Under The Skin (2014)

UndertheSkinPosterWe’ve waited a decade for this. Ten years have passed since Jonathan Glazer’s Birth, and evidently more time is necessary for what might be the most talented director working today (Paul Thomas Andersson excluded of course)  to deliver a film worthy of ranting about. Take in Sexy Beast, Birth and Glazer’s impressive body of commercial and music video work and it becomes more than apparent that he is capable of challenging the aforementioned PTA, but Under The Skin won’t do. It’s just not good enough.  (more…)

Posted by on April 11th, 2014
File under Reviews

Let the Fire Burn (2013)

LetTheFireBurnRiveting. Let the Fire Burn is not only the best documentary of 2013, but one of the best period. Not a single frame was shot, nor a single word recorded for the purposes of this production and it works on a level that is rarely seen on screen. Assistant professor turned first time director, Jason Osder chronicles the short lived and nearly forgotten MOVE organization. Nonpartisan and even keel at every step, Osder cohesively unravels the demise of this cultish, anti-technology, gun touting hippie group that resided in Philadelphia from the lat 70′s to mid 80′s. (more…)

Posted by on April 10th, 2014
File under Reviews

How to be a Man (2013) Now on Instant

HowtoBeAManCrass, sophomoric, amateurish and poorly acted, but I can’t get it out of my head and in the best possible way. Cofounder of Vice Magazine and part-time actor,  Gavin McInnes, stars in this hit and miss comedy about a man with terminal cancer who sets out to make a documentary about the rules of life as a man for his unborn child. This premise should sound familiar and Michael Keaton’s My Life is referenced. Make no mistake, this take is far removed from that 1993 dramatic downer. A series of often times mistimed and forced hijinx ensue once he finds a film school drop out half his age to shoot his project. When the laughs do come, they come hard and by the end it’s almost touching. If you can make it through all the scat humor that litters the first two acts, (I barely did) the third should be worth your while.

Could/Should Watch (It’s on instant so what the hell.)  (more…)

Posted by on April 5th, 2014
File under Reviews

Enemy (2014)

EnemyIt’s exceptionally rare that a film’s final shot can seal the deal. Enemy is one of those movie’s. Not since Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners of 2013 have I had such an excruciating urge to pee. Enemy moves with precision, despite it’s mustard muted palette and meticulously methodical slow tempo. Villeneuve is one hell of a filmmaker and will continue to generate excitement with future projects. Unfortunately it’s arachnids and far reaching symbolism that kill all enthusiasm for this ode to Hitchcock, Michael Haneke, David Lynch and Cronenberg , doppelgänger, puzzle picture. Iintrigued? Don’t be.

Should Not Watch (A truly well made, but bad movie.) 

2 0f 5 (more…)

Posted by on April 4th, 2014
File under Reviews

Noah (2014)

NoahNoah had a count of one and two going in. Russell Crowe was strike one. Another Bible movie was strike two. The ball, and it was a big one as in way outside, was Darren Aronofsky. Just the idea of such a director taking on such a project is way outside the norm. The question was whether we’d get another unique Aronsfky vision, or another Hollywood Bible factory film, aimed at the God fearing and devoted. As an agnostic I went in with concern not only about a wasted life, but the very real possibility of the next 2 hours and 19 minutes being utterly wasted.  After viewing Noah I continue to fret about a life wasted, but those 139 minutes were not. (more…)

Posted by on March 31st, 2014
File under Reviews

I’m Not Here

ccp-logo-sq-lrgredWhere the hell have I been? Watching the Olympics, The Lego Movie more than once, but more often than not I’ve been hanging out in editing hell. That is to say that I’ve been editing not one, but two of the shorts that were recently shot for Cold Cockle.  Not that it’s going poorly, but editing is not my favorite part of the process. Should have something to show soon or at least some news. In the mean time you should all be watching The Lego Movie as well as catching up on some of the better films from last year, there were many. The Film Vault will continue uninterrupted, but my written take on movies will be a bit sparse for the next few weeks.

Thanks for checking in,


Quality of Post: Do Not Read

1 0f 5

Anderson 02/2014

Rating Key

Must Read = 5 0f 5 (Read even if it might cause temporary blindness.)

Should Read = 4 of 5 (Will certainly give you insight that you might not find elsewhere.)

Could Read = 3 of 5 (What else is there to do at work?)

Should Not Read = 2 of 5 (Uninspired, trivial nonsense.)

Do Not Read = 1 of 5 (Too late, the time is gone and you’re still reading.)

Posted by on February 17th, 2014
File under Uncategorized

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

MittyOnly if Mitty forwent the entire point of the movie. Had he ignored his inner adventurer and instead stayed in the office, this could’ve been a contender. If he never went looking for the sanctimonious Sean Penn on the mountain he would’ve never tried to teach us the overtly simplistic and ultimately insulting lesson that life is about life. Not since Into the Wild (directed by Sean Penn from his mountain perch) has such a finger waging message been shoved in our face via the silver screen. Damn shame too as there is so much to like about Mitty and his secret life. (more…)

Posted by on January 18th, 2014
File under Reviews

Her (2013)

HerAn Emos Terminator. After the initial response to Scarlett Johansson as the disembodied AI/OS wears off, you’re left with the building blocks of a romantic comedy, minus the comedy. There is poetic humor here, just not the kind you’d typically find in a romantic comedy. Not the first time the idea of falling in love with an AI has been explored either. See Robot & Frank, AI and even Moon to a lesser extent. She is incredibly lovable and you’re missing something if part of you doesn’t fall for her, but it’s a gimmick, a big idea gimmick, but a gimmick nonetheless. That’s all fine and good and there is a large audience out there who love their love stories and they’re bound to love this one. Thankfully Her has something for the rest of us as well. The world where this gimmicky love story takes place is transportive. (more…)

Posted by on January 9th, 2014
File under Reviews

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The_Wolf_of_Wall_Street-poster-3Rich white men behaving badly for nearly three hours would be a more accurate title. Not as catchy though. Scorsese’s Christmas comedy is overweight, coked up and luded out. Problem is, it’s funny. Shouldn’t be, but it is. Was embarrassed at my laughter and attempted to stifle it on numerous occasions, but failed every time. Was it the overt Goodfellas undertones that seduced me? Jonah Hill’s overbite? Maybe DiCaprio dusting off his inner Gilbert Grape performance for his Quaalude scenes that got me going? Unfortunately it was all of these things and more that caused me to cover my mouth in horror (albeit gleeful horror) as spontaneous laughter spewed forth.

It should be noted that this is the director’s first feature since the children’s movie, Hugo. You have to look back to 2006′s The Departed to find a Scorsese movie with men doing bad things.  With that in mind you get the feeling that he was scratching a seven year itch and having a great time doing so. (more…)

Posted by on January 9th, 2014
File under Reviews

American Hustle (2013)

American HustleHe’s just doing Scorsese.” “He’s too obsessed with the period.” “The women outshine the men.” These are all things that have been uttered in my presence and much to my chagrin. All true statements, but none of which detract from what very well may be the best film of the year.

The nearly perfect  Eggplant Scene in True Romance remains my favorite of all time. In just over ten minutes of cinematic perfection the viewer feels, I mean really feels: fear, intensity, humor, joy and ultimately sadness and despair. American Hustle took just under 138 minutes, but all of these same emotions were worked over by the end. Many movies can cause laughter, sadness and or fear, but to nail so many and to do it so effectively without the use of violence is something to be respected.  (more…)

Posted by on January 9th, 2014
File under Reviews