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Uncle Barb's

"Life was cruel and hilarious
all at once."

- Sandra Cisneros -


Archive - Jan 2011

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January 23rd

The Runaways

Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning and the cast were excellent wild ones.

The presumption that girl/girl love is a non-issue was somehow reassuring. Didn't like the music then, so I certainly didn't love it now. Wish the focus had been on Joan Jett and her triumph as a legend instead of Cherie Currie (Cherry Bomb) and her defeat by drugs.

January 22nd

Mr. Right

Cute. Shallow.

The King's Speech

Quite a good film, really, until it fell apart.

Colin Firth, who deserves the Oscar for his performance, embodied his character with subtlety and nuance. Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter were excellent also. It was the writing and direction that flawed this film. At about the 2/3's mark, the pacing slowed down to unbearable and revelations of plot and character disappeared. While truly impressed by Colin Firth and captured by the story, the film making never fully realized what it had begun.

January 15th

Bath Reflections

In a candle-lit bath, smoking and examining the bruise on my shin from my klutzyness with the snowblower, the bath scene in Klute came to me and then a flood of memory images of Jane Fonda on film.

Sneaking into Barbarella was one of the highlights of my high school years. A woman who could blow up an orgasmatron, I was hooked.  Barbarella was sequentially followed by They Shoot Horse Don't They, which bored me; and then Klute which floored me (in a good way).

The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T

Dr. Seuss' flamboyant The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T has a cult following which includes me.

Now a new 3 disc Soundtrack CD has just been released and I can't wait to hear it. NPR The making and talent within The 5000 Fingers is a fascinating story in its own right.

Film: Evening

Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Regrave, Meryl Streep, Natasha Richardson, and Eileen Atkins, with these excellent actors on board, how could it flop?

Well, it wasn't because of the actors. The Susan Minot novel turned screenplay by Michael Cunningham lacked any sort of writing chops. The characters are drawn with crayon despite the skills of the actors. The storyline borrowed and re-used, the staging ridiculously stiff and corny, and the timing was just all wrong.

January 13th

Sister Souljah's The Coldest Winter

The copy I checked out of the library was labeled YA. The sexual content is X.

I thought about myself at 13 years old, a voracious reader. I would have been thrilled. Finally, the real deal, unashamed. Had a moment of pleasure imagining a young reader discovering this book.

Chlotrudis Top 100 Films

Here is the full list for The Chlotrudis Society’s Top 100 Films of the Decade(ish):

1. In the Mood for Love*
2. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
3. The Lives of Others*
4. Caché
5. Let the Right One In

January 11th

Shergold's Clapham Junction

British Director Adrain Shergold has proven himself to be one of the best of our times. His credits include Second Coming, Dirty Filthy Love and Pierrepoint. Add Clapham Junction to his list of outstanding films.

Complex and messy, as my friend Philip says, this film never strains to make a point. Instead, the plot flows in a swirl of hard truths; reality captured in all its ambiguity.

January 10th

Jeunet's MICMACS

Brilliant, fantastical, rich and alive.

Micmacs' satire and irony shine through even with the language barrier, which I so regretted, sure that the nuance of language was every bit as smart as the visuals.