Cinema Mishmash

A personal and random look at movies, past and present

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Entries from March 2009

Singin’ in the Rain

March 29th, 2009 · No Comments

Prior to today, Singin’ In the Rain was a film I had only seen on television. I’m sure that’s true with most people, unfortunately, even those who are fond of the film. Until seeing it today on the big screen, I would have never guessed what a shame that is. First of all, Singin’ In the Rain [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Drama · Ensemble · Musical · Popcorn · Romance

Quantum of Solace

March 28th, 2009 · No Comments

This evening with friends I revisited the latest Bond flick, Quantum of Solace, having dutifully lived up to my lifelong affinity for the coolest of cinematic spies by viewing the film during its cinematic release. Since I knew this time around to expect more of an episodic installment than a compelling stand-alone story, I enjoyed [...]

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Tags: Action/Adventure · Popcorn · Review · Thriller

Bolt

March 28th, 2009 · No Comments

I rarely begin watching an animated film produced by an American studio with high expectations. There is apparently something about creating a film aimed at both children and adults that tends to bring out the worst tendencies in organizations already trying too hard for broad-based appeal.  Having said that, when an exception comes along, it [...]

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Tags: Animation · Capsule · Family

To Be and To Have

March 26th, 2009 · No Comments

On Sunday I will attend a screening of Singing In the Rain as part of a memorial service for a long-time supporter of the Gene Siskel Film Center.  It is a really wonderful idea, but one which got me thinking: if I were to request a cinema-going send-off for my earthly body, what movie would I select? The [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Documentary · Family · Foreign Language

Twilight

March 24th, 2009 · 2 Comments

I guess I just wanted to see what all of the fuss was about, but now I feel a little silly wanting to watch Twilight on the week of its home video release. Like the teenage protagonists here (one human female, one undead male), I found myself quietly laughing throughout the film, yet for me the [...]

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Tags: Drama · Horror · Popcorn · Review · Romance · Sci-Fi/Fantasy

The Witnesses

March 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

Directed and co-written by André Téchiné (Alice and Martin), The Witnesses portrays the effects of the onset of the AIDS epidemic in the lives of an intersecting group of Parisians in 1984. While egocentrism can be universally found, these characters are egocentric in a way that is characteristically French. Emmanuelle Béart is an author, wife, and reluctant new [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Drama · Foreign Language

Righteous Kill

March 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

De Niro. Pacino. Yawn.
I moaned and scoffed at the trailer for Righteous Kill, not knowing that, by some stroke of ignorance or poor judgment, the film was in our rental queue and would arrive in our mailbox two days later. I wish I would have just mailed it back. Whoever decided that it would be the [...]

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Tags: Crime/Noir · Drama · Thriller

Boy A

March 20th, 2009 · No Comments

It is apparently empathy week at Cinema Mishmash. Following Blindness we have another stunning story which causes us to confront the humanity behind unspeakable acts. Unlike Blindness, though, Boy A has no need for metaphor, since it seeks to tell not a societal tale, but a very intimate one which in turn reveals society.  Adapted from a [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Drama · Romance

Blindness

March 19th, 2009 · No Comments

To reassure myself that I am being objective after or during a film that impresses me, I try to come up with a list of things that I would have done differently. In the case of Blindness, the latest from director Fernando Meirielles (City of God, The Constant Gardener) based on the internationally acclaimed novel [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Drama · Ensemble · Thriller

Snow Angels

March 17th, 2009 · No Comments

I’m not particularly fond of the phrase “return to form,” but since I’m applying the term anachronistically, having just watched Snow Angels (2007) several weeks after viewing Pineapple Express (2008), I can happily announce that this small but powerful film is a return to form for director David Gordon Green. I was not impressed with Pineapple Express, [...]

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Tags: Director · Drama · Ensemble · Review

Princes and Princesses

March 16th, 2009 · No Comments

When recently discussing Kirikou and the Wild Beasts, I mentioned that I watched the feature-length animation via an online stream at The Auteurs, a site which provides a glimpse into what is likely to be a major component of the future of cinematic consumption.  While the site’s design is refreshingly simple, it is the technology underneath [...]

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Tags: Animation · Capsule · Family · Foreign Language

Traitor

March 15th, 2009 · No Comments

This just in: “Hollywood analysts shocked that terrorism/espionage thriller with Islamic sympathies fails to make big splash at the box office!” Sadly, however, the reason you may have missed  Traitor at our local cinema likely has as much to do with the quality of the film than it subject matter. The film stars Don Cheadle as [...]

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Tags: Action/Adventure · Capsule · Drama

Let the Right One In

March 14th, 2009 · No Comments

Vampires often serve a symbolic role as the proxy for those who are marginalized by society, the ones who don’t or can’t follow the rules and are therefore reviled and misunderstood. While that sounds sympathetic, traditionally the vampire is still the villain destined to be slain. In contemporary storytelling, however, vampires have been taking on [...]

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Tags: Drama · Foreign Language · Horror · Review · Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Happy-Go-Lucky

March 13th, 2009 · No Comments

Happy-Go-Lucky should be required viewing if for no other reason than its title seems impossible to associate with a filmmaker who so brilliantly realizes characters with flat affects battling tough circumstances (Vera Drake, Secrets & Lies, All or Nothing). Okay, Mike Leigh also directed Topsy-Turvy, the terrific Gilbert and Sullivan biopic, but there’s a lot of heavy [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Comedy · Director · Drama

Watchmen

March 12th, 2009 · No Comments

Until I saw the first trailer and read the initial reports about Watchmen, I knew nothing of what I now understand to be the most popular of all graphic novels. So I am not one of these “fanboys” we keep hearing about. However, I am a fan of the cinematic adaptation of comic books, and what [...]

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Tags: Action/Adventure · Capsule · Comic Book · Popcorn