Archive for the ‘Romance’ Category

All the Real Girls

Saturday, February 15th, 2003

You probaly haven’t heard of it but ALL THE REAL GIRLS is the new one from the young man who made GEORGE WASHINGTON. Maybe you never saw that one either, it was kinda weird because it wasn’t about President George Washington or peanut innovator George Washington Carver, it was about some kid. Maybe he grows up to be George Washington, I don’t know, I don’t get it. But it’s a unique and effective movie made by a young dude nobody ever heard of and somehow it got its own Criterion Collection dvd and many nominations for Independent Spirit Awards. Now the kid got the job of directing a movie of the book CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, which people have wanted to do for years and years. We’ll see how that turns out, I think the kid can pull it off but who knows I only read half of the book. (read the rest of this shit…)

Frida

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

This is the story of Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican modernist known for her great painting and sexy monobrow. This is a gal who means many things to many people. An important artist, but also a feminist, a revolutionary, an unashamed bisexual. And you could probaly guess, since there’s a biography movie made out of her, that the poor gal had to be either alcoholic or disabled. In this case she was disabled, unpleasantly impaled in a bus accident, sporadically confined to a full body cast. But since she’s an artist she paints pretty butterflies on it.

You know Salma Hayek will get an oscar nomination for this, mainly because of the bodycast. I gotta be honest though, ’cause that’s my job. I don’t think she’s necessarily doing great work here. She’s just doing pretty good in a role that she is good for, that happens to be real Important because it’s a real person, who was a brilliant artist, who was disabled, and had some kind of political context to her life that can be simplified into movie form. I’m not saying Salma is bad, especially not compared to her embarassing improv role in TIMECODE. And I can’t think of anyone better for the role. But she didn’t exactly blow my mind either, especially not during the scenes where she wears a schoolgirl uniform and tries to pass for a teen. (read the rest of this shit…)

Drumline

Saturday, December 14th, 2002

I don’t know what the deal is with this movie but I gotta admit I kinda liked it. Basically it is your formula movie about young kids competing in something, like LOVE AND BASKETBALL or KARATE KID or WORLD’S BIGGEST GANG BANG or that kind of thing. But in this case instead of sports they are competing at marching band.

The main kid is Nick Cannon who I just looked up on IMDb. I guess he was on the “nickelodeon” kids channel and even had a show named after him. So basically he is an unknown. He is real good as a prodigy on the drum. Not the drums, just one drum that you carry around. This kid is real good, especially good at memorizing and picking things up fast, but you find out later that he can’t read music. Still, he gets a scholarship to this college and goes to this marching band and finds out it’s alot more strict than he expected. They got a curfew, they got a drum major that hates him, etc. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Is TOUCHed By Michelle Yeoh!!

Monday, December 2nd, 2002

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Vern rules. If you don’t know that by now, then here’s your chance to figure out why.

Fellas –

I know you ran a couple reviews of THE TOUCH starring Michelle Yeoh before, but I thought I’d throw in too. I mean look harry you and I go way back, just give me another chance to commune with those talkbackers you got. I’ve been practicing and I think I can win em over this time. The secret is not to mention that I’m an award winning Writer and then I really think those fuckers might take a shine to me. Don’t print that part harry, thanks bud. (read the rest of this shit…)

Far from Heaven

Friday, November 22nd, 2002

FAR FROM HEAVEN is the lovingly crafted new film from Todd Haynes (VELVET GOLDMINE), about an upper class socialite house wife (the great Julianne Moore from JURASSIC PARK PART 2 and ASSASSINS) dealing with the shameful prejudices and social pressures of the time. When she discovers that her husband (one of the Quaids, I think Randy) kissing a man, she tries to be loving and understanding about it. Her friends joke about her liberalism and call her “Red” but she naively deals with it as a medical problem, and brings him to a doctor to be “cured”. Soon she strikes up a friendship with her black gardener (the president from that stupid tv show 24) and again tests the limits of her liberalism when she finds that both whites and blacks scorn their innocent relationship.

Part of what makes it work is that the styles of acting, the dissolve-heavy editing, and the music by Elmer Bernstein are all taken directly from the films of that time period. It’s as if Haynes had travelled back in time and created a movie that he wishes they could’ve made back then, dealing with issues no one wanted to face, ones that are still embarassingly relevant today. It’s all a perfect re-creation of the melodramas of Douglas Sirk. (read the rest of this shit…)

Punch-Drunk Love

Friday, November 1st, 2002

This is the new Adam Sandler picture, but instead of being directed by one of his college roommates, this one’s by a real director, “p.t. anderson” (a.k.a. Paul Thomas Anderson, director of HARD EIGHT, BOOGIE NIGHTS and MAGNOLIA). Mr. Anderson – not to be confused with Paul “not Thomas” Anderson, director of RESIDENT EVIL and crap – is one of these virtuoso younger directors that’s so obviously talented that people bend over backwards to prove he’s overrated. Not too many people saw HARD EIGHT but they’ll tell you BOOGIE NIGHTS was a ripoff of Scorsese and MAGNOLIA was a ripoff of Altman and now they’re saying PUNCH DRUNK LOVE is good for an Adam Sandler movie but it’s Anderson’s worst.

Well I’m not sure I agree with that. Sure it’s a little lighter just because it’s not long and it’s got two main characters instead of a whole ensemble. It’s not an epic. It’s smaller than the last two. But it’s his most original, and maybe his most genuine. Now he steps out from the obvious comparisons to other director’s styles and shows you which parts are the p.t. anderson style. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Rules of Attraction

Saturday, October 12th, 2002

Not even Mr. McTiernan’s ROLLERBALL managed to scare up as much hatred in movie critics as THE RULES OF ATTRACTION, the latest by Roger Avary, Oscar winning screenwriter best known as the guy who worked at the video store with Quentin Tarantino. I knew there were a handful of fans but many of the reviews were filled with the kind of angry blubbering you usually get when somebody talks about that last Batman and Robin movie or the 30th Anniversary version of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD where they added in extra scenes and changed the music. The kind of thing where you’re so appalled by the movie you can barely even speak English anymore. The film critic at a local alternative weekly interviewed Avary about the movie and the first question was “What were you thinking?”

So I was kind of surprised by how good the movie actually is. Sure it’s pretty pretentious. And if all you see is a “rich college kids are fucked up” message then no, it’s not an original message. But then neither is “war is hell” and that hasn’t made anyone declare the end of the war movie genre for all of eternity. I didn’t find this movie profound (I didn’t find it empty either) but I really thought the execution of it was exceptional. And there is some truth to the story it paints of people being attracted to horrible people and things turning out bad. (In fact, real bad.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Full Frontal

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2002

First of all you gotta realize, this is one of them movies where a well known director decides to do a loose, low budget experimental quickie type picture. For example, while making his “real” movie, the chinese water torture of an animated feature that is WAKING LIFE, Richard Linklater also spent like a day or two doing a minimalistic three-character-play-on-digital-video called TAPE that was a little easier to stomach.

In this case the director is Steven Soderbergh, and in my book he’s earned the right to do whatever the fuck he wants with a digital camera and Julia Roberts on the weekends. Not because he made two movies in the same year and was nominated best director for both (although that’s probaly something worth bragging about) but because before that he was on even more of a roll, doing OUT OF SIGHT and the 1999 Outlaw Award winner THE LIMEY right in a row. This year Soderbergh is doing a remake of SOLARIS, that russian space movie that is famous for being really long, boring and good. But first to cleanse his pallet he whipped out this little fucker that is kind of an homage (french word) to the DOGMA of ’95 movement and the new wave that the french had a while back. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Good Girl

Thursday, August 8th, 2002

This is the latest from the director Miguel Arteta and the Writer Mike White, who did CHUCK AND BUCK together. Mr. White also used to write for some tv shows, one supposedly really good and the rest called DAWSON’S CREEK and PASADENA. More recently he wrote the only okay ORANGE COUNTY and had a funny cameo in it. He has a small role here where he gets some laughs. He was the star of CHUCK AND BUCK and he’s a real goofball so when he appears in his movies you always want him to have a bigger part.

Before we move on I gotta ask, is this or is this not the same Mike White who does the zine Cashiers Du Cinemart that I used to always get spam for until dejanews shut down and I changed my e-mail? [UPDATE: I e-mailed the Cinemart Mike White, and he said he was not the GOOD GIRL Mike White.] If so that would also make him the same Mike White who makes the videos trying to point out which parts of Tarantino movies are similar to other people’s movies, which would make him kind of an ass. Somebody told me it was the same dude and I tried to verify it but the closest thing I could find for verification was that the Cinemart guy says he doesn’t have a new issue because he spent all of 2001 finding a new house, and then an interview with Miguel mentions that they auditioned Jake Gyllenhall in Mike White’s brand new house and he threw a chair and put a hole in the wall. That’s a pretty good clue I think but I don’t know if it would hold up in a court of law. I mean I wouldn’t want to besmirch Mike White’s name if there were two of them, like how there’s one George Miller who did MAD MAX and the other one who did the Steve Guttenberg movie where a dog rides on a dolphin’s back. (read the rest of this shit…)

Slackers

Friday, February 1st, 2002

I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me. Here I am battling the IMDB for a prestigious award, I’m trying to prove myself worthy and this is all I have to offer you. Fucking Slackers.

I couldn’t tell you how it happens. Every time I set out to see a particular movie. I mean there are three movies in particular I want to see right now. There’s Little Otik, the Czechoslovakian cartoon about some folks raising a tree stump as their baby. There’s Brotherhood of the Wolf, where the frenchy who directed Crying Freeman mixes French history with kung fu and, I guess werewolves maybe. Who knows. And there’s also Storytelling from the pervert who made Happiness. (read the rest of this shit…)