Thursday, May 28, 2015

It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)

It shows

David Robert Mitchell's take on the horror genre is hardly that of a veteran, and easily the best thing about his sophomore feature effort (his first being a coming-of-age comedy). He's serious about teens, treats them as people worthy of attention and even trust, and in the lower-middle-class suburban neighborhoods of Detroit has found an evocatively memorable landscape for them to inhabit. If anything, perhaps the least interesting element in Mitchell's film is the horror, the ostensible selling point

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tomorrowland (Brad Bird, 2015)

Tomorrow belongs to me

Talk about optimists: Brad Bird's Tomorrowland was done for a largish $190 million, the makers hoping to make around twice that amount back--despite so-so reviews and a less-than-stellar first weekend

I know the question on your mind though ("Screw the money figures, what about the movie itself?").

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

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

(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 the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. Haunted Theater 80 at St. Marks for the longest time, because I'd been told they screened it before and might again, but it never showed up. Finally had a chance in Detroit of all places, an arthouse theater which served coffee and sandwiches while you watched. 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