50 First Dates (2004)

Drew Draws I’ve come to appreciate this actress. Women can do things in that space between the film and us that male actors just cannot. Blame it on the feminine nature or cultural imperatives, depending on your views. But there is no denying that the art is quite different for women. Drew is not a… Continue reading 50 First Dates (2004)

Replay (2003)

21 Comments I saw this under the title of ’21 Eyes’. I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a movie good, or better, what makes it likeable. It seems there are all sorts of paths into likability. The emotional engagement, the world that surrounds it, the titillation, the challenge. Sometimes it is not the… Continue reading Replay (2003)

13 Going on 30 (2004)

Why Are Formulas Endearing? I just cannot understand why I find this endearing and repellent at the same time. I find it endearing because it sticks to tried and true formulas, and being easily hypnotised cinematically these formulas work on me. I am disturbed at the same time because I recognise those same movie-story formulas:… Continue reading 13 Going on 30 (2004)

21 (2008)

Surf Heard in the Background It is a matter of tone. No matter what a film does, it has to take us somewhere. Ideally it goes another place after it has established you, but it has to establish a place, a form, a tone. MIT is a place worth being taken to. Not the fictitious… Continue reading 21 (2008)

13 Moons (2002)

Lost Characters You have a few choices when sitting down to write a story. One of these is to decide what sort of agency your characters have. To my mind, the best storytellers start with a world, a notion of sweeps within that world that creates situations or drives or needs. Within all those gusts… Continue reading 13 Moons (2002)

Juwanna Mann (2002)

Tootsie Got Game One of the most disturbing trends in film is how we have started manufacturing “special audience” films. They used to have their own lives, their own autheticity. Here we have a mindless copy: “Tootsie” plays basketball. This goes beyond dumb and stereotypical — both of which are tolerable in movieworld — into… Continue reading Juwanna Mann (2002)

By Any Means Necessary: The Making of ‘Jason X’ (2002)

Cronenberg Chronicles This little feature was made to promote the movie and is included on the DVD. It shows a real problem in filmmaking. The actual movie was dumb, made for dummies. The dynamics behind how it was designed and to some extent executed is a matter of high sophistication. “Making of” films are intended… Continue reading By Any Means Necessary: The Making of ‘Jason X’ (2002)

Joe Dirt (2001)

Breathless Poopball These experiments are very tricky, working with irony to the extreme: making a character so helplessly clueless as to be endearing. Works easier with blond girls, but with things so exaggerated in the general area, most projects go too far. That was the case with “Freddy Got Fingered.” I think this one got… Continue reading Joe Dirt (2001)