Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"I Am the Queen Mother Judd!"

The title shout of this post refers not to a country squabble --Naomi given Wynonna the what's what -- but to Ashley Judd letting loose in Bug. Pay attention.

It's DVD Tuesday...

I've been neglecting the DVD feature on this blog what with my general malaise (geez louise ~ tough year) and all the festival-festiveness so rather than detail each new disc coming out today I offer this simple guide of 11 (why not?) recent DVD releases -- stuff you and I both oughta rewatch / catch up with /discuss in the comments, else we be squished beneath the toes of that ever sprinting popculture beast

(in alpha order)

Away From Her -Sarah Polley's exquisite tale of an everlasting marriage and alzheimers will make my top ten list this year. I love its cool palette, wintry setting, and tearjerking performances which somehow free of cheap sentiment yet warm all the same. My nightmare: Julie Christie gets passed over for a Best Actress nomination this year. It could happen. It better not.

Black Book -Since this was skipped by the foreign language committee during last year's Oscar race, it's technically eligible for Oscar consideration in other categories this year (the year of its US release). Not that anyone will notice. But some people think it's awesome and that the lead actress is the shit.

The Boss of it All -Lars Von Trier does comedy (?) Have you seen it?

Brothers and Sisters: The Complete First Season -it desperately craves your love (this one's so codependent with the audience) it requires your patience with its histrionics (endless). It rewards those things with compulsive watchability... and of course Sally Field

Bug -Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon deal with infestations of the body... or mind. Director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) helps them freak you out. I loved the play so much I overhyped myself on this one --I was probably more disappointed than I should have been though I did like it. I plan to watch it again soon. [more blather on the hype vs reality problem here and the next victim I fear it'll take] If you're seeing Bug for the first time do share -- did it burrow under your skin?

Death Proof -I've excluded the Grindhouse preface to this title because they've neutered that angle in DVD release form. Tarantino's car chase epic is expanded to 113 minutes now so even more tedium awaits! I realize this film has many vocal fans but if you're one of them, please for the love of celluloid explain to me how you stayed awake for the first interminable hour. I need to know. Figure it might be useful next time I have to go to work after a whole night of insomnia.

Jindabyne -Because it won awards @ Stale Popcorn and because Nick seconds that love

Next -The only Julianne Moore movie that I ever skipped (and she makes a lot of clunkers --so basically I'm a saint). I passed on account of terrible reviews but mostly on account of Nicolas Cage whom I've only been tricked into looking at a few times in the past 10 years, a major feat since he makes so many movies.

My body trembles at the thought of renting this. Netflix adds a cold sweat to those shakes by sharing that the folks who loved Ghost Rider, Wild Wild West and Fantastic Four "recommend" it. As, what, a torture device? I'm just asking.

Snow Cake & The TV Set -A Sigourney Weaver double feature? Why not. (prev thoughts on TV Set here)

Zoo -I dunno. But Nick likes it a lot and I am occassionally found watching documentaries. Only very occassionally. A character flaw I know.

Will you be renting any of these or giving them a second go. Thoughts?

28 comments:

Pivo (from Rio, Brazil) said...

"The boss of it all" is weaker than his greatest dramas, but is undoubtedly a Von Trier piece. I gave it a warm C+.



P.S.: I'm gonna watch "Atonement" today! :)

amir_uk said...

I second every word about Away From Her. Beautiful work - one of Christie's very best.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I really quite enjoyed The Boss Of It All actually. It is definitely a Lars Von Trier version of The Office but it's quite original and features some nice performances and geniune comedy.

Jindabyne. !!!. That's all.

I wish they would release Grindhouse/Death Proof/Planet Terror in any variety down here. I was so sad the day I saw the cinema staff taking the Grindhouse display in the foyer down. :(

Black Book made nearly $5mil at the box office so it has a better shot than most foreign films. But, yeah, I doubt anything will come from it.

JA said...

Argh to your Death Proof comments, Nat. Argh I says!

I actually have both The TV Set and Snow Cake sitting beside my DVD player and am planning on doing a Sigourney double-feature as soon as I can find the time. Yay Sigourney!

Nat, did you see Black Book? You really gotta. Carice Van Houten is fierce, and that is not a word I use lightly.

Barry said...

Staying awake during the first hour of Death Proof was easy. The dialogue recited by everyone is amazing and nice to listen to.

Jimmy said...

Well, I've actually been hoping for Julie Christie to win...how disappointing if she doesn't even get nominated. Me thinks she will. Re: Ashley Judd - she should never be forgiven for "De Lovely" - she ruined it. They should have gotten an older / plainer gal (Kathy Bates?) for that part.

filmfan said...

Next is ok - it's not great but it's fun. And Julianne is good. Altough the role doesn't demand anything from her, of course.
But she will be back with great films soon:

"Savage Grace"
"I'm Not There"
and
"Blindness" (Oscar 2009 as best leading actress)

Piper said...

I am very excited to watch Bug, although I expect that, like you, I have over-hyped it too much.

And I did love Death Proof, but I have to agree that the first hour dragged a lot. I'm not sure if I would enjoy it as much on DVD in the quiet of my house. The theater I saw it in was having a good time.

crazycris said...

No matter how much you love Julianne Moore, sitting through a couple of hours of Nick Cage isn't worth it! ugh!!!

Lorenzo said...

I didn'like "The boss of it all". Von Trier just doesn't have a comedy touch. It wasn't horrible, but not very funny either.

smugguy said...

I really need to seek out 'Away from Her' and 'The Boss of It All', but I have to say I quite like 'Bug' and also 'Death Proof'.

I think I over-hyped 'Bug' a bit too, but by the time Ashley Judd was flipping about the "supreme mother bug" I was positively loving it. I do, however, think the first hour does stumble and drag in places, even if it sets up the hysteria well.

As for 'Death Proof' I wasn't bored even a bit... well at least not in its own individual sitting. I drifted off a bit during my actual 'Grindhouse' viewing, but set on its own, the first hour does some wonderful things to divert expectations and to establish a straight slasher formula to be broken. At the same time I love the way Tarantino modernized and reversed these 70's elements, building for a contrast at the midpoint where we're into full on modern exploitation, and a kind of feminist reversal of the first victim segment.

J.D. said...

1) So, Nat... why haven't you seen Black Book yet? Seriously. And yes, Carice van Houten is the shit. Apparently I like lead women that are unimportant/martyrs in anti-Germany resistance movements during WWII, right? :)

2) I have Away from Her next to my desk, and Bug and Jindabyne (you're welcome Glenn) have been shipped. Even though I still know almost nothing about what they're... about. Except for paranoic terror and murderous Australians. I think. Am I close?

Justine said...

Happy you liked Away from Her and Black Book, two of my favourite films I've seen in theatres this year. It would be super-awesome if both Christie and Van Houten get nominations because I think they're both very worthy.

Anonymous said...

Found some Julianne Moor pics at Blindness set.

Pics

- cal roth

Kent said...

I watched Away From Her about a week ago and it has become one of my favorite films as well. Pinsent and Christie are extraordinary. Everything is true about the film: It's heartbreaking without any of the cheesy sentiment. Bug was interesting. It definitely made me cringe especially the last half hour of the film. Shannon was frightening and Judd was amazing. Christie and Judd should be considered for Oscar nods. Definitely one of the best female performances of the year.

c.p. iñor said...

I've just arrived home from Blockbuster. I rent Death Proof... every other title in your list was unavailable (except for Away From Her, but I didn't want to see that today).

pivo (from Rio, Brazil) said...

No, filmfan, "Savage grace" is anything but a good movie. One more piece of shame for our beloved Moore's career. "I'm not there" is terrific in all ways, but it's a limited role for her. "Blindness" is being shooted along the present week in São Paulo and I bravely hope a victory for Moore at Oscar 2009. By the hands of my copatriot Fernando Meirelles, Rachel Weisz has already win, so...

16 Year Old Blogger said...

I know how you feel about Nicholas Cage...But feel bad for me who has to look at his son during English and try to ask him 'Next' and 'Ghost Rider'? WHY? Anyways that probably won't happen cause he's on the wrestling team, but yea don't watch Next, even if it has Julianne Moore....Brothers and Sisters First Season gets 4 stars. It started off horrible but it quickly fell into place...

Kamikaze Camel said...

JD, not close at all, really.

NATHANIEL R said...

JD -i haven't seen it yet because i am always so freaking busy. it's annoying really that i don't have time to see movies i wanna see

JS said...

Julianne Moore should take her cue from Faye Dunaway: make your crap projects AFTER you win an Oscar.

Anonymous said...

JINDABYNE is like the CRASH of Australian cinema... moments of greatness let down by some very preachy scripting and obvious plotting. A real shame that the film bears so little resemblance to economy and significance of the Raymond Carver story that apparently inspired it.

Rural Juror said...

A Lars Von Trier comedy? What was Dogville supposed to be b/c I thought the idea that a director thinks people want to see a three hour movie on a sound stage full of nasty characters was pretty darn funny.

Nicolas Cage should retire. We have enough mediocre movies without his hair piece shrieking at us 10 times a year.

filmfan said...

I know "Savage Grace" is getting very conflicting, different reactions. Some people are enthusiastic about it, others hate it. But the consensus is: Julianne Moore is great in it. Every review says it's her best role and her best performance for years.

And this "Blindness" pic looks great:
http://www.cinemaemcena.com.br/filmes/6078/cinenews/blindness_01.jpg

Kamikaze Camel said...

Well it IS her best performance in year. Unfortunately, that's not very hard.

Anon, being such a massive fan of Jindabyne that I am I must ask what you mean by "obvious plotting"? The movie has barely any plotting for about 50 minutes. And the Raymond Carver story was a short story. Jindabyne is a feature length movie. Hmmm.

ErosLane said...

I'm reading NEXT and saying to myself, "Next? NExt? NEXt? NEXT?? NEXT??? What is that? Why haven't I heard of it?"

And then I remembered we played it at the CineHell where I work.

It took the cleaners three weeks to get that stink out of our lobby.

filmfan said...

No, it's not too hard for Julie to top her last performances. But it's not bad that she obviously DID top them - that means she is back on track. At least, she had "Children Of Men" last year (great film, she had a small role but her performance was quite good).
Can't wait to watch "Savage Grace" and "I'm Not There".

Anonymous said...

Those pics of Julie on the Blindness set - am I the only one here who thinks she looks a lot like Francis McDormand?

RedSatinDoll