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Cursed Opportunities (2009)
A stunning film that delves into the deep psyche
"Cursed Opportunities is a stunning film that delves into the minds of three daughters who, along with their father, are living concurrently in an isolated refuge. All is not well in this asylum, however, as dark secrets and desires begin to surface and surmount the members of the family. The essential nature and spirituality of the daughters is something out of the ordinary in this psychological thriller. The nomenclature of the movie is fitting as the audience is taken deeper and deeper into the dementia which has arisen out of this family's seclusion. Altogether this is a wholly exciting and distraught tale which is sure to stay on the minds of viewers for some time after watching the cinema." - TV.com (CBS Entertainment)
Coming Out (1989)
Captures the mood of the time wonderfully
I saw this film last night on cable and couldn't stop watching. For the first time in a while, I actually got to see a film where the Director really takes you on a journey and really captures the mood of the time. This was made in East Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall and you can really feel the disparity and drabness of the time. In the street scenes, the cars that drove by seemed pretty old and I had to look at the year this film was made cause it looked like it could've been the sixties based on the technology of the cars. It's amazing that even in 1989, East Germany was a completely different world to ours. Matthias Freihof did a beautiful job portraying his character with just enough desperation and angst to keep you enthralled. This is not an overstated or over produced film. It's almost if you are there next to this guy watching real life. The mood of the time and place completely captured. Almost gave me a sense of dread. Very well executed by the actors, writer and director. Check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Quite possibly the best comedy ever on TV
Marc Wootton is a genius, plain and simple. High Spirits has got to be one of the best executed dark comedies I've seen since Strangers with Candy. In a time when British comedy has become so ridiculously "wacky", we get a helping of High Spirits just in time. This is right up there with A League of Gentlemen and The Office. From my understanding, this show was going to BBC1 until Marc appeared on Jonathan Ross. I actually watched a replay of that episode on Youtube and thought it was brilliant. Apparently, the British public weren't amused and the Jonathan Ross show got a lot of complaints, so High Spirits never made it to BBC1. Thankfully, it made it to BBC America where we had a chance to enjoy this brilliant show. Now please bring us My New Best Friend also starring Marc. From what I hear, it is even funnier than High Spirits.
Mysterious Skin (2004)
Great performances but completely falls apart in last 15 minutes
In general, I thought this movie was excellently performed. As an independent filmmaker myself, its been hard to come to terms with Greg Araki films as he doesn't seem to take too much care in performances and relies on shock value to advance the story. However, in Mysterious Skin, there's a new level to his film-making. Nearly all the performances were excellent. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is mesmerizing as the lead character. He pulls the entire film together. He truly explores and displays all the nuances of this very complex character. I couldn't stop watching this movie, until, that is, the last 15 or so minutes. It completely changed to, what movie am I watching exactly? The actors seemed very unsure of their performances, Gordon-Levitt mumbles his lines throughout the scene (a la James Dean in Giant). In those last few minutes, Araki seemed to go back to his old style of shock value and bad performances from actors. From imagery displayed in the film, we really didn't need to see the connect the dots version in the last 15 minutes. He didn't give the audience enough credit that everything was understood throughout the movie. Instead, we got the red neon letters "this is what happened to these boys" type of bad Hollywood film-making. The actors couldn't even commit to the scene as they had done throughout the rest of the movie. Anyway, I apologize if this sounds like bashing, it's certainly not meant to be. I loved most of this film, but the ending was so disappointing and clichéd and poorly acted that it kinda tainted my view of the entire movie. That being said, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an absolutely brilliant actor in this and deserves all the recognition he can get. Hopefully, I can bag him for one of my films in the near future :) Thanks. Mo Abersheid.