Friday, May 22, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015) and the arguably greatest film ever made

Hell hath no Furi
In the beginning was the word.

And the word was Max. 

And Max's creator--George Miller, MD--cut his first feature film on a kitchen table. 

And the film was a hit, all frantic action and blaring trumpets and bug-eyed skulls hurtling at the big screen.

A bigger-budgeted sequel was done, with postapocalyptic dune buggies chasing a spike-crowned Mack truck, to the strains of Brian May's mythmaking music.

And Miller saw that it was good--maybe great. Definitely better than anything infidel Steven Spielberg has made, is making, will ever make.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Campanadas a medianoche (Chimes at Midnight, Orson Welles, 1965)

On the occasion of its May 15 at 8 pm Eastern TCM premiere, an old post

Also part of the Shakespeare blogathon

(Note: plot discussed in close detail--but at 450 years old and counting, is anyone still unfamiliar with the story?)

Bigger than life

What to say about this film? I first saw it on a pirated VHS tape I'd rented in New York back in 1991 (the tape startled me; I had no idea pirated tapes still existed in the USA), and despite the video snow, unstable vertical, wretched sound (not that the actual soundtrack was a model of clarity), thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. Haunted Theater 80 at St. Marks for the longest time, because I'd been told they have screened it before and might again, but it never showed up. Finally had a chance to see it on the big screen (in Detroit of all places!) in a cafe-style arthouse theater while served coffee and sandwiches. There were two screenings, and I went to both; had no reason to change my opinion.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Unfriended (Leo Gabriadze, 2015)


TC: OMG! Did u c Unfriended?

NV: Yes

TC: OMG! Wasnt it scary? LOL!

NV: It was all right

TC: WTF?!!! I near crpped in my pants!

NV: It was all right


NV: I didn't not like it, just liked it okay

TC: So wats wrong wid it?

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon, 2015)

Frankenstein upgrade

Call me seduced by expensive corporate product, but I liked Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Forget that it costs an estimated quarter of a billion (all that money and not even a glimpse of decent shawarma!); forget that it ties up and partly resolves the plotlines of a TV show and three smaller franchises, setting up at the same time the premise for the next two direct sequels and sequels for aforementioned franchises; forget that it features the latest in (largely unpersuasive) digital effects and (somewhat poorly staged) 3D filmmaking--I went because, well, it's Whedon's latest. Watched mainly for the quips and the dialogue, folks, and his deft way with oddly idealistic drama, just like the previous picture

Friday, May 01, 2015

Bagong Bayani (Unsung Heroine, Tikoy Aguiluz, 1995)

In the light of recent events, this film sadly seems as relevant as ever

Proxy mother
Tikoy Aguiluz's Bagong Bayani was made in two months on a shoestring budget, has been plagued by unaccountable production delays (due to pressure from Viva Studios, perhaps?); so far no theater has agreed to release it, so the closest you might get is this article

Which is a filthy shame: Bagong Bayani is the best Filipino film of the year. "But the year's only half over," you might point out; actually, I think this is the best Filipino film since Orapronobis in the late 1980's.
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