Pete Postlethwaite, 7 February 1946 – 2 January 2011

January 3, 2011

Pete Postlethwaite has reportedly passed away. 😦

Condolences to his loved ones.

He made countless films better with his presence.  In fact, he’s so rich and integral to my particular knowledge and conception of what cinema is, I’m rather surprised his filmography isn’t even longer.

Either way, I’ll miss in the future looking to the screen and that seemingly ever-reliable pleasant surprise of, “Oh, Pete’s in this!”

To better lands you drift away.


Top 50 Movies of the Decade – part 7

January 2, 2010

(trailer)

David: The most impressed I’ve ever been by a cinematic vision of what lays ahead. I think breathtaking is the most accurate descriptor, scene after every single last brilliant scene.

Taos: The ultra long shots play well for the pulsing plot driving the toward a tense resolution.

(trailer)

David: I’m still counting the layers. Genius Nic Cage bow. It destroys you, then recreates you.

Taos: Reality is convoluted in a film about the screenwriter adapting a book into a film which is the movie we are watching. It is like an infinite mirror, looking into itself and reflecting what it sees.

(trailer)

Taos: Who would have thought James Bond could be rebooted into the greatest entry in the long series? That opening black and white cinematic really sets the tone.

David: Violates a cardinal rule by playing drawn out in the middle. That aspect does improve substantially on a second run. Also, the final stretch occurs suspect in spots, but I’m forgiving. The leads anchor this beautifully. And dammit, I’m in love with Eva Green (however unoriginal that may be, at least from my stir of film-geek flock).

(trailer)

David: Cinema full of life. Of this past decade, perhaps one of the movies most misunderstood by its detractors.  (Oh, and hey!  Don’t look now, but maybe Kristen Stewart is half-way capable!)

Taos: Sure he was an idiot, but it was his optimism that was endearing.

(trailer)

David: Just as many onlookers called the genre’s time of death, the Western has slowly since began to mount a resurgence here in recent years. Many have underwhelmed or missed the mark altogether. But ones like The Proposition offer welcome new voices while sorting out still relevant themes in a now fashionably archaic world.

Taos: Gritty and ultraviolent. Follows the line of westerns established by Unforgiven. Again, Nick Cave on music and this time screenwriting.


Top 50 Movies of the Decade – part 6

January 1, 2010

(trailer)

David: Superb roleplayers.  Imaginative concept and execution.  Pretty sensational dialogue.  And several quite divergent ways to interpret it all.  There’s a lot to like about The Science of Sleep.  I prefer it to Eternal Sunshine.  Those often lost to their dreamscapes will immediately identify.

Taos: Not another! I turned it off after 30 minutes. I could spew hate for hours. You should probably read David’s take on it.

(trailer)

Taos: The opening alone is enough to bring me to tears. Pixar consistently delivers.

David: Old protagonists are so in vogue.  And I love it!  My favorite Pixar character. “The first 15 minutes.”  The first 15 minutes I was hiding tears from my 5-y.o. nephew.  Such a beautiful summer day that day, leaving the theater.  Thirty minutes before sunset. Radiant heavens above brimming with gold-seemed, character-carved clouds.  Happiness Now.

(trailer)

Taos: Just the right mix of reality and overly weird David Lynchism. Don’t go in without some exposure to Lynch beforehand. Expect weird, and you’ll be rewarded with greatness.

David: Isn’t this the one where William Holden goes down on that crazy, old broad?  (Haven’t seen it.)

(trailer)

David: My very favorite anything I’ve encountered in the last six months.  A mood piece.  To be experienced only.  You’ll either match its rhythm or you won’t.  Worth finding out. (Should be noted for consistency’s sake:  another Chris Doyle.)

Taos: I heard it was about hanging out in a house all day. And suicide.

(trailer)

David: Life.  In three hours.  You wish it’d last six.  But don’t worry.  You have your own to keep you busy.  And though this was true from the start, this movie somehow makes your life a little sweeter for the trouble.

Taos: Holy crap! Another one of ‘em thar Asian talkies.

Not another! I turned it off after 30 minutes. I could spew hate for hours. You should probably read David’s take on it.

Top 50 Movies of the Decade – part 2

December 22, 2009

And we’re back!

Sorry for the delay.  A pressing family matter kept me preoccupied all of yesterday.  To make up for it, we’ll be posting part 3 later today, keeping everything on schedule.

Now on with the show:

(trailer)

Taos: That first section with so little dialogue really proves Pixar’s ability for storytelling. Plus, the frickin guy is heartwarmingly adorable.

David: Didn’t fulfill the promise of its superb first act. Instead, we’re dealt a less engaging social commentary that sacrifices much of the emotional pull. Still, a fairly strong movie with a few beautiful moments and some bright, occasionally dreamlike animation.

(trailer)

David: First I’ll start by saying this was the best midnight showing I’ve ever been apart of; a thank you to Amarillo, Texas.  Second, I was wrong in not voting this movie higher up the list.  Now, I could spend this space and more defending my love for this movie: its detractors always find the need to disparage it.  But I’m tired.  Is it the Superman movie I would make?  No.  (Perhaps you’ll see if it I ever get the chance.)  Was it what people wanted or asked for?  No, mostly not.  But then that wasn’t the point, was it?  Superman Returns, Bryan Singer’s vision, his love letter to classic adventure serials and Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman – The Movie in particular (a movie that I grew up with close to my heart), gets its interpretation of the character so startlingly right that I’ll never understand the… not criticism, but HATE it provokes and endures.  I’ve thought of, read, watched, seen, written and listened to Superman a thousand different ways.  Anytime he is dreamt up with such sure clarity, I’m consumed by the imagination central to the character itself.

Taos: This plays worse and worse every time I see it. So, Superman raped Lois, right?

(trailer)

[Editor’s note – sorry, couldn’t find an English language trailer.  But this one helps set the tone, so no worries]

David: Memories of Murder, a deconstruction of police procedurals, is one of those exceedingly rare thrillers that remembers to actually thrill. It always stays a step ahead of the audience.  Funny, frightening, suspenseful, at times uncomfortable, and just enough insane, director Bong Joon-ho is on top of it all (as always).  This flick just exudes atmosphere (see it during a good evening rain).  And that ending:  !!!

Taos: Interesting little flick about a rural Korean serial killer. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of it.

(trailer)

Taos: This was the first musical to prove itself as a legitimate storytelling medium. The songs are memorable and the performances are great. Totally earned the Oscar that year.

David: I’m not a musical kind of guy. Leave that shite to kiddy pictures and Kevin Smith. Who by the way, though I’m regretting not including Clerks 2, doesn’t make our list. But one fantastic fucking honorable mention goes out to SModcast. A round of applause, everyone!  [Editor’s note:  what the hell is up with that random Taye Diggs cameo at the end of the trailer?]

(trailer)

David: In composing our list of 50 films, this was the one that made me stop and say, “I want to watch this again right this moment.” Roger Ebert’s immediate response, as it occasionally is, was absolutely accurate. It’s the best movie Eastwood has ever directed, better than Unforgiven even. This month-long production is a master class. If you afford it the label as I do, it’s the best ‘boxing’ movie ever made. And to top it all off:  has a damn perfect ending.  (I haven’t seen Ray, so I can’t yet say, but I also believe this to be Eastwood’s best performance and thought it should’ve been awarded as such.)

Taos: Not so enjoyable knowing the liberties taken with the true story. Almost a disgrace to the actual person. Still, Eastwood is amazing as always on both sides.

And, even though it’s just a dash down the page, in case you’ve missed it so far, here’s Part 1.

That first section with so little dialogue really proves Pixar’s ability for storytelling. Plus, the frickin guy is heartwarmingly adorable.

Brittany Murphy passes away at 32

December 21, 2009

link

This is just insane.  Far too young.  😦

Our prayers go out to her and her family.


Top 50 Movies of the Decade – part 1

December 20, 2009

Starting today and continuing through New Year’s Eve, Something Offensive will be unveiling its official TOP 50 MOVIES OF THE DECADE list.  (Referring to the 2000s here, McFly.)  We’ll provide our brief, individual explanations for each selection as they’re posted.  Readers are encouraged to comment on the films, ask questions about why we chose what we did or ask questions about the films themselves, and finally, to offer up their own suggestions for great films released these last 10 years.  And once we’ve revealed our five favorite stories of The Oughts, we’ll post the entire list for your perusal.

The list was composed by way of an overly complex voting process not even Taos or I comprehend.  All we know for sure is that these are movies we endorse  with hooker moneys.

Before we break any cineastes’ hearts, know it skews more toward populist fare.  Also:  all foreign films require subtitles + the original language audio track. Don’t even bother if you’re unwilling to go this route.  We’re linking a trailer with each entry; be forgiving of the non-American ones as their international trailers are often terrible.  One final caveat:  the list was conceived and completed prior to Avatar.  Cameron’s pic is a stunning experience that should be seen by everyone, but it simply couldn’t be included at this time.  But fret not.  After the holiday cheer begins to subside, there’ll be a subsequent list featuring the 3-D Na’vi and other excellent works that didn’t make this first cut for whichever of a variety of mysterious reasons.

So then, let us begin…

(trailer)

David: I think what makes Assassination so powerful is all that it suggests.  Poetry in pictures and song, of menace and tragedy.  Grueling suspense wrapped up tightly in the hungry stares of its distressingly rummaging actors.  Though its pace and narration may seem double-edged, the presentation nevertheless lingers cautiously, treading through a memory haunted and forgotten.

Taos: A delectable character study. Enhanced significantly by Nick Cave’s enchanting soundtrack. Do I need to mention Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt too???

(trailer)

Taos: Probably more symbolic of a younger psyche. Still, its impact on my quarter-life self is more than enough to receive a nod. One of my favorite non-scored soundtracks.

David: I think Taos and I are in agreement here. While the film has and continues to endure a not fully warranted backlash (I’m guessing thanks to the pandering, middling tide of Searchlight-esque labels arguably setting back the American independent movement), it has its obvious limitations. But placing all the bullshit aside, Garden State spoke to me at just the right moment in my life.  It sent me looking for better movies and considering a career making them, too.  I am left grateful.  Also:  Natalie Portman!  Natalie Portman, Natalie Portman, Natalie Portman.

Natalie Portman.

(trailer)

David: The discovery of Park Chan-wook, transitioning here from a skilled filmmaker into a full-blown artist.  (Does that sound cheap?  Forgive me.)  The frame is knicked in spots; a regrettable flaw fleetingly mars its end.  But Park finds, or more accurately, shares with us for the first time his voice beyond an EP.  Shocking to most, the director excavates something primal, both within us and in our classical literary roots.  And yet something new protrudes.  Old versus new, East/West, comedy/tragedy, right & wrong–therein lies Park’s cunning: the tension of conflicts.

Taos: Just your straight-up revenge fare here. Severely overshadowed by Oldboy, and I find that good.


(trailer)

Taos: This is what Scorsese won on? Aside from Jack’s overacting, it was good, but Aviator was so much more deserving.

David: Scorcese and writer William Monahan make fresh an already exciting concept in redrawing The Departed‘s appreciable if less knowing predecessor (Infernal Affairs; but let’s not distract ourselves with a trite Venn diagram dispute).  I do think its irreverence ultimately gets in the way of its staying power, but Scorcese and crew’s execution is formidable.  More movies should feature Vera Farmiga.

(trailer)

David: My second Hirokazu (following the delightful After Life), the director approaches his material with honest restraint while still finding wonder in life’s most overlooked of places.  Along with the effort of a terrific child cast, more immediately, Nobody Knows conveys a human quality often forgotten in the politics of adulthood, something that will deeply affect those with little ones close to their hearts.

Taos: I too do not know. Have not seen it.

Be sure to come back tomorrow to check out part 2!


Happy Bill Murray Birthday Day!

September 22, 2009

Mr. Murray in The Limits of Control

Happy Bill Murray Birthday Day!

59.

I’m going to celebrate by watching The Razor’s Edge on Netflix Instant Play.  Possibly, too, Mad Dog & Glory if I can fit it in in time.

Bless you William James Murray, wherever you are.

(Go Cubs!)