MOVIES IN YOUR FUTURE
November 23rd 2000
Wow, it's been a while. I 've been steadfastly embroiled in the mundane concerns of an America on the edge, concerns of living, job, and bills. But I've finally popped up for air long enough to give you this little update on Movies in your future. _In a single word... UNBREAKABLE, from the Director and Writer of SIXTH SENSE; strongly looking forward to this one. Also Ang Lee has a new movie that's getting a lot of praise, some have gone so far as to call it the best Martial Arts movie ever, from the limited previews I've seen I tend to disagree. Looks like a rather ordinary sword and flying people saga, and the fight scenes didn't wow me.
May 18th 2000
I've finally managed to mosy down to the local vid store and check out the latest hot flicks, these are some of the blockbusters of last year that I missed on the big screen.
Among them Academy award winner AMERICAN BEAUTY, nominees THREE KINGS, and BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, and finally SIXTH SENSE.
The quick report is as follows:
AMERICAN BEAUTY-B+-A very good movie, that however fails to live up to its hype. Definitely not last year's best picture.
THREE KINGS-A war movie unlike any other. Irreverent, humorous, at the same time being a gritty, exciting, and poignant flick. An excellent movie. B+.
BEING JOHN MALCOVICH- This movie left me with one overwhelming reaction, and if you have a fear of profanity I would urge you to look away now. My reaction can be summed up thusly: This is MotherF**ing Twisted!! Even by my standards that movie was disturbed. And I don't know, I must be getting old, there useto be a time when being disturbed was enough for me. Not anymore.
I guess I want more from my entertainment. I want it to say more and better things about us. BEING JOHN MALCOVICH was a dip into the absurd, confused, and ultimately tragic state of American sexuality an relationships at the turn of the century. We live in a confusing age of gender swapping, sperm banks, and the death of paltry ideas like generations, and fathers, and men and women. I believe in the idea of marriage, even though I've never been any good at it. At making anything last. I believe in it. In this idea of a man, a woman, a child and things that persist.
Ultimately the movie being a mirror of a confused age, raises confusing questions. In a society in which propagation is a means of technology, rather than biology, how do you define what's human. If you can create humans ultimately on an assembly line with a flick of a switch, and that's ultimately the state we've come to, through invitiro fertilization, cloning, genetic engineering life on demand; don't we open odious doors. If we can order a child or person like a thing, out of a catalog, decide its eyes and hair color and skillset before it's born, if we can order it like a thing, and construct it like a thing, isn't there a great risk of people who will treat it like a thing. Bladerunners to do the jobs "real" humans are too fragile to do. Absolute Fiction! you say. It's the year 2000 and we are cloning sheep, we're breeding pigs with human organs. it's the year 2000, there are no fictions left.
For making me think I'll give this movie a B. Though for entertainment value it's a C.
SIXTH SENSE-Without doubt the best of the bunch. A true, died in the wool, Masterpiece. From the script, to the direction, to the acting. I could watch this movie endlessly, and of all the movies I reviewed this week this is the only one I can say that about. Had the emotional impact of David Fincher's SEVEN. Movie of the year!
May 2nd 2000
I've been incredibly slack on the movie going front, between jaunting off on one emergency trip or another, however hope to correct that this weekend. In the meantime here's my Video pick of the Week:
Limey, The (1999)
Steven Soderbergh continues to dazzle, with directorial efforts full of style and panache enough to fill ten flicks.
The Limey is Soderbergh's 10th flick, (currently he's at work on flicks 12 and 13) and his skill is outstanding. He continues to get better and better. He joins a short list of directors I actively look for, directors like Carl Franklin, David Fincher(he has a flick on the way that reunites the talent of SEVEN, called Rendezvous with Rama
it's written by Hollywood's second best writer,
Andrew Kevin Walker[the first being John Ridley], and stars
Morgan Freeman), John Woo,
brilliant writer and director of EVE'S BAYOU, has a new flick on the way called Caveman's Valentine), Craig Ross, Vondie-Curtis Hall, EDWARD ZWICK(This guy is the real deal, a director's director! Better than Speilberg!), and Ron Howard(incredibly underrated, his only bad flick that stupid ED-TV).
So if you're looking to curl up with a great rental. Check out THE LIMEY or any flicks by the above directors.
Jan 26th 2000
Outside there's close to twelve inches of snow on the ground, and the wind is blowing hard enough to blow away small children, and quite a few underweight adults. It's a storm, yet another in a series of cause and effect incidents, that's kept me from the cinema. Kept me from the dark theater, and syrupy popcorn, and sticky floors.
But in the meantime, if I cannot dissect the present for you, cannot predict the future, the least I can do... is illuminate the past. Someone once said that movies are the literature of our age, and if that is true than directors are the new writers of our age, framing words with their camera. Screenwriters might take exception to this analogy, but ultimately like a writer can take a true life story, news articles, facts, and dates and times and make a novel out of it, something larger than the sum of its part, something uniquely his, a director does the same to create a movie.
A director takes a screenplay, and actors, and locales, and moments and makes something uniquely his, make a movie. Ultimately the reason a movie stands or fall, the blame or praises, lies with the man in the chair.
To be a good director, going by how few of them there are, is hard, to be a great one, rare. And to be considered the best of an entire century is to be Orson Welles.
I've seen virtually every movie, every genre, every director of praise and note, and few are called great, are called to that pantheon, that brotherhood, that legion, that place we preserve in our hearts and our minds... for the best. Orson Welles is a member of that pantheon, he is RAMBLINGS AWARD WINNER for best Director of the Millennium (considering movies are only a little over eighty years old, this isn't quite as dramatic as it sounds.
Click here for the rest, on our award winner ORSON WELLES.
Nov 22nd 1999
Click on these great links to check out what's happening around the world of movies:
18 Oct 99
Just saw the long awaited, and long anticipated newest movie by David Finch, his FIGHT CLUB, check here to see what I thought of this bigscreen bloodfest.
On video click here for this weeks picks, as I review Steve Sodenbergh's OUT OF SIGHT, Carl Franklin's DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, and Craig Ross Jr.'s not to be missed CAPPUCCINO starring James Black, Angelle Brooks, and Jennifer Lee. And in our classic corner, we review the greatest movie of all time, Orson Welles' (I don't care what they say) THIRD MAN.
11 Oct 99
Wow, the end of the Millennium is almost upon us. Historic and monumental, and more than a little sad that we are entering the new age, still encumbered with all the baggage, hates, and prejudices of the old. Heck, we've even created more things to hate going into the new age. But still all in all, I look at any new day, as a chance, a hope, a promise, to be better, better than my hates, my fears, and my rage.
Nostradamus, and Y2K, and the ever present evil of the mass media and Disney sized companies notwithstanding, I think this new age, if we can step away just a little bit from out technology, and embrace old fashioned ideas like family, morality, and empathy, we can make better men out of our sons, and just perhaps... a better world. It's a dream I have.
Now onto decidedly less ominous mutterings like, what will be the last great movie of the 20th century. I'm sure no one gave real significance to the fact, but one of this years movies has a chance to grab that incredibly cool sounding title, the last great movie of the 20th century!!! (duh-da-da-dun!!!-ominous music) . What shall it be? Let's take a quick look at movies to be released in the few months between now and the 21st century (wow, doesn't that sound weird) and see if we have any serious contenders. And if anyone dares to mention THE BLAIR WITCH I'll beat'em to death with a wet sock.
So far this year from January to Early October the only serious contenders are:
January- Nothing noteworthy
February- had a couple of good movies, but nothing that gets the brass ring.
March- had a lot of good movies THE MATRIX, LOCK,STOCK,& TWO SMOKING BARRELS
APR/MAY- The much hyped (too hyped) new STAR WARS movie. Naahh!
Jun/July- A lot of big budget over hyped flicks. AUSTIN POWERS, THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER.
August- 6TH SENSE, 13TH WARRIOR
September- STIR OF ECHOES, FOR LOVE OF THE GAME
Early October- THREE KINGS, AMERICAN BEAUTY, these are the two movies to beat.
Well that's the year in a nutshell, and nothing really stands out as the movie of the year much less the century. But it looks like with the coming of Fall the movies are getting better and better. So here among the following must be, yes? yes? THE MOVIE OF THE CENTURY!!!
Comes out Oct 15th. And I've already raved about the director, click here to check out my earlier posts. But if he can do for this seemingly idiotic sounding movie what he did for SEVEN and THE GAME this one could be more than just a contender.
Universal Studios is hitting the finish line strong with two of the more anticipated movies of the year. Jim Carey stars in a biopic of one of the weirdest personalties of our time. Philip Kaufman, known to most as TAXI's Latka, his was truly a life stranger than fiction. And because of this it might be a life too strange to adquetely be captured on film. Time will tell, this movie is being released 25 DEC 1999.
The 2nd serious attempt by Universal to cash in on Millennial Madness is Arnold Schwarzenegger's END OF DAYS. Jericho Cane (Arnold Schwarzenegger), plays a beaten down ex-cop, who must face the Devil made flesh in this horror/thriller set at the eve of the Millennium. Peter Hyams directs (not one of my favorite directors) from a script by Andrew W. Marlowe of AIRFORCE ONE fame. It all depends upon how good the script is, and if Peter Hyams can put it on film. I guess we'll find out... at the end of days.From the Director and Writer of BOOGIE NIGHTS comes this day in a life movie called MAGNOLIA. Don't know much about this one but what I've heard sounds pretty intriguing. Might be worth a look. Stop by here for more on this flic.(New Line, December 25)
Writer-director Frank Darabont of SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION fame, after five years returns to the Director's chair, dusting off a tried and true formula by adapting another Stephen King property, this time around King's popular serialized novel, GREEN MILE.
This Fall/Winter Season brings us two AL PACINO movies which is always a reason to standup and take notice. The first THE INSIDER, directed by Michael Mann of MANHUNTER fame tackles the usually hated topic of true life expose. But with names like AL PACINO, RUSSEL CROWE, and MICHAEL MANN attached this is a must see movie. Release Date November 5th.
The 2nd Al Pacino flick has an even more impressive cast, in Oliver's Stone's return behind the camera in ANY GIVEN SUNDAY. Oliver Stone is a very uneven Director, his movies are either hit or miss, he's had a few movies that turned out great : PLATOON, JFK, NIXON, some that straddlle the line between good and bad: U-TURN, WALLSTREET; and one to my mind is simply the worst movie ever made: NATURAL BORN KILLERS. I'm really hoping he can pull this movie off because it has a simply outstanding cast and premise. RELEASE DATE 12 NOV 1999.
A hot American Director and a great Brit actor team up in this british flavored PAYBACK to make a movie that is getting rave reviews. This Steven Soderbergh and Terence Stamp vehicle opens 8 Oct 1999 in selected cities. From Artisan Entertainment.
Well there you go. One of these listed movies will get the coveted title THE LAST GREAT MOVIE OF THE 20TH CENTURY. Start placing your bets.
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