Monthly Archives: April 2016

last week’s films…

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Joss Whedon ★★★

Before Midnight (2013), Richard Linklater ★★★★★ rewatch

One of the best trilogies (right up there with Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors). While Linklater’s Boyhood followed the same actors for 12 years, The Before trilogy does this in 3 films (like his other possible trilogy in progress(?) – Dazed and Confused, Everybody Wants Some!!). You don’t need to see all 3, or see them in sequence – each stands alone. My first viewing was #2, #1, then #3. This time I saw them in order.

Before Sunset (2004), Richard Linklater ★★★★★ rewatch

Before Sunrise (1995), Richard Linklater ★★★★★ rewatch

The Jungle Book (2016), Jon Favreau ★★★

One reason for recommending this (3 stars, as opposed to two): Bill Murray.

Walkabout (1971), Nicolas Roeg ★★★★★ rewatch

Goodnight Mommy (2014), Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala

Retouches (2008), Georges Schwizgebel ★★★★★

Fugue (1998), Georges Schwizgebel ★★★★★

World of Glory (1991), Roy Andersson ★★★★

Thief (1981), Michael Mann ★★★★★ rewatch

Michael Mann’s debut film. Jim Belushi‘s and Robert Prosky’s first film. Dennis Farina’s first film. Better than Heat? Yes. No false props.

Elvis & Nixon (2016), Liza Johnson ★★★★

Movie of the week.

Have caught a few Michael Shannon films in the last few weeks; Revolutionary Road, 99 Homes, Midnight Special. A mainstay of Jeff Nichols’ films (he stars in all 4: Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, Mud, and Midnight Special (he’s also in Loving, which comes out later this year)). Shannon is the reason I liked Elvis & Nixon.

The Natural (1984), Barry Levinson ★★★★★ rewatch


last week’s films…

Poetry (2010), Lee Chang-dong ★★★★★

The closest contender for movie of the week between the three: The Lesson (Bulgarian), Poetry (Korean), and A Brighter Summer Day (Taiwanese) – winner. While Edward Yang’s masterpiece (Brighter Summer Day) follows a family through turmoil, Poetry follows a grandmother living with her grandson. I would say the last two films seen this week, this one and The Second Mother, would make a great double bill. In both, the viewer is flabbergasted by the behavior of the grandson / daughter.

The Second Mother (2015), Anna Muylaert ★★★★

Carnival of Souls (1962), Herk Harvey ★★★★

The Mill & the Cross (2011), Lech Majewski ★★★

A Brighter Summer Day (1991), Edward Yang ★★★★★

are you lonesome tonight?
do you miss me tonight?
are you sorry we drifted apart?
does your memory stray to…

Queen of Earth (2015), Alex Ross Perry ★★★★

Breathe (2014), Melanie Laurent ★★★★

Psycho (1998), Gus Van Sant ★★★★

Periwinkle blue.

Didn’t hesitate in seeing The Coen Brothers’ remake of True Grit, and was rewarded with something better. Have always been a fan of Gus Van Sant’s work, but it took me a while in seeing this, so when hoopla (library streaming) had it, I figured what the hell. An amazing cast: Vince Vaughn, Julianne Moore, Anne Heche, Viggo Mortensen, William H. Macy, Robert Forster, and Philip Baker Hall. It’s great comparing the matched performances in your mind; Anthony Perkins / Vince Vaughn, Janet Leigh / Anne Heche, Martin Balsam / William H. Macy, etc. And then there’s the shower scene – which brings you a bit more, but I couldn’t help but miss the black blood. Or Anthony Perkins’ final hurt a fly speech.

Alps (2011), Yorgos Lanthimos ★★★★

Coherence (2013), James Ward Byrkit ★★★★

Computer Chess (2013), Andrew Bujalski  ★★★★ rewatch

The Lesson (2014), Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov ★★★★★

99 Homes (2014), Ramin Bahrani ★★★

Philomena (2013), Stephen Frears  ★★★ rewatch

A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014), Scott Frank  ★★★ rewatch

last week’s films…

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016), Richard Linklater ★★★★★

Let them leave you up in the air
Let them brush your rock and roll hair…

Dazed and confused? Richard Linklater fan? Boyhood (2014), Before trilogy (Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (2013)), School of Rock (2003), Slacker (1991), Dazed and Confused (1993), Bernie (2011). While D&C played to a 70s soundtrack and opened with Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion as an orange 1970 Pontiac GTO cruises into the school parking lot, EWS!! has the protagonist driving to college in a Oldsmobile 442 with The Knack playing My Sharona. And since that song just made the tail end of the 70s (1979), everything else is smack dab in the 80s. While D&C pursued the high school question of what do I want to be when I grow up, EWS shows a few choices already made – baseball, performing arts. Extra scenes with the cast plays during the credits.

Blast of Silence (1961), Allen Baron ★★★★★

You’re home again…

I can see Francis Ford Coppola paying homage to this film [ when Vito Corleone kicks Don Fanucci over in the stairwell scene in The Godfather Part II ] < spoiler-hightlight to read.

Alan Partridge (2013), Declan Lowney ★★★

The Tribe (2014), Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy <

Gloria (2013), Sebastian Lelio ★★★★★

Amour fou (2014), Jessica Hausner ★★★★★

Butterflies? In November?

Stations of the Cross
(2014), Dietrich Bruggemann ★★★★★

Movie of the week.

Totally taken by surprise as I didn’t realize I was a frog swimming in a pot of water as the heat is slowly being turned higher and higher.

A Field in England (2013), Ben Wheatley ★★★★★

Howards End (1992), James Ivory ★★★★★ Rewatch

The Remains of the Day (1993), James Ivory ★★★★★ Rewatch

Opening scene, a drawing of the mansion, and we seem to peak into one of the windows. I never noticed the ending scene’s POV echos this, though not from the same perspective, as does the scene when Anthony Hopkins’ character pries his father’s fingers from the cart, is again echoed when Emma Thompson does the same to his grip of a book.

Begin Again (2013), John Carney


last week’s films…

Web Junkie (2013), Hilla Medalia, Shosh Shlam ★★★★

Midnight Special (2016), Jeff Nichols ★★★★★

Movie of the week. One trip to the theater this week. New #1 for 2016.

Laggies (2014), Lynn Shelton ★★★★★

M*A*S*H (1970), Robert Altman ★★★★★

Rewatch. Rewatched it a second time with Robert Altman’s commentary, which was very interesting. He never liked the tv series, which “was the opposite for the main reason for making the film.” He found out later that Sutherland and Gould tried to get him fired while it was being filmed. Of course most of the cast were unknowns, and he casted all of them from a San Francisco theater audition. His son wrote Suicide is Painless.

Of course, M*A*S*H came out 4 years before The Longest Yard, and is still my favorite football movie, even though I don’t consider it a football movie.

Prince Avalanche (2013), David Gordon Green ★★★★

Monster (2003), Patty Jenkins ★★★★

Maleficent (2014), Robert Stromberg ★★★

Noah (2014), Darren Aronofsky

Only Yesterday (1991), Isao Takahata ★★★★★

From the director of Grave of the Fireflies (1988) and The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013).

last week’s films…

The Artist (2011), Michel Hazanavicius ★★★★★

Movie of the week. Full of great scenes. The stairway scene, when Valentin and Zimmer (John Goodman) have their run in – the cut to JG’s expression is not to be missed. Great cameos; Malcolm McDowell, Ed Lauter. [ Climbing the ladder to the top, on the way down to the gutter. He’s now looking up at her, she’s looking down at him – the tables have been turned. ] < hightlight to read spoiler

Snow Angels (2007), David Gordon Green ★★

Revolutionary Road (2008), Sam Mendes ★★★★

I cannot get the final scene out of my head. Standout performance by Michael Shannon. No one is the king of the world. Cinematography: Roger Deakins.

Speed Racer (2008), Wachowski Brothers ★★★

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010), Michael Apted ★★★

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008), Andrew Adamson ★★

The Betrayal – Nerakhoon (2008), Ellen Kuras, Thavisouk Phrasavath ★★★

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), Andrew Adamson ★★★★★

Death in Venice (1971), Luchino Visconti ★★★★

Julie & Julia (2009), Nora Ephron ★★★★★