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Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
This is cussing great!
Wes Anderson's stop-motion masterpiece 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' is a brilliant, spirited and heartwarming movie that will dazzle you more than any other animated film.
The brilliant writer/director of great films such as 'Rushmore', 'The Royal Tenenbaums' and 'The Darjeeling Limited', Wes Anderson, comes with this groundbreaking adaptation of Roald Dahl's brilliant children's book. Now, with the help of amazing Noah Baumbach - writer of 'The Squid and the Whale' and 'Margot at the Wedding' - Anderson wrote a delightful screenplay that made me cry, laugh and cheer through the whole movie. But, let's remark this: this isn't the usual animated film; this deals with real life themes (OK, you may not steal chicken), and, most important, it deals with family relationships even more maturely than most non-family films, in a very funny, imaginative and lovely way.
The ensemble voice cast is one the most originally selected (although some of them are Anderson's usual) I've ever seen on films. And, each character has its, well, characteristics: George Clooney (as Mr. Fox) is a strongly passionate - and funny - voice. I cannot think of any other actor to play his role. And, Meryl Streep (as Ms. Fox) made a deliciously sly (and impressively smooth) voice work. Jason Schwartzman also did a fantastic work (as Ash, Mr. and Ms. Fox's son), he is very funny and heartwarming. Also, the rest of the cast (Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe) did an incredibly great work.
The photography is amazing, you know? Kind of Royal Tenenbaums-like cinematography. The editing was, also great. And, well, the usual typography in Anderson's movies.
Finally, Alexandre Desplat's fantastic score is the juicy cherry at the top of this delicious cake. Lovely, funny and tender. This is the best score of his career.
Verdict: A work of utter brilliance. Enjoyable, funny, heartwarming, full of funny scenes and intelligent dialogues. 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' is the best picture of the year (and a strong contender for the Oscars). Fantastic Mr. Anderson does it again!
Cero y van 4 (2004)
A masterpiece. And a satire about urban violence.
I was on France, around March 05, and I love to go to this Film Festivals. I knew about this Cinémas d'Amérique Latine de Toulouse, but I've never went to it. I decided to go and then I caught Cero y van 4.
The film is stunning. It doesn't caused the impact on me like with the Mexican users, because it was french-subtitled but it's still shocking.
This film is a satire about urban violence, about kidnapping and crime on the streets in Mexico. It is a crude portrait of the city. Of a Metropolis. Secuestro Express, with a stunning Mia Maestro, which was also a satire of kidnapping, almost, but with a more serious tone has, and I think so, some kinda connection with Cero y van 4. A, sort of, redemption story and that how much is too much? Man on Fire, that was stunningly strong, was also, not a satire, but a crude portrait into the streets of Mexico. Or it is like The Brave One. A film that shocks and hits you in the guts very hard. This is like The Usual Suspects, it has some plot twists and turns, but that makes it even more believable. Verdict: A film that shocks and makes you believe that there's no security on the streets anymore. Stunning dialogue, impressive direction and astonishing performances. Cero y van 4 is a film that you won't forget soon. Leaves you shaking and stunned.
Frost/Nixon. A film for the record.
400 Million People Were Waiting For the Truth.
Plot: A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon.
Frost/Nixon, directed by Ron Howard and with a gripping screenplay by Peter Morgan, and the film is based on his play, is a stunning and extremely sharp vision of the summer of 1977. All the cast was really scored-up. But, specially, Langella and Sheen were superb. It contains a really carefully-and-well-crafted realistic 70's scenario. Both, editing and photography were great. One of the could-be contenders of 2009 Academy Awards. The reason is that, this "stylistic game" very carefully made with a very solid structure, with its amazing photography, excellent artwork, brilliant screenplay, superb performances, very good music and a fantastic direction by Ron Howard, and, let me say that this is one of the most exigent movies that he's ever done, it'll get more that one Academy Award nomination. It's one of those bare movies that after seeing it, it leaves you shaking, ice-cold and that you cannot get it out of your head.
Verdict: In the style of Oliver Stone's classic "JFK", Howard accomplishes a true work of art. With a little bit of luck, this'll get into the Top 250. A film that advantageously accomplishes, with an extremely visionary "politic" argument, arriving to the land of its narrative searches. A film with an impeccable production and impeccable performances. A movie that talks to us about how we respond to truth and lie. Perfect. A film that will transcend through time. A brilliant pick for the season. A Great Movie.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)
Plot: Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.
This is, probably, Kevin Smith's best movie since Clerks. A fresh new comedy about two friends and their urgency of money that makes them to do a porno movie. As usual in Smith, the film contains a lot of sexual discussion, nudity and, oh!, that vulgar language that makes the film even better. There's people that considers Kevin Smith a sick person. Because of the way he writes. But I consider him a genius! Even though I didn't liked, very much, his rated PG-13 movie. But, Clerks II was the relief of that cliché. Anyway, I mean this kind of movies makes you want to sit up your seat and go with him and tell: "How do you come up with this sort of things? You're a genius, man!".
Seth Rogen, as usual, gives the funniest performance and he, I felt, that really was INTO the role. He really fitted in. I never imagine what other actor would be perfect for the character of Zack. And, well, Elizabeth Banks also has her greats. Unfortunately she doesn't go on full- frontal, but, still, she makes a perfect performance as Miri.
Verdict: The best comedy of the 2008 and one of the best pictures of the year. Smith's best picture since Clerks. All Smith's fans will, surely, not be disappointed. Although, I would've loved that the movie lasted a few more minutes.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno. The Weinstein Company. 2008. 102 min. UK: No Certificate. US: NC-17 (original rating). R (re-rating on appeal). Written and directed by Kevin Smith. Starring: Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks, Justin Long.
American History X (1998)
We are not enemies.
American History X is a stunning analysis to society. To American people. This film really pulls you in. It's like if the movie spins a web that brutally absorbs you. Honestly.
I first watched this film projection on a festival that was doing a school. The room was filled over to the top. But, actually at the middle of the movie some people really went out. Specially, two girls. They went out crying as hell. But, anyway, that's another story.
American History X is directed by British director Tony Kaye and written by David McKenna. Is about a racist, Derek, (wonderfully played by an impeccable Edward Norton) that wants to 'clean' (let's put it that way) its neighbourhood of colour people (I am not a racist) and Mexicans and all. But after he is arrested for killing two colour people (and crushed it's head to one of them) he reforms of what he has do. But, his little brother, Danny, (played by an excellent Edward Furlong) is following Derek's steps. But Derek will do anything (even go back and look, in a metaphorical way, to his disturbing and terrifying past).
Verdict: An stunning and truly terrifying movie, with magnificent performances, excellent music and beautiful photography, that you won't soon forget. An instant classic. Edward Norton's performance is one of the best of the history of cinema. An extreme odyssey. Definitely, one of the most daring movies of the last 100 years. It's a shame that I can only give 10 stars to this movie. I would give it 1 000 or a million or all the stars in the world. A masterpiece. One of the best pictures ever made. Very powerful and beautiful.
American History X. New Line Cinema. 1998. 119 min. UK: 18. US: R. Directed by Tony Kaye. Written by David McKenna. Starring: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong.
Nothing Is Private (2007)
An extremely hard movie to watch. Funny and sexually disturbing.
How Can You Find Yourself if No One Can See You?
Plot: A young Arab-American girl struggles with her sexual obsession, a bigoted Army reservist and her strict father during the Gulf War.
I got really, really, but I mean, really lucky to catch this at the Deauville American Film Festival. Can you imagine it? I flew all over to France to see Alan Ball's new movie. Well, I did it. Anyway, Nothing is Private (or Towelhead, as it is called now) is the new film written for the screen, produced and directed by Alan Ball and based upon the novel Towelhead by Alicia Erian. Some people say this movie is a porno and that is sick. But, I can, proudly, compare it with "American Beauty" (also one of my favourite movies, also). You can call me whatever you want and say that I'm nuts, but that's my point of view.
The film is set on the year 1991 on the Gulf War. When I first read the novel I thought: Well, this doesn't looks like a book that no one will ever adapt to the cinema. But, when I saw the film I thought: Oh, my God! What a great adaptation of the book. And, besides, I really loved American Beauty. And it has beautiful and hauntingly dark screenplay, intelligent direction and superb performances. I mean, Summer Bishil's performance is one of the most unforgettable ones of the last decade. Some may find it offencive, but you have to have an open mind to watch this. The most sexually explicit and disturbing movie I've ever seen since Stanley Kubrick's 'Eyes Wide Shut'. I correct; since Bernardo Bertolucci's 'The Dreamers'. When you first watch this you feel like gut-punched. But, if you can get over the whole movie, and you have an open mind, you'll enjoy and love it. This is a true masterpiece. I believe that with the direction, with the screenplay and with the performances, this will get more than one Academy Award.
Verdict: One of the most daring, talking on a mature sexual way, movies of the last 50 years. Stunningly satirical and darkly and shockingly disturbing. A sexist teenage satire on the style of 'Juno' and 'Ghost World'. A superb drama. Simply, a Great Movie. Quite disturbing, not recommended to people that doesn't have an open criterion.
Nothing Is Private. Warner Independent Pictures. 2008. 116 min. UK: No Certificate. US: R. Written for the screen and directed by Alan Ball. Based upon the novel Towelhead by Alicia Erian. Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Peter Macdissi, Summer Bishil, Maria Bello and Toni Collette.
The Lookout (2007)
A sexy, intriguing, intelligent and stylish thriller.
Whoever has the money has the power.
Brilliant! An Oscar-Worthy movie.
Plot: Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank, where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist.
The Lookout is a neo-noir clever thriller about the life and of Chris Pratt and how he got caught up in a planned heist (check Plot). The screenplay is made by Scott Frank who also directs the movie. It's a serious and deep film talking about serious themes. It's a tribute to the old crooks and cops, swindles and robberies with complex and riveting performances. Simply, Joseph Gordon-Levitt performance is impeccable.
Verdict: It's a tribute to the old crooks and cops, swindles and robberies with complex and riveting performances that deserves our entire total attention. 9/10. Excellent.
The Lookout. Written and directed by Scott Frank. 99 Min. Miramax Films. UK: 15. US: R. Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode.
One of the best episodes of the SpongeBob SquarePants series!
Honestly, man, The Smoking Peanut is one of the most intriguing episodes of any TV series ever made. A childish and hysterically funny intrigue (in the most innocent, sweet and tender way). A conspiracy chiller.It has some clever twists and the end. Oh, my God! Who would've thought that the man who made cry the clam was... Well, I will give you one clue only: one of the most popular characters of the series. I know that this sounds like a neo-noir thriller movie review. But the episode is a neo-noir-cop thriller. The investigator Patrick and the scared suspect SpongeBob. This is like an old 40's conspiracy thriller. It is very well written, very original and clever. I'm telling you this is a real nail-bitter (ha ha) comedy.
Verdict: A nail-bitter-heart-stopping (yeah, sure, huh?) intrigue. A short and comedic (childish) thriller that should not be ignored.
What the HELL am I saying?! A CLASSIC!
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
The most awful and ridiculous movie ever made.
*INCLUDES (BIG, MAYBE, I DON'T KNOW) SPOILERS*
I just have one simple question: Why Samuel, why?! This movie should be called: Snakes on a Crap. This movie really ruined Samuel L. Jackson's career. EVERYTHING is WRONG with this MOVIE.
First of all: Bad screenplay including a ridiculous story and terrible acting (sorry to say this Samuel).
Second of all: The scene where the snakes attack the two teenagers in the bathroom while they're about to do that thing?
Third of all: The scene where Samuel shoot at the plane's door and ALL THE SNAKES fly away, and the PEOPLE DOESN'T? What the .... was that?
Fourth of all: The tagline: On August 18th Summer Really Begins. It should say: On August 18t Summer Really Crashed. Or: On (bla bla bla) Summer Really Went To Hell.
Verdict: Probably the worst movie ever made.
The Strangers (2008)
One of the most shocking and truly terrifying movies of the last decade.
LOCK THE DOOR. PRETEND YOU'RE SAFE.
I jumped out of my seat and screamed like 10 times. It was a pretty awful experience (in a good way) and my heart wouldn't stop pumping. I wanted to walk out of the movie. I could not believe how long took the movie to be released here, in England. Anyway, this was one of the most disturbing and best horror movies I've seen, so far, over the last decade. When I saw Vacancy, I thought: This is the real thing. And I found it scary. But, man, after watching this: This is THE real thing. A true masterpiece. Tell you the truth, and this happened to me also with [.REC], my worst fears came true that night. (The night I went to see 'The Strangers') It would be the worst experience ever if those guys came to knock your door. I really recommend this. I felt this like a more mature horror movie, with a lot of jumps and screams. One and a half hour of pure adrenaline. This is like having a very loaded coffee. The whole movie you are at the edge of your seat.
Verdict: One of the best horror movies in years. I'm really impressed, on awe. An instant classic. Two axes way up. This is really one of the best pictures of the 2008.
The Strangers UK: 15. US: R. Rogue Pictures. 2008. 85 Min. Written and directed by Brian Bertino. Starring: Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman.