Thursday, January 14, 2010

i wish i could be peaceful and good like you...

not particularly in the review mood, but i have seen several films over the past few weeks. the titles are listed below followed by my recommendation. some films may be out of the theatre's by this point as i'm really slow in doing this.


sherlock holmes -
action packed version of the classic characters. fun movie if not a little too long. but it is well acted. robery downey jr. makes a perfect holmes and jude law surprisingly does a fine job for the first time in a long time. the action would be lost on the small screen. see it.

up in the air -
fun romantic comedy with a twist. good acting. interesting storyline. see it.

me & orson welles -
well acted, zac efron wasn't brilliant, but it's worth seeing. rent it.

new york, i love you -
following the same concept as paris, je t'aime, several vignettes about love with various directors taking place in different sections of new york. loved it. see it.

youth in revolt -
i love michael cera and this was no exception. while still around teenage sex like a lot of his recent films this is a little bit of a more sophisticated(a little bit) version of that. i have yet to grow tired of his awkward characters. see it.

the private lives of pippa lee -
robin wright "penn" is always great in what she does but i find she always blends in as another hollywood blonde and i find myself thinking "she looks so familiar" but i can't place her. well this small independent film has solidified her in my mind from the rest of the nondescript hollywood blondes. this is a great tale of a woman's life. the choices she makes and the places they take her. robin wright penn was the perfect pippa lee. great supporting cast. see it.

crazy heart -
great little film about he music business. never read the book but now i want to. jeff bridges looks strikingly similar to kris kristofferson. maggie gyllenhaal plays her part simply and perfectly. the choice of colin farrell as a country singer threw me off a bit. but overall this was great. this is an intense film. great music. well done. see it.

award season is quickly approaching with the golden globes just around the corner and the academy awards right behind them. was hoping for some really great award films this year, i still have a few left to see that are up for awards but i am behind of course. i'd still like to see precious, an education, a single man, and maybe a few more...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

what are you reading? um...mostly just ads.

i had high hopes for gigantic a film starring zooey deschanel and paul dano. both of whom i have come to really enjoy as actors as of late. but sadly, this film was, well, pointless. maybe i should have better questioned why i never really noticed it come thru the theatres or heard anything much about it. but it had a great cast so i rented it. i found myself asking aloud during much of the film "what is going on" "i have no clue what's happening" "i don't understand". then when something just seems so confusing i wonder if maybe i'm just stupid and it's too deep for me. with this little gem, i'm pretty sure it was just completely ridiculous. i really hate to hate a film. i put myself in the shoes of the writer, or the director, or even the producer who must have believed in it somewhere along the way. and i think that i hope no matter what someone can find something redeeming in the things i create. so maybe it's the utter strange and bizarre nature of the film that makes it somewhat enjoyable. maybe you can turn it into some sort of drinking game? not sure. but i do love zooey deschanel. maybe my time would be better spent writing about 500 days of summer. which i loved. but it has been too long since i've seen it. will have to get to that later.

anyway. gigantic is about essentially relationships. strange families. strange romances. with an additional element of insanity in the form of an illusion, possibly?

paul dano plays brian. a 28 year old who works at a mattress store. comes from a fairly wealthy family with strange rituals. and has a life-long dream of adopting a baby from china.
in said mattress store brian meets al lolly played by john goodman who comes in to buy a mattress. al sends his daughter happy (zooey deschanel) to the store to pay for the mattress. this sort of marks the beginnings of a relationship with brian and happy. happy also comes from a strange family. her father is very eccentric and happy herself is a little spacey and abrupt.

what ensues is an odd relationship with two people who have strange families and are strange for it. there isn't much substance here. a few funny lines here and there and many awkward moments. edward asner and jane alexander play brian's parents. but this cast really can't make up for the fact that this film is just a string of random events and interactions that have little meaning. you don't really feel any attachment to these characters. and when the credits roll, you like me, will probably be scratching your head wondering if the split second when you looked away possibly held the answer to this film.

the films trailer was in the special features section on the dvd. upon viewing it i found it summed up the entire film in less than a minute. minus one of the strangest parts, which you'll just have to see to understand. it really paints it to be something great, and really i wish it were. sadly, i'd say if you're gonna rent it, get it from redbox so at least you'll only spend a $1 wasting your evening.

Friday, October 3, 2008

speak english!

woody allen. thank you thank you thank you for another poignant expression of human nature. vicky cristina barcelona was a pleasure to watch and a reminder of how well mr. allen is at creating a realness to his fiction.

the film follows two american tourists and best friends, vicky (played by rebecca hall) and cristina (played by scarlett johansson) on a summer long journey in spain. the trip and their lives take an unexpected turn when a chance encounter with a seductive spainard, juan antonio (played perfectly by javier bardem) opens their eyes.

the film takes us on a beautifully shot walk thru barcelona as these characters encounter and expereince life in a: fresh and whimsical, humorus and heartbreaking, honest and sexy, playful and innocent way.

johansson truly shines in this film, reminding me of why i fell in love with her in the first place. this is arguably one her best cinematic moments since lost in translation. she plays the free thinking, open-minded cristina which such carefree charm. her performance is nothing if not strengthened by a remarkable cast. hall is wonderful with her neruotic and uptight portrayal of vicky. patricia clarkson is humorus as (vicky's distant relative judy nash) who tries to live vicariously thru her. bardem couldn't have been more perfect as the, charming, witty, intelligent, straight-forward, unconventional, juan antonio. and rounding out this talented ensembled is penelope cruz (juan antionio's firey ex-wife maria elena), reminding us that she is utterly remarkable, in her native tounge.

every aspect of the film comes together, from story, to direction, to cinematograpy, to pacing, to music, to talent and creates a wonderful cinematic experience.

thanks to woody allen for this refreshing summer film. what a great way to end a season.

this has been my best day ever.

i've seen some good stuff since the last forever ago post. but i have been super busy and haven't had the time to comment. i definitely haven't seen enough though, need to make more time for theatre visits.

i enjoyed: the dark knight, son of rambow, american teen, and probably other i'm forgetting to mention. oh well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

i was gonna listen to that, but then, um, i just carried on living my life.

being a lover of all things jason segel, especially of the how I met your mother variety, i had high hopes for his film, forgetting sarah marshall. knowing of course that this would not be Oscar worthy, but hoping it could be added to the list of "go-to comedies" such as; knocked-up and wedding crashers. even the rumour of jason's full frontal, though leaving me slightly apprehensive, couldn't keep me away. I wanted to know if the phrase "from the guys who brought you the 40-year-old virgin and knocked-up" could regain its meaning after the less than enjoyable dewey cox.

well, in my opinion, he did it. the story is not unique, but it does; boy loses girl, boy finds new girl, old girl wants boy back, so well.

jason plays peter bretter, a composer for popular tv show “crime scene” that spoofs csi. but, he is better known for dating the shows star, sarah marshall, played by kristen bell of veronica mars. when sarah dumps him after 5 years for the sleazy british singer aldous snow, peter’s seemingly perfect world falls apart.

peter, amidst a possible nervous breakdown turns in to a one-night-stand machine. this opens the door for a laugh-out-loud montage of awkward sexual encounters, my favorite of which is the “hi” girl. when this method of healing seems to fail, peter decides a trip to hawaii and a stay at a place sarah always raved about might just fix him. peter’s highly opinionated half-brother brian, played by bill hader, thinks heading to a place that will likely remind him of sarah is a bad move. and he was right.

in comedy world something is bound to go wrong, and it does. peter arrives, with no hotel reservation, hoping to get lucky. in the midst of finding out the only room available is a $6000 a night suite, sarah emerges arm-in-arm with new beau, aldous. the helpful rachel behind the counter played by that 70s show’s, mila kunis, sensing the bad situation offers him a free stay in the luxury suite.

what ensues is a depressed and slightly psychotic peter stalking his ex and “crying like a girl” in his room. it doesn’t help that aldous is overly friendly and accommodating, making it almost impossible for peter to hate him, other than the small fact that he’s sleeping with the love of his life.

peter, trying to make the best of the bad situation, befriends the cute rachel, who unlike sarah is supportive and intrigued by peter’s dreams and goals of moving past composing for a cheesy tv show to finish his dracula rock opera. while peter is busy falling hard for rachel, sarah is busy regretting her break-up. awkward double-date dinners and sexual encounters with his ex complicate the situation.

forgetting sarah marshall doesn’t skip a beat. segel’s writing fulfills my hopes and leaves me anticipating what he will do next. in addition to the script, he wrote all the music for the rock opera, which was hilarious perfection. five thumbs up to jason segel for adding forgetting sarah marshall to my “go-to comedies”

notable mentions:

30 rock’s jack mcbrayer is incredible as the sexually challenged newlywed, darald

and I can’t forget the classic video chat moments between peter, half-brother brian, and sister in-law liz.

Friday, March 28, 2008

do you remember my hand.

been away from the theatre for a while. the academy awards came and went without a list of my picks(despite the fact that i saw most of the nominated films)

whether its been my lack of time or the seemingly uneventful releases i have been on theatre hiatus. although a few good rentals came my way, nothing struck up enough desire in me to share my thoughts, good or bad.

i should have written about the wonderful film noir i saw at the belcourt's (nashville's charming independent theatre) film noir festival. some i saw for the first time, and favorites like, billy wilder's, sunset boulevard, were a pleasure to see on the big screen. yes, those too i should have written about. but i didn't, and now i don't want to.

so hopefully something will strike me soon and hopefully this hiatus is drawing to a close and hopefully the nashville film festival next month brings some new favorites my way.

here's to hoping.

Monday, February 4, 2008

it all started with a chair.

my favorites of 2007

(in no particular order. it's long. 2007 was a good year for film.)

charming. funny. clever. quirky. fresh. it made me want pie(and I don’t even like pie).
knocked up:
so funny. seth rogen and paul rudd are a match made in heaven.
i would have loved to see this at a drive-in. this was such a cool idea. rodriguez and tarantino did a fantastic job. the fake trailers were hilarious.
eagle vs shark:
loved it. awkward love is the best love.
the hottest state:
one of my favorite novels lived up to itself on the big screen. the soundtrack is wonderful.
charlie bartlett:
so much fun. anton yelchin is fantastic. i can’t wait to see more of him. i left the theatre smiling.
2 days in paris:
julie delpy participated in practically every aspect of the film. wrote, directed, edited, produced, starred in, she even did the music. what can’t she do? a dysfunctional relationship at its finest.
my best friend(mon meilleur ami):
sweet. sad. and so funny. an interesting look at friendship.
the darjeeling limited:
wes anderson makes me smile. i always love the look of his films. the colors are perfect. the music is delightful. it made me want to go on a “spiritual quest” with my sisters.
3:10 to yuma:
christian bale was great as always. i love westerns and i loved this.
no country for old men:
the best thing from the cohen brothers in a while. javier barden is chilling. my stomach was in knots the entire time. brilliant.
perfection. a fresh, original comedy. The music was superb and matched the quirkiness of the film and its characters. ellen page’s cynical, sarcastic juno is fantastic. michael cera stole my heart. I am so excited at all the nominations it received.
margot at the wedding:
noah baumbach is a master at showcasing dysfunctional families. his filmmaking so is honest and real, which makes it hard to watch sometimes. It leaves you feeling uneasy and exhausted like every cunning remark, memory, and laugh is somehow a part of you.
so simple. so unassuming. such lovely music. it pulled me in and left me wanting more.
there will be blood:
reference previous blog.

honorable mentions:
superbad, reign over me, charlie wilson’s war, in the land of women, the number 23, the orphanage, zodiac and i’m not there(both 30 minutes too long).

the ones i wish i saw:
lars and the real girl, bella, the assassination of jesse james by that coward robert ford, before the devil knows you’re dead, gone baby gone, interview, rocket science, sweeny todd, wristcutters: a love story, youth without youth