#126 Nymphomaniac (Part I and II)
What to make of Lars Von Trier’s epic and the third film in the Depression Trilogy. Well, to sum it up in one sentence, I liked it. I like the humor that is the undercurrent of a lot of the serious issues that Von Trier usually plays with in his films. I enjoyed its characterizations of various people. And I think I overall enjoyed the first part more than the second. But, it is a strange film. This whole film is self indulgent, yet it is also making fun of itself. There are a lot of wonderful performances in this film, ranging from Uma Thurman to the relatively new comer Stacy Martin and some puzzling performances as well (Shia LaBeouf). But, in the end this is an original vision that is not necessarily a masterpiece but a worthwhile four hour film.
7:43 pm • 14 April 2014
#125 Under the Skin
I am not sure what to say about Jonathan Glazer’s latest film than to say that I like it. The visuals are stunning but the themes for me are not exactly clear. I would not go as far to say that Johannson gives a great performance, rather a reserved one which in many people’s cases is much harder than it looks. But, the real moments of greatness is carved out by Glazer’s vision and style. The scenes set in the all black room is haunting as well as the opening white room sequence and the last shot. The melancholy of a creature that takes pity on its prey and tries to learn about humanity is poignant but I am still struggling with the allegories that will take a few more viewings to decipher.
7:33 pm • 14 April 2014
#124 I Am Divine
A sweet portrait of a leading character in counter culture, Divine is painted as a hardworking person whose only dream was to become famous. But, he worked hard at it and did seem to have potential to carve himself that niche character actor parts. It is sad that his life ended so soon, because he was like an ambidextrous pitcher. He could play both male and female parts believably. If anything, this documentary will increase you appreciation of the talents that is Divine.
7:27 pm • 14 April 2014
#123 Bad Words
I enjoyed this film so much. I came out of the mind numbing “The Raid 2” and went into this comedy and is was a well welcome wash. Jason Bateman is assured in his skill as a director and provides a good visual statement of what he wants to do. But, the real champion of this film is the writer Andrew Dodge. He gives the film the crackle that it needs and build smart characters around a concept that could easily fall flat because of its 2-Dimensional characters. Bateman brings the charm needed to make Guy likable enough for the audience. Those two elements combine makes an enjoyable film whose only blemish is some parts of Act 3 that prevents the film from becoming a great film.
7:23 pm • 14 April 2014
#122 The Raid 2: Berendal
I think Gareth Evans has the making to be the next great director. He has vision, he has style and he can shoot action. He lets his action breathe and he is comfortable enough to give you a substantial enough wide shot or long take without being afraid that the action will bore you. That said, I did not like this film nor the predecessor. While I think his style is immaculate, this film is simply just one fight scene after the other. There is an added plot which was missed in the first one but here it seems over complicated and dragged the movie out to two and a half hours. But, my problem is with how the fight scenes work. It is not a new thing to have one person fight many people. But, with all the bone crushing things happening, for out lead character nothing seems to make a dent on him. It is like he is invincible. With Bruce Lee, nobody could touch him, so it is conceivable that he could keep going. Jackie Chan grimaced and used violence as a last resort, usually going on the defensive. But, with the lead character here, we are seeing his bones break and then two seconds later, we are not seeing any repercussion on that. And that makes the violence and drama of the fights scenes lose its momentum. I still say Gareth Evans has loads of potential and I cannot wait what he does next. I just hope he moves away from The Raid series and maybe even make a full length horror film which I will love.
7:17 pm • 14 April 2014
#121 Le Week-End
Never had I seen Roger Mitchell make a film full of silent, characteristic charms rather than beat the audience over the head with emotions. He is not a subtle filmmaker. “Le Week-end” however, is a joyful melancholic film that earns its oxymoronic description. That balance is entirely due to the performances and chemistry between Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent. Playing a couple who have been married for thirty years, trying to salvage their relationship in Paris, this has many quiet charms and heart tugging moments. But, they aren’t simply going for the old people do cute naughty things that other films are guilty of (looking at you “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel). Instead these two characters are fully constructed human beings with real life experiences. And to watch that onscreen feels fresh in the early year of underdeveloped characters doing actiony things.
7:09 pm • 14 April 2014
#120 Jackass Number 2
So, this is my first exposure to “Jackass” besides “The Bad Grandpa” which is like the show but does not portray the show in its fullest. While I admire the crew’s willingness to do these stunts to entertain, what they do does not sustain a full feature length movie. As a first time viewer of this franchise, the visceral reaction to all the crazy stunts started waning after the first half an hour. After that, it becomes the same gag over and over again. The novelty had worn off. To say that it is not entertaining would be lying but, to say that I enjoyed my experience watching this film would be a bolder lie.
7:02 pm • 14 April 2014
#119 The Many of Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Its funny because watching this film, I made the sudden realization how big of jerk and selfish prick Winnie the Pooh is. He just takes everyone’s honey and I am not sure if I am okay with him bossing everyone around like he is a mighty prince. Of course I am just kidding (to an extent). The Winnie the Pooh adventures have always been my favorite because there has always been something more clever behind the cuteness of the surface. The gang is fun and the dialogue and animation is timeless. I cannot believe I haven’t seem this film until now.
6:58 pm • 14 April 2014
#118 Gimme Shelter
Not a traditional music documentary which makes this early foray into the genre one of the best. The Maysles decided to film the Rolling Stones on their 1969 American tour and what they got from their film as it happens style was the events of Altamont. In an effort to create a west coast version of Woodstock, the Stones decide to hold a free concert in San Francisco, probably the home of the late 60’s counterculture movement. The Maysles, in filming this event was able to capture how an event with ambitions for free peace, love and rock and roll turn into a disaster. It is a tragedy but nonetheless one that is captured on film in this great documentary.
6:52 pm • 14 April 2014 • 3 notes
#117 In Fear
A good solid horror film that is a pure exercise in style by the director of the film. This Australian film does not have anything surprising but it is filmed well and good enough to eat some popcorn and watch. He keeps the main characters in a car for the majority of the film and by keeping them in a bottle he concentrates the scares into that one area. A car gives both the constraining, suffocating small space while also having a sense of security. You feel secure in your car. The film combines and twists that and I cannot wait for more films from this director.
4:32 pm • 10 April 2014