Sunday, March 30, 2014

Charlton Heston is dead


Propaganda without a program, a story without characters, and a spectacle without enough worth looking at, Darren Aronofsky's Noah fails to be what it could have been and isn't even a good version of what it is.

Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Written by Ari Handel and Darren Aronofsky
With Russel Crowe (Noah), Jennifer Connelly (Naameh), Ray Winstone (Tubal-cain), Anthony Hopkins (Methuselah), Emma Watson (Ila), Logan Lerman (Shem), Douglas Booth (Ham), Mark Margolis (Optimus Prime), and Nick Nolte (Bumblebee)

Spoiler alert: moderate

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Worst Ten Films of 2013: or, better late than never, part III

There were 41 movies I'd readily describe as bad in 2013.  These are the picked turds.  These are the bottom ten.

The Top Ten Films of 2013: or, better late than never, part II

While there were 31 or so movies that left me genuinely happy in 2013, these are the ten best, that I will keep in my heart forever.  In reverse order, to add to the tension as you realize that movies you hated are even higher in my estimation than you thought.  Feel free to gnash your teeth.  It's a free country and they're your teeth!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

2013 in review: or, better late than never, part I

Yes, I do know it's the end of March.  (Yes, I also know it's been a long time since I updated at all.)  I could make excusesmostly bad ones, I'm afraidor I could get on with it.  In a real out of character moment, I now opt for the latter.

These are the hundred films I watched in from 2013.  Each is followed by my further thoughts, in the case of films I have reviewedall linked, for your convenienceor, in the case of films which I saw but shamefully failed to formally review, they are followed by slightly longer capsule reviews.  For surprise's sake, and to shorten this post at least a little, I have redacted the names of my favorite ten of 2013, as well as their inverse, the worst ten movies to be shat out upon on unwitting world last year.  They will all be revealed in the coming hours in separate posts of their own.  To keep you guessing, and in part out of my delusion that you care, I have however left their grades unhidden.

Whatever!  On with what turned out to be a largely mediocre show.  To paraphrase David Byrne, isn't it the same as it ever was?

(What's that, dear heart?  Oh, yes, it's a bit longit is eighty fucking movies' worth.)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

We're all in the mood for a melody


If Eugenio Mira's murderous musical thriller is not the single best film of 2014, then it could be a superlative year; if not amongst the ten best, then the cinema of 2014 may be so good it literally kills us.

2013 (them)/2014 (us)
Directed by Eugenio Mira
Written by Damien Chazelle
With our victims—Elijah Wood (Tom Selznick), Kerry Bishe (Emma Selznik), Don McManus (Norman Reisinger), Allen Leech (Wayne), and Tasmin Egerton (Ashley)—and our villains—Alex Winter (the Assistant) and John Cusack (apparently, "Clem")

Spoiler alert: high (I feel that it's more like moderate, but I am erring on the side of caution)

If Darth Vader had boobs, I guess it wouldn't actually change the story very much


Not content to be the rotest and laziest sequel to a significant film in recent memory, 300: Rise of an Empire is also the dumbest, dullest, and ugliest depiction of cool history you could imagine as well.

Directed by Noam Murro
Written by Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad (based on the comic Xerxes by Frank Miller)
With Eva Green (Artemisia), Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes), and Sullivan Stapleton (Themistocles)

Spoiler alert: mild

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Thank you for smoking


A handsomely appointed locked-room mystery-thriller that could stand a tightened running time and a rather more engaged lead, but does deliver without a great deal of fuss.

Directed by Jaume Collett-Serra
Written by Christopher Roach,  John W. Richardson, and Ryan Engle
With Liam Neeson (Bill Marks) and Julianne Moore (Jen Summers)

Spoiler alert: mild