I feel the best documentaries are the ones that manage to captivate you no matter the subject. So while I have very little familiarity with the art of Johannes Vermeer, the legendary Dutch artist whose method of painting is the center of Tim’s Vermeer, I much enjoyed seeing how Tim Jenison attempted to replicate the style of the famed painter. Helmed by Penn Jillette and Teller, the hosts of the TV series Bulls**t, Tim’s Vermeer is a fine introduction for viewers into the specific work of artistry.
Often times I can appreciate a movie for its craft and complexity but be left cold by the experience. Battleship Potemkin, for example, impressed me with its stunning visuals and still revolutionary camerawork. The film, however, didn’t do much for me as I didn’t really connect to the story or characters (though it’s been far too long since I’ve last seen it so perhaps a revaluation is in order). I had the same feeling about F. W. Murnau’s Faust, which also features some fantastic special effects but didn’t have me enthralled as I had expected (perhaps hurt by my expectations of the movie after seeing Nosferatu).
But what about yourself?
When word first got around about the TV adaptation of Fargo last year, I was bewildered by the decision. Fargo’s a classic picture that still remains of the strongest works in Joel and Ethan Coen’s filmography as well as the movie that propelled them to the top of contemporary cinema. Remaking Fargo seemed like a terrible idea as such mastery the Coens’ proved in their icy cold Minnesota setting can’t be replicated without coming off as a pale imitation.
Originally posted on Keith & the Movies:
The Movie Bloggers Roundtable is a new feature where I join up with four esteemed movie bloggers and we share our thoughts on a certain subject. Everyone on the panel will share their thoughts and feelings on the topic of the day and then we share them with you. The panel may change from post to post and hopefully we will get a wide range of opinions and perspectives.
Today’s roundtable discussion is a simple one but also one that I find very intriguing. Both Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson have movies due out in 2014. Both have received praise for their very unique styles of storytelling. So today we are going to focus on these two top-tier filmmakers. Joining this roundtable is Charles from Cinematic Film Blog, Caitlin from Heart of Cinema, Josh from J.James Reviews, and Nostra from MyFilmviews. Now I can easily…
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Tonight Mad Men returns for the first half of its final season. Matt Weiner’s series put AMC in the market for making serious and intelligent TV series and revolutionized the format of cable dramas. So for today’s question, I thought I’d ask what’s your favorite episode of Mad Men?
There are plenty of great episodes but I think the season 4 episode “The Suitcase,” which focuses on the relationship between Don and Peggy, is the best. A few of my other favorites include “Shut the Door. Have a Seat,” “Nixon vs. Kennedy,” and “Tommorowland.” But what about you?
The final episode of Justified’s season 5, “Restitution,” didn’t feel like a conclusion for the show’s year. Sure it included traits that all season finales include: a showdown with the yearly villain (Daryl Crowe), tying up some of the story lines, and a good indication at what season 6, the show’s last, will bring. But “Restitution” didn’t seem to be much of a climax with little tension leading up to the episode. That isn’t much of the episode’s fault as season 5 itself, which has been a bit lacking for Justified fans.
The rumors are true: Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report will take David Letterman’s place on The Late Show, who will come to CBS sometime during 2015 after Letterman departs television and Colbert’s previous contract expires.
As an enormous fan of The Colbert Report, I’m a bit taken back. For almost ten years Stephen Colbert has done an excellent job skewering political figures in his faux-Bill O’Reilly/Sean Hannity character. That political edge as well as Colbert’s eponymous character unfortunately isn’t going to move to the broader and more general appeal of CBS, which can’t grant the comedian the same freedom. I’d love for Colbert to stay on Comedy Central and continue to satirize the messy state of politics (think of what he’ll do during the 2016 Presidential Election). Still, I have no doubt Colbert will do well on CBS. He’s proven multiple times before that he’s excellent at providing clever and witty commentary on society and pop-culture and he isn’t likely to try to be generic. Whatever happens, I wish Colbert the best of luck.
With the rise of Video-on-Demand and indies being released online, home viewing for new releases has grown excessively. While none of the big budget studios are willing to release their films on VOD, many indies that wouldn’t receive a wide release can find a good audience on the format. So this brings me to my question: do you prefer home-viewing or theater-going?
While there’s plenty of reasons to enjoy seeing a film at home, I much prefer going to the theater. Sure, I’ve complained plenty of times before about the modern day cinemas today, from the overpriced tickets, obnoxious audiences, and excessive sound, but there’s nothing like watching a movie on the big screen. It’s a feeling that can’t be matched.
But what about yourself?
Darren Aronofsky making an action movie is like if Michael Haneke did a children’s movie. Associating the director of Black Swan and The Wrestler with blockbuster material feels misplaced, not to mention that Noah, the filmmaker’s latest project, is also a biblical epic based on “Genesis.” For months we’ve been hearing about the notorious production and the fights between Aronofsky and Paramount executives. The troubling filming is certainly reflected on screen as two visions are presented: a modern-day action picture and an Aronosky movie. There two visions never mesh together and Noah results in a mess, but it’s an interesting mess, one that’s certainly braver and more ambitious than many studio tent-poles.
There is no director today as distinctive as Wes Anderson and I doubt there will be another film in 2014 that is as distinctive as The Grand Budapest Hotel. Wes’ eagerly awaited follow-up to Moonrise Kingdom is perhaps the most Andersonian movie the director has made. Part screwball comedy and part murder mystery (a throwback to Anderson’s small-time crime comedy Bottle Rocket), The Grand Budapest Hotel combines every Anderson trait, a large ensemble cast stretching from Harvey Keitel to Léa Seydoux, a color palette full of bright reds and oranges, and doll-house sets and art direction. It’s absurdly funny and incredibly complex, making it the biggest and most ambitious movie Anderson has done to date. No one can exactly do what Wes Anderson does and The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the filmmaker’s best pieces.
Posted in Movies, Review | Tags: Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Schwartzman, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Lea Seydoux, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Tony Revolori, Robert Yeoman