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Monday Movies Said You Have to Live Here

Win Win was easily a good enough movie to watch on a plane. Paul Giamatti plays the kind of down-on-his-luck PMC white guy you don’t mind feeling sorry for even though he’s done a much dickisher thing than he should have. The best moment in the film is when he says to a wrestling prodigy who has come into his life, “what does that feels like? To be in control?” However that moment was also in the trailer. It’s nice to see Amy Ryan and Jeffrey Tambor in the ensemble, but the guy playing Giamatti’s friend is a little schticky. (Though funny sometimes.)

As the movie was passable entertainment given circumstances, I hope you will accept a blog post composed on the floor minneapolis saint paul airport, in part with voice recognition software. What did you see this come and what did you think?


August 1, 2011 - Posted by | Monday Movies | ,


  1. i watched _Sita sings the blues_on youtube, very funny and beautiful
    i also confess i miss netflix

    Comment by read | August 1, 2011

  2. 7/25/11 – The Hidden Blade – Yamada 2004 7/10
    Not as good as Twilight Samurai, but none the less excellent;autumnal palate

    7/26/11 – Tsubaki Sanjûrô – Kurosawa 1962 8/10
    Looser and a little sloppier than Yojimbo, but more meaningful

    7/27/11 – Something’s Wrong with Aunt Diane HBO 6/10

    7/28/11 – Avalanche – Naruse 1937 5/10

    7/29/11 – The American – Corbijn 2010 7/10
    mise-en-scene, good acting and cinematography in this case is not enough

    7/30/11 – Only Yesterday – Takahata Studio Ghibli 1991 9/10

    “Ozu painted with watercolors” (actually pastels)

    “If Miyazaki is anime’s Steven Spielberg, then Takahata is its Terrence Malick.”

    (Bob – Or M = War and Peace and T = Anna Karenina, with the Vronsky parts left out. Like the Levin sections, Takahata delivers his profundity so fucking lightly, with grace and humor)

    “But make no mistake: Takahata is a poet who has revolutionized animation as an art form. If you see his Grave of the Fireflies, you will be tempted to call it his masterpiece. I felt the same way myself, but I was wrong. Omohide Poro Poro is his masterpiece.I’ll be even bolder and declare this to be the finest animated picture ever made; a grand achievement of animation as art form.” …Daniel Thomas

    7/21/11 – Dolls – Kitano 2002
    Difficult contemplative stuff, but beautiful if you have the serenity to watch ten minute cuts of a couple trudging across a snowfield. Based in Chikamatsu’s 17th century bunraku (Zen puppet theatre) like Shinoda’s Double Suicide transposed to a contemporary setting, about the destruction and doom created by an excess of love

    Comment by bob mcmanus | August 1, 2011

  3. My wife took a nap on Saturday so I went through the DVR queue looking for one of the movies I had recorded and knew she wouldn’t want to watch. Greenberg jumped out as the clear winner. There were funny parts and Ben Stiller, playing a character who’s supposed to be annoying, was less annoying than any character he’s played since I don’t know when. But I’ve grown a little tired of these melancholy dramedies where the main character is broken and looking for answers while drifting through their lives. Maybe I just don’t pay close enough attention to this type of movie. Or maybe I just don’t care.

    We also went to see Cowboys and Aliens. I told my wife when it was over that I wasn’t sure why it had to be set in the Old West, and I’m not sure what was gained from it. My suspicion is it made an old idea seem fresh enough to pitch getting it made. Also, I don’t understand why these alien races that can so severely and thoroughly kick our asses both technologically and in hand-to-hand combat are so concerned about sending in scout parties. I think they must take War of the Worlds a little too seriously.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | August 1, 2011

  4. Dolls was lovely. I remember seeing that in the theater, back in 2002 I guess. I’d been trying to remember the name of that film — I keep remembering the final springtime scene and not knowing where it’s from.

    Sita is great too, I watched that when Nina Paley was offering it through bittorent and voluntary donation. Glad to see it’s been distributed a little more formally. It took us a few nights to make it through for some reason but we enjoyed doing it.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | August 1, 2011

  5. We saw two films this week, largely because they were going to be cycled off of On Demand.

    First we watched “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.” In fact, it wasn’t a funny story at all. Indeed, it was white upper middle class whining bullshit–the kid is depressed and suicidal because of a “Jesse’s girl” problem? Come on. I call bullshit. And the new love interest is committed for a month for the most superficial cuts? They won’t even leave scars! I get that teenage “depression” and the search for authenticity is a story as North American and old as Holden Caulfield, but this was crap. Perhaps had we gotten rid of the two kids and focused on Bobby, his posse and the fat girl (who, as befits a fat dark haired girl in a white movie, does not appear to have a name) it would have been significantly better. The kid and Julia Robert’s niece should have jumped off the hospital roof and spared us an hour and a half of their weak shit. Even weaker shit: a lyric-less, piano based version of “Where is my mind?” I guess, at best, the movie reminded us that we liked Broken Social Scene, who we haven’t listened to in quite some time. Okay: the Queen performance was pretty good.

    Second we watched “Splice.” I’m pretty sure I saw this when it was called “Species.” More weak shit. Unethical scientists make a transgenic humanoid organism. Turns out they are also bad parents. Their abuse transforms the transgenic humanoid organism into a murderous monster. But–wait for it–the REAL monster is Sarah Polley who decides to carry the product of the transgenic humanoid organism’s rape of her to term and sell it for a shitload of cash all in the name of science. More weak shit.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | August 1, 2011

  6. What did you see this come


    Comment by Josh Malbin | August 1, 2011

  7. Yeah, that’s google voice recognition in a noisy airport gate.

    Thanks for curing my desire to see Splice, craig.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | August 1, 2011

  8. I went to the video store and rented Badlands, which was excellent and which brought me to True Completism with Terrence Malick. An initial thought: his 70s films and his more recent stuff are very different!

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | August 1, 2011

  9. In what is perhaps the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read, Wikipedia reports the following with respect to the woman who played the humanoid transgenic organism: “To prepare for her role in Splice, Chanéac listened to The Cure and classical music.” For real? Given that she’s basically a Frankenstein monster for the 21st century, why not that? Why the fucking Cure and unspecific classical music? Carl Orff, I bet. The turd responsible for the movie (as writer and director) also unleashed “The Cube” on us. His crimes are many.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | August 1, 2011

  10. Yeah, it was the obvious joke. I felt bad about making it, but then I made it.

    I watched Death Race. The original was better.

    Comment by Josh Malbin | August 1, 2011

  11. Two notes on the original:

    My writing partner’s uncle did the music. He was a music professor at UCLA. Corman called asking if he had any promising students who could do it, and he sent himself. (Immortalized in the very same mall that hosts the Academy Awards.)

    I saw it screened at the Egyptian in Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino was in the audience in exactly the manner described here. (It’s more descriptive in the full article.) David Carradine answered questions while looping his microphone cord repeatedly. Erm.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | August 1, 2011

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