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Frygtelig lykkelig (2008)
peculiar and intriguing
Terribly Happy entertained me throughout the whole film. From the peculiar characters to the peculiar town, I was interested in how this film would unwind. Like others have mentioned, the feel of the film reminded me of a Coen brothers movie, and certain parts of the movie were reminiscent of Fargo.
The character of Robert was very intriguing. As I watched him trying to adapt in this little town, I wanted to know more about him. I wanted to know his back story and about his daughter. Fortunately, as the movie progresses, you learn bits and pieces of his character.
The town is not just a simple small town where nothing happens, as suggested in the beginning of the film. The town is full of mystery, and it pretty much has it's own well-established government that controls everything that happens there.
I really enjoyed the film and would recommend it to anybody that wants to watch an interesting and intriguing film.
Howl was an interesting look into the life of Allen Ginsberg. The movie was mainly about the trial that questioned whether or not Ginsberg's poem, "Howl" was too obscene. However, there were brief bits where James Franco as Ginsberg was being interviewed about his personal life.
I felt that the animations that were displayed during the reading of the poem made the poem more powerful and clear. The contrasts between the beautiful imagery of the poem and the scenes of the tense trial were great. The trial scenes were very powerful, and the actors that played the witnesses (namely Mary Louise-Parker and Jeff Daniels), did a really great job creating believable characters.
I loved the film and Franco did a great job portraying Allen Ginsberg.
La legge (1959)
I really enjoyed watching The Law. The storyline was great, and I loved the occasional tidbits that were so unexpectedly hilarious. The theme about who was really considered "the law" and the person with all the power was extremely entertaining. Gina Lollabrigida (Marietta) was fantastic! I loved her character's attitude. She knew what she wanted, and she knew how to get what she wanted. The many different plots and characters were all very enjoyable and interesting. And in the end, it is very clear who the person is that has all the power in the city.
I absolutely loved the movie and was highly entertained! I'm so glad that it's finally being distributed for a wide release in the US! There's love, sex, power, drama, and death! with the occasional hilarity and musical number. What more could you ask for in a movie?
Flow: For Love of Water (2008)
For the love of water
Flow made me pretty angry at big businesses and the few corporations that have control over most of the water industry. It especially got me angry during the parts about the poor areas that don't get water flow just because the big businesses are greedy and think everybody should have to pay for something that is completely natural and comes from the Earth. It boggles my mind that water is not as easily obtainable as it should be for everyone. Water is a necessity in life and should be easily accessible.
Any film that can work me up like "Flow: For the Love of Water" should be considered a good movie. Flow is very informative and interesting, and everybody should watch it to learn about the corporations that control our water. Also, the film is beautifully made and well-put together.
It was nice seeing how a family could completely change their lifestyle for a year and watching the progress of their journey seemed heartfelt and honest. The whole process was not just a straight up breeze in the park. It took effort and lots of adaptation. Colin and Michelle seemed real and maybe even relatable. I loved Colin's determination and will-power to do as much as he could to leave no impact. Michelle seemed to try so hard to support Colin and follow along with his intense eco-friendly ways.
Some of the eco-friendly mechanisms that they used seemed crazy for any normal consumer, but it was interesting to see their quest and attempt at conquering their goal to not leave an impact. I felt that throughout the movie, there were some really insightful perspectives regarding the experiment and techniques.
After watching the movie, I was about to eat dinner and started feeling really bad about cooking the noodles wrapped in plastic and using that paper napkin that I would soon throw in the trash can without a second thought. The movie definitely had an impact on me and left me thinking about my actions way after I finished watching the documentary.
Wendy and Lucy (2008)
Wendy and Lucy is an intimate look into the life of Wendy, even if it is just for a brief moment. We don't hear about the background story, and we don't find out what happens in her future, but we see a small moment of her life in the present.
The movie itself seemed very realistic, which is rare in movies. The story seemed to have truth behind it and nothing was glamorized. By watching it, it felt as if I was experiencing everything that Wendy was experiencing but through my eyes rather than through my actions. The relationship between Wendy and her dog seems as if Lucy really is Wendy's only friend, so the feelings that Wendy feels towards Lucy is easily transferred to the viewer.
It was a brutally honest and true look at being poor and lonely. Michelle Williams did a fantastic job portraying Wendy. Much of the movie was based on her facial expressions and emotions since it was mainly her being alone or interacting with her dog, Lucy.
I'd recommend watching the film to experience the simple, yet engaging story.
Frontrunners is a delightful film about the student elections at Stuyvesant High School. Stuyvesant is obviously not the typical high school, but the student elections are definitely similar to most student elections at any other high school in the United States. It makes for an interesting insight into how student elections work and how similar they are to the presidential elections.
I started watching Frontrunners right after I watched a movie called "Palindromes" which just so happens to feature Hannah Freiman as one of the main actors. I didn't realize that she would be in both films, and it caught me by surprise. However, after watching Palindromes, it was neat seeing Hannah as a real person rather than her character in Palindromes. Her character is a really awkward 13-year-old that is trying to get pregnant, so it was interesting to see that Hannah was actually a popular cheerleader in real life.
I thought the whole documentary was entertaining and very funny. The student candidates pretty much made the film. If the students were boring and mundane, the film would have been much of the same. However, I suppose students that choose to run in the elections are typically interesting characters. I found George to be extremely entertaining, and it didn't even seem as though he was acting that way because he was being filmed. It seemed like he acts in that manner every day.
The documenting of the student elections seemed organic; it didn't seem contrived as if there was a camera following the students around. I'm sure that there was not a camera in the students' faces the whole time during the election, but obviously, there was a camera there for all the parts that we saw.
Overall, I thought the film was great!
Gunnin' for That #1 Spot (2008)
Gunnin' for that #1 spot was a neat glimpse into the world of the top high school basketball players. The lives of the high school players was way more intense than I would have imagined. On the outside, they all seemed like your typical high school boys, but their passion and skills for the sport really set them apart from other high school students. The mere fact that they had college coaches and sponsors trying to recruit them all the time showed that these guys were on a completely different level than your average high school basketball player. The determination of the college coaches to have their chosen player recruited to join their school and play for them was really astounding. I didn't realize that so much effort went into recruiting high school players. The kids seemed way older than 17-18 years old because they had to deal with so much, and some of them had to make some really mature decisions regarding their futures.
The visual effects made the movie fresh and not monotonous. It was able to hold my attention and kept me wanting more. I feel like the visuals mixed with the music really added a lot to the documentary and made it even more entertaining. I absolutely loved the music all throughout the film.
Na-moo-eobs-neun san (2008)
Treeless Mountain was an interesting look into the lives of two Korean children that were abandoned by their mother.
It was neat seeing the emotions and perspective from Jin and Bin's eyes. The determination to succeed at their quest of getting their mother back to them was touching. I found myself rooting for the girls and hoping that their mother would actually come back for them once they filled the piggy bank. I really enjoyed watching the progress of the piggy bank, and the creative ideas that Jin would come up with to fill it up as fast as they could.
The young actress that plays Jin (Hee Yeon-Kim) did a really good job expressing all the emotions and portraying her character very well. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film, and I would definitely recommend it.
Kisses is an entertaining and unique film. It was interesting to watch the story of two Irish kids that run away from home unravel. Experiencing the journey with them is thoroughly enjoyable and exciting, yet believable and did not seem far-fetched.
I loved the character of Kylie. Her very expressive spirit definitely added to the storyline and made for an interesting character. Dylan's apathetic, yet pensive essence was a nice contrast to Kylie's character. The acting by Kelly O'Neill and Shane Curry was remarkable, and they definitely need to be commended.
The mood of the film was directly correlated with the music, and fortunately, the music was perfect to set the mood. I'm glad that I had a chance to watch it. I especially loved all of the Bob Dylan references.
L'épine dans le coeur (2009)
a look into another person's life
I was able to see this movie at SXSW this year, and I'm grateful that I had that privilege.
I really enjoy being able to look into a stranger's life and just learn random tidbits that would otherwise remain unknown. Being able to see the life of Suzette Gondry was very interesting. The film seemed like a personal movie that Michel made just for him and his family, but it was neat being able to watch this film and feel as if you're being welcomed into their lives--if even just a small part.
After learning about all the ups and downs of her life and watching the impact she has had on many people, I felt as if Suzette had been a part of my life.
I agree with some of the other reviewers when they say that reading the reviews before the movie will not allow for the full effect that the film is capable of generating.
I began watching the movie thinking that I would be sincerely sad about the whole situation. However, when the credits started rolling, I was incensed about the whole situation. I could not comprehend how there were people in this world that could do such terrible things...and ultimately get away with it. I'm a pretty understanding person, so not understanding the rationalization behind Shirley's thought process left me completely flabbergasted!
The way Kurt puts together the film really allows the viewer to become emotionally involved with all the people and the situation. Especially at the end, when the viewer's emotions become synchronized with the rhythm of the film.
I finished watching the movie with tears streaming down my face in both anger and sadness. The movie impacted me so much that I then wanted to know even more, so I did some online research for the rest of the day.
Dear Zachary is such a powerful film that everyone should watch and prepare to be enraged!
Great Vanguard Journalism in Burma
I saw this movie at SXSW last year, and it really interested me because my mom and her side of the family is from Burma. I knew that there were problems going on in Burma, but I wasn't really familiar with any more details regarding the problems. Watching the footage made me feel as though I was watching something that I wasn't allowed to watch, and I wanted everybody to watch and learn what was going on in Burma. Everybody should be able to record and document what is going on in life, and I really appreciate Anders Østergaard going out and making a film about the problems in Burma.
After watching the movie, I felt so much more educated about the subject. I wanted to learn more about it, and I wanted my mom and the rest of my huge family to watch it. I told everyone about it, and it was definitely my favorite documentary at SXSW 2009...and probably of the whole year. I'm so glad that it received an Oscar nomination, and I really think it should have won.
Unmistaken Child (2008)
Interesting and Beautiful!
Unmistaken Child is a beautiful film! Traveling along with Tenzin Zopa through the hills and fields is very enjoyable. It felt like I was actually there, experiencing the journey with him.
I thought it would be impossible for a single man to find THE one little boy that could not be mistaken for anyone other than the reincarnate of Geshe Lama Konchog. However, while watching the film, I began to believe that Tenzin was actually capable of the task that he was assigned. He knew what he needed to do to accomplish the task, and he had loads of patience and determination to find the one little boy.
Learning the process of searching for the reincarnate of the deceased lama is very interesting and beautiful.
I think everybody could find something interesting about this film because it's an insightful look into the world of reincarnation and Buddhism.
Beautiful Losers (2008)
Such a Beautiful Film!
Beautiful Losers is such an inspirational film! After watching the film, it made me want to go out and use my creativity to create something great. The lives of the artists were very interesting, and each of them has had such a huge impact in the art world and pop culture.
When I saw the movie, I wanted to watch it because I was interested in the subject matter, but my friend that I watched it with was not at all interested in art and artists, but she had an open mind and trusted my judgment. After the movie, she said that she really enjoyed it, and it was very moving. She even claimed that it was one of her favorite films that she has seen in a while.
I think everybody can take something away from this film! It's put together so beautifully, and it's just so inspiring.
The Garden (2008)
I was mostly interested in watching The Garden because the cover image caught my eye. I know that I shouldn't judge a movie by it's cover, but in this case, I'm glad that I did.
This movie really made me angry (any movie that incites some sort of strong emotion in me is regarded as a good movie in my book!). The unfairness of the conflict is so aggravating that I found myself yelling at the TV screen. I just cannot comprehend the actions that some people take just because they have the power. The actions are not reasonably rationalized, and it just really sucks for the underdogs.
I would have never known about this issue if it wasn't for this film, and it made me realize that I'm unaware of so many issues that are similar to the garden conflict, and I wish I knew about more of them so that maybe I could do something.
The Messenger (2009)
The Messenger sticks with you
I'm normally pretty hesitant about watching movies that have to do with war, but I'm glad that I chose to watch The Messenger. The movie took a completely different stance than what I'm used to when watching a movie about war. I never really thought about the people that had to deliver the message about a loved one that died in the military, and the way the story is told made me really care for the characters and feel for Harrelson's and Foster's characters and the important job that they have to perform. I would never want to have to do their job, but I truly respect the people that have to perform that job on a daily basis.
Harrelson, Foster and Samantha Morton put on really powerful performances that I honestly believed. And the rest of the cast did a fine job, as well. The emotion was so intense that I could feel it, and I easily got sucked into the story. It was a powerful movie that really made me think about the hardships in a sincere and thoughtful way. Overall, I enjoyed the film and I will continue recommending it to all my friends because I think everybody should watch it at least once. The story sticks with you long after you finish watching the movie.