CINEJABBER: Way out in the water, see it swimming

Posted by · 11:38 am · November 20th, 2010

Catch up with the idea behind these weekend posts here.

The photo to the right represents the early haul on screeners this year.  Usually this time of year I find myself delighting in second and sometimes third viewings of this or that, but oddly enough, I still have some catch-up to do.

I’m glad the documentary field has been narrowed down, so I can focus on a smaller group, but there are even a number of films from earlier in the year that I haven’t bothered to put in the player yet.  What is it?  Laziness?  Lack of interest?  Too busy?  I don’t know.  My mind is gone.

It’s a weirdly sluggish year on the whole as advertising has held off until late November/early December for the most part.  This time last year we still had three films to see.  With “TRON Legacy” going before junket press in the last few days, we’re left with just one film to bow: “True Grit.” So Jeff Bridges gets to crash the Oscar party two years in a row.

I want to go out and catch “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1,” but I really just think it would be like painting a Picasso on a Pollack given how much of my recollection of that series has turned to mush.  But who has the time to watch the whole franchise over again?  It would be a shame to exit the year having missed this first installment of the final chapter, but I’d rather give it a chance to stand out in my mind.

Let’s see.  I’ve been digging into the “Avatar” extended edition Blu-ray, which is GLORIOUS.  More on that in a separate post still to come.  I’ve got a stack of Netflixed Kurosawa joints just sitting on my TV stand, waiting for me to come up for air.  And hey, it’d be nice to, you know, read a book or something.  Ha, RIGHT.

Well, it’s raining hard today in Los Angeles.  Maybe I can buckle down and marathon through some of this “to-do” list.  But anyway, that’s really all I have for you.  So, as usual, you know the routine.  Open thread.  Have at it.

→ 34 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Cinejabber

34 responses so far

  • 1 11-20-2010 at 12:31 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Wish I had a buttload of screeners to go through. :( My time will come I guess. Just gotta keep chugging along and hoping my blog catches on and people start reading it. Been musing over the films I’ve seen this year, trying to sort them all out in my head and get ready for year-end rankings. If I were to rank the films I’ve seen so far, it would be

    1. Black Swan
    2. Inception
    3. 127 Hours
    4. How to Train Your Dragon
    5. The Social Network
    6. Toy Story 3
    7. Shutter Island
    8. The Town
    9. The American
    10. Winter’s Bone
    Honorable mention: Meek’s Cutoff (since it’s not a 2010 release)

    I still have yet to see The King’s Speech, The Way Back, True Grit, The Fighter, The Illusionist, Rabbit Hole, Made in Dagenham, Tron Legacy, and The Kids Are All Right.

    Holy crap that Avatar Extended Edition is indeed incredible. Take an already great film and make it 100% better, with tons of special features. Definitely one of the best blu-ray releases this year (right behind Seven Samurai, my all time favorite film, and The Thin Red Line).

    NBR announces their winners, in what, two weeks? Or one? I feel like by this time last year critics and awards bodies had already started to chime in, but maybe it’s just a slow fall season, it certainly doesn’t feel like fall yet, still in the 70s all day here in Texas.

  • 2 11-20-2010 at 12:38 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    I’m surprised that HPatDHP1’s Sound Mixing has gone unmentioned, it really struck me as excellent.

  • 3 11-20-2010 at 12:45 pm

    Angry Shark said...

    This year, I basically have to only go for what I may like, because I’m low on money. So I won’t see The King’s Speech, or Made in Dagenham, or Love and Other Drugs. I’m probably already gonna end up draining my bank account for film in December.
    127 Hours
    Black Swan
    The Fighter
    True Grit
    Faster (I have no idea why, but something irresistibly compels me to see it)
    Another Year
    Rabbit Hole

    ugh how am I gonna afford all that?

  • 4 11-20-2010 at 1:18 pm

    Maxim said...

    I’m looking forward to “How Do You Know”. To me it is almost as much of a great unknown as “True Grit”.

  • 5 11-20-2010 at 1:19 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Why is there so much buzz for How Do You Know? The trailer looked really mediocre to me, like any other rom com out there, am I missing something?

  • 6 11-20-2010 at 1:33 pm

    Adam said...

    I simultaneously love and hate it when you post the pictures of your screeners. I get so jealous.

  • 7 11-20-2010 at 2:23 pm

    Duncan Houst said...

    So what are those titles in the picture? I can’t quite see.

  • 8 11-20-2010 at 2:25 pm

    Eli said...

    I caught up on 127 Hours this week, and loved it (a good deal more than Slumdog Millionaire). I thought the way Danny Boyle styled the story was phenomenal.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on some of those early screeners, especially those for movies you haven’t seen yet. There are definitely some in that photo that I’m curious about.

  • 9 11-20-2010 at 2:52 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Went and saw Unstoppable purely based on the good reviews it got, and it really isn’t that good. It’s an enjoyable Friday night at home rental, but I’m really rather shocked the critics gave it such a pass. Tony Scott’s over-reliance on style really does get in the way of this one, since it’s such a straightforward, simply story that really would be served better with less frenzy. It was refreshing seeing an action movie that at least felt nearly fully devoid of CGI though, I’ll give it that.

    Gonna see Somewhere and Red next week, and then Harry Potter somewhere down the line when the craze dies off a bit.

  • 10 11-20-2010 at 3:16 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Actually the stuff I’m catching up on, other than It’s Kind of a Funny Story, isn’t in the photo. Just a stack of loose sleeve screeners on the TV stand, waiting.

  • 11 11-20-2010 at 4:56 pm

    MovieMan said...

    I severely disliked “I Love You Phillip Morris.” I thought it had a horrible, fakey tone and Jim Carrey’s performance was nothing to write home about. It’s sad, because the film had the potential to be greatly dark. It just ended up being pitiful in my mind.

  • 12 11-20-2010 at 4:57 pm

    Ben M. said...

    Sure, there are still plenty of films I plan on seeing and a few others (like Love & Other Drugs, Made in Dagenham, and Blue Valentine) that I’m guessing I won’t see but may get to depending on how things turn out.

    But I feel the year has a pretty clear focus, right now my top ten for US releases in 2010 is
    1. The Secret in their Eyes
    2. Toy Story 3
    3. Let Me In
    4. Another Year
    5. The Ghost Writer
    6. Red Riding
    7. The Tillman Story
    8. A Prophet
    9. Hubble 3D
    10. The Kids Are All Right
    and I feel pretty good with that list, even if I suppose 8-10 could fall off depending on how the rest of the year’s slate turns out.

    Saw Deathly Hollows Pt. 1 and The Next Three Days this weekend and wasn’t impressed by either. Also, since Tron Legacy is screening, is there any word on how it is turning out (that, along with True Grit, is the yet to be reviewed film which I’m most curious about)?

  • 13 11-20-2010 at 5:49 pm

    Loyal said...

    Finally watched Catfish (and the 20/20 interview). Really enjoyed it BUT many of the events were misrepresented and manipulated. There shouldn’t be any debate about it, it’s about as real as Harry Potter.

  • 14 11-20-2010 at 6:03 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    You think it’s fake, fine, but there’s plenty of room for debate so try not to paint the whole with your perspective. I stand by it being somewhere in the middle.

  • 15 11-20-2010 at 6:05 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    Catfish is a documentary, fact or fiction. A documentary doesn’t need to be non-fiction to be classified as a documentary. It’s a narrative format, not a history book.

  • 16 11-20-2010 at 7:45 pm

    Mitchell said...

    Daniel Day-Lewis cast as Spielberg’s Lincoln!! How awesome is that!

  • 17 11-20-2010 at 7:52 pm

    red_wine said...

    The word on Tron Legacy is just what we expected, sex for the eyes and ears but lame script.

  • 18 11-20-2010 at 8:13 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I also found Catfish to be somewhere in the ‘middle’.

  • 19 11-20-2010 at 9:26 pm

    jake said...

    I really wish that a comedy or dramedy made it into the top 10 — like Love and other drugs and How do you know and really hope that Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway and especially the great Paul Rudd gets nods. Paul Rudd for best supporting actor.

  • 20 11-20-2010 at 10:26 pm

    Maxim said...

    “Catfish is a documentary, fact or fiction. A documentary doesn’t need to be non-fiction to be classified as a documentary. It’s a narrative format, not a history book.”

    I completely disagree. If it were so then the very word “documentary” would have no meaning.

  • 21 11-21-2010 at 4:23 am

    Graysmith said...

    I’m with Maxim on that one. The very definition of the word documentary means something that is a factual and non-fictional. As such, any film that is ambiguous in this regard (like Catfish, I’m Still Here) can’t and shouldn’t be considered a documentary.

  • 22 11-21-2010 at 4:52 am

    Loyal said...


    Kris, I do believe that Angela reached out to Nev and that she fabricated all the Facebook accounts to hide her real life. And that’s pretty much the end of the reality portion of things. A quick (quick as in 60 second) search online by Nev, Ariel, or Henry would have been unraveled the entire mystery almost instantaneously.

    We’re supposed to believe that those three slick good-looking New Yorkers fell for it? Fell for multiple Facebook accounts that have had a few dozen friends each? I’ve only had Facebook for a little over a year for work and I started out with several hundred friends. A hot virgin model artist in Michigan with 16 Facebook friends!? That’s not a blooming romance, that’s a spam bot.

    Not to mention they could have easily sorted out Abby’s gallery, again with a basic web search. It’s not reasonable to believe that they would not have googled her out of curiosity. It’s the web! A child prodigy selling works of art for $7,000 but no record in Michigan of interviews or stories? Just from a business or even creative perspective, they would not have filmed Nev without checking on these things. It doesn’t make a lick of sense.

    Here’s what really happened:

    Angela reached out to Nev. Nev and Co. almost instantly realized what was up and played along, “acting” the roles on film until they arrived in Michigan. There were a few genuine moments there because of what they discovered. For example, they was no way to know about Angela’s real family, the handicapped sons, etc. But they knew almost from the time they received the first painting what they wouldn’t find in Michigan.

    Angela also did her share of acting as well. There was a very telling part of the 20/20 interview where she mentioned that she told Nev that she hoped “he was filming this entire thing.” She knew that he would eventually show up or interview her point blank on the phone and that the documentary and her web of deceit would benefit her work, reality tv style. It’s nearly certain she dialed up certain aspects over the 8 months.

    I know some people like to say Nev exploited Angela but I think they exploited each other.

    What’s written above doesn’t take away from how interesting the story is but to call it a documentary is really a stretch. It has more in common with The Real Cancun, MTV’s first foray into reality film or 2008’s American Teen than it does any reputable slice of life documentary.

  • 23 11-21-2010 at 8:44 am

    Kyle said...

    You’re missing nothing by not seeing Harry Potter, I caught it last night and I must say it is duller than dirt and there is absolutely no reason (other than money) that this film should have been two parts. Other than one event, almost nothing happens in it.

    Also, the film could have used a more subtler hand than David Yates. Quite a few “on the nose” moments I have to say.

  • 24 11-21-2010 at 9:22 am

    Jacob S. said...

    @Jake: I think “The Kids Are All Right” is a Comedy-Drama that will make the top 10.

    Do studios ever send Blu-Ray screeners, or only DVDs?

  • 25 11-21-2010 at 9:26 am

    jimmy said...

    Kris , you lucky bastard ! You received all these great dvd screeners. You are living the good life. And, you should never complain whatsoever.

    Off topic, Anne Hathaway absolutely killed on SNL last night- the best episode this season. Anne may be a better host than Betty White. Hathaway pulled-off a great Judy Garland ( lovely singing voice) , Kate Middleton, and Katie Holmes. Anne was just on fire last night ! I want to see any of her young female peers equal her great performances last night.

  • 26 11-21-2010 at 10:09 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Again, Loyal, I think it’s somewhere in the middle. I think the “discovery” portion of the film was fabricated for the most part, but that’s hardly where the reality ends. Or else Angela gives the single greatest screen acting debut of all time. And I don’t think it has to be pure slice of life to be “reputable.”

  • 27 11-21-2010 at 10:13 am

    James D. said...

    Hooray for Catfish spoilers out of nowhere!

  • 28 11-21-2010 at 10:22 am

    Loyal said...

    Angela did to a degree Kris. I don’t know, we mostly agree. I just think it’s more reality tv than actual documentary.

    I honestly didn’t think of spoilers James, I apologize. I guess my posts can be deleted so no one else is spoiled. Sorry.

  • 29 11-21-2010 at 11:19 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Apologies, James. I tried to be vague.

  • 30 11-21-2010 at 11:22 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I would call reality TV documentaries.

  • 31 11-21-2010 at 11:23 am

    Paul Outlaw said...

    [averting my eyes to avoid Catfish spoilers]

    Saw Barney’s Version, Black Swan, The Fighter and Another Year this weekend (Thu- Sat). Exhausted, especially by Another Year.

    Barney’s Version is my least favorite kind of film, a fairly traditional biopic (albeit fictional). Rosamund Pike and Dustin Hoffman were terrific, but I was never convinced that Paul Giamatti could have snagged such hot women as his three wives. Maybe I shoulda read the book first…

    Black Swan = mindblowing. Still processing.

    The Fighter has pushed The King’s Speech out of the #1 spot on my Best Picture contender list. It’s a movie I found myself loving despite my best efforts to resist its manipulations, and I have a feeling most viewers will embrace it wholeheartedly. The SAG audience at the screening was über-enthusiastic, and the director and four leads were the picture of mutual appreciation. David O. Russell and Christian Bale (sporting Jesus Christ hair & beard and a British accent) were particularly audience-friendly. By the way, I haven’t ever heard the word “fuck” used so liberally during a Q&A. If Conviction hadn’t already died an awards season death, this movie would have buried it, between Melissa Leo’s contrasting roles in the two films; Christian Bale giving a revelatory performance in a role a bit too similar to Sam Rockwell’s; and Amy Adams flipping the script and making you wonder how she would have handled the role of Betty Anne Waters. All that said, I still don’t see Mark Wahlberg as Best Actor material.

    Another Year had a similar effect on me as Black Swan, but for different reasons. Need to chew on that one for awhile. Lesley Manville is neither lead nor supporting, by the way. There’s no category for her role here, except Best (in) Ensemble.

    Still need to see 127 Hours, The Way Back, How Do You Know, True Grit, For Colored Girls and (do I have to?) Harry Potter…

  • 32 11-21-2010 at 7:04 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    Where is your mind, Kris Tapley? Where is your mind?

  • 33 11-21-2010 at 9:02 pm

    Fitz said...

    Would really like to see Shutter Island come out with some fyc’s. Otherwise Inception will be the only lead push DiCaprio will be getting. Which would be a shame.

  • 34 11-22-2010 at 7:12 am

    Keil Shults said...

    vamos a jugar por la playa