bill

it’s such a beautiful day

Back in 2007, Don Hertzfeldt’s “everything will be ok” totally blew me away. Here’s what I wrote about it at the time: “I saw this during DJ XL5’s Kaleidoscopic Zappin’ Party, in a gorgeous 35mm print. This is one of the most powerful examples of why film is superior to video I’ve ever seen. Hertzfeldt uses to its full potential the dreamlike state created on the viewer by images projected 24 frames per second and, for 17 minutes, he takes you on a journey into…

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gonegirl

Gone Girl

When it comes to big screen literary adaptations, having read the book first is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can mean you’re already fully immersed in the world of the movie, you know the characters already, maybe you’re even able to quote lines from the dialogue. On the other hand, that familiarity can mean that there is no sense of discovery for you, no surprises. Worse, it can mean that you’re only too aware of what wasn’t included in the film, all…

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Tusk

I’m a Kevin Smith fan. A fan of his View Askewniverse comedies (“Clerks”, “Chasing Amy”, “Dogma”, etc.), mostly, but while I’m not crazy about his mainstream period (“Jersey Girl”, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”, “Cop Out”), I don’t even think those movies are that bad. Most importantly, I’m a fan of his first foray into horror, “Red State”. Furthermore, I’m a fan of his podcasts and I remember loving episode 259 of SModcast, The Walrus and The Carpenter, which inspired his latest picture. Hence,…

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2014 log (10)

(1 Oct) Taken 2 (2012, Olivier Megaton) 60 [ As in “Taken”, it takes a good 20-25 minutes before the action kicks in. Say what you will about these being low-rent, cheap-thrills B-movies, they clearly want you to care for Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson), his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) and their daughter (Maggie Grace), and thanks in no small part to good acting (especially from Neeson and Janssen), it works. Still, we know from the first scene that the relatives of the Albanian bastards Mills killed…

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Mommy

Hey! I finally liked a Xavier Dolan movie! Or at least, part of a Xavier Dolan movie. I wasn’t sure about the first act and I thought the third act was a mess, but I did enjoy much of what came in between. After being the best thing about “J’ai tué ma mère”, Anne Dorval once again dazzles us as Diane “Die” Després, another mother figure who, this time around, is more of a working class, rough around the edges woman. Plus, the tensions between…

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Xavier Dolan

2009 J’ai tué ma mère 58 [ review ] 2010 Les amours imaginaires 41 [ review ] 2012 Laurence Anyways 50 [ review ] 2013 Tom à la ferme 39 [ I’m a sucker for old-school film scores. Seriously, right when the ominous, Bernard Herrmannesque Gabriel Yared score kicked in, some 5 minutes into the film, it had me hooked, even though at that point, we know next to nothing about what brings Tom (Xavier Dolan with longish bleached blonde hair) to the Quebec countryside.…

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2014 log (9)

(4 Sep) Oldboy (2013, Spike Lee) 29 [ The Park Chan-wook original blew my mind back in 2005, so much so that I actually watched it twice in a row! I can’t say that this remake had the same effect on me. It starts with 10 minutes of Josh Brolin acting like a total drunken asshole, which is pretty gutsy, since movies usually want you to root for their protagonist and we just hate this guy. Then he gets mysteriously captured, he’s framed for his…

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The Expendables 3

I liked the first “The Expendables”, but somehow more in theory than in practice. Sylvester Stallone and other old school action stars getting together and kicking ass? Count me in. Now, to me, “The Expendables 2” awesomely built up on that concept and actually delivered a classic action flick, with tons of bloody thrills and hearty laughs. Unfortunately, this third episode doesn’t continue to improve on the formula. It rather feels tired and repetitive, despite the numerous attempts at shaking things up. After facing off…

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boyhood

Boyhood

It kicks off with Coldplay’s “Yellow”, the first of many great music cues in the film. I’ve always loved that song and it always felt cinematic to me, which is the first of many moments of resonance for me in the film. The other thing you realize right from the get-go is that writer-director Richard Linklater really lucked out when he cast Ellar Coltrane, the young actor he would depict growing up from 6 to 18 years old. You’re immediately taken in by his big…

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

10 years after the events of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, the evolved apes now live in a village in the woods outside of San Francisco, having built a little society for themselves. Meanwhile, most of mankind has been wiped out by the simian flu, but a number of survivors still live in a colony in the city. Both sides haven’t crossed paths in years, but they do again early in “Dawn” and spend the rest of the film in a state of…

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