Reviews Archive for November, 2008

Quo Vadis

As the pool of epic movies yet to be released on DVD diminishes, each release that does appear seems to become all the more significant. Warner Home Video has issued an impressive Two-Disc Special Edition of the 1951 MGM production, Quo Vadis. 1951, remember, was before widescreen or stereo sound was utilized to make such movies…

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Not Quite Hollywood The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! Directed by Mark Hartley

Not Quite Hollywood may be my favorite talking-heads-and-clips movie ever. (That’s Entertainment is not really a doc, but just a series of great clips from great musicals… different animal.) It is complete, and informative. But mostly, it’s very, very entertaining. From the very beginnings of the Aussie film business to the sexual exploitation and self-mockery…

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Che Directed by Steven Soderbergh

My first reaction to Steven Soderbergh’s Che was absolute shock at the idiocy and arrogance of it all… that is to say, the idiocy and the arrogance of the response from Cannes. This is one reason why I hate seeing a movie “after the fact.” It is a real challenge to all critics – and any one…

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What to Catch the Second Half of AFI Fest

AFI Fest, which kicked off last Thursday, is a different sort of fest than Sundance or Cannes or Toronto. Many of the films on the schedule are what I would consider more mainstream-friendly fare (which is not at all to say they aren’t good films). Much of the schedule here is kind of a “best…

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Hunger

Hunger focuses on the Irish prison hunger strike led by Bobby Sands in 1981. The depiction of the squalor these predominantly political prisoners live in and the endless beatings they undergo from jailers is vividly and unflinchingly portrayed. Written and directed by the acclaimed installation artist Steve McQueen, it’s an accomplished first film and, at the same…

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Hurt Locker

The best Iraq movie so far (closely nipping Nick Broomfield’s Battle For Haditha) and the best new American film at TIFF that I have seen this year is Kathryn Bigelow’s Hurt Locker, which really isn’t so much an Iraq War film as it is a war film that happens to be in Iraq. Mark Boal’s screenplay does what so…

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Reviews

Roy Atkinson on: DVD Wrapup: Commuter, Oscar, A Taxi Driver, Humor Me, Prince, Doris Day, Shakespeare Wallah, Pomegranates and more

gary j dretzka on: The DVD Wrapup: Ballad of Lefty Brown, Wonder, Blades, Seijun Suzuki, Fellini, Hellraiser, Paradise and more

Yvan Prime on: The DVD Wrapup: Ballad of Lefty Brown, Wonder, Blades, Seijun Suzuki, Fellini, Hellraiser, Paradise and more

Antoine Ratliff on: The DVD Wrapup: Letter From An Unknown Woman, Despicable Me 3, Crucifixion, Maurizio Cattelan, A New Leaf, Silent Night and more

Fernando on: The DVD Wrapup: King George, Cars 3, Overdrive, Afterimage, Glass Castle, Whisky Galore, The Journey, Into the Night, Sissi, Stay Hungry and more

Woody on: The DVD Wrapup: ET, Vietnam, Big Sick, Glory, Certain Women, The Hero, Hana-Bi, By the Time It Gets Dark, The Prison, The Flesh, Moderns … More

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Ray Pride on: The DVD Wrapup: Founder, Punching Henry, Paris 05:59, Apocalypse Child, Donnie Darko, Woman of the Year, Tampopo, Handmaid’s Tale and more

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch

To me, Hunter S. Thompson was a hero. His early books were great, but in many ways, his life and career post–Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail is a cautionary tale for authors. People expected him to be high and drunk all the time and play that persona, and he stuck with that to the end, and I don’t think it was good for him. I always sort of feel mixed emotions when I hear that people went and hung out with Hunter and how great it was to get high with Hunter. The fact is the guy was having difficulty doing any sustained writing at all for years probably because so many quote, unquote, “friends” wanted to get high with him … There was a badly disappointed romantic there. I mean, that great line, “This is where the wave broke, the tide rolled back … ” This was a guy that was hurt and disappointed and very bitter about things, and it made his writing beautiful, and also with that came a lot of pain.
~ Anthony Bourdain