Thursday, January 20, 2011

David O. Russell

Went to a screening of The Fighter tonight, which was part of a David O. Russell retrospective at the Museum of the Moving Image. Spike Jonze led the Q&A, probing into the director's musical and cinematic influences (spanning from Nirvana, Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarrantino) and uncovering some interesting insights and tidbits about his other films, like Spanking the Monkey and I Heart the Huckabees. At the beginning of the Q&A, David O. Russell pulled out a box of Altoids and Spike Jonze proceeded to dole out mints to the front row--so we all had fresh breath for the duration of the interview, which was pleasant! Rosie Perez also made an impromptu shout out from the middle of the theater, before heading out to get a burger. As for the The Fighter, it is a good film and turns out some phenomenal performances, especially Christian Bale, as Mickey Ward's brother, Dickey. Probably my favorite film of his to date.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Film in 2010 - Letdowns

For some reason, I didn't really get to hit the movies in 2010 the way I usually have in years past. I'm hoping that will change in 2011! That said, as we approach the Oscars, my next few posts will be dedicated to the highlights and lowlights of film in 2010.

I hate to be negative, but let's kick it off with my choices for The Biggest Let Downs of 2010. In other words, movies that I had high hopes for, but ended up disappointed, annoyed, unmoved or simply bored stiff after sitting through them. I'm not saying ALL of these films are decidedly bad, just that they fell short in some dimension.

First up...

The Town: Ben Affleck should have been the telltale sign that this movie would be pretty awful, but Jeremy Renner threw my stinker-radar off. (The Hurt Locker was such a solid film and his performance was phenomenal in it that I thought The Town would be pretty decent. Additionally the reviews were pretty good. Foiled again by the Tomato-meter.) Unfortunately, I paid $12.50 to see this trite jumble of painfully corny, implausible plot points and garbled Boston accents.

Wall Street 2/Money Never Sleeps: The dialogue, montage sequences, music and imagery were so eighties. There was a glaring deficiency in relationship development and an over-reliance on Michael Douglas's charisma and David Byrne's dated score. I was disappointed with the narrative, dialogue, music, storytelling, and, oh yeah, everything pretty much. (Oliver Stone--and James Cameron-- need to scan through Urban Dictionary, hit the mall or go on the YouTubes to get a sense of how the kids talk these days.)

Exit Through the Gift Shop: I wanted to like this film, really I did. I appreciate Banksy's ability to visually articulate social and political commentary to the masses through some of his street art, but I can't fully endorse this film. Yes, it is  entertaining and worthy of watching (just to get a brief survey of some of the big players in street art) but I found it to be smug, contrived, manipulative and silly. To me, his argument against the over-commercialization that infects the art world isn't potent because the storyteller is filthy rich from the very thing he takes aim at. But, I'll give it points for provoking discussion...

True Grit: I am a Coen Brothers fan and my expectations were set high; however, this  recreation of the  1969 Western was just  above average and hardly met the level of greatness that I now anticipate from these filmmakers. The visual style and cinematography were impeccable.  Unfortunately, the story had no depth and the narrative structure was off. The actors did what they could, but script was underdeveloped. The ending also really sucked.

That's it for now...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Joey the Dogg

Mista Cookie Jar's premiere of the official Joey the Dogg music video will be this GROUNDHOG'S DAY 2-2-11. But  you can download "Joey the Dogg" at now to check out this awesome kids track. The first 199 downloads are free (or name your price!)  Also available on iTunes....

Disclaimer: Mista Cookie Jar is my brother and I contributed to the chorus... :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

This is the reason musicians...

...get chicks, despite sporadic hygiene and depressive tendencies. The cheese factor is high, but if that's not romance, what is?!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Idelle Weber...

at the Brooklyn Museum. Ummm, it's pretty unequivocal that Matthew Weiner ripped off these images for his opening credit sequence ...