Feb. 28th, 2011 07:58 am
charloween: (Default)
I tend to find the Oscars quite tedious. Don't get me wrong; I'm quite happy to settle in and watch the whole marathon of programming with friends, but that's because of the social side of things. This year, I was particularly (irrationally?) annoyed with "Oscar buzz": that phenomenon whereby good movies are talked up so much they sound like they should be Creation's gift to cinema. (And then when people who didn't see these movies on their first release get around to watching, they get to mutter "It was good, but so overrated." *throws up hands*)

Since I didn't participate in any Oscar pool, go to any Oscar parties (harder, now I'm in Europe, darn you time zones), or read any speculation about what film would win what category, the whole pageant was mildly irritating. In a they-do-it-every-year-guys, this-isn't-a-Nobel-ceremony-celebrating-the-pinnacle-of-human-achievement, please-give-me-until-May-before-you-talk-about-next-year's-films? kind of way.

So. The sum total of American and international film production in 2010 boils down to: The King's Speech, Inception, The Social Network, Black Swan, The Fighter, Toy Story 3 and the art direction in Alice in Wonderland. One of the reasons to watch the broadcast is to see what the nominated costume designers are wearing (they never include those when the red carpet photos are published).

In all of that huffing and puffing, I'd like to point out the handful of Oscar wins from this year that I appreciate:

1. Best Original Score: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network
- sure, I thought it was cool when they got the Golden Globe for this, but now they have the weight of legitimacy with the Oscar. Need I remind you that 18 years ago Nine Inch Nails won a Grammy for this song. My teenage self is giddy! In other news, they're apparently going to do the score for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Have another NIN video. *glee*

2. Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing: Inception
- and Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects
- no quibble here: it looked and sounded amazing
- hopefully this is enough to help other non-franchise, non-period, not-made-for-merchandising projects get made and distributed [ETA: This article inspired this comment, but I hadn't bookmarked it and couldn't remember its title or location. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] philthe25th for reminding me.]

3. Best Makeup: The Wolfman
- say it with me, "Academy Award winning film, The Wolfman" *glee*
charloween: (pure style)
So. There's a Film School Thesis Statement Generator.

The first three I tried:
‎"The Brave Little Toaster subjugates existentialist philosophy through its binarism of light and racism."

"Terminator 2 demystifies the plight of the migrant worker in post-war America through its use of mise-en-scene."

"My Best Friend is a Vampire echoes the primacy of scholarship in the Abrahamic religions through its frequent use of long takes."

Love it.

And since I've been mentioning these films a lot recently:
"The expressionistic play between sound and history in Hard Core Logo colonizes nativist arguments of the early-twentieth century."

"Bon Cop Bad Cop fetishizes the disavowal of the female lack through its strategic use of narrative ellipses."
charloween: (Default)
From the feedback I've received, the one Canadian film I should show is either Bon Cop Bad Cop or Hard Core Logo. Hee.

The problem is, there was a specific request after this week's weepy (Japanese) melodrama to not watch another depressing film for a while. Next week is probably going to be an upbeat Bollywood film, but I'm not sure what the Chinese students will pick for the week after. If it's got a sad ending, I might go with the Hollywood-style wacky explosions over the disintegration of a dysfunctional pseudo-familial punk band. (Alternately, I could test the cross-cultural coherence of Top of the Food Chain...)

Another group of students is talking about doing an all-night 80s movie marathon. I'm kind of sick of 80s nostalgia, so if I participate I'm going to make everyone watch either Brave Little Toaster or My Best Friend is a Vampire. Or Near Dark. Or even Solarbabies. Something not John Hughes, lame rom-com or Top Gun.
charloween: (watch all the vids!)
Question: if you (hypothetically) had to pick one Canadian film to show to a group of international students, what would that film be?

Question the second: assuming (hypothetically) you had a limited range of Canadian films* to choose from for this screening would you choose to show Bon Cop Bad Cop?

*Including (hypothetically) Top of the Food Chain (hilarious, wacky) Last Night (depressing), The Saddest Music in the World (hilarious, wacky and depressing), Hard Core Logo (rockin' and mockin'), Videodrome (wacky, creepy), 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould (arty), Waydowntown (wacky, depressing), Phil the Alien (wacky, not hilarious), Les Invasions Barbares (really freaking good), The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico** (yes, another mock-rockumentary), Gunless (hilarious in context, slightly wacky) and Ararat (genocide!)

**[personal profile] serrico: another source for a Strombo vid!

ETA: The results so far (between DW, LJ and Twitter) -

Votes for things on the list (i.e. DVDs I have with me):
Bon Cop Bad Cop - 7
Hard Core Logo - 5
Last Night - 2
32 Short Films About Glenn Gould - 1
Les Invasions Barbares - 1

Votes for things not on the list (i.e. I don't own them):
Le Declin de l'empire americain
New Waterford Girl - 2
Strange Brew
Men With Brooms - 2
C.R.A.Z.Y. - 2
One Week
Away from Her
Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner
The Big Snit

Not serious votes for:
Cube Zero

Vehement votes against:
Les Invasions Barbares
Goin' Down the Road (also not on the list, :P)

In my collection, but no votes for:
The Saddest Music in the World
Phil the Alien
The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico
charloween: (you broke sir)
I've got three more PhD apps to mail out, for a total of 9. I'm currently revising the back end of my shortlist, dropping two-maybe-three schools and adding another one.

Also, I heard on the news the other day that this is the first November without snow for Toronto since the 1930s. I broke out my winter coat yesterday, and I think the gloves will have to make an appearance in the next few days.

Finally, New Moon turned out to be a lot more fun than expected. Everyone still seems like they're in different movies, but for a cash-grab it has fun being transparent an obvious. If the movie was a person you were trying to talk to, it would spend a lot of the conversation wide-eyed and flailing. Minimal Robert Pattinson was also a plus.
charloween: (stop narrating)


The density of the set design and the props alone is enough to keep me squeeing for a while.

There are so many ways this movie could go horribly wrong* but I find it hard to get too worked up about the maybes. Just as long as I get to watch Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law fight crime in period drag, I'm happy. Because really, what's there not to love about that?

*Remember, Guy Ritchie is directing a screenplay by the guy who gave us X3, xXx:2 and Jumper.
charloween: (Default)
"Brett" is funny. Brett talks about movies and the internet. Brett has a job I want. (sigh)

Skip to about the 5-minute mark in this episode, to the segment about learning the history of the world through film. Did you know that in the last 50 years we've had, like, lots of apocalypses? You don't get that kind of learning from books.

If you're a fan of tinder-dry deadpan sarcastic faux-naivete*... make sure you're not sipping tea while watching. There are some good one-liners in here and they're delivered really well.

*Working from the same playbook as Colbert.

charloween: (pure style)
Today's unintentionally complementary double bill: Velvet Goldmine followed by Zoolander.


Made. Of. Win.

Yesterday's double bill was more... disjointed. The Fall and Casino Royale. Srsly. Why did they even let Daniel Craig put his shirt on? If they're just looking for excuses to get him shirtless, why don't they save the time and plot devices and just have him be shirtless through the entire movie?! It is possible I don't "get" Bond films. I'm okay with that.
charloween: (Default)
Twilight was better than it had any right to be.

Movie!Edward is way better than book!Edward, too. The whole "I sparkle omg" reveal in the movie is better, and the Cullens may spend too much time with their grease paint, but they're totally a fun group of people. Doc Cullen was bouncy. Hilarious! All the scenes with just Edward and Bella were impossibly horrible, but when anyone else was around, the movie was surprisingly watchable. Seeing it in a theatre full of squealing teenage girls? Priceless.

Also, the Epic Thunderstorm Baseball Scene is a montage set to "Supermassive Black Hole". I don't know what spaceships melting in the dead of night have to do with vampires, but I'll go with it. I leaned over to [livejournal.com profile] nevalent after I'd finished chair dancing and suggested that the better Muse song for Twilight would be "Stockholm Syndrome". There is, however, something perfect about a falsetto croon of "Oh baby I'm a fool for you" applied to Edward Cullen.

After Twilight, we went for the double bill and saw the Swedish vampire movie Let The Right One In. It was by far the better film: low-budget indie, darkly funny and casually gory. Speaking of Stockholm, heh.
charloween: (Default)
I watch far more television than I do movies, which makes my Twitter feed rather sparse. Instead of posting about the one movie I saw every month, I saved up for a few and now have something more substantial to post.

If I had to pick one movie from the list that I'd tell you to run out any rent/buy right now my god right now it would be The Fall. I only Twittered (Tweeted, I think?) about it once, but I've seen it five times in the past four weeks. I watched it for the fifth time with Teagan last night, and we agreed there is a lot of movie in that movie. (I also showed her my favourite science fiction film ever, La Jetée, which is now helpfully posted in its entirety on Youtube. It's a good mood-setter for The Fall, and a good short film in and of itself. [livejournal.com profile] nevalent: you were asking about short films? That's one you must see.)

Epics, epic fails, and epic wins )
charloween: (Default)
Continuing from last month, here are June's movie reviews from my Twitter account. Enjoy!

Read more... )
charloween: (you broke sir)
They're planning a new Sherlock Holmes film! Hoorah?

It's being made in Hollywood, and it's going to be a comedy "based on" the Holmes stories. No word if this means a period setting or something more hip and modern that the kids today can relate to.* Judd Apatow is co-producing. Guy "No, not divorcing Madonna - for reals" Ritchie is going to direct.

Just as long as they don't set it in the 1980s. Just saying...

They have Sacha Baron Cohen as Holmes ('cause he's British!) and Will Farrell as Watson ('cause he can do "bumbling"?).

Apparently they want a "less stuffy" and "more adventurous" Holmes, to which I say: he wrestled a man on a precipice overlooking a killer waterfall in the Alps! Maybe Holmes was never at a consistent James Bond-level of Adventurous, but he certainly wasn't a... um... Garfield. More a Calvin & Hobbes? But with solving crimes. In Victorian London. Argh. You know what I mean. Holmes was stuffy because he's an upper-class Victorian male, but he still could get his adventure on in between the dazzling feats of deductive brilliance.

This could be either fantastic or hideous... or, worst of all, it could be safe and boring. Or the next Lethal Weapon movie.
charloween: (Default)
First I stole [livejournal.com profile] philthe25th's idea to catalogue all the movies I've seen on Twitter, now I've stolen his idea of posting a month's worth of reviews on lj. The fun of the Twitter review is that you're limited to 140 characters. The fun of re-posting the reviews here is that I can expand on whatever snap judgment I'd made and say some more things (more coherent things, maybe) about the films.

I didn't see enough films to make this a best-of (maybe I should start reviewing/grading TV episodes?), but fair's fair: here's what I've been watching.

Iron Man (2008): 9/10. Light on the character-to-action ratio, but that's like faulting water for being wet. RDJr is a hero. Saw it 2x.

More: I've actually seen it 3.5 times by now, heh. )

EDIT: After only one entry, I've forgotten the one-song-per-post challenge I've set for myself. So: here's a Justin Timberlake/Ace of Base mashup ("Summer Love" with "Cruel Summer"). Good times.
charloween: (Default)
Iron Man was very excellent. I'm going to see it again tomorrow. If you haven't seen it yet, stay until the end of the credits when you do go to see it. ♥
charloween: (Default)
I'm avoiding my remaining schoolwork (boo, hissss) by making A List of all the movies I want to see in the next few months.

So. A List, chronologically by order of release, not preference. Let's go to the movies! Let's go see a show! Fred and Ginger, spinning madly... )
charloween: (shiny!)
This is the fourth version of Sweeney Todd I know. I've seen it on stage in two very different versions, have the original cast recording (with Angela Lansbury as Mrs Lovett!) so it was only a matter of time before I saw this latest film version. The good, the bad and the ugly:

The good Sondheim! How is this a bad thing? )

The bad Attend the tale of... oh, I guess not. )

The ugly: There might have been something wrong with the projector or this copy of the film, 'cause there was serious lighting issues going on towards the end of the reel with "Not While I'm Around". The darker tones were all faded blown out on a few angles, which is a problem in a film that's lit rather dark.

All in all, I had a good time. I giggled through the entire opening credits sequence. Even if Johnny Depp was disappointingly zombified through a lot of the film, there was still enough of the spark o'life and humour left to give a few chuckles.

(OT: saw the movie with my brother. Brother informed me that his female classmates decided he has McDreamy hair. Hate to admit it, but it's true. Minor teasing ensued. :D)
charloween: (Default)
Order of the Phoenix makes a damn good movie. Something to fight for! )


book 7 thots )


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANd some completely unrelated music!

1. Ladybirds, "Oh No! The Unicorns Are Knife-Fighting Again". With a title like that, how can you not want to hear it?

2. IV Thieves, "Chase Me Off/Out". Lead singer is Nic Armstrong ("If We Can Escape, My Pretty"). If the first half doesn't catch you, please stick around for the second half. Trust me.

3. Arcade Fire, "Rebellion (Lies) (Tronik Youth Re-Edit)".

4. Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, "Talking In Code". The entire album is good; this isn't the best song. This is, however, a nice little tune.

5. The Feeling, "Helicopter". Their other stuff is pretty fluffy and poppy, but this one is a bit... stranger. It's the requisite "harder" song on a pop album, with distorted guitars in the second half and less flowery imagery. Hawksley Workman could cover this and do a fantastic job at it.
charloween: (Having a bad day...)
What I should be doing: finishing a paper that I could have got done today but clearly won't.

What I have been doing: watching extras on the Bon Cop Bad Cop DVD (there's a deleted scene with the woman who played Renee on Earth: Final Conflict!, and another where everyone's got a Tim Hortons cup... *snerk*), betaing [livejournal.com profile] firstgold's remix challenge fic (which was very fun indeed), cleaning my room (threw out a lot of junk, packed some clothing)...

I really want to move to the new place but I know I have to wait. I know that I can't actually move until later in the month, but I could, like, start packing or something. I really don't want to live in this craphole of an apartment one second longer than I have to, but I also have to do this pile of schoolwork, and schoolwork should come first. First before packing. But dithering and whining is winning out over everything else. *flails*
charloween: (Default)
1. Wake up.

2. Hear on the radio that there are transit delays all over the city.

3. *blink blink blink* Buuuuuuuuuuuuh?

4. *peek out window* Ooh! SNOW! (I don't have classes or work on Wednesdays PLUS its reading week so I wouldn't have to go to class even if I had class but YAY! Snow!)


I'm so going to make it a point to watch the Genie Awards broadcast every year because they're so much fun. The thank-you speeches are about 20 seconds, most of the winners don't speek English very well (the awards favour fiction filmmaking from Quebec, but the show we watched was in English), and when the winners are interviewed, it's at the party and everyone's drunk.

This is a national film awards gala that has the "viewer discresion advised" bumper after a commercial break. Which was great, because the best moment was a probably-scripted bit where the Trailer Park Boys (in character) tried to steal Colm Feore's drink. That wasn't the best moment. The best bit was when Colm Feore said, "You fucking idiots, don't you know that drinks are free tonight?" And they didn't bleep it.

The Genies have a far smaller stick up their bum than do the Oscars. *sticks out tongue at Oscars* Everyone's way relaxed (drunk) because they know that nobody is watching. Nobody but me (and [livejournal.com profile] vans_angel and [livejournal.com profile] philthe25th because I made them.)


Breakfast on Pluto, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Little Miss Sunshine make for an awesome triple-bill. Good times, good times.


charloween: (Default)Charloween

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