If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


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THE HORSEMEN Review – ***

(NOTE: This is a reposting of an article I published on Tumblr, a year ago Thursday.)

What I knew about THE HORSEMEN, before I knew anything else about it, was that it was about buzkashi, the Central Asian sport wherein the headless body of a calf must be borne by a man on a horseback to a goal-spot of some kind. What I realized upon watching the film was that the buzkashi was only the beginning of the story.

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ENEMY Review – ****

A great poster for a great film.

I don’t know if this is a brilliant thriller, or just a brilliant tease. But brilliant it is, and so merciless in its manipulation of the audience that, were it a person, you might want to slap it–which might just be the response director Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Javier Gullón wanted. What is exceedingly clear is the greatness of Jake Gyllenhaal’s dual performance, the skill of Villeneuve’s direction, and the overwhelming atmosphere they both create, one which suggests Hitchcock, Cronenberg, and Kafka, one which suggests perverse manipulation, existential horror, and cosmic confusion. The film’s epigraph, “Chaos is order yet undeciphered”, is delightfully obnoxious and perfectly chosen.

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NOAH Review – ***

Russell Crowe: Noah as Terminator. Okay, not quite, but he’s pretty brutal here.

Noah, to put it simply, is a frustrating film. It’s a film that shows flashes of real audacity and grace, but those flashes are surrounded by a dark, gritty tale of destruction and renewal which never feels fresh and doesn’t pack enough of a punch. For its technical skill and its high points, I give it a guarded recommendation, but it definitely falls short of its full potential.

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MUPPETS MOST WANTED Review – ***½

If you like the Muppets, you’ll probably like this.

Muppets Most Wanted begins with a song about the fact that the Muppets are making a sequel to their comeback film–a song that sheepishly admits the sequel is “never quite as good”. And this isn’t quite as good as The Muppets; that film felt like a labor of love, like an event. This doesn’t. But that doesn’t make it a bad film by any stretch–despite some shortcomings, it’s for the most part a highly entertaining little romp with everyone’s favorite felt celebrities.

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Idea for my next Film Awards (Feedback Requested)

Expand the categories thus:

– 20 Best Picture nominees

– 10 nominees for directing, writing, and acting categories

– 5-10 nominees for music and tech categories (a full 10 is prefereable, but if 10 worthy candidates cannot be found, a full slate is not mandated)


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The NBR Project: The Top 10 Lists, 2004-2013 and Wrap-Up

2004:

  • Finding Neverland
  • The Aviator
  • Closer
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • Sideways
  • Kinsey
  • Vera Drake
  • Ray
  • Collateral
  • Hotel Rwanda

Finding Neverland better than The Aviator? Whatever you say, NBR.

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The NBR Project: The Top 10 Lists, 1989-2003

1989:

  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Henry V
  • Sex, Lies, and Videotape
  • The Fabulous Baker Boys
  • My Left Foot
  • Dead Poets Society
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • Born on the Fourth of July
  • Glory
  • Field of Dreams

Oh, this is disappointing. I thought they cited Do the Right Thing. But that was not the case. And I hate Field of Dreams, so this list is a bit tainted for me, especially considering I was born this year.

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