Monthly Archives: December 2010

5 Videos to Celebrate Christmas

Today is Christmas.  Here are some videos to celebrate.

First, let’s drop a little knowledge on ya’.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtywlNX4NiQ

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True Grit shatters funny bone, not much else

Ever since Jeff Bridges won the hearts and minds of Little Lebowskis via the philosophy of The Dude, he has become a fan favorite in any role.  In True Grit he’s moved beyond middle age slacker and onto fat old guy with a gun – but he’s not the star of the show.

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This Kids Are Alright hates your dad

Earlier this year, The Kids Are Alright was receiving all sorts of attention for its portrayal of a lesbian married couple with two children (each had one child) from the same sperm donor.  It looks like a quirky family drama/comedy (Little Miss Sunshine), but fathers aren’t included in that dynamic. This film wouldn’t piss on fathers if they were on fire – it just pisses on them, period. Continue reading

6 Films to Celebrate Winter

Today is the first official day of Winter, commonly known as the Winter Solstice.  Around this time there’s a deluge of Christmas films dulling your ears on television – but what about films with Winter as a central character?

The Thing

You can’t mention Winter and not have The Thing listed as John Carpenter’s 1982 horror film is still quintessential viewing.  A cadre of men on an Antarctic expedition are slowly annexed by an alien being.  Both the cramped quarters of the camp and the empty snowscape let you know: “You’re on your own, buddy.”  Without the option of running to the authorities, the frigid environment makes it all the more unsettling when the shapeshifting alien crops up to snack on some man flesh. Continue reading

This American Life episode The Fighter’s equivalent

This week, David O. Russell’s The Fighter was released.  Mark Wahlberg is an underdog boxer who is frequently referred to as a “stepping stone,” a low-level guy pitted against a better fighter.  The “stepping stone” makes some money and his competitor builds up his rank in the boxing world.  This American Life did an episode on just these types of boxers, called “opponents.”

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Black Swan Aronofsky’s weakest

Anyone who has seen a film by Darren Aronofsky is not likely to describe it as a completely pleasurable experience.  My first experience with Aronofsky’s work was seeing Requiem for a Dream on the big screen.  It was good – but I avoided it for the next two years because of its intensity.

For Aronofsky is it not enough to show us the hardships of a protagonist. He has to actually make us feel the experiences of our protagonists.  In Black Swan Aronofsky continues to force us to suffer with our onscreen hero – and this time around you’ll be hard pressed to figure out why you should care. Continue reading

The Fighter a bruiser to watch

David O. Russell launched into the film world with his notable war/drama/comedy Three Kings, did the existential comedy I Heart Huckabess after that, and has now come out with a boxing picture, The Fighter.  The pieces don’t look like they’d fit together, but Russell’s sense of comedy and drama blends well with a cast that can do it justice. Continue reading