Monthly Archives: January 2011

Hawk! I hear the cannons woar.

Is it the King approaching? With the advent of radio, the British Monarchy could no longer hide in their castles from the common people – and just as King George VI’s Father said, “We’ve become actors now,” George has to overcome his speech impediment by addressing his country as Rush provides him with diction lessons. But why the fuck with this new-fangled technology did they risk live radio and not use a recording? I mean forget the war – does he not just make you want to kill yourself instead?

Had they, Colin Firth would not receive the much deserved accolades for portraying a stammering, stuttering King. Still, he’s just a common thespian compared to Brad Dourif. Anyway, it seems to have become tradition for one critically acclaimed Brit drama, period piece, faithfully reproduced down to the last wrinkle, to sweep through our Award shows. It’s hard to believe that all King George VI had to do to lead his country into war was not stammer, or be a nazi loving Guy Pierce, who falls in love with a Strumpet. If only King George could elocute like Chauncey and walk on water to boot.

After seeing this I guess I’d have to re-evaluate my year’s top 5. Which I should probably wait to revise until after I see all those artsy movies I refuse to waste $13.00 on (I already made that mistake this year with Somewhere).

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2010 Dead Flowers

Corey AllenRebel curse continues…

Captain Beefheart – “For uh white elephant escaped from zoo with love. Goes t’ show what uh moon can do, Moonlight on Vermont.”

Barbara Billingsley – The original MILF.

Art Clokey – Thanks for Gumby and Pokey.

Gary Coleman – Sill lives on Avenue Q.

Robert Culp – Fuck Cosby!

Blake Edwards– Dead ant.

Eddie Fisher – Princess Leia’s real Father.

Peter Graves – The Ying of the other half of Yang in Airport.

Corey Haim – Where are they now?

Dennis Hopper – ‘”What are they gonna say about him? What are they gonna say? That he was a kind man? That he was a wise man? That he had plans, man? That he had wisdom? Bullshit, man!”

Irvin Kershner – Director of the greatest movie ever made.

Dino De Laurentiis – Hit and Miss.

Sally Menke – I’d rather lose an arm.

Leslie Nielsen – “It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.”

Harvey Pekar – Perfectly Goddamn delightful.

Arthur Penn & Dede Allen – Bonnie &  Clyde.

J. D. Salinger – John Lennon was no phony.

 

Happy New Year 2011.

 

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2010 “Epic” 5

1. The Social Network

2. Toy Story 3

3. True Grit

4.  The Fighter

5. The Runaways/Scott Pilgrim vs The World

 

Noteworthy:


Sylvian Chomet follows The Triplets of Belleville with The Illusionist – another marriage of traditional animation and music from the Frenchies reminding us Americans the standard format that 3D and CGI have become, thereby losing it’s poetic sensibilities and abstract qualities. But the Illusionist’s “epic fail” is in it’s focus on the least interesting characters as opposed to washed up vaudeville acts such as a suicidal clown, a lonely ventriloquist, midget concierges, acrobatic painters,  hybrid late 50’s band and a nippy bunny.

Toy Story 3‘s main characters’ relationship to the audience may already have been established but are still always developing as opposed to this Magician who still can’t draw a crowd or a dingy dimwitted materialistic ungrateful Bitch.

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Wicked Wit of the Grit

Usually I count the days in anticipation for the release of the latest Coen Bros’ film but since their first remake, Ladykillers, didn’t kill, this time around I was a bit dubious after seeing True Grit‘s too revealing trailer and cliche “wanted” font poster. But as it began I was immediately drawn in by the precocious 14yr old girl, Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) and her no nonsense determination to catch her Father’s killer to see him hang. But I felt like hanging myself when seeing how the Coen’s staged the typical western town without a speck of grime anywhere, (almost rivaling the Boardwalk Empire set) and DP Deakin’s clean, streaming pools of light.

(Fort Smith, Ark 1878)

The only redeeming aspect of the town scenes was Mattie’s bargaining with town businessman (the scene also read for their open auditions) and her witnessing a brutal yet comical hanging of three men – though local P.C. film critic, J. Hoberman, begs to differ.

“The Coens are still themselves. As one colleague remarked—unprompted—upon leaving the screening where True Grit was previewed for New York critics, “They always do something to make you hate them.” (In my case, the moment happened early on with a gag based on the hanging of a—dare one say—Native American.)”

Hey J, most of John Wayne’s movies portray Indians like shit and far worse, that’s one of the reasons why I’m not a fan of The Searchers. Though he does redeem himself in his review by citing the influence of Night Of The Hunter and it’s fable qualities he’s still more of a pompous douche than I am, I mean just look at his top ten list! From the likes of Alice in Wonderland to Little Red Riding these fables and fairy tales capture the innocence and fears of a young girl’s coming of age and so does Coen Bros. treatment and approach to their western. The Coen’s foray into this genre is not exactly groundbreaking (unlike No Country for Old Men) but they do infuse it with their usual eccentric brand of humor while being faithful more to the novel than Wayne’s version.

The casts’ delivery of dialogue are perfectly paced, Bridges as a drunk washed up sheriff, with insight from The Dude’s, and Matt Damon an overly confident Texas Ranger, like Space Ranger, Buzz Lightyear. The only fault in the film’s casting is the 40 year old Mattie Ross, who appears to look like a 60 year old Agnes Moorehead rather than the young Hailee. I know the western frontier and a snake bite will age you but talk about a country bumpkin!

But this tiny blemish is nothing compared to the sappy soundtrack. Nevertheless the Coens continue their prolific output and again leave me wanting more.

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