Broken Flowers (2005) ***1/2

I finally got around to seeing this. I think I avoided it for a long time because I figured it was going to be another LOST IN TRANSLATION (based on the bland advertising), but it's not. The tone is different (it definitely feels like a Jarmusch film) and it's funnier (and better).

I was worried about Murray just doing his "older Bill Murray emotionless except for extremely subtle facial expressions" thing and he does, but I wasn't bothered by it. But it's actually the other characters (and actors) that interested me more - Jeffrey Wright steals the scenes that he's in, Christopher McDonald is hilarious, Sharon Stone is great, Alexis Dziena is just...wow, and Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange and Tilda Swinton all round out the film nicely. Very pleasantly surprised.


Focus On Film Podcast - Episode 18: September 2014 Criterion Titles

Focus On Film Episode 18 is up!

Download the MP3 here.
Don't forget to Like Media Meltdown Podcast on Facebook, follow on Twitter and Tumblr and subscribe on iTunes.

In this episode:

"Focus On Film Theme" & other music: Daniel Sardella


Touch (1997) **1/2

I finished reading the book recently and wasn't aware that there was a film version until then. Despite Paul Schrader writing the screenplay and directing and a decent cast (Bridget Fonda, Christopher Walken, Tom Arnold), this one really fails to capture that Elmore Leonard feel the way that GET SHORTY, JACKIE BROWN and OUT OF SIGHT (still the best Elmore adaptation IMO) did so well in the 90s. Which might have been hard to do anyway, as the book is quite different from most of Leonard's typical fare. Regardless, the tone of this film is scattershot, most of the actors were miscast and/or poorly adapted and the score (by Dave Grohl) is all wrong for a Leonard adaptation.

Some fun facts: Schrader originally wanted to adapt Leonard's 'Rum Punch', but when Tarantino got the rights and made JACKIE BROWN, Schrader decided to adapt 'Touch' instead. AND Fonda had roles in both films, both released in 1997!

Possession (1981) ****1/2

Another winner from Zulawski, a director of many unsettling, inexplicable, yet fascinating and intriguing films. I haven't regretted blind buying a single one of his films from Mondo Vision and at this point I will buy any movie with his name on it.


X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014) ***1/2

Solid. Better than, a lot of the time. One flat-out movie-stealing sequence with Quicksilver. But a bunch of wasted characters/actors (Bishop, Storm, Colossus, Kitty Pryde), a few dodgy CG sequences, some filler, some eye-rolling stuff. And if I can just be nit-picky, it STILL bothers me that Wolvie's chops practically touch. It just doesn't look right. Not as good as FIRST CLASS, but about on par with X2.


Cat People (1982) ***

A very uneven film, but certainly interesting and not a lazy remake.

Forbidden Zone (1980) ****

Movie Matters [Music] Vol. 4 - Welcome Dan, the Man with The Fitted Shirt

We bring you the latest instalment of the Movie Matters [Music] podcast -- the spin-off series where soaring, bombastic, introspective and timeless film scores reverberate. If you've an avid appreciation of film scores or perhaps more simply a passing interest in the art of film music, hopefully this fourth volume of Movie Matters [Music], consisting of another eclectic mix of composers' work, will offer something of interest for you.

Lee is thrilled to welcome friend of the Movie Matters podcast, and recurring guest host, the musical maestro himself, Mr. Daniel Sardella (Focus On FilmThe Fitted Shirt) onto the show for his Movie Matters [Music] debut. We kick off proceedings by hearing more about Dan and his podcasting and musical endeavours. We then reveal more of our tastes in film scores by sharing and discussing a mixture of chosen tracks from a variety of composers.

As is our custom, we've deliberately omitted the track listing from this post in an attempt to keep the soundtrack choices a surprise. On that note, beware of reading the "links for reference" below if you do not wish to see any potential spoilers. However, the curious can find full details via iTunes by clicking the "i" icon -- including information about additional music and audio clips featured in this episode. (Alternatively, send us an email and we can provide you with a full breakdown.)

Feedback from our listeners is always welcome and appreciated. So please feel free to get in touch -- moviematterspodcast@gmail.com -- and let us know your thoughts on this episode/the film music we featured. Moreover, why not request a track you'd like to hear on a future Movie Matters [Music] instalment? Please include details of the composer, the track name, the film/soundtrack the piece is from and most importantly why you like it. Many thanks in advance.

Created by Lee Howard
Edited and with music/audio selection by Lee Howard and Daniel Sardella
Direct download | iTunes | Blog | Letterboxd | Twitter | Email

Links for reference:

Disclaimer: All music used in this podcast is for preview/evaluation purposes and we urge you to purchase the tracks you liked or better still the full motion picture scores.

Coup de Torchon (1981) ***1/2

An interesting but completely different take on Jim Thompson's novel 'Pop. 1280'.


The Dance Of Reality (2013) ****

Another indescribable, mind-boggling, thought-provoking, beautiful and gruesome, poetic and unique film from Jodo. An early scene featuring some dodgy CGI had me slightly worried, but my fears were quickly absolved. None of his films are easy to digest and many may not know how to react to them. I'm glad that there are still some filmmakers making strange and deeply personal cinema out there.

Watch this clip. If it bothers you in any way, you have no business watching a Jodorowsky film.