Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Night at the Movies: "Inland Empire"

Perusing my notes for Inland Empire, David Lynch’s nearly 3-hour digital video experimental film, I find a lot of qualifiers—“kind of” this, “sort of” that. The thing is, they’re all qualifiers for praise (“Closing sequence achieves some kind of mad brilliance”), which means that, as a reviewer, I’m basically afraid to give Inland Empire the kudos it deserves, since it is such an odd duck of a movie, and certain to be disliked by so many viewers.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Today's New in Theaters- 8/27/10

Ah, late August. This is when they release the best new movies!

Takers: It's like someone got all Inceptiony and went into my nightmares and put together the cast of people I'd least like to see in a movie, and put them all together. Between block of wood Paul Walker, Rihanna-beater Chris Brown, unaccountably smug Hayden Christensen, and T.I., who I'm too old to know or care about (he's got an impressive rap sheet, though), Idris Elba has got to start keeping better company.

The Last Exorcism: Look, I know it's getting some good reviews, but here's the thing: they made the definintive exoricism movie. You mighta heard of it? It was called The Exorcist. All you do when you make a movie like this is invite unfavorable comparisons.

Avatar (reissue): Mr. Cameron would like to mug you for a few more dollars with this new! improved! version of his bloated, inexplicable blockbuster. It's nine minutes longer! Yes, because if there was one real issue with Avatar, it's that IT WASN'T FUCKING LONG ENOUGH.

Mesrine: Killer Instinct: Here's the one I'd actually like to get around to, the first half of an two-part biographical epic starring Vincent Cassel as a notorious (and successful) French criminal. DVD Talk's Rich and Orndorf both give it high marks.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On DVD: "Before & After Stonewall: 25th Anniversary Edition"

Titles notwithstanding, the documentary films Before Stonewall and After Stonewall aren’t actually about the Stonewall riots in June of 1969 that marked the birth of the gay liberation movement. Both begin with arbitrary mentions, but Before Stonewall doesn’t return to the seminal event until 81 minutes into its 87 minute running time (and then it spends about a minute); After Stonewall doesn’t dwell either. There are other films (like the recent, and terrific, Stonewall Uprising) that delve into the logistics and specifics of that event, but these are focused on how the gay movement arrived at that point, and where it went from there. These are perhaps the most literally-titled films imaginable.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Let's do this instead of that...

Normally on Tuesday, I like to do a wrap-up for the day's new DVD and Blu-ray releases, whether they're ones I've reviewed or not. But I gotta tell you, this is one weak, weak Tuesday for new releases; about the only one that's worth grabbing is Flight of the Conchords: The Compelete Collection, and hell, most of you saw that show years ago.

So instead, let's watch the trailer for the new documentary American Grindhouse, which I have to see RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

Seriously, who do I gotta know/blow/whatever to get a peek at that?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

On DVD: "Flight of the Conchords: The Complete Collection"

It would be easy to intellectualize praise for the HBO series Flight of the Conchords, to rattle on about its surrealist tendencies and meta-musical commentary and timely point-of-view, but that's all secondary. No one would care about the series were it not for the fact that it's just plain funny--an ingenious mixture of arid-dry dialogue wit and uproarious musical parody. Stars Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie created and wrote much of the series (with James Bobin) in an inclusive comic style that swings from broad to microscopic; when it began, it seemed a rather obvious attempt by HBO to recapture the magic of the short-lived Tenacious D series, but quickly established itself as its own, unique beast.