Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Trim Bin #41

- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has never looked as good as it does on Dark Sky's new 2-disc set. I was afraid that too much digital tweaking would detract from the low-budget grittiness that is key to the film's success, but the picture strikes a perfect balance: it's well-defined but not too clean, enhancing details such as dust on the lens rather than removing them. To any TCM fan, I'd say it's definitely worth the upgrade (even if the new making-of documentary, which mostly features the actors bitching about not getting paid, is sort of a drag).

- I'm looking forward to Casino Royale more than any Bond film made in my lifetime. The casting of Daniel Craig, and the slick, brooding tone of the new trailer suggest the Bond I loved in the Ian Fleming novels that Sean Connery came closest to capturing - the amoral, horny killing machine. Of course, it could turn out to be a totally generic retread. Either way, we'll have the original Casino Royale (with Woody Allen as Jimmy Bond) to treasure forever.

- A reminder: Jack Nicholson is the coolest man alive.

- I rewatched The War of the Roses this week for the first time in years; it's a near-perfect black comedy. I say "near-perfect" entirely because of one shot - the insert that reveals a canine character alive and well and takes the bite out of a dark plot twist. A trip to the IMDB confirmed my suspicion that the shot was added to appease sensitive test audiences; it's an unfortunate compromise in an otherwise uncompromising film. Which leads me to the question: which films would be perfect with the removal of one moment?

- I'm proud to announce the emergence this week of a witty, perceptive new voice in film blogging: my lovely wife, Jessica! Her articles on The Virgin Suicides and Ghost World put my writing to shame with their nimble wordplay and innate understanding of what makes each film tick (I particularly like the observations about hair in Ghost World). I can say without nepotism that these do not read at all like the work of a beginner, and they are well worth your time.

Films watched this week:

Clerks II 4
Femme Fatale
(director's cut) 8
McCabe and Mrs. Miller
Watership Down
The War of the Roses
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Look Who's Talking
Look Who's Talking Too

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