August 2010

Monsieur Hulot's Holiday: A Complicated Life, Easily Portrayed through Film (Part One)

Released in 1953, Monsieur Hulot's Holiday found actor and director Jaques Tati unveiling the character he would go on to portray for the remainder of his filmic career. And while this film is frequently figured as Tati’s masterpiece, and a high point for post war comedy, the director would more incisively eviscerate modern society in his latter work.

Of course, even the least engaging of Tati’s efforts easily trumps the majority of film comedies – not that this is a bad film. But there are a number of things that tie Monsieur Hulot's Holiday to Tati’s first feature, 1949’s Jour de fête.

The Long Goodbye: A Jewish John Shaft?

There’re endless questions to ask about Robert Altman’s 1973 film The Long Goodbye, based on a novel of the same name by Raymond Chandler. Plot twists abound and anything that might be assumed is eventually proven to be suspect right up until the final scenes of the film. That’s not to say Altman created an unruly and incoherent mess, but the serpentine nature of the plot is capacious of raising a few eyebrows along the way.

Jour de fête: A Film for Cyclists and Mime Enthusiasts (Part One)

Ranking the few films by French director and actor Jacques Tati is endlessly difficult for a few reasons. Firstly, each film is transcendent in its own way while still aping the same general perspective. But mostly the problem with figuring which Tati film is best stems from the fact that each comes along on a continuum of time that’s spread out enough to make each effort of a specific place and moment separate from what preceded it and whatever was to come next.

Tati’s first feature length effort, the 1949 Jour de fête, was set to be the first colorized film produced in France. Due to the then experimental process of rendering a film in color, the project was issued in black and white, only a few years back being restored to its intended self based on notes the director left behind.

3D Wasteland

Trailer Review

"Resident Evil 4" now called "Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D," that the blurbs from Sony Pictures promises to be an experience, in a new dimension of evil, is installment four of the very commercially successful science fiction action horror film franchise, "Resident Evil," which is based a very commercially successful video game. This installment is written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, and stars Milla Jovovich an Ali Larter, as two very attractive sexy ladies, playing kick ass heroines, battling the bad ass Umbrella Corporation.

I like this sort of brain candy, Watching a brain candy flick is one of the better things to do, when I have nothing better to do, which is more often than I should admit on a public forum.. I watched Resident Evil 1 and 2 on cable and enjoyed them. The ladies looked good.

Slacker: A Distillation of Brainy Indie Folks from the '90s

Richard Linklater’s 1990 film Slacker along with some Steven Soderbergh work generally gets checked as the impetus for underground film movement blossoming into a commercially viable entity. Of course, it’d be easy to argue that directors beginning in the late seventies and early eighties who stuck around for a while were the real reason. But there’s a similarity in the casual tossed off pacing and intellectual writing between Slacker and Kevin Smith’s Clerks which would be issued a year later.

Similar to the work of Jim Jarmusch is the fact that both Linklater and Smith cultivated a type of dialogue dealing with grand platitudes, but were understood by the young taste making cognoscenti as brilliant. Watching any of those director’s early work isn’t troublesome, but on occasion, laughable, but laughable by accident.

Summer of Sam: A Phoned in History (Part Two)

What’s funny about Summer of Sam and its obvious vacuity in regards to the then burgeoning punk scene is that there’re just enough almost spot on references to make it work.

Adrien Brody’s Ritchie character isn’t really ever introduced, he just rolls out of bed – surrounded by paraphernalia focused on the Who as opposed to the scores of NYC based punk groups at the time – heads down stairs snags money from his mother and hits the corner.

Is Anyone Really Like Demi Moore's Character in Disclosure?

Disclosure, which is one of the many steamy films Michael Douglas starred in the early 90‘s, is one of the first films to portray reverse sexual harassment from the reverse perspective.

The plot centers around an incident between Michael Douglas (Tom) and Demi Moore (Meredith) . The two are former lovers who re-connect in a “meeting”- their circumstances have entirely

changed- she is now his boss and he now has a family.  After Tom stops a hot and heavy sexual encounter from progressing any further, both of them turn to the courts to find a settlement.