Fifteen Criterions That I Wish Were Real

The Criterion Collection is responsible for releasing some of the highest quality DVDs and Blu-Rays available today. One of my favorite parts of their products are their awesome covers. While browsing around the internet today I came across a website called Fake Criterions that, as the title suggests, makes fake criterion covers for films that have yet to be released by the collection. I ended up looking through all 68 pages of its incredible content and got an idea. Below are fifteen of the fake Criterions that I saw that I wish would actually be released by Criterion.

2001: A Space Odyssey

The monolith, the red circle of HAL in the “o”, the sci-fi font, the perfect screenshot. No better way to capture the film.

Badlands 

Somehow manages to capture the beauty of a Terrence Malick film. Also a remastered blu-ray version of this be incredible.

Boogie Nights

The Criterion collection needs some Paul Thomas Anderson. Also the cover is an excellent color scheme applied to the opening shot of the film. It feels 70’s.

Black Swan

Perfect. It is perfect.

Drive 

All of the best shots showcased on one incredible cover.

Hot Fuzz

Simon Pegg is a stone cold badass. That is all.

I’m Not There

Interesting coloring plus all of the major characters shown on one cover. No other way to describe it except awesome.

Lost In Translation

No shot better captures the entire essence of the film than the shot shown here.

Mulholland Drive

The perfect image to capture the eery and weird feel of this film.

Persona

Considering how they have essentially every other Ingmar Bergman film in the criterion collection it’s long overdue that they add Persona. As for the cover there is no better way to showcase this film than by using just still shots of the excellent cinematography.

Raging Bull

The collection is clearly lacking in Scorsese and what better film to help with that problem than Raging Bull?

Revolutionary Road

Probably my favorite cover on the list.

The Shining

The more Kubrick in the collection, the better.

There Will Be Blood

That red bowling combined with the shot Daniel Day-Lewis is pretty dark and haunting.

The Tree Of Life

A beautiful film like this deserves to be released on a beautiful Criterion blu-ray.

Finally I’ve saved the best for last. An extra cover that I found too spectacular to ignore:

Titanic

Just about as good as the film itself.

Top 10 of the 2000’s

For a while I’ve been considering listing the ten best films of each decade and decided to start it off with the most recent. Keep in mind that I haven’t seen every film released in-between the years 2000 and 2009 so this list is made up of the ten best films released in that span that I have seen. Here they are:

10. Waltz With Bashir directed by Ari Folman

Waltz With Bashir is, without a doubt, the best animated film that I have ever seen and quite possibly the finest documentary that I have ever seen. It takes elements of both these styles of film and combines them in such a way that leaves you in awe of what you are watching on screen. It illustrates the horrors of war using some of the most beautiful animation I’ve ever seen while still managing to contain your interest with the actual story-lines. The film is made up of a series of vignettes and testimonies that range from beautiful to horrifying but always keep you captivated. It is a unique film I would not only list as one of the best of the 2000’s but also as one of the best I’ve ever seen.

9. Brokeback Mountain directed by Ang Lee

I challenge you to find a more heartbreaking love story than that of the two cowboys Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist. This is a film that is perfect in every department. The direction by Ang Lee is masterful, the cinematography is beautiful, and the acting is extraordinary. The work on display here by the late Heath Ledger is some of the finest acting that has ever been captured on film and will soon be held as one of greatest performances of all time. This film is nothing short of perfection.

8. The White Ribbon directed by Michael Haneke

This is a film that stays with you long after the credits has stopped. Through immaculate direction, beautiful cinematography, and a variety of haunting performances filmmaker Michael Haneke managed to create one of the most unforgettable films of the 21st century thus far.

7. Hunger directed by Steve McQueen

The first time I watched this I was left sitting, unable to move, and shaking. This is the film that has probably had the most direct affect on me emotionally. It is beyond brutal and at times it is hard to witness, but by the time you make it to the credit’s you’ll have witnessed something incredible.

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind directed by Michel Gondry

A man’s memories of his ex-girlfriend are being deleted and he attempts to save them by traveling through his subconscious. Only Charlie Kaufman could craft a story like this and manage to make it so extraordinarily well done. Utter brilliance.

5. American Psycho directed by Mary Harron

My love for American Psycho is unending. Hell, it’s the inspiration for the name of this website. Full of insanely quotable lines, fantastic acting by Christian Bale, one of the most fascinating characters of recent years, and it makes me laugh with every viewing. I’m happy to call this one of the best films of the 2000’s.

4. Mulholland Drive directed by David Lynch

I’ve seen this film four times. Four times. I still have no idea what the hell happened. Doesn’t stop the film from being perfect though.

3. Synecdoche, New York directed by Charlie Kaufman

Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut is what Roger Ebert called the best of the decade and it comes very close to being the same for me. A perfectly complex screenplay, a excellent leading performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and a wonderful ensemble cast featuring the brilliant work of Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, and Tom Noonan. These are a few of the reasons why I consider this film to be a masterpiece and one of the greatest films ever made.

2. There Will Be Blood directed by Paul Thomas Anderon

What is there to say about this film that hasn’t already been said? Daniel Day-Lewis delivers the best performance of his career, the decade, and maybe of all time. Paul Thomas Anderson is a cinematic master who, in this film, created one of my favorite characters of all time. This film drinks my milkshake every time I see it.

1. Werckmeister Harmonies directed by Bela Tarr

There are no words I can use that would properly describe the brilliance of this film and the profound affect it has had on me. It’s something that you just have to see yourself. This is the true definition of the term masterpiece.

There you have it. Would any of these be on your list?

Most Anticipated of 2012

2012 is shaping up to be a huge year for film considering how it has releases from Malick, Haneke, PTA, Tarantino, and……need I say more? I, for one, am extremely excited about what’s coming out in these next several months. These are the five that I cannot wait to see:

To The Wonder: Two years, two films by Terrence Malick. Considering how the shortest length between releases for Malick was the six years between The New World and The Tree of Life these rapid releases have me very excited. So far I have yet to see a Malick film that I haven’t considered fantastic so the reasoning for this being here is pretty clear. In addition to the sheer excitement the words “New Terrence Malick Film” brings to me, the cast has the ability to be great. Rachel McAdams and Weisz are just okay in my opinion, but Ben Affleck and Martin Sheen can make up for any sub-par acting.

Amour: Michael Haneke has created two of my favorite films of all time, one of which won the Palme d’Or. This year after rave reviews Haneke became the seventh filmmaker to win two Palme d’Or awards with his new film: Love. I don’t really know much about the film but I have heard nothing but praise for Haneke’s direction and the lead performances by Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, and Isabelle Huppert. The Plame d’Or win is just another extra reason to go.

The Master: Paul. Thomas. Anderson. This is the first release of his that I am going to get to see in theaters considering how I only discovered him this last year, and it can’t come soon enough. Any PTA film would have me excited but then comes the plot and the cast. Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of the finest actors of all time, Joaquin Phoenix is one of the most talented actors of his generation, and Amy Adams proved last year with The Fighter that she can deliver a performance that packs a punch (Boxing puns for life). Take all of that and then fill in the plot piece with Scientology and you have one my most anticipated film of 2012. Here’s the trailer:

Django Unchained: The thing about Inglorious Basterds that really worked for me was how fun the entire experience was. It took a time in history that is usually viewed through a sad lens and made it enjoyable. It looks like he’s doing it again here with Django. Just from the trailers you can already tell how much fun the actors are having in their roles, especially Christoph Waltz and Leo Dicaprio. Who didn’t smile when they heard every line Dicaprio spoke in the trailer? I certainly did. It may not be the best of 2012, but I am thoroughly convinced it will be the most enjoyable. Here’s the trailer:

 

The Iceman: Michael Shannon has proven himself time and time again as one of the most talented actors of his generation with his masterful roles in Take Shelter and Revolutionary Road. It is for that reason, and essentially that reason alone why this film is on this list. Michael Shannon as a contract killer could result in the best performance of his career. Shannon has that cold, calculating presence that made his performance in Revolutionary Road so perfect and it could easily be carried into this film, making it extraordinary. Besides just the incredible talent of Shannon you also have James Franco, Ray Liotta, and Winona Rider to carry the film. I’ve never seen a film by the writer/director so this could very well be a bust, but from just an acting perspective this has the potential for greatness.

There you have it. My five most anticipated films of 2012. What films have you counting down the days to their release?

Liebster Award Blog-A-Thon

Earlier today I had the pleasure of seeing that Alex of And So It Begins… had passed the Liebster blog award on to me. So now it’s my turn to share some things about me and answer some questions. Here are the rules of the blog-a-thon:

  1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
  3. Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
  4. Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post.
  5. Go to their page and tell them.
  6. No tag backs.

11 Things About Me:

  1. I’ve loved music all my life.
  2. My favorite musical artists of all time are Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan.
  3. Recently my favorite band has been M83.
  4. I haven’t written anything in three months without listening to either M83, Mumford & Sons, or Of Monsters and Men.
  5. The first movie I can remember seeing is The Jungle Book.
  6. By the time I was eight I had seen all three original Star Wars films, the Indiana Jones Trilogy, and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
  7. I am fascinated with the sport of baseball.
  8. The three topics that interest me the most are philosophy, psychology, and film.
  9. In film I prefer black and white cinematography over color.
  10. My favorite book is The Great Gatsby
  11. I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my first screenplay.

Now to Answer some questions:

 1. What is your favorite film of all time? Just one. Go.

I’d have to go with Werckmeister Harmonies. No Film has affected me in the same way that it has.

2. What is your favorite song of all time? Just one. Go.

Just one? I’d have to go with Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.

 3. Who is your favorite film director of all time?

Ingmar Bergman. His films have literally changed the way I look at life and death.

4. What is the best television show you have ever seen?

Overall the television show thats stands as both my favorite and the best that I have seen is Arrested Development. Perfect writing, perfect acting, and all-around hilarious.

 5. Which place would you feel more at ease: the woods of Deliverance, or Maynard’s basement in Pulp Fiction?

I’ve never seen Deliverance but I have seen Pulp Fiction and based on that I’m gonna go with the woods in Deliverance. Do you really want to be around the Gimp?

 6. What is the best portrayal of addiction you’ve ever seen on film?

The answer to this depends on the type of addiction. If it’s referring to addicition as a whole then I’d say Requiem For a Dream’s portrayal of addiction was very real and absolutely horrifying.

 7. Do you respond to comments left on your blog? If not, why?

Absolutely! I love seeing comments on here.

 8. Were you born a movie fan, or was there an event (or specific film) that turned you on to films?

I’ve always loved movies but the film that really turned it into a passion and made me want to make films was when I watched A Clockwork Orange when I was 11.

 9. What’s the best looking film you’ve ever seen? Specifically is it relates to cinematography.

Well no matter what film I chose it’s going to have been shot by either Emmanuel Lubezki or Sven Nykvist. With that said I’d have to go with Winter Light which, in my opinion, is Nykvist at his very best.

 10. Do you own any Criterion DVDs or Blu-Rays? If so, how many?

Yes, yes I do. Criterion and Barnes & Nobles came together this month to make me spend a large amount of money. Prior to July I had 13 Criterion films. I now have 32.

 11.What is your favorite Criterion movie cover?

My Favorite Criterion cover is Kirk Douglas’ look of agony on the cover of Paths of Glory.

Here are my eleven questions for you:

  1. Which do you prefer: Foreign films or english-language films?
  2. Black & White or color?
  3. Has any film changed the way you look at something? If so, which one and what did it change?
  4. What part of the filmmaking process interests you the most?
  5. Have you started working on creating your own films?
  6. Did you discover film on your own or did someone expose you to it?
  7. What’s your favorite genre?
  8. Do you just enjoy watching films, is it actually a career path that you want to pursue, or do you already work in the film industry?
  9. When a novel is adapted to film do you read the book before watching it or vice versa? 
  10. What do you think is the most powerful creative medium? Why?
  11. What’s the best use of music you’ve ever seen in film?

So now it is my turn to pass the baton to the next eleven. Sorry if there are any repeats. Here they are:

http://thevoid99.blogspot.com/

http://azizaspicks.blogspot.com/

http://movienut14.blogspot.com/

http://magnoliaforever.wordpress.com/

http://thefilmemporium.blogspot.com/

http://splendidandlovely.blogspot.com/

http://myfilmviews.com/

http://tdylf.com/

http://www.undy-a-hundy.com/

http://thevelvetcafe.wordpress.com/

http://aswedetalksmovies.com/

July in Film

July has come and gone and in that time I viewed sixteen films for the first time along with four re-watches. These films ranged from being just ok (70/100) to now being some of my favorite of all time (perfect 100/100’s). Here they are:

21 Jump Street: A surprising good comedy that was carried by the hilarious comedic timing of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. (73/100)

J. Edgar: Much better than it’s reputation led me to believe. Not one of the strongest bio-pics I’ve seen but it still managed to be interesting and engaging. Mainly because of Leonardo Dicaprio’s remarkable performance. (78/100)

Hotel Chevalier: A wonderful prequel to Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited that not only manages to give you insight into the backstory of one of the film’s characters but also ends up being a solid stand-alone segment. (85/100)

The Darjeeling Limited: My third experience with Wes Anderson following Moonrise Kingdom and Hotel Chevalier was a bout of cinematic perfection. Everything about this film worked for me. From the trio of flawless lead performances by Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman to the enchanting color palate, to the breathtaking cinematography. Near perfection. (98/100)

Short Cuts: This is a film that manages to transcend genres, cross half a dozen story-lines, and still manages to be somewhat coherent. Supplying a massive cast of brilliant performances and featuring the legendary direction of Roger Altman this is a brilliant piece of work. (100/100)

My Own Private Idaho: Gus Van Sant is a master of filmmaking, and it shows in this early work of his which features perfect performances by Keanu Reeves and the deceased (and extremely talented) River Phoenix. A flawless film. (100/100)

Paths of Glory: One of the few Kubrick’s I had yet to see. An utterly brilliant film containing a magnificent performance by Kirk Douglas and one of the finest scripts I’ve seen. (100/100)

The Dark Knight Rises: YES YES YES YES! It came and it delivered and it was awesome! (94/100)

Being John Malkovich: Watching a film written by Charlie Kaufman is like allowing him to cut open your skull and punch you in the brain for two hours. That is exactly what happened here with this colossally brilliant film that really highlights the acting talents of John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, and John Malkovich. (99/100)

My Week With Marilyn: This one falls into the territory of J. Edgar where it was an interesting film because of who it’s about but without it’s remarkable performances then it isn’t that good at all. (83/100)

Blue Valentine: Terrifying and raw, this film’s unique style of narrative and marvelous lead performances of Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams allow this film to shine. (97/100)

La Haine: I loved this film. The black and white cinematography, the brutal performance by Vincent Cassel, the use of music, and the ending. Oh, the ending. One of my favorites of all time. (97/100)

Earrings: Alex Withrow’s second short film accomplishes a lot in a relatively small amount of time. It provides you with a dialogue-less first act where you are introduced to a woman (played by Catherine Werner in a fearless performance) at a very bad point in her life. It follows that up with an extended conversation that allows you to piece together her backstory, and from there goes into a haunting sequence complemented by an excellent use of music. In all it is an excellent short film. (93/100)

Persona: Further evidence that Ingmar Bergman was the greatest filmmaker of all time. A true classic. (100/100)

La Sortie des usines Lumière: It kind of is incredible to see how far film has progressed. It started with this 46 second shot of people leaving and building and has become multi-million dollar projects that tell breathtaking stories.

Best Film I Watched in July:

Persona

Worst Film I Watched In July:

21 Jump Street (Which was still a good movie)

Rewatches:

Toy Story: The genesis of all modern animated films. Excellent, excellent, excellent.

My Own Private Idaho: Held up just as well the second time.

Midnight in Paris: Creative and brilliant with some of the best casting I’ve ever seen.

I’m Not There: One of the most unique films I’ve ever seen.

It was a good month.

Fifty Wishes

Recently both brilliant blogs “The Droid You’re Looking For” and “Southern Vision” posted fifty of their cinematic wishes. What these “wishes” consist of is moments or details in films that you wish could change or things related to film that you wish could happen. I’ll be linking both of the lists where I first saw this idea below.

Southern Vision

TDYLF

Now, lets begin:

  1. I wish more people recognized The Tree of Life for the masterpiece that it is.
  2. I wish that people would never use the word pretentious in relation to film.
  3. I wish every film was as unique and absurd as Bronson.
  4. I wish that Stanley Kubrick could have lived forever.
  5. I wish that every director used ensemble casts as well as Paul Thomas Anderson.
  6. I wish Brad Pitt had been nominated for his performance as Tyler Durden in Fight Club.
  7. I wish all of Tom Cruise’s performances were as good as his was in Magnolia.
  8. I wish Christian Bale’s performance in American Psycho got the recognition it deserves.
  9. I wish every directorial debut was as good as Hunger.
  10. I wish Annette Benning had won for American Beauty
  11. I wish Spike Lee would never lay his hands on Oldboy. Ever.
  12. I wish every film was as beautiful as Valhalla Rising.
  13. I wish every duo was as good as Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek in Badlands.
  14. I wish every performance could be as good as Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood.
  15. I wish every scene affected me in the way the hospital scene in Werckmeister Harmonies did.
  16. I wish every film could make me cry like Requiem For A Dream can.
  17. I wish every character actor was as good as Philip Seymour Hoffman.
  18. I wish every Sci-Fi film could be of the same quality as 2001.
  19. I wish every conversation was as brilliantly written as the one between Max Von Sydow and Gunnar Bjorstan in Winter Light.
  20. I wish every films soundtrack was as good as Shame.
  21. I wish A Clockwork Orange would be released from Criterion with a cool cover. 
  22. I wish I had discovered Ingmar Bergman sooner.
  23. I wish every director could be as cool as Darren Aronofsky.
  24. I wish every bromance could be as good as the one between Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling.
  25. I wish Robert De Niro still made films like Taxi Driver
  26. I wish Adam Sandler never made a movie after Punch-Drunk Love.
  27. I wish Rocky had never beaten out Taxi Driver and Network for best picture.
  28. I wish more films were as stylish as Drive
  29. I wish more films could leave me as utterly confused as Mulholland Dr. did.
  30. I wish every director could be of the same master class of filmmaking that Terrence Malick is in.
  31. I wish everyone would stop hating on Terry Gilliam.
  32. I wish I had a friend like Walter in The Big Lebowski
  33. I wish every action film was as intricate as Inception.
  34. I wish HAL had just opened the pod-bay doors.
  35. I wish every film could be as fun as Scott Pilgrim Vs. The world. 
  36. I wish Woody Harrelson’s performance as Larry Flynt had won best actor.
  37. I wish everyone was as cool as Kevin Spacey.
  38. I wish that every ending was as shocking and terrifying as Oldboy.
  39. I wish everyone could be as talented as Max Von Sydow.
  40. I wish Jonah Hill never tried to leave his comedy comfort zone.
  41. I wish all of Leonardo Dicaprio’s performances were as good as his in Revolutionary Road.
  42. I wish Avatar wasn’t as praised as much as it is.
  43. I wish M. Night Shyamalan would just stop.
  44. I wish everyone loved the Harold and Kumar films as much as me.
  45. I wish Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross could come and give me a pep talk.
  46. I wish sexuality didn’t stop films like Shame from being seen.
  47. I wish it hadn’t been a mentally challenged kid that got attacked in The White Ribbon.
  48. I wish I could see more of Bela Tarr’s films.
  49. I wish all supporting performances were as good as Courtney Love’s peformance in The People Vs. Larry Flynt.
  50. I wish that everyone could appreciate film as an art.