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I love Tennessee Williams, and they did a good job on this film.
This is a very good presentation of a very good story. I have a bit of a love hate feeling for Tennessee Williams. The emotions are so beautiful and raw, and make you truly feel. But the stories are so sad and depressing. Although there is a glimmer of hope, for the most part you feel like the lives of the characters suck and are going to continue to suck, and that change (whether hinted at or imagined by optimistic me) will be hard won.
Unlike other types of movie that I like (the rom-com, thrillers, or scifi/fantasy...where all is right in the world in the end) this story is much more realistic. Life gets hard, even for those of us that have it good.
SPOILERS I really enjoyed how she recognized that she would always find her social interactions difficult, and outright believes that no one will ever love her. She is a sweet soul, but is so socially inept that she puts everyone off. I can't help but draw a parallel to Bones, where the socially inept Brennan is loved by everyone she works with. Makes a good TV show, but not as realistic. Although perhaps Williams is a bit on the dark side. But those dark and upsetting feelings do occur, and I loved how they were portrayed so beautifully by Howard. Evans did a great job as well.
This is the second time I have watched this film, and this time, I really felt a connection to Fisher's character. I think Tennessee William's films are lovely like that, so nuanced, and so many levels on which you can connect depending on your own frame of mind.
Wrath of Gods (2006)
I wish there were more films like this one
It was fascinating to watch this DVD, both the documentary and the added footage.
The incredible weather, the working conditions and the beautiful scenery I had heard about and expected from the clips I had seen previously. But what I didn't expect was such an eye opening journey into the world of film making.
I am sure production difficulties/fun moments differ from film to film, which is another reason I would like to see more documentaries like this...it is so different from the other 'making of' or DVD extras that I have seen. For one, it unabashedly shows how directors/producers/cast and crew act in times of stress, as well as providing several outtakes with (somewhat) less emotional discussions of the situation. I thought it a brave film and commend Gustafsson as well as the participants for allowing such tense and unscripted moments to be viewed.
What is strange is that it felt like Gustaffson was able to capture a completely honest picture of the people involved. Obviously, I wouldn't know, not knowing anyone in this production, but that is what it felt like...perhaps because people are most honest in times of stress when they do not put on a public persona. Of course, that runs the risk of being one sided, but so does any snapshot of life.
Although I found it fascinating to listen to Gunnarsson, Butler, and other members of the production (the writer and producers especially), I would have liked to have heard more perspectives from other seasoned actors (such as Skarsgard) and less seasoned actors and crew. Given the talent of the director in capturing people so honestly, it left me wanting to see more....which after 3 hours of film is pretty spectacular.
On a side note: It is funny how so many people criticize actors, and other industry people for being shallow or vain, or whathaveyou, but people are more complex than that. I think the tenacity, positive energy, crazy effort and creativity demonstrated by the participants of this film is wonderful (and I did enjoy Beowolf and Grendel), and according to those interviewed, this wasn't even the most difficult film that they had ever made! Well done.
True Blood (2008)
Not great, but not without merit
I love a good vampire story, and I love tormented romances. This has both, in fact, this has everything a girl could want: more than one powerful and handsome man falling in love with the lead female (hence the tormented romance), a lead female who has special powers herself, story set in the south with those yummy accents, and murder mysteries to solve. But the execution of all of this is not that great. 6.5/10.
The second season I find better than the first because I think Eric's interest in Sookie (and her unwilling involvement in his affairs) makes for a much better torment than the initial unrequited love Sam had for Sookie. The romance with Bill is moderately interesting, but it feels repetitive in each episode. They would do better to have more romantic torment and less sex and body shots.
The actors are talented, but either their performance, the direction, the editing or the script is lacking. It is hard to tell since film is such a collaborative effort and even poor writing can sound decent if delivered well.
It is darker and more political than Buffy, with less humor and a poorer romantic aspect, but I have hopes that season 3 will improve on that. At least it is entertaining with lots of eye candy. I am especially loving watching the son of Stellan Skarsgaard. Looks to be as talented as his father and as handsome.
Entertaining, well done, but....not what some hype it to be.
I had heard this movie was mind bending.
It is always a risk to watch something that has been hyped up to be an intellectual masterpiece....because generally nothing will live up to your expectations.
As others have stated, the ending was predictable, and several plot and dialogue elements seemed too contrived and banal. But for all that, it was a creative and entertaining thriller.
Personally, I thought Blade Runner was more thought provoking and Memento more innovative.
Maybe the problem is that I have seen so many of the movies from which this film seems to draw inspiration that Inception did not strike me as terribly original or thought provoking.
Anyway, it was entertaining. Definitely worth a watch.
So glad this film was made
No project is ever perfect, and there are better ways to live no impact than exhibited in this documentary. BUT, trying and learning are all a part of improving the way we live. And I think that this family and film are commendable for the effort. I love how they share their experiences their trepidation of change and the actual outcome. Reducing garbage, reducing consumption, spending more time together and outside as a consequence of their decisions, becoming more involved with the community...all wonderful in and of themselves, made the family happier. I believe that we try to cram so much into our lives (shopping, errands, TV, eating out, exercise, work) that we lose enjoyment for each element of our lives. By shopping at the farmers market, shopping is no longer a chore but exercise and a community building, happy event. Summed up nicely at the end. This film doesn't aim to be perfect, doesn't aim to offer the best solutions or to have all the current research. What it does do is document a trial & error process, and demonstrate the positive impact that living sustainably can have on individuals' lives over and above helping the environment.
Eden Log (2007)
By far my favorite film at TIFF 08
While I agree it was slow paced, and had somewhat repetitive fight scenes, I really enjoyed the internal journey of the lead character.
The themes of this movie, energy, externalities, corruption, oppression, were all very well portrayed in one man's awakening. Others viewers have commented about the low budget set, but I didn't think this was an issue at all. Perhaps because of the excellent cinematography. The shots, the editing, the acting...I was completely drawn in. The opening scene was stellar.
On the whole I thought this movie was excellent and unique. With some tightening and reworking, I think this is cult classic material, and I hope this film generates many future projects for the director-writer and all others involved.
Eden Log was by far my favorite film at the TIFF this year, over and above larger budget, more polished works.
****Spoilers in the comments below***** Usually I find rape scenes absolutely horrible to watch, and would prefer not to see them, even if they are visually essential to the film's plot. This is one of the only movies where I thought the sex scene was not only essential but also a stunning insight into the character's development. It was interestingly shot and very well done.
The Painted Veil (2006)
Excellent Romance with Depth
I loved this movie! It is what I think a romance should be. Full of torment and passion between two people.
The characters were fully drawn, flawed, human. Kitty and Walter were particularly wonderful romantic characters. As the relationship moves from shallow to deep, Kitty and Walter not only learn about each other, but also explore the concept of a relationship. What should it be? What can it be? And can/should a couple move beyond betrayal? What draws a couple together/what constitutes love? All of this is done subtly without spoon feeding you answers, nor claiming to be a complete picture.
The movie is also interesting in that it's set against political upheaval (China just before? the civil war), with an insightful perspective on those who are not involved in politics.
The scenery was stunning as well.
Script, acting, directing and cinematography were all wonderful.
So some of the ill treatment of animals that this movie uncovered was known to me. But much was not. And to see it, rather than hear it....well, brings the point home.
I forced myself to watch it, crying the whole way through. And it still isn't enough. I am not a perfect vegan. I haven't gone out to protest animal testing or the fur wearers. But it helps.
What I'm afraid of is that the people who don't already believe, who don't care, wont force themselves to watch it. Will turn a blind eye. But maybe, bit by bit the world will know and change....I hope...anyway. And I think this movie is important....I could wish that everyone were forced to see it, to learn and understand, and THINK!!! Not everyone needs to agree, but it's an important discussion.
Documentaries are often one sided, and evidence is usually less than scientifically presented (though the content had some insightful scientific arguments mentioned). So I was prepared, going in, for that, well, to me it didn't matter, because suffering is suffering, and that is the point.
But what did rub me the wrong way was the reference to economics. Now my memory is slightly hazy on the script, but I believe the message was something along the lines that economics drives people to do bad things to animals for profit. Just to clarify: economics is a discipline that attempts to understand and predict human behavior. It is not a motivation. Greed, self-interest, whatever you want to call it...that is the motivation. In fact, economic theory can tell us how to provide incentives to change people's behavior once we know/understand the motivation. It is a useful tool, not a bad thing. Being an economist I get a little sensitive about trashing the discipline...particularly when it is so useful in the contexts that trash it. So forgive me for going on a bit of a tirade here.
25th Hour (2002)
I was impressed
This is the second Spike Lee film that I've seen (the first was Malcom X when it came out in theaters), and now, I think I will go watch some more.
I loved the emotions: the confusion, the regret, the aching inability to change what had passed. The anger, at everyone/thing but especially himself.
So many times, when life is really going to ***** I feel that way too....a hatred of everything, annoyance at little things that different types of people do. But these same people make life beautiful. And enjoying others, rather than judging, makes life beautiful. So the theme struck a chord.
I love that about living in a big city, and living in many cities....that ability to gain that beauty that others (& other cultures) have to offer. (And you know, I think it's really an appropriate to tie that in to the 9/11 reference...given the post 9/11 hatred and intolerance.) Although Norton is a great actor, and does a super job in this film....he didn't quite get that mirror monologue across as I felt it inside. But maybe their view (Norton/Lee) and mine are a bit different.
Thank you Spike Lee (& cast and crew) for making this film. I enjoyed it! I hate giving numeric rankings to things. I'd say an 8 or 9.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
What can I say but I loved it! Little Miss Sunshine is a funny slice of life with a wonderful point of view.
this was a truly great movie! It was smart without being pretentious. Critical, without being holier than thou. And funny without being fake.
The rest of this comment is almost entirely spoilers.
I don't know if it was just me, but the way they had to continually push the VW to start it, every time!, seemed to me such a perfect metaphor (lit?) for life; sometimes 'getting going' is an uphill battle, and others it's exciting and even funny, but every stop becomes a big event.
The pageant was perfect. How better to expose the horror of judging little girls on superficial and 'way too adult values' than to have a pervert in the audience and a striptease performance!
And for all that, this 'moral' and the "loser" commentary weren't drilled into the audience, nor were they holier than thou in perspective.
It was a funny slice of life with a wonderful point of view.