Thursday, May 31, 2012

Young Moon Rising: 'Moonrise Kingdom' review

For all anyone can say about Wes Anderson--and for better or for worse--he may be one of the few bastions of genuine auteurist debate in the contemporary American landscape. It used to be that every casual movie watcher had their own soapbox position on Quentin Tarantino -- he's a whiny, arrogant snob; or the savior of postmodern American cinema. Now, the throne of hotly-debated director of the moment seems to have emerged as Anderson. Is he a quirky genius of a storyteller, rich in formalist details bolstered by sentimental deadpan? Or is he a hipster drowning in his own pretension, locked in a glass cell of painterly aesthetics who would retch over the sight of genuine emotion?

As luck would have it, Moonrise Kingdom gives fuel to both campsites.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sight & Sound Dream Poll

If you don't know about Sight& Sound, they publish a list of "The 10 Greatest Films Ever Made" once a decade. They poll over 140 critics/scholars from around the world. Unlike all the other polls and lists out there, this one carries the most weight in the film community (forget that silly AFI list). Ebert even did a two-part post on his blog explaining the thought process behind his choices for his 2012 submission (where he added The Tree of Life). As someone who loves making lists, if only for the arbitrariness of it all, I figured I would ask myself -- if I could seriously vote in this poll, what are the 10 films I would submit?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Reassembling the old-fashioned: 'The Avengers' review

With a price-tag of $220 million and runtime of 143 minutes, it comes as no surprise that writer/director Joss Whedon's The Avengers puts money on the screen. It is, for much of its final hour, a veritable onslaught of masterful CGI, stuff getting destroyed, and sounds so powerful they might make your skull rattle. The same could be said of, for instance, Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, but The Avengers has a kind of fluidity, a kind of awe and delight that transcends the machinations of its own drive toward, as one of the characters so aptly puts it, chaos.