Tag Archives | Movies

The 10* Most Beautiful Movies Ever Filmed

Embedded above and on YouTube here: “Top 10 Most Beautiful Movies of All Time,” by CineFix.

Interesting roundup. I will admit to not having seen number one. Will have to change that.

*Though many more than ten are featured.

(Via Kottke.)


New Trailer for George Clooney Sci-Fi Flick ‘Tomorrowland’

Embedded above and on YouTube here: a new trailer for “Tomorrowland,” a cool-looking film directed by Brad Bird and starring George Clooney. Due to be released May 22.


On ‘Interstellar’

2014 11 23 interstellar

The latest in a series of posts about sci-fi and post-apocalyptic movies, which I love:

I’m late in noting this, as it was released several weeks ago, but:

Go see “Interstellar.” While it’s in the theater. In IMAX,* if possible.

Gorgeous cinematography. Powerful music — and use of silence. Conceptually daring. Hugely ambitious in its storytelling scope. Thought provoking.

Not perfect, but a remarkable film.

*A and I saw it at Shaw Theaters Lido here in Singapore.


Trailer for ‘Chappie,’ New Film by ‘District 9’ Director

File under: Newley.com posts about sci-fi thrillers

Here’s the trailer for “Short Circuit,”Chappie,” a movie due out in March by “District 9” director Neill Blomkamp.

Yes, it features Hugh Jackman with what appears to be a mullet haircut.

Yes, the film also features the members of Die Antwoord.


An Excellent New Post-Apocalypic Thriller: ‘Snowpiercer’

Snowpiercer” — a 2013 sci-fi film, directed by South Korean Bong Joon-ho, about people stuck aboard a train circling a frozen-over earth — is just as good as Kottke says.

Embedded above and on YouTube here: the trailer.

More from Grantland here.

If, like me, you enjoy post-apocalyptic thrillers, you should most certainly watch it.


Some favorite albums, books, TV shows, movies, and in-depth stories from 2013

Here’s a look back at some of my favorites from last year.


My pick: “Modern Vampires of the City,” by Vampire Weekend.

Here’s “Obvious Bicycle“:

And “Diane Young“:

Runner-up album:

Beta Love,” by Ra Ra Riot. Here’s the title track.

Honorable mentions: Sky Ferreira’s “Night Time, My Time,” Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories,” and Lorde’s “Pure Heroine.”


Of the books I read last year, two stand out, not least because they were written by pals.

First: Matt Gross’s “The Turk Who Loved Apples: And Other Tales of Losing My Way Around the World.”

2014 01 08 turk who loved apples

This may not come as a surprise, since I’ve written about Matt’s work before.

The New York Times called the book “a joyful meditation on the spontaneity and unpredictability of the traveling life,” and said:

Gross ruminates on the loneliness of the road, the evanescent friendships that occasionally blossom into something deeper, the pleasures of wandering through cities without a map. Now settled in Brooklyn with his wife and daughters, he leaves little doubt that all his years of near-constant travel have only whetted his appetite for more. “The world,” he writes, has become “a massively expanding network of tiny points where anything at all could happen, and within each point another infinite web of possibilities.”

Worth checking out.

And second: “The Accidental Playground: Brooklyn Waterfront Narratives of the Undesigned and Unplanned,” by Dan Campo.

2014 01 08 accidental playground

The Times included the book in a piece called “Suggested Reading for de Blasio,” and wrote:

Daniel Campo, a former New York City planner, considers the serendipitous development of Williamsburg and concludes: “In contrast to urban space produced through conventional planning and design, the accidental playground that evolved on the North Brooklyn waterfront generated vitality through immediate and largely unmeditated action. The waterfront was there for the claiming, and people went out and did just that without asking for permission, holding meetings or making plans.”

Indeed, it’s worth a read.

TV shows

2014 01 09 breaking bad

There can be only one.


I haven’t yet seen many of the year’s most talked-about films, but I liked “Gravity” and “This is the End.” 2013 films I still intend to watch: “12 Years a Slave,” “The Act of Killing,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and “Computer Chess.”


And finally, here are some in-depth stories, blog posts, reviews, and other pieces of writing I liked this year:


    Observations on “The Hangover Part II”

    Update: Bill Clinton is said to have visited the set, but apparently did not film a scene. So scratch the bit about that portion being edited out.

    2011 05 26 hangover2

    Just briefly, here are eight tweets I recently wrote containing a few observations about “The Hangover Part II,” which I saw last night. The film, as you may know, is set in Thailand. Start from the bottom…

    8. The Ebert review is worth checking out, as is this Atlantic run-down of the critical response so far: http://is.gd/5JXsa5

    7. Final two thoughts (for now) on “Hangover 2.” Yes, it’s raunchy. But anyone who’s familiar with the first film shouldn’t be surprised.

    6. Lebua hotel features prominently. Chiang Mai is also referenced. Overall, a fun if silly jaunt. But there were plenty of laughs.

    5. Unlike many films set on Bangkok, this one gets beyond the street level, with plenty of shots of the river, the skyline, etc.

    4. While some may not appreciate the way Thailand is portrayed, nothing is beyond the pale.

    3. All the crazy stuff is there: drugs, foreign gangsters, a drug-dealing monkey, you name it.

    2. Various scenes with nudity are pixillated, and Bill Clinton scene was cut entirely.

    1. Saw “The Hangover 2” here in Bangkok tonight. A few thoughts: The version showing here appears edited…

    (Image via Wikipedia.)


    Around the Web: improving college rankings, Federer’s footwork, inventors killed by their own inventions, and more

    Some links that have caught my eye of late:


    Thai translations of Oscar-winning movie titles

    Thai 101 has an amusing collection of (mostly) literal Thai translations of 2008 Oscar-winning films:

    Thai titles for western films are sometimes corny, sometimes spoilery, and always entertaining. Especially when you translate them back into English. They have a style of their own. Most typically, a subtitle is added to give local viewers a better idea of the content.

    Here are a few that I like:

    The Reader
    เดอะ รีดเดอร์ ในอ้อมกอดรักไม่ลืมเลือน
    “The Reader: in the embrace of unforgotten love”

    The Dark Knight
    แบทแมน อัศวินรัตติกาล
    “Batman: knight of the night time”

    “Little robot whose heart saves the world”


    25 Best Documentaries

    indieWIRE has a list of the International Documentary Association’s 25 best documentaries.

    I’ve seen many of these films, but am glad to have this list on hand for future reference.

    Do you have any personal faves that aren’t represented on this list? Please share in the comments. And yes, I’m aware that the wonderful “Trekkies” (sample YouTube clip — best part comes at 1:18) isn’t in this top 25. For shame.


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