2017/2018 Key Dates
Film Critics: Today, December 18, winners from Rolling Stone magazine, PhoenixCC, UtahFCA, Kansas CityFCC and St. LouisFCA. Nominations from VancouverFCC.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Almost Summer Movie Bits


After Cannes I was left with an entertainment mood wishing to watch only irrelevant escape films that take me into fantasy land. So that’s exactly what I have been doing with a few exceptions. But I’m also in a 3D mood so for sure will go to watch not Pirates but the green movie that soon will open at a theater near you with none other than Ryan Reynolds and a story about my favorite super hero from when I was a kid.

Unknown – If you don’t expect much then this thriller will entertain you even when story is similar to many other stories –man hits head and not even wife recognizes him- but here the twist at the end is unexpected and unfortunately anticlimactic. Starring great Liam Neeson carrying the entire film well -but take note that this is NO great Taken- plus many other great actors like Bruno Ganz, Sebastian Koch, Frank Langella, Aidan Quinn, January Jones and Diane Kruger makes movie watchable and for a while you will surely forget everything about your real life. Enjoy!

Just Go with It – Expecting not much, movie really surprised me. First because I had no idea Nicole Kidman was here and much less that she was doing comedy. Second because movie is as good/entertaining as those movies with the Sandler/Barrymore duo. Third I had fun watching Jennifer Aniston, which is absolutely unusual. So if you liked movies like The Wedding Singer and/or 50 First Dates I know you will enjoy this movie. Enjoy.

Red Ridding Hood – Perhaps I really like Catherine Hardwicke filmmaking style with spectacular outdoor compositions and takes but to my huge surprise, I enjoyed this movie for the visuals and well the unusual take on the classic fairy tale. Some female critics are saying that this movie target is female teenagers, hmm… maybe but even if I’m no teen I can tell you I enjoy watching great Julie Christie in the screen –she should act more often- and the twisted story that kept me wondering who the werewolf was. No, didn’t guessed right, so was absolutely unexpected, which is also unusual for me. This is no horror movie or thriller, is more like a suspense “who dunnit” kind of movie with spectacular visuals. Enjoy!!

Ilusiones Opticas (Optical Illusions) – When I finished watching this movie by Cristián Jiménez I said “is okay”. Not much time passed when I started to really think what I saw in the screen and then, story absolutely hit me hard, very hard. Movie is about “optical illusions” about what is crudely in front of you but you don’t chose to see it for whatever reason; so you create your fantasy to cover reality, to dream a dream of change, with a happier ending that never will be. Great story in a minimalist, narrative oriented film with some humor, some sadness, and some temporary happiness. If you decide to watch it you will not be disappointed. Enjoy!!!

Pa negre (Black Bread) - This Agustí Villaronga film tells about what lies can do to people, how one lie takes to another lie, how lies come from ignorance and from fear of what others could say if you admit truth, even when everybody else knows truth but chose to keep it silent or to forget about it, until truth comes out and everyone points fingers. Yes that’s what this entertaining movie is all about but using kids plus the harsh post-war years’ in Spain Catalan countryside makes what could have been a difficult-to-watch story into a more digestible story and an entertaining movie. Enjoy!!

Barney’s Version – Not sure what I was expecting from this movie, but surely wasn’t much as I don’t particularly like Paul Giamatti performances and much less, Scott Speedman; so when movie starts and goes to the past in Italy I almost stopped watching but decided to continue and I’m very glad as in the end, I liked this movie that tells the story of Barney Panofsky with his business successes, his female conquests –until he’s conquered by one woman- and his numerous failures. To me story and movie is a satire that pictures quite well the life of many men, a story that strongly resembles the life of many real life men that I know. An entertaining movie to escape reality while watching what could be reality to many. Enjoy!!

Ubiitsy (Killers) – This 1956 short film co directed by Andrei Tarkovsky when he was a student at VGIK absolutely is the best student film I have EVER seen. Is the last of Tarkovsky’s so reduced (11 titles) oeuvre that I had to see before I die or I decide to stop doing the blog. Now I can say that I have seen all his outstanding films and this short co directed with his student colleagues, with them acting, and with a scene with Tarkovsky acting is truly visual poetry even when is based on a short story by Hemingway about some killers that are in town to kill a man. If you love Tarkovsky’s work as much as I do, you have to watch this short film as well as the other 10 films he did. Truly Outstanding. BIG ENJOY!!!

El Sicario: Room 164 - A documentary that tells about the life (20 years) of a man as a highly trained Mexican narco hit man that will capture your attention not only because what he says but also for his multiple drawings while telling the most horrible stories of killings, kidnappings, torture and all the things he did while being trained, starting to work, becoming an expert and how he went into hiding, as now there is a contract on his life of US$250,000. You will not see a thing but you will hear everything, which I believe makes it more ice-cold terrific. Still, is mesmerizing until the very not-expected end that is totally anti-climatic and ruined the doc for me. Watch at your own risk. Enjoy!

El Infierno (Hell) – Actually watched this film before watching the above documentary and definitively was the reason why I decided to watch El Sicario as wanted to learn more about narco’s life as with this movie you get a satiric approach, which is very entertaining and definitively succeeds in getting you to think about this theme that you hardly think about it in your everyday life. As mentioned in other post, film is good as humor facilitates watching everything; but when you live or have lived in Mexico or any other country where chaos is real, film definitively is must be seen to realize that after all whatever is happening in Mexico -and many other similar countries- is consequence of many years, hundreds of years, where citizens indifference –and participation- have made everything possible as they did before, are doing today and unfortunately will continue to do tomorrow. According to what I read –and I agree- many films released for Mexico’s bicentennial celebration tell so many dark truths that makes many wonder if there is something to celebrate as “nothing has changed much” after 200 years. Enjoy!!!

Surely I’m forgetting some films, but this is it for today!

Cheers!

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