Saturday, July 26, 2008

Of course no one in jail is guilty!

Down by Law
(1986, Jim Jarmusch)

Losers get a bit more than they deserve.

A bit fantastic in the second sense of the definition. Lots of panning, mostly to good effect, but somewhat old or ho-hum in execution at parts. Acting wavers betwixt believable and teleprompt. Little middle ground in this film. Any given scene is either "on" or "off." Which makes the film intensely satisfying and "wow I should just turn this off now" at the same time which then of course therefore by extension hurts the piece overall. Very much a rough draft in filmmage centering around character study, yet not entirely sure this particular piece could ever be brought to full polish. A bit too art student in the undercurrents of flavor.

I would never recommend this film, but I would not discourage it either.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

satchel foot

The Third Man
(1949, Carol Reed)

Broke a** writer gets ear deep.

One heckuva film. Way legit on the opening creds popping up over tingling zither strings. Sure, bit on the illegible side, but radder than others you'll agree (unless you = communist). Quite deep on the compelling side, dare I say even peggin out the meter? No I don't, not that compelling (for real compelling see "Straw Dogs"). Plenty of little twists and turns, certainly a longer feeling production, but not in the boring sense. All bits are of purpose and therefore give a whole buncha bang for the buck (or in this case walk. thank you library system!). Fairly certain the zither was the only component comprising the soundtrack, which is a fine fine thing. Plenty of atmosphere and mood. Quite understatedly tense at times. Oh! and what wonders are there when the THING the actors are looking at is not shown! Oh! old Hollywood making us use the imagination! How dare you make our brains work and make your productions better! Totally recommended by the illustrious Npod. Completely spot on. MURDER MYSTERY.

A fantastic anytime film that requires no special mood... Recommended Heartily

Once a whore, always a whore

Ba wang bie ji
Farewell My Concubine
(1993, Kaige Chen)

Woman destroys perfect male relationship.

Edging dangerously close to trippy if not crossing the line more than once. A stitch of gender bending, but in a natural sort of way (not like the over-the-top annoying Hedwig manner). Took the better part of the films early stages to scheme the gender of the other leading role. Colors straight from Capt Insane-o's swatch book, wild wild wild costumes; emulates the real Beijing Opera I'm sure (if there was one, did not fact check, but so ornate gotta be a real thing eh? Hold up... ok appears to be a totally real thing. Some bits of this existance cannot be simply procured just for 172min of epic mayhem). Ok, so definitely epic, definitely not a "musical," definitely a romp thru the ages (which yeah ok fine is another way of saying "epic"). Forgot that Gong Li is kinduva a babe. Convincing acting on her part and really all around. HENCE best film of Sundance or something like that, Golden Globes? I can't recall. Alls I know is that some fancy pants full of em selves types deemed this as good and I conquer! Here's an oddity... what's w/ actors early in the film "looking" Chinese and then later appearing generic or Western? Perhaps some sort of commentary?

If you're feeling like an epic then this one comes Recommended a bit higher than just 'recommended'

Friday, July 18, 2008

Payphone phreaking? What is this, 1995?

I am waaaaaaay too lazy to build myself a Skype payphone (much less reverse-engineer a SIM card), but this is the sort of thing that makes me wish I were a better electrician.

Citizen Engineer via Boing Boing

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
(2007, Steven Okazaki)

Memories of the survivors. Memories of those who dropped.

Powerful, but not overwhelming. Comes across as a documentary more than other contemporary documentaries I've seen whereupon it's obvious they are not trying to document, but rather persuade. Using all manner of trumped up emotional appeal, visual stimulation, tense music. Rather this was simply a string of interviews and period media shown as is w/ no soft lens. There is a bit of 'no nukes' in the film, but coming from people who have been nuked makes such message not the point of the film. Though, in all manner of speaking, it is like a product that sells itself in that way.


Monday, July 14, 2008

All manner of interesting new folks

Less Than Zero
(1987, Marek Kanievska)

A rather quick decline.

Mostly convincing portrayals all around. Music always spot on w/ solid choices of commercial release and original score. Lovely ambiance. Sluggish for a bit evolving into the lowest level of gripping. In a manner of speaking plenty of little cliffhangers keep things interesting w/o being too predictable throughout the viewing experience. The leading lady was oddly attractive.

Hovering around the neighborhood of 'good' though to be clear no lower than good, but certainly not as high as great

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Oats are there to be Sown

Romance & Cigarettes
(2005, John Turturro)

The Beast barely contained.

Though range of emotions is clipped, the few focused upon are attacked in such a variety of manner that the subject matter does not become stale. This is most certainly in part due to the musical nature of the work. Thankfully not 'show tuny' at all whereupon all songs sound the same w/ expected turn arounds. Perhaps, and most certainly due to the majority if not the entire catalog consists of quote real songs end quote. Thrilling in a just above reality way so as to bring emotional satisfaction where the disconnect w/ reality via choreographed portions disallows a more cathartic sensation. Well cast. Well shot. Well directed. Cannot find any negatives. Surely the overly picky and the boring will pick at the dead limbs and flaked skin.

Nearly Highly Recommended, but certainly Recommended