40 Comments


  1. Andrew James says:

    Apologies to Hatter. I think I didn’t read your homework assignment on the show. I was going to read yours to coincide with Sean’s, who had the same answer as you. I read his and then all hell broke loose on Quick Change before I got to yours I think.

    On behalf of Kurt and Matt, I apologize.

    • Between your takes on Quick Change & Tiny Furniture, I may need to reevaluate our movie-freak relationship, sir : )

      • rot says:

        Andrew is on a downward spiral, I am convinced he has rating dyslexia, he likes Domino but not The Grey, likes Mission to Mars but not Quick Change?!

        • Andrew James says:

          I don’t dislike The Grey or Quick Change. I just don’t see what’s hilarious about the latter or interesting in the slightest about the former.

          I’ll take Groundhog Day or Stripes or Ghostbusters any day of the week over Quick Change. But you guys find the cliche in Easy-A hilarious too – which is beyond baffling to me.

          So I guess with comedy we just cannot agree.

  2. Nat Almirall says:

    My goal now is to keep coming up with really good movies you guys haven’t seen. By the way, here’s some proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBRMaieaLdU — and I’m having a lot of fun with this week’s assignment.

  3. Kurt Halfyard says:

    I’m all for that! I always need a kick in the pants to go back and find movies I’ve missed out on or have fallen between the cracks. Plus, Anthony Shaeffer is awesome (he wrote Hitchcock’s FRENZY and Hardy’s original THE WICKER MAN).

    Oddly enough the film’s trailer reminds me of another overlooked Michael Caine play-to-film gem, Sidney Lumet’s DEATHTRAP.

  4. I saw The Borrowers (which was released in 1997). It was a decent family film.

    John Goodman was the villain and Jim Broadbent was the Borrowers patriarch.

    http://imdb.to/yligqT

  5. Andrew James says:

    re: Act of Valor

    Here are excerpts of a review over at indeWire. The guy may have inadvertently sold me:

    “The story of ‘Act Of Valor’ is strictly streamlined b-movie territory.”

    “…group of grunts who deploy and become killing machines, never missing their targets. They’re brave, heroic, and tough enough to take a rocket launcher to the chest and live.”

    “It’s a nihilist’s approach to filmmaking, common to modern American cinema in that it wants shit to blow up good, but doesn’t care about why, or what, the repercussions might be.”

    “… leading to the SEALs intercepting a yacht housing a terrorist operative who surrounds himself with bikini-clad supermodels.”

    “…cynical exercise in graphic violence…”

    Dunno. Sounds kind of like The Expendables to me.

    • Kurt says:

      You’re on your own with that one. Let me know if it hits the Apocalypto ‘sweet-spot’ but I’m expecting a lot of Boo-Yah Semper-Fi shenanigrams. Not my thing.

      • Andrew James says:

        Mack @Twitch said it’s pretty run-of-the-mill action stuff. As for it being an advert for the military, that actually makes it something worth talking about.

        I remain skeptical. That said, I liked Black Hawk Down and The Expendables et. al. I don’t really see how this is much different than those – other than the gimmick of real seals.

        • CS says:

          I guess the only real difference with those films was that they each had a large cast of known actors that could help draw both men and women into the theatre.

          I find the marketing for the film, at least in Canada, to be rather strange. I have seen several ads on televisions that are trying to sell Act of Valor and Goon as “guys night out” double bill. They are literary intercutting both films together with no real connection besides the fact there is violence in the both films.

      • David Brook says:

        It makes such a big deal about being the ‘real story’ of life in the Navy SEALS though that it just comes across as grossly insensitive. Plus the fact that it’s blatantly one long, expensive advert for signing up. It’s blatantly going to be full to the brim with jingoistic bullshit as well that I just can’t stomach.

        I don’t know, I love a good action B-movie, but the trailer for this really bothered me.

        • Kurt says:

          I think a lot of American’s view this stuff differently than Canucks or Brits David. Not radically differently, but just enough that for us, there is something off, something rather offensive about this film and how it is marketed.

  6. Rick Vance says:

    I will completely agree with you guys about the bluntness of the film version of AKIRA. I think that is partially because the movie is about teenagers and partially because the movie is a much abridged story.

    I love the movie for nostalgia and craft and this video perfectly shows why Kurt you will love this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBAJdtPVnZc

    A large chunk of my love for the film is also bleed through from the comic which if I am being honest I am a much larger fan of the comic medium than I am of film, and Akira is 2000 pages of the best drawn graphic fiction ever produced. It deserves all the connotations of epic that the movies glances at in passing because it has time to breathe.

    In many ways it is equivalent to Nausicaa and the Valley of Wind. That is a movie that was animated on 2 of 7 parts of a complete story (also written and drawn beautifully by Miyazaki) and likewise is a small piece of a much larger more character defined, plot defined tale. That is a series that took him 12 years to create inbetween making movies and it outstrips any of the films by large margin. It deals a lot more in Kingdoms and the desire for power and actual large scale conflicts. It is incredible.

  7. CS says:

    I caught Wild Life earlier this year at James McNally’s (Toronto Screen Shot, CAST Awards) inaugural Shorts That Are Not Pants series. Gamble pretty much nailed the film perfectly. It gets increasingly dark for the main character even though his letters home get increasing more joyful. Loved it.

    As for Tiny Furniture, I am about halfway through the film and rather enjoy it so far. However, I do see Andrew’s point about the several of the conversations coming across as being false. The characters try too hard to be “indie cool”, the friend she lets sleepover is a perfect example of this. Regardless, I hope to finish the film at some point this weekend.

  8. rot says:

    great now I got to watch Tiny Furniture, the list never ends.

    • I don’t think the interactions feel false at all in Tiny Furniture. Maybe Andrew needs to hang around more neurotic, wishy-washy and (sometimes) selfish people :)

      But I understand that it’s not always easy to sit through a movie where these are the predominant characteristics of the people we are supposed to sympathize with. Sometimes I love it (Greenberg) and sometimes I don’t (Margot at the Wedding). To me Tiny Furniture does feel like a Noam Baumbach movie crossed with Miranda July, but with more of a melancholy tone than a quirky one. You’ve got to have a lot of tolerance and empathy for characters who have no sense of identity, and seem to just wander aimlessly through life. And I KNOW people like that.

  9. KeithTalent says:

    Bullhead was great; the main guy was particularly awesome. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

    I actually really liked Margaret, kind of in spite of itself. The film is a mess, with characters and story lines that are barely touched (the Damon story seems like it is actually missing about 15 minutes of screen time) but I latched on to Paquin and liked going through the film with her.

    The movie really needed to be an hour longer and hopefully at some point I’ll get to watch a Director’s Cut. Oh and that death by bus was awesome; definitely over the top, but in a good way, and made better because it was Allison Janney who was split asunder. Massively flawed film, but it worked for me for whatever reason.

  10. Kurt says:

    I wonder if Gamble would like or dislike Movern Callar?

  11. I saw both the Animated and Live Action shorts.

    Matt was wrong in the number of short nominations (there are 5, with the Pixar one being the fifth). I liked the Flying Books one the best, even though it is very sentimental.

    There were actually some gems in the Live Action shorts. I highly recommend checking out either Pentecost or Time Freak, which are both awesome (and are also both the shortest nominated shorts).

    Raju has the best chance of actually winning (since it’s a serious drama).

    The Shore has the advantage of it staring Ciarán Hinds.

    Tuba Atlantic was just plain weird (yet enjoyable).

  12. Another Comment: I saw SMILEY FACE’s premiere screening at TIFF07 and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the film (it ended up being my second favourite film at the festival that year – Nothing is Private/Towelhead was first)

  13. DavidM says:

    Have just watched Arietty, by the way. Classic Ghibli, but positioned more towards the gentler end of their output (Totoro, Ponyo), than the more fantastical side, but charming to the last. I watched it on Blu-ray, and was knocked out by the rich level of detail and colour: it is, at times, ridiculously pretty. Anyone interested in animation needs to check this shit out.

    Also, I’m with Kurt, re: the Japanese dub vs the ‘Western’ dub. I don’t like subtitles scribbled over sumptuous animation, so West is best, imo. Plus the voice work is usually excellent – whereas the female leads in the Japanese versions tend to be a little to shrill for my tastes.

  14. Robert Reineke says:

    As a digression, I’m surprised that Matt didn’t note that The Curse is a loose adaptation of Lovecraft’s “The Colour Out of Space”.

    If I knew you were going to throw in clown makeup as eligible, I’d have thrown in Batman Returns for the homework assignment.

  15. rot says:

    Matt, you didn’t sell me on Margaret, but who knows, maybe it is a masterpiece.

    Andrew, I am halfway through Tiny Furniture, and enjoying it. The film you described is not the film I am seeing. What it reminds me of, certainly story-wise, is one of Jandy’s favorite films a couple years ago, A New Year. That and it is hits the mumblecore sweet spot I enjoy. I don’t find the main character an annoying bitch at all, she actually seems pretty convincingly aimless, and brought up in one of those pseudo-intellectual hyper-ironic environments, which, yeah, is like the characters Baumbach obsesses about.

    Keep the counter-recommendations coming… you hate, I love it.

  16. rot says:

    Kurt inspired me to watch Smiley Face a couple months back, and I am right there with him. Love it.

    • Kurt Halfyard says:

      For the Garfield Scene and the Unionizing Speech scenes alone, Smiley Face is worth a look. Everything else is sweet sweet gravy.

  17. Jay C. says:

    Once again I was surprised that what I thought was the most obvious answer didn’t show up in the homework: young Michael Meyers’ killing his sister while wearing a clown mask in the opening of Halloween (both original and remake (and I guess you could count Halloween 4 as well).

    I guess I should actually write in rather than adding to the conversation via the comments a week later.

  18. Kurt Halfyard says:

    Hell, I’d give points for Mike Myers wearing a William Shatner mask, The Bill qualifies as a clown on most days.

  19. Goon says:

    Here’s some late clown homework

    Shakes the Clown: Tom (aka Spongebob Squarepants) Kenny dressed in clown garb, beating his agent to death.

  20. rot says:

    Alright I held up my end of the deal Andrew, watched Mission to Mars, now watch Red Planet.

    http://letterboxd.com/rot/film/mission-to-mars/

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