The premise of this Norman Jewison sci-fi film, that rival corporations openly run the world and that the sport rollerball is used as a substitute for war AND as a constant reminder that the individual cannot triumph, is a great one, though the film itself doesn’t live up to it. (The Hunger Games, especially Catching Fire, comes far closer to hitting this mark.) It’s not for lack of action sequences; the three rollerball games shown become increasingly chaotic and violent as the rules are gradually removed in order to ensure the superstar played by James Caan cannot win and prove to the public that the individual actually holds any meaningful Read the rest of this entry »
So this is how it ends. I think my December is a fairly good reflection of all the movies I like – classics, documentaries, heavy dramas, smart comedies and those movies I just never got around to before. I thought about coming up with something insightful and clever about my movie habits. But I don’t feel like it. I’m feeling very optimistic for 2013 and dwelling on 2012 seems antithetical to that purpose.
I will say this – I’ve never kept track of how many or which movies I watch. I always knew I saw more than most but even I am surprised to find that I watched 134 movies. That’s 11.16 movies a month, 2.58 movies a week. I’m surprised I’ve managed to do anything else. Because I know I also watch an awful lot of television and I’d like to think I read a fair amount. As a holiday bonus, I’m listing the books I read this year too. So here it goes – the last list for 2012.
120 – Street Fight – politics + race = scariness
121 – Trespass – Schumacher must stop
122 – 50/50 – not too goofy
123 – Waltz with Bashir – harrowing, frightening, gobsmacked
124 – Mulan (Disney) – cute little dragon
125 – Hitchcock – fun, light, entertaining
126 – Looking for Richard – Pacino’s gross ponytail
127 – The Killers – Lancaster is foxy
128 – Shaun of the Dead – smart, funny z-story
129 – State and Main – so that happened
130 – Lincoln – DDL is god
131 – Skyfall – best Bond cinematography
132 – This is 40 – it kinda is
133 – Life of Pi – reading the book
134 – Central Park Five – depressing power abuse
My Books – 2012 – Don’t Judge, It’s Just a List
1 – My Lucky Star/Joe Keenan
2 – E-Myth/Michael E. Gerber
3 – James and the Giant Peach/Roald Dahl
4 – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?/Mindy Kaling
5 – The Graveyard Book/Neil Gaiman
6 – Spain/Rick Steves
7 – Tale of Sand/Jim Henson
8 – Shenzhen/Guy Delisle
9 – The Hunger Games/Suzanne Collins
10 – Moneyball/Michael Lewis
11 – Neverwhere/Neil Gaiman
12 – Divergent/Veronica Roth
13 – The Book Thief/Marcus Zusak
14 – Matched/Ally Condie
15 – Insurgent/Veronica Roth
16 – Eat, Pray, Love/Elizabeth Gilbert
17 – American Gods/Neil Gaiman
18 – A Discovery of Witches/Deborah Harkness
19 – Act Like a Man, Think Like a Woman/Steve Harvey
20 – World War Z/Max Brooks
21 – Shadow of Night/Deborah Harkness
22 – Fifty Shades of Grey/EL James
23 – I Feel Bad About My Neck/Nora Ephron
So about 2 books a month. Again, I don’t really know how much other people read but I feel pretty good about that number.
Overall I think 2012 was a better year for movies than 2011 and I generally liked the books I read this year. There are always some stinkers but I finished them all and liked more than I disliked. You can’t really complain about that.
2013 – bring it.
After compiling my personal ballot of candidates to play the role of Mags in the upcoming film adaptation Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire, I knew I was still missing key players, even those in my relatively narrowed field: actresses over 80, like the character Mags, who could hold the Read the rest of this entry »
So I’ve just read that Melissa Leo has been under consideration for the role of Mags, the oldest District participant in Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games.
In Suzanne Collins’ book, Mags is in her eighties and cannot speak due to a stroke. She needs help keeping up, though she’s still sharp as a tack despite her difficulty communicating and still knows how to survive in the arena. It’a a good role, not a great one, and it should go to a performer who is at least as Read the rest of this entry »
Why am I so irritated with the fourth season of the series Damages, the legal drama starring a Rasputinesque, Machiavellian Glenn Close as ruthless attorney Patty Hewes, and a lovely, doe-eyed, not-as-guileless-as-she looks Rose Byrne, on whom I Read the rest of this entry »
I recently found out that Gary Ross is out as director for any Hunger Games sequels. The names of a few directors in the running reported by the LA Times are Alfonso Cuaron, David Cronenberg and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. I really like all these directors but there was one name that immediately popped into my head when I heard the director’s chair was open – Kathryn Bigelow.
I have been a Kathryn Bigelow fan since Near Dark, one of my favorite vampire movies. It was the first vampire movie I saw that portrayed vamps not as gorgeous glam sophisticates but rather just a gang of trashy thugs. It’s visceral, darkly funny and Read the rest of this entry »