Fucky Film Review!

Archive for March, 2009

We Own The Night

Posted by Web Manager on March 31, 2009

James Gray 2006

I saw the trailer for his new film TWO LOVERS and I was curious about this James Gray fellow. He keeps making films about Russians in Brooklyn with Joaquin Phoenix. From this movie it seems like he’s an insider who thinks he’s an outsider. Like the cinematography  – it’s deep and full of flavor. He said he didn’t want it to look slick, but it does look slick.  Slickly not slick. The car chase is pretty amazing though, and not slick – there I think he got it. And some of the dialogue was a little stilted or forced, but it didn’t ruin the movie or anything. Actually there are a lot of shitty things in this movie, but also a lot of good things.  It’s strange that way. Overall this is not a movie I’d say anyone needs to go out and rush to see, but on the other hand, I guess you might as well. Your truly, The Decider.

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Posted in 2000's, American Films, Movies | 1 Comment »

Milk

Posted by Web Manager on March 29, 2009

Gus Van Sant 2008

This was totally enjoyable and more than a little inspiring. James Franco is surprisingly good as Milk’s boyfriend Scott Smith, especially in the second half of the film, where he is even more restrained (which provided a nice cross-arc to Penn’s Milk, who himself was in the closet when he met Smith in the NYC subway at the beginning of the film). I liked how it was as much about about gay men and the closet (which is universal – acknowledging and celebrating our true selves) as it was about the fight for civil rights.  Scott Smith reminded me a lot of someone I know – even their names are similar. This, along with the wonderful use of real and real-looking documentary footage from San Francisco, made me very nostalgic for that city and all the wonderful and terrible things that happen there, especially, quite unbelievably, in city politics. I liked that Gus Van Sant approached his hero aloofly, especially in his personal relationships, like the somewhat inexplicable one with the unbalanced kid from Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, who made me cringe every time he appeared. Fucky says: Solid biopic.

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Gran Torino

Posted by Web Manager on March 22, 2009

Clint Eastwood 2008

I loved how the Lor family shaman’s body suit was made out of the same stuff as the shoulder bag I bought in Laos a few years ago.  Along the same lines, when Clint said “these Hmong broads are like Badgers” I totally knew what he meant. They are. This movie made me laugh (just look at that face, bubeleh). Its best moments are definitely its funniest, even when they’re hammy – there’s just something about Clint the actor. But Clint the director is a different story. This is the first of his movies I’ve seen since MYSTIC RIVER. which was like MYSTIC PIZZA, but without the pizza, and with Sean Penn. I’ve been boycotting Clint because I felt like there was no room for me in his pictures. It was like, here it is, that’s it, all of it, right there, there you go. Kind of boring. And though this is just as true of TORINO, I didn’t mind quite as much. Old men don’t really care much what young men think. Clint’s an old man, and this is his movie. He doesn’t care that I’ll know exactly what it is by the time its halfway done. He doesn’t care what I think.  He knows how to make movies, and for him at least, that’s enough.

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Talk To Her

Posted by Web Manager on March 21, 2009

Pedro Almodovar 2002

that tickles

Just watched Hable con Ella in the afternoon, impromptu, while waiting for the curry and turmeric to seep into the chicken on the burners. The host had a few interesting titles in her collection, and in fact I tried to watch MULHOLLAND DRIVE first, but the DVD player made an editorial decision. TALK TO HER was our unanimous second choice.  It’s the third time I’ve seen the film.  The first was in the theater, and I remember liking it, but not especially.  The second time I watched it was more unintentional, though not quite as unintentional as this time, and I liked it even better, perhaps, I might say I especially liked it. This time I can say without reservation that I loved it. Almodovar, for all the due he gets, might still be the most underrated living filmmaker I can think of. TALK TO HER is pretty much a perfect movie. If you’ve seen it and you don’t agree with me, I understand; after all I was once like you. Fucky’s advice is simple: see it again, if only for one of my favorite all time lines, delivered into a telephone receiver by the receptionist who works for Alicia’s father, and heard only by Benigno as he sits and waits (“I just had an elephant-sized dump”).

Posted in 2000's, Movies, Spanish Films | 2 Comments »

The Visitor

Posted by Web Manager on March 17, 2009

Thomas McCarthy 2007

Big ups to any man called Jenkins. Here’s Jenkins visiting Tariq in a detention center in Queens. Jenkins met Tariq when Jenkins made an unexpected visit from Connecticut, where he’s been living some kind of private hell ala GROUNDHOG DAY. Unbeknownst to Jenkins, Tariq had been living in Jenkins’ massive apartment in the West Village with his dubious Senegalese girlfriend, who apparently wasn’t dubious enough to realize that something must have been rotten in Denmark if they could afford a place like that on whatever the two of them were earning selling jewelry on Canal street and playing Djembe in jazz quartets. Or, for that matter, how Tariq, a Palestinian from Damascus, came to play an African drum (maybe a visitor brought it to him), or why, frankly, he wasn’t that good at it, if he’d been playing all his life. Musically the film was a total letdown. The visit to Central Park could have been great if the drums had been interesting, but instead it sounded like a lot of noise, which might be more realistic, but still, you have to wonder why the director would go through all the trouble of writing this drum into the script in such a major way but not bother bringing in some good musicians to bring it to life. The movie finally gains depth when Tariq’s mother, played by the stunning Hiam Abbas, visits New York to check on her son. She lights it up every time she’s on camera. There’s something so noble and tragic and beautiful about her face, you just want to cry. Everything good about The Visitor comes straight back to this visitor, and Fucky Film Review can’t wait to check out her previous work.

Brownie points for having them walk by the Big Bar on 7th Street, which is a long-time Fucky Favorite, and for  ending the film with a shot of the subway (I would expect nothing less from the man who made THE STATION AGENT).

Posted in 2000's, American Films, Movies | 2 Comments »

*** Print / More BATAILLE ***

Posted by Web Manager on March 16, 2009

ruscha-tel-pole

” . . . no tie ever binds me, never am I enslaved, subjugated, I always retain my sovereignty, a sovereignty only death – which will demonstrate my inability to limit myself to being without excess – separates from me. I do not decline, I do not challenge consciousness, lacking which I cannot write, but this hand that writes is dying from the death promised unto it as its own, this hand escapes the limits it accepts in writing (limits accepted by the hand that writes, but refused by the hand that dies).”

Georges Bataille, from his preface to MADAME EDWARDA

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Touch of Evil

Posted by Web Manager on March 15, 2009

Orson Welles 1958

I’m reading a book called THE CONVERSATIONS (between the novelist Michael Ondjaate and the film editor Walter Murch). It’s great. Murch went to film school with George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, and worked on sound and edited in some of Coppola’s most important films. In 1998 Murch re-edited Welles’ TOUCH OF EVIL in keeping with a famous 58-page memo that Welles wrote to Universal after seeing what they had done to his picture before its release in 1958. I considered watching both versions, but time constraints imposed by my commitments to various charitable organizations and other tax-exempt entities deny me such luxuries. I chose to watch the restored 1998 version. It’s pretty awesome but that’s neither here nor there. Heston’s acting style doesn’t stand the test of time, but that’s true of a lot of acting from that era, and anyhow I wonder if Welles might have cast him for this part to mock him just a little bit, sort of like Stanley Kubrick did with Tom Cruise in EYES WIDE SHUT. Maybe? From My Cold Dead Hands indeed.

Posted in 1950's, American Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

* * * Rabbit, Run * * *

Posted by Web Manager on March 7, 2009

As a posthumous tribute to John Updike I re-read his novel Rabbit, Run. It didn’t make an impression on me the first time I read it, but this time it did. Especially the ending — especially the very end of the ending. The language still felt a little strange to me, like a song I don’t altogether like, whose details somehow lessen the impact of the melody as a whole. But then often there’s a kicker, and with it, that feeling of being confronted with the kind of truth that Makes Reading Fun.

“Water hesitates on his lids and then runs down his cheeks; the wetness is delicious. He wishes he could cry for hours, for just this tiny spill relieves him. But a man’s tears are grudging and his stop before they are out of the apartment. As he closes the door he feels he has spent his whole life opening and closing this door.”

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The Talented Mr. Ripley

Posted by Web Manager on March 5, 2009

Anthony Minghella 1999

Overall I preferred the later three of the BOURNE series, beginning with BOURNE IDENTITY, but as a prequel, this one wasn’t too bad. I kept wondering why Jason Bourne was being so dumb and sloppy all the time, nearly getting caught. It did keep me on the edge of my seat, though. And there were a lot of surprises, like that Jude Law is a jazz man. And Jason Bourne is gay!  (!!) Not surprising: Phillip Seymour Hoffman was awesome. Final thought: this could also be adapted into a great porno film. It already has the perfect title.

Posted in 1990's, American Films, Movies | 1 Comment »

Burn After Reading

Posted by Web Manager on March 5, 2009

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen 2008

I hate when people say, oh, but it was so well-made.  It’s the fucking Coen brothers – what do you think? I don’t know. I purposefully avoided seeing this in the theater, and then began to regret it, and almost went to see it a couple of times, but in the end I didn’t, and then the other night I rented it on DVD. It reminded me a little of their forgettable movie INTOLERABLE CRUELTY in that glamorous Hollywood tongue-in-cheek kind of way – very 1950’s. But it makes sense that the Coens make movies like this from time to time, as part of their career-spanning homage to Americana. I love when Brad Pitt reads a few lines of Malkovich’s memoir out loud and pronounces “rapport” phonetically. Was Brad Pitt good in this? Nobody seems to know. I don’t think it matters. I liked him best in JOHNNY SUEDE.

Posted in 2000's, American Films, Movies | 2 Comments »

 
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