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Friday, January 29, 2010

When Cameron was in 3-D Land...

Okay, so it’s the biggest movie in the history of movies, and yet the only constant thing I continue to hear from everyone (aside from how visually stunning it is) is that “you have to see it in 3D.” Fine, since it’s not going to be in an IMAX theater forever I might as well give in. But on the same note only 10% of the people that I’ve talked to tell me that it’s simply a good movie…probably because, simply it is not. What disturbs me about a movie like “Avatar” (without having seen it) is the obvious attempt by the filmmakers to assemble several popular socio-political themes and wrap it up in the biggest, shiniest technologically advanced package that money can buy thereby taking every calculated “lowest common denominator” elements of such films that do nothing more than draw a crowd. Now, I’m not saying everyone who likes this movie is an idiot. And yes, I understand that this is a business and I don’t have a problem with that either. I’m simply saying that when the world takes off it’s 3D glasses, they might not like what they see after all.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jeff's Top 10 List of 2009

It's long, it's sort of a mess, but, I found it hilarious and poignant. I know a couple of stand up comedians, and from getting to know them, I can honestly say this film encompasses how much pain, anger and sadness that one must go through to be funny.

It's a "walking around the city" drama about the 24 hours following a one night stand. A very engaging, very funny, very thoughtful film.

An old school intelligent science fiction film that's not about action and gadgets, but rather about character and emotion. Also, my film wet dream: Sam Rockwall is in every single scene.

A bleak and funny character study with fucking Patton Oswald giving one of the best performances of the year. It accomplishes a rare feat in it's final moments: completely unpredictable.

This film reminds me of the great dramas from the 1970s (The Panic in Needle Park, Fat City). Small, simple, great acting. Hopefully Joaquin will snap out of it, he puts on a clinic in this film.

My guilty pleasure of the year. At times, it rings as true as any film about love and heart break. At other times, it's a cliche ridden as your typical studio film. But by any measure, it's the best romantic comedy of the decade.

Ramin Bahrani is slowly becoming one of my favorite contemporary film directors. After MAN PUSH CART and CHOP SHOP, he once again tops himself, giving us two original characters you'll most likely never see in any other film.

I wish I could reedit the final 5 minutes. Having said that, this is the best war movie I've seen in quite sometime. Actually, it's less about war and more about the men doing work. There really isn't a story here, there's no antagonist, just these three characters doing their job.

First things first: this is probably the most polarizing film of the year. I realize that a lot of people didn't like it, and that's fine, it's their loss. But, me, I was literally moved to tears. Hands down one of the most honest portrayals of childhood emotion I've seen on screen maybe ever.

It's a work of comic genius. The most existential film from the Coens since BARTON FINK. It's about trying to make sense of life, as futile as that may be. Bottom line: the best ending to a film this year. Also, it's something I thought I'd never see from the Coens: a deeply personal film.

Honorable Mentions: Food, Inc., The Brothers Bloom, Up, The Girlfriend Experience, Up In The Air, The Hangover, Humpday, The Road, the first half of Antichrist.

Overrated: Inglorious Basterds, Precious, Drag Me To Hell, An Education, District 9

Worst films I saw this year: Away We Go, Gigantic, The Goods, Terminator Salvation

Haven't Seen Yet: Broken Embraces, A Single Man, Anvil!, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Brothers, Crazy Heart