Sunday, November 28, 2010

Good News...

I'm going to start reviewing movies again!

What I'm going/wanting to see for December...
-Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky)- It will be playing in Boston with a limited release.
-The Tourist (Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck)- It's a wide release.
-The Company Men (John Wells)- I can't find information on where it will be playing, but if it plays in Boston with a limited release, I'll be seeing it.
-The Fighter (David O. Russell)- This will be playing with a limited release that extends into a wide release so I'll be seeing it in either Boston or New York before 2011.
-Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell)- I need to check when I'm going home, but this is a limited release and I have a feeling I'll be missing it. I can always see it when I get back to Boston if it's playing.
-True Grit (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen)- It's a wide release
-Somewhere (Sofia Coppola)- Only way I'm seeing this limited release is if it becomes popular enough to extend to a wide release which I doubt. So hopefully I'll see it when I come back to Boston.

And finally, this is a little premature, but here is my 2011 wish list...
-The Green Hornet (Michel Gondry)
-The Way Back (Peter Weir)
-The Mechanic (Simon West)
-Cedar Rapids (Miguel Arteta)
-The Eagle (Kevin MacDonald)
-Battle: Los Angeles (Jonathan Liebesman)
-The Dark Fields (Neil Burger)
-Paul (Greg Mottola)
-Hanna (Joe Wright)
-Your Highness (David Gordon Green)
-Source Code (Duncan Jones)
-Fast Five (Justin Lin)
-Thor (Kenneth Branagh)
-Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Rob Marshall)
-The Hangover Part II (Todd Phillips)
-The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
-Beginners (Mike Mills)
-X-Men: First Class (Matthew Vaughn)
-Super 8 (J.J. Abrams)
-Bad Teacher (Jake Kasdan)
-Green Lantern (Martin Campbell)
-Rise of the Apes (Rupert Wyatt)
-Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks)
-Transformers 3 (Michael Bay)
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (David Yates)
-The Sitter (David Gordon Green)
-Cowboys and Aliens (Jon Favreau)
-Horrible Bosses (Seth Gordon)
-The Change-Up (David Dobkin)
-The Darkest Hour (Chris Gorak)
-30 Minutes or Less (Ruben Fleischer)
-Conan (Marcus Nispiel)
-Colombiana (Oliver Megaton)
-Straw Dogs (Rod Lurie)
-Abduction (John Singleton)
-Moneyball (Bennett Miller)
-Dream House (Jim Sheridan)
-Real Steel (Shawn Levy)
-Wanderlust (David Wain)
-Warrior (Gavin O'Connor)
-The Thing (Matthijs Van Heijningen)
-The Three Musketeers (Paul W.S. Anderson)
-Contagion (Steven Soderbergh)
-Tower Heist (Brett Ratner)
-Immortals (Tarsem Singh)
-Hugo Cabret (Martin Scorsese)
-Mission Impossible IV (Brad Bird)
-Sherlock Holmes 2 (Guy Ritchie)
-The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher)
-We Bought a Zoo (Cameron Crowe)
-The Muppets (James Bobin)
-War Horse (Steven Spielberg)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oscar Shit Part 1

My guilty de-masculinizing pleasure is to always talk about what film will win what award. So here are my Oscar Predictions (part 1)...

-127 Hours
-Black Swan
-Blue Valentine
-The Fighter
-The Kids Are All Right
-The King's Speech
-The Social Network
-The Town
-True Grit

-Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
-Danny Boyle (127 Hours)
-Ethan Coen and Joel Coen (True Grit)
-David Fincher (The Social Network)
-Christopher Nolan (Inception)

-Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
-Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
-Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
-Colin Firth (The King's Speech)
-James Franco (127 Hours)

-Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
-Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
-Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right)
-Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
-Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

-Christian Bale (The Fighter)
-Jim Broadbent (Another Year)
-Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)
-Jeremy Renner (The Town)
-Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech)

-Amy Adams (The Fighter)
-Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech)
-Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
-Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
-Haliee Steinfeld (True Grit)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Ranked Favorite Movies 2000-2009

So I began working on this a few months ago and I'm finally comfortable with my rankings. Things were changing as recent as last night and I'll be sure to be making changes to my Top 100 come next year.


1. Dancer in the Dark (Lars Von Trier)

2. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky)

3. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee)

4. Traffic (Steven Soderbergh)

5. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe)

6. Gladiator (Ridley Scott)

7. Before Night Falls (Julian Schnabel)

8. Nurse Betty (Neil LaBute)

9. You Can Count On Me (Kenneth Lonergan)

10. Wonder Boys (Curtis Hanson)


1. Memento (Christopher Nolan)

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson)

3. Ocean's Eleven (Steven Soderbergh)

4. In the Bedroom (Todd Field)

5. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson)

6. Sexy Beast (Jonathan Glazer)

7. Waking Life (Richard Linklater)

8. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg)

9. Shrek (Andrew Adamson)

10. Wet Hot American Summer (David Wain)


1. About Schmidt (Alexander Payne)

2. Far from Heaven (Todd Haynes)

3. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodovar)

4. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Peter Jackson)

5. Bowling for Columbine (Michael Moore)

6. Adaptation (Spike Jonze)

7. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki)

8. 8 Mile (Curtis Hanson)

9. Y Tu Mama Tambien (Alfonso Cuaron)

10. Unfaithful (Adrian Lyne)


1. American Splendor (Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini)

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson)

3. Mystic River (Clint Eastwood)

4. School of Rock (Richard Linklater)

5. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)

6. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton)

7. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Peter Weir)

8. A Mighty Wind (Christopher Guest)

9. The Fog of War (Errol Morris)

10. Kill Bill Volume 1 (Quentin Tarantino)


1. Sideways (Alexander Payne)

2. Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood)

3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry)

4. The Incredibles (Brad Bird)

5. Maria Full of Grace (Joshua Marston)

6. Kinsey (Bill Condon)

7. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater)

8. Collateral (Michael Mann)

9. The Aviator (Martin Scorsese)

10. Ray (Taylor Hackford)


1. Munich (Steven Spielberg)

2. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg)

3. King Kong (Peter Jackson)

4. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee)

5. Match Point (Woody Allen)

6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Tim Burton)

7. Hustle and Flow (Craig Brewer)

8. Crash (Paul Haggis)

9. In Her Shoes (Curtis Hanson)

10. 2046 (Wong Kar-wai)


1. Letters from Iwo Jima (Clint Eastwood)

2. Casino Royale (Martin Campbell)

3. Borat (Larry Charles)

4. United 93 (Paul Greengrass)

5. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro)

6. The Good Shepherd (Robert De Niro)

7. Half Nelson (Ryan Fleck)

8. The Departed (Martin Scorsese)

9. Block Party (Michel Gondry)

10. Infamous (Douglas McGrath)


1. I'm Not There (Todd Haynes)

2. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson)

3. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (Sidney Lumet)

4. No Country for Old Men (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen)

5. Michael Clayton (Tony Gilroy)

6. Superbad (Greg Mottola)

7. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck)

8. Grindhouse (Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino)

9. Zodiac (David Fincher)

10. Once (James Carney)


1. Wall-E (Andrew Stanton)

2. The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky)

3. Milk (Gus Van Sant)

4. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)

5. Rachel Getting Married (Jonathan Demme)

6. Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman)

7. Burn After Reading (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen)

8. Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh)

9. Man on Wire (James Marsh)

10. Tropic Thunder (Ben Stiller)


1. Up in the Air (Jason Reitman)

2. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)

3. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)

4. Up (Pete Doctor)

5. Precious (Lee Daniels)

6. Coraline (Henry Selick)

7. I Love You Man (John Hamburg)

8. Where the Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze)

9. 500 Days of Summer (Marc Webb)

10. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

East Asian Directors Marathon #9- Hard Boiled (1992, Hong Kong, John Woo)

"Give a guy a gun, he thinks he's Superman. Give him two and he thinks he's God."

I find my thoughts being relatively short for this film. That being said, it is my favorite film from John Woo and arguably my favorite action film aside from some of the Bond films and Die Hard. The Departed always reminded me of Hard Boiled in that it follows two people involved in both the worlds of law and crime. In this case, one character is a cop while the other is an undercover cop, but both are starting to lose or at the very least question their morality. Hard Boiled is also quite possibly the most artful action film (isn't that what John Woo specializes in?). Everything is wonderfully staged and choreographed, almost like a dance of violence. Yes, the film is over-the-top and you have to take certain elements for granted. Relationships aren't the strongest here as they were in The Killer, but compared to The Killer, Woo's style feels stronger. I feel like he realizes the goal of what he wants the final product to look like. This film is the action genre to such an extreme that I can't help but finally realize Woo's influence on the West whether it be Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill) or the Wachowski Brothers (The Matrix, Speed Racer). Don't get me wrong, there is still a more tangible story than one might think. I mean, the contrast between Tequila (Chow Yun Fat) and Tony (Tony Leung) is fantastic. I just get distracted with all the slow motion, freeze frames, and wipes. However, I would be lying if didn't say that after a while I started to enjoy the style. I didn't read too far into it and perhaps I'm just not familiar enough with either Woo or Hong Kong cinema. Don't get me wrong, some of the editing is unnecessary, but at times it really gives the film this outrageous flair that is undoubtably enjoyable. Throw in nuanced genre performances from Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung and you can start to not care so much that this film idolizes gun porn over emotional development. You get a true sense of this world that is full of loss plus the occasional social message. Aside from some misplaced humor (never been a big fan of that, sorry) the film is quite possibly the most gratuitous fun I've ever had.