Obviously Losing

Location: Los Angeles, California

Saturday, October 28, 2006

An Important Message About February

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Beirut concert clips

Gotta love it how you can attend a concert, and then two days later people are already posting videos of it on YouTube.

Thanks fellow Beirut lovers!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Borat - The First 4 Minutes

Anyone who is not highly anticipating "Borat" must be missing a sense of humor.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Beirut concert

The Beirut concert @ The Troubadour last night was awesome!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Marie Antoinette

I'm very tired, so this will be very brief.

I'm not quite sure what Sofia Coppola was thinking with "Marie Antoinette." In film schools, editing professors should give their students this film as an exercise. It runs 123 minutes, but I could see it easily being cut down to 60 minutes without losing any of its plot, tone, or message.

Basically, there's no substance here. It's a vapid costume-drama in which the costumes are the most interesting things in view. Kirsten Dunst is fine, but her role doesn't require much other than smiling and the occasional sob.

Such an odd, unfinished film. And a bore.

Rating: *1/2 (out of ****)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Review of The Prestige

My full review of "The Prestige" can be read here.

How CDs Are Made

Rather interesting...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

What's This?

Fall Out Boy's cover of Danny Elfman's "What's This?"


Vinny, I think you've met your Rubik's Cube match, which just so happens to be the most freaking scary robot in the world.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Prestige

Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" is an absolute stunner. What a refreshing relief it is to see that this movie is a genuine puzzler, a spellbinding tour-de-force of trickery, atmosphere, performance, and narrative experimentation.

From the outset, Michael Caine's character explains the three steps to a magic trick. The genius of "The Prestige," and it's a genius we don't realize under the very end, is that its narrative is following these same magician techniques.

The narrative is a wonder. The main story technique revolves around Christian Bale reading Hugh Jackman's journal... and Hugh Jackman's journal is about reading Christian Bale's own journal. The narrative jumps back and forth between the two, and yet, somehow Nolan makes it all work logically. The film's structure works in the same way that "Memento" worked... you go along with it, even if you're uncertain about certain steps in the process. And then the movie floors you.

The performances from Jackman and Bale are top-notch, and Caine is flawless as always. Johansson feels a tad out of place, but she manages (in much the same way Jessica Biel managed in "The Illusionist"). The film looks great; the editing is impeccable; and the surprises are well-earned.

The only hurdle this movie has is that its two protagonists are both cruel men. At the heart of this movie is a rivalry between two magicians that runs so deep that each man will stop at nothing to outdo the other. If you can get over the fact that neither of these characters is an admirable human being, you'll find "The Prestige" to be an enchanting entertainment, as well an unexpectedly disturbing one. It's one of the best films of the year.

Rating: **** (out of ****)
Opens Oct. 20

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


A rather soothing band...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Decemberists - Los Angeles, I'm Yours

Friday, October 06, 2006

Running with Scissors

Running with Scissors is a bad movie. Very bad. It's like being stuck in an elevator with a group of maniacs. The whole production is overdone - overacted, overwritten, and way too long.

Annette Bening takes her character from American Beauty and ups the ante about 100 degrees - she's either sobbing, yelling, smashing things, or delirious in nearly every scene.

The film seems content to just be weird, and weird it is, one scene after another, again and again and again until the audience is just praying for some peace and quiet. I wanted to get away from these miserable people, this bipolar experience, this overwrought film.

As for Oscars...

- Annette Bening is out (unless the rest of competition seriously doesn't show up).
- Jill Clayburgh is perhaps the best thing about the movie, but her role is too small and quirky, so she's out.
- Brian Cox is out.
- The screenplay is out.

The reviews will be mediocre at best. I doubt audiences will enjoy this; my audience certainly didn't. So, I'm sorry to say it, but I think Running with Scissors is dead... (now we know the answer to why Sony Pictures hasn't been letting many people see it yet).

Rating: *1/2 (out of ****)
Opens Oct. 20

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Little Children review

My review of "Little Children" is here.


Photos by Jon Paul Puno.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What's in a Name?

I now attend the...

Apparently, we film majors don't believe in leaving spaces between words. Causethat'sjustplainsilly.

Jon Stewart on Mark Foley

I keep on managing to miss Jon Stewart on TV... thank goodness YouTube is stuffed with clips from his shows, such as this one:

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Departed

I'll be brief and spoiler-free.


- Great acting from all, especially Leo
- The last third of the movie is suspenseful and contains some surprising twists & turns.
- Smart dialogue, with some witty humor and ironic moments


- The first half of the movie has far too much fat. Many scenes feel drawn out longer than they need to be, and some scenes don't add much of anything to the overall equation.
- Schoonmaker's normally dead-on editing felt off here. Scenes that had no business being paired up were oddly juxtaposed, and her editing rhythm lacked its usual pizazz.
- Jack is essentially playing himself. He has some memorable lines and behaviorisms, but I don't see what all the fuss is about (and his role is definitely a supporting role, not a leading one like some have suggested).

So, I was somewhat disappointed. "The Departed" is still an entertaining cop/mob picture that would have turned out extremely muddled if it weren't in the skilled hands of Scorsese, but I was expecting something leaner and meaner.

Rating: *** (out of ****)
Opens Oct. 6