OMG … I Love Criterion!!!


On June 12th, Criterion releases one of my favorite movies!

FILMMAKER-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Brian Tufano, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Two audio commentaries: one by director Danny Boyle and the other by screenwriter John Hodge and producer Andrew Macdonald
  • New interviews with stars Christopher Eccleston, Kerry Fox, and Ewan McGregor
  • Digging Your Own Grave, a 1993 documentary by Kevin Macdonald on the making of the film
  • Andrew Macdonald and Kevin Macdonald’s video diary from the 1992 Edinburgh Film Festival, where they shopped around the script for Shallow Grave
  • Shallow Grave trailer and Trainspotting teaser trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Kemp
OMG … I Love Criterion!!!

“Tattoo” vs. “Tattoo”


David Fincher movies get me all excited. So, when it was announced he was at the helm of the American-ized version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” I got super excited. I really enjoyed the Swedish film, so I was curious as to what Fincher would do with the material.

Now the results are in theaters and it stacks up well (and sometimes not so well) against the original Swedish film.

For the most part, Fincher’s version works very well. The tone of the movie is very cold, clinical and precise. Fincher seems more interested in presenting the mechanics of the investigation rather than making it a more lurid thriller. It’s kinda like a lighter and more user friendly version of “Zodiac.” Some plot elements from the book that were ditched in the original movie show up here which make a nice addition. All the actor’s are solid and the pacing clicks along fairly well (except for wrapping up all the loose threads at the end). Plus, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross deliver another very interesting soundtrack.

So, does Rooney Mara kick it as Lisbeth Slander? She does and then some. I liked Mara’s take of the character more than Noomi Rapace‘s. It’s more dark, internal and withdrawn.

The major problem with the movie is that it has about five endings. They catch the killer and then there are about four more plot points to resolve which drags out the ending. And the movie is fitted with a bizarre James Bond-esque opening credit sequence. It looks cool and plays under the blasting sounds of “Immigrant Song” (covered by Reznor/Ross/Karen O) … but it doesn’t really serve any other purpose than to look cool.

There are better Fincher films … but, on the whole, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” worth checking out.

“Tattoo” vs. “Tattoo”

Sunday Movie Double Feature


What better way is there to spend a blustery, dreary fall day than to spend it at the movies!

Animal Kingdom” (Australia, 2010)
This wasn’t at all what I expected. It’s less a story about actual crime and more about the effects of crime on a 17 year old suddenly thrust into his uncle’s criminal world. This movie is well written, directed and superbly acted. Well worth seeing if it’s playing in your area … two thumbs up!!!

The Social Network” (USA, 2010)
Seriously. David Fincher IS the best director working in the business today. This whole movie is top notch … from the directing to the Aaron Sorkin script to the acting to the Reznor/Ross score. Another two thumbs up!!!

Sunday Movie Double Feature

Some Holiday Movie Thoughts


“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Directed by David Fincher

A new David Fincher film is always cause for excitement. He’s always made movies that have a lot going for them. “Zodiac” (his last film) is a modern masterpiece (in my humble opinion). The time, Fincher has turned away from his typically dark subjects to bring us a psuedo-fantasy/chick flick with “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” It’s beautifully filmed. The acting from Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett is serviceable (it won’t knock your socks off). While watching the movie I was thinking how some of the elements of the story were very “Forrest Gump” only used to better effect. Turns out that the screen writer is the same guy that wrote that movie … a movie that I really don’t like. Maybe that is tainting my view of “Benjamin Button.” Or maybe it’s the “tug at your heart strings” ending. I must confess that the more I think about this movie the more unsure of it I become. It would be interesting to hear what other Fincher fans think about “Benjamin Button.”
 


“Doubt”
Directed by John Patrick Shanley

I have read and have seen the stage play on Broadway. And now … the movie version of “Doubt.” The stage play is a four character affair. For the movie version, John Patrick Shanley has taken his stage play and made the canvas a lot bigger (with great results). Plus it doesn’t hurt that Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep get to showcase their chops. And what chops they have! Amy Adams (as Sister James) holds her own in the struggle between Father Flynn and Sister Aloysius. But, it’s Viola Davis who nearly steals the whole movie in her short scene with Streep. “Doubt” showcases not only lots of high drama … it also showcases lots of excellent acting. I highly, highly recommend this movie.

Next up … Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie.”

Some Holiday Movie Thoughts

Final Days

The movie marathon to end all movie marathons is over half-way done now. Five days are left on the “Twelve Days of Hitchcock.”

*****
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2008

Rear Window (1954) at 6:00 pm
To Catch a Thief (1955) at 8:30 pm

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2008
The Trouble with Harry (1955) at 11:00 am
The Wrong Man (1956) at 1:30 pm
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) at 4:00 pm
Vertigo (1958) at 7:00 pm

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2008
North by Northwest (1959) at 11:00 am
Psycho (1960) at 2:00 pm
The Birds (1963) at 4:30 pm
Marnie (1964) at 7:30 pm

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2008
Torn Curtain (1966) at 6:00 pm
Topaz (1969) at 8:30 pm

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2008
Frenzy (1972) at 6:00 pm
Family Plot (1976) at 8:30 pm
*****

Turn out has been kinda light … but I am not really sure what I should have expected. Teacher Beth gets the gold star for attending the most showings so far.

Final Days

Ready for the Weekend

The “Twelve Days of Hitchcock” Movie Marathon kicks off tonight at my place. I gotta get by the store and get some popcorn and suitable munchies. Gonna be interesting to see who drops by from some classic movie viewin’.

*****
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2008

Rebecca (1940) at 6:00 pm
Foreign Correspondent (1940) at 9:00 pm

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2008
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) at 1:00 pm
Suspicion (1941) at 3:30 pm
Saboteur (1942) at 6:00 pm

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2008
Shadow of a Doubt (1943) at 1:00 pm
Lifeboat (1944) at 3:30 pm
Spellbound (1945) at 6:00 pm
*****

Now … while I am enjoying Hitchcock movies with my pals, you can enjoy some Chris Evans (fully clothed … sorry, folks).
Chris Evans

Ready for the Weekend

The Twelve Days of Hitchcock

The much-talked about (and finally planned) movie marathon to end all movie marathons is occurring at my place January 25th to February 5th. I am gonna be showing all 30 of Alfred Hitchcock’s Hollywood films over the course of 12 days and nights. Rawk!

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2008
Rebecca (1940) at 6:00 pm
Foreign Correspondent (1940) at 9:00 pm

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2008
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) at 1:00 pm
Suspicion (1941) at 3:30 pm
Saboteur (1942) at 6:00 pm

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2008
Shadow of a Doubt (1943) at 1:00 pm
Lifeboat (1944) at 3:30 pm
Spellbound (1945) at 6:00 pm

MONDAY, JANUARY 28, 2008
Notorious (1946) at 6:00 pm
The Paradine Case (1947) at 8:30 pm

TUESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2008
Rope (1948) at 6:00 pm
Under Capricorn (1949) at 8:30 pm

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2008
Stage Fright (1950) at 6:00 pm
Strangers on a Train (1951) at 8:30 pm

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2008
I Confess (1953) at 6:00 pm
Dial M for Murder (1954) at 8:30 pm

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2008
Rear Window (1954) at 6:00 pm
To Catch a Thief (1955) at 8:30 pm

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2008
The Trouble with Harry (1955) at 11:00 am
The Wrong Man (1956) at 1:30 pm
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) at 4:00 pm
Vertigo (1958) at 7:00 pm

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2008
North by Northwest (1959) at 11:00 am
Psycho (1960) at 2:00 pm
The Birds (1963) at 4:30 pm
Marnie (1964) at 7:30 pm

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2008
Torn Curtain (1966) at 6:00 pm
Topaz (1969) at 8:30 pm

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2008
Frenzy (1972) at 6:00 pm
Family Plot (1976) at 8:30 pm

The Twelve Days of Hitchcock

OMG … Blood!!!

There Will Be Blood
OMG! How stoked am I that the new Paul Thomas Anderson film “There Will Be Blood” is gonna be here soon? I am VERY stoked! P.T. Anderson’s previous films (“Hard Eight,” “Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia” and “Punch-Drunk Love”) are all favorites of mine. “There Will be Blood” is an adaptation of the Upton Sinclair novel “Oil!”. It’s going to be very interesting to see him tackle a period piece. You can watch the trailer for “There Will Be Blood” here.

OMG … Blood!!!

Robert Altman Dead at 81

Robert Altman, the caustic and irreverent satirist behind “M-A-S-H,” “Nashville” and “The Player” who made a career out of bucking Hollywood management and story conventions, died at a Los Angeles Hospital, his production company said Tuesday. He was 81.

The director died Monday night, Joshua Astrachan, a producer at Altman’s Sandcastle 5 Productions in New York City, told The Associated Press.

The cause of death wasn’t disclosed. A news release was expected later in the day, Astrachan said.

A five-time Academy Award nominee for best director, most recently for 2001’s “Gosford Park,” he finally won a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2006.

“No other filmmaker has gotten a better shake than I have,” Altman said while accepting the award. “I’m very fortunate in my career. I’ve never had to direct a film I didn’t choose or develop. My love for filmmaking has given me an entree to the world and to the human condition.”

I can’t even begin to tell you how sad this makes me …

Robert Altman Dead at 81