Sunday, September 30, 2012

Marion Cotillard Appreciation

By s. Sunday, September 30, 2012 47 Comments
Marion Cotillard 
30 September 1975, Paris, France

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Soundtrack Wednesday - Pulp Fiction

By s. Wednesday, September 26, 2012 , , 18 Comments
Track: Bullwinkle, part 2
Artist: The Centurians
Movie: Pulp Fiction

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

By s. Tuesday, September 25, 2012 , , , , , , , , 55 Comments
I'm not a fan of Wes Anderson's work. I think he tries too hard to make his movies cute and quirky and in the effect they never feel effortless. They just seem pretentious and are clear examples of style over substance. That said, there are some of his movies I actually enjoyed and found to be quite charming like The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Rushmore. I really wanted to like Moonrise Kingdom, but I ended up strongly disliking it. In fact, if the movie didn't have beautiful cinematography it would probably be around 30-40 points. It has everything that could have worked beautifully - it is set in New England - magical place. It takes place in the 60's - magical time. And it has music composed by Alexandre Desplat - composer of magical scores. But you can't have true magic without strong story.

For me the most important thing in a movie are the characters. They don't necessarily have to be likable, but they should be interesting. Even if the movie is awful, if there is a single character you love watching you won't hate the movie. The problem with Moonrise Kingdom is that it only has two characters I genuinely liked - Edward Norton's Scout Master Ward and Bruce Willis's Captain Sharp - and they are not featured enough in this movie. Instead, we follow lifeless and boring adventures of two kids " in love".

Monday, September 24, 2012

Scene of the Week - True Romance

By s. Monday, September 24, 2012 , , 14 Comments
You gotta a lot of heart, kid
directed by Tony Scott

The scene: Tony Scott's True Romance, based on a screenplay written by Quentin Tarantino, is like a perfect cinematic mosaic of outstanding individual scenes. In this one a gangster named Virgil (James Gandolfini, acting a lot like he will in the Sopranos) visits Alabama and Clarence's hotel room - he is searching for the drugs that Clarence stole. Clarence is not there, though, so Virgil decides to interrogate Alabama. After a cute chit-chat he punches her repeatedly, while she continues to stay silent about where the drugs are. Then she finds a corkscrew and finally nods that the drugs are under the bed. She then shows Virgil what she has in her hand and he, impressed by how much courage she has, gives shaken girl a chance to take a stab. She stabs shim in his foot and then a ferocious and violent fight occurs - Alabama uses sculptures, hair spray and whatever she can find until Virgil catches on fire. After that Alabama - who is ridiculously cute, fun and joyful person - keeps stabbing him with a corkscrew, grabs a shotgun, shoots him several times and then starts hitting him with a said shotgun, after which she collapses on the ground with a wild scream.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday TV Special: Six Feet Under

By s. Saturday, September 22, 2012 , 16 Comments
"All that lives, lives forever. Only the shell, the perishable passes away. The spirit is without end… Eternal… Deathless…"
Plot: The series follows Fisher family who is running a funeral home. In the first episode the father of the family dies in an car accident, leaving his two sons, one daughter and wife Ruth to deal with his death and the business. When older son Nate returns home for Christmas he finds out the news about his father's passing, but that comes after he has sex with mysterious Brenda, the woman he met on the plane who will continue to be a prominent part of his life. Nate decides to stay home to bring some consolation to Ruth and his brother David, who now has to run the business on his own. There is also Claire - Nate and David's teenage sister who has terrible taste in men and who experiments with drugs, which leads her to many troubles. As the series progresses we see those people trying to cope with their loneliness, trying to find happiness in their love lives, handling the family business and finding their own way and purpose in life.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Visual Parallels: Wild at Heart + Natural Born Killers

By s. Monday, September 17, 2012 , , 23 Comments
This month's visual comparison is dedicated to David Lynch's Wild at Heart and Olivier Stone's Natural Born Killers. Both tell the story of mad love between two people, damaged, hurt and finding consolation and happiness in each other arms.

Mallory and Lula were both abused in the past and it's the love that set them free. Mickey and Sailor are both violent, angry and willing to do anything for the women they love. Both couples are being chased - by Lula's insane mother who doesn't want her daughter to be with sailor and Mickey and Mallory are on the run from the police, especially unhinged detective played by Tom Sizemore. Both films also have elements that are borrowed from road trip movies including cheap motels, driving at night, diners and weird people and incidents that they come across.

During their trips both couples come across various temptations, obstacles and difficulties but in the end it is love that conquers all. Both films end in similar way - where the characters are finally reunited and get their happy ending after all.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

You're all Going to Die in There. Looking back at American Horror Story, season 1.

By s. Saturday, September 15, 2012 , , , 22 Comments
Before we get committed to the scary Asylum on October 17th, let's take a little look back at the first season of American Horror Story. In the world where there are literally no good horror films lately, unless you forget The Cabin in the Woods, American Horror Story is chilling, imaginative, engaging and creepy. The series, awarded with impressive amount of Emmy nominations - 17 to be exact - debuted last year on F/X.

The first season tells the story of Harmon family - dad, a shrink who cheated on his wife with his student, mom, still struggling to forgive dad for his betrayal and teenage daughter Violet, who loves dark, creepy things, cuts herself and is your typical angst ridden teen. They move into beautiful, big house that is kinda a main character of the season of its own - in each episode, in the opening sequence, we get to see one of the many murders that happened in the house. Starting in 20's of previous century and ending in modern day the carnage includes murderers, ghosts, mysterious Rubber Man, creepy Infantata who hides in the basement, wives serving justice to their cheating husbands, twisted doctors, deformed children and promiscuous maids.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


By s. Thursday, September 13, 2012 , , , , , , , , 26 Comments
Compliance is the scariest movie I've seen in a very long time. It's not a horror film but it has one element that always frightens me - stupidity. It is mind blowing how stupid some people can be. We are supposed to be the most intelligent species on Earth? If there is extraterrestrial life out there and they can see what we do each day they are laughing their asses off. But the thing that makes this movie frightening is that every single bit of it that you see on the screen actually happened.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Performances I Love: Laura Linney in Mystic River

By s. Wednesday, September 12, 2012 , , 32 Comments
Today I'm launching new feature - Performances I Love. There are many times when when I love a movie it's because of the certain performances or characters that for some reason stayed with me. It's also true for bad and average films - sometimes they feature acting so good in even only few scenes, mostly because of one particular actor, that it redeems the whole movie. Whatever the quality of the film, good or bad, the performances of highest quality can be found everywhere. And many of such amazing roles are often times underrated and overlooked.

The first performance I love which I like to show cast is also my entry for ruth's genius blogathon - Small Roles, Big Performances. It's Laura Linney's work in Clint Eastwood's Mystic River where she stared as Sean Penn's character's wife -  Annabeth Markum.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Michelle Williams Appreciation

By s. Tuesday, September 11, 2012 32 Comments
Michelle Williams
(9 September 1980, Kalispell, Montana, USA)
“It’s the woman/child thing that I’ve got going on inside my head, I have always felt older than I am and most of my friends are considerably older than me. I just never related to kids my own age.”

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Idris Elba Appreciation

By s. Thursday, September 6, 2012 32 Comments
Idrissa Akuna Elba
September 6, 1972 in Hackney, London, England, UK

"Wherever I go the real hard-core drug dealers come up to me and confide in me. I almost feel guilty turning around and saying: 'Ello, mate. My name's Idris and I'm from London.' I don't want to break the illusion."
- On why he uses his American accent when talking to fans of The Wire.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Movie of the Month - September - Grey Gardens

By s. Wednesday, September 5, 2012 , 9 Comments
For this month's I'm choosing one of my favorite movies - very underrated Grey Gardens, HBO film from 2009 starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange.

Grey Gardens is an HBO film about the lives of Edith Bouvier Beale/"Little Edie", played by Drew Barrymore, and her mother Edith Ewing Bouvier/"Big Edie", played by Jessica Lange. Co-stars include Jeanne Tripplehorn as Jacqueline Kennedy (Little Edie's cousin) and Ken Howard as Phelan Beale. The film, directed by Michael Sucsy and co-written by Sucsy and Patricia Rozema, flashes back and forth between various events and dates ranging from Little Edie as a young débutante in 1936 moving with her mother to their Grey Gardens estate through the filming and premiere of the actual 1975 documentary Grey Gardens.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Yep. 23 :(

By s. Tuesday, September 4, 2012 38 Comments

Monday, September 3, 2012

Scene of the Week - Take Shelter

By s. Monday, September 3, 2012 , , 18 Comments
The Storm
directed by Jeff Nichols

The scene: The film tells the story of a man obsessed with building a storm shelter. Throughout the movie he is unsure whether what he is seeing is real or fake - hallucinations caused by schizophrenia he suspects he may be suffering from. In the finale, his wife finally convinces him to leave his paranoia behind and spend a day with her and their daughter on the beach. He agrees and the last scene of the movie shows him playing with his deaf daughter as she suddenly raises and shows him the symbol for the storm. He stands up and looks at something in the distance. Then we cut to his wife, who looks stunned, glancing at the distance and then at him. We see weird yellow raindrops falling on her hand, same we saw in the film's opening. And we finally see she is looking at the horrible storm approaching them. The ending is ambiguous - whether it's all symbolic showing that the wife accepted her husband's condition or - something I chose to believe in - it's cruelly ironic - the husband finally caved in and left the safety and now they are away from the shelter, facing death. The important thing though, is that they are together.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


By s. Saturday, September 1, 2012 , , , , , , , , , 16 Comments
A dark tale based on the true story of Aileen Wuornos, one of America's first female serial killers. Wuornos had a difficult and cruel childhood plagued by abuse and drug use in Michigan. She became a prostitute by the age of thirteen and eventually moved to Florida where she began earning a living as a highway prostitute--servicing the desires of semi-truck drivers. The tale focuses on the nine month period between 1989 and 1990, during which Wuornos had a relationship with a woman named Selby. During that time she also began murdering her clientele in order to get money. This turned the tables on a rather common phenomena of female highway prostitutes being the victims of serial killers--instead Wuornos, herself, carried out the deeds of a cold-blooded killer.

Monster is a movie that is most remember for Charlize Theron's work as Aileen, rewarded with almost every possible acting trophy including Oscar. But at its core Monster is the heartbreaking story of broken dreams and failed expectations, a tough tale of survival where a person can't afford a luxury of caring about what is right and what is wrong. In its opening we hear Aileen's narrative who talks about her dreams - cliche dreams so many of people share - becoming famous, falling in love, getting rescued. Aileen's dreams came true for a while - she found someone she loved but it was too late for her to be rescued.