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action film

First things first: Roger Deakins is the god of cinematographers. As you know, he’s the Coen Brothers’ long-time DP—your cue to salute—and he’s on the job here in Skyfall, the latest Bond movie. Another Coen film crew member, Dennis Gassner—salute, goddammit!—is handling the production design. So the visuals oughta win Oscars, but they won’t.

Fuckin’ Deakins, that guy can shoot, man! You’ve gotta see the night sequence in Shanghai! Scary-tall skyscrapers with their huge panes of neon-reflecting glass, against which men with guns stalk around and lose themselves in patterns of swirling, shifting colored light. It’s so staggeringly beautiful, you think, “Huh, turns out modernity was worth it after all.”

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November 11th, 2012 | Comments (59)

The Avengers: It’s, Y’know, For Kids!

If you’re one of the few dozen people in the world who hasn’t seen The Avengers yet, I’ll tell you the best way to take it in. Hit a matinee screening in a theater filled with kids—especially very small roundheaded…

May 7th, 2012 | Comments (75)

Drive: Fancy Euro Violence

Well, jeez, I don’t know. I didn’t like Drive, but maybe you will. It’s one of those movies that pushes everybody out into the open, as far as their own biases and personal film hang-ups and all. How you feel…

September 17th, 2011 | Comments (20)

Unknown and Un-good

Unknown isn’t good, but that doesn’t matter these days. Movies are so rotten lately we’ve all lowered our standards out of sheer desperation. The new standard for movie-going is, “Can I risk it? Will I hate it so much it’ll…

February 20th, 2011 | Comments (21)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the Box-office

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a financial flop so far, I don’t know why exactly. It’s aimed directly at the prized demographic of Young People Who Still Go to Theaters to See Movies If Anyone Does, In Order to…

August 15th, 2010 | Comments (31)

Predators: Killing the Talkative

I found Predators to be amusing as hell, but then, I was in just the right mood for it. I’d had one of those brain-melting work weeks when you do nothing but talk to people, prepare to talk to people,…

July 13th, 2010 | Comments (27)

Taken: Back to Action Basics

Liam Neeson tries to be reasonable. Genre films are beginning to creep back into theaters after the big parade of Oscar-contenders—praise be to God—and one of them, a little actioner called Taken, is now tops at the box-office and deserves…

February 1st, 2009 | Comments (16)