Animal Factory (2000)

Realistic Shmealistic Somewhere in the movie business there really are people who think that the more real a film is, the better. And I mean literally real. We’re not talking here about “Godfather” being the first mafia movie made by Italians, but a prison movie being made by cons whose only goal is to show… Continue reading Animal Factory (2000)

8 Women (2002)

3 Women Really I had a lot of trouble with this film. I get what it is trying to do and particularly appreciate the notion. The distance between the story and the music is like that great bowling alley scene in “Buffalo 66” (and the similar bowling alley scene in “Lebowski”). The distance between the… Continue reading 8 Women (2002)

Pendulum (2001)

Primal Instinct The first howler in this is the notion that Texas hosts the “finest law school in the south,” as if it were possible — and if would matter if it was. Of course, once we are introduced to a DA running for Congress, we know who the villain is. Having made that scriptwriting… Continue reading Pendulum (2001)

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

Too “American” I actually liked the original for the unexpected reason that it was intelligently stylish. Judging as a viewer, it must be amazingly difficult to be stylish and fresh because Hollywood (and the advertising industry) turns styles into mannerisms. The first film did something pretty novel and interesting. It was in the manner of… Continue reading 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)

Harry Knuckles and the Pearl Necklace (2004)

Two spheres Why are Canada and Australia so invested in exploring the periphery? My own theory is based on the existence of a few talented teachers in key places. For whatever reason, this is something you are unlikely to find elsewhere. First, note that every production value that normally paves the way to connection is… Continue reading Harry Knuckles and the Pearl Necklace (2004)

Happy Feet (2006)

Mad Maximum Motion You can parse this into three bits I think. The first is what people normally see, the story. Miller and many of the Oz New Wave don’t pay much attention to this. They put something there of course, otherwise we would get distracted. Here it is an amazingly clever fold, referencing another… Continue reading Happy Feet (2006)

Flash of Genius (2008)

Wipeout There are all sorts of fabulous interminglings between film and life. At a general level, I study these things. But when “life” is meant in the sense of historical truth, and the film purports to represent that, then the examination gets a bits boring. Okay, so we have a movie where Napoleon went somewhere… Continue reading Flash of Genius (2008)

Glitch (2008)

Canine Cells This is bad in all the ordinary ways. The idea is bad and the general setup. The science is bad. But many of the background characters are worthwhile. The usual pattern for these cartoony projects is to have the main characters operate in an environmental sea of props and secondary characters who are… Continue reading Glitch (2008)