The Transporter Refueled
The Transporter Refueled is an unnecessary bore from start to finish, one that even the most devoted Luc Besson fanatics will find difficult to defend.
* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.
An interview with Jason Segel, star of "The End of the Tour."
The movie questionnaire and 2015 reviews of RogerEbert.com editor Matt Zoller Seitz.
A list of the three-star reviews so far posted on RogerEbert.com this year.
A preview of dozens of films being released this Summer.
A preview of the Chicago Critics Film Festival, featuring "The End of the Tour," "Me & Earl & the Dying Girl," "The Overnight," "Digging For Fire," "Results," and much more!
A profile of 2015 Ebertfest attendees Daniel and Janet Weber.
An interview with Ebertfest attendee Ian Leighly.
Awarding Jason Segel the "Spit Take" award and discussing The End of the Tour.
A film-by-film preview of the 2015 Ebertfest.
Meet the critics attending Ebertfest 2015.
Ebertfest to welcome Jason Segel, James Ponsoldt, Chazz Palminteri, Jon Kilik, Julieta Zylberberg and Alan Polsky.
A preview of Ebertfest 2015.
The best of Sundance 2015.
Performance highlights of Sundance 2015.
A review of James Ponsoldt's "The End of the Tour" with Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel.
An awards season skeptic on the Golden Globes.
Our most anticipated films of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
Joe Swanberg is not only not going away but he's entering a new phase of his career.
Female Pleasure Is the Real TV Taboo; Blue Is the Warmest Controversy; Condescending to Vincent Price; Why Journalists Should Learn to Code; an MFA writing workshop for the Bible.
Why sequels never die; Harper Lee settles her lawsuit; a magazine for the working girl; end-of-life plans; a resurgence of New England's wildlife; Germany's Christian Democrats' unfortunate logo; "The Future With Love" trailer.
When I was a child I was taught that it was unacceptable to call something -- a movie, a song, an activity -- "boring" because: 1) it doesn't make sense (a thing can't be boring, unless perhaps it is a drill bit; a person feels bored); and 2) it's indefensible, since the quality of "boringness" cannot be isolated or identified as an element of the thing itself; it's a feeling and it is yours).
So, saying something is "boring" is not exactly like saying something in a movie is "funny" or "moving" -- though, again, I'd prefer to place the responsibility for a response on the "feeler" rather than on the object -- because at least you can describe how something is presented or intended to be received as humorous or touching, even if you don't think it is. (Yes, there are exceptions to that, too.) I mean, a joke or a gag or an emotional situation can be objectively analyzed, but there are no agreed-upon cultural standards for evaluating "boring."¹
"Boring," I believe, is more like the word "entertaining" -- too vague to be of much use in a critical vocabulary. So, I might say I found something about a movie "tedious" or "engaging" or some other thesaurus word, but I'll attribute the emotion to myself and my taste, and even then not without a serious attempt to describe what I'm talking about, and to give at least one specific example.²
But now, "boring" is hot, at least in overheated Interwebular film criticism circles, since the publication of Dan Kois' New York Times Magazine piece called "Eating Your Cultural Vegetables," in which he says:
The Australian film director Paul Cox, spoke to a group of students earlier this afternoon. While I 've met Cox a few times before at the annual Ebertfest in Champaign-Urbana, IL, I'd never heard him speak freely to a crowd and was interested in what would be said. Paul enters in casual clothes and walks to the seat in front of the class, unfolds a few pages of yellow papers full of scribbly handwriting and begins speaking in a soft, slow, accented voice.
The title of the speech is "Invent not Imitate," encouraging our generation to break the rules and push the limits. So at first, of course, I'm into it. Slowly, the speech turns from an encouraging nudge towards originality and prioritizing values, to a pretty full blown revolutionary anarchist speech. There is a pessimistic rant about the lack of genuineness and how many artists are "rubbish," specifically at this film festival. Cox rags on any one who even considers the nearby Monaco Grand Prix and car racing relevant or acceptable, and then stomps on organized religion, ex-president Bush, fashion and films like "Pulp Fiction." A student in the crowd asks Paul if there was anything he thought was worth doing, seeing or knowing about and beyond Cox's personal hero, Vincent Van Gogh and some rural Aboriginal tribes with which he'd spent time. It seemed he was not.
I was born at the center of the universe, and have had good fortune for all of my days. The center was located at the corner of Washington and Maple streets in Urbana, Illinois, a two-bedroom white stucco house with green canvas awnings, evergreens and geraniums in front and a white picket fence enclosing the back yard. Hollyhocks clustered thickly by the fence. There was a barbeque grill back there made by my father with stone and mortar, a dime embedded in its smokestack to mark the year of its completion.
There was a mountain ash tree in the front yard, and three more down the parking on the side of the house. These remarkable trees had white bark that could be peeled loose, and their branches were weighed down by clusters of red-orange berries. "People are always driving up and asking me about those trees," my father said. He had planted them himself, and they were the only ones in town--perhaps in the world. They needed watering in the summertime, which he did by placing five-gallon cans under them with small holes drilled in their bottoms. These I carefully filled with the garden hose from the back yard, while making rainbow sprays over the grass around.
I'm posting this not just because I'm (still) in love with Sarah Silverman (though I am), and not just because she's a genius (though, of course, she is), and not just because of the overt political humor in this short film (though The Great Schlep is an inspired idea), but because of how it relates to recent Scanners posts about comedy and understanding what the joke is. (See posts and discussions regarding "Tropic Thunder," "Juneau," and David Foster Wallace.)
So, please watch the above movie and then provide your interpretation of it, by considering my questions after the jump...
The apparent suicide of David Foster Wallace, shockingly sad and disturbing as the sudden death of Heath Ledger earlier this year, has me revisiting my memories of his writing. I know him from his short stories and nonfiction -- never tackled "Infinite Jest," even though I bought it in hardback when it was first published. I won't put off reading it much longer.
From Premiere magazine, September, 1996: "David Lynch Keeps His Head," anthologized in "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments":
13. WHAT EXACTLY DAVID LYNCH SEEMS TO WANT FROM YOU
MOVIES ARE AN authoritarian medium. They vulnerabilize you and then dominate you. Part of the magic of going to a movie is surrendering to it, letting it dominate you....