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January   6

Film Critics

Ok, who's gone to the movies lately? What's the Baristaville Buzz on any recent films you've seen?

January 6, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink


well, I thought Narnia was lovely and we recently watched Finding Neverland, Maria Full of Grace and What Becomes of the Broken Hearted (the follow up movie to the brilliant Once Were Warriors). All of those were great.

And, I have to admit watching some real crap while I was home from work on Monday (this is why I usually only take days off when I'm going somewhere!).. Meet the Fockers, Blade: Trinity and Down with Love. All of which were just as bad as I expected... yet I watched them anyway. Go figure.

Posted by: daniella | Jan 6, 2006 5:57:25 PM

Most recent movie I saw in the theater was "The Island" and I actually liked it (but not the needless Michael Bay dramatics of explosions and chase scenes). I guess I'm part of the national statistic that saw fewer moviegoers in 2005. Part of the reason is lack of time, lack of convenience, and many more entertainment choices on cable television and internet sites as a diversion. Personally, I think going to a movie theater will become an occassional "special night out" to see an appropriate movie on a large 100-ft screen, IMAX-style (no home theater can replicate that experience. or at least not yet.)

Posted by: Jim | Jan 6, 2006 5:58:35 PM

Thoroughly enjoyed the new King Kong* ... and realized that the original probably was the first movie to instill in me a sense of wonder. Thanks, Kong!

*A love story? Only if you believe those mostly old-time movies in which guy and gal, after only minimal interaction, are head over heels and absolutely sure they must get hitched. Or, maybe you need a different sense of wonder for this shtuff.

Posted by: Chris | Jan 6, 2006 6:45:38 PM

munich. wow. powerful and thought provoking. i would recommend if you have a strong tolerance for violence.

Posted by: julia | Jan 6, 2006 7:46:06 PM

Syriana and Good Night,Good Luck were refreshingly intelligent and thought provoking.

I felt just about every emotion during King Kong. Would have liked more time in the jungle, less in the city.

Posted by: wineough | Jan 6, 2006 8:03:32 PM

I must be the only person alive who really disliked "King Kong".
The first hour was boring & the second hour had too many special effects (if that is possible). The third hour was OK, but I did not cry.

Am going to see Syriana, Munich, Matchpoint & Narnia this weekend.

My top ten movies list for the year-
1) BBMtn
2) Junebug
3) History of Violence
4) Cinderella Man
5) Wedding Crashers
6) Capote
7) Good Night & Good Luck
8) The Squid & the Whale
9) Batman Begins
10) Pride & Prejudice

Honorable Mention
Walk the Line
Upside of Anger

Must Love Dogs
King Kong

Posted by: Pam | Jan 6, 2006 10:31:34 PM

Why is I find that the acting in many of the recent movies far exceeds the writing?? I thought the acting in Capote was superb (particularly Hoffman and Cooper) but the writing was pretty contrived. Same was true of "Good Night and Good Luck" -- Straitharn was fantastic but well, I felt the writing was weak and I couldn't figure out why they included many of the side stories (wasn't Murrow's conflict with The Evil Senator enough drama??) Even Brokeback Mountain -- a gorgeous film -- was far better in the acting category (all were super) than the adaptation of Annie Proulx's wonderful short story.

Posted by: MontclairMom | Jan 6, 2006 11:13:06 PM

I haven't been to the movies lately, but I did see this and it is pretty amazing.

Posted by: Right of Center™ (8T) | Jan 6, 2006 11:53:02 PM

ROC that is amazing. Thanks for sharing in a random manner. I just spent forty minutes on the site.

Posted by: jtown | Jan 6, 2006 11:58:42 PM

Here is the opening graph of my son's review of several movies at the Dubai International Film Festival.

Dubai International Film Festival brings variations on everyday suffering
By Oliver Mosier
January 6, 2006 in Voices
It’s difficult to categorize the cross section of humanity that calls film festivals its home. Sure, the rich and famous lurk in every corner, but often their stories are the least compelling. It’s those desperate people—beings who frequently check their dignity and shame at the door—who interest me. Sadly (ye t predictably), their journey usually begins and ends at the red carpet with a view obscured by a security guard’s hand over their faces

Here I was in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Part Las Vegas and part Martian space colony. Construction was everywhere. The not-so-old joke goes that the national bird of Dubai is the crane. While Albert Brooks looks for comedy in the Muslim world in an upcoming film, I may have found it in all its Arabian banality.

To read the entire story go to: http://maroon.uchicago.edu/voices/articles/2006/01/06/dubai_international_.php

Posted by: jmo | Jan 7, 2006 3:29:54 AM

My favorite drama is on C-Span, called "I Don't Know Jack" about the life and times of Jack Abramoff and his pal Tom DeLay.

Even the Trolls have finally heard about him, after their beloved National Review wrote this week...

"Since 1994 Tom DeLay has led the Republican House majority ably and loyally. Now he needs to perform yet another act of service by not seeking to return as majority leader."

This drama is thick with twists and turns as Jack, Tom, Ed Buckham, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist and the rest of the crew hide their corruption behind organizations with deceptive names like "US Family Network" (buying votes to bail out Russia) and "Christian Coalition," play upon the fears of NRA members to build their power base, and allegedly defraud Indian tribes. Well, maybe "allegedly" is too much of a hedge word, since Republicans try to shed their contributions from Jack, but in another attempt to deceive give money to charities, rather than return it to the defrauded tribes.

Sure some Democrats got money, but in the words of Grover Norquist (National Journal circa 1995)... "What the Republicans need is 50 Jack Abramoffs".

Isn't it nice that after benefiting from the corruption to get elected, President Bush announced Wednesday he's "donating to charity $6,000 of the more than $100,000 Abramoff and his clients contributed to his 2004 re-election campaign."?

Audiences are kept on the edge of their seats as they wonder if the corrupt politicians will give back the decisions the money bought?

As prosecutors gather evidence, one can only wonder what Bush and Cheney will be asking the NSA to listen to. Maybe they'll hear The Iceman singing "Something happened in here, what it is ain't exactly clear, there's a man with an indictment over there, 'compassionate conservatives' are messing their underwear."

Posted by: buycopy | Jan 7, 2006 9:47:43 AM

That is about $6000 more than Senator Reid gave back from the money Abramoff's clients gave to him...

see for yourself

Posted by: Right of Center™ (8T) | Jan 7, 2006 10:22:19 AM

"Audiences are kept on the edge of their seats as they wonder if the corrupt politicians will give back the decisions the money bought?"...funny line!
Nothing burns my butt more than holier than thou corrupt politicians like Harry Reid and Charles Rangel who won't give back the money but will cry that the Republicans are crooks.
Let's exercise our franchise people and elect in those people not tainted by the lobbyists corruption.

Posted by: The Ice Troll | Jan 7, 2006 10:33:27 AM

Brokeback Mountain

Posted by: Seriously Though | Jan 7, 2006 11:26:13 AM

Jeepers, Pam, you really get out, don't you? Of that entire list, I've seen only Kong and Good Night. I thought Kong would have been excellent if they had cut about 45 to 60 minutes--most notably that riduclous and utterly superfluous dinos-chasing-dinos scene. And they really poured it on with those aboriginies--reminded me of old family reunions. Good Night was all right for the atmospherics (ie cigarette smoke) and the acting, but lacked a certain narrative tension. Oh well. The wife is testing my homophobia by suggesting we see Brokeback Mountain this weekened, so I don't see how I can refuse, though I'd rather see Syriana.

Posted by: walleroo (8T) | Jan 7, 2006 11:39:59 AM

Sadly, I think ROC is right this time. The Dems don't smell very good in the Abramoff affair either. One can only hope that Tom Delay makes a comeback. Oh, what a rallying cry that would make! Cahm Ahhn, Taaahm, yuu cahhn do whiit.

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 7, 2006 11:44:08 AM

From what I understand the majority of the actual money went to Republicans even though some Democrats are also implicated. All who were influenced by Abramoff's tainted money should resign, no matter which party. I think we need a real shakeup in Congress. It's out of control.

Posted by: mauigirl52 | Jan 7, 2006 11:59:27 AM

I agree. Let's hope this happens in 06.

Posted by: walleroo | Jan 7, 2006 12:00:33 PM

Saw "Brokeback Mountain," found it awfully slow going the first 45 minutes or so and somewhat unconvincing in that it never really establishes a relationship between the two lads. We have to accept their love on faith but, no, sorry, Jake and Heath just aren't that accomplished as actors. Heath Ledger especially, especially since he gives the same mumbly, eyes downcast performance he gave in his last 10 movies. Charisma is sorely lacking in this film. They also sit their hores very awkwardly in too many scenes.

Just watched "Gilda" with Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford on TCM. A real movie, with a real screen goddess who knew the camera loved her. And the scene where Rita's possessive, justly suspicious husband, George Macready, asks Glenn Ford, after Ford has been out with his wife all night, what he was doing carries in 30 seconds more heat than Heath and Jake manage. Ford says they were "just out...we wound up going swimming." (Of course they're both bone dry.

Macready replies that "perhaps we can go out together soon too...swimming." But then, Ang Lee is no Charles Vidor and no equivalent to Rita Hayworth exists today.

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Jan 7, 2006 12:20:46 PM

I meant "horses" above, although what my fingers supplied is an interesting alternative.

Posted by: cathar (8T) | Jan 7, 2006 12:22:27 PM

I am no lover of Harry Reid, and believe he has leadership balls the size of a flatworm's. Nonetheless, in his defense he has been on the Indian Affairs Committee during his Senate career and represents Nevada casinos in his role as Senator from that state. Therefore, he may really believe that the money came from the tribes lobbying for casinos. I'm with walleroo and mauigirl52, it's time to clean House and Senate (and hopefully elect independents). We should also forbid lobbyists from getting within 1000 feet of politicians and their easily entertained aides. Let them go on C-span to make their "research" points. Keep their crack-like dollars out of the political system.

Posted by: buycopy | Jan 7, 2006 3:56:16 PM

"We should also forbid lobbyists from getting within 1000 feet of politicians and their easily entertained aides."

NEA included? AFL-CIO? MoveOn.org, BluewaveNJ? George Soros? Can we keep all of them out of the lobby too?

Posted by: Right of Center™ (8T) | Jan 7, 2006 4:50:30 PM

Not exactly sure what this means:

"Nonetheless, in his defense he has been on the Indian Affairs Committee during his Senate career and represents Nevada casinos in his role as Senator from that state."

So his bribes are okay then? Aren't they more obviously bribes because he is on the Indian Affairs committee?

Posted by: Right of Center™ (8T) | Jan 7, 2006 4:59:19 PM

Just saw Munich...superb.

Off to see Narnia...

Posted by: Pam | Jan 7, 2006 8:37:36 PM

Recently saw Match Point in theaters and loved it (easily his best since Crimes And Misdemeanors) and on dvd I've seen The Chumscrubber, Oldboy, Hustle And Flow, Murderball, and Grizzly Man and loved them all. My top 10 of 2005 looks something like this.

1. The Squid And The Whale
2. A History Of Violence
3. Match Point
4. Munich
5. Brokeback Mountain
6. Wallace And Gromit
7. Syriana
8. King Kong
9. Capote
10. Good Night, And Good Luck.

Honorable Mentions (In Alphabetical Order):
40-Year-Old Virgin
Broken Flowers
Batman Begins
Constant Gardener
Hustle And Flow
Grizzly Man
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Lord Of War
Sin City
Weather Man

Anyways I thought that really it was a very good year for movies.

Posted by: Chris | Jan 7, 2006 10:18:21 PM

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