Category Archives: Just Another Movie Blog

Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Netflix Doesn’t Care About Movies

Why We Still Need Blu-ray

We were entertaining at Deep Focus World Headquarters the other night. We had a friend over — not just a fan of oddball cinema (you should have seen her face light up when she spotted my Blu-ray copy of Lifeforce) but also a certified lover of accordion music. We didn’t have time to go full Holy Motors, but we did decide it would be fun to screen just the amazing Entracte, in which Denis Levant leads a band of accordionists through a church. Since I’m lazy, I dialed the movie up on Netflix instead of leaving the couch to hit the Blu-ray library. And as I was scanning forward through the movie, saying something like, “I don’t know why I even buy Blu-ray Discs anymore,” I noticed something very odd.

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Mean Girls

The Evil Dead Goes to Detox and Loses Its Edge

The Evil Dead gets unnecessarily updated in the debut feature film by director Fede Alvarez, who remakes the Sam Raimi original in contempo style. Alvarez’s version disposes of Raimi’s trademark sentimentality, replacing the young lovers at the heart of the first film with more worldly siblings, as big brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) heads out to that cabin in the woods among friends, determined to help his sister Mia (Jane Levy) detox after a near-death experience. When dumb buddy Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) starts reciting demonic incantations aloud in the basement, Mia’s harrowing withdrawal symptoms make perfect cover for her possession by formerly slumbering supernatural forces.

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Top 20 Favorite Films Ever

My ballot for the big Skandies/Muriels Greatest Films In History project. When in doubt over which films qualified as truly “great” on a comparative basis, I went for the ones that make me happiest or have left me the most shaken, especially when those qualities endure on repeat viewings. Bottom line: if my desert-island cinematheque only had room to store 20 feature films, I’d be pretty damned stoked if they were these 20.

…plus 10 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

Deep-Focus.com with Google Eyes

So Many Nipples

Because I’m a web-stats nerd, I find it amusing and sometimes instructive to see which Google search terms actually bring traffic to my site. Per Google Analytics, here are the top 10 queries that landed web browsers at Deep-Focus.com for calendar 2011, sorted by the landing pages Googlers most often clicked through to. I will say this: the stuff you think people will search for, they don’t necessarily search for. I have no idea why anybody would end up here, for example, after searching for “waiting.” (Around 40 people did.) But nipples are an enduring favorite. (It was not a mistake to build an explanation of aspect ratios and theatrical exhibition around Keira Knightley’s nipples. Never bet against nipples, I say.)

1) “nipples [with innumerable modifiers]”

2) “keira knightley [nude, nipple, porn, ass, wet, etc.]”

3) “breaking the waves”

4) “twins of evil”

5) “laura gemser”

6) “leaving las vegas”

7) videodrome

8) “easy a [emma stone, corset, outfits, hot, etc.]”

9) “fifth element”

10) “private parts”

I (We) Spit on Your Grave(s)

Back to the Scene of the Crime

Rape-revenge is the basest of movie formulas. What amounts to a social contract exists with the audience: during the first half of the film, you will experience the sadistic, brutal, misogynistic sexual abuse of an innocent, probably naïve young woman at the hands of cavalier thugs. And during the second half of the film, you will see this broken woman–this survivor–pull herself together long enough to exact a terrible revenge on those who wronged her.

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Contest: Sukiyaki Western Django [Blu-ray Disc]

UPDATE: We have a winner! Thanks, everyone. No more emails on this one, please. I’ve updated the images with each film’s title.

Hey, the folks at First Look Studios sent me an extra copy of Sukiyaki Western Django on Blu-ray Disc, so I see no reason why I shouldn’t pass it along to someone who’s reading this. (U.S. and Canada only, sorry!) Take a look at the following images from Takashi Miike films. First one who sends me an email (at bryant@45.55.88.86) identifying each of the films, in order, gets the disc — again, sent to an address in the U.S. or Canada only.

Again, this is a high-definition Blu-ray Disc. It will not play in your DVD player. It will play in your Blu-ray player, or in your PlayStation 3.

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10 Things Movie Theaters Get Wrong

One of my favorite things about the Manhattan screening rooms where press screenings typically take place is the pitch darkness you fall into before every show. The room dips to an even black — and the best ones are designed thoughtfully enough that you won’t even be distracted by a red “Exit” sign during the show. Also the sound is excellent. Reference-level dynamics might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but there’s a tightness and immediacy to the mix that you just don’t get in a larger room, even when that room is properly tuned up for audio.

Sadly, your average multiplex does not boast particularly good sound — nor even a particularly dark room. I grew up in Colorado, and when I moved to New York in 1994 I noticed a definite uptick in presentation quality in Manhattan theaters, where theater management is likely to be hassled by filmmakers themselves if the specs are out of whack. Of course, New York theaters have their peculiarities, too — unidentifiable odors, radically uncomfortable seats and/or angles of sight, sudden explosions of indecipherable verbalese from the octogenarian gentleman in the back row, and the intermittent but unmistakable rumble of subway cars running underneath the floor.

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