Archive for May, 2010

W.
[Blu-ray]: W. DVD: W.
W.

Is Oliver Stone losing his touch?

W. is the falsest, least authentic political film I’ve seen in a while. It’s full of bad dialogue that explains and explains for the ten year olds in the audience.

It neglects who these people are, Poppy, Rummy, Cheney, Wolfie, and what they set out to do from day one. This gang has rap sheets a mile long. They did not fall into these situations out of the blue.
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“The story of an aspiring fashion photographer whose career takes an unexpected turn when she discovers a hidden world of beauty at a center for people living with significant disabilities.”

I have to say that just the trailer made me a little misty.

Taking Woodstock (2009)

Posted: May 15, 2010 in Joe Giambrone

Blu-ray: Taking Woodstock
DVD: Taking Woodstock

This is a worthwhile take on the 1969 Woodstock concert. Ang Lee directs the inside story of the unknowing young man who inadvertently unleashed the largest concert in world history on a small farming town in upstate NY.

The film is notable for its lead character, a gay, Jewish, artist kid who seized on the concert idea as a last ditch effort to save his parents’ motel from foreclosure.
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From Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow at 11:26 PM May 7, 2010.

The FCC has given Hollywood permission to activate the “Selective Output Control” technologies in your set-top box. These are hidden flags that allow the MPAA to deactivate parts of your home theater depending on what you’re watching. And it sucks. As Dan Gillmor notes, “Fans of old TV science fiction will remember the Outer Limits. Given Hollywood’s victory today at the FCC — they’ll be able to reach over the lines and disable functions on your TV — the intro to the show takes on modern relevance.”

The FCC says that they’re doing this because they believe that if they do so, the MPAA will start releasing first-run movies (the ones that are still in theaters) for TV. They say that Hollywood won’t make these movies available unless they get Selectable Output Control because SOC will stop piracy.

This is ridiculous.
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DVD: The Last Station
Blu-ray: The Last Station

Vague, Passionate and Erratic: The Last Station

by Binoy Kampmark

“Tomorrow, I’ll go to the station and lie down on the track. Tolstoy’s wife becomes Anna Karenina herself. See how the papers will like that!”
Countess Sofya (Helen Mirren) to Leon Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer), The Last Station (2009)

In Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station, a portrayal over the last days of Leo Tolstoy’s life and a battle over the disposition of his estate and copyright to his works, politics and personalities clash. The wily aide and pejoratively labelled ‘catamite’ Chertkov (Paul Giamatti), who sees himself as more Tolstoyan than Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer), faces off with Countess Sofya (Helen Mirren) over how the great author shall share his legacy. Everyone seems to be scribbling notes in an effort to record the last days of an era. Be it doctor or secretary, the latter played by James McAvoy, there is a furious relaying of all that is said, irrespective of how noteworthy it might actually be. ‘In the beginning, there was the word…’

Parts of this effort by Hoffman are barely believable, though it all comes down to what viewers are expecting. Reviewers have found the scene when Countess Sofya’s desperate attempt to woo Tolstoy with the lines ‘I’m your chicken, you be my big cock!’ desperate and cringe worthy. Tim Roby of The Telegraph (Feb 18), is merely being cranky, though he is right to point out that the carnival, stage element never quite escapes this film. For many, that will be a more than sufficient digestive. Something might have been made about the black and white footage that is shown at the end of the film, featuring a Christ-like Tolstoy engaging in his labours. We are left wondering.
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Film’s website:
http://films.nfb.ca/the-coca-cola-case/

A Review of the “Coca-Cola Case”
Killer-Coke Hits the Screens

By BILLY WHARTON

“Sailing round the world in a dirty gondola,” Bob Dylan sang in 1971, “Oh, to be back in the land of Coca-Cola!” After forty years of corporate globalization, Dylan would be hard pressed to find a place that isn’t the land of Coca-Cola. Multinationals have torn up the globe converting the repression of workers into cheap labor and free trade agreements into new market opportunities all in the name of ever-increasing profit margins. Left in their wake are legacies of environmental destruction, corrupt governments and employer violence. This process is precisely what a documentary currently making the rounds in campus political circles, by German Gutierrez and Carmen Garcia’s entitled “The Cola-Case,” aims to expose.

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Will Hollywood Go the Way of Enron?
Derivatives Come to the Movies

By ELLEN BROWN

As if attacks from paparazzi and star-crazed fans weren’t enough, Hollywood stars may soon have a literal price put on their heads by investors in the Cantor Exchange, a real-money trading platform where people can bet on the gross profits of upcoming movies. Sales of The Dark Knight skyrocketed after Heath Ledger died unexpectedly, and so did sales after the deaths of Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Will greed-driven investors now be laying in wait for the stars of movies they have bet on?
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