TRUE GRIT (2010)

Hmm, how can I put this? I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS! This is a COEN BROS remake of classic old John Wayne western, where Coen Bros fave Jeff Bridges plays the John Wayne role of Marshal Reuben J. Cogburn! Very Cool. And Matt Damon plays the Glen Campbell role of LaBoeuf! (I wonder if Matt Damon will sing the theme song just like Glen Campbell did in the original?) And it co-stars/introduces Hailee Steinfeld as the assertive young Mattie Ross who hires Cogburn to find her father's killer. Now the Coens are quite talented at the comedic stylings, but it seems as though in careers as aging men they have been leaning towards the darker side of things, which looks to be where this film falls--though it should be noted that the original is fairly light-hearted so their might be some Wayne-inspired tomfoolery. Anyways, take a peek, I know lots of people will be underwhelmed, but I have faith in this film. Go Coens!


Ingrid Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock

The star and director of 1945's SPELLBOUND and 1946's NOTORIOUS in 1948.


Here is the trailer for BLACK SWAN, the latest film by American auteur filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, THE WRESTLER, PI).

I think it looks quite intriguing! Very dark, as per Aronofsky's style. Very curious to see how this turns out. Aronofsky is an interesting director, everything I have seen has been quite macabre yet beautiful and BLACK SWAN appears as though it fits that description as well. At one point, before BATMAN BEGINS existed, he was attached to direct a Batman reboot called Batman: Year One, based on the graphic novel of the same name. Large parts of that were incorporated into Nolan's BATMAN BEGINS, and while I love the film that Nolan came up with, it would have been really interesting to see where Aronofsky's twisted mind could have taken Batman! Aronofsky's track record is quite good, including lots of Oscar attention for THE WRESTLER (which I haven't see). I think the one blip on his career is THE FOUNTAIN, with Hugh Jackman, (it made an appearance on one of my favorite websites The Hunt for the Worst Film of All Time), yet in a way I feel like that film is possibly quite misunderstood and could very well return in twenty years as a cult classic (mark my words--maybe!). Regardless, I think BLACK SWAN could be a big hit this winter (I mean, it stars Natalie Portman, whose star continues to rise!) and I am really curious to see where it goes once it opens on December 1.


Yahoo's list of 100 movies to see before you die

(bold movies you have seen)

1. 12 Angry Men (1957)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
3. 400 Blows (1959)
4. 8 1/2 (1963)
5. The African Queen (1952)
6. Alien (1979)

7. All About Eve (1950)
8. Annie Hall (1977)
9. Apocalypse Now (1979)
10. The Battle of Algiers (1967)
11. The Bicycle Thief (1948)
12. Blade Runner (1982)

13. Blazing Saddles (1974)
14. Blow Up (1966)
15. Blue Velvet (1986)
16. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
17. Breathless (1960)

18. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
19. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
20. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
21. Casablanca (1942)
22. Chinatown (1974)
23. Citizen Kane (1941)
24. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
25. Die Hard (1988)
26. Do the Right Thing (1989)
27. Double Indemnity (1944)
28. Dr. Strangelove (1933)
29. Duck Soup (1933)
30. ET the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
31. Enter the Dragon (1973)
32. The Exorcist (1973)
33. Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
34. The French Connection (1971)
35. The Godfather (1972)
36. The Godfather, Part II (1974)
37. Goldfinger (1964)
38. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1968)
39. Goodfellas (1990)
40. The Graduate (1967)
41. Grand Illusion (1938)
42. Groundhog Day (1993)

43. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
44. In the Mood For Love (2001)
45. It Happened One Night (1934)
46. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
47. Jaws (1975)

48. King Kong (1933)
49. The Lady Eve (1941)
50. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
51. The Lord of the Rings (2001)

52. M (1931)
53. M*A*S*H (1970)
54. The Maltese Falcon (1936)
55. The Matrix (1999)
56. Modern Times (1936)
57. Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975)
58. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
59. Network (1976)
60. Nosferatu (1922)
61. On the Waterfront (1954)
62. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
63. Paths of Glory (1958)

64. Princess Mononoke (1999)
65. Psycho (1960)
66. Pulp Fiction (1994)
67. Raging Bull (1980)
68. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

69. Raise the Red Lantern (1992)
70. Rashomon (1951)
71. Rear Window (1954)
72. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
73. Rocky (1976)

74. Roman Holiday (1953)
75. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
76. Schindler’s List (1993)
77. The Searchers (1956)

78. Seven Samurai (1954)
79. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
80. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
81. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
82. Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
83. Some Like It Hot (1959)

84. The Sound of Music (1965)
85. Star Wars (1977)
86. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
87. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
88. The Third Man (1949)
89. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
90. Titanic (1997)
91. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
92. Toy Story (1995)
93. The Usual Suspects (1995)
94. Vertigo (1958)
95. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

96. Wild Strawberries (1957)
97. Wings of Desire (1988)
98. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
99. Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown (1988)
100. The World of Apu (1959)

Bogart and Bacall


Trainspotting (1996)

DUH. I know most people have seen this, but there are a few stragglers who have not, and to those unfortunate latter folk: watch this film! I just watched it again last night, and every time I see it, which is not that often, I am reminded of what a perfect little storm this was: riveting source material (a filthy, yet fascinating literary examination of Edinburgh heroin addicts by author Irvine Welsh); director Danny Boyle (arguably at the apex of his creative career); actors Ewan MacGregor, Ewan Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly MacDonald; and a pulsing soundtrack including Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, New Order, Blur, Pulp, and Damon Albarn, to name a few. Mix all these ingredients into an impoverished Edinburgh in the early 1990s, add a little Thatcher era depression, and some materialistic cynicism, and you've got Trainspotting.

The cast of characters is now that of cult film legend: Macgregor as Mark Renton, a junkie who mostly wants to clean-up, find love, and lead a good life--whatever that is; Bremner as Spud, a scattered, frightened, but well-intention addict; Miller as Sickboy, who is the manipulative and scheming asshole of the group, one who "is lacking in moral fiber," though who knows a lot about Sean Connery; Carlyle as Frank Begbie, an alcoholic, psychopathic, bar-room brawler; and Kelly MacDonald as the pretty, but underaged Diane who Renton falls in love with.

This is the film that arguably launched Ewan MacGregor, as well as director Danny Boyle, into the world as an exciting Scottish actor and English filmmaker, respectively. This film is one of the most memorable in both of their careers, and is still such a treat to watch. If you have the stomach for it--including it's graphic depiction of drug use, drug withdrawal, sex, violence, and all manor of bodily fluids--I recommend you to see it!