Saturday, December 31, 2011

Smash His Camera

Before seeing this movie, I didn't know anything about Ron Galella - the original famous papparazi. Now I know a lot and I'm glad that I do.

I hadn't seen a Leon Gast doc since When We Were Kings and it was nice to become reacquainted. While Galella is no Ali, he is definitely fascinating enough to be the subject of a 90 minute documentary. What a weirdo.

The movie mixes in archival footage and new interviews and is pretty darn entertaining. It's got it all - the skeevy stalking of Jackie O, the getting punched by Brando, the Dick Cavett reminiscing.

And it made me sad that our celebrity culture is nowhere near as cool as it was in the early 70's. If you don't have the patience to watch this whole movie, at least check this clip out.



Directed by Leon Gast
2010
HBO

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shutter Island

Fresh off of being super into Hugo, I read a review that compared this film to Shock Corridor. So I took the leap.

First of all, this is no Shock Corridor. Second of all, if I had known it was by the same doofus who wrote Mystic River, I might have steered clear.

This wasn't bad or anything. It looked great. Leo was good. The storytelling kept me interested. I liked the score. But come on, really?

Although I will say the last scene is so silly that it almost turned the whole movie around for me. In fact, if I were to watch it again (all 140 minutes of it) as a comedy, I might like it more.

My old pal Terry Crummitt would have loved this movie and would have found innumerable aspects of it to imitate and make fun of.

Directed by Martin Scorsese
2010
Blu-ray

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The King's Speech

This movie should have been called How the King Stopped Worrying and Learned to How to Speak (So He Could Save the World From Hitler).

This was by no means a bad movie.

Firth, Bonham Carter, and Rush were oh so Oscar worthy, weren't they?

It looked good, it told an interesting story. It was mannered yet not too mannered for a 2010 audience. What's not to like?

So, it was fine, wasn't it? Yes, very very fine.

I was kind of bored.

Directed by Tom Hooper
2010
Blu-ray

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Valhalla Rising

What the hell was this movie? Amazing is what it was. All hail Nicolas Winding Refn. What a badass.

Let's see. I'm not sure how to describe this film. How about a mix of Aguirre: Wrath of God, a Terrence Malick film, and Conan the Barbarian?

I love the violence, the main character One Eye, the almost complete lack of dialogue, the hallucinations, the historical theory. This movie is nuts. I'm dying to know what Chris Larry would think of it.

Directed by Nicholas Winding Refn
2010
IFC

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shame

Some thoughts:
- This is The Lost Weekend of sex addiction movies. That's not a bad thing.

- It must suck to be a sex addict and not look like Michael Fassbender.

- Fassbender's character kind of reminded me of Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. I kept expecting him to ax someone to death while listening to Hip to Be Square. Instead, there was just a lot of fornication.

- I found it interesting how obsessively clean Fassbender's character was.

- The cinematography was beautiful. I liked how New York felt mostly real but slightly off. Give the city just 8% of a blurred fantasy feel to it and it really changes quite a bit.

- Shame is obviously a good title. This wasn't arousing at all. Just incredibly sad.

- This wasn't as explicit as I thought it would be. It was pretty explicit of course but it was no Shortbus or Brown Bunny.

- I hope the buzz of this movie leads people to go see McQueen's first film, Hunger, which I liked more than this one. Not that I didn't like this film.

Directed by Steve McQueen
2011
Sunshine Cinemas

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Miracle

How had I never seen this before? This movie was as much fun as I was hoping it would be. It didn't matter that I knew the outcome of this movie from the beginning. It's all about the details in getting there.

Did I know I was going to believe in miracles? Of course. Did I know Sujan would succumb to sports emotions a few times before the movie's completion? Definitely.

Oh yeah - one more thing. Kurt Russell!!!

Directed by Gavin O'Connor
2004
Blu-ray

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Hugo

F James Cameron. Avatar gets credit for being a good reason that 3D exists. Blah. The 3D in that movie is what made that movie almost bearable to watch. This movie though is more than enough reason for 3D to exist. Up to this point, I had grown a bit weary of the technology. Not anymore.

From the first moments where the snow flurries add such an incredible texture to the movie to the last frame, I can't even imagine this film in 2D. The 3D is so integral to the story. I read recently that Scorsese said that he was considering only making movies in 3D from here on out. I could be done with that.

The movie itself is pretty darn good. Any movie aimed at children that attempts to tell the story of the early filmmaker Georges Melies is A-OK with me. Throw in references to Safety Last and I'm sold.

The sense of wonder in the storytelling, in reveling in the film history, in the living out one's dream or the sorrow in not ... I liked all the themes. They all add up to some fun times.

Directed by Martin Scorsese
2011
Chelsea Cinemas