Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Good Night or Good Luck?

"Good Night or Good Luck?"

That's it.

That's the final poll over at This or That, the online poll site with the tagline: "Two Choices. Zero Context. Infinite Fun."

Well, the infinite fun lasted three years, and while not "infinite" in the strictest sense of the word, it was a pretty good run.

A buddy of mine from college started the site and it attracted quite the eclectic community, well beyond the group of college friends who knew about it from the beginning. Over these three years, it has been fun to get to know one another. Some (who only knew each other from ToT) have even arranged to meet in person!

Many of us are on Facebook and will continue contact that way. There is a Google Group that is intended to continue with daily polls.

Nonetheless, an era is coming to an end.

Good night, and good luck!

Films Recently Watched:

Gaslight (1944) dir. by George Cukor
Watched this on the recommendation of a friend. A decent psychological thriller along the lines of many films directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Worth seeing for Ingrid Bergman's performance, alone. Also note the appearance of a very young Angela Lansbury.

Léon (1994) dir. by Luc Besson
Reviewing a favorite.

Man on Wire (2008) dir. by James Marsh
Fascinating documentary about French tightrope performer, Philippe Petit's quest to walk on a wire suspended between the two towers of the newly constructed (in 1974) World Trade Center. On the documentary, Petit's mannerisms and delivery got a bit over the top at times, but it was worth it for the story he was telling. Such an incredible achievement mostly for the sake of the beauty of the thing. Time Magazine called the stunt the "Artistic Crime of the Century." And rightly so.

Moulin Rouge! (2001) dir. by Baz Luhrmann
It's funny the things that can prompt me to watch a film. This time, one of my 'This or That' friends on Facebook simply mentioned a song from Moulin Rouge, so I put in the DVD to hear that performance. Ended up watching the whole thing.

Revolutionary Road (2008) dir. by Sam Mendes
Hardly the "feel good" movie of the year, but wonderfully directed and acted. Amazing sets and natural lighting throughout.

Rushmore (1998) dir. by Wes Anderson
I'd seen it before, but I borrowed this from a friend to watch again. Quirky and fun.

Same Time, Next Year (1978) dir. by Robert Mulligan
Recommended by a friend. The brief description made me think that maybe it would be similar to Brief Encounter. It isn't. At all. Strangers meet on a weekend retreat and proceed to carry on an adulterous affair annually. It's interesting to see the passage of time (about 25 years; mid-fifties through late seventies), and there are moments where the writing is solid, but something makes be believe this story works better on stage (for which it was written) than on film.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) dir. by Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
Interesting story. Not sure it was worthy of the 'Best Picture' Oscar it was awarded, though.

The Big Chill (1983) dir. by Lawrence Kasdan
Recommended by a friend, same friend who recommended "Same Time, Next Year." :-)

This one didn't do anything for me. Quite the ensemble cast (Kevin Kline, William Hurt, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Berenger, Glenn Close), some good moments, but again, I think that this might work better on stage than on film.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) dir. by David Fincher
Another Interesting story. Also nominated for 'Best Picture' Oscar by the Academy. Solid CG work.

The Iron Giant (1999) dir. by Brad Bird
Once again, a Facebook posting forced me to watch a movie, too late at night. Another fan of The Iron Giant mentioned that it was the 10th Anniversary of the day on which it opened in theaters. So I watched it in celebration.

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