Nice summation Greg. Another thing to realize about the film is that it is almost 25-years old – I think that is long enough to deem it timeless. If only Criterion would take-a-break from Kung Fu and pick it up.
“If only Criterion would take-a-break from Kung Fu and pick it up.”
What does that mean? Is Kung Fu a code-name for Nicolas Roeg and Jean Vigo, talking about their recent releases? I didn’t know Kung Fu = realism / noir / musical releases?
Yeah, both Bill Forsythe and Nancy Savoca could stand a little Criterion love since they made a few great films in the eighties and early nineties. Household Saints is the Savoca film I would most like to see get the Criterion treatment.
I neglected to mention one other thing I liked about Housekeeping, and that is how Lucille’s life with Sylvie and Ruthie can be seen as being a sort of reversal of Ruthie’s feelings about life with the others in town. I think there is some real sympathy for Lucille’s plight even as we are more closely connected with Ruthie’s choices.
It must be Dimitris.
Also in Criterion related news I believe Janus has the rights to Young Aphrodites.
Criterion should try to get on that….
They won’t though. Ugh.
Source Code 10/10
X-Men: First Class 7/10
Aww man, I wish you guys started a thread for Housekeeping—since a nice discussion seems to be starting up—which reminds me: do people really feel that uncomfortable starting new threads? For those of you who post your reaction to film—especially those who write a bit longer (e.g. Claus, Joks, etc.)—I wish you guys would just start threads on those films. You guys often have enough to say that can easily turn into a good conversation. Plus, these comments might get others interested in the films. (Claus has turned me on to a few films.)
The thing is, sometimes good conversations start up in this thread and it becomes difficult to talk about one film in this thread. Plus, unless you check the thread regularly, people can miss out on the discussion. Just a few thoughts to consider.
I agree with your assessments but I felt retreating into isolation at the end was a very bad thing.
I’m not taking the side of the townspeople. People then, as they are today to a lesser extent, were quick to pathologize eccentricity: Make any unusual behavior into insanity. The way they judged and categorized Sylvie was horrible. But retreating into isolation because it’s easier to understand isn’t a good solution. That will only lead to Ruthie never learning any but a single option for a way to live, and widening the gap between her and the rest of the human race. Suppose she gets an infection the next day: She will die. Education and human contact are good things, and Ruthie shouldn’t be throwing it all away because she’s a little farther from the center than most people. She should be keeping her private self but learning how to cope with others.
I also feel there was a genetic tendency toward obsession and isolationism. Sylvie’s obsession with trains, the grandfather’s obsession with mountains.
Hot Coffee – Saladoff - 8/10
Documentary on the infamous McDonald’s tort case from a plaintiff’s perspective.
Well done for a first timer who manages to pace it pretty well and keep it informative.
Caught it at a local small festival but it’s going to be shown on HBO next week, I believe. Well worth your time.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962, John Frankenheimer): A visually stylish and surprisingly unconventional thriller. It may not be entirely watertight as far realism or believability is concerned, but that’s besides the point as the moments of expressionism (particularly in the impulsive way characters act), symbolism, dark humour and dramatic irony all make the film so much more interesting than realism could have. Angela Lansbury is incredible here. 8.5/10
Tom Jones (1963, Tony Richardson): So, so incredibly desperate to be charming and funny that the whole thing just ends up a cloying, annoying, tedious bore. There’s loads of goofy filmic techniques and wacky musical choices used that really grate as the film tries its hardest to disassociate itself from other period dramas. It looks pretty, but that’s all this painfully unfunny film has going for it. 3/10
Bride of Frankenstein (1935, James Whale): A fair amount better than the first film. Admittedly it comes off as even sillier than the first (the miniatures are definitely the low point of this film…), but the story goes more interesting places, thematically this film goes where the first film should have but didn’t (looking at Frankenstein sympathetically, showing that he only lashes out as a reaction to others attacking him out at him out of ignorance) and the sets are really quite breathtaking at points. 7.5/10
Short Cuts (1993, Robert Altman): So, so frustrating. I mean, in terms of cinematic craft and thematic exploration this film is quite incredible. Altman manages to make these characters cross paths in such an exquisite way, and the whole thing has that same feeling as the jazz that makes up the film’s soundtrack. But he really messes up in one major regard: he presents these characters without compassion. At times the film feels like Altman is making a checklist of these character’s failings, and it is all the worse for that. 7.5/10
Tree of Life
I’m not rating this until I think about it more and possibly see it again. In terms of cinematic language, I don’t think there’s anyone else that I love more than Malick—nor do I think there’s anyone better than him (at least in terms of living directors). It is a joy to watch his films. (Kubrick comes close, though; speaking of which, the film made me want to watch 2001 again.)
I agree about Lansbury’s performance.
Weekend (Director: Andrew Haigh)
charming and delightful gay semi-romance that plays around with traditional rom-com/rom-dram tropes.
The Countess (Director: Julie Delpy)
vanity project for Delpy is ludicrous, with wooden acting from William Hurt and the rest of the cast.
The Tree of Life (Director: Terrence Malick)
what more can be said? One of my favorites so far this year.
The Trip (Director: Michael Winterbottom)
another delightful film. Coogan is in top form
Happythankyoumoreplease (Director: Josh Radnor)
overly precious, cloying and unfunny.
English, German, Italian
DIR John McTiernan
EXEC Charles Gordon
PROD Lawrence Gordon, Joel Silver
SCR Jeb Stuart, Steven E. de Souza, Roderick Thorp
DP Jan de Bont
CAST Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Alexander Godunov, Paul Gleason, William Atherton, Hart Bochner, James Shigeta, Andreas Wisniewski, Clarence Gilyard Jr., Robert Davi
ED John F. Link, Frank J. Urioste
PROD DES Jackson De Govia
MUSIC Michael Kamen
Just saw this in theaters for the first time since I was 14, and it was a blast. Great audience, horrible print, but it didn’t matter. Really holds up as one of the greatest action films of all time.
Jan de Bont isn’t a great director, but he was a hell of a DP. Michael Kamen outdoes himself with the score interpolating Ode to Joy.
Bruce Willis is charming, human, and touching. Who woulda thunk?
Shout outs to nearly every supporting player.
The only other action film that beats this one is Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it’s close.
I liked Willis in this role, but he went downhill from there. (Willis is also good in the TV series, Moonlighting.)
What about Aliens? I think that’s a great action film that could give Die Hard tough competition.
My list of favorite action films: Annnnnnd… ACTION!
01 RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK Steven Spielberg
02 DIE HARD John McTiernan
03 STAR WARS: EPISODE V – THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Irvin Kershner
04 ALIENS James Cameron
05 INCEPTION Christopher Nolan
06 THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING Peter Jackson
07 KILL BILL: VOL. 1 Quentin Tarantino
08 TRON Steven Lisberger
09 STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN Nicholas Meyer
10 THE INCREDIBLES Brad Bird
11 PREDATOR John McTiernan
12 THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER John McTiernan
13 CLASH OF THE TITANS Desmond Davis
14 KING KONG Merian C. Cooper
15 TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY James Cameron
16 THE ABYSS James Cameron
17 JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS Don Chaffey
18 THE MATRIX Andy Wachowski
19 THE MATRIX RELOADED Andy Wachowski
20 LAWRENCE OF ARABIA David Lean
21 STAR WARS: EPISODE VI – RETURN OF THE JEDI Richard Marquand
22 THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING Peter Jackson
23 THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS Peter Jackson
24 INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM Steven Spielberg
25 INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE Steven Spielberg
26 STAR WARS George Lucas
27 SAVING PRIVATE RYAN Steven Spielberg
28 HERO Zhang Yimou
29 GAME OF DEATH Robert Clouse
30 DIRTY HO Liu Chia-Liang
31 THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN Liu Chia-Liang
32 DRUNKEN MASTER Yuen Woo-ping
33 CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON Ang Lee
34 MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD Peter Weir
35 FORBIDDEN PLANET
I was a huge Moonlighting fan. Ultimately Aliens falls short in the humanity department next to Die Hard. The scene with the glass in the foot in the latter elevates it above most action films, especially for its time. John McClain was a regular guy—he got hurt and he got scared, and that moment of fragility in an action film is rare stuff.
I like the list, HoL—although I think Inception is too high and Star Wars is too low. Tron seems a bit high, too, but the film has a cool concept and some good scenes.
Not sure what you mean about humanity, unless you’re mainly referring to the humor. I think Sigourney Weaver is terrific in Aliens. I love the way the film uses the maternal instinct to fuel an action film, too.
Jazz—My lists are all unranked. Sometimes I start them off with a couple of favorites, but after that the order is meaningless—in fact that’s a caveat I put on most of my lists (just fixed that one).
I don’t enjoy ranking, really.
OK, got it.
Mangold knows how to shoot an action sequence, though he shoots too many of em here. The plot is a bit dumb but Dias gives on her her better acting jobs and Cruise is the most charming he has been in decades. I wish the movie were a hit because a series of films with confidence, funny and death defying Roy Miller would be a big improvement over Jason Bourne or Craig as Bond
Knight and Day
On a side note, why are people now referring to the original Star Wars trilogy as Star Wars IV, V, and VI?
Star Wars is a movie where Han shot first. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope is a film where Greedo shot crooked, missing Han at point blank, and then Han shot in self defense, and then Han spoke to Jabba on Tatooine and walked over his tail.
There are two Star Wars franchises. There’s the original, which consists of Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return Of The Jedi. Then there’s the new, which consists of six films, all with ‘Episode’ in the title. These are two separate franchises, with separate canons. In the original, the Jedi are an ancient religion, long forgotten except by few. In the new one, the Jedi were the galactic police until twenty years ago. In the original, the force is a zen thing that is either within you or it is not. In the new one, the force is caused by bacteria in your blood.
Michael The Brave 6/10
Kind of like Napoleon, except for Romania. Now I understand what all the Romanian forum members were saying about Nicolaescu in the first Cup thread.
a black eye to all involved, particularly embarassing for Alba, almost as bad as Killer Inside Me
Turkey Bowl (Director: Kyle Smith)
a surprisingly fun comedy despite having virtually no likeable characters, one of the shortest feature runtimes ever (a new record?) and a premise lifted from an old “Friends” episode. Quite good for what it is but don’t go in expecting a cinematic masterpiece.
did you see An Invisible Sign? (probably not since you don’t have IFC Films on demand). Alba is ok in that movie but the film itself still puzzles me. I gave it a good review I think but I still don’t know how I truly feel about that film.
Didn’t see little fockers, hated Killer Inside Me (a decent try at something different but the film was not good) and I can care less about Spy Kids 4
The Hill 3/10
Derivative of Paths Of Glory, only more sanctimonious and less clever.
Blade Runner: 8.5/10