Klendathu Drop

29 year old male NYC film critic.

Posting thoughts about movies, life, love, politics, etc.

Mar 1

My Collected Reviews Of The Oscar Nominees Of 2014

For my full predictions, click here

American Hustle - Click here

"David O. Russell is not one of our “great” filmmakers, and that’s ok. His ‘American Hustle' is, like the best moments in his filmography, a great pleasure to sit through, but his films have now settled into that sloppy ramshackle method of storytelling that highlights actors and downplays escalation or stakes-raising in any real way, even when the script demands it. He’s something of a serious David Wain, in that respect, though with greater empathy for human beings.”

Captain Phillips - Click here

"And yeah, it’s tense and suspenseful and Greengrass knows how to tell a story through this action-chaos method that he’s perfected, but so what? How many movies can Greengrass make where the white American has to battle the dark-skinned foreigner? He would be Hollywood’s red-state secret weapon if he hadn’t blown $140 million on ‘Green Zone,’ which pretended that the general public would care that we went to war in the Middle East under false pretense. When he makes ‘United 93,’ it’s interesting. When he gives the defense department a freebie with the glamorous, politically-cynical ‘Bourne’ films, its understandable escapism. What do we call it now, where Phillips leads a primarily white crew (black crew members have no dialogue) against the blackest men of any mainstream Hollywood release this year? What am I saying? I’m just saying that you start to wonder about this Greengrass character. That’s all. For now."

Gravity - Click here

"This is probably the most immersive, transporting 3D I have ever seen. You step out of the dark theater as if you are just leaving from a particularly nerve-wracking space flight. There are moments in ‘Gravity’ where I didn’t seem to realize doing fear acrobatics in my chair. For the first time in my entire life, I was so terrified at points that I lifted my hands to my face. You can’t intellectualize these responses, they are different for everyone else, though I wouldn’t be surprised if I wasn’t the only one making an absolute fool of myself during this movie."

Her - Click here

"There’s something funereal about this, as if he’s keeping alive the memory of two people long gone. The argument seems to be that society doesn’t miss the loss of sincerity and affection, because we’ve learned to re-create it so well already. Of course, that’s because of people like Theodore, the star of the office, who excels because he still knows what it’s like to be wounded, to feel. You know immediately where Jonze stands on the issue of whether we bleed makes us human or not."

Nebraska - Click here

"As much as it pains this member of the Will Forte Fan Club to say this, he seems genial but out of his depth alongside Dern, who seems too bright but is otherwise fairly convincing as a bitter old man. Were the picture only about these two, it would carry similar (not equal) weight as David Lynch’s “The Straight Story.” Unfortunately, Payne loads the picture with several dopey bumpkin stereotypes just itching to get a taste of the money (including a literal Tweetledum-Tweetledee pair of brothers), artificially stretching the narrative to the breaking point. June Squibb brings considerable pluck and resolve to the role of Dern’s put-upon wife, but soon the movie finds itself leaning too hard on her aw-shucks plainspokeness. By the time she’s flashing the grave of a former suitor, you get the sense Payne’s lost the story a bit."

Philomena - Click here

"Interestingly, Stephen Frears’ gentle film doesn’t treat the mystery like a mystery, allowing actual journalism and a little canny legwork reveal the truth behind Philomena’s grown child. But the picture bogs itself down in scenes of Coogan’s atheist and Dench’s believer having stupid tit-for-tat conversations that secretly build a respectful friendship that we couldn’t care less about. A legit film about this topic would be rousing and intriguing. A lightweight road movie with a doddering old bag and her vain associate just doesn’t properly compensate."

The Wolf Of Wall Street - Click here

"Ultimately, there’s something very American, nakedly so, about The Wolf Of Wall Street, which will keep allowing the film to be debated years from now. If it’s out there, you can take it, even if others suffer. The Academy isn’t a goodwill organization. They have no need to be polite, or to reflect the ideal status of the world. This is Best Picture, not Nicest Picture. By the way, 42 years ago, another film with a central criminal figure won the Best Picture award, even though it committed the sin of depicting terrible, selfish, bloodthirsty acts on film, almost as a tacit endorsement of them. That movie was The Godfather.”

Blue Jasmine - Click here

"One of these victims is Augie (Andrew Dice Clay), Ginger’s working class husband. Their initial meeting reveals the distance between the two of them. Augie, a blustery, talkative type, barely fits his broad shoulders into his cheeseball windbreaker and Hal reacts as if he’s worried he’ll catch gangrene, clutching the lapel of his suit. It’s a small role with a number of standout scenes, but would you guess that Clay, the former shock comic, gives one of the film’s most real and lived-in performances? Clay’s always been cinematic: he holds the center of Renny Harlin’s gonzo action noir The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane with ease. Now he gets to be tragic, and he’s every goombah on the corner with a broken heart and a wasted life, cursing the sky.”

August: Osage County - Click here

"Everyone, even the Golden Globes, seems to be aware that ‘August: Osage County' is a comedy. Everyone except TV director John Wells, one in a long line of television helmers with no visual style whatsoever who is entrusted with great actors and chooses to just put the camera on a tripod. This feels like a satire played straight, an emotionally-sprawling drama about a Southern family who can’t seem to get their shit together when their patriarch dies, letting out a treasure chest of family secrets. There’s some good dialogue, some yelling, but it’s all pretty skin-deep. See it with someone who wants a movie to sleep during.”

The Wind Rises - Click here

"Perhaps it’s fatalistic that Miyazaki feels humans destroying other humans is inevitable. Making the decision to do better, and to establish bonds from within seems to be the mission statement."

The Grandmaster - Click here

"And yet, Wong Kar-Wai remains one of the world’s most sensual filmmakers. The story feels slim, an afterthought: the picture is paced by the separation of action sequences, doled out with grace and comfort. But this isn’t even an action picture, but a ballet: when Tony Leung folds into his character of Ip Man, his kicks and punches feel like dance moves. The non-lethal aspect of many of the picture’s battles suggests a poetic eroticism, particularly in the scenes with the forceful Leung and the gorgeous Zhang Zi-Yi. Their bouts of combat, lightened with flirtation, are some of the most romantic moments of the year."

Inside Llewyn Davis - Click here

"This is a film about a young artist who has pissed away his goodwill and entered the ‘failure’ stage because of an absolute reluctance to please others, a refusal to compromise in the face of the pressures of the real world. If you’ve ever borrowed too much money, broke someone’s heart, gone from couch to couch or absorbed a beating because you suspected it was deserved, this movie will resonate with you. Keep it away from a loved one who might just realize how stubborn, selfish, petty and ultimately human you really are. And, please oh please, see it. A Coen Brothers film is like a seed, one that grows into a beanstalk on second viewing, and this is one of their tallest heights."

Prisoners - Click here

"What I wouldn’t give for another version of this film told from the perspective of the less-driven parents of the other child, played by Terrence Howard and Viola Davis, possibly called, “These Crazy White People.” There’s a patronizing point to be made about an ongoing system of abuse here, but one that’s trapped underneath so many heavy-breathing suspense-thriller revelations that you thank the gods that director Denis Villenueve got his hands on the material, and not someone like rumored first choice Antoine Fuqua, who surely would have made an actioner where executive producer Mark Wahlberg busted down doors everywhere screaming, ‘Doo youz guys know what happened to my dawtah?’"

The Great Gatsby - Click here

"The experience of watching ‘Gatsby’ is also not unlike being drunk. At first, it’s a rush of colors and layers (the 3D is a wonder) as we take a dizzying tour into Gatsby’s world, where even the simplistic act of throwing shirts at the screen becomes the onscreen creation of an endless layering universe that weirdly reminded me of the doors sequence in ‘Crimewave.’ Soon, the parties stop, and people sit down, but the camera keeps moving, the rooms keep spinning, and you begin to regret ever sitting down to watch this ridiculous movie in the first place. Like in the book, Nick is our protagonist, but he is only a bystander in a late-film encounter between the main cast where Gatsby and Tom feud over Daisy’s intentions rather than her affections. This scene is abrasively long and disjointed, made even more uncomfortable by Daisy’s emotional distance and confusion, and it perfectly captures the feeling of boozing too much and watching everyone else either sober up and/or make terrible decisions. It helps that Tobey Maguire makes for a terrific reaction shot."

The Act of Killing - Click here

“‘The Act Of Killing’ is a mesmerizing doc, one that will haunt you long after you’ve left the theater, and most assuredly a must-see, a tonic to this year’s onslaught of blockbusters that have consistently trivialized the idea of death.”

The Broken Circle Breakdown - Click here

"A wonderful cocktail of European sexiness, bluegrass music and unexpectedly pointed politics. An exhausting, affecting film, there was nothing quite like it at the movies this year."

Omar - Click here

"Ultimately, ‘Omar’ gambles too hard on the side of propulsive action setups. The logic of the film starts to slip in favor of thriller tropes where everyone and no one is a suspect at the same time. And a late-film love triangle seems like a cruel complication for a film that otherwise reveals compassion in its characters for the tough choices that must be made. By the film’s third act, alliances are made and broken, but the film doesn’t even properly establish a time frame for these actions, particularly given Omar’s under-developed, under-explained home life. You can feel the film slipping away as certain characters begin to fondle the triggers on their guns, and as the picture stretches what could be a taut, involving short into feature length."

Saving Mr. Banks - Click here

"Of course, the crowning stroke is the 20% of the movie dedicated to Travers’ childhood, where we’re forced to endure Colin Farrell’s obnoxiously plucky alcoholic dad, a flighty sort you might remember from any number of intolerable stories about “magic parents” that never misses an opportunity for playtime and finds enough opportunities to clown while a disapproving woman (here Ruth Wilson) angrily crosses her arms. It’s movie mythmaking for morons, and if you’d like, please help yourself, and try not to speak to me."

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom - Click here

"Much of that comes from Idris Elba’s powerful performance. Elba is a beautiful man, with smoothly contoured skin and a soft smile. While he looks almost nothing like Mandela, his speech patterns are similar, and his thick-barreled chest helps spotlight the skinnier Mandela’s similarly broad shoulders. Elba makes Mandela into a bit of a sex symbol in early scenes – when his shirt comes off, it’s something of a revelation – but it fits with the idea of establishing that he was an outlaw, powering the African National Congress to take aggressive action against the government’s uneven policies and thinly-justified racism."

All Is Lost - Click here

"The film is always darting around the ship, but Redford often stops, and we’re allowed to watch him think. It’s impossible for a film buff to look at that face under siege and not think this is a legend in crisis mode, that it’s the industry that threatens to push Mr. Sundance to the margins. Ultimately it’s a sea change, and there isn’t much one of the godfathers of contemporary independent cinema can do but survive."

Lone Survivor - Click here

"The bullets growl through the scenes, and the puncture wounds are notably real and grotesque. This is a film made by people who have gotten shot, and the sensation of these men taking a slug or two from an unending avalanche of artillery is disquieting, certainly not fun. Berg doesn’t seem to have a consistent vision here. In some cases, he layers on the violence and these soldiers end up leaping tall heights, busting out full runs, and taking a couple of hot slugs. In others, the soldiers use their pinpoint precision to take out enemies one by one with a series of single shots that maximize bullets and minimize fuss."

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - Click here

"This movie has even less of its protagonist than the first film, drowning Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins under a mess of coincidence and happenstance that includes Luke Evans’ seafaring rogue who… let’s face it, Hollywood, you’re not going to make Luke Evans happen. It all hinges on a conclusion that hammers home the fact that a third film promises only eight hundred more climaxes, a few winks to the “LOTR” films, and more dragon shit. At this point, Jackson’s ingenuity remains, but if you were to replace him with Rob Bowman at this point, would anyone give a shit?"

Iron Man 3 - Click here

"In spite of that snoozer of a finale, I deeply appreciated how this film subverted the politics of the previous two films to make a point about the fearmongering of the military-industrial complex. Also, maybe the funniest of these silly superhero films thus far."

Star Trek Into Darkness - Click here

"And reinvent he has. Abrams has jettisoned any sort of intellectual curiosity and spirit of adventure from this title, one he’s treated as a brand name ready to be stuffed with used parts from other films. What’s more, this is a film that emphasizes plot points and secret twists as if they advance the story: given that none of the characters know the name “Khan,” the reveal that “John Harrison” is a fake is a surprise that doesn’t move the story along and it doesn’t deepen the narrative. Instead, it flatters the audience for The Wrath Of Khan as if it was a secret society who still remembers that thirty year old film. Star Trek used to challenge the audience to think differently, to engage with the world with a new, more welcoming spirit. This new Trek only seems interested in providing a service, one that involves mimicking the biggest films of the last twenty years, specifically the ones with the biggest massacres. You wonder what Abrams, a sentimental anti-intellectual who has never directed a single memorable frame in his entire career, has planned for the less-rigorous fantasy world of Star Wars, and how it will inevitably lead Hollywood full steam ahead into a creative Darkness.”


Feb 11

Our RoboCop Remake - (Full Movie)

“‘Our RoboCop Remake’ is a crowd-sourced film project based on the 1987 Paul Verhoeven classic. Connected through various filmmaking channels (including Channel 101) we’re 50 filmmakers (amateur and professional) from Los Angeles and New York who have split the original RoboCop into individual pieces and have remade the movie ourselves. Not necessarily a shot-for-shot remake, but a scene-for-scene retelling. As big fans of the original RoboCop, and as filmmakers and film fans admittedly rolling our eyes at the Hollywood remake machine, we’ve elected to do this remake thing our own way. Our RoboCop Remake premiered in Los Angeles on January 26th and New York on February 5th. On February 6th, it was released online.’

Saw the new “Robocop” tonight. It wasn’t terrible. This is a lot better.


Feb 6
“Which is to say he was repellant and seductive, hilarious, and dead-serious. Dodd’s sermons and speeches are blustery masterpieces because Dodd has commandeered the framework of the narrative, hoping he can wing it with the specifics. It’s a tightrope performance of a man on a tightrope: Hoffman is given enough of a comfort zone by Anderson to portray his contradictions just as Dodd constantly teeters on the edge of taste, sense, and the law. It’s a giant performance.”
I wrote something VERY lengthy about the late Mr. Hoffman, my favorite actor, here. Pass it on.
Also, click here to discover my ideal 24 hour Hoffman marathon.

Which is to say he was repellant and seductive, hilarious, and dead-serious. Dodd’s sermons and speeches are blustery masterpieces because Dodd has commandeered the framework of the narrative, hoping he can wing it with the specifics. It’s a tightrope performance of a man on a tightrope: Hoffman is given enough of a comfort zone by Anderson to portray his contradictions just as Dodd constantly teeters on the edge of taste, sense, and the law. It’s a giant performance.”

I wrote something VERY lengthy about the late Mr. Hoffman, my favorite actor, here. Pass it on.

Also, click here to discover my ideal 24 hour Hoffman marathon.


Feb 2
“I know how to do the play now. It will all take place over the course of one day. And that day will be the day before you died. That day was the happiest day of my life. Then I’ll be able to live it forever. See you soon.” Philip Seymour Hoffman as Caden Cotard, “Synecdoche, New York.”

Jan 24
THE LAST ONE… Movie Music, Vol. 5. Odds and ends, everything I missed. Let me know if these download okay for you.
Click here to download
Overseas Telephone Conversation – Alex Gopher & Xavier Jamaux (from Motorway)

Their Pie – Mark Orton (from Nebraska)
10538 Overture – Electric Light Orchestra (from American Hustle)
Let It Go – Selena Gomez (from Frozen)
Mutants… Surrender Now, Or Be Destroyed – Christopher Drake (from The Dark Knight Returns)
Young And Beautiful – Lana Del Rey (from The Great Gatsby)
Song On The Beach – Arcade Fire (from Her)
Perversions And Diversions – Pino Donaggio (from Passion)
Hey Leroy, Your Mama’s Calling You – Jimmy Castor & John Pruitt (from Wolf Of Wall Street)
Amen – Alex Ebert (from All Is Lost)
Bleeding Heart – Atticus Ross, Claudia Sarne, Leopold Ross (from Broken City)
Doby – Ron Burgundy (from Anchorman 2)
Dies Irae – Johnathan Snipes & William Hutson (from Room 237)
Alone Yet Not Alone – Joni Eareckson Tada
They Say Surrender – Aqualash (from Kiss of the Damned)
The Moon Song – Karen O (from Her)
Last Mile Home (Acoustic) – Kings Of Leon (from August: Osage County)

THE LAST ONE… Movie Music, Vol. 5. Odds and ends, everything I missed. Let me know if these download okay for you.

Click here to download

Overseas Telephone Conversation – Alex Gopher & Xavier Jamaux (from Motorway)

Their Pie – Mark Orton (from Nebraska)

10538 Overture – Electric Light Orchestra (from American Hustle)

Let It Go – Selena Gomez (from Frozen)

Mutants… Surrender Now, Or Be Destroyed – Christopher Drake (from The Dark Knight Returns)

Young And Beautiful – Lana Del Rey (from The Great Gatsby)

Song On The Beach – Arcade Fire (from Her)

Perversions And Diversions – Pino Donaggio (from Passion)

Hey Leroy, Your Mama’s Calling You – Jimmy Castor & John Pruitt (from Wolf Of Wall Street)

Amen – Alex Ebert (from All Is Lost)

Bleeding Heart – Atticus Ross, Claudia Sarne, Leopold Ross (from Broken City)

Doby – Ron Burgundy (from Anchorman 2)

Dies Irae – Johnathan Snipes & William Hutson (from Room 237)

Alone Yet Not Alone – Joni Eareckson Tada

They Say Surrender – Aqualash (from Kiss of the Damned)

The Moon Song – Karen O (from Her)

Last Mile Home (Acoustic) – Kings Of Leon (from August: Osage County)


Jan 23

Anonymous asked: What are some good movies to watch when you're sick with the flu?

Depends on the person.


Philip Seymour Hoffman is “Her.”


Jan 18

auteuriste:

"We’re gonna stick, you and me. When all goes black soon, you’ll be my last image"

Les Amants du Pont-Neuf, Leos Carax, 1991.

SUCH a great movie.

(via akashkumar)


No idea this existed… THE DOBERMAN GANG about a group of canine bank robbers!


90svideostoregirl:

What an odd choice of scene for a video store ad for Dracula. Huh.

Kind of an awesome, super-nerdy blog. Check it out.

90svideostoregirl:

What an odd choice of scene for a video store ad for Dracula. Huh.

Kind of an awesome, super-nerdy blog. Check it out.


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