Saturday, July 31, 2004
Collected edition of Little Lulu coming soon
Jonathan Rosenbaum on DVDs of rare films
every Batman story ever collected (two-thirds down)
Norman Lebrecht whines again about the decline of Western Civ
Koppel v. Stewart
Vatican v. women
Lifelong Love Affair with Music Ends at Age 35
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Tim Lucas, editor of Video Watchdog, at http://www.mhvf.net/forum/general/posts/124258985.html
2. Having a street musician sing the cartoon them song was a mistake.
3. Speaking of moral opacity, obviously an ambiguous “villain” isn’t acceptable summer movie fare so Octavius gets something of a reprieve with arms that apparently cloud, if not outright take over, his mind. Guess it never occurs to a physicist that if there’s one thing you want to never ever happen then the safest course is build a removable, easily damaged failsafe chip and put it in an open, accessible spot. And of course additional safeguards are just a fool’s game. In any event, Marvel comics are filled with characters who’ve swapped sides so to speak but the moviemakers probably figured nobody gets to make their own choices.
4. Responding to a common complaint about the first film, Raimi and writers found several ways to get Spider-Man’s mask off, some a bit less inspired than others to be charitable about it.
5. Too bad they’re locking the next movie into the Green Goblin again. Perhaps they had this story line about Harry but couldn’t figure out any way to resolve it in this film. On the other hand, maybe if the next film features Spider-Man menaced by the Goblin only to have the two band together when the Secret Six start destroying downtown Manhattan….
6. You can see Raimi go timid in the scene where Peter confesses to Aunt May his role in Uncle Ben’s death. Instead of exploring Peter’s conflicting and not entirely noble motives for this, he just has May pout one night and then forgive Peter. Where’s your complexity now monkey-boy?
7. In the scene where Spider-Man’s costume shows up at the Bugle, Robertson gets a look that seems to indicate--along with surrounding dialogue--that he knows it’s actually Peter’s costume. Nothing ever comes of that so is this just a transient interpretation or was it a dropped plot point?
8. There’s still too much CGI. Maybe Robert Rodriguez should direct the next one.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Those Kochalka diaries are great things.
Why does this justify my lack of cable? Because even though it multiplies choices I'd still end up deciding among junk, garbage and trash. Guess it's back to those Merbow discs at supper....
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Wish this had turned out a bit better because I really like the film the more I've seen it but somehow I never quite found the perfect "angle" (as magazine editors say). I do think it's great that TCM published something on a film like this.
It’s kind of odd to see my youthful rebellion (such as it was) repackaged as nostalgia but that’s exactly the case with Rhino’s just-announced Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the '80s Underground, due out in October. Their website doesn’t mention it yet but a track listing can be found elsewhere. A slightly odd mix since some of this--Depeche Mode, Sisters of Mercy--was never underground, though come to think of it neither was R.E.M. even at their most indie.
Anyway, I co-hosted a show called Progressions on the University of Alabama’s student radio station from 1983 to 1987 and a lot of this is much like a playlist. In fact I count 35 songs that I definitely played, including my favorites by The Jam, New Order, Minutemen, the dB’s and others. Not that it’s typical since I played big doses of punk, reggae and avant but then they aren’t putting out a box set of my show.
Monday, July 19, 2004
Is "mulatto" offensive? Wonder if any U.S. news sources ever bothered to
do this kind of investigation and then share the results? (And am I the
only person who thinks capitalizing "black" when refering to race is, well,
Best Films of 2003
Usual rules: Anything is eligible if seen for the first time from January
1 to December 31, 2003.
1. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly 2001)
2. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki 2001)
3. Winstanley (Kevin Brownlow 1975)
4. Les Destinees Sentimentales (Olivier Assayas 2000)
5. Waking Life (Richard Linklater 2001)
6. video for Johnny Cash "Hurt" (Mark Romanek 2003)
7. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich 2003)
8. Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sokurov 2002)
9. Pistol Opera (Seijun Suzuki 2001)
10 Gozu (Takashi Miike 2003)
11. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Gore Verbinski 2003)
12. Gohatto (Nagisa Oshima 1999)
Honorable: the first two-thirds of Adaptation (Spike Jonze 2002), Audition (Takashi Miike 2000), Battles Without Honor and Humanity (Kinji Fukasaku 1973), La Belle Noiseuse: Divertimento (Jacques Rivette 1991), video for "Ben" (Crispin Glover 2003), Beware of a Holy Whore (Rainer Werner Fassbinder 1971), The Blood Drinkers (Gerardo de Leon 1966), Buffalo Soldiers (Gregor Jordan 2001), The Cat's Meow (Peter Bogdanovich 2001), Comedian (Christian Charles 2002), CQ (Roman Coppola 2001), Daredevil (Mark Steven Johnson 2003), The Devil's Backbone (Guillermo del Toro 2001), Dog Soldiers (Neil Marshall 2002), Giants & Toys (Yasuzo Masumura 1958), 8 Femmes (Francois Ozon 2002), In Praise of Love (Jean-Luc Godard 2001), Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (Quentin Tarrantino 2003), The Lord of the Rings: The Two
Towers (Peter Jackson 2002), Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola 2003), Pale Flower (Masahiro Shinoda 1964), Pioneers in Ingolstadt (Fassbinder 1971), video for The Notorious B.I.G.'s "The Sky's the Limit" (Spike Jonze 1997), S.W.A.T. (Clark Johnson 2003), Timecode (Mike Figgis 2000), Touchez Pas au Grisbi (Jacques Becker 1954), X-Men 2 (Bryan Singer 2003).
Crimes: the final third of Adaptation (Spike Jonze 2002), Amores Perros (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu 2000), Bringing Down the House (Adam Shankman 2003), Bruce Almighty (Tom Shadyac 2003), Bruiser (George Romero 2000), The Castle (Rob Sitch 1997), Chicago (Rob Marshall 2002), The Comedy of Terrors (Jacques Tourneur 1964), Eugenie (Jesus Franco 1970), The Haunted Mansion (Rob Minkoff 2003), Head of State (Chris Rock 20030, Homework (Jaime Humberto Hermosillo 1990), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Stephen Norrington 2003), A Mighty Wind (Christopher Guest 2003), The New Guy (Ed Decter 2002), Novocaine (David Atkins 2001), Scream and Scream Again (Gordon Hessler 1969), Secret Ballot (Babak Payami 2001), Shanghai Knights (David Dobkin 2003), Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines (Jonathan Mostow 2003), Visitor Q (Takashi Miike 2001), Wendigo (Larry Fessenden 2001).
Worst of the Decade (so far): Bad Boys II (Michael Bay 2003)
Best Revival: the "restored" The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (Leone 1966)
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Friday, July 9, 2004
Great short. It helps to have seen S2 (S-M2 doesn't seem right) but isn't necessary. (Comics fans note the Todd McFarlane webbing.)
By the way, if you're interested in the opening credits to the Japanese Spider-Man TV show (complete with giant robot!), that's at http://www.side-7.us/images/SmanOP5806.wmv
Thursday, July 8, 2004
If it wasn't too much work (& I thought anybody was reading) I'd make my own:
1. Steve Ditko or Jack Kirby?
2. Greil Marcus or Lester Bangs?
3. Michelangelo or Leonardo?
4. The Wire or Wired?
5. The Sex Pistols or The Clash?
6. Al Jolson or Eddie Cantor?
7. Sound or noise?
8. Godard or Truffaut?
9. Unreal Tournament or Quake 3?
10. Chandler or Hammett?
11. Marlowe or Jonson?
12. Verve or Blue Note?
13. Blonde on Blonde or Sgt Peppers?
14. John Cage: late or early?
15. "either" or "or"?