W. (Oliver Stone, 2008)

[not much of a spoiler] W., one of the most underrated films of Oliver Stone, is a collection of set pieces documenting the life and times of former President George W. Bush.  The film has surprising nuance, poignancy, acting (top-notch), editing, directing, writing, technical achievement and it doesn’t seek to hit you over the head with content as per Stone’s 1995 biopic Nixon – other than that, the film stinks! The opening scene has a group of Bush men (and woman) determining what to call the “evil” triumvirate of Iran, Iraq and North Korea and talking, ala 12 Angry Men, … Continue reading W. (Oliver Stone, 2008)

My Top 100 Films

List created as of June, 2009 1 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) 2 Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) 3 Citizen Kane (1941) 4 Twin Peaks (Pilot) (1990) 5 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 6 Lolita (1962) 7 The Truman Show (1998) 8 Mulholland Dr. (2001) 9 The Shining (1980) 10 Rear Window (1954) 11 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 12 Psycho (1960) 13 Paris, Texas (1984) 14 Taxi Driver (1976) 15 Blue Velvet (1986) 16 Barry Lyndon (1975) 17 A Clockwork Orange (1971) 18 Fargo (1996) 19 After Hours (1985) … Continue reading My Top 100 Films

Michael Jackson

New York Rep. Peter King called Michael Jackson a “pervert” and questioned the extensive media coverage of the pop star’s death. “This guy was a pervert,” the New York legislator said in the video, shot Sunday by a staff member outside an American Legion hall and posted to You Tube. “He was a child molester. He was a pedophile. And to be giving this much coverage to him, day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country?”  King, an admittedly minor political player, is now being attacked for his statements. But the guy’s gotta point. … Continue reading Michael Jackson

The Postman Always Rings Twice (Bob Rafelson, 1981)

[spoiler alert] Pulp crime picture reuniting Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson (Five Easy Pieces, The King of Marvin Gardens) yet again.  A surprising mix of sex and violence pairs up two losers, Frank Chambers (Nicholson) and Cora Papadakis (Jessica Lange) who plot to and eventually kill Cora’s husband Nick (John Colicos).  They initially get off through a tenuous, at best, courtroom drama segment involving corrupt lawyers and insurance executives. The early rape scenes are quite a shock and the sexual violence continues throughout the film.  It’s a tough watch not only for the aforementioned scenes but also for the … Continue reading The Postman Always Rings Twice (Bob Rafelson, 1981)

Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970)

Jack Nicholson plays Robert Eroica (named after Beethoven’s beloved 3rd Symphony) Dupea, a gifted pianist from a family of gifted musicians.  After originally dedicating his 3rd symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte, Beethoven later changed the title to Sinfonia eroica, composta per festeggiare il sovvenire d’un grand’uomo (“heroic symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man”).  The great man in this film is Dupea’s father who has suffered through two recent strokes.  This forces Dupea to go home to the family spread in Puget Sound to face an upper class world he has since rejected. He struggles with his talent … Continue reading Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970)

Black Book (Paul Verhoeven, 2006)

On the heels of Starship Troopers I ventured through this and it took me three nights to do so because of various distractions.  My feelings are that this is certainly Verhoeven’s premier film, his 6th feature after RoboCop (filmed in my home town of Dallas).  It is interesting to see (and perhaps poll?) directors’ finest efforts six to seven films in.  Watch the “making of.”  Verhoeven has an irresistable love of the medium and the energy of a first time director. The female leads in the film are outstanding.  Carice van Houten and Halina Reign brilliantly capture the desperate attempt … Continue reading Black Book (Paul Verhoeven, 2006)