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Entries in End of Watch (7)

Sunday
Jul 31 2016

Top 7 David Harbour

A surprise list to start your morning off right.We've been thinking a lot aboutStranger Thingsthese past couple of weeks,and many of those thoughts have revolved around the unexpectedly hefty role for usual supporting playerDavid Harbour.I personally think he's Best in Show in that sci-fi fantasy 80s nostalgia trip.The first time I remember seeing him was on Broadway in 2001 as the object of Robert Sean Leonard's crushing in Tom Stoppard'sThe Invention of Love.His profile has been growing slowly ever since and its a treat to see him make so much of such a big opportunity in the Netflix hit.

Favorite David Harbour Performances

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Wednesday
Oct 29 2014

'Nightcrawler' and L.A.in the Digital Age

Glennhere to offer a rebuttal to my own work.

When I reviewed David Cronenberg'sMaps to the Starsat the New York Film Festival,I washighly criticalof the film's look.It's the ugliest film of 2014 so far and will likely remain a recurring staple of my anti-digital rants for some time to come.Fair is fair,however,and lest I get the reputation of somebody who is strictly against digital,I wanted to sing the praises of Robert Elswit's work onNightcrawler.Neither a horror film as befitting its Halloween release date,nor a superhero film like many people have thought due to its title.Yet,in spite it this,the film works as both an unsettling work of urban and moral decay and a portrait of a man who,in his own eyes,is a bit of a hero.

Nightcrawleris a film that has a visual point of view,finding interesting compositions to tell a story that in the grand scheme of things is fairly conventional in its narrative beats and structure.It takes the familiar image of Los Angeles and twists it into a city where at night it becomes a muddy-skied haze.This is a film that is both gorgeous to look at and repugnant to the eye at the same time.The Los Angeles ofNightcrawlerseethes and creeps and Elswit's camera shows just what can be achieved with the medium.

Directed by Dan Gilroy - not to be confused with brothers Tony Gilroy (the film's producer and director ofMichael Clayton) or John Gilroy (the editor) - it's certainly very much inspired by the form-pushing work of Dion Beebe (Team Film Experience'sTop Ten Greatest Working Cinematographers) and Paul Cameron on Michael Mann'sCollateral.I don't consider this much of an issue given that film had perhaps my favourite cinematography of the '00s,and what's the point of groundbreaking work in the industry if it can't be adapted and played with by future filmmakers?In a way it's the same as how another Jake Gyllenhaal film,End of Watch,appropriated the look made famous by found footage horror and supplanted it onto the streets of gangland L.A.

Despite what some people may think,I am very much capable of falling head over heels for digital camerawork.I just appreciate it when filmmakers do something with the format that you otherwise can't with film.What's the point of the conversion if not to do something unique that sets it apart?I have no doubt celluloid would have worked amazingly for Gilroy's film,and in fact he did film the daytime sequences on 35mm highlighting how different the two mediums can be.I enjoyed watching that disparity taken advantage of,an aesthetic choice that entirely works forNightcrawleras it captures Gyllenhaal's sunken face as he films the aftermath of the city's violence,pawning his footage to bottom-of-the-barrel TV networks.Leaving my screening and I couldn't help but think of whatMaps to the Starscould've been if they'd had anything close to resemblingNightcrawler'skeen sense of craft.That the film is partially about the alarming ease that we can capture the world within which we exist,it makes it incredibly relevant piece of work,too.

Monday
Jan 07 2013

Best of 2012: Nathaniel's Honorable Mentions

We're reached the End of Watch.No,not the movie of that title though we'll soon get to it.But the invisible line I have to draw on my movie calendar between Now and Then.I've squeezed more screenings in this past month than I probably should have for a clear head but I must finally cut myself off.Now is the time to take stock and share favorites.The Film Bitch Awardshave begun with my choices for Best Screenplays now posted."But,wait,where's the top ten?"you ask.We're getting there.But first we start right here...

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?(In No Particular Order)
No movie seemed more in my personal wheelhouse this year that Joe Wright's sumptuousANNA KARENINAbut in truth it divided me.lots more movie-lovin' after the jump...

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Wednesday
Dec 05 2012

It's ZDT for the NBR

And thingswerelooking so super extra competitive this year!Just a few days agoLes Miz,Argo,Lincoln,andZero Dark Thirtyall seemed to be on somewhat equal footing and to a lesser extentBeasts of the Southern Wild,Silver Linings Playbook,andLife of Pihad all received enough warmish embraces from critics,audiences and  Oscared corners of the showbiz culture that we could look forward to a real competition once the Oscar nominations were announced on January 10th.But with the one-two-zero-dark punch of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review,the Oscar race suddenly looks a bit less like a clusterfuck and a ltitle more like a done deal.Zero Dark Thirty,Kathryn Bigelow's engrossing account of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden,is suddenly apparently way out front.The NBR generally attempts to spread the wealth but not so this year since they gaveZDTthree of their top prizes (Pic,Director,Actress)

Will enough critics groups and precursors disagree or is this just one of those years that seemed competitive and then suddenly wasn't...like,oh,so many years in the past!

Winners and discussion after the jump

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Friday
Nov 23 2012

Thanksgiving Linkovers

Good afternoon!I only had one piece of pumpkin pie last night so it absolutely cannot be counted as an unqualified success of a Thanksgiving.So,desperate for leftovers (I wasn't even sent home with any spare pie!),I turn to good blogs,the whip cream of this internet pie.

Film Dr.a pictorial primer onTwilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
MNPPJA's living vicariously through Amanda Seyfried fixation continues unabated
TowleroadhomoeroticSkyfallposter

In Contentionthe first of countless top ten lists,Cahiers du Cinema findsHoly Motorsat the top
DP/30Jake Gyllenhaal talksEnd of Watch.Which I still haven't seen.I am a bad Gyllenhaalic this year.(I also missedWon't Back Down)
Awards DailySasha interviews Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
LA TimesTracy Letts says he didn't alter much aboutAugust: Osage Countyfor the screen in his screenplay.So...it's three hours long then?
MovieLineNoomi Rapace does her best Mick Jagger in a new music video.But is it Mick Jaggery enough?
EmpireMarisa Tomei may co-star in a new Hugh Grant romcom.I can see that pairing totally working.

Finally...
Timothy Brayton,easily one of the best (and most completist-friendly) online film critics,has rankedevery single Bond film(with each link going to a new review) theBond Girlsand eachJames Bond.That's a lot of 007.

Yes yes.I'll post the results of the readers poll here soon -- sorry for the holiday delay -- but before we are totally Bonded out,knock back a martini with Tim's reviews and lists.

Sunday
Sep 23 2012

Trouble With The House at the End of Watched Curved Street

It was a photo finish this weekend with Clint Eastwood,Jennifer Lawrence,and Jake Gyllenhaal all struggling to land in first place.We won't really know who did until tomorrow.If you ask me that's a poor showing for Jennifer (given that horror is an easy cash grab on opening weekends) and Clint and a redemptive showing for Jakey who pundits always like to claim is over as a bankable leading man if he ever was.But maybe that's my bias spinning it since I have yet to seek treatment for the Gyllenhaalism.(Next up Maggie G inWon't Back Down!)

Box Office Fifteen
[TIE] 01END OF WATCH$13 *NEW*
[TIE] 01HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET$13 *NEW*
03TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE$12.7 *NEW*
04FINDING NEMO 3-D$9.4(cum $29.9 this time 'round)
05RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION$6.7(cum $33.4)
06DREDD$6.3 *NEW*
07THE MASTER$5(cum.$6.0)
08POSSESSION$2.6(cum.$45.6)
09LAWLESS$2.3(cum.$34.5)REVIEW
10PARANORMAN$2.2(cum.$52.5)
11THE BOURNE LEGACY$1.6(cum.$110.4)
12THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN$1.5(cum.$48.6)REVIEW
13THE EXPENDABLES 2$1.4(cum.$82.9)Let's cast a female version
14ARBITRAGE$1.2(cum.$3.9)
15THE DARK KNIGHT RISES$1.2(cum.$443.1)REVIEW

The Masterhad the healthiest per screen average among the wide openings (though it's only just barely "wide"now) but P.T.Anderson movies have never made as much by the end of their run asThe Odd Life of Timothy Greenalready has (approaching $50 million) which is totally why we can't have nice things.Adults with taste continue to destroy Hollywood by staying at home and watching their premium channels instead of supporting films made for them at the theaters.In limited releasePerks of Being a Wallflowerled the arthouse with a very healthy per screen average and a quarter million gross in its first weekend.

What did you see this weekend?And who isstillgoing to Batman?He hung up his cowl,people!

In more timely news,are you watching the Emmys with us tonight?If so "see"you in the comments section.