Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Revealing Look Into A Monopoly (rated 4 stars)

While I thought that This Film is Not Yet Rated was going to just be about censorship, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was a lot more. It cleverly tells the story of the MPAA rating board and manages to also give a glimpse into how the rating system actually operates and how the rationale behind it hasn’t really worked. By humanizing the process it paints a picture of current society and exposes the monopolistic nature of the motion picture business and those who fight to preserve the control of the screens where we watch films. With interviews with filmmakers and a brilliant sequence that does a split-screen comparison of virtually identical scenes with different ratings that seem to be based on the sexual orientation and not what is actually shown, it’s thought provoking and entertaining.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Skillful Mixing and Mashing (rated 5 stars)

by RIAA (Robotic Intergalactic Astro-Artists)

The idea of a mashup is simple and mixing a few songs together seems easy, but it’s very difficult to do well. One of the best collections that I’ve heard in a long time is Sounds for the Space-Set from the RIAA (Robotic Intergalactic Astro-Artists). It combines bit from sci-fi films and mashes together older and newer music to create something that is a lot more than the sum of the parts. A great sense of humour runs throughout the tracks an infectious beat and diverse sources that are sometimes hard to identify. Fun and free!

Friday, June 08, 2007

A Nice, Light Film (rated 4 stars)

by Steven Soderbergh

One of the neat things about the “Ocean’s” films is that they hearken back to the old days of Las Vegas and Hollywood where stars were stars and it was fun just to watch them. Ocean’s 13 is an almost perfect Summer movie that looks good, is fun and not too demanding. Shot is a beautiful style that constantly changes colours and movement, it almost feels like hanging out with cool people for a couple of hours. Nothing too profound, but well-crafted and everyone knows that they’re in a film and they all seem to be having a great time. It’s got a great retro feeling with the soundtrack and titles that pop up through the film and it was delightfully understated and had just enough of each character to make it interesting. It was light and fun and personal in a way that didn’t feel like it was tested and tuned with focus groups.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Puns and Interesting Covers (rated 4 stars)

by Nouvelle Vague

The idea behind the French group Nouvelle Vague is to cover 80s New Wave songs in a Bossa Nova style. The clever part in the name of the group and the style of music is that all of the words mean “New Wave” and together they form a strangely familiar but very catchy songs that I just can’t get enough of. Their second album, is named after Jean-Luc Godard’s film Bande a Part , which is another nod toward the name of the band and that they are based in France. It’s fun and works better than I thought that it would.