Last Chance Harvey

•April 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The romantic comedy nowadays hasn’t really lived up to it’s full christian name and often leaves half of itself at the door.  Either you’re watching a romantic film that isn’t funny or you’re watching a funny movie without any moments of true romance.  Being a man, that isn’t this isn’t very important to me, but being  a fan of truly great movies, which sometimes can be quite romantic, I can say that I found the kind of movie in Last Chance Harvey that every single man, woman and single man and woman or otherwise affiliated person looks for when they turn on a movie.

There are several shocking moments in this film that make it truly great and each one of these moments in the hands of lesser writers always finds its way towards old familiar and obvious avenues.  One perfect moment of this film finds Harvey (Dustin Hoffman) stand up in a public areana to speak and one would think embarrass himself.  But the character of Harvey never becomes the movie character.  That is, the person who all in the audience expect or fear him to become.  Instead he remains a very real and surprising character that becomes more and more himself  in no short thanks to a performance that has not been celebrated enough.

The other note I’d like to make of the brilliance of this work is in dialogue.  This is a talking movie in the best ways that made movies like Before Sunrise and Before Sunset classics.  But some of the best words written for this film were the places where nothing was said at all.  There were many opportunities to take advantage of one of the funniest actors to spit lines, however he never says too much and he never says anything witty, just for the sake of a laugh.

Last Chance Harvey is one of the best films of 2008.  Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson deserve medals beyond Oscars for their contribution and for Joel Hopkins (writer/director) who we’re just getting to know, we can now expect great things or at least give him one last chance.DF-00827cr

The Movies

•March 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So I’ve seen a couple movies since my last post.  And in case you wanted to know…they were good, you should see them too.

Just reminded myself how this blogging thing works.  Don’t think I have a review in me right now, but expect one soon, that is if there is anyone out there.  If not I hope you, Jim, enjoy these from time to time.

Charlie Baker

aka Cinema Psychic389626545_266adeb7a61

Cinema Psychic T-Shirts

•March 15, 2007 • Leave a Comment

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Now you can have the Cinema Psychic on your chest! Yes we have finally got our heads out of the sand and put together a store with some great merchandise. Goto the Cinema Psychic web page and click the link at the bottom of the page marked “store“. You will also find Clip Show and Hands on Food merchandise as well!

Thanks for your continued support, buy a shirt, or two!!

Cinema Psychic

•November 28, 2006 • Leave a Comment

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Jim and I have launched a new video podcast staring yours truly. The Cinema Psychic is a once a week video podcast reviewing movies opening in the cinema that week. Check it out every Friday at cinemapsychic.com.

Brick; A Scanner Darkly; Little Miss Sunshine

•September 25, 2006 • 1 Comment

In the middle of summer the good people at Kimball’s Twin Peak Theater were good enough to feature a few non-blockbusters that I was very happy to see.

 

Brick – This is a neo-noir high school murder mystery with a twist of Bogart style dialogue and so much old time slang you’ll need an index to keep up. I little dull in the middle, but interesting enough for me. Again I give you no supporting material. Bet you’re becoming real self reliant.

 

A Scanner Darkly – from the writer of Blade Runner and Total Recall and the Director of Waking Life and Dazed and Confused comes something that will no doubt blow your mind. This movie is glossed over with a style of animation that makes the film look real enough, but also gives you the desired druggy feeling as well. I’d like to explain it, but I’d rather just have you see it and then remind me of how good it is later. Thanks.

 

Little Miss Sunshine – This is the best film I’ve seen this year. It’s a fine line between Comedy and Drama. Often when films try to walk this line the comedy falls flat and the drama is laughable. This movie was funny from start to finish and each character (there’s about 6 or 7 of them) is completely developed and engaging and lovable. This was the best surprise at the movies for me in a long time.

 

And I’m spent. All caught up. Suppose I’ll go see something tonight. Not that you needed to know about that because chances are you won’t hear about it for another 6 months. Okay hey take it easy.

Poseidon; The DaVinci Code; The Devil Wears Prada; The Lady in the Water

•September 25, 2006 • Leave a Comment

There are a couple more blockbusters from last summer to talk about, so ah, lets talk about ‘em.

 

Poseidon – directed by Wolfgang Peterson who has become typecast as the director for any movie to take place around water. Das Boot, The Perfect Storm and now this remake. That’s right it’s a remake. Were you fooled with by the absence of “adventure” from the title? Bet you thought it was a completely different kind of movie. Lots of action. Lots of almost drowning sequences and a couple actual drowning sequences including one of the most shocking moments I’ve witness with an actor I’m quite fond of, but will fail to mention because I’d hate to spoil that little surprise.

 

The DaVinci Code – A whole lotta something was made about this supposed controversial film. This I don’t mind spoiling. Jesus had a wife. Who’s to say he didn’t? why not? And more important. Why not? What I find confusing is that a group of people who place infinite importance on family are enraged by the suggestion that their savior was a family man. This world confuses the hell out of me.

 

The Devil Wears Prada – Jim made me see this one. He’s gotta big crush on that gal that stars in it. What do you want me to say about this film? Yes I formed a small crush myself on the charming young lady. The movie was funny at parts cliché at other parts, to be expected. There are only so many places a film like this is gonna go and further there are only so many options the writers had. Couldn’t throw too many surprises in a film made for teenage girls. They wanna smile and I’m sure a few of ‘em did. I wanted to see the Break Up that night for the record, however I still haven’t seen that one. Suppose I’ll catch it on video. Did you want to know that?

 

Lady in the Water – I don’t know what all the complaining was about. I had a great time. Great characters, funny dialogue, sentimental dialogue, fairy tale kind of feeling and the guy made this movie for his kids. Gotta love that. Last time I heard of a writer makin’ a movie based on something they made up for their kids was William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. Little known fact: Goldman has two daughters, he asked each of them what the story should be about and one of them wanted a story about a princess and the other wanted a story about a…it’s too unbelievable to hear. Never mind.

 

Hope you all enjoyed your summer. If you didn’t try harder next year.

Mission Impossible III; X-Men 3; Superman Returns; Clerks 2; Pirates of the Caribbean 2 Dead Man’s Chest

•September 25, 2006 • Leave a Comment

I’m sure you all just kind of figured that I boycotted the cinema this summer. ME! Miss out on all the sequals?! Never!

 

Mission Impossible 3 – So Tom made friends with the guy that created the television series Felicity, Alias (which Tom thinks is awesome; Jim too for that matter) and my favorite Lost. The story I heard. Tom calls up J. J. Abrams (or a liaison) and invites J. J. out to Tom’s place where they would take about movies and jets and other things that interest Tom. After surviving the weirdness of Tom Cruise’s people calling and inviting you to spend a day with Tom J. J. agreed to do the movie. It turned out ok. Not as stylish as the first two but it’s clever enough and features Phillip Seymore Hoffman in his most intimidating role to date.

 

X-Men 3 – this movie has all the geeks really pissed off because their beloved director Bryan Singer was replaced with Brett Ratner. I’ve seen the first two X-Men films and I’ll admit that they are well enough and I was entertained for a couple hours, but where does Singer get all this adulation. The writing is absurd and the films contain no action. Yes, that’s a very general statement with no supporting points. I realize that. Tough shit. X3 is as good as either of the other two and just as bad.

 

Superman Returns – So this is why the renowned Bryan Singer couldn’t do the X-Men. Here’s what’s good: The music from the original (John Williams) is still here, the opening credits are identical and they didn’t recast Jor-El (Superman’s Father). They reuse the footage of Marlon Brando from 1978. Here’s what’s bad: The original music that was composed for the film, once again the writing is juvenile (once again no supporting points; trust me), and finally the moments where they use Marlon Brando’s voice overs are so pointless and arbitrary. Very disappointed in this one.

 

Clerks 2 – Very funny (no supporting points other than saying it was written by Kevin Smith). Love the cast, love the dialogue (some of it) love Rosario Dawson. This film takes a few dives into the over dramatic and the arguments between a few characters could have been cut up a bit. As for the grand finale which will remain a surprise to you was not that grand. Side note: Kevin said before this film that he wouldn’t make another Jay and Silent Bob film however he promise his co-star and friend Jason Mewes that if he stayed off drugs he’d write another film for him. This was it. Kudos J.

 

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 the Dead Man’s Chest – this movie was too long and personally I found Depp’s routine running a little thin, but that is no criticism of him rather the writing, director and editor that relied to heavily on him.

 

Special thanks to those that have encouraged me to start writing these again! You know who you are. And I hope these didn’t suck too bad.