27 Mar 2010

Boardwalk Empire

I was about to post a blog about how I think Martin Scorsese how really flatlined as a creative force in cinema. About how I believe his films reflect a comfort zone which many directors find themselves in after years of struggle.

Now I am not suggesting this zone is necessarily a bad thing for them personally as who does not need a break from the creative grindstone. However, his years of turmoil produced Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, After Hours and The King Of Comedy. His years of post Goodfellas comfort include unsatisfying and sometimes self indulgent product like Cape Fear, Gangs Of New York, Aviator, Kundun, Casino and now Shutters Island.

So in my rummaging for a suitable pic I cam across another story and one mjuch more interesting than my opinions on Scorsese (but i think i am on the right track with marty).

Coming in the fall of 2010 (fall - thanks America) comes a new HBO series from Sopranos writer Terence Winter and including directing spots from Sopranos regular Tim Van Patten and Scorsese himself doing the pilot.

Its called Boardwalk Empire and will have Steve Buscemi leading the cast. Something that is long overdue. Anyway set in Atlantic City as prohibition begins in the USA, Buscemi plays the head kingpin controlling the booze and assorted other illegal activities. From the looks of the preview clips it looks like a Sopranos/Deadwood mixture of sex, violence, corruption and action.

Roll on fall.

22 Mar 2010

Breaking Bad Season Three

Breaking Bad's third season started last night in the US of A and man o' man the opener was sensational. I am struggling to put into words how perfect every aspect of this programme is.

The character development, the writing, the water tight narrative, true originality, cinematic direction and plot teasing leaves me shaking like a leaf.

Thanks AMCTV.

16 Mar 2010

Hoop Delusions

A new edition to the feet patrol. Thanks to the excellent cut in price at Crooked Tongues I have been able to pick up a pair of trainers I was checking out in November but felt the price was a bit high for a pair I had not seen close up. Anyway got them today and they are most hip and tick all the boxes I hoped they would. Here is a little video that traces the development of sneaker.


11 Mar 2010

Countdown 20 - 1

Doing things a little different for the end of the countdown with a wee bit about each film and why its so high on the list.

Also want to say a bit about how the list made itself. For me it's not about the most watchable films, funniest films, experimental films, obscure films, criticallly acclaimed films or popular films.

For instance whenever Dantes Peak is on TV I watch it. I love its corn, the cheese and the fact it does not attempt to engage with me. But it would never be near this list because its cinematic candy which I can switch in and out of with no regret. Need a cup of tea, away I go. Want to watch another channel for 20 minutes, will do and the return in comfort.

But in this top 250 there is La Fracture du Myocarde and Yojimbo. I have seen the first once and the second twice. However, they are so memorable I can still remember the excitement and emotion of watching them before heading to school to tell everyone about them. Not sure I would be in such a rush for Dantes Peak.

So basically this is list of films that changed my cinema horizons, made my laugh so much I got a stitch, had me hiding behind my hands, welling up into a tear waterfall and hoot 'n' roar for a hero. Maybe some of them are as pretentious as my little chat but I doubt it.

IMDB (but hopefully you wont need the link for this 20)

1. The Wild Bunch

Sam Peckinpah's masterpiece. Cool, action packed and tragic. The perfect bridge between John Ford and revisionist westerns. How many films have you in tears for a group of murderers who leave a trail off blood wherever they go.

2. 12 Angry Men

This film should be shown to all children and young adults. Its like a blue print for rational thought. Thanks to my dad for telling me constantly to watch this.

3. Assault On Precinct 13

It was late on a Sunday night. A film began with some youths walking down a passageway. Cops suddenly kill them all. Then the awesome sound of John Carpenter on a casio keyboard rumbles in. And then the sound of silencers.....

4. Jaws

Totally terrifying to watch as a kid. Now totally thrilling as an adult. Brilliant form the start but as soon as Quinn, Brody and Hooper get on the boat it takes off to perfection.

5. The Searchers

An old skool western which was basically already hinting at the revisionism of the 60s and 70s. John Wayne hate filled beast of a character was his best and like a lot of this top 20, it always makes me cry at the end. Also best opening/closing sequence ever.

6. Taxi Driver

This reeks of the the malaise, cynicism and corruption of 1970s America. A film full of menace and literally dripping in the disturbed thoughts of Travis. Scorcese's greatest moment, the whole experience is addictive.

7. Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid

A broken disjointed classic. Peckinpah's world was falling apart as he made this and it shows. However, it all falls together and once again for a film of violence and betrayal it has moments of great humour and sadness.

8. Blazing Saddles

Funniest and most quotable film of all time. He's the new sheriff and he's black. Let's roll.

9. A Matter Of Life And Death

This was made in the 1940s but feels like some 1960s breakthrough piece of drug fuelled creation. Is it heaven? Is it another world? Or is David Niven in coma? Visionary.

10. Badlands

Another late Sunday night find. This was not like a dream but more like a daydream. Moments of beauty and tenderness or spliced with our dark side which flits in and out of reality.

11. Planes Trains And Automobiles

You laugh for 89 mins. Cry for 1 min. Smile through the credits. This is a John Hughes film that makes the rest of his films feel like John Hughes films.

12. The Godfather

Surely this cannot be nearly three hours long. The big boss of gangster films. Better than its sequel until the moment I change my mind again.

13. The Godfather Part Two

This is all about Michael and his descent from bady guy to evil dude. The scariest character created for film.

14. Chinatown

Born out of the same machine as the Godfather this again is an almost perfect film with a dense pot which has a real shock value.

15. Amelie

The happiest film I have ever seen. And a film about falling in love with a french girl called Audrey.

16. Airplane

Slightly behind Blazing Saddles in terms of quotableness but only because BS has cowboys. At 400 gags per minute all records are broken.

17. A Fistful Of Dynamite

Considered a weak Leone film I believe its his best. Steiger and Coburn are a great double act despite their awful Mexican and Irish accents. A real sad film full of huge set piece action, dark humour, rage against the machine and a little model train.

18. Annie Hall

Where Woody Allen made you laugh and think without one drowning the other. A tour de force (what's a tour de force) of New York jewish comedy. (whats jewish comedy)

19. The French Connection

New York pops up all over this list and its this 70s thriller that feels so down and dirty. Don't often root for cops but gotta love popeye. And no the car chase is not overrated.

20. Indiana Jones Raiders Of The Lost Ark

The best hero created. Clever, handsome, brave, a nazi hater, a snake fearer with the ability to laugh at himself. And Marion.

Hope this list was of some interest. Feel free to mock, challenge and debate. A list is born to be talked about and disagreed over and not live in some vaccum wwhere everyone agrees to differ. Of course we differ but lets talk.

So on that point I reccommend checking a friend of Pontiac Dream mario.blog for his own Top 250 which could not be more different but is just as interesting.

10 Mar 2010

Countdown 40 - 21

Nearly there...one armed justice, combat comedy, road rage, where the crosses grow, pounding nothingness, the devil wears momma, tobacco chewing redemption, a load of bull, revolutionary heartbreak, old man honour, old man dying, existential snowfall, put the ball in the basket, a special purpose, dustbowl love cocktails, gazoontite, biblical blasphemy, italian tragedy, a short chamber Boxer Henry 4-5 caliber miracle and a monument valley opera.


21. Once Upon A Time In The West
22. Zulu
23. Life Is Beautiful
24. Life of Brian
25. The Taking Of Pelham 123
26. The Last Picture Show
27. The Jerk
28. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest
29. McCabe and Mrs Miller
30. The Shootist
31. Ride The High Country
32. Pans Labyrinth
33. Junior Bonner
34. The Outlaw Josey Wales
35. Rosemary's Baby
36. The Haunting
37. Cross Of Iron
38. Duel
39. M.A.S.H.
40. Bad Day At Black Rock

9 Mar 2010

Countdown 60 - 41

Three posts to go and we start with.....Charlie Hitler, old man moves, bread basket love triangle, taking it off here boss, samba drama, wings of death, the boogie man, jack's helmet, steve's white socks, a family affair, the ultimate father, no need for any badges, puking dinosaurs, deep freeze paranoia, funny how?, he wants his money, karate lessons from a bastard, phone box punch ups, girl trouble and Mr Bond???


41. The Hill
42. Paper Moon
43. The Iprcess File
44. Get Carter
45. Point Blank
46. Goodfellas
47. The Thing
48. Toy Story
49. The Treasure Of Sierra Madre
50. To Kill A Mocking Bird
51. Empire Strikes Back
52. Fargo
53. Easy Rider
54. Monsters Inc
55. Brewster McCloud
56. City Of God
57. Cool Hand Luke
58. Days Of Heaven
59. Straight Story
60. The Great Dictator

8 Mar 2010

Countdown 80 - 61

A post-oscar statuette to....george gershwin soundscapes, the pride & joy of pupkiss, mummy's boy, jazz guitar, ghosts of children, oil rage, no time for love, miserable redemption, android chaplin, snowball fury, abby normal, ten minute tears, death of a clown, illinois nazis, scab picking horror, repetitive laughs, wheat WHEAT!!, the world is ours, hell on a horse and the perfect murder.


61. Rope
62. High Plains drifter
63. La Haine
64. Love And Death
65. Groundhog Day
66. Poltergiest
67. The Blues Brothers
68. The Third Man
69. Up
70. Young Frankenstein
71. Dumb And Dumber
72. Wall-E
73. Three Colors Blue
74. Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom
75. There Will Be Blood
76. the devil's backbone
77. Sweet and Lowdown
78. psycho
79. King Of Comedy
80. Manhattan

7 Mar 2010

Countdown 100 - 81

First up: a correction. Number 127 should be Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers and NOT Return Of King. Rather like Empire Stikes Back vs Return Of the Jedi.

Anyhoos as we enter the 100s.....the original bromance, cime-capering bromantics, fraudulent bromantics, lessons about guns, camp gangs, and you thought brokebank mountain has homosexual undertones, aunt veroooooooo, pizza wars, itchy and scratchy land, the last american hero, wind-up sailors, they call him tim, bill paxtion gets killed (or was it bill pulman), 70s groucho, glasses make you spinster, commie cowboys, swords and skeletons, far east cool, deep frozen marxism and don't underestimate the IRA.


81. The Long Good Friday
92. Sleeper
83. Lost In Translation
84. Jason and the Argonauts
85. High Noon
86. Its A Wonderful Life
87. Play It Again Sam
88. The Terminator
89. Monty Python and The holy grail
90. The Bedford Incident
91. Vanishing Point
92. Westworld
93. Do The Right Thing
94. Star Wars
95. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid
96. The Warriors
97. Bowling For Columbine
98. The Producers
99. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
100. The Odd Couple

6 Mar 2010

Countdown 120 - 101

G'day.....psychadelic outback fear-fest, cowboy dialectic materialism, mountain men, bourne again*, casualty of nazi war, cold turkey revenge, big rain, the decapatation of Noel Edmonds, lost love, kid power, little red riding slasher, belgian sadism, I'll stick to hill walking, follow that gun!, there is nothing like a dame, the first 22nd Century western, its a pukka, freedom fighting for dummies, street rats and sweet ass paranoia.

*= I have chosen to place all the Bourne films in one entry. Each is 10/10. Each has prety much the same structure (fights, femmes and chases). Each feels like the previous and the follow-up.


101. The Parallax View
102. Midnight Cowboy
103. The Battle Of Algiers
104. Harvey
105. Assassination Of Jesse James
106. The Naked Spur
107. Winchester 73
108. Touching the Void
109. The Vanishing
110. Don't Look Now
111. La Fracture du Myocarde
112. Casablanca
113. Dawn Of The Dead
114. A Bugs Life
115. French Connection 2
116. Europa Europa
117. Bourne Series
118. Jeremiah Johnson
119. The Life And Times Of Judge Roy Bean
120. Picnic at Hanging Rock

5 Mar 2010

Countdown 140 - 121

Friday hellos to...video store solidarity, don't call me boy! , the self preservation society, living books, el classico death of death, retard dreams, bad memories, bomb surfing, cumbernauld love stories, don't call me crazy, flying kung fu, shirley mclaine's hair, big fat orson, ork on ork action, lots of sun, felix la poubelle, harry dean goes in a dustcloud, deep throat, hot herald tribunes and back garden going-ons.


121. Rear Window
122. Breathless
123. All The Presidents Men
124. Dillinger
125. Grosse Point Blank
126. Lawrence Of Arabia
127. Lord of The Rings: Return Of The King
128. Touch Of Evil
129. The Apartment
130. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
131. One Upon A Time In America
132. Gregorys Girl
133. Dr Strangelove
134. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
135. Being There
136. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
137. Fahrenheit 451
138. The Italian Job
139. In The Heat Of The Night
140. Clerks

4 Mar 2010

Countdown 160 - 141

So good evening to....the whore with a heart, 1997 New York, meat and no veg, glorious soggy bottoms, flyin' monkeys, ronald reagan???, an irish monk, a country-fried dystopia, fags and dames, war is bad, blow-dried malaise, media malaise, the art of fighting without fighting (but actually fighting), apes a poppin', ginger blur, dead narrators, red blood/red sand, "pick up the gun" and adagio for strings.


141. Platoon
142. Shane
143. The Proposition
144. Sunset Boulevard
145. Run Lola Run
146. Planet Of The Apes
147. Enter The Dragon
148. Network
149. shampoo
150. Gallipoli
151. Mean Streets
152. The Maltese falcon
153. Nashville
154. The Big Lebowski
155. The Killers
156. Wizard Of Oz
157. O Brother Where Art Thou
158. Delicatessen
159. Escape From New York
160. Stagecoach

3 Mar 2010

Countdown 180-161

In tonight's post we have...a film I never thought I could like let alone love, hope & tragedy in the Spanish Revolution, "ssssissster", big brain action, that green volkswagon beetle, the truffle shuffle, shit scary 1940s nothingness, chicken catching, Clint's misunderstood copshow, Carry On Saving Private Kelly, brave docu-polemics, beyond the infinite, plain clothes cool, in space nobody can hear me crap myself, union blues, prententious genius, bolshevik romcom, textbook revisionism and an olympic tragedy.


161. One Day In September
162. The Posse
163. Dr Zchivago
164. Apocalypse Now
165. Blue Collar
166. Alien
167. Serpicio
168. 2001 Space Odyssey
169. Pulp Fiction
170. Farenheit 9/11
171. Kelly's Heroes
172. Dirty Harry
173. Rocky II
174. Return Of The Cat People
175. The Goonies
176. Bullit
177. Nikita
178. Return Of The Jedi
179. Land and Freedom
180. Last Of The Mohicans

2 Mar 2010

Countdown 200-181

Evil man cured by Karen Allen, disco nightmares, rednecks pissing themselves, grumpy old desert men, sharp suits & sharper tongues, high noon in space, talking dogs, chinese gods vs kurt russell, scary spanish antics, cannibalism, le sex bombs, a big country, lost icons, a great sci-fi horror ending, hired slaughter, the original hannibal, big boats & big men, mrs robinson, cattle mutiny and Moviedrome's Alex Cox.


181. Repo Man
182. Red River
183. The Graduate
184. The Cruel Sea
185. Manhunter
186. Missouri Breaks
187. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
188. Misfits
189. The Big Country
190. Belle De Jour
191. Ravenous
192. The Orphanage
193. Big Trouble In Little China
194. A Boy And His Dog
195. Outland
196. Glengarry Glen Ross
197. Flight of the phoenix
198. Mississippi Burning
199. Saturday Night Fever
200. Scrooged

1 Mar 2010

Undressing People With Your Finger

Check dis out. Wandered onto Wranglers website and if you choose Blue Bell link its takes into a wonderful presentation of their apparel where you can click and drag the models about or undress them to reveal there better-than-mine body. Lots of fun and technically very impressive. Cool tune as well.

Countdown 220-201

Have decided to do a mini text thing with each post. Have added one to the previous email as well.

So anyhoo in this countdown we have.....Mrs Coppola's on set documentary about her husbands mental implosion, a feminist nightmare, my first Kurosawa, my first Mike Leigh, Kubrick's debut, Bill Murray's secret classic, spelling B antics, Indiana vs god, french cool, class war from Alastair Sim, small town destruction, a good Nic Cage film (????), Debbie Harry with a beehive, a James Cameron flick that kicks Avatar's bue ass, revolution in the coalmines of America, move over Jerry Lewis I'm talking about the Martin-Clift partnership, McQueen's last hurrah, the cyborganiser, a proper horror and a big ole welcome to the party pal.


201. Die Hard
202. Halloween
203. Robocop
204. Tom Horn
205. Young Lions
206. Matewan
207. Aliens
208. Hairspray (the original)
209. Raising Arizona
210. First Blood
211. An Inspector Calls
212. Bande A Part
213. Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
214. Spellbound
215. Quick Change
216. The Killing
217. Life Is sweet
218. Yojimbo
219. The Stepford Wives
220. Heart of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse