Stoker is a creepy and sexy coming of age film at it’s heart, and for it’s star Mia Wasikowska, while Park Chan-wook proves he can excel in any language. [Read more...]
That’s right, my write-up for rentals has changed yet again. This time around (and hopefully I will stick to it this time) I will write up little blurbs about the movies I have seen in the past week on Fridays, giving you suggestions for what to pick up and what to avoid when considering what to rent that weekend. On this weeks list we’ve got: The Back-up Plan, The Last Song, Operation: Endgame, Repo Men, The Runaways, A Single Man, and The United States of Tara.
Fight for the Last Copy:
This Diablo Cody created, Showtime TV show is about a woman who has recently gone off the medications that have helped to suppress the other faces of her multiple personality disorder (or dissociative identity disorder). Toni Collette plays Tara, and the way in which she moves in and out of these other personalities is pure artistry. Though this is a serious topic, it does not shy away from the humor of it all, thanks in large part to the people she becomes. In the beginning she is aware of three: Alice is a 1950s housewife, Buck is the redneck hick with a heart of gold, and T is basically the teenage slut, but eventually another emerges (but I will not spoil in for those who want to watch) in response to the overriding story arc of Tara digging into her past to discover what caused this disorder to take form during her teen years.
The show does not just stop with how this disorder effects Tara, but shows the strain it puts on her family. John Corbett plays her supportive husband who i leading the search to discover her past and must constantly coral the other personalities (though he is far from ashamed of his wife). [Read more...]
The first feature film from the brilliant British duo Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais is a bit more of a dramatic affair but still serves as an excellent, if a tad conventional, portrait of an era with their excellent blend of humor, sadness, and reality.
The film follows three friends form a rundown section of England known as Cemetery Junction in the early 70’s. A blue collar town full of generations of families that never left, sons and daughters following in their parents foot steps; living a nice, quaint and humble existence. When one of the friends, Freddie, tries to move up and out in the world the trio embarks on a series of life lessons and local culture that may or may not lead them out of the Junction.
Leap Year has the cast and story to become at least a cute romantic comedy, though completely unoriginal, but all I can say is if this movie shows what happens on a leap year, then I am really glad they only come around once every four years.
Anna is the type of person with her life planned out. She already has a job she loves and is good at, she is (hopefully) moving into her dream apartment, and her boyfriend is about to propose to her. Or, at least she thought as much. Turns out more than one thing can come in that little box. Taking control of the situation, Anna decides to follow Jeremy to Ireland in order to propose to him on Leap Day (a tradition in which women are “allowed” to propose to their boyfriends and not have to wait around for them to pop the question). Unfortunately for Anna, her plane hits a rough patch and has to land early, making her journey to Dublin a little more problematic. Good thing there is a handsome Irishman to put up with her long enough to help her along the scenic route.
Leap Year is a conventional rom-com that makes all the prescribed moves and is entirely predictable; only its two likeable leads and excellent cinematography save it from being an absolute failure.
Amy Adams and Matthew Goode are just to fine of actors to be in this trivial and run of the mill premise where the only fresh thing about the picture is its Irish setting. The gimmick of this film is that Amy Adams’s character, Anna, decides to go to Dublin to propose to her boyfriend on the one day that it is apparently ok for the woman to propose in the relationship; February 29th, Leap Day. Her boyfriend is a good guy, just lacks emotional initiative, her trip to Dublin doesn’t go as planned though and she takes a very roundabout way to get there in which she runs into a handsome Irish man, Declan (Goode); guess where this is going. The two then slowly trek their way to Dublin as a number of unfortunate incidents force them to bond and get closer to each other than they hoped for.
The film follows all of the conventions of the genre and it’s a real shame they couldn’t take the film in more interesting places with such strong leads. Adams and Goode are both charming enough and fine enough actors for us to go along with most of the genre’s shenanigans, but even they can’t overcome the contrived turns at the end. This film also another victim of completely victimizing a poor undeserving sap that gets tossed aside for doing nothing of consequence. Why do the guys that get dumped not do horrible things to deserve it anymore in romantic comedies? Now all it takes to leave a guy it seems is a bit of an accent and rugged looks and women are completely ok with the stars of these films dumping their men. [Read more...]
A Single Man is a career defining performance from Colin Firth and one of the strongest, most confident, and beautiful directorial debuts I can recall from Tom Ford.
The film’s theme touch on everything from loss, death, love, friendship, and purpose in life and never feels forced, always natural and honest discussions on the subjects. The film follows a man, George, who decides that today will be the day he finally gets over his lost love that died tragically in a car accident while away on vacation. The two had been together for years and months after their death George was still having problems everyday getting through his life and not drowning in sadness.
The film takes place over a single day and engages from start to finish with a number of interesting stops along the way for George as he tries to move on from his lover, Jim. As George grapples with the struggles of the day, they trigger moments in the past with Jim and the scenes are poignant and touching and we really get a sense of their relationship and bond with little screen time devoted to them.
Tom Ford directs the adaptation of Christopher Isherwood and this film doesn’t waste a single frame of the film. Ford is/was a clothing designer so the man knows details and it is no surprise that his film is so articulate and beautifully put together. Every shot is interesting and superbly framed and I can not wait to have this at home on Blu-ray. [Read more...]
The most acclaimed graphic novel of all time translates into an epic and fascinating film that is engaging, precise, and does great justice to its origins but might be a bit to inaccessible to Watchmen virgins.
‘The Comedian is dead’ and his death puts this film into motion. Rorschach, a shape shifting masked vigilante, use to troll the same circles as The Comedian, though when investigating the Comedian’s apartment where his final fight was fought, Rorschach discovers the Comedian was known to the world as Edward Blake and that him and the other masked avengers he used to work with might be getting picked off one by one. Rorschach decides to visit his former “colleagues” starting with The Nite Owl II, Dan Dreiberg, an ex-crime fighter who reflects on the glory days and wishes he could get back to busting criminals skulls instead of adhering to the Keane Act which outlaws Masked Vigilantism in the U.S. Rorschach then moves on too Dr. Manhattan and Silk Spectre II (know to the public as Laurie Jupiter). Manhattan is the only super powered being in this alternative universe where Nixon is still President [Read more...]