Posts Tagged ‘Donnie Darko’

MIDG Podcast #2: The Good And The Bad

Posted 20 Apr 2014 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Industry News, Film Reviews, Hollywood Beat, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got

By Jason A. Hill & Ezra Stead


Jason and Ezra discuss the basic elements of good and bad film. From dramas to comedies, action to science fiction, good and bad movies come in many forms and take on many critics. Here are just a few examples as we ponder the idea of what makes a good film good and a bad film bad.





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Movie Haiku

By Ezra Stead

Akira is the greatest animated film of all time. Let’s stray from the beaten path for awhile, shall we? Instead of a review in the usual format, today I’d like to offer up thoughts on over 25 films, mostly some of my favorites, but with a few that I love to hate thrown in for good measure. Only a few of these actually work as reviews; most are free-form poetic interpretations of the feelings they brought up in me. Some are just plain silly. At any rate, all are written in the form of the ancient Japanese art of haiku. For those who don’t know, that means five syllables in the first line, seven in the next, and another five in the last, preferably with some sort of twist in the last line or, failing that, at least a sense of poetry throughout. Almost all of these were written sometime in 2005, which explains why there are three inspired by Frank Miller’s Sin City, my favorite film that year. Let’s begin with a couple of actual Japanese films:


The net is vast and / infinite. Now that we two / have merged, where to go?
Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Tetsuo – not the / Iron Man, but a bike punk / transcends earthly life.
Akira (1988)  Read More

Source Code

Posted 15 Apr 2011 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Scott Martin

Source Code, Canada / France / USA, 2011

Directed by Duncan Jones

Source Code is very reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys. This film has Terry Gilliam’s fingerprints all over it, especially those of the Gilliam who made Twelve Monkeys (1995). But, here, the closest we get to Brad Pitt’s rambling genius is Michelle Monaghan in an adorable outfit. Better, though, is the lead performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, who has grown to have an incredibly commanding screen presence. From back in the days of Donnie Darko (2001) up until now, he’s steadily been growing on me as an actor. Then, when Brokeback Mountain (2005) came around, it all just clicked and I became one of those “insta-fans,” never looking back. Donnie Darko still sucks, but at least the guy is watchable now.

Source Code is an interesting film, directed by Duncan Jones (recall Moon from 2009). A man wakes up on a train, not knowing who he is or why he’s there. Everyone aboard seems to know him, and he seems to have a thing going with the gorgeous girl sitting across from him. Eight minutes after all of this is established, they all die. The train explodes, and our man wakes up again in a capsule of sorts (or maybe a grave, existentially) with a voice coming to him from a television set telling him this – he’s a soldier, Captain Colter Stevens, and part of an intense new system referred to as “source coding,” in which he is to travel back into a tragic accident in order to discover both what went wrong and who to blame. Read More

Movie Geek Manifesto

Posted 08 Apr 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Essay

By Ezra Stead

Ezra Stead is really serious about filmed entertainment.

“My love of cinema supersedes all moral considerations.”

– Alfred Hitchcock

There are many different opinions on this, all of which would undoubtedly be geeky to discuss at length, but in my opinion, a geek is someone deeply obsessed with a particular field of knowledge, as opposed to, say, a nerd – who excels at all things scholastic and probably ends up owning a Fortune 500 company – or a dork – who most likely spills a drink all over a beautiful woman in his eagerness to buy it for her. Now, a nerd or a dork could also be a geek, but the terms are not interchangeable, nor are “dweeb,” “spazz,” “melvin,” “poindexter,” “four-eyes,” “putz,” or any other similar nomenclature. Read More


Posted 07 Feb 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Most Confusing Films of All time, Movies I Didn't Get

By Ezra Stead

Kaboom, USA / France, 2010

Written and Directed by Gregg Araki

Kaboom is a weak effort compared to Araki's previous work.

Gregg Araki’s latest feature is supposedly a return to his roots, a manic, campy dark comedy in the vein of his earliest works, such as The Doom Generation (1995) and Nowhere (1997). I have seen neither of those films and can only compare the new one, Kaboom, to Araki’s last two features, the beautifully sad Mysterious Skin (2004) and the underrated stoner comedy Smiley Face (2007). I am rather unhappy to report that Kaboom is nowhere near as great a film as Mysterious Skin and, to me at least, nowhere near as fun as Smiley Face.

Kaboom is the loose, wildly unrestrained story of Smith (Thomas Dekker), an ambi-sexual college freshman who has an unrequited crush on his mindless surfer roommate, Thor (Chris Zylka); meanwhile, Smith’s best friend Stella (Haley Bennett), who he describes as a “vag-etarian,” has the opposite problem with her latest girlfriend, the clingy and apparently supernatural Lorelei (Roxane Mesquida). Smith eventually hooks up with London (Juno Temple), a free-spirited sexual adventurer who picks him up in the bathroom of a house party and is easily the most interesting and charismatic character in the film. Smith also wants to get something going with Oliver (Brennan Mejia), who mysteriously leaves what amounts to a dating service video on Smith’s personal computer in order to intrigue him. Read More