- Guy annoys girlfriend with puns at Ikea - This is made me laugh more than I would have thought.
- Celebrating the Invisible Artistry and Great Direction of "Spotlight" - Matt Singer valiantly defends the honor of this great, restrained movie:
Spotlight certainly doesn't have the visual panache of The Revenant or The Hateful Eight, but that doesn’t automatically make it a lesser film. Lavish cinematic style is not an automatic and objective good. It needs to suit the material. And it would not suit the material in Spotlight. ...Singer then proceeds to back it up with several examples. Very insightful, though it does appear that Spotlight has lost its frontrunner status.
Spotlight's direction is "unsexy" because it depicts a world that is unsexy; it is "workmanlike" because it depicts a world of work. If the Boston Globe reporters’ jobs were fun and exciting, everyone would do them and the newspaper business would be thriving. The whole point of the film is to show why these journalists' efforts were important in spite of the fact that what they did was, by and large, boring, tedious, and monotonous. Gussying up this film with elaborate camera shots and eye-catching angles would be a betrayal of everything Spotlight represents. In the same way that the Spotlight team keep themselves out of the story, McCarthy keeps himself out of the movie.
But that doesn't mean he's not there, or that film direction is purely the sum total of a movie’s flashy camera moves. Careful consideration of Spotlight reveals McCarthy's subtle but brilliant direction, not just in terms of cinematography but production design, art direction, and editing as well. Little of it is showy and most of it is easy to miss, particularly if you get caught up in the riveting drama of the Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church and its unseemly practices.
- I'm STILL Not Sayin' Aliens. But This Star Is Really Weird. - You remember that star that had really weird dips in radiance? It turns out that it's even weirder than originally thought, especially when taking into account historical observations. No real explanation has made much sense (even, dare I say, the alien hypothesis, however much we'd want it to be).
- 'Dirty Grandpa': The Most Important Movie Ever Made - Well that's a hot take:
Strangely missing from Oscar consideration, Dirty Grandpa would be a serious contender if it had not, bafflingly, missed the Dec. 31 cutoff date. As you've most certainly heard, there's an online petition demanding the White House take action on this travesty. Another curious decision is Lionsgate releasing Dirty Grandpa, a movie that offers no laughs, as a comedy. Instead, it’s an indictment on our society as a whole - a no-bones-about-it, heartbreaking, devastating takedown on this cesspool of society that Dirty Grandpa thinks we have. And it might just be The Most Important Movie Ever Made.It turns out that Dirty Grandpa inspired some pretty good writing, including this next link:
- Dirty Grandpa review - This one goes weird:
A couple of weeks ago I had the strangest dream. I dreamed that this movie, "Dirty Grandpa," was the talk of the nation. Not because the Robert De Niro/Zac Efron/Aubrey Plaza raunch comedy was particularly good, but because, apparently-I didn't see any of the movie in my dream, just had conversations with people about it-it didn't do that thing that studio-produced-raunch comedies do, which is take things so far and no further. No. In my dream, "Dirty Grandpa" was spinning heads because it broached John Waters/Harmony Korine levels of outrageousness. The sex scenes between De Niro and Plaza had a "Last Tango In Paris" level of explicitness, for instance.I think we all know the answer to that question.
Now you just have to take my word for it that I had this dream, but honestly, I did. The question is WHY did I have this dream. As the author of a book on De Niro, I'm frequently (okay, not that frequently, but more often than would be the case for a guy who hadn't written a book on De Niro) asked what I make of his various career moves. So maybe the dream speaks to my critical desire to see De Niro go back to surprising his audiences with audacious performances. Or maybe I’m just a perv who wants to see Aubrey Plaza naked. I don’t know.
- After Dark in CSS - Some genius reimplemented those oldschool After Dark screensavers in CSS. Flying Toasters man. Flying Toasters.
Many apologies for the lack of posting of late, and this one is coming a day late because I basically just forgot to post it. Something about a big sportsball game last night. Anyway, as I prep my Best of 2015 movies list, I have some links to keep you busy: