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Everything posted by Crow

  1. * - repeat viewing bold - theatrical viewing March 3/1 - * October Sky (1999) 3/1 - Chef (2014) February 2/4 - The Trip to Italy (2014) 2/14 - * Casablanca (1942) 2/14 - Get on Up (2014) 2/16 - Lonely Are the Brave (1962) 2/19 - The Overnighters (2014) 2/21 - Interstellar (2014) 2/28 - * Murder at 1600 (1997) January 1/1 - * The Quiet Man (1952) 1/1 - The Red Chapel (2009 1/4 - Flying Tigers (1942) 1/9 - Calvary (2014) 1/12 - Frank (2014) 1/16 - Gone Girl (2014) 1/17 - Boyhood (2014) 1/24 - Paddington (2014) 1/24 - No New Kinda Story (2014) 1/25 - The I
  2. I saw this at the St. Louis International Film Festival, and I really enjoyed the bold surreal vision of this film, even through the unevenness of the storyline. Robin Wright is terrific, and her performance helps provide an emotional through-line through each of the three acts, even though the animated section doesn't quite deliver on what it's trying to accomplish.
  3. I have read White Teeth, On Beauty, and have recently finished NW. I find that Zadie Smith offers a human and intriguing view of how people interact in multicultural societies. She sees her characters as complex people whose identities are often colored by their surroundings, yet each possessing an innate spark, sometimes humorous, sometimes distant, but each reacting to their changing surroundings and societies and forging their lives in a way where their humanity is not bound simply to class and economic structures. I enjoy her writing in that it helps show the way forward in dealing in a
  4. Wow, it's that's time of year again. I looked back in my emails, and I never received an invite. I am interested in participating again this year, team Buffalo Hills.
  5. January The Lucy Variations - Sara Zarr Black Arts - Faith Hunter February NW - Zadie Smith Ivy - Leesa Birch March - April The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss May Swords of Haven - Simon R. Green More Information Than You Require - John Hodgman
  6. There are no words. What a tragic loss. May he rest in peace.
  7. A little late, but here is the best top 10 list I can decide on: 1. Daniel Amos - Dig Here Said the Angel 2. Over the Rhine - Meet Me at the Edge of the World 3. Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You 4. Darcy James Argue's Secret Society - Brooklyn Babylon 5. Caveman - Caveman 6. Local Natives - Hummingbird 7. Jason Isbell - Southeastern 8. Arcade Fire - Reflektor 9. Richard Thompson - Electric 10. Gogol Bordello - Pura Vida Conspiracy Some honorable mentions Chris Taylor - Traveller's Hotel Rogue Wave - Nightingale Flo
  8. Crow

    The Act of Killing

    I have to say, this film is an experience like nothing I've ever seen. It's like looking straight into the heart of a criminal or an abuser in a relationship, only it's a crime against an entire country and race of people. The Bible has things to say about works of darkness being exposed by the light. I think a film like this is an invaluable educational tool and allowing publicity to shed light on the terrible things this regime did, which is the first step toward change. And in Anwar, we see the first small step toward possible change. The moment that I thought was most striking wa
  9. I'm behind on seeing the most recent films, but here's my first attempt at a top 10 list for this year: 1. The World’s End 2. Gravity 3. Upstream Color 4. In a World 5. Before Midnight 6. Fruitvale Station 7. This is Martin Bonner 8. From Up on Poppy Hill 9. Computer Chess 10. The Broken Circle Breakdown
  10. Bold - theatrical viewing * - repeat viewing December 12/5 - Country (1984) 12/20 - Taxi (2004) 12/20 - Heaven is for Real (2014) 12/20 - Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) 12/21 - The Shepherd of the Hills (1941) 12/21 - We Bought a Zoo (2011) 12/24 - * It's a Wonderful Life (1946) 12/25 - * A Christmas Story (1983) 12/25 - * Home Alone (1990) 12/28 - 30 for 30: The U (2009) 12/28 - Sharktopus (2010) 12/29 - Wake of the Red Witch (1948) November 11/2 - Snowpiercer (2014) 11/8 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) 11/14 - The Congress (2013) 11/15 - Big Hero 6 (2014
  11. Crow

    What Maisie Knew

    I thought Onata Aprile's performance was one of the better child performances I've seen. She portrayed such an innocence while she was passed between her self-absorbed parents. I think the film showed well the vapidity of parents who claim to love their children while not willing to sacrifice their own ambitions for the well-being of the children.
  12. My five favorites, for now: 1. Daniel Amos, "Dig Here Said the Angel" 2. Gogol Bordello, "Lost Innocent World" 3. Over the Rhine, "Sacred Ground" 4. Local Natives, "Colombia" 5. Richard Thompson, "Good Things Happen to Bad People"
  13. I saw this at the St. Louis Film Festival. I thought this film was really well done. It handles sensitive material and a non-linear timeline in a compassionate, sure-handed fashion. I thought the religious conflict was handled well, without the biases that an American film would surely put in there (making the religious person a Scripture-quoting pietist, or the atheist arrogant and unlikeable). The film shows two people who came to love to each other, and how their relationship is tested. I thought the music was effective in providing an emotional relief from the turmoil of what the c
  14. Those are intriguing films on that list, in particular: The Past, Oh Boy, The Missing Picture, The Great Beauty, The Blue Tiger. Some others at the fest I would be interested in checking out are Key of Life, Computer Chess, and A Touch of Sin. I will be pretty busy this month, but am hoping to make it to some of these.
  15. Crow

    Gravity (2013)

    I really enjoyed the film, looking at it as an old-fashioned disaster film like those from the era of The Poseidon Adventure or The Towering Inferno. I thought this was better than most such films Hollywood has done lately, because its CGI is done in service to the viewer, in expanding the viewer's senses by engaging a positive curiosity, in placing this film in the setting of outer space. It's a nice change from all the CGI-fests that take place in ugly urban or post-apocalyptic landscapes. I think that trying to compare this film to Kubrick or some other high-art film may places too gr
  16. I do agree that those movies you mentioned have a lighter tone, and I enjoyed them. Even so, there is a certain amount of CGI whiz-bang iin the films that can become tiresome. And judging from the trailer for Thor: The Dark World that played during the commercial, it seems to signal that the Marvel universe may begin to become more Nolan-ized like the DC films have become, and more sequels mean more whiz-bang and less of the lighter character moments. So I hope that the TV series, without the big budget CGI, can retain the fun of the first Iron Man and Captain America films.
  17. I thought the second episode was an improvement. It's shaping up to be a fun old-fashioned action-adventure series with enjoyable characters, and it's good to have something on TV like this again. I like that this series is developing a distinct identity with its own lighter tone to it as compared to the Marvel movies.
  18. I finally saw this. I enjoyed it. I thought that the show was reminiscent of the pilot episode of the Syfy series Alphas. The lighter tone is a welcome alternative to the world-destruction stories of some recent superhero movies. I think that, in time, the characters will form an interesting team. And I'll take Coulson's car over Christopher Nolan's Batmobile any day.
  19. I remember it played for a week at a local art-house theater, but I missed it then. Seeing it since then, I thought the film did have some striking visuals. I agree that the love story is pretty trite, and it is played too straight and boring. And the "science" isn't anywhere close to being plausible. It was an enjoyable diversion, though quickly forgotten. Maybe if it was directed as a full-on whimsical fantasy by Jenuet or Michel Gondry, with ballet dancers and flamingos and smiling stars, it would have been memorable at least.
  20. I only made it through one episode. I think that Ricky Gervais and the series are well-intentioned on treating the elderly with respect. But the show just doesn't work. I think that Gervais can't get out of his own way, in that his Gervais-ness keeps the character of Derek from connecting with me. With a different actor, a different voice, it might work better.
  21. This is an excellent film, masterfully executed, and very human.
  22. I agree that Janelle Monae is an amazing performer. Watching her do her thing, it makes me think what it must have been like to see a young James Brown or Ray Charles or the Ike and Tina Turner Revue perform. I am enjoying the stream of her new album. It's more of a classic soul/R&B album than her last one. I miss some of the ambition of the ArchAndroid, but with her fantastic voice shining, The Electric Lady shows she can teach any of the divas how it's done.
  23. Thank you for all you've done, Anna. Best of luck to you in the future.
  24. Crow

    Man of Steel (2013)

    I thought the movie did some things well, before the overextended finale. At least I got my money's worth. Fortunately, I saw it last weekend at the $1 theater. And it was the late night show, so I slept through most of the destruction. I think from now on for superhero movies, during fight scenes of more than half an hour, there should be a picture inset at the corner of the screen showing baseball highlights or something.
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