Happy New Year!
One of my on-again-off-again traditions is a movie marathon around Christmas. This year was a bit unusual in that I started the day before and continue on the day after because I just can’t get enough. Here’s the run down:
I started the Christmas Eve evening with a quick bite at Momofuku Ssam, a famous foodie restaurant by David Chang in New York City, and by golly, there was a theatre a block away.
Let the Right One in
I had no idea what this movie was about — I just happened to have some time to burn before movie #2 started, so I walked in, and from the opening frame, I was enthralled. The story and acting were amazing, but equally as impressive was the cinematography. It’s easy to be impressed by the cinematography of an epic adventure, but for a “quiet” movie, the camera work really blew me away, and made me reconsider how I’d like to approach my own photography in 2009.
Two thumbs up. (I’m Siskel and Ebert)
Photo by Peace Arch Entertainment
Yes, JCVD, as in “Jean Claude Van Damme.” I know what you’re thinking — JC peaked with Timecop in the 90s. So you might be surprised to find him starring in a parody about himself — a down-and-out, washed up actor who returns to Belgium after losing out on an acting part to Steven Seagal, only to wind up in a case of mistaken identity during a post office heist.
Two thumbs up.
One of my biggest pet peeves is Scientology, but I’m a sucker for action movies. This particular movie had a slow start, but picked up in the end. I also like how the History Channel tries to come out with programming that coincides with blockbuster movie releases. Perhaps you caught “42 Ways to Kill Hitler” or the upcoming armageddon movie “2012.”
One thumb up.
When I first saw a preview for this Will Smith movie, I thought that it had the potential to be pretty good. Then some plot busting details started to come out like how he plays an IRS agent in the movie. My skepticism started to build. But I’m a Will Smith fan, and I’m also a fan of his dog, Luigi, from The Dog Whisperer. So I sucked it up and watched it. And it was ok, but in truth, just load it in your Netflix queue.
I have two words for you: The Wrestler. If there is one movie you see all year — nay, all decade, go see The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke. Mickey plays a washed up professional wrestler, whose hayday was in the 80s, but is no relegated to backwater, local wrestling venues. Rourke apparently put on 30 lbs for the role, and brother, the guy can flat out act.
Two thumbs emphatically up.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
This was another movie that snagged me in previews. Brad Pitt is born an old man an ages in reverse. Add in Cate Blanchett plus some killer effects to make Brad Pitt look like a teenager, and you have the premise for a great movie. But in truth, while entertaining, it was a little like Forrest Gump without the main character being a little “slow.”
One thumb up.
It’s hard to believe that Philip Seymour Hoffman played Scotty J in Boogie Nights, Brandt in The Big Lebowski, Freddie Miles in The Talented Mr. Ripley, and now Father Flynn in Doubt. Greatest character actor of our time. But this movie should have remained a play.
After seeing all the movies, I was a bit intrigued by seeing this slide show on the NYTimes site chronicling Mary Ellen Marks history of shooting movie stills.
Photo by Mary Ellen Mark
Having access is one thing, knowing what to do with it is something entirely different.
Then I read about the controversy surrounding the new Watchmen movie, and lo-and-behold, the on-set photographer was Clay Enos, who is one of my favorites. This image looks nothing like his normal portraiture or night photography, but perhaps it’s because he doesn’t hang with super heroes on a daily basis.
Photo by Clay Enos/Warner Brother Pictures
And with that, I wish you a very prosperous 2009. Take some good photos.
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