Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2000)

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel and Ethan Cohen, 2000)
Rating: 9.8

This is an amazing adaptation of the Odyssey during one of the most fascinating times in American History. The overooked details and parralles to Homer's Odyssey make in even more interesting. Blending actual historical figures and events like bluesman Tommy Johnson and George "Babyface" Nelson with folklore, mythology, southern music, culture, and politics, this film is a joy to watch.

Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)

Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)
Rating: 8.7

"Does Christmas smell like oranges to you?"

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)

Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)
Rating: 8.2

I enjoyed the open endedness of this heart warming Christmas classic as well as the music, but everything just seemed overdone from the acting (Nicole Kidman especially, Tom Cruise did just fine), the sexuality, the constant reminders that it's Christmas time and Tom Cruise's Character is a doctor.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Experimental Video:

Still from Buckner's film Hearts

Juste le Tempe (Robert Cahen, 1983) - 6.5
Hearts (Barbara Buckner, 1979) - 9.4
Antiqua 78 RPM (Neam Cathod, 1985) - 6.6
Bird in Flight (Franklin Miller, 1984) - 8.3
I Cannot Go To Africa Because I'm on Duty (Eder Santos, 1990) - 5.5
History and Memory (Rea Tajiri, 1985) - 7.9

Minimalist-Structuralist films:

Still from Lawder's Necrology (1969)

Necrology (Standish Lawder, 1969) -10
Print Generation (J.J. Murphy, 1974) - 6.4
Pasadena Freeway Stills (Gary Beydler, 1974 - 8.8
Streamline (Chris Welsby, 1976) - 8.3
Alpha Mandala (Joseph Anderson and Edward Small, 1972) - 7.8
Kiri (Sakumi Hagiwara, 1971) - 7.8

Expanded Cinema:

A still from James Whitney's film "Lapis," that explores abstract art's relationship to music.

Allures (Jordan Belson, 1961) - 7.2
Mandala (Jordan Belson, 1952) - 7.7
Lapis (James Whitney, 1966) - 7.3
OffOn (Scott Bartlett, 1972) - 8.0
Now That the Buffalo’s Gone (Gershfield, 1967) - 8.3

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Friday Night Lights (Peter Berg, 2004)

Friday Night Lights (Peter Berg, 2004)
Rating: 7.0

With incredible performances by Derek Luke as Boobie Miles and Tim McGraw as the drunken father of a player, and hands down the best music accompaniment to a sports film to date, Friday Night Lights takes a giant step forward for sports movies in general. Rather than being entirely banal entertainment, this film is semi poetic and touching at times. The final scene where the players names are getting removed from the roster, as well as the scenes of Boobie's struggle to realize the seriousness of his injury and his emotional response to the threat of shattered hopes are heartbreaking. I must say "semi" poetic because the film is still flawed, and there are still clich├ęs and mainstream conventions aplenty. I was especially annoyed by the the playoff montage and the insistance on playing cheesey 80s rock music rather than sticking to Explosions in the Sky. Perhaps this isn't a cinematic masterpiece, but in comparison with some of the trivial garbage within the genre, this movie stands above most.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)

Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)
Rating: 10

"We don't want to conquer space at all. We want to expand Earth endlessly. We don't want other worlds; we want a mirror. We seek contact and will never achieve it. We are in the foolish position of a man striving for a goal he fears and doesn't want. Man needs man!"

This is what Aronofsky's new film The Fountain was going for.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Meet John Doe (Frank Capra, 1941)

Meet John Doe (Frank Capra, 1941)
Rating: 9.0

"All right. You're walking along, not a nickel in your jeans, your free as the wind, nobody bothers ya. Hundreds of people pass you by in every line of buisness: shoes, hats, automobiles, radios, everything, and there all nice lovable people and they lets you alone, is that right? Then you get a hold of some dough and what happens, all those nice sweet lovable people become hee-lots, a lotta heels. They begin to creep up on ya, trying to sell ya something: they get long claws and they get a stranglehold on ya, and you squirm and you duck and you holler and you try to push them away but you haven't got the chance. They gots ya. First thing ya know you own things, a car for instance, now your whole life is messed up with alot more stuff: you get license fees and number plates and gas and oil and taxes and insurance and identification cards and letters and bills and flat tires and dents and traffic tickets and motorcycle cops and tickets and courtrooms and lawers and fines and... a million and one other things. What happens? You're not the free and happy guy you used to be. You need to have money to pay for all those things, so you go after what the other fellas got. There you are, you're a hee-lot yourself. "

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

Bobby (Emilio Estevez, 2006)

Bobby (Emilio Estevez, 2006)
Rating: 3.0

I was shocked to find this to be one of the worst films I've seen in a while. Despite having twenty two character's lives to choose from (at least 18 of which are well known actors) I couldn't find one thing compelling about any of them. The only redeeming quality was the actual footage and audio of Robert Kennedy himself.