Movie Reviews postsSaturday March 24, 2012
The Reviewing Games
E-mail exchange Thursday night with my 10-year-old nephew, Jordy:
Jordan: I have dibs on The Hunger Games and The Lorax for reviewing!
Erik: No dibs on my site, Jordo. But I'll give you the Lorax. The Hunger Games is too big.
Jordan: I guess whoever is first gets it, then.
Erik: Agreed. Whoever gets it first, gets it first. Whoever reviews it second, reviews it second.
Reviews up in the next few days...
Jordy, left, with brother Ryan, last summer.
Movie-Review Quote of the Day: Ebert on Dick
“After an unpromising start as bicycle-riding cops on park patrol, they're exiled to an undercover unit investigating a dangerous new drug infiltrating a local high school. The captain in charge (Ice Cube) is the typical police veteran who can't believe the incompetence of these losers. I should mention that his name is Dickson — inevitable in a movie papered with dick jokes. The male member, having gone unmentioned during most of the cinema's first 110 years, now co-stars in many comedies.”
--Roger Ebert in his review of “21 Jump Street”
Gorgeous and Brilliant or Bombastic Propaganda? The Exchange of the Day
Comment from Jay: Speaking of overlooked movies, how about City of Life and Death? Gorgeous, brilliant movie.
David Denby: Richard, your move. I missed it.
Richard Brody: City of Life and Death seemed to me to be bombastic propaganda.
David Denby: Oh dear.
--from “Ask the Author: Live Chat with David Denby and Richard Brody on the Oscars,” on The New Yorker site this afternoon.
I'm with Brody.
One-Word Review of Madonna's “W/E”
It's the End of the World as Lars von Trier Knows It and the National Society of Film Critics Feels Fine
I’m bummed that my favorite critics’ group, the National Society of Film Critics, chose one of my not-favorite films of 2011, Lar von Trier’s “Melancholia,” as its best picture of the year; but you could see it coming.
“Melancholia” is the favorite of a certain type of non-narrative-leaning critic with a touch of doom about them. Plus, despite lauding them on MSNBC.com in 2005, the NSFC and I haven’t agreed on much in the past 10 years. They went with “Capote” over “Brokeback Mountain” or “Munich”; “Pan’s Labyrinth” over “United 93”; “There Will Be Blood” over “No Country for Old Men”; “The Hurt Locker” over “Up” or “A Serious Man.”
I can see why “Melancholia.” I admit its five-minute overture is one of the most beautiful opens in movies. I just didn’t like the movie because: 1) I don’t believe in half its characters; 2) its two parts don’t add up to a whole; 3) its misanthropy seems adolescent; and 4) its hand-held camera made me literally nauseous. But I can understand why some misanthropic, form-over-content, iron-gutted critics would dig it. It’s right in their wheelhouse.
Giving me a reason for dying, with characters I can’t relate to, is easy. Giving me a reason for living, with characters I can relate to, is tough. I’ll go with “The Tree of Life,” their no. 2 pick, any day.
“Melancholia” star Kirsten Dunst, who was also named best actress by the NSFC.