Tag Archives: reviews

The Artist (2011) Movie Review

Disclosure #1: I watched The Artist for the first time in the middle of a 14-hour trans-Pacific flight. I didn’t even have an aisle seat. Not the best conditions for enjoying quality film, but do not be mistaken–The Artist is certainly a quality film.

Of course, the Oscars have come and gone, and The Artist won basically everything. Naturally, the usual backlash against the film occurred before the ceremonies were even over.

Disclosure #2: I wasn’t rooting for The Artist. My personal favorites were Midnight in Paris and Tree of Life, but the French tribute to silent film was a shoo-in. Now having seen the film (finally!), it’s clear to me why it won. Not that I have anything against horses or baseball.

Much has been said about the sound–or lack thereof–in The Artist. As a silent film about silent film, the choice of background music and sound effects shines through each chiaroscuro scene.

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La Grande Bouffe (1973) Movie Review

Do not watch this movie. Watch The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie instead.

Both films critique bourgeoisie excess and the decline of French (and to some extent, Western) civilization. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie manages to do all of the above while keeping the tone light and stimulating, while La Grande Bouffe (The Great Feast) takes forever and a day to set up the story, makes an obvious argument, and then beats a dead horse for another hour and a half of repetitive orgiastic nonsense. Continue reading

Beautiful Lies (De Vrais Mensoges) Mini Review

Ah, love. There’s nothing else the French are more known for, especially in cinema. De Vrais Mensoges (Beautiful Lies for North America) is a cute romantic comedy, starring Audrey Tautou and Sami Bouajila.

The movie itself isn’t particularly clever or insightful, but romantic comedies don’t need to be. Tatou plays Émilie, a streetwise salon owner, who receives a note from a secret admirer. Unbeknownst to Émilie, that admirer is none other than the salon’s janitor, Jean (Bouajila), who also has a few surprises up his sleeve. Continue reading

Weeds “A Hole in Her Niqab” S7 E4 Review + Recap

First of all, the meaning of the episode’s title doesn’t become clear until far into the ep, when we get a gratuitously offensive scene that doesn’t spin the title in any humorously unexpected manner. Hugely unnecessary. I hate when TV courts controversy for the sake of controversy.

Also unecessary: Andy’s romance. Andy’s antics are often comic relief, but, in the past, his storylines have at least somewhat intersected with the main narrative (Nancy). Instead, in this episode, Andy (Justin Kirk) continues his fling with Maxeen (Lindsay Sloane), the artist from last ep., only to find himself in a polyamorous pickle. No connection whatsoever to the rest of the characters. Continue reading

Weeds “Game-Played” S7 E3 Review + Recap

Weeds has always been great at the cliffhanger ending. The wonderfully shocking closing scene of this season’s opener, for example. Last episode‘s closing scene was less shocking, but still provided a compelling problem for Nancy to overcome.

“Game-Played” opens with the resolution for last episode’s cliffhanger. Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) did test positive for marijuana, after she–uncharacteristically– smoked with her former cellmate’s brother. Since sending Nancy back to jail would make Weeds fairly boring, sitcom law allows Nancy a second chance.

Oh also, Andy (Justin Kirk) is the saddest character ever. More on that later. Continue reading

Do the Right Thing (1989) Movie Review

Do the Right Thing is the film that made Spike Lee. The movie is intelligent, poignant, and powerful, and deals with a topic that is painfully relevant in modern day America.

It’s easy to make a generic movie about race relations. Throw in a few slackjawed racists, and some do-gooders, and in the end, everyone gets along and sings Kumbayah. This is not the case with Do The Right Thing.

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Weeds “From Trauma Cometh Something” S7 E2 Review + Recap

While the season premiere of Weeds was somewhat disjointed, this episode at least followed a coherent narrative. Last episode felt like backstory, while this episode feels like a series of set-ups for next episode.

We see the family return to New York. This involves Silas (Hunter Parrish) setting up a meeting with a modeling agent, who is cliché annoying, and confusingly interested in Silas (as a client?). Doug (Kevin Nealon) meets up with an old friend, who promises to introduce him back into corporate circles. Shane (Alexander Gould) and Andy (Justin Kirk) wait for Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) at the halfway house, while discussing how much she could have changed, with the help of an informational video.

Nancy, herself, has the biggest role this episode, and it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Continue reading