Posted on 3/25/14 07:26 PM
A thought provoking story whose pacing can sometimes cause a viewer's attention to waver, I find Moon to be a fantastic independent movie and I am highly appreciative that such a film was created.
Everybody loves Sam Rockwell in the film and he deserves a lot of praise for offering us several versions of himself that suspend disbelief for the premise.
The film also leaves judgments for the viewer to make, and how you do so will likely contribute to your overall enjoyment.
I watched this in the cinema and now again on DVD and I'll say that the second time didn't impact me as heavily as the first, but in the second viewing I caught some more layers of the story.
Speculative fiction is starved for stories such as this, exploring the fantastic within a realistic framework that hearkens back to the golden ages of science fiction.
Posted on 11/28/13 06:39 PM
Does watching two movies from the same director in a week make it a festival?
If so, my Alexei Balabanov festival started with Brother, which I credited, despite low budget values, for being a solid story.
I get the more recent Dead Man's Bluff and I see the same production values, which may reflect my lack of understanding on how the Russian film industry works to assume should be better by this stage, and that is a turn off when one considers that the characters and tone of this film, while similar to Brother in some ways, are not drawn as well.
Here we see an attempt to forcefully add a sense of macabre humour that works at some points, but at others is transparent and not funny. There is quite a bit of ultra-violence which adds some flavour to things, but the general malaise of the aimless characters wandering around can lead one's eyes to begin shutting. Acting performances are uneven with most tending towards amateur style.
You can even note a couple of scenes where the director is evidently trying to get in some ladies pants by obviously including them in the production. They walk by the foreground in completely obvious fashion, as also a woman playing a waitress poses. At least the latter had an actual role. This is distracting and again looks amateur.
It provides nothing a film fan hasn't seen before, while reminding me of a cheap Pulp Fiction knock-off.
So ends my Balabanov festival. It seems his movies are all done this way.
Posted on 9/11/13 07:23 AM
Love My Face, Love My Race:
[size=2]Sarah Polly is the interesting lead in this Canadian TV movie about an alienated high school girl who finds acceptance through some rather stylized internet chat rooms featuring some members of the NIM movement, which I will redub Nazi's In Making for fun.
Ridiculed by a speaker in front a school assembly for perhaps having racial prejudice when she mourns not getting a job flipping burgers due to inability to speak Mandarin (or was it Cantonese? shit..I must be a racist for forgetting! heh), her reaction is to write a paper on her frustrations that is given a F in class.
Posting it on the internet as "Hot Head", the NIM people think they have found their voice and she is lured in by a $50 contest they put up.
Off to a party with some "normal" looking people, and I give the film credit for not immediately ramming us into a scene filled with raving and violent radicals, and she is loving the feeling of fitting in.
The tale then follows her rise in the ranks, and then gets into more predictable territory with Nazi skinhead punk band rallys and cross burning campouts.
Of course, Polly begins to find doubts and experience the ugly side of it, and the ending won't surprise anybody.
The down side here is that the poor old internet takes another beating as a dangerous moral cesspool, and some very stereotyped characters start to emerge. No doubt these types exist to be modelled on, but as entertainment it is wearying.
Sarah Polly, on the other hand, is so damn cute I stayed until the end. Every look she presents in the film is hot in a quite "natural" fashion. (Even Canadian TV movies employ skilled makeup artists, I know.)
Looking at her filmography, I see she has worked with Atom Egoyan and David Cronenburg. She was in Dawn of the Dead in 2004, so now I might watch it. I have seen The Hanging Garden, and didn't notice her. How could that be?
I dig this chick. Now, I will allow my natural iconoclasm to work on breaking her down, so I can hate her.
Once I hate a female celebrity, in information you all just MUST have, then they solidly enter into masturbation fantasy territory.
Yes, I am a vile and lowly piece of human filth. Religion taught me that.
What else would you expect a member of the uneducated lower classes to be? I think I should add (First World) in brackets behind my new catch phrase, as I should keep it in proper perspective.
Go, Sarah Polly, Go, you cold, inaccessable, talented bitch. I never knew thee.
Anyway, since I do not yet have any shots of her backside, on to the next movie...
[size=2]Austrailian film about a young slacker who lives in a shithole apartment, despairing of motivation until the day that his old acquaintance rings him up.
She is a nymphomaniac with eczema, so of course they fall in love.
Or do they?
Shit happens, then they die. Or I was hoping they would. Really, there isn't too much going on here. A character study? I guess.
Fuck, I already am a slacker, so I don't need to watch romantic dramas about them.
[size=4]What's All the Rage?:
[size=2]Finally I see this movie, and all throughout the telecast there were interviews telling me how great it was, and how dedicated Deniro was, how Jake LaMotta was flattered by it, and basically a person would have to be a fool not to see how bloody brilliant it was.
More the fool am I.
Now, I am not here to argue against the artistic merit. I am not here to disavow any claim that it does the emotional turmoil of an athlete (which I wouldn't know about) justice. I have no complaints of Scorsese's direction.
Whatever I was expecting, though, this was not it. I haven't a doubt it skillfully tells the story, but I just wasn't too interested in it. One person interviewed called it a "hard film to watch", and perhaps that is what bothers me. If so, let this 6 be an incongruity of my ratings character. The fact that I cannot seem to develop what it is I do not like should be partial testimony.
Posted on 5/28/12 10:17 PM
The classic TV show hits the big screen, and despite somne rehash and dumbing down for the squares that don't know the real deal, it was some killer smoke and a "laugh as fuck" party in the near empty afternoon screening.
At first I thought I was there alone, which would have been cool, but what can ya do? I shoulda packed a fuckin joint, that's for sure.
For those in the circle, the switch from the handheld style the show employs to the super duper cinema style does remove some of the charm, and some of the repeated stylings are lacking in comparison.
I need not give further example than J-Roc's "Trailer Park Life", which loses the guitar chorus hook for the synth movie rendition, and the re-mix ain't dope, yaknowwhatI'msayin?
Lucy is so hot. I'd totally fuckin marry her too. Nice tits. I wouldn't pay $6000 for used fake tits either, Ricky.
I got some great ideas for a Kitty Supershow of my own, inspired by Bubbles classic performance in closing.
Anyways, it look like my word talkin is not conscriptable. In fact, I think I'm gettin dumber by hanging by the...fuck. I don't know. My brain hurts. I gotta go smoke some dope, get fuckin drunk, and watch hockey.
And I am NOT going to fuckin jail, so keep the shit hawks off my ass.
So, the movie's good for you if you want to have a good time, and anybody that doesn't understand can go straight to fuck. Cya.
Posted on 11/04/11 05:04 AM
For the modern viewer who reaches into the past seeking film whose lack of modern effect and production focuses attention on plot-line and characterization, there can be a dizzying array of choices for your time and even a person interested in such as I am can completely miss out of hearing of some prominent films.
While the name Joan Crawford has been known to me for much of my life, it has always been associated with vanity and emotional abuse as much as has for craft and performance. Here then a surprise as the caring mother working every angle possible to provide a life for her daughter that she did not have.
Lest one think that an overly simplistic theme follows of finding out that only love is the answer, I assure you that noir qualities of the day are on display with engaging dialogue and more than its share of base human weakness.
At the same time there is also an air of sophistication in the relationships which I would elaborate on if I did not feel it would spoil things for somebody that has not seen it. One example then would be the ability of divorced parents to interact maturely despite strong emotions, much as some people would in life. This from an age where I imagine divorce was far more scandalous than those of this day, and community opinion carrying more weight socially.
There is a cold matter-of-fact air to many of the characters in the film, and their words can be laced with an air of brutality. This "no nonsense" appeal permeates the viewing experience and offers much to the modern viewer as a result.
Posted on 7/18/11 06:19 PM
A scenic thriller with an engaging storyline that suffers detraction from a lack of true emotional depth as it clips along towards the expected resolution.
After all, if the protagonist died there would be no "based on a true story" to tell. I would expect his sawing feats would have played better if they came with some surprise, but this scene was well hyped.
Nice lead performance by Franco, though again there might have been some opportunity to allow him to find more depth as he confronts the horror of his situation.
In closing, RT sucks ass for not fixing the comment notification feature, refusing to answer blogs, forum posts, and direct emails on the subject. I am tired of it not working, and so I have not used the site much. Only the fact that I have many years of posts in this journal keeps me from quitting it. The world will continue to spin either way. heh heh
Posted on 5/04/11 09:54 PM
Entertaining modern day homage to the film noir genre, ably shot in black and white, and featuring a strong central performance from Billy Bob Thornton that is excessive in its subtlety, and I mean that in the most complimentary way.
Posted on 5/04/11 09:51 PM
Standard fare featuring a bitter senior who is forced by circumstance to care for an orphan boy who loses his mother at the Central Station.
There are some nice lead performances and a darker tone that carries the film into entertaining territory, but there is nothing here to promote the depth that other people seem to hype.
Posted on 3/03/11 11:46 PM
This heist picture has the distinction and strength of an unusual dedication to deeper characterizations than films of its type would generally take.
The motivations of the two lead protagonists are drawn with such care that some viewers may find it a dull interlude as they wait for the crime action to unfold.
In opposition to that sentiment I would say that the climax actually degrades the film somewhat, as the resolution of conflict between them could have been done with much more flair and the rather simple way it ends belies all that led up to it.
Strong performance and a hip score make it well worth checking out.
Posted on 3/02/11 12:18 AM
The short run time keeps the pace clipping in this gangster picture that provides a simple premise but some layers of intrigue along with and a truly great climatic fight scene that really was a pleasant surprise.
Jackie Gleason makes one of first film appearances.
This was a throw in on a disc with the film I rented, "They Made Me a Criminal", and I found it far superior.