Posts Tagged ‘Upstream Color’

Ezra’s Top Ten Favorite Movies Of 2013

Posted 01 Mar 2014 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Behind the Candelabra is a delightfully decadent look at the life of Liberace, brilliantly played by Michael Douglas in one of his very best performances. Every year, I struggle with the relatively arbitrary process of ranking movies, so this year I’ve decided to do something a little different. Instead of a traditional Top Ten list, I’m grouping two thematically connected films together for each place on the list, resulting in a hopefully more interesting Top 20 list. I’ve also included a more traditional Top Ten below that, for all you “too long, didn’t read” folks. One final note before we get to the list: it should tell you a lot about my credibility as a film critic that I liked Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa more than most of the Academy Award Best Picture nominees for 2013.

10. THE WICKER MAN: FINAL CUT / JURASSIC PARK 3-D – BEST RE-RELEASES. Obviously, this category doesn’t really count, as both of these films were originally released decades ago, but I can’t deny that each of them provided one of the most enjoyable experiences I had in a movie theater in 2013. This new cut of the original 1973 classic The Wicker Man adds some nuance and more musical numbers to an already great film. Most crucially, it opens with a scene of Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) praying in church, emphasizing his piousness from the very start, which enriches the events to follow. Jurassic Park, on the other hand, is quite simply my favorite movie (it has the most dinosaurs in it – I rest my case), and seeing it on a big screen again, in 3-D no less, made me fall in love with it all over again.  Read More

Upstream Color – Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life

Posted 14 Dec 2013 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Most Confusing Films of All time, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Upstream Color, USA, 2013

Written and Directed by Shane Carruth

Upstream Color is an even more complex and challenging film than Shane Carruth's first film, Primer. I will not hesitate to say that I think Shane Carruth is the most exciting new filmmaker of the 21st century. His first film, Primer (2004), is a masterpiece, the most realistic, challenging, and compelling time travel movie ever made. Now, nine years later, he has returned with Upstream Color, an even more complex and challenging film, and certainly a more visually appealing one. Forgoing the impossibly economical 16mm filmmaking of Primer in favor of gorgeous HD, Carruth has created a work of stunning beauty and deep emotional and philosophical resonance. Read More

To The Wonder – Beautiful, Searching, Boring

Posted 08 Sep 2013 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Ezra Stead

To the Wonder, USA, 2012

Written and Directed by Terrence Malick

To the Wonder lacks any emotional connection, which would seem to be beneficial to a film about the loss of both love and faith. Terrence Malick is one of the most distinctive and impressive filmmakers alive, and at his best, he makes beautiful, poetic films that evoke universal feelings that touch the shared humanity in us all. At his worst, however, he makes beautiful, poetic films that reach for the profound and universally significant, but manage only to alienate and bore the viewer. I’ll leave it to you to decide which of his previous five films are which, but for me, his latest, To the Wonder, is decidedly one of the latter. When I first saw the trailer for this film, I remember thinking it looked like somber self-parody, and on the second viewing of said trailer, I actually counted the number of wheat fields and searching, wistful looks, coming up with at least eight of each. I’ll say this for that trailer: though it didn’t particularly make me want to see the film it advertised, it was certainly an accurate representation. Read More