Thursday, September 30, 2010

Trick 'r Treat (2)

Four stories happening in the same night, all separate, but with one thing in common: Halloween.

At first I was a little bored. I felt they took too long to get to the point. Also, the first story didn't interest me at all. It was sort of lame. They just sat on the edge of the story and never dove into it...at least not enough to hold my attention. The other stories had the same thing, randomness followed by something Halloweenie (new word) that I found myself laughing at.

I did follow one of the stories, the main one about the bus. That was the only one that really caught my attention. The old man fighting stuff was pretty awesome. I dig that little pumpkin dude. Then Anna Paquin showed up out of nowhere which is always exciting. I liked her little thingamabob.

I don't know. I didn't find it scary at all. I laughed a lot. I thought the pumpkin child thing was kind of cute...nothing stood out.

Kinda boring actually. There's about ten minutes of actual action and the rest was close ups of peoples feet walking cautiously with eerie, child like singing playing underneath.

*shrug*

2/5

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (4.5)

Two brothers are down and out and decide to rob a mamma pappa jewelry store. One hitch: it's run by their own parents. Robbery goes down, things get messy, personal life falls apart even more and suddenly the brothers find themselves worse off than before. Now they have to fight for their lives instead of for money.

Philip Seymour Hoffman...

How?!

You are...impossible. Fantastic. Just. Guh. Some of your scenes...your face, just...

Yeah.

Ethan Hawke. Fan as always. You played the innocent yet stupid brother part very well. I know you weren't technically the main character but I wanted to see more of you in this movie. I know why that wasn't possible and why this is a completely bias opinion because I've always liked you...but still.

This movie is more amazing than I can sum up. I'll name a few things:

1. The characters. Delicious.
2. Relatable material. Realistic to a T.
3. Twists and turns at every glance.
4. NOT your average robbery movie. In fact, the robbery part was nothing compared to all the emotional and personal drama going on.
5. Even though this was a drama through and through the action was always there. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Even though it wasn't really an action film. I was in complete suspense.

Okay, enough with the numbers.

This film was brilliant. All of it. The transition between the scenes. The use of time and characters. The deep plot. The fantastic characters. A story that we can all relate to. Some scenes that had me relating back to my own life....

Heavy. Smart. Brilliant. Beautiful.

And an ending you think you know until it happens...

4.5/5

ps- Philip....GUH!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Waiting... (4)

A closer look at the people who serve you and make your food. Don't fck with them.

I wasn't expecting this movie to be that fcking hilarious. There were times when I was gasping for air. I mean, some of these scenes are golden. They remind me of those times in your everyday life when something is so hilarious that you swear "you can't write comedy like that!"...well, some of the stuff in this movie was like that. Also, the fact that I have worked in the restaurant industry means I could completely relate to every single person in this film.

Awesome.

I really liked how it was borderline what I call "college comedies", you know the boobs sex virgin college beers type, yet it stayed far enough away from actually showing anything that I really enjoyed watching it. Sure, they talked about sex and there's kissing, but mostly it's just all amazing dialect with ridiculous characters. I liked that. I am overly tired of the college comedy bullsht. It stopped being funny when I hit puberty.

Man, the one scene with the crazy angry waitress had me crying with laughter. And the big monologue at the end by the trainee was priceless.

Jolly good show all.

And Ryan Reynolds...I love you even more.

Such a solid comedy!

4/5

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Town (4)

This movie is about bank robbers.

...and so, so much more.

You know those action flicks were they need to fill in some dialect in between all the shooting and fighting so they throw in some stupid, sappy, sentimental story that never works and makes you roll your eyes?

This wasn't one of those movies.

I can't say I've ever been a super Ben Affleck fan, but I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy a lot of the things he has done. I really liked him in this movie. His directing was damn awesome too. Not too shabby Ben, hat tip to you.

Jeremy Renner, most noted for his amazing performance in Hurtlocker, played the supporting role well enough. I haven't seen him in anything but the Hurtlocker and this film but his characters were too alike for me to really say anything more than he was good. Now I need to see him do an anti-badass role to make me a firm believer that he is as good as I think he is...

I'm not really a fan of the robbery-esque films. To me they are generally shrug worthy and a bit of a let down. I liked this one because it wasn't this one big heist. It was a build up and there were failures here and there instead of where they usually throw in the twists and spins. The pace of the film was perfect (at least I thought so). I mean, the fact that I'm commenting on the pace is a sign that it stuck out to me.

Good story. Not lame characters. I liked the ending but am not married to it. Ben was good. Action was awesome, lotsa guns and pow. I can see why so many people are loving this film. It will definitely surprise you.

4/5

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Devil (2.5)

A person commits suicide the same morning that five seemingly random people get stuck in an elevator and begin getting on each others nerves. Then the lights go out and someone is dead by the time they come back on. The killer is never who you think it should be...

The acting in this is something awful. Okay, well, not everyone in the film but pretty much. I know that I shouldn't really be looking for anything Oscar worthy in horror films but I can't help but want good actors to be acting in the films I watch. Regardless of genre. *sigh*

I will say that the suspense was really good. Without that this whole movie would have really sucked. The story wasn't all that strong...I mean, there really wasn't a story just a core plot that the film revolves around. You don't get the know any of the characters so you don't care all that much when they start dropping dead (as awful as that may sound, it's true).

Good suspense though. I found myself clenching my fists a few times without knowing it. The whole lights thing going out is sort of over done but I enjoyed the flicker previous to the black outs. That let you pay extra attention to the screen as you are forcing yourself to see what's going on.

It was a general horror film. If you like horror than you wont be overly disappointed but other than that I'd say this movie is passable.

2.5/5

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Un Chien Andalou (4)

English title: An Andalusian Dog.

A ground breaking film for surrealism. Written by Salvador Dali and director by Luis Buñuel, this short film is 16 minutes long and you can find it on Youtube.

Made in 1929, it starts by showing the famous eye being cut by a knife scene and continues in a dream-like state for the rest. What may seem like random scenes at first are actually well tied together through images and the stories surrounding these images. For example, the ants in the hand is a sign that someone is itching to kill. The pianos have the 10 commandments on them. There is also good use of lighting and different ways throughout the film.

So many crazy images...really though, such a pure piece of surrealistic art.

I love Dali. He has always been in my top three artists of all time. His mind was something fantastic!

I think watching films like this is really important. It keeps things simple to the point that no dialogue, colour or music is needed. Just the story and a camera. Beautiful.

4/5

Machete (3.5)

A man gets two timed by the people he works for, but they screwed up...they didn't kill him. Now the only thing getting in the way of revenge are too many bodies to cut and so little time.


A beautiful and classic Robert Rodriguez film. The style, fights, gore and yes, women, were all Rodriguez. So if you liked Grindhouse, Sin City, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, From Dusk Till Dawn, or any other amazing Rodriguez movies like these than you are sure to love this one.

Danny Trejo who plays Machete was awesome. I mean, his character is pretty one-liner and no laughs but there is something about the way he plays it that just worked. Also, him fighting...whoa. This guy can can fight.

Robert De Niro was a great surprise but I wasn't overly impressed. He wasn't in the film all that much so I guess I can't really judge. I actually liked Jessica Alba in this movie. It hurts me a little to say but she held her own and kick some ass. I've always been a fan of Michelle Rodriguez and this film was no exception. She was awesome. No idea why but I just love what she does.

Steven Seagal. I cannot express my dismay upon realizing he was a part of this film. I hate that guy man. I can't even laugh at him I dislike him so much. *sigh* I suppose for something like this it worked but...every time he was on the screen I sighed a little. Can't help it. Can't see past the Seagal.

Or the Lohan... *double sigh and face palm*

Action was super awesome with just enough gore (maybe even a little too much, but nothing overly puke worthy). I enjoyed the story too, I liked how it all came together in the end. The only thing that was weird was the fact that what happened at the very beginning of the movie slowly faded into something meaningless as the film went on. I thought that was weird considering how intense the beginning of the movie was and how much that meant to Machete but then it was mentioned here and there...then nothing. Weird.

The end was lame. I just sort of shook my head, but everything before that was awesome.

Overall good characters, great story and some wicked action. Yup, I guess it's easy to say that I enjoyed this film.

3.5/5

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Black Swan (4.5)

"A thriller that zeros in on the relationship between a veteran ballet dancer and a rival." (imdb)

I disagree with that entirely. To me that wasn't what the film was about...that was a small portion of it but to me this film is about a persons struggle with success. The fear of failure and the desire to be perfect. Also, what these things do to weaker people or people who thought they could handle themselves and deny when they've lost control. Basically, to me, it's a snap shot of how there is a black swan in all of us. The one who wants to win, seduce, be perfect, be beautiful and be important. But you have to give up so much to get these things...sometimes, you even have to give up yourself in the process.

'...the only thing standing in your way is yourself.'

This film has so many layers, at least it did to me. The more I try to explain it or grasp the meaning the more meanings and possibilities I find. Fantastic. My mind was fcked, I could barely speak once the credits rolled.

Natalie Portman. You are a GODDESS. The Queen of Queens. What you showed me tonight was so pure and so raw that I thought I was going to be sick. I have no idea how you do what you do but please, please keep slapping me in the face with this talent. So bold and so beautiful. And the dancing?! I loves you!! I think I have a womance going on with you now...

I was delightfully surprised by Mila Kunis who plays a fellow dancer. I can't say I ever really liked her until this film. She was just...good. She was really good. High five!

There are too many reasons why this movie was so awesome. To me, it hit me somewhere deep...somewhere really personal and it kept me their the whole time. The visuals, dancing, music, etc where fantastic. The story itself is so simple when you boil it down but it had so many layers and room for your own personal take on it which made it even stronger. Characters were fantastic.

The best part: the way you watch the character fall apart. How you see her start to lose control. The different ways they portrayed that was amazing. The thought that went into this film astounds me.

I could keep going but I will stop here. At first I didn't know what to think, then it got interesting before quickly getting ugly, then turning dark and evil with a final and beautiful line that ends the film.

A must see. For many reasons. Go and see it and find your own.

4.5/5

Make Believe (3)

"A coming of age journey set in the quirky subculture of magic, this film follows six of the world's best young magicians as they battle for the title of Teen World Champion." (imdb)

I wasn't sure how they would organize this film but it was actually pretty good. I will be honest here and say that some of the teenagers that they decided to follow were not my most favourite people. In fact, if I were one of those kids I would have been a little embarrassed about what the decided would make the film and what wouldn't. Some of the things these people said were just...face palm worthy. Mind you, yes, they are teenagers. Still though...sometimes I was annoyed/confused with what they thought was important for us to hear.

The magic was super cool. I am happy to say that my favourite kid ended up winning the Championship! That made me super happy because he was the most interesting but these kids train every day for hours to do these tricks. I gotta give them all a big high five for that. So talented and so enthusiastic about magic. I never really looked at it the way they do until this film. I know have a totally different perception when it comes to magic.

I like this film because it didn't try and be smart or change your life but to show you how magic changed and was still changing their lives (the kids). I liked that take on it. I also thought though that because of that some scenes were messy and had no business being there. I suppose I don't entirely agree with the way they edited and organized their footage. That's just me though...

Can't say it was anything super special but I doubt there are many if any magic documentaries about teenagers and their struggles so something should be said for that. The general audience loved this film, I was not so entirely convinced...still interesting.

3/5

SUPER (3.5)

A less than impressive man loses his wife to her addictions, drugs and alcohol, and she leaves him high and dry one day. He works at a diner and has nothing else in his life to hold on to. He goes to get her back but gets the crap kicked out of him. Enter a comic book store with the quirky wanna be side kick girl behind the counter. He begins fighting crime and studying aka reading comic books. The girl knows its him and talks him in to joining the team. But what happens when their dream of stopping crime really comes true? Probably not what you'd expect...

This film was definitely not what I thought this movie was going to be about. Not saying that that means it was better or worse...it was crazy, well, fcking crazy as all hell. Really crazy. They didn't hide nothing. In fact, they showed to much sometimes. Far too much. Take a lot to make me look away from a movie screen, shaking my head, and mumbling "no, jesus..." under my breath. They did that. Once again, don't know if that was a good or bad thing. It just was.

Ellen Page is still the man. Even more the man now. I loved her character. She was 100% crazy. I mean, completely insane. Her laugh when she killed someone was just...wow.

Rainn Wilson was really good. Can't say I've ever seen him in a film before so it was a little shocking to me when he started beating people and blowing things up. Thumbs up. Ya done good.

Kevin Bacon and Liv Tyler were bonuses for sure.

There were a lot of things I liked about this film. It was really funny sometimes but I was really wanting more comedy. It is technically a 'dark comedy' but I just felt there was more dark than comedy (I know, lame explanation but, whatever...). The characters were enjoyable but I felt like some scenes had no meaning. Like, they just threw them in there to make the audience turn their heads or frown in confusion. Like...the whole sex scene. Just, why and how?! What did that really mean/add to the film? ...weird.

The ending was actually really awesome. I had no idea how they were going to wrap this one up but it was surprisingly smooth and they threw in some good points that made you think.

...really, they were just two insane people. In my opinion. Crazy assed people/characters.

Interesting way of portraying the whole average-people-becoming-superheros flick. I'll give 'em that. They also made me turn my head because of the gore. I'll high five that.

I don't know, I liked it but I didn't...I'm still not sure.

3.5/5

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The High Cost of Living (4.5)

If you'd like to look up the plot you can head over to imdb because I feel like this is another one of those films where it's better not knowing anything about it before going in. Luckily for me when I skimmed over the plot before I did just that, skimmed it, and had the story all messed up so it was a lovely surprise when it all came together.

All you need to know is that it's one of the most beautiful yet very tragic stories about love. That's all that this film boils down to really; a love story. Not one that is technically enjoyable but it is emotional and beautiful.

I would just like to say hurray for Canadian films! It always feels more personal to me (for some reason) when a good film is Canadian (which I am too).

I've been a fan of Zach Braff for years. He's one of those actors where there is just something about him that I am attracted to. Not like, "omg he's so hot" (but, yes), but just something about how he is...I like watching him on the screen. His character was magnetic; I couldn't look away from him when he entered a scene. Some of his solo scenes made my chest heavy. I was very connected with him from the first. Wonderful.

Isabelle Blais was fantastic. I am almost at a loss for words because I want to make sure I explain how raw and wonderful she was in this movie. Anytime she was crying I felt like I would do anything to make her stop. When she had anxiety or anger I was right there with her. Feeling what she was feeling. That's some strong stuff.

I couldn't actually relate to what these characters were going through. I have never been pregnant and I don't know what it's like to be a drug dealer (guess I'm giving some story away now...but not really) but I still felt so emotionally connected to both of them the whole film. They both sucked me in and held on to me from start to finish which was, well, really great. Doesn't happen enough.

Apologies for my awful explanation of things right now, apparently I'm exhausted. I will try though to do better because this film is really something special.

The director and writer Deborah Chow deserves a million gold stars for this. The story was beautiful. I know I keep saying that but it was. There are so many different love stories and I thought I had seen them all but this one was different. The characters felt so whole that they filled every scene. The dialect was perfect and some of the scenes had me holding my breath. Stories like this don't happen as much as they should but this one nailed it.

I don't know, I really liked it. It was a solid piece of cinema and you all know how much I love good characters and a good story and this film gave me lots of both.

Also, the ending...perfect.

4.5/5

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Buried (5)

Paul wakes up to find he is buried alive and has no idea why.


That's all you should know when going in to watch this film.

I wanted to burst with tears by the end of this movie due to the pent up stress and anxiety I had in my chest. I literally had a headache that started about half way through the film and built right until the credits rolled. I was pulling my hair, closing my eyes, swearing at the screen and clenching my fists. I was also laughing though, which was a nice surprise, at some of the scenes. You would think that would take away from the seriousness of this film but quite the opposite. It made Ryan Reynolds character all the more real...

Speaking of which. Wow. Just wow Ryan. You have...you just...20,000 points my friend (although you are not my friend but I wish you were). I cannot believe what you went through in order to get this film to us, the viewer. I thank you though. I'm not sure if anyone else could have played that character as well as you did. You made him real, gave him just enough humility to make me believe that one day I may wake up in the same situation and act the same as he did. Which was crucial, at least I think so, in making this movie so personal to everyone who watched it.

I can almost not put into words how fantastic, talented and refreshing the writing (Chris Sparling) and directing (Rodrigo Cortés) was. You would almost think that they were the same person but alas, they were two whole people coming together with such an intense amount of talent that it was flawless. And if that weren't enough, Ryan completed this wondrous trio...I almost want to use the word perfection. Perfection.

At first I was bothered, or distracted would be the better word, by the constant movement of the camera when any close ups were happening. I quickly realized that it was because the camera was the character and vice-versa. When he was anxious the camera was more shaky. when he lost focus, the camera would zoom on awkward things or pan without reason to something and back again. Beautiful connection. If he was breathing fast, the camera was moving with him. Just...ugh! So. GOOD. Buh!

I mean, I could keep going and going. Go on about the lighting, the editing, the effects and the suspense and how I was a ball of tension and how even the characters on the phone seemed so real yadda yadda...

But you should really just know that you MUST ALL watch this film. Something like this only happens, well, this particular one will never happen again. Ever.

Ever. My hat is off and my respect is 100%.
Best suspense movie I may have ever seen...

5/5

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jucy (4)

A pair of amazing BFF's have a "womance" going on that may actually be ruining their chances of finding boyfriends and may be ruining each others lives at the same time. A goal is set: in 2 months one must have a super hot boyfriend while the other must have a super hot new job. Change isn't always a good thing and maybe they aren't as great of friends as they thought...

Fantastic film. I will be honest (as I always try to be) in saying that when I first watched the trailer for this film that I was worried that I wouldn't like it. I'm not one for chick flicks/womance movies (not generally). This movie blew me away. I felt so in love with these two girls. These amazing pair who were just...fcking hilarious and beautiful beings!

Francesca Gasteen plays Lucy and Cindy Nelson plays Jackie (get it, Jucy) and both of these actors are incredible. I wanted to be their friend too!! They were average, everyday kind of girls but that's what made them so fantastic. They weren't trying to find their curves or any other part of themselves. I was emotionally so attached to them that by the end of it I was sad...like I was saying goodbye to my best friend after an amazing night of laughter and stupidity.

The writing is awesome. The directing is fantastic. Acting A+. Comedy was fcking amazing, I laughed my ass off (well, not literally, but pretty much). Soundtrack was rocking. Even the film itself, the look of it, was beautiful.

Only thing was that the beginning of the film was a bit shaky but by the time the credits rolled it didn't matter at all.

Two big assed high fives to all.

This movie is playing at the Toronto International Film Festival at this very moment. If you have the chance, make time for this little gem. I promise you'll want to call your best friend as soon as the film is over.

4/5

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The American (1.5)

A man (Clooney) works for a secret agent, not only as an assassin, but as the person who manufactures the weapons. He is in hiding in Italy when a new job comes up. He takes it...but without knowing how it will effect him in the end.

Boring.

It was a stretch for me even to write that much of a synopsis as nothing happens in this damn film. Seriously one of the most boring pieces of art I've ever been unfortunate enough to witness.

Movies starts. There's some chick. Something goes down. He hides in Italy. Hangs with some priest. Makes some weapons. Sleeps with some whore who he falls in love with. Likes butterflies. Tries to quit...and then we all know how well that goes down.

No surprise. No acting involved (from what I could see). No fights. A 4 second car chase and some boobs later and it's over. So lame.

I have nothing else to say about it except that I would give it a worse rating if George Clooney wasn't in it but even then, he didn't add much. Which sucks. Why Clooney, why! You were doing so well...

*sigh*

Go see that piranha movie or something instead...

1.5/5

Okay, I'm back now...

Hey all,

Sorry for the no-action with the blog updates. I took a much needed vacation to NYC but I am back now and wouldn't you know it TIFF is on in my here home city of Toronto and I will be seeing a bunch of films over the next week so stay tuned! I also got caught up watching re-runs of Buffy so you will all fogive me. I will be back in full movie watching action ASAP.

<3 Your Movie Reviewer
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