Archive for January, 2011

Black Swan

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

tn_blackswanD. Aranofsky’s BLACK SWAN is one of the best movies I saw last year. It’s a disturbing psychological thriller and a story about art and perfectionism. It’s spooky but I think freaking you out is only a side goal. I think it argues that pushing yourself to the limits of perfection can be painful and self-destructive, but maybe worth it. Striving for excellence ain’t easy.

Natalie Portman plays a New York ballet dancer who’s very good but still just does background parts. To her surprise her boss (Vincent Cassel from EASTERN PROMISES) gives her the lead role in Swan Lake. It’s a dual role and he thinks she’s perfect as the Swan Queen but not yet ready for its evil twin, the Black Swan. (It’s not like an Eddie Murphy dual role where you just wear a fat suit, she has to actually dance in a different style.) So the movie is about her struggle to please him, do a good job and not get replaced. She doesn’t want to end up like her mom (Barbara Hershey), a dancer who never really made it big, or her hero (Winona Ryder) who was forced to retire and seems to have snapped because of that betrayal.
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Game of Death (2011)

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

tn_gameofdeath11Well, here we are with another new layer forming on top of The Mystery of Wesley Snipes. As of this writing Mr. Snipes recently started his 3 year bid for misdemeanor failure-to-file charges. This is the first but not last of his in-the-can DTV productions.

Unfortunately it’s not worth getting excited about. But when it was first announced it seemed promising, because it was gonna be directed by Abel BAD LIEUTENANT: ORIGINAL PORT OF CALL Ferrara, who last worked with Snipes on KING OF NEW YORK. That’s a guy with a strong voice and raw gritty feel, who at the very least you wouldn’t expect to make it generic. And he’d have a soundtrack by Schooly D. Unfortunately Ferrara left, the schedule was shortened and the script reworked on the fly for Italian TV director Giorgio Serafini.

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Daft Punk’s Electroma

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

tn_electromaDaft Punk are those two French guys who played the robotic club DJs in TRON’S LEGACY, and as long as they were on set Disney must’ve figured they oughta get them to record the score that for me at least made that stupid movie sort of awesome. They are better known as musicians and makers of cool music videos than as actors or filmatists, but this here was their feature film directational debut.

ELECTROMA is a movie with no dialogue, no human characters, and no Daft Punk music. It does star the two robot-masked Daft Punk characters (with their band logo studded into the back of their leather jackets), but apparently they’re not even played by the actual guys.

It has little moments that remind me of other movies that I happen to love: a drop of THEY LIVE, a slight whiff of HOLY MOUNTAIN. But mostly it reminds me of BROWN BUNNY remade with robots and no blowjob. There’s about 10 minutes of plot stretched into 74 minutes of movie. It’s not for everybody, or most, or very many. I thought it was great though.
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