Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Slapstick, Panic, and Depression

I haven't written anything in a long time, so I am going to try at least write a little bit about what I have seen the past couple of days and weeks.

Run, Fatboy, Run (2007, David Schwimmer) - *

What a flaming piece of shit. I wasn't expecting anything on the level of Shaun or Hot Fuzz but I was expecting something at least good since the film is directed by Scwhimmer (who I am a fan of), written by Michael Ian Black, and starring Simon Pegg. Instead of getting a great or even a pretty good comedy, I got a film that plays it so safe and by the numbers that it's just embarrassing to watch. I am surprised that this one was a huge over seas. It really is so bad that I saw it about 3 weeks ago I don't remember almost anything about it. Horrible.

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991, Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, and Elenor Coppola) - ***1/2

I was sort of disappointed by this one, but I still found it great. I have spent years trying to watch this now legendary documentary and until a couple of weeks ago I was able to finally get the dvd instead of some shitty vhs. I watched it and I wasnt all that blown away by it as I imagine other people are by it. This isn't the films fault but my own. I have read about the trouble Apocalypse Now faced during productions a number of times and even read what I consider to be the ultimate account of all this, which is the chapter in Peter Biskind's Easy Riders and Raging Bulls that deals with the making of the film. So, while watching this documentary it felt like hearing the same story again but with images to go along with it. It's still one hell of a story but I just wish that I didn't already know it so well.

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969, Sidney Pollack) - ****

This, just like Hearts of Darkness, is a film that I have long heard about and was at first hard to get my hands on. Then, it became pretty easy for me to watch it but I didn't jump at it. Now, with all the rumors flying around about Sidney Pollack lying on his death bed, I decided to check it out as a form of odd respect. I was going to write a lot more about this film but I feel like I wont be doing it justice. I was absolutely blown away by this one and it is a true hidden gem and I am a bit baffled as to why it's not even considered a cult film to some. For a film that deals with a non stop dance marathon, it is incredibly fucked up and depressing The film also contains a couple of scenes that immediately shot up on my favorites list.

I don't know what else to say so I am just going to post the music video that Paul Thomas Anderson directed that includes an homage to the film.

I really cant wait to buy this one and savor it some more. I really just loved it and it is one of the best gems I have found while "digging for films".

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