A daily miasma of frivolity by two wanna-be cultural critics. Or: just, like, some good links, dude.

Tag Archives: movies

Here’s the trailer for “A Few Dollars More”. I rewatched it recently and was blown away yet again by the amazing photography. I’m still up in the air on the plot. On the one hand, it’s complex and twisty and yet all the characters navigate through it with consistent motivations. On the other hand it may be so complex that it leaves little room for subtext.

In any case, this is a minor quibble. There’s enough interesting going on, visually, to make every subsequent viewing a chance to catch something new. This time around I noticed how smoking is frequently mapped to when a character is lying or otherwise fronting. Not an uncommon cinematic trope but it’s deployed a lot here.

One great scene for that is when Lee Van Cleef’s character and Clint Eastwood’s character are talking for the first time. I won’t spoil anything but just take careful note of when each character is smoking and not smoking.

Definitely one to look for on Blu-Ray.

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‘Top Gun’ Director Tony Scott Had Inoperable Brain Cancer, Commits Suicide

‘Top Gun’ Director Tony Scott Had Inoperable Brain Cancer, Commits Suicide

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“Cloud Atlas”

“Cloud Atlas”

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Trailer for the new Paul Thomas Anderson film, “The Master”. Holy crap. And it’s not like I’m not a PTA super-fan or anything.

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Anomalisa

Anomalisa

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‘Ili’s link earlier this week to the 1988 National Aerobic Championships reminded me of this movie: Heavenly Bodies (1984). It’s a Canadian aerobics movie (yes a real genre) that ends with an aerobics-off.

Other notables in the genre: Ron Harris’s Aerobicise (1981) and Flying (1986), which stars a very young Keanu Reeves.

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First trailer for RZA’s movie “The Man with the Iron Fists”

First trailer for RZA’s movie “The Man with the Iron Fists”

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrQbkjhrANs

Just watch this trailer for Robot and Frank. Make sure to make it all the way through. Holy shit. In theaters Sept 19, apparently.

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Two Kinds of Everything

Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central, in his review of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter:

I used to think there were movies that were so bad they were good—I’m coming around to the idea that those movies are just good and that these movies are just bad.

I agree. So-bad-it’s-good is totally bullshit.

We do need to mince words a bit here — but trust me when I say it’s not my fault. A film (or anything really) can be poorly crafted and still be enjoyable. Too often we wonder if a work of art is “good” — i.e. holding it up to some sort of platonic ideal. Or maybe we’re trying to gauge the reaction of our peers — some sorta tribal monkey thing.

Whatever the reason, my feeling is this: if you enjoyed the movie, it was good. To be frank, if you were having a good time, the movie was probably doing more right than you realized. Take Shotgun (1989). This movie has some ponderous, no, truly awful dialogue. And yet I still had an absolute blast watching it. The action sequences were actually pretty good; the plot, while bizarre, held my interest; I even laughed with the movie in one or two places, rather than at it.

But more than that, I was picking up what Shotgun was putting down. I felt like it was saying something I wanted to hear at least. There’s a lot of complicated shit going on in Shotgun about sex and kink and power. I have no idea whether or not the creators of Shotgun intended any of that, but that’s really beside the point — the point being that I had a good time watching the movie and had a good time talking about it afterwards with my buddy Vincent. What more could one possibly ask from a movie?

Of course, none of what I’m saying is new or novel. Play us off, Duke Ellington:

There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.

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Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir writes of Iranian writer-director-actor Rafi Pitts:

[He] has clearly absorbed both European and American influences; although the spare, alienated, almost wordless style of “The Hunter” recalls ’70s art-house cinema, it’s also a movie about a lonely guy in the big city with a car, a hunting rifle and nothing to lose.

The film looks great.

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