sunday night was the oscars. i wanted gravity to win best picture. it didn’t. lots of people i know have started to turn on gravity. people are calling it heavy handed. many refuse to enjoy it because they don’t agree with the physics of the film. society has evolved into a snarky beast that simply can’t enjoy things anymore. to each their own i suppose. it’s a moot complaint anyway. the film did take home awards for several other categories. why do i care anyway. ever since they snubbed bill murray i shouldn’t. i couldn’t pay much attention to the festivities anyway. my time was occupied elsewhere.
on the same day. i started work as a host on a monthly variety show called “now we are friends” on the lower east side. the show is a regular haunt for my sketch comedy group kokomo. the show is regularly filled with some of the most talented people in the city and a mighty fine crowd. unlike most shows i am a part of, it neatly finds a way to make comedy of almost every type and music rather harmonious. singer songwriters and bands who perform there tend to be more organic. it’s kind of beautiful. who would think in the back of a bar off houston during the oscars, just after watching a improv set named after a movie about dinosaurs, they would find a full new orleans style jazz band.
the comedy that performs at the show is unique as well. well cultivated and booked. very specific sketch and improv acts. now i bring my stand up to the fray. i was happy. i was positive. i enjoyed the outcome. it’s nice to look forward to this every month.
… if it’s your last moments in space, in all reality … the cheesiest things you have ever thought might pour from you as well …
i love this city.
A new video from my sketch group KOKOMO in which I am mortally wounded. Enjoy and please feel free to vote funny.
Gravity. There aren’t enough words to express how much I loved this film. The concept is both cerebral and terrifying. Despite some actual scientific hinderances, almost everything about the movie works at a beautiful level. I came out of the theatre breathless and trembling. Movies don’t do that often enough.
Her. A truly gorgeous thing to watch. Science Fiction that seamlessly integrates with the human psyche. A bittersweet plot focusing on a man desperate to be loved again only to find it in the strangest of places. Tonally, the film felt like a sci-fi sibling to “Lost In Translation.”
The World’s End. Easily the best comedy of the year and a fitting finale to Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto Trilogy.” What struck me about this movie (other than the best performance of Simon Pegg’s career thus far) is how deeply it’s about nostalgia and mental illness. The ending took me one or two viewings to settle with, but once understood, I simply adore it.
Side Effects. The sleeper film that no one saw. Steven Soderbergh has said in several interviews that he’ll be retiring soon. Movies like this one make me hope it isn’t true. Hitchcockian twists and turns make this unusual medical drama something worth really examining.
Upstream Color. The most beautifully shot film of the year. Bizzare … often wordless, this movie felt like actual art. Some things we aren’t meant to understand as the director intended but instead interpret on our own. Maybe that is what the director intended with “Upstream Color.”
Oblivion. Tom Cruise’s divisive dystopian action film. Lots of people found flaws in this movie based on it’s multiple plot borrowings. It’s story and it’s soundtrack (provided by m83) sold me. Conceptually the film was interesting. The idea of being alone on a planet is both scary and intriguing. Like several of my other choices this year, this movie is absolutely aesthetically pleasing.
Blue Jasmine. Woody Allen returned to drama this year with Cate Blanchett. Based loosely on the Madoff scandal that rocked highest of societies, Woody’s newest delivered not just in story but heavily on the performances. Blanchett delivered the nervous breakdown of a woman who had it all and lost it by means outside of her control.
Prisoners. Once every few years someone does a kidnapped children movie. (“Ransom” & “Taken” spring to mind.) This movie takes the cliche and turns it inward, giving us a glimpse at a quite amazing character piece. Every actor is good in this movie. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal are not meant to be pretty people here, they are flawed and well performed. This movie is filled with justifiable desperation and it’s very very good.
American Hustle. There is a scene in this movie I could watch a hundred times where Bradley Cooper’s character imitates Louis CK’s character for about 20 seconds. It’s that funny. Otherwise to simply put it, this is David O. Russell’s “Goodfellas.”
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The most promoted movie I have seen this year. True. This was not the sequel I had expected. This wasn’t the sequel I was looking for. There are actual characters here. Cartoons they may be, but they are characters. There is even a satirical plot about where the news went wrong. And the sheer volume of jokes is astounding (only 75 to 80% of them work … but still.)
My least favorite movie this year was …
This Is The End. If you are going to make a ninety minute movie where you jerk off all of your famous friends about how famous and crass you are, do it with a bit more tact and style. Also … finishing a film the way they did with a joke that has no reference other than the fact the song was played once in the movie just abhorrently useless and stupid.
Welcome Peter Capaldi.
So … I wrote a Banksy sketch over a month ago. And we shot it around then. Then like a week later the prolific street artist showed up in NY for a month. Here is the sketch …