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Articles tagged with: film

Cinema and Television, Cultural Comment, Jan/Feb 2010 »

[3 Feb 2010 | One Comment | 1,292 Views]
2000s Cinema: My Favorites

In terms of world news and events, the 2000s have been an intensely involved period, and a depressing one. From attacks on America, two large-scale wars, genocide still, horrific natural disasters and a global recession the “Aughts” haven’t been too kind on us as a whole. Cinema has really moved up its game during this time, however, producing a better quality of comedies, dramas and musicals compared to the previous couple decades. Animation, in fact, has never been better, and documentaries seem to …

Cinema and Television, Nov/Dec 2009 »

[21 Nov 2009 | No Comment | 1,113 Views]
Chickpea Soup for the Soul: <i>Cold Souls</i>

Perhaps the primary reason that Cold Souls has drawn comparisons to Spike Jonze’s film is because they both touch on metaphysics — apparently an area best addressed in the 21st century by celebrity culture. When a recognizable public figure gets all meta, it’s easy to take metatext as metaphysics. Secularism hasn’t left us much recourse to traditional spirituality. Whereas Being John Malkovich recycled the concept of the homunculus to explore role playing and immortality (and, of course, their intersections with art), Cold Souls literally distills these themes to an essence that can be bottled up and stored in New Jersey at a very reasonable price.

August 2009, Cinema and Television »

[30 Jul 2009 | 2 Comments | 2,344 Views]
Harry Potter and the One-Time Potterphobe

It should come as no surprise: this article is property of The One-Time Potterphobe.
Reviewing the sixth film in a world-famous fantasy series such as Harry Potter poses a somewhat unique challenge: you either are invested in the series and therefore require a detailed review of how Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince measures up against both source material and previous entries, or you aren’t.  Which is to say one watches HP6 from either devotion, compulsion, or boredom.
For this one-time Potterphobe, it was a humid Columbus afternoon’s boredom with the hyper-masculine …

Cinema and Television, July 2009 »

[22 Jul 2009 | No Comment | 2,343 Views]
The Light is Out: (500) Days of Summer

(500)Days of Summer, is not a love story, at least that’s what we’re told within the first few minutes of the film. It’s not a love story, like All the Real Girls or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind aren’t love stories; they’re about love but reveal the bleaker underside, the heartbreak and uncertainty that inevitably come with commitment.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Tom, and he believes in love. He learned about love from pop music and movies, and he believes that there is someone perfect out there for him. …

Cinema and Television, June 2009 »

[13 Jun 2009 | One Comment | 1,228 Views]
Action as Easy as <i>1 2 3</i>

Remakes (or in this case, second remakes) are handicapped from the get-go.  Playtime compatriot Daniel Swensen has already outlined the pitfalls of modern updates, and the new Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 falls in line on its tracks like the titular subway train. One can see the infinitely tense possibilities of the skeletal scenario of Morton Freedgood’s (alias John Godey’s) 1973 novel on which each movie has been based: four men hijack a NYC subway car and hold its passengers hostage; the head criminal has found a way to …

Cinema and Television, June 2009 »

Play Mistily for Me
[10 Jun 2009 | No Comment | 939 Views]
Play Mistily for Me

An early casualty of the 2009 Oscar Shuffle, Joe Wright’s The Soloist was originally positioned for a fall season award campaign, but ended up being pushed back to a late spring release for reasons only the gods of AMPAS can fathom. Meticulous and meditative, what might have been little more than a showcase for two Academy-level actors at the top of their game was embellished and broadened by Wright’s ornate flourishes and Susannah Grant’s screenplay, which contends with social awareness in a surprisingly antagonistic fashion. You see, the sum total of The Soloist’s wisdom is that perhaps the best thing for the impoverished is to leave them well enough alone.

Cinema and Television, May 2009 »

[21 May 2009 | One Comment | 916 Views]
Anvil! A review of <i>Anvil! The Story of Anvil</i>

The audience is made up of equal parts leather-clad true believers, college-age hipsters, and, like me, cinematic onlookers hoping for a once-in-a-lifetime multimedia experience.  I’d never heard of the Canadian hard rockers Anvil, but since the unveiling of the sweetly-titled documentary, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, at Sundance in 2008, buzz had been mounting.  I frequently check this particular theater’s online listings, never knowing when a special event may appear, and tonight I’ve hit the jackpot:  Anvil itself is going to be at this midnight showing, thrashing through what could …

Cinema and Television, May 2009 »

[30 Apr 2009 | One Comment | 903 Views]
For the love of irrelevance

Film critic Andrew Sarris at work.
It almost seems mean to criticize For the Love of Movies, Gerald Peary’s documentary on American film criticism. It’s very well put together. The movie has nice music, interesting clips from other movies, and warmly quirky narration by actress Patricia Clarkson. All those critics we only know from their bylines are given time to say a lot of cute things.
It’s a very nice movie. It’s too nice.
The affectionate doc certainly makes a great primer on the history of film criticism; and Peary, with 30 years …

April 2009, Cinema and Television »

[22 Apr 2009 | No Comment | 817 Views]
Job makes a movie

To guide the Israelites, God gave them stone tablets with ten commandments. But to guide the congregation of Voice of the Pentecost Church in San Francisco, He provided something a little different: 47 movie pitches.
That’s the nutshell version of the vision that drives Pastor Richard Gazowsky, who over ten years guided his church through the shooting of many short films and two features. Although their productions were humble and notably lacking in distribution, Gazowsky knew his company was ready for the big time. In 2004 he began production on an …

April 2009, Cinema and Television »

Yesterday’s Here: A trip to Adventureland
[15 Apr 2009 | 4 Comments | 1,498 Views]
Yesterday’s Here: A trip to Adventureland

Though something of a nostalgia trip, Adventureland never falls into the traps of over romanticizing or sentimentalizing a bygone era. Inspired by the events of his own post-adolescence in the 1980s, Greg Mottola writes and directs this surprisingly tender film about confused and loveless young adults. Though beginning on a similar note as many films of its type — a party where the protagonist, James, is introduced as a virgin — the film takes an unusual path from there. He returns home to find out his summer plans are dashed …