Cinema Mishmash

A personal and random look at movies, past and present

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Entries from September 2009

The Private Life of Henry VIII

September 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

This next film in my exploration of the Alexander Korda Eclipse box set, (after having seen Don Juan) provides another mild, but ultimately more enjoyable, discovery. The still image here of The Private Life of Henry VIII almost suggests King Henry as a vampire. Indeed, he did seem to chew through spouses at an alarming [...]

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Tags: Biographical · Capsule · Drama

The Private Life of Don Juan

September 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

One of the ideas behind Criterion’s Eclipse series is to facilitate cinematic discoveries, to introduce unknown films to, in the company’s words “adventurous home viewers.” The four film set entitled “Alexander Korda’s Private Lives” had all the makings of a discovery for me, in that I had no previous exposure to Korda, a prolific director [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Comedy · Drama

Surveillance

September 17th, 2009 · No Comments

Behind the scenes of Surveillance sits an underdog story with considerable appeal.  A staggering 15 years passed between Jennifer Lynch’s directorial debut feature, Boxing Helena, and this, her second effort. Despite its patent absurdity, I rather fondly recall Boxing Helena, a film which is perhaps underrated due to its inability to stand up next to the [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Crime/Noir · Horror · Thriller

Next

September 15th, 2009 · No Comments

I just really can’t reconcile the number of films that have been made which star Nicolas Cage as the mildly vacant character swept up in some sort or frenetic intrigue. If there is any definitive proof that Hollywood is catering to the the least ambitious part of our collective movie consumption, it has to be [...]

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Tags: Action/Adventure · Capsule · Sci-Fi/Fantasy · Thriller

The Soloist

September 13th, 2009 · No Comments

How does a film with impressive turns by both Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx ultimately underwhelm? At first I thought the failing might have been making Foxx’s character, the Julliard musician turned mentally ill street performer Nathaniel Ayers, too quirky and flamboyant. But this is film based on real people, and the disc’s interview with [...]

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Tags: Biographical · Capsule · Drama

Silent Running

September 12th, 2009 · 2 Comments

I had a look at this film on the Nexflix streaming service on my new LG Blu-ray player because UK film critic Mark Kermode is always going on about how it’s one of his favorite films. On the technical side, while I am rather impressed at how some of the HD streaming titles look projected [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Drama · Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Sunshine Cleaning

September 11th, 2009 · No Comments

The first time I saw the trailer for Sunshine Cleaning, I thought exactly what I was supposed to think: this looks like a fun, refreshing indie comedy like Little Miss Sunshine. It has Alan Arkin, other impressive cast members (noteably Amy Adams), a van, a catchy song (by The Decemberists, and not in the actual film) and the [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Comedy · Drama

Battle In Heaven

September 10th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Battle in Heaven is my introduction to Mexican Director Carlos Reygadas. Over the last several years, I have had an unseen copy of his feature directorial debut, Japon (2002), both on VHS tape from cable (since discarded) and on a DVR recording (on two different systems that have since been replaced). After experiencing Battle in [...]

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Tags: Director · Drama · Foreign Language · Review

Rocket Science

September 9th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Rocket Science is a film which piqued my attention since it’s release, based on it’s comparison’s to Wes Anderson’s Rushmore and Todd Solondz’ Welcome to the Dollhouse. Turns out that that my unintentional avoidance of the film over the past two years merely delayed by disappointment: the aforementioned films might qualify as inspirations, but certainly [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Comedy · Drama · Romance

Habit

September 8th, 2009 · No Comments

How often do you get the chance to see a film made once of video (in 1982) and then again in film (in 1996)? (Okay, El Mariachi and Desparado don’t count.) A friend lent us a copy of Larry Fessenden’s Habit (the 1996 version) and thereby introduced me to a film and filmmaker of whom [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Drama · Horror · Romance

Dan in Real Life

September 7th, 2009 · No Comments

Comic actors, like comedies themselves, suffer eternally from being underestimated. The assumption is that actors whose work is primarily, or initially, dominated by light-hearted material must be naturally funny rather than talented. And while that observation might ring true for some portion of the comedic actors who’ve actually been given a decent chance to break [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Comedy · Drama · Romance

Goodbye Solo

September 6th, 2009 · No Comments

Among the competitive clamoring for attention that dominates the cinema box office and video shelves, one is lucky to come across a film that is confident in its quiet and singular ambition to tell an authentic tale about that which is extraordinary and compelling in the lives of ordinary people. Remarkably, Goodbye Solo seems to [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Drama

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

September 6th, 2009 · No Comments

Marina Zenovich’s documentary, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, explores the circumstances and aftermath of the the 1977 criminal case against the lauded director which notoriously led to his fleeing the U.S. never to return. Polanski was essentially charged with the statutory rape of a 13-year-0ld girl whom he had been hired to photograph for a [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Documentary

I Love You, Man

September 4th, 2009 · No Comments

While I expected I Love You, Man to be yet another mediocre entry in the increasingly popular bromance comedy movie genre, two things in particular lift this entry ahead of the pack: Paul Rudd and Jason Segal. (There’s a pretty stellar supporting cast, as well.) Rudd plays the part of the damaged male lead, Peter [...]

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Tags: Capsule · Comedy · Popcorn