New Frontiers

The things that make life good.

A film geek’s look at 2010

The great thing about 2009 in movies is that, for the most part, there always seemed to be a movie out there that interested me.

And my tastes run all over the map — but usually end up somewhere near geeky/sci-fi/comic book/comedy.

Sometimes it was a huge event film, like Star Trek, Up or The Hangover. Sometimes it was low-key, like Zombieland. Sometimes it was foreign — I thought Red Cliff was really well done. Sometimes it was a surprising choice — one of my favorite movies of the entire decade was this year’s Anvil!: The Story of Anvil. (Right now, Up In The Air is on my list, and I imagine The Book Of Eli soon will be.)

It looks like 2010 will have the same menu of quality.
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December 31, 2009 Posted by | Movies | Leave a comment

I beg to differ: ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Dev Patel and Anil Kapoor in 'Slumdog'

Dev Patel and Anil Kapoor in 'Slumdog'

I was thrilled that Slumdog Millionaire won as many Oscars as it did. And my wife and I both like that movie.

However, my wife doesn’t LOVE that movie. I do.

I thought the framing device was brilliant. I thought it was a great story, filmed beautifully, with great acting. Dev Patel was tremendous, and as the Machiavellian host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Anil Kapoor was even better.

But there’s one thing we can agree on. When it comes to Danny Boyle films, Slumdog was good. Trainspotting was better.

February 25, 2009 Posted by | Movies | , , , , | 1 Comment

Wil Wheaton discusses ‘Watchmen’, getting me even more interested

Good words from Wil Wheaton on Watchmen. I mean, REAL good.

February 22, 2009 Posted by | Movies | , | 1 Comment

“I will come at you like a spider monkey!!”

You can’t resist Talladega Nights. No matter how hard you try.

December 13, 2008 Posted by | Movies | , , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye, Paul…

Everyone and their brother in the blogosphere is saying goodbye to Paul Newman today, and for good reason. There are few actors, ever, that have that “movie star” thing going for them like Newman.

But for me, there’s one special role I’ll always thank Paul for playing: Reg Dunlop. I’m going to leave it to Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshinski to tell you more about one of the best comedies ever, Slap Shot, and the great Reg.

September 27, 2008 Posted by | Movies, NHL | , , , | 1 Comment

In a world…

Goodbye, Don LaFontaine, the voice of the movie trailers… you, sir, will be missed…

September 2, 2008 Posted by | Movies | , | 1 Comment

And I will say… “No.”

Watchmen trailer. Oh my God.

This looks absolutely great.

July 20, 2008 Posted by | Movies | , | Leave a comment

Roundup: Grammy, BAFTA

Thanks to ITN news… here’s the quick lowdown on two big award shows… the Grammys in the U.S., and the BAFTAs in the UK. Please to enjoy!

First up, Amy Winehouse shows how shocked she is to win:

Secondly, Marian Cotilliard pulls off a bit of a shock at the UK’s film awards with her win in La Vie En Rose as “that crazy Mexican singer”. (At least, that’s what my wife thinks I consider her — I know who Edith Piaf is. Don’t necessarily like her… but… )

February 11, 2008 Posted by | BAFTA, grammy, Movies, Music | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gramm-eez.

So far we’ve seen Frank Sinatra outshine Alicia Keys. And he’s dead.

And Carrie Underwood, who sang her song Before He Cheats as Not Stomp acts like they were beating up a car, looks like — oh how does my wife say it… “A meter maid in a porn film.” That’ll work.

Ah, the rule holds. You sing, you get an award. Alicia, come on up on stage in your green dress that’s crushing the kids and get your award from the still short Prince. (By the way, Prince with the dumb line of the night so far… “How ’bout Frank? Lookin’ good for 150!” Dude, that’s the way you end up in a dumpster. I don’t care if you own half of Minneapolis.)

February 10, 2008 Posted by | grammy, Movies | , , , | Leave a comment

Movies: Superbad, The Company

OK, here’s what I’m not looking forward to: the next three-to-six months of hearing the unfunny loser at work say, “I am McLovin.”

But I’m willing to live with that. Superbad‘s a funny f—in’ movie.

A film that seems closer to the sex comedies of the 1980s in spirit than the sex comedies of today, like American Pie, and American Pie 2... and that Band Camp thing… <shudder>

Except, instead of, say, showing boobies, Superbad seems more concerned with male genitalia. And odd sexual practices.

Superbad posterAnd its main characters are a lot more knowledgeable about sex than their ’80s counterparts. Not that they’ve actually actively participated: Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) are virgins. And we’re back to the ’80s again.

I don’t want to go ahead and lay out a full-fledged criticism for the movie. Let me just go through the high points:

1. Seth Rogen, who also plays a cop in the movie, and Evan Goldberg wrote this movie when they were in high school. And when I say it shows, that’s not an insult. They have a genuine idea how high school boys act and talk.

2. Both Hill and Cera handle their parts very well. Hill’s the loud, funny kid you remember that had very little interior editing before he talked. Cera’s the awkward, quiet nice guy. Yet there are points when both are willing to take chances with their roles and it pays off: Hill gets sensitive, Cera actually becomes somewhat unlikable.

3. McLovin, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, does indeed mostly steal the movie. His character’s real name is Fogell, but you add McLovin to the mix and Fogell blossoms into a genuinely fun guy.

OK, the ending seems kind of tacked on — it still works pretty well — and yeah, it does get a little too over-obsessed with all that dick. But that’s nit picking. It’s just funny as hell.

Going a completely different way, I’ll also mention TNT’s superb CIA mini-series The Company. Now, I’ve heard some say it’s the best spy drama ever made — not true, that distinction belongs to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with Sir Alec Guinness.

What The Company is is a grade-A yarn that weaves real facts with fiction into a neat little package with a solid twist ending. And two standout performances:

Keaton in The Company

1. Michael Keaton as the meticulous, maddening James Angleton. Keaton portrays the electron-micro-managing Angleton in such a way that you alternately hate him and understand him. In the end, Keaton’s Angleton is a singularly devoted man who simply wanted what was best for his Company.

2. Alessandro Nivola as Leo Kritsky. After floating through the first few hours in and out of action, Nivola pops onto the screen toward the end. He wrests command of the movie from nearly everyone, and that includes estimable talents such as Alfred Molina and Tom Hollander.

Chris O’Donnell, who plays the lead, holds the movie together rather nicely. He’s not a powerful actor by any means, but he can handle himself nicely.

August 20, 2007 Posted by | Movies | 1 Comment

   

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