Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscars - Predictions

It would seem that I would be really into this years oscar race considering I have seen more films in the theater than I have since before I had children, but alas, i seem even more befuddled than usual. It seems there are a lot of worthy contenders which I must admit I have not seen. That being said, I will open up this years oscar prediction contest by saying that the winner will receive a limited edition movie poster. This year I am going with an interactive ballot from the NY Times HERE. You will need a facebook account or sign up through the NY Times to participate. Be sure you are one of my 'friends' so I can see your results. Sorry this is coming so late but let the contest begin!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Sundance Film Festival made me volunteer

This past year I had the opportunity to volunteer at, and attend the Sundance Film Festival. I have been wanting to do this for some time and was excited to actually be in Park City for the festivities, but more importantly the screenings. More than I love watching movies, I love watching movies nobody has ever seen. Even though it was a lot of fun it was also a lot of work. I didn't realize how time consuming it would be. I also live an hour away from park city so the commuting miles added up. Here's a picture of my odometer at the beginning of the festival (64010). We'll check back after all my reviews to see how many miles I actually used volunteering and attending Sundance.

When I first volunteered they wanted me full time because of my Warner Bros. background, but I could not quit work, so I opted for part time. The still stuck me in the Press office where I was general information for filmakers and journalists that came through. I was based in the main headquarters located in the Park City Marriott.

Hopefully one day my family will forgive me for being away so much for those two weeks, but I was very grateful they indulged my inner child. The next couple of blogs will be movie reviews and general cultural observances of the Sundance Film Festival. I know that its over, but for true cinefiles, you can never get enough of film


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Green Hornet was more fun for me than for you

Its not often that I am in the critical and popular minority on a film but in the case of the Green Hornet, it looks like I am bucking my trend for being somewhat reliable to someone. It seems like I am one of the only people who likes this movie. Critics panned it and most audiences just thought that it was OK. By no means do I think this is a great film, but it’s a lot of fun, it made me laugh, it didn’t take itself too seriously and it had enough visual pizzazz and quick pace to keep me interested. Most of the complaints I hear is that the Seth Rogen thing is way overdone, but since I have never really seen any of his earlier films (raunchy comedy’s not my thing) I guess I wasn’t sick of him enough.

The Green Hornet is based off the television show and has roughly the same plot. A rich newspaper tycoon Britt Reed (Rogen) takes on the underworld of crime with his sidekick Kato (Chinese pop star Jay Chou). Just like the TV series, It’s Kato that does all the hard work coming up with all the inventions and being the one who actually fights the crime. In fact, you really have to wonder why the Seth Rogan character is in it at all. But here’s the catch. That’s the charm. He really is completely unnecessary, and half the fun is watching his out of control narcissism and self assured ways that have no basis of merit. It also goes a long way in paving the way for the films central theme of acceptance and reliance, even in a partnership that is wildly uneven and diverse.

There are other small bits here. Cameron Diaz as the hot older secretary has some comedic chops but the scene-stealer is definitely Christoph Waltz (as Chud-nof-sky). As the reigning crime lord, he hams it up in the subtlest of ways that take his character way over the top. His accented imbecile of a mastermind lends neither humanity nor complexity to his role, just plenty of laughs. Michel Gondry is in rare form here. It’s refreshing to see his quirkiness applied to such a different style of film. This is no ‘Eternal sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, and in this case that is a very good thing. We’re looking for stupid fun and that is what we get. There is even a heavy dose of satire as we see a sendup of every final action shootout scene played out at the end that is so over the top you laugh at the absurdity of the violence. Perhaps that’s the films greatest achievement, being so overtly over the top that if you get it, it just seems to work. Well, at least for me.

Final Consensus:
See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!!
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!
Wait for it on TV!
Don’t Bother