The House


Friday Night Lights

Tami's an intelligent woman, but she also carries a bit of innocence, a trait that has aided her in her quest to help others, specifically as a guidance counselor. When the jaded people of Dillon deem someone to be a hopeless case, Tami has been the one to step in and have faith in that someone. Her belief in the good of others makes her a very trusting figure, which, in turn, enables others to trust her. But if she's not careful, someone with Tami's inherent trust can get herself into trouble by placing that trust in the wrong person. Such is the case in "How the Other Half Live," where Tami befriends a very friendly woman who just happens to be J.D. McCoy's mother. When Eric confronts his wife about the dangers of this friendship, Tami defends it. She insists that she's not being played by the McCoys, but from what I can tell, that's exactly what's happening. To use the words of Bill Parcells, "Consider yourself sucked."

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: friday night lights, how the other half lives, recap


La Maison en Petits Cubes

Strange that the only time Pixar won here was the same year it lost—and tragically so—in the race for Animated Feature. Nine years later, it seems doubtful that Presto, which accompanied WALL-E throughout its theatrical run, will end what's slowly becoming a Susan Lucci-esque losing streak: The story of a bunny who takes vengeance on the magician who denies him a carrot, the short is adorably feisty but forgettable. If you spend much of the film wondering what Chuck Jones could have done with it, you'll likely balk at Oktapoid, in which two octopi struggle to escape from the clutches of a delivery man, for seeming too much like an audition on the part of its six directors for a job at, yes, Pixar. Like Presto, Oktapoid lacks for poignancy, but neither film is as flippant as This Way Up, the story of two glum undertakers whose attempt to bury an old woman is constantly and inexplicably thwarted by the world around them. If This Way Up trivializes death, Lavatory Lovestory cutely celebrates the possibility of love blossoming in unexpected places, but Konstantin Bronstin's memorable short doesn't hold a candle to the only other 2D short in the category, La Maison en Petits Cubes. The strange account of an old man who builds his house up toward the heavens as the water that drowns the world continues to rise, Kunito Kato's production initially cries out for context, until the old man loses his pipe and his attempt to retrieve it from the lower levels of his home literally opens the floodgates of memory. The Triplets of Belleville cult will go nuts for Kato's expressionistic drawings and his intuitive evocation of loss and loneliness.

Will Win: La Maison en Petits Cubes

Should Win: La Maison en Petits Cubes

This blog entry was originally published on Slant Magazine on the date above.

  • print
  • email

TAGS: academy awards, la maison en petits cubes, lavatory lovestory, oktapoid, presto, this way up


Battlestar Galactica

The first five minutes or so of "The Oath" were pretty good Battlestar Galactica, if a little on the on-the-nose side of things (as the show can be every so often). But then, oh, then, "The Oath" turned into the awesomest thing that ever walked the face of this Earth. It had its flaws, and I want to pick on them, but, man, oh man, Starbuck shot a guy in the head, and Baltar and Roslin had to work together to help quell a growing mutiny in the fleet, and Adama and Tigh had their very own version of the impossible last stand of so many siege movies, and the whole thing just rocketed along like a leftover script from Season One (when the series was most overtly an "action" show). I'd like to criticize the whole thing, but did you hear me? It was AWESOME!

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: Aaron Douglas, Alessandro Juliani, battlestar galactica, edward james olmos, Grace Park, James Callis, Jamie Bamber, jennifer halley, katee sackhoff, Mary McDonnell, Michael Hogan, Michael Trucco, michelle forbes, recap, Tahmoh Penikett, the oath, tricia helfer, Vincent Gale


Forecast: The 51st Annual Grammy Awards

RECORD OF THE YEAR
"Chasing Pavements," Adele
"Viva la Vida," Coldplay
"Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis
"Paper Planes," M.I.A.
"Please Read the Letter," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (Will Win)

Eric Henderson: So both the Grammys and the Oscars are hip to M.I.A. now? No matter. Slumdog Millionaire may be a frontrunner for Best Picture, but I bet "Paper Planes" comes in fifth here.
Sal Cinquemani: Despite the fact that I can't imagine the academy awarding a song with gunshots in it, I see this as a three-way race between M.I.A., Coldplay, and Plant & Krauss, who could feasibly sweep in every category they're nominated.
Jonathan Keefe: I'd say that all of the people who voted for the Ray Charles & Norah Jones duet a couple of years ago would automatically vote for Plant & Krauss this year, except that Adele's single keeps "Please Read the Letter" from being the most boring nominee. Usually the vote-split favors something particularly tepid, but the reverse situation could actually keep M.I.A. in the running here. But it's always a bad idea to bet against Krauss at the Grammys, and I think she and Plant will pull off the sweep.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: adele, alison krauss, coldplay, grammy awards, jonas brothers, leona lewis, m.i.a., robert plant


Hellboy II: The Golden Army

It's probably foolish to immediately write off the movie nominated in 12 other categories, but if there was one moment in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button that threw me clean out of the movie's up-to-then pretty seamless illusion, it was the moment the crane shot landed on Brad Pitt on that fishing boatthe precise point where the visual effects team hands the reigns of ancient Pitt over to the makeup team, who handle middle-aged Pitt. Granted, the movie doesn't truly get lost in Uncanny Valley until the VFX team makes their encore performance to turn the clock back (forward?) on Pitt's face, suggesting a PIXAR remake of Legends of the Fall. In any case, Benjamin Button has to have a better shot than The Dark Knight, unless all 38 Academy members who are both male and under 40 want to show their gratitude for helping them out with their Halloween costumes this year. (Like elderly Pitt, Two-Face is really more a VFX triumph.) Though Academy members might find its rogue's gallery a lot less Alice in Wonderland and a lot more Hellraiser, we're betting Guillermo del Toro's Oscar goodwill continues here.

Will Win: Hellboy II

Should Win: Hellboy II

This blog entry was originally published on Slant Magazine on the date above.

  • print
  • email

TAGS: academy awards, the curious case of benjamin button, the dark knight


Review: Serbis

Serbis

Like Goodbye, Dragon Inn without the protective layer of nostalgia, Brillante Mendoza's Serbis crafts a self-contained world from a dilapidated movie house given more to gay cruising than cinema watching. But whereas the theater in Tsai Ming-liang's film still offers relatively straight fare (classic wuxia films) and the sexual encounters come free of cost, the programming at Serbis' theater has given over entirely to porn and, in the relentless everything-for-profit world of Mendoza's film, each blowjob necessitates an exchange of pesos.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: brillante mendoza, coco martin, Jacklyn Jose, odyssey flores, serbis


Igor at Driven By Boredom 3.0 directs our attention to the period news report (1981) embedded below, worth discussing in light of all the new developments between newspapers and The Internetz. Related: Take a look at this new CNN article for the latest report on the changing role of film critics.

  • print
  • email

TAGS: film criticism, kron


Lost

When Lost had the idea to reveal that there was a man living down the hatch, a second season premiere development that emerged from much of the back half of the first season's mysteries, I doubt anyone had any idea that character would prove as integral to the show as Henry Ian Cusick's Desmond already has. If Hurley (Jorge Garcia, not in tonight's episode) is the show's soul, as I argued last week, then Desmond has evolved almost accidentally into the show's wildly romantic heart. This has been quite a feat for a character many fans never thought would turn up again after he split at the end of season two's third episode, "Orientation" (and, indeed, Cusick turned up on a few OTHER series in that TV season), but the amount of pathos the show is able to wring from the Desmond/Penny (Sonya Walger) pairing, a relationship that even the forces of space and time often seem to be against, makes the show's clumsier attempts at relationships seem that much more ham-handed. The interminable Jack (Matthew Fox)/Kate (Evangeline Lilly)/Sawyer (Josh Holloway) triangle was all right in seasons one and two when it was just One of Those Things Genre Shows Are Expected to Do, but the unexpected WEIGHT of Desmond and Penny makes it seem that much more superficial, even in retrospect. It's tempting to just point at this pairing and say to the producers, "Guys? More like that, please."

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: Alan Dale, Daniel Dae Kim, evangeline lilly, Harold Perrineau, jorge garcia, josh holloway, jughead, lost, maggie grace, matthew fox, michael emerson, Naveen Andrews, nestor carbonell, Rebecca Mader, recap, sonya walger, terry o'quinn, Yunjin Kim


The American Soldier

"So much tenderness," as Rainer Werner Fassbinder gazes unflinchingly into the abyss (of a country and of a cinema). The references have been well-noted: characters named Murnau, Fuller; a club called "Lola Montez"; high-contrast B&W photography that seems to regress into history as the film proceeds (from 70s self-aware to 40s noir to 30s melodrama, finally resolved and reconciled in an eras-spanning tableaux mort). Less remarked on is the sense that The American Soldier is itself a desiccated object, an effective corpse that nonetheless contains signs of life, even if only mere twitches. The catch is that once a beating heart is espied herein, it must be annihilated, all the better to maintain official, sanctioned histories (devoid of soul and spirit) over more multifaceted realities. As Billy Wilder turned a crumbling Berlin into a slapstick, satirical playground in One, Two, Three, so Fassbinder offers up The American Soldier's Munich as a monochrome city of sadness, peopled by a stoic rogues gallery (most of them screaming in silence) and presided over by Karl Scheydt's fedora-clad angel of death, Ricky.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: dietrich lohmann, Elga Sorbas, immediate impressions, Karl Scheydt, rainer werner fassbinder, the american soldier


No-Prize Animated: Hulk Vs.

Hulk Vs.

Tie-ins are the lifeblood of any successful comic franchise and essentially every major blockbuster film. Of course, when you get down to it, these ventures tend to be vomited out as one-shot comics, coloring books or god-knows-what-you-get from a McDonald's Happy Meal.

In the latest of Marvel's animated DVD outings, which began with Ultimate Avengers, the Hulk is the mindless, rage-filled destructive force that we all know and mildly anticipate. In lieu of the norm, Hulk vs. begins with the assumption in mind that everyone knows the basic back story that Bruce Banner was caught in the wake of a Gamma Bomb, a Gamma engine, or something vaguely Gamma powered depending on your familiarity with the story and which film or TV show you saw.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: hulk vs., hulk vs. wolverine, steven blum, wolverine and the x-men







The HouseCategories



The HouseThe Attic

More »



Site by  Docent Solutions