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Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Stickmen

I saw this movie with my nephew when I was living in New Zealand for a few months in 2001 and thought it was frickin’ hilarious. Quite similar to a Guy Ritchie film with a bit of a New Zealand accent. Been looking for it to be released in the States for a while, even tried to import a Region 6 DVD from Down Under. Much to my happiness, it looks like it’s finally been released here on DVD and Amazon is selling it. You can probably find it on Netflix or at a well-stocked local video store. Highly highly recommended.

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Dinner for Five

The best show on TV. On IFC.

This is about the only thing Tivo records anymore that I make a point of watching; except of course for the occasional new “Inside the Actors Studio”.

Jon Favreau invites four random celebrities to fine dinner for an evening of drinking, eating, and conversation, then they just let the tape roll. Its the best kind of reality show, a real show about theater instead of a theatrical show portraying reality.

Usually the best stories come, of course, from some of the older guests. My favorites though are the numerous directors who will come on and tell crazy stories about the stories behind the stories. Peter Bogdanovich reminiscing about Orson Welles, Peter Berg’s hilarious story about getting held up in the jungles of Brazil while scouting for “The Rundown”, or Burt Reynold talking about re-visiting the river from Deliverance with Ned Beatty and stopping for lunch at “Sodomy Creek.” It’s great conversation, and fantastic entertainment. Highly highly recommended. If you don’t get IFC, Bravo I think still does “IFC Fridays” where you can occasionally pick up a new episode on the free channel preview.

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Welcome to Sarajevo

I love Tivo. This afternoon it thought we might like “Welcome to Sarajevo”, it was right. Very good film that I think I heard of a long time ago but never saw. I can’t really describe the topic as there are scenes which most Americans know nothing about, so I recommend that you see it for yourself. Doesn’t appear to be available on Netflix, but Amazon does carry it exists on DVD somewhere.

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Dinner Rush

I must have missed this when it first came out. Picked it up off IFC this morning. I figured with Danny Aiello and being about a restaurant it might be worth it. Add John Corbin and Summer Pheonix and I had to watch the whole thing. Pretty good, solid four stars, worth a rental.

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Oscar Picks

The nominees are up. It’s a great group this year, I’m more excited than I’ve been in a while, probably because I’ve seen and enjoyed many of the films on the list. I’m probably way off base, but if the awards were up to me…

  • Best Actor – My hardest pick; I’m torn between Bill Murray in Lost In Translation and (yes, I know) Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. It will probably go to Mr. Murray, but Captain Jack Sparrow was my favorite character of the entire year!
  • Best Supporting Actor – Actually, I’ve only seen The Last Samurai in this category (gonna see all the others soon), but as soon as I came out I picked Ken Watanabe for this nod. Haven’t seen it yet, but I’d imagine Benicio Del Toro (21 Grams) is going to give him a run for his money.
  • Best Acress – Keisha Castle-Hughes, Whale Rider. I was just thrilled to see this film get picked up after having seen it three times when I was in New Zealand earlier this year.
  • Best Supporting Actress – Haven’t seen any of these films, no idea.
  • Best Director – I’m hoping for the dark horse, Lost In Translation
  • Best Picture – Very varied category this year. Seabiscuit or Master and Commander would be completely formula, Return of the King would never get it, and while Lost In Translation would be a funny win, I’m betting this will be Mystic River
  • Adapted Screenplay – Mystic River or Seabiscuit
  • Original Screenplay – Lost in Translation or In America

Let’s see what happens!

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Elf

You know you’re in for a good show when John Favreau directs a holiday movie with Will Farrell and James Caan. We went yesterday afternoon and I was laughing my ass off within the first five minutes. Strong three or four stars, definitely a re-watchable holiday classic.

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Live From Baghdad

Tivo picked up “Live From Baghdad” on HBO the other night. HBO put this out earlier last year, a movie about CNN covering the first Gulf War. I wanted to see this when it was originally broadcast, but something happened to our HBO or cable or something. Watching it even now is even more interesting, in contrast to the media coverage of this last Iraq War.

Really quite a good movie. Michael Keaton and Helena Bonham Carter play producers for the (at the time very small) Cable News Network. It follows the coverage before the war, and ends on the fateful night where the bombs started dropping.

I was 15 and in high school during the first Gulf War (I did my country report on Iraq that year). I watched the reporting of that night on TV; remember it very clearly. What I always thought was funny (that wasn’t in the movie) was every time there was a knock at the door, Bernard Shaw would say, “I’m going to go hide in the other room!”

After that first night, everyone got kicked out, except for Peter Arnett. He remained in Iraq, for the remainder of the war if I remember, filing (reviewed) stories as the one man voice from the wilderness. This really was the event that made CNN. And now all they have to cover is celebrity molestation trials…

And yes, it is available on Netflix.

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