Sunday, January 31, 2010

Broken Embraces

I went to see Broken Embraces at noon. Usually the grandma-matinee. When the lights went out, I was the only person in the small theater. A few minutes into the film, a man walked in and sat right in front of me. I moved down and let the film work it's magic. A well structured story of love, lust, ambition and desperation, I was enthralled. About 3/4 of the way through the film, I heard a strange, but familiar sound. Yes, the man in front of me had fallen asleep and was snoring. Loudly. When the credits rolled I was a bit sad to think this man had slept through the ending of a beautiful film that was passionate and well crafted. I enjoyed my semi-private screening.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones is an abstract, disconnected film. It plays like a crime thriller while it yanks hard on the heart strings. Strong performances make the unconventional structure work. Worth a look.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Flick Picks 1/29/10

Thanks to all the crap dumped in theaters this January, it's been pretty easy to finish out the 2009 films as they trickle into RI theaters. I'm convinced that the only reason Avatar is still sitting on top of the box office is that there's not much else to see. I'll be checking out The Lovely Bones and Broken Embraces this weekend. Crazy Heart, A Single Man, The Blind Side, It's Complicated, Sherlock Holmes and Up in the Air are all worth a look. Don't forget, Oscar nominations are announced on Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Derby, Dad, Deception and Dedication in DVD

DVD releases are strong this week. Whip It is a sports film about family, dreams and ambition. The Boys are Back is a touching story of grief, parenting and family. Surrogates is an intriguing, sci-fi look at the future. This Is It gives fans a glimpse at Michael Jackson's last rehearsals, and a look at the man and his creative process. In my queue are Bright Star and Little Ashes. Happy viewing!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Single Man

A Single Man is a gentle study of a man's life and relationship's. In the course of a day, George reflects on his loves, losses and decisions. A pretty film with a poetic pace and poignant performances.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Crazy Heart

After all the praise that has been showered on Jeff Bridges' performance in Crazy Heart, it was our movie of choice this afternoon. This is a story of a man who has enjoyed success and popularity as a country singer who has sunk into the arms of alcoholism and despair. Playing in bowling alleys (homage to he dude?) and sure to have that next bottle of bourbon on hand, Blake drives from gig to gig clinging to survival. Along the way he meets a young reporter and a light comes on. The result is interesting without being cheesy or predictable. The pace of this film is slow, but the performances and the music make the film worthwhile.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Flick Picks 1/22/10

This time of year I become more freakish about my film consumption. My Oscar Project rules my cinema choices from now until March 7th. Living in such a small market, seeing all the nominated films is a lot of fun and requires a bit of strategy. This weekend, I don't care what happens in RI theaters, I'm on my way to NYC. My daughter Liza and her fiance Ryan are taking me to see Fuerza Bruta on Saturday night. For the rest of the weekend, NY movie theaters are my oyster and I'm hoping to knock 1 or 2 films off this list.
A Single Man
Crazy Heart
The Last Station
The Lovely Bones
Fish Tank
Broken Embraces
The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond
I only say 1 0r 2 because we must leave time for food,drink, shopping, visits and football. Next weekend I'll return to RI theaters and their offerings, but for now, Big Apple here I come!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Big Fan

Big Fan is a drama that really surprised me. A huge NY Giants fan, lives his days listening to sports radio, planning his calls, studying stats and going to the games (in an interesting way). An on-air rivalry and unfortunate chain of events has us watch this man's life unravel. The unraveling is fascinating, the film goes very dark. The end was shocking and made sense. This is an intense story with performances that make it worth a look. I enjoyed this film.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Science and Sarcasm in DVD

Quiet week in DVD releases for me. I think I'm the only person who doesn't like Ricky Gervais. The Invention of Lying is in DVD and I have no desire to see it. Pandorum is in my DVD queue. Stick with last weeks offerings. Moon, The Hurt Locker, In the Loop and Big Fan well worth a look.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Top 10 of 2009

My serious film consumption began around the year 2000. 2009 marks the end of a huge decade in film for me. As I look at best film lists of the decade, I don't know how people do it. I've seen at least 2000 wonderful films, picking my favorites would be overwhelming. I won't go the best of the decade route.

I'm finally ready to post my favorites of 2009. I don't proclaim these to be the best, they are just the films I enjoyed most this year. Click on the titles to see what I thought.

Moon
District 9
An Education
Coraline
Trick 'r Treat
The Hurt Locker
Up
It Might Get Loud
Star Trek
Where the Wild Things Are
Up in the Air

These are the movies that show you how hard it is for me to pick only 10 favorites:
Ponyo, Inglourious Basterds, Unwigged & Unplugged, Jennifer's Body, Whip It, Paranormal Activity, Precious, Entre Nos, In the Loop, Throw Down Your Heart, The Hangover, The Way We Get By, (500) Days of Summer, Julie & Julia, Drag Me to Hell, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Zombieland, Nine, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus A good year in film.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Space, Scandle and Splodies in DVD

It's a good week for DVD releases. My favorite film of the year, Moon hits DVD. Cool drama with a great performance by Sam Rockwell. Do yourself a favor, see this flick. The Hurt Locker and In the Loop are two other good films out this week. In my rental queue? Big Fan, The Burning Plain and Departures.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Young Victoria

In The Young Victoria we see a depiction of the years surrounding Victoria becoming Queen of England. She was 18 years old. It is a story of family, royalty and politics. It is also a love story. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were an endearing royal couple. I was surprised when this movie ended, I could have watched more.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

The Imaginarium of Dr.Parnassus tells the tale of a man who has made a deal with the devil and the day of reckoning has arrived. Journeys in and out of his imagination are fanciful. Using four actors to portray the character of Tony works and saved this project for Terry Gilliam. This film met all my expectations for a crazy story and beautiful visuals. The Imaginarium scenes kind of reminded me of my own dreams. My favorite line? "I'm not drunk, I'm grumpy." Really enjoyed this one.

Youth in Revolt

Youth in Revolt is a comedy about a young man who creates a bad boy alter ego to win over the girl of his dreams. Things go wrong in almost every situation. With a dual personality, Michael Cera plays a familiar role and then something a little different. A great supporting cast makes this a strong comedy to kick off the 2010 movie year.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday Flick Picks 1/8/10

RI theaters enjoy strong openings this week. Youth in Revolt , Daybreakers and Leap Year arrive to good reviews. Terry Gilliam's Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus will be in town too. Me and Orson Welles and The Young Victoria are on my list, and are still playing locally. The strong holiday films still playing in RI: Avatar, The Blind Side, Invictus, It's Complicated, Nine, The Road, Sherlock Holmes and Up in the Air. The schedule at the Patriot Cinemas is worth a look as well. For $1,99 you can see The Box, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Inglourious Basterds, Julie & Julia, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Paranormal Activity, Where the Wild Things Are, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Zombieland.

Reminder : Moon is out in DVD on Tues, 1/12. woo hoo!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Fondness and Food in DVD

The film Adam is released to DVD this week, well worth a look. In my queue? Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

It's Complicated

Personal experience enhances film for me. If you are divorced, have grown children, own a home, run a business, It's Complicated will resonate for you. It did for me. Performances are great. As much as I love Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and John Krasinski really impressed me in this one. Krasinski has great timing. A story about relationships, family and decisions. Really enjoyed this one.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Avatar

Kudos to the marketing for Avatar. My curiosity finally go the better of me, and I spent the afternoon on Pandora. Visually, the film is satisfying, intellectually, not so much. I don't need rocket science, just a decent story. The characters fell short in their motivations, the battle scenes were way too long and it took a lot for me to care about the good guys and hate the bad guys. I went through levels of boredom I have not experienced at the movies in a long time. Maybe editing would have helped, and the Titanic-esque music at the end just kind of made me mad. Not my cup of tea, but boy what a cash cow.
PS (My 11 and 13 year old nephews loved it.)

Friday, January 01, 2010

Nine

A few words about the new film NINE:
spectacle
dynamic
sexy
luminous
energetic
poignant
Thoroughly enjoyed it!

The Road

I have not had a chance to read The Road yet. When I gave it to my Mother to read, she was appalled at how depressing it was. Going to see the film, I expected a bleak, dark, sad story. What I got was a story of love, survival and compassion. A road trip story of a man and his son trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. I really liked the structure of the film, the messages and the ending. Well done.

Invictus

Cheerleaders are underrated. In Invictus we see how the support of Nelson Mandela helped lead the South African rugby team to win the World Cup in 1995. A good historic sports film. A local note: the costumes were supplied by Rugby Imports LTD, based right here in East Providence, RI.