This is Tom Carson's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Tom Carson's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Tom Carson
Recent Activity
Poor Lex G! Glenn will recognize the Vaughn Meader/Lenny Bruce ref.
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2013 on Yarbles at Some Came Running
jbryant: it ain't offscreen. Fancily photographed as a reflection in another character's eye,but visualized nonetheless.
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2013 on Away! at Some Came Running
Even allowing that TLR's weirdness is "interesting" -- and I think it's just an overstuffed train wreck of multiple agendas, myself -- there is such a thing as a movie's implied compact with its audience, particularly when it's a supposed kiddie flick. I've read about droves of parents exiting with their tykes as soon as [SPOILER ALERT] one character cuts out and eats another one's heart. I'm with them, and remember: that's one hefty chunk of change for parents to burn off at the multiplex all of 1/2 hour in.
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2013 on Away! at Some Came Running
Many thanks for the link, Glenn. Otherwise, who the hell knows what accounts for my more favorable reaction -- so far unshared by the crits I think well of, with D. Edelstein only a partial exception ? I crawled into the screening with pretty low expectations, so maybe I was just unusually smitten by anything that seemed to be deviating from formula and in a mood to read too much into it so far as Black et. al.'s intentions were concerned. I do think the movie was at least trying for something more interesting than the same old-same old, though.
Since Spring Breakers and Upstream Color are my two favorite movies of 2013 (so far), I must admit I'm pining for your opinions of both.
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2013 on The current cinema at Some Came Running
May I say I'm not happy with the way Django has unleashed all the Tarantino hatuhs who seize on its disappointments to jeer that he was never any good. But as a QT admirer, I do wonder why DU features the least interesting, most one-dimensional female character he's ever written. Kerry Washington spends the movie playing a cipher, and that's not Kerry Washington's fault. Normally, Quentin dotes on the gals like few directors this side of Almodovar, but something hung him up here.
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2013 on A prophet at Some Came Running
Please, Mr. Montin, could either you or Mr. Greenwald direct me to the critics who insisted that ZD30 "should be regarded purely as an apolitical 'work of art'"? Every colleague whose work I respect was more than alert to its moral and political implications, and that was reflected in their reviews whether I agree with their conclusions or not.
Please, all of you. If you're going to lean on Jane MAYER -- great reporter, lousy movie critic -- at least spell her goddam name right. I did. She is apparently also the "Jen" in ex-SEAL "Mark Owen's" NO EASY DAY.
OK, let's call it a mulligan. But if Bigelow is "really in demand," how come this is her first movie in five years? (Hurt Locker played at Toronto well before anyone picked it up.) As for Maya, a) she ain't "dreamed up" -- her real-life original is well documented -- and b) "heroic" is an incomplete (at best) characterization. Toss in how forlorn and baffled she is about her purpose in life in ZD30's closing scenes, and then we can talk.
You sort of lost me at "hot female" director, Walter.
I don't know enough to have a useful opinion about this "baseless smears" bit in relation to Greenwald's past history. But I think it's worth pointing out that he and Andrew Sullivan did smear Kathryn Bigelow before either of them had bothered to check out the evidence firsthand. Thanks to them, she'll be "torture apologist Kathryn Bigelow" for the rest of her life in the minds of any number of people who hadn't and now never will see ZD30 either. Greenwald's qualifier in his original Guardian piece that he wasn't "reviewing" the movie is specious, disingenuous nonsense. Nope, of course he wasn't -- all he was doing was condemning it and blackening Bigelow's and Mark Boal's names sight unseen. I'm aware that both he and Sullivan have since seen ZD30 and written more about it, with GG doubling down on his original argument and Sullivan's opinion changing 180 degrees. But it never occurred to Sullivan to apologize for the damage he'd done her reputation by then. Is that inconsequential? Not quite. I don't give a damn about the Oscars myself, but they matter in Hollywood. Any slim chance ZD30 had of winning one of the big ones was probably doomed by Greenwald's first piece. Unless Academy voters have developed a spine I've never discerned up to now, they're unlikely to vote for a movie that's been accused of "glorifying" torture, not even if they've seen it themselves and know better. It's just not worth the headache of defending their choice. That will have an effect on Bigelow's career and choice of projects, and my impression is that she's had enough trouble getting her movies green-lighted as is. Part of what infuriates me about this is that Greenwald and even Jane Mayer -- for whom I've got far more respect in other contexts -- plainly can't see filmmakers like Bigelow as individuals who fight at often great cost to put their visions (like 'em or not) onscreen. To treat her as some sort of lawn-troll intermediary for what "Hollywood" does in corporate terms is a measure of their ignorance. And as it happens, there's a useful term in this country's political lexicon for smearing people without bothering to check out beforehand whether the facts back you up or caring about the consequences. Funnily enough, as Greenwald probably knows, it ended up damaging the careers of lots of people in Hollywood the first time around as well.
So much for unhijacking. If I can trust my memory, Defending Your Life is definitely much stronger than what followed it. I just remember it was the first time I'd seen weak spots and a hint of mush in a Brooks movie, faults that got more dominant in the flimsy stuff later on. I can see Grant L's point about him wanting to move on from just satirizing narcissism, but I don't think he came up with especially good answers about what he should move on to -- maybe because he kept himself front and center. It might have been interesting to see him direct a movie he didn't act in.
Toggle Commented Dec 11, 2012 on Literary interlude at Some Came Running
@Grant L: not to hijack the thread, but you ask, so I answer. I haven't seen Defending Yr Life since it came out and might think differently/better of it now. But at the time, as I recall, I just thought the whole concept of "redemption" in that one was something a younger Brooks would have scoffed at. Or put between air quotes the size of a tiger's fangs, anyway.
Toggle Commented Dec 11, 2012 on Literary interlude at Some Came Running
No screenings yet in NOLA, so I'm out of the loop, GK. But given what I've heard so far, I'm seriously wondering WTFIU.
Toggle Commented Dec 10, 2012 on Literary interlude at Some Came Running
Glenn, why do I have a glum feeling this is your way of prepping us for your verdict on Django Unchained?
Toggle Commented Dec 10, 2012 on Literary interlude at Some Came Running
Wot, not one mention of Jackie Earle Haley? For those of us geek enough to know this or that about Confederate Vice Presidents (meaning one), that scene is killah.
Took me a couple of minutes to get the relevance, but fingers crossed for you and YLW until Sandy's over.
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2012 on Image of the day, 10/29/12 at Some Came Running
I can understand the people who -- despite misgivings -- want to compliment CLOUD ATLAS for being "ambitious." We'd all like to see Hollywood taking more dares. But as Kris Kristofferson once said while serving on a film jury, "Shit don't beget nothing but more shit."
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2012 on "Cloud Atlas" at Some Came Running
Based on my experience with decision-making at Those Stupid Magazines We All Hate, I'd bet anything TFB is right. Even if you're Soderbergh, my hunch is you aren't getting a decision. You're getting total Chicken Little panic at the idea of making one, making "No" the safe default option.
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2012 on "Argo" (and logos) at Some Came Running
I have no idea why you have such an emetic reaction to FRANCES HA being described as a "valentine" or a "love letter." It obviously is, with the tracking shots of Greta alternately running and dancing down the street to the tune of "Modern Love" being Exhibit A. Plus, it's not like Baumbach isn't notorious for mining his personal life in his movies, making that a legitimate topic for reviewers to address. I quite liked the movie, by the way.
Toggle Commented Sep 28, 2012 on NYFF 2012: "Frances Ha" at Some Came Running
I just answered the same question for Carrie Rickey, and I pity anyone who can top this: watching Last Tango in Paris at age 17 with my mother on one side and my girlfriend on the other. As we exited, my mom sighed happily, "Boy, would your dad have LOVED that movie," making my brain-freeze complete.
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2012 on Almost too easy at Some Came Running
GK, will you please try to remember that some of your readers are elderly folk with wozzly tickers? I saw "Oh God No" and the Repulsion screen cap and thought Deneuve had died, for Christ's sake. Not that aspect ratios aren't important, but my deepest faith is that she'll outlive us all.
Toggle Commented Jul 18, 2012 on Oh God No at Some Came Running
Um. I can't help being flattered that people remember my old stuff, but it's GK's blog, not mine, so forgive me for feeling a mite sheepish. Anyway, 1) Joel, I did indeed review that godawful Patrick Stewart Moby-Dick in the Voice, but the line you recall still mystifies me. I can only guess -- or hope -- that I was being tongue-in-cheek or deliberately buffoonish. 2) Bettencourt, my take on Denzel these days is that he's awesomely cynical, and given his options, cynical may be the smart way to go. 3) TFB, no, you can't find the Monticello piece (which I was fond of myself) online. The Voice's web archives just suck. And to go back on topic, I like CASINO better than GOODFELLAS, too.
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2012 on It was DeNiro. at Some Came Running
Joel, I have no recollection of writing that asinine line about Melville and Austen. But lord knows I was once young and stupid enough to have done so.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2012 on It was DeNiro. at Some Came Running