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Before Midnight (2013)
A great film, but let's hope this is it
I've felt that pushing it to a third film for this trilogy was asking too much already since the first two ended on such a great note. However with that being said Before Midnight ends with another great note, and hopefully it's conclusive movement in a trilogy.
It has definitely been a great contemporary romance, as well as a true definition to realist film making. The takes are long, and the actors perform well in these static shots situated in one of so little places (mounted on the front of a car, etc). Again the film was more of character study over the ambitious plot points that push any blockbuster film. Not much happens but rather the development of a relationship, which is ultimately satisfying to watch for where it has gone over the years since we last seen the two characters.
I'll admit that I generally don't like Ethan Hawk but in this film (as well as the previous two in the series) he has performed.
This is one of those films you could batch with the independent fanfare films, so don't expect crane shots or other cinematographic maneuvers that will simply drop kick your visual expectations. It is what it is visually, it's a realist film where form is neglected to the point of invisibility, and as a result you witness the characters in all there glory without the (often necessary) satisfaction of great cinematography and / or (for the masses) special effects.
Enjoy this film with the love in your life, and you won't regret it.
The Green Mile (1999)
Three grown men... outsmarted by a mouse.
After Frank Darabonts debut with Shaw Shank Redemption who thought he could come up with another miracle. None the less here it is a movie I could say is a good merge of Shaw Shank Redemption and The Big Fish. Entirely entertaining and based on Stephen Kings novel the story and acting keep you glued to the couch threw out the entire film. The dialog was nothing short of excellent and the pace of the story was a perfect choice for the big screen.
There are a few flaws in the film one I would have to say the part when John transfered the insects to Percy whom then let them go into the E cell block. Now this wouldn't have been all that repetitive had the insects not been transfered over into John in the first place. Not that its Frank Darabont I am fairly sure he took it from the novel but on a novel standpoint I think the insects weren't even necessary to convey the image it was good enough with all the miracles already.
The use of the insects is similar to Magnolias use of raining frogs both which can be lived without within our beloved film industry. I do admit Magnolias raining frogs had been rather awkward to the point of interest but a little far fetched and unexpected. Some people may be looking exactly for that not me however I prefer the tea spoon of fantasy in my modern day scenario based fantasies unless it has to do with masked super-heros. Only place such extreme fantasy belongs in is full fledged fantasy like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars.
Enough of the argument though I was rather harsh on picking on this movie for such a minor thing. The movie itself was spectacular, Tom Hanks was spectacular the entire cast was spectacular. The story never slowed down and all connected very well. There are rarely movies of this caliber in Hollywood but Tom Hanks never ceases to amaze.
In the end the little mouse will achieve a nice place in our hearts even after the miles of film that we have seen.
A pat on the back
This movie is not about the front-lines of war or any showcase in any action that is associated with war films rather it is a pride fueled journey of a war hungry American Icon. The man himself Patton is a very simple man he doesn't like politics he only likes the smell of the wasteland that is created after the battlefield. This movie is basically about the beliefs of this one man and his adversaries amongst the axis and even the allies.
A fairly well done performance but nothing far to spectacular. George C. Scott deserves a round of applause and the rest are just mediocre. The 7 academy awards comes from the weakness of movies released that year (1970) and Patton definitely deserved them under that condition. In todays standard this movie would still be a great movie however in my ratings It barely made it out as a 4 star.
The movie depicts Patton to be a much greater icon then the actual history that precedes him. Erwin Rommel of the Germans was portrayed to have utmost respect in Patton and his men when in reality he didn't care much for Pattons troops but rather had respect for his arch nemesis Montgomery. Knowing that it takes a bit away from the film however the overall performance still makes it quite a epic to watch.
It can become very slow at times and is intended on being a bio-pic so really the base of this movie is to present the character Patton and some of the events that occurred during his time at war. I would recommend this film to movie goers who love army films without the battles and rather just after math sequences. It isn't the best army flick and there are many better out there but I will give it the honor of saying George C. Scott gave it justice by playing everyones beloved General.
Taegukgi hwinalrimyeo (2004)
Wills are for dying people. You've got to be strong. Look at me. Trust me.
There have been many epic war films Apocalypse Now, Saving Private Ryan, Platoon, Letters to Iwo Jima Paths of Glory and Full Metal Jacket to name the top. This however with much thought and analyzed breakdown I would probably crown over the rest.
Sure Apocalypse Now was brilliant in showing the insanity extremities of Vietnam war veterans. Saving Private Ryan played out world war II like a all star with Tom Hanks leading the cast and Steven Spielberg working his wand. Platoon will always have that gripping moment when William Dafoe was running out of the jungle as they where taking off with the helicopter. Letters to Iwo Jima gave us a glimpse of the harsh view of the Japanese soldiers as well as the epic loose hand grenade scene. Paths to Glory and Full Metal Jacket by Stanley Kubrick will always stay in our hearts as the movies that changed our vision of war films during that era. Paths of Glory showing us the tracking trench camera scene and Full Metal Jackets treatment of our beloved Sergeant.
All scenarios of epic war films and now we have one more to add to the stockpile this epic Korean film about a tale of two brothers. I haven't cried for quite sometime but after watching Tae Guk Gi I couldn't help but shed a tear. It is emotionally gripping, makes you sit up if your lying down kind of movie that has not been done in awhile.
Although this is a war movie at near perfection just short of the crown when it comes up against Shindlers list it has been a highly underrated film. I cannot emphasize the necessity of why people should watch this film if they love movies. The turret scene near the end had you counting every single bullet to the sweet orchestrated music. Strong, Powerful view of war and its tragedies this film like Old boy makes a mockery of the American film industry.
After watching this I believe there should never be another epic war movie we have to many. Just enough space however to sneak in these two brothers
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
A film to strangle the genre
Sunset Boulevard set the style for epic Film-Noir movies everywhere. It inspired graphic novel writer/artist Frank Miller the creator of Sin City. It inspired the writing and screenplays of Christopher and Jonathan Nolan the brothers behind the movies The Prestiege, Memento, Batman Begins and the Following. It inspired most of the film-noir/ comic book crime genre that has evolved from it. This movie was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
It was a great story told threw the narration of Joe Gillis as William Holden whom was the main star of the film. It was basically him a washed up B screenwriter trying to make some money running into a famous actress who decides to give him a job Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond. In end it develops a chain of events that makes Norma obsessed over William.
Nothing really surprising about the film everything could be well predicted its just the dialog and acting that would flow to that point would tie you up to your seat handcuff your hands to the back and open up your eyes with clips Clockwork Orange style. It was a amazing film for semi-dark/mystery lovers who don't care for twists but rather just have a nice flowing plot with a satisfiable ending.
The ending was decent but since you knew what was going to happen from the start of the movie it took away from it a tad. It was still a bit surprising however to the turn of events afterward but the lunacy of the acting from Gloria Swanson at the end took away from the flick in my opinion. Some may argue it was perfect others may say it was terrible, it was really a love it or hate it scene that I believe could have been done better. I just believe that she had better moments threw out the film.
It was definitely a classic tale with near perfect dialog that inspired some of our industry greats. In end if your even remotely interested in the genre of Film-noir then don't keep strangling yourself with garbage and watch this film.
Another sunny day.
Danny Boyle has done it again, another amazing movie to his roster. Its a great movie, probably not as good as Trainspotting but still great none the less. Its driven by a strong sense of science fiction integrity with unique ideas of our world 50 years into the future. Unique ideas when it comes to having a actual greenhouse on the spacecraft in order to supply the oxygen and the display design of the computers which I'd swear was taken strait from 1998s pc game Starcraft.
Aside from the great design the movie does have its inspirations. A mix of 2001 and Event Horizon the film takes a little from both. 2001s entire suit up to repair the ship scene and the entire Event Horizon idea of the burning man left on board. But asides from rip offs this movie had its own unique style of directing which quickly became annoying to very interesting at times. Its a weird explanation really, the times I believe its trying to show a view from the burning man but rather shows a distorted form of blurred image had become very annoying. The times however when the film with abruptly pause just to show a longer view of the image portrayed was rather brilliant.
The films got its ups and downs, downs would have to go with the acting. Although not terribly flawed the acting wasn't the most impressive. For instance a scene when+Chris Evans was freezing could have easily been fixed if they had just soaked him in ice cold water before he did his lines which made his stutters far to out of place to be believable. He was also the best actor in the movie which says a lot.
The acting overall is not bad enough to injure the plot, but there were many holes like the background of the burning man that wasn't highlighted. The movie in end does its work as its own unique blend of sci-fi and is much better then recent end of the world sci-fi movies (Day After Tomorrow). Its a great movie with catching twists that gives our today frozen sci-fi genre another sunny day.
The chief of the tribe
This movie is one of the most remarkable movies to ever be made. Spectacular performances by Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Danny DeVito, and basically just every single person in the cast. This was probably the greatest cast for a movie ever assembled in terms of work the actors needed to perform in order to make the movie truly believable. The difficulty of creating such a variant cast gave the movie its perfection.
The last ten minutes of the film were true triumph. I won't go so far to say that it was the best ending of all time but it sure did have a very nice finishing touch. The movie assembled a good view of the 1950s medical scene with a twist of character and plot to give it Hollywood appeal.
Lobotomy was a very serious procedure which had became barbaric later after the introduction of Thorazine in the late 50s. The procedure itself had attained a poor reputation and eventually had ceased by the early 70s basically during the same time as the release of this movie in 1975. This movie didn't necessarily push the abandoning of the procedure but rather sported as a great piece of cinema and history of the medical society.
Enough of the history facts though, I must get back to saying how spectacular the acting was. Jack Nicholsons best performance ever to say the least puts the butter back in the popcorn only to shine strong with the power the film has conveyed. Not only was it Jack Nicholsons best it was also Milos Forman best directorial performance who's known for other well known movies like Man on the Moon, Amadeus, The People vs Larry Flynt.
In end this film has become the chief in our little tribe of a landmark films and nothing more can be said other then it was a unforgettable classic.
C'era una volta il West (1968)
Left in the dust
When it comes to spaghetti western movies three names come to mind Sergio Leone, Ennio Morricone and Clint Eastwood. Although this movie does not have Clint Eastwood, Henry Fondas performance well supplements the lack of the Eastwood. This movie and Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (Good,bad and the ugly) are the top western movies of all time with no argument.
The epic story telling grips the viewer from beginning to end with spectacular performances by Charles Brosnon, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards and Claudia Cardinale. The movie also presented Ennio Morricone greatest connection of track to scene. A memorable track to scene moment was the scene that launched of right as Charles Brosnon entered the scene for the final duel.
The story is basically the dispute over some railroad track that connects several characters in the process of the feud. As long as it maybe the plot definitely doesn't evolve slow, it may seem that way for people who just can't stand to watch movies beyond the norm 120 mins. All the characters are given a heart in this film to some degree and have very distinguishable features.
There are very little western movies that lock me to my seat but this was definitely one of them. From epic one liners like Henry Fondas "How am I suppose to trust a man who can't even trust his pants." said to a man who has both suspenders and a belt connected to his pants. To Charles Brosnon saying "Can you play music with that too." sliding the revolver down the bar towards Harmonica.
The movie was one of the best western flicks of all time. It was entirely underrated and anyone who remotely likes western flicks would be left in the dust if they hadn't seen this one.
The world laughs with you
A classic Korean revenge film developed by the mastermind Chan-wook Park couldn't be any better then what it has become. The movie itself has attributed a rather love it or hate it personality during its introduction to the American public and its rather explicit and disturbing scene for sex. I entirely understand its concept and brutality; it is after all a great homage to film-noir and attempts to break every boundary to become one of the darkest films ever created without being a actual horror.
During the 15 year imprisonment scene the character had lost all possible nature of himself as he had been forced to become a animal. Masterbating to dancing women. Writing in his journal on whom would have put him through all this pain. Training in combat by punching the wall. Slowly cutting through the brick to at least just feel the breeze of the outside and the rain trickle over his hand and even attempting to smash his head against glass in attempt to kill himself.
All that was once the character had been lost in a spiral of insanity in his solitary confinement. Upon release his character had to regain the ability to live in society. He had to learn new words, he had to learn to laugh, to love, to feel guilt and sorrow and to cry. All this character development to a beautiful soundtrack mixed with classical and techno themes.
Only flaw in this movie would have to be the one scene when Oh Dae-su takes the roll of super-man and cleanses the underground of all the scum. That wasn't enough to interrupt the brilliance of the movie. The time he was lying on the ground with a grin on his face before he put the cigarette in his mouth or the time hes walking away laughing after the man has fallen from the roof onto a car.
In end this movie will not make you laugh. No it will make you cry on behalf of how we lost the film industry to Korea. Because remember when you laugh, the world laughs with you but when you cry, you cry alone.