Monday, July 30, 2012

Scene of the Week: The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo

By s. Monday, July 30, 2012 , , 29 Comments
Out in the cold
directed by David Fincher

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

By s. Sunday, July 29, 2012 , , , , , , , , , 46 Comments
94/100 (2012, 164 min)
Plot: Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham's finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Jonathan Nolan (screenplay), Christopher Nolan (screenplay)
Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman

There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.

If you told me a week ago that I will give The Dark Knight Rises Christopher Nolan's follow up to The Dark Knight, the movie I like but I consider to be incredibly flawed, 10 /10 I'd laugh. And if you added it will turn out to be better than Prometheus I'll probably cut off my own arm because that would make more sense to me than this statement becoming the reality.Well, fetch me the machete.

I love stories about Batman not just because he is pretty messed up hero, with all his issues and the obvious ramifications that hide behind the fact he dresses as a bat, but also because they are really entertaining - I never watch animated series on TV, but I watched Batman every time it was on. Not only did most of those stories had really cool, noir vibe to them, the villains were always my favorite part. From The Joker through Poison Ivy to Bane they were all different, unique and scary in their own way.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

20 best and 20 most embarassing moments in Nolan's Batman movies so far.

By s. Thursday, July 26, 2012 , , , , , 36 Comments
As much as I think both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are fine films, the amount of things that are great in them are equal to the amount of times I either rolled my eyes or thought "oh, balls!". Those are films that could have had much better scripts but their execution is fantastic. If there ever were films that truly benefited from watching them on the huge screen - well those are Nolan's Batman movies.

Neither of them holds up too good on rewatch - the novelty and the epic factor works the first time, but then it wears off and you are stuck with moments that either feel out of place or silly. Thankfully, there are two things that will continue making me rewatch these two films - first there is excellent score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard that really adds a lot to the movies. What I love is that the main theme is present throughout both films, yet the soundtracks are very different as the composers used new theme for the Joker. While Danny Elfman's scores for Tim Burton's Batmans are fantastic, Zimmer and Howard really brought their A game here and I think this main theme will ultimately be more memorable than Elfman's one.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Soundtrack Wednesday - The Dark Knight Rises (2)

By s. Wednesday, July 25, 2012 , , 10 Comments
Track: The End
Artist: Hans Zimmer
Movie: The Dark Knight Rises

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Burning Plain

By s. Monday, July 23, 2012 , , , , , , , 16 Comments
65/100 (107 min, 2008)
Plot: A drama with a two-tiered storyline concerning a mother and daughter who try to form a bond after the young woman's difficult childhood.
Director: Guillermo Arriaga
Writer: Guillermo Arriaga
Stars: Charlize Theron, Kim Basigner and Jennifer Lawrence

Love heals. Love absolves. Love burns.

If you are a movie fan you are probably familiar with the name Guillermo Arriaga. He is the guy who wrote scripts for many great Alejandro González Iñárritu's movies including Amores Perros, Babel and 21 Grams. The Burning Plain is his feature film directorial debut and it really shows his lack in experience when it comes to directing. While the story has many strong points and well written characters, the script is too chaotic. However what ultimately drags the movie down is the execution of that script .

To summarize the plot would be an impossible task - we watch three different women - Sylvia, (fantastic Theron) successful but self-destructive woman who hides her regrets and anger by engaging in casual sex, often with men she barely knows, Gina (Kim Basigner) who has recently beaten breast cancer and now finds herself engaged in an affair with a man, while at the same time pulling away from her husband and her daughter Mariana (Jennifer Lawrence) who sees her mother actions and doesn't understand them.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Movie Confessions Blogathon

By s. Sunday, July 22, 2012 , 36 Comments
Nostra at Myfilmviews has created a new blogathon, called Movie Confessions blogathon. The idea is that the participants confess things about the movies they might have kept secret for a long time. Here are the questions and my answers:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday TV Special: Favorite supporting characters and guest appearances in TV series.

By s. Saturday, July 21, 2012 24 Comments
There are certain characters in TV series that when they are on screen, they bring something new with them. Whether it is their own doing or the fantastic interactions with other cast members, certain actors bring in so much unforgettable moments of sheer excellence that without them the show just doesn't feel as good.

While some of my favorite actors brought in some fantastic guest appearances in TV series - Michael Fassbender being seductive and mischievous dark angel in Hex, Idris Elba as no-nonsense new boss in The Office (pure gold just for his line "I'm aware of the effect I have on women") and Rob Lowe as Brad Pitt-inspired actor in Californication, their performances while great, didn't really raise the series to whole new level for me.

Here is my list of favorite supporting characters - whether you see them just in quick scenes, it's recurring guest appearance or whole story arc where they appear in continuous string of episodes - I loved their work so much that If I rewatch certain episodes I always chose the ones that feature them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Soundtrack Wednesday - The Long Kiss Goodnight

By s. Wednesday, July 18, 2012 , , 10 Comments
Artist: Neneh Cherry 
Movie: The Long Kiss Goodnight

Monday, July 16, 2012

Scene of the Week: Casino

By s. Monday, July 16, 2012 , 28 Comments
Baby, you're the one
directed by Martin Scorsese

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Screaming Sunday - Livide

By s. Sunday, July 15, 2012 , 18 Comments
Sati's movie rating - 79/100
Plot: It's Lucie's first day as a trainee in-house caregiver -she visits Mrs Jessel, an old woman who lies in cerebral coma, by herself, in her large desolate house. Learning by accident that Mrs Jessel, a former dance teacher of repute, supposedly possesses a treasure somewhere in the house, Lucie and her friends William and Ben decide to search the house in the hope of finding it. At night, they get into the house, which reveals itself to be increasingly peculiar. Their hunt for Mrs Jessel's treasure leads them into a horrifying supernatural series of events...
The heroes: Three geniuses robbing the house during Halloween.
The antagonists: Old woman harboring the secret and vampire ballerinas.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Prom Night

By s. Thursday, July 12, 2012 , , , , , , 18 Comments
15/100 (88 min, 2008)
Plot: Donna's senior prom is supposed to be the best night of her life, though a sadistic killer from her past has different plans for her and her friends.
Director: Nelson McCormick
Writer: J.S. Cardone
Stars: Brittany Snow, Scott Porter and Jessica Stroup

Kill them all. Please.

I do love horror films. All horror films - the superb ones with great atmosphere and gorgeous cinematography, the scary ones with sadistic killers and even the bad ones with stupid teenagers getting massacred on the screen. If there is one thing I object to is making a horror movie, in this case slasher flick, into PG 13 movie. That's just ridiculous. The only reason slasher flicks with teenagers as main characters are entertaining are the creative, gross and ridiculous ways in which moron by moron, they die. Prom Night is not only a bad horror film. It also continues another trend - of doing pointless remakes to the films that absolutely don't need to be remade.

The film follows Donna who couple years back witnessed her entire family being killed by a stalker, her teacher, who became obsessed with her. Since Donna is played by Brittany Snow who is ugly as sin there goes the credibility of the plot right there.Anyways the guy as blind or drunk may be is infatuated with her - why? Who knows. So he thinks it's a good idea to murder her entire family while she hides under bed and watches him do his thing. He gets caught few days later in his apartment (!), confesses (!), the jury obviously finds him insane which the lead detective can't believe in (!) and he is sentenced for life. He escapes the prison through the ceiling, apparently (!), and the lead detective finds out about his escape 3 days later (!). Yeah, that is fine script right there.

Soundtrack Wednesday - The Dark Knight Rises

By s. , , 13 Comments
Track: Why Do We Fall?
Artist: Hans Zimmer
Movie: The Dark Knight Rises

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Visual Parallels: Mulholland Dr. + Young Adult

By s. Tuesday, July 10, 2012 , , 43 Comments
Mulholland Dr. and Young Adult. Both focused on female heroines who are fighting with severe depression, jealousy and the feeling of being a failure. They both conjure an image that is not real - for Diane it's a dream where she is innocent, she has a chance at big career and where the woman she loves is in love with her. The naivety of the illusion is reflected in film's first images when we see Diane, smiling and hopeful, ready for her big dream to begin.. For Mavis it's living in her memories, repeating herself over and over again, though the world she lives in moved on. She looks at the picture from her wedding day - different kind of dream from the one she relives now, the scenario from high school, but another shattered dream nonetheless.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Grey

By s. Monday, July 9, 2012 , , , , , , , , 30 Comments
46/100 (117 min, 2011)
Plot: After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.
Director: Joe Carnahan
Writers: Joe Carnahan (screenplay), Ian Mackenzie Jeffers (screenplay)
Stars: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney and Frank Grillo

Fifty shades of mediocrity

The thing I hate the most in the cinema is a mediocre movie. When the film is bad at least you can bitch about it in your review, point out the flaws, laugh at the lack of talent of those who made it and ultimately feel better having warned the others about the colossal waste of time watching the film was. With good movies you can always marvel at something, analyze, think about the film long after you watched it. But with mediocre films - well, not only do they feel like a wasted potential, but also you forget about them as soon as the movie is over. The Grey belongs in the last category.

The film follows John Ottway (Liam Neeson), who is a huntsman that kills wolves to protect the workers with whom he travels on the plane to Alaska. The plane crashes and the remaining survivors find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere, surrounded only by snow, cold and pack of wolves that are very hostile to them and appear to have every intention of killing them.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saturday TV Special: Luther

By s. Saturday, July 7, 2012 , 12 Comments
- I’m coming for you.
- Not if I come for you first.
Plot: The series follows John Luther (Idris Elba), police officer who is very dedicated to his job. He has many issues and he often crosses the line in his attempts to catch the criminals, which takes tremendous toll on his mind and his private life. The first episode deals with Luther trying to solve the case of the double murder - he believes that the people were killed by their own daughter, Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), who is a brilliant young girl and who after meeting Luther sets her sights on him and begins playing very dangerous game, digging into his past - apparently in a mission to help him. Luther and Alice, though on the opposite sides of the game, seem very similar and form a curious bond, which will prove beneficial few times in the series.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Eva Green Appreciation

By s. Thursday, July 5, 2012 32 Comments
Eva Gaëlle Green
5 July 1980, Paris, France

"She is so beautiful, it’s indecent." - Bernardo Bertolucci on Eva Green

Today is the birthday of one of my favorite actresses working today - Eva Green. She is the most famous for her work as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale and over the years it seems that she is always just one step away from real fame. She has starred in many interesting movies - her first feature film was The Dreamers, where she created very brave performance she was later on praised for and which opened the door to her career, in Womb where she played the woman who lost the man she loved and now wants to clone that man and give birth to the child, that will essentially be him and Perfect Sense which for me was one of the most underrated movies of last year - the story of the end of the world which begins when everyone starts losing their senses, one by one. She tried her luck in TV delivering strong work in Camelot, unfortunately the show was cancelled. This year it really seemed things will go better as she starred opposite Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows, unfortunately the film was an utter disappointment.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Soundtrack Wednesday - The Beach

By s. Wednesday, July 4, 2012 , , 23 Comments

Track: Porcelain
Artist: Moby
Movie: The Beach

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Notes on a Scandal

By s. Tuesday, July 3, 2012 , , , , , , , , 25 Comments
88/100 (92 min, 2006)
Plot: A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.  
Director: Richard Eyre
Writers: Patrick Marber (screenplay), Zoe Heller (novel)
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench and Andrew Simpson

 Secrets can be seductive

Notes on a Scandal is a remarkable movie - it's not because of particularly strong script or original story. It's not even because of great work from Cate Blanchett. It is a movie that is worth watching over and over again for Judy Dench's incredible and unforgettable work as Barbara, older teacher who desperately looks for a friend. And when I say desperately you have no idea how deep that desperation goes.

Barbara is a teacher in a school filled with students from poor environment, who will mostly grow up without probably achieving anything. Fights, swearing, disgusting writings on the bathroom walls - that is the kind of school Barbara works in. She is strict, well organized, sullen. One day a new teacher - very naive and innocent Sheba - comes to work in the school and from that moment forward everything changes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Movie of the Month - July - Swimming Pool

By s. Monday, July 2, 2012 , 25 Comments

On the surface, all is calm.

Initially another movie was supposed to be my pick this month, but as I recently saw Love Crime with impressive performance  by Ludivine Sagnier it made me think of her another great work in Swimmig Pool. The film, directed by Francois Ozon, tells the story of a writer Sarah Morton played by Charlotte Rampling who visits her publisher's summer house in the south of France. While staying there she meets his daughter - young and fun loving Julie.

Sarah is fascinated with Julie because the young girl is everything she is not – free, promiscuous and uninhibited. The more Sarah finds out about Julie the more she becomes curious about her and her bond with the girl becomes stronger. At the same time Sarah is trying to write her novel but her curiosity of Julie gets in the way of that especially when the two women are forced to share a secret together.