022708 ‘Defiance’ trailer and what I forgot to mention about the Oscars.
. . . . . .I don’t know. This one just looks good to me. It may be that the trailer brings to mind an underrated TV movie I like a lot called ‘Uprising’. Both films are about Jews who formed an armed resistance against the Nazis (I don’t know if it is about the same group or not.) The film stars Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, and George Mackay as a group of brothers at the front of the resistance. Helmed by Edward Zwick, written by Zwick and Clayton Frohman from a book by Nechama Tec, the film looks to be a dramatic action film.  I think Schreiber is a strong actor and Craig is certainly great at the action and the drama. Zwick generally makes enjoyable films and while I sometimes feel like I don’t always enjoy his films as much as everyone else does, I can’t deny that they are entertaining. Based on the plot, those involved in the creation of ‘Defiance’ and the trailer make me curious to see this one. The trailer can be seen HERE.
. . . . . .As far as the Oscars go, I forgot to mention that one of the things that irritates me about the show is the way films and their creators are pitted against one another. I get the whole suspense thing and all but it is supposed to be an awards ceremony and not a friggin’ Olympic competition. This can grate on my nerves when there are people in the same category that I want to win. Such was the case in the cinematography category (amongst others.) While I am happy with who won, I really wanted to see Roger Deakins finally get an Oscar. The guy is (much like Paul Thomas Anderson) much too talented to have not gotten one. Roger Deakins official site can be seen HERE.
. . . . . .The other thing that I forgot to mention was not so much the Oscar Show itself but Jimmey Kimmel’s after show special. I think he said it was the third year he has done it and it was as funny as I remember the last one I saw being. The special made me think I don’t watch Kimmel’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ nearly enough. Kimmel made a response to his girlfriend Sarah Silverman who made Kimmel a music video entitled “I’m F***ing Matt Damon.” Kimmel’s response? “I’m F***ing Ben Affleck” The video is a friggin’ riot and is sweeping the web. You can see it via the youtube, HERE. -Nate


022608 Oscars came and went.
. . . . . .So, I thought the Oscars were ok or as ok as the overblown ceremony can be anyway. Jon Stewart did a fine job hosting and I would say I like him (and Steve Martin) better than some of the others that have hosted. I realize I am in the minority but what can I say? They make me laugh. The best moment was when (and I have no idea if it was his decision or not) Stewart let Markéta Irglová come back and give an acceptance speech after she was cut off by the music without even being able to say a word. Whoopi Goldberg was whining about not getting enough attention when the Oscars showed clips from past shows but she has nothing to complain about when compared to Brad Renfro whose passing was not even mentioned. I’m happy for the Coen brother’s wins at the Oscars but have to admit I am a bit bummed that the super talented Paul Thomas Anderson still did not get an Oscar. For an article about the show and its weak ratings go HERE and an article about Goldberg is HERE. -Nate


021508 The new trailer for ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ is here!
. . . . . . Released yesterday on Valentine’s Day, I watch the trailer, I sit back, and I think “hmmmmmm”. Is it just me or is the trailer somewhat underwhelming? Have I become so jaded or is it that I grew up with ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and any new film just won’t measure up no matter how good? Maybe it is just a weak trailer. I thought ‘Live Free or Die Hard’ was going to be a waste and I was terribly wrong so maybe ‘Indy 4’ will be a winner and I’m just a chucklehead.
. . . . . . I don’t know though, something about this just looks too... goofy. I mean it just looks so silly, with Indy saying goofy one liners while knocking about those pesky Nazi’s. ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ was a terrifically fun action film that also had a gritty feel to it. While I never cared for the deus ex machine conclusion (for me it was always a bit of a letdown after the action that preceded it) the film is still a favorite of mine. ‘Crystal Skull’ is made in this era of cramming violence into bloodless PG ratings so that the film can attract a maximum audience while ‘Raiders’ was made at a time when the films rating did not have the box office impact it can have today.
. . . . . . Then there is the computer animation. Somehow Indy running through CGI hugeness just seems off to me. That may be my own personal hangup that I’ll probably get over the instant I start watching the film. I’m still looking forward to ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ but this trailer makes me worried that it will be to the ‘Indy’ films what the ‘Star Wars’ prequels were to the original series. Here’s hoping the film will prove me wrong.
. . . . . . This new ‘Indy’ film brought to mind an article that I think I’ve mentioned before but I think is great enough to mention again: ‘The Top Ten Sci-Fi Films That Never Existed’. Written by David Wong in a humorous (and expletive filled) tone ‘The Top Ten Sci-Fi Films That Never Existed’ looks at what happened to the ‘Star Wars’ prequels, ‘The Matrix’ sequels and more. Disenchanted dorks like myself can read it and know that we are not alone in having mixed feelings about some of the more geeky movie franchises. Read it HERE. The trailer for ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ can be seen HERE. -Nate


021108 Actor Roy Scheider has passed.
. . . . . . It is just an all around bummer. Roy Scheider is in one of my very favorite films ‘The French Connection’. I remember talking to an actor friend of mine and discovering that he thought Scheider was as good an actor as I did. I was surprised because Scheider was one of those performers who had fallen out of favor since the 70s. Not that he wasn’t acting or anything but he didn’t seem to be getting the strong roles he had. I kept waiting for one of the new hip directors to catch on that the guy was great and still could be. The last movie I remember seeing him in at the theater was ‘The Punisher’ and I was just sort of depressed that he wasn’t in a stronger film. Still, even ‘The Punisher’ shows what I think was one of Scheider’s best attributes: his willingness to blend into a film and not call attention to himself. He was great, perhaps in that same way that Jeff Bridges often is and the result was he didn’t get the notices he would have if he had been flashier. RIP. An article about Scheider can be found HERE.. -Nate


020608 'No Country for Old Men' review added.
. . . . . .I finally finished my review of ‘No Country for Old Men’. I loved the film and had to wrangle with my silly review for awhile before it became somewhat readable. Two films came to mind while watching ‘No Country for Old Men’. One is Sam Raimi’s underrated crime drama ‘A Simple Plan’. The film has a similar plot point that involves money found in the wilderness where there are little to no witnesses. The other film was very different in plot but somehow similar in tone: ‘The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Both of these features are similarly careful, slow, films and I would say despite the fact that they are also quite different from ‘No Country for Old Men’, if you liked them you will also probably like ‘No Country for Old Men’. Check out my review HERE. -Nate





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