Thursday, January 12, 2006

Soulpatch is back in the saddle. Kippy-Ki-Ay!

Tick Tock... enjoy your first look at Day Five


From Yahoo!:

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The fifth-season premiere of "24," a four-hour, two-night affair, is a heart-pounding, mesmerizing adventure unlike anything else up or down the dial.

What's it about? Don't ask. Seriously. Fox, probably in defiance of the Geneva Convention, sent the first four hours of "24" to critics along with a note requesting they not reveal what happens, even in the first 10 minutes of the first hour. Particularly in the first 10 minutes. All that can be said is that CTU agent Jack Bauer (Keifer Sutherland), presumed by all but a few to be dead, is called into action once more as a result of terrible and unexpected events.

Sutherland has never been better. He is joined in the fifth season by
Jean Smart, Sean Astin, Julian Sands and many returning cast members. Suffice it to say that this brilliant creation of Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran will only enhance its reputation as the most reliable and involving thriller in TV history. (Reuters/Hollywood Reporter)

It's a warm and fuzzy year in film


Originally uploaded by mitchcrumrine.

Until I attended a screening of Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck was without compare, my pick for the best film of the year, as it is a very important film that every “American” should watch. In that review, I mentioned that I could not declare “Luck” the most important film yet [imo] as I was waiting for Munich and Syriana. And so, Wednesday night, I came one step closer as I ventured to Munich.

Munich 5/10

Put aside the profound depressive state Brokeback Mountain emotionally spiraled me into about six weeks ago, and let’s deal with a feeling that brings out the warm and fuzzies in us all, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Okay, please tell you me didn’t think I was serious. I’m going to talk about Munich in a way most don’t attempt to, by separating the film from the topic of the film. I in no way wish to touch on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. How can I do that? By talking about filmmaking. Also, while I’ve shared it before I’ll share it again. My family is composed of Jews, Arabs, Asians, Latin Americans, and tons of PA Dutch (Deutch) folk. We also picked up a Catholic somewhere along the way. Personally, I have very strong feelings on the entire debachal and on going atrocities of the Middle East. I am very one-sided and anyone who has ever brought up the topic with me knows how fiercely angry and passionate I get. So without inflaming and violating the sanctity of the blog, I choose to keep my “pro” feelings to myself.

The Film…

Spielberg and Kazminski’s latest collaboration perfected fluid camera work, a subtle a trademark of the two. Through cranes and dollies the camera’s motion created an antithetical complement to the comments of uncomfortable stillness. The chemistry and physics applied to the light itself is absolutely brilliant. While it’s been sadly five years since my hands touched any raw film stock, I’m posing a guess that the negative skipped the bleaching process. The white light of the film was so fiery hot that it made that iconic scene in Out of Sight seem tame. Although Munich benefits from awe-inspiring photography, the visuals were crafted with such finesse that there was never a stylistic distraction from the narrative.

The wonderful ensemble cast was fantastic including the new (and improved?) James Bond, Daniel Craig. Eric Bana once again brings to life an honorable, yet tragically flawed hero, similar to those in The Hulk and Troy. Bana is so masterful with this type of character, that his repeat performance doesn’t lose anything or belittle the film.

Unfortunately, that’s all Munich has going for it. First, I have a problem with the title as it would have been better off to retain, Vengence, the title of the book it was based upon. The film deals very little with the incident at Munich and uses it only as a precipitating incident. The screenplay suffered from a horrible structure and becomes a dragging jumble of ideologies, plots, and conspiracies. Many scenes seemed to have not purpose other than to manipulate emotions that by this point of the film have already shut down. After the first 45 minutes, dialogue floats away and the film becomes mundane and confusing, no to mention impossible to cohesively resolve towards the end. All of this is quite shocking seeing that the literary genius Tony Kushner (Angels in America playwright) and Forrest Gump and Insider scribe, Eli Roth, were behind the screenplay.

Munich is the not film it could have been nor is it the film it should have been. If it weren’t so blasé it would be insulting.

Sidenote: I was unable to see Syriana during the couple weeks it was available here. I have The Constant Gardener at home and Narnia and Geisha in the works. Capote isn’t available until March on DVD, but Pride and Prejudice and The Squid and the Whale are available next month. So, The Brain Drain Popcorn Honors will be announced on Wednesday, March 1st.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Hajimemashite

Konichi Wa

So I haven’t blogged in a while and figured I should. Work has been fantastically busy since I returned from my holiday hiatus. This is actually a very good thing.

While in Ohio, the little sis and I tolerated the rest of the family during our traditional Christmas movie adventure. This year we endured King Kong, which just edged out Memoirs of a Geisha. I thought the film was great, but WAY too long. Some studio executive needs to learn to say “no” to Peter Jackson. Not every film he touches will be Lord of the Rings. A complex series of novels understandably will benefit from extra scream time. A 3 hour adaptation of an old black and white “moving picture” just becomes masturbatory. So my sister, for whom I adopted an orangutan at the Columbus Zoo just a few months ago, wept hysterically thoughout the drawn out inevitable conclusion. As I told people back in 1997-1998 while working in a box office, “Yes, it’s really that long and guess what? The boat sinks.”

So, since my return to the day-to-day, I’ve been bogged down with de-christmasafying my home and spending most of my time playing the new video games I received. I’ve been addicted to The Movies, which has its problems, but it’s loads of fun… Especially when I can use basic 3D modeling applications to “sculpt” my own stars. If you’re nice to me, maybe I’ll make one of you. I also received civ, but seeing that I have become unhealthily addicted to II and III, I’m a bit hesitant to open this package until after I’ve taken the GMAT.

Oh, the GMAT. So besides the SAT, and the SAT II, and the LSAT, time has now come to take the GMAT. My friend Darci asked why I needed to take a standardized test of some sort every few years? Is it to satisfy my own ego, or do I just have a sick and delusional concept of fun? Trust me, Darci, I find many more things fun (for $250) than a four hour test that leaves me with a mushy brain and an inferiority complex. This all of course relates to my move to the Mid West in the upcoming months as I try to get into grad school. That’s right… future investment banker here.

So, besides studying math and grammar every night, I’ve also started studying Japanese. The ironic thing is that I spent five years in speech therapy to lose the Japanese accent I picked up from my grandmother as a child. So now, 15+ years later, I’m trying to get it back. And learn the language while I’m at it.

I took a break from the games, housework, and studying this weekend and saw both Madagascar and March of the Penguins. Madagascar was funny, but only about as much as your average episode of The Family Guy, and utilizing references way over a child’s consciousness, ahem Tom Wolfe. It also had no point. Call me sentimental, but there was no greater good from the film other than the slightly inferred “message” of promoting vegetarianism. How would Nemo feel?

March of the Penguins on the other hand was very good. The cinematography was breathtaking as the film showed command for certain crafts often neglected in documentaries. All in all, it was more like a really good special on the National Geographic or The Science Channel than a feature release. Considering that this past weekend one of my friends learned that she is pregnant and another learned that his fiancée is cheating on him, the film came at a poignant time as we all watched the penguin families bond.

The Globes are a week away so thoughts will be abounding. I have yet to see Geisha, Munich, or Narnia which are all on my short list. I’m going to try to squeeze one in one Wednesday. The gay cowboys ride into town on Friday!

Until then…

Angie desu. Sayonara


p.s. Darren, what did you think of Pretty Persuasion?