Umpteen Movies of 2002
Such a strange movie. Christina Ricci is as creepy and endearing
as ever and Hank Harris manages to poke fun at the retarded
without insulting them. The movie does not preach about
the handicapped or about society or anything; it's a nifty
little comedy that makes fun of absolutely everything, but
stays so cute and charming, you simply can't get mad at
it. It is funny in an original way which is dry and slapstick,
intelligent and crass.
If you went to the Saturday 8:30 PM show
at the United Artist 14 in the east village on opening weekend,
then I don't need to tell you how much I liked this movie.
I was the annoying prick down in the pit that kept screaming
at every fucking little thing. This movie was a blast, scary
in all the right places and just gory enough. And it proves
the age-old point: If someone throws their child down a
well they probably had a damn good reason for doing it.
Bowling For Columbine
It's nice to see Michael Moore finally getting some respect
what with the Cannes Award (55th Anniversary Prize) and
the probable Oscar win he might become a little more than
simply a pudgy left wing joke. This is great movie often
times too preachy and a little over the top in places but
generally entertaining and expertly made.
There's a simplicity to El Boa that standard American audiences
will, no doubt, find almost boring and predictable. However,
simplicity is the foundation of grace and El Boa is a truly
graceful movie. One can never say too much about the writing
of a movie when it's in a foreign language but it seemed
pretty effortless to me. While there are a few heavy-handed
aspects to this movie that feel unnecessary, overall it
is a tight movie and very stirring. Additionally El Boa
proves, yet again, that little kids CAN actually act; it's
just little American kids that suck so much.
A lot of indie directors came out with their third attempt
at film after two spectacular showings (Payne - About Schmidt,
Solondz - Story Telling, to name two that I can think of
right now). Paul Thomas Anderson faired the best of them
all, I think, producing a clever well-made movie. He is
his own downfall, however, and I fear that Punch-Drunk Love
is a sign that he will never rise to a bar that he himself
The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
Even my boyfriend, who loves Joni Mitchell and has a quasi-hysterical
fear of flying, dug The Two Towers. Sure, it's about 45
minutes too long. Sure, the acting is pretty much swill
and sure, that thing that Legolas did, skateboarding down
some stairs on a shield while rapid firing arrows, was utterly
unforgivable but this is a damn fine movie regardless. It's
sweeping and grand and magical and all of those stupid words
they keep using in the previews. Don't be so jaded as to
hate it simply because it's so big; down that path lies
only madness and angst.
This is one of those movies that grow on you the further
you get away from it. It is definitely something of a sophomoric
effort and comes across as such but it brims with so much
passion and energy that all of its faults fall away in the
face of its tireless creativity.
Lovely and Amazing
No one has ever told anyone off with quite as much panache
as Kathryn Keener does in Lovely and Amazing. This is a
fabulous ensemble cast and the story is wry and true-to-life
just the way I like it. I suppose it's a chic flick since
there's like, all of two men and only one near-death experience
but still it's a nice sweet ride. And it makes me really
wish I could hang out with Kathryn Keener sometime.
So, I'm a whore for Crispin Glover, so what? I love the
guy. He's creepy in such a chic way. Bartleby was like the
sleeper's sleeper movie of the summer. I think about 40
people saw it nation-wide. The idea that anyone thought
The Most Boring Story in History would make a good movie
is weird enough. The fact that they were right is simply
Y Tu Mama Tambien
The best road trip movie I've ever seen. And that one kid,
Gael Gacia Bernal (who can now be seen in the latest Levis
ad, soaking wet and wearing no underwear), is damn dreamy
even if he does have that nasty Mexican moustache that has
always creeped me out. It's gritty and edgy much like Amorres
Perros, just with much less blood and fewer dead dogs. Mexico
is fast becoming a staple of the foreign film empire. While
Spain is growing crafty, and France - intriguing, Mexico
is getting down and dirty and entertaining. I wonder what
they're going to come up with next.
One of the creepiest movies I've seen in years and undoubtedly
the best documentary. It's actually worth watching several
times just to pick up on all the things you missed the first
time around. One of the best that I overlooked was that
when the kids are trying to draw a pentagram on the floor
of the Satanic Cult Sacrifice Room they accidentally draw
a Star of David. Hell House is now out on DVD so just go
and see it already!
Roger Dodger is as charming as Campbell Scott himself (and
that is damned charming, let me tell you). It's clever and
insightful and should have gotten far more play than it
did. What makes the movie so good is that there aren't any
tricks to it. It's just a simple story built off of some
rather archetypal characters. Roger Dodger goes to show
that in the modern era of filmmaking with fast edits, gritty
cinematography, and uncomfortable, edgy subjects, sometimes
the simplest and oldest storytelling methods work the best.
Far From Heaven
Far From Heaven tackled a much clichéd era and even
more clichéd subject matter: A nineteen fifties housewife
is seduced by her black gardener because she catches her
idyllic nineteen fifties husband sucking off some nubile
office boy. The premise is as timeless now as it was in
the days of yore. The movie (quite cleverly) tries to cover
the over used subject of the persecuted liberal in a starched
collar neighborhood by embellishing the cliché of
the nuclear family to darkly humorous lengths (their son
actually says "Golly-Gee" a number of times and
it's really creepy). While Julianne Moore acts the hell
out of her part, producing what will probably be her finest
hour in her long-destined career, the rest of the movie
never quite lives up to its leading lady's performance.
Still, the directing by Todd Haynes is inspired and the
costumes are a thing of absolute brilliance.
This is undoubtedly my favorite movie of the year. It isn't
just a kid's movie that adults will like; it's a kid's movie
that will remind adults what it is to be a kid-- with all
the awe and gasping that goes along with childhood.
One of the most depressing, but somehow not, movies I've
ever seen. The Pianist has already won the most prestigious
award given out for film (the Golden Palm at Cannes), which
is nice since it's not getting any more accolades (Spielberg's
kind of got the vice grip on Hollywood over holocaust movies).
It is one of the only movies I've ever seen that is presented
in the first-person point-of-view. Wladyslaw Szpilman, the
pianist himself, is in every single scene in the movie and
the audience sees only what he sees. And while there is
no narration, Szpilman is very obviously telling the story.
From a directorial standpoint the movie is a marvel and
the acting by Adrien Brody is superb. The Pianist makes
Schindler's List look downright hammy and contrived.
This is my bid for best film this past year. Granted I didn't
see all of what are supposed to be the best but Max really
pulled together the necessary elements of film; technically
it's an achievement and the acting and writing are superb.
Noah Taylor especially deserves many, many blowjobs for
his excellent portrayal of Hitler.
And I just wouldn't be me if I didn't sharpen my claws
a little on the pathetic, the pitiful and the unwary.
The Truth About Charlie
Not having seen Star Trek:
Nemesis or Swept Away, The Truth About Charlie takes the
lemon cake with lemon frosting all covered in sour candy
lemons. Marky Mark is looking a lot more funky these days.
He's got these jowls that give his otherwise youthful face
a melting candle-waxy look-and Christ! that man can't act
to save his life! Tim Robbins sits through the whole movie
with this idiotic tooth-clenching grin as though he keeps
telling himself this is all a terrible, terrible dream-you
wish. Thandia Newton is cute, but that's it, just cute,
befuddled, annoying, and boring
but cute! I've never
heard an audience laugh so derisively at a movie to quite
the extent that The Truth About Charlie was laughed off
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
The thing about Star Wars is it doesn't even suck enough
to be the worst movie of the year; it's that bad. It's awful
in the way that a low quality ice cream will produce a really
terrible version of vanilla. It defines a whole new level
of suckitude. It's as though this movie sucks in a different
dimension from the others; like it's sucking at levels beyond
the range of human hearing; it's a movie that even your
dog will hate.
We Were Soldiers
I'm getting really sick of Mel Gibson trying to reinvent
himself as the corn-husking good old boy Middle America
wants him to be. First The Patriot, then What Women Want,
then Signs, now this? Ugh-- I think he realizes that Braveheart
was his magnum opus so he's just doing schlock to pay the
bills. Please, Mel, please! Just stop already. I have no
idea what We Were Soldiers was trying to accomplish or what
its message was supposed to be but in the end I'm almost
offended that this movie was made. Needlessly violent and
painfully preachy this movie accomplishes nothing except
Road To Perdition
The most boring, pointless movie of the year. They used
lots of rain and dark lighting, thinking that would automatically
make the movie dark and deep. There is no backbone to the
thing; it's a limp fish of a movie. Tom Hanks is starting
to get desperate.
Stupid. So Goddamned stupid.
Coming up next month:
"Somewhere, deep in Mormon-land, the sun isn't dancing,
it's sort of jerking and limping rhythmically"