Lauren: Before Pandora became more than the name of a box thanks to a little film called Avatar, before Star Wars became a space opera deserving of more than just cultish, nerd admiration (I’ll include Episodes 1-3 for Zac), there was a man named John Carter who found himself fighting for the inhabitants of Mars. Yep, Mars; just because we’re willing to explore other planets doesn’t mean we’re ready to go gallivanting around the far corners of the universe. [Read more...]
Oren Moverman’s The Messenger is a great honest look into the side of war we rarely see, the deceased family dealing with receiving the news of the passing, and the results are a film filled with sadness, anger, and humor surrounding this delicate and vulnerable situation.
The messenger in question is a staff sergeant, Will, who has returned home due to injury and is assigned to finish out his enlistment to deliver death notices to the bereaved families of the local area. His commanding officer, Tony, has been doing this for years now and is rather good at this potentially troubling work and the two bond over there experiences, clash over lack of experience, and try and deal with the loneliness and issues that surround their military lives.
Now there are plenty of deeply sorrow moments in this film but they are done with class and are dignified recreations of many people’s worse moments. You can’t help but be affected by these sequences and the actors involved all do amazing work in that you almost feel like you are watching a documentary on the subject and Moverman’s camera work really gives these moments a raw and real feel. With that said there is a lot more to this picture than trying to depress us as more and more bad news is delivered. The relationship between Will and Tony is compelling, funny, and always engaging [Read more...]
Steven Spielberg’s – Minority Report (2002)
Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s story is a rare blend of sci-fi, social commentary, major effects, action, noir mystery, and fun that is a blast to try and figure out and experience.
Set in the not to distant future murder has been essentially eradicated in the Washington D.C. area do to a new agency called Precrime. Using three psychics who are capable of seeing heinous crimes in the future, Precrime is able to take their memories and investigate the crime before it happens and bring the offender to justice before they ever actually get to commit the crime. As Precrime is about to be voted on to be taken nationally, Precrime Chief John Anderton and his organization are under put under audit by Danny Witwer who represents the Department of Justice. Anderton, who lost his only son to kidnapping, unfortunately finds himself to psychotropic narcotics sold illegally on the streets and sits alone at home alone watching videos of his son and ex-wife as paranoia that Witwer is after his job and Precrime festers on his brain. The paranoia hits its apex when the next murder that comes across Precrime’s table is that of one Leo Crow and the murder is Anderton himself. Having to avoid arrest, Anderton is forced on the run from Precrime and goes on a search for answers as to why and how he was set up. The mystery slowly unfolds as Anderton takes drastic step after step to get the answers to his crime. [Read more...]
Charlie Kaufman is back in his most ambitious, intriguing, bizarre, and out there script yet and at the helm he creates a thought provoking piece of work, that demands a second viewing.
Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a successful play director, with a bit of a strained marriage to his wife Adele (Catherine Keener), as he plods through life and marriage counseling with little happiness and a sad demeanor. After successfully opening his “young” version of the Death of a Salesman he is awarded a grant to create something amazing and original, in which Caden begins investing his thoughts and time into coming up with his spectacular idea. Getting in the way of all of this is his fear of death and medical sickness and a quickly degenerating marriage, and before we know it, Caden is renting out a giant warehouse to begin rehearsing his play.
I will share no more, as with any Kaufman film less is definitely more, and encourage that if you have any interest in the film that you stop reading now and just experience it as fresh as possible. [Read more...]
I reviewd this film last winter, and put it in my top 10 of last year, and I thought I should bring it back into the public eye now that it is finally on DVD. So go rent Control, a wonderful film by Anton Corbijn that deserves to be discovered by film and music fans everywhere.
This is one of those movies that comes out of no where and smacks you in the face with how good it is. Control, by first time feature director Anton Corbijn (veteran of many music videos), knocks the rise and fall of Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis. The movie starts with Curtis finding his calling for music along with his high school sweet heart and follows him along his rise to a star of Britain rock scene. I think this movie is best enjoyed with knowing as little about his life as possible, I knew nothing but the obvious about him, so I won’t divulge into details here. But if you know nothing about Joy Division or their music do not shy away from this movie. [Read more...]
The follow up to the Oscar nominated film, Elizabeth, allows Cate Blanchett to get back into the role that made her famous and the result is a mixed bag.
Spain is threatening the rule of England and their way of life as the King Phillip of Spain uses the command of God and spread of Catholicism as an excuse to try and seize power in the Western world. Having bit at odds for sometime we come in on the action just as the tipping point tips and the wheels are put into motion to dethrone Elizabeth from her seat. [Read more...]
This is one of those movies that comes out of no where and smacks you in the face with how good it is. Control, by first time feature director Anton Corbijn (veteran of many music videos), knocks the rise and fall of Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis. The movie starts with Curtis finding his calling for music along with his high school sweet heart and follows him along his rise to a star of Britain rock scene. [Read more...]