This hilarious British action comedy featuring fictional radio and… MoreThis hilarious British action comedy featuring fictional radio and television presenter Alan Partridge, played by Steve Coogan, was an enjoyable film to watch. Directed by Declan Lowney, and written by Coogan, Armando Iannucci, Peter Baynham, Neil Gibbons, and Rob Gibbons, it had everything you need for a fun time in a cinema (or a movie night at home). Alan Partridge, portrayed by Steve Coogan, was created as a character in 1991 for the radio show On the Hour by Coogan, Armando Iannucci, and Patrick Marber, with input from writers Stewart Lee and Richard Herring. The character is an egotistical television presenter and radio announcer, whose presenting style is a parody of cliched media reporting or presentation. The character's fictional career has been charted in several British television and radio programmes, as well as in the book I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan, a spoof autobiography.
His story in the local radio station in Norwich, North Norfolk Digital, was engaging and fun. I really enjoyed watching DJ Alan Partridge lack of concern about the change... until he found out that it was him or fellow DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) to go as a redundant workforce. Alan betrays Pat, writing "JUST SACK PAT" on the meeting room flipchart. Pat is later asked to leave... but he comes back with a vengeance.
Smartly executed, endlessly quotable and machine-gun quick - quick description.
Everything a big screen comedy needs was in it. I hope that there will be more of it in the near future!
Have you seen any Chilean movies recently with Michael Cera? Here is… MoreHave you seen any Chilean movies recently with Michael Cera? Here is one! Written and directed by Sebastián Silva, the full movie title as on the screen is "Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus and 2012". Of course, it premiered at the Sundance festival and Silva there said that his movie, which is based on a real-life encounter, is "about the birth of compassion in someone's life." It could be described like that, but as we know it is not the final destination which is important, it is the way someone arrives to it. And during this travel, most of the young men and one young woman arrived through dope, cocaine or even mescaline!
The story of Jamie traveling in Chile, and attending the local party is so under the influence of cocaine that he couldn't even remember that he invited an eccentric woman to join his group's quest to score a fabled hallucinogen, a move that finds him at odds with his new companion, until they drink the magic brew on a beach at the edge of the desert. The words come together.
I didn't get too excited even with the naked appearance and the unshaved part, most of the time it was just smooth sailing with a very low blow... I understand the director's approach and that Michael Cera was in Chile a week in Santiago in pre-production living together at Sebastián's parents' house-where he had filmed The Maid in 2009. The boys would sit out back playing guitar and singing songs. Gaby Hoffmann, (as Crystal Fairy, a radical spirit) recalls hearing the music steaming through the open doors while Sebastián and Hoffmann would sit at a desk where she created all Crystal Fairy's drawings in the sketchbook she has in the movie.
The titular character is based on a real person who was an influence on the director. The script was an outline with every scene including a moment that leads the actors to the next place. They didn't do any rehearsals in character, but since the boys had already been living together when Hoffmann arrived, her character's role as the outsider was easier to slip into. While shooting the scene of Crystal Fairy tripping, Hoffmann was too. "...I just knew it would be okay. My dose was weak, so I had to take a second one even though it was so revolting, but I really loved it. I was totally present in the experience of the making of the movie, and I felt like it was subtle enough that I could step in and out of it," Hoffmann said. "I never felt like, 'Oh my God, I'm tripping and I have to make a movie.' I felt like I could totally step out of it and be like, 'Okay, Sebastián, what's going on? What do we need to do?' And then I could step back into it and just go with it. And, you know, there's like hours and hours of footage that you don't see because it was like a 10-hour trip and we were in that desert the whole time. It was great, but it was subtle."
You heard the explanation, watch the movie, and that is exactly what are you going to see: someone tripping for a long time, and we are watching and paying!
This direct-to-video Christmas film with some very limited theatrical… MoreThis direct-to-video Christmas film with some very limited theatrical release is directed by Richard Foster, and I assume that he wrote the screenplay with his wife Deborah Foster. I am not sure how did these guys won awards from the Bare Bones Film Festival (I never heard of it before) but everything was so lame, from the writing, acting, camera work, photography... that the "stars" Eric Roberts and Lexi Ainsworth blended "nicely" in a piece of work which could simply only annoy you!
The story revolves around eighteen-year-old Ashley (Lexi Ainsworth), her father (Eric Roberts) and stepmother (Vivica A. Fox) with the stepbrother (Titus Makin Jr.) from a mixed race marriage. Lives of the children are heading in the wrong direction, because the white girl and the black boy are hanging out with a bad crowd and seeking an escape from the drama at home. But, everything begins to change when a handyman (Bryan Massey) working on the family's house encourages Ashley to volunteer for a Christmas play with underprivileged children. Ashley finds purpose by helping people in need and uses that to help heal her troubled family, but her stepbrother is getting into more trouble with drugs and drug dealers... Of course, the message is that together, they discover the impact one person can make through the gift of giving.
Sounds good to you? Well, I put it the best way possible... but the melodramatic elements combined with stupid dialogues, preaching monologues, bad acting and clichés which could make you sick, were too much to have at once! Skip this one if possible!
This drama directed by Lynn Shelton was nominated for the Grand Jury… MoreThis drama directed by Lynn Shelton was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. After watching it, I really think that this one will divide the audience and any time could go both ways - some would love figuring it out what the writer and director wanted to say while others could simply walk away, deciding that their life is too precious to be wasted on such movies.
The story of a massage therapist Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) who is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact, seemed deep, but I am not sure if that was on the surface only. It had the elements of the New Age mysticism but they led nowhere when the going was tough - it tried to be uplifting but most of the characters finished where they started... I have to say that there were fascinating performances from most of the cast, especially from Josh Pais as Abbie's uptight (slightly autistic or neurotic) brother, spending most of his time in the floundering dental practice which receives new life when clients seek out his healing touch. The other noticeable acting was from Ellen Page as his daughter Jenny...
I think that most of the people who are aware of some of the benefits of the New Age touchy-feely approach will find this movie pleasurable, while others, more down-to-earth type of traditional believers could be very annoyed with suggestions that ecstasy could help you reach a balance in a relationship... Whatever group you are, the good thing is that the opposite opinion is usually served and Lynn Shelton is not asking anyone to believe in anything they see. If we simply take what she got - most of us could be satisfied.
I don't know what was I thinking choosing this Christmas family drama,… MoreI don't know what was I thinking choosing this Christmas family drama, because this adaptation of Turk Pipkin's 1999 novel When Angels Sing, was a real suffering! Directed by Tim McCanlies, and starring Harry Connick, Jr., Connie Britton, Chandler Canterbury, Fionnula Flanagan, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, this film had such substandard acting, that I wanted to stop watching it few times during the hour and a half... I didn't do that because at the end I wanted to write an honest review and warn people who love quality.
The story of the history professor Michael (who as a child loved Christmas, but after a tragic accident, his holiday spirit was crushed) was simplistic and very thin. As a grown up, he still can't find the joy of Christmas. Only as his son faces a tragedy, he needs to find his holiday spirit again. He gets a push in the "right" direction when he meets a man named Nick (Willie Nelson), who gives him a gift that helps him find the joy of Christmas again.
There was some good music here, maybe the message wasn't too bad, but the rest was insignificant and forgettable. Impotent is the word which comes to my mind after watching it! And no pills would help.
Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare is the first in a series of Japanese… MoreYokai Monsters: Spook Warfare is the first in a series of Japanese children's movies created in the 1960s. Despite being advertised as a "children's movie", the presence of cursing and bloodshed make that label highly questionable. You will find out that there were originally three movies made: Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare (1968), Yokai Monsters: One Hundred Monsters (1968) and Yokai Monsters: Along With Ghosts (1969). For a movie which is 45 years old this is amazing! I thought it was some cheap Japanese rubber dolls costume party, but this is a serious movie with a substance regardless the costumes which are awful!
The story was developed carefully, and is set in the Middle Ages. After hibernating for thousands of years, a Babylonian monster called Daimon is awoken from the ancient ruins in which he is sleeping by Arab grave robbers. This was my first and only problem with the movie: the background of the ruins was much closer to the Egyptian excavations than to the Babylonian sites. Simple encyclopaedia from that time could help the director and the crew. After the awakening, Daimon then flies to Japan. On the Japanese coast a magistrate, his daughter and a servant are fishing. A sudden storm forces them to head home, but the magistrate decides to 'patrol the area' first. Daimon lands and kills him, sucks his blood and takes on his form. The disguised monster returns to the magistrate's home, where the daughter's dog takes a dislike to him... Ok, I will stop here retelling the story, but I have to say that later there will be hundreds of other Japanese monsters defending their honour and trying to expel the intruder.
No CGI, special effects were all made the old fashioned way, all monsters are played by actors in rubber suits, except one wooden umbrella with a sticking long tongue - which is a puppet... and still it has an appeal in the 21st century. I hope it's nothing wrong with me...
I wasn't planning to watch this one, I was happy with just one (first… MoreI wasn't planning to watch this one, I was happy with just one (first one)... but there was a copy on my desk and I had 2 hours to kill. Of course, I knew what this British-American superhero action-comedy was about. Written and directed by Jeff Wadlow and co-produced by Matthew Vaughn, who directed the first film, it was something I would expect from a sequel. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloë Grace Moretz reprise their roles from the first film as Kick-Ass, The Motherfucker ("Red Mist" in the first film), and Hit-Girl respectively.
Everything in this sequel starts when Dave Lizewski, bored after having retired from fighting crime as Kick-Ass, begins training with Mindy Macready to become a proper hero. Meanwhile, Chris D'Amico accidentally kills his mother, and now with control over his family's money, reinvents himself as supervillain the Motherfucker and swears vengeance on Kick-Ass, because he blames him for his father's death. Kick-Ass joins the superhero team Justice Forever, led by Colonel Stars and Stripes; it includes Battle Guy (Dave's friend, Marty), Dr. Gravity, Insect Man, Night-Bitch, and the parents of a missing child named Tommy. That would become a major problem for this movie: too many characters and not enough time to deal with them all! The latest superhero rampage has lost quite a bit of shock value - but Chloë Grace Moretz's Hit-Girl is still the coolest thing happening in a cape... Maybe she is the reason that Quentin Tarantino has named the film as one of the ten best he has seen, so far, in 2013.
I do not share his opinion, but I could not say that I didn't enjoy it. It was fast paced, interesting and with lots of violence which is very common for the console game type entertainment.
When I checked what was left out for me to watch, this was the ONLY… MoreWhen I checked what was left out for me to watch, this was the ONLY movie I had left last night... and reading the title didn't give me much hope that this would be anything more than some sweet "uplifting" holiday melodrama - which I wasn't in a mood for. I am glad I was mistaken, and I felt like an idiot that I never noticed that I had in possession an Edward Burns' movie! This writer, director and star goes back to this Irish-Catholic roots and the 1995 debut film that put him on the map, The Brothers McMullen. Burns knows his way around the business of family playing Gerry Fitzgerald, the eldest of seven children parented by Josie (in a lifetime performance of Anita Gillette), a single mom since her husband, Big Jim (Ed Lauter), walked out on them 20 years ago.
It was threading on an edge to become a Hallmark entertainment piece, but Burns and a bracingly fine cast play it for real, and that feel of reality is never allowing the film to slip to the cheap and cheese category. He wisely brings in Connie Britton, as his new romance and their scenes together have an irresistible romantic vibrancy.
Even with all the problems of the family, there is a perfect amount of grit and comic grace notes, but sometimes I felt overwhelmed with so many characters introduced at once ... brother Quinn (Michael McGlone) wants to propose to younger girlfriend (Daniella Pineda); sister Sharon (Kerry Bishe) hooks up with a father-figure (Noah Emmerich); sister Dottie (Marsha Dietlein Bennett) dumps her husband for a hottie gardener, and the next sister Connie (Caitlin Fitzgerald) is pregnant by an abusive boyfriend while the youngest brother Cyril (Tom Guiry) is just out of rehab; sister Erin (Heather Burns), has married up and looks down on her family, except for daddy... with all these it felt like an Russian classic not a modern Irish-American piece. It was a good experience, though.
This adaptation based on a book by psychiatrists Corbett H. Thigpen… MoreThis adaptation based on a book by psychiatrists Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley, who also helped write the screenplay was directed as a case study. Literally... from the beginning when (at that time famous) Alistair Cooke shows up to introduce the film, we know that the fact-based story will be recreated as close as possible to the real events in the life of Chris Costner Sizemore, also known as Eve White, a woman they suggested might suffer from multiple personality disorder. Sizemore's identity was concealed in interviews and this film, and was not revealed to the public until 1975.
Joanne Woodward won the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first actress to win an Oscar for portraying three different personalities (Eve White, Eve Black and Jane). The Three Faces of Eve also became the first film to win the Best Actress award without getting nominated in another category, and the last for nearly 31 years until Jodie Foster won the award for The Accused, the film's sole nomination. It is understandable - because only Woodward's acting was outstanding - everything else could be improved - especially the directing, camera work, photography and editing! Too many clichés left a movie about three personalities without a personality itself. I can see now how far the artistic value of the films is changed or improved. This seemed really daring at the time, now it is too simplistic to actually satisfy my cravings for a good engaging movie. It is like getting those old Atari game consoles out of the attic instead of the latest X-Box and prefer to play with it. It has a sentimental value, not much more in our modern time where movies are not black and white. On the other hand, there are some films from those times which will stand the test of the time forever, because they were never following the entertaining industry rules and formulas - they were following the urge of the artist... those are the movies which will survive through all the times and gaining value, like those old valuable paintings in the Louvre.
Joanne Woodward's acting will survive... the movie... I already forgot about it.
This spoof or parody written and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron… MoreThis spoof or parody written and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, creators of other similar "works of art" can easily fulfil the criteria for the "Worst films of the year". Not many things in this movie were funny, and some of them will make you cry - how low can they go! In this film I could recognize The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, Sherlock Holmes - A Game of Shadows, The Avengers, Avatar, The Great and Powerful Oz, The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey and The Expendables... but I wish I didn't. This was a movie made on a lowest possible budget: it was around $4.5 million dollars, and the shooting lasted only one month!
It kind of goes without saying that the writing and direction here is abysmal, with the only bit of coherency coming from the viewer's prior knowledge of The Hunger Games... If you like to lower your IQ, and to be annoyed by bits in the movie that aren't satirizing the source material, instead merely pointing at it and saying, "Hey, remember this?" - watch it! I already wasted too many words on this... enough.