Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pandorum

This poster for Pandorum is so off-the-mark it's easy to imagine the designer had not seen the film or read the script. Or maybe the film was once a very different movie. Many reviews have commented on the dozen or so previous sci-fi movies being referenced here ~ Alien, The Matrix, THX 1138 ~ but it reminded me most of the Wizard of Oz set on a enormous colonizing vehicle somewhere in space in the 22nd century. Ben Foster is hunky Dorothy and Dennis Quaid the wizard. The acting is "incredible" and the edits are synaptic but it's a tantric experience. No release.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gamer

Gamer tapped the same nerve as Inglourious Basterds but with less subtlety. I was actually surprised by quality of actors -- Gerard Butler, Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Krya Sedgwick -- in this film about a future world where cyberga...mers pay big buck...s to "puppetmaster" death row inmates through blood sports and sexcapades. The story is nonsense, blood flows freely but the cinematography is exceptional.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds is a masterpiece of cathartic brutality and exquisite, old Hollywood tension and menace. It's riveting and exhausting and Tarantino. Wonderful. Christoph Waltz is the star of the film, not Brad Pitt. As SS Col. Hans Landa, Waltz is chillingly unforgettable. It is his face, not Hitler's or Goebbels', that is seared in mind as the face of Nazism, albeit an opportunistic kind of Nazism. The set piece that opens the film could serve as a master class in studied control. His performance throughout the film is outstanding.

Taking Woodstock


Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock is strangely inert and uninvolving, mainly because the film's lead, Demitri Martin, is so wooden. The wonderful British character actor Imelda Staunton is the lone standout in this movie, as Martin's disappro...ving and controlling Jewish mother. It's beautifully filmed but it's not art. The psychedelic LSD trip is fun.

Queen & Slim

In the soon to be iconic photograph from Melina Matsoukas's distressing Queen & Slim, stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith...