June 2010 - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
30Jun/100

Extract (2009)

Andrew INDIFFERENTExtract is a stirring example of awkward comedy gone wrong.  It's a tricky balance to pull off since awkwardness, by it's very nature, doesn't leave the audience feeling very comfortable.  Not the most stunning insight in the world, but its something that you have to keep in mind when these kinds of comedies are being made.  There are moments where you just stare at the screen wondering why anyone decided that various scenes would be funny instead of painful.

30Jun/100

Decalogue: Eight (1988)

My examination of The Decalogue is a full analysis of each film, its themes and visual strategy.  If you have not seen The Decalogue, I would highly advise stopping here and watching it before continuing.

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."

Andrew COMMENTARYAs we wind down the collection of Commandment based movies, Kieslowski decides it's time for something of a manifesto.  A declaration, very simple, of why he is doing these films and what they are supposed to represent.  It's a bit odd that it's contained in Eight, which has some intriguing elements, but ultimately falters under it's own sense of metacommentary.  This is a series that has thrived on subtlety and cunning, so when we have a story that's so completely spelled out it's a bit jarring.

29Jun/101

Good Hair (2009)

ANDREW LIKEChris Rock turns out to be a pretty damn good documentary filmmaker.  Using a hired gun director and some perceptive ideas, he takes a topic that could have been used as a platform for a lot of eye-rolling and mockery, but turns it into an engaging and thoughtful piece on a lot of topics.  In the span of an hour and a half he touches on commodity fetishism, modern gender and race relations, the new global currency of hair, and even a bit of religious exploitation.

29Jun/100

Decalogue: Seven (1988)

My examination of The Decalogue is a full analysis of each film, its themes and visual strategy.  If you have not seen The Decalogue, I would highly advise stopping here and watching it before continuing.

"Thou shalt not steal."

Andrew COMMENTARYDavid Mamet, commenting on the role of most women in movies, said "Even the dramatic roles for women, when viewed not as entertainment but as, if I may, art are drivel...treating us to the noble spectacle of women either crying or bravely not crying." Depth, intelligence, wit these are all qualities eschewed in favor of giving the audience a good sentimental jolt.  Kieslowski films strive to provide female characters a powerful voice.  Decalogue: Seven is an excellent example of this.

27Jun/100

The Great Race (1965)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site Pre-Code.com

Danny DISLIKEGrowing up, I was well acquainted with the cartoons of Hanna-Barbera, a company that specialized making it's characters almost lively enough to compensate for the necessary minimal animation to make a network cartoon. Wacky Racers is the cartoon I'm slowly making my way to from there, a globe trotting series of silly competitions, and specifically three characters: Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop, and Dirk Dastardly. Even if you lack the frame of reference for the show, the character's names are all you really need to know: good guy, girl, bad guy, all three racers.

There. And with barely a name change, we're right at The Great Race.