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Across the Universe (2007)
"Across The Universe" A HAIRless Godspell?
"Across The Universe" sometimes felt like being caught between a less than dynamic version of the rock musical "Hair" and an updated "urban spaceman's" version of "Godspell" The renditions of songs by The Beatles in "Across The Universe" were conveyed in the confines of the "soul" music genre as T-Bone Burnett arranged them perfectly in, what Yoko Ono would describe as a bevy of action paintings, sometimes but not always beautifully captured by Julie Taymor. The segments that were a joy to embrace at this spectator's first viewing were "Because" and "Come Together" the early songs were done with a sense of Broadway nostalgia ala Grease or Hairspray which lend them to a already developed approach and lackluster style except however for "I Want To Hold Your Hand" sang with a accapella straight forwardness sure to put a smile "on" your heart! But the best "soul" laid open in songs from the "White Album" and "Abbey Road" where the psychedelia of "Sgt. Pepper" period was tainted with overused "trippy" visuals that left to much style unconquered. Although then there is segments like "Let It Be" that mirrored what is now happening in the southern part of America, which brought in a sense of here and now with the "Vietnam" vehicle used to depict that war is always such a "ugly" word! There were songs that also misfired such as the "Uncle Sam" recruitment influence of "I Want You (She So Heavy) which in my opinion should have stuck with the original intent being a song about romantic obsession and used as such for after all the two leads demanded such attention to tell their love story, although "Something" was sung with such bravado and intensity! The editing was sometimes a little lethargic, but pick up with such velocity with segments such as "Oh Darling", "Helter Skelter" and the brilliant "Revolution" that left the rapid fire cuts blazing in your head long after the last "Alright" was shouted! The animations for "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" were very well done, and Eddie Lizzard was perfect for the song, but however the ad-libs fell sort of a Lennonesque biting wit, which certainly Mr. Lizzard is capable of! All in all in all the music proved once again to be timeless, if only used in this single musical format. Perhaps later in the evolvement of The Beatles legacy a few more musical genres can be or will be tackled.
La môme (2007)
Not Just Your Adverage Bio Pic!
I disagree with the previous comment regarding Olivier Dahan's direction, which was handle in my humble opinion, with such an eye for detail and created a wonderful, caring homage to Edith Piaf. I do believe that the chemistry between Mr. Dahan and the heart rendering performance by Marion Cotillard is what made the story riveting and visually stunning. Piaf's scattered "memories" are just what the film examines as she starts to dissect and remember fragmented moments in her life, and sometimes "in life" characters, relationships, lost loved ones are suddenly shifted and gone from one's perspective without any notice. The use of "just" the right amount of music, was done superbly as to not just make this a "concert type" musical biography but an exciting joy ride through an era long since past. By the time the credits were rolling both of my shirtsleeves were damp with tears of sorrow and tears of joy in discovering much more about such a remarkable, true modern day diva. I highly recommend this film.
Lost In The Forest
Although this film has a likable and handsome German cast, the problem for me was that it started out as a light hearted variation on a coming out themed that turn into a sophomoric and a pedestrian and slightly angst ridden vehicle to promote oblivious suggestions to an age old situation... do we become ourselves or give away to a generic solution. Luckily the film's script opted for a somewhat positive ending but almost got lost in the forest trying to find its way. The films sensual moments were shoot without being gratuitous, but the humor and emotionally tagged soundtrack keep getting stale and in the way of making this a film to embrace and rejoice with.
El Calentito (2005)
A Visit Back To Yesteryear.... 1980's Madrid
When first viewing the official website, I was slightly dubious as to what I should expect due to the rather fluff visuals, but after obtaining a copy from DVDGO online store from Spain, I was really delighted by this sparkling little jewel. The story line presents facts and fiction to create a colorful, playful comedy drama from eighties Spain. Complete with a segment from Almodovar and MacNamara performing a song from Laberinto De Pasiones spliced in to add just the right spice to continued this period piece that is presented with sparks flying and heels raising. Be on the lookout for this gem at your local theater or rent it when it becomes available, and you'll make just find yourself heading out to the local club scene sporting a nun's habit and shouting LIBERTAD for all the world to hear!
Batman Begins (2005)
Not Your Typical Summer Blockbuster Thug!
With powerful direction, a mixture of elegant performances and a dash of just enough special effects, this truly is a beginning worth remembering. While some moments lead this viewer to think corn was about to be popped right off the ear, the action quickly deviates into a darker alley that allows one to savor the moment of a deep breath. No brightly light faces, no one-liners to dilute the plot, and a ensemble cast human enough to understand without gulping down soda in vile disgust. Hopefully if there are future cards to be laid and the jester shows his hand, this darker franchise will continue to satisfy without sacrificing itself to mockery .
Tú solo (1984)
Good Bull Hunting
I myself do agree with the other IMDB user's comments on this semi-docudrama. I can also recommend this film for all to see. Too bad it was shot for what seems to be 16mm and then perhaps shown on TV, the video version I have from Award Films.com here in the U.S, which by the way is still availible at their on-line store, is slightly fuzzy and the colors tend to be faded and out of sync sometimes. But all in all a fascinating look and the art of Bull Fighting. It was funny to see a dated segment where a TV in the parents home of one of the students show a speech in progress by Ronald Regan!