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 »
Archive for New Classic
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 »
Amongst the lesser genres, heist movies rate at the top of my book. Growing up, I wanted nothing more than to be a criminal. This is probably due in large part to movies. Heist movies are by design transportive, bringing you, the audience member, along for the score. Nowhere is the thrill of the score more intense than in Heat, Michael Mann’s 1995 crime classic. Read more »
It’s scary to think that the modern zombie cycle, currently moving into the realm of parody with Ruben Fleischer’s hilarious Zombieland, is less than a decade old. Read more »
Audition, the strange film by Japanese director Takeshi Miike is easily the most layered and original horror film of the 2000s. I have gone on before about the death of slow reveals/measured pacing; one of the reasons I love Audition is that the horror, gore and plot all converge in the final minutes. The first two-thirds of the film moves along as a dark comedy about confusing love and infatuation. By the end, Miike has dragged you through a Tarkowskian wormhole of desire, punishment, perception and decapitation. Read more »
My good friend, Timothy Parfitt, was very calm when he told me about Drag Me To Hell. See, my tendency is to overwhelm people with my newfound fondness for a movie. I have to tell everyone, “Have you seen Drag Me To Hell? Oh you’ve got to. It’s funny and scary and the main girl really holds it down. It was just such a pleasure to see Sam Raimi return to form after putting in all that time with Spider-Man. The movie – Drag Me To Hell – is the work of a master. It’s like he had all this energy that’d been held back while working for Stan Lee.” Too much, too much. Why do I care so much if they see a good movie? I sound desperate. Timmy wasn’t like that. He said, “It’s good,” like he just took a bite of a tuna sandwich I’d made for him. He didn’t gush, but his opinion was firm. He mentioned some of the things that I later felt: scary, funny, the Mac ad guy was appropriately cast. But it was the minimalism of his recommendation that got me to see it. I need to work on that.
I am not going to say Bull Durham is the greatest movie of all time. I debated putting it on the list of “New Classics.”
It is the Kevin Costner baseball movie: certainly not Field of Dreams: Read more »
For this week’s picks, I chose two very different mini-series produced for European TV. One is a stratoshperically ambitious mediation on moral decisionmaking, the other is a Stephen King adaptation featuring Swedish blowhards and exploding vaginas. Read more »
I love PT Anderson. He hasn’t made a movie yet that I don’t enjoy; Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, and especially There Will Be Blood are all fantastic films which contain hidden fruits rewarding repeated viewing and discussion. Yet each of these masterpieces (yes, all of his films are masterpieces!) has a hard outer surface, a lattice of desperation and obfuscation which make them slightly inaccessible, at least initially. On the other hand, Boogie Nights, Anderson’s first well-known film (ok, Hard Eight isn’t quite a masterpiece), starts out with a bang, and never lets go, pulling you in from the first notes of the intro until the final money shot.
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