What movie was that...?

27 October 2011

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

directed by Goran Olsson

In what has already been a great year for documentaries (The Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Senna), Goran Olsson’s stellar doc about a small slice of our nation’s history is, remarkably, fresh and engrossing. Mixtape’s story is not unlike the story of Al Reinert’s breathtaking doc For All Mankind in that Mixtape is composed entirely of found footage and contemporary VO interviews from vital Black voices (this seems to be the winning alchemy this year) like Erykah Badu and Talib Kweli, interviews that both shine a light upon certain moments and revelations as well as lament the nebulous state of “progress” in which we currently find ourselves. Just as many other critics have pointed out, and with good reason, I was so moved by the small segment in which a quiet, coaxing Stokely Carmichael, sitting on a small sofa, interviews his mother about the injustice of inequality she endured as a young woman. The film carries with it no grand presumption, as it states in the beginning of the film, other than to present a distilled collage of how Swedish journalists and filmmakers approached and viewed this epochal stage of our country’s development, the moments, people and situations that moved them. And the result is out of sight, a wonderful alternative perspective to ponder. To think that Olsson pieced this together from reels and reels of film languishing in a Swedish television company’s basement is a true miracle, and I am thankful that someone was able to bring it all back to life.

25 October 2011

A Totally Krossed out flashback

While spending the weekend camping avec my little brother, a ghost from the past rose from the grave and has since been clutching at my soul. It started as the mutterings of the first lines of this commercial's lyrics, and ever since I have been unable to quench my mind of it nostalgic nectar. Thanks, DC, and you're welcome to all of you who will inevitably find yourself remembering every word to this time capsule from the early 90s. And also, I'm sorry to all of you who will now have this stuck in your head after successfully keeping it out of there for so many years.

22 October 2011

Some Dead Man's Bones Greatness

Just for good measure, and to help combat the astonishing mediocrity of The Ides of March, I thought I'd sprinkle in a few oldies but goodies from Ryan Gosling's musical career, which is stellar, btw. I have reviewed Name in Stone before, and though I have posted a link for this moving live version of Pa Pa Power, it never hurts to have a refresher in awesome...

And one more, because it's amazing.

21 October 2011

The Ides of March

directed by George Clooney

George Clooney the director has drifted toward the center over the years, dipping away from the wild and competent Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and inching his way to more modest camera stylings, and The Ides of March is a well shot, well acted and, for lack of a better word, convenient piece of film that doesn’t do much other than say “Hey, isn't politics screwy?” Clooney is a natural on and off the screen, and I love Ryna Gosling with a fervor that many, including my fiancée, would call unhealthy, but even when the dynamite Marisa Tomei as a generic tough shit journalist and PH Hoffman as the paranoid and ragged mentor to Gosling AND the marvelous Paul Giamatti as the jaded and cut throat rival campaigner- jeez, BC, you are making me feel very conflicted. Then you know how I felt, good reader, when I stood up to exit the theatre, because the bottom line is that The Ides of March is a generic plot about an idealized politico’s fall from grace and the down and dirty world of partisanship sprinkled with good acting and good directing. I feel like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddyshack talking about that hat in the pro shop. “Oh, this is the worst looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup. But it looks good on you, though.” The Shakespearean reference in the title is a bit pretentious, to be quite honest, as is the one sheet the seems to say, "Just in case you didn't realize it, Ryan Gosling is going to be the next Clooney. Get it?" Watch it, half heartedly reference it at the next Occupy Wall Street hipster cocktail party, then quietly forget it like the rest of the world will inevitably do. 

11 October 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Local; Expanded

I figured, for good measure, I would throw in a current(ish) Geoffrey Fieger commercial. For some reason, I can't find some of his more recent ones, but his smug, yuppie smugness on the last third of this commercial is enough to give you a clue about the rest. I especially love the quote at the end. You gotta respect an asshole with an ego so over-inflated that he quotes himself as if it were an old gem of wisdom. His newer ones are even better (read, even more ridiculous).
In the meantime, check out Fieger's website of archived commercial and tv spots. I recommend Injury, Great Fight, and Cold Place. Personal favorites

And, just to really make you suffer, I give you the newest Education connection commercial. Behold the horror!

10 October 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Local

I have been thinking about this for a long time, and the fun part of this post is that it requires audience participation! I love film in all of its incarnations, and the commercial is a great way to see new film on a swiftly rotating basis. I have reviewed several of my favorite commercials over the years, commercials that I thought deserved particular recognition, but this time around I thought I would put a twist on this idea. So, I have presented 3 categories of particular filmic significance (not really, it was just witty in the loosest cinematic sense), and a commercial for each. What I would love is if all of you could post or share links for your favorites from wherever it is you call home. Happy viewing!

The Good:
The Date, a Heineken commercial directed by Fredrik Bond
This little gem is raucous, lively, well shot, well photographed, well acted, and well- superb. I originally loved The Mustache (and still do), but this one won me over instantly. A great piece of film.

The Bad:
Education Connection, an Education Connection commercial directed by Anthony Falcone
This 1 minute root canal of a commercial aired nationally for an online university. Oxymoron, you say? Just watch this tremendously awful commercial for an explanation of just who these "universities" are targeting. Ugh.

The Local:
Mel Farr Superstar (circa 1980s), a Mel Farr Ford commercial directed by ???
Pro footballer Mel Farr hit local stardom with his caped escapades as a superhero car dealer in the Detroit area. This and the following "Me and Dawg" commercials comprise a large portion of the memory pie labeled "childhood." There are some incredulous Geoffrey Fieger (of Dr. Kevorkian fame) commercials that currently air here in Detroit, but I cannot find those on the usual websites. Hopefully soon, because they should not be missed. Fieger's eye-jobbed, fake tanned eyes can see into your soul.

Me & Dawg, a Ray Whitefield Ford commercial directed by does it matter?
Come on, Dawg!

04 October 2011


directed by Alex Winter and Tom Stern

After the existential kick in the shit that was Evan Glodell’s masterpiece, I am having trouble deciding what to review. But after much thought, I landed on the amazingly ridiculous and amazingly- well, let’s just say it’s sure to leave a few jaws on the floor- adolescent creative vision of Alex Winter and Tom Stern. The vision in question is the delightfully raunchy and batshit absurd Freaked, starring Winter as Hollywood star and total fame whore Ricky Coogan, who will do anything for a paycheck. When Coogan gets duped into traveling to South America to attach his name to a chemical company’s dubious deeds, he stumbles upon the mad world of a mad scientist (Randy Quaid at the height of his powers) creating a world of freaks using the very chemical Coogan is down there to endorse! Oh, the irony, you say, but Freaked is not a film about subtlety. Rocking a pretty stellar cast (including an uncredited and excellent Keanu Reeves as Ortiz, the dog boy), Freaked is one of those bonkers time capsule films that will give future generations a glimpse of the fucked up, who gives a shit craziness of the early 90s. Anyone with a soft spot for such crap classics as PCU and Bio-Dome will have either: A. watched this film a thousand times, usually whilst shitfaced, or B. scribbled this title down as a must watch the next time they are shitfaced.