Monthly Archives: February 2013

Terse Movie Review – Smokey and the Bandit, dir. by Hal Needham

It might not be the greatest movie ever made, and it might not be one I’d watch over and over again, but has there ever been a purer, honest or more perfect film in the history of cinema – at least in terms of delivering on what it promised – than Smokey and the Bandit?  The only film that even approaches it in my mind is the original Gone in 60 Seconds.

(My favorite line?  When Jackie Gleason decides he’s had enough of his dimwit son and looks at him and says, “There is no way, no way, that you could come from my loins. Soon as I get home, the first thing I’m gonna do is punch your momma in the mouth.”)

(As an aside, what does it say about me that all my favorite lines from these movies are the women-hating ones?  I guess maybe it’s time to sit down for a little self-evaluation.)

(A more topical aside – the director of this film, Hal Needham, was at the Oscars over the weekend, celebrating his Honorary Oscar.  Who would’ve thought the director of this classic would ever have his own Oscar?)

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Oscars 2012 – Reflections and Notes

Oscar StatuettesOn the whole, I thought last night’s Oscars were a great time and Seth Macfarlane proved a good, deprecating host.  Sure, some jokes laid flat but when they did, he had the presence to comment on it.  Plus, he didn’t go in for all that Bruce Villanch-style humor, which really aided the festivities.

However, it’s worth noting that my view of the ceremony is skewed because it was DVR-aided.  See, I had an indoor-soccer game that ran over the first hour or so of the ceremony so by the time I got home, I had a good buffer to get me through the musical numbers, which were many.  However, when my buffer ran out, just about the time the Les Mis musical number was going on, I got up and wandered off and emptied the dishwasher and reloaded it.

Still, all in all it was a good ceremony and at just about 3 1/2 hours, it wasn’t the longest ever. Continue reading

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Oscar Race 2012 – The Other Races

So, since I’ve already shared my thoughts on the Best Picture race , I see no reason not to share my thoughts on the other big races as well, and, having seen most of them, I suppose I have a somewhat valid soapbox upon which to stand.  So, here goes:

Best Picture Argo

See here for the explanation as to why. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Argo, dir. by Ben Affleck

Oscar Statuettes(NOTE: This post has been slightly modified to serve as the Best Picture Project entry for 2012)

Since I started the Best Picture Project – so many years ago now it’s becoming somewhat pathetic how long it’s taking me to complete it – I’ve posted every year at Oscar time about the Best Picture race and my preferences for the films in the race.  In some ways, the post behaves very much as a true Best Picture Project post behaves and in that it tends to evaluate all the films and stands as my take on all the films.  Since that’s the usual plan, I’ll do my best to make sure that this one can be seen that way.

So here it is, the Best Picture Race 2012, as seen through the eyes of the Best Picture Project. Continue reading

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Terse Movie Reviews – In The Company Of Men, dir. by Neil Labute

Has there ever been a more charming misanthrope than Aaron Eckhart in this movie?  I’d even go out there so far as to say that of all the great movie villains, he might even be better than Hans Gruber.

As an aside, my favorite line in a movie filled with great lines: “Fuck her!  Let’s get a sandwich.”

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New Release – Parenthood – A Paul Angstrom Story

finger1Just a quick little heads up that another story in the ongoing Paul Angstrom series is out.  Because I’m about knee-deep in starting one project, and shoulder deep in trying to finish another, it might be some time before another of these arrives.

In the meantime, don’t be afraid of the Facebook page.



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Terse Book Review – Nosferatu, by Paul Monette

08 Notice of Hearing001

Ooh, let’s do a fill in the blank review for this one:  Nosferatu the novelization is to Nosferatu the Werner Herzog movie as Natural Born Killers the novelization is to _____________________ the movie.

Is the answer:

(a) Platoon

(b) Pulp Fiction

(c) Natural Born Killers

(d) None of the above.

Be sure to double check your work.

(As an aside, I happened to stumble across this in John King’s Used Books in Detroit a few months back.  I’d never been there before but given the general jumble of the books in the building, and the fact they have a gajillion books, the hour or so I spent in there before the wife and kids had enough of it, was not nearly long enough to do any real digging.)

Don’t be afraid to like me on Facebook.

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Terse Movie Review – Dr. Strangelove, dir. by Stanley Kubrick

Eerily prescient of the lunacy infecting the national discourse.  Yes, it’s funny, but also sad the characters are far less absurd — and therefore more believable — these days than they were in 1964.

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Terse Movie Review – Salem’s Lot, dir. by Tobe Hooper

As fabulously tense and imaginatively directed as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was, what with all it’s grungy charm, you’d think Tobe Hooper would’ve done a better job with this – especially since he had probably ten time the budget.  It’s almost like he used up all his talent on the first film and after that spent the rest of his career sleepwalking.

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The Reflecting Skin, dir. by Philip Ridley

Somewhere, I read an assessment of this movie as being Days of Heaven as directed by David Lynch.  I don’t normally like to rest on the reviews of others when writing my own, but sometimes, when what somebody else said is so perfect, why bother trying to top it?

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