Thursday, January 27, 2011

The White Elephant Strikes Back

Well, you asked for it! And if you didn’t, you should have, because after the success of last June’s White Elephant Blogathon- the fourth to date and the first held here at Silly Hats Only- it’s coming back once more. And this time, I’ll be running it on April Fool’s Day, as God and creator Ben Lim intended.

If you’ve participated in the past, you already know the drill. If you’re new to the White Elephant game, the rules are as follows:

1) Submit the title of a movie that you want someone else to review (preferably something available via Netflix).
2) Review the movie that you get assigned and post the review for your site/blog on April 1.
3) Have fun!

As always, this year promises a memorable cross-section of cinema’s widows and orphans- notorious stinkers (THE PEST, SWEPT AWAY), cult favorites (ISHTAR, CRIMES OF PASSION), so-bad-they’re-great classics (GYMKATA, PIECES), and movies that time almost forgot (ROCK’N’ROLL NIGHTMARE, ROLLER GATOR). And if history is any indication, there should be at least a handful of legitimately good movies thrown into the mix (SUMMER / THE GREEN RAY), but be warned- just because the person submitting a movie likes it doesn’t mean you will too (THE INTRUDER).

So if you’re interested in taking part this year- and really, why wouldn’t you?- please send your submission to me at no later than February 15. And if you’d like to know more about the White Elephant Blogathon, feel free to e-Mail me about that as well.

See you all on April Fool’s Day!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Gritty Fighter

So I finally managed to crank out a pair of multi-paragraph reviews for a change. Enjoy!

(click poster to link to review)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Screener Grubbing, 2010 Muriels Edition

Hey everyone. Muriel season is about to kick off, which means I need to get caught up with a mess of 2010 releases before I feel good about submitting my ballot. So just like last year I’m asking you folks for help in getting this done. I’ve made a list of the movies I most want to see before the deadline (end of January, in case you’re wondering), and I’m listing them here in order of how much I want to see them. So if anyone reading this could point me toward a screener of any/all of the titles listed below, I would be much obliged (as in, I’d gladly pay for shipping). If you think you could help out in this area, shoot me an e-Mail at And thanks in advance for your help.

Anyway, here’s the list.

1. Another Year (Leigh) – I haven’t lovedlovedloved a new Leigh film since Topsy-Turvy, but still- it seems unconscionable to do a ballot without having seen this. If nothing else, it has a good chance of impacting the performance awards.

2. Hadewjich (Dumont) – Dumont doesn’t always make great movies, but he’s a visionary through and through, which means there’s always the potential for greatness.

3. The Illusionist (Chomet) – As a Tati fan, I’m really curious about this one. Chomet might go overboard on the whimsical touches, but still, it’s Tati.

4. Somewhere (Coppola) – like Another Year and several other titles listed here, the web sites for various Columbus theatres have this listed as “Coming Soon”, which doesn’t inspire confidence in a time when arthouse screens are likely to be tied up with Black Swan and The King’s Speech for the next month.

5. Amer (Cattet/Forzani) – this one actually has a booking in Columbus, but it’s only scheduled to show once on a Saturday afternoon, which conflicts with one of my classes (d’oh!). Word on this giallo homage is really strong, so I’m hoping to have a chance to watch this one way or another.

6. And Everything Is Going Fine (Soderbergh) – waiting on new Soderbergh movies might be a lot like waiting for the subway in NYC, but that doesn’t mean I want to miss anything he does.

7. Inspector Bellamy (Chabrol) – Chabrol passed on this year, and I just wouldn’t feel right letting his passing go by without giving his latest (last?) film a shot. Besides, A Girl Cut in Two was a serious contender two years ago.

8. Ne Change Rien (Costa) – see #2. Costa’s work has yet to grab me, but he’s clearly a major talent, so maybe this will be the one that finally wins me over. It’s booked at the Wex on February, which is after the deadline, so that option’s out.

9. Let Me In (Reeves) – missed this back in its short October release, mostly because I wasn’t a big Let the Right One In and the reviews for this remake didn’t inspire confidence. But since then some people I respect highly have made me reassess my initial impressions. Could I have overlooked something special?

10. Blue Valentine (Cianfrance) – See #4.

11. Rabbit Hole (Mitchell) – See #4.

And if you see anything else on my full need-to-see list that you would be willing to part with (temporarily at least), feel free to send me an e-Mail letting me know. Again, my e-Mail address is Thanks again.