This drama directed by Lynn Shelton was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. After watching it, I really think that this one will divide the audience and any time could go both ways - some would love figuring it out what the writer and director wanted to say while others could simply walk away, deciding that their life is too precious to be wasted on such movies.
The story of a massage therapist Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) who is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact, seemed deep, but I am not sure if that was on the surface only. It had the elements of the New Age mysticism but they led nowhere when the going was tough - it tried to be uplifting but most of the characters finished where they started... I have to say that there were fascinating performances from most of the cast, especially from Josh Pais as Abbie's uptight (slightly autistic or neurotic) brother, spending most of his time in the floundering dental practice which receives new life when clients seek out his healing touch. The other noticeable acting was from Ellen Page as his daughter Jenny...
I think that most of the people who are aware of some of the benefits of the New Age touchy-feely approach will find this movie pleasurable, while others, more down-to-earth type of traditional believers could be very annoyed with suggestions that ecstasy could help you reach a balance in a relationship... Whatever group you are, the good thing is that the opposite opinion is usually served and Lynn Shelton is not asking anyone to believe in anything they see. If we simply take what she got - most of us could be satisfied.
I don't know what was I thinking choosing this Christmas family drama, because this adaptation of Turk Pipkin's 1999 novel When Angels Sing, was a real suffering! Directed by Tim McCanlies, and starring Harry Connick, Jr., Connie Britton, Chandler Canterbury, Fionnula Flanagan, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, this film had such substandard acting, that I wanted to stop watching it few times during the hour and a half... I didn't do that because at the end I wanted to write an honest review and warn people who love quality.
The story of the history professor Michael (who as a child loved Christmas, but after a tragic accident, his holiday spirit was crushed) was simplistic and very thin. As a grown up, he still can't find the joy of Christmas. Only as his son faces a tragedy, he needs to find his holiday spirit again. He gets a push in the "right" direction when he meets a man named Nick (Willie Nelson), who gives him a gift that helps him find the joy of Christmas again.
There was some good music here, maybe the message wasn't too bad, but the rest was insignificant and forgettable. Impotent is the word which comes to my mind after watching it! And no pills would help.
Have you seen any Chilean movies recently with Michael Cera? Here is one! Written and directed by Sebastián Silva, the full movie title as on the screen is "Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus and 2012". Of course, it premiered at the Sundance festival and Silva there said that his movie, which is based on a real-life encounter, is "about the birth of compassion in someone's life." It could be described like that, but as we know it is not the final destination which is important, it is the way someone arrives to it. And during this travel, most of the young men and one young woman arrived through dope, cocaine or even mescaline!
The story of Jamie traveling in Chile, and attending the local party is so under the influence of cocaine that he couldn't even remember that he invited an eccentric woman to join his group's quest to score a fabled hallucinogen, a move that finds him at odds with his new companion, until they drink the magic brew on a beach at the edge of the desert. The words come together.
I didn't get too excited even with the naked appearance and the unshaved part, most of the time it was just smooth sailing with a very low blow... I understand the director's approach and that Michael Cera was in Chile a week in Santiago in pre-production living together at Sebastián's parents' house-where he had filmed The Maid in 2009. The boys would sit out back playing guitar and singing songs. Gaby Hoffmann, (as Crystal Fairy, a radical spirit) recalls hearing the music steaming through the open doors while Sebastián and Hoffmann would sit at a desk where she created all Crystal Fairy's drawings in the sketchbook she has in the movie.
The titular character is based on a real person who was an influence on the director. The script was an outline with every scene including a moment that leads the actors to the next place. They didn't do any rehearsals in character, but since the boys had already been living together when Hoffmann arrived, her character's role as the outsider was easier to slip into. While shooting the scene of Crystal Fairy tripping, Hoffmann was too. "...I just knew it would be okay. My dose was weak, so I had to take a second one even though it was so revolting, but I really loved it. I was totally present in the experience of the making of the movie, and I felt like it was subtle enough that I could step in and out of it," Hoffmann said. "I never felt like, 'Oh my God, I'm tripping and I have to make a movie.' I felt like I could totally step out of it and be like, 'Okay, Sebastián, what's going on? What do we need to do?' And then I could step back into it and just go with it. And, you know, there's like hours and hours of footage that you don't see because it was like a 10-hour trip and we were in that desert the whole time. It was great, but it was subtle."
You heard the explanation, watch the movie, and that is exactly what are you going to see: someone tripping for a long time, and we are watching and paying!
Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare is the first in a series of Japanese children's movies created in the 1960s. Despite being advertised as a "children's movie", the presence of cursing and bloodshed make that label highly questionable. You will find out that there were originally three movies made: Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare (1968), Yokai Monsters: One Hundred Monsters (1968) and Yokai Monsters: Along With Ghosts (1969). For a movie which is 45 years old this is amazing! I thought it was some cheap Japanese rubber dolls costume party, but this is a serious movie with a substance regardless the costumes which are awful!
The story was developed carefully, and is set in the Middle Ages. After hibernating for thousands of years, a Babylonian monster called Daimon is awoken from the ancient ruins in which he is sleeping by Arab grave robbers. This was my first and only problem with the movie: the background of the ruins was much closer to the Egyptian excavations than to the Babylonian sites. Simple encyclopaedia from that time could help the director and the crew. After the awakening, Daimon then flies to Japan. On the Japanese coast a magistrate, his daughter and a servant are fishing. A sudden storm forces them to head home, but the magistrate decides to 'patrol the area' first. Daimon lands and kills him, sucks his blood and takes on his form. The disguised monster returns to the magistrate's home, where the daughter's dog takes a dislike to him... Ok, I will stop here retelling the story, but I have to say that later there will be hundreds of other Japanese monsters defending their honour and trying to expel the intruder.
No CGI, special effects were all made the old fashioned way, all monsters are played by actors in rubber suits, except one wooden umbrella with a sticking long tongue - which is a puppet... and still it has an appeal in the 21st century. I hope it's nothing wrong with me...
This hilarious British action comedy featuring fictional radio and television presenter Alan Partridge, played by Steve Coogan, was an enjoyable film to watch. Directed by Declan Lowney, and written by Coogan, Armando Iannucci, Peter Baynham, Neil Gibbons, and Rob Gibbons, it had everything you need for a fun time in a cinema (or a movie night at home). Alan Partridge, portrayed by Steve Coogan, was created as a character in 1991 for the radio show On the Hour by Coogan, Armando Iannucci, and Patrick Marber, with input from writers Stewart Lee and Richard Herring. The character is an egotistical television presenter and radio announcer, whose presenting style is a parody of cliched media reporting or presentation. The character's fictional career has been charted in several British television and radio programmes, as well as in the book I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan, a spoof autobiography.
His story in the local radio station in Norwich, North Norfolk Digital, was engaging and fun. I really enjoyed watching DJ Alan Partridge lack of concern about the change... until he found out that it was him or fellow DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) to go as a redundant workforce. Alan betrays Pat, writing "JUST SACK PAT" on the meeting room flipchart. Pat is later asked to leave... but he comes back with a vengeance.
Smartly executed, endlessly quotable and machine-gun quick - quick description. Everything a big screen comedy needs was in it. I hope that there will be more of it in the near future!