The Hunt is a fascinating Danish drama, of a teacher who's accused of… MoreThe Hunt is a fascinating Danish drama, of a teacher who's accused of one of the most heinous acts, child molestation. As happens when one is accused of such atrocities everyone turns on him, surprisingly moderately though. The film is depressing even when it just foreshadows what's to come, but then becomes truly hard to watch. A man who loses everything, some on his own account. The film shows the importance of innocent until proven guilty, not only legally but socially. To an extent this was a humbling experience. At the end of The Hunt the punchline comes, with an amazing ending, that I did not sense coming, I have a few theories (below), but no matter what the intent was the final minute brings a true symbolism and humble ending to this drama.
I believe the shooter was either his son or Klara's protective older brother.
Mass Appeal stars Jack Lemmon, as a priest who's been in this long… MoreMass Appeal stars Jack Lemmon, as a priest who's been in this long enough to bend the rules. He takes Mark Dolson under his wing, an extreme progressive who never sees a middle ground. The character Mark is poorly drafted, he thinks lying is an inexcusable sin, but has openly stated that he believes Jesus was gay for John. He's to much of a contradiction, and a character that's hard to like, but then again everyone but Jack Lemmon played over the top characters in this film.
Mass Appeal has a cozy mood as you can just sit back and watch, it's not an essential church drama, but does beg a few important questions.
Alexander Payne's Nebraska gets truly touching by the end, and… MoreAlexander Payne's Nebraska gets truly touching by the end, and depending on the kind of person you are prior to this movie can be either a tragedy or a comedy. While there's definitely some pity thrown out at once, I did consider this a funny movie. The crude dialogue was right up my style, and Alexander Payne capitalizes on his wit through the no bull sh*t June Squibb. I fell in love with the whole cast, Bruce Dern (who really deserves the best actor), Will Forte (in a plain but clear role), Bob Odenkirk (better call Saul), but most importantly June Squibb. Nebraska succeeds in painting the small town life, in which most never get out of. With themes of alcoholism and delusion coming from Bruce Dern, it's hard not to feel any empathy for the character, but at the same time I laughed out loud several times.
Midnight Express, follows the true story of Billy Hays, an American… MoreMidnight Express, follows the true story of Billy Hays, an American who was caught smuggling in Turkey. I believe that I should've felt more emotion during this movie, because it truly gives a brutal picture of the chaotic Turkish Prison, and unjust judicial system. But really all I felt was anger towards Rifki, and pride when he gets what's coming to him. Well I guess that is an understatement, since there are a few powerful scenes not involving Rifki at all, when Billy Hays' girlfriend comes to visit him, and all he can think about is her cleavage, that was a truly pitiful site. The screenplay is adapted by Oliver Stone, from the real Billy Hays' book. What was truly impressive though was the director and crew on production, since the Turkish Prison felt genuinely real. It's a tragic case, and a solid movie.
There aren't to many comedies about abortion out there today, but… MoreThere aren't to many comedies about abortion out there today, but Alexander Payne attempts on in Citizen Ruth. The movie has guts, but the humor itself doesn't have the shock value I was expecting. The witty Payne could've pulled a few jaw droppers, but didn't even attempt them. The movie still has funny moments, as Ruth is pulled between a poster child of pro-life and pro-choice, when she as a drug addict gets pregnant with her forth child. The espionage reveal was funny, but there aren't to many other laugh out loud moments.
The film has some explorative cinematography, when put in the first person perspective of Ruth. It's nothing ground breaking, but is intriguing.
I felt that Ruth switched from mellow disinterest to extreme passion to often. Perhaps it was to show the ever changing moves of an inhaler addict, but it didn't always make sense. Luara Dern has gotten acclaim for this role, but I didn't see anything special. Little true emotion, and far to much swaying.
The Lover, the Cook, The Wife, The Thief
As seen immediately, in… MoreThe Lover, the Cook, The Wife, The Thief
As seen immediately, in the film, The Cook, The Theif, The Wife & Her Lover takes great advantage of the use of color. The last film I can think of that uses color so overwhelmingly is Bergmans Cries and Whispers, where he drowns the audience with red. What I found stunning in this film was that the scenes were so beautiful while all taking place in-doors, in fact the only ugly scenes were the outdoor ones, which took barely any screen time.
This film features on of the greatest pricks in cinema history, Albert. Played by Michael Gambon, who absolutely blew me away. Albert surrounds himself with his arrogant sidekicks, but compared to him they're a set of nuns.
Peter Greenaway creates a true villain with Albert, one that no one can like or desire to imitate. Albert is a bully, rapist, and a misogynist, whose traits are greed & arrogance. Albert isn't just a smug rich man though, he definently has his deficiencies, which can be seen with his envy. There's a scene where Albert ruins one of his wives dishes as a practical joke, when he's done pouring wine on the expensive meal the camera cuts to showing the hard work of the chef and kitchen, which represents the destructive path Albert has.
The greatest scene of the film is when the affair begins in the restroom, and Albert comes in. Standing outside the stall the intensity reaches an all time high. It's interesting that Albert behaves at his worst in restrooms after this.
Greenaway has no taboos in this film, whether it's what's being discussed at the dinner table, which most people would never speak about... or what Albert does to others, which most people wouldn't even think about. Despite how disturbing this film is, there's solid black comedy, and even some light British humor. A moment that incoorporates the taboo and comedy elements is the gynecologist dinner table conversation.
The films idol is the chef. He makes Albert wait, while giving a beaten poor man immediate attention. He's also the only character to bring smart philosophy to the table, unlike Albert who just spits gibberish. Before cooking his shock of a dish, the chef speaks about the most expensive food: "black food". He's a hard worker yet speaks as if he's been still as Rodins "The Thinker".
I fell in love with the cast: Bohringer, Hellen Miren, Tim Roth, Alan Howard, and Gambon all bring something unique to this movie. The whole cast comes together at the conclusion to bring the single greatest revenge scene, that even Tarantino (Kill Bill, Django Unchained) & Chan-Wook Park (Oldboy, Lady Vegenence) couldn't think of. Fascinating cinematic masterpiece.
Netflix original-and Oscar nominated best documentary- The Square… MoreNetflix original-and Oscar nominated best documentary- The Square briefly follows the two Egyptian revolutions, and mainly the military regime. My main issue with this film, is that after nearly three years of footage there's nothing negative shown about the revolutionaries. While the military committed great injustices, I refuse to believe that these frustrated young men never committed violence. In the film they are painted as if they'd never hurt a fly. But as happens with deep bias the documentary does elicit some emotion, I was angered by the tank incident, and touched by the children's chant. There's nothing to enlightening about The Square, but it's worth watching to see the emotional battles of the young Egyptians pushing for change. I was pleased to see the dismay over the Muslim Brotherhood, I didn't know how rigged the election was, but immediately when I heard Morssi was elected, during summer 2012, I feared for Egypt's future.
Prisoners is one of the best done films of 2013, in almost every… MorePrisoners is one of the best done films of 2013, in almost every aspect. You can see this from the start with the genuine atmosphere during the two families dinners, with talented actors aided with realistic dialogue create a (pre)tense setting. The cinematography, done by the talented Roger Deakins, was gorgeous. What gives Prisoners an advantage compared to other child kidnapping films is the complete classlessness of what condition and location the girls are in throughout. Hugh Jackman was phenomenal, but Jake Gyllenhaal was slightly less than believable. I'm becoming a fan of Paul Dano due to the sinister and smug look he has. A few things irritated me in the legalities of the movie, the warrantless entrances would be a mess, and the interrogation incident would near kill the case. I had many questions after the 183 minute film was done, and there were a few that I realized the answer to in candid thinking days after I watched the movie. That's some talent from the film makers in crafting this puzzle.
This is the other Woody Allen great that I've been looking for, after… MoreThis is the other Woody Allen great that I've been looking for, after watching Midnight in Paris and Annie Hall a few years ago, the rest of the Woody Allen works I've seen have ranged from near awful to very good. But none have been great, like Crimes and Misdemeanors. The Woody Allen scenes were consistently hilarious, crammed with witty one liners, and priceless moments. My favorite is when Woody Allen shows the final product for the documentary he's been making for and about his smug brother in law, in which he clips in a roaring Mussolini. Which is another unique aspect this film accomplished, in it's modern recreations of black and white movies, showing clips of the scene getting recreated moments after-usually at a theater.
The more dramatic Martin Landua plot didn't put me in a solemn mood, that Woody Allen was trying to create. This is the one aspect of this film that didn't get accomplished in my viewing experience. The dilemmas were gripping, and the spiritual flashbacks were intriguing, but I lacked empathy in these scenes. I even felt more towards Woody Allen in his envy towards his brother-in-law, and his desire for Halley (Mia Farrow). Both stories cover a different stage of an affair, with much different results, and begs the question of which one got it better.
The film editing is stellar, done by Susan E Morose, and Woody Allen directs another awesome comedy