FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Stanley Kubrick |||
Stanley Kubrick

A filmmaker of international importance, Kubrick was one of the only directors to work within the Studio System and still have full artistic control over his films from scripting through post-production, prompting Time Magazine to compare Kubrick’s early independence with the magnitude of Orson Welles.

An uncompromising antiwar film, this gut-wrenching drama depicts a World War I officer as he labors with an ultimately futile defense for three painfully sympathetic men tried for cowardice. Kubrick artistically utilizes a beautifully washed-out black and white photography to represent the muddied boundaries of right and wrong, and the many gray areas that lay between.

A fabulous and inspiring adventure, this visually stunning epic stars Kirk Douglas as the heroic slave who fights to lead his people to freedom from Roman rule. Although a clear departure from Kubrick’s oeuvre, “Spartacus” is an all time classic helmed by a man with a precise vision who is equally capable of crafting colossal spectacle, tense tête-à-têtes, and a tender moment between lovers.

This film is so stylish it’s easy to forget it’s a horror film at heart. Considered to be the thinking man’s thriller, Kubrick molds this very particularly “Stephan King” material into the portfolio of his films about human failure, as the hero’s desperate desire to become somebody ends in frustration and tragedy.

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Transformers: The IMAX Experience

By BrianOrndorf

September 21st, 2007

Because there's never enough money to sate Hollywood honchos, "Transformers" gets a second-wind release this week in IMAX theaters across the country.

Transformers: The IMAX Experience

With appropriately supersized image, sound, and the addition of several minutes of new footage, Michael Bay’s summer blockbuster finally meets a format capable of handling the tsunami of bedlam the picture so effortlessly provides.

The primary curiosity of this release has to be the hastily-added minutes, but I’m sad to report that the additions found in the new cut are superfluous scene extensions that add nothing to the dimension, or even basic chaos, of the film. There’s a little more of LeBeouf getting used to Bumblebee, Turturro presented with a few extra moments to glaze his hammy acting, and a pawn shop scene where Duhamel has to sweet talk an armed business owner, played by Sherri Shepherd. Paramount desperately needed a hook to market this IMAX release, but the fresh footage is worthless.

But who needs new scenes when the old ones reach ridiculous new heights of clarity and detail. The IMAX presentation is a gem, opening up Bay’s picture for closer inspection, giving the viewer an intimate look at the insane amount of minutiae that informs nearly every rousing special effect sequence. With a roided-up sound mix and visuals that have found a loving home in the bosom of IMAX’s projection capabilities, this rare “perfect exhibition” opportunity can’t be beat. Even if you’ve gorged on Bay’s cinematic cake last summer, this reissue of “Transformers” is worth the return trip just to see something gloriously overindulgent in a movie theater that caters to overindulgence gloriously.

My rating: A-