Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Watch-A-Thon 2008: only days remain!

Greetings, programs!

The Watch-A-Thon finish line is fast approaching (this Saturday, November 1), so I'm harassing you once again, this time to alert you that you're running out of time to be fashionably late with your tax-deductible support for this cool little moviehouse~

You can support my fundraising run with a flat donation at my firstgiving page...

...or choose to pledge a contribution per movie watched. If you'd like to do that, contact me via email (or comment) and let me know how much you'd like to pledge. Be warned, tho—this week I passed the 30-movie mark, so you'll want to modify your cyphering accordingly.

For an irregular record of the movie carnage wrought in my wake, check out my October blog postings.

And feel free to get in touch to ask me about any of the movies I've seen. I couldn't motivate to write a post about each and every one. Here are some quick takes on several that I didn't haven't yet written up/posted but highly recommend...

RELIGULOUS is something EVERYONE should see with a friend or twelve, even if you think it'll annoy or offend you. On the one hand, it's a hilarious mock-you-mentary in a BORAT-does-religion-instead-of-America way. On the other, Bill Maher has put together a kind of non-believer recruitment film, and it's totally built to start some really great discussions once the film's over. I'd be up for another screening if you're looking for a spotter.

FLASH OF GENIUS is a great David vs. Ford Goliath story, and altho it's based on a true story that unfolded in the early 70s, its tone seems remarkably resonant with society today. Kinnear is pretty wonderful as the professor-turned-inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper who has his American Dream turned into a nightmare by big business.

NICK AND NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST for some sweet, if unlikely, teenage one-crazy-night comical romance and musical connection. George Michael Bluth hits another coolest-nice-guy-ever role out of the park.

ASHES OF TIME. An ex-killer turned middleman-to-killers works year-round out of his desert outpost. As the seasons turn, he encounters an eccentric collection of clients and killers, almost all with tragic romantic pasts. Classic Wong Kar Wai (CHUNGKING EXPRESS, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE) fare in its weaving of relationships, broken, forbidden, and quirkily ideal. What makes this different from his other films is the period setting and the martial arts. Not conventional HK screen action, but well-choreographed and Wong Kar Wai/Christopher Doyle stylized in treatment and editing. This is the second time I've seen it (the first was on video), and the action sequences struck me as very Frank Miller's ninja melees (a la DAREDEVIL) brought to life. It's beautiful stuff.

QUARANTINE is a ton of ghastly fun! Frankly, it's what Romero's recent DIARY OF THE DEAD *should* have been. A great live-on-the-scene-camcorder-POV style spam-in-a-cabin horror flick, except that this cabin isn't in some remote woods. It's an apartment building in Los Angeles, where the tenants find themselves trapped with an unknown entity or agent that turns each of them, one after the other, into cannibalistic killers. Joy!

BODY OF LIES is more Ridley Scott excellence at telling tight, taut, focused stories that feature drama and intense action that complement one another and move move move a story populated by an excellent cast of good and bad and who-knows guys. Leo plays a CIA agent on the ground in the Middle East, accomplished at navigating the society and culture, and looking to turn enemies and terrorist threats into intel assets. His operator back in the states, played by Crowe, believes he knows better how to work the system from afar. When Leo gets in with the head of Jordanian intelligence, Crowe's heavy-handedness and results-oriented shortsightedness threatens to ruin the potentially valuable relationship. Wacky keyhole satellite surveillance fun ensues.

Again, check out my October posts for a list of most of the movies I've seen, along with some more detailed rambles about films I haven't mentioned above. And please consider dropping a few bucks in support of my movie madness via my firstgiving page. I mean, don't you feel safer with me sitting in a movie theater, pacified by the pretty pictures, rather than, y'know, OUT THERE, somewhere, loose, doing who-knows-what? Yeah, me, too. =)

If you're thinking about casing the operation before investing, the Brattle is playing the highly quirky and highly entertaining election documentary FRONTRUNNERS thru Thursday evening, and then switches over to IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN for a special 5.30 Halloween screening, followed by the Friday night premiere kick-off of a long weekend of the Flaming Lips's psychadelic alien rock experience, CHRISTMAS ON MARS! Check this stuff out! =)

Thanks for your time and consideration, and triple-thanks to those of you who have chosen to enable my habit and support the cool little theater that I've made my home away from the office. You can see their illustrious names up in electrons on—I forget if I've mentioned this to you yet?—my firstgiving page. =)

Keep on keepin on~

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