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Cinemalphabet: I is for Ides of March (2011)

November 1, 2012
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Actor and bon vivant George Clooney seems to have a fascination with – at least as a director – with portrayals of alpha males struggling inside pressure cookers of their own creation. It’s perhaps why I found Clooney’s previous directorial efforts (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Good Night and Good Luck) technically masterful, but not especially compelling cinematic flights of fancy. This isn’t to suggest he’s a bad director; he’s not. And while there’s certainly lots of depth to be found in such alpha male stories, particularly when there’s a strong script involved, it’s a cinematic subject I find dreadfully boring. Even setting the film against the backdrop of political intrigue and general fuckery didn’t really elevate the material beyond that of a decent and entertaining political thriller.

Ides of March boasts an impressive cast of character actors whose performances, especially Jeffrey Wright and Paul Giamatti, are top notch in exactly the way we expect them to be. Ryan Gosling, whose presence I normally find incredibly grating, managed to impress me by not making the obvious choices with his character. Political strategist Stephen Myers is a meaty role and Gosling’s performance is grade A perfect. Meanwhile, I’m just not sure what to think about Clooney’s performance. I can’t tell if it’s the way the character was written or portrayed that was the problem. I’m inclined to think it was both. Clooney’s character felt like a mash up of similar characters from other films. I had expected Clooney’s character, a charismatic chap running for president, to be a tad more unlikable. I wonder what that says about me?

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Farewell, Tony Scott

August 20, 2012

Tony Scott kissing the cheek of a guy named Ridley.

I have to stay true to my heart. And at my heart, I’m a Tony Scott girl. I am girl who needs a lot of spinning crane shots, cute boys being chased by veteran actors and lots of things blown to bits as plot forwarding devices.

Goodbye, Mr. Scott. Operation: Dinner Out is a go!

H:LOTS – S6E06 – “Birthday”

May 7, 2012
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Written by: Julie Martin
Directed by Alison Maclean
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Cinemalphabet: H is for The Hottest State (2006)

April 26, 2012

It’s easy to toss about terms like “hipster love story” and “vanity piece” when discussing Ethan Hawke’s 2006 directorial effort. After all it’s based on novel written by Hawke and does tell the story of two very attractive people – in this case one ambiguously raced and one white – who fall for each other under the most hipsterish of circumstances. But to do so sort of misses all that is decent, sweet and surprising about this reasonably faithful adaptation of Hawke’s much maligned novel. The novel itself, is an inexplicable favorite of mine, though the same cannot be said of its filmed counterpart. The film is not terrible; it’s good, but what seemed slightly interesting in novel form doesn’t add up to much on the screen. Though it’s not for a lack of trying by the film’s capable leads, script and director. Read more…

H:LOTS – S06E05 – “Baby, It’s You”

March 23, 2012
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Written by: Jorge Zamacona
Directed by: Ed Sherin
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H:LOTS – S06E04 – “The Subway”

March 23, 2012
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Written by: James Yoshimura
Directed by: Gary Fleder
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H:LOTS – S6E01/02/03 – “Blood Ties”

March 23, 2012
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Teleplay: Anya Epstein
Story by: Tom Fontana & Julie Martin
Directed by: Alan Taylor, Nick Gomez and Mark Pellington Read more…

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