Reviews written by registered user
|21 reviews in total|
If you haven't seen this short, do yourself a favor and go watch it online. I just went on Joblo.com and I noticed they had posted this short and being that it's from the people that brought us Hobo with a Shotgun, I had to check it out. It's about 16 minutes long and it works in two ways being a parody of slasher movies from the 70s and 80s and actually being a gory comedy/horror film, it totally accomplishes both. I really don't want to give away too much because there are a few moments that will shock the hell out of you and make you laugh at the same time. Basically it's about Christmas trees that take their revenge on humans on Christmas day. The set up works extremely well for the gory payoff in the third act. Being a fan of The Canadian show Trailer Park Boys I was extremely happy to see Sarah Dunsworth and Johnathan Torrens(aka J-roc) in this. This is a really entertaining short, it's very funny and I loved the Fulci-esquire gore. My favorite line "It's Christmas and I wanna f*ck!". I really hope to see more from these filmmakers, excellent work.
I saw this movie basically because I think that Willa Holland is an incredibly lovely young model/actress. I won't give away too much of the plot except to say this is a rip off of P.T. Anderson, Brett Easton Ellis, Mulholland Dr and throw in The OC just because the filmmakers have little imagination an originality of their own. I mean there's not much to give away there aren't any big plot twists. It just occurred to me that if Mystery Science Theater 3000 were still around this would be the perfect movie for them to goof on. This film is about a group of people living in Los Angeles, some of them prostitute themselves, others sell real estate an marijuana, some are musicians and some do nothing. I mean this movie is hilariously bad at times, one of the characters is suppose to be an amazing badass rocker and he makes the Jonas brothers look cool. So like I said in my summary kind of a typical bad straight to video movie, weak acting, direction, cinematography etc. What really gave this movie character is the bad script, it's just so laughable it almost and I repeat almost makes this entertaining in a bad way. It's funny to think that the lead actress worked with Stanley Kubrick and Vinessa Shaw is a good actress, when given the right material. Willa Holland is cute but I can see her doing many more movies like this. Probably the best thing about this confusing movie was the genuinely funny agent, sure the guy is just ripping off Dane Cook and Jeremy Piven but it's not like those two are Deniro or Jim Carrey for that matter. See this movie if you're with some friends and you want to make your own Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Steven Soderbergh's known for pushing the envelope, in my opinion his
best films are his clear his head films. His first film Sex,Lies and a
Videotape is excellent, after that film he started to lack in greatness
because he got caught up in the machine aka the beast otherwise known
as Hollywood. Then he went back the Louisiana to clear his head and
made the brilliant Schizopolis, after that wonderful and hilarious film
he made his comeback with Out of Site and immediately after he made the
even better The Limey. So on a roll he continued with the conventional
but good Erin Brochovich and the Friedkin inspired Traffic. Traffic is
really good but not as good as the totally underrated Full Frontal.
Sadly he had to make some studio films and made the 3 conventional,
sometimes bad Oceans films. In between the Oceans films he did some of
his best work Solaris, K Street, Bubble and the decent Good German(see
Zentropa for an example on why he didn't completely succeed with this
film). Che could be his best film but of course it's going to be good,
when you have an amazing story, cast and crew working on it. The
Girlfriend Experience works even better the Che because it's more in
line with his roots as a filmmaker, a kind of homage to Godard an a
number of the great new wave filmmakers from the 70's American and
French, think Pakula, Scorsese, Altman.
The Girlfriend Experience is about a high class escort living in New York an dealing with a boyfriend, clients, her business and politics. Throughout the film numerous references are made to the 2008 election and the economy. What's incredible about this film is it was made on a shoestring budget in two weeks and like Bubble the cast is made up of non-actors. Sasha Grey is somewhat of an exception in the sense that she did work on a couple of movies before this but this is her fist real film. Grey is so good in this film you wouldn't believe that this is her first film and she's so beautiful you definitely wouldn't believe that she's worked on hundreds of pornos ranging hardcore to slightly soft core. Upon hearing about her being cast I had to look her up and was shocked to find out that not only did she make hardcore porn or that she is so young but she's actually an intelligent film buff. This film works for me on a number of levels, being that it's a brilliant character study in the tradition of Scorsese and Cassavetes. At the same time being an Altman-esquire comedic drama and an homage to Klute minus the film noir. This film is never boring, always interesting and entertaining. If you love A Woman Under the Influence or Taxi Driver or Godard, you will probably like this. It's beautifully shot in scope and thank the film gods that most of the film isn't done in hand-held, it has a very classic look to it and apparently done without using any studio lighting(i.e. it's shot using natural and source lighting). The editing is crisp like his previous films and like his previous films he jumps back and forth, lots of voice over and plays with time. The script is one of the best of the year and it's from the writer of Rounders, Brian Koppelman and David Levien, this is definitely their best work. I really hope to see Sasha Grey in more films, she gave one of the best performances of this year and this is likely to be her breakthrough film. Lets all thank Cuban and Wagner for having the balls to put up the money to make this masterpiece that will be studied in 20 years. Soderbergh proves his genius once again with this film. This film will definitely be on my top five of the year, rent it, buy it, see this film. Highly recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Going into this film I knew a little about it, so give you a good idea on what it's about, though I'll just say this is a coming of age film set in the late 70's in Long Island. Kieran Culkin stars in this impressive debut film from filmmakers Derek and Steve Martini, he plays Jimmy Bartlett a normal high schooler that fantasizes about the girl next door, gets beat up and has to deal with his parents and all their drama. I really liked this movie I found it to be heartwarming and funny at times but when I say heartwarming I don't mean in a corny way, you really grow to care about these people. The film has really nice direction, that isn't too flashy, think The Ice Storm meets Scorsese. The music is really good and they use an number of great songs from the period, from Boston to Bob Dylan to Elton John and even some old Scorsese-esquire Motown. The reason to see this film isn't for the direction or cinematography both are nice though. The reason to see this film is for the excellent script and perfect acting. Alec Baldwin and Timothy Hutton are great but the real standout performances come from Jill Hennessey who I want to see more of after this, Kieran Culkin, Rory Culkin channeling a young Deniro and Emma Roberts. Emma Roberts is known for doing family movies and TV shows but after this I feel like she's destined to be one best American actresses of her generation if she can just do more movies like this, shes really lovely an charming and I need to see her in more movies like this. This isn't the best film of the year and it might not even make my top ten but I really enjoyed this film, being a huge fan of Scorsese I loved all the little homages to him and being a big fan of The Ice Storm a far more serious film, this film really worked for me and I can definitely see myself buying this on DVD and showing it to friends. I really hope this movie does well enough so that it gets a wider release because I think if people just gave this film a chance they would love it too, don't take my word for it go out and see it. Also I felt an affinity to the main character, a lot of what he went through I went through too at that point in my life. Lymelife isn't your typical coming of age indie dramedy,if you liked The Ice Storm or Scorsese I think you'll like this. Highly recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
James Gray is an interesting filmmaker because he started out with Little Odessa a Scorsese-esquire/Cimino-esquire little film, think Deer Hunter meets Mean Streets. Little Odessa is a masterpiece set in Brighton Beach and deals with hoods and gangsters, while everybody was raving about Quentan Tarantino and later on P.T. Anderson, James Gray and Little Odessa were barely mentioned and the film received a small release. Six years later he Followed up that film with The Yards, a good crime drama set in Brighton Beach that dealt with Unions involved in mass transit. It's in the vein of the first two Godfather films and Scorsese. It's good but not as good as Little Odessa. His third film and probably his most popular is We Own the Night, I'll just say this-Brighton Beach, Cops and Robbers and not as good as his first two. Two Lovers arrives out of nowhere and only a year after We Own the Night. I really loved Two Lovers, if you love cinema I think you might like this because he gives numerous homages and in a really cool way where it's not completely obvious. The cool thing is this film is set in Brighton Beach once again yet it deals with real people, not hoods or crime, the main character Leonard, is a film buff/Photographer played brilliantly by Joaquin Phoenix. The film is about a man who's living with his parents and very depressed after losing his fiancé, when he's introduced to Sandra, who's played by the excellent Vinessa Shaw, I immediately fell in love with her. Leonard ends up meeting Michelle (Gweneth Paltrow)and he immediately falls for her. I don't want to give away too much so I'll just say that Michelle is kind of wild and I didn't really care for her at first only because I knew she was wrong for Leonard. I won't say more about the plot except to say the film has no genre in that it's a character study, the movie can be funny, sad, romantic, exciting basically any human emotion is in the film, i.e. this isn't a genre film. I don't think this film is eligible for the 09 Oscars otherwise I'd say this film deserves a few namely for James Grays Script and Supporting actress for Vinessa Shaw. With Two Lovers James Gray made a wonderful true to life character study, I've been in Leonard situation as many of us have but the fact that he's a film buff is really cool and is rarely presented like this. The film is also beautifully lit and James Grays direction has never been better. Two Lovers is James Grays best film so far and if you haven't seen any is his others check them out, he's probably the most underrated filmmaker of his generation but that will soon change after people see Two Lovers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Danny Boyle has been a favorite of mine since I saw Shallow Grave, since then he's gone on to make three masterpieces(Trainspotting,28 Days Later and Millions), a near perfect film(Sunshine) a guilty pleasure(The Beach) and a total miss(A Life Less Ordinary). Slumdog Millionaire comes out of nowhere and it could very well be his best film and one of the best films of the decade. Visually like Boyles previous work it's stunning, Apocalypse Now and City of God come to mind and there are dutch angles galore. The raw style mixed with the amazing locations make this film one of the most cinematic experiences you'll ever see. The Sound is perfect, I haven't heard audio like this in a while. This film needs a Sound Oscar nomination, it sounds that good. I went into seeing this knowing very little about it and the person I took with me didn't know anything about it, so I'll just say it's about a young man that goes on Indias Who Wants to be a Millionaire, it's a very unconventional film where they tell the story of his life in flashbacks while he plays the game. It's funny, sad, thrilling, basically a very enjoyable film that deserves numerous Oscar nominations. Also the lead actress is one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen, if she isn't a huge star after this I'd be extremely surprised. If the academy doesn't honor this film with numerous nominations it will be a shame but this film will be studied in 20 years and whoever sees this will love it, so even if it doesn't get a single nomination it won't matter. Don't miss this film, it's perfect!
I'll start this review by saying flat out George Clooney is an amazing actor, I've been a fan since E.R., then he did From Dusk Till Dawn where he played a bad ass and the only reason to see the film. When he did Out of Sight he changed his career, not only was that a great film, with great performances but it teamed him up with Soderbergh. After a few hits and misses he did a film with the Coen Brothers, why that film did not receive more Oscar nominations(Actor?) I'll never fully understand. Finally he directed his first film with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, brilliant. His second Good Night and Good Luck, also brilliant and nominated for Oscars. Leatherheads is not Brilliant, it is gorgeous, has excellent production value and is very entertaining. I mean I didn't find his second film to be so entertaining it was almost like a movie you'd watch in middle school. The movie is very funny at times and echos The Sting and Slap Shot, it also features a lively score by Randy Newman who hasn't done a score this good in years. Unfortunately John Krazynsky and Renee Zellwegger are miscast. The writing isn't great either, it's pretty weak at times and a little clique. I loved seeing Johnathan Price and Newton Thomas Seigel working with Clooney is always a good thing. My favorite aspects of this film are the direction, cinematography, Clooney and the comedy. The movie isn't a waste of time for George Clooney, it taught him some things and I think his next film will be in top form. I give this film a 10 only because it's current rating is too low it deserves at least a 6.9. You might like this if you're over 40 or like George Clooney. If you're under 20, watch MTV or reality TV,you probably won't like this.
This is a pretty interesting documentary, in the early 80s if you ever saw Stewart Copeland with a camera and wondered what he was doing, this is it. It's basically home movies Copeland took when he was with The Police. It's interesting hearing what he has to say and to actually see some behind the scenes. Musically it's very nice but at times the audio is weak, that's due to the fact that a good audio system wasn't available but you get to hear some great live versions of some hits.There are some really funny moments an since it is a documentary, a few times I was reminded of This is Spinal Tap, which isn't a bad thing. We get to kind of know the band members and by the end I felt this film was a pleasing experience, showing us what it's like being a member of a rock group.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I saw this the other day, I thought it was going to be the typical black melodrama but it turned out to be a pretty good movie. It's about a drug addict thief(Tate) that cleans up but finds it very hard to adjust to society. The characters ambition in life is to be a stand up comedian, along the way he falls in love, gets in trouble and eventually redeems himself. Larenz Tate stars and also produces, he gives a great performance, I'm surprised he still hasn't caught on with the studios. Anways if you want to see a decent movie about a former junkie that turns his life around, check this out. You won't be disappointed by Tates heartfelt performance, the film itself isn't amazing I've seen better but it won't bore you. The cast is pretty good, the always wonderful Sarah Polley plays a Nun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw Thomas McCarthys The Station Agent in early '06, I was really blindsided by how wonderful it turned out to be. I only had to wait 2 years to see that Thomas McCarthy is the best American filmmaker to start this decade. The Vistor starts out somewhat a mystery in the sense that we can see this man is lonely and sort of pathetic but we don't know why. As the story unfolds we understand why he's so disconnected with the world. Walter (played Richard Jenkins) is a widower when we first meet him he's trying to learn the Piano, we see that he's a professor and he has no passion for teaching. Walter goes to a conference in New York, when he gets to an apartment he's owned for 25 years (he later says) he finds a young immigrant couple living there. The man's from Syria and the woman is from Africa, Walter makes them leave but feels bad so he he lets them stay until they can find a place. In brief the man, Terek plays the drum and teaches Walter how to play, Walter finally lightens up and by the end of the film he's referred to as being "Cool". The sad part/conflict in the film, is Tarek gets arrested for a crime he didn't commit and being that he and his wife are illegals he's sent to a Jail. Tareks mother Mouna (Hiam Abbass) comes looking for him and Walters tells her everything, what ends up happening is he falls in love with Mouna. He takes her out and they really get along, where Tarek left off on Teaching Walter to break out of his shell Mouna picks up and they fall in love. Tarek is eventually deported and Mouna decides to leave, to be with him. So in the end Walter, though saddened by Mouna and Tareks departure soldiers on. The film ends with him clearly happy and a better man. The Vistor is an original film, the only other film it reminds me of is Green Card but its like if Green Card had been about the street drummer at the beginning of the film and its an amazing film, Green Card was average. In my opinion The Visitor is an amazing film that avoids cliques and being another Hollywood movie. If this had been a studio film, the role wouldn't have been played by Richard Jenkins, who deserves an Oscar for his performance, Mouna would've stayed or Tarek wouldn't have been deported. Hiam Abbass is beautiful in the film, if she doesn't get a best supporting actress nomination it was been an injustice. Thomas McCarthy deserves an Oscar for original screenplay, if Diablo Cody can win and Lars and the Real Girl can get a nomination this should be a cake walk. This film is very powerful, thematically its one of the best you'll see this year and the subject is a good one. This is the type of movie you walk away feeling great. It's really funny at times and I really can't wait to get it on DVD so I can learn all the lines but as I said before, it can be quite sad. I can't call this the best film of the year because it's very early but as of right now it ranks number one and if it doesn't stay there I guarantee you it will be on my top three. After this, once again I can't wait to see what Thomas McCarthy does next.
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