The Intermittent Kevin

As rarely and randomly updated as most blogs

Posts Tagged ‘movies

Figuring Out This MJ Character

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I’m watching “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” the documentary cobbled together out of rehearsal footage from Michael’s farewell concert series (which, of course, was cancelled due to a sudden onset of death).

Michael's replacement kept trying to eat the choreographer.

I could spend this whole post describing the strange contradiction that Michael represented. He was a certified weirdo, made even weirder by an unlimited spending account; a freakish and very public example of body dysmorphic disorder; and if not a pedophile, certainly a man who didn’t have a typical notion of how to behave around kids.

And yet. And yet! Watching him prance around onstage, in his skinny pants and oddball jackets, I was involuntarily sucked into the performance. Michael had infinite stage presence and wrote timeless pop songs that were totally unlike anyone else’s. As Chris Rock so elegantly put it:

“How much do we love Michael Jackson? We love Michael so much, we let the first kid SLIDE!”

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Written by Kevin Miller

June 18, 2010 at 10:47 pm

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Why We Still Love “Back to the Future”

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What's with the life preserver?

On Sunday morning, myself and a few friends drove to the Alamo Drafthouse for one of their famous “feasts”—expensive, multiple-course menus paired with a movie marathon. This time it was the Back to the Future trilogy, for which they pulled out quite a few of the stops. Three shiny DeLoreans were parked out front. BTTF-themed collectibles were raffled off. And in the best part of the day, Christopher Lloyd himself made a surprise appearance for a Q&A—he very rarely does these.

He's the Doc Brown-looking guy in the middle.

Prior to the show, one of the Alamo employes warmed up the crowd briefly and pointed out how, on a weekend where we could see remakes of The Karate Kid and The A-Team back-to-back, the notion of a modern Hollywood remake of Back to the Future is all but inconceivable. It doesn’t mean they wouldn’t try, of course, but his point remains valid. What’s so special about the time-travel movie?

Besides the kick-ass time machine, that is.


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Written by Kevin Miller

June 15, 2010 at 7:56 pm

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Best movies of the Aughts, Part 2

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Without further ado…

Best in Show (2000, Christopher Guest)

You should love your pets; you just shouldn't... LOVE your pets.

I wanted to make sure a straight comedy got in here. The latter half of the Aughts saw the triumphant return of the rated-R comedy, from Knocked Up to The 40-Year-Old Virgin to The Hangover. Any of these are worth considering; but I’m going a different route with Best in Show, Mr. Guest’s finest outing at his trademark mockumentary format.

Just like a well-done documentary, it lets you make fun of the ridiculous characters while empathizing with their love—irrational, like all love—for their dogs. A few of the humorous bits are a bit too broad (you’re gay, we get it) but you’re usually giggling too much to care.

Life Imitating Art: When the owner of the poodle playing Rhapsody in White was presented with this movie, she didn’t read the full script. When she realized that her dog would not be winning ‘Best in Show’ at the end of the movie, she quickly pulled the dog out of production. The crew had to get a different poodle and spray paint its fur so it looked exactly the same.
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Written by Kevin Miller

January 3, 2010 at 11:15 pm

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Best movies of the Aughts, Part 1

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Sorry, Ker. Sorry, Terl.

I spent a little time on the drive down to San Antonio the other night discussing the films of the decade with my wife, since so many professional critics have had their crack at it (here’s Ebert’s).

It’s hard to concoct such a list off the top of one’s head; we couldn’t even remember which movies came out in the last ten years—it’s a long time. Slight difficulty is added by the fact that 1999 was one of the best years for movies ever, too. So those are all out.

But using a complex system of red felt pen and index cards, we perused the Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for the last ten years, the IMDB Top 250, and our own foggy memories. This list is semi-collaborative, though MB had a few differences.

One more note: it’s funny how tastes change over time. I made annual “best of” lists from 1999-2002, and flicks that were somewhat down the list at the time (I marked Almost Famous as the 6th-best of 2000) have not only held up but proven themselves to be classics.

Okay, enough talk, let’s get crackin.
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Written by Kevin Miller

January 3, 2010 at 6:03 pm

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1999: Great year for movies

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It’s crossed my mind before that 1999 – spanning my 3rd and 4th years of college – was a damn good year for movies. Just ran across this list, and realized how amazingly right I was. Some of these movies made me cry from their goodness.

I put a star next to movies that I would consider in my personal "top 100." Eight in just one year!

(Lifted from No Kubrick Movie Is Just A Movie: 10 Years After Eyes Wide Shut)
Stanley Kubrick, Eyes Wide Shut
Terence Malik, The Thin Red Line [1]
George Lucas, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace [2]
The Wachowski Brothers, The Matrix
David Cronenberg, eXistenZ


It’s like The Matrix with fleshy placentas instead of machines.

David Fincher, Fight Club*
David Lynch,The Straight Story
Spike Jonze, Being John Malkovich* [3]
Michael Mann, The Insider
Paul Thomas Anderson, Magnolia


Respect the cock.

Sam Mendes, American Beauty* [4]
Robert Altman, Cookie’s Fortune
Alexander Payne, Election*
M. Night Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense
Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, The Blair Witch Project*
Brad Bird, The Iron Giant*
Guy Ritchie, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Steven Soderbergh, The Limey


"Say General Zod again."

Mike Judge, Office Space*
Tom Tykwer, Run Lola Run*
Julie Taymor, Titus
John Lasseter, Toy Story 2
David O. Russell, Three Kings [5]

[1] I cheated. It was released in Oscar season 2008.
[2] Not saying it was good, just momentous. Plus camping out for tickets is one of my happiest memories.
[3] The first studio movie for both Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman.
[4] Written by Alan Ball, who has gone on to create Six Feet Under and True Blood.
[5] Ice Cube and Marky Mark can act!

Written by Kevin Miller

July 17, 2009 at 10:16 am

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