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Showing posts from September, 2010

Affleck is Officially Back with The Town

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Ben Affleck’s career has certainly had its highs and lows. He started out in small parts in such movies as Dazed & Confused and Mallrats. Then 1997 hit, during which his starring vehicle Chasing Amy and his Good Will Hunting (which he won an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay) were released. Affleck’s career took off.

A series of hits followed, including Shakespeare in Love, Armageddon, and Dogma before several misses steadily slid his career downward, bottoming out with 2003’s Gigli and 2004’s SurvivingChristmas (with a 6 and 7% positive score, respectively, at Rotten Tomatoes they are by far the worst-reviewed films of Affleck’s career). During this time, many of his movies were broad and high-concept and more about whose face was next to his on the poster than the storytelling. Also, Affleck starred in no less than three movies a year from 1997 to 2004, apparently preferring quantity over quality more often than not.

Starting in 2006 with roles in Hollywoodland and 2009’s St…

Film Faves: 2001

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Welcome to yet another edition of Film Faves.  Every edition features a complete and undeniably biased countdown of my favorites in film.  Instead of a run-of-the-mill top ten list, the inevitable honorable mentions are avoided and instead a list of twelve of my favorites of any given topic is counted down. Take this as not a serious "best-of" list as much as an insight into what it is I really love when I'm not tripping over myself to be objectively critical.

This month, I'm continuing my travels back in time with the year 2001.  While 2007 is the aughts' worst year in film, 2001 comes pretty close in my estimation.  So loaded with mediocrity (more on that soon) it is that I had a tough time coming up with a complete list of twelve favorites.  But I managed.

Let's start with a quick run-down of the year's achievements.  The top grossers included Ocean's Eleven, Pearl Harbor, The Mummy Returns, Jurassic Park III, Planet of the Apes, and Hannibal.  The…

The Kids... Is Better Than Alright

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The Kids Are All Right stars Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo. That’s important because their performances are the main reason to see Lisa Cholodenko’s latest film, a dramedy about the DNA of a family unit and the chemistry necessary in order to keep a marriage alive.

Cholodenko is a director whose work, including High Art and Laurel Canyon, is most comfortably suited to the art-house crowd. I don’t mean to disrespect Cholodenko or her right to tell stories that speaks to her experience and that of an entire community; she is a powerful filmmaker. However, High Art was out-and-proud about its edginess and wore its social politics plainly on its stained sheets (i.e. it was overt and heavy-handed). But with her latest film, Cholodenko has finally managed to take characters with alternative lifestyles and make something more mainstream, if conventional in its telling, and deliver her lesbian themes with nuance and restraint. The Kids Are All Right kills with kindness thos…

Remember That Movie: Enter the Dragon

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Bruce Lee is a legend of martial arts films and teaching. He was a Chinese American who taught martial arts and developed his own style, which he taught at his schools in Seattle and California’s Bay Area. He was eventually asked to audition for a TV show, which became the short-lived The Green Hornet, with Lee as sidekick Kato. This led to a run of dissatisfying supporting roles and Lee’s move to Hong Kong cinema. Lee starred in three movies – all critically and commercially successful – and was working on a fourth, Game of Death, when he was approached to star in Enter the Dragon. It was one of the first martial arts films produced by a Hollywood studio and sparked a brief American interest in kung fu in the ‘70s. Most importantly, Enter the Dragon was also released in 1973 in Hong Kong, six days after Lee’s death from cerebral edema, which was a possible response to a muscle-relaxant.  Enter the Dragon cemented Bruce Lee as an icon.

In case you don’t remember, Enter the Dragon sta…

Fall Movie Preview

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While some would argue it’s been dead for weeks, the summer movie season is quickly dying off. Autumn is fast approaching, which means a fresh crop of movies is ready to drop and the awards season is around the corner. Those movie fans made weary by this summer’s marathon of mediocrity and endless disappointments, given only brief reprieve by movies like Inception and Toy Story 3 are made hopeful and optimistic once again (for those determined enough to look outside their zip code there was also Winter’s Bone, The Kids Are All Right, and Animal Kingdom). As they should, for this fall season is promising enough that it almost looks like studios waited until the last quarter of the year to release most of their good movies.

Below is a brief rundown on some of the coming season’s approaching films in order by release date with cast lists and trailers.


9/15:


Never Let Me Go – Starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan (An Education), and Andrew Garfield (upcoming Spider-Man reboot). Directed …

The Gibson Revue: Re-cap

This site’s first ever movie marathon took place Saturday afternoon and, while the group may have been small, great fun was had by all, making the event a success for those who were able to attend.  For this marathon, I chose three films that featured characters who were loners at the start of the story and gradually became a part of something by the time the screen faded to black.

The day started off with True Grit, the classic John Wayne film that’s being remade by The Coen Brothers for this December. While I had issues with the performance by lead actress Kim Darby and I felt the movie failed to live up to the story’s potential, the group seemed to enjoy the film overall for John Wayne’s performance and were pleasantly surprised to see appearances by Dennis Hopper and Robert Duvall. There were even some remarks on how striking the picture quality was for it being a DVD and not a Blu-Ray.

The crown jewel of the event turned out to be the Swedish film Let the Right One In. When I fir…