Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs" is a movie I had heard much about, but never got around to watching until last night. All the hallmarks of Tarantino are well and truly present - copious gunplay, copious bloodshed and copious profanity - but under it all, there's an interesting story, too. A jewel heist goes horribly wrong, and the six men who carried it out (and their two employers) are left wondering which one of them ratted the team out.
Hollywood may be a little slap-happy with remakes, reboots and adaptations recently, but I don't think that remakes are bad in and of themselves, just the material major studios decide to give an update. There's no earthly reason why Alvin and the Chipmunks had to happen and I think we can officially leave the few but impressive works of Jane Austen out of our cinemas for a little while given how there's been a screen adaptation of at least one of her books made every single decade since the 1930's. I'm of the opinion that the only movies we really ought to remake are the ones that didn't quite get it right the first time but could be really excellent in different hands. Here are three classics that are long overdue for a facelift.
It probably has something to do with the characters that he plays – or character considering that each one bears a striking resemblance to the next – but Cera’s carved out a niche. Co-starring in Charlyne Yi’s Paper Heart, though, finds the actor exhibiting at least a modicum of his new found confidence. Alright, confidence is an over statement, but at least he’s not falling all over himself like Maybe’s in the room.
Regardless, it’s odd that Van Sant has been able to move from such obtuse movie making like Elephant and Last Days, released in 2003 and 2005 respectively, to the relatively main stream Milk staring Sean Penn.
Latcho Drom suffers this in spades.
The Movie Center had a chance to briefly speak with Nick Prueher – one of the brains behind the Found Footage Festival. Collecting various analog video sources and editing the most ridiculous together, Prueher and his partner in crime, Joe Pickett, have criss-crossed the country showing the frankensteined footage to small and large houses alike. If you’ve missed the show in the past, check the Fest’s website for touring details.
Movie Center: The festival is dependent upon your ability to find new, ridiculous footage on a regular basis. How does that happen when you’re on the road?
The cursory introduction to the feature seemed to include all of the things necessary to get me in front of the screen: drug use, prostitution, Robert Downey Jr. What could go wrong?
There’s not too much to be said for the director that hasn’t been proffered before, but in Love and Death Allen appears to be shedding some of his more juvenile shtick for the dense philosophical examinations of self and relationships that would come to make him an American master in the years following this 1975 film.
I was inspired by a comment left on this blog by fellow movie critic M. Carter to contemplate the effect that celebrity has on the overall quality of a given movie star's performance. A lot of actors seem to lose themselves in the spotlight, the promise in their early material smothered by overexposure, the wrong projects or a simple over-development of ego. It's a strange balancing act a lot of performers can't seem to maintain. Does the Hollywood system, or maybe do we viewers, ruin our most talented actors by giving them too much wealth and adoration?
I recently got a chance to sit down and watch Iain Softley's 1995 movie Hackers. It's been well over a decade since I last saw Hackers all the way through, so this was the first time a lot of the little details of the film struck me. What's really remarkable about this movie is that, despite growing more hilariously off-target with its prognostications about computers and the Internet with each passing year, it comes tantalizingly close to an accurate understanding of what would eventually become rave culture several years after its release. Peppered throughout Hackers are a series of directorial choices that indicate the hand of someone who has just recently lost touch with youth and fashion. That, in itself, is fascinating.
Many people are already going bonkers over the Academy Award nominee announcements. Sandra Bullock should or shouldn’t have been nominated, Clint Eastwood ain’t gettin’ his respect, and what the heck is that Celtic cartoon? These are just some of the comments that I’ve heard and I neither agree nor disagree with them, as I haven’t seen any of these three films.
However, one film that I saw, and that I consider to be the most amazing film that I did have a chance to see last year, was Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. I could extol the film’s brilliance, rave about its message and go on and on about how much I loved it overall…but I’ve already done that.
But now I have a new favorite. The Princess and the Frog—I get goose bumps typing it!—was an absolute masterpiece. (Spoilers ahead.) As soon as we heard about it, I felt a bubbling, expectant excitement in my belly. I couldn’t wait to see it, which made the back of my mind nag at me—“It’s going to suck with you building it up like this!” Fortunately, my mind was wrong.
As far as I'm concerned, there are three kinds of bad movies. Some are so terrible that they're unintentionally hilarious and some are just clearly lacking in any redeeming qualities. Then there's this curious third kind, the rarest variety of film there is. These are bad movies that have loads of wasted potential, movies that could have been good if only a few things had been done differently. If any movie fits this description, it's Alpha Dog, the 2006 true crime drama written and directed by Nick Cassavetes. It is such a bizarre jumble of baffling motivations that despite being aimless and at some points nigh-unwatchable, I found myself compelled one summer to watch it several times over.