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
Another young performer gone far too early.
Brittany Murphy, who may be best known for films like Uptown Girls, 8 Mile, and Just Married, died earlier this morning of cardiac arrest. There are few other details at the moment, but a call went out to 911 from her L.A. home sometime around 8 a.m. Although paramedics attempted to revive her, she was pronounced dead at Cedar Sinai Hospital upon arrival.
I’m not sure what will follow this information, but I’m sad to hear of her death and my prayers go out to her family.
Murphy had not yet found a role she could totally shine in, but she was starting to do some darn decent work in smaller films that were flying under the radar. In fact, I’ve got a finished review for her DTV thriller Deadline sitting in my review queue and the thing I liked most about the film was her performance. Continue reading
December 5th, 2009–
I’m not sure why Hollywood is still stuck in the trend of churning out near carbon-copies of foreign films, but I think it’s time to lay that tradition down. Sure, a few of them manage to establish themselves as individual work (Insomnia, Departed, The Fall) but mostly it seems like studios suspect that American audiences won’t accept something until its been transferred to their language with actors they recognize. The result is usually a watered down facsimile of the original. Continue reading
Richard Curtis is a bit of a cheeky monkey.
Having written British quirk comedies like Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Love Actually (which was his directorial debut), Curtis has specialized in making off-color movies that are always more wholesome than they want to be. His second film as a director, Pirate Radio, is a tune-filled anthem to the renegade rock jockeys of the 1960’s who would broadcast continual music from off-shore boats functioning as floating radio stations. Continue reading
There is no getting around it. Roland Emmerich’s 2012 is a spectacularly stupid movie.
Over the course of its 153 minute running time, Yellowstone blows its top, D.C. gets predictably crushed under heavy down-pour of CGI, and most of California just crumbles like a French pastry. In the midst of this eye-smashing gauntlet of global apocalypse, a startling number of gifted actors run about dodging falling Earth shrapnel, choke out hokey lines about mankind’s fall, and work overtime to convince us that this time it really is the end. To top things off, Danny Glover gets to be the second black president to shepherd the human race through an extinction level event. Continue reading
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
I’d say that it has felt like I’ve been waiting for Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat for years, but that wouldn’t exactly be accurate. It hasn’t just felt like years, it has been. Dougherty made the film in 2006 and was grooming it for a 2007 fall release when WB pushed it back to the spring, then to the fall, and then just kept pushing. Now, in a move so belated that the film has built a cult following among festival goers, Trick is finally getting released, just in time for the season where it best belongs. Thankfully, it turns out that the movie was worth the wait. Continue reading