Posted by · 12:01 am · October 9th, 2010

Catch the idea behind these weekend posts here.

I got nuthin’.  Five screenings, one of them an all-afternoon epic…I’m wiped out this week.  Which made a last-minute Red Box rental of “MacGruber” pretty much what the doctor ordered tonight.

Open thread.  Thoughts?

→ 49 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Cinejabber

49 responses so far

  • 1 10-09-2010 at 12:16 am

    Tye-Grr said...

    MACGRUBER!!!!! *explosions*

  • 2 10-09-2010 at 12:52 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I had 7 screenings this week. RED was huge fun, everything The Expendables should have been, and The Social Network is absolutely stunning. I was blown away with everything in it. But that ain’t something new here.
    Oh and I’d recommend a Dutch film called “Dusk”. About a group of teenagers deciding to kill one of their own because she’s irritating the shit out of them. Harrowing film, great acting.

    Oh and I gotta say this, Legend of the Guardians was so poor in terms of logic and storytelling it made me depressed, seriously, how awful was that film (aside from the visuals). It had no internal logic of any kind.

  • 3 10-09-2010 at 12:57 am

    Adam Smith said...

    I saw MacGruber in theaters and definitely considered it hit-or-miss. But when it hit, good God, did it ever. I have still yet to see a single scene this year that is funnier than MacGruber having sex with his dead wife’s ghost in the graveyard.

  • 4 10-09-2010 at 3:44 am

    Michael said...

    I watched The Night of the Hunter for the first time the other day. Pretty amazing experience. I think it will take some time to fully settle in as I believe it was operating on a much more primal and expressionistic level than most films that cross ones path. I already know that some of its scenes and images will remain with me always from now on, which is fine considering how beautiful and amazing they are.

    Anyone got anything to add about The Night of the Hunter?

  • 5 10-09-2010 at 3:53 am

    Hero said...

    I think I’ll be popping Gladiator in tonight. I blame Kris for putting the idea in my head.

  • 6 10-09-2010 at 4:03 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Interested to know where people stand on the Andrew O’Hehir-Roger Ebert flare-up over “Secretariat.” I haven’t seen the film, so can’t assess the validity of O’Hehir’s interpretation, but his review is witty and smart and provocative — pretty much everything I like to find in contemporary film criticism, whether I wind up agreeing with him or not. Can’t help detecting a note of entitlement and condescension (“he will strive to do better”) in the rebuttal by Ebert — whose own love letter to the film wasn’t nearly as interesting to read.

  • 7 10-09-2010 at 4:18 am

    Glenn said...

    Kris, have you put “Made in Dagenham” in the Best Picture image because, like last year, you think it’s the most likely to not make it (ala “Nine” and “Invictus”). Or am I reading too much.

    Guy, you know my theory on the Ebert/O’Hehir thing via Twitter. Who is Ebert to judge another critic when he’s so happy to give out 4/3.5 star reviews to almost anything under the the sun. Yes yes, he’s “mellowed with age/cancer”, but really…

  • 8 10-09-2010 at 5:37 am

    JJ1 said...

    Caught ‘Never Let Me Go’ last night.

    Umm, I basically found it to be a 2.5/3 star out of 4 affair.

    I mean, BRILLIANT scenes here & there. I thought the acting by the 3 mains was stellar, nothing ‘omg’ amazing. I found the cinematography, art direction, & score to be lovely (though, I think that while it was quiet, I’d have preferred no score during the initial kiss scene btwn. K&T).

    I have 2 problems with the movie which bring me to a 7 out of 10 feel – 1) the story is pretty bleak, and kinda sadistic. It’s hard not to walk out feeling … bad. 2) I don’t think any director would have found much success adapting this story. There isn’t enough plot incident (within the story) to keep things flowing with a sense of dramatic urgency. I’m not saying the movie has to be quick, or loud, obviously. I just think it’s a very staid story & film.

    Reactions coming out of the theater included lots of tears, words of admiration, as well as ‘well that sucked’. So, yeah, echoing the critics (65 RT, 67 metacritic).

    A day later, I look back and ‘appreciate’ it more. I DID feel something in the “scream”. But I felt little elsewhere. Tepid recommendation for those who would inherently enjoy a film of this brand.

  • 9 10-09-2010 at 5:49 am

    James D. said...

    I am pretty jealous you got to see Carlos. I figure it will be a long time for it to reach my realm.

  • 10 10-09-2010 at 6:08 am

    Michael said...

    @JJ1: Thank you for that review of Never Let Me Go. I was literally on the fence about going to see the film this afternoon with my sister who is on fall break from college. She had read the book and said that it wasn’t a very interesting story (her words – I haven’t read the book so I can’t chip in with my thoughts.) I had kinda wanted to see it b/c I really liked One Hour Photo and the cast in this film is pretty exceptional but the fact that the movie came and went so quickly really deflated any urgency to see it in theaters. I’ve kinda dropped it from my mind as any kind of serious awards contender and will just wait to netflix it sometime early next year when it comes out on dvd. I’m not in the mood for a depressing film and neither is my sister so I think we will go see Easy A instead.

  • 11 10-09-2010 at 6:12 am

    Michael said...

    On another note completely unrelated to any type of Oscar film – Has anyone ever seen the horror films Frozen or The Loved Ones? I finally got a chance to watch both of those movies back to back and they were really fun. It’s been a while since I had seen a modern horror film that really got me into the film but both of those films really did the trick for me. If anyone else gets pretty intensely into the mood for Halloween like myself and loves to watch a ton of horror films during the month of October, then those are two somewhat obscure under-the-radar films that I’d totally recommend.

  • 12 10-09-2010 at 6:21 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’ve seen “Frozen” — I’m a fan. Tight, funny and resourceful, with convincing chemistry between the leads that makes their plight quite touching. Bonus points for wolves.

    Worth a look, everybody.

  • 13 10-09-2010 at 7:17 am

    Loyal said...

    I’m hosting HorrorFest all month long.

    Last weekend was Tucker & Dave vs Evil and The Exorcist Extended Director’s Cut.

    Last night was 28 Days/Weeks Later, followed by Braindead.

    Tonight is From Dusk Till Dawn, John Carpenter’s Vampires, and Let The Right One In.

  • 14 10-09-2010 at 8:12 am

    JJ1 said...

    Looks like I have to check out ‘Frozen’ now, good times.

    Oh, and on NLMG … wow, I had no idea that the scene with ‘Madam’ at the end actually cuts SO much out from the book.

    Having not read the book (which I should, of course), but finding out now ALL that she says to K&T … I find that a huge miscalculation on Romanek’s part not to elongate that scene to fully explain the gravity of the situation.

    What seemed narratively foggy to me last night, is now made clear (after reading a plot synopsis); and it shouldn’t have had to be that way when making a movie about said book. No?

  • 15 10-09-2010 at 8:35 am

    James C said...

    Anyone catch Holy Rollers? Thinking about checking it out.

  • 16 10-09-2010 at 8:54 am

    Eli said...

    JJ1 – I agree completely on the ambiguous Never Let Me Go ending. It was a really strange editorial decision to cut so much of that climactic speech out, and in fact the person who I saw the movie with (who hadn’t read the book) didn’t even fully understand who the characters were by the end.

    I also felt like the emotional connection was clearly dulled during the second act, although I’d attribute that to the fact that the medium simply doesn’t allow room for the necessary exposition that the book gives to make you feel for the characters more.

    On a separate note, I saw The Social Network last night and thought it was awesome. I especially liked Andrew Garfield, and the way Fincher made a movie of people talking about computers so beautifully stylized.

  • 17 10-09-2010 at 9:00 am

    JJ1 said...

    Eli. Thank you. And for what it’s worth {shrinking & cowering in shame} … I, too, did not fully understand ‘who’ the characters were, either.

  • 18 10-09-2010 at 9:06 am

    JJ1 said...

    I can admit, I just didn’t “fully” get who they were ’til today.

  • 19 10-09-2010 at 9:07 am

    Adam said...

    JJ1, I also saw NLMG last night and we share a similar opinion on the film. The biggest problem with the film is obviously the storytelling. I haven’t read the book, but it’s clear that scenes from the book were randomly plucked to piece together the story, instead of figuring out a way to contextualize them. I also felt that it didn’t really give us one iota of what it was trying to say thematically until the very end, and thus wasn’t very relatable.

    Having said that, I agree that the acting was great (Garfield being the weak link of the three although he was still good). The score was really good as well. I’m not sure I see any noms except for score and a long-shot for cinematography, although I personally would put Mulligan in my top 5 for now.

  • 20 10-09-2010 at 9:36 am

    Jeremy said...

    The big news for me this week — even more important than the “Blue Valentine” ludicrousness and the moronic controversy over the trailer for “The Dilemma” — is Warner Brothers’ decision not to release the first installment of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in 3-D. Call me a homer, but I think this is a fantastic decision that values artistry over economics. Sure, maybe the studio’s acknowledgment that it couldn’t create an acceptable conversion is just bluster that’s obscuring a more business-related reason, but I’m willing to take WB at its word. The movie will still kill at the box office, plus now I can safely attend the midnight showing without fearing that I’ll have to put on those stupid glasses. Bravo, Warner Brothers.

  • 21 10-09-2010 at 10:33 am

    al b. said...

    I saw MacGruber on opening weekend, not that great, but yeah a few laughs here and there!

    Last night I saw It’s Kind of a Funny Story and it was pretty damn good! Galifianakis was particularly great. He brings just the right amount of wacky and awkward needed without going overboard!

  • 22 10-09-2010 at 11:08 am

    cineJAB said...

    I was disappointed MacGruber was such a bomb financially. I thought the movie was pretty hilarious.

  • 23 10-09-2010 at 11:10 am

    Silencio said...

    1) I’m still forgiving myself for watching Dinner For Schmucks. At least it was at the $3 theater. But wow.

    2) I’m gonna be writing a brief piece on what made The Kids Are All Right an exceptional film. There were little things they did that I loved, and I haven’t really seen them mentioned in reviews. Hopefully today or next weekend I’ll paste in a comment box.

    3) I was pleased to hear support for Shutter Island in the podcast. It sticks with me, months later. Always a good thing.

    4) I might also write a bit about why Let Me In is the crazier and almost as good twin sister of the original. I could debate about that tirelessly :)

  • 24 10-09-2010 at 11:24 am

    James D. said...

    al b, what did you like about the It’s Kind of a Funny Story? I loathed it from beginning to end, and I am trying to understand what people saw in it.

  • 25 10-09-2010 at 11:38 am

    kel said...

    macgruber…best visual effects? Lol

  • 26 10-09-2010 at 11:54 am

    Joe said...

    I saw The Social Network for the 2nd time this week. Wow… is this movie (mostly Sorkin) in love with itself. I wasn’t a fan of Andrew Garfield the first time around, but I’ve changed my tune; his Eduardo is a welcome break from all of the irony and sarcasm that every other character exudes. (Come on; do I really think that computer nerds will regularly make Towering Inferno jokes?)

  • 27 10-09-2010 at 11:54 am

    Casey Fiore said...

    exercising the open thread-ness of this thread…

    I was looking at your Top 10 Fincher list and got thinking on the fun topics of discussion for a soon-to-be-posted list.
    I was thinking something ambitious like “top 10 best picture fields” or even “top 10 years in film history”

    something like “top 10 directors (and or actors/actresses/etc.) never to win an award” could get a conversation going

  • 28 10-09-2010 at 12:50 pm

    al b. said...

    James D.: For me, I really loved the lead performances. Keir Gilchrist is not annoying when I completely expected him to be and Zach nailed it. Even Emma Roberts wasn’t annoying!

  • 29 10-09-2010 at 12:51 pm

    Loyal said...

    It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a horrible film, one of the year’s worst for sure. Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden really missed the mark.

  • 30 10-09-2010 at 1:38 pm

    Matt King said...

    I finally got around to buying the Criterion Blu-Ray of The Thin Red Line, and my goodness that is a thing of beauty.

  • 31 10-09-2010 at 3:00 pm

    Michael said...

    Friday’s box office estimates have come in and I am just keeping my fingers crossed that Secretariat continues its satisfyingly soft opening (its 3rd now behind Life As We Know It and The Social Network). This is a huge difference compared to The Blind Side’s $34mil opening last year. I don’t know why (maybe b/c the film looks like a mess), but I want nothing more than this film to just go away and any further discussion of possible awards consideration to be removed from the conversation. I know box office doesn’t account for everything, but the film would have to make close to $100mil for it to feel like a threat worthy of a Seabiscuit or The Blind Side nomination. This soft opening is giving me hope that the majority of the public don’t give a shit and will hopefully kill the film sooner rather than later.

  • 32 10-09-2010 at 3:21 pm

    MovieMan said...

    “Frozen” is one of the best films of the year, for sure. Frightening film.

  • 33 10-09-2010 at 3:24 pm

    MovieMan said...

    Oh, and I think “Secretariat” is better than “The Blind Side,” but it definitely exists in that limbo of neither-good-nor-bad mediocrity. Same with “Life as We Know It.” In a perfect world, both films will just slip into oblivion and never be thought of again.

  • 34 10-09-2010 at 4:27 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    So I saw Another Year at NYFF and for my money Manville is the best female performance I have seen this year. I’ve seen Winter’s Bone and Kids are All Right.

    Kris – Where would you rank her performance right now that you have seen Black Swan, Blue Valentine, Rabbit Hole and Dagenham?

  • 35 10-09-2010 at 6:31 pm

    Bing147 said...

    Know I’m a little late… but just wanted to respond to Guy on the Ebert/O’Hehir thing. Ebert may seem a tad entitled, but O’Hehir’s review does cross the line into absurdity. He attacks the movie because the rival horse has a ‘villainous name’. Were they supposed to change the freaking horse’s name? Also, by attacking the freedom of a Christian in Hollywood to make a film representing his values, he’s playing right into the Tea Party’s hands, their desire to separate this country into an us and them situation where anyone who doesn’t agree with you is the enemy. Its REALLY sad. O’Hehir has since responded to Ebert’s response, saying that he meant the whole review as a sort of satire and that of cours a great deal of what he wrote was absurd but he was trying to make points. That would be all fine and good, but the way he went about it just flat out wasn’t effective in my books and does almost the opposite of what I think he was trying to do. Not to mention that his dismissal of his own ‘tea party safe’ line as having no real meaning is absurd. He didn’t put that in there for nothing.

  • 36 10-09-2010 at 6:49 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    I have been considering different horror films to rent for Halloween, and I am a huge fan of John Carpenter’s The Thing, but I haven’t seen any other Carpenter films, so I was wondering what Carpenter films you guys would recommend for Halloween. I think it was Chad who recommended Halloween a few weeks ago, so I was planning on renting that, but are there any other Carpenter films that would be good for Halloween? What is everyone’s opinion on The Fog?

  • 37 10-09-2010 at 7:19 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Geez you need to see Halloween man. The Fog is kind of silly, you would probably enjoy They Live more so.

  • 38 10-09-2010 at 7:33 pm

    Chase K. said...

    “MacGruber” is terrible. Sticking celery up your ass isn’t funny…sorry, no sale.

  • 39 10-09-2010 at 10:01 pm

    The Dude said...

    I’ve signed up for the TRON: Legacy soundtrack email listserve. Just got an email today saying that if you type in the word “derezzed” at any point while on the soundtrack site you will be treated to a song snippet.

    I did it…the snippet is only about 20-30 seconds long. But it’s pretty awesome. Daft Punk being nominated for an Oscar seemed like a pipe dream months ago, but as the songs are slowly released piece by piece I think we’re starting to see a real contender on our hands. And how cool would it be if Daft Punk won an Oscar and accepted the award in costume?

  • 40 10-09-2010 at 10:14 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Speaking of music, when is “The Social Network”‘s soundtrack going to be available on iTunes? Getting antsy here.

  • 41 10-09-2010 at 11:42 pm

    Daniel said...

    Saw Certified Copy and The Sentiment of the Flesh at CIFF. Though CC was fantastic, Flesh had some neat Cronenberg touches that never went anywhere.

    Also saw Control (2007). Fantastic! Listening to some Joy Division now

  • 42 10-09-2010 at 11:45 pm

    Kyle said...

    Three things:

    The score for Never Let Me Go completely drags the film down. I can’t say I’ve seen many films where this was the case, but it made a fairly slow film downright dull…a different choice here and there at the very least could have made alot of difference. Lovely or not, it wasn’t appropriate for the world that film had built.

    The restored and complete Metropolis is showing here in Atlanta and it’s pretty gosh darned awesome. KINO continues to wow me with their restoration work on the silent classics, though I do miss the Moroder colorizations of the film stock.

    I caught Buried tonight, and while I felt like the ending was a bit predictable in all it was an impressive performance by Ryan Reynolds…who slowly but surely is building himself into something special, far beyond his rom-com roots…I can’t wait for Green Lantern

  • 43 10-10-2010 at 7:18 am

    The Dude said...

    @ Speaking English

    All I could find was “sometime in October.” Couldn’t find an exact date. I just saw the movie over the weekend and I can tell why you’re antsy…it’s a fantastic score that complements the style and pacing of the movie perfectly.

    (And FWIW, I thought the whole movie was terrific, especially with regards to writing and acting. On my own personal ballot, “The Social Network” would, as of today, def win picture, screenplay, and supporting actor for Garfield. I’d still give “Inception” best director and best editing.)

  • 44 10-10-2010 at 9:01 am

    Julian Stark said...

    I saw “Secretariat” yesterday for a review… wow. That was a huge disappointment on nearly every level. Diane Lane was not at all a compelling lead (completely miscast, inconsistent, etc.), and don’t get me started on the use of “O Happy Day.” Great vocal piece/song overall, but it had no place in “Secretariat”…

    Thinking about seeing “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” today.

  • 45 10-10-2010 at 9:19 am

    Squirrelman said...

    I saw “Waiting for Superman” on Friday and “127 Hours” yesterday at the HFF (Hamptons Film Festival).

    The former was, overall, a great documentary, possibly one of the best of the year. If you want a mirror to the American Education system, this is it.

    The latter… wow. Simply an incredible film. This is the second film I’ve seen so far this year in which every bit of it worked perfectly (The Social Network being the other one). Franco was unbelievable. Boyle’s direction was amazing. I won’t say anymore for now- I highly reccomend seeing it when it comes out on 11/5.

    I’m also seeing “Hereafter” at NYFF tonight as well.

  • 46 10-10-2010 at 9:45 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Squirrelman- I’m jealous you’re in East Hampton. I had a great time at that festival in ’08.

  • 47 10-10-2010 at 11:52 am

    Kevin K. said...

    Couple of things happening here in Austin.

    Saw Secretariat, and I actively hated it as much as Kris hated Invictus (a film I also strongly disliked). Terrible writing, directing, editing, acting, and some of the most claustrophobic, idiotic camerawork I’ve seen all year, the only thing worse visually was The Last Airbender. I echoed Kris’ thoughts on the way the final race is done. Horrible. We know the audience is cheering, we can infer that. Just show the horse in a wide shot pulling farther and farther ahead. In short, an awful movie. I can’t even see how it will be in awards contention. But then again, one has to separate personal feelings from awards predictions, hard as that may be.

    Austin Film Fest is coming up. I’ll be seeing 127 Hours, Black Swan, Blue Valentine, Meek’s Cutoff, Fair Game, Conviction, Made in Dagenham, and Casino Jack, along with whatever TBA titles I fancy. Definitely looking forward to finally contributing to the discussion on those films. It’s no secret 127 Hours and Black Swan are the big ticket items for me, so it’s exciting. Also I get to see what the MPAA felt was worthy of an NC-17 rating for Blue Valentine. I’l probably also catch Hereafter as it opens during the festival I think, but not related to it.

  • 48 10-10-2010 at 10:20 pm

    MattD said...

    Our local LGBT film fest is in full swing here in Rochester, NY, so on the “not so well-known to the masses” front I saw The Four-Faced Liar, Violet Tendencies, and The Last Summer of La Boyita (which was lovely). On the “slightly more well-known” scale we also screened Ticked Off Trannies With Knives tonight and Howl back on Friday for opening night, with co-director Jeffrey Friedman in attendance for a Q&A. Lots of fun so far, and I really loved Howl.

  • 49 10-11-2010 at 7:08 am

    Mike_M said...

    Caught Never Let Me Go last night… I liked it, the end was emotional and def got me, but I wish they changed the opening scene slightly so we didn’t see who was Carey was watching. It was cold, but I think it worked with the story and their lives.

    I did go to NYCC on Sat and man the Your Highness panel was great, it is going a fun-as-hell film next year….