26 July 2009

OLR: Trancers III (1992)

Tim Thomerson never disappoints and Andrew Robinson hams it up, but the film is otherwise forgettable '90s DTV crap. (5/10)

d. C. Courtney Joyner

25 July 2009

OLR: Straw Dogs (1971)

Tasty moral complexity mixed with a dash of great atmosphere. (8/10)

d. Sam Peckinpah

23 July 2009

OLR: Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971)

About a half an hour worth of story stretched out to feature length with the addition of copious -- though admittedly cool -- slow-mo shots of the titular eyeless dead riding horses.

d. Amando de Ossorio

16 July 2009

Guest OLR: Blow Out (1981)

An impressive reinterpretation of an excrutiatingly boring British film, and one of Travolta's finest roles. (7/10)

d. Brian de Palma

13 July 2009

OLR: Murderball (2005)

One of the best documentaries I've even seen, with an excellent story and characters. (8/10)

d. Henry Alex Rubin & Dana Adam Shapiro

12 July 2009

OLR: Psychos in Love (1987)

A good-bad flick with a just a bit too much fourth wall-breaking for my taste. (6/10)

d. Gorman Bechard

11 July 2009

OLR: Sisters (1973)

What kind of movie would Hitchcock make if he'd eaten a lot of paint chips as a child? (6/10)

d. Brian De Palma

09 July 2009

Hitchcock | Rope (1948)

Rope (1948)
written by Hume Cronyn, Arthur Laurents and an uncredited Ben Hecht, based on a play by Patrick Hamilton

In addition to this being Hitchcock's first color film -- requiring the use of an enormous technicolor camera -- he also decided to shoot it in an experimental manner. This speaks to Hitchcock's complete confidence in his abilities as a director. I'd imagine most of his peers would have been satisfied just trying to figure how to shoot in color without adding any extra technical concerns on top.

Was shooting the film in a series of long takes necessary, or was it just a gimmick? I'm not sure. Hitchcock wanted to preserve the feeling of watching a play, which he did accomplish as best as can be done on film. But, did the story absolutely need to be told in this manner? Probably not, given the plot. The only suspense in the film comes from wondering if anyone will discover the body in the chest. Worrying about the fate of the villains -- who, in this moveimaking era, were predestined to be punished for their crimes by the end of the film -- isn't really a great generator of suspense. Had the suspense been created from characters the audience really cared about, I think the real-time aspect of the film would've contributed quite bit. Instead of a few-minutes-long scene of a bomb on a bus evoking suspense, Hitchcock could've had an entire 90-minute film playing with the audience's emotions.

Still, it's a strong movie and has always been one of my favorites of Hitch's. (8/10)

Watched the region 1 DVD released by Universal in 2006. The transfer's okay and the documentary doesn't go into quite the depth I'd like.

07 July 2009

OLR: Oldboy (2003)

The director does some fantastic work here, but I found the story to be disappointing and often dull. (7/10)

d. Chan-wook Park

OLR: The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

I had a hard time getting past the bad science so that I could enjoy the disaster movie aspect. (6/10)

d. Roland Emmerich

01 July 2009

OLR: Southland Tales (2006)

I think Richard Kelly really needs to talk to Don Coscarelli if he wants to continue making movies like this. (5/10)

d. Richard Kelly