The Best Gigs of 2012 (that I went to)

My favourite live shows in 2012 were… 5. Regurgitator (The Hi-Fi): I’ve seen the ‘Gurge a bunch of times, but this gig was truly outstanding, featuring performance of both “Unit” and “Tu-Plang” in full (plus a surprise Devo cover!). 4. Dan Deacon (Coniston Lane): Dan Deacon makes fun music, but his live show practically defines…

Looper (2012) and the “Rules” of Time-Travel

Looper seems to upset dedicated nerds; people who’ve read The Silmarillion from cover-to-cover, people who like “hard sci-fi” – think Roman from Party Down. Rian Johnson’s time-travel flick annoys these people because it doesn’t play fair with the rules of time-travel, and isn’t interested in explaining or caring about those rules. I’m also a gigantic…

The Master (2012)

I’ve mentioned before that P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia doesn’t do much for me. But I really enjoy his work: There Will Be Blood and Boogie Nights are both incredible films. I was expecting a masterpiece from The Master and, instead, found another Magnolia… a well-made, well-acted film: great scenes that never had a combined effect on…

Hellraiser (1987)

Watching Cabin in the Woods, this guy (Fornicus, Lord of Bondage and Pain) made me wish there was a film about him: it seemed like it would be a classy gothic horror flick. Turns out he’s a direct reference to Hellraiser, but Hellraiser wasn’t exactly classy: in fact, it’s the best kind of B-movie. Pinhead,…

Elf (2003)

On Christmas Eve Eve Eve, I watched Elf for the first time with my partner, over an assortment of antipasto (as is traditional in the Carbon Copy household). Elf is not particularly original, but what family-friendly Christmas film is? The plot concerns Buddy (Will Ferrell), a human adopted by the Elves of the North Pole.…

Holy Motors (2012)

Holy Motors demonstrates the limitations of my self-imposed 200 words restriction. I could spend 200 words summarising the plot, perhaps by detailing the overall narrative (that is difficult, since there arguably isn’t one) or by picking out individual moments to emphasize the film’s “craziness” (a naked man is cradled by Eva Mendes in a burka…

The Bay (2012)

The Bay isn’t the best found footage film of 2012 – that was Chronicle, which told its fairly standard teen superhero story by pushing the boundaries of the genre – but unlike Chronicle, The Bay plays fair. The context is an environmental-horror tale of a small town decimated by an (initially) unknown pathogen, framed as…