Friday, April 18, 2008

So I've Not Much Felt Like Writing...

Bottle Rockets
Bottle Rockets is an early dark comedy from director Wes Anderson, replete with his usual quirkiness but lacking the sort of artistry of some of his later (and more recent) work. It stars some of the usual suspects, including the Wilson brothers (Luke and Owen) as two of three best friends who try to break free from small town malaise by forging connections with the local godfather (and so embark on a sadly shortsighted — and so comical — ) life of crime. FINAL GRADE: B

Breakfast Club
I watched this film years ago but thought it (along with a few other John Hughes productions) was worth rewatching now that I'm fairly familiar with where most of his films were shot (north suburban Chicago). But since 98% of this film takes place inside of a school (with a group of stock character kids all serving a very unrealistic 8-hour detention together), I didn't get to "point out" anywhere near as many sights as I did with, say, Ferris Bueller (a cinematic homage to this city, among other things). And while I certainly understand why this 1985 film is considered to be a "seminal" work, there's also no denying its unintentionally hokey qualities. But, hey, it speaks for an era — and there's something to be said for that. FINAL GRADE: C+

Clay Pigeons
A very dark comedy with elements of suspense, the moral of this story is obvious: don't lie; don't cheat with your best friend's wife; and don't be (or hang out with) a serial killer. Stars Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn and Jeananne Garofolo, all who put on an enjoyable performance in this 1998 film — a sort of underproduced predecessor to No Country for Old Men (2007). FINAL GRADE: B+

Sixteen Candles
So I thought I'd seen this other John Hughes classic previously, but was more than a little surprised to recognize only bits and pieces. In fact what I thought was Sixteen Candles was actually this. I prefer this "version" better. Not to mention, I found it to be slightly less hokey than the other aforementioned Hughes film. Also set in north suburban Chicago, this one shows a bit more of the sights and is about a girl who wakes up on her 16th birthday only to realize that everyone in her family has forgotten (those of you who know me know how easy it was to relate). Other typical teenage concerns unravel (and are reconciled) throughout the course of the day. FINAL GRADE: B

Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
This 2005 documentary about a man who dedicates his life to caring for a flock of "wild" parrots in San Francisco is intriguing, to say the least. And even with his long hair; resistance to conventional means of work; and single boiler plate kitchen, I really wouldn't qualify him as "eccentric" (in fact he intelligently refutes that label). The manner in which he describes individual parrots — and the lens through which this film was shot — is truly touching, underscoring the personality of birds non-native (and so misunderstood) by the populous. FINAL GRADE: A-


disgruntled world citizen said...

ironic: i just sent back bottle rocket to netflix, unseen. i just wasn't in the mood for wes anderson. i have to be in the mood for him. ah well, i'll watch it eventually.

disgruntled world citizen said...

i also quite liked parrots. i found myself rooting for they guy.

Eli Edmundson said...

I saw Bottle Rocket when it first came out on video way back when, at the time it seemed so fresh and original, but I imagine if one saw it after seeing Anderson's other works it would seem less phenomenal... It was my first time seeing the Wilson brothers and I though Owen did such a great job I went to Anaconda just because he was in it, turns out he was eaten first! doh!

Stacy said...

I am glad to see you gave Pigeons a good rating. I really liked it. Parrots and telegraph Hill, a beautiful image in my mind.I think it is on my Netflix queue.

rick prose said...
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