December 13, 2006

Mann oh mann

MIAMI VICE - Michael Mann is KNOWN for making hard edged ‘cop films’ like HEAT, THIEF, COLLATERAL and MANHUNTER. His latest, MIAMI VICE, is no exception. Dark and edgy with a great ‘undercover cop’ story that takes it’s time to focus on the characters as well as the bursts of action. Makes a perfect double feature with any of the other above mentioned Mann classics. Grade : B+

MONSTER HOUSE - A surprisingly fun animated film focusing on the “scary neighborhood house”, which turns out to actually BE a monster. Very imaginative story with nods to many an 80's classic kid flick. The animation starts out a little on the sketchy side, but by the end becomes a thing of almost 3-D splendor. Grade B

CARS - The latest (and last as far as the original ‘team’ is concerned) from the endlessly talented folks at Pixar. I wasn’t expecting much as I hate Cars, racing, and the like, but was pleasantly surprised to find a very well work story given a fresh coat by the talented voice cast and unbelievably fantastic animation. Grade B

THE DEVIL AND DANIEL JOHNSTON - A look at a case of pure creativity. Watching this documentary on the mentally disturbed singer/songwriter Johnston (kind of a poor man’s Brian Wilson if you will) it would seem that he was just born to create. From Super 8 home movies, to paintings, drawings, songs, albums, pictures, recordings......Johnston seems to have just always been a human art output machine. With so MUCH being created, it’s not all up the lofty quality that some critics lather him with, but he does have talent. It’s just all mangled up in that busy beautiful mind of his. Grade B+

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