January 1, 2009

January 1, 2009

Hope everyone had a good New Year's....we did the usual, watched the boys head out because they actually have a social life, and we stayed in and watched movies. It's the only time of year, it seems, that I actually watch the stuff I've been trying to get to all year.

Made it to 10:30 - which is later than usual. I don't think I've rung in a New Year since before Christopher was born. I read about celebrations that do a countdown at 9 for the little kids, and I end up thinking "Hmmmmmmm, now that seems doable...."

Finally watched Into the Wild, which was mostly good (the crybaby mommy in me got in the way a few times). True story of a rich kid who shrugs off all the parental expectations and disappears into the Alaska wilderness. Sean Penn directed - had a few show-offy moments that bugged me (I don't think you should actually be thinking about the director when you're watching a movie...), but Emile Hirsch was great. And Catherine Keener is heaven on a cracker.

Finally got to a documentary Up The Yangtze - brilliant. The building of the Three Gorges Damn is usually reported on as an engineering piece - this is the human side. It was the darling of many film festivals, and rightly so. It's a Canadian production - I love when we back great work.

I've tried to convince The Poor Sod that another movie I picked up for the New Year's extravaganza, The Bank Job, is based on a true story and therefore worthy. He ain't biting - it stars Jason Stratham, who I just like to look at. He's usually good for a car chase or 3. Or, he can just sit there and be pretty.

Grabbed that Clooney/Pitt one about Burning And Noticing or something like that. The kids think it's funny, so they'll watch it again. And I'm saving one the Wonderful Stan recommended - 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. I'm sure that'll be a watch-on-my-own one, but I was happy to find it at the crappy Blockbuster I go to. If you see this Stan, please post your review in the comments for me - I can't find it, and it was great.

I've tried to use that Cogeco Movie thing where you just push some buttons and order up a movie (or, get a boy to do it for you - too many remotes...). We call it Lorraine on Demand. Problem is, the movies are ridiculous. A few gems (Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day) buried in a pantload of manure. They offer up one new movie every 60 days, it seems...there was a creepy shark one awhile back. Oh, and Savage Grace the other night, which I loved, but one that definitely comes with warning bells.

Finally got to the way-too-long Batman Dark Night the other night - Heath is great, story gets tangled in its own feet, but hey, its a comic book. What do I expect? Also got another reason to wish Al Pacino would just stop already - the totally stupid 88 Minutes. We call it Idiot Minutes. How does this junk get made?

I've been haunting the library mostly - Annie Proulx has held me together through this holiday season - if you haven't read her two volumes The Wyoming Stories, get them. Brilliant. Short stories as art. Halfway through a largish tome on Dashiell Hammett - previously unpublished shorts of his, which are cool. It's interspersed with a ton of background information on the man himself...good for nosy buggers like me.

He pretty much invented the noir genre. I remember my mom used to keep a stash of those true crime pulp magazines in the cupboard in the kitchen (her brother used to bring them for her), where she thought we wouldn't find them. Ha. Roz and I used to sneak them, and read them. She also read Ellery Queen et al...it's too bad more of the contributors weren't as great as Hammett...even his very first story was a tiny piece of perfection.

Let me know movies not to miss...especially those that might fly under the radar...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You blew my mind mentioning Dashiel Hammett. We just finished doing teh annual ritual of watching all the Thin Man movies. Did you know many of them took place on or during the Christmas Holidays? Long live Nick and Nora Charles. Another good one is Lady in the Lake.

January 01, 2009 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm... a very good movie. sliding doors...

Happy New Year..

January 02, 2009 8:57 PM  
Blogger DJW said...

More about the Yangtze...
...Jodi Foster narrated a great movie about it a few years back on History or Discovery.
A lot of it was done from the point of view of a riverboat captain that would be out of a job once the dam was finished.
It also featured the dismantling and reassembly of an ancient temple.
If it comes around again, I'll alert you about it if you're interested.


January 02, 2009 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here 'tis, LS. I do about five movies a week now, mostly for mature viewers, often foreign stuff. Maybe two or three per month get four stars...happy to post them...or send to you directly

"First, a caution...this is a disturbing mature film with some very graphic scenes absolutely inappropriate for children. Second, while the action is centered on the abortion scenario, the story is not about abortion. Nor is it about the difficulties thereto, the moralities thereto, or the discouraging realities of an Eastern Europe communist environment in the 80’s.

It is a sympathetic yet analytical dissection of a friendship between two young women. This includes exploration of the impact of this friendship on one character’s relationship with her lover. A small added bonus is the credible exposure of the young man’s reaction to basic questions of commitment when the chips are down. I’ve been there and still suffer regrets for my immaturity. But the focus is on the two women and my advice (only a minor spoiler) is to think in terms of trust and truth. And how a day in retrospect may seem a lifetime of learning.

Anamaria Marinca as Otelia is the dominant player and in my opinion the main reason (secondarily the screenplay and direction) that this work won a pot of awards in Europe. She mesmerized me with her understated yet absolutely convincing portrayal of loyalty and compassion. As noted above, the time frame is only eighteen hours yet you may initially feel the pace drags. Pay attention because while it moves slowly, each scene has purpose. You will not be bored as the pieces fall into place, however discomfiting. And I could imagine no more appropriate conclusion--a brilliant yet subtle depiction of a painful realization.

This is not a good story well told. It is a difficult exploration of a relationship under stress. You will not be amused or entertained but you will be challenged. I had given it three stars but realized it will not easily be forgotten, particularly Anamaria's outstanding performance and a solid supporting cast. Hence the four.

Highly recommended for thoughtful viewers, particularly women."

January 02, 2009 11:08 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

And the film is...?????

January 03, 2009 7:04 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Oh, that's the 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days review I asked him for in my blog.

He also sent me his Into The Wild review, which was spot on (I like when I agree with Stan!).

I'll ask him for a link to his reviews - he does a lot of foreign stuff and older stuff, and he's great for those things you might have missed that are worthwhile. I'll post a link in a new blog...

January 03, 2009 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and now, on a much lighter note, we used our Cable service and watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Definitely not deep, but worth a giggle for anyone looking for a light hearted comedy.

her illiterate sister. Wish you could download Little Britain.

January 03, 2009 10:02 AM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

On HBO Canada there is Little Britain USA...

January 03, 2009 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's one you'll want to check out Lorraine,it's called In Bruges. Great noirish comedy with Colin (didn't know he had it in him) Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes.

and Happy Birthday!

January 06, 2009 5:58 PM  

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