Posts Tagged ‘movies’
Take the brevity and gore of Cormac McCarthy, the handling and soundtrack from Vice City, plus Ron Perlman in some nice sweatsuits, and you’ve got Ryan Gosling-vehicle DRIVE. Considered by many as the most underrated and under-awarded movie of 2011, DRIVE tells the story of a Hollywood stunt driver who is lured away from his darker, part time job as a get away driver by the effortlessly enchanting Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her too cute son Benicio (Kaden Leos).
SUCKER PUCNH (2011), directed by Zack Snyder, is a film that comes at you in waves; you will find yourself engaged for several minutes at a time before catching yourself, realizing the dream-within-dream action sequences have all the depth of an E for Everyone action. At time the action is beautiful, with genuine moments of suspense, but the film’s artistic strengths are better demonstrated in the brothel scenes.
SUCKER PUNCH includes Snyder’s trademark obsessions with slow-motion, computer generated backgrounds, and roughly 20 minutes of unnecessary footage.
So far Side Effects is the only film that stands out in 2013, though there are plenty to come and more I have yet to see. May and June mark the start of the summer season. Here’s a taste.
May 10th: “The Great Gatsby”
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher
Despite clocking in at a magnificently efficient ~185 pages, GATSBY has so far proven unfilmable. Baz Luhrmann’s questionable direction (as evident by the trailer) looks to be the latest victim. The film looks to be a visual feast, however, and Fitzgerald fans will find themselves turning out, however low their expectations may be.
May 24: The Hangover: Part III
Starring Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifinakis, Mike Tyson
Who would have guessed THE HANGOVER would have been such a sleeper smash? The most successful R-rated comedy franchise of all time will surely inflate that total big time as Zach Galifinakis has cemented himself as a comedic film star, Bradley Cooper is fresh off a Best Actor nod and Ed Helms continues to…stay relevant. The second outing left a lot to be desired, but in retrospect seems a quirky (yet exceedingly grim) parody of its predecessor. The third promises to be even darker, completely different and the final installment.
The first quarter of the 2013 movie season has already begun. Nothing much about January interested me though, and the dead of winter is notorious for its lackluster cinema offerings. However there are a few interesting films on the horizon before the summer season picks up in May.
February 8th: “Side Effects”
Starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum
THE DEAL: I have purposely not read into the story behind this movie and have been avoiding the ad campaign as best I can. Side Effects is a psychological thriller involving murder, medication and mental health issues…so you know there will be plenty of twists and turns. Channing Tatum looks to be taking another step in his inevitable march toward super stardom, Rooney Mara is as magnetic a screen presence as ever, and Jude Law seems to be the wildcard holding it all together. This could be a good one.
February 8th: “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III”
Starring Bill Murray, Charlie Sheen, Jason Schwartzman
THE DEAL: Written and directed by Roman Coppola, I have likewise not read too much into this film as it is the type of comedy that will keep taking you by surprise as it spirals into madness. Sheen plays a graphic design artists in the 70s whose girlfriend (Katheryn Winnick) dumps him, throwing his life into a nosedive. This will only get a wide release if it does extremely well, so be on your toes if you want to catch this torpedo of truth in theaters.
March 1st: “Stoker”
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Nichole Kidman, Matthew Goode
THE DEAL: “After her father dies, an enigmatic uncle moves in with a girl and her emotionally unstable mother. Although the mother has suspicions about his motives, she finds herself drawn to him.” A simple plot to a psychological horror film written by Wentworth Miller and directed by Chan-wwok Park, the man behind “Old Boy.” This movie has a high ceiling and low basement. Here’s hoping the solid casts pulls it off and delivers a solid, intelligent scare, something American horrors have been sorely lacking.
March 8th: “Oz: The Great and Powerful”
Starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Zach Braff
THE DEAL: Any “Oz” prequel seems doomed from the start, much like a live action, CGI-laden “Alice in Wonderland.” The options are too endless, and if director Sam Raimi hasn’t pulled the reigns in, this thing could be a meandering, dazzling pile of horse shit. Here’s hoping it isn’t, because the visuals so far have been stimulating and the cast is definitely worth getting excited about.
April 5th: “Jurassic Park”
Starring Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neil, Laura Dern
There are a few notable re-releases in 2013, including “The Little Mermaid” and all three of the Star Wars prequel films. The Disney re-releases got old after “The Lion King” dominated the summer box office for three weeks, and further dressing up the nonexistent magic of “Attack of the Clones” simply doesn’t do it for me. “Jurassic Park,” however, is a movie I’d go see in theaters once a month if I could. It is the first movie I ever saw in theaters (followed by “Lion King,” coincidentally) and the awe inspiring presence of Spielberg’s dinosaurs has yet to diminish. The CGI might benefit from some slight touch ups, but the animatics used in JP have yet to be surpassed 20 years later. And while I’m not a huge fan of 3D, with this blockbuster it totally works. Imagine the whole tree/car scene in 3D? Or that stampede veering its course directly at you! What were those things called again? Galli…galli…gallimimus!
I am jumping the gun along with the rest of the country and getting into the Christmas spirit early, because what else do I have to do? For me, December is “that month they don’t play tennis,” but there is also Christmas. Most Christmas movies are cheesy as hell, but the past two nights I have watched some darker takes on the holiday.
First off, the inane Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas.
I saw WRECK IT RALPH last night. I had not gone to the movies since THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and had fairly high expectations for the new Disney film. I was not disappointed.
The art direction in RALPH is complex and beautiful; each game world is rendered with appropriately personalized styles, as are their chracters, while designs for Ralph, Venellope and Felix are charming and unique.
Likewise, RALPH does not skimp on the plot. While it is slightly disappointing that we don’t get to venture into more games, Sugar Land is the perfect the world to spend about 60 minutes in, and there are so many subplots going on it’s hard to think about what’s going on elsewhere in the arcade.
John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman play off each other well, as do Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch. Adam Corolla, Horatio Sanz and Mindy Kaling pop up as well.
The movie is funny, I chuckled throughout. There are so great references to games from the 60s through current day, including the all-important NES code (Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right–you get the idea!), as well as familiar characters like Bowser, Sonic and Street Fighter’s Ryu.
I’d give RALPH an 8/10 easy, but if you are looking for the elusive “family film,” something for everyone to enjoy, you have found the perfect movie. Go see WRECK IT RALPH at once.
I recently watched the movie “Goon” starring Sean William Scott, Jay Baruchel and Alison Pill.
In need of some witchcraft and wizardry this Halloween season? Check out Studio Ghibli Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), an adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ novel of the same name. Read the rest of this entry »
Chico and Rita is a 2010 Spanish animated film that looks like “The Boondocks” mixed with the stories of Junot Diaz.
The characters are charmingly simple, fluidly working their was through cheery, storybook backgrounds. Chico and Rita move with startlingly human mechanics in scenes alive with movement: wide shots of the city and a particularly sensuous scene of Rita dancing highlight the movie’s warm and brilliant direction.
At times the animation looks amateurish, the victim of a stunted budget. While the voice acting is top notch, the script mismanages pacing frequently.
“Chico and Rita” 3/5