Posts Tagged ‘ kathryn bigelow ’

New Arrivals 3/6/10

A quick note: we’re going to try and be better about regularly posting new arrivals on this blog. This means new films, Criterion releases, and anything else old or new that has just recently arrived. Also gonna try and revamp the “Requests” section, so stay tuned for that, but for now, if you don’t see something on here that you’ve been waiting to see, ask for it in the comments.

My personal pick of the lot would have to be “A Serious Man.”

March

2012 – The latest world-ending disaster flick from Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, et al.). You know what you’re getting with this one.

PonyoHayao’s Miyazaki’s newest. If you’re a fan of his past work, no doubt you’ll like this one; likewise, if you haven’t seen any of his other films, come check out the shelf we’re putting together for him in the Anime section, including some newly released remasters. Up for an Academy Award for best animated feature.

Cold Souls – Paul Giamatti has his soul removed.

Dead Snow – 2009’s most-beloved Norwegian Zombie film!

Where The Wild Things AreSpike Jonze‘s much-debated adaptation of the classic Maurice Sendak children’s book. Will be worth watching, one way or another. Glenn Kenny wrote some good stuff on it here and here.

Burning Plain – The first film Guillermo Arriaga has made since his split from writing/directing partner Alejandro González Iñáritu. More jumbled story lines, and I’m assuming it’s based on the Juan Ruflo story. Ralph says, “VERY GOOD.” Any of you folks out there still haven’t seen Amores Perros, absolutely make that your next rental, please.

The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee – From Rebecca Miller.

February

A Serious Man – After No Country For Old Men, this is the best film the Coen Bros. have made in the last ten years. Strange, darkly funny, brilliantly filmed, and dead-eyed in the way their best stuff has always been. And yet still not quite you’ll expect. Best Picture nominee.

Zombieland – A good little jokey zombie flick, doesn’t take itself seriously at all.

Amelia – As in, Earhart.

Departures – Oscar winner for best foreign film last year. This wasn’t even our fault. It actually took a year to get this film out on DVD. Why? I DON’T KNOW.

Coco Before Chanel – Pretty self-explanatory. Staring Audrey Tautuo.

Hunger – The long-awaited, much requested debut film from renowned British visual artist Steve McQueen. Criterion edition.

The September Issue – Documents the production of the fall 2007 issue of Vogue Magazine, under the helm of mercurial editor Anna Wintour.

Alexander The Last – For all you Indy New Wave kids (ahem), the latest Joe Swanberg “film”.

No Impact Man – Another great documentary from the folks at Oscilloscope. Not as gimmicky as the tagline makes is sound, honestly. Good double feature with Food Inc.

January

District 9 – Neill Blomkamp’s first, produced by Peter Jackson. Best Picture nominee.

Extract – From the great Mike Judge, a sort of inverted Office Space, made to be from the boss’s perspective. Ben Affleck plays Jason Bateman‘s pretty hilarious (honestly) douche of a friend.

500 Days Of SummerJoseph Gordon-Levitt continues to prove his worth as an actor.

Paranormal Activity – The latest in viral, DIY horror.

Gomorrah – Based on groudbreaking book of reportage on the Naples mafia by Roberto Saviano. Expertly directed by Matteo Garone, this film looks as good as any you’ve seen in a while, trust me. Criterion edition.

Taking Woodstock New Ang Lee.

9 – Some animated, post-apocalyptic deal. Christopher Plummer provides a voice.

The Hurt LockerKathryn Bigelow proves you (well, not you… but she) can make a heartfelt movie about the Iraq war, and still sell tickets. See our earlier piece on her.

Angels and Demons – Ron Howard and Dan Brown and Tom Hanks!!!! (gurggles, dies).

The Brothers Bloom – I got zilch on this one. Leave a comment if you saw it, er whatever.

Moon – Another one we had a ton of requests for. First-time director Duncan Jones is David Bowie’s son. Phenomenal set-design. Starring Sam Rockwell and a disembodied Kevin Spacey.

Bright Star – Pretty lovey-dovey, but it looks beautiful. Jane Campion’s newest, and fans of her work won’t be disappointed.

Whip It – Another first-time director: Drew Barrymore. Rollerderby fans, take note.

The Cove – More dire-sounding nature-doc stuff. Up for a best documentary Oscar.

The Loveless

the lovelessdafoeFor the past couple weeks I’ve been slowly working my way through the work of director Kathryn Bigelow, whose latest film, The Hurt Locker, has been garnering major praise (I haven’t seen it myself). To be honest, her work left me fairly underwhelmed, but it wasn’t for lack of variety; she’s definitely not a director who works exclusively in just one or two genres. Have a look around Acme and see for yourself: she has a film each in Horror, Sci-Fi, Indy, War, and Juvee, plus three more in thriller (those three are easily the worst of the bunch: Blue Steel is Jamie Lee Curtis doing the female cop thing, with a god-awful Ron Silver as her crazed lover/nemesis; K-19: The Widowmaker is Harrison Ford doing his best Russian accent in the face of one of the most expensive independent films ever made — over $100 million, of which it failed to recoup even half; and then there’s Point Break, which needs no synopsis). All that being said, y’all should really check out her first feature-length, The Loveless.

This was Willem Dafoe’s first film, playing the young leader of a biker gang on their way to Daytona who get waylaid in a small, Podunk southern town. I haven’t seen too many films — especially low-budget, independent films — that have gotten the ’50s biker-flick look so right, and Bigelow deserves major credit for that. The bikes, the cars, the costumes and the sets — everything looks exactly as it should, and it’s all topped off with a totally kickass rockabilly score with original stuff from Robert Gordon and John Lurie. But this isn’t just your typical biker-gang-wreaks-havoc flick, as Bigelow punctuates the film with all manner of disconcerting images: from the boredom and malaise on the faces of the local help, to the vaguely-illegal oil business run by town’s antagonistic alpha-male, to the punchy, nervous atmosphere of the bar in the film’s final scene. Working with just a few set pieces, the photography is thoughtful and consistently original, and Bigelow does a wonderful job of insinuating a great deal about the pain of characters’ lives without beating you over the head with any of it. Dafoe’s performance is the real stunner — and even more so given his age and inexperience. Watching him, it’s hard not to draw comparisons to Brando’s early stuff, as he plays the role with a remarkable softness that belies the intensity of his character. Young ‘uns only familiar with the man from his Spiderman role would do well to seek this one out.