Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blackhat (Michael Mann, 2015)

The Professionals

With an opening worldwide weekend gross of $6 million and at best mediocre reviews from critics, Michael Mann's $70 million Blackhat--despite the presence of Thor star Chris Hemsworth--is poised to become the director's biggest commercial and critical disaster to date. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hard to Be a God (Trudno byt' bogom, Aleksei German, 2013)

I, Mud

Aleksei German's adaptation of the Strugatsky Brothers' 1964 novel is to put it mildly a labor of love: six years actual shooting (from 2000 to 2006), another six of post-production, with German himself dying in 2013 (the film was completed under the supervision of his wife and son); more, it's possible he'd been thinking of adapting the book through the length of his long if sparse career (five feature films, from 1967 onwards)--perhaps longer (shortly after the book's publication, if you believe some folks).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Best Films of 2014: Four Lists

Best films of 2014: four lists


The Babadook, Birdman, Boyhood, Gone Girl, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Interstellar, Nightcrawler, Selma, Under the Skin--the usual suspects--are not all bad films (when talking 'bad' two titles in particular come to mind), but for one reason or another the flaws felt more significant than the virtues.

Plus said titles have no shortage of supporters and even less need for further promotion. If they happen to be nominated or win the Golden Dildo, more power to them, whatever. No feelings for or against their victory--such as it is--whatsoever.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Last Christmas (Paul Wilmshurst, Doctor Who Christmas Special)

Badass Santa

(WARNING: story and plot twists discussed in explicit detail, so--watch the episode first!)

And finally after ten years of Whovian Christmas Specials (the only thing I actually look forward to when the season rolls by) the Big Man himself shows up. And when he makes his entrance (I mean a proper entrance, unlike the earlier rooftop scene where he attempted to remain incognito) it has to be in style. An explosion takes out a wall; tangerines roll (like bowled grenades?) across the floor; Slinkies march forth, followed by regiments of toy robots. The Big Man himself strides in in the guise of Nick Frost wearing a luxurious white beard and red suit, levels at the camera (at us in effect) his most 'I'm not taking any crap from you' Robert Baratheon glare and growls: "what seems to be the problem?"