Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Listening to Aaron Eckhart on Satellite Radio...

blathering on and on and on with respect to the Intense Method Style Preparation he brought to the table in order to create the character of Frankenstein's Monster in the upcoming epic "I, Frankenstein". I mean not for nothing, but never has the Stanislavsky Method been deployed with more exactitude on behalf of a movie everyone knows is a perfect 100 megaton bomb! If the studio thought this bad baby was gonna do business they'd a released it six weeks ago and reaped the Holiday Season Harvest...but no, it's January debut, a sure sign of a wreck in the making. I suppose the moral is, even bad movies deserve the application of a rigorous acting process....

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Channel Zero Returns, Friday, February 28th, 8pm!!

With an Epic Screening of "Lemonade Joe" (1964) that impossibly virtuous cowboy rides into the drunken brawling western town of Stetson City intent on saving the locals from the ravages of Demon Liquor! But is he a comical Abstinence Hero on Horseback or the subtle agent of a certain soft drink company? This film may well be Czechoslovakia's Greatest Anti-Capitalist, Pro-Temperance, Two Fisted Singing Cowboy Movie!! (Subtitled in English) Friday, February 28th @ 8pm (Sharp!) The Somerville Theatre (Micro-Cinema) 55 Davis Square Somerville Ma 617-625-5700 Admission $8.00 (Cheap!) Channel Zero, Now in Our Nineteenth Year of Genteel Video Obscurity!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Rest In Peace, Mike Vraney

Sad news comes to us of the untimely death of Mike Vraney, film scholar, television impresario, fearless young showman and maximum leader of Something Weird Video. Mike was a friend of the cinema in every sense of the word, he recalled everyone from Dave Friedman to Frank Henenlotter from an undeserved obscurity. He dug thru dumpsters, he distributed long lost ephemeral films, if there is an overlooked sexploitation film out there, "Something Weird: has it in their catalogue. Any genres Mike Vraney didn't revive he created. I had some dealings with Mike on a casual basis down thru the years, I'd see him at conventions he was unfailingly patient and courteous to one and all, stumping him was a challenge of biblical dimensions, he may not have access to the titles I threw out there, but he knew all about them all the same. Talent and zeal like that we need for it is always in short supply....

Thursday, January 02, 2014

My Top Movies for 2013

I initially thought this was gonna be a short list, as bad a year as it was though, a solid phalanx of quality managed to break on thru the current appalling zeitgeist. So in no order of preference, my top movies for 2013.... The Great Gatsby: Leonardo DiCaprio is the great striver of modern cinema, in every single one of his movies he plays someone who desperately wants to exceed his own modest circumstances...so all glitz and decadence aside who else you gonna get to play Fitzgerald's quintessential jazz age nouveau riche social climber? This is The End: Its a tedious axiom with me that Hollywood hovers on the brink of annihilation...the canary in the coal mine will always be when the comedies start becoming bloated self indulgent junk. Thank Ghod Seth Rogen and crew haven't yet gone over the hump, if and when they do, then we will know for sure it's time to lock the bunker doors behind us. Much Ado About Nothing: Joss Whedon is ace's high with me, anyone willing to whomp together a Shakespeare adaptation out of bits and pieces shot in his own home is a Man of Destiny. Besides when is anyone gonna cast Amy Acker and Alex Denisof in serious classical parts any time soon?? Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself! Granted the documentary glossed over Plimpton's acceptance of CIA money at the Paris Review...On the other hand anyone will to go a round with Archie Moore in all his martial glory whilst weeping all the while well deserves a lavish biographical documentary. The Heat One thing I like about Sandra Bullock, she knows that comedy requires pacing & inspiration and as such she has never been reticent to let someone else(say Melissa McCarthy)share the limelight when laughs are on the line. Its a lesson a lot of serious All Up Male Comedians have yet to learn.... Pacific Rim: If I had to pick one monster movie this summer, I'll go with Del Toro's every time. My only regret is, it didn't make anywhere near the money that The Man of Steel or Iron Man III or even The Lone Ranger made.... We're the Millers: Even as the rest of Tinseltown crumbled, forty year old comedienne's staged a comeback, Bullock and now Jen Aniston whose aging stripper turn in the above drug comedy could have been lame but instead sparkled...female experience seemed to have mattered last summer for once. The World's End: Repeat After Me, SIMON PEGG IS OUR LAST HOPE...and if he can't do it, NICK FROST IS REALLY REALLY OUR LAST HOPE!! Kick Ass 2: This was literally the only sequel I could get behind all year long, in a perfect world Chloe Grace Moretz would graduate to a "Hit Girl" franchise all her own, something guaranteed to give movie critics the Screaming Bedspins. But truly Ms Moretz et al have a gift for serious movie mayhem that puts them way past the self indulgent pikers cluttering up all these goddamned Big Ticket Superhero Movies.... The Way Way Back: This was no "Moonrise Kingdom", but it is a bravura performance by Sam Rockwell and a sort of drunken love letter to the vanishing world of South Shore down market tourism. At long last Marshfield Ma gets it's close up. Gravity: Microgravity gets its close up too...who knew a straight version of modern space travel could be this exciting? Who knew George Clooney could really play it straight? I mean how long has it been since he wasn't wallowing in self parody?? And Sandra Bullock? Amazing, how did she wax those stems in zero gee??? All is Lost The Last Great Silent Film Performance and it is courtesy Robert Redford....I mean Chaplin was noisier in "Modern Times" for Ghod's Sake! Bad Grandpa Johnny Knoxville makes me laugh, I can pay him no higher praise. Normally I don't care for Jackass when they do setpiece sketches, but this was thoroughly inspired from start to finish....kudos to Knoxville's faux grandson, Jackson Nicoll the kid has a poker face worthy of Keaton. Kill Your Darlings: Second best straight drama I saw all year. Lucien Carr's story, he First Beatnik, the Great Introducer, hooked Kerouac up with Burroughs and Ginsberg and then, his task done, he murders his tutor and ends up a suburbanite...A quintessential American Story...and the only reason it got made is because a High Profile British Actor named Daniel Radcliffe yearned to play a young Allen Ginsberg Nebraska: BEST drama I saw all year...and sadly it was my life for the past four years one way or another, it's also Bruce Dern's Legacy and his last best bid for legitimacy. Saving Mister Banks: Only the Disney Organization has the chutzpah to cannibalize one of their classic musicals (one I myself never cared for) to create a much darker musical that I did like...I even bought into the tacked on Happy Ending! The Wolf of Wall Street: I think this is Scorcese's idea of a Tarantino Movie, loud self indulgent, loaded with amazing performances...it doesn't break much new territory but it's a helluva ride and Leonardo DiCaprio's second manic striver in less than a year...Oh and Jonah Hill, he is has all of John Belushi's raw acting talent without the catastrophic personal choices...he will go far I assure you all.