#543 When You’re Strange
The mythos of Jim Morrison has only grown exponentially because of his death. To many people he is a great poet, man and thinker, for lack of a better word, a voice of his generation. This documentary tries to both further perpetuate the myth of Morrison as well as shine a light on who he was as a person. In that case, the goal of this film succeeded. Only using voice over narration to a variety of footage gathered we see Jim as a drunk bringing him to his downfall as well as the misunderstood genius. But, whatever you take out of Morrison and his character from this film, you will still grow to appreciate the music of The Doors.
3:43 pm • 8 November 2012
#542 Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Lasse Hallstrom in the last few years and arguably his entire career has been making films with incredibly weightless. They have a light palette and this is just suppose to be a sweet romance movie that has been the hallmark Hallstrom’s movies he past few years. There is chemistry between Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor but frankly they are probably the least interesting characters in the film. The sheikh who decided to build this canal is strange and eccentric. His motivation could be that of a crazy man with too much money or a man who wants to bring the people in the Yemen together. Kristen Scott Thomas’ character is a powerful woman balancing her job with her kids. They are far more interesting and dynamic characters who could’ve been explored making the film a better success.
3:36 pm • 8 November 2012
#541 Seven Chances
My biggest complaint about Buster Keaton film, albeit probably an unpopular one, is that his films never have enough story and plot and it was as if he was making it around the stunts that was in his head. “Seven Chances” is the film that I wanted Keaton to make. We still have his stunts in this film especially in that long chase scene to end the film but he focuses more on the central premise which is corny but it sets up a lot of great gags. What he does is he builds to that final chase scene by having his character relatively stable and to have that one big stunt makes it rather much more rewarding than a bunch of them in one film. And he includes some great inside jokes such as the point of including seven everywhere from the character being 27, to the deadline being 7 o’clock.
3:20 pm • 8 November 2012 • 2 notes
The Disney Nature subdivision is has some of the best footage in the world of animals in their natural habitat and they feel compelled to combine that with corny narration that anthropomorphize the chimps. But just looking at these creatures and they way they live is fascinating enough to dismiss the biggest flaw of the film. The footage and the intimacy the camera gets with these chimps is absolutely amazing and wonderful. And when they show footage of how these people get the shots they did, I would absolutely watch an entire film about that.
3:09 pm • 8 November 2012
#539 The Punisher
Sigh, I knew this would be bad but I watched it anyway. What is wrong with me? I spent two hours watching “The Punisher”. I don’t know what to say about it. To give it credit, the director does pay homage to 80’s action movies. Yea, that is the closest thing to a compliment that I could muster up for the film.
3:03 pm • 8 November 2012 • 1 note
#538 Wreck-It Ralph
Taking the “Toy Story” model and putting upon video game characters is a great idea. Like the toys in “Toy Story” the video games referenced brings back the memories of the arcade which in all sense could be a weird concept to the kids of today. THe casting of John C. Reilly as a character who is not seen for who he really is harkens back to his Academy Award nominated performance in “Chicago”. In fact he probably is the best actor today in that type of characters who is undermined by those around him.This element along with the nostalgia makes the first half everything I hope to be. But then the momentum shifted to something loud and filled with pomp and circumstances that I questioned whether or not I am getting too old. Like the Sugar Rush world Ralph entered, the second half becomes like a blur with a twist that is obvious despite the hilarious Ed Wynn impression by Alan Tudyk. My hopes for this film was high and it dances around the potential but never reaches it.
On the other hand, the short before it, “Paperman”, is a work of pure genius combining all that is great about visual pantomime. In fact it reminded me of “The Flying Books of Morris Lessmore”.
2:58 pm • 8 November 2012
Robert Zemeckis’ first live action film since “Cast Away” got people thinking this film was about a devastating plane crash but what it is truly about is something more horrifying than a plane crash that being alcoholism. Unlike films like “Lost Weekend” and “Days of Wine and Roses”. this film approaches alcoholism in a realistic approach. For most of the film, it is about denial about alcoholism. Any other actor playing Whip is an asshole, but by having a star like Denzel Washington, he already has the established likability or at least the charisma to like him which is why casting him as a villain usually goes awry. From there we are engaged to his story because of him. Who would have thought that one of the most suspenseful shots of the year is a closeup of a small minibar vodka bottle suddenly being taken by our protagonist.
9:48 pm • 7 November 2012
#536 Ciao Manhattan
Not a good film, but a fascinating film to say the least. In it, it captures the life of Edie Sedgwick and a small section of people part of Andy Warhol’s Superstars including Paul America. In its rambling and disjointed narrative, we see the mythos of Sedgwick and her true self that would eventually lead to her death. There is no other portrait of a person in a fictional film like this one because of how close she was to the project and there is no fitting end like her death three months after the film was in post production. Essential just to be imbued into the counterculture of the 60’s and the effects of it and stardom.
9:37 pm • 7 November 2012 • 2 notes
#535 Safety Not Guaranteed
Based on an actual classified ad, “Safety Not Guaranteed” does not make the mistake of making the subject of the film a joke. Mark Duplass’ character is as earnest as can be and that brings gravitas to the film. His relationship with Aubrey Plaza, as two lost people in the world they are in, is the center of the film and the reason both of them want to go on their journey back in time. But, just because they are earnest does not mean that this film isn’t funny. Having heart is the bigger goal of the film as each character deals with the crossroads in their life including the Jake Johnson character and even Karan Soni’s. One of the best moments is the exchange about “Over the Rainbow” which is one of the best pieces of dialogue because of how truthful it is.
9:32 pm • 7 November 2012 • 3 notes
#534 Sound of My Voice
Brit Marling is a rising star or at least a rising star in the indie film world. She co-wrote “Another Earth” a film that took a big concept and centered it around relationships and regret. “Sound of My Voice”, which she also co-wrote, takes another tired concept and twisting it to give it an unsettling edge to it. Brit Marling’s Maggie indoctrinates not only the protagonists but the audience as well. She is not wildly charismatic with all her movements being quite small. But, that is what is unsettling about the film is how she quietly draws you in. And you understand why these people are here. I may even be there with them because she may hold the key for the meaning of life. To add an extra suspense, they break it up into sections with the number 1, 2 and so on boldly comes on screen allowing for a foreboding doom.
9:24 pm • 7 November 2012 • 2 notes