(aka: What the hell am I gonna do with my life now? Overanalyze Game of Thrones? Yeah, right. Okay, whatever.) So that took a few days to digest. I’ve been drinking heavily ever since. I’m glad Monday was a holiday here in Canada. Naturally, I’ve been pouring over reviews of the finale, unable to really … Continue reading On the End of Mad Men
This post started as a note in my journal: one of those things that starts crawling out from your head while you're in the shower, like a worm on the sidewalk in the rain. I meant to write it before the Oscars, because that makes it seem topical rather than tangential. But alas. Every year, Husband … Continue reading Why do I binge watch seven seasons of a tv show, but can’t force myself to watch a two-hour movie?
When The Grand Budapest Hotel opened last weekend, Husband and I missed it. It was only playing in one theatre and it sold out. (Get your shit together, Vancouver.) One week on, even with a wider release, we barely squeezed into the theatre. Casting glances around to our fellow movie-goers, I realized that the stereotype … Continue reading Random Train of Thought Departing from The Grand Budapest Hotel
Perhaps it is rather ironic that the AMC website uses cocktail recipes to market Mad Men, because, when viewed correctly, Mad Men is about the devastating effects of a life lived for alcohol. But it’s subtle, as addiction often is at first. I never noticed it as much on the first viewing. The sheer normalisation … Continue reading Mad Men is the Story of an Addict
I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I like to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I … Continue reading Some Dreamers of the Manhattan Dream
As other projects eroded away under the weight of my own disinterest, I've decided to cut my losses and not let a withered vine waste internet space. I've amalgamated Celluloid Heroes posts into this blog. And after a bit of bushwacking, I found my old Livejournal account from 2005. I've also brought some of those posts over. … Continue reading Forgotten Projects
This is the California where it is possible to live and die without ever eating an artichoke, without ever meeting a Catholic or a Jew. This is the California where it is easy to Dial-A-Devotion, but hard to buy a book. This is the country in which a belief in the literal interpretation of Genesis … Continue reading Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream
It's been how many years now since Arrested Development went off the air? Oh jeez, I've lost count. I do know it started about eight or nine years ago, and that's when I started watching. I've also lost track of how many people I've introduced it to, of course then needing to watch it along with them. This … Continue reading Is the Development Still Arrested After all These Years?
For such a critically acclaimed show, Downton Abbey is pretty crap. What are the problems with it? Those frequently cited include: contrived, formulaic, elitist, and cloying. But others? I think the fact that it is so highly rated is what makes this almost unbearable. Were this show just considered so-so, I'd be fine with it. … Continue reading Am I the only one who doesn’t like Downton Abbey?
A couple of months ago now, Taryn Hubbard, some friends, and I went out to visit Aaron Moran at in Harrison Hot Springs, where he's the Artist in Residence at the Ranger Station Art Gallery. We had a great night despite the raging storms and Cholo Ancheta directed this mini-doc about Aaron. (Fun Fact: I … Continue reading 2 Questions with Aaron Moran
I once heard someone describe Mad Men as the television equivalent of the "Great American Novel." The "Great American Novel," as a descriptor, carries with it sense of formality and scope. By definition, it is... well, defining. What does it mean, then, when something like Mad Men has a far more expansive impact on the cultural landscape … Continue reading Are television shows the new novel?
(Originally published at Press Plus 1) (SPOILER-FREE, BUT YOU WILL PROBABLY HATE ME ANYWAY) I've lamented before, often at great length, about the inherent difficulties that lie in attempting to review something so beloved as Harry Potter. That difficulty is only compounded when taking into account the fact that this is indeed the last film … Continue reading My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two
These following are snippets of a conversation yesterday with Dr. Roommate, regarding the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast: Me: I'd be like, "Yay, I don't have to serve you anymore! You know why? Because I'm a f*****g candlestick because of you, you stupid d*****bag!" Then I'd waddle into town and haunt people. Dr. Roommate: We … Continue reading This has Always Bothered Me About Beauty and the Beast
Please, help me settle an argument with a few friends who just watched Beetlejuice for the first time. They did not like it. I love it. They found it in my collection amongst other such classics as Encino Man, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and this little gem, Sands of Oblivion. I've yet to add … Continue reading How Awesome is Beetlejuice?
Originally published at Press Plus 1 WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS It’s difficult to offer a review of a Harry Potter movie without first providing a preface stating one’s biases. Are you a Harry Potter fan? If you aren't, why are you going to bother seeing (the first part of) the last instalment now? Why are … Continue reading My Review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One
There are reasons why Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure is one of my most favourite movies ever. Sure, it's the cinematic equivalent of the least genetically blessed lovechild of a dimestore novel and everything terrible about the eighties, but it holds a certain je ne sais quoi. I literally Do. Not. Know. What. A few … Continue reading Tell me about your corndog.
It's nice. It really helps me balance my day. It's a distraction from whatever tedium you're trying to work through. You can tell yourself: "I'm going to plug in Braveheart and work/study/clean throughout the whole thing." Bam. Two VHS cassette tapes later and you've spent a good three hours getting shit done. So what characterizes a good background film?
The Bourne Effect The spy for the 21st century was not James Bond, but Jason Bourne. The grittiness, global perspective, and moral quandaries of the Bourne triology (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum) instantly rendered James Bond moot. In following with the general post-9/11 trends, the Bourne films did not present … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Crime, Crimefighters, Crime, and More Crimefighters
The Biopic as Classic Narrative The biopic has always been a Hollywood staple, and has traditionally been treated as a sweeping epic: one whole life’s story. Over the years, what was once a glorification, or even blatant excuse for hero-worship, produced warts-and-all critiques. As the last decade began, we were still watching our most beloved … Continue reading The Decade in Film: True Stories and Those Based on Them
Art has always lit the way for the great march forward. Hollywood, purveyor of popular art and entertainment, has always had to tread a careful line between progressive art and conservative entertainment. You need to push enough boundaries to stay relevant but be familiar enough not to alienate your audience. It is not surprising then, … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Death of the Epic The arrival of The Lord of the Rings arguably killed the epic. Virtually every traditional fantasy film – pumped out at a consistent rate in an attempt to duplicate The Lord of the Rings success – since has flopped. Think merely of other (mostly children’s) book adaptations, such as Eragon, Beowulf … Continue reading The Decade in Film: The Epic and Science Fiction
The War Conflict Film The war film as a Romantic narrative is virtually over. While this slow decline began with Vietnam, it only really grew apparent with the Iraq war. The war that was always seen as most Romantic, the most justified in our self-righteousness, was World War II. The Nazis are still the go-to … Continue reading The Decade in Film: The War Conflict Film
Throughout the great interwebs are a million articles on the best films and best television shows of the decade. As arbitrary and meaningless as it is to divide human history into ten year periods, each decade’s zeitgeist doesn’t magically change over night as December 31st becomes January 1st. Attitudes and values evolve over time, and … Continue reading The Decade in Film: Introduction
There's been a lot of these lists floating around lately, obviously due to the impending end of the so-called Noughties. (Personally, I much more interested to see if that name sticks.) For something so recent, everyone's list is bound to be different. We don't have the benefit of time depth to lend an objective weight … Continue reading My Top Ten Films of the Decade
Pop music and films are like peanut butter and chocolate - well, maybe not quite. That implies some sort of undeniable cosmic, fated force drawing the two together like soulmates. Pop music and films are more like peanut butter and banana - still pretty damn good. There's something about the perfect pop song synchronized … Continue reading Overused Songs in Film and Television
"Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day" sounds like just that, a straight-to-video crapfest that you would imagine starred Steven Segal and was filmed in somewhere like Calgary. If this press release came out on April 1, I would have totally thought it was a joke.
Ah, The Lord of the Rings. The epic to end all epics. Cinema experienced a resurgence in the epic genre during the nineties and early noughties, which really culminated in LOTR. Can you think of anything more epic or more recent? Nothing can top it.
Ever since Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost, there's always been a certain je ne sais quoi about a well-wrought antihero. Whether cheeky rogue or bloodthirsty tyrant, an antihero is a welcome deviation from the white-hatted norm. At once both appalling and subversive, a good bad guy / bad good guy always proves a more interesting character than the morally unambiguous square-jawed hero. Here we count down the top ten!
I watched The Triplets of Belleville for the first time a week or so ago, and, as expected, I was blown away. "That makes the top ten," I instantly thought, which led me to consider what my top ten animated films actually would be. This list is skewed towards animated films as best enjoyed by the grown-up audience, that me, a twenty-something, can enjoy without needed to pry out that Freudian inner child. With that said, maybe I am rather childlike to begin with, as I love a good poop joke.
If you're going through the pain and torture of creating a film, it's not that much more difficult to dedicate a little extra effort to the credits. Simply inserting whatever font in Final Cut works is really just half-assing it. Let's be honest. So, yes, I can be a bit of a typography geek, but there really are some basic typographical rules that one should adhere to. Typography is an art, but one of those subtle arts that has been dragged kicking and screaming into the contemporary, post-modern era where it has a chance to sink or swim. While even an eight-year-old could pick Arial out of a line-up, there's enough evidence to suggest that apparently there really is a knack to using typography effectively. Take note. Learn it, love it. And never use Comic Sans. Ever.
You know those moments in films - where random guts and/or water hit the camera lens - they are there to shock you. They shake you out of your seat! They add to the realism of the film! They highlight the tragedy and/or humanity of a life lost by an explosive device and/or hand-made prison shank! They bring the experience of exploding death right into your living room! They can break the fourth wall.
My excitement to see this movie borders on cliche: like a kid watching the clock tick down the last seconds until summer vacation, or trying to fall asleep on Christmas Eve, or approaching the gates of Disneyland. All readily accurate cliches. Due to a weekend of various birthday celebrations, I won't get to see it … Continue reading Let the Wild Rumpus Begin
my latest cinematic exploits In my never-ending quest to work for free, I caught two press screenings for Press+1: Whiteout and The Informant! One was fantastic and the other was terrible. I'll leave you to guess which is which. It's been nice. Seeing films. I haven't seen anything else since, rented, theatrical or library-loan or … Continue reading The Good, the Bad, and Daniel Day-Lewis
This month has been quite the maelstrom of epicness. Well, not in regards to my life, but in regards to those around me. Of the people I know, more have come out of this month married than divorced, so that's always nice. In addition to the newly crowned Darcie Adkins, nee Vaillant, Caitlyn LePard, one of my dearest … Continue reading Uber-epic-osity: John Hughes-style plans for a comedy-rich hypothetical wedding
Last night I caught a press screening of Observe and Report, the latest in an increasingly unfunny stream of Seth Rogen movies. I cracked a smile here and there, mostly at Anna Faris, who I think is actually ridiculously funny (see Just Friends). I do applaud films where solid, funny roles are created for women, except … Continue reading Nothing to Observe nor Report Here
I did. I caved. After however many years of just saying no, I finally started watching Battlestar Galactica. (like with Lost, I also blame Jason for this twelve step-worthy practice.) I am currently still in the middle of the first episode/mini-series, even after two false starts. So far, decent enough. (I am told that it gets … Continue reading Oh dear, have I really started watching BSG?
So last night's episode of Lost was pretty good. It prominently featured Desmond, so that's an automatic win. What I didn't like was the scene where a couple of red shirts get blown up and random guts and/or water hit the camera lens. UUUUGGGH. I actually said outloud, despite the fact that I was alone: … Continue reading “I hate metaferences that break the verisimilitude of a film” or, “What I didn’t like about last night’s episode of Lost.”