Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Another great film by Richard Linklater. This movie was filmed over the last 12 years with the same cast. Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring one of my favorite actors of all time Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents. Boyhood records the difficulty of growing up like no other film has ever done before and is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting.
The final product is nothing short of sophistication and joy, teaching the viewer to notice and appreciate the little things in life as well as all the people who help you through the difficult times. With Arquette in the lead as the mother who seems to be guiding her children in the right the path through life as her own life spirals in different directions. Ethan Hawke, as the runaway father who learns the responsibility of fatherhood from family, one of the greatest strengths of this film lies in the acting talents of its superb cast. An excellent must see film.
I took my entire class to see the film, because most of my students are Was Anderson’s fans. The film stars the wonderful Ralph Fiennes as dashing concierge M. Gustave. The character has both grandiose and antiquated monuments in a changing world, there are views to vanished luxury that provide the perfect setting for Anderson's unique brand of whimsy.
The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of M. Gustave, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune—all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing continent.
The movie has a great cinematography a combination of 2d paper sets with 3d old and new school animation. Story was well kept and captivating no matter how kooky it was. It is Wes Anderson’s finest.
The movie has some of the best performances of the year, but before you head to the theater, you might want to get the facts of the twisted case. It is based on a true story of two athletes and a murder case.
These days, though, Hollywood stars like to stretch “the brand”. Steve Carell, the grand master of goofy witlessness, I have never enjoyed his performances to be honest. He is playing a wrestling-obsessed, multi-millionaire murderer. It’s based on the real-life case of John du Pont, who shot dead US Olympic wrestling coach Dave Schultz in 1996. Mark Ruffalo is great and even Chanim Tatum is good.
A compelling piece of work, the film is notable for the intensity of both performance and plot. For this is not just a story about wrestling and madness. This is a story about the need to belong, the corrupting and isolating power of wealth, the potency of a shared delusion and the inescapable weaknesses that make us all human. It is a story of love, loss and betrayal.
The heroine is an alien predator in Scotland. Maybe you have to be a Scottish to appreciate Glazer's masterstroke in casting Scarlett Johansson as the exotic alien in humanoid form, with her soft accent, black wig and sexy fake fur, driving a beat up white van around the tough streets of Glasgow, picking up men. She winds down the passenger-side window, skillfully engages them in conversation, and takes them back to her place. Between encounters, she roams, gazing at streetscapes, and making them alien with that gaze. There is pure situation genius in the bizarre spectacle of sleek Johansson being placed in this context, with lots of hidden-camera shots of real passers-by in real Glasgow streets and real Glasgow shopping centers, It is a a bizarre film but it is totally worth seeing.
A film by Paul Thomas Anderson with a great cast including Joaquin Pheonix, James Brolin and Benicio Del Toro. Inherent Viceis is a legal term, used in marine insurance, which acknowledges that everything contains its own seed of disaster and that what can go wrong probably will. Eggs break, glass shatters and 1960s hippie dreams eventually going on the rocks of Altamont and the Manson trial. Here is a film that is as shaggy and funky as Joaquin Phoenix’s stoner private eye, all but tripping over itself in its search for some clues. This confirm Joaquin Pheonix as perhaps the best actor today.
Perhaps the movie it’s an invitation to simply turn on and drop out. But, stick with it, because there is a logic to Anderson and Pynchon’s illogicality. Because if the director’s previous film. This film is about the fracturing counter-culture of southern California, where LAPD cops moonlight as B-movie actors. Inherent Vice is one of the most weird and pleasing American pictures of the year.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
A gem of a film. directed by James Bridges. The story of a first year year student at Harvard Law School. When he attends the class of Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. played by John Houseman, he realizes it is going to be a challenge. At the same time he needs to demonstrate mainly to himself that he has what it takes like all the other students. He becomes obsessed with the professor's persona. In a twist of fate he becomes involved with Prof. Kingsfield daughter played by Lindsay Wagner.
An amazing thriller, that I had seen before but it was good to see again. The story of Tom Levy, a graduate student and a runner played by the great Dustin Hoffman, Tom has no idea what his brother does for a living, played by Roy Schreider. When his brother dies in his apartment the nightmare begins when all sorts of dark characters appear to find out when Tom knew, specially the former Nazi played by Sir Lawrence Olivier, other bad guys like William Devane and his girlfriend played by Marthe Keller.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
An absolute masterpiece by Italian director Elio Petri. A political thriller that denounces the power driven class in Italy in the late 60's. The film is the story of the chief police officer that sees himself above the law, He murdered his lover played by the the stunning Florinda Bolkan. He plays this game about leaving cues for the investigators about the fact that he committed the murder, however the investigators are oblivious to this and refuse to believe he is even suspicious. The officer has a fascist discourse that he communicates to his subordinates in a great scene when he is giving them a speech, reminding us of a young Mussolini. The great thing about the film is that within a few exceptions the film is still fresh and unfortunately the problems of the ruling class in power is still the same no matter where you go. Actor Jean Marie Volonte that plays the police chief gives an amazing performance.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Another great film by Mexican Director Alejandro González Iñárritu. The plot is a complex combining fantasy with realism, sort a new magic realism. Terrific performances by Michael Keaton and Edward Norton. A sort black comedy about a has been actor trying to comeback by producing, directing and acting in his Broadway play.
A fun film directed by Matthew Warchus based on a true story. In the summer of 1984, the National Union of Mine workers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers' families. Great 80's music from Bronski Beat and many others.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Well, what can I tell you about this film without sounding completely biased. I basically loved this movie. Everything about it. Both actors Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons are amazing. All the emotions within their relationship are intense. I can relate to both characters, having been on both sides. The music is amazing. It is all about about passion. Highly recommended.
Another amazing performance by Bill Murray about a neurotic guy disappointed at life and people. He meets a young boy , a next door neighbor that changes his life. The movie is emotional but not sappy. Great cast including Naomi Watts and Melissa McCarthy. Definitely a high recommendation for those Bill Murray fans like me.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
A Chilean film directed by Sebastian Leilo about a middle age woman and her quest to combat her solitude and find a mature relationship. It is a film that vividly describes the difficulties of dating and survaving when a woman reaches her 50's and 60's. Highly recommended.
Mademoiselle is a French - British drama film directed by Tony Richardson. The dark drama won a BAFTA award and nomination. The cast includes the beautiful and talented Jean Moreau who plays a teacher with pyromaniac inclinations. The story is a dark comedy about deranged love with fatal results.