REVIEW: Le mépris [Contempt] [1963]

“I love you totally, tenderly, tragically” Director Jean-Luc Godard has tested cinema’s boundaries throughout his career. So it’s hardly surprising his foray into CinemaScope color with a bigger budget would be as much an aesthetic exercise showing off the technology’s splendor as it is a scathing look at the industry with the money and ego to utilize it. Stories of behind the scenes strife on Le mépris [Contempt] rival the faux behind the scenes nonsense onscreen with Godard clashing against his producers (who wanted more sex appeal), alienating third lead…

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REVIEW: Castello Cavalcanti [2013]

“Tarred, feathered, and spit-roasted …” I can get behind Wes Anderson‘s Castello Cavalcanti being considered a short film. Yes, it’s a Prada ad like Candy before it, but this one actually has a story fun enough to make you forget. There is humor in the camera movements (with one pan brilliantly hitching at the scream of a man in the restaurant that the lens was about to pass); fantastic visual comedy thanks to the 1955 Italian setting, destroyed Formula One car, and stone-faced cast devoid of English; and a wonderful…

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REVIEW: A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III [2013]

“What are all these shoes?” Yeah, so Roman Coppola definitely threw the kitchen sink in much earlier than the moment he actually put it onscreen at the end of A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. But I don’t think anyone would expect different from a post-“tiger blood” Charlie Sheen for all intents and purposes playing his own crazy self jumping through a bunch of fever dreams on a broken heart. We’d like to believe the actor’s noggin is filled to the brim with depraved and lecherous fantasies…

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REVIEW: CQ [2002]

“Dazzling! Fascinating!” While there are many cinematic examples of directors taking a behind the scenes look at the process of their craft, few are as sure-handed, personal, and entertaining as Roman Coppola‘s debut CQ. For someone who literally grew up in the movies with father Francis Ford Coppola and American Zoetrope reaching legendary status inside his house, inspiration was readily available through the memories and keepsakes acquired along the way. From the vanity of fame to the technological evolution of the industry to the almost forgotten practice of practical effects,…

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Top 50 Films of the Decade (2000–2009)

As always, I have not seen every film made in the decade, so this list is only complete as of posting. There are those diamonds in the rough I’ve yet to witness that could render this entire list obsolete. The ‘Naughts’, I believe an appropriate term being used for the decade spanning from 2000–2009, the years we feared wouldn’t come thanks to Y2K, brought with them some amazing films. Technological advancements aside, this time period contained a number of singular auteurs both continuing on already stellar careers and others beginning…

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REVIEW: Diabolik [1968]

“Anti exhilarating gas pills” Ah, Italian cinema from the late 60’s. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Mario Bava brings the world an adaptation of the comic Diabolik. Complete with cheesy set pieces, laughable heists, and over-the-top sexuality, this film may not be quite bad enough to be good, but it isn’t enough to be bad either. A lot is fun here and that must count for something. Feel free to check your brain at the door, (or perhaps you shouldn’t even wake up that morning with it), because once…

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REVIEW: Marie Antoinette [2006]

“Let them eat cake” Sofia Coppola has risen in Hollywood to A-list status after her magnificent debut, The Virgin Suicides, and the over-long, funny at times, critical darling Lost in Translation. Due to the enormous success of Translation, she was able to rework the production, with a bigger budget, on her passion project Marie Antoinette. While trying to stick to historical accuracies when able, she crafted a loose interpretation of the young Queen’s life from leaving Austria for marriage until the fateful storming of the Bastille. Coppola’s father had success…

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Top 25 Films of 2002

(short and sweet and to the point; culled from watching 87 releases. constantly updated as i catch up to those i missed. click poster for review if applicable) #25: Spider directed by David Cronenberg #24: Scotland, P.A. directed by Billy Morrissette #23: Death to Smoochy directed by Danny DeVito #22: Catch Me If You Can directed by Steven Spielberg #21: The Good Thief directed by Neil Jordan #20: The Bourne Identity directed by Doug Liman #19: Narc directed by Joe Carnahan. #18: Equilibrium directed by Kurt Wimmer. #17: Confessions ofa…

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