September 30, 2007
The Chargers are breaking my heart.

September 29, 2007
"There Will Be Blood" Scores Big

So even just after the one screening, P.T.A's "There Will Be Blood" seems to ave hit a grand slam from the get-go. And really, was there ever any doubt? Not in my mind, and certainly not after reading such a brilliant script like that.

I'm not saying it's going to win Best Picture -- it might not even get the nom -- but it's nice to hear one of the year's most anticipated movies not get destroyed upon sight, don't ya think?

September 28, 2007
"No Country for Old Men" is the wicked, twisted half-brother of "Fargo," but with half the thematic resilience, a third of the poignancy and perhaps none of the ultimate impact.

It's the headline that lept to mind after tonight's wholly unsatisfying screening. The review will have to follow at another time...

September 18, 2007
Apologist Gangster

A big round of applause tonight for the unquestionably well-made "American Gangster." I have problems with it, mostly with its final act and notions it tosses about a bit too casually (he turned in it's all good). But the film absolutely kills in most every respect, solid acting, greatly honed and paced editing from a true master, Pietro Scalia, and a soundtrack that would make Martin Scorsese tap his foot.

More later, though I'm sure opinions will be hitting the net with a fury tonight and tomorrow. But for now, though it isn't the slam I thought it would be, I still think we have another Best Picture contender to keep "Atonement" company.

September 14, 2007
The year's most overrated movie and the best movie in nearly a decade, both in the same day.

Funny how that works out.

September 12, 2007
"Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"

Yet another phenomenal film that will have to wait a bit longer for a review of substance, but I wanted to get some thoughts out after this morning's screening. It's the sort of film that could have just been a throwaway without the two central - and pitch-perfect - performances from Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke. I have no doubt their game was amped up a number of levels due to the presence of a living legend behind the camera.

More later. So many screenings this week you can likely expect a barrage of reviews in the coming days. LA has become Toronto-lite.

September 11, 2007
"Lust, Caution": A near masterpiece

I'm going to do my best to crank out a full review tomorrow. Lots of screenings and peripheral work to push through, but for now, my only complaint is, at two hours and forty minutes, it should have been longer.

September 08, 2007
Venice never ceases to surprise

Cate Blanchett should come as no surprise but Brad Pitt and "Lust, Caution"? I highly doubt this means anything stateside but it sures shows that Venice is its own beast. And I'll admit it makes me look forward a tad more to both efforts.

I also must say that I can't wait to see how Rodrigo Prieto has filmed Lee's latest.

September 07, 2007
Could "There Will Be Blood" be the year's most anticipated film?

It very well may be the case. Every one I talk to is excited for this film, even PTA detractors. EVERYONE. It just seems to be the film that pops up more often than any other film when discussing the season ahead, and with the release of materials this week (a stellar poster and an amazing new trailer), the excitement is just building and building.

You know where I stand. I can't wait.

So...Hal Holbrook...

Never been nominated for an Oscar. People are telling me that, though he's only in the last fifteen minutes or so of "Into the Wild," it's exactly the kind of role/performance/actor that could get a significant supporting actor push from the studio.

September 04, 2007
Why Fox Searchlight is way ahead of the Oscar game...

Arriving in the mail today were screeners of "The Namesake," "Once" and "Waitress," fit with For Your Consideration copy on the inner sleaves and all in one nice, neat package. It's SEPTEMBER, folks, and barely, at that. Talk about getting the word out early. And there's still the wave of "The Savages," "Sunshine" and "The Darjeeling Limited" to come, later in the season.

This also says something about programming your year in a smart fashion. Searchlight is the only studio that comes to mind which has had a steady flow of potential awards product throughout 2007, rather than backloading the year in the fall glut.

"Juno" looking like a blindside hit...

It's still not 100% complete, but Jason Reitman's latest, "Juno," has been hitting the latter year festival circuit out of the blue and is leaving smiling faces in its wake. Among other things, perhaps an original screenplay contender has been born. The script was penned by first timer (and former stripper) Diablo Cody. According to IMDb, she has a cat named "Douchepacker." I love her already.

September 03, 2007
Finally caught up with the season finale...

And somehow I just KNEW "Medellin" was going to blow chunks.