Archive for August, 2008

How to find good movies

In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love

So, you are in the video store looking for something to watch. How do you know whether a movie is going to be good? Turn over the case and if it says Focus Features, stop looking and rent it. If you get your movies through netflix or the library, this is what I suggest: Go to the Focus website and put every single movie in their catalog in your queue.

Being John Malkovich

Being John Malkovich

I am telling you, this studio is incapable of producing a bad film. It could be because they work with some of the world’s greatest directors including Mira Nair, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-wai, Joel and Ethan Coen, Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, Jim Jarmusch and Woody Allen.

Far From Heaven

Far From Heaven

You’ve probably seen some Focus films. After all, they put out Being John Malkovich, Lost in Translation, The Pianist, 21 Grams, Motorcycle Diaries and Brokeback Mountain.

21 Grams

21 Grams

If you dig a little deeper into their catalog there are some real little gems in there.

My Summer of Love

My Summer of Love

On a Clear Day

On a Clear Day

I just checked the site and have a bunch of new films on my list to check out. Life is good.

Lost in Translation

Postscript: In looking for photos to post here, I discovered that there are plenty of people who found some of these films boring and not worth watching. If you have the patience for stories that unfold slowly, and spend more time on character than plot, you’ll be rewarded. I developed a taste for this style of filmmaking back in Austin when I was in school. I tried to watch every foreign film at Vulcan Video, country by country. Non Hollywood movies are different. The French and Chinese especially like to linger and let you get into a character. I’m glad to see, years later, the “independent film” movement in America getting differnt kinds of movies out there. And Focus, the “art house” division of Universal Pictures, is now putting out some quality film for us to enjoy.

An actor to watch

Checked out the movie “Superbad” last night. It was fairly entertaining, a high school movie about life from the point of view of horny, gutter mouthed adolescent boys. Not quite PC, but I laughed. Like Pulp Fiction, you’re laughing because the dialog is so outrageous you can’t help it. And then there were the penis drawings…

What really got me about this movie was the actor Michael Cera. The guy was a revelation. It was like he was acting in a different movie, one in a different dimension of awesomeness. I can’t explain it, just, I’m telling you, he’s the real deal. I predict this guy is going to be owning an oscar when he gets the right part.

Oh wow, He was born the year I graduated from high school. Okay, I am officially old now.

I don’t get it

There have been 79 visits to this blog from the search terms <nicolette larson> in the past month. And more if you count versions of it in quotes and different spellings. So I finally googled Nicolette myself and fourth corner never came up in pages and pages of results. So, WTF? The story of my musical life is now my #1 post (175 visits, I never said I was popular), surpassing my ‘about’ page in hits. My next most popular post only has 40 hits, so what’s up with Nicolette?

The funny thing is, all that Nicolette googling makes me think I actually sang a Linda Ronstadt song, “Love is a Rose” at that 4th grade talent show, and enjoyed Larson’s “Lotta Love” at home. Both songs were written by Neil Young.

In which I confess a guilty pleasure

Okay, remember that suck ass show Lost I discussed here? Well, something made me get the next disc and give it another chance and now I am totally hooked. I believe it hooked the same part of me that used to watch Guiding Light as a young teen (hey, did you know Kelly Ripa was on that show?) Yes, I am the kind of person who can get addicted to soap operas. So I offer a correction. As a soap opera, Lost works.

And also one of the characters reminds me of someone dear from my past. So that adds a dimension, too.