Reel Society

28Oct/100

Greatest achievement on Blu Ray?

Posted by Matthew Starr

I finally got around to watching Criterion Collection's blu ray transfer of The Thin Red Line this past weekend and I now truly believe this is the best blu ray title on the market. First and foremost the film is simply one of the greatest of all time. If I ever get around to compiling my favorite movies this will surely be within my top ten. This film is the definition of poetry in motion. The Thin Red Line is one of the few films that is more than just an interesting narrative or entertainment, it is an experience.

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25Sep/100

Best actor in a leading role

Posted by Matthew Starr

I doubt anyone would have ever guessed that Jessie Eisenberg would be in contention for an oscar but after having seen The Social Network last night at the New York Film Festival I am joining the campaign to get Jessie Eisenberg nominated for best leading actor this awards season. We know the voting guilds love a good villain as evidenced by the last three supporting actor champions (Waltz, Ledger and Bardem) but Eisenberg's portrayal as Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg can't be reduced to being described as simply a villain or an asshole. After watching the film I don't believe he is either. At not point during the story did I think Mark was doing anything intentionally malicious, perhaps outside of the creation of Facemash. Although I don't think he realized how hurtful that or his blog posts were. He was angry and jealous and appeared to not have the ability to be considerate.

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1Sep/100

The Last Lions: Impressions

Posted by Ryan Sarver

Disclaimer: The following article concerns an in-progress documentary. These are impressions of an early print of a work still in post-production.

This past Wednesday I had a chance to catch an advance screening of The Last Lions, the new National Geographic film from the team who brought us 2005’sMarch of the Penguins. Having never seen March and not fancying myself a lion fanatic, I wasn’t too pumped about the experience. Add in the film’s “unfinished” status—meaning anything from soundtrack and narration changes to severe editing before wide release—and I could barely drag myself to the theater.

What a fool I was.

This in-progress doc following a mother lioness’s struggles to keep her cubs alive in the face of thousands of hostile buffalo and the rival pride who killed her husband turned out to be one of the best film-going experiences I’ve had this dismal Summer. If you grew up loving The Lion King or nature docs, you’re going to eat this movie up with delight; it provides an in-depth understanding of the life of a mother lioness, informing audiences of an animal lifestyle both extremely interesting and compelling.

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24Aug/100

Fine Art

Posted by Matthew Starr

I am seeing more and more of these all the time and they are getting increasingly better. It has practically become an art form to mash two trailers together and put them on YouTube. Some movie studio out there should really hold a competition and see what people can do with prizes on the line.

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9Aug/100

Marvel’s Latest Beef

Posted by Matthew Starr

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Cinemablend posted an interesting article last week discussing how Jon Favreau did indeed wish to direct the upcoming Avengers movie but Marvel did not want to pay him what he was requesting. On top of this they apparently had rough negotiations on Iron Man 2's contract and Favreau was supposedly rushed through production by Marvel.

Their source also claims that " Iron Man 2 wasn’t the movie Jon Favreau wanted to make. Marvel interfered heavily with his work on the movie and turned the project into an infomercial for The Avengers." They also go on to claim that Robert Downey Jr was also unhappy with the production process and end result. Anyone who has seen Iron Man 2 realizes what a dud it was and a far cry from the first installment two years ago.

While nothing in that article has been and probably won't be confirmed by anyone on either side I can't say all of this is too surprising. Just look at Marvel Film Studio's already testy history between them and Terrence Howard and just a few months ago their scuffle with Edward Norton. How many bridges does this studio want to burn? I understand that they want to produce box office hits as cheaply as possible but at some point you have to pay the talent what they deserve.

The Thor footage that leaked from Comic Con looks underwhelming and my gut tells me neither that film nor Captain America will deliver in terms of quality. Marvel just does not have that same professionalism that WB and DC Comics have with its major franchises. Right now Warner Brothers main strategy is let Christopher Nolan and his team do whatever they want with Batman and Superman and pay them for it. Now that is a smart studio. Perhaps Marvel should take heed.

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17Jul/100

Up For Debate

Posted by Matthew Starr

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Cinemablend has posted a nice FAQ and backtalk on the intricacies of Inception's narrative, so if you have any questions, concerns or queries about the film (which anyone who watched it should), then head over there and check it out. Below I will share what confused me and whether or not I believe Cinemablend answers my questions.

NOTE:  If you have not seen the film DO NOT visit Cinemablend's FAQ or continue reading.

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11Jul/103

Back

Posted by Matthew Starr

Ok so I have returned from another little break. Not quite as long as my first break where I went to Israel for two weeks. This time I spent the fourth in DC and have not gotten a chance to update since then. I have seen a few movies that have received positive critical analysis this year and I want to share my thoughts on them.

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8Jul/100

Harold and Maude

Posted by Ryan Sarver

Hal Ashby’s Harold and Maude feels like an exercise in bipolar disorder; Harold spends his time teasing a deathwish, faking everything from self-immolation and drowning to driving a car over a cliff, while Maude immerses herself in hedonism and liberation, stealing cars and local trees in order to replant the forests. There’s little traditional narrative to speak of, and the wandering portrait of zany characters the film eventually fleshes out smacks of Wes Anderson’s hand, though H&M predates him by a couple decades. It’s one of those paradoxical lighthearted black comedies that never quite takes itself seriously, with cartoonishly detached mothers, zany army caricatures, several nameless inane women, and other characters that defy any sense of seriousness. It’s actually so insincere and absurd that it’s difficult to care where the film goes.


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17Apr/100

Testosterone

Posted by Matthew Starr

I went to see Kick Ass this morning and practically all the trailers in front of it seemed like the same movie. Is there some new formula where if you put a bunch of tough guys together and have them blow things up and crack lame jokes you will have a successful movie? What exactly is the difference between The Losers, The A-Team and The Expendables? From what I can tell the only difference between the movies is in the cast. The Losers are made up of the C-listers, the A-Team of B-listers and The Expendables of A-listers. Based on that assessment Zoe Saldana got stuck in the wrong action flick. I'll probably end up seeing the B-listers and the A-listers but it really looks like all the same nonsense.

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