Sunday, December 7, 2014

Nightcap 12/7/14 Honeymoon in Vegas on Broadway, critics awards,a weird conversation, Before I Disappear, and Randi's links

Thursday night I saw Honeymoon in Vegas on Broadway and had a great time.

Jason Robert Brown's stage version of the Nicholas Cage film is blast and a half. Its two and a half hours somewhere away from your worries and troubles.

I'm a huge JRB fan and I've been hearing the songs off and on for a couple of years and loved them and now to see them in context makes them even better.

Is it the best show you'll ever see, probably not but its one of the most entertaining. Actually the best way to explain how much I love the show- I wouldn't mind paying crazy Broadway prices to see it again. If you know me you know the cost of going has caused me to retreat from live theater.

Go see it, you'll have a great time.
The critics’ awards are being dumped on us once more.

While they are great for PR and nice at highlighting some of the better films of the year, they are ultimately meaningless. They are not really the best of the year- they are the best of the year that people locked in a room can decide on. It’s also dependent upon what films the critics have seen. I’m going to tell you right now that most of the big critics see much less than many of the so called minor one. Someone like Chris Bourne, Nora Lee Mandel or Joe Bendel see dozens of more films than some of the big names. Someone like Nora will camp out at press screenings at say Lincoln Center and watch everything. Chris Bourne spends all his free time going from screening to screening, What these warriors of cinematic art say is the best of the year will be closer to the best because they’ve actually tried to see everything.
Had a weird conversation with someone this week about whether someone trusted my opinion on art or prestige films

“I don’t know if I can trust you”
“You like a lot of action films and horror”
“So? I like all films”
“Yea but you weren’t crazy about Boyhood and it won a bunch of awards. I’m seeing it on the year end lists”
“ So? That doesn’t mean they’re right”
“It doesn’t mean you are either”
“Yea but how often do you see stuff that’s won awards that you actually like?”
“Not so much”
“And how’s my track record?”
“Pretty good”
“But you’re still going to listen to them?
“Well it won awards…”
“You’re still not going to like it. I’m telling you”
"But the critics say its the best of the year"
"Its not for you. Trust me..."
"No I think I'm going to see it..."

Apparently my ability to custom tailor a recommendation doesn't count as much as bunch of people coming up with a consensus in a room.
I saw BEFORE I DISAPPEAR yesterday.

I mention this because it's a perfect example why some films shouldn't be blown up into features.  Based on  director/star Shawn Christensen's award winning short CURFEW Richie takes time out of his suicide to watch his 11 year old niece. The short is a charming twenty minute piece that does exactly what it needs to and gets off.

Running five times longer BEFORE I DISAPPEAR explains things thatdon't need explaining and opens things up that don't need opening up. While the film looks good the expansion of the short wrecks it. All I could think was this was better shorter.

I was disappointed. The handful of people I know who saw the film are split between those who didn't see the short who loved the feature and those who did, who are like me and unhappy with it.

If you haven't see the short give the feature a try- though my real advice is fine the short.
This week our slightly shortened Month of Criterion continues with a few new releases tossed in.

I should also say that as much as I wanted to fight it I'm at workon festival season 2015 with an invitation to cover some stuff at Sundance and a a whole slew of New York Jewish Film Festival titles plopping on my desk-however all of those goodies will be landing in four or five weeks.
And now Randi's links
Chris Rock on how Hollywood is a white industry
50 weird movie
BFI's 10 great Kung Fu Films
10 awesome hotels
Chris Rock talks to frank Rich
The real Lolita never got to tell her story

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