Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Horrible Bosses

Some will either think that this is freakin' hilarious or really dumb, or maybe both. I am one who thought it was freakin' hilarious. I will admit that some parts of the script that I think I was supposed to laugh at, I did not. But for the most part I laughed my ass off.

They play the trailer on TV all the time, but in case you rarely watch TV or do not own one (which either means you are a hippie or just have not gotten around to discovering the wonders of it), here is the plot. Three guys, Dale (Charlie Day), Nick (Jason Bateman), and Kurt (Jason Sudeikus) all work for assholes. Dale works as a dental assistant for a sex craved bitch, Dr. Julia Harris (Jennifer Aniston). She is threatening that if he doesn't sleep with her she will tell his fiance the he did. Nick has worked his ass off for eight years for a promotion, but because his boss, Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey), is a narcissistic prick, he probably won't get it. Kurt liked his job, until he boss (David Sutherland) dies of a heart attack and his selfish coke-head jerk son, Bobby Pellitt (Colin Farrell), takes over. So eventually all of there jobs turn into a living hell and they just can't take it anymore.
Every single one of these actors takes their role spot on. Charlie Day is one of the most under recognized comedians. He is a genius as Charlie in the awesome show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which I am obsessed with. I am not a fan of the recent movies Jason Batemen has done, but his older roles say he can be great, he was definitely not my favorite out of the three. I have always judged Jason Sudeikus by his performances on Saturday Night Live, but I realized it was just that the writers of the show did not given a clever script. When he is given one, he nails it.
Jennifer Aniston is, in my opinion, the most entertaining of the bosses. If anyone was to capture Harkens character it would and is Kevin Spacey. Spacey is brilliant at playing characters that are total assholes, which is exactly what his character is. The only boss I was not impressed with was the unrecognizable Colin Farrell. It wasn't his performance, it was that the lines he was given were rarely funny. But he took the what he was given and ran with it.
Like I said in the beginning, I found it freakin' hilarious.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Super 8

J.J. Abrhams, who is the director, is one of the best sci-fy screenwriters today. And being produced by Stephen Speilberg, it has an odd similarity to E.T. Now there is a lot of over done action scenes, CGF or whatever it is called. That did not necessarily ruin the feel of the action, but after a while you just wanted that scene to end. This is one of the ongoing flaws of Hollywood productions today, so I will not criticize it harshly.
While filming a scene for a homade zombie movie, a group of friends witness a bizzare train wreck. Set in the summer of 1979, things start happening in their small town of Lilian, Ohio. Joe Lamb's (Joel Courtney) father, Jack Lamb (Kyle Chandler, is the deputy of the town and quickly becomes overwhelmed by the numerous strange incidents. So Joe and his gang of friends, head out to investigate for themselves.
When I refer to gang I mean, Joe (Joel Courtney), the focus of the story. Charles (Riley Griffiths), the bossy, and a little overweight, director, and a trust-worthy friend. Cary (Ryan Lee), a kid obsessed with fire and blowing things up, a typical imature boy. One of those boys you suspect has some type of hyperactive disorder, but you are not really sure. Martin (Gabriel Brasso), the dork. And Preston (Zach Mills), a wimp who thinks over every situation until he finds some way that it might go wrong. It is an amazingly realistic portrayle of middle-school imaturity and spot on everyday interaction with eachother. I knew every one of those boys in my middle-school. To the inth degree J.J. Abrhams has made those characters at point that they were no longer characters but people. Boys who could be sitting next to you at the theater.
Joel Courtney is incredible for a child actor of his generation. I can say the same about his costar, Riley Griffiths, who plays Charles. I type this with shaking hands, because I would have never known this if I had not looked it up. This is the first time acting, for both of them. For most of the boys in fact. Elle Fanning, Dakota Fanning's little sister, who obviously takes after her in the way of talent, plays Alice Dainard. Her act does not go unnoticed. Even though Alice is for the most part important to the film and storyline, I found myself wanting to see more of Joe's character. Of course a major film can not get produced with out some sort of romance, so figure it out yourselves.
I think that this movie could have been split. One plot, a family drama, and the other, a sci-fi comedy. But the plots do come together very easily towards the end, although I do not think it neccesary. This ease is not very common which is also a way this movie works.
Something that bothers me though is the rating. It is rated PG-13. To me it seems like it should be rated R. There is a lot of blood and cussing. Thank god I did not take my little sister to see it, which I was going to. 10 and up is my recommended age.
I have seen this movie three times. You should at least see it once.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The King's Speech

I consider this to be the "feel-good" movie of 2010. 'Feel-good' in the way of triumphant intelligence. We judge of the high honors people receive, but we do not always know the reason they are honored, just trust that it was something important or advised. Sometimes, eccentricity can cure the eccentric.
Based on the process of King George IV, played by magnificent Colin Firth, overcoming his speech impediment and fear of public speaking as he is lead toward the thrown. After trying multiple physicians with no improvement King George has given up. His wife, Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), is still determined to find someone who can help her husband. She comes across a slightly different speech therapist, Lionel Louge (Geoffry Rush), who doesn't exactly use the 'normal' methods of therapy. King George is at first stubborn, but gives in for the sake of his wife. Lionel and King George's are vastly different but, they soon develop an odd trustful friendship.
Colin Firth is amazing in the way he handles any character he plays. Helena Bonham Carter is a doll, and dearly close to my heart (acting wise). Nothing need by said of the great Geoffry Rush. In my opinion both Firth and Rush are some of the best actors of their generations. Tom Hopper, the director, mastered this period piece and I hope continues to do many more. This is by far one of the best historic films I have seen, in my lifetime (of 14 years). Every element captures the time period perfectly. Simply a masterpiece.

Monday, March 14, 2011

83rd Academy Award Winners

It seems like every year the feel good film wins best picture. Except of course for the 2008 Oscar which went to No Country For Old Men. I am not saying that The King's Speech did not get its well deserved attention, but Black Swan seemed to be shockingly pushed aside. The King's Speech, good screenplay, good cinematography, good art direction, but overall Black Swan was a better movie and more worthy of the spotlight.
(And another well deserved win in costuming to Colleen Atwood!)


Best Picture
The King's Speech
who should have won: Black Swan

Best Directing
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
who should have won: Darron Aaronofsky - Black Swan

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Colin Firth - The King's Speech

Best Actress In a Leading Role
Natalie Portman - Black Swan

Best Actor In a Supporting Role
Christian Bale - The Fighter
who should have won: Geoffry Rush - The King's Speech

Best Actress In a Supporting Role
Melissa Leo - The Fighter
who should have won: Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit

Best Art Direction
Alice In Wornderland - Production Design: Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara

Best Cinematography
Inception - Wally Pfister
who should have one: Black Swan - Matthew Libatique

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
The King's Speech - David Seidler

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin

Music (Original Score)
The Social Network - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Music (Original Song)
We Belong Together, by Music & Lyric by Randy Newman - Toy Story 3

Costume Design
Alice In Wonderland - Colleen Atwood

Makeup
The Wolfman - Rick Baker & Dave Elsey

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 3

Best Documentary (Feature)
Inside Job - Charles Ferguson & Audrey Marrs
who should have won: Exit Through The Gift Shop - Banksy & Jamie D'Cruz

Best Documentary (Short Subject)
Strangers No More - Karen Goodman & Kirk Simon
who should have won: Killing In The Name - Jed Rothstein

Foreign Language Film
In A Better World (Denmark)

Best Short (Live Action)
God Of Love - Luke Matheny

Best Short (Animated)
The Lost Thing - Shaun Tan & Andrew Ruhemann

Visual Effects
Inception

Film Editing
The Social Network

Sound Editing
Inception

Sound Mixing
Inception

Friday, February 18, 2011

Black Swan

As a film critic, I find it much more difficult to right a review praising a film than a disapproving one. The dictionary definition of a critic: a person who often finds fault and criticizes. I suppose I know more adjectives that define imperfect than perfect. But I cannot use those imperfect words because this film was the exact opposite, it was perfect.
You could vaguely describe it as beautiful. That is not doing any justice to this stunningly intricate film. Natalie Portman is intriguing in her performance as Nina, who is obsessed with perfecting her ballet performance as Odette in 'Swan Lake'. She is beginning to find confidence, but that is shattered when a free-spirited dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), steels the attention. Nina slowly breaks down, becoming more like the black swan, Odette's evil sister, Odil. Now Nina wants her 'turn'...
David Aronofsky is simply an ingenious artist. The camera angles, the eerie music, the persistent symbolism. Nina's emphasized breath gives the film a haunting element, and yours eventually becomes as heavy as hers. I eventually realized, that when the film had ended, my mouth was wide open. I did not move the entire film, and all of the credits (with my mouth still open). Go to this film, and you will witness art. Images you will never forget.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

83rd Oscar Acadamy Award Nominations

The Golden Globes were a joke, but the Oscars are a little more tasteful...



Best Picture
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are Alright
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Best Directing
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan
David O. Russell - The Fighter
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
David Fincher - The Social Network
Joel & Ethan Coen - True Grit

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem - Biutiful
Jeff Briges - True Grit
Jesse Eisenburg - The Social Network
Colin Firth - The King's Speech
James Franco - 127 Hours

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Benning - The Kids Are Alright
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale - The Fighter
John Hawkes - Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner - The Town
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are Alright
Geoffry Rush - The King's Speech

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech
Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Jacki Weaver - Animal Kingdom

Best Art Direction
Alice In Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollow Part 1
Inception
The King's Speech
True Grit

Best Cinematography
Black Swan
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Mike Leigh - Another Year
Screenplay by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson- The Fighter
Christopher Nolan - Inception
Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg - The Kids Are Alright
David Seidler - The King's Speech

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Danny Boyle & Simon Baeufoy - 127 Hours
Aaron Sorkin - The Social Network
Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, & Lee Unkrich - Toy Story 3
Joel & Ethan Coen - True Grit
Debra Granik & Anne Rosillini - Winter's Bone

Music (Original Score)
John Powell - How To Train Your Dragon
Hans Zimmer - Inception
Alexandre Desplat - The King's Speech
A.R. Rahman - 127 Hours
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network

Music (Original Song)
Music & Lyrics by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges, & Hillary Lindsey - "Comin' Home" (Country Strong)
Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Glenn Slater - "I See The Light" (Tangled)
Music by A.R. Rahman; Lyrics by Dido & Rollo Armstrong - "If I Rise" (127 Hours)
Music & Lyrics by Randy Newman - "We Belong Together" (Toy Story 3)

Costume Design
Alice In Wonderland
I Am Love
The King's Speech
The Tempest
True Grit

Makeup
Barney's Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

Best Animated Feature
How To Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Documentary (Feature)
Exit Through The Gift Shop
Gasland
Inside Job
Restrepo
Waste Land

Documentary (Short)
Killing In The Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

Foreign Language Film
Biutiful (Mexico)
Dog Tooth (Greece)
In A Better World (Denmark)
Incendies (Canada)
Outside The Law (Hors-la-loi) (Algeria)

Short (Animated)
Day & Night
The Gruffalo
Let's Pollute
The Lost Thing
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, A Journey Diary)

Short (Live Action)
The Confession
The Crush
God of Love
Na Wewe
Wish 143

Visual Effects
Alice In Wonderland
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows Part 1
Hereafter
Inception
Iron Man 2

Film Editing
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King's Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network

Sound Editing
Inception
Toy Story 3
Tron: Legacy
True Grit
Unstoppable

Sound Mixing
Inception
The King's Speech
Salt
The Social Network
True Grit