Monday, October 29, 2012

1770 - Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

I still have mixed feelings about this film.  I wanted something to play in the background as I did some planning and prepping for a project at my desk.  I think I'd started this commentary before and never finished it.  It's not another overly remarkable.  You don't get a super large insight into anything, really.  One of the more interesting things is how they talk about the development of the script and how it happened slowly because they started early while Bryan was still writing the books.    Everything else is just them hanging out and having a good time - and chatting about Toronto, which is always lovely as well. 
I'd have to rematch it again on it's own but I think my fundamental issue with the film sticks - and it's in comparison to the books.  The books take place over a decent amount of time - several months at least wherein the film takes place over the course of maybe a week or two.  It makes the shift about a story about how relationships are difficult to being about getting over the hang-ups of a new relationship.  Not a terrible subject matter, but not quite as interesting to me as the former.
All in all I still recommend the books over the film, and the books in general .  It's a fantastic series. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

1769 - Argo

I don't care what anyone says - nobody directs Ben Affleck better than Ben Affleck.  Hell, few direct as well as him period.  In three films Affleck has announced himself as a real talent behind the camera, and I hope he's not through yet.  I've always liked him well enough as an actor, but never been drawn to a film just because he's in it - but as a director - I'm there on opening night.
I didn't know about this story at all, and I went to see it with an American friend whom had heard about the 444 held in captivity, but not abbot the 6 that got away, and the story of what happened to them - even though it had been declassified over a decade ago.
It's the story of an American embassy overthrown and how six people who got away and were being searched for, got away.  Canada got all the credit for the mission originally, but in the film come off as little more than inn-keepers - I think that there's something in the middle that's most likely truer of the actual events and both sides involvements.  In addition, in the thrilling climax, I'm sure that the majority of it was invented for the sake of pure entertainment - and entertaining it is!!! 
Here's the bottom line - don't go to see the film as if it's history lesson - so to see it because it's a very entertaining thriller with some fantastic performances from Ben, Bryan Cranston, Alan Alda, John Goodman, and many others.  It's entertaining as hell, and despite some creative allowances gives you a pretty good glance into how fucked up some stuff has to be.  The bizarre issues between nations in this world of ours.  Highly recommend it. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

1768 - Psycho

I saw the Hitchcock trailer the other day and ever since it made me want to revisit this.  I wish I knew someone who saw this film when it was originally released, before it became such a pop culture phenomenon and all of it's sweet surprises were spoilt.  As it stands it's hard to be overly impressed by it given we're fifty years later in the history of cinema and it's techniques are over-used by today's standards and we're so used to twist endings.  I imagine at it's time it was something spectacular.  Even the shower scene now seems tame - although, again, it must have set the standard to beat for all horror films that have come since.  What's most impressive for the time though, must have been the way it shifts it's narrative from characters - to me that's the true brilliance of this film. 
I've never delved into the sequels to the series, never felt the need, and I'm curious if anyone out there thinks it's worth the effort.
If you've never seen this and you're a lover of film you almost have to just out of obligation, but I just can't imagine you'll get out of it what it's original audience must have. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cinderella, Vol 2 - Fables Are Forever

I read this last week and haven't had time to jot down my thoughts.  What I like a lot about this is what I miss about the Fables series in general.  It's got a real sense of fun and mixing with characters - the characters in Fables currently just don't feel like they're all that connected to the original material all that much anymore, and I miss it a touch.  But here we've got a James Bond-esque story with Cinderella as our super-spy, and it's so much fun.  This story juxtaposes the past and present showing her going toe-to-toe with one of her greatest foes and I won't ruin who that is for you here. 
The story plays with a bit of a twist near the end, which is tremendous fun, but I question if the logic of it stands up at all.  If you're into Fables you'll want to check out this series, it reminds you what you loved about the world in the first place.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

1767 - Jeff, Who Lives at Home

I'm a big fan of the Duplass Brothers and their success - I think it's well deserved.  I think that, like Jeff in this film, they were in the right place at the right time and ready for it.  They tell simple stories but ones that are just rife with wonderfully comedic, but painfully honest moments - and this is no exception.  The story is, literally, about a stoner son who is sent out to buy wood glue for his mother and the events that transpire around it.  Jeff is obsessed with the idea of fate and things happening for a reason and this day will test that in really great ways.
Filled with talents that I adore - Jason Segal, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, and Judy Greer (who can do no wrong in my book) - each character gets a solid moment to shine here. 
Is some of it heavy handed?  Perhaps - actually - yeah, sure.  But it never steps into melodrama, it doesn't need to.  It just got added to Netflix recently so there's no time but the present to check out this really solid little flick!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Fables #17: Inherit the Wind

It probably speaks to how long it took me to getting around to picking this up as to where my enthusiasm with this series is.  This was easily one of my favourite comic series for quite a while, and if I'm honest, I stick around because I've invested so much time in it already.  So there's that.  This volume didn't help that so much in that it was a big hallway towards what's hopefully to come - and I get that books have to do that - but when there's such a huge wait between instalments, I just need a little more to hang my hat on to keep me going.  The storyline with the cubs was fine enough, but the only real thing that got me excited in the entire issue was Rose Red's Christmas story and what appears to be Boy Blue telling her to get her shit in gear and figure out a way to revive him from the dead.  Sweet lord I've been looking forward to that for… geez… five or six volumes now…
So if you're a huge Fables nerd, you'll want to get this just because - but do NOT start here - it'll just confuse you.