Wednesday, January 7

"The Guest" (2014) directed by Adam Wingard

The trailer promised something good but it didn’t touched me as it did apparently to other people. The premise for “The Guest” is the arrival of a stranger ex-military to a grieving family of a soldier dead in the line of duty, in which the guest appears to be acting accordingly to the dead soldier wishes. The majority of the family embraces him, but of course he is not what it seems. We can take that much from the trailer, except that in the overall the film is too violent for my taste in a way that it does not make much sense for me in the entire storyline. “Drive” was a pretty violent film but it made sense with all, and in “The guest” the storyline tries to confuse people with the good looks of Dan Stevens and some cheesy lines in a pretty basic and predictable ending. I confess this is not my favorite type of films but even so in my head I can remember a lot of better films that work better with the same degree of violence but definitely have a better story. Anyway I did enjoy the soundtrack which was appropriate and quite alternative.

Monday, May 7

Super 8 (2011) by J.J Abrams

Summer of 1979, a bunch of kids playing with cameras, aspiring to make a great movie with their Super 8 cameras. Couldn't they know they would be playing the film of their lives when they uncover a secret operation involving alien intelligence.The film brings the 80's spirit and something that I quite miss seeing in movies and in actual kids nowadays...a little of audacity and creativity that only kids can turn into something pure and yet challenging. An event occurs, they have it in their cameras, yet all happens so fast... mysterious things which the government hides from the civilians, finally only to uncover that the government is always to blame. All in all the film is very good, good story, with a revival of the old days and old cinema. And just to remark: Elle Fanning will have such a career, the looks, the talent and that voice, beware people!!! Hope she will have the luck to have good roles in the future.

Young Adult (2011) by Jason Reitman

Everyone deserves a second chance, yet not always we see that one coming.
"Young Adult" is a film about Mavis Gary, a thirty something woman that was hugely popular in high school and eloped to a bigger city leaving all behind to achieve success. Despite the leap, she filled herself with emptiness, wondering where her happy ending would be. Years passed by her but she didn't grow up, and when she arrives a her old town she feels even more displaced than ever. How can those people be happy in that hole? How can life happened here and not to her? Mavis is a pretty messed up woman, with a young attitude in an older body trying to see how life fits into her plans and into her fails. She arrives in town so that she can have her future, her past, so that she can steal an old flame to her, no matter what costs. And so she acts in denial, in confusion, in an ideal world that doesn't fairly exists.
The film is a nice reflection on modern times where growing doesn't correlate with age, the same goes with what we except of life and really what we receive. Thumbs up for Matt Freehauf's character portrayed by Patton Oswalt who is very refreshing in this film. Charlize Theron is ok with her performance but I don't think it fits her. Huge dramas or evil queens are more adequate. This is not a great movie but it has a good story behind.

Thursday, April 26

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" by John Madden

"Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not the end."

Deborah Moggach's novel was brought to screen by our very own "Shakespeare in Love" director who preciously give us so much of the wit and talent of British senior actors. All in all these people for one reason or another end in the same hotel in India, coping or not with the new culture, habits and some non civilized matters in a country itself learning how to modernize. The story is all about finding, whenever we think it's not possible...even in old age it is important to have dreams and to move on to achieve the best happiness we can  no matter the place we are living in or the money we have. Friendship is also a great point here...though at late age it is easier to be alone it is nonetheless easier to understand others. It is a simple film, a good and enjoyable one where we get inebriated by such great actors, specially our dames Judi and Maggie. I guess it is good to know that we can reinvent ourselves. It is a kind of  an "Eat Prey Love" with elderly people... 

Thursday, April 12

Coriolanus (2011) by Ralph Fiennes

Coriolanus is a written tragedy by William Shakespeare in the XVII century following the life of a Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus, his uprise and downfall provoked by the people of Rome and decided in the senate. First he fights for Rome, though not beloved he endures. Meanwhile the time comes where his arrogance and words are not pleased by the people and he is turned into exile. Wrath forms when he is despised by the people he fought so hard and proudly sustain the scares to show. And in revenge he turns the table of the game... 
This film is directed and interpreted by Ralph Fiennes as Corionalus, he is the omnipresent figure who talks Shakespeare from minute one to the end. In that theater-like tone there is some confusion between what we see and hear, because the set is real, the tone is tragedy yet we see it is not real because it's written act all over it. I enjoyed the different type of visualization mixed with the theatrics tone, yet it did sound strange for a movie screen. It reminded me of when I saw Titus (1999) with Anthony Hopkins (yes it is Shakespeare too), but I liked Corionalus best because of the principal woman figure, his mother Volumnia who was portrayed by Vanessa Redgrave and has some fantastic lines. She clearly demonstrates the strength of the woman who give birth to Corionalus and inflicted him the idea that made him who he is/was.
It is not a film for everyone to like, many will get bored because there is not enough fighting or too much drama or no romance, but people this is art...not a blockbuster!!!
It is the union between theater and cinema so that the story can be told to anyone!

Thursday, March 29

The Hunger Games (2012) by Gary Ross

"May the odds be ever in your favor. "

The Hunger Games is a film based on Suzanne Collins's first book of a trilogy that is very popular among teenagers. What could be a blessing is also a curse. Film industry adapting books is never easy, more so when the books are followed by many fans and so the film is expected to be closer to the original story but for profit and to integrate into the PG-13 classification they just lose quality. That sure is not easy with such a bloodbath byline.
The story is like a post apocalyptic era where the winners of the uprising bend the losers (13 districts of the so called Panem) to give 2 children from 12-18, a male and a female, as a tribute for the Hunger Games, an ancient Rome kind of Gladiator thing where they must fight until death in an arena, kind of like big brother's watching to remind the rebellious where power really lies.
From the 13 districts only 12 compete since the population of district 13 was eradicated at the time of  the rebellion. No need to say that many of these districts live in the utmost poverty. In the day of the Reaping the kids were chosen, except for district 12 where there was a voluntary tribute, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). Her sister, a 12 years-old, has been picked first, but Katniss voluntaries herself. She is our hero, the surviving type of girl who tries to be the man of the house since his coal mining father died. And so it all begins...her trip to the Capitol, her preparation alongside Peeta Mellark (a baker's son), the contrast of civilization from poverty to eccentricity. She knows that she won't win but she must give an effort nonetheless for her sister, for her family, for district 12. Yet things don't go so smoothly and is not so important to be the fittest to kill as it is the best to play the game, because all in all it is a game. The story is incredibly fascinating, so weird that a slaughter can be but it has a bit of everything, not only of blood as of love.
The film itself tries to explain plainly the events and that can be a bit in slow motion, but it makes sense for whom the story is incognito. The games are a little played en passant when it's such a big portion of the book, and the action is passed a little to quick to get analysed. I blame the money here, they couldn't do a hard-core movie, they just couldn't in the way of profit. Being a lucky one myself, I've read the book and so I felt contempt because what I didn't see I saw it in my head so I enjoyed a lot. In this movie genre it was honestly one of the bests I've seen lately, with flaws naturally, but I've had a great time and I don't apolodgize for that.
Regarding roles,  Jennifer Lawrence was just faaaantastic, she really has something that is so enthralling, it's like we feel what she feels and she doesn't need to speak much. On the oppposite I thought Peeta's actor Josh Hutcherson was a bit softy, I don't know... I guess I wanted him to have more fiber... I guess his square face is not getting much emotion for a guy that basically is dealing with the thrill of being famous and dead at the same time meanwhile being such a hottie...

And the what? right? :)

"Peeta Mellark: I just keep wishing I could think of a way to show them that they don't own me. If I'm gonna die, I wanna still be me. "

Thursday, March 22

Shame (2011) by Steve McQueen

Pornographic jokes aside "Shame" is actually a film about pain, more than I would say about shame. The pain of the addiction, the need to fulfill a desire constantly and insanely until the void is over, yet it's never over, it's like a hunger that never ends. Brandon (Michael Fassbender) acts more by instinct than by reason, and he only gets perception of it when her sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) invades his space. He is forced to realize what his life really is. He even tries a meaningful relationship but no real emotions are present in his sex addiction besides the animal desire to have pleasure and sustain a void, clearly a product of something psychological inflicted in his young age. The subject theme can be shocking but we all are product of something in our past, we have obsessions and desires, none of them could be called healthy. In our essence we all seek something in response to our addictions to maintain the thrill of being alive. The real turner is when those addictions become all of ourselves and not a tiny aspect, losing control, losing the joy of life to be trapped into body automaton mechanisms.
All in all the film is raw, both in the sex scenes and in demonstrating the emotional despair. It has one beautiful scene when Sissy is singing "New York New York" while Brandon lets a tear go. Nonetheless it feels very real, we feel the character anguish and need... so Bravo Fassbender!