American Psycho

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Deeply, blackly dark and funny in its way. Most effective at the beggining and, ultimately, not particularly satisfying, but it captures the period beautifully. How you want to parse the plot and message will be up to you. However, the extra, Dowtown NYC in the 80s, is an amazing 30 minutes of recapping a period of the city and the changes that occurred… having lived through a good part of it, I’ll vouch for most of the commentary provided. It is also one of those movies that, combined with others, becomes a weirdly overlapping view of a period in time (much as Goodfellas and Boogie Nights is for the 50s-late 70s). In this case we watched two of the films in close proximity by chance: American Psycho, Basquiat, and Party Monster. Put the three together for different fascets of NYC and art life during the 80s. If you must, add Wall Street, but that is a more polished, and less honest view IMO; read Bonfire of the Vanities instead. Oh, suppose I should add, if all you want is a lot of young, nekkid Christian Bale, you get that too (there are those out there for whom that would be enough ūüėČ

Waking Sleeping Beauty

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An excellently produced and directed docu on the revivial of Disney animation and the ego struggles with Eisner, Katzenberg, and Roy Disney that both vaulted Disney into the stratosphere and almost destroyed it. While not comprehensive (Pixar is barely mentioned) it appears fairly honest and for lovers of the craft of animation or those who just want to know more about the company’s rise in the 80s and 90s, it is defiinitely worth their time.

Micmacs

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We’re suckers for Jenuet, what can I say… since Delicatessen he’s managed to keep us enthralled (and, yes, I know that includes Alien 4, but even that had its moments if not a great flick). His sense of humor and whimsy, which surfaces no matter how dark the subject, keeps you laughing and, ultimately, acknowledging the enjoyment of life. Yes, very French, but only if gene-spliced with Monty Python’s demon child.

Skins (BBC series 2)

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Second verse, better than the first. The detail, if needed: The first season of Skins was intriguing and unique, but not great. The second season riffs on the foundation they built but builds more then just windows on the charater’s lives, which was how the first season mostly progressed. Or perhaps better put, the first season was primarily about Why and the second about Choices and Consequences. But that kind of analysis robs the show of its power, which relies on the visceral, electric charge of youth in a modern world.

Easy A

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Easily the best film you didn’t see this year. Fabulous performances by both the young and established (Tucci and Clarkson rock as our heroine’s parents) but really sold by Stone’s wry, and often sweetly baffled, delivery. It is all at once an homage,¬†a riff,¬†a¬†satire, and¬†an¬†update of John Hughes’ films and right up there with Joss Whedon on dialogue.

Easy A

Art, writing, life explained… or at least commented upon…