Mineshaft Gap

It's a screening log, no more no less. Maybe I'll have something interesting to say one of these days...


Friday the 13th (Cunningham, 1980)
Friday the 13th Part 2 (Miner, 1981)
Friday the 13th Part 3 (Miner, 1982)

My god these are awful.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (Craven, 1984)

Perhaps the only original and interesting film in Craven ever made, this still pales next to something like Carpenter's Halloween.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (Black, 2005)

Even better the second time around, and amazing when compared to most of the drek in Hollywood comedy these days (I'm looking your way Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, even if you both used to be funny). Black will forever be the master of the one liner.

Coogan and MacAdams.

Tristram Shandy (Winterbottom, 2005)

Combining an incredibly interesting take on the art of adaptation with hilarious slapstick is harder than it looks. That's why Winterbottom's overlooked 2005 comedy is both one of the most artistically satisfying and very funny films released in the last few years. Coogan's rehearsal with the hot almond is a scene for the ages. If I had seen this last year, it definitley would have made my top ten list. Rob Brydon's Coogan impersonation is a thing of beauty.

The Notebook (Cassavetes(Nick), 2004)

Even though I hate Rachel MacAdams, The Notebook is an enjoyable weepy with some solid actors. The iconography is a little over the top (have you ever seen so damn many geese?), but this film really finds a groove after a rough first half hour. On a side note, how much would it suck to be James Marsden, Hollywood's top actor to play the great guy that prevents our rougish hero and charming heroine from being together, even though we still like him.

Masters of Horror?

Homecoming (Dante, 2005)

Brilliant social satire is so hard to come by these days. With Homecoming, an episode of Showtime's "Masters of Horror" series, Dante and Sam Hamm have crafted a wonderful and biting look at current American politics. Scary, funny and thoughtful, the film eviscerates and hits the nail on the head without ever seeming over the top. I pray Ann Coulter has seen this.

Pick Me Up (Cohen, 2006)

This, however, was crap.


Saw II(Bousman,2006)

Why did I watch this?

A Tremendous Slouch.

Caddyshack (Ramis, 1980)

Still funny today, it is amazing just how boring the plot of the film is when compared to the greatness of the four comic leads. Murray is god.


Bringing Up Baby (Hawks, 1938)

So this is the great American comedy? Actually, the answer might be yes. I am almost ashamed to say that I had never seen Hawks' classic Bringing Up Baby before last night. Brilliantly funny with strong performances, the film lives up to its vaunted position in history, mostly on the backs of a perfectly matched Grant and Hepburn. Hawks talent has always lay in pace, and he keeps he film clipping along at breakneck speed.

Baby is a silly romance, the type of film that people don't really even try to make any more.

My Weekend.

Talladega Nights (McKay, 2006)

Though definitely no Anchorman, Talladega Nights is a funny and cheesy movie that returns Will Ferrell to prime form. Plus, Sascha Baron Cohen is a genius, and Gary Cole just might be my favorite character actor (since John C. Reilly has really graduated to a new level). Oh, and I have a crush on Amy Adams, but that is really beside the point.

The Descent (Marshall, 2006)

Wow, I didn't know they made genuinely scary movies in English any more. Marshall has crafted a film that is both terrifying thriller and a two handed character piece, with both working well. The original, more downbeat ending seems a little more appropriate to me, but other than that this is a pretty flawless exercise in fright.

The Last House on the Left (Craven, 1972)

Why, why do I keep watching Wes Craven films? One of the most overrated hacks in Hollywood history, his 1972 debut is a sad, painful little film that has no tension or drama. You simply don't care about anyone or anything in the film. Boring and disgusting.

Current 2006 Top Ten:
1. Miami Vice
2. United 93
3. A Prairie Home Companion
4. The Descent
5. An Inconvenient Truth
6. Dave Chapelle's Block Party
7. Nacho Libre
8. Hard Candy
9. Talladega Nights
10. Thank You For Smoking

Barroom Buddies.

Bronco Billy (Eastwood, 1980)

A completely enjoyable, good hearted comedy about family, Eastwood's light 1980 homage to cowboys and screwball comedies is subtly self reflexive. Playing off his well worn persona, Eastwood the director has a sure hand with another in his long line of misfit families. The supporting cast are all great, especially Scatman Crothers as Billy's Master of Ceremonies.

Eastwood has such a good hand at comedy, you wish he would try it more often(and with better writing than the horrible comic relief in Million Dollar Baby).

Video essays.

Scenario du film "Sauve qui peut(la vie)" (Godard, 1979)

In it's own bizarre and hallucinatory way, this set of notes Godard made before his 1979 comeback film is just as major a work as Sauve qui peut(la vie). With Godard's own melancholy VO playing over film, video and mixed media, he reveals much about his thoughts on cinema and narrative. Amazingly, he actually manages to explicate much of the film, as well as using passages of video for critical works on superimposition and digetic/non-diagetic music.

This is a great example of Godard's claim that he never stopped being a film critic.

Look out.

Re-Animator (Gordon, 1985)

Funny weird cool. Jeffrey Combs is a god amongst actors, and the film is still as good as the first time I saw it.