Tag Archives: MustSee

My First Mister

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Sweet, surprising, fun. Bridges the goth/Sinatra divide beautifully. Manages to be honest without being overly treacle, despite some of the plot choices.

Lars and the Real Girl

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I wish we had listened to folks and seen this ages ago. Nothing of what we expected and everything of what we needed; which is sort of the point of the story.

Sliding Doors

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This was one of the first DVDs I purchased, and I knew nothing about it other than the cast and the description of the film when I did. It is, possibly, one of the most perfect romantic films ever made (and I include all the classics in that statement from Casablanca to Groundhog Day). John Hannah and Gwyneth Paltrow and the side-kicks are so enchanting that you cannot help but fall in love with Love and fall in love with them. Add to the lead performances pitch-perfect editing and I dare you to watch and not cry (in a good way). I’ve rewatched this film probably more than any other–much to even my own surprise– and I’ve never regretted turning it on and spending the time. The only drawbacks for me are a couple of weaker performances by Lynch and Tripplehorn, and that the original pressing of the DVD won’t fill a 1080 screen… I can only hope they’ll remaster it for the new technology soon so I can replace the copy in our library. I wish Howitt’s other endeavors had been so well conceived and executed, but I suspect that it was Sydney Pollack’s tutalege during the production that made all the difference.

Sliding Doors

The Ruling Class

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One of the first true Mind-F* movies I ever saw. Still love it and highly recommend. Deliciously evil and challening on many levels. Peter O’Toole is brilliant, and chews the scenery in the most delightful ways.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

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Gilliam’s best in years capturing all the whimsy and outrageousness he is capable of, while still keeping a story going and grounded. Add to all of this Ledger’s last performance and the extraordinary solutions to work around his loss and we were sold. Admittedly, Gilliam is an acquired taste, but we’ve loved this flavor for years.

The Band’s Visit

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A slow, but engaging film, in mixed English, Arabic, and Hebrew. Very reminiscent of The Visitor in its rhythm and quiet intensity.

Mary and Max

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I’m pretty sure this is the flim you get when Nic Park goes off his meds or when Tex Avery reads Satre. If you’ve seen Harvey Krumpet (and you should) you’ll see the natural progression of style and approach and deft stop-action animation. While somewhat bleak and dark, it is utterly hypnotic in the best oral tradition and manages to be quite affecting and even heart-warming. Definitely a director we will be following over the coming years.

Kick-Ass

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Maybe it is when we were seeing this, but we roared through the dark and twisted story that is Kick-Ass. Fun and entertaining, loaded with dark humor, it just hit us in the right way. The movie manages to walk that high-wire act of reality and over-the-top absurdity, the tension between the two keeping it from falling to a heap of failure. Is it perfect, no, but it certainly wasn’t disappointing!

28 Days Later

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The thinking man’s zombie flick and another step for Boyle’s vision and storytelling. And, for those that like commentaries, he can really talk about his craft.

The Secret of Kells

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Simply wonderful. Heavily influenced (I suspect) by the style of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Samurai Jack, but with a Celtic pallet. Much as Jack’s world is Japanese paintings come to life, so is Kells an illuminated manuscript taking form. It is a just dark enough to be entertaining for older kids and adults alike, though perhaps a bit scary for younger children. For lovers of the craft of anime, this is a must see.