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Showing posts from July, 2010

Glum and glam

Like its star, Salt is a spare and lean piece of work; it’s everything a modern action movie should be, a picture made with confidence but not arrogance, one that believes so wholeheartedly in its outlandish plot twists that they come to make perfect alt-universe sense. The story — the script is by Kurt Wimmer — draws numerous outrageous loops, but Noyce neither dwells on them ponderously nor speeds through them in a misguided attempt to energize his audience. And he makes fine use of his star, an actress whose lanky gait is as delicious to watch as her spring-loaded leaps are. Noyce frames the movie around Jolie’s finely tuned sense of movement, and yet it’s her expressiveness that anchors the story emotionally: In an old-fashioned, old-Hollywood way, Noyce and his cinematographer, Robert Elswit, are wholly alive to her face and all its possibilities.[. . .]Noyce has made his share of action thrillers (he’s the director behind the Tom Clancy adaptations Patriot Games and Clear and Pr…

King Bash

Phil Perspectivebut did you know that Roberts and Phillips were engaged as of three months ago?A big part of me wishes I had remained free of this information - just like I lament knowing about the CNN nuptials of John King and Dana Bash. (Glenn Grenwald, “CNN anchors attack the scourge of anonymity,” Salon, 24 July 2010)Great stuff, Glenn. Roberts and Philips are a good fit, but completely vile. I'd just wish them better things if it wasn't for all the damage they'll be up to. King and Bash are a good fit too. I like them -- I think they're mostly good, and maybe even possible future allies of yours. In any case, if I was Obama, I wouldn't want them around -- they could balk.Cheers.- - - - -Patrick McEvoy-HalstonRe: “King and Bash are a good fit too. I like them -- I think they're mostly good, and maybe even possible future allies of yours.”—Patrick McEvoy-HalstonDo you have any examples of especially King's reporting (sic) that would lead you to believe t…

@Pacificwhim

@cabdriverThen read more before you opine, please. King never wrote such an opening to a novel, ever:“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”Man, that's good. Shirley Jackson was a master, occult kookiness or not, vagina or not. (Pacificwhim, response to post, “Is Shirley Jackson a great American writer?,” Laura Miller, Salon, 14 July 2010)Pacificwhim has it rightPacificwhim has it right. Chocolate cookieness or not, Shirley Jackson WAS a master.- - - - -Pacificwhim has it rightPacificwhim has it right. Vagina or not, Shirley…

On tech, anti-tech, and James Cameron

However, there may be no director whose themes are more schizophrenic than James Cameron, who constantly flips between worshiping grand technology and stigmatizing the kind of personality who employs it. In Avatar, as in Lucas’s Ewok battle, the high-tech invading troops are laid low by organic fighters who have no need for electricity at all. In Titanic, just the idea of the incredibly expensive boat is held up as the height of hubris, despite the fact that Cameron himself was making the most expensive film ever at the time, and he’s not exactly the first person you’d expect to scoff at hubris. The Terminator films vividly portray the apocalyptic future that results when technology is left unchecked, but Cameron is a constant innovator in those fields, consistently surfing a high-tech cutting edge and even inventing new technology himself in pre-production for his movies. (Tellingly, his undersea documentary Aliens of the Deep purported to show how natural ocean dwellers could be mor…

The meaning of "absolutely brilliant"

Kicking around in the comments, I see that some think there’s an anti-Inception bias here at Movieline HQ. Let me dispel that scurrilous rumor by saying I think Inception was absolutely brilliant and probably one of the best movies of the year. (Dixon Gaines, “Weekend Receipts: Inception Wakes Up At Number One,” July 18 2010)I don't mean this as a snark, but when you say, "Let me dispel that scurrilous rumor by saying I think Inception was absolutely brilliant and probably one of the best movies of the year," as a believing listener you're kinda forced into thinking that for Inception to be absolutely brilliant and still only PROBABLY also one of the year's best, to you this has been a year chock-full of epic-brilliant movie-making. If I walked up to you in a crowded room and said to you you were absolutely brilliant, probably one of the smartest people in the room, the room had better be filled with obvious "Einsteins" for this not -- en totale -- to s…

Discussing Inception's reception with S.T. Vanairsdale

So you might have heard Movieline’s chief film critic Stephanie Zacharek had some problems with Inception. Along with a few other pans heard round the world (literally), the review has provoked more than a little discussion among fans of Christopher Nolan — and that discussion will only advance this weekend as the film opens in theaters. With that in mind, let’s talk! And: Let’s keep it civil! It’s just a movie, people. (S.T. Vanairsdale, “Now Playing: Stephanie Zacharek’s Video Review of Inception,” Movieline, 16 July 2010)- - - - -Welcome to Movieline, where a movie ... really is just a movie, people.
You know what I mean. No movie is grounds to write the kind of vicious, hateful, personal attacks we've seen here this week. (S.T. Vanairsdale)I agree with that. I also commend the encouragment for civility. This said, this is a site for people who feel passionately about movies -- it's a (albeat intelligent) fan site, FOR MOVIES -- and the essential "what's with you gu…