Tag Archives: cinema

Bartleby’s Best Films of 2009

24 Jan

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Yes sir, I know I’m quite late with this, but this past month has been loaded down with surprises—both good and bad—that have drawn my attention away from the blog. Hopefully, this will be the last bit of procrastination the site sees for awhile. The plan is to get back into a daily posting framework, and if that’s successful, move to a legitimate website sometime in February. Until then, here’s my belated list of  2009’s best films.

I’ve heard many complain that this past year was a weak one cinematically speaking, and in a late scrabble to identify the potential ‘award winners’ for Oscar season many are coming up short with candidates. Well, bah! to that I say. Regarding the medium of film as a whole, I see 2009 as nothing less than a fantastic success.

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Movie Review: Ledger’s final performance haunts the ‘Imaginarium’

14 Jan

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The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (PG-13) Directed by: Terry Gilliam. Written by: Terry Gilliam & Charles McKeown Starring: Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Heath Ledger, Tom Waits, Verne Troyer, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell

 

  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Terry Gilliam film that has stirred in me any sense of wonder or joy.

At last then, here is a new picture from the director that does both of those things. For that reason alone The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus is a work to treasure. Filled with elaborate, mind-boggling visuals and moments of madcap fantasy, Parnassus is also one of the more thoughtful Gilliam concoctions; taking the concept of the storyteller trapped within a world of the mundane and tweaking it to create a film that feels like his most personal yet. Continue reading

Top 15 Foreign Language Films of the Decade

11 Jan

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January 11th, 2010–

Sitting here now at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, it’s difficult to conceive of a time when I had to scour video stores and theaters all over the city looking for foreign films that were presented in their original language. But even as recently as 2000, that was still a common occurrence. Continue reading

Top 25 Documentaries of the Decade

29 Dec

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January 5th, 2009–

Happy New Year all! Cinematropolis is striving to catch up in the wake of the holidays. For my part, they were pretty great but jumping back on the blogging horse is proving to be a tricky task. I’ve got all those pesky ‘best of’ lists to whittle through, and then a big stack of new stuff to hurdle before launching into some site changes for the new year. Either way, I’ve tackled another list to the ground.

This past decade was an interesting one for the documentary film. More financially successful than ever before, documentaries (and the directors behind them) had at long last an audience hungry for their work and a culture ready to adapt and assimilate what it was they were selling. Whether it be the works of Michael Moore, lovable penguins, or a lone doofus consuming as much McDonald’s as he could shove in his pie hole, the genre was connecting with the general public in a way it never had previously. When Al Gore used it as a venue to preach the dangers of global warming, there was a new fire and purpose injected into the medium. Continue reading

Top 20 Horror Movies of the Decade Part 2

22 Dec

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December 22nd, 2009–

Here we go. These are my choices for the top ten best horror films of the decade. As I said before, once I really examined the decade I realized that it did give me some of my all time favorite thrillers. It just took some sifting. The ten movies below are, in my opinion, all excellent films that are working at the top of their game and genre. In this instance all have been out long enough that I’ve seen them a few times each (including Pontypool). They represent a quality of work and artistic exploration that isn’t typically associated with the genre. In the coming decade we can only hope to have horror pictures as absorbing and effective. Continue reading

Movie Review: Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ is a Titanic Achievement

18 Dec

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 The lights turn down, the 3-D glasses go on, and what follows is one of the most basic and honest reasons to go the cinema; pure delight. James Cameron finally unveils  his Avatar and it is one of the most entertaining and visually accomplished works of his entire career. This is the pulp sci-fi feast fans thought they were getting some ten years ago when they went walking into The Phantom Menace hoping for magic to strike. When it happens, you can hear the thunder and feel the electricity. This is why I love the movies. Continue reading

‘The Wolfman’ gets some howlingly good new posters!

8 Nov

WLF_Tsr1Sheet_352_10 (Page 1)Ok, so I definitely miss those gorgeous painted movie posters of days gone by–one for this would have been outstanding–but in the world of haphazard photo-shop rush jobs, these two at least have some style.

Joe Johnston’s Wolfman is a film I’ve been anticipating and dreading for awhile. The original is one of the all time great creature features and it’s still the most powerful and engrossing werewolf film ever made. Once the trailers started showing up, I became more intrigued than put-off. Aside from some unfortunate CGI, this one looks pretty good.

Here now are two posters(the one at the left was originally posted over at Aint it Cool News and the one below was scooped by Cinematical) for the film that help build that victorian gothic atmosphere that seems to be an integral part of Johnston’s vision. Continue reading