April 27, 2010

New Updates @ The Awards Circuit...

  • New Film Reviews (Kick-Ass, Breaking Upwards, Defendor, Clash of the Titans, The Secret of Their Eyes)
  • Under the Circuit - Brian de Palma (Has the iconic filmmaker earned his Oscar nomination yet or will his ship never come?)
  • What was the problem with "Avatar?" (In celebration of its DVD/Blu-Ray release on Earth Day)
  • The Deer Hunter - Most Overrated Film of the 1970's? (Is Christopher Walken's Oscar winning performance film not worth all the hype?)
  • Also, make sure to check the ARCHIVE for all the past reads!
Comment. Talk amongst yourselves.


  1. Brian De Palma probably deserved at least a nomination for Carrie, but he's my least-favorite of all the figures of the New Hollywood movement (besides Cimino if you consider him part of that group), and to be honest I've never felt his continuous snubbing by the Academy was *that* unjust. Carrie and Blow Out are very good thrillers, and Scarface has a sort of camp charm to it, but De Palma himself almost always tries way too hard to pay tribute to the styles of legendary filmmakers (Hitchcock in particular) that he forgot to develop one of his own. I think Geoff Andrew puts it best, "Like Hitch, De Palma is famed for his elegant camera movements, shock cutting, use of lurid colour (especially red), and meticulously staged set-pieces of violent action - in short, technique - but unlike the master he lacks originality and ideas."

    As for The Deer Hunter, I agree with a lot of what John says about how uneven and sometimes shrill the film can get (though Christopher Walken's performance is one of the best that ever won the Supporting Actor Oscar, in my opinion), and as far as I'm concerned the best film of 1978 was Days of Heaven, but I take serious issue with his railing against the inaccuracies of Cimino's Vietnam epic. I just don't understand why that's such a sticking point among people. I mean, has there EVER been a 100% accurate cinematic depiction of the military or a war? I haven't seen one yet, and as far as I'm concerned such quibbles distract from meaningful criticism. Perhaps the "Russian Roulette" scene never happened in real life, but that's not really the point. It was meant to illustrate a (however exaggerated) point about the cruelty of war and its long-term effects on those who experienced it. *Maybe* discussions of historical accuracy are useful in the context of why artistic license was invoked and how it contributed to the overall work (JFK immediately comes to mind), but of all the flaws of The Deer Hunter, the factual discrepancies are nothing more than a footnote.

  2. Love the way Joey and Clayton's "Kick-Ass" reviews kinda oppose each other. Pretty much echoes what all the critics are doing. Glad Joey loved it though cos I'm on that side of the fence too. Would love to see it make it to the Oscars but unfortunately as Hugh Jackman put it "How come comic book movies, never get nominated?"

  3. However, I am relieved to see John Foote join the growing chorus of voices pointing out the huge problems of Avatar. The number of people who willingly ignore the HUGE plot holes and flat-as-a-board characters in their praise of it blows my mind. Yet many of those same people gave The Hurt Locker shit for not portraying EOD with 100% accuracy! WTF?!?

    It was a fun diversion and a promising showcase of 3-D, a format I normally detest. But I never thought that Avatar was destined to be some sort of game-changing blockbuster masterpiece on the level of Jaws or Star Wars, mainly because it doesn't contain a fraction of the imagination of those juggernauts.

    But...I still think that James Cameron is a great filmmaker. The man who directed The Terminator and Aliens cannot - in my view - be considered as anything less. Perhaps his best work is behind him, and his ego is only going to get worse, but he directs action better than most filmmakers (you can actually tell what's happening! Imagine that!) and truly wants to make waves with his "big" movies, unlike others who use their massive productions to create a whole lot of nothing *cough*Brett Ratner*cough*. And I don't quite understand what's so wrong with taking a long break from filmmaking. Terrence Malick did it for twenty years and I will argue for his genius ANY day of the week.

  4. Nathan- It's my favorite of the year so far, easily...

  5. And also Robert, I agree about Cameron.

  6. I agree completely with John Foote about the Avatar problems. I'm glad to see someone pointing them out in a clear, articulate manner.

  7. Joey: I agree with your kick-ass review whole-heartedly. A great time at the movies!

  8. I do have to agree with some of John H. Foote's fundamental points, even as someone who had anticipated Avatar's success for over a year before its release when so many people said it would flop. (I still remember the intense debates I had with friends on why I thought it'd be successful, and no one believed me due to its lack of marketing...ohhh the sweet vindication when it made bank at the box office)

    I agree that after seeing Avatar a few times, there are definitely places where it could have been better, both in story, characters, and music.

    But to tell you the truth, I sensed so much passion put into Avatar, even if there ended up being flaws in the film, that it was hard not to appreciate it. So many movies these days are passionless, soulless BS remakes, adaptations, or cheap ways to make a quick buck, that it became incredibly refreshing to me to see a film that looked liked it wasn't made simply to make money -- that people out there had this creative idea

    It's by no means perfect, and if you go into it looking for what's wrong, you'll certainly find it. But to me, it manages to not only be very thrilling popcorn entertainment, but also a film rooted in passion.

  9. Sorry, I've been awake for 29 hours, and I really could have said that better.
    I'm too burnt out at the moment, I'll edit later. :P

  10. I'm glad you finally updated the site, but there isn't much in the way of new material here. The reviews are now obsolete because the movies have been out for at least a week (if not longer). And Foote's article on 'Avatar...' Seriously old news. Comparisons to 'Dances with Wolves' and 'Ferngully' were happening even before the release of the movie back in December. So all of the new material on the site is either a pointless review or an 'i hate movies' article. Meanwhile, there has been plenty of buzz forming around upcoming releases that you could be covering instead. It also mght be a good idea for Foote to write a constructive article sometime soon. He just sounds whiny and bitter... and no one wants to hear that.

  11. Well, that's what the blog is for...daily updates of the latest stuff out there.