Tag: New York

MOVIE REVIEW | Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It didn’t live up to expectations, it blew them out of the water.”

Breakfast 1
“You mustn’t give your heart to a wild thing. The more you do, the stronger they get, until they’re strong enough to run into the woods or fly into a tree. And then to a higher tree and then to the sky.”

Some movies have images or lines of dialogue so iconic, those specific moments are more famous today than he movies they’re from.  While these could be signs of the movies themselves maybe lacking overall substance and relying on these small shining moments, there are some where these famous snippets are just the beginning.  Casablanca might end with an oft parodied line about the beginning of a beautiful friendship, but if that’s all you knew before watching, you’d be treated to 100 minutes of near perfection before you got there.  The image of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in her black dress and tiara is one of Hollywood’s most famous.  It’s also only one small part of a movie with even more style than that photo would suggest, and substance to match in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

After a night on the town, Holly Golightly (Hepburn) returns home to her New York apartment.  Avoiding last night’s date who’s been waiting outside ever since she ditched him the night before, she has to wake her angry Japanese neighbour (Mickey Rooney as Mr Yunioshi) to let her in after losing her keys for what is obviously not the first time.  Recovering by sleeping the day away, she’s woken in the afternoon by new neighbour, Paul Varjak (George Peppard) who has his own key issues. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Manhattan (1979)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: Allen has spent the majority of his long career trying to get his version of New York city onto the big screen, and none of his work does it better than this.

Manhattan 1
“He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Eh uh, no, make that he, he romanticized it all out of proportion.”

Woody Allen made slapstick comedies in the late 60s and early 70s. He made deadpan, Swedish inspired dramas in 80s. And he’s spent the last 30 years oscillating from beloved “returns to form” and supposed “pale imitations of his former greatness”. But in over half a century of film making, it’s amazing to me that he made what are commonly regarded has his two absolute masterpieces in such close proximity to each other. There was Annie Hall in 1977, then, just two years later, he blew everyone away even more, with Manhattan.

Struggling with writers block, the voiceover of Isaac (Allen) tries to define his love for the titular city and his place in it. Cut to the 42 year old Isaac having dinner with 17 year old, high school student and girlfriend, Tracy (Mariel Hemingway), along with best friend couple, Yale (Michael Murphy) and Connie (Karol Ludwig). When Tracy goes to the bathroom, the other middle agers at the table are quick to let Isaac know that they think dating a teenager probably isn’t a great idea. Isaac agrees, and has no good reason to stay with Tracy. He even actively tries to convince her to move on to someone closer to her own age. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Holy Rollers (2010)

Hol Rollers
“Don’t worry, we’ll find you a good bride.”

Jesse Eisenberg doesn’t always make great movies, but he does always at least make different movies. And that’s enough to make me keep an eye on his a career. In his first few years, he’d already been in future classics like The Squid and the Wale and The Social Network. Which is more than enough reason to look past absolute shit bombs like Now You See Me and pretentious wanks like Night Moves. It was also enough to make me eager to see Holy Rollers, a movie I’d never heard of until I saw it pop up on Netflix.


It’s the late 90s in Brooklyn, and Sam Gold (Eisenberg) is a good Jewish boy living with his parents, studying to be a rabbi and waiting to have his marriage arranged. Working with his father in his fabric shop, the Golds are working hard for not much reward. An issue that may see his dream girl’s family look for a better financial match when deciding on a husband. (more…)

MUSIC RVIEW | LCD Sound System – Sound of Silver (2007)

LCDsoundsystemsoundsilver

LCD Sound System was a band name I had always heard, but never paid any attention to. I think I assumed they were some sort of dance, or electronica act. But a couple of years ago, I saw a trailer for Shut Up and Play the Hits, a documentary following the band in the lead up to their final ever show. Not only was LCD Sound System way more popular than I ever knew, they were popular enough to sell out Madison Square Garden for their final show. How did they pass me by so completely? What kind of music do they even play? Have I really been missing out something all these years? Hopefully I will get the answers by listing to Sound of Silver.


A seven minute track is an interesting way to open an album. Not interesting in the way that means the song, Get Innocuous!, is interesting. But interesting in the way that I wonder what LCD Sound System was thinking when they decided to open Sound of Silver with a seven minute loop of synths, boring electronica and not very much else. (more…)

***2013 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Iron Man 3

iron-man-3-official-hd

A soldier going through serious P.T.S.D…  Now that’s an interesting jumping off point for a super hero blockbuster that will probably make more money from kids buying action figures than it will from tickets sold at the box office.  It’s also something that makes Iron Man 3 stand out a little from the overly saturated super hero crowd.   Director and co-writer Shane Black had a tough job on his hands…  Take over an established, crazy successful franchise and try to keep his one, single character entertaining and interesting after we’ve all seen the awesome team up fun of The Avengers.


The movie opens in the early 90s with Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark and Jon Favreau as his bodyguard Happy.  This is Tony Stark back in his cool days, pounding booze and bangin’ broads, like any rich playboy should.   He also rudely dismisses a scientist played by Guy Pearce.  But that’s OK, I’m sure his revolutionary theories will amount to nothing and his anger and jealousy towards Stark won’t manifest as a crazy revenge plot.  Oh snap, I was wrong.  That’s exactly what happens.

Cut to the present day and Tony Stark is obsessively tinkering in his work shop building new and improved Iron Man suits.  We learn pretty quickly this is all a coping mechanism as he tries to distract himself from the horrible things he saw in New York in the Avengers climax, and the dark thoughts about what might be next.  He’s eventually snapped out of his funk by the prospect of throwing down with new global terrorist on the block, the Mandarin, played by an awesome Ben Kinglsey who chews the scenery gloriously every second he’s on screen.  Don Cheadle is in his own Iron Man suit, rebranded as the Iron Patriot after a red, white and blue paint job and shows up just enough to add to the movie in fun ways without ever overstaying his welcome.

Through a series of events, Tony Stark spends a lot of this movie out of the Iron Man suit.  That’s not a bad thing.  If he’s not in the suit, it means we’re not constantly being hammered with crazy fight scenes and mass destruction.  By resisting wall to wall action, it makes the few set pieces hit that much harder when they do occur,  like the squadron of Iron Men that appear in the movie’s big climax.  Even though I’d seen it in the trailers, the site of a couple of dozen Iron Men all flying to Tony Stark’s side for the last big battle still gave me a bit of a charge.

Shane Black’s screenplay brings plenty of great Shane Blackness to this world and helps give this character a new and interesting perspective.  He knows how to write dry sarcasm better than anyone and Downey knows exactly how it should be delivered.  I wouldn’t say this is the best Iron Man movie, but it’s more fresh and entertaining than anything you’d expect this deep into a franchise.  And it’s definitely better than Iron Man 2.

Iron Man 3
Directed By – Shane Black
Written By – Shane Black, Drew Pearce

 

 

MOVIE REVIEW | Frances Ha (2013)

Extra Frances Ha
I really like Noah Baumbach as a film maker.  Since his comeback with The Squid and the Whale, he’s had a really good run and I’ve really dug everything.  And his work with Greta Gerwig in Greenberg made me like her too.  But I just couldn’t get onboard with Frances Ha.


Gerwig plays the title role, a 27 year old aspiring dancer living in New York.  Frances Ha follows her as she drifts from one living situation to the next.  She starts with her best friend Sophie (Mickey Sumner) but has to movie when she discovers what she thought was co-dependent relationship may have been a little more one sided than she expected.  She then lives with Lev (Adam Driver) and Benji (Michael Zegen) a couple of trust fund hipsters, before spending some time with insufferable bitch Rachel (Grace Grummer).

There’s a trip to Sacramento, a trip to Paris, a trip to upstate New York.  No matter where her story takes her, it seems like nothing interesting ever happens.  What I’m getting at is, I really did not like Frances Ha.  The story bored me, I just didn’t give a crap about any of the characters and Gerwig’s performance is just OK.

Like I said, I really like Noah Baumbach as a writer and director, but here, he seems more like a second rate Richard Linklater.  Or worse, a 20 year old film student who just discovered Linklater movies and thinks all he needs to make one himself is some long, rambling conversations within a story that goes seemingly nowhere.  But he forgot the relatable characters that make Linklater’s long rambling conversations so interesting.  And the fact that Linklater’s stories actually do go somewhere.

In a lot of ways, Frances Ha is almost like Girls, the movie.  And while I hated all the characters in that TV show initially for very similar reasons to hating Frances, Girls has had the luxury of 20 odd hours of story so far, with more to come, to give me reasons to kind of symapthise with them every now and again.  At under 90 minutes, Frances Ha never reached that same point.

Baumbach’s involvement makes me totally open to the very real possibility that I’m wrong, it just went over my head and that I missed something and simply don’t get it.  His involvement and romantic relationship with Gerwig makes me wonder if he’s just a little too infatuated with her and assumed his audience would be too.  Whatever it is, Frances Ha, the movie and the character, just aggravated the shit out of me.  I imagine anyone who meets the character is fighting an urge to slap her every second they’re in Frances’ company.

And the dance sequence at the end…  Massive piss take, right?

Frances Ha
Directed By – Noah Baumbach
Written By – Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig

MOVIE REVIEW | Italianamerican (1974)

italianamerican_2
I’ll get this out of the way straight out of the gate.  In my opinion, Martin Scorsese is the greatest film maker working today.  Possibly of all time.  So I was predisposed to liking this.  Having said that, if you can watch Italianamerican and not have the shit charmed out of you, you may not have a soul.


I guess I’d have to call Italianamerican a documentary, but that makes it sound a lot more elaborate than what it actually is; Martin Scorsese having dinner with his parents, Charlie and Catey Scorsese, and encouraging them to tell stories about growing up in early twentieth century New York.

If you’ve ever seen Goodfellas (and if you haven’t, what’s your problem, jerk?  Stop reading this and go watch it right now), you know how adorable Scorsese’s mother is.  In a movie filled with murder, mobsters, drugs and guns, her one scene is one of the most memorable.  As the mother of Joe Pesci’s Tommy, she almost steals the movie.  Watching her in Italianamerica, I had to wonder if any of her lines in Goodfellas were even scripted, or if Scorsese just pointed a camera at her and let he do her thing.

Even more impressive than Catey Scorsese, is the fact that her husband Charlie somehow manages to not be completely lost in her shadow.  He holds his own and tells amazing stories about growing up in Hell’s Kitchen.  This dude grew up sharing a two room apartment with thirteen other people.  Not a two bedroom apartment, a two room apartment.

The Scorsese family should be on a billboard somewhere advertising the American immigrant experience.   Catey and Charlie are both children of Sicilian immigrant parents who arrived in America penniless.  Catey and Charlie managed to work themselves up to the middle class and were even able to send their son to film school.  In three generations, the Scorsese’s went from poverty stricken immigrants to rich and world renowned film maker.  They are the American dream.

Even at their most violent, excessive, flashy and gangster filled, Scorsese’s movies always come back to family.  He’s obsessed with the little things that influence people and make them who they are.  Italianamerican is an amazing look at the little things that made his parents who they are.  It’s also an amazing look at how their influence produced the greatest film maker working today.  Possibly of all time.

And as an added bonus, the end credits even include the recipe for Catey Scorsese’s amazing looking pasta sauce…
Singe an onion & a pinch of garlic in oil. Throw in a piece of veal, a piece of beef, some pork sausage & a lamb neck bone. Add a basil leaf. When the meat is brown, take it out, & put it on a plate. Put in a can of tomato paste & some water. Pass a can of packed whole tomatoes through a blender & pour it in. Let it boil. Add salt, pepper, & a pinch of sugar. Let it cook for a while. Throw the meat back in. Cook for 1 hour. Now make the meatballs. Put a slice of bread without crust, 2 eggs, & a drop of milk, into a bowl of ground veal & beef. Add salt, pepper, some cheese & a few spoons of sauce. Mix it with your hands. Roll them up, throw them in. Let it cook for another hour.

Italianamerican
Directed By – Martin Scorsese
Written By – Lawrence D. Cohen, Mardik Martin

MOVIE REVIEW | Iron Man 3 (2013)

iron-man-3-official-hd

A soldier going through serious P.T.S.D…  Now that’s an interesting jumping off point for a super hero blockbuster that will probably make more money from kids buying action figures than it will from tickets sold at the box office.  It’s also something that makes Iron Man 3 stand out a little from the overly saturated super hero crowd.   Director and co-writer Shane Black had a tough job on his hands…  Take over an established, crazy successful franchise and try to keep his one, single character entertaining and interesting after we’ve all seen the awesome team up fun of The Avengers.

The movie opens in the early 90s with Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark and Jon Favreau as his bodyguard Happy.  This is Tony Stark back in his cool days, pounding booze and bangin’ broads, like any rich playboy should.   He also rudely dismisses a scientist played by Guy Pearce.  But that’s OK, I’m sure his revolutionary theories will amount to nothing and his anger and jealousy towards Stark won’t manifest as a crazy revenge plot.  Oh snap, I was wrong.  That’s exactly what happens.

Cut to the present day and Tony Stark is obsessively tinkering in his work shop building new and improved Iron Man suits.  We learn pretty quickly this is all a coping mechanism as he tries to distract himself from the horrible things he saw in New York in the Avengers climax, and the dark thoughts about what might be next.  He’s eventually snapped out of his funk by the prospect of throwing down with new global terrorist on the block, the Mandarin, played by an awesome Ben Kinglsey who chews the scenery gloriously every second he’s on screen.  Don Cheadle is in his own Iron Man suit, rebranded as the Iron Patriot after a red, white and blue paint job and shows up just enough to add to the movie in fun ways without ever overstaying his welcome.

Through a series of events, Tony Stark spends a lot of this movie out of the Iron Man suit.  That’s not a bad thing.  If he’s not in the suit, it means we’re not constantly being hammered with crazy fight scenes and mass destruction.  By resisting wall to wall action, it makes the few set pieces hit that much harder when they do occur,  like the squadron of Iron Men that appear in the movie’s big climax.  Even though I’d seen it in the trailers, the site of a couple of dozen Iron Men all flying to Tony Stark’s side for the last big battle still gave me a bit of a charge.

Shane Black’s screenplay brings plenty of great Shane Blackness to this world and helps give this character a new and interesting perspective.  He knows how to write dry sarcasm better than anyone and Downey knows exactly how it should be delivered.  I wouldn’t say this is the best Iron Man movie, but it’s more fresh and entertaining than anything you’d expect this deep into a franchise.  And it’s definitely better than Iron Man 2.

Iron Man 3
Directed By – Shane Black
Written By – Shane Black, Drew Pearce