Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Midnight In Paris – Casts A Weak Spell

Posted 01 Jul 2012 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Ezra Stead

Midnight in Paris, Spain / USA, 2011

Written and Directed by Woody Allen

Midnight in Paris is the epitome of a lowbrow-highbrow movie, a film that makes its audience feel smart without ever actually being challenging or unpredictable. Woody Allen’s latest love letter to his favorite European city is the epitome of a lowbrow-highbrow movie, a film that makes its audience feel smart without ever actually being challenging or unpredictable. It starts out promisingly enough, with a gorgeous montage of Paris locales courtesy of the great cinematographer Darius Khondji (The City of Lost Children, Se7en) and a whimsical, mood-setting score by Stephane Wrembel, who previously contributed music to Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008). Then, over the trademark Woody Allen credits on a black screen, the talking begins, and the film’s problems along with it.  Read More

Gorgeous Camp, Campy Gore – Three Films By Dario Argento

Posted 14 Oct 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

The Phantom of the Opera is a film Dario Argento was born to make. The Phantom of the Opera, Italy, 1998

Jenifer, USA, 2005

Pelts, Canada / USA, 2006

Directed by Dario Argento

Italian filmmaker Dario Argento is widely known among horror fans as a distinctive, sadistic auteur, a director who has found beauty in terror and mutilation with films such as Suspiria (1977), Inferno (1980) and Opera (1987). It is often forgotten that he also helped write one of the greatest Westerns of all time, Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), but that makes sense, as he has devoted his career as a director to the creepily atmospheric and macabre, delighting in tales of the supernatural and visions of brutal but creative murder. Suspiria is generally considered to be his masterpiece (and it is certainly one of the prettiest horror films I’ve ever seen) and I actually like Opera even more in many ways, but this entry in my ongoing Halloween Movie Month (HMM … yeah, I like that acronym better) series will focus on three newer films with which I recently caught up, including his two contributions to Mick Garris’s always intriguing Masters of Horror series. Read More

Kaboom

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