February 05, 2009

La Booque

(cover art subject to change)


As an anonymous poster seemed caught off-guard in the comments section of the previous thread, I suppose we should make it official: yes, we're putting out a book this year; we even have a projected publication date: June 1st. Since we didn't do one last year, this will collect both our 2007 and 2008 reviews into one thick-ass tome we're calling a "superannual."

I got an e-mail from a reader not too long ago asking if we'd started purposely withholding content for the books, since he'd noticed that our coverage of theatrical releases had sputtered to a near standstill. The answer is an emphatic "no": the truth is, as we get older, our personal obligations grow, and I know it's simply harder for Walter to keep the pace he once did. Moreover, the studios pre-screen a lot more selectively now than they did just a few short years ago, sometimes because they're embarrassed and sometimes because they deem the smaller markets to which we have access utterly negligible. As the professional film critic goes the way of the dodo, perhaps the press screening as we know it will, too.

This is a long way of assuring you there's no conspiracy surrounding the fact that the "Superannual" will sport a good deal of exclusive content we're generating now. Very little that gets written for the mothersite goes unpublished, but as we miss theatrical release dates for one reason or another and films are hastily shunted out of theatres, we often lose a context for bothering to play catch up that the books--as reference guides and journals of record--subsequently provide.

Because the Superannual's going to be a little more expensive than usual--not only to purchase but also to produce (due to the substantially increased page count)--I thought I'd try an experiment: from now until May 1st, anyone who donates $10 or more to Film Freak Central through one of our many PayPal links conveniently located throughout the site will automatically be entered to win a free copy. To make this even more enticing, donors who so choose will be listed as a patron in the book.

More news as it develops. Thanks for your support, and feel free to ask any questions you might have or to make suggestions below.

15 comments:

Jared said...

The 2007 Annual with the mock Saul Bass cover never happened?

Bill C said...

Yes, it did, but it contained 2006 reviews. (The year on the cover is the year it was published, not the year it represents. Which is indeed a bit confusing.)

Anonymous said...

i'll buy this

still, no pressure but i for one would like to see you guys officially tear into slumdog and frost/nixon before the oscars air. :)

Bill C said...

At the risk of speaking prematurely, I think you can count on a pre-Oscars SLUMDOG review at the very least.

Arlvy said...

Is there a review for The Mist?

Bill C said...

Yup.

Chris said...

Incidentally, in response to Ian's review of He's Just Not That Into You, I always thought Love, Actually actually made a very nice rom-com analogue to Crash, in structure as well as depth.

Berandor said...

But Love, Actually had Bill Nighy!

Bill C said...

Technically, though, LOVE ACTUALLY predates CRASH, so it's kinda like the latter is RACISM ACTUALLY.

James Allen said...

Technically, though, LOVE ACTUALLY predates CRASH, so it's kinda like the latter is RACISM ACTUALLY.

Ha! Spot on! Best laugh I've gotten all week, Bill. You are definitely living up to your new Fozzie icon. Wakka wakka.

Anonymous said...

I'd drop good money for a review of Taken by Walter or Alex.

KayKay said...

Anon...I concur! Let's hear it for a Walter Chaw review of Taken!
Mixed feelings doesn't even come close to describing what went through me watching it (btw,I saw the R-Rated European cut on DVD, not the neutered PG-13 version currently screening).
It's a cheerfully racist, blatantly xenophobic male-empowerment fantasy which nevertheless catapults itself straight to the top of my Guilty Pleasure list, sharing space with Commando and Road House:-)
And damn if Neeson's phone monologue to the bad guy ain't the best piece of Macho dick-wagging threat delivered since John Rambo gripped a mic and lustily intoned "Murdock...I'm coming to get you"

Alex Jackson said...

I liked it! Good first act, Neeson and his family and circle of acquaintances are essentially good people and have comprehensible reasons for behaving like they do. I was particularly appreciative of the fact that the ex-wife isn't made into a shrew. She had good reasons for leaving her husband and wasn't being careless for insisting her daughter go overseas.

The Neeson character is no anti-hero. He's wound up pretty tight and is a little pathetic, but I still liked and could identify with him and this softened up the pulp elements quite a bit, made them more palatable. The sympathetic ex-wife helped counterbalance the machismo some. Without her, his daughter would be over idealized as the last of the female species worth preserving and he would save her from losing her virginity and becoming damaged goods. With the sympathetic ex-wife and an understanding of his role in the dissolution of their marriage, it becomes more simply a movie about a man trying to save his daughter from being raped.

Upon buying a ticket, I was a little upset that it wasn't R; but I guess PG-13 isn't that bad afterall. It ain't Man on Fire and that's a good thing. Action sequences and the revenge stuff was still plenty intense. The movie works you over good.

My only real significant complaint is how it so blithely dismisses all the young women sold into sexual slavery who aren't so lucky as to have Liam Neeson as a dad. Reminded me I oughta put Paul Schrader's Hardcore on my Alternate List.

Si said...

Yep, I'm with Alex. Taken was a guilty pleasure for me too.

And you can all call me crazy for now, but I actually LIKED Slumdog Millionaire. Best to think of it as this year's Juno or Once - something that you'll find appealing and uplifting on the first viewing, but once the charm fades away, there's little left. Neither film really holds up at all. And I also have to admit that when I watched Juno in the cinema I was too busy falling for Ellen Page and the few things the film did right (like NOT go the Lost In Translation route with Page and Bateman) to notice that the lead character wasn't, indeed, worthy of a sentimental ending. That film well and truly had its cake and ate it; but it's not the first to do so, nor the worst. Hence I found the Juno-bashing on this site to be a little too extreme at times. (Was there really any need for that little jibe at the end of your In Bruges review, Walter?) But hey, that's in the past.

Speaking of your Fozzie icon, Bill, will we see a review of The Muppet Movie sometime soon? I watched the original Muppet trilogy again (from the Jim Henson-era) last summer and it's still my favourite of the three. Movin' Right Along never fails to cheer me up. (And I'm in complete you on that incredulous plot development that The Muppets Take Manhattan requires for it to work.)

Bill C said...

I'll get around to THE MUPPET MOVIE--and maybe take another whack at CAPER--one of these days. Would love for a Blu-ray release to occasion that review (not crazy about either the Sony or Disney DVD), but I can't imagine one happening anytime soon.