Archive for July, 2011

On Second Thought: D.O.A. (1950)

Posted in On Second Thought with tags , , , on July 23, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

D.O.A. is a stone-cold noir classic, featuring the famous opening of a man stumbling into a police station to report his own murder. The story, told by him to homicide detectives, takes place entirely via flashback. Frank Bigelow recounts the tale of how on a trip to San Francisco, he gets poisoned, and decides to spend the rest of his ruined vacation getting shot at and searching for his killer. The narrator/victim is an accountant, and is only thrust into the role of hard-boiled detective by his circumstances. Continue reading

Rättskiparen

Posted in Guest Spot, Review with tags on July 20, 2011 by illwatchanything

Most of us know the story: Thierry Henry slaps the ball down with his left forearm, crosses for William Gallas to head home, and Ireland is eventually left fuming and out of the 2010 World Cup. There are calls for the summary execution of a whole host of people, from Sepp Blatter all the way down to the grounds crew. The most vitriol is, of course, reserved for the referee, a Swede named Martin Hansson.

Rättskiparen, directed by Mattias Löw, documents the year leading up to Hansson’s great mistake. It follows him in all of his endeavors on the field and is granted access to him in his home and behind-the-scenes at the stadium. For those interested in the world of high-level referees, there are scenes where he jokes with stadium guards, tours the field before kickoff, and has a post-match hug with his colleagues after a good match, but the meat of the film is him as a private citizen.
Continue reading

Blind Ambition

Posted in Guest Spot, Review with tags , on July 20, 2011 by illwatchanything

Produced and Directed by Chris Bridger, Blind Ambition is the story of an Englishman who has risen to the top of the soccer world, but despite his serious talent is nowhere near being a household name. Simon Hill, who you’ve never heard of is, is blind. If it weren’t real, it’d be a great piece of comedy, but it is real and it is about the sightless playing the beautiful game.

The rules are different—a ball that makes noise, you have to verbally declare when you’re making tackles, the goalie can see—but the passion is the same and, truth be told, the skill levels are pretty high.

It’s a short, only 12 minutes long, and I would have liked it to be about a hundred times longer. Chris isn’t particularly compelling, but then again, we have so little time to get to know him that we’re left with a sort of cliché blind guy doing great things feeling. He plays for West Ham and England and we don’t have any idea what that means, really, other than it means there’s a lot left to be explored here.
I know very few blind people, truth be told. Some legally blind folks, yes, including a woman my brother dated for a few years, but no one who is blind blind. Like, would play blind football blind. Yet I still relate immediately to this movie because it’s not about being blind, it’s about playing a game and loving doing it. And at this point I’m pretty seriously considering giving it a try.

This post is written by Isaiah Cambron. It was originally published on http://www.barcelonafootballblog.com/9778/bfb-box-office-shorts/

Disappointingly Real: Another Year (2010)

Posted in Catch-up with tags , , on July 19, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

Another Year, recently released on DVD, is Mike Leigh’s latest foray into British middle-class realism. While all the characters in Another Year feel fleshed out and authentic, their dramas and challenges don’t always resonate. The story centers around Tom and Gerri, a married couple whose domestic life is full of gardening and mildly disapproving looks. This stands in sharp relief against their sad sack friends, who keep coming over for dinner parties only to get sloshed and start crying. Continue reading

Behind the scenes of the world’s biggest game: Match 64

Posted in Guest Spot, Review with tags , , , , on July 19, 2011 by illwatchanything

 

120 minutes of soccer hardly does a game justice, especially not if it is witnessed by 2 billion people and is the crowning jewel of a month-long, quadrennial tournament. As the first to be held on the continent in tournament’s 80 year history and couple with today’s digital age, the FIFA World Cup inSouth Africawas bound to be both heavily celebrated highly scrutinized.

Match 64 deals primarily with the major players in behind the World Cup, such as Sepp Blatter and Danny Jordan, FIFA president and head of South Africa’s organizing committee respectively, but also takes time to focus scenes on the players, coaches, and refs in the match and winding down to the stewards, flag bearers, and even the owner of a bike rental shop. Continue reading

Foie Gras and Michael Caine Impressions: The Trip

Posted in Review, Timothy Parfitt with tags , , , , , on July 13, 2011 by Timothy Parfitt

A little film that cuts surprisingly deep, The Trip follows two comedians playing themselves as they traverse north England on a gastronomic tour. Steve Coogan gets an assignment from Esquire magazine to try all these fancy restaurants in the moors, but his girlfriend flakes, which leaves him no choice but to bring his best friend/annoyance Rob Bryndon. The movie plays off the pairs great chemistry and comedic chops, but the frequent moments of levity stand in relief against themes of loneliness, art, and death. Continue reading

Bare-knuckled Robots and Distracted Minds—Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Posted in Review, Samuel C. Doob with tags , , , on July 6, 2011 by sdoob

For all its manic explosions, swishing asses, Shia LaBeouf having temper tantrums that appear all too real – like director Michael Bay can work him into such a state of anger LaBeouf barely has to act – and, of course, giant robots battling to the death only to repeatedly get shot down by another giant robot offscreen at the last minute, Transformers 3 (in 3D, of course) did not distract me. 

So I would like to say this to you:

If you’re having troubles in your life – emotional or otherwise – don’t see the movie.  Like me, you will spiral down into a dark hole during the first hour and a half.  (Running time: 2 ½ hours)  Your eyes will remain focused on the screen, but your mind will be elsewhere: somewhere ugly, somewhere bad.  Continue reading