Saturday, August 20, 2016

"We're going to end up in the Hudson"


How can any true movie fan can not be looking forward to "Sully"? It's Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks. Eastwood is coming off his most successful movie ever "American Sniper," before that he was stuck in a painfully in bad streak ("Hereafter," "Jersey Boys," "J. Edgar," "Invictus"). This could be another return to form for the 86 year-old director who had a fantastic streak going in the 2000s with "Mystic River," "Million Dollar Baby," "Letters From Iwo Jima," "Gran Torino," "Changeling." Clint is still the man, but there is something off about "Sully,"

Here is what I wrote on 7.1.16

German-style free styling?

Image result for MORRIS FROM AMERICA

"The screenplay award at Sundance went to Chad Hartigan’s funny and touching film about a African-American teenager growing up in, of all places, Germany with his dad, indelibly played by Craig Robinson who also took the acting prize at the closing ceremonies. First-time director Hartigan’s bittersweet coming of age tale is filled with stylish flourishes and a keen sense of comedic timing. Robinson is a revelation, but so is newcomer Markees Christmas as the hip-hop loving titular nerd with a special place in his heart for German girls. Who can blame him? The culture clash makes for a one of kind film that was the the leading contender for the big award and might have won it if it weren’t for Nate Parker’s film." B


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Can Nate Parker be forgiven?





First things first. Here are a few thoughts I had when I saw Nate Parker's "The Birth of A Nation" this past January:


"Recounting the story of Nat Turner, an African American Slave that lead a rebellion in 1831 to free African-Americans in Virgina. There’s blood soaked, sweat induced, passion in every frame of Nate Parker’s flawed film. You can never discount this kind of brazingly ferocious filmmaking, even when it’s by a first-time filmmaker still learning his narrative steps. The aptly titled film is bound to cause a stir when it gets released later this year, choosing the title of D.W Griffith’s grand, but very racist, 1915 masterpiece is a sign that the times might be in fact changing. Winning the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award is a sign that this movie is about to take Hollywood by storm. It was made to piss people off and get them out of their seats shouting, what more could you ask for in a movie?"

"Grand Jury Prize and the Dramatic Audience Prize consolidating a week’s worth of standing ovations in Park City for his ambitious, but flawed The Birth Of A Nation. At the premiere of the film Parker said he wished the film would become an “agent of change,” a kind of cumulative rebuttal to the #Oscarssowhite movement. It seems like that is already the case. One simple Google search of Birth Of A Nation reveals that Griffith’s seminal film has finally been sidelined by the most unexpected of contenders, a film written, directed, acted and produced by a 36 year old African-American journeyman that is finally getting his due and taking the industry by storm at the right place and at the right time."


Where have all the rock albums gone?


Now that I've had time to ponder the Nate Parker case I will post something about it tomorrow.

In the meantime I was chatting with a buddy of mine today, mostly about Jack White and how much of a god this man is, but in all seriousness it led me to ponder where he and Meg's "Elephant" ranks with the best rock albums of the aughts.

Arcade Fire "Funeral," Green Day "American Idiot," The White Stripes "Elephant," Bob Dylan "Love and Theft," The Strokes "This Is It," Eminem "The Marshall Matters LP," Radiohead "Kid A," Wilco "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," Bruce Springsteen "The Rising," and "Magic," U2 "All That You Can't Leave Behind"

Yep this is pretty much the soundtrack of my life in the 2000s, although if I ever had the chance I'd listen to Top 40 radio. One thing that is interesting about this list compared to the ongoing one happening for this current decade is the lack of a clear, concise genre:

"My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," "The Suburbs," "Brothers," "21," "Wrecking Ball," "Yeezus," "Random Access Memories," "Modern Vampires of the City," "Beyonce," "1989" and "Lost in the Dream."

This post has been brought you by the geek inside me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"Norman" and "Wakefield" might be headed to Telluride

The Toronto Film Festival just announced a bunch of intriguing new titles today. They have actually made the fest this year into a must-see. two of these are quite possibly going to Telluride, there's a new Malick, a boxing saga based on the real Rocky and much, much more.

Laying out all his cards?


Something about this new trailer for Denis Villeneuve's latest magnum opus "Arrival" has us wondering if Villeneuve's film should be taken at face value or if there is something more mysterious lurking beneath the surface. I mean we know the aliens are not your typical Spielbergian crawler, but, at the same time, there is definitely a "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" vibe going on here. I'll give the film the benefit of the doubt for the time being because it got chosen for Telluride, Toronto and Venice. Not many films can claim that this season.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A second look at @ThePlaylist and their "best of" Stephen Frears

With the release of "Florence Foster Jenkins," light, free-spirited, British-humored, but slight film, Stephen Frears continues to defy genre expectations in his career. It is time to figure out if this guy is an auteur or just an opportunistic professionally talented contract man.  The Playlist have published their picks for the best movies of Frears' career, click HERE, and, man, this guy's made a lot of great movies. The problem is does he have an auteuristic touch that bleeds through in them? I don't think he does. Are there any similar, noteworthy touches between, say, "High Fidelity" and "The Queen"? Not really. That doesn't detract from the fact that he is a very good filmmaker that seems to be doing a good job with every screenplay that comes his way. It's an eclectic filmography with what The Playlist's Jessica Kiang calls "a flexible aesthetic." That's a apt description.

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