The Artist (2011)
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, John Goodman Writer/Director: Michel Hazanavicius Hey, I’m like you: silent movies suck. Well, not really, but as much as I try to expand my horizons and put silent movies on my Netflix queue, I never seem to get to them. And indeed, when I first opened this downloaded movie up, I skimmed it and turned it off when...
X-Men: First Class (2011)
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, January Jones. Director: Matthew Vaughn I’m not sure why I didn’t see this earlier. I’ve always liked, though frequently stopped reading, the X-Men books, and enjoyed the original film trilogy and Wolverine film well enough, with qualifications. I guess I saw this quasi-prequel as kind of...
The Ides of March (2011)
Starring: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Marisa Tomei and Jennifer Ehle Writers: George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon Director: George Clooney Finally caught this Oscar-nominated political thriller, in which Gosling plays Stephen Myers, an idealistic 30 year old media strategist on the Presidential campaign for...
Touch - Pilot (2012)
A lot of people, including me, were prepared to laugh this one off the screen. Kiefer Sutherland plays the father of a seemingly autistic son who can see patterns in everything, with Danny Glover playing Magical Black Man With Answers. Created by Tim (Heroes) Kring, there is still quite a bit to worry about, like where it goes from here, but this pilot wasn’t too bad. My main problem is that...
Alcatraz, Episode 3
An improvement over the previous two, for sure, but it’s too early for even cautious optimism yet. Because let’s face it, child endangerment is a better emotional draw than the thin gruel served up as characterization and plot thus far (the con whose brother married his gal, the sniper who really, really likes to snipe). Jorge Garcia is a decent actor, and he’s certainly in his...
Kathleen Edwards - Voyageur (2012)
Like a number of listeners, I didn’t know anything about folky singer-songwriter Edwards until she started dating Justin (Bon Iver) Vernon and the news came out that he produced this album. Apparently this is a divorce record, and you know, personally it seems kind of odd that someone would have their new boyfriend produce it, but whatever. Vernon adds lush arrangements to what I gather...
Flashmob Fridays Takes on Harvey Pekar's Cleveland
Good pieces by Alan David Doane, Roger Green, Scott Cederlund and Johanna Draper Carlson, and I didn’t do too shabby.
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (2011 Reissue)
Smashing Pumpkins were never my favorite band, but I remember being in a record store when this album was playing and there was this charge in the air as most of the patrons were digging the sound of Billy Corgan’s guitar solos and the alternately amped or narcotized rhythms. I picked up the cd that day, not having come in for it, and over that year I listened a lot to it, following with similar...
Alcatraz - Pilot/Ernest Cobb
J.J. Abrams is basically this generation’s Spielberg, in that anything he has a hand in is written/thought about as his creation. He didn’t create Alcatraz, he just executive produces it (he got it made), the creators being a whole bunch of other people like Elizabeth Sarnoff, who I think wrote the pilot and has already left the show runner position on the series. Never mind all the...
Starring: Irene Miracle, Leigh McCloskey, Eleonora Giorgi, Daria Nicolodi, Alida Valli Writer/Director: Dario Argento I went into this one not knowing it was the second of a trilogy (Suspiria came in 1977, the long-awaited The Mother of Tears in 2007), but I didn’t feel I really missed much by not seeing Suspiria. In this film, Miracle plays Rose, a young New York poet obsessed with a book...
I Walk Alone (1947)
Starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Lizabeth Scott and Wendell Corey Directed by Byron Haskin An unsung crime film that marks the first of several pairings of Lancaster and Douglas, I Walk Alone is basically a B film made better by an A-list cast. Frankie Madison (Lancaster) is released after a 14 year prison stretch, and his first stop is the club owned by his old bootlegging partner, Noll...