Posts filed under ‘Film’
One of my son’s favorite movies is The Incredibles. He fancies himself a speedster like Dash and loves to demonstrate how his little legs can move.
One of the themes in the film is how everyone loses when people are not allowed to be their best selves. It is a philosophical sibling in some ways to Atlas Shrugged.
The trend towards a toothless and bland populace may be traced back to the early 1980′s, with toys and films that affected an entire generation. From commentator Eric Snider-
In the 1980s, the Care Bears were a major contributor to the wussification of America. Children who once roamed the streets barefoot, playing with broken glass and poking dogs with sticks, were now taught to share their feelings and to care about people. Fun cartoons like G.I. Joe reminded kids how satisfying it is to kill others; lame cartoons like The Care Bears said, “Let’s all sit around and talk about our hopes and dreams!” And what were the consequences? Everyone born since about 1975 thinks they’re “special” and “important” and “unique,” when in fact most of them are “ordinary” and “useless.” Thanks a heap, Care Bears.
The Care Bears Movie is a disturbing glimpse into an Orwellian future where caring reigns supreme and good old-fashioned misanthropy is forbidden. The Care Bears — emotionless, ambisexual drones who frolic nakedly in the clouds and giggle in a most unsettling fashion — rule Earth with an iron, furry fist, spying on citizens in a search for the slightest hint of uncaring. Each Care Bear is named according to its personality: Friend Bear, Cheer Bear, Tenderheart Bear, Pansy Bear, Wuss Bear, Big Fat Crybaby Bear, etc. There’s also the gloomy Grumpy Bear, who is clearly a genetic defect and must be looked upon with pity and loathing by the others of his species.
Much deep reflection is prompted by this pop culture cancer. It does make one wonder- What kind of bear would one be?
I hope none at all. Maybe the hunter who shoots the bear and makes a rug.
I said I was going to do it, and I did it. I attended Unwigged and Unplugged based on this blog’s recommendation. It did not disappoint.
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the movie “This is Spinal Tap” which is an iconic cult classic that ushered in a new genre, The Mocumentary, and IRF’s collective favorite film, the great unifier that brought us all together, Waiting for Guffman. These movies aren’t for everyone, as the humor is dry, and well, smart. Joe Miller describes this as having a high HIQ. Well, as we all know, “you find people. You FIND them” and I found people that share the same appreciation that I do. So my friend and I bought tickets to see Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and Christopher Guest, live in the Oakland Paramount Theatre.
This is Spinal Tap is a mocumentary that chronicals the ’80′s rock band, Spinal Tap, often called the loudest band on Earth. Christopher Guest, plays lead Guitarist, Nigel Tufnel and this scene describes him better than I ever could :
Some of my favorite Spinal Tap lyrics:
You’ve still got your baby teeth.
In the show, they also showed this special youtube tribute someone else made to Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You:
Now the band didn’t only represent Spinal Tap, as they did come back in a Mocumentary about Folk Music called “A Mighty Wind”. And the threw me a bone by performing the song from the Waiting For Guffman Outtakes, “This Bulging River,” which may be one of my favorite parts of the movie . All in all the night was a success. Upon telling Joe Miller about my concert, he replied, “I don’t care about trivial things like how you’re doing, all I want to know is, did they play Hell Hole?” My response was in Joe and my common language, “Guffmanese” as I said, “ello, ow are oo? ave you been to ‘artford?” (Joe, clearly understood that this meant they opened with it).
I wish each and every one of you could have been with me for this special evening. You were in my heart.
PS – I did procure a new baseball shirt with Spinal Tap across the front and the number on the back? 11. (Because it’s one louder.)
I recently caught this 2007 documentary on DVD. It was fantastic. Here is the trailer:
It’s an intriguing conceit, but the trailer doesn’t do it justice. There is a Guffman-like quality to the film, and you find yourself asking whether it could really be a documentary as opposed to a mockumentary.
It is indeed a work of non-fiction, and a delightful one. It’s hero is one of the rare gamers that could possibly fill the protagonists role and remain appealing to the general public. I think you’ll like it.
I watched the new film by Se7en‘s David Fincher. I found it enthralling. I enjoy slow-developing movies, when the story justifies it and the execution supports it. At over 2 1/2 hours, Benjamin Button fits on every count.
I have always been drawn to the technical side of filmmaking. There is a technique used in the film that was first seen (to my knowledge) in Jurassic Park. In that film it was used to cover an accident, when a stuntwoman’s face accidentally was seen in a pivotal moment. They were able to take the young actress’ face and cover the stuntwoman’s. Later we saw something similar in the Lord of the Rings triliogy, when Elijah Wood and his fellow “large people” had their faces placed on the “little people” that stood in for them in group scenes. Each case has demonstrated huge advancements in the technique, and Benjamin Button used it seamlessly. There may have been one or two brief moments where you know you are not seeing Brad Pitt’s body, but they are insignificant, and never a distraction.
Aging is a major part of the film, and they also accomplish this very well. The makeup is fantastic, and at only one point did I find it somewhat unconvincing, but I am probably a tougher critic than many. There were parts where I found the passage of time hard to follow. With Benjamin’s age being hard to follow, and his connection to the conversely-aging Daisy a critical part of the story
I enjoyed the story. The performances are uniformly excellent. The characters are believable and well-developed. There is real humor, real emotion. The film’s ending is heartbreaking and poignant. Some have found the setting of portions of the movie during Hurricane Katrina distracting. I thought it was fitting considering the story being set in New Orleans.
I think this one is worth your time.
IRF is always in the know. Between showing you behind the scenes pictures of Oscar Parties and American Idol Backstage passes, we have also brought you pictures of important movies being filmed, such as National Treasure (at Mt Vernon) and last summer, we told you of Batman – Dark Knight being filmed outside my apartment in Chicago.
Last night, I joined in with the pack to see the film (which will have one of the most successful opening weekends of all time). I purchased my tickets 12 hours ahead of time, and showed up an hour and a half early to get in line outside the theater. Did I do it for my love of Christian Bale? Was it an homage to the late Heath Ledger? No, my urgency in seeing the film was that I knew it was chalk-full of Chicagoness and I’m painfully homesick.
The Chicago scenes did not disappoint. I was pleased to see the scenes that included the inside pictures I shared with you last August. It was great. Christian Bale is delicious and when he’s dressed like batman, he talks like GOB from Arrested Development. The whole time I was giggling about the scene when Will Arnett and Alec Baldwin were having a face off on 30 Rock and both talking in their Batman voices and Tina Fey comes up and says, “Maybe we can settle it with a talking like this contest.”
Voice and tastiness of Christian Bale aside, let me reiterate how much I adore Morgan Freeman. He’s great, as he is in every movie. There was a scene when a smug little lawyer was trying to blackmail Wayne Enterprises and Morgan Freeman’s smug little smile was priceless.
The acting, action, and Chicago scenes all had me happy… My only critique is that it should have ended 40 minutes earlier, in the hospital, as it would have set it up there perfectly for the next movie. Alas, I had Swedish Fish to keep me happy, so no REAL complaints. Go see it. If nothing else, it will remind you of the mob presence in Chicago politics as you evaluate other Chicago politicians…
As a blog that brought you a behind-the-scenes look at the set of National Treasure at Mount Vernon, it would have only been suiting that we do the same for the next Transformers. But, alas, it was not to be. On Friday I took my kids to the National Air and Space Museum (Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center). Our $12 parking fee was waived because we were told DreamWorks LLC had everyone covered that day. Half of the museum was blocked off for filming and since my son was getting “shh’ed” by DreamWorks staff during filming, we took off to the non-Hollywood half so as to not disrupt.
Figuring that it was a non-cartoon film for DreamWorks, I didn’t think it was a big film. I also didn’t recognize the three actors we saw from 50 yards away. Come to find out the next day in the paper that it was Shia LeBoeuf and Megan Fox and that Shia was merrily signing autographs inbetween takes.
So close yet so far away.
Near disaster in church this Easter Sunday. And I blame this particular outtake from Waiting For Guffman:
The thing about Guffman, for those of you unfamiliar, is that it gets in your blood. You memorize the movie, and then when you hear things paraphrased… ie, CNN Money, it became apparent that the S&P chief economist was paraphrasing guffman when he said: “The Fed is trying, but they don’t have a magic wand to wave and make everyone confident again.” (Guffman scene: “We need you to wave your magic wand and make this town special again.”)
So, you may have noticed this little segment of the above song (a Waiting For Guffman deleted scene):
“You taught me how to be a man. How to pitch a bail of hay. How to rassle a steer to the ground and apply a firey brand to his hind quarters. And yes, you taught me how to love a woman. How she can find comfort in your strong arms. And how the gentle fragrance of her hair can drive a man wild!”
So, imagine me trying to control myself in church when the speaker was telling a heart wrenching story about his friend losing his father, and then said, “He taught him how to be a man.” Immediately my friend and I looked at each other and covered our mouths. I fought so hard to hold in my laughter that I had a coughing fit.
Economy? Church? What segment of my life WON’T Waiting For Guffman penetrate?
JL was priviliged to catch a sneak peek of this epic film, while the rest of us had to pay full price to see it with the rest of America. But no matter when you saw it, if you liked the FIRST National Treasure, it’s sequel will not dissapoint.
IRF gave you the scoop about the filming months ago, upon the very inception of this blog. This was on the very day when JL wrote the check to become a “Friend of Mt. Vernon” and when I used my cell phone camera to scoop the Washington Post on this very important story. I will tell you that the very cell phone photo IRF provided gives you a glimpse into a key (albeit not action-packed) part of the film.
I enjoyed it, despite my usual apathy toward Nicholas Cage. It was a tale of redemption, fighting for a family name. It also achieved the impossible task of making history seem cool to young, impressionable minds. No one, since Indiana Jones, has attempted such a feat. National Treasure 1 and 2 will not have the same “staying power” as the Harrison Ford’s epic films, but it kept me entertained, and my nine year-old nephew went and saw it again the next day.
Sure, it was predictable, and not remarkably different from the first one, but I have to admit, when the movie left it open for a third in the series, I found myself getting excited, and wondering when it will come out. Of course, this kid-at-heart already thought history was cool…
Three and a half stars.
-Posted by LeMare
Some snippets from the Hollywood mission field:
Trying to stay up on pop culture: I am sure that we have all seen posters for Beowulf! Guilder’s favorite book, and possibly mine after scripture. Is it indeed R? It may be R, just likeshould have been with some pretty objectionalbe lyrics, such as “It must have been my wicked childhood” and scenes of great intensity and dancing.
A touch of celebrity: I should mention that‘s personal assistant is in my Relief society.
Remembrances of home: The other day I was wielding my pink ruler around my head like a battle axe to frighten my companions, and I recalled a time when [little sister] told [Dad] that her “Female” friends were coming to pick her up. She tried to skulk out the door to get in to a car with two MALE friends, and [Dad] called her on it: “Uh, Nick, how did your two girl friends become boys? how does that happen?” He then proceeded to stand in the doorway resting his masculine frame on a sword, plastic covered, but a sword nonetheless, until the scallywags reversed theirand left. Ha!
Picturing her departure: i should like to take this opportunity to discuss my voyage home. i have now decided that I shall walk home, in bonnet, just as the pioneers. Just kidding. If Dill is up for it, it would be nice to be met with a pressed plush jumpsuit, a Winnebago (or Airstream) and‘s greatest hits. i shall provide the snacks and sandwiches. The Mormon Trek Backwards Revisited shall begin at the Trump Gold Course (I know one of the less-active workers). Anyway, frivolous details, just know that I shall be greatly disappointed if I end off on an airplane. Just know that when a mohawked sister appears on your doorstep in a mustard -toned plush suit on, you’ll know it’s me.
Requests to the outside world: Would you be so kind as to send more manny pictures to me, of the process? My companions keep me up at night with their questions. The latest phase of the healing process is “Sister Hollywood’s Story Time” during which period I tell stories, one was about Manny, and the sisters need more of a visual than your website print out.
Not since JL and I scooped the Washington Post in reporting (and displaying personal photographic evidence) that National Treasure was filming at Mt. Vernon has IRF given you such a behind the scenes glimpse of movie making.
This past weekend, the streets around my neighborhood were blocked off to traffic and movie filming trucks lined the street. Entrance to my building was achieved only by producing my drivers license with my address (I confess that I may have sung “I’ve got a golden ticket!” as I breezed past security). They’ve been very mum about the filming calling it “Rory’s First Kiss.” I am not so easily fooled, as demonstrated by this expose.
Upon entrance of my apartment, I heard the sound helicopters flying very close. I produced my Motorola Razr, thinking of IRF the whole time, I snapped this photo from my very own couch:
My interest was piqued, because, as the Motorola Razr does not show, there were TWO helicopters flying next to my window, and there were snipers hanging out… The only thing scarier than snipers flying outside my apartment would be Katie Holmes returning to the big screen…
But it is true, I walked downstairs, and on State Street, what did I see? All Chicago police cars would say CPD… What’s this GPD police car I see???
I saw camoflage Humvees roaming the streets and I became more and more intrigued. Using the power of my address-riddled Drivers License, I finagled my way past MORE security and found THIS truck on Wacker Drive:
Yes, that’s right, the City of Gotham Bomb Squad. Katie Holmes IS going to be on your neighborhood silver screen again… So when you go to see the next Batman movie, and you see a snipers flying down the Chicago River, look for me in my apartment, standing at the window, snapping cell phone photos.