Saturday, January 30, 2010

Coming Distractions February 2nd, 2010

Zombieland: The few survivors of a zombie plague form a ragtag group in order to survive and to learn a valuable lesson about trusting others amidst much blood and madness. It's fun, plus it's only 88 minutes long, so really: what do you have to lose?

Cold Souls: Paul Giamatti gets his soul extracted. Too bad it looks like a chickpea. But the real question is: does it taste like one?

House of the Devil: Step back into 1983 and enjoy The Fixx's One Thing Leads to Another while you wander through a house in the country and wait for the occult to come and use your body for some dark, dastardly purpose. And this movie's not great, but it's good and yes, I admit it, I was (kinda) scared to go to bed afterward.

New York, I Love You: The sequel to Paris, Je t'aime. Why don't more short film collections get released? Who decided all movies had to be between 80 and say 15o minutes? Aren't there some stories that deserve to be told but don't need to be get all stretched out of shape like some old sweater?

More Than a Game: Sorry, other than having been required to watch Rudy in gym class in high school I don't know anything about sports or about sports movies. Guess we'll have to rustle up some guest blogger who knows their pigskin from their... (my brain's working too slow today. Insert slightly dirty joke here).

Amelia: Amelia Earhart Biopic. I haven't seen Amelia, but I think you should go watch The Aviator instead. It's great. And it looks sensational, as well. The cinematographer only employed the colors that would have been in cinema used at the time. And you can learn something about obsessive-compulsive disorder. I think I would have watched it a long time ago if it wasn't called The Aviator. I think that's a terrible title, even though it's got planes in it. Maybe it should be renamed Planes on the Brains or something awesome like that. What do you think?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Coming Distractions January 26th, 2010

Bright Star: Keats biopic written & directed by Jane Campion (In the Cut, Holy Smoke, The Piano, etc.) There are so many screenshots of this movie of people kissing! Or almost kissing! Or in fields of beautiful flowers. How did Keats have time to write any poetry with all the smooching? I guess I have to watch the movie to find out.

Whip It: Drew Barrymore's grrl power directorial debut, with Ellen Page, Alia Shawkat (Maeby in Arrested Development. I like this actress. A lot.), Marcia Gay Harden, and a fabulously nasty Juliette Lewis. It's formulaic and it's fun. Plus, roller skates!

Surrogates: Bruce Willis & Radha Mitchell in a sci-fi murder mystery.

Soul Power: Footage of the music festival that accompanied "The Rumble in the Jungle," with too many artists to list. You should click the link, I don't wanna risk getting carpal tunnel.

Little Ashes: Dali biopic, with Robert Patterson as Salvador. Go here to check out some people who actually made some meals from that Dali cookbook I told you about so long ago.

Saw VI

The Escapist

Import Export: from Ulrich Seidl, the Austrian director of Dog Days. Known for his disturbing documentary style. I didn't like Dog Days when I saw it many years ago, but I'm always intrigued by his screen shots.

Pontypool: a thriller directed by Bruce McDonald (Highway 61, The Tracey Fragments, some episodes of Degrassi), one of my favorite Canadians (admittedly, I like a lot of Canadians). I'm excited! I'll let you know how it goes. Unless it's bad, and then I'll probably just keep my mouth (well, keyboard) shut.

Michael Jackson's This Is It

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

St. Trinian's

And the word of the day is: Panjandrum (n.): a powerful personage or pretentious official.

Learned any good words lately?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Coming Distractions January 19th, 2010

The Invention of Lying
Weeds - 5th Season

I've been watching a lot of strange movies lately.

I went out to see The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which I really enjoyed. I always like to see what Terry Gilliam is up to, though Margot Harrison wrote a very apt review (over at 7days) that pointed out the irony of a movie about the importance of storytelling wherein storytelling is the weakest element. Still, it was a fun ride.

Then I took home Slipstream: meta-movie piecemeal insanity written and directed by Anthony Hopkins. It is, as my movie-watching companion mentioned, one man's pure, unadulterated vision, of, well, something. Life? Film-making? I'm not really sure what it means, but maybe you should watch it and let me know.

And even Avatar could be included in this list of unusual visual feasts.

But the odd movie I really want to tell you about is Taste of Tea. This Japanese film runs a little long (at 143 minutes) but at least two moments made me laugh so hard and with such delight that I thought, "this is my favorite movie ever." The rest of the film is beautiful and mellow and definitely strange. It sounds cheesy, but Taste of Tea better communicated a true sense of wonder than any other movie in my recent memory and somehow it managed to do this without being either particularly optimistic or pessimistic . Plus, it's got some great dancing. Now, I'm quite excited to watch Sharkskin Man & Peachhip Girl, also written & directed by Katsuhito Ishii.

What films have you found unusually fascinating lately?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Coming Distractions January 12th, 2010

The Hurt Locker: An award darling. Many critics have said that this is the best non-doc film to have been made about our current crisis overseas. And it's directed by a woman, Kathryn Bigelow, who can be trusted to know her way around an action/thriller (see: Point Break)

In the Loop
: Brits skewer both their own and the American political systems. From the makers of the tv show The Thick of It. Plus, this made John Waters' top 10 of 2009 list! This side of the pond is represented by (the triumphant return to acting of) Anna Chlumsky,

Mimi Kennedy, and James Gandolfini. I just watched every episode (all 1 - 6.2 seasons) of the Sopranos in about 2 months. Yes, I will accept my award now.

Fame: They remade fame! I can assume for 2 important reasons: 1. so that they could showcase new young talent, and 2. so they could take out all the naughty bits from the original movie so that 2.5. they could capture a market of teens and preteens who 1. haven't heard of the original and 2. wouldn't be allowed to see it even if they had. I'm probably totally gonna watch it in the store. You know, it's very difficult to find things to watch here that are rated under PG-13 and that I haven't seen a million times before. Cry for me.
This reminds me of a story Todd was just telling me yesterday about Gus Van Sant's Psycho remake. You can't take Julianne Moore's character seriously. She is investigating what, possibly terrible thing, has happened to her sister (the shower murder victim) but she is always wearing bright yellow headphones and at one point Vince Vaughn beckons her somewhere and Moore says, "wait, just let me grab my headphones."

Gritty realism or serious product placement? You decide.

Big Fan: Comedian Patton Oswalt stars as a bored parking lot attendant who becomes a pro-football stalker. Then he gets punched in the face. Then he sues his beloved star for mucho dinero. Written and Directed by Robert D. Siegel, who also penned The Wrestler.

I Can Do Bad All By Myself
: Another Tyler Perry Madea dramedy. What makes this different than the movie by the same name? I have no idea. A remake?

Departures: The long-awaited recipient of the Best Foreign Film Oscar for 2008.


Downloading Nancy

Post Grad: I paid to see this movie in the theater. I was pretty hungover, however, and I ended up missing both the beginning and the end. It didn't seem to matter. Just check out the awesomeness of this poster. Work those facial muscles Alexis Bledel! Also, don't be afraid to throw away your dreams for a man!

Moon: I want to watch this. I heard it is good. Plus I'm housesitting at a place where I actually have control over the heat (unlike my frigid, dial-less apartment) and where they have a very large tv. Sounds like it's Moon time for me.

The Burning Plain

The Simpsons - 20th Season