Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots vs. Godzilla in a backyard kiddie pool at night in a thunderstorm during a power outage. It’s not even cheesy, just Cheez Whiz.
The foodie contingent is out in droves at the annual International Fancy Food Show annoying vendors as they avow themselves to be “Food Bloggers” and want to take pictures of everything with their fancy electronic gadgets. As one vendor commented, “We all eat food, what makes them think they’re so special?” Nothing much except they’re over-educated, under-employed liberal arts majors or new moms going stir crazy with toddlers underfoot.
I’ve spent the year skipping multitudes of films a wide array of individuals whose opinion I trust told me to skip. This is the lowest number of films I’ve seen in a single year since I started my career in the entertainment business. I did see all the films which wound up on various Top 10 Lists but as is usually the case, my tastes are not “mainstream.” I’d still suggest you watch the films I’ve chosen as they’ll get you to think outside your comfort zone and maybe there’ll be one or two that you’ll be very happy I have helped you to discover.
Gifts that keep on giving are ones that recipients can enjoy year round and will go back and visit long after the morning of wrapping paper destruction frenzy. DVDs, books and cds are cost effective gifts that your loved ones will cherish far longer than hats, scarves, socks and grandma’s secret brittle recipe.
In the year of their major milestone, the impressive 50th Anniversary, the New York Film Festival is on its way to their third incarnation. The First Generation, known as the Richard Roud Years, was top-heavy Francophile central. Generation Two, the Richard Pena Years, will be remembered for its obsession with “Third World Cinema”. Now with the changing of the guard, the festival is heading into the Third Generation, which will become known over time as “The Hollywoodification Years”.
A young, self-absorbed New York City rich kid attending private school witnesses a bus accident that she inadvertently caused to happen. Suffering from teenage grief and angst, she obsesses over what-ifs to the point that she drags everyone around her into Sturm und Drang Upper Westside sense of liberal entitlement crossed with Jewish guilt.
One way to identify who the bullies are in a school is to pass out a confidential survey with one question. “If you had a gun, who in this school would you shoot and why?” How many Columbines will it take before school administrations AND parents wise up and take action to nip bullying in the bud, starting in kindergarten? Many, many more I’m sad to say. The MPAA is acting the bully in it’s own way by giving this film a ‘R’ rating rather than a ‘PG-13’ so that teens and pre-teens can see it.
I was not at all impressed this year by most of the fiction films that were released, documentaries on the other hand had plenty of contenders. In time, most of the “buzzed about” films will be forgotten. I did not like most of Hugo but thought Scorsese did a fantastic job on the 3D, that’s what I’ve been waiting for with the technology.
For those of you about to crucify me for choosing Mel Gibson for Best Actor, it was his acting I was looking at and not to his private life. There’s an impressive new generation of actresses starting to bubble under the surface, a few of them short-listed for Supporting Actress, one you will see is my choice for Best Actress.
When the holidays come around each year everyone gets frantic looking for the right gift for that certain someone. With the economy in shambles, entertainment is one gift that keeps giving throughout the year. Consider a dvd that the recipient will enjoying watching multiple times alone or with families and friends.
The 49th New York Film Festival will open this year on September 30th with Roman Polanski’s Carnage (Sony Classics) and close on October 16th Alexander Payne’s The Descendants (Fox Searchlight). As usual the festival will be a mix of international festival faves, pet directors (Almodovar, Cedar, Ferrara, the Dardennes, Bilge, Wenders and Panahi) and the odd handful of films that will never leave the festival circuit ghetto.