Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Trim Bin #57

- Alejandro Jodorowsky is one of the most underrated filmmakers, largely because his films are so little-seen. So the arrival of the new Jodorowsky box set, distributed by the good people at Anchor Bay, felt unreal after decades of grainy tenth-generation dubs. But then, it's unreal that these films even exist at all - the three features contained in this set, Fando y Lis, El Topo (one of my all-time favorite movies) and The Holy Mountain, feel as if they were not filmed but conjured out of thin air. I'll review the films once I've adequately processed them, but I can easily say that this set is a must-own. The transfers are stunning, the extras are copious, and the set includes Jodorowsky's haunting scores for El Topo and The Holy Mountain. Anchor Bay has even discovered a long-lost short, La Cravate, filmed in 1957. I can't wait to revisit Jodorowsky's films, and I'm especially happy that they have a chance to receive the sort of widespread appreciation they deserve. Now we just need a good R1 release of Santa Sangre.

- Alex Jackson's epic, provocative review of Grindhouse, which argues that "If you prefer Planet Terror you don’t understand movies and if you prefer Death Proof you don’t really like them. And either way, you aren’t fully experiencing them."

- Jackson also pointed me in the direction of Criticker, a website that allows you to rate movies on a scale of 0-100 and compare your tastes with other users and critics. It's very addictive, yet it also touches upon an insecurity I've long had, namely that I'm too positive. Take that C+ for Vampires, for instance; it's probably much worse than that would suggest, but I always have a big grin on my face when I'm watching it. I've given about twenty percent of the films I've rated 100s, and while I can partly attribute this imbalance to the absence of many Troll IIs, I must ask my readers - am I too easy?

- Greg at Dreamscape has some interesting thoughts on the connections between The Kinks, Hot Fuzz and Kant (contains some spoilers).

- I received the sad news today that Images Cinemas' Focus Arts Monthly is no more. Published by the cinema where I work as a projectionist, Focus provided not only a schedule of upcoming films but also film reviews, opinion pieces and articles on local arts happenings by a diverse slate of writers. The back issues here will give you an idea of how special Focus was; I know that I was given an extraordinary amount of freedom to write about whatever I wanted. While my editors must have often regretted this fact, as I often abused such power to dwell on dork minutia; nevertheless, Focus was a fine little newsletter, and I'm proud to have been a part of it.

- Finally, the extremely mixed reviews for Spider-Man 3 have me very excited to see the film - I love it when the reviews for a movie I've been anticipating are all over the place, as it makes it easier to clear my head and make up my own mind. Part threes are always tricky - for every Return of the King or Alien 3, there are ten Batman Forevers. So it's interesting that both the positive and negative reviews have frequently referenced another second superhero sequel, Superman III. If the comparison is meant to refer to the excellent scene where Superman fights himself, this is a good thing. If it is a comparison to the rest of the film, things look grim. Check out the desparate-feeling and arguably racist (Look! Richard Pryor wants to sell you booze! Ha ha ha!) trailer for Superman III to get an idea of how quickly things can go downhill with any successful series' third chapter. Let's hope Spidey manages to sidestep the proverbial shark.


Anonymous said...

It's a shame to see the end of Focus, the fact that I was offered a chance to write for it just once was very flattering. (Although as with most writing, I feel I could re-work that piece and make it much better) I made a point of reading Focus whenever I saw some of the new copies that were dropped off at the MCLA mail room.

Spider-Man is one of my all time favorite characters, and for the most part I've been pretty satisfied with the films. I'm very eager to see how the third film turns out. While it's impossible to compress nearly 40 years of comics into these films, for the past two films Raimi has done a great job of showing that the story isn't about Spider-Man, it's about Peter Parker.

I'm headed to the area this weekend and will be there through the 12th. I'm sure I'll have more than a few things to chat about with you, including impressions of Spidey.

Also Linda Linda Linda comes out next week, I highly reccomend tracking down a copy.

Electronic Pussy Sucker said...

Thanks for linking Alex Jackson's review. I've been meaning to read that. I am obsessed with criticker.

Andrew Bemis said...

No problem, dear. We're each others' most common users - how romantic!

Doug, I believe we will indeed have many to hash over, Spidey among them. Linda's going on the Netflix queue, I'll let you know what I think.