Thursday, January 22, 2015

Objective views on film?

When I decided to revive my blog, I went back and read some of my previous posts. In doing so, I realized that some of the views I had a couple of years ago were not in line with the views I hold now. It was not only a question of having similar shades within the same general view, in some particular cases, my views were diametrically different.

I know people change over time, and my opinions and thoughts now are different from the ones I had five or ten years ago. Nevertheless, I had the misguided belief that somehow my views on film were more solid and stable than my whimsically prone thoughts. I do not mean that my thoughts are whimsical, but somehow I held my views on film to a higher standard.

This is something I should have known. I have seen clues in my experience as an audience. In my younger years I just to watch all the new releases at the theater rarely making an exception. Nowadays, I am a bit more selective in what I decide to watch, either at home or at the theater. I thought this was due to my lack of free time, and that certainly has something to do, but maybe the most important reason is that my views on film do change. I now know this.

Reading Scott Tobias’ piece “When once isn’t enough” at The Dissolve put into words some of these thoughts I was having.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders

Yesterday’s post about “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders” was very well-received by some of the readers of this blog. Needless to say, this made me very happy and I kept thinking about the trailer. I even watched it again a couple of times marveling at how it captured the essence of a Wes Anderson film while managing to be extremely funny. It is like a film lover’s dream. The only drawback is that is not a feature film.

Doing some research about the short-film, I stumbled upon a very detailed technical making-of piece by the Director of Photography, Alex Buono. It is a very detailed account of the process, and it also contains a couple of interesting side stories about working with SNL.

In doing my research, I also found out that this team was the same team behind the short film “Djesus Uncrossed”, which you can watch below. “Djesus Uncrossed” tries to do to Tarantino, what “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders” does to Wes Anderson. Although it has some equally brilliant moments, I think it feels more disconnected and does not reach the audacious execution of “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders”.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wes Anderson and horror

With the recent Oscar nominations, I thought it would be appropriate to look back at a wonderful send-up SNL did of what a horror movie directed by Wes Anderson would look like. I am a big fan of horror film, and Wes Anderson would probably the Director I would least expect to make a horror film. That being said, I would really love to see The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.

Regarding the Oscars, I think the award for best Director is between Richard Linklater and Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Paul Thomas Anderson is another one of my favorite Directors. I remember watching Magnolia on my birthday at the theater with three other viewers in attendance. It is one of my favorite film-watching experiences ever. A few months later, when I received my first paycheck working as a lawyer, the first thing I did was buy the deluxe imported 2-discs DVD edition of Magnolia. I was hoping to get a commentary track by P.T. Anderson, but sadly it was not included. There was, however, a documentary about the making of Magnolia. I watched it several times, trying to get a sense of the Director behind Magnolia.

Back in the day, I used to track down the DVDs with commentaries in order to learn about films and filmmaking. It was not easy. Nowadays you can listen to these commentaries online. But another resource that I enjoy as well are podcasts. Recently I listened to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast with Paul Thomas Anderson.

It is a funny, interesting and insightful conversation. PT Anderson is a Wunderkind of American filmmaking. If you love his films, or if you love films in general, I highly recommend you to listen to it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kubrick and GTA V

Stanley Kubrick is one of my favorite filmmakers. The title of my blog probably gives that away. His movies are intense dissections of characters and always go beyond what you would expect. If there was ever a master of filmmaking, it is Kubrick. Up to this day, I have not watched all of his films, the reason being that I want to save some of his films for a special occasion. I am yet to see The Killing and Paths of Glory.

The reason I bring this up is because I recently stumbled upon a reenactment of some of the scenes in A Clockwork Orange made entirely by using Grand Theft Auto V. The video is great and goes to show that Kubrick’s influence still remains intact.

Have a look.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tusk (2014)

Tusk is not a date movie. In fact, my wife claims she is still traumatized because of it. Although I did not like the movie upon first viewing, I find myself occasionally thinking about it since then. I still think it is not a good movie, but I am glad Kevin Smith made the movie.

I have always liked Kevin Smith’s movies, but I am aware not everyone likes his movies. Thinking of Clerks and Mallrats brings back memories of my teenage years. I have not watched them in a long time, and if I did, I might find out that they do not hold up as well as I remember them, but then again, few movies do.

Tusk is weird movie, and it is also uneven in tone. Nevertheless, I do not think Kevin Smith was striving for anything other than that. It is a movie based on a silly story told in his popular podcast. During the podcast, the story was played for laughs, and that is pretty much all you can do with a story like this. During the short writing process before it became a movie, Kevin Smith added several references to his podcast network, and included everything from comedic elements, relationship drama, horror and thriller elements and a detective character that seems from a different movie. Finally, his movie ends the way you would expect from a movie containing all of this.

In the end, the movie is not for everyone. Just like my wife did not like it, many out there did not like it either. However, the movie did revitalize him and now we can expect a few more movies from him. I look forward to seeing them.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Good Marriage

A Good Marriage is based on an interesting premise but the movie never quite delivers on its promise. It is a shame, because it could have been a great movie. This is because the movie was done better not so long ago when David Fincher delivered his adaptation of Gone Girl. Both movies share similar ideas and both serve as a commentary on the institution of marriage, but Gone Girl does it better.

This is not to say that A Good Marriage does not have some good moments, which is based on a short story by Stephen King. Joan Allen is as good as she typically is and Stephen Lang delivers a solid performance.

Some of the problems with the film are the repeated use of the imaginary scenes, which after seeing them once, we can easily anticipate them. Also, the ending comes too abruptly, leaving the viewer wanting more and confused.

Unfortunately, Stephen King’s film adaptations rarely fare well, and even if this is better than most of the Stephen King’s adaptations, it still fails to make a lasting impression.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Best of 2014

The best films I watched in 2014, in no particular order are:

The Raid 2

Expansive in its scope like the Godfather II.

The Guest

A great 80's throwback thriller with a great performance by Dan Stevens.

Red Army

A riveting documentary about hockey, politics and more that is as relevant now as it was 30 years ago.

A one-man show which shows why Tom Hardy is a great author.

Captain America The Winter Soldier
A comic movie that transcends its comic book origins, and it is a lot of fun.


An epic film and experience.

Gone Girl
David Fincher is alive and well.

Dawn of Planet of the Apes
The franchise that keeps surprising.

What Elysium should have been.

Taxi Driver in L.A.

Other movies I was unable to watch, but have potential to end up on my 2014 list:

The Babadook, Birdman, Jodorowksy’s Dune, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Only Lovers Left Alive and It Follows.