At The Theater 2012 #4: The Artist Feb26

At The Theater 2012 #4: The Artist...

I still haven’t seen 6 of the 9 movies nominated for the Best Picture Oscar this year. That said, I will riot if The Artist does not win.If you haven’t seen The Artist yet, go do so. And see it while it’s still in the theater. Don’t wait for it to come out on DVD. Parts of the movie are shot from the POV of the theater audience, and it looks much cooler seeing that in a theater than it will on your couch. When the Oscar nominations were announced, I read more than one cynical movie reporter write that Hollywood loves to look at itself, so surely The Artist will win. No, The Artist will win because it is a screen full of AWESOME. Okay, mostly whimsy, but an awesome amount of awesome whimsy. I loved this scene so much. I could watch it over and over. Throughout the movie, I kept asking myself, “What does this screenplay look like?” I would love to see it. Was it shorter, but denser than a regular screenplay because it was so action heavy? It will be interesting if The Artist wins Best Original Screenplay at tonight’s Oscars. I hope they read from it when they’re showing the nominees, as they’ve done with Best Screenplay nominees in the past. I want the screenplay to win the Oscar for the same reason that I want Jean Dujardin to win for Best Actor: I don’t think this movie would have worked if either wasn’t so amazing. Was The Artist a pseudo-telling of Charlie Chaplin’s life? George Valentin is the biggest silent film star. He’s often accompanied by his very cute dog. And his star fell after the advent of talkies. Oh, and they both had signature moustaches…but thankfully,...

At The Theater 2012 #3: Wanderlust Feb24

At The Theater 2012 #3: Wanderlust...

I have been a huge fan of The State since it originally aired on MTV in the mid-90s, so it should come as no surprise that I jumped at the chance to see an advance screening of Wanderlust. And by huge fan of The State, I mean really huge fan. MTV used to rerun the episodes during the week and I would watch the initial airing and then watch every subsequent airing of the same episode that week. I had entire sketches committed to memory and was devastated when CBS completely botched The State’s move there from MTV.Members of The State are all over Wanderlust. It was directed by David Wain, written by Wain & Ken Marino, who both appeared in the movie with other The State alumni Joe Lo Truglio, Kerri Kenney, Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter.Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston star as George and Linda, a NYC couple that are forced to leave the city after George loses his job in finance. The montage of George and Linda driving south hilariously encapsulates long road trips.Wanderlust lampoons both the gigantic price and minuscule size of NYC housing to great effect. I know couples who have lived in apartments the size of George and Linda’s studio micro-loft. The bulk of the movie takes place at the Elysium, a rural hippie commune intentional community that’s full of everything you’d think to find at a rural hippie commune intentional community: vegans, hemp clothing and lots of hairy nudity. When Joe Lo Truglio’s character first appeared in the movie, I thought he was Radinsky from Lost, but more naked. Following the screening at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, David Wain, Paul Rudd, Ken Marino, Kerri Kenney and Alan Alda sat for a moderated Q&A. Everyone on...

On The Couch 2012 #2: 2012 Feb19

On The Couch 2012 #2: 2012...

I watched 2012 because if the world is going to end this year, I want to know the playbook. THE SEVEN LESSONS I LEARNED ABOUT THE UPCOMING END OF THE WORLD 1. If you think the 1% are screwing us over now, just you wait until end of the world contingency plans come into play. 2. Since people on the ark had to pay in Euros, now is a buying opportunity for Americans thanks to a favorable exchange rate caused by the current European debt crisis. 3. Avoid Hawaii. It’s going to be one giant pool of lava. That’s fine; it’s not like I’m planning my honeymoon there or anything. 4. When planning a vacation, book it on the cruise line where the two jazz singers performed. The world was halfway through Armageddon before the water got rough for the passengers. 5. During the end of the world, never say “I just feel like there’s something pulling us apart.” The ground will crack underneath you. 6. If a guy says “I wish you could see what I’m seeing,” chances are at that moment you have a direct, unobstructed view of his coin slot. 7. Don’t fuck with John Cusack. Seriously. Date his wife who he’s separated from? You’ll die. Promise to save him and then screw him over in a frozen wasteland? Yeah, you’re dead too. Or maybe you’re a building that wants to fall on his limo. He’ll drive through you! Don’t mess. Seriously, don’t...

At The Theater #2: The Descendents Feb09

At The Theater #2: The Descendents...

The Descendants is a fantastic movie. I definitely recommend seeing it. The acting was fantastic across the entire cast, but especially from George Clooney and Shailene Woodley, who plays Clooney’s eldest daughter Alex. These two are tremendous. Despite living in paradise, all of the characters in The Descendants are being weighed down by life. No matter how good they have it, no one has it good in this movie, not even perennially amused Sid.I’ve now seen two of this year’s Best Picture nominees. While I liked The Descendants a lot, I liked Midnight in Paris more. I’m still rooting for Woody Allen’s time travel romantic comedy to take the top prize this year. But I do hope that Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash win for Writing (Adapted Screenplay), partially because I think they did a great job on this script and partially because I’m big fan of Community and want the man who gives us Dean Pelton to win.I could also see The Descendants winning for Film Editing. I’m surprised to see it wasn’t nominated for Cinematography as well. I thought the camera work was superb.Go see The...

At The Theater 2012 #1: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Feb08

At The Theater 2012 #1: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy...

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a slow movie. It’s almost Melanchoia-slow. It’s hard to keep a movie suspenseful when the pacing is so slow. The filmmakers didn’t have to give it the breakneck pace of an action movie, but I will gladly point them to The Usual Suspects and the films of Albert Hitchcock as examples of suspenses that don’t have me fighting the urge to take a nap.I never read the book. Were the characters dealing with a lot of inner thoughts? Because there were a lot of shots of people staring at each other or at the walls.But what Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy did well, it did extremely well. Spies are portrayed as real people in this movie, not the jazzed up supermen of James Bond movies. Their actions and their world, where no one is sure who can be trusted, leaves marks on their psyches and their relationships. Maybe that’s why the characters spend so much time staring at things: they are always trying to figure things out. Benedict Cumberatch performance was my favorite in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Closey followed by Mark Strong. The other best aspect of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was the costumes, which were amazing, and set the film clearly in the 1970s. The score was also amazing. I would bet on this score winning Best Original Score at the Oscars, and that’s without having heard the others.I wouldn’t recommend seeing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The slow pace keeps the movie form being engaging. Then again, maybe it’s a movie in which my opinion of it will drastically change upon a second viewing. We’ll have to...

On The Couch 2012 #1 – Star Wars Uncut Feb01

On The Couch 2012 #1 – Star Wars Uncut...

Not too long ago, fans were asked to redo the original Star Wars movie in 15 second segments. I wish I had known about this. If I had, I would definitely have filmed something. Once the entries were submitted, they were available to view and vote for online. Then they stitched the scenes together to create a new, full length version of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, made completely by fans. That new film is Star Wars Uncut. The end product is awesome. There is definitely a lot of love and a lot of creativity that went into the submissions that made it into Star Wars Uncut. I loved the amount of variety in the scenes. There’s professional animation, a lot of DIY droids, a whole lot of female Lukes, and a bunch of scenes telling the story solely through action figures. There were LOTS of Karate Kid Lukes. Star Wars Uncut is not something to watch while doing something else. Sure, it’s a movie you’re probably already familiar with and a lot of the audio is taken directly from the original movie, but the movie completely changes every 15 seconds. And a lot of the fun in this film is the visual gags and pop culture references that people have inserted into their scenes. I managed to spot Homer and Moe from The Simpsons, The Dude, Walter and Donny from The Big Lebowski, and some Star Trek crew members. It’s hard to pick a favorite scene. Maybe it was the animated C3P0 oil bath scene that took the dialogue between Luke and C3P0 out of context for a hilarious effect. Maybe it was the tweeted “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” or the message board responses that...