Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rob Schneider is from the Dark Side...

...according to imdbPRO STARmeter, he is number 666. Spooky, huh? Maybe he sold his soul to the devil and the Zohan movie will actually be funny.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cannes 2008

The Cannes Festival is well and truly under way - actually it has been for a while. For a good coverage of the proceedings, I would urge you all to check out this. I, on the other hand, would like to tell you the films that I can't wait to see once they are released on this side of the pond:

Le Silence de Lorna: the new film from the Dardenne Brothers (winners from two years ago) sounds pretty interesting, especially the rising interest in the Balkan countries in the last couple of years.

Changeling: Clint is always reliable and this sounds like something juicy. Well, hoping that Angelina Jolie decides to act for once.

Waltz with Bashir: this Israeli animation looks like it could be this year's Persepolis with an edge.

Two Lovers: let's just hope that Joaquin Phoenix once again picks good films.

Synecdoche, New York: this smells of brilliant from the get-go - Kaufman, Keener, and PS Hoffman.

Blindness: just saw the trailer the other day and if the film is half as captivating as Saramago's book, then this could be a contender for the film of the year.

Linha de Passe: I'm hoping that Salles returns to the Central Station (1998) days and delivers another stunning film.

Che: I have been waiting for this for years and whatever it is, it should be amazing. Here is what Peter Bradshaw had to say about it.

Leonera: it has a similar theme to what I am working on right now and I'm curious as to how it will turn out.

Palermo Shooting: anything by WimWenders deserves my utmost attention and admiration.

It looks like we will have some great stuff on the way. I can't wait.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Recent Viewings

I have been very lazy lately about the blogs, so I apologize to you, my modest number of somehow devoted readers, and I will give you a stupid list of the movies I watched recently. Why? Because I'm lazy. So, from the latest backwards, here are the last twenty films I saw:

- The Passenger (1975): Antonioni's thriller is a masterclass in filmmaking. Every frame and snippet of sound is a meticulous work of beauty.

- Charlie Wilson's War (2007): It is a decent effort, but somehow I was unsure about the tone and the slight ambiguity at the end seemed rather cowardly.

- The Savages (2007): Absolutely fantastic performances by the two leads, but this suffers from the same tonal issues.

- Reservation Road (2007): There is not much new here in terms of content - it is a glorified Lifetime movie.

- Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007): Lumet's slightly uncompromising street attitude is all evident here, but it is too aware of itself to be edgy.

- Bug (2007): Definitely an interesting film and the source material shows itself clearly - it is a play shot through a camera.

- In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Movie (2007): I couldn't resist and watched an Uwe Boll film and I regret every second of it.

- Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007): The first dud from the Apatow Laugh Factory, this is nothing but an SNL skit gone horribly long.

- Eat Drink Man Woman (1994): A deeply moving, palate-caressing, and poignant soap from Ang Lee, which also ticks many boxes on the humour level.

- Lions for Lambs (2007): Robert Redford's rather bland, but well-acted, Iraq-war-themed movie lacks focus and depth.

- Alexander: The Director's Cut (2004): There is so much potential wasted away in this epic that it is painful to watch without thinking what it could, and should, have been.

- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007): It is an impressive-looking horror-musical, but it doesn't give room for any of its characters to shine from the claret-colored gloss.

- Mean Creek (2004): A tense and gripping drama with great performances and characters. It hits a huge roadblock in the third act, but still ends with a satisfying finale.

- Wristcutters: A True Story (2007): A premise as goofy and genius as a Charlie Kaufman story, but unfortunately handled in a very complacent manner.

- House of Sand (2005): This Brazilian mini-epic boasts another magnificent turn from Fernanda Montenegro, but its episodic structure belittles its ambitions.

- Once (2007): One of the best movies from last year, it is honest, moving, uplifting, and has the best soundtrack this side of Garden State (2004).

- Sin City (2005): It looks amazing and has an incredible cast ... but it is irredeemably boring and hasn't got one convincing or memorable performance from its stars.

- Driving Lessons (2006): In this PC version of the brilliant Harold and Maude (1971) Julie Walters gives one of the best performances of her career ... and that's pretty amazing.

- The Kite Runner (2007): By cramming every little part of the book and thus exposing some of its limitations, it is hurried and awkward.

- The Legend of the Black Scorpion (2006): A great-looking version of Hamlet that lacks an actual story beyond the premise.

So, folks, here they are. As you can see I haven't paid a visit to the theaters for a long time, because there hasn't been anything that I was dying to see in the last couple of months or so. And, sadly, that is unlikely to change in the coming weeks. They spoiled us late last year and now we want more quality films. I'm curious how this year will compare to 2007.