer living to be interviewed and Johnston is but I still wanted a little more from this documentary.

There's some great footage in here though.

Directed by Margaret Brown
2005
DVD

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Be Kind Rewind

Great concept. Not very good execution. I think Gondry is better when adapting someone else's material than he is at writing it. I love his ideas but not sure how strong he is at writing scripts.

Gondry didn't know where to go with this. It was too mired in reality that it never quite became magical. Clearly he was trying to create some sort of alternate universe but it didn't come across as magical like The Science of Sleep. Instead it just seemed a bit dull and underwritten and overreaching.

As SHR said, we should have waited to see this on DVD because the best parts were the remakes. And the DVD extras of longer clips from the remakes will undoubtedly be better than the movie itself.

I knew I wasn't going to love this but I had wanted to see it for so long that there was no turning back.

Jack Black is way past the annoying state. And why was Mos Def playing such a retard? And why was Danny Glover so bumbling? And why was Mia Farrow so annoying?

I did like seeing Melonie Diaz for the first time since Raising Victor Vargas though.

Directed by Michel Gondry
2008
Court St.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Fountain


What



the



fuck?



Directed by Darren Aronofsky
2006
Starz

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Proposition

This came out at the end of 2005 and was pretty much ignored. I'm glad I finally caught up with it. I didn't like it as much as another movie that came out at almost exactly the same time that also vanished quickly but I did enjoy it quite a bit.

From the first few seconds of the film set in the middle of a heated gun fight to the last frame, this film looked fantastic. John Ford fantastic.

Guy Pearce plays an outlaw in rural 1880's Australia who gets captured with his younger brother by a fairly decent British lawman played by Ray Winstone. A proposition is offered - Pearce and his younger brother can go free if Pearce kills his bad bad bad older brother. If he doesn't do it, Pearce's dimwitted younger brother will be executed.

Written by Nick Cave, this film is as dark as you'd expect it to be. Dark, violent, and scary. Just like a good Western should be!

Directed by John Hillcoat
2005
Starz

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Tombstone

What an all star cast! Bill Paxton! Kurt Russell and his dazzling blue eyes! Locke from Lost!, Billy Bob Thornton in a small role! Jason Priestly! Powers Boothe! Sam Elliott! Thomas Haden Church! Michael Biehn! Val Kilmer with a funny fey Southern accent! Billy Zane! Charlton Heston! Frank Stallone! Robert Mitchum as the narrator! The dude who played Chick Gandil in Eight Men Out! Harry Carey Jr! Amazing moustaches! Holy crap, right?

The movie is a good time. Great Westerns though have a bit more of an edge or something more to say than this one did. This is simply an attempt to recreate the fun aspects of a Western. It felt like a nostalgia piece to me by filmmakers who grew up watching Westerns as kids. Nothing wrong with that I suppose but there was nothing terribly original about it. In fact, some of it reminded me (unintentionally I'm sure) of Three Amigos. But this is mere kvetching. This movie is pure entertainment through and through.

File it alongside the Siverados of the world and that is more than okay by me. Speaking of Siverado, I should see that movie again.

Directed by George Pan Cosmatos
1993
Starz

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

3:10 to Yuma

Strike what I said in my last post about liking Westerns from the 1950's more than the earlier Westerns.

I didn't like this much. In fact, it made me like the remake more.

Bad soundtrack, boring characters, just not enough of an edge to this.

So I'm sticking with my pronouncement of liking the darker Westerns post 1950 more than the earlier Westerns. I wanted to like this one but it just seemed so diluted from the original Elmore Leonard idea to me.

Directed by Delmer Daves
1957
DVD

Monday, March 03, 2008

My Darling Clementine

I guess I shouldn't have given so much credit to John Ford in my post on Red River. I didn't love this either. I like Victor Mature and Henry Fonda as much as the next person. And something tells me that if I had seen this movie in 1946, I would have loved it. But the music was a bit hokey, the pacing a bit slow, and the script a bit boring.

The second half was much better than the first but the more that I see old Westerns, the more I realize that I like the later darker ones from the '50s than most of the ones I've seen before that era.

Great line from this movie though:

Wyatt Earp to the bartender: Mac, have you ever been in love?
Bartender: Nah, I've been a bartender all my life.

Directed by John Ford
1946
TCM

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Red River

Between being kind of bored with both this and To Have and Have Not, I'm a bit down on Howard Hawks. I thought this guy was supposed to be one of the best directors of the era. Am I a jerk for being bored by this movie? It was a long 2 hours and 15 minutes. John Ford would have made something more of this movie.

John Wayne was good - he's always fun to watch. And it was fun to actually see a movie with Montgomery Clift but I definitely was not terribly enamored with it.

Directed by Howard Hawks
1948
TCM