Monday, December 31, 2012


In the beginning, the film Hitchcock is about the making of Psycho. In the end, it is about Hitchcock's relationship with his wife. It's a sweet story. The performances are excellent. There are many references to The Birds, which was his next film. I think I'll go watch a few episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I liked this film.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Anna Karenina

I saw Anna Karenina presuming that it would get an Oscar nod for costumes. Joe Wright took theatrical liberties with the staging that was a bit distracting. That said, this is a gorgeous film, and the costumes are beautiful. In the end, I realized that it was not a very interesting story. Thankfully, Keira Knightley and Jude Law are interesting to watch.

Wreck-it Ralph

Wreck-it Ralph is a cute story of video game characters looking for happiness in their arcade games. I saw this on the chance that it would be an Oscar nominee and it was OK. There's an alien story line that felt out of place, but on the whole this was entertaining enough.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Django Unchained

In my opinion, Quentin Tarentino is a master storyteller. He mixes drama, humor and blood in a style I really enjoy. His latest film, Django Unchained, is set in the pre-civil war south. We watch a slave be freed by a charismatic bounty hunter to find and rescue his wife. The story is lush and the characters are interesting. Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio give fantastic performances. The blood flows freely, but there is humor as well. There is also a lot of eye candy in this film. So many shots are just beautiful tableaus. Torch-wielding men on horseback coming over a hill was a thrilling sight.  This film has been controversial for its themes and violence, but sometimes you have to say, "it's only a movie." And a good one at that.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Fitzgerald Family Christmas

For my Christmas Eve movie this year, I was happy to see The Fitzgerald Family Christmas playing at the Cable Car Cinema. I'm a big fan of Edward Burns films, and I did not expect to see this on in a theater. In the film, the Fitzgerald family was splintered by time and their father's absence. When he reappears at Christmas, with an unreasonable request, emotions run high. Bit by bit, we meet the characters and are drawn in to their relationships. This film is well written with an outstanding cast. Burns has a flair for dialog. The story hit very close to home for me, so I left the theater a bit teary. I like it when a  film gets to me. Well done Mr. Burns.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


By the end of the film Arbitrage, the only note I had written was, "this is some messed up shit". Richard Gere plays a successful man, who makes some poor decisions that could destroy his world. This is a cat and mouse thriller set in the world of the wealthy with a lot to lose. The cast is strong, especially Gere and Susan Sarandon. This is a decent thriller that is worth a rental.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Another film that got my attention during this award season is Salmon Fishing on the Yemen. A charming story of idealism, this one is well written and acted. Who knew that salmon fishing could be the base of an interesting story. There is a dash of politics and the film has a sense of humor. I really liked this one.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


It takes a lot to get me to see a film with Denzel Washington in it. I've never been a big fan. When the movie Flight started getting award buzz, I was intrigued. What I saw was the most vulnerable performance I've seen from Denzel. The story is a strong comment on alcoholism  There are two scenes that impressed me most. One is the opening flight sequence, the other takes place in a hotel room. Very different, but Washington and Zemecus really show their skills in both. A film worth seeing. Frequent flyers may be a bit unnerved by this one.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Magic Mike

I was not interested to see a movie about male strippers in the theater. As intrigued as I was by the Steven Soderberg film Magic Mike, the subject matter made me uncomfortable. This week I watched this film in the comfort of my living room, and I kind of wish I had seen it with an audience. This is a quality film with heart and outstanding performances. I really enjoyed this film. Yes, I watched it twice, the beefcake didn't hurt.

Friday, December 07, 2012

CortandFatboy is Dead

In 2009, a popular KUFO radio duo out of Portland OR were fired. Here is how I felt. A few months later, Cort Webber and Bobby Roberts picked the show up, dusted it off and CortandFatboy ended up on the Cascadia network. Ever since, they have delivered a quality 1 hour podcast, on a daily basis, talking pop-culture, movies, music, TV, politics, video games and comics. Though entertaining in their own right, their secret weapon was the cast of regular guests they invited to join them. Ryan Fleming, David Walker, Courtenay Hameister, Byron Beck, Jim Willig, Leia Weathington and Mike Russell brought it every week. There were occasional visits from Erik Henrikson and Ryan McCluskey. It was sad when Aaron Duran had to give up his spot for employment. Every show had its own personality, its own flavor. It was delicious listening. Once a month they would assemble an interesting cast of characters to deliver a movie commentary on a classic film. Why am I referring to the show in the past-tense.? They have decided to retire the show. Sad news, but if you love these guys, you understand. Podcasting is time consuming and these guys have jobs and families. They felt it was better to go out than burn out. I get it. Tonight they are presenting their final show, a live show, at the Bagdad Theater. The audio will be available online, but I really wish I was there.

I would like to thank them for many hours of entertainment and company. I listen to them at work, cleaning the house, in the car and on my walks. For over 6 years they have given me a daily dose of smart, funny, informative conversation, mixed with the occasional diversion to poop and dick jokes. I will miss them very much. Love you guys and thanks! xoxo

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Life of Pi

I'm not a big fan of 3D, but when a respected film friend recommended that I see Life of Pi in this forma,t I took his advice. I had read the book, so I was familiar with the story. A boy is trapped on a lifeboat with a tiger after a shipwreck. I was quite impressed by the quality of the visual. Ang Lee has mastered the 3D filming well and the CGI animals were outstanding. A film that is strong enough without the 3D, but I'm glad I saw it that way.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Zen of Bennett

I saw Tony Bennett live at the old Warwick Musical Theater in 1996. It was a date, it was romantic, it was memorable. The Zen of Bennett is a documentary that shows a peek behind the curtain of Bennett's process with a handful of talented artists. We get the sense of his love of music, art, family and women in this film. Well done.


Sparkle was recommended to me because of the musical performances. I was game. Not only was this accurate, but the acting was very good as well. Kind of a typical rise to success, fall to men and drugs, sing your heart out stories, but I was very surprised by how much I liked it.

Killing Them Softly

The words I wrote down after seeing Killing Them Softly are slow, pensive, talky, bloody. These elements all go together well in this crime story that bring a corporate structure to organized crime that is not very welcome. Dark and disturbing, I liked the way this was filmed.