Tag: FIlm

Trailer Trash: Lincoln

If the name in the title doesn’t sell you on this picture then I’m not sure what will. Perhaps that of its director Steven Spielberg? Or that of it’s star Daniel Day-Lewis? I needn’t even mention the supporting cast of  Joseph Gordon Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley (and those are just the people in the cast with three names). A lot of people today see trailers for films like this and War Horse and scoff, too snobby for melodrama, to cynical to care but I eat this stuff up like Lewis drink’s a Milkshake. Check it out:

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Hollywoodland

I mentioned earlier that I made a rare trip into the video store today; one of the most interesting things that I saw there was a sign that read ‘True Stories’. Yes, for some reason the store had decided that this was a genre akin to horror and comedy, or a classification like foreign of Aussie. It seemed a little strange to me, especially since it contained both documentaries, acted features and even some that were animated. On further thought though there usually is something that separates films that are true stories from those that are simply stories; this is a grievous generalization of course, but there is a sense to them, maybe something about the structure of the scripts that stands out as being ‘true’. This film was in that section but it doesn’t have even a drop of that feeling: it features famous actors playing famous actors in a famous city who are involved in a famous crime, i know on every level that it’s true but to me it felt one hundred percent like a film? Does it matter? Having watched the film I’m inclined to say no, that real and unreal aren’t important; it’s all about image.

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More than Blockbusters, No More

Now I know that this has been slowly happening for years and so I shouldn’t have been, but I was nevertheless a little shocked when I was walking to work today and say in the corner of my eye that the sign of the local Blockbuster read “Out of Buisness. Closing Down Sale.” Admittedly I hadn’t been in there for what is now years, a living example of the problem the business faced, but I went back through the doors on my way home, both to say goodbye and to pick clean its bones before they started to rot , a veritable vulture with a consumerist corpse.

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Trailer Trash: Keeping ‘The Iceman’ Company

Two completely different trailers for two completely different looking films that both had the same effect on me: Michael Shannon’s The Iceman and Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep. Check em out, with some commentary, after the jump:

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2 Days in New York

2 Days in Paris was a piece of largely derivative cinema but it was a darling enough experience that you didn’t mind. Delpy had some success with Before Sunrise and loved the work of Woody Allen; so for her directorial debut why should she not attempt to replicate the romance and casual conversations of the former in the comedic style of the latter?

The Before series had a sequel and so now its simulacrum does too, but where will she set it? What European countries are left? Where else but the city love of its leading stylistic influence Woody Allen, Manhattan? Though whereas Sunset set its characters up in a situation slavishly similar to the original and then had them speak to just how hard it is to recapture the lightning of love inside a now antique bottle, New York simply shows us; demonstrating in depth the law of diminishing returns.

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Humpday

The title of this film suggests something rather crude and center-aisle, a notion that its concept does nothing to dismiss: through a series of dares and moves of one-upsmanship two estranged straight male mates decide to make a pornographic movie together and neither wants to be the first to back out. So from the story synopsis it sounds like it should be a silly Will Ferrell / Zach Galifinakis comedy (and kind of was in the form of Zack and Miri Make a Porno) but there is a twist.

The pair aren’t simply making the porn for profit but for an underground competition, one that rewards artistic vision and integrity; they are trying to transcend the trappings of the genre by treating the topic with some reverence and that is just what Humpday does with its story, turning what should have just been another silly comedy into a surprisingly touching tale of real modern relationships.

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Lawless – The Soundtrack

Hearing that Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds made one of the more interesting albums of the year is something of a commonplace experience, it could be said of many years since they formed in the seventies, but what about Nick Cave & the Bootleggers? If I were to say that they had recently released one of the most intriguing albums of late, wouldn’t that be new?

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Holy Motors

Holy Motors is essentially unlike any movie that you’ve ever seen before and yet it draws its dramatic essence from the intrinsically familiar, from films that you have seen and the techniques used to make them that you are inherently aware of. It achieves this contradiction by approaching these safe concepts from strange directions, or at least from those that feel strange to us, that don’t track with our expectations.

In an early scene we see a man exit a house briefcase in hand while children shout put ” have fun at work daddy”; he then approaches a smart black car. We assume from this sequence that these are his kids, that he will get in the car and that he isn’t in fact already at work, that this isn’t his job; all of those assumptions are wrong, so too are most of those you have later on. Even if you are expecting the unexpected you won’t be ale to predict half of what happens in Holy, but strangely enough it still all makes some sense when seen from afar.

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Dead Again

According to Dead Again death is not the end, in fact it is quite literally the beginning. The credit sequence (which I nearly skipped by accident) starts off the show by showing the brutal deaths of two doomed lovers in the post-war era of the late fourties: Roman and Margaret Strauss, a German composer and his concert pianist; one murdered and the other made to die for for doing it. Then we leap forward to a modern day LA where a woman resembling Margaret is struggling to remember who she is when a prototypical Private Investigator is called in to solve the case, one who just so happens to look identical to Roman. We can see instantly that the romance will be rekindled, but are they bound to repeat the pattern forever?

Dead Again is then a strange kind of ghost story, one in which humans are haunted by their own past lives. This is a fascinating premise, but I spelled out the story more to show you just how big and blunt the film is in its depiction. We apparently can’t be trusted to make connections on our own and so the characters are played by the same actors, just with broad accents and pasted on beards. On further reflection I needn’t have done so because simply looking at the films title tells you all that you need to know about its execution: Dead Again, it’s brisk, cheap and utterly lacking in poetry which is not what you would expect from someone of Branagh’s background.

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The Bourne Legacy (Filthsposition)

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(Filthspositions are guest reviews, reviews of films or television shows that offer an alternate opinion to my own, more specifically that of Filth, a guest writer.)

The Bourne Legacy wasn’t a bad movie. The opening half-hour is a bit messy, bending over backwards to connect itself to the previous trilogy. Which was very intriguing material for me, but one could make a valid argument that it was an unnecessarily convoluted portion of the film. The rest of the movie flowed a bit smoother and was pretty entertaining. The almost “To Be Continued” style ending was somewhat annoying, but that sort of thing is getting increasingly common these days so I wasn’t surprised.

There were a few small logical errors in the film (eg. how did Cross manage to run so far away from the wolf before it blew up? How does he manage his timing so impeccably as to always show up THE EXACT second the heroine needs rescuing?), however these too were to be expected. The film made up for these silly “Hollywood action movie” style moments by being smart in other ways.
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