Saturday, December 31, 2011
The first thing I need to say about Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol is, holy crap, what a ride! The second thing is, see this in IMAX if you can. The visual is stunning, thrilling and suspense filled. Just when I thought this franchise had run it's course, I was proved wrong. Good times on the big screen!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
The film Young Adult begins with your typical character introductions. A woman, disappointed in her life, tries to rekindle a love from her high school days. It feels like it will be that wacky romantic comedy gone awry. But oh no. The uncomfortable moments become more frequent and prolonged. The comedy goes dark, and we realize that this is a woman living in denial. Dark comedy is tough to pull off, but Young Adult does it well.
Monday, December 12, 2011
I'm not sure who is still reading here, lord knows I've been awful about posting this year. I'm putting this up anywhere I think a kind soul might see it. I derive a great deal of entertainment from the podcast world in Portland, OR. Their income comes from sponsors and donations. One podcast that I really enjoy is Hamfisted Radio, hosted by Dawn Taylor. Dawn is smart, funny, worldly and snarky. I have enjoyed her views on film, TV, books, politics and pop-culture. In this last year her husbands' kidneys decided they were done, and then his heart decided to follow suit. They have a little health insurance, but not enough to cover the life-saving care Patrick has been receiving. Their friends in Portland have launched a fund raising drive, and if you can spare a few dollars it would be much appreciated. The whole story and info on donating is here http://patricksevilkidney.wordpress.com/ I gave a little earlier today and plan to again after the holidays. These are two fine folks who could use a little help right now. Thanks!!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Mental illness is a tough topic to treat properly in a film. In Take Shelter we watch a man suffer fear, paranoia, delusions and hallucinations. He has a job, loving wife and a child, things look dandy. He has mental illness in his family which feeds the paranoia. Watching these characters interact is like watching a dance. They are together, they move apart, they find their way back together, they move apart. All very intricate all very real. Beautiful, powerful performances pull this film together to an unsettling conclusion. Very fitting.
Friday, December 09, 2011
Chastity Bono had always felt out of place in her body. She made the decision to change genders, and took on the name Chaz Bono. In the documentary, Becoming Chaz, we see Chaz when he is a few months into his hormone therapy. There are honest statements about identity, sexual orientation and life lessons. I find Chaz Bono to be very articulate, honest and caring. Opening his transgender status to the public is so brave. His journey is explained well, with humor and dignity. An interesting film about an interesting guy.
Sunday, December 04, 2011
I have been boycotting 3D films for a while now. 2D serves most films very well. When I heard that Martin Scorsese was going to get behind a 3D camera I gave in. Hugo was worth the expense and annoyance of 3D glasses for the visual spectacle. Truly gorgeous. The technology was put to good use. The story was fine, the first hour dragged a bit for me. All performances were very good and Scorsese makes his signature appearance. This film is a wonderful homage to films, film making and dreams. Well done.
Family dramas come and go, but a film like The Descendants combines a strong screenplay, honest performances and an exotic setting to tug at our emotions and tell a compelling story. The emotions are laid out for all to feel. Throughout the film, I kept thinking, "there are even problems in paradise." I liked this one.
Saturday, December 03, 2011
In My Week with Marilyn, the story of one week on a film shoot with Marilyn Monroe gives a bit of insight to Monroe's vulnerability and allure. Michelle Williams is luminescent in the roll, and disappears into the character. A mesmerizing performance.
Falling in love, bad decisions, consequences, moving on, struggle and adult decisions are all a part of the realistic story told in the film Like Crazy. A quiet examination of long distance love that is bolstered by outstanding performances and an ending that will make you think. I liked this one.