Friday, December 28, 2012

Top 10 Las Vegas Films

In August, my mom and I were sitting on the beach celebrating our birthdays, and we got to thinking. We collectively decided that we wanted a change of scenery this holiday season. I proposed Vegas, and so here we are. I’ll be in Sin City through the New Year, so this list will act as my final post of 2012.

I plan on posting a ‘12 retrospective a little later, but for now, please know that I am forever grateful to anyone who has spent any part of their day reading this blog. When I began this beast five years ago, I never imagined I would gain an audience. My appreciation for you all is boundless. I’ll see you in ‘13.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Movie Jail Relay Race

In the comment section for my recent review of This is 40, I explained to one loyal reader my personal distinction between indifference and hate, as it relates to film. To summarize, I basically explained how uneasy it makes me feel to hate a piece of work that falls under the artistic medium I love. I don’t want to hate any movie, actor, director and so on. But sometimes we do, and Nostra and Terrence’s brilliant new Relay Race opens the opportunity for a little friendly payback. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Top 10 Non-Traditional Christmas Films

There’s certainly nothing wrong with sitting the family down and watching Home Alone over the holiday season. But with my gang, we’re a tad more inclined to take in Die Hard than It’s a Wonderful Life. So I got to thinking, what are my favorite non-traditional Christmas flicks? Below are some choice excerpts from some of the best movies that handle the yuletide joy in a slightly different manner. Happy holidays everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2012

This is 40

Watching a movie you hate is a funny thing. You’re sitting there, almost in shock of what’s happening. You debate leaving the theater, but can’t stop to take your eyes off the train wreck. You fool yourself with possible hints of redemption, and then anxiously try to laugh it off when the film let’s you down yet again. And then, at some point, you try to retrace your steps and figure out where it all went wrong.

I say “you” but I mean me, because what I’ve just described are only a handful of the feelings that moved through me as I watched Judd Apatow’s new, impossibly frustrating, hopelessly revolting film This is 40.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Top 10 Remakes (That are Better Than the Original Films)

It certainly doesn’t happen often, but occasionally, a filmmaker has the stones to not only remake a film, but somehow manage to make a better version. A handful of the films below are remakes of very fine movies, others are revisions of bad movies ultimatly made better. Whether the remakes are foreign-to-American, spanned decades apart, or an attempt by the same director to recapture his own magic, below are the 10 best remakes I’ve ever seen. And don’t forget to share yours in the comments!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

In Character: Alfred Molina

If you asked me last week, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you where Alfred Molina was from. He looks Spanish (or Italian…), sounds British (or Spanish, or Italian, or… American) and acts as anything. Culturally, he’s one of the most versatile actors in movies today. He can transform himself into any character from any nation, using a set of skills that is simply unparalleled. No two performances of the roles mentioned below feature the same voice or look. And that, my friends, is a remarkable feat in its own right.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

As a film fanatic, I have a few rules that I follow diligently while watching (or preparing to watch) a movie. The most important one is that I refuse to have any preconceived notions about any movie before seeing it. I see it and judge it for what it’s worth. I don’t convince myself that it will be garbage (or gold, for that matter) based on who’s in it, who made it, or what it’s about.

But one thing I’ve come to terms with over the past few years is that that rule is unrealistic. Tenacious studio marketing, social media, movie blogs – all of these things make it damn near impossible to not form an opinion before the fact. I still do my best to walk into every movie feeling fresh, with no positive or negative bias toward it, but on the occasion of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I simply could not help myself.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Favorite Scene: Warrior

Warning: Critical plot details will be divulged in this post. The ending to Warrior will be spoiled.

Warrior was a tricky film for me. My initial review spoke to the pleasure I had in watching it, but made no mention of its current status as a contemporary classic that I’ll never forget. And there’s a simple reason why: back then, I liked Warrior, now, I’m forever indebted to it. It’s a brutal, mainstream work of art equipped with a heart larger than most any five films put together.

Looking back, neither the film nor any of its performances popped up on my end of the year lists, which I find astonishing. If I drafted my top films of 2011 today, Warrior would be in the Top 5, no question. It’s a perfect movie with a flawless, heartbreaking ending, which is what I’d like to talk about today.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Bay

Barry Levinson’s new micro budget horror flick, The Bay, is yet another wave in the mild but no less shocking surge of very decent found footage films. I’m one of the few people who absolutely loved the found footage anthology V/H/S, and I feel it’s necessary to start this review the same way I started that one, by relenting upfront that I am in no way a fan.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Anthology Breakdown: Coffee and Cigarettes

Anthology Breakdown is a column I’ve neglected over the past few months, but am brining back full swing. The exercise is simple: view an anthology film and grade each segment individually. Hope you enjoy!

The title of Jim Jarmusch’s excellent anthology film pretty much sums it up: this is a movie about (mostly famous) people playing hyperbolic versions of themselves, sitting around and bullshitting as they drink coffee and smoke cigarettes. Their conversations vary from health, fame, anxieties, and the latent racism of Elvis Presley. Like most anthologies, Coffee and Cigarettes is not without its share of lacking segments. Check out which ones I dig most below, and, as always, be sure to tell me your favorites in the comments!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Top 10 Movies Set in Prison

Fear is a funny thing. If forced to recall a movie about ghosts, demonic possession, alien beings (or the like) that legitimately scared the shit out of me, I’d be hard pressed to think of many, if any. Set a movie in a realistic prison filled with realistic characters, and considered me scared straight.

Whether it’s the cold harshness of solitary confinement, the sadistic abuse from guards, or the survival of the fittest among prisoners, few things rock me more than a movie depicting the brutal accuracy of prison. Below are the 10 best films I’ve seen that take place within the unsympathetic confinement of penitentiary walls.

A few notes: I didn’t take concentration camps and other prisoner of war camps into consideration. Perhaps a list for another day. Also, I’m only featuring films that predominately take place inside the hoosegow. As accurate and terrifying as the prison sequences in American History X are, for example, it isn’t a film about prison.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

In Character: Emily Watson

Emily Watson’s career was born from chance. Or plain dumb luck, depending how you look at it. After Helena Bonham Carter dropped out of Breaking the Waves at the last minute, director Lars von Trier plucked Watson from obscurity and gave her a shot. Since that startling debut, Watson has become nothing short of a British force of cinematic nature.

Rarely raising her voice above speaking level, Watson is equipped with eyes that can do all the talking. Whether she’s charming, sinister, innocent or guilty, I have yet to see a character that Watson didn’t play to utter perfection. Her amount of notable roles extends far past the number I’m about to list, but here are the ones that have struck me the most.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blogathon: Making the Case for Edward Burns

The rules for Stevee Taylor’s new expert blogathon, Making the Case, are simple: pick a film, performance, or aspect of a film that you’d love to see garner awards recognition this year, but know in your heart of hearts that it most likely will not.

Now, given that most of my favorite movies and performances from any given year typically aren’t recognized (To Michael Fass: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times), the possibilities for my contribution to this blogathon really are endless.

The Fitzgerald Family Christmas

If the opportunity presents itself, I do whatever I can to increase awareness concerning the charm of Edward Burns. Or, more specifically, the charm of his small, micro budget works of art. I love the films of Edward Burns, I wish more people watched them, and if people become taken with the films in the process, then rock ‘n’ roll.

Burns makes working class films for working class folks. His latest, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is a perfect case in point. Funded solely through Burns himself, and whatever dough he could scrape together from family and friends, Burns shot the film in secret, marketed it in post through Twitter and Facebook, then released it on iTunes before it hit select theaters last Friday. That’s independent cinema at its most independent. And goddamn if I don’t love it.

2012 Screen Actors Guild Nominations

Things just got interesting. Over the past few years (with the immergence of Twitter, specifically), everyone has become a movie awards expert. People predict, exclaim, argue – and by the end, there are so many opinions floating around, surely the collective bunch will have predicted the potential nominees. But with the announcement of the Screen Actors Guild nominations this morning, I’d be stunned if anyone accurately predicted all of these nominees. Surprise and snubs abound, but goddamn if things didn’t just get intriguing.

Few notes: I typically shy away from discussing TV, so those nominations aren’t listed below. And the entire cast of Beasts of the Southern Wild (including Oscar nominee front runner Quvenzhané Wallis and her co-star Dwight Henry) were deemed ineligible for SAG nominations.

Monday, December 10, 2012

the Directors: Michael Haneke

In my recent review for Michael Haneke’s film, Amour, I made mention of the fact that Michael Haneke is many things, chiefly the master of tension. (Not a, the.) All of his films depict real people in real situations, but they depict them in such a way that it forces the viewer to reflect unpleasantly.

The characters in his films are plagued by What Ifs and How Do You Knows. The result for many (but certainly not all) is a slim filmography of essential works of cinematic art. Point in fact, I could make a strong argument that Michael Haneke has a more deliberate style of filmmaking than anyone currently making movies. Tediously paced and uncomfortably numb, Haneke’s films dare you to ask and force you to listen.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Michel Haneke is the master of many things. Tension, perhaps most prominently. But more specifically, the self-reflexing examination of tension as captured in moments of realism. For instance, what would you do if an unmarked videotape containing a two hour still shot of your front door, arrived at your doorstep? That’s the tension-laced situation that the characters of Haneke’s Caché spend several weeks of their lives trying to combat. It’s similar to how one would handle two polite teenagers who arrive at your door and refuse to leave. Or how one might react to being pestered senselessly on a subway station.

This, to me, is what links Haneke’s films: the tension of being placed in real life situations, and forcing you to decide what you would do, and how you would do it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

15 Directors Whose First Films Were Their Best

There’s a sad truth among many of the best debut films from directors: many times, that first film ends up being his (or her) best. This list aims to acknowledge the directors who peaked early and were never able to achieve that initial greatness.

Some of these directors are gone, while others are still actively trying to match their prior, superior work. Some went on to have excellent careers full of excellent films, others followed their solid entrance with continual nonsense. No matter the case, there’s no denying the talent that accompanied these directors so early in their careers.

(Notes: I’m not counting short films, or directors who only made one feature. Sorry Charles Laughton.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Killing Them Softly

I’m half-tempted to dub 2012 The Year of the Enigma Film. Perhaps “enigma” isn’t right, maybe “polarizing” is more accurate. But what I’m getting at is that 2012 seems to be cinematically defined by films that have divided.

I’m not sure I’ve heard of anyone liking Holy Motors. I’ve read several reviews of love, and just as many of hate. For every person who considers David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis a disastrous waste of time (like me), there is a Top 10 list to argue otherwise. The Master, Cloud AtlasLincoln, hell, all the back to Haywire, people can’t seem to find common ground this year. And you know what? I dig it. It’d be boring as shit if we all agreed on what’s gold and what’s garbage. Now, to add to the separation, we have Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, a comedy crime drama to end all comedy crime dramas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Character: Steve Zahn

I firmly believe that Steve Zahn is one of the most criminally ignored comedians currently working in film and television. But perhaps comedian isn’t fair. It isn’t like the guy tours between film roles doing stand-up around the country. In fact, I’m not entirely sure he would refer to himself as one. But either way, dude is funny as hell, and his humor deserves to be discussed about more.

Now for the flip. Occasionally in his roles, Zahn is given all too brief moments to fully assert his drama, which always produces memorable results. He’s believable in his comedy, and authentic in his pain.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oslo, August 31st

There’s a scene in the fantastically bleak and insufferable Norwegian film, Oslo, August 31st in which the main character sits in a café and listens. He looks over at a couple and overhears their exchange about music. He gently glances at another woman as she reads aloud a presumed self-reflexing monologue about things she wants to do with her life. Young women socialize, kids talk over their parents, and so on. Everytime our main character, Anders, locks in on a conversation, the film’s soundtrack slowly brings that dialogue into the foreground, making it the only thing we, the audience, can hear.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Life of Pi

Life of Pi is a film about so much more than its title suggests. Sure, at its core, it is the story of an adult man telling the unbelievable story of his childhood, and how he spent seven and a half months on a lifeboat with a tiger after being shipwrecked. But beyond that, it’s a film about resurgence. And loss. And regret, and love. In short, it’s a film about life, period. We’re just privy to it through the narrative of one old wise man.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Anna Karenina

I suppose as good a way as any is to begin by stating that Leo Tolstoy’s iconic novel, Anna Karenina, remains unread by me. And probably always will. It’s just not my thing. And I only mention this as a means of giving context to this review: I am an Anna Karenina novice. Going into the film, I hadn’t the slightest idea what the movie was about. The trailer flexed notions of an infidelity drama set centuries back, directed and starring people who make great films together. That’s all I had going in.

What I can assert after seeing Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina is that it is a lively, inventive period piece unlike any film I’ve ever seen. The problem that I’m still trying to wrap my head around is that, given how unique and seemingly energetic it is, why am I left feeling as though it is forgettable and utterly lifeless?

End of Watch

Every year, multiple films are released that I hear enough about to know that I don’t want to see it. Whether it’s in the casting, choice of director, subject material, genre – whatever the case may be, I know my movie tastes well enough to know that I’m not going to dig the flick.

Watching End of Watch only confirms that I don’t know shit.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Character: Which Actors Deserve More Work?

I don’t usually make a point of repurposing lists from mainstream movie sites on this blog – that’s what Twitter is for. But a recent list from The Playlist is simply too good to ignore.

Their list, titled 10 Undervalued Actors Who Deserve To Get More Work, was published yesterday afternoon and aims to draw attention to excellent actors whose faces are known, but names are largely overlooked. 

A little over a year ago, I started my column In Character solely to draw attention to such people. Today will mark my 40th In Character post, so I thought I’d change things up and ask the same essential question The Playlist did: which undervalued actors do you think deserve more work?

My Top 10 (many of which show up on The Playlist’s original tally) is below. Do feel free to tell me yours. And really, thanks so much for your support of this In Character column. I’m glad a lot of you enjoy putting names to the faces as much as I do!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Top 10 Scenes of Ed Harris’ Career

I’m hard pressed to think of a living actor that is as continually intense as Ed Harris. Whether he’s screaming, shouting, punching or glaring, he gives off an immediate sense of fear that is impossible to take your eyes off of.

But there’s a flip side. The inverse to his trademark intensity is his genuine tenderness. He can play mean and he can play earnest, as good as any of them.

Because today is Harris’ 62nd birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to list my Top 10 favorite scenes of his career. From brooding to sensitive, here’s where Harris has been at his finest.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2012 Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations

I absolutely love the Independent Spirit Awards. Acting as the unofficial antithesis to the Oscars, the Spirit Awards are meant to instill the wholesomeness of struggling, independent filmmakers.  Problem is, over the last few years, the Oscars have damn near mimicked the Spirits, sometimes for the better, often for the worse.

Maybe mainstream Indies are finally getting the mainstream attention they deserve. That or the Independent Spirit Awards aren’t nominating the proper films anymore. Hell, I’m getting ahead of myself, for now, let’s marvel over the (mostly good) 2012 Spirit Award nominations.

The Girl and Hitchcock

One of the best courses I took in college was titled Hitchcock Reexamined, in which we watched all of Hitch’s films and discussed them ad nauseam. In addition, we detailed the man behind the infamy – his passions, obsessions, fears, desires – and so on. The course was as interested in the man as it was in his films, which made for some fantastic old time Hollywood musings. But the flip side is that, learning what I learned, it makes films as unaccomplished as The Girl and Hitchcock simply unforgivable.

It is very important to begin these reviews by stating outright that the words Based on a True Story are to be taken as loosely as possible in most any film depicting a real person. Liberties are taken, time is altered, moods are exaggerated – I get it, it’s part of the game. Thing is, if you’re going to change/add/remove from the way it was, then please, for the love of God, make it interesting.

And that is precisely what these films fail to do.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Top 10 Song Moments in Martin Scorsese Films

Few directors can cut a scene to a track more appropriately than Martin Scorsese. Although he mostly keeps his scenes dedicated to popular classic rock, there’s no stopping him from venturing into pop, rap, or classical territory. Hell, as far as I’m concerned, the name Scorsese is synonymous with the art of musical juxtaposition. Here are my 10 favorite examples as to why.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Top 10 Movie Character Introductions

The way in which a film character is introduced can make or break a performance. More often than not, little attention is given to the opportunity filmmakers have by completely stunning the audience from the onset. Here is a list of my personal favorite character introductions in film history. Some come in with a bang, others come in with a smile, and some come in yielding a very large kitchen knife. No matter the entry, they’ve all left their mark.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the Directors: David O. Russell

I go back and forth with David O. Russell. With the exception of one of his films (well, now, two), his movies frequently verge on the edge of brilliance, but something manages to deter it away from whatever lame idea of greatness I have perceived of it.

So, to be clear, I enjoy every single one of Russell’s films, but I love few of them. Either way, his ability to impeccably shift tone, style, and genre from film to film (and often, within each film itself) definitely deserves to be applauded. For better or worse, he is one hell of a unique cinematic voice.

My Favorite Scene: Three Kings

I have a few movie pet peeves, but to the best of my knowledge, nothing irritates me more than the overuse of effects. I don’t mean CGI (although that, to me, is often used in excess more often than it’s not) but rather, the use of cinematic editing effects that one can add to a film in post-production. Stop motion, time lapse, white fade, stylized sound, over saturated colors – these all (often times) leave the stamp of an amateur filmmaker, and rarely can I support it.

Which is what makes one scene in David O. Russell’s perfect Three Kings such an enigma. The scene in question uses all of those effects (and more) a few times in the span of a few minutes, yet everything – every heightened frequency, every overblown tone – everything works perfectly to dramatize a moment of horror.

Let’s dive in.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Silver Linings Playbook

Pat Solitano is a man defeated. When we meet Pat (Bradley Cooper), he is fresh off a stint at a mental hospital for beating the shit out of his wife's lover, and because he now has no house, job, or wife, he is forced to move back in with his kind, overbearing mother (Jacki Weaver), and his compulsive gambling father (Robert De Niro). Both parents don’t seem to mind throwing Pat in the attic, so long as he’s well behaved.

And little do they know.


In the opening scene of Smashed, Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up covered in her own piss, the result of a night of epic binge drinking gone too far. She playfully nags her just-as-hungover husband, Charlie (Aaron) before heading to the shower (where he cleans herself while crushing a beer) and attempting to make it to her job on time – a job in which she is paid to teach first graders.

And we’re off and running.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Top 10 Martin Scorsese Pictures

In honor of master Marty’s recent 70th birthday, here’s a list of his films that have inspired me most. Scorsese is one of my top three favorite directors of all time, and I’ve seen all of his films many times over. These are the ones that never dare go away.

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Movie Alphabet Blogathon

Mettel Ray has a great idea for a blogathon, tasking bloggers with creating their specific movie alphabet. The one rule in effect is to simply match every letter of the alphabet with something relating to film. And the only rule I’ve set for myself is that I will list the very first thing that pops into my mind for each corresponding letter. Challenge accepted!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

In Character: The Cast of Lincoln

If Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is nothing else, it is a glorious roll call for many of the finest character actors currently working in film. As often as I can, I dedicate this blog to character actors in my recurring column, In Character, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to mix things up.

So, below I have called out more than 20 character actors who appear in Lincoln, highlighting some of their best work, and drawing attention to their one particular best role.

Hope you enjoy putting names to the faces!


Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is a superbly acted historical drama about the most famous President in American history. It is gorgeous looking, impeccable sounding and unimaginably boring. In fact, when all’s said and done, Lincoln represents 150 of the most puzzlingly dull minutes I’ve spent in a movie theater this year. It wants (and tries and urges and pleads) to be excellent, which, given the talent involved in front of and behind the camera, it should be. But, alas, it remains anything but.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holy Motors

The more I think about Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, the more I appreciate it. The more I analyze Holy Motors, the more I am frustratingly confounded by it. It’s a film of such unique sensibilities, that, in passing, I could hail as a potential masterpiece. But under the harsh scrutiny of my movie-freaked mind, I’m still not sure if it fully holds up. Actually, forget fully… try remotely.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Top 5 James Bond Films

I’m among the many people who have gone back and refreshed their cinematic minds on the films of James Bond in the wake of Skyfall’s release. And while refamiliarizing myself with some of Bond’s films proved to be as taxing as watching really really bad horror films, there is so much about the 007 franchise to love. 

Here are the five James Bond films that so clearly make my case.


The new James Bond film, Skyfall is a worthy induction to the throwback Bond. Which is to say, it is so easily reminiscent of the best that the franchise has to offer. Many times while watching the film, I kept remembering to be thankful that Skyfall didn’t take on too much. So many Bond films (which are, incidentally, many of the weakest films of the series) assemble themselves around plots that are so needlessly intricate.

And make no mistake, the main objective of a Bond film (of any Bond film) is to please. They’re supposed to be fun and entertaining, and sort of corny and pleasantly ridiculous. With Casino Royale, the producers wanted something different – darker and foreboding and new. Skyfall is all of these things – a fresh mix of the old and new and more.

Friday, November 9, 2012

James Bond by the Numbers

Us Americans are a little slow on the go sometimes. Many of my digital friends who reside overseas have already been privy to the presumed wonderment of the latest James Bond flick, Skyfall. So, while I wait a few more long hours before marveling at the baddassery of 007, here’s a list I cooked up that breaks the world’s greatest spy down statistically. These figures are from Dr. No through Quantum of Solace, and exclude the in-no-way-affiliated-with-the-franchise Never Say Never Again.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rust and Bone

A movie like Rust and Bone is the hardest kind of film to assess. It’s a film that is so perfectly aware – aware of its intentions, aware of its manipulations, aware of its impact – that describing its faultlessness can be taxing. Push too far, and the reader becomes desensitized in hyperbole. Hold too much back, and the mystery of the film isn’t done due justice. All’s I can hope to do is trigger something within you to see this film. It likely won’t come to your local theater, nor will it be discussed much outside of critical circles and awards shows. What it will do, if seen, is provoke. It will provoke fear, laughter, devastation and humiliation, in the best, most effective ways possible.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In Character: Don Cheadle

Of all the Don Cheadle performances I’ve seen (and there have been many) I cannot recall him giving a bad performance. He’s been in some crap films, sure, but he always brings it, no matter what.

Rarely changing his appearance or voice inflection, Cheadle has an uncanny ability to not only make every character its own, but to captivate you within mere minutes. He’s one of the best we have right now. Period. Here are a few reasons why.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Liv & Ingmar

Ingmar Bergman has been my favorite film director since I spent a quiet, warm June night a few years ago watching The Seventh Seal (twice). I had never seen anything remotely like it, and from that point on, I was utterly intoxicated by watching the cinematic world through Bergman’s eyes.

I was first exposed to the great Liv Ullmann through Bergman’s Cries and Whispers, a film, like most of Bergman’s best, that continues to haunt and inspire me inexplicably. I was (and am) completely entranced with Cries and Whispers, much in part to the perfect, emotive face of Liv Ullmann. I had never seen anything remotely like it, and from that point on, I was utterly intoxicated by watching a film unfold strictly by paying attention to Ullmann’s facial expressions.

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

I think the best way to start this review is with the man. A man I admittedly had never heard of before seeing this documentary that so closely chronicles his struggle. And having seen the film, I’m almost ashamed to relent that I’ve gone this long without familiarizing myself with his fight. But that’s what a great documentary (or any film, really) is for: to inform. To make us aware, and, possibly, care.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Let me tell you about a movie I love that I never anticipated loving. This film tells the story about a man lost. He’s not hidden, but rather drowning in public.

Whip Whitaker is a man who enjoys the life. The life of a middle aged bachelor, commercially piloting his way around the globe, banging stewardesses in whatever city he happens to be laid over in. He caps the night with whiskey, vodka, beer – whatever. And jumps his morning with a line (or two) of premium blow. But inside, he’s completely vacant. An empty shell of a man, using substances to distract himself from his long ago failed marriage and current status as an absentee father.

The Sessions

The Sessions tells the true story of Mark O’Brien, a middle aged man crippled and deformed by polio, who wants nothing more than to be loved. Soon after we meet him, the love he longs to feel manifests itself in complete physicality. The man is 38 and has never felt the intimate touch of a woman. To speak clearly: Mark wants to get laid. And soon. Can you blame him?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas is almost as hard to review as it is to watch. How do you go about explaining and analyzing a film that you don’t fully understand (especially when you feel the filmmakers involved aren’t particularly interested in having the film clearly defined anyway)?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Horror Marathon: The Scariest Scene I’ve Ever Seen

Over the past month (and as early as yesterday), I’ve made my appreciation for John Boorman’s Deliverance abundantly clear. So, by this point, there’s no need for me to casually remark how much this film terrifies me – it is, without question, the most horrifying film I’ve ever seen. And its most infamous scene is reason enough to thank for that.

Note: The scene in question has been discussed, mocked, ridiculed, made famous and everything in between, ten times over. With all that in mind, I’m going to discuss it in great detail. Detail that would be best appreciated by people who’ve seen the film.