Dec 15 2011

Movie of the Day: Doubt

Sean Stanley

Meryl Fucking Streep.

Dec 15 2011

Movie of the Day: 50/50

Sean Stanley

I heard it was good but I still had my doubts; “ugh, the cancer comedy”, was my immediate reaction every time I saw the trailer… and I like Rogen. I just figured it’s such a fine line that no matter what it’s gotta be a bit of a downer. And the film is a bit of a downer, the title is apt in that the movie is sliced 50/50 comedy/drama…. but it does handle it very well. I enjoyed the movie, I thought it was very good, it’s emotionally charged, and it’s essentially a drama with a lot of funny moments courtesy of Seth Rogen – this has some of Rogen’s funniest lines since Knocked Up, his casual asides work great here. I got caught up in the flick, but it’s not going to be a film I watch often. Written by Rogen’s real-life friend Will Reiser, based on his own experience, and well directed by Jonathan Levine (The Wackness). Both Rogen and Levine certainly like their weed, but they can handle their high.

Dec 14 2011

Movie of the Day: Hugo

Sean Stanley

It’s wonderful! A film for film buffs. I don’t really care for 3D, but Marty made this work. Sasha Baron Cohen was delightful, and the tale itself is very touching.

Nov 29 2011

Movie of the Day: The Descendants

Sean Stanley

Around the time of About Schmidt, I was certainly not an Alexander Payne fan… and then something strange happened over the last few years while Payne wasn’t making movies and his stuff inexplicably grew on me. Like a weed.

A couple years ago, I revisited Election and I really dug the flick (the reason for said revisitation was that in 2009 Rakehell Honoree Kris Gonzalez gave me a vhs copy and in HQ we only had vcr at the time, and it had been long enough since the last viewing). But upon it’s initial release, I recall thinking “who the fuck is there to like in this movie?”, it had those cynical arrogant touches that rubbed me the wrong way, so to speak – Rushmore came out around the same time and I was much more partial to Max Fischer than Tracy Flick. Payne’s last flick was Sideways, which came out in 2004, so he hasn’t been around in a while. And it turns out I missed the fucker. I didn’t like About Schmidt at all at the time, it pissed me off, yet, for the ire it mustered, I still admired the man’s work – he got in under the skin and he did it well; I liked his filmmaking ability but who wants to hangouts with a bunch of humourless pricks for two hours??

For many years, in Flixx Video Store, there sat a copy of Citizen Ruth that only rented when people had to do papers on abortion, but I looked at that flick, time and time again and thought about watching it many times… I think I heard about it just as a ‘hot indie movie’ when it came out years earlier, when there was such a thing as an indie movie… but I never did watch it, so finally, after digging Election, I went back and grabbed Citizen Ruth off the proverbial digital shelf and holy shit did I fucking love it… Laura Dern is fucking incredible in that flick. And it’s hilarious. I couldn’t believe no one had recommended it to me earlier… rock solid comedy.

Today, I went and checked out The Descendants, his new flick (that finally came to the city I live in) starring sexy-man Clooney… and a bizarre cast that worked wonderfully – from Beau Bridges to Matthew Lillard (“what the fuck is he doing here?” I thought when I saw him, but Payne knows how to iron out what would seem to be kinks – he also did it with Chris Klein in Election). A standout in the flick though is the girl who plays Clooney’s eldest daughter, Shailene Woodley. That girl’s going places… and she damn well deserves it. The stoner in the flick is pretty funny too. Payne handles immature humour, brash zingers, and ridiculous non-sequitors well. A film about family, land, relationships, that is not without it’s biting Payne-filled touches, which I’ve come to enjoy. Hawaii is fantastically displayed throughout the movie – the place probably never seemed so gray on film yet used so well.

Nov 26 2011

Movie of the Day: Northfork

Sean Stanley

A masterpiece from back in the day that didn’t get it’s due!! I thought by now this movie would’ve caught on in small circles, but I hear no one talking about it and it fucking deserves it. Edit for edit, whim for whim, it’s one of the most original and accomplished films of the last decade and it went by unnoticed by the world at large. Rakehell Honoree Bob Crook turned me on to this when it came out and this was about a couple months after it’s release and I distinctly recall Bob’s scornful cry coming through the line from BC, “You haven’t seen NORTHFORK!?!?” This was a call to arms… and ever since that first viewing, visions of this film still pop up in my mind. I remember thinking at the time that it was something David Lynch would be interested in.

Anyhow, I’m rambling… here’s another one for the Movie of the Day column – the Polish Bros’ Northfork. Not for those “who don’t get shit but like shit”. The Polish Bros know what they’re doing with a camera – Twin Falls Idaho wasn’t my thing subject-wise but damn did it ever look good and go together fantastically. Never saw Jackpot! or Astronaut Farmer… always am tempted by the Farmer when I see it combing through bins though.

Nov 19 2011

Movie of the Day: Attack The Block

Sean Stanley

“It’s raining Gremlins!” – if you love movies where a gang bands together to kick some ass, see this flick immediately! It’s fun as hell and doesn’t cheap out on the action of violence. Damn fine feature debut by writer/director Joe Cornish.

Nov 18 2011

Movie of the Day: Midnight in Paris

Sean Stanley

Loved it. Felt refreshing for Allen. Especially after the completely forgettable You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. This one is filled with whimsy and delight – it seems as though Allen was having a lot of fun putting words into the mouths of mountains. Owen Wilson is great here, as the lofty writer who stumbles into the Paris of the 1920’s chockfull of all his favourite writers. Marion Cotillard, Allison Pill, and Corey Stoll (who plays a humourously fight-crazy Ernest Hemingway) put in very enjoyable performances as well. And that sexy bitch Darius Khondji captures Paris beautifully – worth it for the first three minutes alone!

Oct 21 2011

Movie of the Day: Can’t Stop

Sean Stanley

Conan O’ Brien Can’t Stop – the documentary detailing Conan’s Legally Prohibited to Appear on Television Tour… He was off the Tonight Show, and wasn’t allowed on the internet, TV, or the radio… and so he hit the road, in the true old vaudeville way and it looks like a hell of a tour. Angry, raw, uninhibited, hilarious, and downright Coco. Any fan of the man will appreciate the doc. Lots of behind-the-scenes writer’s room footage; Conan torturing his assistant; Andy bringing the funny and his appetite… it’s great to see the heartwrenching debacle with NBC turn into something great for Conan.

Oct 5 2011

Movie Of The Day: Drive

Sean Stanley

Well, it’s been a hell of a long time since we’ve posted a Movie of the Day… for a couple reasons – been extremely busy editing, and I haven’t seen all that much lately that has been excellent.  Anyhow, today, we bring it back swinging!  Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive slams itself into the Movie of the Day column with love and violence.  The opening of the movie is a powerhouse, the soundtrack kicks fucking ass, and the pace, style, feel, and tone of the whole film is perfect.  Refn has made the Movie of the Day section before with his hellish violent meditation on vikings, Valhalla Rising, and this film is just as badass as that flick.  About a Hollywood stunt driver, Gosling, by day, and a getaway driver by night.  The film had tones very similar to Walter Hill’s The Driver, which is a also a great flick about a heist getaway driver.  Anyhow, loved the movie…. Drive‘s Los Angeles at night looks the best L.A has on film since Heat.  Certainly one of the best of the year.  Also, the crowd was roaring at parts, totally into the flick… it was great, Rakehell Honoree Shannon Laing exclaimed at one point, ‘Holy Shit!  This movie just got fucking crazy!’  And that, my friends, is a good night at the movies.

Jun 3 2011

Movie of the Day: Owning Mahowny

Sean Stanley

Great Canadian Flick! Even uses the Falls well… Hoffman and Minnie Driver are great in this flick about a compulsive gambler. Owning Mahowny, directed by Richard Kwietniowski (I have never seen a movie by this guy before, but apparently he did Love and Death On Long Island). One of the best gambling flicks ever? Perhaps. Hoffman’s descent into debt madness is inevitable, cringing, and captivating.

This flick was a constant renter at the video store I used to work at, Flixx, and I always intended to watch it, but never got around to it. My friend Jeff gave me a copy of the dvd the other day, and it was sitting on the library shelf, when Heinz saw it and urged me to see it immediately, and I’m glad that I did… I meant to put it in the Movie of the Day file a couple months back, but caught up in making movies and things, however, it was just on TV now, and I rewatched it and it is indeed in need of a recommendation.