For Quentin Tarantino, the world of film is a boiling pot full of mixed ingredients. Tarantino’s style is unlike any other despite that his movies are comprised of homages, references, and winks. Many have tried to make Tarantinoish films, but no one manages to rival Tarantino when it comes to pop-culture referencing. Even if you consider Tarantino a derivative artist, there’s no denying his ingenuity on screen, the main reason why I’ve always been a big fan of his work. Inglourious Basterds may not be the funniest of Tarantino’s filmography but it’s a great declaration to his filmmaking skills and one of his best efforts.
It’s been a week since Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death. In honor of the actor, easily one of the best of his generation, today’s question is what is you favorite performance by Hoffman?
Hoffman has so many fantastic performances under his belt. I think his best work was with frequent collaborator Paul Thomas Anderson. His performance as the boom man who loves protagonist/adult film star Dirk Diggler helped him break out of the movie world and is astounding (check this AV Club article for some great analysis). He was also superb as the male nurse in Magnolia and the head of a phone sex line in Punch-Drunk Love. Neither are big roles but Hoffman steals every scene he’s in both.
As for his best, for me it’s The Master, which I also think is one of the best performances I’ve seen in the past decade. Hoffman plays Lancaster Dodd, the leader of a cult religion who takes estranged WWII veteran Freddy Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) under his wing. Whatever you think about The Master as a whole (and I’ve stated my love for the movie multiple times before and will continuously defend it), there’s no denying the strength of Hoffman’s presence.
But what about yourself?
The first few months of a year are typically a graveyard shift for cinema and 2013 is no exception. On the plus side, audiences have TV to always rely on and it’s been very promising thus far. Here are some TV series I’ve been watching (new and returning) and would recommend checking out.
Posted in Review, TV | Tags: Adam Reed, Archer, Archer: Vice, Benedict Cumberbatch, Community, Community Season 5, Dan Harmon, Jonathan Banks, Justified, Justified Season 5, Justin Roiland, Martin Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Rick and Morty, Rick and Morty Season 1, Sherlock, Sherlock Season 3, True Detective, True Detective Season 1, Woody Harrelson
The film Computer Chess starts out as a mocumentary and ends up as Primer. It’s equal parts a parody as it is a cerebral slow-burner, a picture that you’re not going to forget anytime soon. Computer Chess is almost a sci-fi labyrinth inhabited by characters from a Robert Altman picture. Criticisms can be made about the structure of Computer Chess, which never sticks to one singular tone (it’s neither a pure comedy or drama), yet there’s no denial it’s an ambitious movie,
Fame and fortune hasn’t changed Louis C. K., whose hit sitcom Louie is the best comedy on television currently. The comedian has kept his bear-bones self-deprecating comic routine that made him a star from the beginning of his career to his role in American Hustle. Where Louis C. K. succeeds is that he’s a relatable guy to audiences (in Louie he plays a single dad struggling in day to day life). Tomorrow Night, Louis C. K.’s first movie that debuted back in 1998 only to abruptly enter obscurity, has the mark of the comedian but it lacks the focus. Made on a miniscule budget and featuring many peculiar gags and characters, Tomorrow Night has the same feel of an episode of Louie without the tightness. While Tomorrow Night is a bold experiment, it pales to Louis C. K.’s other work.
Tragic news: Philip Seymour Hoffman died earlier this morning, found in his New York apartment with a hypodermic needle in his arm. I’ve long been a fan of Hoffman, who has exhibited a career of brilliance, from his multiple collaborations with Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights) to his Oscar winning performance in Capote. He was one of the best and boldest actors working today, with a variety of films under his belt that show how impressive his resume is.
Hoffman had the ability to vitalize any character he played with a strong personality, such as the menacing yet inviting Lancaster Dodd of The Master (see the clip above to watch part of his amazing performance). A talent like Hoffman rarely comes by and he will surely be missed.
There’s something wholly unique about The Great Beauty, a mixture between a majestic fantasy and a bleak reality. Such a combination of topics is difficult to balance but director Paolo Sorrentino keeps his picture afloat and manages to create a surreal and wondrous piece of artwork. While I feel a little unsure of the purpose of The Great Beauty throughout the entirety of its duration (at times the movie seems to wander from scene to scene), the sheer amazement of the picture is truly dazzling and spectacular.
Like many people, I’m a huge fan of Seinfeld and would go on to call it along with The Simpsons as the best sitcom there is. So I was obviously very excited to hear that the project Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld were working on may be a reunion of the show.
The details have been very ambiguous, with Seinfeld confirming that the project will include some of the series’ characters, feature some of the locations, be short, and will come out very soon. I have no idea what it’ll eventually turn out to be, but hopefully it will turn out well.
But what do you think?
There are plenty of reasons to look forward to 2014 with new movies by Paul Thomas Anderson and Terence Malick coming out. Now we could look forward to another as of Monday a new full-length trailer for Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem debuted.
The trailer, which has the vibe of Brazil and 12 Monkeys, is a return for Gilliam in examining the society in a futuristic/apocalyptic world. Gilliam isn’t a director often entrusted with large budgets because despite his critical reputation his films aren’t hugely financially successful, so I’m pleased to see that (at least from the trailer) he’s done a great job with the visuals. And it’s got Christoph Waltz as the star. I’m looking forward to seeing The Zero Theorem later this year.
Wild at Heart is a lot of things, a satire of teenage romance, a crime thriller, and a parody of The Wizard of Oz. Director David Lynch has stirred all these various ingredients to a satisfying but somewhat disappointing end result that’s not near the mastery of the filmmaker’s other pictures. Lynch succeeded with his oddball look at the dread behind the curtains of the American suburbia in Blue Velvet, which Wild at Heart bears in tone but lacks the same emotional punch. There are plenty of strong ideas in the film but not enough coherence to create a strong enough narrative between them. Still, Wild at Heart is an energetic romp that’s a violent and erotic thrill-ride.