#136 The Unknown Known
Donald Rumsfeld proves to be the biggest struggle Errol Morris has ever had trying to break in the interview process. Those expecting some kind of moral referendum for the War in Iraq, like Robert McNamara did in “Fog of War”. Instead, Morris turns it into a character piece of Rumsfeld about the type of character he is. He is a very distinct character in that sense. He has a charisma and a charm who believes that he was right. He gives a slight smile every time he dodges a question and for him, this interview was a game about who can prove to be more right, In the endm it is very fascinating to watch,
1:59 pm • 23 April 2014 • 1 note
#135 Erin Brockavich
Steven Soderbergh has an uncanny ability to make very experimental films and transitioning back to mainstream, Hollywood pictures. Erin Brockavich is a great example of how to make a Hollywood film that is still smart and features complex characters. the key is finding the right balance between reality and pandering to the audience. This film is not overtly a David vs. Goalith as it can very well be a standard work room drama. Compare how this film is handled over something that is more manipulative like the John Travolta film, “A Civil Action”. The film doesn’t even hold back on some of the character flaws of the Brockavich character. It is the little things that make you realize how the Hollywood formula can really work.
1:48 pm • 23 April 2014 • 1 note
I don’t know why I found this film so abhorrent. Maybe it is because it is literally all colors and nothing else. Maybe it is because of the bevy of celebrity voices playing to their personas that brought back the memory of “Shark Tale”. Maybe it is Sergio Mendes forced to create lackluster songs for a children’s cartoon. This is everything that I dislike about a children’s film that tries really hard to appeal to an adult sensibility while still trying to appeal to children. And Blue Sky animation seemed to have surprisingly low quality animation.
1:38 pm • 23 April 2014
#133 Think Like a Man
I would enjoy this two hour advertisement of Steve Harvey’s book if it wasn’t a two hour advertisement for Steve Harvey’s book. I think the fundamental problem with this film is that all of the advice Steve Harvey gives that is used in this movie is complete bullshit. It lives on the chemistry the cast all have with each other and that goes a long way but it is based on a foundation that is shakey and ultimately makes this movie a mess.
1:29 pm • 23 April 2014
#132 Band of Outsiders
This is Godard’s coolest film. Everything just seems relaxed, from the camera movements to the story. There aren’t any beats necessarily to the film, rather just moments. And in that it creates some very memorable scenes from the dance sequence, that is often imitated, to the minute of silence. It is film poetry, that takes the genre of the crime movie and weaves prose out of it. This is cinematic equivalent of prose. The plot does not matter, rather it is about having fun with these people and with Godard that is all he seems to care about.
11:19 am • 23 April 2014
#131 Only Lovers Left Alive
Jim Jarmusch often times uses other genres in order to explore themes not usually associated with the genre. He did that with the western in “Dead Man” and action with “Ghost Dog”. Here, he uses the immortality to comment about the passion of relationship between consumers and artists. We have a dichotomy of characters between the one played by Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston. Tilda Swinton is a consumer of the arts. She is passionate, happy and always finds hope despite the living of millennium. Hiddleston’s character is the muse to many great artists, but finds little joy in fame, in art anymore and is on the verge of suicide, Together they form a yin and a yang even going as far as to always wearing black and white; Hiddleston wearing black and Swinton wearing white. Together, Jarmusch creates a wonderful film in the vampire mythos in a way that only Jarmusch can do.
11:11 am • 23 April 2014 • 2 notes
#130 Dom Hemingway
"Dom Hemingway" tries really hard to be a cool gangster film by trying to reproduce rich dialogue of Guy Ritchie, a stylized aesthetic and an abrasive main character. Unfortunately, it feels like an imitation. There is nothing about this film that feels like it is original or good. But, all the actors are having a great time making it. Jude Law seems to relish playing this character who is a very un-Jude Law type character. Some of it is fun. The monologue about the greatness of Dom Hemingway’s cock is a monologue that I would like to do one day as a audition monologue. But, it doesn’t have enough of anything to make it worthwhile.
10:47 am • 23 April 2014
This is a quiet and understated film which represents all of its characters. All of its characters are bubbling on the inside, full of anger, wanting to explode. That is why Nicolas Cage was the perfect actor to play the titular character. Cage embodies that restrained manic energy. He lets it burst out every once in a while but keeps it restrained throughout. David Gordon Green seems to have a firm grasp on the Southern Gothic aesthetic that “Joe” is going for. He is able to paint poetry on the screen of a side of America that is not featured enough in a mildly mainstream film with a Hollywood star. The shambles that you see is not made out to be cute like “Need for Speed” did, but as a matter of needing to survive. These characters do bad things because their environment forces them to, not because they are bad people.
10:36 am • 23 April 2014
#128 Draft Day
If anything, this movie shows just how good of a movie star Kevin Costner can be. He is charismatic and engaging. “Draft Day” however, is everything but substance. It is flashy, over directed and hits all the beats that would produce certain chemicals in the brain to make you think you enjoy it. But, ultimately it is a harmless, fast food of movies. It paints a shallow portrait of its characters, the NFL draft system and makes the proper morale points that would be perfect for a Sunday afternoon screening on TNT when football season is off.
10:30 am • 23 April 2014
I would say the most surprising movie of the year was how good “Oculus” was. Mike Flanagan takes the trend of haunted something movies and focuses it on the characters. He adds that twist of focusing on the aftermath of surviving the experience which is something that new and interesting while also providing what is expected through flashbacks. Of course, the film cheat a little bit by going with the unreliable narrator angle but, it is justified enough to go forth with the twists and shocks of the film. This is a solid horror entry into the bevy of haunted house type movies coming out but I just want to say that I am sick and tired of reviews talking about emphasis on dread over gore. That is the trend with horror films now. Horror films follow cycles and trends. In the 80’s it was the slasher, the 90’s teen horror and early 2000’s it was torture porn. Now it just so happens to be haunted house horror and usually those films do not have gore in it. I’m just sick of every film critic pointing that out.
10:24 am • 23 April 2014