Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My favorite movies of 2012 so far - in honor of the top two being released this weekend

Of the 198 movies I have seen in theaters so far this year, here's a list of the ones I liked the best.

1. Take This Waltz

Release Date:  June 29th (and playing now on VOD)

2. Beasts of the Southern Wild

Release Date:  TODAY in LA/NY, and click here for more info.


3. The Invisible War

Release Date:  June 27th


4. Oslo, August 31st

Release Date: Out now! More Info

5. Jeff Who Lives at Home

Release Date: Just came out on DVD/Blu-Ray


6. Teddy Bear

Release Date: August 22nd at the Film Forum (thanks Kenji!)

7. Polisse

Release Date: Now Playing

8. Moonrise Kingdom

Release Date: Now Playing


9. Vivan las Antipodas!

Release Date: I don’t know

10. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Release Date: Now Playing

Monday, June 18, 2012

In which I gush about the Museum of the Moving Image. GAHHH!!!

When I started writing this dorky blog, one of the first things I did was write a list of movie goals for 2012. At the top of that list was to visit the Museum of the Moving Image, which comes highly recommended by several movie-loving pals that I respect.

You could place the actual fountain of youth in Queens, though, and it'd probably take me a few months to make it out there. So, even as the fanatic consumer of movies that I've become of late, I still made only my first visit this past weekend.They're doing a Paramount in the 1970's series, so my friend Irene and I chose Marathon Man, a film I don't think I'd even heard of let alone seen. I didn't care much about what I saw there anyway - I just wanted to finally get there. What a gorgeous, gorgeous place. I had no idea Queens was this cool. Loved it. Even more than I was expecting to love it.

Sleek, clean, sexy, airy, open - are these the words that come to mind when you think of a movie theater? Think again. Granted, this place is, by definition, a museum. And I did not arrive early enough to explore this side of it.

Don't worry though, because in typical fashion I have joined up. It was actually crazy cheap. $100 per year and that includes unlimited access to their weekend programming. Queens folks - let's be movie buddies! I am going to live there! Especially while the IFC center is still showing Pina, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and others I've seen before.

Oh, and Marathon Man was pretty great, too.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Miscellaneous movie rambles: TIFF, NYFF, Dark Knight Rises, Moonrise Kingdom. Et Cetera.

Since it's been a while since I've written anything here, I didn't want the five of you reading this (hi mom) to think I hadn't actually been seeing movies. As if!

Quite the contrary, of course.  Though the busiest I've been is a three-movie weekend a couple days back.  Reason being? Freakin' everything in theaters now is something that played a festival earlier this year making it something I've seen already.   Please put away your tiny violins.  The pity symphony is playing in my head already.

I'll catch up with a hodge podge.

Moonrise Kingdom - Yes, yes, yes!  Peek into my wallet and you'll find a perhaps surprising absence of the Wes Anderson Fan Club card.  I never joined, in part because the first one of his I saw was Rushmore and I plain old didn't get it (though upon revisiting I do see its merits).   Royal Tenenbaums was just fine.  The first of his I loved was The Life Aquatic.  The Darjeeling is weaksauce, something I felt like he made just to carry on his brand in an off year or something.  Fantastic Mister Fox delighted me as much as it could. But I now join a few of my friends in proclaiming that Moonrise Kingdom is far and away his best so far.  I don't find "but it's so Wes Anderson-like" to be a valid criticism.  Saying he has an engrained style is not interesting to anyone with eyes. Look past it, and you'll find too much depth, heart, and humor to be focused on any hipster sensibilities you may think he's cramming in.

I was expecting a bit more of Elena.  This would not have cleared my top ten of Sundance had I seen it there. But I think I was thrown off by a trailer that made it seem a bit more nail-biting than it turned out to be.  Not bad at all - in fact I'd probably go so far as to recommend it.  I suppose it was built up.

Five Broken Cameras - anguish.  Speechlessness.  This was made by a guy who broke, you guessed it, five cameras filming the protests he and his community organized against illegal Israeli settlements.  So many questions arose when I watched this, that I was cursing myself for not seeing it at a film festival where I would have no doubt benefited from the audience's outrage-fueled attempts to understand.  Though I suppose this is one topic not terribly easy to understand. I'll say that I'm glad I saw The Law In These Parts first. That was a pretty good primer.

More miscellany:

NY Film Festival ticket packages are on sale now for members. If I want the "VIP"est package I can pay $50,000 and get tickets to all the galas, two tickets to any screening, etc.   Who wants to go in on it with me? Anyone??   In all seriousness -  one strategy might be to do the $1,500 pack and get two tickets to any Alice Tully screening.  But this would involve actively avoiding in Toronto the 50%+ of NYFF films that will screen there first. Hmmm.  Something tells me that will not be the way to go.  If I had $1,500 extra lying around to support my movie hobby (spoiler: I don't) I'd spend it on the Video Free Brooklyn indiegogo reward level that involves Bobcat Goldthwait doing stand-up in my living room.  Similarly tempting.

Toronto Film Festival made an announcement that ticket selection for ticket packages will be available online this year, which interests me since I did plan to buy in advance this year for the first time.  But this does make me wonder:

1) Seriously, they weren't online before? Wow, Canada.

2) How much of a hot flaming stressful mess will that be? Remind me to take anti-anxiety meeds the day that happens.  I don't do too well with websites crashing when I am buying tickets. Stress.

I bought tickets with John and Mark to see the The Dark Knight Rises. Oh, but there's more - we are going to do the marathon. The complete trilogy. That is, after a full day of work, we'll march on over to 68th Street for the 6 PM (FIRST TIME IN IMAX) showing of Batman Begins (which I'm ashamed to say I've never seen all the way through).  Then, we will stay put and after a short break, we'll watch The Dark Knight again in all its glory. Followed by a midnight screening of you guessed it - The Dark Knight Rises.    Now that's going to be fun. Looking terribly forward!