CINEJABBER: Drifting along in the same stale shoes

Posted by · 9:44 am · October 16th, 2010

Catch up with the idea behind these weekend posts here.

And speaking of the weekend, thank God it’s here.  That’s all I can say.  I’m still pushing through Peter Weir’s catalogue.  Next up: “Dead Poets Society,” which I probably haven’t watched since I owned the VHS.  But more and more, I’m finding that “The Way Back” is more reflective of his early work, and it perhaps has the most in common with “Gallipoli.”

After that I’m thinking about re-visiting Kurosawa’s work.  Much of the early stuff I’ve never seen, actually, and it’ll be a nice reprieve from Oscar madness during the season.  Boy is that absolutely necessary.

But I also need to hunker down and finish reading Charles Portis’s “True Grit.” I’m hoping to do something special list-wise around the release of the Coens’ new adaptation and as much as I loathe the first film, I never sat down and read the novel until recently.  It’s a real charmer and easy to see why the Coens were drawn to it’s no-nonsense prose.

If you get a chance to see “Red” this weekend, I wholeheartedly recommend it.  I don’t know what this guy is on about, but for a brainless night out at the movies (and we need those every once in a while), it’s very much worth the price of a ticket.  Hell, John Malkovich is worth the price of a ticket.  Also, Bruce Willis stepping out of a fast-spinning vehicle is one of the coolest action beats I’ve seen in years.

Although, I guess if brainless is what you really want, “Jackass 3D” will be playing right across the hall.

Guy will be covering London fest throughout the weekend and into next week, so keep a lookout for his posts.  And for now, the floor is yours.  Open thread.  Have at it.

[Photo: Twitch Film]

→ 44 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Cinejabber

44 responses so far

  • 1 10-16-2010 at 9:59 am

    Graysmith said...

    I’m kind of shocked to see Jackass 3D do so well. I guess society has gotten more stupid since back then when they were at their peak, but it’s still been ages since these guys were popular, and yet somehow they managed to make a TON of money this weekend. Made more in one day than what Red will probably make all weekend. Sigh.

    Kurosawa sounds like a good choice, especially with Seven Samurai coming out shortly on Blu-ray. Though there never is a wrong time for some Kurosawa.

  • 2 10-16-2010 at 10:17 am

    cineJAB said...

    just saw an article on Deadline about the oscar campaign for Alice In Wonderland…apparently they think their billion dollars means they deserve to be included among the Best Picture nominees. Have they watched their own movie? I honestly thought it was horrible.

  • 3 10-16-2010 at 10:28 am

    Loyal said...

    I’ve seen others blame moviegoers but the critics didn’t necessarily hate Jackass 3D.

    On RT

    Secretariat – 66%
    Jackass 3D – 65%
    Conviction – 61%
    Wall Street – 55%

    I think there needs to be room for all types of films.

  • 4 10-16-2010 at 10:39 am

    Mr. F said...

    I do wonder if the “Alice” producer truly believe it should be nominated for Best Picture. I liked the movie, and I do hope that it gets nominations for Costume Design, Art Direction, Makeup, and Score, but Best Picture and Director? Come on!

    Well, it’s their money, but I hope it doesn’t take away from the Toy Story campaign.

  • 5 10-16-2010 at 11:12 am

    James D. said...

    Is Jackass really that dumb? I would say there is more inventiveness and creativity in some of their stunts than many wide release movies each week.

  • 6 10-16-2010 at 11:46 am

    JJ1 said...

    I don’t think Alice deserves Pic or Dir noms (not by a long stretch), but it is loved, and it is popular, and I happened to have enjoyed it quite a bit. And I think it absolutely deserves noms in art d, costumes, make-up, and perhaps 2-3 other tech noms.

  • 7 10-16-2010 at 12:15 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    Kris, have you seen Drunken Angel? I saw it a few months ago and really loved it. It’s one of the many great Kurosawa films.

  • 8 10-16-2010 at 12:21 pm

    Casey Fiore said...

    I’ve been on a Kurosawa kick for like 4 months now. He’s become an all-time favorite. In some of the mid-40s stuff its evident he had yet to come into his own. Patriotsfan is right about Drunken Angel. Once he started working with Mifune is when he really took off. Stray Dog – big yes. Seven Samurai and Ran are my favorites though. I consider them the best films made in the respective decades. He truly was a master.

  • 9 10-16-2010 at 12:52 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    cineJAB: I read that article last night…and laughed out loud. Good on Pete for paying lip service to it, though, however futile the effort.

  • 10 10-16-2010 at 1:15 pm

    Duncan Houst said...

    It really is insane how many films that were once considered Oscar potential are dropping like flies. This week it’s “Conviction” and “Hereafter”. I honestly believe that “The Fighter” is in for a similar fate, and “127 Hours” may be on the same course. I’m not sure yet, but it certainly raises the question of what films will take their places should such a thing happen. The ten nominations, while freeing, make things a lot more complicated than before.

  • 11 10-16-2010 at 1:22 pm

    Graysmith said...

    There are always films each year going after the Oscars that end up just not being good enough. Amelia last year, for example.

    I don’t see why 127 Hours would be grouped up with those other films, though? I’ve heard nothing but good things, so what’s the worrying coming from? It’s already proven to be a great film by most accounts, which is the biggest hurdle.

  • 12 10-16-2010 at 1:24 pm

    Drew said...

    Duncan-Given how positive the reaction was to “127 Hours” at the fests, while the response to “Hereafter” an “Conviction” was more mixed, I doubt that 127 Hours will have a similar fate to either of the other films. Hereafter’s oscar chances are dead, and I doubt that Conviction will even be able to score nod for an overdue Sam Rockwell.

  • 13 10-16-2010 at 1:36 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Since this is the random chat thread, The Hollywood Reporter just relaunched their site with a new design and layout. At first I thought I’d typed in the wrong address. :D

  • 14 10-16-2010 at 1:46 pm

    Hero said...

    Thanks to the Poll, I’ve decided to make my way through Peter Weir’s films. Picnic at Hanging Rock was more interesting than enjoyable for me. Man certainly has always known how to use a location. The Last Wave, though, and it pains me to say this about any Peter Weir film, was just awful. I wish I had something, anything positive to say about it, but I can’t think of a thing. Anyone care to help me out?

  • 15 10-16-2010 at 2:06 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    Oh yeah Casey, I forgot about Stray Dog. That is an amazing film as well. I also really love Seven Samurai and High and Low.

    Since this is the “talk about anything section”, I also have to commit on Guy’s B+ review of 1955’s Picnic. I have to say, I could not disagree with Guy more. Picnic would easily make my “worst 5 movies of all-time” list. It’s so sappy and melodramatic, and takes it self so seriously that you would think it was a Holocaust film. The acting in Picnic is also terrible (especially Rosalind Russel). Picnic, along with Peyton Place and Little Children, are suburban dramas that I actually laughed through.

    I hate to be so critical of any movie, but this is the type of film that if it was one of the only films I had ever seen, I would have a negative view of movies. I guess this genre was just not meant for me.

  • 16 10-16-2010 at 2:54 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Stray Dog has always been my favorite Kurosawa.

  • 17 10-16-2010 at 3:56 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Well, I just watched ‘Winter’s Bone’.

    What a slow, depressing slog. I mean, really.

    Sure, Ozark locales are striking (though, the depiction of the deplorable setting feels somewhat enhanced). And yes, the actors were good; with nuance abounding. But the dialogue was not of great interest. And I found the story lacking. Nothing got … going.

    I don’t know not my cup of tea, I suppose. I was really looking forward to it this, too.

    And I don’t see any major traction with this film unless the critics go bonkers for it, which they might.

  • 18 10-16-2010 at 3:58 pm

    JJ1 said...

    For ‘relative’ comparison, ‘Frozen River’, with all of it’s bleakness, sparceness, & nuanced acting, wound up being one of my absolute favorite films of 2008.

  • 19 10-16-2010 at 4:26 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    The Jackass movies are incredible. Number Two has Oscar worthy editing and I am not joking at all.

  • 20 10-16-2010 at 4:36 pm

    Loyal said...

    I actually dozed off during Winter’s Bone (first time since 1998’s Psycho). I don’t understand the love for the film, I found it to be quite cartoonish.

  • 21 10-16-2010 at 5:04 pm

    MovieMan said...

    The first two “Jackass” movies had their moments, but I didn’t like them. “Jackass 3D,” though, was absolutely atrocious.

    I was not a fan of “Red,” actually. It could’ve done without the action scenes. Completely preposterous in a way I didn’t enjoy.

  • 22 10-16-2010 at 5:12 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    In case people are confused as to the context for Patriotsfan’s comment, he’s referring to my Twitter review of Picnic.

    Yes, it’s sappy and melodramatic, but then it is melodrama. The film has some substantial problems — the narrative takes too long to find its locus, the cast members are all playing at different pitches — but I love its observational digressions and its heightened sense of the everyday. And James Wong Howe’s work (especially in the brand new restoration that screened at the LFF) is jaw-dropping.

    But then, I like Peyton Place and Little Children (which are hardly made in equivalent modes) too.

  • 23 10-16-2010 at 6:09 pm

    Rashad said...

    JJ: I thought it was a very good film, butI don’t know why everyone is so hot about Lawrence’s performance. The real standout was John Hawkes.

  • 24 10-16-2010 at 6:27 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Rashad, true. Lawrence was … impressive? I guess. Steady. But yes, I completely agree, the movie came alive (a little bit) when Hawkes was onscreen.

  • 25 10-16-2010 at 9:22 pm

    Glenn said...

    The “Jackass” movie debuting at #1 with so much money is a far less idiotic choice than some of the other films that have been released lately. It’s not really my cuppa, but I actually kinda respect Knoxville. To each their own.

    Completely agreed with JJ1 re “Winter’s Bone”. I just didn’t feel any oomph behind that movie. Meh, what can ya do? And “Frozen River” was my #1 movie of 2008.

  • 26 10-16-2010 at 9:40 pm

    Angry Shark said...

    loyal, what the fuck. Given that you were an ardent defender of Avatar, you have no right to accuse anything of being cartoonish.

  • 27 10-16-2010 at 10:31 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    Yeah, I guess I just don’t like melodrama. In fact, I can’t recall one melodramatic film that I like, but everyone has there own preferences. Guy, I do want want to know though what you mean by “observational digressions”? Are there any scene’s of Picnic in particular that you are referring to?

  • 28 10-16-2010 at 11:00 pm

    al b. said...

    Agreed with Chad!

    Jackass 3-D is awesome! The second film is king, but the 3-D work was good in the new movie!

  • 29 10-16-2010 at 11:22 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Kurosawa is probably my all time favorite director. Seven Samurai happens to be my #1 all time favorite film, so you can imagine I’m pretty stoked for the Criterion blu-ray coming out this Tuesday. It’s too bad Criterion lost the rights to Ran, easily my pick for his second best film, and it got such a sub-par blu-ray from Studio Canal. Oh well. I bought it anyways, it was cheap.

    I am, however, ashamed to say I’ve only really seen his samurai films, except High and Low, and Drunken Angel. I will have to get on that.

    I any case, I’ll be watching some old classics this week. Seven Samurai, Apocalypse Now, and Psycho. Austin Film Fest starts on Thursday, pretty stoked for that. Hopefully the TBA titles kick ass too, it would make for a really great program this year on top of the already great lineup they have as of now.

  • 30 10-16-2010 at 11:38 pm

    pilfering monk said...

    Drunken Angel is a tremendous film, and possibly Kurosawa’s most underrated.

    I’m very excited to view The Way Back. I’m more a fan of Weir’s early work, and I found the trailer very enticing.

  • 31 10-17-2010 at 5:11 am

    Loyal said...

    Angry Shark, one thing has very little to do with the other.

    I’ve never been to Pandora so I can’t comment on how cartoony vs real that film was but I’ve been to the Ozarks, those areas in Missouri, and the film didn’t seem genuine to me.

  • 32 10-17-2010 at 8:03 am

    James D. said...

    I saw I Am Love over the weekend, and was sad to see so little information about the film on this site other than Lodge’s review. It might be my favorite film of the year. What did everyone else think?

  • 33 10-17-2010 at 8:29 am

    JJ1 said...

    I thought I Am Love was absolutely gorgeous. Tilda, given an underwritten role (in my opinion) was excellent. I loved the mood of the movie. But I wasn’t as wild about the story, or the choices made by certain characters in the end.

  • 34 10-17-2010 at 8:37 am

    Andrew M said...

    I’ve been watching Kerosawa for the past month. All of my favorites are mentioned above, but I also love High and Low. Quite different from his other films.

  • 35 10-17-2010 at 12:02 pm

    Georgia said...

    I love Kurosawa too (who doesn’t). I think a good Kurosawa to go with The Way Back would be Dersou Ozala, which is set in Siberia (some part of northern Russia?). Kurosawa made it when he was having such trouble getting funding in Japan. I remember it as a kind of evocative one man/the natural world around him pic.

  • 36 10-17-2010 at 12:52 pm

    Davin said...

    Enough said. I love Winter’s Bone irrationally, 127 Hours will not meet the same fate as Conviction or Hereafter given the toronto critical poll which labelled it the second best film at the festival, second to Meek’s Cutoff. I am thoroughly not interested The Way Back, although I love The Truman Show irrationally as well.
    Alice for Best Picture? LMAO

  • 37 10-17-2010 at 1:06 pm

    Christian said...

    I adore Kurosawa’s “One Wonderful Sunday,” while it doesn’t appeal to all it is my personal favorite of all of his films; what can I say, I’m a hopeless romantic, so the film plays to my own sensibilities. “Drunken Angel” is a good Kurosawa choice, as well as “Yojimbo” which is just pure fun, and I’d say if you like some of Kurosawa’s more humanist fare like “Ikiru” or “One Wonderful Sunday” you can’t go wrong with “Redbeard” (my second favorite Kurosawa film behind “One Wonderful Sunday”). For me, the samurai films can sometimes lose the humanist touch that I love so much about Kurosawa, but “Seven Samurai” and “The Hidden Fortress” are always good to revisit, alongside “Rashomon” and “Throne of Blood”. “Kagemusha” is probably my least favorite Kurosawa, I just can not get in to it, and while “Ran” is breathtaking in scope, it still is not as good as his older works.

  • 38 10-17-2010 at 1:31 pm

    MovieMan said...

    James D.: “I Am Love” is a masterpiece. Certainly the film of the year, and Swinton deserves an Oscar for the role. Incredible film.

  • 39 10-17-2010 at 5:34 pm

    Duncan Houst said...

    I have heard less than great things about “127 Hours”. As a matter of fact, I’ve heard things that are simply negative. If you take a look at the Rotten Tomatoes page, you’ll see that it’s not universal adoration going for it. There’s a very likely chance of a backlash.

  • 40 10-17-2010 at 6:04 pm

    Andrew M said...

    127 Hours RT page only has 11 reviews, and only 2 rotten ones. Also the film blogs, who aren’t counted on the site, have mostly given the movie positive reviews. I don’t know for sure, not until more people see it, but I don’t see a backlash coming for the film.

  • 41 10-17-2010 at 7:43 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Georgia: Funny you should mention that, as it was a stated influence on the film. Weir mentioned it in my interview with him from Telluride:

  • 42 10-17-2010 at 7:46 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Also, the “less than great things” Duncan may have heard about 127 Hour aside, it’s an absolute hit in the critical community. And as Andrew said, there are only 11 reviews counted, and I know countless people who haven’t published reviews (most wait until release, mind you) who love the film.

    I think you’re reaching for something that’s not there, Duncan.

  • 43 10-18-2010 at 12:07 am

    Angry Shark said...

    No, Loyal, my thing is that I’m astounded that you’re bothered by supposedly cartoonish depictions of people from the Ozarks, but you’re totally cool with noble savages and eeeeeeeevil military men. Why be upset at the former, and praise the latter?

  • 44 10-18-2010 at 6:41 am

    Mike_M said...

    Jackass 3D was a great time in theaters, it got my $15 this weekend, I remember watching underground tapes of these when I first started college and then Jackass came out. I love it. Seven Samurai finally comes out on Blu this week, can’t wait to watch that, but wont get it til next week when House on Blu ships with it.