Monday, November 29, 2004

Classy Hype

The re-release of Hero earlier this year could be seen as a classy form of hype for House of Flying Daggers. Hero is a beautiful, stylized martial arts film, that was visually stunning, and a great story. Most reviews I've read for HOFD make reference to Hero and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon in the first paragraph ... can it live up to that hype!??!?! Hope so!!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Best and the So-So

Ah where to begin with the weekend viewing!?!? How 'bout DVD's? They Shoot Horses Don't They? is a film from 1969 about the desperation of people in the depression. The plot revolves around a dance marathon that offers prize money ... for some, their only hope of an income. The film is brilliant, but very depressing. A young Jane Fonda and Gig Young are great. Worth seeing, but have a comedy ready next!! I had The Stepford Wives remake sitting in line. Well done and I loved the ending ... Glenn Close can do anything!!! On a TV note, Ice Age is on tonight, great animated film from a few years ago. Love the running gag with the weasel, right through the closing credits!!!

In theaters this weekend, Finding Neverland did not disappoint. This biopic of JM Barrie's possible journey to the story of Peter Pan is well written, acted and filmed. There is not a weak spot in the cast and we can look forward to Depp and young Freddie Highmore in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory next year. Winslet and Christie are elegant and strong as ever. A gentle telling of what may have been in the man's life. On the other hand we have Alexander **sigh**, what to say (I had high hopes for this film)!?!? All performances are outstanding, but what they were asked to do boggles my mind. The speeches are long and boring, the names and history confusing and then Stone tries to be artistic (this could have been a good 2 hour movie)....... if you are curious, as I was, it's an OK film. If you are annoyed by rambling, overdone, confusing epics, go see The Incredibles!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Holiday Weekend Watch

When I opened the paper this morning I was greeted with the happy news that Finding Neverland has arrived in RI!!! For holiday home viewing I highly recommend Pieces of April. Every anxiety and emotion of holiday family gatherings is explored with honesty and gentle humor.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!!

Early review

Coming into the holiday weekend, I get giddy about time I can spend in the theater. As an early treat, B and I went to see Sideways tonight. Funny, poignant, heartfelt .... all in all nicely done.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

End of an Era

I was sad enough when Brokaw told me he wasn't coming into my living room each night any more, and now Rather (***sigh***) Though I wouldn't normally comment on TV, these two men have been telling me what's going on in the world for most of my adult life. I guess I just want to say "I'll miss you" .... oh yeah, and check in once and a while!!! (I guess that's why God made news magazines)

Monday, November 22, 2004

How's the Hype?

I thought I'd try to address "the hype" on Mondays .... lots of fresh material after the weekend.

The worst:
After the success that was Gladiator, I jumped on the historic epic bandwagon big time. As my butt fell asleep through film after film, I realized how special that film was. Now we are faced with Alexander, which, I am afraid, will not be a sum of the parts.
Parts I love:
Colin Farrell
Angelia Jolie
history with a lot of action
men in skirts (we can discuss kilts later)
Parts that concern me:
Colin and Angie unveiled at Madame Tussaud's this week (uh oh)
3 hours long, can you say "edit" Mr. Stone?
stars on the red carpet that look like they'd rather be ANYWHERE else
elephants in a ground battle ?!?!?!

The best:
Oceans Twelve
If this film is anywhere near the quality of Oceans Eleven, I'll order the box set right now. First of all, the men are to die for, the women stand up to them, the story rocks, and, did I mention, the men are to die for!?!?! Oh yeah and sexy and funny and smart and funny and sexy and .... oh this film is overload for me on every level !!!! I love the trailers, the interviews, whew .... it better live up to the hype!!! Can't wait!!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Film Finds

On revisiting the Virgin Suicides I realized that the film is still very sad, but a true piece of film as art. After seeing 2 other pieces of Sofia Coppola's, Lost In Translation and Lick the Star, I find I like her style and sense of humor. Glad I gave it a second look.

I asked the kids to recommend some fun films a few weeks ago, and picked up an old Bruce Willis film, The Fifth Element .... Crazy, futuristic sci-fi action, another film with a sense of humor.

If your looking for fun stuff in the theaters, try After the Sunset. Predictable heist film, but lots of laugh out loud moments, Woody Harrelson is great! Salma Hayek gets my vote for most beautiful actress in Hollywood these days (Catherine Zeta Jones move over) and the rumors abut she and Edward Norton may be true. He used to work on her films when they were together, and he's in a shot in the opening sequence of this film. Hmmmmm

Friday, November 19, 2004

Weekend Watch

I thought I would anticipate the weekend viewing on Friday, and look at the aftermath on Monday, so here goes:

In DVD I'm giving The Virgin Suicides a second viewing. First time around was several years ago, and I found it very sad. Now it seems so many films I have enjoyed refer to TVS ... now that I know more about Sofia, Kirsten and Mr. Woods, I'm going to give it another shot.

I'm off to see friends in NH this weekend, but over the holiday week I'm going to try to catch Sideways. It has finally come to RI to the arthouse theaters, and looks like one of the best offerings of the year. We'll see....

Enjoy the weekend!!

My Oscar Project

When my nest became empty in 2001, I found myself with more time to go to the movies. To determine what to spend my movie dollar on, I started to read a lot of articles and reviews .... IMDB became my favorite source. As time went on, I found I needed a little more direction and turned to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I don't think the Oscars are the be all and end all of determining film excellence, but they are an interesting barometer. I started to try to predict Oscar nominees as early as January, and have a lot of fun trying to see as many Oscar nominated films as I can in a given year. Some years have been chock full of candidates, others, not so much. 2004 in particular has been rather sparse, I only have handful of films on my Oscar contender list so far, and only 2 would I expect to see on the Best Film list. We'll see what happens by Dec. 31st. Last year was a great Oscar year for independent film, maybe the lack of good blockbusters from major studios will open the door wider for those films in the Oscar ranks. A few predictions are being made already, it won't get really interesting till January.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Incredible Coincidences

I am intrigued by sychronisities .... events that happen in relation to the same thing, to different people in a short period of time (my definition). I received an invitation to a screening of the new animated film The Incredibles, written by Brad Bird (highly recommend it ). A week later (2 days before the screening) visit with young nephew I who gives me a detailed description of the film The Iron Giant .... Bird's first film. Iron Giant comes out in DVD 2 weeks later and I receive it on the day I am visiting with niece H, who had also received same detailed review from I. Whew!! Wonderful animated film, a little heavy on the military themes, but such heart and a fabulous ending. Bird has a great imagination, and a way with dialogue. Much of it laugh out loud funny.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

My Top 10

Since Blogging is new to me, Melanie suggested I write about something I'm comfortable with .... movies!! I love to watch them, I love to read about them, I love to talk about them, and now I thought I'd try to write about them. To me, the greatest thing about movies is that everyone likes them on some level. From the casual observer that catches 2 or 3 movies a year on TV, to the crazed Film Fanatic that just can't get enough. I like to investigate people's taste in movies, so to give you an idea of my taste, I'll give you my Top 10 All Time Favorite Movies. It changes from time to time, but for the most part, many of these have been favorites for a long time: (I'll do this Letterman Style):
10. Lost in Translation
9 Monsters Inc.
8 Fight Club
7 Memento
6 Mary Poppins
5 Casablanca
4 Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind
3 Pulp Fiction
2 Chinatown
1 Godfather

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Joining the Fun

Since I have enjoyed following Melanie and Joe's progress and thoughts on the impending nuptials through their Blog, I thought I would join the fun! We'll see how it goes. My writing and spelling leave a lot to be desired, but I want to join in!!!