Friday, December 28, 2012

Frances Bean Cobain

Death Rides A Horse Up In The Air

Death Rides A Horse, starring Lee van Cleef, directed by Giulio Petroni.

It's not a bad film. The director is no Sergio Leone, but who is? And it's got one of Ennio Morriccone's  catchiest scores. I got one problem with the Spaghetti Westerns, it's the men working for the bad guy, who are there basically to laugh evilly when the boss says something or when the good guy is being tortured or something. Did those people really exist? I'm not sure if I've ever met anyone who laughs evilly.

Up In The Air, starring George Clooney, directed by Jason Reitman.

The film has all the signs of being a quality film, the type of film that wins all kinds of awards, so why do I watch it without feeling any connection to the story? For one thing, I don't believe in George Clooney's character, which makes it hard to believe in the film. He's more of a construction than a real person. His job is to fly across America to fire people, okay, but he also has a lecture tour where the message is, think only of yourself, and he has an apartment that looks exactly like a hotel room. Hmm, I wonder if he will learn a lesson during the film? There's a scene where Clooney has to talk his future brother in law, who on the wedding day suddenly gets cold feet, into marrying his sister. It's such a silly clich̩ scene in a film that tries to be more serious, and the only reason it's there is because Clooney then has to question his own lifestyle. And there's of course a moment towards the end during his lecture tour where he suddenly stops his old speech, realizing he doesn't belive in it anymore. There's not a single surprise in the film, everything is set up for a later pay off. I guessed the final image of the film because it's given in a piece of dialogue earlier. (I also guessed Clooney would himself be fired at the end, something that didn't happen, so I actually don't know everything.) The film is too perfectly put together, like a mathematic formula, and life is not really like that; it's messy. Compare it to one of those rambling 70s films, like Five Easy Pieces Рalso about a man who questions himself - and where the characters seem like real people and you're never quite sure where the story will go.

Monday, December 24, 2012

There's more to life

...than books, you know, but not much more. I'm on page 483 of A Light That Never Goes Out, Tony Fletcher's The Smiths biography.

Top 5 The Smiths songs:

1. This Charming Man
2. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
3. Half A Person
4. Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
5. Girlfriend In A Coma

Monday, December 17, 2012

Two For The Seesaw

Robert Mitchum is a midwestern lawyer and Shirley MacLane a beatnik dancer who meet in New York. Directed by Robert Wise

The film is based on a play and has kept the talky tone. Unfortunately, the conversations are never that funny or interesting. Mitchum and MacLaine seem mismatched - even though they ended up having an affair - and the whole will they hook up or split up part of the film gets a bit tiresome. It's not fair, but it's hard not to compare it to the superior The Apartment. Looks great in widescreen black and white, though.

Friday, December 14, 2012

X-men: First Class

It's X-men in the swinging 60s. Or it's supposed to be. The recreation of the timeperiod is not that convincing, really. Why do I keep watching these films? I don't know. The film is not as bad as X-men 3, on the same level as the first one, but not even close to the second one. The scenes with Michael Fassbender are very good, the rest of the young mutants and the villains are pretty boring, with no personality, and their powers looking quite awkward or silly on the screen - with the possible exception of Beast. The ending is a bunch of CGI overload. There is nothing in the film as fun or exciting as the attack on the president or the big fight between Wolverine and that clawlady from X-men 2.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Midnight Run

Bounty hunter Robert DeNiro has to get mob accountant Charles Grodin from New York to Los Angeles while being chased by the mafia, FBI and a rival bounty hunter. Directed by Martin Brest.

Once in a while Hollywood gets it right, and you can almost forgive all the crap they make. DeNiro and Grodin have great chemistry, the script is pretty much flawless, and all the pieces fall perfectly in place at the end of the film, including the bit about DeNiro's watch. The scene where Grodin impersonates an FBI agent is very funny, the scene where DeNiro meets his daughter is actually quite touching, and Brest films the whole thing as if MTV never happened.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Steve Martin on TV

There's a collection out of Steve Martin's tv specials and appearances. I have his stand up cd's, but his comedy is very visual, so something is definitely lost with only the sound. There are two stand up acts on the dvd. The best one is on a small stage and is Martin at his most hilarious. There's another one, from the end of his stand up career, where he's in front of thousands, and he has to do everything bigger, and it's a bit less fun. Plus it repeats some bits from the earlier show.

There are also some sketch shows, that are more uneven in quality. Some of it has dated quite a bit, including song and dance numbers in corny variety show style. Included is also new interviews where he talks about his career in comedy. After his later, more safe and bland films, it's good to have this collection to remember how brilliant he can be. And that is why we have to protect the ozon layer!