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Archive for February, 2012

February: The Romanticism

As opposed to other months,  I saw a good deal of truly great films. I hope you enjoy the following folks.

First Viewing

Beverly Hills Cop  ~ Murphy shines in perhaps his most recognizable role in his filmography.

It Happened One Night ~ Romantic 1930s film starring Clark Gable. It’s good fun.

Broadway Danny Rose ~ Another Allen gem in which he plays the most dedication manager in cinematic history. Three S’s

Art School Confederation ~ A quirky flick recommended by Matt Singer of IFC, that’s often peculiar, but perceptive.

Husbands and Wives ~ Part film, part documentary, it’s unsure what kind of film Allen had in mind here. Perplexing piece.

Humpday ~ An incredibly silly plot that manages to harness a genuinely touching relationship between two old friends.

Cinderella Man ~ A typically agreeable and wholly uplifting period piece that chronicles the return of an aging boxer.

Hannah Takes the Stairs ~ And that’s about it.

Woody Allen Documentary Part 1 & 2 ~ Necessary documentary for any true fan of master Woody Allen.

Crimes and Misdemeanors ~ Allen’s darkest film (that I’ve seen) – equally chilling and philosophically adept.

Reality Bites ~ 90s romance/drama through and through. Stiller in a watchable film? Surprise, surprise.

What About Bob? ~ What about Bill Murray’s career? Groundhog Day? Lost In Translation?

12 Angry Men ~ Perhaps the greatest directorial debut in the history of cinema.

BASEketball ~ Stone and Parker should stick to South Park.

His Girl Friday ~ Fast talking, quick witted, and romanticized journalism at its finest.

Repeated Viewings:

The Maltese Falcon ~ The awe continues.

Drive ~ Still worthy of the attention I gave it. It’s even more interesting about a second viewing.

Moneyball ~ Surprised by how much I enjoyed the film more upon a second viewing.

My Week With Marilyn ~ Simplistic, yet affectionate. Unlike its protagonist.

Psycho ~ She wouldn’t even hurt a fly.

Annie Hall ~ Allen’s masterpiece is becoming my favorite film ever created. Romantic, thoughtful, insightful, hilarious, cultural references aplenty, cynicism afloat, and love in the air.

Rudy ~ Extremely unimpressive and underwhelming football film that receives far too much recognition.

Bridesmaids ~ Nope, still not funny.

Press Screenings:

Coriolanus ~ People die. Politics live on.

This Means War ~ A lighthearted, enjoyable action/comedy affair.

The Lorax ~ Embargo. Embargo. Embargo.

Project X ~ Again … embargo, embargo, embargo.

Act of Valor ~ This is what you receive when mixing an ad to join the army with a game of Call of Duty.

Chronicle ~ Shot in “lost footage” documentary format, Chronicle‘s initial promise quickly dwindles into superficial action.

The Grey ~ An unexpectedly harrowing and existential mainstream endeavor.

Safe House ~ Denzel in another action picture. Unfortunately, it misses the mark with its faulty narrative.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island ~ The first bad film of 2012 has arrived.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace ~ Only worth watching if one’s a diehard fan of the Star Wars mantra.

Films Seen: 33

Films Seen in 2012: 62

Films Reviewed in February: 13

The Essentials

12 Angry Men

Annie Hall

Crimes & Misdemeanors

His Girl Friday

The Maltese Falcon

Psycho

What did you folks watch this past month?

Rating:
With A Little Help From My Friends

The only commentary I have on the Oscars (and perhaps I have more, but have little interest in reminiscing) is that the vast amount of negativity – equally distasteful and vile – was entirely unnecessary on Sunday night. Numerous times I had to shut off my computer purely because of the folks I follow ranting, moaning, and bitching about the most inconsequential, completely insignificant details of the show. Read More

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Oscar Predictions 2012

The Oscars 2012

My Score 19/24 (79%)

I won’t ramble on about the Oscar festivities tomorrow. Yesterday I published a thorough article on the Academy and the danger they may be facing, pending the result of this show. You may find the editorial here.

Last year I scored a 15/24 for my predictions – which amounts to a mere 63%. Not bad, not great. My ballot ended up winning some money. But that’s beside the point.

So what have I learned? If you want to win your pool, dig deep. Typically shy away from your own personal selections, and attempt to get in the shoes of an elderly person. Read More

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A Prelude To Oscars

Well, the Oscars will finally be put on display this Sunday.

And I believe they will do so with about as much enthusiasm as I gave that opening sentence.

There’s no hiding it: 2012 has been perhaps the most underwhelming Oscar season of the past 20 years.

But what’s the cause? Read More

Rating:

Act of Valor

February 23, 2012 | 11 Comments | Featured, Old Format

Act of Valor

So what did you think?

This is the one singular question most film critics are pitted into answering the moment after a press screening concludes, by our local press agents. Read More

Rating: ★★½☆
Ang Lee vs. M. Night Shyamalan

Battle of Directors

Before anything I’d like to thank Andrew from Can’t Stop The Movies for consistently providing poignant and observant comment on each and every matchup. It’s much appreciated my man. Read More

Rating:

12 Angry Men

February 21, 2012 | 19 Comments | Featured, Old Format

12 Angry Men

In 12 Angry Men we have twelve gentlemen who must make a ruling of a murder case in which a younger boy is accused of using a blade knife to stab his father in the chest. The conceit seems straightforward. And in perhaps a coincidental happenstance, the seemingly simplicity of the case is in replication of our filmmaker’s style. Read More

Rating: ★★★★
With A Little Help From My Friends

Before talking about our weekly articles, I’d like to say something. I’m no all knowing writer. I’m not too experienced or even necessarily wise. But what I can say with affirmation (after two + years of writing) is that before you put pen to paper, finger to keyboard, be sure you want to be in this for the long haul. Everyday I visit sites that were once filled with bold ideas and colorful language, but have now been diminished to nothing. Read More

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The 1001 Movies I Must See

Ladies and gentleman, I admit that when it comes to following up on lists, I never quite … complete it to its conclusion. Deadlines, writing my reviews on time for studios, and seeing films for press coverage, I’m good. For whatever reason I’m lackluster on the former task. Read More

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This Means War

This Means War is an exercise in action/romantic fantasy filmmaking. It’s also a rare example of a movie being overtly silly and non-sensical, but yet – on the most simplistic cinematic level – wholly enjoyable. Read More

Rating: ★★★☆
Coriolanus

What I found most fascinating about Ralph Fiennes’ occasionally poignant but ultimately misguided directorial debut is how politics seem to be the one constant throughout society. The ideas of deception and greed are amplified in Coriolanus. And with 2012 already bringing the skewed and often juvenile GOP debates (in which most candidates spout incorrect information to better their opportunity for the Oval office) The Weinstein Company couldn’t release this film at a more opportune time. Read More

Rating: ★★☆☆
Howard Hawks vs. John Huston

Battle of Directors

The continuously growing popularity of these articles are quite astonishing. Perhaps more so than any other post, readers and fellow counterparts seem to subsequently voice their opinions when it comes to filmmakers. Whether they love or despise the directors, statements are aplenty. Read More

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Valentines Day: Logic vs. Love

You see, there’s an internal conflict within me today.

The pragmatic side of my brain wishes away the overt silliness and superficiality of Valentines Day. But, then there’s my inner romantic. A part of myself I find no shame and accept with happiness.

It’s a battle of logic vs. love, reason vs. lust, and I’m afraid the latter is winning the affair.

So, in light of this holiday – that I believe we all can pronounce as bullshit, but endearingly hopeful – I offer up a few of my favorite films that show the conceit of love in all its imperfect, idiosyncratic, and beautiful glory.

Since I am only a measly 17 years of age, I understand that there may be a disconnect. I haven’t seen some of the most beloved “romantic” films in cinematic history (I am talking to you Gone With The Wind).

With that said lets list some honorable mentions: Almost Famous Beginners, Cinema Paradiso, Forrest Gump, Groundhog Day, It Happened One Night, Manhattan, and Vertigo

Read More

Rating:
With A Little Help From My Friends

… What a weekend …

The past few days I was fortunate enough to be in Los Angeles, California. Friends, film, and fun were aplenty. But now, it’s time to depart – no matter how much I’d rather stay in paradise – and head back home

Here are our weekly articles …

If I’ve been absent the last few days, chalk it up to LA & a new beta site LetterboxD - a place for lovers of movies.

My man Alex Withrow talks about his favorite scene of Joel & Ethan Coen’s 1996 classic Fargo.

Bonjour Tristesse hits the nail on the head with her analysis of Martha Marcy May Marlene.

The good folks over at Can’t Stop The Movies continue on with their video show. This week they discuss Tintin, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and their favorite movies of 2011.

Ruth continues on with her prolific self and lists her favorite scores by musician John Williams.

This week in Max’s Trilogy Thursdays we look at the Bourne Series.

The Tokyo Story is a dignified classic in cinematic history …. Dan Heaton discusses the film in great detail.

Rating:
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 3D

George Lucas’ rerelease of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace – in the grandeur of 3D – has to be the biggest marketing ploy of the past decade.

While the idea of rereleasing a film in a new type of medium isn’t necessarily bad or unnecessary, one would think the famed filmmaker would add some intricate touches, invent something new, or at a bare minimum enhance action sequences to the full magnitude of 3D. Read More

Rating: ★★½☆