Updates

Hi there from the Film Lovers Blogosphere!

It’s been a few months since my last post BUT I’ve been watching tons of movies (as usual) and have been making my notes as I watch them. I will spend this week posting them up officially.

Also in the works of financing a few changes for this site, so stay tuned!

Keep watching great films!

Tiff.

Advertisements

Looper (2012)

Director: Rian Johnson

Cast: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

Genre: Action/ Sci-Fi

Type: Mainstream

Running Time: 119 min

Rated R (violence, strong language, drug content)

In short, the reviews I indulged in prior to seeing this film for myself pretty much said that Looper was “the best sci-fi film since Twelve Monkeys (1995)”; that statement immediately made me have very high expectations, I will certainly admit that. I also have to admit that I was already biased towards Looper because I was already an eager fan of Rian Johnson who had directed JGL previously in 2005’s Brick (a personal all-time favourite film).

My high expectations were not let down in the least. While I wouldn’t go so far as to put it above 12 Monkeys, I thought it was, pardon my slang, wicked cool.  To be honest, I was moderately interested right up until that one pivotal scene (if you’ve seen it you know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t seen it yet, you will) when I was mind blown. My jaw literally dropped open and I heard the words “holy fucking shit” slip out of my mouth in a soft whisper. I figured the kid was dangerous but not that dangerous.

I have to comment on Bruce Willis. I kept reading how this was the “role of Bruce Willis’ career”. To that I say: LOL NO. How can you possibly look at this man’s career, and tell me that this role was pivotal? It wasn’t terrible, don’t get me wrong, but he’s definitely done more epic roles. He didn’t really stand out to me in any significant way besides just another dude in the cast.

I think one of the things I enjoyed most was the cinematography. Honestly. Rian Johnson is an auteur, in my humble opinion. You watch his films, and you know it’s a Rian Johnson movie in the same way you watch a Tarantino movie and know it’s a Tarantino movie.  I like the way his style consists heavily of unexpected close-ups and low-level shots. There is also something about his 2-shots that remind me of the breakfast scene between Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. It’s seductive to me because the style feels like all the movies I loved growing up between 1996 and 2006.

The Long and Short: You find yourself captivated by the plot before it’s even 10 minutes in and only gets better from there. While I still don’t say it’s better than Twelve Monkeys, it’s certainly one of the best and original sci-fi films we’ve seen in the last decade.

My Recommendation: A must-see, no doubt.

Favourite Scene: When the kid reveals his little… talent.

Verdict:   A+

OSCAR NOMINATIONS

Well, it’s here! The Official Academy Award Nominations for 2013.

Here’s the list 🙂

Best Film
Amour
Argo
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Lincoln
Life Of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Best Actress
Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Naomi Watts – The Impossible
Best Actor
Daniel Day Lewis – Lincoln
Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
Denzel Washington – Flight
Best Director
Michael Haneke – Amour
Ang Lee – Life Of Pi
David O Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin – Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin – Argo
Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams – The Master
Sally Field – Lincoln
Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
Helen Hunt – The Sessions
Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook
Best Foreign Language Film
Amour
No
War Witch
A Royal Affair
Kon-Tiki
Best Original Screenplay
Flight
Zero Dark Thirty
Django Unchained
Amour
Moonrise Kingdom
Best Adapted Screenplay
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Argo
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Life Of Pi
Animated Feature Film
Frankenweenie
The Pirates! Band Of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph
ParaNorman
Brave
Best Original Song
“Before My Time” from Chasing Ice
“Pi’s Lullaby” from Life Of Pi
“Suddenly” from Les Misérables
“Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from Ted
“Skyfall” from Skyfall
Best Art Direction
Anna Karenina, Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
Les Misérables, Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
Life Of Pi, Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Lincoln, Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson
Best Cinematography
Seamus McGarvey – Anna Karenina
Robert Richardson – Django Unchained
Claudio Miranda – Life Of Pi
Janusz Kaminski – Lincoln
Roger Deakins – Skyfall
Best Costume Design
Jacqueline Durran – Anna Karenina
Paco Delgado – Les Misérables
Joanna Johnston – Lincoln
Eiko Ishioka – Mirror Mirror
Colleen Atwood – Snow White And The Huntsman
Best Film Editing
William Goldenberg – Argo
Tim Squyres – Life Of Pi
Michael Kahn – Lincoln
Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers – Silver Linings Playbook
Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg – Zero Dark Thirty
Best Documentary (Feature)
5 Broken Cameras (Kino Lorber), Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
The Gatekeepers (Sony Pictures Classics), Nominees to be determined
How To Survive A Plague (Sundance Selects), Nominees to be determined
The Invisible War (Docurama Films), Nominees to be determined
Searching For Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Classics), Nominees to be determined
Best Makeup
Hitchcock, Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
Les Misérables, Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell
Best Original Score)
Dario Marianelli – Anna Karenina
Alexandre Desplat – Argo
Mychael Danna – Life Of Pi
John Williams – Lincoln
Thomas Newman – Skyfall
Best Sound Mixing
Argo, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
Les Misérables, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
Life Of Pi, Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
Lincoln, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
Skyfall, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson
Best Sound Editing
Argo, Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
Django Unchained, Wylie Stateman
Life Of Pi, Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
Skyfall, Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
Zero Dark Thirty, Paul N.J. Ottosson
Best Visual Effects
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
Life Of Pi, Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
The Avengers, Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
Prometheus, Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
Snow White And The Huntsman, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson
Best Documentary (Short Subject)
Inocente, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
Kings Point, Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
Mondays At Racine, Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
Open Heart, Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd Stern
Redemption, Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
Best Short Film (Animated)
Adam And Dog, Minkyu Lee
Fresh Guacamole, PES
Head Over Heels, Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
Maggie Simpson In “The Longest Daycare”, David Silverman
Paperman, John Kahrs
Best Short Film (Live Action)
Asad, Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
Buzkashi Boys, Sam French and Ariel Nasr
Curfew, Shawn Christensen
Death Of A Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw), Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
Henry, Yan England
The awards take place  on 24 February 2013. Are you excited? I definitely am. Every year I fill out a ballot to see how many I guessed right and dress up (because I’m silly like that).

TMR Updates

Hey, my (imaginary) readers!

I’ve been watching sooo many new movies lately I can hardly keep track. Every time I watch a new movie I tend to jot down notes in a little black book for review later.

A bunch of new reviews including but not limited to Looper (2012), The Perks of Being A Wallflower (2012), Argo (2012), Flight (2012) and On The Road (2012) will be coming your way over the next few days! I apologize for the little hiatus. It’s been a little difficult to get writing in with my job, studying for the GRE, and trying to complete a business certificate.

I’ve also been doing my usual research into industry trends, changes, mergers, acquisitions, and upcoming movies. I’ve got a lot of new trailers to add! Including the new Warm Bodies (2013) trailer, hoorah!

On October 5th, I celebrated the 3 year anniversary of this blog with a little glass of pinot grigio and a cheers to my computer. While it doesn’t seem to get a lot of traffic, since clearly all my friends on Twitter choose not to click my pathetic links to this blog, I’m incredibly proud of it and the fact that I stick with it. More importantly, I love it. It’s a great outlet.

So, that’s my little update for today! Check back soon for new reviews 🙂

Keep on watching those movies.

Tiff.

Premium Rush (2012)

I like to ride. Fixed gear. No brakes. Can’t stop. Don’t want to, either.

Director: David Koepp

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dania Ramirez, Michael Shannon, Jamie Chung

Genre: Action/adventure, Thriller

Running Time: 91 mins

Rated PG-13

For the purpose of this review, I will refer to “gangsters” as “gangstahs” for dramatic effect.

The number of positive reviews I’ve read about this movie surprises me. Ok. Hang on. That was probably not the best way to start this review. I’m not saying it wasn’t a ‘good movie’. It was. The mainly unanimous positive response was unexpected, however.

If you are a deep and troubled intellectual soul looking for something to move you and help you find your own path in life, this is not the movie for you. Look elsewhere, buddy. If you like high-octane adrenaline, impossibly speedy chase scenes, and eye candy stunts, you’ve come to right place. This movie is all about the concept of spectacle in film. I’m contemplating how theoretical I should get in this review…

The colours pop. Cue Wilee’s (Gordon-Levitt) bright red T-shirt he sports throughout the entire movie. Red. The colour of passion, anger, fire. Certainly appropriate for this character. While it is not really explained (and since little background is really given to any of the characters), one could infer that Wilee was once a bright, up and coming law student who apparently dropped out of an unnamed prestigious New York college just before the Bar exams. Instead, he became a bike messenger for a delivery company. Why? Simply because he loves biking, the thrill of biking, and the freedom to not work in a 9-5 office job because of biking.

So, the Macguffin in Premium Rush, is a ticket. Yes, you heard me right. The plot is driven by a damn ticket.  The ticket is representative of a large monetary value  and is important to Nima (Chung). Pause. Now, you guys know that Jamie Chung was born and raised in California…right? I’m sorry to everyone I disturbed in the cinema when I burst out laughing the second I heard a Chinese accent come out of her mouth.  Hahaha, stereotyping. Moving on. Nima gets Wilee to deliver this said ticket because he’s the best bike courier in the city, according to his girlfriend, Vanessa (Ramirez) who also just happens to be Nima’s ex-roommate). Now here’s why there’s all the chasing: corrupt NYPD cop Bobby Monday (Shannon) owes some Asian gangstahs some money and thus the ticket is his way out of gangstah debt.

With a great bad cop name like “Bobby Monday”, you’d think he would be a little bit more sinister and little less whiney brat. Nope. Nuh-uh. I forget we aren’t watching Training Day (2001). My bad. So Monday owes some “bad” people some money, yet I didn’t feel any urgency about this. Nobody was calling him leaving threats in the form of severed body parts in the trunk of his car (or anything outrageously gangstah like that), so…why was he behaving like it’s the end of the world? I couldn’t tell you.  But that guy really needed to take a chill pill.

The motion media and impressive stunt work were visually pleasing and something refreshing to watch after a summer of CGI action. The film also employs a gimmick I am personally a fan of: revealing the plot in asynchronous time (that is, the film tends to go backwards or forwards in time in all or certain parts of the film). It gives your brain a little bit more work to do and always makes the plot seem smarter or cleverer than it really is.

The Long and Short: The action kicks off strong and hard right from the get-go and hardly lets up. The movie epitomizes the adrenaline of chase scenes with an exciting new perspective- from a bike!

My Recommendation: See this flick. Just do it.

Favourite Scene: Every single time the NYPD bike cop tried to catch Wilee.

Verdict:   A+

Ted (2012)

Is it still hump day if you did nothing all week?

Director: Seth MacFarlane

Cast:  Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Giovanni Ribisi

Genre: Comedy

Type: Mainstream

Running Time: 106 mins

Rated R

Ted is a comedy about a man who grows up with a living teddy bear, appropriately named Ted, as his best friend.  As a young boy, he makes a wish that his beloved teddy bear was actually real and lo and behold, his wish comes true.

The comedic talents delivered by the popular Seth MacFarlane will not disappoint fans of the popular TV series Family Guy. Ted is a without a doubt one of the most quotable comedies of the year with lines like “I wanna do something to her called a ‘Dirty Fozzie’.” to keep audiences jovial.

Mark Wahlberg once again delivers a satisfactory performance in a comedic role and his facial expressions at times are often inimitable; cue Sam Jones’ appearance in the film, followed by Walhberg’s astonished face and hair blowing in a very suspect breeze.

While many of my acquaintances felt that Ted was the most hilarious movie they had ever seen, I didn’t feel the same way. It had its moments, and because I am softhearted, I will admit that there were moments I did feel a little teary-eyed over the sentimentality of the plot.  Regardless, there are other movies, such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Superbad or Zoolander that I would say were far more hilarious than Ted.

 Perhaps one of the most appealing moments of the film was Giovanni Ribisi. This cameo role was really a 180 degree shift from his usual body of work, so naturally I was very curious to see what he would bring to the table.  He did an eerily good job as a clearly unbalanced older man who cannot come to terms with his unnatural obsession with Ted. The highlight here was really his dancing scene, which was disturbingly entertaining and perhaps continued for a tad bit too long for us to feel entirely comfortable.

The Long and Short: Not necessarily the most hilarious thing ever but overall, Ted was certainly fun.

My Recommendation: I would recommend watching with a group of friends who follow Family Guy –type humour or enjoy Wahlberg in laid back screen roles.

Favourite Scene: Creepy Giovanni Ribisi dancing with a juice box in his hand. Definite “Wtf?” moment.

Verdict:  B+