Tag Archives: NYC

54. New York, I Love You – Multiple Directors (2009)

First Viewing.

New York, I hate you- This movie is awful. I had such high hopes for it after it’s prequel, of sorts, Paris Je T’aime. If you’re unfamiliar with the films’ concept it’s a collection of short films, somewhat connected, about a city, Paris in the original, and New York City here. The short films here are so cringe inducing and boring that I couldn’t wait for the film to end. It has one, possibly two, worthwhile stories. One involving an elderly couple who are celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary by taking a trip to the beach. It has a beautiful moment, by far the best in the film, where the elderly couple embrace on the beach. It’s almost tear inducing. Other than that section there’s not much else going on, a scene where Bradley Cooper is meeting up with Drea De Matteo and we are privy to their internal thoughts is okay, but that’s really it in terms of the “good” stuff.

How about the bad stuff I hear you ask? There’s just too much to recount, but there were two scenes, in particular, that made me want to scoop my eyes out of my head with a spoon and then cut off my ears with a rusty knife. The first being a scene between Rachel Bilson, Andy Garcia and Hayden Christiensen. It has the worst dialogue I’ve heard in a long, long time. It doesn’t help that Hayden Christiensen has the acting ability of a baboon, while Rachel Bilson’s performance would make Kristen Stewart’s classic wooden delivery seem like Diane Keaton’s performing it. It’s utter shit all round. I threw up in my mouth at some of the dialogue. It’s so bad. So bad. I don’t even know what the hell they were talking about together it’s so bad. The other scene that made me want to cry involved Olivia Thirlby pretending to be wheelchair bound. I assume the writer intended for this story to be whimsical and sweet, but it ends up being patronising and damn right offensive to disabled people, actually, it’s offensive to everyone! One part of the story is beyond tacky. Thirlby, who at this point we assume is disabled, wraps her arms up on some tree branches thus leaving her legs dangling below her and she then proceeds to ask her date to take off her underwear and fuck her while she swings from the branches. It isn’t sweet or romantic, it’s so contrived and stupid that I wanted to turn off the movie there and then.

The rest of the shorts are crappy and forgettable. Ethan Hawke, despite his talent, can’t make the awful dialogue in his short seem real or entertaining. Chris Cooper’s scene is pure cheese. Natalie Portman’s is so boring I can’t even recall it. Shia LeBeouf as a disabled east european bell-hop was stunningly bad. And on and on it goes.

And, possibly the worst thing to come out of this movie, is that you get no sense at all for NYC. These scenes could be happening anywhere in the world. It’s garbage.

Marks out of ten – Three

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41. Tiny Furniture – Lena Dunham (2010)

First viewing.

“He’s really famous, in an internet sort of way.”

As I’ve mention previously on this semi-narcissistic blog of mine, I do love a mumblecore film. And, as is my love for said genre, I’ve been waiting to catch the much hyped Tiny Furniture for the best part of  two years. Finally Criterion have done the decent thing and given it a DVD release. I know, Criterion DVD, that’s fancy talk for arty/international/damn-fucking-good. (delete as applicable)  So, the question on all of your lips, the one that you’re all desperate to ask is this; “How good is it?” The answer, I’m saddened to report, is as follows, it’s rather underwhelming. And that’s despite it being shot in Tribeca. Was there too much expectation on my part? Perhaps. But I did start off loving the opening 30 minutes. It’s witty, hipster-ish in a good way, and rather entertaining. Then it falls into the trap of becoming, what we bloggers in the underground cinemas who smoke our American spirits, drink our black coffee and never leave our house unless it’s to go to the movies call “up it’s own arse.” It’s a technical phrase. It stops being witty and, instead, starts whining about how shit everything is. Now I love a bit of whining, it’s cool with me when others do it even, but this is the cinematic equivalent of that annoying girl we all knew who moans that daddy won’t buy her a new pony. What’s wrong with the pony you already have? I had to make do with a postcard of a horse. Not that I ever wanted a pony in the first place, I just like postcards. I’ve started to digress, but, my point is this, it becomes hipster cliché 101. It’s like every bad article you’ve read on Vice, but filmed, and with a bunch of annoying actors, minus the wonderful Jemima Kirke. Kirke really is the best thing on screen, she’s got a certain self aware charm that all the others lack. (Nothing to do with her being from London, honest….) I really couldn’t believe how much my initial enthusiasm for the film had waned by the time the closing credits arrive.

Now what I do really love about the movie is the cinematography, it’s rather elegant. It’s shot on a Canon 7D, which, as you may know, is a stills camera. And not the most expensive camera in the world either. It’s a great piece of equipment, and, with some nice lenses, you can make a fantastic looking movie that won’t break the bank. So Lena Dunham deserves praise for the film’s quality production, sadly her acting and scriptwriting skills really aren’t as good.

As I’ve said, the opening works wonderfully, but it just can’t sustain it. Dunham certainly showed some potential for future movies, but this ain’t so great…

Marks out of ten  – Six

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