We Live in Public
Unlike the claims made by interviewees in many documentaries about a single, allegedly fascinating personality, there is one particularly grandiose one spouted off early in Ondi Timoner’s rough-cut but fascinating We Live in Public that actually seems to be true. Speaking of online media entrepreneur Josh Harris, one person refers to him as “the greatest Internet pioneer you’ve never heard of.” While the film that follows does a crack job of making this case, it doesn’t much bother trying to convince viewers that they’ve necessarily missed out on anything by this omission…
We Live in Public is playing now in very limited release. You can read the full review at Short Ends & Leader.
It’s often said about ambitiously failed works of art that they have greatness in them. That but for the grace of the muses – a better edit here, a dialogue tweak there – the work in question would have been able to vault that shadowy and indistinct line that separate those things which ultimately worked and those that didn’t. This isn’t much help to the filmmakers, of course, because such statements are often left vague and fuzzy, the speaker trailing off into an indecipherable musing on what exactly it was that left them so nonplussed. In the case of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, the film doesn’t just have greatness in it, there’s mighty rivers of greatness simply leaking out of the thing…
Inglorious Basterds, already a hit in Europe, opens here today. You can read the full (very mixed) review at Short Ends & Leader.
Not as smart as it wants to be but much cleverer than it could have been, District 9 is a kind of gross-out laboratory of sociologically-minded science fiction tropes updated for the post-Cloverfield generation. A first-contact scenario that eschews angelic choirs and glowing wonder for muddy corruption, the film threads enough thoughtful commentary into its whirligig media-fractured action plot to mostly make up for its lapses into cliché…
District 9 opens wide today. You can read the full review at filmcritic.com.
I Sell the Dead
One would think that being a grave robber was a hard enough career. But in writer-director Glenn McQuaid’s bumptious horror comedy, I Sell the Dead, it’s a one-way ticket to indentured servitude and terrifying encounters with the undead.
Set in a particularly fog-shrouded corner of 19th century Ireland, the film is a buddy story about a pair of no-luck grave robbers, crusty old drunk Willie Grimes (Larry Fessenden in fully whiskered, slovenly oaf mode) and impish joker Arthur Blake (a particularly puckish Dominic Monaghan), who discover that successfully stealing corpses is the least of their concerns…
I Sell the Dead opens in limited release on Friday. You can read the full review at The Hollywood Reporter.