PBS’ Frontline showed the documentary The Interrupters recently. It’s a movie that I’ve been trying to see since it premiered earlier in the year. The film focuses on Ceasefire, and Chicago organization that tries to intercede and prevent intercity violence. They do so by dispatching “Interrupters,” former gang members with street cred to spare, to talk to family and friends of victims to prevent them from retaliating. It’s dangerous and controversial work, and makes for compelling cinema. Read more »
Archive for the New Classic Category
First of all, don’t buy this at Wal-Mart. It sucks. The colors look like shit.
Now, I’ll tell you why I love this movie:
A. It’s the only movie I’ve ever liked Travolta in, except when I was in denial about Pulp Fiction.
B. The soundtrack rocks me every time.
C. Kirstie Alley is a babe. Especially in her aerobics outfit. Read more »
Jacob’s Ladder, directed by Adrian Lyne and released in 1990, is a remarkable movie. To classify it specifically as a horror film is to oversimplify, for Jacob’s Ladder fucks with notions of genre as much as it fucks with the minds of its viewers. Indeed, the film might be best classified as a complex horror-drama, as its story is one of self-discovery and personal growth in the face of excessive mental and physical trauma. In fact, I’ve encountered no other film that deals with the Vietnam War so abstractly, and yet so fully asks (or forces) the viewer to consider the aftereffects of gratuitous, perhaps pointless, armed conflict. Read more »
Looking back on the past 30 years of his career, it’s hard to imagine Sean Connery actually made this movie. Featuring scantily clad female dictators, giant talking statues flying through space, and a post-scientific hippie burnout theology, I’m sure he looks back on this as the youthful indiscretion of his filmmaking career, much as I regret the time I chugged milk until I threw up or tried to cough up french fries through my sinuses. That being said, Zardoz reflects a paranoia about the End of The World Due to Irresponsible Human Industry that has seen a huge resurgence in popularity these days, as we consider our power to destroy ourselves, and the need to rebuild humanity. Hopefully when it happens we won’t all be forced to don his bikini-brief costume.
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Okay I admit it’s not a great feeling staying up to four in the morning with your guy friend watching the first Ninja Turtles movie. It evokes thoughts like What have I become? or Is this really my life? Irregardless it’s an excellent movie! It’s crazy that it stands the test of time, but it does. Read more »
Is The Princess Bride the greatest family fantasy of the 1980s? I certainly think so. The epitome of a Hollywood style that has literally disappeared during the past twenty years, Rob Reiner’s 1987 adventure classic stands as a testament to the period during which it was created. Read more »
The mid 90′s and early 2000′s were awash in the now cliche, obsessive-detectives-stalking-the-psycho-killer genre. Replete with repetitive story lines, celebrity junkie psychopaths, and the same hard-boiled grimace stamped on the face of every detective with a tender spot for Sam Spade impersonations, the genre surged in popularity during the dark renaissance inspired by the same culture which gave birth to grunge music. David Fincher’s Seven (or, for the typographically anal, Se7en) was certainly not the first, nor was it the last, of this particular niche of crime drama, but within the endlessly recycled mediocrity which has since worked its way almost exclusively onto direct-to-DVD labels, it managed to break new ground with its bold, bleak vision of contemporary culture and an intricate plot so original its twists and turns still resonate today.
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There are few Tim Burton films left I can tolerate. In chronological order: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, maybe Beetlejuice, Batman, maybe Batman Returns, and Ed Wood. I guess that’s pretty many. Sweeney Todd was surprisingly decent, I must admit. Read more »
“My emotions are dead.” So says Christopher Walken’s gangster and New York City drug kingpin Frank White, recently released from prison and eager to revitalize his life of crime and vice, at the beginning of Abel Ferrara’s 1990 film King of New York. Read more »
I’m a sucker for films that muck around with traditional storytelling motifs. It’s not that I have anything against traditional three-act, beginning-middle-end narratives, but sometimes they can just get so droll and boring. I love a filmmaker / screenwriter who’s willing to take some risks and fool around with the audience’s expectations to produce a plot that breaks outside the bounds of the archetypal Hollywood film. Thank God for Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman.
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