Sunday, June 26

"X-Men: First Class" by Matthew Vaughn

Mattew Vaughn known as the director of the recent fuzz "Kick-Ass", and also of "Stardust" had the honour to direct a prequel to all X-Men films made by now. I say this film is fundamental to truly understand everything about Professor X vs Magneto. I've always liked this Marvel Comics characters but never followed, so I knew very little before visualising the film. The story begins telling  Erik Lehnsherr's story (later called Magneto) and then we are back to the 60's and understanding how the so called mutants begun to have public action, intermediated by an agent of the CIA. It so interesting to see that they are mangled with real historical events. A school is created by Charles Xavier who is a geneticist as a result of his interest in his own mutation. Xavier is portrayed by Charles McAvoy beautifully, we seed a jolly good fellow, a young man with normal behaviour attending school and drinking in the pubs, living a real life. He never intended to use his gift to harm humankind but he never was exposed by his mutation, on the contrary Raven (later called Mystique) had to deal with her appearance in the same way a teenager as to deal with their hormonal and bodily changes, but they remained good friends even though. So mutants feared to be exposed and were ashamed or seeked revenge. It's on seeking extinction of the non-mutants that a guy named Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) appears at the scene trying to have a WWIII by manipulation of Russia's and USA's missiles. It's here the young mutants go into battle to try to stop that. 
This is the general plot but the main important thing is Magneto life's story and how he became so close to Xavier, forming a bond that later, even being enemies, there's some part of them that are always meant to be together. It's no mystery that Xavier preferred to stayed at the humans side because he believed in the best of people. And I guess that's the characteristic we have always enjoyed about him, though sometimes hurt his faith and perseverance is undeniable.  
The film has everything to be liked, excellent actor, McAvoy and Fassbender are at the top (is there any language  he doesn't speak?) but all the cast is very well chosen and the story is very credible like it could really had been so...And all the answers are there, tender moments, doubt moments, moments that changed all X-Men history and more important that shaped Xavier as he is "today" with his school with all his students, even if Magneto left him because his suffering cannot let him go. If Magneto is what he is, he owns that do Xavier and that's why they'll never be apart.
I enjoyed so much the movie, but I don't have the background to keep telling nice stuff.

I just loved it:P

"Professor Charles Xavier: Listen to me very carefully, my friend: Killing will not bring you peace.
Erik Lehnsherr: Peace was never an option. "

"Erik Lehnsherr: This is what they wanted, for us to turn against each other. I tried to warn you.
[turns to Moira]
Erik Lehnsherr: You did this.
Professor Charles Xavier: No Erik, you did.
Erik Lehnsherr: I want you by my side. We're brothers, all of us. We want the same thing.
Professor Charles Xavier: Oh my friend, we do not" 

"The Tree of Life" by Terrence Malick

By far the most beautiful film I've seen lately. Malick is a supreme master that show us an enthralling visually beautiful mixture of 2 types of stories that complement each other. One is the birth of life and the other life itself as a human being, from birth to death passing through all the obstacles. As it is said in the film "There are two ways through life: the way of nature, and the way of Grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow." This is a nice statement that defines the family in cause, the father more rude and authoritarian tries to make his three children Men in the chaos of life, while the mother is more gracious and wants to teach the beauty of life through love. An so she says "The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will flash by."
Life is hard, and from the beginning of the film we know one of their sons is dead at the age of 19, a tragedy for both parents and brothers. But more so, a question of existence and acceptance arises for all the family to accomplish grief and to forgive the way of life or the way of God. The elder brother after many years passed  still holds on grief reflecting on the past and the way his father treat them, the anger he felt when he was little, how he wanted to be more as his mother, as was the brother who died. He knows in his heart that it was preferable if it was him to die, people will miss him less, and he blames himself for it.
So, the film is about the journey, the lost moments, the prospects, the battle between grace and life, the battle between forgiveness and resentment, between anger and peace. It has so much we have or will dealt in past/future... because life is a tree, branching, even when it's cut, searching for new life, for new space to be alive and nurtured by grace. 

Malick made a terrific job, the actors are mere images of a whole picture bigger than life.

"The Eagle" by Kevin Macdonald

Kevin MacDonald, well known for "The Last King of Scotland", brought us an historic film about the loss of the ninth legion and with so their banner and the honour of Rome.
For the archives, the ninth eagle was lost by the father of Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum), and for that reason son seeks to clean his father name by employing a journey to rescue the eagle, even if he does not know where it is, perhaps at north very north of Adrian's wall.The journey is only possible with the help of his Briton slave Esca (Jamie Bell, very good in his role) who knows the terrain and the language of the people behind the wall namely the Picts, which are very nicely portrayed in terms of make-up and wardrobe.
The scenes of battle are very quick so I don't know if they look very convincing but the scenery (landscapes, mountains and rivers), and the companionship between the two is admirable. More so doing a film without a love triangle. Friendship though in opposite sides appears, and honour, bravery and camaraderie is the unit of the film. Two strangers bound to the same faith. Beautiful though not very thrilling.

"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World " by Edgar Wright (2010)

I saw this film because I have friends that loved it, and I was intrigued... and that was how I stayed n the end also....Intrigued!!!

Scott Pilgrim is a graphical novel by the Canadian Bryan Lee O'Malley. The story is a bit surreal, but well... it's supposed to be...Scott is a lazy guy whose only thing in his life is playing guitar in the band " Sex Bob-omb". He soon falls in love with an american girl named Ramona Flowers, but to have her he has to defeat her 7 ex-boyfriends...did I say they were all evil, yes they are, and have powers, strange ones obviously :P
Michael Cera, yes that guy of "Juno", and "Arrested Development" is Scott, the perfect choice for this character since his face is of a procrastinating, lazy and depressed guy, but also youngish. I can't say much to try not to spoil, but the film is quite amusing when we see that all boundaries are off, this not a real story, but at a same time does not have the pretence of being an heroic film so that's refreshing and entertaining and it amuses enough to stick on your mind. If you think this is for geeks you're wrong!!!

I can't help but to praise the minor roles of Kieran Culkin, Anna Kendrick,Brandon Routh, and Jason Schwartzman that made the film more credible and amazing.

"The Beaver" by Jodie Foster

"The Beaver" is not a strange story, people are getting into depression and lethargic stages more than in the preceding century, not because things are worse, but because we lost our ability to talk, to resolve our problems facing them without fear and with our heads up, we lost our ability to move on, we stick to bad things too much, we can't let go and we accumulate too much pressure being of work, family, friends, ourselves...the world is a conniving bitch theses days and we stand so hard to survive...
This film directed by the 2 Oscar awarded actress Jodie Foster tells us a story of a family in which the parent (Mel Gibson) has acute depression, so profound he stays almost catatonic...but when this continues Jodie's character has no more to do than to throw him out to protect their sons from his madness. He thinks he is a failure, his father built a toy company and he is just in his shoes by inheritance..he is not fulfilled, but he does not know what he wants now, depression talks for him anyway....
Change occurs when he finds a lost toy, a stuffed beaver and decide to keep him, and while in a very threaten situation, the puppet comes to life in his bare hand, as a real puppet, an advisor, an incentive to life and creation, and from now on he learns to live again, he conquers most of his family, except his older sun, who's objective is to eliminate everything similar to this father so that madness cannot befall on him. 
Everything tends to the better, because the beaver restored his self-esteem, but everything comes to a price, and at a certain point the puppet must leave...but how when is intrinsic to his soul and body. Catharsis happens and never will be the same.

Mel Gibson has an extraordinary performance here, as well as all the cast, Jodie gets older with such graciousness that is amazing to see. The film is very well supported by Anton Yelchin (as the elder son), and Jennifer Lawrence (as schoolmate vs potential girlfriend).

I enjoyed the story, it is sad, but it's touching and it's nice to see that real family problems are put to screen, maybe it will educate some minds and we'll be more tolerant towards this type of disease that's not easy to pull out nor live with or within it.

"The Hangover Part II" by Todd Phillips

The Wolfpack is here all right, but it is what we expected??? That's the problem, it is exactly the same story in a different country, Thailand, with some typical chaotic experiences in Bangkok but nevertheless it makes us smile. It is disappointing but entertains in a more Sunday afternoon movie than a novelty.
Here Todd Phillips wanted to be bold and explore some other city than the Las Vegas sin city, he chose Bangkok, not bad of a choice if we consider the genre and the exotic and extraordinary stuffs that really happens there, especially involving ping pong balls. It is the perfect place to loose yourselves I guess, though I regretted putting again the Chow guy, it didn't please me in the first and I wanted him dead in the second... All in all everything happened in the same formula and even if we like to see the wolfpack together, one time is memorable, two is a bit pathological, some nice rewriting would do the trick, and the movie would take a  different road and that would be nice...After you are amazed you only see disturbed guys that pills and alcohol unleashe the worst on them, we've seen it's just boring.