Friday, March 24, 2006

I was recently browsing the DVD collection at Future Shop. Imagine my surprise when I came to the special interest section and stumbled upon a load of Criterion Collections. Needless to say I was thrilled. They had titles by great directors like Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman (funny story about Ingmar Bergman, my grandmother is good friends with Liv Ullmann, an actress who starred in many of the Bergman films and who also happens to be the ex wife of the great director). The only problem is that they cost about 60-70 dollars each. There were a few exceptions but I think I'll stick to buying them over the internet.


P.S. I couldn't help noticing the terrible horror films coming out. I am not a big horror fan but even if I was I wouldn't be interested in any of the films coming out these days. They look terrible. If you don't believe me check out the trailers for Stay Alive, Slither or The Hills Have Eyes. I hope they start coming out with some decent films soon.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Some belated good news for Star Wars fans like myself: there is going to be a Star Wars television show in 2008. The program will chronicle Luke Skywalker's life between Episode III and IV. I find this to be great news because I am a huge fan of all the Star Wars films and this show sounds very cool.

In other news there will be a fourth installment in the Indiana Jones series. After years and years of work Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford are finally happy with the script and plan to begin shooting soon. Although no release date is scheduled as of now, Ford said it is most likely to come out of within the next two years. This is good news because the Indiana Jones films tend to be good (did you see Raiders Of The Lost Ark? It is excellent) and Steven Spielberg is probably the most consistent director in Hollywood.

-These are both good stories I heard in the last week or so. I can't wait to see how they turn out.

The review I mentioned earlier was of the recent V For Vendetta, which I saw on Thursday, March 16th at 10:00 pm (opening night). Seeing as I am a fan of the graphic novel I had some what high standards for the film and, in my opinion, it lived up to them. I found the film to be quite good. I especially enjoyed the shots that took place at Larkhill, I thought that they were very well made and accurate to those of the graphic novel. I have been looking forward to this movie for a while and it was a relief to say that, all in all, it wasn't a disappointment. Another thing that I liked about this film was that they didn't attempt to change the story too much from the original, just enough to keep it interesting and exciting to the readers of the graphic novel. I would definently recommend this film to fans of the graphic novel, or just someone who is looking to see a good movie in theaters. I say this because, let's face it, this is pretty much the only good film playing in theaters now, That is unless you find joy in films like The Shaggy Dog, which, by the way, I do not.


P.S. Some bad news for me and the other fans of Jeff Goldblum: he has signed on to do a pilot for NBC entitled "Seeing Red". The show casts Goldblum as a cop who is able to speak to the dead in order to solve the crimes which caused their deaths. This sounds extremely similar to a few shows that are already on TV, plus the concept doesn't sound too strong. It is too bad that a fine actor like Jeff Goldblum could go from starring in the great Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou to doing these kinds of shows. He deserves much better roles than this one.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Today I picked up a copy of both Kill Bill Vol. I (2003) and Vol. II (2004). I really enjoyed these films and have been meaning to purchase them for a while. One thing that I really enjoyed in Vol. I is the animated part of the film, it was very cool to see a sequence of animation integrated into a movie. Rarely do you see aspects such as color, black & white, and animation all in the same movie. I am a fan of all of these things therefore I loved the fact that they were all in Kill Bill. Another thing that made these films excellent was their superb scores and how they perfectly suit each scene that they were placed in; this seems to be the case for most of Quentin Tarantino's films and that is one of the many reasons why his films are so memorable. The brilliant score in Kill Bill comes from The RZA (Vol. I) and Robert Rodriguez (Vol. II), it also comes from bands like the 5,6,7,8's for performing in Vol. I, the performance helped set the mood in the House Of Blue Leaves. I rented both volumes of the films over the weekend, seeing as I hadn't seen them for a while, but it turned out to be a waste because the day after I watched them I went out and bought them because they are such good movies. I was waiting to purchase them due to rumors surrounding multidisc editions of the films but since these were fairly inexpensive, costing only about twenty dollars each, I decided to buy them now and if the multidisc editions ever do come out I imagine I will purchase them as well, depending on how different they are from these two. I also heard rumors of a Kill Bill Vol. III, it would follow Vernita Green's daughter as she seeks to get payback on The Bride for the murder of her mother. If the film ever gets made Quentin Tarantino said it wouldn't be for another ten years or so. The DVD doesn't have too many special features but they both have a pretty cool "making of..." featurette and Vol. II has an awesome deleted scene in which Bill takes on a team of samurai and beats them effortlessly. The films also have trailers for all of the Tarantino films and performances by The 5,6,7,8's (a band from Japan that was featured at the House Of Blue Leaves in Vol. I) and Chingon (a band formed with Sin City director Robert Rodriguez, who composed the film's original score for free). The films are directed by Quentin Tarantino who also directed great films such as Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Jackie Brown (1997). He is an excellent director and I really enjoy his films. I plan on watching both volumes back to back tonight, I was meaning to watch them in a row earlier in the weekend but my dad wanted to see them again as well so I watched Vol. I on Saturday night and Vol. II on Sunday night with him. I would definently recommend these or any of the Tarantino films because they are all excellent.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

THREE POSTS by Alex Bucsis *
First and foremost I think that I'll start out the post with the Oscar highlights. So here we go:

#1- Oscar Night
WOW! Big surprise in the best picture category. Crash won the best picture category at Sunday night's 78th annual Academy Awards ceremony. I, as well as probably everybody, expected Brokeback Mountain to win especially after Ang Lee won best director. Until recently started hearing a lot of buzz around Crash and how it could be the dark horse to take the prize, I never expected Crash to win. Needless to say it was a big surprise. Although I thought Munich should have won, it was a nice surprise to see someone take the award from Brokeback Mountain because of all the attention it was getting. I really enjoyed Crash when I first saw it a few months ago (my dad really liked it and was hoping it would win). Ang Lee won director making him the first non-white male to ever win. Most of my predictions turned out true but there were a few minor categories that I was off on. All in all it was a good night because a few of the nominees that I wanted to win did, in fact, win. Click here for my picks and predictions. I also really enjoyed Jon Stewart as the night's host. He was very funny and I also liked the ads for the various nominees, I found them to be very funny. Here is the full list of winners at the 78th Academy awards...

-picture- Crash

-director- Ang Lee

-actor- Phillip Seymour Hoffman

-actress- Reese Witherspoon

-supporting actor- George Clooney

-supporting actress- Rachel Weisz

-original screenplay- Crash

-adapted screenplay- Brokeback Mountain

-animated feature film- Wallace & Gromit: Curse Of The Ware-Rabbit

-costume design- Memoirs Of A Geisha

-foreign film- Tsotsi

-cinematography- Memoirs Of A Geisha

-editing- Crash

-documentary- March Of The Penguins

-documentary short- A Note Of Triumph: The Golden Age Of Norman Corwin

-makeup- The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe

-original song- "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp"

-original score- Brokeback Mountain

-sound editing- King Kong

-animated short film- The Moon And The Son: An Imagined Conversation

-live action short film- Six Shooter

-art direction- Memoirs Of A Geisha

-visual effects- King Kong

-sound mixing- King Kong

-lifetime achievement award- Robert Altman There you have it, all the awards of the night.

#2- La Bataille d'Alger (The Battle Of Algiers)
I recently saw La Bataille d'Alger (The Battle Of Algiers) and I was blown away. This film was incredible, to say the least. Gillo Pontecorvo, the director, has created a masterpiece of modern cinema. The film chronicles the struggle of the Algerian people to gain freedom from the occupying French in the 1950's. The film recreates a key year in the struggle by showing how groups like the Front De Liberation Nationale (FLN) form in the Algiers and Casbah and resort to extremes, such as blowing up cafes and killing innocent people, to get the freedom that they crave. The film follows Saadi Yacef (although in the film he plays El-Hadi Jaffar, a character based on him) Ali La Pointe, and the rest of the FLN as they rally for Algerian freedom. The film was made in 1966, shortly after the Algerians received their freedom from France. The way the film is made forces you to sympathize with both French and Algerians. I feel as if I can relate this to, the more recent, Munich in that sense because they both convey the same emotions. The film does a good job of showing the lengths people will go to in order to get their way when put in a difficult situation. Escalating violence on both sides, children shooting soldiers at point-blank range, women planting bombs in cafes, Authority resorting to torture to break the will of insurgents- these are just some brutal acts you come across in the powerful film. The score of the film is also excellent, it is very simple yet suits the movie very well.

The film is shot in a documentary style in the streets of Algiers. It is a case study of modern combat showing the terrorist attacks and brutal techniques used in combat. This is a tour de force with astonishing relevance though the film sounds extremely violent, it isn't terribly gory and passes of with only a 14A rating. With great directors like Spike Lee, Steven Soderbergh and Oliver Stone singing its praises and telling of the film's influence and importance it is tough not to be drawn in. Steven Soderbergh even went as far as to say that when he was making Traffic he made the cast and crew watch films like The Battle Of Algiers and The French Connection because that is the kind of movie he wanted Traffic to be. After the film it is easy to understand why it is part of the Criterion Collection. After seeing how good the film was I really wanted to buy it. The Criterion Collection set comes with a 56 page book and 3 DVD's. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes great movies.

#3- January/February Movie Journal

Last but not least I wanted to include my movie journal for the months of January and February. The reason I include January is because I forgot to post it in January. In January, because of finals, I didn't watch a lot of movies but in February I watched quite a bit of films. Here are the movies I watched in the last two months.
-The films are rated out of five (5) stars.
January 2006
-Citizen Kane (1941) directed by Orson Welles- * * * * *
-Munich (2005) directed by Steven Spielberg- * * * * *
-Schindler's List (1993) directed by Steven Spielberg- * * * * *
-Minority Report (2002) directed by Steven Spielberg- * * * * *
-Wedding Crashers (2005) directed by David Dobkin- * * * *
-The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) directed by Judd Apatow- * * * *
-Lord Of War (2005) directed by Andrew Niccol- * * *
-Pride And Prejudice (2005) directed by Joe Wright- * * * *
-Syriana (2005) directed by Stephen Gaghan- * * * *
-Crash (2005) directed by Paul Haggis- * * * *
- Almost Famous (2000) directed by Cameron Crowe- * * * * *
-Matchstick Men (2003) directed by Ridley Scott- * * * *

February 2006
3-I Heart Huckabees (2004) directed by David O. Russel- * * * *
4-Capote(2005) directed by Bennet Miller- * * * *
12-The Matrix (1999) directed by Larry/Andy Wachowski- * * * *
12-The Sum Of All Fears (2002) directed by Phil Alden Robinson- * * *
14-The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004) directed by Wes Anderson- * * * *
14-A Charlie Brown Valentine ( ) directed by Bill Melendez- * * * *
15-Spirited Away (2001) directed by Hayao Miyazaki- * * * *
15-Lost In Translation (2003) directed by Sofia Coppola- * * * *
16-Psycho (1960) directed by Alfred Hitchcock- * * * * *
16-Bottle Rocket (1996) directed by Wes Anderson- * * * *
16-Dial M For Murder (1955) directed by Alfred Hitchcock- * * * * *
17-North By Northwest (1959) directed by Alfred Hithcock- * * * * *
17-This Is Spinal Tap (1984) directed by Rob Reiner- * * * * *
17-The Wrong Man (1956) directed by Alfred Hitchcock- * * * *
18-Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi (1983) directed by Richard Marquand- * * * * *
18-Stage Fright (1950) directed by Alfred Hitchcock- * * * *
18-The Maltese Falcon (1941) directed by John Huston- * * * * *
19-Foreign Correspondent (1940) directed by Alfred Hitchcock- * * * * *
19-Adaptation (2002) directed by Spike Jonze- * * * *
20-The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (2004) directed by Stephen Hillenburg- * * * *
21-Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi (1983) directed by Richard Marquand- * * * * *
22-Princess Mononoke (1997) directed by Hayao Miyazaki- * * * * *
23-The Sixth Sense (1999) directed by M. Night Shyamalan- * * * *
23-A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001) directed by Steven Spielberg- * * * * *
25-Saving Private Ryan (1998) directed by Steven Spielberg- * * * * *
27-A Beautiful Mind (2001) directed by Ron Howard- * * * * *
27-The Beatles: A Hard Day's Night (1964) directed by Richard Lester- * * * * *
28-Strangers On A Train (1951) directed by Alfred Hitchcock- * * * * *


* Wes Anderson fans may recognize this title from The Royal Tenenbaums because it is very similar to the title of Margot's book of plays. I changed the title from THREE PLAYS by Margot Tenenbaum to THREE POSTS by Alex Bucsis.

NOTE: I will most likely post a review of Good Night, And Good Luck after I see it. I was going to go last Friday but, even though it was supposed to be, it wasn't showing and hasn't played yet. I am getting very frustrated with Broadway theater. They better shape up soon because it is making me very angry. I, and everyone that wants to see it, wouldn't be in this predicament if it was playing at Pacific cinemas, the theater that I would have picked if I had had a say in the matter.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

I picked up a copy of This Is Spinal Tap special edition (although it's not that special because it seems to be the only version available) today. It only cost me about ten dollars, so it was quite cheap. I really love this classic "rockumentary". It is one of my favorite films about music. I originally wanted to buy the Criterion Collection of the film but it is out of print so it is virtually impossible to find (although I did find a copy of it on but it cost one hundred dollars! Which is a ridiculous price to pay seeing as it is only one disc and before it went out of print it was only $39.99, which is pretty expensive as well. Another thing is that the special features weren't too different from the regular special edition version of the film). This version has commentary by the stars in character, something that the Criterion didn't have. Along with commentary, this film has over an hour and a half of special features such as deleted scenes, interviews and trailers.

Also, tonight is the Academy Awards. It will be exciting to see how close my predictions were. Although Brokeback Mountain will most likely clean up, it will be fun to see what other films win. I will definently tune in because I watch the Oscars every year. Sadly for Munich, (the rightful winner) there is no doubt in my mind that Brokeback Mountain will win Best Picture. Another thing that I am looking forward to tonight is Jon Stewart hosting because he is a very funny person and I think he will do a good job. A quick note: if Ang Lee wins best director he will be the first non-white male to win the prize EVER. All in all, it should turn out to be a good night of great films.

The good news is that I have found a copy of the bootleg director's cut edition of Almost Famous on! I plan on purchasing it as soon as I can get about twenty more dollars. I am looking forward to getting it because I haven't seen the extended cut before and I really like Almost Famous (as you have probably seen from the last post I made).

That is all I have to say for today. I'll post again if there are anymore updates (most likely after the Oscars to tell how close my predictions were).


Friday, March 03, 2006

I have been on the hunt for the Almost Famous Bootleg Cut (which I couldn't help noticing that you had Anders) for quite some time now only to come across despair in realizing that it has been discontinued. Almost Famous is one of my favorite films and, in my opinion, the best film by Cameron Crowe. The scene on the bus when the everybody is singing along to "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John is just amazing and it is my favorite part of the film. I read a review that went as follows "Depending on when you walk in, Almost Famous is either a coming-of-age drama; a love story; an often funny but sometimes painful look at the bonds of family; or a celebration of the glorious, liberating intoxication of rock & roll". This quote rings true because this film has all of those elements and they are all done very well. This was more than just a good rock & roll movie, it was also a really good movie. I would recommend this film to anyone who hasn't yet seen it. I really wanted this DVD to add to my collection but it seems that it is virtually unattainable for me now. The bootleg cut contains more than 30 minutes of new footage (which you may or may not have seen from the picture that I posted above), along with the theatrical version of the film and a lot more special features. It also contains a Stillwater CD. I suppose that I will have to settle for the regular theatrical version of the film rather than the director's cut (which is something that I rarely, if ever do). Well that will be all that I'll say today. I will probably end up purchasing the regular version since the bootleg cut seems to be out of my reach but I believe that I'll check around on before I quit looking. I'll leave you with a picture of the cover of the regular DVD because it's pretty cool. Until next time...


P.S. I forgot to mention that I am going to Good Night And Good Luck tonight at 7:00 pm. It opened at Broadway Theater instead of my choice which would have been Pacific Cinema, but it doesn't really matter as long as I finally get to see this movie. I have been waiting a long time for this to come to our city because we get a lot of films later than other cities. I have heard great reviews and am looking forward to it.

-On another note if you are reading this please write me a comment because I haven't had one in a while. Thanks.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I thought that I'd post this picture from The Strokes South American tour back in October of 2005. This was the first tour the strokes had ever done in South America. I found the picture while looking for album covers for my previous post today. I really liked this picture so I thought that I would post it onto my blog.


The video for the second single from the new album First Impressions Of Earth by The Strokes is now out and can be viewed on The Strokes website and then entering the "music" section of the site (check out some other videos while you're there as well, I recommend "Someday", "The End Has No End" and "Hard To Explain"). I am a huge fan of The Strokes and have been ever since I first heard Is This It. While the new album wasn't quite as good as its predecessors it was still a good album (and it had a lot of great art in the inside booklet) and it was a lot better than many of the albums that have come out in the last year. Being the huge fan I am I went and purchased the collector's edition of the new album on January 3rd, the very first day, (it included a better looking packaging and cool photos of the band, plus it was only a few dollars more) and, since I was the second person to come in and buy the album at HMV, I received a free band t-shirt as a gift for being on the list of the top ten purchasers. As soon as I bought it I went straight home and listened to it in its entirety.

While "Heart In A Cage" wasn't my favorite song from the new album (it was "You Only Live Once") the song is still very good and the video is excellent. Mixing in shots of the band in the busy streets of New York City and throwing in the odd shot of various NYC landscape. The video is done in black and white which makes it look very cool. If you are a fan of The Strokes, or even if you aren't, I suggest you check out the video by clicking the link above, it will definently be worth the three minutes it takes to watch the clip. I thought that I'd leave you with the album covers from The Strokes' albums because they are really good covers. The Strokes always seem to throw in a lot of art into their albums which makes them really cool and causes them to stand out from the rest of the pack. So here they are, the first three albums by The Strokes. Enjoy...



Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Today I picked up the 2 disc collector's edition of Walk The Line. I couldn't avoid the temptation of purchasing the collector's edition set, like I always do, and, seeing as it was only five dollars more, I didn't feel like I spent a fortune more to get it. I really loved the film from the first time that I saw it in theaters (I liked it more than I liked Ray). This DVD contains a lot more than the regular edition. It has 2 discs, which in turn means it has much more bonus features. It also includes five special post cards with posters for the film and the cover art is so much better than it is on the regular edition (I included a picture of it at the top of this post). I thought that I'd leave you with the post card pictures featured in the DVD (or at least the ones that I could find on google, there were two that I couldn't find).