“I don’t want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone’s *really* hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know, the guy you’re not sure whether or not you like yet.”

–       Trent (Vince Vaughn) in Swingers

I am aware of how bad it seems to start anything off with a quote, but it is relevant to the conversation.  It’s an amusing line, but it seems predicated on some long lost notion of the R rating giving an adult edge to a film, especially such a fluffy, fantastical genre as the romantic comedy.  The hope is that without the restrictions of a PG-13 rating, a film might be more willing to deal with adult views, particularly on sex (which can be mentioned more freely) and its relation to love.  The two films considered here are rated R, but they make no attempt to deal with their subject on any level that can even remotely be considered ‘mature’.

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Best Films of 2010: 10-1

January 24, 2011

For numbers 20-11, go here.


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And so begins the preamble to the countdown of the best films of 2010, in which the biases, vagaries, and merit of such lists are briefly commented upon in an effort to apologize for the choices and divert attention from the fact that these things are compiled for no other reason than the fact that they are fun to do.  It also allows me to point out that these things are always Of The Moment and so, in a few years time when I look back and wonder “what the hell was I thinking?” I can save myself the embarrassment of (not-so) youthful folly.  Without further ado, here is a countdown of disclaimers: Read the rest of this entry »

The end of any serious relationship brings about a long period of reflection.  Where did it go wrong?  Who was at fault?  What could have been done differently?  Questions like these are almost inevitable.  Some choose to blame themselves and think only of the times they were at fault, either knowingly or with the benefit of hindsight.  Some choose to blame the other party, focusing on their faults, the difficulties they caused, or – perhaps ironically – their inability to see the other perspective.  Both points of view are almost inevitably wrong, or at least not totally right, but that’s how memory and emotions work.  What bliss it might be to have a film of the key events so they can be replayed and understood for future reference or just plain peace of mind. Read the rest of this entry »

BBC film critic Mark Kermode and his radio listeners mockingly lampooned Chris Columbus’ latest venture Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by calling it Benjamin Sniddlegrass and the Cauldron of Penguins.  There is very little in the film itself to overcome that mocking comparison to the Harry Potter franchise it desperately would like to be, especially given the fact that Chris Columbus was responsible for the first two installments of that hallowed franchise.  Kermode also loves to call Columbus an accountant, which is an apt description for a man whose career is notable for having a number of successes of which precisely none contained anything approaching quality.  To say that Percy Jackson is probably his best film is to damn it with praise so faint you might as well be listening to a choir of mute Puritans.

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