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Game of Thrones: The Door (2016)
How can even one word mean so much?
That's because George R. R. Martin, the master of worldbuilding, has unbelievably taken his incredible story to another level. Also known Sci-Fi writer, he's managed to do something amazing: Incorporate science fiction elements into a fantasy story that doesn't really need them but is even better with them.
The passion and attention to detail makes up for an epic adventure but not without substance. Characters so rich that could even have their own show, even saying the word "characters" doesn't feel right, these are people. No good guys or bad guys, just people doing whatever they think is right or best for them.
Why is Game of Thrones undeniably one of the best shows I've ever seen? Because it's one that cares so much about its story that even something as apparently meaningless as a repeated word by a seemingly comic relief character can mean more than meets the eye.
Sense8 reminds me of two things, that song I just mentioned by John Lennon. About the path to peace, everybody feeling connected to one another and doing things for the greater good. This makes it sound boring doesn't it? Well that gets me to the other thing it reminds me of.
One morning in Mexico, I remember reading something on the front page of the newspaper about Sense8, it was some controversy surrounding its LGBT themes (sorry Nomi, I know you don't like the term LGBT), completely ridiculous. It made me remember a scene from Easy Rider where Jack Nicholson's character says: "Oh, yeah, they're gonna talk to you, and talk to you, and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em."
Is Sense8 a TV show about superheroes? No. Its a TV show that has a powerful message, that says we are all superheroes, we as the sensates are connected, we also have the power to change peoples lives, we can also be there for them, change them in a good way, help them through tough times and helping them make difficult decisions. In a way, we are all Sense8.
The World's End (2013)
A cool Sci-fi Comedy about being stuck in the past.
Energetic and very fun to watch, but a little too silly when compared to the other two films in the "Cornetto Trilogy".
Gary King (Simon Pegg), an alcoholic, reminisces about the past when he and his four friends decided to do a pub crawl called "The Golden Mile". 20 years later, he decides it's time to give it another try and convinces them all to do it, but they soon find out that their home town is being invaded by aliens.
I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I realized that the humor was a little childish, as if Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have now become accustomed to American humor after doing "Paul" instead of doing their old ironic and dry British jokes. A bar named "The Famous Cock" would've never appeared in "Shaun of the Dead", it's something more of a movie like "American Reunion".
If I try and leave my critical baggage behind and try to see the movie on its own, it was pretty entertaining and funny, I enjoyed all the performances in it, specially Simon Pegg's as the electrifying Gary King. Nick Frost was hilarious as his character, I couldn't stop laughing during the over the top fight scenes.
Technically the movie was very stylish, the editing was brilliant as expected from an Edgar Wright film, using his trademark frame wipes. I can really understand Simon Pegg's character, he makes you feel the excitement and nostalgia he feels for being reunited with his friends, maybe he and Stifler from "American Pie" should hangout sometime.
Now bringing back my baggage, the movie sticks with the themes of friendship that the other films in the trilogy also dealt with and like them "The World's End" is also a great hangout movie (and maybe even a stoner comedy). It doesn't achieve the level of greatness of "Shaun of the Dead" or even "Hot Fuzz", but it might just be even more fun to watch, and I can bet it will hold up when revisited as well as those two.
I had a big problem with the last 5 minutes, they did to the movie what "Back to the Future Part III" did to the first two Back to the Future movies, but I can't be too harsh on it after getting to see Rosamund Pike drive a car like a badass. When compared to similar movies that came out this year, like Grown Ups 2, I can't complain, it's definitely one of the best comedies of the year.
I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good comedy, specially if you liked "This is the End", "After Hours", "Harold and Maude", "The Graduate", "Just Friends", "Young Adult", "Attack the Block" and/or "Django Unchained".
Y tu mamá también (2001)
Best Mexican Movie of All Time
"The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex". -Hugh Hefner
We could live without religion, but not without sex. Still, if seen as the most important thing to do in our lives, we become no different than animals. While the importance of reproduction is undeniable, we cannot let it distract us from other beautiful things in life.
"Y Tu Mama Tambien" is about two best friends (Diego Luna & Gael Garcia Bernal) who go on a road trip accompanied by an older woman named Luisa (Maribel Verdu) looking to seduce her. Don't let the porn film description fool you, it's one of the most thoughtful movies on adolescence you'll ever find.
Few movies give me the feeling I get when watching "Y Tu Mama Tambien", something indescribable I get when watching Hal Ashby movies or any kind of movie with the ability to leave a viewer profoundly touched. The natural camera-work and ambiance is something really hard to find, it's usually found in Lars Von Trier's earlier work, or Dogme 95 movies in general, yet the cinematography in this film is undoubtedly much better and easier on the eyes.
In a way, "Y Tu Mama Tambien" could be seen as a polar opposite movie to "Children of Men", while they're both movies with themes about sex, one sees it as fun and the other sees it as a necessity. The characters in this film are only doing it for pleasure, it's what they want the most and probably the only thing they think about, it's a journey about finding ourselves and the things that make us human.
I also love the narration, it makes the movie feel a lot more intimate than it already is from the opening scene (when we see one of our main protagonist's having sex with his girlfriend) by letting us know personal details of every single character. It's hard to make a sex scene easy to watch and even funny, it's usually shots of legs and some other body parts, but here we see our characters from an original point of view. It looks awkward, its never what they want it to be, which is one of the aspects that makes the film so unique.
It's not only a good film, it gets much better when revisited, the characters feel like good people to hang around with, making it what I'd say is my favorite "hangout movie".
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked movies similar to "The Kids are All Right", "The Descendants", "Dazed and Confused", "Rudo y Cursi", "Jules et Jim", "Harold and Maude", and/or "Boogie Nights". Go see it if you haven't already, it's one of the best Mexico has to offer (and my personal favorite).
*spoiler alert* By the way, in the last scene, the narrator lets us know that the two best friends will never speak to each other ever again. Why do you think that is? Because of them having slept with each others girlfriends or because of the awkwardness of knowing they had a threesome?
L'armée des ombres (1969)
It's interesting, but it's also slow and not very involving.
Based on Joseph Kessel's real life experiences as a member of the French Resistance, the head of the Resistance is imprisoned in a camp after being given away by a traitor. He manages to escape and kill the informant, but this leaves him without knowing who he can trust.
Technically its a good movie, the cinematography was really good looking, the acting was subtle in a good way. It reminded me very much of Brian De Palma and Quentin Tarantino films, specially of the films "Blow Out", "Carlito's Way", "Reservoir Dogs", and of course "Inglourious Basterds". It was very alike to those films, for its themes and also for some technical aspects.
I enjoyed the voice over narration, it really stood out and there was also a sense of realism as opposed to Hollywood action, like one specific scene when at the beginning when the protagonist escapes from the Nazis by killing one by stabbing him in the neck and instead of getting his machine gun and killing the rest and maybe even saving other prisoners (like what would happen in a Hollywood film) he just reacts like someone who just killed a man would, he runs away. While I have to admit there were parts that had me kind of bored, the film does end with a bang, which left me thinking a while.
This is my first Melville film and I'm anxious to see the rest, but I couldn't see anything great or outstanding from this film. I have to mention the DVD quality was pretty bad so that might have something to with me not seeing it as anything special, I already ordered my out of print criterion blu-ray though, so I will be watching it again in better quality later on.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "Au Revoir Les Enfants", "The Pianist", "Come and See", "The Deer Hunter", "Full Metal Jacket", and/or "Apocalypse Now".
Would You Rather (2012)
Just like others described it, it's Saw at a dinner table.
Just like others described it, it's Saw at a dinner table.
Willing to do anything to get the money she needs to help her dying brother, Iris (Brittany Snow) signs up for a game of "Would You Rather" unaware that it isn't just any typical party game, it's a competition to the death.
Alright, I have to admit it had my attention the whole time, something very unusual for dumb movies like these, it's just that a couple of characters in the dinner table were kind of cool people and not just the annoying cynical horror movie characters I'm getting used to by now.
I liked the moral choices the characters had to face during the movie, it wasn't paying that much attention to the gory aspects, but instead to what they're going to decide to do to get out of there alive. It wasn't that bad and my friend I saw it with seemed to enjoy it, therefore I'd still recommend it to an avid horror fan. What I didn't like about it was the performances, specially the bad guy who was trying too hard to rip-off Dennis Hopper's character in "Blue Velvet" and some scenes were just amateur and silly.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "The Hunger Games", "Saw", "Sinister", and/or "Battle Royale" (it isn't as good as any of those movies though).
Oh man, I haven't seen a thriller so breathtaking as "Buried" in some time now.
Oh man, I haven't seen a thriller so breathtaking as "Buried" in some time now.
An American truck driver, working in Iraq, is trapped inside of a coffin underground with a cellphone, a zippo, a flask, and a few other things looking to find a way out before his time runs out.
I still remember people ranting in the movie theater once the movie ended the first time I went to see it, all the while I held a big smile on my face, I felt heartbroken, but in a good way. The movie didn't only succeed in a technical level, I also felt genuinely scared by it and couldn't wait to tell all my friends to see it to have them feel the same.
The screen writing is just incredible, with the way it starts with a seemingly effortless plot and ends up expanding the story without really going anywhere. It's similar in a way to the TV series "Lost", with people stuck on an island, yet the writers kept on adding so much to what first seemed like a simple story, the only difference is that "Lost" was surrealistic and made great use of flashbacks, while "Buried" is realistic and doesn't cheat by showing us the protagonist's past, giving us the feeling that we're stuck in the coffin with him.
It's also safe to say that the movie, unlike other horror movies, does hold up to repeat viewings. I felt just as tense watching it this time as I did when I first saw it. The visuals were pretty good for a movie taking place in a coffin. I could feel Paul's (Ryan Reynolds) hope for survival and at other times I could also feel his hopelessness.
I recognized a few different things by watching it again, like how good Ryan Reynolds was in this carrying the whole film by himself, and apart from that I realized the real meaning of the film and the themes it's actually dealing with. Something tells me that deep in its core, this isn't just an above average suspense movie. What I mean is that, metaphorically speaking, "Buried" is just an anti-Iraq war movie as "Green Zone" or "Fahrenheit 9/11" like Martin Scorsese's short "The Big Shave" was about his feelings against the Vietnam war. I don't know if this is what director Rodrigo Cortes intended to do with his debut feature, but it was what I interpreted after rewatching it this time.
I'd recommend it to anyone in the mood for a gripping thriller, specially anyone who liked "Panic Room", "Saw", "The Call", "The Vanishing", "Rope", "Platoon", and/or "Kill Bill: Vol. 2"
It has a few "so bad it's good" moments
It has a few "so bad it's good" moments, but ultimately it failed to keep my attention and had me bored from the moment I realized it was a chick flick.
Two best friends who grew up together (Naomi Watts and Robin Wright) now find themselves in love with each other's sons.
I can't say it wasn't well made, it's just the story that was too ridiculous to captivate my attention. I love the actors in it (except for the guy from Twilight), they all give great performances no matter how lame the script is, specially James Frencheville who previously starred in "Animal Kingdom".
I was expecting to see something similar to "Y Tu Mama Tambien" or "Shame", but boy was I wrong, get ready to see something more like a movie adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel. The movie doesn't realize that it's just too bizarre, it acts like just any other chick flick and the characters fail to recognize that what they're doing is weird and just wrong.
It might be pretty funny to watch with a couple of friends though, some scenes were hilarious when seen as a sort of dark comedy instead of a drama. Apart from that I don't know how I could recommend a film like this to anyone, I was pretty excited when I saw that Ben Mendelsohn (from The Place Beyond the Pines, Killing Them Softly) was in it, but then got bummed out when his character left on vacation from the beginning of the movie.
I wouldn't recommend this to anyone really.
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Kind of like a good episode of Mad Men
I was expecting to see one of those "eat your veggies" type of movie, but it ended up being pretty fun, kind of like a good episode of Mad Men.
A cynical press agent anxiously looking to get attention for his clients has to make some guy he doesn't like a favor he doesn't really want to make: Break up his sister's relationship with a jazz musician.
I loved how well spoken the characters were, the insults were brilliant, the whole script in general was fantastic, a great example of incredible writing. The first 20 minutes or so were kind of slow in presenting all the characters, but once the on going insults and drama start it gets very entertaining.
My only problem with it was how anti-climatic the ending was, it left me wanting more, much more. I could've watched a lot more of what these characters had to offer, I wanted to see them all spiral down towards a tragic ending that I didn't get. It's still a great movie the film noir genre has to offer for any film lover who's a fan of that specific type of movie.
I'd recommend it to anyone who liked "The Network", "There Will Be Blood", "Magnolia", "Glengarry Glen Ross", "The Departed" and/or "Sin City".
Back to the Future (1985)
Maybe the most rewatchable movie there is
Maybe the most rewatchable movie there is, "Back to the Future" is great family-fun and one of the most entertaining movies I've ever seen.
Marty Mcfly (Michael J. Fox) is a teenager living in the 80's who's accidentally sent back in time to the 50's and after complicating his mother and father's soon to be relationship he must find a way to re-unite them for his own existence depends on it.
If only for the skateboard scene only, this movie provides some of the funnest scenes you will ever find. The performances are very energetic and are hard to take your eyes off. It's a 116 min roller coaster ride you'll want to get on again once it ends.
By the way here's an astonishing story I found online (I'm not sure whether it's true or not): ------------------------------------------------------------ I worked at Amblin' in the 80's when all this went down, and here is what really happened.
Bob Zemeckis was given a firm start date by Universal. This was before he had any real power in the business; they said 'you will start on this date or we won't make the picture'. Michael Fox was not technically available, and Universal refused to shoot around his sitcom, so Bob cast Stoltz.
Steven Spielberg then told Bob that there was a way to get Fox after all, which was to do this; don't give Stoltz any direction, print the least funny takes, and assemble a rough cut to show Sid Sheinberg and the Universal execs. It was a gamble he was sure would work - the execs would not be pleased, but they would be too far in to back out, and would then acquiesce to shooting around Fox's TV schedule.
To Bob's credit, he was uneasy with this approach, but it was a tough time for him. He was struggling with Bob Gale (who also wanted to direct), and going through a rough patch in his marriage, among other things.
I've kept my mouth shut over the years because this is how the business works- it's not for the faint of heart.
However, I find it a bit reprehensible that they are now making even more profit off this ugly little event by releasing the footage that by design was never meant to be good in the first place.
Harvey Keitel shot a considerable amount of Apocalypse Now, but why don't we see Francis Coppola releasing that footage?
Because he's got class. The one thing that all the riches in the world cannot buy." ------------------------------------------------------------
Whether the story's true or not, I still think no one could've been better as Marty McFly than Michael J. Fox, he's just too fun to watch.
I'd recommend it to anybody, specially anyone who liked "Star Wars", "Groundhog Day", "Looper", "Wall-e", or "Jurassic Park".