December 7 – Deadfall (Crime drama with Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde)
December 14 - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Fantasy with Ian McKellen...)
December 19 - The Guilt Trip (Comedy with Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen, Adam Scott and Colin Hanks)
December 19 - Monsters, Inc. 3D (Animated with John Goodman, Billy Crystal, etc.)
December 19 - Zero Dark Thirty (Action with Chris Pratt, Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, etc.)
December 21 - This Is 40 (Comedy with Paul Rudd, Melissa McCarthy and John Lithgow)
December 21 - The Impossible (Action with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor)
December 25 - Django Unchained (Western with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz)
December 25 - Les Misérables (Musical with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway)
December 28 - Promised Land (Drama with Matt Damon, John Krasinski and Frances McDormand)
February 8 - Identity Thief (Comedy with Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy and Jon Favreau)
February 14 - A Good Day to Die Hard (Action with Bruce Willis and Cole Hauser)
It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.
"I think I saw what happens next It was just a glimpse of you Like looking through a window Or a shallow sea Could you see me? And after all this time It's like nothing else we used to know After all the hangers-on are done Hanging on to the dead lights Of the afterglow" Afterlife - Arcade Fire
I categorize Blade Runner as "really good for the time it was made but now looks dated as hell." Scifi just doesn't age well, imo.
In other news, I saw a trailer last night for Oz the Great and Powerful. The trailer at first looked like it might be dark and gritty ... but it's made by Disney. So maybe. Pretty great cast (James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams), and the visuals look spectacular.
Some recent viewings:
The Descent 2 – I loved the first part and loved the sequel as well. Sometimes I just need a good horror/thriller flick after watching too many dramas and documentaries. This certainly did the trick and you gotta love movies that have kickass women running the show.
Sweeney Todd – Wow, I thought this was perfectly done. I saw “Dark Shadows” a few months ago and thought it was quite the flop. So I wasn’t expecting much from the Depp/Burton/Carter trio. But the tone and pacing, the performances and the cinematography were all so flawless. (Wikipedia break.) Okay, I’m back from Wikipedia after I wondered if the movie was robbed of a Best Picture win. It wasn’t even nominated! Neither was Burton! That is just wrong. And Depp lost to Daniel Day-Lewis for “There Will Be Blood”. Not sure if the Academy got that correctly, Depp was in almost every scene and was pitch-perfect in his performance. Out there, but never too over-the-top (which is saying a LOT when it comes to Depp). I’m shocked to find out that there were no nominations for picture and director…wow!
Shame (Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan) – This is a tough one to talk about because it’s quite intense…yet not overwhelming. Amazing script along with quality directing and acting. I was surprised to find that it only made four million (on a budget of 6.5 million). That’s North America box office, I’m sure it must have been released in the U.K., if not elsewhere in the world. If you like serious dramas, consider this one a must-see.
American Violet – Quite a good biographical drama featuring Alfre Woodward, Charles S. Dutton, Michael O’Keefe, Tim Blake Nelson, Will Patton, Xzibit and Nicole Beharie in the lead role. The imdb.com description: “A single African-American mother struggles to clear her name after being wrongly accused and arrested for dealing drugs in an impoverished town in Texas.” If this sounds interesting to you in any way, I definitely recommend you add it to your To See list.
The Laramie Project – Another recommendation, one I’ve been meaning to see for years. The cast is so large, I’ll just provide the link to the imdb page. Wonderful script about the community of the Wymoming town after the murder of Matthew Shepard.
It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.
There was a lot of outrage when Sweeney Todd wasn't nominated for Best Picture. It won the Golden Globe that year IIRC, and was glowingly reviewed. I certainly liked it better than NCFOM and TWBB (though that year I believe my favorite film was Atonement, which the one that got robbed of Best Picture IMO).
I found a theater showing Argo in Thailand, and I can see why it's winning everything. I just wish I could see Lincoln to compare the two. I think I slightly preferred ZD30 but it's a close call. Both were super tense, wonderfully paced, and superbly directed. Affleck really is coming into his own as a director, and good for him!
^ I don't remember that much outrage with Sweeney Todd. No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood were the top rated movies of that year from critics and were just winning everything from critic groups and guilds.
Check out the critics top ten and you'll see which movies were on the most top ten lists:
Also, although you and others may feel that Depp was personally robbed of the Oscar, there was no taking it away from Daniel Day-Lewis. He just won everything in sight that year. It was the surest thing that Oscar night (even over Javier Bardem's Best Supporting Actor win which was also a sure thing). Best Picture was always going to be between There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men.
I personally thought Tim Burton butchered the source material of Sweeney Todd and ruined the brilliant Sondheim score. Also, it fell into the Burton/Depp/Bonham-Carter trap.
Watched a great movie last night: Chloe. I guess you'd describe it as an erotic psycholical thriller. I picked it up totally on spec at the library withough knowing anything about it, just because I like the actors in it (Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, and Amanda Seyfried). Didn't know til the end credits that it was an Atom Egoyan film, but it made complete sense iykwim. Very intense, great depiction of the tensions and dynamics of a longterm relationship, and what happens when you try to control things that are so obviously not in your control.
Got back from the Gothenburg International Film Festival last night. Didn't see anything absolutely horrible, but I'm really bummed that I couldn't get a seat for Full Circle and/or Mad Buddies, as they seemed to be pretty funny films, and most of the films I did see were pretty bleak.
Bestiaire - 2/5. (A collection of images of animals and the places they live in, but not their natural habitats; these are animals in a zoo, and the film is about how we humans look at them. Or maybe it's just 90 minutes of whatever the camera captured after it was set up on a tripod and all the people left the building.)
My name is Negadhar Jamali and I make Westerns - 3/5. (A sad/funny tale about a nice man in Iran who just wants to make Westerns.)
Dog Flesh - 2/5. (I expected this film to be really intense and gripping. Instead I nodded off. Others must've liked it thought, as it won the Best Directorial Debut Award.)
Searching for Bill - 3/5. (An interesting thing; a film set in the US, with American characters, written, directed, and produced by Danish people. Also, it was done a bit like a documentary, allowing the charaters to talk to the camera, which I thought was a pretty cool thing to do. It gave the film a dimension one usually only finds in books or comics, where you can read what the characters are thinking. In this film they got to tell you.)
Taped - 4/5. (This one was properly good, not just good compared to the other films I saw. It's about a Dutch couple who go to Argentina, where they first met, to see if they can fall in love again. They happen to film a police officer as he executes some guy, and then they have to run for their lives. A fairly straightforward action film, really, but with characters who act and react more like real people than your average Hollywood action heroes. I recommend this film, especially as there apparently is an American remake in the works already. See the original, that's always the best. )
Saw the 5 Oscar-nominated animated shorts and an additional 3 that got honorable mention today. Unfortunately, unlike the last 3 years, this was a very blah collection. None stood out except possibly Dripped, which is an also ran and not a nominee. Unlike previous years, I don't care which one gets the Oscar; not one of them really grabbed me and made me sit up and take notice.
^ Not even Maggie Simpson?
I'd like for that one to win just because I want Seth MacFarlene to see the Simpsons winning an Oscar.
Please, please, please try and find a DVD/video of the Broadway cast of "Sweeney Todd" and see what true brilliance is. How Tim Burton utterly failed the movie in the last 15 minutes is completely shocking. Like all great operas the story is tragic, and the whole climax of the film should be Sweeney's story coming full circle with his wife. But the movie is more concentrated on the blood-letting and the whole tragedy of the story was lost. Plus Depp was okay but certainly not great in the movie, but Helena Bonham Carter was so absolutely wrong for that role and her caterwauling only made it worse.
As for "Shame," having dated a true sex addict, I found the story to be about as over-simplified and sanitized as could possibly be (despite the plethora of sex and nudity). I thought the actors were good, especially Carey Mulligan (and of course Michael Fassbender is hawt beyond all words), but the story was so off track it was like no one had done any research, which is a problem if 75% of the script is going to be improvised in front of the cameras.
I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.
I saw 'No' (foreign pic nominees) today in my movie preview film club. Very enjoyable film. Gael Garcia Bernal was great, too bad he was not nominated. I usually do not mind subtitles, but this is a very talkative movie and sometimes the subtitles disappeared before I finished reading. Great story of how 'advertising' is used in an election and it is a true story. Also the film used was tv video from the 80s, so it seems of that era. Some folks in my film club found it distracting, but I like it. It is one of those movies I enjoyed, but could only recommend to certain folks (due to the subtitles and political story in South America). Sadly I know some people that will only see Hollywood type movies.
Just saw The Road and while I really liked the movie, it is just so bleak and depressing. Then there was that ending which leaves you not knowing what to think.
^ Bleak and depressing indeed ... but since I'd read the book I knew exactly what to expect. I thought they made some really good choices in translating the book to the screen, a very successful adaptation. But no, not exactly a feel-good movie!
My dad and I chose to see The Road after Thanksgiving dinner a couple years ago Not exactly a happy family holiday movie.
And I didn't say there was outrage with Sweeney Todd not winning Best Picture. Obviously either NCFOM or TWBB was going to grab that. There was a lot of shock and surprise when it wasn't even nominated, though. I clearly remember that. It wasn't my favorite movie that year, and I didn't really mind personally, but the internet was all atwitter for a little while.
TWBB bored the hell out of me, though DDL was awesome, of course, and deserved his win. NCFOM was a very good movie, but I still thought Atonement was better. Oh well. At least it won best score. One of my all-time favorites, that.
Trailers for this week's smaller movies below. Check out the trailer for the first one, The Sorcerer and the White Snake! I don't care if it even has a plot, the visuals look SO amazing...can't wait to see it! The next three kind of interest me, but I haven't added them to my To See list. I'm interested in hearing from whoever watches the trailer for Unfinished Song.
February 8 The Sorcerer and the White Snake (Action fantasy with Jet Li)
February 8 Unfinished Song (aka Song For Marion) – Musical comedy drama with Gemma Arterton, Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave)
February 6 Caesar Must Die (Documentary. From imdb.com: “Inmates at a high-security prison in Rome prepare for a public performance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.”)
February 8 Lore (German dramatic thriller. From imdb.com: “As the Allies sweep across Germany, Lore leads her siblings on a journey that exposes them to the truth of their parents' beliefs. An encounter with a mysterious refugee forces Lore to rely on a person she has always been taught to hate.”)
February 8 The Playroom (Drama with John Hawkes and Molly Parker)
February 4 Josh Groban Live: All That Echoes
February 8 A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (Comedy with Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette and Dermot Mulroney)
February 8 Spiders 3D (Thriller with a new cast)
February 8 Top Gun (IMAX – Six Days Only)
It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.
Going to see Warm bodies this weekend. Anyone seen it yet? The ads make it look like Twilight for Zombies, with a comic twist.
Haven't seen it but it's uber high on my list. Nicolas Hoult is SO HOT.