Friday, October 21, 2016

Film Friday

We Own the Night 
Mark Wahlberg as a cop.  Joaquin Phoenix as his nightclub managing brother.  Robert Duvall as their high-ranking cop father.  Eva Mendes waiting to be grabbed by Trump.  So it's basically the war on drugs in 1980's NYC and its impact on this one cop family.  I think this was a mixed bag of sorts.  There's an interesting scene with cars and a much shorter scene of Mendes walking down a hall.  The Phoenix / Mendes duo isn't too hard to root for. But there's a bit more corn than I expected from a film set in the northeast.  The ending was kind of meh.    
One Hour Photo 
Robin Williams as Sy the photo guy.  Connie Nielsen as a wife / mother who needs Sy's services, because she's not modern enough to have a flip phone.  Sy's quiet, subdued creepiness is fascinating.  I think the impact of the plot was lessened by starting the movie at the end and flashing back to the beginning of the series of events.  A casual thumb up though.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner 
From a short story by Alan Sillitoe, who also wrote the screen play.  Tom Courtenay as Smith, a teen-ager who robs a bakery and is sent to a borstal (reformatory).  It is discovered that he's a talented runner and he is counted on to win a race against runners from an upper crust school.  The story switches back and forth between Smith's borstal life and his life before his arrest.  With Michael Redgrave as the governor of the borstal.  It's one of those symbolic movies, with specifics representing something larger.  I just can't get on board with the key plot point.  (Also, the running scenes are awkward.  They look like actors posing as runners.)    

Friday, October 14, 2016

Film Friday

Vicky Cristina Barcelona 
Friends Vicky and Cristina head to Spain for the summer.  They meet a painter with a volatile ex.  Complications ensue. Starring Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, and Rebecca Hall.  Directed by Woody Allen.  Hall seems out of her league.  The other three do fine.  It's a film that lends itself to narration, but the narrator seems like an odd choice.  A casual thumb up.

The Rules of Attraction  
Based on a novel by Bret Easton Ellis.  A drug dealer, a bisexual, and a "virgin" navigate a bizarre love triangle at a liberal college.  There are some funny moments.   Shannyn Sossamon does a good job as the "virgin".  But what I vaguely remember from the book is that the characters had more depth there than they do here.  Also starring James Van Der Beek, Ian Somerhalder, and Jessica Biel.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tuesday Ten

When you look at a painting, the painting looks at you.  Unless it's a Jackson Pollock.  Fecal matter doesn't have eyes with which to look.

Ernst Kirchner
Potsdamer Platz

A Group of Artists

Rene Magritte
The Menaced Assassin

The Human Condition

Edward Hopper

Sunlight in a Cafeteria

Pablo Picasso

The Old Guitarist

M.C. Escher
Still Life and Street


David Hockney 
A Bigger Splash

Portrait of an Artist

Fernando Botero 
Ball in Colombia

Card Players

Vincent Van Gogh 
Painter on His Way to Work

Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear

Frida Kahlo 
The Bus

Frida and Diego

Diego Rivera 
Self Portrait

Sugar Cane

Monday, October 10, 2016


He knows he isn't making sense, but he is who he is.
   He knows it doesn't make sense, but it is what it is.
-  It's all pointless, but he can't turn back time.  He can't pretend she didn't happen to him.
-  He never knows what to say; he just knows how he feels.

-  He wishes he could write something that would really impress her.
-  He wishes he could do anything that would impress her.    
-  He's aware it's a one-way street - ending not in a cliff but in something less dramatic - a muddy ravine perhaps.

-  something vague about her father / something not good 
-  He wishes her ex hadn't betrayed her, but he can't do anything about it.
-  When he heard about Orlando, he thought of her.  He wished he could wrap his arms around her and protect her from all the bad people in the world.

-  preachers at Earth Fair: lesbians are going to Hell / and he thought: she's so much better than you'll ever be  
-  She promised she would stop smoking, so he nags her about it.
-  He read Rat Bohemia, hoping it would help him understand her better. Not so much though.
-  He waits for her to get her nursing degree.

-  He wishes she would open up more, initiate more, like him more.
-  He wishes he could help her, but she needs help a lot less than he does.
-  He wishes he was stronger, smarter, sexier.  She is.
-  He's a past that never happened; she's a future that needs to happen.
-  He waits for her to leave (him behind).

-  He writes about it in third person - the universal language of indifference.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Film Friday

A detective (Dana Andrews) investigates the murder of a woman (Gene Tierney) in New York City.  Vincent Price and Clifton Webb as two contrasting suitors of Laura.  Directed by Otto Preminger.  From the novel by Vera Caspary.  It's an old-time film and seems like it.  But it also fits the noir category, so it holds up better than other films of the era.  I enjoyed seeing Price outside the horror movie genre.  Tierney's pretty.  It's a decent film, though not the classic it's made out to be.

Daniel Day-Lewis as an Italian film director who's juggling a wife (Marion Cotillard), a mistress (Penelope Cruz), and professional issues.  With Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Fergie, Sophia Loren, and Judi Dench.  Some good music: "Be Italian" (Fergie), "Cinema Italiano" (Hudson), and "Take It All" (Cotillard) notably.  It moves along at a good pace.  Probably more style than substance, but I enjoyed it.  A modest thumb up.
(Based on the musical play Nine, which was inspired by the film 8 1/2.)

The Imitation Game  
Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, an English mathematician who played a key role in cracking German naval codes during World War II.  With Keira Knightley.  It's an interesting film.  Though I didn't understand the way the code breaking worked.  Knightley's role was a bit odd.  Anyway, Turing was a big deal in the fields of computer science and artificial intelligence.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

I've decided to use more logos. So prepare yourself for that, if you can.

Saw an adult video in which a guy left a glass of orange juice on the table to go do stuff with a woman.  He didn't drink it.  He didn't put it in the fridge for later.  He just left it sitting out.  Totally ruined the whole video.

I think I have my theme for the April A to Z Challenge.  Tempted to type and pre-schedule the posts already, so if I die, they'll be like messages from the grave.

About halfway through Tex's film challenge.  Though I refuse to support her FB cabal.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Film Friday

Ben Kingsley as a college professor; Penelope Cruz as the younger woman who seduces him.  I think it sagged a bit in the middle, and I found the negative portrayal of men annoying.  But the leads were well-cast and the film made good use of classical music.  With Dennis Hopper.  Based on a novel by Philip Roth.      

Inside Llewyn Davis 
Oscar Isaac as a struggling folk musician in 1961 NYC.  Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake as his friends and colleagues.  There are some funny lines and the plot kept my attention.  It might be a bit slow-paced for some viewers, but I give it a casual thumb up.  With John Goodman and F. Murray Abraham.     

McCabe and Mrs. Miller  
Warren Beatty and Julie Christie as the title characters. Directed by Robert Altman.  Music by Leonard Cohen.  A gambler opens a brothel in a mining town, and partners with a madam.  A bit boring in parts.  The ending was well-played.  With Keith Carradine.  Based on a novel by Edmund Naughton.