Monthly Archives: March 2006

Capote (2005)

In Anne Proulx’s widely-blogged screed against the Academy Awards, she dismissed Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal of Truman Capote as imitation. Hoffman had video footage to work with, Proulx maintains, whereas Heath Ledger, who plays Ennis in Brokeback Mountain, had to portray a character who doesn’t exist.

Imitation or not, it’s still a remarkable feat for the burly Hoffman to transform himself into the fey Capote.

But it’s Dan Futterman’s script that gives Hoffman something on which his acting chops could chew.

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V For Vendetta (2006)

It doesn’t seem like the works of comic book writer Alan Moore have survived the leap to celluloid.

From Hell, the first of Moore’s work to be adapted to film, got mixed reviews, while The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was panned for taking an interesting literary premise and turning it into a summer blockbuster movie.

I’ve only ever read Moore’s Watchmen, and I could appreciate how Moore wrote literary themes within a superhero realm. At the same time, I could also see how difficult it would be to interpret his works on the big screen.

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The Dying Gaul (2005)

I originally planned on seeing The Dying Gaul in the same Thanksgiving weekend when I saw Rent and Pride and Prejudice. I didn’t make it, and by the time I could, it had already finished its Austin run.

So I waited for the DVD release instead.

I wanted to see the movie based upon Jette’s recommendation, but my real incentive was to watch Campbell Scott and Peter Sarsgaard — two great and handsome actors — get intimate.

(There wasn’t much of that in the actual film, but check out some of the deleted scenes.)

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Howl’s Moving Castle [ハウルの動く城] (2005)

I watched Howl’s Moving Castle in the theaters before I launched this site, so I didn’t review it back then. I was too lazy to trek across town to watch the subtitled version, so I went to the theater near my apartment, which was playing the dubbed version.

The film was released on DVD, and I watched it again, this time in Japanese with subtitles.

It’s not hyperbole to call Miyazaki Hayao a magician. The first time you watch one of his films, it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the visuals — so much detail and such great imagination. It’s also easy to overlook any shortcomings in the storyline.

The first time I watched Howl’s Moving Castle, I was taken in by the animation. I wanted to catch all the little things that I didn’t pay much attention to the bigger picture. The second time I watched it, I could pay more attention to the story, and I nearly fell asleep.

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My Neighbor Totoro [となりのトトロ] (1988)

The first time I watched My Neighbor Totoro was back in 1998.

It was recommended to me by a co-worker, a single mom with a daughter who was into Pokemon. She told me flat out it was a children’s film, but one with appeal for adults.

My affinity for Japanese indie rock aside, I’m not an anime geek. Fan, yes. Geek, nowhere close. So the name Miyazaki Hayao didn’t resonate with me back then, and it would be another five years before he became an Oscar winner.

I watched My Neighbor Totoro, and I agreed with my co-worker — it was a wonderful film. But like most anime released in the US back then, the English dubbing was seriously dumbed down for a children’s audience.

And that interfered with my enjoyment.

Fast forward to 2003.

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Block Party (2006)

I wasn’t familiar with any of the nominations for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards, but after having watched Block Party the Friday before, I was rooting for Three 6 Mafia.

And I agree with Jon Stewart — that’s the way to accept an award. (Although I giggled a bit, because it did seem like something parodied on The Boondocks.)

Of all the music I cover on, hip-hop is not well represented. Chalk it up to culture — I’m not from the streets, so hip-hop doesn’t speak to me.

But after watching Block Party, I got the sense hip-hop is, in reality, rock ‘n’ roll, a conclusion reached by better critics ages ago.

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Mysterious Skin (2004)

Let me mention the two things that may turn people off from watching Mysterious Skin. That way, you can decide whether you want to continue reading this review.

It deals unflinchingly with the effects of child molestation. And it’s directed by Gregg Araki.

Still here? Okay.

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