Category Archives: Uncategorized
Thoughts About “Survivor”:
1. Is this the most high concept/biggest budget Lifetime movie ever made?
2.You think the guy would stop killing people if they gave him a better criminal nickname? The Watchmaker?……..Really!? I’d kill people too if I was named that.
3. James Bond gone rouge. Just joking, but it’s sad that Pierce (a very capable actor) gets kind of pigeonholed in the James Bond mold; even in his non-Bond films. I mean, look at him in this trailer: he’s a terrorist bomber that dresses like he works for MI6. He even uses high tech James Bond type gadgets and gizmo’s in bomb building making it look like he raided Q’s warehouse. Aren’t mass bombers supposed to be crazy people who live in the woods making bombs out of toilet paper, fireworks, and ammonia?
4. Robert Forster deserves better than this. He also deserved an Oscar for his role in Jackie Brown. Seriously, he was fantastic in that.
5. Angela Basset is taking over the role of the “token black woman whom the studios wouldn’t cast in the lead so to pacify her (and the ever more diverse movie going audience) they gave her a small part with very powerful implications in the story. Couldn’t Angela Basset have played the lead in the movie, and Milla have taken the secondary part.
For other examples of this type of typecasting see:
- Viola Davis in Black Hat
- Angela Basset in This Means War
- Viola Davis in Night And Day
- Pam Grier in Escape From L.A.
- Hattie McDaniels in Gone With The Wind
6. What hath Liam Neeson wrought? Am I the only one kinda over the whole aging action hero (or villain) thing? It’s getting ridiculous. Can’t you just defeat one of these guys by pushing them down the stairs, or denying them their medication. What’s next? How about Woody Allen as a CIA operative,or Alan Alda as a contract killer?
7. They stole the whole falling down the stairs while shooting scene in the trailer from The Bourne Identity.
Also, everything else in the trailer was stolen from the Bourne franchise, down to the blue color tinting of the film.
Dubstep in the trailer is always a No-No
I liked V For Vendetta. Director James McTigue took the Wachowski’s otherwise ham-fisted script and gave it a nice energy and injected some much needed humor. He’s also has shown himself to be very adept at directing action. That alone make this project not completely uninteresting
Then again, he also directed Ninja Assassin and The Raven….so yeah.
He was also first assistant director to George Lucas on Attack Of The Clones which is akin to the The Aostle Paul being tasked with holding the coat’s of the Sanhedrin as Stephen was being stoned.
Was Milla Jovovich called Alice in the trailer?
Milla Jovovich……so it’s not a total loss. Although having her play the harried heroine doesn’t work so well in my opinion. She has such a strong will and presence on screen that’s its hard to believe she’d be threatened by the likes of suave Pierce Brosnan in a suit. Because of this, none of the victim roles I’ve seen her play over the years, have ever really worked for me.
When I think Box Office, I think Dylan Mcdermott.
Apparently Steven Spielberg has lost his natural born mind. Everyone knows that since Munich he’s been in a bit of a rough patch. First he struck out with Indiana Jones 4, a movie that was campy and overblown in the worst way possible. Next we got The Adventures of TinTin which how well Spielberg can pick up Zemeckis’ sloppy seconds. We also got War Horse that year as well fondly remembered as a beautifully shot film about near anthropomorphic horse and his ridiculously overwrought bond with his owner. 2012 brought us the latest Daniel Day Lewis Oscar grab in the form of a Spielberg film called Lincoln. Now, with all hopes of a Robopocalyspe movie fading away, we’re presented with news of what may be the new Steven Spielberg project: A remake (reinterpretation, revision) of West Side Story.
Its common knowledge that remakes are a nasty boil on the behind of the modern cinematic landscape. Still, I find myself able to take solice in the fact that only sellouts associate themselves with such trash. You know the type: young upstart directors looking for a safe project after their freshman film was a surprise success (see Matt Reeves’ Let Me In), or weirdo European directors with dubious track records that somehow trick studio chief’s (through witchcraft) into letting them remake a beloved property (see José Padilha’s Robocop…..not technically European but still). Never in my wildest dreams, would I imagine Spielberg attempting something so obviously stupid. George Lucas maybe but not Spielberg.
Does he really think he can improve upon what Wise did? Not many directors of this current generation are worth anything but Spielberg has been one of the shining lights. Still, when you match him up against one of the greatest directors to ever handle a camera, working at the peak of his powers (Odds Against Tomorrow, West Side Story, The Haunting, and The Sound of Music would all come out within five years of each other), and collaborating with some of the most talented musical minds in the history of….well music, to produce one of the most enduring cinematic classics in the history of moving pictures you have to wonder how exactly can Spielberg hope to come out ahead in all of this.
Could it be that he has a vision for the story so radicial, so revisionist, so brilliant, so vibrant, so joyous, so enrapturing that it’s the likes of what has never been seen before on film? No. That’s not the case whatsoever. Remember this is modern day Hollywood. Remake today is code for unoriginal, uninspired, and ultra cheap, a sad truth for many directors and I have no reason to think that Spielberg can escape that group. I suppose if we have to look on the bright side we can see this is as Spielberg’s way of trying to beat the system. He probably knows that he couldn’t get a studio to back an original motion picture musical. Perhaps he thought he could just use the name West Side Story, strip the story down to its bare bones, and then use the play as a spring board to create something truly original. Either that or we’ll get another cinematic abortion of Spielberg proportions. Of those two outcomes what seems more feasible? While you mull that over take a look at what Spielberg could (can?) do with music and a story all his own.
James Cameron, a noted engineer and inventor who occasionally moonlights as a “filmmaker” has declared Alfonso Cuaron’s upcoming space drama Gravity to be “the best space film ever”. Highly Ironic seeing as James Cameron is responsible for what is perhaps one of the worst “space” films ever (Avatar). His praise concerning the project (which he was an adviser on) is nothing less than masturbatory.
I was stunned, absolutely floored. I think it’s the best space photography ever done, I think it’s the best space film ever done, and it’s the movie I’ve been hungry to see for an awful long time. What is interesting is the human dimension. Alfonso and Sandra working together to create an absolutely seamless portrayal of a woman fighting for her life in zero gravity.
Couple of things:
What exactly is a space movie?
What is the criteria? What are the trademarks that define the genre? Is it simply a movie that takes place in space or contains references to space travel? It is a movie in which one of the characters looks up at the stars longingly and plaintively. Really now, I wonder what would happen if this type of lazy genre stereotyping was applied to others persons, places, or things. Could there sky movies, water movies, sand movies, or black hole movies. It seems nowadays that any kind of movie plot warrants it’s own special classification. Does you movie have zombies…well that’s a zombie flick. Does your movie have a masked killer…..its a slasher movie. Does the film take place in a prison…that’s a prison film. Does the film have boxing it it….well you got yourself a boxing film. Forget what the character motivations are or what the focus of the narrative is. A puddle deep analysis of a film is all that seems to be needed for today’s film fans.
What people fail to realize is that such unimaginative and uninspired labeling can damage a movies reputation and negate its reach and impact. In case you were unaware, people have a tendency to only judge a book by its cover. Imagine how angry you would be if for years you avoided watching The Shawshank redemption having heard it was another ordinary prison movie. Imagine the surprise when you find out that The Shawshank Redemption has about as much to do with exploiting the typical conventions of a prison movie as ID4 had to do with being a Merchant-Ivory flick
I do value how a detailed categorization of film genre can enrich ones understanding and joy of the medium by creating personal and revelatory bonds between the film and viewer. Yet at the same time I am vehemently against categorization for categorization’s sake. The amount of genres and sub-genres around today have reached ridiculous proportions. Film fans need to dial it back a bit and not let their tastes be subverted by simple genre labeling and segregation.
Now about Mr. Cameron
Its sad to see the amount of respect most film bloggers are giving Cameron seeing as he cares absolutely zero about making a good film. Not a good special effect mind you, but a good film. Check out what Slashfilm writer Germain Lussier had to say about him:
James Cameron is a filmmaker with high standards. His last two films were both the highest grossing films of all time and each took multiple years to get just right. In the interim, he’s been working to advance performance capture technology, high frame rate technology, 3D technology and probably more. So he knows what’s up.
Really……….Cameron is “a filmmaker with high standards”. Since when does having expensive production values equal high standards? Also what does the amount a film earns and how long it took to make have to do with its quality. In each instance both observations (time frame of production and gross) provide a case against Cameron’s since all the time he took to make Avatar and its subsequent box office gross didn’t change the fact that it was a derivative, poorly written, badly acted, piece of sci-fi garbage. So excuse me if I don’t think Cameron’s opinion of Avatar is worth spit. Excuse me again if I don’t consider any of his thoughts about film-making to be anything more than foolish grandstanding. Here’s a good rule of thumb; if a person who makes bad movies recommends another filmmakers work then you should probably take his/her recommendation with a grain of salt. At the very least realize that any appreciation offered by such an individual likely steams from such an asinine and shallow artistic perception that any resulting opinion is barely worth any serious consideration.
Lastly about Gravity
Yeah I’m excited. I’ll admit it looks good. However the more I hear the more I don’t like. Its not that I’m being a hater or that the early buzz has been negative. It’s just that the praise seems to ring of typical Hollywood hogwash. In other words, all the praise I keep hearing concerns only the look of the film and none of its substance. You’ve heard enough of it by now: Gravity has the best space photography ever put on film, the longest most elaborate tracking shots, and the best use of 3D ever.” With praise like that it’s no wonder people think most film bloggers are shills.
Even the acting, when actually spoken of, is given such hollow praise that you find it hard to get excited about it. Am I supposed to be impressed by Sandra Bullock’s performance or impressed that she acted out her part in a painstakingly recreated “zero g environment”? Are we establishing a new form of acting method here. Should we now consider any performance done in “low gravity” to be Oscar gold. Give me a break. What good is a “zero g” performance without any weight to it. Even 2001, widely considered to be the greatest science fiction film ever made, usually can find some detractors when it comes to the human element of the story. The late science fiction author and screenwriter Ray Bradbury once spoke concerning 2001 saying that:
“,it’s really a big dumb idiot of a film…..the characters are all wrong because there are no characters. When Hal, the computer finally decides to kill them all off, you’re only too glad to see them go because they’re bores. You don’t know the identity of any of the people killed.
If all the groundbreaking special effects utilized in 2001 couldn’t make the characters come to life what makes you think it will be any different with Cuaron. Not that I want the film to fail. I do hope that Gravity doesn’t follow the same course as 2001. Here’s hoping the performances are excellent in spite of and not because of the flashy special effects, tracking shots, or 3D. Here’s hoping Gravity isn’t just an empty spectacle like Avatar was. Here’s hoping……
Running without gravity……I smell Oscar!!!
Good Evening Filmcyclers. I hope that your day has gone well and that your sleep is deep and peaceful. All that of course in spite of the awful bit of film news I leave you with.
Transformers 4 Got a new poster and official title. Are you ready for it. Alright, here you go:
Transformers: Age of Extinction !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Its okay I guess. I would have thought they’d have went the obvious route and called the film:
“Transformers: The next film in the series that has only one good movie (the first one) and two cinematic abortions to its name, and is only being made because people unwisely spent mountains of cash to see the previous two sequels….also these movies are still being written by that Ehren Kruger guy. Yeah the same guy who thought Skids and Mudflaps and Robot Heaven were a good idea. Also there are Dinobots. Yeah, dinosaur robots. Even for a Transformers movie that’s ridiculous. Please don’t see this movie. Instead take a hammer and repeated pound the top of your head till flat. You’ll have a better time.”
Too long? Perhaps? Well at the very least I get to see Mark Wahlberg tell a Dinobot “say hello to your mother for me”
You’ve heard of Amy Schumer right? That momentarily famous female shock comic who has been burning up the airwaves at Comedy Central with her ribald sense of absurdist humor. Gee, I can’t help feeling I’ve heard that before. Lets try it a different way.
You’ve heard of Whitney Cummings right? That momentarily famous female shock comic who has been burning up the airwaves at Comedy Central with her ribald sense of absurdist humor. A clearer picture perhaps but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Let me try one more time.
You’ve heard of Sarah Silverman right? That momentarily famous female shock comic who has been burning up the airwaves at Comedy Central with her ribald sense of absurdist humor. That’s it. Now the circle is complete.
You do realize of course thats all it is; a circle.
Every couple of month or so the modern cultural landscape unleashes upon the world a new stand up comic of the female persuasion. They always seem to follow the same format. Young-ish, legitimately pretty, white, foul mouthed, obsessed with their female anatomy, obsessed with the male anatomy, obsessed with fluids, and obsessed with all the things you normally are too shy to tell your doctor about.
They’re hailed as a modern prophet. A kind of feminist revolutionary if you will. Audiences howl and gasp as they stand on stage and spout every kind of sexual, racial, scatalogical, and ribald epitapth known to man. Men for the most part don’t find this junk funny but they find the lady so attractive that they watch anyway. Women for some reason (call it a warped form of feminist empowerment) find the lady to either be a role model or a threat. The women in the role model camp find the fact that a woman who can speak of such awful atrocities while wearing high heels and blush to be immensely empowering for some reason. The threatened women however don’t find the lady funny at all but tag along with their boyfriends to the comedy shows so they won’t lose them.
Either way by hook or by crook, said female shock comic eventually sells a crap load of concert cd’s, has a few successful stand up specials on Comedy Central, appears on a few of those awful crucifictions masquerading as roasts, and finally lands a television or movie development deal. Thankfully this last part of the process usually spells the end for these young ladies for they are soon faced with the harsh reality that no form of narrative construct known to man could support (for a long period of time) their hollow, baseless, fowl, unsubstantiated, and uninsightful form of disposable comedy.
Soon after the public tires of this masquerade and looks to find a new woman shock comic that makes their ears burn as well as their loins. With this in mind I guess I should view it as good news that Miss Schumer has finally got a movie deal. Thanks to Judd Apatow (thought I’d never utter those words) the world will finally see Amy Schumer’s comedy stick get exposed for what it really is; a flash in the pants……..get it I said pants instead of pan…….cause thats where the penis and the vagina are at. Where’s my movie deal.
A collection of film reviews carefully selected and screened for the presence of wit, tact, intelligence, intuitiveness, and a general knowledge of film history and form. In other words, no reviews from aintitcool.com (or any of their other juvenile colleagues).
Directed By Oliver Stone
Written By Shane Salerno, Don Winslow and Oliver Stone.
Armond White – City Arts
Richard Brody – The New Yorker
Joe Morgenstern – Wall Street Journal
Kenneth Turan – L.A. Times
Richard Corliss – Time Magazine
Steven Rea – Philadelphia Enquirer
So there you have it. Some good, some bad, hopefully all thought provoking and informative. I’ll be back later on this week (and the next) with more reviews worth your time. Thank You.
P.S. If you know of any other reviews out there that you think would be worth our time, please let us know in the comment section and please don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks.
Also check out City Arts 4 part series on the work, technique, and ideologies of Oliver Stone in regards to his new film “Savages”.
Stone Images Part 1: http://cityarts.info/2012/06/21/stone-images/
Stone Images Part 2: http://cityarts.info/2012/06/26/stone-images-part-2/
Stone Images Part 3: http://cityarts.info/2012/06/28/stone-images-part-3/
Stone Images Part 4: http://cityarts.info/2012/07/05/stone-images-part-4/
Just From Today….
Don’t these bloggers have anything better to write about than Batman?
Along with their usual asinine articles and juvenile musings on film, the writers on most of those awful film blogs that are such a rage nowadays, actually have the unmitigated gall to try and review feature films.
Its always a sad affair.
There seems to be among the younger film critics on these sites, a general lack of tact, discernment, cultural insight, or even the smallest shred of wit in their film reviews. It seems that the chief concern to most of these film blogger/movie reviewers is how cool the movie was and how much it related to them. They almost never stop to weigh the movie being reviewed from a historical cinematic standpoint and they fail to discern its cultural meaning and themes making it impossible for them to properly assess it as a work of art. The style of their prose and the depth of their film knowledge on display leaves much to be desired. At best even the smartest film blogger seems only qualified to judge a movie as a product (box office fodder) and not as a serious work of art.
We here at film-cycle, are cognizant of this problem and seek to remedy it. We would like to provide an outlet for those seeking film critique of a more enlightened, and meaningful variety. Coinciding with the weekly film releases on both the Wednesday and Friday of every week we will be providing a list of alternative film reviews for those specific releases. By alternative reviews, we mean those not found on your average film blog or fan site. We mean reviews written by astute critics with keen cultural insight, expansive cinematic knowledge and daring opinions. Quite frankly, we want to show you reviews which are worth your time.
The reviews will be carefully chosen, with no affiliation, and they will be both pro and con viewpoints concerning the film. They will come from a wide variety of sources changing weekly with each new film release. Our hope is that we can present enough material for the smart discerning film fan and patron to make a wise viewing decision for that week and all the weeks to come. Though this film critique reconditioning we hope to turn the tide against the modern insipid film “critic” of today, and bring about a new golden age of film critique and response.
This week for our inagural fourth of july edition we turn our attention to the mid week release of “The Amazing Spider-Man”.
Anthony Lane-New Yorker
Micheal Phillips-Chicago Tribune
Joe Morgenstern-Wall Street Journal
Ann Hornaday-The Washington Post
So there you have it. Some good, some bad, hopefully all though provoking and informative. I’ll be back later on this week (and the next) with more reviews worth your time. Thank You.
P.S. If you know of any reviews out there that you think would be worth our time, please let us know in the comment section and please don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks.
When it is not being used for its more sordid and immature purposes, the internet can be quite an illuminating place. You’d be very surprised, if you would only look, at the wonderful nuggets of information….the veritable oasis’s of wisdom there are to be found online.
As you may already know, one of our many jobs here at Film-Cycle, along with the vigorous task of challenging and discrediting the current system of moronic film journalism, is also the reeducation of those who have come to rely on said current system as a reliable source of film knowledge. This is why, along with the many criticisms we do, we also provide links to many underrated and undervalued sources of online film critiques, journalistic pieces, and news hubs. We search in many dark corridors and under many rocks and are more often than not very surprised and delighted at the wonderful things we find. It goes to show that if you would only take the initiative to look, you could expose yourself to content of a higher caliber than if you just regularly skimmed the surface.
Our piece of redeeming film journalism for today comes to us courtesy of The Texas Archive of the Moving Image, a southern based film conservatory operating from the heart of the lone star state. The primary focus of the conservatory is to celebrate “the state’s home movies, industrial films, television output, and regional cine-club product as well as Hollywood and internationally produced images of Texas. Valuable to state history, these films also serve an important collaborative role in the preservation and restoration of the larger motion picture heritage for the United States.” So in a way, the T.A.M.I. functions like any other universal film conservatory would, except on a smaller Texas-centered scale. While it is still a fairly young organization, they have already unearthed a reservoir of very valuable and very vintage celebrity interviews from Texas’ past, conduced by local Austin TV personality Carolyn Jackson (from 1976-1980). Most likely these interviews were conducted during various southern publicity tours held in promotion of a forthcoming release. Some of her subjects include: Brian De Palma and Amy Irving (for “The Fury”), Micheal Douglas (for “The China Syndrome”), John Frankenhimer (for “French Connection 2”), Martin Ritt and Sally Field (for “Norma Rae”), Peter Bogdanovich (for “At Long Last Love”), and many others. There are many wonderful interviews with some of the more prominent and up and coming actors, producers and directors of the 70’s and 80’s. You’ll find the interview material to be very in-depth, consisting of great questions and intelligent thoughtful answers. None of the EPK style stuff (what are you wearing and who are you dating) that you get so much of today. The John Frankenheimer and Sigourney Weaver interviews are particularly good. She also manages to get a hold of many of the people (Carrie Fisher, Gary Kurtz) involved in “Star Wars: A New Hope” right around the time when the film was carving out its legacy.
Here is the Link;
Now go and learn something.