Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Trim Bin #71


- One of the great mysteries of my life is how so many people I know who have otherwise proven their intelligence and good taste count themselves as a fan of The Boondock Saints. Alex Jackson's comprehensive takedown of the Saints pretty well explains my confusion over its hopefully waning popularity - now that we have The Departed, can we retire this piece of crapola as a symbol of Beantown pride?

- I finally saw Iron Man a few weeks ago, about $300 million past the point where a full review seems relevant. To summarize: big thumbs up to Robert Downey Jr., an even bigger thumbs up to Jeff Bridges, awesome robot suit business that puts Transformers to shame, funny, unpretentious, politically muddled and a bit choppy. A good time, and hopefully the sequel will be to the first as Spider-Man 2 is to Spider-Man.

- I'm usually bad at self-promotion, but with the Self-Involvement Blog-a-thon currently underway, it feels like an appropriate time to point out that I was recently the subject of Adam Ross' Friday Screen Test. Thanks, Adam, for your generous introduction - a "wanderer," eh? Interesting...

- Tom Sutpen at If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger... has shared an invaluable resource - the original recordings of the famous Hitchcock/Truffaut interview tapes.

- I don't write about music much because I'm just not good at it, but I have to mention an album I'm currently in love with, M83's Saturdays = Youth. It's must-listening stuff for children of the eighties, using the unmistakable sound of movies and music of the decade not as an homage or parody but to evoke the way that our lives, the songs we hear and the films we see become one in the rear view of memory. It's brainy, catchy and oddly moving - check out the video for "Graveyard Girl."

6 comments:

Matthew H. said...

Agree with you on Boondock. Can't agree with you on Iron Man. Thought it was really disappointing actually. I'm waiting for Dark Knight to save my summer at this point. Wall-E was quite good although I think I liked the short before it (Presto) even better. Suicide Kings in my opinion is the better film of the indie gangster "Boondock" type. I think they were even made around the same time if I'm not mistaken. I guess everyone was looking for a piece of that Tarantino pie. Hopefully Inglorious Bastards will be as good as I'm hearing the script reads. Lovin' your site. Keep up the GREAT work!

Paul C. said...

That was a good piece on Boondock, although I take umbrage (not Delores) at him calling the New Cult Canon feature "horrible." For one thing, Scott's a hell of a writer, and it's always interesting to hear his takes on these movies. But they're also well-chosen, a combination of the legitimately awesome(Irma Vep), the entertainingly awful (Road House), and the inexplicable (Boondock, of course). The column gives me a great reason to check out the AV Club on Thursdays, which used to be a slow day over there.

Bemis said...

Iron Man is one of those movies that I liked but don't have a lot to say about and don't feel strongly enough to defend it. Honestly, I was surprised to find that I actually preferred Speed Racer - there's a movie I'd gladly defend.

Agreed about the New Cult Canon - Alex Jackson's always an engaging writer, but he has a tendency to make rash judgements. I must admit that I didn't like Irma Vep, though the film studies setting I saw it in couldn't have helped. Your enthusiasm makes me want to give it another chance. But I guess part of what defines a cult film is its incredibly specific appeal - over at Alex Jackson's forum they're trashing Tobias for his inclusion of Wet Hot American Summer, and that's a movie I find awesome.

matthew H. said...

I am so with you on Wet Hot American Summer. That is one of my favorite comedies in recent memory. The State needs to be released on dvd. Love that show. Couldn't really get into Stella though. Irma Vep is so so. I actually really dug Demonlover strangely enough. The cinematography in that is killer. I'm really sorry I didn't see Speed Racer in the theater. I watched the first 5 minutes or so on IGN when it came out and I didn't like what I saw. But I'll give it a chance when it comes out on Blu-Ray. Really sorry I missed that one. Everyone I know who saw it said it was really good. Stay away from Hancock if you haven't seen it yet...Awful. Just awful. Talk about ruining a brilliant concept. There's actually a book called Super Folks from the 70's that I wanted to adapt into a script that would have made a much better film in the right director's hands.

Dan E. said...

I'm wondering if you've read Paul Sherman's new book Big Screen Boston. I'm working on it now and hope to post about it in the near future. He includes a small section on Boondock. On the film I'm more with Sherman than you. I don't think it's a great movie by any means, but I like it when my cinema diet has turned to junk food.

I think of Iron Man in a lower regard than most people. It's enjoyable but hits too many basic notes and cliches. Why on Earth did they include the Noble Savage who sacrificed himself for the arrogant hero? That one hurt. I am with you on Speed Racer as the better movie.

Bemis said...

I'll have to check that book out. It's been fascinating to watch Boston transform itself into a filmmaking hub, and the positive and negative ripple effects.