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a boutique video production and post-production studio

Category Archives: film reviews

The following are a list of Movies we watched this year.

January

  1. Five Easy Pieces (dir. Bob Rafelson) *
  2. Days of Heaven (dir. Terrence Malick) *
  3. Jonah Hex (dir. Jimmy Hayward)
  4. Splice (dir. Vincenzo Natali)
  5. Piranha (dir. Alexandre Aja)
  6. Martyrs (dir. Pascal Laugier)
  7. Iron Man 2 (dir. Jon Farveau)
  8. The Town (dir. Ben Affleck)
  9. The Secret in their Eyes (dir. Juan Jose Campanella)
  10. The Night of the Hunter (dir. Charles Laughton) *
  11. Black Book (dir. Paul Verhoven)
  12. Exit Through the Gift Shop (dir. Bansky)
  13. Vengeance (dir. Johnny To)
  14. The Thin Red Line (dir. Terrence Malick) *
  15. Paprika (dir. Satoshi Kon)
  16. Twilight (dir. Catherine Hardwicke) *
  17. The Bounty Hunter (dir. Andy Tennant)
  18. Vahalla Rising (dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)

February

  1. High Noon (dir. Fred Zimmeman)
  2. Hot Fuzz (dir. Edgar Wright)
  3. Kick Ass (dir. Matthew Vaughn)
  4. Monsters (dir. Gareth Edwards)
  5. Knight and Day (dir. James Mangold)
  6. The Lives of Others (dir. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)
  7. Pride & Prejudice (dir. Simon Langton)*
  8. The Last Metro (dir. Francois Truffaunt)*
  9. The Last Seduction (dir. John Dahl)
  10. Nightmare on Elm Street (dir. Samuel Bayer)
  11. The Social Network (dir. David Fincher)
  12. True Grit (dir. Joel and Ethan Coen)
  13. The Kids are Alright (dir. Lisa Cholodenko)
  14. Mark Twain (dir. Ken Burns)

March

  1. Vampyr (dir. Carl Th. Dreyer)*
  2. Sweet Smell of Success (dir. Alexander Mackendrick)*
  3. Fish Tank (dir. Andrea Arnold)
  4. The Taking of Power by Louis XIV (dir. Robert Rossellini)
  5. A Film with Me In It (dir. Ian Fitzgibbon)
  6. Milk (dir. Gus Van Sant)
  7. The Good, The Bad, The Weird (dir. Ji-woon Kim)
  8. Rango (dir. Gore Verbinski)
  9. Inception (dir. Christopher Nolan)*
  10. Mesrine: Killer Instinct (dir. Jean-Francois Richet)
  11. Immortal Beloved (dir. Bernard Rose)
  12. A Prairie Home Companion (dir. Robert Altman)*
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Halloween –

Rob Zombie is a filmmaker with a distinct vision that has yet to congeal into a great film, yet. His remake of Halloween is interesting study in auteur-ism. His film, unlike the classic 1978 John Carpenter film, is interested in the where of Michael Myers. (It’s so concerned with that aspect of the story that the Myers murders seem perfunctory.)

This is the Zombie Touch. (Not wholly dissimilar from the Lubitsch Touch, though more grisly and there’s only sick, gruesome comedy. So for purists, its not at all like the Lubitsch Touch, but how often do you get to write about Ernst Lubitsch and Rob Zombie in the same sentence?)

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Some images or scenes overwhelm the our idea of the film. Be it something small, like the first time we see Jessica Rabbit or iconic like Robert Mitchum’s hands in Night of the Hunter, we sometimes focus on details and forget why they are important.

The Turkish Bath scene in Eastern Promises is such a scene.

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Whip It –

Whip It is classic Sunday afternoon fare – it entertains, but you end up wishing for something more.

Being the first venture into directing, Drew Barrymore should be commended for making a film that with pace and is enertaining, even if it’s not always successful.

The film’s strengths are the scenes with the Roller Girls and their camaraderie, but not the scenes involving the actual game. Whip It is as faithful an  account of Roller Derby as Caddyshack is about golf, not that that’s either of these film’s point, but its misleading to think that this is an accurate representation of the game.

The film is about finding yourself and being true to that, and that it does well.

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Blue Steel –

An early Kathryn Bigelow film that show’s so much promise in its first act that it’s an incredible shame that last act devolves into unbelievable cat and mouse farce. Yet, even in the face of this ludicrous final act, the performers, namely Jamie Lee Curtis and Ron Silver, are remarkably unscathed.

The story centers around a rookie cop (Curtis) shooting a robbery suspect in the middle of his robbery. When the gun she claimed he had isn’t found. (Ron Silver stole it.) She’s immediately suspended, because remarkably no witness to the crime remembers the gun, no, not even the check-out clerk who had the gun in his face.

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Bigger than Life –

James Mason seems to have unfairly fallen into the category of forgotten legends. The problem with that is not that we need to think of him in the same breath as James Dean or Humphry Bogart, but his omission from the general consciousness disappointing. So, outside of a fantastic parody of him by John Hamm on SNL, where should we remember him? Most defiantly as the debonair villain in North by Northwest. Surely, as the pedophile protagonist of Lolita. As the Irish Nationalist Leader in Odd Man Out, is not bad either.

Though, I think that those who have seen and will see him in Bigger than Life, might remember him most fondly here, in a remarkable performance, in movie seemingly years before its time. It is a film whose final act outdoes all that precedes it, but does not misrepresent where the film was going, and Mason’s de-evolution is the central driving force to that final act.

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I Know Where I’m Going

Ever wonder what a smart romantic-comedy should look like? Well, look no further than Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s I Know Where I’m Going.

Strong Characters, Smart Dialogue, and No Stupid Meet Cutes – this film is what you want when you go and see Leap Year. It’s an enjoyable 100 minutes, that you won’t wish you had back. (Then again, I enjoy not being bored.)

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