Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July !

To my American readers, Happy holidays and please stop watching Transformers 2. I'm sure your brain cells will be better off without it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

'Public Enemies' & 'Drag Me To Hell'

Michael Mann's outstanding new film Public Enemies opens today. It's a crime saga with flair, style and an interest all its own. Only problem? it's too long- which wouldn't surprise most cinematic connoisseurs familiar with Mann and his stylishly overdone epics. Heat, Ali, Collateral, Manhunter and The Insider- All fascinating but all flawed and epic in length. Structurally it is very much in the same style as we would expect from the crime genre but stylishly Mann is unto a whole other ballgame here. He shoots in Digital video and -unlike Miami Vice- it actually works and suits the picture very well- in fact It's more a character study than a action driven movie. The thing I've always liked about Mann is the way he injects steroidal machoism to his films but has always managed to keep it artistic and -especially with this film- relevant to our times. What would I cut from the film ? maybe the last 10 minutes, which go out in a very conventional -dare i say- safe way and the Romance with Cottilard does tend to slightly drag the film near it's conclusion but Mann's macho heroism is at full swing here and there's something very iconic in seeing Depp portray crime king Dillinger in a playful, playboy-esque manner. In these dog days of summer, I'd say Public Enemies is a blessing from the sky and an incredible alternative to the drivel we've been getting of late- Transformers anyone?

Going into a screening of Sam Raimi's latest, I was literally dragged. My expectations were low and I didn't really want to see a movie about a gypsy curse and the poor farm girl that comes into contact with it. Boy was I surprised. This isn't only one of the stronger movies I've seen this summer but it's also one of the most amusing ones. Some of the stuff in here can be traced way back to Raimi's Army Of Darkness roots and has a spalsh of what made Spiderman 2 one of the more entertaining superhero movies of the past decade. It also has one of the most forumla convulting twists I've seen in a while. Basically whatever you would expect from the typical horror film is blown away here and twisted upside down. I guess you can say I liked it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Image Of The Day 7/1/09 *Canada Day Edition*

This being Canada Day, what better way celebrating than to showcase an image that perfectly describes Canadian cinema- Actually change that to French Canadian Cinema. Marie-Jose Croze in Denis Villeneuve's sexual, dreamy Maelstrom. Criminally underrated, highly worth seeing and much better than his follow-up, this year's Polytechnique.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

'Sunshine Cleaning', Emily Blunt & Indie Comedy

Ah yes, a new indie with eccentricities and familial dysfunction. To tell you the truth I'm not big on these anymore, I used to and -if the recent Away We Go is any indication- it's a dying breed. I didn't like Juno with it's self importance and ego trip courtesy of writer 'extraordinaire' Diablo Cody. These are 'Sundance Proofed' films, all debuting at the fest and then picked up by a distributor that believes in the buzz. The rare time the buzz was actually real and deserving was Little Miss Sunshine- a great movie. Now here comes Sunshine Cleaning, a heartfelt but ultimately maudlin attempt at the Indie comedy. Two down and out of luck sisters get into the 'crime scene clean up business' and in the process find cliche after cliche after cliche and ultimately learn to live with each other, blah blah blah. The only thing that works here is Emily Blunt.

I remember watching Blunt's first film -My Summer Of Love- 5 years ago and was stunned by the girl. She played a spoiled teen falling in love with another girl during a boring and humid English summer. The movie is so small and so slight that it came and went but it's totally worth a rental- just for the fact that she actually shows her tits and has girl on girl action with the equally mesmerizing Natalie Press. It's a brilliant performance and a film totally influenced by the french new wave of the 60's- there's a bit of Goadrd and a bit of Bunuel. I completely forgot about it, till it was shown again on cable TV a few weeks ago. She's an actress to watch- a mesmerizer waiting for the right role to catapult her into the stars, My Summer Of Love is only the tip of the icing.

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