Sunday, March 31, 2013
Following a crippling divorce, a young woman moves back in with her parents. Though they are sympathetic, after a few months they start to encourage her to pull herself together. In Hello I Must Be Going, the parents themselves have things they want to do, and watching their daughter mope is not one of them. Then the woman meets a young man. The effect this has speaks to the power of self esteem. Well acted, this is a drama with a message and an outcome that makes sense. I liked it.
In Siberia, the trappers have a unique way of life. In Werner Herzog's film Happy People: A Year in the Taiga we see the trappers through four seasons. The environment is harsh. As they go through their days, Herzog states, "these are truly happy people." The role of the male in this culture is personified by the woman staying with the children and parents says, "now we are alone." Though there are 5 other people in the home, without the man they are "alone" I was struck by that. This documentary is visually stunning and tells quite a story.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
History can provide some pretty juicy stories and A Royal Affair does just that. The eccentric King of Denmark takes a queen, has a child, tries to navigate the corrupt government, takes on a confidant who beds his wife and creates scandal and political unrest. I really liked this film.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Antics that seem funny as adolescents, are just sad in a middle aged man. The Comedy follows a 35 year old man in his ungrounded actions as his father lies ill in their mansion. Entitled and juvenile, the montage of his actions plays as a black comedy. I found it to be a heavy drama. This film stayed with me awhile.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
If you are a fan of The Shining, the words Room 237 will give you a chill. In the Kubrick thriller, that room was foreboding, mysterious and scary. The documentary, Room 237 takes several analytical looks at hidden meaning and imagery in the film. Trying to get inside the head of Stanley Kubrick to give meaning to what I thought was just a good scary movie. A lot of the theories are a bit far-fetched for me, and some read a bit much into continuity problems and camera angles. This is a well structured documentary, but the audience I saw it with had some good laughs at the more ridiculous interpretations. It was nice of IFC to allow the Cable Car Cinema to screen this film as a fundraiser for its Digital Upgrade equipment. A sell-out crowd with an interesting documentary made for a fun night in a great theater.
Friday, March 22, 2013
In the film Rust and Bone, a chance encounter sets off a relationship between a struggling fighter with a child, and a marine animal trainer. She suffers a devastating accident and their relationship goes down a bumpy road. The strength of their relationship is based on frank communication and loyalty. The characters are very honest and gritty. Very little makeup was used on the actors and the pallet is a bit grey. The emotion in this film is strong. I really liked this film.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The film Smashed is the story of a hard partying couple, whose drinking has become a problem. There are meltdowns, lies and struggles, especially for the wife. It threatens their work and relationship. This film is heartfelt, honest and heartbreaking. The story of recovery is hopeful and realistic. The performances are outstanding. I liked this film.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
I was born in 1956, so I grew up with the classic MGM Wizard of Oz movie. So ingrained in our culture, any other interpretation doesn't seem quite right. When any others have tried to tell the story of Dorothy Gale and her adventures, they are held to scorn and the gold standard of that classic. The story of how Oz got to Oz has now been interpreted in the film Oz the Great and Powerful. It has been met with a fair amount of comparison and criticism, though it tells the story of what may have happened before Dorothy arrived in Oz. It gives us the back story of the wizard, the witches and the inhabitants of the Emerald City. I like that the wizard is a sleazy flim-flam man out for riches and women. That holds true to the original story.The movie gets a bit lost near the end, but the effects are good and the performances are fine. Good family entertainment, though some of the battle scenes could be too intense for little ones. The flying monkeys are now flying baboons and are pretty scary. The audience I saw it with applauded as the credits rolled.
Saturday, March 02, 2013
I have trouble writing about bad movies. I have not written about a Twilight movie since 2009 because these movies are pretty awful. Breaking Dawn: Part 2 is laughable. The Looney Tunes sound effects, cheesy lines and flying heads had me shaking my head the whole time. My suggestion? Read the books, or, if you need a laugh, watch the movie. One thing I will say, is that becoming a vampire actually made the character of Bella interesting and gave Kristen Stewart more to do than just brood. I will confess, I watched the vampire battle scene twice, because it was cartoonish and highly entertaining. I'm sure fans loved the credit sequence. All of the characters were in it, regardless of whether they were in this film. A nice finale.
Friday, March 01, 2013
The French film Holy Motors left me very unsure of what I had just watched. Though the ending had a very spiritual tone, the rest of the film was avant garde and disjointed. I will say it was a visual feast. I really liked this film.