Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. It’s too long by 30 minutes. It’s a festival of expository dialog. Wait, is that a real thing? Should that be a real thing? It wouldn’t take much to throw together. We could call it Expositorapalooza. There would be hipsters with tight jeans, smoking hand-rolled cigarettes, gently bobbing their heads in time with the rolling beat of the Hans Zimmer score as they take pictures of each other with plastic 35mm cameras they bought at Urban Outfitters. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘4-star’
I can remember a time when I was about 16 that I was at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. We were standing around after the game, trying to get autographs from players as they left the parking lot across the street from the firehouse on Waveland Avenue. I don’t remember much about the game; I don’t remember who the Cubs were playing, or what the score was, or who won (though, let’s be honest, it probably wasn’t the Cubs). What I do remember, though, was Mark Grace walking to his car. He was dressed in a pastel silk suit that Tony Montana would consider over the top, and had two women with him that looked like they had sprung fully-formed from the mind of someone with a dirtier imagination than an ancient Greek god’s. He got into a Porsche with the girls, and left without signing any autographs.
I knew at that moment that I’d never be Mark Grace. (more…)
Juno got a lot of positive press, at least in part because the screenwriter, Diablo Cody, is an ex-stripper with a rockabilly haircut and a knack for pseudo-ironic dialog that is either poking fun at the hipster ethos of “irony over all” or is paying homage to the same. Given how I chose to take the dialog, the latter would be pretty ironic. I try not to think about it too hard—it’s turtles all the way down. (more…)
When the end of the world finally comes, you can be relatively certain that somewhere in the æther Roland Emmerich will be taking notes and comparing it to his œuvre. (And yes, I’m very proud I was able to use both “æ” and “œ” in one sentence, thank you for noticing.) His films are destruction pornography for anarchists: there’s a brief, plot-thin, badly-acted intro, a few uncomfortable moments of fumbling around, and the next thing you know the pool boy is naked and the Earth is being death-humped by aliens. And like porn, they are exciting, entertaining in the way you expect, and leave you feeling a little dirty afterward. (more…)
It’s a cardinal rule of movies: if you lock n characters in a room, n – (x+1) characters will walk out. Whether that “room” is at the bottom of the sea (The Abyss), the deepest, darkest South American jungle (Predator), or the farthest reaches of Antarctica (The Thing), the success of movies of this genre depend on a couple things. First, whether you enjoy being trapped in that room with the characters that inhabit it, and second, whether the buildup, if not the payoff, is sufficiently enthralling. As to the second part, you could call this the “Jack in the Box” genre, because the interesting part isn’t when the box pops open, but the suspense that builds with every turn of the crank. In Sunshine (2007), director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) shows that he’s pretty good at cranking one out. (more…)